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Carousel Update

Well 2 months have come and gone since our return from sunny Jupiter FL.  We were fortunate this year that we did not run into any spring storms like last year thank goodness.  Horses all travelled great and arrived home safe and sound.  I gave them 5 days off to recover then started them back to work.  I only got about a weeks rides on them and then it was off to Las Vegas for the World Cup Dressage finals.  There was a lot of us from here at Carousel that made the trip.  It was fabulous! Always way better to watch these top horses and riders live rather than on a video.  Charlotte and Valegro did not disappoint!  We had a fun time on the strip and enjoyed the quiet of our Trump hotel.  No smoking or gambling so that was perfect.  Once home it was back to work.  Spring is always crazy with mowing and planting flowers.  Then, of course, there was a mound of paperwork that had been waiting for me for 4 months!  Slowly getting through it.  Have I mentioned that I hate paper/office work.  Just another of those necessary evils!  Decided to give Lymrix a month off.  Rest his muscles and let him chill.  He is now back in work and getting fitter again by the day!  I'm really pleased with how he is going so may enter the show that's here in Calgary at the end of the month.  I have till the 12th to decide so we shall see.  Janet Adams (my assistant trainer) and I took our new horses to the Johnathan Field clinic that was held in Cochrane in mid May.  Johnathan is a natural horsemanship "guy" and comes from a dressage and jumping background.  I had been interested in attending one of his clinics after I had watched him last year.  Was very impressed with how his horses worked and behaved.  He had a 3 year old cold with only about a month of riding.  He rode it in the huge Agri complex down at the stampede grounds in front of a massive crowd.  What was most impressive was he rode this colt in a halter and shank.  The shank was NOT tied like reins.  He kept the shank on the outside just flipping it over his neck when he changed direction.  The colt walked, trotted, and cantered both ways in perfect balance, "on the bit" and with bend, balance, and flexions.  He did this with NO INSIDE REIN.  Just emphasized the inside leg to outside rein.  His horse was so relaxed and willing.  The other thing that Johnathan is a master at is his liberty work with his horses.  They have such trust and resapect for him as a leader.  He works them individually as well as a group.  They are so insinc with him and most of his horses have been given to him because they are "extreme problem" horses.  Rearing, flipping over, biting, etc.  It is amazing how he can take a horse that is pretty much written off and get it to change so drastically.  The clinic was fabulous.  Each morning started with a 2 hour lecture.  It was really important to Johnathan that everyone understood how and why horses react the way they do.  That we need to understand that because they are a prey animal they have amazing perception (can read your body language from over 200 yards away) , that they are fright and flight aminals with very strong herd instincts, and that these instincts need to be adjusted so they want to be with the rider.  We rode for the remainder of the morning and both of the next days.  Johnathan "touched" every horse everyday several times.  It was great to watch him with all different types.  Really drove home how every horse is an individual and how they can all improve.  This is one of the things that origianlly hooked me on dressage!  So both Janet and I were very pleased about the clinic and took everything home to our horses and riders.  It is so nice when you can add more things to your trianing/teaching "toolbox".  This is what I love most about working with horses, everyone teaches you something.  They are an amazing animal!  Hope each and eveyone of you has an amazing summer, and remember - the 1/2 halt is the miracle of dressage!