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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 …

Maine Morgan Horse Club Banquet and Annual Meeting 2017

Owning Ellie sparked me to renew my Maine Morgan and AMHA memberships after a roughly fifteen year hiatus.  (This also means that I dropped my US Trotting membership, which was kinda sad, but there is no real reason for me to stay a member any longer.)  

When I saw a Facebook event for the Maine Morgan banquet and annual meeting, I had a fleeting thought I should attend.  After all, it was being held at Pineland Farm, which is just under an hour away (that's close when you live where I do in rural Maine haha) and it is a phenomenal facility.  I always think it is important to be social, even though I am naturally not a social person.  And, they were honoring Miss Gardiner in a Hall of Fame induction, so I thought it might be nice to be a part of that, considering I now own one of her Kennbec Morgans.
Pineland is slightly gorgeous!  ;-)
(Side note: Pineland is no longer the dressage facility it boasts about on the website.  Just last month, they cleaned house and now a Morgan trainer is there in one of the barns.  Pineland is a unique 5000 acres, that includes three farms, owned by a non profit charitable foundation.  Basically, a really rich lady donated millions of dollars to build these farms.  It's kind of neat and unique, but sadly the equestrian center has never really taken off in the way I thought it would.  But, this isn't a post about Pineland.)

Anyway, I ended up deciding to attend at the last minute and I am glad I did.  There was a catered dinner, year end awards, a board meeting (which was mostly about honoring many of the past officers and board of directors), and of course, the first three inductees into the Hall of Fame.  Afterwards, we all went to the indoor to watch a few Morgans presented in hand, in carriage, and under saddle.

It was definitely an honor to be considered a part of the "Kennebec crew".  I admit I got a little teary as they talked about Miss Gardiner's life and how she has dedicated herself to breeding over two hundred wonderful sport Morgans since the 1940s.  She will be 96 years old next month, and as I have alluded to before, her breeding program is in its twilight.  I will always count my blessings that I am able to own Ellie and continue Miss Gardiner's legacy.  

Miss Gardiner is seated on left in a red coat.  That is her neice next to her, who came
up from Boston to see her aunt honored.  The rest of us own Kennebec Morgans!  That's me in the middle with the white sweater and scarf, which is probably one of the few photos of me on here without a riding helmet hahaha! 

A page from the banquet program of Miss Gardiner


We even made the cover photo for the club's FB page hahaha!  
The Kennebec barn manager rode her eventing horse in the first demo, jumping him a few times and then a local Morgan saddleseat trainer rode him, which was pretty much the funniest thing I have ever seen haha.  He even jumped him (the fence was lowered!) and it was really fun.  There is a video on her Facebook page that is public, so hopefully you all can see.  

Next they brought out a 3 year old driving horse, and he nearly had an explosion while they were hooking him.  :-(  I was definitely nervous watching him, because clearly he had never seen a crowd and was quite riled up.  I am not really someone who gets super nervous with horses, but having seen carriage wrecks (and having been in a carriage wreck with Sparky myself), I was ready to go home.  The remaining four horses they were showing off were all saddleseat horses anyway (someday I should write about my feelings on the way the Morgan breed has shifted from sport horses to Saddlebred look-alikes, but let's keep it positive today!) and I wasn't really that interested.  

I should have stayed, because the Kennebec BM ended up riding one of the saddleseat horses after he was presented.  How fun to have horse swaps and it was all an "auction" where riders paid (a donation to the club) for the honor of riding the horse!  :-)

All in all, I am glad I went.  Maybe someday Ellie and I will qualify for year end awards through Maine Morgan!

Comments

  1. Sounds like a fun time, that equestrian center sounds amazing!

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    1. Pineland is so amazing! I used to lesson a few times a year with the former dressage trainer who worked out of there.

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  2. It's so cool that you have a regional breed club! And that farm is gorgeous, holy cow 😍

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    1. Right!?!?! It is out of control gorgeous! And it is super fun to have a state breed club for sure! A lot of the members do the park/classic pleasure show thing, but I am hopeful to represent of the small but mighty sport horse! We used to have a Morgan show in every New England state, but lately ME and NH have combined forces into one show, which I am hoping to use as a springboard for Ellie's eventing/dressage career!

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    2. welcome "home" to Maine Morgan Horse Club. We have something for everyone whether you are interested in the show ring (at any level), dressage, carriage driving, working western, eventing, trail, or just riding or driving at home for your own pleasure.

      We are so happy that you attended and look forward to your input!

      Contact me at any time at pamvose1@hotmail.com!

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  3. what a cool opportunity - esp with all the demo rides!! sounds like a great group of people too

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    1. It was really fun! I hope to enjoy socializing and showing with the club!

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  4. i still wish i had gotten a kennebec morgan when i could!! I love them. I did have a HVK Morgan from Nemours back in the day and I got a Green Bay one too. But I would have LOVED a kennebec. But no matter i will love Ellie through your adventures :) HA that looks like it was a fun time!! very cool.......

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    1. They still have two babies available!!!!! ;-) But you are totally an honorary auntie and have to meet/ride her sometime!

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  5. 5000 acres?! Heaven. That auction is a great idea to fundraise too. Sounds like a fun time.

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    1. It is so gorgeous it doesn't feel real when you are there LOL! Just a lovely place! They even have a restaurant (yummy) and market which is full of good stuff!

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  6. It sounds like a fun time. That place is truly gorgeous.

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    1. It was so fun and I am really glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone!

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