Hi everyone!

Hope you and your horses are braving the cold weather, wherever you may be. Greenville was hit pretty hard with snow and ice last month, which gave us Furman students a much-needed day off! As for the horses, they got about a week off. I posted a picture of my 8 am lesson (don’t worry we rescheduled to later!) where it was so cold that I swore my toes were nonexistent, and it even started snowing!


The end of January and the beginning of this month have been very eventful for the team. We recently rode in two horse shows, one at Lander, and one at GSU. The Lander show was a huge success for the team where we finished 4th overall! Some of our teammates had great rides, and even a few blue ribbons.

Proud of one of our teammates for winning her over-fences class!

There were a lot of teaching moments, since it was our first show of the year. However, learning from those little mistakes and working towards improving them, results in a very rewarding experience, once you end up nailing your course or flat class. This past weekend, we traveled about 3 and half hours down to Georgia Southern University’s farm, in a car ride full of nonstop laughter and huge jam sessions. The Team did really well, with all of our over-fences riders placing, which is such an accomplishment for us. I, yet again, rode a pony for my over-fences (it’s a reoccurring thing) and was happily surprised to get a second place! At the Lander show, I remember saying that “the day I win my over-fences, I will know I worked hard to achieve that place”. Although I didn’t necessarily win, and don’t think I’ve reached that deserving moment yet, I feel one step closer to accomplishing that goal. Regardless of the placing, there is nothing better than leaving the ring and feeling great about your performance. This is something I hope to feel in the next four years riding on this great team. It’s only up from here!

This was not the pony, but this was in my flat class at GSU! (In the rain)

For this month’s post I wanted to mention and discuss rider’s superstitions, or rituals. Do you have any? Ever since I can remember, I always have to wear my “lucky” socks. Every. Single. Show. They have horseshoes on them, (how ironic) are brown, and worn in from a countless number of horseshows, but without them, I feel incomplete! Since IHSA is different for me, and honestly a lot less nerve-wracking, I’m still forming my so-called “ritual”. But from previous shows, I know that I need to eat a lot before I ride! There’s nothing worse than losing energy when you’re riding and then not being able to pay attention. (It’s happened to me a bunch.) Granola bars for the win! As I’ve mentioned before, being on a team has been such a great experience for me, changing the way I consider riding and the aspect of a team. However, it has really helped me become more independent in ways such as making sure I do eat, do drink enough water, and pay attention to when I need to be dressed and ready etc. It’s different because before, my amazing parents would be the ones looking out for me when it came to those things. S/o show parents! Talking about rituals some more, I think my teammates could account for the fact that I have to have my hairnet be comfortable and not visible, or I won’t stop talking about it! Through my many trainers over the years with their different requirements, I’ve gradually adopted the idea of it needing to look perfect (or near perfect). Another important “ritual” I’ve tried to develop is before I go into the ring, taking a deep breath, telling myself I’m going to do great, and taking my time as I make my entrance. I think there are a lot of eager riders that immediately pick up the canter once they touch the ring sand, and end up picking up the wrong lead. These are just a few little things that I’ve continued to implement and learned to improve over the years, which have been beneficial to my success in riding!

Always jumping a PONY! (At Lander horse show)

The Team’s next show is February 20th at Clemson! This show, we bring some of our farm’s horses, so that should be a fun experience. I know you all must be anxiously awaiting that picture I promised of me wearing my purple pants, however, it will have to wait until next month. Keep warm and happy riding!