Midsouth Pony Club Horse Trials—–June 23rd weekend

Wetherbrooke Farm Eventing Team—–I will be available to haul to Midsouth PC HT.  If you are interested in competing in the show that weekend at the Kentucky Horse Park, please let me know.  The closing date is coming up really soon.  Please check your omnibus and send in your entries.  We will be able to take 5 horses to Kentucky that weekend.

The next horse trials that I plan to attend with students will be Gemwood Horse Trials in late July.

A busy day at the farm

I woke up this morning at 5:30am to help Jaclyn load Rhyland, and to be there to say my final goodbyes.  It was really sad to see her trailer pull out of the driveway, but I know he is headed off to have a fantastic life.

I went back to bed for a little bit, and then I made my way back down to the barn to help Jessica and Morgan with some barn chores.

My brother took Kate to buy her birthday tree (a yearly tradition), and they planted the new oak between the barn and the house.  It’s a beautiful tree, and Kate enjoyed the trip to Steak and Shake as well!

Kate and her uncle Greg with the “birthday oak tree”

Yesterday we bought the wood for the deck addition.  We spent all day today working on it, and it’s almost finished.  Our nail gun broke right before we started nailing down the final boards, so we quit for the night.  We are a few hours away from finishing phase 2 of our 3 phase deck project.  The kids and I are really excited about it!

The deck begins

Taking shape
Ready to nail on the boards

Tomorrow is the first day of our summer break.  Tomorrow I am back to riding, and I can honestly say that I am looking forward to getting McKinley started on his dressage “boot camp”.  Gus will have a light dressage ride, and we will see how he recovered from the show over the weekend.

Congratulations, Jaclyn!!!!

Jaclyn and her new horse, “Rhyland”

Tonight I sold Rhyland.  His new owner, Jaclyn,  is an advanced level rider who currently works for and trains with 4* rider, Emily Beshear.  Rhyland will be heading to his new home in Virginia  early tomorrow morning.     I wish them the best of luck and hope to see them both competing at Rolex sometime in the near future!

Though we are all very happy for them both, the news of Rhyland’s sale has made us a bit sad.  Kate and Wade made their way to the barn tonight to say their goodbyes.   They fed him carrots and petted him one last time before heading back up to the house to go to bed.  He will be greatly missed, but we will look forward to getting updates from Jaclyn.

Joy and Rhyland
Kate and Wade saying their goodbyes


May Daze at the Kentucky Horse Park

Due to preschool graduation on Thursday night, Kelli and I were unable to leave for KY until early Friday morning.  Jessica and I had been bathing him daily since Monday in order to get him clean for the weekend.  I braided him late Thursday night, and we loaded him up at 7am on Friday to head south.  My first ride time was at 11:35 which didn’t leave us much room for error.

Gus in dressage warm up

Once we unloaded the trailer, it was pretty much time to start to getting Gus tacked up for dressage.  He was extremely quiet in the warm up, and we put in a fantastic test.  I couldn’t have been happier with his performance, and it put us into 2nd place with a score of 27.7.

We had not had a chance to walk our stadium course yet.  I had a little bit of time between dressage and my 2:22pm stadium round to run up and walk the course a few times.  By the time we got back to the stall it was time to tack up and get up to warm up.  On our way out of the stall, Kelli mentioned that Gus had a little bit of dried blood on his nose.  He had a little scratch on his nose, so we just assumed it was related to that.

Waiting to do stadium

We checked in with the ring steward at the stadium, and realized we were just a bit too early to start warming up.  Kelli and I stood outside the warm up ring and waited for awhile.  After a bit, I decided to take a trot lap to test Gus’s soundness after the dressage test.  He trotted a lap, and then Kelli flagged me down to tell me Gus was bleeding.

I thought it was just a little bit of blood from the scratch, but Kelli told me to get off and look at him.  When I did, I found a steady stream of blood coming from his nose.  We immediately called to the ring steward who called the Technical Delegate and the show vet.  Gus had to undergo some examinations of his heart and lung functions before the vets finally cleared him to compete.  It seems that he cut the inside of his nostril somehow in his stall between his dressage test and his stadium warm up.  After I was cleared to compete, I had about 5 minutes to warm up.  We trotted a lap or two, cantered a lap or two, jumped a few jumps and headed up to the in gate.  Gus jumped extremely well.  We were a little tight to fence 8 and he rubbed a rail with his front legs.  The rest of the course felt pretty close to perfect.   We had no time penalties, but 4 points for the rail.  We moved into 7 th place with a score of 31.7.  Less than one point separated the 2nd-7th place riders.

