Skip to main content

She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

2009 SPHO-NJ Banquet!!!

Sunday, February 21 was the 2009 Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey (SPHO-NJ) banquet! It was held at Freehold Raceway and it was SO. MUCH. FUN!

I flew into Newark the day beforehand. It was such a cheap flight and much easier than driving 8+ hours. The flight itself was just under an hour. My friend HG picked me up and I stayed with her and her husband J for the weekend. Ten of us all went out to eat on Saturday night, which was fun. I was in the beginning stages of my sinus infection, so I felt pretty crappy, but I did not let it stop me from having SO MUCH FUN!

H and I woke up early on Sunday to get to Hay Fever Farm to ride. You have GOT to see the website....this farm where she boards her gelding JB is out of control gorgeous! I am so jealous!!!! LOL! I got to ride JB and she rode one of the farm's horses. It was really fun and I am thankful H gave me the opportunity to ride her horse. He is a sweetie (except for the whole face brushing thing.....LOL). I hope I did not look like too much of a fool in the unfamiliar forward seat jumping saddle, short(er than I am used to) stirrups, and mounted on an unfamiliar horse! :)

From the barn, we headed to Freehold around 10AM to set up for the banquet. It took MUCH longer than we expected (I think we were there for about five hours...???) but it was all worth it in the end. The awards were gorgeous, the Chinese auction items were great, and the tables looked so good! We spent most of our time doing the balloons for the table.....oh what a PIA! LOL! But see how nice it all looked....

This was my table...

We ran out of the weight things for the balloons and H and I ended up filling balloons with water. Oh, too funny. SPHO-NJ bought our lunches for us, which was a very unexpected but delicious treat! I had such a good time helping out. It is tough to be so many miles away (I live in Maine, which is quite a haul from NJ!) and not be as active of a member as I would like to be. :( But I do get to go to NJ twice a year for now.....once for the banquet and later in the year for the National show!

Anyway, we headed home and got all cleaned up from the barn and dressed for the banquet. We had to do some last minute details at home, but we got back to Freehold around 5PM. The banquet itself was fun, even though there was SO many awards and SO many auction items (this year we had over 60!!!) It did take a long time, but it was OK. I think having a sinus headache made it harder for me to concentrate! LOL! I won two things in the auction...a subscription to Horse News (I think it was called...) which is a local NJ paper. I gave it to H! LOL! I also won a "Boney Bonez" dog treat basket. This was funny, because the night before, H and I made up the two Boney Bonez baskets at her house! LOL! My dog Lucy was very pleased to have the yummy treats.....I had to leave the cute wire basket at H's though, since it would NOT fit in my carry on with the ribbons and trophies! :( Oh well. As H's dog Jessie proved, Boney Bonez are like doggie crack! ROFL! :) Funny story there....

I got to meet John Duer, the person who gave Reva to me! That was cool, seeing as I have only talked with him on the phone. :) My "date" was J.Brennan....LOL! Not really, he and I just happened to be the odd ones out at our table of ten, so H joked that J was my date. He looks pretty impressed with the entire thing, huh??? LOL!!!!

I also made another "Year in Review" slideshow of all the pics members sent to me. It came out pretty good, with the theme of versatility and some fun songs. You can view it here. It was shown on all the simulcast television sets around the room. If you look closely at the photos showing the tables and balloons, you can see the TV's!

Also here was the USTA article.

After dancing and having a good time with everyone, we left pretty late. I remember that I got to bed around midnight, I think. All in all, it was a great, if tiring, weekend. H brought me back to the airport on Monday morning and I was back in Maine by lunch time. A big thank you to H and J for keeping me as their house guest for the weekend! Enjoy the pancakes!!! ;-D

Dreamy won six 2009 year end awards from SPHO-NJ:
  • Champion Combined Training
  • Reserve Champion Dressage
  • Fourth place 2-gait Senior Horse
  • Fourth place 3-gait Senior Horse
  • Fourth place Demos,Expos, Parades award
  • Sixth place Versatility
(Senior Horse does not refer to the horse's age, but that she has won more than 12 blue is like the "open" division).

Here is the combined training award...

Here is the dressage award...

I love being a member of SPHO-NJ. Not only is both the National show and year end awards program outstanding, I have made some really great friends. Unfortunately, they are all down in NJ! But FB and email connect us despite the distance until I can visit again!

All pics taken by Vicki Wright! :)

Lots of gorgeous awards!

H and J.....such a cute pic!

Best pic of RP with TF's tiara! LOL!

Here is another of R with H this time...

A shot of our loot! LOL! That is me on the left...most of it is H's though. She and JB were amazing this past year! :)

Cute pic of H and I. You can tell how tired and sick I am. :( I drank lots of water all night!!!

This is a great series of pics where we all decided to go dance behind J. LOL! He is trying to pretend we are not there....

Love you all, my NJ horse friends! <3


  1. Awwww......
    Love you to my Maine sister!
    Thanks for coming and you did NOT look like a fool on JB, you did great! I could not take my eyes off the two of you, Barbaro did not get ridden much that day...LOL!
    Silly me totally forgot that I have a dressage saddle in the tack room, I am loosing my mind...!!!
    Next time!!!!

  2. Great job to you and Dreamy!! The banquet looks like so much fun and the awards are BEAUTIFUL! I'm pretty sure that SPHO-Ohio doesn't nearly have as nice of a set up...but I just joined half way through last year so I might be wrong!



Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment!