We were spoiled with unbeatable weather and competition this past weekend at Paradise Farm Horse Trials. I was so lucky to have Lauren and Annelise Aurillo, Mica and Lisa Kane, Hannah and Lori Daneker visiting for the weekend to see the show and enjoy the warm weather. The horse trials competition was spread over three days, with one phase of competition each day.
Annelise and Wexford competed in the Open Novice Division, while I rode Tessa in her Novice debut and Parris in her Beginner Novice debut to USEA competition! All the horses were so well behaved and put forth a good effort. Annelise had a great dressage test, and had an unlucky rail in showjumping to drop them out of the lead in a very competitive Open division. She had a great cross-country ride, and is looking ready to move up to the training level in two weeks! Tessa put forth a great effort this weekend, just showing to be a bit green in the dressage ring and on the cross-country. I am confident with a bit more time and training she will become competitive at that level! Parris surprised all of us with her effort on the weekend. She was a bit tense in the dressage, but jumped around the show jumping and cross country like a machine! She tried so hard and really seemed to enjoy her job.
On Saturday afternoon we organized a group ride with all the kids and Moms so I could show everyone around the countryside. We rode out from the farm on an hour-long loop, and everyone got to see the farms and country that surround our location at Southern Cross Farm. The horses were so well-behaved and everyone enjoyed the ride. We also got a chance to dine at a few great spots in Aiken, such as Takosushi (Lauren's favorite!). The Aurillos and Kanes headed home early monday morning, while Hannah and Lori stuck around for one more day.
On Monday we had a light riding day since most of the horses had the day off, so we got a chance to watch the USEF High Performance Training Sessions going on at Three Runs Plantation. We watched a few of the Dressage lessons with Mark Phillips (see attached picture below of Boyd on Remi with Mark), and it gave me some good pointers to work on with my own flatwork. Hannah and Lori and I were able to squeeze in one more cross-country ride before they had to head home later in the afternoon. It was a great weekend to have all the visitors around, and we had a blast!
This week I am focusing on Bucky and getting geared up for the Pine Top Horse Trials this coming weekend. This is the biggest winter competition in Aiken, and I am sure it will have the toughest competition yet. I will have a dressage lesson with Silva and a jump lesson with Boyd to tune up, and we will be shipping off to Pine Top on friday. I will keep everyone posted on my rides there! Thanks for following the blog!