Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why People Spend $100s on Breeches and other spendy attire

Aside: I haven't gotten to the liebster blog stuff because I've been busy with family medical things

Sooo a while back I went to my favorite dressage tack shop. It's called Glisan Street Saddlery and own by a local rider. She tries to keep a mix of the spendy and lower priced items but makes sure it quality regardless of the price tag. I bought my new boots there and was captured by her consignment room. I wanted all of it. I found a pair of Romfh full seats in this nice breathable material. They have a wide waistband that is particularly flattering on the round bellied person. I wouldn't have bought th full price but couldn't resist used.  There were two in different colors. OH MY! They are amazing to ride in. My first thought was "that's why people are willing to spend $200 on breeches" The waist band feels great the material breathes even when I'm sweating buckets and you can't see every simple in my ass. My second thought was "shit I have to burn all my breeches"

Summer is here and despite the moisture wicking capabilities I need something not full seat. I went into wilco today and found some kerrits with the same feel. I hope they work. My standards are pretty high now.

My other purchase from tack of the day was a kerrits ice fil shirt. I have to admit I've seen people with riding shirts and thought "I'm not going to pay $50+ for a shirt when my $5 old navy mark down works just fine" The older I get the less tolerant I am about being hot. Those cheap tees cling the fat rolls and hardly cover boobs without an under shirt. And the sweat sure seems to stick around. The first day I work my new shirt I was pissed. It looked great on but I didn't magically feel cooler. In fact I thought I was going to die during my lesson. Of course it wasn't the 90 degree or my lack of fitness. It had to be the shirt. Then a few weeks later I realized that's all I reached for when I rode. It breathes, I don't need an undershirt. It seems like it will be see through but it isn't. Dirt doesn't stick to it.

Well shit. Now I have to wear $50 shirts AND $200 breeches.  might turn into a dressage queen yet. Although somehow I think dressage queens wash their breeches more often than I do and wouldn't be caught dead in a synthetic saddle with duct tape. I also doubt they ask their best friend to sew up the crotch of used breeches. There is hope for me.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just the Tip......

....of my toe is broken :) 

My toe smashing incident was a week ago Sunday. About Thursday I realized my foot started getting worse rather than better. The bruising was almost gone but that is normal for. I rarely bruise and when I do it is usually gone if a jiffy. Despite my toe color returning to normal it was on fire and the burning has moved up into the ball of my foot. I started to wonder if maybe I should see a doctor. If they said it was broken then I might consider taking it easy to avoid any long term damage. Yesterday I went back to work and right off the back it was my most painful day yet. We ended up being overstaffed and I jumped at the chance to head over and get my foot checked out. Sure enough the tip of my toe is broken and I have soft tissue swelling. It is a comminuted and displaced fracture. This means the part that broke off is in more than one piece (comminuted) and doesn't line up (displaced). 

I had grand plans of riding today and enjoyed the sun. I decided that I will be sitting with my feet up today and tomorrow. I work Thursday/Friday and am on my feet for 12 hours. If I had a desk job or even just worked eight hours I wouldn't be as worried about it. Heck, I rode everyday last week, gardened, walked at the waterfront. I can be tough if I need to. However, I run my ass off for 12 hours so until my foot heals, if I am not working, I will be sitting around doing nothing. I have to work or the ponies don't get to eat. 

The arrows point to the part that is broken and displaced. The lines you can barely see are additional breaks. The other toes are blurry because they were taped out of the way. 

This one isn't as close up but you can see where the tip is fractured. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Set Back In Training Plans for the Week and Produce Review

Sunday I had grand plans of meeting a friend at the barn and working a few horses. We went to catch her horses in the field with Dickie and Tari. Dickie, as always, did his best to follow as close as we would allow attempting to give kisses and offer assistance. He is always good at pushing the boundaries but does listen with the appropriate growls and arm flailings on the part of humans. The problem comes when his little redheaded girl fried decides its fun to charge us. If I am leading Dickie it is a pain because he gets all riled up. If Dickie isn't the one being led the comedy of errors takes on a whole new level. Tari darts in like she is some kind of wild stallion rounding up her herd then Dickie decides it is his duty to save everyone from Tari and chases her off. The problem is my beast has zero concept as to just how big he is. Yesterday my toe got on the way. We both yelled at him then he came back all sad because he thought he was saving us. 

