Winter 2017/2018 Season in Ocala was a fun one. We went down earlier this last year, leaving the farm in MD and heading to FL on December 5th.
I got to work for my coach, Grand Prix SJ rider and former 4* event rider, Scott Keach. I always find it fascinating to see how top barns run their programs.. I have been through a few barns, seen a few different programs and let me tell you, Scott has one of the best programs I have seen to date. He is kind to his horses, fair, demanding when needed but he never grinds his horses, they get the time off they need and deserve, they don’t get jumped in to the ground, their flat days are fun. They are allowed to be horses. I think at times, we loose sight of that, to reach our goals. We bubble wrap, over drill, and forget that this has to be fun, for us and for the horses. Is it detrimental to give that horse an extra day off? Probably not. S/He doesn’t know the difference. I could literally write for hours on his program. It is simple, it works and I haven’t seen horses that happy in a long time. They are allowed to be cheeky, allowed to show their personality, they aren’t hassled and in turn they enjoy working for their people. Anyways, it reminded me that even though we work hard for what we do, we need to enjoy it and to pick up our heads and look around every once and awhile and not just grind, grind, grind.
As with the last few years, I went down to Ocala to train and not compete and really take the time away to focus on myself and how I want to move forward with training horses. It is such a great place to watch and learn and pick up tidbits from different trainers and see what works for different horses. We did do a few jump rounds at HITS and both horses, Ripley and Roo jumped well around the 1.10m.
Selcouth closed out the end of the season by being able to lease my CIC* horse Admiralty (Ripley) to long time student, Kayley Hildebrand, and am so excited to watch their partnership blossum. We also sold Richemont (Roo) to the Harvey family, for daughter Lizzie to do Jumpers on. I cannot be more pleased with the riders these horses have ended up with and cannot wait to see their successes, which are already coming in, Roo was won Champion and Reserve Champion at the local Radnor jump rounds and has become a barn favorite!! and Kayley has won a few events locally as well. These girls are in it to win it and I hope they know Team Selcouth is rooting for both of them!