Showing posts from June, 2015

Just another unconventional

Except this one got technical. Introducing F.O.A.L., a North American equestrian apparel company that just hit the shelves of retail stores in February of this year. From the F.O.A.L. website, "Choosing a name for F.O.A.L was easy. It is the birth child, or foal, of Arista. Arista has been developing beautiful clothes for the equestrian market for over 25 years. Like a foal, the F.O.A.L brand is full of spirit, energy and promise. And F.O.A.L is an acronym for emotions we feel every time we are with our horses: Freedom. Optimism, Adventure. Love. Every piece of clothing we launch is designed with these four words in mind." F.O.A.L. has created a line of apparel that work with both the hunter, jumper, and schooling rings by skirting that fine line between traditional and modern. Their breeches are pretty simple with a slight twist on the knee patch shape. I'm a big fan of all the belt loops. The shirts require a double take because, hey, look at these beautie

It's all about rhythm

Every good song is based on a solid rhythm, just like every horse's training is (should be) based on the horse's rhythm (in conjunction with relaxation). I didn't have to work much on rhythm with Baby, however the relaxation part was a fairly constant issue, rearing its ugly head almost every ride, sometimes uglier than usual. With Music, it's the opposite. She's pretty relaxed almost all the time, almost too relaxed. You know how it's important to establish a forward, marching walk in order to create an energetic trot? That only happens sometimes. Other times, we're dogging or we break gait. Fun stuff. Nevertheless, the last two rides have been good ones. She's already gone up a girth hole; maybe now I can start using one that actually belongs to her owner rather than having to borrow. She also made it out on Wednesday with a longer workout and less sweat, though I think the cooler weather and cloud coverage made a difference. Thursday was a

This'll be new for me

My local show association is looking for donations for the medal & hunter derby finals (So if you have anything that you can donate to the prize buckets, let me know and I can get you an email!). I've wanted to put charms in each bucket for a while, but I thought it wouldn't be right if I was competing in it. Now that I'm not trying to qualify for anything, I have freedom, and so I decided that I'd put six charms in for one of the medals. Also, since the shirt turned out so well, I'm going to do tote bags, each with a different decal. They're all meant to be (more or less) funny. I would do shirts, but sizing and price are a big issue for me. I finished all six decals last night, but I don't want to share them just yet. I want them to be a surprise for all the winners. I do, however, have the next shirt design done. The best part about it is that while I was making it, my mom was looking over my shoulder, and I could just hear her repeating "

Fashion Thursday: The Parka

Okay, this is a little bit different than my usual Fashion Thursday, but bear with me. I think it'll be interesting. Parka (n) - par•ka /ˈpärkə/ : (as defined by Google ) a large windproof jacket with a hood, designed to be worn in cold weather From Wikipedia , by George R. King It goes without saying that every parka doesn't fit this definition. According to Wikipedia (this isn't a college essay, so I can use them as a source), the parka was originally created by the Caribou Inuit of northern Canada as a coat meant to protect against extreme arctic weather. I live in Maryland, so the only time I face arctic weather is when my mom puts the thermostat below 75ºF. Still, the parka has served a practical purpose for me while also being a fashion statement. My parka is from GAP (although for a while I thought it was from Banana Republic, but I made a mistake and told a lot of people that, sorry). It's 100% cotton, and I would consider it a medium weight parka. Th

Meet Music

And get ready for an overload of music puns because I already have a number of them planned. She's a 22 year old Cleveland Bay mare, somewhere in the 16-17 hand range (haven't sticked her, haven't asked), bay with not a lick of white on her. She was going to be someone's event horse, then they found another horse, so she became a fox hunter, and she was good at it. Now she'll be my eq horse. What a life. While Miss El and Lee are away, Fifi and I were assigned to set up jumps. We just had this discussion lat week about why you shouldn't let the barn children set up jumps, but I guess some people never learn. The ring isn't super big, and we still needed space to practice movements on the quarter line, so that limited us a bit, but we got through it. The barn owner's son came out and helped us, and it went smoothly except for when they got snippy about me having a narrow fence, and I got snippy right back because I wanted a narrow fence. I

A new tune

So the switcheroo is almost complete (the waiver has to be signed and returned), but no complete barn and new pon pics until tomorrow. Sorry! I'm riding with Miss El at a facility nestled behind tranquil woodland. It's homey. I like it. Miss El and Lee are out at a show in Pennsylvania this week, but she squeezed me in for a lesson yesterday. The rain forecast held off until later in the day, but the heat was there. The high was a whopping 95°F, and we were in the 80s by the time I was on. Not to mention the humidity was killer. It was a low stress workout. The new mare, Music, hasn't been worked in a few years, except another girl who's been riding her weekly for just a couple of months, and now me riding twice a week. She's old, and she's opinionated . . . and she hates fly spray/the hose/any liquid that isn't in a bucket or falling from the sky. I am slowly winning her favor through treats and face rubs, which she really likes. She's not the bigge

