Sunday, June 8, 2014

CA Recap

Leo and I returned home about a week and a half ago.  I came immediately back to the barn/work and haven't had a moment to sit down and provide a recap of our training and showing trip to CA until now.

Overall, the trip went very well.  Leo hauled like a pro and settled into his new home for the month at W Farms like he never had left (Leo lived there for 8 months).  He trained each session like it was no big deal and handled his first show (a big show nonetheless) like a seasoned veteran.

W Farms has become a second family for me over the years.  They have always welcomed me with open arms each time I have come down to train.  I always feel like a part of the team and cannot say enough positive things about everyone involved with the farm.  David Wilson, did a wonderful job preparing Leo and me for the Flintridge  Show.  The main points that we worked on were to continue to keep Leo in front and light to the leg and seat aids (we are now at the point I just need to use a little seat and Leo will respond); continue to polish up the submission (more so that Leo maintains consistency in the gaits and frame and not from any disobedience); and finally to have Leo work in a slightly higher frame (a frame that is appropriate for Training Level and the USEF 4 year old test).

Leo really did shine at the Flintridge Show.  For being his first show, he handled the environment like he had been showing for years.  The highlight of the show was the Training Level Test 3 ride on Friday when we scored a 76.8%.  Leo was fluid and smooth during this ride.  One of the comments from judge Axel Steiner was a this is how we want Training Level rides to be ridden.  Our ride was the second highest score of the day; and only .2% behind the highest score of the day.  Ironically, the high score of the day was from my old mentor, Hilda Gurney.

In our other rides, we had  some simple young horse mistakes.  When Leo becomes unbalanced in the canter he will simply do a flying change to other lead.  We had a couple of those when I lost connection during the rides.  Because there are not a lot of points available in the Training Level and First Level tests, mistakes like these are costly.  In the two other tests where we had these mistakes, we scored 68%.  It is really encouraging that on our "off" rides we are still near 70%.

Here is the video link from our Training 3 ride on Friday:

Our next show is this upcoming  weekend at the Beaujolais Show over Father's Day weekend.  There I will be showing Leo and also Andi Garland's 2 year colt Otto (Totalias x Riverman) in the Friday breedshow.

Thank you for the support!

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Friday, May 2, 2014

USEF Young Horse Clinic

Over the Easter weekend, I had the opportunity to ride in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Clinic with Scott Hassler.  Devonwood Equestrian Centre, in Sherwood, OR, graciously hosted the event.  We had a total of 8 horses/riders in the clinic.

One of the highlights of the weekend was to see how the quality of young horses in the Pacific Northwest has dramatically improved over the years.  There is now more depth in the quality of young horses in the area than ever before.  It will be fun to watch all of these horses, and some of the others that weren't in the clinic, develop over the coming years.  Talking with some of my colleagues, it looks like we have 4-6 horses aiming to qualify for the Young Horse Dressage Championships this year.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with my training sessions with Scott.  Scott lays out simple, yet extremely effective approach to training a young horse.  Over the two days, we worked with Leo on being more responsive to the leg so that he would then glide out in front of me with the simplest of leg pressure.  In addition, we worked on keeping him up a little higher in the shoulders in the canter to help with his balance, especially in the left lead canter.  All in all, Leo showed improvement over the two days of the clinic.  Scott was impressed with how he is doing and hopes we can do big things in the future.

Here is the video from the second day of the clinic:

Later that week, I took Leo to one day with Conrad Schumacher at Pumpkin Farms for Conrad to give us an eye and insight on how we are doing.  The ride went great.  I have been doing cavelletti with Leo at the trot, but not at the canter.  Conrad had us not only doing 3 poles at the trot but also at the canter.  Doing the poles helped sustain Leo's rhythm and little bit better in the canter, which then helped out with the balance. 

Here is the video from the Conrad clinic:

All in all, Leo is in a great place right now and we are ready to head down to California to train at W Farms with David Wilson and to show at the Flintridge Dressage Show.  You can follow our progress here or at Leo's website.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Video of Leo

With the end of February upon us, we are beginning to slowly increase Leo's training.  This is in preparation for the spring clinics we have coming up with HenriK Johansen, Scott Hassler and Conrad Schumacher, a schooling show to get Leo out and see a show setting, and for our May trip to California for training with David Wilson and to compete at the Dressage at Flintridge Dressage Show.

Below is a short video of Leo schooling:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Leonard da Vinci's 2014 Schedule

I am excited to announce Leo's 2014 training, clinic and show schedule for 2014
1st: Donida Farm Schooling Show
13th to 14th: Henrik Johansen clinic at River Run Ranch
19th to 20th: USEF Young Horse Training Clinc with Scott Hassler at Devonwood Equestrian Centre, Sherwood OR
TBA: Conrad Schumacher Clinic at Pumpkin Farms Dressage, Monroe WA
Beginning of May: Travel to W Farms, Chino Hills CA, for training with David Wilson
23rd to 25: Dressage at Flintridge, La Canada Flintridge CA.  Qualifying for the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships
13th to 15th: Beaujolais Dressage Show, Auburn WA.  Qualifying for the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships
TBA: Henrik Johansen Clinic
18th to 20th: Dressage at Devonwood, Sherwood OR
2nd: Summervale Dressage Festival, Roy WA
21st to 24th: Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships, Wayne IL

We will add in a couple of more clinics with international level instructors during the summer when their respective schedules are confirmed.
This will be a big  season for Leo and me.  We are looking forward to the challenge, excitement and fun of working towards being one of the best four year old dressage horses in the country.  Thank you for your support!
Matt Eagan with Leonardo Da Vinci

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


To achieve your dreams, it definitely takes a supportive team to train and show successfully.  Below is my team that helps me be the best that I can be.

If you or your company are interested in joining us and be part of this exciting team please feel free to contact me.

Complimentary/Integrated Veterinary Services
Jill Todd DVM
Dr Jill Todd is a vital component to my training and showing program with her therapies.  Dr Todd's services include chiropractic (Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation), acupuncture and cold laser therapies.  With her assistance, my horses are able to perform their best.

Northwest Equine Veterinary Associates
NW Equine Veterinary Associates

Dr Steve Latimer and his staff are truly the best in the Pacific Northwest.  Dr Latimer is the best lameness vet in our area and his approach to helping the horses is well educated and reasonable.  Using the most advanced treatments, Dr Latimer helps keep our horses happy and sound.

Anderson Equine Saddle Fitting Services
Anderson Equine
I have been using Dawn for the past 3 years as my saddle fitter.  With her keen eye and attention to detail she does a fantastic job of keeping the saddle fitting correctly and my horse's backs pain free.  Her customer service is outstanding in that she will recheck with me to make sure that the saddle for my horse is fitting perfectly.  I enjoy riding in my Hastilow saddle with the Fairfax girth.

Olson's Tack Store
Olson's Tack Shop
Mike Akers and his dedicated staff do a outstanding job of outfiiting me for my daily training and show attire.  Additionally, I will always find the training equipment that I am looking for either in the store or they will happily order it for me.  I always look sharp from my helmet to my boots thanks to Olson's.

Tom Wright Horseshoeing

Tom has been my farrier for the past 6 years and I cannot say enough positive words about the work he does.  From making minor adjustments to help the horse move even better, to correcting truly bad feet and helping the horse become sound, Tom can do it.  His positive, can do attitude with soft touch with the horse makes him the best farrier in our area.