Hi friends!

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas as well, hopefully spent snuggling with and overfeeding treats to your furry ponies. I’m sad that I wasn’t able to write last month. Furman became stressful with finishing up first semester accompanied with exams. Thank goodness for riding!! I think we can all agree that it’s such a stress-reliever. I was able to go out to the barn and lesson, even though the Carolina weather has been oscar-w500-h500confused lately, and ride my new favorite steed, Oscar! I don’t know what it is about white horses and me. For the past 5 or so years, I’ve leased and competed with 3 different white horses! And my fourth was a favorite of mine but she was a chestnut mare (you know how those are). Maybe its because they seem so magical, do you agree? Anyway, I’ve ridden Oscar for a while now, switching between him and the school horses, so I don’t get used to riding him every lesson hehe. Although he is an experienced hunter that seems to be very point and shoot, he has taught me a lot! I feel more confident when I ride him because he is capable of larger jumps and he’s aware of his job. Just like any horse, he gets excited but it makes for a fun ride.

The Team did not have any shows last month because the season was ending, so we took a lot of time to focus on our studies (which I did), but I also had to ride! Now that it’s the New Year, I bet a lot of you readers have some resolutions in riding, because I sure do. Having had a little experience being on the equestrian team and getting a feel for the different ways shows are run, I’m able to form some goals I have for this year.johnny-w500-h500

1) I would really like to improve my position! (I think that’s a reoccurring one for a lot of people). I’ve always competed in hunters and occasionally equitation but I was never as confident in eq. Hunters seemed so much more straightforward. However, now being on the team, I have no choice but to improve my eq because that’s what I’m judged on! I look forward to focusing on this goal this year.

2) HEELS (over jumps) Well, I said it. Heels! Personally, I feel like my heels have a mind of their own. Some days they look beautiful and other days they think they can start to move towards the sky. I’m thinking that sadly, working no stirrups and doing some stretches may help me improve in that category. Any suggestions?

3) Sitting trot. Lastly is my sitting trot. At a recent college of Charleston show in the hack, I was riding this very energetic and strong horse that was at times difficult to control. However, when it got to the time the judge asked for a sitting trot, his trot was so bouncy that my feet flew forward and I just couldn’t sit down! It was upsetting because according to one of my trainers, I looked well in control (I didn’t feel that whatsoever) and the judge seemed to like me. But when the sitting trot came around I was pinned lower because I was all over the place. This is a reason why I really like the way IHSA does horse shows, because you honestly never know what you’re going to get! Instead of someone owning a horse whose trot they have learned to nail at the sit, we are challenged to ride and find out how a different selection, rather than just one horse, rides.river-w500-h500

I’m so so excited because the Team just received their apparel! I purchased some new lavender (our school color) Ariat pants. That should be funny! Also, we are holding elections this week for team positions, such as president, vice president, secretary etc. I’m running for the PR position! Wish me luck. Overall, we are looking forward to improving and finding success as a Team this year. Our next show is at Lander on January 30th. Happy riding J