Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas is here...yippee!

Christmas 2012 has finally arrived and with it my wait to ride is over....

I was grazing one of the horses today and talking to a friend who had stopped by to watch "the first Rides back" and she asked me to remember everything...it seems a very long time ago, and I have a bunch of people to thank for keeping my spirits up.  They know who they are, they have called, or emailed, or texted or simply kept me in their thoughts, and to all of you, I am forever grateful.

Who's a Star (Tag) and R Star (Hope) had the chore of being the first ones...I was a little awkward, and a bit unbalanced, but we got back into the groove quickly.  I really look forward to what the year will bring with my two "stars."

Back in the Saddle on Tag

On Christmas Eve, we learned that Hope was the Silver Stirrup Preliminary Champion for the country with only 6 months of competing, which was unexpected and exciting.  She is a wonderful girl, and I hope we can fulfill all of her promise

Tag and I look to pick up where we left off, and then I have a few new ones in the wings.

I hope the Holidays found you and yours happy and enjoying each other, and that the Season brings you health, wealth, healing, love and laughter.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and Happy Riding!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Finding inspiration and noticing courage...

Several recent visitors to the farm said I should update the blog, and to be honest, I am not sure where to start or what to say.  Since my accident, the farm business has gone on; we have continued to show and sell horses, and I have an amazing new working student and rider who are on board (I will write more on them in the future).

But for me personally, it has been a time with lots of different emotions and feelings: pain, loneliness, jealousy, fearfulness, luck, gratefulness, happiness and joy.

Being laid up and not riding has given me a very different perspective on a lot of things.  I have spent a lot of time wishing I were riding, figuring things out, appreciating changes I make in the way my horses go, or just enjoying a hack.  However with the reality of the situation being that I still have four more months to go before riding again, I can get frustrated, feel angry, alone and just downright in the dumps.  So what do I do?  Try to find inspiration and courage to move forward...and keep plugging away.

My inspiration has come from a variety of sources, one source has been my husband, friends and especially my groom, Jodi, all of who have gone out of their way to stay in touch, help, and just call to say hello to catch up and keep me in the loop of their activities.  I am ever grateful for their support, good cheer, inclusion and well wishes.

Another easy inspriaton came from the great performances of our clients and friends at Burghley and the American Eventing Championships; the competitors were, as a whole, outstanding and proved that hard work and relationships produce definite dividends.

Courage has sometimes come from unlikely places.  Recently I had someone come and try horses and unfortunately her previous horse had made cross country schooling not so much fun. After trying my horse in the ring, she decided to go and try him at a cross country schooling facility.  Her body language to start was down trodden and not very confident.  After she had jumped a few sets of fences, we added a larger fence at the end of one of her loops; she was scared, and her coach and I had to convince her to give it a try.  The smile she had on her face after she jumped it was, as they say, priceless.

The courage to face her fears and to start conquering them gave me hope about doing the same with some of mine.

Putting things into perspective has also played a big part in this whole experience. I've been reminded that looking outside my own world can bring a different hue to the colors of every day.  The Olympics and  the Paralympics have made me appreciate that there are a lot of other athletes with struggles much greater than any of mine who have continued to progress again by putting one foot in front of the other.  And being involved with physical therapists make you appreciate you never have it as bad as "the other guy."
Tag and Me at the 2011 Fair Hill International - GRC Photo
I wish it were easier to put into words how I feel, perhaps it is best represented by the kind words and acts of one individual which especially touched me.  She has been here, after an injury, knowing the road to recovery was a long one with bumps and setbacks along the way and to be frank, she was just kind, and caring and thoughtful.  I will remember that for a long time.

I've had some setbacks in the last few weeks, and it would have been easy for me not to confront some of the issues or let them get me down. Instead, I thought of the people who inspired me and found solutions to my problems.  Relying on some of the intestinal fortitude that life with horses has given me, I kept at it, and things are now looking better again.

Neal and I continue to look forward.  Tag (Who's A Star) and Hope (R Star) are enjoying their vacations; Vegas is working on his flat work; and Nevaeh & Sport are going well with different riders as we look for new homes for them.  Our horse ownership group, the Dare to Dream Team, has added new members, and I am very thankful for their continued support.  We will be looking for our next superstar as soon as I am cleared to ride.

Come January we will be ready to rock n' roll with a great staff, great team of owners and great horses.

We hope that the ups and downs in your journey provide insights into life, or as we at C Square Farm are fond of saying "character building opportunities."  I keep reminding myself that character provides the wrinkles, edges and color in our lives.

