Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jody Rossetti 10/2/1957 - 1/14/2012

My beautiful wife,  Jody,  passed away after a three year fight with Ovarian Cancer. This is her blog.

She was my best friend and the most wonderful person to be with. We were married over 25 years and had a wonderful daughter, Ari.  We love you and miss you, always.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My sweet Nikolaas RIP June 3 2011

It is with great saddness that I will post that Nikolaas was euthanized on June 3 2011. He had a bout with gas colic the day before which seemed to resolve but in the morning he didn't seem right so we trailered him to NE horse hospital where they found a tear in his intestine. The surgeon felt that the survival rate with this type of problem was basically zero. We had him euthanized and cremated and will bury him at our farm. He was the best horse and riding partner a person could hope for. He was gentle, willing and a joy to have. He will always have a place in my heart.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nikolaas Dressage at Saratoga 2011

Getting some air time!
Nik's first time at First level, 68% and High Point First Level horse! He pooped out on his second canter lengthening. I'm a proud momma!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nikolaas Training 3 Saratoga

Our first show in over a year. Scored 68% and won Training level test 3. We earned our first qualifying score for the Fall Festival. Tomorrow is our first test at First level. Nik was so well behaved. I'm so proud!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our first time riding together!

Here we are with our first attempt at riding together for our Pas de deux. They like each other and rode nicely together. Now we have to finish editing music and do choreography!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nikolaas 5/2011

I wasn't able to go to the Mother's Day show because I got a cold. Here I am schooling some leg yields on a circle and lengthenings. It was a cold windy day and Nik had lots of impulsion!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Getting ready for show on Mother's Day

I had a lesson today. It's been a while as we have been getting back into shape from being off for the winter. We worked on lengthening on the circle with lots of bend , going back and forth. Really helped with the hind leg push. (look up) Transitions with more bend to keep his head from popping up. Canter lengthening to collected canter to uber collected for 2 strides back to lengthening. Trot, halt, back, trot. Leg yielding- to the right almost counter bend because he drops his right shoulder.
I also trimmed him up, still a little hairy but he looks even more handsome, if that is possible!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finally some sunshine!

The weather is finally good riding weather! Nik has really been behind the leg so I have been working on a lot of transitions. Our first recognized show is Memorial Day weekend at Saratoga!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Back in the Saddle after a long winter

I rode Nik today after having over 2 months off. He was super. I even walked him in the partially defrosted outdoor arena too!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I know there is some grass down there!!!

This weather has been ridiculous! Not much riding this winter in fact there is so much snow on the roof I am afraid to bring them into the barn. We need sun!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Totilas look alike!

Bought Nik and new brow band at the NEDA Fall Festival. I had a lovely weekend being a ring steward as I spent the summer on crutches. Here is Nik and I think he looks like Totilas!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Getting woken up at midnight by running hoof beats is never a good thing. Looks like itchy butt Nik pushed down the top 2 rails of his paddock fence. He meandered over to Tiki's paddock and got her running. This woke me up and startled the dogs. I put the back light on and noticed a horse shadow outside of the fencing! The donks just stayed in the field like good donkeys! Nik was easy to catch and the fence was a quick fix.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beauty Session

It was a beautiful end of the summer day. We hacked around the farm and enjoyed the weather. I then gave Nik a very needed hair spa day with a shampoo, condition and braid. He is so patient. Our sites are headed to show in mid October in the Mystic Show.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm riding again.......if you want to call it that

I have been cleared by the Orthopedist to ride as long as I don't fall off. ha ha. I've walked 4 times and yesterday I trotted for one long side. It was not very enjoyable but I hope it will be getting less painful soon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nik Gets Shoes

I have been very fortunate for the last few years for Nik to remain barefoot. His feet have gotten so chipped in the front that I had to have shoes put on his front feet. He was a good boy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Current Life

