I took Heather to a 3 phase event on Sunday, we did beginner novice and ended up getting 5th place! It was his 4th show, and only his second event, and I am so thrilled that he got a ribbon!!
The day started out a little rough, I arrived early, parked the
trailer and went to go walk the cross country course. Well, when
I got back 30 minutes or so later, Heather was so upset! I felt so
bad because evidently he got very worried when I left him. Even though
there were plenty of other horses and trailers parked all around
us, he had a major panic attack and was calling out and sweating
terribly when I got back. I've never seen him so upset. So, instead
of relaxing, reviewing my dressage test, eating, etc, I ended up
hand walking Heather around the fields for 45 minutes, talking to
him and trying to convince him that everything was going to be fine.
He finally calmed down and relaxed enough to graze a little bit
and look everything over. Once I got him tacked up and sat on him
he was much better, but still not convinced that he was ok.
So of course Dressage was a bit tense to say the least-there were so many
distractions, and Heather was still worried. There was no warm up
arena, so horses and riders were just going all over the place next
to the dressage arena, and the jumping warm up was in view also,
so there was just so much for him to look at! Luckily we made it
through the test and had an hour to relax before xc.
By the time
we got onto the course he was much more settled and I had the time
of my life! Heather flew around the course as if he had been doing
it for years. He was perfect! He never gave anything a second look-just
galloped and jumped everything like a pro. Half way through, the
course went into the woods with a downhill brush jump and along
a shady trail with a trakhener. I thought that area might be a little
spooky, and I was a little spooked by the trakhener since we had
never schooled one. Well, Heather is just the bravest horse! He
galloped straight into the woods and we were just flying down the trail. He was completely focused and literally soared over the jumps! He loved the open gallops, but never got too strong,and came right back whenever I asked. When we galloped over the last jump I think I was laughing and crying at the same time because I was so incredibly proud of my horse. I was giving him the biggest hug as we crossed the finish!!
Things just got better from there, with a perfect stadium round
(including his first flying change!) I have the stadium jumping on
video, so I will get that to you soon, and I'm hoping the photographer
got some good shots of cross country. I'm waiting for his e mail.
So, we got a nice 5th place ribbon (out of 31 competitors) for our
first horse trials together, and that means that Heather
has gotten a ribbon at every show he has done so far! But most importantly,
we are having a great time, and have formed an amazing bond-I love
this horse so much, and whenever we are out schooling, people always
tell me how much my horse loves me-which I think is amazing.
so blessed that I found my perfect partner, and I can't wait until
our next competition!
I'll send photos soon!
August 17, 2008
Just a quick update...Heather and I did another dressage
show today, it was at a very posh dressage barn. We got a ribbon
though! 6th place, and I was so proud of Heather because he handled
himself like a star. I have to say though that I thought we deserved
a better score, since a couple of the horses in our class went off
course and the 3rd place winner wouldn't even go forward to the judges
stand-he freaked! But then I realized that it was a "warmblood
only" type of barn, and I hate to say it, but it seemed as if
the only way to get a good score was to be on a $150,000 imported
Dutch, Danish or German horse ha ha!
Anyway, I thought Heather went really well, and he was the ONLY horse
in my class that didn't look at anything, didn't spook at the cat
walking around, and trotted right up towards the judges stand like
it wasn't even there. He cocked a leg and quietly watched the other
horses spook and go off course during their tests, and then he marched
right in like he was the king of dressage. So I am really proud of
him!! I'll send more pics soon. Next up is a 3 phase event on the
31st-I'll keep you posted!
July 24, 2008
We had a blast schooling xc...Heather has really settled
when we go schooling and doesn't mind if the other horses gallop
off to to do a course. He just stands quietly and watches now.
He used to get anxious and wouldn't stand, but now he knows that
everyone gets a chance and he happily waits his turn. He is so good-just
completely focused and listening and he gives me that great feeling
that he is ready to jump anything that we encounter. He has never
looked twice at anything-not even the ditches, he is such a brave
Let me know when you might be in the area!
July 23, 2008 - Heather's Best Gets a 62 at the Dressage Show!
Hi Elizabeth and Barry!