I smiled and pretended like I was fine. Usually toe crushes work themselves out so ignoring them is the best medicine. However, I was smarting pretty bad after not much of a walk. I decided that it would be best to throw in the towel for yesterday. I am so lucky to have a sweet and tolerant SO because she had to wait on me last night. 

Today I decided that long lining Dickie was out because walking is still touch and go. I also nixed riding him. He is still a handful so and I need to be feeling 100% before I get in the saddle. I did however decide that riding a different horse was a brilliant idea. I had a jump left up from yesterday and also thought it would be fun to try it, in my dressage saddle ;0  I haven't been over so much as a log on the trail in years. My last jump was actually when I injured my hip. Luckily today's brilliant ideas turned out lovely. 

I have to say I think my newish reflex wide track stirrups were a big help. They distributed the weight on my foot and I didn't even notice there was anything wrong. Apparently riding is the one activity I can do pain free. Back to my stirrups.... I bought them months ago but didn't get around to actually putting them on the saddle until last month. My feet often go numb riding and my hip has become a chronic issue even out of the saddle. Ben's mom over at Change of Pace mentioned them earlier this year so I did some research. People rave about riding without numb feet and painful knees for the first time in years. I needed a new set of irons anyway and they are cheap so I gave them a whirl. I can't say enough nice things about them. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Finally Fell Off..... (kind of)

I was just talking with another rider at the barn about a time I fell on my ass while talking on the cell phone during dismount. Then about twenty minutes later I went to dismount from Dickie, my body vest caught on my saddle, and boom.... ass hits ground. He looked at me like I was an idiot. I sure felt like one and all I could do was laugh crazily and mutter to myself. There was a late teens/early twenties girl riding and I had this sudden flash to being young myself and the older riders doing stupid stuff in the arena while laughing and talking to themselves the whole time.

Back to Dickie....... I purchased a new rope halter that has rings on the side so I could clip reins to it. That seemed like a brilliant idea. He goes better in the rope halter than the side pull but I can't get the lead rope tied on the way I want it. It also seemed like a brilliant idea to ride him with another horse in the arena for the first time. Did I mention the arena is packed with jumps Weds-Sat? To my defense I have ridden him in the arena with jumps before. And he has been in the arena with that particular horse, a big calm mare with an advanced rider on her back. I should have know it was a bad idea because he was super duper mouthy. He hasn't been this pushy and mouthy in months. And I went on put leather reins on the halter. He wanted to chew on those things so bad.  You would have thought I dipped them in heroin. He didn't mind me being on his back but he very much objected to my input into the direction of travel and to my suggestion that reins are not pacifiers. We had a few rather exciting leaps with all four legs off the ground and I decided I didn't want either of us impaled on a jump. I also realized that his rope halter contraption was getting near his eye balls and not helping matters. He wasn't trying to get me off so I didn't feel like I was rewarding him by hopping off and changing venues

We went out to the round pen and it was already in use by another cantering horse. That blew his baby mind. He couldn't figure out if he should run with that horse, go and save that horse, try to stand in moms lap, or just intensely graze. We settled on grazing until they were done. I hopped back on to have a VERY uneventful short ride. His brain seems to get into more trouble when we are walking so I asked for a trot right away. We had some nice trots both ways then I was sure I was going to pass out from sweating in my vest. I took him back in the arena to so some in hand manners reminders. He was RUDE RUDE RUDE just like you would expect any self respecting three year old appaloosa/TB. We had some very terse conversations about personal space "Um, halting does not include two steps in the direction of mom before motion ceases"

It might not sound like it but all in all I am really happy with our day. Here are the main reasons I am happy with this ride:

1) The BFF told me I would run into problems on ride five or so because that he when he will feel confident enough to challenge me. He started countless horses so I believed him and was expecting it.
2) We had a nice big leaping session and I didn't panic or feel like I was near falling off. I still remember how to ride. I might not be a velcro assed twenty something anymore but I still remember how to ride a horse that has naughty on the brain.
3) Dickie might be offering some strong opinions about our sessions but he gives up and goes with the flow pretty quickly (just like on the ground). He just want to have his say before agreeing to the plan.
4) We can come back from bad space and end on a good note pretty easily. This is my first horse starting from scratch but I have worked with youngsters quite a bit. It is a good quality to have a horse that can get worked into a tizzy then come back from it easily, especially at three with just a few rides under his belt.
5) My horse has fire. I like some confidence and fire in a mount. I am not looking for a steady Eddie ho hum trail horse. When you can channel that pizazz these make the best sporthorse partners.

