The Fork not being our best outing of the year, Selena is off to MCTA, in Maryland, to ride the three boys in the Advanced division, giving them another run before the CCI*** at Bromont in June.
The training schedule here at home has been steady with emphasis on dressage. Selena and Foxwood High have been visiting Frankland’s Farm to have weekly lessons with Gina Smith, whom we are so very lucky to have only one and a quarter hours from here. Our home base massage therapist and acupuncturist Morag McMurray, has given them the once over and all is ready for the troops to head off to Bruce Davidson’s Chesterland Farm on Wednesday afternoon. They will do a light work on Wednesday morning then head South to tune up with Bruce on the Thursday and Friday before heading to Maryland for the competition.
The fourth spot in the trailer will be filled with Andrea Huber’s ‘Wisher’, Selena’s student Andrea is running in the Preliminary. I hope the weather holds out for them and they have a great weekend. Emma Rafuse is traveling with the horses this week, the usual extravaganza of packing will begin tomorrow. It really is amazing how much ‘stuff’ you need for three horses!
Rocky’s dressage is always a work in progress, he is very willing and it’s just a question of time and above all, muscle. He is a big bodied horse with a lot of bone. Not ‘heavy’ in any way, just a big wide skeleton. We have struggled with building enough muscle on this strapping lad. Christiana Ober, the team vet suggested we try giving him Omega Alpha’s Muscle Gro. I am happy to report that both Christiana and Clayton Fredericks, the team coach, commented on his improvement the last time they saw him. We are so grateful to our sponsors, as without the sponsorship keeping our horses in top condition would be very much more difficult if not impossible for us.
I have been thrilled with Solo’s ‘rideability’ since he came back from Florida. He seems to have finally grown up and although there is a long way to go, his work sessions are just that….he is working, not arguing or looking for a way out. Who would have thought I would ever be able to say that about Solo! Selena has been lucky enough to be given two jumping saddles by Voltaire Saddles. The first one to arrive will be for Solo. We are not sure if it will be here in time to be ‘broken in’ for Bromont, but it would be nice if it was. Solo is still getting his ‘Chill Ultra’ but the dosage has gone down every show. His dressage ring anxiety seems to have melted away. We are using the Draper Therapy saddle pads on him every day, much the way we did with Colombo and that seems to be making him more willing to use his back on the flat (he is ALWAYS ready to use his back over a jump). We would like to thank Draper and Voltaire for their help. He is SUCH a big jumper, keeping his back happy is half the battle. We are finally able to feed Solo as much Purina Trimax as he wants. He has always been limited in the amount of grain we could give him without his excitement level increasing. Now that he is evening out, his hard feed intake is up where we want it and he looks great.
Foxwood High, ‘Woody’ in addition to his dressage tune ups with Gina is working through grids to keep him flexible and adjustable. Both Woody and Rocky are over 17hh, but cat-like in their agility. We want to keep that lightness of foot between the fences and the gymnastics help Selena maintain the sharp, quick footfalls that are necessary to negotiate today’s technical cross country courses. Woody is a happy soul, he loves everything he does, dressage, show jumping, gymnastics, hacking, lunging….he loves it all. Woody is a big barn favourite, he is SO handsome, everyone stops at his stall to ooh and ahh and he hams it up, graciously accepting all adulation as his due.
The rest of the barn is moving and shaking. The horses are enjoying finally working outside. We are still not in the paddocks, trying to give them a rest and making sure they have dried out enough that the horse’s feet do not cause sink holes. We are re fencing the whole property this Spring (my current nightmare is that it rains all through our fencing week) and some of the paddock fencing has already been taken down. It is going to be a hard working Spring, but I can’t wait to see everything when we are finished.
Our two sales horses are ready to move up. Rosein is going to go Training next and Selena would like to be doing Prelim on her by the Fall if she is not sold. Watson’s Cyd is probably on the same program, she learned such a lot being hunted by Bruce Davidson last season. There is nothing like having ‘The Master’ ride your horse for a few weeks to bring it along. he came back SUCH a competent jumper. We have two homebreds to start out this year, it’s a ‘never-ending to do list’, wonderful, exciting life.
I myself went to Rolex and ‘Tweeted’ the XC for @omegaalphaeq. I am a bit of a newbie at Twitter. I have played around with it for years without really getting going. I am determined to become a super tweeter. Anne Marie Duarte and Selena both tweet for O’Hanlon Eventing. Rolex was great. It was a bit chilly, all in all, but only the Wednesday was miserably cold, however I could have saved myself the trouble of packing my shorts and sandals. The Canadians did great! FOUR in the top twenty and two of those doing their FIRST four star – Shandiss McDonald was 16th and Kendal Lehari was 19th. Hawley Bennett was AMAZING and was rewarded for her amazingness by finishing in 7th. Peter Barry and the wonderful Kilrodan Abbot was 17th. Ribbons and prize money go to 20th, so all four in the main ring for presentations – way to go Team Canada and Clayton Fredericks.
‘Quimbo’…..I am in love! What a horse. Selena was telling me that most of his (Andrew Nicholson’s) horses (not Chilli Morning, the stallion that had a 33 and was in first place after the dressage) are related, and they are Spanish thoroughbreds by the same sire. Wow is all I have to say. Quimbo was beautiful to watch, poetry in motion.