Life is about the journey not the destination, make sure you enjoy each turn along the way!
At the end of July I rode with Becky at the Schweiss farm. Roxy was spunky, bucking and anticipating more then normal. We worked through it and did all of the great exercises Becky had set up for us. Then we headed off to Otter Creek in early August. Warmup began just as any other warm up, then when I began to jump Roxy again seemed to anticipate the jumps more then normal. I was having a little bit of trouble turning but I decided to see how she was out on course. She left the start box and was great to 1 and 2, as I made the right hand turn to fence 3, a table by the crowds, I couldn’t take her focus off the people and she just began running to the right down in the valley. I circled her around and she jumped 3 wonderfully and went down and then back up the sunken road with ease. I galloped on and went to make a nice sweeping left turn to go up the hill towards the log table but there was no turning. Again she began running and leaping to the right. I was unable to regain her focus so I decided to retire her and do a little investigation as to why she all of a sudden acting up.
Sammy was contesting her first intermediate at Otter and did great! She had an unfortunate 20 when she decided she wanted to be like Jennie Brannigan and jump the biggest side of the corner out of the water. At least she realized she didn’t jump between the flags (as only the “tip” of the corner was flagged) and she circled around and popped over between the red and white. I couldn’t be more proud of her for doing such a great job at her first outing at that level! Lily was galloping in the preliminary again this weekend and per her usual finished in the top 5, taking home 3rd place! Cat was riding Hannah this weekend, this time at training level, and did great finishing in 8th! Maitland and Grady were testing out the Novice level for the first time and rocked around the course ending on their dressage score to finish in competitive Jr novice in 5th place. Mariah and Cinder were doing great but had one to many bobbles on the cross country and were ultimately eliminated. Once she gets her ducks in a row these two will be extremely competitive at Novice. Deb and Oliver had another superb run finishing in 1st on their dressage score of a 27.8. Virginia and Mac had a great run only adding some time to their score to finish in 4th place. The Artful Dodger was a rockstar this weekend winning his division on his dressage score! He is now being offered for sale if you’re a confident rider looking for a horse to move up the levels! Kendel and Allie did great in the Starter division finishing in 5th and Maddy & Dylan took home 2nd place! Another great weekend at Otter!
Hannah also is testing the waters in modeling and acting. Her first modeling session was schedule with the Minnesota Timberwolves Dancers. She modeling with a nice young lady at Wayzata Beach for their upcoming calendar. Stay tuned!
Shortly after Otter, we hosted an Emily Beshear clinic at Copeland Farms. Emily is the Area IV Young Rider coach and we are lucky to have her come in! We had a great dressage day 1 followed by 2 fun and full days of jumping with a lot of different exercises. Emily helped me work through some issues with Roxy and make a game plan how to proceed. She had a vet appointment scheduled for the end of the week. I took her in to the U and we did a scope and she had some pretty significant ulcers. I decided to give her a couple weeks off while she was on her medication and have been bringing her back to work slowly, consisting of a lot of hacking, trotting, dressage, small jumping and free and lunge jumping. As they say, the ulcers may be gone but the behavior takes some time.
Richland Park weekend! I was lucky enough to show Rachel Holen’s horse, Optical Illusion aka Magic, this year. It was really fun picking up the ride! It is amazing how each horse teaches us something new. I rode him once before we hit the road but luckily had a few days at Richland Park to continue to get to know him. We struggled a bit at first but by the end of the day on Thursday I was confident we could put in a solid test. Magic stepped up to the plate scoring a 32.3 to put us in 5th place. The training track rode great this year. I didn’t know what to expect of Magic and the best thing about having no expectations is just riding the horse you’re sitting on in the moment. He was great! Definitely a different ride from a thoroughbred but he gives a great feeling across the country. As we came into the last quarter of the course we had to make a left hand turn to the normandy bank, the up of the bank had a ditch in front of it and as we approached and Magic caught sight of it he just nipped out to the right at the last minute and we had to represent. One second approach he was super, jumped up the bank, hopped right off and straight over the skinny. In hind sight, sitting on a horse I didn’t know, I should have given him a longer approach allowing him to see and read the question. Warming up for show jumping he felt great! We had one unfortunate rail when I sat up too quickly but we finished overall in 9th place! He was so much fun to ride, I can’t thank Rachel enough for allowing me to take him!
