Thursday, October 27, 2022

Thursday's Threads: The last one at home


Outfit Day! Since this is the last one before we move for the winter, and since Halloween is approaching, of course we had to wear our candy corn outfits! 

Not today's actual outfit, but the doggos wanted in too...
(The dogs did not, in fact, want in. But they appeased their mom.)
(Also, this is some really high quality photo editing work.)

I have a few changes from years past, but really, there's not much left to alter. Al is our model today because he hasn't had a turn in awhile. Plus, his coloring is perfect for our outfit.

He actually did have his lil ears up for this photo... and he also has hooves on his back legs... But I was too lazy to fix this poor photo edit. We're not exactly looking professional in head to toe candy corn anyway. 

Bridle: Pinnacle
Browband: Repurposed by me
I hadn't planned on making Al his own candy corn bridle, I was just going to share browbands with Eros. But I have some extra bridles now that Pammon is sold and I also had this browband laying around. I just had to get some more ribbon. So for a few dollars Al gets his own after all. Less work especially since Eros' candy corn browband doesn't snap on and off. (This one does though!)

Saddle: Butet
Saddle Pad: The Barn Closet (Etsy)
Half Pad: Ippico
I ordered these a bit ago after moving the weird shaped one Shiny wore last year into the for sale pile. These are baby pad thickness, and so well made! I highly recommend The Barn Closet for fun pads. She does a beautiful job. I also have wrap holders for the stall front from her (for if and when I ever get to an away horse show again). 

Boots: Ride Now
Bell boots: Riding Gears

I was going to splurge for Al and get him some orange Eskadron dressage boots, but then I found these on Amazon for very little money. They also came with hind boots but they seemed like overkill for a tack walk... I used what's almost the last of my candy corn duct tape to embellish the velcro. I like it with the orange!

That's what Al had on, and here's what I wore:
Ha! I can't even. It's a lot even for me. Let's look closer!

Helmet: One K
Last year I covered that center piece with the duct tape. But this year, I splurged and got orange rails and the front shield. I couldn't resist. Love how it all looks together!

Hoodie: Tee Public
I got this awhile ago, but I still think it's so cure! The candy corn horn... the pumpkin cutie mark... All of it! Adorable.

Belt: C4
Yep, still love it! You've all seen it many times by now.

Breeches: Dover Wellesley
I found these orange breeches on sale back in the beginning of the summer, and for $40 I figured I should add them to the collection. I like the Wellesleys they're comfortable and can't beat the sale prices!

Boots: TuffRider Regal, embellished by duct tape.

Why yes, those are duct tape spur straps! I made them last year, and so far they're holding up. I obviously don't use them much, but still. I'm impressed! This pair of boots is about shot, so I only wear them once a year for this outfit. Hey, it's better than adding them to the landfill, right?

Watch Band: Unbranded from Amazon
Crop: Embellished by me and duct tape

That crop was all hideous and totally beat up so this was the perfect use for it! I love how ridiculous this outfit is, but I also like it because I found uses for so many things I was going to have to throw away. 

And that's it for today! Next week we'll probably be back in the navy again. Fortunately, with plenty of holidays coming up, we'll still have some fun outfits! Any favorite pieces of ridiculousness from today?

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

What's Up Wednesday


Phew, another late one. This should be the last really late What's up Wednesday for awhile. We had our last family dinner on the boat tonight as my dad and stepmom head down to Florida tomorrow for the winter. Which means we're getting VERY close to moving the horses over to the boarding barn. Always a bittersweet time of year. I love having them home and getting to make all the decisions. I love being able to do late night check when the weather is all over the place so I can change blankets. But it's also nice when it's ten degrees outside to NOT have to do night check... And the weather is making me want to ride indoors, so it will be nice to have that option again. Anyway, let's talk about the last week!

First the bummer news. Al's saddle came Friday which should be exciting and happy, but alas... Al has filled out a lot this summer. Like, a LOT. 

It is not obvious from this angle. 

