Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Working Student Position Available!

Last post of the day!

We have an immediate opening for a new working student!

Briefly, Bonnie's working students work ~6 days/week. They do everything from mucking stalls to travelling to competitions to groom. All working students are given ample opportunity to compete and Bonnie works with them closely to develop a plan and a program to help them reach their goals. Everybody works hard but the barn atmosphere is fun and laid back. This is an unpaid position. Working students pay a reduced board rate and work off all their lessons. We accept students at all levels but prefer for them to have had some barn work experience in the past.

The farm spends ~April-December in Gordonsville, VA and the rest of the year in St. Matthews, SC. We will give preference to those who can make a minimum of a 6 month commitment and we prefer 1 year.

This is a very unique opportunity and spaces only open up once or twice a year, sometimes even less often! Please e-mail me for all the details.


And moving forward...

Hi Everybody-

Rebecca here. First, please accept my apology for the technical difficulties we experienced the other day with this blog. I know that many of you saw Bonnie's post and then saw it virtually disappear. I tried to edit it, deleted it and then just didn't have time to get it back up...

So to give you a very quick update... Murry is doing very well and is scheduled to fly back to the States next wednesday. I'll be picking him up at the airport and he'll hang out with me and Abby at Millbrook for the weekend. I'm going to stable him next to Garyowen so that they can talk, catch up on their summers and perhaps Murry will be so kind as to give Gary and Bear a quick pep talk so that they are both very good over the weekend!

Everybody, including Bonnie, should be home in Virginia by Monday August 11.

The next horse trial that we will be attending as a group is Five Points at the Carolina Horse Park. It just opened the other day but there are several competitions going on that weekend, including the AEC's, so I'm sure you'll still be able to get your entry in if you would like to join us. Write "Mosser" on your stabling form if you want to be close!

More immediately, Bonnie will be teaching two clinics in the coming weeks. The first at Ledyard Farm in Wenham, MA Aug. 30-31st. The very next weekend she will be at Triple Combination Farm in Ferrisburg, VT. Please help us spread the word and get these clinics filled up! I know that Bonnie has very fun weekends planned for both!

Finally, April Raine, Art Director for "Professional Farrier" Magazine was kind enough to share with me a bunch of her photos from Rolex. I've attached my favorite. This was taken Sunday morning literally minutes before the final horse inspection. Yes, eventing is basically an individual sport but this picture perfectly illustrates the actual team work that goes into every one of the horses at that level... Krissy Collett, Bonnie's recently retired head groom of 5 years is coaxing Murry into munching on his breakfast, I am braiding, Dave, our farrier for the weekend, was fixing up his shoes and you can't see her but Bonnie is in the back fussing with his tail. It was a really intense moment!

See you all soon!


Coming Home...

Hi All,

Sad news as of today.

Murry and I are coming home.It's nothing too serious but Murry has sustained a minor injury and is going to need a short break to heal properly. I am very lucky because I caught this early enough that the vets agree it is nothing he can't come back from. I've been able to consult with some really amazing veterinarians while here and I feel confidant that we've formulated a strong plan to get him well and back in the game.

It is hard to start thinking of what to do next. All of my horses at home are going well so I'm going to take a little bit of time to figure out a new game plan before I carry on. I am looking into flights for Murry ASAP and hope to have him home in the next several days. For myself though I am going to stay for a little bit, visit some friends and maybe even go to the beach for a few days! Its been a long summer so far and I could really use a quick vacation. I have to say this process can be draining and it takes some very determined people to live this dream.

As for our Team, they are all looking very strong and fit. I believe they are sitting in a perfect place to really surprise the world. I have no doubts that their training and experience is going to send them to the top of the podium.

Coren's sister lives in Paris so Coren is going to take a few days to go visit her before she returns home. She has been such great help throughout this trip. I believe she has learned quite a lot and is looking forward to getting back to her own horses, family, friends and school.

I am looking forward to returning and finally moving into my house! I guess I need to look at the fall schedule for the rest of the ponies.I am hoping to get more photos from Dr. Gold for the web site so keep your eyes out!I want to thank all of you for all your support during this journey.

We will have our day, I do believe.

Cheers,Bonnie and Murry

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our Day Off...

Yes, we finally had a day of rest. Its been pretty non stop since we first arrived at The Fork.
Murry, Coren and I have really loved the break. I woke up early and went to the barn at 7:45 am. Hung out for a while, we are doing lots of hand grazing due to no paddocks to put the horses in. Poor Coren and all the grooms. These horses are used to being out for how many hours a day? Yes, the grooms have to hand graze them nearly non stop. Poor, Emma, Phillips groom, two horses... She is out there 24/7!

