Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tack Swap Results

I've got 99 problems, and my saddle is still one of them, but the Tredsteps (the Rosas) have made their way into the hands of another fortunate soul. My boots and red shaped pad also went to a girl who is starting to get into English riding. My fly bonnet was sold as part of an intensely purple set; the girl came into the stall and found everything purple and took all of it. I sold a handful of charms. It was mostly kids who wanted them, but if I can dress up another pony, I'm totally okay with that.

I made away with a stock pin for $3, a headband from Miss Sue's store for $20, and a free gray hunt coat from Miss Terry. I have to get some alterations done on the coat, but if it fits, it'll look good with an orange or yellow show shirt. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be conservative because it's the hunter ring, but honestly fuck that, I'm a Dressage queen at heart with a taste for the unconventional.

I came across quite a few lovely shops, and one girl was actually selling her bedazzled GPA because it didn't fit her head. Oh, what a shame. It was gorgeous to look at.

I was actually surprised by the number of Western riders that came through. The show grounds that I go to in the summer have a Western ring, but the attendance is quite small. I wonder where these Western folk are riding.

Friday, February 27, 2015

So many "Yeesss!" moments

Because Baby is a super pon. Everyone needs to be aware of that.

Okay, not that kind of super, but you know what I mean. From Applejack2
I made an attempt to film my ride today because I wanted to post it on a forum for critique, but, apparently, when my DSLR shuts off, it stops filming, so I had less than a minute's worth of footage, and I hadn't even gotten on in that time yet, so that's that.

Baby was super duper today. I actually rode her in a bridle (because that's what we do at shows, therefore I should probably do it at home). My main focus was the flatwork aspect. She was better about going into the corners, but we had inconsistencies in pace, as well as the usual jigging and breaking into a canter at random points. I will say though there was some definite arguing today, less than usual, but proper riding shouldn't include arguments. It just makes the whole ride a lot less productive.

Fortunately, the woman that the new boarder does Dressage with is willing to come do a clinic at Miss S's place. I had almost completely committed to the place where Miss El used to work, but I heard some not so nice things about the clinician, and basic instruction isn't worth paying $90 and hauling an hour away. We don't have a date yet, so it's waiting time again.

This could be us, but I'm female
Back to today, I did some more basic pole work with Baby, just two poles raised on the ends and 9' apart. She was perfect. We walked through, sit trot through, sit trot without stirrups through, and cantered through, in both directions. Not a single foot was misplaced. I mean, sure she barreled through the gymnastics twice, but she's easy to control once she realizes that racing is not a very good option when there are many poles to maneuver over. I also did some transitions trot/canter, which were iffy for the most part, but we got a couple of good ones.

Fifi's Stubben is a much better option than Miss S's, and now that I've dropped my stirrup a hole, it's super nice to ride in. Plus, I get to keep my fancy, smancy saddle pad on it, which makes me very happy. Fabulous on every ride.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Feeling the Floral Feels

I can feel the floral, but I can't see the floral, mainly because winter decided to come late and covered the ground with ANOTHER 4" blanket of snow. I was planning on riding today, but the temperature is too low. Plus, the wind is going to rattle the indoor, and the horses haven't had much proper turnout lately. I'd rather not take my chances with a hyper Dork.

The snow might also put a hold on mail, which means shipments won't go out as quickly. Urg, this is too frustrating! With the tack swap in two days, I think I'll spend today and tomorrow knocking out a couple more charms. Quite a few pendant have been lying dormant, and I found some cool swampy looking beads in my mom's collection. Sigma swamp charm, anyone? After the swap, I'm going to be working on a spring collection, so stay tuned.

I was starting to look forward to an IEA lesson this weekend, too, but I doubt the arena is going to be clear by Sunday. If J² is up for it, Miss S might be willing to let us use the indoor for team lessons. It'll be tight, but we haven't met in a couple of weeks, and regionals is next weekend.

Feeling the Floral Feels
1. J Crew blue checkered shirt
    www.jcrew.com
2. MARC by Marc Jacobs Jerrie Rose Stud
    piperlime.gap.com
3. SSG Lycrochet Horseshoe Back Glove
    www.doversaddlery.com
4. Barneys New York Trouser Belt
    www.barneys.com
5. Samshield Shadowmatt Helmet
    www.smartpakequine.com
6. FixDesign Knitted Cotton Breeches
    shop.fixdesignhorses.it
7. HKM Maritha Saddle Cloth
    www.hkm-sportsequipment.eu
8. De Niro Lilium L503 Boot

Monday, February 23, 2015

'Fraidy Cat Eventing Charm Contest

If you haven't yet, take a trip over to 'Fraidy Cat Eventing and comment for a chance to win one of my bridle charms for free! There are three available, and if you want them all, go for it. Emma has made it super easy to enter, too; just comment which one you want, that's it.


