Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Parade photo dump

We did the local parade over a week ago and I was waiting for some pics to come in. Sadly, I don't have video or any really good pics overall, so you'll have to piece the look together. Due to a LOUD band, it started out very very tense, LOTS of leg yields back and forth, but by the end Sam was his normal self. 

There were also snafus like the Twinkle red hoof glitter did not work out AT ALL (grumpy face) so we just went with black polish. And I shouldn't have put the hearts on his butt until AFTER the trailer ride - though it was easy to touch up. 

There were TONS of kids lining the road and lots of 'look at the unicorn!!'
So, that was pretty special. :)

 In case you can't tell, I'm the Queen of Hearts and Sam is my unicorn :)


You can see my red spats pretty decently here.

Before the step off!
Posing with my barn mate as Snow White

Posing with the Wells Fargo carriage - HOW COOL!!
One of my kids took this shot before we lined up
One of my kids took this shot before we lined up

Closeup of how sparkly my crown (and septre) was.
I bought the unicorn horn, tutu, apron, spats, (gloves that came too late) on etsy, made the crown and septre, and ordered the stockings online.

All in all, I was pleased with our turnout. I can't wait to use the unicorn horn again. I don't even think Sam knew he was wearing it ;).

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Murphy's Law strikes again

You know how the day you mail in your show entry your horse goes lame?

Well, the day the vet came out to do the lameness exam for Sam, he's sound. And that's not the first time with this horse and vet combo, haha. But truly, I'm happy to pay the vet just to make my horse sound :D

Sam got the full workup of flexions and prodding, but was sound anyway! We feel the Previcox might have played a role, and obviously it wasn't something serious (yay) and he probably tweaked it in turnout. So, Previcox through Monday, approved to go to parade on Saturday and happy, happy owner. :)

I went home and worked on wrapping up my parade outfit. Then back out to the barn for a test ride in my tutu. Sam was a little taken aback when I approached him with it on, but then he was fine after he got to sniff it. I really do think he's a dog.

Here's another sneak peak for the parade. Still many surprises in store. :)

Unicorn Love!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It's in the Air...

At least three other bloggers I read have lame horses this week. Just add me to the list. 

Sam's been lame since Saturday morning. Friday night he was fine, 8 hours later, lame. It was slight at the warm-up trot and I was second-guessing if he was even lame. We jumped 18" twice, then a line to a 2' vertical. Two strides out from the landing he got super, obvious lame. :(   Super sad face.

I started him on Previcox, and just yesterday finally saw some improvement. Barely noticeable trotting on the lunge, but slightly there under saddle. Have a lameness exam in about an hour.

I'm worried about his arthritis in front lower pasterns as the lameness is on the left front. Could also be something regarding the front pads he wears for soreness. Or that it was the first night of night turnout and he had too much fun.

That it's getting better is good, but now I worry that jumping will exasperate it when we get back to that. 

We have a parade on Saturday and he seems totally fine at the walk under saddle, even on asphalt, so will see how he is to make the call on Friday.

Here's a preview of our parade attire. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oxer this!

New PR Friday night. 2'6" oxer, set about 3'3" wide.
First try, I landed low, 2nd try, perfect.
So fun!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Leather Elements: A size review

This post is inspired by Jenn from Stories from the Saddle who sent me a note asking about the sizing of this particular bracelet that was purchased for me from Etsy seller: Leather Elements. Of which I commented that I owned this bracelet from a post about the smaller version of said item by Fly on Over.

For my birthday last year, I got this leather cuff from my daughter from my Etsy wishlist. It's soft and smells awesome. It's very well made. 

Here it is - the Saratoga - on my 6.5" wrist. I wear size 7 SSG gloves for reference.

And here's the underside. I don't find the snaps bothersome at all. 

 Now shown below with a standard 'gents' size swatch watch (not the small ladies size).

I wear it on my right wrist and always wear watches on my left, so never the two would normally meet. I probably wouldn't wear anything else with this 1.25" cuff. If you wanted to have multi-bracelets I would recommend getting the thinner, Lexington, version for that.

Just really depends on the look you're going for. The Saratoga cuff is definitely a cuff.

On a side note, I also own this leather card holder, also by Leather Elements which is just fabulous and perfect for toting around your license, credit cards and some cash at shows.

Friday, July 11, 2014

XC schooling = so much fun

Last Saturday, I got a couple boarders to go with me to a little XC schooling about 7 miles from our barn. It's a big open field with tele poles and logs, a small bank, a water feature (teeny weeny puddle) and they added in some stadiums.

The original idea was to jump 2' since I'm not really prepared to do a full course of 2'6", nor with the kind of spread that goes with that height on course.

