Sandridge Rider Rep
Claudia Iannuccilli

Meet Claudia The Horses 2018 Results
June 2019 - The Season Begins!
December 2018 - Season Wrap-Up
August 2018 - A Huge Goal Accomplished!
June 2018 - Kick On to the Season
Mar 2018 - Travelling to Florida
Feb 2018 - Freddy Update

Meet Claudia

Sandridge is pleased to introduce our first rider representative, Claudia Iannuccilli - and invite you to share in her journey.

Claudia Iannuccilli is a rider, trainer and certified coach who specializes in the sport of Eventing. She has taken the opportunity to ride and train with international-level coaches and riders, including Mary King, William Fox-Pitt, and Amy Millar. In 2017 she travelled to England to work with Mary and Emily King, truly an experience of a life time. She currently works closely with one of Canada's most successful athletes in Eventing, Jessica Phoenix.

Claudia's coaching focus is mainly on riders ranging from the ages of 12-21 who ride at all levels, but mainly pre-training to preliminary level. Claudia believes strongly in positive coaching and riding, along with a consistent training structure. Teamwork and having fun make the CIEventing team the successful team that it is. CIEventing students have consistently won year-end awards at all levels from pre-entry to preliminary, including championships in both Quebec and Ontario. Claudia was recognized as Quebec's Coach of the Year in 2011.
Claudia's goal is to ride at the highest level of the sport. She is currently building her string of horses to help reach that goal and to have a successful show team at all the levels. Claudia herself has been consistently in the ribbons as well as qualifying for year end awards on a variety of horses at different levels. This year is a big one for Claudia. Her show schedule is the fullest it has ever been, with the goal being to qualify for the Virginia CCI1* in the Fall.
Sandridge wishes Claudia the best of luck and looks forward to being a partner on her journey.

The Horses

Campaigning ("Reagan")
2009 16.1 Thoroughbred gelding
A little about Reagan:

"Reagan has a very easy-going personality and is a true gentleman - the sweetest horse you will EVER meet. In 2017 he was competing at the Preliminary level Eventing.

Reagan will eat ANYTHING. He gains weight easily but loses it just as easily. He is an expert cribber and prone to impaction colics. (Ulcer flareups make him go off his water). He is fed 9 flakes of hay spread out over 3 feedings. In the summer when grazing is at its best he will get 6 flakes. This consists of half 1st and half 2nd cut. And grazing as much as he wants. Reagan is given Omneity, a vitamin/mineral supplement by MadBarn; Visceral by Mad Barn (this is to keep his ulcers at bay. When travelling and at shows his Visceral is doubled); and Mad Barn oil. In the summer, 2 cups of flax and 1 cup oil is added to his diet.

Reagan is turned out all day, (8am -9pm) in summer. In the winter he is out from 8am - 8pm unless the weather is gross. Reagan comes in over night so we can monitor his water intake very closely.

In winter his shoes are removed and I let him get all furry just to give him a little down time. I hack out quite a bit more in winter so the furry coat keeps him nice and cozy."

Gregory the Great ("Ghost")
2012 16.2 Thoroughbred gelding
A little about Ghost:

"Ghost is such a wonderful horse who loves to work and especially jump cross country!!! He is very playful and always looking for fun stuff to do, usually involving chewing his neighbor's blanket or his tack or his boots...while heís wearing them! Heís like having a giant life-sized teddy bear! Ghost did Entry and Pre-training level in 2017 and will be upgrading to training level this year!!!

Ghost is all cute all the time and I call him my chunky munky!!! He is an easy keeper in TB terms; doesnít loose weight easily but doesnít gain it easily either so his weight is pretty stable. Very good drinker but doesnít like eating out of a slow feed hay net - it makes dunking his hay into water more difficult;) He gets a minimum of 9 flakes of hay a day, fed 3 times. He will get more while he is in the stable if he likes. He can basically eat as much as he will eat. Half is first cut and half is second cut hay. Ghost also gets MadBarn's Omneity vitamin/mineral supplement and some oil. During the summer he was on flax as well but as his work load decreased he is only on the minimum needed.

