Monday, July 4, 2016

Clinic Dayz

This weekend was everything I had hoped it would be and more. For one, it is my favorite holiday and one of two holiday excuses to get day drunk and celebrate with frivolity. Two, the weather was perfection. Cool and overcast. Perfect. Three, 3 day weekend. Four, pony time. All of it.

V and Yankee had a jumping clinic with one of our local pros and I was able to watch day 2 of it unfold. I always enjoy watching clinics and lessons, even if I couldn't partake. One can always learn little tidbits here and there through watching other lessons and different levels of riders.

My favorite was watching my trainer ride with the clinician. She is a fantastic rider, obviously, but also our highest level competitor at the barn. She recently won her last Prelim and also snagged a fourth previously this year as well. She rarely scores outside top ten as far as I am aware, and of course she rides an OTTB too. I LOVE watching lessons with other OTTBs, because you can always learn so much. The trickiest question of the day was a bending S line and negotiating it properly looked tricky.

Supertrainer on her superhorse
After watching a few lessons, it was finally V and Yanks time. He was awake but looking kind of lazy. The day previously he was apparently incredibly lazy over grids as well, which is surprising. We still put his XC bit on though, since the lessons were outside in the field.

My pretty boy
Warm up was lackluster and he seemed rather meh. To be honest he looked bored. I can't blame him, we've forced him to jump crossrails for weeks now and the poor guy is probably bored stiff. Luckily, V has an awesome fitness regime set up, and his strength is coming back quickly. Along with conditioning days, flatwork and jump lessons, he gets strategic days off as well and its paying off. He looks and feels glorious.


model status

The beginnings of the lesson was a little sticky. Yanks was barely trying and kept flipping poles out of the cups and I could tell V was frustrated. I too was frustrated, because as an owner, I want Yanks to be everything V hopes for in a lease, and I want them to be successful. Watching him knock rail after rail pained my soul. Especially with Champagne Run coming up in the next few weeks.

V was riding quite well, and his rails honestly looked like him just being incredibly lazy. I remembered this from years ago when we started jumping him, and how he always did so much worse when the jumps were below 2'6.

They were negotiating the tricky S curve well, but still knocked a rail here and there. I couldn't really give much advice except advise to package him a bit more. She did, and he was still rapping poles.

So, I figured it was time to raise the jumps. He has recovered so well, and his strength was back, so for the last little bit of the lesson we had the clinician raise the jumps.



From that point forward he was ON. Didn't knock a single rail and lit up with joy. Their last two rounds were fantastic, I wish my internet was working well enough to upload the video. Truly lovely. My favorite was how wonderfully packaged she had him. He was collected, energized and perfectly on point.

Horse abz


When she expertly half halted down the hill to the VERY upright and lofty vertical (his usual worst fence), he sailed right over it! I hooted with joy I was so proud of them as a team.

Yankee is the hardest easiest horse to ride. He is incredibly well trained and knows his job, but he also requires a rider who keeps the package to the last second and is OK with the short spot. The short has always been his jam, and if you drop him too early, he lets you know. Always honest, he will jump it, but its usually ugly. Unless its a 5ft oxer...ask me how I know.

V has been getting used to this type of horse and has adjusted quickly. I admire that she was able to adjust her release to one of more contact over fences, as you can see in almost every pic. Love.

I spy a lofty vertical
They ended on a good note and had a lot to take away from the 2 day clinic. I'm terrible at summarizing things, but at least there are pretty pictures. This week we hope to get out on a XC course and continue with her programming for fitness and training.

Dream Team
ALSOOOOO, this happened....

He's sound. 4.5 weeks later. He has a shoe/half apoxied foot. We toodled. It was grand.


  1. You would never imagine he had such serious surgery! He looks amazing he's a testament to your care. It's awesome you are letting someone else learn the ropes on him. I think it's a real gift to inexperienced riders to have the chance to ride well trained horses

  2. So many happy things! Yankee and V look AMAZING!!!!

  3. Looking so good! And congrats on B being sound!

  4. Love me some plastic hoof! Miles rocked the look for about 8 months. It was cool.... NOT

  5. It looks amazing!!!!! You and the V have done such an incredible job bringing him back. This whole post makes me so happy.