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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 Horse Trials - June 15, 2019

Summer has arrived and life has gotten full, giving me no time to sit down to chronicle all the fun we have been having.  Time to catch up before I get overwhelmed haha.
Our last day of school (aka my last day of work for the school year) was Friday, June 14.  I jumped right into summer vacation by competing with Ellie at a local horse trial the following day.  We had a blast, and it was the perfect opportunity for Ellie's first three-phase.  Sadly, I only have pics from dressage.
photo used with purchase from Suddenly Still Photography
We were the first rider of the day with an 8am dressage time, so I had to hustle our butts out of the house pretty darn early haha.  This venue is owned by a childhood friend's parents and is where I take jumping lessons with Babette, so it is a familiar place.  They have held a couple of "ultimate 2-phases" but this was their first true three-phase.  I was pretty excited to be a part of this inaugural event and I do hope it helps bring back eventing to southern Maine!
photo used with purchase from Suddenly Still Photography
Ellie warmed up fine, and I really didn't ask her for much.  I entered us in Pre-Elementary, which was 18" jumps (perfect) and Intro B test (crappy).  Ugggg, Intro B is Satan's test hahaha, but the jumps were perfect for our first time out.  I asked to do BN-A test instead but was told it was easier if I stayed with Intro B.  Fair enough. So we did a long walk warmup, a bit of leg yielding, some trotting, and then headed off for the test.  Ellie was super good about leaving the trailers and the warmup area to head off alone to the dressage ring, which I did not expect.  I assumed we would have some tension, but she was 100% fine!  Yay mare!  The test was over pretty quickly and was a solid test; I mean, it's two circles and a change of rein, so there is not much to say.  Ellie was definitely anticipating the canter after one of the trot circles, but otherwise was really good and earned us a 35.  
photo used with purchase from Suddenly Still Photography
For the jumping phases, we were to jump the SJ course and then head out to XC. Our courses were quite basic, with nine jumps in SJ and only five in XC.  Our jump warm up was fairly straightforward, though I was riding ridiculously backward.  I don't know why I felt the need to crawl to every fence and keep her in a trot, but that is what I did.  We had no issues on course, but it wasn't as smooth as it could have been and I was kicking myself afterwards.  
photo used with purchase from Suddenly Still Photography
We headed up over the hill to the XC start, and I thought Ellie might be nervous.  She was fine, which again was a nice surprise.  We had to wait and circle for quite a while, because I was the first rider on XC and they were not quite ready for me.  Again, the course went well, except Ellie spooked at every single human out there hahahaha.  The jump judges were sooooooo scary!  The course was just two logs, stacked railroad ties, a plank fence, and a split rail type fence, none of which she cared about.  But the people were terrifying.  All I could do was laugh at her.
just after we finished XC!
Ultimately, the entire event was a perfect little introduction to a three phase.  I could not have asked for a better horse, and I know the spooking at humans thing will go away as she gets more mileage.  We had three other riders in our division and ended up winning on our dressage score!  Yay mare!  She is officially an event horse now!


  1. What a silly girl spooking at all of the jump judges! Sounds like a great outing though. Congrats on bringing home some more blue satin :-)


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