Monday, February 10, 2014

Aiken Adventures, Happy Monday!!

Hi everyone, it's been an official week that Valinor South has been underway, and what a whirlwind week it has been!  The horses have all settled in nicely, and we have worked out a good system and schedule around the barn.  I have Marissa to help as a working student Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as well as mornings Monday and Wednesday.  This year I'm sharing the main barn with my friend Therese and a very nice woman named Gina who just moved in yesterday.  It's an awesome group and we are all getting along really well and helping each other out as needed (no hay thieves this year!!!!)

The horses have all been really busy!  Ari and Devi have had a crazy week prepping for their first horse trials on Friday, they both are running Paradise Prelim.  They've squeezed in dressage schools, an onsite XC school, an off site bigger XC school at Full Gallop, and a show jump school.  Add into that crazy mix that Ari has already had two girls out to look at her!!  The rest of their week is dressage focused with one light jump school Wed so they can both jump height  (although they jumped plenty of big stuff at Full Gallop!) 

Beacon and Carino have had a lighter week.  Marissa has had a dressage and a SJ lesson so far, and we've worked out on the track.  Carino and Marissa competed at Sporting Days the day I arrived so he needed a little break anyway.  Beacon has schooled on the flat a bunch, worked on the track, and did one (very successful!) SJ school.  His first competition is another week out so time to start legging him up and get out for some lessons!

Pita is learning how to be a grown up horse.  She still has a ways to go, but she is starting to put together some nice (and much more consistent) flat work.  I even jumped her a little bit the other day and she was very smart with her footwork.  Working on the track was a little too exciting for her just yet (pretty sure she was hearing bugles), but she's been working nicely in the SJ and dressage arenas, and even out in the XC field.  This one has all the makings of a very nice horse; just needs time....

McGee was absolutely perfect for the first couple days.  Perfect in the barn, perfect in turnout, and perfect under saddle.  Then he realized that Beacon and Carino, although much bigger than him, are giant pushovers.  He started herding them and bossing them around, and then he tried to boss his people around!  He is now in Pony Time Out in a solo turnout, which has successfully knocked him down a peg.  He was lovely under saddle and in the barn today.  He's had some very nice dressage schools, two nice jump schools, and he's worked out on the track.  Ponies!!!  Perfect one moment, and then too big for their breeches the next!  He'll stay in the solo paddock for a little bit, at least until Stew and Cobbles arrive, then we'll see if he's worthy of rejoining a herd.  :)

Emmett has been a shining star since his arrival, and he knows it!  He was very pleased this morning to be upgraded to the big boy herd in place of McGee!  He has had some very nice dressage schools and has worked on the track a couple of times trying to really solidify that quiet steady rhythm in the trot and canter.  He's also SJ schooled once and although he was very good and honest to everything (and relaxed/confidant!) we need to get him to think about his technique a bit more (Carrie describes it best with a "flying orangutan" visual).  Grid-work in his future to get that footwork a bit more tidy!

This week we look forward to some northern friends coming to visit!  Lynnette and Little Marissa (sorry Marissa, but I have to differentiate the two of you... maybe I'll just call you Riss in this blog...) arrive Wednesday and plan on attending the Training Sessions Thursday (hopefully I'll have time to go watch some too).  Betsy and Alison arrive Thursday evening for an extended weekend of South Carolina Fun.  And Beth, Abby, and Sam arrive Sunday with Stew and Cobbles.  Busy Busy!!!

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