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Wentworth Hunter Pace - June 6, 2021

After Margaret and I had such a fun time at the fall hunter pace, we opted to go again this spring! This time, while I rode Rejoice again, Margaret rode her horse Jester and had a friend ride Ladyhawke. All Kennebec Morgans!! Jester and Rejoice have the same dam and Jester and Lady share the same sire. Unfortunately instead of a lovely late spring day, we had one of the first intensely hot and humid days of the year. It was definitely a bummer, but the ride was mostly in the shade of the woods and we had a great time!  most of the fences were 3' coops but we found a small log and this hay to jump haha Until we didn't. 😑 We brought along a third friend who rode Margaret's older mare, Ladyhawke. She's a good rider but hasn't known Ladyhawke for very long and didn't realize how much of a cranky boss mare she could be at times. She kicked Jester right in the front leg just about halfway through the ride, and while the cut itself ended up not being a big deal in the

Recapping 2019

I had many great horsey experiences in 2019!  I am really pleased with how the year went overall; nothing is ever perfect, but both horses are sound, happy, and healthy, which is really what matters to me.

Some of my 2019 goals were met easily or with lots of hard work, and a few of them were utter fails haha.  C'est la vie! Let's recap!

Happy, health, sound
Both mares are doing well in this regard!  Dreamy will be 29 this year, and while she definitely shows signs of her age at times, she overall looks and acts much younger than she really is!  Ellie has really matured this year, filling out as well as mentally becoming more comfortable in her own skin.  As she will be eight this year, I feel like we have moved through the baby phase.

having this photo shoot was definitely a highlight of 2019!
Continue lessons with Beth and Babette
This goal was met and then some!  I took almost weekly dressage lessons with Beth and monthly jump lessons with Babette. Thanks to the Morgan Dressage Association scholarship, I was also able to attend two clinics, one with Georges Malleroni and another with Ashley Madison.  Plus, I squeezed in a spring clinic with Tik Maynard, a midsummer bit fitting clinic with Kim Gentry, and a December jump clinic with Tom Davis!  Phew!  I think this has been a year I have had more educational opportunities than ever before!

at HBF for a lesson with Beth!

so much XC schooling with Babette!
Training goals
I feel as though we made huge progress in our training goals for the year, despite the fact that day-to-day I didn't always see it that way.  Obviously, that is how training goes, and when I look at how far we have come in a year, I am pretty pleased!

I wanted to improve our canter transitions and balance within the gait, which I feel as though while we were working on all year, it all came together in the clinic with Ashley.  As far as becoming more reliable to my seat, I would say yes, Ellie has definitely learned what a half-halt is and doesn't blow me off haha.  I need to remember to not rely too much on hand.  Over fences, Ellie is much more adjustable to the fences and we cantered an entire stadium course a few times!  She doesn't always get her leads, but we have auto changes and simple changes about 50/50!

Kennebec Morgan team!
Showing goals
I wanted to be solid at Training level, scoring above 63% on Training 3, which we did every time!  We rode Training 3 six times this past year with an average score of 66.320%.  The highest we scored was a 68.79%, which was actually our highest test the entire year of all three Training tests.  Quite a good improvement from our first show in May where we scored a 58.3% on Training 1!  ;-)  We also scored our first NINE ever on our free walk in BN Test A in October.
this is the test we scored that 9!
I also wanted to be comfortably schooling all of First level so we could debut at First in 2020.  I think we are solidly First level ready, though I am not 100% confident in our canter loops just yet.  I think they will come together easily once we pick back up in the spring, though, so I am not worried and consider this a goal met.  I didn't end up trying a First level test in 2019, because Beth reminded me there is a Maine Dressage Society trophy for the highest scoring horse in the horse's first year of competition at First level.  So while I am not expecting to WIN said trophy, we might as well give it a fair shot....haha.

jumping at a PC rally
Other showing goals were to compete in at least one full unrecognized horse trial at whatever level we are ready for, which was a HUGE success!  We started the year in June at Rest and Be Thankful at Pre-Elementary level and won our division.  Then in July we moved up to Elementary and won our division at Coursebrook and came in second at Rusty Knees the first of September.  From there we moved up to Advanced Elementary in October at the Pony Club D-Rally and had they done individual scoring, we would have placed second!  This puts us where I had hoped to be, ready to tackle a BN course in 2020!

more PC rally
I wanted to compete in at least one recognized dressage show at Training level, which we did in July, and though Training 2 went well, the judge had a hissy fit and wrongly eliminated us in Training 3.  Though I filed a scathing report with USDF, I have not heard a peep in response.  I am still calling this a win because eff that miserable see-you-next-Tuesday. #sorrynotsorry for my language  

And, I had wanted to attend at least one overnight show, which we did in July at the Vermont Morgan Heritage Days in Tunbridge.  And because of friendships formed within VMDA, I was invited to bring Ellie to Equine Affaire, which while not a competition, was a four-day overnight extravaganza haha.  So we had two successful overnight trips and Ellie took it all in stride!
VT Morgan Heritage Days
Equine Affaire 2019
Pony Club
The goal I had been most excited about a year ago was starting with Pony Club.  I did end up joining TWO different clubs, Epona and Atlantic.  I had so much fun doing PC activities this year, and I have signed up for another year with both clubs.  I had hoped it would give me access to quality instruction and a support network, which it did in so many ways!  And while I did not set any goals around ratings, I did achieve my D-1, D-2, and D-3 ratings in 2019!

Different experiences
The biggest fail of the year were my two goals to give Ellie new and different experiences.  I had wanted to get her going in harness enough to pull a drag (didn't happen at all) and to continue our in-hand work and lesson with Sandra B. at least twice.  Honestly, I just wasn't interested in pursuing time in harness this year, because I felt so focused on improving our under saddle training.  Plus, Sandra moved to Florida at the end of 2018, which while not an excuse to give up any formal type of in-hand work, definitely made it impossible for me to schedule any lessons with her.  So I kind of gave up on that goal, though I did do the May clinic with Tik, I never really followed through with any additional work.  Now that I reflect back, I am not really sad we did not achieve these goals because we met and exceeded so many others.  And the dressage/eventing training goals are most definitely more important to me anyway.

Overall, I cannot complain about how my 2019 shaped up.  Ellie is right where I had hoped she would be at this point.  Now to wait out the rest of the winter, hope for more mild weather (it was pretty good until the 48 hour sn*wstorm we got this past week with a foot of the white crap blah), and attend a bunch of fun year-end banquets!  So long, 2019! 

#bestnine of my 2019 Instagram!


  1. You did SO MUCH this year, I am in awe. I so wish I had a Pony Club that accepted adults near me, too.

    Are you coming back to VT Morgan Heritage Days this year?

    1. All Pony Clubs accept adults! They don't call it Horsemasters any longer, but just juniors and seniors. Anyone over 18 is called a senior, adults included! You should check it out! I don't know if I will come back this year, as I would like to do a GMHA event, but probably 2021? I will at least be at GMHA at least once, I hope!

  2. Sounds like a pretty great season! Here's to a fun 2020 with lots of goals being met!

    1. It was a great year in many ways! I don't think my goals are as lofty this year, but it will definitely be fun!

  3. You and Ellie accomplished a lot this year. Well done.

    1. Thank you! It wasn't really until I was assessing the entire year that I realized just how much we did!

  4. What an outstanding year full of so many amazing experiences. Wishing you the best in 2020.

  5. What a busy and awesome year! I've enjoyed following along immensely :)

  6. You two are doing amazing and I can't wait to see your massive ribbon haul from year ends that you get over the next few months!

  7. Have just been thinking of you and hope all is well!


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