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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 …

Day Four: 30 Day Challenge

Day Four: A horse that impacted your life

This is Joydale Pollyanna, a registered Morgan mare out of Johna and by Kennebec Chief.  She was my Sparky's half sister (they shared the same sire).  This is me about seven years old (1986) during my weekly riding lesson at the Joydale Morgan Farm.  Pollyanna was the quintessential lesson horse.  She was bombproof (unless a skydiver happened to accidentally land near the ring....yes, the farm neighbored a sand pit that a local skydiving company used....), had the slowest trot, and was very, very patient and forgiving.  I love how I am pulling on her mouth in an effort to keep my thumbs up (LOL) and she is just tolerating me.

Pollyanna certainly impacted my life the most out of all the horses I have known.  Granted, ALL of the horses I have known have impacted my life in some way, but without Pollyanna, I would not have had such a good grounding.  I learned how to ride on Pollyanna's broad back.  I learned how to steer, post the trot, and navigate cavalettis.  I learned how to tack up a horse and how to groom and pick hooves.  

That is me on the left, tacking up for the lesson in the pic above.  That is my cousin Stacey on the right.

Pollyanna even took me to my first horse show as a ten year old (1989), and helped me win my first ribbon ever (third place in walk/trot equitation) and my first blue ribbon a few classes later (walk/trot pleasure). 

My first horse show ~ York County Riders in Hollis, ME

My first blue ribbon at my first horse show!

Pollyanna lived a good, long life.  She foundered and had Cushings and eventually had to be put down a few years ago.  She was a fixture to me, a horse that is as much a part of me as my own family.  I quickly moved on to riding her sire, Kennebec Chief (who taught me to canter and jump) and then later leased another of her half sisters, Joydale Tiffany (who ended up teaching me a whole lot more about riding and training and showing...), but it is Pollyanna who started me on the path as an equestrian.  There will never be another horse like her.

Classic Pollyanna pose: The end of a day at horse camp, enjoying free roam of the lawn and trying to steal the kids' Popsicles!


  1. A lovely tribute to a wonderful horse - she looks very kind and willing in all the pictures.

    (verification: flexing!)

  2. Hi honey,

    Your fourth entry had me in tears. I remember those long summer days and your early riding experiences and yes I do remember Pollyanna and my fear of your riding Kenny.

    A nice story that I enjoyed reading.

    I love you Elizabeth,

    mom :)

  3. We all have so many wonderful grounded memories of Polly giving us the foundation in our hearts and abilities. Thank you for putting them in to words. She means so much to so many, and truly I feel she would "say" the same in return : )
    Great post as usual Liz! xoxo


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