Last March, when I entered the “Win A Day With Margie Engle” contest, my horse and I had only been jumping for a couple of months. I wanted to win as a gift to the girls at the barn who had welcomed this dressage rider into their hunter/jumper world. I […]

More Leg! with Margie Engle

More than a year ago I entered a contest in Practical Horseman. The prize was a clinic with Margie Engle. Out of hundreds of entries, I won. You can see the entry and video here. Of course, what with the pandemic, Margie’s trip to my barn was put on hold. […]

Margie Engle Clinic Prep

Shorten your reins! I’ve heard that my entire riding life. On the most basic level, your hands hold onto the reins, the reins attach to the bit in the horse’s mouth, and how you move that bit tells the horse what you want them to do. Turn left. Turn right. […]

Shorten Your Reins

Thinking that I’d put my white breeches away for good, I bought Tonka to be my trail horse. But it turned out that I missed the training and fine-tuned connection that I got through dressage. I knew that Tonka would benefit from the communication that we’d find through the training. […]

Training Hurdles From Dressage to Jumping

I started working on this blogpost before everything shut down. I haven’t seen my horse for nearly three weeks. It’s been almost impossible to sit at my keyboard and write about horse training while I’ve been homebound. However, I do much of my writing in my head before I type a […]

Training The Big Picture

Tonka and I continue to take our weekly jumping lessons. It’s fun for both of us, and something I know we’ll keep doing, so I purchased some new (used) gear for it. I bought a buttery-soft French saddle.   It’s half the weight of my dressage saddle, and I have […]

March Thaw Fun

As a dressage rider, I obsess over every every stride. I care where each hoof is placed, where the shoulder is, how my horse carries his head, the tilt of his jaw. Everything. In trying to position Tonka’s body just so, it’s easy to turn into a nagging rider. As […]

Let Your Horse Think

In my quest to keep Tonka comfortable under saddle, I’ve been taking second looks at my routine and my gear. (Read about why I changed his bit here.) Some things I do as a matter of rote. I’ve used the same style and brand of girth for the last five […]

Girth Too Tight?

Dressage people call riding in the ring, “playing in the sandbox.” That’s just what we did on Sunday. For most of this year I didn’t think that Tonka was going well enough to compete, and the one show that we did go to confirmed that assessment. Recently, though, Tonka has […]

We’re Back in the Sandbox