Friday, October 31, 2014

I'm Blossoming: My First Ever Giveaway

Yes, it's here, my very first giveaway, ever. After some careful thought and planning (and some help from my friends), I have put together a giveaway that I hope will be appealing to a good number of people. This giveaway will have three prizes, two basic prizes and one bigger prize. Anyone can enter. Along with their prize, winners will receive a "Congrats!" post on here, and the winning tumblr and Instagram users will receive a "Congrats!" post on their respective networks.

There are three categories, and they are as follows:

Instagram Drawing:
Enter on Instagram and have the chance to win a mint green saddlepad from Dover Saddlery. To enter, simply go on my Instagram (@burnalltheoxers), repost the giveaway photo, hashtag it as #ambitiousgiveaway1, and that's it. Your username will be put into a helmet (mind yo melon) for a drawing. If you don't want to defame your account with a giveaway repost, you can also DM me a funny joke, and I will notify you that your entry has been received. I'm not kidding, senior year is not fun. Please, make me laugh.
tumblr Drawing:
Enter on tumblr and have the chance to win a set of three, handmade bridle charms. To enter, simply go on my tumblr,, and reblog this post or message me a funny joke (plllleeeaaassseee). Your username will be put into a helmet for a drawing. If you do not like these particular charms, I have a couple more that you can pick from, but they are longer.
Grand Prize Trivia and Drawing:
To have a chance at winning the grand prize, you will have to answer the 10 trivia questions below. If you get all the questions right, your name will be put into a drawing (still from a helmet) to receive a "Show Essentials" Tote Bag. You can send in your trivia answers (with each answer clearly showing which question it corresponds to) to, or you can DM the answers to my Instagram or inbox them to me on tumblr. I will make sure to notify you that your entry has been received.
Answer all of the questions correctly, and you’ll get your name put into the drawing for a chance to win the Grand Prize. The name you put on here will be the name used to announce you as the winner. If you win, you will be contacted first through the email you have given here, then through social media. Remember, you may only enter once. Best of luck!

1) What is a baby horse, in general, called?

2) How many feet does a horse have?

3) Name one difference between an English saddle and a Western saddle.

4) What do you call an adult, female horse?

5) Name a discipline.

6) Name a horse breed originating in the United States.

7) When riding, one goal is to ride a horse round, in other words, from _______ to _______.
a. head, tail
b. back, front
c. China, Mexico
d. relaxation, resistance

8) What is one consequence of poor saddle fit?

9) Name a type of bitless bridle.

10) What unit is used to measure a horse’s height?
I want to make it clear that you may enter all three categories, but you may not enter a category more than once. If you try to, you will be disqualified. If I do not notify you of a received answer, feel free to pester me. I forget sometimes. Unfortunately, I can only ship to the United States (but I already have the next giveaway planned which will ship to most countries). The giveaway ends December 15th, 2014. Winners will be notified on December 17th, 2014, and if they do not respond within 48hrs, a new winner will be picked. Winners will be announced on December 20th. Best of luck to all of you!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Meet, um, Doxy?

The universe was really working for me this weekend. Fifi took me to see her new barn for the first time. It was nice to see Miss El and Lee again. It’s been too long. On a super awesome note, Lee is going for her equine massage therapist certification (or something along those lines). I’d like to do something like that in the future, but architecture for now.

Fifi and Lee rode outside yesterday. It was a nice day, in the sixties, but the wind was up, and Miss El was not having it. She was all bundled up in her jacket, hands in the pockets and zipper to the chin. Sanibel also wasn’t having it. She decided that forward was not a necessary part of the training pyramid. She did (eventually) get moving but only after lots of begging and pleading and demanding from her mommy. They did some 2’9”-3’0” stuff, too.

When it looked like the day was about to end there, Miss El asked Fifi and me if we wanted to go ride some horses that she was training. We said sure. 30 mins or so later, we arrived at a quaint farm in essentially the middle of nowhere. A couple owns the place, and Miss El is training their two trail horses. I didn’t actually think I would be riding, but Miss El had me tack up and gave me her helmet, and I got on a horse whose name might have been Doxy. I suck at remembering horse names. Doxy was trained for ranch pleasure, but she hasn’t done it in quite some time. We just did the basic walk/jog, tried some turns on the haunches that were mainly shoddy, then we tried loping which was downright horrible. Miss El had to get on and actually get Doxy to do it before I could get a decent transition, and it still took five or so tries before I could get one right lead canter. We went on a trail ride after that, a nice, long relaxing one. It’s been too long.
I’m a hunter by trade, so it was strange to actually work in a Western saddle. I’ve putzed around on Miss S’s Western horses, but never anything serious (I came close to falling off more than anything). Part of me genuinely wants to keep riding Doxy and possibly show her next year for fun. They have Western classes at the shows that I do, so it wouldn’t hurt my schedule too much, and Miss El said that she would give me lessons, but money is the issue. Maybe if I actually get some money from the show I’m having, then I could spend a little more on Western lessons., but English for now.