Hope all is well at Bits and Bytes...Heather is great, we went to
a dressage show yesterday, and had a great time. Heather was a little
bit excited when we first arrived. The show was held at the same
horse park as the last horse trials, so I think Heather looked around
and thought he was going to get to gallop cross country! -- as you
know he is very competitive, and super fit right now, so the atmosphere
of a show gets him a bit wound up! I hopped on him up by the trailer
parking, thinking I would take a nice walk around and work my way
down to the warm up, but as soon as I sat in the saddle Heather was
ready to go! I don't think he knew exactly where he wanted to go-it
was pretty much every direction except forward ha ha! So we blocked
traffic for a few moments and had a little display of running backwards
and spinning around in circles, and then he was like, "Oh, you want
to walk down there? OK,. and he was perfect after that.
up was fabulous, and I wish I had video of that as well as the
test because we were definitely better in warm up. I think I left
too much time to warm up, I'm learning that Heather needs less time
in the warm up than I think he does.
I'm also learning that if I
get a little nervous and tense entering the arena, he immediately
senses it and gets tense also! Then I tend to over-ride and Heather
is like, "What is wrong with you??". Anyway we ended up with a
score of 62, and I am pretty happy with that. He saw something and
had a little speed up and head tossing at the canter that took a
few seconds to work out. He is such a smart horse. We only practiced
the test three times and I swear he had it memorized! The judge commented
on our nice canter depart, and the funny thing is that I hadn't asked
for it yet!
As I was waiting a girl came up and asked me, is that Heather's
Best? She recognized him from the website!
We has a fun time though, and are going xc schooling this afternoon.
(Heather's favorite activity!) The pictures aren't great-my friend
evidently doesn't know how to use the zoom on the camera. I'll
let you know when I have some video ready.
Elizabeth's Note: Thoroughbreds
really bond with their owners. They are very sensitive and can tell
if you are worried. The hardest thing about competiting with these
horses is controlling your fears. If you, their
herd leader, is frightened, they are ready to run as that is how
horses protect themselves as prey animals. If you are confident,
your horse will be. If you do not have a brave horse - look at your
own fears before looking for a new horse. Heather's Best and Jennifer
are both brave and confident and it shows in their results. We are
proud of both of them.
May 19, 2008 - Heather's Best goes to his first combined training
event and finished second out of 26 horses!
We took Heather to his first horse trials yesterday at the Bucks
County horse park in Pennsylvania, and guess what? He ended up getting SECOND
Since this was Heather's first experience at a horse
show, Doug Payne competed him for me in the beginner novice class.
I wanted to make sure that Heather was in good hands and would have
a good ride even if he got nervous. He threw a couple of bucks (complete
with his signature squealing sound effect) in the dressage warm up,
and got some looks from the other riders-oops!), but overall he handled
himself really well, and I am so proud of him! There were 26
horses competing in his division, and Heather was 4th
after dressage, then
had perfect cross country and stadium jumping rounds. (Doug's other
ride took first place!)
Payne rode Heather's Best in his first combined training event.
May 18, 2008
Needless to say, I am so excited! I'll be riding him in his next
competition in June. I'm not sure that I can do quite so well with
the dressage-it is a bit tricky for me to keep it all together
on the flat since Heather is very fit and full of energy, but I
feel really confident that we will still end up doing well. And,
as we all suspected, Heather seems to love going cross country
and jumps everything bravely and happily.
I have video which I will put together for you-it started raining
during cross country and was pouring for stadium-poor Heather was
shivering in the rain as I got him ready! It was a really big day
for him, since the horse park is over an hour away, and the whole
scene was alot for him to deal with-his eyes were huge! But he
doesn't seem tired at all today-I can see him out the window running
and playing with Radar.
Overall the day was a huge success, and
I couldn't be happier. I could really see Heather's competitive
side come out at the xc warm up-he was definitely checking out
the other horses, but as you know he is pretty self confident!
I'll keep you posted on our progress and let you know
how the next competition goes! Hope all is well at Bits & Bytes...
This was Heather's Best's first day schooling
cross country fences - ever! May 2005
Elizabeth's Note: Heather's
Best loved jumping cross country fences the first time he ever saw
one. He gave me confidence to jump 3'6" very wide coops and ditches.
Ex-steeplechase horses make great event horses.
Heather's Best is a confidence builder. He loves to jump and why
not? He is an ex-steeplechase race horse who is now retrained as
a sport horse!
