Solo and two of his barn mates went to Rocking Horse Schooling Event on the weekend.  Solo was a star, he did two dressage tests and was 1st and 2nd with a 27 something and a 28 something.  FINALLY, first place after dressage.  It has been a long time coming.  No arguing, no spooking, no nonsense, just a businesslike dressage test.  I have felt for a while that he was finally growing up and it would seem it has even extended into the dressage arena… hallelujah!  

After Wilhelmina’s success at the RWF, I decided to broaden the scope of the blog to include Solo’s team mates.  Now that Solo is a good boy (I am nothing if not an optimist), it is harder and harder to find new stuff to tell you.  We are huge ‘routine; people, so Solo’s life tends to be a bit repetitive now that his arguments have been phased out… again, there goes my optimistic streak, dashing right on.

Selena has a few horses to ride this year.  She has Colombo, her Olympic mount whom we hope will be chosen to go to the WEGs, but of course there is a lot of ground to be covered and courses to be jumped before that dream comes to fruition.  The start of Colombo’s season will be an OI at Rocking Horse on the last weekend in January.  I asked Selena if she was doing an OI in order to let Colombo ‘get his eye in practice’ for the big advanced jumps… she said that Colombo had no problem keeping his ‘eye in’ but SHE had to go OI, to get her ‘eye in’, LOL!  After that he does the first Advanced of the year mid February, also at Rocking Horse.  Rocking Horse is a great facility near Altoona, Florida,  that hosts several events throughout the season from baby novice to advanced.  It’s fairly flat sandy footing and the courses are big enough but not overly demanding.  We often upgrade our horses at Rocking Horse.

Selena also has Solo with her in Ocala, we hope to upgrade him to Intermediate, and some sale horses who will be competing.  One of these is ‘Song of Songs’ who won the Canadian Young Event Horse Championship in 2009, she started out Training this year at the Rocking Horse Schooling Event and was 5th, finishing on her dressage score. Crosby, a cute 16hh TB who has been sent down from Vermont to be sold, was 2nd in his Novice division.  The sale horses are a lot of fun and give Selena the opportunity to compete on a variety of horses while she is in Ocala.  Often we have a sale horse we would really like to keep and take on a little farther up the levels, unfortunately we can’t keep them all.  We have three more sale horses in Ocala who have not started their 2010 season yet, Watson’s Peanuts, Watson’s Boston and Heron Hill’s Wildflower.  Watch out for them starting competing either at HITS Ocala or at the events. I hope they can do as well as this weekend’s batch!

There are seven horses altogether in Ocala right now and another one going down next week.  We have two barns in Ocala, both with accomodation attached.  This gives us lots of turnout space for everybody and room for our clients and guests when they visit.  Heron Hill’s Wilhelmina did not get to go to Ocala this year.  Last year as a six-year-old she finished on her dressage score at almost every outing and at her first one star she was 3rd.  She is big and needs to work on her canter and counter canter coming into a much better balance and being more adjustable in the canter in order to be able to upgrade to Intermediate.  The canter needs to be more adjustable for both the increased difficulty in the dressage and the increased difficulty in the show jumping.  The cost of having a horse in Ocala is very high and the cost of competing from Prelim up is also very high.  As a result, Ena has had to stay here in the cold and snow with me and work on her canter.  She did the National Coaching Symposium as her last outing and then had Christmas and New Year off.  I am just about to start serious work with her in the hopes of having her dressage moved on a little bit by the time Selena gets home in April.  ‘Ena’ is for sale, but if not sold, the plan will be for her to do a two star this year assuming all our dressage training goes well.  We live in hopes that someone will buy Ena for Selena to ride and if not, we hope she at least stays in Canada.

Solo’s next outing has not been fixed yet.  I don’t think Selena has entered him for the event at the end of the month.  I think she is riding Colombo, Crosby and Song of Songs there, but I may have to correct that.  Things change on a daily basis in Ocala where so much is on offer.  It is a smorgasboard of equestrian facilities, trainers and shows.

First Test:


Second Test: