Lessons Learned: Slowly Moving Up

…all the way to Novice.

Proudly rocking my Ride Heels Down “Heels Down, Eyes Up” tee! Photo by Erik Jacobs/P.TEN Marketing

Adult amateur event blogger Ainsley Jacobs has been chronicling how she finds the takeaway lesson from the good, the bad and the ugly in her equestrian experience. Her horse JJ has been rehabbing from a ligament injury for a few months, so during his layoff time Ainsley is revisiting earlier lessons in her experience. Today’s story is from September of 2015.

If I’m eventually going to move up to Novice off-farm, I need to take the training wheels off at Go With It Farm first.

For the third GWIF farm show of the year, I entered only the Novice CT division. I was confident we could get through it (and by “it” I mean the jump round) without a Beginner Novice warm-up to act as a safety net.

Our dressage showed even more improvement, and my new (used) dressage saddle is helping a ton. The more balanced and correct I am, the more balanced and correct JJ can be. We scored 34.30 on Novice A and went into our jump round with a big smile for me, and happy pricked ears for JJ.

The course was a little tricky, and there may or may not have been a Training height (3’3″) jump thrown in there… Plus, the barrels (I have a love/hate relationship with those things) were positioned as the second half of a two-stride combo which lead to a four-stride bending line jump, the gate, which we’re also wary of.

Fortunately, we had enough momentum (and leg, and crop, and decent riding) to get us over the barrels in one piece on the first try. I steered JJ towards the gate, and he didn’t have enough time to think about refusing. We cleared the entire course, and it was FUN!!

I hate the barrels, and judging by JJ’s body language, so does he. Photo by Erik Jacobs/P.TEN Marketing


If you have trouble with a particular jump, expect your trainer to make you jump it over, and over, and over. Eventually, it won’t be such a big deal.

Ainsley Jacobs is an adult amateur based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She started riding huntseat equitation when she was eight, and has tried practically every discipline since then. In 2014, Ainsley discovered eventing and it changed her life! She purchased her first horse, JJ Spot, in February 2016 and chronicles their successes (and struggles) of learning to overcome literal and figurative obstacles in her blog at www.RideHeelsDown.com.

Photo by Erik Jacobs/P.TEN Marketing

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