Sunday, February 21, 2010

7 days and counting!

Hard to believe that my trip is almost over! I feel like I am finally getting settled in, and now I have to get organized to leave. The horses have all come along quite nicely in the three weeks I have been here. Leggs' half pass is confirmed, as well as her change. I have been working alot on the the counter canter with her, as well as making the trot more dynamic. Goodman has grown by leaps and bounds. His counter canter has come a long way...he can hold it on a gently bending line as well as around the ring. I started playing with the 3s and 4 time changes which he loves, and the half pass is getting better, though he is still somewhat emotional about it. The weather here really suits him, and it make me want to stay until its nice back home! Zigzag has had the opportunity to go cross country schooling, and it brought out all the little holes that we need to fix in our jumping. He is progressing well, and hopefully this last week will finish on a good note with him.

Everyone here has been so fun to get to know, and I must say that one of my favorite past times is going to the Waffle House in the AM and getting breakfast to go. YUM!

Tomorrow I get to go watch Boyd have his team training sessions, and then have a jumping lesson with Z. Lets see how much I can cram into the next few days!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rose has a new BFF!

Rose has become a real celebrity around here in Aiken. Everywhere she goes people fawn all over her and want to steal her away. She is making friends faster than I am at this point. She not only has humans swooning over her, but has also amassed a large canine following as well. While she has many new pals, no one can compare to her new BFF "Chloe", a cute little dog owned by Shannon Kinsley, Boyd Martin's head groom/farm manager/ do it all girl. These two (Rose and Chloe) are inseparable...they go everywhere together, including trail rides & trying to drive the golf cart....envision Rose on the seat, paws on the wheel, and Chloe on the floor trying to do something-you would have thought Rose was telling her to step on the gas! WHat a sight! They even shared Rose's bed one day when we were at the barn late getting ready for a horseshow. Its not to say that they have their share of "lovers tiffs" but they are quite the pair.

Everything else is going well. The weather has finally started feeling like SC...65 and sunny! Yippee! The horses are being good and Goodman finally had to get body clipped. His hairy legs were starting to embarrass him! (and me. :) ) I have done two XC schools with Z and had some other great lessons on the other horses. I cant believe there is only one more week. I must admit it is going to be really hard to leave this beautiful farm and good weather to return to the snowy north.

This week should be very fun with Silva coming back for lessons (cross your fingers I get to ride Goodman with her) and training sessions for the team at a farm nearby that I will hopefully get to watch. Until next time....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pics of record snow in SC

Not a snowballs chance in h... err South Carolina

Well, the last couple days have surely been unlikely ones, with assorted adventures/misadventures!
Who would have thought that 6 days after arriving in sunny, warm, South Carolina, that there would be a snowstorm? Not just any snow storm, but one that dropped about 4 inches of heavy wet snow and shut down the city? For us Clevelander's this is really no big deal, but most people down here have never seen this much snow in their life. It was pretty neat to see all the snow men making appearances in the most unlikely places....Waffle House, Gas Station.... I have to say that it truly was a beautiful sight as it coated the long leaf evergreens, making the boughs heavy and hang over the roadways.

The next day there was so much snow, it rendered us unable to ride. Boyd took all us girls (Silva his wife, Shannon, Lillian, Sarah,& myself) to a "fancy" breakfast at the Waffle House. It was great fun and we all had lots of laughs. He also tried to take us bowling, but the alley was closed. I had the privilige of spending some time with Silva as her flight was delayed. We both had Valentine's Day shopping to do, so she and I went to the mall before I took her to the airport. We had fun checking out all the cheezy stuff, and found some great gifts. When we arrived at the airport, I opened the back of the SUV to let Silva get her suitcase, when like a bullet out of a gun, Rose shot out the back and went running into the airport terminal! I felt like "the man in the Yellow Hat" out of a Curious George book, chasing after her. I had my Wellies on (rubber rain boots) and as I made a grab for her, slipped on the marble floor (because of course my boots were wet from the snow) and fell completely down onto the ground. FINALLY, some nice people in one of the ticket lines grabbed her and I was able to scoop her up and carry her away. Silva and I were laughing pretty hard, and the security people were very good natured about the whole thing. I seriously could not get out of there fast enough.
Here are some pictures of our snow day...the snow was melted by the end of the following day, and today it was 50 and sunny again. All the horses are acting silly ( except for Goodman who is being a perfect angel) and making chore time very interesting. Otherwise, all is well, and looking forward to a great week of lessons!

Till next time,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I think I have a schedule....

The horses finally arrived on Sunday, thanks to the winter storm. They are so happy to be in the warm weather. They have all been enjoying extended turn out at the beautiful "Sandy Hills Farm" owned and operated by Bubba Forester. Bubba is the epitome of southern gent...always lending a hand to anyone in need. He is also a wealth of "Aiken" information and very good at giving directions to get you where you need to go fast.

I think I finally have a system nailed down to accomplish all the daily tasks and also work at Boyd Martin's. Its a bit grueling, but worth it to be in the midst learning and getting lessons from the best people around. My day starts at 5:15 with getting over to feed, clean, and ride our horses. Then its outside for them, and I am off to Boyd's. The neat thing about Boyd's is that everybody does everything from cleaning stalls, to riding. It is a very interesting system. I am generally there until 5 or 5:30, and then its back to the other barn to bring everyone in, feed and try to figure out what blankets to have them wear. I get back to my room between 7 & 8:30pm, just enough time to grab a bite to eat, take a shower, and go to bed.

I have to keep this one a bit short as its late, but check back for updates on my lesson from yesterday, and cross country schooling day tomorrow!

Friday, February 5, 2010


As a kid you always dream about going places like Wellington or Ocala Fla, or Aiken SC to train with the best the Equestrian world has to offer. It always seems like a pipe dream, and one never expects for it to happen in "real life". Thanks to many, many people, I am actually here and keep pinching myself. I cant thank my husband and son enough for allowing me to go and train for a whole month! They are amazing, as are all the family who is helping out...thanks guys! Of course, without my wonderful clients Angela and Marian I might not be here at all; thank you so much for sending your horses. And we cant forget those girls at White North...Liz, Tracy, and are the best for supporting me and picking up the extra load while I'm gone.

The horses have yet to arrive due to our friend mother nature and her beautiful winter snow storm, but I was able to unpack, organize, and even get a few groceries today, despite the rain. I drove around and started to figure out how to get places...its really great having a computer so that I can Google map and see the best way to get where I am going. Thanks Angela! :) The GPS is great at sending me the long way around the block! (Grrrr) The farm where the horses are staying is beautiful. It is called Sandy Hills Farm, and there is pasture everywhere! The stalls are huge 14x14 and have dutch doors and huge windows for the horses to hang their heads out. Its is set up like a shed row with awnings on both sides and a courtyard in the middle. The cross country course looks fun and should be a great for tuning the horses back up. There is an excellent bank complex, corner, water, skinny etc etc etc. I will get pics soon.

I have also been privileged to stay with Shari Dale and her boyfriend "D" in a lovely one room apartment with one of the biggest bathrooms I have ever seen. Their farm is located at the end of a development, and is in the beautiful European style. It is kept immaculately clean (who would have thought I could ever walk down a barn aisle in slippers!) and Rose is getting along great with their dogs Ruby and Luna. Speaking of Rose...she has been a great travel partner and is loving her new digs. I am enjoying the quietude, and cant wait to start at Boyd's tomorrow. I will hopefully be doing some riding for him as well as watching the training sessions with our "A" list Team riders.