Ocala Season Update

The winter season is a great opportunity for getting back to the basics, and for learning new ways to move forward with turning those basics into a successful spring season. I am very happy to report that all of the horses are doing well, following the outlines that I had hoped we would be able to follow and feeling better than ever!!
In the past few weeks I have been a part of 2 Canadian Team training sessions, hosted generously by Charles and Ann Koch at Oak Lane Farm, and organized by the tireless Jenn Holling and Graeme Thom. We are really fortunate to have a beautiful facility to work out of, and to have the support of a great team, including our new coach, Clayton Fredericks. I’m definitely in agreement with what he sees as our goals for Ollie’s flatwork, and I’m learning the “new lingo” that comes with a new coach and feeling good about the future. I have been working pretty much exclusively with David O’Connor for 4 years, and before David I was with someone who taught the same way he did, Rebecca Howard, for several years. I definitely believe that there are a number of different ways to get the horses to go the way we all want them to go, with just the perfect balance of submission and expression to show themselves to the best of their ability. I think I’ll be able to build on what I’ve learned in the last few years and add some fresh perspective!!
I have had the chance to ride Seahawk with Clayton twice so far, once in a cross country group lesson, and once in a lesson working through some showjumping and gymnastic exercises. In the cross country lesson, we ended up getting a much better feeling of “in front of my leg” than I have been able to create before with Seahawk. Partly, he is growing up and getting more confident with cross country, and partly because of the tweaks to my position and aids that allowed me to feel much more horse in front of me. It was actually such a great feeling that I have been practicing it on all the horses in my flatwork as well as the jumping. I feel a much stronger connection to my horses through my seat, and I’ve been expecting them to be much sharper off of my leg aids, so they have all been easier to engage and I feel much more balanced. In the showjumping lesson, Clayton gave us some exercises to work on at home to really target the quality of canter, and to make me responsible for teaching Seahawk to really sit and engage his hind end. Who knew cantering 4 small verticals in a circle could be so exhausting! Poor baby Mo.
I was looking forward to riding True Bellamy with Clayton as well while we are in Ocala, but a stupid barnyard mishap led to Trubie needing some stitches, and he spent the first 2 weeks in a stall. I’m so glad he didn’t do any real damage, but the placement of the wound over his stifle meant that he wasn’t allowed to move around much… keeping stitches in place was more urgent than keeping fitness in place so we are back to square one there. The good news is he has been on regular turnout for a while, and is about 3 weeks in to a fitness program. His 10 minute trot today was a big achievement. We’re going to keep it up with the hour long walks, and increase the flat work for the next little while so he can finish growing skin and hair over the offending area, but it should be onward and upward from here!!

As for my fantastic string of sales horses, Willow, Harvey and Phil, it just seems to get better every week. Willow has done nothing but get better and stronger in the last month since our arrival. Sunny Florida seems to agree with her! She is getting so strong, and is learning what it’s like to be 5 with class. She placed 4th at the Longwood Horse Trials on the 20th, with a really obedient dressage test and 2 clear jump phases. She is going novice at Ocala 2 this weekend and I’m really excited. Her cross country school from yesterday is posted on you tube.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Znf8HTlULg&feature=youtube_gdata . Harvey is continuing to be his saintly self, except for he is a better and better moving saintly self. He is really finding his balance, and starting to move very freely. I have always admired this horse’s movement when he is loose, it’s taken him a while to learn to be fancy under saddle, but he’s totally getting it. The jumping is still really easy and uncomplicated, he shows up for work and does his job. Whoever ends up with this horse is going to have such a great time. Phil went to the schooling jumper show at Southern Cross (our neighbors Max Corcoran and Scotty Keach hosted a great show) and jumped 2 clear rounds, one in Training and one in Preliminary. He is a really fun horse to ride, his fantastic canter makes it so easy to find the fences and he loves to jump.
If you are looking for your next partner, call or email me about these horses!

As always, a huge thanks to all of my sponsors for making it possible for me to do what I love, and to make sure my horses and I have the best feed, supplements and equipment to do the job right. Check out my sponsor page for links to information about my sponsors and their products.
Look for us at Ocala 2 on Saturday and Sunday!!

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Ocala!

The spring of 2013 has arrived for SRB Equestrian Sports! We are settled into our home for January and February, Olympic Hill Farm.

Traveling south with me this year are Port Authority, True Bellamy, Seahawk, and the SRB sale horses Wind in the Willows, Harbour the Truth and Cherubino.

