Thursday, October 31, 2013

Closet Cleanout.

I confess that I enjoy organization, (See Garage Makeover, Tack Locker Makeover, and Tack Trunk Organizational Theory as proof of how this extends to horsey life), but I am also one of those people that once stuff starts to get messy, cluttered or disorganized I lose all motivation to keep things tidy and it all turns into a big pile of tangled crap in a heartbeat.

The backseat of my car, my shoe closet and (sadly) my pantry are all perfect evidence of this, though I thankfully lack the photographic evidence to back it up.

The mayhem and disorganization only goes so far though, and eventually I hit my threshold for piles of unorganized things. 

This has happened.

Fortunately or unfortunately it has happened at the same time for all disorganized things.  Earlier this week I ransacked my pantry, threw out weird/old/gross canned things, recycled the inexplicable pile of grocery and shopping bags that slowly takes over all the shelves and then neatly stacked all things in an appropriate place so that rice noodles no longer share a shelf with pistachios.

My closet is the real terror, so I won't bore you with those details, but that leaves horsey land which also needs a thorough spring/fall clean out and tidying.  I am a bit of a pack rat, but full recognize that since I only use maybe, 10% of my horsey stuff at any given time, I need to look long and hard at how many extra saddle pads are worth holding on to, and whether or not I can pare down my collection of boots/bits/whatever. 
What it looks like when not overflowing with dirty blankets/pads/etc
I need to start with my lockers and take out the redundant items there first (I don't need to keep 4 sets of polos at the barn all the time...) and then if something can't be stored neatly/easily at home in the garage corner - away it goes.

So I am making my declaration.  The things will be cleaned. 

If anything is still perfectly serviceable but not needed for my girls, I'll get it up on here in case it's someone else's treasure, but the purge must start...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tack Ho Bat Signal

(For the record I remembered making this graphic, but couldn't find it on my blog or in my archives so I was thrilled when googling "tack ho bat signal" took me straight to an old post from 2012. God Bless the Interwebz).

ba-na-na-na-na-na-na-na TACK HO!

Anyyyyyyway.... I know most folks have seen Sprinkler Bandit's fun Dream Horse contest, so I probably don't need to do a full spiel for most of you. 

If you blog under a rock and don't know SB, well then, link to her site and check it out.


I'm still on the fence with patent leather taking over the world (bridles, field boots, girths(serious question mark), etc).  But I do have to admit that the Calypso Collection makes my heart pitter patter. 

I have (obviously) been hypothetically shopping for hypothetical boots we can rock in the rated Equitation ring, for the hypothetical day we are actually in the rated Equitation ring...  I love the traditional look of beautiful leather boots with beautiful natural fleece, but am put off by a few things.

1) Real fleece = pain in the ass to keep up. Especially when caked in sand and sweat.

2) Real leather = pain in the ass to keep up.  Especially when caked in sand and sweat.

3) Light Colored fleece looks stupid on Prair's legs.  Looks sloppy and all wrong.

4) Why these boots all cost more than my bridle, girth and martingale combined - I do not know.

So, I have continued my hypothetical search.  My Tack Ho Heart sort of thinks that Patent might be the "slightly different" look I've been searching for without totally defying the Hunter World Style Gods and getting dismissed from a class for a taboo outfit....

Also, I like the idea of easy to clean Patent, especially in our soggy, gross environment up here.

But, I'm still at odds with my "why is all the patent on all the things" self.  Not sure I'm 100% sold for the show ring.

However, a fun set of the Calypso's for schooling? Yes please. I think I'd go for Dark Brown patent, with lime green lining and stitching for funsies. 

I'll continue thinking about whether or not Dark Brown patent (with fancy stitching, duh) with a conservative black leather lining would work for the Eq ring.  I hate wearing the exact same thing as everyone else, but it's hard to have a unique style without looking like an overdressed or out of place goober.

Such a fine line...