Lessons for next time:
1) Rope halter is retired to be used as halter only. Baby horse cannot be blamed for objecting ripping out of the eye balls during steering.
2) Future attempts at riding with another horse in the arena will occur without impaling spears jumps in the arena.

Summer is Really Really Here....

The days have been warm and sunny around here. We get very excited about our summers here in the PNW. Winters are rainy, dark, and MUDDY. The pastures are dry now even in the soggiest spots. I am in heaven. I have been wanting my stepmomma Sue to come ride for ages. I didn't have anything for her at my last barn. I have been at the current place with Romeo for over three years but it was a crazy three years. We were busy taking care of her sister with late stage Huntington's disease and cancer. Then I was in nursing school. Then I was working an opposite schedule from her. 

Now after at least 15 years out of the saddle she came for a ride. She has only been on the occasional paid trail ride during my summer visits as a kid. She loves horses though and I have a feeling she is going to be a wonderful trail riding buddy. She did great. She is so smart. She asks all the right questions and picks up on things fast. She is more athletic and in better shape than I am!! Romeo was a bit jiggy every time we went up hills. I think he is convinced he will be left behind and is obsessed with his Bre. The great thing about Romeo is that he is really smooth. Bre is incredibly steady on the trails but is crazy bouncy. There is no sitting her trot. I think she might be ready to give Miss Bre a try next time though :)

Figured out how to stear Romers past the scary goats. 

Looks like she was meant to be up there. 

Feeling. Faint. Must. Eat. Grass. 

Romeo wearing Bre's fancy new halter. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

More than just ponies......

I mainly focus on ponies for this blog. I wanted to keep some level of privacy for my family. I also really wanted this blog to be history for Dickie on Bre over the coming years. However, I thought I should show there is more to me than horse poop and hay. 

I decided to create my first garden this year and am really excited about how it is coming along. We are kind of winging it and learning by trial and error. Today we enjoying the sun and did some cat walking. Natasha likes to help garden. 

Trail Ride FAIL

Josey's lovely lessee is out of a horse to ride because Josey moved with her momma up north this week :( When I knew Josey would be moving I asked if she might like to come out and love on Bre. She rode Bre back at the big arena and they got along great. She doesn't have a ton of technical experience but she has a really stable seat, long soft leg, and gentle hand. Bre is happy as can be with her up there. She called me to ask if she could take Bre for her first trail ride. I wanted to go but I also wanted to see if Romeo cold hanle Bre leaving so I decided to stay home. 

Romeo Fail: It is well established that Romeo goes crazy when left behind but I am always the one taking Bre so I haven't seen exactly what happens. I was hoping maybe he would be crazy then calm once she left. That wasn't the case. He got more worked up the longer she was gone. I was worried he would colic so I hand walked him. I need the exercise so I didn't mind. However, I am bummed that she can't take her for rides alone. Hopefully between Romeo's owner, Romeos Girl, and me there will always be someone to ride with her. 

Bre Fail: Bre's new friend did a great job getting her all pretty. She remembered everything I told her from the last time. She remembered that Bre loves a certain rubber curry and she is particular about her hind feet. She also remembered that Bre wears boots and asked where they were. To which I responded "Oh you are just walking it should be fine." I met them once on the trail in my car just to make sure that Bre wasn't balking her "Um, I don't go places alone anymore" spot but Bre seemed to know there wasn't a beginner on her back and they were already past the spot. Bre looked great. She had her big bouncy happy walk. When they arrived back I noticed a hink in her step and her rider said she had just started limping. Sure enough Bre had managed to half tear a shoe right off. AHHHHHH!! I went into panic mode because I used an out of town farrier for her. The nails were sticking out so if I couldn't get someone there I would have to take it off myself. I sent out some panicked texts for plan A), B), C), D), and E)......... Then just when my vet was helping me formulate a plan my farrier sent a text that he was two minutes down the road. Bre had literally walked past where he was trimming on her ride. YAY!!!! 

The day was salvaged and the only real loss was the fact that I was late for lunch with barn friends. Bre is getting pull on bell boots back on. I have kept them on her for the better part of a decade and every time I slack on this I am rewarded with a missing shoe. I have many memories of shoe searching in various weather conditions. Her farrier of three years has lulled me into a false sense of security because she keeps them on with him. I guess I won't win horse mom of the year....