Oh happy day! Stressage turned out great???? Woody didn’t put a foot wrong and was very confident and relaxed. I knew I did too many trot steps into the first halt, but he was square and moved off straight and promptly into the trot work. I’m VERY proud of our lateral work. AM took video from the left quarter line (approx) and it really shows the correct angle and bend of my right shoulder in, you can see him on three tracks. Medium and extended trot is not our strength in the arena yet, but it’s coming along nicely. He stayed elevated and rhythmical in in these (its not easy on the short diagonals out of shoulder-in).

His half-passes were also very correct and a smooth transition form left to right. Being a very narrow horse, if you’re off by one inch you’ve had it, as it’s VERY noticeable. We’ve worked very hard to improve these with better bend and bigger steps, so I’m pleased we pulled it off in the ring.

In his walk I thought his frame was better, more elevated than in the trot. I was super pleased with his turn on the haunches. We’ve been working on these since 2011 Pan Ams, where I did them for the first time and felt like I was turning a bus????. I’ve been training them throughout my workouts with him and continuing them instead of just doing a half turn. It paid off today. His walk is one of his best gaits (outside the ring); however, with the added tension from the atmosphere I have yet to produce his best extended walk in the ring. Today was MUCH improved, there’s still more over-track in there Woody but we’re on the right path????????.

Canter is our best gait in the ring, so we really try to earn some points there with the extended canters and serpentines. My last few tests we have received 9s for our right-to-left changes. Having said that, we also seem to be stuck with a 50% ratio of good changes in our test; whether there are four or two, we seem to get half of them right????‍♀️. Not today though ‒ today both were good, the right-to-left definitely stands out, clean, straight, balanced with expression and no change in rhythm. Our left-to-right was clean, straight, expressive, fairly balanced but a brief “burst” in the rhythm. His last halt was really good I think. I look forward to reading the test marks to see if I know what I’m talking about LOL and of course to build on this test and get better for Fair Hill❤️????

I enjoyed hacking on one of Bruce’s homebred mares with Anne Marie on Riley. Jan let me jump her OTTB again and she was amazing! We did the liverpool with planks over it. She’s never even seen it before and jumped it no problem, bending line to an oxer. The second time we did it she did a flying change on the bending all by herself. Such a natural! I repeated the skinny viaduct wall today and she was straight as an arrow. We also got to hop over all the cross-country logs in a row around the outside of the ring, she did them in a perfect rhythm and balance.

AM rode Jiff (one of Jan’s babies) and jumped him. He’s one of the only ones I haven’t seen jumped or jumped myself. He is a relative of Spotlight and Tinker Bell (you can really tell just by the colouring); they are fantastic greys, almost roans, that change colour with the seasons. Also they all make jumping look SO EASY with perfect rhythmical, balanced canters everywhere they go. Quiet confident jumpers with phenomenal scope, sweet-natured and gorgeous to look at. I can’t wait to see them again and see how much they’ve learned by the time we come down for fair hill.

Thank you to Landmark’s young event horses and Blue Elephant for sponsoring an awesome dinner at the New Bolton Equine Medical Center. After dinner they showed us the new robotics imaging system. Astounding!! They use car building robotic arms and put CT scanners on them so that the horses don’t have to be anesthetized and put at risk by placing them in a CT scanner. They use it to diagnose as well as improve accuracy of surgery. They showed us some amazing cases where they couldn’t have seen what was wrong without it as well as being perfectly accurate during surgeries. Then we got to see the actual robotics working in a demo. Technology is amazing! Long may it continue to help our four-legged friends. They even hope to incorporate it with human medicine so that people won’t be traumatized by the CT scanner and it will be easier for those who can’t be laid out into the machine.

I have to go to bed now and dream of clear rounds for tomorrow.
Go Woody Go????????