A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tack Review: Plymouth Raised Fancy Stitch Bridle

Plymouth Raised Fancy Stitch Bridle

Currently $69.95- but I got mine on sale.

Figured I'd add my two cents about this bridle. Because I'm not riding so less interesting stuff to write about ;)

First impression: Ok, so I don't buy new bridles (and rarely fondle the expensive ones at stores), so it seemed pretty darn stiff and waxy to me when it arrived, but I am sure there are plenty worse out there.

The wax took some serious elbow grease to get off,  and I don't think I really got it all, but it still started taking oil so I finally figured it was time to take it out to the barn. I also stripped some color out of the braided reins in a desperate attempt to get them de-waxed and soft. Oops.

Riding: The bridle fits awesome, adjusted well to Holly's big but dainty head. She has no rubs or issues with fit. The reins were murder initially. They really don't feel that stiff when your oiling them, but definitely take some break-in time to not feel rather brutal. Over time, they have softened, but I still get tempted to leave them soaking in some oil for a day or two.

Quality: It is holding up very well. Even when being a bit neglected by the WS, it still cleans right up every time I use it. It gets used 6 days/wk, and doesn't look nearly as abused as it is.

Overall: So, its pretty, and considering my trainer (who has bridles that have lasted 40+ years and look amazing) likes it, and how well it fits Holly, I am happy with my purchase. Even my picky picky trainer has even started recommending it to people on budgets!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 10 Questions

This is what I am currently doing 24/7 ;)

1. How many pairs of breeches/jods do you own? Now, um... Well one pair that fit ( TR riding tights that rock in summer) lol. Otherwise 2 full seat, and I think 7 others of various colors and conditions. Nothing really nice yet, but did score some older TS off L.

2. How many horses have you ridden? Tons. Like I'm not being cocky, I just worked giving trail rides growing up as a kid and teen so I rode an endless sea of bay QH and various Arabs, TB, Morgan's, etc. A lot of them were rent string , your basic WTC in a line or do basic gymkana type stuff in our kids camp type horses.

I didn't learn nearly as much as I thought lol. I did learn how to switch from a hot little Arab to 16h massive QH while trying to teach random people to stay on a horse .

Circa 1999- Loved those 16hh endurance Arabs
 and super sexy high-waist Wranglers lol
3. How many trainers have you had? 1. My current trainer. Kind of explains my many riding shortcomings. I rode with people who thought they knew their stuff and some threw around the term trainer, but my current trainer blows them outa the water with knowledge and ability.

Circa 2010- First few casual lessons with current trainer

4. How many barns have you ridden at? 2. (If you don't count random rides on other's horses or playing renter). 1.)Las Trampas, where we did trail rides; and 2.) my current barn. I miss the trails at my good ol' LTS. We could see SF and the Golden Gate Bridge from our ridge.

5. What is the name of the horse you consider yourself to have the greatest bond with? I guess that would be Holly. My love for her is paled by my love for my son, its such a deep love that my love for my animals just feels so different now. It seriously caught me off guard the difference. I loved my horse Rad, but he was a man's horse, all work and no cuddling. I loved a few others I rode, Bay Cash (TWH) and Regal (Arab) but they weren't mine, and I fought hard not to love them too much.

My Princess

6. What is your favorite show name you've ever encountered? Can't think of any right now, argh, but I really wanna name a horse "Talk Dirty To Me". I would love to hear it announced by someone and singing that song when riding makes me giggle.

7. What do you consider your greatest weakness or flaw in riding? Lack of training. I rode a fair amount of my youth, but very very little instruction was given. "Don't hold onto the horn" was the thing drilled in the most (and kinda a dumb thing to follow when getting bucked around an arena).  And maybe now that in my 30's I'm less flexible, less agile, and less available.

8. What do you consider to be your greatest strength? I can take direction. When it comes to riding, whatever pride I had frankly left with my teens. I stay pretty dang humble these days, which means I learn a lot from my trainer and others without letting pride get in the way.

9. Have you ever leased a horse? Working at a LTS I got to ride lots of peoples horses, who were just too busy to ride. My favorite was Bay Cash, the sweetest 6 yr old TWH. If I hadn't gone off to college, I think I would have bought him from his owner, she was in her 70's and prob didn't ride him much longer. Her husband sold me my horse Rad.

 Then there was post-baby Louie and Magic. Louie was one of the nicest horses I've ridden... but a bit much for me in my floppy state as I was, so as much as I loved riding him, I went back to schoolies for a bit.

Louie- post baby bad eq
Then I leased Magic up until I bought Holly. He can be an ass, and lord knows he likes being spanked. He will pretty much 99% of the time jump anything, which is a huge confidence builder. Trainer threw some big jumps at me with him, and since I knew even at a bad angle, slow speed, and bad eq he'd heft us over, it wasn't too scary.

