Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Cricket & Blue Custom Horsehair Bracelet

I can't tell you how excited I was to receive this bracelet! It took me a long time to send in Grady's hair. I kept all of his tail hair, specifically so that I could get a bracelet or two made. My mom eventually convinced me that it was time, as she wanted to get me this bracelet as a birthday present!

I've seen several reviews of Cricket & Blue's bracelets and I loved how nice they looked. Classy, high quality and well made. I ended up deciding on getting a bracelet made with multiple horse's hair since I wanted something that was different. I had some of Jazz's and Tux's hair as well so I emailed Rachel and asked if a tri-color bracelet in sort of a spiral-y pattern was possible and she said yes!

First picture I saw of my hair when she got it!

I got the hair all cleaned up and sent it in. I got a little enthusiastic about the amount I sent in just because I wanted to make sure there was plenty.

It was nice that I follow Cricket & Blue on Instagram and like them on Facebook because then I got to stalk all the pictures and find the ones of my hair.

In progress: Mine's on the right!

I decided on a Passion bracelet in silver. I'm definitely more of a silver than a gold kind of person! Originally I was going to go with a Passage bracelet, but then ultimately decided on Passion bracelet because even though I liked the idea of a chunkier bracelet, I liked the hardware better on the Passion.

In the mail!!

I haven't been so excited for a package in a long time. I checked the mail several times every day (our mail always comes at random times). I checked it for the second time on Monday just in case before I left for class. I happily tore into the packaging, barely pausing to take this picture:

Cute little bag it came in

And found my bracelet and a nice little note from Rachel as well. I immediately put the bracelet on to make sure it fit (phew, it did. I have the tiniest wrists so it just looked so little I was worried I asked for the wrong size!). I was then so excited that when I left the house, I locked my keys inside and had to finagle my way back inside to get them before heading off to class without being late. Hey, I was really excited.


I don't normally wear bracelets, except for my leather nameplate one. I used it as a template for what size to order. I think if I had ordered maybe half an inch larger it would have been an even better size just because of the style of bracelet it it, I'd want it a little more "floppy" on my wrist, but as it is, it's still perfect. I love wearing it with my nameplate bracelet because then I have all four of my favorite horses on my wrist!

Overall, I couldn't be happier with my bracelet. It looks gorgeous, the braid is very tight with no loose hairs, and it makes me so happy to have a piece of all my favorite horses with me, most especially Grady. I'm already considering my next bracelet, perhaps with just his hair... Or maybe even a pair of horsehair knot earrings! I would highly recommend going with Cricket & Blue for a bracelet. She responded quickly to my emails, it was great to see updates of my bracelet in progress and the end product is wonderful.

Cricket & Blue Website

**The first three pictures are from Cricket & Blue, used with their permission.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunshine Award

Thanks to Hillary at Equestrian at Hart!

The sunshine award is for people who 'positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere'. The nominee of this award must do the following, thank the person who nominated them, nominate 10 bloggers of their own, answer the 10 questions given to you, post them, and add the Sunshine Award Button to the blog.

1. Mares or Gelding? I prefer mares, but I like both. It wouldn't be a deal breaker for me either way.
2. English or Western? Both. I guess I've turned more English, but I'm really having fun with Misty Western. I missed it!
3. Do you prefer younger or older horses? Younger. 
4. Have you trained a horse from ground zero? Yes, I've trained a handful of horses from start to finish. My first one I was under the supervision of my trainer but I still did all the work and the rest (including Jetta) were just me!
5. Do you prefer riding or groundwork? I like both. Depends on the day and what I feel like doing.  
6. Do you board your horse or keep him at home? Well, that's a little bit up in the air at the moment (more on this later) but I've been boarding for the past three years but before that I kept them at home.
7. Do you use all natural things or just commercial stuff (the products you use)? Both, I like the idea of using more natural things, but as long as it works I'll use it.
8. All tacked up or bareback? Both. I ride Jetta mostly with tack because she has the most awful withers of all time.
9. Equestrian role model? Not sure I really have one, I admire a lot of the upper level riders, but honestly don't follow anyone that closely. 
10. What's your one main goal while being in the horse world? Not quite sure how to answer this one, I just hope to keep improving!

My 10 nominees. I tried to pick those that hadn't been nominated, but I think that I failed miserably in that respect!

Matt the Cowpony
The Adventures of Crispy-Creme
A Collection of Madcap Escapades
My Mojito
Pony Express
The Owls Approve
Chasing the Dream
Sweet Horse's Breath
Poor Woman Showing
She Moved to Texas

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hunter Ponies

Have had some great rides on the girls.

