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Showing posts from March, 2018

Hidden Brook Farm Dressage Schooling Show - June 2, 2019

Ellie and I did a show at our lesson barn this past weekend instead of taking a lesson.  I would have done a lesson on Saturday before the show, but my instructor went to NEDA Spring with her eldest daughter, who was able to get her last Grand Prix score for her USDF Gold Medal!!!  So that is a good reason to not be able to lesson haha.

I admit I was a little bummed about our low scores at the SMDA show two weeks prior.  I know a score of 6 (60%) is called satisfactory, but I really thought our performance was better than a low 60%.
I was determined to ride well and even though Beth was not there, I had her youngest daughter as my back up if the wheels fell off the bus LOL!  She was already in the warmup and at the show ring with her actual students, so it was nice to have her there to remind me to breathe and not hang on the left rein!  ;-)
Ellie unloaded and was totally calm.  Honestly, she loves her lesson barn and knows it is her second home haha.  She was much calmer tied to the tra…

The First Show Season

I love when show dates start rolling in and I can create a new Google Doc with all shows and opening dates neatly color coded.  Yes, I am that person haha.  Normally, I have a very clear plan in my mind of what I want to do with whatever horse I am going to do it with.  But this year I have felt super overwhelmed because as much as I want to DO ALL THE THINGS, I have to remember that my horse is young and this will be her first show season.  There are literally close to fifty different shows I could do but obviously won't do them all haha. There are many Sundays that have two or even three shows on the same day and I have to choose what to do.  It comes down to what are my goals and what is my budget.


As much as my real love is eventing, with some dressage shows thrown in, that is just not what Ellie is ready for yet.  Our eventual goal is to do a handful of dressage shows and events each year, but that year is not now.  We jumped two ground pole courses and one cross rail course i…

Bitting Miss Ellie, Part 3

Yes folks, we are onto part 3 in the saga of finding the right bit for the young 'un.  Like anything else with horses, every animal is different and what we think may work best isn't always what ends up actually working.

To briefly recap, we started in the JP French link eggbutt, and I moved her to a Neue Schule lozenge eggbutt thanks to a little Christmas money.  She really seemed to like the Neue Schule better than the regular French link, but man oh man, she was still so chompy.  At first, I was willing to chalk it up to her greenness and then later on to her slight nervousness at times with riding out and about in the snowy fields and such.  She had her teeth fully floated and examined in November, so I knew I could rule out any teeth issue.


But it eventually dawned on me that this horse wasn't chomping on the bit due to greenness, nerves, or teeth problems, and it had to be the bit itself.  Huh.  My last three horses have all loved the French link design, but I started …

30 Facts About Me: A (Reluctant) Blog Hop

I have been enjoying everyone else's 30 Facts blog hop, inspired by May As Well Event, but I admit I have not wanted to join in on the fun haha.  Writing thirty interesting facts about me seem rather uninteresting, but then I realize I don't have much else to write right now except about Ellie being fun to hack around in the snow (*yawn*) so I finally just started writing.  And it took me quite a while to finish all thirty haha.  I was stuck after writing the first eleven for several days because I just couldn't think of things about myself to write.  It took me almost four weeks to get this finished!  
1.  I am super short at just barely 5' tall.  I am actually child sized and have often been mistaken for a student when I worked in high schools.  I am now at a middle school, and while the children are all still taller than me haha, I guess the increasing grey hair and wrinkles help me look older.  I have been slowly going grey since I was eighteen anyway and have so fa…

Being Brave in the Sn*w

Complaining about the sn*w is getting old, but it started sn*wing on Tuesday at 10AM and it didn't stop until Wednesday at dark.  As far as I can tell, in that time frame we gained 20" of sn*w (on top of the 18" from last Thursday).  Three sn*w days from school in five days is just crazy.  This is AFTER the ground was just about bare and we had mud started, so I feel like I have a right to be crabby haha.  Winter just won't stop this year.

I keep thinking I will schedule a lesson, but the driveway becomes covered in sn*w again.  Because it is 1000' long and on a steep hill, I am not comfortable trailering on it if it is not bare (it was bare the other day.....grrr).  I also keep thinking that I ought to probably be doing something MORE than just traipsing around in the sn*w before we start lessons, so I just feel stuck.  I look at the numerous things we could do in April and I can't even pick one.  Do I aim for a dressage show?  Do I dare sign up for a 2-phase…

Strangles Vaccine

Every spring, I dutifully schedule my vet to administer spring shots for my horses, though I do teeth floating in the fall to not only break up the co$t$, but also I prefer not to do shots and floating all in the same day on a poor horse!  We always do the same things: Coggins, EEE/WEE/tet/flu/rhino, rabies, strangles, Potomac, and West Nile.  I haven't pulled a Coggins on Dreamy for several years since she is retired, but otherwise every horse gets all the things.  I choose to do this because I travel around a lot when showing and I don't want to bring anything back to the farm.  I also choose to have my vet do my shots instead of doing them myself for several reasons, including the fact I would need him here anyway for rabies and Coggins, so it has always just been worth it to me to have the vet out and be done with it.  I know everyone is different and what works for me might not work for someone else.
Anyway, this year with Ellie was a little different.  When I purchased he…

Pony Card

Because I am the kind of person who likes to "get things done" and we have had a lot of snow days for me to sit around and think of things like this, I got it into my head I should look into getting Ellie's pony card this year.  I have already done her lifetime USDF and USEA registrations, and being sure she had her pony card seemed like an easy thing to do.  Mostly, I have a dream of someday doing Pony Cup and I don't want to try to get her pony card for the first time ever in KY, because while Ellie sticks at 14.1, I wouldn't want to get all the way to KY from ME and be told she doesn't measure correctly.

So, I reach out to a few local USDF shows in Maine, and I find that because they are level 1 shows, they don't have to offer measurements.  Fair enough.


Hello!  I am writing to find out if any of the TDs at your dressage shows this year would be able to help me obtain a pony measurement card for my 14.1 hand horse.
I reach out to the next closest USDF sho…

Morgan Horse Breed Type & Distortions

So, with a new Morgan horse in my life and a new opportunity to show said new Morgan, I have had renewed interest in the breed itself and in potentially doing breed shows at some point.  Of course, this has led me to bemoan how conformation, type, and show divisions have changed so much over the years.

When I posted the photos of Morgans here, I wondered how my blog readers would respond.  Interestingly enough, many of you did guess that, indeed, all photos are of Morgan horses (as long as the captions are to be believed in Creative Commons!).  At first I was happy to think you guys "know" the breed, but that soon changed to disappointment.

See, my ideal type of Morgan is the classic sport horse, from Old Government, Lippitt, and western working lines.  This is the type of Morgan I grew up with and fell in love with.  And much of what we are currently looking at in the show rings (especially hunter pleasure - more on that in a minute) right now do NOT look like that.  In fact,…