Monday, May 29, 2017

Baby Contest

I always think it's fun for foal contests, so here's my own! Jetta is now 63 days away from her "foaling date".

The baby is going to be buckskin, so we don't have to guess on color. Instead, let's have some guesses on markings, gender and foaling date!

Here's how it works. Comment your guess for the foal's markings and gender (for instance colt with a blaze and two hind socks) and/or pick the foaling date and time. I will pick a winner from each category (marking/gender and foaling date) and you can enter both if you want.

I honestly don't care whether the foal is a filly or colt, but I'm really hoping it's got a blaze and at least one sock!

For reference, Jetta has a blaze and one hind sock and a white spot on her other hind coronet. Mirabeau has a star and two hind socks. Jetta was bred August 26th, so if her pregnancy is exactly 342 days, then she is due August 1st.

For example, my guess:
August 4th at 3am. Colt, with one hind sock and a blaze. Basically what I'm hoping for: (pictures stolen shamelessly off google)

Also, any name ideas are welcome. I've already picked out it's registered name (Merely Gold = Mirabeau x Gold Jet Away), but I need a barn name that starts with "M". I was thinking Midas or Milo if it's a colt and maybe Mira if it's a filly, but I'm not sure. Ideas?

Guesses are due by the time of foaling (obviously) so you have lots of time to make your bet! I will pick two winners, each will win a $15 gift card to your tack shop of choice (Dover, Smartpak, or Riding Warehouse).

Let the games begin!

(and let's all just keep our fingers crossed for an easy foaling with a healthy foal!)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Weekly Update

You may recall in January how I posted I was going to use some christmas money to buy some awesome aqua colored leather gloves. I was super excited to get them... well it only took 5 months but they finally arrived!

Seriously the worst experience I have ever had buying something. Ever. I cannot believe the poor customer service, but I'm just happy I finally got them!

They are actually a brand of golfing gloves, called GFore, not made for horses so I'm not sure how long they're going to last since they're not actually made for the demand of riding. But I'm still in love with them! They're kind of difficult to get - if you order them from a golfing store (NOT the equestrian store I went through), you have to find a left and a right glove and order them individually. Pretty much no store had both a left and a right, in a size small, in the aqua color. Hence why I impatiently waited 5 months for them to come from the place I ordered them.

I can't recommend them yet since I've only ridden in them twice and I'm kinda just waiting for them to unravel... but they are butter soft and the most beautiful and perfect color. I love them!

Perfect #rootd

In other news, just a PSA. I found this super cute Joules Welly boot bag for over half off and it seemed about the right size to fit my Dubarry boots, so I bought it... and they fit inside perfectly! It is the cutest bag with a nice wide opening, so if you ever find yourself wanting a cute boot bag for your Dubarry or Faux-berry's these are perfect!

In other news, Jetta is still very pregnant and I have baby fever. My roommates' horse just had her baby on Tuesday and she is PRECIOUS. I love her. I sure hope Jetta doesn't make me wait that long though... she was at 361 days pregnant. Holy smokes, I might die if she is pregnant for that long!

Hard to get a non-blurry picture of the little ginger

Baby belly!

Fresh out of the oven

And finally, I have still been riding Vante three days a week. He has been a little fireball the past three rides. I pulled him out on Friday and tacked him up. He was a little hyper, but nothing unusual. I got him to the arena and went to tighten the girth and he exploded and reared and tried to take off. So we went and got a lunge line and he had a grand time leaping and bucking and rearing and running around. I had never seen him so full of it! He was very good for our ride, especially being in front of my leg.

I ordered some cob-sized cheek pieces (it was super hard to find one with rounded buckles to match my bridle) that arrived last week and now my bridle fits him perfectly. So much better.

Monday and Tuesday I rode him and he was still a little fireball but not as bad. We lunged first and he was ok under saddle. Monday was incredibly windy and the entire barn rattled and he was quite on edge the whole time. Tuesday he just couldn't handle the distractions - one other horse being ridden and a person on the ground watering the arena. He wanted to stop and say hi to everyone! And the left lead canter was just non-existant. He wouldn't bend to the inside, he wouldn't give to the bit and just wanted to be a giraffe, and he didn't want to go at a normal speed, more of a hand-gallop. So that was a bit frustrating. Overall though, he's still learning very quickly and he's still fun!

