The Ocala Scene

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.

Bella Pistola: Five-year old dark bay TB, approximately 15.3 mare. Two Novices last fall and two trainings in Florida under her belt. She is a great XC horse, loves water and ditches are no problem. She learns quickly and has a good work ethic. She’s a nice mover and cat-like in her jumping and in every photo I see of her jumping she exhibits such nice form in her front end. She will be a perfect AA/YR horse to go up at least through the 1* levels. By Claiborne Farm’s Stroll (Pulpit) and out of a Cox’s Ridge mare, she is very nicely bred.

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!

 

 

 

 

Winter Update: New Location, New Sponsors

It's way past due for an update to the MME blog. Lots of changes since my last entry. The biggest change is moving to a peaceful farm with lots of space for pasture, hacking, and conditioning; a nice indoor; nice, roomy stalls; and a great future for expansion of MME. I also have an awesome working student now, Amy. She is an extremely hard worker and she has been a great addition to our program.

We added a couple of new sponsors last year:

Tagg Code

An awesome replacement for your medical armband, Tagg Code's QR technology will provide you or any emergency personnel with all your medical data and records, recreational licenses and permits, as well as athletic releases and authorization forms. All this information is available from the QR code on your TaggCode bracelet using a QR reader on any Smartphone or tablet. You can order custom colors in a braided paracord bracelet or silicone bands available in a variety of colors and styles. Check them out at taggcode.com.

County Saddlery

After many years of using Master Saddles, who has been a great supporter for those years and whose saddles I still love, I needed to find a more local saddle fitter and brand as Master Saddle's owner and fitter, Mike Corcoran, is out of Texas (a loooong way away!) and is getting out of selling jump saddles. I found an awesome County Saddle rep who is based nearby and so I tried their saddles. I am very picky about saddles and how they fit me and my horses (as my County rep says: I am a saddle purist!) and will only purchase wool-flocked ones. I really liked the County saddles (and County is one of the few saddle makers that Mike recommends and Mike has been in the business with several saddle makers for many, many years).

We are thrilled to be working with these new sponsors. Please contact me if you would like any information or details about their products.

Florida

We are getting ready to head south next week. I have 7 horses heading to Florida with me. My own and and a few training horses. We look forward to the nice Ocala weather, seeing friends, and starting our competition season.

Horse Update

First and foremost, the 6 year old OTTB that I acquired in June has been sold! Henry's Thunder (half brother to another OTTB I had and loved a few years back, Brother Thomas) was purchased by an old friend, Carter. Henry is heading to Florida with us so I can keep him in work and his owner can come down for competitions.

The three TBs I acquired last summer are all coming along well. Pie (Gallopine) is competing at Training level and will move up to Prelim in Ocala. Seems each trial we went to in 2015 she had one weak phase, but she is finally putting it all together. I was very pleased with her dressage at Richland Park, just one rail in SJ, and she didn't hesitate at anything on XC, exhibiting her turf-breeding by tearing up the course!

Pistol is growing up, just now 5 years old and settling in to her career. She did her first two horse trials last fall, clean XC in both. Since then she is really understanding her job and now faces her training with a workman-like attitude. She will move up to training level in Florida.

Dragon is now 4 and still growing, especially his butt!! He is still a kid and has his moments, but he has really taken to his work also. He will start his competitive career in Florida.

Finn is enjoying the slow-down in his career. He will stay home from Florida this year and work with a friend back at the farm. He finished up his year stepping down from the big stuff and just competing at the prelim level and did very well. Hopefully later this year, he can run around some lower levels events with a new rider.

The ol' man, Scotch, will be 27 this year, but is still happy, healthy, and ran some Beginner Novice and Novice horse trials in 2015. And he still is a great teacher for some of my lessons.

Training Horses

I've had the privilege of helping horse owners by working with several nice horses (and a couple of problem horses đŸ˜‰ this past year. These owners sent their horses for either training, competition, problem solving, or a combination of these! Bob, Deo, Elliott, Rowdy, Remi, Roxxi, Henry, Eston, Sky, were or still are a part of our program and a few of them are heading to Florida too. I thank their owners for trusting me with their horses.