May 14, 2008
Hi Elizabeth, just wanted to give you a quick Heather update...he
is doing great, the vet was out a couple of days ago and Heather
had a full checkup and spring vacs. The vet measured his weight at
1111 lbs, and said that Heather is at the perfect weight right now,
(and mentioned how fit he was also!) Heather looks amazing, he is
happy and bright and his coat is really nice and shiny. Radar, on
the other hand has been instructed to loose about 100 lbs-oops-guess
he put on a little weight also!
We went xc schooling last Wed. evening, and Heather was perfect.
I had so much fun. We went out with 2 other horses, and I thought
Heather might be a little bit excited in the huge horse park with
other horses jumping around, but he was great, and seemed to be really
enjoying himself. I wish I had pics. He jumped all sorts of novice
jumps, and a couple of training level cross country jumps as well,
and he never got strong or silly, he was happy to quietly walk around
and ready to trot or canter any jump I went to. I was so happy with
We are planning to do a schooling horse trial this weekend- I will
let you know how it goes!
April 14, 2008
OK, I finally have learned how to use the movie maker program! I
posted a video of Heather on you tube, since I'm not exactly sure
how to send the link, I think you can find it under my login name,
jcdflyer, or search under "Heather's Best". Let me know
if you can find it!!
Also, please excuse the editing, etc...this is my first attempt,
but now I'm hooked on making movies, so there will be more to come!
April 12, 2008
Hi Elizabeth and Barry!
Heather is doing great! I took him to Doug Payne's farm (about 1 hour away) for a clinic last weekend. We worked on our dressage, and Heather did so well. We got lots of compliments. He is looking really good-I think the Buckeye Ultimate Finish really agrees with him.
I got the chance to go xc schooling with Doug Payne a couple of days ago at my sister in law's farm. He rode Jeremy (a 3 -star event horse) and I rode Heather, but we had to switch horses for a few minutes in the beginning because Heather got VERY excited at the thought of jumping cross country.
I think Jeremy gives off a bit of a competitive vibe as well. For some reason, Jeremy would make Heather jig and buck every time he got too close! I have no problem just going in front, but Doug was encouraging me to try to get Heather to walk quietly along side Jeremy out to the jump hill -yeah right! Mission accomplished if you can count jigging from side to side with the occasional crow hop in between as walking lol :)
I've discovered that Heather is a true competitor, and he is really in top condition physically right now, so knowing how athletic he is, you can imagine the "horsepower" we have now!
That was the second time I have taken him to our jump hill, and each time as soon as he sees the jumps he can't contain himself! He gets so excited that he starts jumping up and down and bucking! He actually makes noises as well, like little squeals and grunts-it's hilarious! But once he gets to gallop around he is better.
By the way-Doug did not want to switch back! He LOVES Heather. But eventually he gave me my horse back and I got to jump around and had a great time. Heather is so athletic and comfortable, that going up and down the banks I felt like I was riding on air-he loves banks-and he just launches out off of them, but it is so smooth that I barely know we landed. I think what we have to do now is just get outside on the trails and on the xc schooling area every day so that it is not quite so exciting. Or I have to just start bringing my fox hunting flask and have a few shots before we head out to the jumps!!
We have entered a few competitions coming up in May and June-I'll keep you posted! Hope all is well at B&B!
March 9, 2008
Hi Elizabeth and Barry!
I just read on the website about the hunter
pace you guys did-it
looked like so much fun! I do wish that Georgia and New Jersey
were closer sometimes so Heather and I could join all of his old
friends for fun outings like that.
Meanwhile, we had a great time
at the clinic this weekend. The weather was horrendous, with gale
force winds and heavy rain, so it was held in the big indoor. We
were soaked just getting in and out of the trailer. The rain was
so loud yesterday that we could hardly hear, but Heather wasn't
bothered. He got a little bit excited on the first day, being in
a new place with strange horses, and got a bit jiggy and bucky
in the warm up, but once I just got him to move forward (as opposed
to up and down lol!) and got him focused on doing a 20m trot circle
with ground poles he had to think about what he was doing, and
he calmed right down.
Overall, Heather was such a good boy, and
a beautiful jumper! There were all kinds of strange looking jumps
with trees and flowers and brick walls...he didn't give anything
a second look. Of course we had our share of mistakes, but I have
to take full responsibility for those-I am learning to be more
clear and direct. If I get a bit indecisive, Heather is like, what
are we doing??? When my aids are correct, even the most technical
bending lines with s turns and tough combinations just feel so
effortless and smooth. I can't even describe how great it felt
when we were completely in sync. I wish I could get it right every
time, ....but like they say, it's the journey that counts and I
am really loving every minute of my journey with Heather!
