Saturday, April 30, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 30

Your future with horses.

I definitely can't imagine a future without horses. I want to become a veterinarian and I may choose to focus on or specialize in horses.

I haven't really decided yet (I have quite a few more years to decided!) but I know that I want to promote and/or do further research on the benefits of barefoot performance horses. I also want to learn lots about nutrition, rehabilitation and maybe have a rescue. But we shall see.

This will be me, lol. Minus the little
bit of creepiness.

I want to be one of those women who are at least 60 years old and still actively riding. I don't ever want to stop! I hope that when I do get too old to ride or compete that I have children or grandchildren that compete and I can watch them and maybe have a pasture puff to care for in my old age :)

I really want to continue to improve myself as a rider. While I acknowledge that I may never make it to the very top of the pack, I can still try. I mainly want to continue following the eventing path and continue training as it's something that I really enjoy doing. I get a lot of satisfaction out of starting or putting more training on horses!

Friday, April 29, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 29

Favorite brands... boots, breeches, tops, helmets, etc.

Hmm, what brands do I like? Well Ariat is definitely a big one. I have paddock boots and tall boots from them and love them. While they may be pretty inexpensive compared to some brands, they sure hold up well! I've had my tall boots for maybe four or five years? They still look pretty much new and they're so comfortable.
I love Kerrits and Irideon breeches. So nice! I have the winter Irideon breeches which are nice and toasty and then the Kerrits tights which are super stretchy and thin, so they're perfect for schooling in hot weather.

I don't have any favorite schooling shirts per say, but I do like my Essex show shirt. It's fitted and soft. I have my eye on their wrap collar shirts cause I've lost all my chokers, but I'm going to try an RHC wrap collar shirt because they are so much more reasonably priced. So we shall see how that compares...

Helmets, I obviously like my Tipperary helmet, though I would like to have an IRH Extreme for showing dressage.

Tack wise, I am enamored with Edgewood and Antares products, but alas, they are way, way out of my reach. Perhaps I'll get an Antares breastplate for Christmas :)

My favorite rope halters are from Double Diamond, I also bought one from Craig Cameron that I love, and the Parelli ones are nice too, although slightly more spendy.

From there on, I just like anything that's functional! Do you have any favorites?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 28

Helmet or no helmet?

I am a very strong helmet supporter. I try to where one every single time I get on a horse, because let's face it, you never know what is going to happen. While I admit that I can sometimes be lax when I don't have a helmet at home and I decide to hop on Grady or Jazz and go for a spin, but that probably only accounts for 1% of the time.

No matter how good a rider you are or how good a horse you have, there is always a chance for something to go wrong. I consider myself a good rider with a solid seat and Jazz is very nearly a "bombproof" horse, but stuff happens. I've fallen off when my horse has stumbled, I've gotten fallen on by a horse, I did get swept off my horse by getting hit in the face with a tree branch, and I've done a head first dive into the fence when my horse decided to go one way while I went the other.

I won't complain or lecture people about their choice to not wear a helmet, it's their choice. But I like my helmet. Sure, when I was younger I absolutely detested it and always wanted to go galloping with my hair streaming behind me, but now, I barely even notice it's there! Some people I've talked to don't wear a helmet because they think that if they are going to get a head injury, it won't be affected by wearing or not wearing a helmet. I'll admit that's true in some cases. A helmet certainly doesn't protect your neck or face, but it can help lessen concussions or brain injuries and protect from sharp hooves to the head. If you need more stories, go visit the Riders4Helmets

If you're in the market for a helmet, I strongly recommend a Tipperary. I love them. It's by far the comfiest helmet I've ever owned and it won't break the bank! They provide great visibility, don't cook your head, and they're lightweight and comfy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 27

You know you're an equestrian when....(list five things)

Haha, this is a great one. Here are my top five:

You speak of things in "horse language" - the other day I was trying to describe a stretch of road where my radio lost its signal. I called it a bending line, as in when you jump a bending line...

