Austin Equestrian welcomes another blog entry written by a local Austin rider – Delaney Brunker. We applaud the efforts and dedication of equestrians like Delaney, and are pleased to be able to bring things written from their unique perspective. Enjoy reading about Delaney and her pony, Penny. Penny has quite a bit to say!
Delaney, Penny's "Mommy," is 10 years old and has been riding since before she could walk, but got serious at age 5 when she began weekly lessons at Switch Willo Stables. Penny, or Song of Sixpence, is 11 years old. Delaney and Penny have been together almost two years and currently compete in the Central Texas Hunter/Jumper Association shows in the Beginner and Pony divisions. The pair has aspirations to move into competing in the Children's Pony division next show season at the Texas Hunter/Jumper Association Shows. Delaney currently trains at Switch Willo with Glenn, Lacy, and Kirk, and she learned all the basics from Allen during her time in the lesson program.
Penny’s Point of View
Hi, my name is Penny. I’m a chestnut pony with four white socks. My Mommy gets me out of my stall what seems like every day. She always seems to come when I just got my food, oh how mad I am at her. Ug, she just got the saddle out, and then I realize I’m being ridden - could this get any worse?!
When she gets on me and I feel those spurs stick into my side oh, that’s the worst feeling ever! Do I have to do this? We do at least start out slow and easy to get warmed up. Some of my friends are in the ring too, so maybe this will be better than I thought. Next, we start jumping, I’m so excited to show off what I can do. WHEEEEEEE, this is fun! Put the jumps up PLEASE!!
Before I know it, the lesson is over. That makes me sad. Thankfully, we walk around some more so I can hang with my pals. When Mommy gets off me and starts untacking me, man it feels good. Oh, I hope and pray she is going to give me a treat! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, give me a treat! I was good, so good, I did everything she asked. PPLLLLLEEEEEAAAAASSSSSSEEEEEEE!! AHHHHHHHH, I got TWO, count them, TWO treats. I am the luckiest pony in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD to have such an amazing Mommy.
Oh, I am headed for turnout, I can’t wait to see my friends, we have an amazing time. NEIGH NEIGH NEIGH, I call my friends on the way to go out. Lessons always start out as being a thing that takes me away from my food and ends up as an amazing experience. Yum yum yum, grass. Talk to you all later!
The Austin Eventing "Bubble Wrap" Program - Making High Quality Safety Gear Affordable For Everyone!
One of the basic concepts behind the formation of Austin Equestrian was that of promoting and advancing the interests of the equestrian community in Central Texas. We've been fortunate enough to find many great friends in that community who share those goals, and who daily display their dedication to achieving them. We would like to take a moment to salute one of those dedicated organizations, Austin Eventing.
Earlier this year, Austin Eventing announced their "Bubble Wrap Jump-Off" - a somewhat whimsical-sounding name for a very serious rider safety initiative. Austin Eventing believes strongly in providing the safest eventing experience possible for their riders and teammates. They want all of their riders wearing vests, so the decision was made to initiate a program that moved that priority to the forefront, and to support it with real dollars and cents - and that's how they came up with the Bubble Wrap Jump-Off! Basically, Austin Eventing has structured a program that allows their members to purchase inflatable safety vests at a Zero Net Cost! Now we know what you're probably thinking - if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is...but this program is for real, and makes a lot of sense. Here's how it works:
Any Austin Eventer who buys an inflatable safety vest (there are two major manufacturers of this type of vest, and Austin Eventing used Point Two Air Vest and their very reasonable payment plan as the example case in their blog) will be offered a free group jump lesson per month. That's right - a free jump lesson per month!
Now here's where the "Net Zero Cost" part comes in:
The monthly payment for a top quality inflatable vest is less than the cost of a monthly lesson at Austin Eventing, so basically, Austin Eventing is buying the rider's vest. That’s how much they believe in keeping their riders safely "Bubble Wrapped"! But what about those Austin Eventing riders that already have a vest, you ask? Are they being left out of a great deal for being proactive, and already having safety equipment? Not at all - any Austin Eventer who already has a vest can join the Bubble Wrap Jump-Off for just $20. That $20 will go towards "nibbles" to be served at the next month’s lesson. So, there you have it: buy an inflatable vest, get free jump lessons from Austin Eventing. Of course, we recommend that you contact Austin Eventing directly to get the full details of this program, but we think that it's a great opportunity for Eventing riders!
It's exactly this type of "put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is" dedication to advancing the sport that will keep the Central Texas equestrian community vibrant and growing, and we salute Austin Eventing for their innovative approach to promoting rider safety as they help build that community.