Monday, August 1, 2011

July Report - Reg. 3 Connemara Show & Corgi Pups

The Reg.3 Connemara Show in Middleburg will be remembered for being quite a lovely time--in weather, fellowship, and rewards. On the first day, we showed our batch of 4 yr olds in the CT at the BN level. Artie was second in dressage, and then was under-piloted to a few rails in jumping. Fred went clean and ended in 2nd overall. Marco said "eek" to the jumps...evil gates and boxes. So back to green on the Sunday... and on to big boy pants when we got him home. Saturday afternoon was payback time for Cady--winning the mare in-hand class, and the overall best purebred of the day! (Payback from UpperLowerville--is that rude... well, my editor will bleep that!) Fred's in-hand career ended quietly, but he made a slight comeback as the three purebreds won the Get of Sire class! Now Tag has a ribbon on his stall-- a latter day tradition. Ask me about the day Keeper got out and tore all of Hokie's ribbon's down...

(Top Left: Ridgetop Cady O'Daly wins her third mare class of her career...and wins her first ever 'Best Purebred Connemara' victory! Photo by Megan Buchanan Harris.)

Sunday was also beautiful--and rewarding--Marco got a hack and jumping ribbon, and Artie got second in the hack--wow. Fred showed his style with flying changes and beautiful rides. Artie got the job done, but needs some work on the leads. Our hunter career ended with a bang and a reserve tricolor ribbon. Then Josh and Cady went to work, and kept everyone entertained, and finished the day with the distinguished "Another Notch Award"-- best overall pony. Pretty cool!

(Right: Emily & Josh posing for a photo-op with Cady after receiving the Another Notch Award. Photo by Sandy McShea.)

So Marco came home with me and the princesses Cady and Artie headed back to WV. Marco is off to big boy camp, and he is coming along. His body has gone through so many changes, he didn't know what to do. Now we are galloping and jumping and doing hills and trails and stadium jumping. Pretty fun assignment, if you ask me!

We would like to introduce the newest equine to join the farm: Nellie--3 days old! Her mom is Nelda (origin of name :Harry Belafonte song about donkey Joe) And she finally made her appearance, squeaky moist and on her feet when we got to the barn at 6:30 am Thur. What a lovely Christmas in July present!!!

And we also welcome the arrival of healthy Corgi pups Tuesday evening. Piglet, Christopher, Kanga, Roo, Winnie, Eeyore, Robin.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Virginia Horse Trials Update

We took two Tag offspring to the Virginia Horse Trials a few weeks ago, and both were stepping up to new levels. Keeper, the 8 yr old, competed in her first recognized Training, and Class Clown, or Hokie, was enjoying his first recognized sleep-over BN. The love affair between the two was the most difficult part, and Keeper, only inches away from Hokie but unseen in her stall, wouldn't answer his mournful cries. Pretty soon his cries got a bit hoarse, but not feeble. Both had lovely warm-ups on Friday despite being separated.

On Saturday Keeper had a very nice dressage, though not as nice as the warm-up, but enough to put us up there. Stadium jumping was next in the arena, and I could hear lots of rails coming down. It was getting a bit ridiculous actually, so we were greatly relieved and encouraged to leave them all up. Hokie had a very lovely dressage ride next, and moved along nicely down the long side in the direction of the barn. He kept his head in the game though, and finished well, but jigged all the way back to his sweetheart. His stadium round was awesome, too, and clean, and it was his first time in the coliseum.

Sunday found Keeper in first, and Hokie in 3rd or so, but no time to consider that. Keeper's cross-country time was 8:30 am, and I worried a bit about the wet grass, but I added a few grass studs and put it out of my mind. It never was an issue, and she never put a foot wrong the whole time. I had put her in a simple hackamore this week, and she loved it. I truly had the ride of my life out there, and came home in plenty of time for the win. Yahoo! It was an interesting and plenty challenging course, and I feel pretty good about trying some other Training courses with her now--she is so capable and confident!

Hokie romped home for second place with awesome rhythm and purpose out there. Nearly every jump came up out of stride--it was a wonderful ride. So this weekend ranks right up there as one of the best of all time for me. The best part is that I delivered both of these younguns as babies, so I'm a proud mama!