By the way, our boy got so many compliments! Everyone commented
on how handsome he is, and a couple of people told me he was so
fancy. I'm not embellishing either! Every single person there complimented
Heather. Doug Payne said, "wow, he is a really cool horse" and
that is a direct quote! In fact, Doug liked him so much that he
asked me to send him Heather's breeding! He was very curious about
where Heather came from, what he has done, etc. I was unbelievably
proud. (and I was thinking, don't get any ideas buddy!!)
Also, Heather is now getting the Buckeye Ultimate Finish, and I
have been giving him generic gastro guard since we spoke. Well,
after just a week, he seems really relaxed and happy-he hasn't
been grouchy at all. He is gobbling up his grain--no more slow
eating! Even though I thought he was a little bit on the thin side,
everyone else seems to think he looks really fit. He definitely
seems to be very happy and judging from his performance at the
clinic, I think he is feeling really good now!
I am putting together video on a CD for you-I finally have enlisted
the help of a professional-so bear with me...pictures coming soon,
Love from Jennifer and Heather
Elizabeth's Note: If
your horse is slow to eat or acting grouchy when doing up his girth,
he may have the start of an ulcer. A horse can get ulcers from
the stress of going to a new place or show. The faster you give
him something to neutrualize the acid in his stomach the better.
There are many over the counter options that you can discuss with
your vet. If your vet diagnoses ulcers there are also several medications
available by prescription. Some of them are more affordable than
others, so take the time to ask your vet for all options.
February 28, 2008
Just thought I'd send a quick note...Heather is doing great, I
am trying to figure out how to put video into my computer so that
I can put it on you tube...I have some good video of jumping and
dressage, so bear with me!!
The weather here has been a bit crazy, but we have still been
able to ride 4-5 times a week. I have now had Heather out in
rain, snow, 25 degree weather and 30 mph wind and he isn't
bothered by any of it! He definitely prefers jumping to dressage
at the moment, but I think that jumping is just easier and
more fun for him. All the horses are getting sick of the indoor
as well, which is where we usually do dressage so that may
be part of it.
I think I might have to watch how much more fit he gets because
recently he thinks it is fun to throw a few bucks and put his
head down and play! he's like, it's winter and I have too much
energy! The chiropractor checked him recently, so I don't think
he is sore, just fresh!
I feel like I learn something from him
every ride, and what it really interesting is that as Heather has learned how
to really get on the bit and look for that support, he has become much more
sensitive to rider position. Or maybe he always was, but now
we are really communicating. And, as a result he really demands
a correct ride. Which, I guess is only fair, considering that
I am asking him to work hard, I have to keep up my end of the
deal and make sure that my position is steady and supportive. If I get frustrated
or tense, he will start to jig, and if I exhale and relax, he puts his head
down and relaxes and goes forward. It is amazing to me that he
can feel exactly what I am thinking!
We are doing a cross country clinic with Doug Payne at the
Horse Park of New Jersey on March 8 and 9. I am trying to recruit
a videographer or at least get some good photos for you.
hope everyone down there is well, and I'll be in touch again
Elizabeth's Note: Thoroughbreds
are very sensitive horses and that is why they are not always the
best choices for beginners. They are fantastic teachers as Jennifer
If you are correct with your seat and aids - they get it. If you
are sloppy and out of balanced they get uptight. Relax and they
relax. What wonderful teachers. You don't have to work hard (like
some other breeds) to communicate with them -- all you have to
do is be correct. Riding Thoroughbreds will make you a better rider.
January 9, 2008
I hope you all had a good holiday season-It looks as if everyone
got into the spirit and had a good time down there!
to be wonderful. Over Christmas between the holidays and the weather
I went for 5 days without riding him. Well, I was ready for him
to be pretty fresh, and he was pretty fresh on the crossties, but
as soon as he was tacked up, he was like, oh OK we're going to
work. I hopped on, and he was perfect. If I didn't know better
I would have thought he had done flatwork the day before. In fact,
it was almost as if his mini-break made him refreshed and ready
to go back to work. I was so happy about that.