All the best, and see you soon,


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I have being learning to make lemonade…life recently has given me some lemons and I am working on how to make lemonade, lemon chicken, lemon squares…things to stay busy and active…

Let me explain. On June 26th, I was mounting a sales horse, and long story short, it backed up, lost its footing, and flipped over on top of me.  After a trip to the ER, multiple fractures were diagnosed.  Recovery 2-3 months, ok, not good but workable…ten days later I was back in the hospital with pulmonary embolisms or blood clots in my lungs…more time off, again, not good but I’m here alive, recovering, and wanting to work.

So this is the plan…I will have time to pursue different aspects of my business as I will not be competing this Fall.   I will be at competitions with students but my personal horses will be on vacation.

As many of you know my primary business is sales and that will continue.  I have recently hired a lovely rider, Anna Graves, who has quickly become an integral part of our farm, and she will be doing the majority of the riding with other students and friends filling in until I can hire another person.  I am hoping to find a working student with experience through training level and have a couple of applicants; however, if you know of anyone else who might be interested please let me know.

We will still be accepting horses in for training and consignment, and although I will not be personally riding the horses, I will be training them from the ground daily.  We have been successful in this process in the last few weeks and have sold a couple during my rehab already so I am confident that our success in this area will continue.

I will also be acting as an agent for people looking to purchase horses overseas as I have many connections there and have recently helped Therese Evans find her new partner, an Irish Sport Horse named Clover Joe.  I am sure that she would be happy to speak to whomever regarding her dealings with me.
Therese and Clover Joe

Additionally, I will be sourcing horses for people domestically whether it is a novice packer or a soon to be Advanced horse; please let me know if I may be of service.

I am also looking forward to doing some clinics, lessons, and Skype lessons and will be available to other opportunities should you have a special need or idea.

So if you are going to be in the area, or if you are not in the area, but want to set up a Skype lesson, or send us a horse give us a call 610.932.5832 or send us an email, csquarefarm@gmail.com

I’m off to work on the lemonade…see you soon,


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Seneca, Summer and other musings...

Hello to All,

It always amazes me how time can fly by and stand still at the same time.  Neal and I have been spending some of our most recent weekends seeing friends and family.  Most notable was our nephew Cooper achieving Eagle Scout status at the ripe age of 14.  Some of you may know that Cooper was born on the same day I had a pretty horrific accident at the old Essex Three Day and broke my neck and back, so often times I try and "forget" Coopers birthday.
Our Nephew, Eagle Scout Cooper Shumway

However as I was saying sometimes it seems like yesterday and other times lifetimes ago.  I am very proud of Cooper for his achievement and also looking forward to an achievement of our own of taking our first homebred Who's A Star Advanced.

Finding, educating, and keeping a horse sound and healthy through the trials and tribulations of going up the grades is always a challenge.  Sometimes it seems you are right on the edge of a breakthrough and then something happens, and you are back to square one.  I am not one to count my chickens yet but I am excited about jumping the blue numbers again shortly and actually looked at the Advanced dressage test today, wow there is a lot to do...

We are in the process of trying to get Tag's mother, Faith, pregnant yet again, and we are ever hopeful to get her pregnant and to have an embryo transfer foal by her as well.  It does not seem like it was 10 years ago that we started this whole process but as I said before time stands still and flies by at the same time.

Our current foal, Grover, had a fever this weekend and instead of leaving on vacation Neal and I spent Sunday worrying over him and his low white blood cell count...this morning Neal turned to me and said "really you want two from Faith next year..."  to which I reminded him, that she and we, are getting older and she does produce really nice horses.

Which leads me to Seneca, Faith's three children of riding age were all there.  Who's A Star was 3rd after galloping quietly around with some time in the Intermediate, his sister R. Star was 2nd with me in the Preliminaries and Star Dazzler, our 2nd homebred, who we sold to the Case Family was there as well, and had it not been for a silly runby on cross country he would have won his division as well...

I hope you and your families, both horse and human, are enjoying the Summer and what has happened in the past and what is planned for the future.

All the best,


Saturday, June 9, 2012

A lot of thanks...

Good evening,

Almost 5 months ago on January 6th, our first homebred Who's A Star had colic surgery, and today he hit another milestone on the road to recovery.  I have a lot of people to thank including his surgeon Dr Suzanne Stewart, my primary practice Unionville Equine, especially Dr Chris Foster, my Aiken contacts and numerous people at NC State and UGA equine hospitals and most importantly my husband Neal.