Gus Lameness Check In

Yesterday was glorious here.  Blazing blue skies, crisp leaves swirling around, pumpkin spice lattes, etc etc..

So, even though it's the quiet day at the barn and Prair's day off, I opted to tootle out to the barn and take Gus for a spin and see how he's feeling.  Truth be told I haven't been on him in... a couple months? I've lunged and jogged him what feels like endlessly, but it seemed time for an actual ride.

So we tacked up (complete in dusty pink polos) and went for a ride.

and he was lame.

Really. Really. Lame.

S mentioned he seems to work out of it (a bit), so we left the arena and opted to go hacking around the property and say hi to everyone in their pastures and just enjoy the sunshine.
Fuzzy Gus ear and Fall foliage.
He was perky and pleasant (as always), but felt really short on his right front, and a bit more stumbly than I remember him ever being.  We probably meandered around for about 20 minutes before I noticed that his stride was starting to even out - especially on firmer ground.  He still seemed a bit labored on deep/soft footing. 

Eventually we wandered back to the outdoor so I could at least get a little trot/canter in to see how things felt.

His trot felt absolutely awful.  Where he's usually been very soft in the bridle, he was braced and sort of lurched around the turns.  His canter felt much better, but his downward transitions (usually prompt and appreciated) felt awkward and stiff.

Now, I know this is likely due to him using that RF differently, but it's also possible that he is out of shape and unschooled.  Just to see how responsive he was I asked for a couple leg yields and a few flying changes.  All were duller and less willing that previous.  Whether it's because he can't use himself, or because he is in defensive and obstinate school horse mode, I don't know.  Probably both.

All in all we were probably only in the arena for 8 minutes, so it wasn't a long workout, just a varied one to see where things stood...

So, he's down to one lesson a week and I'm hoping to at least hop on and move things around for 10 minutes a few times a week to see if more regular/correct work improves things, or makes them worse. 

The good news is that his RF wasn't sore at all to palpation.  He is also due for a trim (Wednesday) and some bodywork (also Wednesday).  I'll see if either of those folks notice any big changes with him...
Gus says lame ponies deserve treats too!
He is just the happiest, easiest, most pleasant pony to be around.  Plus he's cute as a friggin button. I really enjoyed my walk in the sunshine with him yesterday. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Whirlwind! (and foggy morning lessons)

The last 10 days have sort of evaporated into the fog that we've been blanketed in up here in the soggy corner of the world.  My brother had a beautiful wedding on Saturday which meant that towards the end of the week the ponies got the short end of the stick and my time was spent with family and friends and dress alterations and a really epic, really challenging hunt for the perfect shoe. :)

That's not to say that the mare had much time off.  We had two great lessons, the first working through some grids focusing on her, and the second with more grid work but focusing on me (ugh).
foggy morning playtime.
The focus for the lesson with Prair was getting her to stay relaxed through a pretty long cavaletti set (maybe 7 or 8?) first at the trot, and then at the canter (something that would have caused her brain to implode a year ago).  She was a rock star and all I had to do was sit like a neutral lump and not get in the way.

The focus for the lesson with me was to sharpen up my Eq and get a bit better and helping finesse her over the fences without looking like I was working hard or frustrated.  One thing that I've noticed when I watch S ride Prair at a show is that she does such an amazing job of making it look like a quiet, easy ride when she's still pretty actively arguing with the mare about a few key elements (leads, not galloping, etc). 

So, my "grid" was four fences, all two strides apart working from about 2'6" up to about 3'6" at the end. 

Primarily, one of my biggest issues is keeping my body quiet (and tall) and not "helping" Prair along by jackknifing myself over the fences (especially bigger ones) and ducking like a crazy person.

The grid was nice since it made me shut off the very large/loud part of my brain that is constantly nit-picking my distances.  That left lots of bandwidth for me to just think "tall, tall, tall, still, still, still."  When I finally stopped yo-yoing around in the tack a bit, S let me work on trying to shape the mare, and "ride" a bit more - so long as I didn't sacrifice a quiet upper body.