You wouldn't believe
how steady and gorgeous his trot is now, and he has gotten so much
stronger behind-he feels like a different horse. His front end
is so light when we canter! He definitely finds the bigger jumps
fun-I swear he glances back at me about 3 strides out and says,
(with a slight smirk of course) "hold on tight now because
wooo hoo we're flying!!" I can't help but smile ear to ear
when we jump. I finally allowed our trainer to ride him over some
jumps, and she LOVED riding him! She was smiling the whole time
too! (I personally think Heather was showing off a bit knowing
he had a professional on board) But I was also so proud of him!
I thought it was so great that this woman who competes internationally
at the 4 star level on top horses really enjoyed riding Heather.
He had the chiropractor the other day-just routine, but she did
pick up a couple of points and gave him some adjustments. I figured
that after 3 months of pretty steady work it was time for a little "sports
massage" and adjustment. She found some stiffness in his neck
and poll and adjusted that, and also found a couple of sacro-iliac
points near his hips. That did not surprise me since he is working
more from behind now, but as you know, the stronger he gets the
less he will need adjustments. His hocks and everything else looked
He and Radar have become best friends. They love hanging out
together, but they are both secure enough that I can ride them
off the property individually without any problems. I did a secret
test, because sometimes Heather will cry a little bit if he sees
me leaving on Radar, so I rode off and 10 minutes later had my
friend come out and check on Heather. He was totally fine, just
grazing away quietly, so I'm really happy about that as well.
weather was really nice in Jersey this week, and I finally got
the 2 of them out on a nice trail ride together again. Well,
Heather was very happy and excited to go out hacking. A little
too excited, because as soon as we picked up a nice trot, YeeHaw!
the rodeo started! I was actually laughing, but Heather just started
dancing around and took off up the hill jumping around and bucking!
But not in a nasty way, he was just playing and felt good! Radar
was looking at him like he was crazy. Luckily they were very rideable
bucks and he walked quietly after that. I was thinking that what
he really needed that day was a nice outdoor gallop, but the
footing and the trail where we were really weren't good for that.
I can't wait for spring!
Anyway, I promise I will get some good pictures soon and I really
want to send you a little video too!
Love from Jennifer and Heather
December 9, 2007
I just wanted to check in and say hello....Heather is doing great!
I am having such a good time with him. I had a great jumping lesson
the other day, and I brought someone to take pictures. Guess what-not
one single picture turned out! I attached the best one-but my "photographer" managed
to miss every single jump. I think my camera is not great either-too
slow. but anyway. I'm still trying to get you some good shots.
He is jumping beautifully! What fun. We had some really cold weather
this past week, so we had to bundle up and trailer over to the
indoor arena. We got a little bit of snow, and the horses loved
I hope all is well down there! I'll send better pictures soon!
November 16, 2007
Heather is doing so great-I just can't tell you how happy I am
him! I don't really have any super exciting news, but we have just
been riding alot, and every day he feels better and better. Wendy
instructor) loves how he is jumping, and of course, so do I. He
really listening to my leg now, and has gotten much stronger
behind-you can really feel the power in his canter now-it's great.
promise I will get you some pictures next week!! I have increased
grain and flax, and he got a nice haircut since he will be in work
winter. He looks so great clipped, you won't believe it when you
pictures. He looks really fancy. I had him out at the hunt kennels
last week just for a trail ride, and he got so many compliments-even
from a hunter/jumper show barn trainer!
The hunt sponsored a hunter pace last sunday, so instead of competing
a few of us rode the course and picked up all the markers. It took
while, and it was even starting to get dark on the trail, and Heather
was perfect. He led the way, jumped all the logs and a little coop,
stood nicely every time I had to pull a streamer off a tree, and
not get worried at all even though it got late. I think he really
enjoys his trail rides. I have been trying to take him for a good
trail ride in the woods at least once a week.
Other than that, everyone is great. Heather and Radar really like
other, and love to play. They have private little conversations
there sometimes, where they just stand with their noses together
the longest time. Then they will both decide to get silly and run
away from the neighbors sheep and buck and play(even though they
the sheep every day) I love just watching them.
