Monday 8 July 2024

Learning New Things

I’m so glad I ventured a little outside my comfort zone and volunteered at the Working Equitation show. The extent of my knowledge of WE prior to this was based entirely on a couple of clinics schooling obstacles and a very hasty read of the rule book. I felt a little out of my depth scribing the non dressage parts but needn’t have worried, the judge was fantastic about explaining how things are scored and why and how to note it on the sheets. It was a busy job, but a fun and interesting one too. Dressage day was standard dressage scribing where you don’t really have time to take in much of the tests, but I still took away some tips and tricks as a rider.

This guy might be handy enough to tackle a speed round or two in the future

Day two was a lot more fun and I got the ultimate crash course in working eq. I’d feel pretty confident now about competing at my first show if it was my thing. If it’s a sport you’re competing in or interested in I’d 110% recommend a day scribing. I learned a lot about the rules and what the judge is looking for and it was a nice low stress way to dive into the show atmosphere. You never know, maybe I’ll get out there as a rider, but in the meantime I’ll definitely keep volunteering. First impressions are that it’s a fantastic, supportive community having a lot of fun. 

Summer is well and truly here and I cooked standing out there in the middle of a sunny arena. Post show day lakeside cool down

And an ocean one

Horses not to be left out, they have new and improved misting systems

Mid day naps

The show marked the end of another weeks vacation, so I've had some free time and the yearling cob boys have also been learning new things. It became apparent a while ago that Buck didn’t actually know much about pressure and release or whoa/go. He’s a good guy and he worries about keeping you happy, so he just kind of follows along and stays where you put him despite being clueless. I was happy to turn a blind eye and leave well enough alone. However, that’s not setting him up for long term success so I finally started putting the time in. Of course he’s a Baby Genius so a few friendly learning moments and reminders and he’s on board and confident. 

For a pony that isn't a fan of flapping objects, this clothesline is incoveniently placed (or advantageously, depending on your point of view ;)

I could beat myself up for not setting consistent expectations from the start and creating my own need for a boot camp, but also I feel like a little extra time gaining confidence in people and himself didn’t hurt either - he’s not one to take advantage and letting him “get away” with little things all this time I think made him more confident and trusting long term. He’s really come out of his shell and is just the loveliest guy.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Reggie, who is always up for some trouble. He’s previously been the focus of most of my attention and is holding steady at good boy status these days. Again since they're young I don't have high expectations or big training plans. I want them to have solid basic ground manners and see a bit of the world and keep it very light and fun. Mr Reggie has been doing all the things and even had a magic lightbulb moment one itchy day a few weeks ago where he decided that grooming feels good. Fingers crossed the antsy wiggly 'don't touch me there!' baby is a thing of the past. (Keeping in mind I did also give him a couple of weeks of gastroguard just in case.)

Despite my threats to sell Sophie, she is still here because I’m terrible at parting with horses. It’s one thing to lease or sell to someone you know, another to open it up to internet strangers. At this rate she’ll be here another 10 years or so.  I’m ok with that, I like her, she’s happy here and there is no rush. I've decided that if it happens it’s going to be a matter of the right person crossing our path. She is a quirky girl and despite the logical advice of selling to the best home you can find and trusting they'd do the same if the time came, I'd worry about her being passed around. I love my ponies, but the slightly risky thing about them is that if they aren't the temperament to be kid safe you end up with a limited pool of size appropriate riders.



  1. The boys sound like they are doing great. Selling or leasing horses is so hard. I worry too. I will tell you though, the last pony I placed ended up with a massive upgrade in the end. I was very careful with the placement and she is so happy in her new situation.

  2. Learning new things is fun. I love the that WE is gaining popularity. I'm hopeful that we'll get it here.

  3. You live surrounded by such beauty, including the ponies. That misting system is pretty cool too. And your experience with the WE volunteering sounds both fun and educational. I bet they really appreciated your help.