You Guys Rock and So Does My Horse

Today is a hodge-podge of thoughts- I am working on a more formalized schedule for myself so I can get back to blogging about our rides and lessons! Until then, I appreciate you all putting up with my semi-cohesive ramblings lately.

In exciting news, Jumper Nation decided to run my last post! The editor reached out to me and said they like having different perspectives for editorials, and I was more than happy to share my thoughts.

Of course, in hindsight I should have tweaked it a bit before sharing. I wrote my post for a specific audience: you all, who know me pretty well and generally give me the benefit of the doubt (thank you!). Turns out that some of my wording offended some people on Facebook, because they don’t know me and assumed I meant something different than what I did mean. Can’t really blame them, it’s super hard to read tone in text, especially when it’s a total stranger that you’ve never read before. Hopefully it added a little to the conversation, but I think I’ll do a couple things differently next time I want to share something with a wider platform. Live and learn!

On to the even more fun stuff: Francis.

Seriously you all are probably sick of me gushing over him, but I feel like the last few weeks have been a different gear for us. Not that we’ve been jumping big jumps (we haven’t) or doing super difficult courses (also no), just getting a lot of our basics tuned up and more correct.

For example: contact. Frankie has progressively gotten more educated to the contact and knows how to carry himself on said contact, but it was not something that he automatically thought to do. Of course he wouldn’t, that’s hard work! My trainers could always get him going really well over his back and up into the bridle, but I struggled to get that consistently.

It’s hard to do things when all you want is to nap

It’s still not perfect and it will forever be a growing and learning process, but I do think we’ve turned a corner in terms of asking and receiving a more balanced contact. I think it’s a combination of me asking a little differently and a little more strongly, Frankie understanding the question better, and Frankie being fit enough to answer the question.

I also think he loves our new outdoor ring. He’s got a bit more room to move, the footing is a tad firmer (it’s gorgeous omg), and he’s just a happy horse when he’s outside. Before our new outdoor was done, we really only rode outside for shows- wondering if maybe he associates jumping outside with showtime? Whatever the reason may be, he is a very happy boy and is going around fantastically.

I have more stuff to talk about with Frankie, but I think that’ll all need a dedicated post.

Second to last thing for now: I have a new toy! You may have seen my video on Instagram (if you haven’t, go check it out @hellomylivia) and I’m really excited to put together more POV videos! I opted for a chest mount instead of a helmet mount because I am cheap and the helmet mounts in my price range looked really flimsy. So I now have a funny looking strappy contraption that holds my phone to my chest. I’m still figuring out how to adjust the angle and secure it so it won’t flop around when I jump- any suggestions? Here’s the link to what I got.

I’ve decided to remove most sound if I post videos from lessons. Namely, my trainer talking. Little snippets here and there are fine, but I don’t want to be giving away her livelihood for free. I also won’t be posting videos with kids visible in there. Any other suggestions for ways you keep your media barn-friendly?

And the last thing for now: I love my new job! It’s requiring me to be much more structured with my time and plan things out, which makes my color-coordinated file-folder heart go pitter-patter. Everyone has been so nice, and my new boss has been incredibly supportive of barn time (I’ve already got time off approved for Regionals in August!). The only real downside is that my commute to the barn has increased by a decent amount, but thankfully my trainer has been flexible and understanding as I adjust to the new schedule. And my new boss has already offered to put me on an alternate schedule so I can beat traffic and get to the barn earlier- how ridiculous awesome is that??

work outfit
I even look moderately less feral on a regular basis now

The crazy hectic-ness of June is dying down and Frankie and I are adjusting to our new normal. Lucky for me, he continues to earn his barn nickname of “The Unicorn” and continues to be the best pony on the planet.