Both horses were quite good this past weekend at Pine Top Horse Trials in Thomson, GA. Murphy was in the open preliminary and finished 7th and Bijou was in the preliminary horse and finished 6th. Both horses added just a few time pentatlies to their dressage scores! I am a very happy girl right now. It was great that my week in Ocala last week with Jon Holling is paying off. I usually talk about how I need to work on the jumping phases but I think these next two weeks are going to be focued on working in the sand box! I was so impressed with Murphy. It was his first run since fairhill and the horse came out like a champ. It was great to feel my very confident, cross country machine back and know that moving up to Intemdiate at the next outing is probably a good decision. He tends to canter over fences sometimes instead of jumping them. Hopefully the little bigger questions will encourage him to actually jump the fences.
Bijou was great as well and she came out better then last weekend at Full Gallop. There was little hesitantation if any around the course and I was able to go a little quicker. She is so easy to ride cross country because you just raise your shoulders about 4 strides from the fence and she is right there balanced and ready to jump. What a cool little horse. Hopefully she can find a great home and someone who will let this little horse shine.
In other news, I have a horse rigth now in training for the month named Bogart and he is doing wonderful. We are hacking around the farm quietly and working quite well in the dressage ring. He isn't even scared of Otis! For all of you who don't know Otis, he is a large pig at the Gibbes. All of the other students are getting back into lessons and I am excitied to see what the spring shall bring us. The weather in South Carolina has been quite fantasic. I am enjoying riding in a polo shirt or a light jacket everyday. Thank you sun goods. To all my friends back in Chicago, I am not jealous of the artic you are living in right now.
The next two weeks we will be taking some lessons and just working on some small things before the Advanced Pine Top. Murphy will be in the Intermediate and Bijou will be in the prelimimary again. Thank you to Kate Samuels for her photography skills for the SJ pictures. The other picture is of the Hollings statue decorated for superbowl... we all know how that turned out.
So I have lots of exciting news to share. First off I would like to welcome our newest sponsor to Burke Equestrian - Equinox Equine Therapy. Lisa Hinkle has graciously given up some of her time to work on my horses doing massage therapy. After already one session I can feel how beneficial this is going to be and will become an integral part of our training program. Please check out Lisa at http://www.equinoxequinetherapy.com/.
In other news, both big horses are back in full work. We started the season off with a CT test at sporting days farm just to knock some of the rust off. When I mean rust I mean I had two errors in the dressage but still managed to get a 36 in the preliminary on Murphy. Bijou got a 27 in the dressage and was great. I am very excited to see her progress through the winter. Then last week I took the little mare over to Holly Biddle's for a dressage lesson. She was so good. We really had her through and working within the half-halts to start getting some serious engagement. It was nice to take a lesson again and ride under very watchful eyes.
Then the next morning was horse show time! Bijou ran the preliminary at Full Gallop farm and was such a good little pony. We scored a 36.7 in the dressage which I thought was a bit harsh, but I was very pleased with the little gal. I had two down in the showjumping, but I am working hard to become better and think that we will see improvements in the next couple weeks. Then cross country she was perfect! A little spooky at the beginning but got so much better as the course went on. She was very brave into both waters and just overall a really good girl over a much bigger course then anyone is use to seeing at Full Gallop.
Currently I am sitting at the Holling's in Ocala after two days of intense lessons with Jon. I have to say, Jon is one of the most talented professionals I have ever worked with. Not only in his own riding but his teaching skills are amazing. We had a excellent jump school on Murphy yesterday jumping through some course work. Today Bijou jumped and I was able to really figure out how to keep a "horse" step on her and not take away from her while still keeping a very consistent balance and shape. Murphy then did a dressage school and Jon said his canter work was superb. I am so excited to bring both these guys out next weekend at Pinetop in Thomson, GA. Tomorrow is a dressage day for Bijou and a cross country school for Murphy. Then on Monday, I am riding Bijou in the ICP clinic with Phillip Dutton and Captain Mark Phillips. I hope it continues to be a fun filled learning week. Here is a picture of Bijou at Full Gallop Farm. Thank you to Hoofclix photography for their excellent photos!
Anyone who knows me, knows I love to tell stories. Follow Murphy and I on all our adventures of traveling around the country and competeing at the upper levels of eventing.... Im sure it will be a treat :)