All of these people have played special roles in taking care of Tag and letting him continue to recover...I know we are not out of the woods yet and will keep an eye on him like a hawk but what a day today was and it makes the sleepless nights and worry all worth it.

Tag and Hope got to go together to Plantation Field for Tag's first complete outing for 2012.  Hope put in a good test with some glitches but good enough for second behind her big brother, but Tag was outstanding and I came close to breaking into the teens with a 21.4 great fun....
Who's a Star at the Foundation - Steve Berkowitz Photo

Then it was off to jump.  Now I will tell you Denis Glaccum, the organizer of Plantation designs show jumping courses that appear deceptively easy but still there are rails usually all over...today was no different.  Both Hope and Tag jumped great and clear...on cross country Hope ran first and clocked around, and I thought only had 2 seconds of time but I must have pressed my watch wrong, and ended up with 10 seconds of time and stayed in second.
R Star Jumping Out of the Water - Steve Berkowitz Photo

Tag was just foot perfect though and jumped liked the seasoned pro he is, and was clear and inside the time!

So a first and a second with our two homebreds...thank you to all that helped care for my boy, a life with horses is often difficult but the days like today make you smile and remember why you do what you do....

A complete summary and video of both horses in all three phases is up on our website: http://www.csquarefarm.com/plantation-field-horse-trials-unionville-pa-june-9-10-2012/

Hope you and all of your connections are well and happy,


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fair Hill and teaching an old dog new rules...

Hello to All,

We were off to Fair Hill this weekend with 3 horses...suppose to be more but Fleet was vetted and sold to Emily Moynihan of Massachusetts and so he is on his way to MA as we speak!

Persia June started off in the trainings and did her best test to date, scoring a 30.5, a really good test that I was pleased with.  She jumped a double clean and moved up to 7th overall in a very competitive division and I was super pleased with her.
Persia June on Cross Country - Steve Berkowitz Photo

The Stars came out on Sunday, with Who's A Star doing a combined test at Prelim.  He had a lovely test to finish tied for first on a 24.6 and jumped clean in show jumping...well or so I thought...

So, a note to all of you, it has become habit now I have been told for the jump judge in show jumping to say the time taken on course and it is up to the competitor to know what the optimum is on show jumping so you know if you had time faults...I did not realize this and so when they said I had jumped clean I assumed it was jump and time....bad thing to make an assumption...

Anyway I went in on Hope and did not try to quicken my pace or cut my turns and long story short, I had time faults on both of them, which could have been avoided, which dropped her from 2nd to 5th overall....I hate when I make preventable mistakes!

But there were other highlights like having my homebred boy and girl both compete in the upper levels together...it was sort of funny, as many of you know the "children" all tend to have tall long ears and at one point I was sitting on Hope thinking I was on Tag because of the ears...

Another highpoint was getting a 9 from Brian Ross, I always love riding in front of Brian as he uses the range of scores and will give you a high score if you deserve one and the reverse!

I also want to say the work done on the courses and the footing was superb!  The course had some new and interesting changes and I know Frank Stafford spent a lot of time vibrating on his tractor to get that course footing so good...my deep appreciation!

I hope everyone else had a good weekend, we also had another good weekend of results around the country with horses that we have sold: Kelly Beaver and Sempre Fino finishing 2nd in the Prelims at Fair Hill, Guinness St James and Danny Warrington, finishing 6th in the Prelims at Fair Hill, and Caroline Martin and Classic Touch finishing 6th in the Open Intermediates.  In the Pacific Northwest, Katrinia Bradley and Scout finished 3rd in the Training at the NWEC May Classic and in Oklahoma, Laura Szeremi and Argento finished 6th in Prelims, last but not least in Vermont, Tiffany Cunningham and Samson were 2nd in the Prelims at Hitching Post.

Congrats to all, see you all soon,


Sunday, May 13, 2012

An exciting few days...6 horses, none lower than 3rd!

Hello everyone,

Our weekend started on Thursday with Tag and I making our return to a competitive environment.  We volunteered to do the test ride at Jersey Fresh for the CCI** and enjoyed it tremendously.  Tag also seemed to weather the trailer ride well so that is all great news.  Look for him to hopefully start competing in June.
Who's a Star (Tag) at Jersey Fresh CCI

Then it was off to Plantation Field...The recognized event was on Saturday and Decorated rocked it, winning the dressage and never looking back winning his Preliminary division.  He is one heck of a horse and is the most fun to play with!

