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Showing posts from January, 2017

Longtime Favorites

I've been doing season specific favorites posts but I've got some stuff that I've had for a long time and used and abused that deserve a mention. So, this is sort of a longest running, high quality, necessities review.


Ovation Breeches

These may not be my favorite breeches I own but for the price and quality they'd be tough to beat. They still fit well after about 4 years of steady wear and washing. They literally look the same way they did when I bought them except the suede trim on the pockets is getting a little worn.


Weaver Leadrope

I've had this thing for at least 7 years and it's still going strong. It's the nicest lead rope I've ever handled and everyone who has seen it or used it, has commented on it as well. It's nice and heavy in your hand and feels solid plus it's soft rather than silky which is nice and, I think, less likely to leave rope burns for those moments when your horse has a high amount of sass.


Walsh Leather Halter

This hal…

Bad Influence

Or actually a good influence. After reading a few of Sprinklerbandit's posts about using Vienna reins with Courage I wanted to try them with Katai. I figured that my neck stretcher could probably play double duty and work for Vienna reins as well and I was right, at least for the most part.

Next time I want to add something to make them at least a few inches longer but I went with it this time since they weren't horrible. I was even able to get some video and I think she's looking really good.

Enjoy some Prairie Home Companion in the background because that's how we roll :)




Hufglocken Dressage Boot Review

I picked my package from Hufglocken up on Thursday from the post office on my way to H's lesson which you can read about in my previous post. From date of order it took 8 days for them to attempt deliver but since they required a signature and I was at work I didn't get them until 9 days after I ordered. Really good for free shipping from Australia in my opinion!


I opened them up in the parking lot of the post office but didn't have much of a chance to examine them. I will say that I really dislike stiff boots and have always felt like they would be uncomfortable or even bad for horse's legs. However, I would classify DSB boots as stiff and many, many people use them and love them so I think it's just a personal thing. The softness and flexibility of my POH boots is probably one of my favorite things and I do hope that in the future I can own another set the price on those is just tough to swallow.
First Impressions: So, back to the Hufglocken boots. When I first …

Another One: Lesson Recap 1/26

I have a second lesson recap for you this week but his time it wasn't my lesson but my friend H's! I've talked a little about H and having her watch my lesson here and now it was my turn to go to her barn and watch her lesson. I was also really excited about meeting at least a few of the GRPs that her instructor recently bought.

I picked up my new Hufglocken boots on the way there and will be posting a review very soon! I also discovered that with my new living location, where I'm about 31 minutes from Katai, I'm actually only about 32 minutes from H's barn. The distance to that side of the cities has been at least one deterrent for me about boarding there (along with the very high price) so with that out of the way I was curious how I'd feel once I was there and how I would feel about H's lesson.

I had left work a bit early to get there and so I stopped by Chipotle and got a vegan burrito salad which was delicious and which I ate while H tacked up her…

Trust: Lesson Recap 1/24

Woah, after lots of early January posts it's been awhile since I wrote anything! There have just been a lot of things going on in my life. Not bad stuff, just stuff but it has distracted me from writing anything.
Also, Katai has been reverting a bit back to her old ways. Even though she's still way better than she ever was and I know that the weather, hormones, and lack of recent rides are causing it it's still been tough. It's been especially tough to deal with the lack of relaxation which I feel like was my most fought for gain since working with Jane. However, as of this lesson on Tuesday I feel like we're getting back into the groove!

Katai started off in a good place and actually seemed like she wanted to work. She's just been so resistant that it's been tough to get anything done until mid way through the ride when she starts to soften a bit. This time though she came out of her stall soft and relaxed and despite some mare faces when I was tacking up…

Of Monsters and Retail Therapy

Yeeeaaaahhhh...

So I probably didn't need to buy anything else horse related for maybe at least a year but when I was so sick I did end up doing some shopping and bought a set of these beauties!


aaaaaannnnnnddd a set of these...

But really I'm just  counting it as improvement that I didn't buy a set of these gorgeous things...

