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Team CEO Clinic Recap

Jul 01 2012
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This weekend, Megan hosted an eventing clinic at Team CEO.  About 20 riders braved the record high temperature to improve their riding skills in dressage, show jumping, and cross country in addition to learning about equine nutrition, eventing Q&A, and rider balance.

As I mentioned, it was HOT this weekend.  Lucky for us, the Big Ass Fan Company generously let us borrow their 9 foot misting fan to help us stay cool.  Below is a picture of Owen with his head sticking out in the barn aisle catching the breeze from the fan.

IMG_0504    IMG_0506

Dressage: Friday, Owen and I had a dressage lesson where we had the chance to ride through the Training Level Test B for the first time.  The Training level eventing test is a lot like the Novice test I rode last weekend except  - 1. the movements come up a lot faster!, 2. trot lengthening and canter lengthening are required, and 3. this test includes a “stretchy” trot circle.  Owen and I will have about 4 more rides to practice this test before performing in front of a judge at the Team CEO mini horse trial next weekend.  Fingers crossed that we learn it in time!

Show Jumping: Saturday morning Owen and I rode with the Training Level group in a show jumping lesson.  We started with four verticals on a twenty meter circle at one end of the arena.  We were asked to jump the jumps on a circle with 4 strides in between each jump.  Then we were asked to ride the same exercise with 5 strides in between each jump.  We really had to focus on the quality of the canter to ride the exercise correctly.  Next we practiced riding a Training/Prelim level show jumping course.  Owen jumped enthusiastically through the course and didn’t touch a rail!  I am still working on sitting in a more balanced riding position (which seems like a never ending battle with my muscle memory) and I also tried riding in a new bit today which is lighter and will give Owen more freedom.  Lots of stuff to get used to, but it’s fun to try new things at “home”.

Owen green oxer   Owen barrels

Equine Nutrition: Saturday afternoon we listened to a guest speaker from Buckeye Nutrition talk about equine nutrition.  After the lecture, we were able to bring out each horse individually to get a body condition score and to weigh them on a full sized livestock scale.  Owen scored a 5 (which is perfect for him) and weighs ~1150 pounds.  He has gained a little bit of weight, mostly muscle, over the last 10 weeks and he looks and feels fabulous.  Here’s a picture of Cody, the 4 year old, 18 hand Dutch Warmblood gelding weighing in at a whooping 1500 pounds! 

Cody Getting Weighed

Cross Country Concepts: Sunday morning we got up bright and early (5:00 am!) to beat the heat and go cross country schooling.  Because the ground was extremely hard (Lexington is in desperate need of some rain), we decided to do 90% of our cross country lesson in the show jumping arena and save the wear and tear on our horses’ legs.    Owen and I jumped skinnies, corners, chevrons, bounces, angled combinations, and a single upright barrel!  It was so much fun jumping all of the upper level questions in one course.  Owen was a rock star and we both learned a lot.  This was truly the most advanced lesson I have ever ridden in and I’m proud to say that we really stepped up to the plate.  It was SO much fun!

Owen chevronOwen single barrelOwen corner

Looking Ahead: Next weekend is the Team CEO Mini Horse Trial where I will be competing Owen in the Training Level Combined Test division (dressage and show jumping only).  This will be the most advanced division I have ever competed at in a horse show before.  I can’t wait!

MidSouth Pony Club Horse Trials Wrap Up

Jun 27 2012
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I had so much fun competing at the MidSouth PC Horse Trial this past weekend!  Even though it was the first time that Owen and I completed a Novice level event together, we were both very focused and confident which lead to a very successful weekend.

Preparation: Friday we had our usual crazy day of horse show preparation.  All show horses needed to be ridden, bathed, and braided and all of the tack and equipment needed to be packed into the trailers.  Thanks to a lot of teamwork, we were able to get everything done in a reasonable amount of time.  Here’s a picture of the white board that was used to keep track of our progress.

IMG_0494

Dressage: Saturday morning, Owen and I had a great dressage warm up.  I have been working very hard to get Owen to go in self carriage in a more advanced frame of collection.  We are getting there – slowly but surely.  :-)  Since this was my first time riding the Novice Test B in a competition, it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked – but Owen was stellar and we were rewarded with a score of 37.

Owen’s Dressage Test–Novice Test B–MidSouth HT, June 2012

Cross Country:  Saturday afternoon, Owen and I headed out to cross country.  The course was very open and inviting and we had a great time.  Owen sailed around the course like it was nothing.  The most challenging obstacles included a 3 1/2 stride combination of tables and a down bank which was lined with 18 inches of brush – all of which road extremely well.  After dressage, I was tied for 5th place.  This meant that I needed to come in double clean and as close to optimum time as possible to win the tie breaker.  Mission accomplished!! – we completed the course in 4:59 and optimum time was 5:00.  This moved us up to 4th place after cross country.

