Missie and I are busy cross training for our up coming C.D.E. Today we trotted through the woods under saddle. Through pure necessity she has improved her ability to rate her speed and adjust her hoof placemant on the irregular terrain. Trot poles in the ring help, but nothing works better than getting out into the real world and just doing it.
Horse For Sale
The past few weekends have been back to back shows for two of my mares in training. Last weekend Crystal, my Percheron/Curly cross made it to our second driving show. The first successful debut was on our home turf of G.M.H.A, while this show was new territory for both of us at Addison Field Days Fair Grounds. Crystal and I spent the night in the roomy stalls and had a great morning on the lovely Field Days. My neighbors around us were very friendly and helpful. Like always, Crystal was very cooperative and easy to handle. Hosted by the Champlain Valley Horse Shows, this club is offering many classes and now adding carriage driving to their prize list. Please support CVHS by participating at this wonderful summer series.
My other mare in training is Missie, a 12 year old Standardbred. Missie and I have been training at home and have made it to one group lesson with Robin Groves. Wilson and Robin Groves hosted a Continuous Drive Event this weekend at their farm. I knew this would be a good showing for Missie because she is great at going down the road for the pace section of the drive. We performed a judged Preliminary Dressage test 2 between the 6 k paces. The competition ended with a pick your own route cones course. Missie was tired but great! New to us was crossing a covered bridge (twice).
I am very proud of my girls! They are both for sale due to health reasons with owners. These horses could give much fun for a long time to the right owner. Both horses are also great riding horses.
Crystal Bloom and I had a great day at Green Mountain Horse Associations May Combined Drive. We sucessfully competed in training level dressage and a tight cones course. Crystal couldn't have been a better participant. She was well behaved and easy to handle. Like a show should, it reminded us what we needed to work on and gave us satisfaction on the elements we have mastered.
I have three horses in training right now at Circle F stables. My goal is to have them all driving by spring. Each one needs a custom approach in training to work with their learning differences. One is my Morgan mare Chloe. She is 11 years old, green broke to ride and has lots of energy to put towards learning. Second is Missie, an 11 year Standardbred mare whom is well trained in riding and driving but has had a couple years off. Third is Teddy, a six year old Fjord whom is green broke to ride and has real pony attitude!
Missie has great work ethic and just needs to ease back into work with out getting burned out. I try to keep the indoor fun with lots of activities to keep the mind activated. I will use cones, trot rails and even a cross rail jump to walk over. I did ground work the first week for us to get to know each other. By the end of the week, we were ground driving and getting back to focus. It is great to be able to ride Missie as well. From the saddle it is easier for me to get a working walk and traveling straight than from me driving her from the ground.
Teddy is really starting to understand light steering and a working walk, not just a fast walk in any direction he wants. After settlling into the new barn and getting into a routine, I decided to ride him. I can't stress enough how much we got accomplished due to me being in the saddle. It takes a lot less energy on my part to get him to move straight and freely. When we went back to ground driving, he didn't fight with me to get back to the door. Now that he is moving forward and freely, I can start having him pull chains and eventually a drag. I am excited.
Chloe is having the hardest time adjusting to the new barn and routine. She is literally chomping at the bit and pooping at least three times while in the cross ties. We have been mixing ground work, ground driving and riding. I changed our routine today and it helped a bit. Standing in the isle bothers her the most. So today I decided to work her litely first, then go to the cross ties. Then I tacked her and brought her back to the indoor for more work. We did a little more then went back to the isle. Each time she thought she was done working, she calmed down. At week five, I feel she should have settled in a bit more. I have to remind myself that she has made progress, just not as much as I was hoping. By the end of each session, I am always left excited to come back tomorrow!
Donovan is great moving horse with an even temperament and easy to ride gaits. He is laid back and enjoys company. He has done everything from showing in costume classes to low jumping classes. He has many miles on him trail riding and probably has seen it all. He is also a great driving horse and has been used for beginner driving lessons.
Donovan is a well built 15.1 hh, true black. He is 13 years old. He wears shoes when he is driving on the roads a lot, but can easily go barefoot or with boots. His ground manners are exceptional. He baths, clips ties etc.
