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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 …

2016 Show Season and Year End Awards Recap

When I considered what I wanted to do with Snap Dancer about a year ago, I figured just getting out to a few shows would be a success.  I had no idea how she would take to a new career of "show horse" and honestly I was nervous about the both of us taking the previous year off completely because of my January - September 2015 pregnancy.  

We started at a local fun day, just to see what the mare thought of the little dressage ring.  I felt pleased with her yet discouraged by my severe lack of core muscles (thanks baby human haha).
First outing in 2016
Our first dressage show felt like a fluke.


First dressage show - two great scores and a high point rider award!

But each time we competed, I felt her grow more confident and rideable.  
Bravest 2-phase in August!  No spooking!
First 3-phase in October and she was super!
Snap Dancer's first year of showing ended up being a fairy tale. I know that sounds silly in a way, and we only competed at intro level, but I know we will never be able to replicate the amount of success we had in 2016!!

All told, we competed in 11 horse shows:
  • 4 dressage shows
  • 5 two-phases
  • 1 three-phase
  • 1 open show
  • Plus 1 xc clinic and 1 fun day
















And we ended up with:
  • 12 first place ribbons
  • 6 second place ribbons
  • 1 third (egg/spoon) 
  • 1 fourth (showmanship)
  • 4 high point awards

I was pretty excited by the end of our show season in October, but I still had year end awards to look forward to! Snap Dancer ended up winning FIVE championships. Definitely a fairy tale year! I nearly couldn't wrap my head around it each time the awards were announced.

Maine Horse Association - 71.56% - Introductory Level Champion (out of 5)



Maine Combined Training Association - Introductory Level Champion (out of 11)


State of Maine Dressage Association - Intro A Champion, Intro B Champion, High Point STB


To say I am proud of this little mare would be an understatement.  She was such a good sport about giving this dressage and eventing thing a shot.  I know we will never have such a successful year again, and who knows if she will ever win another ribbon or championship. But that doesn't matter to me because she did it now and how could we ever expect to do better than this!  

I have some ideas about what I would like to do this year with Snappy, and time will tell.  We will see how she feels and how her canter comes along.  I know that I will always remember 2016 as a great year. 

Comments

  1. Hot damn! That's one way to come back to the show world! Congrats on all your gorgeous satin!!

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  2. Wow, that is fantastic!! Congrats on such a perfect first year!

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  3. Oh man, that's AWESOME!! Congratulations!!

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