The saddle was no where close to fitting him. Fortunately, they have a guarantee and will make me a new one. Hopefully he won't change much more. The saddle is gorgeous though. If anyone's looking, it's at RIDE Bedford for sale. (SOB!) The loaner saddle is still working for him, so we're sticking with that for the next 16 weeks. (It's not exactly the same as what I had ordered which is why it is okay and the new one was not.) While I had the rep here, I had her check my saddles on Eros. In a crazy and unexpected turn of events, the best fitting one in my possession is actually the loaner. If you look at Eros' back and Al's back you would not expect this to be the case. But I've been using it on both of them, and both seem quite happy. So now I have four saddles I need to sell. But that's good. More money toward this new one, right? And if I can sell all four then I can find a used one for Eros or buy this demo maybe. Anyone need a saddle?

You can kinda tell here. Also this cooler/sheet is like a 
fluffy teddy bear on the inside and I want one for my bed.

The last two weeks we've been getting a lot of rain. Oddly enough, both weeks it rained around Sunday/Monday/Tuesday. I haven't missed any riding days either week, but we've had a few days of only riding on half of the ring. The far end of my ring doesn't drain as well as the front half and it's been a little squishy the first half of the week. Which unfortunately means less opportunity for jumping. Which is really fine. These guys don't need to jump all the time and Al isn't jumping right now anyway. 

Eros did finally get to jump around on Saturday though, and he was wonderful! I mentioned last week that he struggled to get down the outside line the last time we schooled. Well not this week! I don't think it's all the saddle though I'm sure it helped. Most likely it was the body work they had last Monday. Whatever the reason, I'm glad he was feeling better. He cracks me up though. We jumped around a bit, then took a walk break before jumping a few more. And in true Eros fashion, he let me know exactly what time my quarter was up. He never does anything particularly naughty, he just starts dragging me around like a small child. I let him quit after he agreed to canter nicely to a single fence. Compromise! It's what keeps good relationships good! Ha! Look how cute he was jumping around:

I think he's the toughest to have in the program at the other barn. He's just not made for group lessons. Hopefully I'll be able to do a private like last year with him. We shall see soon enough!

I lunged Al on Saturday to see how things were looking. He looked pretty good, and his crack didn't bleed at all despite some of his antics. So I figured I'd get on Sunday and see how he felt. He felt okay... Not perfect, but significantly better than the last time I sat on him. Yesterday I got on again, but we just walked. It went well, and we worked on some lateral work and remembering that when the human is in the saddle we're supposed to pay attention to her... It's not something he's really mastered yet. Today we did a few laps of trot each way in addition to our walking. He actually felt great today, so I'm hopeful we're moving in the right direction. And for the record, when I say laps, I mean circles on half the ring. I still haven't quite mastered my fear of the scary long side with Al... but also the squishy end of the ring just made it so I didn't feel guilty about not going down there. Thanks mother nature!

Missed this view!

I'm still going to take it really easy with him until he sees the farrier again. I also plan to have him seen by the vet next time he's out. I just want to make sure there isn't anything else going on, though I really don't think there is. Doesn't hurt to have the whole team involved anyway.

Shiny has grown back all the hair I clipped off her a few weeks ago. Which is really unfortunate given it's warmed up here the last few days. I planned to give her a nice rinse today after our ride, but my hose exploded when I was rinsing Eros before her, so then I couldn't do that. (It was a fabric hose, once they go, it's all over. Literally. I ordered two new ones, so next time I'll have a backup.)
Other than being hairy, she's still doing okay. I can't get the engine revving though. I tried jumping her Saturday and just couldn't get her in front of my leg so abandoned that after a couple fences. I rode her first on Sunday and tried again. She was still a little sluggy, but much better than the evening before. I had her add in the line which was the right choice for her energy level, but otherwise she went around fine. Pivo was struggling to follow her in the light that day though, which was annoying. It never works as well in the fall, and I think it's because the lighting is weird with the sun at a different angle. Still managed a few cute screen shots though!

In other news, I had a busy Friday last week! I had a 4:15 wake up call to braid a horse that was heading up to New England Finals. I've braided her a bunch this summer, and I wanted to get there a little extra early because she can be a little tricky about the top of her neck AND her neck is super long. So is her tail bone. She's a big mare! She was very well behaved until I had the last two braids to tie up. I generally start at the ears and braid down all the way to the withers. Then I pull up starting at the withers and finishing at the poll. It's more efficient; less ladder movement. This mare was really funny about her forelock and the top couple of braids when I first started braiding her in the spring, but she'd gotten over it this summer. I'm now thinking maybe she's funny about getting her ears clipped, and maybe that carries over to braiding if she's done immediately before. So anyway, I had two braids yet to tie, and she was being a total weirdo about it. She's got to be about 17.2 if not taller, so when she puts her head in the air and tilts it away from me, I absolutely cannot reach. (I'm only 5'2"! I need a bigger ladder I think.) Eventually though, we worked it out. Phew. 