After all the grazing Buck, Kathleen, Coren and I drove to Stroud to do our laundry and have lunch. It was such a good day to get our laundry done. It *really* needed to be done, the horse stuff and our own! Stroud is a very hilly town. When we walked around it was either up or down hill. Buns of steel I said every time we walked up the street. It is fun to get off the farm and see a little bit of our surroundings.

Of course, it didn't last long and we were too soon heading back to the farm for more grazing.
Buck and I are now officiall entered at Gatcombe Horse Trials which happen August 1-3.
This trip is forcing me to plan beyond the plan!

The most amazing part of the day was getting invited to watch Allen Kings race horses train this morning. Nigel Bunter, who owns the property, took us out to watch the horses. Very, very cool. Not sure if I could do that- ride a race horse. They have some seriously good horses! And then we were invited to Nigel's for a BBQ. What a place!

I have an early ride tomorrow-7 am, because we are going over to watch the show jumping at Hickstead. What a treat thanks to Sara Ikes connections!

Talk soon,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bonnie update 7/23

Hi everyone!

Hello! Its been a few days... let me see where I can catch you up.

Since I last wrote I have had two dressage lessons with the Captain. The first day was not as good as the second. Murry and I are still mastering the 2008 Olympic Dressage Test. If we end up being placed on the team we will luckily have a few more days to perfect it once we get to Hong Kong.

I think that as Coren mentiond Laura Kraut showed up to help us all jump yesterday. Thank goodness!!! She is amazing and really helped me understand the next level that I need to work towards with Mr. Murry. Unfortunately I had food poisoning the night before my second lesson so I was not in my best form but as always Murry took care of me. He is such a good jumper and as honest as the day is long. Thank God!

Today we went for our second gallop. What a test! Everyone was really questioning how and what to do but I woke up with a plan. Murry and I went for a 20 minute jog and then we cantered slowly up the hill once and sprinted up a second time. Murry never tired and is always ready to please. Afterwards we returned to the barn for icing and bathing.

While Murry was chilling I took off to the jump arena for a workout of my own, exercise ball included! Just ask about the ball! I've been lugging this thing around with me everywhere and its done wonders for helping to build up my core strength.

Then off to do the laundry which was, sadly, a failed attempt. I loaded the machine, put the money in and no go. Now what? I tried two other machines and no good. Put the laundry back in the sack and went back to the barn. I did call a friend to see where I could do my laundry...

This afternoon the team vet that is based here had a good look at all the horses. Everything seemed to go very well.

And now it is time for dinner...We all have an easy day tomorrow thank goodness. The horses may need a day of rest soon.

I have begun my plan B plans which include going to Gatcombe for the Advanced Open Class and then staying on for Burghley : ) This is that win win situation I mentioned a few e-mails ago. Burghley is always a dream and to have the opportunity to compete in it on two different horses is really exciting.

I will have to say this group has been so good. I wish Stephen and Jen could be here. Kim is here coaching Heidi and helping us all out. Its been really nice having her around.

And of course Coren who has been so good working with me and Mr. Murry.

Talk soon,
Bonnie and Merloch in the UK

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

From Murry's point of view...

7/22 update from Coren!

Hello everyone! Things are great here in England. Today has been the warmest day yet. And you know what that means? MURRY GOT A BATH! That is a big deal. At least to me (and probably Rebecca). His tail is white. His fur is white. I feel like that is worth ten points.

Not too much has happened around here. Yes, I made it to the pub. But on a different night. A big group of us went out together the following night. Started at a pub and kept working our way up. Finally we all ended up dancing at a "night club" (I use this term lightly). It was pretty fun though. I met a nice looking group of steeplechase jockeys from Ireland. These were some good looking guys! Because of the loud music and their accents there was a lack of "talking". Dancing was fine by me! When you bring a group of 8 or 9 girls into a town as small as this, you make an impact. I think we all had a very good time!

The horses are all looking fantastic. They have done some more dressage and jumping. Laura Kraut flew over yesterday to help everyone with their jumping.She focused a lot on a simple exercise that really helped the horses to be more careful. I found it very interesting and can't wait to try it on my own horse! Murry is doing great. His jumping is looking awesome and I have never seen him point his toes so much on the flat. I think it is safe to say that Bonnie is VERY pleased with where he is at.

The other U.S. team members arrived here on Monday. Karen O'Connor and Mandiba, Amy Tryon with Poggio and Gina Miles and McKinley. Everyone seems to get along great!

