Monday, February 22, 2016

Welcome to 2016!

It's 2016 and Team Sundance is off to a roaring start! With a barn full of horses and riders, we have stayed busy all through the winter months - and have even managed to avoid drowning in all the rain! However, as a reminder to all our Sundancers - if it has rained enough so that the valley is flooded, please give yourself extra time to get here as they close the bridge in Duvall, meaning some long back-ups as everyone heads over to "our" bridge. Fortunately, our hill keeps us free from the raging rivers, and horses have managed to squeak in some outside time when we get dry days!

With a busy show season in front of us. we were so delighted with how organized all of our riders were in getting their show requests in for the season. If you weren't sure of which show you wanted to attend, some shows still have room, so please make sure you touch base with your trainers ASAP so we can get you on the list! We are excited to be attending; San Juan Capistrano, Thunderbird, Thermal and the Cascade Horse Shows in Cle Elum, to name a few, and would love to have all our riders there! If you haven't signed up for a horse show yet, now is the time to get on the list!

With horse show season right around the corner, it is also time to make sure your show gear is up to snuff! Congratulations to Gigi on her brand new Antares saddle, and to Kim on her pending SE trunk! If you are in need of any tack, helmets or show equipment, please check with us first so we can help guide you to the right items - and, maybe even get you a discount in the process! For those of you who do not have Sundance trunks, covers, name plates, halter boards and standing wrap holders, these items will be rented to you at the shows. However, there is still time to order before show season gets under way, so make sure you get organized now and you will have your very own equipment to start the season!

San Juan Capistrano looks pretty great, framed by some horsey ears! 

With a busy barn, and a busy show season, we are very excited to welcome our new Assistant Trainer, Hannah Paradis to Team Sundance! Hannah brings with her a wealth of teaching and riding experience and is an exciting addition to our fantastic staff! We have loved the warm reception she has received from all of our riders and are looking forward to her contributions to the barn.

Our Sales Horses are keeping Chelsea busy, with Charlie and Kash both coming along nicely. Charlotte wiggled her way into Katherine's heart, and has also joined the team - although how "for sale" she is, remains to be seen as she continues to win everyone over with her abundance of cute. She may, instead, find herself a member of the Best Lesson Horse Brigade, that Sundance is proud to host, as she earns more miles under the saddle - and over those scary fences! Our good friend, Mexico, found a new home in Eastern Washington, where she can continue to teach, and eventually enjoy a well deserved retirement. Although she will be missed by all of us, we are delighted she has found such a wonderful new home!

Brisky, Monte, Skye and Landon all joined the Team since last year and we are excited to have them on board with us for 2016. Brisky will start the year off first, making her showing debut with Team Sundance this March, as she and Katherine head to San Juan to get the show season off and running. And by running, we mean RUNNING, if you haven't seen this mare in action!

We have also started off the year by working on some new projects around the barn, including finishing the installation of the new water heater in 2015, a new set of doors (that close!) and another layer of felt for our fabulous footing! We are excited about all the improvements and are looking forward to continuing to better our facility for our horses and riders! We hope you've enjoyed them as well!!

We are, as always, excited to get started on a new year of showing, and hope that you are as well! If you are looking for some inspiration, make sure you check out the Year-End Video from 2015 - huge thanks to Rory for putting it together and to everyone who took photos and video during the season! It is great to have a fun way to look back at another great year of riding.

And, finally, congratulations to all our horses and riders on conquering the "Open Water"! We were so excited to add this larger liverpool to the jumping equipment, and even more delighted at how well everyone did! All of your hard work paid off and we couldn't be more proud! Looking forward to coming up with a new challenge for 2016!!

Looking forward to another great year with Team Sundance!

See you at the barn!

Friday, September 11, 2015

It's a Wrap!

At Sundance, we started the year on a high, and ended there as well! Wrapping up the Octoberfest Horse Show, with multiple Championships/Reserves and great riding by all, Team Sundance ended the 2015 Show Season with the same fun attitudes and fantastic horsemanship, as they started! All of the Sundance Trainers were delighted with the improvements of all our horses and riders, and we were excited to see some new faces on the show circuit. We are already starting on all our homework to prep the Team for 2016!

