Oh my gosh I go to Kentucky on Thursday! I can’t believe it’s here. I am so excited and yet so nervous – will all my preparation be enough? Are my horses ready? What will it be like when we get down there?
The journey to Kentucky has been a long one with a lot of preparation, training and offsite experiences to help set my two horses up for success.
Here's a look at my journey leading up to Kentucky –
- February 1st – bought Kahleesi (Soar) and drove home through a snow storm
- February 8th – bought Cupid (Lion of Wallstreet) and drove home from Ohio through a snow storm
- March 2nd – both horses had their teeth done and were dewormed
- March 18th – Cupid started antibiotics because of an injury to his leg
- April 18th – Cupid & Kahleesi’s first offsite experience at the Natural Horsemanship Trade Show 2015. Cupid did a ground work demo with Lindsey, and Kahleesi was used by Tom Shields in a ground work demo. Cupid was pretty nervous an upset, couldn't stand still and it took the entire demo to get him to relax.
- April 29th – Cupid started a new treatment to get rid of his mud fever and other sores on his legs
- May 9th – Cupid and Kahleesi took part in a clinic with Cindy from Brookston Horse Park at Partridge Horse Hill, our first glimpse at showing in Mountain Trail.
- May 17-18th – Cupid and Kahleesi went to the Horseman’s Word Ranch for Don Halladay’s Cowboy dressage clinic. Kahleesi was just starting to do canter under saddle and was still struggling with her right canter leads at this clinic. Cupid was new to canter under saddle too and was struggling picking up canter. Kahleesi found the sound speaker very scary.
- May 24th – Kahleesi’s first show at Oak Ridges Equestrian Centre where she competed in hunter cross rails and still struggled with her right canter leads, but did get it a few times, she placed well.
- May 30th – Kahleesi and Cupid did their first obstacle show at the Natural Horsemanship Association’s Horse Agility & Obstacle Show. This was their first time doing liberty and it actually worked out pretty well but I left the halters on just in case. My horses were the only ones to do the most advanced classes and I was proud of them for completed the obstacles.
- June – started regular lessons with Centered Riding Coach Esther Johnson to get the horses ready for Kentucky and get me looking the part too.
- June 14th – Kahleesi’s first Jumper show at the Pickering Horse Centre riding in 0.6m. We ended up trotting the courses with little bits of canter because she was nervous. We had clear rides except time faults so I was proud.
- June 24th – went to an obstacle play night at the Bonehill’s and exposed both Cupid and Kahleesi to more obstacles. I started to think I might want to show trail instead of jumping because of my horse’s natural talents.
- June 27th/28th – Took Kahleesi and Cupid to the Parelli 7 Games in the Saddle with Parelli Professional Todd Owens. Both horses made great progress and Kahleesi started to get used to the speaker system.
- July 11th – Natural Horsemanship Association Horse Agility & Obstacle Show where Kahleesi & Cupid competed in the hardest classes and still placed on top. I was super proud.
- July 18th – Clinic in Mt. Albert with Susan Caldwell on Extreme Cowboy racing, my first taste of this extreme sport. Cupid & Kahleesi were super awesome and great at the obstacles.
- August 1st- The only ACTHA Trail show I completed this year because they are only in the states. I did one in New York and had so much fun. This was the trip that made me decide that 100% for sure I am competing in Trail at the Makeover. Cupid and Kahleesi were awesome and placed very well, including our first blue ribbon 1st.
- August 9th: Cupid and Kahleesi’s first Extreme Cowboy race. We discovered that Cupid is terrified of horses pulling carriages (that was happening in the ring beside us) and that Kahleesi has huge potential for this sport. Cupid was eliminated because I didn’t realize that during a ground tie you have 60 seconds to get back on your horse so we took too long. Kahleesi was great and got 4th though.
- : Parelli Super Camp at the Horseman’s Word Ranch with Kathy & John Baar, Maureen & Todd Owens, and Randee & Don Halladay – wow what a week of intense learning and progress for both Cupid & Kahleesi. It was a great relaxed atmosphere to work on finessing some skills.
- : Lessons from Margreet Boumeester from the Netherlands at Partridge Horse Hill to work on collection and relaxation. She also performed Cranial Sacral work on both horses.
- August 29th – Natural Horsemanship Association Horse Agility & Obstacle Show at Partridge Horse Hill, the biggest show of the season and Kahleesi & Cupid still placed in the top ribbons of the hardest classes including liberty.They finished champion and reserve champion of the year and 1st overall in Liberty and Advanced Horse Agility.
