Friday, October 22, 2010

The Boys Show Off Their Form in the Jumping Chute

Alicia and Caitlin East, one of our riders (and great photographers!), took a few of the three-year-olds over to Lone Pine Farm, just down the road, to run them through the jumping chute and check out their form. Thank you Caitlin for the excellent re-cap and photos!

The jumping chute was a blast! We sent Dawn's Sunrise (who lives at Lone Pine Farm), The Magician's Nephew, and Fred through the exercise. The babies were just figuring out how to jump in general, whereas Dawn's Sunrise was showing us how he wanted to jump.

Both the Magician's Nephew and Fred figured out the chute easily and jumped with style! It was so much fun getting to watch them. Babies are exciting!
Dawn's Sunrise is very talented, so we wanted to see how he used himself without any input from a rider. Hopefully, now we can help him realize that potential in the ring.
(Top left: Three-year-old Welsh-cross The Magician's Nephew; Right: Three-year-old Conn/TB Fred; Below left: Dawn's Sunrise. Photos by Caitlin East)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tobey Wins the Dressage at Maryland Horse Trials with 30.4!

Cady's Punchline ("Tobey") was a star this past weekend at the unrecognized horse trials at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. He earned one of his best ever dressage scores in the Novice division (30.4!), and ended up being at the head of the back after that phase! Needless to say, I was pleased as punch - Tobey seems to be getting better and better on the flat, and is really showing off his true potential.

When we arrived at the show, I discovered I only had an hour or so in between my dressage and show jumping... a bit close for comfort, but that's okay since the cross-country course was right across from our trailer spot, and I practically knew the course by heart since I'd ridden it so many times. Plus, I'd be home in time for an afternoon nap and Sunday football!

Even though it was an unrecognized event, there was still a good deal of atmosphere, but Tobey dealt with it like a champ, being much more interested in checking out the fine grazing around our trailer. I knew Tobey was pretty fit, but we hadn't done much schooling on the flat in the past few weeks since I'd been travelling so much, so I wasn't sure how he was going to be in the warm-up. Turns out, I needn't have worried, because he was calm, cool, collected, and very focused...don't you love 6-year-olds?

During the warm-up, I was able to really get him jazzed up a bit and get him swinging along nicely with lots of energy. Luckily, this energy carried over into our test, and I was so, so pleased with how he performed. We picked up lots of 8s, and our only silly moment was when he stopped to poop in front of the judge's box, and I gave him a thump! I was tickled to find out we'd gotten a 30.4, and am very, very optimistic about his future. Who knew Tobey was such a DQ?

One thing I noticed was how many people didn't bother to braid for the horse trials. I got a record low number of braids (7!) on Tobey at 6AM in the freezing darkness that morning, but they were nice and neat, and I thought he looked very well turned out, especially with his lovely clip job and fall dapples. I always like to think that I might get a few brownie points if I go the extra mile and really do a good job with our turn-out...or maybe that's just my inner Pony Clubber speaking.

After the test, I scrambled out of boots, and into my running shoes to go out and walk/jog the cross-country course. True to form, the course looked fabulous and very inviting. In fact, I was actually eyeballing the Training course thinking that looked within our grasp! I'll have to keep that in mind for next spring. The course was very similar to the spring Novice (recognized) event, and looked like it would be a fun little walk (canter) in the park.

Josh was kind enough to get Tobey ready for show jumping while I checked out my course, and I hopped on and headed down to warm-up to pop over a few jumps, knowing he wouldn't need much warm-up after such a brief period between show jumping and dressage.

The warm-up at events can always be a little hectic, especially at the lower levels where there are many newer competitors who aren't always sure of the rules and etiquette, but we survived and he felt good...albeit a little on the lazy side. I knew I'd really have to wake him up when we headed into the ring, especially since it was quite warm (close to 80), and he still felt a little bit sleepy.

