March 4, 2019


In late February, work sent me out to the mothership to attend a massive women's conference (which let's be real, in Silicon Valley, it was more or less a women in tech conference).

I have some deep rooted distrust of women in tech initiatives, but this ended up being REALLY cool.

And what was even cooler? This time, I tacked on an extra day and a half so I could hang out with Kate!

And Lucy, who is awesome

Kate gave me three lessons over as many days, and I'm still processing the biomechanics lessons.  I've had a hard time putting parts of what she taught me into practice when I got home - not because of the way she taught it, but because of the way I'm interpreting it and possibly because I'm not feeling at home in my Dressage saddle right now (uh oh). 

Oh and also because I really haven't seen my horse in a week and also because my body doesn't know what time zone it should be in anymore (5 days Pacific time, 3 days Eastern, 12 hours Mountain, 1 day Central, 3 days Eastern, 5 days Pacific --> My life since mid February)

Kate took me for a sunset walk along the Pacific Ocean and I loved every single freaking second of it.

But one of those lessons meant as much to me in terms of confidence as it did in terms of biomechanics.  And that was my group jump lesson on Flounder.

The number of horses I have jumped that are not Connor in the last five years: 0.  The number of horses I've ever jumped total: less than 10.  The number of horses I've jumped that haven't been terrifying in one way or another: 2.  I got scarred pretty badly by the second horse I ever jumped in my life, who I had to ride for an entire semester in college, dreading each ride.  At the time I met my trainer, a year after that, I told her I wasn't sure I ever wanted to jump again.

He's not exactly terrifying because he always always ALWAYS makes it to the other side of the fence, but his scrambling didn't inspire my confidence.

It took all the lady balls I had to agree to be in a Saturday morning group jump lesson with some cool and very proficient high school girls.  And it took even more lady balls to ride a strange horse over fences.  Kate could tell I was nervous and I'm sure she would've let me bail if I asked, but I knew I needed to make myself do this.  I do enjoy jumping, once I get over the initial anxieties.

And you know what?  I ended up having a ton of fun by the end.

Last trip

Kate gave me some great feedback, and I did take it to heart, but the biggest thing I got out of the lesson was just being up there and doing it.  Flounder may not be the most trained thing in the world, but man he is point and shoot when it comes to jumping, and he doesn't feel nearly Connor does over fences.  Once I figured out Flounder's completely innocent penchant for the long spot, we had each other figured out, lol.

Also - no filter - riding in short sleeves in the California sun was heavenly
I figured some things out for myself too - when I relaxed and made my back flat, he stopped rushing and became quieter in the bridle.  I still wasn't able to put into practice Kate's observation that I'm not letting my joints absorb the jump, which is annoyingly visible in the videos she took.

The number of times I've walked through a fancy hotel in boots and breeches, I swear.
I was so happy to be up there and learning from Kate, but more than anything, just getting over my fear and having fun over fences on a strange horse in the California sun meant so much.  Thanks, Flounder <3


  1. Uh who said you could be president of the flounder fan club? >:[

  2. So fun! I feel you on the jumping strange horses thing...huge kudos for getting out there (and looking great doing it!)

  3. What a great few days! Yay for jumping a new horse AND enjoying it!

  4. You look great, and Flounder is adorable!!

  5. It looks beautiful out there in sunny California!