Lots of updates…

I really need to be better about keeping everything updated on here. Things have been so busy and I have fortunately been so busy riding that I haven’t had a chance to update this like I should be. So, let’s see if I can manage to remember everything I need to post in here.

On a sad note we unfortunately lost Chance, our kill-pen rescue to a very random and sad freak accident in May. We worked so hard to save him but in the end it was apparent that his quality of life was not going to be where it belonged and he had already been through so much in his short time here on Earth that we decided it was best to end his suffering even though it was hard for us.

We took a few horses to the Dressage In The Sandhills Show in Pinehurst over Mother’s Day weekend. Over all it was a pretty good weekend although not as wonderful as I had hoped. (Don’t we all?) Cosmo made his return to the show ring at 4th level and while he was very obedient he was not his normal jazzy self at all and just didn’t feel quite right all weekend. Which was unfortunate, but on the upside, we were able to get back in the arena which after everything we have been through these last few months was a huge accomplishment in it’s self. We came home with a clear game plan for what we needed to improve on (less magnesium, perhaps some shoes on him) and a plan moving forward. In spite of being a far cry from himself he still managed to end up with a 2nd, 5th, and 3rd which is pretty impressive considering what we were working with. He really is one of, if not the most amazing horse I have ever had the privilege to ride. I am so lucky. Joey also showed on Sunday in first level. He was FANTASTIC both test. The judge was not thrilled with his first test, which made no sense to me, I thought he was fantastic and I was delighted with him, but apparently she wanted him to go a bit differently than I did. He ended up 4th in that class, but I was very disappointed with his score. After reading her comments on the test I adjusted the way I rode him a bit for the 2nd test and she liked it much better. Unfortunately apparently at the end of the 3 days I was a bit brain dead because I totally spaced in the test and forgot my stretchy circle. Oops. But, if that hadn’t happened he would have had a 5 point score improvement from the same judge. He ended up 3rd in that class and I was just delighted with him all weekend. He is just such a good boy, all the time and is a real blast to show. He is really dependable in the show ring and seems to always rise to the occasion. Someone is going to be so lucky to have him. Ellen Bradford also showed Boomer at training level this weekend and had a really good weekend. She came home with a 4th place in some HUGE divisions and scores up to 69% with very, very little prep leading up to the show.

Image(Ellen and Boomer on their way to a 69%)

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(Joey looking fantastic at first level!)

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Cosmo and Briana on their way to a 2nd place finish at 4th level.)

This past weekend we took a group up to Raleigh for the Capital Dressage Classic. It was a great weekend. Hot, but certainly could have been a lot hotter. I showed Michelle Martin’s Pyper in two second level test on Friday. For those of you who are unaware, I HATE 2nd level. With a passion. It’s the pit of despair and I avoid it at all cost. Well, I’ve avoided it for so long that I have not gotten the 2 scores I needed for my bronze medal, so I decided to go on and knock those suckers out. Pyper was a really good boy even though he too thinks 2nd level is unnecessary and that changes are way more fun and we got those 2 scores (and then some) I needed and a 2nd and 3rd place finish. Not bat at all. Michelle showed him the rest of the weekend at 3rd level. She only had 1 or 2 rides on him before the show because of an injury (to her) and you would have never known by how she rode. She got her final score for her bronze medal in her first class and finished 2nd on her birthday no less and came back to win her 2nd class on Saturday. She was 2nd in her first class on Sunday and we decided to scratch him from the 2nd class. He was incredibly tired and we had accomplished everything we set out to accomplish so it didn’t make sense to pound on him. Ellen and Boomer had another solid weekend. They ended up with 2 fifths, 2 thirds, and 2 fourths. Lysa Hodgson came up to the show with us for the weekend and what started out as a rough show when Bogey got a bit worked up in the warm ups on Friday resulting in her scratching both of those tests ended on a fantastic note. They came home with a 6th and 2nd on Saturday and on Sunday they were 2nd in their first class and won their last class of the day. Talk about a come back! Emily Grace Swinson was hands down the busiest 9 year old at the show. She had both of her ponies there and was a total rockstar, like usual. She is such an awesome little rider and is hands down going to be one to watch for the future. She came home with 5 2nd’s on Ruffles (who’s name we will be changing to “Always a Bridesmaid” haha) and a first, a third and 2 fifths on Missy. Over all this was a great weekend and it was a blast with an incredibly fun group of people. This is what showing is all about. Nothing like a supportive group of friends showing together, having fun and cheering each other on to remind you why we put in all this hard work day after day!

