Wednesday, September 11, 2013

April...May...June...July...August UPDATES!

HELLO!!! So many updates!!! *WARNING - sorry for spelling & grammar mistakes! It was A LOT to write and remember!!*

So lets start at the beginning....April!

April was great!! I headed down to the Kentucky Horse Park & Masterson Station for Spring Bay Horse Trials. Lucy and I took fourth in Novice ending on our dressage score. She was of course a rock star! The drive was intense and the trip was a little hectic as my poor friend Natalie Johnson had some health problems and wound up in the hospital late Thurs PM until Monday!! Poor girl! I ended up riding her cute OTTB Louis for her. Nothing like catch riding at the last minute!! I took both Lucy & Louis (team Lu and Lou) to Cathy W's farm to XC school on Friday. Saturday I did dressage and show jumping and walked my XC courses. Sunday was XC, both clear and wonderful! Then headed back to MN for more winter weather.

Later in April I brought in Lainey Ashker for a fabulous clinic at North Brook Eventing Center in Stillwater, MN. Jan has a great facility and large indoor. Everyone had fun rides and learned a ton!

Early in May, Jane Braddock and I hosted a Ralph Hill clinic, also at North Brook Eventing Center - thanks again Jan! Once again, as usual, Ralph gave everyone confidence and created a lot of excitement for the upcoming show season!

The next weekend in May we had Pony Club Ratings for some of the kids, which they all passed. I rode in the "Ride A Test" at Alison Sader Larson's farm. It was a great idea for a schooling event as riders were able to warm their horses up, go into the ring and ride a test of their choice, judged by Alison. Then you went over the test you rode and worked on a few things and then rode it again to see the improvements. We were also to get out to Pine Meadow Farm and go cross country schooling. I worked hard this spring with Alison on Lucy's dressage in preparation to go to some dressage shows. Thanks Alison for all the amazing lessons! Looking forward to working hard this winter too!

Finally our first show of the season in our area was upon us and we headed off to a favorite venue, Otter Creek Farm. It was a great outing! Lucy was in the Open Training and had a great XC run. She was fast and on. However show jumping was another story and has been an area we have been working hard to improve this summer. We had a refusal at fence 2 but finished the rest of the course well. Taking everything as an opportunity to learn and improve! Sammy had her first outing on her new horse Apres Ski (Beau) and learned a lot. He was quite a different horse at the show then at home and gave her some trouble in the sandbox. She was great in the jumping phases and finished in 6th place. This was Emily's first show on Hannah as well, she has been working really hard with Hannah's dressage and put in a nice test, she was a little slow on the cross country and jumped clear in the SJ ring to finish in 7th. Mia rode Cody in the Novice putting in a lovely dressage test but picked up a few rider error stops at the ditch - but again always a learning experience and now we are trying to move Mia past that her horse is "ditchy" and ride him as if he isn't. Claire was riding Ty at Beginner Novice and had a lovely test and double clear jumping rounds that put her in 4th place. Gabi handled Sam well after he was quite naughty in the dressage ring, she went clear around the XC and only had one rail in the SJ ring finishing in 7th place. This was Artie's first outing in our area. I took him BN and he was a little rockstar handling everything in stride, he finished in 5th. Lily had her first outing on Boo at Starter and finished on her dressage score in 5th place, and Olivia had her first outing on Cinder and put in a beautiful test and jumped clear to end up on 2nd place! It was a great first outing for the group!

The first weekend in June we headed off to the St. Croix Dressage show on Saturday. We had a great group and even better rides. Lucy won all of her third level classes and Artie had a good experience in the sand box getting used to riding a dressage test and staying calm, cool & collected. The kids all collected ribbons in each class! Go Eventers! The next day we headed over to Carriage House Farm for the combined test. It was Lucy's first preliminary. She put in a nice test and only had one rail in the show jumping. A improvement over our round at Otter Creek Spring. Artie was great, a little green in the ring and spooky but he continues to get better each time he goes out. The kids all had great rides, most of them moved up a level at this show.

The second weekend in June we went to Alpine Dressage. I rode Lucy at third level, she was so good the first day that I scratched her second day classes and added 4-3. The rain was pouring down and she put in a beautiful test earning a 70%! It was a fun weekend. Both Sammy & Emily showed too getting more experience in the sandbox. The next weekend we had Ralph coming in for a clinic. It was supposed to be at Wildwood Farm but due to rain (shocking) we had to move it to Elysium Farms. On Sunday we headed over to North Brook for some XC schooling. Lucy was fabulous jumping both days and I was also able to ride Artie one day in the clinic and it was good to get some tips on improving his training from Ralph!

As we make our way through June I am much enjoying summer! The kids are out of school, volleyball is in full swing, Walk on Water has started. It is SUMMERTIME! Although summer was late to start around here, we still got the most out of it!

As you can see, there was a lot of turtle rescuing and lake time! Lainey enjoyed lake time with us at some of her clinics as well! Can't wait to get that girl out on the jet skis next summer!