I’m very excited about all 6 of these horses, and can hardly wait to get out for lessons and shows.

I’m joined this year by fellow BCer Julianne Kucera, who is helping me out with the horses while looking for her next mount.

Our first order of business now that we are settled in is of course attending the Jacquie Brooks and Clayton Fredericks clinic next week at Longwood. The plan for now is that I will be riding Port Authority and Seahawk, and Julianne will ride Harbour the Truth.

A few days after the clinic is Longwood’s unrecognized HT, where Willow and Seahawk and probably Harbour the Truth will start their season.

One of my biggest pieces of news at this point is the kick off of a syndication group for Seahawk, my 5 year old TB. I am thrilled to say that Seahawk’s team has its first new members, and more information on how to join us is available!

Contact me at srbequestriansports@gmail.com for more info.

Don’t forget to check back often for up to date results and information on the sales horses!!

End of the season

We wrapped up the 2012 eventing season these past 2 weeks with great showings at Waredaca’s recognized and unrecognized horse trials.

William Don’t Tell, True Bellamy and Seahawk finished their year strong at the recognized HT, and are all now enjoying a bit of a holiday.
Trubie has been working hard since January, condensing his education from the track to training level eventing into just 10 months. He is such a fun young horse and I’m so glad that he came into my life!!
Seahawk finished off his first year of eventing with a 2nd place at Novice, and also with the Jockey Club award for top placed OTTB in his division. The Thoroughbred Incentive Program is a great way to recognize these horses and to encourage people to give them a chance at a second career. He is on vacay now… He has been working steadily for a full year now, since he was my entertainment and lifeline last fall when Ollie was on stall rest, and he began eventing in January. I’m really looking forward to working on furthering his dressage education in December and January, and can hardly wait to take some jumping lessons on him in the spring! He probably won’t compete a whole lot, I would rather spend my money on lessons, so a few weeks off and a few weeks of hacking will set him up well for a winter and spring season of lots of learning!!
William Don’t Tell has gone home for the winter as usual. It’s always sad to see him go, especially this time since he was feeling stronger than ever, but hopefully we can regroup in the spring and have another great summer together. He is a lot of fun, and a very good horse for me as a rider. He is challenging, but when it’s right it’s so rewarding! Good boy Will, have fun getting fat and furry!

And as for the sales horses, all are coming along well!! Harbour the Truth had 2 great Novice runs these past 2 weeks, jumping clear at both and finishing 2nd this past Sunday. My mom was in town to help and visit, and she just adored Harvey’s personality and perfect manners. I think she wanted him for herself!! He is priced to sell and is ready to go, come and see this wonderful boy.

Cricket Song stormed around the Novice in her true style, completely unimpressed by the spooky showjumps and the substantial novice xc to finish 5th. Her fancy movement is coming out more and more as her training progresses, so I am sure her dressage scores will continue to improve!

Wind in the Willows won the beginner novice division with 2 clear jump rounds on top of a good dressage score. The exciting thing about this mare is that her scores are competitive even with her green-baby nerves in the very scary sandbox. She is a fantastic mover with tons of presence and will be one to watch for the future. She is uncomplicated, just needs more miles, and I think she would be a great investment for someone who wants a fancy young horse to work with and develop!!

Showing all of these horses has been a privilege and a pleasure, and I’m grateful to all the organizers and volunteers that make our sport possible. Thank you!!

These 3 will be going to any jumper and dressage shows we can find over the next few months, and are available to be seen by appointment so give me a call!

I am busy this week getting ready for the open farm day here at Sunset Hill, which I am grateful to be included. I’m offering lessons for new students, and you can contact Amy Gaynor for scheduling! Kate and the Farm have a great day planned, so come on out and see us!

I’m also excited to start working with the C level members of the Howard County Pony Club this week, I really enjoy working with young riders and I’m looking forward to meeting these girls.

As always, a huge thank you to all of my sponsors, use my Menu bar to find the sponsor page and check out the links to the brands behind SRB Equestrian!! Support the companies that support your friends!! (It’s easy because their products are the best)

Thank you also to the owners of these competition horses. Virginia Coulter, Lesley Arnold, Chuck Akre, Jim and Susan Hill and my wonderful parents Jeff and Trish Bosch.

Maryland starter trials

I’m very happy and excited to report on a successful Sunday at the Loch Moy Starter Trials!
Wind in the Willows contested her first ever horse trials, and finished on her dressage score of 31.5 I can’t wait to show her again.
Cricket Song and Harbour the Truth made the move up to Novice level, and both had a good day, with a few baby moments keeping them out of the ribbons in spite of wonderful clear cross country rounds.

