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Showing posts from July, 2018

Saddle Box review

I was contacted last week by Saddle Box's owner, Phil, who asked if I would review the product on my blog.  I am happy to do so!  All my opinions are my own and I am in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Saddle Box.   
Saddle Box is a monthly subscription box full of equine related goodies for both rider and horse!  It can contain items such as treats, grooming tools, books, and small tack.  It seems there are a lot of these surprise monthly subscription boxes in a variety of styles these days, and it was only a matter of time until one was made especially for horse folks!

The first box has a 15% off coupon, so it costs $29.71 the first month and $34.95 each month thereafter which includes shipping.  They do ship to Canada for an extra $10 shipping. You can buy a Saddle Box for yourself or give it as a gift.  Once you sign up, it will automatically renew (and charge your credit card) every month unless you indicate for no box that month. There are no returns unless you receive a…

Esprit Equestrian Center Combined Test - July 29, 2018

After a July full of dressage and jumping lessons, plus just the one little show at the crazy local fair haha, Ellie and I tried our first combined test this past weekend.  I entered the introductory division, which was Intro B and tiny crossrails.

This venue has an interesting indoor in that the long sides have a half wall with an aisle and row of stalls.  It is a small and dark 20x40 ring inside so you are right against the half wall.  The stalls were full of horses, so there was a lot of noise and activity on the other side of the half wall.  And when I say half wall, it is really slightly above Ellie's head so she couldn't quite see what was making the noise.  I had a feeling this would cause an issue, since the tests are all ridden in said indoor.  She warmed up well and I just tried to be super nonchalant about strolling into the indoor when it was our turn, thinking she might just be super chill about it too.

Yeah.

Ellie was rather terrified by the indoor therefore it was …

More Lessons, More Learning, & a Helping of WTF Are We Doing?!?

Overall, things are going well in Ellie land.  We had a dressage lesson last week and then both a dressage lesson and jump lesson this week.  

Our lesson last week was probably one of our most challenging rides as we did a lot of work on transitions within the trot and promptness in the upward canter transition (and really, promptness for ALL transitions).  Ellie is a weird combination of lazy and forward right now, as she definitely doesn't think she needs to be prompt about ANYTHING yet she also sometimes gets it into her head that Fast is Beautiful.  She seems to have a basic understanding of half halts, but the transitions within the trot were hard for her.  She's such a sensitive mare that I have to be tactful with my seat when asking for a bigger or smaller trot.  She started to understand what I was asking her, and we were able to correctly hold the differentiation in gait for a few strides.  This is definitely something to continue working on.  It wasn't pretty and …

Ossipee Valley Fair MHA Show - July 15, 2018

While my focus with Ellie is dressage and eventing, I do want to someday try some Morgan shows with her, therefore she needs to know how to conduct herself in a big ring with other horses.  There are plenty of little Maine Horse Association shows around (including a bunch at the same venue where we do some of our dressage shows at the Hollis Equestrian Park), but I have not yet wanted to spend $20-30 a class to have her be a pain in the ass haha since most of the shows are rated A and B. After several successful dressage outings, I finally I felt comfortable bringing her to an open show but then it was a matter of which one do we try?

It worked out perfectly to bring her to a little show at our local fairgrounds on the last Sunday of the fair.  We have no dressage shows in July, so this was a cheap and close to home way to gain experience for her.  The horse show has always been only open to 4-H kids in the past, but this year they affiliated with MHA and held a Class D show.  There we…

Our First Official Jumping Lesson!

While Ellie and I did enjoy a XC clinic earlier this summer with Daryl Kinney, Wednesday was our first official jumping lesson with Babette Lenna!  It has proven difficult to find a jumping instructor, so I took the chance to officially meet her and give a lesson a try.  I know of Babette from the New England eventing scene and had a feeling she would be a good fit for me, but this was the first time I rode with her.  One of the things I also liked when I checked her website was this: Babette's approach is driven by team spirit, taking part, learning, improving, and having fun.  The B Eventing team is built on camaraderie and supporting one another.  If that is not perfectly in line with everything I believe in, I don't know what is!

Babette comes to a local-ish private farm once a month to give lessons (local as in 50 minutes away #ruralMainelife) and when I realized this, I jumped (haha) at the chance to ride with her.  She is based out of Gathering Farm in MA, so having her …

Intro D

With having to move my Wednesday lesson up to Saturday, we ended up with just one ride (Sunday) and a day off (Monday) before our next lesson today (Tuesday).  It was kinda weird to not have more time to work on our "homework" but it was the only day I had this week.  

I opted to lesson in the outdoor again, because I like how it gives Ellie more distractions to work through and that we can school in what she has only before seen as a "horse show" ring where I don't train her.  Running through two five minute tests in a show setting without getting to fix mistakes is totally different than an hour lesson, and I swear she is smart enough to know this.

We started with some really nice trot work again, which was so encouraging.  Her trot is really coming along well into a much more relaxed and open trot, instead of her tiny little trit-trot pony strides she prefers.  I did a few canter transitions and she nailed all her leads.  I have to think so much about than ins…

Sweet Summertime

Tomorrow will mark three weeks since school was released for the summer.  As a teacher, it is no secret that I LOVE summer with all my heart.  I love being home with my kids and I love having lots of time for horses.

Sometimes I find it hard to figure out what to write here beyond lesson/ride recaps and horse shows haha.  I mean, there is a lot going on that I can share, but sometimes I wonder how much of that really matters to officially document.  It is boring to only write ride/show summaries or is it boring to write about the mundane parts of life?  I hate going too long without a post of some sort, so I am just going to write haha.



We had an intense (for us) heat wave last week, with the temps in the 90s with the humidity not far behind, so after the show on Saturday, I gave her Sunday and Monday off.  Monday is her normal day off anyway, so I figured I would just pick things back up with a low key dressage ride on Tuesday.  I rode Tuesday and Wednesday nights around 7:30p, as it f…