It’s Been A Long Time!

So much has happened since I last blogged. I really can’t include everything that we have been up to or everything that’s been running through my mind (yes, Rolex did get me thinking about a lot of things). I do apologize for not being as resilient as I generally am, but I have really enjoyed the quiet time I have spent here at the beautiful Foxlease Farm (our home base in Upperville, Virginia) working with my horses. I really enjoy the day to day training of the horses and connection I feel to them. A good time to think.

First off, I cannot begin to find the right words to express my great sadness in hearing about the fire at TPF. A tragedy like that really puts everything into perspective. And in this time that I have spent thinking and training my horses, it really just made me feel that much more grateful for these wonderful animals that I get to spend everyday with. They are truly my best friends. All of my thoughts and prayers have been going out to the horses and people involved in that tragic night.

My horses have all been fantastic. Arthur has a grass belly and beautiful dapples. Burger is his fantabulous self. He is 13 now and has years of good upper level miles ahead of him. I have very painfully decided that it is now time for him to show someone else the ropes of upper level eventing (check out my sales page). I own him and at this time in my life it seems like the right thing to do — I am gutted by this decision and will probably cry for days when he leaves. Gus, my OTTB, continues to win the award for hardest trying horse of all time. He is rocking at the prelim level, thinking about a move up to Intermediate this year. Jack has been his wonderful self, although we have decided it is time for him to be someones prelim packer (check out the sales page). I have so enjoyed working with Sarah Hughes’s three lovely dutch horses. I felt from the first time that I sat on Murray (Alcatraz) that I was meant to find this horse. He is a bit of a “Cheekey Monkey” at times but I adore him and I feel like he has found a good connection with me. Zeizos, the stunning big Chestnut, has so much heart and try in him. I was so impressed by the effort he made at the Fairhill CIC 2* this spring; he went at the end of the division in the heavy mud and gave a phenomenal effort (Murray was at the beginning of the division, by the time Zeizos went the jumps felt 4 inches higher). Cobra, the 4 yr old, is extraordinary. I love love love producing young horses, especially when I have a blank pallet to work with. He is so athletic and smart — I am beyond excited to see where he ends up. We recently went to the Waredaca YEH competition where he bested the 4 year old class by 5 points! The ponies (Dusty, Ebony and Conor) continue to be the rock of our program. I get such joy from riding and competing these guys. It’s pretty awesome to gallop cross country on a 4 star horse like Arthur, it is equally as fun on a wonderful connemara!

Other exciting things… definitely the girls that work for me! They never allow for a dull moment. They are all fantastic riders and workers, and are great fun to be around. It’s so nice to have such good atmosphere in the barn. Grace Quinn is my head groom. I call her Gracie Lou. Kelly Pugh, my working student, is “California”. Collectively they are Grace Kelly. They are always up to something! My dog, Bodie, now has a Facebook page and seems to be channeling a lot of Grace Kally’s thoughts! They are also trying to complete their much anticipated Smartpak/Haygain rap… I think they are trying to work in more companies but got distracted by how they want the music video produced. Any day now girls! We also have Claire Kelley back for the summer — Claire Bear — another source of endless entertainment!

The biggest summer plans include Rebecca Farms (Arthur in the CIC 3*, Murray and Zeizos in the CCI 2*), GMHA Training & Novice Three Days with the Ponies, and I’m leaning towards Burghley with Arthur. Of Course there are a number of other competitions mixed in there.

Until the next time!!! xx Allison