Sunday, July 5, 2015

On the road again

For the last two years, my summers have been relatively quiet.

Yes, we did travel a little bit, taking trail rides and going to clinics; but for the most part my herd and myself were homebodies.

It was for a variety of reasons. Sinari needed to then concentrate on the GP work, Danzador needed to grow up (or get over cellulitus) and the dynamic duo of Flair and Haiku weren't around yet. The homefires were strong and the trailer was regulated to it's parking place at the house.

The homefires are put out and we're already off to a running start for the summer season. The season is steadily going forward with the girls working about six days a week, and trying to keep the appointments on schedule.

The trailer this year has barely been unpacked and remains a consistent fixture on my hitch some weeks. Good, bad and otherwise, I've missed the travel. 

Flair, for now, going out more frequently than Haiku, who had some unintended time off due to rolling in an ant pile. Both girls are again steadily progressing within the work. It's amazing how far they've come.

I know I'm bias, but Haiku is just flat out pretty and exceptionally mature looking for the age. I was so lucky to have found her and receive the backing to bring her along. While I'm itching for a four year old bid with her, I know that she will probably sell by the end of this year.

Flair who has been nothing but a joy to bring along, is more of a power ballad than anything else. She's my cup of tea. She has about thirty or so rides under tack and already has a steady balance point with a very powerful canter. Sometimes she just doesn't know where to put everything, but at the same time, she comes out and works 110 percent everyday.

The focus for both mares really has been the materiale and to see if we could make them land in the year end standings, and then later in August, the IBOP at the KWPN keuring tour in Indiana. We have been focusing on the tests, and ultimately it's where we will most likely end up this fall.

This July we're heading out of state to do one of my favorite dressage shows- Dressage At Lexington (just Flair, Haiku is staying home). I missed this show for the last two years for a variety of reasons. But namely just didn't have a horse peaking at the right time to send over.

Because of the required three scores, from three different judges from three different shows the goal to land in the year end awards is a tricky one.

The problem that we're facing with the materiale is that the majority of shows do not have it, or if they do have it, it's not being judged by sport horse breeding judges, which leaves us with some weird feedback or the class being judged more as a dressage test. So that leaves us scrambling for the scores on a local level (more oddly the new local USDF BC qualifying breed show doesn't have a materiale?) and spending more miles on the road.

Flair's schedule is Dressage at Lexington, Dressage at Devon and one more TBD show (either Virginia or Ohio). Haiku's is tentatively Devon, and then probably the Ohio shows. We are invited to the Spy Coast Championships (non rated), and most likely will qualify for the USDF BC in the Midwest. But doubt that we will attend simply because of the timing of the clinics I host and that I feel that we need to reserve the horses for Winter.   

If this was five years ago, there wouldn't be so much travel. But the economy and several other factors have really done away with the shows.

Breed shows, no pun intended, are a dying breed. They're expensive boutique shows that are highly contingent on economics, how good the organizer is, timing and how liquid/available the young horse market is. 

The other problem we're facing is time.

The normal season runs from October to September. Which, if you have an older horse doing tests isn't bad. You have plenty time to gain your necessary scores and qualifiers.

However the focus with the young horses, it becomes tricky because of the some of the age requirements (you have to be 36 months to be allowed in the materiale-- which leaves the the population starting to show in May/June/July), and the majority of the breed shows are either late summer (read: very hot, very flat horses) or fall (cutting it close to the deadline).

If your focus is the Young Horse Championships, like what ours will be come next year, qualifiers run from January to July, due to World Young Horse Championships. You also have to declare no later than April and then guard your average and hope that you make it to the top ten or get shipped out.

Combine with lets say, having a bad winter, inevitable growth spurts, real life items on your to-do list, getting training so you have guidance in development and your season gets pushed back or shifted around.

Despite all of this my group continues to push on and we'll see where we all end up. 

1 comment:

Aoife said...

Wow the organisation, planning & headaches surrounding young horse show planning sounds like a logistical nightmare...and as you say that is before you factor in horses being horses and growth spurts etc