Sunday, January 30, 2011

Warm Sunshine!

I find myself in the last day of a continuing ed program for judges and TD's in Ocala, Fl after an exciting week. We have to attend one every three years to maintain our licenses. It's been a great forum, always good to brush up on your eye and of course new rules etc...

Our first day was all about dressage taught by Jeannie McDonald, both in the classroom as well as judging in the field. Day two was XC with Tremain Cooper and today was brushing up on SJ. Brian Ross and Cindy DePorter contributed the entire weekend.

As for the week prior. I was able through a USET training grant to take a bunch of lessons with both Bettina Hoy as well as Gunnar Ostergaard. I brought Running Order, Tali and Simon along. All were great, RO is going great. We worked on keeping his neck a bit longer and all of Tue movements more accurate and precise. All of the ingredients are there...I was able to also have my Mom help out last night. She said she'd have given a few of his changes 9's! So we'll see, I'm sure I won't have it for an entire test yet, but give him a little time. Tali and Simon were both great, they are in similar spots. Both just started changes and half passes along with quarter pirouettes...all coming along well...again just need some time. Both Gunnar and Betinna encouraged me to use more opening reins in transitions etc. It always amazes me how much little things can help.

So were returning home today, Aiken that is, Full Gallop on wed for Tali, Simon and Slick as well as a few of Shanons. Then a whole bunch of babies on the weekend at Sporting Days.

Until then stay warm for those up north!


Doug Payne
PO Box 179
Pottersville, NJ 07979

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's time to fire up the blog for 2011...

...we've arrived in Aiken! I've got to say, we made it out of NJ just in time. I thought our plan might be foiled being that the day before our departure we got 10" of snow. Luckily it was a dry snow, so the roads were in great shape. Our driveway...that was a different story! We were fortunate to make it out the first time up, I was prepared to call Scott Clucus our hay supplier for the use of his tractor(s) if needed to get to the road.

We left at 7 am. The trip down was an uneventful 13 hrs once we made it to dry pavement. I had 5 horses in my trailer, Conor had all of our jumps in his while Meagan and Erin stayed back for the tractor trailer full of the remaining 10 to depart in the afternoon. All arrived safe and sound in sunny Aiken.

Every year I think to myself that we'll get down, unpack and have a quiet day or so before the circus begins. Especially this year, being that our first show isn't until this coming Saturday, a full week and a half after arriving. However, this never seems to be the case, this year was no different.

Upon arrival, Conor and I got the initial 5 settled...we unhooked and took a short ride to our spacious double wide. Unexpectedly, Ashley and Andrea brought over spaghetti and beer. Nothing like a welcoming party in the double wide!!

We were at the barn by 5 am to meet the truck. We had a few mins to bed the stalls and get everything ready for the remaining 10. All showed up in one piece and looking good! Conor and I then had a mandatory trip to waffle house. Nothing like a waffle house breakfast. We returned set up the jumps in the field and begin unpacking for real. Since then, the other projects have multiplied. I figured that it was time we had a proper dressage ring. So off to the Depot we went, bought the wood etc...and had a ring by the following afternoon. It's still to be painted, but I think that should be covered tomorrow. We've also moved a bunch of hooks, saddle racks...etc...getting the barn in working order.

As for the horses, they are just about in full swing. We had a day of light work followed by a few days of flat work and one jumping day (I'm still paying for the jumping day!! I ended up riding 17 and my legs have yet to recover!!!!).

Today was our first gallop day. Always a good time, it's great to finally leave the confines of the indoor. I can't express how much smoother things run this year with 3 people working at the barn. Between the four of us we had the galloping done by 1! Off to Shanon's to ride a few and then back to the Depot to finish building the letters for the ring.

As for the next few weeks. XC schooling officially begins tomorrow (babies) and Thursday (big guys). We've got a schooling show this coming weekend and then down to Ocala for some lessons and a continuing ed judges seminar on the weekend.

Our recognized events begin on the 2nd of Feb, it's going to be crazy from that point forward.

Keep warm!!


PS It's going to be 64 here tomorrow :)