Updating page: Come back later.

I started this blog as a way to share with my parents my adventures with horses (Ava specifically).

I’m sarcastic and have a dry sense of humor, so 99% of this entire blog is tongue in cheek type. I don’t think I’m very good…. but I love riding and learning.

My Horses (past and present):

Name: Avandarre (Ava)
Breed: Friesian/Paint
Birth Year: 2003
Gender: Mare
Acquired: 2011
Height: 15.2h
  • USDF/Dover Saddlery AA Medal – 2014
  • Champion Second Level AA – Waterloo 2014
  • Series Champion Second Level AA – Waterloo 2014
  • First Level Year End Champion -Glass-Ed Show Series 2012
  • First Level Year End High Percentage – Glass-Ed Show Series 2012
Currently Own: Deceased – Oct 2018
Pam Goodrich Canter
Name: Margie’s Joy (Joy)
Breed: Morgan/Welsh
Birth Year: 2008
Gender: Mare
Acquired: 2015
Height: 13.3h
  • Year End Reserve Champion First Level – 2019
Currently Own: Yes
Name: Victor Victoria (Victor)
Breed: Arab/Saddlebred (NSH)
Birth Year: 1985
Gender: Gelding
Acquired: 1989
Height: 15.2h
  • Top Ten US Arabian and Half Arabian National Championships, First Level. 1993
  • Dressage at Lamplight Reserve Grand Champion (Jr/Yr). 1994
  • IAHA – Bronze Certificate (2 scores over 60% at First Level) . 1994
  • IAHA – Silver Certificate (2 scores over 60% at Second Level). 1994
Currently Own: No (1994)
Other Accomplishments: Gold Medal at
Games of the X Paralympics
Atlanta (USA), 16 ā€“ 25 August 1996
http://history.fei.org/sites/default/files/1996_Atlanta_Para.pdfVicsGoldMedal Vics Gold Medal 2
Name: PenDragon (Will)
Breed: Hanoverian/Thoroughbred (Pik Immer)
Birth Year: 1990
Gender: Gelding
Acquired: 1992
Height: 16.3h
Currently Own: No (1996ish)

When I was about 20, I got out of riding and horses altogether. I picked it back up again at age 36.

Some Other Accomplishments:

  • Dressage at Mystic Marsh Reserve Grand Champion (schooling show) (AA). 2011
    ** my first show in 16+ years. woot.

I started riding dressage when I was approximately 16 years old. At that point I’d been riding and taking lessons in other disciplines for about 3-4 year, on horses that ranged from fresh of the track OTTBs to bolters to dead heads.

I had just purchased a 4 year old, green broke half-Arab, and moved him to a boarding facility not far from my parents house.

While there, I started taking lessons from the dressage trainer that was working out of the barn. I started as a stall cleaner and fetcher of horses, and worked my way up to working student not long after. I quit HS sports and spent my afternoons and weekends working for and learning from the trainer. Eventually worked my way to being the person who backed the babies and exercised the horses that Adult Ammies needed help keeping in form. I rode everything from the bomb proof sofas to the habitual rearers.

I got to a point where I had more people asking me to ride their horses than I had time for.

During this time, I took my green broke green bean from unbalanced baby to successfully competing at Lamplight and other high quality rated shows. I showed under Caroll Level and Max Gawhyler. We competed against warmbloods and consistently won top 3, with several reserve championships and championships.

I qualified for the Arab Nationals in Albuquerque NM and won Top Ten at First Level against a very large class of extremely good riders.

I started competing against professionals because the Jr/Yg division didn’t have the level of competition I needed. I beat several of the local trainers on my half-Arab.

I never put my horse in training with my trainer. I did all of the work myself.

I competed my Arab at Second Level at Waterloo and Lamplight with decent scores and some notable wins, but with college looming I chose to sell my Arab. He went on to compete at the Para-Olympics and won gold medals in every class he participated in.

During my HS years, I also purchased a 2 year old Pik Immer colt, who I broke out myself and trained to First Level. We competed through First at rated shows and some local events, and won a few GC and Reserves along the way. I also sold him when I graduated HS, but he suffered a hind end injury that limited his career after I sold him.

I also took in horses for rehabilitation and retraining. One was a mutt pony that had only been handled sparingly. In 60 days I had the pony safely walk, trot, cantering under saddle, trailering, and exhibiting good equine citizen skills. His owner was then able to sell him to a good home.

I rode and trained dressage obsessively from the time I was 16 to 19.

From 19 to 32, I took a smattering of lessons, but couldn’t afford my own horse. I joined the Marines, I broke my back, I suffered severe financial losses.

At 32, I purchased a horse.

Over 6 months, I took a green horse that had bucked all his prior riders off, and had him consistently w/t/c under saddle. I started taking dressage lessons again. I sold him, and he’s now used as a lesson pony for beginner riders.

I purchased Ava in 2011, who was 7 at the time and was slightly above green broke (had some serious issues cantering).

In three years I took Ava from Training level to training at Third level and showing Second. I won every year end award at First level the second year I had her. Our first, and only rated show, in the third year, we earned high 60’s at Second (several percentage points above the competition), against horse/rider pairs that had competed at Nationals the year before. We won the Dover Medal, Grand Champion for the show, and Series Grand Champion for the year.

I have ridden under Pan Am Gold Medalists, Classical dressage trainers, and everything in between.

My current project is a pony that was green broke and started with draw reins. I’ve taken that pony from an unbalanced baby that wouldn’t allow any contact with the bit, to a competent at First Level that’s training at Second.

To date, I have spent approximately 11 years training in dressage.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. I started reading your blog from what I think was the start today. I just got to the the top. You and Ava are really entertaining. It been really great ‘joining you’ on your journey. I’m looking forward to reading lots more in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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