Thursday, January 28, 2010

South Carolina Ways

Annie came down yesterday with one horse, Navy, and a boat load of hay. She is dropping off the trailer and I had her help me jump a few of the animals today. I also wanted to have someone around when I rode Pixie for the first time. She was great by the way!

I love being down here in the south. Now before I explain this statement, let me first say that I am born and raised southern. I was born in the small town of Climax North Carolina therefore I must consider myself a southerner. We all go to horse shows in the south at one point in time but living down here and doing the normal things, like go to the grocery store, buying gas, going to the bank, and to the local wally world, is like being back at home. In the south the speech is much more efficient. For example, outside of South Carolina you may hear someone say, "Hi, how are you doing today?", in SC you will hear this, "Hi-how-you-doin?" all in one breath and with little to no mouth movement. They also are so inspirational here. I mean you can drive down the road at any given moment look to the right OR left and see a wonderful little sentence on a marque....usually in front of a church. The best is that when you walk into a gas station and you go to pay you will see random pig parts that are pickled...mmm lunch! I went into the bank the other day and I spoke to 3 people in there, they ALL called me honey or some variation of the word. I must confess, it did make me feel rather special.

The horses are great! The boys jumped today and they were great. Vaunted and I are working really hard this winter to try to make the best of what nature gave us. I am really excited about a young horse that Bonnie has, Isbond. She got him off the track a little over a year or so ago. He is a really cool horse. Bonnie has been really great about letting me play with him and see what he wants to do...and I think it is jump big! I also rode Pixie today for the first time. When I saw her at the track there was something about her that I really liked. I think that it is because she is a bit like my Vaunted horse. She is a good mover and very aware of herself. She was really good when I got on her and by good I mean she did not buck me off or try to run away. So the next step is teaching her to jump things...and what better place than this jumping oasis. Oh and I angered the pig today, I tried to make him move fast, oops. I must admit that I am a bit afraid of his wrath.
Bonnie comes down next week and Vaunted and I go to Sporting Days to do the Intermediate and Advanced combined tests. I cant wait for everyone to get here. We are getting a new addition to our working student team this spring/summer. Conor Rollins and his horse Powerball are going to be joining in on our reindeer games.

Until next time...stay away from large angry pigs and when you need a pick-me-up walk into a southern establishment. Male or female, you will get encouraging words.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's a Pig thing!!

We have a running joke when team Point Above Farm comes south and it involves about 200 pounds of bacon. That's right a very very large pig. :) The Gibbes family has several members that are not of the human kind, and they are treated just as well as those human kind!

"Otis" is a very important part of our training program down here. You see we don't have to do as much trotting with the horses because they spend all day running away from this darn pig. I couldn't even bring Vaunted in the barn for the majority of the trip last year. Horses just find Otis terrifying. Now this is no ordinary pig...this is the most scheming pig that ever was! He finds the horse that is most afraid of him and he knows it within days of the horses being here. He often times also likes to hang out by the dressage arena just as we are trying to either get a young horse through a test or get Vaunted to work on his changes....his timing is impeccable...what-a-pig.

Now no one at Point Above Farm is of the gambling kind but we do all take bets as to what horse is going to be the worst about Otis. Bonnie's horse Jenga, J as he was called by his bff"s, NEVER got over that pig. Whenever J was being not so cooperative she would threaten to hang a picture of Otis up by his stall. I think this year I am going to try to put a fake Otis under some show jumps and see if Vautned jumps higher. I feel like this is a fool proof plan! I took some pictures of Marley Stone's new horse, Wexford, when he first realized that there was a side of bacon around. hehe

The Piggly Wiggly is also where we shop for groceries in St. Mathews...coincidence....I think not. Oh and for those of you that are price checkers (I am)....the Piggly Wiggly is not cheap. I am beginning to think that all of this must just be a pig thing. uhgg... :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ashley Co-Hosts Eventing Radio Show

Check out the latest episode of the
Eventing Radio Show
with Ashley as co-host!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gibbes Farm or Bust!

I wake up this morning with that wonderful feeling that we have all know the one where you can't breathe out of your nose, your throat feels like sand paper, and you can actually hear yourself breathe in your head. That's right a good old fashion cold! Well that would most certainly not deter me from getting down south.
Annie and I get to the barn and feed, boot, and load the horses that I am taking and I give her a marshmallow hug, (you know when you hug someone but can't really cause you are wearing to many coats...) and get in the truck to leave. Only to very quickly find that it wont start, dead battery. Now I must digress and explain that while I am sitting in the truck trying to figure out why my nearly new truck wont turn over, the trailer behind me is rocking and rolling. I have three horses in my trailer, Vaunted, Ed, and Izzy, and well Vaunted is mean and trying to attack Ed through the bars and that in turn is scaring Izzy which then is making the trailer rock so hard you would think that there was a dance club in there. uhgg. I know that we need to jump start it and my 1996 Subaru Impreza probably wont cut it and all the other trucks are stuck in the massive amounts of mud around the farm. However Annie, being from Iowa, saved the day! She called her boyfriend, who is also from Iowa, and then the vet, Dr. Jeff Brashear, showed up and voila! I'm in South Carolina.

I had a GREAT driving mix in and made great time. I left Virginia at 35 degrees and a "wintery mix" and met South Carolina at 45 degrees and a light rain. However when I pulled it I found a small pond in front of the main barn...I decided not to unload there.

Bonnie, Annie, Lucy, and Conor are planning on coming down next week as Bonnie has to show some horses for sale in Virginia.
I took a picture of this random van that I saw on 85 I think. It says "Bread Rolls" how funny is that!