We aren't even through June yet! After the dressage shows and clinics we were off to our next event at Fox River Valley Pony Club Horse Trials in Barrington, IL. This is always a fun show to travel to! Lucy was a good girl!! Had a nice test, one rail in show jumping and skipped around the XC to finish in 4th. The show was a little crazy because we ended up show jumping on Saturday due to torrential down pouring rain and ran XC on Sunday. I think I was one of the last XC rides of the day, so we didn't get on the road until late. Sammy put in a killer dressage test scoring a 19, the best score at the show and finished on that score to win her Novice division. Emily put in a nice ride on Hannah although the judge did not think so. She finished the weekend on her dressage score. Artie made the move up to Novice and had a quite dressage test, a crazy SJ round although he left all the rails up, we re-bitted him for XC and he was much better!! Lisa Kellenberger and Melody had a good first outing at Novice ending on their dressage score finishing in 6th place. Lily made the move up to BN and put in an amazing dressage test scoring a 29 which she finished on her score in 3rd place. Claire also had a lovely test on Ty finishing on her dressage score of a 35 in 4th place. It was a fun weekend despite the rain we had to deal with!

After a great weekend at Fox River, we came home to improve what we need to with Lainey the following weekend at Carriage House Farm. We had a great day one show jumping and doing great grid exercises to help tune us up and on Sunday we had a variety of XC exercises. It is always a blast having Lainey come into town!

July rolled around and we celebrated our country's Independence Day. I had a family reunion in which I was able to see my entire family, some of my aunts/uncles and cousins I hadn't seen in years! It was a blast. I love having family around! I also attended another Dressage show at Alpine Farms getting my second scores for my Silver Medal. Now it is time to work hard this winter on coming out next year at PSG & I1! That would be so cool! We have a lot to work to do though! The second weekend in July sent us off to another event. This time at Roebke's Run Horse Trials hosted at Schweiss amazing home! This was a fun outing! Lucy thought she was still showing 4th level so our dressage test was not on par putting us in 12th place, but after double clear jumping rounds, me almost (key word, almost) forgetting my show jumping course we finished in 3rd place. Artie took one rail in SJ at Novice and finished in 8th place - he was a good boy as we are still trying to figure out which bit he likes best! Lisa made the move up to training and had a few stops on XC due to Melody being a little bit backed off at the large track. Sammy & Emily were in a very competitive Novice group where at 30 put Sammy in 8th place and a 35 put Emily tied for 12th after the dressage. Sammy jumped clear in both the XC and SJ to finish in 4th and Emily had a rail to finish in 7th place, Mia had an unfortunate stop but finished off the weekend in style with a double clear in the SJ. In the Beginner Novice Claire finished in 2nd, Olivia in 5th, Lily had some problems xc but jumped well in the SJ to finish in 12th and Gabi had a great round up until forgetting to jump the last xc fence resulting in a TE. Great learning experiences for everyone all around!

After RR Summer horse trial we brought Lainey back in for another tune up. This time the clinic was at Pine Meadow Farm. It was a great facility and we had a blast having the clinic there! The cross country was fabulous! The first day we did some course work on the grass which was great as I worked on Lucy and Artie keeping them in a steady rhythm. Sunday was cross country and we were able to school a variety of different questions including big drops into the water! The next week I was able to attend a Becky Holder clinic at Schweiss' farm, it was great to get both Lucy and Artie out there and schooling some of the next level fences. Lucy did a lot of the preliminary and Artie did Novice and Training questions. It is always great to ride with Becky and get her tips. I finally had a weekend off and enjoyed playing in a co-ed 6s volleyball tournament!

In August we headed down to Iowa City for the Catalpa Corner Charity Horse Trials. Lucy made the move up to prelim, Emily & Sammy made the move up to training and Olivia rode Cinder in the beginner novice. It was a fun weekend! Lucy was great around the XC, I schooled the first water and when I presented her she popped right in, she galloped through the creek and right on into the second water complex. She jumped all the fences out of stride and handled everything like a pro! She was a little tired on Sunday so we struggled with show jumping a bit. I was thrilled about finishing our first prelim together! Emily & Sammy had great first runs at training and I was very proud of them! They both finished in the ribbons, Sammy in 3rd and Emily in 5th. Olivia and Cinder are a rockstar team were in first after dressage & SJ, but with an unfortunate runout on xc dropped down to 9th. Every day is a day to improve upon!! She was a good sport and knew what she needed to go home and work on!