Click here to see Keeper's show jumping round

Click here to see Keeper's cross-country round

Click here to see Hokie's show jumping round

Click here to see Hokie's cross-country round


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fun at Green Hill Park with the Babies

April 9

Good fun day at Green Hill Park at the Combined Test. Artisan was making her debut today--and I'll say I've never started a 4 yr old at Beginner Novice, but she thought the course was so silly and small. I'm going to enjoy this horse. She got her first ribbon (if you don't count the Future Event Horse championship last summer when she was three and won!) Hokie had some separation problems but did his job at his first Novice and got a second with a rail--pretty proud of his bravery today. And I am proud of myself riding him like my daughter taught me!


Hokie's first Novice

Artisan's first Beginner Novice

Keeper Schooling Cross-Country

Video of Cady's Goldkeeper & Alicia schooling Training Cross-Country at Virginia Horse Center - March 2011

Early Spring Update - Deep Run & VHC

It's been a quiet spring on the farm. We began our training off "campus" with a trip to Deep Run Hunt cross-country course near Richmond, because it is a very clean and welcoming course with tough and inviting questions. Keeper has never had fun there, so I was determined to get her over the Training level jumps, and she was well up for the task. She handled the heights and the water and the log off the bank and the ditch before the wall all quite well.

(Left: Hokie and Keeper at Virgina Horse Center. Caitlin East photo.)

Young master Fred ("Class Action"), co-owned and trained by Catlin East, enjoyed his first outing ever by yawning at everything he was asked--and with style. He has the finest disposition of any young horse we have produced.

Soon following this experience, we headed over the mountain, to Lexington to jump the cross-country course at the horse center. Keeper again was slated to go Training, and she schooled beautifully, even jumping the scary trakehner, which I was going to save for the actual competition day and run toward home with adrenaline. But with the bad weather moving in , I knew I had to accomplish something hard, so I set up Caitlin with the camera and we flew right over it. We didn't make it back for the Sunday ride, with the bad weather, so that had to satisfy us.

(Right: THE trakehner! Keeper flies over it in style. Left: Hokie showing off his scope. Caitlin East photos.)

Hokie, aka Class Clown, had not experienced "the scene" before and he was a bit overwhelmed. Kristen Laluna rode him, but it soon became evident that he couldn't keep his eyes on the Novice jumps long enough to actually jump over them. So we finished him with confidence building BN jumps.

(Right: Hokie and Kris schooling at VHC. Caitlin East photo.)

Saturday, April 2 , we ventured back the the VHC for the Maury River Hunter Trials--to deliver the pottery trophies and ride Keeper and Fred in a few classes. Fred got a good ribbon in the puddle jumpers, and Keeper had some good runs in the pairs, and handy class. We mostly had to deal with speration anxiety and sideways icestorms. It was a good day to develope toughness. April 9th we will be taking babies to Green hill Park for a CT and xc school. Young Artisan will make her debut there. That should be loads of fun. I love these local occasions. Such good learning!


Monday, January 24, 2011

A-Hunting We Will Go!

We picked the prettiest day of the winter to join Lili Wykle and her young Stonewall Hounds at the fox pen for training. We were training and testing equines while she was training and testing canines--hounds and foxes. Well, now I'm not sure what grey foxes are... We took the two Connemara/Thoroughbreds--Keeper ("Cady's Goldkeeper") the 8yo mare and Fred ("Class Action"), the 4yo.

(Left: MFH & Huntsman Li
li Wykle with her fine group of hounds. Below: The field enjoying a lovely afternoon. Photos by Karen Aniero from the Blessing of the Hounds last year.)

Both were a little wide-eyed by the tall canines with tails--as we raise Welsh Corgis. But they soon got in the groove and off we went. Since there are so many fox finding options for the hounds, we didn't seem to move much for the first little while. Fred seemed to have some bright ideas about ways to move, so we were glad when we finally got to move off at a brisk trot, as Lili said "to take the starch out of our horses."

Lots of good running by the hounds and we followed around on the roads--until I remarked that I'd really like to see a fox today. Not two minutes later, a pretty little red popped out of the woods in front of us, ran down the road, and dashed back into the brush. Yippee--I mean "Tally ho!"

After a good while of this fun, Fred began to show some tension and fatigue--so we decided to head for the trailers. Caitlin gave hm a little break, got off, and loosened his girth and his attitude suddenly brightened. So now we know you can get your girth too tight and as a reward on our hack to home, we viewed another red fox. Um.. hello! Tally you know---Ho!!!

- Alicia