Sunday, December 12, 2010

Talented young dressage horse for sale!!

I recently updated my website with an impressive and talented dressage horse for sale. He is a 2006 Dutch warmblood gelding by Farrington out of a Welt Hit II/Jazz mare. He's over 17 hands, and with his huge scopy gaits and fantastic uphill canter, definitely a horse that will make the judges take notice!

Visit my website for more information and a video of this talented horse!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Region 6 Youth Camp 2011!!

Mark your calendars for the 2011 Region 6 Youth Camp, to be held July 5th-8th (Tues-Fri) at DevonWood Equestrian Centre in Sherwood, Oregon. Last year almost 50 kids from all over our Region traveled to attend the first ever Youth Camp. Six local dressage professionals, all former participants at the NAJYRC, donated lessons and travel time to be a part of this unique opportunity. We also had lectures on various horse and dressage-related topics, including a demonstration on the FEI jog and a round-table discussion with all the instructors on their Jr/YR experiences. All proceeds from the camp went directly into the Region 6 Advanced Young Rider fund, which helps offset expenses for our Jr/YR team to travel to NAJYRC.
Last year's camp was an unbelievable experience, and everyone is excited for next year!! Stay tuned for more details!

Tentative 2011 Show Schedule

Hi all!
Hope the holidays are treating everyone well! The horses and students are all going very well, I've been very pleased with everyone's progress. The weather turned to winter rather quickly here in Boise, even before December 1st we had a snowstorm which dropped between 6-8 inches here in the valley!
But, it is never too soon to start thinking about next year. Here is my tentative 2011 show schedule:

March 31-April 3: Festival of the Horse CDI***, Burbank, CA
April 7-10: Golden State Dressage Festival CDI ***, Rancho Murieta, CA
April 23-24: Les Bois Spring Spectacular (schooling show), Eagle, ID
May 7-8: Idaho Dressage Festival, Nampa, ID
May 28-29: Spokane Spring Dressage Show, Spokane, WA
June 16-19: Golden State Dressage Classic CDI*, Rancho Murieta, CA (maybe??)
July 22-24: Dressage at DevonWood, Sherwood, OR
August 13-14: Boise River Dressage, Eagle, ID
September 22-15: USDF Region 6 Championships, Nampa, ID

This schedule is subject to change. My team is looking forward to a fantastically fun and exciting show year next year!! Now if we can just get through the winter...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Conrad Schumacher clinic notes, Gig Harbor, WA

I just returned from a Conrad Schumacher clinic in Gig Harbor, WA. It was a super clinic, with some very interesting horse and rider combinations. Including several adult amateur riders on a variety of different horses, a few professionals on medium level horses, and a couple of eventers interested in furthering their dressage. I rode my horse Escorial (whom Conrad has seen for many years), who is now schooling all the GP work. Here are a few notes I took while watching the other riders:

Leg yield--think flexion and yielding towards outside leg so horse finds the outside leg. This is a good preparation for the canter departs, and helps to get the neck longer and looser.
Use counterflexion in canter as preparation for flying changes. Ride long sides in true canter with counterflexion then inside flexion through the corner and on short side...repeat a few times. (This really helped get my horse looser and longer in the neck in his changes)
The canter aid comes predominantly from the outside leg (interesting because some trainers think it comes mostly from the inside leg)
*Simple movements matter alot, because they help the horse to understand easier what we want* (This comment was made in regard to working on walk-halt-walk transitions with an older horse)
The rider must be relaxed in the shoulders--give the rein out of the shoulders--or, "give with contact" (Conrad often has riders "roll their shoulders" to get them looser there, he also wants the contact to become more elastic, which comes out of the shoulder, not the arm)
Square exercise with deep corners--start with trot-walk-trot transitions (trot to walk before corner, walk deep into corner, then trot out)--then move to riding square in trot with almost walk --"back, turn, give"--helps to get horse to come back on its own in the corners--same exercise can be done in canter with canter-walk-canter

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Region 6 Championships wraps up a successful Show season!!

