Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bit It Up Blog Hop

This week Viva Carlos asks, what bit do you ride your current beastie in and why?

For jumping I started Sam in a Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS Aurigan Eggbutt Style Bit. I liked the concept of the design and because I rode in the loose ring version for dressage, it made sense to me at the time to use the same bit. Keep in mind I had never jumped before.
Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS Aurigan Eggbutt Style Bit

But after some pulling and humping issues while jumping (which was very related to unknown poor saddle choice of a 'whack his back' Flair saddle) my trainer suggested something much more useful to get a whoa when I needed it. She let me borrow hers and I was eventually convinced to buy my own. They were hard to find in D ring style - for some reason loose ring versions were everywhere - so I bought two. That was about two years ago and now they are impossible to find (though some brands are making similar versions now).

The Pessoa Magic Copper Moon Dee Bit is awesome in that it is a joined bit for independent rein use, but locks to act like a mullen when engaged with both reins and creates pretty nice stopping power.

Pessoa Magic Copper Moon Dee Bit
I've been using this bit for the last two years for jumping and it's just the right balance of being light and easy to communicate but stronger when I need it. 

I sold off both my HS bits and went to a Happy Mouth Mullen loose ring for dressage for a while, because the HS let him duck behind the vertical much too easily. And now he goes (if we actually ride dressage) in a random double jointed loose ring. I also have a Happy Mouth D for lunging/long-lining.

I literally own 5 bits, two of which are duplicate.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I haven't been very motivated to post. I also haven't have much newsworthy going on.

I got a Technical Writing gig with Xerox. Six month contract with probable extension - so that is good. The bad is that it's an hour drive to get there - though some flextime or work from home is possible at times. I start on Weds.

I'm also probably going to board a few retirees at my house starting in July for extra income to help cover my kid's college tuition. Just waiting to get my fields baled (after it stops raining).

I was invited to be in a local parade on Saturday with Mexican riders to represent a local restaurant. All the tack and clothing (sans jeans/boots) were provided to me. It was my first parade on horseback (had only been in marching bands prior) and very likely Sam's first parade too. He did great and was perfectly fine in the parade, though he thought the pace was too slow. ;)

So here's a deluge of pictures and video from my fans. :)

Our row was from my barn, me on the outside, a trainer in the middle and our onsite worker and horse whisperer in the blue. The two other horses besides Sam are both his stallions who are half brothers (Aztecas) and are about 3 and 5yo. 

The mariachi band at the front of our contingent

We had dancers too!
Playing the part

Sam looks so handsome - love him nosebandless

Jacket off near the end when the sun came out

Three Amigos!

The end of the line!

Here's a short video of our barn group (of about 20 riders in our contingent). WARNING: Our BO is shouting in the video quite loudly - but you get to see the dancing horses and not my horse dancing, haha.

And a perfectly quiet video of Sam and I walking with a bit of Mariachi in the background.

Ride in parade bucket list, CHECK!

Friday, May 9, 2014

What 2'8" looks like

This is what 2'8" looks like:

Good news is that looks like I've got that pelvis tilt thing corrected
And here's that buck on the other side that I have to figure out how to ride better. I look like I'm coming off a x-country drop and getting a little too intimate with my cantle (though honestly, it doesn't feel like it looks when riding). I'm not sure it should look quite like this. Time to watch other rider videos in slow motion.

We did land particularly low on this one and Sam pulled the rail with his hind feet. But it was the only video I got - these are the stills - and as it was, I had my phone on the jump standard next to us.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Catching up

I have been so busy and yet not. I was traveling last weekend for kid's sport, nose surgery tomorrow for my kid's broken nose from said sport, more serious job hunting, tire issues on my car, traveling again this weekend for in-law family funeral. Whew!

I just haven't felt like blogging. But I have been riding! I've been working on not roaching my lower back over jumps as was pointed out by my trainer when I stole jumps* during Amy's lesson on Saturday.

While at the tire place today, I read April and May's Practical Horseman. There were several good articles that were very relevant to my riding. I felt inspired. Plus looking at prizelists of shows I'm not going to, I'd have to jump either 2' or 2'6". Only one show has a 2-2'3". Since I'm now jumping full courses of 2'3", I better get my butt in gear so I don't HAVE to jump 2' because I wasn't better prepared.

So today, I jumped 2'8". BOOYAH!
New PR: 2'8" - look at my tiny tiny horse compared to the jump!
We trotted in first two times. First time was a little low on the landing. HOLY COW! At this height, there really is a buck on the other side of the jump! I was prepared round two, so we were PERFECT! So I decided I needed a canter in there, so we cantered in and LOVELY! Solid.

Of course, I was repeating, 'chest up, heels down' the WHOLE way to the jump each time. I was so happy and Sam seemed to enjoy it too.

Afterwards, I cleaned his boy parts (bad mom for waiting so long) and then cleaned and conditioned my saddle. And because I love my pretty, pretty saddle which I haven't fallen out of yet (purchased in Dec) because it works for me so awesomely, I took a picture.

Loxley Jump LX by Bliss of London - actual color

And because I super love it, I took a glamour shot outside in the sunset. Tack ho's unite!

Soooo pretty..... (sun enhanced red)
Probably won't ride tomorrow, but plan to jump again on Thursday evening before I watch Amy's dressage lesson. :)

Random photo of current course setup. I plan to make some major furniture changes, of which will include a three jump in-n-out gymnastic (because they give me confidence) in the next few days weeks.
I used to be totally scared of that red jump when it was touching the ground. I jumped all that stuff today - easy.

*term I use to jump her jumps between her rounds, helps me get some pro eyes on me from time to time to make sure I'm on the right path - only with her approval :)