Thursday, April 12, 2012

600 Posts and a Contest!

This is my 600th post on this blog. In honor of that acheivement and to kick off "Operation Make This Fun", I am having my first ever giveaway contest thingy.

First off: I am at a point where jumping is not terrifying but I generally jump in lessons doing crazy hard technical exercises. This is good in that I am learning and building confidence, but bad in that I still see jumping at all as majorly difficult. Operation Make This Fun is my effort to change that. Once or twice a week, I am setting nice, easy fences and trotting and cantering over them and enjoying myself. I am not overthinking it and I am not doing anything hard. First time was this morning--we actually had a blast, though admittedly over crossrails.

To commemorate this progress and the 600 posts (and 123 followers, yay thanks all of you!), I am giving away a hardcover copy of "Hunter Seat Equitation" by George Morris. It's in splendid condition and is worthy of display on any bookshelf and study by any horseperson. To enter, leave a comment with a synopsis of the most fun you've ever had on a horse with as much or little detail as you see fit.

Gateway to new adventures... 
The contest ends one week from today: April 17, 2012. I will select the best entry (or choose at random if everyone is fabulous beyond belief) and will contact you to send you the book. Please include your email address in your comment (unless we are already fb friends or something) so I can get a hold of you.

I'll start! The most fun I ever had on a horse was when I was in highschool, running BN on a horse who'd only ever seen an XC course once before and it had prompted a total meltdown. After the second fence, I realized I had no brakes and only minimal steering. After the third fence, I realized I better quit trying and just go with it. We jumped through the rest of the course with only one runout (that was totally my fault) and ended up 5th overall. I still have a huge ribbon from that event.


  1. I've had so much fun it's hard to pick one time. But I suppose riding the Training Level event at the Monmouth County Hunt event doing the cross country clean on my marvelous Russell R. has to be up there in the top ten. I was in tears at the end because I was so happy to have that clear ride on a long, galloping course with big fences.

    DO NOT enter me in the contest. I have the book already and do not want to deprive someone else of the opportunity to own it. And, I am not jumping any more......

  2. the by, getting a "good ride" compliment from the man himself--George Morris--after a hunter round was kind of a blast too. *S*

  3. This reference only makes sense if you read The Saddle Club books growing up, but rachel and I planned our own "Horse Crazy" summer camp for the two of us. That's right, 3 days and 2 nights camping out at the barn, by ourselves (um what were our parents thinking?!), with a fully set-out schedule of rides, horse education and camp-like activities. We even came up with an awesome freestyle dressage number to Destiny's Child "Say My Name". Good times!

  4. I should mention we were also like 12 at the time..

  5. My favorite moment was a while back with an OTTB I had free leased. She was off the track about a month (like, a month since she last raced) and I was still young enough to be oblivious to my own mortality (okay, she was a sweet horse).

    My dad was at the park rollerblading and I said, "Hey, let's race!". So he went super fast down the hill and the OTTB and I galloped full out.

    We were FLYING. Truly amazing to ride a horse that fast, yet still feel safe. And even more special to do it with my dad, who's very important to me. Still a wonderful and exciting memory for me!

  6. Congrats on 600 entries! I am loving reading all of these fun horse moments! I already have the book (and don't care for another copy), but my fun horse moment was when I first galloped ever, on my amazing Saddlebred horse Bo back when I was about 13 or so. I grew up doing saddle seat, and had been riding for years, but one day went on a trail ride with a friend (not from saddleseat barn) who asked if we wanted to "run" for a bit. I thought she meant slow controlled canter. Nope, it meant gallop full out. My horse was game and I was freaked out for the first few moments, then just surrendered to it and both Bo and I had an amazing time. =)