Tobey felt quite good once we got in the ring and I took him for a big gallop around the outside to get him coming forward. The course was lovely - very flowing and had a couple of nice combinations. Unfortunately, I didn't wake him up quite enough, and we had a silly rail at the first combination. I blame myself since we cut the corner a bit, and plus I didn't really have him up in front of my leg. Other than that mistake, we had a good round. I think I know where to go from here - jumper shows! I love how quiet and safe Tobey feels, but he needs to learn that when he goes into the ring, it's time to GO! I think some good schooling shows this winter will do the trick.

After the show jumping, we trotted straight over to cross-country. Finally, Tobey seemed awake! Off we went at a casual pace, and hopped easily over the first few. A little too easily - I was thinking, wow, this doesn't seem challenging at all! We're lucky enough to get to go through two water combinations, and he galloped right in - no water issues with this guy. Over ditches and up and down banks, he was pretty much on auto-pilot the whole time. Just point and shoot! He's gotten much more "rateable" the past few months, and I really feel like I can let him cruise around on his own pace, and then sit up, give a little half halt, and prepare for each jump a few strides out. Love these ponies! I was also suffering from an annoying eye infection, so I was forced to wear some (outdated) glasses instead of my usual contact was a little nerve-wracking having water splash up on my face and glasses through the water jump, and then trying to wipe it off before the next jump... oh well!

All in all, I was very, very pleased with how Tobey did this past weekend - especially in the dressage phase. I'm still kicking myself for the rail, because without it we would've won...but what're you going to do? Anyway, we still got a good ribbon, and I couldn't have been happier. At this point, I'm convinced that anyone can ride this pony - advanced or beginner, and have a blast. He's honest, safe, fit, healthy, and getting better and better... it's fun to see how much he's grown up in the past few years, and I'm feeling very hopeful about his future.

Also, we saw our good friends Larry & Michelle Robbins at the event with their talented young RID stallion Kilronan's Glenstone, who's in training at Phyllis Dawson's amazing facility at Windchase. The Robbins are very active in the Irish Draught community, and we've been happy to get to know them and their wonderful Irish horses during the past few years. This was "Stoney's" first real event, and of course he ended up tied for first in the Beginner Novice division.

Thanks to Josh for the amazing photos! And a huge thanks for being a helpful groom/driver, especially since he got home late Saturday night from photographing at Fair Hill CCI**/*** up in Maryland.

Next weekend, Josh will be taking Tobey in a combined test at Sandstone Farm, a great little event just a few miles down the road. And hopefully on Sunday we'll head back over to Loch Moy Farm for Josh to school the cross-country course before his first "real" event on Halloween. Busy weeks ahead!

By the way, I'll be posting more photos of Tobey on our Cady O'Daly Facebook Fan Page - check 'em out!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cady O'Daly Class Clown Takes Second at Local Horse Trial

We're just home from a Virginia Horse Trial schooling show at Sunrise Farm. My young four year old Hokie-- aka Cady O'Daly Class Clown came in second on a 31.0 dressage score. The silly guy just wasn't too sure about the huge purple mums at dressage entrance-- and kept on eyeing them, but somehow succeeded in keeping his mind in the game. He got a nice 8 on his movement--that is encouraging.

Stadium jumping was very pleasant and well in hand on the side of the hill. His form improves with his interest, since it is so easy for him.

Cross-country was interesting as he dropped out of the air onto a very wide log and rail-- only to be met with a big whack by me. He cantered on down to the gate into the water field and hated every minute--as i said yesyoudo...yesyoudo... until he finally did... and off we went again with a whack whack... so for some reason, he went right on into the water. Funny guy. The rest of the ride was a blast, and he finished 30 sec under the time. Good boy!


Beholden Spends a Morning with Snickersville Hounds

Beholden ("BB"), who's currently being leased in northern Virginia, had a great outing with the Snickersville Hounds. "A beautiful day for hunting yesterday! Beholden was a perfect lady!" said Marilyn Davis, who's enjoying BB.

Looking for a smaller-sized, but fancy, foxhunter? Check out 15.2hand BB!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gordonsdale Field Trip

After a hectic month of travelling to the American Eventing Championships, Irish Draught National Show, and the World Equestrian Games, Josh and I finally got our boys back last week - Cady's Punchline ("Tobey") and Marco.

