Monday, April 27, 2015

Forgive me, for I have sinned

The whole equestrian trend thing is still prevalent in today's fashion, although much of it has hit the clearance rack at Polo Ralph Lauren. Of course, my mom and I had to make a stop at the outlets after my lesson (of course). I'd say I was the best dressed person in the store (complete with barn scented perfume).

I did make away with a few items: one yellow polo, one bright coral polo, . . . and a pair of jodhpur style leggings. Yes, I know I've probably broken some kind of equestrian cardinal rule, but these things are soooo comfy! The material is only slightly thinner than my TuffRiders. Aside from the fact that the knee patches are absolutely useless and kind of annoying, they'd work pretty well in the saddle. Not that I'm riding in them any time soon. Miss J would maim me. I paired them with a horse cardigan to keep up that equestrian vibe. Gotta say I was feeling pretty good today.

OOTD 4/27/15

On another note, the past couple of weeks, I've been working on a new plot, and this one is horse related. It's gonna be rather short, barely past a novella if I work it out right. I've been trying to stay away from writing about horses because 1) it often ends up being a summary of my riding career, and 2) I'm reminded of all my failed horse stories from middle school.

Just a heads up in case anyone wants to be a doll and do some editing for me. Feelers are always useful.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Trivial Todd; Bomb Babes; Stinker Stan

Can you tell that my alliteration is on point?

So, first, that lesson on Wednesday, kind of bummed that we didn't get to stay outside for the entirety of it. I had to ride Todd because Baby was being ridden by a someone showing this weekend. It was eh, so, so, nothing too exciting to talk about. We did quite a bit of back and forth between rising and sitting trot plus some half seat and no stirrup work. Todd is a special kind of behemoth, one that won't canter unless you get everything precisely right, so that didn't happen a whole lot, and, when it did, it took an effort. Then came the whole staying with him over a fence. The behemoth also has a special kind of jump. Imagine the flattest jump possible, make a graph out of the horse's topline, find the function that corresponds with that graph, then make a vertical compression by infinity. In simpler terms, he jumps flat. We did complete a course in the indoor that almost made up for the large amount of disagreements that held through most of the ride.

I got on Baby and Molly afterwards for little stuff, mainly to do one course on Baby, which was pretty good. Her left to right change is there, but right to left isn't there yet (and it might not ever be there considering her gait).

Poneh squishing

I rode her again on Saturday because she didn't end up going to the show. Again, eh. We were halfway there, halfway not. The flat work was great, and we had a number of good canter transitions. The right bend is coming along well. I had a 2' course set up, and I trotted a lot of the fences multiple times before putting everything together. The only issue was a line. It was a tight 4 . . . or long 3 as Baby thought. It wasn't so nice the first time through, but the other times were great, and she's halting very promptly after each fence. I had a 2'6" fence that we did once in each direction, then we cooled off. She was still a bit rushy, so I'm taking it back down to cross bars with ground poles, both trotting and cantering. I will say it was a ride worth skipping prom for.

So cute.

Today, I was greeted at the barn with a chorus of snickers because I was riding Stanley. Stanley is a, well, something, um, ex-stallion is all that I'm sure of. I think he had some training before Miss Jan got him, but I don't have a clear history. In any case, he's a handful, but at least he's a sweet heart. I guess I have a thing for grey geldings.

He's a pretty smooth ride, too. He likes a long rein and light contact, which I can't complain about. My biggest issue was getting him to bend and stay moving forward at the same time. I would place the inside leg on and ask him to bend, he'd slow down, I'd add some spur, he'd get very irritated because cues are confusing. Tbh, I get how you feel, Stan. This whole inside leg to outside rein thing still makes 0 sense to me.

Other than a very stressful red crossbar, Stanley was an absolute gem (considering). I was struggling with the whole keeping my foot in the stirrup thing today. It happens, right? I also figured out that investing in a pair of spurs might not be a bad thing because I will probably never get used to using Miss J's. I have baby ankles, apparently.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Sneke

I must say I've always been a fan of snakes.


