Saturday, March 3, 2007

Preparing for Red Hills

Hello everyone!

Well, thus far the season has been quite demanding, yet lucrative in the area of ribbons and awards for all my horses. Next weekend, four of my guys are getting prepared for Red Hills. The event is held in Tallahassee and is known for its spooky dressage rings, numerous crowds, difficult cross country courses, and intense show jumping. All in all, it's my favorite event. As I write, I am actually in VA (Crozier) teaching clinics at James River Riding School, Dollar's old home, and the Manakin Sabot Riding Center. So far, the clinics have been a success and everyone has left with smiles on their faces. Cyndi (my groom) is back in Ocala getting all the boys ready for next weekend, hour long trot sets and endless gallop intervals, as well as getting soaked herself...the weather, as I have heard, has been pretty miserable. She has been such a help to me this year. It is so nice to be able to leave a barn full of horses with someone you trust so sincerely. She is not only a groom and a student, but a friend and one of the most dependable people I have ever had the honor to work with. Also, I met with the President of Stubben on Friday afternoon and he has decided to sponsor myself as well as all of my ponies so I am looking forward to building a solid and perennial relationship with them. As for Red Hills, everyone is looking ready for the challenge. Eight Saint James Place (Jamie), is doing the CIC***. Since the beginning of this year, he has really shown a vast amount of improvement in his area of weakness: dressage. Every time out he has performed well in the ring and earned the scored to boot! I am hoping for a low dressage score in the upper 50's (FEI test) as well as a clear cross country and show jumping with him. Frodo Baggins (Frodo) and Anthony Patch (Alex) are both doing the CIC**. Frodo is a pro at this level and basically I would like him to be in the upper placings. He is very competitive in the dressage as well as the cross country, and although he struggles with the show jumping phase, both he and I have made giant leaps of improvement in that area. As for Alex, I have VERY high hopes for him. He is probably one of the most fancy horses on the East coast, however, it's a matter of getting him to want it as much as I do in the flat. He is far too happy to trot around with his head relatively down and plod through all the movements. I think when he gets it right, he will be unbeatable. He is my best show jumper out of all the boys so I hope for a confidence building go around a tough xc course. As for the Dollar Man (Keep the Change), he is steadily improving by massive strides. His hardest phase thus far is in the flat, however, not because of unwillingness to perform the tasks, simply he just has a lot of learning to do. His jumping phases are both superb, and he is another one that will be unbeatable once all three phases are honed in. Anyhow, that's it for Red Hills. All in all, hoping for safe and confidence building rides. It's always nice to come home with happy ponies!!! Hope everyone has a safe weekend and I will be in touch after the show!!! Take Care!