Team O'Hanlon

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My blog started in August 2005 to chronicle my progress in training "A First Romance" (a.k.a. Solo) into a world class eventing horse. Born in 2002, as a 10-year old, Solo is close to competing in the four-star division. He's fabulous XC, but does still tend to voice his opinion during dressage... never a dull moment.

Solo's ridden by my daughter, Selena, who competed at her first Olympics in 2008 and the WEG in 2010 with Colombo. Selena also rides several different horses including Pan Am Silver medals, “Foxwood High” out of our home base, Balsam Hall in Kingston, Ontario.

This blog chronicles both our adventures as we continue to train eventing horses. Occasionally, Selena will make an entry on her progress at competitions particularly on the lead up to major events. Please feel free to ask questions or send comments.

Getting a Grip

Despite all the stopping and starting throughout October, Solo was relaxed and confident when we introduced one more new step today. His ‘under saddle’ progression has been: Walking whilst being led in hand. Walking and trotting on the lunge line,…

Ladies… Start Your Engines

Solo missed yet another weekend of work, not that he is complaining, the weather has been lovely and he and his buddy Waldo are enjoying the time in the paddocks. I was lucky enough to ride in the Mary Wanless…

Winter Preparations

The sudden change from perfect summer weather to a deluge today made me realise that it’s time we started riding Solo outside the roundpen. The roundpen was unusable today and will be flooded for the next week at least. Solo’s…

The Black Hole

Today we had a major spooking problem with Solo. On his way into and out of both his work area and his paddock, he has to pass by some reflective windows on one side, and a fence line that sometimes…

Shoulder rubs and other trials…

When it was decided that Solo’s education would receive a necessary boost by ‘Going to the Royal’, we had to think carefully about how we wanted this to impact his daily routine. At the moment he is living outside most…

November Comes Quickly!

Solo’s education so far has been pretty much blip free other than one thing. He is inclined to spook at things and when he does, he feels it is his right to stop for as long as he deems necessary….

Trotting on the Lunge

To begin with I led Solo around with Selena on his back at the end of each work session. Sometimes he will only be ridden back from the roundpen to the stables but he is ‘backed’ every day. The next…

Backing For The First Time

Solo has had a few quiet days this week. We had a busy carriage driving clinic hosted at Hawkridge followed straight away by my being away for two days. I try not to have breaks in a young horse’s training….

Food… Glorious Food

Routine is a really powerful training tool. Horses thrive on routine. They seem to unwind and blossom as soon as they are put into a structured lifestyle. I find the two most exciting aspects of the days routine, are feeds…

A Place To Call Home

Part of a good training routine, is to ensure that the horse is as relaxed and settled with his surroundings as possible. The right turnout buddy, if he is to have one. A friendly neighbor in the next door stall…

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