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!