Thursday, March 27, 2014

TBT: Brie

Throwback Thursday all the way to Nov 2009 when I first started riding (with consistency) on a Welsh Cob mare named Brie that I half leased. It only took me 2 months to decide to own a horse again. :) 

Dressage with Brie

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sunshine recap

Today was the last of upper 60s, blue skies and full sunshine. Next up, RAIN. I've been having a great couple of rides over the weekend with a bit sleepy but compliant horse. Maybe the two weeks off was really a good thing because prior to that, I had the pulling, fidgety locomotive.

Enjoying the last bits of sunshine
I had a great lesson on Saturday, a last one for a while. Worked on some bad habits I was getting like humping with my stomach. And today I 'stole' jumps during Amy's lesson (Amy is my BFF riding buddy) wherein she approves that I ride during her lesson and I go after her rounds while she rests or chats with trainer and trainer yells at me when if I do stupid things, haha.

Today I got my stirrups shortened 1/2 a hole (I was thinking they seemed long anyway and they were new, so the hole did stretch a smidgen). And they felt very short, normally I don't really notice 1/2 a hole, but when I started jumping, they felt really perfect. :D

I also got called out for not keeping my left heel down both over jumps and on the landing and subsequent strides. Whoops. I did know that I don't always keep my heels down over jumps and have even caught myself posting off my toes at times. So it's something I'm aware of, but it isn't always at the top of my list while jumping. And now it is.

The local watering hole - water before we ride
Amy jumped a 2'6.5" vertical today and when my turn came, I took one look and was like Not-UH! She tried to playfully goad me, but I wasn't having having any game of Back to the Future 'chicken'. I do like to one up her, though :). So trainer dropped it down a hole for me and we did it flawlessly and it didn't even feel high. Next time!

I definitely have it in my head that the jumps would be smaller on a taller then 15.2hh horse. ;)

Otto (l) and Sam (r) enjoying the last bit of sunshine for a while - water after we ride

Monday, March 24, 2014

2013 Swag

For two years I've shown in a little local series. The first year I won several championships and was high point champion for 2012. Last year I didn't get to all the shows in the series but enjoyed the ones I did get to. They recently had their year-end banquet which I had to miss, but was able to pick up my goodies last week.

I went to 2/5 of their shows last season. I was a reserve champion in one and champion in the other. I ended up 9th for points (Top Ten pad) and earned a champion pad and year end ribbon for my efforts. :)

Such a fun low-key show. It's on my list this year but not sure when I'll have the funds to show again. And it really makes me sad. But, I'm going to enjoy these goodies in the meantime. Already took one for a test drive on Saturday :)

Apparently Dover pads are pretty tiny. I always complain how big pads are on Sam, haha. Def not this one ;)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Sam!

Today is Sam's 16th Birthday! I love him so much :)

The birthday boy

Friday, March 21, 2014

What's in your SmartPak Blog Hop

Because I bought my horse with known changes in his lower pasterns, I immediately started him on joint supplements. He hadn't had issues before I bought him and he hasn't the almost three years I've had him. But I figure a well of prevention is another day of riding.

So, here's what he gets in his SmartPaks:

I originally had him on Smart versions of joint/coat/vitamins but after a year found out he'd just been spitting them out to eat only the rice bran pellets they were dumped with. >:(

So I specifically found non-Smart versions, and though it cost a bit more, at least it's literally not becoming mouse food.

He also gets 2 cups of rice bran pellets twice a day that is provided by my barn for free (yay!). 

I have no idea if the supplements are being super helpful or not. The Smart Dark and Handsome I had him on the first year seemed to work really well - it was not a pellet, so I think harder to spit out, haha. But honestly, I'm deathly afraid of taking him off the joint for sure and I just don't see why he shouldn't have coat and vitamin supps as a general rule. I like me a pretty pony!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Satin jumps

 For Christmas, my friend MADE me this ribbon holder.

The craftsmanship and detail is amazing
A few weeks ago, I finally got around to putting it up. She so nicely installed eye-screws, hidden behind the standards so it was easy to hang via pushpin. SUPER CUTE!

Only championship ribbons get the honor of hanging here
I either need to rotate out ribbons, or have her make another because I still have 2 champ ribbons not shown. And I haven't even shown this year yet (although I won't be without a job).

But it's right next to my desk, so I can literally pet satin while at my computer - which is where I live if I'm not at the barn ;)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A smooth transition

Not my best in-n-out work, but it was our first go after at least three months of onsy-twosy jumping and no gymnastics. The very best part, which sadly is a little dark in the video is our AMAZing canter to trot transition coming off the downhill turn. I really prepped for it and he gave it. Love this horse!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lost and found = solid

Had my riding buddy take video of me yesterday. My most amazing round was before we started taping, of course. But then Sam decided to hop a change down the quarter line so we worked on why that was (neck bend) so my last round I came around the corner doing nothing with my reins, ignoring the neck and only using my legs for the turn. Worked perfectly regarding the change, but I was so light, I totally dropped my right rein, haha.

