We are well into our season in Ocala and have enjoyed our stay this year. We are at a new farm for 2016, Oakmont Equestrian Center; a beautiful place with a covered indoor, jump arena, and cross country jumps. I have seven horses with me, three of my own, three client horses, and my working student’s leased horse. The horses are keeping us busy; but I always enjoy my time in Florida.
We’ve been to a few horse trials with mixed results, but overall I have been happy with all the horses, those doing their first trials and those moving up to new levels. XC courses are usually challenging down here, so the horses are all getting a great education. Pistol moved up to Training at her first trial. She had a stop at both of the big jump/down banks on course; then I realized she’d never done a down bank before in her two previous Novice runs last fall. But after one look at the drops, she said “ok, I got it” and happily jumped down. Her next trial she jumped around clean, not hesitating at anyting. Pie moved up to Prelim after starting her season off in a P/T. Our first two goes were a bit rocky; the first–she saw a brush-covered skinny chevron and wondered WTH!! The second she tripped a bit on landing between the two elements of a combination and in recovering and attempting the second jump, I popped off; landing fine but putting an end to our run. Our third cross country run was clean, with just a little time, as I kept her a little slower so she could build her confidence. Both girls showjumping is a work in progress.
(Thanks, County Saddlery and The Happy Equine (my local rep, Michelle), for your sponsorship and a great saddle. Pie is much happier now.)
Client horse, Sky, an RPSI pinto gelding, has started his eventing education. He’s had learning experiences at the two trials he’s done–really nice dressage scores, great showjumping, and he’s building confidence and understanding of cross country. I expect he’ll go far and has gotten lots of compliments on his gaits and jumping style. He would’ve finished first–leading after both dressage and showjumping at Rocking Horse, but unfortunately had a stop at one jump on course. Ah well, on to the next.. (check out his showjumping video below)
Client horse, Henry, now owned by long-time friend, Carter, as been working hard. He unfortunately slightly reinjured an old splint which put him out of jumping action for a few weeks so he missed the first couple of trials. Carter tries flying in every so often to either ride or compete. When Henry leaves Florida, he will be shipped to Colorado where Carter is now living and working
And the third client horse, owned by another long-time friend, Mindy, came down with me so he could stay in his rehab work. He is now enjoying turnout and is jumping again with the hopes he will start competing again late this spring or summer.
The biggest competition news is from my working student, Amy, who got a 2nd place finish at her first-ever horse trial at Florida Horse Park, finishing on her dressage score both there and then at her second trial where she moved up to Novice! Congratulations to Amy and Rowdy. Amy has been such a super help this winter–a hard and willing worker.
I’ve been lessoning with Missy Ransehousen down here and have been enjoying working with her again. I’ve been doing both flat and jumping lessons with Pie and Pistol and will also start taking Dragon over for one or two lessons before we head home in mid-April.
Speaking of Dragon, I’ve been thrilled at how he’s growing up. He takes most everything in stride (unlike the diva, Pie!!). Both his flat work and his jumping are coming along. I am excited for his future. He hasn’t competed yet, but I plan on doing the 4YO Young Event Horse at Ocala International Horse Trials with him just before we head home in April. I have taken him two a couple of the horse trials simply to let him hang out and school around the grounds and in the dressage rings. And then he also did one of the jumper schooling shows where he only had one rail between both of his classes, a big oxer in his second 3′ round.
Two of my horses are for sale; really need to sell at least one of them, both because I’m in need of stall space and, of course, in need of money!! So for your consideration–hate to give either one of them up, but that’s part of the business.
Gallopine: Seven-year old bay TB mare, approximately 16.1. Pie moved up to Prelim in Florida this season. She has a ton of scope and an incredible gallop. She will be a serious AA/YR/Professionals horse. A bit of a diva, but a lot of talent! She is also very well bred–out of Cetewayo (His Majesty) x Ritzy Affair (by the Irish bred Sword Dance). Cetewayo was a million+ dollar winner on the turf–that’s where Pie gets that powerful XC gallop. Pie has also enjoyed some time working out on the treadmill at Kentucky Equine Research (KER). She’s getting the hang of treadmill work and is now galloping on it. Thank you to KER and Anna and Joe for letting us use it for her conditioning.
I flew home for a weekend in March to teach some lessons there. Thanks to Miami Valley Pony Club riders for coming out to Follow Me Farm for a great day of lessons. I really enjoyed teaching the kids and see a great riding future in them. It was also nice to see all my other students and their horses. I look forward to coming back home and starting our local competition season with all my clients.
I’ve gotten a new product from Abraxas, one of my sponsors. They now make their liniment in gel form; so much easier to apply and use than the liquid. And I also got stocked up on their shampoos which I love and find very effective and soothing, especially here in Florida where it’s so important to keep the horses (particularly their legs) clean of sand and the local bacteria that can lead to fungus. Once again, I thank Abraxas for supporting me and my horses.
I’m looking forward to the last two shows we will do here in Florida, Rocking Horse Spring and then Ocala International. And I also want to take a moment to thank my other sponsor, TaggCode. My TaggCode bracelet keeps me safe, not only on cross country, but any time, by having all my medical and personal information available.
Fiona has also been enjoying her Florida time. She loves just hanging out and running around the farm and has also taken a couple of trips over to the beach with us. She had to stay behind the weekend I flew home for lessons. Thanks again to Amy for watching over her and her needy self!