Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Plans in Aiken and Teaching in NC

Although we had initially planned to return to the New Hill farm, all of the recent rain has made conditions difficult. At the same time we've been offered a great opportunity here in Aiken by Evie and Phillip Dutton. As of April 1st we will be based at their beautiful farm here in Aiken, we plan to remain until we can move into our new farm in Rougemont, NC which is being built as we speak.

Until we finally make the move, we’re going to try to get up to NC as often as possible in order to teach and check on the building process. Jess and I will be up in NC on Monday and Tuesday the 6th and 7th of April. I know many of you might not be able to schedule during the day, but if possible and interested please let me know. I’m just trying to accommodate as many people as possible.

If interested please shoot a quick email to or text to 908.399.9112

Saturday, March 7, 2015

USEA Judges Continuing Ed

I couldn't quite take the week completely off from competing, but close to it. We took Rex (Marilyn Payne) and Merlin (Elizabeth Callahan) over to Highfields on Thursday for their first show in the .85 m class. While both green they managed to both finish up with ribbons! 

Photo by Nancy Knight - USEA

I was able to get a bunch of the other horses ridden before heading down to Red Hills for the USEA's continuing education seminar. Thankfully I have Jess, Michelle and the girls to keep things running smoothly at home!

All USEF judges are required to attend seminars like this every 3 years. We were lucky enough to spend all day yesterday with Janet Foy, one of this countries premiere dressage judges. I can't stress enough how helpful these programs are both in recalibrating scoring as well as gaining a more in depth understanding of the biomechanics, training and showing of horses. If you get a chance, even if you have no desire to judge, audit one of the judging programs. I guarantee your horses will be going better and your scores will improve dramatically. 

Tomorrow we spend the first half of the day in the classroom and the second evaluating the cross country courses over at the venue. 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Making the most of opportunities in Aiken

Aiken is one of, if not the best locations in the country to develop and instill confidence in horses. This weekend was a prime example of the versatility it offers. We took the jumpers to Highfields for the March Madness jumper show on Thursday and Friday. Then the eventers were off to Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials on Saturday and Sunday morning wrapping up just in time to head back for the final 1.30 meter mini prix at Highfields. 

Nate in Dressage at Sporting Days

Our horses were excellent throughout the weekend. All of which would never have been possible without the exceptional help of help of Jess, Michelle, Alex, Tess & Nicole as well as the master of event scheduling Mary Caldren at Sporting Days. The results speak for themselves!

Jumpers at PSJ:
Jimmy Choo ( Madeline Reich) and Confire la Pomme (Barbara Calabro) won classes at 1.10m & 1.15m Thursday and Friday. 
Eli (Mike Rubin - Breezy Hill South) finished 7th in Friday's $5k 1.25m Welcome Stake & 3rd in Sunday's $5k 1.30m Mini-Prix

Eli's 3rd place finish in the 1.30m mini prix 

Eventers at Sporting Days:
Novice: 2nd Quantum Leap (Doug), 3rd Winter Carnival ( Emily van Gemeren), 2nd Call Me Waylon (Ann Wilson) and 7th Marshal M Dillon (Wendy & Fred Luce, Doug)
Training: 1st Absaluut Annabelle (Jane Dudinsky), 3rd Zephyr, 4th Reddina Cooley (Lucia Strini) and 2nd Patrick (Kathleen Sullivan)
Preliminary: 7th Lysander (Kristin Michaloski, Doug)

Zephyr show jumping at Sporting Days - He is also offered for Sale below!

Annie's Dressage Test on the way to her first win of the year!

Farm Progress and a Location Change:

Last week we took a quick trip up to the new farm to stake out all of the buildings and arenas. It turned out to be an unusually snowy trip, but well worth it in the end. Although you think you've got it all mapped out perfect on paper, we quickly realized that some of the building locations had to be tweaked to better suit the land. We were also very lucky to be joined by our excavators and arena contractors Shane Doyle and Clint Bertalan this trip and the last. Both have brought to the table tremendous incite and I'm certain our final layout will be far more efficient, useful and frankly beautiful as a result. 

As for the location change, on our return trip we began thinking about our schedule going forward. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to rent an incredibly facility in Aiken, details soon to follow, for the foreseeable future. It would offer ideal conditions, weather as well as riding surfaces and training opportunities for our horses. With them in mind, we've decided to remain here in Aiken until we are able to move the horses into the new farm in Rougemont, NC. Hopefully our permanent return to NC will be this summer. 

Although up in the air at the moment, we are planning to spend a few days every other week in NC to teach as well as keep tabs on the building process. Details to come soon, but if you are interested please shoot me a quick email at

Working Student Position Vacancy:
Being that we now plan to remain in Aiken we have one vacancy for a working student to join our team. Bring your horse along, housing included and take advantage of the vast opportunities Aiken has to offer! Must be 18 yrs or older. If you're interested please email Jess your resume and a short video of your riding if possible to

Horses For Sale:
We've just updated out sales page here...we have a bunch of great horses for sale, both eventers as well as jumpers. There are a few more to be posted soon, so if you don't see something that might peak your interest please don't hesitate to contact us directly. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Results from a busy Aiken Weekend - March Madness & Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials