Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Good weekend! Now on to the next step of doing it again!

We have had a very nice weekend here on the farm! Well, some of it was spent here on the farm bringing in a few hundred bales of beautiful hay for the horses to enjoy. Big thanks to Bill and the crew for getting it cut, raked, baled and stacked in the barn. The horses are thrilled with the new hay!

Part of it was spent down in Bel Air, MD at the Equestrian Center at the Maryland Dressage Association's recognized show. Don William WF (Dressage Royal x Savannah WF) had his 4th Level debut! He was as good as he could be with a very full bladder (too shy to pee in the trailer) but the feedback from the judges was extremely positive and encouraging. I look forward to him gaining confidence and improving his performance going into future competitions. 

Wyatt (Weltmeyer x Savannah WF) and Wakanda (Waldaire x Abracadabra WF) travelled down on Sunday and had a very good show. 

Wyatt is gaining confidence and much better expression in his execution of the Intermediare II. He earned a more respectable score of 61.842% and will continue to get higher marks going forward.  After I finished my rides for the day, I spoke with one of the judges that had seen our ride and she was very encouraging about how she wanted to give me higher marks - but the mistakes forced her to give me low(er) numbers. I was very touched to have her share that, "she is riding every stride along with me" as it is a honest expression of how much the person sitting in the box at "C" feels about scoring our rides...judges are people who want to share in a good performance and reward riders for good work. 

Wakanda was a bit too warm when it came time to do her Grand Prix. She was a tad "flat" if that makes sense, but still earned a 59.4%. I will eventually figure out precisely how long Herself (as she would prefer to be known now that she is a big, fancy, important Grand Prix horse) needs to be loose and happy about performing the test. But all of this will get sorted with more showing - and that is the best news ever! More showing!!! 

So to summarize - I could have ridden a few things better. Liam could have decided it was OK to empty his bladder away from his stall at home. Wendy would have liked 10 minutes less out in the sun. Wyatt thinks showing is just fine if he can see Wendy. We all need to be out competing more often.

Tired FEI horses 
That brings up the crux of the predicament I am in. I have too many horses to ride/train/compete. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of them - they are going to be sold so that I can focus on the ones that I have invested so much time in training to my standards and liking. It has taken 8 long years to get Wyatt and Wendy to where they are right now. To be fair to them (and the next 4 in the pipeline) I must sell some of the younger/less advanced horses as well as downsize out of breeding.

There are 2 FEI schoolmasters that are on the market - no/low maintenance and only shod up front. There is are 2 sisters to Wendy (both over 16.3 and very much correctly built mares by Waldaire - one out of an Again and Again daughter (like she is) and the other is out of the same mareline as Wyatt) that could either be restarted as riding horses or go be fantastic broodmares for someone looking to get a jump on breeding FEI horses - take advantage of me not having time to breed, birth, raise _and_ train...seriously. 

There is one proven broodmare that is a full sister to one of the schoolmasters - open and ready to breed. I can throw in semen from Waldaire (not to a daughter of course), Dressage Royal, Avebury, Showtime, Adamant, Wizard or Again and Again to sweeten the deal of moving them along. We also have a Wallstreet Kid daughter that has been easy to breed and she is still sound to ride. There are 3 horses that are not working much these days as they are the bottom of my list - 2 would prefer more jumper/eventing homes, the 3rd is a born and bred hunter. One is grey, two are black w/ chrome. There is a 3rd/4th level gelding that is Wendy's full brother - fancy, leggy and oooooh movement. There is her other full brother that is a licensed stallion - he was schooling GP when I had time for him...he can be gelded and be fancy for someone else (or not) if that's what they want. There is the cutest Waldaire on the planet on the market - schooling 3rd and showing 1st...a bay gelding who loves to jump too. 

So this my official plea to my friends, equine professional associates, acquaintances, random people who read the blog (and FB where I'm about the share the link) - if you know anyone who is serious about shopping for a new horse, please have them get in touch with me. Prices are negotiable. 

Videoing is tricky but I can and will get some new ones together - if I know which horse(s) someone is interested in. Basically, tell me what you want to see and I will get it on the iPhone and posted somewhere for the world/universe/trainer/coach/friends to see. 

