I’m not usually one to brag, but today I’m going to a little. Things are going remarkably well with my creature.

We’ve hit that sweet spot in our relationship – the time period where you’ve had years of learning each other’s quirks all the while your horse has been aging and learning to become a solid citizen. I had this wave of realization when I took Simon to the San Antonio show in February that we have figured out how to horse show together. That’s not to say we’re laying down perfect courses or winning championships. You read this blog, therefor you know that’s not true! What it does mean to me is that I know how much lunging he needs and what kind of warmup. He knows that jumps aren’t going to kill him and that his job is to truck around as relaxed as his little Thoroughbred brain can go.

Photo by Heather F
Photo by Heather F

At home, he’s rock solid. Our lessons lately are about the subtle nuances of pace and distances and landing on the correct lead (I’ve given up hope of lead changes… this is the new plan) versus things like surviving the course or being terrified of oxers. In short, this is an excellent place to be. Plus, we even managed to pull this off yesterday…

Yes, it’s only 4 jumps. Yes, I cheated by landing right (his favorite lead) every time, but hey… I think that’s close enough to cross “jump a course bridleless” off my goal list. I’m sure I’ll ride more bridleless in the future though, especially since I ordered one of the fancy neck ropes!

Right now if I had to sum up my overall goals with Simon, it would be to make us the best team we can be. My eye for distances has been a lot better lately, but there is still lots of improvement I need to make on my courses. Leads and change are always going to be hard for us, but I’m giving up the dream of the auto-change OTTB. Instead, I’m focusing my efforts on getting him to land reliably on the correct lead. If we have to do a change, we’ll manage the best skip change we can. Getting around a course without adding and the occasional skip change is probably going to be the best we can do, so I’m working towards that.

I'm told this is the eventing ideal but to me it's "Almost got left behind but kinda sorta saved it... Simon noticed". Photo by Heather F
I’m told this is the eventing ideal but to me it’s “Almost got left behind but kinda sorta saved it… Simon noticed”. Photo by Heather F

I’m hoping to show him in the 2’6″ and 2’9″ all year, and have this secret not so secret dream of getting to the 3′ adults by the end of the year. We’re never going to be the polished warmblood hunter pair that’s winning in the show ring, but we have the potential to cruise through a solid, pleasant trip. As I strive towards our personal hunter ideal, I’ll be clocking in as many show miles as we feel like doing. We might even sneak in a little local A show this summer in the name of fun and experience… you never know!

Photo by Heather F
Photo by Heather F

As long as the nerd horse is sound we’ll keep up this pursuit of happiness together.

43 COMMENTS

  1. You definitely need to brag and give applause to how far you’ve come as a team since the beginnings that I’ve read. Even then and now your love and passion for simon and the sport shines through. To many more improvements and achievements , to the things we get satin for and the things we don’t!

  2. you know, you’ve talked before on this blog about your weight and how it may or may not affect simon and I just have to say- you’re one of the most well balanced and correct hunter riders I have ever seen in pictures honestly that I think it just doesn’t matter. just watch out for the floating release 😉 and otherwise keep trucking along because you look AMAZING GURL. btw that video is the tits.

  3. You and Simon rock! I loved the jumping video. Where do you buy a fancy neck rope? Emi’s going to need to learn to ride bridleless…although I suppose she should learn how to be ridden first. 🙂

  4. I am not going to lie I am absurdly jealous that you can jump around bridle less. I want to do that at some point in life… But given that I have a greenie and reuniting with Houston after 1.5 years I am not putting a deadline on that haha.

    I am curious about who would say that being left behind is the ideal eventing position… I am by no means an expert but when you look at the position of successful eventers most have a correct posiiton . While it is not what most hunter jumpers would want (different discipline and all) I would definitely not say that it is being left behind.

    • I am not sure about the eventing comment. Some people on instagram said it, and that’s about all I know. If any eventer wants to chime in here I would certainly be open to learning!

  5. hahaha I watched the video and was like “hmmm, what am I looking at… Lauren and Simon doing jump jumps together, chillin’, and making it look easy” and then I read what it was and just had to watch it again!

    yes, I don’t know jack about jumping and may be a little unobservant, too…
    BUT! I am super super impressed that you did all that bridle-less and made it look like it was no big deal!!!

  6. Wow, I totally didn’t even realize you were bridleless until the last jump. It was such a pretty and smooth course! You are rocking it! Congrats on hitting an AWESOME goal!

  7. Sorry but I’m not sure there’s any possible way that you could jump a course bridleless and then NOT brag about it on the internet, because that is amazing and I’m genuinely incredibly impressed.

    The rest of it, the goals, where you are with Simon, your comfort level, your confidence, is also amazing and totally worthy of celebrating/bragging/gushing about on your blog. Happy for you my friend!

  8. ok so i pressed ‘play’ on the video while still reading the accompanying paragraph and literally did not even realize that you were bridleless until you wrote it out. i was just watching like, ‘oh there go Simon and Lauren jumping around like seasoned profes— wait wtf where’s his bridle!?!’ haha that’s freakin awesome!

  9. That video is PERFECTION. Seriously, I watched it 3 times on repeat and my smile got wider each time. You guys look PHENOMENAL! I’m so, so happy you are enjoying your time with the nerd horse right now. <3 <3 <3

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