Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Transformation Tuesday

Inspired by the 'before & after' blog posts I have read the past few days!

Fergie - January 2016 Pre-Purchase Ride:

Fergie - November 2016  Lesson:

And more:

    February 2016  First Lesson:

November 2016 Lesson:
Hoping to keep the progress going thru the Indiana winter!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Show Catch-Up!

Fergie and I competed 3 shows together this season at Intro Level.

Show #1:  IDS Schooling Show in Edinburgh (July)
Intro A:  disqualified due to fall before test began!
Intro B: 63.125%, 3rd place
This was Fergie's first show...ever...and we had no idea how she would handle it.  Schooling Friday evening was interesting - we had little rears for the first time and a very tense, spooky, nervous pony on our hands.  Show day warm up was the same but we headed in to the show ring confident.  While circling the dressage court waiting for the judge to signal our entrance, some spectators began clapping for a competitor finishing up her test in the ring beside us.  Fergie exploded into bronco type bucks - I am told I made it thru 3 bucks and then Fergie's back feet came up over my head and I somersaulted over her head...landing on my head.  My first fall ever.  No pics - sorry!  

One hour later, we entered the ring for Intro test B and made it thru successfully - no one clapped :)

Show #2:  IDS Schooling Show in Noblesville (August)
Intro A: 64.063, 4th place
Intro B: 60.938, 3rd place
This show felt very much like the first one - new environment for Fergie and many scary distractions to deal with including almost not making it into the ring for the first test.  We persevered and received many nice comments from the judges.

Show #3:  IDS Championship / Schooling Show in Edinburgh (October)
Intro A: 65.313, 3rd place
Intro B:  62.5, 5th place
By this show, I had a better idea of how much time Fergie needed to school - lots more than Riva ever needed!  But my confidence was triple from the previous 2 shows.  We received my first ever '9' for our entry halt for Intro B and our highest score to date of 65% for Intro A.

Looking ahead to 2017 show season, would like to compete in 2 additional shows - April and May shows in Edinburgh.  Aiming for Intro C & Training Level test 1 to start the season.  We are schooling canter transitions and hope to have them show worthy by Spring.  Would also love to attend Forest Hills Farms Dressage Camp again in April!

Castleberry Cobs!  
  Castleberry's Fflying Duchess 'Fergie' & Jen's Castleberry's Contender 'Connor'
Noblesville Show - August 2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lesson Photos

Just adding some pics from our lesson last Saturday at FHF.  Alexis took a lesson on Riva - first lesson since dressage camp and since her time off for IRAP therapy on her knee.  JK could see much improvement, so that was encouraging!

Lesson on Fergie started a little rough - she was distracted by where Riva was and what she was doing.  But we got it turned around and worked on straightness, bending, balance in canter.  Went thru our 2 tests for the IDS show this coming weekend - first show for Miss Fergie and I!

As always, my husband was driver, groom, photographer - all with a smile!



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Coming Right Along!

Fergie and I journeyed back to FHF at the end of May to lesson with Korin.  She was happy with the progress we had made since dressage camp in late April.  Her homework was more transitions - work on a square instead of a circle with outside turning aids emphasized - balance and straightness in the canter.

This was Fergie's first solo trailer trip since we brought her home and she was very anxious - lots of movement in the trailer and came off sweaty.  Was proud of her for settling right in for the lesson though and she was not distracted by the farm horses in the nearby pastures.

Riva is off due to knee joint injections - she will have her 3rd and final treatment this coming Saturday.  After 3 days of stall rest, she can slowly be put back to work and we will see if this helped with her arthritis.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Mare Birthdays!

I totally missed The Duchess turning 7 - we were at Rolex!

Day we brought Fergie home - February 2016

April 2016 - Dressage Camp

Happy 7th birthday to this sweet, lovey, fun mare!  She is the opposite of Riva in every way.  She loves being groomed, hugged, and made over.  She tries very hard under saddle to please - but can be  nervous and spooky in certain situations.  She is forward and super off the leg - adjustable in all 3 gaits off the seat - and makes me smile every time I ride her.  Looking forward to all that is ahead for us!

Today The Princess turns 9!

Riva as a yearling - just after we bought her

May 2016 - she is a great horse for maternity shoots!

Happy 9th to my 'heart horse'!  Riva is opinionated, hates to be groomed, somewhat lazy but also can be a joy to ride.  She and I have learned everything about dressage together and continue to grow as horse and rider.  She is currently having soundness issues due to arthritis in her left knee and will be undergoing IRAP therapy beginning this weekend.  Vets are optimistic this will give her several more years of competition and riding ability.  Regardless, she has her home for life with us.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Our first 'paid' gig!

