This year, we New Yorkers were blessed with cool temperatures in June and a mild July, so of course the month of August has been miserably hot. We can’t always be lucky. With Calvin’s show schedule empty until PHA Finals and Maclay Regionals, held September 18th and 19th, this week I gave him a well-deserved break.
I still ride him, of course, because he needs to maintain a certain level of fitness, but this is our last chance to relax before we get serious about finals prep. Calvin has been hacked lightly every day, which has left me with more time to dedicate to my other two horses. I set a spooky course for Alan, my other equitation horse, and he did great. One of his best qualities is his bravery, which he showed very well when he jumped a solid wall of blue planks without peeking. He’s going to be my mount for the Fairfield-Westchester PHA Finals (the smaller, local version of the National PHA Finals), and I feel really prepared.
I also had the opportunity to work in depth with my young mare Tess. We broke her in the fall two years ago, but her training has gone slowly because I can’t give her the time that she needs while I am away at the shows with Calvin.
I feel badly because she works in spurts: she had six weeks off this winter while I was in Florida, she was not ridden every day in May while I was competing at Old Salem and Devon, and she had almost all of June off due to unexplained inflammation in her left eye. Once the eye specialist came out, it was diagnosed as merely an ingrown eyelash, and the offending lash was plucked, allowing Tess to resume normal work.
Our hard work paid off today at a local one-day show, where she was reserve champion in the 2′ hunters. I’m so proud of her! This was only her second away show ever, and she walked away with two blue ribbons. After finals are over, I hope to move her up to the Baby Green hunters and show her on the A circuit. She’s off to a great start, and I’m looking forward to bringing her through the higher levels.