So I can officially say I have passed all my classes and I have one more semester to go! YES! Murphy is back in work walking and trotting and man has it been cold in South Carolina. Like thirty degrees! It has been so nice to have my spotted horse to ride around on again. He is such a pleasure to ride and a joy to have in the barn. I am a very lucky girl. I also got a couple really good Christmas presents before I left too. One of my students Allison and her horse Radar have been working very hard during the fall to develop connection, confidence, relaxation and most importantly to start working together as a team and it is so exciting when everyone gets it! All of the other students have been doing really well, and Bijou was perfect before I left. I am excited to get back in January and start competing again.
On another note, I absolutely love Christmas! It is my favorite time of year because I get to spend time with my family and my friends and go home to a blustery, cold Chicago, Although I have yet to make it there. Currently in route visiting my family in Ohio. Yesterday I spent about 2 hours in the card isle at Target, quite hilarious. I encourage all of you to go spend forty or fifty dollars on hilarious cards for Christmas. :) Anyway I think what is most important is that I am surrounded by people who support me and push me every single day. Thank you guys for putting up with my crazy dreams... as my Dad says, Jaclyn I have no idea how you do it... but somehow you do.
Merry Christmas! GO to Target... !
Okay so anyone who actually reads this (I know some of you do)... I am soooo sorry for the long delay in blogging. The thing is trying to compete at the CCI** level and ride, teach, attend college full time, exc knows how much work it is... but don't be afraid, it is almost over! AHH! So crazy to think I will be graduating from college in May. So a little October/Fairhill recap.
Fairhill was all exciting, wonderful, and awful at the same time. Murphy did complete his first CCI**, although it was less then perfection. I was quite happy with the dressage considering we had a momentary freak-out before he went in the ring. This included wind gusts of 30 mph and flags rustling and then some rearing and spinning as "spotty" tried to run back to the warmup. The fact I got him in the ring and was able to put in a workman like test was an accomplishment in itself. The cross country course was huge, and looked awesome. We had 4 waters and a bunch of other technical questions. I unfortuently had two stops. One was totally my fault, I should have taken the option at a brush to a corner, but he was jumping so well, I didn't. This winter will consist of many large fences to skinny turning questions. He tends to overjump and then I loose my line if it is not straight in front of me. I also had another glance off toward the end of the course. I took a little bit longer distance at a large table and then you turned around a tree to a skinny wedge. Murphy has a right drift and combined with him being tired and the longer distance, we jumped right and again missed our line. I thought I rode it quite well considering, but he slammed on breaks in front of the fence. There was no running by it, so It was quite dirty on his part. But I do think Murphy and I learned a lot and I am really excited to come back out in 2011 and improve upon our less then stellar year in 2010.
So after a very long weekend (luckily the weather was almost perfect), I have been doing nothing but catching up on school, teaching, and riding a bunch of horses to try and pay all those bills associated with a threeday. Oh but don't worry, I have been trying to enjoy my break as well. I have enjoyed watching the Gamecocks beat Alabama and most importantly winning the SEC championship in Florida last Saturday. Jon Holling now owes me a braid job! After 4 years of watching the gamecocks fall apart come November, it was a very sweet success! The students have really been progressing and it has been so much fun to share all my knowledge with them. Bijou is back in work after a little 2 week vacation since I was competing at Fairhill. This next weekend she will run the preliminary at Jumping Branch Farm. I am excited and glad that I have another amazing horse to compete and keep me sharp.
Anyway I actually need to go do some Finance homework so I can graduate... Here are some pics from our post fairhill party, and Fairhill! Enjoy, until next time.. Smile!