  7. Since I'm not a jumper, I probably don't need the book, but here's my favorite moment on a horse:

    I was sixteen, and my family and I were on vacation in the UK. We had been there about two weeks, and I was really missing my horse. We were in Wales, and happened to drive by a place that was advertising horseback rides. Of course, I harassed my parents until they agreed to go :). I was assigned to a giant bay TB cross named Milo.... my original BDBG love :). My dad went for a ride as well, but asked for a slower horse. He got a giant Belgian gelding, LOL. So we go out on the ride, walking along all leisurely, looking at the gorgeous scenery. Then, one of the guides asks if anyone would like to go "for a gallop." Uh, yes please. I was the only one who said yes, so me and the guide split off from the rest of the group and headed towards a different path. All of a sudden, she kicks her horse and takes off at lightning speed. Holy crap! So I get Milo going too (not very difficult, LOL).... and we are just FLYING down this path. Everything is a green blur. We go up a little hill and turn a corner, and all of a sudden we are at the beach. We come flying down the hill, still galloping flat out, and run along the edge of the ocean. We galloped for quite awhile along that stretch of beach, before turning and heading back to the rest of the group. I'll never forget that ride. It was one of the most amazing, exhilarating, and utterly perfect moments of my life.

  8. Congratulations! 600 posts is pretty freaking awesome! Here's to 600 more chronicling the new adventures of the mean ass bastard horse and you! :)

  9. The annual December secret santa trail ride was always a blast.

    We would tack up the Banker ponies, complete with bags full of decorations dangling all over the saddles, and more importantly - a trail cooler full of adult beverages. There may have been jello shots?!

    Off we went through the maritime forest trail, seeking out suitable spots - ideally a group of pines just around a curve on the trail, or just over the top of the hill - then we'd griswold the heck out of them. All efforts were made to attach decorations from horseback. Though our ponies were small, remounting became more challenging as the ride went on.

    We usually followed up with a ride the next day to enjoy our handiwork. I always wondered what the critters in the woods thought. The best part was hearing about the reactions from the customers of our local trail business. They were enchanted.

    Sadly we lost Ginger, our senior Banker mare, two years ago this month. She was my regular mount for years, on the trail decorating ride, and also in the Christmas parade. I hope that my ottb will one day fill her mighty little shoes.

  10. The most fun I had was tonight. My 4 year old cut his leg pretty badly this winter, severing a nerve in his hind and I really didn't think I would be able to ride him again, let alone canter down the road. Needless to say we proved every one wrong, and tonight for the first time with freinds arround for encouragement we cantered, no drama, no bucking, and ended up having a blast. Durango is my Heart Horse, my once in a life time. I have had him from 3 months old, and a emaciated foal. To the 16+ hand beauty that he is today. Every day is an adventure, and ours is just begining!

  11. One of the moments that is crystal clear in my head is when I was a kid and was showing my Quarter Horse mare that I had trained myself from a yearling. We were in a hunt seat eq. championship class at a local show and the judge had everyone lined up in the middle facing the judge's stand. One at a time from a standstill we had to pick up left lead canter, canter 3 strides, and halt. My main competition had to go first, and her horse swerved as he picked up the canter. Mindy and I nailed it. What an awesome feeling. :)

  12. 600 posts! Wowzers!

    Please do not enter me in the contest. Save the book for a huntseat rider. ;)

    The first time that I rode Harley as my very own horse was the most fun a girl could ever have. Sure he was green and did not know the cue to canter, but he was eager and enthusiastic. After twenty-four years, I could hardly believe that day had finally come and I was riding on a cloud!

  13. Riding through the Jamaican mountainside down to the beach and galloping through the water. :)

  14. Obvi my most fun horse moment was the very first time I got to canter Pongo. I purchased him as a yearling and after watching him grow up for a couple years was giddy over the idea of WHAT WOULD HE FEEL LIKE? Would he be smooth? Bouncy? Choppy? Fast? Slow? Crazy? As I asked for the canter for the first time, and got a few strides in I was smiling so hard I prob got bugs in my teeth. He was smooth as glass, yet powerful and speedy like a race car...two years later that canter and his super awesome gallop still make me smile like an idiot as we charge around the cross country course with a canter that would make any DQ jealous ;)

  15. Thinking on this one as there have been many- as others attest to as well.

    Mine has been driving my pony last month at our first CDE. The dressage test felt incredible, even though our scores didn't so much reflect that. The marathon and obstacles were wicked, wicked fun and the cones on day 3 were a lot of fun as well. Then having one of the 'big guns' compliment me and my pony man... That was huge and I tried really hard to contain myself and not come off like a complete idiot.

