Category Archives: Rider – Solstice

Two years old

Two years have flown by, but I can still remember the day prince was born. He’s turning out to be a pretty amazing little horse, except now he’s not so little. With the dam being a paint 13″3 and a stud being an Arab 15″2, he’s already 14″1, he’s definitely going to be a good height.

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So far Prince has shown twice in halter classes last year and I really hope this year he can do a lot more. Since he was born he has always been taught different things like having saddle pads on his back or lunging. This past winter Prince has been learning how to ground drive as well as work on the ground with no attachment to me; liberty.

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I couldn’t be more happy with how much he wants to learn and how much he loves being not only around me, but around everyone. If anyone goes into his field 90% of the time he will stop whatever he’s doing to come and get attention.

Today is prince’s birthday and I couldn’t be happier of the decision to bring him into the world, since I was little my dream was to have a foal and watch it grow; this journey has just begun and I’m so excited to watch him grow up.

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Just recently marked a big stepping stone in Prince’s life, I got on him and rode him around. He walks around very nicely with me on his back and someone in the middle lunging him around and I think he enjoys it too. He always stares at you if you’re riding another horse so now that I’ve ridden him a couple times he thinks he’s a big horse and shows it off a lot too.

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So happy birthday Prince, or shall I say my prince charming.

-Solstice

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Mannequin challenge

A couple of weeks ago the pony club that I am a member of decided to do the mannequin challenge. Now for those who don’t know what that is, it is a viral Internet video trend where people remain frozen like mannequins while a moving camera films, with the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background.

When doing the animals it’s obviously very hard since they don’t have the same ideas as you. I think our mannequin challenge is pretty good and, if it’s not good, at least it’s funny. So here it is, hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

-Solstice

Through the Fields and Over the Jumps

It’s a little over three hours’ drive all the way to Ottawa, but gosh was it worth it. The Ottawa Valley Hunt Club does drag hunting and, for people that don’t know about hunting, a drag hunt is a set path the hounds follow that the “fox” has been. This is much faster than live hunting since the hounds aren’t spending time looking for a scent. There were so many jumps in Ottawa set up and so many lovely views. Instead of driving up on the day of the hunt we decided to drive up the day before to get the ponies ready without a rush and so we wouldn’t have to wake up at 4am. At the hunt we got to meet so many new people and even people that have ridden in an OCTRA event.

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Whenever I jump Desi I’m always slightly worried she’ll stop since so many times she has done this before. Luckily for me that thought never crossed her mind, or else I seriously would have gotten hurt. Many of the jumps we were galloping over to stay with the rest of the field, but we didn’t really have to encourage them on any either they were ready and raring to go. There were so many jumps I couldn’t even count, logs, tires, brush and even drops. The one benefit Ottawa has compared to us is that it’s very flat so the chases can be a lot faster and longer since they don’t have to deal with hills.

The weather couldn’t have been better for a November day. Just mainly wind since it’s so flat, but because we were moving almost all of the time we warmed up very quickly.

We got home at around 8 and then I had to wake up the next day for my first day of work at a coffee/bake shop in Port Hope. Well… I’m still working at the shop 3 weeks later for knowing nothing about coffee or espresso I think I’m doing pretty good.

 

Hunting with Toronto North York Hunt

October 22nd was my first joint hunt, Beaver meadow hunt club (my hunt club) and Toronto North York. The last couple of hunts I’ve ridden at I’ve unfortunately fallen off at, not gotten hurt, but an unplanned dismount definitely took place. First on what I thought my most trusted mount was, but apparently not Angel decided to run my through the trees instead of going over a jump. The next time I tried another horse, the one that is “safe for everyone,” well apparently not this time. It wasn’t really Liza’s fault there was a dip in the ground and she found it. We were cantering threw this field and I did a summersault over the front of her successfully landing on my feet, with everyone watching me. I looked down at the ground on the right side of me and began to laugh with everyone asking if I was okay, to a response of “oh my gosh that was such a rush.”

Well third times a charm? This hunt was very close to the Dufferin forest, so for where I live it’s about a 3.5hr drive. Instead of driving up on the day we drove up the day before and stayed at a very nice ranch that does horseback trail riding and has a nice little place for sleeping in. When we woke up in the morning it was snowing, not super hard, but still, Snow? Really? The hunt was great, sadly I only got to jump two coops, but I was still very happy how my third horse did. Desi did amazing, only refusing once but getting over it the second time on one and then going straight over the second jump.

