Wednesday, April 13, 2011
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
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.
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!