Monday, May 26, 2014

Glory and gore

It's late Spring and things are happening.

My initial plans for breeding are shelved until next season. A lot of last minute expenses cropped up
and I had to address it to keep functioning. The truck needed a new alternator, another vet bill, last minute clinic expenses, it added up to the fees for the doses I needed.

I'm still living vicariously through Flair, who is almost due with her Diamond Stud foal. Part of me is disappointed that she's not down here quite yet, but honestly, everything happens in the way it's supposed to happen.

Speaking of, the foal is going to be available for a seriously great price. Should be a super cross for both breeders and riders alike- high in rideability for dressage (seriously with a pedigree like: Diamond Hit, Don Schufro, Flemmingh you can't get much get much better) but it will be competitive mount as well- especially when you add in the Ferro from the dam (piaffe and passage anyone?). I would love to see this one come to the US and help further enrich the young horse population. So if you're interested, give me a shout.  

At home, we're also sitting unexpectedly on the sidelines this Spring as well. Between recovering from tweaked stifle for Sinari, and Danzador going through major growth spurts, it's just not feasible to go out and start hammering the show trail quite yet. We should be back on track by July if everything goes the way it should.

Right now both are back in work. Danzador, who is bored-to-tears is power walking, trotting and cantering around in a stretch frame with some lateral work. To give him a bit of a break we tried him over a few small fences, which fell under the theme of: don't quit your day job kid. Otherwise, he's doing great, the idea to step back away from the intensity of the training was correct, it gave him time to mature and mentally develop. The pony is being hacked around as well, but is taking it much better than the kid. The slowness of coming back into fitness is one of the hardest things to experience.

It's also this living-vicariously-through-others where I pick up ideas for training. Training for me is as much about imparting as well as partaking. In a normal season I don't get to sit on the sidelines and watch people that often, but with the slow down- it's been a lovely chance to pick up ideas for technique and execution from different people. There's a lot of time now to give thought to the little details that have been somewhat glossed over.

The vicarious moments comes best with the students. I'm sincerely happy students and friends who have gone on and shown progress and started their seasons successfully. A dear friend, Karen over at CONTACT, who trains with another area rider, earned her final score Bronze this past week on Hampton, a horse she had chosen as an unbroken two-year-old and has done the majority of the training by herself. It's a huge milestone, and one she should be very proud of.

Then there's the one's who are having break throughs in their own riding, accomplishing things, large and small, that they set out for themselves. I couldn't be happier seeing them go on and do things, even if it feels like I'm twiddling my thumbs.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gravity wants to bring me down

Gravity got the best of me a few Tuesdays ago.

It's the joy of riding very fit babies in Spring. Even the best of them can have an ADD moment, and in the next instant you can be on the ground. Aside from bruised ego and soreness, everything is fine, got back on and rode through some of the issues.

I get some feedback occasionally about pushing young horses or having expectations. While I agree that there is an often fine line, the kids need to have expectations. They also need to know that there's a few things that are non-negotiable.

Sometimes, the side effect of those expectations (this goes for any horse), is that they push back and gravity takes over.  At least it's a lovely shade of blue that goes with the spring decor.

The last few weeks have been all over the place.

Danzador sat out on JJ's visit, which kind of disappointing, because JJ has so many good things to offer in between rounds.  But at Alfredo's, he was confirmed in what he needs to be confirmed in and is gearing in for the Sayre school show. At this stage of the game there's very little you can do except work on building things, one slow step at a time. The other day we diversified and took him over some jumps and on a hack. He was relatively good, but world-class show jumper he will not be any time soon.

Sinari also sat out JJ's clinic as well, despite feeling positive about her training since last year, she came out of the field looking a little wonky and so I made the decision to sit her out and get her checked by the vet. Nothing is worse when things are going so well to have a bump in the road.

A few tweaks in the support system and she's back into work preparing for Alfredo's clinic and preparing for the season. She's becoming much stronger. I really credit CORE Therapies, Dr. Tummlin, Dr. Metcalfe, Back on Track, Sore No More, Surpass and the new perspective from the ground. She's confirmed three's and two's, her half pass zig zag is really gaining power, and now, we're just putting together the I1 test. The pirouettes still suck, but she goes out and does five to six piaffe steps, so there's a trade off.

The spring also brings the busy season of babies. I'm no exception this year, breeding another prospect for the future. Flair also surprised both her breeder and myself turning up pregnant. Prior to her being sold to me, the plan was to do an ET in the summer of 2013, and then ship her down. We honestly thought she had reabsorbed (normal checking at 30, 60, and double checking at 90) and was just packing on the winter pudge, thankfully, she was ultra sounded and it revealed a healthy new baby running about 280 days at this point.

I'm sure she'll do everything with her usual style and panache and the foal will be beautiful.