Monday, September 24, 2012

Devon here we come!

As I mentioned in an earlier Blog post, Tsjesse and Goodman qualified and made the cut for Dressage at Devon this year!  It was exciting to find out that I would be doing my first CDI in Devon, but I must admit it felt somewhat surreal.  I thought after the summer we have had that there must have been some mistake.  Well, the ride times came out yesterday, and sure enough there we are....

I knew I was going to need some help getting the boys ready so I enlisted the help of trainer and friend Charlotte Bayley Schindelholtz to get us tuned up and prepared.  I knew I picked the right coach when we started working on the bending in halfpass in the first lesson with Tsjesse!  Charlotte really pegged both horses, and had me riding Goodman's "big boy" gaits (ahh my back!) right away.  We discussed a good plan, including body clipping both horses, "learning to run" with the horses in the jog (ahh my ankle!), not to mention all the things I need to do when I'm riding!

I am excited (and nervous) to compete these two horses for their owners Angela Hambrick, and Marian Shaughnessy, who have been two of my biggest sponsors over the past few years.  They have put their time, trust, faith and financial support in me for the last five or six years, and its so exciting to have the opportunity to bring their horses to such an amazing competition, and hopefully give them a special experience.

I have been trying to figure out my outfit for the jog, and found the most excellent shoes...there is a video of me practicing in them in a sweet outfit of brown breeches floating around out there (No blackmail please!) so now I just need an ensemble.  Or, I could just jog in the shoes, but I'm pretty sure no one wants to see that!  So much to do and only two days to go!

HOLD onto your hats folks,


Saturday, September 8, 2012

TIme Flies!

Well, time certainly flies as its already nearly the second week of September!  We had a great outing at the Grand haven dressage show, with Angela Hambrick, Sanae Tanebe, and Jessica Hart!  Angela made her return to showing in style, coming second and first in her two classes on Saturday with great scores in the high sixties.  Unfortunately, York came down with a low grade fever and subsequently we had to scratch him on Sunday since he wasn't feeling well.  Angela's horse Goodman made his return to the competition arena with me after a break from a tendon strain, and while we had a few exciting moments, he mostly held it together.  Sanae showed great improvement over the weekend, with great scores at Training Level, and she and her horse Leggs are becoming a great team!  Jessica Hart and Zophie also put their best foot forward in the dressage ring, and these two eventers held their own with the DQs!  Everyone had great placings and our riders were in the top three all weekend!  Way to go ladies!  Thanks to our grooms Mary McKeon and Maggie Des Roches for keeping all of us on time and beautifully turned out!

August took us to the Erie Hunt and Saddle Club Horse Trial, where Tiffany and Cisco, Jessica and Zophie, and Captain and I all had move ups to new levels.  Well, for Captain it was his first recognized horse trial in the US, and despite a spotty dressage, he jumped around clean and within the time to finish in 7th.  I am really enjoying getting to know this horse, and cannot thank all of our sponsors enough for giving me the opportunity to ride this amazing animal.  Jessica and Zophie moved up to Novice like professionals, clinching the win with a stellar performance.  Tiffany and Cisco made the move to Training, and after a good dressage, went into cross country with a great plan, but sadly had a miss at the 3rd fence, a very upright wall and ditch. All was not lost however, as it did give us the opportunity to meet a fabulous new friend, TD Seema Sonnad, who went around with us after the event to school the XC.  Seema is an outstanding TD, focused on improving safety and the education of the competitors in a very positive fashion.  If only all TD's were like her!  Thanks so much Seema for all your helpful advice, and giving us the chance to help Tiffany and Cisco work through the wall, and some of the other questions on the course.  We really appreciated it! 

We also attended the South Farm Horse Trial Labor Day weekend, and Jessica solidified her move to Novice with a third and a clinic of a cross country round.  I am so proud of all the hard work she and Zophie have done this summer, and they have improved by leaps and bounds.  Myra Chudakoff and her horse Mikey competed in the Starter and did a great dressage but had a little problem at the water.  She did a super stadium round, and finished in 6th! We did get to school the water after, and Myra did a great job getting him confident and reliable.   Captain and I did our second Novice together, and after dressage were tied for 1st on a 28.  It wasn't to be though, as I circled between the last two fences to try and get closer to the time for the tie break, and inevitably came in two seconds over!  HEARTBREAKING!  We ended up fourth with a 28.8 (yes its was that close!) and a really awesome directors chair for tieing with Holly Taylor and Nova for the best dressage score of the show!  Thank you to Sarah Greer and Chris Gable for everything they do to make this such a special horse trial.  It always feels like home away from home to us, and thank you so much for the great prizes!

Finally, two quick notes... Tsjesse and Goodman both made the cut for Dressage at Devon!  I am so excited to compete these two horses for their owners at a true festival of dressage.  It will be my first CDI and you can believe I will be enlisting some help!

and drum roll please....Tiffany and Cisco made the trek to the AEC's in Fairborn Ga (with Myra as groom, cheerleader, support system/happiness guru extraordinaire) where they are currently ranked 5TH!!!!! after dressage in a very competitive (well it is a National Championship) Novice division. Keep the juices going and go take down that cross country course today!!!! More updates as we get them!
Go Cisco and Go Tiffany!