After CCCHT we were off to Otter Creek Summer Horse Trials. This time I had three horses to ride. I took Lucy in the preliminary and she was fabulous once again around the XC with one green stop. Show jumping, again another story, we had an unfortunate stop when I tried to put 5 strides in a 6 stride line and then I rode around like a crazy person causing another refusal later in the course leaving us going home on a letter rather then a number. I really needed to step up my game in the SJ ring so I went home with that exact goal in mind. Artie was his usual fabulous beastly self and rocketed around the XC, picked up two rails in SJ and finished in 8th place. The training gals worked it again this weekend Sammy finishing 4th and Emily finishing in 10th. Emily had been mimicking her trainers mistakes too closely and also had some problems in the show jumping ring. We both went home to work hard on our show jumping! Lisa stepped down to novice to get both her and Melody's confidence back up and they finished in 10th place after running clean around the cross country. I rode Mia Geraci's Peppy's Nu Image aka Cody this weekend as well. He was the winner of my three! He finished on a nice dressage score, jumped clear around the XC and the SJ and took home a pretty yellow ribbon. Lily put in a nice test on Boo at BN, had one rail down to finish in 6th place. Olivia worked it in all three phases to finish on a dressage score in 3rd place. Claire had a few time faults on XC on Ty to finish in 5th place. So proud of all the students and horses this weekend!!

As usual after a horse show we brought in Lainey the following weekend to help us all out! She helped immensely with my show jumping. I also went over to Kim Barone and worked on my warrior mentality and show jumping technique and position. We really worked on keeping my knee bent over the fences and not going all crazy cross country rider in the show jumping ring. I was also able to do a show jumping session with Becky Holder at Carriage House as well. Kick that position into high gear!

Then we were off to Michigan for Richland Park Horse Trials, another one of my favorite venues! The place is beautiful even if it is set among the corn fields! The course designed by Ian Stark was big and forward riding. I moved Lucy down to Training here to get a good confident run before moving back up to Preliminary. She was lovely in the dressage, perfect in show jumping and I even gave her a good ride, and a blast around the cross country! She finished third in a very competitive open training division! Emily & Sammy came as well and were also going training level. We had very successful runs as we all finished on our dressage scores. Sammy won her division on Beau and Emily finished 6th in her division on Hannah. So proud of all the kids and ponies! Look forward to going back next year!

Last but not least we hit up Steepleview Horse Trials in Delano, MN Labor Day Weekend. We had a full crew here! I only rode Artie this weekend so things weren't too hectic. He was great!! Scored an amazing 34 after a not so nice warmup and jumped quick and clean around the cross country. He had one rail in show jumping and finished in 5th place! Lisa made the move back up to training and had a successful run! Sam and Emily ran their final training level to get qualified for the KY Training level 3Day event and both had successful runs finishing in 3rd and 5th place respectively. Lily made the move up to Novice on Boo and had a great weekend with one mishap on the XC. Mia had a lovely XC round on Cody unfortunately being popped out of the tack over the last fence in show jumping she fell off just before the finish line resulting in an elimination. Gabi had a naughty pony out on the XC that wouldn't go near the first fence, but she had a beautiful courtesy show jumping round. Ann Jacobson and Fox had a fantastic weekend ending up on their dressage score of a 36 in 2nd place. Olivia had a nice outing finishing on her dressage score of a 34 in 3rd place. Claire purchased a new horse in July and this was their first outing together and it couldn't have been better!! They put in a beautiful dressage test to earn a 32 and finished the weekend on that score in first place!! Kate McGown and Taco is new on the scene to eventing and boy did she make an entrance! Her and Taco were in 7th out of 9 after dressage but after having a beautiful clean cross country round she moved all the way up the board to sit in 1st and maintained that after a lovely double clear show jumping round! Congrats to everyone!!

Had a fabulous Ralph clinic this last weekend Sept 7-8 at Schweiss. Lucy was super!! She jumped all of the prelim stuff and leaped into all of the big water questions! So fun! I also had Boo out there and he schooled XC great!! I am so excited for Otter Creek!! We have this weekend off then we head to Otter next Thursday. I will have Lucy going Prelim, Artie going Novice, Lisa, Sammy & Emily are going training, Lily and Mia will be going Novice, Olivia, Claire, Ann will be going Beginner Novice and Carly, Kate & Gabi will be doing Starter. I think that is everyone!! I am always available for course walks or warm ups if it fits into our schedule so let me know if you're interested! After Otter Creek I drive Lucy & Beau down to TEXAS for the AMERICAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIPS! Woohooo!! I can't wait! Sammy & her dad fly down on Weds and then we all drive back on Sunday! After AECs we are off to Roebke's Run with another large group going there. We have the second weekend off in October in which I hope to go up North hunting and then we finish the season off with Midsouth at the Kentucky Horse Park! I will keep you posted on these next shows - hopefully a little sooner then like 5 months later...this was one LONG blog but hopefully gave you a taste of how our season and summer was! We are looking forward to these fall events!!!

I also have a bunch of sale horses right now, check them out online at - a few have yet to be posted so check back regularly. Or contact me directly if you have something specific you are looking for!

I want to thank EVERYONE who has made this season run so smoothly so far! My 2013 sponsors, Dover Saddlery, Dr. Kyla Awes & Animal Connections, FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips, HiLife Shake Shop, Alison Sader Larson and Larson Sader Dressage, & all my other private supporters! Thanks to my mom & John for supporting me and my business and coming to my horse shows! Thanks to Tracy & Peter Kooman & Elysium Farms for having a beautiful facility in which I can operate my business. Thanks to all my clients! You make this business possible!!
That is all for now - thanks for reading!!! Ride strong, ride smart!

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