Showing posts from 2014

2k14: A Review

It's about that time of year when we start to turn over a new leaf but only after looking back over things one more time. It was a big year. I did a lot, and I came a long way, and I learned a heck of a lot of things. The medal was probably the big ticket item. Some part of me wishes that I hadn't done it because the finals were terrible, but you can't change the past, and I'm excited to do it again next year. I'm also glad that I was able to have lessons with Miss El, and I'm super glad that I have the new boarder to help me further that knowledge. Ah, yes, stretchy stretchy Not to mention, joining IEA is undoubtedly one of the best decisions that I have ever made. There has been such a huge change in my riding. It's unbelievable. Now for the real review, the goals/bucketlist checkoff: ✔Achieve acceptable flat and over fences equitation Yes, this was actually achieved, but only after slumping through the summer. ✔Get champion in one d

Product Review: Tredstep Symphony No. 4 Nero Breeches

Sometime back when I had picked out a dress to order for the awards banquet this year, I decided that I also needed a pair of breeches, so I asked my mom for her credit card and splurged on a pair of Tredsteps. I needed a pair of French Blue breeches. Every collection must have a pair of French Blue breeches. In reality, the breeches were Slate Blue, which is about a shade or two lighter than French Blue, but close enough, and the breeches were true to color. I actually got the right size this time, too. When the breeches arrived, and I tried them on for the first time, I was disheartened. Both pairs of my Tredsteps are made of a stiff fabric, and the ankles are worse than skinny jeans. They felt very tight, but I'm not one to quit on the first try. The next day, I donned them to the SATs and then to the barn. After a three hour test, and hour and a half on a horse, then a two hour conversation, I have no complaints. I don't know what happened. I don't know if the

No, trainer. Bad trainer.

Perhaps I am over reacting, but there's something to be said when you suddenly get put on the most stereotypical pony after riding mainly horses for two months. I guess I should have seen it coming, and I know it's for my own good; I don't exceed the height limit for ponies at the IEA shows, therefore, I should be able to control the little beasts while also looking good. Still, I was not pleased. The pony in question is Christopher Robin. He's a short, fat little thing, and he would have rather pinned his ears and continued eating than be pestered by my tacking up process. Honestly, he is so fat, I couldn't believe how easy it was to put the girth on. It had to have been a 52". He was easy enough to tack up, and he stood nice and still while I got on and adjusted everything. Part of my minimal excitement to ride him is due to how he acts with other riders (just like Rosie). He is the definition of sass. I must have caught him on a good day. Warm-up comm

Also, the long awaited

After almost a month of saying that we'd ride together, I still didn't get to ride with the new boarder this weekend. Instead, she stayed after she rode to help me out. Sometime while I was finishing up with the pasture, she managed to catch her horse and get to the indoor without me noticing, so it was a surprise to see her when I took Baby out. Queen B was feeling forward, probably due to the fact that she hasn't been ridden regularly in a few weeks (Miss S has no more lessons in December). I guess it helped a bit because she wanted to be forward, but we kept passing that line between energetic walk and a jig. We worked on the bottom tiers of the training pyramid: consistent forward motion with energy (rhythm), suppleness, bending (which tied into the suppleness), and contact (also tied into the suppleness). We did a lot of work at the trot with lots of circles, but the idea was that I needed to take what I was doing in the circles and apply it on the rail so that my

Giveaway Winners!

  Because I forgot to do this two days ago, the winners of the giveaway have been drawn and notified. On Instagram, Maddie J. won the saddle pad. On tumblr, crest-release won three, hand made bridle charms. And the grand prize winner of the Horse Show Essentials tote was Kellie K. Congrats to everyone! Stay tuned for the next giveaway (maybe in February, maybe in January, I can't decide anymore).

And now I've jumped into a crossroad

But it does suggest opportunity, which I love. Despite temperatures only reaching the high thirties, we still had a lesson today. God bless wool socks and winter boots. I rode Corbin again, but I used Miss J's saddle which has those composite flex stirrups. We had slightly more energy today than last week, but we were still lagging (seriously, the ponies were passing us), so Miss J let me use the spur. I wasn't allowed to sit my canter for the most part; it was all about getting him forward and moving with energy. Last week, I was a lot more stiff as well, which made it difficult for me to use my legs and hold him up in the corners, so today he clearly remembered. It's a good thing that we did the circles in every corner otherwise we would have destroyed our corners when we jumped. Miss J also had us work on double posting. I'd honestly rather not. I'm so used to rising and sitting for the same amount that I couldn't relax into a up two, sit one rhythm, so w

December's 10 Questions

It's the first day of break, and I am already slacking, and I am already bored with my slacking, so here's a post about something. 1. What size horse do you prefer to ride? Anything larger than Twister size is okay.   2. Do you school in tall boots or half chaps and paddock boots? I school in my precious and ever loved half chaps, although I did wear my tall boots all through last show season (mainly cause I bought them in April and thought I could show without breaking them in first). 3. What do you do with your ribbons after shows? Um, well, I fawn over them for half of the car ride, then they get thrown into a show box. BUT I'm working on getting them out of the shoe box. I'm trying to get a mesh sheet to hang on my wall. I think the ribbons will look lovely up there. 4. Do you ride/board at a large show barn or a small private barn? Depends, which barn? They're both smaller show barns, but Miss S was thinking about expanding this past summer. I'

