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!

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