Saturday, September 20, 2014

This is how we do

A few weeks ago, I took a road trip up to the middle of nowhere on a lead on a horse who bloodlines
were really nice. I seen the ad floating around for a little while. The video wasn't a selling point, it was utter blurry crap, and the photos really didn't do her any favors.

This chance trip was right before I was supposed to step foot on a plane to Europe to go look at horses for the same clients (my trip is on, just pushed back), so really, I didn't expect much considering the quality that the poor beast was being stacked up against. But I went anyways, needing to get out of town for the day and away from my day-to-day stuff.

The trip which I thought would just be a jaunt in and out, turned out to be more than your typical three hour tour. It was a 10 hour round trip which included a few torrential storms and ending up in a soybean field next to some cows at one point.

In a way, it reminded me a lot of the trip I took to initially look at Sinari about 12 years ago, eerily enough, same week as well.

She was a leggy, modern, statuesque filly. Highly aware of everything and everyone. Adventurous, unafraid, and already fairly bored with people around her, but always affectionate.

Flash forward through the oddest try out, scrambling to find a vet to travel out to the middle of nowhere, a shipper and several laundry lists of things to do in the meantime- she's mine.

Haiku G., by the epic, proven combination Jazz out of an Olympic Ferro mare, is now apart of Team EnGaged Dressage. She is a diva in the making, and everything the breeding represents.

It has been a long and strange journey, but honestly, it's only just started. I'm sorry I don't have pictures to reflect her (cell phones just don't cut it these days), but they'll come with time.

Speaking of mare power, Sinari is back in action. We're clear to start legging up three days a week, at 10 minute increments. I started back yesterday and it was already so much fun to be sitting behind those little foxy ears. She's lost a lot of her original fitness, looking more like a fuzzy beach ball than a dressage pony. True to form, she was her old self. A little hot to start, but settled in to the work of walking laps like the old pro that she is.  I think she's just happy to get her spice drops.

Danzador continues to progress forward, as much as I want to crack him into second level, I want the mediums to be much stronger and sitting before I go there. So far, they're good, but he can't sustain the power for a full 60 meters, so we'll keep this at schooling show level until he gets the strength. His canter work is fabulous as always, confirmed all the third level work off of him minus changes. Half passes are playful, and he's doing large walk pir's once a week.   I desperately wanted him to have his changes more confirmed this year- however, like every five year old out there, he just needs maturity and strength before he seriously starts tackling them. He has a show in two weeks, just training and first level, so no big deal for a horse that is confirmed out the majority of the work way above him.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Running down to the riptide

The past few weeks have been incredibly active, with horses going all over the place, shows, the start of keuring season, training, teaching, travel and work in general.

Danzador has been on a relatively easy schedule, focusing on going forward and doing lateral work. My initial plan was to do MSEDA, but the USPS mail ate my entry... again. I love the MSEDA show, not for the open part, but for National Dressage Pony Cup. Jenny Carol has done a stellar job over the years putting on this show, and now expanding it to all sorts of regions as partner shows.

It's not the first time that documents have wandered. It ate several important documents to Europe and Canada, plus a number of entries over the past year. So we're re-routed to October. Not ideal, but it'll do.

Sinari is due for her 60 day re-check sometime this week or the next, which means we'll know how to proceed from there. She's fat, very fat, dapply, and happy. It's already been decided that she'll step down from the regular FEI levels and be a horse for one of my juniors who wants to start in equitation and then break into the pony division.

If you personally asked me how it felt, I would say it sucks. Loosing a good horse is never fun. We've had a decade of training together. I'm more intimate with Sinari than any other horse in the barn, and for the last decade plus we've been each others partner in the arena. Which makes the break a little harder. But, it's not personal, it's about what's fair and best for her. It would be selfish otherwise to not put my girl first.

As much as I want to continue on in that route to Grand Prix with her, how I want her to finish her career is out on top in a fair way. Being an FEI horse is tough. You have to have a sound mind and a sound body that can handle the training and conditioning almost daily.

Coming back from injury as a 15 year old is tough enough. I also know how lucky I am it wasn't something career ending or worse, life ending. But building back into the FEI is even harder, with a greater chance of career ending injury of just doing it. I couldn't live with myself if I repeated the past.  So, it's just time.

My students still continue to improve, I'm thoroughly tickled with this year's results already- the eventing group is scoring into the 30's, my regular dressage students are scoring upper 60's consistently.

Many of the eventing group have already expressed their want to do pure dressage and pursue their USDF medals alongside aiming for AEC's in it's final year in Texas. Which really makes me happy at the idea of helping people medal themselves.

This weekend is more coaching at shows, also getting to watch other people go is equally as fun.

Horse shopping has also been a never ending chore. My European trip got pushed back a few weeks, so it leaves me with some idle time to go look more locally. I'm went up to Ohio to look at some KWPN's and will possibly go down to the Carolina's to look at a few Hanovarians. I don't expect much but at the same time, I would enjoy supporting American breeders who are making an effort to bring the best lines home.