Ghost lives out and comes in from about 8am until 1 or 2pm. During that time he gets a little down time on his own and is ridden. As his work load decreases he stays in less, he likes to be busy and prefers to be frolicking in his paddock. He will come in over night or even during the day if the weather is too yucky!!!

He does not wear a blanket unless absolutely necessary as he is SUPER FURRY and gets too warm in a rain sheet. And he likes it that way. He is barefoot but will definitely need shoes next year in the front as his soles are quite flat and sensitive. His hoof wall is pretty good and I suspect his overall hoof quality will get better with time on the Omneity."

Ready for Freddy ("Freddy")
2011 15.3 Thoroughbred gelding
December 2018

What's up Freddy? After a great first season of eventing, Freddy, aka Ready Freddy, is enjoying a furry, fun-filled but relaxing life of living out and being ridden lightly and hacking out about 4 days a week. He's down to his basic "winter" diet of Omneity, reduced flax, salt and Visceral from Mad Barn to help him with the recent move to our new stable. The flax is just enough to mix with the salt to make it a little tastier. He's on approximately 4 flakes of first cut and 4 flakes of second cut hay a day or as much as he will eat if he wants more. Work will be light until about Feb./March when the plan with be to ship to an arena and start getting ready for the 2019 eventing season!!! Freddy's Ready for the adventures to begin in pre-training and we'll see where we go from there...So excited to be partnered with this special horse.

Intro to Freddy - November 2017:

"Freddy last raced in March of 2017, so was very green to life off the track - but definitely enjoying his new life... and REALLY likes to jump!!!! He is so sweet and eager to please, loves all his humans. Definitely has a 'go getíem' attitude and loves to drive his paddock buddies CRAZY!!!

Currently Freddy is stabled just down the road from my other horses at Sandridge Farm, so his schedule is a little different. Freddy is fed 3 times a day. Hay is first cut and he gets about 8 flakes/day. He is on Omneity by Mad Barn as well as the Mad Barn oil. When thereís no snow he is grazing all morning.

He is out from early morning to lunch time when all the horses are brought in. He is ridden after his turn out time so that he gets as much time outside as heíd like. He will most likely be on a similar schedule to my other horses once he comes home to Janice's. I am taking advantage of having an awesome arena and he is happy where he is!!!

Freddy will be introduced to showing in 2018. He schooled some cross country this past summer and loved it, which is what sealed the deal to me purchasing him. Keep checking in for updates, I know Freddy has a big following!"

You can read more about Freddy's earlier transition from racehorse to riding horse HERE

Caraway Quimbeau ("Quimbeau")
2013 16 h. Connamara x Sporthorse gelding
Meet Quimbeau!

"Newest member to the CIEventing team!!! Quimbeau is a 5yr old buckskin gelding, and I'm super excited about this guy, he has a lovely personality, and a curious and willing to please nature to him. Along with great gaits and a cute jump we're going to have some exciting adventures. He's tons of fun and I'm already excited to be his partner in crime. Thank you so much to some amazing people who stepped up to help me make this team a possibility as well as his amazing breeders who definitely share the Connemara love! Welcome to the team buddy!

What's up Quimbeau??? The Quimbeaunator is having a fun winter so far, filled with pony rides, poles, school buses and naps. So pleased with this 5-year old. The plan for him this winter is adventure, exposing him to new things and seeing what he likes and doesn't like as well as what he finds easy and what is more difficult. He has great a brain and personality and has started hacking up the road and even passed his first school bus! He's also handled some pole work and schooling in the snow. The next step is finding him a saddle, I have one on loan as he was a little rounder when we started but is slimming down nicely and fairly easily. With the help of Tracey and Sandridge Saddlery, we will find something that works as my saddles are more thoroughbred shaped with med or med/wide trees...we need a wide please.

This big, tough Connemara is actually wearing a blanky as his coat is a little shorter than I'd like for him to be aux naturel in colder temps but he's getting fluffier, yay! He's on Mad Barn Omneity and salt with a tiny bit of flax to mix in with the salt and his feet are being well looked after by the one and only Maia from Metta Equus. He is so friendly and enjoys lots and lots of cuddles as well as letting himself out of his stall and playing how far can I throw my feed tub! Really excited to be working with this horse, a real pleasure!"

