McKinley Update……

Gus had the day off today.  He was tired as he dragged himself out this morning, but looked like he recovered well from his big weekend.

Today was the first day I was able to get back on McKinley since last Wednesday.  I lunged him, thank goodness, because he was a bit full of himself after his long break!  The dressage is getting better each day, and I was pleased at how nice his transitions are becoming.  We still have a great deal of work to do before I would call his dressage “competitive” at the beginner novice level.   There are hints of brilliance, but mostly we are just one step better than unacceptable in my book.  I am, however, having a blast with him.  He may just be the most pleasant horse I have ever trained.

We found out today that Gemwood Horse Trials is canceled.  It completely messes up our plan to move up to BN there in a few weeks.  We will have to move up later in August, which gives us just a little bit longer to nail the dressage.

Here are some random pictures of McKinley at his first ever event.

Walking away from a horrible dressage test….but having a blast


McKinley doing his first starter stadium course… you think he cleared it?
McKinley’s last fence on the xc course



Midsouth Horse Trials……..a fantastic weekend for Gus!!

Joy and Gus after a double clear stadium round!!!
Kelli and cavalier before stadium
Sapphie and Julie —-their best dressage test ever
Gus before dressage
Gus before dressage
Joy, Gus , and Kate after xc
Elizabeth and Quinn
Quinn and Elizabeth doing a great stadium round
Quinn and Elizabeth warming up for xc
Sapphie and Julie doing xc
Kelli and Cavalier headed to xc warm up
Kelli and Cav at fence #1
Our new favorite……….Lucy and “Blaze the Wonder Pony”….adorable competitors at the show this weekend

A week of activity……..and we are thoroughly exhausted

The last ten days has been exhausting.  They started out with a trip to Lake Cumberland and ended with a trip home from Lexington.Last Friday, Jessica and I took Gus up to Twin Towers to do some gallop sets in preparation for his return to Preliminary this weekend.  After we got back, Jeff and I loaded the kids (and all the camping gear) into the car and headed to Lake Cumberland for a weekend of Fathers’ Day and boating.   Almost the whole Von Handorf clan was in attendance.  We had several campers and tents filled with people surrounding Uncle Tom’s lake house.   We had 2 double decker pontoon boats, 2 speed boats, and 2 jet skis at our disposal.  What an absolute BLAST!!!

Jeff, Wade, and Kevin
Jeff and Joy on the boat

The rat pack

When we got back from the lake, Jeff and Kate decided to have a Father/Daughter ride around the farm for Father’s Day.

Kate on the hay loft tire swing

On Wednesday we brought in close to 700 bales of hay, and had our 2nd “Hay Party”.  It was perhaps the hottest and most dusty evening in recorded history.  Thanks again to all of our great helpers, random friends, relatives, strangers, and children.


The Junior Hay Crew
Hay Party #2
Blacky and Friends
Jeff or Werewolf?

We got done with hay on Wednesday and packed for Lexington on Thursday.

The Midsouth Horse Trials Girls