Monday, January 28, 2013

Kicking off 2013 right!

On Saturday, Bugger and I set off to Aiken for the Full Gallop Horse Trials to run as a one day on Sunday.  I was stoked to get the season started and to practice what we have been working on all winter.  We were to compete in the Open Intermediate.

Unfortunately, Sunday morning in Aiken was a bit chilly.  Our dressage time was 7:51 and the grass was still covered with frost.  Bug was feeling a bit frisky due to the cold, but he warmed up pretty well.  Unfortunately, the dressage arenas are right next to a barn which happened to be housing a panicky screaming horse.  There was also a woman taking her horse for handwalk directly behind the judge's car.  All of these things combined with the cold and it being the first show of the season......Bug was a bit distracted.  We had some really nice moments, but we had some that were just not up to par.  I was pretty disappointed, as we have been working so hard and making so many improvements.  We ended up on a 40.

The show jumping course was a good test for the beginning of the season.  However, Bug felt great.  There were a few moments that I would like to have ridden a bit better, keeping him softer and rounder to the fences, but all in all, it was a pretty great round.  We were double clear and moved on to XC ready to tackle the course.

My goal for XC was to ride on a loopy rein and to use my body and legs to change his stride as needed rather than taking a pull.  Bug really doesn't need me to pull, he just needs me to change his balance.  I am determined to figure it all out so that we can start making time by jumping out of stride rather than up in the air.  Our round felt brilliant!  I didn't push him for speed, just a bigger stride.  The ground was quite hard, and I didn't want him to have to go too fast.  We finished clear and 20 seconds over time.  I was quite thrilled with my boy.

We ended up 2nd in the division and brought home a pretty red ribbon. :)  Great way to start off the season!! (Thanks to my student, Amelia Lowe, for the awesome action shots!)

A big thanks to my working student, Alice VanBokkelen, for holding down the fort while I was gone.  It's so nice to leave things in good hands when I have to go away.

This Saturday, Hotty and Cole are making their combined test debuts as TTC, and Bug will be going to do the Advanced Test A twice.  Gotta get those fancy pants in order!

Kick on!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Welcome 2013!!

I can't believe how badly I have done keeping my blog updated.  Life seemed to get away from me the past few months.  However, 2013 is a new year, and I have high hopes for it!  I'm back and ready to keep people updated on what's going on here at Rocky Start.

Bug has been amazing.  I am a firm believer that all things happen for a reason, and I am thinking that missing Fairhill in the fall was a good thing.  It allowed me to get him started in work earlier than normal, and I feel like he is fitter than he has ever been to start out the spring.  He looks and feels amazing.  This Sunday is our first recognized event of the year, and I am really stoked.  He will be running the Open Intermediate at Full Gallop Farm in Aiken.  Wish us luck!!

Last fall, I was starting to get the feeling that Renn was just not quite right.  For those that don't know Renn's story, his mother stepped on him when he was a baby, and he had to have his hind fetlock completely reconstructed.  VA Tech gave him a 20% chance of being sound.  The reconstruction made the fetlock bigger, and thus, it has changed the angles in his stifle and hip.  Up until he moved up to Prelim, he was doing pretty well.  He had to have regular chiro visits, but we could maintain his happiness.  However, after making the move up, I feel like he is just not happy.  He is sound, and you can't feel anything under tack, but he has become unhappy in real work.  I don't feel that he owes me anything, so I decided to give him a long vacation.  He will hack out some this spring, but his main job is to stand in the field looking gorgeous and to make babies.  Renn's babies are gorgeous and seem to get all of his wonderful qualities.  For that reason, he will stay here, even if he never returns to real work.  I do think that he may enjoy foxhunting, so that may be on his list of activities for next fall/winter.

I have acquired quite a few new horses, and two, in particular, have made the step up to being on my show string:

Forever West, aka Cole, is a 10 year old Hanoverian gelding by West Coast.  He is a big boy, so he's a very different ride from anything I've had before.  He was a dressage horse up until recently, and he is now learning the ropes of eventing.  He's a fancy boy with a very cute jump, so I'm excited about getting him out and about.  He will do his first combined test at TTC on Feb 2nd doing BN, and then he will head to Aiken with Bug on Feb 6th to run his first recognized HT at Full Gallop.

PrettyHippHopHotty, aka Hotty, is a 6 year old OTTB mare.  She is a chestnut wonder with a lot of talent.  She's a big girl with a lot of talent, and she is coming along quite nicely.  I really love her work ethic and willingness to tackle new things.  She will also make her debut at TTC on the 2nd.  She is in the Walk/Trot, 2' division. :)

Sonny Crockett, aka Sonny, is a 5 year old OTTB gelding.  I just acquired Sonny this past weekend, so I don't know much about him yet.  I do know that he is a FANCY PANTS and super cute.  I am really excited about getting this one going after his downtime from the track.

Voo Doo Vicky, aka Vicky, is a not quite 3 year old unraced filly.  I just acquired Vicky this past weekend as well, so I don't know much about her.  Again, she is super sweet and very fancy.  I am going to take my time with her, as her 3 yo birthday isn't really until April.

Beyond the new horses of my own, I also have two horses on consignment right now.

Clare de Lune, aka Lilly, is an 11 yo 15.2 grey (with bloody shoulder) TB mare.  She is a very fancy mover and scopey jumper.  I believe that she is best suited to the jumper ring, and she will be going to Aiken for a few weeks for the jumper people to try.

Mardi Gras Gold, aka Honey, is a 7 yo 16.1 bay OTTB mare.  Honey came to me quite green, but she is coming along quickly. She accepts a contact and goes around in walk and trot like a champ.  She is a very cute mover, and I think she will excel at any lower level discipline.  Once the footing is decent, she will start over fences.

I guess that is most of the updates for now.  I will work very hard to keep everyone abreast this year!

Kick on, 2013!