Sundown Blues

  Since my last post in April, I have since tried out several horses and ended up finding the perfect horse.
Meet Sundown Blues aka “Tonks”

  Tonks is a 12yo, Canadian Thoroughbred mare, and 16.1hh. She has been doing much of nothing for the last sixth years or so, but before then she has shown Novice level eventing and schooled up to Training. My hopes for her are to take her at least Training and to my C3.
  I brought her “home” June 28th, and she has been a dream (for the most part) ever since!
  We started doing stuff as soon as I got her home. Just a few weeks of being together we had a lesson with Sali Gear, a Pony Club National Examiner from Virgina. Sali was great, and really helped us, with Tonk’s new thing where she would start cantering which would escalde into her doing a very collected canter that she would sometime threaten to rear from. My anxiety from my experinces with Addie did not help this, so it just made the sitiation worse. Sali also helped us with jumping because Tonks loved approach them pretty well and then about three strides out bomb rush them, no matter how big they were. Including poles.

Here we are before our lesson with Sali Gear.

 Since then after lots of schooling, a quite a few lessons, and dressage clinic with the great Amanda Lamp we have made a bunch of progress!
Here is a video of us riding with Amanda:

Because of my saddle and where the stirrup bars are placed, I unfortnatly had a bit of a chair seat that made it a bit harder to stay in a basic balenced position. Other than that, Tonks was amazing, this was our second day/lesson with Amanda and in just that short amount of time Tonks had improved more than any of us had imagined.

   Throughout this time I had been taking lessons with Molly Rennie, who is our region’s instructor coordinator, and Hellgate Canyon’s main instructor and Jt DC. She really has helped us better understand each other, especially when jumping. Molly also really helped me re-trust Tonks after she threw my friend Alex when she reared infront of a xc fence. She almost ended up flipping over onto Alex. It was pretty scary. Luckilly Tonks wasn’t affected by it at all, and Alex didn’t end up getting seriously hurt.

   In Sept I was able to take Tonks to two mini events, two weekends in a row. We went Smurf because I knew that if worse came to worse, we would still be able to finish. Tonks was awesome! The first weekend we went to Herron Park, where I had only schooled once before 2 year ago, but Tonks had been there dozens of times. We placed 6th on our dressage score of 42.3 out of a fairly large class. The next weekend we went to the Flying Colors mini event at the Missoula Equestrian Park.We shaved off about 12 points from the previous mini event for a 2nd place finish on a dressage score of 30!

   After that we then went and completed the C1Flat and C1HM ratings! I have been waiting for at least 3yrs to get this. Unfortunatly, I did not get the jumping portion, which would have made it the C1 Classic rating, but even if I had planned on doing that I would have been able to. On the day I rated (as well as some other canidates) th arena was practically flooded, and we were barely able to canter, so I guess either way I wouldn’t have gotten it, which is fine with me. Molly and I were hoping with a few more jumping lessons we would be able to get it before the weather got bad, but it got too bad out before we could.

  All in all I am very happy with Tonks. We have schooled up to at least BN height, and our dressage has gotten very good (in my opinion). I can’t wait for it to get nice enough to start really riding again. My goals for next year are to finish my C1, take my C2, and compete at Rebecca Farms at Novice. Cross your fingers!


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