Kelli and I had to walk the cross country course twice and ate dinner at Fat Katz.  The course looked like a lot of fun, but I was a little concerned about the hard ground and how it would affect Gus’s legs.   We had a relaxing night, and planned to get to the barn by 8am to feed Gus and get ready for xc at 10:22am.

Headed out to xc warm up
Cross country!!!!!!
Gus getting his legs and feet iced after xc

Gus was quiet again, but got really excited once he figured out it was xc day.  He was picture perfect on course.  We went a bit conservatively on speed, and ended up a few seconds over optimum time.  After xc we ended up in 5th place with a score of 33.7.  I would have been in first place without the rail.  I was thrilled with how Gus felt galloping, and how he jumped the fences.  Tomorrow and Monday will tell me what I need to know about how well he recovered.    I think he will be ready to move up to Preliminary by Midsouth at the end of June.

It felt fantastic to be riding him at a show again……..and to remember how fun this sport really can be.  I smiled the whole weekend……

Preschool Graduation and last days of school………summer is here!

Thursday night was Wade’s graduation from preschool.  He did really well in his program, and remembered his lines perfectly.  He looked adorable as usual.  Their last official day of school was Friday, and now he’s ours for the summer!!!!

Wade before the big graduation
Wade and classmates


Wade and Elena

Kate’s last day of school was also on Friday.   Gus and I said goodbye to her as she got onto the bus.  I loaded him up in the trailer, and we headed off to the Kentucky Horse Park.  Kate went on to school and came home later that afternoon with an armload full of scholastic awards.

Kate eating her “last day of school” cereal


Kate before school friday



Getting ready for May Daze at the Park—-Thursday

My trailer is mostly packed.  Gus’s mane is pulled, and his tail is trimmed.  He needs a few other touch ups on the clipping, but is looking good…………Okay, let’s rephrase that.  He is looking disgustingly dirty, but that is how he lives.  It will required a daily bath from here til the end of the show Saturday.

Dr. Miller was out yesterday to check on him and give him an Adequan injection, along with his aceta-glucosamine shot.  He is as ready as he is going to be.

This weekend will be his first show since September.  How he pulls through this weekend will determine what he will do next.  I am hoping to bring him back up to Prelim at the end of June.  Time will tell.

Where I’m From —— by Kate Von Handorf (my 12 year old)

I am from Tinker Toys,

From grass by the fence (lush and dewy it tasted like spinach)

I’m from Where the Wild Things Are at bedtime

And warm milk in a cup


I’m from Jeff and Joy’s branch

From the black chair I hid behind during the move.

From seeing our house as ours one last time.

I am from the farm that became home with time

From the old oak tree that lost a limb

When the family tree did


I am from hide-and-seek,

From don’t stand there, they’ll knock you flat

From the black velvety nose of my very own pony

I am from two kittens,

More leaves on the tree


In the closet there are photographs

Happy seconds frozen in time

I am from those moments-

Captured before I knew-

They came loose from the tree


For those of you that have not yet heard the news, a positive result to a coggins test was received at a nearby show barn.  The pony was immediately put down, and the state vet placed the farm in mandatory quarantine for 60 days.  All of the other horses were tested and received negative results.  They will be tested 2 more times before the quarantine is lifted.  Our vet says that it is the first positive result he has seen in 25 years.

With that being said….

All horses coming to our farm for lessons or our DLSC shows on the weekend of July 14-15 will need to have a negative coggins with them (taken within the last 12 months) in order to unload a horse on our property.    That goes for all other DLSC shows as well.  Each hosting stable will require proof with entries.   If you have any questions about “infectious equine anemia”, please contact your vet.

Update on Rhyland….

This may be my last week with Rhyland.  After scratching from the show at Greater Dayton,  I contacted Emily Beshear about Rhyland being back on the market.   She and her assistant were both interested.  I sent them a link to a video of him at the Flying Cross clinic with Diana Rich, and they will be here this Sunday with a trailer.   If all goes as planned, he will be sold Monday morning.

It is a bittersweet moment……  He is a super talented horse, but he has been an extremely difficult ride for the past 2 years.  I am left with feelings of “what could have been”, but know that I am making the right decision for me at this time.  I hope to see him at Rolex  in the very near future.   I’m sure it will work out just exactly how it is supposed to……

Kate’s band and choir concert—May 21

Last night the Waynesville Middle School band and choir performed their end of the year concerts.  Only 3 more days of school for Kate!!!

Kate and Brooke with their flutes
Kate and Brooke
Brooke and Kate after the concert