This was her kid's first time at this finals (and I think the mare's also). I watched them on the livestream. The kid rode great, and was really confident. The mare was really impressed by the venue, and got a little wiggly. But they made it around respectably. It's fun to get to see your customers out there being successful!

So I finished the Mare around 7 am. I had a 9 am hair appointment nearby, so I stopped at Starbucks for an overpriced and deliciously sweet coffee and waited around for that. I haven't had my hair done in over a year. I just kept not remembering during office hours to make an appointment. I've had a lot of gray in my hair since I was in my twenties so at this point, it's a real mess if I don't get it colored. I like to tell people my age is showing. Also it grows like a weed even if it's super thin now. (I used to have really thick hair, but thanks to a thyroid condition, I no longer do. Total bummer.) As you can imagine, my hair was a mess. Like, legit wicked witch vibes:
I wasn't kidding. 

I was REALLY excited for this appointment. Even when I looked like this:

So excited! You like my foil hat? 

I feel so much better now that my age is hidden again. 
My hairdresser is amazing.

I hurried home after this appointment because I thought the saddle rep was coming at 12:30. She didn't end up getting there until 2 (her other appointment in the area didn't go as planned). Since I wasn't sure when she'd get there, I hand walked Al in the meantime, but didn't get around to riding the others until afterwards. So it was a ridiculously long day. But a good one! 

And that about brings you all up to speed. OH! One other thing, I did finally unhook the trailer today and got the truck out for a ride. (I took it to dinner, so it had to go someplace, turn off, then get me back home. I've learned to never trust an initial test drive. They can be full of lies.) But I'm still me so I didn't turn the trailer around and put it in it's spot. Instead, I just backed it up to my house and left it there. Sorry for the eye sore neighbors. I'll hook it back up this weekend. 

I mean, I think she's pretty... 

Okay, that's really all I've got. How was your week/weekend?

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Truthful Tuesday


I'm the laziest. Like seriously. My trailer is still attached to my truck... FROM WHEN I BROUGHT THE HORSES HOME IN JUNE! JUNE! In m defense, and I know I've mentioned this before, but I live on the corner of two state roads that are quite busy most of the time. And I have to pull in to the road, then back in whilst turning to get my trailer parked in its spot. I also have to do this when no one else has a car in my driveway. Weekend mornings are best, but my helper is usually here then. So I've just not bothered to do it. Problem is, that also means I haven't driven my truck all summer. Know what happens when you don't drive a vehicle? The battery dies. TRUTH. And believe me, this isn't a new lesson for me. 

In an effort to avoid this, I have run the truck (his name is Jorge, after Jorge Pasada) several times, and I even backed it up with the trailer a couple times to get hay delivered and the manure dumpster emptied. I went to start it last week again when it was cooler out, and it struggled a little but then started right up. I ran it for awhile, then turned it off. Then started it once more later in the day to make sure it was good. Which it seemed to be. But then, on Sunday, I finally was like, okay, I need to unhook the trailer and use the truck this week so I can run it some before hauling horses to their winter home next week. It was a cold rainy day. And trucky was like NOPE! He would NOT turn over. Flat out refused. I even tried again later in the day. It would light up and the radio would come on, but it couldn't turn itself over. Sigh. I figured it must be the battery. I planned to call Monday to have someone out to replace the battery, but it was pouring rain all day and figured no one wanted to deal with that in the rain. So I waited until today. It was a dreary day here, overcast and foggy most of the day, but also really warm. Hit 70 actually for a couple hours. So the guy gets here, and he goes alright show me what it's doing. So I get it in, and wouldn't you know it, Jorge just starts right up! First try! 

The mechanic laughed. Me too honestly. You have to! But I told him, I swear it wouldn't start the other day, and the only difference was that it was cold. So he agreed it was likely the battery. Low batteries hate the cold. So we swapped out the more corroded of the two. Jorge started up even better than the time before, so I'm pretty confident he got what he needed. Time will tell of course. My luck it won't start when I need it to, but I'll for sure get the trailer unhooked in the next few days and drive the truck around a bit. 