I hope everything is good down there...and I really will send
November 2, 2007
Sorry it has taken me a while to e mail you back-I
just have been so busy! But Heather is doing great. He has really
settled in, and is enjoying some nice fall pasture grass with
Radar right now. Unfortunately we had a spell of bad weather and
heavy rain, so cubbing was cancelled last Wednesday, and so was
our xc schooling trip. I was very disappointed, because I can't
wait to go out and do some xc with Heather. I can't make the rain
date this weekend either because I have to work.
I got a job flying part time for
a company that does charter and instruction nearby. Of course,
work is already getting in the way of my daily riding plans,
but it is also paying for lessons, nice winter coolers and blankets(it's
getting cold here!) , a fancy new bridle for Heather, treats,
toys etc...... Actually the schedule is really flexible-I pretty
much just tell them when I can work, so it's not too bad.
Meanwhile, Heather and I have been continuing our lessons with
Wendy Lewis, and it is going so well. We are putting together
courses, and jumping more challenging combinations, bounces,
and are able to stay perfectly straight to jump a VERY narrow
vertical! Heather seems happy to jump around the courses, and
always tries to do the right thing.
I have never had a horse
that is as honest and willing as he is. I feel like we are
really developing a partnership, when we ride, sometimes I'm the
one taking care of him and really directing and reassuring him,
and sometimes he is the one (particularly in the jump combinations)
who makes me feel like he has everything under control, even
if I'm not sure about a distance, or how to ride something-
I can always trust him to take care of us.
He is moving beautifully
on the flat-in just a few weeks he has really increased his
flexibility, and is much stronger behind than he was. I can feel
the difference in the power, and his canter is a lot more uphill-so
nice to ride. I feel like I could sit his canter with no stirrups
all day-he is so smooth! He is doing perfect trot-canter transitions
as well. He just steps into a lovely canter without missing a
October 23, 2007
Heather is doing great-I just love him! He is such a pleasure to
ride! We have been getting out and doing some trail rides, jumping
logs, and are doing our dressage and jumping lessons as well. He
is just getting better and better. He has beautiful transitions
now from the trot to canter, he just steps into a lovely canter
the instant I ask, and we are putting together little combinations
and gymnastics for him to jump, which he does really well. He seems
to enjoy the work-he looks and feels great, and as soon as I get
on he settles in and really listens and we have a good ride every
time. Today, the wind is really gusting-I was getting sandblasted
in the face with arena sand-and Heather couldn't care less-he just
went about our lesson and did not worry about a thing. He is such
a good boy!
I am going xc schooling on Saturday-I promise to get some good
pictures for you. The attached pics are of us out in our local
woods where I go fox hunting, and of Radar and Heather enjoying
a nice fall day.
I hope all is well there...I gave your info to a
girl I met fox hunting who is looking for an OTTB - so you may
hear from her.
October 16, 2007
Heather and I had a great jumping lesson today with Wendy Lewis!
Now that I've gotten to know him better, I can see why he was
your favorite jumper! We did some gymnastics today-what fun!
Heather jumped through everything beautifully. I think he enjoyed
it-I certainly did. We are going with a group of people to the
New Jersey Horse Park on Oct 27th for open xc schooling. That
should be really fun, and I will be sure to get some pictures.
He seems much more settled here now, and just very relaxed. He
loves to sunbathe in the nice fall weather we have been getting,
and will take a nap with his head against Radar-I have to get
a picture of them together-so cute.
Talk to you soon,
October 14, 2007
Well, I told Heather that I had to call you about getting in the
trailer, and wouldn't you know, the next day he walked right on
quietly! He did not even think about it! I think maybe he was just
worried about where he was going. It has only been a couple of
weeks, I think he is really just now starting to feel secure here
and truly trusting me. We had a great, relaxing trail ride yesterday.
It was a perfect fall day here. I just love riding Heather-he is
going so well! I'm so impressed by how bright and sensible he is.
We are planning to do a lesson again on Wedensday.
Sean is not sure about the hunter pace, so I think that for today
we will just take both horses on a nice local walk, although I
think Heather might prefer some more action! I am thinking about
taking him cubbing on Wedensday morning. It's going to be a small
group of people that I know, so it should be relaxing.
I'll send picutres soon- I promise!
