River: I rode River in a lesson with 4* rider Heather Gillette in December. He was fabulous! River is really coming into his own and very fun to ride now. His body feels good after some chiropractic work by Dr. Mark Wooten and saddle fitting by Kate Wooten (aka team Wooten) and some more confident riding by Megan Corbett, things seem to be on track for him to make his Training level debut next season. Go River Booty!
Mia: I wish I could be doing a lot more gymnastic work on Mia through the winter but it's pretty difficult to do that when you are by yourself. It is even harder when your horse mistakes a gymnastic line for bowling pins and herself for a bowling ball. I've gained too many holiday fudge pounds to be hauling my butt in and out of the saddle 10,000 times setting up poles.
Instead, we've been focusing on her dressage which will, in turn, help her jumping. She is learning to keep a steady rhythm, give over a bit more control to mom, stay connected, and become more flexible to the right. Tough work for ol' Mims. But, I'm finding that the more consistent and and firm I am with what I ask of her, the more willing she is to comply. Go figure.
Griffy: Oh, Griffy. He is a character. His flatwork is really started to get more consistent. For being a draft cross, he is very light and sensitive in the bridle. He's really made me ride more from my leg and seat and stay quiet with my hand. When I ride him, I hear Tami Crawford say, "Leg, seat, THEN hand!" He makes me laugh and makes me grind my teeth for the same quirky characteristics. It's kinda like being married to Hub, really.
Liam: I really have high hopes for this young man. He is still a bit barn sour, distracted, and aloof, but in all is a sweetheart with a good mind. My biggest challenge has been getting him to pick up his right lead. I've tried every trick in the book until I finally found what seemed to work. He also has been introduced to his first bounce and oxer! He needs a lot more education in his footwork and I'm hoping to take some grid lessons on him with Amy in the next few weeks.
Oh, and Liam has acquired a very strange nickname. First his Jockey Club name was Nantachie Joe. When I got him, I thought I would change it to Benji, a nickname of Hub's jockey brother, Glenn, who brought Liam into our lives. It didn't take. He looked more like William Fox-Pitt or my dad or brother, all named William. So, he became Liam. It shortened it to Li Li. Then it became Lee Lee Jones, which is Phillip Dutton's step-daughter's name. Now it's Jonesy. The evolution of nicknames is fascinating and strange.
|Lee Lee Jones and Model Cadet (who sadly passed last month due to colic)|
Now, for the big news. We're moving! Hub has been living and working in Louisville for the last 5 months. It was meant to be temporary, but circumstances changed and his boss decided to stay put. I have no idea what to expect for my life in Kentucky. I am looking forward to the new opportunities it poses, but am sad to leave my awesome eventing buddies here.
One of the things I've regretted in the past when I've moved is never following through with taking some pictures of my neighborhood. This time I did. I'm going to miss our little house on Evergreen Road.