Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Has Spring Sprung?

Bug and I in a jump lesson with Bonnie.  Photo by Alice VanBokkelen

Things have been moving along at a brisk pace since I last checked in.  It's nice to be busy, but I don't always know what day it is or which direction I'm going.
Bug's dressage test from Hillcrest!

Unfortunately, after Pine Top, Bug had a run in with an abscess which put him out of running the Advanced/Intermediate at Full Gallop.  Disappointing as it was, I am glad to report that he healed quickly and is back in work and ready to rock and roll in the Advanced at Southern Pines this coming weekend.  I took him to Hillcrest Farm this past Saturday to practice his Advanced test in front of a judge.  He felt amazing, and I really tried to put into practice everything Bonnie has been drilling me on.  We scored a 31 point something! (multiple 8's including his gaits and my rider!) This is the best score we have ever gotten in our entire career together...including schooling shows!  Having inspected everyone else's scores as well, I realized this judge wasn't giving away points.  I am still grinning when I think about how great our test felt.  Now, to remember how to do it this weekend!

Things with the other horses have been progressing as well:
Cole show jumping at TTC.  Photo by Alice VanBokkelen

1.  Cole has been making progress slowly but surely.  He did dressage for so long that this new job of jumping has been a bit overwhelming for him at times.  He's quite a good jumper if we can get his mind on the job.  I have decided to hold off from competing him for a few months, as I want him to really understand his job.  He seems to love the cross country, but I think the show jumping intimidates him a bit.  No worries, though, he's coming along great, and he sure can bring a smile to my face when he's on!
Hotty in a jump lesson with Bonnie.  Photo by Alice VanBokkelen

2.  Hotty, my fiesty redhead, has been making progress very quickly.  She is opinionated about life, for sure, but she is so athletic and smart.  Her dressage is coming along, and she's really learning to accept the contact.  We have work to do on getting her to push more, but she gets better every time I sit on her.  Again, I don't plan to do much competing with her until summer, as I want her to understand the game.  She did, however, get to make her eventing debut this past weekend at the Hillcrest Farm Horse Trials.  She did the 18" Green Bean division.  I am so thrilled with how well she behaved!  She got a 38 in her dressage (including two 7's in the test and a 7 on her gaits and my rider) and went on to jump double clear in both jump phases, even if they were a bit looky. :)  She finished in 3rd in a pretty decent sized division!  I am so proud of my sassy ginger girl.
Honey schooling at home.  Photo by Alice VanBokkelen

3.  Mardi Gras Gold, or Honey, has been fantastic.  This mare is so fancy and willing.  She is definitely going places.  I hope someone snatches her up soon before I am completely enamored.  She is gets better and better every time she goes out.  Her movement is so lovey and uphill.  She accepts the connection quite well in all three gaits, and she is starting to have correct bend most of the time.  She has started jumping little crossrail courses, and she seems to really enjoy it, though I think she's still figuring out her feet a bit.
Sonny getting ready for a hack.

4.  Sonny Crockett is a super sweet young gelding that has been a joy since he stepped on the farm.  He is just coming 5, and he has only been off the track for about 3 months.  He will hack alone or with friends all over the farm.  He is SOOOO FANCY.  Lucky for him, he will be going to Pennsylvania for a trial with my best friend.  I think they will make a great match, and I hope to see them out and about together in the future!
VooDoo Vicky.  So beautiful!

5.  Voo Doo Vicky is the coolest little baby TB.  She never raced, though she did train some at the track.  She did just enough to be well started, but not so much that she has any racehorse bad habits.  This girl has a "go get em" attitude that I just adore.  She is for sale, but I am not in any hurry for her to leave!  She turns 3 on April 1st, so we haven't been doing much with her besides hacking out a few times a week.  She is still growing, as she has changed butt to wither ratio at least 3 times since she arrived.
Cutie Renn

6.  Renn is being retired from eventing with me for the time being.  Due to his injury as a youngster, he is constantly battling an unevenness in his hips that just makes him uncomfortable.  He has always been sound, but as the questions get harder, he just doesn't seem as happy.  He is going to make a lot of babies, be an extra horse for me to ride at home, and be used in some lessons.  He is perfectly happy with his new life.  He makes such phenomenal babies, I know they will be in the upper levels of eventing soon.

As far as my students go, I am really quite pleased with how everyone is doing.  Life has been so much nicer since Alice Van Bokkelen arrived to be my working student.  She keeps things running when I'm off competing, teaching, and training.  She and her new horse, Classic Skyline, are quite a good match and are figuring each other out.  They will be going to FENCE in April to compete in the BN division.

Also, Amelia Lowe and her horse, Mingo, just won the Maiden division at Hillcrest, so I am quite thrilled with their progress.  Sometimes taking on a new ride can be frustrating, but when you stick with it and have patience, it can pay off!

In more exciting news, we now have 6 stalls in the barn.  My amazing husband finished building the stalls a few weeks ago, and it's so nice to have two more horses inside. :)  Next project is a double stall wash stall on the front of the barn.

I guess that's all for now.  Chin up and kick on!