Friday, March 30, 2012

Unscheduled Absence

Sorry for the silence! I'm on spring break so I'm at my parents house aaaand the internet is not working. Mobile blogging is definitely less than ideal. Definitely puts a damper on blogging. But I'll be back by Sunday or Monday when I head back to school! Everything is good and I should have lots to post about by then...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Colton's Turn

Colton is getting to have all sorts of fun this week :)

First up was playing more in the bridle. He's only worn it a couple times. I put it on him again, taking the time to make sure he lowered his head and held it there while I put the bridle on. Then we went for a walk around the pasture. He was very well behaved, we even managed to have a nice trot where he kept pace with me and didn't go all macho pony and try to show off or be bossy! He gets really amped when I ask him to trot, usually resulting in bucking/rearing and/or trotting ahead of me to show off. So this was a nice improvement. His movement is much nicer than Katy's so I can't wait to see how it translates to undersaddle. He might make a nice dressage pony even with that cresty neck since he can still arch it nicely when he's trotting!
Baby face.

Then we had a big first - I sat on him for the first time. And it wasn't really a big deal. I've been desensitizing him to me jumping up next to him and putting pressure on his back (which he thinks is proof that I'm crazy). So when it came time for me to jump up and put all my weight across his back, he stood stock still and didn't even snort, though he did swing his head around and nibble on my boots. We practiced both sides and since he was being so good, I even sat astride him and he barely offered to move. I'm hoping that based on this behavior the whole backing process is going to be easy-peasy :)

The dreaded weeds have overtaken the roundpen...
Next up for this week is practicing deworming with some applesauce and then the real stuff. Then he's going to wear a surcingle for the first time and I'm working on cleaning out the round pen so that we can work on lunging! Fun, fun, fun. Well, for me that is, I don't think Colton thinks of it with as much excitement as I do, lol.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Good Rides

Finally got to ride Jetta for two days in a row! She was pretty good. On Thursday she was just what I needed after a stressful week. She had been inside because the pastures are pretty soupy because of the snow/rain combination we got. First we had to get the baby out of the arena. She was supposed to be outside but I guess there was a loss of communication somewhere and she was in the arena. Then I saw a llama wandering around outside so I called the BO and she came and put the baby away and wrangled the silly llama.

Making friends with the shy baby.

Jetta was SO hyper. Not saying I like it when she's wired, but it's so entertaining to watch her goof off and be silly, having fun. I went to lunge her and she was pogo-ing around me. I ended up taking off her saddle and unclipping the lunge line so she could just go gallop off some steam. She's such a dork - when she gets going that fast when she's trotting like a pogo stick she is going so fast with zero balance so she occasionally slips and falls. Then gets to her feet and gallops off again like nothing ever happened. Hence why I pulled off her saddle.

Trying out the new saddle pad we got at the tack sale. It's the kind with the fleece underneath. I like it!

Deceptively calm in the cross ties...

When I rode, I used the hackamore and just toodled around without worrying about collecting or anything, though she wasn't allowed to go all llama on me though. She was really good and it was nice to finally ride again.

Jetta was in again on Friday so we free lunged again and then I rode the same as yesterday though with a tad bit more collection. Jetta started off kind of ticked that I was asking her to actually work, at one point she reared up. Bad pony. But she worked through it and it ended up being a really good ride too. I finished off by rewarding her by playing with the bouncy ball. I still can't get over how adorable it is when she rolls it around with her nose!

Then I headed home for the next week for Spring Break - the weather was gorgeous out (our one day I'm sure!) so when I got home of course I immediately went to go play with the boys. I met them in the field and got started on grooming Grady since he's been losing so much hair. He still looks like a yak or a fluffy teddy bear but it's getting better :) Can't wait til he's all sleek again!

Ridiculous amount of hair... That's just some of what I groomed off!

 Then because I couldn't resist I hopped on Grady for a jaunt around the pasture. I love my old man, he remembers everything I've taught him even though I haven't ridden him in months. He's just so comfortable, homey almost, you know? We even had a nice canter, not creaky in the slightest.