The quarantine is now official. It does not all make sense to me but I'm trying to follow the rules.

Tomorrow the horses will gallop. Should be a good one as the footing is still just as perfect as it was before! Man this country is amazing.As I said before, I do not want to leave England. The horses are awesome. The countryside is amazing. Footing is perfect. And its not hot! So again, I make my request, someone PLEASE send me Ollie.

Hope all is well in the states,


Saturday, July 19, 2008

More news from Bonnie!


At my first peak at daylight today I saw the sun. What a pleasant surprise! I arrived at the barn at 7:20 am to do some flat work on Murry and give him a quiet canter which ended up being a nice set of 3 three minute canters on the most amazing turf gallop you could ever imagine. Murry and I had some words during our flat warm up but we both came to the conclusion that we need to be serious. We are, by the way, in England as an alternate for the Olympics. Our canter up the gallop felt like a fun run in the park. The cool weather has put some friskiness into Murry.

Coren has started working on getting Murry's tail white again. By the time some photos come home you will see it will be as white as it was at Rolex. Coren's little home is a perfect little hide out away from the wind and we have wireless here. She and I went to the grocery store to stock the fridge with her favorite food. She seems to be a grazer.

Coren, Kathleen(Buck's groom) and I drove up to watch Aston le Walls Horse Trials. We were so lucky because as we walked out to the cross country course Clark Montgomery had just started on his gray horse. We ran into his wife Jess and she said things were going well.

People don't cheer here at all.

What a different sport over here. 4+ Advanced divisions with 30+ horses.

I am now heading back to town to go for a run before the gang meets for dinner.

Still smiling!

Friday, July 18, 2008

From Bonnie!!

Hi All, Here in England with the best horses and riders in the USA. Not a bad place to be. Pinch me! So, being an alternate has taught me to be a very patient and positive person.While standing in the barn yard at The Fork when the 2008 USA Three Day Olympic Team was named, I looked back at all the moments that brought me to this place. Listening to Sara Ike name the Team was not as heart wrenching as my last Team experience. Take a second to understand the selection process,which means that a 4 star horse with experience is what they need. The wants come from the riders and the soundness of the horses. I now get it. I will never doubt what they need or want. Just GOOD HORSES.So, since my arrival here in England I now remember why I like it here. Horse country, small towns, friendly accents,and a chance to be more tan than any other person here.Murry and Coren Morgan have bonded like no other. I had a simple ride on him today around Barbury Castle Horse Trials site. Yes, that is where we are stabled. The girls that are grooming for all of us are put up in simple little two person campers. A nice place to go, since it is so cold. The grass here is green and the ground is perfectly soft. We have a busy schedule ahead of us. As you and I realize I am in a win win situation, Olympics or Burghley? Not a bad moment in life. I am cheering for all and wishing for GOLD!Talk soon,Bonnie and Merloch here in the UK

Greetings from England!

Hello everybody! Coren sent me this e-mail a little bit ago and I though I would share with you all...


