Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fit and trim

Harry and Laddie are back from 4 weeks of work with Jeremy.
Both made good progress and are looking very fit and trim in their summer-ish coats.

Quite different characters; Laddie is very confident and benefited from Jeremy's experience in giving him a challenge, allowing him to get his head around it and then find the next stage easy.
Harry has been much longer out of work since being started as a 2-and-a-half-year old, so he's not so confident, and will benefit from another short stint in work in January/February to allow him to consolidate his lessons in working calmly into the bridle, off the rider's leg aids. Very quick thinking, like all Saddlebreds.

Funny to watch Laddie get his head around the notion of "working"! He has a very rhythmic, natural trot stride which he can carry on with ad infinitum on the longe, and needs to be pushed into a canter...which has the same rhythm and sustainability. He was perfectly happy 'bludging along' with these paces and looking very acceptable. When asked to bend around the rider's inside leg and take the outside rein through a corner, his mind had to click into gear to adapt to a new ask. Once he got the message, his frame changed, and he really started to work with understanding! He clicked into thinking mode!! and made really fine progress!

Both can do with some 'down time' now, to grow again and get their heads around that experience.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bloomsbury Sir Galahad

Maybellene's 3 year old gelding, happily back in work, beginning to be a serious partner. Three weeks back in work, he's working beautifully forward into the bridle and really understanding what it's all about.

Very pleased with him today...and he was very chuffed with himself!!! Very funny boy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Showcase: Canyonleigh Sirecho ("Rocco")

At Rocco's first Dressage outing, at Alexander Park with trainer Jeremy Janjic, he caught the eye of photographer Peter Stoop.
He started his eventing career with young Aussie 3-Star eventer Kate Chadderton and caught everyone's eye with his exhuberant jumping style, clearing Intro and Prelim jumps by the proverbial mile. (Onlookers protested that he was in the wrong class, as he cleared all jumps with ridiculous ease; huge power off the back end!) At his first Prelim outing, at Coffs Harbour ODE, 2007, he came 3rd, close behind Boyd Martin and Silva Stigler! At his 2nd Prelim outing, he came 2nd, at Anambah ODE... at the outbreak event of EI.
Kate then purchased a partnership and took him to the USA to set up her training/riding business in Maryland.
He went to the American Eventing Championships at the equivalent of our Pre-Novice level in 2008. The cross-country was rained off so the event, in Chicago, became a Combined Training Event, at which Rocco was the fastest clear in the show-jumping phase.
Then to FairHill International CIC1* where he was, as usual, clear show-jumping and cross-country; shown above in the vertical drop and at the trot-up before the S-J phase.
He was then sold to Lisa Kurr who has proceeded to develop a partnership, under Kate's guidance, which has taken her from Beginner Novice classes through placings in Novice Rider, Senior Novice, and now Training level classes, Preliminary to 1Star level.
Kate's comment "he's the best horse cross-country I've ever ridden"; honest, game, finds it easy, loves it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Storms and consequences

Last weekend started well. The Hunter Valley Dressage competition ran on the Saturday, with a few scratchings due to riders'inability to prepare their horses in rainy times. I was pencilling for the Dressage on the Sunday and we got underway at 8am in between light showers. Then the grey mist cloud lowered, and the wind picked up. The first horses coped with increasingly driving rain, but the riders were soon soaked to the skin. By 9:15 the thunder was rolling in from the north-east, and most riders were loading horses and leaving! When lightning flashed on the horizon, the competition was abandoned in torrential rain, with the Club tractor having to be used to tow trucks out of instantly boggy ground!!

I was home by find that Schnauzer Steffi was no-where to be found! Must have been a thunderstorm at home, too! Fortunately she found her way back for breakfast the next day; I've no idea where she went...she was frightened away for 2 days once before, so I now know she can recover from her panic and get back home!

I caught up with Laddie and Harry working with Jeremy on Wednesday. Next major project at North Kaludah is construction of an Indoor area for schooling as the work has to continue despite the weather!! Both youngsters are progressing well. Jeremy is impressed, again, by the fact that these Saddlebreds come back into work and can be started just where they left off.

Laddie (3.5y.o)was 'backed' in January over two weeks and then turned out to think and grow. Some 9 months later he's lunged, remembers the procedure, mounted then walks trots and canters on the aids! No re-training needed! Now progressing to working in the outside arena and round the farm, and gradually working more directly off the leg aids and into the bridle.
I had in mind that Dressage was his natural career, but Jeremy thinks Eventing might utilise both his paces, great quarters & jumping bloodlines and strength of mind!

Harry,(5.5y.o.) was started at 2-and-a-half and then turned out, so he's really at the same stage as Laddie,...but not so confident. He's very willing and wants to please; very responsive to his lessons, but a bit worried. He'll need longer, steady work to consolidate his trust with a variety of people. Looks like he has a great work ethic, endurance and balance.

Both are coping well with whatever the weather throws at them.

The North Kaludah team were gearing up for another big competition weekend at Singleton Dressage Club this weekend. After more rain has not allowed the grounds to recover from recent usage, it has been cancelled!
If the weather allows I might see the Boyz in work again this weekend!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Warm-up Run

The rain stops for a half-hour so the youngsters decide to have their afternoon exercise and warm-up. Rugs are surviving so far!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sooo Wet!

The birds are coming in for food and shelter, the dogs are "lying doggo" on the couch, and the horses (Gracie and Victor, shown)are dripping in their rugs.
It's Wet!!! again.