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November 2012

The Results Are In

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A beautiful day for a drive.

Watson's Continuous Drive 001
What could make a better back-drop than Ascutney Mountain? Here, Watson and I are on our way back. This is Phase C.  We improved our pace timing heading home and got fourth place. We were slow on Phase A and got fifth place.

Watson's Continuous Drive 003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were still so excited about being there, dressage was a blur.  Watson and I never train for dressage in a regulation size ring so it felt huge compared to our ring at home.  Like a rank beginner, we had all the predictable blunders starting right out with Watson not going too close X.  Why after all would there be an evergreen brow smack in the middle of the ring?  (It's often done so the judge can see X from their seat). About half way through the test,  Watson finally figured out that we were doing something we had done before, just at a new place.  He was great!

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Watson's Continuous Drive 007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Phase D, I chose a very simple route to go through the cones course.  I knew I would have a very tired horse at this point and I was right.  I didn't want too many tight turns, just a smooth track to go around the ring and to try and get through as many pairs of cones before our minute was up.  My strategy proved to be a good one.  We got fourth place and my horse got through the course with a positive attitude even though he wanted to quit.

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Watson's Continuous Drive 002
Mentally and physically exhausted,  we were done!  Watson and I strengthened the bond between us and we both learned a lot.  I pushed him harder than I ever had before and he gave me his all.  We've had about 7 months together driving.  This is a great beginning.


Cinderella Goes to the Ball

When I am getting my clients' horses ready for the show, I feel like Cinderella.  Everyone else gets to go to the ball while I stay home and do the dirty work.  Finally things are changing. 

Each November Robin and Wilson Groves hold a Continuous Driving Event.  For the past five weeks, I have been training for this "last" show of the season.  While it is the last show, it also happens to be the first carriage show for Watson and me.  It is the perfect event for a young horse because there is no standing around.  

Phase A is a 6.2k trot = 26 minutes at 14kph, and 1k walk = 10 minutes at 6kph (for horses).

This event includes going down town roads.  We had to go through a covered bridge,  past cows, kids and balloons, etc. which then brought us to a Dressage ring on Rush Meadow Rd.

Phase B was a Dressage Test,  we did Novice: ADS Preliminary #2

Phase C was the same pace as Phase A.  In returning home, we pick when to walk.

Phase D was a gamblers choice cones course.  We could go through as many cones as possible in 1 minute.  Watson was so tired, we could barely trot.

W training

My friend Deb took many pictures which are still on her camera, but I will try and get them soon.  For the second year in a row,  my friend Jenn was my navigator.  I also want to put a big thank you out to Liz Kelton whom came at 7:30 in the morning to put on Watson's slipper - I mean shoe.  We couldn't have made it with out her.  Thanks to everyone for their support. 


Earning Her Angel Wings

Jasmine, my beloved "little sister," passed away last week.  She was my confidante, my farm protector and my assistant horse trainer.  I can't say enough about her.  In her last few months on the farm,  she also accepted the role as teacher.  Jasmine, with her endless patience, taught Luca, the up-and-coming farm dog, the importance of her role bestowed on her.  Jasmine did a great job.  passing the torch

Luca learned the boundaries of the farm, when to bark and when to growl.  She learned that chickens and turkeys are for protecting, not chasing.  You can bark at a horse when it is rolling, but watch out when it gets up!  Luca still has a lot to learn,  but I know she will do great.  She already tree-ed a racoon that was near the turkey coop.  Thank you, Jasmine.  We got Luca from the SPCA which rescued her from a kill shelter in Tennessee.