Thursday, January 27, 2022

Thursday's Threads


Outfit day again! And I'm afraid I'm pretty much still a failure at Thursday's Threads in the winter. But hey, at least I made some effort... Not much, but some. Al will be our model today! Here's what he wore:

Saddle: Butet
Saddle Pad: Mattes
Breastplate: Kavalkade

I know, you can't really see the breastplate in this photo. One of these weeks I'll get a better shot of it. I bought this one a few weeks ago and I really am happy with it, especially for the price point. It came from Equizone. This Mattes pad is one of the first that I bought a couple of years ago. This one I had made with three rows of rope piping. You may (or may not) have noticed last week that some of my Mattes pads only have one row of rope. That's because as I needed to order larger quantities of them, I looked for ways to save money. And less piping seemed like a good way to cut costs. Though I do admit it is prettier this way.

Bridle: Camelot
Okay you caught me. First, yes, it's a recycled photo. I forgot to grab a new one with his current bit on it. And secondly, you are right, this bridle does not match our saddle pad. But don't worry, you'll see shortly that his boots don't either.

Boots: Horze
It was far too cold for me to go to the shed and get the green boots. These are doing the job just fine. Besides, navy looks just fine with green!

And here's the next fail... I somehow deleted the full length photo of my outfit for this week. Oops. So you'll just have to use your imagination. 

Helmet: One K
Yep. My helmet doesn't go with the outfit either. What can you do?

Hoodie: Nantucket gift shop brand
This is the softest sweatshirt I have ever owned and I hope it never falls apart because I love it so much. Other than the fact that it's ridiculously soft, it's just a plain ol' hoodie. Perfect for this winter weather.

Belt: The Sugar Lady
This is Rio's belt. I still love it just as much as I did the day it arrived. It's so unique, and I love that it lets me keep a little Rio in my day-to-day to life. 

Breeches: Horseware
It's been in the teens and low 20's again (Fahrenheit) here again, so I've been living in the corduroy breeches lately. I'm a little worried as some of them are getting a little thin. I hope they make it through a few more seasons!

Socks: Dreamers and Schemers
I bought these several years ago, and really want to get some new ones with my updated (cleaned up...) logo. January and February are always expensive months though, so that will have to wait a bit. 

Boots: Tredstep
You had to know I'd be wearing these still! I hope to never have to wear any other boots in the winter. Also some good news for anyone wanting a pair. These are discontinued and I thought basically extinct, but Tack of the Day got some final closeout pairs in and have a them available. However, they only have the wide calf. If you wear a normal size calf, you can probably get away with them if you wear a thick pair of socks, since the laces offer some extra adjustability. If you wear a slim calf, I don't think they'd work, but you might be able to have them taken in. I wish I had the extra cash to grab another back up pair! Maybe they'll still have my size in a few months. Fingers crossed!

And that's it for today! I won't pretend like I'm going to do a better job at Thursday's Threads next week. I probably won't. But maybe we'll get lucky? 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

What's Up Wednesday


It was a relatively quiet week around these parts. We're plugging away, doing our best to do meaningful work despite being SO COLD all of the time! The cold isn't too much trouble for Al, but Eros and Shiny both have a tough time with it. But we do what we can!

Eros had a lesson last week, his first in a little while. He was quite good, and only dragged me to one of the handful of jumps we popped over. His fresh bank has been filling up though, and I knew I would need to let him have a free lunge soon. I've been reluctant since he's not feeling the soundest he's ever been, but I also think his mental health is just as important. I did my best to be thoughtful about it though. Monday is the day off at the barn, so I figured I would ride him Tuesday and work him somewhat hard. Then let him have his free lunge today (Wednesday). I figured he'd be a little less than sound post free lunge, and I figured right. He didn't feel super during our ride after. However, he also was ridiculously tired from his gallop around so I'm not worrying too much just yet. Instead, I decided to basically bubble wrap him for awhile... And by that I mean I covered him head to toe in Back on Track (and his cozy wool cooler for warmth) and tucked him in his stall while I rode Al and Pammon.

Clearly it relaxed him.

Fingers crossed he's feeling his usual self tomorrow for our lesson. And if not, we already have the vet coming on Friday anyway. (So yeah, that also factored into my allowing the free lunge... help was already scheduled!) 