Here's a quick clip.  I think this was toward the end of the lesson? I don't remember.  I do remember that the fog was thick enough when we started that I couldn't see the last fence in the line as I went in. 

I guess that's one way to not overly anticipate a fence....

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gus Rides Again

This weekend was low key from a pony perspective.  Prairie got a trail ride with her trainer, a hack with me and a fun joint lesson with one of my old college room mates who was in town visiting.

She got to play with Mr. Gus and we enjoyed some moderate torture with work over ground poles on a curve.  It was a lot of fun.

I haven't written much about Gussie recently, but there's not much to say.  He's... the same.  Still more lame than he was at the start of the summer, but doesn't appear to be uncomfortable.  So that means he's out in a big pasture playing with his gelding friends acting like a clown and hacking around lightly in about 2 lessons a week. 

Not a bad gig if you can get it..

I am worried that his head-bobbing is still present, but both vets who have seen him are don't seem to think that he's causing new damage.  I've resolved to spend more time with him this month lightly hacking him and poking around to see if I can get any better sense of what seems to improve/worsen his limp. 

In the mean time he is cute as a button and so entertaining to spend time with.

Plus it was so much fun to ride with my good friend.  She's an Emergency Medicine doctor in Indiana and started riding again recently in her (nonexistent) spare time.  We played volleyball together in school and caused significant mayhem on more than one dance floor... ah the glory days... :)  

It was a really fun morning to spend all together.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Not So Bad Afterall!

As I was warming up for my lesson this am and S was setting jumps, she mentioned "hey, did you see that you still got 8th in that Medal Final?"

And I'm thinking "yes, obvi I compulsively checked the results, 8th, bottom of the list, got it."

Which is when she reminded me there were more than 8 people in the class.

Which means that even without trotting the trot fence or halting when we were supposed to - we somehow still beat people.

I can interpret this a few ways:

1) The competition couldn't have been that stiff if I could basically go off course and still place.

2) The judge really liked Prairie (or me, or whatever)

3) Our round was just so good that even with the glaring mistakes we squeaked by some other rides.

I'm going to assume #1 isn't correct (though it may be) since most of the horses/riders in my class spend the entire season on the A circuit winning things.

I'm also pretty sure #2 isn't correct since Prair suffered pretty badly in the placings for her Large and Pre-Green divisions.  (the Large rounds were pretty much disastrous, but she put in some nice work for the Pre-Greens...).

Which means that by a not-so-thorough process of elimination, I'm left to assume that aside from not riding the test components, the judge must have thought we did nicely. 

This was a nice little upper before our lesson went to shit and Prair decided that she had literally never seen an arena (or jumps) before. 

It was.... frustrating. 

Silver lining is I definitely don't have to do cardio later today after working through that little rodeo...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Eq Finals

The regular Eq courses earlier in the show were boring.  No rollbacks, no end fences.  Just a couple of bending lines to really test our steering abilities...(boooorrrriinnnnng).  Therefore my hopes for some super thrilling courses for our 2'6" finals and medal class were.... low.

So I was thrilled when I went to check out the courses and saw some good rollbacks, bending lines and funky end fences.  You know it's a good Eq course when it's not entirely clear if you're supposed to turn left or right after a fence in order to get to the next one (ambiguity is fun!).

Hands down, my two best rides of the week were the Eq Finals round, and the Medal Finals round.  Since I've lost any ability to memorize courses more complicated than line-diagonal-line-diagonal... I resort to taking pictures on my phone and staring at them like a confused squirrel for a few hours....

There was one last Hunter round on Sunday, so I added into it as a bit of a warm up before the Eq rounds and thank god I did.  The mare was.... obstinate.  Mind you, there were children playing catch, or tag or something with a giant plastic bag at the far end of the stands and that just about sent Prairie into orbit, but that wasn't our only issue.  She got stuck cross-cantering a couple times, we lurched over a few jumps and all-in-all looked like maybe we needed to politely excuse ourselves and go find a rock to hide under or a track to gallop around about a million times.