I'm also adding more to the eBay shop today, and, after that, I'm sitting down to put those Greek charms to some kind of use.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Let the sky fall

Or at least let the rain fall from the sky, as if one could stop it. It's been precipitating since yesterday afternoon, started as snow and then proceeded to melt as the temperature rose. The white stuff on the ground also started as snow, but now that the temperature has risen, it turned into mush . . . well, a top layer of mush and a bottom layer of ice. Fantastic.

Actual footage of me as a bear
I also made a mistake when I went to get more charm materials yesterday. I'm adding letter charms to the collection, but I wasn't paying attention when I put the packs in my basket. The pack of silver letter charms are the Greek alphabet, from alpha to omega. So if you're a math geek, I've got you covered. I'm considering keeping a theta charm as a reminder that I made it through calculus.


I was planning on riding today too, but the indoor flooded. Miss S is worried that one of the sprinkler pipes might have burst. Just another expense in the most expensive season of the most expensive sport. Since there was nothing else to do, I cleaned my old saddle and stored it properly so that it'll look halfway decent at the tack swap next weekend. I also cleaned Fifi's saddle that she loaned to me for this season. It too has been sitting stagnant for a while, so it'll get a couple of regular cleanings to keep the dust out and the leather soft.

Needless to say, there was no IEA this weekend either, which is nice because I appreciate a break from the Corbinator and his antics. Regionals is just kind of looming in the near distance, though. Eh, I'll burn that bridge when I get there.

Friday, February 20, 2015

TOABH: A Rose

Because I feel like I give Baby a new nickname every day, and I have no idea how you all are keeping up at this point.


A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Every horse seems to have at least three names: the “real” one, the barn one, and that special one. What are some of your pony’s names?

Okay, well, she's registered and shown as For Unlimited Pleasure, which will always be an awkward name no matter how you explain it. When Miss S bought her, we considered changing her name to something other than Baby because, at the time, we had two babies on the farm, and some confusion ensued.

My nicknames for her:
- Babes
- Queen B
- The Dork

And I know that there are numerous others that have come and gone, but I just can't remember them.

"My name is 'Baby', get it straight." Eh, nah.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Eqcentric


1. Ralph Lauren Purple Label cream sweater
    www.farfetch.com
2. Jack Wills Pink Button Down Shirt
    www.jackwillis.com
3. Crystal necklace set
    www.etsy.com
4. Men's Winter Leather Driving Gloves with Cashmere Lining
    www.leatherglovesonline.com
5. Mattes Sheepskin Correction Half Pad
    www.epshop.us
6. La Casa de las Botas Javier Solas Boot
    www.lacasadelasbotas.com.ar
7. Wexford Raised Snaffle Bridle
    www.rainbowsendtack.com
8. Horze Grand Prix Self Patch Breeches, Women’s
    www.horze.com
9. EHA Valencia CC Baroque Saddle Pad

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

sNNNOOOOOOw

Tomorrow will be the third consecutive day off of school because of snow, and while I appreciate more time to do the homework that was going to be due on Tuesday, I just don't want to go through another day at work (although I could use the cha ching). Seniors don't even have to make up these days at the end of the year, but I know teachers are going to pile on the work because of the curriculum and just, gah! I'm not looking forward to that.

On a good note, Miss S is planning on getting charms for all the school horse bridles (with Baby being an exception cause she's already blinged out), and I'm taking them to the community tack swap. With that being said, anything on eBay that doesn't have a bid or isn't sold by February 27th will go to the tack swap for in person sales. If you know me in person (which would be quite terrifying as this blog shows my weird sides), and you would like me to hold a charm for you to buy at the swap, just tell me at some point through some means.


I did ride Dork today, but there wasn't enough room in the schedule to take a lesson on Molly, so we're waiting until next week. We did all of the pole exercises with varied success. She was phenomenal on the curve, both trotting and cantering. She got a 9' distance in one trot stride; I felt her float.

