Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter in Ohio...

Well,  this winter continues to be an odd one! After such a fabulous trip with George, it was nice to not have a whole lot planned when I got home.

I have been back to work full time since the beginning of the year...I didn't realize how much I missed it! I really enjoy having a set schedule every day!! Winter has been VERY cold which makes working the horses impossible...but this past week we were up in the 50s and 60s which was super nice! It is NEVER that warm in February in Ohio!!

At the beginning of January, a LOVELY OTTB was posted on the New Vocations website ( that I just could NOT pass up.  I adopted Burning Shore and brought him home two days later!  "Chico", as I have named him, is truly a special horse.  He has come out of his shell and went from being a leery, nervous horse to one that trusts me, knickers to me, and now will eat treats out of my hand.  He is a very quick learner and is by far, the sweetest horse I have ever had the honor of owning.  He has been enjoying just being a horse since I adopted him, but last week, with the warm weather, I was able to ride him for the first time.  Oh what a fun project he will be.  After having not been ridden in well over a month, and only being off the track for 2-3 months, he was very quiet and willing.  He is all business and loves to work! I am anxious for our weather to warm up again so I can really start his training.

Nikko, my 3 year old large pony hunter prospect, finally got gelded last week.  I was putting off the gelding as long as I could to try to get him to develop that lovely stallion neck...we did get a bit of the neck, but the stallion behavior was starting to come out and I just didn't want to let it get bad. So he is now a new man....with no man parts.  He will be a lovely project this year.  I did some free jumping with him and he has a LOVELY way of going and great jump! He just quietly canters down to the fence each time, jumps in perfect form, and canters away nicely. Sakura Hill Farm in Gainsville FL did a heck of a job with his handling as a youngster!!

Roxy, my small pony hunter project, went to her first A show last weekend.  She has been SO fabulous at home and at our local show, even fabulous when hauled to my trainers facility.  However, she turned into a nervous, scared pony when we got to the show.  She schooled well on Friday, but when it was just her in the ring for her jumping rounds, she thought there was a pony eating monster at the far end and was just not wanting to go down there.  My pony jockey, Liza, did a heck of a job sticking to it and getting her around the course after some frustrating attempts.  Sunday was a new day, and Roxy jumped around all her courses with no major issues.  She was just rushing due to the nerves.  This facility is great, but is quite spooky.  Many seasoned horses spook in this ring as well.  Roxy even completed her first ever handy round! The progress she made throughout the weekend was amazing...and is the reason I love the project horses.  Seeing them progress from day to day is SO rewarding! She will go back to the same show the 2nd week in March to show in the small green ponies again. Once she learns to just relax in the ring, she will be a stellar pony...she just needs some mileage. A lot of "firsts" were thrown at her that weekend, but I am proud of how she progressed.

Guinness, my AO jumper, was sent to Margie Engle about a month ago, and within 3 weeks of him being with her, she had him sold.  Very bittersweet, but it is time for me to move on to a new horse.  Guinness will now show in the Masters Division with an older gentleman.  It is a great situation for him, and he gets to spend the rest of the winter in Florida...lucky horse!

My mom and I head to Florida for a long weekend the first weekend in March! I am very excited to get to the sunny south, see a bunch a friends that I haven't seen in WAY too long, and try some potential new horses! We will be there for the Nations Cup and the Puissance it will be some great spectating as usual.  I sure do miss spending the winters down South...well, I do and I don't. Mixed feelings about that one!

At the end of March, I start back to school full time for a Business Degree...hmmm school full time, work full time, 5 horses to take care of (3 of which are all green prospects to be worked with) and at some point, a new jumper...yup, I am a busy woman, but I love every aspect of it and would  not change it for anything!

Our farm will have some construction taking place here sometime soon...we have purchased an indoor arena so that I can continue to work all the horses throughout the winter! I am VERY excited about this!! It will be great to keep everyone in work all winter and on rainy days!! Oh! I have also decided on a name for my farm... Up and Over Farm!

I suppose that is enough of an update for now! As the horses get put pack in work, the 3 year olds start their training, and the horse search continues, I will continue to update! :)

Here is the link for Chico...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So, Whats next?!

I have had quite a few people ask me what is next for me... so I thought I would just go ahead and post and update about that!

After talking many many times to George about Europe...listing pros and cons, we decided that right now is not the time for it.  Maybe in a few years, but right now, I need to focus on things here at home, not leaving for 6 months and coming home and being in the same position I am in now.

