The two photos are from the Young Event Horse Finals at Wit’s End. He really likes the whole galloping part.

We have two new sponsors for Solo’s blog, The Healing Tree and Leather Therapy.  Leather Therapy, Healing Tree and Equissentials are all partners in the Equine Quality Alliance. Selena and Solo and the rest of the Hawkridge Team,  are very proud to have them join our blog.  Please click on our all of our sponsor’s logos to learn more about their products.

When we have the horses in Florida they have to be very carefully washed and dried as there is a fungus that attacks the skin and coat and is a real pain to get rid of.  I don’t know what it’s real name is, but people locally refer to it as the ‘Florida fungus’.  I am sure it has a much more technical name.  For the past two years part of our war against the Florida fungus has been to bath the horses with an all natural tea tree shampoo. We are very happy to have The Healing Tree join as a sponsor of Solo’s blog.  We are looking forward to continuing to use “Private Reserve” tea tree shampoo on Solo this year and we can’t wait to try “Wow” on Peanut’s white socks!

We have always used Leather Therapy Wash and Leather Restorer for Solo’s tack.  We bought him a new bridle to wear when he was shown in hand at The Royal Winter Fair in 2005.  That bridle has never been cared for with anything other than Leather Therapy and it looks as lovely as it did two years ago.  We also use Leather Therapy’s Leather Laundry Solution for our full seat breeches,  it is the only product I would consider using on Selena’s beautiful new Equissential breeches which have a full deerskin seat.  In the old days the seat used to wear out before the cloth, mainly because washing was so destructive to the leather, now the deerskin seat outlasts the breeches if you use the Laundry Solution.

Solo had a great visit with Pat Burgess.  Selena had worked him for two or three days prior to Pat’s arrival but Solo was still very high on himself from his holiday and had not jumped for a long time. 

The first few times over the fences, he jumped like a star (always…he loves the leaping) and landed with joyful whoops and leaps that would have left me behind him on the ground.  Selena didn’t seem too perturbed by the whole experience and seemed to be quite enjoying herself as she brought him back to the exercise until he was a little less excited by the whole experience.

Once he settled down he jumped in his usual exuberant fashion and made us all gasp at how easy it is for him.  I wish he would get on with his dressage the same way he gets on with his jumping, he is getting  positively workmanlike over fences, barely a spook or a wiggle after the first few fences.

After Pa’s showing, Solo was sent back out with his friend Waldo to finish his vacation.  Solo comes back into work tomorrow, Tuesday.  We want to get three days of work under his belt….girth?….before his friend Waldo LEAVES ON FRIDAY….EEK!   This is going to be a big change in Solo’s life.  They have often been split up for days/weeks at a time but there has always been a joyous reunion to look forward to.  This time Waldo will not be coming back, he is going to start his new life as a star in his own right with his new owner.

Solo is presently quite…ahem…fresh!  Bringing him in from the paddock can be quite testing.  We don’t want him like that when his friend leaves at the end of the week, we are therefore preparing for it, by putting him back into work.  This will have the double benefits of taking the edge off “fresh”, and giving him something to think about.  It’s going to be very difficult to work out another partner for Solo, Waldo was a careful pacifist who seemed to understand Solo from day one…. of course since neither were broken, neither were shod during the first weeks of their introduction.  Ugh…I hate changing turnout buddies.

Up until now he and Waldo have mostly been out at night, Solo will probably be clipped soon and will come in. His first clip will be a blanket clip, head, neck, belly shaved and a quarter sheet of hair left on his back.  He will be given a hunter clip before going to Florida, legs and saddle area left on, everything else shaved off.  Almost all our horses are on the same clipping program if they are in full work.  Working them in a full coat is too stressful on the horse and cooling out, is a nightmare and too stressful on the riders!.

As I type this, I can see Solo and Waldo from my window.  They are together, heads never more than six feet apart as they parallel graze the paddock.  They are both ‘grown ups’ now and will not call or stop eating when they are parted, but I know they will miss each other after such a long and gentle partnership.