Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Ocala Horse Properties CCI** pictures

In my previous post I mentioned how we had a chance to explore a bit of the Florida Horse Park and watch the Ocala Horse Properties CCI*/** cross country run. We sat by the water complex for a bit and also from the VIP tent.

The two was a bit long for some after losing impulsion after the down bank.

My favorite down bank picture.

The two was long for this pair but the horse made a brave effort over the out and it worked out. 

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous(??) 
We checked out the vendors and I drooled over pretty colourful or blingy things that I'm not allowed to have in the hunters. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Visiting Ocala!

I was fortunate enough to take a week off work and visit my family down in FL. We spent some time on a lovely barrier island working on our tans, but the highlight was spending 3 days in Ocala!

I hadn't been to the core of the equestrian scene in Ocala before, but had tried ponies in outlying areas ~7yrs ago. I'll tell you right now, its like christmas morning for horse lovers in the equestrian core. Tack shops everywhere, and all the billboards advertise shaving deliveries, vet clinics, and feed stores!

The farms are so grand with the oak trees and huge rolling pastures! There are endless rows of perfectly maintained farmed with sleek horses soaking up the perfect weather. There are a huge variety of disciplines, everything from Arabian breeding farms to hunter jumpers and everything in between.

We ate at the Horse and Hound and also Dish, both were lovely. We dropped into several tack shops just to oogle the merchandise and suck up the deep seated equestrian flavor in Ocala.

While HITS is over, there are still a few more weeks of 'AA' shows. My sister showed me around as I've never been to the actual show grounds. Its very expansive and very horse oriented with rings and stabling mixed in with little turnouts throughout the property.

Saturday we visited the Florida Horse Park to watch the CSI** cross country. We had VIP bracelets courtesy of an industry friend so we got to sit back in the tent with all the big names. We sure aren't eventing people but I read COTH articles enough to know BNR/BNT eventers when I see them! We cheered on our favorites and got to enjoy a catered lunch and drinks, which my father found relieving since he isn't particularly interested in the horse scene. He was able to sip his cold beer and read a book while my sister, mother, and I watched these incredible atheletes and their horses skip around a big, long course. Pretty sure my sisters jumper mare would be too tired to keep galloping after 1/4th that course!

I'm always impressed by eventer's conditioning. Sometimes with the hunters we keep them a little round and out of shape so they stay mellow but it puts them at risk for injury when they jump and they aren't in tip top shape and/or are carrying extra weight. I took some pictures at one of the water complex's and just have to upload!

All the trails criss crossing through the Florida Horse Park and Ocala the NW corridor made me want to explore the area on horseback. I've always enjoyed trail riding but there aren't many options for me to do so lately.

Additionally I happened to visit WEF earlier this winter for week one so its interesting to compare Palm Beach and Post-Time Farm as the FL hunter jumper metropolises. 

I even got a little bit of a tan with all the beautiful weather:

Big big news coming up!!!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

In Memory

3/23 I was informed my sweet Sid had passed away. Its too soon for me to say goodbye, he was only 20.

"You carried me safely to many victories but that isn't what I remember. I remember your kind heart and endless forgiveness, your gentle nudges and how soft your muzzle was. You filled up my heart with happiness and let my worries fall away when we were together. You were always my hero, my greatest teacher, and friend. "My heart will always wear the hoof prints left by you." You might have crossed the rainbow bridge, but I've kept a piece of you down here in my heart."

He carried me to multiple championships both in the Childrens, and Junior hunters with his lovely, consistent style:

Enjoy your greener pastures Sid Sid:


It's April already?

In short, I've still been riding about 4 days a week. Two of those times are lessons where we work on the little pieces so that when show season starts up everything comes together (in theory).

Its been a very up down experience being here in London between riding experiences, my new job, and trying to make friends. Starting in May I return to school for a summer school term that is packed with thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, engineering design, and systems modelling.

When I'm back in school life becomes a bit of juggling act. My plan is to try to ride at least 3 times a week, part-boarding the lovely Logan and showing a few times in the 3'3"-3'6" hunters on the local circuit. We will show just enough to qualify for the year-end championships and won't jump too much at home to take unnecessary strain off his legs. It won't be anything wild or new, but I adore Logan and his consistency. Riding and showing him helps keep my stress down with school and makes me happy. He is extremely reliable and I feel very safe on him. Its not anything wild or new, I had hoped to try the jumpers this summer or take advantage of my last year to do the CET medal. It feels a bit like ageing out of the junior ranks a second time and makes me feel worried I didn't do all I wanted to during my time under the age limit for some classes. With respect to that, the main priority with being in school is getting my iron ring and getting job experience before real life happens. I have to remember I'm more of a 30% rider then the 100% investment I wish I could be.


With OUEA season all wrapped up after the gala, students take a break to finish exams and recover from weekly 4:00am wakeups. Our exec for the equestrian team has met already and we have grand plans for next year on both the OUEA and within our club. I happily volunteered to be website coordinator again and will help run our school OUEA show. We have lots of ideas for more events and making our show even better. Check us out on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2211535543/ or our website here: http://uweq.webs.com/