About 8 months of planning, 3 changes of departure/arrival time, money for memberships, travelling expenses and entry fees, thousands of long hard hours of training all winter and we finally arrived at Galaway Downs in Temecula California.
It took 3 full days of travelling, 3 states, 3 maps, around 6 bags of beef jerky and about 37 hours.
We traveled through all sorts of country and saw incredible things, torrential downpours from our neighbours in Langley, a friendly boarder crossing that had our fearless leader run back through the pouring rain not once, but twice to make sure all our paperwork was in order.
We saw endless miles of rolling green hills, fields of orchards, gridlock 4 lane freeway traffic to desert lands, some unsanitary rest stops and way too many windmills, overpasses and high rise bridges for Sara's comfort zone.
Being locked up in the trailer for that long...both horse and rider were all getting a bit stir crazy so a cross country school at an overnight stop in Fresno made everyone excited for our last leg of the trip!
We arrived at Galaway in Temecula around dusk, got the horses settled, and we were done!!! After a last minute entry Sara was able to get both a dressage lesson and a jump lesson with our Canadian Eventing Team Coach, Clayton Fredricks. Sara and Sloan McQuick worked on getting more trot, straightness and a longer neck in dressage. Jumping-a piece of cake for Femika-they worked on some canter poles, flying changes and Sara sitting a bit straighter.
After a few days at Galaway for schooling, a shower for ourselves and lots of preparation. Dressage day arrived! Sara had an early ride time and her test proved to be accurate, quiet and relaxed-landing her with scores in the middle of the pack. Not too shabby for us Canadian girls!
Saturday is the exciting cross country phase-lets face it-it's why we all event! The start time for Sara was in the heat of the day! The course proved to be smooth with just the right amount of "questions" for the division! Femika sailed through with no time, moving them up in the placings.
She left the finish hungry for more and cooled out well. It takes us grooms hours to get everyone settled after cross country. The horses always come first so after bathing, whirly boots, ice, poultice, wraps, feed, and a fresh bed of shavings we cleaned up tack, the mess, ourselves...dinner for us comes around 8:30 if we are lucky!
Show Jump! Another early start for us and another day of braiding!!! That means we are in the running a for ribbon! Femika loves the show jump fences and hates to touch them so a clear round in time moves them up again!
A 3rd place finish at our first event of the year sets us up for a great season ahead! What an exciting way to start our 2015 year! As fun as it's been we are all anxious to get home to Lanzelot, sleep in our own beds, see our families and put the suitcase away...until the next one!
Finding balance in our work, in our personal life and in ourselves is valuable but it resonates in the literal meaning while riding. It could mean finishing a clear round or finishing on your rear end - balance.
On March 16/17th , 12 riders joined together for a two-day clinic from our guest instructor, Maeve Drew. The pre-season clinic refreshed the students on five fundamental points; they are applicable across disciplines be it in a dressage test, cross country course or stadium round.
Our job is to prepare the horse to do their job. Maeve stressed that we can get away with losing one of the five points, but two or more and we make it a lot harder for the horse to jump the fence. When this happens, we need to know how to ride an imperfect approach, correct it and then move on to the next fence.
The five points are:
Quotes overheard at the clinic:
Ashley Sudds said, "My horse and I really enjoyed ourselves riding in Maeve's clinic. She had five simple steps to remember and was very encouraging! I wouldn't hesitate to participate in another one of her clinic's in the future."
Thank you to Maeve Drew!!
Maeve is an Equine Canada Level One Coach and competes at the preliminary level with her lovely mare "Capriola" . She was born in Ireland, immigrated to Canada when she was two and currently resides on her farm in the Cowichan Valley with her husband. Maeve loves her job competing and teaching 6 yrs old to 70+ years students.
We are absolutely thrilled to have a new website. We will use this space to highlight the successes of our competitors, learn from our growing opportunities and share tips on what works for us.
Please feel free to comment and share your feedback. See you at Lanzelot!