R Star (Hope) on Cross Country - Steve Berkowitz Photo
R Star was also super and while Benita Strini got an 18 in the dressage (who does that ...an 18, awesome!) to win this Preliminary division, Hope finished 2nd with a solid effort.  She had an uncharacteristic 2 rails down but tried hard and more importantly was awesome cross country with a new bit...I think this one may just work!

One of our sales horses, Larry also went and did a very good job in all three phases to finish 3rd in Beginner Novice, at what was only his second horse trials.
Larry on Cross Country - Steve Berkowitz Photo

In between all of this we trailered home and showed some horses, so it was a busy Saturday.

Sunday was Plantation Day again....but the starter trials, which run over the same courses.  Persia June went Training and put her best test in to date jumping a double clear to finish on her dressage score in 2nd place.  Then we had a pair of chestnuts in the novices, both sale horses.  Fleet Du Maison put in an excellent dressage test with a score of 24.4 and added just one rail to win his division. Rhetabenz also put in a good dressage test and jumped a double clear to finish 3rd.  Both of these horses showed class and tolerance and would be great fun for a junior or amateur to learn to event!

We also had some great results around the country with horses sold by C Square Farm...and students...

At King Oak Horse Trials
Dale Eddy and Guypowder Valley, winners at Training
Erin Renfroe and Porter Creek, winners at Training
Jessica Blum and River Rock, 2nd in Novice
Sarah Blum and Grey Street, 4th in Novice
Gretchen Creesy and Tigerlily, 4th in Beginner Novice

At Plantation Field Recognized
Liza Frazier and Providence's Maxwell, winners at Training
Kim Russell and Allia, 6th in Beginner Novice

At Plantation Filed Starter
Dailee Fagnant and Stolen Goods, winner at Novice
Michelle Bull and Masquerade Party, 4th at beginner Novice

Congratulations to everyone and to all of my owners, talk soon, and most importantly Happy Mothers Day to my wonderful mother, my sister and all of our friends and clients, I hope you had a great day!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fair Hill and a BABY BOY!


I am late to blog as I have been trying to catch up on everything.  We had a good outing with the horses at Fair Hill, both Decorated and R Star were very good in the Prelims on Friday and Saturday with R Star being second after dressage, and then having 1 time fault to fall to 3rd behind Decorated who jumped a clean round and moved up to second.

On Sunday, I was trying a new bridle on Hope, a hackamore and just did not have her attention early on and had a silly runout at the second when she was caught looking at the 2nd training fence on the way to the Prelim fence...oh well...she jumped all the hard stuff well and I have to remember she has just been eventing a year and this is her second Prelim.

Decorated was fantastic and roared to a double clean and a 2nd place finish...someone needs to snatch him up quick as I am having way too much fun!

The training horses were also good as Ballinlaugh Ice jumped a double clear to finish 7th and her stablemate Lazer Lavender had one show jump down to finish just out of the ribbons.

Nevaeh who had another good dressage and show jump did not run cross country as it was pouring rain and the footing had deteriorated and we decided to save her for another day.

The big news though is that Rock Star delivered a beautiful colt on Sunday at 1:30 AM.  Grove of Stars or Grover,  is big and healthy and bouncing around.  It has been a while since we have had a colt and he is reminding us daily that they are a little different than little fillies!

We hope you enjoy his video, there will be more to come...http://www.csquarefarm.com/grove-of-stars/

Good luck to all of our friends at Rolex this weekend, stay safe,


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plantation Field

Hello to All,

We had a busy weekend at Plantation with me competing 5, and my student Gillian Cowley coming down to compete her Gabriella.

I was super pleased with all of the horses in the dressage, R Star was starting in her first Prelim and scored a sub 25 test to lead the way against some lovely horses.  I then had two sale horses in the Training.  One, Persia June, had a good test however there is still room for improvement as we are continuing to work on straightness.

Decorated was a star and put in a lovely steady test, to tie for the lead.  Then it was on to my Novice horses, first, What it Takes, the super duper pony.  He put in an active, energetic test to finish 4th out of 20, and then Dare to Dream's Sport finished out the flat with a quality test as well.

Gillian also put in another good test to win her division on the flat.  So we were feeling pretty good going into show jumping with 3 in the lead and one in 4th and the other two with competitive scores.

Show jumping just did not work out the way I had hoped.  I am not sure if it was the ground, which is terribly hard for lack of rain, the siting of the show jumping, the course, or me but for whatever reason, I could not get a clear round on some really good jumping horses.  Hope, Decorated, Gabby, and Tic Tac had one each at different fences, and Persia had two and Sport three...back to the drawing board for me!

