Monday, October 31, 2016

October 10 Questions

From Viva Carlos! I've been sitting on this for a while and it's almost not October any more!

What do you consider “jumping high” for yourself?
I've been pretty consistently competing at 2'6" to 2'9" so that height feels comfortable and "small" to me. I've started jumping more consistently at 3' and while it seems big, it's not too scary. So anything over 3' I definitely consider "high".

What are your short term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them? 
Short term goals are just to stick with riding during vet school even if it's just a couple days a week. I want to make it to a couple small shows a year, raise my baby horse and balance it all with school!

Cannot wait for my own baby horse!

Long term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them?
Long term goals include getting my bronze medal in dressage and getting a ribbon at a recognized Horse Trial. And I'd love to someday compete comfortably at Training Level eventing, but that may be very far off!

How many barns have you been at in your riding career?
Oh dear. A lot. I boarded between 2 places when I was younger, but mainly kept the horses at home. Then when college came, I switched a lot. It's hard to find a good barn! I think 4 different barns so far, so 6 total!

How many different trainers have you been with in your riding career? 
Hard to answer since I haven't really been consistently in a program since I was little. I started out with one trainer when I first started riding who was really the best trainer I could have asked for, but unfortunately we had a falling out. I started riding with a different trainer who was also amazing and I still keep in touch with now. When I got interested in dressage and jumping, I started taking lessons concurrently with another trainer. Then once I moved away to college I haven't consistently taken many lessons, though I guess I consider KO my eventing trainer and KB my dressage trainer though it's been over a year since I've seen either of them!

If we could only get this trot in the dressage ring!

Ever worked at a barn? What did you do?
Yes, a lot. I have cleaned stalls, brought horses in, blanketed, fed, exercised and started babies, etc. A lot. I think I've done this at at least three or four barns. I did it in exchange for board a lot, especially when I was boarding 2+ horses. It worked out really great and I really did enjoy it. I kinda miss it!

Scariest thing that has happened at your barn?
I really haven't had too many scary things happen. Grady's colic and having to be euthanized was terrifying and awful, definitely the worst thing I've ever been through. He actually got stuck in the fence because he was rolling close to it and got tangled in it and luckily our neighbor freed him and called my parents.

Will never not miss this guy

Have you ever given a lesson? What level was the rider?
Yes, I gave a lot of lessons on my trusty steed Jazz for 4-H'ers. I used to lead a 4-H group. It was all very basic beginner lessons, a lot of brand new riders.  

What is your opinion on the accuracy of critiquing riders online?
They may be accurate, but most of the judging is done off a snapshot in time without actually knowing the horse and rider. Basically, my philosophy is if I'm not paying for it, I don't want to hear it. That's what professional trainers are for.

What is the ideal height of a horse for you?
16-16.3 hands. Jetta's 16.2 hh so she's the absolute perfect height! 


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Our Little Pumpkin

I'm so excited for my little pumpkin! Can't believe we're already at 60 days... only 280ish more to go!

I think the other boarders at the barn thought I was crazy, but I don't care because I absolutely loooove how these pictures turned out!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Princess and the Golden Bit

Retail therapy at its finest to deal with vet school? Check.

Pretty mare all decked out

I really wish I was posting more, but I'm still in the adjustment period getting into the swing of thing for the first term back of my second year of vet school! It still seems weird that I can now call myself a second year. But everything's going well despite my less than consistent riding schedule, including acing the first two midterms.

Jetta got a new browband to go on her PS bridle and I'm obsessed. It's the sparkliest thing I've ever seen, it's literally blinding in the sunshine. I love it. It looks near identical to the ones that PS of Sweden sells, minus the snaps, but it's half the price.

So sparkly

I think it looks like Jetta has a tiara with it on. She's my princess so I guess she deserved a crown finally!

The golden bit part... that's not quite as fun. I have never spent so much money on a bit before, it hurts me a little inside. After the last show I decided we really needed something different and this bit had been recommended to me by two different trainers and it has great online reviews so I decided to try it out. Jetta is a sensitive horse who can be heavy at times so it's tough to find a good bit that she a) listens to, b) doesn't throw a fit about being too "strong" and c) doesn't grind her teeth with. Too thin of a bit? We get head tossing and an open mouth. Too thick? We get teeth grinding and/or ignoring the bit (and yes, she very recently got her teeth done and they had no issues). Her two favorite bits are her HS mullen mouth ported loose ring (not dressage legal) and her D-ring waterford (also not dressage legal).

So I bought a Neue Schule verbindend snaffle. That thing better be made of literal 14k gold for the price! I scoured the internet for a year for one less than $100 used, but they were never the right size or type so a shiny new bit it was.

I'm still tentative at calling it a magic bit (which it should be for the price) but Jetta goes pretty well in it. She listens very well, but at the same time she takes a really nice contact. Obviously it hasn't fixed all of our connection issues, but I think it was a good purchase. After a little bit of fussing at the walk, she settles down and takes the perfect amount of contact, much better than she usually does, and she doesn't just bulldoze through it in transitions. So I guess we're keeping the golden bit!

And the last bit of retail therapy... the big bi-annual tack sale was last weekend and I haven't been in over a year so I decided to go. Jetta got a new turnout sheet, a fleece dressage girth to replace the one that just walked away, a new boot bag for my tall boots, another waterford bit to put on her "trail" bridle so I don't have to keep swapping it off her cross country bridle and a couple other odds and ends for friends. It was a pretty good haul!

Shopping is always the answer, right?