Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fashion Thursday: Black & Blue

Black & Blue

1. Jack Wills Highmoor Shirt
    no longer available
2. J Crew Houndstooth Sweatshirt
    no longer available
3. HKM Belmtex Full Seat Breeches

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

There was no physics lab

I'm so upset. I did my lab report early. I showed up early.

A Day in the Life: Architecture Student Edition

School has tragically (more or less) taken over my life, BUT the whole point of this blog is to document my journey as an equestrian, and my school commitments limit my riding time, therefore they are relevant.
I designed this God awful building & I have no shame
Background Info: So, for one of my classes, we have an assignment that requires us to make a handful of site visits in DC and draw buildings/monuments/public spaces in various scale types. We were given this assignment on the first day of class. It is due on October 28th. Naturally, most people have procrastinated (except Ian because, well, he's Ian).

Contrary to my nature, I only procrastinated a little bit, but not as much as some people. I don't have class until late on Wednesdays, so I took a trip to DC today in order to knock out some drawings and take a couple pictures. I had a friend tag along, too, so the whole experience was guaranteed to be interesting. It did lead to a pretty exciting snap story, so I can't complain.

They're pigeons
I woke up dark eyed and limp tailed at 7:30am, then proceeded to stay in bed until 7:45 because screw getting my day started. Naddy and I met at 8:30, then it was off to the metro. Our first stop was supposed to be the National Gallery of Art, but we opted to get some shots of the Mall first, then head back towards the Gallery. On the way back, we stopped to do the facade of the Freer Gallery.

By that time, it was just past noon, so we grabbed lunch at a cool pizza place. Prior to today, Naddy had never tried deep dish pizza (don't ask me why). In short, she loved it and would likely marry deep dish pizza if given the chance.

I'm so sorry for this
After lunch, it was a very long hop, skip, and jump to the Vietnam Memorial. Fun Fact: I saw the Vietnam Women's Memorial today, which I didn't even know existed. On the way, we went by the Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial. That whole section is arguably my favorite part of DC (minus all the historic residential areas).

pt 2 will be watercolored as well!
Another not as long hop, skip, and jump got us to Farragut North. We rode one stop to Dupont Circle which is amazing. Seriously, if you ever have the chance, just go. It's beautiful. Google Maps doesn't do it justice. Tragically, I was only there to take pictures of cross walks (#architectureschool). Once I finished, we dropped into Starbucks because 80F weather made Naddy thirsty. I was fine, but that's because I don't drink, like, ever. Finally, we rode the rails back to school, and now I'm waiting for 7:00pm so I can head to physics. I knocked out 2 1/3 drawings, so it was definitely a productive trip overall.

As costly as the transit can be, I do prefer days in DC over spending 12 hours a day with the same 10 people in the architecture building, living entirely off of cheesesticks, black tea, and those really good biscuits from the diner.

For the sake of relating this back to horses, here's progress .gif I did based on Kent Farrington's stable in Wellington.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Anotha' one

I just can't stay away from grey geldings.
image from Pinterest
Yesterday was my first time riding Ajax. He's basically Max but scaled up a bit, like 1 to 2 hands. For such a chunk of a horse, he actually didn't feel that huge. Sure, my hips complained a bit, but otherwise, we were good. He's a slow, plodding, smooth ride. His head got in my face a couple of times, which is the exact opposite of rootin' tootin' Oscar. So yeah, everything from the last month did not apply here.

Besides my bad habits, of course. I will say that I 100% did look up through my canter transitions. We also made it through a gymnastic, which has always proven to be difficult for me on literally any horse except Baby. Even on Baby, it was often questionable. Otherwise, the big things were keeping my fingers closed, picking my hands up, and keeping my leg under me when jumping.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Another Big Gray Gelding

We'll call this one Moose.

As aforementioned, Oscar has been my main squeeze for the past two lessons. I've been starting to figure him out more, but he makes my bad habits waaayyy more obvious. Thanks for nothing, horse.

October 1st

After not riding the previous week due to other obligations, I was just thrilled to have a complete flatwork drilling ride. Can you taste the sarcasm? Because I can. Lots of no stirrup work, transitions, some counter canter, and, of course, swapping horses. I ended up on Penny and Linus as well, but most of the ride was spent on Oscar.

It was my first ride in the new saddle, and, not gonna lie, I had some reservations about it. Listen, friends, if you buy a CC saddle, expect a CC saddle. I also have to wrap my stirrup leathers because apparently 18 year olds can't have normal length legs. Final point of complaint: it squeaked. It squeaked so much. I have gone through one round of needsfoot oil, and round two is happening today.

He is perfect and can do no wrong
But, whatever, that's that. The sitting trot was much easier in a saddle that fit me. Oscar was a bit speedy in the indoor, but he really does respond to the half halt. I just had to do it often. We struggled a lot with the counter canter going to the left, but I also struggle with getting his right lead in general, so that's something to work on for the future. Looking up during the canter transition is also a major issue right now.

October 8th

We rode outside, God bless. Fall has settled in aggressively nicely, but we're still getting into the sixties during the afternoon. I did break out the flannel, though.

Someone kicked Oscar's butt earlier in the day, and he was not happy about being brushed. I had wanted to use a different square pad, but since somebody was being a Mr. Grumpy Gills, I opted for the BoT pad we usually use. Our ride was actually pretty good except two little bits.

Dirtier than he looks
First off, the right lead. Again, my balance still isn't where I want it to be, and, psychologically, the thought of being in pain from poor balance just makes me not want to go to the right. To add to this, Oscar's right side is his weak side. Consequently, getting the right lead is tricky, and maintaining a balanced right lead canter is even trickier. It got just a tiny bit run-off-ish, maybe? The fir
st part of the solution is to not let the Moose drag me down, but, like, I'm small. He is a moose. Believe me, I'm trying, but it's more of an easier said than done type thing.