So, what am I going to do instead?

First on the list is to sell Guinness, my low AO jumper.  I love him dearly, but I am ready to start moving up, and he is just not the horse to allow me do to that.  So he is going to be going to Florida with Margie Engle to be sold.  Once he is sold, I will start the search for a new horse! George also told me he wants to be part of my horse trial process! Super cool to have him want to help me find the right horse! :)  I am excited about trying new horses, but sad to see Guinness go.  Sadly, it is what must happen though!

I am also going to keep going in the pony hunter business.  I currently have 2 green pony hunters, and I love working with them.  So, I will continue to find young ponies, break, train, and sell them! It will be my way of supporting my Jumper!

I am also going to look at some OTTBs this spring to adopt.  I would like to have one other horse project for myself in addition to the new jumper and the ponies.  Something I can show and have fun with for myself not just the ponies.

This whole plan came about during many dinners with George.  It is a plan that best suits me, allows me to go back to my full time job (which I am VERY excited about!), and further my riding without having a lot of travel time!  I have a lot going for me and I am excited for my show season to start back up again in the Spring.  Until then, I have a month to get Guinness going as best as possible before shipping him to Margie, and to get the ponies going again!

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

San Diego...

I know this is a week late...but I have had a whirlwind of a week since I have been home...which I will explain later in this post!

San Diego was a blast!!! We did a 2 day clinic earlier in the week, a day off, then a 3 day clinic that weekend at Julie Zumstein's farm in Fallbrook CA.  The 2 day clinic was the "professionals" clinic and the 3 day clinic was a normal clinic.  I was disappointed that more professionals did not ride in the clinic...there is always so much to learn!  However, it was still a fabulous clinic.  Each group was small so the riders got to do a lot! Julie loaned me a horse for the 2 day clinic! I rode Royal Flair in the 3ft-3'6 group.  Flair is a 9 (I think?) year old TB who was a super fun horse to ride! I really appreciated Julie letting me ride him in the clinic! It was fun to get to ride for a full clinic after doing so many others with George as his assistant! The 3 day clinic had full groups in each section, which was a great thing!

The clinic was held out on a huge grass field (except the last day of the 3 day rained too much so we had to move to an indoor ring close by).  The field had tons of natural jumps...different size hedges, banks with multiple different  heights and ways of using it, grob, 2 different open waters, ditches, stone walls, etc.  It was a LOT of fun to ride on such a lovely field.
I'd say my favorite horse to ride in this clinic was a little Haflinger pony! The girl was young and small and did a fabulous job for such a tough clinic! I schooled the pony multiple times and had an absolute blast on him!! He had tons of scope and step and was a pony that is truly worth his weight in gold!

I will post pictures in a later post early next week.
The whole trip summed up: 9 cities, 5 states, 6 flights, 7 clinics, 3.5 weeks, 91 rides total....sort of insane when I see it all spelled out like that! I met a TON of fabulous people, had a lot of fun, learned an insane amount, and I truly cherish every moment of that trip! It was really a trip of a lifetime!

But, I am beyond glad to be home! While I was away, my mom had a lot to deal with.  My Grandma (her mother) was in the ICU not doing well, and my other grandma (her step-mom) was on death watch for a week and passed away a week ago Christmas Day.  So she had a lot on her plate and I wish I could have been home to be with her and my family during that time The funeral was last week, which I was able to be home for, so we have been very busy with that and Christmas stuff.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas!! I know I sure did! It is nice to be home with my family, horses, and dogs, eating home cooked meals, and having a few days of down time before starting back to work on Monday! I am excited to have a set schedule again! :)

Happy New Year everyone!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

See ya LA! Hello San Diego...

Well, we just finished 6 straight days of clinics! Felt like a marathon!!!  After Oregon, we flew to LA where we did a clinic at Archie Cox's place and then we did a clinic for Karen Healey!

The night we flew into LA, we stayed in West Hollywood.  We did not get in until LATE Sunday night, so I was thankful for a nice bed to sleep in! Woke up and ate breakfast outside in a tshirt...enjoyed a lot of people watching and GREAT weather.  The nice weather was a blessing after the cold days in Portland! George drove me down Sunset blvd and through the Hollywood was fun to do some sightseeing...although it wasn't much, it was still a nice break!