You cluck at slow moving objects or when watching someone else ride try to help them out by clucking :)

Tell your dog (or spouse, children, or other moving objects) to "whoa"

Horses smell good to you and you don't mind when you smell like horse, this also goes for the smell of leather.

When you see an open field, all you can think about is how it is such a wasted space when it could be a nice pasture or place to go galloping!

Those are just a few of my things I think all horse people have in common. What are some other good ones you can think of? Let's get a list going :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 26

Biggest riding pet peeve.

Thumbs on top!

So for this prompt, I'm thinking it means what bugs you the most when you see other people ride? For me, I'd have to say just poor riding or riders who are rude to either their horses or other people. Kicking and yanking on your horse's mouth repeatedly for apparently no good reason is not ok.

I strongly dislike poor equitation: seeing people (people who have been riding for years and compete) not have their heels down and have flat, "puppy paws/piano hands" when riding. These two things seem like such fundamental pieces of equitation and are usually so simple to fix, and I hate when people don't take the effort to correct these small things, especially in a competion setting.

Hyperflexion is another pet peeve (I'm not talking about LDR/Rollkur, that's a whole nother topic in and of itself!) but simply riders that may not realize that being behind the vertical is not desirable or don't realize that they are behind the vertical. Usually this is because they are too active/heavy with their hands or have inadvertently taught their horse to avoid contact by over flexing. To fix this all you have to do is have someone watch you or video tape you so that you can see/feel when they are behind the vertical and when they are properly flexed. Oh and please don't refer to your horse as being collected when they are simply flexing at the poll! A "headset" is not all the constitutes collection.

Granted, this is only one snapshot in time,
but this horse is very overbent.

Monday, April 25, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 25

Your dream trailer.

Haha, this is pretty easy. I've had my dream trailer picked out for ages and have been drooling over them forever.

So pretty!
I love Trails West, though I wouldn't be adverse to a new Silverlite either. I would like to switch to a two-horse, since I don't think I've ever hauled three horses in my trailer except for maybe once or twice. It has to have drop-down windows and be completely enclosed. I hate it when everything (horses included) in my trailer get wet when it rains :( Also a swing out saddle rack and mats on the floors and walls. Locking tack room would be super nice. Then I could just transfer my hanging brush holder and water tank from my trailer to the new one and it would be complete! Absolutely perfect (insert faraway dreamy look...)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 23

First horse you rode.

I'm pretty sure that the first horse I rode was my neighbor's horse, Ruby. She is a 20-something QH pasture ornament that I begged my neighbor to be able to ride. I really wanted to ride Jasper, the paint, but had to settle for Ruby as the other horse was supposedly going to be trained in driving (that never happened).

In exchange for riding I cleaned the tack that I used on her. I had no idea how to ride except from what I learned in books, I'm sure it was very interesting to see me ride her though! My dad would take me over and we'd catch her and tack her up, then lunge her in the round pen. Even though she is quite a chunky mare she would never get tired no matter how much she ran. Then I would get on her and walk around for a minute and then my dad would tighten the girth. That horse could blow up like a balloon and then she'd let it all out and there would be a foot of daylight between the girth and her body! I would walk and trot her around, but our attempts at cantering were just crowhopping every. single. stride. Looking back now, I'm sure that she wasn't all that broke, especially since she had just been sitting in the pasture forever. I wish I had pictures of me riding! I don't even think I had boots or a helmet and I'm sure my posture was atrocious. I'm amazed that I only fell off once when after walking her around before tightening the girth she started trotting faster and faster until the saddle slipped under her belly with me in it. Oh, what good memories...!

Other than that my first rides involve being sat on my parent's cousins' draft horses and being led around. Also, my friend KP got horses before me (two actually) and we would ride them all around the neighborhood double. We had so much fun on those horses!

30 Day Challenge - Day 24

Your best riding buddy.

Really, my best riding buddy is any horsey-person! I don't really care who it is, but with every person that I ride with I always have fun. I love going on trail rides or beach rides with friends. Now that I'm boarding at a barn with friends, it is just so awesome to all carpool out there and we all chat while we tack up and set the jumps up together. We ride in the arena then go on the trails together. We always have so much fun. But really, any horse person is fun to go on a trail ride with.

