Well, it's been a month now and I'm overdue for an update! While the weather has been mostly rainy and not quite as warm as I'd expected, it has still been great to be down in California. The horses have settled in well and we are enjoying our stay Tucalota Creek Ranch. The main business here is Tamra Smith's Next Level Eventing, and they are a great group to be with. Tami is an outstanding rider and coach, with a busy stable of VERY nice horses. She reminds me quite a bit of Ingrid Klimke, in her training, focus, drive, and quickness to smile. There are also cutting and cow horses here, it is quite an odd mix that works out well. I am extremely grateful for the covered arena, a rarity in these parts. We have had so much rain! It's a bit funny to share the arena with western horses and eventers, but it's great practice for all of us, and I will never be overwhelmed by a dressage warmup after this!
In competition news, Sammy and I made our CDI debut together at the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival 1. In the Prix St George, we surprised a lot of people, including ourselves, by coming in second place, ahead of top US rider Steffen Peters! WOW! Go Sammy! Unfortunately I got a little ambitious the following day in the Intermediate 1 and caused too many mistakes for a good placing, but I am still so very proud of Sammy. What a star! Our next show will be February 14-15 at the AWCDF 2 CDI.
Ruffles has been doing fantastic down here also. I am looking forward to taking her out again towards the end of February for another show. I enjoy this mare so much and feel her enormous potential every ride.
I've been busy with clinics, check the calendar page for updates! I'm deeply impressed with my friends and clients up north who continue to ride in the frigid temperatures, you are my heros! Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
Here's the video of our Prix St George test. There's a few mistakes, but I'm so proud of my buddy!