Solo is supposedly finished competing for this year unless some dressage shows turn up.  He was amazing at Wit’s End in his second CCI* this year and moved up a place from his Bromont finish to take fourth.  Selena was thrilled with him.  He finished the whole week on his dressage score.  There were only four clear rounds in the stadium and we were SO proud that his was one of the four.  Selena also placed on her second ride (3rd) and I led Solo into the ring to get his ribbon.  It was a great day and I am so happy to see our faith in him start to bear fruit.  He has been SUCH a difficult horse in some ways and so very brilliant and talented in others.

He seems to have sorted out all his jumping and cross country in his mind.  There are still things he needs to learn about and, no doubt, there will still be many difficult days ahead, but he goes out looking for the jumps now and is listening to Selena’s every movement on his approach.  He really never argues about jumps but lets her adjust his speed and line without comment…. thank goodness.  At the moment all his comments are in the dressage ring.  He does some movements with panache and brilliance that is dazzling, and some movements with a bit more panache and brilliance than is called for….!  He just CANNOT resist a discussion.  If Selena doesn’t come into a movement absolutely perfect (and even when she does) he takes advantage of any situation and throws his complaints out there for the whole world to hear about.  He cannot just grind his teeth and grump a bit if he gets into a turn or a circle and he is not just perfectly poised to flow through it with ease…. he has to fling his body into the air and throw his head to the side JUST IN CASE he MIGHT hit the bit and be slightly uncomfortable for a couple of strides…. sigh.  He is a tartar and a bully if he thinks he can get away with it.

His ground manners are absolutely first class.  I was watching him at Wit’s End and thinking what a well behaved, calm steady show horse he has become.  I guess they all grow up eventually.

One thing we have learned is not to give him long breaks from ‘doing stuff’.  He likes ‘outings’ and if he only works at home he gets sullen.  He is quite happy if all it means is a trailer ride to work somewhere else, that seems to be enough to keep his thirst for outings in the trailer under control.  Florida is ideal as the horses go somewhere in the trailer three or four times a week.  Lessons from different instructors, and trips to work and condition on different farms, fill the spaces left by shows, clinics and events.  Solo loves the busy season in Ocala and thrives on the action and adventure.

He is going to be a bit bored as 2009 winds down for him, his stable buddy Colombo still has Plantation Field and Morvan Park. I know Solo is going to be putting in his application for a spot in the trailer…..we shall see.