Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sleep-Away Camp!

I left you with a bit of a cliff hanger in my last post. Are you ready for some fun news?

Granite is going to sleep-away camp... for a whole month! He is going to stay with our dear friend/ horse mentor/ accomplished equestrian/ fox hunter extraordinaire, Jen. As I may have mentioned some time in the past, Jen's sweet red quarter horse mare, Pickle (yes, and there is also a horse at her barn named Onion), has been laid up for nearly a year with a stifle injury. So alllll of that horse training talent has been used to care for her sweet mare and not much of it has been used to ride horses.

Fortunately, I knew a big grey dude that could really benefit from some time under a much more talented equestrian's behind. I'm going to be out of town this weekend, memorial day weekend, and potentially the weekend after that. Add a few evening meetings for work in each week, and mid May to mid June were looking pretty sparse as far as Granite rides go. The timing was perfect and amazingly, Jen was really pumped about the proposition of taking my grey horse for a month!

Jen talked to her barn owner and got a (begrudging) agreement to take in a 16.3 overgrown kid for a month. I think she knew how much fun Jen could have with Granite and she loves Jen and wants her to be happy (who wouldn't). Heather (our trainer) and our barn owner (and farrier too) all agreed that this was a great opportunity, so we started making our tactical plans.

Granite leaves for camp on Friday. I'm taking a vacation day off of work so that I can get the boy ready and Jen can come get him and bring him the 45ish minutes west to her place. He will be there for about a month, assuming there are no unforeseen circumstances. She plans to do some trail riding and lots of working. I hope he is ready to get his pony-boy butt kicked. I'm going to miss his sweet face!

We are also eye-balling some local schooling shows! Ever since Jen came out to my barn the weekend before last and helped me start riding Granite like the hunter that he is and not the dressage horse I was trying to ask him to be (weird...), he has been such a champ. We think he may be ready to go to a show and see how he takes it all in. If he's good, we'll hack him out in some classes. We are eyeing THIS little schooling show series. I'm hoping I can go watch the one next weekend and then maybe we can coordinate to take the big man to the one in June (coordinating is ALWAYS fun since I don't have a truck or trailer, Granite doesn't fit in our barn owners', my trainer doesn't haul, and my two friends with rigs live 40min west of us). I don't want to get my hopes up... but they kind of are.

I rode yesterday and my boy was SO SO good (he's trying to make me really miss him while he is gone). I set up a "course" of three jumps (because Jen seems to think that if we take him to the show, he will be participating in the small over fences classes). The highest was a 2'3 oxer then there was a 2' vertical and a small cross rail. We cantered the whole thing with no rails down and 1 simple change. I was SO pumped. As we hopped around the jumps and I got a few take-offs wrong, Granite compensated for me! He was fantastic and may just end up being a jumping horse one day!!!

Our little course: (X rail to Oxer then back over the Vertical)

I highly doubt that Jen will have any desire to guest blog about Granite's experience at "camp" for us, but I'll ask her! Either way, I will make sure to share her updates with you. This is going to be really exciting for him and me (and hopefully her).

On a sad note, Jen's 12 year dog (her heart in a dog suit) is undergoing some pretty critical surgery today. Please keep Jen, her husband, their son and most importantly, Maverick, in your thoughts and prayers!


  1. Your friend sounds amazing and that sounds like a great plan to advance your boy's training.

  2. Sounds like a great plan for everyone involved!

  3. Oh sounds like you've got a good plan and are going to get back a new horse! :)

  4. What a cool idea. Hope it goes really well for everyone.

  5. Id like to invite everyone to a post I've just published honoring the TV show "Big Valley", and also actor Peter Breck. Included with this post are 2 personal recipes that was sent to me by Peters wife Diane, so please stop by and say hello and share your memories of this classic TV show. Richard