RD WK 27: Mare Blues

6/22-6/29

Clearly, my normal Monday posts have swapped to Tuesdays. Sundays are now my lazy evenings again so, eh. I also had no good title, the closest I got was Mare Blues because she was in heat a majority of it. Regardless, I’ll get to it.

Monday was a tad bit rough. No lunging has become our new normal, but Lush was antsy when I got on. I ended up riding inside to avoid the heat. Normally I’d be all for riding out, but it wasn’t late enough in the afternoon for the outdoor to be shaded and I just don’t always do well in full sun.
I asked for the trot and immediately she felt bunched up.

I think I’ve said it before, but the first few trot steps Lush offers really gives insight to the rest of the ride. I decided to just try to keep pushing her out and letting her move out, but she got more and more flustered as we went. JB had her kids on their pony, and while I steered very clear of them, and one point Lush stopped and did a weird hop and went sideways. JB commented Lush was all tucked up and tight, and suggested I let me reins out a tad. I didn’t think my reins were very short, however the moment I let out my reins, she dropped and chilled out a tad. Just a tad though.

I cut my losses and finished out at the trot. There was no point in pushing the canter, and to be completely honest, I hate cantering Lush inside. I’m not sure if it plays into my fear of being run into a wall, which I’ve had ever since we moved from my first barn, or because of how small it is compared to the outdoor. Once you hit the long side and you think you’ve got it, you’ve hit the short side again.
I had chatted with JB before I rode to ask if we wanted to test drive the Littles on Lush.

We’ve been talking about it for a while now, especially whenever the Littles show up and Lush turns to complete mush. She was being odd (odd meaning she literally ate poop in the ring) so I decided to bring her into the aisle (to check her bit), and once I got her in the aisle, she mush have peed a puddle almost 4 feet long. JB looked at her, and went, “Maybe another day when she’s not in raging heat”.

Tuesday, I just gave up on life. It was miserably hot, I had no motivation whatsoever, and clearly neither did Lush when I pulled her out. I will be honest, if she wasn’t shark finned, and tended to be a bit scooty, I would have totally gone bareback and ridden her around. But I had a little self-preservation so I just tacked up and hopped on, no gloves and just in my paddock boots and ridiculously unmatched tall socks. I planned just a walking day and we wandered the driveway and I convinced her to get to the other side of the driveway, but it was a rough go of it.

I’ve included a not so wonderfully drawn sticky note diagram of the front of the property.

I clearly need to be a full time artist

The red line is usually the most she does unprompted, the dotted is the goal, and the green circle is the area she is most anxious/hesitant about.

I’ve gotten her around the second arm of the driveway and up the first arm before, but mostly on days that there are little to no cars around. Tuesday I managed to get to the first driveway and partially up it, however, she would not get any father, so I swung around and behind the house and back up the driveway towards the barn. After playing around at our “trail” endeavors, I brought her into the outdoor, schooled a few trot circles, and cantered once and called it a day.

Wednesday was a plain walk trot day, I didn’t push it. She was however in full raging mare heat, and her legs were disgusting. I hauled her into the wash stall to scrub at some of the stains, and in the middle of washing her left leg, the storage tower where all the wash supplies were came crashing down on my head. I think I was seconds away from being kicked as Lush spooked to the opposite side of the wash stall. I think she was traumatized, but she definitely handled it better then I thought.

Thursday I planned for it to be a Lush day, but L was back into work and JM had a rough day Wednesday and went home early, so I rode L.

Friday was another day I planned to ride Lush, but L was a bit much after his week off, so I was exhausted and Lush got yet another day off.

Saturday was supposed to be disgustingly hot and then turned out okay. Lush got her teeth floated, and the floater let me stick my hand in her mouth to feel the points, which was always cool to feel. We rode after before the rain started, and she was pretty good! I skipped the canter again, I was feeling quite lazy, and I got her up and down the driveway, our normal route

One of JM’s students, S got some photos and videos of me and Lush on Saturday as well. Lush is still BTV, which I am working pretty hard on getting her to stick her nose out. It does take time to build up the muscle needed, and I’m taking her from what JM in the past has called, one extreme to the next. Saddleseat to dressage is a big swap for horses, and especially a 14 yo mare who’s whole life was saddleseat.

It’s a slow process, and in the end, she may not fully go dressage. JB’s plans for her were to take her in the hunt seat ring this season. With Big E now canceled, and most Massachusetts shows still canceled until Phase whatever, there are no plans to put her in the ring until next year. I’m wondering if maybe there will be a few field trips in place just to get her and the new horse used to traveling.

Sunday was another lazy day. I did stalls, watched people ride, made a lunch run, and then organized JB’s gooseneck because I was slightly bored. I was waiting for it to rain so it would cool off, but it never really did, so I hopped on later in the afternoon. It was another light ride, and I was chatting with JB when Lush decided, “oh we’re done. Walkie time!” Well, I tried to get her to go past the road and down, but she was not having it. I walked back to the barn, just not willing to push it, and she wouldn’t get close to the barn.

JB is definitely the embodiment of “Well if you don’t want to do it now we’re definitely doing it” in her training, and when she noticed Lush wouldn’t walk up the first driveway, she decided it was time we made Lush do it. So from the barn to basically the garage, JB had to walk behind us and keep pushing Lush forward. It took five minutes, but we made it. And then she had a massive spook at a motorcycle going by, but we made it clockwise around the whole driveway. And then she decided that was it, we weren’t moving, my quarter was up.

I sat on her and chatted with JB, a boarder and her daughter who I’ve known since I was little, and Lush just hung out. It was good for her brain to just chill, and she let me know when she was done.

I also got some unexpected cuddles, like she full-on put her face in my chest and just left it, and I was over the moon. Lush has never expressed any kind of interest in any of this, or shown any kind of affection or interest, so it was a big deal.

(Please ignore the helmet hair)

This week might be a little lighter in Lush time. I have an L lesson on Tuesday 6/30 and July starts so my L time will start over again and I will probably end up riding him twice more this week. I’m really hoping to get the Littles on her soon, we’ve been doing so well and the no lunging has been going great.

Review: Equivisor, Tights and Pivo

It’s been a hot minute since my quarantine impulse buy, and I’ve slowly acquired a few new things here and there so I thought I’d update you on those purchases and my thoughts on them.

Equivisor

EquiVisor® | Dover Saddlery

I’m pale. My family ancestry is mainly European, with Irish, Canadian and Polish popping up the most, so I’m fair skinned. Pile on a family history of skin cancers, plus a forgetfulness of sunscreen, I burn a lot. This summer my goal was to avoid as much skin damage that I could, which meant I wanted to take a better stab at suncoverage. I have one sunshirt, but wanted something I could use every day. So, in waltzed the Equivisor. I ordered it early May, which meant because of COVID, my choices were limited. I ended up purchasing a navy visor, and I love it.

This thing works wonderfully at the barn. It fits perfectly on my Trauma Void (TV), and I can make it super small and use it as a visor for picking paddocks. The barn crew calls it my Laura Ingall hat, which I find hilarious. Of course, whenever people are there and take photos of me, I’m either not wearing it or its not a good photo. I have some very nice ones on the Toddler, however he looks dopey in all of them.

Noble Outfitters Gravity Balance Tights

The noble outfitters brand was recommended to me by JB. She has a lot of their tights and loved them. I was willing to try tights, mainly because I needed something cooler then jeans and my full seats. I need the full seats for L, but for the rest of the horses I ride, it doesn’t matter. And I was dying in my fullseats and jeans in the heat.

The gravity balance is made to be lighter and I love it. I barely notice the heat in these, the only issue I have is I’m oddly proportioned for tights to start so they tend to sag in the crotch. These do have belt loops which I take full advantage off, but they’re very comfy. I wear them pretty much daily when I’m not riding L. I find that the knee patch slips, and I’m hiking them up pretty often while walking around, but thats typical for me regardless so I don’t find much issue. I also just did a minor repair to the phone pocket, I caught it on something and it ripped the mesh, however it did well this past weekend in the heat and I was quite comfortable in them, well as comfortable as you can get in 90 degree heat.

Tights in action

Pivo Pod

Pivo Silver

I first saw this when Amanda on The900FacebookPony posted she had ordered one. After that, in typical internet marketing fashion, I got about 500 ads for it. I joined the Facebook group, then I hemmed and hawed for a few days before taking a leap and ordering one. I’ve struggled to get videos of my rides before and end up riding with my phone on fence posts and I record 40 minutes of short passes and limited moments which I just get frustrated with.

For $150 total, it was definitely worth the leap to me, even if it didn’t work out well. It seemed easier to spend $150 at the Pivo

It came in on the 16th, and I spent my evening goofing with it at my house. It did pretty well in the house, it lost me a few times in the house but it wasn’t terrible. I borrowed a tripod from my mom and took it to the barn.

I was worried because I forgot to wear lighter clothes, which Pivo recommends, especially with dark coat horses. There is also some major shade on the left and back of the ring, which I was worried about it losing me there.

For the first trial, I plopped it on a jump standard and just let it go. And honestly, it did pretty well. I rode with a group, so it did lose me a lot, but technically wasn’t losing anyone because it just tracked another rider. There were two times it lost all riders, but once someone went by, it picked them right back up. It didn’t record one try I did, I was starting and stopping it via the remote which I kept in my pocket, and I’m pretty sure I either didn’t hit the start button or I was too far away so I will blame myself.

Screen shot with rare appearance from L on this blog

The video it got was fantastic, even for the front camera. I was a bit frustrated at how it didn’t/couldn’t auto-zoom, and once I was on, I couldn’t really adjust the zoom. However, literally the next day Pivo came out with an auto-zoom update so my only complaint is now a moot point.

Friday I tried again with it as close to X as I could and on the tripod. I was planning to ride alone, but last minute one of my favorite leasers, C, showed up to ride her mare and I was pretty excited to ride with her. I was also on Lush, which I was curious how well it would track her after L. I started the ride and was planning on getting video of the canter at the end. The Pivo really liked C and her mare, I’m not sure if it was because her mare was a very light chestnut, or the bright purple pad she was using, but it followed her a lot. It would lose me down at A, however it tracked farther towards C then when it was on the jump standard.

Then halfway through my ride, the Pivo died. I was super confused why it was stuck, and panicked I broke it, but once I was off, I realized it had died. Also, I wish I had a second phone to take a photo with it, a bird decided to land on my phone mid ride and sat there watching until I rode at it and it flew away.

Since then, I haven’t used it again as I don’t have tons of room on my phone right now. I am trying to figure out how to get all my photos off my phone and onto my computer without losing a single one, and all my methods seem to not be working very well. If anyone understands iCloud, let me know.

