No Stirrups Novice?

Ainsley and JJ dressage
Riding with stirrups after No Stirrups November is surprisingly difficult!
Riding with stirrups after No Stirrups November is surprisingly difficult!

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!


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.


Date: December 5, 2015
Location: Go With It Farm in Johns Creek, GA
Division: Novice CT
Type: Barn Schooling Show
Final Score: 33.91
Result: 1st