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Hidden Brook Farm Dressage Schooling Show - June 2, 2019

Ellie and I did a show at our lesson barn this past weekend instead of taking a lesson.  I would have done a lesson on Saturday before the show, but my instructor went to NEDA Spring with her eldest daughter, who was able to get her last Grand Prix score for her USDF Gold Medal!!!  So that is a good reason to not be able to lesson haha.

I admit I was a little bummed about our low scores at the SMDA show two weeks prior.  I know a score of 6 (60%) is called satisfactory, but I really thought our performance was better than a low 60%.
I was determined to ride well and even though Beth was not there, I had her youngest daughter as my back up if the wheels fell off the bus LOL!  She was already in the warmup and at the show ring with her actual students, so it was nice to have her there to remind me to breathe and not hang on the left rein!  ;-)
Ellie unloaded and was totally calm.  Honestly, she loves her lesson barn and knows it is her second home haha.  She was much calmer tied to the tra…

Hidden Brook Farm Dressage Schooling Show - June 2, 2019

Ellie and I did a show at our lesson barn this past weekend instead of taking a lesson.  I would have done a lesson on Saturday before the show, but my instructor went to NEDA Spring with her eldest daughter, who was able to get her last Grand Prix score for her USDF Gold Medal!!!  So that is a good reason to not be able to lesson haha.

I admit I was a little bummed about our low scores at the SMDA show two weeks prior.  I know a score of 6 (60%) is called satisfactory, but I really thought our performance was better than a low 60%.
I was determined to ride well and even though Beth was not there, I had her youngest daughter as my back up if the wheels fell off the bus LOL!  She was already in the warmup and at the show ring with her actual students, so it was nice to have her there to remind me to breathe and not hang on the left rein!  ;-)
Ellie unloaded and was totally calm.  Honestly, she loves her lesson barn and knows it is her second home haha.  She was much calmer tied to the tra…

State of Maine Dressage Schooling Show - May 19, 2019

Ellie and I had our first official dressage show outing (besides the rally obviously!) two weekends ago.  I felt fairly confident about the show, having knocked off the rust at the rally and having had a really good lesson the day before the show.  I just wanted to have two smooth tests and get our canter leads correctly.  

I am super proud of how well Ellie behaves at shows now, except for her behavior while being tied to the trailer. Uggg. She has always been needy and prone to paw, but for some reason, she has suddenly decided the trailer itself is scary.  She will load and unload just fine, and she rides quietly; however, she has started to do that weird snort they do when they are spooked the entire time she is tied up.  She barely ate any hay and she couldn't stop moving.  It wasn't anywhere near explosive or horrible, but it was annoying and worrisome.  I don't want her to sit back and break her halter (she did that once at a lesson ugg), especially at a show on a bu…

Bel Joeor Sale and Giveaway!

Amanda from Bel Joeor is hosting a big sale on her Etsy site and a giveaway on her blog!  She makes beautiful saddle covers and bags.  I highly recommend checking out her shop and entering her contest.  


CNER United States Pony Club Dressage Rally - May 11, 2019

Our very first ever PC rally was this past Saturday at Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, MA. It kind of cracks me up that I joined PC for the express purpose of access to more jumping instruction opportunities, and my first mounted experience is a dressage rally hahaha.  

But honestly, it was so much fun.  Maybe it is because I am so used to showing alone or maybe because I love the show prep and set up just as much (if not more) than the actual riding, but competing in a PC rally is now one of my most favorite experiences.  And I cannot wait to do more!  I think the only thing different for this show was having to label EVERYTHING with my name.  Otherwise, my show prep was just the same as normal.

Sadly, our original team of four riders ended up dwindling to just two, as one young rider ended up sick with a 103 fever and a barn was quarantined because of a horse with EHV-4 so none of the PC members from that large boarding barn could attend. Therefore, my remaining teammate and I were split …

Tik Maynard Clinic - May 4, 2019

Ellie and I traveled to a local, private farm for a Tik Maynard clinic this past Saturday.  I admit, though I own his book, I have not started it yet (bad me), but I knew Tik's methods and philosophy interested me. When I saw the opportunity to clinic with him a few months ago, I happily sent in my entry fee.