The irony of it all, I posted about it on Facebook Wednesday night with my first trial ride, and GJM immediately messaged me saying she was considering one and what were my thoughts. She has since ordered one and is eagerly awaiting hers.

Regardless, it’s super helpful to have the video, and I’m hoping to get some more video of future lessons and Lush rides. Once I get my phone emptied of photos, and play around with it more, I hope to get some better thoughts on it. Already I feel that Pivo has been well worth the money.

And those are the most current equine related purchases! Anyone else get anything exciting in the last few weeks?

RD WK 26: Lunge Free

6/16-6/21

Tuesday, was my lesson with GJM and L. I was a bit nervous for it, I’m not sure why. I’ll go into some detail of what we worked on for me specifically, I’ll skip the L specific parts.

GJM immediately picked on my feet at the walk before I even trotted off. I’m not sure why, if it’s because I rode in hunt tack for most of my riding career or if it’s the bad knees to blame, but I wing my feet out. Pretty bad. In a hunt saddle, not terrible but for dressage, it leaves my leg on. GJM told me I didn’t have very flexible ankles by the looks of it, and when we straightened my foot, it felt like I was pigeon-toed in. Part of my homework is to work on fixing that in the walk and eventually move to fix it in the trot. She also had me really rethinking my half halts and working on half halting more with my body and less with my hands. There were a lot of trot walk transitions in the beginning as we warmed up, and eventually transferred those into half halts in the trot and using them in my upward canter transitions.

Winged out feet example from Wednesday

I had another L ride on Wednesday, which I trialed out the Pivo with. We continued our homework from Tuesday.

Thursday was my first Lush ride in over a week. Last Thursday she got her second round of shots, and she reacts strongly to them, so she got Thursday and Friday of last week off because of it. I gave her Saturday because she still seemed sore and Sunday because I didn’t think it was fair to her to ride her just Sunday, not be there Monday and then not get to her until at least Wednesday Thursday. JB put a ride on her Monday and was very happy with the results.

Thursday was not a great Lush day. I got there later than normal, so I was riding at turn in. And Lush is very herd bound, and turn in makes her anxious because suddenly she’s alone and that is not her favorite.

I lunged for ten minutes inside first. She calmed down once we were finished lunging, but once we got in the outdoor, she started jigging and screaming. JB got a new horse on Wednesday, and he was screaming right back for her. It took me 15 minutes of walking in the outdoor before I felt she was even remotely calm enough to stand for mounting. She immediately went off trotting, so I just took what I had and put her to work.

We did a lot of changes of direction, transitions, and just trying to keep her busy. I kept myself chill and as JM has been calling it, channeling my inner Buddha. Which meant lots of commentary from me, singing songs and just making jokes. The Campfire Song Song came up a few times. I don’t think Lush appreciated my singing, but I was breathing and chill so it didn’t matter. I was also thankfully alone, so I didn’t have to explain why I was singing Spongebob while riding.

After her initial panic, Lush actually settled in and we had a good ride. I would have liked to have had her quieter, but she was well behaved. Walk breaks she spent calling for any friends, but all the horses couldn’t have cared less at that point. I skipped the canter and played with some lateral, which she was not a fan of, but did anyway.

Friday I decided would be lunge free. I’ve been working with Lush for over two months, and she’s been inconsistent work, so I think it’s time we ditch pre lunging. Of course, after say a week off, I’d consider it, or if she came in very up, but I think it’s time to bite the bullet and go lunge free.

Lush came in super quiet which reinforced my confidence in skipping lunging. Guys, she was a rock star. WTC super chill and focused. There were a few ugly transitions into the canter, but we had fun with it.

Saturday was the first scorcher of the upcoming week. It was supposed to hit 90 by 2, so A and I banged out stalls so we could ride earlier. I rode around 10 in the indoor as the sun was already bright and hot by then.

Lush was fiesty. I’m not sure if it was because of A: being inside, B: she was feeding off A’s mare who acting up, or C: she just was being extra. Who knows, but with Lush, you know how she will be by the first trot set. She snaked her neck as we started, so I knew I was in for it. She was throwing her hind out, traveling sideways, evading the bit, pinning her ears, all of the above. I settled for two laps in the bad direction where she sideways trotted and called it a day. I was in no position to push it, and it was unfair to push it with her with how hot it was.

I ended up almost melting the rest of the day. I just don’t do well in heat and would prefer 70 and sunny with a nice breeze and some big puffy clouds.

Saturday I also grabbed L and took him for some grass and got this super pretty photo. He got his injections Thursday, so he has until tomorrow off, and then he can go back to work. I’m a little upset as he is turning his bleached out summer bay now and we had kept the shiny black for a decent amount of time, more than usual. Usually, by now his face is pretty bleachy too from the bridle. Ah well, the problems of dark coated horses in the summer.

Sunday I asked JM for a Lush lesson in the morning. I rode outside because I wanted to work on her canter, and it’s easier to get outside. We got some pretty snappy transitions from Lush and worked on controlling the speed and using the L half halts I spent a lot of time in the canter. I was really happy with my ride, and she was a star as per usual. Day 4 of no Lunging was fantastic. At this point, I think we can say it’s not necessary.

The best lighthouse neck

I also got to ride New Guy on Sunday! I did mention JB purchased a new lesson horse earlier. JB sold one lesson horse (Maisy), and JM’s program was in need of a “two feet in the grave” lesson horse to help lighten the load. JB has a lot of horses that are great for lessons, but JM only uses two. The goal for Lush is for her to be a lesson horse, but because of the canter transitions, she can only go walk trot, and we have yet to throw a small child on her and see how she does. There are three other lesson horses available, however, one is currently out of commission, a second is in training work and the third is a saddleseat mare who is very fun, however, is a bit too forward for most people. JB mostly uses those three for her smaller lesson program of advanced students, but JM uses Reba and another horse for her lessons. Now it’s a tad bit more even. New Guy has a little work to be done before he can be handed off to tots, but he did his first real lesson yesterday and did rather well!

And that was my week! This week L goes back to work, so hopefully, I can get back to my 2 L rides. I honestly didn’t think I’d miss riding him so much but I do, its always a blast to hop on and play around, regardless of the quality of the ride I have.

I have to chat with JM about scheduling another GJM lesson for not this week but the next week and then talk to GJM to see if the clinic she’s holding at her property on the 11th will be a good idea for L and me.

I think we’ll be doing GJM lessons every other week for now. I think the goal with L is for me to slowly take up more lease rides on him in the fall, and JM maybe will start partial leasing GJM’s PSG horse, as GJM has plans for JM to continue through third and on to higher levels. The vets confirmed L should not compete at third level again, however JM does want to continue up the levels and get her bronze so it oddly enough works out perfectly.

Final note, I also figured out Lush’s Saturday moments. she ran out of her raspberry leaves and went into raging heat. Monday she demonstrated she was in heat in front of New Guy. I’ll give the rest of my Monday ride next week but I thought I would add that.

RD WK 24-25: Catch Up Game

6/2-6/16

I had a rough week two weeks ago, thats why blog posts have been behind. But regardless, its time to press forward and keep up with it all.

A meme addition for funsies, but seriously, I need extra legs

The week of the 2nd was the rough week, and I really can’t pin point what went down specifically. I know I rode Lush and L, and Lush had two days off. Lush has been making massive strides, figuratively and literally.

Thursday, Lush was a little out of control. She is very herd bound to her two neighbors, and that week, when one went missing, she was very frantic. It also didn’t help that a tent was put up in her paddock, which she was certain would eat her. I ended up lunging for a bit longer then I normally would, and then had a retraining moment over what woah, and standing when mounting meant. After getting out into the outdoor, she put her head down and we had a fantastic ride.

After Thursday, I had a major struggle to get her to work down at the far end of the indoor. Our usual routine has been lunge in the indoor, mount up in there, and walk to the outdoor. Then, I couldn’t get her out the doors on Friday. Like, at all. She would shy away and trot to the opposite end of the ring. If it was another horse like Maisy, I definitely would have had a different approach. But seeing as she was basically checked out of it, I just hopped off, said fuck it, and walked her to the outdoor and hopped on out there. And she was fantastic!

I wimped out with the heat on Saturday, it was miserable so I dedicated my afternoon to cleaning the tack room and all of the bridles. And then I also gave the pony a bath because JB’s gremlins requested to give him a bath and I love giving baths so I was all in.

I had a similar reaction lunging her on Sunday, where she had no interest in lunging anywhere near the doors. I decided to ride inside because of the rain. And then Lush wouldn’t even ride on the opposite half of the ring she’d been shying away from. I had to call JB for an assist, and she helped me work Lush through it, and then be able to walk her out the doors. She also noticed Lush didn’t seem too pleased with the smooth snaffle we had swapped her to. I took it easy on that ride, and ended up working on our transitions.

Monday, I swapped her into a different bit, a D ring snaffle with copper rollers. She seemed a lot happier in it and JB and JM agreed she seemed happier in bits with cheeks that have support. She was in the full cheek snaffle before, and D rings give more support then the loose ring snaffle she was in.

We got somewhere with the canter on Monday! The right lead is really coming along, however the left lead is still not so hot. We got some good transitions to the right, and I was holding her back a bit more to get into the transition instead of letting her race into it, which made her a bit mad. At one point, we got a saddleseat quality canter, and I did a half halt to try and correct it. In the saddle, it felt like a huge half halt and she hiccuped, and slammed the breaks and her head came up. If I had put more leg on, we could have saved it, but I wasn’t ready for her reaction and we broke. On video, it looks like she hiccuped, and it made me, JB who took the video, and JM laugh.

Tuesday was a fun day. So I wasn’t entirely planning to ride. At all. JM got a new puppy over the weekend, and I was more then content to sit with the puppy and watch people ride. And then, JB hopped off in front of me, and asked if I wanted to ride the toddler.

Backstory, The Toddler is JB’s saddlebred, another with a rough history, but he’s come pretty far. We call him The Toddler because he’s a 9 year old horse with a 3 yo brain, and a tendency to flip his hair.

I immediately said yes, this was an oppourtunity I could not pass up. Reader, I had a fucking blast. He is a 5 gaited saddlebred, and he’s so smooth in all 5 gaits, it’s insane. I barely could post to his trot it was so smooth. I may have cantered a lot. It again, was so smooth and comfy and he could have gone on forever. I was laughing the whole time. He is a very hard horse to ride regardless, and I give JB all the kudos in the world for riding him. She had all of it before I sat on him, but definitely even more after I sat on him.

Definitely reminded me that you shouldn’t judge a rider until you’ve ridden a mile on their horse.