Al has been his amazing self. I've still been struggling with the contact though, and finally decided I wanted to try some other bits. I have two bridles set up for him currently, both loose rings that have two joints. But one is thicker and he has seemed to prefer that one to the thinner one. I kind of had a hunch he'd like a single joint too. I know we're taught that three piece bits sit more comfortably in the mouth, but I really think every horse has a different preference. Prior to following any of my hunches though, I stuck a leather loose ring in his mouth. Two reasons for that: First, it was already in my locker since I'd loaned it to a friend and she had returned it there. Second, most of my horses LOVE the leather bits, so why not start there? Turns out though, Al wasn't into it. He went exactly the same as he did in the thinner bit we'd tried already. I did wonder if that would be the case since the leather bit is pretty thin. No harm though, that's how we learn! Being the person I am, I didn't remember to go through the bit box and find some things to try for this week. But I knew I had a bit at the barn already that he might like. It's leather wrapped, but is a metal bit under that. It has one joint, but the bit can also swivel around that joint. The bit itself has a little curve to it as well. This is it:

The stitching faces out, so it's not abrasive on the lips. Guys, he seems to love this bit! I still lose the contact when he decides he wants to look out the windows... but I can get it back relatively quickly. I also discovered that I have been riding with absolutely no thigh on the horse. When I close my thigh he basically puts himself in the contact. Who knew? It's like correct riding makes the horse go well... Mind blowing! I did an easy lesson with him last weekend (pre bit change unfortunately) and he was wonderful. The jumps stayed tiny which was perfect since we hadn't jumped in awhile. I'm hoping to lesson on him again Friday, it's just dependent on what time the vet comes for the others. I'm sure it will be at the lesson time cause that's how it usually works! Lol! 

Shiny has been trying to put in some work. We had a random warmish day yesterday (almost 40!), and she felt significantly better than she had in awhile. But today, the temps dropped back to the teens and I had a very unwilling pony again. I really do think the cold stiffens her neck up and she just can't give me great work. She's on the vet list too so we'll see what he thinks on Friday. Overall, I think she's fine, I just also know she could be BETTER. Ya know? But maybe I just need to be patient and wait to really ask for more until the weather gets better. It won't be cold forever. 

Not much to report on for Pammon just now. He's still enjoying his 30 minute tack walks. Fingers crossed we can start trotting after the vet sees him Friday. (Yes, that's right, I'm having THREE of the horses looked at on Friday. I swear, I think my horses are putting my vet's kids through college.)

In other news, I think Rita is settling in better. She hasn't had a wet diaper in a few days, though she did pee on the floor the other night. 

Pia had a little drama that required all my attention, and in the chaos Rita went out but didn't do her business, and I was so busy with P that I forgot to put R's pants back on. So I'm counting that one as my mistake. As for P, she ripped a toenail off, so there was blood EVERYWHERE (on my freshly cleaned floors) but she's doing just fine now. 

Know what it's like to bandage a pug foot?
It's nearly impossible. 

Rita still goes after P now and then, but it's pretty rare now. So hopefully things will be okay between them. They even lounged this close to each other the other night!

So that was wonderful! I'm not sure they'll ever be best friends, but as long as Pia doesn't hate Rita, that's good enough. 

And that's really all I have to report on this week. How are things with all of you? 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Truthful Tuesday


Okay, I have a weird confession for you guys this week. I have a pair of pants that I really love, but I just can't bring myself to wear. Nor to get rid of. Which is ridiculous right? If I can't wear them, why not get rid of them? 

They're a lovely pair of pants, jeans in fact. They're a pretty teal color and the stitching is thick and kind of beige color. They're from True Religion so they have horse shoes stitched on the pockets. Very cute. 

So what's the problem, you ask? Do they not fit? No, they DO fit. But see, the problem is that I had them on the night I had to put Rio down. And for some reason that makes absolutely no sense, I completely connect those pants with that night. Guys, that was more than two years ago. I really should either wear or sell or donate the pants. 

Do you have any items like this that simply exist in your space because you just can't deal with them? I hope I'm not alone in this weird thing...

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Thursday's Threads

 Outfit Day! This week Pammon will be our outfit day model since he hasn't really had a turn in a long while. Not on his own anyway. Plus I forgot was too lazy to bring matching boots out and right now he doesn't wear any. Win-win!

So here's what I wore this week:

I felt it was time to wear something nicer than a hoodie for once. Not all the time, but occasionally I like to look less like a hungover college student and more like a snotty equestrian. Joking! (Kinda.)

