Friday, August 19, 2016

The Stars Align Again!!

I'm so fortunate for all of the opportunities in my life.  And they just keep coming!  Now, my Ritchie boy has found himself an ambitious rider with visions of taking him through his PSG and maybe beyond!!!

Selling Princess (Leia Organa SE - now Ella) brought me a new connection, and a new good friend!  Jessica D is an FEI rider from British Columbia who has had some really neat adventures and riding opportunities herself.  From spending time in Europe at a jumper training barn to working with Steffen Peters (Yes, that's 2016 US Olympic Bronze Medalist in dressage!!!)  this lady is as lovely a rider as she is a human! 

When she came to pick up her Ella filly, we spent some time with the Ritchie boy too because, well really, who wouldn't want to?!!!  We chatted about getting him through the PSG with good scores to do his upgrade to stud book 1 with the RPSI.  Jessica made me an open offer to take him through the levels. 

The reality of my life as a mom, a business owner and clinician and working a part-time job while my husband works away, is that there isn't much time or money left over for the dedicated training for not only the horse, but myself as a rider to get there.  The appeal of Jessica's offer grew and grew until we finally made an agreement, found a reputable and trustworthy hauler and made it happen!  Ritchie has relocated to Chilliwack, BC! 

His trip went super well.  I packed him and his kit up and took him down to Olds to overnight with the hauler the afternoon before the trip.  I was sent updates that he was relaxed, eating and having no issues with the new barn and surroundings.  He loaded into the trailer and hauled like a champ getting a stop to offload and stretch his legs half way through.  The only part he didn't like was the tunnels.  Personally, I can't blame him at all for that!  I wouldn't be to crazy about driving through a mountain either!!!

He landed in the evening with Jessica and settled in like he'd been there all his life.  Loads of updated from both the hauler and Jess and I was a much less-anxious mom than I could have been! 

After a day off to settle and have a royal spa treatment, she started Ritchie back to work gently with lunging and today, his first ride back! 

And all went very well!  This begins a very exciting new adventure for the Ritchie boy!  I'm so grateful for Jessica's skill, enthusiasm and knowledge.  I just wish I could be there to see it all!!

I've said it the whole way along and I'll continue to say it as long as I have this horse: It takes a whole team to do this.  I am only one small part.  From his sire's owner, the vets, the verband, the trainers, clinicians, instructors, friends, show committees, it takes the involvement of so many people to make this horse successful.  This is one more step in his story. 

The other really good news is that he will be available for breeding in 2017 via AI (fresh cooled) from a vet in BC! 

The sky is no limit.  What a great new adventure!

Happy Horseing!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

To Brooks, Ho!!

Never, not in a million years, as a young equine enthusiast, could I have dreamed that I would end up performing with a Mongolian Hoard at a Medieval Fair in southern Alberta...  could it get more random?

Well, truly, random kind of suits me to a tea really.  So I supposed in the long run, it really does fit me.  In any fact, it was an absolute riot performing to THOUSANDS of medieval enthusiasts with the Khanate of Himorii troop and my best boy, Jose Jalapeno.

There were a wonderful troop of Japanese drummers, fire breathers, costumes and costumes galore, knights in armour (some shiny, some not so much...) gladiators, Mongols, Victorians, vendors, peddlers, and very excited children.  Every hour I sat for a few minutes and just thought how crazy this whole experience was!  And oh so cool! 

We did 5 performances total, 3 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.  Performance 1 on Saturday was a bit rough.  I'd pulled him out while the drummers were performing and he was not nearly as focused as I'd like him to be when we work.  But I knew better for the second round and he was quite brilliant.  We talked with the crowd a lot about Standardbreds, what they are, how to recognize them, how many of them are around and how we've grown together.  Apparently a lot of the jousting horses (yes, real jousting!) are rescues so that played in well.  His third performance was lack luster as he was quite finished but we'd brought out his beautiful barding, put him in it, got up on him and called it enough.  Unfortunately our demo area was a small, ropped-off round ring on the grass.  Not much space to actually move in.

Sunday rained and cleared, rained and cleared... but we did get the opportunity for a fantastic photo opp.  I'm waiting for the photographer's images to come back, but this is a cell-phone shot of the "drunken Mongols" inclusive of their trusty mount...  He was incredible for this shot, it was tough and he did great!  There were at least 3 photographers clicking away while we were down there.  It will be interesting to see where those images end up. 

In any regard, it was an incredible opportunity and we're looking forward to going again next year - despite the 6-hour drive!  We'll get time in the big arena and put on a better show. 

Happy Horseing!