Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thursday's Threads

It's OUTFIT DAY! I didn't have a chance to put together a ridiculous theme outfit today, but soon, I promise! Instead I dressed in blue to honor the Yankees today on opening day. Go Pinstripes! But we'll save that outfit for second. It's been a few weeks since I've had a riding outfit to share, so we'll start there today.

This outfit was from Saturday. It was still pretty cold, so I opted for a warm outfit. Big ol' sweatshirt and corduroy breeches!

Helmet: Charles Owen AYR8
I dressed to match the boys this weekend, so obviously greenie here was the go-to helmet!

Sweatshirt: brand unknown
I got this sweatshirt from Mona's Monograms one year at New England finals. It's giant, and warm, and super cozy. I've lost the hood strings, but otherwise it's holding up well!

Belt: Boy O Boy Bridleworks
I LOVE my BOB belt! I think the logo looks adorable on there and the colors are perfect. Thanks to all of you who voted to help me pick a pattern! I'm definitely not disappointed.

Breeches: Horseware
These breeches are incredibly unflattering. They emphasize every lump and bump on me. BUT they're super warm and despite making me look like a stuffed sausage, I think they're pretty cute. I also have them in tan.

Boots: Fama 4 All

First a confession: I didn't actually ride in these Saturday. I couldn't get them zipped all the way over these breeches (and maybe because I ate a giant lox sandwich the day before and was a little more fluffy than even normal). But I did wear them Sunday with thinner breeches. So it's not a total lie.
I mean, so close though, right?
Ok, despite my not fitting in them Saturday, I absolutely LOVE these boots. They're so dreamy. They're quite soft and they didn't cripple me when I rode in them Sunday. They're a little snug, but that's more my fault than the boots. I'm working on getting less fluffy, and they'll definitely stretch a little too. So I think all will be just fine. Plus, how pretty are they?!

Spur Straps: Mane Jane
I got spur straps and protectors with the boots that match the croc exactly, but I had forgotten them in the house. Instead I used these Mane Jane's with a cute little horse shoe on the keeper. They actually were a pretty close match too! I want to use my green spurs from color tack with these boots, but they're in Florida. I need to get down there!

So that's (sort of) what I wore riding on Saturday. (I rode in my Regals if you're curious what I switched to). I thought I'd also share what the boys wore. I'll just bullet point to save some time.


Saddle Pad: HKM Lauria Garelli collection
Half Pad: Horze
Saddle: Hermes Essentielle
Bridle: FSS (custom, from Ebay)
Bit: Sweet Billy's Bits
Browband: Boy O Boy Bridleworks
Reins: Tory Leather


Saddle Pad: I'm embarrassed I forgot the name of the Etsy shop... but it's closed now so it doesn't really matter I guess.
Half pad: Le Mieux
Saddle: Hermes Essentielle
Bridle: FSS (custom, from Ebay)
Bit: Pessoa
Browband: Boy O Boy Bridleworks
Reins: Tory Leather
And here's what I wore to work today!
I wanted something casual that I could also wear to the barn because the vet is coming today. (Woohoo half day for me!)

Sweater: Say What
This is like the sweater version of a baseball tee. I got it at Marshalls last year for 12.00. I know because I never wore it and just found it during the great purge with the tag still on... Oops. It's a cute sweater! Light weight, but still warm.

Belt: Mane Jane
It looks black in this photo, but it's actually navy croc. You probably know that though since I wear this one a LOT. It's mint green on the reverse side.

Jeans: TwentyOne Black
These are cheapo super comfy jegging like jeans. I'd say they're actually jeans because they have all functional pockets, a fly, and a button. But they're pretty thin and stretchy similar to jeggings. SO comfy!

Shoes: Blowfish
Lol. These shoes remind me of the 80's when it was all denim all the time. I should have worn a jean jacket too! Hahaha! They're comfy like slippers though, so I'll stop laughing at them now.

Arm Party:
Lefty is wearing a mixed media bracelet from Ettika. This one hasn't aged very well though, it's gotten all twisty. I do love the different materials used on it.

Righty is actually wearing the stack that's shown in the giveaway (ALSO, don't forget to enter by leaving a comment on that post). This is one of my favorites because the suede is really soft.

