Oh dear, this time the blog is so far behind that people think we have finished Solo’s training….fat chance!   I have been on the road since giving a clinic in Michigan on the first weekend of April.  Since then I have been shipping horses all over North America it seems.  Solo and his two buddies made it to Plantation in plenty of time to do a little hill work beforehand.  After Florida, the hills must be a horrible shock.  The horses were all stabled at Bruce Davidson’s Chesterland farm which is next door to Plantation.  In this way, Solo was able to have some nice dressage and jumping schools right by the showground.

The warm up for dressage was not particularly stellar I understand, Selena’s times on the three horses were pretty close together and as it happened, the horse that got the short end of the stick was Solo.  He had a brief warm up and then he had to go into the ring.  However, once he got into the ring, he pulled off a very nice test and was fifth (I think) after dressage.  A clear stadium and cross country and he finished 4th equal on his dressage score.  In addition to this, he won the prize for the smoothest cross country round of the weekend.  The ground jury awarded it to him not long after he finished his round.  Considering what a propping, spooky, leaper of fences he used to be, it’s quite amazing that he is now winning awards for sophistication….who’d-a-thunk?  In the end he was 5th, the tie being split on closest to optimum time.

Around now, I was meant to be loading Solo and his travelling companion into the trailer, whipping them back to Canada and returning to Chesterland a week later to pick up Selena and Colombo and take them to Kentucky.  “The best laid plans o’ mice and men…”  After dropping off the three Plantation competitors, I nipped back down to Ocala to pick up the other four horses and transport them back to Canada. This is where things started to go wrong.  I thought I had felt some changes in the truck and took it to Ford of Ocala, who were great and after giving me the bad news, set about replacing my transmission!  This is not like putting on a new set of shoes, this took EIGHT DAYS!!!!  Six to get the part and two to do the work….Eek.  It is now Wednesday night, I am still in Ocala, I still have two young horses in PA and I have to be ready, bright eyed and bushy tailed, to take Selena and Colombo to Kentucky at crack of egg on the Monday morning.

Needless to say, Solo and his girlfriend had to stay in PA until Kentucky finished.  They had a good time on the lovely pastures and ‘worked’? on the hot walker twice a day.  Solo likes the hotwalker although it never goes fast enough for him, he is always trying to push it just a little bit faster….how unexpected! 

Finally we brought everybody home on Tuesday, and Solo has spent the remainder of the week hacking out through the woods and on the pathways and hills at Hawkridge Farm.  Back to serious work today, with tentative plans to take him Prelim this Summer and look for a CCI* when he shows he is ready.