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2019 Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange

For the fourth year in a row, I participated in the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange, which Tracy so kindly hosts (and has for seven years)!  I love choosing gifts for a fellow blogger, trying to find just the right thing to match their likes and interests.  And it is definitely fun to come home from work to a surprise package of horsey things for me!


This year, I received my gift quite early!  Thank you so much Eventing Saddlebred Style for the two surprises this past week!  She must have been checking out my Pinterest board I indicated I have, as these are both from my "want" category haha.

Plus, this is a new-to-me blog, so as soon as I finish this entry, I plan to tag along as a follower.  I like adding to my reading list, even though I have been terrible at commenting lately.


The cute little fox mug just makes me laugh.  I definitely cannot bring it to the middle school where I teach hahahaha, but I have already used it here at home a few times!

And the teal lead rope is aw…

Bloghop: Favorites of 2018

Thanks to Amanda for starting a fun little bloghop!

Favorite Show Picture
This is from our first dressage show ever, in May at our lesson barn.  It is a crappy screenshot from a video, but I love how Ellie looks like a proper little dressage pony!  Sadly, there were no photographers at any of the shows we did this year, so I was unable to purchase professional photos.


Favorite Non-Show Picture
This is such a sweet photo of my three year old son and Ellie.  She is so kind and this photo exemplifies her personality.




Favorite Thing You Bought
I don't know if I have a favorite thing, but for this blog post it would be my pretty blue AA Platinum MotionLite show coat.  The coat is such a great color and just different enough to stand out in a good way.  Also, it is so super comfortable and breathable, it is the best show coat I have ever worn.  I splurged and bought the hunter green as well.  



Favorite Moment on Horseback
This would probably be our XC clinic with Daryl, because it was so much d…

My First Not-Ellie Riding Lesson

To be honest, this was my first not-my-own-horse riding lesson in a looooong while!  I rode my former instructor's Second level horse a couple times back in 2009 and 2010, and I regularly rode school horses when in college from 1997-2001.  So to ride a horse that is not my own in a lesson situation was definitely strange...and good!

No media from the lesson, but I will share a few pics so this isn't a hugely boring post haha.
Beth had been mentioning all summer how she wanted to stick me on her daughter's twenty two year old Grand Prix horse and we decided we would wait for winter to do so.  Well, mostly I decided that because I wanted to lesson on Ellie all year haha.  I knew once winter hit and my driveway became unsafe for moving a trailer, I would be happy to ride the GP schoolmaster.  My last Ellie lesson was back at the end of November with the Ashley Madison clinic.  The first weekend of December I was supposed to take a jumping lesson instead of going to Beth's (…

2018 Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange

This is the third year I have participated in the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange, hosted by Tracy at Printable Pony.  I love everything about Christmas (well, except the whole sn*w part...) especially choosing and wrapping a thoughtful gift for another.  Don't get me wrong, it is also fun to receive something fun from a blogger in the mail, too!  ;-)  I know how excited I feel when the box shows up on my doorstep, so I also love giving that feeling to a fellow horse lover!

I came home from my lesson barn's Christmas party on Saturday to a box at the door.  As I am waiting for a few last Christmas gifts to arrive, I didn't think much of it at first.  Then I realized WAIT, this is for ME! and happily tore into the box like a child haha.  

Sarah at Three Chestnuts blog did a great job choosing some fun gifts!  Somehow I was not officially following her blog, so now I am!


I love the treats, both the bag of Meadow Mints and her own handmade pumpkin molasses treats she uses for h…

2018 in Review

2018 was quite the year for Ellie!  I remember being so excited and nervous in May for our first ever dressage tests and having NO real clue how this year might pan out.  I had so many plans and ideas, but I took my cues from Ellie and what she needed and was ready for.

The following goals are what I outlined back on the first day of January 2018.  Let's see how it all worked out, shall we?  


Start dressage/jumping lessons
The eventing instructor I alluded to in my above post never really panned out.  I reached out to her initially in November 2017 to see if she was taking new students and she seemed excited to help me, but when I contacted her in April to actually begin lessons, she was a bit noncommittal.  She said weekends were too hard for her to schedule anything and weekdays were all over the place.  I was like uhhhh, alright (insert confused and sad face).  At that point, I had already started dressage lessons with Beth, so I kind of took the response as a sign that maybe she …

You're killing me, Smartpak! :-(

Oh, Smartpak.  What is happening?  :-(

Let me start by saying I have loved Smartpak forever and have been a loyal customer since they started.  I have bought supplements through Smartpak for over ten years at least.  I know there are varying opinions about Smartpak out there, however I have always had great luck with them and I really have had no complaints until now.  Generally, I check Smartpak first when I am looking for a horse related item, mostly because I get free shipping with the standing supplement order (let's be real, paying for shipping is dumb if you can help it!) and because they ship from MA, I generally get orders within two days.

Well, it seems they have been having issues with their warehouse system for a while now.  I never really noticed the problems on my end, because my Smartpak supplements always arrived faithfully every 28 days and general items I ordered were still showing up within a few days, too.

Then I had the big idea to switch Ellie over to Gro 'N …

Dressage Clinic with Ashley Madison - November 24, 2018

Just over a month ago, Beth encouraged me to sign up to ride in a clinic at her farm with Ashley Madison, of Yellow Wood Dressage in Maryland.  Ashley was an accomplished young rider here in Maine and then spent ten years working for Scott and Susanne Hassler before branching out on her own.  She has brought along horses to GP and is a USDF Gold Medalist. 

I love that Beth wants to me clinic with other instructors if I have the chance, as it shows that she is confident enough in herself to know that she's forever my dressage mom at this point (haha) but that we can both also glean insight from others.  Beth was at my lesson and it was also beneficial to her as my primary instructor to hear what Ashely had to say.  As someone who loves to learn in all aspects of life, it is refreshing to be partnered with another person who also wants her students to always be learning, whether that is from her or someone else.  

However, I was hesitant for a few reasons, the biggest being the time o…

A Weekend of Learning - Part 2 (aka the bucking canter)

After a great in hand lesson a week ago Saturday as I wrote about here, a week ago Sunday we went to Beth's for our regular dressage lesson.  It was cold (five degrees colder up north at her farm than it was at mine!) and windy when we arrived, and I struggled with keeping Ellie's saddle pad from blowing away as I was tacking up LOL.  Needless to say, she was a little tight and reactive when I first got on down at the indoor.  I spent time walking her around, asking for changes of bend to get her to relax.  I asked for a trot and she was still tight; it was obvious that despite the fact she was listening, she was looking for any excuse to spook.

Beth arrived to the indoor and I started feeling like maybe this was going to be a stressful lesson lol.  Ellie isn't an inherently spooky horse in my opinion and she has a good brain, but she is sensitive.  I chatted with Beth a little and just stayed relaxed, and we started working on getting Ellie to really stretch out to the con…