Miss El and Fifi had some fun time with Roman yesterday, too. He’s only been backed a couple of times; Miss El has mainly done groundwork and lungeline stuff with him. The only sound on the actual videos is us cracking up.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

I'm feeling confident

It's a rare phrase to hear me say.

We had an over fences lesson last night. I missed last week due to a transportation issue, and we didn't jump the week before that, so I was itching to get on a horse. I started out on Leo today. Lucky for me, the saddle I used was an old, plan flap, CC, deep seated bundle of joy. Unfortunately, while the seat fit my butt, the flap did not quite fit my leg. Plus, when I was pulling my stirrups down, I didn't notice that they were the cheese grater kind, and my gloves are suddenly missing, so, yeah, that was not a pleasant experience. Miss J also had me drop my stirrups down (to where they're supposed to be, but I don't like a long stirrup anymore), and I spent the first two thirds or so of the lesson with a leg longer than a Justin Timberlake song.

We did the usual two-point at the walk and trot, then rising trot. After that, Miss J had us do circles in each corner, and everyone had to say where they felt any resistance from their horse. "I don't know" was not an acceptable answer, and I found that Leo was slightly pissy about my outside leg, so when I was asked where I felt resistance, I rolled with that. Miss J said that would make sense because he was lacking impulsion, and impulsion comes from the outside leg. Yay for guessing. Our final four circles to the right were actually pretty nice, and he was great to the left. After that, we cantered. The right lead was a bit speedy and hollow.

We warmed up over a cross rail. Miss J had us sit trot in both ways, then we did a little six jump course. I wasn't too happy about jumping in stirrups longer than every single Lord of the Rings movie combined, but it did help me sit more and keep Leo in control. It was a good course minus a super close distance to the second to last fence, which completely threw off the  final fence (it was a line).

After one course, we all had to switch. Miss J let us pick who we wanted to ride. Every horse was super fresh yesterday; I didn't know who I wanted to ride, but I knew who I didn't want to ride. I ended up choosing Romeo on a whim, but I was still wary about riding him because he was popping Izzy, and she is a much better rider than I am. I got on him, adjusted my stirrups, then we were allowed to go over the crossrail both ways at the trot or canter. After that, we had to do our course. It was a real IEA experience. In order to avoid being popped, I basically threw myself over the crossrail before Romeo was even ready to jump it. I stayed on, but . . . no. I did it the other way and actually stayed with him, and it was nice. Then we did our course. The first three jumps were great, but I got so relaxed that after I got through a rollback turn, I stopped riding two strides before fence number four, and I forgot that I had a fairly tight left turn after it. It was a perfect turn on Leo, but it was sloppy on Romeo. We did the last line, and my final fence was deplorable, but I'm still happy about how this lesson went.

Plus, I got to see Cas and Izzy do an intense rain dance. That was hilarious.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October's 10 Questions

Thank you, L. Williams, for giving me something to post until my next ride, which won't be until Friday, and I don't feel like writing up a whole review.

1. How many pairs of breeches/jods do you own? Only six—one pair of Tuffriders, one Equine Couture, one from Annie's, my winter Romfh pair, then two pairs of Tredsteps. I want more.
u will b mine
. How many horses have you ridden? Okay, let's start from the beginning:
• Enrique
• Deadline
• T Baby
• Riddler
• Cheyenne
• Beau
• Trace
• April
• Splash
• Todd
• Chess
• Molly
• Skye
• Duke
• Zoey
• Blue
• Fisher
• Baby
• Mert
• Lady
• Jazzie
• Buddy
• Seren
• Enzo
• Sanibel
• Dusty
• Leo
• Twister
• That one horse in Costa Rica
• and I sat on Gracie once, but by the time I was riding I was too big for her
Survey says 29. I've only been riding 3.5 years. This is a bit excessive.
April and me circa maybe 2012
3. How many trainers have you had? I've trained with five people in the past. That's including the camp I did the summer after seventh grade. Miss S was my first regular trainer.