    Please do not include me for the book, since I am really enjoying driving and thinking to start the WB mare in that as well. She has a fabulous trot for it. Otherwise she will make a nice hunter.

  16. Don't enter me the in the contest either. I have no need for a huntseat book. :) Congrats on 600 posts. That's awesome!!

    I'm sure there are times I'm forgetting (like every time I ever rode a horse lol), but the most exciting ride for me ever was getting to ride my favorite horse in the barn for the first time in a dressage lesson. I had been taking lessons a while, but didn't get along with the lesson horse at all. When the owner of this horse I absolutely loved (black Appaloosa/Thoroughbred with four white socks) decided to sell him she said I could ride him in lessons. I remember tacking him up, almost in tears I was so happy. He was 16.1hh and built like a warmblood. He was such a huge mover. I loved him (still do and miss him so much!). I know it's weird that my most exciting ride was on a horse I didn't even own, but I truly did love that horse so it was a huge privilege to ride him.

  17. Congrats on the 600th post!!!

    As for the contest... it would have to be an early morning trail ride at Camp Pugwash. This is a fairly low budget camp but manage to have a horsemanship program with the most dedicated staff I've ever seen. Every summer I go up to assist at the certification workshop they have for their horsemanship staff. The morning before I had to leave, we went for a morning staff bush-whacking ride. It was GREAT fun, full of near misses, ploughing through the thick trees, just giving the reins and go! It's always been one of my favourite rides, not just of what we were doing, but the people with us, all of us wanting to have a great time with our horses in the woods.

  18. How fabulous! 123 followers and 600 posts! :)

    The most fun I've ever had on a horse... Hmm... Well, probably the most fun I've ever had would be during a cross country round, since those always leave me exhilarated! I had this horse, my last horse, Bella... And she was just about the most stubborn horse there is. However, when we got out cross country, it was all go go go! :) I was very nervous, since it was our first cross country round alone (and our first entire XC course), and the first jump was a teensie log. She looked at it a bit funny, and kind of balked. I thought "oohhh boy, this is just going to be a treat....". We were only doing intro so it really was just for fun, but I tend to take these things too seriously. After that, there was another tiny red jump, a ramp. She again stopped and popped over it, but afterward there was a downhill section, and then just a big grassy lane. After that ramp, Bella got herself pumped! She started galloping and not even glancing at any of the jumps! She simply soared over everything, and nothing was in question. It is just the greatest feeling to know that you can just be along for the wonderful ride as your horse takes you through the field and over the jumps. My relatives ran over to the finish, but they still didn't make it before we got there because we went so fast! It was at that moment that I knew Bella was a jumping horse, she enjoyed it so immensely, and so to give her that pleasure... THAT is why I sold her. I knew she just did not want to put up with my dressage and so now she has a home where they will take her foxhunting and all sorts of fun stuff. :) I'm so glad she will be happier there.

  19. Am I too late? I'll share anyway...

    The most fun I've had on a horse was just this past weekend. My mare and I did our first Beginner Novice level 3-phase at our Pony Club's annual "Learn to Event" Event.
    Despite a "double elimination" due to my own piloting errors, we were allowed to ride all three phases, and would have placed if not for the two mistakes I made.
    But the real fun of it was riding my one-eyed, 20-year-old mare clear through stadium and cross-country, and feeling the thrill, the fun, and the unity of accomplishing something that quite a few people had cast doubts on.
    And the best part? My horse was having fun too.


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