Seahawk had a lot to prove to me today. He has been great in the dressage and showjumping all year, and we have been schooling at Training level for about 6 weeks now, but his cross country game has been inconsistent. He had a stop at the ditch at the novice Championships, and without it he would have finished 3rd or 4th so it has been game on with the cross country schooling since then!! We have jumped the ditch in the woods at Sunset Hill about 25 times, as well as a solid schooling session at Loch Moy last Wednesday. I’m so glad that he jumped around clear and brave on Sunday! He won the Novice on a 21 with clear jumping phases. Moral of the story… Cross country school the week of a competition if you have a spooky baby!!

True Bellamy made the big move up to Training level, and was a very good boy. He scored 34, which was about right for the test, but the test was a long way from the quality that he can do at home. I’m looking forward to getting it all polished up and ready to rock, because his quality of movement is good enough for the mid 20s when he is relaxed!! He was brilliant in both jumping phases and moved up to take the win at his first Training. I’m so proud of this horse for going from racing to winning at Training in less than 11 months! He will do the training level at Waredaca and then have a month of vacation time.

All in all I am so grateful to have such strong support from my owners, Jim and Susan Hill, Lesley Arnold, and Chuck Akre. And of course my parents for their support of Seahawk. The quality of horses that I have to ride is fantastic, and it is thanks to these people!

Also a huge thank you to all of my sponsors. The horses are well fed and strong thanks to Nutrena, safe, comfortable and well turned out in their EcoGold boots and pads, and healthy in their bodies and minds thanks to Omega Alpha Equine.

Also thanks to Asmar Equestrian, HitAir, Rebound Hoof Pack, County Saddles and Five Star Tack!!

Harbour the Truth, Cricket Song and Wind in the Willows are being offered for sale, so keep them in mind as you shop for your next partner.

A good time to see them may be at Sunset Hill Farm open day in Saturday November 10. Come tour the farm, see the sales horses, take a half price lesson, or bring your horse for sale for a free assessment! Contact me for more information on the open day.

Thanks for taking am interest in all things at SRB Equestrian Sports!!

Fall season update

It’s that time of year again!! I’m always amazed at how fast the time goes by. This fall has been a great time so far, introducing 3 youngsters to the world of eventing, and continuing the progress of a handful of others. True Bellamy will be contesting a couple of Training levels later on this fall, and Harbour the Truth is entered at Novice. My baby Seahawk is still a little green cross country, but the other 2 phases are so solid. We will have fun going schooling every single week for the next month until his vacation!!

Cricket Song and Wind in the Willows have both won good ribbons at their outings recently, Willow won her derby class at Seneca and Cricket was 4th in the unrecognized beginner novice horse trials!! These girls are so much fun and I encourage anyone looking for a fun young horse to come take a look.

I have had some great runs on William Don’t Tell at the Preliminary level, which not only thrills he and his owner, but allows me to practice skills and techniques that I hope to be using for many more years!! The championship course on Sunday at Morven was definitely the biggest challenge we have faced as a team, and thanks to some advice from my super coach David O’Connor I was able to head out and give Will a ride we both felt confident about.

I am very fortunate to be doing what I’m doing, and I am excited about the next few weeks until the end of the season!!

Kate Chadderton and I are planning an open day here at Sunset Hill Farm, so stay tuned for more info oh how you can come take a tour of the farm, sign up for half price lessons, and check out some very high quality sales horses all in one fun filled day!!

Also, check out the Loch Moy farm website to learn more about next week’s Pro Week on the competition course. I am teaching on Wednesday the 17th and am available until dark to accommodate work day and school day schedules. Call me at 5714203351 with any questions!

Steph

Settling in!

Well today marks 2 weeks that I have been at Sunset Hill Farm in Woodbine, MD. I have to say I am loving it so far!! The facilities are top notch, the horses are all relaxed and happy, and the people are incredibly helpful and hospitable.

Like any new adventure, there have been a few bumps in the road (and there will be more) but overall I’m super excited about this move, and I’m looking forward to the new opportunities.

The weekend before the move I had Virginia Coulter’s William Don’t Tell and Chuck Akre’s True Bellamy at the Loudoun Valley Pony Club Horse Trials. Will was fantastic again in the dressage, and super fun and lightning fast across country. The only thing that stopped us from maintaining our lead was 2 pesky rails in the showjumping. We went up to High Acre last week for a jump lesson with David O’Connor (I love taking lessons!!!) and I think we have straightened a few things out!! Onward and upward towards the area 2 championships at Morven in 2 weeks.

