Sunday, August 22, 2010


I love the way these foals-to-be have their own agenda!! Gracie is very well; she doesn't seem to be too tired of waiting...goes for a 'burn' and does a handstand every so often..maybe to 'shift the load'!!

I was thinking he'd be born on election day, but I guess he might be still awaiting the result!! "Hanging on", so to speak!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cross-country schooling: Paeon

Visited Ryan's at Heatherbrae this afternoon to catch up with Emma and Pan. Heath is developing a great x-country schooling facility; it's a work-in-progress as he adds various challenges as they become priorities for his students and their horses, so we're lucky to be beneficiaries!!
It's been dry and windy for about a week so Heath has given the go-ahead to gallop on his precious ground at last. He was riding a youngster, Aspire by ASpen and teaching two others; Ashleigh on her stallion Acid Jazz and another aspiring eventer on her talented beginner jumper WBxTB.
Emma took Pan and Jimmy (her Don Ramiro youngster) down for their first run x-country.
This was the first opportunity Pan's ever had to 'gallop' x-country, and he coped very well. He pottered over the bank; climbed up and clattered down the 2 metre mound with enthusiasm, didn't baulk at the water (!!!) which had caused him much angst last visit. and mastered a suspended log ('upright'). solid hutch, and vertical log pile, without confrontation. Half a dozen jumps both ways across each new obstacle, then hEmma strung them together with his first related line x-country 'event'. He was agile, alert and straightforward, really 'looking' at each obstacle and naturally adjusting his stride to find a 'good' take-off point.
One 'close spot' led to a four-leg take-off where Emma remarked "he's just like a jack-rabbit". But this 'error' didn't rattle him, was immediately 'fixed', and he 'got on with the job.'
Wow!! He was great!! This outing answered a few questions.
Is he brave enough for eventing??? Yes!!! ( I thought he was wussey with the water entry last time, but he's "over it" already!!!)
Has he got scope to advance past the lower grades as just a general allrounder? Yes! Good 'snap' front and back and Great elevation as you can see!!

He's got a really good back end, strong off the ground; when initially caught too close to a jump he didn't back up but jumped from a standstill without displacing his rider; no twisting motion.
He's direct and trusting of his rider, just gets on with the job he's asked to do, and, so far, loves it!! Thanks Emma!!!

This was his first ever gallop in open country and he 'eats up the ground' without looking like he has any intention of taking over from the rider. Very promising.
Heath has been uppiing the height of his indoor jumping 'asks', says Emma, and he's responding very well. She's entering him for a Newcomers ODE at Wingham on the first weekend in September.
Let's hope the weather is better than last weekend. She says the conditions at Silver Hills were atrocious; she rode one Prelim horse into Hail!!!
Better her than me!! I SO admire these professional young riders!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kaludah update

Managed to coordinate with Liz Joyes to visit North Kaludah at midday today to see Maybellene working with Jeremy, followed by Tyson.

Maybellene is looking to have regained the fitness and form to now develop her training from where she left off last time in work with Christine.
Working responsively off the leg in shoulder-in and leg-yielding, maintaining form and forward momentum in walk pirouetttes, maintaining a balanced counter-canter until asked for a transition, and maintaining working trot and canter work until asked for variations.

This was Tyson's 4th ride back in work after his initial breaking-in; already showing some lovely work 'through' and into the bridle.

These two have the same sire, the famed Richmeed Medallion, but are out of quite different American Saddlebred mares. Maybelle's dam was the elegant bay Canyonleigh Memphis Belle, and Tyson's dam is the palomino C. Manhattan Melody. Maybellene is now a mature 5-and-a-half, whilst Tyson is just a growing lad, rising 4 years old. Both have exceptionally kind temperament and willingness to work!!

Lovely to watch!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Laddie in action

I managed to catch a snippet of video showing Laddie's floating trot. Sorry about the bit of audio at the end of the video on the last post: My next challenge is to work out how to edit videos!!! Meanwhile, here's another bit of Laddie, specially for Di and Tony who stand his sire, Brae Galaxy at stud. You can see why I'm waiting with great anticipation to see what Gracie's foal by "Gallo" is like. Due any day!!!

spring-ish outlook

Last weekend didn't quite go to plan! Emma's truck was out of commission due to the hydraulics on the rear door failing! She got home from Alex Park with the help of a crew of muscular lads, but had to send the truck off for transport space was at a premium and Paeon didn't get to jump club on the Sunday. ...Which meant I didn't miss seeing him while I was off at Clarendon getting a judge's eye view (whilst pencilling!) of some very classy horses coming through at Medium level. The Inter 1 was in the adjoining arena so there were more horses to impress, there. Great to follow a few from the Hunter Valley, also! Emma has 2 horses at Pre-Novice/Prelim level at Silver Hills ODE this weekend but Paeon and her other youngster, Jimmy ("Don J'Ame") hope to get some dry x-country going over the next couple of weeks in preparation for Wingham ODE(September 5). At home the sun allowed Cloud and Laddie the opportunity to shed their rugs, and catch up with Gracie. Laddie shown investigating pot(18 months); Cloud (3 and a half) I tried to get some video footage; will try to post some!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Maybellene update

Went to North Kaludah this morning to see how Maybellene was progressing.
The HUGE NEWS is that rider Christine Crawford has accepted a huge opportunity to travel to Holland and work for 3 months with World Dressage champion Anky Van Grusven and her partner Sjef Janssen!!

Sooo.... Partner Jermemy Janjic is "holding the fort" back home!!
He's had to work for 3 weeks on reframing Maybellene from a porky paddock ornament after 8 weeks at home (she really must have been hogging the feed, which I didn't recognise under her winter rugs!!) to something resembling the athlete who came home to allow Paeon his chance to get back to work.

Anyway, today Maybellene looks to be back in good working form, trimmer, fitter and able to exstend herself. Much fitter, as shown.

Over at Heatherbrae, Emma Armstrong is preparing to take Paeon out to jump club at Mangrove Mountain on the Central Coast tomorrow, for a couple of show-jumping rounds to round off his stint "in work".
I won't be able to see him as I'm off to Clarendon to the dressage day!!
Will probably bring Pan home, mid-week, to think over his experience, and grow a little more.