Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Yellow Pony

Bruno is my yellow pony. A 3yo by Gryffindor out of a TB mare called Happy Talk. He was broken in over Christmas by Alan at Kauri who once again did a fabulous job, and for the last two months he has been living on the coast in Hokitika just generally being a horse. He is being ridden by Toni Bryant who starts horses and also provides a 'finishing' school for young horses where she exposes them to just about everything. Ideally situated right on the beach, she also does a lot of forest work with them, alone and in groups. Toni has a background in just about every discipline but lately has concentrated on Endurance with placings at National level. She sent me these awesome photos of Bruno, looking more like someones stock horse than my future GP dressage star! Bruno is due to come home at the end of the month. He'll have a bit of time off again and I'll bring him back into work proper, probably in October. In the meantime I can't help but think he has had the perfect start!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The season that was.

Well it's that time of year when I sit back and take a good hard look at the season that was. And as I look back I realise just how good it was. I think it is very easy to always be striving for more that sometimes the achievements we make are overlooked.
Da Vinci truly had a fantastic debut season. In 7 shows (5 dressage and 2 'showing') he was unplaced in just one class. He won both his tests at his debut show, and won Champion Novice Saddle Hunter at his first A&P. He travelled to both Auckland and Gore and even had the audacity to beat most of the North Islanders on their own turf by winning the reserve Champion Level 2 at the Auckland/Manukau Champs. He was second to the eventual overall winner in the 5yo YDH class at Nationals and third overall in the Level 2 Championship at that same show. In just 4 starts in the South Island he convincingly won the Level 2 Accumulator. He competed well and proved to be able to cope with atmosphere and distractions.
Gosh also had a brilliant season. His first year at Grand Prix he really is an exciting horse to ride and watch. What he lacked in consistency he made up for in quality. The highlights for his season were winning the Reserve Championship at the South Islands and finishing the season on a high with a 6th placing at the Horse of the Year Show, just 3% off the best in the country.
The reason for the review though is always to look forward. Now is the time to be goal setting and planning for the coming season. They each had some time off after Nationals & HOY and are both now back in full work (when the weather allows!) We won't compete over the winter, instead we'll focus on the training and take advantage of the fact that we don't have to make it look pretty for the judges for a bit... we'll keep you posted.