Sunday dawned bright and warm, and Hope started off first cross country and was just angry and a bit unrideable.  Turns out the new bit we had for her was bruising her mouth.  I must admit that I would not have been surprised if she decided not to go at times, but she showed me a lot of chutzpah by continuing to try, and we will try another bridle this weekend...She finished with some time and ended up 3rd for the weekend...looks like she wants to join her brother Tag competing!

Speaking of Tag, real quickly, he is back in work and starts flatting this week...so exciting.  I was grinning ear to ear yesterday having my first canter on him since January 6th!

Back to the event, Persia was the first horse on the Training course, and Denis Glaccum had set up some challenges, and both she and Decorated, who both jumped clean rounds got a huge compliment from Neal when he said "they both look like I would have fun riding them around..."  Decorated ended 4th and Persia 11th.

Gabby and Gillian also continued their streak, with a clean go, and another win...she is hoping to move up to Prelim soon, we will see; there needs to be a bit more consistency to some of their work first!
What It Takes on XC - Steve Berkowitz Photo

What It Takes and Sport finished out our day on Sunday.  What it Takes was great fun and had me chuckling as we traveled around the course.  Sport showed his greeness at the first by having a stop, although it was not caused by the fence, but rather by him staring at the spectators and cars at the top of the field by the first fence.  He has not been out for a month and he just showed it, but by the 4th fence he was jumping better than ever.  The pony ended up 6th and Sport out of the ribbons.

Video of many of the rides is on our website summary of the event.

We are headed to Fair Hill this weekend, and still waiting on DJ to foal, so if Neal and I look like zombies you will know why...

Hope to see all of you soon,


Sunday, April 1, 2012

A great day at Morven

Hello to All,

After arriving home from Aiken last Saturday, we set about to getting unpacked and catching up with things around the farm...one of those "things" is Hope's full sister Rock Star aka DJ who is 10 months and a week pregnant.  I am sure it is a big foal, and she has had a hard time with her first pregnancy, and so we got to go see our friends at New Bolton on Wednesday night after she was particularly uncomfortable.  They assured us nothing major is  going on, just an uncomfortable Mommy to be.  So we will be watching and walking...and not sleeping...anyone who said breeding is easy has never done it...a total challenge, just asked sleep deprived Neal and me!

We headed down to Morven on Friday with 5 for me to ride and and Gillian Cowley and her mare, Gabby.  Gillian had been staying with us for her Spring break and has been riding great.
Hope, Gabby, and Nevaeh (L-R) on their Way to Morven Park

We settled in and found our way to our hotel to be up and at it early with Hope's 7:54 am ride time.  After doing all 5 in dressage, Laura, and our groom for the day, Lauren, had them ready to go to show jumping.  Everyone showed me some work to do in the dressage except for Nevaeh who was wonderful and confirmed her low score at Sporting Days was no fluke!

I thought I was going to go 5 clear in show jumping, but unfortunately decided to press Neveah down a 6 stride line to get too close to the in and out and have it down.  Everyone else jumped great and it was off to cross country.

While waiting for her turn at cross country, Persia did not seem quite right and we opted to not run her cross country.  All the others jumped great, but I had some time on Icy.  I can't tell you where, as she was on all the same minute markers as the others, but I must have eased up at the finish.

Hoped ended up winning her division and Nev was less than a point from winning in her division of 30 and finished 3rd, Decorated was 10th in the same division and Icy, 13th.

Gillian also won her division with three good phases, two of which she did with her Mom's help!  Go Page!

All in all it was a great weekend and we are looking forward to Plantation and Fair Hill in a few weeks time.

Photos and videos will be up soon,  and please let us know if you need any horses; we have a great crew of them right now.

Courtney and Neal

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pine Top...