The clinic at Archie's was another great one! It was more laid back then the previous clinics, but that was a welcome change! More laid back in the sense of less complicated. George was still George, but the courses were simpler and jump heights were smaller. He did something I had never seen him do before...we had the normal liverpool, then he used a rain sheet under two other jumps.  one was folded up smaller than the other.  This was his way of introducing water to the horses.  The rain sheets and liverpool did not cause any issues in this clinic! George had a quadruple of sorts set up each day... a normal triple then a bending line of 2 strides or 1 stride to another fence.  This line actually did cause some required steering and the use of a lot of leg!  Everyone (both horse and rider) really improved during this clinic!

Side note from Archies: the first day, we had an attack of the birds!!! All of a sudden, it got VERY loud and TOOOOOONS of birds came...we were in a covered ring, and the birds were EVERYWHERE outside and you could hear a crazy amount of them all over the roof! If you have ever seen the movie "Birds", this was that sort of situation!

After the 3 day clinic at Archie's, we went directly to a BEAUTIFUL facility called El Campeon (google it and drool over it...because it is certainly drool worthy!)  This clinic was very similar to the one at Diane Carney's in Chicago.  The management of the clinic was outstanding, the quality of horses and riders was phenomenal, and as I said, the facility was spectacular!

The first group was the Grand Prix group, 2nd group was 4ft+ group, and the 3rd was the equitation group.  All of the horses and riders were fabulous and progressed extremely fast!  The courses here were quite tough, although all of the riders were up to the challenge!  George continues to advocate the forward seat and riding from leg, not hands.  LEG LEG LEG is what I have heard for almost 3 weeks now! Another thing he continues to talk about is GIVING in the corner before a jump.  When a rider does this, the distance to the jump just shows up perfectly!!  He said there are 2 big gives when in the corner and giving at the jump (Automatic release...he wants the release to soften down towards the mouth when you see the distance). George also said that he hates the word "flatwork" because it is really dressage, and we should call it dressage.

I rode a good amount of horses in this clinic as well (puts me up to 64 rides since I have been gone!!).  One horse in particular really made me pull out some inner strength.  The 2nd day of the clinic (Saturday...I have to keep posting the day of the week so I can remember for myself...because days have all blended together on this trip!) this super cute gray horse decided to be difficult.  He started to spin a LONG way away from the jumps, stop, rear, etc.  His rider did a spectacular job at staying calm and trying her best to get him to go forward and jump.  George had me get on after the rider tried for awhile.  Once I was on, I galloped him forward, and was relieved to be going in the correct direction.  However, that didnt last long, we stopped about 10 strides away from an oxer, stopped again about 5 out, so we ended up just trotting a rather large oxer.  But hey, we jumped it! So, go to head to another jump, and couldnt get him going forward, just kept stopping and rearing.  So we decide to head to a jump he has jumped before and was more on the simple side...get him going forward then BAM a stop and spin on a dime! He ALMOST got me off with that spin.  It happened so fast George did not even see it! He turned around to see me climbing back into the saddle after hanging off the side and simply said "What happened?!" then chuckled!!  After that, I dug deep and pulled out all of my knowledge and finally got the horse jumping around nicely.  It was probably one of the hardest rides I have had in quite awhile. This horse really taught me how to be VERY tough and tactful without being rough and getting mad/irritated.  I had to stay calm in order to get the job done!

Here is a diagram of the course the final day:

The outside line (a to b) was done starting out as a 6, then working up to the 5.  It was a simple oxer and plank vertical.  Riders then did the oxer to oxer (a to c) in a direct but snug 7 strides.  Riders then added in the 5 stirdes from vertical to oxer after the bending line.  These lines both were designed to work on the tight distance and to not give up when it looked TOO tight.  The open water to vertical line got quite tight, especially after the correct ride to the water.  The most difficult portion of this course was the "S" line (i to h to f and backwards f to h to i).  Each line was to be 6 strides, and 6 strides only.  A lot of the riders did it beautifully the first time each direction...however, George had the riders do the line back and forth a few times.  This is where it got difficult because the horses then knew the path and would cut in, making the distances difficult!  The exercise really helped soften the riders as well!! 
George used fence g in the 3rd group to develop a bold jump.  He had riders hand gallop that fence, keep the pace, then shorten to fence h.  Riders continued this figure of 8 pattern working on the bold gallop to the vertical then the shorten yet strong jump to the oxer with liverpool under it.

