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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 …

RABT Farm Ultimate 2-Phase - October 23, 2016

Snappy and I wrapped up her first show season with an Ultimate 2-Phase at Rest and Be Thankful Farm in Lyman, ME.  After unseasonably warm temps the week prior and bragging about the great show weather I have had all year, it was FREEZING this past Sunday!  Haha I am such a wimp about the cold and with 20+ mph steady wind and a temperature of 42 degrees and no sun, the "real feel" was closer to 35 degrees.  I may have been born in Maine and lived here in New England all my life, but holy cow I am not a cold weather girl.  Doesn't help I have Reynaud's in my hands and feet, so once I am cold and my digits are white, I am DONE.  I had a good time riding and it was a fun way to end the season, but it was way too cold for me to actually enjoy it.  The best part was cranking the heat in the truck when we left to drive home LOL!

Snappy was super good despite being in a newish place (we did school XC here last month, so not totally new) and for the crazy fall winds and temps.  She was slightly up at the trailer while I tacked up and quite looky on the walk out to the back hay field where they had set up the dressage ring.  The trees and leaves were scary but she held it together for a respectable test.  Not our best test at 34.7 but with the cold and the fact she never really felt warmed up enough for a good swinging gait, I am happy.  We had just about fifty minutes between our dressage test and jumping round, which was fine with me.  I hurried back to the trailer in order to change her tack and change clothing.  I put her in eventing gear because an "ultimate" 2-phase's jumping round is a hybrid of XC and stadium.  I actually have never done an ultimate 2-phase, but it was fun!  There were five regular stadium jumps and four XC jumps out in the field, and Snappy jumped everything well so we went clear.  The course was basically a large figure-8 and super straightforward, which was great.  Again, like at Hilltop, she was much more comfortable in the trot, so we trotted the entire course.  Goal for next year is to canter our courses!  

I did not even snap a photo of her at the trailer or wearing her ribbon, because honestly I untacked, repacked, and left as quickly as I could.  My face was bright red from windburn and I spent an hour on the couch when I got home (after the hottest shower ever) under warm blankets.  Brrrrr I am NOT ready for sn*w and real winter temps!  
Yeah mare!  Pretty ribbon for her growing collection!  We won our tiny division of three riders.
Yes, I braided her the night beforehand and took pics.  Hahaha! Look at that winter coat coming in!  She turns so dark in the winter!
It may not look it, but her mane is a disaster from braiding all year, with thin sections, thick sections, blah blah crappy crap.  So my plan was to roach her at some point so it would all grow back in even and thick by next spring (in order to pull it for shows).  Instead, I was so cold when I got home, I roached her braids RIGHT OFF!  Hahahahaha I was dying with laughter at my ridiculousness!  :-)
Overall, could not have asked for a better first year out with Snap Dancer!  She ended up being such a good mare and trying everything I asked of her with the biggest heart and willingness to try.  I cannot believe show season is over!  It feels like it was just April and I was freaking out at the thought of taking her to a show!  :-)

Comments

  1. What a great first season out! Lovely satin to boot :) I have reynauds also, such a pain in the ass.

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  2. Sounds like a great show. You should have a done a video of roaching those braids off. Could give DQs nightmares.

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  3. Thank you guys! Yes, KateRose, Reynaud's is THE WORST. :-(

    OMG Olivia, you have no idea! I seriously almost asked my eldest son to come out and video me! LOL! Great minds think alike hahaha! :-D

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