Friday, December 10, 2010

Hickory Top Update By Leslie

What a day!  We had a full house for dinner and that night Fri, but we were up by 4 am and to the barn, where grooming and saddling took place and we started loading horses! Mrs. Laurie had thankfully prepared hay nets for us. We were loaded and pulling out by 5:15 and pulled on to the grounds at 8:15. Leah and her family had gone down Fri and camped on the grounds, so Leah had an 8:36 ride time and I warmed her up.  
She rode to a clear plan and had a nice test! S. and Bill rode dressage at 8:42 and the plan was not as clear, but she posted a score. Anna and Cricket at 8:48 were both fairly tense, so they rushed, but Anna has grown up a great deal since her first test and she just kept riding! She stayed on course and kept riding an accurate test and the judge went out of her way to compliment her on her persistence and skill under pressure, and remind her that it has happened to all of us who event! 
I expected to be able to relax a bit with KC. and Dimples at 9:06. Dimples has gone down many times, always Pre-Tadpole and always quiet and dependable. As Kayce. put it later in the day, "This was her evil twin, Pimples..."  She started her dressage test and Dimples roared down centerline and steeplechased out over the arena fence. Kayce. stayed on and stopped her at the gate back to warm-up, We went back in with me jogging and coaching next to her, but reluctant to hold onto the rein. On the last 20 m circle, Dimples left my side and once again steeplechased out of the arena. Poor Kayce. was in tears but we went back and finished the test with me holding onto the rein. The judge commended her persistence and character! And teased her about being well prepared for the two jumping phases!  Eden and Folly were up at 9:12 and started a really beautiful test, nice frame, steady pace, lovely job, but as Folly passed the open area at A, she popped a shoulder and just slid neatly out of the arena...Eden circled back and resumed the test and the rest of it rode as nicely, precisely, rhythmically as the beginning, but leaving the arena is elimination. 
Chris who has been half leasing Truffle had a hard time with him on Thursday and had two falls, the second gave her a pretty big bruise so she withdrew. In eventing, if you withdraw before "Closing day" for entries, you get your entry fee back. But after Closing day the organizer gets to keep the entry. As I was not at all pleased with Truffles, I refunded the entry to Chris' mother. Also after closing day if either the horse or rider is injured and can not compete, you may substitute, so KT. took the ride on Truffle in Pre-Tad and produced a very nice dressage test.  9:54 Emi and Pan produced what may be their best dressage test ever! At 10, Brit and Comet were a little rushed in places but very adequate. 11:10 saw Abby and Wager ride a very pretty dressage test, their first time out at Beginner Novice with all three phases. 
Meanwhile, Leah set off cross country at 10:36. At Pre-Tadpole, Mable furnishes outriders to accompany competitors if they wish. Leah had an outrider, and a plan! She walked off on a good line, did short approach trots and hopped every jump, coming back to walk on a great line to the next jump! Soline and Bill had an outrider, but went a little faster, had a few challenges, and came over the last fence and handgalloped in, but stopped at the gate to the warmup area. Anna and Cricket continued to discuss things across country, but posted a score!
 Kayce was understandably a little worried about cross country, and already eliminated, so I did cross country with her with my hand on Dimples' rein and we posted a clean cross country round!  Eden unfortunately was next up behind Kayce and rode just 6 minutes later - while we were on course. She wisely opted for an outrider, but the outrider's horse pitched a fit at one point and rearing and fussing also kicked Folly and opened up her hind leg so Eden had to quit there.  Katie took Truffle, who has been difficult leaving the group to do a good cross country and Abby broke the barrier and made him last time; Katie improved his education and went clean this time!
Emi and Pan had fun across country, hand galloping rather than galloping off ( they were Special Novice and had to make 240 meters per minute). Brit was clean cross country with Comet.  Abby at Beginner Novice was our most advanced entry and got onto a wrong line across country and that eliminated them although Wager jumped even the jumps that she had worried about and did everything she asked!  She joked that he was going to trade her in!
I missed seeing much of the stadium jumping as I had entered Echo to just do a ride a test in dressage. Judge was very generous about teaching and talking but over the day she ended up running way late on arena times!  Echo gave me a better test than at Jumping Branch two weeks ago, although with my travel and the weather and Bob not feelling well he had gotten only two rides in the two it is a great tribute to a very intelligent horse!
By hearsay and a little observation, Leah rode to her plan again and was second in her division! Soline was eliminated. Anna was eliminated. Kayce did ride Dimples. Folly was still too sore to be asked. Eden ran into some really bad luck, but with three so different tests to ride in one day, eventing involves lots of preparation, which she had certainly done to a "T" and some luck, of which she had none. The tide will turn!
Katie and Truffle won their division! But Katie has a lot of riding experience and a good seat, and the experience of schooling Bill, so she was up to the job of schooling Truffle. Chris rides him well, but had her bad luck on Thursday.
Emi did not warmup adequately and a "cold" Pan is not a happy Pan...refusals resulted. Brit and Comet were clean and won their Special Novice division. I had paid for a schooling round across country and larked Echo around the jumps without a thought of a refusal, even jumping a bigger bank than had terrified him at Jumping Branch!
For Kayce and Eden it was a first time out, for Soline a kind of last minute decision. Cricket has not apparently been out much. Emi stepped up a division, Abby stepped up a division.  And my horses were selected for their role as lesson horses, not competition horses. Generally my horses do behave well enough that kids do get to get out and do so reasonably safely and have the fun of doing and learning.  I was VERY proud of the persistence and dedication. In the truck coming home conversation was "Who can I ride in May?" " I need to work on...""Will I be ready to step up?" In a world of instant gratification, these kids are planning six months ahead and settling in to work hard for long term goals. There was wonderful sportsmanship and accepting responsibility for their performances, not blaming horses or getting tempermental. There was great teamwork and pitching in to help each other all day. We compete as Team Scotsgrove, and that was very evident all day. Caitlyn and Lindsey came to help and worked hard all day as coaches, with Abby and Katie helping whenever and wherever they could around their own competition times.  I certainly could not take this many without my good helpers! And I have not had the opportunity to take a horse myself for a long time and I had a marvelous time with Echo!
Eventing began as a military teams competition to prove the skills of the couriers' horses in battle. The dressage for obedience, the cross country for speed, courage and agility across country to deliver messages to generals in battle, and the stadiumn to prove endurance, soundness, and the ability to continue in service after XC. After the cavalry was disbanded and WWII was over, men continued the sport in civilian life. Women only began eventing in the late '60's because it was "too tough", " too dangerous" for the weaker sex. I don't care how we boil it down to Pre-Tadpole, this is not really a child's game. It is an incredible job to produce three good tests in very different skills in one day.  Mable does a brilliant job of introducing things one dimension at a time - this is the best thought out, safest schooling event I've ever found! Pre- Tad there is no "Unauthorized assistance" - usually, if anyone speaks to a rider during the three tests that eliminates the rider - including "Go, Susie" on XC, because XC is timed and you're conveying that she is not making the time. But Pre-Tad, I can coach through to keep kids safe. If I touch the reins that's too far, but I can accompany without eliminating. Mable provides optional outriders for Pre tads and they are not timed.   At Tadpole, unauthorized assistance is back in play, and the outriders are gone, but they are still not timed.  Special Novice is still producing a walk/ trot dressage test, but they are timed across country - they are to make 240 meters per minute, which is a nice motivated trot! So refusals cost time, and you'd have to do a little cantering to avoid time penalties!  Beginner Novice is the most elementary level at a nationally recognized event ( as opposed to schooling events). It demands a walk/trot/canter dressage test, jumps of 2' 7" with up to 3' spreads and 350 mpm, a nice rolling canter.
We had 27 at the table at Olive Garden for our victory dinner, and it is always a victory dinner for every rider and a time for the group to relax together! After breakfast at 4 am and a long, physical day, a good dinner, even at 3:30,  is a great thing! Most of the kids came back to the barn and helped unload and clean Nick's trailer, take care of and feed horses, and while I'd said tack could wait, all tack was cleaned! Again, great teamwork and persistence - say nothing of work ethic!  Thank you all for a wonderful fun day with the best barn family in the world!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jumping Branch From Leslie