This was Lily's first CIC1* with Luksor and they were both amazing! They put in their best dressage test to score a 50.3 which put them into a tie for 21st place. Next she had show jumping, and although the jumps were bigger and slightly more intimidating, she rode him brilliantly. She was able to create one of the best canters she has had yet in the ring. One unlucky rail down kept them in their 21st place. On to tackle the cross country! Definitely one of the hardest tracks Lily had seen to date, but she handled it with ease and a smile on her face those whole time. She was fast across the ground and came in double clear to finish in 17th place out of 53 riders! So proud of this kid!!
The Fargo ladies, Virginia & Megan Stockburger had a great weekend! Both in Novice divisions the each took home a ribbon! Both had great tests, although Megan's judge was a little harsh on her and scored her a 39.3, she jumped double clear on the cross country and had a nice round in show jumping only adding three time faults to their score to finish in 6th place! Virginia scored a 30.5 in dressage, went double clear on cross country and had one rail down to finish in 5th place! Way to go Stockburger’s!
And of course last but not least, the girl who makes it all happen. Her and Hannah had another great outing at Richland. Cat put in her best ride on Hannah, keeping her calm and cool in the ring to score their best score together a 32.3! We almost had an identical weekend looking back on our scores. She was also sitting in 5th in her division. She had an unfortunate stop early on, on cross country, in a combination when she got there on a half stride. She circled around and flew over it no problem. She came in only a few seconds over optimum. Show jumping was great. The large grass arena really allows you to get going. The show jumping course at Richland are always related. Every line is related. 3 to 4 was six strides, 6 to 7 was a bending six, to a two stride, 8 to 9 was five and 9 to 10 was six strides with the final combination being a one stride. Another great experience for Cat!
We packed up in the pouring rain, dropped MB & Lily off at the airport and hit the road! We had a weekend off in-between before heading back to Otter Creek for the Fall Horse Trials!
This time I didn’t have a horse to ride since I was taking it easy with Roxy. I was lucky to have the ladies from Shoes of Steel there over the weekend filming for the TV show! Shoes of Steel is a reality documentary based on horsewomen in Minnesota! Stay tuned for more details! Visit their website to stay connected!
Sammy was giving Intermediate another go and had a great weekend, coming in with only some time on cross country. Her and Stella were on different pages in the show jumping which resulted in Sammy slipping off her side. Unfortunately the longer and more you do this sport, these things are bound to happen and happen to the best of em. She picked her self up and held her head high. I couldn’t be more proud of how she handled the situation. When moving up to a new level it points out your weaknesses and where you need to keep working which is exactly what we have been doing. Look out for this pair this winter - they are aiming to do the CCI2* team at Young Riders next year! Lily rocketed around the Preliminary bringing in one of the only two double clear cross country rounds. She ended the weekend in 3rd place only adding a rail to her dressage score. Next she heads off to contest the CCI1* at Midsouth! These two are aiming to do the CCI1* team at Young Riders next year! Cat and Hannah were in the training and had a great run only adding one rail to their dressage score to finish in 4th place in a large Sr. Training division. Maitland and Grady rocked around the Novice to finish 5th. Deb and Oliver had a great weekend as well finishing 5th in their large Novice division. Virginia & Megan had great runs again at Novice, Megan finishing in 6th and Virginia winning the division! Together Mariah and I decided to finish the season out at Beginner Novice and she was so happy she did! She had a blast and finished in third place. Maddy made the move up on Dylan to Beginner Novice and took home 2nd! Kendel & Allie worked it at their first BN together taking home 8th place! Another superb weekend at Otter and we are sad to not be heading back there until next year!