Friday was a jumping school on Misty. She was really good. I really need to set up some gymnastics for her. I used barrels for the "standards" and made a baby x with it. She is so cute. She definitely hasn't decided if she likes jumping yet or not. She gives the jumps a hairy eyeball and sucks back a bit but she doesn't try to refuse or run out. Like ever. And I love it! Let's hope she never figures out how to refuse...

Her biggest problem right now is that she takes off too close to the jump so I've been having to "help" her decide where to take off. I ended up upping the jump to a vertical and had her jumping 2'6". She was definitely game, though getting a little tired by the end. I think one of the biggest issues with jumping Misty is me. Since she has (somewhat) flying changes, this means that if I even inadvertently ask for a change, I may get it. Meaning that if I don't sit straight in the saddle, we're probably going to get a change where I don't want one. 

Overall, it was a really good ride and I'm excited to jump her more and see where this goes!

With Jetta, it hasn't been jumping (yet) we've been doing flatwork and I've been doing my best to stretch out my two-point time. I went for the longest time yet today, but was disappointed that it was only 7 minutes long. We'll have to see if I can stretch it out a few minutes longer!

I spent a lot of time just hanging out with Jetta on the ground. I free lunged her then did some liberty work. Lots of cuddles. She started sniffing one of the Halloween decorations, a big fluffy spider, and decided it was AWESOME. She loved it. I was really surprised, I thought once she touched it and it moved, that she'd freak out. But apparently her and spidey are new best friends.

Possibly one of the first non-awkward selfies I've gotten of us, lol.

"Hm, wut iz this??"

"I luffs the spider"

"Oh. Hai."

You know fall is here when you break out the quarter sheet.

My pony is looking good!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blogger Sale

ETA: I've decided to leave this post up until Friday the 8th! If you're interested in anything let me know by then, otherwise I'm putting everything left on consignment at a local tack store...

I figured I might as well try out posting items I have for sale on the blog before I consign everything since that has seemed to work for some people! I have a lot of stuff I need to get rid of... Let me know if you're interested in something. Paypal only. Everything includes shipping!

ECP Wither Relief Fleece Half Pad. Fits a 17-17.5" saddle. Good condition, nice and thick. Just washed it! $75

Gel Pad. Slightly dusty cover, but still in great condition. Really works well, especially if you need a temporary solution before reflocking your saddle. $50

Kincaide Breastplate. Reddish brown color. Good condition. Horse sized. $20.

(will upload pic soon or if interested let me know and I can send you a pic!)

Ariat Tall Dress Boots. These are awesome boots. Despite being very used, they're in fantastic condition. Clean up like new and wear like iron. Comfortable, but no longer fit me. They're a size 8/tall/slim. They've been stretched by a shoe repair place so they're more in-between a slim and a regular calf, 14" around the outside at the widest part. My calf measures about 13.5" and they/re too tight and barely zip up. Full zipper along the back. $120 - I have more pics if you're interested.

Toklat Originals All Purpose Pad. Super cute, black with gray binding and pink piping. Unfortunately don't use it and I need the money, so my loss is your gain. $25

Freshly washed but comes with some free Misty hair and a complementary dusting of barn dirt :)

Herm Sprenger Spurs. 1/4" rounded end. $20

I'm aware the tag says 15, but I added 5 for shipping :)

5.25" Dr. Bristol Baucher. Good bit for a strong horse, just slightly too strong for Jetta. It's all cleaned up but has a patina to it. $40

5.5" Loose Ring Waterford.  Only selling because I decided to go with a D-ring. $25

5.25" French Link Full Cheek. Nice mild bit, comes with keepers. $25
Sorry it's dirty, will clean before shipping

Horsewear Ireland rubber reins. Buckle ends. Brand new, never used. Nice quality havana leather. $30

This but in havana brown

50" contoured leather girth. Elastic at one end. Well used, but has a long life left. $25

78" Weatherbeeta Qualited Stable Blanket. Navy. Really nice and warm, has fit all my QH's and TB that I've put it on, just don't use it any longer. Freshly washed, no rips or repairs needed. Belly surcingle and leg straps, double buckle chest. $40

Looks like this, minus the neck cover. It was all clean and neatly folded so I didn't want to mess it up to take a pic!

Blackwatch Plaid Stable Sheet. Not waterproof. Belly surcingle and leg straps, double buckle chest. Several patches done on the blanket (professional) but has two new small tears, each roughly an inch long. $15

Has three small patches done. Has two additional small, maybe 1" tears on the butt area

Complete western bridle (except for the curb strap) - headstall, curb bit, round braided nylon split reins with horsehair tassel at the end. $30

(will upload pics soon, if interested let me know and I can send them to you!