Sometimes I like one friend because they like to gallop on the trails or beach, while other friends are more sedate and like to just walk leisurely while we talk. Some like to jump every obstacle possible on the trails while others don't. It's nice to know so many people that I can ride with and am always happy to meet more people to ride with. While riding can largely be an individual thing, friends can make it so much more and being social and meeting new horse friends is one of the best things about having horses!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Sorry, it's not a contest from me (though there will be one eventually!) but over at The Adventures of Lucy there's a pretty cute contest going on. If you've never read her blog, it's about a young Thoroughbred who I must say is pretty similar to Jetta, and their oftentimes very exciting journey under saddle. Go check it out and enter the contest! You have to choose at least three of her blog titles and make a mini story out of it. It ends tomorrow!

Here's my entry:

Today I decided to find out “how to melt your baby thoroughbred’s brain”. “Pony torture” is a very specialized field and it takes talent to do it properly. First, you should consider taking your horse for “a jaunt in the field” and introduce them to lots of scary things. After they settle down, it’s important to make them work on something very difficult, which they cannot process properly because, well, they’re OUTSIDE where there is GRASS! But they aren’t allowed to eat it of course. Your “bag of tricks” must also include giving your horse a bath after the very strenuous ride and then making them stand still for a long and thorough grooming. After all of this, your horse’s brain is probably quite melted by now, so you should make sure to counteract that by giving your horse some much needed treats and turnout on the pasture. I would say that was quite a “success” in learning the fine art of pony torture!

Friday, April 22, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 22

Describe the importance of riding in your life

I really can't imagine not having horses and riding in my life. If I could choose and actually be able to support myself, I would prefer to become a horse trainer and have horses be my life 24/7.

Most of my decisions revolve around my horses. For one, I chose my college because I could bring my horse (Ok, that wasn't my only factor, but it did have some importance!) If I want to go on a trip I first have to decide what is going to happen with my horses. I feel like I spend all my money and energy on my horses, which is 100% ok with me :) Whether I have a good or bad day is largely affected by how my ride went and when I'm stressed, the barn is my escape.

When I was little, everyone told me that I would grow out of horses, and while I watched several of my friends do just that, I never did and I can tell you that I certainly never will! I can't imagine not riding. If I was to get injured and not be able to ride, I wouldn't be able to watch others get to ride, even if I could be an instructor, I have to be able to really do something. I would probably take up driving if I couldn't ride!

Riding is also important to me because I'm a very competitive person so it provides an outlet in that way as well. I love competing. Sometimes it gets really stressful and I ask myself why I do this to myself, but in the end, I really do enjoy competing. I want to be the best that I can be and showing is one way that I can test myself, I can compare myself to other riders and see where I need to improve and strive to do better at the next show. I can get a fresh perspective from a stranger on my riding and get feedback and a score and improve from there.

I hope that I can continue to ride until I'm very, very old because I know that I will never lose my passion for horses. It's what drives me and it's very much a crucial part of my life.

My favorite place to be - surrounded by horses!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bitless Adventure

Yes, Jetta has not gone anywhere. I've just been busy so most of my posts for this 30 Day Challenge has been preset to post everyday, not too exciting I know.

Anyways, Jetta has been pretty awesome this past week and a half. After getting really frustrated with our work under saddle and basically just giving up, we've had a ton of fun! I decided that our problem is 1) Jetta is not comfortable with my leg so she's anticipating that I'm going to ask her to canter so she trots 100 miles an hour and 2) I've gotten too picky with my hands so Jetta has just started to ignore me and run through my aids. Lovely, right? Now that I've re-evaluated what's happening I want to build her confidence with my leg aids by really working on leg yeilds and shoulders/haunches-in and taking a small break from doing a lot of cantering. But in the meantime, we weren't getting anywhere cause I was getting a tad bit frustrated, so I decided we needed a break. How was I going to give Jetta a break without allowing her to go stir crazy just sitting in her stall?

