Black Friday/Small Business Saturday sales

Since holiday shopping time is now officially upon us I thought I’d throw together a list of all the sales I’ve seen so far. BUT – I really want to feature Small Businesses. Your dollars make a big difference to a lot of these guys, whereas with bigger retailers you are but a drop in the bucket. Please shop small when you can! And don’t forget that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, so visit all your favorite local small businesses plus your favorite online ones!

First: for charity!

Remember Me Rescue fundraiser – limited edition Christmas cards featuring the famous Bridleless Wyatt! Proceeds benefit Thoroughbred rescue group Remember Me (don’t forget to follow them and Bridleless Wyatt on facebook) to support the rehabilitation and retraining of retired racehorses.

Small Businesses:

Mango Bay

A Bit Tacky Custom Decals – First 5 orders will get 30% off, orders 6-10 will get 25%, and 20% for everyone the rest of the day. Try coupons in this order: HOHOHO30, SNOWMAN25, SANTA20

Topline Leather – through Monday night use coupon code JINGLE25 to receive 25% OFF ALL IN-STOCK BROWBANDS!!!

One Horse Design – 30% off all orders and free shipping on USA orders with coupon code holiday30.

The Herbal Horse – 15% off orders $10 or more with coupon code COLLIN15

Aztec Diamond Equestrian – 20% off with coupon code BF20CODE – 20% off Back on Track with coupon GOBBLE

Annie’s Equestrienne – for the kiddos, 50% off all girl’s shirts

Dapple Bay – 20% off Tech with code SBS20 and 30% off apparel with code SBS30.

Snaffle Jewelry – 40% off through midnight on Monday with coupon code black/cyber14

Spur of the Moment – use coupon code THANKSGIVING20 and receive 20% off your entire order

Loft and Livery – 20% off with coupon code SAVE20

Pony Up Equestrian – for our Canadian friends, on Friday get 20-40% off almost everything online plus free shipping within Canada on orders over $100.

Swanky Saddle – 25% off with coupon code SWANKYTURKEY

Moxie Designs – 20% off at checkout with coupon code 3daysale

O’Shaughnessey Apparel – 35% off everything plus a free OS makeup bag with other purchase.

Equine Art by Julie – Friday and Saturday ONLY get 30% off all portraits, ornaments, and memory stones.

Higher Standards Leather Care – Mini gift packs and holiday scents are back! Get 15% off with code SHOPSMALL

The Bayberry Horse – 20% off with coupon code BF2014

Asmar Equestrian – up to 80% off select items

Deco Pony – 25% off non-custom items with coupon code deco25

Fine Used Saddles –  free shipping on everything -trial saddles included – using code BLACKHORSE

Hunt Club – Starting Saturday get 15% off and free shipping with coupon code MuchasGracias.

Equestri Lifestyle – 25% off everything plus a $10 gift card for use on future purchases with all orders, AND free gift wrap. Use coupon code yay at checkout.

Five Star Tack – 25% off everything plus free shipping with coupon code MUSTHAVE

Ecogold – 15% off all black products with coupon code Blackfriday

C4 Belts – 20% with coupon code C4BLACKFRIDAY

Emily’s Equine Creations – 25% off all weekend with coupon code  givethanks2014. 50% off charms and bracelets on Friday with code eecblackfriday2014. Spend $20 or more and receive a free gift with purchase!

The Posh Pony Boutique – all kinds of great weekend deals on their facebook page!

Luv Inspired – 70% off bridle charms with code BFBCB70

Jenny Krauss – they will be having a sale on Small Business Saturday, check their website!

The Pampered Equine – 15% off everything with code BF15OFF


And a few of my favorite bigger retailers:

Riding Warehouse – get 20% off storewide

Bit of Britain – Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY for 20% off your entire order, plus free shipping on orders over $50.

