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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…

Restless

This is the time of year I always grow restless.  As much as I am glad to give Ellie the down time, with just two to three days a week of hacking out in the sn*w, I really miss being able to ride more than just at a walk in questionable footing haha.  I was spoiled last winter with good sn*w, while this year has brought a lot of rain and ice.


so much winter

December distracts me enough with the holidays, but January and February make me crazy (and sometimes March and April, too)!  This is when I start wishing I could board her out over the winter in order to ride productively more often, but that scenario isn't realistic in several ways; the biggest issue being there isn't a nearby farm with indoor I would feel comfortable with boarding.  

Oh, the woes of a horse girl in Maine!  ;-)
the prettiness has long worn off
this was yesterday, which ended up being a sn*w day from school
they predicted rain
we got 6+' of sn*w...
Despite the fact the majority of our rides have been just walking in the sn*w, it is interesting to me just how much Ellie has matured over the past year.  Last winter, she was so green and not yet even comfortable with the entire process of tacking up and going out to ride.  She spooked a lot at everything, gave a lot of snorts and hairy eyeballs, and wasn't entirely sure what I was asking of her each time I pulled her out of her pasture.  I remember there always being a tiny feeling of dread in my stomach, praying each session would go well.  We didn't know each other and Ellie knew next to nothing about riding, so I always felt a little knot of worry, though I hid it under a calm and patient demeanor.
ice, so much ice

Now, she is so much more settled with the routine and within herself.  She knows what I am going to ask and expect of her, she knows she can trust me, and she just does the thing.  She happily stands and waits when needed, she's not fussy at all, and she will walk about through the fields without hesitation.  She still gives turkeys a careful look, but there is no spooking or snorting or spinning haha.  Even this past Sunday, when Dreamy randomly decided to gallop madly around her paddock like a moron while we marched around in the adjacent field, Ellie held it together.  I am still cautious, because you have to be, but I don't have that feeling of worry I did last winter.
Dreamy - don't even look at me

None of this is a major breakthrough, but it just feels nice to have a more confident horse!  Elle has always been curious, but she was always much more hesitant beforehand.  It makes me feel as though I have at least done something right, though we still have a ways to go to get to full maturity LOL.  Progress with horses can sometimes be slow going and hard to gauge, so I am soaking up this discovery!  I suspect this coming year, as well as next, will be big growing up years for her.  
happy ears

So while we are not currently able to work on connection and throughness and her canter transitions, which it kills me a little inside haha, I am finding pleasure in the little things!
best mare

Comments

  1. Gorgeous! I'm pretty sure I've seen too much rain when I see snow and all I can think is, I WANT SNOW. Haha! I mean, more than snow, I'm almost wishing for a short drought... Not a real drought, just a 2-3 month ban on precipitation. We have a brief light shower right now and there is ponding. There's nowhere for rain to go... Maine looks gorgeous! Mid Atlantic? Not so much. Mud. And rain. And more mud and rain.

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    1. You definitely need and deserve a break from RAIN! Remember, the snow looks nice right now, but it creates A LOT OF MUD when it melts in the spring hahaha. My mud season is being created all winter haha.

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    2. Oh I know. We just have a head start on you! I'm sure we'll have a snow storm or 2 and add to our mud... At least snow melts slowly?

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    3. True! As long as it melts slowly without the help of more rain, it won't be as bad haha!

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  2. Snow really is pretty...looked at from my computer in sunny SC :) I'm so so funny. I do miss snow though at times. Not the ice or cold though.

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    1. Exactly! That is the best way to see snow in my opinion! :-D

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  3. I give you a lot of credit for riding at all. Even if it is just walking. We had tons of rain that then froze and everything here turned into a giant sheet of ice. Even walking the horses to their turnouts was dangerous. I was 100% not willing to ride. We finally got some snow, but now Levi hasn't been ridden in months and I fear for my life getting on him.

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    1. Uggggg yeah, the ice has been rough here, and I have to be careful of certain parts of my ring and fields because there is ice underneath all that snow. :-( We sand the hell out of our driveway and the walkways to paddocks, otherwise we would all be falling! Hang in there!

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  4. I love when they start maturing to be brave little horses.

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    1. Yes! It is so rewarding when they start to be comfortable in their own skin!

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  5. I am like you this time of year. March is worse because it feels like it should be easier to ride but the weather won’t cooperate. When you got the snow, we got the rain and it was miserable. But all the work you’ve done has paid off and spending time on just fun rides is really good for them too.

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    1. March is a cruel month! Last year we got tons of sn*w in April, too, which was so overwhelming, as we have had easy Aprils for many years. I cannot believe the amount of rainfall everywhere! We even have had more rain this winter than normal, hence the gross ice ugg. I definitely think the fun rides are worth it, I just want to be warm again haha.

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