Hope the new year finds you happy, healthy and well (and warmer than we are here in TN!) Today the high is 20 degrees – too cold for even my backside to get out there and ride. We leave for FL with the horses on Feb 1 for 2 weeks in Ocala – CAN’T WAIT!!!
“Dante” (Lover’s Quarrel) is doing fabulous. He has been such a nice addition to the barn. His canter work is finally starting to pay off as he’s learning to sit down and lift his shoulders and not lean on my hands. I know this goes against everything he was trained to do as a racehorse – I’m just happy that he’s developing quickly. His canter was pretty rough to start as he would pop his butt up in the air on every canter stride. Leg yields and half pass movements at the canter had helped to teach him to sit and I was happy to finally feel his canter smoothen out. As eventors we spend a lot of time in the canter and I don’t want to have to sweat that hard every time out! Ha ha!
Go to the Canterway Farm to see a video of Lover’s Quarrel aka “Dante” during a lesson. “Dante” is entered in his first show. He will compete Beginner Novice Horse at the Florida Horse Trials in Ocala, Feb 14-15. The weekend before we’ll do some PSJ’s at Canterbury Show Place so he’ll have some showjumping experience under his belt before the event.
“Dante” loves to jump and is brave over everything. Give a cluck and close your leg and he says “Well ok, if you say so”. It might be a big jump, but he jumps it no less! We go to a neighbor’s cow field a few times a week for conditioning. He is still trying to figure out what those weird smelly animals are and heaven forbid any try to come toward him (he doesn’t realize he’s bigger than them too!). Last week it was the hay ring in the field which was going to eat him alive – or at least that’s his excuse to snort and run sideways. Ten minutes later we were within three feet of it and it wasn’t so much fun anymore.
He really is quite a good boy. If he’s out in the field he comes running . . .(and I mean RUNNING) up to you like a giant Labrador sliding to a stop right in front of you. He’s very athletic and shows off some very artistic Airs-Above-The-Ground at times. His field mate is Teddy, one of our lesson horses. Teddy is very steady and isn’t about nonsense and “Dante” bounces around him like an annoying Jack Russel saying “Come & Play, Come & Play!” It took me awhile to turn anyone out with “Dante” because I didn’t want him kicked, but Teddy is perfect and “Dante” is much happier having someone on his side of the fence. He still gets boots put on all four legs for turn out – I’m not risking a bump or scratch for anything!
“Dante” is entered in his first show. He will compete Beginner Novice Horse at the FL Horse Trials in Ocala, Feb 14-15. The weekend before we’ll do some PSJ’s at Canterbury Show Place so he’ll have some showjumping experience under his belt before the event. We can’t wait to get to FL – the weather there allows us to get such a jump start on the season. Plus we are blessed to be able to take the horses to the USET headquarters at Longwood Farm to train on their XC course. It’s a very special treat!
Thanks again for the wonderful experience. I know I’ll be contacting you later on in the year for another project once I sell a couple of the ones I already have and make room. You’ve got us hooked for life. “Dante” is a wonderful boy – so sweet and just loves to be loved on. He loves to put his muzzle on your shoulder and blow in your ear for minutes on end (last time I think we timed him at six minutes before we got tired of it!) The funniest thing about him is how he shakes his head viciously and stomps his feet when he sees you coming with his feed bucket. That’s a “Hurry up Dang It!” if I ever saw one!
I’ve also enclosed a picture of “Dante” napping in the field.