November/December 2006
 
Click here for a recap of my time at Washington International Horse Show last month. As always, it was a great show with stellar shopping (I spent way too much money!), and I got to spend some time with my "bestest" horse buddy, Jana of Anyplace Farm.

I posted my recap on the Chronicle of the Horse Bulletin Board and Catie of Junior Equestrian.com, an online site dedicated to the junior exhibitor, contacted me about posting it on their site. I was happy to oblige, and I also sent her a copy of my review of Gary Zook's clinic for use in a future issue.

At the farm, we took the last two months of 2006, to regroup and prepare for the upcoming year. We've had a very mild winter for the most part, so we've been able to get in a lot of good riding and lesson time.

I also put the finishing touches on Trixi, who went home in early December. It was a 180-degree transformation from the time she came to the time she went home. She was always a loving, kind mare, but was nervous, anxious and skittish. By the time she went home, however, she was relaxed, well mannered and much less flappable. She loved having a job, was eager to learn, and curious about new adventures. I miss her, as I get attached to all of the horses that come through my barn, but I get updates from her owners frequently, and I hope to see them out at the shows soon.

As the year comes to a close, it is always good to look back and be grateful for what we have, proud of what we have accomplished, mindful of that which we would like improve upon, and be open to the changes that lay ahead of us. As such, we are eagerly look to forward to the upcoming year and further into our future...



October 2006
 
With the cooler weather creeping in, we were up for some motivation, so we headed up to Persimmon Tree Farm to participate as auditors in a George Morris clinic. We attended last year as well, but due to inclement weather, that clinic was forced indoors. We were pleased this year that the weather cooperated and the clinic was held outdoors.




Simone came along this year, and she even pitched in her own money to make it happen. She paid very close attention and took notes judiciously. She brought along her copy of A Very Young Rider to get George Morris' autograph. She waited patiently until the last session was completed and then walked up to him and requested his signature. He was so enthralled with the book, and stood with her speaking and reminiscing about the "good'ole days" as he called them. It really made her day, possibly her year. She couldn’t stop smiling on the way home.

The following week, Bryan and I went to Charlottesville for some R&R. We had a great time together, visiting Monticello , Ash Lawn, and Montpelier, as well as Skyline Drive and several antique shops.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was our visit to Montpelier . It is currently undergoing a considerable restoration as the home's final occupant, Mrs. Marion DuPont-Scott, requested in her will that the home be restored to be as it was during the presidency of James Madison.

As Mrs. DuPont-Scott was also a great patron of fox hunting, steeplechasing and thoroughbreds, she
  co-founded the annual
Montpelier Hunt Races, which began in 1924 and continue today. She also, posthumously, donated 200 acres to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, located adjacent to Montpelier. We were running late for dinner reservations, and didn't get a chance to visit TRF, so I am looking forward to returning soon.

Though it is nice to get away, I was happy to return home to the horses and dogs. As this season is winding down, we are already spenting our energy on gearing up for next year. We have squeezed in lessons as often as possible, and everyone is progressing very well.

We also attended a Gary Zook clinic at Bridlewood Farm in Chesapeake , VA. It was a bit overcast and rainy, but an excellent clinic none the less. Gary was extremely personable, but a taskmaster, and really got the most out of each rider with delicate, but precise instruction. Click here for my notes on the clinic.

We will be heading up to the Washington Internation Horse Show the last weekend of the month. We are looking forward to seeing the ponies, equitation finals, AHJF Classic and Grand Prix. I'll be sure to take pictures and report back next month.



September 2006
 
I was supposed to judge at Topline Horse Center on the first weekend of the month. However, since the month started off with a major storm, the show was moved to Labor Day, September 4 th. For a holiday weekend, there was a nice turnout of both horses and riders. Pauline's ring held up beautifully despite all the recent rain, and rode very well. As always, Pauline and Jim did a great job, and were very accommodating to many of the exhibitors by adjusting the class schedule so more exhibitors were able to attend.
 
The rest of the month, we were plagued by bad weather, scheduling conflicts and minor health issues for both horses and riders. Poor little Sugar Bear must have caught a virus from her recent travels to show, as she acutely spiked a fever without any other symptoms such as nasal discharge, coughing or enlarged lymph nodes. She recovered quickly but we wanted to keep her home for a few weeks as not stress her system. Luckily, none of the other horses had any similar symptoms, but Terumi, Simone and I did pass around a cold. I can’t remember who started. In-between bouts of the cold, however, we got in some great lessons and fun trail rides.