Good morning to all,

6 Horses, 2 early mornings make 3 tired women!

We had a great weekend with all 6 horses at Pine Top, Vegas went again at Prelim and shows steady improvement in dressage, show jumping he stills finds distracting and cross country he was a good boy, although I need a different bit and more work on the flat!  It has been a  long time since I have had a horse that wants to gallop low and it makes me think I am going a whole lot faster than I am.  You can see that on the video on our website,  http://www.csquarefarm.com/pine-top-farm-horse-trials-thomson-ga-march-17-18-2012/ . He ended up 6th though so not a bad weekend.
All Photos in this post are from Mark Walter Lehner - Hoofclix.com
R Star finally came home with the blue this weekend.  She has been knocking on the door for a while finishing 3rd at her first training here at Pine Top, while being in the lead, and having a rail at Sporting Days to keep her from first.  So it was nice to finish off our Aiken trip with a wonderful go.  She was super in the dressage, receiving 2 9's and a comment of "absolutely stunning."  I told Neal, to tell her Mother, Faith, our super broodmare, that she continues to make the best babies.  Anyway she jumped an up to snuff show jumping super well only marred by her rider who put her a bit too deep to an oxer and cross country she went around like a Star!  She will make the move up to Prelim probably in April.
R Star
Ballinaugh Ice was my next ride and she is a new ride and a sale horse.  She was outstanding, and put in a good dressage test. I think she could still knock off a few points and she even got relaxed enough to get floppy ears a couple of times.  She then went and jumped a double clean in show jumping and cross country to finish 5th.
Ballinglaugh Ice
Columbus was up next and he belongs to the Gibbons Family.  We had sold Columbus to daughter Molly to take novice and training and Molly is visiting for the next 2 weeks.  Columbus is a big guy, a draft cross, so connecting him is hard work, especially with the heat however he came to work and got a 27 in the dressage, my best score for the weekend, putting him 2nd.  An unfortunate rail dropped him to 6th but a clean and fast cross country put him back up to 4th.  Molly will be with us through Morven so watch out!
Neveah finished the training rides for me.  She was a trooper, and while Columbus dressage ring was running late, Nev's was not so she only had a 15 minute warmup.  Still she was a good girl, and I felt good about the test.  I have been working with Kim Severson and she watched most of our test and said she looked really good so I was disappointed with the score unfortunately dressage is subjective.  She also jumped well, having one down in show jumping when I overrode into a combination that had been riding long for me all day, and then cross country she was amazing.  The head of the ground jury came up to me afterwards and said I was the best through the one piece of the cross country he watched.   That is always nice to hear.
The last ride of the day was little Sport.  He continues to improve but overall he was a bit distracted in all of his warmups this weekend.  This is something we will continue to work on.  He put in a good business like dressage test, although he did call out at one point.  Both Laura, who was videoing and I thought oh please....we hope this doesn't continue, but he settled down and was better.  In show jumping he jumped a clean round and I was surprised yesterday looking at scores to see he had 3 times faults.  On cross country he was a good boy and had a little time. They ran the novices at 400 meters per minute and that is still a little fast for him so we had a good confidence building go and finished out of the ribbons.
We head home next Saturday and look forward to reconnecting with our Pennsylvania friends.

Hope you all are well,  all the best,


Friday, March 16, 2012

Aiken, weather and catching up...

Hello to All,

Hopefully your weather has been as beautiful as ours here....it has almost been I dare say HOT!

Neal who is still in PA says the grass is greening up and the daffodils are coming up.

On the business side, we have been busy showing horses and have two new horses in to sell: Roussy who is by the magnificent dressage stallion Rousseau, and What it Takes, aka Tic Tac, who is the pony everyone should have in their life.
Tic Tac

We head home next Saturday and it will be good for all of us.  Plus we get to go on foal watch for DJ's baby by Coconut Grove!

Some of you also may have seen ads we are looking for more help.  We are.  Laura and I had been discussing the need to add another fulltime person and so we are advertising for that position.  Laura has also decided to pursue her relationship with her longtime Australian boyfriend by moving down under.  She has been a gem, and we will miss her but she is not gone quite yet so we are hoping she can help train her replacement.

The horses are going well and we are taking 6 horses to Pine Top this weekend.  Vegas will do his second prelim; he has been working on his focus, unfortunately I think it is something time and experience will need to help with. Hope will do the Prelim/ Training; Nev is in the Training; Sport will do the Novice; and then I have two new rides: Ballinaugh Ice, an imported Irish mare in the Training and Columbus who is owned by the Gibbons family and is also in  Training.  Columbus'  regular rider, Molly is coming to join us for Spring break for two weeks; she'll do Morven with Columbus.  It will be an early morning and a long weekend, come and see us if you are there...

Now I need to head out the door for another beautiful day!

Keep smiling, all the best,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tons of Fun!


This weekend brought a fun time at Sporting Days Horse Trials.  Hope, Nevaeh, and Vegas started us out on a very soggy Saturday.  As most of you know the Southeast had horrible storms over the weekend and although we were wet we were spared most of the damage, our thoughts are with those who were not so lucky.

