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A whole lot of travel

June 4, 2012

First of all, let me apologize for not blogging… for six months! Wow, time flies. The Spring Eventing season in Aiken was a whirlwind – a great whirlwind, but very, very busy. We made the move back up to Virginia in April. We attempted to move back to a brand new barn. Unfortunately that barn situation didn’t end up working out. The main problem being that we had no ring to ride in. We had to scramble to find a new barn quickly. This is not as easy as it sounds so we ended up back at last year’s Virginia barn in Troy (just outside Charlottesville). This is a perfectly great barn…the only reason we have been looking for a different spot is that we are in need of some space to do trot and gallop sets. All of this has led me to realize that it is finally time for me to build my own barn. I am currently looking for the perfect property!

Mighty Himself had a couple of great outings at Preliminary this Spring. Unfortunately he has told us that he will be needing a bit more time to recover from last Fall’s stifle injury. We’ve decided to give him a lot of time. This is a fantastic horse and I hope to have him back competing in early 2013.

Max (Wiley Post) came back from his injury slowly and carefully. We spent the Spring cruising around Prelim, getting comfortable. We were all set to make a full return to Intermediate at Fair Hill in May, when a freak minor pasture injury (the day before competition) put him back in his stall for a few weeks. He will be back in full work this month.

Ringfort Fighting Chance (Conquer) was a perfect gentleman all Spring. We moved up from Novice to Training quite comfortably. Conquer was sold to one of my long time students, Ellie Brown. She fell in love the minute she laid eyes on him in February. They are truly a great match, making their debut this past weekend with a 1st place finish on a 25.7 dressage score!

Cooley Cross Border (Cross) has stepped right up to the plate. He began his competition career in Feb with 3 wins at Novice. We made the move up to Training level and he has won 2 out of 4 of these outings. I couldn’t be happier with how this horse is progressing. He is full of personality and presence. Now if he could just figure out how to use all 4 legs at the same time. At 5 years old, he still has a lot of baby in him.  He enjoys a daily morning nap.

We shall see how the Fall goes but I’m hoping for a move up to Prelim with him.

Fantasy Impromptu (Chopin) is officially a DQ! We spent this past Friday and Saturday in private dressage lessons with Scott Hassler. I’ve really enjoyed the lessons and Scott’s manner of teaching. We worked on Chopin’s canter pirouettes, piaffe, and passage. Scott agrees that Chopin definitely has Grand Prix potential! Unfortunately, I guess I have decided that this horse is for sale as it really is impossible for me to dedicate as much time to Dressage as I would need to to get Chopin there.

Selling Conquer has enabled me to do a wee bit of horse shopping in Ireland. I’ve found another fantastic 4 year old through Richard Sheane. “Streetwise” will be arriving stateside within the month.

My own competition schedule is on hold until the early Fall. I am currently very busy with Nina Ligon. I have been flying to England for 2 weeks period every other week since early May to coach her in preparation for the Olympics. Nina is set up in the UK attending British events until July. The Olympics are just 7 weeks out. We are getting very close to the GOAL!

Thanks for reading and…
Don’t forget to wear the pants-
Kim

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Life is great at SV!

January 16, 2012

What is SV you ask? SV is KSE’s home in Aiken. Also know as Stable View. http://www.stableviewfarm.com SV is a sprawling, 150 plus acre Equestrian heaven. Starting with the 250 x 300 foot covered arena with “gold bullion” (Pinnacle Dust Free Footing). For those of you who haven’t experienced Pinnacle Footing you literally cannot hear the footfalls. Followed by an individual 3/4 acre paddock for each of the 33 stalls on the property. Lest we forget about the miles of groomed trot and gallop tracks, the horses seem to find those particularly entertaining.

Fortunately, due to the good weather, all of the horses are well ahead of schedule. They have been schooling outside regularly and have had all of their trots and gallops in preparation for the 2012 season! We look forward to the start of a new year with all of the horses. Starting with Chopin (Fantasy Impromptu) exclusively as a dressage horse, although he did have the first gallop here at SV. One of the rules when riding on “gold bullion” is you must pick the horses’ feet before exit of the indoor, Chopin took advantage of this rule when he took a riderless gallop out of the arena and toured the majority of the paddocks. Aside from his piaffe and pirouettes apparently he still adores an occasional gallop. After corralling Chopin and a short walk by his rider back to the barn, all of the remaining horses have pristeen attitudes. Our newest addition, Armani, owned by Karissa Dreese, has joined us for our jaunt down south. Armani had quite a time figuring out the trot polls with all of the vast indoor to look at. On a high note…Max (Wiley Post) is back on the attack! We’re going to start him out with a training and then prelim and see how he’s feeling. We’re also pleased to announce that our head groom, Lisbeth was graciously given the ride on Robin Moore’s (Amerigo) 5 yr old OTTB mare “Glory”, while she awaits the recovery of her mount, “smossy”, “smauceges” (Sterling Moss). I am very excited about the fact that I am embarking on my first full year with all of my new youngsters. We’ll all be at the first Full Gallop with the entire Aiken crew!

