Diamond and Jen K. did great in their 3rd ever time showing together in Sport Horse In Hand this spring at the Bluegrass Classic show at the Kentucky Horse Park!
Diamond and Jen K. won Arabian Sport Horse in Hand Geldings, both Open and ATR, with such high scores that Diamond earned Reserve Champion High Percentage Sport Horse in Hand of the entire show!
Diamond and I showed First level and Training level dressage, and did very well. We won our First level Test One class! We got seconds in our other classes.
Diamond and I stayed warm as we could with the extra heavy snow and deep cold. I audited the Mary Wanless clinic at Dancing Horse Farm. In March, we were very lucky and a spot opened up for us to ride in Mary's clinic!
"Team Diamond" attended Sport Horse Nationals in Lexingtion, KY!
Jen K. and Diamond showed in Sport Horse In Hand and tied for 14th out of a class of 50+ horses! Awesome job! Even better considering it was their 2nd time ever showing SHIH together!
Jen B. and Diamond showed in Training level dressage, Test 4, in Open, ATR, and AAOTR, and placed in the top 20 in a class of 50 + horses!
After the show, we took a ride around the park and got these lovely photos, courtesy of Mary Ann Allen Photography.
We wore our red t-shirts with the "Team Diamond" logo, and it made it easier to find each other in the huge KY Horse Park. And, people would ask us about the shirts and if they could get one! Thanks to KY Horse Supply for making these great shirts for us!
It was a huge accomplishment to get back in the saddle and get fit enough to ride again, and also to do as well as we did. I'm really thrilled that we got to complete our dream of showing at Nationals.
Diamond finally got his feet wet in the Ohio river!
We board near the river, and have trail ridden in the fields alongside the river, and now we finally found our way down to the river! He didn't like it's smell. He didn't mind the boats going up and down the river, however.
Diamond and I attended 2 winter schooling dressage shows at Stonehurst Riding Club.
Diamond and I attended our second-ever breed show and the first time we tried breed-specific classes at a rated show, including Show Hack and Arabian Halter. The 11th Annual PMHA Morab National Championships was a great experience!
We were very honored to win their Hi-Point Adult Amateur Award. To win the Hi-Point Adult Amateur Award, we competed in 3 distinctly different disciplines, and the highest score of each of those 3 disciplines was used.
"I want to say 'Thank you' to PMHA and the show staff. I'm honored", says Jen. "It was a fun weekend and I met a lot of great people at the show."
Diamond was at the Kentucky Horse Park for Region 14 Championships. It was our first multi-day dressage show and our first Arabian show. We learned a lot and afterwords we were lucky enough to trail ride on the cross country course with some of the other dressage competitors. Diamond won his Training Level Test 2 class! \o/ yay, Diamond! He also was a great breed ambassador: each day we got comments about how quiet and calm he was.
He also gave his very first pony ride to a nice young boy, who had patiently waited on the sidelines with each day's show activities. When tired of walking, he asked for a piggy back ride, and instead got a Diamond ride. His face lit up! My friend Jen also got to ride Diamond! It was amazing for me to watch him walk calmly and sedately around! It's nice to be able to share him.
Diamond traveled the furthest east he's ever been in his life... east of Lexington, KY, for the "Three Phase Event" also known as the Gaited Horse Versatility Challenge. It is a really neat concept, put on by a great group of people! Check out our pics!
Diamond is not gaited -- they allow non-gaited horses also. Make plans to go next year! The 3 Phases: Dressage, Stadium Obstacle (like trail class), and Cross Country Trail (creek crossings and other fun stuff). In this photo, we're in the starting box about to start our Cross Country "run" (ok, it was mostly a walk with some trotting, but the time penalties were fine by me!)
We survived long days and cold toes and finished the San-N-Tone winter schooling series with 4 High Point Championships and 1 Reserve Champion High Point! Pretty good for his first show season, and for missing one of the shows!
We had a lot to learn and the show series gave us a great opportunity to improve each month. Thank you Sandy and staff for all your hard work in putting these shows on each winter!