This is the video of my picking up my rein all the way to the jump. So those aren't just chicken arms you see. I figured if I made it in time, I would jump and if I didn't we could veer off. We just barely did, jumped with very looped reins, and totally fine. Just makes me smile at my progress.

Lots of wind noise, so check your volume ;)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Back in the tack!

FINALLY! After 14 days grounded, I got to ride today! It was a warm, sunny day (66 degrees) so Sam was calm and slightly sleepy. But he was responding well. After a warmup, I jumped the tiny black several times, both uphill and downhill (we have a slight slope) in both trot and canter. No weird, inappropriate swapping of leads, YAY!

And then I decided to canter the red - which afterwards I measured it at 2'3" which is where I left off before winter set in and my lessons were seriously restricted.

The black jump and the red 2'3" vertical
He kept a nice rolling pace throughout and when he was getting fast going downhill, he was responsive to my half-halts. :)

With rain and now sunshine, we have some nice grass growth everywhere so, some hand grazing was in order.

nom nom nom
His spring coat is taking its time (I'm sure it's confused with our weird weather last few months) and he has some guard hairs and has that almost hairless dog look, but with fuzzy legs and head. And the darker, dense hair, baby patchy spots on his flanks. :/

So, I went back to the barn later that evening (yay daylight savings!) and full body clipped him. Now he looks like this:

photo from the interwebz
JUST KIDDING! But how awesome would that be!? Maybe next year...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On a roll

Why is there something so fascinating about watching a horse roll?
And Sam really knows how to do it right. Don't miss the finish with a flourish. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Best stirrup covers

Pretty much totally unnecessary are stirrup covers. But man, are there some SUPER cute ones out there that bring out my inner child.
So when trying to decide what color/patterns I should get and who I should pick to make them, I came across a completely different design that I hadn't seen before. 

Enter Jump Girl. They are made from a velour type material which is very barn/hay/dirt friendly. It's elastic on the top and elastic on the bottom. 

You just open the top and pull them up the stirrup. Super easy. There's even a snap on the backside so you can snap the pair together so you don't lose one. The reason I choose this route was because I didn't want to have to tie or untie the bag each time. Someone had a toggle close version of the bag and that was at least a step up, though the ribbon ties are pretty darn girly-cute.

The best feature of Jump Girl's design is that I don't have a bag of dirt after I've used it a few times. I did remove the Jump Girl tag and am considering getting them monogrammed but of course I can't decide on a color or if I should do it at all - don't want them oddly stiff. I got navy for my jump saddle to go with my navy/blue show luggage colors and black ones for my dressage saddle.

On my saddle. Would you do navy, black, white monogram - or none?
Jump Girl doesn't have a huge selection of color/patterns, but honestly, it kinda made it easier for me to pick, lol. I got the smalls which were recommended for my MDCs. And I think they are priced just right. Obviously someone could make these themselves, but I don't really sew. ;)

I do put them on/off every time I ride, but if I didn't, I would definitely use them for shows because then my saddle is moving around more and usually on its nose in my tack box, etc, so more flailing around of my stirrups, even under a cover.

Friday, March 7, 2014

He picks me!

There's a new horse tied on the other side of the wall where Sam is lingering. And he picks me!

Check out his bounce, too! I never really get to see it from the front, haha. No wonder it's hard to sit his trot!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A little off course

A lot has been going on the past several days for me. I am fine.

Friday I flew to Dallas, TX for my kid's cheerleading competition all weekend. I had to visit Urgent Care there on Sat morning for an issue that had been creeping up earlier in the week and needed attention.

Icy Sunday in Dallas, temps at 21

Flew home Monday afternoon, got home around 7pm and at midnight decided I needed to revisit Urgent Care at home. They sent me directly to the ER, do pass go, do not collect $200. At this point I have an infection. I think I'm going to die because the UC folks scared me.

2:00am Monday
I'm in the ER waiting room for 2 hours. And there's like only three people who go in ahead of me. It's pretty empty.

So you may have noticed I haven't gone to bed yet since leaving Dallas, which is two hours ahead of where I live.

6:00am Monday
After waiting another 2 hours, but did get a CT Scan done, I finally see the doctor and not just a nurse. Best part? She's from my BARN!! SCORE! *love* She assures me that I'm not dying but that I definitely need the big gun antibiotics via IV and that takes another couple hours to drip into me.

After being up 23 hours, I nap for 1.5 hrs during one of the drips from 7:30am -9am. And then I go home. And then I'm just kinda up for a while and finally crawl in my bed from 12:30pm to 8:30pm Tuesday.

It's now 2am on Weds and I can tell the antibiotics are doing their job :)

The nature of my issue includes not being able to ride for up to two weeks, maybe a bit more. Today my friend Amy lunged Sam for me since he had 4 days off while I was away. If I don't get out this week, I have someone lined up for Thurs & Sat lunging. I'm walking around and driving, so I think I should be ok by Saturday to do it myself for sure.

Hate to be taking a break from riding, but gotta be healthy first. I did get to read Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant across my four day weekend and I do recommend them.

And now I'm going to catch up on all my blog reading for the last 5 days :)