Just Riding – all kinds of awesome stuff in their Black Friday deals section

Selwood Equine – up to 80% on Tattini, up to 70% on Animo and Kingsland

Henry’s first event: Day 2 XC

If you made it all the way through Day 1’s recap you saw that we got a little drenched on Saturday afternoon. However the miserable wetness didn’t stop there, as water started coming into the barns and we ended up spending an hour or so digging ditches, piling up sand and shavings, and diverting water. Luckily we were able to keep it from getting our ponies wet, but the process was NOT fun. As in, my rain boots were full of water not once but twice. That happens when you stand in a deluge for a while.

Saturday night I couldn’t sleep either (who needs sleep anyway), so this time I stayed awake thinking of my XC course and strategy. The course looked very do-able and straightforward (woot, maiden voyage for the CourseWalk app!) but I knew from our last XC school that if I was going to have a problem anywhere it would probably be the down bank.  Neither of us are fans. Plus I was worried about the footing… what the heck would it look like after several inches of rain?


The answer: squishy. Really really squishy. The weather on Sunday was actually beautiful… all the rain blew out to leave us with clear blue skies and nice warm temps. But boy was everything wet. There was standing water on parts of the XC course and some shoe-sucking mud in other parts. Despite that though, it really wasn’t slick. Yay for sand. They did take out jump 6, which was a really simple little hanging log anyway, but in a pretty muddy spot off a turn that would have made it sketchy.

Again we kept our warm-up pretty minimal due to the fact that the footing in the warm-up area was deteriorating pretty quickly with all the horse traffic. We cantered a crossrail and then a tiny log and then took the little BN sized house at a bold canter to wake him up before heading to the start box.

In all of my lying awake on Saturday night I decided to put a whip in my boot in case I needed it at the bank. Henry is NOT a fan of the whip and if I carry it all the time he sorta loses his mind, but I thought it’d be a good idea to have it just in case. So off we went to the start box… 3… 2… 1… “HAVE A GREAT RIDE” and my trainer/barnmates went wild cheering. You should hear the lungs on those people. I couldn’t help but smile as I hit start on my watch and picked up a canter to jump 1. Regardless of what happened, this was hella fun, and if you’d told me last December when I bought this horse that we’d end up THERE in that position on that day, I never would have believed it. Leaving the start box with him was a really nice moment. After an 11 year hiatus from eventing there is no other horse I’d rather be brought back into it with.


Away we went! Jump 1 was a very inviting log, no big deal. We landed from that and I opened him up a bit to get him moving and thinking forward in the stretch before 2. He was looking around a little out there and I had to stick my right spur into him a little before 2 to remind him to straighten up and pay attention.

Fence 3 was a brush fence that was up a hill and around a tight blind turn. It just so happened that someone was doing something in the bushes nearby with a chainsaw as we approached, which Henry gave me the “MOM WHAT IS THAT?” worried ear about, but he never hesitated. After 3 you had to cross a culvert with what used to be a pretty dry creekbed running under it… now it was more like a rushing river. He wiggled to the left when he saw it so again I stuck my spur in, clucked at him, and he soldiered on. Fences 4 and 5 were super easy, then we crossed through the trees and into the big field that contained most of our jumps. Since 6 was taken out we went straight to 7, a little cabin

which is where the fabulous Auf de Autobahn was jump judging. I only know this because I heard a bellowing “GO AMANDAAAA!!!” as I passed, which had me smiling all over again. Seriously… the lungs on these people are impressive. Is this something we all get together and practice in the off season?

After 7 was a little green ramp set a few strides before the water, then through the water and out over a little log. I stayed in the backseat but he charged right through like a champ. Water issues? We has none.

After the water it was a turn back around to the dreaded down bank at 11. It was even more dreaded now, because the rain had left an ugly wet mud puddle on the landing. I knew he wouldn’t like that, so between 10 and 11 I pulled my stick out of my boot, hoping that just holding it would be enough encouragement.

Close, but no cigar. He thought about going but at the last second he saw that death trap (his words) at the landing and veered left. I gave him a couple smacks on the butt, which offended the hell out of him (OMG I’VE BEEN BAD) and he popped right down the second time.

We continued on to 12, a little coop set in the fenceline, then to the bench at 13 with a very very forward Henry. Have I mentioned he doesn’t like the stick? He was pretty determined to not be on the receiving end of that thing again.