Hello all-Well here is the first update from this already exciting trip. The horses and all riders are now here safely. I figure the best way to share all of this is to start from the beginning.So.... quarantine.. Oh quarantine. It was ... um BORING. We arrived from NC to a nice farm in ATL. Got the horses off the van, set up stalls, hand walked and then sat. And when I say we sat, I am talking like from 2 pm till 3 am. We did get to get up to do I.V. fluids on some horses and tube the rest of them. Otherwise we sat. I slept for one hour on the concrete aisle wrapped up in Murry's sheet. Emma (Philip Duttons head groom) sleep in the corner of Woodburns stall for the same amount of time. At 3 am the vet arrived, identified all horses and put them on the van to the airport. Well due to the delay in the horses flight, Emma and I went straight to our terminal to pick up our tickets. Here is where the first "problem" was.Emma is British with a green card. Therefore her one way ticket to England was not of worry. However, an american trying to go to England on a one way ticket it is. I was immediately a "threat". Well after a large argument between me, Emma, and the ticket counter they gave up. They handed me a ticket to Washington DC and said word for word "Let DC figure this one out". Well that sounds smart. Go ahead, send the threat to DC. Anyways, in DC Emma frantically tried to explain my problem to them. However her heavy accent prevented them from understanding. They got confused, and gave me a ticket. Now the threat was headed over seas. SCORE.The flight was short (6 hr 30 min) and we arrived early. Well much to our surprise, we found Phillip Dutton on our flight. This was excellent because Emma and I had no way from London to the farm. After getting a rental car, Philip drove at extreme speed to get us to the farm. I had many moments of panic. An Australian driving on the wrong side of the road in a stick shift muttering many words I could not understand. A brit in the front seat telling him to go faster so we could meet the horses to unload. And me in the back seat so crammed, holding luggage and freaking out. 60 MPH down single lane streets with tall hedge brushes. Sounds like my idea of a good time.Horses arrived an hour late. No need for the previous speeding. We unloaded and walked and un packed and walked more and unpacked more. Then at 3 am went to sleep. I was exhausted. Keep in mind no one had slept in a bed for well over 50 hours.I got up in a panic this morning thinking that I had overslept. Well it was 8:30. Pretty late for starting chores in this world. I was the only one up. Guess everyone was still too tired! I did chores in my PJ's and went back to bed. Then after I got up, Bonnie arrived. Boy was this exciting. She brought coke, chocolate and another polar fleece for me! She knows me all too well :)The weather is cold. 50 and raining. Murry is warm. I am not. I live in a camper which is actually pretty nice. I have a shower. The hot water lasted about 37 seconds. GREAT. I slept well though..Bonnie and I went to the store in town. Driving there was exciting. My turn is next. After battling traffic in the grocery store, I think I am ready. Those people are crazy with carts and always on the wrong side of the aisle when passing!Leaving the store was my first encounter with the opposite sex in this country. And by that I mean flirting with them (sorry mom and dad). I was left waiting on the corner for Bonnie while she tried to figure which way to go to get the car out of the lot. I must have looked crazy or something because 3 very good looking 20 something year old guys approached me. I must have screamed american all bundled up in my winter coat and multiple polar fleeces. Anyway, we chatted for a good while (it took bonnie a while) and what not. It was successful. I got the "we hope we see you at the pub tonight". Well, I'm thinking Im going to the pub tonight.Bonnie and Murry are out hacking now. He was VERY frisky and she was very cold. Sounds like a good combination. The rest of the day we will just hang out. Tomorrow the horses have a gallop on the amazing hill. The BEST footing I have ever scene. Then Monday US Olympic Show jumper Laura Kraut is coming to give jump lessons. I guess I better bathe Murry for that. BURR.The scenery here is amazing. If someone would please ship me Ollie, I think I will just stay. Plus Im just a short train ride from my sister.Hope all is well in the states. Excuse my horrible grammar and spelling (again, sorry mom and dad.) I am just too tired to correct it all!Coren

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bon Voyage!

If you looked up in the sky at about 4am this morning you may have seen Murry and the rest of the horses flying overhead. With only a little scrambling, Coren reported to me earlier today that all the horses made it onto the truck and into the plane with no problem. According to Coren, Murry was "perfect" and seemed to be enjoying the adventure. Does he realize he is amazingly close to travelling around the entire world? The picture above is of Murry waiting to get on the plane this morning...

Bonnie leaves for England this evening and will be reunited with Murry and Coren by tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, Coren is, hopefully, getting some much needed sleep on her own flight and Bonnie is on her way to the airport...

We have posted more pictures from the Mandatory Outing so be sure to check them out on the Media page of our main site. Or click here:

Last night we celebrated this new adventure in style. Keith Cuthrell, Bonnie's land owner, was kind enough to loan us his beautiful B&B ( for our going away party. Thank you Keith!! We were joined by old friends and new. Doug (farrier extraordinaire), Holly and Alex (wouldn't be here without you!), Barbara and Marley, you guys are the best and totally made the night. It felt so good to have you all in one place again. To all of our new friends and students... we are so lucky to have met you all. Thank you for celebrating with us last night! Here's to many many more such nights!

Cross fingers as we wait to see how the cards will fall...

talk soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bonnie named an alternate to the 2008 Olympic Eventing Team!

Bonnie and Merloch have been named as an alternate to the 2008 Olympic Eventing Team! CONGRATULATIONS! This exciting development was announced to the athletes on the short list earlier this afternoon pending approval by the USEF High Performance Committee. This means Bonnie will travel with the rest of the team to London for the final two weeks of training sessions.

I'll post more about the weekend tomorrow. Some videos for now...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cheer Loudly!

Well folks... The final Mandatory Outing begins tomorrow morning (Friday 7/10) with an informal jog at 6:15am. (Note to Murry: Stay clean in your stall tonight!!)

Dressage and Cross Country are on Friday and Show Jumping is on Saturday.

Please think hard about Bonnie and Murry this weekend! I am sure that they will both be able to hear you!

Check back here for updates... I'll try to post at the end of each day.