Friday, March 8, 2019

Ocala visit, Part 2 -- The kid is pretty special (and a massive photo dump)

The second day I was in Florida (I arrived Monday morning and left Wednesday evening) turned out to be a bit of washout. We had planned to take Scout over to Justin Dutton's farm for one of her schooling jumper shows where you pay for one round and then get to go back in to fix anything that didn't go well, alas the weather had other ideas. The show was canceled due to a whole afternoon of downpouring -- booooo. I did spend the morning over at the Davidson's Florida compound and to hang out with my favorite little person, her pony and I got invited to go on conditioning rides with Andrea. Yes, PLEASE! The funny thing is that I've never ridden with or around her at all, so it was such a special treat to get to ride their upper-level horses without any kind of knowledge of my ability. Their Florida farm is on 600 acres, has a full track for gallops and a conditioning path that goes around massive fields with undulating terrain. After not riding for almost two months I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to keep up, but it turns out all that gym time has been paying off!


The cutest

It's not pony playtime without Twinkle Toes!

Sadly, will not fit in carry-on bag

We ALL finally got to ride together! Aubrey was SO excited!

Part of the trot paths
We did a series of trot sets and even galloped a bit which was super fun on something that is decidedly NOT a thoroughbred. The horses were all a bit wild that morning with the incoming weather a drop in temps but I had an absolute BLAST.

Scout got a bit of a spa day en lieu of the schooling show, and was not super psyched about Mom rolling in to pull his mane and make a fuss over him. I stuffed him full of treats which may have softened the blow a little:)

Wednesday, we planned to take him over to the venue of his debut event to xc school. Nora had only taken him xc once before and she was super excited to get him out again. I was so pleased to tag along and play groom while she schooled Scout and another client horse. What's even better, is that I got to see just how much he's matured in every way. He hopped onto her big rig without an issue, tied at the trailer and stood quietly for tacking and walked flat-footed across the property with an inquisitive look in his eye.

Growing up!

Starting their warm-up

It was super nice to see how she warms him up for XC. She walked him for 10-15 minutes before picking up a big, forward trot in a giant figure eight around a bunch of jumps. She walked and trotted through the water complex while doing this and picked up a canter and continued on a figure eight, adding in lead changes (!) and going up and down hills to help set his canter in balance before sending him toward any fences.

But, on to the good stuff... She's got him solidly in front of the leg and thinking forward but with a very reliable half-halt to utilize to help him sit and wait when she needs him to.
That trot THO

Weeeeee!

He was really giving everything a ton of respect but still landing in the same balance as he jumped it


This photo makes me SO happy -- she just has the biggest smile when she's jumping him

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First trakehners!


I was super pleased with his attitude about everything -- he's become such a professional about his job and he's proving to really have the right elements to make a great event horse. He still gets it wrong, maybe 20% of the time, but he has VERY good instincts to get his giant legs out of the way and carry a rider successfully to the other side -- better yet, he doesn't get upset or hold a grudge, which is perfect for an adult ammy!


I'm SO excited about our future together and I'm so unbelievably happy that he and I have met a trainer who gets us both. She has developed a really special relationship with him and he is giving 110% back to her in response. And even though I have to wait a few more weeks to hop in the irons myself, I'm even MORE excited now. He makes his eventing debut tomorrow -- so please send good vibes our way, hopefully, I'll have good things to report in a few days!



11 comments:

  1. I love that you were able to give him the time to get so many good experiences under his belt. You're going to have so much fun with him!

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    1. I think we're going to have a blast! It's actually super fun getting to see him thrive with someone who really gets him!

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  2. scout the jumps down there

    holy shit niamh, he's awesome. I never get tired of seeing him go around.

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    1. Aw thanks doll! He's definitely loving jumping these days!

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  3. It was so fun to see all the pictures and videos you posted from FL- Scout is a super nice horse and he's going to be SUCH a fun horse for you!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments! I think he's going to be great for me too!

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  4. How freaking cool - he looks like he's having such a great time and building some serious confidence. I love it

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    1. He's definitely getting so confident, I'm so happy!

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  5. He's becoming such a grownup and how cool you got to ride the UL event horses!

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    1. Oh yea, what an experience! I feel very fortunate!

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  6. Look at him just ROCK XC! How exciting :D

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