Had written the organizer to please schedule us late as we were driving down for the day of competition. She, as is tradition, scheduled from most advanced division to least advanced...which was us!  So Katie and I ambled down in the morning, checked in to get packets, and got ready. We were both going Tadpole - I took Echo only because Katie was the only student who signed up to go. I have not had time to school him, but thought it would be interesting to see how he handled being out in public. He raced from age 2 to 10 and I would have expected some real adrenalin about being back!
We had to cross the old training track to get to 4 dressage arenas, stadium, and warm up all in the infield!  He played tourist and did plenty of looking, but stayed quiet and thoughtful. As competition ended in one arena I used it to warm up and let him see the white plastic chain fence of an arena. Half way round he was leaning away from it and scared to go into the corners, but then decided it was not a threat, and paid it no further mind. Katie rode her best test so far on Bill. Only her second Beg Novice. but they really looked pretty good!
I rode several horses later, and Set up a long trot to "Enter at A", and as he stepped into the arena, Echo just dropped into my hands, and said "I don't know what we're doing here, but I'm here, and I'll try!". He rode his best test ever! Judge had plenty of "tense" comments, but she didn't know this was his first time out after racing 8 years and 60 races!  I was thrilled with him!
The organizer had chosen to run Stadium before XC, to keep people with problems from getting hurt on XC.  Katie and Bill were clean, though he had some hesitations and tried to miss the upbank, but Katie is determined and they succeeded!  Echo was attentive and did not rush his fences, but as he gathered at the bank, I got into two point, he spun out to the left and I went down the middle of his spin. I remounted and the judge said I coulld continue for the schooling, and he jumped it and finished the rest of the course!  I was not allowed to go out the Out gate, but sent up to the judge, who pointed out I had been eliminated, but smiled and said to tell XC that I had her permission to continue as I was certainly safe. I cracked that I'd been eventing since Prelim was indeed the Preliminary level and we parted laughing!
Katie was on XC as I started. We had to jump 3 obstacles that were 2' or less, but had the option of jumping any of the Beg Novice jumps at no penalty as long as we were deemed to be safe. Katie did some extra, but the last Tadpole (mandatory) was a narrow face log on the top of a knobbly hill. You came around a clump of trees, jump judge was close on the left, jump loomed abouve a steep climb, all the show activity was in front of you. Bill's concentration was not up to that challenge, and they had one refusal.
Echo hopped over Tadpole #1, a much smaller than 2' 7" Beg Nov #s 2 and 3. He didn't like the look of BN # 4 and I thought he'd done so much so new that I cantered by it, but he did the ditch, BN#6, Tadpole # 2 was either ride through the water complex or hop little logs to the side - he did the water (which is why I don't event Tricks!), did a 2' 7" barn, 2 more BN fences, and then we came round the corner, he saw the last Tadpole jump and worried about it, looked askance at the jump judge, took in the stadium activity, lost his rhythmn, and we did his worst jump ever over the last one. Got it, but it truly was not a thing of beauty!
Katie finished just out of the ribbons in a good sized division but her biggest challenge and Bill's most advanced performance to date! I had enough fun that I may have to come out of retirement with Echo!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November Updates