Product Review: Equestrian Home Accessories CC Baroque Saddlepad

My, what a mouthful. A while back, as I was making sets on Polyvore, I came across a site selling some very unique saddlepads. Of course, no saddlepad collection is complete without a patterned pad, so I got myself a nice Venetia pad.   I waited maybe three days before it showed up in the mail (website said 5-10 days, so I was happy). I was honestly expecting a basic, navy blue square pad with some moderately shiny threads, ya know, your average saddlepad, just prettier. I was surprised to see that the blue on the pad was actually cords of a velvety material. "Moderately shiny" is an insult to the threads on this pad. Close up of the material Long story short, the thing is gorgeous, and it fits very well under the Stubben. The filling is slightly thicker than my other square pads—with most of those pads being Rider's International pads from Dover. It isn't thick enough to impede saddle fit in the slightest, and the filling itself is soft to press agains

The real real IEA experience

Because no matter how many times I ride a new horse at home, nothing quite compares to hanging out in the cold for 12 hours and then stubbing your toe on a piece of metal in an attempt to warm up. It still hurts. Our first IEA show was yesterday. Needless to say, it was freezing. It was supposed to get up into the 50s, but the wind built up a bit during the warm part of the day. Either you sat in the sun, or you huddled like a penguin. There was no in between. We all convened at the farm around 7:30. The horses started schooling a little while after, but the show didn't start until after 10:00. Cas and Izzy were the first two to do their jump courses, and they got first and fourth respectively. After, they went, I waited maybe another hour or so to draw. I got Willow. Some time later, I got on for warm-up. As usual, I was nervous. I was shaking, yawning, and nauseous—I had to force feed myself a bagel on the drive to the barn. I was pretty stiff while warming up, but I relax

Feels like the before finals fear fest

I'm currently at the hotel retyping a post that was ready to be published before my tablet decided too freeze up and shut down. If you hear a tinge of annoyance in my tone, that is why. We had a lesson today with the whole team, all the flat and jump riders. I was on Corbin. We warmed up together, then we all did a mock flat class. Corbin was behind my leg and unfocused the entire time. There was no forward. Our pyramid had no base. The canter transitions were horrid. We did the crossbar at the trot and canter, and suddenly Corbin had energy. Miss J reminded me to keep my butt closer to the saddle since Corbin has a flatter form over fences. We did a line, too. The first time through, the first fence, an oxer, wasn't the best. I had a good tempo up until a few strides before. I picked a good distance, a bit long but doable, but I looked down, so we chipped, then we had to straighten out, and we were still straightening over the second fence. The second round through wa

Apparently Distance December is a thing

Yeah, I suck at distances. No stirrup work is easy. Seeing something that's not there sounds like witchcraft if you ask me. I was assigned to ride The Barbie/Cow, Rosie, on Sunday. I've seen other girls ride Rosie, and she hasn't exactly been the most, um, controllable mount. I know I need to learn how to ride more difficult horses, but can't I push that off until later? On the ground, Rosie is as laid back as they come. She was super quiet when I groomed and tacked her. Not to mention, my fancy saddlepad matched her coat nicely, and I got to ride in the Wintec. I was already nervous when I got on, and I tried to keep my cues as light as possible. She was actually great. We did our warm-up, and there were quite a bit of times where she completely relaxed and stretched down. She responds well to leg, too—which is nice considering that she loves to cut corners—but she isn't over reactive. Things got not so nice when we started to canter. A few strides in going t

Waiting for things to happen

I know I have an upcoming private lesson on Baby, and I know that I'm going to put on a show, and I know that I'll get to ride with the new boarder sometime, but "When?" is the real question. I know for sure that I will, in fact, be going to my first IEA show next weekend. Our entries are in and the hotel is booked. Unfortunately, I have just learned that there will be a practice that Saturday before we all leave, and Miss S's Christmas Barn Party is that day too, and they are likely to be happening at the same time. I'm probably not going to be able to clean the pasture next weekend. Speaking of which, while I was cleaning today, the new boarder was showing her parents (I think they were her parents) around the place, and we caught up, and I told her that I could ride with her next weekend, completely forgetting about the show and the lesson and the party. Hopefully I'll be free the weekend after next. Chess booping Carolyn I'm also still tr

The end is near

No Stirrup November is almost over, which means my thighs can get a break, but it's just a little break considering that Miss J still puts an emphasis on stirrupless work. At least I'll have them when we jump. I was on Ginger/Glitter/Matilda today. We did our usual two-point at the walk and trot plus some rising trot with stirrups. I want to take a minute to appreciate the irons that I used today. I've already explained my dislike for the flex stirrups since they make my heel go down to an awkward position. The irons I used today were somewhere in between flexible and traditional irons. They were mostly composite with a small, flexible section towards the bottom. Perfection. Ginger/Glitter/Matilda was quite hollow and lazy today, and she didn't want to move off of my leg or bend in the corners. It was lots of circles and square corners, but she did surprise me with a very nice leg yield. We did a little bit of jumping. Took the cross rail both ways, then we did thre

