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Showing posts from June, 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…

Lessons and Progress

After starting summer vacation last Wednesday, this has been the first full week off.  It has been SUPER busy, but I cannot complain! Ellie and I have had three lessons this week, which is crazy.  I wish this was real life haha, but sadly it is just a fluke this week.  We took our regular weekly lesson on Sunday instead of Saturday, as my husband had a pull with his young steers on Saturday.  It was their second pull of the year/of their lives and they did well.


Then, of course, we had the XC clinic on Monday (her regular day off), so I gave her Tuesday off instead.  And now that summer has arrived, I moved my weekly dressage lessons to Wednesdays, so I figured what the heck, might as well start this week!  So that is how we ended up with lesson #3 of the week yesterday.
Generally, with weekly lessons I have good homework to do in between so it was kinda weird not having a regular dressage school on our own before seeing Beth again haha.  And I have been skipping the lesson the weekends …

Ellie's first XC outing!

I love summer and being a teacher, because it means that it is super easy for me to go to a XC clinic on a Monday morning haha!  Back in April, a local(ish) barn posted a FB event for a clinic with Daryl Kinney, former barn manager at Tamarack Hill Farm and now out on her own.  I had met Daryl when I spent the week at Camp Denny in 2013, and I really admire her as a rider.  I happily sent off my entry, despite the fact I had NO idea if Ellie would even be ready to do a XC clinic in a short two months.

She was totally ready!  We had a great ride, though there were some bobbles.  She is green and needs more exposure, of course, so it is to be expected.  


Though my weather app called for partly cloudy skies, the morning was super rainy.  I loaded up Ellie in a pissy mood because I really REALLY did not want to ride in the nasty rain LOL!  It looked as though it was going to clear in time for our 10:45 ride time, so I just told myself to get over myself because how can anyone be pissy when …

Hidden Brook Farm Dressage Schooling Show - June 17, 2018

Ellie has been really settling into the horse show routine, and this past weekend we were able to do our fourth show of the year at my lesson barn.  I love these little local schooling shows where we can be gone for only a few hours and not break the bank either.  I have videos of the tests but I cannot seem to get them uploaded to Vimeo at the moment.  I basically forced my 14 year old to come along to capture media hahaha.

The show didn't start until 9:30 and our first ride time wasn't until quarter of 11.  Ellie unloaded off the trailer slightly up because they were moving around haying equipment to go off to the fields.  She couldn't see what was making the racket and she was slightly on edge.  I had given myself plenty of time (probably too much time), so instead of immediately tying her to the trailer and dealing with her being a nuisance, we headed down to the indoor to just walk around.  This did the trick for her, as she immediately quieted down and realized where …

Overcoming the NOPE

On the whole, Ellie has been a fairly reasonable mare who has agreed to most of the things I have asked her to do.  She's really not the type of horse to refuse something (at least not so far) unless she is worried or is truly green about the situation.

A few weeks ago, I introduced her to a small stream on a her first real solo trail ride.  She had no issue, mostly because it wasn't steep and there was very little water.

Yesterday, we went a little further out on the trail to the second water crossing.  This is much more technical question for her.  There is a snowmobile bridge over the stream, which is not safe at all, so in order to continue down the trail, we have to go down to the left of the bridge.  It is a little steep and narrow, and there is more water though it doesn't move fast at all.  I have crossed it many times with both Snappy and Dreamy, so I know it is safe and doable.  
Ellie decided she'd rather not try.  I got a pretty big NOPE from her as soon as sh…

State of Maine Dressage Schooling Show - June 10, 2018

Off we went to our third show of the year this past Sunday.  I was MUCH LESS nervous than the first SMDA show back in May, because I felt much more confident in Ellie's ability to act like a big girl haha.  She turned six the day beforehand, so obviously she's gotta grow up now!  ;-)
Instead of arriving two hours ahead of our first ride time, I opted to get there with just over an hour.  I checked in and we took a quick walk around the show grounds.  Ellie was perfectly calm and happy, so I tied her to the trailer and spent time brushing and tacking her up.  She warmed up easily and didn't act nervous at all, which was really great.  She definitely seemed to remember being there before and went right to work without worrying about a thing. 

Intro B is an easy test for us, but it is the perfect warm up test right now.  The nine movements earned us all 7s, one 7.5 for a walk to trot transition, and then a 5 on the final center line haha.  We halted and she totally swung her hi…

What's in YOUR Tack Room? Series

I love reading about what other people use in their horsekeeping arrangements, and last summer I started a little series "What's in YOUR Tack Room?"

I didn't get very far...

Showing Edition (show tack and clothing, which has changed slightly with the new pony)

Trailer Edition (what is in the trailer tack room)

First Aid Kit Edition

Grooming Tote Edition

What else should I write about?  School is winding down, and I am not taking any graduate courses this summer, so I am going to need to do some writing haha!



Improving Communication

As with any relationship, good communication is key.  With Ellie being so green under saddle when I first bought her last fall, it took time to install the basics of communication.  She mostly understood leg meant go and reins meant turn or stop, but it was super basic and the human equivalent of baby babble haha.

Obviously, the longer she has been under saddle, the more she has learned about communicating under saddle.  We have come a long way, but there is still much to learn.  At times, she still doesn't want to believe that leg can mean sideways and not just forward.  She doesn't always believe me that when I open my inside rein, I really mean for her to bend forward and down rather than throw her head up.  She's starting to understand how the outside rein controls her shoulder.

All of this is good and she is progressing as one would expect.  However, being an adult amateur who rides alone, I have developed habits that don't always allow the best communication.  ;-) …