Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hassler Dressage Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium

From Friday to Sunday, November 7-9, Silva took part in the Hassler Dressage Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium

"First of all, Scott and Suzanne are doing a great job organizing these things. It was great getting trainers from around the country together to discuss ideas. Every night they showed videos of show and training, often from Germany. Of course I grew up in Germany, but it's good to see what is going on there.

"I knew the clinician, Ingo Pape, because he and his wife had horses at Rudolf Zeilingers. They breed a lot of very nice horses. At this clinic they had about nine horses a day, three-year-old's up to seven-year-old's. Jeff is seven so he was always the last to go. All three days he was awesome. Ingo helped me with the pirouettes and piaffe/passage. He really helped a lot.

“There were about sixty people watching and nine riding; all the auditors were trainers who had taken part before. This was the fourth time they’ve had the clinic and they kept it closed to trainers so that we could really talk about each horse and not worry about upsetting anyone.

“Good on Scott doing it that way, because otherwise it becomes more of a show. It wasn’t an issue for me since I own Jeff, but sometimes people guard what they say around owners and the press. There will be other opportunities for press and owners. You didn’t have to be careful saying anything here, so communication was very open. No one was bagging anyone out, it was just a very open discussion.”


Shatzi W Excels at Rubicon

Rubicon was the last event of the year and went really well. Schatzi W finished the year in glorious fashion, coming second in the prelim on her dressage score of 39.4. We brought her over from Australia in March and she's done about ten events now, and her worst placing was fifth. She has never taken a rail in show jumping, which I find exciting - she's proven herself as one of the best jumpers around.

I actually took her in a couple of intermediates; she placed third and fifth but she seemed a little green and spooky at some of the fences so I put her back to prelim to make sure she's bursting with confidence. She'll come out at prelim in the spring and I'll see how she feels, then maybe do her first two-star at Jersey Fresh or Bromont.

I also finished fourth in the prelim riding Valentino III, a new ride for me. He belongs to Cathy Robinson and is a sales horse. He was sensational and we have some people coming to look at him this weekend. I think he'll be a good Young Rider horse - he's not dead easy, not for a child, but he's got a bit of talent in him.

I also rode a few babies, the most successful of which was This Is Houston, who finished third in Open Novice on 30.5. My good friend Paddy Young used to ride him as a steeplechase horse. This Is Houston is owned in partnership by Phillip and Evie Dutton and Shannon Stimson, so there was a little pressure to do well on that horse and keep the boss happy!