August 2006
 
I wanted to start with another picture of my trip to Churchill Downs in early June. I took it with my camera phone and kept forgetting to download it. It is of the lawn jockey that gets repainted every year with the silks of the winning jockey and name of the Kentucky Derby winner, which of course this year was Barbaro.

During the last weekend of July, I attended a Greg Best clinic at the Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills, Maryland. My good friend, Jana of Anyplace Farm joined me. I arrived in Northern Virginia around 8am, and we headed over to a great new restaurant that was nearby. It shall remain nameless, however, in hopes that when I visit next, I won't have to wait
two hours to be seated. It was so wonderful though, I doubt that will change.

We made our way to MD easily, and arrived just as the 2 nd session of the day was starting. Greg focused on keeping things simple; working on straightness, riding forward, keeping horses on the outside rein, and maintaining balance of both horse and rider on the flat and over fences. It is always great to see and learn from one of the greats!! During the lunch break, Jana and I spoke with Greg. He was extremely pleasant and polite and we are hoping to visit him in New Zealand in Jan/Feb 2008.

On Sunday, I accompanied Jana to the barn, where I got to meet her horse, Justin for the first time. I experienced another first while I watched Jana ride Justin. I saw a child riding a llama. She was out with her parents on a trail ride. They had tried several ponies but they all took off with her, so they tried the llama, and the rest is history. It was amazing!

Once Jana was finished riding Justin, and she had braided another horse, Topper, we were off to Summerduck Run Farm to catch some horseshow action. Lori, his owner, and owner of the farm where
Justin is stabled, showed Topper over fences. And as the rain came, Jana hacked him very nicely and came away with a fourth place ribbon. It was a great weekend and I truly appreciated Jana's company and hospitality

The first weekend of August, we showed at Carlton. Simone and Sugar put their best foot forward in WT, but had a bit of a bobble in one class, so they had to hack off for the championship. They pulled it together and came home with the tri-color. Terumi and Alley schooled well in the morning but as the end of the day neared, the wind picked up and Terumi's new contacts were trying to fly out of her eyes while jumping her courses. This would have been unnerving for even the most seasoned competitor. Add inexperience together with total blindness and you can only imagine the result. So we pulled up, and called it a day.

The following weekend, we showed at Stonehouse Stables. Simone and Sugar got to show first thing and they did great. They were reserve champion in WT. I had an out of state houseguest, so we weren't able to stay all day, and since there was a large tunout and the day was already running long, we decided to scratch Alley and Terumi.

I finished out the month by judging the last two weekends. First, I was at Leigh Ann Lee's Whippoorwill Farm in Shacklefords , VA in the Pony Ring. Unfortunately, Leigh Ann was a bit under the weather, but she had everything prepared in advance and had excellent support

staff that kept the day running smoothly for everyone. It was a beautiful day and there was a nice, quality turnout. I enjoyed the ponies tremendously, as I grew so quickly as a young person, I never really had the opportunity to enjoy my "pony days."

I was at Victoria Skelding's LinMorland Farm the last weekend in August, where I judged in Ring 2. Again, the weather was perfect for horse showing which tends to make for a bigger show. In addition, Victoria in known for hosting well executed shows with top notch judges, announcers, support staff and a great concession, so I wasn’t surprised that the turnout was very large and impressive. The short stirrup, WT, and pleasure divisions were highly contested and a pleasure to judge. I enjoy judging the "newbies" as they are just so excited to get out there and show their respective equine partners. It's refreshing to see such big smiles, happiness and the joy that they get from riding and showing.





July 2006

As they say, the third time's the charm. My judging debut at Topline Horse Center on July 1st for one of their VHSA Associate shows went off with out a hitch. As a matter of fact, it was an absolutely gorgeous day, and the show had a very nice, larger than expected turnout. Pauline and Jim did a fantastic job setting up for the show, as well as keeping the show running smoothly all day long. We finished up mid-afternoon, giving me time to do some shopping at their tack shop. Before I left, Pauline requested I judge another show later in the season, and I was happy to oblige. Hope to see everyone out on September 9th!

Luckily it was a long holiday weekend because I had a lot to fit in. Between lessons, riding my training horses, and showing sales horses to potential clients, I was too exhausted to join in any 4th of July festivities.

The next weekend we headed back to Carlton Farms on Saturday for their next show. As always, Sissy has everything very well organized and the show got off to a smooth start. It was a long day though, as Simone showed first and Terumi's divisions were at the very end of the show.