This past weekend at Poplar Place Horse Trials was fantastic. Both horses finished 5th in their respective divisions. Murphy was in the CIC** as a prep for Fairhill and Bijou was in the training horse. Murphy was a bit “wild” as he is feeling quite ready for his big CCI in two weeks. He was fresh to say the least in all three phases. He scored a 55 in the two star test, his lowest to date and I know there is still more in there, so that is pretty exciting. Cross-country was great. He was still very strong, but bold and stayed straight throughout . I didn’t run him fast as his feet are a bit long and I was just trying to get a nice clear round before Fairhill. Showjumping I lost a bit of control as he was bucking and feeling very good Sunday morning and the hackamore turned more into a halter and lead rope. He got strong going into the triple and thus I pulled the first to elements. Still though with two rails he held on to his 5th place finish.
Bijou scored a 35 in dressage, a bit high but was still in the top eight after dressage in a larger division. She went double clean cross-country and pulled one rail in the showjumping. I was still very pleased and am really having a blast riding this mare. She will move back up to preliminary at Paradise Farm horse trial.
Right now I am sitting down in Ocala, FL watching the WEGS cross country and having a intense couple days of training with Jon Holling as a last little prep before Fairhill. Both horses are feeling great and I am really excited to take a crack again at Fairhill. Hopefully (fingers crossed) it doesn’t rain! Now back to watching William Fox Bit make the cross country look like a hunter round.
So I have decided that Murphy is heading to Fail Hill International Horse Trials for the CCI** October 13-17 in Elkton, Maryland. This basically means the next upcoming weeks are going to be full of long walks, sprits up the hill, and working in the 20X60. I am very excited and have even started posting sports quotes all over my room to motivate myself.
I think sometimes as event rides we tend to focus too much on our horses, but there is a lot to be said for our own fitness and mental game. I have been swimming to help with my cardio and it tends to keep me sane. Here are some of my favorite quotes that have giving me some inspiration for the long trot sets...
"It's a rough road that leads to heights of greatness" Seneca
"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them" Michael Jordan
"If you train hard, you'll not only be hard, you'll be hard to beat" Herschel Walker
When I find some good ones, I'll post them up here. Anyone got anything good?
This upcoming weekend, aka tomorrow I am leaving for Poplar Place Horse Trials in Hamilton, GA. Murphy is going to be doing the CIC** and Bijou is doing the training level. My goal is to have three good phases on both horses. Murphy isn't going to be running fast, but I would really like a clean XC round on both horses as I know that they are both more than capable. This past weekend both horses had a great XC school at the farm and are ready f Poplar this weekend.
Oh and USC is now ranked #12... WOW!
Sorry for the long delay in updating yall (back in SC, I must use the proper language). Did I mention that moving back to school doesn’t get any easier? So the month of August was a basic whirl wind of activity with a lot of great things happening so I’ll do I quick recap. Just before school started, I heading down to Ocala, Florida and spent a week taking lessons with Jon and Jen Holling. I have ridden with Jon and used him as a coach at many events since meeting him through YR’s back in 2006. This week was especially helpful in gauging where the holes are that need to be filled in before the fall threeday. It was a fun filled week and on a side note I almost died getting struck by lightening, but I’ll try and leave the humorous situation aside. Lesson learned = children either leave your ponies inside if there is a thunderstorm or invest in a waterproof jacket! On another very exciting note, I was given the opportunity to ride a horse named Bijou Noir, owned by Cindy Burke in IA. Cindy graciously gave me the ride after a student of hers had an unfortunate riding accident. Bijou has competed through the preliminary level and is more then talented to take any ambitious rider through the levels. I am really excited to have the opportunity to ride her.
After the week at the Hollings, I finally then arrived back at school and got both ponies settled in at the Gibbes Farm. The next weekend, I took both ponies to a jumper show and both were super!. Murphy jumped multiple clean rounds and won the 3’6” class and 4' class, and Bijou was third in both 3’6” classes. The following weekend, I traveled to Southern Pines, North Carolina, for Five Points Horse Trials. I was really expecting to have a great weekend, but it turned into more of a okay weekend with some lessons learned. I guess the great thing about horses and eventing is that it is a constant learning experience. My horses were both good in the dressage with Murphy on a 38, and Bijou on a 35. There is still always room for improvement, but I was overall pretty happy. Murphy was unusually spooking on xc causing a run out at a skinny that he jumped cleanly back in March, so I was a little frustrating. I also made a poor decision on my part coming out of the water and not being organized to a corner after jumping the one stride out. Live and learn. I guess I would rather make the mistakes now and be able to jump successfully around the CCI** this fall. Anyway the horses jumped very well on Sunday and I am excited that my hard work in the showjumping this summer is paying off.
