Saturday, November 13, 2010


I've been awfully lax on this blog lately.. I went down to Breeders Cup last weekend, and I'm working overtime this week, so I've hardly been to the barn let alone able to post!

Check back for an update tonight :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

5 days, 3 hours, and 50 minutes.


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – By dawn Sunday, Zenyatta had already been out of her stall at trainer John Shirreffs’s stable at Hollywood Park for a 45-minute walk. It was to be the theme of her Sunday, a day after she worked six furlongs in 1:11.80 for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

Zenyatta was scheduled to have three walking sessions Sunday. She was back out for another walk in the 9 o’clock hour on Sunday morning and was to be walked and grazed in the afternoon. The only unknown was how long Shirreffs and his team could delay the start of the afternoon session.

“In the afternoon, she’ll walk for another 45 minutes, but that depends on how she behaves all day,” Shirreffs said. “Around 2:30 or 3, if anyone walks down the shedrow that she knows could walk her, she starts pawing the ground. If we can keep it quiet, we can stretch it to 5 after 3. Otherwise, you’ll be out there for an hour and 20 minutes.”

In the afternoons, Zenyatta is walked both in the shedrow and in an outdoor walking ring that encircles a patch of grass about the size of a tennis court. That grass is an afternoon snack for Zenyatta.

“She’ll graze and walk down to the other end and graze and then drag you down to the other end again,” Shirreffs said.

The unbeaten winner of 19 races for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta, 6, is scheduled to be flown to Churchill Downs early Tuesday for Saturday’s race. She is scheduled to have a light exercise on Hollywood Park’s training track Monday.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Since I unfortunately didn't get any videos of my lesson on Vegas on Wednesday, I'm just going to post a few videos of some old Rolex footage. If you squint really hard, you can make believe it's us. ;) Just kidding...

Our lesson was fantabulous, we did about 45m of trot work since he still likes to get piston OTTB feet when he sees jumps or we start cantering. Lots of working on rhythm & slowing up... But it paid off. We jumped about 10m towards the end of the lesson, mostly just little X's and a small vert (about 18"). He was great, we even got to canter the vert and on the last one he adjusted his own striding. :) Good boy!

Now for Rolex.......

Sunday, October 24, 2010


We had a cross country schooling day yesterday, and I took both of my boys :)

Stepp was kind of lazy at first, but I think he was still a tad bit sore because he worked out of it nicely. Our downhill ramp jumps are still the bane of our existence... It's funny because it's this ONE particular jump that we have problems with...

It's far more downhill than you see in this (old) picture. Yesterday we had 3 runouts in a row from it, then we continually circled LEFT (running out to the right) and took it about 5 times that way. So at our next event, basically, we'll just have to circle left and approach that way I suppose. It was awfully infuriating... I know it's my fault, because I have a mental block in my head about this fence, but I feel like he takes advantage just that TEENSY bit and game over. GAH. 

We did a mini sunken road type question, and he was absolutely fine with that. I have a video somewhere from earlier this summer...

We jumped in over a log, went down, up, and out over a log. He was a complete rockstar. We also did some down banks... Lord almighty, I cannot do down banks to save my life! He absolutely saved my ass. My trainer thinks the issue with a downhill ramp is that he can't see what's on the other side. We did the one at South Farm (wasn't a ramp, though) and it was alright... Sigh. Hopefully we can squeeze one more XC schooling in before winter. He's never been one to run out, so I'm just not sure how to handle it (I know how stupid that sounds...)

On the bright side, in the afternoon I took Vegas and he was very very good! We got off the trailer, hand walked around for a while just because it's been ages since he's traveled, and then hopped on. We spent about 20m just walking around, he spooked at one of the prelim fences but was great after that. Cantering up and down the hills was hilarious, uphill he was all manly and tough, then downhill you could see him go "Oh crap, I have to USE MY BUTT MUSCLES." It was a lot of fun and great exercise for him.  If he's feeling it half as much as I am today, I'll be giving him a massage later ;)

In fact, he was so good that my trainer suggested we try a few small fences. :) We haven't jumped in a long time, because he was on and off and on and off all summer. Every time we would get him fit and ready to get back O/F, he would pull something or twist something and have more time off. We started off over a small X (about 1 foot) and it was on a very slight incline, we trotted that twice and the first time I was preparing for a big launch... Yeah, he stepped over it. :) Yay! 

