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I’ve taken advantage of terribly cold weather the last two Mondays to do some day trips to try to get things together for sidesaddle, so that we can be ready to make that part of our 2016 goals.  I’ve had some good luck, at least with an eBay steal on lovely used Marlborough dress boots (for $37 shipped to my door!)  and with a trip up to Bartville in Pennsylvania for a custom trifold girth, where I also lucked into a great deal on string gloves, in addition to a made-just-for-Cally girth that should be on its way within two weeks!

Which means I just need to wait for my tax refund so I can order a coat/habit (I haven’t decided which yet!) from England, and we’ll have everything we need! Well, and our saddle fitting to be scheduled, but we’re on the list there. So I’m counting that on my checklist of “Sidesaddle To Do”.

Which leads to my 2016 To Do list.  It’ll definitely be subject to revision as we figure out how well aside is going, and how well we do with dressage aside, or at all.  But I’m someone whose job is to keep things running on time, so I like having a plan and a schedule to work from, so as I’ve been tentatively adding shows to my Google Calendar (in violet, for tentative, as opposed to green, for shows we’re entered in), I’m starting to get a good handle on what I want my goals to be for the year.

  1.  Show in Ladies Sidesaddle Hunter.  I’m not sure if we’ll make it to the Over Fences class this year, as we’re still only like 85% at 3′ with legs on both side of the horse, but there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to handle both the Undersaddle/Appointments class and the Hack, which is only one line at 2’6.  The big moonshot dream here is to show her aside at Upperville.  And maybe qualify for a VHSA year-end award.
  2. Do the Adult Eq/medals enough to qualify for MHSA Adult Medal finals, and for MAEF again this year.  Be more deliberate and consistent in my riding–go in with a plan, and keep my leg on and don’t blow the in-and-outs.
  3. Qualify for Stirrup Cup awards in both the Adult Amateurs and Thoroughbred Hunters.  We’ve only got to do two more B/C shows to do this, so I’m tentatively aiming for WBTA to make those happen, and also potentially qualify for WBTA year-end awards.
  4. Do a long weekend at HITS Culpeper in August.  We’d be able to hit all the big adult medal classes there, and get the experience of showing at one of the big circuit shows!
  5. Try to qualify for a PVDA year-end award at Training, hopefully all, if not mostly, aside.  I think this should be an interesting challenge, and should help us to figure out the sidesaddle thing very well, as we’ll have to be on the aids and balanced, and that should put us in good stead for goal #1.
  6. Try a jumper class or two, and get around without getting lost.  I know we can do it.  It won’t be blazing fast, but should be good training for eq, and also just be fun.  Not sure if I’ll try for rated or just somewhere like BEST, but I definitely want to try it.
  7. Do a few lessons on horses other than Cally.  I’ve gotten to ride Holly’s horse, Hitch, a few times, and it’s been really great for me, as he’s an entirely different kind of ride than she is, despite also being a chestnut TB.  Getting a feel back for riding different horses back is a great thing, because Cally and I have very much trained one another.


So I think that 2016 could be a big year for us, and certainly a very fun year as we try new things, and hopefully get a lot of really great pictures of us looking fabulous on our adventures.