Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Year In Review

2008 - December
In December 2008 - to be exact it was December 12Th, I started this blog. I neither owned a sidesaddle nor a horse trained for the discipline. I just knew I wanted to learn everything there was to know about it and was determined to do it!

2009 - January

I purchased a 1890's Champion and Wilson saddle off of all places E-bay..something I would never recommend anyone else to do! This one was for real though. I also found out that my instructor used to ride and compete aside with an Arabian. She was not an accredited instructor - but was willing to help me learn! For one reason or another, although I had a saddle and a safety stirrup... I never made it over to Kelli's for a sidesaddle lesson..

2009 - February

Able to get Chastain and the sidesaddle to the trainers. The saddle fit him! Now I had to buy all of the proper size girths and balance straps.

2009 - March

Show season in full swing..so out of town a lot this month with my job at Saddle and Bridle magazine. Having problems with the sidesaddle slipping on Chastain.

2009 - April

Still have not had a REAL sidesaddle lesson! I was so discouraged...BUT - this is when I started to get a regular readership on my blog. OM gosh - the people who wrote to me, telling me stories, giving me ideas and just the best encouragement!!! It kept me going forward! This is the month that one of my readers sent me a girth extender and an antique sidesaddle stirrup that I cherish to this day!

2009 - May

Started to take sidesaddle lessons on Chastain. We just walked and trotted (very slowly) in the small training arena. Oliver, the horse I currently ride aside and compete with was GIVEN TO ME! At this time though, I was only riding him astride and getting to know him.

2009 - June

Chastain's canter was dubbed "un-lady-like" by my instructor! We tested Oliver to see if he would be a better choice for sidesaddle. He got an A+++++++! I started to ride him aside. I cantered on Oliver for the first time in the big arena! I bought a historic sidesaddle suit pattern and started to gather items to use to show with.

2009 - July

Rode in a modified skirt for the first time!
Scheduled for surgery...me not the horse!
Wrote the story about Marcel! If you have not read it...go back and do!

2009 - August

Could not do much. I had to have a total abdominal hysterectomy. Off for 6 weeks. Had my sidesaddle restored.

2009 - September

Consoled myself via E-bay..ha ha You know - retail therapy! Started taking lessons again by the end of this month and threw caution to the wind.. by decided to show for the first time in October!

2009 - October

Showed for the first time in Dallas. Pinned last place in my first class and second to last in the second class. I could not have been more pleased! After all - I did not throw up or fall off! Header picture is from this show.

2009 - November

Worked on my riding in between bad weather. Made a Christmas show outfit for the next show in December. Took what I learned from the first show ..and tried to make changes where necessary.

2009 - December

Second show in Katy Texas called TASHA. My Father (hates horses) came to watch me ride! I could not have been more thrilled!! Still having lots of trouble posting the 'show trot'.

Started my monthly give aways.

Still collecting unique things to use when I ride and show.

2010 - January

..and here we are. I have so much further to go and so much more to learn. My next show is in less than 2 weeks!

I cannot tell you how much fun this blog is for me....but more than that..I cannot tell you how much it means when I get a reply from one of you guys..or an e-mail. This is something that bridges over whether you ride Western or Dressage or Hunt or Saddleseat.... Sidesaddle is so very unique that those who ride it ..want to know everything ...every discipline and every detail about it. What a wonderful group of ladies you are! You have been so gracious to help me when I needed it, to encourage me and even push me at times! I am just so glad to meet you all!


Michelle said...

It's neat to reflect over the past year and all you've accomplished! I can't wait to see pictures and hear about your shows to come! Thanks Julie! You really have been an inspiration!

I keep meaning to ask, when your trainer said Chastain's canter was "un-lady-like", what did she mean?

Julie said...

Chastain's canter is a bit 'race-horse-ish'! ha ha He is a 5 gaited saddlebred and sadly I see this a lot ..the trainers concentrate on the trot, slow gait and the rack so much they do not fine tune the canter.

JK said...

Keep up the good work, I check your blog regularly! :)

Michelle said...

Oh I see! That makes sense for sure!

phaedra96 said...

I have enjoyed reading about what you have done(and look how far you and Oliver have come). It is as much fun seeing "what Julie found for us today" since I have absolutely no patience whatsoever to trundle through hundreds of items on the auction sites. As much fun as scaequestrian with "tacky tack". Hope to see you around for a long time to come.

Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog, I found it by reading the Tacky Tack blog, and I think what you are doing it just so awsome. I have wanted to learn side-saddle for a long time, but I never had the courage to. I love reading about your experiences, and you have taught me some things about riding aside. I will definatly keep reading this.