Jon and I had an interesting conversation when I was in FL about micro managing my life… interesting. He said I do it with my riding so he figured I do it with my personal life as well, hahah so I would love to hear comments on this from all my non barn friends. Today I discovered that I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist so I tend to panic when things don’t work out as planned which is what happened at Five Points and a couple of the other competitions this year. So I decided I need to go back to some exercises that make me ride no matter happens.
Today I had a great jump school on “spotty” and worked on two corners on a bending line and then on an angle. He was great and I feel I need to stop worrying about making it pretty and just get it done… J So the horses are in full work gearing up for Poplar Place next weekend and I am busy with a full course load, gamecock football (yes we are ranked number 13th after our win against UGA, GO COCKS!) and lots of students to teach and ponies to ride… humm life is good! So kick on and don’t make it pretty!
Soo I am thinking I am back on track and back in action! The ponies were wonderful this past weekend at Hunter Oaks and I finally feel like my riding is back to where it was prior to some of the misfortunes of the past 6 months. But, if you would have asked me last Wednesday, there was no way I was riding this past weekend at Hunter Oaks. For a couple days my neck my really bothering me. Tuesday night I was out to dinner with some horsey friends when I finally lost it and decided it was time to seek medical attention. My chiropractor told me I have "tortalcolis" or something like that. He wouldn't give me the full name and told me not to google it. Wonder what I would have found?
Anyway so after 3 drs. appointments and lots of ice and drugs later, I decided I would have to run both horses. Friday was eventful as it always is. I had to change not one but two tires in 100 degree plus weather... ewew...
Finally got to the beautiful farm and heading directly out to walk XC. This is the first year Hunter Oaks ran a preliminary and I thought it was a great course with enough fair questions with some nice galloping fences as well. Both ponies got a viewing of the grounds and a light dressage school at 9 pm. It was a late night to say the least.
Up at 5:00 at braiding horses. I walked the cross country course again and my wonderful groom Nicollete helped me get Murphy and Shadow ready for dressage. Both horses put in beautiful tests. Murphy scored a 36 which is his lowest score to date at Intermidate and I was very happy because the places where we usually get 7 and 8's were not up to par so I know there is so much more room for improvment. Shadow (Erin Melloy's Catch me if You Can) was doing his 1st novice and put in a very solid test moving him into 2nd. Murphy was perfect on cross country reconfiriming that he is ready to be going Intermediate and on his way to putting in a solid performance at the 2star this fall. All the prelim riders had problems cross country, no one had a clean round. There were 3 clean rounds in the IP. Most of the problems occured at the water. We jumped a large duck three stride bending line to a long drop into BLUE water and then a s turn to a skinny wedge out. I think most of the issues occured with the skinny out of the water and riders not holding their lines. Shadow was also very good cross country. I had a great ride on him at area IV yr's camp with Sinead Halpin and so I was able to take a lot of the forward thinking riding over with him as well. Besides looking hard at the BLUE water (did I mention it was really blue) the pony was great. He is so much fun to ride and I am so happy I have been given the opportunity to help Erin this summer.
So Sunday morning I was sitting in 1st in the IP and 2nd with Shadow going into Showjumping... where my demons tend to come out. Well finally I feel like my hard work is paying off. Murphy jumped the best he has jumped in a very long time. He had the first rail down in the course but I am attributing that too not having the right canter yet. The course was set in a hilly, shady area under some trees so it was quite a challenge. Murphy was so adjustable and I was able to keep riding the entire course. We have been jumping him in a hackamore and he is completely different and is holding his shape over the fences. I am really excitied to keep moving in this direction. Shadow was also great in showjumping. He did spoke a bit at the planks under some of the fences, but man that pony can jump! He was great and jumped a clean round to hold on to his 2nd place. I was so pleased with both horses and I really couldn't have asked for better preformances from either of them.
