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No 2 has arrived! – Boromir

April 17, 2009

Video of Boromir, this ones gonna be a film star, he is an absolute natural in front of the camera, no stage fright for this boy!
Boromir and Lolita, does he like to run!

April 15th 9:00 pm, Lolita had a beautiful colt.  By Ravaldi, CCS Boromir is a bay based near Leopard.

First day out in the Sunshine!

First day out in the Sunshine!

He’s gorgeous, tall and leggy and very sprightly. He has one hind stocking and maybe a hind sock.

Lolita had an easy birth and was very proud of her new baby.

New to world but very interested in all things.

New to world but very interested in all things.

Welcome to CCS Faramir

April 14, 2009

A video of Faramir!
Faramir on You Tube

Another video of Faramir also from You Tube.
Mares and foals with Faramir in the mix
April 13th 8 :30 pm, Peony had her baby. A drop dead gorgeous colt by Don Principe. Bay near leopard, tall leggy and just gorgeous.  This one is a definite stallion prospect. Peony was very unsure at first but she has swung into full Mama mode, very protective of her son.

The birth was quick and easy and uncomplicated, Faramir was on his feet and drinking by 10pm.

A run in the sun! Faramir can use those long legs!

A run in the sun! Faramir can use those long legs!

CCS Faramir

CCS Faramir

CCS Faramir 2

CCS Faramir 2

Phew one down 4 to go.


March Magic at Williamston, our first show of the season

April 13, 2009

AS I promised, the write up on the March Magic Show.

Our first show of the season is usually March Magic in Williamston NC. This is because, well it’s early in the season. Being as it is in NC and out on the coast, the footing is always good even if it rains, and it is usually warmer than VA in late March.  The show is run by Martie Healy and Sue Smithson, it’s a very friendly relaxed show, a great outing for the start of the year.

The drive is a pretty long one but very straight forward, we got to Williamston around 5 pm, settled the horses into their stalls, unpacked and then tacked up and rode.

Miss P. was doing her first ever licensed show so we toured the show grounds and went into all the buildings we could so she could see all of them. Especially the big scary coliseum. They have a new indoor arena as well so had a tour of that.  X of course has been here before, he is usually unbothered by coliseums etc. However this time he was wired, not scared or spooky but just very up, as if he was excited to be at a show again.

Fortunately Jim Koford usually comes to this show so we were able to get some help from Jim both on the day before and during warm up for our tests.  Jim is a genius and a superb rider who somehow always puts his finger right onto whatever it is you need to do get them rounder, softer and more responsive.

I don’t usually allow other folks to ride X and especially not men because it is my experience that male riders with their superior upper body strength tend to leave the horses too strong for me. But Jim always hands X back softer, lighter and easier to ride.

After Jim’s ministrations I rode X in the coliseum, and he was wonderful, soft and light, he extended without tossing me out of the saddle and I could feel him sit down in the collected canter and really lift his shoulders in the canter pirouettes. We were tackling 4th 2 for the first time, and it is a big jump up from 4th 1. It has 1/2 pirouettes in canter as well a line of 4 tempis (change of lead every 4th stride), which are difficult movements. It’s also a really long test and requires one to think and remember as well as keep riding!

Miss P. was doing Training 3 and 4, aiming to get a qualifying score for the BLM Championships.

On the Friday the weather was windy and wet, with rain forecast and tornado warnings coming up all over the place.  My test was in the coliseum as was Aprils and Miss P.s first test. Her first test at a licensed show in a strange place and it has to be the coliseum! But Miss P. was up for it, she trucked on it and did a great job, the scary corner that was the undoing of several horses caused her to roll her eyes and tense up,  but she didn’t spook. SHe got a commendable 63% for that effort and was placed. Winning a ribbon against some very superior and expensive warmbloods!

X and I did our first attempt at 4:2, I didn’t forget the test, and we did all the movements, but I really need to work on that sitting down in canter to get the collected gaits up to the quality where he can do a proper pirouette. Our extensions were super, and he was good about coming back in time for the corner.

Miss P had her second test in the new indoor, it was a very scary place in the wind. She was tense and tight due to the rattling of the panels in the gusting wind. However they held it together, and got a 65% this time. Not good enough for  ribbon though, but a very commendable effort.

Saturday the weather was less rainy but still windy, Again we were both in the coliseum but much more relaxed on Miss P. part since she had seen all this already.

X and I held our selves together better and got a higher mark though still not over the magical 60%.  But the test is feeling more familiar as we do it.

They had a great competitiors party on the Saturday night and we got to watch all the musical freestyles as we ate and drank!

