Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In the Arena # 102 - No pain, no gain + awards!

I love when awards roll around the blogosphere. It's a great opportunity to discover new blogs, and share your favorites. (And prizes make me happy!)

We've been given the Liebster award by Amy at Slow and Steady Wins the Race, and Annette from News From Aspen Meadows. Amy's blog shares how she manages to train her ottb Steady to be an eventer - her passion, as well as run a farm and be a full time mother. She tells it like it is, with a great sense of humor. Annette rides dressage, cooks good looking food, and has a most beautiful ranch with many lovely residents, featuring her horses Jackson and Winston.

Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve. Here are the rules:

1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award

3. Pick your five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs!

Here are my choices - spreading the love. :)

Paradigm Farms Horse Retirement - Melissa and her husband Jason run an absolutely perfect equine retirement farm in Tennessee. Besides providing loving, conscientious care to the residents, somehow Melissa and Jason find time to (frequently) document their goings on with photos, video and stories. What a bonus for the horses' people!

Collecting Thoroughbreds - Sarah's blog documents she and her ottb Derby's dressage journey seriously, but always with humor. I relate to her so much - and am very jealous of her awesome trainer.... see next award recipient.

TB at X - Christy is a sensitive, thoughtful dressage trainer who uses patient classical methods to train her two ottbs and a number of students (see previous award recipient). She is also blessed with the ability to put her knowledge and experience into words, clearly and concisely. Her blog posts always resonate.

Of horses and boys... and everything in between - horsemom balances motherhood and her dressage journey with humor and passion. We're on the same page about putting our horses first as we navigate the realm of classical dressage.

TB Friends - Joe Shelton runs a super successful thoroughbred rescue and re-homing operation in California. He saves injured horses right off the track. He deals with the kill buyers. He helps folks who are losing their farms. He has a loyal group of volunteers as well as a huge online following. A more humble, dedicated man you may never meet. Beautiful things happen because of this blog. Visit - you'll be inspired.


Anti-saddle bareback campaign ride #2... an effective ride with tons of trotting. Forward is coming back. I believe I'm getting the hang of the posting without stirrups thing. Iron thighs and a core of steel when this is all said and done... and tomorrow I expect to hurt. Badly.

Terry from Moondance Ranch left me a great comment on my past post, with a link to the series of 9 Schleese videos about proper saddle fitting. Great resource. I wish I had seen these before I bought my saddle. I feel like I can make an informed choice about saddle fit now - and be a proper advocate for my horse. The videos absolutely confirmed that because of his shoulders, Val needs a wider tree. Even though he has sufficient wither clearance with a medium, he doesn't have room to move his shoulders. I hope we haven't done too much damage.

Speaking of Val - happy 10th birthday my mane man!!! The new saddle is coming, but until then....


  1. whoa.... is that a peppermint stick!?

    I rode sin saddle today too. We were bareback buddies :)

    I love riding bareback for the workout and the closeness especially in the winter!

  2. Golden-
    Ginormous peppermint stick. It's only a virtual present though.

    I love bareback too, although I'm still working out the trotting thing. :)

  3. thank you for award! when my busy mom schedule allows I will do my award duties:)

  4. Well Happy Birthday Val!

    I find it easier (and more effective in the muscle building/toning area) to ride bareback just as if I was sitting in a saddle. Becareful when posting without stirrups that your not posting from your knees which pinches them against the horse. Post from the calves and with core.

    Happy saddle shopping!!

  5. Happy Birthday to one special horse! Val you are wonderful, gorgeous, smart, sweet, talented...what else can I say he's terrific!

    Good luck with the whole saddle search. Congratulations on your award, and thanks for steering me to some new blogs.

  6. Looking forward to checking out your blog list. I am so envious of your bareback riding!!! One day!! :-) Happy birthday, beautiful Val!

  7. Thanks for the blog recommendations. I've got new dressage and rescue blogs to follow - yeah!
    I think I posted once about having ridden Savanah 4 to 5 times a week for five months bareback. It was the best thing I've ever done. With Rogo having the sarcoid issue just in front of the girth area, I may be riding bareback a lot again. I love it, but as you say, a strong core is the key. Glad you found the schleese (?) saddle fitting videos. Their saddles are to die for.

  8. Happy Birthday Val!

    Ten years young!

  9. A very Happy Birthday to Val!

    So glad you liked the video link.

  10. So glad to hear of the bareback riding for you. I've never been fitter since my new saddle didn't work and I've advanced my trail/Dressage techniques.

    Nice award! Will look into the one blog I didn't know about, though I'm already behind reading my Fav's , like you!

    It worked C!! The sun made it here!! Nothing virtual, but all REAL! THANKS!

    OH- P.S.
    Though I love Jochen S.I'm really liking ( though very dry) the saddle fit video made by Jeremy Beales. The"Thinline" site has it or his own site "Laser EQUESTRIAN". When and if I get my $ back from ANSUR.. I'm going that way.


  11. I think Howard would die for that peppermint stick.......well, every horse would. Lol.
    Congrats on the award!!! I'm very proud of you.(:
    F.Y.I. I changed the name of my blog. It's called A Horse Girl's Secrets.

  12. Happy Birthday Val!!!! I bet he loved his minty yummy peppermint stick!


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