Simone got us started on the right foot by winning all three of her WT classes and bringing home the tri-colors once again. Simone really put down three very nice flat classes and improved on her previous showing a few weeks earlier. I think with one or two more shows under their belt, Simone
and Sugar Bear will be ready to make the jump to Short Stirrup and Pony Pleasure. There's not rush though, so we will take it one step at a time.

Terumi and Alley used Green Hunter to warm up over fences, but sat out the flat to conserve their energy for the Adult Amateur Hunter. They got called back third for their second Green Hunter round out of 10+. With two firsts over fences and a fourth in the under saddle, Terumi and Alley were Champion in Adult Amateur Hunter. Terumi and Alley are still forging and honing their partnership as they just hit their one-year anniversary at the end of June. I am so proud of how far they have come, and am excited about seeing what the future has in store for them.


The next week was spent getting Delilah ready to go to her new home. The vetting went very smoothly, and after I got all the paperwork in order, she was off to her new home first thing Saturday morning. It's difficult to see her go, but I rest easy at night knowing that it is a great match and Delilah's future is bright and will be full of great success with her new owner.

That same weekend, Terumi, Simone and I headed off to Deep Run where they were hosting a CHSA show. We were able to see the Children's Medal, Pony Medal, Children's Pony and Pre-Children's/Adult Divisions. Deep Run has such beautiful show grounds; we enjoyed watching from the grandstands. We also were able to get over to Champion Saddlery's Annual Tent Sale in Doswell, VA. Who can pass up a sale at a tack shop!?!

Summer was definitely here during the following week along with the typically Virginia summer humidity. We hung tough though, and rode the horses either early in the morning or late in the evenings. I worked Trixi and Colby several days, and Terumi and Simone each had two private lessons to get ready for our next show at Breckenridge Manor. Unfortunately, as the weekend got near, Terumi wasn't feeling well, and she only felt worse by Friday. So, we decided to not show on Saturday. Since it was still too wet an rainy to ride at home, Simone and I decided to at least take a ride out to Breckenridge Manor to watch the show. There was a nice turnout, and we had a very nice day. It was just overcast enough with a slight breeze to make it comfortable.

Since it was quite wet due to the contiued rain, I spent the rest of the weekend grooming and clipping horses, as well as finishing up some landscaping (between showers) that I had been putting off. I'm looking forward to next weekend as I will be catching up with my good friend, Jana from Any Place Farm, and going to a Greg Best Clinic in Baltimore, MD. I will be sure to give a full report upon my return.




June 2006

Well, I was off and running from the very beginning of June. I headed to Louisville, KY for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine annual conference for the first week of June. It is jammed packed with meetings, talks, forums and consensus from beginning to end. Though I did squeeze in a little of fun also. I got to see Churchill Downs and have my first mint julep. Unfortunately, we missed the last behind the scenes track tour, but just being there and getting the general tour was exciting, even in
the rain.

The following weekend we headed to Carlton Farms in Williamsburg for their 3rd show of the Greensprings Hunter Series. It was such a beautiful day, Terumi's husband and parents joined in the fun and excitement.


Terumi and Alley made their 2'6" debut and held their own in Green Hunter, getting a fourth in one of their over fences classes. She was one of the few non-pros in the class. With a few courses under her belt, she went back in and put in two stellar trips in the Adult Amateur class, and was reserve champion, winning the blue on her second course.

Simone and Sugar were an adorable pair as always, as well as an extremely well turned out pain. There were a few bobbles here and there,
but they came out on top as division Champion with 2 first and a third. This was their fourth show together as a team, so all in all, they are doing very well done.

The next day, Terumi, Simone and I went to Smithfield, VA to meet with Elizabeth Grogan of Pine Creek Welsh Pony Stud to see several of her Welsh ponies. Her Welsh Section B stallion, Dyblu Dilly Dandy, is lovely, as well as several of her younger stock.

Simone rode her 4 yr old Section B mare, Dolly, and did wonderfully even though the
pony is very green. Dolly's disposition is superb though, so she will come along very quickly with the correct guidance. I expect to see her in the winner's circle soon. As I watched Simone mount this pony so boldly and motor her around, I realized I had found my future catch rider.


The next weekend, I headed to Greensboro, NC to coach Courtney and Caroline at the Sedgefield Showgrounds. They brought three of their horses, Cheina, Jillian and Robinhood. This was Cheina's first show, and she handled it like an old pro. She showed in Special Hunter, which is huge, 25+ horses on both Saturday and Sunday. In some very good company, she got several very respectable ribbons, including a first and second on the flat.

