After a 4 month hiatus from blogging, I am finally back! 😁
Things have been super crazy in my personal life, which has made it really tough to find the time to actually sit down and blog during the past few months. I hate that posting on this blog got put on the back burner, but I honestly just was not in the best state-of-mind to make this blog the best that it could be. However, I am back now and ready to get back in a routine of writing and creating interesting content! I also can’t wait to share all of the fun things I have planned with my absolutely incredible mare with all of you! After I get you all caught up on a few of the big things that happened during the past few months, I have so many wonderful posts planned to share with you all including some fun new product reviews, so stay tuned for that!
Baby Green Debute At HJ Fox – October 2019
Izzy and I went to our first real show together back in October and had an absolute blast! The only real goal for this show was to just get out in the ring and have fun. There were no expectations of placing in our classes or having foot perfect rounds, which was honestly perfect for me mentally in this stage of our partnership. I just wanted to enjoy my first show in the irons with my new horse without stressing about placing well or nailing every distance and let me tell you, that’s exactly what I did! I had an absolute blast!
At this point in time, I was struggling a bit with finding her go button and giving her a confident ride up to the fences, but Izzy was an absolute angel all weekend and clocked around like a little pro. The only little mishap we had all weekend occurred when I decided to look down at the last jump in our last course resulting in a half-hearted refusal. Totally my fault as I know that’s a huge no-no with the young horses – especially ones that need that confident ride. Of course, once I closed my leg and kept my eyes up, she went right over like the angel she is.
We ended the weekend getting a 3rd, 4th, and 5th over fences and a 5th on the flat out of a huge group of 16 horses! I was absolutely thrilled and may have cried just a little bit when I heard the placings.
Lesson At HMS Stables – December 2019
When my trainer offered to let me and Izzy tag along to go and have a lesson at her trainer’s facility, I was over the moon with excitement! I am a die-hard believer that getting the opportunity to ride with and learn from new people can do wonders for your riding.
Our lesson focused mainly on flatwork, which I was so excited about! Continually working on improving our flatwork is so important. If you don’t have the tools to create and maintain a good working connection with your horse and get them properly working their brain and body, you can’t possibly expect them to jump around to the best of their ability.
The assistant trainer spent a lot of time working with me on creating and maintaining straightness throughout our transitions as well as keeping a consistent feel of her mouth during transitions. A lot of this came from working on my hand position and rein length.
I find that I struggle a lot with keeping my hands up and reins short, which of course, impacts my ability to keep a consistent feel of Izzy’s mouth. I think that probably stems from my desire to be soft and rewarding with my hands and my hunter upbringing. Rather than keeping my reins short and creating softness by increasing the elasticity of my elbows, I just want to throw my reins at her and open my fingers. News flash – that definitely is not the create way whatsoever haha! Her persistence with correcting my hand position and rein length really helped me create a feel for what I should be striving for connection wise. I now make sure to correct myself every ride and the difference I feel from Izzy is huge.
Besides working on flatwork, we did a few simple exercises over some small fences to work on straightness and keeping her in front of my leg. One of those exercises involved jumping a crossrail on a circle. Sounds simple and easy, but it really helped me practice keeping my horse in front of my leg and on the aids. If she wasn’t listening and actively moving off my seat and leg, the distance wasn’t there and we struggled a bit. We ended the lesson with a super fun mini-course ending with a 2’6 jump (which of course she knocked lol).
I Bought A New Saddle?! – December 2019
After struggling with saddle fit issues for a few months, I finally decided to join the dark side and bought a new-to-me Voltaire Palm Beach saddle! It has the buffalo leather and second-skin option, which is an absolute dream to ride in. So many wonderful fellow bloggers and local riders recommended that I give Voltaire a try that I just couldn’t resist the temptation any longer and scheduled a fitting with the local rep. I have an entire post talking explicitly about my experience with Voltaire and my new saddle scheduled to go live in a few days, so I won’t say any more about it this particular post. I’ll just leave you with two cute pictures of Izzy modeling our new saddle. 😁