Instead we had two rounds to quietly collect ourselves and get ready for this:

Okay, yeah... so still only 2'6" but at least we had some turns to ride!! My plan was to turn right inside the gate, cross the diagonal, grab my canter and turn inside fence 7 to jump 1.  Nice tidy little turn then lots of time to set up for the pretty tight turn to #2, slice it a bit for a tidy approach to 3, add some leg at the end of the ring to the outside line... then there was a debate as to whether one should hairpin back to 6, or go around the island/jumps.. I went outside so that I knew I'd be set up for the rollback to the weird end fence (this turn killed a few people), then an easy bending line home and done. 

It was a good plan.  And we mostly executed! I hit all my spots that I wanted to hit and with the exception of a small spook coming up to the line and a MASSIVE chip to fence 6.  I thought I had killed my chances with that chip, but it was 100% my fault over collecting and pick-pick-picking the mare the entire way to the jump.  All in all, I was really proud of Prair.

I ended up being pleasantly surprised at our ride and was quite thrilled that I wasn't ripping the mare's face off in every turn.  (progress!!)

When I watched the video I was a bit sad that the course still looks slow and boring, and not nearly as tight or technical as it felt when I was attempting to ride it (lol).

Here's the video:

My last ride of the day was the 2'6" Medal class.  This course was all super twisty and fun looking and we actually got to walk it beforehand.  I was (sadly) walking when they announced the win for the Eq Finals which meant I didn't get a pretty picture with my cooler and the pumpkin-island-thing.  But the walk was worth it, there were some questionable turns that looked ok on the course map, but a wee bit sketchy in the actual arena when we saw where the jumps were actually placed...

The first two fences were nice, long singles that I like to ride and let us establish a rhythm.  I did turn inside the end fence for my first jump again which I didn't see anyone else do.  The rollback from 3 to 4 was a little funky to make smooth, but not horrid.  What I didn't like was that the 3-4-5 combo left no room to let the mare get away from me.  Lots of time to reorganize between 5 and 6.. but then the turn to 7 was tight, and no one really knew how to get from 7 to 8.  I opted to go around the two unused fences in the ring but try to get it as tight and handy as possible.

You will note that even though it's a Medal class, there are no trot fences or halts noted on the course.

Sadly for me, someone went in and wrote those in right before the class (trot 7, halt after 8).  I rode the course as I had seen it posted, so we got dropped to last place, and if it hadn't been time to go home I probably would have pitched a fit with the steward that no announcement was made and the course was posted without the additional components for a majority of the day....

As it was, Prair gave me a really nice trip and I didn't really even want a re-ride at that point I just wanted wine and my cooler so I let it go.

Again, the course looks so sloooooow, but I supposed that's better than the alternative!  In the future when I feel like I've got the mare locked and loaded I need to get comfortable adding some leg and getting a bit more pace established so we don't look like we're trantering around...

I'm pretty thrilled with the ride though. 

I'm not really sure why The Boy chose to stand directly in front of the island while he videoed, but he did. Prairie felt so handy in this course I felt like I had her 100% of the time. You'll get a really good view of the pumpkin decorations, but every once in a while you can actually see our course. 

After the fact it made lots of sense that #7 was a trot fence, but I think we navigated it brilliantly at the canter...

Wish I hadn't blown the course, but I'm really (really really) proud of the ride we put in anyway.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Big Ups (and a few downs...)

I understand that under the best of circumstances horse shows are a bit of a wild roller coaster -

We had a fabulous round! That was the worst ride in the history of riding...

Delicious greasy breakfast sandwich! oops I didn't eat all day and now I have a horrid headache...

The weather is great! My toes are falling off from frostbite...

We won! We came in dead last

 I could show forever!  This is absurd, take me home NOW. etc etc...

The show last week was no exception, and the horse show hangover is in full swing with exhaustion and frustration currently overshadowing the victories that were dotted along the way. 

