Saturday, November 29, 2014

Review: Horze Venice Bridle

I have a thing about bridles. I want them all. I do not need them, but I want them. I have a ton of them... I think all counted I have 5 english bridles and 3 western bridles? For two horses. Shameful.

Anways. I decided that I "needed" a new bridle and I have been eyeing this bridle FOREVER. Seriously. I actually bought one last year but they sent me the wrong size (pony size which will decidedly not fit Jetta's monster head). Interestingly, I thought the quality was pretty bad on that bridle. You could definitely tell that it was an under $100 bridle because the leather just felt "cardboard-y".

Fast forward a year and I found this bridle at the feed store and fell in love again. The quality was much better than the previous bridle I had seen in person. I have very particular things I like in a bridle. Padded crowns have become mandatory for me. I absolutely adore rounded buckles. Wide noses look particularly nice on Jetta's long, narrow nose. I don't like stiff nosebands that take forever to break in, which seems pretty standard with dressage bridles and crank nosebands. This bridle fit all of those requirements.

Jetta will never be a bridle model. 90% of my pictures looked like this

Horze Venice Bridle


My price: $46.95 - I managed to snag this wonderful deal which made it all the more amazing!

  • Everything I previously stated - wide nose, rounded buckles and padded crown. 
  • Plus lovely white stitching and super soft padding. 
  • The leather quality isn't "amazing" but it's still quite good for the price. I think with some oiling it will be perfect. I also have a Smartpak Plymouth Elite Dressage Bridle and I think the quality is pretty similar. The leather is a little more supple and thick with the Smartpak bridle, but the price is also slightly higher. 
  • While the noseband is a crank (I prefer French cavessons), it's not such a thick and stiff piece of leather like a lot of others I've seen. It's very soft and conforms nicely to Jetta's nose.

  • It's brown. And I don't do brown dressage tack. I do love brown dressage tack and would love to one day own a brown dressage saddle, but that's a pretty far off dream. I wish this bridle came in black with the same pretty white stitching. I probably would have paid full price for this bridle in black. 
  • Also, the reins aren't my favorite. They're leather reins with handstops. I would have preferred webbed or rubberized web reins honestly. Hopefully they're break in well because as of now, the hand stops are sharp, but then again I rarely use the reins that come with bridles. 
  • Lastly, it was a tad big on Jetta so I had to punch a few holes, but honestly that happens with all bridles. She's much too large to fit into a cob bridle, but is always on the last holes for horse size. The crank noseband had to have a couple more holes to keep it from flopping around and so did the flash.

Overall, I give this bridle an A. For the price, it's a fantastic bridle. All the small details make me happy and since I'm using it for Jetta's other bit (which is not dressage legal) the fact that it's brown doesn't actually matter except for my own sense of "MUST HAVE MATCHING TACK AT ALL TIMES".

Friday, November 28, 2014

30 Day Challenge - Your First Show

Since I have nothing better to do, a new (to me) 30 Day Challenge!

I did a post about this exact topic a while ago. I can't really remember this show all that well. All I remember is that I didn't really have a clue about what I was doing and I was super bummed when we didn't win, lol. I did win a second place ribbon in one of my classes though! Makes me miss Grady a whole lot...

And look at those lovely brown Wranglers! Lol
I think this was my first show. I was involved in 4-H and taking lessons, but I don't think I had competed in anything yet. I remember looking at my trainer standing against the wall and asking her what to do with my hands because everyone was in a curb bit with one hand and here I was showing western with a snaffle!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Best Laid Plans

Well, I meant to post more regularly this month. And I meant to ride Misty lots. And get Jetta back under saddle. Sigh... best laid plans.

It's been crunch time with my research project finishing up collecting data this month. The good news - I'll be done by Thanksgiving! YESSSSSS. The bad news - this past month I have had zero free time. I go to the lab after work to read slides, my days off I spend in the lab collecting samples and running tests. I go to the barn every day to snuggle with the ponies, occasionally lunge, stuff them with treats and clean stalls, but that's it.

