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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rain. Blessed blessed rain.

I know parts of the country (ok, the world too) are under constant deluges. We've not gotten real rain for well over 4 weeks and were totally baked out dry dusty hard ground everywhere. Yuck. At 4:04 this morning it all changed back to healthy greeness with a loud clap of thunder! YAY! Which means it will be great to be back in our outdoor arena again tomorrow!!! No dust! No glaring bright sunlight! Ahhhhh, bliss on horseback!

Speaking of bliss on horseback - the mid and upper level horses are making massive progress with better connection, softness in the bridle and increasing aptitude at the higher levels. Picture big happy dances for this acheivement! All the weeks of hard work and hours in the saddle really start to pay off this time of year! Hip hip hooray! So with steeper half passes, better collection, constantly improving flying changes and the piaffe and passage is always getting better - it must be time to show, right? Soon Grasshopper. Very soon.

First there will be video day(s). We need to have a bit of the luxury of shooting videos and still photos of the horses in action and make some minute corrections in their respective training before venturing out into the big world. But very soon - promise!

We have some fall lesson packages still available for September - October, so contact us to get in the calendar. We do not have any schoolmaster openings, however. If you can not bring your horse to us - get in touch - we'll try to work something out.

But enjoy the rain! It's so nice to be a tad cooler and not walking on cement covered with burned out grasses.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Catching up (briefly) and what's in store for Fall 2015

Dolce getting groomed to go work
OK, so I haven't been blogging or posting much lately and you might be wondering what the heck I've been doing...or not! But to sum it up - I've been busy in the barn! We're a tad short handed this summer in the rider department and after working through The List every day, well, I'm beat and opt for bed rather than coming up with witty comments on how fun it is to train horses day in and day out. But having said that - the horses we have right now are so nice, I'm not complaining (much).

Anne and Stella

On the competition front - we've been taking our beasts to schooling shows so as to gain mileage and experience at a lower price point than doing the recognized route. Daylily and Don William had their Third Level debuts at Blue Goose a few weeks ago and are quickly advancing from there. Both are getting very nice moments in the piaffe and passage - like big, fancy grown up horses have! All of this is very exciting - really really!
Liam and Stella at Blue Goose

Whodini and Wylie hanging with Anne
Wilson, Whodini and Wylie went to Fox Crossing for a Classic Oaks Horse Show (CCHSA) and were stars. Wylie was Champion of her division, Whodini brought home ribbons and Wilson did his first hack class in a big grass field and also brought home his first ribbon! Thanks to Melissa and Sara Gartland for the super riding!! All three horses would benefit from more outings and regular jumping training - the sky is the limit - but in the meantime, we will keep advancing their dressage training, as that is what we do best!
Wilson strutting his stuff

Wakanda has successfully completed 4 weeks of being the designated "Pony Camp Demo Horse" and is declared bombproof! Mini ponies, hordes of children in flight, hula hoops, costume relays, sparkly wands - she is fine with all of it while doing her Grand Prix work! There are not many horses that are willing to work at such a high level and then can be relaxed and trustworthy with small humans underfoot - but Wendy finds it fun! :)

Wendy and her kids

Liam says HI!
If you are wondering what the other horses have been up to - well, training is the best answer. There are many hours of (un)exciting or uneventful exercises that have to be repeated, fine tuned and repeated again until they are routine and repeatable without fail no matter who the rider is. Lots of voltes, shoulder in, haunches in, renvers, travers, half pass, leg yield, shoulder fore, transitions...I'm getting tired just typing it all out as so many horses for so many hours each and every day...well, it is a good life to be living! ;) The best part of the whole process is the hours of repetitive work are paying off as the next generation is climbing out of the Second Level doldrums and beginning the "fun" work of learning flying changes, piaffe and passage half steps. This is the best part as all the hours of strength training and suppleness work pay off and we get glimpses of what the future might be! (trust me - this is the most exciting time for a trainer/rider) I think we have 6 that are at this level, the 2 Grand Prix hopefuls and then 3 that are closer to PSG than it's a wonderful time to be in the barn all day, every day!

Tasker is retired but happy in his pasture
So having said that, we're looking to venture out to a few shows this fall - more in the recognized category as well as the schooling show variety. The lesson business is ticking along and keeping us on our toes with dedicated and talented horse and rider combinations. If you are thinking of taking a lesson on one of our schoolmasters - be aware we are limited to just 1 horse in that area, so advanced planning is a must! There are a few openings for new students (and horses) in our schedule and we love helping others. If you have a horse that you would like to put in training, please contact us to discuss that situation as we have a few openings.

As always, we do have a wide variety of horses for sale at this time - all ages, levels, prices and sizes, so if you are horse shopping, please get in touch with Anne to talk about what you would like to have in your next equine. We are actively seeking homes for 12 of our horses - so your next champion might be in our barn!