We have had a lot of line up changes this Fall, as Team Sundance is full of not only great riders, but smart students, and several of our riders have left us to pursue college. We are very excited for all our ladies and know they will be spectacular at whatever path they choose! They are all, of course, required to stop by for a visit and we hope to see some of them back in the barn next summer.

Chelsea has kept the stalls full, however, as we have welcomed Charlie to the barn, and have Charlotte on trail this week. Both of these horses are young and green, and we are excited to see what the future holds for both of them. Check the SE website for Sales updates as we move into 2016!

Chelsea & Giac looking stylish as they ride to a 2nd Place finish out of almost 40 riders, in the 1.10 Classic at Thunderbird! Photo Credit to Totem Photos

Team Sundance spent the summer out and about, enjoying shows in Canada, at the always popular Thunderbird Show Park, where not only did we get to see some amazing riding in the Longines Grand Prix (Go, Rich & Flexible!), but our team did their own amazing riding and brought home some hard earned ribbons. We also headed back over to the Cascade Horse Shows in Cle Elum and the newer facility, Meadowwood, in Monroe, and had a great time with all of our Sundance Riders and Fans - both in the rings and at the fun events after the shows. Cries of "METERS" are still ringing throughout the barn and the debate over who can truly "Hang" and who can not, keep us up at night in rowdy debate. Of course, at the end of the day, we know that ALL Sundancers can "Hang", because, well, we are just that cool.

Our Fall Schedule is filling up, and, although we have ended the show season, we are, currently, looking into participating in the Winter Thermal show this year.  This show runs the last week of October and the first week of November and the due dates are fast approaching, so, if you have ANY interest in this show, please let us know ASAP as we are currently deciding on whether or not to go. We hear it is a fun show, and the weather is (generally!) nice, so it could be a fun way to get your horse to California without the crowds of the February/March circuit.

We will also be holding the Annual Work Party in October, so keep an eye on the Sundance Facebook page for an update on dates. We know how everyone loves to paint those jumps, so bring your brushes and sand paper and painting clothes and show up for painting, cleaning, and, of course, food!

We are hoping to have Jay Duke back this Fall for another clinic - please make sure you let us know if you are interested so we can make arrangements with Jay before his calendar fills up for the season!

We will also be hosting the Yearly Christmas Barn Party and need your photos! Pictures and videos are welcome - they have to be of high quality, so if you aren't sure if your photos/videos will work, please email Rory and check with him. The more we have to choose from, the more likely you are to see your shiny face on the big screen (or little, depending on the size of your computer!)!

We are enjoying the last, warm days of the Fall before it starts to rain again, be aware that horse sheets will be coming out of storage, so look for updates about what we need you to bring for your horse coming soon!

With this lovely September weather, it seems like a great time to say:

See you out at the barn!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It's a "HIT"s!

It may only be March, be we are underway with horse show season and have wrapped up the first of many great shows with Team Sundance for 2015! HITS, Thermal, was a great show - for both our hunters and jumpers! Chelsea and her new boy, Giac, got to know each other and moved up the Levels to finish up in the Level 3 Jumpers on their last day of showing - bringing home a 4th place ribbon out of almost 40 riders. Gigi showed both of her ladies - taking home numerous blues with Finesse (aka: Super Pony), and working on her hunter skills with Ms. Maia. We were delighted with Maia's progress this year as she works on her hunter skills, and hope everyone had a chance to watch the video of Maia and Gigi in the hunter ring - what improvement! We were also very excited with Maia's first place finish - twice! - in her schooling division. It was a great start to the show season! Toby and Katherine worked on their skills in the Level 6 & 7 classes, and had some great rounds, leaving the show very excited for the next challenge.

A beautiful way to relax at the show!

We move on to our next stop in the show season, with San Juan Capistrano starting up this Monday. We are looking forward to another fun show with our jumpers and are excited to try this new venue out for the first time for Team Sundance! Look for photos and update on Facebook.

