Lessons Learned: No-Stirrup Novice

Recovering from No-Stirrup November can be tricky!

This jump scared me the most at first, but it wound up being the most fun! 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 tale is from December of 2015.

It’s no secret at Go With It Farm that I’m totally addicted to horse showing. I’m the cheerleader (instigator?) who tries to get as many other people involved as possible. So, when we have a farm show, I’m usually the first to sign up!

GWIF’s December farm show served as our last event of 2015, and I wanted to go out strong. We signed up for Novice CT once again, and had a lot of fun in dressage. After riding Novice A, which we scored a legitimate 33.91 on (with several 8s!), we had a awesome 15-minute mini-clinic with our judge from the day, Robin Ginn.

She had us working on half-halts, canter-to-trot transitions, and balancing at the canter. To say that mini-clinic helped us make huge strides in our progress would be the understatement of the century. I’m even more excited for the 2016 show season to get started than ever before!

The jump course had been set by one of our awesome trainers, and there were a few questions that I was slightly apprehensive about, but true to form, JJ was perfect and we had a ton of fun. We went double clear and secured a first place ribbon to add to our collection.

The biggest thing I struggled with through the day, though, wasn’t the riding or jumping – it was using my stirrups. We had completely removed them from our saddles for No Stirrups November, and after four weeks of torture riding without stirrups, it was a little weird/uncomfortable to have them back!

Riding with stirrups after No Stirrups November is surprisingly difficult! Photo by Erik Jacobs/P.TEN Marketing


No Stirrups November is brutal yet totally worth it, but make sure you’ve ridden with your stirrups a few times before you get back in the show ring! Your leg will need a little “reminder” of where it needs to be when you’ve got your irons back.

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

Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *