Monday, October 28, 2013

Big Brick

Two and a half years ago I started jumping. The first two years were tough. The first year I was learning all the basics, balance, strength and unknowingly using the wrong kind of saddle (Flair) that would double bounce my horse after every jump - making him hump hump hump. 

The second year ushered in a new saddle and new trust building with my horse for a total of 2+ years to finally get to 2'-2'3". But I have arrived. And then I found my next target: big brick.

There's two jumps I do not jump at my barn. The 'stone wall' and the 'big brick'. Big brick is 2'x2' of solidness. I think stone wall is a hair bigger, I need to measure it. Both are mentally scary. If we tap them, it could get really ugly instead of just knocking down a rail. But I've been eyeballing big brick for the last month. Any why not? I've been jumping that 2'3" high by 2' wide oxer all month. Friday, I really wanted to make it happen, so I rode towards it, chickened out with plenty of time and jumped the 'baby brick' (18") instead which is off to the left. Deflated.

Yesterday, all by myself in the jump arena (people at barn, just not in the arena), I jumped it. It was also the first time for Sam. I just kept saying, look up, look up, look up. And then Sam did a serious plant to the base and we had liftoff. 

I'm 99% positive I said 'shit' as we were soaring over, haha. 

I'm pretty sure Sam had the same sentiment as well because on the other side he landed low with his head between his knees (very last year, old saddle style) but I stayed tall and eyes up, instead of diving with him. And I easily had him picked up in the very next stride. SO freaking exciting!!

Sam posing in front of Big Brick
Riding buddy, Amy, says I have to jump it today when I ride later with her. I replied,"Only if I can muster up the nerve again!"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Check! Another goal complete!

One of my goals this year was to jump bareback at any height. I'm happy to say that I've actually jumped about a dozen times now over the last 2 months. But none of them have been higher then 12"and they were Xs. And really, we just focused on cantering over them, hehe.

But today, I was braver and jumped the already set up vertical. It's still technically a canter, but it felt more like a jump because it had some oomph at the takeoff.

Measures at 19"
So I think I can officially check it off my list :D

Goals, 2nd half 2013

  1. Successfully show 2' hunters by end of season. (not counting the 2' show earlier this year when I fell off)
    • Successfully showed 2'3" and won the LS Division!
  2. School 2' 3".
    • Schooling 2'3"x 2' oxers!
  3. Jump in bareback pad at any height.
    • 19" so far!
  4. Lose inches off my hips and tummy - enough to nicely fit back into my size L FITS Bekas that were too tight this time last year. Still wearing the XL Bekas I bought after I saw photos of me in the larges o0.
    • I've lost 11 lbs since Aug. More inches to go if I want to get into the Larges.
  5. Break in my tall boots all the way so I can actually show in them.
    • I've decided the Donatellos I have aren't going to get any shorter and they are way too tall for me still. Just got in some Mountain Horses that are short enough… these may work.

Monday, October 21, 2013

And the bubble has burst

Things were going well and now they aren't. I just got laid off again. Not enough work to keep me on. It's true, the client made cutbacks which left me just twiddling my thumbs much of the time. But I also don't have anything particularly lined up and will probably have to pound the pavement. I have 2 weeks of work and 1 more paycheck.

Of course, like earlier this summer, this puts my horse habit in jeopardy. Yay for selling $300 worth of blankets last night. Too early to guess if I will pick up anything quick. I do plan to pay board for Nov, and I guess we'll see from there. Don't fret dear readers, I can always bring my boy home to my house on 5 acres for free.

2'3" LS Division Champions earlier this month

Sunday, October 20, 2013

2'3" oxer

Thursday, I ended up not doing the following in and out, even after I set it up. Chickened out.
Yesterday, it was still waiting for me as no one had adjusted it.

So I trotted in and cantered out. Apparently we were too slow in, so Sam hopped over the oxer from a standstill (love this horse). So we just trotted around to it again. This time, I trotted him up almost in a canter. Over the first and found myself looking up only and counting outloud, 1, 2, 3 and over! Perfect distance, great landing. So proud :D

2'1" vertical trot in, three strides canter to 2'3" x 2' wide oxer

With oxers, is the height measured by the highest rail? Mine is an X and vertical, so does it still count as a 2'3" oxer since that's where the vertical is?

Friday, October 18, 2013

The deed is done

Thanks everyone for your input on my embroidery indecision the week before. I also got some local input and then mulled it around for a day or so. 