Not Wordless Wednesday cnt'd

There's more to yesterday than just that lesson. I spent the whole day at the barn, which I haven't done in a while. Miss S let me ride Molly in her last lesson, and I essentially became a textbook figure, which I love. Molly was awesome. At first, she was her typical looky, inverted, unrelaxed self, but she settled down quickly. When she did, I got in my two-point. I stayed up until Miss S started teaching the other two. I just followed along. It was all walk and trot, then we did the line, just trotting through it, and Molly was the bomb. We also did the entire course two times. There were moments where she wasn't as laid back or where she resisted me, but it was great for the most part. It's actually a lot better for me to ride Molly in beginner lessons. I'm not very confident on her; I'm a lot more nervous and tense on her than I am on other horses, so doing the basic stuff helps me to loosen up. It prevents me from over facing myself. When I stopped rid

I wish I could do a Wordless Wednesday

But there is literally so much that happened today that I can't be satisfied unless I say it all. Quick summary if you're in a rush: I rode four horses, Molly was awesome, and I jumped 3'0". Long, drawn out version: I opted to join the group lesson today instead of having the private on Monday. It worked out better, actually. I got there super early to help Miss S set up everything that I wanted to do: Swedish Oxer, gymnastic, narrow fence, and a four stride line. Simple stuff. I wasn't too enthusiastic about moving the poles, though. A lot of them are wooden and heavy, and it was cold and rainy today, literally the two worst weather related things that could happen. We got everything set up, then I head out to bring Baby down to the indoor and tack her up. I got on and just two-pointed until Miss S had us pick up a trot. We did basic posting, sitting, and two-point at the trot, then some no stirrup work. After that, we did the outside line a couple of times

The real IEA experience

More like the real reason I should do Western Pleasure. I'd venture to say that I'm better off going slow and not jumping things. Since we didn't go to a show today, we, instead, had a show. Miss J and Miss Jan decided to do a mock show for us. We watched all the horses get schooled first by J² and Sam. It seemed that everyone was feeling their oats today, with the exception of Twister and Leo. When it came time to draw names, I got Twister, and I thought myself to be lucky. All I had to worry about was getting her to move forward and not not duck right. Simple. No, not simple, not simple at all. I messed up both warm-up fences because of unclear signals and bad timing. Miss J had us pick a number 1 through 20 to see who would have to do the course first. I picked 16. The number was 17. I hate the number 16 now. The only jump that really bothered me was the first one, a gray wall. Twister took it nicely. We came around and took a left turn to the bending line. The first

I'm worn

I'm busy, busy, busy. After (FINALLY!) getting my phone replaced and working, I was able to head to the barn today carefree. I cleaned the pasture with the intent to ride so I could try out my new saddle pad. I knew there would be lessons, and I thought Baby was going to be used, so I asked for permission to ride Chess. I was allowed. My precious I tacked him up in the small barn and let him munch on a bit of hay to keep his attitude about me positive. On the walk down to the indoor, I noticed that both the pad, the charm I made for his bridle, and my pants all matched. Blue polos would have really brought it all together. I got on and did some two pointing. Miss S had a lesson going on, so I stuck to the rail. When I started to trot, she noticed that Chess was off in the front. She had me work him in circles to put him back on his hind end, but I suck at doing that, and Chess's muscle is so minimal that he sucks at it too, so we spent 10-15 minutes just going around doing

I dare you

I do consider myself to be rather traditional when it comes to show attire. Dark coat, plain shirt, black accents, it's what I prefer. However, after being in the hunter world for so long and itching to be in the jumper one, I've come to crave the non-conservative. Clearly, eventers know what's up. Maybe Amanda C will let me switch lives with her next year so I don't have to go through another conservative season. Photo from Even the Dressage ring is beginning to step way out of the box. Animo Coat, photo from Of course, being a fan of Style My Ride doesn't help much. Their sets are always different and flawless, and the Vincero Boot will grace my feet sometime in the distant future when I can justify having multiple pairs of tallboots that aren't for showing in.   The hunter/eq world needs to keep up with the times. I guess for bigger medals and more elite shows the traditions should certainly be ke

Bridle Charm Bonanza

At the start of this year, I was afraid that my job with my mom was coming to an end. I pay for all of my riding, so I panicked and started looking for a way to make money. I thought about starting a business with Fifi, and one of the items that I wanted to sell was bridle charms. My mom has a whole lot of leftover beads and supplies from when she used to make jewelry, so I had a lot to work with. My job lasted (I'm actually going to it in 15 minutes), but I still make the charms for fun. If you're planning on entering the tumblr category of my giveaway , you can pick from any of the charms below plus the charms in the original post. That's a total of 11 charms to choose from, and you can pick any three. If you want something custom, just tell me. I'll see what I can do.