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NEJA Winter Schooling Jumper Show - April 25, 2021

Our final NEJA show in their winter series was at the end of April. On a whim, I decided to kick it old school and wear my rust breeches and navy coat. I definitely got a few "looks" from some of the HJ crowd, but it was worth being the weirdo eventer girl haha. It was a gorgeous spring day and our rounds were all excellent. Rejoice really seems to enjoy her newfound jumper pony status and powered around like she knew what she was doing haha.  My goals for the day were to win the ground poles speed class by taking a sneaky route someone's trainer would not approve of again haha like I did at the March show and to remember my jump off round like I did NOT do at the March show! Though there wasn't a super sneaky route to take in the ground poles class, I made sure to set her up for tight turns and rollbacks. We did win the class out of nine riders! Whoot! Our speed cross rails was also a good class, with Rejoice willing to listen to half halts, turn on a dime, and also

Progress and a New Saddle

By mid September, Ellie and I had started to get ourselves together. It wasn't perfect, but it felt so much better to have put in the time, sweat, and tears to begin to move past our issues with stopping. I felt really discouraged for most of the summer, so moving through that was huge. Of course, my rides at Green Acres and Esprit in August had still contained stops, but our lessons were where we really showed improvement. 

when you ask your small child to take a photo of you on your horse
and he wants a selfie, too 

I took Ellie down one day to the farm where Babette was based out of for years called Gathering Farm (she is now at a new barn because Gathering sold over the winter). It was an opportunity to take a lesson over fences in a new place, so while it wasn't totally like a show, it was nice to jump in that environment. And can I just say that Hamilton, MA is such beautiful horse country! It is home to Myopia Hunt as well as many other lovely barns like Ledyard Farm. Back in the 1970s, Gathering was the USET headquarters where Jack LeGeoff taught. So lots of rich history and I am glad I got to see and ride at the farm one last time before it was sold.

Mama, I want to clean your tack, too!
Why sure, here's a bridle!

Also, I mentioned that I finally had come to grips in 2020 that I needed a new dressage saddle. It fit Ellie well, but it did no favors for my position. I had to find a big girl dressage saddle that not only was comfortable for us both but also would not break the bank. I searched and searched and lucked out with Maryland Tack Exchange (which is now located in FL which confused me at first but ok). I found a wide Trilogy Amadeo Elite for $2K, which I was pretty excited about since new they start at $4850. It fits Ellie so well after a little flocking rearrangement and I feel like I can actually sit up like a real dressage rider. Thankfully I was able to sell my Stubben within a month for $1000, so it worked out. 

Even my saddle fitter was like WOW, you are good at this finding used saddles thing! haha She's fit a dressage and jump saddle to Rejoice and a dressage saddle to my friend Margaret's young horse, and she has been impressed with our ability to find decent used saddles for good prices that actually are close to perfect for our horses! 

Not saying I love saddle shopping/fitting, but I have had good luck with saddles over the past year. So one small part of 2020 was quite good in that respect!