I’d also like to put in this post of how happy and proud I am of my teammate Sarah for doing amazing at her South Africa race. No matter where she placed, to travel thousands of kilometers to a new place. Somewhere with a new culture, horses you haven’t seen before let alone ridden before and many other differences compared to Canada. For coming third that is amazing, congratulations.

-Solstice

 

Show Days

From riding my coach’s horse Beau, to riding my own horses in both endurance and mounted games, I would say I’m pretty busy. This past weekend was quite busy, with having a show each day this weekend. Over the whole weekend Beau was a good boy. With some classes better than others because you can’t be perfect all the time right?

Friday was Lindsay Ex. This was my first Morgan show ever. We competed in 4 classes getting 2nd,3rd,1st,2nd. Most of the classes had about five people in it, with some pretty good competition too. There was also tough competition in the Saturday Roseneath Fair. Friday was quite the cold day though. All the girls riding for my coach we huddled up in the trailer pretty much until we showed at 11. Luckily Saturday was much better. It was cold in the morning, but it got warmer as the day went on.

At the RoseneathFair we got 5th,2nd,1st,2nd,3rd. Both Friday and Saturday were flat class only, so Beau wasn’t super happy, he’d much rather be jumping. Sunday we competed in two divisions hack and x-rail. For the flat part of the we did relatively the same as the other day. For the jumping part Beau was in his glory. Out of 11 we got 2 in hunter over fences and 3 in equitation over fences.

So what next? This weekend I have Oktoberfest. 14 miles Saturday and 50 miles Sunday on Linda Klarner’s horse Jack. I can’t wait to see how much better he is compared to his first ever 50 mile. Boy I really hope it doesn’t rain, October rains aren’t exactly the warmest showers you could say. I don’t especially like feeling cold and wet for a whole day either.

Have a great weekend, TGIF.

-Solstice

Better late then never!

September 10 I was supposed to go to a mounted games meet in Newmarket, but unfortunately rain loves to happen on the weekends so sadly it was canceled. The 11th was another horse show for me and Beau. The show was in Bethany at Sky haven. They have a huge arena and outdoor ring with beautiful jumps from your dreams.

I decided to compete in the hack division and 2″3. With 4 classes in both divisions. In the hack division Beau would not cooperate whatsoever. I ask for a halt and he backs up, I ask for a walk and he canters I ask for a straight line and he goes sideways. So to say the least he had a lot of energy. By the last hack class he was starting to get better, but was still being a bit of a bum. I was so mad and frustrated I was almost ready to cry, I literally asked myself why I ride this horse.

We had our warm up for our jumping course early so we could take his bridle off for him to eat. Luckily this worked out in my favour; I think taking off his bridle calmed him down. I started my flat section of my 2″3 division and he was much calmer by that time and did much better. Like most judges though they prefer big clunky horses with no brain rather than a horse that actually has something fancy with a stride. So we didn’t place in the hunter flat portion. Equitation was next and boy was it a challenge.

We went for around 5 minutes to get down to 6 out of 11 and then we went for another 5 minutes. We had to do sitting trot, collected canter and halts in the first group. The top six then became much harder. With having to do sitting trot without stirrups for what seemed like forever, we crossed the diagonal and then finally pick up our stirrups with no instructions of what pace. Many people stopped or walked, but she never said to stop. I continued trotting along picking up my stirrups and posting on.

Can you guess what I came? 1st!! I couldn’t believe it. For our jumping class Beau did great. Happily jumping over every jump and getting every canter lead around the whole course. To say the least I was happy to tell myself this is why I ride this horse.

-Solstice

Two for the show

Starting last fall I started riding my coach’s horses. I started showing for her in spring of this year riding her 6 year old Morgan gelding Beau. This year I’ve been mainly showing flat, with some jumping shows. Before me Beau has not really done any showing and this year he’s done so well. He’s been getting a whole lot of 1st, 2nd and 3rd against some good competition.

This past competition went very well. We got three 1st and a 2nd in our four flat classes. The weekend was quite rainy so many people didn’t participate in this show. My coach decided to enter Beau and I in some hunter jumping classes. We have competed in jumping 2 times before, but only at cross rail level. I was entered in hunter hack, low hunter 2”3 and baby hunter 2”6. The first jumping class was horrible, Beau thought that the brush boxes were monsters so stopped and refused to go over the first jump on our first try. Our second try was much more successful, getting over the jump, but by a mile.

