Posted by: eventer4life | May 4, 2010

Horse search weekend

3 horses.

2 cities.

2600 miles.

48 hours.

Horse search on.

So I’m back from my whirlwind trip to Southern California! My mom and I flew out Friday night, right after school, and returned late Sunday night. We went to Kingsway Farm in Temecula, and Liberty Oaks Ranch in Murrieta. The reason we chose to come to this area, instead of anywhere else, was to look at Hawley Bennett’s horse, Amstel. Of course, since we were traveling 1200 miles each way, we figured we should look at some others. So we contacted Tamie Smith who told us she had one that might work for us, and there was another horse for sale at the same place as Amstel. So of course, I rode those 3, and would have ridden any others nearby.

So Saturday morning, 10:30 am, we arrived at Kingsway Farm. I was NERVOUS. It’s been a while since I jumped more than 2’6″ or that one 3’3″ and now I was expected to jump Hawley Bennett’s horse IN FRONT OF Hawley Bennett??!?!?!? But I hopped out of the car, in my slightly uncomfortable tall boots, and went to ride.

First horse I rode was Amstel. My mom had already decided, she told me later, that she wouldn’t like him. He’s expensive, he’s a Thoroughbred, he’s a little spooky…she just really didn’t want to like him. But, he won her over πŸ™‚

Amstel-Barn name “Dawkins”. 8 year old Thoroughbred gelding, competed through Prelim. He’s the chestnut in my video. I jumped him…I have no idea how high. I have no height judgement anymore haha. 3’3″ maybe? 3’6″? I have absolutely no idea. But I jumped him over a corner, a liverpool, a wall, a couple lines, and an oxer. And he never stopped, never pulled a rail. He’s spooky, but brave at the same time. He spooks and wiggles a little coming to a jump, but put your leg on and he always jumps. He was really forgiving of my horrible riding too πŸ™‚ His flat was easy, not that I got him too round haha. But I got him going somewhat forward and into the bridle without any spur or whip or anything, and I guess he usually gets ridden with a tiny spur πŸ™‚ I liked him a lot.


The next horse I rode, still at Kingsway, was Halo. She’s owned by a girl who’s actually originally from Montana as well….she’s an amazing rider.

Halo is the bay in my video. She’s a 5 year old bay Thoroughbred mare. She’s competed through Training, and is still somewhat green. I did decent on the flat with her, but I felt too heavy and slow and just…not good enough on her. When I jumped, I wasn’t there to support her at all and we got a ton of nasty distances. I didn’t do too well with her :/ I have a photo on my camera but the battery’s dead and I don’t want to deal with it right now.

Then I rode Amstel once more, in dressage tack, on Saturday afternoon. After the DERBY which of course, I watched πŸ™‚ Calvin Borrel is amazing πŸ™‚

Anyways, Amstel was good again…he was a little fussier-he seemed tired. But he was still good πŸ™‚

Then I rode Amstel again Sunday morning. And it was SO GOOD. I finally felt like I was kind of figuring him out. My jumping was 1000x better because I finally figured out to ride to the deep distance and not lengthen to the base! yay! That’ll be good for me on any horse!

Then we left Temecula and drove up to Murrieta, to Tamie Smith’s place. I rode a horse there who’s not hers, and not really her clients…I didn’t really understand that relationship haha.

Sport-the grey horse. 11 year old ISH gelding, competed through Prelim. I liked him on the flat when I was riding him and when his owner was riding him, but then jumping was NOT so nice. He seemed a little awkward and spooky with his owner-he stopped at least once at every jump there. Especially the corner. He probably stopped 8 times, then we dropped it to a vertical, he jumped it, back up to a corner, and he jumped it twice. Then I got on him. The flat was ok, and I was liking his jumping (his distances improved slightly so I figured it would be ok if I worked with him) until the corner. I figured he would be better about it, but I was still cautious about it. I rode him strong to the jump and thought I rode it ok. But he stopped at it another 8 times! ahhh! Including once he smacked his head into the flag on the side and knocked it over. Then we dropped it to a vertical, jumped it, put up the back rail, and jumped it. I liked him okay, and he was absolutely GORGEOUS, but I couldn’t deal with all the stopping.

Jumping Sport

So anyways, we chose Amstel! My mom, like I said, said she didn’t want to like him but there was something “special” about him, and especially about our “energy” together. She likes him a lot and SO DO I!! Vet check tomorrow! Fingers crossed! If he passes and gets up here in 2 weeks or so, I’ll be taking him to Arrowhead Horse Trials May 29-30!!! Ahhhh I hope he passes! I want him so bad!!

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