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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 …

Morgan Dressage Association Scholarship

When I bought Ellie back at the end of 2017, I somehow came across the Morgan Dressage Association's Facebook page.  Promoting Morgans in dressage is a cause I find worthy of support, and of course with a fun year end award program it seemed like something I might want to do with Ellie someday haha.  They base their awards on rated USDF shows, so it will be some time before we are ready to show regularly at that level though.  Schooling shows are life (and cheaper and closer...!)  MDS also has a scholarship program and an interesting newsletter, so overall it seemed worth the small fee.



Besides sending in my yearly membership check, I have admittedly not had much to do with the organization.  However, back in November, I received two different emails from MDA about their scholarship program, as they were extending the due date by two weeks.

Basically, MDA awards three to four $500 scholarships a year, to be used exclusively on dressage training on a Morgan.  As the website states, 
Scholarships must be used to further the training and education of the applicant and their Morgan(s). Eligible expenses include instruction, clinics (mounted or as an auditor) and the expenses to attend those clinics, educational materials such as training books and videos, and other educational opportunities such as symposiums. The purchases of tack or computer software and competition expenses are NOT eligible. 
I ignored the first email, but the second email made me pause.  Generally, extending a due date for applications indicates that perhaps there were not enough entries, as sometimes occurs with horse shows.  

Hmm.

So I pulled up the application just to see what was required.  It is a hefty application, with a cover letter, five in depth questions, and a requirement for two to five photos and two videos.  But it was totally doable, so I dug in and started writing.



I submitted my application back on November 8.  And then waited, as awards would be announced by December 31.  On the 30th, I received an email saying the announcement would be delayed.  No big deal, but of course, I am NOT good at waiting haha.

But just a few days later, I received an email that said I was awarded a $500 scholarship!  YAY!  Maybe we were selected because not many people applied haha, but nevertheless, I am excited to have extra lesson money and specifically clinic money at my disposal this year.  I must provide a detailed listing of how I spent the money by the end of December, and I cannot apply for/win a scholarship two years in a row (so I would have to wait until 2021 if I want to try again).


whoops spelled my name wrong haha
and I'm not sure why it says 2020...
So now I eagerly await clinic dates and the opportunity to start lessons again, knowing I have a little extra financial cushion to reach our training goals this year!  

Comments

  1. wow that is great! Good for you for applying! YAY!

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    1. Thank you! I am glad I decided to put the time in to write the application for sure!

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  2. How cool! That should open up some fun opportunities this year!

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    1. Right?? I love that I can choose some clinics that perhaps I normally could not afford!

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  3. That's so awesome! What a great way to help further your training this year.

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    1. Yes! I am hopeful it will give us extra opportunities for sure!

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  4. OMG, how fabulous! Congratulations! That is an exciting opportunity for both of you and totally well deserved.

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    1. Thank you! I am really excited for the possibilities it opens up!

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    1. Right? So cool and I can't wait to see how we can grow!

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  6. Very cool! Congrats! It is well deserved no matter how many entries :)

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  7. WOW!

    That is such a cool program! Congratulations on that clinic and lesson money. That is a treasure!

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    1. Thank you! I can't wait to find clinics to attend!

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  8. That is awesome! Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you! I am so pleased something like this is available to AAs!

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