This past weekend we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous fall weather this weekend, brush the stink bugs off our saddle pads, and take the geldings on a little field trip over to a fantastic local cross-country schooling facility in Berryville called Gordonsdale. This hidden gem has jumps from itty bitty logs to Preliminary tables and combinations, and is the perfect place to take youngsters on their first outing, or gear up your seasoned partner for an upcoming event. The privately-owned facility is perfectly manicured, and the footing is fantastic, especially considering the dry weather we've had lately, which has taken its toll on many of the venues in our area.

Josh rode Tobey in preparation for Josh's upcoming first horse trial in a few weeks, and Tobey is proving to be a very steady and encouraging partner for him. Tobey was foot-perfect during the entire school, boldly but safely tackling all of the obstacles asked of him: water jumps, banks, logs, and anything else in front of him. If all goes according to plan, he and Josh will be participating in the unrecognized Waredaca Horse Trials on Halloween.

Marco is my little protege, and I have high hopes for this young gelding...he's only three years old, but he's well over 15.2, and has fantastic bone, long legs, and incredible movement. I don't plan to sell this one for a long time! In fact, I think he'd make a fantastic Prelim packer one day, or even a fieldmaster's hunt horse.

Baby Marco had competed (and won) at the USEA Future Event Horse show at Green Hill Park (Salem, VA) earlier this summer, but had never been ridden off the farm, but with his quiet and thoughtful demeanor, I knew he'd take our field trip all in stride. And he did. I was a little nervous since there were a few trailers already at Gordonsdale, which could make for a bit of commotion, but both boys were excellent, and we finished tacking up and mounted without a fuss.

Marco had the chance to sniff and explore the cross-country jumps, and seemed to shrug his little grey shoulders and say, "Meh, no biggy!" My main goal for this outing was to have him behave on a field trip, and perhaps check out a few beginner cross-country questions, like water jumps. Of course, he exceeded all my expectations, gingerly stepping (and then later heartily trotting) through the murky water jump, thoroughly investigating tire jumps, and easily stepping off of baby-sized banks. What a trooper - I'm so excited about this young gelding, and can't wait to see how he progresses throughout the winter. Perhaps I'll even think about competing in some Young Event Horse classes?

I was able to squeeze into the unrecognized horse trial at Loch Moy Farm this weekend, so I'm excited to finally get back on the cross-country course with Tobey again. We schooled at the Virginia Horse Center a few weeks ago, and he felt stronger and much more mature than he had in the spring, so I'll be interested to see how the event goes. Thanks to Mom for keeping Tobey fit and happy for me - as well as clipping him! Meanwhile, Josh will be travelling up to Elkton, Maryland to cover the Fair Hill CCI**/*** and the Young Event Horse Championships, so be sure to check out the great photos on!


New Sale Video: Cady's Punchline

Check out our latest sales video featuring Cady's Punchline ("Tobey") Thanks to Josh Walker of Red Horse Media for this fantastic video!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Marvelous Weekend at Maryland Horse Trials

Cady O'Daly Farm had a great outing at the Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland this weekend. Homebred mare Cady's Goldkeeper and Alicia took home second place in the competitive Open Novice division to finish on their dressage score of 30.4. Keeper was a champ, clinching a solid, steady dressage test, and was one of only a handful of horses in her division to post a double-clear in show jumping and cross-country. Keeper is currently for sale - check out her page! She and Alicia are headed to the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington, Virginia in a few weeks.

Kris LaLuna gave Steve and Billie Bryant's Dawn's Sunrise an excellent ride in the Open Novice division as well. 'Sunny' earned a 35.7 in dressage (even though he was a little spooked by the judge's hut!), had a silly rail in show jumping, and a foot-perfect cross-country trip. Sunny's also for sale - check out his page! Kris and Sunny will have their Training debut at the upcoming Virginia Horse Trials.

Check out more photos from this weekend here on Facebook!