But, when we got there, we saw that the organizers were ULTRA conservative in their measure and the 2' course was more like 12-18". The rounds were going in blocks of two hours each and we were there for the 2' timeframe. The good news was:
  1. There was hardly anyone there.
  2. There was no timing or judging.
  3. They didn't care what course we did, or even if we made up our own. 
So, I decided to do the Beg Novice course which included two already set 18" stadiums and one already set for BN 2'3"ish oxer. All the XC fences were 2'-2'3" I would guess. 

I did a tiny warmup in the indoor. Trot one lap left, one lap right. Canter two laps left, two laps right. Jump 2'3" vertical, turn left, again, turn right. Done. 

Did I mention is was SUPER hot and virtually zero breeze? Yeah.

So, then we went on course. I had a barnmate video us.

Video stills:
Jump #3 was the highest/widest with a nice ramp.
I got a little left behind when Sam left long and it's slightly downhill.
He he got strong after, but I got him back after a little zig-zag path to #4. 

The last jump!
We are SUPER tiny as we move away from the camera, but if you are DYING to watch the whole thing, I suggest going directly to the YouTube page, put it on HD if you can and watch full-size. Here's the baby version.

I can't believe we made it all the way around! Keep in mind we typically jump 2-4 jumps in a row at home with an 8 jump course being a big deal. In a regular size arena. We are both conditioned to sprint.

I don't recall hearing Sam having to breathe heavily. Nor did he get heavy in my hands at all, which usually is the first thing that happens at home in the arena when we do a lot of jumps in a row. My legs started screaming after the 10th jump, but I knew there were two left and even my video girl heard me tell Sam after the water, "Only two more jumps, only two more jumps. We can do it, Sam!" HAHA! And we did.

You can tell we come from hunter-land with all our long approaches, haha.

He was really good and except for the long takeoff at #3 - mostly because I don't think he wanted to get near the wooden ramp it had - he had great distances to every other jump.

It was a blast! I felt so great about our ride. I can totally see why XC riders are synonymous with adrenaline junkies. I could see how people could get hooked. For me, it was super fun and I'd go do it again. But it's unlikely I'll become a convert. 

Great summer fun so far and more surprises coming soon ;)

Friday, July 4, 2014

2014 Goals update

Here's my list of 2014 goals

  1. Post the trot for 5 minutes, walk break, post for 5 more minutes
  2. Reliable left to right flying change
  3. School a course of all 2’6” jumps
    • Show locally, hunters 2’6”
  4. Jump 24” bareback
    • Jump 24” bareback (with pad) and bridle-less, neck rope ok
  5. Weigh-in at 155 pounds

Where am I at?

1. Haven't really been working on this at all. Mostly because it's the most boring thing ever, but I really should get on it since I'd like to ultimately 2point for 5 mins straight. 

2. ACCOMPLISHED!! YES! So excited!

3. I have actually jumped 2'6" but only a single. I've been busy working on other areas the last few months, so next week I'll start stringing some together. I haven't shown this year and we'll see how the schooling goes before I consider showing in Aug or October.

4. ACCOMPLISHED!! Not only have I jumped 25", but I've also now done it bareback and bridle-less - in just a rope halter/lead. Last week I also jumped in just a neck rope and no bareback pad, but only like 18" - Sam was slippery ;)

5. Yeah... in the last two months I've put back on 1/2 the weight I lost since October time. :/ Drastic changes must occur as it is still viable for me to lose 35lbs in 5 months. Heck, I'd feel accomplished at 20lbs lighter. Must get motivated!

Gratuitous photo of my girl, River, from yesterday.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Interested Parties Blog Hop

This week Viva Carlos asks, what made you interested in your current horse that lead you to buying them in the first place?

The background story is that I owned a mare that was sold to me as great with beginners. And she probably was in a lesson program or in lunge lessons. But for me, who spent almost a year with nary a trainer, things just spiraled, got a little better with the move to my current barn, and then worse again. My sensitive mare, Smudge, wouldn't put up with my beginner antics anymore.

She was forward and leaned on my hands like a freight train. Did I mention we were only doing dressage? And she had a past career as a fantastic jumper? Well, I had my eye on jumping and it got to the point where I was afraid to canter on Smudge because she would just take off with me. And as such, there was no way she was going to teach me to jump. So, the search for the right mount ensued.

I went to my trusty dreamhorse.com - where I bought every horse I owned besides Smudge (craigslist). And it wasn't long (like a few weeks) before I found the ad, written just for me:

I took my horse friend with me and drove 3 hours to meet him. The instant I sat on him, I felt safe. SOLD. A vet check 4 days later and then he was home. Best purchase ever. I wouldn't trade this horse for the world.