Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happiest of Holidays to you ALL!

Well, it hasn't been months and months, but we've still managed to be busy and then even busier since our last post!

We headed off to the Jeff Cook clinic in November with Ella and Pink and Katherine and Phalcon. Both of the horses were great and Ella was complimented by Jeff when he said she was "a good concentrater" . We came home with some great notes to work on and have been brushing up on some old notes as well. It is fun to see who remembers what from last winter.

After Jeff Cook, we headed down to Rich Feller's place to ride in the George Morris clinic. Toby was his usual great self - handling all of the large, scopey jumps that George put out, as well as the "circle of death". We were very proud to see a large group of Sundancers in the stands during the weekend clinic - all of whom took notes, stayed very quiet and even managed to get autographs from both George and Rich before heading home. It was a fun and educational weekend for everyone and we will be working on those notes as well this winter.

Lizzie and Nipper joined the barn as well and Cash found a new home this month and we are now eagerly awaiting Oz's return, so things have stayed busy out at the barn! The portable stalls are up and housing the lesson horses and Chelsea's kids, so everyone is getting a chance to stay out of the wet and chilly weather that has shown up this winter. We are delighted to get everyone under cover and appreciate all the hard work that went into making that happen in a timely manner!

Chelsea is back to body clipping as well, so the fur is truly flying - if anyone has any project for extra horse hair, just let us know!

We had the barn Holiday Party as well with Lizzie getting the bonus gift (it was a dust pan this year - how fun is that?). Zoe made sure to return the coin bank (Chelsea came home with that one) as well, but there were several very nice gifts as well - always a fun game! We appreciate all those nice gifts to offset the, er, quirkier ones! Emily and Ella were gifted with the Sportsmanship and Most Improved perpetual trophies (& movie tickets!) and Zoe, Ella, Danika and Chelsea all received some new Sundance Gear for all their hard work this year. Chelsea and Katherine were also gifted with some amazing holiday gifts from the clients. Both felt very touched to have been thought of so kindly. Chelsea is putting away all of her new horse goodies (and already wearing those new gloves!) and Katherine has already gone to Olson's to get fitted for her new boots! It will be a very fancy show season for them both - thank you again to everyone who participated - it means more than you know. And, for anyone that missed it, make sure you check out the year-end video - Rory has done another amazing job!

Chelsea and Toby - in the sun, earning their Championship!!

We are in full swing for "extra lesson December" as several of you are taking advantage of getting some extra lessons in during the Holiday Break. Ponies are also enjoying light days as we end the year (when not in those extra lessons!) and are getting prepared to head back to heavier work after the first of the year.

Thermal forms have been sent in and we are all signed up for the WSHJA awards banquet in January as well (hope you all have your tickets!). We are very pleased with how well the barn did this year, with a special nod to Chelsea and her kids. Chelsea and Toby are Champions in the Open 1.20 jumpers this year and she and Maia (who is currently for sale!!) are the Champions of the Open 1.10 division. Both of these divisions are quite large and difficult divisions to ride in so that makes her accomplishment even more exciting. We couldn't be happier and are looking forward to seeing her get her trophies this year - especially as they are being sponsored by Sundance! We are also proud of our little Finesse who placed in the 1.0 Open division as well as the Children's Jumpers 1.0 and 1.10 divisions  Both Danika and Chelsea rode her this year and did a fantastic job. Ella and Aidan are also joining us at the awards table with ribbons in the .90 Jumpers and the WSHJA Good Hands & Seat as well as the Pre-Greens - over all, a very nice year for everyone.

Sam will be coming out to adjust the horses this Sunday, so make sure you text us before heading out to the barn as your horse needs 24 hours before they are ridden after an adjustment. We also want to remind everyone that, in honor of the holidays, we will not be teaching or riding on 12/24,25,31 or 1/1 so Staff can spend time with their families as well. Please feel free to come out and play with your ponies on that day if you have the time.

We wish you all the best this season - we thank you for a wonderful 2012 and look forward to another great year in 2013!

See you at the barn!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Baby, it's COLD outside!