Well, I'm sure most people have found out, but just in case- Scotsgrove is on Facebook as is Ms. Leslie. So be sure to Friend and Like us to receive updates and stuff!

Jumping Branch is this weekend and Leslie and Katie are going with Echo and Bill. So wish them luck! Lessons will still be going on with Lindsey and Laurie.

Hickory Top is coming up on December 4th and even if you aren't signed up on a horse a bunch of us are going down to cheer Team Scotsgrove on. Check out around the barn to see who is available for carpooling.

Our own Hunter Pace is January 8th to raise money for creating more and better cross country courses. It's really a community effort to pull this off, so be sure to talk to Leslie about volunteering and riding.

I'm still looking for pictures for the website! If you have some pictures from Scotsgrove that you are particularly proud of, email Gwen at and I'll see what I can do! Currently, I'm looking for some updated (horizontal format) pictures of Tricks, Erin, Johnny, Molly, and Gibberish, but anyone is acceptable!

Remember we also love to have Guest Bloggers. If you've got a story to tell or a special event, email me (the email address above) and we'll get it on the Whinny!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Barn News from Leslie!

Boo! Who does this adorable pumpkin belong to?
Tuesday night at 7 is the Middle Tyger Ruritan dinner meeting. Please RSVP to me or to Patti Kunz if you are coming! Hope to see you there!
Oct 24 is Green Creek Hunter Pace. I believe we have everything that is sound and old enough to ride signed up to go. I'm taking 6, Raggedy Ann is taking 4 of mine and 2 of theirs, and Autreys are bringing one of mine with Missy!  I do have 2 riders who have asked for horses, so if anyone's plans change, please let me know!
Oct 30 is our Halloween Gymkhana and Potluck dinner at the house after!  Costume class, ( be careful that the costume does not billow or make noise!), Ride a Card, Musical Stalls, Egg and Spoon, and Haunted Jump Course. Starts at 2:30 and goes until whenever! Bob and I will do a roast of beef. I do not organize potlucks any further than that!
Nov 13 is our horseshow, with classes for everyone! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Famous Brat!

A Scotsgrove birthday that had a surprise in store- with Brat giving her best for the camera and resulting in this picture getting on the news the other day!

Happy 10th Birthday Sarah!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hunter Pace

Thank you ALL for a wonderful Pace! It takes a cast of thousands to put this on and make it successful, and you did! We had 107 riders, some went more than once, so more rounds!
Jan has just posted all results on the Western Carolinas Hunter Pace site, but all our kids went Trail Rider division as none of the horses were fit to go Field Hunter, and most horses had to go twice!  Her photos will be posted in a day or two!
(photo by Emi McGee)
The winners of the Trail Rider Division were Abby and Sarah B., posting a time just 45 seconds off the average of the middle half of the entrants' times. A four man team from Holly Springs Stables stood second, just 2 seconds behind them! Caitlyn and Gwen were forth! And Katie, Sidney and Simran were sixth place!
Middle Tyger Ruritans meet the 2nd Tues of the month for a dinner meeting and would love to host ALL our volunteers as a Thank you! Please RSVP to me so that we have enough food!  I would love to see and thank each of you again! We have some heroes - it is a LONG day, and Kathy baked 200 cookies for the lunch!  You are definitely the greatest barn family in the world!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hunter Pace

Dear Barn Family,
While I had hoped to make lesson horses available for no charge for our hunter pace, I find that some are going to need shoes, and many are going to need extra grain and electrolytes to do what we are going to ask them to do on Sept 11. Most are going twice round the course- that's 16 miles total!

