Huntington 2016 – 3 Phases 3 Horses 3 Ways

At Huntington Farm this past weekend, I competed three distinctly different horses all at different points within their development.

Monty and Susie ran Novice on Saturday. This was Monty’s 2nd event, and first ride at Novice. He was notably calmer and more settled into the routine at the horse trials. Read the rest of this entry »

The Amateur in All of Us

It’s been 19 years since I last cruised around an Intermediate course. There was an attempt a few years ago, but that ended with the big R. And a long drive home.

Hacking the "new Intermediate horse" at home.

Hacking the “new Intermediate horse” at home.

This has been a long time coming. Garth was ready for the move-up last year, but his injury delayed the progression. Deszi, hot to show she was just as capable, covered ground at substantial preliminaries and FEI events along the East Coast, proving herself eager to conquer the Big I. So the entries were mailed to The Horse Park of NJ. Read the rest of this entry »

Tiny Terrors at GMHA

Between my three horses, I’m working opposite ends of the spectrum. Garth and Deszi are prepping to move up to intermediate soon, and Monty just completed his firs beginner novice at GMHA. Given “Big Kid’s” quick progression to preliminary, it has been easy to forget where they started. And sometimes, it’s hard to believe. Fortunately, a young horse in the string is a fabulous way to stay connected to the entire process.

Monty at a schooling event earlier this season Nick Goldsmith Photography

Monty at a schooling event earlier this season
Nick Goldsmith Photography

Isn’t it crazy how quickly we forget where we came from? The tiny moments of small steps can quickly become shadowed by the triumphs and excitement of progression. I find that I forget how intimidating the lower levels can be on a green horse. And I absolutely, 100% sympathize with my students. Monty has not only helped me in my way of working with young horses, but also in working with my students. As Garth and Deszi progress, I am pushing myself to widen the max oxers in order to strike a nervous chord within my riding, and it is easy to forget what many of my ladies feel as they start their course over their “max oxers”. But on Monty, all you have to do is show me a baby fence with a flower box. Beginner novice is freaking terrifying! Read the rest of this entry »

Virginia Haze

What a weekend at the Virginia Equestrian Center. Garth and Deszi were entered in the CCI*, as a stepping stone to qualifications to greater goals later this season. But, when it comes to horses, plans often do not pan out.

Galloping toward the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Galloping toward the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As the unassuming TB mare has quickly exceeded the playboy Hanoverian, the weekend took a turn and became all about Garth. Read the rest of this entry »

Fair Hill & Heraclitus

The only constant is change. – Heraclitus

When I am frustrated, upset or confused, I remind myself of this quote. It settles me, reminds me that life and all the wondrous experiences are ever changing. And, that we are ever changing. If we do not accept this one true constant, we create resistant. And who wants to resist life?

I do. There are times I want to resist life. Read the rest of this entry »

Lessons Learned at Pine Top

"Perfect practice makes perfect." - George Morris

“Perfect practice makes perfect.” – George Morris

Every day with horses presents an opportunity: to learn, to listen, to recognize. Sometimes our horses hint. Sometimes they guide. And sometimes they offer us the chance to answer the question ourselves through their guidance. My question revolved around the move-up to Intermediate. Are we ready? Read the rest of this entry »

Piper’s Full Gallop

Full Gallop Horse Trials has a reputation. Their cross country course may be the best venue in all of Aiken: the fences are in great condition, their terrain offers diverse elements for every level, and the questions are continuously updated. My favorite part of this facility is the diversity: playing over technical questions that allow a welcoming tie-in to another technical element of different level. This horse trials also has the reputation of being the “Olympics” for the lower levels, because the courses incorporate every question possible for the level. Pam Payson’s girl, Piper Super Cruiser, completed her second USEA competition here. Read the rest of this entry »

Sporting Days – Big to Baby

Our 2016 season is well underway! And, the event served as a maiden voyage for Piper Super Cruiser!

Garth and Deszi opened in the Preliminary divisions, giving a solid first run. Both had disappointing dressage scores: Garth was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode and earned the comment of “Could be more accepting at times – well handled.” Roger reminded me that it has been nearly one year since he last saw the big white box. Deszi was a gem, a true gem, and the judge noted “Outstanding turnout” on our test. Read the rest of this entry »

The Name Game

What’s in a name? Symbolism, history, simplicity?

While my sister (aspiring novelist), Chrissy, was visiting for dinner, we came to an agreement: When she makes it “big” as an author, she will become one of my owners. But, there is one caveat – she gets to name the horse. Moments later, we were laughing hysterically at the table.

Nearly everyone recognizes the very posh, eloquent pronunciation across the loud speaker of Piers Owen. Reminiscent of her studies at Oxford in a brilliant impersonation of the handsome British accent, Chrissy practiced announcing my progression around cross-country on her various horses: Read the rest of this entry »

Things We Love – Part 4

In this product review, we discuss full seat breeches – the affordable and the pricey.

My mother calls the horse industry “white collar gambling”. I like to call it “blue collar luxury”. We work tiresome hours, and this lifestyle is hard: hard on our bodies, sometimes on our hearts, and hard on our equipment and clothing. Of all my layers, jackets, shirts, and breeches, it is my pants that take the beating time and time again.

The breeches go on at 6am. 16 hours later, they are replaced with pajamas. During these hours, they are exposed to mucking stalls, water buckets sloshing against them, blankets and buckles rubbing and catching the fabric, and leather – lots and lots of leather. Regardless of what they come into contact with, my clothing must present a professional appearance throughout the day. Over the years, I have bought the cheap, the modestly priced, and – when I have a great coupon – the pricier brands of breeches. I quickly learned which ones hold up and are worth the price.

Here are my thoughts on the Every Day Awesome Full Seat, and the Full Seat Treat: Read the rest of this entry »

Sagmae Sentinel Feed Pad Perfect Crowe Fence and Deck Supply Hit Air Thumper George Barker Hoof Pix Photography
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