Wear the pants ~

Kim

Max (Wiley Post) would like everyone to check out his new Aiken digs.

January 16, 2012

Wiley Post “Max”

Fantasy Impropmtu (Chopin) 3rd Level Test – Day 1 Rose Mount

September 16, 2011

The sensational mover, Fantasy Impromptu earned 3rd level champion, taking home 4 blue ribbons in all (all scores between 68 and 71) piles of treats, other cool prizes and 2 checks!! I am so proud of him.

Here is a video of his first test of the weekend;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrkHgr2-mPQ

Wear the pants ~ Kim

First events and first dressage shows…

September 12, 2011

Wow! Where to begin. I will start in chronological order.

I did my first event with Mighty and Conquer as my own horses. More news on their syndication soon. Starting with Conquer; despite him thinking that the shadow judges, beside the dressage ring, were gremlins…he did a fantastic test. He didn’t particularly care to go next to the foot tall dressage arena, in turn making our circles look like 15 meters instead of 20. But never fear, his handsomeness got him a 26, to be in 5th! He show jumped and cross country clean and even went through both waters at the canter. He ended up in 3rd place, and quite proud of it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtTFILeqbxM&feature=relmfu

Mighty finished his dressage with a score of twenty four point something to put himself well into the lead. He did cross country exceptionally well, despite his rider’s lack of good riding in the first half of the course…but that is how you figure out what kind of horse you’ve got. Although I didn’t ride the best, he kept coming up with all of the right answers. Show jumping was his forte that weekend, he jumped clean with room to spare finishing with his first win at preliminary. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWzIqfuMqRA&feature=channel_video_title

On to dressage shows…I decided after a disaster at Loch Moy HT in June, to focus Chopin’s career on dressage. I did my first dressage show in almost twenty years! The last time I was in the dressage ring, I was riding lipizzaners. Although the lipizzaners tought me much, there is nothing like going into the dressage ring on Chopin. He is truly competitive in that world! I did third level test 1 once and third level test 2 twice and third level test 3 once. All of Chopin’s scores were between 68 and 71! He won all four tests and was champion both days being that it was two different shows. Interestingly I won $70, just for being champion twice. That never happens in eventing. I am considering keeping Chopin and competing through the levels. My mom and my sister both think I have a shot at the Olympics with Chopin and why not try to medal in two disciplines. (Video to be uploaded soon).

This is what my plans look like for next weekend. Drive to Marlborough HT on Friday to walk my Novice course for Saturday, then take a plane to Plantation Field to walk courses with Nina and stay over night. Saturday I will help Nina warm-up for as long as I can then fly to Marlborough to do my Novice competition Saturday afternoon. Saturday after I finish Marlborough I will fly to Southern Pines so I can compete Chopin at third level and hope to get qualifying scores for the Zone 1 Championship.

My plans for having an easy autumn have suddenly changed with trying to get to dressage championships and compete my young horses as needed.

More later, wear the pants –

~Kim

Eventing in the Czech

August 7, 2011

Nina continues to impress me with her professionalism and grit. Even though the event was in the Czech Republic, there certainly were a handful of riders that provided serious competition. For Nina to win the CIC and place 6th in the CCI was no small feat…not to mention it was her first Advanced on both horses! Nina has one amazing team, between her parents, her vet – Keith Brady, farrier – David Watson and dressage – Gerdt Zuther. Not only did I coach Nina but I picked up a few grooming tips; from Alex, new braiding technique and Lara who successfully has Paddy’s mane lying over to ONE side…a little beeswax goes a long way. I ended up braiding half of Jazz for the first  jog (that never happened). The courses were certainly legitimate, and Nina did a fantastic job piloting both horses to a successful weekend.

Back on the home front; Gabby and (my new head groom) Liz did a great job keeping things in good running order.

After an anxiety ridden decision process, I have decided to sell Fantasy Impromptu as a dressage horse. If you (ah-hem, Silva) know of anyone looking for a serious international dressage horse, please contact me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D2IeTtE6kc  Anyone who has seen him going knows why he really should be doing dressage. I love the horse and would love to see him go on to compete internationally.