1. H & M ribbed shirt
2. Diamond Snake Earrings
3. Maison Boinet Python Belt
4. Samshield Shadow Matt Helmet
5. Pikeur Latasha Contrast Ladies Breeches
6. Shires Fleece Lined Airflow Half Pad
7. Stubben S Portos Elite Saddle
8. Equine Couture Fleur De Lis All Purpose Saddle Pad
9. Petrie Superior Classic Riding Boots

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reversed Roles

I took a ride on the pony today. There's a show this weekend that I'm not doing, but I still need to meet some kind of ride quota, so I went out today, and I have a lesson tomorrow. Baby was being used, which means I can't get to the coop until next week. I also have a gymnastic that I want to set up, something simple. I've been watching Laine Ashker's videos on Instagram. Can you say inspired? Of course, I can't do anything big, but poles are amazing.

Simple stuff
I didn't do anything too complicated, mainly walk and trot with some canter to the right and two 8" fences. It seemed like the entire time, she was focused on everything else, looking everywhere, going in every direction . . . I couldn't have cared less. I guess it's good that I can keep myself in some kind of working state of mind while I'm on her, but, ya know, a focused horse is always a blessing.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Winter Haul Reviews

A while back, my dad confessed to me that we almost moved to Texas shortly after I was born. Of course, that didn't happen. I'm still braving the Eastern Shore winter. In reality, it's not as bad as it could be, but I'd prefer a warmer climate.

Since I do have to layer up a bit, I actually got winterized gear this year. Now that winter is ending, and they have seen a full winter of regular use and abuse, here are condensed reviews for each.

Romfh Scandia Winter Knee Patch Breeches║
Winter breeches were the first absolute necessity. Winter tights under regular breeches didn't work at all last year, but these breeches have left me a whole lot happier. For the most part, the fit is great. They're fitted but not tight, and they are just the right length for me. They are small in the waist, so size up if you're in between. They have that crinkly material for the outer shell, which I don't like all that much, but the interior is a nice, warm, soft fleece. Plus, the pockets are deep, and my new phone is huge, so that's a plus. I only have to wear my tights when it's under 40°F, but I'm rarely at the barn when it's that cold. They're a solid 4/5 stars. 10/10 would recommend.
Horze Fleece Gloves║
Ah yes, my first bashing review. They're your average, run of the mill fleece gloves with a leather type palm. I planned to use them both for winter riding and for shows, but these things probably aren't going to make it past this season. They keep my hands kind of warm, but my fingers still freeze. Another issue is that all of the fingers are already tearing apart. Luckily, because of a coupon, the gloves were free, but I need to upgrade. Suggestions are appreciated. I'd say 3/5 stars. 5/10 would recommend.
Ariat Brossard Lace Paddock Boot║
I'm an Ariat junkie, I admit it. I needed winter boots that I could actually ride and work in, and the thing I wanted didn't have the price and size that I wanted, so I opted for these boots. They are the same quality that I expect and regularly receive from Ariat boots. The 4LR footbed has just the right amount of give for me. They are fleece lined, and the fit is fantastic. Like most winter boots, they are a bit bulky. With these, it's mainly in the ankle, and they look a bit odd under my half chaps. I'm also not a fan of the rounded toe, but I'll take comfort over aesthetics. 4/5 stars. 9/10 would recommend.

Horze Woolmax Socks DISCONTINUED
And here we see redemption. There is only one shoe that keeps my feet toasty, and that would be my Emus, but I can't ride in those (although I have in the past #born2bwild). Fortunately, I was able to purchase these socks, and they're definitely one of my top purchases. They are super soft and warm and have become a staple in all of my outfits, both in and out of the barn. They fit nicely into all of my shoes. I've never gotten cold toes in them. While these socks are no longer sold, Horze does carry a wool knee sock that might be similar in quality.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Healthy horses are happy horses

There are many ways to show love for your equine friend, but proper care is the best.
info-graphic is from Animal Health's How Healthy is your Horse?

Saturday, April 18, 2015


I'm glad I rode yesterday because today was horrid. The humidity sky rocketed after a light rain last night. By 9:30am, it was uncomfortably warm, but there were things to do, and they did get done. Car and the new boarder were riding today, too, and they tried to avoid the heat by riding early. Unfortunately, Charming was in the small outdoor, so they had to ride indoors. Just thinking about being in the indoor on such a hot day makes me uncomfortable.