Magic :)

10. What is the name of the first horse you rode? First real ride was a trail ride on Gidget. She was the perfect little pinto pony. Steady fast and knew every trail, you just sat there and she made you feel like a pro (unless she was thirsty, then hold on she was going to the water trough, no ifs,ands,or buts).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Because We Don't Do Much...

There's not a lot to write about. So I will just add pics and gif to make this blog seem interesting.

My current motto

Holly is getting 3 trainer rides a week. Its supposed to be 2 jump by WS, 1 flat by trainer, but thanks to nature and WS's schedule, its kinda sketchy. This makes it a bit of a pain for me to know what days to run her highness around myself and schedule accordingly.

Its still hot out. And dry out.

Mostly. Its getting dark faster and last Tuesday (a week, not last night) WS decided she wanted to just 'hop on' Holly without lunging first. This would be ok, except there was crazy wind, and everyone was crammed into the indoor, with its awesome blowing canvas tractor covers, and leaves blowing across metal roof sounds.

Trainer and I suggested she take the extra minute to lunge, but frankly, I think both of us kinda wanted her to see what happens. WS is a well-balanced rider, but Holly was a spazzy diva across the open end of the arena... Trainer made sure WS did plenty of no-stirrup and two-point work regardless and pretty much kept her to the open side until Holly was tired of playing chicken.

After that, she did some lead changes, and decent canter work. Sigh, so hard to watch others ride your pony.

Yup, that's about it.... My son still loves going out to see HORSES!!! and begs to go to the barn, which warms my heart.

Little Helper

Barn kids for sure

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

1 Year Later...

1st Ride on Holly
So Holly and I officially passed our 1 year mark. I think overall we have accomplished a lot, but mostly, it was the growth in me, she just polished some rough edges.
1st night at our barn, on trial

I think a lot of it came from having a consistent mount, who frankly, is a huge burden on my family budget, so gosh dang it, I was going to learn to ride her, and ride her well.

I guess it was warm last Oct too- 10/13
We jumped up to 2'6", which was frankly terrifying to me last year, and until my little bun in the oven, had become perfectly acceptable. I even toy with the 3' barrier (yes there's a big mental block there). The thing is, it seems doable now, which never was the case.

1/2014- like OMG maybe 2'
Holly has come a long way with her jumping. She no longer thinks she has to add the tiniest step before each jump. She puts her big pony panties on, and if you tell her its ok, she'll jump what you aim her at. (Still hates the rainbows though). She's jumping 3'3" or so with the WS just fine, which is great to know she is comfortable at that height, even if I'm not yet.

1st real show together-6/2014
Frankly, its not like she looks crazy better toned, or had perfect head set now, she still loves poking that nose out and letting mommy carry her when she can. But she understands so much more of what is asked of her.
6/2014- 2'3"- 2'6" courses- no problem

She will prob revert back to spooky and sassy for winter, but she's awesome in the summer, so really at 6, I can't complain. The silly stuff should mellow out with age. She is half QH lol.

Last ride til baby :(
Here's to getting to set goal for next summer. I plan on boot camping myself back into shape fast while off work, because I kinda doubt I'll have more free time with two kids once the jobs back in full swing ;)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Updates and 10 questions

So officially on the DL. I'm super bummed about stopping riding, but after my last ride, and the ensuing sciatic pain on the opposite side as usual, I decided it was time.

Holly will get trainer rides, 3x/week and I will run her happy but around at least 2, hopefully 3 days so shes not nutz when WS rides her. Not really worried about that while its still 90F out. Good grief its a hot fall. Yuck.

Derp pony and 20wk belly

On to more filler posts...

1.Is there something you don't like about your riding?
Ha. 80% of it. Really I just wish good habits stuck faster. I mostly wish I could stay relaxed. I'm not too shabby when I am relaxed and flow with the horse.

2.Does your horse buck? Well yes, but rarely under saddle. She has a L to R lead change that feels nearly like one, but that's slowly smoothing out.
3.Is your horse head shy? Rarely. She gets startled if things move to fast towards any part of her body. But she's solid about bridling, worming, etc. 

4.Favorite barn chore to do? If I had my tack trunk at the barn, it would be organizing that. I like setting the jumps... for others ;)

5.How many times do you ride a week? I was doing a solid 3x/week. For now, nada.

6.Who is your favorite pro rider? Margie Goldstein Engle and Beezie Madden peaked my curiosity for jumping. They impressed me as strong women and riders.
7.If one pro rider could train you for one day who would it be? Well, GM if I was ever worthy. 

8.Favorite Facial Marking? Depends on the color horse. Generally a blaze, if its symmetrical. I like where they widen over the nostrils. I like stars, again symmetrical (notice a pattern?).

9.Leg Markings or No Leg Markings? Yes please. Harder to maintain, but love me some stockings. Chrome it up. Not that my mare has any. 

10.Ever broken anything falling off? (knock on wood) If anything, I think I compressed a vertebrae with my last real fall. But since I didn't get xrays, I don't know for sure. Otherwise I have good genetics for bones, I bruise like crazy, but considering a lack of padding, most injuries stay relatively superficial.