Here is Nik getting his weekly beauty treatment for his mane and as always being a good boy and holding my crutches for me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Unplanned Flying Dismount

3 Weeks ago I was bucked off our young pony Kade. Unfortunately I broke my left hip and had 3 pins placed. Another summer wasted. I'm enjoying the horses from the windows of my house. Hopefully I'll be back to riding soon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

First Schooling Show of 2010

We showed at Mount Holyoke College dressage show. Nik was good except for some spooking problem near one of the corners. I was very happy that he was forward, calm in the warm-up (since I ride him alone at home) and mostly attentive. He scored a 65% (2nd place) which was good considering we received a 3 and 4 during his inattentiveness. The bad news is it took him 2 hours to load into the trailer. He has been dining in the morning in the trailer since the show!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Nik goes to Florida for the winter

What a fab winter we had. Trail riding at Black Prong in Florida and getting back into shape. Near the end of our stay I did do some serious dressage. We worked on lengthening his neck to help gain more swing in his back, W-C, C-W, Baby counter canter, LY, started trot and canter lengthenings. He made a lot of progress and gained confidence in his trail riding. Fun, Fun, Fun!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Trail Ride Along CT River

We had a lovely day a few weeks ago. I went on a trail ride with 2 other Friesian owners. Nik was really well behaved! We had some trouble going through water but we worked it out and he did get his feet wet. He only get a little excited when he saw other horses in the distance. He also led for awhile too. It was a great day with beautiful weather.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friesian Drill Team

We had FDT practice at my house today. Nikolaas was a little off guard and out of character when we first started. He was very excited about the other 3 horses in "his " arena. He soon relaxed and was a good boy. It was a beautiful day, sunny and a lot of fun.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fabuloso Clinic

Despite a crummy rainy day, I went up to Amherst for a lesson with Chris. We really worked on his one big problem, reaction time and forwardness. Our exercises involved slow trot to working trot with a big push from behind. Some ground work with turn on the FH and getting a reaction from the whip. Great time and some friends came to cheer me on. Fun Day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back in the saddle

Now that I am done with treatments and feeling well, I am back to riding full time. I just joined a Friesian Drill team and have had 2 practices. Nik is a natural and loves the other horses. It has helped with his motivation problem. We have just gotten Kade, the welsh cob, home from Gina the horse backer. I have started riding him too. This weekend is Equine Affaire, aka as shopping time, and I have a lesson with Chris on Saturday. Lots to look forward to!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer fun

Nik has been ridden a lot out back on our grass track. It has helped with his forward issues. Karen has been riding him twice a week out back and I have been riding about 2 -3 days a week in the driving arena. He is doing great. Learned walk-canter transitions, better bending and connection. Leg yields are better and straighter. Our next obstacle is getting him through water. We have a brook and have been working at getting in it. Karen is making some progress but he is really scared. Hopefully I will be back riding full time in about 5 weeks, once my radiation is over. Just in time for the cold weather.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Well, Mr. Nik was very behind the leg at the show. The good news is that he was very well behaved but he wasn't interested in cantering. Hopefully he'll get out to another show before the season is over.
Nik has been doing really well. Karen has been coming 2 times a week to ride him during my illness and I ride on my good days. We rode Nik and Tiki out on the grass track and walk, trotted and cantered together and they were perfect. Ari and I hope to take them both to the beach this fall.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting ready for Show time

I have my one and only show this season this weekend. Will be doing T2 and T4. Hope we have good weather. Nik has been going well, canters are more prompt and less lead swapping. There will be a few friends showing so it should be alot of fun. My big hurrah before surgery....

Saturday, April 25, 2009


After being diagnosed with cancer at the end of January, my riding has been off and on due to treatments. The last few weeks have been steady and he is coming along nicely.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ice falling off the roof and I lived to tell about it!

