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The (Over) Thinking Horseman: What Jen Thinks

News and notes from Jen...



"You’re never completely ready. It just becomes your turn." - Ty Murrary

I watched Dancing with the Stars because Ty Murray, Jewel, and Steve Wozniak (The Woz) were a part of it.


Ty's comparision of dancing to bullriding really hit home:

"You’re never completely ready. It just becomes your turn." - Ty Murrary


....Just like riding dressage!

Sportline makes a basic pedometer for around $5. Walmart, Sears, Amazon etc carry it. It's small, simple, cheap, and a great introduction to pedometers. Keep a daily log of you steps in a notebook or on your phone, and you'll learn some surprising things about your trends. If your employer participates in the Virgin HealthMiles program, then sign up! The pedometer is large, bulky, and obvious (unlike the Sportline) however it's website has great charts and graphs, and the financial incentives are very motivating! Without the employer, however, the HealthMiles program looses it's finincial incentives, and is "just" a pedometer with nice graphs and charts. If you want more than just a pedometer, though, then buy a Fitbit! The website offers much more then the HealhMiles site does, and the Fitbit Tracker logs more than just steps... it knows how active those steps were and it tracks how you slept, how long it took for you to fall asleep, and how efficient your sleep was based on how many times you woke up!
We've come so far... who knew we could!

As I look back from foal to green broke to qualified and I look forward to planning our trip to the National Championships in September, I can't help but feel that is has been a Magical Ride... 

Ten years ago when I met a fuzzy black foal and he captured my heart... I had no idea he'd eventually be mine... I had no idea we'd do so much or have so much fun.... I had no idea that he would be my Black Diamond, a Diamond that would shine silver!

Years ago I had no idea how hard it would be to go through some of the physical challenges I went through.

How wonderful that I was in this area with all these great people who helped me heal and grow!

All Smiles... Jen And Her Diamond:

Thank You

Thanks to your support, patience, hard work, inspiration, insights and understanding....

We are where we are, thanks to you!

(alphabetical order by first name)

Thank You, PMHA

Diamond and I attended the 11th Annual PMHA Morab National Championships.

At the PMHA Nationals, Diamond and I tried out many classes, including new ones for us, like Show Hack and Arabian Halter, and we did very well. It was our first A-rated Arabian show (no Dressage). We qualified for Nationals Diamond at KY Horse Park with Reserve Championship Ribbonin Sport Horse In Hand, Sport Horse Under Saddle, Sport Horse Show Hack!

It was our first time in Show Hack ever! We had a blast in the big arena and really enjoyed trying for the collections and extensions and hand gallop even though it feels like we're really just beginning to learn it. We placed second each time and got Reserve Champion! That "huge" indoor at the horse park seemed awfully small after a hand gallop in a class.

We won the payback Sport Horse Under Saddle class! Wow! We'd tried SHUS once at Regionals, so this was our second time ever. We entered Hunter Pleasure for the fun of it, our first time, and won Amateur Owner! And, again for the fun of it, we tried Arabian Halter! Good thing Diamond is a quick learner and loves treats! I showed him in one halter class and a friend took him to a Reserve Championship! Congrats! I also shared Diamond in one of the Sport Horse In Hand classes - we both got nearly identical scores.

It was a fun weekend, thanks to my friends who were there to share it with me, and the helpful show staff and exhibitors.  See the photos here.

I recently received a box in the mail - it was an award from PMHA - the Adult Amateur High Point Award!

We were included in the January 2009 issue of the ArabianNews magazine:

BAHA Member brings home the Hi-Point Adult Amateur Award at PMHA 2008!

Thank you, PMHABAHA Member Jen and her grey Arabian gelding BHR Black Diamond earned the Hi-Point Adult Amateur Award this year at the 11th Annual PMHA Morab National Championships held October 25-26, 2008 at the Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington, Kentucky!

To win the Hi-Point Adult Amateur Award, the pair competed together in 3 distinctly different disciplines, and the highest score of each of those 3 disciplines was used to determine Hi-Point Standing.

"I want to say 'Thank you' to PMHA and the show staff. I'm honored", says Jen. "It was a fun weekend and I met a lot of great people at the show."

PMHA offers 3 Hi-Point Awards: Adult Amateur, Junior, and Exceptionale (Morab horses only) at their National show. The PMHA Morab National Championships is a three-breed Class "A" show for Morabs, Arabians, and Morgans. It is USEF and AHA approved, and is a Region 14 qualifier for Arabians. The 2008 show included over 155 classes, including Performance, Halter, Sport Horse, IABS, Youth, and Fun classes for all 3 breeds. More information at the Purebred Morab Horse Association website:

Schooling Days

I thought I'd include some photos from our schooling and lessons...

