Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 in Review -- part 3

Below is episode 3 of our 2014 review - covering the end of summer. This was by far the busiest time for us, and saw many big things happening rapid-fire, one after the other. 

The motivation behind this review is to summarize major events and celebrate any accomplishments - big and small - that may have been overlooked at the time. Follow these links for Part 1 and Part 2 of the review.


-I started blogging!!!!

-We jumped the jump of doom at OF - twice! And didn't die!!!! I learned that Isabel understands what's up and enjoys the job well enough that she can babysit me a bit when I'm too scared to actually ride to the fence. This was welcome news for my confidence. 

-Adopted OG. My cats proceeded to luv each other <3

-Didn't do as much trail riding as I would have liked - but the few times we did get out proved to be welcome respites for both of us. 

-Another lesson with Dan. We worked on our teeny tiny ten foot canter stride, and he introduced his favorite concept of letting the circle do the work instead of reins. I also was a bit appalled by my positional issues, and determined to make stability a priority.

-First attempt at conformation shots of Isabel (took pic in August, but posted in September). Had every intention of doing this monthly. Did not do it monthly lol. Still want to do it regularly tho... anyone have tips for getting a great confo shot?? 

-Visited Rochester and took a lesson on Lad. Learned about the bad habits I've picked up (like riding defensively) and bolstered my confidence by loping around 2'6" courses like nbd. 

-Applied my lesson with Lad by focusing on *forward* and getting the right feel for jumping out of stride with Isabel.

-Dressage lesson where the name of the game was: get *Emma* riding correctly and Isabel will take care of the rest. We reaffirmed that progress was, in fact, happening.

-Stopped lessoning at ST indefinitely (tho may return this winter).

-The realities of daylight savings time kicked in, and we got reacquainted with the arena lights.

-Isabel was wounded in the field and we missed a major trifecta of xc schooling, dressage lesson, and lesson with Dan. This caused much trepidation about our upcoming show plans.

-Isabel healed and we carried on - resolved to compete but not move up a level.

-Combined training show! It was a foggy, misty morning and I was scared that we'd wipe out again in stadium... but everything was fine. The judge noted improvements in our dressage (still w-t) and Isabel's jumping round was solid - tho the warm up left a lot to be desired.

-XC schooling!! This was totally unexpected - and I was super relieved to have one more outing with Isabel before our first ever horse trial. This constituted our third schooling, and it was a much needed confidence boost. 

-Final lesson before the HT is maybe our best jumping lesson EVAR (still to date). Everything clicked and we operated as one unit. It felt effortless. 

-Isabel and I met the overarching goal I set last winter that prompted all the truck-buying and training (and blogging) we'd been doing: Compete in a Horse trial by Fall 2014!!!!! This was a massively big deal to me, and I broke it into three posts: here, here and here


  1. Replies
    1. yay indeed - it's all about the big picture :)

  2. She is such a refined mare. Love her delicate face.

  3. Jump of doom! haha. I have several that I feel like that about :)

    1. it's funny, but i guess there's always gotta be a few like that lol

  4. Replies
    1. thanks! it's been a LOT of firsts for us, that's for sure :)

  5. It was great catching up on what you were doing pre-blogging :)

  6. So jealous of all the riding pictures you have!

    1. they are pretty much all video stills - and i am shameless when it comes to begging ppl to snap quick videos lol

  7. Replies
    1. It's been fun and educationally and all kinda of other good stuff :)

  8. That injury looks gruesome!! I'm glad she healed up from it...

    I love your recaps. So fun!

    The conformation picture actually looks really good. My tips include, don't take them at noon (lighting is too harsh, try morning or evening), take LOTS of pictures (I take fifteen or so for one conformation shot), having someone hold them and lure their ears forward with something interesting helps but isn't necessary, being on level ground and most importantly, making sure the camera is centered. You don't want to be crouched too low or towering over her because that will distort her legs making her look too tall or her legs too short. You also want her hindquarters and forequarters to be equal distance from the camera. You don't have to move the horse to fix this, just step to your right or left and check again (or better yet take another picture, you never know when you'll get that perfect one). Also making sure you don't have a lot of distracting stuff is the background is good, especially poles, fences, etc. sticking out of her or something dark hiding her legs. :) Your picture is actually one of the better ones I've seen from people new to taking conformation shots! Good job!

    1. Wow thanks so much for those insights!! I already did the "take a million pics" thing (don't well all? Lol) but the rest is new info for me. Will definitely have this comment handy next time I give it a whirl!! :)

    2. I'm glad I could help! I had to learn it all through trial and error. At least I got a lot of practice. :D

  9. Sounds like a fantastic time! She is such a cute mare! :)


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