January 26, 2015

Peter Pan Dressage

A year ago, I trained this pony to become a part of the lesson program at my barn. Over this past winter break, I rode him/gave him a “tune up” to make sure that he stays on his aids for the kids. Sorry for the lack of a dressage saddle; my trainer does not have one small enough for him. Please critique both of us!


Please do not post this to tumblr.


Please do not post this to tumblr.




This is Parker’s second ride at home, and apparently he’s a pretty lazy boy! My trainer says he won’t work unless you actually make him, which she much prefers to him being a super crazy OTTB! He also is a bit different as he wants to carry his head very long and low as opposed to up like all the other OTTBs we’ve had. He is still kind of babyish and not totally with his own leginess, in addition to not being very fit yet; but he’s super fantastic for so new off track! He has had lots of ground work off the track but the people who had him first just didn’t know what to do with him undersaddle, so he’s only had a handful of non-race rides. He was actually a very successful racehorse for as lazy as he can be! (probably should mention it’s my trainer riding, she’s not young and hasn’t ridden much the past few months because she had shingles)




parkerrace6 A photo of him about a year ago :)


Fritz Update!

Hi, Karen! I don’t have any recent photos or vids of Fritz and I, but wanted to give you an update on what we’ve been working on :)

Exciting news!!! Fritz and I will be doing our first rated show in March! I am super excited, as I have never competed in a rated show before. Fritz will be 17 when we go…it’s about 2 weeks after his birthday.

Fritz has been doing super under saddle! He is getting much more supple and more enjoyable to ride. We are struggling with getting suppleness through the poll, so my trainer has given us some exercises to work on that. Any advice you can give? He started holding his counter canter better today as well and the lengthenings in the trot have really improved. Fritz is carrying himself much better and we plan on a Second Level debut later in the year. :D

I also switched Fritz to the Rambo Micklem bridle just last week. He really goes nicely in it. He seems much more comfortable, but it’s funny to watch him try to figure out how to set his jaw against it…a classic Fritz testing tactic. The anatomy of the bridle doesn’t allow him to set his jaw. Once he relaxes into it, it will be great. I’ve already noticed a positive difference and have no plans on switching him back to a traditional bridle.

I have also improved my seat and started to get my leg longer and straighter. Personally, I think Fritz has improved more than me and is way more talented than I am. But we are on this journey together and I am enjoying every step of the way.

I’ll post photos/vids once I can get some! :)10155618_10152881447738941_1136398262642181043_n

Flat work help!


Please judge both the horse and the rider! This is me on my trainer’s horse Gryffindor V. He is a 16hh, 18 year old, OTTB Gelding. I have been riding him off and on for a few years but in august I was given the chance to full lease him!! I was stoked then and still am!! He took my trainer successfully to the prelim level of eventing ( 80% of his placings were in the top 5!). We are about to go novice and looking at training very soon. I have to ask for some advice on our flat work. Right now, I can produce a very nice test one him but I know it can be better. I find it hard to get the proper bend on a 20 meter circle. I can do beautiful and balanced 10 meter circles but my 20 meters (and I know it’s my fault) are pretty much a constant over bend to straight, over bend to straight. Does that make any sense?? I was wondering if you had any advice on how to get the proper bend. My other bad habit is that I have the big green monster known and trainer’s head (you can see in the picture!). I am looking down way to much and it’s causing me to slump! Advice on that problem would be much appreciated as well! Anything else you might ad about the two of us would also be great!!

Thanks so much

SadiewinnSadie & Griff

Recent Dressage Schooling :)

My 4 year old is starting to really come along, I have my days with him (More due to my own personal health issues)

I also have another issue that I am really trying to overcome, I have major anxiety issues with being around other people while I ride, I get very nervous and I get quite tense. Any tips on how to relax out in a competition environment in front of others. I am fine with the horse its just the “people” side of things. I think I need more confidence in my own ability, however I just don’t seem to have any as I always question myself.

I rode track work  for 3 years and after a nasty fall and all of that I am almost 100% however I am finding that some of the riding I experienced in track riding I cannot seem to rid of for my dressage riding. As soon as I get anxious I worried (mainly for the above reasons) I start get very tense and locked (My whole body) I go stiff. I am finding it hard to train myself to stay supple through my back, shoulders and arms.

Sorry for the different question I am just trying to get some idea’s to help myself.