Anyone else just ignore past lessons? Like I knew this would happen, but I let it happen anyway. Just me? 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Thursday's Threads


Outfit day! I wasn't sure if I'd get to wear this outfit because it has to be pretty chilly so I don't sweat to death. But here we are, freezing our buns off up here in New England! Eros will be our model today. Here's what he wore:

Had to sneak in a photo with some fall foliage. Pretty leaves and pumpkin flavored everything are really the only decent things about fall. And Eros looks quite handsome amidst the fall colors!

Bridle: Joseph Sterling
Browband: Dark Jewel Designs

That face! That hair! His fuzzy ears! He's so cute. I just want to squish his face all the time. 

Saddle: Butet
Saddle Pad: Lettia, embellished by me
Half Pad: Le Mieux
Our body worker didn't think this saddle is causing him any troubles so we're going to stick with it for now. When the fitter comes with Al's saddle, I'm going to have her take a look and see what she thinks. I love how this saddle pad turned out and I kind of want to make a couple more (I just have the one) but I hate sewing so much I just don't think I'll get to it... We'll see. We have a long cold winter ahead.

Boots: DSB, embellished by me
I think these pyramid studs are my favorite of the interchangeable tabs I've made so far. Now that I know this prototype is successful, I think at some point this winter I'm going to get some boots I like better and actually sew the velcro to the tabs. This prototype pair I just used adhesive velcro. It's working fine, but I worry if I wash them too often they won't hold up. I think I'm going to use the PEI boots next time, but I'm not positive yet. What do you guys think about these? Should I try to actually produce them for sale? Are they something you think people would buy?

Anyway... on to my outfit! Here's what I wore, though full transparency, I also had a puffy vest over top as it was effing cold yesterday.... 
Yes, that's right! The pleather breeches have made their return! I gotta tell you, they were perfect on a crisp day like yesterday! Really blocked the cold wind. I might need more pleather breeches. Or maybe just full chaps. I'm seriously contemplating riding in fleece lined leggings and full chaps all winter... Since I dug mine out of mom's garage and all. Might need some Celeris sheepskin lined paddock boots though... Ugh. Someone take away my credit card!

Helmet: Samshield
I know, I know. I should probably decorate a One K insert with pyramid studs to really complete the outfit. But I think this Samshield looks pretty great with it anyway. 

Top: Unbranded
I did a real crap job decorating this quarter zip... Lol! The studs are completely crooked on the bottom. I told you. I hate sewing and I'm not really any good at it! But they've stayed on despite going through the laundry a few times a now. So function over form, right? That's how it goes... I think.

Belt: Unbranded
I've had this belt for a very long time. I'm pretty sure I found it on Ebay way back when. 

Breeches: Horze, embellished by me

While I am first to admit that these breeches are RIDICULOUS, I am also going to tell you, I kind of love them. They are soft on the inside, like a jersey material. SUPER stretchy and soft on the outside too. They do not squeak when you ride as many have asked, and they give you a really nice secure feeling in the saddle. (Similar to full chaps if any of you are as old as me and remember how grippy those are.) This pair is comically huge in the waist, but again I'm too lazy to make a new pair. Also, the legs fit well, so not sure I'd fit in a size down. Maybe I could get the waist altered someplace. For now, I just use my belt to hold them up. That's what belts are for anyway. I do like how the studs look on here. Definitely makes them even more ridiculous. 

Boots: TuffRider Regals, embellished by me

These are the tall height, which clearly are a bit too tall for me, but they have some falling to do still. They're so soft that it doesn't hurt at all even with them all the way up my knee crack. (That's a thing right? Knee crack? You know what I mean, the back there...) I think the studs are super fun on these. I found them on closeout for like $70 a year or two ago, which makes it much less stressful to punch holes in them for the studs. Regals are my favorite boots for decorating because you can frequently find them very inexpensively and they're guaranteed to be comfortable. I don't think I would have the gumption to decorate expensive boots. I couldn't do it. 