Courtney was busy, as she also showed Jillian in Adult Amateur Hunter, as well as the Adult Equitation over fences. They laid down several quality rounds and placed well in their classes. Jillian is such a truly gifted and beautiful jumper, it looks so effortless and picture perfect.

Caroline brought her power pony, Robinhood and spent the entire weekend in the jumper ring. They got a first and second in pony jumpers on Saturday and then won both pony jumpers classes on Sunday, and were 5th in the $500 Children's/Adult Classic on Saturday.

It was such a pleasure to work with the girls and their horses, as well get a chance to catch up some as well. I am so proud of the horseman they have become and continue to become. This is what it is all about... turning out horseman - not just blue ribbon winners, but true horseman. I look forward to the continued success of both girls and their horses.

The following weekend I was scheduled to make my judging debut at Whippoorwill Farm in Shacklefords, VA but unfortunately, it was cancelled due to inclement weather. Luckily though, it held off here at the Brydelle Farm, and Shawn and Shelly were able to visit their girl, Trixi on Sunday. I enjoyed seeing them again but not as much as Trixi did. She heard her "mommy's" voice and immediately perked her ears up as if to say, "I know that lady!" It was so cute!

Before I finish up, I would like to give a shout out to Shayna of Fairfax, VA and her mother, Lisa. A few months ago, I saw a request by Lisa asking for assistance with getting Shayna outfitted for some

upcoming and much anticipated horseback riding lessons. I quickly spread the news and started trying to gather together anything I could scrounge up. I am happy to report that Shayna loves riding, and is now working on 2-point position and posting. She frequently rides Jezzabelle and loves every minute of it. Shayna is entering the third grade next year. If you have any unused riding apparel that you might be able to donate to Lisa and Shayna, please contact me.




May 2006

April showers bring May flowers! At least that is what I kept telling myself, as it rained, rained, and rained some more at the end of April. Luckily, I was able to keep my learner judging engagement with Mrs. Sue Isner at ECETC due to their huge indoor. I truly enjoyed catching up with Mrs. Isner, as well as getting a chance to pick her brain on the ins and outs of hunter and equitation judging. She is an excellent horsewoman with unlimited amounts of experience and knowledge to impart on those of us who are wet behind the ears, so to speak. 

We weren't as lucky the following weekend as the downpours forced Topline Horse Center to cancel their VHSA Associate show, so my judging debut was rescheduled to later in the summer. I have, however, also been scheduled to judge a TCHSA show at Whippoorwill Farm in Shacklefords, VA in June. 

Due to scheduling conflicts, we were unable to attend Mark's show at Foxchase the last weekend of April, but we headed down to Suffolk on May 7 th to Aquibob for a SHSA show. Terumi and Alley had a very good show, taking home Champion in Novice Eq O/F and Reserve in Green Hunter. I would like to give a nice shout out to Clara and Magic. They had a stellar day and laid down beautiful trips. Magic is young but you won't know it by watching him go, with Clara in the irons, he looks like an old pro.

Unfortunately, there were a few hold ups in the afternoon that caused the show to run rather long, so we decide to call it a day, and head out before Simone got to show. Sugar did very well schooling in the morning and during the afternoon break. I think with a few more shows under their belt, this pair is going to be hard to beat. 

Simone got her next chance to show at Hollow Oak Farm in Nokesville, VA on May 21 st. This is the old stomping ground for a very good friend of mine, Jana DiCarlo of Anyplace Farm, so she met up with us there and played the role of cheerleader and photographer. It was great catching up with her, and she brought me a DVD of the 2004 Pessoa Big EQ Finals, and an excellent book, A Sunday Horse.

Simone and Sugar were stellar in Pre-Short Stirrup. It was a fairly large class with 9 or 10 entries, and they were Reserve Champion, with two 2nds and a one 3 rd. This is only their third show together, so not bad at all. They have steadily improved and moved up in the placing each time out.

Terumi and Alley were up a few divisions later in Student Hunter. Despite going off course on their second trip, they ended up being Champion, being first on their first trip as well as winning the under saddle class helped clinch the overall win... along with a little luck in the coin toss for the tie breaker. That's horse showing for you. 

The folks at Hollow Oak were fabulous. Everyone was courtesy, helpful and very friendly. And to top it all off, there were excellent raffle prizes, delicious smoothies and snacks at the concession stand, as
well as generous payouts in many of the classes. A welcome surprise for Terumi, since she almost broke even! We are planning on returning for the August show.

