Gus, Rhyland, and McKinley——getting ready for show season

Gus is fat…..not just a little fat, but hugely fat.  I have never in my life seen the horse jiggle when he trots, but it is happening now.   I have been given the go ahead from Dr. Miller to ride him and “see how it goes”, but I will wait until the chiropractor works on him Monday before I get back on him.  In the meantime, he is getting lunged daily to try to get him in a little better shape.  We will have to work really hard to get his fitness back for Preliminary in May.

Rhyland is making gigantic strides in my new training style.  He is still convinced he cannot jump out of the quiet, collected canter, but is starting to give up a bit.  His dressage is coming along well, and the jumping is a million times better than it was 3 weeks ago.  Still have a long way to go, but he will do novice at Greater Dayton……even if we have to walk our stadium course!!!

McKinley is such a good boy.  He is willing to please and easy to teach.  I am going to try my hardest to get him ready to do starter at Greater Dayton, but it may be a little early for me to expect much out of him.  He is still really green over fences, but willing to try whatever I ask him to do.  My goal is to get the jumping more solid in the next 2 weeks and introduce him to Twin Towers at least twice before the show.  We’ll see what happens!

Camp Joy——-(not named after me)

I spent all day Thursday and Friday with Kate and her entire 6th grade class at “Camp Joy”.  It was a great time!  The kids got to do some really exciting rope courses, zip lines, and other high wire type activities.   They also participated in a live play experience about the Underground Railroad.   We had fantastic weather, and the Camp Joy staff made it an unforgettable time for the kids.    I was glad the school asked me to chaperone!

Kate and three of her buddies at Camp Joy
Joy and Kate at Camp
Kate and Tara ready for the rope course
Kate on the broken bridge---30 feet in the air




Cross Country Schooling…….

We will be organizing a large cross country schooling day very soon.  I plan to offer two schoolings before Greater Dayton Horse Trials.  The cross country course at Twin Towers will be closed on May 1st.  Please check your calendars and keep checking for dates as I post them in the tack room.  Due to the fact that I have 3 horses to get ready for the show season, I will be making several trips during the week.  If you are unable to make it for our weekend dates, please check with me to see if you can join me when I take mine out to school.

Ready for spring….

The crab apple tree in bloom

Today I was officially back in the saddle.   I started out with Rhyland.  He was still “angry” about the new jumping system, but we are making progress—–very slowly.   After that I hopped on McKinley for what was supposed to be a quick and easy ride.  He was wound up after his time off, so I think my quick and easy ride may happen tomorrow instead.

Gus finished his medication while I was out of town.  Today I received the “go ahead” from Dr. Miller to get on with it.   Tomorrow I may get back on him for a light ride.  We are extremely behind on our conditioning after having the last few weeks off.  The chiropractor comes next Monday to work out the residual issues.  I’m hoping that we’ll be ready to do prelim again in May.  Intermediate will have to wait for a little while longer.

Good to be home
Ready to roll----in so many ways

The north barn pear tree




A nice break from the farm……..

I spent all of last week by the pool.  It was a nice break away from the farm and the horses.  Jeff had another conference to attend in Orlando, so I packed a bag and hitched a ride on his airplane.  Thanks to our awesome barn crew, we had an easy “escape”.  Thank you, Jessica and Elizabeth!  And thank you to the grandparents and a few aunts and uncles for entertaining our children for the week.

We spent the first few days in Orlando.  While Jeff worked all day I sat by the pool reading a book and soaking up as much sun as possible.  We spent the last few days in Daytona Beach—where I had only one decision to make all day….”beach or pool?”   Needless to say, it was a great trip.  We left Ohio while it still looked like winter, and came home to “spring’.  It’s nice to be back home.  There are horses to ride and weeding to be done.  Spring is here!!!!

The view from our hotel in Daytona
No better view than this
In my spare time, I built this fantastic sand castle.....ha ha ha
Taken at the fort in St. Augustine

Day #2 of the clinic——great rides by all

Our helpers/spectators enjoy the great weather


Lauren and Julie
Jacqui and Kate
Elizabeth and Emily

Needless to say, I slept like a rock last night.  I was absolutely thrilled that I got to sleep in this morning before heading off to church.  As soon as we got home from church, my first ride of the day was warming up in the arena.  A quick change of clothes and some sunscreen later, and I was headed down to the barn.

Jacqui and Celine

Jacqui and Celine started out with some flat work before beginning their jumping lesson.  Jacqui is just beginning her jumping training here, so today was a lesson over poles and cavalettis.  Celine was more forward today and Jacqui did a great job practicing the skills that we worked on yesterday in her dressage lesson.

Kate and Aragon
Kate and Aragon jumping the barrels

Kate and Aragon had a great dressage lesson!  She is figuring out how to put him on the bit and is learning to control his shoulders.  Amanda and Cavalier also put in a fantastic dressage ride.  Amanda was able to get Cavalier straight and round, and looked great doing it.    The group of 2 was joined by Emily and McKinley in the jumping portion.  All three had several things to work on, and they did a nice job of taking some hard criticism and turning it into successful riding.   I’m  really proud of all 3 of you!