Easyboot Gloves, size 3W, pair. Comes with power straps, not yet installed. Basically tried on a few times but not really used. $120 (new $144)

Renegade Hoof boot, single. 2WW, apparently too large for Jetta, only used once. Good buy if you want to buy the second boot new or use this one as an emergency for lost shoes. Really neat boot. $70 (new $84.50)

Black crop with swarovski iridescent crystals (pinkish). Super cute! $15

72" Horsewear Newmarket, navy stripe stable blanket. Bought this on sale, thinking that it was the stable sheet, not the blanket. Oops. Never even taken out of the bag. Would prefer to trade for the same thing in the blanket style, but for sale as well. If anyone has a navy Newmarket stable sheet, in size 72-78" I'll buy it from you! $55

IRH Elite Helmet. Size 7 and 1/8. This is my show helmet, so it's not very used, maybe a couple handful of times. NO FALLS. In great condition (I promise it doesn't smell). Low profile so it's a good looking helmet on. A few minor scuffs on the surface from setting it on the ground/not storing it in a helmet bag, but not really noticeable. $150 (bought $229 new)

small white scuffs, don't know how to get them off?

some scuffing on the gray part

Herm Sprenger hackamore, reddish brown. Barely used it as it was Jazz's hackamore so it needs a new home! $50

(will take pics and upload, can email them to you if interested!)

Open to reasonable offers on everything, though keep in mind that the prices include shipping. I'm definitely willing to make a deal if you buy multiple items!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kickstart It!

In true homework/study avoidance, here I am writing a blog post. But it's a quick one!

I wanted to share a campaign to get Equestrian Culture magazine in print. I love horse magazines in general and love fashion/artsy stuff (I'm an avid follower of blogs such as Dappled Grey, Cavalcade, etc.) so when I ran across the online version of this magazine, I really loved it. The design is super classy and gorgeous (in another life I'd love to be a graphic designer) plus I love supporting the "little guys".

This campaign has 13 hours left and they're really close to making their goal of $10,000. If they don't make it in the allotted time, then they don't get any of the money. It's super easy to create an account and donate money. If they do end up going to print then based off how much money you donated, you get a "reward". For instance if you donate $25 you get a year subscription so you're basically just buying a subscription with the only caveat being that you don't actually pay the money unless they meet their goal!

I just thought it was a neat thing to get behind so I thought I'd spread the word since I'd like to see a copy of it in my mailbox :)

Click here to go to the campaign.

You can read their previous two online publications and learn more on their website.

Like them on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hunter Pony in Progress?

I finally got to ride Misty! Poor girl has been so neglected lately. Luckily she doesn't seem to mind. I took off her blanket this morning and dare I say, she looked like she had gained weight since I last rode her? She has absolutely refused to gain weight since I got her. She's filled a little bit out, definitely gained some muscle, but the goal was to get an additional 100 pounds on her and she got, like, 20. But she's not looking quite as ribby, so fingers crossed she is actually starting to gain and the 6 pounds of grain + fat supplement + 3 meals of orchard grass + 2 flakes of alfalfa a day is starting to work. Geez mare. And I thought Jetta was a hard keeper?

Foggy, cold morning at the barn!

My friend ML and I decided on going to a hunter/jumper schooling show (tentatively) the third weekend of November. My plan is to hopefully take Jetta on Friday evening and do the 3' jumper classes then take Misty and ML's horse to do the baby hunter classes on Saturday. Dear lord I haven't jumped in a while...

ML is originally a hunter rider, but she got really burned out on it for some reason and now does dressage. I think part of the reason she got burned out is just because of the snobbery that exists in the circuits she showed, despite the fact that she always placed quite well and definitely had the money to compete. She kind of laughed when I told her I wanted to take Misty - my short, roan and tobiano paint horse? But hey, I don't care, it's just for the experience! She decided that if I was going to ride my (very) nontraditional horse, I might as well try to fit in and insisted that I try her standing martingale on Misty. It's one she never used and since she doesn't do hunters anymore said I could have it if it fits.

I think it fits? Also, doesn't have a rubber stopper, is that necessary?

I've never used a standing martingale. I don't typically use any kind of aid like that - standing/running martingale, draw reins, etc. so I was curious to see if it made a difference at all with Misty. One thing she does if I half halt her too strongly is to fling her head, so I was hoping it would make that impossible for her to do. It appeared to fit ok, but the leather needs to be oiled a few more times and rolled/broken in because it's quite stiff. Misty didn't have any objections, but I think we need to jump in it before a final verdict is made.

I'm excited to take her, regardless of how well she might do. I plan on showing her in Jetta's hunter bridle with her own Happy Mouth (which she seems to like!). I'll switch out the reins to the laced ones and since I don't own a shaped fleece pad anymore I'll just either use my white square one or just my white half pad.

Can I join you in the tack room??