Fence 14 was a tiny log set on the top of a mound – it was steep up, the little log at the top, then steep down. Henry leaped up onto the mound, over the log, and took a flying leap off the mound. Thanks bud. At this point I thought he was being a little ridiculous so I exercised a momentary pulley rein to remind him that just because The Stick Incident had occurred, he wasn’t going to die. He velcroed his brain back into his head and politely cantered 15.

After 15 was a big loop back around to 16, the last fence. I knew that because of the bank we might need to make up some time somewhere, so after 15 we turned tidily around and took the absolute straightest route possible to 16. We made it through the finish pretty spot on, just two seconds under optimum time.


Henry basically strutted off XC like he was the best thing ever to stand on 4 hooves. I was a little disappointed with the bank of course, but thrilled with him none the less. That was just a greenie bobble and really the only one he made all weekend. Can’t be upset with that.

Remember how I said that the twisty stadium course in the pouring rain had been total carnage? I wasn’t kidding… there was something like a 30 point gap between 2nd and third, so even with my 20 I was safely in second. Nothing like crazy weather to turn an event into a test of survival. Of course, not going clear on XC meant that even with 2nd place we didn’t earn a qualifying placing for AEC’s. Boo.

To be honest though, I’m only 5% disappointed. My horse was fabulous and far exceeded any expectations I had for his first event. He showed me that the potential is there for good dressage scores, and that with a little more work the XC will be easy peasy. I think if the black hole of mud hadn’t been there he would have popped down the bank on the first ask, so I’m not going to worry about it.


The coolest part? Second place won a Courbette bridle! Eventing has way better swag than h/j.

Of course, I don’t really need another black bridle (unless someone wants to get me a fancy PS of Sweden dressage bridle. That seems like a NEED.) so I gave it to a super awesome barnmate who always goes above and beyond to help out. She also just got a new horse and needed a dressage bridle that fit him, so it seemed perfect. A much better fate than selling it to some random person on facebook.

The cutest part of the day was how Henry stood there with his head hanging out of his stall for hours afterward, staring off toward the XC with his ears pricked. He hadn’t stuck his head out the entire time we’d been there. I think we’ve got an official convert on our hands!

FullSizeRender (6)

Henry’s first event: Day 1 dressage and stadium

Friday night I slept a grand total of maybe two hours. The good news is, I had ample time to go over my dressage test in my head a few thousand times. I also sat there thinking about how we’ve had 4 dressage lessons and maybe picking a recognized event as his first go was a little ambitious. Then I remembered this is Henry and he’d be ok as long as I was ok, and put a leash on my anxiety. We weren’t set to do dressage until 12:57 Saturday afternoon so I spent the morning braiding, watching barnmates go, and slowly getting him pretty. Around mid-morning the rain and wind started with gusto but by some stroke of pure luck the rain let up just as I was getting on my horse, so while it was still a little chilly and super windy, at least we didn’t get wet (yet).

When I got on he was very tight and over-reactive to my leg. The day before we did a lot of trot-canter transitions which I think fried his brain a bit and he was still holding on to it. After a little work he started to level out and Trainer came out to help us warm-up. With her help we actually got some really nice moments before it was time to head into the scary rectangle of doom.



The test itself was decent. I was kinda leany and stiff, which made him a little leany and stiff, but there weren’t any major mistakes. The free walk is still basically non-existent and he pulled on me a bit in the down transitions, plus the halt was rough. We can do better but all things considered I was satisfied with the effort. Really I just need to have more lessons and learn how to ride him more effectively. I can live with that. Henry got an A for effort and really was a super boy. He didn’t spook at the scary tent or the pumpkins or the truck or it’s horn honking, and he listened to my (sometimes poorly executed) instructions pretty well. Lots of other horses were having a harder time in those conditions. We were good enough for a 36, which put us in second place. I was thrilled with that… my goal was something under 40 and I expected to be closer to the bottom of the leaderboard after dressage. Second dressage test ever and first phase of his first event: DONE.