Today while riding, we had some ice drop off the roof. Nik did spook a bit but he calmed down right away. I was worried that we were going to have a full roof slide so I did a short ride. We did a 10M circle and leg yielded to 20M with a 10M in the opposite direction on the open side of the circle. Also working on smaller circles, bending and listening to my forward aids.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Nik grew 1/2 an inch!!!!!!!

Nik is officially 15.2 1/2! I was tacking him up yesterday and noticed he looked taller so I measured him. I then rode outside in the snow for the second day in a row. He seemed to enjoy it and I had a lot of fun.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back in the saddle again!

After a good 2 weeks off, we are up and riding again. Today I rode outside and Nik was nice and forward. We even worked on W-C transitions and lengthenings. He was a joy to ride.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

FAbulous Ride

We did our first walk-canter transition. Basically off the voice but he was willing to try. We've been working as starting SI, LY away and towards rail, lengthening, canter forward and back, med walk to free walk and back, stretchy circle.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

2 Great Lessons

Had 2 really good lessons this month. Nik was very good and forward. (so it was 30 degrees, windy and dusky) Some notes: Keep off inside leg, more responsive to leg aids, no potty breaks, leg yield then straight then LY, rt hand down, sit still with upper body, few strides of lengthening,
start ly against wall at trot, start moving shoulders for SI, work on keeping weight in contact and stretching into contact esp. in downward transition, try work in hand to get more responsive, keep legs relaxed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm a BAD boy

Well today, Nik decided again to stand in the water trough and mangle another water heater. Not only that but he also stepped on one of the cats. Thankfully the cat is fine.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Enjoying the weather

Nikolaas' canter has really improved over the last month. Lots of trot to canter transitions. The crisp air gives him some extra impulsion.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

First Ride in 2 Weeks

Nikolaas is all better! I did a light outside ride and he felt great. During our 2 weeks off I took some photos of the farm to keep myself busy. Here is an artsy close up shot.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coughing Brook Farm

Tiki came home a couple of weeks ago from the Gladstone CDE and must have picked up a virus. It managed to spread to Nik and Kade. Nik has been off work for 2 weeks and still has a slight cough so I will wait alittle longer. The good news is we have found a digital thermometer that takes a temp in 8 seconds. When you have 3 sick horses it is very handy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Update photo

Here is a recent pic of Nik from a video. I have been riding outside for all my rides. Yesterday he cantered on the track for 1/4 of the way around until he started going alittle too fast for comfort. He can canter all the way around the dressage arena and driving arena. His strength is improving!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Super BIG Brag

Nik went to his first schooling show today. Intro A and B with 69% in both. He was calm, relaxed and just plain fun. I was so proud! The only problem we had was he was afraid to back out of the trailer. We moved the divider and he contorted himself out.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Nikolaas made his grass track debut today. We trotted once around in each direction. He was alittle scared but soon calmed down. I was so proud!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Riding in the "Real Dressage Arena"

Nik is going nicely and has graduated to the unfenced real large dressage arena. We have even attempted to canter a 20 M circle. It wasn't really a circle but he did complete it! Today after our ride I walked him on the woods trail and trotted him too. He was perfect. He is leg yielding nicely and cantering longer distances without constant reminding from me.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lesson during aThunderstorm

Had a fine lesson today in the indoor and of course it was raining and thundering. Nik as usual took it in stride and was perfect. Some reminders to work on:
Leg yield at trot, come down to walk if not responding
shallow serpentine
stretchy circle
TOF off left leg walk forward during
Use the Verhan saddle.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nik's New Friends

After Chelsea pony had to be laid to rest last month, someone offered us 2 donkeys to keep our horses company. Introducing Omar and Milton. Our new welsh cob, Kade, arrived last week too and all 4 are getting along perfectly.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nik is starting to look like a dressage horse

Nik is starting to become rounder at the trot and he is trotting nicely forward. He is really coming along. He is starting to canter but he doesn't want to go very far yet!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

First Tail Ride

Nik has been going well in the outdoor arena so I decided it was time to venture even farther. Ari rode Tiki and I rode Nik. Nik actually wanted to lead! He didn't spook but was looking about at times. We did our little walk thru the woods and on the grass track and came back. Then I rode him with Tiki in the ring. He has never been ridden with another horse. He was pre-occupied with Tiki. Did I mention he is in love with her? So it did take some effort to get him to pay attention to me. Good learning experience.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Moving right along!