I got the pasture done, despite wanting to fall over the entire time (probably had something to do with the fact that I skipped breakfast, but whatever), and Baby was happy to be bathed at the hottest point of the day. I didn't even bother with the whitening shampoo, just a simple bath, paying special attention to her legs, which are long overdue for a clip job. She's also not completely shed out, mostly, but not completely, so that was a bit frustrating.

Oh so clean
All in all, she's whiter than when I started.

In other news, I've been trying to think of different ways to raise funds for MAEF. Cas and I are planning on going, and so is Izzy, but I don't know if she just wants to tag along with us so we can be one big group. It just depends on how many people want to go. I've been meaning to talk to them, but life gets in the way. I also think I'll be able to show at 3' sooner than I originally planned, which will give me even more chances to qualify. I've got a little under a month until my first show, and, since Baby has been doing well, I'm going to try some more difficult fences (i.e. the coop) during my next ride. Everything I do is 2' and under. It's just a matter of keeping her calm and confident, and of course keeping myself calm and confident, but I'm about as calm as a squirrel on a sugar high.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Just call me CONvict

'Cause I'm keeping that stride CONdensed and CONtrolled, hehe.

I came up with that joke before I even got on today. Canter poles change me. The past two rides have been just like Wednesday, except we were outside and in the bridle. The big outdoor is concrete until the next rain, so the small outdoor has been my safe haven.

It's been quite a bit of work for both Baby and I, especially with the heat factor. Luckily, we've been spared with the humidity, but even the light long sleeve shirts are going to need to be retired soon. We're still getting a good amount of sweat, despite her being almost entirely shed out.

The biggest issue yesterday was focus. She was very looky on the spooky end of the arena, which is understandable, but then it extended past that end because everything outside of the ring is apparently very interesting. Once I got to the polework and the cross bar, it was me who was losing focus (and my leg). So, the first part of our ride was me keeping her together, and the second part was her wondering why I wasn't keeping it together. Oh well, we still got a trot over with good halts, and the poles were all fantastic.

I had some more fun afterwards too, which included two failed attempts at going over the crossrail. In her defense, we jumped towards the spooky end when I rode and away from it when I got off. Baby can't handle my indecisiveness.

Today was even better. She paid attention more, and every couple of laps, she would go past the spooky end without hollowing out and looking off into the distance. She's accepting the bit better and better with every ride, which is making me feel better about my hands, but I am still nit picking about them. She was quite behind the leg today. Maybe she's tired after three days in a row of real riding. I'm letting her break until at least Monday, but she's getting a bath tomorrow. A clean mammoth is a happy mammoth.

I used every pole available today. There were trot poles, canter poles, then trot poles to the crossbar, and a single canter pole in front of a 2' fence. Yeah, I'm upping the ante. I think doing the canter fence at the end of a ride during which she was entirely behind my leg is the main reason why she was so calm to it (and we got a super duper halt afterwards). I felt very secure over the fence as well, which is equally as important as her demeanor. I think going back to simpler things is letting her calm down about jumping. I am itching to get back in the big outdoor so I can continue trotting through the standards. Lord, let it rain.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Getting Ready For Spring

I will admit that this is a rather old set, made before spring even actually set in. I was being hopeful.

Getting Ready For Spring

1. High Line Seersucker Knee-Patch Riding Breeches
    no longer available
2. Cole Haan wide navy blue belt
    no longer available
3. Glove
4. The North Face Women's Impulse 1/4 Zip

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Don't let this end

I kind of just want to explode when we have rides this nice. Baby and I had a pretty serious workout today in the sidepull. I even did an extra lap of two point . . . in both directions . . . at the trot. Nothing can compare to these legs.

#rootd is pretty blue
 We did quite a bit of trot work, throwing in some trot poles, then a little walk break, then back to the trot poles. I had three going across the diagonal, then two on a corner that led into a line with another two trot poles and a crossbar at the end. I broke it up and did the corner first, then added the two, then finally the whole thing with the cross bar at the end and a halt. Perfect.