Major Chase ("Chase")
2008 16.0 Thoroughbred/Connemara gelding
Owned by Janice Clinton
A little about Chase:

"Chase is our real-life unicorn! He is a lovely horse. Very smart, slightly cheeky, he actually can be very unconfident but if he trusts you he will do whatever you ask. We get along so wonderfully and we have great trust in each other.

Chase is an easy keeper but definitely is not a major muncher. He eats fairly slowly and not excessively. When away at shows he can become quite picky and reduces his water consumption. He is on MadBarn electrolytes at shows regardless of weather. He gets 8 flakes spread out over 3 feedings; in the summer when grazing is at its best, 5 flakes. *hay consists of half 1st and half 2nd cut. And grazing as much as he wants. Chase is also given MadBarn's Omneity and a cup of flax is added in the summer.

Chase lives out. He comes in every morning from about 8am - 1pm to get fed and ridden. Due to a very minor stringhalt Chase is turned out as much as possible at home. At shows he is walked twice as much as the other horses. It does not affect him when riding but it definitely stays looser when he is walked more often. In winter the horses will come in in extreme temperatures or weather. Over the winter, Chase is allowed to get all furry and his main goes rogue - which it tends to do all year round - we just stop fighting it in the winter!

He is barefoot all year long as we have not found a need for shoes. Yay to barefeet and Maia Chaput!!!

Chase competed at Preliminary level Eventing in 2017 and will be working towards a CIC 1* and CCI 1* in 2018. Yay!"

Claudia's 2018 Competition Season
Mar 16-18Ocala Horse Trials, FLReagan - 5th (TR)
Chase - 7th (TR)

A good start to the season for Reagan, finishing 5th at Ocala
May 27Grandview H.T.Reagan - 5th (TR)
Chase - 4th (P)
July 22Glen Oro H.T.Chase - 1st (P)
Ghost - 3rd (PT)
Aug 10-11Harmony H.T.Freddy - 7th (PE)
Aug 18-19Bromont CIC*Chase - CIC* Completion
Reagan - 3rd (T)
Sept 2-3Equilibre H.T.Freddy - 1st (PE)
Sep 8-9Ottawa H.T.Reagan - 1st (T)
Ghost - 2nd (PT)
Sept Oakhurst H.T.Reagan 1st (T)
Ghost - 2rd (PT)
Freddy - 2nd (E)
Sept 30Grandview H.T.Chase - 6th (P)
Nov 1-4Virginia CCI*, VAChase - CCI* Completion

June 2019
Finally! The Season has Started!

With the first show cancelled, the already slow-to-start season due to very wet and rainy weather, was delayed even further. But the season has begun for us here in the north and it looks like a fun-filled, action packed and definitely adventurous summer.

Itís a whole new set up for CIEventing with finally having my own stable to allow me to manage my horses and my training more closely. The biggest difference I have found in managing my horses personally is the little extras that I notice each horse needs. Whether itís what sheet they prefer, or if they like a specific stall or pasture mate more or less, I can now try to make them each individually as comfortable and relaxed as possible to help them perform their best. My horses are doing so great and I feel this is a result of the extra time in training and managing them that I have been able to do.

My first two big training sessions were a huge success with all 4 of my horses doing really great, as well as Major Chase, owned by Janice Clinton. They all improved drastically over the winter despite less-than-ideal conditions with the weather, as well as limited training opportunities while I am still setting up at the new farm. The consistent and steady flatwork paid off with everyone jumping, better, straighter and bigger!!!

Reagan and Ghost will continue at the training level this year with Reagan ideally moving up to the modified level in the hopes of doing the 1* in Virginia in the fall. Ghost will do a full season of training level which he is feeling so ready for, and maybe moving up at the end of the year if all is well. Ready Freddy has already started his pre-training season at Little Bromont and did a great job. He felt so much more focused and aware of the job in the dressage and showjumping. Cross country was slightly harder for him this time around as it had a lot of turning and terrain questions. Heís so brave and just took it all in stride.
Quimbeau, the new kid on the block, has really stepped it up in the last month. His first-ever big boy outing was a good learning moment for us together as he reacted very differently than I expected. He was a little more worried and stressed. He was more reactive, which is so different as he is normally more of push horse. I took a more quiet and relaxed approach to our training after that and it has really helped him be steady and confident. He has lovely gaits and a good jump so with steady, relaxed and confidence building work I think he is going to be so much fun. I really feel we are starting to trust each other and rely on each other, this is really all about team work after all.