As we get ready to do another update, we look back on our past one and realize we were just entering the summer - getting ready for some nice rides in the sun and some great horse shows - well, it has been awhile as now, outside the window, it is a beautiful evening, but boy, is it chilly! Hopefully you all are staying bundled up at home and the barn!

Toby strutting his stuff at Thunderbird!
Sundance Horses and Riders continued to have a wonderful show season! Chelsea's Toby entered his first two Grand Prixs - placing 3rd at the Emerald horse show and going clean in the NW Autumn Finals with only a few time faults keeping him out of the ribbons. Baby Maia moved into the 1.15 division and participated in the Octoberfest Mini Prix with big brother - coming home, just behind Toby, in the ribbons and in the money! Both horses had a fantastic show season and are now spending the winter getting ready to head to Thermal, CA in February to start it all over again! Toby will head down South to Wilsonville, OR for a brief visit with George Morris this winter, so, if you haven't already made plans, now's the time to plan on coming down to see George in action. He is always educational (& funny - if you aren't riding!) to watch!

Avie and Ella went down to Emerald as well - Avie showing in his first show and both he and Ella moving into the 2'3" division. They were Champion (Ella) and Reserve (Avie) in the Young Hunter Series, and we couldn't have been happier with them. Ella continued to show at Evergreen and Monroe, and both horses went back to Donida for Octoberfest, where they continued to be wonderful! So wonderful, in fact, that Ella found a new home this Fall with Shelby and her parents. Shelby and Ella will continue to ride at Sundance during the winter while she figures out all the pony "buttons" and they find a barn closer to home - we are very excited that Ella has found such a nice new family! Now it's Avie's turn! If you know of anyone who is looking, please help us spread the word! Avie has come so far and is so easy to ride that he is a great candidate for someone looking for a big, beautiful gelding!

Phalcon and Aidan had the chance to get back to the shows at Emerald and Evergreen where they continued to work in the 3' and 3'3" ring. Phalcon will be heading to the Jeff Cook clinic (with Ella and Pink!) in November, so, if you can't make the George Morris clinic, this would be another great one to visit! It will be held at Woodside Stables November 17th & 18th and is a fun clinic to attend. Phalcon will also start looking for a new home next year, as Aidan prepares to go off to college. He is a brilliant hunter with a fantastic jump and we want to find him the very best in a new home, so please keep your ears open in case you hear of a good match. Phalcon has come from so far in his life with us and we all want him to be able to continue to shine in the show ring!

Toby 2 and Emily had the chance to show at Emerald as well - getting some 3' miles as well as Toby's first time in the 3'3" division - we enjoyed getting to work with them - minus the huge rain downpour we were all stuck in while riding! Yuck! Unfortunately, Toby was sidelined for Evergreen with a lameness issue, but seems to be back and ready to go, so we are excited to see them hit the show circuit again next year!

Simon continued to help with lessons as well as being "the one" for Christina and Emma. The 3 went to Octoberfest this year where they had a great time getting around over those hunter jumps and learning all about Equitation courses with tricky turns. It was fun to see them all get a chance to shine at the show - especially to see how pretty that big white horse can clean up - he's a looker when not covered in dirt! Unfortunately, Christina and Emma will be leaving us to move to OH in December, so Simon has found himself without a lease - if you know of anyone who is interested, please let us know as we would love to keep him around at the barn!

Ella and Zoe had the chance to do some showing this year on Pink and Finesse. Ella had the chance to move up into the .90's before the year was out and showed off her amazing bond with that fiery pony! We are excited for them to get the chance to ride in the Pony Jumpers next year - good luck to their competitors keeping up with that pair! Zoe had the chance to tackle her first "A" show starting up at Thunderbird this year and, along with Ella, came home Champion and Reserve for the week - pretty good start to their year! Zoe has also taken the reins of "Working Student" this year and worked long hours at the barn over the summer when not showing. She's been a great help and we have certainly appreciated her long hours this Fall as well.