I will finally be heading home (to Boise) tomorrow after a short segue following the Region 6 Championships. My truck decided it needed some extra attention and an early Christmas present, and demanded all new fuel injectors. Now I have much more get-up-and-go!
The Regionals went very well for me and my team. Juniors Ashley Holmes and Paige Haas had several good rides in Second level. We are looking forward to lots of hard work over the fall to prepare for Juniors next year! Very exciting! Amateur rider Barb Sparks earned one third and two fourth places in her (very large) classes, including one qualifying score for First level for next year.
Charismatique had three very nice tests, scoring mid-60s at Third level. He was Reserve Champion in the NW Third level open and barely Third in the Great American Championships. My "catch-ride" for the weekend, Lauralei, had two very nice tests at Fourth level, scoring in the mid-60s both times. She was Reserve Champion in the NW Fourth level open and barely Third in the Great American Championships. Not bad considering I've only ridden her probably 10 times total since mid-May. Her owner has done a super job of keeping her going at home and improving her pirouettes. :)
Everyone handled the nasty, rainy Seattle weather very well. I was VERY impressed with Donida Farm's footing and their renovated facilities. The footing was absolutely solid, and with the exception of a few holes in the warm-up arena, extremely safe. That says alot, given the amount of rain we had.
Now is the time to relax and think about goals for next year. And they are BIG goals!! More to come later...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Show Nerves

A topic near and dear to the hearts of all competitors!

The more I compete, the more I realize that the most difficult part of competition is being "mentally flexible", or able to ride the best test you can with what you have at that moment. It means being able to deal with show management issues, bad footing, timing problems, warming up with Olympic riders, bad warm-ups, and so on and so forth. It means doing your best with what you have, and not letting yourself get rattled and distracted by other issues.

This year alone I have had (1) to ride a third level test on a young horse 20 minutes after a CDI PSG test on a different horse, (2) to deal with a CDI awards ceremony taking place in the arena next to my test, complete with the Canadian national anthem blasting in the middle of my free walk and the subsequent galloping of awards horses, (3) to ride a CDI PSG after I made the stupid mistake of carrying my whip into the test, being called up to the judges stand at C and told to drop the whip and ride my test, (4) to both precede and follow current World Cup Champion Steffen Peters in several classes, and finally (4) ride 4th level test 3 on a fairly quirky and complicated mare whom I hadn't ridden in 2 months, after only a 15 minute warm up with NO flying changes (all because I forgot to check my ride times, and didn't see that show management had changed my time from 7:37 to 7:18am!!).

In every one of these situations, I remember thinking to myself, well, here's another good test of show nerves!! How well can I ride this test? How can I make the most of this circumstance? How good a performance can I generate from these circumstances?

Whether you ride in schooling shows or CDIs, you will always have to deal with some sort of unfortunate circumstance. My spooky Arabian taught me that the circumstance was unimportant (I swear he found things to spook at, and if they weren't there, he invented them!!), it was how the rider dealt with the situation that really mattered. Because there will always be another unfortunate paper blowing across the arena, another test runner taking their job too seriously, another windy, cold day when your horse would rather be leaping and cavorting in the air than obediently performing their dressage test.

Viewed from this light, the greater the negativity and problems you have to deal with, the greater your success. It is one thing to ride a 62 percent test with a good warm-up and when you are feeling well, and a whole 'nother thing to ride a 62 percent test when you only got 5 minutes warm-up because you feel like crap and your horse kicked you when you were tacking him up.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Aftermath of the Eagle Range Fire

Before the dressage show last weekend, I wandered up to the Eagle foothills and took some pictures of the scorched earth. We had a huge (and scary) range fire here last Wednesday afternoon. The fire was initially started by a dry lightning strike ten miles or so from our barn and the ever-ready fire department had their resources on it immediately. It looked to be under control, and heading west (away from our barn), when the winds picked up significantly and changed direction. Before you knew it, most of the Eagle foothills were on fire and everyone was in a panic. I spent much of that afternoon panicking about our barn and horses, punctuated by panicking about my friends' homes and their animals.

