The Relatable Rider

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Recently, I competed at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC with my mare, Fire. It’s by far the biggest show we have done to date and leading up to it I was as excited as I was nervous. After showing in the Baby Green Hunters for the past year we planned to move up in height and likely go into the Jumper ring. I set goals for the week that were simple and attainable, having less to do with competing and more about just having a successful outing all around for my young and relatively still inexperienced horse.

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Anger is an emotion I am not very familiar with. It’s not something I typically experience, and when I do it makes me genuinely uncomfortable. To be honest, I’ve been having a tough couple of weeks with Fire. She has been difficult, spooky, and entirely unreasonable. After feeling as if we were finally getting somewhere on the ground and under saddle, we seem to have taken a few giant leaps backward, and no matter how much I wrack my brain I can’t seem to make sense of it.

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As a kid who didn’t particularly enjoy school, field trips were always a welcome distraction. Even that day we went to the local dump, I enjoyed it more than I would have enjoyed a day spent in the classroom.

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Last year I bought a Brenderup Trailer. If you’re not familiar with them, they are a lightweight trailer that can be towed without a heavy-duty truck. The purchase was not in my plan, but the ability to be mobile without having to buy a truck and only having to beg, borrow, or steal my husband’s Jeep was very appealing. I did a lot of research.

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The long weekend in May marked the second horse show this year for Fire and me. The previous horse show hadn’t gone quite how we had planned (see my blog post about it: The C Word), but I was hoping for more success this time around. At this point in Fire’s training, success is getting on the trailer, getting to the horse show, and NOT parting ways while on the ground or on her back. Anything else is icing on the cake.

April Ray-Peterson horse blog equine, blog the relatable rider, mini horses, clipping, grooming

It’s something every horse owner dreads. The telltale signs are restlessness, pawing at the ground, faster breathing, kicking at the stomach, rolling. It’s the threat that’s always lurking behind the curtain. And it makes us careful. We feed small, frequent meals; provide access to clean, fresh water; avoid working our horse on a full stomach or an empty one; cool out well after a hard ride.

April Ray-Peterson horse blog equine, blog the relatable rider, mini horses, clipping, grooming

A week away from the first horse show of the year and I can’t help but feel a little panicky. I didn’t get out on any field trips this winter despite buying a trailer and making all sorts of plans to do so. That’s the thing about plans; they’re easy to make, but hard to keep.

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