Monthly Archives: January 2010

Back in the saddle again.

The sun came out yesterday…yeah!

Shannon and Steffan had invested in a big tarp (the same as they use for baseball diamonds) to pull over the upper ring to protect the footing in a rain storm.  Well, it was really put to the test last week.  So much rain, flooding, debris everywhere…what would the footing be like when the tarp was rolled off?  It was great!  Get rid of the water sitting on top of the tarp (drains every 15M or so along the sides) and then roll up the 2 tarps.  Worked like a charm.  Kate worked the footing and in about an hour Steffan was on Ravel working in wonderful footing in the morning sunshine. (Here’s where I’m pinching myself again and smiling)

Everyone got ridden today and they all were very happy to get back to their jobs.  Alex seemed the most tired and slept all afternoon.  I think he’s still adapting to his new environment sans horse hair, such a sensitive boy he is!  Walker started his work with a long walk around the farm.  He’s looking wonderful and Kim is going to have a blast riding him next month.  Shannon very graciously gave up part of her day off and Linds had a lesson on Lance before lunch.  They looked great and we all learned a lot.  William was full of beans and it took him a little while to really concentrate and go to work.  But, as he always does, he found his brain and dug in and worked his little heart out.  Good boy!  Fred was last to work for the day and she was still a little wobbly from the work Mary did on her on Friday.  It took her a little while to find her legs.  We started her in the covered and then took her up to the upper ring.  She was a star!

Next week should be test riding to get ready for the Thermal CDI and they’ll all be more than ready.

Finished the day with really boring things…a quick bite to eat, laundry and very typical for us, early bedtime!

The weather promises to be great again today…looking forward to another day studying some great dressage in the sun!


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Another rain day.

I think we’re through the worst of it.  The night before last was still deluged with rain and hail.  It was very noisy in the coach!  I’m very glad our site is nowhere near any large trees.  Lots of broken branches and downed trees all around.

We headed to the stables early to see if maybe we could get a short ride on some of them in the covered arena but the footing was still too wet.  We walked everyone, organized feed, washed blankets and waited for Mary Debono, (Sense Method) the Feldenkrais massage therapist to arrive.  Mary worked on Walker, Alex, and William on Wednesday and would now work with Lance and Fred.  They all loved her and I’m sure really needed her work after such a long ride in the truck (44 hours) from home to San Deigo.

Lance enjoying Mary's magical hands.

This is one of the many big releases Lance showed us over the hour he spent with Mary.

Lindsey, Mary and Lance.

We sure had all our warm clothes on yesterday.  Everything is open to the elements and with the wind and the dampness, we were trying to find spots to stay warm.  We were very thankful for the seat heaters in the truck!

Lindsey, Mary and Lance.

Mary works on riders as well and it would be a good idea to have Linds make an appointment with her as well as the horses.

Mary and Lance.

He really enjoyed this!

Lance, another big release.

And now it’s Fred’s turn.  We let Mary know we left Fred for last because if Mary had to start with her, we might not have gotten the boys done!  Fred is a little busy standing in the cross ties.  She did very well and we looking forward to riding her as soon as the footing dries up!

Mary, Fred and Linds.

Fred started to concentrate about half way throught the treatment.

Mary, Fred and Linds.

About now I’m dreaming of the warm seats in my truck…I hope the sun shines today!

Kate, taking her horse for a walk.

We all have shows coming up.  Steffan and Ravel leave Tuesday for Florida for the Masters, we have our first CDI for 2010 in Thermal in 3 weeks and Kate Gillespie (our barn manager) has her first Horse Trials next weekend in Temecula.  Temecula is just north of Escondido where we have the coach so our plan is to head up there to cheer Kate on the weekend.

So as the sun is rising this am, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this being a riding day.  The plan is to pull the the tarp off the upper ring and see if the footing stayed dry underneath.  It’s a good idea, here’s hoping it worked!!!

Happy the sun is out!


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So much rain…

We left for the stable early yesterday.  The rain hadn’t let up much overnight so we thought if there was any chance of riding, we should arrive early and get everyone done before the skies opened up as was it reported to happen in the afternoon.  