We have also been lucky enough to have some more horses join the barn this Fall! We are excited to get to work with Kenzie and her horses Oz and Cash, Fiona and Jazz, Aliyah and Larry and Lizze and Nipper who will be joining us this week. We've also had a bunch of new lesson students join us as well, so we are working long, but fun, hours at the barn. We will be bringing in some portable stalls for behind the barn for the lesson horses to make sure everyone gets a chance to get in out of the rain. We have also started construction on two new paddocks up top by the parking lot. It is fun to watch all the new projects come together and we truly appreciate everyone who has worked so hard to make them happen.

In terms of Staff - Katherine and Chelsea are preparing for the Fall/Winter clinics, as well as getting some extra rides in with Jill during the week - keeping them sharp and those lessons tough during the winter! Don't worry, there will probably be lots of notes from the clinics as well! Both are looking forward to getting back to the show ring next year, but are enjoying some "down time" during the off season. Danika and Alex are working hard at home to keep ponies fit, happy and healthy. We are very excited to offer such a large staff to our clients to keep our lesson and ride schedule up and running without a hitch while we are away for anyone who isn't able to show or attend clinics - truly something for everyone!

We are coming up on the Year-End Award banquet for the WSHJA. Hopefully everyone has had the chance to double check their points for the year and send in any updates. We are excited to get the chance to dress up (ie: not wear barn clothes!) and pick up some pretty fun prizes. 2012 was another great year and we are proud and delighted to work with ALL of you!

We are also coming up on our year end Sundance Party! Make sure you bring out your perpetual award so we can get it engraved for the NEXT winner and if you have any video or photos you would like in the slideshow, make sure you get it to us ASAP. We would love to have photos of everyone, so make sure you get them in now!

We hope you were all able to participate in our Year-End Conferences. We really enjoyed the feedback and the chance to talk to everyone one on one - thank you for your time!! We are looking forward to another fantastic year in 2013 and are excited to have you all with us for the journey!

Stay warm and we will see you at the barn!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Back to Writing About Riding

Wow! Has it been awhile! Well, things have been busy around the barn - let's get everyone caught up on the latest barn news!;

In February, we added another new horse to the barn - Emily and her very own Toby (known as Toby 2!) joined the team and added another horse to Hunter Row - those hunters are making a run for the jumpers in terms of attendance all of sudden! We are very excited to have them join us and can't wait until we get to see them in the show ring - but wait, not yet....

Riding in the beautiful weather during the Thermal show
February saw Sundance riders and trainers heading South to Thermal, CA for the HITS horse show. Minus one (very major) truck breakdown, horses and riders arrived healthy and happy and enjoyed 3 beautiful weeks of showing in the CA sun - and one wicked wind storm! The horses were great (& the riders too!) as Toby worked on his 1.20m skills with Katherine and Chelsea honed her 1.15 rides. Maia headed out into the 1.0m ring and added some more show miles to her resume' as well. Both horses had great, clean and fast rounds - even earning a few ribbons in some pretty big and intense classes. Finesse had a big highlight with Chelsea, as she competed in her first 1.10m jumper class! She was amazing (clean & in the ribbons!) and we were all just delighted with her! Danika followed suit and had the chance to ride in HER first 1.10m round as well - both pony and rider were great and we were delighted to get to watch them show off in front of the CA crowds! Laura and Wally ended the show in style with a win in her Hunter Classic - what a fun few weeks! 

Heading home from sunny CA, horses and riders were greeted by the WA snow - but we stuck around anyway... Lots of work at home followed as riders worked on more of the notes from the George Morris clinic. Flat lessons, gymnastics, jumping and even a sunny day or two (but that was it!) made up March and April, until we had the chance to head to Monroe for the Spring National shows. Phalcon and Aidan headed out, and Phalcon had the chance to show off all of his winter learning by moving up into the 3'3" hunter division. He was very good, but, unfortunately felt a little off just before Aidan had the chance to show, so she made the choice to send him home for a little R&R. He recovered quickly, but we were very proud of Aidan for making the right choice for her horse - we have all our fingers (and hooves!) crossed for a better show for the two of them this summer. Chelsea finally got the chance to move into the 1.20m & did so in style! She and Toby came home Champions in the 1.20m division - winning her classes and earning the Championship without even entering all the classes - what a debut! They added to their "cool" factor by riding in the 1.20m Mini Prix at the same show where they were the fastest of the 4 faulters and came in 10th out of 30 horses - pretty great start to their 1.20m career!

