Friday, March 5, 2010

Video and Update about Windsong and Silva

Caitlin, Silva and Windy in the snow

Caitlin and I are sooooooo ready for the sun to come out!! We are thinking we could have not picked a worse winter to stay home in PA. It is cold, cold and cold every day and it does not look like the snow is ever going to melt. But we are tough girls and what doesn't kill us makes us stronger!

The other thing is that we are getting lonely at True Prospect Farm. When everybody is at home in the summer we complain about the craziness of that place but we have to say, we are missing our crazy eventers a lot.

That said, we are having a great time training the wonderful horses that we have here at home. We are very lucky to have such a good group of horses - they are fantastic!

I am particularly exited about a new four-year old mare who's name is Windsong. Windy is owned by Phoebe and Chuck Devove and is a beautiful and very talented young mare.

I am very lucky that Phoebe and Chuck decided that I would be a good match for Windy; she is the sweetest little mare with the best temperament. Phoebe had Windy broken in a few weeks before she sent her to me for training and showing, so when she arrived she was all business from day one. With her great personality and ridebility she really is such a joy to have in our barn.

I am excited to have Windy, Phoebe and Chuck in my team for this season! Windy and I are going to our first show this April at Morven Park.

Here is a video of Windy after only a few weeks of training :

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Videos of Boyd Jumping Rose and Eddie

Boyd checks in following a couple of days in Pennsylvania:

The Sunday night after Pine Top I jumped on a flight straight up to PA not only to see my loving wife and two pet cats but also to inspect my two exciting young horses that Silva and Caitlin have been working with.

Ambassador’s Rose, known around the barn as Rose has improved considerably with her jumping and the dressage since we parted company a couple of months ago. Kristin and Andy Sparks bred Rose and she’s a new competition horse for me to ride.The mare is showing good signs of promise and she’ll make her debut at the Plantation Horse Trials next month at the novice level.

I also got on Steady Eddie for his first jumping school on American soil and he did not disappoint. Right from the first fence he gave me a great feel on top and he’s showing good signs of promise. I still think he’s probably a couple months off starting eventing because he hasn’t seen any cross-country style fences like banks or water in his life. He looks like he’s gained about 400 pounds since I last saw him in Australia. We’ve got him on Nutrena Legacy feed three times a day and he’s starting to shine and really look good.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Update on Upper Level Horses from Aiken

Silva schooling Neville Bardos in Aiken, SC

Boyd is preparing three horses for the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** in Lexington at the end of April, and staying busy riding everything else he has the chance to sit on as well as teaching lessons and clinics. Here's an update on his top tier horses:

The three advanced horses that are heading to Rolex after enjoying their winter vacation in Wellington: Neville Bardos, Remington XXV and Rock on Rose, had to come back to reality and move to Aiken in three inches of snow. It was their biggest snow in 30 years! But it was good to bring the rock stars back to reality after living the good life in Wellington.

All three horses have been on track with Kentucky as their main goal for the spring and have been sound and had no hiccups. I started off Nev and Remi with a nice Intermediate at Pine Top and then went back a couple weeks later and hit them a little harder; Remington ran fantastic in the advanced, finishing third, while Neville ran a bit slow in the intermediate. I opted not to run him cross-country at the first one since he’s an experienced horse and kept him at intermediate the second time around just to play it safe.

I took Rock on Rose to Rocking Horse down in Florida under the watchful eye of Bruce Davidson for her first event of the year. She had very good dressage test and show jumped a beautiful round but unfortunately I got a bit close to a fence on cross-country and I flew off the top of her and gave my fancy new air vest a trial. I bounced like a beach ball and then we walked home. After that Bruce and I agreed to back her down to intermediate at Pine Top last weekend and she had a great dressage and clear show jump and was spot-on on cross-country to finish a creditable sixth place.

The two prelim horses I’ve been competing this year were Amy Lindgren’s Minotaure du Passoir and Phantom Pursuit who is owned by Abbey Golden, a Young Rider from Texas that’s training with me. I’m competing her horse and keeping it fit until she can get away from college to compete him herself. Both of these horses have had two fantastic prelims this year at Pine Top and Paradise.

Oded Shimoni and Mark Phillips have been flying up to Aiken every ten days to do some US team training sessions. I’ve been taking Neville to the sessions and the main focus has been improving his trot, which I think is paying off. Oded has been working on almost making him passage in the trot to improve his action. Rock on Rose and Remington I’ve been training with Silva because she knows both of these horses and she’s made huge improvements working on some of the movements that will be in the test at Kentucky.