Helmet: One K
I did legitimately forget to bring a matching helmet out to the barn. So I've just been wearing this blue one with my green outfit. Keeping it real over here!

Sweater: V28
This is a great sweater for the barn. It was inexpensive, and it's a cotton/poly blend so it can go right in the washer. That's important for me because I'm a disgusting human at the barn. My clothes get DIRTY.

Belt: Mane Jane
This tan croco strap is nearly an exact match to the sweater! I went with the gunmetal buckle. Neither the gold nor the rose gold looked right. 

Breeches: Smartpak Piper
I think you all know by now how I really feel about Pipers. But I did keep two pairs, and this is one of them. They have metallic copper piping and embroidered bits on the bum pockets which I think are fun enough to override my mild discomfort in the fit. Plus I had to retire the hunter green Dover breeches and they don't make those anymore. So these need to fill that void.

Boots: Tredstep
I told you I'd be wearing these until it gets warmer, and I was not kidding. I'm sure you'll be tired of them soon. But I will never be tired of warm toes!

And here's what Pammon wore:

Bridle: Pinnacle
Browband: Dark Jewel Designs
How cute is this fuzzy face?! Seriously the sweetest animal on the planet. Not the best photo but that is the spike browband up there. 

Saddle: Butet
Saddle Pad: Mattes
I really like these Mattes pads. They just fit so nicely on all the horses and with all the different saddle shapes. Big fan!

And that's it for this week! I know it's been kind of boring. Tis the season. Winter just doesn't lend itself to dressing up too crazy. At least not so much once the holidays have gone. We'll just pretend like I'm going for a classier vibe for the season. Or something. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

What's Up Wednesday


Winter has been a little bit of a PITA these past couple of weeks. Despite having an indoor to ride in, sometimes it still is just plain too cold to work horses. Here in southern New England, that doesn't happen often. Usually once or twice a winter. But it happened twice in the same week already! Fortunately the days were spread out, so there was plenty of riding anyway. The unfortunate part is that it interrupted some of my lesson plans. 

Last Tuesday was one of those too cold to ride days, which meant all the horses had two days off (barn is closed on Mondays). I was a little worried they would all be murderous lunatics by Wednesday, but lucky for me, they were all just fine on Wednesday. Nothing exciting that day, they all just flatted. 

I haven't been jumping Eros since he's not 100% right now. Shiny is also on the flat only train, so I opted to do just my morning lesson on Thursday with Al. Normally I would do either Eros or Shiny in the morning and then Al in the afternoon lesson. But honestly, during the winter, I don't really like waiting around all day for that late lesson. So I decided to do the earlier one. It's a less advanced level class, but honestly, Al and I need some work on the basics anyway. So it was the perfect fit for this week. He was being a bit of a child about the end of the ring (most of the horses find it spooky down there, Al is no exception) but he worked through it. By the time he got to jumping, he'd mostly forgotten about the death eaters down at the end. I'll call it a win! Even when he's being spooky, he rarely actually spooks. He just stares and asks repeatedly if we can run away. If I say no he accepts that. Rio was the same way when he was younger. So I'm hopeful he'll outgrow it at some point. (Took Rio about 15 years...) 

I had hoped to keep the momentum going with a second lesson on Saturday, but alas, too cold again. 

When the feels like is -2F... this is what I wear for hand walking.
And yes, I'm wearing two jackets under that coat. I might have
overdressed though... I was sweating halfway through my first horse.

I felt especially sorry for Shiny as she got clipped again on Friday. Poor thing. She and Al both got clipped right before the two coldest days of the year. Fortunately, we have plenty of warm layers for them, and the barn itself stays quite comfortable. Even on the really cold days, it stayed in the 30's (Fahrenheit) in there. 
She's pink now.

It was unclear initially what Sunday would bring. At 8 am the indoor was 8 degrees. So I stayed home until about noon and then headed over. I dressed to ride just in case, but figured I'd see when I got there what the temp was like in the ring and what everyone else was doing. Turns out it warmed way up and the ring was 30 degrees! So everyone got ridden. I knew Pammon would be fine since he gets a little ace for our walks still. I wasn't so sure about the rest. I suspected Eros would be fine since he usually is, but he was a little spicy! Nothing naughty, but I could tell he was looking hard for a reason to be silly. He kept his poo together though, and we had a nice ride. Shiny was the wild one! And wild for Shiny just means she's a little extra belligerent and she might scoot a little here or there. All of which were things that happened, but nothing tough to deal with. I was most worried that Al might be a little crazy. I saved him for last as the other boarders were heading out, and I figured I'd be able to free lunge him before I got on. Unfortunately, the next wave of boarders showed up so I had to just get on. And I felt like an idiot for worrying. The horse was absolutely perfect. Go figure. 