4. How many barns have you ridden at? Five again, one barn for each trainer.

5. What is the name of the horse you consider yourself to have the greatest bond with? Although I'm not seriously in love with her, probably Zoey. She puts a whole heck of a lot of trust in me, and, while I don't reciprocate, I did try to always make her feel comfortable with whatever I asked her to do.

6. What is your favorite show name you’ve ever encountered? Driver's Ed. He was a pony I came across on a tumblr post. Apparently, the little girl riding him said that they called him Driver's Ed because he taught people how to ride. I thought that was too precious.
Lumpsinmyoatmeal will always be special too
7. What do you consider your greatest weakness or flaw in riding? Is all of the above an option? Honestly, probably my hands. It's been a recurring problem that's kind of gotten worse for the past three years, and it reached its worst point this summer, but I've been actively trying to improve them. I do not like my heavy puppy paws.

8. What do you consider to be your greatest strength? My seat isn't half bad.
I blame my bareback summer
9. Have you ever leased a horse? Technically I'm leasing Baby. It's not contracted, but I work in exchange for a ride, so that's that.
Perpetually unimpressed
10. What is the name of the first horse you rode? I call him Enrique because I was in Mexico at the time, and I was 11, but I actually don't know what his name was.
"Enrique" on the left

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My current obsession: Peter Pan Sweaters

I've never known myself to be mainstream except on rare occasions, but modern fashion has gifted my eyes with something new and unique: the Peter Pan collar. I think it looks exceptionally chic on shirts, sweaters, and shirt/sweaters (shweaters? swirts?), so I've started to integrate them into my Polyvore sets. Equestrian style has be turned into everyday wear. Why not turn everyday wear into equestrian fashion?

When winter and fall set in, the general style that I find in riding outfits is a pullover with a button down underneath. It's cute, it's preppy, and it can be personalized easily, but it gets boring after a while. I hate getting repetitive with my sets; this is one of the reasons why I look for new brands and styles. Fortunately, the Peter Pan collar has come along to be my savior this season. The great thing about this style is that, depending on the individual details, they can be worn alone or layered. Even with a thermal underneath, so long as the sweater/shirt has a higher collar (and there is some variety), the lower layers won't show.

Another great thing about these sweaters is the differences in the collars themselves. Most have the same general shape, but they can either be printed on the shirt or hang off, they can be lace, they can have pearls, they can have sequin, they can contrast; there's a whole world of opportunities with them.

Since the trend is new and hasn't completely caught on, the current selection is slim (or I'm super picky). I'm hoping to find some more products in the right format so they can be more convenient on Polyvore 'cause these are some cute sweaters.

Peter Pan & Palm EarringsCute Collared SweaterEncased in Caramel

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halfway there

I've (almost) completed the first of the two barns that I was planning on revamping this year. The barns themselves have been put on the back burner since I'm less likely to get class points from them, but I should be able to finish both and still have time for a third. If you've been eying a picture of a stable or even a building that would make a nice barn, leave a link in the comments. I need something to occupy my time with.
Bird's Eye View
I redid the better designed one first because I knew that would be easier. I ended up adding maybe five stalls. I took out all the unnecessary storage rooms. One was made smaller and became a feed room while the other was turned into a laundry and mechanical room. The 20' wide aisles were narrowed to 16'. The wash racks were also made a more reasonable size, and the tack room was morphed and closed off from the elements. There is a hay loft over the east aisle with an access ladder in the feed room and a hay door is placed above the main aisle entrance. To be fair, the shed on the west side could be used to store hay (and would probably be more convenient), but the shed was designed as a space to keep large equipment, shavings, or perhaps a large stock of grain.

Front Elevation
Ever since I made this plan many years ago, it has been one of my favorites. The facade is welcoming, and, at this point, if everything works out the way I want it to, this is likely to be my future barn. That had a serious impact as I was redesigning. The wider aisles are to accommodate more barn traffic. The main aisle on the east side would be designated for school horses while the nine remaining stalls would be for boarders (precisely the reason why I had exactly nine tack lockers). At some point I hope to have a foal born at my barn so the removable partition can actually be used, but there's no guarantee. I guess I'll just have two extra stalls.

A hinged stall partition by Röwer Rüb

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oh, can't a girl dream?


