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Showing posts from November, 2019

A Humbling End

A week has passed since my life was turned upside down by my new coach/trainer ( see introduction , 3 posts followed recapping the clinic), and unlike clinics passed I was raring to go with a newfound motivation and inspiration.  In one of my previous posts I touched on the impression that we began to uncover the roots that posed so many issues throughout our past show year, and I feel like I learned so much more about my horse during the clinic.  I found the transition to riding without being barked at (said with love) tough, and found myself wanting to revert back to some old habits but I did my best to remain confident, trusting and supple in my own body.  The arena has been fairly quiet during my usual ride times as of late and I took advantage of that to utilize the entire arena, play with going more forward, and dabble with the flying changes. Sierra had Monday off and Tuesday we started back lightly with just a very forward flowing, easy ride with a loose contact.  We s

CA Bennett Clinic - Day 3 Review | November 17, 2019

Over the past few days I have made several posts about meeting my new coach and how Day 1 and Day 2 went in a clinic with her.  I stupidly signed up for 3 lesson slots and by Sunday my brain was so full and my confidence was both shot and inflated at the same time (wut?).  It was a hell of a weekend; it was hard, I wanted to cry on more than one occasion, I sweat A LOT, and I felt like I had no idea how to ride a horse.  Despite all that, I still somehow felt more confident than I have in YEARS and I took more away from this clinic than I have in a very long time - possibly ever. On Sunday I rode towards the end of the day, but there had been a few jump lessons prior to me so there were some poles and things set up for various exercises.  The main exercise considered of two fences on the quarter line angled towards the wall, with two jump boxes spaced about 3ft apart for riders to work on bending lines, striding, etc.  The object was to ride between the two red boxes, play wit

CA Bennett Clinic - Day 2 Review | November 16, 2019

In my last posts, I introduced my terrifying new coach and recapped on my first lesson under her guidance.  I had managed to jot my name down for 3 absolute ass-kickings over the span of the weekend, but given that Sierra was prospected to go to CA for training sometime this winter, she really wanted to sit on her.  In addition, like most good coaches who are still able-bodied, they want to feel what you're feeling to be able to coach you better and CA was no exception. Prior to travelling the 5.5 hours north we discussed the tack and things that I would send with Sierra when she went down for training. I was too scared to send my new precious baby (my Frank Baines ) with her out of fear it would get wrecked, stolen or perish in a catastrophic tack room fire.  She also had reservations because it's made for me and my teeny tiny little legs and she is quite tall, so she decided to bring up her saddle and we could see if it fit Sierra.  She is sponsored by Voltaire and bro

CA Bennett Clinic - Day 1 Review | November 15, 2019

When I left off in my cliffhanger-of-a- last post , I introduced my new trainer/coach and used the term "merciless yet memorable " to describe the weekend spent under her thumb.  It took me several days to piece this post together, because for the first time in a long time (maybe ever) I came away from a clinic  LESSON with my head absolutely spinning.  Suddenly, everything I thought I knew was wrong, or 'not good enough', and it was astounding, demoralizing and exciting all at the same time.  I felt like I imagine I felt all those years ago getting in the car after my very first formal riding lesson; the fear, confusion and over-active mind was met by absolute inspiration, motivation and most importantly - questions and desire to improve.   I have no Media from Day 1, so enjoy some randoms As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn't necessarily looking for a Dressage-Specific trainer, and as such very few of my lessons were not exactly, well.. dressage-spe

A Merciless Meeting of My New Coach

Several months ago I began my search for a new coach and trainer. I had thought long and hard about selling Sierra vs investing in her.  Truth be told, when I purchased her in June 2018 I thought I was buying a relatively broke show horse and I quickly learned that is not what I brought home.  Regardless, there was just something about her and I wasn't quite willing to return her just yet, so I stuck it out but everything fell into shambles in March 2019 when our first show season began. I spent what felt like forever, clinging to the notion that the minuscule increments of improvement as each show passed meant one day we could look back on these near-death experiences and laugh.  As the show season wrapped up, I decided I liked Sierra too much, and I was too stubborn to give up so I began scouring the internet for a trainer.  While Dressage primarily has my heart, I wasn't set on a dressage-specific trainer, but rather someone who met the following criteria: Had experience

WW: Amara's 1st Solo Fieldtrip

Amara has been sold but is still with me until the roads clear up and her new owner can come get her.  She will be semi local (about 1.5 hrs away) and has sold to a Jr Hunter Rider who hopes to make it onto the A Circuit with her, so it's really a 'proud' breeder moment.  She went on her first solo field trip last week and I couldn't have been more proud of her. I'm so excited for a 2020 full sibling! Upon unloading and spotting her first COWS.  This was her first time in a straight haul, first time in a trailer alone, first time in a trailer without a ramp, first time backing out and first time being tied in a trailer. She backed out like a pro!  Also PS it was bloody cold. - Insert Mega Heart Eye Emoji - Hubby brought a bum rope just in case, and evidently he got tired of carrying it. I'm not sure why he didn't leave it at the trailer, but good help is hard to find.  We were waiting outside the Large Animal lab for our appointment (surprise

Finding The Balance

Loyal readers will be familiar with the many references I make to living on a farm.  My husband and I both work full time in addition to operating a fully functioning farm.  We own 160 acres (small potatoes in this area) and farm hay and grain.  While Sierra is currently boarded at the local indoor, we still have horses at home as well as chickens, cats (barn & house) and dogs in addition to goals of development for our fixer-upper farm.  Throw in a lovely time change, a twinge of seasonal sads, personal issues and I suddenly find myself somersaulting in slow motion down the rabbit hole destined to land head-first on the struggle bus. My life, like many, isn't easy.  Our farm is a lot of work, and I am tired.  I get more rest on the week days than I do on the weekends because weekends mean I can spend a solid 8-18 hrs working on the farm.  In addition, everything during the week seems harder as the temperatures plummet, the fluffy white stuff blankets the ground, and i