And then, I suddenly had motivation and ran and grabbed Lush. I popped on for maybe 25 minutes. Just some basic walk trot and cantered to the right. JB was telling JM that she needed to get on Lush and The Toddler, and I siddled over and said JM should hop on after I was done. And so she did!

I mentioned that JM was in love with Lush during our lesson last week. After riding her, JM was even more in love with Lush. She even said that except the canter transitions, Lush could probably show First level right out of the gate.

Wednesday I rode Lush later on in the afternoon. She was hyped up because the pony was out on grass, and her other neighbor, A’s horse, was out working. So she was alone on her side and Lush is very herd bound. I was riding L when A took her mare out to ride, and we joked about the diva-ness of Lush as we rode and how she was practically lunging herself.

Here is why it’s relevant. I’ve been slowly decreasing the amount of lunging I’ve been doing with Lush. My goal is to eventually fully eliminate it. Wednesday was day 4 of riding in a row, and she’d been super good the past three days, so I decided it was time to try it. And then as I brought her in and she was alert and spacey, I took a second to rethink my decision. Did I really want to try this on a day she was already up, especially as we were starting to ride, they were bringing in horses?

Clearly, I had more faith in myself then I thought, because I said, fuck it, we said we were going to do it, so we have to. And it didn’t go as horribly as I thought!

She walked off a step, stood while I got my other foot in the stirrup, and we immediately trotted off. I let it happen because she offered it, and she was clearly up. I worked her in a bunch of serpentines to keep her brain on me, not on the horses coming in. She was very looky at the back of the ring where the horses were walking past, but she was super good regardless! She didn’t like cantering to the left at the back end, but we got it super easy to the right. The left still needs work, but we’ll keep chipping at it. She only started calling once we were done, and stood like a lady to be hosed outside instead of in the wash stall.

Thursday I planned to head to the barn, but after a draining appointment, and the pouring rain, I stayed home. The horses got their second round of shots on Thursday, so I felt it was fine to let her have Thursday off, and L got the day off as well for new shoes.

Friday was my weekly lesson with JM, but I rode L instead. Lush was still super sore so she got the day off. It was an eventful lesson, I got to play with the canter more and JM had high praises for how we were doing.

Saturday was a no riding day for moi. I came and did chores, and then helped JM between lessons. Originally, I was going to ride a boarder horse, but the owner had to cancel. I went with JM to a client’s barn, but due to some circumstances, the client had to reschedule so I went home early and was so confused on what to do with myself for the evening.

Sunday, I got to ride the boarder horse, which I had so much fun on! The horse was a smaller horse, and was very smooth and zippy. I will admit I made racecar noises every time we went around a corner. I was having waaaay too much fun. And that was it. I gave one of JB’s older mares a bath and then hung out with JM’s puppy.

Lush is having an extended off time, because of my scheduling. I didn’t think it was fair to her for me to ride her Sunday and do all sorts of work, and then not ride again until Wednesday. She got Saturday off because she was still ouchie from the shot, and I won’t be at the barn Monday, first hair appointment at a weird hour that left me no time to ride, and Tuesday I have a lesson on L with GJM, which I know I will be getting my ass properly kicked. So Lush is on a slight break. I think JB at some point wants to get on her and do some canter work, so maybe that will be this week.

Off horse topic updates, I think I graduated? Weird sentence, but I finished my last two classes last week. I officially have 120 credits, and had applied for graduation, and my expected finish date is Summer 2020, so I’m not sure if i have to wait until August to find out.

We also partook in our first target trip since quarantine. My dad, my sister and I were those weirdos that would just go to Target for one item, and screw around the rest of the time and get coffee. When my sister moved out west, it was just me and my dad who would go. We all went the other evening as a family, and it was a bit odd. I needed a few things so I was happy to go.

Featuring my younger brother

I know I already mentioned it, but JM got a new puppy! I’ve shared her daughter’s puppy, Cooper, before, but last weekend she brought home another puppy! This is Rey, and she’s tiny and adorable. I’ve taken on puppy-sitting duty again at the barn, and I love it. If you sit on the floor, she immediately just crawls in your lap for snuggles, but she’s a little spitfire too. So she may grace these posts in Pup-dates, Puppy updates.

I’m also stressing a bit. I have a pet snake, named Pretzel. She is a very sweet noodle, and love to hang out. Recently, I’ve noticed she’s been yawning a lot more with sometimes there being a little extra saliva, which are signs of a URI, upper respitory infection. She’s also had a few little lumps on her face, which after sharing with a few friends, are estimated to possibly to be abscesses. Fun fact, did you know reptile pus is solid?? I didn’t. My reptile vet retired last year, and my goal this spring was to find her a new vet for her yearly wellness exam. Corona fucked it up, so here I am, with a not super sick but could progress noodle. I’ve called a few exotics vets, who are booked up. One is an emergency vet, and they said the only way they could see her would be to bring her as an emergency, which could cost me a pretty penny, and there is no promise that she will be seen by the exotic vet. The other, I left my number with, they’re booked till July. I think I may call them back tomorrow and see about actually making the appointment, as all the other people that I’ve been referred to are booked up as well.

Aaaand we’re all caught up! Thats it for the past few weeks, and hopefully I stay caught up now that I have no school requirements.

RD WK 22-23: One door closes…

5/19-5/25

Y’all, you know how I said the change is good to last week? Well, clearly one door had to shut for another to open. I’ll delve a little into it down the post, but I’m so pumped. I also apologize for promising a second post and then not delivering. I am a dork and forgot to hit the schedule on Friday when I finished it so I’ll put it up Friday because I’m a hot mess with the blog right now.

Before I delve into my weekly diaries, Monday the 18th was the day Massachusetts was supposed to lift its restrictions. Baker decided to do it in phases, and only announced it the 18th what the phases would be, and not much else. Since then, we finally were told what phases were, and a more detailed list of what businesses can open in what phase. Barns have officially opened for lessons as of May 25th with social distancing measures in place, and this current week (5/25-6/1), JM has already had a few lessons.

Alright, let’s get into the week.

Tuesday was a Lush ride. Starting out, she was very good for mounting and we moved out to trot. As I continued the ride, I noticed there were issues with her accepting contact to the left, and it got worse as we continued the ride. She kept evading and popping her head up and towards me. She only did it to the left, she was super consistent with her head in the correct place to the right. Part of me wondered if I am confusing her with my aids.

In past moments, JB has had me ride her by holding the inside rein to keep her bending right and then half halting the outside rein, but sometimes I swap and keep my outside rein steady and (apologies, this is the word JM has always used), “massage” with the inside rein like I did with Maisy. Thinking back, and noticing it at a later ride, I do the same thing to the right and she does give to the pressure and drop her head. So it really wasn’t aid confusion, however, I really need to get it under control regardless and keep to one way of asking so that later on I won’t be causing training issues for someone else.

I mentioned all of it to JB, and she said it could a few things, and promised she would try to get on her at some point in the week. It was just very jarring to me that it was only one direction and her formerly better direction. I also spent most of the ride, and later on the rest of the week catching myself leaning to the side to avoid her head and neck if she came up.

Snuffleluphagus in some tall grass

Wednesday was blast. The day before, JM texted me and said, “Hey, do you want to ride L tomorrow?” My response was, “Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes!!” A very quick short background on L, JM has owned him for 11-12 years now and worked really hard with him. He can be a difficult horse to ride, so not many people have ridden him aside from JM and GJM. I’ve been his groom for a few years, and JM calls me his second favorite person. I’ve ridden him a few times, but not much. I rode him for the first time a few years ago, before his third level debut, and then once two years ago, and then over the winter a few times. She had talked about big plans for me to show him this season to help me out of training and into at least the First level, but then Corona happened so, thanks to Corona.

L is my favorite horse hands down. I mean what’s not to love about him? Fluffy, kind of cuddly, goofy expressions and he has these funny lip flap moments when he wants what you have even though he definitely doesn’t like it, he still thinks you should offer it ever time. Even with some of his stupid moments you just can’t help but love him. He is just the best horse, and despite some of his flaws, I love him. I remember freshman year of college I did a lot of my homework in his stall, which he was very confused by at first, and looking back, not my smartest move ever but clearly I did okay.

Either way, I was so excited when Wednesday came. I showed up and JM had him all ready to go. We walked our laps, and on I went. L goes in a double currently, so the reins take me two minutes to get situated with them. Reader, it was the most fun I’ve had all quarantine. JM made a comment at one point that if I grinned any wider my face would split.

During my cool out, we decided that I would lease L starting June 1st. Which is literally the best thing ever and I was bouncing off the walls the rest of the day. It will be a 2-day lease, for now. We may increase it in the future, but 2 days is more than enough for me. I’d be happy riding him 1 day a week. Hopefully, as the summer progresses, JM said eventually she’d like to see me taking lessons with GJM every other week as GJM knows a lot about how L works and will be super helpful to me.

I’ve decided, for now, I won’t go into super detail on any L rides out of respect for JM. L is her personal horse and it just doesn’t feel right. I might do a little paragraph here and there, but L is off-limits for this blog. He is an upper-level dressage horse and will teach me tons, especially about my position and to keep myself relaxed. I have a tendency to lock up my lower back and elbows. L lateral walks when you tighten your back and ducks out of the bridle subtly when you lock elbows, so I have high hopes for my position and equitation over the summer.

Thursday I took off from horses. I had an online appointment from 3-4 and I hadn’t had a lot of days off in the past few weeks so I met up with a friend and caught up.

Friday was another Lush ride. Thursday JB had ended up hopping on Lush while I wasn’t there and given her a tune-up. She mentioned she hadn’t done any cantering but worked on the trot and fixing that issue we were having to the left. Turns out it was just a Lush mare moment, so I worked on pushing her through it. We had glimmers of greatness, but very short glimmers.

Another thing I noticed that day was I think she gets claustrophobic walking through gates and doors. I tend to mount in the indoor and walk to the outdoor, mainly because the indoor is usually pretty quiet and I can work on her mounting in a quieter setting. She usually dances going through the doors, and then kinda scoots through like she thinks she’ll get caught up in something.

Mounting also had gotten so much better, she now stands and waits until I have both feet in the stirrups and give her the cue to walk off. A few times I’ve brushed her with my leg as I try to get the foot in the stirrup, and she takes that as “Oh shit we’re going!” and walks off, which I’ve worked on a bit.

I also popped on Reba to bomb around on. I’m really enjoying being able to hop on Reba, it works well that she gets a few advanced riders on her to keep her brain active, and it helps me just hop on and ride with no agenda other than to have fun.

