2013 Florida Journal Vol. 5

in Blog,Training Journal

Florida-Cocoa-Beach Easter on the beach


Only 30 days left and I’m not counting, my family is. I would stay for a year if I could, but it’s not possible. Reality is on the horizon.

It’s Easter and the barn bunnies all headed to the beach for a day of observing a Pro-Am surfing contest and lots of good warm Florida sun surrounded by thousands of people on the sand. The surf is small, but the tandem teams and the world’s number one surfing dog all entertained us while we enjoyed our cocktails responsibly and legally on the beach.

It’s time for shows! Unfortunate timing that Alexiss pulls a muscle in her hind quarters while playing too hard in turn out. We’re just crossing our fingers at this time in hopes she can recover well enough for the second Global show in April. We had started all of the piaffe and passage work and this is where her real talent shines. It seems as if she wants to outperform her late mother, a very tough act to follow. She is willing and gifted – a wonderful combination to have for a future big tour horse.

Verona keeps clocking along and I am very excited to get her back into the show ring. It has been a thrill working with her so steadily and seriously. She has always been the sweetest mare I have ever known but now has a spectacular work ethic. I say “now” because of the consistent help and the approach we took. I wouldn’t trade her for any other horse. It hasn’t been an easy past, but the time spent working this intensely has just proved what I thought she had in her and I personally believe she is the best horse I have ever sat on. Anne just has a way of bringing out the very best in these horses.

Tara-and-Lex Tara working on Alexiss


As we near show time, Lex is still not up to par but she will travel with us. Maybe she will be good enough before we leave and she can go into the ring. Who ever knows! For some odd reason people never talk about their horses injuries or ailments, yet we listen to humans complain constantly.

I believe in everything being out in the open. It’s just who I am. I tell people what I think and don’t talk behind their back. We need to talk more about our horses and not be so secretive because it is how we learn from one another. Through discussion is how I learned about Tara Doeherty. Tara owns Orion Equine Therapeutics. She came to look at Alexiss and gave her a very thorough exam and, yes, agreed it is a muscle that was pulled in her hind end. After her diagnostics, she treated her and through careful riding we were able to go back to lite work.

Under saddle:  Through dinner conversations, we have discussed the female approach to riding. Even though Anne says I sit a horse and have the leg strength of a man (I like to think athlete), I appreciate the woman’s  seat and need for finesse on the more powerful horses.

As women, we simply lack the strength to muscle a horse from our lower body. We need to be quick to think and respond. The proper correction must be used with the right timing or you create mistakes and confusion. It comes from feel and knowledge and experience. Some I had, some I learned, and some I will continue to learn. This is the addiction of the sport.

Florida-Snake-and-Gecko Local wildlife indoors and out


Living in a rural area of Oregon, I think of being surrounded by wildlife but Oregon has nothing on Florida let me tell you! So far just at the farm I have seen: large herds of deer, a pair of gorgeous red fox, the most spectacular collection of birds of prey, the cutest tortoise Henry, a number of very large non-venomous snakes, and near the farm: ostrich, rare cattle, and simply anything that can live in the tropics. I’ve always been crazy over animals, but this has been such a treat to live with my new animal friends.

Periodically I am treated to a visit from a human friend like Mary Phelps. When Mary came to visit, it was dinner out with the girls then up until 3:00 in the morning catching up on years we lost being too busy and only talking through email. I read her website Dressage Daily like the morning paper. If you want to know anything about dressage and what is happening in our world of riding, dressagedaily.com is where you learn. Most likely if you are reading this, you already know that.

Florida-Lexi-Mary-Phelps With friend Mary Phelps of Dressagedaily.com


As April arrived so did the weather. All I can say is HOLY &@$!!!! The best part of this extreme weather thing is I have always been mortified by thunder and lightning and tornadoes. My father said it was due to my intense animal instinct – I said because it was just because it is ridiculously loud and unpredictable. Never the less, I’m completely cured and stand up to face these storms and respect the power and magnificence of nature. I hope I never see one again! (Laughing)

Previous post:

Next post: