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Jenni O.
 #176 
He always looks so good under saddle. Maybe the weather will cooperate and you can get to some more shows this year. Otherwise there's always trail riding with your friends.
doreen
 #177 
oh WOW!  Wonderful shot of the two of you.
MHWF
 #178 
Eli and Jurita

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Jenni O.
 #179 
So pretty! The snow, and you, Jurita. Eli is handsome.
Jurita
 #180 
Not much to report since Eli has had several months off. Other than some brief bareback rides around my paddock he has been on vacation. We ran into saddle fitting issues and I have ordered a new custom made saddle from England. Unfortunately I was told I'd have my new saddle in four weeks. It has been 9 weeks and it isn't even made yet. Frustrating! I can't ride my horse and it has taken all the excitement of getting a new saddle away.

Jenni O. was kind enough to let me borrow her treeless saddle for awhile and we were able to ride at Zumbrota MN this weekend.  

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Jenni O.
 #181 
You didn't even mention all the comments Eli got from other riders. People notice Fjords. We had a contest to see who got the most comments and Eli won by a landslide. He also was amAAAzing out there-definitely not the easiest trails. (I think he also won the contest to see who ate the most.)
Jurita
 #182 
Yeah, we get the "Aww cute" a lot because he's a Fjord. Jenni and I went out on the trails again this weekend. This time we did Governor Knowles. Eli is turning out to be quite the little trail horse. When I first got him he would rush down hills, run me into trees to avoid puddles, not listen, pull on me, and once he bolted and took me through the trees.

Now he is doing so much better. He is steady and careful on difficult trails. He doesn't care if he is in front, back, or somewhere in between. He does bridges that are big or small. Fine around traffic. Calm and well behaved around other horses. He is improving with water. Recently has done water crossings including a creek. We still are working on puddle crossings. Sometimes he's fine and other times not so much. He is slow but he doesn't care if the other horses get ahead get out of his sight. I think I could ride him out alone with no issues.

Now, I am anxious to get him back into some lesson. Waiting.....
doreen
 #183 
Love hearing your updates!  Eli may win the awwww cute comment award, but you have definitely earned a teamwork award for all you worked through.  Congratulations on those nice trail rides you are having!
Jurita
 #184 
Ok... I was waiting for photos because I was told I need photographic evidence. LOL. However it looks like it will be quite some time before I have photos.

So Eli and I did the Changing Winds Obstacle Challenge. There were 31 obstacles and horses/riders that were doing very well. At the end of the day they announced placings and scores. We came in first! I knew we had done well but I didn't realize how well so I was surprised when they called my name. There was even a water crossing he went through like he'd done it a thousand times! He didn't love the two live calves in the pen but was ok...just unsure. However, there was a pattern through balloons and he loved the balloons and wanted to play with them. Silly pony.

It was a good experience for us and wow was I proud of my horse that day!

(Stay Tuned:
Photographic evidence in future postings)




BetC
 #185 
Congratulations!  He sure has become a great partner for you. Well done, both of you.

Do they have an in-hand challenge? So Mandy could take a turn?
Jenni O.
 #186 
Eli did awesome! Jurita and I were concerned about a couple of the same obstacles, but the horses really came through. It seemed like Eli had the attitude of, "I got this! Piece of cake." I can't wait for photos.
Jurita
 #187 

Luna came out to spend some time with Eli today.
She told her mom it was too hot to play outside today but when asked if it was too hot to ride horses she said, "No. I'll ride horses."

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John
 #188 
Frame it Jurita - that is an awesome pic [love]

Christine
 #189 
Oh my, that's adorable!!
MHWF
 #190 
Eli, adopted by Jurita L. and Luna

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doreen
 #191 
What great shots of Luna and Eli.
Donna R
 #192 
Those last two photos are adorable!  What a precious little cowgirl!
Jenni O.
 #193 
Not only is Eli good with kids, but he is officially a Trail Horse Extraordinaire. I spent hours riding behind him (and a few in front) last week, and he is crazy good on challenging trails. We went down a very steep, very rocky hill (twice), and I don't think he put a foot wrong. He didn't bat an eye.

We also renamed a section of trail at Zumbrota, the OM#G Trail. We went up it, by some stroke of luck. Oh, I read the map wrong, that's what it was. We were just happy we went up it and not down. Down would be bad. Although Eli probably wouldn't mind.
Jurita
 #194 
Thanks Jenni.    Eli and I tried a couple shows this summer. Unfortunately, we didn't do well. We tried the Obstacle Challenge and we won first place. Eli was very calm and did the obstacles well. We did some trail rides this year, even doing a couple solo rides. The most challenging trails we did were the ones Jenni and I rode at Zumbro. Some rocky, tough, and steep terrain that required some mutual trust and calmness.

I had started to lose my confidence in riding a couple years ago after some accidents and I was worried it was developing into fear. When I adopted Eli I thought it would change. It has. I have gained a lot of my confidence back. But, it wasn't so easy. Eli challenged me in many ways. Gaining confidence took a lot more time and effort than I had expected. We have more to work on but I'm happy with our progress and feeling comfortable in the saddle again is nice feeling. 

I feel fortunate to have Eli but also am fortunate I have some supportive people and a great friend to ride with.

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db
 #195 
Love the up date and photos.  You two make a really nice picture together.  True partners.
Donna R
 #196 
Great update Jurita!  You should be so proud of what you have accomplished with Eli.  It is really difficult to get confidence back once it has been lost.  You two make an absolutely striking pair.  So happy for you!
Cnb
 #197 
You look awesome together!! Can relate to losing confidence after a riding mishap. Seems we all have to go through that at some point in our life if we ride long enough.
Jenni O.
 #198 
😀😀
This makes me all warm and fuzzy feeling. I witnessed some of Jurita and Eli's challenges, and heard about several others. (It works both ways too, bc she knows of my fun with Pea). This year I said that Eli is worth a pretty penny. He's done a variety of things, and done them well. Okay, maybe his shows didn't go so well, but he can't be perfect! Jurita put a little blood, a lot of sweat (we don't even want to think about how much sweat, it's a large amount), and probably several tears into getting where they are today, but it has paid off tremendously.
doreen
 #199 
Great update and great pics!  Love how far you two have come.
Christine
 #200 
That is such wonderful progress and you two are great partners! He is so dang cute too (and so are you Jurita!)!! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments together and here's to many, many years of more to come!
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