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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 …

Christmas Traditions

First, congratulations to Now That's A Trot for winning the saddle pad number contest!  :)  She guessed 36 and I actually own 38.  Yay!  I know her personally so can email and get her address.  I have a fun little horsey surprise to send her.  Thanks to everyone for guessing!

We had a wonderful Christmas here.  All of the family on both sides came here and I cooked a large ham (from our own pig!) dinner.  All was said and done by 3PM which was unheard of!  It was wonderful...I got to spend some time in the barn and the boys took a nap!  :)

I have a Christmas tradition to ride my horse (now horses...) bareback in the snow.  The only year I did not do this was the year my parents bought me a County dressage saddle back in college.  :)  Of course, I had to try out the saddle!  LOL!

I took Sparky out first.  There is only about 2 inches of snow so it was not as exciting as some years, but that was OK.  Sparky was cute....I forget how small and smooth she is.  Her trot felt like a western jog compared to my Standardbreds.  LOL!  We went around the field in the snow a few times before she decided she had enough and pulled me towards the gate.  Point taken.  :)  I had only planned to ride her for 10 minutes anyway and she held me to that.  :)

Dreamy came out next.  She was a good mare...easy walk, trot, and canter.  I could have continued riding but after about 15 minutes I realized I was losing light and should dismount if I wanted to ride Reva as well. 

I did not take Reva out for a Christmas bareback ride last year.  I had only owned her for five months at that point and I was unsure how she might be.  But this year I knew she would be just fine. 

Now I did not account for her size though.  With my other two mares, Sparky at just barely horse size at 14.3 and Dreamy at 15.1, it is quite easy to stand on my two-step mounting block and just throw my left leg over their sides.  Now with Reva at 16.3, I soon realized that there would be no throwing of legs anywhere.  I actually did try to put my leg up there, only to have it get stuck on her croup.  Hmmmm....not a great thing to do on our first bareback ride, but she was completely unfazed.  LOL!

I decided I either had to give up or just climb on.  Climb is a good verb for what I did.  I leaned up on my stomach and sort of shimmied my way up onto her back.  The thought that she might move or buck briefly crossed my mind.  But you know, this mare is such a rock.  I know she will have her moments (and watch them all happen next year in the show ring....LOL) but overall she is pretty forgiving at her young age of almost five.  :)  She stood there with the reins looped and waited for me to figure out what I was doing.  I love that as soon as I was up there, when I reached up and scratched her neck, Reva, in turn, reached around and whuffed at my face and then smelled my boot.  She always has this curious look as if to say, "What ELSE are you going to do Mom?"  

Anyway, it was a nice afternoon with my girls.  It was about feed time by the time I finished with Reva, so they all came in for dinner.  The mares all got treats from Santa in their stockings.  And Reva got a Jolly Ball!  Wow, Santa knows her well!  ;-)

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  :)


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