I’ve been working on my show jumping a bit with Katie and Henri Prudent and also riding some with Silvio Mazzoni, the U.S. Eventing show jumping coach. I had a couple lessons with Leslie Law as well when he came to do a clinic at Morningside Farm. He was up again the next week to teach the Under-25s and I took full advantage of his riding and teaching and brought a bunch of my horses. He’s quite fun to ride with because he stresses the connection and the basics; when you watch him ride your horses you can see it, and when you get back on you can feel it.
I sold Duke of Diamonds to Janie Muscleman and am really excited about their partnership. I also bought two new horses that I hope to either syndicate or partially own with someone. One is a six-year-old Selle Francais and the other a five-year-old Oldenburg. They’ve both only done a little show jumping and I’m really excited about them. I’m also really excited and honored to have the ride on and Skyeler Icke Voss’s horse Cooley Caliber. I’ll compete him at Plantation and Morven.
My little Dashwood mare has been great, I moved her to Training last weekend at Seneca, which felt like the Training Olympics, and she finished 7th. Seneca was a good education for her, I did it mostly to see if she’s going to be ready to do the YEH classes. I feel that for a five-year-old, depending on their aptitude and training, the YEH classes can be quite a lot for them, and if they’re not a confirmed Training horse they can be in over their head.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best outing with Call to Order at Loudoun. He didn’t understand the mound; I’d never schooled him over it at home. I took him back to school and he got it, and then put a log on our mound at home and he was really good. Typical of horses though, he’s now hurt himself in the paddock and will be out for a while.
I’m pretty excited about my string of horses and feel lucky that I have so many great horses to ride. I went to Loudoun with four horses, which is more than I’ve had competing in a long time. That’s how you get to be a good rider. You learn how to train better, but more importantly, you don’t take everything personally like we tend to do with one horse. It’s amazing how having multiple horses to compete changes my perspective. It’s more money and time and I can’t change that, but is always inspiring to have a different outlook, and with multiple horses I get to practice and perfect my own ride and be much more of a thinking, feeling rider. To be honest I had a blast, it was so much fun! And I have to say thank you to all who made it happen, with my whole barn crew and Morningside pitching in. Buck and Phillip may have multiple rides perfected but I don’t! It made me learn to go with the flow. With one horse, I feel more pressure to get a result and tend to over-think things. With a lot going on there’s no time for that, I just have to react, and I think that made me ride with a much more balanced perspective.
Everything else going along, we’re getting prepared for our Fall horse trials, but we need rain badly. Everyone keep their fingers crossed that will happen in next two weeks. We’re still taking entries through the 15th, so send them in!