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Showing posts from April, 2018

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…

More Lesson Recap - This time with VIDEO!

Ellie and I had a great lesson this past Saturday and while I know this is incredibly boring blog content, writing this stuff down for ME is really the reason I started this blog in the first place back in 2008.  So feel free to skip haha.  ;-)

We started by doing a lot of walk warmup, which really seems to help her right now.  She starts every ride, at a lesson or at home, by hurrying along in this really crap walk (think running down a hill with a wheelbarrow full of rocks haha) and looking around halfheartedly for things to potentially spook at.  It is annoying but it is just where she is right now in her training and in her baby mind, so I just focus on regulating her walk and making her do schooling figures all over the place.  It helps settle her down to "get to work" because she is just not going to start out on a long rein and mosey around for a few minutes just yet.  Thankfully, being thoughtful and methodical with her walk warmup means that within five minutes, she …

So many lessons!

OK, only three so far, but I am loving them!

Despite my Sunday lesson having to be cancelled due to icy roads, I was able to reschedule for Wednesday since we are on school vacation!  Ellie was MUCH better this time about arriving at a new farm and after only a few moments of looking around with wide eyes and a small bit of walking around the barnyard as I chatted with the barn owner, I was able to tie her right up and get her brushed and tacked up.  

I got to the indoor about 15 minutes before my lesson was to start and she was so calm on the lunge line that I got on within ten minutes.  Just as I got on, another rider came into the ring, who was only planning to ride for about ten minutes.  Normally I would expect Ellie to not care, as she is generally calm about horses in the ring with her, but for some reason she was obsessed with this horse.  Like every time the other horse got close to her, she started to jig and swing her haunches around, almost as if she wanted to go meet this o…

Eliot was right

April really IS the cruelest month.  Ugg.  It is no secret those of us who live where winter is a season are all totally completely OVER winter.  We started our school vacation week here in Maine on Friday, and it was a lovely sunny near 60 degree day.  Pretty much what one might expect of a beautiful spring day.

And then the temperature dropped significantly yesterday (Saturday) and it started to rain, sleet, snow, etc. and isn't supposed to let up until Monday afternoon.  Forecasters like to call this a "wintery mix".  It is currently 28 degrees, real feel of 21.  Yeah.

Needless to say, I did not have my weekly lesson today.  I don't drive in the ice, never mind truck a horse.  :-(  

Instead of feeling sorry for myself because of the weather haha, I will say we had great rides this week.  And it has to warm up eventually, right?  RIGHT?!

I gave her Monday off and we rode the rest of the week, even yesterday morning before it started raining.  Working to slow down the w…

Shires Equestrian Contest

I have never really though of myself as a lucky person, and I am not usually one to win contests or raffles.  I have never bought lottery tickets or placed bets on anything (other than random $2 bets at the track here and there haha).  However, over the last few years on social media, it seems there has been an increase in contests.  Generally, these contests are easy to enter and I am a firm believer that you can't win unless you try!

Last year I won a $250 shopping spree to Noble Outfitters, which was super exciting.  I had totally forgotten I had entered until I got the email that I won haha.  

A few weeks back, I entered a contest on Facebook through Shires Equestrian for a pair of rubber boots.  And much to my surprise, I won!

The prize was a new pair of Rockfish boots, which is perfect because we are right at the beginning of mud season.  I wore out a pair of original Hunter Wellies over the span of about fifteen years and bought my current pair five years ago that I am not in …

Ellie's First Riding Lesson (and we all survived)

After a winter spent talking and thinking about taking lessons this spring, I finally was able to go to our first one today!!  As I readied the trailer and loaded my tack, I felt slightly nervous, hoping Ellie would get on the trailer since we haven't practiced since December (she did, first try!) and would ride well for her fifth trailer ride of her life (she was great even though the back roads of Maine are bumpy and full of potholes at the moment!).  I have known Beth for years(the farm owner and my new instructor) through the local dressage scene and not only has she brought horses along to Grand Prix, both of her daughters have as well (and a few of those horses were born right on their farm!).  So while this was the first time I rode with Beth, I knew her personality and experience would work well for me.  They put on several schooling shows each year, and I competed there with Dreamy in 2008 and 2009 at the beginning of her show career.
Knowing this was Ellie's first rea…

Transitioning into Real Work

We are finally at the stage where much of the snow is gone and the wait for everything to dry out has begun.  That means after an entire winter of hacking around at the walk in deep snow, we can finally start doing something a little more productive.

Don't get me wrong, the hacking has been great for her brain and for us to get to know one another.  As Denny Emerson is always writing and I agree with wholeheartedly, hacking out at a brisk walk is a great way to build strength, balance, and confidence.  And I feel as though we have begun to establish a fitness baseline so it is not as though Ellie is totally out of shape from sitting all winter.  This is a good place to be, therefore I am trying not to feel the impatience of waiting for the ring to dry out.  Sadly, the flat area I call my ring isn't really a ring at all; however, I don't want to dump money into fixing this spot because the REAL ring is going to be located in a different area on the farm altogether.  But that…