Princess Izabelle

What Have We Been Up To? | Late 2019 Recap

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!

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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. 😁

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Princess Izabelle

Joining The Chestnut Mare Club | Introducing Izabelle

Well, the cat’s officially out of the bag on both my Facebook page and my Instagram, so I guess it’s time to make it official here on the blog! I BOUGHT A NEW HORSE!

She has been home a couple of weeks, so since everything is final and the new girl is settling in at her new home, it’s time to formally introduce her to the world.

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Welcome to the family, Izabelle!

All About Izabelle

Izabelle is a 16.2 hand, rising 7 year-old Argentinan Warmblood mare. Her registered name with Silla Argentina is Classic Porsche, but I have decided to call her Izabelle or “Izzy” for short. She is chestnut with three socks and a star, and her birthday is 12/16/2012. She was born in Argentina and lived the first few years of her life there as a prospective broodmare. However, in August, she was imported here to the states to pursue a career as a show horse.

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She started her hunter career this past year and has been lightly shown in the baby green hunters by her breeder, who is now based out of South Carolina. For our first few shows, I plan on taking it slow by doing the 2′ baby green hunters. I want to make our first few outings together as successful as possible. However, my ultimate goal for her and myself will be to eventually do the 3′ hunters!

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How It Happened

Shortly after Diesel went home to be with his new mom (you can read about that here), I began seriously searching for my new partner both locally and online. I only had a few must-haves for my new horse: 16 hands+, safe, sound, and uncomplicated. Sounds pretty straightforward and easy to find, right? WRONG! If it was safe and uncomplicated, it wasn’t sound. If it was sound, it wasn’t safe or even remotely suitable for an amateur. If it was both sound and safe, it was either a solid 14 hands or $60,000. 🙃

Out of around 150 ads that I looked at, we decided to go and try four horses in person. I also sat on two horses that were for sale at our farm. Neither of the horses I tried at the farm quite clicked with me, so we started the tedious task of driving around the state to try the four horses we liked from their ads. Sadly, none of the horses that we initially travelled to look at were a good fit for me. Two of them ended up having previous injuries that would not be suitable for a long-term career over fences, and the other two were decidedly not a good fit for me or our program despite what the owners had said over the phone.

Then, one day, while casually scrolling through Facebook, I remembered an ad for a cute chestnut mare that my trainer had tagged me in the day after we listed Diesel for sale. It was not financially feasible for me at the time to be seriously looking at horses since Diesel had not been sold yet, so I had put that ad out of my mind assuming that the horse would be sold by the time I got ready to start seriously looking.

I couldn’t get the mare out of my mind, so I decided to take a chance and message the seller to see if the mare was still available. To my surprise, she was still available and was within my budget, so two days later my trainer and I made the drive up to Aiken, SC to try her out.

She was everything that we hoped she would be and more! Safe, quiet, uncomplicated, and super sweet. Even though she has only had professional rides her whole life, she handled my amateur mistakes in stride and tried her best to do everything I asked her to do. It sounds a little cheesy, but she made me feel so comfortable and confident that I felt like I had been riding her my whole life.  To say I was in love, was a bit of an understatement to say the least!

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Trying Izzy in Aiken, SC!

Four days later, we hooked up the trailer, drove back to Aiken, had a PPE done, and brought her home the same day!

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Ready to go home!

I am super excited for our future together! Izzy has already blown me away with how sensible and quiet she is. Her first few rides at the farm went spectacularly, and we have already had two jump lessons that were both phenominal. In the next few days, I will be rolling out some lesson updates featuring our first courses together, so be sure to check back in for that!

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