Apologies for lack of correspondance, but my lord the past three months have passed so quickly!
First of all Florida came around so fast. It was an uneventful drive down, we all arrived safe and sound. All being the horses, ourselves, Pam's dogs and our beautiful "daughter" Mischa. You all will be glad to know she still lives on! She has escaped the wrath of the NH coyotes and our resident alligator thus far. She now walks in a harness with a leash! So proud :)
December was a hairy month as we would say back home. Shauna unfortunately had to leave us for the month as she was scheduled for surgery and needed the month to recover etc. All is great now! She can smell, taste and breathe well again!! We did miss her though, both at work and outside of work!
So December was manned by Ali and I. With some help from one of the clients, Jane aka "Mom". Oh man we love that woman. She is a miller to muck out stables I can tell you!! I won't lie, December was a tough month. We worked a hell of a lot, but on the otherhand I rode a ton too. I had the two four year olds, a grey that was destined for the jumper ring and anything else that needed riding.
Ziggy was having a tough time of it, he just recovered from a really bad abcess in his right hind that had him laid up for easily 2 months. So his right side was as weak as water. As he got better, his opinion and attitude shone out a bit too much for our liking!! It was understandable... he was only pushed as much as he was physically able to take, but now he was doing much better physically and he didn't like the idea of having to go back to big boy school. He turned to bucking. And I sat all the bucks until one day.... he was being a pup, I smacked him with the crop on the shoulder and he gave me the finger basically. Well actually he made me eat dirt. I had it, until he threw in a dirty one and dropped his left shoulder and ducked out to the right. Needless to say, he didn't do that again in a hurry!! He is now going fabulously. Walk, trot, canter, leg yields, transitions up and down, centre lines. He basically had an issue with me taking a contact and getting my legs on. He is learning now that he can complain, but can't be an asshole!!
LC on the otherhand has just been a superstar. She took to Florida really well, she likes the heat and all the goings on has helped her become more adaptable. I cannot say how much I enjoy getting to ride her and learning how to ride a 4yo turning 5yo. To know what they should be doing at this age and teaching her along the way is invaluable. Everyday I am learning and everyday she is too. I always struggled at home with knowing the time to start upping the ante and why. Pam has taught me to be vigilant and having the insight to know when new things need to be introduced and what needs to be better before moving on to teaching them new things, what is age appropriate, was is not, how much to ask, what not to ask, understanding the biomechanics as to why this or that is difficult for her at this stage or that stage etc etc. Lads the list is endless!! The connection now is getting quite good. She is carrying herself really nicely - up and out to the contact. As I said before, these thoroughbred types need contact, but need to ride out and up to it. It is said for all horses that they need to be "in the box" but it is vital that you ride the horse UP INTO the box and not PULL it BACK INTO the box.
So Remi was the jumper horse I rode for a few weeks. He actually belonged to a client of Pam's that had him as a dressage horse, but it wasn't his calling in life! So he came to us to get fit and get back into the jumper mode. I had a blast, I haven't jumped in donkeys years!! Pam taught me how to do "jumper changes" where you ask for a flying change over the jump with the aim to land on the correct lead after. So I learned some jumper things too!!
Remi and I - Christmas Day 2013
Christmas Day was one of the best that I have ever had. All of the people at the barn that had nothing to do, converged at Jen's house (a fabulous client and great friend of ours) for the evening's festivities! It was a potluck kind of dinner, we all brought something and we also did Secret Santa!! It was a great day. We rode the horses in the morning, while listening to Il Divo's christmas CD blaring on the music system. Twas a funny day!
January followed really closely, Shauna came back....YAY!!!!!!! We though Jan would be nicer since there were more peeps to man the barn, but with over 22 horses on 3 different properties.... I think you get the idea. Oh and yeah, we had over 18 horses in December between just Ali and I. Wowsers.
The Palm Beach leg of the World Dressage Masters was on this past weekend, it also had a 3* CDI incorporated which Pam competed in. She came 4th in the PSG and 8th in the Inter 1 with Bernie. He hasn't been shown since last year and for Bernie, it was a fantastic result!!
Had tickets again this year, wasn't as big a show as last year which was slightly disappointing, but then again... Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud were scheduled to compete!! But then Gal dropped out due to illness (I can confirm that he was sick, as I stalked him and saw him cough and wipe his nose a lot). The Hans dropped out of the freestyle due to soundness issues with his horse. So then there were only 7 in for the freestyle. Was pretty bad to be honest. The only one deserving to be at this supposed high level competition was Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven. She stole the show and I am not exaggerating. Her freestyle was harmonious, flowing, in time to the music, the music was perfect. She was the only one that gave me goosebumps. Last year I had goosebumps with her, Charlotte, Anja Plonkze, Stephan Peters, Carl Hester....get my drift?!
Here is the link to Tinne's freestyle of the weekend just gone
PS See if you can see me.... I am in the front row on the left of A as you watch :)
Tinne.... talk about a really good rider. She is just amazing!! She deserved that win.
I shall try and keep this updated I promise!!!