The Royal is over, Christmas is coming and most barns are experiencing a small lull in the clamour. Our barn seems to go flat out from December the first until Eventing night at the Royal, then finally, two or three weeks of calm. Our own personal ‘calm’ is filled to the brim with winterizing, cleaning, de-cobwebbing, weeding, planting, harrowing, bringing in jumps, dressage arenas……the list of things that have to be re-organized before the Canadian winter closes in is endless. Fortunately I am graced with a staff who are beyond comparison in the persons of Anne Marie Duarte and Emma Rafuse. In addition we are lucky enough to have two really outstanding young ladies as students this year, Tori Morgan and Jenifer Ross with Kate Sykes as regular back up.
This year was a very successful season for our barn, Balsam Hall, in Kingston. It is only our second year here and we seem to have found ourselves with the best bunch of boarders any barn could wish for. Our ‘ladies’, working students and staff did a fantastic job on the local dressage and short course circuits, picking up a championship in Level One Dressage and a reserve championship in the Short Course Events as part of the spoils. We certainly had lots of fun and it’s nice to crown it off with success.
Solo and Woody still have to do a CCI*** so nobody is qualified for Rolex next year. A fact that Selena is having a hard time coming to terms with. She had set her heart on running Solo at Rolex, however he was wound up and not on his game at Fairhill CCI*** and she retired him after two glance offs on course. One highlight of Fairhill was his improved concentration in the dressage phase (always his problem). We tried him with Omega Alpha’s new ‘Chill Ultra’ in a tube and it worked! We have tried the regular Chill on him in the past and although it works beautifully on all our other horses it never seemed to have any effect on Solo. The ‘Chill Ultra’ seems to do the trick. We are excited that with a little more focus Selena will start to be able to produce in the ring some of the really lovely work he can do at home when he is not under stress.
Since Solo had only gone around the first third of the Fairhill course, Selena decided to ride him at the Royal Winter Fair for Eventing Night at the Royal. Night one was more than a little bit exciting with Solo attempting to jump right over the bounce bank without a bounce! This rattled things a bit and he ended up leaving the ring after stopping at the corners. I guess he worked it all out in his mind as the following day progressed, the next night he went in the ring and floated around the course making the whole thing look ridiculously easy…..horses!!!!
Following hard on the heels of the RWF was the Clayton Fredericks clinic at Foxwood Hills Farm. This is Woody’s (Foxwood High) original home base. Woody went to do the clinic and have a little home visit. The clinic was really interesting with Clayton bringing many of the European techniques into the exercises. I for one loved it!! I think we are SOOOOOO lucky to have Clayton as our team coach that even now I find it hard to believe we are SOOOOOOO lucky.
Today Selena and I are going to sit down and look at next year’s schedule starting with which events she will attend in Florida this Spring…..and so it begins again!
Check out this video of Selena and Kendal at the Clayton Fredericks clinic.