I tend to fall behind on my blog. Here are some highlights.
For almost 2/3 of my life I have had one horse by my side. He defined my adolecence, was my security blanket through my twenties and thirties, and finally an old soul for my forties. Noodle set the bar for what a great horse is, literally the wind benieth my wings. Farwell Noodle, til I see you again.
I am always a little sad to see a horse move on in its life but that is the job of a trainer. I am a stepping stone in the horses career. I am very happy Ann was taken by Gilly and I know they will have a long love together.
I had a great time this past Saturday at the the SDA Mid Winter Driving Conference. Martha Hanks-Nicoll a FEI Dressage Judge started the show by guiding us through the new training level dressage tests from the eyes of a judge. I found it not only informative but she also got me energized to start practicing as soon as I got home.
Richard Nicoll a World Renowned Course Designer followed his wife's lecture by addressing how the dressage training is linked to the cones and cross country courses that he designs. While making so much sense, I don't know how it had never crossed my mind before. Again, I was getting excited to get home and drive.
Jeff Morse spoke about his personal experience with his own horse that has/had ulcers and what to do once you've started seeing behavior issues. Jeff brought in a great veterinarian who showed us a video of a stomach being scoped.
Thanks SDA for keeping driving fun and interesting.
More info www.saratogadriving.com
Just this spring I started Canela a Mustang gelding driving. His owner is also new to the sport. This autumn they are hitching and driving solo in the ring. Carol has since had both hips replaced and is recovering. Next spring I am positive Canela won't miss a beat and be out driving again.
Early spring/late winter I started Kapri a Haflinger mare driving. Her owner Lorraine is an experienced driver. Here the two of them are enjoying a group lesson called Wheel Runners. These lessons are hosted at Green Mountain Horse Association and given by Robin Groves.
Fall riding is the best and whom better to do it on than a mare I raised from birth! My friend Kirby bought Lyra a Cleveland Bay/Morgan when she was green broke at the age of 3. Last summer they got to know each other mostly doing ring work and a little trail. This summer Lyra is tackling rough terrain learning where to put her feet and how to carry herself.
Impy is a five year old pony of breeding I do not know. He came to me already knowing how to be ridden. His owner had started him ground driving and pulling a drag. Due to a chaotic time in her life, Impy's owner just couldn't be consistant with his training. She decided to have me finish what she had started. Within a few weeks of redundent lessons, Impy and I got to know eachother, trust one another and sucessfully he learned to drive. Now that driving in a ring is understood, we will start introducing horses into the ring, and eventually we will head out together through the fields and down the roads. I have already ground driven Impy a few times down the road. I figure I easliy ground drive at least ten miles before I hitch a horse.
I met Caleb when I was assigned to be his groom last October in Newport Rhode Island. He was one of six horses used four at a time for Coaching in the Historic Mansion Tours. A bit of a busy body Caleb did best when he was working. Standing hitched to a carriage with his buddies for long durations was not his thing, hence he is on to a new career. As soon as I found out he was available for sale, I bought him as a sale project. I already new he was fun, social and experienced. I truly enjoy figuring out what would be his next adventure.
As a three year old, Canela a Mustang gelding was sent to me last summer for starting under saddle. He pretty much was a trainers dream. Canela was curious and enjoyed human company. His adoptive mom had handled him often but still let him be a horse. Carol also had future goals to have him taught to drive as a four year old. So while here for saddle training I did a lot of ground driving to set him up for following years education.
This summer with a little recap, Canela was hitched to a cart in three weeks. His biggest problem is flies, hence his skirt and bonnet as I like to call it. A true sense of pride comes over me when I see Carol successfully driving Canela at her place.