My Instagram bio lists that I am an entrepreneur, which is true; I am an entrepreneur, just a dormant one. I've always been interested in starting a business and business in general. My mom started her own business, so it's in the genes.

Here's where it get tricky for me. I genuinely want to start my own business outside of having my own lesson/boarding/training barn. I want to have my own line of riding apparel (no surprise), and, recently, I've been pondering over some design ideas. My ideas are half based on my own personal style while the other half is based on things that frustrate me within the equestrian world. Some of my current ideas are as follows.

- Crystal buttons
- More belt loops
- Breeches with elastic leg bottoms
- Double back saddle pads (you know, with the fleece on the bottom right under the saddle)
- Breeches that look like Tailored Sportsmans but aren't
- Prints (stripes, tribal, paisley)
- Breeches with elastic leg bottoms
- Fun looking pull over sweaters
- Thermal shirts, socks, and tights to layer
- Puffy vests
- Chevron polo wraps where the chevron is actually centered on the thing
- Chevron polo wraps with matching saddle pads
- Show shirts with sweetheart neck lines
- B r e e c h e s w i t h e l a s t i c l e g b o t t o m s
- Lace
- Fancy half chaps
- Eccentric colors
- Shirts and sweaters with thumbholes
- Lightweight riding tights
- Insulated winter show shirts
- Fleece headbands that Velcro onto helmet liners

Boots wise, there's so much variety in what people like that I wouldn't venture too much into it. I would like, along with a few basic pairs of boots, to have a signature tall boot with laces that go all the way up to the knee (but there would still be a back zipper because boots that lace up to the top but don't have a back zipper anger me more than breeches that don't have elastic leg bottoms). It'd look kind of like these.

Maybe I'd make laces that can be switched out. I also kind of want to do a polo style boot, but SmartPak has me beat with that. I dunno, it's all ideas for now. I might pursue this after I'm out of college and actually have time to do things. Time will tell.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

That moment when

That moment when your trainer says that they don't like to torture you . . . yeah, I'm going to have to challenge that. Even the nicest trainers get a chuckle out of making their kids two-point eternally or ride with an arm behind the back. It's just one of those things that comes with teaching people how to ride.

I must say that Miss S has spoiled me though, both in the amount of work I do in the saddle and in the fact that we have an indoor. It rained yesterday, poured late last night, then drizzled the entire day over here. It's still going, too. Never again will I complain about the indoor, no matter how tight and dusty it is. It's shelter, and that's better than riding in the rain and avoiding puddles, plus it minimizes the chance of your horse's hind end slipping in the direction opposite of the one in which you're going.

Dusty (cause I finally remember his name!) was my mount today. He's the same horse from last week. I was happy to be on a simpler, kick-to-go type of horse today; I had the SAT this morning (uuuuuggggghhhhhh). The test actually ended up going an hour over the time it was supposed to end. I have no idea how that happened, but, I came prepared. I wore my riding clothes to the test since there wasn't going to be much time between the end of the test and when I had to leave. Of course, I received some strange looks, but Schmitty complimented my pants, so it's all good.

ROOTD: 10/11/14
ROOTD hella on point
But, while my ROOTD was on point, the rain and cold meant that my lovely orange button down was mostly covered by my jacket. I'd had this outfit prepared for almost a week. The rain ruined everything.

Never mind that, onto the riding thing. Dusty was feeling some type of way today and wouldn't stop being super mouthy. On the ground, he kept trying to sniff and nip at me, then, when I got his bridle on, he would not stop chomping on the bit. It didn't matter what we were doing, he was chomping. I rode in an Albion Legend saddle today, and, as a quickie review, it was amazing. I think if I end up buying a new saddle, I'm going to go for a slightly forward flap. I can still get those in a CC style, and they fit my shortish legs surprisingly well. This particular saddle also had on those flex stirrups, which I usually hate with a passion, but today they helped me so much with my two point. I actually felt like I was crouching, and the fact that they give to pressure meant that my ankles didn't feel as stiff as they usually do.

We did the same walk a couple laps in two point, then trot a couple laps in two point, then rising trot, all both ways. Then we dropped our stirrups, and this is where the torture introduction comes in. "We're just going to do a little bit of no stirrup work," says Miss J, "I don't like to torture my students." Yeah, course you don't. It started off easy with the sitting trot, then she had us do a rising trot, which I've struggled with recently, but God bless that saddle. It was sticking so much to my half chaps that I didn't have to hold on with my legs too much. All I had to do was move my hips. It was wonderful. We picked up our stirrups, cantered with them, then dropped our stirrups and cantered without.