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(Michelle and Pyper on their way to winning their 3rd level class!)

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(Lysa and Bogey winning their training level division)

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(Ellen and Boomer looking like a million bucks at the CDC in Raleigh)

On the home front things have been going pretty well. Busier than ever but that’s never a bad thing. MiMi is going so well under saddle. She is just such a smart and fun little girl. Her future is so bright, I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. She is starting to canter under saddle now and going so well. I love her to pieces. We got a new horse. She is a 16.1H, 6 year old, OTTB who is so gorgeous and a fantastic jumper. She is still a green bean but has a bright future ahead of her as an eventer and is going to be one to watch. Hopefully she will be Farrin’s next upper level horse. We also have a new sales horse here at the farm. His name is Leggs, or Landshark and he is a really nice youngster. He is only 4 years old and still trying to figure out where his body and legs are underneath him but he is going to be unstoppable in the future, that’s for dang sure. I really like him. (I so wish I could keep them all in my barn. Would make me so incredibly happy, I swear I need about 3 more of me so I can hoard them all :-P). Everyone else is going really well too. Have had some wonderful rides on Cosmo and we are heading to Raleigh next week to ride in a clinic with Kathy Rowse. She is really fantastic and I always come back with lots of wonderful information to pass on to everyone after I work with her. On Saturday we will take a few horses out to CHP for the schooling day. Probably a handful of the youngsters will go and hang out. MiMi might go just walk around. It will be her first trip off the farm. Landshark will go for a short show jumping and cross country school, Misty needs to go jump a quick course before she does the novice horse trail there on Sunday. It will be her first time out since Williamston the first of April, and Anya will probably come for a small XC school as well. Will be a busy busy day for all the youngsters (And Misty). The following weekend is going to be busy as well. It is the Rise ‘N Shine Dressage show here in Pinehurst. Cosmo is going to go over for a school on Friday and Lysa is showing on Saturday and Sunday. There is also a symposium with Susann Von Dietz that NCDCTA is putting on at North Star Training Center in Chapel Hill. Ellen is lucky enough to be a demo rider on Saturday so we will be going back and forth a bit next weekend trying to be at everything at once. ūüôā The girls are either out of school now or almost out which means that any day now the farm will be abuzz with teenage girl chatter. YAY! I love having all my girls here over the summer. We have a blast together, I get so much done, and they learn a ton. Stay tuned for lots and lots of updates on everyone. We are going to be wide open in full force this summer. It is going to be busy and fantastic that is for sure. It looks like I am going to have roughly 12 horses in training, and students on top of that. It will be busy busy busy so stay tuned! ūüôā <3Bri

ImageAnya, the newest princess and FarrinImage

Anya’s pretty head!

ImageMimi working under saddle with Briana like she has been doing it all her life.

Spring Season Updates….

A few weeks ago Farrin ran her first recognized event at the novice level. She had a fantastic weekend over all and learned a ton. Her dressage was a pretty solid test but I felt the scoring did not reflect the quality of her ride. The good news on that however is that it seemed the scores were¬†consistently¬†high that day so it seems the judge was just being very harsh. She had a fantastic XC run on a really solid, pretty tough course, and a great (albeit fast) show jumping round. She pulled one rail when Misty had a temporary lapse in judgement and thought she should take control of the round. She was not impressed that she pulled the rail and decided after that she should probably at least consider Farrin’s input into their ride. All in all it was a great weekend for her and I feel that her and Misty are really starting to work together and form an excellent partnership.¬†

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We just returned from the Spring Break Dressage Show in Williamston, NC. What a fantastic ¬†weekend we had. It was one of those weekends that without a doubt everything just fell into place and it was so much fun. This is why we go to horse shows in the first place. First of all if you have never shown at the Sen. Bob Martin Ag Center you are really missing out. The facility is fantastic. Great barns, great arenas, wonderful footing and excellent layout. It is really one of my favorite facilities to show at. We took 3 horses this weekend, Farrin was one of the jr/yr scholarship¬†recipients from Sporting Services so she brought Misty, and I brought Joey (who is for sale BTW) and a non-compete horse to school for the weekend. Overall it was a super successful show on all accounts. Joey was a true pro all weekend long winning all 3 of his classes and being a last minute stand in for Farrin in the dressage seat equitation class. He is just the most enjoyable horse to have around. He is such a sweetheart on the ground and no drama. It really is refreshing. He loads and ships like a dream and was just as fantastic at the show as he is at home. He comes right out and goes to work and is all business and is so incredibly rideable in the arena. He really is a breath of fresh air. He scored in the high 60’s all weekend easily. Farrin also had a wonderful weekend with only one rough spell when Misty got a bit wound up (I think she was not impressed there was no jumping) in her 1st 1 test on Sunday AM. However, Farrin held it together like a pro and still managed to pull off a 4th place. She then rode Joey to a 5th place finish in a huge DSE class and had quite the comeback in the afternoon on Misty again to win her final class. She also placed 2nd in her only class on Saturday. Overall it was a great weekend and so much fun. What more could I ask for? I got to hang out with some of my great friends, and wonderful students, met some new friends, and got to ride amazing horses. I’ll take it any day of the week.¬†