At home, Danika and Aubrey have held down the fort, keeping everyone fit and show ready, with lots of lessons and rides. Our force of Working Students have also been indispensable, and we are, as always, grateful for our hard working team. A great barn really does take a village and we know we have a GREAT barn!!

We have had some changes to our show line up, so make sure you check the calendar at home. We will not be going to the Eugene Mother's Day show this year, so, once we are home from San Juan, plan on lots of time for torture with ALL your trainers on deck! We will be participating in all three Thunderbird shows this year. For riders interested in this show, be aware that we will be doing our show sign ups in April, so plan on doing deposits early for this, very popular, show. We are excited to have a great group of riders already signed up for these shows!

We had a great time with Jay Duke before heading off for the shows, and are excited to see Ella and Lucy ride in the George Morris Clinic again this summer. Make sure to mark your calendars for the first weekend in June so you can come audit. It is a privilege to have Mr. Morris so close to home, so please make sure you take advantage of this opportunity.

We have a few things coming up on the calendar for you to make note of - we will be taking sign ups for the Cle Elum shows in June as well as starting an RSVP list for Dinner and a Horse Show! This is our annual Spring get together and is always a fun, relaxed night of food and horses - our favorite things! Please plan on meeting us for dinner at the Monroe Red Robin and then heading to the Fairgrounds to watch the Grand Prix. This is a fun night of horse shows and a chance to get to watch some big - and fast - jumpers duke it out for the cash prize. Make sure you plan on joining us!

Chelsea will be arriving at the home front this coming week and checking up on everyone's progress. We are expecting good things from all our horses and riders! Hopefully the Washington weather will cooperate as well and show off some of that lovely, early spring, weather you have been enjoying. A nice break from the heat of the dessert!

We are looking forward to seeing our next group of riders at San Juan, and hearing about all the fun you've been having at fun as well!

See you at the barn!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hiting the New Year, Hard!

After a much needed, and enjoyed, couple of weeks of downtime, we are looking forward to returning to the ring, refreshed and ready to work! A few of the horses spent Christmas playing with their riders and out in their fields, while others enjoyed extra trail rides and attention from their people. It was a great way to wrap up a busy, and productive, year, and we are excited to get back to our normal schedule - lots of hard work, flat work, maybe some of that no-stirrup work (maybe? how about, "of course"!) and a couple of jumps thrown in there as well. We hope everyone is as excited about 2015 as we are!

Can hardly wait to get back to the shows!

We are wrapping up our preparations for both Thermal and San Juan Capistrano this week. Horses will be getting all their paperwork done next month, as well as their routine care - we also expect to have Sam out this month as we look to start the year with everything in place - in mind AND body! We are excited to offer several great shows this year, including: HITS, Thermal, CA., Blenheim, San Juan, CA., Thunderbird, Langley, BC and the Cascade Horse Shows, Cle Elum, WA. We have group housing available for Thermal, San Juan and Cle Elum on a first come, first serve, basis, so make sure you let us know if you are interested in sharing the housing. These are only a few of the shows that will be on the table, so make sure you look at your calendar now as we will be entering the majority of these shows well in advance this year.

We had a lovely time at the Barn Christmas Party this year, and truly enjoyed all the lovely gifts we received, and, of course, Katherine was blown away by the new trunk (& cover!)! What a surprise and an amazing gift! Thank you to everyone who donated and, of course, a huge thank you to Chelsea for, once again, putting it all together. You will all be thought of each time it is used - and let's face it, that's a lot! We are all looking forward to seeing it, in all its glory, at the shows this year! We were also excited for the annual unveiling of the Year-End Video! If you haven't seen it yet, make sure you check it out! And if you have seen it - why not watch it again! Thanks to Rory for all his hard work putting it together and to all our photographers and videographers as well!