Training People

I've had a great group of students this year. We lost a few long time friends and students due to moving away, but added on several in 2015. I thank all of you for your support of MME in 2015 and look forward to 2016.

 

 

 

More News from Florida

Wow! I've been so busy keeping horses and clients going, I haven't had time to update at all. I had good intentions of doing lots of blogging down here, but things just stay hectic most of the time.

Roxxi

There's been successes at the competitions. Especially with the nice Dutch mare, Roxxi, I have here as a sale horse for some clients. She started her eventing career down here in Novice garnering a couple of ribbons along the way and some nice comments from judges; and is moving up to Training at the next Rocking Horse. Since she was actually bred for the Grand Prix jumpers, she has a huge, powerful jump. The Novice-sized jumps get no respect. Hopefully at Training she'll at least try a bit harder! But I'm very excited for her future as an eventer. A daughter of the KWPN stallion, Emilion, and by a Grand Prix mare, she's got lots of promise.

Pie

Pistol, the baby down here, hasn't competed yet and probably won't here in Florida, since we're about running out of events that we're going to that offer Novice. But she's learning a lot, working hard, and growing up. Finny and Pie have had a couple of educational runs thus far. Finny ran one “yeehaw” Intermediate to get him going again, and then moved up to Advanced. I was happy with his advanced run. Decent dressage and showjumping, and altho we retired 4 fences from home on XC due to a C element that we got to in a bad half-stride because he was jumping SSOOO huge, he felt good and really gave his all for those big jumps. Pie moved up to Training at her second event. She too needs a little bit more of a substantial jump in front of her so she pays attention, altho she still needs more education on some of the XC stuff. She is a pretty mare and I think has a great future. “Lovely, sensitive mare” were among her judge's comments!

I also competed Murphy, who came down with me, in Training at our first competition. Then his family came down for a long weekend and his owner rode him in his second competition here.

It was fun having a group of my clients from back home come down for that weekend. Everyone watched and helped out at the horse trial, we went and tried a horse out for one of the clients who is starting the search for a new partner, had a nice dinner out with the whole group, and enjoyed the Florida weather.

Parents and husband have also been down to get away from the horrible cold and snow back home, so we've done lots more eating out.

We have horse trials for the next two weekends: just Roxxi and Pie run this weekend at Rocking Horse, both doing Training. The following weekend is Red Hills. Finn is entered in Advanced (providing he's all healed up from an abcess that popped up last week), and client, Sydney, is running in Intermediate as she gears up for a Spring CCI2* to qualify for NAJYRC.

Then just a couple of more weeks down here until we have to pack up and head for home, stopping at Carolina Horse Park on the way for one more competition.

 

The First Florida Report

We started for Florida on Wednesday evening. After an adventurous trip (trips!) that took longer than expected, horses, Fiona, and people finally made it to Ocala Friday morning and the camper made it down Saturday morning. A huge thank you to all those who helped along the way; helped both me and client, Molly, as we both had troubles getting down.

Freedom!!

My two truck-and-trailer caravan only made it as far as Lexington, Kentucky, when one of the trucks (pulling the camper) had problems and couldn't go any farther after several tries at repair. And in the time spent trying to get back on the road, the horses got a little anxious. Finn ended up somehow getting hung in the trailer divider and had some lacerations. The decision was made to overnight there in Lexington to give the horses time to relax a bit and get Finny patched up, and to maybe get the second truck fixed or find a truck to borrow. A big thanks to Jenn O'Neill and Antebellum Farm, who gave the horses a place to stay, and Dr. Chris Newton who cleaned up and put a couple stitches in Finny's leg, which should heal nicely. We were unable to easily repair the truck or find another truck to borrow to haul the camper down, so my wonderful husband, Joe, and I both hopped in my truck with the horse trailer and headed south on Thursday evening. Once we got to Ocala, we unloaded and unhooked the horse trailer, and Joe headed back north again, all the way to Lexington to retrieve the camper and then immediately back to Ocala. Thanks to Brandon Showalter for going along with him and helping with some of the driving.

