Monday, January 25, 2010

Stoneleigh Burnham Schooling Dressage Show

On Saturday Connie Walker
and Kelly Foster took Connie's mare Hermione Granger to Stoneleigh Burnham's Schooling Dressage Show.  It was a perfect day, the weather cooperating with sunny skies and mild temperatures.  Hermione was't quite sure what this particular task was all about but was very willing to give it a try.  Connie rode her in a beginner novice test in which Connie was still settling into the routine and Hermione was checking everything out. (Especially the judge's table).  They had a very good test for the first time out and finished in 6th place.  Kelly rode her next in a novice test.  Hermione was getting a lttle tired (not used to all this ring work) as last weekend she had competed in a 25 mile endurance ride.  She is a very versatile mare. The pair had a good test and finished in 2nd place in their division.  Afterwards many of Connie's friend came to congradulate her and Hermione.  The picture shows Hermione looking very regal, Kelly gving her a well rewarded pat, Connie and friends looking on.  More to come on Hermione

Connie waiting for Kelly & Hermione's test.  You can see them coming in the background.  Kelly on Hermione memorizing her dressage test.  Hermione waiting patiently.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Courtney Walker

Courtney is one of the outstanding endurance riders in this country.  She has received numerous awards this year in her sport.  Daughter of Connie Walke and sister to Melissa Drye she is another accomplished horsewomen in a very outstanding equestrian family.  Courtney is working with Kelly on her mare Pica (off spring of Connie's star stallion Otis) and enjoying the progress they are making.  Attached is a picture of Courtney on her mother's mare Hermione Granger at GMHA's 50 mile competition.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Connie Walker

Connie Walker is a very accomplished horsewoman.  She has ridden for the US team internationally and was on the Gold Medal Pan American team for endurance riding.  Connie came to our barn last February and is retraining her star stallion "Otis" (I don't have his complete registered name) for eventing.  She and her daughter, Melissa Drye will be doing more competing this coming year. Otis is related to the famous event pony Theodore O'Connor. He certainly has the jump as you can see in this picture at one of our cross country schools with Kelly Foster at GMHA.  Lots more on Connie in future posts.

Quote: "This is the best trained horse I have been on in a very long time"  by Connie after riding Fox Penny Farm;s Irrefutable.

Melissa Bowman

Hi I wanted all to see our student, Melissa Bowman, on one of our favorite school ponies, Ginger.  Melissa is a very determined and confident rider who accomplishs a lot in her lessons.  She also rides our other ponies, Scout and Sparky.  Look for more on Melissa in future posts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Melissa Drye

Melissa Drye comes from a family of endurance riders.  Her mother, Connie Walker, has ridden for the US team and was on the Pan American Gold Medal Team.  Her sister Courtney Walker is also an accomplished endurance rider and is usually in the top placings.  Melissa is interested in eventing and has started her home bred gelding, Cider in the sport.  Here is Cider and Melissa at the Lucinda Green clinic at GMHA

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Samantha Colt

 I want to introduce one of our students, Samantha Colt (Sam)  She has been working with Kelly for the last two years and has really grown in her riding skills and confidence.  She is a great help around the barn and can handle almost all the horses.  She has ridden a number of them and is currently helping in the training of "Scout" our 4 year old Connemara mare and our new little pony "Sparky".  More on Sam to come.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Planning the season

The new year has just begun and I have already started planning the season. Planning out my season is something I really enjoy doing - the anticipation of the season, plotting the appropriate venues for each horse and student and trying to fit it all neatly into the schedule is like trying to solve an elaborate puzzle.

I live in Area 1 so we have numerous recognized and unrecognized competitions that are fabulous and well run. I do, however, wish we could have more events that run mid-week as the kids that are out of school and the green horses could use the less explosive atmosphere when starting out.

I now use a spread sheet to organize all of my horses, students and events as well as color coordinate everything. It can be time consuming, but the fact that I only have daylight for about 8 or 10 hours and the fact that it is cold and usually snowing, makes for the perfect time to settle down and plot out the year. Planning the season this early gives you ample time to organize yourself for opening dates and to have back up venues if something is cancelled or something unforeseen crops up. Possible clinics and cross country schools should also be posted on your schedule. Now I transfer the pertinent information onto the farm calendar: opening dates, competitions, clinics, cross country schoolings, etc. The spread sheet with the details of who, what and where stays in the office and is referenced when needed.

Always be prepared to be flexible in your schedule and have options for everything noted on your master sheet. Also be thoughtful about the appropriate venues for each horse and student, it is easy to over face a horse or student just because it fits well into the schedule or the desire to attend THAT venue overcomes commonsense. Be mindful of your goals for the season as well, if you are desiring to move up a level, try to schedule your events that will be more challenging just before you move up. If you realize during the season that you will not be able to achieve your goal, adjust accordingly.

The most important thing for the season is to be safe and have fun. Good luck to everyone this year!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Greetings

 It is January 3rd and the snow is still falling and everywhere trees, fields and houses are covered in white.  It is peaceful and serene. We dream again of the those summer days when the early morning sun streams over the hillside waking all in it's path; the nickering of the horses awaiting breakfast; the smell of dew on the grass and the anticipation of riding and competing..  Ok, Ok it will be a few more months until this happens but we can start looking forward to the season I love best.   Summer!!  Read Kelly's post on gearing up for the season.  Watch for future posts on the students who are competing and the kids who are just beginning to ride and compete. Happy New Year to all