I did actually "need" another set of dressage boots. Polos don't work because of the small size of Katai's legs and the fact that I'm incapable of putting them on well, even though I know how. Also since I only have one set of boots it's been tough to keep them clean and means going for a week at a time without leg protection. It's hardly the end of the world but I'd really rather have a different set to swap out when I'm washing them.
I LOVE the pastel pink set of boots that I have (and I'm sure you're all familiar with) which are from People on Horses. I've had them since just after I got Katai, so a…

Equestrian Blogging Community FTW

I LOVE this community. I feel like it's a rare thing on the internet to find such an amazing group of positive, helpful, and welcoming people. I'm hoping to meet more of you at some point but even through electronic communication it's been great getting to know everyone. How amazing this community is was really emphasized to me over the past couple of weeks!

After I posted my TSF girth review for the Stretchtec girth I bought, I received a message from Emilie over at BecausePony. She was wondering if I was going to put my 24" Havana girth up for sale. I let her know that I'd thought about it but hadn't listed it or done anything about it yet and that if she wanted it I'd be happy to arrange something. Then she came up with the amazing idea of a partial trade for a piece of her artwork.

I jumped on it since I've been wanting to get more photos/artwork of Katai. It's amazing to have such an incredible pony that I love in every way. I still can't …

Downtime

This winter has been tough for a few reasons but the weather has been nuts! It's been a very cold year overall but there have just been so many crazy temperature swings. On top of that it's either been very cold, highs in the single digits, or when it gets warmer, up into the 20s, we get dumped on with snow. This week was no different and we got around 4-6" of snow Monday-Wednesday. In addition it was still quite cold so none of the salt or chemicals were working which meant the roads were really bad.

Because of that I didn't get to the barn Monday or Tuesday and I was planning to make it there, no matter what, on Wednesday but the roads were still crappy and I was starting to get sick. On Thursday I was feeling really crappy and while I made it through my day at work it wasn't a good day. It was also only about 4* so I just couldn't make myself go to the barn.

Then Friday I felt even worse but I had the day off so I went to the barn in the morning and delive…

When the Well Runs Dry

I wanted to post a ride recap from last week just because it was an interesting ride but for some media I'll share some screenshots from this most recent lesson video and some comparison shots from the last couple of years.
As mentioned in several blogs so far, my pony is a saint. Throughout all of this recent down time when she's been stuck in her stall from the cold or unable to move much in her pen because it's icy or when I've been out of town and unable to work with her, or my car was at the shop...

Photo from spring 2014

This past Saturday though, the pony's patience ran out. She was actually really good in the cross ties which is unusual when she's full of energy so I didn't really think anything of it. Then when I led her to the arena I started to notice that she was spooky and since that's really odd I realized that she might be feeling pretty tight and full of energy.
Indeed she was, in fact when I climbed on she had such a hump in her back tha…

Lesson Recap with Video!!!

Yes! I have media, and not just any media but a video.

Unfortunately we had the heater running so there was a very loud buzzing in the background that covered up everything and was annoying to listen to. Instead you get to listen to one of my favorite tracks from the past month. However, even if you can't hear what Jane's saying you can see how effective she is in changing the way I'm riding.

Just to recap my rides last week, I was out of town through Thursday and wasn't able to make it to the barn on Friday which meant that Katai hadn't been ridden since Sunday. When I got to the barn on Saturday she was fine in the crossties but a little firecracker to ride and she actually had such a hump in her back that I almost got off and lunged. Instead I was able to ride her through it and got some good stretchy work. I was able to get her loosened up enough that I was encouraged that my lesson would be productive.

You can watch in 1080 if you go to Youtube and see the fu…

January Goals

Obviously I'm already a little ways into January but I'd like to do monthly goals again along with my larger yearly goals. Mainly because I think it will help me keep on track but also because I think it will help me motivate myself to get to the barn more often.

