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Equine Endeavor

UC Davis Equestrian Center

We are officially moved in to the UC Davis Equestrian Center!!!! Well, Dante is... I mean... I would live with him in the barn if I could.. But I don't think that's allowed.  Anyways, I'm going to back up a little bit before I get into our move because I want to catch up a little bit and first write about the lesson I had at Rollison on Saturday and the horse show I went to on Sunday.

On Saturday, I went out for my first lesson at Rollison (and my first lesson in forever...  I said 6 months on Instagram.. But it's actually been about a year!).  I initially thought I was going to ride their grey schooling mare, Meg, but Kim told me since she had never seen me ride before, she wanted me to ride a horse named Echo.  (Who apparently was supposed to be easy?)  Ummm... Not really.  I really enjoyed riding him, but he was pretty difficult to ride and jump, I thought!  I don't see how really green riders would be able to ride him.  He is super strong and completely numb to the bit, so I had to ride him in a pelham.  First of all, I've never ridden in one.  Second, wow that's a handful of leather.  Kim told me that instead of worrying about the reins, to just tie the top rein and sit it on his neck and just ride normally with the lower rein.  So I did, but all my pictures look stupid from the lesson because there's a rein hanging on his neck tied in a knot!  I was pretty bummed about that... Hopefully if I continue riding Echo she'll just teach me to ride in a pelham.  I mean, I know how to hold the reins correctly... But I feel like there's more to it than that.  Anyways, Kim does a lot of 2 pointing in her lessons, and I mean a lot.  Which is perfect for building a strong position and strengthening my back and core!  My ankles started giving out 25 minutes into the ride though.  I felt like such a weak link!  I had to keep taking breaks.  My ankles roll out and I have a lot of problems with them, supposed to have surgery, etc.  I hate complaining though!  So whenever I take lessons I just try not to say anything.  They were hurting so bad on Saturday though I had to take a few 5 minute walking breaks and stretch them out before continuing.  I jumped for the first time in forever, and Echo jumps quite big and quite round.  I got left behind a couple times!  At the end of the lesson though I had a couple of nice fences.  Kim called me today and I am having another lesson on Thursday at 6:00PM, hopefully I will have more stamina this time!  

On Sunday, I got up and picked my friend Liv up and we went to the Shandoni Ranch show to watch a bunch of our friends compete!  It was actually more fun than I initially thought it would be (and that's saying a lot because I was already expecting it to be fun!)  I got to see the horse I leased before Dante, Sunny, compete at the ripe age of 29 years old with his owner and take 2nd place.  I also got to see all of the Rollison Ranch riders compete as well as Echo, who was being ridden by somebody else!  I got to watch 2 of my favorite girls, Jordan and MacKenzie, kick butt with their horses!  I'm so proud of the both of them.  I also ran into my old barn and old trainer for the first time in 8 months (since I moved) and that was nice!  I got to say hi and she was really sweet, as were my old friends from there.  There were only about 3 people who wouldn't (couldn't/refused?) to make eye contact with me or talk to me which I thought was pretty immature of them.  Especially because 1 of them used to be one of my best friends when I was growing up!  But that's ok, that's what Taylor Swift's new song is for right?  Just gotta shake it off.... Hahaha.  (I don't even really like that song buuuut it fits the situation....) Anyways, Sunday was a lovely day and I had a lot of fun!  I gave Sunny's owner that drawing of him too, and she was really happy with it so that made me happy.

Yesterday was the big day to move Dante!  I loaded him up at around 12:30PM and I drove in my car in front of the truck and trailer to lead the way, since my friend driving the truck didn't know where we were headed!  Dante was really nervous and pawing and neighing in the trailer, but once we got moving he was alright.  The drive went really smoothly and we got there in about 45 minutes.  He backed out of the trailer and looked around a bit and was totally good.  It reminded me of why I used to love showing him so much! He was always so good with new places!  I walked him to his new stall/paddock and walked him around the fence line and then let him check it out.  He almost immediately laid down and rolled around, got up, drank water, and then ate his dinner.  So many good signs.  He seemed so completely at home.  (So relieving for me!)  My parents and siblings showed up and walked around with me to see Dante's new home and then ate lunch with me at the barn.  We stayed awhile longer, and then we drove to downtown Davis to get ice cream and to all get matching dorky UC Davis t-shirts so we can take our family Christmas card picture!  After that, since I had drove my own car, I headed back to Dante and walked him around some more to make sure he was settled, and let him trot/canter around in the round pen for a little while.  Right before it got dark, I put him away and drove home for the night.  I got up early this morning with Jon and we headed out to Davis (which is a little less than an hour away from where I live) to visit Dante again.  I tacked him up for the first time at the new barn and rode him in the flawless indoor and also on the cross country/derby field!  He was so so so much fun.  Although he was a little stiff and everything from his arthritis and had his hip dropping during our ride, we were both having a blast.  He was so good in the arena, and after we warmed up I took him out to the derby field and he was completely wild!  I was so excited to having him feeling so good, and so I let him gallop around on the grass and he completely tore that field up.   He was so powerful and was snorting with every stride.  We had so much fun together!  I stopped him after a little bit because I didn't want the old man to over do it, so then we just walked around the race track a couple times so he could cool off.  After I hopped off, I untacked him and washed him off and put him back in his stall.  Such a beautiful first ride!  I'm so excited for our future together there, it's such a wonderful place!  

Me looking derpy on Echo with a tied top rein!

Two pointing on Echo in our lesson at Rollison Ranch

First ride in the covered arena at the UCD Eq. Center with my big bub!

He's always so lovely.

Dante is truly the horse of my dreams, so gorgeous! First time on the derby field!


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