Monthly Archives: May 2011

Marcus Gribbe Clinic, Day 2

Another great day of learning, riding and training.  Lance was amazing, Lindsay was wonderful and H. Gribbe gave us some exercises to fine tune the piaffe in Lance’s work.  Oh boy is next week gonna be fun!!!

Linds, Lance and Marcus...piaffe.

And Piaffe...

And more Piaffe...

A big thanks to Bonnie Bonnello and Shelagh Holmes for organizing this clinic.  Albertan riders have be assessed by the new Canadian Technical Advisor…yeah!  Thanks again Shelagh and Bonnie!  Thanks to Cheryl and everyone at Prairie Mountain Ranch for taking such good care of us…especially in light of the EHV-1 scare.   And a big thanks to Marcus Gribbe who professionally asked important, appropriate questions of all the riders and horses in the clinic.  The answers from this clinic and similar clinics across the country, should help in the future formation of Canada’s prospects internationally in our sport.

In light of the EHV information we have received in the last couple of days, I’ve decided to quarantine FCS for the next couple of weeks.  We’ll be staying home and haul in lessons will have to be re-scheduled.

Despite the stress of EHV biosecurity management for the last two days…in has been two very good days.


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Marcus Gribbe clinic, Day One…

Lance is a superstar, Lindsey is a genius.  A great ride on a great horse.  Thank you Shannon for an amazing winter’s work…it showed today in working with Herr Gribbe.  I still have goosebumps.

Exercise for more control in the one tempis..."wheeee" (as Shannon would say)

All Shannon's in hand work paid off. Lance was calm and concentrated with a large German walking beside him with the "magic" whip.

It was a very good day.

We are very concerned about the EHV-1 scare here in Alberta and if this wasn’t a clinic with the new Canadian Team Coach, we’d still be at home.  The clinic horses, for the majority are in stalls that have never had a horse in them yet.  The couple of stalls that have had horses in them previously have been scrubbed with Virkon before we arrived.  We are stabled in a separate barn from the regular boarders and are using our water buckets and not on their barn water system.  This virus epidemic is very much in all thoughts and everyone is being very conscious of bio-security at this clinic.

Lindsey took the work from this winter with Shannon, fine tuned it after the Del Mar show here at home and rode all that today under the critical eye of our new Team Coach, Marcus Gribbe.  Lindsey showed she is an elite athlete doing what elite athletes do…taking a set of complex, highly honed skills in our sport to new levels in a high stress situation.  I’m sooo proud of her!!

“You have a good horse, he’s good enough”  Yes he is and so is Lindsey (now there’s an understatement!!!)

Tomorrow is Day Two.  Let’s hope Lance has a good sleep tonight.



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And now Mack is two..

Mack mowing the lawn...bubbles, bubbles, bubbles..

Still mowing...

And still mowing...Buster is helping with the bubbles...

A Birthday Cake break from all the mowing...Thanks Grandma Linda for the puppy cake!!!

Two candles; blowing, blowing, blowing...

And now back to the mowing...

Mowing is fun!  Grandma is happy Mack thinks mowing is fun!!!  I hope he still thinks it’s fun in 10 years!!!  We have lots of grass at the farm.


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A lazy trip through the Rockies…ahhhh…

It was raining in Kelowna went we got up so not very nice weather to tootle about on the Vespa.  Let’s hit the road.

Leaving the Okanagan.

Tunnel Mountain in Banff is a wonderful campground.  It has lovely views from any site and is just a short walk down the mountain to town.  We parked, set up and headed to town for dinner and some shopping.  Didn’t see any rain (yeah); it was so great to get out and walk in the amazing vistas.  There were lots of deer around the townsite, no elk yet.  We had a very yummy dinner at the Coyote Grill, fresh, tasty, with great service; then headed home.

Our walk home, back up the mountain. The Japanese tourists seem just as disinterested in the deer as the deer seem to be with them!

Once home, we opened up one of the many carefully selected Okanagan wines Ivars has stored in the coach and enjoyed an glass of excellent wine and watched the sunset in the mountains.

Ahh...the Rockies. It's great to be an Albertan!

From the window of the coach.

Home today.  It’ll be sooo good to see my horses!  Back at work tomorrow…I love my job.


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A great birthday day!

