A short trip to Florida this week as there was no competition, but enhanced by a visit from Cathy Henderson. Cathy came down to do the ICP clinic that was held in Ocala (which it turned out Hilda was doing as well) and then stayed to hang out at Ashmore for a couple of days. After successfully dealing with the “possessed” Garmin GPS system, Cathy arrived in Winter Park and settled into the townhouse. Friday morning, I got up very early and headed off in the pouring rain for yoga at Winter Park Health and Fitness. By the time class was over, the rain had thankfully stopped. Off we went to Ocala to see Iron Springs South and Amy Lacey. Cathy gave Amy a lesson on a lovely young mare and we got a tour of the property. Beautiful place, especially the varnished wood ceiling with recessed can lights in the stallion barn http://www.ironspringfarm.com/history/.
From there, we headed back to Ashmore, but change of plans, ended up going over to HighLife (http://www.highlifefarms.com/), another breeding facility, where we watched Hilda ride several sales horses and Cathy took a look at some stallions that would be high on the list were she to do any breeding. Then back to Ashmore, where we had a jumping lesson. Cathy rode Vinny and I rode Isabelle. We jumped in several of the fields and got to do exercises to improve our eye, steering and sense of pace. Then, following hurried showers at Ashmore – isn’t it lovely that there is a full bath there- we went off to dinner with the Carpenters. They had very kindly included us in their invitation to Hilda and André at the last minute. We had dinner at the Bella Collina clubhouse where Todd indulged my preference for Shiraz and the mushroom soup was incredibly good. We made some plans for Grace to make some forays into eventing, starting with the Rocking Horse Derby and then the Intro level at Ocala. No doubt, she will totally show me up. Pumpkin cake and Earl Grey tea for dessert, total Seema food. Saturday morning, I ran the Seasons 52 (a restaurant) 5.2 kilometer run in Winter Park. Very nice, although the brick roads were a bit odd to run on. Then off to Ashmore again. In the morning, Cathy had another lesson on Vinny, while I worked with Finn on the lunge line, convincing him that all those odd things are, in fact, jumps. It worked very well with the possible exception of the down bank, which still leaves him concerned. Then we had a flat lesson. I got to watch Cathy ride Finn and I rode Isabelle. Both were very good. Another quick shower and off to the airport and home. Last night, Henry had my birthday dinner and we went deep into the wine cellar, complimented by wonderful Henry food and sneak peeks at the football games throughout. Go Saints.