The show is at Shelbyville Fairgrounds in Shelbyville, KY. it's only 30-45 minutes away, so it's not far for Diamond to travel. In the background you can see the new Bradley Barn.
Diamond left his home for the past year: Over the Top Stables. Though I'm sad about saying goodbye to a beautiful farm with large rolling pastures and hundreds of acres of trails, it ultimately meant new beginnings for us and all the people who boarded there as we all found new stables.
We had a memorable trailer ride in leaving OTTS: we went straight to Mammoth Cave, KY for the BAHA Falling Leaves trail ride! It was a great weekend!
Diamond traveled from Mammoth Cave to Goshen and spent a few weeks as a "pasture pony" at a friend's farm while I researched stables. A promotional event at Kentucky Horse Supply settled the matter: a few days later Diamond moved to Stone Place Stables so we could continue to trail ride with a fellow OTTS boarder!
Our very first Rated dressage show, where we placed first in all 3 of our Intro classes. Held at Stonehurst Riding Club, in their brand new indoor arena! SRC offers winter schooling dressage shows AND rated dressage shows. It's great to get the experience close to home and not have to travel to Lexington. They offer Intro - 4th level, check their site or the USDF site for info.
Another new beginning: Our first ! Held at the historic Paramont Arabians, just up the road from Stone Place. Check out his book, Lessons in Lightness.
Diamond stayed home and I stayed on the ground while his back recovered from poor saddle fit. Equi-Ther Equine Massage with Kelly Flowers and Chiropractic treatments with "Dr. Dawn" helped!
While grounded I started studying John Lyons and Parelli. We did our homework with leading exercises, then borrowed a trailer one night: success! Diamond now loads wonderfully! We didn't get to actually hook up and travel anywhere, but we got in and out over 50 times in a half hour. So that was a lot of practice for when we could travel somewhere!
Once we were back in the saddle, we started off slowly and did a lot of trail rides around the gorgeous farm -- Over the Top Stables is amazing, huge, and has a lot of deer, turkey, and other wildlife. I hope it can stay a farm, and not turn into housing.
We mostly rode by ourselves; I love that Diamond can "venture out alone" and doesn't look back for a barn buddy. We were joined by Natalie and Bo for some memorable rides! The first memorable trail ride was their very first trail ride, where we saw a young doe on the edge of the woods.
Diamond traveled to his very first show! The March 2007 San-N-Tone schooling show.
Diamond traveled to his very first dressage show! We didn't enter the regular show, we did a "Ride a Test". First you will ride the test, then receive coaching from the judge on ways to improve, and then ride the same test again. This is a great learning opportunity! If you ever get a chance, do it! The lesson with the judge was great, and it formed my opinion of what to do at a dressage show: ride a test, get your test sheet and learn what to do differently, then ride the next test, repeat.
BAHA Spring Blast was his 3rd "show". Thanks to Mary Ann Allen and Jen Kelly, I have some photos of that way! The photo at left is from Mary Ann, and the photo at the top of this site was taken by Jen and photoshopped by me.
December, Diamond traveled to a Parelli Play Day at Savvy Winds Farm thanks to Kim, a fellow boarder! I realized that day that nothing I knew before about teaching trailer loading would help me load "Mr. D"... and that was before we got there! Later, John Lyon's "Leading and Loading Safely" helped us, and now Diamond is a wonderful loader!
We also kept riding and training all winter, except for two very cold weeks in February.
Look closely at the flying snow and our expressions! It's cold!
Interestingly, my all-time favorite lesson was in a snow storm...couldn't hear over the wind or see through the snow for half of each circle, but we focused intensely, and it did wonders for us. Turns out a snow storm lesson was Natalie's favorite, too!
Diamond traveled to KY!
After a 14 hour trailer ride, he was so grateful to me for "saving him from the unending trailer ride" that our first week was amazing.... we bonded!
Finally having my own horse in KY: priceless!
It made a big difference in my life... thank you, Diamond!