The normal canter poles were more difficult because she desperately wanted to jump them. Shebsheb adjusted the distance for me, and Baby kind of got it, but she kept trying to leap into the first pole instead of just cantering over it. She also decided to both over jump and rush to a 6" cross bar. She's such a drama queen.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

sNOw

I plan on moving Florida when I'm older because I cannot handle this.


We got anywhere from 6" to 8" of snow last night, which means no school today (or tomorrow). I spent a couple of hours working at my mom's place, then I head over to the barn. Even though I hate snow, I think it looks super pretty, and I've been dying to get pictures in the snow. I groomed the pon and we head out.



She was mildly cooperative.


After that, I threw her in a stall in the indoor (which she did not like) so that I could set up some exercises if we actually get in a real ride this week. I'm jumping on the polework bandwagon. It looks super fun (and super difficult), but it was suggested as a way to teach her to engage her back end. I have both trot and canter poles set up, some elevated, some on the ground, plus a curve. It's gonna be fun.


I was going to putz around on her bareback, but then I decided that I was too lazy to do that, so I just lunged her, and man am I glad I did that instead. Little Miss Unfocused took off (like excuse u, no, stop, this is not what we're here for, you know manners, don't gimme this crap). She was paying attention in a couple of minutes, but gosh, she acts like she never showed on the lunge line.

I'm currently in the process of trying to get scheduled for a lesson tomorrow on Molly, but I'm trying to get that in while also getting in a good ride to work with the poles.

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's moving forward

After a bit of headache and some hopeful thoughts, I finally have charms available for sale on eBay, and they actually show up in searches. I panicked a bit after I initially posted them and couldn't find any of them unless I went directly through my account settings. Everything has to be indexed before it shows up in the searches. A few days later, they were there! Besides eBay settings, I also had to set up the PayPal, which meant setting up online banking, which was not a very fun experience and took three tries to complete.

Nevertheless, everything is done, and I am happy. I only have a couple up right now, but I have pictures taken of almost the entire collection (I make five or so a week and do pictures every so often). For custom charms, please email theambitiousequestrian@gmail.com.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Dumper & The Dork

It appears that the Corbinator 4.0 has been recalled; instead, today we met Corbinator 3.5, all with sass with, like, 90% of the speed. Honestly, today on the flat was probably the laziest he's ever been, minus two spooks. The only thing he was trying hard to do was hang on me when I asked him to move faster than the pace of dying grass.

His real energy came out during the warm-up fence, which we did two or three times. Then, when we went to do a little course, he dropped back. However, I wasn't expecting that, so I didn't have much leg on. We got so deep to that fence it might as well have been poetry. He went up, I went up, he came down, I crash landed and had to pull my feet out of some tricky places. I did, however, hit my stomach fairly hard on the pommel of the saddle, which resulted in necessary deep breathing and some ab soreness. Of course, today was the day that we did heavy no stirrup work. The mid-section is on fire.

Even Gabe turns to look at our failure.
We did manage to get through a whole course, even if it wasn't equitation standard. We did another three jump course at the end, which also wasn't equitation standard, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Afterwards, we took an hour drive back to Miss S's place so I could actually do some productive work with Dork-face. She was in between forward and plodding today. I just rode her in the halter with the snap on reins, which she is more apt to lean on me in; she gets a lot lighter once she gets moving forward. She was a lot more relaxed and respecting of my inside leg, but she still wanted to jig multiple times.

Cas and Hopey were having a lesson, so I tagged along with the exercises: a fence on a circle, 3 trot poles, 3 raised trot poles, and a conservative 5/moving 4 line. There was no issue with the poles, but she did rush to the fence on the circle. The rushing is the reason why I'm trying to do more trot fences with her. She only rushed when we cantered, which means I'll probably be doing it in sets when we start and finish the jumping portion of our rides. Even though she races, she still pays attention (unlike Corbin), so it's much easier to pull her up or push her to the fence when I need to. She was perfect for the line, no bowing at all, and we jumped 2'3", which is the biggest thing we've done since November's hell storm.