After that my trainer suggested we try the tiny (1 foot) coop, and unfortunately at this point our XC buddy was up on the hill in front of us, and a horse whinnied about 2 strides out so he kind of lost concentration, launched himself from a loooong spot, and I got left behind. I accidentally sat down on his back upon landing, which he DOES. NOT. LIKE. .... Cue bolt/bucking fit. I stayed on (yay! Saddle Tite!) and we halted. We then trotted some figure 8's and circles to get his brain back, and the second time over the coop was MUCH better. I had forgotten how round he is... He's not an easy horse to jump on, he easily jumps you loose. We also trotted an intro level rolltop twice, the first time we had another exuberant display of JUMPING. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!! and then we ended on a good note, a nice calm trot in, canter out, Mom stays off your back fence. :) He was so good, I was very proud of him. We also walked up and down the sunken road type question, not jumping of course but just a new challenge for him. He was an old pro :) 

I'm so excited! (knock on wood) On Tuesday we're going to have another lesson, I'll ride most of it but I'm going to have my trainer ride for some of the O/F portions. I just would hate to slam him and have HIM lose his confidence when we're just starting back. I will actually try to get some pictures this time :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

The New Albany Classic

The day was finally here! The 2010 New Albany Classic - 25 of the best horses and riders competing for over $100,000 in prize money. It is held about 20m from my house at Abigail Wexner's beautiful farm. It's escalated into a family fair day as well, so that's a nice draw for more people. This year David Archuleta was the performer, last year it was Jordin Sparks, and past performers include The Jonas Brothers.

This year the field included Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, Todd Minikus, Georgina Bloomberg, Margie Engle, Jeannie Hobbs, Charlie Jayne, Michael Morrissey, and more.

The course this year was very tricky. Some course designer had a field day, because it rode a lot harder than it looked. Only 4 riders made it clear to the jump off - Not including Beezie or McLain.

Now for the best part - Pictures!


MCLAIN WARD & PJOTTER vsjldfjwogjsl:


I got some unflattering pics, but check out her face paint!




Oh, hi Michael!



Kent Farrington & Up Chiqui:

The riders watching


I have more pictures, but can't flood too much :) It was a fantastic day, can't wait until next year! In the meantime, however, I'll be at WEG in 4 days! SO EXCITED!

After the Classic, I went to the barn to ride my pony and got slightly adventurous... :)

Our first 3'0 oxer in quite a while!
Stepp did it quite easily, here is the video. It starts off blurry but it gets a lot better once we hit the line. :)

'Til next time, Go USA! And, of course, RUN, HENNY, RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Here goes nothing!

After reading various blogs on here, I've decided to compile all of my progress in one place - That way I can share it with anybody who is interested, and see it all in one place!

My horse Stepp and I have been together for 8 years. We have dabbled in many things from 4H to hunters to eq to just hangin' out. I believe we have found his niche in the world - Eventing!

It all started when a new rider came to the barn and we decided (back in July) to aim towards the South Farm mini trial on September 12th. We had two sessions of cross country schooling beforehand, various dressage lessons, and some stadium work in our lessons. While all of this was fun, it had no comparison to the actual competition.

Our dressage lessons were decent, not spectacular, and we mostly focused on accuracy. Well, this paid off because I apparently missed the note in geometry class about circles being round... Thankfully it clicked after one lesson! ;)

Our cross country schooling was more for me than Stepp, I just needed to get out of the hunter mindframe and GET IT DONE. After our nemesis, the downhill ramp jump, was reasonably conquered, things improved. Stepp was a rockstar, and I was deemed competent by my trainer.

Stadium wasn't too much of a challenge, since we did so many eq courses back in the day it was the same basic concept with a faster, more efficient pace. After our cross country schooling sessions, our stadium greatly improved.

A few photos from our schooling sessions and some past over fences work... You can tell my eq days are far behind me ... Oops!

March 20th, 2010

May 23rd, 2010 - Following 6 weeks of lessons

Our first cross country session... August 8th, 2010

Cross country school #2, August 22nd, 2010

Our nemesis, the downhill ramp

And finally, our event! September 12th, 2010.

I know I got left behind here.  
And now we're at present day! :) I will post some videos as well, so I can keep proper track of things.