Well, the answer is this.
Kincade Jumping Hackamore
This is called a jumping hackamore, but basically it's just a sidepull. I love it!! I hadn't really thought about doing bitless with Jetta, because let's face it, she can be just a tad bit crazy. But she's so happy in it! I'm so happy with it!

Jetta was so good the first time. I didn't know what to expect, but at that point I didn't really care. It was pretty funny because ML kinda looked at me funny and then said, "Are you sure you want to try that?" Meh, what the heck. So I did, and it was a great decision. I've been riding her in it for about 5 or 6 rides and we've even jumped and gone on trail rides with it. Jetta is almost perfect in it - she comes on the (theoretical) bit, doesn't rush, I don't have to worry about picking at her mouth. We do lose a bit of lateral manueverability and stopping power, but as long as we are in the arena at home, I have to say it's pretty sweet. And it makes it even better that I bought it used just because I thought it might be cool to use on Jazz who loves bitless, for a grand total of $5.

Here's Jetta looking unimpressed in her hackamore.

30 Day Challenge - Day 21

Your favorite schooling outfit.

Well this isn't too exciting. In summer I like my Kerrits riding tights - they're super cool and comfy. Add a t-shirt or a tank top with a sports bra and I'm set! Well of course with my helmet and boots too.

Winter I wear my Irideon breeches - they have a smooth outer material with a warm, fleecy inner material. I love them so much for the cold weather! Then add a long sleeve shirt, sweater and heavy coat (gotta have those layers) and I'm set. So yeah, not too exciting. Do you have any favorite riding clothes?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 20

Your favorite horse show.

I would have to say that my current favorite is the Inavale horse trials half star CIC event (at least I think that's what it's rated!). I have never had the opportunity to ride in it, but I hope to do so this year. It is pretty big and I went and watched last year and it looked super fun. A lot of people I know ride in it and the shopping's great too. I can't wait to get to participate in it this year!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 19

A discipline you would like to try.

I've definitely already posted about this here, but I would love to try combined driving! It looks like sooo much fun.

There's only one CDE (combined driving event) that I know of locally and this year I really want to go watch it. My first real exposure to this event was at WEG. I had heard of it of course and had actually driven horses before, but never had I experienced anything this awesome.

Combined driving is like 3 Day Eventing but with carts attached. I can't stress how much fun it looks. I know that you can have one horse and driver, or you can do four-in-a-hand, but that may just be something more for the upper levels (?). Someday I am going to get a cart and harness and train whatever current horse I have to do combined driving. Whether they like it or not! Lol. I still think Jazz would do well at this, but we never really progressed past ground driving because I didn't want to spend probably around $1000 or more on driving gear. Someday though...

There are three parts to combined driving - the cones course, dressage, and marathon. One of the things that I love about this sport is that you can seriously be competitive with any breed or crossbreed of horse. At WEG I saw Friesian/QH crosses, Perchron/TB crosses, Dutch Harness horses, Thoroughbred type and Warmblood type horses.

Here's some pictures. The first three I took and the others are from online.


File:Pippa Bassett at Lowther 2007.jpg

Looks pretty awesome, huh?

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 18

Your favorite horse show picture.

Ok, this is the newly edited version. Here's my favorite picture from a horse show.

Sorry, it's a picture of a picture, but it's clear enough. This was one of the very few shows that I did with Grady, and even fewer still when I rode him english. He was so fantastic for that show and we did very well in both pleasure and equitation. I love my boy!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 17

Your equestrian idol.

Hmm... This is a tough one for me. I don't really follow that many "big name" riders that closely so I can't tell you if there's one that really sticks out for me.