So for both our pace and those of you going up to the Green Creek Hunter Pace, there will have to be a $10 charge for horse use. I trust that is not enough to inconvenience anyone and that we will all be able to turn out for one or the other!  
Thank you for your understanding! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hunter Pace Flyer

The First Pace on the Western Carolinas' Hunter Pace Circuit!
Middle Tyger Ruritans' Hunter Pace
to benefit
Southeastern Children's Home Therapy Riding

September 11 (Saturday)                       9am to 2pm ride times
September 18 (Rain Date)

Organizers: Bob and Leslie Scott          864-877-9392

We would like to welcome you to Scotsgrove for this event. Trails are through the woods, fields, and orchards, with some cross country jumps, and NO water crossings. Lunch is included! There will be a prize for the best Field Hunter preformance by a member of the hunt!

For directions please see the website's direction page: here!

Parking will be in a paddock. Please do not drive behind the barn as there is a septic system!

Entry fee is $30.00 for riders (includes lunch!) and lunch for non-riders is $6.00

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our day at the Zoo!

Last Saturday dawned with overcast skies, muggy temperatures, but without the heat that has been plaguing the Upstate recently. Luckily it seemed the rain that was forecast was going to hold out on us. We were greeted into the Zoo by the "howling monkeys" and set up our booth right across from their cage. We were sure they were amused by this new entertainment.
After setting up, we had a brief half hour to eat some breakfast, change outfits, rehearse what we were going to say, and wait patiently for our backup crew to arrive. At 10 the gates opened and at first we were discouraged that no one was filing through and then one family trickled through. They gave us the heads up, they had skipped the first booths, it was crazy, lines backed up for 30 minutes, brace yourselves! And soon after we were slammed with people!
It was amazing the amount of people that came through! Most were there for the zoo or the free ice cream or both, and some stayed and expressed interest in our barn which was awesome. My sis and I fell into the routine of bringing people in and getting people to talk to us. It was a lot of fun. Soon our reserves arrived! Emi, her boyfriend, and Sydney decked out in tie-dyes from camp and ready for anything. We handed them a stack of brochures and set them off to enjoy the zoo, bombard people with brochures, and in general let people know about us. Our second reserve team, Sabine and Becca, arrived a bit later and proceeded to make a sign for us and help supply us with food and extra hands. Ah, the awesomeness of the barn family at work!
By 11:45 over 4,000 people had shown up for the event, and the sticker/report card/free ice cream fell through. So we lured people in with our awesome pony stickers and just being awesome in general. It thankfully came to a steady, but not crazy, stream of people by lunch time and we were really able to get to know some of our guests.
By 3 things tapered to a close as admission was being charged again, so we broke camp early and started heading back to the truck. (This time with a hand cart and not our huge truck!) Just as we started heading back home the clouds opened up and the rain started to pour! Just in time.
All in all, the zoo was a blast and hopefully we'll see some new riders come of it. And if you entered the raffle, Leslie should be letting the winners know sometime this week!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Updates from Leslie

Hello all!
A lot of updates from Ms. Leslie. So not to keep you waiting. Let's dive in!

First up: Our Hunter Pace and the Ruritan Club
Our Hunter Pace is September 11 with a rain date of September 18. This is a fundraiser for the SE Children's Home therapy riding program that we have hosted for nearly 10 years. We've put it on through the auspices of our Ruritan Club, which like Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis is a civic organization with local clubs that do good works in their communities.  Middle Tyger Ruritan has a long, proud history, but typical of many such organizations, membership is down and members are aging out. Currently, there are not enough healthy enough Ruritans to put on the Pace.
So, 1. I am going to lean on the best barn family in the world to help, and offer a cut rate entry for riders whose parent(s), siblings volunteer while they ride, but 2. I am going to solicit membership in the Middle Tyger Ruritans.  It takes one dinner meeting a month on second Tuesdays, which would be a fun social time for us! Dues are $25 per quarter. Meals are cooked by members and reimbursed by the club, or BBQ is picked up by a club member and reimbursed.  We have a clubhouse and ballfield, and income from a bingo hall which we use to award three to four college scholarships. We also serve meals at Greer Soup Kitchen, help families referred to us by Holly Springs Fire and Rescue or Middle Tyger Fire and Rescue. We can take on other projects that interest members, and kids are not charged dues and can use the activities for Beta Club credit at school!  So rather than just count on you to help pull off this fundraiser, it seems a fun idea to see more of everybody and socialize!  Second Tuesdays at 7, done by 8:30 pm. 
Bob, Laurie, Junior and I, with help from neighbors with permission to ride on the farm, groom about 8 miles of trails, and mark the route with surveyors' tape. Last year we had 119 riders. We need help keeping the parking organized and under control, taking entries, serving the lunch, timing the teams ( this is not a race but the FieldHunters Division is trying to match a time around the course), and doing the half way point 3 min break and beverages.  You will see Engllish, Western, saddle seat and endurance saddles, and all kinds of horses!
On another note: Tricks' hunting bridle has not yet shown up. Any help anyone can offer would be much appreciated!
On to horse-y news!
August 21 there is a Dressage and CT in Aiken at Jumping Branch Farm. Dressage test $22, CT $45, trailering/coaching $50, horse use $30. I have to raise rates for going out to pay for all the replacement labor at home! Talk to me if you are interested!
Tot asked if Green Creek could hunt here in late August and I have suggesting Aug 28. That is a Saturday so I would like to prioritize riders who have not been able to hunt because they are in school on Thursday and otherwise occupied on Sunday! Please talk to me if you are interested in hunting!
I hope to do our schooling show in October and a three phase for just us in November, but looking at this and thinking about human limits, we'll see!  Paradise Farm in Aiken has a schooling event Oct 23, Jumping Branch a schooling event Nov 20, and Hickory Top is the first weekend in Dec. I would love to see riders who have been to Hickory Top a couple times move up to Paradise Farm and leave horses for new riders at Hickory Top!   
Whee!  Life isn't dull!
Love, Leslie