So as we wind up the month of May and look toward the rest of the summer, we are off on a good start to our season. Terumi has been Champion or Reserve every time out, and Simone is improving by leaps and bounds, she will be nipping at her mom's heels in the points race in no time.





April 2006

We rounded out the month of March with a flurry of traffic at the barn. Several potential buyers came out to see some of our sale horses. I always enjoy meeting new people and assisting them in making the right choices based on their riding level, experience, and their future desires and expectations for their new mount. It is like a puzzle... No one horse is right for every rider; you have to find the two pieces that fit together and you can't force them.

We also welcomed our newest addition to the farm (at least for the next few months), Trixi, a lovely 4 yr old Appendix QH mare. It was wonderful seeing Trixi's owners, Shawn and Shelly again. They
are the nicest people, and boy do they love their girl! I am excited about getting Trixi going under saddle for them. They are going to have so much fun with her for the rest of their lives.

There is always excitement surrounding a new edition. The horses knew something was up when the trailer pulled in. It took some time and a lot of patience, but we got Trixi settled in, and with some juggling of horses, she even made a new friend on the first day.

The following weekend, we headed back to Thunderhorse Farm to participate in their second show of the 2006 Thunderhorse Farm Show Series. It was a beautiful day, sunny with the occasional breeze, perfect for horse showing. Terumi and Alley did very well to start us off. They were champion in Green Hunter and Reserve Champion in AA/Junior Hunter. The latter division was much more competitive since it was combined, but they kept their cool and laid down a stellar second trip that was unbeatable.

When they started showing last year, Terumi quickly found that the under saddle classes look easier than they really are. However, with several shows now under their belts, their experience really shows. They are improving more and more, each time out.


The morning ran long, but is was very smooth and steady. They got off to a bit of a late start, but as the day rolled on, so did the trailers, a very nice turnout in all the divisions. It also gave our future Big EQ star a moment to examine the hunter courses.

Simone showed shortly after the afternoon break. Sugar was more relaxed but still calling a bit for Alley. None the less, they did great in Hunter Pleasure – Novice Rider, bringing home a 3 rd, 4 th and 2 nd, a great improvement on their last show. They had a one break of gait in each of the first two classes that kept them low in the ribbons, but turned it around in the third, and moved up nicely.

At just 10 years old, Simone is such a wonderful well-rounded horseman. She does such a nice job turning out herself and her pony. It really goes to show the pride and respect she has for her pony, herself, me, her parents and family, as well as the judge and show management. I am so lucky.

With a bit of break in our show schedule, I headed to Georgia to see an old horse buddy of mine, who I hadn't seen in many years. We both live very busy lives. She is practicing veterinary medicine at a very demanding small animal practice in Augusta, and is currently settling into her new home. It was great to catch up and spend some quiet time with her. We go way back…to the days of riding all day, sleeping at the barn or at one another's houses, having poltice fights, dunking one another in the water troughs... the good ol' days. I hope to get to visit her again soon.

On the way back to Virginia, I stopped in Charleston, SC to see Courtney (one of my old students) who is rounding out her senior year at College of Charleston. She just finished up her equestrian career there with a fourth place finish at Regionals, helping the team secure the overall Regional Championship for the second year in a row. She has been on the team since her freshman year and was one of the most consistent point contributors over the last four years.

Courtney and I headed out to see Cheina a daughter of Feiner Stern. Cheina is in her 5 yr old year and doing very well under Courtney's guidance. We also had a great lesson, long as usual, but very productive and enjoyable for both horse and rider. I am looking forward to seeing how this pair progresses over the next few months.

Then I headed to Raleigh, to catch up with Courtney's younger sister, Caroline. Since I got in late, we started first thing the next morning. By 10am, Caroline had ridden in two lessons with me, one on Jillian, a wonderful hunter gelding, and the other on her power pony, Robin. Caroline has blossomed into a wonderful rider, gaining lots of experience catch riding for Meredith at Pepperwood Farm. I can still remember Caroline riding Blackie, a very cute but, a bit devilish medium pony at Kanata Stables, where I first met the girls and their parents. Boy, those days are long gone; she has matured into an excellent rider with beautiful form.

Finally, I headed home. Not much time to relax though... I will be a learn judging with Mrs. Sue Isner at East Coast Equestrian Training Center, Inc in Va Beach this coming weekend. Then will be judging at Topline Horse Center in Yorktown, VA the following weekend. To round out the month, I hope to head up to Middleburg for the first Mark Wonderly show held at Foxchase Farm this season. Check back to find out how we did!