Vegas started things off competing in his first Preliminary, and he was super, although a little distracted in the show jumping.  This will come, and he gave me a great ride cross country over some difficult combinations, one was a double of angled hedges and the other was a pretty stiff coffin.
Preliminary Cross Country at Sporting Days

Nev put in a super dressage test earning a 24 over some very fancy horses.  With the interest in her as a sales horse, and we felt that we should save her for another day, although it is hard to do that being in 1st....

Hope was not to be outdone (at least not by much), and she also put in a lovely dressage test. Unfortunately, I made her pull a rail at the second fence in stadium, but other than that she was foot perfect, still ending up 2nd.

Kim Russell flew down from PA to ride her mare, I'm Perfect (Diamond), who has been spending the winter with us in Aiken.  They had one of their best dressage tests, tying for second and then adding a single rail and a little time on XC to finish 9th.

Sunday brought Sport and Lazer Lavender out...what fun those two were!

Sport as some of you may know has been a little overwhelmed with warmups, but today he was quiet and easy, a real pleasure.  He also stayed this way in the ring and tried super hard and came home with a 6th place finish out of 19 in his first recognized novice.  As I said last time a sure sign of wonderful things to come.

The real eye catcher of the weekend was Lazer Lavender though, and she gathered many fans.  Lavender, a Connemara cross, has come to us from Texas, and I have to say she makes me laugh and giggle; she is so much fun to ride.
Lavender - Pony! Pony!

We will have pictures later this week of all of the horses as the wonderful photographers of GRCPhoto were here.

We also want to congratulate some clients of  C Square that did well at Sporting Days, including Erin Renfroe and Porter Creek, 4th in Training Horse; Barbara Brown and Patmos Bentley, 3rd in Beginner Novice Rider; Sarah Blum and Grey Street, 5th in Novice Rider; and Anna Fogerty and Dunlavin Fox, 2nd in Junior Open Novice.

Talk to everyone soon,


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What a week!

A great week in Aiken.  We went to Pine Top with my crew and the horses were wonderful.  R Star led  onto the cross country in her first recognized Training.  They ran the cross country at 470 meters per minute and I did not rush her and she came in 5 seconds late which earned her a 3rd place.  I was thrilled, another beautiful baby by Heavenly Star, going out and doing her job!

Nevaeh was not to be outdone and in a very competitive division she ended up 5th after a 3rd place at Sporting Days.  She is just jumping great and has matured into  a lovely horse.

Our 3rd horse Vegas Run is continuing to show promise and he put into a competitive dressage test and had a rail in show jumping and some time cross country and was a lot of fun.

The sale horses continue to progress and we are getting three more in this week from Texas, one a connemara cross who goes training, an Irish mare that has gone Prelim and a great prospect.  Oh and we sold a couple, both to Kentucky, one to Hannah Williams and Kelly Taylor, great success to both of them.

We hope your week is going swimmingly as well and if you are in town please come by and say hello....we are off to Paradise this weekend and Gillian and her Dad are coming down along with Neal...a great weekend to be sure....

Talk soon,


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our Week In Aiken

The week in Aiken has gone by fast.  Our not so great month of January continued with the hopeful easy trip to Aiken nothing but that as Tag coliced again on the way down.  We were 2.5 hours from NC State at that point and determined that was our best option.

The staff was great and Dr Edwards and her crew are wonderful people and vets.  Tag had multiple treatments of tubing with fluids and IV fluids, and lots of walking...Laura, my wonderful groom, had headed down with our commercial shipper with 6 horses and arrived there safely, unfortunately by herself, and got those horses settled Saturday evening at Jumping Branch Farm.  Bridget Hutchens, who was helping us for the trip, Neal, and I spent Saturday night in Raleigh with Tag and the other 5 horses.

Sunday morning, Tag was much better, and it was determined he could leave...that's when we noticed our flat tire...yet another challenge.  The vets suggested that we stop every 2 hours for the rest of our trip and give Tag a walk, so he got to meet some interesting people and check out some hotels...here he is at Howard Johnsons...
Tag Grazing at Howard Johnson in Lumberton, NC

The horses started work on Monday and Tuesday and, as were expected, wild!  Most of them spent some time on  the lunge so I would not get bucked off, although I did hit the ground once, ouch!

All of the horses have been good, and the weather has been spectacular.
Laura riding Nevaeh and ponying Vegas

We've started showing horses for sale as well and met with Emily, Missy, and Kelly this weekend, and are hopeful we can find them a quality mount.

