It's beyond mid summer and Fall is already starting in.
Most of my Summer has been about acquisition and some loss.
In August, despite being down two horses, I moved to a new property due to the upcoming expansion of my herds and also some other resume-changing items.
The property is not ready to be truly discussed as things are still very much underway, but I felt, and still feel, its a good move for a variety of reasons.
The physical space while a work in progress, has been a welcome relief of sorts. I have all my horses under one roof, my paddocks are private/semi private again, I have expanded amenities, it's a shorter commute for Mike, and the best of all, it's five minutes from my house and another five minutes to the Kentucky Horse Park. I feel to sell, train and do things successfully it's a good place to be.
To start, I lost my ride on Flair. She went home to Canada.
I don't have anything bad to say about the mare, she was really lovely and I do wish her success in whatever her next steps will be. I'm also and will always be very proud of her and what she's accomplished within my program in such a short time- going from field to third level in about a year and a half.
But as they say, life goes on and my herds are no different.
My breeders acquired three new broodmares through me that I'm thrilled about, the Aprio, the Fabuleux and the DeLaurentis are really standouts for mare quality, and hopefully we'll have some 2018 foals.
The DeLaurentis especially excites me since there's the classic Donnerhall- Rubenstien cross, and very recently within the pedigree (within the first two generations). The bloodlines can contribute just about anywhere, and have been super rideable.
Back at the performance side of the farm:
occasion, but has been focusing on the basic things.
At 90 days out of the wild, and 30 rides under tack she's schooling regularly off property and just progressing fitness wise. She's gone around and schooled cross country, she's starting some early fall conditioning.
She went out and most recently started lessoning with Derek Braun at Split Rock. While there are a lot of similarities between starting a dressage horse and a jumping horse, when it comes down to specific developmental tracks, it helps to have a specialist on hand.
The move has helped with that, and now we have a plethora of Grand Prix jumpers living down the road who don't mind when the dressage people show up.
Split Rock and I go back to about a year ago, when I started hosting with them for clinics, so it seemed like a good progression to ask for help.
Derek did wonderfully with her and Mike, and gave us several exercises and direction as to develop her for the over fences work.
It's slow work but work that will pay off in the long run when she goes onto a new rider eventually. In the meantime, she's ready to go out and explore a show atmosphere and see how she takes to having a job.
Then there's this guy:
With just a handful of rides, he's a quick study with an easy temperament, like all good horses, there's a try in him. I'm lucky that he's stepping in quickly to be developed as my horse.
Al's personality is a lot like Flair in a way, but with breeding horses, it's to be expected. He was a little slow to open up, but he's a goof who enjoys having his butt scratched and told he's the best.
Despite being so green, he uses himself very well.
By the fourth ride I already get the impression that collection isn't going to be an issue with him. He readily accepts compression and his first response in anything is to raise the shoulders and lower the hind end. He's hot enough that you can drop a whip, but not stupid.
The rest of his 2016 schedule is pretty active for a green horse- a few clinics, a few off property jaunts and more prep for 2017's schedule.
The other new face at the farm is actually an old school three year old Thoroughbred gelding by The Cliff's Edge. He's track trained but hasn't raced. He's affectionately known as Moose around the place.
A massive 16,3 hands at three means he's taking twice as long to develop, and that's alright by us. Where Al, Moppi and PS are developing, poor Moose has gone through one or two growth spurts. Combine that with being trained to not move throughly, he's taking his time. He's no less talented than the others, and I think he'll either end up as a hunter or in the meter jumpers really easily.
There's also this guy along the way:
Equibest Sine Metu G. (Sezuan/Calypso II), a 2014 gelding that's half brother to Equibest Fahrenheit G. He was purchased as a project via an investor to train and eventually resell within the three year old year.
I love the addition of Sezuan into my herds, and out of George's dam, only makes the cross more attractive.
But I do miss having a good Dutch horse, especially around Keuring time.
Also part of Fall is inspection and Keuring. It's becoming a regular staple on my calendar to attend most of them within this area. They're educational and a good way to see where you stack up in comparison.
With the addition of Al, and the mares, my 2017 is going to be split between licensing, and getting the mares prepped out and inspected.
With Flair's absence and Haiku's sale, our plans to ride at the Indiana keuring were out. It's a bit sad since she was easily ready to retake the IBOP and I so desperately wanted to get another horse into the year end standings (Fahrenheit is 5th in the nation, Starkozy is first, Sincerely G moved up to the 3' divisions). But secretly I was relieved as I went on my yearly sabbatical from the circuit in August with my family in upstate New York and the turn around was killer.
I still went up anyways to help and observe. I love the Indiana Keuring for a variety of reasons. It's an excellent facility with a professional staff, the quality of horse is super and it's also a good excuse to shop for the next top horse. It was a good visit, I caught up with old friends and what has quickly become my second barn family.
The rest of the fall is spent from October to December in pushing with the clinics, and getting the investors aligned for the Spring season. Until then, it's just a daily grind of developing and figuring out what the next teps are.