Happy Birthday Nate

So my horse Nate is getting a little older, but he always surprises me what he can do. Nate and I used to show back in the day, but now that he’s in his golden years, we usually just stick to some light ring work, trail riding, and relaxed easy bareback halter rides. I was at my barn the other day and they were having a barn dressage show, it was a ride-review-ride type of show where they give you a mini-lesson in-between tests, and it a great way to learn while showing. I’ve NEVER done any kind of dressage with Nate before, but I thought that we might as well give it a try, especially since the show was on his birthday!

On the day of the show, Nate was turning 21, so I brought a beer for him (just in case!), but we of course couldn’t crack it open before competing! When I brought him into the barn he was covered in mud head to toe, so grooming took a little longer than anticipated… and we also learned that the show was running an hour early! So, it was probably the fastest and least fancy grooming and braids I’ve ever done before a show, but we made it in time!

As we walked into the ring, I was a little nervous because I had never done dressage before and had no idea what to expect.
“Saluting the judge…I didn’t really practice that…I hope I don’t mess it up!”
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But there was no turning back now, so in we went. After some slight spooking at the judge’s booth and a misplaced pitchfork, we got our act together and started. Even at 21, Nate still puffs himself up as though he’s a young spry one competing at a large show. The judge even commented that she couldn’t believe he was turning 21, because he was acting like a two year old!

Nate was totally killin’ it, and I was so proud of him!

Nate was totally killin’ it, and I was so proud of him!

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After a great ride I was so proud of Nate that I didn’t care how we placed. And then it turned out we won our class! Yayy Nate!

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So we celebrated by eating cake! (I decided not to crack open the beer…feeding your horse a beer isnt really the best thing to do when there are lots of families around!)

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As always, I’m so proud of my Natey. He’s 21 and is still winning classes and is probably the most well rounded horse I know. Winning our first attempt at dressage was a pretty cool feat, and I can’t wait to have many more adventures with him! ¬¬

Brittany Cornell

Brittany as a rider: Ever since I was the girl with 1,000 breyer horses and the raggedy braid in her hair, I was always obsessed. In second grade I moved into a town with a barn right down the street, which is when I started taking lessons. It was a Morgan show barn, and there I bought my horse Nate and we competed in local and A-circuit shows. In college I made the equestrian team, and that's when I caught the jumping bug. Brittany as a SmartPaker: I'm a Junior Graphic Designer, which means I basically have the most fun job ever. I look at photos of horses every day and design things for horses and horse owners. What could be better .. ?! All about Nate: Nate is a 20 yr old 14.3 bay morgan. When we first got him he was a seven-year-old western show horse, but we quickly converted him to English. Now, he's a horse that wears many hats and he has certainly taught me a lot. He's my English-ish, jumping, neck reining, trail-going, gallop-gung-ho-ing, canter/loping, trotting/jogging, bareback and bridleless, big ribbon winning, snorting, spooking, lower lip drooping, halter tag champion, itchin' for a neck scratching, SUPERSTAR! :)

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Jen and Tally
Apparently I've been obsessed with horses since I was born, and I used to beg for pony rides on a regular basis. I started showing in 4-H, progressed to equitation and jumpers in high school and rode on the IHSA team in college where I also discovered the joys...

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