Since I'm only lessoning on Baby every other week once show season comes around, I have to be riding her 3 times a week on my own by March, which sounds nice and all if I wasn't in two more school clubs, worked for my mom, and planning on doing an internship this summer. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, gotta make it work.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Various Shades & a Gold Accent

Various Shades & a Gold Accent

1. Ralph Lauren Sport logo top
    currently unnavailable
2. Rebecca Ray Designs Brass Bit Leather Cuff
    www.rebeccaraydesign.com
3. Dogeared Jewels Elephant Post Earrings
    www.amazon.com
4.SSG Lycrochet Horseshoe Glove
    www.doversaddlery.com
5. Tory Burch Classic Logo Belt, Gold
    sold out
6. Horze Active Self Patch Breeches
    www.horze.com
7. HKM Cordula Saddle Pad
    www.hkm-sportsequipment.eu
8. Tiberio GR1014 Custom Chaps
    www.denirobootco.it

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Product Review: Ariat Heritage Contour Boot

I have a mild obsession with Ariat as in I won't put anything else on my feet. Ariats have super duper quality at super duper prices. I wouldn't have gone with another boot when I needed up upgrade from my cheapo show boots.

Image from SmartPak Equine
Granted, I couldn't go with much else. I have a hard to fit calf. It's slightly too large for a regular width calf, but the difference is enough that a regular calf will not go up without a struggle, and it won't feel good while it's on. Fortunately, the Heritage Contours have a stretch panel. It has just the right amount of give for me. I get my zipper up without any issue, and it's a comfortable boot to ride in . . . after the break in process.


Yes, Ariats are known for taking a while to break in and stretch out. Mine were no different. It took maybe two months worth of weekly lessons and a couple of shows to fully break them in. Now that mine are well used, they are comfortable to wear for lengthy periods of time (but I don't do that often because I need to keep them clean for shows).


The break in process takes forever, but I'm certain these boots will last me forever. That's another thing Ariat is known for: durability. I'm not interested in buying a boot that needs to be replaced yearly, especially if it's a show boot that's only being used once a month. I'll admit that I don't take very good care of my boots (oh smite me, I'm lazy), but these boots have survived and thrived. Like my paddock boots, the Heritage Contour has the 4LR footbed. It has served me well in all three boots.

I purchased my boots from SmartPak, but they are available from a variety of stores.

Ariat Website
Ariat on Facebook

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Put your sweatpants on"

She has faith that I can watch horses school yet doubts my ability to keep a pair of pants clean. Trainers never cease to amaze me.

I had my last show before regionals today. I qualified over fences, but I can't qualify on the flat unless I get a first place at my fifth show; I decided that it wasn't worth the price because there was no guarantee. I'll save money by doing one class anyway.

I pulled Skipper over fences and Autumn on the flat. Skipper is your average Quarter Horse, laid back and prefers to not do anything. He was definitely the easier ride of the day. The crop helped. He was a little lazy during the warm-up, but after that he was great. I barely had to ask him for his simple changes because he would just respond to outside leg. I had one distance that I wasn't sure about, and I held on too tight with my thigh, but it was an okay course. I got third.



On the flat, I knew that I wasn't going to do well from the start. I missed my first diagonal, and my horse was so backed off of my leg. We broke multiple times at the canter. My sitting trot has been a hit or miss lately, and today it was a miss. I placed last.


I've been told that regionals will be at the last place we showed at, which is worrisome because that place didn't seem arty all large enough to hold that big puff a crowd. Thank God it'll be spread over two days.

Regionals Boot Camp starts this week.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Corbinator 4.0

Introducing the all new Corbinator 4.0. This newer version of the Corbinator makes the old one look like a blessing. With its state of the art resistance to leg and a nack for running at fences, it'll teach you the meaning of sit-and-whoa. Stay in and you'll be the envy of the eq ring. At just the price of taking care of it (and your sanity), the Corbinator 4.0 is the perfect gift for that one barn brat that thinks they're special just because they rode a green horse once. If you like taking out strides, riding on the seat of your pants, and being thrown out of the tack on lead changes, call now and ship your new Corbinator today!

The Ambitious Equestrian, T. A. Eyo ¥, and her associates are not responsible for any harm that comes to you, your property, or others in your property at the hooves of the Corbinator 4.0.

*Pants not included
I'll stick with the old version of the Corbinator. At least that one made me look good. In most cases, I get easily bothered by horses getting hyped, but Corbin's usually laid back attitude plus the fact that he was completely lacking any kind of forward motion in warm-up meant that it took two fences before I got nervous. That's a record.

I forgot to mention that the Corbinator 4.0 also likes slicing fences that don't need to be sliced. I am not a jumper. We are not doing a jumper course. We are doing a small crossbar. Please tell me why that needs to be sliced. Miss J had me pull him out of a couple of fences because he was just going way too fast. After our two warm-up fences and a short course, it still took four more times over the crossbar before he was settled. I like laid back, you-won't-get-me-going-anywhere-without-spurs Corbin.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Laying down an accurate schedule

Since I plan on working Baby up to 3'0" as the season goes on, I've made a plan regarding what classes I will do at each show. It's subject to change, but I like having a base timeline to follow.