As an added perk to our riders without "standard sized" trunks, this year we have an extra trunk for riders to rent during show weeks. Outside of looking great, this will reduce the clutter in our Ready Room at the shows and allow us to all use that space more efficiently. This is a great way for our riders to have access to a trunk, while saving up to get their own. This is also a great time to make sure you have your show supplies order in at Olson's. Make sure your horse has a name plate for the shows and we would like everyone to look into the halter boards as well. We have a very limited supply, and halter boards keep your nice show halter off the ground and away from curious pony teeth. Please contact Mike at Olson's and he can get you set up - do this early so it is here for the shows! We are also in the process of ordering barn jackets - please let us know if you need one! One must wear all the cool clothes, after all!

Wednesday lessons will be returning to our schedule in February, so please look ahead at your calendars and let us know if this is something you would like to utilize. This will be a temporary addition, so if you have been dying to ride on Wednesday, make sure you let us know so we can get you on the schedule! As a reminder, during the wet weather, if there is flooding in Duvall, traffic is quite bad coming out to the barn as the second bridge floods. Please allow extra time to get here!

We are looking forward to the WSHJA Awards Banquet this weekend and want to remind everyone that now is the time to re-new your memberships! Riders should have memberships in the WSHJA, USHJA and USEF. If you have questions or are unsure what to sign up for, please check with your Trainers. As a reminder, horses need memberships too, so make sure your four legged friend is up to date! We also want to congratulate all of our riders on their year-end awards! Too many to list here, but check out the Sundance Ad in the Flying Changes to see your name in lights!

We have two fun clinics for riders so far this year. Jay Duke will be returning to the barn on February 7th and 8th and, rumor has it, George Morris will be at Potcreek this summer. Space is very limited for both these events, so sign up now to make sure you are able to participate.

We are excited for another fun and competitive year in 2015, and can't wait to spend it with all of Team Sundance!

Stay warm, stay dry, and we will see you at the barn! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fastest Fall Ever!

With Fall, came the end of show season for Team Sundance, and we enjoyed a few weeks of beautiful colors around the barn before the chill of an early winter settled in for a stay. Where our last post found us coming home from California, this one finds us longing to return, as Staff has spent the last week blowing out waters at night to keep the freeze from setting into the pipes. Ponies are fresh and enjoying lots of turn out time in the chilly, but beautiful, weather, and, hopefully, all our Sundancers are making good use of their Sundance Wear and layering up for lessons!

We had another busy, fun and successful show season in 2014. With horses and riders in divisions ranging from the 2' Hunters to the 1.40m Jumpers, our Trainers kept busy running from ring to ring at shows in Canada, Washington, Oregon and California. We visited old favorites - such as Thunderbird and Thermal, and added new shows as well, including the Sacramento International Horse Show, which featured the opportunity for Katherine and Toby to participate in the International Grand Prix as a fun way to wrap up the year. Cle Elum was a big favorite among our riders this year, as was Octoberfest, and both those shows look to be on the schedule for 2015.

With the end of the season for 2014, we are already looking toward the 2015 season, with plans underway for both Thermal and San Juan Capistrano starting the year. If you are interested in either one of these shows, make sure to let us know now as we are reserving hotels, grooms and lodging for horses on the way there/back and these arrangements have to be made far in advance. The same will be true for riders looking to do Thunderbird in 2015 - we will be sending in entries for all of the shows at the beginning of the year, so check your calendars now and start planning for another fun year of showing!

Things stayed busy at the home front as well. We brought in a bunch of new lessons students, who have kept our lesson horses (and trainers!) busy and we have truly enjoyed watching everyone improve over the year. We were especially delighted with how many of our riders participated in the Jay Duke clinic in November, and we so impressed by how well everyone rode. Jay, himself, commented on how well turned out everyone was, and how educated they were in terms of their riding. He said that we were the exception to the rule and your Trainers can't tell you how proud they were to hear that! We are hoping to have him return in December, so please make sure you let us know if you are available to ride with him again (12/13-14). For those of you who are interested in seeing our other favorite riding instructor, George Morris, in action, he will be holding his (infamous!) clinic at Rich Feller's place in Wilsonville, OR 12/3-5. As always, we strongly encourage you to come and watch - just remember your layers!

