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Showing posts from September, 2017

NER United States Pony Club Show Jump Rally - July 20, 2019

Ellie and I had SO MUCH FUN at our first Pony Club jump rally this year.  We drove up to Clay Brook Farms, where we had our D-1/D-2 rating, in order to compete for the day on July 20.  This happened to be one of the hottest days of summer, so the organizers modified the schedule a bit.  Instead of doing two rounds in the morning and one in the afternoon, we all did just two rounds (with a ten-minute break in between) all in the morning, so we were done and headed out just after lunch.  
Everything ran so smoothly despite the condensed format.  We were able to do our formal inspections right before we mounted up, and we were all encouraged to limit our warm up time.  We were not allowed to wear jackets, and there was a TON of horse water and ice cold human water available at numerous stations around the field.
I was competing with Epona Pony Club, but I was again put on a Horsemaster team with two other adults from Foxcroft Pony Club, Angie and Beth, the two riders I competed with at the…

Riding the Greenie and a Baby Canter!

Ellie is a blast to ride, despite the fact she is pretty green.  She's a forward little compact sports car, completely different from the Standardbreds I have been riding for the past fourteen years.  She is the horse I grew up riding and my skill set for riding a horse like her has started to come back to me.  However, this time around I also have all the skills gained from teaching my Standardbreds to move like dressage horses, so I'm excited.  I personally brought Dreamy along to showing First Level/schooling Second from a broodmare who had never been backed (which isn't some huge accomplishment, but it wasn't easy!), so I feel hopeful that Ellie and I will eventually have a strong competitive career.  And of course, we will do other fun things like trail riding, driving, chasing cows, going sidesaddle...you know, all the cool stuff I did with Sparky and Dreamy that made them both so enjoyable and versatile!

We have worked out some of the typical greenie problems, li…

Oh, the Saddle Saga is neverending....

So, earlier this year in June, I finally found a decent fitting dressage saddle for Snappy.  The joke is on me as I ended up having to put her down just two and a half months later.  *crying* I figured the saddle would easily work for Ellie, as that was one of the selling points of purchasing this super expensive saddle.  I bought it used, not brand new at $6000+, but still it was not cheap.

I know many folks have opinions on this brand of saddle (see original post for brand - I am trying to be kind here), but honestly, I didn't mind it.  It wasn't my most favorite dressage saddle I have ever sat in, but I didn't hate it.  And mostly importantly, it fit Snappy quite well and she seemed to like it.  

I was finally able to arrange to get the fitter out last Friday.  I figured this would be a fairly easy procedure to adjust the gullet width and air panels.  Ellie is a completely different horse than Snappy, so I assumed there would be changes.

I was admittedly sort of shocked wh…

International Helmet Awareness Day

I am definitely an "every ride, every time" helmet wearer.  I try not to be judgey towards those who choose not to wear a helmet, but to me, it seems like a no brainer to just wear a helmet in order to save my life (or prevent a major catastrophe).  Are they sweaty and kinda gross?  Sure.  But I would rather deal with a sweaty head and helmet hair any day over losing my life.


While I have a nice IRH Intec XR9 helmet for showing, I found the Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet years ago to use at home and I love it!  It has vents and is pretty lightweight, so it is super comfortable even on the hottest of summer days.  Plus, at a really decent price point, I don't worry about it getting banged up or yucky.  However, it has definitely been getting a funky smell lately (gag) and it is just looking super sad.  It hasn't been in a fall, but I knew it was getting older.

So, in August, I almost bought a new one, but I remembered International Helmet Awareness Day was coming and I …

Noble Outfitters Refer-A-Friend Contest!

Somehow I managed to win the Noble Outfitters' Refer-A-Friend contest, which featured a $250 shopping spree!  I guess I can no longer claim I never win anything LOL!!

When I first received the email, I was a bit skeptical.  I actually called Noble Outfitters just to be sure this was real life!  It took me several days to peruse their website and decide what to buy.  I had to pay shipping (totally fine with that) and with the $250 gift code, I only had to pay around $8 out-of-pocket for all six items!  SWEET!

I had been wanting new riding socks, so I am glad I waited to pull the trigger on buying them!  I think the fox socks might become my new dressage show socks to match my Annie's Equestrienne coat, and the bucking bronc pair was just too funny.  I already own a pair of NO's Over the Calf Peddies, and they really are comfortable and fit well under tall boots.

