Monday, October 15, 2012

Harmon Field Foothills Riding Club Dressage and Combined Test

We had a very satisfactory day at Harmon Field for Foothills Riding Club Dressage and Combined test. I took Erin for her first off-farm experience!  Emma took Echo, the first time either of them has been off farm to compete in several years! Sarah Bailey took Bill, and Katie took Mickey, both using it as a prep for Hickory Top!

The girls approved of the new truck and we made a quiet trip up. I was first up, with test A. I warmed Erin up for an hour, of high energy, and constant whinnying, lots of looking, but she did try to settle for the test and I was quite pleased with it. We stood second!  Sarah and Bill did Test B and it was a nice solid test, but in a big division and she did not get a ribbon.  I rode Test B in a different division, and Erin was still whinnying and distracted. In a little higher test, she could not hold her own but I was still pleased, and we were 6th.  

Katie jumped a pretty nice course on Mickey at 2'. I put Erin on the same course, not knowing what to expect, as she has trotted over everything that height at home, not bothering to jump. The full dress course, with flowers, numbers, flags got her attention. She jumped, and she is very like her mother, turning onto a line, focusing and being completely committed to getting it done! She was clean over the course and I was thrilled! We both learned a great deal! She about her job in life, and me about her!

Emma then rode Echo in a third division of Test B, and did a really lovely, tactful job of settling him and producing a very nice test! They were 6th!  Katie went back to jump a longer course at 2'7" and Mickey was not very confident or generous. I ran to the trailer for the crop, and they went back and had more success on a second course.  The set up was $5 a trip.....Jumping was not pinned, just available for practice.

We had a bit of a wait for Katie's dressage test, it sprinkled but did stop raining without getting heavy!  Katie was pleased with her Beginner Novice Test B, and her Mom got to see her ride! She came home with third place in a big division! So we collected our written dressage tests and ribbons, and came home to another hour's work taking care of horses, tack, trailer but with smiles on every face!

I spend next Sun at Harmon Field again, judging the Harmon Hopefuls horseshow!
Heads up, heels down, and kick on!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Jumping Branch from Ms. Leslie

What an exciting Saturday!

This past Saturday Ms. Leslie and Caitlyn with Katie and Allison on Bill and Truffle went to the schooling event at Jumping Branch in Aiken. Laurie and Gwen ran the barn while barn hand Abby rode in the Green Creek Hunter Pace. Needless to say, we were a hub of activity!

From Ms. Leslie:
As we were in one of the two Tadpole divisions and scheduling went the usual top division to more basic, we ambled away from the barn at 8:30!
It was a challenge to figure out the horse assignments for Sat lessons without Bill and Truffle, and I am trying to lighten the load on Folly, who is in the last month of her pregnancy. I have never had a mare with her work ethic - they've always insisted on a maternity leave, sometimes 6 months of the 11! But we got all lessons mounted and Laurie and Gwen ran the barn. 
We were on show grounds about 11:30 for 1:30 dressage ride times, so plenty of time for lunch and a relaxed warmup.  Allison rode first and did a great job on her first dressage test requiring a canter, getting both leads although Truffle is more than a little stiff on one side!
Katie has shown Bill several times with canter in the new Intro Test 3, but this was her first time doing Beginner Novice test B. She had their best test to date until Bill popped a shoulder and stepped out of the gate at A. Leaving the arena in an obedience test is usually grounds for Elimination but Katie threw him back in the ring and kept riding and never lost her poise and concentration. She and I were devastated. I found the Organizer and appealed for Katie to be allowed to jump for the experience and she agreed to Stadium but not XC.
We had about three hours to walk the two jumping courses so kids would know them. The organizer had chosen to run Stadium Jumping first - the historic order is dressage, cross country, then Stadium, but you can do either and some organizers prefer to sidestep liability by going this order, and eliminating problem competitors with jumps that knock down before you go to their solid XC jumps! 
Allison rode a perfect stadium course on Truffle, choosing a mix of trot and canter in order to be accurate, as others had missed jumps through a lack of control! Katie did her best course to date on Bill, choosing to keep him cantering throughout and they landed on the correct canter lead every time!
Allison had left to ride crosscountry when I very sadly collected Katie's number pinney and went to turn it in. Turn in was not where I expected, near the score sheets, so I collected the kids' dressage tests (you get the test form back from the judges!) and glanced at score sheets - Katie was in 7th place after dressage, no big ugly red "E" on the scoresheet! Glanced at the test form, judge had docked her 2 points for an error of test! But she had not been eliminated! I shot out of that shed calling her back, we slammed the pinney back on her, and off she trotted, just barely making it to the start box for her posted start time! Missing that would have eliminated us! The turmoil was probably the reason for a refusal at jump 1, but she disciplined Bill and rode the rest of the course without a hitch. Allison had also had one refusal on course, but both girls finished all three phases, which I regard as winning.
There were lots of horse for sale ads posted on the wall near scoresheets, and in that community the lowest price was $7500, one was six horses "each fairly priced 10k - 25k". Our girls were riding lesson horses, not competition horses but they were the riders with the deepest seats, and kindest hands out there! They rode forward and had a lovely rhythm to their pace. I am very,very proud of them!

We're ALL very proud of our riders! Congratulations!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Additions!

Nope, that's not Dimples!
(photo by Emma Phifer)

While updates are proving to be slow, I just realized I could update pretty fast on the Whinny! This is our newest addition, Morning Glory. Leslie found her online up in NC and I think she's down for a two week trial, but we're already falling in love with her.

(photo by Jackie Smith)
Our other addition is Dunny's Blue Boy, fondly called Blue, is a sweet green gelding. He doesn't know much, but a lot of the advanced riders are giving him a great schooling. He's falling into the lesson string quite well.

(photo by AK McMillan)

Another addition is Mickey, an ex-racehorse and foxhunter. He's progressing in leaps and bounds here at Scotsgrove. While he's only being used for advanced lessons right now we're hoping this experienced gentleman will settle into his job as time goes on and memories fade.

OTHER NEWS: Pan and Emi have now moved back down to Berry College for the semester. I'll find some way to keep them on the website! Perhaps start building "Friends of Scotsgrove" their own pony pages... ^.~