But, there is a local trainer though has to be my current idol. She goes by JF here on the blog and she's just so amazing. I've been taking lessons with her for about 4 years and she is amazingly supportive. She rides western only but also does classical dressage (in a western saddle). She taught me even more about training horses and starting babies than I had already known when I met her. JF introduced me to competitive trail - she hosts several shows at her barn every year and has also hauled me to other trail shows. We share the same love of going galloping on the beach and try to do so as much as possible over the summer. She's just altogether awesome :)

JF competing in a timed trail competiton.
Almost every summer for the past three years I've gone and stayed with her for at least a couple weeks and just played with horses 24/7. I would bring a horse or two and work with them, get pointers, and then help work with all the other training horses and do chores. All at no charge. She is really supportive of all my horse-related and training endeavors. At one point she offered me half of her barn to train out of - I wish I had accepted! But at age 15 with school (taking advanced courses) and my own horses, I just couldn't do it all.

I wish I could explain to her how much she has inspired me, and not only in horses. As a trainer she is always calm and fair to the horse. She is very modest. She knows that you can never stop learning and takes part in clinics and lessons. She also has amazing people skills which is very valuable when working with difficult clients. So she has to be my equestrian idol!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 16

Your most recent fall.

Well, first let me start off by saying sorry for being late with my posts. I've been having computer troubles and for some reason my computer right now just doesn't like Blogger. I spent roughly 3 hours at the computer helpdesk yesterday... Sooo much fun! So, I'm writing this on my really awesome, brand-new Android phone . I love it!

Anyways, my most recent fall was at the end of last summer. I've talked a little bit about it on here. Basically what happened was this: Jetta had been under saddle probably a little less than a month. I decided to ride outside the rounded for about the second time ( I don't have an arena at home, I wish! ). We were on the hill and Jetta decided to have an argument with me. I wanted to go one way and she wanted to go the other. She slipped and fell on top of me. I didn't even realize we were falling until we hit the ground and I thought "Oh crap" as Jetta fell onto me. I was sure that she was going to lay in me and probably step on me once she got up. Luckily (I think) she rolled all the way over and off of me, then trotted off. After catching my breath, which had been knocked out of me, I walked over and took of Jetta's tack and set it on the ground. At this point I was super weak and it was obvious that something was wrong with my knees. I hobbled up to the house, which is quite a ways.from the field. I felt I was going to pass out on the way up, I was light headed, losing vision and freaking out because I thought I was going to pass out and I didn't have my phone to call anyone. But I made it to the house and drank some water, changed out of my breeches and started to ice my knees. They weren't getting better, but instead getting super stiff and puffy. I decided I needed to see a doctor and called my mom to met her know what had happened. Of course my whole family was in Washington. I started bawling if course because I was afraid I had torn something in my knee. My grandpa came and got me and took me to urgent care.

Nothing was broken and they didn't think I had torn anything. I sprained my left ankle and MCL in my right knee and bone bruises all around. I couldn't walk for several weeks and I was really glad that it was during summer so I didn't miss school. I didn't ride jetta for a couple months while I healed and then had to wait to bring her up to school.

The moral of this story? Always wear a helmet and have a phone on you when you ride!!!

Somewhat off track, but one thing I remember is a woman I know asked me what happened and I basically told her everything above. Her comment? "Oh, that's why I never ride.outside on grass." I had no idea how to answer. Um, I always ride on grass and in 10+ years this was my first fall. And it was on a very green horse who is super unbalanced and was arguing with me. While the slipperyness if the grass was a factor, it was a very small one!

So yeah, that's my most recent and also my worst fall ever!

PS: if u can see the picture I tried to insert, you can see I can finally bend my knees!

Friday, April 15, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 15

If you could say something to any one horse, what would you say?

Hmm...I have to say that I don't really understand this prompt. Just one horse? What would I say? I have no idea! It would be nice though to be able to talk to my horse and have them understand! It would be much easier to be able to explain to them that no, that shadow is not a horse eating monster and that they really needed to load quickly into the trailer because you have to make it to the show on time...

So what would you say, if you could, to your horse?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 14

Your dream barn/farm:

Nice! This one I have got covered! I did a very lengthy and highly detailed (probably slightly boring) series of how I hope my barn might look someday. Hopefully.

You can read them here:

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 13

A picture of your worst riding. Uh-oh. Well (luckily) I don't have that many, but here's one that just makes me cringe every time I see it.

I could make a very, very long list with everything that's wrong in this picture.