These nexts weeks are a bit crazy for me, I will be back in Columbia, SC to move into my new house then it is off to YR's to watch some of my friends compete. Area IV what?? Too bad I am to old to be riding :( I have faith though that we will represent well and best of luck to everyone riding. Until next time happy riding and hug your ponies :)
Everyone knows summertime is full of activities including beaches, city visits, family BBQ's, play dates, and most importantly lots of time to spend with our lovely four legged friends. I have been super busy in Chicago this summer working for Oracle. Unfortunely some of that takes away from my riding time, but for the most part Murphy is still getting his twenty minutes of daily currying( finally he lets me) and time to wipe down the tack after a ride. For any of you who have never had a "real persons" job, it is very different then mucking stalls, tacking horses up, and jump lessons. I now know why people are so attached to their cell phones!!!!
But anyway Murphy got some time off after Otter Creek and a clinic with Jon Holling. He has started back into work, now that I have returned from a forced family fun in Mexico! Don't worry it actually was SURER FUN! I have attached a picture with my future rolex mount that I laid eyes on in Mexico. Funny story. Sooo none of the brady bunch on both sides of the family ride but me. So it is a rare occasion that I can get them to come to a horse show or the barn, let alone sit on a horse. Well I think my family has a new love for my sport. In Puerta Vallarta, we rode MULES to the top of a Mountain to go ziplinning. I also found out I am afraid of heights, but that is another story. Anyway my stepbrother Scott, is not small boy, he played football at Cornell, so he is kinda large, and the mules were simply not. But somehow they managed to trek all 7 of us up the mountain at a GALLOP! Yes, you heard correctly. It was not a nose to tail trail ride, it was a kick and hold on type experience. Clearly the mules knew where we were going because it was a race to the top. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard watching my Mom and Scott gallop there small like 13 hand mules up a narrow path in the rainforest. Clearly no control. My little brother Johno got run into a tree, his mules thought he was ready for the derby. So although there was no cross country jumping in Mexico, I still got to "ride!" Anyway it was a blast and I wish I had pictures.
So the plan is now that Murphy will do the IP at Hunter Oaks and Catch Me if You Can will do his first novice. I am very excitied to have both of these lovely horses at the event and am expecting a great weekend. Hope you summer is full of as much fun as mine has been... ! Oh and go to Puerta Vallarta, you'll love the riding!
This past weekend was an excellent showing for Baythorne Farms at FRVPC mini event. I was fortunate enough to ride Erin Melloy's Catch Me if You Can in the novice. He was great, ending the weekend on his dressage score winning from start to finish. I love getting to ride "Shadow" and was thankful for another horse to compete. He such a cool little pony and a blast to ride. The Fox River Valley Pony Club mini though is no easy feat. I call it mini rolex. IT's CRAZY! The organizers and staff do a wonderful job, but we all know kids running around on those darn cute ponies is sometimes a little wild. But it does always make me want one of those little devils, I think I could bring it in the house :)
It was great to be back in Chicago and see all my old friends and all the "kids" who are no longer kids running around the event. I was so impressed with everyones riding and the overall quality of horsemanship and strength at the farm. Matt Trynoski has done a great job bringing everyone along. I believe we had 17 horses or something close to that at the show between the two days. Here are a little recaps hopefully I don't miss anyone.
Jaclyn Burke Catch Me if you Can -1st
Matt Trynoski- Tori's Run - 2nd
Kyra Trynoski- Lazer Ridge- 2nd
Taylor Smith- Push my Buttons- 6th
Danielle Sebastian- Dressed to Kill- 7th ( This is a horse I sold to her in January.. it was her first event!)