Major Chase will continue at the preliminary level with the goal of doing some more 2*ís, looking to improve on his dressage and speed at that level.

The CIEventing show team is also going to have a big summer. I am very excited as there are a bunch of new, young and green horses who will make their eventing debut, as well as some new riders to the sport as well. Little Bromont was a good start with some tough questions. We know what we need to improve on and what to keep building on. Thereís a fun summer ahead and I am hoping it will be a little drier than this spring!!!

December 2018

Season Wrap-Up
Members of the team with Freddy after his first cross-country run

This season has been my biggest season yet. This year I had 4 horses showing, Major Chase, Campaigning, Gregory The Great and Ready Freddy. I competed across the board this year from Florida to Quebec and Ontario, and finally in Virginia, USA.

Some moments stand out so much for me not only for being succesful in terms of results, but as learning moments as well as finally achieving long fought-for goals. One show that stands out was Glen Oro where I almost finished with 3 first places. I did finish in 1st in Prelim with Chase on our toughest course up to that point. I unfortunately parted ways with Reagan after a BIG leap down a step when I was placed 1st to that point, and then mis-read my watch and slowed down to end up 2nd with Ghost after being in the lead to that point. I was so proud of the 3 boys knowing they could really be successful with some consistency.

Consistency was the missing link this year with Reagan. We were either winning or not finishing. Saddle fit for me was key as I just could not get myself where I needed to be in order to help Reagan do his job. I sorted out my saddle problems which made things a lot easier, but muscle memory is a funny thing. If youíre not consciously thinking of what it is you need your muscles to do at every moment, your old muscle memory kicks in and then that "oops" shows up. Staying back was my biggest issue on this horse because when I get ahead of his big jumps down off banks or over ditches he throw me off balance - resulting in some involuntary dismounts, usually on my feet! Itís been a big learning curve as what I need to do on him I do naturally on other horses. Heís just different in his jump and movement and I am learning how to adapt to his style. BUT one of my greatest highlights this year was actually having my best ride at the Fall Grandview HT from start to finish on Reagan on a course that had all our greatest challenges - banks, ditches, and ditches-and-banks. It felt so good to make it happen and he just felt so great and happy. Yay!

The long-sought dream to my first 1* came true with a stellar round at the Bromont CIC where the course was so, so tough and presented many hard questions that if you rode well the course rode great and if you had any doubt it called you out. I had a fantastic ride and Chase just stepped up to the plate and nailed it. I did want to work on our showjump and dressage at that level and so I spent the two months after Bromont and up to my very first CCI in Virginia doing just that. Virginia was AMAZING, our dressage was very consistent, cross country was superb despite terribly muddy and deep footing, and we absolutely performed at our best for a double clear in the showjumping. We both came together and fought hard for that double clear, so proud of that amazing horse.
My greatest disappointment came at that show as well. We had a refusal at the first jump on cross and very much all my fault. I changed my plan last minute on the approach to the first jump where I aimed slightly left to avoid some mud and we just kept veering left right past the first fence! It bothered me so much because I felt that I let him down and got him a refusal that I felt he didnít deserve. One of the hardest things is to block out what people around you are saying when you have a plan that you know is best for you and your horse. Stay focused and trust what you know and the plan that you have made knowing yourself and your horse. Lesson learned and thatís the most important part.

After such an exciting and eventful season the excitement continued with a big change that was also a long term goal for me. My very own stable and new home to CIEventing! Located in Hawkesbury Ontario, close to my students as well as close to home, this facility is just the right size for my set up. The stable has 9 stalls, tackroom, hay loft and attached garage. It currently has 2 large grass paddocks and 1 smaller grass paddock and 5 acres of lovely rolling terrain. The plan will be to add an additional large paddock as well as an all-weather jump ring, an all-weather dressage ring and a training cross country course for schooling my horses and my students. Excited for this new adventure and so excited for the future, one * at a time until we get all 4 of those *ís.

