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Happy 11th Birthday Simon!

Happy 11th Birthday Simon!

Nerd horse is turning 11 today, and for his big birthday present he’s getting… his hocks checked. Wow… I sure know how to spoil my critters. While there won’t be any kind of grand pony birthday party today, I’m taking a moment this morning to appreciate the old man. As firmly moves from an adolescent nerd horse to a mature, stately tweed-jacket-with-elbow-patches-professor kind of nerd horse, it’s hard for me to believe that this is the same creature I met…

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Equitation Evolution

Equitation Evolution

Alilson at Pony’Tude had a great post the other day when she posted a series of equitation photos showing her progress as a rider. Even in the early “bad” shots, I was pretty impressed. See, riding did not come naturally to me. I figured that because I read every horse book known to mankind by age nine, I would just be a natural. I thought I would speak horse! I thought I was destined to win blue ribbons at my very first…

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WEF Horseware Ireland Grand Prix

WEF Horseware Ireland Grand Prix

For each week during the Winter Equestrian Festival, there is a “Saturday Night Light” class that is open to the public and hosts a big show jumping (usually) or occasional hunter class.  These vary in difficulty and prize money, and every year I’ve previously visited I’ve been lucky enough to go for the $500k WEF Finale Grand Prix… which is massive and filled with the best of the best. This year I went during week 10 instead of 12, and…

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CTHJA Manor March 1st

CTHJA Manor March 1st

Even though I decided to cancel my plans to show in March, I’m a horse show addict and I usually can’t stay away.  I headed out early to watch our hunters go, planning to ride Simon during lunch before the jumpers and then come back to the horse show to watch and photograph the jumpers in the afternoon.  Of course, we know how horse show schedules go and I ended up staying all day and getting properly sunburnt. The morning…

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Getting the Stride

Getting the Stride

Due to Austin’s “Snowpacalypse 2014” last week mixed with spending all day playing cross country on Saturday, Mr. Simon hadn’t been ridden in three days before my lesson on Sunday.  On top of a fresh pony, the wind was nuts so I knew I was in for a bit of a wild ride. The lesson started off with building some gymnastics.  Trot in to a one stride to a one stride to a two stride.  At first, Simon was alllll about…

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Photography Friday – Winter at the Farm

Photography Friday – Winter at the Farm

One of my personal goals this year was to take more photos with my ‘real’ camera instead  of my iphone… and even though that’s a personal goal I am 100% okay with those photos being horsey! I’ve lugged ‘ol trusty to the barn the past few weekends, and spend a little bit wandering around like a crazy person with a massive lens in tow.  Crazy person or not, I really enjoy taking more photos again and am pleased with some of…

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14 Photo Challenge

14 Photo Challenge

I’m kind of a sucker for photo challenges, and since one of my personal goals this year is to take more pictures… I’m all for Eventing in Color‘s 14 Photo Challenge. The only rule was that they must be photos taken in 2014… well I took all of these this past weekend at the barn, so I think that counts!

Simon Conformation Update

Simon Conformation Update

I am the first person to admit that I’m a bit of a conformation idiot.  I can tell if a horse is shaped like a donkey (and is in fact, a horse… not a donkey) but that’s about as far as it goes. So when I looked at these two comparison pictures, I was kind of like “WAH HE LOOKS THE SAME.  No proof of hard work.” Therefore, I whined to Jen. Jen is not a conformation idiot, and said she…

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Don’t Wait

Don’t Wait

I would generally describe myself as a fairly confident person. I’m not perfect, but I have a lot going for me. I don’t think I’m ugly and I don’t mind meeting new people. For the most part, I can put my best foot forward and tackle challenges. My Achilles heel if you will, is my weight. When I see myself in pictures, half the time I crumble inside and think really poorly of myself. This is something I’ve been working…

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Staycation Pony Rides

Staycation Pony Rides

One of the perks of having a good buddy that is a pro equestrian, is getting no holes barred yearly evaluations of your beloved ponykins.  I wasn’t sure what she would originally think of Mr. Simon pants because she is not always a super huge fan of Thoroughbreds.  It’s not that they are bad horses, but she’s surrounded by the top hunter/jumper horses in the world and that’s pretty much warmblood nation.  Even us OTTB aficionados can admit there are…

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Equine Photography Tips III – Timing Under Saddle

Equine Photography Tips III – Timing Under Saddle

No matter what kind of camera you have or what it’s set to, arguably the most important aspect of equine photography is timing.  Perfect exposure and clarity doesn’t mean anything if you catch the horse looking like a donkey when they are really a 10 mover… and that does happen!  Timing is everything. Those of you with DSLR cameras are going to have an easier time with this one.  That’s because the lag between when you click the button to…

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Three Weaknesses and One Strength

Three Weaknesses and One Strength

This is the week of lessons ramping up to the horse show.  Usually I do one group lesson and one training ride for Simon per week, but on a horse show week I’ll swap a training ride for a lesson.  That combined with my usual weekend lesson means a group jumping lesson every other day until we go to the show to school on Friday.  That much instruction means we have to improve… right?  Right?!? Heading to Sunday’s lesson I…

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