Andrea’s Wrap Up from our Aiken Excursion

Hey everyone,

Sorry my blog is a bit late but, this way I can cover the whole week! I can’t believe that the trip is over.  The week flew by way to fast.  For Syrah and me this whole week was spent learning about each other.  She has been on stall rest since I got back from christmas due to a corn in her hoof that was most likely from her racing days.  Just like Jenny and Molson, it came down to the wire on whether or not I was going to be able to take her.

The first day we spent in Hitchcock Woods which was absolutely amazing.  It was Syrah’s first real outing off the farm with multiple horses.  To my  surprise, she acted like an old pro.  She walked, trotted, and cantered at the back of the pack for most of the time with out a fuss.  The best part of the day though had to be the steeplechase track.  Kelly and I galloped our ponies around and I could feel us gaining confidence in every stride.  Syrah as usual jumped everything with ease.

The second day was a little more interesting.  We where were supposed to just hack around the farm and relax.  I soon found out that Syrah does not respond well with nothing to do.  Instead of walking around calmly, she resorted to hopping and cantering in place.  I suppose I need to explained to her what relaxing means :).

On Tuesday, it was supposed to be a bit rainy so we decided to stay at the farm and jump around PSJ’s beautiful show jumping course.  This was one of my favorite days. We ran the day like a  show starting off with a course walk and then warming up in a different arena.  Next we brought the horses in and had them jump the actual course.  Syrah has never been to a show so I was very interested to see how she would react.  We started out in the Beginner Novice group and Syrah jumped around the course with ease.  She didn’t even look at any of the jumps.  Then Megan allowed us to stay and jump around the novice course and once again my stellar mare acted unimpressed and jumped cleanly.  So then our wonderful jump crew raised the jumps once again.  I was a little nervous because I had never jumped Syrah this big, I wasn’t sure how she would react and I didn’t want to make a mistake that would take away form her confidence.   In typical Syrah fashion, she cantered into the ring locked her ears on the first fence, and jumped the fence as if nothing had changed.  I soon found that it was never a question of whether she would clear the jumps, it was whether or not I could stay on!   That night we went out to a cuban restaurant and had a wonderful dinner that was ended by two of our clients standing up and reciting poems in the middle of a random poetry reading.  It was awesome!

On Wednesday, we headed over to Jumping Branch Farms to xc school.  It was a gorgeous day and super exciting because it was a day of firsts.   Syrah did her first ditch, first coffin, first trakehner, and first water schooling.  She excelled at everything I asked her to do.

Thursday we got to go watch some of the training sessions.  It was SOOO cool to be able to watch and learn from some of the top horses and riders in the country.  After that, everyone was feeling very inspired to do some dressage so we went back to the farm and hopped on our ponies.  Due to the fact that Syrah had not done any serious dressage since before I left for christmas, I was expecting to work the whole time on getting her to go on the bit but, well let’s just say that she’s a super star.  Not only did she go on the bit but, she started moving off my leg and counter bending which was something that I had only worked with her on once.

Friday, we went to watch the training sessions again. We got to see Phillip Dutton and Kim Severson ride.  It was AMAZING.  After the training sessions, we went and xc schooled at Full Gallop.   We worked on a lot of technical things there…..lots of ditches, up banks, down banks, and water.  Saturday, we went to Sporting Days Farm and everyone schooled courses that Megan gave us.

Overall the trip was amazing and I wouldn’t change anything about it.  It was so cool to see EVERY single horse and rider on the trip improve so much in such a short amount of time!   Thank you Megan for being a wonderful teacher and planning the trip! You did an amazing job!  Also, a big thank you to Quin, Howard, and Adan for holding down the fort back home so that we could go on the trip.  I will never forget it!

I can’t wait to see everyone back at the farm!,



About widespreadpanic

Advanced level event rider and instructor at Team CEO Eventing in Lexington KY.
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One Response to Andrea’s Wrap Up from our Aiken Excursion

  1. bevy says:

    I do a lot of hopping and cantering in place, too.

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