Amanda and Cavalier jumping the barrels
Amanda and Cavalier--- a great dressage ride
Emily and McKinley jumping the barrels--I think he cleared it

Lauren and Devin both had good dressage lessons.  They worked on keeping their horses straight and forward and focused while maintaining a good solid position.  Elizabeth and Sully joined the twosome for the jumping lesson.  Sully made it through his whole jumping lesson with only two destroyed crossrails!  Lauren and Lakin did really well also!  Lauren turned a couple of run outs into some great learning moments.  Celine and Devin did a nice job during the jumping lesson.  Devin has improved leaps and bounds since I’ve seen her ride last.  Both smaller girls are ready to move on to bigger and better jumps!  Sully…….well, baby steps !

Devin and Celine
Devin and Celine jumping a cross rail
Lauren and Lakin
Lauren and Lakin
Elizabeth and Sully-----Can you get any cuter than that?

Thanks again to everyone who helped make this clinic a success.  I appreciate the parents who sat through hours of riding to support their riders!  It was pretty intense today, but the girls made it through with flying colors.   I hope you all had fun and left with a list of things to work on over the next few months!

No horses for this boy---He was glad to get on his "hog"

Day #1 of the riding clinic

When day 1 started out with Bill’s Donuts, I knew we were in for a great day (thanks, Jessica!)  The first few dressage and jumping lessons went very well.  Elizabeth and Julie both had productive dressage lessons.   I ended up riding Aragon for Jessica and had an absolute blast.   I’m sorry that she wasn’t able to ride him, but glad for the chance to finally get to jump him.    Both Julie and Elizabeth put together some nice course work with their two mares.

Joy and Aragon
Elizabeth and Quinn
Julie and Sapphie

Jodi and Kelli rode in the next group.  Both riders did a fantastic job of working through some issues with their respective horses.  I think Jodi wins the award for the “toughest ride” of the day!  Great job, ladies!

Jodi and Socks
Kelli and Cavalier

Elizabeth rode McKinley for me in a short jumping lesson.  His footwork is getting better with each ride.  Today he did some bounce jump work, as well as some gridwork.  He is looking really cute!

Elizabeth and McKinley

Jacqui and Celine did a dressage lesson today.  The pair is working on consistent impulsion and getting on the bit.   They were starting to get some results by the end of the lesson.  Good job, Jacqui!

Jacqui and Celine

The last set of girls to ride to day included Emily, Corinthia, and Morgan.   The girls worked on their dressage skills and practiced their course work over some low crossrails.   They all did very well, and Emily had fun trying to teach Sully to pick up his feet!

Morgan and Ike
Corinthia and Lakin
Emily and Sully doing trot poles

Everyone did well, and the weather couldn’t have been better.  A big thank you goes out to everyone who helped out today…..jump crew, photographers, arena draggers,  grooms, etc.

Some clinic helpers/spectators

Lessons ran from 9am-6pm today, and will go from 11:30pm-4:30pm tomorrow with a whole new set of riders.  I am looking forward to it!

A good day for basketball………and horses


Lakin and Ike—–sleepover weekend

Today was another beautiful day.  It started out with a really good ride on Rhyland.  I am trying out some new things with him, and they are starting to pay off.   After that, I went to pick up one of my very favorite ponies of all time, Ike.  Morgan is riding him in the clinic this weekend, so he is having a “sleepover”  until Sunday.  Lakin is thrilled to have her buddy back in the barn.

After Tonya’s lesson (which was really good, by the way…..hhm , hhm, Tonya), Elizabeth and I set up the course for the clinic tomorrow.  We added some fun new jumps to the mix, and I am looking forward to getting to jump Aragon tomorrow for Jessica.

Today the Bellbrook Lady Eagles played in the state semi-finals under the coaching of one of my friends and Bellbrook classmates, Jason Tincher.  It was a great game, and the Eagles lost to a team that has been in the state tournament 5 years in a row.   They had a fantastic season, and it makes me proud to have been a Lady Eagle!!  Great job, Girls!

The Fairmont Lady Firebirds (where my brother-in-law is the Principal) also played in the state semi-finals today in Columbus.  They won their game today and are playing tomorrow night for the state championship.  Congratulations, Firebirds!

And last, but not least………MY OHIO BOBCATS WON IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT!! They beat Michigan by a few points and were looking extremely solid!  Sooooooo sorry about your Michigan, Ami and Jim!  Ha ha ha ha

It has been a good day.  Looking forward to teaching lessons tomorrow from 9am-6pm  and all day Sunday with my crazy frog voice.

I started  my second round of antibiotics today so I should be ready to go by morning.   Dr. Miller stopped out again today to check on Gus and give him his new medication (some high powered muscle relaxant) for his crazy muscle issue.  He is back to his old self, galloping laps in his stall and cribbing like a beaver.  I’ll be back on him in no time.

Joy and Gus----no sheet means no white

We have several new faces (horses and people) joining our clinic tomorrow.  It should be a great day!   Pictures of the clinic to come……

Sullivan update……………

Sullivan (aka “Sully”) is doing well.  We have had one of our high school girls riding him in lessons for the past two weeks.  At first, he played the “lesson horse game” of throwing his head down and trying to yank his rider off onto his neck. Lots of fun, but easily fixed with a good rider who has a good seat.  This week he was much better.  He will be ridden in the clinic this weekend with one of our other high school students, and we are really excited to get him started over cross rails.  More to come…..