And here we go

One thing I've learned in my time with horses is what to do when your emotions get the best of you. There's one thing I always try to not do: think. I don't think about things when I'm emotional. I wait until I am settled and with a clear mind (usually after a good night's rest and a complete breakfast), then I start to work through any pressing issues at hand. There are a number of lessons that I've cried after, for whatever reason. Usually, it was because I felt inadequate, and that feeling is a recurring theme in my posts. In those times that I did cry, the one thought that seemed to possess me the most was "I want to quit" which is obviously absurd. Riding is one of the most important things to me. It's what I want to do with my life (plus I'm 99% sure that everyone has that feeling at least once in their career). At some point, however, "I want to quit" turned into "I want to switch barns". Of course, that thou

A new course of action

Note To Self: Do not let barn children set up the entire jump course. Yes, they may get the striding perfect, but you're going to see some weird combinations. I am still technically a barn child, and I did help set up that course, and I was the one to walk all the strides off (because the measuring wheel decided to just break, like, how rude can you be?). I will admit that, while I had intended on walking off horse strides, I got the pony strides. Oh well, Baby makes pony strides anyway. There was also one fence that was completely natural. The "standards" were logs sitting vertically, and then we used a plain wooden pole and added sticks as a filler. We were going to add pine needles, but, alas, everything on the outskirts of the woods is covered in poison ivy. Talk about an inconvenience. I've ridden Chess the past two days because Baby was being used in lessons, so I was relieved to be back on her. I checked her mouth for ulcers or sharp points: zip, nothing, n

Turn on the A/C

I have a full show recap ahead with a handful of pictures too. I woke up late on Sunday, and I forgot to dry my show pants, but Annie's came to the rescue. They had a flash sale on their show pants a couple weeks ago, and I went for it, and I have to say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I will gladly show with little silicone horse heads on my knee patches. Fun Fact: Miss S was picking me up that morning, and she also woke up late. Horse people, everyone. Of course Saturday and Sunday were polar opposites. The barn owners and staff were frantically trying to clear the water from the outdoor ring and move the dirt around to fill spots in. The effort started on Saturday evening and didn't finish until right before the 9am ring start. Even with their work, the lower spots still had puddles that needed to be maneuvered around; there just wasn't enough sun in the morning to dry the whole thing out. Needless to say, we had a couple water jumps. We didn

That was unnecessary

It was such a nice morning. The weather forecast was great; I even decided not to bring my parka because it was going to be so nice. Yeah, no. I guess it's monsoon season. In all honesty, it is. June and July are our rainy months, and while this time of year is known for thunderstorms with moderate rain, today was more like straight rain with very little thunder and lightening, a true disappointment. On the plus side, I took cover under a golf cart and got to drive it maybe 50 yards, but I was in a golf cart so yes. The riding thing went okay. Baby was pretty inconsistent with her speed, which put me on the defensive. I only had eq. at 2', and it was in the morning, so my day went by pretty quickly. 5th and 6th over fences then no place in the hack. Oh well. There was only one refusal for the whole day, and it was in a schooling round. I only forgot where I was going once.

Fashion Thursday: Check // Croco

1. Blue Faux Leather Oval Rhinestone Decor Belt 2. Samshield Lezard helmet 3. Tekna CLUB Saddle 4. Abercrombie & Fitch Women Plaid Shirt Brown Blue 5. Hunter/Jumper "Winning Colors" Saddle Pad 6. Sarm Hippique Rebecca Breeches 7. De Niro Ottaviano Croco 8. Hunter/Jumper Memory Foam Half Pad

At least she was consistent

Gonna do a super quickie post cause I'm writing a story that I have to complete before the end of the month and I'm on a roll right now. I had a private last night, simple stuff, the usual walk, trot, and canter, with some emphasis on the left lead departure to keep it relaxed. We did a figure-8 with cross bars, in which she consistently missed every lead. I'm convinced she was doing it on purpose, but at least she's doing something for herself. E for effort. Did a course a couple of times then cooled out. All was well.

Conflicts of Contact . . . and also more phone issues

Baby is still not enjoying any kind of contact with the hand. She's been resisting my legs a lot less, which is great, and her transitions are getting more precise, but she just seems irritated by bit pressure. I thought that maybe giving her mouth a break might make a difference, so I rode her in the sidepull yesterday, but nope. She was a little bit less bothered, but once we got to work, there was barely any difference from riding in the bit. She also took a few weird steps yesterday when we went to canter to the right. I figured it was a lack of impulsion, so I pushed her forward, but she still didn't feel quite right. When I watched the video from Saturday, she didn't look any different. Her stride was the same, but she was still mouthy. I have a lesson tonight, so I'll see how she is back with a bit, but I just feel like it's going to get worse. Other than the mouth issue, our rides have been productive and have included some more advanced pole work, inc