My husband took this photo on the last day of dressage camp and on a whim, I sent it Total Saddle Fit letting them know how much I like the shoulder relief girth and shimmable dressage pad I purchased from them.  They asked if they could use the photo for their website and Facebook page in exchange for another one of their products.  I chose another dressage pad to keep for show.  They edited the pic - changed the background to black and white.  I like it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dressage Camp!

Sneak peak preview of more photos and blog post to come:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Equinpilot's Foal Pool Contest

Head on over to http://equinpilot.blogspot.com and enter Nicole's Foal Pool Contest by April 1st!

Fergie's dame is her stallion's granddame - and he is gorgeous!

The handsome Roscoe -  Castleberrys ReFflection

Still time to enter!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Switching it Up

Riding two very different horses over the past few weeks has been a new experience for me.  Not only physically, but mentally.  My daughter has had lots of experience with this from her years of being a working student and it has made her a fabulous rider.  I don't expect that to happen to me  riding both Riva and Fergie, but I hope it will eventually improve my skills.
Husband is busy working around the farm and no time to take new pics!

I look forward to riding Fergie - she is eager, forward, and will just keep trying, even when sweaty and tired.  She remembers everything from the previous ride and we can build on that and add in new exercises.  Currently we spend time each ride working on transitions, straightness and bend, and picking up the canter promptly. Left lead is getting much easier - right lead is still sticky, but I am starting to figure it out.
 Fergie 'assisting' her Dad with stall cleaning.

Riva is maddening...she reminds me of a kid who doesn't like to practice but loves to perform.  You know the type.  She is always on at a show - but it is very difficult to progress when you need to school movements at home but we end up spending the entire ride just getting a decent connection and her hind end engaged.
Annoyed Riva Diva - not to worry, I brought her in after I took a photo!

Indiana weather gave us a good stretch of dry weather, and I was able to ride 6 days out of 7 last week - and then we got an inch of rain yesterday...  Hoping for a dry Spring and lots of saddle time to work with Riva - get out in the pasture for hacks and out of the arena.

And have a beer sitting on my little pier!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Riding times 2!

Another announcement - no, we did not get yet another horse...I am going to be a grandmother soon!

Our youngest daughter is expecting a little girl in early June! 
If you know Alexis, you can tell she looks a little thicker here on the day we tried Fergie. 

She has ridden Fergie once at the walk since we brought her home and now is just coaching from the ground.  Which means I am suddenly the sole rider of the two mares who could not be more different.

Riva is very much a kick ride at home (those who have seen her at a show might not know this!).  She is lazy and will only do what you insist she do.  She also will pull like a freight train with her neck and chest if you let your leg relax.

Yes, I know - get that right leg down and heel down!

Fergie, on the hand is like a little sportscar and will go, go, go.  Very light in the bridle and will tuck her head behind vertical, which we are working on.
Working on canter

If we had ideal conditions in Indiana, I would be in phenomenal shape.  Our outdoor arena is still a work in progress and any rain means no riding for several days.  Every day that arena is rideable, I am out there times 2, grateful for every minute!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

I am excited to announce we have a new family member and Riva has a new best friend!

Meet Castleberrys Fflying Duchess - Fergie! 

While no horse will ever replace our OTTB, Cheers, this little mare has stole our hearts in a short amount of time.

Thank you to Jen of cobjockey for introducing us to Fergie's breeder!  We spent a warm sunny afternoon in late January visiting her farm and playing with Cobs.  My daughter and I both tried Fergie under saddle that day and fell in love.  

This moment happened before I rode - yeah, I knew she would be coming home with us!

Fergie is 7 and had 4 months of under saddle training last year.  She is green but so willing to learn.

Second time cantering her - my third ride on her since bringing her home.

 Riva and Fergie had zero issues adjusting to one another.  This made my heart happy!

We took her on a 30 day trial - had the pre-puchase exam, farrier visit, and first lesson with JC, hauled her to an indoor to ride...picked up her papers today and made it official.

She is not gigantic...15 hh!
Welcome Miss Fergie!  We could not be happier with this new mare and look forward to many dressage adventures together!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tribute for Cheers

Our hearts are heavy this week with the loss of our OTTB, Cheers, this past Sunday due to colic complications.  My husband put together 9 years worth of photos and set it to music - he posted it to FaceBook on Tuesday night and I did not see it until Wednesday morning.  I cried thru it the first time - so many great memories of this memorable horse.