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Monday, March 4, 2013

Big plans, big changes and the way the cookies crumble

A bit of history will be revealed in this post along with what was going to be big news and how all the best plans can unravel at a moment's notice...

Mmmmm, BioMex 
Things at the farm have been very busy for the last month getting several horses ready to ship down to Catherine's barn in Loxahatchee, FL for some intense training with the Big Boss Herself. Lots of time has been spent on Dressage Training Online brushing up on Catherine's training system and then incorporating it into the daily training of all the horses. Across the board the horses are going better than they ever have and it all looked like it was going to be a grand adventure - until the EHV-1 outbreak in Ocala, FL at the end of February.

Wyatt grazing before his first lesson with Catherine
The Fates have a hand in all of this, I swear. In June of 2011, I happened across a post in a Virginia dressage group on Facebook saying there was space in a clinic with Catherine due to an EHV-1 outbreak in Colorado that caused her to cancel her clinic out there on short notice. So Wyatt, Mom and I trundled down to the clinic and began the latest chapter of working back into the Schultheis System of Training. I'll spare everyone my enthusiasm of WHY I like to ride this way and in the Stubben Genesis Special saddles and just say how much it feels "right" to me. :)

So now back to the present day issue - to travel to Loxahatchee or not? With the long term health of all of our horses, not just Wyatt, Oz and Liam, in mind I am staying home to continue to work with mom on pushing the horses towards a more imminent show debut. Sooner rather than later is the current plan - weather permitting - of course! Hopefully we will eventually get our time in with Catherine to fine tune some of their tricks but gaining show mileage will be the name of the game until then. The risk of being stuck in Loxahatchee indefinitely or having one (or all) of the horses get ill is too great to chance the trip to FL. *sigh*

Immense gratitude goes out to the folks at Jeff's Chevy in Oxford, PA for working so hard to make my truck ready for the long haul to FL and back. Their service department went above and beyond to be sure I was starting out with a sound vehicle. Our Jamco Trailer was thoroughly checked out by the awesome staff at Lanchester Trailer in Atglen, PA just last week! Having a safe and well prepared rig is no small part of being a mobile competition barn! Thank you so very much!

Thanks go out to Dr. Cordivano, our bodyworker Hoppy Stearns and our farrier Butch Groves for being on the ball for the past few weeks preparing the horses for their adventures. Thank you to Sara and Mrs. Gartland for helping to teach me to clip better and for making Wyatt more of a peach! :) It truly takes a village to get the horses ready and comfortable to perform at their best! Thank you!!!

Thank you to R. H. Rohrer's Feed in Quarryville, PA for doing the legwork and getting Speedi-Beet in for the Traveling Trio. You all have been fabulous in supplying our feeds and going the extra mile for us. We are happy with the resulting condition of the horses and their energy levels, so your customer service gets more than 2 thumbs up for all of us! Add in some hooves too!!! :)

The Anthracite rounded buckles
Wyatt in the 2117 in Ebony
There are probably not enough words that are synonymous with "Thank You" to express how I feel about my Stubben saddles and bridles. My original Genesis Special is a coveted piece of equipment in the barn. There is a scramble to be the first one to lay claim to "#1" as it is known each day! We all feel so much better riding in these saddles and the horses say Thank YOU too! I am now riding several horses in the 2117 Bridle by Stubben as well and they are much lighter in the contact and happier in their self carriage with a better connection. The padded crown piece makes a world of difference! This bridle is such a wonderful addition to my stockpile of equipment for high level riding. Add in the Genesis Special and that gives me a very, very positive outlook toward the 2013 competition season! If you're skeptical that what I'm saying is an exaggeration - talk to Stubben about their equipment and see if they have something that interests you! Or arrange a test ride!
The Genesis Special D

Oz in the 2117 in Black
Close up of the crown piece

So while the plans for March and April have shifted a bit, there is still much to be thankful for - happy and fit horses, nicer weather just around the corner and wonderful training coming to fruition! Well made riding equipment (thank you Stubben), a great farrier, fabulous body worker for horse and human, a top notch vet, well bred horses, a great feed supplier and a maintained truck & trailer to help make the whole adventure more positive and fun!!! Bring it on!! Time to SHOW!!! 
I'll be updating in a few days with our competition plans...check back! 

~Happy Riding~

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