After my Monday off watching 10 hours of Golden Girls while deep cleaning my kitchen, I was ready to work Tuesday. It's been much warmer here this week, which also helps my motivation. All three working horses were pretty fantastic for a Tuesday this week. Eros especially was on his game. I got some trot work out of him that I haven't been able to access in weeks. And today he even gave me some great canter work on his tough lead. Miracles happen! Al and Shiny both had free lunges in the morning before I got to the barn, so they were both super relaxed and willing. Pammon was good too... you know that 30 minutes of walking is so strenuous. Ha. Sorry Pammon. Hopefully we'll get clearance to trot soon.

Today was also a good day all around! Tomorrow I have a dr appt in the middle of the day which kind of messes up lesson plans. Instead Eros will do the morning lesson, I'll ride Shiny before that, and Pammon after. And Al will have a training ride. I'm going to lesson him Saturday this week. Hopefully next week I'll get on a better schedule with him. I'd like to jump him twice a week, but I've been slacking on signing myself up. Cold weather is just so demotivating! I'm working on it. 

In doggy news, things are still a little touch and go with Rita. The bathroom troubles are real... and she still being rude to Pia. But these things take time and I really want to give her a chance. I'm hoping we can make this work. If not, there were several other people interested in her before I got her, so maybe another family without other dogs would be a better fit. We'll see. She's very sweet otherwise! And I've already bought her collars (yes multiple, I have a problem okay?) and her official tag. 

So that's it from here. Things are going well, just waiting on spring time! Did you all have a good week? Staying warm?

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Truthful Tuesday

Ahhh winter... A time of rest. Hahaha! Just kidding. It's cold and everything is harder. BUT, I do make the most of my Mondays off. This week I spent the day cleaning the house. I focused mainly on the kitchen, doing the deep clean where I actually moved all the stuff off the counters instead of just cleaning around it. Long over do. I also cleaned out the cabinets, getting rid of any past date items. But that's not my confession. (Clearly, that's actually productive...) No, my confession is that whilst I was being productive I spent the entire day watching Hallmark channel's tribute to Betty White on her birthday. That's right. 10 hours of Golden Girls followed by a movie that she starred in. It was glorious. Golden Girls is pretty timeless. 
Confession two though... That took place on Saturday. Saturday it was too cold to ride. The indoor never got above 6 degrees Fahrenheit (-14C). I did head over to the barn in the afternoon to hand walk everyone, but otherwise, I hid in my house all day. And I was a complete garbage human. I ate snacks and sat around playing games on my phone pretty much the entire day. 

So those are my confessions today. 10 hours of Golden Girls and a garbage human day. What do you guys do when you (rarely) get some free time?

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Thursday's Threads: the one where we wear shades of blue... again


Outfit Day! Honestly, I am very much looking forward to spring/summer when outfit days are fun again. But in the meantime, I'll do the best I can to keep it at least semi entertaining. This week, Eros will be our outfit model. Let's see what he had on:

Bridle: Camelot
Browband: Boy O'Boy Bridleworks

I'm really happy with how these bridles are holding up, given that they are very much the opposite of high end tack. I get a lot of compliments on them too. Unfortunately, they are discontinued. Everything fab gets discontinued!

Saddle: Butet
Saddle Pad: Mattes
I gotta say guys, these Mattes pads are worth every penny. They just sit so nicely on the horses' backs and they seem to hold up well too. I like the all in one pad/halfpad come winter when the horses hair/skin seems to be more sensitive to getting rubs. 

Boots: Premier Equine
These are my favorite everyday boots for the horses. I really wish they would make them in hunter!

So that's what Eros was wearing this week, and here's what I had on:

All the blues. All at once.

Helmet: One K CCS MIPS Wide brim
I've switched back to fabric masks with a filter inside now that I'm well past ten days since my exposure to Covid. These are just so much more comfortable with a helmet on. I will absolutely still wear an N95 in any indoor public spaces, but I feel that being in the barn/indoor is relatively safe enough to get by with the fabric mask. Especially since there aren't many people around when I'm there during the day. Fingers crossed I don't regret this decision. 

