Hi Boz and Annie!
Well, we have done it – I earned my USDF Gold medal on Athena a couple weeks ago! In order to do that, one has to earn two scores over 60% at Intermediare and two scores over 60% at Grand Prix. Less than 800 people in the country have ever done this and of course the super majority of them are professionals and on warmbloods.
I know it has been a long time since I have been able to work with you, but I would like to thank you for the foundation you gave me! Athena would have never taken me to this level without your methodology. The reward of the release is what has kept her happy in all her work. Athena doesn’t have as much athletic ability as the horses she competes against, but she presents a steady pretty test.
If you remember, the flying changes were a challenge for me in the past – in Grand Prix we have to do 15 one tempi changes and 9 two tempi changes and we almost always get them in the show ring. Our last show we got our highest mark on our one tempi changes!
We will be going to the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals in Idaho in September to hopefully win Grand Prix – but I will have stiff competition as I will have to compete against the professionals. After that I will be retiring Athena to have babies. She is 13 now. I figure while she is pregnant she can still be shown in the walk-trot classes by the little girl in the picture attached. Both of the attached pictures are from this spring – the trot picture is from our first Grand Prix test a couple months ago in April, and the picture of the little girl riding her was taken last month. The girl is 7 years old and it is her 2nd ride on Athena and she is riding with 3 other horses in the arena. I credit your foundation with Athena’s ability to go from Grand Prix to walk-trot with a little kid without any problems.
Athena has been giving lessons to a few people over the last couple of years because she will only do what you tell her to do – even if that isn’t what you meant to tell her to do. She gives people instant feedback and doesn’t spook. It gives me a lot of pride to see people learn on her like that.
I hope all is well for both of you and hope you are enjoying the clean air in the mountains!
Thanks again for everything you have taught me!
Rita Mason [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Wed 6/23/2010 5:06 PM