Kate does an amazing job managing the footing but there just was too much rain overnight.  The indoor only had a about a 30M circle that the footing was ridable for lunging.  The stables were still dry, thanks to the hard work of all the staff; trenching, pumping, moving dirt around.  We lunged one horse and joined the hand walking parade up and down the long alley way of the stables for the other 4 horses.  We were all done about 10am just as the skies opened up again.  Kate and staff were doing everything they could to divert water around the stables.  Pumps going, shovels ready, everyone had a job and was ready.  The water was heading in the right direction down and around the stables. 

As we drove out away, I wondered if we would be able to drive back in later in the afternoon.  The water flows under a little bridge just before the driveway to the stables and I wondered if the stream would over flow it’s banks.  We headed out to run some errands and catch an early movie before heading back to tuck the horses in later in the day. 

We arrived back at Arroyo about 3pm.  The water had crested and was receding and everyone was dry and happy. 

A big thank you again to Kate for moving our trailer.  It would have floated away if she hadn’t rescued it.  Amazing.  Thank you Kate.

The upper round pen was full of water.

The turnout pens had water half way up the fences.

The pathway to the upper arenas, everything was floating.

The covered arena, tarped to keep out the driving rain.

The covered has been the answer to riding in this monsoon till yesterday…just too much rain in too short a time. 

The lower round pen was totally submerged.

Trailer parking...the logs were floating!

This where our trailer, along with 2 others, were parked.  Kate did and unbelievable job of moving them all to higher ground. 

The bridge into Arroyo Del Mar.

This is the bridge into the stables.  The water ran totally over the road for about an hour.  We wouldn’t have been able to drive in or out till it receded.  Note the slide in the background. 

It’s been raining on and off all night so I’m not sure if we’ll have a ride day today.  The weather reports call for more rain today and tomorrow but we should be through the worst of it and gradually the sun will start to dry everything up over the weekend.  Here’s hopin’! 

Heading into the rainforest…


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Monsoon Season

We didn’t really know about rain till this week…this is rain.

Little cars hydroplaning on the freeways, rivers of water running down streets carrying huge amounts of debris, huge dramatic waves up and down the coast…very interesting weather.  We walk around with our eyes wide open, checking for hazards left and right.

Yesterday’s lessons were amazing.  Fred got to work with Shannon in the am and she worked hard.  Big improvement in her overall way of carrying herself and then because of the improvement half halt to half halt, Fred had no option but to better cooperate with Linds.  Good riding, great coaching, super results.  Lance and Linds worked with Shannon after lunch.  He was quite tired so Linds had to be very accurate to get the job done.  Fine tuning the seat to hand aids made a huge difference in the all of the work.  Pirouettes, changes, half passes, straightness all improved.  Lance is really hoping we don’t pick him for lesson time with Shannon today.  Lance will get the day off (they all might be hand walked today by the sound of the rain out there all night!)  Walker and William walked the paths at Arroyo Del Mar and Alex was on the lunge line getting used to Linds’ legs on a newly clipped sides.  Walker, William and Alex met the new massage therapist, Lance and Fred will meet her on Friday.

 Don’t know what the stables will look like today.  It’s been raining all night..hard.  Kate (Peter’s barn manager extraordinaire) texted last night that they had to move the trailer because of flooding.  The covered arena is great and Kate has tarps up around the outside to keep out the driving rain but it sounds like the amount of water coming down just has no where to go anymore and everything is flooding.  The morning will be interesting.

No new photos as the covered arena is quite dark with tarps and grey skies…but here’s a special photo that arrived my inbox.  Carol is missing her horse…

Carol wishing she was riding Alex, Alex in California, Carol in Hawaii

I thought my hair was frizzy on Monday…today is a major hat day.



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First Lessons with Shannon

From Lindsey…

Pinch me!!  I can’t believe we’re here!!

We had our first lessons with Shannon on Monday with Lance, Freddie and William.  All the horses were great and made good progress throughout the lessons.  Shannon gave us some good insights on where all the horses need to go in the work next.  Shannon has a thorough understanding the biomechanics of both the horse and rider which fits great with our program and thinking.  It will be an easy transition to ride with Shannon on a regular basis.  The quality of the horses and riders here is excellent which makes for a learning environment that we will be sure to grow as both coaches and riders.  