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On the home front everyone else is going well. Tucker is getting a tune up for a month and is going really well, although, he is fairly certain he should get to passage everywhere he goes! MiMi has offically been started under saddle and today marked her 5th ride. So far she has been just a pure delight to start. In fact, I believe she is probably the easiest baby I have started to date. It took her about 5 minutes to figure out how to steer, stop, and start and the first time we trotted under saddle she was just as chill about it as she could be. I just adore her more and more with every passing day. Chance has been making so much progress. It is really wonderful to see his personality coming out and him actually wanting to be around people as much as he is. He is really a very sweet boy. He now comes up to the barn and goes on the crossties to get groomed from head to toe. We are working on him letting us pick up his feet and bit by bit we are making progress. He has also started learning how to lunge and start working on some ground work. Slow and steady but making big progress for sure. Cosmo and Norman are both back in work after basically having the winter off for a variety of reasons and will be hitting the show arena in the near future. Everyone else is going really well too. The longer days and nicer weather have been really helpful to get everyone working on a more consistent schedule. We have been super super busy with them all but it has been a good type of busy so I will gladly take it. 

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MiMi on her 4th ride under saddle

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Chance before and after (6 weeks improvement) 

I think we may take a few horses to Antares Dressage next weekend (instead of going to MacNair’s). Cosmo, and a few students really need to get out in the arena again and maybe we will bring MiMi to hang out at her first horse show too. Then Farrin will be heading to Longleaf Horse Trials in a few weeks and after that we will have Dressage In The Sandhills.¬†

It’s safe to say that spring is in full swing around here and we are really off to a wonderful year. Can’t wait to see how things continue to unfold around here. Until next time…..

Busy, Busy, Busy…

We have been super busy here at SCF getting geared up for the spring season. Everyone is going really well and we are looking forward to an awesome season.

Farrin has been very busy already this year getting started a bit earlier than everyone else. She has already secured a win at one of the Pinehurst Dressage Schooling Shows, and successfully moved up to novice at Running Start Horse Trails. She is heading to SPHT I this weekend for her first recognized horse trials. She is riding great and Misty is looking fantastic. It should be a great weekend for her.

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(Farrin and Misty on their way to a great finish at RSHT)

Next month we will head to Williamston for the Spring Break Dressage Show. Should be a blast as Williamston ¬†has always been one of my favorite places to show. Farrin won one of the junior scholarships from Sporting Services, so she will be bringing Misty. I will have Joey there and hopefully one of the big boys will be going as well. We’ve missed a lot of time this winter for one reason or another, so it will depend on how they are going fitness-wise. The following weekend everyone else will get out and start their season up at MacNair’s D&CT. Hopefully by then everyone will be fitter and shed out. I didn’t clip anyone this winter and boy are we ever paying for it now. Horse.Hair.Everywhere.

We have a new horse here at SCF. His name is “Chance” and he is another saddlebred that I rescued from the killpen at New Holland Auction. He is 3, coming 4 years old and is such a sweet special guy. He has a lot of learning how to trust ahead of him, in addition to gaining weight, muscle, and growing in general. There was a wonderful article written about him in the local paper. To read his full story check out the article here:¬†http://www.thepilot.com/news/2013/feb/10/chance-chance/

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(Chance on his first day home. Enjoying some hay and some much needed rest)

I am terrible at updating blogs and things of this nature, but I am going to do my best to keep updating about his progress. He was turned out the other day with my other baby MiMi, who is a coming 3 year old saddlebred, and they have quickly become fast baby friends. I am so looking forward to the future of both of these talented youngsters.

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(Chance starting to feel good enough to trot around a bit. ~2 weeks after he arrived)

MiMi has already started on ground work, and will continue working her way towards being started under saddle this spring. This is also the goal for Chance, but he has a lot more to over come and we will be taking things very slow with him.

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(Chance and MiMi meeting for the first time!)

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(MiMi and Chance again)

Stay tuned, until next time! ūüôā