Saturday JM had to head up to her mothers-in-law so I got to ride L a second time. It wasn’t the same quality ride I had on Wednesday, but it was my first ride alone so JM and I later talked about how I was probably a bit too tight.

I ended up skipping Lush. She had kicked and clipped my left knee on Friday while picking out her hooves. It was a half-ass kick, and really nothing to write home about, but JB put Durasole on her hooves a few weeks ago and they’re hard as rocks. Lush just managed to clip the side of my knee enough that it was sore and I ended up favoring it the rest of the day, which made the right knee compensate, and that’s the weaker knee. Riding Reba didn’t help either. Horses with big shoulders aggravate my knees, so it all just compiled into angry sore knees and one horse was enough for me Saturday.

Sunday was super fun.

I had made plans to kayaking with another friend in the afternoon, so I got to the barn and helped whip through chores before grabbing Lush. It was a super ride. We had a much more consistent headset, she was relaxed, and just plodding along. I discovered that to the right, going down the long side she likes to truck and go saddleseat mode, so we played with slowing her down a bit on that side. JB was riding a boarder’s horse who can be a bit hot, and every time that horse went by, I could feel Lush going “OMG, she’s hot, so I have to be hot, right right right??”. She was so ready to pop back into saddleseat show horse mode and I couldn’t help but laugh a little at her. She is such a good horse.

I also played a tiny bit with the canter. I think I’ve said it before, but Lush has no idea how to canter cue without turning to the wall. The whole, leg yield out to outside leg cue thing is lost on her. JB has told me that’s something she wants to work on, but I have permission to lightly canter just to get her fit. I decided it was quiet, we were alone, and why the fuck not.

Reader, it was the weirdest canter I have ever ridden. I only did it once, mainly because I couldn’t get it after the first time. It felt like her bag legs were miles out behind me, and it took at least half a circle before she actually broke into the correct gait. It was maybe a short side of a 20-meter circle and then she broke but it was something and more than we’ve done before. I had to kiss and duck my shoulders to get the transition, which slowly I hope we can phase that out correct cues.

I tried again for the canter, but instead got a kick-ass giant forward trot where she was correctly pushing from behind and I ended it there. It was such a rush from getting the canter and then from the giant trot I was on top of the world. And of course, no one else saw it. Typical.

Kayaking was a blast, I got burnt and enjoyed every second of it. I forgot how much I loved kayaking and went out with a good friend and we had some nice chats. I saw 3 turtles, an otter, and a few blue herons.

I won both races

Monday was Memorial Day, and I spent the whole day there, which was wonderful. I rode Lush in the morning after chores and we had a fabulous ride. The trot felt so much better than usual and I could keep her poll lower longer than before. Towards the end of our ride all of a sudden the ring was very crowded, so I called it quits and decided to try out our “trail riding”. I highly doubt Lush will ever be able to legit trail ride, but I’m determined to get her okay with wandering the property.

Bravest of Snuffleupagus’s

But the brave little Snuffleupagus managed to the end of the second driveway! We had done it the day before, but she was wigged out about by someone walking by with a stroller and jigged her way back. She wandered her way up and back on pretty much a loose rein. JB’s barn has a big U type driveway, the first entrance goes by her house, and winds up through the paddocks and back out to the road. We have tackled the second half of the U, but the first half by JB’s house is still terrifying. I tried it, and she checked out and trotted me back to the ring. I ended up popping off and hand walking her back and forth until she relaxed. It’s a work in progress, and the constant cars in different places seems to be something she focuses on and gets wigged out by.

One of the boarders’ mother came by to watch her ride and told me multiple times while I was riding that I looked fabulous on Lush and she looked super good. Instead of my usual, “oh no its nothing” kind of response I usually give, I just smiled and said thank you very much.

Lush has made leaps and bounds since I started riding at JB’s, and I’m loving how much more her personality is coming to light. She has opened up so much in the past few months, even more so since I’ve been riding her. And she’s so much quieter around me now. There are the days she’s hyped up, or things are going on and she gets easily distracted. She comes right to the gate now when she sees me, some days she drags me for grass, something she would never do before, she doesn’t leave millions of piles of panicked manure in the aisle anymore, she just chills. JB said Thursday when she brought her in, Lush clearly a bit disoriented that it wasn’t her regular person. She also seems to trust me a bit more when it comes to nerve-wracking situations.

It’s a bit ironic that last summer I was working with a half saddlebred that was making a transition from saddle seat, and this summer I’m pretty much doing the same thing all over again. Funny how life repeats itself.

Incoming Snufflepagus

PS: how do y’all write Snufflepagus?? Official sesame street says Snufflepagus but I’ve always pronounced and spelled it Snuffaluphagus?

I also had a L lesson Monday afternoon which was a blast. JM let me canter him, which was huge for me. I’ve been dreaming about that canter since I was sixteen, and I use his canter as a comparison to a lot of other horses just visually and it was amazing. The transition in is a lot more work then I thought but it will take time to get there.

5/25-6/1

Again, because I suck and school, last weeks post didn’t get out so we’re going to smoosh them together and save me some time.

Tuesday – I think Lush got the day off? TBH no idea what happened. I usually check two places for a refresher on what happened. My phone for photos taken on that date, or in my group chat update channel. I always either take a photo or post an update in that channel, and for some reason I have neither. I know I went to the barn, I think maybe it was too hot and I was melting in the 80 degree weather. There were a few toasty days this week and I was on the struggle bus.

Wednesday! Ahh the day of the Mare. I showed up and Lush was running all over. That day, legit everyone was herd bound for each other. Lush was screaming for her neighbors, her neighbors who were on grass were screaming for her. It was a hot mess. I ended up helping JB with her new saddle, so from 3-5, I was occupied helping her with that. I decided because it was toasty, I was going to ride after turn in. Bad idea.

Lush was super distracted. She was all over the place. I decided to lunge outside to just see how she would do. It wasn’t great. There were no other horses outside, and people were walking by the farm on the road, which she kept focusing on and then her stall neighbors were screaming for her, so she was screaming right back. I gave up on riding outside, and brought her in. We lunged for another 5 minutes and then I popped on. She was again, all over the place, no matter what I did. I finally got what I wanted and gave up. She was still very distracted, and I was a bit frustrated. I may have called her a Dumbbred a few times, I promise I love her dearly, but it was a bit frustrating.

“Something MoVED!”

And then when I put her back, it all clicked and I realized she had gone into heat. I love mares.

Thursday I was planning a chill ride when I got there. She was very chill to lunge and hop on, and I had legit trotted for five minutes when J showed up. We chatted for a few minutes and I went back to work, and then JB came out. She gave me a few tups, and then went “You should canter her”. Normally, I would have been like, Nah I’m good. But that day for some reason I went, “Fuck it, let’s canter”.

Lush’s canter is a very comfy canter. The transition in and out is very rough currently. Again, she is a ex-saddleseat horse, so she doesn’t understand the aid we want to use, she understands kissing and turning to the rail, not a correct bend and an outside leg aid. So typically when I ask, she basically does this giant extended trot and we kinda have to run her into it. It’s a work in progress, but it’s miles from what we’ve gotten before. The first time I cantered her, JB had to chase us into it, so the fact that I got it without being chasing is pretty good.

She was fantastic regardless and got lots of pats after. I also kicked her out in the old ring after we rode. Lush has been banned from the grass paddocks from running around and generally being a dork instead of eating. We all would love to see her out on grass, so my thought process is if she’s in a fenced paddock instead of just electric, maybe she’ll get used to it. She wandered around mostly, not a lot of grazing but she wasn’t running like a fool so I was glad of it.

Shiny lady

Friday we played around with the canter a bit more, and she was a lot more consistent. I didn’t do tons, but it was very good. She was a star in the ring, and I decided to see how far we could get on our driveway excursions. Reader, we did the whole driveway. The whole thing. Wandered up, by the road, by JB’s house, back up the towards the ring, and did the whole loop twice. She only balked when JB’s boyfriend came out with a trash can. I had her on the buckle the whole time, and if I had let her, she was going to wander the whole thing twice. I was over the moon with her.

Look how cute in her fly bonnet!

I think her biggest issue with the first half of the driveway is there are cars, and I think either the constant rearranging of them, or the reflections bother her. The strongest theory is reflections, because that day there were no cars other than the usual residents cars, mine and JM’s, and we park by the trailers, not under the trees.

Saturday, one of the regular girls who had been riding with JB since she was a kid came by and it was super exciting to see her again. She watched Lush and I go, and told me it wasn’t the same horse she saw before quarantine. Lush’s leads were getting better. The right is easier to slide her into, there’s less road trot in the transition. The left is still rough but we were getting somewhere.

Sunday I got to ride L again, and my mother came and watched, and I got some pretty good photos. We had a fantastic ride and I started my lease that day.

Sunday was also a Lush day, and when I got on, I realized we definitely should have lunged longer. Lush lies on the lunge half the time. When she’s lazy on the line, she’s usually hot undersaddle. When she’s hot on the line, she’s usually pretty quiet undersaddle.

JB was riding while I was, and I made the comment of her need for speed. JB said “then let her out”. She was met with dead silence and made a crack about that. I mulled it over and then went, why not. So we cantered, a lot. Probably a bit more then we should have but she was happy to canter a few laps so I let her. We cut the ride short as the farrier was scheduled to come at 12 for her.

Lush now officially has fronts on! The farrier decided to let her get used to fronts before putting on backs. It’s only been three days since she’s had them on, so next time he’s out they will evaluate if she needs backs.

Monday was my first lesson with JM with her. By the end of the lesson, JM was in love with Lush. We worked on the trot as well as her medium and free walk. The canter was impossible to get, but we were running low on horse at that point. I joked that I’d be able to get it with ease the next day.

Screencap from video but look at her!!!!!

Lots and lots of praise for Lush. I also swapped her to a plain slightly curved snaffle and threw her in the dressage bridle. She seemed happy in it, and responsive, despite it being slightly too big for her mouth. JM also made the statement that we should take Lush to one of the local schooling dressage shows in July that opened up. I am still on the fence about that one, but it would be fun!

Best girl, little wiggly here

And that’s been the last two weeks! Hopefully once she’s more used to her new shoes, Lush will be trialed with the mares group and maybe just maybe, be able to go out on pasture more often. I have my L rides this week and I’m looking forward to those.

RD WK 21: Change is good.

5/12-5/18

Well its March 18th, the supposed day that Massachusetts begins to lift some of its restrictions. As of right now, I haven’t seen much other then places of worship, construction and manufacturing businesses will be allowed back. Equestrians have to wait for a while longer it seems. Boston is shut down until June 1st, but by then hopefully the rest of the state will on its way to be reopened.

