It was a crisp sunny morning in Pennsylvania for Tori and Bentley’s dressage and show jumping. She did her test around 8.30am and her show jumping about an hour later. She hacked from Bruce Davidson’s Chesterland Farm to the show site across the road. Bentley does really well with a twenty minute hack to start his day, Selena drove the trailer over with the extra equipment and to ship him home after he did his first two phases. Tori and Bentley were well bundled up against the cool of the early morning.
They did a great first test of the season with just one little jog step in the medium walk, we were thrilled with him, he is such a great campaigner and likes to be in the ring with everyone watching him. He scored a 33 which tied them for sixth place. Back to the trailer, tell him what a good boy he is, change the tack, and over to show jumping. He got a little strung out at the last part of the triple combination to take one rail and moved up into fifth place in the Preliminary Rider going into cross country tomorrow. It’s very exciting.
The warm sun is making all the horses at home here in Canada much happier. There are a lot less grumpy faces and the horses are all going out to the outside rings and out hacking with loose relaxed ears and soft necks. It’s amazing what an effect the sun has on performance LOL I know I feel much more cheerful when it’s warm and sunny, and I expect the horses feel exactly the same way. It looks warmer here than it did for Tori in Pennsylvania.
Two of our horses were schooling a simple grid today and they took a little video at the end. Anne Marie Duarte is riding Sian Phillips lovely grey Appendix Quarter Horse and Katiana Fleck is riding her own Warmblood, Second Amendment. As it has only been a few days since they have been able to ride outside, they kept it simple. The poles are 4.5 feet apart and slightly raised to ensure a quality trot, there is then a 9ft distance from the last pole to the first part of the bounce. That 9ft from the poles into the bounce was a question for the first horse Noah who is only 16hh, and easy for the Second Amendment who is 17hh. The bounce is at 10ft, not a difficult distance for either horse, but the next distance to the upright is only 18ft which was a question for Katiana on the much bigger horse. The last distance to the oxer was a comfortable 21ft for both horses at this point in the grid. Anne Marie did not have to open up much and Katiana did not struggle to fit the stride in. So both horses were challenged somewhere in the grid and both horses were encouraged by the time they finished. A good first outside grid exercise