Friday, August 9, 2013

Aiken Clinic Series

In June I kicked off the first clinic in my new 'Aiken Clinic Series' at Sporting Days Farm. The idea being that I will hold monthly clinics at SDF and so far the June and July dates were a blast! Meeting lots of new riders and horses at each session has been lots of fun and even better is getting to see some of the same ones each month to help them on a more consistent basis! It is always great challenge as a trainer/clinician to use your experience and knowledge to help each pair in their own individual areas of strengths and weaknesses. Especially when you are just meeting them for the first time and only have 45 minutes or so to do it in!

As of the July clinic, one of my great sponsors, Tredstep Ireland, has jumped in with even more fun  and has very generously offered 'goodies' to all participants! How cool is that?!? Each rider got a pair of Tredstep gloves and a Tredstep polo shirt!!

Next clinic date is August 17th. It is filling up fast but if you would like to come join the fun just email me at, or check out the info on my website
Tredstep Ireland will also be offering up some fun items again! So exciting to have a wonderful sponsor step in and be a part of this series with me!!

This August clinic is also the day before the Full Gallop Farm HT, which works out very well that I can help school a few riders and horses the day before their event! Possibly even get to walk their courses with them and warm them up the next day!

The September date is already set as well, Sept. 7th, mark that down on your calendars! Auditors are always welcome as well, no charge!

 Please help me spread the word, I'd like to grow these clinics a little more each time as more people get to know me and hopefully can develop this series into something even bigger and greater!!

I have a love for teaching passionate riders at all levels. Honestly, it does not have to be strictly eventing either. The nice part as an eventing rider/trainer, is that you can help riders from many horse sport disciplines because of the well rounded knowledge we gain as eventers. Dressage, show jumping, fox hunting, even tips on how to get the most out of your pleasure riding! There is always something to learn!


(As you can tell from the pictures, I get 'into' my teaching, I'm riding right along with them!) :)

All photos courtesy of Samantha Bacon

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fitch's Corner and Millbrook HT

This summer is zipping by and the last few weeks have been some of my favorite events in the country. Two that I attended and 1 that I unfortunately could not make it to this year. Rebecca Farm is one of the most beautiful and well run events you can imagine! In a picturesque setting, it is the ideal place to hold an event with so many levels! Sarah does a wonderful job, following in her amazing mother's footsteps. I'm so sorry I had to miss your event this year!

Fitch's is also one of my favorites for many reasons. That area of NY is just lovely and especially at this time of year. The grounds are beautifully kept, the courses are extremely well made and challenging. Everyone involved with running the event are wonderful and helpful. Thank you to Fernanda Kellogg for holding this event for us!
Can not say enough great things about Fitch's corner......o, and the prizes are pretty good too ;)

We had a line up of: Myself riding Ricardo Time in the training and Jolie Loeber's Toffypops in the novice. Both horses won their divisions and RT scoring a 19.1 in the dressage!
Kira Statue rode her own Suleiman in the novice, Lynne Bauer rode her own Walkabout in the novice, Heather Loeber rode her own Spruce Meadow Onslow in the novice and Beth Durden rode her own Ricardo's Whistle and Pop in the novice as well! Busy weekend with great success for everyone!

Two weeks later we were at Millbrook HT, another great event with challenging courses at all levels over very hilly terrain. I was riding Ballylaffin Bracken in his first event back since Rolex and we went for a steady fun ride around the Int. track which Rox handled just perfectly. Ricardo Time topped his score from Fitch's with an 18.6, certainly a personal best for both of us! He was super all weekend!
RT very sleepy after an 18.6 dressage score!

Toffypops made the big move up to Training level and he was a star in each phase, he is a super horse for the future being that he is just 6!

Students; Kira Statue won her novice on Suleiman, Dawn Eastabrooks moved her horse Valito up to Novice, Lynne Bauer rode her own Walkabout at novice, and Katie Kogut took her special girl Yes Your Highness in the BN. Great weekend for everyone!!

As far as competing, we are using the rest of August to practice and strengthen our skills and come back out competing in Sept. at Seneca, Plantation, Flora Lea, and Morven as our next 4 events.