Luckily, everyone stayed safe. But it was a pretty dramatic few hours!

When all was said and done, the fire had consumed over 6000+ acres and burned 3 homes to the ground. It was truly amazing to go up to the foothills, and see how many homes survived. Each home looks like a little oasis in a sea of blackened earth.

These photos are just a sample of the pictures I took, I have more photos uploaded on my facebook page.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dressage at DevonWood a Success!

Just got back from the Dressage at DevonWood show, it was a great show all the way around! Despite the heat (especially on Saturday, uugh!), the horses went very well. The young horse High Regard owned by Ruth Anne Leibman won 3 of his 5 classes at Training and first level, including a high score of 73.333 from judge Hilda Gurney in First level test one. He was very well behaved, although a little impressed by the environment on the first day and spent some time in the warm-up arena leaping around. However he settled down very quickly and went right to work.
Majek (Charismatique) finally broke 70% in Third level for the first time in his career, a feat which earned him the Show Open High Score Award at Third/Fourth level. Majek finally learned how to canter! Who thought that would ever happen??
I also rode the mare Lauralei, owned by Nancy Hamilton, in several classes at Fourth level test 3. She won one class with 65% and was second in another with 66%. She earned an "8" on both the three and four tempis in the last test. Not bad, considering I haven't ridden her in 2 months! Overall she was quite good, although she still has her silly antics about the other horses in the warm-up arena. Nancy calls them her "darts" and although they are still there, they are much more ridable than they used to be. Now she generally goes in some sort of forward direction instead of stopping and spinning and leaping. Much easier to stay in the saddle that way! Nancy has done a super job with her over the past couple of months.
My students Paige and Ashley also had a good show with some good rides at Second level. Furthermore they both make excellent little show slaves. :)
Next up, the Boise River Dressage show this weekend at the Idaho Center...plan on it being a scorcher...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First ever Region 6 Youth Dressage Camp a HUGE success!!

I just got back from the first EVER Region 6 Youth Dressage Overnight Camp, held July 9-11 at Devonwood Equestrian Center. The camp was a huge success!! About 50 kids attended the camp and we had 6 instructors, plus many sponsors and volunteers who helped make the camp a success! Olsen's Tack Shop, F.I.T.S, Mid-Valley Chapter of ODS were just a few of the generous sponsors who made this camp possible.
The original concept behind the camp was to reconnect the "Old Riders" (former members of one of the Junior or Advanced Young Rider teams) with the up-and-coming "Young Riders". We have several younger (20s-30s) professional dressage trainers in the area who can provide experience and instruction to the younger generation. We mainly targeted younger teenagers, and I figured we would mostly get riders between training and second level.
We had a stellar cast of instructors, including Jeremy Steinberg, Jessica Rattner, Kelly Irving-Burris, Natalie Perry, Emma Dye, and myself. All the kids got 2 private lessons on Saturday and Sunday with their assigned instructor, and we had a group schooling session on Friday where several of the kids rode in front of their instructor.
In addition to the lessons/training, we concurrently held lectures. We had a lecture on braiding/grooming, one on goal setting, one on basic horse care with a veterinarian, and one on the training scale and test design. In addition, Friday night we had a demonstration and discussion of the FEI jog. Saturday night we had a great round table discussion with the instructors sharing their experiences with the Junior/Young Rider program.
Food was included in the cost of attending, as well as stabling and some other expenses. We kept the cost low to allow as many kids as possible to attend. The instructors all donated their time to participate as did all the wonderful volunteers! All the kids camped out on the lawn of the vendor area at Devonwood, under the stars! The weather was perfect for camping, although quite hot during the day.
The weekend was really great, as an instructor I was very impressed by how serious and studious the kids were. I honestly expected much more chaos and mayhem, with many teenage girls running screaming all over DevonWood property. Instead, they were disciplined, tidy, polite, listening, and really wanting to learn and change! I was also pleasantly impressed with some of the riders and horses, who were of much higher quality than I expected.
All in all, it was a great weekend. We got excellent feedback from the kids and the instructors for next year, so we can make next year's camp even better. I think this camp is a great way for up-and-coming young riders interested in dressage to find out more about the Jr/YR program, meet other like-minded kids, learn tons, and just have a good time!
A HUGE thanks goes out to Jessica Rattner, for almost single-handedly putting this camp on. I helped her quite a bit by doing many of the documents, lecture notes, coordinating instructors, etc, but she really did the vast majority of the work. I'm so glad we were able to make this camp happen this year!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Golden State Dressage CDI3*