Chelsea stayed busy with Sales this year. We helped several riders in finding new homes for their horses, as well as new horses coming to our home! We have welcomed several new horses, and still have a few for sale. Please remember to mention our great Sales Horses to your horsey friends!

The Barn continued to work on improvements at home - including having the folks at Arena Rehab add more MAG to the arena this Fall, and replacing the arena lights. We also started offering credit card payment options, and, for those riders wanting to leave a card for regular monthly payments, we are offering a discount on the fees associated with the card. Outside of having a lovely facility, we are excited to make things more convenient for our clients as well!

A beautiful Fall day to go for a last walk

We did have some sad news this year, as we had to say Good-Bye to Danika's boy, Harry. Harry was diagnosed with a neurological disorder for which there was no cure, and we were left with the difficult choice to euthanize him this month. He was such a lovely boy, with a heart as big as his ears, and has been missed by us all. We have been very lucky to have had such longevity in our horses and it is always so hard to let them go. Our hearts go out to Danika and to everyone that was touched by Harry (aka: Rico), as we know he was loved by so many. We were deeply moved by the outpouring of support that we received, not only from our own Sundancers, but from the outlying horse community as well. It is always so uplifting to remember how much we all share at the end of the day.

We are looking forward to a break in the freeze this week, and will be back at body clipping some very furry horses. Please make sure to look for messages about blanket changes as we try to keep your ponies happy, healthy and warm.

Bundle up, stay warm and we will see you at the barn!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Could that be Spring in the air...?

What a beautiful day for a Blog!

The sun is out and shinning and reminding us all here at the barn that summer is coming - not winter! - and that it is time for Horse Show Season to get in full swing!

Sizing up the course at last year's show in Cle Elum
photo credit: Gigi White

We traveled down to Thermal for 4 weeks this winter - enjoying the sun and warm temperatures as Sundance Riders prepared for the show season in fine style over the always impressive HITS Jumps! Big classes, technical jumps and some really great food made for a fun trip for everyone - and a couple of nice ribbons just added to the excitement! We were very proud of our Sundance riders - both Gigi and Ella moved up on their rides during the show and are looking forward to continuing their win streak in 2014 this summer. Team Sundance is currently getting ready to spend a week out at Monroe for the Jumper Show next week and then heading off to Thunderbird in May. Hopefully everyone has had a chance to look at their schedules for the summer and has made sure to pencil in time for a few weeks of showing! We have some great shows on our list this year, so make sure you check it out!

At home, we welcomed Avi and Sophie back to the barn, along with a bunch of new riders and a new girl for Harry as well! Tessa will be leasing Harry this year and she and Sophie will be joining the ranks of the Working Students with Aidan and Joanne. We just finished up "Working Student Week" on Facebook and really enjoyed getting the chance to brag about all our Working Students - past and present - hopefully you've all had a chance to thank them for all their hard work out at the barn - we couldn't do it without them!

Horses spent the end of the winter getting updated on shots, teeth and wormer, as well as a visit from Sam to make sure all the bodies were in line and feeling great! We are excited for some warm weather and more shows, as well as our traditional "Dinner and a Horse Show" event coming up next weekend! Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 19th at 4:30pm and meet us at the Red Robin in Monroe before heading over to the Evergreen Equestrian Park to watch the Child/Adult Jumper class followed by the Grand Prix. This is a great chance to get to hang out and watch some exciting show jumping, all in your very own backyard, so make sure you join us next weekend - family is welcome!!

At home, the tack room continues to be the "place to be" as a new coffee maker and water cooler have joined the team! We hope everyone has enjoyed being able to get a hot (or cold!) drink and appreciate all the donations to the cause down at the barn! Please remember to continue to save your cups or bring water bottles to refill and help us keep costs down and the environment pretty, all in one step!

The Sales Horses have been busy with lots of trails and we are excited for them to find new homes! If you know of someone shopping, you know how great our Sundance Horses are, so put in a good word so we can find great homes for our 4 legged friends!