MCP3 MCP2Not long after my test was done the skies opened up and rain came down pretty steadily all afternoon. They ran the stadium from higher levels to lower levels, so my division didn’t go until around 4pm. The course was twisty and a little bit tricky, and I was a bit concerned at how the grass footing would hold up.

By the time I got on the warm-up area was pretty trashed. I’ve never really ridden Henry in the rain before, especially not POURING rain, but he was steady ol’ Henry as usual. We opted for just enough flatwork to get him loose and a couple of jumps to get him focused, then went right in the ring. I was actually pretty pleased with how I rode the stadium… I felt like my pace was pretty consistent (the problem I always struggle with) and I pretty darn closely executed the plan we made when we walked the course. Stadium claimed A LOT of victims, between rails and time faults, but Henry jumped around like a champ and was double clear. After day 1 we were now in first place!


To say I was happy with day 1 is an understatement. For where we are in our training I couldn’t have asked for more from my very tolerant and game pony. He got a couple zillion cookies and peppermints. Now all we had left to do was survive XC on Sunday!

Weekend recap: I love my pony

There is a show recap coming of course but I want to wait until I have pictures to tell the whole story. Hopefully tomorrow! Plus I want to take a minute to reflect on all the positive before I get down to the nitty gritty details and start self-critiquing.

Henry was amazing this weekend at his very first event. The weather was very trying to say the least – super windy and rainy and wet. He had ample opportunity to give me the finger and decide he didn’t want to play, but he soldiered on and tried very hard for me in conditions that even much more experienced horses did not.


A couple weeks ago I said our goals were:

1) Remember dressage test – I did!

2) Stay in the ring – We did!

3) Don’t fall off – I didn’t!

3) Remember the stadium course – I did!

4) Don’t get eliminated – We didn’t!

6) Remember the XC course – I did!

7) DON’T FALL OFF – I didn’t!


I want a number, not a letter. – We got a number! And a ribbon! And a bridle! Swag.

My human is so embarrassing

Based on that, it was a great success. And better yet, I came away with:

– The belief that this horse really could be a pretty competitive eventer. Considering we’ve had all of 4 dressage lessons and a couple of XC schools, I was super proud of how he stacked up to the competition. At the end of day 1 we were winning, and even though we didn’t hang on to it, I was ecstatic that it happened at all. The potential is there and I’m really encouraged.

– A long list of exactly what we need to work on. It was a fantastic learning experience both for me and the horse. We’ve got lots of things to tweak that will make for great improvement.

– A deep rooted respect and appreciation for the sport and my barnmates. When adversity rolls in (as in, flooding barns) these people are worker bees on a most impressive scale. No questions asked, no hesitation, no complaining, just a real “get it done, whatever it takes” spirit. I saw it over and over throughout the weekend in all kinds of situations. They are awesome. Despite being wet and cold and miserable for the majority of the weekend, I’m not sure that I’ve ever had more fun at a show.

While I’m gushing, I really want to give special thanks to my friend Michelle who drove 6 hours just to help me out and take pictures and provide moral support for our first event. That means a lot. And of course to Mango Bay and Firefly Bonnets for the support as well… even when we looked like drowned muddy rats, we were still stylin.

As you’ll see tomorrow, when I have nice pictures and more details…


Small Business Spotlight: Annie’s Equestrienne Apparel

Anyone who follows me on Instagram has seen lots of pictures of my hot pink full seats lately, and a few of my Tiffany blue ones. I never would have expected to love bright colored breeches so much, but I have to admit: they’re awesome and I’m obsessed. So a couple weeks ago when I decided it was time to revamp my Small Business Spotlight series, Annie’s Equestrienne Apparel was at the top of my list.

Some of you may actually already know the company’s namesake, from this video –  Annie meets Pepper – which seems to go viral every Christmas in the horse world. It’s so cute it hurts. While they started out making clothes for kids, they’ve also expanded to a ladies line. They have a color to suit just about anyone, from royal purple to red to hot pink to deep royal blue. Hermes orange? They got it. Apple green? Got that too. Not into bright colors? How about a black pair with skull and crossbones on the butt? If fun breeches are your thing you must get acquainted with Annie’s. Too boring for any that? Don’t worry, they have basic white too.