Just got home from the Golden State Dressage Festival yesterday, after a (thankfully) uneventful drive home. The weekend was fairly stressful amongst us Northwesterners, as the weather forecast was looking really bad for our drives home on Monday. Donner Pass (over the Sierra going east from Sacramento) was looking to get a boatload of snow (they were originally talking about a foot above 6000 feet). As one Portlander reminded me, "don't they eat people there when the weather is bad??!" Going north over Shasta wasn't looking much better, with winds forecasted to be sustained between 30-40 mph and gusts up to 60-70 mph. Then blowing snow. Ick! I left a day early (Sunday) as did many others, to avoid the storm.
The show went very well again, once again the young horse High Regard was a superstar, winning all his classes and scoring a 74.4 and a 75 in training level. He won the High Score award on Thursday for his 75. Escorial was on form all weekend, unfortunately I carried my whip into the CDI PSG and got a huge point deduction as a result. Despite the silly error on my part, the test otherwise was very clean and I managed to score 62% despite the severe point deduction. The CDI Intermediare I went much better, and we managed 5th with 64.7. The top five were very close together, with the winner Mette Rosencranz scoring just over 66%.
Charismatique also had a good show, he put in several very accurate and consistent tests. The judges are still after his stiffness issues, although we did manage a very good 67% on the last day in Third level test 1. It was an interesting test, as I rode it next to the indoor arena where the Awards Ceremony for the CDI Grand Prix Special was taking place. The announcer was blaring in the background, and during my extended walk, the blaring changed to the Canadian National anthem. Majek kept his cool and put in a very nice organized test.
Now I have a little time off before its back to work preparing for the local shows!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Last Day of Festival of the Horse

With the CDI over, I just had a few rides on the young horses today. High Regard was the super star, he scored over 75 percent in training level test 3, including a 9 on the 20m circle right in trot. In his second test he was a bit spookier and not quite as "up", but still scored 72.8. I was really happy with him, he has been really great this week. I made sure to lunge him just a little before his tests each day, with young horses at their first show it is generally a good policy. I prefer to err on the too-careful side. Overall he handled the environment very, very well and presented well in his tests.
Majek wasn't quite as good today as he has been, I tried to deal with some of his stiffness problems in the warm-up and mostly succeeded in making him more stiff. I did have some good elements to the test, but several mistakes including a missed flying change and wrong lead on the canter depart. He finished with a 59 percent, which was a bummer. I have a tough time to get him as supple as I'd like him without getting him more tense and bottled up. I'll have to think about how to improve that.
I'm staying here in Burbank through Easter Sunday, then I'll drive up to Rancho Murieta for the next show on Monday. Hopefully the weather continues to hold up!

Festival of the Horse CDI3*

I'm currently in sunny Southern California at the Festival of the Horse dressage show in Burbank. The weather started out ominous earlier in the week, with rainshowers and thunderstorms in the forecast. Luckily the nastiness by-passed Burbank altogether and we had absolutely picturesque Southern California spring weather…60 degrees, sunshine, light breeze. Perfect!