Sunday was really windy, again they had Tornado warnings all over the place but none materialized. This time we were bot scheduled in the outside arena. They had kindly provided a nice tent for the grooms etc to stand under in case it rained! Well it didn’t rain, but the blue and white striped tent was flapping like a wild thing in the gusting wind!  X as always handled it like a pro. Despite the fact that I was now on my third time in this test, I managed to forget the line of tempi changes (like how can you forget those!) and had an error of course when the judge blew the whistle and sent me back to re do them! Despite that glitch we got a pretty decent score though still in the high 50’s.

Miss P. was not impressed by the scary tent, but she held it together (many didn’t) and did a good test. Poor April had been so impressed with my error of course she went did one of her own, so also got a whistle blown. But they still finished with a 65% and nice 2nd place ribbon.

The show was over, we packed up and set off on the long drive home. Plenty pleased with our two stalwart ponies!


Vada-Nova show Morven Park April 2009

April 12, 2009

We took Payana and Xavoy to Morven Park, VA, Payana to do her 2nd ever licensed show and Xavoy to do our 2nd attempt at 4th level 2, ( we did our first licensed show at Williamston, NC. at the end of March, but I forgot to blog about that one I might get to it later!).

The weather report was pretty dicey but we went anyway. Saturday the rain poured down, and it was cold and miserable. Poor April and Payana were scheduled to show at 11:10 in the midst of all the downpour. Being the brave souls that they are they went. Poor Miss P, she is only a baby and this is only her second show, and again we had rain. But being the little trooper that she is she went on and did her best. They scored a very commendable 65% at Training 3 in the pouring rain.  They went again later in the day at 2:30pm, the worst of the rain was over but it was miserably cold and the arenas were deep mud.  This time they scored 65% for Training 4, sloshing around in the mud!

Xavoy and I were scheduled for 4:30 pm, the rain has stopped and sun had even come out but it was still very cold and windy. X warmed up so well, full of power and energy, but when went into the arena for our test we sank into the mud! We kept going but I could feel the deep sucking mud pulling him down and we didn’t have the bounce and power we normally enjoy. 4th 2 is an incredibly long  test, it never seems to end, esp when the mud is deep!  And it is so hard to do extended gaits, half-passes, pirouettes and tempi changes in deep mud, but we struggled on.  Losing our energy as we went.

We didn’t get the best score but we did get a 7 for one pirouette which was great because that’s one of the harder movements and new to us.  The tempi’s were not good, I miscounted one of the 4s and we did 5 steps between, and he was late on his last change, the half passes were stiff and laboured (they are very hard to do in sucking mud let me tell you).

I was most impressed with Aprils method of getting her breeches dry between tests, she put them on the dash of the truck and turned on the window defogger! And it worked. I’ll have to remember that for next time!

The next day Sunday dawned bright and sunny but very cold. The arenas were still deep mud. Miss P came out and did a superb job, she just tucked in her nose and trucked on around splishing and a sploshing! They got 70.4% for that test and were tied for first place, though they lost the tie-breaker, and wound up 2nd.  But way to go Miss P. , 70% at Training 3.

The arenas were still not any drier 2 hours later, so I put discretion before valour and scratched my next 4th level ride. We are still too new at this level to  handle the hard movements in way less than perfect footing. It was, I felt, too much to ask,  plus I had felt X slip a couple of times the day before and did not want to risk a pulled tendon or ligament. So we packed up our gear and drove home.

Now we have to decide should we move Miss P up to 1st level at the next show or not? I’d like her to qualify for the GAIG Championships in the Fall, and for that she will need to score 68% or better at Training 4, so maybe we need to concentrate on Training 4 for a couple of shows.  But what a trooper she is, and so is X doing all that hard stuff up to his ankles in mud.

Oh well we should have better weather next show in May.

No pictures yet, I did take a video but I have not processed it yet, I’ll do that and post when it goes up on youtube.


Cita wows them in Ocala!

April 2, 2009

Cita Normark competes in the Baby Green Hunters at HITS in Ocala.

Cita Normark competes in the Baby Green Hunters at HITS in Ocala.

Cita Normark, spent her winter in Ocala Florida, competeing in the Baby Green hunters, trained and ridden by Mark Stopford.  Cita can truly turn her hoof to anything! She got ribbons over fences in a highly competitive class of over 60 horses. And not just any horses all the best of the young hunters, ridden by professionals.

Cita is by Ravaldi out of Stella Normark, and is an example of an oldenburg cross, she has the  beauty of her warmblood dam, and temperament of the Knabstrupper. She took to the new life so easily and so calmly, Mark describes her as his Princess in all the best ways.

Look out for more of our Knabstruppers on the various show circuits.

Mark and Cita

Mark and Cita

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