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Showing posts from September, 2018

Ellie's Big Adventure - Equine Affaire 2019

On the last day of September, I received an email from the Vermont Morgan Horse Association asking if I would be interested in bringing Ellie to Equine Affaire in Massachusetts from November 7-10.  I became a member of VMHA this year when I decided to compete at Vermont Heritage Days; so even though I live in Maine and not Vermont haha, I made a snap decision to say yes!  
Honestly, it was 21 minutes after the email came in that I responded yes!  Then I had to figure out how to actually make it all happen hahahahaha.  Typical.
I attended Equine Affaire as a spectator a few times way back when and then for many years I ran the breed booth for the Standardbreds, including a four-day stint in C Barn with Dreamy back in 2013.  It is fun and exhausting to travel 4+ hours one way from home to talk with thousands of people, walk thousands of miles around the venue (ok, not that far but close), and ride in demos on a horse that has never seen such a huge venue (though in her defense, Ellie was …

State of Maine Dressage Association Schooling Show - September 16, 2018

Ellie and I competed in our fourth and final SMDA dressage show this past Saturday.  I will be honest, I choose to do this fourth one in order to gain our final year end scores, so I choose to ride Intro B and C again.  After showing at Training 1 back in August, I knew I wanted to move up, but I also realized that if I just did one more SMDA show at Intro, I could be eligible for awards.  It seemed silly not to qualify, as we have worked too hard this year not to.  But I also wanted the opportunity to ride Training 1 again in a show environment, instead of having to wait until next spring.

Because SMDA does not allow riders to compete at Training level if they are also riding Intro A or B, I had to asked permission to ride "HC", which is an abbreviation for hor concours, the French phrase that means riding without actually competing for a ribbon.  Thankfully, the board gave me permission and I signed up for all three tests.  It did not seem like two little Intro test and Tra…

There's Your Sign

A year ago, in August of 2017, I contacted the Stable Sign Co. about creating a sign for our barn.  Amelia was AWESOME about helping me come up with the right design, look, and size.  She is located in NH, about two hours away, in an area I don't frequent, so at first we discussed shipping and then she offered to meet me in Maine (they were visiting family for Labor Day weekend).

The sign is GORGEOUS.  I have had it stashed in my basement for a FULL YEAR, which has made me super sad haha.  My husband wanted to have our barn painted before we hung the sign (fair enough).  I happily bought ten gallons of red stain in April.  And then my husband stalled and stalled about getting started on the actual task of painting.  Once we had time in the summer, he claimed it was too hot (fair enough).

But FINALLY he started painting.  Even though I am obviously capable of painting, I know my husband well enough to know I would never "do it right", so I just let him be in charge LOL!  I …

Half Halts are Life

Ellie and I squeaked out a weekly dressage lesson every week this summer, including two weeks where we are able to get a jumping lesson in as well.  This was one of my biggest goals this year, to spend time and money on our education.  I feel fairly confident that I can bring along a horse myself, having successfully started three Standardbreds under saddle on my own, but I also fully admit and embrace that I am an adult amateur and have my own weaknesses that can negatively influence my horse.

Knowing that this mare is potentially more talented than any other horse I have owned, I definitely wanted help.  I wanted to have eyes on the ground.  I wanted to have someone who would push us but also make it fun.  To this end, I am super happy with my choice to lesson with Beth, as she has been EXACTLY what I need as a rider.  We have had really awesome lessons, and I always leave feeling as though I have learned something, possibly added a tool to my toolbox, and she always give us homework…

Saddle Fitting Appointment (Finally!)

Phew, it has been a crazy few weeks with school starting and my entire daily schedule changing entirely!  There is so much to write and no time to just sit down and do so.  

The biggest recent event is that after waiting on the saddle brand's rep/fitter since July, I finally gave up on that (she did schedule something for the end of August to only cancel on me late the night before....grrr!).  I contacted Nancy Sherick, who has fit saddles for me before years ago, and she came right out on September 4.  Now that is good customer service!  I will never bother to ask anyone else to fit my saddles from now on, that is for sure.  I figured Nancy would be too booked up or not come up here, but I was happily wrong!


I had a feeling that the wide tree was OK but the saddle just needed flocking up in the front. I also wasn't convinced the panels fit her just right but everything seemed so slightly off that I figured flocking could be the answer, not an entirely new saddle. I didn't q…