Lets hop into the week.

Monday I already covered last week, but shorthand, I had a very good ride with Maisy with some pointers from JM on the canter. I also had a decent ride on Lush. If you read last week as well, you’ll know I did something to my back on Monday. I’m really unsure what it was, and it still is twinging today (5/18). So Tuesday, I took off from riding entirely.

I had decided on Tuesday until I was sure, it was going to be a one horse per day to be safe when I got back on.

Wednesday I was supposed to take it easy, but Maisy had other plans and was not too pleased she had to work after a day off. I had asked JM to sit in my saddle to see if I needed to order more substantial thigh blocks. The Ansur has a set of external thigh blocks, however it has velcro under the flap for more. JM popped on, and had a blast schooling Maisy. She looked fantastic and from that ride, JM determined that I needed probably little thigh blocks in front and a set of rear blocks. She apologized for stealing my horse, but I felt better she got a good schooling without over doing it myself and making my hip/back worse.

Thursday we got into a battle. It wasn’t totally pretty. She just continued to ball up, no matter how much leg I used, she just was getting stuck. JB suggested letting her run and burn the next day, which is what I ended up doing. She seemed a lot better after, and my ride later on was good. I ended up riding her for a max of 10 minutes and then walked her out.

Maisy was the unplanned ride that JB said I should on Friday regardless. We had fun wandering after and she was happy to float around the property.

Lush was ridden earlier in the afternoon. I hopped on inside and walked her out to the outdoor. She spooked at about 5 random non moving items from the doors of the indoor to the outdoor, but we managed.We had some good moments, I find it hard to keep her on the rail, as well as keeping her away from other horses. Steering is a bit easier in the indoor. It was a hot day, I think at the time I rode her it was 75-80. I got nervous she was breathing super hard at the end, and we ended up walking a lot. I think I max did 10 minutes of trotting, and the rest was walking and she was breathing fast. I popped off to hand walk her with JM and L around the track, which she was fired up about. I was glad I didn’t try it on her back, it was only her second trip around the track. I have to walk her out there a few more times. She got a rinse, which she wasn’t pleased about, but a long graze which she was happy about.

Unamused at her Mohawk

Saturday was a bit rough. JB told me Miss B was coming in the morning, so I rode Lush first. We rode inside, and she was spicy to start, but settled in and we had some very good moments. I was okay riding earlier in the morning just in case it got roasting in the afternoon. JB gave me an odd look when I mentioned her breathing fast and reminded me she’s a hot breed, so a bit of panting is normal, and her saddlebred is the same. I’m not sure how much that reassured me, but either way it’s something I’m going to be wary of in the future.

Lush also got a tubby! A few weeks back we gave her just a leg bath to try and get rid of the skin crud on her legs, but she got a full blown bath this time. She wasn’t pleased but she was soo shiny and soft after. Then I turned her out and she rolled and got disgusting in an instant. Typical horses but that’s how it goes.

Shiny lady pre roll

So here’s the harder part of the weekend. Miss B bought Maisy. It’s been a possibility since I’ve started riding her, but one I had hoped would not happen for a while. Miss B had debated it before, and then things had happened and she had pushed it out. I mentioned a few weeks ago she was talking about it again, so I had a feeling it would be coming. Despite it all, it was a bit of shock, and I was thrown for a loop.

I will say this, and will say it a lot, I am an emotional person. I cry all the time, for stupid things. So I cried a few times Saturday afternoon. Here’s the thing. Maisy and I are not a good match long term. I’ve known this from the start. She taught me a lot, and I’ve learned a lot from riding a stubborn mare. I had some serious goals to take her to a few local dressage shows and take a lesson with GJM. Corona sidelined it all and it just happened. But we weren’t good long term, and I knew it was coming. It was the way it was delivered was the shock factor. I’m also glad its with Miss B because she has the horse’s interest first, despite how green of a rider and owner she is, she will give Maisy a good life and be a good owner. Which is all you can ask for a horse.

To take my mind off of it, I rode another one of JB’s horses, Reba, who is an absolute Cadillac of a horse. You could canter for miles on her.

At the end of the day, Miss B did tell me I could keep riding her, but I’m still undecided if I will be taking her up on it.

Sunday after chores I rode Reba first. I honestly have so much fun on her, I can just hop on and bomb around, no agenda and no goals. Just have fun.

I quickly swapped gears to Lush after. She was hot again, speeding around the first two trot laps, but then she settled in and we did some work. Our downward and upward transitions have fallen behind but I’m not sure how to entirely fix it, she takes advantage of her long neck and just inverts away from my hands. She is in a simple full cheek snaffle, which is a soft bit but she just inverts away and I struggle to fix it. We had like half a step of canter that I should have encouraged that came from a spook. Miss B was scooping up some hair and Lush had a moment. She was a bit spookier then normal, but we worked through it. At the end, I stopped to chat with A. A had some goldfish, and lush was interested for a moment, and then when A offered her one, she was offended A would even stoop to giving her one. And then she got brave and tried one and oh my goodness Lush loves goldfish now. She was harassing A for more at one point just standing in the flatscreen. We all found it hysterical.

After Lush I headed home early and ended up running my brother to a drive thru Starbucks to see if they had his favorite frappachino. they didn’t so we spent 25 minutes in line for nothing but he ended up getting something else.

This week I really don’t know what I’m going to do. Lush is on my daily, though not today. I think the most I’ll do with her today is a lunging session. I don’t do totally well with horses that have giant shoulders, and Reba is a tank so my right knee isn’t happy with me today. We’ll see how it all plays out I guess.

OH I almost forgot. The news!

Crossing “get a newer car” off my goals list! I now have a car (2019 Honda CRV) that does not have crank windows. Thank you Corona for letting me get a nicer car at a lower price. I feel so odd and so adulty now. And it’s such an adjustment to go from a sedan to an SUV. Right now to save time and exposure, it’s registered under my dad, we just swapped the plates from my old car. Once some of this corona cools down and it’s a bit safer we’ll swap it into my name. No name yet but it’s gotta earn it.

JM has already said now I can be the driver now for our equine based field trips for the future, which I’m very fine with. It’s got a lot more room then I thought, which means I can store more horse stuff in it! Nah this one is staying cleaner then the last one for sure. Thats all for now, I did organize my trunk and have a few new purchases to update on so hopefully there will be one more post this week!

RD WK 20: I have no good title this week

5/5-5/11

Okay, sort of caught up not really. Especially seeing as this was supposed to be posted Monday and I’m posting it today but its all good in the hood.

Alright. So, Monday was a pretty chill day, again everything is blurring so bear with me. Monday I had a mini help session with JM to work on Maisy’s canter. Which again, is coming along swimmingly. We had an amazing canter to the right down the long side and I was super proud of her for holding it well.

Tuesday I decided to take the ring out of the equation and we worked out on the track. She was a bit fired up, and bouncy, but I was pretty happy with it all. JB and JM and JB’s oldest were out restringing electric and filling water troughs to prep the grass paddocks on the river side of the track and Maisy had an issue with that. JM touched the hose at one point and Maisy went skittering away. I just had to laugh at her.

This whole quarantine thing is so messing with my memory. Tuesday into about Thursday, Maisy and I hit a road block. All of a sudden her good side was horrible and her bad side was fantastic. Which, I mean in the grand scheme of things, thats not a horrible thing, her right side has been an issue since day one and it shows I’ve been working hard at it, but it was disheartening. And the canter to the left, which had been the good side, now was her horrible side. She would flip her head and invert and then pick up the wrong lead and do this very bouncy angry canter stride for a few strides and then drop back to speed trot. I took the canter out of the equation for the rest of the week, it just was easier to nix it entirely and work on the trot.

Wednesday was the first day some of the horses got out on grass. JB and her boyfriend worked on the fences on Tuesday, and we kicked out 7 horses Wednesday afternoon for a few hours. It was only two paddocks, but it was something. Maisy was out in the first group and was in heaven. When I went to help bring in, she didn’t want to be caught and flounced around the pen until someone bribed her with a carrot.

Maisy is the white legged thing in back

They got to go out briefly on Thursday as well. Friday she was a beast. I showed up and JB mentioned that she’d been a brat turning out. I kept that in mind, and the beastly behavior continued throughout the day. All she wanted to do was go go go go go, and kept on doing the canter hop steps when she was pissed. So, we walked for 20 minutes, which aggravated her to no end. Maisy will chicken walk until she thinks she is ready to go, and will break into a half trot half jig step to try and trick me into following her rules. She tries to set all the paces, and when she’s done walking, she’s done. So we walked and she had to walk flat footed. I probably did 20 minutes of walking, and 15 of trotting and cantering.

Later on, again the beastie resurfaced when I helped bring in. She decided to run away from me at turn in, so I left her out in her grass paddock. She realized her mistake when I brought other horses in, and she got left out alone for a few minutes. She was not a happy camper when she was the last to come in.

Lush got most of the week off last week. I decided that until the farrier came out, I’d rather not exacerbate anything new, so it was a lot of hanging around for Lush. Friday I was going to head home after Maisy, not totally feeling it, and mentioned to JB that if she had time on Sunday, I’d like some mounting help again. She blinked at me, and said, “Well go get her now, I’ve got time now”. So I got Lush, tacked her up and lunged her, and JB looked at me and said “It will be a while, but walk until you’re out of your head.”

I walked for 15 minutes. Then we practiced mounting a few times over and over and over. It took me a few tries to get it right. Then we had an amazing ride. She was very good and very accepting of me putting her head where it should and leaving it there.

Blurry shot from a video but hey, better then nothing

Lush is an interesting ride. It’s like riding a green horse, but there are major holes. Like outside rein just confuses her, there is no outside aid to canter, it’s just kiss and turn to the rail. It’s one big retrain project on a 14 year old mare. Lush was a saddle seat horse, but the goal is for her to go hunt seat. Which is slightly ironic that I ride her in a dressage saddle but it fits and it works for me so, its no big deal.

Saturday was cold. Okay not stupid cold like back in April. Hell if it was April, we all would have been riding and loving it. But we were spoiled with 70 degree weather so 38 and windy just wasn’t our cup of tea. I did chores, JB made us chili and cornbread and whoopie pies, we scarfed it down and then I left at 12:30. Which hasn’t happened in a really long time.

Sunday JM and I went out on a trail ride with my mom. She had been wanting to go out back on the trails to look for some of the bald eagles, so we took her. It was a weird role reversal because Maisy wanted to lead and H wanted to follow. It was interesting, but both horses seemed to like it. We explored a different path back, and tried to go under some of the high tension towers, but one had a flapping metal sign that both horses wanted nothing to do with.

