Training Sessions

This week exceeded my expectations. I was very curious to see if Arthur felt different to me after all the new work we have been doing with my Irish Cowboy friend Paddy. Paddy came to work with Arthur for a second time — the few days I was gone for GMHA last week — and I was really disappointed not to have been there to see his work as he said he made a huge breakthrough (fortunately I will connect with him again at Richland). Katie Prudent rode him while I was gone a couple times and she said he felt better than ever and I was curious to see if I felt the same. I DID!!!!! I DO!!!! My two lessons with Oded (the dressage coach for the US Team eventers) were brilliant. My horse is good on the flat but I always feel that if I could just get him relaxed in the ring he would blow the competition out of the water. He truly felt better than ever with Oded (and I hadn’t practiced any proper dressage since Germany!)! I got the most lovely text from a dressage friend who was watching the training sessions: “Hey don’t get big headed or think I’m just being nice because we are friends but you look a class above everyone out there today! Keep fighting for that spot!” It felt so nice to get that note from someone I respect so much. I just really hoped I would feel equally as thrilled with his jumping. And I DID!!!! I DO!!!! Today I was at the HITS Culpepper Jumper Show. My instructions going into the level 5s were to not help him at all… “If he had a rail, let him have them all.” I presume to make him think about it. I hate it when Katie gives me these instructions as we usually have a few down then which is so deflating. I also don’t like it when we don’t get a couple of really good bumps (rubs) in the warm up to make him think about the jumps prior to going in the ring. We jumped quite possibly one of the biggest fences I have ever jumped in my life in the warm up for the Level 5s (I can actually confirm that it was my biggest fence ever) and he did it with ease — it didn’t feel like an effort for him at all. So I go in the ring not having the rub I need to keep him careful with the instructions not to help him. I trust Katie completely so I gave it a go…. my horse didn’t touch a fence. He was brilliant — focused, happy and relaxed. Same with the level 6s (which was huge… bigger than a 4 Star). The only mistake we made was due to me dropping my rein and stick at the end of the course. I am so happy with my horse. I think all of our hard work is paying off!


  1. We call him “The Irish Genius.” I’ve had three “lessons” with him and I can already feel a difference in my horse. He is a magnificent horseman. We’re lucky to have him!