2009 Winter Training in Aiken

Getting out of the Cold and Getting a Jump Start 

January 31st, 2009

Amanda is currently in Aiken, SC to prepare  for the upcoming show seasons.  So far the trip has been more eventful than anticipated.  the long ride down was interupted by I-95 being closed down and of course snow, ice, wind and rain.  They finally got down there and the weather is great.  It gets down to the 20's in the night but is in the 60's during the day.  So very cold mornings.  Amanda is staying at Full Gallop Farm which has plenty of room to hack and ride but the wind can be brutal across the open fields.  

Amanda has her first event this weekend at Pine Top Farm in Thomson, GA.  Check back for phots and results.  So far she is in the middle of the pack with a dressage score of 38 and double clean stadium round.  Her horse is enjoying the warm weather and getting into the groove.  Check-in daily for updates. 

February 1st

Absolutely beautiful weather and Pine Top went great.  Johnny had a double clean cross country go and finished in 6th place! 

February 4th

Second event of the season was at Full Gallop Farm.  Impeccable did well and placed 6th in his divsion.  The hills were challenging and both horses are very tired of a very cold and windy day.  The tempature went from 60 over the weekend to 17 this morning and a high of 32.  They aren't prepared for the cold down here so the pipes were frozen and no hot or cold water.  Having a white horse isn't good in cold weather.  In the fields they use hoses underground with a junction box that has a valve in it that is open to the outside and is only a few inches in the ground.  Of course they didn't work at all.  I hope it warms up!

February 8th

Today's event was at Sporting Days Farm in Aiken and went great.  Both horses had double clean cross country and stadium rounds and jumped like pros.  It was so warm I was able to jump in a polo shirt!  Impeccable placed 6th and Johnny placed 8th.  The competition is very stiff and there are competitors from all over North America.  So far they have been averaging 250-300 horses per event.  It doesn't seem like we get that many at recognized events at home.


February 11th

40 mph winds!  Johnny definitely wasn't feeling his best but finished his run at Full Gallop.  Luckily it isn't too cold but awefully windy.  Impeccable missed 1st by 2 points so placed 2nd.  We each made a mistake a had the last rail on stadium.  Luckily Thursday I'll have a lesson to help fix what went wrong but hopefully won't have the wind.  They had to change to deeper cups because the wind was knocking down rails on it's own!  One great thing is  that the best riders in country are training here over the winter so you can get lessons as much as you want from almost whomever you want.  I've been doing lessons almost everyday on each horse trading them out every other day.  I've learned so much in the few weeks I've been down here.

February 14th

Just finished last show during our stay and came home with 2 blues!  A good way to end the trip.  The dressage ring at Jasmine Farm is definitely different than any I've seen before.  It had mirrors about 10 ft tall attached to steel frames similar to bleacher stands on the short side at A and at E and B.  So at A they swung open and you rode thru them to enter the ring.  It was nice to ride with mirrors but many horses were un-nerved by the contraption.  Impeccable trotted right in like he'd ridden there every day of his life.  He was a little tired from the deep sand footing they have around here.  He'll think Elkton's a breeze compared to pushing around here. 

February 15th

Finally back home at Arundel Hill.  And back to reality!  The horses did wonderful on the ride home and it went by quickly with no traffic.  They ate and drank and travelled like pros.  Hopefully we'll go back next year and be even more successful. 


Johnny's Final Salute at Pine Top before his Double Clean Weekend

Johnny at Pine Top

2nd Jump on Cross Country for Impeccable at Full Gallop

Impeccable on Stadium next to his Barn at Full Gallop

Johnny at Sporting Days headed to Finish Line

Impeccable in Stadium at Sporting Days

Impeccable half way thru Cross Country at Sporting Days

Johnny at Sporting Days in Dressage