So that's it for today's outfits! Do you have any favorites? Have you gotten anything from Boy O Boy Bridleworks? Any awesome small horsey businesses I should check out for future outfits? Have you entered the giveaway?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

A lot can happen in seven days time. For example, your yard can go from looking like this:
To this:
You know what that means right?! I've been riding my horses!!!!
Rio's a little limpy these days. I had the farrier out to check him, and he thought maybe his heels were sore, but since it was snowing when he came, we couldn't really get too much done. I have the vet coming out tomorrow for shots and a teeth float, so we'll see what he thinks too. Rio's looking better than he was though, so I figured a tack walk wouldn't hurt too much. He seemed to enjoy it, so hopefully I'm not wrong.
With the leaves still down we actually have lake views through the trees! Rio can appreciate that.

ATH: All Terrain Horse

I'm clearly not paying attention. Thank goodness Rio watches where we're going.

It's hard to tell, but that's the SUN shining on us! 
Jampy is being Jampy... Terrified of the end of the ring, spooking EVERY time we turn away from said scary end, and yet still incredibly lazy the rest of the time. I can't blame him though. He has had a ton of time off. He hasn't dropped me yet, so that's positive! He looks pretty good too.

It's been SO GREAT to get back in the saddle. It's a little tough readjusting to the work all day, ride all evening schedule, but I'm sure it will be old hat again soon. I think it will also be a lot easier when it actually warms up too. It's been in the 40's which is like a heat wave after all the snow, but it's certainly not warm.
I was also excited to get back in the saddle because I've been DYING to use my new bridles/browbands. They boys look really handsome in their new tack. But I do need to fix Jamp's a little. The crown piece is a little wide for the browband so it's sitting on his head a little funny. I think a little oil should fix it. If not I'll switch out the crownpiece.

Even the short kids took advantage of the nice-ish weather. We went for a walk down by the lake. I used the coupler leash I got a little while ago for the first time. At first it was a lot of Artie dragging P all over the place. But eventually they figured it out.

I also got some quality ladder time in with my favorite client:

And that's what's up this Wednesday! What's up with you? Have you been riding a lot? Has spring appeared where you live? Can you send it this way?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Truthful Tuesday

Now that the great closet purge of 2018 is mostly done, I've moved on to cleaning up various junk piles in the house. This weekend was the section of counter in my kitchen that had become the drop box for all mail, magazines, and whatever other stuff that never found a home. It was quite a situation, and now that it's all cleaned up, I feel a lot better about the state of my kitchen. Plus I gained a significant amount of counter space!

While going through all of that, I found more than one envelope containing photos. So obviously, I stopped sorting to look through them all. There were some older photos of Jampy and me in there from I think 2013 or 2014. I'm pretty sure it was the first year I dropped him down to the equitation after not being all that successful together in the jumper ring. I think it was also the first year after he was gelded. He was pretty scrawny looking! It made me stop and think about how my horses have transformed over the years. And that leads to today's confession: It's really hard watching your horses get older. I mean, it's better than NOT getting to do that (I know from having lost my first heart horse, Bud, when he was only 10). But still, it's tough to see. Though in Jampy's case, he looks pretty good right now.

Let's start with Rio, since I've had him longer. This is Rio the first year I had him:
Total Beefcake, amiright? We started out in the children's/adult jumpers. They didn't have high and low back then, they were just set at 3'3" to 3'6" and everyone jumped the same course. Sometimes they split up the kids and the amateurs if there were enough entries. We moved up the next year to the low amateurs, and he retained that beefcake status. I mean LOOK at him! So handsome! We stayed in the jumper ring for most of our show career together, though we did sometimes do a hunter or equitation class. This is him doing some kind of hunter classic, might have been the same year judging by my non-approved helmet:
That unicorn looked the part in any ring you threw him in. Eventually he stepped down to the adult hunters and eq as his legs weren't holding up to the 1.2m jumps any longer. But he still looked amazing. That all changed in the last few years, since his EPM diagnosis. The fact that he made it through the first few months is a miracle so I'm not complaining about the state of his muscle tone. I'm THRILLED he's still here to be the skinny little old man he's become. But it's still pretty tough to watch happen. After the initial diagnosis, he had significant muscle atrophy on the right side of his face, but that was about it. Since last year though, I'm seeing muscle loss throughout his body. He's still handsome, but he's much leaner than he used to be.
Okay, maybe not the hay belly he's sporting... but the muscle tone is gone. I had doc test him for cushings, but thankfully he was negative. So it's just old age doing it's thing we think. Hopefully we can do some work this spring and summer to try and bring some strength back to those old muscles. And if not? Well that's ok too. As long as he's happy and comfortable, I don't care that much what he looks like.