In general, it was a fun show.  We won a cooler (COOLER!) and came away champs in our division for the PNW Equitation Finals. (big win).
Prairie's Barn Buddy also won his Eq Finals, they matched :)
We also had some epic screw-ups and craptastic rides that left me wanting to crawl into my trailer and go home early.

I'll get excited about our win (and cooler) later this week, when the exhaustion from showing in nearly the last class on the last day and then subsequently hauling home (and removing braids) in the dark leaves my short term memory. 

For now, before I get the videos uploaded and actually unpack my trailer... I'll sum up:

Wednesday: Great schooling day, felt dialed in
Thursday: Large & Pre-Green Division, moderate disaster, mare was maybe for sale.
Friday: My Eq, Super fun and super good!
Sat: Wedding-Palooza, so we skipped the Hunter division, but had a nice hack in the am
Sun: Eq Finals, Big win, and HUGE eff up in my Medal class that dare I say ruined the best round I've ever had.  (sad face).  Also, I nearly got in a fistfight with the back gate lady, but removed myself from the situation (moral victory). and Prairie won another cooler! this one has really pretty piping and the embroidery is subtle and just on the left flank.  She looks super classy ;)

Can't wait to extoll the virtues and failures over a nice glass of wine later.. but all in all, I'm glad we went.  I had to be a bit more independent at this show, and I think it was really good for us in terms of our nerves, confidence and stress levels. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

HP Blog Hop - Why Do You Love Showing?

This is a tricky one!  Though it's a good question as anything that requires so much blood, sweat and tears (soooo much) should have a clear and present reason and reward for all the pain.

The easiest answer for me is that I am an insanely competitive person.  It's not that I have to win (though I prefer it), but I do actually have to get better.  I love getting better - and showing is such a fabulous (and tangible) way to mark improvement, frame goals and feel a bit of validation

Beyond that I just love the process behind preparing for an outing (clinics, vet visit, shows..).  I love cleaning and organizing everything, collecting spares in case of disaster (PC still lurks in the back of my brain), polishing up the horse, my boots and my brain and showing up confident that we have done all we can.

Beyond even that I love the community.  Sure there are some bratty people who aren't exactly welcoming, but even with the stigma of "Show Barns" I've found that the vast majority of folks, at least in our area, really just want to geek out about horses with anyone willing to geek out with them.  People like to chat at the back gate, competitors comment on improvements from the last time they saw you out, people share their morning pastries and afternoon beers and just want to enjoy the event. 

That's part of the fun. 

Also, I do love ribbons and score sheets.  I miss getting dressage tests back and scouring the sheet for every bit of praise and criticism and heading home with a clear sense of what to work on, but really, ribbons sort of do the same thing.  It's easy on the drive home to admire a big Tri-Color and know that we (mostly) earned it, or to stare at the 6th place Eq ribbon and know what I need to work on to change it (seriously? you sit a lengthened trot??).

So I love showing.  It exhausts me and sometimes The Boy questions the it a bit when I'm furiously stewing on a bad round at the back gate, but by the time we haul home, unload and take the braids out, I'm always fulfilled with the effort and experience even if the pocket book is screaming a bit in pain.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Champange Influanced Decision Making

A particularly lovely Saturday at the barn was capped off by a fun (early) celebration of S's birthday complete with cupcakes and champagne.

All good and delicious things.  But when you feed too many horse ladies too much (or any, really) champagne, things start to happen. Maybe it's just me, but I start to get all sorts of excited about everything and think that anything horsey or expensive (or horsey and expensive) is a great idea.

For example:

Our zone equitation finals are this week.  The show itself is "only" a C, but most of the big barns go, especially if anyone is chasing points.  It's up at the big fairgrounds, which has a great indoor, but is otherwise surrounded by concrete and the joys of showing there are often punctuated by the zooming engines of race cars at the track next door.  So, while there are a lot of good (and large) shows there, it's not exactly a Norman Rockwell portrait of the equestrian lifestyle.

