Silva riding the 2011 USEF International Horse of the Year Neville Bardos
This weekend Kymmy, Devon and I went to the show in Ocala, Florida. We took nine horses with us so we were busy! They traveled in my five-horse trailer and the new lorry, which was great because it was so nice and comfortable for the horses, and Kymmy took her trailer, too.
I took seven dressage horses plus two event horses, Neville and Party Boy. Party Boy is Fernanda Kellogg’s prelim horse – he’s been with me for a few months since he’s a great jumper but he has trouble in the dressage. He’s come a long way; this was his first dressage show and we have been working hard. I didn’t know what to expect because he can be a wild man. Even though we were in “sunny” Florida, it was only 20 degrees and he was first to go every morning, when it was coldest, but he was good – he won both training classes and ended up training level champion, so I’m very happy with him.
Our celebrity Neville was good, too. It was very nerve wracking for me and the girls to take him, because of the pressure to keep something from happening to him! Boyd flew down to watch after the convention so there was pressure from him watching, too. Neville hasn’t been to any events in a while so I was worried about him getting wild, not to mention worried about my marriage! I was a little bit careful with him, but he came second on the first day in Third level test 1, Boyd suggested after the first day that I put more pressure on Neville instead of kind of tiptoeing around; he was hotter since I pushed him, and Third level test 2 is a tricky test with flying changes and a canter half pass, but I think it was the best trot tour that’s he’s done and he really let me ride him (see video).
Rosa Cha is back! She had a little injury and hadn’t shown for a while – she missed Devon last year. She’s a pretty hot horse as well, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I entered her in Third level test 2 and when I got on her she just turned it up; she never goes as well as at a show. She won with 73.9% and had great comments from the judges. On Sunday we did Test 3 which is harder but she can handle it easily. On Sunday she got a little more excited – she won her test with 68% but she put in two bucks and was full of herself! That’s okay since she’s just coming back.
Duvent had a great finish to the season at Dressage at Devon in Fourth level last year. I’ve been working on the tempi changes all winter – out in the field we’ve done literally hundreds of changes, but in the arena it’s still difficult. I rode him very steady in the trot, so his scores were a little on the low side, but I wanted to keep him rideable in the canter instead of going for his big spectacular trot. He finished fourth, and on Sunday I went back to the normal trot work and he scored 7’s and 8’s but he did get tense in the canter – but since the trot was better we won on 66.6% or so.
Jeff the Chef was back too – he’s been out for a long time with Lyme disease; I had never believed in it before but he was really down for a long time. I just threw him out in the pasture and let him come back on his own time. He was so young when I did the Grand Prix with him for the first time, he probably wasn’t strong enough, but I was so excited with him that I just went for it. Now I’m going to give him more time. He won the PSG on Sat and the Inter 1 on Sunday. I think I’ll keep him at that level until he gets really strong enough before I do the Grand Prix again.
Hidden Promise, (see video) is a horse that I own who was born in a Thoroughbred body but moves like a warmblood. He’s really a pleasure to have at the show; he doesn’t look at anything and just does his job. I rode him in 3rd level for the first time and he finished 4th on Sat and 3rd on Sun. He’s for sale and I think he’ll be a great horse for somebody like a Young Rider since he’s so easy and honest.
I also rode Devon’s horse Rembrandt. I’m sad that Devon will leave me eventually to go to college, and I hope she’ll go somewhere that she can keep riding part time. She is planning to sell her horse because she doesn’t have time to ride and go to school I showed him and finished fourth sat in 3rd 1 and on Sunday he finished well in 3rd level test 2. He’s been a great horse for Devon – they were championships at training and first level at the BLM’s, and now they’re moving up to Third level.
I took Stately along just to ride him, but didn’t show him. He’s a little between levels in his training right now and I wanted to keep him with me and going.
Kyymy rode Markie in PSG – they’re still green at this level and they’ve moved up pretty fast so she’s going to have to spend some time at this level before they move up again. We still have a lot of work to do perfecting the test but we’re happy with the way the horse is going. She was 6th on Sat and 3rd on Sun.