Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Saint Laurent Shades

Saint Laurent Shades

1. Yves Saint Laurent Retro Browline Sunglasses
2. Barneys New York Trouser Belt
3. Samshield Shadow Matt Helmet
4. "World's Okayest Eq" Tee
5. De Niro Ottaviano Boot
6. Horze Grand Prix Self Patch Breeches

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Be Mine, Valentine

Valentine's day? In July (almost August)? Not quite, but if you fancy a lady equestrian, you might want to ditch the chocolate next year because there's something even better.

Valentine Equine is a line of luxury show apparel established on the island of Bali in 2013. They create a variety of equestrian items that are meant to be both beautiful and practical. While they do have yearly collections available, you can also have items custom made. Valentine offers a number of fabrics to choose from, all imported, some even from top designers.

While the show shirts and jackets may not fit into the traditional American show scene, 1) who cares, wear it anyway, 2) if they don't like it then school in it and share lots and lots of pictures, and 3) there are still other items that allow you to dress the part.

They also have an After Riding section with some pretty cute scarves!

At this point, why wait until Valentine's Day? "Early Christmas Present" has quite the ring to it.

All images are from the Valentine Equine website

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Digging & (Google) Searching

And it didn't yield a ton of information, but I have some history on Music now.

So, I was wrong about her age. She's 23 this year. Talk about old lady. She's also a part bred, which is surprising considering how full she is.
from Mid-Atlantic CB Show Series
from White Horse Productions
Her sire, Ramblers Renown (above), was pretty renown in the Cleveland Bay world. He was imported from Canada and became a well sought after stallion at IdleHour Stud. From Chronicle of the Horse:
Ramblers Renown (Fisherman--April Love) arrived at Thomas and Marilyn Webster's IdleHour Stud as a foundation stallion in 1989 upon the recommendation of Alexander Mackay-Smith, who was the first person to import Cleveland Bays from England in the 1930s.
For years, Marilyn rode Ramblers Renown in the local hunts and eventing competitions, earning many top honors. In 1998, Ramblers Renown won the Purebred Cleveland Bay Performance Award, and either he or his offspring have won the award every year since then.

Ramblers Renown continued his breeding career right up until a year before his death and currently has more than 100 offspring on the ground, many of which exemplify their sire's attractive conformation, jumping ability and braveness. He sired Idlehour McHenry, a fourth level dressage horse and winner of the beginner novice at the 2006 Wellpride American Eventing Championships (N.C.), and seven MFHs are currently hunting Ramblers Renown offspring.
What's also interesting to note is that Idlehour McHenry is Music's full brother.
Music didn't do a whole lot in terms of competition besides dressage, but she has a bunch of babies, one of which, Belladonna Quasar, is standing at stud right now.
from Magnific Sporthorses
Here's another baby, Dutch Timber, the Upperville Horse Show 2015 Cleveland Bay Champion.
from Mid-Atlantic CB Show Series
There are no more babies in Music's future (at least I don't think, but she's had quite a bit, so I think she's done), but I'm fortunate to have a horse like her to work with.

I also did find the Mid-Atlantic Cleveland Bay Show Series, and those shows are definitely a possibility for next year. If the foals are doing well, might as well bring out the mother ship herself.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Asmar Tops

Asmar Tops

1. Asmar Quilted Stable Vest
2. Asmar Active Compression Top
3. Harrys Horse Bounce riding breech
    no longer available
4. Mondoni Kingston tallboots
5. Polo shirt
    no longer available
6. Salentino 01
7. HKM Sports Equipment
8. FixDesign Alcantara Breech

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hey canter poles

Go be difficult somewhere else.

Yup, catering over poles is still an issue except this time it's rhythm and staying on the correct lead. If I needed proof that Music is getting more fit, this was it. She powered over those poles after a solid workout. Her transitions are getting better and better. Now to work on maintaining the canter.

The trot continues to come along, and the walk is, well, it is. We don't have a good marching walk, which it's surprising because she'll get pretty forward at the trot and canter if I ask her to (and if I don't ask her to).

I'd say warm-up was more brutal today than the actual ride. There were airplanes and ladders and back strokes (personal fave) and that windmill toe touch thing that makes me feel like a broken old lady. Yeah, my shoulders ache, but they'll be softer in due time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Picking up the tempo

Music's rhythm is becoming more consistent with each ride, so now Miss El is having me pick up the pace a bit. She's not as out of shape as she was a month ago. It's time for real work to begin. It's pretty easy for us to get the pace going at the trot and maintain it, but the walk is still pretty weak.

Along with moving up at the trot, she's having me ask Music to come onto the bit, which Music does sometimes, but her preferred place is with a slight droop in the reins. In reality, that is fine for hunters and pleasure, and she can do that whilst performing a solid gait, but it's not contact, which I need for, well, everything else. Once I shortened my reins and picked up more contact, she immediately wanted to stop, and it took a lot of leg and softening before she settled into my hands. The big thing is softening (in general, actually) because Music is the type of horse that pulls back when you pull on her.