My mother did find her bald eagle, one of the juveniles. JM and I are hoping when it gets warmer, the three of us can put in higher up river and go down river and look for them. A wonderful bonus of the day was my mother got some pictures, which all were really cool.

Okay favorite photo from the day hands down
we’re off to see the wizard!
Unimpressed

I was supposed to ride Lush, but ended up pushing it off another day and cleaned tack before heading home for Mother’s Day celebrations.

Monday, because this week wasn’t full of much, JM and I had another session to work with Maisy.

We worked a lot on that canter to the left. JM’s new theory, for lack of a better term, is Maisy likes to be in control. She sets the pace, the length of time and where she wants to go. And her other rider lets her do this. So, she thinks she can with me. And when I tell her no, she shuts down and does the typical mare “you aren’t worthy”. So we spent a bit of time convincing Maisy I was worthy to canter her. And she continued to throw those “F U,” wrong leads, every time. Even if she was bent correctly, wrong lead. I finally got a few good canters and we called it a day.

I hauled Lush out after, and JB gave me two or three pointers and then we were off. Lush had some serious energy to start, and then fizzled out. I’m not entirely sure if it was a real energy fizzle or she’s discovered that I won’t push her as hard. Either way, I was okay with it because my lower right back and knee were not happy. I also took a plunge and walked her up the driveway. The walk up was okay, she only spooked at the tarp and the gate. The way back she realized she was alone and panicked. Walking outside of the ring clearly will be a work in progress.

On Tuesday, my lower right back is in agony as well as my knee. If I step wrong, it shoots down my whole leg. I’m not sure exactly what I did or how I did it, other then it’s not a happy camper. Monday night I barely was able to walk down the stairs, and hobbled around. I’m living on Ibuprofen and heat packs right now.

RD WK 18-19: On and Off Again

4/20-5/4

Sooooooooo…… Yeah. The last few weeks have been a slight downward spiral in my mental health due to some online bashing and just the crap weather, plus finals. So this is going to be a two weeker to save some time and I’ll cross my fingers for week 20/21.

4/20-4/27

Monday the ponies got the day off. I’ve been trying to give Maisy a full day off from me even touching her so that was Monday.

Lush got the day as well, but I still hauled her in and groomed her. My goal was and still is to get her used to me, and more comfortable with me so I’m trying to do something with her every day. Despite her queenly attitudes, I think she’s not a big fan of grooming. She also probably is thin-skinned, so I tend to not go crazy with my grooming. I still get a fantastic shine out of her though. BarnOwner also got the cutest photo of me and one of her kids giving Lush a flower. I’d share it, but I don’t like sharing pictures of other peoples kids online so take my word for it, it was adorable.

Pretty girl

 I also am changing her name to a shorthand version, it just seems easier to refer to her as JB, which is adding Jedi to it again, (she is a star wars geek too) and the first initial of her last name, so it will be easier to call her JB from now onSo JB=the barn owner, for future reference.

Tuesday I was left alone at the barn, so Maisy got a ride, and Lush got a side rein lunge session. I bet I could have ridden her no problem by myself but I’m not putting myself in any extra danger, so it was a no.

Also is it lunge or longe?? I never know which one, lunge is how I pronounce it but I’ve seen people write longe.

I videoed my Maisy ride, but because I was a dork and used the front camera, the video wasn’t great. There were some nice canter moments, but it wasn’t worth it to upload just with how bad the quality was.

Wednesday was another weather-based No day. It was ridiculously windy again, so I went and helped picked paddocks instead with JM. We had fun picking paddocks, and JB’s two kids came out and helped. Well, her oldest helped, the youngest drove her little electric truck all over the property. I got some super cute photos of her oldest with some of the horses, again would love to share but not my child.

Troll Forelock Mare

Thursday was another nice day. I also finally got on Lush solo for the first time! JB and I have gone back and forth about if she needs someone to stand at the block with her or not, or if it makes it worse.

Friday was a bit backwards? If you catch my drift. I did Maisy first, like I have been. I decided we were going to just fuck it and practice the canter after a bit of a trot warm up. Clearly, that was a bad idea. Maisy was blowing leads to the left. Which was weird for her. Like consistently blowing the lead, despite being in the correct bend. I’m not sure what the cause was, but it was frustrating. I gave up after I got one good left lead, and called it a day.

With Lush, I tried the solo ride a second time. It did not start well, but ended better! She trotted off on me before my leg was over the saddle, which told me we needed some mounting help, and made a side note to bring it up with JB next time she had time. During our ride, JB brought in Baby horse to lunge. One of her favorite students came down to visit for a special occasion, and JB let her ride Baby Horse. However, Baby Horse requires the martingale that we used with Lush. So JB looked at me, grinned and said, “how do you feel riding without the training martingale?”.

Dearest reader, my brain went, “take it the fuck off” and what I actually said, “are you sure she’ll be fine?”. Despite it being very helpful to start, I never liked the martingale set up. I hated it with a previous saddle seat to dressage convert horse I rode a year ago, I never fully got used to it when on my own, even back then and I barely used it with Lush. I got rid of it as soon as I was allowed to. Lush’s martingale set up was different than the ex saddle seat horse from a year ago, but even then I wasn’t a huge fan of either set up.

So, we had our maiden voyage without the martingale, and Lush was, amazing. Super long and low, barely any contact and she was stretching down. Not down and out, but we’ll get there. The stretch down is a starting point. She also mid-ride farted and snorted at the same time, and I had to stop the poor horse because I was crying laughing. Here is this long, leggy mare with the biggest, “bow to me peasant” attitude, and then she goes and does that.

Saturday, Lush got off. By the time I got on and off Maisy, it was too late and I was a bit stressed which wouldn’t have been a good headspace anyway to ride her in.

But, Maisy and I partook in the first official trail ride! Well it was just me and JM for the first one. We’d been talking about going out, and I just don’t always do good in groups, see later on in this post, so I asked if we could trail blaze from our property to the trails out back with her, and she agreed. So we saddled up later in the afternoon and off we went. Miss B, A and another boarder came with us on foot, but it was fun all around.

Some of the views

The trails out back are mostly ATV and dirt bike paths, which we encountered a handful of them briefly. There is an island with lots of windy interconnected trails that loop and go up and down. Theres a pond in the middle and a little campsite with a shack. Both JM and A immediately named it the love shack. Maisy jigged the whole first lap after seeing the ATV pack, and then settled the second lap. We also explored a tiny little loop with a giant steep hill for the dirt bikes. Maisy and I managed it, JM and Hannah went bucking and rearing down which we all died laughing at Hannah’s attempt. It was a blast and turned out to be a gorgeous day.

It was a good day and a good break for both of us to chill and have a ride outside of the ring. I’ve also slowly discovered I have a lot more Aha moments out of the ring so my goal has been to get her out of the ring more often since this ride.

Here is where that “see later on” plays in. A, Miss B and JM all agreed that we should all go out as a bigger group Sunday before it rained. After a stressful Saturday night plus a weird interaction, I had no want to go on a trail ride. I should have definitely listened.

I helped do stalls, and then asked JB for mounting help with Lush. We did a few ground work exercises, and the moment I was went to swing on, and she trotted off, JB was like, “oh hell no this is not going to fly in my barn”. JB did a few tune ups, and then it was much easier and Lush actually stood while I got my stirrups before I let her off. It was a start. By then, everyone was starting to tack up for the trail ride, and as me and Lush’s ride continued, more and more people came in the ring. I get nervous with a lot of people in a ring that small. I was able to do some work, but not enough to make it worth it. I was going to wait them all out and wait for them to leave, but when it became 3 other riders, me, and someone lunging, I was done. Plus one rider was not very good/attentive at steering and Lush gets claustrophobic with lots of riders and has a habit of swinging her ass towards people that I still need to work on.

They all convinced me to go either way, but I had to borrow a horse as Miss B was going and took Maisy. So guess who I rode? Good Ole Miss Hannah. Okay, to start off tho, Hannah is a fantastic trail horse. She was broke out as a trail horse and she definitely enjoys it, her only vices are she tries to eat legit everything, and has to be in front. I originally was going to borrow another school horse, a good thing I didn’t, but the horse hadn’t been in consistent work in a while, and I was wary. JM offered me Hannah, and I honestly said fuck it, lets go, maybe I’ll feel better after a trail ride. Wrong, ish.

We started out on a wrong foot and continued on that path. I didn’t do the girth up tight enough before I got on, and my saddle slipped. So after I was on, and saddle secure, all 7 of us were off. To start, JM’s borrowed horse was being a turd and jigging and all over the place. Hannah tried to bite his ass a few times, because JM slid him in front.

Wrong foot 2. We got to the little island with some struggle, but not tons. The issue was there was a downed tree that a few of us could and had slid under before, but this trip we had a 18 hh TB with us, so we had to go a different route. I thought we were going one way, and steered Hannah that way, and the group went another. And Hannah lost it because she thought she was being left behind. It was definitely eventful, and established that Hannah had to be in front for the rest of the trip. So we finished the island with little fanfare after that, except when Miss B lost her phone and we had to halt to find it.

J, a boarder and the trail expert suggested we ride to the train tracks. Another wrong foot. Firstly, Hannah and JM’s borrowed Schoolie wanted nothing to do with the puddles we encountered. Like at all. I eventually convinced Hannah it was all good, but it took the whole ride there and back to do so. JM’s horse was just not having it, and was going between trotting and walking and trotting again. Once we got to the rails, we all debated going over them and continued, but most of our crew had shoes and I wasn’t willing to risk a stuck shoe in the middle of the woods. We all turned around to head back in the same order, and then JM’s horse decided he wanted to double barrel J’s horse. And caused a scuffle in the rocks and all the horses spooked. After that, JM got halfway down the side trail before she got off and hand walked the horse back to the barn.

Hannah and the schoolie weren’t the only ones acting up. Literally all of the horses except for Maisy and J’s horse were stupid in one way or another on the ride. After this ride, I have fully decided I am not doing a ride like that again under similar circumstances. I loved riding Hannah, however she is a bit much for my brain, and I didn’t fully relax till we got back to the barn. I also just wasn’t a fan of the large group setting.

It turns out later on, this was solved for us as JB later informed us that people complained that we were considered a “gathering”. I still don’t understand how 7 people well spaced, extra well spaced after the railroad incident, outside and walking horses was considered a gathering, especially seeing as we were under the 10 person limit but I’m okay with it.

I also want to add, these 7 people are the same 7 that have been at the barn regularly and have extremely limited their circles to barn and home and essentials like myself, plus we were all a healthy distance away from each other, and very much so after the kicking incident.

