Fall is definitely in the air. You can smell it, you can see it. It’s fall! And all the fall favorites are here, pumpkin spice everything, along with the fall colors. This can only mean one thing…..
No Stirrups November is almost here!
Yes! It’s that time of year when equestrians everywhere drop their stirrups and feel the phrase, no pain, no gain. And I am defiantly one of those that really gets into the challenge.
Just the other day, when the chill of fall hit me in the face when I was feeding the horses, it came to me….It’s time for no stirrups November…. So I started looking for challenges.
Last year, The Chronicle of the Horse had their Lose the Leathers Challenge. And from what I am seeing on their Facebook group for the challenge, they are doing it again this year! Yay!
And I found a new challenge too. This one is being put on by Equisarte. And while it isn’t a free challenge, it is one I have already signed up for. And I am very excited for the ribbon they are giving to those who complete the challenge. And a portion of the proceeds raised are being donated to the CANTER organization. I really like that.
It is GORGEOUS! If you want to sign up for the challenge, you can do so here. And as you can see in the picture, they have online horse shows too!
They are also offering prizes for those who go above and beyond the minimum requirement of 10 rides. I know I will be able to get in at least 11 rides, with the weekends, and a few planned days off that I have for November. I am super excited!
And of course, The Chronicle of the Horse has the Lose the Leathers Challenge. Again, I had so much fun with it last year that of course I am going to be doing it again this year.
I am so proud of the ribbon, and to keep it as a reminder of Frisby and my dedication to the event, I have hung it out in my barn. I see it every time I go to tack up, or even just grab a blanket for Plezant. It makes me proud of the accomplishment we had, and I want to add another ribbon this year.
The Chronicle of the Horse is a fantastic organization. And last year, I received a package of prizes. I shared it on many a blog post last year. Talk about an awesome Christmas present!
And this year, I will be riding Plezant for the challenge. And I have decided I am doing this in my saddle. Because Plezant is a little bony. I don’t think riding him bareback would be very comfortable, or beneficial. So he will be tacked up for our riding sessions. And then during each ride, I will ‘lose my leathers’ (and stirrups) for at least 10 minutes of every ride.
And like last year, I will be documenting our progress on my Instagram feed. So if you are curious, and want a glimpse into my rides with Plezant, you should follow me on Instagram. It’s not perfect, and my photos aren’t staged to perfection like some. But the images are REAL, and show me and my horses in real life examples of doing what we do.
I love it.
And for keeping track of my rides, I really enjoy using the Equilab App. Have you heard of it? It is sooooo helpful!
I can keep track of what we did, and how long my ride was. That is, as long as I remember to turn the darn thing on before I get in the saddle!
The app is free, they do have a paid version too, but I find I get a lot of use out of the free version. So that is what I use.
Once I’m done with my ride, I snap a screenshot of it, and then email the photo to myself. Then I use Paint.Net and size the photo, and put it on my November Calendar for the challenge. I like this because it helps me to not only keep track of my rides, but it’s a work in progress for me to see how I’m doing as well as for me to feel good about the progress I have made.
Riding without stirrups offers soooo many benefits, whether you ride English or western. So lets go over a few of those benefits shall we?
- Improve your balance
- Improve your level of feel and suppleness
- Increased rider awareness of their own biomechanics
- Builds core strength
- Learn to stay tall and in vertical alignment in the saddle without depending on your stirrups
- Increased confidence in your riding ability should you lose your stirrups anytime throughout the rest of the year
Got it? Good! See all the benefits that riding without stirrups can offer you as a rider? Pretty cool huh? And it’s always nice to get something tangible for all of your hard work right? So after you sign up, complete the challenge, and get your calendar to the challenge organizers, you are rewarded with a really cool ribbon! (Rosette, ribbon, you get the idea)
No Stirrups November Is Coming
Ok, it’s about 2 weeks away, but it’s coming! So if you want to get in on the fun, and a chance to win an awesome ribbon (or two) then sign up for the challenges!
Chronicle of the Horse has a Facebook group, which you can request to join here.
And Equisarte has a website where you can sign up for the challenge here.
Both challenges are incredibly fun, and give you the chance to better your riding skills at the same time. I would love for you to do the challenges with me, so sign up! And I will see YOU in November!