Friday, 19 December 2014

Finally Bought A Saddle

It's a Christmas Miracle!  I found a saddle, and it only cost $500 more than my horse. It's jump saddle that fits me amazingly and is passable on Dee (and is pretty good with the right half pad/breastplate combination).  We've decided this is the best we are going to get without going custom.  The hunt for the dressage saddle has been placed on hold since I currently have one borrowed that works and I spent my saddle budget ont his one.  Once the insurance company figures out what they are doing with my other saddle I will hopefully have the money to buy my own then.

The new-to-me saddle is a very lovely wool-flocked Amerigo monoflap.  It was actually custom ordered by my coach when she was moving up to Intermediate.  After she sold the horse she sold the saddle, and now it's made it's way back to me.  It really is a small world.  I can't wait to take some more lessons and really enjoy having a saddle that puts me in the right position.

And my mama just ordered me a new PS breastplate to go with it!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Confidence Isn't Re-built In a Day

I have yet another saddle on trial right now(the 9th jumping saddle, but who's counting).  I actually think it may be a keeper, but I want at least one more ride before making a decision.

Since I had a saddle to ride in I actually got to have another jumping lesson.  I'd had a rough day at work so I headed to the barn early so I could set fences by myself.  It's amazing how 30 minutes of manual labour and tossing poles around can work off a shitty mood.  My coach had me set up fences coming out of the corner on the diagonal with one fence at X.  Accuracy and steering were the name of the game.
My epic MS Paint skills at work
Turns out, Dee thinks she's in charge of the steering, which caused us some grief when jumping towards the wall.  It took a few tries but we managed to pull it together.  After we were all successful at jumping a single fence into the wall and doing a half ten-meter circle to jump the center jump we moved onto angles.  We had to jump the pink into the wall, the green to the purple to the brown.  The plan was to jump the green and brown straight and take the purple on an angle.  Our first go at it was a bit of a train wreck.  We jumped the pink at an angle (basically like a straight quarter line), had a decent green and completely missed the purple.  Take 2 was much better.  We got our shit together for the first jump and the rest rode quite nice.

We then moved on to adding the other diagonal (which seemed to ride much nicer).  When that went well we moved on to doing shallow loops, green to purple to blue and then to the other side.  This was actually easier than I anticipated and I did both sides with minimal trouble.

Proof I do ride my horse

We went to turn it around, doing the brown to the purple to the pink, and this is where it all fell apart.  I came into the brown with almost no pace, which (justifiably) caused a refusal.  We represented but at this point I was TERRIFIED and just kinda sat there like a lump.  It was an ugly jump and then I pulled her out of the line because there was no way in my state of mind I was capable of even getting over any more fences.  By this time I had fallen into a full on neurotic meltdown.  These jumps are not scary or big but some switch flipped and I was crying and shaking and could hardly breathe.  I was barely able to walk her in a circle so my coach had me sit off to the side and take a few minutes.  Once I got myself under control I had her put one fence down to a cross rail and then jumped some single fences (including the brown one) and called it a day.  I got off and gave my pony a big hug.  

My confidence was shattered by the red mare. I had numerous falls caused by run-outs, starting with the one that destroyed my ankle (and balance).  I kept at it for over a year thinking we could ride through it and make it happen.  All we did was succeed in making me terrified.  

Since I've bought Dee it's gotten so much better.  Oxers only cause me minimal grief, we've schooled 3'3" and everything that scares me on cross country.  Apparently my past is going to rear it's ugly head every once in awhile though. I'm grateful that I have the best pony who takes care of me and did not turf me last night.  I just wish I didn't have this anxiety that likes to show up unannounced. I'm hoping that as time gets on I can trust in myself, and my horse because last night was very frustrating and embarrassing.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Pony Express Blog Hop: Christmas Lists

This blog hop is fun!  And well timed since I have nothing much to write about since I still don't have a saddle that fits Dee (despite trying a plethora).

I've had horses my entire life.  I've been solely responsible for paying for my own horse and horse gear for 10 years. I always figured that the longer I had horses and the more stuff I got, the less I would need/want.  Why o'why does it not work that way?  I have stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  But there is still an always growing list of stuff I need/want.