BAHA Trail Ride @ Mammoth Caves Forest

See more of our adventure @
Rocket says: "Yay! More water!" He's getting a good drink.
Diamond liked the creek too.
Our little group: 1 Arabian  - grey, 1 QH/TB - chestnut, 1 Trakehner - grey, 1 QH - buckskin, 2 Shagya Arabians - bays
Crossing the bridge from "Good Springs Trail" towards "collie Ridge Road" where we saw the Rattlesnake!!!!!

Mom borrows her daughter’s horse & tries her hand at closing the gate in the trail class.
Goodbye! Jen and mom at the end of an "awesome weekend"! Thanks Darlene for making it possible! A lifetime in 3 days!


“See you next year!” Says Mom,  “It was an Awesome trail ride”


USDF Dressage "Rider Performance Award"

A friend from the barn mentioned that she wanted to join USDF and USEF to have her competition scores count towards awards. (USDF = US Dressage Federation, national body for dressage)

I had no idea what sort of awards they had. I'm already a member; we needed that so I could enter and have the scores count for Arabian shows.

I looked it up: and it turns out I qualified for one, so I filled out the form online (thumbs up for no PDFs and mailing it in), and ta-da. They said they will process it and mail it over the next few weeks.USDF Dressage Rider Performance Award

It's a very simple thing, but it's the only thing they offer for riders under 3rd
I've heard that "Dressage doesn't start until 2nd level". Perhaps the awards reflect that to some extent.

Gotta go learn about the horse awards and the USEF ones.

Anyone know more about these? If so, hit the contact form and tell me about them.

It seems a little bit like a cross between the AHA Frequent Rider Program and Qualifying for Nationals.... "log that you have done x rides under x judges to get x scores." "Ok, you have spent the time in the saddle".

Well, hey, "no hour of life is lost that is spent on the back of a horse" (W. Churchill), right?

Update: The award arrived, here it is:

Also: The USDF Horse Performance Certificates require a lifetime horse registration.  I hadn't signed Diamond up for that, since A) he's already registered and B) I wanted to save money. So last years' rides, while enough for the horse award, don't count. So, lesson learned: do a bit more research when filling out the Horse ID versus Lifetime Registration part of the form. I don't know if or when we'll end up doing enough Training level rides to earn a certificate at this point. 

Diamond's Fun Day

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Photos from our fun day at the Bluegrass Dressage Show:
(Click each photo to see the captions.)

I think we both enjoyed today!

I thought Diamond trotting to me in the morning mist was magical.
Diamond liked getting to eat Smarties candy and making friends at the barn: a tiny little girl got to pet him - she seemed to love how soft his nose was.

And we made big improvements in our riding over just a few days ago! Thank you, Darlene!!!

The day went by quickly and easily... our ride times were grouped together, so we were done by noon!

Later in the day, I got to come back to the show and watch a 4th level test ...and then pick up a surprise ribbon: Reserve High Percentage for Training level.

3PE : Three Phase Event 2008


April 2008
We're back! It was loads of fun, and the people were great! Check out our photos

Flash Fun

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Two fun flash games: now if only my laptop could keep up :)

First, mind bender Portal: The Flash Version:

I only reached level 15. It was fun until timing began to matter, then thanks to lag time ...there was cake! (real game's end credits)

Next, Brain scrambler:

Yay, lag time! I think my slow laptop is the only reason I got a good score on time.

My results: Answered 62
Time 81
Final Score 620
Rank 1

New Boots! No Snow, Guaranteed ;)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Here's my insurance that we'll have a warm winter: I bought winter riding boots!

They were cheap, comfortable, and I got a discount!

Tuff Rider Winter Riding Boots:

Tuff Rider Winter Riding Boot

And I'm wearing them right now as I type!

Last winter my Mountain Horse Rimfrost paddock boots were:

  • too warm unless it was below 30
  • too warm if I moved around or worked hard
  • Inflexible ankle means I didn't lace them all the way up. And, the back of the ankle would stick out behind and poke my horse.
  • Very Wide boot, so getting in and out of stirrup irons was a challenge.

The benefit of paddock boots is usually that you can wear them around, then when you're ready to ride throw the half chaps on. Yet last year, I'd end up wearing one pair of thin cold boots to the barn, get groomed and tacked up, then sit in my now cooled off car and switch boots.

So far these are slim but insulated, super flexible at the ankle... they're getting a big thumbs up from me!

Dressage & Natural Horsemanship Clinic - Opportunity

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Mark Russell clinic was awesome!

I can't wait for the next one!

If you're interested in a weekend clinic, we need to get 6-12 riders lined up. Spring clinic dates are going fast. For a weekday clinic, we need 3-6 riders.

His book, "Lessons in Lightness", at

Contact Gina for more info: Clinic Info and description.

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