Fast times at the Farm with everything happening at once. Last week Mia rejoined us from Malaysia as she did last summer. She will be here for several weeks as a working student (Lauren’s slave) and Lauren will return to Malaysia with Mia and the tables will turn.
We got things off to a big start with the surprise 16th Birthday for our boarder Isabel. Pink twinkling lights, pink streamers, pink balloons and pink cake helped herald the event. I think it was even a true surprise.
The first week of camp went off grandly culminating this weekend in Olympian Bernie Traurig’s riding clinic. I have gone on and on about Bernie before so you can search for that story but it was great to have an audience with a United States Equestrian Federation Team member who has represented all three disciplines in the Olympics, Dressage, Eventing and the Grand Prix Jumpers.
All three girls, Lauren, Isabel and Mia had some concerns on the first day. Isabel was riding a converted barrel horse she got from my great friend Sarah Sumrall. Sarah’s horses are top-notch in the manners department but usually originally suited to more a western saddle than English. This would be the first time for Isabel to take Dex anywhere nearing the importance of this event. This horse just started dressage and jumping a few short months ago.
Well, Dex got in a little trouble with Bernie. He was tossing his head and not getting down the jump lines properly. So Olympian Bernie just hopped on! What a thrill.
The last time this horse had been in this particular arena he had been running barrels, now he was being tutored by an Olympian. Sarah has provided a lot of great project horses for many of us. Oh Sarah, the places your horses go-
Mickey Davis to USEF Zone Finals
Cody Poulin to AQHA World Jumping Champion
And now, Dex Johnson ridden by Olympian Bernie
I could write a series of children’s books about Sarah’s horse and the adventures they have.
Anyway, back at the clinic…
Mia was on Mickey for the first time ever to participate in this jumping clinic-talk about jumping in with both feet. We have been bringing Mickey along from his lameness issues and with new shoes and lots of support he was ready to go. Actually, he was a perfect gentleman. I had put on the form for Bernie that Mia would need to work on Mickey rushing to the jump. Never happened. Not once. He went around with perfect striding and super cute jumping. He looked like a hunter/dressage horse. Amazing what happens when a horse has some time off and is not in pain. Once Mia settled in, she and Mickey had a great clinic. Bernie told her she was a natural horsewoman with innate talent. Now, that is pretty sweet.
Lauren and Feather were in a ring away from home for one of the first times since January. It showed as they struggled a little to find their striding and control their speed. But again by the end of the clinic, Bernie told Lauren there are two types of riders, those that ride well at home and fall apart in a show. And those that walk in the show ring and everything becomes magical. When Bernie told the group it was now a full course and they were being judged, the pair turned on the magic, hit all their correct strides and looked great. I would rather have the show magic horse than the home magic horse, at least for Lauren.
Kenna (two Ns, as opposed to my dog, Kena, one N) joined us from Oklahoma on Sunday evening along with my granddaughter Jordyn. This week Allyson and Isabel are day camping and Kenna, Jordyn and Mia are over-nighting it with us for a couple of weeks. WOW. Not a dull moment here.
Today was teach the next generation day. These older girls helped three young riders, a five year old and two-three year-olds, take their first lessons. The young riders will come twice a week for the next few weeks as well. They were super excited and super cute.
Finally, my Sims colt is one month old today. Hard to believe! He got some special time out (Or I did) to play in the paddock. What a doll!
Meeting his aunt Nova and showing off his number 1 mark on his head.