After all the basic flatwork was said and done, Miss J had us do an equitation test where you have three changes of lead on a straight line, then you halt at the end of the line. That didn't go well. Dusty just did not want to pick up the right lead . . . actually, he didn't want to pick up either lead, but to counter canter became the eighth deadly sin. Two unsuccessful tries led to everyone having to practice leg yielding at the walk and trot. Of course there was resistance at first from Dusty, but he eventually complied when he realized that I wasn't asking him to do a perfect half pass across a tight rope. We finished everything with pizza and soda.

My biggest issue today was Dusty's head flinging, which means we're going to work with a much lighter contact next time I ride him. He was much more forward today, and not the bad kind of forward, the good kind where they actually put effort into what they're doing. It's nice not having to have nearly constant leg.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thank you for 5,000 views!

We've hit milestone with this little, baby blog: 5,000 views! Whoop whoop! Thank you to all my viewers, whether you're a regular reader or if you just stopped in to look at a picture (I will get you addicted to this blog eventually), all the views are greatly appreciated.

I started this blog on a whim, and I wasn't very into it at first, but I spend everyday thinking of new things to post (and coming up with minimal ideas because my creativity levels kind of plummeted once I got into high school). I've grown to love blogging, and I've grown to love other blogs (for example, Viva Carlos, The $900 Facebook Pony, Auf Der Autobahn, and Fly On Over who you should check out if you know what's good for you). Documenting my own adventures while also following those of others has been so immensely educational and, often times, fucking hilarious. Fortunately, I save my worst jokes for lunch table conversations and when I text Fifi.

Again, thank you! I appreciate all the support, and I hope to have more to offer from this blog in the future (giveaway???). Happy blogging!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

And finally Saturday

Yesterday, I took a ride on Zoey after cleaning the pasture, and man did she impress me.

I started my ride with trying to get her to relax when I put my leg on, which was something that she wasn't too keen on doing during our last ride. She settled much quicker than last time. I walked a few steps then asked for the trot and kept the transition slow to keep her from getting riled. She stepped into it not as crazily as she usually does, but then she settled right down in less than a lap. She was so together and laid back that I just dropped my reins and she went along, so long as I told her where to go (and if I didn't tell her she went to where the food was).

Cantering was different. I'm taking a new approach with it. Miss S said that when Zoey would buck or kick out at the canter, she'd push Zoey through it, so that's what I did this time. We were going to the left, and she picked up the wrong lead, but I just kept her going, through every corner, in a circle, wherever I wanted, and I pushed her forward until she settled. It took a bit, but she did it. Of course, then she didn't want to pick up the left lead at all, and that took a good three or four tries, but it was a start.

Unfortunately, this will either be my absolute last ride on Zoey or we'll be taking another hiatus. She was off again in that same foot, and I don't think Miss S really wants to keep her riding sound. I'm so happy about her progress, and maybe the person who buys her will be willing to baby that right foot of hers, but that's up to them. She'd be awesome, but not everyone wants a show pony.

Then there was Friday

Ah, yes, it is, in fact, time for change. I forgot to mention in my last post that Thursday was my last lesson on Baby and with Miss S for a while. A local woman has decided to start an IEA team at her barn. Miss S mentioned it to me, and, at first, I simply didn't want to. I'd heard about IEA before and thought it would be a cool thing to do, but I just brushed it off because I thought there was no need to change anything riding wise. Then the texts poured in, and I was sucked into this thing. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to afford riding with Miss S and riding with the team. I actually thought I could for a couple of days, then my dad talked some sense into me, and I picked to ride on the team. It's more expensive, there are shows every month, and the barn is an hour away, but, when opportunity comes knocking, you don't ask it to wait.

My first lesson was on Friday. Cas is also on the team, and her mom is my ride for the next couple of months. It's a cute, quaint little place, nothing extremely luxurious, but it gets the job done and then some. I've never been good at meeting new people, so I just stuck by Cas for the most part until everyone started showing up.

