Monday, February 28, 2011

Pine Top...and the day after.

Pine Top Advanced horse trials was held this past weekend. All of the horses have been going very well, so I had high hopes. Advanced ran as a 1 day on Friday. Prelim and Intermediate ran over the weekend.


This was Running Order's first Advanced back for 2011. He's been going very well at home. I was hoping to be able to get 80% or so of that in the ring. I was pretty damn close. We had some bobbles, but finished on a 32. Certainly had a bunch of room to improve, but not a bad way to start the season!

SJ was next. The course was set on undulating ground, and was more technical than most we've seen this year. RO jumped great, I did end up rolling the skinny with his hind end. Frustrating, as it happened I didn't hear his foot hit the rail, but did hear the unmistakable sound of the rail on the ground.

XC was last to go. The course looked like a great first of the year. Pine Top is always open and galloping, great especially for such a spooky horse! I didn't end up where I was intending when our course finished. The day ended for me at fence 8, standing in the water with my socks wet! He was jumping well up until the water. The complex was a quite small opening key hole, to a short 4 strides log into water then 4.5 strides to a skinny in the water. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I expected him to really back off the keyhole. That didn't end up happening. I jumped out into the 4 stride and was too slow to make an adjustment before jumping into the water. We jumped in landing like a ton of bricks. In a normal situation this makes life easy, you land in a heap, your first stide will be short and the 5 should be right there. Not so with RO! Our first stride was quite big, had I just left him alone I think we'd have been fine, but I steadied for the 5 (roughly 75% of the people were getting the 5) and got 4.5 where he stuck his front feet on the skinny. I fell off landed on my feet, blown up and with wet socks. The funny part is that I had seen a spare set of socks in my truck that morning. I thought, that's weird...why do I have an extra set I was flying through the air I was thankful I had them packed.

So long story short, I was annoyed with myself. Like I've heard countless times before experience is what you gain just after you need it. So I spoke to Glenn at Pine Top, he went above and beyond offing me the opportunity to return today to school. I jumped at the chance. I returned with my partner in crime and life coach ;) Lizzy Olmstead to jump the water again. I went for the 4 this problems. In the end it was actually better off. I was able to go through the course jump each complex until it was near flawless. Seldom to you have that opportunity to school on an advanced course of the caliber of Pine Top. He was great, and I can tell you in the future I'm letting go and kicking!


The Prelim and Intermediate horses did dressage and SJ. Simon was first out in his first intermediate. He was a bit tense in dressage. He didn't score all that well, but I'm not worried. Give him a year or two and he's going to be a contender especially that he jumped like a rock star in SJ.

Tali was next, he put in a good test, but again with him there is room for improvement. He's such an extravagant mover that it's hard to pull off a low score. He was winning after dressage in his second intermediate on a 24. He also jumped very well in SJ, finished up the day on his dressage score.

Tom put in a decent test, putting him in 2nd in his 2nd prelim on a 29. He too jumped well. Slick and Reggie both were good, both are still quite green and have room to improve, in time they too will be there. Both jumped well.


Sunday was XC day for the remaining 5 horses. First out was Simon, he made easy work of his first OI. We got a video up online here. The best description I can manage to describe riding him on XC is he's like a little dirt bike. Quick, handy, agile, plenty of jump. Just a ton of fun.

Tali was next, I went out to win the event. He was great. We were nearly finished with the course, at the last water 3 jumps from home he hit his stifle at the first of a 1 stride combination into the water. We landed and cantered through, jumped out the bank and over the last element of the complex. As we galloped away he just didn't feel right. I came back to a trot and was still not happy. I thought he might have had a boot slip or something. All was good, I hopped off and saw that he had hit his stifle on the jump. I decided to pull out of competition. It's not worth making a potential injury worse. There will be much bigger things in his future than a win at Pine Top. I appears to have been the right decision. We got him back, he was walking a bit short on it. By the time we had him cooled off he was nearly 3 legged, we met the vet and administered bute. We shot some radiographs to rule out any fractures. It appears as if we're safe, time will tell. If he's better in a week to 10 days then we're in the clear. He was walking much better this morning so my fingers are crossed!