If you’re not a fan of full seats, have no fear. Annie’s has plans to roll out some limited colors in a knee patch version around mid-December. In addition to their awesome line of breeches they also offer a nice basic schooling shirt for women and several shirts and polos for girls (great Christmas gift for that pony-loving barn rat in your life).

To make it even better, right now Annie’s is offering a different promotional deal every week through the holidays. This week if you purchase a pair of Ladies breeches you get a schooling shirt for only $5 with the code “layerup” – a $40 savings. Definitely Like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram @anniesusa so you don’t miss any of their upcoming deals! Cherry on top – right now they’re also offering free shipping through the end of the year.

And now for the fun part – the Q&A! Annie’s mom Shannon gave us some more insight into their operation.

1) When did you start this business?

Annie’s Equestrienne Apparel launched in late January of 2014.

2) How many employees do you have?

We are a family business: my husband and myself, along with our three teenage sons and 9 year old daughter Annie.

3) Where did the idea for the business come from?

Annie and I had been trying to shop for schooling apparel, but we just couldn’t find anything we both really loved. The options for young riders were either too little girlish, or just scaled down versions of adult clothing. One day Annie got out her crayons and drew what she thought would be “fun” clothes to wear while riding her pony Pepper. She had sketched a bright pair of pink breeches and a colorfully striped polo shirt. When she showed them to me I said “Those are really cute…somebody should make them”. This lightbulb went off in my head and voila…the concept for Annie’s was born!

4) What is your background in horses and design?

I grew up on a farm and have been around and shown horses periodically throughout my entire life. I also have always loved fashion, so combining the two just came naturally. Annie comes up with the basic styles and colors, I tweak them to make them a bit more “realistic”, and we have professional pattern makers and seamstresses to make the magic happen! It’s very important for us to not only have fresh, unique and fashion forward design, but to also have it withstand the rigors of the equestrian sport.

5) Any interesting notes about yourself, your business or your products that you would like for people to know?

When we launched earlier this year, we were specifically a children’s/tweens brand. However, shortly after our product made it into the market we were getting inundated with requests to make ladies sizes. In just a few short months, we were offering ladies styles and even a boys breech! We’ve been so busy we haven’t yet changed the tagline on our website from “Sweet schooling clothes for girls” to “Colour your ride”! Colouring their ride is exactly what our customers are doing. We’ve heard time and time again (from ordinary riders to very high end clientele and professional equestrians), that they LOVE our brand, and are thrilled to find such outstanding quality and fashionable riding apparel at affordable prices. Some customers recently told us that our brand was “happy chic” and that we reminded them of the “Kate Spade of the equestrian world”!

We are beyond flattered and humbled with feedback like that, as well as how well we’ve been received thus far. We are so thankful to have such a supportive and loyal customer base…many of whom cannot wait to see what the next color of breeches will be!

“Happy chic” is absolutely the best term to describe Annie’s… it’s impossible to have a bad ride when you’re wearing fun breeches. And how could you not love an entrepreneurial kid like Annie?

Eventually (one of these days when I’m not so horse poor) these Tardis Blue breeches will be mine. It’s a must-have color even if you’re not a big Dr Who nerd like I am. Or maybe the purple since they’d go perfectly with a bonnet and baby pad I already have? I’m beginning to understand how so many Annie’s customers become “collectors”.

Working with Annie’s has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. They’re so nice and so friendly and just so… darn pleasant. Must be a side effect of being surrounded by fun colors all the time. They’re exactly the kind of small business I love to support! If you’re looking to add to your breeches collection or buy a few gifts for the holidays, definitely keep Annie’s in mind.

Even better? Take it one step further and pair them with Mango Bay!