August 2018

A Huge Goal Accomplished!

6 years ago I met Jessica Phoenix. 6 yrs ago I was brave enough to tell her that one of my goals/dreams was to compete at Bromont in a 1*. Little did I know saying that out loud would open up this great new world to me where you could actually set out to make your dreams come true; it WAS possible and to never give up.

4 yrs ago, Janice Clinton and her super cute grey gelding, Major Chase, became part of the CIEventing team. We got along so well right off the bat and I had an instant connection with Chase, a Connemara/Thoroughbred homebred by Janice and her husband Don Clinton. We thought it would be fun for him to event and get out and see the world a bit to help with his confidence. As each show came and went he got better and better and our bond grew. Chase is not an easy Unicorn as he can worry sometimes, and can even even have a little Connemara cheekiness to him. But it suits my personality and it actually just brings us closer as a team. That attitude is what makes him so great, he enjoys having a challenge, he's out there to get to work and get the job done!!! As they say, there are always ups and downs...from being unable to leave the start box but instead head galloping back ALL the way to the trailers and then gallop ALL the way back to the start and the first fence!???????????? to winning his first prelim.

I started this part of my journey on one horse and achieved it on another horse and there were others along the way, but I can officially say after 6 years of hard work, I am a 1* rider amd Chase is a 1* horse!!! At Bromont, he was foot perfect on cross country and I made all the right decisions and so our team was focused and in sync from fence 1 to 21 - so so so proud of this horse!

Along my journey I have had the greatest of supporters, from amazing companies I am proud to be part of to meeting new friends and supporters. Mad Barn - you have made all the difference in my horses health, wellbeing, happiness and in supporting my goals and dreams, I could not have done it without you. Sandridge Saddlery - Sellerie Sandridge you have kept me in the saddle , literally helping me with all my saddle needs, keeping my horses in the right equipment and dressing me for the part, in the ring and at home. Your trust and belief in me is invaluable and I cannot thank you enough. Metta Equus you keep the horses feet happy and are always there for the support of the horses as well as moral support. Chase was the only horse competing barefoot happily and that is thanks to you.

Thank you to all my other sponsors who help me out in so many different ways, this would not be possible without you!!!! To my friends and family, you are so patient and supporting!!! Thank you so much!! Nina?? I LOVE you!!!

A VERY special thank you to 4 people:
My amazing coach ARE #1!!!
My amazing sista-from-another-mista.. Sommer Christie rock!!!
My husband?? Will Christie?? words!!!
And Janice for totally believing in me, trusting me with her so-loved Unicorn and for just being there for me whether it's Chase or another horse I am riding. You're there with me to pack 'til the end and on the long drives home, to make sure we have somewhere to sleep. Couldn't have done it without you!!!!

...I was asked once why I wanted to go 1* I can go 2*!! Let the journey continue - I'm a little excited, I'll be honest!!!

June 2018

The Season Kicks On!!!

Well that was an exciting month, yay June!!!

Our first team show in June was at Little Bromont, where the rings and courses are always so beautifully set up and manicured. As usual the course was fairly challenging but all my riders felt great and the horses looked in top shape. The courses rode tough but well. Except for the Pre-training, which had a large number of either refusals or eliminations at the jump AFTER the water - strange...normally it's before the water. Whether it was because the horses felt overwhelmed after galloping the first half down hill to a fairly busy water jump section, or the big distracting gravel pile, or that the horses just didn't want to turn right but keep going straight out of the water. Sometimes there's no obvious answer and maybe not only one reason. It's just about working on improving and pushing through whatever problems pop up along the way. Our team finished with a 2nd in training and 4th in entry and some successful experiences for some young horses as well as an official upgrade. Very excited for what's next on the show schedule.

Speaking of problems popping up along the way...straightness is a HUGE factor in eventing. I just finished an event this past weekend that highlighted some straightness issues that need to be worked on...I call it boot camp for the straightness impaired!

