ark 1

Just recently Aleta and I went to The Ark in Monroe, NC, to do stadium schooling.  Aleta was great!  I was the only nervous one.  There were goats on one side of the ring, and I got in in my head that Aleta would spook!  I kept trying to pull Aleta to the rail because she kept drifting in.  My trainer, Brett, told me to use my inside leg instead and it helped a lot!  She moved right over.  At first, we still just trotted a lot of the jumps because I needed to calm myself down!  While my friends were doing their course, I walked Aleta around the “scary” end of the ring, I realized that she was fine, and I was the one making her drift in.  We ended up cantering a three stride to a two stride and rolled back to an oxer.  I was so proud of her – and me! - it was a great  confidence booster!

ark 2


About a week ago, my mom trailered Aleta and I over to Sugeree Ranch to do an obstacle clinic.  Aleta went over everything I asked her to go over!  The tarp and seesaw took some convincing, but she was great.  There was a giant “L” shaped ditch, ropes hanging from posts to walk under, bridges to cross, poles to work through and more!  Our biggest struggle were the tires that range in size and are laid down flat on the ground.  Aleta wondered why I wanted her to walk over them, not jump them.  I got her over them once, and she jumped them!  Then I couldn’t get her over them again.  I got off and the trainer, Will Kupec, showed me what to do!  I got back on and she went right over them!  I realized that while I was pushing her forward with my legs, my body and hands were telling her not to go forward.  Once we got that fixed, she went over them a ton!  At the end of the day, we did the entire obstacle course.  I was so proud of her!  It was great for us as we continue to get used to each other!  I haven’t ever had a horse like Aleta and she’s never had a kid so while we have some bobbles sometimes, it’s days like this that remind me how lucky I am!

sugaree 1

Over the weekend, we did some trot and canter sets on the farm's track.  Aleta and I really enjoyed cantering up the hills!  She is so fun to be around!  Whether it’s riding around bareback with a halter or competing, she always gives me her all!  As my mom always says, not that many former Prelim horses will let an 11 year old do anything they want with them!

 sugaree a

I have learned a lot in the last six months about myself and my new mare.  Riding is hard and doesn't ever get easier.  The better you get, the harder it gets! LOL.  Aleta and I have a long way to go but I know my family and my trainer and friends will be there for me the whole time and that feels really good.  As the year is ending, I am looking forward to moving up to  beginner novice with Aleta in 2017 and doing the IEA Horsemanship program.  I only need one more show for the USEF lettering program too! 2017 here we come!