I have absolutely no time for tire kickers - there is no polite way to put it. Lots to do each day and not enough hours or energy to get even the most important things done really well....

My cell is 484 880-0780 and email is the best way to reach me -

If 6-8 horses sell, I will be able to take horses in training for outside clients as well as work on 2 very large projects - one is revamp the website completely and #2 is to begin the process of working towards being an "L" Graduate...that is correct. It would be a long journey, but I am trying to free up the schedule enough to pursue working on becoming a judge. 

As always, I have to send immense thanks to Stubben for my fantastic saddles (Genesis Special D) and their fabulous string girths, their 2117 double bridles in Ebony, Seams Right for the saddle pads, Jamco for the style of safely moving my horses to and fro in our trailer, One K Helmets for my Defender, 2KGrey for the awesome show white breeches that everyone loves, Car Mar for the horses preferred hay and straw, Waylon for keeping their shoes just right, Dr. Stacey of Clay Creek Equine for all their veterinary care and last but not least Mom and Dad for letting me continue to be a horse crazy kid at heart, even though I am 40. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lots to learn! Learning is fun!

The seat of learning 

I think that was a slogan for school/education in the 80's...but there is more than a little truth in it. That is just my opinion, but hey, this is my blog! *big smile* Over the weekend I got to combine a bit of showing and then learned about being a scribe. It was lots of fun and I really got to increase my appreciation for the effort that judges put into evaluating rides. Yesterday I was lucky enough to be a scribe again for the afternoon for a recognized show and I learned even more!!! It was a real eye opener - I strongly recommend that more riders plunk their fanny in the seat and try to write legibly for a morning or afternoon. Just saying.

But back to showing - Wilson was a very good boy. He was a tad concerned that the adjoining property had a rototiller operating at full throttle, but did a solid effort and showed a lot of promise for future levels. Wilson is fun to work with on a daily basis and a gentleman about loading, tacking and untacking - and he is for sale. Why might you ask? Well, I shall tell you with complete honesty. I have too many to ride each day. Wyatt and Wendy are my primary focus and he would really love to have just one person to fuss over him every day. He is a real to work with - no issues and fun. Please contact to talk about him and purchasing. 

And this is my motivational photo to encourage people to get out and show. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Fizzy, effervescence and gleeful joy...Happy Mother's Day!

OK, I am probably on a Red Velvet Oreo cookie high (long story but if you haven't had them, you should) but I am over the moon proud of Wendy (Wakanda WF) and Wyatt (Wyatt WF)!

There is a disclaimer and I'll start with that -
The tests were not perfect. The horses were as good as they could be given the circumstances. All three of us had some errors and timing issues. Things will get better with mileage and confidence.

But - here's the good part - it was our first outing of the year. New venue for them both. First real shows in almost 2 full years for Wendy and about 6 months for Wyatt. Her last show was at 3rd Level. His was Intermediate B. We were all nervous and tight on Saturday. Sunday was a big improvement!!! I felt back in the groove of tackling the test and the horse that was in the moment, rather than being reactive and passive with a degree of insecurity of "what do I do now feeling?" Nope - I was happy and secure in how to deal with (most) of what they did and tried to coax the best work out of them that they can offer in a new setting.

So in a nutshell - I am thrilled. The judges comments were outstandingly helpful and right on point. After a 10 year hiatus from the Big Tests I am over the moon at the evolution of the sport and my own personal journey of maturing into understanding why/how/who/what is happening and how to deal with the situation. The show management team was awesome and the facility is spot on amazing. The whole weekend is going into the Win Category. Seriously.

And on a summary note - if you are on the fence about competing - just do it. Do not stay at home striving for perfection - it is a rare and fleeting thing. Go out and enjoy the journey with your horse when you feel like you are competent and get the feedback from the judges. They want to reward good work and will offer insight into what is not quite on point in the test(s).

Thank you to my parents, the family of Parade Field Farm (Lovettsville, VA), our farrier Waylon, Clay Creek Equine (our vet), Stubben for my saddles and bridles, OneK for my helmet and Jamco for the awesomely safe trailer to haul the horses in style and comfort.  Thank you to the show committee for running a top notch competition. Thank you to all the volunteers who made my great weekend possible.