Saturday, July 31, 2010

Schooling at Morven

So many things to get caught up on in the past 48 hours. Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lara
, we celebrated last night at Cadillac Ranch and she did Blue Clover Eventing proud, I must say....lasted 45 seconds and was the best mechanical bull rider of the evening! And that was after a big day of cross country schooling at Morven Park in their schooling field. Great facility when in between events - most of the portables from the regular courses find themselves in the schooling field, and that combined with the drops, mounds, ditches and water makes it a great place for $30. I will stand on a soapbox, actually, for a moment and complain about the places that are charging outrageous fees of $60 to school. If Gibbs is still charging $35, shame on any where else whether you run a competition or not! Okay, sorry about that, back to celebrating Morven and their schooling field and the good ponies!
We took Morris, Freddie, and Sam. Sam is Lara's lovely warmblood cross that is almost totally qualified for the American Eventing Championships (AECs) and with one more chance to qualify the pressure is on! They certainly handle the pressure well, had a fantastic day and he even was a positive role model for Freddie, more about that later.
Morris was enjoying his first romp around since Bromont. He went first, of course, and it was still really cool relative to our recent weather and he felt super. The ground is pretty hard right now and so I tried to be as efficient as possible and saved those precious legs of his for the season! I just really have the best horse in the whole world with Morris. He strolled around, didn't act like a crazy which can sometimes happen their first school back after an exciting competition like Bromont. He was very rideable, and I took advantage of all of the ditches at Morven. The ditches are probably the most difficult technical part for Morris, and we got an opportunity to do 4 plus some trakehners Friday. It was a good day! Felt great being back on Morris again doing what he loves to do, galloping and jumping. Really looking forward to Millbrook, we leave on Thursday.
And then Freddie, he got to school at the same time as his "Uncle Sam" and thankfully Sam was a good influence on the youngster! Freddie jumped all sorts of scary things, jumped into and out of the woods which is difficult for babies because they don't know how to focus on the changes of light and going from wide open to narrow to wide open again. Freddie really passed every test with flying colors. He jumped 2 of the ditches, went up and down the bank, and my favorite Freddie moment was the water. We had been on this set for 1 1/2 hours (yes, a long time; but we were going very very slowly for Freddie) and Fred was about done both mentally and physically. After a brief pause he walked into the water jump and about 5 strides from the end he put his nose down to give it a sniff. Apparently the water passed the sniff test, because the next thing I know Fred is trying to suck down big gulps of water right next to the bank out! And I was worried about how he would handle a professional water obstacle! While he still has a lot to learn, he has a super attitude and with time and miles he is going to be quite a horse for the future. Be on the look out for Freddie Mac to make his official debut sometime towards the end of the month!
Here is a fun little clip of Morris jumping the day before, Thursday, at a lesson with Karen. It was his first lesson back since Bromont, and I was happy that right away Karen noticed how much more mature and confident he was after his run up there. This just solidifies to me that I made the right decision to run him in the 2* up there. We started with some good focusing and footwork exercises and then Karen jumped right in to exercises that pinpoint some of our weaknesses. I would say Morris is so keen to jump, sometimes he thinks he knows exactly where he is going and how he is going to get there, and sometimes he's just not right! In the video clip we executed a very difficult turn that requires a lot of precise and strong riding. Enjoy!

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