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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Shopping Alert: Leather Boots Edition

Just got these babies in the mail today!  Mondega open front and back ankle leather boots!

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Check out that pile of soft leather lusciousness!  I wasn’t really actively looking for a set but these were for such a great price on Ebay I couldn’t pass them up.  They are brand new, and super soft with leather lining.

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LOVE them!  Cannot wait to try them on my boy, and actually use them so I can give a real review.

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They have subtle navy blue elastic detail, which I really like, it gives them some flair that is different than your average equitation boots.

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At least I was able to check something else off of my wish list- Happy shopping!

TAKE THAT Daylight Savings!

So I finally discovered how I can defeat daylight savings and the riding in the dark doldrums: Ride in the morning before work!

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I had previously not thought this was possible, as usually the barn is a black hole of time for me- but I gave it a test run today.

CONCLUSION: totally do-able 

I can make this work if I go in to the office an hour to an hour and a half late.  Which is totally ok by me, because I will just stay a little later in the evening.  Really no motivation to run out of the office when it is pitch black out.

This is definitely a cold-weather only plan though, as I had to change at the barn and go straight to work!  Who cares, I will definitely take the possibility of smelling like a horse in exchange for riding during daylight hours.  Anyway, isn’t that what they invented body spray for!?

So this is what daylight looks like
So this is what daylight looks like

I now have a newfound enthusiasm for my fall/winter riding.  I thought that I was fated to be a vampire and only ride in the dark or in the indoor.

early morning rides eh?
early morning rides eh?

Woohoo!!  Daylight savings: 0 – me: 1

No Stirrup November: So it begins!

No riding yesterday due to super crap weather, so today was my first ride in November.

I felt very motivated after watching the Maclay Finals on USEF Network this morning, so I decided I was going to do a no stirrup ride.

Since it was very windy today (literally up to 50 mph winds!), my ride was stuck in the indoor arena, which gave me the perfect opportunity to just focus on my no stirrup work.  I am very proud of Mabou, a lot of horses were up and spooky because of the noise of the wind against the arena walls, but he was a perfect gentleman.

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I rode for about 20 minutes with no stirrups, and my legs were on fire.  I did a mix of trot and canter, with a lot of walk breaks (for me not for Mabou).  Hoping I am sore tomorrow so I know that I really pushed myself.  Since riding all month with no stirrups is really not realistic for me, due to all the hunter paces, hunts and trail riding, my goal for November is to do one day of no stirrup work a week.  Let’s hope I can stick to it!

Let’s Discuss: Liniment

In the past, I have used So No More liniment on Mabou aka Mr. Princess and the Pea with no adverse effects.  However, over the weekend after the pace I tried to use Absorbine Veterinary Liniment, thinking it would feel nice after the pounding of all the rather hard carriage roads and rocky trails.  After I applied a tiny bit my sensitive horse nearly fell down he was so crazed trying to stomp both his front legs at the same time.  I guess he hates the tingly feeling?  All of the other horses like it.  I have the liniment gel but now I am afraid to try it.

They look so innocent…..

Has anyone else had this problem?  Is my horse just weird?!

Sunset Ride

Today I gave Mabou off since we had a lesson yesterday.  I was STOKED when trainer asked me to ride her  horse for some conditioning.

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Her horse was at a huge AA Barn and showed and won all over the place at big shows in the children’s and junior hunters…. until he promptly got burned out and would rear when he walked through the in gate.  So trainer got him, turned him out for a bit to let him be a horse, and he has been a fox hunt horse ever since, with no real riding in the ring other than cantering to condition, which he LOVES.  He is MY FAVORITE horse to ride other than mine.  His gaits are literally like silk.  I think I could eat a bowl of soup while he is trotting.  He also is so naturally uphill and balanced it is the best feeling in the world to hand gallop him around.  As soon as you sit in the saddle he shortens his stride, and all it takes for a lead change is to put your weight into one seat bone and voila, beautiful lead change.  (which is a problem when people who are loose ride him, because they get accidental changes all over the ring hah)  The sunset was gorgeous… what a great end to my Thursday!

sunset view
sunset view

Tomorrow is Friday woohoo then we get a three day weekend!  Thanks Columbus!

I am in LOVE…. with the rubber pelham!

So I rode with the rubber pelham today… and O.M.G. horsie felt amazing from the moment I got on!  So light and relaxed, I think that because the mouth was so soft he did not worry at all about it.  I tried the one I had which was a 5″, so it was super tight on him…. can’t wait to get his size 5.5″ and ride with that.  IMG_7345

I even jumped around an entire course and he was waiting and listening no problem… I even did some of the adds, which is rare with Mr. Leave them out!  I was so stoked that he felt so great I didn’t even think about giving my phone to a friend who was riding at the same time to snap some pics, which I am very sad about.  Friend told me horsie was jumping great, which is good to hear that he looked as good as he felt.

I also rode with the new bridle… the Vespucci Figure 8.  It fits super nice.  The leather quality is also really good. I love the way it seemed to wrap around his head.

Horsie not impressed

Horsie not impressed

Lastly, another item made it’s debut today… the Just Over The Top (JOTT) vest that I picked up at the Hampton Classic.  It only stayed on for 5 minutes because once I started grooming I sure heated up!  I guess it’s warm!

pretty vest
pretty vest

It definitely is feeling like fall outside.  My front lawn every morning has been covered with visiting wild turkeys… I guess I have a good lawn?

Gobble Gobble
Gobble Gobble

And I leave you with this incredibly cute puppy pic!

just want to squeeze him
just want to squeeze him