What’s My Discipline?

Due to the gang heading to Lexington and some late nights at work causing me to miss my makeup lesson, this week is lesson-less. I know how much you all love hearing about every single stride of my super duper advanced lessons- I apologize from the bottom of my heart for the lack of lesson reviews this week. Instead, please enjoy my semi-coherent ramblings.


I was doing some really deep navel-gazing lately and thinking about my future with horses. Where do I want to get to? How far do I want to go? I talked about my big long-term goal a little while ago and that’s definitely still on my radar, but that’s not going to be happening any time soon. That’s a couple years down the line barring any big snags (and in the horse world, there are always snags).

So I was thinking, where do I want to be right now? Knowing that I’ve got a kickass 3′ (and possibly higher) horse, a trainer who will help me reach whatever goals I set, and a tiny but useable budget to get out and show semi-regularly: what do I want to be doing with this wonderful situation I find myself in?

And it’s a harder question than I thought it would be. Some people just know and have always known that they want to be in the jumper ring (I’m looking at you, Jenn), and some people find the elegance of the hunters to be their happy place.

And Addy and I have had a ton of fun in both those rings! With consistent work and more show miles, she’s turning into a really lovely hunter. We’ll never place well on the flat (even if DragonBeast decided she liked flat classes, we’re not great movers), but Beastly carries a beautiful pace, snaps her knees up when she rounds over the jumps, and is becoming a more and more pleasant ride around a hunter course. I think if we turned our attention to the hunters full time, we could be competitive on the local circuit- even if more people start showing up for the 3′. Maybe not the rateds with their fancy hunters, but ain’t nobody got cash for that anyways (unless I start eating Ramen for dinner a lot more, which I haven’t completely ruled out).

But then the jumpers- Beastly loves to move. And by move I mean haul ass. Pardon my French. We’ve only had the one outing and it did not go smoothly at all, but once I became a human rider instead of a potato things clicked into place. Addy seems to love more technical courses with turns and such, and I’ve found that I love the faster pace and excitement of the jumpers. If we focused our attention to the jumpers full time, we could probably be competitive at even the rateds- no one cares if she’s a fancy mover there as long as we jump clear, careful, and fast. We can definitely do clear, careful, and fast.

Here, have a picture of Addy thinking I’m a carrot.

I’ve had a great time in the hunters, and I’ve had a great time in the jumpers. That likely has to do with the pony I get to ride! I trust that Addy will take care of me if I take care of her no matter what we’re doing and what trouble we run into. I adore the tradition and “prettiness” of the hunters, and I adore the adrenaline rush I get in the jumpers. But I’ve never really been a hunter rider, and I’m still quite new to the jumpers.

Then there’s my true love- the equitation. I showed exclusively in the equitation divisions growing up and LOVED it. There were the exciting courses from the jumpers, the beauty of the hunters, and a little extra technical aspect to make sure every single little thing was perfectly in place. Sadly the local shows around here don’t offer many eq classes- I’ll have to go to the rateds for a chance to rock out in the 18-35 Adult Equitation. And I haven’t even been in an eq class in years. Beastly has a haphazard counter-canter, we’re still developing a frame, and I’ve gotten a little sloppy as I’ve moved into the hunters and jumpers.

But here’s what I’m thinking: we’ll keep doing the hunters when that’s available. Learning to carry a steady rhythm and stay calm on course will only help us. We’ll keep doing the jumpers when that’s available. Adjusting our pace and learning to truly plan a ride will only help us. And then whenever it’s possible, I’m going to enter all the 3′ adult equitation medal I can get find/afford. Balancing and becoming more position-oriented will only help us.

So am I a hunter rider, a jumper rider, or an eq rider at heart? My musings haven’t really given me a clear answer, except for the fact that I’m Addy’s rider. My job is to give her a good ride no matter what ring we’re in, and bonus points if I can add to her training and make her more rideable for her owner.

So yes, I will be searching for more jumper classes to do, because I’m pretty sure that’s where I’ll eventually end up. But I also won’t say no to tagging along to more hunter shows. Heck, we’ll tag along when our barn goes to the nearby baby horse trial in the fall. Whatever I need to do to build my own skills and My Little Pony’s skills is what we’ll do.


25 thoughts on “What’s My Discipline?

  1. Jenn 08/06/2015 / 8:01 am

    LOVE THIS. So, so much. All of it.

    Also, merlot Pipers FTW ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • hellomylivia 08/06/2015 / 8:07 am

      Very glad you like ๐Ÿ™‚ Merlot pipers twins 4 lyfe.