Trubie was a very good boy as well. I was pleased with his steady and obedient test, which was good enough for 4th. I was seriously impressed by the way he handled the tough, hilly showjump track. Very VERY fun clear round there, and just 0.4 time penalties cross country in a bit of a rainstorm earned him yet another Novice ribbon, as he moved up to 3rd. I don’t think he has finished without a ribbon since he started doing recognized shows!!

Will and Trubie’s barn mates have been working hard as well. Cricket’s Song and Harbour the Truth will be doing their first schooling horse trials this Sunday at Seneca! The new girl, Wind in the Willows (a 4 year old Irish sport horse owned by Lesley Arnold of Huntly, VA) has had a few great sessions at home and will most likely go to the Maryland starter trials mid October. I will be posting more info on these 3 soon!! They are all really fun and athletic, and looking for new homes this fall.

Ollie is enjoying being back in some work, he likes his new place mostly because there is a lot of grass here. He really is looking very good, so we’ll just keep on keepin on until it’s time to make a plan!

Also, I am on the hunt for a working student!! It’s the usual job description; barn help, grooming and general chores in exchange for housing, lessons, and some opportunity to ride my horses (d.o.e) spread the word!!

As always, stay tuned for more info. Check the updated results and schedules pages! And if you are in the central Maryland area, feel free to give me a call about lessons and training!!

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How did this happen??!

It’s almost the end of summer! Back to school ads are all over the radio and the tv, the mornings are noticeably cooler, and I am doing entries for September HT’s… I can’t believe how each month seems to go by quicker than the last. I also can’t believe how fast my barn full o’ babies is growing up!!

Since my last update, I have competed a few times, with consistent great goes on True Bellamy, a cross country blooper marring an otherwise fantastic time with Seahawk, and a couple of great field trips with Cricket’s Song and Harbour the Truth.
True Bellamy was 2nd at MD 2, 1st at Morningside, and 2nd again at Waredaca… He is a very professional young athlete and i am so grateful to Chuck Akre for taking this horse and I on.
Seahawk has continued to be incredibly reliable in the dressage and showjumping, and is gradually becoming more familiar with the cross country aspect of life (as I get more familiar with his particular attention deficit). I am hopeful that my giant baby will learn to look for the flags and gallop on!
Cricket and “Harvey” both completed their first beginner novice combined test, and have gone cross country schooling as well! Cricket also won ribbons in some hunter classes at the American Connemara Pony Society’s show at Glenwood Park here in Middleburg.

All in all a great time was had by all the 4 year olds. It’s fun to have such a talented group to play with, and I’m so grateful to these horses owners for the chance to work with their youngsters!!

I also have to say a huge thanks to the organizers of Maryland HT, Waredaca, Morningside, and the Connemara Society for putting on such good events this summer.

The not so young-sters in my barn are doing well this summer too- William Don’t Tell had a fun time at MD1, a brilliant dressage followed by a swing and a miss in the showjumping at MD2, a nice little weeklong vacay. He then showed up at the Morningside combined test completely reenergized!!

I believe he scored a 29 in the dressage that day, and had two showjump rounds with a minor tap bringing down 1 rail in each. He maintained this energy all the way to the finish line at the Waredaca HT yesterday and laid down a performance that was good enough for the win. Will’s owner and I work hard to keep this horse on his A game, and although being fit and well fed has earned him the nickname of Wild Will ( the only polite one of his nicknames) we will happily take what he gives us in the ring when he feels good!

Ollie has received a big thumbs up from our vet, Christiana Ober (who is getting MARRIED -must sing this word with a big smile- very sooooon!!) he will spend the next 3-4 months slowly building up to full work and then and only then will I plan our next move. The waiting to plan is going to be the hardest part of this for me!! But that’s the way it goes..

And now… For something completely different!

I’m very pleased and excited to announce that in 2 weeks time I will be setting up shop at Sunset Hill Stables at McCuan Farms in Woodbine, Maryland. This is a great opportunity for me to ride and teach at a beautiful facility.. There is plenty of room to take horses in for competition, training and sale, and also anyone in the area is welcome to call for lessons!! Can’t wait to get started!! Big thank you to the McCuan’s and Kate Chadderton, who has and will continue to run her operation at Sunset Hill, for this great opportunity.

Stay tuned!!!

Check it out..
http://www.sunsethilleventing.com/