Also we went to our first event, taking Nevaeh and Vegas to Sporting Days.  Nevaeh was very good except for one playful moment in the canter, and she jumped a double clear to finish a good 3rd in a very competitive division.  Vegas found himself a bit distracted and cried during his test, but did keep his head down and was 6th in dressage...he continued being a bit distracted in the jumping phases and had a rail in show jumping; however he jumped clean around his first recognized training cross country with just a little time to finish 8th.

We also were able to see lots of our friends and old horses at the event and are proud to post some of their results: Erin Renfroe and Porter Creek, 1st in Novice , Kerry Bosman and Mango Bay 8th in the Open Preliminary, Tiffany Cunningham and Samson, 5th in the Open Training, Marci Greene and Mr Parks 6th in Training, Laurie Bigelow and Tullamore, aka Crack On Connie, winners in the Beginner Novice.  Wow, what a great day!

We look forward to seeing more old friends and catching you up on all or activities..stay well and remember its February....yippee!!

All the best,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

On Our Way

Good morning to All,

We are up feeding this morning, to get on our way to Aiken.  It will be quite an adventure as we have to stop every few hours to feed Tag his Equine Senior, since he still is on no hay.  In hour 7 we also will take him for a graze...talk about high maintenance, but he is so worth it.

His staples have come out of his belly and his incision looks great.  Another two weeks and he can go out again....yippee, we will all be happy for him then.

The rest of the horses are looking forward to some lovely turnout in Aiken as we have been inundated with wet weather at home and so turnout has been limited.

Hope, Nev and Vegas are all getting ready for their debuts next weekend and everyone will get some time jumping cross country.  The first cross country school can always be a bit exciting and with 16 horses in work in Aiken I am sure there will be some good comedy to report.

Hope all of you are doing well, look forward to talking to you soon, and feel free to call me on my mobile as I will be driving probably for the next 12 hours...looking forward to seeing you there.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter has arrived


As many of you know we have been blessed by a very mild Winter in the Mid Atlantic and last night we got our first real snow.  It is pretty but it does not make it easy...

Neal, my wonderful husband, has been picking up my slack since I had a fall earlier in the week and today I finally was able to be more helpful than not, so I am glad for that.  The timing of the snow forced us inside to work on the less exciting but just as important side of the business, taxes, and other miscelaneous paperwork.

This week has been great one for business as one of our favorite horses Older and Wiser has been leased to a student of Erin Sylvester, Olivia Saber to teach her the ropes of eventing and competing and Quick Pick lived up to his name as the first person to see him, Leslie Favre and her daughter Madeleine, quickly picked him up.

We wish the best for both families and look forward to hearing about all the adventures.

We are looking forward to heading down to Aiken next weekend and to seeing all of our friends and clients down there and to get the horses out and about.  It should be a fantastic Winter season.

Talk soon,


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Comings, Goings and An Update

Hello To All,

I had promised to do this more religiously so at the end of week 1 of 2012 I am  writing...better late than never.

We have had a whirlwind around here getting ready, me having a cold, and a root canal, and selling and leasing some horses.  2011 was a great year for us, selling or leasing 49 horses for our clients.  We look forward to helping more clients both selling and purchasing this year and making good matches...

We are also looking for a big competition year, we had hoped to start Tag out at Advanced in February but that will need to wait until Summer, more on this later.  Hope, Nevaeh and Vegas are all going great and I plan on moving all up to Prelim in the Winter/Spring seasons.  They all seem to be enjoying the work and the exercises and I look forward to seeing how things progress with them.
Nevaeh - Ready for Prelim

We also have a full barn of sale horses now, with 3rd level dressage horses and event horses through Prelim and some really nice young prospects so let me know if you have a need.

On an unfortunate note, Tag had to have colic surgery on Friday.  He was uncomfortable and it was deemed necessary to go in and see what was wrong.  Luckily not much, and he had his colon rearranged and is headed home tomorrow.  So he will be enjoying some quiet time with me on the end of a rope leading and grazing him.  He should be back in full swing by April.  I am very glad to have him healthy and happy and can't wait to see his head looking at me over his stall door soon.

This will delay our start in Aiken to the beginning of February as Tag will need to be comfortable to travel.  I want to thank Dr Chris Foster and everyone at UPenn's New Bolton Center for their outstanding work.

So here is to wishing the good weather in Pennsylvania continues.

I hope everyone else is well and their horses are looking great.  I look forward to seeing everyone soon.

See you soon,
Courtney and the crew