The three advanced horses are all on a very planned training and competition schedule to prepare for Kentucky. All three horses are jogging the hills in Bridle Creek for 35 minutes once a week and we’ve just started taking them to the racetrack to start some quicker, sharper work.

At Pine Top I got a phone call on Thursday evening that my good friend Holly Hepp fell off a ladder and sprained her wrist, so I rode two of her horses this past weekend, at advanced and intermediate ,and they both had successful results.

Pine Top is one of my favorite events: it’s a good course with a long, open cross-country course that encourages forward riding. Unfortunately in the advanced there was a fair bit of trouble with many riders coming to grief at a number of fences. In my round on Remington I actually got held twice on course: it was one of the longest rides of my career, taking over 30 minutes. Jan Byyny and Rebecca Howard were both injured at Pine Top and we are keeping them both in our thoughts.

I was really thrilled with my apprentice Lillian Heard and my student Erin Sylvester, who had their first advanced horse trials and managed to cruise around the course without any incidents despite all the ambulances coming and going!

I’m taking all of the young horses and moving them up to training at Sporting Days this coming weekend and Summer’s having her first start at beginner novice. Then the higher level horses go to the advanced at Southern Pines. If the snow’s gone off the mountain I’ll head back to Pennsylvania and start galloping up the hills before The Fork, but it depends a bit on the weather.

Lillian Heard

Monday, March 1, 2010

Photos of Bridle Creek in Winter

So much for heading South for the winter!

Young Horse Mid-Winter Update from Aiken

South Boundary Avenue in Aiken, SC during this winter's record-setting snow storm. Photo: Google Images.

Boyd is spending the winter in Aiken, South Carolina competing his horses on the winter eventing circuit. In this installment he talks about his talented group of young horses, from their training programs to competitions. Check back later this week for an update on his elite group of advanced horses and their preparations for the Rolex Kentucky three-day event coming up at the end of April.

I’ve been eventing the younger horses on one weekend and the older horses on alternate weekends. The young ones competed in three events now, starting in January with the Pine Top Horse Trials, then on to Sporting Days, and last weekend at Paradise Farm.

Densey Juvonen’s Charla has had a wonderful year so far, winning the novice at Pine Top, then placing second in her first training at Sporting Days and third in the training at Paradise. I’m really excited about this mare: she has been improving all the time at home in her training which shows in her competition results.

Another one of the glamour girls is Lily, or Lillian Pink, owned by Laurie Cameron. She’s had successful results with top three finishes in novice at all three of these events and is looking to move up to training her next time out.

Gretchen Winterstein’s Irish gelding Ringwood Murphy has also made a lot of improvement this year. He’s a super jumping horse that’s still getting an understanding of the dressage. He’s jumped around clear every start he’s had and is also ready to move up to training. He’s an outstanding horse and his understanding of the dressage will come in time.

Royal Flush is a mare that Heather Hopkins’ parents bred in Ohio and I’ve got it for a couple of weeks to get it started. She’s always improving.

Another top young horse is Anne Hennessey’s Summer Breeze who’s about to make her debut to the American eventing world this coming weekend in the BN at Sporting Days. Both Anne and I are excited about this mare: I bred her in Australia and she’s out of Shatzi’s mother. She’s looking encouraging so far.

Another horse is Little Miss Sunshine, owned by Julia Steinberg, a mare that I’ve been working away with down here and have competed a couple of times with positive results, improving with each outing.

Last but not least I’m lucky enough to get the ride on Melissa Studenberg’s Muggle, who I’ve just had one training event on so far this year at Paradise which was a great success, finishing on his dressage score of 27.

Basically in Aiken we’re lucky to be in a great facility for the young horses. There’s plenty of activity to keep them entertained there at Bridle Creek. My basic weekly routine is to jump them once or twice, usually on Tuesday and/or Thursday with some show jumping or gymnastic exercises early in the week and course work later in the week.

We're surrounded by cross-country training facilities and I’ve taken them to Full Gallop Farm and the Gibbes Farm, as well as Bridle Creek’s facility a number of times. Throughout the week I do fitness work with them, usually a 20-minute jog through the 2,000 acres of beautiful country surrounding us which helps with going cross-country.

Other than that I’ve been chipping away at their dressage and trying to improve bit by bit. Silva’s come down three times now and has been working with me with the younger horses trying to tune up their dressage.

My biggest goal with these young horses was to come back ot PA after three months with more experience horses; I think the whole experience of being in a different barn and competing a number of times matures them and gets them more worldly, trying to build a good foundation for future years.


Paradise Farm HT
Sporting Days Farm HT
Pine Top Winter I HT

Mark Lehner took some great photos from these events. They can be viewed at