Show season is here!

We are three weeks into our trip to Florida and we have our first show of the season under our belts!  At Rocking Horse last weekend Rocco (Diamond Cut III) performed beautifully and finished in 2nd place in the open preliminary.  He is a lovely horse on the flat and over the jumps, however his downfall is that he can be nappy and scare me!  This year I asked Leslie Law to take Rocco for his first x-c schooling session so that he could ride the ‘bad Rocco’ but he surprised us all and was good!  As Leslie put it, ‘He’s a lamb compared to last year’.  Let’s hope that he can keep this up!  Jen McGuire’s, With a Wisper (Ray) finished 3rd and Bonners Chief II finished 10th on their dressage scores in the open training.  Missy (Manny’s full sister) finished 3rd on her dressage score in the open novice.  Molly and Quito (Hank) also finished 3rd in the training.  We seemed to be after the yellow ribbons at Rocking Horse, hopefully at Ocala we can set our sights on some blues and reds!!  It was a great first outing and it was so fun to be competing again and going x-c.!

 It feels as thought it’s been a whirlwind since we have arrived.  With moving in, getting settled, taking all the horses x-c schooling and then bam! We are at a show and then straight into a four day Team training camp.  Not to mention that our load of hay arrived the Friday of Rocking Horse.  Luckily for Sandra and I we had to be at the show!  Unfortunate for Molly, her Mum Helen and Jen they did not!  Thank you guys so much!  I know it’s not a fun or easy job!!

This past week Manny, Shags and I got to participate in the training camp.  We had 2 days of dressage and Shaggy had 2 lessons with David in which our main focus was to ride him ‘up’.  And ‘Up’ in every sense.  He likes to curl his neck and hide from the contact and trick me.  So David had me riding with my reins really short, in order to correct him faster and more efficiently when he goes to curl.  He was also emphasizing that I ride him more effectively from my seat, through using half halts and being able to ride him up to a contact out in front of me.  By the end of the 2nd lesson we had a better grasp of what David was asking and Shaggy was performing well.  Manny had one lesson with David and I thought he was very good.  David thought I needed to push him more and ask more from the beginning!  Day 2 of dressage for Manny was with Gunnar.  We got a lot to take home and work on from that lesson!

Our first day of jumping we worked on a raised pole to a vertical (oxer with Manny).   The next exercise was two very short 2 strides (27 feet and 30 feet) vertical to vertical.  This exercise made the horses really have to back up and move their feet to get the job done.  Our last exercise was jumping a fence and then circling which ever direction David shouted out then jumping out of the circle and over another fence.  This was difficult at first as the horses were all being event horses and trying to get strong and feeling good jumping outside for the first time.  We repeated this until they were landing and waiting for our direction.  Our last day of jumping involved x-c work.  We focused on the preparation prior to different types of jumps and how long it takes (how many strides) to accomplish the required balance in the gallop or canter.  Since the horses have not jumped solids since last year we also jumped some narrows, banks and into the water.

All in all, a great camp!  We have come away from it with lots of homework.  It’s great to be taking lessons again and learning more ways to improve myself and my horses.

 Manny, Mater and Shags are all having their first run next weekend at Ocala on the 11th, 12th and 13th.  It will be a busy weekend for our barn, with ten horses competing!  Check in with Event Entries to see how we do!


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