Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ride for Life

We had a great day today as the Ride for Life took over the Show Place Arena this weekend. The atmosphere at this dressage competition is really like none other, and it is fun to feel as though you are a part of something so much bigger. My mother has been a survivor of breast cancer for 10 plus years, and I am eager to participate in anything that raises funds and awareness for this awful disease. The show was so well run and so well attended, I've already marked it on the 2013 calendar!

This weekend I had the opportunity to ride some of the incredible horses bred and owned by Thora Pollak of Beall Spring Farm. I have had the pleasure over the years of riding for Beall Spring, and right now we have in training my most favorite of them all! I walked by the stall one day and there he was standing there in all of his glory, begging for me to inquire who he was and when did I get to start working with him!! Today was all about Baker, as the above picture represents. And wouldn't you know, he rose to the occasion! I honestly expected nothing less, like all of his Beall Spring relatives he has a super disposition and a super brain that was instantly recognizable to passersby all over the show grounds. Working with such a talented youngster is beyond rewarding!

I suppose that his barn-mates would like to point out that he was NOT the only star of the day coughDantecough. In fact, the little man would have been nothing without his entourage including Thora on Dante, and his "security detail" of Steve, Trisha and Stacy. I would like to take a moment to congratulate owner Stephie Ormston on the fabulous performance of Beall Street Baccarat. This boy can really move! and that he did to post some fabulous scores this weekend. He was 2nd out of 17 in F2 and scored a 72%, and then he put in an absolutely lovely test in the covered arena and won the F3 this afternoon convincingly on a 74%. We are really excited to see what he can do in the future! Special thanks to Trisha and Stacy who started preparing him for me on Friday, and to Stephie who had him looking the part after having to completely rebraid him right before his class courtesy of some stealth rubbing - nothing like a little excitement on a 100 degree day lol. 

In fact, it is Thora and her entire crew that make competitions like this so much fun. They are so positive, which is of course easy when dealing with such fabulous horses. Chessie and Dante would agree! They had to work hard in the heat every day and they are certainly better horses because of it ha ha ha. Really looking forward to the next one, and I know the horses feel the same!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fond Farewells and Heartfelt Hellos

Hellos are always easier than good byes. So we will say our fond farewells first. I know that by now it is not news that we lost not just a great horseman, but a great human being with the passing of Jim Lewis. It just doesn't seem right to ride around the arena without our head trainer Mr. Zang lol. We had too much fun and I find myself still looking over at the empty chairs as I ride around the arena. I miss the chats we would have as I bopped around on every type of horse, from 2 year old race horses to Grand Prix horses. Working for Jim never got old we would talk about everything imaginable. Even a grumpy Jim was entertaining, although I assure you it did not happen often. We joked nonstop about when I was going to become a straight dressage rider, and I was counting on having him in my corner when that day happened far in the future (after breaking all of the eventing records, of course). I know he will be watching, just not like how I pictured.

Nor did I picture an empty stall where Playtime used to reside. He was recently sold across the pond. This has been particularly difficult given as though I felt he had an excellent chance at winning the CCI2* at Jersey and was moving on to the blue squares after that. I know that we gave each other opportunities, he improved faster than a horse possibly should be able to in the year we had together. By our last cross country school he made the advanced at Gibbs look like a novice round and we were communicating on brain waves. He gave me some incredible tests and fantastic jumping rounds and I was looking forward to making a High Performance list with him. I am thankful I think that I won't have to see his unbelievable begging look from behind the stall door or out the window of the trailer, it was irresistible and he knew it :)

But, it is human nature to go on, and I am surrounded by incredible people that are positive and feel the same way. And so, we do. We are fortunate for everything we do have, and opportunities that unfold before us daily. Not only do I have a bunch of fun new horses and clients that have an exciting season ahead of them, I would like to welcome new working student Stacy Iacono. Please make her feel welcome, we didn't give her any time to adjust, even on her interview weekend she was working her tail off and hasn't stopped since! We hope you will see her competing at the Preliminary level in the very near future with Snick. Or perhaps, I should say winning, he is a super cute horse and they have both been an absolute pleasure to work with. She and Trisha go way back, and I know that Trisha has been happy to have her old partner in crime working by her side. And I'm happy to do anything that keeps Trisha happy! I don't know what I would do without any of you lately, Richard, Gunsmoke, the lovely ladies of Kaleidescape, I am just so utterly grateful for each and everyone of you and now is the time more than ever to say thank you!