We were paired with Chelsea, the woman who rents the barn, for an in-hand "horsemanship" lesson.  I had wanted to practice with Ellie over fences, as she needs to build her confidence and I figured in-hand would be an ideal place to start.

I immediately liked Tik and his mannerisms.  My lesson was right after lunch, so while I was not able to watch anything beforehand, I did stay for the two lessons after mine.  Ellie was alert but not spooky in the indoor, and she investigated the audience and various jumps, etc. in the corners with her typical friendliness and curiosity. She loved the mirrors and I let her check herself out.



Tik had us begin by just moving our horses…

A Good Place to Be

Spring in Maine has finally sprung! After a long six months of winter, the sn*w is gone (save for a few areas on the shoulder of shady back roads) and the grass is greening up. I honestly had my doubts it would ever arrive haha. Of course, it has been quite cold, windy, and rainy, but at least there is no sn*w.
After several excellent lessons this winter and early spring on Taylor Rose, I was finally able to get the horse trailer safely down our steep driveway to bring Ellie for lessons again. We took a lesson on the Wednesday of April school break and another one this past Saturday. 
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much after a winter of boring walking rides.  We didn't "do" anything significant in my mind from December through March.  But much to my surprise and delight, she has come out of a winter of boring walking rides a much stronger and more mature horse. Her walk and trot tempo has become amazingly steady and she was willing to hold herself together in the canter…

Spring Tune Ups

It may be officially spring on the calendar, but there is plenty of sn*w on the ground here in Maine!  And a bit of mud, since it has started to s l o w l y melt and rain a bit.  Phew!  I swear, there is still two feet of the white stuff covering the ground at my farm.  Small areas of grass are slowly appearing, but most of the farm is buried.

That said, I have been doing my best to commit to a spring conditioning schedule now that daylight savings time has arrived.  It has been MUCH easier to get into a decent routine with the sun setting later and all of us finally feeling better!
Of course, it is pretty boring right now, since the footing makes it so that we can only walk around the snowy field.  When the ice on the driveway finally melted, I was able to incorporate walking up and down the hill.  But I will say, all this walking has definitely helped Ellie understand connection and reaching for the bit more than anything else.  Yeah, I would have liked to have spent the winter in an …

Striding Lesson - Pony Club meeting

Our March PC meeting was a combined mounted/unmounted meeting about striding in jumping.  It was held at Capstone Farm, which is a solid hour and a half drive from me.  Because we have not been doing much more than toddling around in the sn*w at a walk twice a week, I opted not to bring Ellie with me, as I did not think it would be appropriate for her right now.  Plus, while the majority of my driveway is now down to bare dirt, the first steep hill is still icy, as it faces north and doesn't get much sun.  And let's be real, it was soooo much easier to not truck her that far and worry about her standing on the trailer while we did the unmounted portion (no stalls available).

I feel pretty comfortable walking lines on my owns and setting lines at home, but this type of practice is always beneficial in my opinion.  When in doubt at home, I just pull out the tape measure, but I want to feel more confident in my ability to just walk a line and know it is right.  I felt like I would…

Updating the First Aid Kit for Showing

First, let me say THANK YOU for sharing your opinions on my shipping boots/leg wraps/naked legs post.  I have still not made a final decision on what I am going to do with Miss Ellie's legs for traveling this year, but at least I have more ideas to consider.  It isn't a clear cut issue, which is what makes it tough for me to decide what to do.

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Being stuck in a never-ending cycle of winter sadness and sickness hasn't been fun; sadness because it won't stop sn*wing/icing and sickness in the form of a two-month head cold from hell.  Thankfully my children had the milder form, yet my head cold turned into pneumonia, which is something I never want to experience again.  I was so freaking sick!!

Feeling stir crazy and crappy makes me seek out random projects to complete.  Bonus if it includes filling an online shopping cart and then waiting for a package delivery haha.  I admit I did my fair share of internet surfing and impulse shopping this winter!  I have done well at not …