2016 NEDA Spring Symposium @ Bear Spot Farm with Rien van der Schaft (this one was better)

This weekend, DJ and I traveled down to the beloved Bear Spot Farm on our first outing of the season!! We had been accepted to participate as a rider in the first day (Saturday) of the NEDA Spring Symposium. Friday, we had ridden for Mr. van der Schaft in a separate clinic.

Mr. van der Schaft is now one of my favorite clinicians to date. Despite a thick German accent, he was sure to explain all of what he said with great detail. He was very patient and made sure I understood everything he said.

The theme of the weekend was riding forward into the connection. We had started to introduce this at home, but Mr. van der Schaft really pushed us in the right direction. He explained that people often think that riding on the hind leg is what causes suspensory injuries (which we have struggled with in the past), but that riding on the hind leg in a poor balance is what causes this. When the balance is not there, yet a horse is pushed forward, neither the balance nor the impulsion will improve.

My lesson on the first day with Mr. van der Schaft was amazing. DJ felt very good when we walked into the gorgeous arena, but my standards were certainly raised midway through the ride. As we worked, the frame and the balance of the gaits became better and better; the work actually got easier for the two of us! We were able to stay supple, forward, strong, and happy through the whole lesson- this was an amazing feeling. I must be the luckiest girl on the planet to have been able to ride such an incredible mare, at such an incredible venue, with such an incredible trainer; I hope I get to do it again someday SOON!

The second day is available to watch on YouTube. I was put more to my own devices on this day, as I had to share my lesson with another person. I will try to get the first day up soon!

Part One          ~          Part Two          ~          Part Three

Skiing, Overcoming Fears, and, Of Course, Relating It All To Riding

Today I had the wonderful opportunity of joining my class, “Adventures in the Outdoors”, on a trip to Sunday River, one of the last ski resorts in Maine still making snow.  We left at 7:30 in the morning, and stayed at the mountain until 3:00.

Continue reading “Skiing, Overcoming Fears, and, Of Course, Relating It All To Riding”

2015 NEDA Fall Festival and GAIG/USDF

On September 16th, we loaded up Karma (La Habanara), Schando, DeJure, and All That ‘N More (Andy) and headed down on the seven-hour trip to Saugerties, New York for the NEDA Fall Festival.

I competed both DJ, in the championships, and Andy, at Training Level. This was my second time showing Andy, including the previous Saugerties show, with mixed results. This time, however, the rides went much better, and we even managed 4th High Point of the Show for Traning Level.

Saturday was DJ and my’s regional championship ride at First Level. Leading up to the show, she had been feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, we did not have the warmup time that we’d planned on, and therefore rode too conservitively to score higher than a 67.426%, which was still fabulous, and placing 6th overall. I was super proud of our jumps from when I first started riding DJ, rockin’ Introductory Level only three years ago!


Okay, I know I said that I would write about what I’ve been up to in the last few months, but first, some exciting news about what’s to happen in the not-so-distant future!


Woo-hoo! Yea!

No, I’m not showing 😦 but I will be doing the next best thing… grooming for two of my favorite ponies in the barn (okay, they’re all my favorite, but that’s besides the point)… Schando the Brilliant and Ms. La Habanara (aka Karma). Schando had the achievement of winning his I-2 Adult Ammy class at the Region 8 Championships while Karma received a wild card for Third Level.

I am super excited to be traveling all the way down to Kentucky, on a plane (I LOVE FLYING), to the famous Kentucky Horse Park, home of the beautiful pictures at the bottom of the page.

I have been doing my homework, both from school and reading prohorsegrooms.com, and I feel prepared for this task. After all, it’s just another horse show, right?


Catching Up!


It’s been a super busy time getting back into the school year (gack), but I’ve still managed to spend an adequate time at the barn (or in horsey settings, at least). Since I last posted (the Bear Spot experience), here is what I’ve been up to:

As I write posts on each of these events, I will turn these bullet points into blue links, so you can click on them to see an entire post on the specifics of the event!