After a 7hr drive, and once we were settled in, I walked my Preliminary cross country course. Here's a breakdown of the very challenging course:

1,2 and 3 look good. Then we plummet downhill to a left turn onto a narrow path in the trees where we veer left and, BOOM! there's #4!!! A fairly spooky sharks tooth with a little ditch under and a sharp left turn to a step chevron. All of which is contained in a 4 foot wide trail, so no going left or right or possibly straight after #4A. Then up a hill to a cleverly named "massive table". Proceed to a fair-sized house, landing downhill and then back uphill to a cow-coloured roll top and back down again. Next up a ditch and brush, followed by a angled corner three strides to a roll top...back up a hill, sharp turn left continuing up hill over a skinny. Then some flat ground, broken line cabin to skinny...then more flat ground (the last flat actually for a while).

We then went up to a decent bank up, 1-stride, then log landing downhill, 3 strides to a skinny chevron, gallop right and prepare mentally for the next fence called, "into space"!!! Yup, a rolltop placed at the top of a steep hill where you land and tumble down to then gallop right back up again. Then angle a skinny-to-skinny 2-stride. Gallop left and we're going down again but, like REALLY down this time...annnddd...back up again to this round saucer-looking-thingy...aaannd ...back down again!!! Sharp left over a brush, (finally, a breather) but wait - next comes a a pretty decent trakhener with super-bright flowers running along the top. No looking down people and horses, EYES UP!!! Gallop, then sharp blind turn right to a bank down, 1-stride, bank down to water, sharp turn left, and gallop to last fence, a friendly and oh-so-inviting bench, ahhh - and then you're done!

This course had every question possible and so even though it was hard and it may not ride perfectly, it let a rider know where there were holes in the training.

I had two great dressage tests and lovely show jumping rounds with Chase and Reagan, and then set off on cross-country. Jumps 1, 2 and 3 rode great! Jump 4 brought both horses to a grinding stop as it just took them so off guard and they don't have oodles of experience at this level. Sorted out 4A and just had to circle and cross my tracks as they both jumped it pretty big and couldn't make the sharp left turn. Both galloped on beautifully over the table. Reagan jumped the house quite big but didn't mind the cow too much, but Chase was the opposite - the house was a cinch and the cow was a little spooky - we had a little zig zag there - but he was a good boy and trusted me. Ditch and brush was great for both, and that type of jump can sometimes worry Reagan a bit. Next up was where the course rode differently for the two horses and straightness came into play. Chase was perfect and stayed on the line to the corner. Reagan, feeling a little intimidated, jumped left at the last minute and caught himself on the edge of the jump. I kept going right unfortunately, and we parted ways.

I was totally fine but Reagan got a scrape on his leg and had to be looked after by the vet. Very superficial, but a little tender where the skin was a bit raw and he needed a couple of stitches. What a good boy as he never misplaced a foot while the vet took excellent care of him. He was happy to then get to munch for the rest of the show.

The hard part was Reagan was my first ride, so I now had to get on the next horse and make things happen...but what happened to my pinny and my crop? Ahhhh...right, they're laying in the field back at jump 9! So happy I had a super nice stall neighbour who lent me her pinny so we could scribble #22 onto some old scrap paper and trot off to the start box for a very quick five minute warm up. And we made it to the end, with only a hiccup at jump 4A and B but the rest was steady and accurate. Yay super Unicorn!

I'm so proud of both my horses (even though I don't actually own Chase, he is treated as if he is mine and I am just as proud of him). It was a tough weekend. Getting home st 2:30 am after 8hrs of driving can be exhausting. But these weekends make me a better rider, a stronger rider, a more experienced rider, and a more determined rider.

I will do this - WE will do this!!! Can't wait for what July brings...oh, it's on now people!!!

March 2018

The Doís and Doníts of Travelling to Florida for an Event!!!

This past March I was so lucky to be able to travel down south to Ocala, Florida to train and show with my coach and mentor Jessica Phoenix. I brought two horses to compete, Campaigning (aka Reagan) who is shown and owned by myself, and Major Chase (aka the Unicorn), shown by myself and owned by Janice Clinton. I was also very excited about bringing along one of my students, Sarah Pille, and her horse Trinity.
We arrived after two days of travelling on Friday evening around 7:30. The total drive was about 28 hours.