May 16th
14-17 Medal
Jr. Equitation @ 2'6"

May 17th
Low Children's Medal
14-17 Medal
Jr. Equitation @ 2'6"

June 6th
Hunter Derby @ 2'6" w/ high options
14-17 Medal
Jr. Equitation @ 2'6"

June 7th
Hunter Derby @ 2'6" w/ high options
14-17 Medal
Jr. Equitation @ 2'6"

June 20th
Low Hunter @ 2'9"
14-17 Medal

June 21st
14-17 Medal
Junior Equitation @ 3'0"

July 18th
14-17 Medal
Junior Equitation @ 3'0"

July 19th
14-17 Medal
Junior Equitation @ 3'0"

Medal Finals (date is up in the air for now)
14-17 Medal Final
Junior Equitation @ 3'0"

MHSA & MAEF finals TBA

I'll throw some pony medal on Molly in there somewhere, probably the second weekend in June.

I can only do the medal until I qualify. Hopefully I'll qualify a lot earlier this year and save myself a class fee until finals. Junior Equitation is the only thing that I'm going for points in, and I just have to keep my points high enough to go to that final, and I'm still not sure how that or the MAEF final is going to work considering the fact that I'll be at school. Yes, I'll be riding, but I have no idea if the horses at my chosen school's barn will be available for me to show if they're being used in lessons and IHSA. I guess I could ask Miss S to make sure that someone rides Baby. Eh, we'll see what happens. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fashion Thursday: I Love These Saddle Pads

I love these saddle pads
1. APC Crew Neck Sweater
    currently not available
2. Delia's Gingham Button Down Shirt
    sold out
3. Success Equestrian Hunter Half Pad No Slip
4. Sorel Women's Tofino Cate Boot
5. Custom Chanel Pre-owned Earrings
    sold out
6. Wet Seal cross belt
    sold out
7. Women's Winter Leather Driving Gloves with Cashmere Lining
8. Essie Cocktail Bling Nail Polish
9. Samshield Shadowmatt Helmet
10. Circuit Premier Special DS Saddle
11. Roma Gel Handle Crop
12. GhoDho Luna Breech
13. Valencia Baroque CC Saddle Pad

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How to be Thrifty: Equestrian Style

To cut to the chase, horses ain’t cheap, but there are ways to make it more affordable, so here are my tips. Feel free to add more ideas in the comments. I hope to have this post be a good reference point for equestrians looking for assistance.

Affordable Riding
Working off lessons: Depending on how often you ride, the cost of lessons can add up very quickly. Ask your trainer about working off some of your lessons. Stall cleaning and pasture cleaning are especially time consuming, and allowing students to take lessons in exchange for work can be cheaper than hiring a barn hand.

Working for free rides: This is the same as working for lessons, except you can simply come out and ride whenever you like, or under the circumstances that your trainer/barn owner sets.

Affordable Showing
Limit your classes: Yeah, it’s pretty simple. Pick out divisions and classes that challenge you and will help you progress. It’s a matter of prioritizing.

Do it yourself: On my show bills, I get charged for braiding, horse prep, hauling, my trainer’s day fee, and the use of the horse. In my case, I can save money by braiding for myself or sharing my horse with someone else (can’t save money on horse prep due to the fact that I work). Look at your own show bills, and figure out the things that you can do for yourself to save a couple of bucks.

Do it for others: Some people are willing to pay for someone to take care of their horse. Braiding can be an easy way to pocket some money. Keep stalls clean, hold and tack up horses, cool horses out.

"The Tailored Sportsman look without the Tailored Sportsman price": Shires Oakland Side Zip Breeches, Ovation Ladies EuroWeave Side Zip Breeches, Ariat Ladies Pro Circuit Low Rise Breeches

Affordable Owning
Again, do it yourself: Talk to your barn owner about DIY boarding. There are various ways to do it, but, essentially, you pick up part of your horse’s daily chores. Unfortunately, if your time is limited, this isn’t the best option.

Working board: If you board at a lesson barn, you can offer to let your horse be used in lessons. Your eye might twitch at the thought, but, like lessons, months of board add up quickly.