One of the middle schoolers on the team, Izzy (not to be confused with Izz who has moved and left me feeling unloved and lonely), also happens to be into fashion (and also happens to beat me and everyone else in equitation, but, hey, we're a team now). She showed up dressed to impress in a polo and Tailored Sportsmans, both in shades of grey that matched without clashing. She used the Black Rule, but her nails were painted blue, which added some contrast. Of course, it's October, it's about 6pm, and there are a bunch of mothers in the barn. They're all asking, "Don't you need a coat, sweetheart? Are you sure you're going to be okay?" to which Izzy replies with, "Oh, no, I'll be fine. Just get me on a horse. I'll be fine." God bless this child's dedication to the fashion game.

My mount at the beginning of the ride was an older, solid bred Paint. The barn owner, Miss Jan, apologized for putting me in a Wintec, but hot damn, that was a comfy saddle, and it fit me well. We started out at the two-point for quite a few laps. On the subject of physical health, I had some pretty bad lower back pain, which I worked through, but it was incredibly bothersome. We then started to trot in the two-point, then rising trot. There are woods on two sides of the arena, one long side and one short, and my horse wasn't fond of going by the woods on the long side at all. That required lots of half halts. The trainer, Miss J, was very encouraging, and she wouldn't give me a correction before telling me that I was doing well. Everything was good while we were trotting, then we started cantering to the left. We're all just going along, but then I hear that characteristic, "Halt your horses!" which isn't like the one you hear an announcer say as a test in a class but rather the one that means "Halt your horse! There's a loose animal in the ring!" I don't pride myself on being very vigilant or having the best hearing, so I look around, still cantering, wondering why we have to halt our horses, then I see Miss Jan's horse taking off with her, right towards me. I think the spread he pounced over is what gave me enough time to get out of the way. They all calmed down after a little while, and we kept on cantering, switched directions, cantered the other way, and then we moved on to jumping.

My horse was too old to jump, so I waited until the others had jumped, then I switched onto Leo (I think). I hopped right into the canter and did three fences. Miss J really wanted me to sit, which is still difficult for me while jumping (I'm relying too much on that half seat). I lost my stirrup over the second fence, but I'm the keep jumping type, so I just took the Swedish with one stirrup, and that did not go down well. Miss J said that I needed to go half the speed I was going through that combination. I didn't even think I was going that fast, but Cas said I was practically galloping. I went through it again and cut my speed down quite a bit, then Miss J let me switch onto Twister.

Twister likes to duck fences to the right, so right leg and left rein were required going to every fence. She ducked the first time, but then went over the second time as we did the same combination I did on Leo, minus the Swedish. I have to say, Twister is quite narrow through her ribs; I have to move my leg over a good three inches before it even touches her. Staying with her was another thing, and she jumps kinda funny. We did another combo of the red then a rolltop. I swear I cannot do that type of turn without taking the second fence at an angle, but that was a problem because there were poles on the rolltop angling to the center. Of course she refused the first time. It wouldn't have been fair to make her jump it like that. We tried it a second time with Miss J by it to help me to it, but, again, I messed up the turn, and that time I got dumped. I shot up because I didn't want Twister to run, and I just gave Miss J a thumbs up and got back on. I trot into it, and she jumped beautifully, and we had a nice, calm canter out and downward transition. Many pats for a tolerant pony.

Our first show will be on November 2, which means that I have to get my homework done on Friday and Saturday (ew). I'm nervous but excited, and I already like our team. The group mentality is there, so I don't think we're going to have any weak links effort wise. This is gonna be fun.

First there was Thursday

Please accept my apologies for my absence. School and ponies have been taking up my blogging time (and my sleeping time, for chrissake).

This past Thursday, I took my usual lesson on Baby. She was being used in the lesson just prior to mine, so I couldn't change my saddle before the lesson began, and I've started to become stingy about riding in something other than the Stubben. Then, of course, only one stirrup had a hole that was the perfect length for my leg. I decided to go short for the day since we were going to jump. We did the usual walk, trot, and canter, and we worked on our transitions, then we did a couple of low fences. Before the sunlight left, we worked on a circle of fences, which was fine minus a bad distance to the second fence, then we head inside to finish the lesson.

When we got inside, Miss S had us do a pattern where we sit trot between the first two cones, then counter canter between cones two & three, then regular canter between cones three & four, and halt at the end of the ring. I think we did it two or three times, and Baby was great each time. We added two fences, another halt, and a back through to the end of the pattern, and then the lesson was over.

My main focus was still relaxation and using my legs as opposed to my hands. My hands are still more active than I'd like, but, now that I ride with less contact, whenever my hands do start to move around, they don't do much of anything. They're just awkwardly in the air.
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