Friday, November 17, 2023

Lesson Recap: If it Can Go Wrong .....

Oh whoops I threw photos in a draft for a lesson post and then forgot it was there! Last Sunday I hauled down for a lesson with TrainerK - TrainerB was kicking butt in KY at finals so unavailable :) it's working out well to have both of them on speed dial and I am thrilled about all the lessons lately! The weather ended up being GORGEOUS and Emmy and I had a great lesson.

It didn't get off to an auspicious start - DH was working on the truck all day Saturday on something that should have been an easy fix but turned into a rabbit hole of "why the fuck is the truck doing this?" With LONGBOI down, I needed to find another option. There are A LOT of hills between here and TrainerK's, so I did not trust our small truck (a Chevy from a year with notoriously shitty brake lines that has had many issues over the years) and I reallllly didn't want to drive the diesel (it's a manual so MISERABLE for drives like that). The friend who was riding along offered to bring down her truck and trailer but I just felt guilty about that, so I kept brainstorming. I finally gave in and texted my mom to see if I could borrow her truck/trailer - she wanted DH to change the oil in her truck anyway so I figured everybody would win there 🤣 that ended up working so I got up at the ass crack of dawn Sunday morning to go pick up her rig. 

We ran through the 2nd level lateral work and it's super accessible, I just need to get more comfortable in it 

When the canter is good, it's great. When I move my hips at all, she starts throwing flying changes everywhere 🤣

Got home and got it packed, DH changed the oil and rotated the tires, and then somehow I managed to hit the hitch trying to get re-hooked and knocked it off the block. Awesome. Then when DH brought a jack out to help me pick it up, he pointed out the ball on my mom's truck was not the right size for the trailer 🥴 good thing I didn't lose the trailer between her house and mine, and that I hadn't put a horse in it yet 🫠 got that sorted out, got Emmy loaded, and got on the road! Only to hit horrible traffic and be stuck at a standstill for like half an hour, eating up all the extra time I budgeted for the drive /getting tacked and putting me at TrainerK's farm AS the lesson was due to start. It ended up being okay, she had some crises of her own that day (when I texted her that I was stuck in traffic she said that's okay you should miss the fire department 😬 everyone was safe, thankfully!), so the delayed lesson worked out. 

After her husband got done making fun of my clip job (it is fairly bad 🤣), we got to work! I had previously told her I wanted to show Emmy 2nd next year, so we worked a lot on the individual pieces I need to be able to manage at 2nd. Sitting the trot is getting easier, although as always, definitely room to improve! Emmy is fabulous at shoulder in/haunches in, I just need more work on my clarity of aids and consistency. (She finds them boring, wants to know when I'll be ready for real half passes 🤣🤣)

The canter work was... Exciting 🤣 my friend hasn't seen me take a lesson on Emmy in a few months and she didn't know we are currently the flying change hot mess express lol. It's okay to the left (mostly), but to the right I struggle with my hips (as TrainerK identified in lesson one as the reason I have struggled with right lead canter for more than a decade now) and the more dressage work we do the sharper Emmy gets, and when I move my hips at all she says "change? YES MA'AM!" very enthusiastically lol. So. I will learn to keep my body parts under my control or die trying! Emmy was a bit stiff in the canter, although it got better and peaked, and then she got tired. At my last lesson with TrainerK/the obstacle clinic, both she and Tim commented that Emmy looked like her stifles were bothering her a bit - not in a "run out and inject this" way, but in a "be more mindful of her conditioning and fitness" way. Of course she was doing great all summer because we did a ton of riding up and down hills, and that's less of an option for the winter, but I have been working on her fitness as much as I can and TrainerK did note we had made some progress, so I'll just keep on keepin' on. The Pivo has been shit at tracking lately so the video of the changes isn't great and I have no idea how clean they were, but TrainerK was quite enthusiastic about them so I'll assume they were passable lol. 

We did jokingly discuss aiming Ruby at 2nd for my bronze scores and skipping Emmy to 3rd (since she's capable lol) but in the long run it'll be better for everyone if I can solidify the 2nd level stuff on Emmy (for me, she has zero problems lol). Then hopefully that will help me successfully get Ruby there eventually as well! 

Most of the Pivo screenshots are to the right because the Pivo sits in the left corner but I swear we track left in lessons as well 🤣

The lesson running behind meant we got back on the road later than I wanted (and the GPS took me a new a stupid way home, gross), so we got back after dark. Fucking time change man, I hate it. Blessedly, DH had gotten all the chores done so I just got to settle in for the evening and snuggle the doggos! 

And eat this delicious popcorn he noticed me eyeballing at Tractor Supply so he picked me up a bag 🤣

And he got my last two insulated bucket holders installed! 

