Author: Andrea

Goodbye Nonie

Goodbye Nonie

The year started off looking wonderful. The morning of New Year’s Eve Nonie and I canter along the back stretch of our trail ride riding tempi changes. The canter pirouettes were coming together. I was certain that Nonie and I would dance down an advanced 

Dear Nonie

Dear Nonie

Dear Nonie, Thank you for loaning me your girl. I know you would have wanted to be here with her. I think you two had a lot of things left to do together. I am sorry I didn’t get to meet you. She speaks so 

Happiness

Happiness

“And in the disbelief, I can’t face reinvention
I haven’t met the new me yet

There’ll be happiness after you
But there was happiness because of you
Both of these things can be true
There is happiness

Past the blood and bruise
Past the curses and cries
Beyond the terror in the nightfall
Haunted by the look in my eyes
That would’ve loved you for a lifetime”

Happiness – Taylor Swift (Evermore)

In the weeks following the loss of my beautiful mare Nonie the words of this song brought me many many tears and a little comfort. A huge thank you to my beautiful friend Laura @wannabedressagequeen13 for reminding me of the words of this song 

 

PC: Emmy Nomikos Photography
Black Friday Sales Wrap up

Black Friday Sales Wrap up

As a newly fiscally responsible horse I would never encourage frivolous spending. However I also know that all too often there is something that we need for us or our beloved ponies, so why not take advantage of the great sales happening over the Black 

Total Saddle Fit Girth Review

Total Saddle Fit Girth Review

Being a type A dressage rider, I am always in search of any piece of tack that will make my horse more comfortable. If it results in even the tiniest improvement in performance then that is a bonus. With this in mind in 2018 I 

If equestrian girls were honest on their dating profiles

If equestrian girls were honest on their dating profiles

Horse girls – easy to love hard to afford. Thats how the saying goes, however I think my previous boyfriends would beg to differ. Sure we are hard to afford (not that I ever asked anyone to pay my way), but easy to love…?

In my newly found single state I started to ponder what equestrian girls would say on their dating profiles if they were entirely honest about the commitment, sacrifice and obsession that comes with the life we choose.

Have you ever thought about the things that equestrians would actually say if they were honest on their dating profiles?
Or at least we have horses…
1. You will always come second to my horse, it will be easiest if you accept this now.
2. I will be late to 90% of our scheduled plan because #horses
3. No not going to my horse each day is not an option so don’t even bother asking
4. If you ask me to do things on a weeknight, I will turn up to smelling like horse and covered in slobber (see point 3).
5. I own a gelding so I will voluntarily clean his sheath, but you’d best not be expecting more than a kiss on the first date
Its really best for everyone if you just accept that you'll always come second to my horse
Its really best for everyone if you just accept that you’ll always come second to my horse
6. There are 10 photos of my horse on my profile because you’ll essentially be in a relationship with my horse.
7. The way to my heart is to tell me my horse is pretty and talented.
8. My hobbies outside of horses including running to keep fit and icing my joints because horses have made me old before my time. 
9. Yes my five year plan involves babies… baby horses!
10. Marriage…? Meh, take it or leave it, I’m just not convinced that it will make me a better rider…
 
Oh son you fell for the equestrian girl.
Five mistakes your making in your leather care routine

Five mistakes your making in your leather care routine

You know that saddle sitting in your barn thats worth thousands of dollars. You are protecting that investment with your tip top leather care routine, right? You wipe it down after each ride. You store it carefully. You soap it up to get rid of 

2020 Riders on a Mission challenge wrap up

2020 Riders on a Mission challenge wrap up

In early July I talked about some of the changes I would be making over the month as part of the Honest Riders, Riders on a mission sustainability challenge. During the month, I made some changes that were not only easy but have made a 

Riding update – Mid 2020

Riding update – Mid 2020

In the whirlwind that has been 2020 I realised that it has been quite some time since I’ve given everyone an update on how Nonie and I are getting along in our training.

Early this year I made the decision to focus on consolidating the medium work and getting ready to move up to advanced rather than to chase points at medium level. Little did I know just how fitting this would be for what would unfold in the first half of 2020.

Nonie is feeling much stronger in the canter work which is translating to the changes

Prior to ‘lockdown’ Nonie had been working super, the basic paces and her way of going was so much better that we started to work on the flying changes again.

In doing that I had been asking for a lot more collection and made the fatal mistake of slowing her down, rather than truly collecting her. As a result the canter got stilted and was lacking in throughness. We managed to work through that just in time for lock down to hit.

An update on how Nonie and I are getting along in our dressage training

In Australia we were actually able to continue taking our horses out for lessons and trail rides. However because I have asthma (albeit mild), I made the decision not to travel any more than was absolutely necessary in order to reduce my risk of contracting COVID as much as possible. So we took a bit of a hiatus from lessons.

Of course we didn’t stop training, and I managed to sneak in a few rides through the Koala Bushlands to keep things fresh for Nonie!

A relaxing ride through the Brisbane Koala Bushlands

Those of you who follow me on Instagram @the_sand_arena_ballerina will know that I recently broke up with my long term boyfriend. While it was a totally amicable break up, the whirlwind of emotions set me on edge. Nonie couldn’t help but react to this. Consequently over the proceeding week or so there were some pretty tense rides. There were days where the thought of riding felt exhausting. It’s a relief to be past that stage.

The last few weeks have brought some brilliant work. In fact I would go as far as to say she has given me some of the best work we’ve ever done.

We’ve had two lessons with Paula Price now where the vast majority of the flying changes have been clean. The left to right change has been quite sticky at times, so I’m absolutely thrilled to feel like we are making progress with that. In our last lesson we even managed to string two together across a long diagonal!!

One thing that hasn't cha he'd since the last time we updated you all on our training is that Nonie knows how to turn it on for the camera!

Outside of that we’ve been focusing on Nonie working in a deeper outline to make sure that she is really offering me her back. We’ve also played a little with the lateral work and I really feel like she is getting more supple and stronger.

Fast forward to July and we are excited to be heading out for some competitions. This weekend we are off to our local club RASDEG!

Grabbing Mane – Book Review

Grabbing Mane – Book Review

In Grabbing Mane, Natalie Keller Reinert breathes new life and complexity into a tale as old as time. Girl rides horses. Parents fund horses. Girl takes a break from riding in order to secure a career to fund horses. Girl is eventually lured back into