A month flies by, filled with road trips and of course the usual ups and downs of competition. Our next outing after Bromont with the two Intermediate horses, Solo and Woody was the Stuart Horse Trials CIC** near Rochester New York. Selena was pumped and ready to rock. Solo was back in his old saddle and his back was feeling much happier and Woody was as strong as he has been since Selena took on the ride in November 2010.

Woody is 17.2hh and a big mover. Making him work correctly enough to muscle up his hind end has been a struggle. We have used all sorts of tools. The Pessoa lunging tool, lunging over raised poles, riding through grids and poles and, of course, hills whenever and wherever we can get him onto them. We were all gussied up and ready to rock for the initial jog on the Thursday. Unfortunately the dips were hidden but not in any way filled in. Woody trotted up the strip like the superstar he is and stumbled badly in one of the depressions just before the turn at the end. On the way back he was obviously lame in front. The vets let him do his dressage, even the president of the ground jury was quick to say that he had been 100% before the stumble, but that did not help us. In the end, we withdrew him after the dressage as the ground was hard on XC and we were in two minds whether to run him BEFORE the stumble. I am happy to say that a couple of days later he was back to normal. We took him and had his legs checked over and jogged and lunged him for the vets to be absolutely sure he had not hurt himself in any way. It was a tense few days as he had JUST been named to the Pan Am squad (hopefuls) the day before he stumbled! Oh well, all’s well that ends well, but it’s the kind of tension and stress you don’t need in your life. One can accept if one’s horse is lamed on the XC, but it’s a bit sad when he is lamed on the jog up! Woody and Solo’s next outing will probably be Millbrook on August the 7th followed by Richland Park at the end of August. I think it would be nice to slip a Canadian horse trial in there somewhere if there is time.

Solo was excellent at Stuart and came fourth in the 2*. He did a good dressage with one change of lead in his counter canter. Selena said it was her fault. He had a few penalties XC (I don’t think anyone made the time) and was the first of only 3 double clears in the stadium. He is going really well this year. His only bad outing was, of course, the selection trial at Bromont, but Selena hopes that his continuing good scores will still catch the selector’s eye. It would be such a coup to have TWO horses named to the Pan Am team.

Colombo is back in work with Selena. When he comes off his break I usually start him back for the first few weeks then Selena takes over as soon as he is fitted-up enough to handle the work. He looks fantastic and is going well. He is a tiny bit FAT, something we don’t often see in him. I am usually running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to make sure he eats enough. Anyway, this Summer he has obviously been eating quite well thank you very much and he will be starting cantering and jumping to tighten his waist line. He is a happy lad and chirps and nickers to his visitors. He is very rewarding to bond with.

We have a super set of students this Summer. Fun, hard working students make the summer go with a zing and this year we have been very lucky.  Of course, we have our two faithfuls without whom we just couldn’t survive, Anne Marie Duarte and Emma Rafuse, but in addition to them this year we have Angie Huber, a Jr rider from Canton New York who is here for the Summer with her two eventers and Alessandro Sanguinetti Bird, a young man from England who is here to gain some intense riding experience in an eventing barn. It is proving to be lots of fun and the horses are enjoying the summer bustle.

This coming weekend it is Oakhurst with all the babies and I believe the dressage squad are also on the road. It’s a busy little loading yard on a Sunday morning, trailers and horses going out and in all over the place.