Thursday, March 3, 2011

Winter Blues...

I think everyone has the winter blues right now. It just never seems like it will end! Of course heading off to work yesterday it was below zero and the car had to warm up awhile. I never go anywhere now without warming up my car! It is just miserable to have to hold a cold steering wheel!

The horses are sick of the indoor. A few have come up with tricks, like being scared of one end, or getting a little cranky and playing games. The girls have seem to all come into heat at the same time...hopefully that means spring is on the way! There is hope! The extended forecast shows that we are slowly warming up....
Wednesday - Mar 16
Clouds break for sun; warmer 46°Lo 21°!!!

I can't wait!

Work has been crazy busy right now. Since my good friend & roommate Sarah Travis has decided not to return to this tundra and continue working with Betsy Steiner I have taken on a good handful of her dressage clients. Kathy Theissen, owner of Brightonwood Farm has headed to Aiken so I have taken over lessons and a few training rides at her farm too, putting me there 7 days a week! Not to mention I still have the 9 horses at Trophy Hill and all my current clients to maintain a schedule with! She returns on the 20th and things will calm down a little so I can really focus on getting Hannah & Maria ready for Spring Bay!

Last weekend was the Janet Foy & Bill Solyntjes Ride a Test Clinic. It was great! There was a variety of demo riders (myself on Lucy included) that did a great job of showing what to do and what not to do. They went over to correct movements, why some movements have changed and some things that judges do NOT like. Example - don't salute with your "whip" hand. Don't re-adjust yourself in the saddle when you halt.

Lucy was a little crabby, so a few times she showed off how she can prance around when she doesn't want to come off of my right leg. Janet was pleased because we showed a variety of scores anywhere from 4s to 9s. She made a point to make an example of my behavior when Lucy's behavior was not so hot. Don't react, don't "train" your horse in the ring. She liked how I handled the situation and just kept on going with the test no matter what Lucy did. It was good to hear from a judge because its hard to know what to do when your horse is rearing, running sideways or just plain not behaving in the ring! Everyone seemed to be entertained by her antics though so she was well liked throughout the crowd of around 175 people.

The girls did some gridwork yesterday. Trot poles to an x one stride vert one stride oxer. Lucy is jumping better, not jumping as big, still slightly over jumping her landing and then needs to be really quick with her feet. She jumped over her first barrels as well, didn't even look at them! Hopefully that is a sign that she is going to be brave out on the XC.

Hannah is getting better. As usual, been trying to figure out what frame to ride her in, because she literally would prefer to carry her nose above her ears, which gets a little frustrating at times. She is quite a difficult horse. The important thing with Hannah is to "keep the bad thoughts out". As soon as I get too picky and want to perfect everything we run into problems. I tend to take too much out of her and collect, collect, canter in everything. Last fall the lessons with Kim Barone helped immensely so we have been working on really riding forward to the fences. I look forward to Kim getting back from FL in a couple weeks so I can get some lessons in before Kentucky. Keeping my fingers crossed I will be able to get outside before the show...if not I am looking for a place to school in Lexington on the Friday before Spring Bay if anyone has any ideas!

Kristine & Janelle Johnson's Aristotle has joined us back at Trophy Hill. He will be staying long term so he and Janelle can get some regular lessons and training. I look forward to having them at the farm all the time!

Prince Harry is a new temporary addition to the farm. He is owned by Jessica Kortuem. He is a 4 year old Welsh Cob. He arrived on Saturday the 27th. So far he is still working on the ground, desensitizing him to all of the new scary things in his life, like the garage doors, jumps in the indoor and more. He is being longed and sacked out, soon I will be on his back and he will be learning the basics of being a working horse!

Kelsie Holbrook's Tess has come back into work. She is doing well, we are working on legging her up and getting her back into the dressage work. It will be another couple weeks before she can start jumping, but she is doing great!

Ashley Reut's Rory and Beth Reut's Benz are doing well too! Benz seems to keep ripping his shoes off for some reason but those quickly get tapped on by our farrier Terry Dokken! Rory is jumping well and has been great on the flat. He is a big boy so we always are working on keeping him light on his feet!

Mia Geraci's Cody has been working hard ever since arriving. He is jumping better then ever and Mia is even starting to understand the concept of dressage and having a connection. Gabi Geraci is half leasing Maria's Pete and having a blast. She has improved greatly over the last few months and is enjoying riding a horse with some size! We hope to find her a horse in the next month!

Maria took over for me while I was on vacation and she had a plateful! She took great care of my horses keeping them in work, doing their conditioning and even taking over some of my lessons for me. Pete is going well, jumping really well, he is a bit feisty on the flat but we are working on sorting that all out! We are really looking forward to Spring Bay!

All the other LLE Team students are working hard, lessoning when they can at their own barns. We are all looking forward to our first outing of the year. We have a full calendar for the summer!

Stay tuned for more winter updates...hopefully soon they will be spring updates!! Take care & have a good ride!

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