Here is a picture of some scenery at the facility:

The weather was BEAUTIFUL! I did get a bit too much sun, but hey, being tan in December really isn't a bad thing now is it?  It did get a bit too hot on Sunday, but considering it is bitter cold back home, I won't complain! :)

I wish I had been able to blog sooner, as I have now forgotten many of the exercises, but as I remember them, I will blog again!

We are now east of San Diego where we will clinic at Julie Zumstein's farm all week.  We have a 2 day clinic on her grass field starting tomorrow, an off day (who knows what is planned for that day though!) on Thursday, than a 3 day clinic on the same field starting on Friday.  I am staying in the same hotel for 6 nights...thats the longest I have been in one place since I left home! I am excited to be unpacked and not have to pack again until Sunday morning! 

I will blog again Thursday about the 2 day clinic, then again on Sunday when we are at a hotel near the San Diego airport where we leave EARLY monday morning! I am really anxious to get home (even though everyone asks WHY?! since it is so cold!) But I am ready to be home!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Goodbye Portland Oregon, hello California!

We had another fabulous clinic at Rich Fellers farm in Portland Oregon! The Fellers family is incredibly kind and ride beautifully! Rich, his wife Shelly, and their son Chris all rode in the clinic! It was great to see such a phenomenal and brilliant rider still ride in a George clinic! There are many professionals out there today that would not and do not ride in such clinics....who knows why...but my theory is there is ALWAYS more to learn! Kudos to all the professionals out there that DO in fact ride in clinics! It was just refreshing to see both Rich and Shelly ride in this clinic!

Oregon is a beautiful state! Very green, but also cold! We were outside in just a covered ring for this clinic and it was quite cold!! The footing in the ring was a type of mulch...which was interesting.  It was great footing, but was a bit loose as it was still new and needed more riding on it! The horses in this clinic were stellar! FABULOUS jumpers with lots of scope! The riders were all great as well!

The courses and exercises were tough and required riding every single stride...there were no "freebie" jumps that you could relax to...each and every one of them required an active ride.
Here is a diagram of the course on day 3 of the clinic:

The outside line was set at 77 feet...riders jumped this back and forth working on being loose to the oxer and getting to the vertical and shortening...this really helped the horses jump quite round! Jumping it vertical to oxer, riders had to be cautious to not get to the oxer too soon and too deep.

The skinny (fence 2 in the diagram) to the water was a 4 stride bending line. It was a great set up because riders could not think about the open water until they had jumped the skinny.  If they thought about the open water too soon, then they had the skinny down.

The quadruple on the outside was quite a line! Set as a comfortable 1, long 2, SHORT 1 and with 2 wide spread fences in the middle of the line.  The riders and horses handled it well...some horses stopped at either the triple bar or the final vertical (which was pretty solid looking since it was 3 planks and no poles).  Some horses got to the triple bar, knew that one was SUPER tight and would just stop, others got over the triple and stopped at the vertical...however, every horse and rider was able to work it out and that last 1 stride sure got horses to be quite careful and handy!

I rode quite a few horses in this clinic...
My favorite was this fresh/hot bay mare that is totally my kind of ride. I love the rides that you can just sit against them and let them take you to the jump. She was a super fun mare to ride!
I rode this cute gray a few different times...a couple times were to make him lighter to my leg and get him in front of my leg and once was to demonstrate some things on the flat work.  George was very very very complimentary of my flat work on this horse.  He said my position was impeccable, that I really understood dressage and how to get a horse to come round from back to front (he even clapped for me after this ride!!!).  Later that evening he continued to compliment me on that flat demonstration! It was great to hear him say such positive things about my riding! I rode another gray a few times to get him in front of my leg and help the rider prevent him from stopping...a chestnut I rode to demonstrate more flat work and demonstrate a proper automatic release. A super cute bay horse was tentative to some jumps due to lack of impulsion, so I got him to school him a bit.  He was not a fan of me riding him with more leg and he took off with me!! Thankfully there was a rail for me to run him into so we would stop! He ended quite nicely though and was a fun little horse! One horse i did some jumping on and he said that I was not Beezie or Mclain, but that I am a prospect and with experience and the right horse, I could be just like them! That was the most incredible comment to hear ever! It was unbelievable that he said such a compliment!! 
After this clinic, I am up to 33 rides since I have been gone! LOVE getting so much saddle time on such nice horses!!

