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!