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, . He ended up 6th though so not a bad weekend.
All Photos in this post are from Mark Walter Lehner -
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 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,