Sounds like it's going to be a whirlwind of a year! Also let us know if you have any barn announcements. Email Gwen at to get your story posted! We're open to guest bloggers as well!

All for now!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stephanie Kaneps Clinic + more updates from Leslie

 Hi All!
Mrs. Kaneps, who ran a big show stable in MN for 35 years, doing the A circuit shows, is coming Tuesday June 29 to teach. Campers in Camp 2 will work with her at 9 am while I teach the weekly lesson. If anyone else wants to ride with Stephanie, please call me and we'll set up other groups. The cost is $35 to noncampers.  You need to be able to canter, and jump about 2 feet.

Tomorrow and Thursday Leslie is taking a full trailer up to walk hounds. Demand was so high she had to go both days! Parents please remember to sign release forms when you drop off riders. The release form is good for the entire season.
There is also a Harmon Hopeful Schooling Show on Saturday and Leslie has a trailer going. Class entries aren't too expensive, but a grounds fee and trailering fee is tacked on to the price. Please CALL Leslie if you want to go and she'll work you in!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Bratling! by Leslie

 Brat's baby arrived Tuesday midnight, and having gone in for a "well baby" check up Weds AM, was found, despite 5 -6 droppings, to be thoroughly impacted. Enemas of increasing strength through the afternoon did not avail, and surgery began at 7 pm, went til 11:30. Her body temp had dropped to 94 when we carried her to the trailer, but returned to 100 by midnight, when we were cleared to come home. Laurie had done AM chores, rode in the trailer securing foal, stayed at vet, stayed with me through the morning running IV's, and did Thurs AM feeding with me before she would consent to go home after 24 hours on!  
Baby has been growing and gaining weight at a great rate, but certainly comes with a full set of opinions! Yesterday some of the barn family were visiting and called that she was damaged, a flap of skin hanging off one hock. We flew up to the barn, to discover it wasn't bleeding, was directly over the outside of the hock and not one thing we could do about it! I later discovered that she had kicked the outside wall of her stall, and split a board, which pulled the skin as she retrieved her leg!
"Gibberish" is available at this point from the Jockey Club, but the vet practice has dubbed her Bratling! Pictures are with port catheter for IV still in her neck!
Bob has been doing steadily better since midMarch and is driving, bush-hogging, and generally fully back to being himself!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


First from Ms. Leslie on one of our new additions "Mr. Big":
After several emails, and the forwarding of 5 pictures of the horse in question including his tattoo, the Jockey Club informed me that we have Niners Echo in the barn!  He is grade 3 stakes placed, had 60 races, and is a South Carolina bred 12 yr old.  Jackie S. has done research online and Mr. Big had raced in 2010 under the training of Bob Baffert in California. Niner's Echo is by Signal out of Early Ann, she by Tom Swift.
This is exciting news! With Niner's Echo and Spectacular Brat, we're starting to have some big names in the barn. Speaking of Brat, she is due anytime now! Leslie is watching her like a hawk this time around since her last foaling she gave absolutely NO warning and we lost the foal in the process. The poor mare looks like she's about to pop, but she's holding for now.  Cross your fingers for a complication-free delivery!

