Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WW: Flock This!

My new saddle purchased in Dec is getting its first flock in about an hour :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Spoke too soon, helmet eats dirt.

I was just saying last Friday that I never fall on my head and last night I did just that. Went completely upside down, front tuck off the side of my horse, hitting the crown of my head first and rolling it out onto my back.

Nice knowing you CO AYR8

We were galloping down the long side of the arena, no biggie, do it often enough. Always balance up the corners and take them nicely. But this time he went flat out - like at the beach - and it was fun and cool and I was just mesmerized by the sheer power.

And then I saw the corner coming. And I watched Sam see the corner coming and I could see his gears turning about what to do. It's actually a legit corner with some jump standards in it, and then next to it is an opening to the back arena and then more fence, so in theory, we could have gone that way.  But I guess Sam decided to turn the corner, because I sure didn't tell him a darn thing.

We took the corner at flat out speed and our bark chipped, mostly dust bits, footing didn't appreciate our speed. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sam's back legs disappear left underneath his belly and down he went. I was apparently also pulling my inside rein. He must of recovered quick because I remember seeing his legs all around me as I did the full summersault. Bark down the back of my breeches...nice. I was told he nicely avoided me. Good boy.

I'm ok. My head hurt at the crown for about 30 mins, and then slight side of head headache on both sides. It was agreed that I probably didn't get a concussion. My fall was witnessed in full view by 2 people, with 2 others nearby. Today my head was totally fine, though a little achy tonight, and my right shoulder/neck area is very stiff and some general stiffness/soreness in my back. Went to the chiropractor last Friday... guess I'll be going back next week.

Luckily, I have a spare CO AYR8 that I normally just use for shows, so now it will become my full-time helmet. I haven't decided if I want to do anything interesting with my fallen helmet or just toss it (straps cut of course). I did peek inside and the foam didn't show any visible damage there.

Sam seems fine. I'm fine. I was just unprepared for that level of galloping in an arena. Next time, I will be the rider, not the passenger. :)

WW: At sunset

Friday, August 8, 2014

CO AYR8 wins over CO V8

During the recent Helmet Awareness 20% off sale, I ordered a CO V8. I don't have much time left on my current helmets, both CO AYR8s, so I thought I'd get ahead (haha) of the game.

The fit was great, I got the same size I have in the AYR8. There's zero forehead pressure due to the cutback front vent system that is apparently similar to Samshield. There is a little more pressure on the sides, but was comfortable after wearing it for 5+ mins and busying myself with something else - ie. not focused on it.

I do not like the removable liner at all. It's a great idea, ugly execution. It attached by velcro strips along the edge of the material part of the helmet, right along where the visor starts. So you can see the finishing edge of the liner. Not classy to me. In theory, you could take the liner off completely and ride like a normal helmet, but then you have the pokey part of the velcro strips exposed to grab your hair.

The visor and overall profile of the V8 is also flatter then the AYR8. You can see from the all angles that the visor is flatter, in opposition the shape of my head - as well as the side profile being straighter. Again, not a fan.

I didn't like the clip. It's a plastic casing, but the part you press to unclick is metal. That might seem good for longevity, but it was actually hard for me to press to release. I think it may be be a little smaller too, and it's not like I have fat fingers.

The vents up the middle are smaller (not as long of a cut) and there's less in the front. I didn't appreciate the look of the black gloss finish behind the mesh either. It didn't really make the helmet look blingy, but it definitely has a shine quality.

Overall, the V8 helmet is slightly heavier and just a larger profile then my AYR8. I already feel a little mushroom heady in my AYR8 - but wearable, but the V8 was just worse. I can only imagine the extra volume of the V8 is to provide more protection in a fall. I get that. But bigger isn't necessarily better and it's not like I'm currently riding in a bicycle helmet. I feel good about the safety of what I am wearing.

I know it only takes once, which is why I wear a helmet, but of the 12+ times I've fallen in the last 3 years, I have yet to hit my head. Instead, every time it's been on my right hip... they should make something for that.

For the mushroom head, ugly liner, and clip reasons - the V8 went back to SmartPak.

I'll just be ordering another trusty AYR8 that looks classic and fits great. Bonus that it absorbs all my forehead sweat for me. And honestly, I don't have a problem with smell with my AYR8 even though I'm a sweat-a-holic. Every few months I clean it with CO cleaner and daily hang it in an open helmet bag with 2 Fresh Helmet Sacks inside.

Both helmets have the same safety ratings. So that made me feel good sticking with the AYR8.

Here's a visual comparasion.
In all the following pictures, the V8 is on the left, the AYR8 is on the right.

From the front, around my face, the V8 looks great. But look how much taller it is then the AYR8.
I already have an oval head and LONG neck, don't need help there.

Why is there so much more helmet in the back? I presume to keep me safe, but it's just so much.
You can see the flatter visor very well here. Probably good for sighting, but contributes to mushroom head.

I like the smaller, blacker mesh on the V8.

Not a fan of the wider back of the helmet.

The V8 only has 3 shorter vents in the front, same number but still shorter in the back.
The V8 does have the forehead vent space though.

Decent shot of liner. You can see I don't have it perfectly aligned after taking it out. The velcro sits along that rim underneath. There's like 7-8 little strips. You can also see how much helmet is in the back. I have these lined up at the top equally and the V8 is just longer. It makes the harness in the back sit weird as well. It's probably more secure, etc, but I wasn't a fan. Though not thrilled my AYR8 grommets are pantina now. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Jumping up, new PR

I had a great jump lesson a week ago Saturday and we worked on my landings not being so disconnected with higher jumps. I caught on pretty quick - must keep hands at withers. Which in my case, is FAR FAR away because Sam's head is set pretty low.

During the week we easily popped over a 2'8" oxer - a new oxer height for me. 

So this Saturday's lesson was more of the same, plus higher jumps. Husband came out to watch and record for me. I do love video because I really get to see what I'm not feeling. Like I can clearly see that chicken wings are back and I haven't quite solved the leg slippage riddle. But my landings are much, much improved and I don't look as leaned over as I feel trying to ride around with my knuckles touching the withers ;)

Here's some still shots off the video, with the first one my new PR of 2'10".

2'10" - my new PR