And, Off To Something New Again

It’s been a great month to get to revisit with friends at Twisted Oak!


Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

The plan was to have a month of hanging out together, time’s up, winter is here.

To keep things over the top frenzy and busy, I’ve packed up all stuff and traveled with Valiosa to a facility all new to us.

Major plus:  a little closer to my house!

At the new barn, she’ll have pasture board together with two friends (which she adores!), with better drainage so winter mud won’t be too much of a problem.  Unless things completely flood like they did last winter but that’s unlikely. 

And, this is huge, the commute will be just 30 minutes, combined with full care!

horse portrait by pond
End of Summer, at Dorado Andaluz

For the first time, I’ll be “just a boarder.”  No extra work at the facility.  No extra nothing.  At all.  Strange… 

The challenge, a much busier environment…  It’s a very special place to train.  And, more as an afterthought, we’re not going to “blend in.”  At all.

Bet most riders wouldn’t dare a silly move like this unless they knew they’d fit in just a little…  Would you brave it?

This is the type of place where gorgeous warmblood babies are bred & born, and where top names in dressage come to clinic.

Little fountain in the middle sprays out water whispering – “This is really just only for people who actually know what they’re doing.  Or who can pay for it, which is not mutually exclusive.”


how to fit in at a nice barn
This, honestly is the best we can do, isn’t going to swoon anyone 🙂


The Mexican Beach Horse With Resting Bitch Face (yes, it’s a thing.) will be the  -“Geez, what’s she doin’ riding THAT thing…!?”

Clearly a bit of a stretch, which is good and healthy thank you-very-much-just-please-don’t-mind-us.


Think we’ll be accepted?

Only one way to find out 🙂

And hey, only way to grow is to actually go someplace where your roots will be watered.  Even if you end up drenched in the process.

25 thoughts on “And, Off To Something New Again

  1. So I kind of did something similar when I moved to KY. I took my we’re-not-sure-what-she-is draft cross to a barn that regularly hosts clinics with people that I cannot even bring myself to look in the eye and is full of super athletic thoroughbred and warmbloods!

    So I have my small horse with grand plans of mastering Beginner Novice… while mostly everyone I ride with is conquering at least Training… or Prelim… or 1*s. However, I never feel like I am looked down upon. I am doing my best at this thing I am doing, and everyone respects that. Good luck at the new barn!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds wonderful. I too, at the moment, have to pay for my horses and also feed and water them everyday and do extra chores such as clean their water troughs etc. It drives me a bit bonkers at times because i work full time shift work also; and i think having to do extra stuff impacts on your riding time. I am also on the lookout for a facility where i can just turn up and know they are looked after “top knotch” that will be best for me and the boys.

    Don’t sell yourself short on your abilities or how to fit in at the barn.mate. I am sure you will do it all swimmingly and I always believe that being in a place where you can learn from others is so inspiring. I intend on my new barn being with State level dressage riders that way i can watch and learn every day.

    Enjoy it. and the commute. how wonderful

    mel x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thank you Mel!
      You know, even better, the first hand feeling of always working harder with barn work than on the very few minutes actually on top of the horse…

      I’ve really enjoyed caring for her and doing most on my own, but it was the driving that was a killer in the end.

      Thank you SO much for cheering us on! 😚 so very appreciated!😗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, that’s so sweet, thank you! 😗
      I actually LOVE meeting new people, so I think this will all be nothing but fun. So far it has been Great!
      As long as we keep improving a bit I think it will be just swimmingly 😁


  3. Sometimes when you move to these places you end up really surprising yourself.

    I showed up to a similar barn as a young girl on an untrained ex racer thoroughbred who didn’t even know the correct lead.

    I made friends I still have around me 12 years later, and I found everyone incredibly encouraging and ready to help.

    Likewise I have met some snooty princesses at less exclusive places.

    I have a feeling you will both do just fine! And don’t sell yourself short – I know people who would give their left arm and leg to have a horse as lovely as yours that you ride as well as you do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment has stayed with me throughout my last three riding days out there. So appreciate it!
      And I think you might end up being right, I’ve met some really nice and friendly riders out there 🙂

      And thank you, always, for the reminder to never stop appreciating my horse!! 🤗😙


      1. Glad to hear it is going so well!

        Hopefully being surrounded by such good people will see you pushing yourself for more, and seeing wonderful results.

        I have every faith it will be a great move for you both 😀

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        1. If anything, it will help with becoming much more disciplined in the arena. More strategic, I hope, since we’ll rarely be on our own.
          This morning she moved in with her new friends. Pictures up on Tuesday 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Life is give and take. As long as the two stay in balance, you’ll be fine. I’m not worried about you. Valiosa, on the other hand, has not consulted me so I will not burden her with my suggestions. 🦄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you have faith in me Alli! 😍
      It’s been a fun start. Just now I’m exhausted of course. Takes a full week to settle in….

      Hoping Valiosa will do nothing but be sweet and meek once she goes in with her new friends. It may be tomorrow already!


  5. Good for you! You will love being so much closer to your horse (less driving, hooray!), and being around a lot of good horses and riders is always good for you. Watch and learn from those who inspire you. Decide to not ride like the ones who don’t. Be proud of your beautiful mare and the partnership you have developed with her. You will find friends in surprising places, though they may not look just like you…variety is the spice of life!

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    1. 👍🐴😋Yes to all!
      We’ve had a wonderful start.

      And you have no idea how right you are, the shorter drive has been Such a relief! 25 minutes, even in rain, a couple of days ago when the traffic was just right.
      I really hope to have some time to watch and learn too.
      Takes some focus there, right? Have to actually observe, more than just seeing…


  6. You are a committed rider bringing along a horse mostly on your own. She is an attractive mare and you ride her well. Do not be intimidated by barn b—ches. There will be people there who are genuine as well so just stick with them. Top riders coming in for clinics is a plus as much can be learned from watching. And remember that Carl Hester says “invest in training”. There was a horse in his recent clinic here who will be showing GP. This year and Carl pointed out that if you had seen him as a youngster you would have thought nothing of him. Different conformation and ordinary movEr but now…..looking fabulous in all the GP work. So…..onwared ever onwards.

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    1. I think it’s going to be a fun and fast paced environment!
      I really appreciate hearing from you, obviously the only way to get better is to be where several riders are riding good horses and staying very focused on what they want. Sometimes that can be very challenging, when you’re just sort of puttering along 😉 among it all.
      So far, the crowd has been really sweet, and I hope to pick up some tips without getting discouraged from our “limitations.”
      Valiosa loves it out there too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good! I like being at a barn where the riders are focused. I find that they tend to interfere less and are less likely to be ….well you know what I mean. They appreciate anyone who works hard as you do. I look forward to hearing about it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 🙂 Had a cool morning today, super productive actually, just as you say… Had my boys out to take pictures too. First time since, I think last week of their summer break. Really fun! Peeking at the pictures not as fun 😉 Got lots of work to do. Stating up small amount of lessons again soon!

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  7. Sounds like a great opportunity for you two! I can totally understand the apprehension it sounds like you’re feeling about the move and fitting in, but you seem like an extremely likable person and who couldn’t love that beautiful mare of yours?? Worry not! 🙂 🙂

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