October 4, 2007
I took Heather for a fun outing today, and he was great! We trailered
over to Golden Gait farm, which is only about 10 minutes away,
and had a wonderful lesson with Wendy Lewis. Check out her website,
www.lewisevent.com. I brought Radar along in the trailer for
the ride, so that Heather wouldn't be worried about going somewhere
alone. He loaded and unloaded perfectly. He got a little bit
worried when we went into the barn without his friend, and we
worked in their giant indoor arena, so was looking out the windows
at first, but he settled down pretty quickly.
Wendy is an amazing teacher, and she loved Heather! She thought
he was really handsome and loved his personality. We worked on
the flat today-more dressage basics, moving forward , working
from behind, accepting contact, etc. Heather did a little head
tossing, just testing me a bit still, but he figured it out and
boy did we make some serious progress today! No silly stuff at
all. I am so proud of him, and so happy with how he went today!!
We are doing a jumping lesson with Wendy on Saturday-can't wait.
She suggested switching to just a plain snaffle bit instead of
the french link, so I'll give that a try, and let you know how
Anyway, your boy was a star today-everyone that
saw him really liked him and commented on how kind and sensible
he is-we had a blast!. Now back to cleaning tack, cleaning the
trailer, etc. I'll talk to you soon, and I'll try to get some pictures
next time too!
October 2, 2007
Heather is doing really well. He and Radar are getting along great.
I turned them out together today for the first time, and I was
nervous of course, but they were great! There were literally two
squeals and that was it. No nasty faces, no bites, nothing. They
were hanging out together grazing like old pals. I was so relieved
that they like each other! They even drank out of the water trough
at the same time. Heather is still a little bit clingy, he tends
to stay within five feet of Radar, but he is getting better.
Heather's Best enjoys his new home in New Jersey.
I just spent the past hour in the barn with him, working on standing
still when I tell him. At first he was nervous, and fidgety,
but we just kept at it, and I think it really relaxed him! After
a while he started chewing, and we got to where I could walk all
the way out of the barn into the darkness and he stood perfectly.
Radar got jealous and tried to bite be when I passed his stall,
he was making big alligator faces!
I just love Heather.he is so bright! It was great to see the
expression in his eyes as we worked tonight. And it made him
so calm, I was really happy to see that it reassured him to know
that I was in charge. By the time I put him back into his stall
he was completely relaxed.
It's interesting to have a TB and a warmblood in the barn together.
I have to say, Heather does make Radar look a bit like a big
dufus. We didn't ride today, the vet came and did Fall vaccines,
but I'm looking forward to a nice ride in the morning! Just wanted
you to know that everything is going really well!
October 1, 2007
Hi Elizabeth and all,
I just finished riding Heather-his
first ride here! We had a great time. We did a good amount of
flat work with my dressage instructor, Heather was quite good.
He had a couple bouts of silly behavior going from the trot to
the canter, but after a few transitions everything smoothed out
nicely. He had to show off a bit when we rode past Radar-I saw
that coming! : ) Honestly I was kind of ready for him to be a bit
rambunctious after the long trip, being in a new place, and it
is kind of cool today, so all in all he was really good.
brought her Dobie over(she brings her dog everywhere)- I think
Heather liked to see a familiar looking dog. Kate, my dressage
instructor was very pleasantly surprised by Heather. She thinks
we are a great match, and with a little work this winter will
be having a great time eventing next season. She took a couple
of pictures-I think Heather looks very smart in his dressage gear!
Heather's Best looks very smart in his dressage gear!
Overall, he is so much more relaxed today, and I think he enjoyed
getting a good workout. He gets nervous when Radar is too far away,
and prefers to have Radar in the barn while he is in the cross
ties getting ready, then he is totally fine. I think he will get
over that insecurity as he feels more settled here. Otherwise Sean
will have to "cowboy up" and go fox hunting on Radar
and I can ride Heather!!
Talk to you soon!
September 30, 2007
Heather's Best was introduced to his new friend Radar while hand grazing, but
Radar was more interested in eating the lawn than in Heather!
Heather seems to have had a good night, he was
covered in shavings this morning, so I think he rested well in
his stall. He was cute this morning, stretching and blinking
his eyes. He got a little bit worried when I took Radar out of
the barn first, he is feeling a bit insecure, so I have been trying
to reassure him. As long as Radar is near and within sight he
is better. We introduced them while hand grazing, but Radar was
more interested in eating the lawn than in Heather!
The pics are from yesterday after his bath.
I'll call you later...
Heather's Best arrives in New Jersey and
takes a walk after his bath.