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Showing posts from December, 2016

Review of 2016

I've been having so much fun reading everyone's review of 2016 so even though I'm way behind with blogging this year I wanted to make sure I get this one out before 2017 starts.

2016 has been a great year for me overall and while some tough things happened there has also been a lot of good. It's also been a year of less change, overall, than what I've experienced in past years so I think the stability has allowed me to really put my focus on riding and riding related things such as blogging. It shows since I've reached a new high of over 140 posts this year compared with my previous record of 90. I think it's also shown with the improvement that Katai and I have made both in our rides and our relationship.

Without further ado...
January Started with a bang as I was invited to ride in my first ever clinic, a Dressage clinic with Susanne Winslade.  I also had a rough saddle fitting experience, posted an update on the tack locker I was (still am) working on w…

PS of Sweden Flying Change Bridle Review

I've been doing my seasonal "favorites" posts but haven't had much to review recently since I haven't been purchasing much. Thanks to saving up some money I was able to spend a bit more on presents (for everyone including myself) this Christmas and finally got the PS of Sweden bridle that's been on my list for over a year.

Based on the information I had I decided to order the pony sized bridle. I had messaged asking for the bridle size but never heard back. I really should have messaged again before ordering as you're about to see.

Unfortunately when the bridle arrived and I compared it with a bridle I had at home that fit Katai I was pretty sure it was going to be too small. I brought it out to the barn, tried it on her and sure enough it was way too small. Not even close enough to be able to punch extra holes. So, I brought it back home and got it packaged up to return.

After a couple of emails back and forth and many days later (I shipped it back on 12…

Christmas Updates

Wow, I've been a bad blogger. Between not having a car, Christmas stuff, family stuff, and personal stuff it's been a crazy few weeks. I also tend to not take much time off around the holiday so I've been fitting Christmas stuff in around a mostly full workload.

It's looking like I'll be able to pick up my car tomorrow morning, more on that later, and holiday stuff is starting to quiet down so hopefully I'll be back in the full swing of blogging very soon. However, I did want to post a few updates starting with my gift from the Blogger Gift Exchange!



I sent my gift just before the deadline of 12/19 and haven't heard anything so plan to follow up soon. However, I received my amazing gifts a week or so ago and it's just been so crazy that I didn't get it posted right away. My gifts were from Kristen at Stampy and the Brain and they are awesome! This is my first year participating and I'd mentioned that coat care or hair care items would be good.


K…

Total Saddle Fit StretchTech Girth Review

Yep! I ended up getting it :)

I'm also in the process of getting a PS of Sweden bridle and although they are ergonomic and meant to be very comfortable for the horse that is really for me. This was for Katai and since I know her girth is gapping I just couldn't wait any longer to do something about it.

Prior to this girth I've used TSF girths for the past couple of years. They're the only girths that work with Katai's conformation and don't pull her saddle too far forward or run too badly into her elbows.

I really went back and forth on whether to get the Neoprene or the Leather. I think that both have really great benefits and likely both have some negatives as well. In the end I went with the leather option just because that's what I've been using with Katai for the past couple of years and it's worked really well for us with no chafing or soreness. Why mess with a good thing!

As mentioned previously I already have two PS of Sweden girths. One is…

Good Ladybug

Edit: I wrote this before I was in the accident but I wanted to thank all of you for your comments. It means a lot :) I was extremely sore yesterday and actually went to the hospital. They told me I had whiplash and gave me some pain meds and told me to take it easy for a few days. I dodged not being able to ride but we had a snow storm yesterday and today so I won't be going to the barn. Tomorrow the high is -9* so we'll see if I go out then. Luckily next week is still forecast to be in the 20s and 30s so I'll be there every day!

First, to explain the title I always used to call female horses Lady. Not as in the name but the way you might say "Hey ladies!" to your friends. With Katai, since she's my adorable little bug it turned into Ladybug :)

Second, I just want to say that Katai is a good girl. The reason that I don't talk about her spooking, bucking, leaping, bolting, kicking, biting, etc is that she just doesn't. Especially after working with Ja…

On Pause

So, I was all set to write about my rides on Monday and last night and get it posted today but then this happened on my way to work this morning.