Ok, Jampy's turn! Jampy is interesting to look back on as he's gone through a few changes. I'm not sure where the photos are of when I first got him, but he was a bag of bones by the time he got to me from Europe. As I am now very aware, Jamp is a worrier, and that trip was really hard on him. He spiked a fever in the USDA quarantine and had to stay there longer. Then when he got to the next quarantine for all the stallion testing stuff his legs blew up like balloons. Poor dude. This is why I'm not making him show anymore. Traveling is really stressful for him. Of course so is riding at the far end of my own ring... but I digress...
Jamp arrived to me at the end of August in 2010. Since he was in such terrible shape, I spent the fall just getting to know him at home and trying to get weight on him. It was a snowy winter so he had some time off, but we were ready to roll by the end of spring and started showing the end of May. Here he is that first year in Vermont:
His front end was a lot bigger than the back end, which I always thought was kind of funny. But he was a handsome little stallion, wasn't he?!
This same show was the scene of the crime that eventually stripped Jampy of his, err...,  little jampies if you will. You can read about that incident here if you need a refresher or happened to miss it the first time around.
After this season, we dropped down to the 3' hunters and equitation. My plan was just to get our confidence back and then eventually move back up to the jumper ring. Jampy was a lot less stressed doing that job though, so we wound up just staying in that ring. We did the 3"6" amateur owner hunters a few times, but he's just really not a hunter, so we were generally in the back of the pack.
This scrawny photo is of him that first year in the 3' division:
It doesn't even look like the same horse! Though the back end matches the front a bit better. He was always a tougher keeper than any of the others, requiring a lot more groceries to keep his weight up. I had to be really careful during the show season to keep hay in front of him at all times, or he would get too lean. It was especially obvious when we showed with the BNT and he wasn't under my care. I had to constantly remind them to keep feeding him. Even still, he would come home a bit thinner than he left. Now that he's home all the time, and especially after most of this winter off, he's clearly not that hard of a keeper anymore:
I think we could probably both benefit from a few weeks of intense fitness training... Somehow that tiny butt of his is now significantly larger than the front end. Honestly, though he could obviously use a lot more muscle tone, I think he looks better than he did after being gelded. In his case, he's aging pretty well! He even kind of looks like a hunter now. If only he'd jump like one...

Have you had a horse long enough to see the differences as they age? Any good tips for muscling up an epm riddled senior who's often a bit limpy? (Probably not, but hey, doesn't hurt to ask!)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Blogiversary Giveaway!

It's taken me a little time to get my act together, but I'm finally ready for my first ever giveaway! There are three prizes:
First place:
First place will receive a purple Roma baby pad, a pair of these floral brushing boots in full size, a Lettia baseball cap that matches the half pad, a navy C4 belt with matching buckle, and a custom bracelet stack made by me.
The bracelet stack will be made after the drawing so I can be sure it will fit you. It will be similar to this above, but you can pick the color.

Second place:
Second place will receive a neon green C4 belt with matching buckle, a Lettia ball cap, a pair of floral brushing boots in size full, and a wrap bracelet from Noble Outfitters.
Third Place:
Third place will receive a navy C4 belt with matching buckle.

So now that you know what's up for grabs, you're probably wondering how to enter. Well. I'm an old woman, and probably couldn't work rafflecopter if I tried. So I'm going to keep it simple. It would be awesome if you meandered over to Facebook and gave Amateur at Large a like. It would also be fun and make me happy if you followed me on Instagram. But those aren't required. The only ACTUAL requirement is that you comment on this post. In your comment, let me know what color bracelet stack you'd want if you won. I'll keep the contest open until April 1st. I will put everyone's name who comments in a hat and draw the winners in reverse order.

I'll do a separate post with who the winners are, and then can figure out shipping and what not from there. Good luck everyone!