I have attached some photo’s which are of me in my normal more relaxed state.We have been working on our stretching work, as I find it very important for the development of my young horse as well as myself.  Room for improvement but, I think I need to train my mind and “fix” the issue before it gets worse. I want to compete and enjoy myself :)
Thanks for reading and I hope this all makes some sort of sense.




Encouraging a horse to stretch down


I’m trying to get my horse to stretch down, so he can better develop a topline. I guess I’m not entirely sure the best way to ask for him to do it because I’m fairly new to dressage, and I didn’t truly understand what it meant for a horse to be round until recently.  We seemed to be getting it for a little bit, but it wasn’t perfect because he was only putting his head down to the point of level with his back or barely below his spine. I want him to be able to go around really low.

Here is a little background on Bentley:

He is a 10 year old, tense thoroughbred. I think it’s hard for him partly because I’ve been riding him since he was 6, but I never asked him to do any work over his back, so he just got to go around with his nose in the air. He seems to be extremely tense when we do ring work. He actually will walk pretty relaxed on the trail and lower his head a bit as well as when I am leading him on the ground.


Here is a picture from a horse trial we went to in August for reference. I know he is a little behind the vertical, but I thought he looked like he was lifting his back a little. We got a 35 in dressage and placed 2nd in the beginner novice level.

This is probably a more accurate depiction of what Bentley looks like when he goes around.

This is probably a more accurate depiction of what Bentley looks like when he goes around.

Many thanks in advance!




Fund to help girl in a children’s home: riding dreams

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to share our Gofund me drive for a special JMR member. Recently, we discovered she lives in a Children’s home (Palmerhome.org) and has been there since the age of 3. The information about how we came to know her is included in the gofund me link below. It is our hope to be successful with this drive so we can potentially develop a program to help other riders in similar circumstances who would otherwise, never know the privileges of advancing their equestrian dreams. Any donation is graciously appreciated, and if a donation is not possible, if you could share on all your social media as frequently as possible during the campaign we would be eternally grateful. Thanks for helping us let Kaitlin know she indeed has a family in all of us, in whatever capacity we can help. http://www.gofundme.com/fosterchildeq

This fund has a new title but the goal is still to help a Foster child named Kaitlin who resides at Palmer Home, a children’s home to ride in Judge My Ride clinics and create and equestrain experince for her that heretofore has only been a dream. This fund is now named in the memory of an incredibly talented student of Rob Gage’s who passed away at only 13 years of age in a tragic car accident. Her name was Chelsea Weaver. With the permission of her family, we have changed the name of this fund in her memory. Fittingly Chelsea’s mother was the first to donate to help this young girl, Katilin realize her dreams. Her daughter Chelsea was a girl who was a rising star in the Hunter Jumper world, but even more impressively Chelsea never failed to thank the people around her for the sacrifices they made to make it possible for her to ride and compete. It is only fitting that part of her legacy would be to help other equestrians see their dreams come true. We are working with Chelseas family to see this fund develop as a fund for talented riders, for Katilin and riders beyond this initial fund drive.

Screenshot from 2015-01-05 05:19:34


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First I want to apologize for the quality of these photos, they are screenshots of a video that was taken in the fog. Second, I am not a “dressage rider” but absolutely love it (I hope to put more work in the future). I currently ride and show hunter/jumpers for my college team. This guy is Ramiro, a super awesome Dutch gelding that showed through PSG with my aunt when he was younger. He is definitely out of shape (aka, chubby) but he makes you ride correctly and knows a ton more than I do! The first is just a trot photo, and the second is a bit of piaffe work. Let me know if you have any comments, I appreciate all feedback!

New pony

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I bought this new pony about six weeks ago as a little project, as she was a bit much (see pic with blue saddlecloth lol) for the young rider who had her. She’s 13.3hh and 6yo, and has had this year off as she was too hot and unsuitable, so it has been a bit of work to bring her back into work but she has turned around and started to settle down. I’m hoping to get her into some Pony Dressage in February, but I’m just wondering about her hindlegs – she has very expressive hocks, but they don’t really go anywhere, if that makes sense? She sort of lifts her hindlegs up and then places them back down in the same place until she has done a good 20 minutes of trotting, so I’m just wondering if there are any exercises I can try to get her to step through more? She is still a bit hyper-sensitive to the leg but is improving so any exercises or ideas would be much appreciated :)


Thanks in advance :)

Superleggera 12.26.2014








Taking the new saddle for a spin and snapped some clips. We currently are low level eventers, but are probably going to switch to just dressage next season. Thank you Karen!