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!