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Showing posts from November, 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…

Dressage Clinic with Ashley Madison - November 24, 2018

Just over a month ago, Beth encouraged me to sign up to ride in a clinic at her farm with Ashley Madison, of Yellow Wood Dressage in Maryland.  Ashley was an accomplished young rider here in Maine and then spent ten years working for Scott and Susanne Hassler before branching out on her own.  She has brought along horses to GP and is a USDF Gold Medalist. 

I love that Beth wants to me clinic with other instructors if I have the chance, as it shows that she is confident enough in herself to know that she's forever my dressage mom at this point (haha) but that we can both also glean insight from others.  Beth was at my lesson and it was also beneficial to her as my primary instructor to hear what Ashely had to say.  As someone who loves to learn in all aspects of life, it is refreshing to be partnered with another person who also wants her students to always be learning, whether that is from her or someone else.  

However, I was hesitant for a few reasons, the biggest being the time o…

A Weekend of Learning - Part 2 (aka the bucking canter)

After a great in hand lesson a week ago Saturday as I wrote about here, a week ago Sunday we went to Beth's for our regular dressage lesson.  It was cold (five degrees colder up north at her farm than it was at mine!) and windy when we arrived, and I struggled with keeping Ellie's saddle pad from blowing away as I was tacking up LOL.  Needless to say, she was a little tight and reactive when I first got on down at the indoor.  I spent time walking her around, asking for changes of bend to get her to relax.  I asked for a trot and she was still tight; it was obvious that despite the fact she was listening, she was looking for any excuse to spook.

Beth arrived to the indoor and I started feeling like maybe this was going to be a stressful lesson lol.  Ellie isn't an inherently spooky horse in my opinion and she has a good brain, but she is sensitive.  I chatted with Beth a little and just stayed relaxed, and we started working on getting Ellie to really stretch out to the con…

A Weekend of Learning - Part 1

This past weekend was such an interesting learning experience for Ellie (and for me, too)!  We had two lessons, one Saturday with a new instructor and one on Sunday with Beth, and both left me feeling inspired and ready to enter the worst season for me (winter!).  Anything I can do to feel motivated and inspired when it will soon be below freezing and the footing will turn to ice/snow is a good thing haha.

A dressage rider/trainer/judge from Maine (who spends her winters in Florida) had posted on Facebook that she was available for lessons at a barn fairly close to me, so I immediately sent her a message.  I wasn't interested in taking a dressage lesson but an in-hand/trick training lesson instead!  Besides dressage, Sandy does a ton of performing at liberty, bareback, bridleless, and incorporates tricks as well.  She has started doing an art on horseback thing, too.  Now, I have no aspirations of ever doing performances, nor do I want to paint from my horse's back, but I do wa…

25 Questions Blog Hop

I finally have time to sit down and join the latest blog hop from Amanda at The $900 Facebook Pony. I have kind of missed NaBloPoMo from last year, but blog hops are just as fun (and less work than posting for 30 days straight for this busy mama haha!)
Why horses? Why not a sane sport, like soccer or softball or curling? That is a darn good question LOL! I don't really remember what first sparked my intense love of all things equine, but I remember begging for almost a year to start riding lessons. At age six, my parents finally indulged me, and I haven't looked back going on thirty four years this spring! What was your riding “career” like as a kid? I was a religious barn rat as a kid! I spent every single Saturday at the barn, doing chores and mucking stalls. I was lucky to start riding at a Morgan breeding farm and rode there until I went to college. I took an hour long group lesson every week at 3pm and went home afterwards. I rode anything my instructor had available f…