Monday, November 5, 2018

Past Year Changes

So many changes have happened over the past year or so that I wanted to sort of summarize where we are now especially since I haven’t been good about updating my blog this year!

My new, much more limited, shared
tack set up in one small corner of the tack room
- Fleece TSF Stretchtec girth liner
I love this thing! I worked really well for the pale skinned princess this summer and kept away the skin funk/girth galls that she’s occasionally picked up the past with her leather liner. It’s nice and fluffy without adding too much bulk and despite my minor misgivings that it would make my saddle more unstable it actually was fine probably in part due to the shape of the TSF girth.

- PS of Sweden reins
I’m not totally sold on these yet. I like how slim they are with my tiny hands and appreciate how soft they are but they’re thinner than traditional leather reins and less “sticky” so without my gloves they would slip right through my hands and even with my gloves I feel like I need to use more energy to hold them. Because they’re so thin they also twist so even when I don’t have them twisted they’re not straight between the bit and my hands and that drives me a little batty. I’m still using them and overall I like them but for the cost I probably would have stuck with my cheapo ($20ish) Horze plain black pony reins.

- Bates “webber” style leathers
I totally love these! I was in the camp of not being able to feel the additional bulk from regular leathers, or at least not until I switched to these. Now I can clearly feel a difference and I’m happy to put up with the slight additional fussiness of running these up for that really close contact feeling. I’m also thrilled that my leathers finally are black to match my saddle.

I'm very glad that grass is now only available when hand grazing
- CA Trace
As I was falling further down the barefoot rehab rabbit hole I found out a lot more about diet and with some help from FeedXL made some big changes to what Katai is eating. She’s now getting CA Trace pellets and since I can’t get those through Smartpak I’ve canceled my smartpaks. I am getting Magnesium 5000 through them still but I’m getting the bucket on auto ship vs. the smartpaks. She’s also getting whole flax seed and plain white salt. That’s it! Her coat and feet are looking really good so I’m pleased with everything right now.

- Treats
I found some great low sugar treats that don’t break the bank so I’ve gone from feeding peppermints (which she was getting a decent amount of over the summer) to these apple treats just to try to reduce the sugar content in her diet further

Luckily the arena is nicely well lit since
most of my rides take place after dark at this point
With so many life changes my routine has changed quite a bit this year. First I completely fell out of any routine haha. However, now that she’s so much closer and everything is quieting down a bit in my personal life I’m finding my routine again and I’m really loving our new schedule!

- Weekday Commute
At this point I’ve transitioned to going to the barn directly from work. Not only is the barn closer to my workplace than home (by maybe 10 minutes or so) but by going straight there from work I save the worst commute I have which is from work home during rush hour. This easily saves me 45+ minutes in the car and because of that I’m getting home from the barn around 6:30 which means that my full day away from home is long but I now have the rest of the evening free. 

Katai's new paddock. I love that she has a buddy and shelter!

- Weekend Schedule
With that instead of going both weekend mornings and 3 evenings during the week I’ve transitioned to going 4 evenings and one weekend day typically in the morning. This is allowing my bf and myself more flexibility on the weekend plus because I’m getting home so much earlier when I go during the week we just have more flexibility in general.

- Lesson Schedule
This has been a tricky one. With everything going on it’s been oddly tough to have a weekly commitment on a specific day. Not only does it limit when and how we plan to do things at home or go out on dates, see friends, etc. but it locks in the rest of my riding schedule since I typically want to ride at least the day before and preferably two days before my lesson and normally I give her the day after off. In addition I’ve been trying to be better about sticking to a budget. Moving to a barn where I’m spending less and saving on gas have both been helpful but lessons are a huge expense that I’ve also been trying to reduce. With that at this point I’m taking e/o week lessons on Tuesday evenings. This, so far, has been the right combination of routine enough to help with my motivation to get to the barn while also allowing for flexibility. I’m good at working on riding homework and since we’re both lacking strength a lot of what I’m doing is basically bringing her back into work so the additional time between lessons right now is actually really helpful.

Looking so much better! Ignore the white paste,
we're using baby rash ointment as a moisture barrier

-As mentioned previously I’ve taken over doing Katai’s feet and one of my goals in October was to have a mentor and friend stop by and check my work. She did and felt that Katai’s feet looked really good! She had some great suggestions for me and she’s going to do a re-check in 6 or so weeks and then likely I’ll have her out more ocassionally.

I really like this barn. It's nice and airy and open and kept extremely clean.


  1. Baby butt paste as a moisture barrier... that is INGENIOUS!!!

  2. sounds like youve got your time managed pretty well!


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