So much has happened in just one month with Team Unicorn Training Club!
First and foremost, we welcomed our fifth team member, Anna Redmond!
Anna started riding as a child in hunt seat and has since transitioned to dressage and eventing. Anna owns a 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover graduate, Princess Alisha, who competed in dressage and placed in the middle of the pack. She’s furthering her training in dressage and plans to start eventing. Anna joins the other four members of Unicorn Training Club: Sarah Hepler, Skye-Anna Nye-Smith, Shannon Ryan-Dinmore, and Katie Conway.
Dizzy has blossomed this month! His personality is starting to shine through. When he’s attention-seeking and snuggly, this is a great thing, but do not call him cute! He is handsome, not cute! And, he isn’t afraid to let you know!
Dizzy has yet to take his first field trip, as we are currently focusing our time and energy on as many lessons and clinics as possible. We’ve capitalized on the ability to bring in whichever instructors and clinicians we want at the farm where he is currently boarded. At the end of March, Dizzy participated in his first dressage and jumping clinic lessons with Holly Parker of Holly Parker Equine in Rochester, N.Y.
Katie was the first to introduce him to the dressage arena, where he is quickly learning connection and contact. He truly appreciates Holly’s proven process and Katie’s unending patience. Like a mare, he appreciates things be suggested to him, rather than demanded from him (sorry, Dizzy!).
However, Dizzy finds jumping far more exciting! Skye-Anna was aboard for this first endeavor. While Dizzy had been popped over a fence once or twice just to see what he thought of it, this was his first formal session.
Dizzy took well to trot poles, but gave little effort to cross rails. Once he was offered a tiny vertical, the excitement finally caught up to him. He’s a natural and, while inquisitive, little deters him and he doesn’t offer a refusal. This is a credit to his race training and career. Being introduced to so much in his training, we can’t seem to throw much at him he hasn’t already seen!
Dizzy had his second clinic in April with fellow makeover trainer Jordan Pruiksma of Dynasty Sport Horses out of Aiken, S.C.
Jordan is known for her success with OTTBs both in the dressage and eventing arenas. Both Katie and Anna piloted him through his dressage lessons, again focusing on consistent connection and rhythm. Dizzy’s suspension and effortless movement are beginning to truly shine!
Of course, his jumping lesson with Shannon aboard was most exciting for Dizzy. He was introduced to a big-kid grid, including a bounce and a canter pole. Dizzy took it all in stride and ended extremely successfully. Dizzy also got to show off his incredible track training skills. For his first time on long lines, he was absolutely perfect!
We are aiming to take Dizzy to his first local show May 19 at Carriage House Arena in Trumansburg, N.Y.
The hope is that he will either compete in a combined test — dressage and stadium jumping — or if we are able to get him out to school cross country, potentially a full event! He is also registered for his first recognized dressage show, Dressage in Wine Country I & II.
Stay tuned — so many more exciting things to come!