We have all arrived in Florida safe and sound!! Our group this year includes Jennifer Duncan and her two horses Ray and Zing, Molly Clark-Hurley (our working student) and her horse Hank, Gabby Ledger’s horse Cupid, Eventing Canada’s[!] Manny, Don Good’s Wild T’Mater, Valerie Eden’s Shigatzi, John Lennox’s Bonner’s Chief II and Missy and Diamond Cut III and of course our fantastic groom/barn manager Sandra Andresen who we’d definitely be lost without!!! She keeps us running smoothly and eerily knows what I’m about to say before I say it!
We drove straight through and it took us about 27 hours, give or take how long it took us to stop for a greatly anticipated breakfast just 2 miles north of the Florida border. All of the horses shipped well and for that I have to extend a HUGE thank you to the one and only Don Good for driving one of the trailers down for us! And to Michelle Kent for being my co-pilot/entertainment/secretary on the drive down! We would not have made it down here so smoothly without all of these wonderful people! Jen and her Mum arrived a week before us and had all the stalls bedded and ready for us to move right in, another big help! The horses are very happy here! They are enjoying their night turnout and have almost forgotten what it’s like to be turned out for only a few hours at home in the snow and minus temperatures! They have given us all some great rides and are certainly enjoying being ridden outside of the indoor’s walls…as I think we all are down here! This year we are renting a ten-stall barn next door to the Laws. It’s nice to look across the fence and see such inspiring, great riding.
I would like to give a big shout out to all the amazing people at home that make this trip south every winter possible for us. From my wonderful man Aaron to our barn people Alla, Nikita, Devon, Jody, and Michelle that keep things around the barn running smoothly and to Stephanie Keeble who keeps all the students in fine form while I’m away (hopefully this year they do dressage lessons and she doesn’t get soft and only do jump lessonsJ).
This coming week will involve getting most of the horses out x-c schooling and ready for Rocking Horse next weekend (Feb. 28/29/30). We have 7 horses competing there. This is followed by a 4 day Canadian Team training camp at O’Connor land. I am really looking forward to having some lessons; it’s been a while! Shaggy, Manny, and Mater will all get to participate and I can’t wait!! Manny, Mater, and Shaggy will run the intermediate at the Florida Horse Park (Feb. 11/12/13) for their first outing, followed by the Advanced at Pine Top (Feb. 25/26/27). My ultimate goal for Manny and I this year is to go to Badminton and for Shaggy the Pan Am Games. 2011 should be an exciting year for us! So stay tuned…