I cannot wait to be done with the data collection portion. It kind of makes me want to pull my hair out. I'm sure the writing part won't be very much fun at all either, but maybe I'll have more free time?

In pony land... there's really nada. We had a huge cold snap so I felt bad about clipping the horses. After all, they're not being ridden at the moment. So I decided they could keep their fluff for the time being. Mist has gotten SO fluffy. She definitely didn't get this much hair last year. Both girls have their light-weight blankies on with a liner because I didn't have access to my medium weight blankets. Then I went to get the medium weights and was really confused as to why I could only find Jetta's blanket. Where was Misty's?

Oh. I found it. In a heap of shreds. Still waiting for my aunt (who runs a blanket repair business) to take if for spare pieces.

Remember this lovely event from last year? :

Yeah... That's where that went. So I guess Misty gets to stay with the combo of blankets. So that's about it. Jetta did get a new bridle, so that's something exciting. I couldn't resist it's cheapness and since I didn't want to keep swapping bits on her bridle... Yay new schooling bridle! I'll post more about it once I take pics and use it a few more times, but I'm pretty sure I'm in love with it, lol.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Back At It

Really trying hard to get back into the habit of riding. I always just feel so TIRED that I don't even want to ride by the time I finish cleaning stalls, but I just need to make it a habit!

So far, five rides. Yeah... there was no tack involved for three of those rides because I was too lazy to put a saddle on but I'll just pretend I'm actually participating in No Stirrup November. Hah.

Misty was super good for all five of those rides minus the fact that we are both completely out of shape. Me especially. My entire body aches. Geez. I didn't think that it would be this hard getting back to riding, but I guess when you ride sporadically and then stop riding altogether for three weeks... things are going to be sore.

Jetta is going to start getting back to work too. She's been getting lunged for the next week or two because after watching her buck and leap around on the lunge there's no way I'm getting back on her till that's sorted out! Unless of course we go for a trail ride, because she's almost always well behaved then.

Proof I've actually been on a horse

It's getting soooo cold out right now. Both girls have upgraded from sheets to lightweight blankets. Hopefully it doesn't snow, because I'm definitely not even close to ready for that nonsense!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bullet Points

Well, it's been a while. The girls are doing well, if perhaps being a bit bored as I've barely been able to do anything with them unfortunately. Let's play some catch-up and see what we've been doing lately:

  • Misty had a potential buyer and her trainer come try her (two separate occasions). I thought Misty would be perfect for this lady - she was looking for a first horse to jump on (hunters). Adequate rider, but very nervous over fences. I thought Misty was perfect for the trainer, especially since I hadn't ridden her in two weeks and hadn't jumped her in a month. She was a tad lazy for the actual buyer, but for a nervous beginner I thought she was great. 
  • They decided not to buy Misty :( At this point, I'm ready to lease Misty, which wasn't something I originally wanted to do, but she's just not getting ridden and it sucks. So we'll see about that.

This horse will never been 100% clean...

  • Jetta got her mane roached again which took several attempts because my clippers have decided they no longer want to work. Trying to decide whether it's worth getting them repaired or if I need to save for a new pair. 
Freshly done

  • In the meantime, I'm preparing mentally to bodyclip the girls. Excited! I love body clipping and I have a friend whose clippers I can borrow. Haven't really decided what I want to do... Be boring and do the same blanket clip on Jetta and strip clip on Misty? Or try something new and fun?
  • Blankets have been broken out for both girls which is SO NICE for keeping them clean. I mean, Misty still figures out how to get filthy even underneath it, but it at least helps a little bit. All I need is to buy some neck covers and we're golden!

And that's about it! I'm really hoping to get myself in gear and start posting more often this month. I can't promise that the posts'll be interesting... but I need to get back in the habit!

Just because