Owen’s Cross Country Round–Novice Jumps 1-7–MidSouth HT, June 2012

Show Jumping: Friday evening, we went to the KY Horse Park and walked the show jumping course that was setup in the ring.  When I went to show jumping on Sunday, the course was completely different!  It turns out that we walked the Beginner Novice course and never had the chance to walk the Novice course.  In the end, it didn’t really matter.  Almost every other rider in my division had at least 1 rail down, but Owen and I cantered around the course double clear without any problems.  This moved us up to 3rd place – only 1 1/2 points behind the 1st place horse and rider.

Conclusion: For our efforts this weekend, Owen and I won a beautiful 3rd place ribbon and a cool leather bracelet (which I later had engraved with Owen’s name).  This was my first time winning something other than just a ribbon in a horse competition.  How cool!  Next, Owen and I will compete at the Novice Level again at the Champagne Run Horse Trial in July.

MidSouth Victory Gallop    MidSouth Ribbon

Awards    Owen Bracelet

Weekly News from KY

Jun 21 2012
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Things have been very busy around the farm over the last few weeks and it is about to get even busier!  Here is what I’ve been up to….

Owen: I have had a lot of great practice rides on Owen over the last week, both in dressage and jumping.  Here is a picture of us jumping a “liverpool” today.

Liverpool - June 20

Fizz: I have had a ton of fun working with Fizz.  I have ridden her several times at the walk and she is doing well learning how to steer and respond to other commands.  Here is a picture of Fizz learning how to stand in the cross ties area to be groomed and tacked.  The second picture is of Fizz free lounging in the arena.

Fizz - Cross Ties 

 Fizz - June 6

Other Horses: I’ve also been riding several other horses everyday.  Sometimes I ride a horse to help maintain or improve their fitness level.  Sometimes I help them gain more experienced on the flat, over fences, or outside the arena.  Here’s a picture of me on a client’s horse.

Chance jumping

Foals: The two foals at Team CEO are doing great.  Squishy (chestnut with blaze) is now 8-9 weeks old and Fiona (dark bay with star) is 1 week old.  They were able to go out in the pasture together last night with their mothers (Corral, chestnut and Cameo, grey).    They are SO cute!

Cameo Fiona Squishy 

Mares and Foals 2

Over the next four weeks, Owen and I will compete in 3 recognized horse trials (MidSouth HT, Champagne Run HT, Gemwood HT), go cross country schooling at 3 different venues (Kentucky Horse Park, Masterson Station Park, Flying Cross Farm), attend the Team CEO adult rider camp and compete at the Team CEO mini horse trial. We are going to have SO MUCH FUN!

The Foal Has Arrived!

Jun 13 2012
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After we stayed up for 3 nights doing foal watch, Cameo decided to have her baby at 10:00 am on Tuesday morning in the pasture with 2 other broodmares present!  Mares are usually shy and prefer to have their babies at night when the barn is quiet and they are alone.  I guess Cameo didn’t want to wait until Tuesday night.  That’s OK – more sleep for me! 

Cameo and her foal a few hours after birth.

Fiona

Welcome to the world little “Fiona”!  Fiona is an adorable filly with a gorgeous head.  She is bay in color (brown body, black legs, mane, and tail) with 2 white hind socks and a white star.  The star on her forehead looks like a question mark!  (sorry for the blurry cell phone pic)

Fiona Head

Cameo and Fiona got to spend several hours exploring a grassy paddock today.  Fiona is super strong and feisty already and she is only 24 hours old!

I went out to the paddock to wake up Fiona from her nap so that I could take her and mom back to their stall for the night.

Fiona and Kelly

Foal Watch

Jun 11 2012
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It is 4:39 am EST on Monday morning and I am one third of the way through my shift of “foal watch”.  Cameo, the pregnant broodmare, has reached her “due date” and we have been checking her daily for signs that she is ready to have her foal.  My task is simple, keep an eye on Cameo from 4-6 am and wake up Megan if I see signs of Cameo going into labor.  Thanks to the latest technology, I am able to watch Cameo from the comforts of the couch in the family room.  Fingers crossed that Cameo has a beautiful, healthy foal in the next 48 hours so that we don’t have to continue nightly foal watch shifts for very long.  :-)

Cameo

Cameo

TV that is showing a live video feed of Cameo’s stall

TV

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