Back at home, horses and riders continued to work hard on their George Morris homework and, we had some more changes in the barn as Farley found a new home and Simon came to live with us. Farley had the great fortune to get a new home with Alex and Aubrey as their very own "first horse"! They girls will be doing all sorts of things with Farley and we are excited to see some photos if they ever get him in one of their drills! So far, he has made friends with a donkey whom he seems to adore - figures..... Simon came to us from Woodside Stables as a new lease for Christina and Emma. A beautiful gelding, Simon wooed the barn with his good looks - but, not to be fooled, he has kept everyone on their toes with his - er - slightly naughty behavior. Fortunately we seem to have those buttons figured out and Christina and Emma are enjoying "their" horse as well as some of our other lesson students who have the chance to ride the "Big Guy". He is a great work out for the leg and everyone gets off of him appreciating how easy Cookie has made their lives! 

The end of May sent us up to Thunderbird for the first time for the 2012 season and Toby and Katherine had the chance to move up into the 1.30m ring! They were great - including getting to ride in the 1.30 Classic the first week - Toby said it was pretty darn easy...... Not to be out done, little sister, Maia, stepped up her game and entered her first 1.10m round - where else but the Grand Prix field! Quite the start! Maia participated in the Maplewood Farm Young Horse class and came home in the money! She continued her 1.10m dominance the following week by riding in, and winning, 2 of the 1.10m classes and capturing the Championship! Once again, showing off like big brother, she didn't even compete in all the classes! It was a fantastic start to her 1.10m career. Toby, starting to feel a little overshadowed by that annoying little sister, headed out to the Grand Prix field for the 1.20 Classic and, out of 40 horses and riders, came home Reserve Champion - in the ribbons and the money! A pretty impressive showing for both horses and their rider, Chelsea! Wow! 

For June, Ella had her birthday wish come true, and Pink officially became HER pony! Ella and Pink are excited about their show season and we can't imagine a nicer present - or a nicer match! Congratulations to both Ella AND Pink!

We are officially putting Avie and Ella (the horse!) on the market as of the 1st of July. We're very excited about both of these horses, so if you know of anyone looking, now's the time to send them our way! You all know what great horses we have out here, and this is the chance for you and your friends to get a Sundance Horse of your own! Help us put the word out there and let's find those two horses a wonderful new home!

Lastly, we've been hard at work keeping everyone fit and ready for show season. Sam came out at the end of May and did adjustments, and horses are getting ready to get back into the trailer for some more shows, with Thunderbird, Emerald and Evergreen all on the list in the next few weeks. Trainers have also been offering extra lessons on their days off to make sure everyone gets some rides in while we are home and Danika - outside of graduating from High School - is keeping everyone else in tip top shape while we are away. 

We hope you've had the chance to sign up for a show, and if not, had the chance to come out and watch! We're looking forward to a couple of busy months and maybe, if we are very very lucky, some sun as well! Make sure to chat with Staff about fitting in some extra rides as part of your summer vacation!

We'll see you out at the barn!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bring on 2012!

Happy New Year, Everyone! Hopefully this writing finds you all happy, healthy and well on your way to a wonderful 2012! We are excited about the upcoming year!