Also- schooling show news will be up pending updates from Ms. Leslie and pictures. If you do have pictures from the schooling show send them to me at and I'll get them on the website!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Leslie on the Workday

Many, many thanks to all of you who turned out for workday!  We had about 35 participants and a fantastic job was done on painting stadium jumps! We have Ladybugs, bumblebee stripes, a rising sun, and a "John Deere" gate!  You've painted yourselves some interesting challenges for the show next weekend!  Rebecca T. and her father came out of retirement to help, and brought Lily for the trail rides!  Because of Dad-with-chainsaw involvement, we also now have several new cross country jumps of various sizes!
And after helping all afternoon with the painting, Caitlyn and Abigail came back after dinner to babysit Brat so Leslie, who has spent two nights sleeping in the barn (or not quite sleeping!) could go home to bed!  They must have stayed up at least half the night cleaning all the tack used on the trail rides of workday, and cleaning the washrack area and the feedroom and tackroom! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Guest Blogger: Sabine

 Guest: Sabine on Rolex and Hickory Top
Hi! I attempted to get Hickory Top and Rolex pictures of everyone I could, but Caitlyn was so busy helping everyone coach (and doing an awesome job of it) she didn't get a chance to take many pictures.
Rolex was incredible! We saw so many incredible rides, and the riding certainly opened our eyes to the intense sport of international-level of eventing! We also got to see a Showjumping Exhibition with TOP riders such as Beezie Madden. This incredible opportunity showed us what Showjumping is really like, not just Stadium round in Eventing.

The weather was funkkkkkkky, but nonetheless, Rolex was amazing and enlightening. The girls, everyone included, went NUTS at the Trade Fair, which is like a massive mall full of incredible horse stuff.  We had an amazing time going nuts around gorgeous Lexington, and the drive too and from was breathtaking through the mountains!!

May came in with a BANG! with almost record-high heat and an amazing Hickory Top experience all around. I think however, Leslie and Caitlyn deserve the Xena awards for the weekend! With no less than three warm up arenas alone, a huge cross country course, and two competition arenas...not to mention TEN riders scattered around the grounds, they ran their feet off keeping us all SANE and calm!
(lightly edited by Gwen, all pictures by Sabine)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spring Hickory Top

From Ms. Leslie! Please remember- we'd still like to have other people write in their experiences for the Whinny. We'd love to hear from you, just email to get your story posted!

I am unbelievably proud of the ten riders and horses who competed at Hickory Top Saturday, and Caitlyn and Kayce who came to help!  They exhibited great sportsmanship and tremendous persistence and hard work, and horsemanship that stood out.
Many spent the night Friday. We got up before 4 am to get horses groomed, saddled, and loaded and leave by 5 am. They had hay nets in the trailers for breakfast! We got to Hickory Top in good time and picked up information/ numbers packets and got out Pre-Tadpoles ready. First rider went at 8:36.  We had 5 of the 7 Pre-Tadpoles! 
Leah has had a challenging road with her mare, who was not only green, but had some bad memories and has gone high and hollow for over a year, but we have recently had breakthrough progress, on the mare and in Leah's self confidence that she can be the senior partner and take control and be safe. The mare was tense but Leah rode through and very patiently just kept reminding her to drop her head and work in the partnership and stood second after dressage of the 7!  Anna had the use of the Odoms' other horse, Gypsy, and there was no trace of the overwhelmed Anna from last time; she had a plan and rode to that plan and stood 3rd after dressage!  Owen gave Folly a good go; both horse and rider were showing the effects of "show nerves", but they got it done!  Allison finally got to compete Dimples, but Dimples was more excitable than ever before and started out quite distracted, but with Allison's steady riding, the test improved as it went on!  Sidney and Lucky were both eventing for the first time and Lucky was a little leery of the white chain arena fence, but again, good steady riding improved things as they went on. The judge went out of her way to tell me that she had given Sidney an "8" (of 10!) on the last halt/ salute because Sidney realized that she was going to have a hard time keeping Lucky immobile, so halted and snapped her salute before he could move! The judging ends with the final salute, so if he moved after that it was irrelevant! But she complimented good tactful schooling riding. The Pre-Tads marched off to walk the cross country course, and Emi and Pan were our one entry in Tadpole. Emi has been committed to her soccer team and had not had a chance to ride for a week, so Pan was very energetic!
Brit, Katie and Lindsey rode Special Novice, Lindsey in the Senior division so not competing with our students!  I did not get to see those tests as they conflicted with the Pre-Tads cross country, but Brit gave Ted a good ride, Katie and Bill had their best test so far, and Bailey warmed up well and realizing that he was not at a race this time was doing some very nice work, until other riders in warm-up area cantered and galloped and he got very tense. He did not however get airborn, which is a first! And Lindsey gave him a grand schooling ride! Sabine was our only rider with a walk/trot/canter dressage test and she and Skittles posted a very satisfactory score! It's been several years since we've had entries in Beginner Novice division!
Leah had some challenges cross country but persevered and her mare is the better for the day!  Allison rode her first real gallop when Dimples got silly cross country!  Owen had his hands full with Folly but also persevered and finished the course! Anna sent Gypsy around without a fault, and Sidney and Lucky also were clean! After several years of trying, Emi got Pan around the course clean! That is a real accomplishment! Brit was eliminated cross country with Ted, who was quite energetic!  Katie and Bill really stepped up and looked great! Lindsey and Bailey were in their favorite phase and had fun! Sabine and Skittles had one refusal but also had a great deal of fun on course!
Leah was eliminated in Stadium jumping, but is already planning for the Dec competition! Owen was eliminated on Stadium as well and also already planning for six months ahead! Only three of the 7 entries completed all three phases and
Anna and Gypsy were second, Sidney and Lucky third!  Both ended on their dressage scores! The rest of Emi's division had been eliminated, so all she needed to do was finish, but Pan accelerated after several fences, making the course designer's intended line impossible, but Emi had a Plan B ready and used a legal but different line and got the job done and won her division! That is a tremendous accomplishment and a tribute to her schooling of him!
Katie has also invested a couple years of schooling into improving Bill and they did well and placed 5th in a big division. Lindsey and Bailey finished on their dressage score, with lovely grins! Sabine and Skittles made short work of the stadium and were third!
There were 23 at the table for the victory dinner at Olive Garden in Columbia and great fun and friendship!  I am so proud of "Team Scotsgrove"!  Everybody helped everyone all day, everyone rose to the challenge and rode with their whole heart in it, and persisted! Great sportsmanship. great horsemanship and great friendship! I do indeed have the greatest kids in the world!  They may have slept in the car, but they got back to the barn and took care of their horses, cleaned the tack, cleaned the trailer and unloaded my truck!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Open for Submissions!