Seriously, I think the photos from this show are the only bad, bad riding pictures I have. Sure, there are some where my equitation just isn't all there, but these are truly dreadful. That was just an awful show. This was at 4-H and these fences are just so tiny, yet we couldn't keep it together. Jazz was rushy and either taking off too soon or chipping in. I had absolutely no release that day and I couldn't get my act together either. Terrible. I don't even want to look this for very long... I promise I don't ride like that all the time, really! Now I need to dig up some good pictures to convince you that I am in fact, not a terrible rider...

See, I can still ride :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 12

Your favorite horse color.
Geez, where do I even start? I have so many favorite horse colors!

I think the color of horse that I've wanted for the longest time is a golden palomino. So pretty! I'm sure I'd get sick of keeping a white mane and tail clean, but I just think that they're so gorgeous!

Then I love bay and strawberry roan quarter horses. Of course, I've seen so many ugly, ugly roan horses so it's difficult to find a nice one, but Peptoboonsmal is a great example of a pretty, talented roan horse.

Next, there's the bright bay coloring. Love this and have always wanted a horse this color, especially with white. But, instead I got Jetta, the typical dark bay :)

I would love to someday have a tobiano or overo marked warmblood. I think that they're gorgeous especially because they're unusual.

Along the same lines of unusual coloring, I love appaloosa sporthorses or Knabstruppers. Cita Normark is an awesome example. Isn't she just the cutest thing ever?

I also love dappled greys. I probably won't ever own one because 1) they tend to lighten with age and light colored horses are a lot of work (though you notice I would still consider a paint! Crazy me...) and 2) 80% of greys will get skin cancer. Not fun.

And lastly, I also have a soft spot for bright chestnuts, especially warmbloods because of Grady! I don't like the reddish chestnut or dark liver chestnut (well, there are some exceptions!) but I love Grady's coloring.

Ok, so are there any colors I don't like? Well, I'm not a fan of cremello horses. They would be great for breeding purposes because their offspring will always be buckskin or palomino, but they're just so white and pink. That said though, I have seen some marvelous cremello horses, for instance Limet Hurry, a Czech Warmblood.

I also don't really like dark sorrel quarter horses or dark bays, probably just because they're so common. I'm not a fan of pale palomino (Isabel palominos to be exact) coloring or tobiano or appaloosa palominos. I just like solid golden palominos :) I like dark/gold buckskins, not the buttermilk. Not too enthusiastic about dun horses except for grullas. So yeah, those are my color preferences but you know the saying, "There are no bad colors for good horses." Their personality and performance matter so much more than their color!

Monday, April 11, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 11

Find a sale horse online that you want to buy.

image 2292773585-0image 2292773585-1

Wow, Can I just say want? This little guy is adorable and amazing. I know the girl that is selling him and I want him so much. He's a four year old QH stallion. He's rabicano and you know I love those weird colors. He has some great reining training on him and he's just an awesome little horse. She's asking $15,000 for him, yikes! That is one major obstacle to getting him, the other is that he's a stallion. First of all, I don't have the facilities for a stallion and even though there are hundreds of great QH stallions out there, he's just so great that I wouldn't have the heart to geld him. He's got great bloodlines and good conformation and he is just spectactular to watch. Have to admit that the only thing I don't like about him is his name, Smart Wittle Wabbit. Ew.

This is just one of many horses that I want to own. I have the feeling that I'm going to grow up to be the crazy lady that has 10 horses all of her own... I promise I'll ride them all!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 10

How does your family and friends feel about your riding.

Well. This is certainly an interesting topic for me. I'm very lucky to have almost all horsey friends and we have a lot of fun together. We go to shows together, trail rides, and a couple of us board at the same barn. It's great that have friends that don't mind when you smell like horse, have slobber down your shirt or wear your breeches in public!

My parents are a somewhat different story. As much as I love them, I'm pretty sure that they're not completely sold on the whole horse thing. I'm so very grateful that they finally gave way to my begging for a horse because I can't imagine not riding now, but I also feel that they wish I did a different sport.