4/27-5/4

And here we are, new week. Monday was the girl’s day off as usual. Tuesday was a groundwork and lunging day for both girls as well. My right knee, which there is some fancy medical term for it but in basics, my the ligaments that keeps my kneecaps in place are weak as fuck and lets my kneecap boogie around and wears away cartilage. I have gone to PT in the past for it, but it sometimes just acts up, more when it’s rainy and gross. Either way, it decided to flare up and randomly give out so I wasn’t going to risk that in the saddle.

Wednesday, both horses got their spring shots. JB mentioned to me that Maisy would most likely be fine, Lush had been very tense and angry when she got hers so she probably would be sore. I ended up riding just Lush, as Miss B came to ride Maisy. She was very good about the whole thing and we had a fantastic ride. I started playing with transitions and got such an amazing downward trot to walk transition I called it right there and ended the ride.

Thursday, everyone was sore. Like really sore. Lush had a giant lump on her neck and refused to let me touch that side at all. I ended up lightly grooming and grazing her. I think Thursday we also did our first full walk lap around the track with Lush, just in hand. I also groomed and grazed Maisy. I probably could have hopped on and tack walked Maisy, but I wasn’t going to push it. The only way I noticed she wasn’t right was her whole neck was super tense. I could have swung a bareback ride but again, didn’t want to push it.

Friday, Maisy went back to some work. JM has a theory that when you ride horses that are sore from shots, they’re more cooperative when you put them in a comfortable place and they typically stay there. I will definitely agree with that, she was much more tolerant of carrying herself and was very consistent. I think we maxed out 20 minutes of riding, and I did a few canter transitions before we left the arena. I ended up wandering the property with JM and A, and then A and I trotted up and down the driveway a few times and then around the track. I got gutsy and asked for the canter out on the track, which Maisy was not ready for and promptly told me as much.

Look how green!!

It ended up being an hour, with a lot more walking in between than anything, but she seemed quite happy with it all.

Lush was still sore on Friday, the lump was gone but she was still a bit eh. I threw her on the lunge line just to see, and she puttered around for about ten minutes.

Saturday I ended up riding Maisy shortly, and I believe I did more work outside of the ring then in again. I’ve mentioned it before, I tend to have more Ah-Ha moments outside the ring recently so I’ve been spending more time outside of it.

Lush got a really good ride Saturday too! We did a bit of trot work, maybe ten minutes max. She was raring to go, and I got on wrong and bumped her with my head, so she panicked and trotted off. We ended up cantering a few steps and then trotting to a stop. I love Lush because she’s honest, and that was a clear, “what the f%^& was that?” from her. She was super spicy for those ten minutes of trotting, and then I ended up walking for the rest of our ride to keep it easy on her. I had ridden with JM and L, and they ended up heading out to walk in the outdoor, and Lush had a panic moment that L left her, and so we followed! Lush walked halfway up the driveway, and then turned around and went back into the outdoor with L. I was so proud she wandered up the driveway on her own, so its a step that she wanted to go on her own. I also found it hilarious that in the outdoor, she wouldn’t walk through a puddle with me on her back, but when I was on the ground, she walked through them all day long.

Realizing the red round thing is actually the best thing ever

Sunday I decided Lush would get some lunging just to see where she was after a day of riding. JB noticed she had a hitch in the hind left, which was more pronounced then normal. She’s always had a slight hitch, but it was more noticeable and pronounced that day. We have a few theories on what it exactly was, but we decided to let her chill until the farrier came out to see if that is a factor.

Maisy got a fantastic workout and some amazing canter work. I feel like we’re finally getting somewhere with the quality of the canter.

And that was the last two weeks! God I meant to post this last week but clearly I’m behind with it all. Thankfully, Spring 2020 semester is finally over! And I have some more exciting news, which I’ll throw in soon, and possibly in the next RD post, which I am starting now lol.

RD WK 17: Week of Spring Heat

4/14-4/20

And I don’t mean temperatures. Both mares I ride decided April was the prime time to go into heat. Lush is actually finally done with hers, while Maisy is going into full blown bitch mode. I’ve been told multiple times that there is such thing as a Super Spring Heat, where the first heat in spring is often very intense and mares turn into mega bitch mares. I definitely agree with that after working with both of them.

Lush was out of hers as of Thursday. Tuesday I rode, and she was still in full blown bitch mode then. I rode while BarnOwner lunged her gelding, and Lush ignored them for the first half of the ride, and the second half, all she wanted to do was pin her ears and swing her ass at him. It was slightly stressful so I elected mentally that we would not do that again.

Tuesday I gave Maisy off. By the time I got off Lush, I was just so done with mares, I knew it would not be a good idea to ride another. I also now in hindsight realize that her stupid hop to canter to trot to brakes thing last Saturday was probably the start of her heat, because that also has continued throughout the week on top of a few other things.

Wednesday was harkened by some serious crampage, so I opted out of riding, which worsened my entire mood the rest of the day. I lunged Lush, and JM hopped on Maisy for me. I was amazed to watch Maisy because all of a sudden I could see all of her muscles working and defined as she worked. She was using her neck correctly, I could see her abs working, I could see the muscles in her hind end pushing. It was super cool to watch, and JM put Maisy through her paces, and JM even joked a bit that she fried poor Maisy’s brain. She also told me I was doing a fantastic job with her, which made my day a bit better after that.

Thursday I needed to ride. Like desperately. So I chose Maisy, as I wasn’t sure what state Lush’s ovaries were in. Clearly I should have chosen Lush because Maisy’s ovaries were in full bitch mode. Maisy reverted to her plant and kick out mode. It was easy to realize this was from her mood because she repeatedly did it in the same general areas vs last time where it was wherever and everywhere. She started out with the back of the ring on our first trot set, and picked the front end after the walk break. I think I need to start carrying a whip again because that seems to be the only thing that works that doesn’t escalate the behavior. HOWEVER. We got a kick ass trot at the end where she was in my outside rein, and present and I could throw away my inside rein and she stayed constant. The really good news, it was to the right which is her harder direction. The bad news? She now will not do the same to the left. So back to square one.

My cramps were not happy with me after my ride on Maisy, so I was planning on just lunging Lush again. BarnOwner suggested adding some side reins would be an effective use of our time, so that’s what we did. She did very well, which didn’t surprise me. I honestly probably could have ridden her, but I decided that I’m being safer rather then regretting it later on so it was better I stayed on the ground.

Tongue

Friday! This was legit the first Friday I questioned if it existed. I ended up with a bit of a packed day. JM asked me to video L to send to his doctors and her trainer. In the middle of her ride, a red shoulder hawk landed on the rail, grabbed a frog and left. We have had a serious abundance of wildlife recently at the barn, with now 2 pairs of bald eagles, a few osprey, unsure if its a pair or not, a coopers hawk, now the red shoulder and some serious blue heron. So far I’ve had 4 encounters, the bald eagle in the tree with JM, the bald eagle flying down the length of the outdoor while I was riding, the coopers hawk perched on the rail while Maisy and I were 5 feet from it, and now the red shoulder hunting frogs in the arena while JM rode. It’s been very cool spring so far.

I rode Lush first, with the logic of Maisy was first the day before. Lush was very well behaved, and we had a really good ride again. I got a whole lap with a good headset which I was very happy with her. We’re slowly working her up to being able to do more, so far I’m aiming for 20 minutes per ride. I feel her out if she’s got more in her or less, and go from there. Friday we weren’t trotting out of the gate so it was good.

Maisy wasn’t as great as the day before, less random stopping but still not fully in my right outside rein tracking left. I wasn’t super happy with it but I gave up fighting for a trail ride. I also recorded a bunch of my riding on Friday for a friend with horse withdrawals, so I’m uploading part of our track ride for anyone with horse withdrawal right now, and you can get a feel of riding Maisy and a bit of a look of what our track looks like! It’s short, but something is better then nothing.

I also discovered that Maisy’s walk vs Lush’s walk is very different and hilarious through videoing parts of my rides. Lush has a prim and proper walk, while Maisy’s walk is just very fast and I feel like I’m riding the road runner sometimes.

Road Runner GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Maisy walking

Saturday, ahhh Saturday was a classic example of New England weather. 7am, snow. 10am, all snow gone and pouring rain.

It was quite miserable and cold when you stopped moving, however once I slid a pair of foot warmers in, which I was appalled it was April 18th and I was putting in foot warmers, I was good to roll. I rode Maisy first after chores, and she was pretty good! I picked up a crop in case she did her brake checking, but it was clear after our warmup trot that I didn’t need it. I even got some nice canter to the left and right, very short but she was good.

My latest Dover shipment arrived in parts, and my newer soft brush showed up in the first box on Friday, and I made good use of the new soft brush! It was ironic I got my flyspray on Friday and it snowed and not a fly in sight on Saturday. Maisy was very shiny after using my now full set Winner’s Circle brushes.

I had volunteered to do night chores the day before, so I tried to do some other things between Maisy and Lush so I wasn’t done riding at 2pm and had to wait around until 5 to feed. So I groomed a few horses, hand walked an injured one who was making trouble with a neighbor. Then I rode Lush, who was fabulous as always. She did trot off on me, but I’m starting to think she gets claustrophobic at the mounting block because JM had Reba with her, and Lush got a bit panicked trying to figure out where to go and I was missing a stirrup so we trotted off and I was able to get her back and get the stirrup before having another lovely ride. I was really proud I was able to get her in all the corners in both directions, having the big doors closed helped, but it was a baby step. It was also good Reba was having a shit fit that day. Lush was very elegant in handling it and was pretty good about Reba’s random spooks and moments.

I had a grand plan when I got home to tackle homework for school. I’ve had no motivation for a single one of my classes, and really wanted to buckle down. That didn’t happen.I came home bone tired, and was ready to just flop, and then my dad made me go walk my mother. Yes you heard that right. I was told go walk my mother. She’s going cold turkey on a medication and it makes her hyper, so I walked my mother. And got home and collapsed early.

Sunday I had more grand plans to get up early and get some stuff done before showering and packing a lunch and spending the whole day at the barn. That didn’t happen and I dragged my ass to the barn at 9am, instead of 8 like I planned. I was planning on leaving at 3, but the barn got super peoplely after chores. JM left because it was too many people for her immune system, and I waited until it was quiet to ride. Plus I didn’t want to ride in front of a certain boarder, who has a habit of making backhanded compliments.