TBT: Cruz the $350 thoroughbred

I’ve had a lot of random low-budget project horses over the years, and Cruz might be one of the most random and almost, but not quite, the lowest budget. I bought him in December 2008 for $350 out of a field as a halter-broke 17.1h 4yo. Because when I say project, I mean project. It took a while to catch him, he’d never been on a trailer, sorta kinda knew how to tie, and didn’t even know how to lunge. I’m always attracted to a challenge, so how could I possibly resist?

Because who could say no to a sale photo like this?

Getting him home was a feat. I was not there to load him but apparently it included grain, round pen panels, and lots of coaxing. As soon as he arrived I worked with him daily, starting with a massive makeover, then ground manners (although for a big horse he was a bit timid so this wasn’t hard), and he got a new name. Previously he’d been named Slim, which I didn’t like, but I noticed that his star was kinda shaped like a heart. Hence the show name Te Amo which spawned the barn name Cruz.

First day home – after a haircut


I’m a sucker for sweet sleepy eyes

After a few days of round pen work  I started to introduce tack, then climbed aboard. He was not the first horse I’ve started but he was probably one of the easiest. After those first few days with me he decided I was not in fact going to eat him and became pretty darn game to do anything I asked. We spent the first few rides in the round pen then I decided he was “broke enough” and rode him around the ring and pasture. Everything came to him really easily… he was smart and once he trusted me he was totally on board.

First day wearing tack


His first mounting


Ride #2


A couple weeks in – now wearing a bridle and riding out in the field


One month in – reins not necessary

That’s not to say he was totally perfect. He had a continually tough time with trailer loading (eventually he got to where he loaded fine but he was never 100% relaxed) and got over-excited in his stall when it was turnout time. He was also a little cheeky about being caught in the field – if you tried to go straight up to him you’d end up chasing him all day, but if you just walked out there and immediately chased him away from you he’d turn around and trot right back. Horse brains, or lack thereof… go figure.

After a couple months I moved him to a different barn with a real ring and some jumps, then started him over fences. We even went trail riding in the big 300 acre park next door – he loved going for a gallop. Considering he’d had a less than ideal start to life, he really came along pretty quickly.

2.5 months – looking more like a real horse!


His first time cantering a jump


I took him to one horse show to school, where he was really really good despite a Cinco de Mayo festival happening next door (complete with inflatables). He handled the atmosphere better than many of the seasoned show horses.

Horse show life is tough

Cruz didn’t really have stellar hunter instincts over fences but he was athletic and had a lot of “try” so I thought he’d make a nice jumper or eventer for someone. After about 6 months I put him up for sale, because you can’t keep them all, and he sold to the first person who came to look at him.

The journey through taking a horse from nothing to something will always be my favorite thing. That’s why I’m still a sucker for a good project and probably always will be. One of these days I’ll tell you about Max… 😉

GIF yourself, and other miscellany

Today is one of those random conglomerations of thoughts, because I don’t have a lot to say about any one thing, but I do have a whole lot of stuff happening in my head.

Ever since I saw a lesson recap from A House on a Hill where she made some gif’s of herself from videos, I’ve thought it was brilliant. By embedding them in your post you can basically force people to watch little video clips without actually having to click on anything. I fully support making people do things whether they wanted to or not. Especially if all you have is short little clips anyway, becomes a playground. Not saying that I wasted an hour gif-ing myself on there or anything…

Second random of the day: I’m not going to complain about the forecast this weekend. Really I’m not. Everyone knows that severe heavy thunderstorms make dressage and stadium day better, especially when they’re on grass. Ride times (or maybe they should be called death times?) should be out today. I’m just so excited. And so not complaining at all. Nope, not me.

And last but not least: Viva Carlos‘ 10 questions for November!