We cantered a bit after that. I did film today, but it stopped before the canter, which makes me really mad. My canter has been feeling a lot different lately, but different doesn't always mean correct, so I was trying to see what it looked like on tape. Technology is frustrating. My canter actually felt worse today than it has been feeling. Still, I would've appreciated some footage.

After doing the left lead, I did a crossbar on the diagonal to switch directions. Perfect trot over. I went into the cross bar/poles combination. Perfect. Picked up the right lead, did a lap, went over a single pole, halted. Perfect.

We messed around a bit at liberty after the ride. I got her to follow me over a crossbar, and at first she just wanted to walk over it, but the treats were convincing, so she trot over it the second time. Bless this horse.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

No, no, keep it simple, please

Swedish oxers and slanted verticals are not my thing, no matter how many distances Leo will take them from.

Now take into consideration that I experienced something pretty close to torture prior to jumping. I was physically done before we even cantered. As much as I'm loving the nice weather, it was pretty hot and humid on Sunday, and our lesson was at 1pm. Horses and riders all need to be getting into better shape as higher temperatures become the norm, so this lesson was a work out to say the least. We started out with our usual two-point at the walk and trot. From the very beginning, it was work. We two-pointed at the trot for 2-3 times longer than usual, then it was rising trot with circles in every corner, which also took longer, then it was back to two-point for many laps in both directions. Miss J said that Leo was moving with such little impulsion that he looked like he was dying. I think I was the more dead one of the two of us.

When we did finish the flatwork bootcamp, it was on to jumping, or should I say throw-your-body-as-far-over-the-fence-as-possible-ing. It was the same thing as the schooling on Saturday; equitation was not happening. The first course, with an accidental circle, gained an eventer-y label, while the next two lines were all about staying with the horse. Yeah, that still didn't happen. 2'6" looks a lot bigger on Leo than it does on Corbin. This jumping thing is nonsense. I am a Dressage queen at heart.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Broken Records

And broken wrists, probably, but never mind that. There was a mandatory schooling at the show grounds today, but thank God I didn't have to wake up any earlier than usual. I got to the barn just after 9am to help load horses and tack.

We started schooling some time around 11am. The weather was nice, just some gusts of wind at times. Baby flatted well, looking off at as many distractions as possible before settling down for the canter. I did a little hand gallop down the long side, but she wasn't too keen on maintaining that pace. I can't complain. I joined another group of kids in trotting over poles. It was all good until the second to last time when trot poles became canter poles in Baby's mind. Stop. Back. Retry. She was fine afterwards.

There was quite a bit of jumping at various heights, starting at 18" and slowly working up to 2', then 2'3", then 2'6", and finally the 2'9"-3' range for me. I had asked Miss S if I could just do a couple of fences at 3' cause, ya know, confidence, but that request was made hours before schooling, so, by that point, a half 3' course made more sense. When I say a half 3' course, I'm not kidding. One line was set to 3' all the way through, then there was a 2' to 3' line, then a 2' to 2'6" line, and finally a vertical that was maybe 2'9". Biggest issues were distances and equitation in general, but nothing that I don't have time to work on. There were three refusals for the whole day.

I have to say, this was a great way to celebrate my 4 year riding anniversary.

Friday, April 10, 2015

To spray or not to spray?

Fly spray, that is, and not even for flies, but for some nats with nasty manners (or should I say natsy manners? ahahahaha). I'd appreciate a mass decimation of the fly/knat/tiny flying bug population, but that would cause an environmental collapse, which is not okay, so the flies can live . . . for now.

Other than some talented face rubbing whilst trotting, Baby wasn't too bothered today. The new boarder even asked if the chiro had come out because Baby was moving better, but no, just the same old. I managed to get in a good ride before a storm hit. If you ever need a method to feel hella punk rock, ride under dark storm clouds.

ROOTD 4/10/15

I rode in the small outdoor and did a few simple poles at the trot. I trot a cross bar a couple of times. There were no trot overs today, but she maitained her pace and picked up a slow canter afterwards. Still, I added a halt each time. After that, I did a couple of lead changes through canter poles, plus a halt afterwards. It would've been one time, but she didn't exactly halt afterwards, so we did it again.