Well, I've just realized that I have been unable to go to several Scotsgrove events and the Whinny needs you to help fill us in!

If you'd like to share your horse experiences with Scotsgrove, please do! Email Gwen at to submit your article and any accompanying pictures to get on the Whinny page.
Currently we'd love a write up about the Blockhouse Steeple Chase and the Rolex events. Of course we're open to as many different views as possible- so more than one person is welcome to cover their shared experiences!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Clinic with Jeanne Ahrenholz

 (photo by AK McMillan)

The clinic on April 3rd was a resounding success! We had a mixture of levels sign up and were full before we could even put pen to paper.

First up was Ash on her horse Mystical. Ash is one of the 1st generation of Scotsgrove riders. She is very involved raising her first child, but still remains connected to Scotsgrove. Leslie is the one who actually found Mystical for Ash and brought them together. Now you can't separate them- they are perfect for each other. It was so fun to watch them do some advanced level stuff. They looked very put together. Jeanne had some great advice for them as well because as we all know- you never stop learning.

Next was Patti on Teddy. Teddy also came from Scotsgrove, but found a forever home with Patti, who is one of our lady riders and suffers from a leg/foot injury. She uses riding as therapy. Jeanne just recently got over her own leg injury, so she had some useful information to pass on.

Next up was Abby on Wager. Wager used to be at Scotsgrove as a boarder, but has now moved down the road. He's still pretty green when it comes to dressage work, but Jeanne instantly saw that his poll down through his shoulders were super stiff. She got to work on putting them through some stretching motions (S-curves and snaking all down the long walls). Also Wager is going to learn pony stretches!

Next was Emi on Pan. Now, it is pretty common to see Emi and Pan cavort through their rides. They both love to GO. So it blew us all away when they both devoted themselves wholeheartedly to the workshop. Everyone was impressed to see Pan concentrating! Of course, Jeanne worked them hard and gave them lots of food for thought.

Then came Sidney on Lucky. Lucky is an older gentleman who doesn't know a lot about dressage, which means he's set in his ways. It took a lot to keep him going and on track, but Jeanne threw in a lot of change of reins and S-curves to keep him concentrating. I think they both came away with a lot to work on.

Last came Anna on Dimples. Unfortunately, I had to leave early so I did not get to watch everything unfold with Dimples, but I hope Anna learned a lot.

Overall, I think it was a great experience. I learned a lot just by watching. Of course, from the photos on the website, you can see Leslie and Lindsey in the sand taking notes soaking up the information as well.

Special thanks go to Jeanne Ahrenholz for coming down and giving us her time and knowledge, especially since she does not usually teach. Her concentration in upper level dressage is far above us and we're very grateful to have a chance to learn from her. Her main expertise is now saddle fitting and she has already improved Leslie's and Lindsey's saddles. We highly recommend her.

Green Creek Hunter Pace

(photo by Donna Odom)
It's been a while since the Green Creek hunter pace on the 21st of March. It was an interesting pace with some negative mixed in with the positive.

The Scotsgrove trailer left the barn at 9am with a full load of 6 and the Kuntz's double trailer following. Lucky, Flame, Tricks, Pan, Folly, and (squeezing in) Spirit completed the Scotsgrove trailer, while Bill rode with Teddy in the Kunz's trailer. We met up with the Odom's (riding Gypsy and Leah) at Green Creek. It was a large Scotsgrove group to say the least!

We split into smaller groups once out on the trail. Leslie on Tricks led Teddy and Spirit, Flame and Bill rode at the head of the group, Lucky and Pan rode together, and one of our newer riders rode Folly with the Odoms.

