It has been a long cold winter here in Alberta and although the weather has not been all that cooperative, the horses have been training wonderful.
Everyone has been working hard and is excited for the upcoming show season.
Caroline and Dante have become quite the team this winter. They are working hard on first level and starting to play around with some of the moves from second level. They are planning on competing at first level and it will be fun to watch them progress.
Rhai and Donny are working at solidifying third level and a little bit of fourth level. Donny has been a bit sticky with the flying changes and so we want to take it easy with him and get him stronger and more comfortable at this level.
Rebecca and Reiko have been working very hard to make the jump into first level. Being that this is only their second year doing dressage, they have come a long way together and are progressing very nicely.
Suzanne and Zenari have been really getting to know each other this winter. Zenari is teaching Suzanne so much about her timing and feel for the aids, he is such a good schoolmaster for her.
Carol and Archi have been getting along quite nicely this winter and are really having fun together. Archi is such an easy going boy and so pleasant to have around.
I have been working with both Extra and Ferrari, it is so nice to have such wonderful willing young horses to work with.
Extra has been working on his transitions, rhythm and all the basics. I will be bringing him out at training level for a few shows to get him out and about. He is so much fun to ride and I really enjoy working with him everyday.
I started Ferrari in January and he has been a very willing student. I probably only ride him for about 20 minutes, 3-4 times a week and he is walk, trot and cantering under saddle well. He will be a super prospect for someone to take up through the level as he has a wonderful disposition and is a quick learner. I am putting him up for sale as he is well started and now ready for a partner to take him on. I will miss him as he has been so easy and he is such a character around the barn.
I started going out to Spruce View Hanoverians this winter to help Stephen Forbes with some of his young horses. They have some nice prospects that they have bred, along with some of their other horses and are working and training hard towards this show season. Lynn and Kim are lots of fun to teach and both have exciting new horses to work with.
It will be a busy but fun show season with all these youngsters to bring out.
We recently had Bonny Bonnello at our barn for a clinic and it was very inspirational and great fun. She was a good help with all the horses and I really enjoyed her input on my students. She really focused on riding forward with soft quiet hands and letting the horse find the bit without doing too much. And as usual transitions and accuracy were also high on the agenda. She is such a positive instructor and we all enjoyed learning from her. It was nice to have so many people come out to audit the clinic and to catch up with everyone. We are all looking forward to riding with her again.
I am excited for what the year has to bring with all these new horse and rider combinations. I am also looking forward to summer along with all the shows, green grass and warm sunshine!
Fall is in the air and we have just returned from the Parkland Dressage Festival, the last show of the year. It included both the Alberta Provincial Championships and the Western Regional Championships to wrap up the show season.
At the Provincials, Reiko ended up 3rd overall at AA Training Level with Rebecca finishing with a combined score of 63.82%, a great result for her very first Provincials! Donny and Rhai rode AA Second Level and were Reserve Champions with an average of 69.37%.
Next were the Western Regionals and Suzanne competed with both Paris, at AA Training Level, and Zenari, at AA First Level. Suzanne and Paris had a super result, winning both their classes and taking the Championship with a score of 74.91%. With Zenari, she finished up fourth with a 66.8%. Well done, Suzanne!
Reiko and Donny also competed in the Regionals. Rhai with Donny moved up to Third Level and won both her classes and the AA Championship with an average of 68.06%. Great riding, Rhai! Rebecca and Reiko went a step better and were AA Reserve Champions at Training Level with a 67.16% Super results, way to go Rebecca!
We brought Extra to the show to gain some experience and see how he would handle the busy atmosphere. He was perky, but extremely good. I rode him in both warm up rings and all over the show grounds with no problems. He was a very mature boy and I am excited to bring him out next year.
So now the horses with take a little break before training for the next levels over the winter.
Summer has been very good for us at Coleman Farms with the arrival of a new horse and another successful show. Everyone is training well and Extra was very easy to start and is progressing well.