Anyone that knows me, knows I am the worlds pickiest eater!  However, I discovered that I can eat at a sushi restaurant, a Thai restaurant, and that I do in fact like crab and fish! WHO KNEW?!?! hahaha! The Crab is what really shocked me! I really didn't think I would like it since I have always hated seafood...but it was DELICIOUS!

We had a rough flight last  night flying from Portland to LA...LOTS of turbulence, I had a screaming child right behind me, it was after a VERY long it made for a long night! We didn't get into the hotel until after 11 (so 2am in Ohio!)...I sure slept well though! We had breakfast outside (in a t-shirt and light fleece) in Hollywood this morning! LOVE people watching and this was a perfect time to do so! It was a fabulous relaxing morning!  We are off to Pasadena today where we will stay this week! We will clinic at Archie Cox's and Karen Healey's farms this week.  SIX straight days of clinics...I better rest up well today!! Luckily, the weather forecast is showing everything from 68*-75* and sunny every single day! I could get used to this! :)

George has 2 ideas that he has put into my brain!  The first is that he wants me to start a pony hunter breeding business of my own.  He has seen videos and pictures of my 2 current ponies and really thinks this would be an ideal business for me! He talks about it daily!!  The second idea is that he wants me to sell my current jumper, Guinness, and buy a young jumper that is the hotter type with more scope.  He knows I LOVE that kind of ride and he said that is the ride that will take me to the next level! Sure gives me a lot to think about!

2 weeks from today I will be heading home!  It will be a busy next 2 weeks and I am really looking forward to it! Also REALLY looking forward to getting home to my mom, family, friends, Bailey, and my horses!

I will blog again later this week!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Goodbye Sacramento!

Well another clinic is over!
After finishing up in Chicago we flew to Sacramento California...what a beautiful flight! We were able to see the mountains for part of the flight and it was gorgeous!

It is very interesting to be in different parts of the country and see different farms and facilities! Patty Ball has a fabulous facility! Her ring is phenomenal! A lovely, bit sand ring with a large bank in the center.  Things are a little different here then they are back at home in Ohio.  No indoor rings is a huge thing that is different.  I also noticed a trend during this clinic...LOTS of pelhams! I would say 80% of the horses went in pelhams! We swapped some out to double twisted wires...George's favorite bit! I also noticed that not many riders really rode from their leg...a lot of seat and backwards riding.

I got a LOT of ride time at this clinic! I rode 6 the first day and 8 the second day.  George was very complimentary of my riding and each horse presented different problems and issues. One big gray horse in the first section was a fabulous horse to ride. George said it was a "beautiful picture" with me on him...that made me happy because I loved the horse once I schooled him up a little bit and got him lighter to the aids.  A lot of the rides I did were to just reinforce the aids...whether it was making a horse go when I put my leg on, or whoa when I half halted.  Some were to make a horse bolder to the jumps, or to stop run outs (there seemed to be a lot of run outs during this clinic).

The horses here were all GREAT to the liverpool and open water. No real issues with that at all, which was great to see! It was a relief to see these horses had no problems with it, even with them filled with water!

Exercise wise, there really isn't anything to blog about...typical George exercises, nothing erally different or new.  One thing that he did which I thought was great was making the 3rd group take their stirrups off of their saddles.  They did quite a bit of flat work without stirrups.  He then made them jump up and down one side of the bank, with a short turn afterwards, then up and down the other side (which was a bit larger) with another short turn after.  They did this on a continuous figure of 8 until he told them to stop.  Most of the riders had great seats and really did well with this exercise.  One rider had issues with the exercise (her horse was quite bull headed and not a very pleasant ride) so I had to get on her horse and school the horse through the figure of 8.  The horse was a tough ride and just was NOT responsive to my hands. He had no mouth on him so when I pulled, he just pulled back! I did the bank back and forth quite a few times (all without stirrups) and got the horse more responsive before giving him back to his rider.

Here are some pictures of the jumps and ring here in Sacramento:

Here is a diagram of todays course:

I lettered the jumps so I can describe the courses that were that I am ready to do that, I realize I did not letter the jumps correctly! OOPS! haha! Oh well, it will work!

e-f-g is a snug 3 to a comfortable 3...reverse it and g-f-e is a long 3 to a shortish 3

the triple was set as a long 2 short 1
the triple to the water was a direct 5, followed by a steady 7 to the triple bar (d).

d-c-b-a was a BENDING short 6, to a less short 6, to a medium 4 or a direct 5, more direct 5, tight 4. This set of jumps presented lots of problems for the riders.

