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2019 The Beginnings – Equestrian Edition

Written by Andrea Parker

Ummm so how is 2019 already 1/3 of the way over? It certainly has been a jam packed start to the year.

Here’s what you might have missed so far.

2019 got off to a fairly slow start as I recovered from a strange viral gastro illness. Once I had recovered we made the most of the last couple of weeks that Francisco was in Mackay. Francisco is a showjumping and horse ball coach but with his eye for detail he also helped out enormously with our flying changes.

We also worked on some great pole exercises which I’ve been trying to incorporate on a more regular basis to keep things interesting for Nonie and I.

Clicker Training Clinic

Early March saw us head up to Bowen for a clicker training clinic with Georgia a Bruce. I loved this clinic and have learned a whole new and more effective way of working with my horse.

I’ve seen benefits both under saddle and on the ground. I feel that this tool has helped me to slow down a bit particularly when it comes to ground work and ensure that I am consistent in both what I am asking for and rewarding Nonie when she gives me what I am asking for.

Equimind Winter Championships

With a quiet start to the year competition wise we got back into Equimind online competitions. I just managed to qualify for the elementary and medium tests for the 2019 Winter Championships.

With a long weekend in site we planned filming for Monday afternoon. I plaited Nonie up super speedily thanks to my Quick Knots. 

I had nominated to ride both the elementary and the medium, but I really wasn’t sure if we would be able to ride the medium test. She warmed up and felt super. Sometimes the tension of competition (even when it is filming for Equimind rather than a traditional competition) can still create negative tension which I have to work through. Not this time. After riding through the elementary test I decided to have a crack at the medium.

Again I was pleasantly with the medium test, the lateral work felt decent (although more wrap is always needed) and the transitions flowed. Perhaps most excitingly was that we had good medium trots!!!! This has been a huge challenge for us.

Lessons with Nancy

I’ve also had s few more lessons with Nancy Baretta this year which have been so helpful in figuring out Nonie’s weaknesses and how to manage them. In our last lesson we also started to play with the canter pirouette work.

This focus on getting Nonie to really sit and stay active behind and me sitting up really has been beneficial. I am feeling more secure in my position and the canter has become far more adjustable.

The Big Move

Most of April has been consumed by our move from Mackay to Brisbane, hence the distinct lack of posts over here in the blog. After quietly searching for a job in South East Queensland and submitting a few applications, I was finally successful in getting a job which I am so excited about.

We found out on the first of April that I had the job and so began the planning. Finding a home for Nonie, Sailor, Steve and I from 1000km away was no easy task so we had a quick down to Brisbane to scope out some rental properties and agistment sites!

We completed the trip down with Nonie in the float last week and boy was it epic! We smashed out a 15hr trip in just one day, not something I am in s hurry to do again. Nonie seems to be settling in nicely to her new home and I may have sneakily planned my first competition for mid May!

I’ve also been trying a whole heap of new products which I am super excited to bring you some reviews about. Including but not limited to my Total Saddle Fit Girth, SD Design glitter tendon boots from Centreline Equestrian and bandage pads from the Bandage Boutique.

So bring on the rest of 2019 which will hopefully be full of competitions, lessons, learning and good times with old friends. 

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About the author


Andrea Parker

Andrea is an Adult Amateur dressage rider who competes at medium level on her 13-year-old mare Mon Ami. Andrea shares her journey through the equestrian world on her blog The Sand Arena Ballerina and is working on an equestrian podcast called Equestrian Pulse.