- September 5th – Cupid provided an obstacle demonstration at the Partridge Horse Hill show.
- September 6th – Cupid & Kahleesi competed at Marmora Extreme Cowboy Race. Cupid improved so much and did great with the obstacles but was still very slow and placed 11thwhile Kahleesi was doing great and placed 6th.
- September 12th: Obstacle show at Glenuara where Cupid & Kahleesi placed in the top marks for liberty, riding, and online. We discovered Cupid doesn’t like ditches and that Kahleesi had an abscess brewing.
- September 13th – Cupid competes in the Uxbridge Fall Fair in the Obstacle challenge and gets a very respectable 5th place finish against some awesome horses and riders. Kahleesi stayed at home with her abscess.
- September 19th – Obstacle Challenge at Turkey Run Ranch where Cupid was super steller and placed 5th out of a large group with challenging obstacles. Here he really showed the progress he has made as he went through the baby pools, puddle, jumps and bridges with confidence. Kahleesi stayed home with her abscess.
- Week of Sept 19th - I worked closely with the vet & farrier to get Kahleesi's abscess to get the heck out of there.
- September 26th – Extreme Cowboy Race at the Ancaster Fair, Cupid improved and placed 10th! Kahleesi came for the trailer ride and played on the obstacles after the show because she was mildly ouchy still from the abscess.
- October 4th – Cupid competed at Markham Fair and placed 15th – he was super awesome with the obstacles, just really slow and not with the western head carriage. I am still very proud of him. Kahleesi came for the trailer ride but was still a bit ouchy from the abscess.
- October 8th – Kahleesi had an obstacle lesson with David Cowley and was finally starting to look 100%, but then she decided to stay a little ouchy so she could skip the Norwood Provincial Extreme Cowboy finals - although its super awesome she qualified.
- October 13th – Kevin Alcock came out to get rid of Kahleesi’s abscess for good and she went on stall rest for 3 days to make sure the infection was killed and gone. She was not a happy camper.
- October 16th – Obstacle clinic with David Cowley aboard Cupid while Kahleesi stayed on stall rest.
- October 17th – Kevin Alcock put acrylic shoes on Kahleesi to keep her hoof safe for the trip to Kentucky
- October 18th – Kahleesi is finally back to normal and we had 2 hrs of lessons with Todd Owens and practicing for Kentucky
- October 19th – I did some shopping for Kentucky and got some jeans, boots, etc to be all snazzy.
- October 20th - my last full day at work before Kentucky... tomorrow I leave early so I can pack and prepare.... my mind is racing with all the things I want to remember.
What the future holds -
- October 22nd- we leave at and then we’ll see you in Kentucky!!
- October 23rd – all my training gets tested on the Trail course
- October 24th – we get to see if my freestyle routines are as amazing as I think they are – make sure you watch to see what cool obstacles we’re bringing!!
- October 25th- The final ceremony
- October 26th – We drive home from Kentucky
- October 27th – I turn 30! Then I can take a deep breath and realize that this has been one hell of a year and I left my twenties with a bang.
So as you can see there were a lot of activities that I planned into the progress of my horses – there were also numerous training sessions, riding my horses as demos in lessons I was teaching, or weekend trail rides. I also had to change my schedule because originally I had a lot of hunter/jumper shows planned but then switched gears and made it all about the obstacles.
I was committed to the task and the goal, driven to succeed, but put my horse’s success and happiness first – I let them choose their journey, and let them show me what they excel at.
For anyone that wants to do something like this in future, here are my tips:
- Know yourself (what are your strengths, and what are you capable of – emotionally, physically, financially, and what is your skill level)
- Set a goal
- Make a plan
- Write it down and follow it
- Get your horses healthy first – their minds and their bodies
- Be ready for plan B (you might have to create plan B with short notice, so be solution focused)
- Get support from people you trust
- Seek out opportunities that will be supportive
- Take criticism and feedback, and use it to make positive change
- Ask for help
- Try hard – make it a priority
- Use shows as training opportunities and don’t feel the pressure to win. Make it about setting the horse up better for tomorrow. If you win in the process, then awesome.
- Let go of any fears of what others think or how you will do.
- Give it your best shot – winning isn’t the end game… its just the icing on the cake… but the most delicious part is the journey to get there, knowing you gave it all you’ve got, and that you truly have improved and created a special relationship with your horse.
Please remember to vote Lindsey Partridge for the Trainer Award at
It's easy - click the link, click my name, and click vote - its that quick
Remember you can watch Cupid's Story at https://youtu.be/WjsohpR-YnQ