Being so busy this year we were unable to make it down to Texas for the AECs but we hope to hit up Colorado where they will be held next year! Maura Tierney purchased a new horse, Sirius, from Todd Wulf and it has been so fun watching them grow together! We did the North Run Schooling show with a group of people and all had a blast! It was Marcia O’Hagan’s horse, Grenadier’s, first show under saddle and he was a pro in the Intro A and B tests! Everyone did great and we had a lot of fun - thanks Len & Jackie for hosting!
At the end of August we had a great open house for Copeland Farms! Nice turnout so we could show off our facility and riders. Some of the kids did demo rides for our visitors! Emma Smith has been riding Lucy for me all summer and doing a great job with her. She took her to CSDEA Festival and won both her classes, 3-3 and 4-1 and also the Team Championship! Congrats!
We are winding down for the season, enjoying a lot of trail riding and getting busy with already working on our goals for next year! I will be taking Lucy down to St. Louis for Region 4 Championships at PSG & I1. I am excited to be in the ring again on Lu! Lily and Cat will be riding at Midsouth later so we head to Kentucky as our last big trip for the season!
I am excited to be getting closer to the FL season. We leave January 1st and return April 12th. This year I am leasing a barn at Leah Lang Glusic’s and am excited to be living in her house as well! I have a few openings left for training horses, students and a working student as well! Contact me for more information!
Until next time - stay cool kids!
Hello 2015! There is so much to write about I don't even know where to begin! It has been awhile since I have done a full heartfelt blog. So here goes nothin'!
2015 so far has been an incredible year with many new and amazing opportunities and experiences for me and it is only the end of May with a lot of the year left ahead of us. January 1st began an adventure in which I have high hopes to turn in to a tradition each winter.
This winter in Ocala, FL brought me an influx of knowledge and experience. The lessons, competitions, friendships, relationships with past, current and new clients, friends and family and the input from everyone has really made it all more than worth it. I wouldn't change my experience in Florida for anything. With new experiences come inevitable changes and although some things changed at home while I was away, I was able to come back to a booming business and eager clients ready to feed themselves off of my new knowledge and experience.
As the world turns so do we. Some doors close only to have new ones open that present growth and opportunity in ways you could sometimes never even dream of.
I am so lucky to have such a strong support system that continues to stand by me, picks me up when I am down, holds me accountable and allows me to grow and learn from my mistakes.
I am blessed to have made a transition to a new facility, Copeland Farms. The Kelly Family has purchased a farm in Indepepndence in which I am able to run my program out of. I say blessed and not lucky because it is not luck that takes us through life but choices and decisions on how to build and grow relationships. Luck would be winning the lottery.
The new farm, Copeland Farms, is a beautiful facility. It will be my new home and allow for me to take on more clients. Elysium Farm has been my home for the last 3.5 years and Peter & Tracy have been nothing but wonderful. Copeland Farms is now my opportunity to continue to grow my business.
I look forward to diving in as Barn Manager and Trainer to run one of the best Eventing & Dressage training facilities in the western suburbs.
So right now, to say the least, I have a very full plate! My own two horses are progressing nicely in their training and Hannah is being loved as always. Marcia & Cat are leasing her currently and then Cat will be moving in to a full lease on her. Lucy is continuing with her one tempis, passage & piaffe while Roxy is working hard to get ready for her CIC1* debut.
There have been so many highlights already this season as we head towards August, I can't believe the year is over half gone, it seems like it just began. We have had a few students move up to the next level, a working student, Meg, who was here for the summer has come and gone accomplishing her goal of passing her C3 at the end of her stay, Sam Kelly not only made the Area IV NAJYRC team, but she placed 9th out of 45 riders from around the country and Canada to help her team take home the 5th place ribbon.
I am in the works of finalizing our Open House date for Copeland Farms & then we will open the doors to accepting more Training clients! Looking forward to expanding my business and career! See you all at the next horse show!