Cutest face, even in Colton's ugly halter (that came with him).
My favorite ears.
Some remaining snow.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dressage Fashion: Bridles

I love looking at the different kinds of bridles people choose, I'm all about the fashion :)

So, I thought I'd do a round up of different dressage bridle "fashions" and see what your take is on them!

 I'm really liking the patent leather bridle trend that I think is becoming more popular. I found this bridle on ebay and absolutely fell in love with it. It's a Schumacher patent bridle and has a pearl browband. I think black bridles go really well with any kind of bling, but pearls look very classy in my opinion.

I like the shine that patent leather has, though some bridles do tend to look a little plastic-y. But it makes cleaning them super easy!

This is another patent bridle that I like. Saddlery4U has a lot of interesting and unique bridle options in their ebay store, including a patent option. This one is midnight blue, but looks black from the pictures. I think it would look really nice on a chestnut or black horse, especially if your show coat was navy. I think this company makes the most affordable patent bridles, though I did find one in the new Dover catalog that is not too spendy either.

 Another option to go with for a little extra bling is of course, sparkles. I love my curved browband with large crystals. Just enough shine without overwhelming your poor horse. This bridle is not that. This would definitely wow anyone. I don't think I've ever seen a bridle in person that has sparkles on the browband and the noseband, especially in dressage! I think this would be really fun to ride in at home (how can you not love sparkles?!) but it might just be a tad bit overkill in the show arena... Just a little bit.

Yet another option is colored padding or piping on bridles. I think you could get away with piping - I've seen some pretty ones with gold, silver, navy or white piping and I thought it looked really nice. But for the most part I think the colored padding is best left for schooling bridles. Of course white is still somewhat popular, but I'm not such a fan of bridles with white padding.

And then here's a bridle that combines a lot of different fashions. You've got the patent leather (like) and the very sparkly browband (like) and then it has rolled leather. Now this trend I'm not such a fan of. I think it looks silly to have the cheeks be rolled leather and have the buckles be on the poll with wider leather. It just looks off, not to mention that I imagine it might be a pain to adjust the bridle when it's on the horse. I guess it makes sense if you have a horse with a small head and maybe with a double bridle, where all the cheek pieces and buckles might overwhelm them, but... I still don't like. That's just me though.

IMO, if possible, it looks worse off a horse's head than on it.

Then here's a bridle that I've never seen before (at least in black) that I really like. A black bridle with white contrasting stiching. It's very subtle and pretty. Probably not very noticeable until you're up really close, but I like it. Might be hard to keep it white instead of brown though... It reminds me a bit of the fancy stitching that Antares does on their snaffle bridle. Very understated, but a nice touch.

The problem with all of these above bridles is the difficulty of finding one in these fashions without a crank noseband. Geez! I really don't like cranks and I do have a bridle with one and it's nearly impossible for me to make it loose without flopping all over the place or looking funky and I don't want to tie my horse's mouth shut! So mostly it sits in the tack room :( At least with a flash bridle you can pull the flash off and it looks fine.

Then there's the browbands. There are so many different styles on this. So, do you like them, hate them? Personally I like the clear or AB crystal ones. I don't think you can go wrong with one of those! And then there's pearls. I really like those too. They're not as showy as crystals but still very elegant. I really liked the custom one that is on the first bridle above, but custom tends to be very spendy. Another option that I would choose is the Vespucci Petit pearl browband. Bridles with beading or jewels are popular as well, but for me they're just eh. I prefer the plain crystals for the most part. As for the shape of the browband, curved ones are becoming more popular and I for one really like them. It stems somewhat from my difficulty in finding a large enough browband for Jazz who had a large quarter horse head so she didn't always fit in horse sized browbands or halters because she had a broad forehead and large jowl. But curved ones always looked really nice and fit well too.

So what do you prefer? There's always a plain bridle, of course there's nothing wrong with that. But if you were looking for a little bling, what style is your favorite? Or would you avoid all of these styles like the plague?