We just finished a blanket rotation out at the barn and horses are enjoying some lighter weight clothes for the Spring. As always, this is a great time to take your pads and other horse clothing home for a good washing. Nothing is ickier than those sweaty saddle pads, so make sure you grab them the next time you are out at the barn and get them all cleaned up - your horse - and your Trainers! - thank you!!

Now, head back out into the beautiful sunshine and enjoy this Spring day while it lasts!

We will see you at the barn!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Well..... Howdy!

Boy, has it been awhile! We have been caught up in a whirlwind of busy around the barn in the last year, so it is now time to catch up online as well - welcome back to the Sundance Blog!

2013 was a fun and busy year. After 5 years working for Sundance, Danika was officially promoted to the ranks of Assistant Trainer, while Chelsea took over as Trainer/Sales & Barn Manager. Both Ladies continue to work hard and are incredible assets to Team Sundance. We also had fun training a bunch of new working students over the year - and have started 2014 with Ella, Joanne & Aidan helping out at home and on the road. We love our Working Students and couldn't do it without them - truly a Team Environment and we love it!

We brought in a bunch of new horses and portable stalls to house them all. We had a flurry of activity as we found new homes for all the horses - meeting new people and making some great connections in the Horse World. We were also lucky enough to get to go on some shopping sprees as well, and we brought home a new horse for Ella (Miss Lucy) and happily transferred our own Toby 2 from Emily's loving care to Aliyah's, as Larry found himself a new home. Sales kept us busy, along with another exciting show season, throughout most of the summer and the fall, but not so busy that we weren't able to continue to work on all sorts of projects at the home front.

2013 saw the completion of the upper fields - giving our horses 2 more turn outs and grass paddocks, as well as improvements to the parking area and the repairs to the drainage system - no more cars stuck in the parking lot or mysterious wet spots in the arena! Once the drainage repairs were all fixed, Sundance Trainers, working students and even a client or two, stepped up and completely re-hauled the arena. We took out several tons of old sand and rock, re-leveled and compacted the base, and brought in some beautiful new footing. Horses, Riders and Trainers alike all love the new surface! No dust, quiet and supportive for our favorite equines. It was a fantastic investment and well worth the time, energy and cost to do it right. We sincerely appreciate the folks over at Arena Rehab for all their amazing work! We had our feelings for our footing confirmed this Fall, when a visitor who had been to several barns looking at horses declared our's "our favorite footing by far" - and so it should be! We continue to enjoy it, with the only downside being no breaks or days off for the chilly weather. While other arenas are freezing, getting hard and clumping under the horses' hooves, our footing stays exactly the same. No excuse not to ride in some of those arctic days - brrrr!

Speaking of arctic, we, once again, made the trek down for the George Morris clinic at Whip n' Spur. Katherine had the opportunity to ride Toby in the 4'3"+ division with Rich and Shelly Fellers. It was another fun year, but incredibly cold. But no way would George Morris cancel for weather! So we bundled up - both on and off the horse - and, as always, learned lots! Kudos and extra credit to those Sundancers who made the trek down to watch - and shiver! You showed a great commitment to your sport!
The show season was, once again, a great ride. We had riders show in everything from the 2' Hunters to the 1.40 Jumpers and were delighted with the results. Our riders wound up with great year end placings in the WSHJA, and, even more importantly, continued to grow and learn. We are very proud of how seriously everyone takes the learning process out here - and has fun at the same time!

Chelsea & Toby enjoy some downtime between classes at Thunderbird

2014 has started off in a rush. We have 4 more horses for sale and are currently shopping for some new projects as well. We are heading down to Thermal to start our show season off - hopefully with some sun and fun! After that, we will head to the WSHJA Hunter show and possibly the Jumper show as well - hopefully everyone has had a chance to look at the upcoming show calendar and make their plans.
We are excited about new faces - both equine and human - at the barn, and are looking forward to another great year! Hold on tight, it's gunna be great!
See you at the barn!