Tom was great...jumped around like a star, he finished in 2nd at his 2nd prelim. He's building a pretty impressive record, he won his first and now 2nd in his second. Slick and Reggie both jumped clean, Reggie finished 10th.

This upcoming week should again be busy. We have training sessions on Wed and Thursday. We then have sporting days this coming weekend with 9 horses going. Attending are all of the babies...Beau will be doing his first prelim. Check back for updates!

Again stay warm up north.


Monday, February 21, 2011

We're in full swing...

This post is long overdue. Since Full Gallop we've been to countless XC schoolings, schooling shows and 4 more events. 31 starts into 2011 things are going better than I could have imagined. 25 top 10's, 19 top 5's and 6 wins so far. We have a bunch of talented young horses who are just starting to make their splash.

Click here for full results for the 2011 season.

Two new additions at DPE which are here for the long term. The two monsters, both 17.1+, are Royal Tribute aka the prodigy and Lysander aka Leo. Leo is 4 this year and just finished his first event this past weekend. He's an exceptional jumper very brave and quite a good mover he is jointly owned by myself and Kristin Michaloski. The second, who might be the nicest horse I've ever had the opportunity to work with, is Tribute who is 5 this year. He is jointly owned by myself and Kristin Burgers. Tribute was the grand champion of the USEA FEH series two years ago as a 3 year old. He has now been to 3 events, he will be a superstar in the future. His novice over the weekend he finished on his dressage score of 21.3. Not a bad start!

The big guys are back this coming weekend. Running Order will do his first advanced of the season at Pine Top on Friday. Tali and Simon both will be doing intermediate and Tom and Slick in the prelim. I don't think I can express how lucky I am to have such a strong group of horses heading into the season.

Aside from the events, we've had a number of USEF training sessions with Mark Phillips the US team coach. Tali and Running Order both attended. Both are going exceptionally well. As always Mark had a number of tweaks which have helped immensely. Long story short, it's just a matter of expecting more from you and your horse.

I keep reminding myself, great horses are made not born. I intend to capitalize on the opportunity that's been presented to me!

Stay warm for those up north, I don't want to brag...but it's going to be in the mid 70's and sunny today. :)

- D

PS We've got a bunch of new videos on the facebook page, click here to view.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Perfect start to the 2011 season...

Today was our first official outing for the year. We headed just down the street to Full Gallop Farm. They have a new xc course designer for 2011 so there were a lot of changes and I'd have to say the courses certainly beefed up compared to years past. We had 6 horses with us today.

The prelim horses were first to go. All three were very good, especially for their first outing on a big course. Full Gallop puts on a well run show, I only wish they had a bit more land to expand the XC, the new course had a number of changes. All were quite good, certainly bigger and more technical then before. Today served as Tali and Simon's last prelims, they are headed to intermediate in a week and a half!

So the results...Tali (owned by Doug, Amelia and Larry Ross) was 1st with a 24 in dressge, Simon (SNS Syndicate) with a 33 finished 3rd and Slick 8th in the prelim. Tom (Kristin Michaloski) did his first training today. He was exceptionally good earning a 26 in dressage and finishing on his dressage score to win. Farley (Shanon and Steve Day) won his BN division on a 31 and last but not least, Reggie (Shanon and Steve Day) finished 4th in training.

It was near ideal conditions today, mid 60's and sunny. It sounds as if it's going to get colder with rain tomorrow. We have Sporting Days coming up this Saturday. Sunday is the beginning of the USEF training sessions. It should be very interested, not only are we getting lessons with the horses, but we're meeting with the USOC staff. As I understand it they are speaking with us individually regarding, mental preparation, physical prep as well as a nutritional analysis. Lots of exciting things happening...check back for updates!

Stay Warm!!