Nik is really learning. He has such a wonderful attitude. Could be alittle more forward in his thinking but his overall demeanor is great. We have graduated to being able to ride in the whole outdoor arena even the scarey area way at the end. I am also cantering him outside. He can't canter for a long distance yet but he did canter the other day with just voice! I am also working on turns on the forehand, off the left leg he is great off the right leg he isn't very reponsive yet. Overall he is coming along. I'm riding 4 days on and one day off. Alternating inside and out.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Update: CANTERING undersaddle

It was a great day us today. I cantered Nik for the first time undersaddle. He picked it up in both directions but only cantered for about 20 M. But he was perfect and it was a great first time. I also started him trotting over cavaletti again and he seems to enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Nik has been coming along very well. We should be able to canter undersaddle later this week or next. He is doing well cantering on the lunge. He can almost do a full circle! Bob lunged him before I rode him and really got him listening. Nik was very forward and reponsive. Ari watched me ride him last night and she was impressed that he was going so well. Our immediate goals are 1. cantering under saddle 2. learning to bend and move away from the leg 3. rounder outline.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Good Week

Rode outside a couple of times, 2 days off, lunged some. Worked on Cantering on the lunge. We did it out of the corner and down the long side and that seemed to work. He is gaining strength and balance.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

He's getting it!

Last night I did a lunge session with sliding side reins. They worked better than the side reins. We worked on cantering and got a few strides. That's our next feat to accomplish.

Today I rode inside as it was very windy. He has improved so much! We steered with a light contact and he went forward nicely.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Video Outside

We had great weather and enjoyed another great ride outside. Bob also led us around the farm. Nik was tense at times but calmed down after awhile.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Another beautiful day

Rode outside again. He was nice and forward but he did try and go out the gate when we trotted by. Bob then lead me around the outdoor unfenced dressage arena. Nik was alittle scared but he behaved himself. We will try and do more outdoor excursions.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Beautiful weather

Monday I lunged and today I rode outside in this beautiful weather. He behaved perfectly.

Last weekend Tiki had her first CDE of this year and at a higher level, preliminary. She was really good in the dressage phase, needed energy in the walk and her rein back was bad. Probably the best she's ever done. Bob had one cone down in the cones, usually he goes clean. The marathon was tough as the first hazard was water. She stalled and we took forever to get through. Hazard 2 and 3 went well. Hazard 4 she stalled again got hung up and then we went thru a gate that got us eliminated. Hazard 5 she did well. So we have alot to work on, but considering it was the beginning of the season we were happy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Excellent ride tonight

Thurs. night I had a great ride on Nik. He was very forward and willing. We're off to NJ on Fri. for a CDE for Tiki so Nik will have a few days off.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cantering on lunge

We rode outside the day after the first time and Nik was perfect. Then he had 3 days off .Today I lunged him and Nik cantered in each direction. YEAH!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

First time Riding Outside

On Friday, I lunged Nik outside and he was very comfortable so I decided to ride him. He was very good. I kept it short, he went forward and steered as best as he could.

Friday, April 25, 2008

First time riding at night

Tonight was the first time I rode Nik at night with the doors open in the indoor. He did very well and after a couple of slow times around I got him moving forward enough to even do a circle and diagonal. He was excellent.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Love is in the air

Nikolaas has more than brotherly feelings for his sisters and now has to stay in his own paddock. The girls are in heavy heat cycles, even 34yo Chelsea. We had the vet out to check his hormone levels.