One course that the riders did was f to the triple in a steady 6, SHORT left turn back to the open water, slight bend in 7 to the triple bar, 6 to c, 5 to b, and 4 to a.

To prepare for the open water, the riders trotted and cantered the liverpool first.  Like I said earlier, none of the riders had an issue with the water or liverpool.

We are off to Portland Oregon tomorrow for a clinic at Rich Fellers' farm.  We clinic there Friday, Saturday, and Sunday then fly out to Los Angeles on Sunday night... Sunday is sure to be a LONG day since we do not arrive in LA until 9:30pm!

Thanks for reading...I will blog again after the Oregon clinic!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chicago Clinic is a wrap!

Holy Cow! Diane Carney puts on one HECK of a clinic! TOP horses and riders at a fabulous facility! We bulit some tough, big courses as well! I will try to figure out how to add diagrams of the courses to this blog...

Day 1:

Outside line set at 53 feet...brush vertical to oxer with barrels under it...both jumps were set 5 feet off the rail.  The opposite side of the ring was the open water about half way down the long side up against the rail.  on the short side there was a little vertical with flowers on both sides.  There was a white oxer with walls under it on one of the diagonals and the other diagonal was a copy of the famous Bert DeNemethy Shooting Star vertical that is currently on display at the USHJA Headquarters.

All 3 days focused on forward, responsive to the aids, and up into the bridle.
Group one was the 3'6-3'9 group. They all rode very well and had fabulous horses!  I sat on 2 during this group.  1 was a lovely big gray horse that was a bit on the dead side on landing after the trot jump. So I got on to get him to go forward after the jumps.  The 2nd that I sat on was this nice big bay horse that is normally used in hunter derbys. This horse was quite difficult to keep the energy on the short one, so I schooled him on that for awhile. He was a very fun horse to ride!
Group 2 was the 4ft group and once again, had LOVELY horses and riders! Nothing sticks out to me about that group that is worth reporting!  They all rode super well though!
Group 3 was the big group that got up to 4'3+ and had some Grand Prix horses and riders in it.  Some of these riders swapped to other horses for days 2 and 3.  Kate's horse, a big chestnut stallion, was just LOVELY to watch go. Actually, theres wasnt a single horse in the whole clinic that wasnt lovely to watch go!

Day 2:

The outside line got turned into a tripel set at 35' (brush vertical to barrel oxer) then 33' to a vertical with a spooky wall set up. across the diagonal was 22' in and out oxer to vertical. The vertical was the cool Chinese wall from the Hong Kong Olympics. The Denemethy jump was set at a 5 stride bending line after the open water and a little vertical was set so there was a 4 stride bending line to the middle oxer of the triple combination.

All groups were fabulous again! There was a super cute chestnut TB that was in the middle group that reminded me of Hopper, my retired jumper.  Quick on his feet, small and dainty, but heart of gold!

I rode the same 2 as the first day... The gray I schooled over the open water, and the bay I worked on getting in front of the leg.  I also rode a black horse in the first group to work on its half halts as he was strong for the girl riding him.  Then I got to ride a super fun cute bay horse in the 3rd section...I got on him to school the triple combination as they were adding and doing the 3 to the 3, which was quite short.  The horse had a LOVELY lofty big jump, and the shorter we got the rounder he jumped and was a bit difficult to stay with. He was a fabulous horse to ride though! A LOT of fun!

Day 3:

The triple combination got turned into a 67' (I believe thats what it was measured at) line set up the same as the first day, just with one more stride in the line.  We reversed the open water so it was jumped off the left lead.  The Denemethy jump stayed the same (5 stride bending line to the water).  there was a short 2 stride set up off of an awkward turn (had to turn RIGHT around the oxer of the 67' line) so it was quite a blind turn and presented plenty of problems. The head of that line was a spooky looking triple bar...hard to describe it, so I wont! :)  the out of the triple was a simple white plank vertical...but the planks were skinny so it ended up creating problems there.  Next to the Denemethy jump was a big airy oxer...riders were to do 3 or 4 off of the in and out...the 3 caused quite a few bobbles at the oxer!  the chinese wall stayed in the same place...riders got to that jump by riding through the in and out.  Then there was a vertical that was on the diagonal with 2 strides on the landing before the rail/corner.  It had 3 natural rails on it (as in branch type rails) with one flower box under it.