Leasing: This is a great option especially if you don’t get to go out and ride often or if you’re not able to ride for long periods of time. You also get to help another rider further their career. Go you.

Get educated: Learn proper horse care. Be mindful of unhealthy habits, changes in your horse’s behavior, nicks & cuts, ill fitting tack, poor farrier/vet/chiro care, etc. Keeping your horse’s health optimal can help you to avoid expensive treatments. Plus, you own the thing. Take care of it.

Affordable Equipment/Apparel (longest list because it’s the one I have the most experience with and my mother taught me right)
Buy used: No, seriously, do not be afraid to buy used items. Many different kind of tack and equipment (especially saddles) are a lot cheaper when you get them second hand. Show coats and tall boots are also popular items to buy used. Also, if you have any excess items lying around, sell them. People like a good deal.

Do not over pay: Do not let anyone take your $50 + shipping for a single polo shirt unless it’s a technical shirt. If you find an item you want, Google it. You can find most of the places where it’s being sold and potentially get it for a much lower price. You can also buy similar items (which I find usually on Polyvore and Pinterest) that are less expensive but still good quality.

Don’t be afraid of “cheap” brands: Yeah, I’m talking about TuffRider. I have a show shirt and a pair of breeches, and both get the job done well. Ovation helmets are also a great option, and I’ve also heard good things about their boots. Multiple people have suggested Dublin boots to me, the Noble Outfitters Perfect Fit Gloves are inexpensive and amazing, and I’m not sure how RJ Classics hasn’t gone out of business considering their show coat prices. Low prices don’t mean low quality, but also do your research and pay attention to reviews.

Join mailing lists: You get coupons, sale notifications, and various offers (including surveys that you can get paid for). I’m gonna go ahead and give a shout out to Equestrian Collections because they send me a ton of coupons, even one for my birthday.

Consider small businesses: Ogilvy is often imitated and duplicated fairly well at half the price, so if you need that kind of pad to fill in space under your saddle, Sweet Alyssa on Etsy and Bits N Pieces Horseware are two brands that make similar pads. Many people, especially on Instagram, make inexpensive, decent quality saddle pads, polos, and fly bonnets, and they come in fun prints!

Sponsorships & Partnerships: If you wanna help out a brand while getting free stuff, go for it. Pay attention to when companies are searching. Be mindful that sponsorships can affect your junior/amateur status.

Get free shipping: SmartPak and Horze both offer free shipping on orders over $75. If you are buying something that is $75.01+, check those sites. To throw some shade, Dover doesn’t offer free shipping.

Um, so, yeah, that’s all I’ve got. There are multiple ways to make money, in general, without getting a job, like online surveys, babysitting, yardwork, selling organs, yard sales, and selling photography if that’s your thing. It’s all a matter of figuring out what works for you, your horse, and your goals. Best of luck!

DISCLAIMER: Please don’t just go out and sell your organs. That was a joke.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

That's how it's supposed to be

Since I actually put my stirrups to a decent length today, I rode like I kind of knew what I was doing. I was on Leo today which meant I got to use the cheese grater stirrups. Why keep weight in your feet when you can just nail the iron to your boot? I'll admit it, I took advantage of the graters; Leo did one fantastic canter transition when we first started, then the rest were just me throwing my outside leg back trying to get some sort of forward motion. Outside of our usual walk, trot, canter, Miss J threw in some no stirrup work at the sitting trot. She also had us pick up our stirrups while trotting which didn't work for me.

weeeeeee
We got to do some jumping too, but it was small stuff because, apparently, at the last show—which I was not at, let the record show—everyone was barreling through the rollbacks. For that reason, turns were the focus for today. The first turn was the brick to the green, ya know, the thing that I screwed up entirely on my first IEA lesson because I ran through it while I was riding Leo? Old habits die hard. I was afraid of not getting a good spot to the brick, so I moved up and caught a long distance, which wasn't great to deal with on the other side of the fence. That turn was blown to shreds. The second time was much better, but we added a third fence, and I was ridiculously stubborn about getting the lead. Miss J told me to just commit because the first simple change didn't work. Here's a lesson kids: Don't question your trainer just cause you want something. I wanted the lead, but I couldn't get it without sacrificing proper preparation for the fence, and I had a refusal. The second time was better because I had myself established before even making the turn.



We almost got to go on a trail ride, but Christopher Robin was being used in another lesson and would've freaked out if we went out there, so we just cooled off on the rail as per trainer's orders.
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