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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 …

2019 Goals

Setting goals as an equestrian is really just compiling a wishlist of hopes of what the following year will bring.  I always attempt to create realistic yet challenging goals that are attainable, fairly specific, and FUN!  I love outlining an idea of what my show season might look like as well, and I happily create a Google Doc as the show dates come rolling in.

My overarching goal of any year is to keep both my horses happy, healthy, and sound.  That really goes without saying, but I ought to include it anyway.  Dreamy is 28 this year (!!!) and Ellie will turn seven.  They both have their own specific needs at this point based on their ages, and I will continue to meet those needs to the best of my ability.
one of Ellie's Christmas presents was a gorgeous sparkly browband from DJD!
Training goals
I will definitely continue my weekly(ish) lessons with Beth and hopefully also my monthly lessons with Babette.  Both of these instructors were a huge help in 2018, and I want to continue my riding student relationship with them.  Specifically, I want to improve Ellie's canter transitions and balance within the gait.  I also want her to become reliable to my seat (because she is queen of blowing me off when she'd rather not listen haha and I end up resorting to overusing my rein aid).  And as far as jumping, I want her to be adjustable to fences and consistently listen to my half halts.  I would love to be able to canter an entire small course of jumps confidently and maybe even getting our leads correctly.

Move up to Training level
I would like to feel solidly capable at Training level by the end of the year and have Training 3 feel within our wheelhouse, scoring above 63%. I hope to be comfortably schooling First level by the end of the season, even if we don't actually try a First 1 test.  Doing so would be a stretch goal!
yeah, this was New Years Day
sn*w can go away now
Showing Ideas
While I don't know yet what my exact show plan is for the year, I do have some specifics I would like to follow through with if possible:

  • Complete at least one full unrecognized horse trial at whatever level we are ready for
  • Compete in at least one recognized dressage show at Training level
  • Attend at least one overnight show (maybe a Morgan show, maybe a dressage show?)

New Experiences for Ellie
I hope to introduce more in hand work and lesson again at least twice this year with Sandra B.  I think the in hand work is going to help Ellie feel comfortable with herself and improve her balance.  I also want to do more driving training with her, as I kind of let that fall by the wayside last year.  I hope to get her comfortably pulling a drag by the end of the year.  She is not totally confident ground driving and long lining yet, so that is definitely an area we can work on.  I don't feel a huge rush to hook her yet, because in so many ways she is still super sensitive and not always confident in the lines.  
Dreamy looking really great as she enters her 28th year
I should do a Dreamy post since she gets no blog love!
Start the Horsemasters Program with Pony Club!
This is the one goal I am most excited about!  There are a few pony clubs in Maine, but none are that close.  Atlantic Pony Club is newly formed in southern Maine just last month, and while "local" means I will still be traveling an hour or so to meetings and clinics, nothing is really local to me as I live so far in the middle of nowhere haha.  While you might normally think of Pony Club only open to riders up to age 25, they started a new Horsemasters program back in 2001 as a way to keep PC riders involved as adults or for adults who want to try PC for the first time!  I hope it will give me further opportunities for quality instruction and access to a support network.  Not boarding my horses means I don't have a "barn family" and maybe PC will help fill that niche for me, especially at shows.  I really don't like showing alone!

Of course, like anything else in life, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry and all that haha.  So while these are all goals I am hoping to achieve, I will remain flexible and willing to change as the year goes on.  Bring on 2019!
my horse and I are ridiculous haha


  1. Sounds like a good set of goals. I had a friend in CA who was doing pony club and I want to do it too!

    1. Yes, you should see if there are any PCs close to you!!

  2. sounds like solid goals all around - and like it's gonna be a really fun 2019!!

  3. I’ve been toying with the idea of Horsemasters as well. Having the horses at home really can feel lonely. I hope you meet all your goals this year

    1. You should give it a try! I love the mares here at home, but the loneliness is tough at times. And thank you!

  4. These are great goals. I definitely want to hear more about Dreamy. Also, adult PC sounds wonderful.

    1. Thank you! I will definitely write about Dreamy soon!

  5. I absolutely love that last photo. Wishing you all the best for 2019!

  6. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR -PC for adults? I'm so there.

    1. Right?? I am seriously way too ridiculously excited about this haha. I bet your local PC would hook you up with the Horsemasters Program!


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