Our 2”3 class was much better after the first few jumps, but our 2”6 class was phenomenal. Beau got every lead and didn’t knock down a jump. He even did a flying lead change in the middle of two jumps and can you believe it we got first! So now we have another show this next weekend doing 2”, hopefully it’s big enough.

 

-Solstice

Something ’bout the North

Through the years of doing endurance in AERC and OCTRA I have learned each ride has its challenges. Some challenges are much harder than others, some are more difficult for different people. Our first pioneer ride up in Madawaska was very challenging. From winding roads, to the hills and the rocks it was for sure a test of the best. At the second vet check, the girl I was riding with for the first 25 miles looked down at her horse’s foot realizing there was no shoe on her left foot. The shoe was pulled straight out of the foot, luckily not hurting the horse or making her lame, but making the proper decision to pull because of this problem.

My horse was not the most motivated creature at this ride after we didn’t have a friend to go out with she slowed down a lot, making me have to continue to encourage her forward. At 9 miles from the second stop Earle Baxter caught up with me, boy was I happy as Angel was being a bum: walking the slowest walk she could possibly do, telling me she was tired every step, I hate it when horses are like that. Once she had a friend she thought she could race all the way home. Having to go over all the hills, makes like you’ve done the 50 twice.

At the end I ended up coming first, but overall I was just happy I completed because it was only a 50% completion rate. Now the stress begins for our competition, mounted games practice and let’s just say so much more. Well, nobody can say I had a boring summer!

 

-Solstice

Times to remember

I don’t think I could have a better summer: from the amazing view, to all my new friends, a horse between my legs and the wind blowing my hair. Ya, for sure I miss my home and my bed, but I wouldn’t trade this summer for anything. Most of my blogs are mainly me talking about my adventures, but that’s only because I can never remember to take pictures. This blog will be mainly pictures so let’s get started.

The first day I arrived I got to see a family of foxes

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This little pony was Angel’s first friend. Daisy was a rescue and now she’s doing 110% better.

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Of course a lot of riding. A different horse each day and lots of time in the saddle!

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We all wanted a jumping ring so us girls got together and a jumping ring was built.

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We also go on lots of adventures!
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Who could forget horse swimming?
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I think I get pretty good views too!
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The best part about this whole thing is I’ve meet so many new and great people i would have never met before.
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Hope you all liked the pictures of my summer. Have a great July!
-Solstice

Third try lucky? I’d say so!

Third times a charm? Or so they say! Well apparently it true because at the third competition of 2016 all of my horses completed the ride they were entered in. Let’s just add in that how could I not do well that would be the worst luck for the ride right before my birthday. 17 years old with one more year of high school left. Don’t worry only having a minor break-down.

For me Summer Solstice is just about the most stressful ride ever on the weekend right before exams, when I should be studying. Don’t get me wrong I do study, just maybe not as much as I should. To make things even worse on me the whole week before the ride I was very sick, with what I don’t know, but I wish what I had on no one. I’m pretty sure I lost about 10lbs and before a long ride where I should be getting enough of everything to make sure I can finish without dying, instead I was at my toilet throwing up whenever I tried to eat.

I made it to the ride a little under the weather, but a whole lot better than earlier that week. I rode that Jack the same horse I rode at Aprilfest. He was 110% better no freak outs in the vetting area, he ate and he drank whenever he had the chance. We decided to do the tri-challenge and it was very exciting to include both runners and biker’s into the mix. Our team came second with me being the sponsor horse since we wanted to keep our horses together. The Sunday of the ride we did the 50 mile. You know that saying “sugar melts in the rain,” do you think sugar can melt in the heat? Because trust me I was! Felt like about 100 degrees. To be honest yes it was hot for the first three loops, but those aren’t the ones I’m complaining about. The last loop was the killer, talk to anyone and I’m sure they will tell you that. After about 11am it started getting nasty hot and everyone just wanted to be done.

We finished the ride 9th and with a ride time of 6hrs 47mins, for Jacks first ride I was very happy. My horse Desi finished 7th which I was also very happy about. We got home Sunday night and hay was waiting for us. Took us all day Monday putting it into the barn, then I had a week of exams, but now I’m free for the summer!

Well… actually I’m not really, I’m free from school, but I have a trail riding job up at Algonquin South Trails. I’m very excited as well as a little scared; I will be up there for the full month of July. I know this opportunity isn’t handed out every day so when I was offered it I knew I had to take it. Doing something that I love and having it as a job, tell me know how can it get any better than that. So if you’re in the area of beautiful Algonquin park come visit.

 

-Solstice