Oddly enough, when we were cantering over the poles, instead of speeding up, she extended her stride and manged to not fall on the forehand anymore, or else I would've been tossed back. Just an interesting thing I noticed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Troublesome Pantaloons

I didn't quite get the European sizing right, so my Harry's Horse breeches ended up being a bit big. It's not a super big size difference, but it's enough to bother me. After a couple of trips through the dryer, they are *almost* right. I think I'll leave them like this, though. I need some space for tucking in winter layers. The university equestrian club doesn't have an indoor ring; these pants will be an alternative to the Tredsteps.

#ROOTD still on point
Anyway, it did feel like Winter Part II today. On and off rain—and I mean on and off as in absolutely pouring and gentle mist—made for a cold, humid walk from the small barn to the indoor. I had to pull out the winter paddock boots, it was that serious. My sidepull is in and has now seen one use. Ordering different parts means that not everything was the same shade of brown . . . but Baby's brown fur is not the same brown as my skin, so I'll just use this bridle as a metaphor for our relationship.

Started out a bit hyped today, likely having to do with being in because of the rain, but I think she only jigged twice today. Whoop whoop! She settled down pretty quick and was quite lazy to trot. I got in some no stirrup and pole work (one line and an arc).

I also set up a cross bar in the center. We went over it both ways at the trot without her speeding up at all. She actually trot over it the first time, which I did not expect. It's all about the little things.

After that, it was canter work, which was okay, minus her downward transitions and my upward transitions. Shoulders back, dammit.

booty tho

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Dial it down a bit, Mother Nature

Or at least add a storm to that wind. Jesus can't ascend to heaven when he's getting tossed around like a plastic bag.

idk, I'm pretty mad about this wind
I still rode outside though because I'm stubborn as a mule and refuse to believe that the changing of seasons takes time it was still warm out, and the indoor wasn't gonna be comfortable to ride in. I came up with an idea to nip the rushing in the bud. Instead of having actual jumps, I put trot and canter poles between standards. Pole work is fun for us, and jumping isn't fun when it turns into a steeple chase, so when you combine the two, the positive and the negative cancel out, and then stuff happens, right?

Eh, it kind worked. It was fine when we trotted, but trying to canter the whole thing was pushing it, so the rest of this week will be trotting courses of trot poles, with the triple being the most important element. Seriously, of all the things to rush . . .

Not feeling the ketchup and mustard look
I did reset all the fences when I was done because everything was knocked over from yesterday's wind. That's just one thing I hate looking at: a dismantled jump course. I feel unaccomplished when I look at that. It just doesn't work for me. I did what I could call a "convenient" set up. Every fence had either a few poles or two poles and a filler (with some wiggle room in there) plus a ground line. I put one pole at 3'+ and another around 2' so Miss S can just take off the top pole and have a nice, low course. When the mammoth finally stops running at everything, then we'll be able to keep that top pole on.


Friday, April 3, 2015

There's no turning back

We rode outside twice this week. The jumps are (mostly) up in the big outdoor. I. Am. Ready.

And so is Baby, as I found out today. Room to move is, well, room to move, and boy did she move. Even in the indoor, she was rushing today, and there isn't any room for that. She started out pretty slow; Miss S had us do the same figure-8 from the last lesson at the trot and canter. Apparently, my canter is looking better, but it likely has to do with how relaxed I was. We cantered some poles (which is where the rushing started), then a gymnastic, which wasn't bad.

After that, we went to the outdoor and attempted a course, which required two one-rein stops. We tried it again, only a single one-rein stop, but I had to repeat two fences directly after. I think those last four fences of the second course were the only point in time where I had some sort of control.

Heavy hands returned, and blisters ensued. Everything was stiff, literally everything; I wasn't even breathing for the majority of both rounds.

She was much calmer yesterday in the big outdoor. I think when we go out there all she has on her mind is jumping, and when she has jumping on her mind, she wants to go fast. We did only flat yesterday, and it was after a trail ride of only walking (minus her jigging).

Calm pon

When I think about it, she's kind of like Corbin: laid back for the most part, but a complete lunatic on occasion. Fear not, I won't start calling her Babinator when she runs off.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Five Fab Crxssover Comapnies

As warmer months linger in the near future, companies are slowly starting to release their new lines of items, and because I am so obsessed with fashion, I have kept tabs on who's doing what.

