Hope that this posting is finding everyone well! Though we haven't competed since May, somehow the team has still been quite busy. I've chosen to spend this summer primarily training and working on the finer details - hopefully this will pay off for the fall season! Let me recap..
Willy has been doing lots of trail riding, trotting, and dressage work, and we are awaiting the results of the 2nd IRAP injection, hoping that this is the golden ticket for getting him back up to the top levels. Until then, Willy's having a summer vacation - which he is not altogether happy about. He LOVES jumping, and he doesn't understand why - all of a sudden - he isn't allowed to do what he loves. Until then, I am trying to take him to the river once a week and let him paw/roll/swim - which he thinks is the greatest thing a pony can do b/c it gets his rider soaking wet (if nothing else, all that pawing in the water is a great way to open up his shoulders). But I can confidently say that his dressage is improving, and that he is finally beginning to use his back, and have "horse strides" as opposed to "pony strides". Hopefully he can continue this progress into the competition arena, whenever we get the "clear"
This summer Deacon has truly matured into a top-notch athlete... his flat work and jumping have improved tremendously. I am quite confident that he will be a force to be recon with at the Training 3-day this November, but in October I hope to compete him in two preliminary level horse trials. His flat work is really quite solid for the preliminary level, and with a few more schooling opportunities I believe he will be able to move up easily. I'm quite excited to see how far this horse will go! On a side note - I've discovered that not much fazes Deacon - every single time I take him out hacking or trotting we come across a HUGE black snake (I'm convinced that it is some mutated form of an anaconda) and - despite my shrieks of terror - he doesn't care... simply continues on his way. How often do you find that in any horse, let alone a young one! (Willy and I are more than willing to run away in the opposite direction)
I've been kept quite busy preparing for my pony club ratings, teaching, and training horses. In fact, I have just been flown up to Genoa, NY to teach a two day clinic ending Wednesday! I can't believe how fast this summer has flown by, but I am very excited for the upcoming fall season and my final year at Wake Forest.
Our first competition back will be Five Points at the Carolina Horse Park where Deacon will be competing at Training and *hopefully* Willy will be coming back at preliminary. Stay tuned for more updates!