Thursday, August 6, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
1. Katchi versus Sunken Road. Here are some clips (Part 1 & Part 2 - I had some uploading issues) of Katchi caught totally off guard by the AGH - GASP! It's a sunken road! We went around and around tackling each bump and hump getting closer and closer to our original objective. Katchi still wasn't convinced. A few more bumps and humps and a good argument - and all became right with the world and it turns out, silly Katchi, that Sunken Road ain't so terrible after-all.
2. A bit of gymnastics. This is one of the final gymnastics exercises Phillip had us do - focused on riding the horse to the base of the jump and giving them lots to figure out with placing poles and varied distances and jump width. Good fun!
3. THE MOUND. I was so excited when I saw the big mound jump on the day we arrived at camp! I couldn't wait to tackle it! Here are a few of clips some of the topsy-turvy terrain jumps over the week, hincluding the big mound.
4. Final SJ & XC "Competitions". Here's where we put it all together! After the competition round, Katchi had to go back for a little extra water training (coming down to the water, I couldn't get him on the line and locked on, and, gee, big shock, he just quit when we got to the ledge) - but check out how he tackles that Sunken Road now!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
On the Ecogold blog, you'll also find some video of Emma's presentation on grooming and horse care, as well as the Ecogold presentation on their products.
Seeing how great these videos came out has inspired me... hopefully in the next week or so, I can figure out how to post some of the hours-and-hours of video my mom took of the week. It's the best thing in the world to have your own personal cameraman (or woman!) - it's like getting double your money, because now I can watch what I felt - and obsess over every detail! great, just what I need!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Nutramax Laboratories (makers of Cosequin) - http://www.nutramaxlabs.com/
Devoucoux Saddles - http://www.devoucoux.com/
Ecogold Equestrian Textiles - http://www.ecogold.ca/en/index.php
Pennfield Equine Feeds - http://www.pennfield.com
Bit of Britain - http://www.bitofbritain.com/
Equinature Products - http://www.equinature.com
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Anyhow, beyond Phillip and Evie (Sylva, Ryan and Jennie), every single person we have come across in the past 4 days has been outstanding. Amy and Abby have been our leaders and caretakers and our horses love them (as do we!). And today, I took Emma up on her offer from yesterday to help us with anything we could - Katchi got a bit of an overreach this morning which looked like nothing this morning, but was pretty oozy this afternoon. I immediately drug him down the hill and begged Emma (who was just leaving for I'm sure a wonderful evening out of the barn), to please help! She was wonderful and Katchi made took the walk of shame in his bandaged foot back to his own stall.
We still have one day left, but I just wanted to take a moment to say beyond the amazing learning opportunities - it has been an absolute joy to spend a week with such amazing people - instructors, working students, other campers, fabulous grooms and all our helpers! Thank you for everything you have done to make this a wonderful week away from the office!
Also, realized something I missed in posting last night to add to the Charlie leading his horse into the water story - meanwhile, his poor mother was about to have a heart attack watching her brand new very expensive half chaps wade into the green water! Apparently someone has a picture of Charlie, his horse and the million dollar half chaps in the green muck, so will see if I can track it down! Not really what one expects when they sign up for a Phillip Dutton clinic, is it?!?! Aren't we supposed to ride through the water??
Right, so today was round two on the XC course. Phillip set out to build upon the confidence we were developing in the horses yesterday. We started by revisting the galloping position work that we did with Jennie earlier in the week, then moving onto small figure 8's over a small log in the field. Phillip really wanted to get the horses soft in the jaw on the landing of the jump, so they would land and flow in the direction we wanted rather than charging off on a straight line headed to wherever the horses thought it would be good to head. It was a really great exercise and not one that I think many people would think of doing as a XC warm-up. We did quite a few of the same combinations again today, but this time we didn't "school" them so much first. He had higher expectations that we would do them more competently and faster this time around as well as longer courses of various combination questions. It's not often that we take the opportunity to tackle the exact same XC questions 2 days in a row to get it "more right". He also threw in several new jumps and lines which included a very big log (to my eyes at least - Katchi just chuckled and said, let me at it mom!).
One of the new lines we did was to repeat a small log on varied terrain then gallop along the track and into the woods where there was a narrow upright rail road tie jump. Katchi has spooked at this stupid jump every time we've walked past it all week - it's in the shade, between two trees with the track running almost next to it. And here is where I made Phillip laugh - he told us to jump the first log then head down (do not underestimate the horses's questions coming into this new jump!) and jump the RR ties. He says "if all goes well, come back and do it the other direction." I replied, "don't you mean, WHEN it goes well, come back and do it the other direction." He laughed quite hard. So, it may not have been through the blog that I made Phillip Dutton laugh - but I did make him laugh at least once this week!
Katchi and I had a really great day with one bobble at the sunken road. I sorta had an idea it might be an issue for Katchi, so I asked Phillip early on today if we could be sure to do it. Once again, I would have been far better off if I'd thrown the reins away and kicked, but I didn't. Seriously, I don't think I have a learning disability (I am pretty well educated in the academic sense!), but don't you just wonder about yourself sometimes?!?! Katchi had a bit of a fit and we went round and round jumping all the bits and pieces of the sunken road. This will sound funny, but despite all the drama, I was really pleased that he didn't rear. That used to be his thing, because he figured out after one time that it worked on me - it worked really good, in fact. But, no rearing and we eventually got through it and all was well.
