matt/ June 9, 2014/ Uncategorized

Leo and I returned home about a week and a half ago.  I came immediately back to the barn/work and haven’t had a moment to sit down and provide a recap of our training and showing trip to CA until now.

Overall, the trip went very well.  Leo hauled like a pro and settled into his new home for the month at W Farms like he never had left (Leo lived there for 8 months).  He trained each session like it was no big deal and handled his first show (a big show nonetheless) like a seasoned veteran.

W Farms has become a second family for me over the years.  They have always welcomed me with open arms each time I have come down to train.  I always feel like a part of the team and cannot say enough positive things about everyone involved with the farm.  David Wilson, did a wonderful job preparing Leo and me for the Flintridge  Show.  The main points that we worked on were to continue to keep Leo in front and light to the leg and seat aids (we are now at the point I just need to use a little seat and Leo will respond); continue to polish up the submission (more so that Leo maintains consistency in the gaits and frame and not from any disobedience); and finally to have Leo work in a slightly higher frame (a frame that is appropriate for Training Level and the USEF 4 year old test).

Leo really did shine at the Flintridge Show.  For being his first show, he handled the environment like he had been showing for years.  The highlight of the show was the Training Level Test 3 ride on Friday when we scored a 76.8%.  Leo was fluid and smooth during this ride.  One of the comments from judge Axel Steiner was a this is how we want Training Level rides to be ridden.  Our ride was the second highest score of the day; and only .2% behind the highest score of the day.  Ironically, the high score of the day was from my old mentor, Hilda Gurney.

In our other rides, we had  some simple young horse mistakes.  When Leo becomes unbalanced in the canter he will simply do a flying change to other lead.  We had a couple of those when I lost connection during the rides.  Because there are not a lot of points available in the Training Level and First Level tests, mistakes like these are costly.  In the two other tests where we had these mistakes, we scored 68%.  It is really encouraging that on our “off” rides we are still near 70%.

Here is the video link from our Training 3 ride on Friday:

Our next show is this upcoming  weekend at the Beaujolais Show over Father’s Day weekend.  There I will be showing Leo and also Andi Garland’s 2 year colt Otto (Totalias x Riverman) in the Friday breedshow.

Thank you for the support!

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