Tag: crash test dummy

In which I earn my sticky nickname.


And I have fun pictures for you!

So we had a combined test at the farm a few weeks ago – we have one every spring, and home shows traditionally do not go well for me (see video still that serves as my bio photo, stage right).

This year we have many new school horses, and so when my trainer yelled at me for not entering said home show, I said go ahead and stick me on a school horse.  Whatever.  I have to be there anyway.

This was not the brightest idea, kids.

a bucking bronco

it was way worse than it looks.

This, dear friends, is Kramer.  I tried him when he first came to the farm, and he was lovely.  Happily went into the bridle, was bendy, not crazy, point and shoot to jumps, and generally fairly simple.  Great! we said.  We’ll keep him, he’ll be great for Equishare.

Things obviously devolved from there.  By week number 2, he was turning into a spooky little monkey.  The going theory is he just got overwhelmed, because it is not the quietest farm.  There are lots of horses, lots of kids, lots of lessons all the time.  It turns out he is much better with lunging.  What did I not do either time I rode him that day?  Lunge.  Yup.

Kramer had actually been getting a lot better with regular use, and the diligent work of one of our full-time instructors.  But a show with lots of people and ponies running around was just breaking the poor guy’s brain.  Which, really, was the whole point.

this went on for a while.

this went on for a while.

We started with a dressage test (Beginner Novice A) which actually only had one small disobedience, but was preceded by some bucking and a small rear-and-spin.  So that was fun.  But afterwards we took a little walk to take in the sights and check out the jump ring, and he happily traipsed around the property like he owned it.  Weirdo.

THEN we attempted stadium a few hours later.  Solid warm-up in the indoor, trek to the upper ring, and begin to pop over some fences with four other people in my class… and then it all went crazytown.  Bucking and hopping outburst, including one HUGE leap into the air capriole style.  So they clear the ring, so I can school him properly (it’s a very small ring), and he proceeds to have a meltdown.

In. front. of. EVERYONE.

Thankfully one of the teenagers caught it on camera (Thanks Deborah!!!).  Also big ups to resident safety mom Julie, who let me borrow her air vest just in case.  I actually fully expected to go flying, so I came prepared.  (I did not, in fact, go flying like I predicted but of course I’m happy to be wrong about that.)



I think he wore himself out pretty quickly, because he decided he wanted no parts of going over brightly colored objects.


and then we started running out! yippee!

He usually jumps around courses quite happily.  So this was an interesting development.


hello, i am the queen of defensive riding.

And finally we jumped.  Popped over a couple times, so came to the agreement that I could just do my course and get it over with.  He was lovely, go figure.


hey look, we found a butt.


Once he got moving, and forward, he was much nicer.

aaaaahhh much better.

aaaaahhh much better.

Hooray for getting mileage on the new pony.  Good boy.

The Horsey Bucket List

Okay friends, you know what’s coming.  Every equestrian of every style has a “horsey” bucket list of all the weird crap they want to do atop a 1,000lb animal, or involving horses in some way.  Because if we didn’t, we’d be insane, right?

Well, I too have one of those lists.  And here it is.  Enjoy!  Give me suggestions!  Tell me about all the things you’ve done or want to do!

  1. Stay overnight at a big horse show.
  2. Go swimming with a horse.
  3. Play a game of polo.
  4. Do one of those vacation weeks at a working ranch.
  5. Jousting!
  6. Tour the UK on a trail riding countryside trip.
  7. Exercise ride a racehorse.
  8. Get yelled at by Our Lord and Master the all-knowing ever precise George Morris.
  9. Beat a pro in a horse trial.
  10. See the Lipizzaners AT the Spanish Riding School, IN Vienna.
  11. Get around a USHJA Hunter Derby Course.
  12. Go riding on the beach!
  13. Ride sidesaddle (there’s a theme starting here).
    Did this one in a lesson demo as part of the Maryland Horse World Expo!
  14. Learn to jump sidesaddle.
  15. FOXHUNT.

Photo “Searching low” by beaucon