This weekend Marley is bringing her two horses, Bee and Wexford, down for the weekend so we are not wasting anytime! Vaunted is going to get started with his gallops and the others get to play around in the Gibbes baby x-c woods.
Updates soon!

Monday, January 18, 2010

That Little Song In Our Heads....

I was chatting with Annie Jones (no not the Annie Jones that owns all those great horses, but the Annie Jones that is from Iowa and is a working student here at Point Above Farm) and Bonnie the other day and we hit a dilemma. Let me start by saying I love music and often times have my favorite songs that I listen to non stop during certain times in my life. I have to admit I did have a slight "pop-star" addiction around Rolex....but that is just our little secret. This year Bonnie and I wanted to have a barn theme song. So we contacted all our major contributors to the farm. Those people would be, in no specific order: each other, our farrier Doug Neilson, out vets, Dr. Keith Brady and Jeff Beshear, the people I talk to on the phone all day long and we came up with a list of 5 songs. They are:

"The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers (Doug did not like this one....I love it!)

"Under Pressure" by Queen

"Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley

"Don't Stop Believin" by Journey

"Lunatic Fringe" by Red Rider

We are not sure which one to we might just pick them all. We are up for suggestions so if you have any better ideas, here's to hopin' you do, let me know.

On a more productive note:
This just in...all the horses are clipped and the massive trots have begun. Vaunted got his hair clipped off on Sunday and he hated every minute of it. It sounds silly but that horse is in no a way a light weight. He could totally play in those old westerns when they go shot for shot in a "drink off". Bring on the whiskey! He usually sends me into the wall once or twice even with a little cocktail to help out....what-a-guy. He and Murry are going to be partners in crime when it comes to the trots and gallops. Of course those get real boring so Annie and I have taken to taking pictures while doing all this, don't tell Bonnie! :)
Dr. Brady and Doug came out this week and we got Vaunted's plan for the next couple of months down and we are heading into this year in full force. I have made somewhat of a vow to myself this year to just focus on the big picture. The big picture to me is looking at situations from the perspective of my future. Not just what ribbon I am taking home. I am going to listen to what Vaughn is telling me and go from there. Until next time. Please note the great photography...sarcasm.
Dr. Brady's Web Site:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A belated Christmas Gift

I love it when I get to see other people's "non-horsey" telents. I always say that I want to find more know like nunchuck skills or cake building skills. (Thanks Napoleon Dynamite for opening my eyes to those new possibilities!) :)

Lili Bennett, has an amazing talent as an artist. I asked her to do a painting of Vaunted and I from Rolex this past year for my parents for Christmas. She did such a wonderful job and I am just thrilled with it. All I had to do was email her a picture and she took care of the rest! Take a look at the wonderful picture and just shoot her an email if you are interested.

Here's to you 2010~!

I have been racking my brain all winter as to how to be better. I have been so lucky in my past to have the foundation that I do. From learning all the specific details of upper level eventing from Kim Severson, to how to put the polish on things from Holly Hepp, to how to ride each and every horse like they wish to be ridden on that day from Bonnie Mosser, how do I put it all together. Well the truth is that I decided that if I could get that right then I would be right up there with Ms. Cleo and we all know how that turned out for her, a law suit and jail time, I think.

Vaunted and I have been together for going on 8 years now. When Kim and I found him out of Jan Bynny's barn, he was nothing more than a scrawny off the track TB that knew to jump over things that got in his way. Who would have guessed that he would be willing enough to take me around both of our first CCI****! I experienced so many emotions at that moment when I came off that course. I was sad it was over, happy it was over, and so grateful to my horse! I don’t usually admit this but I may have cried a little bit…this is something that Bonnie NEVER lets me forget!! I started thinking that evening about how far he has come and how much he has given me. I remember the first time I was trying to teach him to canter….I called Kim and she said to put a pole on the ground and ask him over that, which I did. Then the next time I saw her she had to get on him; and she was just coming back from breaking her leg or something, (I can’t remember which bone it was) and she had to make him canter. The next day she was so lame and had this massive blister on her heel. Classic.

I also remember the first time the girls that worked for Kim helped me get to my first three day. Man that list was INSANE!! The guidance that Molly Bull and Lili Bennett gave me was worth more than anything. And to think that less than a decade later I would be finishing my first four star. Crazy! I often times get made fun of because I am that girl that has two of everything…no really, everything! I also label everything: with tape, my initials, my last name, really whatever tickles me at the moment. I have a funny story about Tim Lipps stealing my bucket at Rolex but that will be for later. So thanks Molly and Lili, for my compulsive packing and OCD about my stuff!!

After all this recollection I realized that this year I want to ride my horse and make many more stories to tell. If we were all perfect, what would we talk about when we went out to dinner with one another?! I am so excited to take on this year and work harder than before to make another glorious trek with MY horse. I cant wait to tell all the stories!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Heading South for the Winter

Ashley is currently preparing for the trip to South Carolina for the winter eventing season. She and Vaughn are also mapping out their preparations for the Rolex Kentucky three-day event in April. Be sure to keep track of their progress on the new blog!

If you want to schedule a schooling session at Gibbes Farm with Ashley or Bonnie, be sure to let Ashley know by emailing her at or calling her at 336-707-6797.

Ashley will also be creating a series of installments for Eventing USA, the official blog of the US Eventing Association, about how to prepare for a three-day event, from the half-star on up. Readers can ask questions in the "comments" section and Ashley will answer the questions in future blog articles. Stay tuned for more!