March 2006

Everyone has spring fever, especially since we had a peek of spring during the second weekend of March. We took full advantage of that beautiful week with some spring cleaning, landscaping, lots of riding, lessons, and some much needed bathing and clipping for the horses. We were also able to take

Simone and her pony, Sugar Bear on their first trail ride.

We had a great time, and the horses really enjoyed themselves. Delilah, with me astride, eagerly led the way. Alley and Terumi were in a close second, and Simone and Sugar brought up the rear in a leisurely fashion.

Also this month, it was with much pleasure and excitement that Bryan and I delivered Katy to her new owners, Sylva and Tom of Beaverdam , VA. She loaded like a pro and trailered beautifully, then quickly settled in and behaved extremely well for her
vetting. The vet was impressed with her conformation, physical exam, and demeanor. She passed with flying colors. As we pulled away, she had already made a new friend and was enjoying the fresh grass in her new pasture. I am looking forward to getting lots of pictures and updates from Sylva and Tom about the newest addition to their family.

The following weekend, we headed to Stonehouse Stables for the CNU Benefit Horse Show with Alley and Sugar Bear. Being that it was the first time out this season, and the fact that it was a very cold, windy and icy day, all the riders were a bit nervous and the horses a little excited and fresh. Simone and Sugar were up first in the Walk Trot Division. Simone really hung tough, and rode very well despite her pony's shenanigans. They both were turned out beautifully, with most of the pony's braids done by Simone herself. She got just a tiny bit of help from her mother and myself. That's a lot of mane for such small hands.

Terumi and Alley were up next in the very large and competitive Special Hunter division. This is their first season showing over a full course of jumps together, so there are still a few kinks to work out. They finished out of the ribbons, but all in all, they put in a good showing and I was very proud of them.

I must say, the CNU Equestrian Team put on a wonderful show. They were very well prepared and the show was executed in a very fun and friendly atmosphere. It was a great way to start the season, especially since I had the pleasure of catching up the farm's owner, Tara Best, who is an old acquaintance. Her farm is beautiful and the barn was immaculate.

Once we got the horses cooled off, watered and wrapped, we headed home because we had another long day ahead of us on Sunday. We would be heading to Wendy Snyder's farm,
Thunderhorse Farm in Windsor , VA, to help SHSA start their season.

After returning from Stonhouse Stables, I still had enough time and daylight to ride Colby, my young TBX gelding. He is such a wonderful horse and his retraining is going well. After I obtained him, I gave him both the fall and winter off, so he could grow and rehabilitate, both mentally and physically. I find myself getting more and more attached as each day goes by. He is going to make some lucky person a wonderful partner. He is by a wonderful stallion, Skipa Lucky Spring, who is owned by my good friend and client, Karen Whitfield.

We were back in action bright and early Sunday morning, and the first ones to arrive at Thunderhorse Farm. It was a beautiful morning, and seemed like it was going to be less windy than the previous day, but much to our dismay, it didn't turn out that way.

I think, with everyone exhausted from the previous day of showing, both the horses and riders were much more relaxed and on their game. Terumi and Alley were champion, with a fifth and first over fences and first on the flat in Novice Equitation O/F. A few bobbles in the first round kept them low in the ribbons, but she made the appropriate changes in her second round, and had a stellar trip.

There was a very large turnout at the show, and after much waiting, we decided to call it a day and head home when, by 3pm, they hadn't even had the lunch break. We enjoyed the show and met several friendly exhibitors and spectators. We are looking forward to participating again on the SHSA circuit. Simone was disappointed that she and Sugar didn't get to show, but there are plenty more shows ahead of those two.




January/February 2006

Much of the beginning of 2006 was wet, cold and dreary. But, we tried to make the most of it by getting in some riding and lesson as the weather permitted.


Despite the weather, we had several prospective buyers out to see some of the sale horses, as well as, Shelly and Shawn of Virginia Beach came out to see the farm. They will be sending their beautiful 4 yr old Appendix Mare, Trixi for training in late March. They are very nice and we are all excited to see their mare get started under saddle.

Simone has been working very hard with her new pony, Sugar Bear. It was a little bumpy in the beginning. They had to have a few "meeting of the minds" between them, as Sugar can be a little hard headed at times. But with patience, determination, great equitation, and practice, Simone has gained the upper hand, and they are progressing very nicely.

Luckily, the days are slowly getting longer and we are all eagerly anticipating spring's arrival.




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