Maybe we can get these neck muscles developed correctly one day!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

All the Sparkles

If you know me, then you know that I looooove sparkles. I love them. So when I ran across this brand of browband called Equiture on instagram, I fell in love. They are blindingly sparkly. And extremely well made. And they are not crazy expensive! It's a miracle.

I had been wanting a sparkly browband for my PS of Sweden bridle, but I didn't want to spend a $100 on a PS browband. Yeah, the quick disconnect for the browbands is cool, but not $110 cool. These browbands look almost identical to the PS browbands (without the quick-change part) and some of them are almost half the price. Plus they have a ton more options. I seriously have 3 more browbands on my want list right now. No, I do not have 3 more bridles to put them on, but you know... I can rotate them or something!

Like I said, blinding:

I recently bought a second one as a gift for a friend and it's just as beautiful as the one I got. I was going for something a bit more subtle than my iridescent AB crytals, so I went with montana blue and black diamonds - so basically it's navy and grey. I think it looks awesome.

While they do come from the UK, shipping is still very fast and affordable. Plus they come in a cute little bag with extra crystals should you lose a few. The price range varies - you can spend $100 if you want to, but most of the browbands are around $60. Not cheap, but not outrageous. They don't really do returns, but you can exchange them for a different size within 14 days if you need to.

I just really love these browbands and I haven't seen them around that much! Of course I feel like everyone has their favorite brand, but I just wanted to share mine!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Weekly Update

It's been awhile and I'm excited to write about Vante!

He's such a fun little guy. I love working with baby horses cause they learn so fast and there's always such a huge difference in where you started and where you end up. Vante is such a sponge, he has soaked up a lot in a short period of time.

We have 5 rides so far under our belts and he's been great.

He's such a character!

He started out being pretty naughty - I guess one day he decided that the barrels that sit in the corner and never ever move were scary and he spooked pretty hard, slamming his owners foot into the wall and breaking it. Ouch.

The next time I rode, he was fine going to the right, but as soon as he saw the barrels to the left, he spooked and froze, refusing to go forward. I tapped him with the whip (I specifically rode with it for this reason!) and he reared and back pedaled across the arena. We worked on it a few minutes, with every time he threatened to rear, I turned his head and made him move his hind end around to get unstuck. Eventually we got back across the arena to the barrels and he sniffed them and took a break. After that, he was much better, though he still wanted to spook really hard, he held it together with just some counter-bending and trying to run his inside shoulder through my inside leg.

Finally confronting the scary barrels

The next ride had much less spooking and now he barely looks at them. We did try to ride outside one day to cool out since the weather has been so nice, but it didn't last very long. The horses in turnout started running when they saw him, and he grew several inches, arched neck, tail in the air, complete with snorting and prancing so I got off and walked him instead. Eventually we'll get there once we have better steering and listening skills :)

Such a different view with these ears!
A few of my favorite things - peach iced tea lemonade, sunshine, and horses!
Our last two rides have been absolutely fantastic though. He's picking up on taking contact. While he's still very inconsistent and he just doesn't understand why being a giraffe is not allowed, he's doing a lot better. While I haven't been insisting on it at the moment just because I'd rather have a forward horse who's steering appropriately, I've been having a steady light contact and he's really picking up on what it means. He's moving off my leg better, both laterally and in the forward direction, using the whip to reinforce it is helping a lot. Our circles and straight lines are more resembling what they should instead of odd jagged shapes.

While he does need to work on basically everything, our trot-canter transitions really need some help but once we start schooling them he does a lot better. He tends to die a lot in the downward transitions (but at least he stops well!), and I'd like our 20 meter circles to start resembling circles. He is going to have a hard time learning a free walk and stretchy trot, so we'll see how that goes. He's such an upright horse that stretching downward is so odd to him.

But I'm having such a blast with him!

And he's so handsome!

Jetta hasn't been forgotten, though I'm sure she wishes that she had been. She got a bath the other day, which she was very upset about, but it was very necessary. I've just been grooming her and lunging her, so she's been enjoying her pregnancy leave. Roughly 80ish days left!

In other news I got to go to my first derby party! It was super fun, I really enjoyed dressing up and making my fascinator and watching ponies.

My first mint julep aka adult snowcone

And my last kinda exciting piece of news... I did my first ever "surgery". Not real, just on a foam model, but it was really fun to go through all the steps of opening the different layers of skin, going through the linea alba, performing a bowel resection and anastamosis, then putting it all back together again. My sutures are getting better and better, though still not as "pretty" as I'd like them to be yet!