Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Wow, aren't I the complete and total slacker for not posting here in the last several months! Bad me! I may not post every day during 2014, but this is my pledge to do better. So how did 2013 end? Not half bad I suppose. Shirley competed at the "Very Not Scary" mini trial in September at Beginner Novice. We had a couple stops on cross country but all in all, she was a superstar! She got braver and braver as the round went on. She did a FANTASTIC job in show jumping, even saved my butt once. And her dressage was not at all half bad for where we were. Both girls competed at the Encore OTTB Show at Majestic Farm in October. Shirley did the Beginner Novice CT -- decent dressage given we had 15 minutes total to not only tack up but warm up (yep, arrived LATE), with a clean albeit FAST Show Jumping. Spider did a Training Level dressage test with Anita (scored close to 65% if I remember correctly) and a couple VERY nice jumper rounds with Ella later in the day. Overall the day was HORRIBLE weather-wise, but they both settled and we're VERY proud of them. Anita and Ella have continued to work on Spider's education and she's doing wonderfully. Still a bit of a diva, but she's schooling first level with Anita and doing wonderfully over fences with Ella. Shirley and I have continued to build our partnership and our respective educations. We've continued our monthly lessons with Emily Abbate (though no lessons through the winter), and have started picking up jumping lessons from Rob at Celebration Farm. She's coming along fantastically and I'm really looking forward to this show season. I think she's on the verge of being quite the show horse. For me, I'm just trying to keep up with her... getting in better shape to give her the kind of rides she deserves, staying positive and patient, and giving our time my best. As for plans... well, we all know what they say about the best laid plans, right? Sometimes I think that's even more true with horses. That said, we're looking to get a couple lessons/clinic day with Dorothy Crowell in April (as a get to know you session before scheduling my WINNING prize weekend at her farm in Kentucky)... possibly a Nad Noon XC clinic in early June... and we've put down a deposit on a Jimmy Wofford clinic later in June. As for shows, the only one I know of at the moment is IEA's Leg Up Horse Trials in July. There is so much on the calendar to choose from though, I'm sure our summer will fill quickly ... or as quickly as the bank account will allow. Other current plans include attending Jimmy Wofford's sessions at Equine Affaire on April 10th and going to Rolex for the first time in a few years at the end of April. I'll be down there Thursday-Saturday and will be working the Vet Box sometime on Saturday. I'm extremely excited to be able to volunteer in the vet box. I'll be announcing this year (so far) at Greater Dayton (May 17-18), IEA (May 31-June 1) and Hunter's Run (August 9-10). And of course Serenity Valley will be hosting 2 shows again this year: Saturday June 28th and Saturday, October 4th. Both will consist of DLSC dressage classes, Combined Test classes from ground pole through Preliminary level, Jumper classes from 2' and up, all 3 Prix Caprilli classes, and 2 Gambler's Choice payback classes. Stay tuned to the website for a complete class list and information for the June show to be posted soon! Yep, it's a busy season... but there's still room for more. Speaking of which, part of the reason the season isn't all planned out yet is because of the farm. I have an INCREDIBLE opportunity to purchase a farm that seems to be tailor made for me: more land, more stalls (which means more company/boarders), riding ring and a nice but smaller house. I'm really trying to make this deal work out. We have a contingent agreement in place, just need to sell the current farm and have the new place appraised. With any luck, come spring if not sooner, Serenity Valley Farm will be relocating! 2014 is the Chinese Year of the Horse. Sounds appropriate to me!