I ended up choosing a show shirt, called the Madison show shirt, that I probably never would have purchased without …

Two-in-One Tack Review: Jin Stirrups and Essentially Eryn Stirrup Covers

In an effort to be matchy-matchy, because clearly that is what I do best, I purchased these Jin stirrups for my jumping saddle for the XC phase.  They are made of aluminum and feel super lightweight; I believe I read somewhere that each stirrup is less than a pound each.  I specifically chose these because of the color, but I also did NOT want to buy a pair of Lorenzini stirrups because all I have read about is their poor durability.  For the price, I did not want to see chips all over my fancy stirrups.  Also, I wanted a wide stirrup pad and I like the 4 degree slight angle.  



So far, I have ridden in them several times on the flat and I love them!  The wide pad is stable and I like how my creaky old knees feel with the slight angle.  I have tried jointed stirrups but wasn't crazy about them, but these stirrups definitely are comfortable.  

I had placed the order in early August, hoping I could use them at Area I Schooling HT Champs, but alas, since they shipped from Canada (and th…

Snap Dancer Memorial Race

I have attended the Cornish Horsemen's Day at the local trotting park since 2005, marshaling races with my now 26 year old retired Standardbred, Dreamy.  I have written about it a few times here: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 (this is when I won my RUS race with Snappy!), 2013, and 2014.  I was pregnant in 2015 and too busy in 2016 to attend.


This year was a bit different.  The organizer, Diann, asked me if I could marshal just after I had to put Snappy down, so of course I had to decline.  Then I got thinking about it and wondered if she might allow me to make a donation in order to have a race named after Snappy.  She was happy to do so!

Race #2 ended up being the Snap Dancer Memorial.  Though Snappy raced as a trotter, it ended up being a pace.  Ah well.  Technically, Snappy was pacing bred despite the fact she raced on the trot, so it was all good haha.  


I didn't think I would feel as overwhelmed as I was, getting teary as soon as I pulled into the fairgrounds.  The gate atte…

Week one with Ellie

Ellie has started to settle in well here at Clover Ledge.  I admit I was worried about taking her from the only home she has ever known, the farm where she was born, but despite her nervousness, she has a great brain.  Ellie likes to overreact to things at first (typical young Morgan haha), but she quickly regains her composure.  I am sure that as I develop a relationship with her and she trusts me, she will become even more brave.  However, she is a redheaded Morgan mare (haha), so her initial overdramatics might always be there!  ;-)

The first few days I just groomed her and took her for walks.  She was nervous and looky on the crossties and spooked at everything in the barn yard (the sound of the cattle, the dump trailer, the wheelbarrow, the gate to her pasture, her shadow, the wind...haha).  She didn't want to lift her hooves to be picked, and she almost kicked out on her hinds.  The first night she didn't want to enter the barn; even though she REALLY wanted to be inside …

Monogram all the things!

I have been LUSTING over this saddle plate monogram from Swanky Saddle Co. and look it at every so often on my Pinterest board.  I try not to be crazy about monogramming all the things, but I have been wanting a saddle plate for my new (to me) dressage saddle.  Because of its large cantle, I thought a regular saddle plate like I have used in the past might look strange, so this larger roundish monogram seemed perfect.  Also, I have a weird thing about loving silver colored plates on black tack and brass on brown LOL!


I LOVE how it looks on my saddle!  It was a bit of a pain to attach, but I used a tiny drill bit to get the holes started and then the tiny nails went right in.   


While perusing the Swanky Saddle Co. website, I found these cute brush monogram stickers, so I added two to my cart in the color "moss".  Somehow I ended up being sent four, two in moss and two in emerald, so that was a fun surprise.  Now that I see the colors in person as opposed to the computer screen…

Once a Morgan person, always a Morgan person!

Facing an empty stall and a mopey old Standardbred mare, I knew I would have to find another horse.  I don't really feel ready, but at the same time, it's hard to not fill the empty spot in my heart with another horse.  I can ride Dreamy, but at age 26 we are pretty limited to walking rides (with a little trot and canter!), and I don't dare do too much with her because she is what I would call pasture sound.  Not lame, but definitely she has a little hitch in her trot.

Despite the fact that I have enjoyed working with my Standardbred mares over the last fourteen years, my first love was the Morgan horse.  My first horse, Sparky, was from the Joydale Morgan Farm here in Maine, where I began my riding career, and her sire and dam were both Kennebec Morgans.  I learned to canter on Sparky's sire (the most well mannered stallion I have ever met), and I helped train her dam to go under saddle after she had been a broodmare for many years.  Before Sparky even came along to me…