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I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

4
Mar

the equestrian life {and other technical details}

Given horses pretty much consume our time lately, it’s kinda crazy I haven’t posted more about it. But then I guess, there was that whole losing my voice thing, and the whole busy, busy, busy thing and well … with uploading photos, editing, posting … I just didn’t do any of it. And now I feel like my heart is bursting to tell you more about it!

I’m currently sitting in a golf cart, at a horse show, in front of our camper. We’re camping over the next two weeks while we’re here … and yes, we have a camper and not a tent, so it’s not like we’re roughing it or anything, but for the record … I do enjoy more than a thin pad to sleep on and a trickle of water in a shoebox to shower with!

Anyway. Seemed only fitting to write this post now.

And don’t worry … even though we spent most of last year at horse shows — so many I’m not sure I could count them — I promise not to recap every single one!

To give you an example of how many shows I’m talking about … here are the girls ribbons from 2013:

Wynter’s

Taylor’s

 I’ll try not to get too technical on you, but just give some basic information. :)

The riding discipline the girls do is Hunter/Jumpers. Wynter does hunters, and Taylor primarily does jumpers {with a few equitation classes here and there}. And there are two types of shows they do:

  • Local shows {that aren’t really “local” — they’re an average of two hours away — it just means they’re unrated shows and don’t count on the girls “professional” riding record}.
  • Rated shows, which are a bigger deal and do go on the girls permanent/professional record, and can be found all over the world.

That said, the only type of shows we’d done were local shows — until last August when Taylor did her first rated show in Kentucky. Since then, it seems like we’ve been in a fast-forward mode trying to get her record beefed up for college {when she goes to try out for a riding team}.

This particular show was at the Kentucky Horse Park and very, very different from what we’d been used to with our local shows! And actually, Taylor had ridden at the horse park when she was 12 for a Pony Club event. But it wasn’t a competition, it was a clinic that’s held every three years for Pony Club.

Needless to say … this was a big deal for her!

This is my very favorite photo I captured from the week.

Sorry … here comes some technicality … if you’re not interested, just skip over it! :)

When Taylor does Jumpers, it’s all about speed. Basically, the fastest time wins. But it’s not about being a cowboy and plowing over the jumps as fast as you can. It’s about walking your course, knowing how many strides between each jump, knowing what your horse can handle as far as quick turns and the best way to get to the next jump … and one hundred other things that I’m probably not even aware of. It’s about speed … but also skill {and safety!}.

Most of the time in her classes, there are two parts. The first, you need to go “clean” — which means not knocking down any rails, or poles, as you jump over them — and you also can’t have any time faults. You’re allotted a certain amount of time and you need to get through the course in that time.

The second part of her class is called the jump-off, and if you go clean as I’ve mentioned above, then you move on to the jump-off {if you don’t go clean, you don’t get to move on}. And the person who has the fastest time in the jump-off {with the least amount of faults} wins.

The two images I have posted here were taken on separate days. In the photo above, if you look at the monitor, you see she has 4 faults. That means she got a rail down. The good news is, the ride was her jump-off. So she’d gone clean in the first round and went on to the jump-off. Her time for the course was 42 seconds.

Technically, she could still get a good ribbon if the other competitors had more faults and/or a slower time.

And in the photo below, you can see on the monitor, Taylor’s time was 66.249 … she went clean … and moved on to the jump-off.

I hope that wasn’t too bad in the technical department!

Overall, Taylor ended up taking reserve champion in her division. It was a great experience for her and I’m so glad we were able to do it!

After Kentucky, the girls did a whole bunch of local shows, and then in October and November, Wynter got in on the action as they did three rated shows in Raleigh {with local shows on their weekends off from Raleigh}.

The video below is of one of Taylor’s jump-offs {and yes … maybe I do pray while she’s riding!}. At this particular show, Taylor won grand champion in her division. And extra special … she did it by placing 1st in each class! It’s all based on points, so one can still win grand champion even if they didn’t place first in each class.

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

At a different show in Raleigh, Taylor competed against some top riders {ex-Olympians even — although they were competing to train clients horses, different than competing strictly for themselves}, and she placed 2nd!

Taylor’s come a long, long way. It’s not been an easy road for her and this show we’re at in Florida has rocked us upside down and caused a lot of soul searching for my girl. We’re starting our fourth week … two weeks here, two weeks home, and two weeks back here again … and she’s still processing all she’s learning.

And then we have Wynter! This girl is following right in her sister’s footsteps! I shared about Wynter and her pony, Spanky a few months ago, but this girl has come a long way since then too! Here’s a photo of her doing crossrails with Spanky. As far as the ribbon department goes, it was slow going and she placed mostly in the bottom six, or didn’t place at all. But in the growth department {both personal and physical!}? Off the charts!!

She’s got a new horse … Wilber. :) And she moved up to showing in the short stirrup division. It’s kind of like going from training pants to big-girl underpants! Sorry for the crazy analogy, but it’s the first thing that came to mind!

I posted the below photo a week or so ago, but bear with me? This is Wynter and Wilber showing in Florida. So far she’s taken reserve champion three out of five times showing … in one of those she didn’t place, she was diagnosed with strep that morning {but more on that another time}!

I’m proud of her determination and budding passion for this sport. I’m telling y’all … horses are the best thing you can do for a girl! I’ve seen it in Taylor, and I’m seeing it all over again with Wynter.

I feel like they learn life isn’t just about them. But somehow they have a bigger to purpose to take care of this animal and grow as an equestrian and care-taker of their new best friend {and dare I say, first boyfriend?!}.

Below is a video I took of Wynter here in Florida a couple of weeks ago. It’s a little long {and probably boring if you’re not into the whole horse thing}, but it warms my heart to watch it and know how much it means to her to be riding this boy, and now showing in big-girl shows, in a big-girl division, with her big-girls pants {sorry, couldn’t resist!}.

And the last video is a bonus of her riding one of Taylor’s horses! That’s the best part about having two riding girls … they can exercise each others horses and save me some trainer expenses! :)

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

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Posted in riding, taylor, wynter

 

8 Responses to “the equestrian life {and other technical details}”

  1. Susan Lesperance says:

    Amazing update on the girls’ and their equestrian journey–and resulting personal growth as a result. Your description of the technical side of riding is much appreciated. Great job…(and don’t forget to be kind to yourself and get some rest now and again).

  2. Oh, I love these posts! I grew up with horses, but we rode western. I was always fascinated with the “other” kind of equestrian life. :-)
    the Blah Blah Blahger recently posted..FINDING GOD IN SPIN CLASS

    • tracie says:

      i’m glad you like them!! for whatever reason, whenever i post “horse” photos on IG, i lose followers. it’s a guarantee loss of followers. whatevs! and YES, the equestrian world is so full of it’s own little planets, it’s always interesting to hear about how the other ones work! :)

  3. dawn says:

    just catching up on your posts! look at all of those ribbons!!! and the tech-y part was good for me… to understand better what i was seeing! {i try not to ask too many questions while it is “live!”} i am amazed by these two… and their mama who makes it all happen behind the scenes. oh how i loved seeing them ride in person… and seeing the excitement over their ribbons, and their shock over winning them. such sweet humble girls. and i cannot wait to see the shot of tay handing wynt her ribbon… that moment made me tear up!!! xoxo
    dawn recently posted..life lately…

  4. Cat Moore says:

    This is amazing! So proud of them and I know you are too! What a cool thing and so much talent in your girls. Loved all the pics and I LOVED the technical part. I would LOVE for Jack and Meme to be able to do this!
    Cat Moore recently posted..Kitchen Staples During Detox

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