Well, MCTA went well….sort of. Selena was not performance happy despite a competitive dressage test from Solo with his best mark ever at this level and a third and fifth placing in the Advanced division for Woody and Rocky respectively. The dressage went fairly well. Each of the three horses putting in pretty solid tests, remembering that Selena has been in the ring less than ten rides total on Rocky and both Solo and Woody were really good, but they are not world beaters in the dressage ring….THAT has to change. All three have to improve performance in this phase to be competitive at the four star level. They HAVE to be world beaters in the dressage ring. To this end Selena has been going to train with Gina Smith once a week, and last weekend Gina came to Balsam Hall which was lots of fun.

The cross country at MCTA was not stellar. Selena was not happy with her rides and had two refusals at the corners with Solo and retired. The corners at this level are beyond intimidating and if Solo doesn’t hit them ‘just right’ on the first go, he is not interested. Obviously Selena is schooling corners like crazy, but it’s hard to find, never mind school one of those maxed out corner questions. Recently we took Solo to a friend’s and used a show jump oxer on the turn to school up a slope into both sides of a corner. It was a good school, but Selena would like a bigger corner to work with at home. Another item for the wish list.

Here is a video of Solo schooling corners:

The stadium was tough and came before XC. Solo was the only clear round in the division. I sometimes wonder if he should be show jumping as a career. He is a truly beautiful horse to watch jump. So….MCTA, successful in terms of ribbons and another good XC school for everybody except Solo. Onward and upwards….

We had a great clinic at Balsam Hall last Sunday with Gina Smith. It was FREEZING with a brisk wind. Using radio mic and earpieces, Gina sat in her car out the wind and kept the riders and their horses toasty warm with lots of busy exercises in the arena. Thank you, Gina. It was a great day and everyone learned a huge amount.


It's fencing time at Balsam Hall!

Today Selena, our working student Tori Morgan and her horse Bentley, two client horses for Selena to ride, Kailee an Zephyr, all load up and compete at Grandview. Selena has an Entry ride and a Novice ride, it’s quite the switcheroo from the tight three star focus of the past few months. LOL. I know Selena is looking forward to Grandview and seeing some of our Ontario eventing friends to catch up.

Here at home we are videoing dressage tests. I video each of my students doing a test of their choice then I dub my comments on to the film clip so that they can see what I see. We did the first one two weeks ago and it has helped in a huge way. We are going to do another set in the dressage ring this weekend and next weekend do some jump courses. It’s amazing how instructive it is to watch yourself while someone points out your issues.

On a very exciting topic, our fencing supplies arrived on a big double semi yesterday. We are re-fencing all the paddocks. We have already torn down three paddocks ready to go with the new wood, which means we are being REALLY good this year about not letting anyone have too much spring grass, however, they all seem to be blooming, blossoming and verging on fat. Keeping weight on is not my problem. With the Purina feed and the Omega Alpha Biotic 8 the horses look absolutely fantastic this Spring, really glossy and plump in all the right places.


Scenes from Bruce Davidson's Chesterland.

The next big excitement is Bromont. I would really like to have Selena go back to Chesterland for a pre-Bromont tune-up over Bruce Davidson’s cross country jumps under the master’s eye. I don’t know if we can manage it, the cost of diesel is SO prohibitive, I am sure it is affecting every horse owner who ships medium to long distances. It’s also hard to fit the days into the schedule. This month and next month there are two days where Selena and I are both away giving clinics on the same day. Normally we try to space things out so that one of us is always here to teach and train. However, this Spring has us both on a hectic schedule, the story of our lives!