My ride with Sally Cousins!

So I recently have been riding a horse named, Just Fun Stuff aka: Fun, for his owner since she fractured her hand while she was fox hunting in Ireland a month ago. Fun is a 21 year old Thoroughbred who competed at the Rolex 3-Day Event years ago with his old owner Melissa Hunsberger. He has quite the story behind him, originally starting as a timber racing horse when he was young, then he formed his upper level eventing partnership with Melissa and after fracturing his scapula at an event his eventing days looked like they were over. Really good rehab and vet-work brought him back and Beth Rahn purchased him and began eventing on him. Currently he is 21 years old and still competing successfully at training level! That is darn impressive! 

I began riding Fun here and there for Beth when she learned that I had been an eventer growing up and she knew I would have an appreciation for a horse like him. Sure enough, from the first time I sat on him I loved him! He has all the upper level dressage buttons, from half passes and extensions to canter pirouettes and some amazing gaits! I was given the opportunity to jump Fun a little in a lesson last winter, we just did some small exercises with some low fences and I could tell that jumping was where is true heart lies, though I didn't feel him at his top in that lesson. I knew there was more in there though! Sure enough I found it yesterday when I jumped him again in a lesson with Sally Cousins! 

Beth was extremely nice enough to offer me the opportunity to take a lesson on Fun with Sally Cousins (who Beth has trained with for several years) in exchange for the exercise riding I've been doing with him. I've always grown up with several great trainers I would love to ride with and Sally is one of them so it was amazing to finally have that opportunity! Sally Cousins has been on the Leading Lady of US Eventing Leaderboard for 6 years in a row now and is currently attempting to qualify for the World Equestrian Games in 2014, she is a great rider and trainer! 

Yesterday I met Beth and we loaded Fun up and trekked off to Rolling Acres Farm in Maryland where Sally was teaching lessons for the afternoon. I was on and warmed up, ready to go by my 3PM lesson time. We started out with some simple single fences off of different turns and worked our way through some bending lines, rollbacks,  and courses of different turns. From the first fence we jumped to the last, Fun was right there under me, ready to go, ready to do his job and having fun while doing it! That horse truly LOVES to jump, it was a pleasure to have the privilege to sit on a horse of his training, quality and experience again and remind myself why I truly do enjoy eventing as one of the sports I grew up learning. Fun has just as much talent, scope and drive jumping the full height fences as I expected he would! I had a blast yesterday and I wish I could do it again every day! Hopefully I'll have another opportunity to do so in the future! 

Fun and I doing some dressage a few weeks ago.

Fun and I doing some dressage a few weeks ago.