Today was a very tough course and we had quite a few riders fall off! 1 was a nasty stop at the water, 2 were jumped off (horses were jumping VERY well!), and another fell off in the corner after the vertical in the corner...she wanted to go straight to the corner to halt, horse turned, off she slid!
I rode the same gray and bay this day.  The gray I got on to demonstrate releases and the bay I got on to demonstrate jumping ahead, dropping back, ducking, and a proper position.

George taught all of the girls a lesson...he said "Boys are dogs! If they aren't dogs, they are Boars!" That got quite a few laughs from the auditors!

George rode a few horses this weekend...2 were ones that I wanted to blog about.  He rode this big hot bay in the 3rd group...he was a super cool horse, but very sensetive.  George worked him for quite awhile, working on the horse respecting the aids without being so hot and sensitive about it.  To see the transformation in that horse was INCREDIBLE. It went from  super hot, sensitive, and spunky to perfectly content with anything that was asked of him.  It was just amazing to watch.  The 3rd day, he rode Caitie Hope's chestnut that was in the 3rd group.  He was a big of a stiff horse, but George worked him for probably 10 minutes or so and really got the horse to be soft, supple, and relaxed.  The horse's expression after he rode him was that of content...he was so loose and supple and jumped so freely after George rode him.  George has such an incredible touch with the horses and it is awesome to watch!

I had a lot of fun at this clinic, learned a TON, and met a lot of fabulous people!  This clinic was also a trainer certification clinic, so there were over 100 auditors each day! HUGE turnout which was great to see!

We flew to Sacramento today (which is gorgeous!)...we clinic here tomorrow and Wednesday before flying to Portland Oregon.  There, we clinic on Friday Saturday and Sunday and fly to LA Sunday night.

I am having a blast and learning a lot! However, today was a down day after we arrived so I have had a lot of time to think about missing home and my mom.  My mom is my best friend and this is the longest we have been away from each other...during clinic days all is well since I stay busy, but on days like this, I am homesick!  Oh well...this is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am SO greatful for this experience!

3 weeks and I will be HOME! :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Schedule for the trip...

Novemeber 25 (Thanksgiving of the worst travel days of the year!!)- Fly to Chicago
Nov. 26-28- Clinic at Diane Carney's
Nov. 29- Fly to Sacramento, California
Nov. 30- December 1- Clinic at Patty Ball's
December 2- Fly to Portland, Oregon
December 3-5 Clinic at Rich Fellers'
Dec. 5- Fly to Los Angeles
Dec 7-9- Clinic at Archie Cox's
December 10-12- Clinic at Karen Healey's
December 13- Drive to San Diego
Dec. 14-15 Clinic at Fairbrook Farm
Dec. 17-19 Clnic at Fairbrook Farm
December 20- Fly Home!

It is going to be a long and busy few weeks...but it will be SO worth it!! Once I am back home, I will have 4 days to do all of my Christmas shopping and wrapping!! After Christmas... SLEEP (unless I am leaving for Europe right that case...I suppose I will sleep in about 7 months...)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Everything is sinking in...

Well, everything finally started to sink in this morning...this is all real. It is not a dream, I really am going to be traveling for 25 days with George Morris to be his rider in multiple clinics...and while I am with him, we will be discussing details for me to go to Europe for 6 months to ride and show. UNREAL! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, something that only happens in my dreams, and something I just never ever thought would be happening to me!

The amount of emotions that has come with this AMAZING opportunity is overwhelming. I am beyond honored to get to do all of this traveling with such a legend.  I am excited to get to see so many new cities (and countries!).  I am thrilled to get to be pursuing my dreams and expanding my riding resume!  I am anxious to see what new things I learn, to see how my riding improves, to meet new people, and to travel the world!  However, all of these positive emotions come with some negatives too! I am nervous about everything mentioned above. I am worried about a countless number of things.  I am scared to leave home for such a long period of time since I have never been away from my family for any length of time.  I am also very sad to be leaving my current job.  This job is an outstanding job, one that I absolutely love to go to every day.  The people I work with are phenomenal and I have made many many friends in this company. I will miss them dearly, but I know I will be working there again at some point!!!

There are so many things to organize, figure out, and think about before the traveling begins!  Things that I didn't really think about until today! It is going to a busy, crazy, and hectic next 2 weeks before I leave for 25 days!!! Lots of lists have been made (and will continue to be made)...hopefully I can start crossing things off of these lists soon!

Thanks for reading and supporting me on this exciting, life changing, nerve wracking, absolutely amazing journey!!