Sandi Sebastain- Appily Ever After- 5th
Nicollete Fennille- Pop Rox- 5th
Judy Lichten- Avita- 6th
Pam Gorham- Tooka- 6th
I think thats everyone who ribboned (sorry if I missed you), but defiantly for the rest of the farm, it was a great weekend and people really had a great experience and positive learning experience. Were currently getting ready for Otter Creek and we have 6 horses going, 5 in the novice and Murphy is doing the intermediate. I had a great jump lesson last night and think I have finally figured out what is going on. Here are some pictures. Till next time... happy riding!
oh and eat a donut you deserve it
This is a very bittersweet post that has been long overdue. As many of you know, horses never follow their plans. Were lucky if we get to plan c, because we all know that plan A is 99% likely to NOT happen. Well plan A, B, C, D, who knows even E and F didn't work out for me this spring. After two disappointing showjump rounds at Southern Pines and The Fork, I decided that I need to do some homework and figure out what is going on with Murphy's showjumping. Falling off is never fun, but I think it has taught me a lot. There is always going to be another CCI and I just need to do what is best for my horse and give him the confidence he needs again. So unfortunately we didn't go to the CCI** at Florida.
These last couple weeks, I have watched hours of video footage of my riding over the past year or so. Video tapping is great, you should all try and video yourself at least every month or so because it can really be beneficial to go back and look at what is going on, what has changed, and what you can still be working on. I have found that my horse just seems less and less confident in the showjump ring. If I don't get him to a perfect distance, he will stop. I am human, with only one horse, so I will miss. His canter also seems to change in front of the jump and thus he is not 100% off the ground. My reins have also become increasing shorter and I need to remember that Murphy really needs to feel like he can use his neck. Soooo off I went to River Glenn in TN and had a really good confident weekend in the preliminary. After talking with my old coach, Matt Trynoski, he gave me some good advice and I have been working hard at home since. Murphy even won two 4ft jumper classes :)
Yesterday, I had a WONDERFUL jump school on the Smurfmister and he felt like my old horse. He was confident, I kept my reins longer while still having a lot of adjustability, and kept the canter even and rhythmical. I am hoping that over the next couple months we can put together all the pieces Bonnie has given me without the pressure of competing and hopefully we can start to be competitive again at Intermediate come fall. He is going to run Otter Creek horse trials at the end of May and we will go from there...
Until then, watch some videos, pat your ponies, and remember we only learn if we make mistakes.
Last weekend was Southern Pines horse trials. What a great event! The cross country course this year was designed by Tremaine Copper and he really gave the course and new look with lots of galloping room. Murphy was in the intermediate and was a really good boy. After a few bobbles in the dressage ( he reared, he thinks he should be part of the spanish riding school) he managed a 38. I am really please because his flat work is really coming along. THANK YOU BONNIE!
Cross country was a BLAST. I love this horse. He was very bold into the water, which was a big drop in, three stride up a bank, one stride off the island, three strides up a bank, and then one stride to a skinny. He was awesome. I had to circle him once on course at fence 7 abc two palisades to a corner. The ground jury made the decision to allow up to circle due to the challenging nature of the question. Since it was the first combination, Murphy was a bit strong so I opted to circle to avoid a 20 giving me some time penalties. Otherwise he was foot perfect. I am so pleased with our cross country. I feel very confident in the job placed before me and my horse has never felt better.
Unfortunately showjumping is still a battle. I was having actually a really great round jumping clean and forward. Towards the middle of the course we had a triple bar 6 or 7 strides down the line to a wall, like you see in the bareback jumping classes. Well I think I stalled about half a second after jumping the triple bar and never rode down the line for the six strides. Well Murphy put on breaks and off over his head went. I guess it was time calling since I have never fallen at a horse show in my 11 years competing. I know the mistake I made and have had two great jump schools since. I am really looking forward to the Fork this weekend in North Carolina as a last run before the CCI** at Florida and to improve upon my showjumping performance. I have been told you can't learn if you don't make mistakes and Im glad I made the mistake at Southern Pines verses the threeday. Hopefully my mistakes will have taught me the skills I need to keep getting that much better.
"Be so good they can't ignore you" - Steve Martin