Our set up was awesome; we had a camper set up right next to the six stall stable our horses were staying in. We had our own little home away from home with a clothes line and our very own self-made patio furniture. It was a nice mini-vacation spot with lots of relaxing, laughing and fun card playing!!! ...we learned a lot about camper life too...we had some VERY VERY interesting camper adventures!

The first week was for settling in, some low-stress lessons and a ton of great auditing opportunities. The second week was for more intense training and building up to the show before our drive home.

The show was a great success. The horses felt great, performed great and recovered well for the trip home. Reagan came home with a 5th place, Chase was 8th out of 21 and Trinity was 9th. So very pleased with our super ponies, from snow to sand to ribbons in 20 days!!!

Every trip I make I learn something new, not necessarily riding related but travelling related. For example, does your trailer have a fire extinguisher? I learned last year that when bearings go on a tire they can get so hot they catch fire!!! Once the fire is put out...with the oh so useful fire extinguisher...the tire can be removed and you can continue to drive on the remaining wheels until the trailer can be fixed. I have my trusty extinguisher now after hearing that story. This made me think about a little list of things I have found useful when travelling with my horses. Some things to do and, of course, some things NOT to do...

DO Check all your tires for air pressure and make sure that all bolts are tight and snug!
DON'T Assume they will stay tight, check them regularly along the way and definitely check them before heading back home. 6000km in 20 days is a lot!

DO Bring all types of clothing, 6 degrees celsius is REALLY cold when youíre in Florida!!!
DON'T Forget your fly mask, not for flies specifically but for all the sand there is down there. It can get really dusty and itís hard on the horses eyes. They rub their heads and their actual eyes a lot, they end up with crusty and runny eyes and sometimes even scrapes and cuts.

DO Stop about every 4 hrs to gas up the truck as well as give water and hay to the ponies. Itís also a chance for the horses to just stand still for a little bit and have a rest from the constant shifting from the trailer. It may take you a little longer to get somewhere BUT your horses will be more rested and will recover faster.
DON'T Tie your horses up if possible in the trailer. The first thing a lot of horses do when the trailer is stopped is put their heads down to relax, eat or drink if you are giving them water. When itís really hilly itís better for the horses to have their head and neck free to adjust easily and overall they are more comfortable with their heads free.

DO Take every opportunity to watch EVERY lesson and every horse being ridden anywhere you are. Traveling down south to train and show is expensive but you can stretch your dollar by learning not only from your own lessons but by watching other lessons and watching your own trainer/coach ride.
DON'T Get caught up in all the high-end extravagance and wealth. Itís absolutely beautiful down there but it can be financially daunting to be in the middle of it knowing youíre on a pretty tight budget. Do what you can, do your best with what you got and remember to have fun and work your butt off. You can make it happen!!!

February 2018

Freddy Update
So Freddy has settled in nicely at home and is finding life pretty satisfactory. He did loose a little weight but is now back to munching away and putting weight on. Heís settled really well with staying out longer AND is now sleeping out with his bff, Ghosty with the Mosty. Their first time together was a little rough with a resulting bald spot on Ghostís neck...but nothing since on either and they munch together happily most of the time.

He comes in with the others around 8:00 am for some breakfast of Omniety by Mad Barn, flax, and Mad Barn oil as well as 2 flakes of hay (1 first cut, 1 second cut). I put him back out while I ride the other 3 because heís happier out and about. He is settling into being in during the morning more and more everyday. One of the funniest/interesting/strange things about Freddyís arrival is Sherlock and he stare at each other longingly pretty often over the fence...itís pretty funny to see. I think itís cause they long to play endless hours of halter tag and see who could drive each other the craziest...I choose not to test this more bald spots for anyone please!!!

We got a saddle sorted out...yup another tricky one. His back is fairly short and thereís a VERY limited area in which the saddle should sit on his back. But we finally found something thanks to Sandridge Saddlery and the great variety of options to try. That Freddy - heís got great taste!

Freddy also did great at his first clinic. He held it together and improved everyday. Heís very smart and willing and with relaxation and confidence in his body heís going to do some pretty amazing things.

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