June 22nd, 2011
It was a busy week at Spruce. We had nine horses showing, plus our students. I’m happy to say Via is back at it, with a 4th, a 2nd in the 1.50 Husky Energy Cup and an 8th in the CN Grand Prix! Amadora stepped up to the 1.45m successfully; she was 2nd and 9th in her two classes. Our students Isabella Salles and Megan Fellows did their first derby of their careers. Isabella was 6th and 8th with only 4 faults on each horse and Megan had a great round with 9 faults.
Only other big news this week is we’ve decided we will breed our three broodmares to Judgement ISF for 2012 foals. Our first mare gets bred this week. We breed a little later than most farms on purpose. Winter and spring in central NY is quite harsh and we prefer the foals be born after it warms up, so they can immediately live outside. We also try to time it so the foals are born just after we leave for Spruce at the end of May, because before that it’s pretty crazy on the farm with training, but once we all leave, it’s nice and quiet on the farm for the mares and foals.
We asked for a few questions on our facebook page from fans and here are my answers!
Betsy asked: Will we see her at the $1 Million Grand Prix this year?
I hope to be at the million dollar Grand Prix in Spruce Meadows, but not the one in Saugerties since they are on the same day.
Kerry asked: I would love to hear her tips for remembering jumper courses!
The best way to remember jumper courses is to walk the course and have a plan of how you are going to ride it. Having a plan of what you are going to do between the fences actually helps you remember where to go. Make sure to go over the plan in your head again right before you go in the ring.
Gina asked: What is her biggest piece of advice for young riders who don’t have the money to own their own horses but want to make it to the top of the sport?
If you don’t have enough money to own your own horse, try to consider it a blessing. Most of the top riders in the sport worked their way to the top. Try to get a job with the best people you can in the business, no matter what that job is. Then you will learn from the bottom up from the best in the business. Along the way, you will meet the right people and get the best connections.
Sara asked: A simple exercise to get my horse off her forehand at the canter?
To get your horse off his forehand, do lots of transitions from canter to trot, trot to walk, canter to walk, canter to halt, etc. Also introduce some counter cantering. This makes your horse find his own balance.
Nicole asked: Advice for an adult rider getting back in the show ring and gets a case of the “nerves”!
Best way to overcome your nerves is to stick to your basics. Listen to your trainer and follow the plan. Think about executing that plan and not about making mistakes.
There were also a couple questions regarding injuries. So much of our success at John Madden Sales is the result of having an excellent team behind us, from vets, to farriers, to nutritionists, to our staff that we fully trust to be experts at what they do. I highly recommend finding the best vet you can and listening and following their treatment and reconditioning advice. Each horse is different in how they respond after an injury and a vet who sees the whole picture in front of them is going to be able much better advice and ideas than I can.