Partially it's because they don't feel like they really fit into the horse world - they don't know all that much about horses and the general perception of horse owners is that they're crazy (though I must say this is true a lot of the time!).

Also, I'm very independent so I don't really need that much support even though I want support. This is very different from my brother who needs a lot of encouragement. For years my parents hauled me to shows and lessons, but that kind of dwindled as I got older even though I still couldn't drive. If they didn't feel like taking me to a show, I didn't get to go.

My parents don't really like to go to horse shows so they don't usually come watch me unless I plead with them, and usually it's only my mom. I really wish my dad would come watch me sometime, but he rarely does.

Every time I buy something for my horse or I need to have the vet out, my parents complain. They don't understand why I need this new thing or why my horse is seemingly always hurt. Their answer is to sell the offending horse. They wish I had one horse or none at all.

I guess I'm just a little bitter because my brother also has a sport, but it's just really different for him. He does sporting clays and is actually very good, placing among the top in the state. My parents (one or both) take him to shooting practices roughly once a week and a competition once a week. They've gone to Nevada and Washington as well as all around Oregon for competitions. He has 12 guns (I think) and generally is very supported in his endeavors.

This is why I don't understand my parent's adversity to showing horses. Sure it's expensive to own multiple horses, but it's also expensive to own multiple guns, plus the shells, entry fees and travel expenses. I'm sure showing horses is still a lot more expensive, but really they are pretty comparable. My parents complain when I consider driving a couple hours to a show and staying overnight (even when I'm with others, not alone, and heaven forbid I ask one of my parents to go with me!) though it's not a big deal to fly to Nevada and spend a week there for my brother's competition.

Sorry, that's my little emotional rant. My parents do love me and they do support me, but I just wish for a little more, you know? I want to have their full support, I want them to encourage me to show, I want them to want to come to watch me show. But nobody's perfect. Someday I hope that I can show them that what I do is important to me and that I'm actually good at it and that they'll be there to watch me. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jumping Jetta

I jumped for real yesterday and Jetta was so good! Well, better than expected at least. I did almost fall off because Jetta decided for about 10 minutes that she could not, in fact go in a straight line and must duck aside at the last moment. Not allowed. Luckily I stayed on and I was very proud of her. There were a couple moments when I felt like we were jumping 4', but we were only jumping 2'3" to 2'6" but that is the highest we've ever gone! And really she was super good. We only had a little rush once and we even cantered over the jumps a few times, though mostly trotting still. Yay, progress! I could defnitely feel how much better Jetta has gotten - she jumps more carefully and I feel her rounding and picking up those front legs more. Awesome!
No pictures of us jumping, but you can see our setup here:

Here's a picture of Jetta warming up on the lunge beforehand. Yes, she is supposed to be stretching out and down, but I just though she looked so pretty, especially in all her pink - aqua/turquoise might be my favorite color, but pink comes in a close second :) Just had to share that really quickly because I was so excited :)

30 Day Challenge - Day 9

Any injuries you've gotten from riding.

Oh dear. Well, there have been several that I can remember.

My earliest was riding Grady in the pasture practicing for barrel racing (I was into gaming at that point). He likes to buck when we gallop (still does) and I'm pretty much used to him bucking and me falling off. This time however when I got bucked off, I pulled a muscle in my back and couldn't bend or stand straight for a week. That was my earliest "injury" and I'm really surprised I didn't get hurt more with all of the falling off I did.

My second "injury" was when a mare I was training, Patch, spooked and sidestepped on my toe, planting all of her weight on it. I'm sure she broke it! That hurt for quite a while.

Then I was riding Jazz in the pasture bareback and bridless and I thought we'd just canter really quickly once more because she was doing so well. Shouldn't have done that. Grady ended up deciding now was a good time to play and kicked at her and she took off at a gallop. I can stop at a canter, but not at a gallop! We ran into the forest where I ducked to avoid branches. She stopped and I sat up thinking we were done, but instead she spun around and ran out of the forest and I had no time to react before getting whacked in the face with a tree branch, knocking me off. I guess my neighbor heard me scream when I fell and she called my mom to ask if I was alright. I was in the process of getting back on Jazz when my mom convinced me to come up to the house. My face was not in good shape, though really it wasn't that bad. I had a diagonal scrape across my face and had bitten my inside cheek (so I now talked really funny) and my nose felt funny, though thankfully it wasn't broken.

