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Recapping 2019

I had many great horsey experiences in 2019!  I am really pleased with how the year went overall; nothing is ever perfect, but both horses are sound, happy, and healthy, which is really what matters to me.

Some of my 2019 goals were met easily or with lots of hard work, and a few of them were utter fails haha.  C'est la vie! Let's recap!

Happy, health, sound
Both mares are doing well in this regard!  Dreamy will be 29 this year, and while she definitely shows signs of her age at times, she overall looks and acts much younger than she really is!  Ellie has really matured this year, filling out as well as mentally becoming more comfortable in her own skin.  As she will be eight this year, I feel like we have moved through the baby phase.

Continue lessons with Beth and Babette
This goal was met and then some!  I took almost weekly dressage lessons with Beth and monthly jump lessons with Babette. Thanks to the Morgan Dressage Association scholarship, I was also able to attend two clini…

Lesson 8/19/08

I FINALLY had a lesson!!! :) My instructor Judy had her ring footing redone, so I had to take a few weeks off. Of course, I was unable to bring Dreamy (see top post for more info on why) so I called to re-schedule it on Monday. Judy offered to let me ride her sale mare Violet. I figured it would be a good learning experience for me.

And boy, not only was it a good learning experience, but also a VERY humbling one. :) Riding a Second Level horse after being on an green/Intro/Training level horse for a couple years really makes it obvious where you are lacking! It was great to ride Violet, don't get me wrong.....even if it was a bit frustrating. I know in my brain what I need to do, but my body just does not cooperate. This lesson reaffirmed how much I don't know about dressage. :D

Violet is a very sweet mare. She is a 8 (or maybe 7?) yo gray TB/Percheron cross and Judy has had for a 3 years or so. She knows nothing about Violet's prior life. Judy was told she was broke under saddle, but she suspects she was not at all.....she was quite upset when Judy first got on her. But it is obvious that Judy has done a wonderful job with Violet and she is really a nice mare. If only I had the means to own another horse.....LOL! :)

The hardest part was getting used to the degree of contact and how short I had to have my reins. Dreamy must have a much longer neck than I imagined....not to mention we are still figuring out how to maintain a constant and steady connection to the bit. I also think I am ineffective with my leg, something that does not bother Dreamy, but Violet was not impressed. She is at the level where if I am not asking 100% correctly, forget it...she will not do what I asked. As Judy put it, "She's a push-button horse!" when I was unable to get her to do what I (thought I) was asking.

Violet had a comfortable canter. But of course, I am still doing my upper body pumping thing. UGGGGGGGG. I....just...can't....stop!!!!!!! For some reason I want to pump with my seat and upper body. It has become such an ingrained habit. Judy was saying, "Stop moving, stop pumping" over and over and I finally had to laugh and say "But I REALLY am trying not to move!!!"

Man, it made me feel like a complete dunce. I know I am a good (enough) rider and I know exactly what she wanted me to do, but I simply could not make my body do want I wanted it to do. I wish I could take a lesson on a horse like Violet about 3 times a week. Heck, I wish I could ride a horse like her every day and it would not take long for me to become the rider I want to be. I should have been a working student. I am very good at mucking stalls! LOL! Ah well. Now I have the husband, kid, career.....it is wonderful of course. But sometimes in the back of my mind I think how great it would be to ride lots of horses everyday and just focus on my riding. Maybe someday when I am retired and C is off at college/being an adult. LOL!!!

I am thankful for having the opportunity to ride Violet. I hope she doesn't sell TOO quickly because I would love to ride her again. ;-)

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