Meanwhile, Cross and Conquer are awesome! I did their first cross country school at Plain Dealing Farm. Conquer was fantastic; did some tough training and easy prelim stuff nicely. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoRJvS3Buno&feature=related  Cross was fantastic and did everything I asked of him…even if it was at a walk or slow jog. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_tQHM_SGWg&feature=related Richard Sheane did a fantastic job starting Cross on the long line so that Cross knows what a jump looks like and what to do with it.

Although still in the planning phase, I am excited to announce a structured syndicate for both young Irish horses designed to empower individuals of diverse economical means to participate in Kim Severson Eventing and hopefully, see their horse competing at the highest international levels in the sport! Stay tuned…

Wear the pants!

~Kim

London test event and more…

July 13, 2011

Two hours after I left to go to the London test event, the new boys arrived. How typical is that…it’s like getting two new toys and having to put them on lay away.

All about London…I arrived at the test event on time, thanks to the taxi Pan got me at the airport. I understand that many of the American observers/riders had to navigate the tube which didn’t sound like a lot of fun. The facility was amazing, especially with the fact that nothing could be permanently built or disturb the park in any way. The stables were on a
platform that the horses had to walk up onto, creating a very hollow sound, a few did object to this. Nina rode Jazz, a very quiet and reliable horse, although extremely tough in the dressage. She rode him in the schooling ring and we worked on his rideability and her connection with the bridle which is no small feat. After that, Nina went and had her first look at the cross country. The next day we schooled again, working on the same things. After that Nina and I went to have my first look at the cross country. One of the more trying parts of the cross country is actually walking up the Greenwich hill to get to the start. From there, the first half of the course was all downhill which is nice considering you had to walk uphill to get to it. One thing that I observed from the test event was that although the water looked straight forward, it rode much harder than one would have thought. The water, being at the very bottom of the hill, meant that you had to turn around and go back up the hill. I watched about five horses at the top of the hill, they all seemed to take a breath, get a second wind and carry on nicely. I spoke to Yogi, the British team coach, prior to walking the course and he said that there was a substantial coffin but that everything else was straight forward. When I got to the coffin I though it all looked very nice and straight forward, then I got to the edge of the ditch and saw that it was about four feet deep. More of a rider issue than a horse issue…but still, it was big. Dressage day, Nina did a very respectful job of keeping Jazz together however, on that caliber; it’s not nearly good enough. Luckily her other horses are stronger in the dressage. Cross country day was hot, a good eighty degrees, which seemed a bit concerning. Having watched various parts of the course, I went to Nina and gave her my feedback. One of the things that I learned in the warm-up, and talking to riders that had already gone, was that the footing, although it had not rained, was very slippery. We changed out her studs for much larger studs. Nina was feeling a bit overwhelmed even though the course was only five minutes and not particularly strong, it made making the time quite a challenge. Nina was great except at the double triple brushes; Jazz pulled a shoe and tripped on landing, Nina ended up on his neck and running by the second brush. Other than that she did a super job. Of course Pan and Nina were very upset by this, but I did my best to explain to them that she needs to make these mistakes in order to not let it happen again. Jazz looked fantastic after cross country and jogged up great. Show jumping would be Jazz’s forte. She had one of the few double clean rounds and not only that, she rode like a professional. When I asked Nina why she wasn’t wearing her pinque coat that she earned for her country, she very humbly looked around at Mark Todd, Andrew Nicolson, Michael Jung, Frank Ozholt and Will Faudree who were all stabled in that aisle and said she didn’t think she deserved to wear it.

On the eighth I flew to Portland to spend a few days with my family. It was great and at the same time tortuous because I wanted to see the new boys. Finally when I got to see them on Tuesday, lucky for me, they were even nicer than I recalled. Concur, who I was informed by Sara and Gabby is now to be called Ringfort, which suits him as he looks and acts like a very stately gentleman. Riding him on the other hand, is a little trying being that he is not very well broke in the bridle. But his gaits and his attitude are very special. And he does have the best tail. I have ridden him twice now and both times I just shake my head at what a fabulous horse he is. Cross, yes it’s a family name, is a bit more insecure which really makes him depend on the people around him; Gabby has claimed him as her own and is head over heels for him, as am I. His walk is something to behold with a foot of over stride. His trot and canter aren’t bad either. He is really fabulous to ride as he is so in tune with the rider that he doesn’t much care what else is going on around him. And lucky for me, all on his own, he goes in a beautiful outline. I look forward to jumping both of them but I thought with this crazy heat wave, it would be better to wait.

I am happy to say that Max (Wiley Post) is back in work after mysteriously pulling an abdominal muscle, meaning he didn’t want to wear a saddle or more to the point, preferred not to have a girth. All of the other horses were all doing fitness work while I was away and seemed quite happy, and seem happy to return to proper schooling. I often feel that my horses are
better after having had a break from my schooling them.

That’s all for now…wear the pants.

Kim