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Course Brook Farm Horse Trials - July 28, 2019

After a successful first-ever horse trial with Ellie in the spring, I decided to try a new-to-me venue for our July horse trial.  I also felt we were definitely ready to move up a level, from Introductory 18" to Elementary 2'.  Honestly, could we jump higher and do a more difficult dressage test?  Yes.  But I am a firm believer in setting my horse up for success by not over facing her, and knowing this would be a true cross country course through the woods, I didn't want anything to seem hard or scary to her.  I wanted us both to feel confident by having a positive experience.
Ellie and I traveled down to Course Brook Farm in Massachusetts on July 28, and while it was a long trip there, Ellie unloaded and settled in easily. Traffic had been heavier than I anticipated, so while we were not running late, I definitely had no extra time once we arrived. I did not realize this venue was actually A LOT bigger than I imagined, with 160 (!!!!) horses competing that day.  Ellie had…

Christmas Tradition

For the first time that I can remember, we had a white Christmas Day!  Generally there is always snow on the ground here in Maine already, and maybe we get a few flurries that day, but I don't ever remember a true snowstorm on Christmas!
The view out our side living room window on Christmas morning when my husband went out to plow around 8:30AM.  We ended up with close to a foot by the time it dwindled down around 1PM.  What you can't see in this pic is just how hard it was snowing.

Santa arrived!  And then she had a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate chip cheesecake before heading to bed on Christmas Eve!  ;-)
We had a really great Christmas, even if it was quiet.  No one wanted to travel in the storm, of course, so we ended up seeing family on Christmas Eve day and night.  It was odd to cook a meal for just the four of us, but honestly, it was rather nice to just relax.

It has become a tradition to ride my horses bareback on Christmas Day, though watching it snow like crazy all day made me think maybe I would just skip out this year haha.  It was cold and blowing and didn't really seem like the warmest best plan.  I started this when I got my first horse, Sparky in 1993, and except for the year I was gifted my first dressage saddle, I have ridden my horses bareback on Christmas!

Then around 1PM, it seemed to stop, so I figured I would at least toss them outside until dark.  Once I got out there, put both horses out, recleaned stalls, and set up for PM feed, the sun was trying hard to appear.  With renewed Christmas spirit haha, I grabbed my helmet and Dreamy's bridle.  I figured I would start with her, since I had no idea what Ellie might think.

Dreamy wasn't super impressed but she humored me.
Ellie was actually perfect, which was fun!
Didn't even groom anyone, so her mane was extra wild haha!
I figured worse case scenario, I would slide off into the snow.  There was plenty of cushion there LOL!

The sun made its full appearance by the time I finished with Ellie.  It really is pretty, but now it can be summer again haha!
It was a perfect day!  We just toddled around the back field and small paddock at the walk, maybe ten minutes per horse.  Though I generally stick to horse cookie treats, I had bought a bag of carrots for Christmas, so they each had a few after I rode.  They had a few more chunked up in their PM grain.  I feel very lucky to continue this tradition over the past twenty something years, and I hope I can always do so.  :-)

Comments

  1. We had to BE places too early on Christmas day for me to do this! Otherwise I would have loved to hop on bareback in the snow, and we got a ton too here in Michigan!

    I satisfied myself with making a hot mash as a breakfast treat topped with peppermints.

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    1. There you go! I am sure they loved a Christmas mash! When my oldest was born and we spent a crazy day driving all over the place on Christmas Day (he was seven months old on his first Christmas), it was such a ridiculously stressful day I vowed to not leave the house again! Everyone now is either seen on Christmas Eve or are welcome to come to our house any time on Christmas Day. It just wasn't worth the stress of trying to do a tree at home, see everyone in a 50 mile radius, do AM & PM chores at approximate times, deal with a child who wouldn't nap hahaha!

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  2. I might need to steal this tradition - though I don't think either of my horses are well behaved enough to not try to murder me when I don't have anything to hang on to! Sounds like a lovely, lovely holiday :)

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    1. I definitely had a moment of hesitation with Ellie, since she can be fizzy and I have never ridden her bareback yet! But the snow seemed like it would be a fairly comfortable spot to land haha!

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  3. I love riding in fresh fallen snow!

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  4. aw what a perfect tradition! merry christmas!

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  5. Bareback in the snow in Christmas. What a lovely tradition.

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    1. Thank you! I think I will haul myself up there even when I am too old haha! ;-)

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    1. Definitely a highlight of the holiday for me! But now it can be summer! -15 here this morning!!

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  7. The snow is so pretty, but it does make driving difficult. One day I'll see your barn. One day.

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    1. I cannot believe it SNOWED and iced so much!! Ah well. Someday for sure!! :-)

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  8. So pretty and so fun! I got Georgie out for a hack as well and it was so peaceful and beautiful. A great part of a great day!

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  9. What a great tradition! Sounds like you had a very merry xmas :)

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