News from Vicki

23 December 2007

Well, it has been a while since the last update, and quite a lot has been going on!  Lessons back into full swing, with Lee Warneke and Puzzle making great progress together; now we just need a show to go to!  Carrie and Tarryn Innes are new clients with their cute as a button Favourite, who is having great fun sharing a paddock with Strutts.  Christine has fitted right in, and at the moment is being sorely missed as she has returned to South Australia for Christmas.  After Daike returned to the UK, Caroline Humphries, an Aussie based Pom, came and helped out for a few weeks, then Susi Schwetje returned for a week before returning to Germany.  Now over Christmas I have Rikako and Mariko Ishii, who are here from Japan to ride and train and help out.  Luckily their English improves daily, which then makes teaching easier!
My new eye was installed about 10 days ago, so now I look almost normal, and no longer terrorize small children.  Well, not as much anyway.  All horses going gangbusters, with one side effect of EI being an apparent immunity to the normal spring sniffles and coughs that horses can get at this time of year, especially with the wildly fluctuating temperatures we have been experiencing.  So it was with great excitement and trepidation that I took my two very healthy mounts, Irish and Blatini, to the EFA High Performance Clinic conducted by Gilbert Bockmann at SIEC.  I felt I had learned a lot from Gilbert on his last visit during Elysian (despite my health issues), and after the enforced 2 month break, due to beforementioned health issues and EI, was keen to try and put new knowledge (or more specifically, reminded old knowledge) to the test.  For sure at home, both horses felt to be working a lot better, rounder, calmer, and in Eliza Jane's case, a lot straighter, but it is often different when one leaves the security of home!  However, at the Clinic both horses were beautifully behaved on all 3 days, and Gilbert was suitably impressed, and said many times he couldn't believe the difference in them.  The third day culminated in a straightforward course designed by Gilbert, which by the time it got to the Elite Riders' level, after the Eventers, then Young Riders, had gotten quite tough.  It was great to see Vivant and Nicklaus also at the Clinic jumping their socks off. But the main thing that pleased me was after 3 days of jumping 2 horses per day, I didn't miss one distance!  So the left eye has kicked in to do a great job already... 
Finally I'd like to extend to all friends and supporters of Team Roycroft all the very best for Christmas and New Year, especially my great sponsors, Mitavite,  Ariat Riding Wear, EFA High Performance and NSWIS that have given Squad riders access to these great Clinics. And Tony Trevisan and Robynne McTaggert, of Noblewood Park, who have been longtime clients and supporters for many, many years, going back to the days of Jadalco,  and have hung in there through thick and thin, particularly considering all the various problems of this year not making horse owning that easy...

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