Then things got a bit exciting! Teddy started to feel like a real Thoroughbred racehorse once he got out on the trail which gave his rider a bit too much to handle. Leslie had to make up a temporary lead with her stirrup! Next Lucky and Pan moved up to pass Flame and Bill. Well. That was NOT what Flame had in mind. He pitched a big fit. He bucked, he kicked (and hit Bill), and he powered his way through his bit. (And I have this from first hand experience, unfortunately.) Luckily, Pan and Lucky agreed to stay with Flame and Bill until the half-way point where I would gracefully bow out of the second half to give the rest a fun time.

Once at the half-way point (where Flame continued to be awful) I met the very nice ladies there who called for a trailer to come pick Flame and me up. Dr. Eastman and his assistant came to my rescue and trailered Flame and me back to the starting point to meet up with the rest just as they came in from the pace.

While my adventure turned out to not be as rewarding as I would have liked, I did learn that the rest of the Scotsgrove group had a great time. Teddy even jumped small jumps while being led by a stirrup leather! We also timed everything just right so that the predicted rain started to really fall just as we got everyone into the trailers again.

Of course, the grilled hot dog lunch and the dessert tent (yes- a whole tent devoted to desserts) were amazingly good after our adventures. We piled into the trucks and ate our lunch as the rain came down in torrents! It was a good way to end the day.


Sunday, March 7, 2010


A taste of what's to come on the website:
(photo by AK McMillan)

FENCE was an awesome experience. It's so amazing to watch our riders in action. Thanks so much to everyone who came out to support Scotsgrove! Remember: email any photos to to get stuff on the website or on the blog. ^.^

Our riders all did exceptionally well. The dressage tests were flown through! Sabine rode Skittles first in the (I believe?) Hopeful (or Beginner's Hopeful?) test and managed to keep the big red steam engine from getting too excited with the canter work! Katie rode Bill smoothly through their dressage test. It's amazing to see how far she's come with Bill! Caitlyn rode Skit and managed to not even flinch when music came BLARING through the loud speakers in the middle of her test. She came out placing FOURTH in her division after the dressage tests! Last was Sidney riding Lucky for their first away game, which went very well for being a first time for them both! No bolting, no running away, and no jumping out of the ring!

Next was jumping! Unfortunately Skit came up lame within the first minutes of jumping and was disqualified for both Sabine and Caitlyn. It was a very unhappy turn of events, but luckily it is believed to be just a stone bruise and nothing too serious. Katie and Bill had an interesting beginning with Bill leaving the arena after the first jump, which is situated right in front of the entrance/exit. Luckily they were able to come back because the jumps for the whole class were not correct. Leslie stood guard at the exit and Katie rode Bill through the first half of the jumping course with ease. Sadly there was a second jump facing the exit and Bill rode off course and was disqualified. But Katie gets many kudos for riding through Bill's issues! Last was Sidney and Lucky, our only pair remaining in the competition. The course started off a bit rocky with a dramatic refusal at the second jump, but Sidney stayed on and through the rest of the course they popped over every jump quietly, if a bit slowly from a walk/slow trot.
We were also able to watch Olympic gold medalist Beth Perkins ride two higher level dressage tests. I believe Ms. Perkins' mother was Leslie's first riding teacher. It was amazing to watch.

All in all, FENCE ended on a high note, despite the low notes in the middle. 
Thanks again to everyone who could make it out! 


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Check out Leah!

(Photo provided by Donna Odom)

Leah was in a pageant and won Miss Photogenic! She won a $250.00 photo shoot and this is one of the pictures. Congratulations Leah!

~Gwen and the Barn Family

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thoughts of warmer weather...

(photo by Emi McGee)

With this past Sunday's glorious weather, I have been thinking of summer and the resent development of summer camps reluctantly being canceled.

While I have no wish to push Leslie into doing more than she can handle I have brought up "summer activity days" and met with encouragement on her part! Thus, I have begun to brain storm what exactly can be done during summer with Leslie's approval.

Here is a list so far:
  • Tie-Dye Days
  • Pool Days
  • Trail Ride Days
  • Clinics with other instructors! (pending getting them to come out)
  • Camp Outs in the woods (s'mores!)
  • Nature walks
  • Birding (pending Leslie's and Bob's approval)
  • A Scotsgrove Thespian Play? (if there is enough interest?)
Any other ideas?
Of course we would need volunteers/chaperons/enough interest to get these off the ground, but I say let's make the best of summer!

Wishing the weather was warmer already!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!

Our barn in the first snow storm of the year. Photo by CarolAnna McCarter.

And with the new year (2010 and Year of the Tiger) we bring a big update to The Whinny page and subsequent blog!

This is a brand new feature, so leave your suggestions and feedback in the comments and we'll do what we can to make a better place!

Anything you want put up on the blog? Email and we'll make it happen!

I hope to eventually leave the news updates to Leslie, but for now I'll be monitoring the blog. ~Gwen