Horses have settled in. Camper is set up and plugged in. Have started doing some more body clipping and mane and tail trimming. And preparing for the first competition next weekend for Finn and for Roxxi in her first competition.

I have three of my horses here: Finn who will move back up to Advanced this season, and the two youngsters, 6-year-old Pie who will move up to Training, and 4-year-old Pistol who will start doing her first shows next month. Then I have a client horse, Roxxi, a 5-year-old Dutch warmblood, who is here to start her eventing career and be sold. She is by the KWPN stallion, VDL Emilion, and is an awesome jumper. And 3 more clients and their horses will be in and out during my time here. Currently OTTB Murphy is with me again this year and his owner, Hannah, will be coming down in a couple weeks. And long-time client, Sydney, is here with her two horses. Syd is aiming for the 2* at NAJYRC this year; just has one more qualifier to get.

Three of my horses and I will also be a part of the conditioning study that Kentucky Equine Research is doing to study heart rates and lactate levels in horses and how it relates to nutrition. I will participate with: Finn, Pie, and Roxxi so they can get a variety of ages, breeds, and levels of horses. KER has developed a Smartphone app that will be used along with a heart rate monitor to track this information. Sounds like it will be a great assistance to riders with their conditioning goals.

Link to the Eventing Nation article: http://eventingnation.com/home/app-could-change-the-face-of-fitness-for-event-horses/

Things are very busy these first weeks. I will do another update in a few days.

 

 

 

End of Year News

The competition season has finally come to a close, and the end of the year is quickly approaching. We are in the middle of the holiday season so of course things haven’t slowed down one bit!

First and foremost I would like to thank all of our current clients for all of their support and help this past year! It has been beyond a whirlwind of a year. I would also like to thank my sponsor Abraxas for continuing to supply me with excellent linament and shampoos for the horses! This stuff works wonders!

This season had many highs for us this year, with the most notable being Finn’s 2nd place finish in the CCI** at Jersey Fresh in May. Finn actually had one of his best seasons to date, even tho we didn’t run advanced as I would have liked to this year he had a very good consistent season. He had nice and competitive dressage at almost every event, clean cross country at all but one event (it was his first run back after break and he was being so fresh he ran past a skinny), and has had good SJ at every event too. It was fun to finally feel that horse in sync all year. He then finished off a good season with a successful run at his first time at Fair Hill Int. In the CCI**, he finished 28th out of almost 110 starters.

Starlifter, who I purchased in Florida in 2013, came out this past winter season and moved up to training successfully. He was such a good horse and found a wonderful home with a very nice adult amateur in the beginning of May as well.

Beginning of May also started the season for many of the client/student shows and it was a busy one competing somewhere every weekend of the month. Everyone had successful runs and a great time as usual!

At the end of May, after the sale of Buzz, I found a lady that was downsizing her herd; she had several nice young horses and I bought 3 off of her. I bought a 5yo mare named Gallopine who is bred for long distance turf and has an extremely powerful hind end; a 3yo mare named Bella Pistola who I thought would be a bit of a handful but had something special about her, she is turning into a nice young horse. And a 2yo named Imagine a Dragon who is super cute, put together really well, has very nice movement, and is already a big boy!

June was quiet on the horse circuit but was very busy as my wedding was the end of June. We had a great time with awesome friends and family!

The beginning of August we moved to a great new facility where we are now the only ones (besides the owners few horses)! It is very peaceful and pleasant, with no other trainer drama! We don’t have as much acreage/gallop room as I would like but we have a great trail less then a mile down the hill we can head to whenever! We have 14 stalls, paddocks, a nice large outdoor jump area with a sand/grass base, and a really nice 80×200 indoor with good sand footing!

We started competing again in the beginning of August with a big group heading to River Glen HT, 9 horses/clients in total! Everyone did really well and a few of the students and horses even did their first BN! I took four young horses (my three and a clients 4yo) to the Future and Young horse symposium at Otterbein college the second weekend of August, they all handled everything like they have done it forever! The rest of August, September, and October were also very busy with shows almost every other weekend or more.