Unlike the conga line that SprinklerBandits was in I was the middle car. I hit the car ahead of me when I put my foot on the brakes and nothing happened. It was so slick that I might as well have been  in a skating rink and it was a good thump but not horrible impact but then the car behind me slammed into me with enough force to push me past the car in front of me and sideways so that it looked like the car I hit T-boned me.
It was a typical MN car accident with all three people involved apologizing and being sweet and caring about it. The cop also had a great sense of humor and when he almost wiped out on the slippery spot, as he was picking up pieces of my car, he looked right at me, pointed at the spot, and with a straight face said "It's kind of slippery right there". It made me crack up anyway.
Unfortunately my roommate a…

Baby It's Really F'ing Cold Outside

So, after my last post on how motivated I'm feeling I was all excited to ride every day this weekend. I took Monday off, to celebrate my birthday, and was looking forward to a good three rides in a row. Then I woke up on Saturday, put on my riding clothes, looked at my watch and realized that it was 2* out. I looked at the forecast and the high was around 6* with a windchill of -2* all day.

I just about cried. I could probably suck it up, put on my warmest clothes, and with the help of the "hopefully" heated arena I could possibly stay warm enough during my ride haha. However, I just don't think it's fair to Katai to ask her to work in the cold like that. It's not easy on tendons and ligaments or her respiratory system. At the very least since this was our very first really cold day and it was a major drop from the 30s that we were getting just about a week ago I felt like I really needed to at least give her some time to adjust. Then at the very least I coul…

A Kick in The Pants

Winter is always tough on my motivation. The seasonal change is the worst but the depression and headaches that always gives me seems to be over this year which is amazing. The winter is just tough because of the dark and cold.

At my previous barn it wasn't so bad since it was kept much warmer, closer to 50-60* so as soon as I got to the barn I was comfy and could wear just a light jacket. This barn is much chillier and probably kept closer to 32* just so it doesn't freeze. Certainly not complaining but as a huge freeze baby I have to admit that it's been tougher to make myself go to the barn this year.

I've still been to the barn 3-4 days a week but I'm still aiming for 5 so that's a big difference. However on Tuesday H was able to make it to my lesson and it was an interesting evening that somehow left me feeling more motivated.

To start this off I want to preface by saying that I love H. She's been a friend since I was in my teens and she's really a …

ASSFS Blog Hop: Location, location, location

I've been fascinated as I'm reading the blogs on this blog hop and decided that I needed to blog this one. What an amazing idea from Sara!

I'm located in St. Paul, MN and Katai is boarded at a barn that's about half an hour north of downtown.
I've grown up in MN and lived here my whole life so although I grew up on a farm more than an hour north of the Twin Cities I'm very familiar with the MN horse community. As far as costs it's not bad. I actually think that based on some of the other blogs on this hop our board seems a little pricy in comparison to hay/farrier/vet prices but because it gets so cold here most of the "nice" boarding barns have heated indoor arenas and need to feed a lot of hay and grain to keep weight on horses along with more limited turnout in the middle of winter which means more shavings so I guess it makes sense.

Trim-$35-$50
Shoes-$120+ for all four, the farrier I use would charge $80 for the fronts and $120 for all four
A…

Lesson Recaps

Since I haven't posted in awhile but still want to sort of track what I'm learning I thought I'd post a few of the themes that we've been working on and then dig into the specifics as needed later.

Position:

Sit back! Shoulders back but mainly belly button back. I have a fair amount of forward curvature to my spine from my hips to my rib cage so I need to focus on pulling my belly button back and straighten my back more so I can really sit on my seat bones.

I need to carry my hands more forward in front of me. I also need to focus on holding (as needed) with my right hand and releasing (when appropriate) with my left hand since that's opposite what they want to do. I also found out that I also carry my left hand out, off the neck and my right hand against the neck but not enough for correct bend to the left (needs more) and opposite what I should be doing for the correct bend to the right. To correct this (since Katai is white) Jane wants me to think about getting…