I had a very busy first morning, I drew a 9:09am ride time for PSG with Monkey which put me into very close quarters with my 9:44am ride on Majek. The young horse HR then had a Training level test at 11:03am. Luckily HR’s owner, Ruth Anne, was very helpful and kept things buzzing along as we swapped tack, horses, coats, etc. Because the times were so tight, I would only be afforded a 10-15 minute warm-up on Majek. So I lunged him early in the AM, before I got on Monkey, just to get him out and loosened up.

My strategy paid off. Monkey had a very good showing at PSG in the CDI, easily scoring 65% and placing 5th out of 17 horses. I was thrilled! Our only major mistake was putting in a few ones in the middle of our 4 time changes, otherwise the test was nicely organized and fluid. After vaulting from one horse to the next, Majek earned a respectable 64% in Third level test 1 from O judge Linda Zang. The test lacked a little verve and suppleness, but not a bad result for such a short warm-up! It was a test of warm-up efficiency and nerves.

Finally, the young horse HR won his Training level test 3 class with a 66%. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in the score, the test went super well and he was very solid. Our only major problems were the first halt and the stretchy circle. Unfortunately, after a solid run of 7s and an 8 in our test, the judge gave us a 5 on the stretchy circle, and then was very hard on our collectives…7,7,6,6. That kept the score down (especially now that the rider score has a coefficient of 3). But since this was his first show, I was very happy that he has been as settled and relaxed as he has.

After the busy morning we were able to watch most of the CDI Grand Prix. It was really interesting to see some of our current top combinations. I have to say Jan Ebeling is looking absolutely on form with the two mares Rafalca and Sandrina. Sandrina especially was the picture of lightness, ease, and elasticity, particularly evinced by her effortless transitions. Jan went 1-2 with the two mares. In third place was the spectacular Jazz son U2 ridden by Olympic rider Guenter Seidel. U2 is phenomenally talented in scope and elasticity and expertly ridden by Guenter. The extended trot and trot half passes, as well as the canter pirouettes were highlights. The piaffe is still a bit weak and unclear in the rhythm, and some tension crept into the ride, particularly in the canter work, with the horse becoming a bit too tight in the neck and not jumping through enough behind. There were several other good combinations and it was interesting to see many Canadian combinations down here in SoCal trying to qualify for this year’s WEG.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Today was a much better day for me, as far as how the horses went. Monkey warmed up much more supple and uphill than he has in the previous days, so I tried to add a bit more expression in the trot after I schooled some of the canter work. My test was much cleaner today, especially in the canter work, and we earned a 65% in the I-1. I was very happy with my score from Stephen Clarke, who gave me over 67% (2% higher than yesterday). Unfortunately the other two judges didn’t see the test quite the same, scoring me 63 and 64. Just goes to show you how differently judges can see the same test, depending on what they want to emphasize. I ended up 5th again, which I was very happy with.

HR went quite well, I ended up misjudging my warm-up time and got a relatively short warm-up for Training 4. I had planned on schooling some of the stretchy circle and trying to get better stretching today (that was my big issue yesterday). I did ride him a bit lower and rounder, after watching the video from yesterday I decided he was a bit too high in the neck and pushing his lower neck out. I squeaked every ounce out of my limited warm-up time, despite having the gate person on my case to get in the arena. The test was very smooth and everything worked quite well. I wouldn’t say it was significantly better than yesterday, but it did feel a bit better balanced and more “over the back”. Imagine my surprise when the score came back…78.4%! He earned a 9 on the right lead canter circle and a 10 on the diagonal change rein working trot, plus straight 8s on the collectives! Very cool. Once again, the judging played a big role here as I didn’t feel the test was that much better than yesterday, but this judge saw him (us) quite differently. He easily won that class, and may have the high score for the show so far.

