Callie Schott, who works for John and Beezie Madden at their John Madden Sales in Cazenovia, N.Y., is letting Chronicle readers have a behind-the-scenes look at the Breeder's Bridge to High Performance contest.
Welcome BF and Constant Star have been with us at John Madden Sales now for almost two months. I have been having a blast seeing both of them develop over this time.
Welcome went to the Kentucky National Horse Show with us in mid-September, and this was John's first chance to see her in a show environment. She jumped clear in the 1.10-meter class and felt very confident during the round. John was quick to praise her, saying she was getting to the level in her training where the natural ability she has is showing through.
Here's Welcome showing in Kentucky....
Constant Star wasn’t quite ready to come along with us to Kentucky, but she has been developing in leaps and bounds as well. When we’re home, I spend most of my time riding both the mares up on the grand prix field. It is perfect for developing horses. The hills and varied terrain build muscles and teach the horses to pay attention to their footing.
Very rarely do we jump full courses at home; John and Beezie prefer to focus on portions of courses or work on gymnastics. This has been our game plan with both mares, helping them both become more adjustable. I do quite a bit of work over poles and cavelettis, which helps with rideability without the stress that jumping puts on their legs.
I’ve been spending most of our time on lengthening and shortening strides with poles set at a specific distance. For Welcome, this is helping her learn how to shorten her stride after the jumps. For Star this helps both to inhibit her rushing to the jumps while also keeping the shape of her jump in the air.
Last week was the first full week John and Beezie have been home in months. Beezie took the opportunity to ride both the mares. It was great for me to watch someone else on them, obviously especially great that it was Beezie.
We did a video of the two days of work over gymnastics, which shows their improvement over the exercise. It was really nice to sit on Welcome after Beezie rode her the day before. I could feel an improvement in her lightness in the flatwork and on the landing from jumps. Star was really keeping her form and not rushing by the last time through the exercise with Beezie.
Watch Callie and Beezie school Welcome and Star through gymnastics....
Beezie was very positive about both mares after riding them. These three months with the Breeder’s Bridge horses are going by very quickly, but I couldn’t be any happier with our progress, and I would truly like to thank both Kimberly Clark and K.C. Branscomb for entering the contest and putting their faith in our system to work with their talented young horses.