Friday, June 24, 2011

Small and Mighty!

The lercher was completely wiped out after a hectic yet successful weekend at Seneca Valley's Horse Trials. We had an action packed two days, Smarty and Trisha's horse Bailey competed on Saturday in the PH and TR respectively. Sunday we had a pretty fun group, 17.2h Freddie Mac competing in the NH, and then a fleet of BN horses and ponies! Marian's horse Tanner also competed in the ON on Saturday; but sadly Marian got kicked out of camp and was forced to park with the bumper pull trailers on the other side of the show grounds. She was closer to the Smoothie Lady, however, so perhaps that was a good call after all...
Things were exciting early with us trying to figure out how exactly we were going to get to Seneca with the US Open in town and road blocks everywhere along our normal route. Luckily golfers don't get up at the crazy hours that we do, well maybe they do but their fans don't so smooth sailing on the way to the competition. Smarty put in an excellent dressage, winning on a 24. He can actually canter now! Unfortunately, however, had a major hiccup in that canter at fence 3 in the show jumping. He cantered himself right into the middle of an oxer and that was really fun and if you want more fun look up the pictures from GRC and be as amazed as I was that I stayed on! Cross country he totally redeemed himself and it was probably his best round yet, quite rideable and there were lots of skinny questions. Trisha did an awesome job with Bailey, coming in 7th in her debut competition in Area II! Very proud of her, we turned her flatwork upside down in the two weeks that she has had Bailey here and it paid off immediately, was sitting 4th after the dressage. We will work on in and outs until her next competition at Loch Moy :) Seriously though, she busted her tail all weekend long and I am so thankful to have her on the team.
Good hustle by Trisha and Marian to turn us around Saturday evening, and thanks to Richard for the pizza and beer needed to do so!
We were off again Sunday with two full trailers and man did all my youngsters show up to play! Marian finished 4th in her novice, a really great way to start Tanner's comeback after a nasty injury that had him sitting out for a year. He proved he's ready for Training and beyond and that's what he's going to get! Freddie Mac was back in action after some time off from eventing this winter, and he proved to the world that some time off was just what he needed as he won on a 27 or something fantastic like that. Now 7 years old, he grew more than a hand since we imported him last April and that poor boy just couldn't keep up with his legs or anything else for that matter. He was brilliant in all 3 phases and clocked around like he had competed the day before. Looking forward to moving him up to training soon. My 3 little ones were super stars, with Bijou setting a high standard as our first out and finished 5th. Splish Splash gets our most improved award and you can bet she's going up to novice and I expect her to continue her winning ways, she finished second .5 behind the leader! Bling got more attention than I think any horse I have ever sat on at a competition. We had a flock of people surrounding her at the trailers, and I got stopped walking from trailer parking to dressage at least 5 times by people asking me who I was riding. She didn't let her admirers down, winning on her dressage score. In fact, I didn't add a single jumping fault to my dressage scores on Sunday, that's something that I am very proud of and I know their owners are pleased with that as well. We work circles in the ring tirelessly so that one day we get a good dressage mark, and then you just don't add anything to it. It's that easy, right?! Hmm, we will see if we can pull it off next time, to Loch Moy and the Maryland Horse Trials I we go!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Welcome Trisha and Marian!

I am very excited to get to introduce you to the two new working student extraordinaires here at Blue Clover Eventing- Marian and Trisha! Both girls nailed their interviews, have great competitive goals, and so far have survived their trial periods lol. In all seriousness, however, we are already working together as a great team. Marian (first picture) just graduated from UVM and was looking to fulfill her goals of riding at preliminary on her very nice Argentinian horse, Tanner, purchased several years ago from Sinead and Rebecca. He's been a great college horse, going to and from school and at the same time that made serious competition difficult. At the end of the fall season Marian is hoping to go to grad school and so we are making the most of her time with us! She is bringing back her good old pony club skills and her laid back attitude is appreciated by the horses and I alike! We are extra impressed by her driving skills, she's a "Beltway Bandit" as we call them around here, choosing to stay at home and commute to the barn and her horse daily. I don't know how much coffee it takes her in the morning; but she's at the barn every day by 7 and I've seen that traffic first hand.....

Trisha is our other newbie that we have welcomed with open arms. She better not be leaving in November lol! Trisha is with us as Valerie's long term right hand and she has all the skills and experience to do the job well. Her super people skills have allowed her to fit right in to the program and she really already owns the job. In fact, I saw her sprinting out to Morris' field last week at the sight of the first fly so the big horse would agree that she's a keeper :) Trisha is new to Area II, she finally got smart and left freezing RI and is looking forward to winter this year - in Florida and Aiken! Her partner in crime is Bailey, her own 16.2h OTTB that we are moving up to prelim soon.

The girls have their work cut out for them next weekend, each riding her own horse and I'm riding 5....let's put those skills to the ultimate test! If you are at Seneca, come stop in and say hello and maybe bring us something to eat?! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?!

I hope that I can speak for everyone when I say that a good time was had by all this past weekend while I judged the Combined Test at Hidden Hollow in Gladstone, NJ! I was very excited to judge my first competition as a licensed 'r' and I was fortunate enough to work with a great group of people (pictured above scribe and show manager Holly Payne and winner of First Level Test 2 and 3 Kathy Hall aboard Sullivan). The show was a great mix of people ready to move up to the next level, as well as those who were just starting out with competitions. I do hope that I helped all of them!
I got a little help myself....I coordinated my trip to judge with lessons from expert judge Marilyn Payne. I took Morris and Smarty, Morris had to dressage every day and Smarty got lucky his last day and was able to show jump and then play around over some of the new cross country fences at Marilyn's lovely Applewood Farm. It was a great tune up on my position and Marilyn was really on my case all 3 days, with both horses. I have enjoyed working on all of my exercises since I've returned, not sure if Morris and Smarty feel the same way?! Smarty was moving like a million bucks by the time that I left, and that is really saying something because he nailed the dressage at Fair Hill on Memorial Day, scoring a 25 in the Preliminary Horse division!! Morris had some beautiful canterwork and Marilyn helped us gain a couple of extra points here and there with some tips on the Advanced tests.

There was no rest for the weary, as the very next day we loaded up the mother ship and went cross country schooling at Waredaca. They had the courses open from the weekend and we took advantage of it all, I think I schooled from Beginner Novice thru Intermediate! Smarty was jumping brilliantly and I really appreciated getting to school a lot of skinnies, and more specifically a lot of downhill skinnies. Splash gets the gold star for the day, I really love that little horse and she does everything with 200% effort. The Freddie Mac is back and started up right where he left off, schooling a majority of the novice and training. We plan on schooling again next week at Rubicon and bringing the masses (so if you are reading this and need to sign up for a group get in touch with me now so we can get times coordinated!). Our next competition is Seneca Valley in 2 weeks, looking forward to 2 action packed days with 6 horses going whew I hope the weather breaks by then!