By Charlotte Cannon
Fox Point Farm
 
It has been a super busy time here! With no rain, it's dry and dusty, but we have been going full force! 
 
We have a couple super exciting things going on right now! The first being our Demo Team. In 2008 Pat Parelli approached me about developing a global natural horsemanship kid's program. We discussed it and I set out to create a model which included an educational Parelli Kids Demo Team that traveled all over performing at rodeos, Parades of Breed, conferences and special events. It was a tremendous hit and our girls were invited to many cool places. Sadly the Parelli organization decided a kid's program had too much liability and they dropped the idea. Even without their backing, we continued to travel to many states on the east coast performing and inspiring others. As time passed our original girls got older, graduated and went to college, younger ones took their place, but when I lost my partner of 16 years, Skip, a few years ago we stopped. My heart just wasn't in it anymore. 
 
This summer my counselors during summer camp were doing some great things and they got me excited about doing the the Demo Team again. We have been practicing and our debut will be here on Sunday, 10/2, 3-5pm. We will host a little party for the kids, cool hot dogs and just have fun! We would love for everyone to join us! Our next performance will be 10/9 at the Union County Saddle Club grounds in Alton/Monroe, NC at the Parade of Breeds. We hope there will be a big crowd! 
 
The next exciting thing we have had happen, was George Morris was in town for 3 day clinic in Camden hosted by Sherry Pace.  It was fabulous!!!! It just lit me up from the inside and got me super motivated! I grew up on the master George, and wore my 'Hunter Seat Equitation' out, reading and rereading it over and over. I loved the equitation and the hunters and gave them my heart and soul. When I was 15, one of George's students, Teddi Ismond, asked me to come live with and work for her at her farm in Keswick, VA. It was a different time, and although we didn't know her (she had judged me in shows for many years), my mom loaded me, my saddle and my clothes in the car and dropped me off. I loved it and hated to return to school the following fall. That next spring I got invited to ride for Diane Fiore, another R judge and student of George's. I went for the weekend and never came back home from her Middleburg, VA farm. For the next 5 years I lived with and worked for Diane riding and showing sales horses. Both Teddi and Diane were tough teachers and great horsemen. It was certainly my college and graduate school. Watching and listening to George brought me back and made me want to push even harder in my own teaching and horse management program. 
 
The sad thing that has happened is that I decided not to take my sweet Paragon to KY for the TB Makeover. We found out 3 months into his training that he had injuries so severe, he may never be suitable for regular riding again. Although he could still go compete in the Freestyle Division without being ridden, I noticed that some days, although he never limps, he would get hesitant to go forward and want to check out. I did not want to push him if he was experiencing pain, so Tommy and I will just go to watch and learn. Paragon has enjoyed doing a little groundwork and Liberty with our demo team. He will have a place there to do as much or as little as he can.
 
sept 1 w500 h500
 
The final update is I did get another OTTB! I was really scared after my experience with Paragon's totally dishonest seller, but I gathered what I had learned there, #1 do a prepurchase exam with full xrays before buying no matter how kind, nice, trustworthy or knowledgeable the seller seems. I have a huge list of things I look for that allows me to scan 20-50 horses in an evening to try to find that unicorn, that needle in the haystack of size, athletic ability, soundness and good mind. I won't compromise and I went through hundreds of ads and videos before we found 'Seeking Fame'. Fame is a 4yr, 16.1h, bay gelding who won $50,000 at the track and last raced 7/23/16. We bought him from his trainer and he was shipped here a week following his last race. He is a truly special horse! He is so quiet and sensible, you'd never guess he was an OTTB or raced recently. I'm taking it super slow so he has time to let down properly and relax. If I can keep myself from riding more than 15 times before 1/1/17, he will be eligible for next year's TB Makeover. We haven't decided whether to apply again or not. Time will tell. I'm just thrilled to have a new boy with totally clean xrays and the best mind ever!!!!