Combine that with the fact that I have the second of three October wedding to attend on Saturday and I opted to write this show off.  The wedding meant I couldn't show Sat, which I thought would kill my amateur divisions and it was just too much money to send Prair just for the Pre-Greens.

Unless I'm drinking champagne. 

So we entered.  I found out that the regular Eq divisions run Friday (so I can enter those), Hunter divisions run Sat and Sun (not helpful), but the Medals and fun extra Eq finals are all Sunday, which if I behave myself at the wedding on Saturday... are doable.

here we go again....
Now the only problem is I need to figure out how to haul up Tues or Wed, groom Prair for her Thursday divisions (Large & Pre Green), Groom and Ride my Eq Division on Fri, and somehow squeeze in the week of work that I was planning for since I wasn't planning on showing. (this involves closing on a property in Boise, which... isn't close).

It all sounded like a brilliant idea on Saturday with a cupcake stuffed in my mouth and a solo cup of bubbles.  Last night, I had a slight panic attack about logistics, but a glass of wine returned me to my exuberant state and conviction that showing would be nothing short of a great idea.

And as The Boy put it, "if you're aiming for Thermal, wouldn't a few more shows between now and then be a good idea?"

Where did I find him!?

Sunday, October 6, 2013


So I finally got a baseline for the two point challenge during my ride yesterday.

Prair was so good and relaxed that I didn't have to work at all which probably boosted my score. I made the mistake of waiting until the end of my ride which meant that Prair was getting tired and I was getting a little bored.

I suppose the good news is that whatever torture S puts me through, it's got me in pretty good riding shape at the moment. When I finally did sit down the only thing getting "tired" were my crappy, busted ankles. Back, core and legs were all ready to keep going.

We cantered, hand galloped and trotted. Working on our bend, shoulder in and changes. It was a pretty fluid, fun ride.

I'm going to say my time was about 13:30 since it took a few seconds to start my timer, shove my phone back in my pocket and get moving.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 4, 2013

Product Review - EXTREME Groom

A while back at our July show, we were fortunate enough to win enough blues that I was running out of things to pick up from the prize table (huge problem, I know..).  I had already secured a couple new coffee mugs (though I argue you can never have too many of these), horsey treats, weird cocktail glass thing, more horsey treats and was eyeballing the cute package with a tiny pony brush and a tiny pink pony sized comb when I noticed a weird bath-sponge-thing tied up with a bottle of shampoo. 

Knowing full well that I had forgotten my big body sponge for bathing I scooped it up and went back to the barn.  The bottle of shampoo turned out to be Extreme Groom Tea Tree Shampoo and it claimed to be good for hot spots and fungus. 

Basically I ripped off the sponge, went to bathe my horse and the shampoo slowly fell to the bottom of my trunk never to be seen again.

A few weeks ago I noticed the crud on Prair's hind cannons was worse than normal and figured I should probably attack it before fungus season secends in full force.  Remembering the weird bottle from the show I dug it out and scrubbed Prair's legs down after one of our rides. 

It smells nice, it's thick enough that you don't waste a lot during application and otherwise seemed very normal.

I repeated the process again last week (letting the suds sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing) and noticed that the crud is significantly improved.  It's still there (isn't it always), but looks way more controlled and less like it's slowly taking over her entire leg.

I don't know if this is the most effective product out there, but it seems gentle, and frankly anything that can take on the cannon bone crud without burning off your horses skin earns a spot in my bathing bucket.

I don't know what makes it extreme though.  I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be doing backflips while I apply it, or perhaps use it while skydiving....  Frankly the bottle design looks like they just stole some Paul Mitchell and photoshopped their name onto it.
Paul Mitchell called - they want their bottle back.

All in all though - a thumbs up and worth a try.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Shockwave Starts

Prair had her first shockwave session this morning (and an accompanying cocktail.. I have yet to receive a cocktail today..). 