For Christmas I really would like it if Santa could express ship me a custom Devoucoux (with a forward flap that magically fit my crazy hard to fit horse).
Ideally in black with silver piping!

Since that is not going to happen I do have some more reasonable wishlist items:

Every pair of breeches Aztec Diamond makes.

I can't figure out why it's blurry, it's not until I upload it :(
Or Annie's makes.
But especially these!
A PS of Sweden Breastplate.  My mom has said once I get a saddle she will order me one.  My mama is the best mama!  I'd also like one of their bridles (maybe my birthday?)
So purdy!  Must have!
A FITS Zephyr show coat.  Because it's mesh and breathes!  And it's still so classy looking.  A local tack store just had a wicked sale and I managed to snag this coat for 50% off.  Merry Christmas to me!
Ecogold cross country boots.  I like to support Canadian companies and I like science based facts.  So win/win here.
Watch the axe test video!
Dubarry boots.
Why is everything I want so pricey?!?

In all reality, I need nothing except saddles that fit my horse.  All spending money is going o be funneled into that endeavor for the foreseeable future.  Add that to the fact that the Boy and I are trying to purchase and acreage and I have a feeling these are all going to live on my list for awhile. It's nice to dream though.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

And Then There Were Two

Red Mare made it safely to Washington!

All ready to go.

Her new owner booked her into a transport from Edmonton to Langley on Nov 17.  We were given a window of Nov 29 - Dec 2.  This worked well because the plan was for her to have a few recovery days at a vet clinic in Langley before they drove up and hauled her across the border themselves on the 4th.

Then it snowed 30cm and was -30.  The shipper postponed due to roads and weather (understandably).  They told us they would pick her up between 7-10am on Dec 3.  I waited at the barn until 10:30 and then had to leave to go to work.  I finally managed to get a hold of them via email (after calling a dozen times and leaving multiple messages) only to be told that they meant Thursday morning.  Since I had already missed one morning of work I was not about to wait around for them to show up so I told them to have the driver call me when he was an hour out. I finally got a call at 11:45 (window was still 7-10) letting me know he was an hour away.  He finally arrived and we got her loaded at 1pm, 3 hours after the 3 hour pickup window!

At least the rig was what they said it would be.

To add insult, my coach had asked me who we were shipping with about a week before as she had a client just down the road who needed two horses shipped to Vancouver.  When she got to the barn on Wednesday she asked me why my horse was still here.  Apparently those two horses got picked up on Saturday, when our booking was postponed due to weather and road conditions!  The shipping company gave our booking away and then lied to us about needing to postpone.
She loaded like a pro and settled right in.

With all the delays, the mare did not get any recovery time in Langley but hopped right back on a trailer to complete her journey.  Thankfully she traveled well and made it to her destination safely.  I got a text letting me know she made it safely, drank a full bucket of water, ate her hay and laid down and went straight to sleep.  Good Mare!

Excited new owners!
I wish Jennifer and Cary all the best with her and I as much as I will miss her, I'm glad she found them.

Monday, 1 December 2014

It's Official, Saddle Shopping if the Pits

Well I've tried a few saddles so far.  A lovely Amerigo that was super comfy but slid back like crazy, a Berney Bros that didn't even get to the girth stage, a Frank Baines dressage saddle, a friends Jaguar and a semi-custom.

None of the jump saddles are even remotely worthwhile.  The Frank Baines belongs to a friend who is generously loaning it to me so that I don't have to ride bareback all the time.  It fits mostly ok with a front riser.

I've got a Zaldi rep coming up this weekend because I've heard good things about them working on harder to fit shoulders.  My coach (who owns a tack store) is also working on getting a demo saddle in that is built on dressage panels but uses a polymer to support a forward flap.  Either option may work but is going to be pricey!!!

I'm currently signed up for a Sandra Donnelly clinic over the Christmas break but I'm beginning to panic that I won't have a saddle to ride in :(

I've got nothing much to share because we got 30cm of snow over two days and then it was -30 Celsius for a few more, so all I did was run out and put extra blankets on.

400g Turnout with 200g liner(fullneck) and a BOT mesh sheet.  She should be warm