  2. Allison Stitzinger 08/06/2015 / 8:08 am

    Love all your thoughts on this topic! For a long time I floated between disciplines, too, competing mostly in Eq and Jumpers but also thinking that one day I’d like a really nice hunter. Oh, and I liked dressage, too! I never owned or leased a horse that was solidly in one ring or the other, and I just did whatever the horses I happened to be riding did. It helped make me pretty well-rounded, in that respect. Even last year when I started eventing – because Dino wanted to start eventing – I didn’t consider myself an Eventer at the start. Now that I’ve been doing it for a year, I see that that is where I really fit in and enjoy myself. You have so many possibilities in front of you! Keep riding, keep showing, keep trying new things until you find your love!


    • hellomylivia 08/06/2015 / 8:15 am

      I can’t tell you just how big this made me smile to read- the love you have for the sport (in all its forms) is so palpable and contagious. We’re going to keep trying everything and having fun with all of it!


  3. SprinklerBandit 08/06/2015 / 8:43 am

    I thought you were going to start eventing or something crazy like that when I saw the title. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • hellomylivia 08/06/2015 / 8:50 am

      Oh god let’s not go ABSOLUTELY insane! (Yes, eventers, you’re all insane. There, I said it. We’re all thinking it.)


  4. sarahczspots 08/06/2015 / 9:06 am

    It is quite impressive that the moosey mare can get it around those turns in the jumpers. My (albeit shorter) moosey mare has two speeds: potato and turtle. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • hellomylivia 08/06/2015 / 9:10 am

      Big fat moosey mare often forgets that she can make tight turns and needs lots of reminding. My trainer has referred to her as “a barge, but a barge with a decent turning radius.” Hahaha moosey turtle mare, I love it โค


  5. Lauren 08/06/2015 / 9:12 am

    I honestly don’t think it matters since you can play in both rings and you have fun!


    • hellomylivia 08/06/2015 / 9:14 am

      Definitely tons of fun! And we’ve had a blast trying new things together ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. carey 08/06/2015 / 10:32 am

    Fun all around! I like the go with the flow, do whatever is available approach!


  7. Stacie Seidman 08/06/2015 / 10:44 am

    I bet you would LOVE to do a hunter derby! It’s like a jumper course for hunters!
    I was having similar thoughts recently. I’m stuck in an equine rut. I have my most amazing horse who had to retire, a not quite a pony (14.2 and a half hands, ugh) rescue who is just learning to jump, and my 16 year old a/o jumper who hates the jumper ring so I show him in adult eq. I have no time or money for a new horse, but I SO MUCH want to get back in the bigger show ring and jump some larger fences!
    But the long and the short of it: if you’re riding well and enjoying yourself, you don’t have to pick a ring! Good riding is good riding, no matter the size or layout of the jumps.



    • hellomylivia 08/06/2015 / 12:09 pm

      I’ve never actually tried a hunter derby but it looks SO fun, I think my girl would love that!
      I sympathize with wanting to go into a ring that your horses may not want to take you in. I hope you find your way back over those big jumps!
      I certainly hope to be riding well, and certainly hope to keep improving. But I’m 100% sure we’re enjoying the heck out of all our adventures ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. emma 08/06/2015 / 12:58 pm

    i think at heart, you are a ‘rider’ – no qualifications necessary. it’s awesome that you can move from ring to ring, finding things that you like and that work for your horse in all the different scenarios. that versatility can only be a strength – esp when the entire point is to get out there and enjoy yourselves!


    • hellomylivia 08/06/2015 / 2:45 pm

      Love this! I’ve been super lucky to have a pony that’s willing to play around, we’re definitely going to keep having fun together!


  9. Karley 08/06/2015 / 9:41 pm

    so many choices!!

    You can’t go wrong keeping the hunter/eq stuff around to keep you a very polished rider ๐Ÿ™‚


    • hellomylivia 08/07/2015 / 5:03 pm

      Definitely want to get that polish!! My goal is to be effective AND nice to watch.


  10. Liz Stronach 08/09/2015 / 3:16 pm

    I think that your mastering the skills necessary for success in both rings is a great sign! Proves that you’re both versatile and confident in your work!


    • hellomylivia 08/12/2015 / 8:28 am

      That’s absolutely the goal! I’m just grateful that the Majestic Steed is on board ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Courtney 08/10/2015 / 9:33 am

    You are talented enough that you can do any or all of it!


  12. Tracy - Fly On Over 08/21/2015 / 8:43 am

    IMHO it’s not easy to find a horse that can go in multiple rings and be competitive — so I’d enjoy it! Why pick a discipline if you don’t have to?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s