Ride More: Speaking of getting to the barn more often, I'd like to make it a goal to ride 6 days a week during January. Between the snow and cold I know it's going to be tough but even if I go 4-5 times because I set this at 6 that will still be a win.
Focus on Forward: While also working on getting the contact more consistent. I haven't ridden dressage long enough or ridden enough different horses to be able to speak to how things "usually" work. However, I know that for Katai, if I push her forward when she's got her head in the air and she's tense in front of the withers it does nothing more than make her more tight. When I do that she also moves her legs up and down instead of forwar…

My Other Christmas Gift

I got a few amazing things other than the girth and bride but most of them aren't horse related (including some amazing handmade knit socks from my mom). However, I ended up with a very generous Amazon gift card and I've already bought a few fun things including a Polaroid Cube.

For anyone who doesn't know what these are, I didn't until I found it on Amazon, it's similar to a go-pro but at $60 it's a better price point for me and it's just adorable.

Along with the price point there are a few fun things about this camera. First, it's tiny!


It's also water proof (or maybe just water resistant) and, my favorite, it's got a small built in magnet!

It takes video up to 1080 and accepts a micro SD up to 32GB. It also has a wide angle lens so it captures a bit more than my phone which is really nice when trying to get videos in the arena.

Mainly, while the quality might not be as nice as a more expensive (or larger) piece of equipment it's really si…

I'm Back!

In more ways than one.

The past few weeks have been really tough in being able to get to the barn. First was the accident and being in pain, then not having a car to drive, then the holidays, and finally this week I was in Seattle, WA for work. I just got back today and its so good to be home.
Even though it's been tough to only be able to occasionally go to the barn and the lack of rides and lessons hasn't made for much progress it has been sort of nice to have a "forced" break from regular riding. I was lacking a bit on motivation both because of the weather and because I think I just needed a break. Now though, especially today, I'm feeling way more motivated. I think it's both because of the break and because I finished reading book two of the Dressage Chronicles and I'm reading book three, for the first time. I love these books and they always make me want to ride and go to dressage shows :)

I'm planning to ride or go to the barn every day throu…

Boot Camp: Lesson Recap 12/31

Yep, I celebrated the end of 2016 with a good, tough lesson with Jane. It had been a couple of weeks since I'd had a lesson and my rides have been pretty inconsistent (timing wise, Katai has been really consistent and I've had great rides just not as many of them as I'd like) so I knew we were going to get a workout but mainly we are just at a point where we can both be pushed more which is so exciting!

Since I haven't posted many details about my rides in the past month I just want to post a quick recap of what we've been doing. That is, doing more work on lateral movements, specifically leg yield and shoulder in. My leg yield is starting to get more consistent now that I'm starting to be able to use my outside rein and both legs (so, so, so hard for me!). We've also been doing a LOT more canter than we had been. Jane was pushing way more canter than I was used to and when we talked she basically told me that at second level since there is about as much c…

Goals for 2017

Goals for 2017 I'm going to take a crack at this again and will put my big goals for the year here and post more about some of the smaller goals as I go.
Increase Blogging Again I'd like to post even more this year. Again I'd like to set the goal to post an average of 15 times per month. If I can do that I'll have at least 180 posts next year and that would feel good! I'd also like to increase the number of pictures, increase the quality of my photos, and to do more review posts. Honestly just being able to show more and travel with Katai more would create more interesting things to post about!
Buy a Trailer Yes! This is finally on the list. With all of the financial stuff I've been doing including moving to a place with cheaper rent, moving Katai to a barn with cheaper board, and (the surprise blessing of the year) getting rid of my car payments in trade for a slightly uglier car this is finally on the list Trailer EVERYWHERE More specifically to shows but I …

2016 Goals Review

I think the only consistent thing about my goals in 2016 is that I struggled with them. I've never been good at setting goals and although I tried in 2016 they left a lot to be desired. I think part of what's tough is that shows/clinics/horse events are easy things to build goals around and I just haven't been able to do many of those. With that being said I'm going to recap my favorite things that happened this past year!
Increased my Blogging I was happy both with the fact that I posted over 140 times (up from the 90 times I posted in 2015) but also that I just had more interesting content and more pictures. I still struggled to get good riding photos but at least there were some good pictures and lots more pictures of Katai and myself.
Attended my First and Second Dressage Clinic Yep, I've been riding for a long time (over 19 years) but in that time I've never ridden in a clinic before this year. Plus, of course, it was my first clinic with Katai and my firs…