Majek warmed up much better today, better power in the trot and significantly looser and more supple. In my warm-up, the canter started ok, a bit downhill, but after some more trot work to get him better engaged it was much better. The test itself felt much better in those regards, more supple, elastic, powerful, etc. Canter is still a bit weak, he wants to be too downhill and stiff in his body, and I have a hard time fixing it. Unfortunately this judge was very hard on him and he only scored 61% in Third level test 3. She wanted more “honest throughness” and connection. I was pretty disappointed with the score, although in general I agreed with the comments. Some judges really like him, and some really pick up on the stiffness (even when he’s relatively supple).

In general the riding down here is pretty darn good. I’ve seen some very nice juniors and young riders and most of the professionals are very good. There is quite a bit of deep riding, some good, some not-so-good. I watched some of the warm-up, several of the GP horses were schooling today. One could always criticize some aspects of their riding, their priorities, but in general, I think they were sympathetic and making pretty good decisions. The warm-ups are always interesting, because they are often trying to deal with problems they know will crop up the next day in their test. That affects their priorities.

Today is the final day of the show, we'll see how it goes!

Monday, March 1, 2010

In like a lamb!!!

It was such a beautiful day today, that I rode pretty much every horse in the outdoor arena. They were all very good, although a little "up", since it was their first time outdoors since last fall. The weather was absolutely fantastic, sunny, mid 50s to low 60s, light breeze!
Monkey is always a little more up and active outside, so it is useful to ride him outside. At Thermal, he was fantastic out in the outdoor jumping arenas, but more backed off in the CDI arena. I also ride him on the cross country course in the summer, as it really helps his way of going. Majek thought about exploding, as usual, but I rode some haunches-in on the circle, and really made him sit and bend his hind legs, and he decided that leaping in the air was too much work. It was interesting how much it relaxed his back. You wouldn't think making the work harder would relax the horse so much, but it worked in this case. Then he was really super.
Our local show season is fast approaching, so my students are all starting to think in that direction. I've started making them all ride tests, or elements of the tests, or make them ride outside, to get everyone prepared. There's a small schooling dressage show at our barn in late April, which will help them all get prepared for the first big recognized dressage show in our area, the Idaho Festival Dressage show in mid-May. Then there are the idiots that pick big, busy shows with Olympic riders and six-figure horses in Southern CA as our first show of the season. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back to work!

I put Monkey and Majek back to work this week after a week off following the big show.
Majek was pretty wild the first day (I wisely decided to lunge him) but also started very tense and fresh the next day as well. He is a very tense horse in general, often reminding me of a thoroughbred (although he is holsteiner). He wanted to be very tight against the leg and short in the neck. I was able to work through it, although it took 15 minutes or so, mostly I have to remember to start with really small steps in the right direction. So I'll bend his neck and try to lengthen it, but it helps if I think to only do really tiny increments and build on those, not expect him to go from really tense to really long and loose. If I find those little improvements, where he gets just a tiny bit longer, then a tiny bit longer, etc, then I have a more solid foundation on which to build. That helps me to stay better connected as well. By the end he was quite good, very drivable and elastic feeling.
I had a lesson on Monkey today, after having ridden him the day before to get him going again. He's been absolutely nutty in turnout, a week off gives him way too much energy! I brought him in a few days ago and he was piaffing sideways down the barn aisle, snorting the entire way. He was good in my lesson, we worked on some very basic suppleness and straightness issues (like controlling the haunches in my turns, I tend to lose his haunches to the outside through corners) and keeping the shoulders in line with the haunches independent of flexions through the neck. Also making those flexions more subtle (so I don't lose the connection) but still effective, so he lets go in his back. We finished with some work on improving the medium trot by riding passage to medium trot to passage transitions. He has finally figured out the passage, it took him a little while to find the beat and push off the ground enough without just flattening and running. Now that he's found it, we try to use that to improve the cadence and engagement of the medium trot. It worked very well today.
Also of note I rode my 3 year old Dutch filly "Jazzy" last weekend when I was in Portland! Every time I go to Portland I work with her a little bit, generally some combination of lunging, basic ground work, desensitization to saddle pads, saddles, etc. I backed her lightly over Christmas (mom led me around), then went off the lunge line for the first time in January. So this February ride (I only did one) was her second ride off the lunge. I have to say, for only being ridden once a month, she was significantly better. She kind of steered this time, and had a much better (albeit very basic) understanding of the rein and leg. She was also much MUCH more relaxed about me influencing her this time, last time she was a more worried and tense. It was a little wierd how relaxed she was. I trotted several times. She has a very nice trot to ride, it has a very smooth, liquid-y feeling to it. You wouldn't think a horse would progress that well given the amount of time between rides, but she did.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