The sun came out in the morning so we fired up the Vespa and headed south to visit some wineries.  A two-hour drive along the west shore of Lake Okanagan; beautiful; and we arrived at Jackson Triggs.  I wasn’t too impressed with the tastings but Ivars bought a couple of bottles, a Shiraz and a Cab/Viognier/Shiraz blend.

Then off to Burrowing Owl for lunch.  A wonderful lunch!!!  Great food, lovely wine and spectacular views.

The vineyards at Burrowing Owl, from the restaurant.

Ivars had the salmon...

And I had the seared tuna...yum, yum.

The end of a great lunch...

We slowing made our way back up the valley.  The sunshine stayed all day and it was a great ride.  We stopped several times and Ivars purchased several more VGA wines he had on his wish list for this trip.  (Ivars has found quite a few of the wines on his list…the trip home is going to sound like were travelling in a ship on the sea with all the sloshing going on from the wine stored in the bays under the coach!)

We had an amazing dinner at RaudZ, downtown Kelowna.  Amazing.  Innovative tasty food, locally sourced, wonderful wine, great service.  It was too dark in the restaurant to take photos (not that it was late…ha, ha…it was dimly lit indoors!)

Back to the coach with stunning views of the valley…the end of the bestest birthday day!


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Headed home…

Lindsey giving Lance a pep talk before our noon lesson with Shannon.

"Lance, it's time to grow up and show the judges what a big boy you are!!!"

We had a great last lesson with Shannon on Lance…see you Monday Shann…soon.

Shannon, Lindsey, Lance and I taking notes for our homework.

And William got a red ribbon in his Fourth Level class.  Good boy William.  Great job Lindsey.

A fond farewell to Emma...have fun at home in Australia this week!

We all packed up Saturday after our classes.  Ivars, Aleks and Neil arrived late Saturday afternoon.  Aleks and Neil to drive the little car back to Phoenix ready for us to pick it up for next year.  Storage in Phoenix will save us lots of travel time next year and Aleks gets a cute little car to zip around town.  Don’t think it’s going to fit both dogs in the back though Al!!!

We had a BBQ at the coach for dinner and then cleaned up to watch the GP Freestyle class.  Wow.  Steffen, Guenter, Shannon.  Same placings from the GP.  A wonderful class, amazing job Shannon.  And oh yes Steffen and Ravel were just about perfect.  What a way to end our time here!!!

Early Sunday morning we all hit the road.  Thompson’s picked up the horses at 6am.  Curtis and Barb headed to Napa, Peter and Lindsey put pedal to the metal and hurried home with the truck and trailer and we put in some long hours in the coach to get to Kelowna for a couple of days in the Okanagan at the Spring Wine Festival.  Peter and Lindsey were home right after the horses arrival at FCS.  The horses travelled well.  A big thanks to Thompson’s; because of their excellent service and care the horses look great and are now enjoying some down time in their paddocks.  But back to work today for everyone.

Ivars and I arrived in Kelowna Monday afternoon.  We parked the coach and ended a long day.  Yesterday a hike was on the schedule for the morning.  A wonderful hike on the Kettle Valley Railway track.  It’s a railway built around 1911, no longer in use and developed as a hiking/biking trail system.  It’ 12km long running over 18 wooden trestles and several tunnels.  The trestles were totally wiped out in the fire of 2003 and then through some Herculean efforts of volunteers, rebuilt…astounding.  The hike sounds like fun.  8km up the mountain on a gravel road on the Vespa then cameras and water bottles in tow off we go.  It got colder and colder as we drove up the mountain.  When we parked the Vespa and realized we should have brought touques and mitts!  Oh well…off we go.  About 4km in it started to snow.  Ok…time to head back and hope the Vespa is not covered in snow for the trip back down the mountain!  It was a great hike, short but stunning.

Checking in before heading out. "No touques along...maybe we should wear our helmets?"

Stunning views over the regrowing forests.

A lovely walk in the Rockies.

Lunch and wine flights at Quails Gate Winery.

And the view from the coach at the RV park. Ahhhhh....

Sun set view from the coach.

The RV park in Kelowna has only 9 sites and the views are stunning.  We sat and watched the sunset on the mountains with a glass of wine and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Today is back on the Vespa and off to the wineries…a good way to spend a birthday!


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