July 2, 2021


I'm treating Pony Cup as the pinnacle of my season this year, and am pulling out all the stops for it, including sending Connor to CGP's for two weeks of full training this week and next week.

(And, you can probably infer from yesterday's post that anytime he's at CGP's I'm not doing his stall, which is a nice "in case of emergency break glass" option for me as a co-op member. Although I'm still taking my feeding/turnout shifts).

On Tuesday morning I got a call from GP trainer. Of course I answered it immediately.

Dropping my kid off at "boarding school" (as my husband calls it) on Sunday

"I just got done riding your pone pone and I just want to BRAG on YOUR RIDING these past seven months! It seriously feels like I last rode him yesterday, the contact feels fantastic and everything is right there. I even schooled half pass, and it was great," she said.

"That's amazing, because I definitely have not touched half pass myself," I joked.

"Here AGAIN? Okay I guess"

I was tickled. I knew deep down that he was still going well, but to hear it validated from her was amazing, especially after I'd been so terrified to take the ride back when I brought him home from full training in January, and then was unable to lesson with her until March.

In fact, he'd been going so well leading up to Waterloo, part of me wondered if it was worth it to spend the money on two weeks of full training, if he even needed a tune-up. But then a never-before-accessed region of my brain kicked in and was like "There's are no broken fundamentals on this horse anymore. He's GOOD. You can send him to her to IMPROVE things now, not just to fix all the problems you created."

Whoa brain, whoa. I'm not used to thinking about myself as anything other than a heavy-handed problem-creating amateur.

Natural selection did not provide me with arms long enough for horse selfies

"It's so much fun to have horses in for training like him," she said. "We can really make a lot of progress now." And then she touched on why the simple changes are sometimes there for me and sometimes not, and what she's doing about it, which is the best thing she could accomplish for me the next two weeks, IMO.

She ended the call by telling me she "survived" riding in my jump saddle. Yes, for the first time I'm forced to ask my 5'10ish GP Dressage trainer to ride my pony in my literally-used-to-belong-to-a-child shortest-flap-they-make CWD jump saddle. But she's a trooper and has a firm policy that she rides training horses in the horse's saddle no matter how poorly it might fit her because the horse's comfort has to come first. 

At least she can take comfort in knowing a Dressage saddle she approves of is on order for him!

Scale is hard to convey in photos, but y'all know how small this horse is. This saddle brings 'postage' stamp saddle' to new heights (CWD SE02 1C flap for the CWD nerds out there)


  1. What a cool feeling. I know he felt amazing just hopping on him bareback last month.
    And I totally commiserate on the saddle thing, whenever anyone else hops on Archie in my 1AA flap jump saddle they basically cry.

    1. Haha, yeah! You know my pain. 16.5" short flap is not a friendly size to someone 5'10.

  2. What an amazing stage to be at!!!

    1. Feels awesome. There are always things to improve, but nothing is actively broken anymore.

  3. That's a huge compliment! congratulations on leveling up!

  4. What great validation! Glad things are going so well!

  5. I do a LOT of two-point generally, and ride 5-8 horses a day without being stiff, but I only ride in dressage saddles at this point. A couple months ago, I spent a day trying jumping ponies for a kid. I think I rode 6 ponies for like 10 minutes each and hardly actually jumped a thing - but dang, girl, the stiffness was real! LOL! I feel CGP's pain, but you are such a great advocate for your horse by doing what's right for him. Holding thumbs that your dressage saddle comes soon!

  6. It is always nice to have validation from someone you respect, kudos Jen!