CDI Thermal successful!!

Just got back from the CDI Thermal in Southern California...the show went really well for me! This was my first CDI in over 10 years, so it took a bit of adjusting...ended up with a 61% in PSG with some mistakes and a 64.5 in the I-1 with a much better test! I rode the trot a bit too quick in the PSG, to keep Escorial (aka Monkey) in front of the leg (the arena was a small claustraphobic tent and he backed off considerably when I rode him in there before the show), plus I had mistakes in both lines of tempi changes. For the I-1 I slowed the tempo down and rode more cadence. Plus I cleaned up the canter work and got my tempis. I was very happy with the result! Especially O judge Volker Moritz liked the change, he gave me a 59 in the PSG but bumped it up to a 65.5 in the I-1.
The young horse Charismatique did his first outing at Third level (having done first level last year) and earned a 64.5 and 65.5 in two tests (plus a 60 in his last test, when he was tired and had more mistakes!). I was very happy with him too, he was a bit overwhelmed early in the week by the busy show grounds and was crazy when I rode him. He tried to run out of the warmup at one point, and refused to walk at all earlier in the week...I finally just got off and figured I would try again the next day! As is typical of hunter/jumper shows, there were golf carts, motorcycles, people, horses, jumpers, cars, etc, etc going every which way! Luckily he settled by the time the show started, and my tests went very well.
I actually stabled with Megan Jordan, a hunter/jumper trainer from Oregon (until the CDI). The hunter/jumper crowd knows how to have a good time! I also sold Zimbalist NBF at this show as a hunter. I bought ZZ as a yearling, and after backing him myself, went on to win several high point awards at training level on him when he was a 4 year old. He won the High Percentage at Devonwood one year with a 75%. Although he did well in dressage, and was a good dressage horse, he is a fantastically talented hunter, and had some very good placings in the tough hunter division in weeks 1 and 3. Another former horse of mine, Lovely Lola (renamed Lolita), was mid-circuit Level 6 champion in the jumper division. Megan bought Lola from me when she was a 5 year old, and she has turned into a fantastic jumper. She won several (very) large classes in levels 6 and 7, some with 70+ horses in them.
It was also awesome to watch some of our country's top dressage combinations vie for a spot on the WEG team. The GP competition was intense and very, very good. It is very inspiring to watch people like Guenter, Steffen, Adrienne (Lyle) and Sue Blinks ride.
Definitely a show I would love to attend again! Weather was awesome, mid 60s to 70s pretty much everyday, and some awesome competition. I also watched the CSI Grand Prix in the Indoor on Saturday, which was incredible too. All around a great show!

Monday, February 1, 2010

First show in less than 2 weeks!

I will be leaving next Sunday for my first show of the season and my first CDI in many years! I am going to make the 16 hour drive to Thermal, California (outside of Palm Springs) for the Dressage Getaway CDI. This show is being held in conjunction with a big 6 week hunter/jumper show, so it should be a blast! Plus, this being a World Equestrian Games year, I will likely be seeing many of our top west-coast combinations trying to qualify for the selection trials.
Did I mention it is currently 65-70 degrees and sunny down there? Much better than our (recently) snowy weather!
I will be showing Monkey (aka Escorial) in the PSG/I-1 in the CDI. I'm also bringing my mom's horse Majek (aka Charismatique) and he will be showing third level for the first time. Should be fun!