For the first time in months, I finally have a free evening to sit down and write, as early summer is a bit more relaxed for me than the time I spent in Wellington, Florida, over the winter. Show season in the Northeast is in full swing now, and I’ve started the process of qualifying horses for the National Championships at Lamplight in Illinois during August, as well as September’s Region 8 Championships at NEDA in Saugerties, New York.
My months in Wellington were spent training and moving my horses up to the next level. Fauna officially became an FEI horse by doing her first Prix St Georges. My young horse, the 5-year-old Fidelity, spent the season growing up and going on her first outings for shows and schooling.
My stallion, Faolan, and I spent the entire Florida season outside the show ring, focusing on training with Adrienne Lyle. (Editor’s note: Olympic and World Equestrian Games veteran Lyle was just chosen for the U.S. team that will ride in September at the FEI World Equestrian Games.) The work and help from Adrienne really brought him up to the next level. Now our goal is the Developing Grand Prix National Championships at Lamplight.
Faolan made the grade with just our first two qualifiers. Adrienne has been competing in Europe, but she continues to teach us from afar by critiquing videos that I send her. She’s been incredibly helpful in getting Faolan to where he is right now.
I showed Fauna this spring in the extremely competitive Developing Prix St. Georges classes, also with goal of qualifying her for Lamplight. We’ve done just one qualifier, so only time will tell if we make it.
The spring was busy with preparing and showing two young horses in the USEF 4-year-old classes and the FEI 5-year-old classes. I’ve also started to do some groundwork and longeing with my two 3-year-olds. I don’t really have a set time frame when I start my youngsters. I generally get going with them when they are three or four. It usually depends on how much time I have, but I never let them go past age four before they’re started.
Renaissance (who we call Rhi) is a horse that I haven’t really mentioned much in my blog. Unlike my other horses, I didn’t breed her myself. I got her out of a field in Virginia three years ago for very little money. She’s an incredibly talented mare, but is coming along at a slower pace.
Adrienne has helped with her a lot over the past two winters. I originally asked her for help because Rhi is by Rousseau, and the horses he sires are quirky, but incredibly talented at the same time. Adrienne has quite a few of them, including her gray horse, Harmony’s Duvall. She loves Rhi. I just started showing Rhi at Fourth Level this summer, and she’s doing extremely well.