Bending was still the main issue for today, but she is getting better. It's more me trying to figure out how to get the correct bend. Baby was much easier, even if that right bend took an eternity to accomplish.

The canter transitions were better, as well. As aforementioned, softening came up more than once. I'm still half seating to get off of Music's back, but, while my hands and arm are giving and following, I'm riding defensively with my upper body (wow, I wonder why), and I apparently look like I'm ready to fight. I need to pull my shoulders back, take a deep breath, let my weight flow down to my legs, and just freaking chill. Easier said than done.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July #HeelsDownChallenge: Riding Dreams

The upcoming NAJYRC are behind this month's HDM challenge: What's your biggest riding dream or goal?

Well, I have a lot of big goals and big dreams, some long term, some short term. The goal of competing in the 3' adult amateur equitation next year is slowly slipping into dream territory, however IHSA might give me that opportunity as we are all adults, it's only open to amateurs, I can compete at 3' (skill depending), and it's equitation, so boom.

Long term dream is to be able to ride at the Grand Prix levels in both jumping and Dressage. That's all dependent on if I can find someone who can teach me properly (looking right at you Dressage because this modern, backwards, nose to chest, back like a ladle nonsense has got to end).

My absolute biggest goal is eventually having my own stable(s) to train out of, but the Olympics are a close second.

The queen keeps my dream alive

Friday, July 10, 2015

Don't stop unless told to rest

The work ethic was lacking yesterday evening. Music was trying to walk at every chance she got, like, c'mon, I thought we were kind of friends.

We continue to work on the rhythm, and with how much she lags, I think it's fair to assume that we have relaxation (for the most part). Miss El was getting on me about getting Music to bend and use my inside leg rather than hanging on the outside rein, which has become a habit. It took a lot of circles, leaving the arena twice, and a lecture before we started getting some good bends.

The canter was better in terms of transitions, although we did have two missed leads. We could maintain it for almost a lap before she broke, but I will admit that I was squeezing my knees and not sinking into my heel as much as I usually do.

Miss El then set up trot poles with the goal being to come at them calmly with the correct tempo. They got rolled out a couple of times before she put up a small vertical. Took my first jump with the Hippo. We took the fence four times before calling it a day and heading in. Very productive if I do say so myself.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Laine Did It

Laine Ashker, that is, because she is endlessly stylish.

Laine Did It

1. Kate Spade Gramercy Grand Pave Bracelet Watch
2. Roeckl Micro Air Gloves
3. C4 Belt Buckle
4. J.Crew Slim Secret Wash Shirt in Large Gingham
    sold out
5. FITS PerforMAX Laura Full Seat Breeches
    no longer available
6. IRH Elite Extreme Riding Helmet
7. C4 Belt
8. Horze Roller Ball Spur
9. Horze Bavaria Tallboots

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

After a half hour of walking

This week for me started with a two-day college orientation, which was surprisingly enjoyable despite my bother's rant. The architecture school is small, only 200 students in total, and my orientation group only had three people. There were a number of awkward silences on the first day, but we got to be pretty friendly by the end of it all.

Scheduling was done on Tuesday morning. I planned out my days to start no earlier than 9am. My latest class ends at 5:50pm, but it's only once a week. What's the significance of it all? Well it pretty much means that I can easily do afternoon lessons almost any day of the week, and if I have something else to do, I still have weekends.

After scheduling, we did some housekeeping items, and the group didn't mind taking a trip past the campus barn.

I stopped by after the orientation was over. It took me a half hour to find again (in that Maryland heat and humidity), but I did get there, and I talked to the barn manager about the equestrian club (different from the team). There are various types of memberships. I'm looking into it in the event that the team takes up too much time. It's a convenient back up, and it's less expensive. We'll see. I have just under two months of freedom left.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Attempting self discipline again

After thinking deeply about having a super lazy ride last week when the original plan was to actually work, I've kicked myself in the butt about, essentially, getting shit done. I've lost quite a bit of confidence since IEA ended, so getting back to that point is my goal with Music. Miss El is also giving me homework for my free rides, and she was in the ring this week. Couldn't take a free day.

Music is getting a lot better about her face, and I was able to walk up to her stall on both days without her backing up or getting nervous. She had her ears pricked forward, waiting for a treat.

Our lesson on Tuesday was pretty heavy work, lots of two point and just general fitness. We did the extension/collection exercise that Miss J had us do a while ago, except this was much simpler because Music is so out of shape. She's not half bad at maintaining either gait, but the transition needs work because it's not very relaxed. It took quite an effort to canter, and we didn't get the left lead at all, but by that time she was pretty warn. In Miss El's words, "She's an old fat lady." Can't do much about that except what we're doing.

My instructions for Wednesday were to do exactly what we did during the lesson. Of course there were variations such as a lot more breaks (mainly for myself) and a lap of trot around the track. I did get the canter transitions on the first try both directions. Boo yah!

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