Lush did pop off at the trot again, but again I didn’t have the stirrup before she went off so it was a bit of a struggle. I’m debating if how I get on isn’t helping either. Will debate it again Tuesday. But, we had a wonderful 25 minute ride. She got a tad bit sweaty and she was huffing as we went but I didn’t push her a lot. We had some very pretty moments. I’m hoping once this COVID thing is over I can take a few lessons with BarnOwner on her.

Someone got a chop 😉

I also caved and ordered the Healthy Hair Care Moisturizer and used it on her. Lush has some dandruff all over her chest and in some other spots on top of some major cannon crud. I know that part won’t be able to get fixed until I can get her in a wash stall to try and scrub at it. She was a bit offended and a bit spooked I was spraying her, but I just treated it like it was a normal thing. She has to get used to it, she’s a diva with flies so fly spray will have to be a normal thing. BarnOwner mentioned her saddlebred hated spray bottles too, so it could be a common saddlebred thing, but who knows with both horses abusive backgrounds.

It was a wonderful week on the riding front. Both ponies will get their day off Monday, Maisy had a chill day with Miss B Sunday, I try to give Miss B a day for Maisy all to herself plus two days without hard work seems like a good idea to me for her. She got a bit ribby so BarnOwner is upping her feed, and I hope that will help a bit more with her energy too. So they both get a break from me and I’ll do some barn work, or hop on a school horse if I really need to scratch the riding itch Monday afternoon.

Oh and! BarnOwner’s uncle’s hobby is wood working, and he made a majority of the tack trunks in the barn. I asked a few weeks back if I could get on the list, and it came! He said it was faster then normal, because BarnOwner made him quarantine himself for 2 weeks to be safe and there was nothing to do, but it’s perfect. Perfect size, super light even with stuff in it, and looks so pretty. I don’t want it to stay at the barn thats how pretty and glossy it is.

look how pretty!

I also think I have to make another Dover order, which is pissing me off but what can you do?

I also am in need of suggestions for tall boots if anyone can help me out. God I seem to circle back to this every few months. I loved my V sports, however they were “too nice to be schooling boots”, and they’re being saved as show boots, if I ever show. I swapped to my previously designated show boots, and they have been irritating my left heel since I put them on. My left heel is a giant lump right now, and I’m fed up with it. I’m in desperate need of a tall boot that can withstand some abuse from stalls and mud, but isn’t super heavy. I got Dublin river boots two years ago, and I shuffled, and never rode in them because there was a massive seam down the inside of the leg. I saw Woof Wear’s Fonte Verde boots, and loved them, however I wasn’t willing to pay $350 plus another $50ish for shipping for a pair of boots that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to return if they didn’t fit. Damn Europeans with pretty boots that aren’t available in the US. SO if anyone has any good suggestions, I’m all ears. My left heel appreciates any suggestions that might save it.

Online Shop Much?

I am spending waaay to much time online now, and in my time online, I’ve been online shopping. Alright, browsing, drooling, wishing there was more spare change in the old checking account. Whatever you want to call it, I just get bored and poke through online tack shops. Which is kind of ironic seeing as I need more normal people things right now but horse girl problems, am I right?

In hopes of reining in my impulse buying, I’m going to share my wishlist/purchased list from quarantine. Maybe writing out why I do or do not need an item will help me stop the impulse buy.

Purchased

Plymouth Elite Bridle : $99

Plymouth® Elite Dressage Bridle by SmartPak

I needed a cob bridle for Maisy, and I thought it’d be a good idea to keep a smaller bridle on hand for other future horses. She fits bridles funny, and the current one I have is a horse-sized but has fit oddly sized horses in the past. But the crank noseband doesn’t fit her, even at the highest hole I can still fit multiple fingers between her nose and the noseband, so I got a new bridle! She doesn’t need the flash, but that can easily be taken off. Smartpak was having a minor sale, and I thought why not. Of course, after I placed the order, I found 5 other cheaper used cob sized bridles for sale, but isn’t that how life works?

Poppermints: 3$ (rounded)

Aloe Advantage PopperMints™ - Durvet

I love these, they’re small enough I can slip a handful in my pocket and I can feed like 5 and not feel totally guilty. Maisy and Lush looooove them, enough that Maisy tries to eat my hands when I pull them out. I have an older little treat container that I just refill and stuff in my grooming tote. I couldn’t get the big container right now, so I’m just going to keep buying the trial size ones. Maybe once this whole corona thing is over I can buy the big one.

Winner’s Circle Brushes and Grooma Curry Comb– $13.95 and $10.95

I did talk about these in my one of my weekly ride posts, but I honestly love these brushes. The stiff brush isn’t as stiff as it could be, the flick brush is super flicky and fun, and I loooooove the curry, like its the first thing I reach for now with all horses I groom. All three have been working really well for me and totally would buy them again.

Books!

I seriously needed to up my horse book game and had a few leftover Amazon gift cards to spend. I’ve heard good things about Brain Training for Riders, and what better time then Quarantine to brush up on it! So far I’m loving Brain Training and Collection VS Contortion. Collection Vs Contortion, this guy is not holding back at all. He already brought up some serious controversial topics and I’m only to chapter 1! I found his other book, Tug of War: Classical vs “Modern” Dressage, and that one he was just as savage, so that is on my next Amazon purchase list. I’d hoped World Class Grooming would have had a little more, but it was a bit of a miss for me. No matter, it’s all good info anyway. The 55 Corrective Exercises I’m looking forward to using at the barn in the coming months as well, so definitely worth the purchase.

Wishlist!

Baroque Blue Gold Dressage Pad – $40

This one, caught my eye because I was looking at tapestry saddle covers. I have a major saddle pad addiction, and personally, this would look kick ass on all the chestnuts I ride. Heck, it would look good on L! Gah this one is hard, it’s pretty cheap for me when it comes down to saddle pads, I have a love for Back On Track products, but this is just so cool. I need a spare pad for summer when it gets a little too warm for me to use my BoT pad, but this one is described to have a heavier cotton backing and foam inside so I’m not sure yet if I completely want to pull the trigger. How many saddle pads is too many? (don’t answer that)

Fleece lined Baroque Saddle Cover- $35

This is what I was looking at when I found the above saddlepad. JM has one like it in black and gold and I’ve always liked it. Despite how much blue I own, my favorite color is 100% red. It always has been, but because my hair is red, and I ride redheads, it’s really hard to find a red that matches. Seeing as its just a saddle cover, it doesn’t matter if it matches anything! This one I’m more inclined to say yes too as the saddle cover the Ansur came with isn’t a good long term cover.

Healthy Hair Care Moisturizer- 18-20$

Healthy HairCare Hair Moisturizer™

I’ve been dying to try this. I’ve been on a no silicone trip for a while when it comes to grooming sprays, and have tried a few. Sport Horse Essentials was one I tried but never loved. One of the horses I help out with has this in his tack box and I’ve always loved using it, mainly as a detangle-er. I’ve heard good reviews of it, and it helps with minor skin issues, so my hope is it will help Lush and her small random dandruff patches until it’s warm enough for a bath. I almost ordered it the other day when I did my Amazon order but decided it might be easier to get it from a tack shop and order a new brush with it or something. I’ll probably end up ordering it from Dover.

Winner’s Circle Ultra Soft Brush: $23

I tried their other soft brush on a whim when I took my tall boots to be repaired, but I wasn’t a fan. It was made out of Tampico and I just wasn’t a fan. It didn’t feel like a soft brush, and it left fibers and dust all over Maisy when I tested it out. So I’ve got my eyes on this one, which has some good reviews per Dover.

Trauma Void EQ3 Smooth Helmet- Currently $199

Trauma Void is having a 20% off sale right now, and I’m very tempted to order a second helmet for a show helmet if it ever happens this season. I’m still back and forth on whether I like how I look in these helmets but I guess safety is what comes first still.

Custom Grooming Tote- $30

Grooming Tote/Caddy Bag Horse/Dog  Unicorn  image 0

YALL LOOK HOW CUTE!!!! This person on Etsy makes a bunch of different prints of this, I was going to look into the plain grey but LOOOK. UNICORNS! (link) I’m in desperate need of a new tote and I’m very picky. I liked my old Tough 1 tote, but I can never find the one I want with reasonable shipping. I don’t need a huge ass grooming tote, despite my love of grooming, I just don’t like having a giant tote. My little Noble Equestrian tote is too small for all my items, only enough room for all my brushes but not enough for spray bottles, but their next size up is just too space much for me. I don’t love the hard shell plastic grooming totes, and I hate the totes so big they have a giant shoulder strap on them. Finding the tote that is just right, a smaller one that doesn’t have gaping space has been hard, but this one miiiight do the trick. I don’t know if I’d care, it’s got unicorns on it.

Ariat Capriole Tall Boots Brown: (im even not going there)

Ariat Capriole Laced Women's Tall Boots- Mahogany - Riding Warehouse

I think I just stare at these once a week normally, quarantine or not. Unless my paycheck doubles, I’m not going to even think about ordering new tall boots, and I think my paycheck would have to triple if I’d consider a pair of these. If you can’t tell, I have a tall boot obsession on top of my saddle pad addiction, however, with how much I work, I really need just a set of waterproof tall boots tbh. Basically, I want a pair of tall waterproofed/resistant leather lace-up boots.

I love the whole look of lace-up tall boots. One girl I follow shows in these in a whole brown attire and I’m so jealous. I’ve considered the lace-up Tredsteps in the past but was put off by reviews about bad zippers. I probably would look horrible in lace-up boots with my weirdly proportioned leg to body ratio, but dammit a girl can dream!

Ultra Shield Fly Spray Gallon: 63$

Okay, this one is in my Dover cart right now, so it’s kind of in the middle of wish list and purchased. Dover is having a, “Buy a gallon get a quart” sale and the No See Ums are out with a vengeance at the barn. I thankfully still have a fly bonnet in my tote so depending on Lush’s thoughts, I might start using it again. I know Maisy needs one for sure, so hopefully, her tiny ears will fit in it.

Helmet Visor:

EquiVisor Helmet Visor, Black, Khaki or Navy

I am a delicate flower in the summer. Scratch that, in any sun. I got burnt on Sunday, in April of all months, if that gives you an idea of how easily I burn. I live in sunscreen, and long-sleeved sun shirts most of the summer. I at least tan slightly, not as much as my younger brother, but enough. I’ve been considering one of these for a while now. At my last barn, the barn owner ridiculed people for wearing them and called them very stupid, so I hesitated to order one. This year, however, I’m determined to work on my skin habits. First, by putting on much more sunscreen then I used to, and second, wearing one of these while riding. I’m still on the fence what brand to order, as there are a few and I think I’ll do a bit more research before pulling the trigger.

Yikes, that turned out longer then I thought. Are there any items calling to you during quarantine?