The last big show of the year was Fair Hill International 3-Day where both Finn and Sydney Hagaman and her horse, Tex, competed. Finn jumped around really well and had a great finish to his season. Sydney had her best dressage by far to date. Started out really well on XC but unfortunately got caught out at the very influential second to last angled brush combination. A few weeks later we headed to one last small show at Lee Ann Zobbe’s awesome Come Again Farm where several babies went. I rode my 3yo and 5yo, a really nice 4yo for a client that will be in FL for the winter for sale, and Kristi’s 5yo for his second show. Hannah also took Murphy for one last run of the year. All horses jumped around really well, brought home ribbons, and the babies handled everything great.

We will finish getting thru all of the holidays and start packing for Florida for the winter. We are VERY excited to announce that we will be staying at Bruce Davidson’s farm this year, which will provide so many great training opportunities for all horses and riders. We still have a spot or two available if you would like to join us. Let me know!!!

Get in touch with us if you are interested in lessons in our indoor before I head south, and we should have one or two stalls open come spring time. We are accepting new clients and new boarders and are excited to have you join our team! We look forward to an exciting year next year, and expect more blog posts more frequently coming soon!!

Summer Update: Success at Jersey Fresh and New Horses

It’s been a busy spring and early summer. With my upcoming June wedding, show schedule for me and all the clients, and running the barn, just haven’t had much time to write for the blog.

JFJog2014My big news is Finny’s finish at the Jersey Fresh CCI2* in May. He finished in 2nd place/Reserve Champion; actually winning $800!! (Which didn’t even cover entry fees, but still nice). I was so happy with him. A great dressage test, and a foot-perfect XC run where he finished exactly on optimum time (and won the award for closest), and only one rail in showjumping. It was a great ending to our winter/spring show season. He’s on a bit of a break now and will start back working in late June with our first competition after his break coming in August.

Other news in brief:

Buzz (Starlifter) was sold and went to a great new home in Michigan at Cobblestone Farm. He will be the partner of an adult amateur and they will have a great time together.

I purchased 3 young TBs from a breeder/owner who was liquidating her stock: a 5 year old mare (Gallopine), a 3 year old mare (Bella Pistola Rosa), and a 2 year old colt (Imagine a Dragon)–now a gelding!. All three have super pedigrees and I’m excited to see what they will become.

We are in the process of hunting for another place to run our operation from. Hopefully soon we will announce our new location!

AbraxasLogoWe’ve added a new sponsor to our line-up. Joining Abraxas Equine Products, we now have MDC Stirrups. Both companies offer wonderful products. Abraxas has a great herbal liniment that I’ve found works wonders on my horses after tough work-outs. MDC stirrups offers exciting new stirrup designs which put your foot in perfect position and reduce ankle, knee and hip pain because of their flexibility. I love riding in them and love their comfort.MDCLogo

Keep a watch on our Facebook page for more up-to-the-minute information on happenings, updates, and MME news.

Spring News: Home from Florida

All the horses arrived back home from Florida in mid-March. They all had a great season down in Ocala with lots of successful runs for everyone.

My horses, Finn & sale horse, Buzz, had several great outings. Finn seems to be finally settling into his job (about time!!!!) and has been so much more relaxed in dressage this year and has had great XC runs too. He had two very good CIC2* runs this spring and will be doing a CCI2* in May at Jersey Fresh, as with the changes to FEI rules, he needed those runs to get re-qualified. Buzz moved up to Training in Florida with 3 successful runs. He is so steady and consistent on the flat, he generally gets very nice scores even tho he’s not a huge, fancy mover. He jumped clean on XC in every trial, just continues to need a little work on his showjumping. He has two trials where he finished on his dressage score, but also had a couple runs with a rail or two. Mostly he needs to continue to build strength in his rear; so the clean showjumping will come…

The client horses, Murphy and Rhomale, that spent the winter in Florida with me had great competition results too. Each trial they entered, they finished on their dressage scores!!

More later…