And then my most recent injury was over the last summer when Jetta slipped and fell on top of my which gave me bone bruises and a badly sprained MCL in my knee and a sprained ankle so I couldn't walk for two weeks. Great right?

But I think I've been pretty lucky in my horseback riding career. I mean I've started and ridden several babies and worked with problem horses and my most major injury was spraining my knee! Pretty good I think. Lets just keep our fingers crossed nothing else happens!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hunter Bridles

I want a new bridle. Really. I usually stick to the $50 and under category which means that I get a bridle that I hate. They're stiff and the color tends to scratch off and I don't like. I bought this bridle from and I do not like it. Don't buy it.

Pinnacle Comfort Plus Hunt Bridle
Pinnacle Comfort Plus Hunter Bridle
Most expensive bridle I had bought to date ($75) and I was very disappointed. Well, it does have it's merits - it has very soft supple leather, and I love the padded crown feature, but what disappointed me the most was that the color on the leather appears to be painted on. Yes, it is not stained. The color flakes off and is doing so on the throatlatch where it is constantly buckled and unbuckled and also on the noseband where it has gotten rubbed a couple times. Sure, wear is normal on a bridle, but my last bridle that I had for seriously 9 years never did anything of the sort. That thing wore like iron, but I still hate it. It was super stiff and changing bits was a pain. I paid $25 for my old bridle new, yet this bridle from Schneiders, though more expensive, apparently thought it was cheaper to paint the leather rather than to stain it (?). Lame.

So I would like a new bridle and this one I want to splurge on. I want to pay less than $300 and I want the reins to come with it. I would like a fancy stiched, raised, padded bridle and reins. I really don't care what color it comes in (besides black), I would prefer a padded or monocrown feature, but it's not absolutely necessay. I will not consider any bridles that have a crank noseband (absolutely hate those) and I prefer that it doesn't have a flash, though that can be fixed :)

I think I have narrowed it down to four different bridles. The most expensive is the Dover Showmark Deluxe Hunter Bridle. Downsides are that it is in the most expensive end of my price range and the reins are not raised and fancy stitched (gasp! I know, right? Lol).

Next is the Smartpak Wellfleet Raised Fancy Stitch Bridle. I really like this bridle, it has most everything I want. I think that the only thing I would change if I could is that the caveson strap be integrated so that a nameplate can be placed on it, but really, that's not a big deal.

Then I also really like the Bobby's bridles. They seem really nice and again, have everything that I'm looking for.

Bobby's Comfort Crown Square Padded Fancy Bridle
The last option is a Nunn Finer bridle. These are the least expensive of the bunch, but still have good reviews. Again, everything that I want, though I am a little wary of the quality compared to the other bridles because of the price.

Ideally I would like to be able to see and feel these in person, so I'm going to see if the local tack shop carries any nice bridles in my price range. Ideally I would love to buy an Edgewood bridle so I'm looking for a used one in my price range, but I found one on craigslist and even used they are asking $300!

Now here's the fun part. While searching through bridles, I found some really insanely expensive and interesting bridles.

These Dy'On bridles are top of the line bridles and I like them. Go here to buy one.

Dyon Anatomic Rope Noseband Bridle (#24000136)
I find this one fascinating because I've never
seen anything like it in the english world! I like
it but I don't think I'd be brave enough to wear
it at a show... too spendy for a schooling bridle!

I also think this one is awesome as well, with the slightly flared noseband and browband. Pretty cool!

Dyon Fancy Padded Anatomic Bridle (#24000134)

Then there was this bridle. $800!!! Yikes, that is how much my saddle cost!

Jimmy's 21st Century Bridle

Over at Behind the Bit there's a great post about how to choose a hunter bridle.