Video of Donovan riding and driving can be seen if you go to the right hand column under "Current horses for Sale" $6000. negotiable.
Jack and Jill are beautifully matched, brother and sister. They are both trained to drive single and are ready to be trained to drive as a pair. Whether for pleasure or show, these horses could give you many years of fun. Both horses have a great foundation for driving with many real world experiences.
Here is a video of Jill riding:
Here is a video of Jack driving:
Browse the photo albums to the right to find out more about Jack and Jill.
Saturday the 19th of July. Family owned and operated Circle F Stables is having their Grand Opening. Walk the property, meet the proprietors and watch some of the events put on by local trainers, farriers and vets of Circle F. There will also be a silent auction and food available.
The first demo at 10 a.m. will feature Barbara Estey driving her very accomplished Morgan Mare, Rose. They will be demonstrating the aspects and challenges of competitive Pleasure Driving. Barbara will explain her horse, carriage, harness and the many fun classes including reinsmanship, variations of cones, carriage dog, etc. I will be driving Watson in his Marathon carriage and we will cover the basics of Combined Driving. I will demonstrate aspects of Dressage, Cones and the Marathon. Bring a helmet and I will give you a ride on the back of my marathon carriage!
I have been training Jack for some time now. We have been very thorough with his desensitizing and making sure he was comfortable with his job. Jack is inherently suspicious of anything new or of anything touching him. I had to make sure every i was dotted and t was crossed during his training. I know all too well that swiss cheese training leads to getting hurt!
Patience, calmness and faith in Jack is what he needed. One day he finally just took a deep breath, let it out and was a changed horse. Now he is so relaxed in his harness I can't believe we did it! Jack has made me a better horse trainer.http://youtu.be/t54iMkIFIaQ
Sadie is very characteristic of a well bred Morgan, she has true grit, yet is still elegant. Sadie is going to be ten years old this April. She was bred in Minnesota where she was trained under saddle. Her current owner brought her to Vermont as a five year old and she has been an avid trail riding horse ever since. Sadie has matured to the height of 15.3 and weighs about 1000 lbs. While Sadie is very safe and will take you anywhere, she needs a smart rider. Sadie will take advantage of a rider that does not make their intentions clear. Sadie easily travels barefoot over any ground and is healthy. Sadie is traffic safe and friendly to her pasture mates. Her owner rides alone or with others. She is DNA tested to be a true black. Sadie has great bloodlines and could be a broodmare prospect.
I spent a little time with Sadie and Michelle when Sadie first arrived in Vermont. These pictures are old and Sadie has come a long way. Michelle just needed a couple lessons on how to ride Sadie with purpose and not just be a passenger. I am happy to say Michelle and Sadie have had many great rides ever since.
Sadie's registered name is Bonnie Lee Carbon Copy # 0165527, bred by Mona Bonham of Willmar MN. Sadie is for sale due to changes in her owner's family. A baby is expected and Michelle doesn't want such a nice horse to sit idle! $7,500
Elise and I headed out for a great local trail ride up Mount Ephraim. She rode Watson and I rode Meadow. Dirt roads, a highway crossing and deep mud were just the beginning. I don't do this trail enough to know that there was an alternative route around the steep ledge near the top of the mountain. Meadow and Watson slowly picked their footing to take us to the top. We were all rewarded with a 360 degree panoramic view of the area. We could see Okemo Mountain, Stratton, Ascutney and even Killington Mountain. Meadow stood like a statue and seemed to soak up the scenery. Watson reminded us he was a six year old and pawed the ground to tell us he had seen enough.
A couple times on the trip we had to stop so I could adjust Meadow's boots. Each time I got off, she was relaxed while I tugged and tightened her boots. She just seemed to know I was trying to make her feel better. We found a better trail down the ledge. Meadow lead the way, confident and pleased with the hike. I kept thinking back to the spring and how she couldn't leave her pasture-mate with out being nervous. I was so proud of her maturing and proving to become a real trail horse.