Then hopefully on to Galway with Rox for he and I to contest the 3star tract! Very exciting!!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It takes a village

Three weeks ago I jumped an amazing horse around his first CCI****!

Ballylaffin Bracken, better known as 'Rox', cruised through his first Rolex in style! My boy that I've had since he was a barely broke 4 yr old stallion blew me away on that 4star cross country track!!!
For me, this was an even bigger accomplishment being that Rox is the first horse I have personally produced from his first event through the 4star level!

There is an immense build up that happens leading up to a four star event. Hard to describe it in detail, but everything you do, think, eat, say etc is for Rolex, is for the horse you're riding at have to become completely consumed. Then comes Rolex week! Great fun, great friends, but hey! - you are running in a 4STAR!! So it is intense and feels like a whirlwind of a week. Then after all the excitement and adrenaline starts to settle, you find yourself sitting in your truck already on your drive home. It's madness! But we love it! 

This year, I hadn't really gone back home yet after our winter trip to Aiken, so I had been away for almost 4 months. Getting home was great, to see everyone, people and ponies, that I had been away from for some time. But it also brought a very strong sense of unsettlement.

In order to pursue certain dreams, you surround yourself with groups of close friends that are in that same position and understanding. I tend to enter into a slight state of 'numbness' after a big event such as a 4star. All the buildup and hype and then afterwards, I personally, feel like I crash a bit. Maybe it is why we give our horses time off as well, to mend and let down. I already knew this about myself and had planned 2 short weekend trips in the weeks after Rolex. Both times heading back to Aiken for a few days of down time and to visit a close friend. It was just what I needed!

At the 3 week post Rolex mark, both Rox and I seem ready to go again! He has needed every bit of that time to not be pampered and pestered over every detail. Let him be a horse and just graze! For the first time in the 8 1/2 yrs that I have had Rox, he finally has started to nicker to me when he sees me. I think he's smart enough to know that he just accomplished something pretty big and that we did it together.

So for the next few weeks, Rox and I will be just hacking and slowly returning to work. Still working on what our fall plans will be, but I'm sure I will be announcing that soon! Right now I am finalizing some additions to the exciting Ballylaffin Bracken Syndicate! Hope to be able to build a strong support team for Rox and future horses. Please contact me if you or someone you know may be interested in joining us on this adventure!

This spring leading up to Rolex just showed me even more so of how much of a team effort it takes to get to and complete a 4star. I am very lucky to have an incredible group of friends and supporters! Phillip Dutton whom I have trained with for many years now, has always gone above and beyond for me. He is a mentor and amazing trainer. He is the true strength behind Rox and I getting to and running well at Rolex! Robyn Ford came on to groom for me this winter and to get me through KY. She did an amazing job handling not only Rox, but her rider as well!! Can't thank her enough! I also think she turned Rox out beautifully, and she should have won the groom's award at Rolex by far! Melissa Boisvert and Janine Ordway kept the farm in NJ running smoothly for me while I was away competing, couldn't ask for better help! Melissa is a saint, she keeps the farm going and keeps clients very happy while I leave each winter, and she does it with the best attitude I've seen yet!
My mother and owner, Janet Geiler, again, I could not have accomplished this with out your support in many ways! Thank you!
There have been a team of vets that have truly helped us get to KY and their hard work shows when Rox trots up beautifully after running around a 4star! Dr. Kevin Keane has put in endless hours of care for Rox and I couldn't be more appreciative. Dr. John Peroni at UGA pulled some favors to get Rox in there with a moments notice and did a wonderful job helping me to get back on track to Rolex! Dr. Mitch Byrd of Aiken Equine has been a huge support and has helped keep Rox on his game leading up to Rolex as well! Having him travel to KY to support us means so much to me! He helped me stay on my game too!!
Our farriers, Sean Gaul, while in SC, and Bob Pethick in NJ, Thank you!!

A special thank you to all of my clients, family and friends for being so understanding of what it takes to get to a 4star and being my underlying support through it all, thank you!!

To all of my sponsors: County Saddlery, Five Star Tack, Tredstep Ireland, Equine Organix, HAYGAIN, Equine Matrix, Kedrah House Stud, Sporting Days Farm, and Running S., THANK YOU for all of your constant support!!