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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

You Can Always Go Home

Moving back home in November 2013 was an interesting experience LOL!  I had not lived in my hometown since I went to college in the fall of 1997.  As much as I loved it, so much had changed.  I still taught at the same high school and my son attended the same school (both in the same district), so we were commuting an hour one way each day.  That was tough, but it was definitely worth it.

I experienced so many emotions, but the two things that kept me grounded were my horses and my son.  No matter what, I was committed to doing the right thing for my child because no matter what, he came first.  And I was determined to keep my horses.  My father and grandfather were so generous and amazing, I truly do not think I could have done this without them.  I had boarded my mare, Sparky, with my grandfather through much of high school and all of my college years, so it was literally like "coming home" in every way.

Dreamy's stall at my grandfather's farm
Sparky and Snappy at my grandfather's farm.  He had to rebuild these two stalls for me when I asked him if I could move my horses to his farm.
The horses lived in the bottom level of the barn.  
The feed area

One of the first mornings at my grandfather's farm
Sparky and Lucy (my dog), with Snappy to the side

Annual bareback Christmas ride on Sparky.  She almost bucked me off when she cantered through the snow!

Snappy enjoying the new snow
My grandfather's farm at sunset.  Nothing like driving down the road and three sets of eyes watching you.
Finally the snow melted and everyone got shiny and dapply!  This is Snappy.
Snappy began learning how to be a real dressage horse...



And learning to jump baby jumps!

And I drove her often on the small 1/4 mile track.  My grandfather (and great-grandfather) had bred, trained, and raced Standardbreds for many years.

Dreamy and I explored all the old trails that Sparky and I had ridden on years ago...
And Snappy did her fair share of trail riding, too!
Dreamy being sexy

And Dreamy jumping things...
God, I love this mare!  She was sooooo fun to ride that summer.   

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