We ended last year with our favorite Holiday Party - the highlights included the wonderful year-end video put together by Rory (thank you! thank you!) and our annual in-barn year end awards. The video included tons of highlights from the year at shows as well as at home, and some great photos of everyone enjoying their horses. If you haven't seen the video, make sure to check it out! And if you have seen it, watch it again and share it with your friends! What a great way to show everyone how much fun we have - and all the work too! As for our barn awards, every year we have a tough time picking out our barn winners - and this year was no exception - but we were excited to give Aidan and Ella their awards in Most Improved and Sportsmanship, respectively. Aidan and Phalcon have had a long road since coming to the barn and we were delighted with their accomplishments this year. Not only did they do well at the shows, but Aidan was able to reach her own personal goals of showing in the Children's Hunter Division this year - which not only did she do, but she did well, and earned the Reserve Championship in the WSHJA National Awards Program - a pretty big deal for their first time over the bigger jumps! Aidan's commitment over the years truly paid off and we were very proud to be able to help her achieve her goals! As for Ella, anyone who has been around the barn at all, knows that we have a big fan in Ella! Ella is always happy to be at the barn, tries her best (no matter how hard Katherine pushes her) and is always at the back gate when she isn't riding, taking great pictures and videos. Ella is always the first to ask questions about what is coming up in the future and is more than willing to catch a ride with anyone who is driving to the show even if it is to just "hang out". We love her enthusiasm and can't wait to see her get a chance to ride in more shows this year with her favorite pony, Pink.

December was also Christmas time and, of course, all of our ponies were good - enjoying some nice treats and special magnets in their holiday stockings. Jasmine had an extra special present this year - a new home! Although we miss her terribly at the barn, we were very excited about her new owner, Emma, who received Jasmine as a Christmas present - we can't think of a fancier Christmas present for a little girl! Emma and Jasmine will live in Ellensburg where they will continue to pursue Emma's dreams of eventing. Look for photos of Jasmine and Emma on Facebook soon.

January brought the WSHJA banquet and the snow. More and more snow.... Chelsea, Katherine and Nicholas held down the fort as everyone else was stuck (or sick!), and ponies stayed warm, cozy and ridden during the time off from lessons. We're not sure if anyone was happier to see all that white stuff go then this small group of workers, but it was sure pretty while it was here - let's hope it is gone for awhile!

The banquet was a lot of fun - it's a rare chance for us horse people to get all dressed up, so it was great to see everyone looking so lovely! Hopefully you all had a chance to see some of the photos online - it was a fun evening, the food was great and the company even better! Congratulations again to all of our SE winners!

The beginning of the year also brought a new horse to the barn. We are excited to have Heidi and her horse Avram at the barn. Avie is off the track and very green. We have enjoyed getting him started in some of the lessons and watching him try and learn some very new skills! He seems to be learning fast and has a kind, calm disposition. Anyone knowing of a potential new home for Avie should let us know as he is going to turn into a pretty nice ride with some training.

Sam came out and adjusted all the horses - everyone needed an adjustment this time around and several of the horses felt pretty amazing the next day - ahhhhhhh - thanks to Sam for coming out and keeping our ponies in tip top shape! Next on the list for February is more worming as we get the horses ready for the warming weather.

Speaking of warming weather, be prepared for some blanket changes at the barn in the near future! Now is also a great time to wash those saddle pads if you haven't done so recently - not too mention a nice bath for your four footed friend! They can get a pretty solid layer of grunge built up after all the cold, and a nice bath can help make them feel a whole lot less itchy.

We have really enjoyed working so hard on some complicated flat work over the last couple of months and hope you have all noticed a change in your riding. We're excited to start getting back into more jumping as we prepare for the upcoming show season! Hopefully you are all prepared for the show season as well! Remember to talk with Staff about what shows you would like to aim for this year and find out which memberships you should be signing up for for the year.

Lastly, trainers and riders are getting ready to head to Thermal later this month for the first show of the year! Horses and riders are working on getting prepared for some big, tough classes, but are excited to see some warm weather as well! Make sure that you have touched base on the schedule as we are doing extra rides/lessons before we leave/after we get back so that everyone stays current - AND, make sure you keep up with our days in CA while we are gone by checking out the SE page on Facebook! Better yet, book your tickets now and join us for some fun in the sun!!

What they use for "flowers" in Thermal, CA.!

Hope you all have had a chance to take advantage of some WA sun while it was out this week! Enjoy it while it is here and we will see you all out at the barn!