Wow- I can’t believe it is already 2014. How is that even possible? Y2K was seriously 14 years ago. Unreal. Things have been a bit quiet around here lately. We all had these huge plans to get lots of training done over the winter and have the horses all really advancing forward. Well, it would appear that mother nature has plans of her own and they don’t actually include much riding at all. This has been hands down the worst winter that I can remember. We have gotten significant amounts of snow on at least 2 separate occasions. Both with well over 5” each time. In fact just yesterday we got a nice accumulation of disgusting ice on everything. Yay! I could have sworn it was March, but maybe not?? Anyways- we’ve all been working as hard as possible given the current weather conditions and have at least managed to keep everyone going. Our first show of the season is March Magic Dressage in Williamston, NC coming up in just a few short weeks. We are all incredibly excited to get cranked back up again! 

Image

 

(The farm after one of our delightful snow storms!!)

Unfortunately we lost a very special member of the village in January. How D Black Pistol (Boomer) Ellen Bradford’s gorgeous black AQHA gelding some how got cast in his stall at the end of December. For a couple weeks it appeared that he was going to be ok and we were all incredibly excited about his recovery. He very quickly took a turn for the worse and upon a trip NCSU in Raleigh, NC it was determined that his right hind leg had severe necrosis all the way through the bone due to the prolonged blood loss while being cast. They gave him no chance of recovery to even live a happy life turned out so sadly the very heartbreaking decision to let Boomer go was made. It was so hard on all of us, most of all of course Ellen. 

Image

(Ellen and Boomer)

However, on a brighter note, we are very excited to report that we have found a wonderful new horse for Ellen. While no horse will ever be able to replace Boomer we are very excited about the new role that King’s Mount (Monty) will play for Ellen and all of us in the village. Monty is a 7 year old, 15h, dark bay, reg morgan gelding. He has the greatest personality and is a pure blast to ride. He is like a little sports car. I just love riding him and he and Ellen and already fast friends and developing a great partnership. I can’t wait to see them out and about together showing this year and cleaning up. This guy is a special one, look out world! 

Image

(Ellen and Monty on their very first ride together!)

Josiah has been working over time with me over the winter and has been pivotal in actually being able to get everyone ridden. On days that the weather only gives us a very small window of time to ride and teach it is paramount to have additional qualified hands to help get everyone ridden. He is half leasing Michelle Martin’s Pyper for the season and they are working really well together. I think this young man really has something very special about him with the horses and really has what it takes to give it a go in the horse world. I am very excited to be a part of this development. The goal is for him to get his bronze medal this spring with Pyper. They will be making their showing debut at March Magic later this month at 1st level. We are all really excited. 

Image

 

(Josiah schooling Pyper on one of our many “gorgeous” days this winter!)

In January we went to the NCDCTA HOY banquet at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Raleigh. It was so cool to see Ellen, Lysa and Michelle’s hard work in 2013 rewarded with awesome year end placings. Lysa was champion AA at training level and Ellen was reserve champion, and Michelle was champion AA at 3rd level. Way to go ladies and what an awesome and fun night we had together!! 

Image

(Lysa, Ellen, Briana, and Michelle at the NCDCTA HOY banquet!)

We were finally able to get Brandon out of the frozen tundra that has taken over Kentucky and get him down here to get him ready to rock and roll this year. He is a very VERY special young stallion and I am incredibly excited about our partnership and his future. He has a great personality and is really a very funny guy. We’re loving having him around and he is def keeping us entertained with his playfulness! Look for him out and about this spring. 

Image

(Brandon and I on one of our first rides together. Such a handsome boy!)

Mimi (Remember Me) has been started back under saddle and is getting ready to start showing in 2014. She will be 4 in May. I started her very lightly last spring/summer for about 45 days and then I turned her back out for the rest of the year to grow up. I am so excited to report that she has picked right up where we left off and is without a doubt the easiest little baby I’ve ever started. I really am incredibly blessed to have such wonderful horses to ride every day and I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m still taking things very slowly with her as she obviously still has a lot of growing up to do and has all the time in the world. Between the fact that I don’t want to do too much with her now for those reasons and the horrible weather it’s safe to say she has been started back very lightly. That being said she comes out every day I work her focused and ready to go to work and totally no nonsense. In fact, all the big horses have been a bit shall we say…..WILD this winter and she has been just fantastic. Such an amazing brain. I just love that little baby head. She is shedding out like crazy too and is looking so much more grey than she was last year. I’ll be sure to get pictures of her when she is finished shedding. ❤ that girl

Image

 

(Mimi on one of her first rides back under saddle!)

Well, I think that pretty much wraps things up around here for now. My big boys, Cosmo and Pop are doing good and are getting ready to come out this spring at PSG/I1. Hope everyone else is staying warm and surviving this awful winter! Bring on spring!!! 🙂 Bri

Here is some entertainment courtesy of Brandon and his yoga ball for you to enjoy if you’re stuck inside like we are!!!! Enjoy! 🙂