Second, he rushed to the fences a bit as well, which is easy to correct after the fence, but it should probably be corrected before the fence. The solution is the same: shorten reins, sit up, whoa. The physiology is also the same: tiny human, weak hands, large horse, sore from arm day.

He looks the best from this angle
It would be awesome if I could ride more than once a week since these fixes mainly require repetition, but I wasn't born rich or with a license.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Imagine college, but easier

It actually does exist, and it's called "freshman year" if you're an architecture student. It was so easy last semester to get into a posting routine. I was basically going for every other day, but the past month and a half, I've just been asking myself "When are you gonna get around to updating that blog of yours?" Well, today is the day.

Me, constantly - image from WRAL Sports Fan
It's been busy, to put things lightly. 17 credits was a breeze a year ago, especially considering the fact that I had two joke classes that I had to get out of the way. This year? Nope. Nada. Not a chance. I wish I could say that physics is my joke class, but then I'd have to know what I was doing. Which I don't. The remaining 14 credits include one course for my honors certificate and then four architecture specific courses. I assure you, I'm learning things. My hand drawing has improved by miles, too. I'm just stretched a bit thin, and some professors are really testing my patience.

*avoids architecture w/ more architecture*
On the bright side, I've pulled through. Good food, good friends, and stress crying keep me going strong.

Pony wise, the eq team is still a thing. Due to changes in the structure, I opted not to join the Eventing Team full time, but that means I can devote more time to other things, such as the eq team (and also all my homework, and also the short story I'm working on, and also the continued search for a lease horse, and did I mention I'm also pledging a frat?). I've basically been riding Oscar every week, and I might have some ride recaps for y'all sometime this week.

Phone, meet Muzzle
Other assorted good news:
    - I bought a saddle, and it fits me
    - By chance, the saddle also fits Oscar decently
    - The half pad also got here, but it shipped to my house house, so I can't pick it up until November
    - I've gained several close friends over the last 1.5 months
    - There's a place down the street from campus with really good shrimp fried rice

Also, quick little promo: the Eq Team is currently doing a fundraiser with Yankee Candle, and I'm not saying that you should buy from us, but it would be greatly appreciated (also, you should buy from us). Use my shop link to start browsing. Sidenote: a lot of seasonal stuff is up right now, and they make awesome holiday gifts.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Possible Lease Pon #1

Meet Oscar

Except, we already know Oscar.

But on the flip side, we don't know Oscar as well as we thought.

And by we, I mean me.

"Stop blabbing, woman"
I rode Oscar for the first time a little under a year ago, and I remember feeling quite comfortable with him. I can say with 99% certainty that he was comfortable with me too; this horse is unflappable. He's an OTTB, and while he does get a bit speedy while cantering in groups, you literally just have to whisper "whoa" and immediately he's right back with you.

It's because of this that I strongly considered him as my lease horse for next year. Unfortunately, his chances of coming home with me were shot after the very first lesson. A fellow team member told me about all the issues Oscar had and still has. He was only used twice in my lesson last year. The first time was when he being ridden by someone else (and subsequently broke her wrist or elbow or something in that general area). The second time he was used, I started out on him. I couldn't sit his trot, but he was nice otherwise. Those big brown eyes are relaxing. From those who rode him often, he was "unpredictable" and generally a mess over fences with lots of, um, playing afterwards. Over the summer, he went away for six weeks to learn a thing or two, and his owner rides him once a week while he's also used in lessons.

"Couldn't hear you. I was too busy not caring :/"
Even after learning all that, I was still 100% willing to give it a shot, and guys, this horse is a complete goof. I can't get over his temperament. In the span of two hours he:

  • didn't want to move out of the way when I tried to open his stall gate because moving is hard
  • required my assistance to put his foot down after being picked out
  • sniffed several butts while we were in the ring
  • basically had to be kept away from the group because he wants to be everyone's friend, but not everyone is friendly
  • licked the barrels
  • picked up a barrel when he decided licking wasn't sufficient
  • put in the smallest chip ever (i.e. I have no idea how to jump)
  • managed to keep walking with me despite grabbing grass every few steps
  • tried to eat everything within reach
  • became very offended when I dared to play with his mouth, but took it back immediately and put all his weight on me for a short nap (he is huge, guys)
  • picked up his grain pan and threw it around, demanding that someone feed him after his very long and challenging ride with me

He's a complete ham.

"That's Prince Ham, to you"
He rode extremely well, too. I still couldn't sit his trot, but in my defense, the saddle I had today was quite small for me and too wide for him. I was basically sitting on his withers with no cantle to move back to. What fun. The saddle also caused some issues at the canter because, again, couldn't get back, especially when he had his forward moments. Most of my struggles were actually in how long to keep my reins. He does better in a shorter rein, but he's literally so disinterested in everything that if you ride him on a long rein, he's just so whatever about it. He's not completely soft in his jaw either and has a tendency to hang, which made me a bit unsure about my hands.

He jumped awesomely, too. He gets a bit quick and heavy if you don't have enough contact, but it's not even a run away kind of quick, more like a "I'm a big horse and you're not keeping me together" quick.

Not kidding about this saddle. Also, what a nice, all white tack set.
Basically, Oscar put up with my shit for an hour, and I owe him my life. He's not going to be the horse I take home to the parents, but he'll be a huge confidence builder for me. This certainly isn't the last y'all will see of him.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...