I would like to welcome Dante SGS to the barn. Caroline and I travelled to DG Bar Ranch in California and took yet another wonderful horse off Willy's hands. Dante is 2008 17 hh Grey Dutch Warmblood gelding by Sandreo out of a Krack C mare. He is a real sweetheart with wonderful looks, movement and I am sure Dante and Caroline will have a long exciting future together.
We had a good show at the Amberlea Meadows Summer Dressage Festival in July. Rhai and Donny tried out third level, with the flying changes being a bit too exciting, but still managed to win all her classes and the Championship. Rebecca and Reiko are progressing very nicely, with some good classes and a Reserve Championship at Training Level. My very ambitious student, Suzanne, took 3 horses to the show after returning from France three days earlier and did great. Phyre and Ice MV (Amy) won both 4 year old materiale classes, Zenari took home the First Level Championship and Eileen Poole's Paris MV won the Training Level Championship. Well done to all!
Training at home with Extra has been going great, he is walk, trot and cantering round and has been going for many trail rides around the farm. He is very relaxed outside and still so much fun to ride!
We are looking forward to the last show of the season, Provincials and Western Regional Championships to wrap the season up.
It has been a very busy and exciting spring at Coleman Farm this year. Lots of new horses, a successful start to the show season and a fond farewell to a nice horse.
Congratulations to Suzanne Le Gars on the purchase of the very elegant Zenari, a 10 year old bay warmblood gelding, she found in California. Suzanne will bring him out at first level this year and will have lots of fun learning the levels on him. I would also like to congratulate Carol Spriggs on her new horse, Archimedes, a 5 year old bay Arab Friesen Cross gelding. Carol found him in California and he looks to be a super prospect with a wonderful disposition. Carol plans to school and get to know Archi this year and their future looks bright.
I am very excited to announce that I have a aquired two new prospects. Extra C, a 3 year old black Dutch Warmblood gelding by Don Schufro out of a Sandro Hit mare and Ferrari DG, a 2 year old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding by Devon Heir. I was enquiring about a prospect for myself from Willy Arts from DG Bar Ranch in California, he informed me that he had a super prospect coming from Holland that met my criteria and he thought would suit me. After seeing his video, I flew down to California and purchased him. He seems to be everything I am looking for; super disposition, great conformation and paces and to top it all off he is black with a star and two diagonal white socks! While I was in California I noticed a very personable chestnut gelding. He was two years old, extremely friendly, good mover with a lovely look. I bought him as a sales prospect and think he will be a wonderful amateur dressage prospect. I am extremely happy with the quality of these two horses and the wonderful help Willy has provided. I also purchased Diego from him as a four year old and what a super FEI horse he turned into. I would like to wish Elexis Ortlieb as much luck, fun and sucess with Diego as I have had with him.
The first show of the year, the AJYR Classic Dressage Show in Red Deer was very successful. Rhiannon Williams on Don Royale came out at second level and won all three of her classes with 70s and was Adult Amateur Second Level Champion. This is Donny's third year showing with Rhia and they have really developed as a team, I am looking forward to seeing them going up through the levels together. Caroline Locke on HyJinx, at his first show, had great results at training level. He won all three of his classes with 70s and also was Adult Amateur Training Level Champion. He was such a good boy and handled the new surrounding like a seasoned horse. Rebecca Albright on Reiko's Thunder was also at their first dressage show. They came in top four in all three of their classes, not bad for a girl who was cattle penning last year and a four year old that we started in December of 2011!
Two weeks later, the same horse/rider combinations attended the Amberlea Spring Dressage Show. It was also a success with all three horses going great, the girls rode wonderful and brought home 2 Championships and a Reserve Championship. Jinx also tried first level and got a 73% and won his class.
I would like to congratulate Donna O'Connor from Maryland on the purchase of Jinx. He is well on his way to a great career in Dressage and we wish her all the best with him. I know Caroline will miss him but he is going to a wonderful home.