"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, November 21, 2011

Snow make-up day.

It only took me two weeks catch up on blogs.  I've returned to the normal travel work week and it has severely impacted my blog.  Fail! 

Since we were snowed out at Plantation, I squeezed Fred into Waredaca's starter trial that was rescheduled.  I had only been to Waredaca once before, maybe 2 years ago, but always liked the facility.  Amanda was so very wonderful to accompany me to the event.  This was her second HT and I couldn't ask for a better companion! It was a long day and Amanda made it much easier.  Amanda also captured some great photos. 

Dressage was fantastic.  We had one small bobble during a down transition.  We had a 35.5 which put us in 5th or 6th after dressage.  I was quite pleased.

Stadium was a little crazy.  Fred was calm and happy until warm up.  Then his frisky fun side let loose.  We had an energetic and clean ride through the stadium course, which rode great.  We almost crashed the Ravens' oxer but somehow left it up.  You'll see below what I mean.

The cross country course was a great BN challenge.  There were 16 jumps and some were more than I had seen in a while.  Fred was really good on the XC course until I started losing some brake control at the end.  Again, see below. That was a minor complaint as I was thrilled to end our first season together on such a great note.  We have lots of homework in front of us and the potential for a lot of fun.

 Probably our only quiet jump.
 Entering the two stride that we rode just right.
 Over the last and clear.
 First XC jump.  Fred says "la de da..."
 Headed to the finish and Fred can't hear my request to half halt.

We finished third and we earned it.  I can't believe Fred and I did six event this year.  We had three not so great outings and three that ended better than expected.  

I learned a lot about riding, maintaining, and training horses this year.  The lessons about motivation, perseverance, patience, and dedication are what will stick with me for a long time.  I look forward to many more good days with Fred in and out of the saddle.  I also look forward to the simple visits with Tyler where I can forget about everything else and hang out with my friend. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sally's Aiken 2012 Letter

Sally Cousins sent out her 2012 Aiken letter. As it asks, I am passing the info along.

When my computer was knocked off the couch earlier this year by a dog who shall not be named ( ok I shouldn't have had it on the couch) I lost all my Aiken records so please pass this  information along to anyone who might be interested.

Our place in Aiken is set on 27 acres 5 1/2 miles out of the center of town. It is convenient to many hotels , stores and restaurants.  We have lots of show jumps, some cross country jumps and a dressage ring.  We have lots of turn out available in individual paddocks.  Lessons are available daily and we go cross country schooling many times a week.  Pine Top is an hour away and all the other events are within 20 minutes.  There are 5 cross country courses nearby that we use to school.  There are many derbies ,combined tests and some unrecognized events held in Aiken while we are down there. Hitchcock Woods is close to our place. It is a  2000 acre park that is great for trail riding.  We are 25 minutes from the Augusta airport and an hour and 15 minutes from Columbia airport. Megan Papler also rents a house 5 miles from the farm and that is a great place to stay especially for the young riders.

Many people have mentioned that they are concerned that their horse is not far enough along in its training to come down, but Aiken is a great experience for greener horses.  The footing is sand so we are able to school more in good footing and the environment is relaxed.  I try to get my babies far  enough along to be able to cross country school them while we are down there. For example,  Walle was concerned about water at first and he was able to get out to many different water jumps and is now quite confident.  At the time he wasn't even doing much jumping. 

self care
- under 30 days  $15 a night per stall
- over 30 days  $10 a night per stall
lessons $65
training board $400 a week (shipping to local events and schools included)
there is a discounted rate in January
I will be taking a deposit of $5 per night to hold a stall.
If you have any questions please let me know.  Thanks,  Sally  sallycousins@aol.com

I couldn't help but add Walle's horse trial debut video.  (Wall-E, like the robot in the movie) Walle is one of the biggest and sweetest horses I have ever encountered.