Monday 11 October 2021


 We had a super fun weekend clinic, but I didn’t worry about media so you’ll just have to take my word for it ;) The joys of being a mediocre blogger. On the bright side, it’s a good thing I am not a vlogger! 

Since this was a local event, we just took a 20 min trailer ride down to our club grounds. No ferry rides, yay! 

Day 1 we did an intro to Working Equitation. Sophie was super mare-y week, so I wasn’t at all sure what I was going to get on the day.


Has had an extra strong attitude, also has numerous bite marks on face to accentuate the tough girl teenager thing she’s embraced.

Overall, I was happy with the day - she was definitely grumpy and sassy about moving off my leg, but hey we didn’t need to pick that fight incessantly. We had obstacles to navigate! The day was more about seeing new things and using the experience to gain confidence. I really know nothing about WE, to me it felt like a combination of a western trail course and dressage test, with a giant spear/pole to carry around. You can’t help but feel slightly cool carrying a jousting like pole around.  What made me super happy is that she was unsure of many of the new to her questions, but navigated them calmly and willingly when I asked. Clinician was happy with how she thought things through rather than the previous go to of just reacting.

Day 2 started out a little more challenging as it was quite a bit colder, wet, and very windy, plus I realized as I loaded her it was her first trip all by herself in a trailer! 

Not helped by the fact this creature snuck in the gate ahead of our truck and climbed the tree directly above the trailer parking. Because of course. He was legit trying to stay out of our way but kept picking the exact place we needed to go. Sorry, little guy.

I was also generally feeling stressed and pressed for time as we had spent the earlier part of the morning getting hay into my barn before the storm came. I unloaded the last hay bale, the rain started really pouring, drove across the street, tried to shoo the bear along, gave up and loaded Sophie to hit the road again.

So, she was a bit “up” with the stormy weather and being all by herself. She loudly announced her arrival to everyone. Incessantly. Could not stand still, and had about 10 stress poos. Just like old times. I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for absolutely not buying into it though and worrying about how tight I was for time - we’ve had so many good rides lately I assumed I could get on and she’d just settle in and get to work once we got going. And so she did. Good girl Sophie :)  

Random picture 

Day 2 was a basic dressage lesson - transitions, spirals, leg yields, and finally a run through of a training level test. With her increased energy levels the sluggish transitions of the previous day turned almost too rushed (mares!lol) but what a treat once she settled to have her using her own motor and confidently cruising around on a nice soft contact. So easy to ride! 

As always, there is much homework. Some of it I think is more reflective of her age and the fact she’s needing strength so I think that’s the priority rather than nitpicking. Our dressage “test” was wobbly and even that 10m turn down the centreline is hard when you’re a baby pony. We’re not ready. To be totally honest though, for where she’s at and the time I’ve put in she’s exactly where I’d expect her to be. And I’m happy.

What we will be working on: 

-My riding to the left is less effective than the right. That good old left shoulder sneaking forward strikes again. I’ve been spoiled for years in that Bridget is naturally better to the left so it works out. Sophie is not, so I need to up my game - she’s very sensitive. 

-Keep on keepin on with leg yields, transitions,  to build strength. It was nice to go into a proper lesson and have the exercises be exactly what I’ve been working on. Almost like I knew what I was doing or something. Maybe I owned a baby Bridget once upon a time?

Non baby Bridget ;) What I wouldn’t give for a foal pic of B!

-Adding canter back in as a regular thing. She’s strong and confident enough now, and we have that huge arena. 

Wins from the weekend:

-S showed up and went to work in a busy arena, with spooky obstacles and less than ideal weather.

-When I put the pieces together riding wise, she’s very quick to pick up new things and tries super hard to get it right.

-I stayed calm and thinking and didn’t worry even when things got a bit rough. We had an interesting conversation about “hard eyes” and “soft eyes” (hard eyes being the internalized, focused mindset most of us bring to lessons, that actually limits the instruction you can take on board and retain).

-The working equitation course was unexpected, but really far more valuable for building confidence and partnership than another dressage lesson would have been. A good reminder to get out and try new things. 



  1. Being able to trust your horse and have your horse trust you (especially when she's young and "up") is so huge and exciting! Sounds like an amazing weekend!

    1. If the only good thing that happened this year was that, I'd be a pretty happy baby horse owner :)

  2. that's awesome, sounds like a really rewarding experience on actually a few different levels!

    1. Given our limited local options, I'm trying to just sign up for everything. A lot of the outings turn out to be really rewarding and fun, definitely has me rethinking some things.

  3. Yay Sophie! WE looks soooo fun, I'm so jealous you got to try it, and that she was so good! I don't think cinna would ever recover from a bear encounter 🤣

    1. You might be surprised, they seem to figure out pretty quickly that they're kind of like big dogs. I had one mare who liked to chase them out of the field :O
      WE seems fun, I'm intrigued enough to have some WE outings penciled on the calendar - I think Bridget might really shine there.

  4. Yay you! Well, and Sophie! Sounds like a great confidence building weekend.

  5. After some of our lows this year I really appreciate just being out there, having fun and doing the thing.