Anyway, that's what we wore this week! Any favorite pieces? Thoughts on my decorating skills? Opinions on the interchangeable boots? Should I do it? I feel like I could use a business venture in my life. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

What's Up Wednesday


Another week of Autumn in New England! It's like riding a weather roller coaster. We've gotten more consistent rain than we had for the summer, which is nice. And it's actually worked out so that I was able to ride around it this week meaning the ponies got worked all six days and no one got wet in the process! I call that a win. But the temps have been all over the place. The horses have worn every article of clothing in their wardrobes I think just this week alone. There was one day that they started in sheets, switched to 100 grams, and were in the fuzzy lined 160 grams at night check. Okay, so they haven't worn heavies yet... But still. They've had MANY outfit changes. It's ridiculous! It's currently 37 degrees outside but fear not, 60's for the weekend! Nuts.

Anyway, on to the ponies! We left off last week with my postponing Shiny's jump day. We got lucky with the weather we were supposed to get last Thursday and I was actually able to jump her around that day. I set everything at 2' and she was a perfect girl. She doesn't jump the cutest at that height, kind of just canters over, but I don't mind that at all. 

I just want her to be a willing pony who is enjoying the job. And she was that for me last Thursday. I didn't end up jumping again over the weekend, we just had some nice flat rides. And Sunday we got to have Sunday funday. I rode a little longer than usual in the bareback pad, and then we went out for grass for awhile. I watched quite a few of the Medal Finals rounds while Shiny ate grass. Lovely way to spend a Sunday!
And on Tuesdays apparently we drink from puddles. 
And then splash in them. With both feet.

She had body work on Monday which she was very much in need of. Tuesday was an easy stretchy day. I like to do that after body work generally, and especially this time because she had quite a few adjustments. She felt so much straighter and was also a lot happier to move forward. Some horses I don't feel much difference if they get body work, but she and Eros really benefit from it. Today she had a tougher flat school where I actually asked for stuff. The HORROR! But she was great, and I'm hoping to jump her again maybe tomorrow if the wind isn't as crazy as it was today. (Still with the wind. What is this? Kansas?)

Speaking of Eros... He's perfect as always. He appears to be feeling some seasonal blahs... or something. 
Like, he's just super unmotivated:
But really, once he gets going, he's wonderful. I think I mentioned last week that he's feeling ready for some maintenance. The body worker saw him Monday and agreed that what she was seeing and feeling pointed at some front end stuff. He's not lame or anything, just feeling a little creaky. But honestly, after getting worked on, he feels like a whole new horse. Tuesday he wanted to stretch the whole ride, so I let him. Today I picked him up and asked him to work and he was fantastic. I wish I could get them worked on more often! But it isn't cheap (especially with three horses) and our body worker isn't in the area all that often. We've been able to do about once a month all summer though, which is great. He'll jump later this week too. I'm going to miss the freedom of jumping whenever we want (or not when we don't!) when we move next month. But I will be happy to have an indoor! Trade offs. 

And then there's the kid. I chatted with my farrier again the end of last week because Al was pretty sore still. I wasn't confident that I should be trying to work him like that. We decided to give Al a short vacation from work to let his feet get used to being barefoot. He is getting his daily turnout as normal and we've been doing 20-30 minute hand walks everyday. We try to do some things to keep him thinking while we hand walk though. Al is seven going on 4 emotionally so it's important that he uses his brain cells for at least a portion of every day. We do some simple ground work things like stopping when I stop, backing when I back. That kind of thing. Sometimes we walk over a raised pole. The other day when it wasn't crazy windy out, we walked around the jumps like we were doing courses. I'm not sure if he grasped what we were doing, but it made the time pass for me anyway. 

When the other two get shod next is when we'll start Al back to work. Technically anyway.... My saddle is finally in the states and the fitter is bringing it Friday, so I will have to hop on to make sure all is what we are expecting. I am allowed to get on and tack walk him rather than hand walking anyway. So it's not breaking the rules. I've just felt... safer on the ground at the moment. He was a perfect angel walking yesterday when it was cloudy and there was no wind. But today with the sun and the wind (AND THE MOVING SHADOWS OMG!) he was a bit of spookasaurus. Channeling Jamp today, clearly. So yeah. Hand walking seems safer. The other horses are due in about two weeks or so, so it's not much longer. 

That's about it from here. How are things with all of you and your horses?