Unfortunately, other aspects of life tend to be intertwined with riding, especially on the scheduling side of things. For me, riding directly after work is the most ideal situation, and there are also times when I ride right after school, or I have something to do after riding, or my parents decide that I can only ride for 20 minutes before we go get pizza. There's almost no way to avoid situations where you have to go somewhere else in your riding clothes. Now that it's getting warmer and leaving your house to socialize with other people is a reasonable thing to do, here are a couple of brands that will help you go seamlessly from the barn to the not-the-barn.

The Fab Five Equestrian Crxss Overs

1. Lesebi Jewelry║
Lesebi is a fairly new brand that proved to be a perfect accent in last week's set. While they are not an entirely equestrian oriented company, they certainly bring equine elements into their brand. Their equestrian collection utilizes horse shoe nails and crafts them into unique, edgy, and rustic accessory. Looks aside, Lesebi has made an effort to bring sustainable labor to different tribes and villages in South America through the resources used to craft their jewelry. The designs have international influence, and it shows in the diversity of the brand. Lesebi is planning an expansion of their line in the upcoming seasons. Perhaps I'll have more to go with the dress that I can't have.

Photo from Lesebi lookbook
Photo from Lesebi lookbook
2. Kathryn Lily Equestrian║
Kathryn Lily, like one of my other favorite brands, dares to be different and throws some much needed color into the hunter ring (sorry guys, but the beige and navy look is killing me). They have both long and short sleeve shirts, as well as a shirt with a roll up sleeve. The Pro Air Polo and Color Competition Shirt are my personal favorites, but the collection has a lot more to offer. For the more conservative crowd, patterned collars on white shirts offer a bit of individuality while still being orthodox.

Photo from Kathryn Lily website
Photo from Kathryn Lily website

3. GhoDho Equestrian║
I've mentioned them once (maybe more than once), and I will continue to shed light on this brand until there are no bulbs left in the world. GhoDho combines fashion, function, and affordability into breeches that make a statement both in and out of the barn. The company has expanded greatly since my last post; they have a solid team of ambassadors, including esteemed junior rider Gia Rinaldi (who can rock that up do). A little birdie told me that GhoDho is also planning on launching a line of show clothing this year. Keep those eyes peeled!

Photo from GhoDho website
4. Style My Ride's Vincero Boots║
A little while ago, Style My Ride came out with a new type of boot that crosses over more lines than one. The Vincero Boot is a custom boot made especially for Style My Ride by the De Niro Boot Co. The Vinceros all feature interchangeable tops, which means that the boot can easily go from schooling to showing to work and to clinics (personally, I like contrast, but, ya know, "image"). Vinceros have all the same custom options as De Niro boots. As a plus, De Niro boots are well known for their durability, which I find extremely important if you're going to put that much money towards a boot. High quality and high fashion are a great mix if you ask me.

Photo from Style My Ride website
Photo from De Niro Boot Co. website
5. Mango Bay Design║
Before you buy that dyed leather belt because you need a little something to brighten up your #rootd, please let Miss Pamela Garrett show you a better way to accomplish your goal. Belts are a great way to add a pop of color to an outfit. Mango Bay has belts in many different webbing colors . . . 20 colors, if I counted right, not including patterned belts. Needless to say, your options are endless. The prints can come in a simple chevron, equestrian prints, or more abstract designs. Mango Bay also has hand dyed scarves available, and their style works great for riding (Miss J owns the scarf look while riding).

Photo from Mango Bay's Instagram
And because no Fashion Thursday is complete without a set:

Fab Five Set

1. Kathryn Lily Adult Long Sleeve Show Shirt
2. GhoDho Pamela Breech
3. Lesebi Twin Wrap Bracelet
4. Mango Bay Orleans H/J Belt, black on purple webbing
5. De Niro Boot S36A1/GBM

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Wait is Over: Spring charms are here!

Yes, the spring collection of charms is finally here! I don't care if it's still cold outside. The calendar says it's spring. Mother Nature will not control me. All of these charms will be available on eBay by tomorrow evening.

These charms are now $6 each with a 2 for $10 option on in person orders. Custom charms are now $8 each.

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