Long time hiatus: cause ADULTING

Due to a lot of construction and renovation to my house, blogging got pushed to the back burner and a long hiatus occurred. Adulting is such a buzz kill! There will be a lot of catch up here with updates and product reviews for all my new tack acquisitions (tack addiction is a real thing).

For now, here’s a picture spam preview of what’s been going on!

Rainy Sunday No-Stirrup Ride

Today was a whopping 37 degrees, but unfortunately it was also rainy and wet!  The snow all began to melt, making a thick messy slush everywhere.

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I whipped out my rain boots and didn’t let some rain slow me down from enjoying the above-freezing temps.  Some of us (ahem TUCKER) weren’t as brave about the weather conditions.

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I got to the barn fairly early for a Sunday, so I was lucky enough to have the indoor to myself.  I was feeling ambitious so I did an ENTIRE ride with no stirrups.

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Mabou felt great, I find that I can ride a bit more effectively without stirrups and really bend him around my legs.  I also discovered that if you ride through the point of burning pain in your legs while doing no stirrups, eventually your legs just become numb and then you’re fine.

I started off with a trot on a loose rein to warm up, until I felt his back start to warm up and he stretched his neck down and forward.

Then I picked up my contact and started adding in a 20 meter circle at each end of the ring.  After doing this in both directions a few times I started to sit the trot and collect in the 20 meter circle and then lengthen his trot stride down the long side.

After he was all bendy and feeling great I just played around with lengthenings, leg yields, counter-bending and transitions all around the ring.

It was really good working on my sitting trot and lateral work without stirrups.  I could really feel Mabou’s back come up underneath me as he collected himself and used his hind end.  He really worked well through his back and his mouth was really foamy at the end of my ride.  (Excuse his eye in this pic but it really shows the foaminess!)

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I definitely am going to try to do a ride like this once a week (if temperatures cooperate).

How often do you work without stirrups?

Boring Post

Since I haven’t been riding Mabou no fun riding posts to share! However, I have still been riding my friend’s pony and I rode a fellow boarder’s horse last night.

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It is so weird to be riding different horses, but definitely good for my riding. On Saturday I rode pony and worked on flat work then went on the trails and jumped the hunt course that is set up in the woods.

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Although there hasn’t been much happening on the horse front, a lot has been happening on the home front. Hubby and I bought all new kitchen appliances during the Black Friday sales, they get delivered Wednesday yay! For anyone who is curious we got the new Samsung stainless steel refrigerator, stove, microwave, and dishwasher.

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Hubby also had to have a new 70″ smart TV, because boys will be boys. Can’t complain when I spent double that this year on my saddle!

Here it is, while hubby plays Call of Duty (of course! Lol) that’s his friend in the photo that I made stand next to it for reference. It is just ridiculously big.

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Riding in a T-Shirt in November? Thank you Mother Nature!

Today was pleasantly unseasonably warm, reaching a high of almost 70 degrees!  (keep in mind it has gone down to the 30’s at night here and low 40’s during the day already) I just HAD to ride on this beautiful day so I worked my conference and meeting schedule to allow for a nice long ride in the middle of the day.  SCORE!

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I went out on a long trail ride, with some nice long gallops thrown in.  I felt so absolutely lucky to be able to get out on my horse today, and not be stuck inside the office.  Sometimes I am thankful I normally work during the day, because it makes the days that I am able to ride during the day that much more special.

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My ride couldn’t have been better!  His gallop felt so effortless and he melted like butter into my hand when I asked him to slow back down.  I also rode a new trail I haven’t ridden in a while and happily discovered that there were 5 or 6 fallen trees right in the path… yay for new jumping trail!  One of the jumps was three small trees fallen rather closely together so it created a natural gymnastic, good for pony’s brain to have to think and figure it out!

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Because it was so warm, Mabou got really sweaty so I gave him his (possibly) last bath of 2014.  Crazy to think that might be true!  Even with his trace clip, it still took a while of grazing for him to dry, good thing I had the time!

Fall trees look so beautiful
Fall trees look so beautiful

I also debuted a pair of my newly monogramed TS- the little extra special touch makes me happy.

ROOTD
ROOTD

Lastly,  doesn’t this dog have THE LIFE?!  This is how he sleeps (in my bed) every night.

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Sleepy Hollow Pace Recap

Last Sunday we took a few hour drive with the ponies to Sleepy Hollow, NY for the Friends of the Rockefeller hunter pace.  Friends of the Rockefeller is a great conservation organization that works to protect the Rockefeller State Park Preserve’s wildlife and habitat, sustain its historical and archeological features, and maintain its unique system of carriage roads.  We got to ride on the beautiful carriage roads up and down the mountain.  People that live in the area get to ride this park all year ’round, as it is open to the public.  (Lucky people)

Unfortunately I did not see the headless horseman

The scenery was absolutely beautiful!  It was pretty chilly and breezy, but thank goodness no rain in sight.  You could see the water (I think the Hudson river but I may be WAY off). There were a few jumps, not as many as last weekend, but we got a few nice log and hay bale jumps in.  When we first got there I was freezing and was going to wear a show shirt, sweater, down vest and down jacket, but thank goodness trainer convinced me to take the down jacket off as after about 15 minutes of riding I was sweating.

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Now for the ribbons…. for those of you who may not have participated in a hunter pace, the objective is to ride the closest to the “optimal time”.  Optimal time is set by someone selected by the organizers of the hunter pace who rides the course at the pace for your division ahead of time (either the day before or the morning of usually), for example, pleasure pace is a slower, leisurely pace, while hunt pace is supposed to simulate a fox hunt, with mostly cantering and trotting where necessary due to footing.  Whatever time that person clocks in at riding the hunter pace course, that becomes the optimal time for each division, setting the standard by which the ribbons are decided.

Our "team"
Our “team”

Our pace was 1 hour 1 minute.  I guess we had a little too much fun galloping the wide carriage roads because the optimal pace turned out to be 1 hour 23 minutes, effectively shutting us out of the ribbons.  Whoops…. I have an OTTB with a big stride what is a girl to do?!

I like going fast
I like going fast

Mabou wore his new Rambo Newmarket cooler…. fit great and it is really nice quality! (Sure got lucky here as I brought the threw the brand new cooler in the trailer to bring without even trying it on him first)  I was pleasantly surprised that the neck was cut a little higher, which fit great on his narrow shoulders.

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I don’t have any action shots at the moment to post, but my trainer’s sister was nice enough to come to the pace and take photos for us!  So I will post those when I get them, hopefully later this week.  For now I will just post the “hanging out waiting to ride” pics!

We got home around 6:30 p.m., making for a very long day, but it was worth it!

I get to come home to this
I get to come home to this

And they’re off: Halloween Costume!

Since Halloween is on a Friday this year, I am definitely more excited than I was last year!  And more importantly, this is our first year with the puppy, which opens up a whole new avenue of Halloween costumes!!

That’s the costume I want to get for Tucker!!  HOW CUTE IS IT?!!?

Hopefully I will get a chance this week to go pick one up, I will definitely post some pictures!!