It was, as these sorts of appointments tend to be... boring.

No exciting diagnostics, no cool pictures to see what's happening, no drama or stress.  Just.... boring.

Which - if I had to pick is a good thing for vet visits to be, but I don't know, I like a little entertainment now and then.
(thump, thump, thump, thump)
So Prairie got 1000 "shocks" (not actually shocks, but a good term for the loud clicks) to her ligament, and another 500 shocks on either side where I've noticed muscle soreness hasn't entirely gone away.

It took about 20 minutes. Then the mare just had to stay in her stall and work off the sedatives before she could go play with her friends. 

Next session is scheduled in two weeks and we are back to work tomorrow.  (whee)

In other news I will probably attempt to see what my baseline is for the Two Point Challenge thingy.  I'm terrible at following up on stuff and even more terrible at contests so I'm not calling it an official entry but a good excuse to see where I am for sure. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Octoberfest - Pro Pics

I don't know when the "do it while you can" urgency set in, but it's firmly planted in my brain at the moment and seems to be extending to buying pro photos from the shows.  They all kind of look the same, but there's no such thing as too many decent horsey pictures (The Boy might disagree on this point).

So I ordered a couple from the last show, one of our first outing at 2'9" and one cooler shot.  (had to).

I think we look like respectable hunters here.  Prair is finally pointing her toes, I'm not falling off and we both look decently relaxed.  I like it.

There were a couple cooler pics to choose from and I struggled between the full family shot (me and The Boy on the ground, S in the irons) and this one.  I'm out of frame because I was busy throwing dirt around trying to get Prair to prick her ears.  Something about the (slight) candid nature of this one won me over though. 
I also figure that any pictures that include The Boy don't count toward the too-many-pics-of-me-and-prairie-doing-basically-the-same-thing quota.

In other news, the ride today was great.  I kept my stirrups short and spurs off (per my instructions from the clinic) and while I thought I might have to pony-kick the mare a few times, she was so soft and relaxed it was a joy to ride her. 

The rain had chased us inside, so we kept it simple.  Just a single vertical on the quarter line that we cantered back and forth on both leads.  We worked on maintaining that slight haunches in on our approached and staying soft and supple on the landing. 

We worked back and forth over it for about 15 minutes slowly raising it to about 3' and then called it a day.  The mare was so good that we didn't see a lot of point to pushing our luck..

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

HP Blog Hop - An Annoying H/J Trend

I'm not sure I'm well versed enough in Hunter Land to really comment on trends, but I do know one thing that I don't love and that's the GPA First Lady Helmet in the show ring.
Looks innocent enough on the rack

Now I get it, sun protection is good - prudent even, but holy lord are those helmets unattractive.  I have yet to see one person wearing one that doesn't instantly look like they have a miniature head and are totally engulfed by their headgear.  Even the old school ASTM-SEI Mushroom Hats were better than this look.

Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessed with helmets and even sport GPA's Speed Air on a daily basis.  I also get that wearing the First Lady is probably easier than affixing that giant sun visor thing around your helmet every time you ride and makes sense for those folks who don't live under Seattle's constant natural UV filtering clouds.  (our skin is lovely btw).

But, if we're accepting that the Hunter Ring does give a crap about looks (which it does), why anyone wants to look like that weird shrunken head thing from Men In Black is beyond me.  To me it smacks a bit of conspicuous consumption (not that it's a rarity in the show ring) without a huge gain. 

I mean for the love of god, even Reed Kessler with her all American good looks and charm looks like a nit-wit in it. 

Pretty sure she couldn't see that jump till she was over it, and it's distracting me from the gorgeous red coat
I just don't understand why someone would spend an extra $100 on a helmet for an additional 1/2" brim that ruins their (also expensive) outfit.

Love Helmets.  Love GPA.  Love Sun Protection.. but please, for the love of god leave the First Lady at home and just use some sunscreen on show day.

How's that for a totally random, totally irrational pet peeve??

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