  1. Have you ever owned a horse? Henry is horse #11 if I’m remembering them all. But I’ve never had more than 3 at once. Yet.
  2. What is your favorite aspect of your discipline? I think it takes a lot of heart on the part of the horse (and rider too, but I’m more impressed with the ponies) and trust in the rider. Plus it’s just plain fun, and at the end of the day isn’t that the point?
  3. What pet peeves do you have concerning your discipline? Sloppy turnout (sorry, the h/j roots are deeply ingrained) and borderline dangerous riding at times. That can really apply to both the jumper ring and eventing.
  4. Do you do barn chores? Not so much these days.
  5. What is your least favorite barn chore? Back when I did them – blanketing. Usually I was freezing to death, trying to fasten a million buckles and straps on horses that generally wanted me to eff off.
  6. What do you consider the worst vice in a horse? Rearing, followed very closely by a bad work ethic.
  7. What saddle brand is your favorite? CWD. Not that I’m biased or anything.
  8. Do you ride with a quarter sheet in the winter? If it’s cold enough, yes.
  9. Does your horse wear boots? What kind? I’ve got two full sets of open fronts/hind ankles, his Majyk Equipe XC boots, and a couple pairs of polos. What he wears depends on what we’re doing that day, although he does wear bell boots 24/7. Looking to add a full set of fleece lined brushing boots to my collection if anyone sees a super good deal. 😉
  10. Full seat or knee patch breeches? Funny, back when I evented the first time I really hated full seats. But having just gotten a couple pairs again I actually really like them, especially in my jumping saddle. Go figure on that one. So I guess I like them both.

XC schooling pics

These are from 3 weeks ago, but better late than never. Look how warm and happy we were…

He’s always smiling


little warm-up log


walking up the bank is awkward


Does he ever close his mouth? No.


BN coop


Novice benchy thing


Novice ramp. The shadow is cool.


downhill brush

He was a very good pony that day, but then again he usually is. This is the same venue as our event this weekend so hopefully he remembers. Good news: the weather is supposed to warm up for the weekend. Bad news: 90% chance of thunderstorms on dressage/stadium day. Goody. Maybe Henry needs floaties like this guy?

Weekend recap: proof that I actually ride

Finally, a little bit of lesson video! First I have to say: the weather for our lesson was freaking miserable. Low 40’s with drizzly cold rain. It was a group lesson with a lot of people in it, so every time we were sitting there waiting for our turn to go I just about turned into a solid block of ice.

We started out easy with just crossrails then a little oxer then a couple of lines, then put it together into a really twisty course. We were in the top ring which is pretty small and there were lots of jumps with tight turns and short approaches. For it to ride well you really had to come forward out of turn, otherwise you’d just get “stuck”. This is a pretty ideal course for us because my biggest problem is my tendency to NOT keep coming forward out of the turn… so it was tricky but a good exercise for me. If you didn’t keep coming forward, it didn’t work out. Period.

The video is a pretty good example of that. My completely crooked wiggly botch at fence 6 is because I clamped up instead of continuing to let him go forward. The rest of it, where I actually put my leg on and kept going, worked out decently.

IMG 8821 from amanda chance on Vimeo.

Fence 1 was an oxer, 6 bending strides to the plank at 2. Then around the corner (which was very tight and short) to 3, 4 and 5 – a 3 stride to 2 stride combination. 6 was a little vertical, broken line with a short approach to the oxer at 7. It was one of the harder angles but actually rode pretty well. Then a tight left rollback around to 8, the gate, with a very short approach to 9 (easy to blow right past if you didn’t get them back quickly after 8), then 3 forward strides to 10. Fences 11 to 12 rode as a going 4 or a whoaing 5.


It was a sea of plain white jumps. For the most part I was satisfied with how it went, but felt like I was a little sloppy, a little reactive instead of proactive, and of course WTF at fence 6. Very happy with my horse though and how well he listened and how very honest and game he was. Somebody get dat pony a halo.




After the lesson I clipped him again… yes, clip #2 already. Ugh. This time I left his legs since they hadn’t regrown much and he’s awful about them. Definitely not my best clip job but I was frozen and in a hurry and he kinda wanted to kick me in the head so it’ll do.


Sunday was decidedly non-horsey, unless you count washing saddle pads. The grocery store and new brakes on my car are not that interesting. But I did use a couple gift cards and go buy some actual winter clothes. Well… winter-ish. Better than what I had, at least! Hope everyone else had a good weekend! Just gotta make it through a 4 day work week and then we’re off to our first event.