On Tuesday, Shannon had time for two lessons.  We chose the two boys, as the tarps were up to protect the covered ring from the rain and we thought it might be a bit much for Freddie to focus on the task at hand.  Steffen rode Ravel during my lesson on Lance so I had to work hard to stay out of the way and also to channel some of their excellence into our work.  The rain was fast approaching so we finished up at the barn early afternoon and went out for a late lunch.  We knew the ocean would be beautiful with the storms so we headed to Oceanside.  There is long pier and at the end is a quaint restaurant called “Ruby’s Diner”.  We enjoyed great diner food and a beautiful view.  The waves were so large that the restaurant was rocking on the pier.  I wouldn’t have lasted too long without some major motion sickness.  Great lunch…..unfortunately we forgot the camera to take pictures…

Tomorrow three of the horses will get worked on by one of Shannon and Steffen’s therapists.  It should be nice for them after the long journey to California and a couple good days of work to have some body work done.  The other two horses will meet the therapist on Friday.

We are having a great time so far.  Everyone at Arroyo Del Mar has been extremely welcoming and friendly.  I am so grateful for this opportunity!! 

From Vickie…

Thanks Linds for your thoughts on the last couple of days!  We have been taking notes each day and soon will put together some training insights on the blog. 

Farrier dates have been booked and his work looks great, Dan will be pleased when we get home.  No gimmicks just good technique and craftmanship.  Whew…one less big thing to worry about.

Gonna be an early day Wednesday…gotta stay ahead of the rain!


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Rain, rain go away.

The rain started just as we were leaving the stables yesterday.  We needed to make a quick stop at Costco on the way home…water, carrots, oil.  We knew we’d be getting wet but as girls from a drought stricken Alberta, it was kinda pleasant in a soggy kinda way…

We set the GPS and started driving.  Several times we hit puddles that splashed over the truck…rivers of water everywhere.  The rain was so heavy.  Ran into Costco, a quick trip around and then back out into the monsoon.  We were drenched after loading the truck.  The freeways were parking lots.  Yeah for the smart GPS, rerouted us onto the back streets and back to the coach in Escondido.  Jacked up the furnace, hung up all the wet gear.  Fresh artichokes and lemony mayonnaise dip for dinner and once again, early to bed.

Off to check out a rain drenched Arroyo Del Mar…


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As I sit in the coach, listening to the rain quietly fall outside, I want to put together a big thank you to everyone at home who has made all this doable.

To my wonderful husband, Ivars, who through hard work and support over the past many years, has been 100% behind making the dream come true, a thank you is totally inadequate to express my gratitude.  My kids, who have been cheering us on from home, thank you!…miss you, yeah for Skype!  To all my clients that are dealing with only having several lessons each month…yeah “B” team, thanks for being so understanding!  To my great staff at home, I don’t have to worry about anything at home while down here, thanks to each of you!   To Lindsey BF Peter, a big thanks, without Peter driving the truck and trailer south, we would have a hard time moving horses around and would not have a reliable method of transport while here.  To Lindsey’s mom Barb, thank you for working out the schedule of your business to make room that your star employee could be away for 3 months.  To everyone sending good wishes, thank you, your support means a lot each day.

I know this is a soppy, dopey thought today but we really want everyone to know how much we appreciate what they have done to make this opportunity available for us…we are going to make the most of each day here. 

It’s raining and the forecast is for rain all week.  Lessons with Shannon and Lindsey today starting at 10:30 in the covered ring.  I’ve got my pen and paper ready for notes from Shannon.  We schooled in the covered ring yesterday as everyone was trenching and tarping in the top rings getting ready for the rain.  It was too hard to get any photos in the covered yesterday so I’ll try again today. 

Congrats again to Steffan and his USEF Equestrian of the Year Award…what a class act!

Steffan Peters, accepting his USEF Equestrian of Year Award, second year in a row.

 Well, off to find rain gear…

From the land of frizzy hair,



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