I got the results back and if you ignore the super high density sunlight washing things out, you can get the idea of how it all turned out.

Backs to my director chairs for at shows in white vinyl and my SmartPak Lite pad

The pad after we rode

Modeling the new cooler. It says his name on the other side too :D 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall clip

This is a nice weather week. Highs in the high 60s and lows in low 40s. No rain and SUNSHINE! 

I live in WA state, in case I hadn't mentioned that already. Fall has started in full force last month and so for the next 8 months until spring, we savor every sunny day.

This was the view yesterday.

And my horse was 1/2 asleep. Must-a baked in the sun before I got there. We jumped some jumps and then went for a trail ride in the back with my friend, Amy.

After un-girthing, I noticed the sweaty curls. My guy rarely sweats and wet curls just reminded me how fuzzy he's getting. Though all the horses are also shedding this week.

So I returned to the barn in the evening to clip the beast.

Before - crushed velvet waves
After - smoooooooth
I'll do the legs and head on Weds. Don't think I'll have time today. He's really really good about standing quiet. But starts getting antsy right when I finish the body, so I always do the legs and head the following day.

And of course, now that he's naked, stable blanket at night.

All tucked in

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hunter Princess Blog Hop - Why do you love Showing?

I love to show because it gives me something to work towards. And being ubber competitive (no one plays Monopoly with me anymore) means I have some semblance of drive which makes me work hard even when it's things I don't want to work on. Except trotting - hate.

It's a measuring stick that I can't blow off.

There's plenty of ladies at my barn who do not show. Pretty much every person there except me. And there's 30+ horses at my barn. I have no idea how they keep motivated to work on higher skills. Most of the people at my barn are dressage riders, so they are working through levels. How are they working on level 3 skills, but don't plan to use them anywhere? Just doesn't make sense to me. I get the feeling of accomplishment, but... to what end?

I also come from a theatre background. I love performing and showing off, though I try to be pretty modest about it. Showing is just another way for me to be all, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Opinions Required! Where to embroider...

So I purchased the following wool cooler from Dover for use away from home. Not really sure when I'll use it, but being a tack-ho, I couldn't go any longer without this staple. 

Keep in mind that I ride independently, ie. under no barn banner. My colors are royal with black and white when I can help it with alternates of navy or lt. blue (ie. Horseware Newmarket colors). So it's totally all about me and my horse.

Tongue not included - note, show halter is black leather, so it look nicer then halloween orange
I want to have it embroidered but I'm undecided about which way to go. I can do a monogram on the lower left hip.

Option A
But I'm not superfan of my monogram of JLA. Makes it unbalanced to my eye. Though the one above I just found is probably a decent solution.

I recently ordered a monogram that didn't use a cursive J which always looks like a backward B to me (cept when I write cursive Js cuz they look cool), but they added some weird lines to the lettering - seriously, who makes their Js or Ls like that? (Smartpak does)

But I've also seen the option to add the horse's show name right across the barrel. Something like this:

Option B
I assume we're all in agreement that the embroidery should be on the left side of the horse - or should I do both sides?! AHHHHHHH. What I'd like to hear is your input on which option I should choose.

Option A: Monogram on left hip
Option B: Show name on left barrel

Please weigh in on your thoughts. Keep in mind that it's of no consequence to me it's customized for this horse. A barnmate suggested monogram because then I could use it on another horse. But honestly, by the time I got another horse to use it on, and it happened to wear the same size, and I wanted to use the same color scheme (only if it was also black), I'd probably would want the latest fashion trend or fabric, etc. 

I'm a little partial to Option B, horse's show name. It's his blanket after all, he has to wear it :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hunter Princess Blog Hop – An Annoying H/J Trend

I do not like white fleece girths.

Why do they have to be white? White only looks good on white horses.

 Barely even notice it. Very pretty.
Abigail Brayman and Card party

Why can't there be brown or black fleece girths? I think it breaks up the cleanliness of the horse and draws your eye right to the girth (haha, now you will only be able to see the fleece!).

White fleece on bay horse? All I can see is the white double lines. I barely even notice the rider's eyes are closed, I'm so distracted.

Anna Pavlov and Adelante

Ahhhh. Beautiful. Love a horse in appropriately colored tack to blend with their color and esp. sans fleece girth. Then I am really drawn to this horse's gorgeous turnout and those knees!!
Hope Glynn and King's Peak