Only other issue he gave me today was at the larger of the 2 ditches. We hadn't jumped that yesterday - we came round and jumped the smaller ditch and then were to head straight to the larger ditch (about 5 strides away)... got all the way up to the edge and had a quick stop. grrr. Phillip made me come back around to the first ditch and totally throw away the rein between the two - then just sit back and kick - ha ha, he jumped it! I finished up jumping around several fences in the other field (we're getting really good at that mound jump!), and when I came back around, I thought I saw Phillip in the ditch. He's not as tall as Boyd by any means, but when I say he's a "mean little Australian man" he's not really that small either. All I could see was the top of his hat - if that gives you any idea of how big that ditch was. I didn't see it, but we had a rider timble off into the ditch when her horse did a dirty stop at the last moment. She's a bit scraped up and has a fat knee (she went to the urgent care this afternoon to get it checked out, so hopefully we'll have a good diagnosis by the end of the day), but was in good spirits. And, oh her horse is SO SO sorry now. He really does know what it means to have a "mean little Australian man" on your back!
For those wondering, Charlie had a much better day today. However, at the end of the ride, Phillip told him that he plans to continue to build the mare's confidence over the courses tomorrow. Charlie says "sounds like a bunch of tiny logs to me." We've all been there, Charlie!
Okay - off to "rider fitness" - we have awards and evaluations, which I'm sure will be amusing if nothing else!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Here I am at Camp Dutton...
Yep, we've arrived!
Camp is off to a great start! There are 11 campers, and we're all settled at the Deleware Equine Center, right next door to Phillip's. Much to my mom's relief, it really is only a 5 minute hack and it's slightly down hill on the going trip. And, WOW! What a beautiful place Phillip has! I got a sneak peak of the cross country jumps today when we went down the wrong road a few hundred feet. I've already found a little log on the peak of a mound that I'm dying to have a go at! I'll see if I can grab a picture of it tomorrow. At every turn, I am in awe of this beautiful property - I've had a quick look at the galloping track and indoor arena this evening, and I hope to have time tomorrow to do a bit of exploring.
Tonight, Phillip and Evie hosted a lovely welcome dinner where we received our schedule for the week and introduced ourselves. There were 3 or 4 riders who plan to move up to Training level right after camp, so it will be an excellent opportunity to learn from each other. During the introductions, I sort of forgot about this blog - which Evie was kind enough to remind me of and asked me to tell everyone about it! Hum... wonder if I can manage to give Evie and Phillip a good laugh with something I post this week!! :)
Okay, so now for the bit everyone wants to know about - the schedule!
We each have a slightly different order of events, but here is my schedule, which I am really thrilled with:
Monday AM - Private dressage lesson with Silva Martin
Monday PM - Galloping work with Jennie Brannigan & Ryan Wood
Tuesday AM - Private lesson with Phillip
Tuesday PM - Gymnastic jumping with Phillip (group of 3 for 1 hour)
Wednesday - Cross Country Exercises with Phillip (group of 3 for 2 hours)
Thursday - Cross Country with Phillip (group of 3 for 1 1/2 hours)
Friday AM - Dressage "competition"
Friday PM - Show Jumping & Cross Country "competition"
Wow - what a full week! As Phillip said tonight, this will be a hard weekk for the horses, so we should keep the warm-up before the lessons start to a minimum (he also noted that if we are not on time, we should be 5 minutes early - yes, sir, got it!). And on top of all this, we have guest speakers and other presentations daily, including free massages on Wednesday! As we left the dinner tonight, we each received a Cosequin bucket stuffed with all kinds of Cosequin goodies - Thank You!!
The picture below is of Katchi (with his loyal groom, my mom) tasting the local fair. Which, funny enough, he doesn't like!! For those of you who know Katchi - how funny is that?! When has he ever found a grass he didn't like?! He actually spits it out! Luckily, there is quite a bit of clover mixed in which is apparently acceptable, so I think he'll survive.
Monday, June 29, 2009
We are stabling at the Delaware Equine Center, which is apparently right next door (5 minute hack) to Phillip's farm. My mom has already translated a 5 minute hack at horse speed into 15 minutes at her speed!
We are to arrive between 1:00-4:00 on Sunday, with a welcome reception at 5:00 when we will meet all our fellow "campers" and receive our personal schedule of ride times.
Tuesday's dinner will be at Phillip and Evie's home - and they've said to bring a swim suit! I'm already giggling about going swimming at Phillip Dutton's home! How many people do you think are in the club of "I went swimming at Phillip Dutton's"?! Olympic medals aside, I'm sure he's just a normal guy and they probably do have friends over for pool parties - when he's not off winning more Olympic medals. I suppose the club isn't so elite afterall, but it's still making me giggle.
Monday & Wednesday we have wine and cheese evenings with guest speakers - mystery guest speakers for now. I won't even start trying to guess!
I'll try to make my first camp post on Sunday July 5 after we get settled and get our ride schedule for the week - it should be a fabulous week!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Katchi and I have another Horse Trial this weekend - this should be our last Novice before moving up to Training right after camp. So far, my entire spring season has been nothing but RAIN and MUD. Seriously, did you know Washington DC is actually a rain forest??