Things have been going at a million miles an hour around here. This is I suppose better than things being dead quiet but man, I have to admit, I am ready to take a deep breath and chill for a moment. That being said, everything that is going on here is just fantastic and I am so excited about everything. Gonna try to pick up where I left off last time. That would be at the Early Morning Blues Dressage Show. It was a pretty quiet weekend for us. I took Cosmo 4th level, and Lysa and Ellen both rode as well. Cosmo was a bit lackluster on Saturday. He really has a hard time on the footing in Pinehurst for whatever reason. He ended up 2nd in the class on Saturday but I came much more prepared for battle on Sunday having a much better idea what to expect from him and while he was 2nd again his score was much improved and had much more promising work. While it was still no where near what the “little guy” is capable of it was certainly a step in the right direction. Onward and upwards with him. Ellen and Boomer had a promising show coming back from Ellen’s surgery in fine style and Lysa and Bogie looked as good as always. It was a successful weekend for everyone which is always the goal! 🙂


Cosmic Confidant and Briana showing at Early Morning Blues in Pinehurst, August 2013

We were all lucky enough to sneak in a couple days of lessons with Melanie Southard at a perfect time right before LOL in Raleigh. It was a blast getting to work with her and focus on myself for once. It has been a really long time since I have really been able to be on the other end of the headsets and it was great. I really love to take lessons myself and always love to learn from others so this was fantastic for me. Especially because she knows Popstarr better than anyone else so who better to learn from on him than her? I was also able to work with her on Laira which was great and Ellen/Boomer and Michelle/Pyper were able to get some good rides in as well. Sadly Cosmo was a bit sore while she was here so we didn’t get to do anything with him, but certainly will next time I can get her back in town.

Next up for us was the Labor of Love Dressage Show in Raleigh. I decided at the last minute to bring Popstarr and try to qualify for BLM’s at 4th level. This ended up being a super idea. He was a total Popstarr all weekend long. I had a VERY exuberant horse underneath me on Friday but he still scored right at a 64% to finish 2nd and qualify for BLM’s which was the ultimate goal. However, he came out Saturday totally on his game. He was poised, confident and on FIRE. Not only did he win the class with right at a 68% but he was also 4th Level High Score of the entire show which was so incredibly awesome. He is such an amazing horse and I am so lucky to be able to ride him. I also showed Emily Grace’s Wrapped In Ribbons (Laira) on Friday since she was not able to miss school so early in the year. She was such a good girl and handled the electric atmosphere like such a pro including showing in the coliseum like she had been doing it all her life. She ended up 2nd and 3rd in very large open training divisions with me. I could not have been more proud of her. Emily Grace showed her on Saturday and Sunday and did nothing but improve throughout the entire weekend. I think she really learned a lot about Laira and their partnership really blossomed over the weekend. They were able to tackle some serious challenges (like a howling wolf, a loud school bus with a huge group of people screaming and yelling, and a torrential downpour to name a few) and rise above them each time like total pros. These two are really going to be a team for the future. I could not be more impressed with the 2 of them if I had to. She also was able to slide into a class on Missy on Sunday afternoon which was awesome and she did a fantastic job. Ellen also had a great weekend filled with major breakthroughs with Boomer which was so great to see them just get better and better throughout the weekend and put in 6 solid performances. Overall it was a super successful weekend and we all had a blast!


Briana and Popstarr on their way to winning the 4th level high score award at LOL


Emily Grace and Wrapped In Ribbons (Laira) in Raleigh at LOL

The following Thursday I was incredibly fortunate enough to get to ride in a clinic with Axel Steiner on both Popstarr and Cosmo. To get to work with Axel on any horse is amazing but to get to work with him on BOTH of these amazing horses was truly a chance of a lifetime. They are both very different but amazing and talented boys. It was an experience I won’t forget anytime soon that’s for sure. Sarah and I left bright and early Thursday morning so we could spend some time auditing as well. Axel has an amazing ability to focus not only on the quality of the work but also on how it applies to your test riding. I rode Cosmo first and Axel didn’t waste anytime putting us to work. I was so incredibly proud of Cosmo for working so hard. We rode for well over 1 hr 15 min with very minimal walking during the entire thing and we were focused on the stuff that Cosmo struggles with the most and there was a ton of pressure being put on him. He stayed so incredibly focused the entire time and worked so so so hard, constantly giving us more and more and more right up until the very end. We were able to work through everything in the PSG and it was great quality. Axel really liked him and felt confident he could do the work. (Even if he did question why I had to have such a large horse. HAHA!) Then I rode Popstarr with him. I think Pop was still a bit tired from everything in Raleigh the weekend before but he pushed through like the pro that he is. We worked through all of the 4th 2 test since that is what I have to ride at BLM’s. He really liked Pop as well and had nothing but great things to say about him. He was very encouraging that BLM’s should be my last ride on him at 4th level and that we should be moving up to PSG very soon. Super exciting news! 🙂


Pop and Cosmo both working through changes with Axel Steiner. Similarities much?

Then right after the clinic we were back in Pinehurst for the Cool Down Dressage Show. Ellen, Michelle, and Lysa all rode. Ellen and Boomer looked fantastic. I was so proud of her for being able to carry over the breakthroughs she had in Raleigh last weekend to the show ring this weekend. She was working really hard and it really showed in the quality of her riding. Michelle and Pyper have over come so much this year trying to make sure Pyper is at the top of his game and feeling as wonderful as he possibly can. He was feeling great all weekend and had way more energy throughout the show than he has had in the past which is great news. It was fantastic to see Pyper back looking more like himself all weekend! And Lysa had another solid weekend with Bogie including completing her first test at first level which is so very exciting for her and all the hard work she has put in and everything she has overcome with him. Unfortunately I did not feel that the judging was where it really should have been this weekend. The scores were rather low consistently for the entire show which is a bummer but always a bit reassuring when it is across the board that everyone is scoring low and not just some here and there.


Ellen and Boomer in Pinehurst

At any rate onward and upward we go. We are in the final stretch and have every intention of finishing out the year with a bang!!! In 2 weeks we will head back to Pinehurst for the Pinehurst Fall Dressage Show. Ellen and Boomer, Michelle and Pyper, Isabelle and William (Who won one of the few junior scholarships for this show which is amazing and I am so proud of her for doing), Emily Grace will be riding Laira and Missy, and Lysa and Bogie will all be showing here. I am not going to be riding anyone, will be busy enough coaching :-). After this we head to Williamston for the NCDCTA Championships and Harvest Moon Show the first weekend in October and then back to Williamston again the first weekend in November for BLM Champs and Autumn Leaves Show to round out the year. Then we will spend the winter training and preparing for 2014.

I have some AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING news in the works and will be sharing it in the next week or so. Stay tuned for some huge and very exciting announcements!!! Until then….:-) Bri