I'm getting excited already! Lots of jumping is on the schedule for the next few weeks :)

But speaking of our ride, it was really good. She definitely prefers the hunter headset to the dressage one. We worked on a more forward stride, especially in the canter. Worked on flying changes, specifically from right to left. They're hard for both of us, but in the opposite direction it's pretty much flawless. Transitions have become tons better and ohmygoodness we have real circles now! She can maintain a lovely bend on a 15 or 20m circle.

Good ponies gets treats

Other than that, not much new! Both horses look absolutely feral. Misty needs a bath very badly and her mane needs to be re-braided. Both girls need their bridle paths trimmed. Jetta needs her endurance number scrubbed off her butt and her mane pulled. If only there were more hours in the day! Hoping to squeeze in lots of ponytime this weekend.

Model status

Monday, October 21, 2013

Foothills of the Cascades Ride Part 2

Part 1 is here. 

This second loop was way harder. It started off the same. We went through this "forested area" (both loops had multiple forested areas that wove in and around that trees on narrow deer-like trails). Let's just say that Jetta will never make a pole bending horse. She only tried to kill me on one tree. After that, if it looked really narrow I hiked my legs up onto her shoulder. Some of the trees you had to go between were super close, I don't know how you'd do it if your horse was any wider!

Reached a wider road and stopped for a drink of water. Which Jetta wouldn't drink. She just gets distracted every time I think she's going to drink, she has to watch something or hears something that requires her undivided attention, so we moved on.

Then we came out on a logging road. The views were GORGEOUS. There was a very, very long downhill part, which obviously meant that there was going to be a long uphill part! I met up with a pair that I had been continually passing/getting passed by. A couple with a overo paint and gray QH or QHxArab. They were camped right next to me. I followed them for a while and chatted. Then once we finally reached the top of the hill of death (this was the generally referred to name!) I trotted off solo down the flat part. More gorgeous forest trails. It was just too pretty. I could probably put up with the horrendous hour long drive into town just to have access to those trails if I lived there.

Eventually we crossed paths with a ride and tie-er. One issue I've never thought about: how to deal with them tying their horse in the middle of the path? The lady was very nice and she chatted with me whenever we crossed paths whether she was running or riding. But the guy... every time he tied the horse directly on the trail even if there were good spot slightly off the trail just a few steps further. Luckily, the horse seemed nice. The first time I approached him blocking the very narrow trail, I talked to him and nudged him with my whip handle and he politely scooched as far over as possible so Jetta and I could squeeze past. It was a tight fit. The second time I encountered him tied on the trail between the tree line and a barbed wire fence. Lovely. He pinned his ears at us. Just fabulous. But another nudge with the whip and he grudgingly moved over.

My favorite section of the trail

We crossed a creek with no problem. The worst part of the trail was through a clear cut hill. There was literally no path. You just followed the ribbons through and over all the branches and rocks and lumpy ground. There was no possible way to trot, you pretty much had to walk the whole entire thing. And it was hot. There was no shade cover. This dead fall area went on forever it felt like and the footing was truly awful. Jetta got a couple scrapes on her back legs and one of the metal clasps on the easyboots got bent due to all the branches in the way. Somewhere in there I also dropped my whip which I was disappointed about since it was my "nice" whip.

Almost at the end of the 25 miles and I was still having fun!

Finally back on the real trail. Stopped for a drink of water (she FINALLY started drinking thank goodness) we trotted for a bit, but my legs were starting to get tired of posting so we cantered for the flat parts then walked the last half mile back to camp! My goal of coming in dry was achieved. Our initial pulse was 76, but after pulling her tack, letting her pee and drink she came quickly down to 48 and we vetted in. She got all A's except for a B on jug refill again and a B on gut sounds, which the vet said would probably be fine once she ate something. Overall, I couldn't have been happier! We came in just barely under time, while I let Jetta eat her grain/hay pellet mash I saw several horses who didn't pulse down in time.


The rest of the day Jetta just got pampered and I ate and read my book. The weather was perfect and I sat out in the sun with my feet up. Jetta napped. It was adorable, I wish I had gotten some pictures! She rested her nose on the panels and her lower lips was droopy and her eyes half closed. Several people stopped to laugh and give her a face rub. Too cute.

Don't think it could get better than this

Come awards, I found that out of 41 LD riders (there may have been a few more, this count was from the evening before), 36 had finished and I was the 22nd! Not last, so I was happy. Got our coffee mug for completing it, found my whip in the lost and found (thank you, thank you whoever picked it up!) then packed up and headed home. Jetta was excited to be home and I was happy that I'd get to sleep in my own bed!

I must say, that I am SO SORE. I knew I'd be a little sore in my legs and my abs were sore after riding, but geez. My shoulders, calves, inner thighs and abs are all super sore. Sitting down/standing up is a challenge. I was planning on doing a dressage school on Misty but I think that's going to have to wait!

Overall, I am so happy that I did this ride. Everything went perfectly and I can't wait for the next ride!

I love my pony