Hoodie: Champion
All the cool kids wore Champion sweatshirts back when I was a kid. We're talking late 80's early 90's time. I had forgotten all about Champion for the most part, but I fell prey to a targeted add not too long ago. The result was this hoodie and velour sweats that I use as jammies now. I'm back to loving Champion. So COMFY! Plus this hoodie is pretty much the barn colors, so that's fun. 

Belt: Mane Jane
This is definitely one of my favorite Mane Jane straps. I paired it with the gunmetal buckle this time.

Breeches: Dover Wellesley

I think these are my favorite weight breeches for "normal" winter days. They're for sure warmer than Tailored Sportsman, but not as warm as my corduroy breeches. I save those for the bitter cold days. 

Socks: Dreamers and Schemers
Last year, or the year before maybe, the barn had socks made through D&S, and who am I to not buy a pair? I love the barn's logo. I love D&S socks... It was a win-win.

Boots: Tredstep
Full disclosure, I forgot to snap a pick yesterday with the rest of the outfit, so this pic is from today. But at least it's a new photo! I tried to wear similar color breeches to keep things similar. I'm still in love with these boots. They make winter bearable. 

And that's it for today! I'm thinking we'll switch to green next week if I remember to dig out the green pads. Stay tuned I guess...

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

What's up Wednesday


What a week it was over here! Not much went to plan honestly, but that's just how things go sometimes. Neither Eros nor Shiny are jumping currently, so I didn't have my early lesson on Thursday. Instead, I flatted both of them and walked Pammon before my afternoon lesson with Al. Guys. Al was LIT by the time I got on. I felt like if I put my leg on I was going to be engaging the rapid eject button... We survived the flat portion of the lesson, but I opted out of jumping. Sometimes you just have to call it a day, ya know? 

I let him have a training ride on Friday. When the horses are home with me, I have to work through everything on my own. But when they're boarded? It's nice to occasionally let someone else deal with the tough rides. I arrived after he'd been ridden, but got a good report. He was still pretty fresh, but went to work with minimal funny business. Nice to know he'll work through his feelings! 

We had a snow storm Friday too. All the weathermen under predicted the totals. Forecast called for 3-5 inches but we got something like 7 or 8. Gross.

midpoint of the storm

Fortunately, it stayed cold enough through Saturday that we didn't have any snow crashing off the roof of the indoor. While Sunday was warmer, it also rained, so the snow melted off rather than sliding off. No amateurs nor children were harmed in the aftermath of this snowstorm!

Saturday was one of the first actually cold riding days. It was above 20, so I worked all of them, but my hands went numb on every ride despite wearing winter lined gloves. (My feet stayed toasty warm in my fuzzy boots though!) I definitely whined my way through the day. But the horses were all pretty good, so that was nice at least. Sunday was more of the same, but it was thankfully warmer. Mid 30's, which is warm enough to not want to cry the whole ride. 

Barn is closed Mondays, and with a cold snap, I pretty much hibernated in my house all day playing with Rita and Pia. Rita is settling in fairly well, but she's not very house trained which is a little frustrating. Each time I think we're having a breakthrough, I find another accident. But these things take time, and hopefully we will get it worked out. In the meantime, she's wearing diapers in the house.

She and P aren't really best friends yet... Rita really wants P to play with her and when that doesn't happen, Rita likes to start humping Pia instead. Poor P has a pretty weak hind end and is not terribly successful at fighting her off. Hopefully they'll work through this soon too. Always an adjustment when you add a new pup to the mix! 

It's not all tough stuff with Rita though. She's very sweet with me, and she LOVES all the toys we have here in the house. 

I already mentioned that Tuesday was stupid cold, so the horses had an extra day off. I thought I fixed their manes that day, but upon reviewing the photos, it appears I still have some work to do... Boy, they must have been feral looking before! Al isn't pictured. Since he's on full care board, the barn staff did his mane awhile ago.

Poor Al got body clipped Tuesday. I was hoping they would wait until it warmed back up, but alas. The barn wasn't too cold though, so he survived just fine. I was a lil worried the horses would all be cuckoo crazy after the cold snap and two days off in a row, but today they were all actually really good. Relaxed, listening, calm... Weird. Hope they stay that way!

That's about it from here. Nothing terribly exciting to report, just slogging through winter. How are things with all of you?