So now all my occupied stalls have insulated buckets for the winter 😁

With the truck being such a question mark right now, I'm not sure when my next lesson will be. But I have my homework - lots of SI/HI and ALLLLLLLL the hills to make sure we're keeping Emmy as fit as possible so the canter work is easier for her. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

While the Weather Holds

We're having an unseasonably warm November (minus that weekend I froze at the obstacle clinic lol) and it's not going to last, but I'm trying to make the most of it while it does! 

One night I took Emmy out on the trails via headlamp. Probably not my smartest idea, but she was perfect. Natch. 

Another night a friend came over and rode Emmy while I rode Ruby. 

She's either really, really good, or sort of a fire-breathing dragon, not much in between. 

I don't mind the fire-breathing dragon though, it's funny 🤣

A few nights I've been able to get them both worked - Emmy in a bareback pad/bands on a quick trail walk... 

We're losing the light so fast 😭

And then Ruby afterwards completely under the lights... Sigh. 

My mom came out and rode Emmy. She was worried about riding her bareback, but ended up merrily cantering around. 

While this one at least didn't scare anybody and worked on SI/HI and cantered politely NOT like a freight train. Good girl. 

The weather looks okay through the weekend and I'd love to haul out, buuuuuut unfortunately the truck is "in the shop" (I mean it's here, DH *is* the shop lol), and he's not sure when it'll be cleared to pull the trailer again, so it might be a quiet couple of weekends! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

WW: Projects

I'm sure HJ is thrilled I keep acquiring free projects for him.... 😏

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Well THAT Escalated Quickly

Saturday was the 3rd annual tack sale at a local facility a few miles away (same place I attended the obstacle clinic a few weeks ago). It's always fun to get together with the local equestrian community, and I have scored some killer deals there! This year, I also got my own table to try to unload some of my extra stuff. I have been relentlessly culling breeches, and I had a plethora of other stuff I just never used. 

My table lol

My goal is always to break even - if I sell anything I generally immediately use that money to buy something else, but I was aiming to not be in the hole at the end of it.... I..... Failed miserably 🤣 but in fairness, I got some ridiculously great deals and I did need almost all of the things I bought. Almost 🙈

I've been needing a few more dressage girths in various shapes and sizes, so I lucked out and picked up three very reasonably! (I paid $5 combined for the two on the left lol)

I noticed when I took Ruby out trail riding this summer that I wasn't loving the way her western saddle was fitting any more - she had significantly muscled up and the generic flat fluffy pad I was using didn't seem to provide enough structure. Enter a nice work pad with wither relief. Even if this doesn't do what I want, it'll be easy to resell as it's brand new and a good brand. 

Okay so I didn't really *need* these but the eggbutt is a Lorenzini and I've been casually keeping an eye out for one of these old school b-ring bauchers and I got a deal by purchasing together so yolo lol. 

I currently own two nice shimmable half pads but I hate trying to clean them up for shows, so was already casually thinking about getting some for schooling so I can keep my other ones nicer. Enter three Mattes half pads for $55 total. Top is brand new, middle is very much in schooling only condition (lol) and the bottom one is sort of in the middle. The funniest thing about this is that the black one was still in its original Mattes bag and had a full set of shims with it's not shimmable? Seriously 10+ of us looked at it and tried to figure out how you could get shims in it but it does NOT have openings 🤣 oh well, I have other pads I can use the shims in lol. 

BNWT Kerrits coat - $20 🥳

Roeckl gloves (yay for buying used so I don't have to support a shitty company lol), F bomb socks (have you ever seen anything more perfect for me), and a navy ES bonnet, since I'm gradually incorporating more... Classic color schemes into my life 🤣

Okay so we all know I have a saddle pad problem but I paid $25 total for this cream Fenwick titanium pad and a BOT/Thinline combo. How could I NOT buy these? 

Subtly sparkly and black? Yes please! 

Does it actually count as more conservative if it's glitter? 🤣 I am still SO BITTER that ME refuses to make these in fun colors like teal. Sob. 

Alright this was completely and utterly unnecessary but as I'm looking down the road at showing Emmy next year, how frickin' good will this look on her?!

Yeah okay this is into deeply unnecessary territory but I stopped caring at this point 🤣

Another BNWT Kerrits coat for $20. I can never have too many coats! 

Not pictured (because they aren't as fun lol), some small stable supplies like a bot knife, sweat scrapers, alushield, clipper lubricant, fly spray, etc that someone didn't want to pack up so they just unloaded on me. A fleece jacket from the SRS (🥰), a saddle pad rack identical to the two I already have so I can hang more pads (I have a problem), an insulated bucket holder that matches my existing ones so now all of my occupied stalls have one, and two more, and two more hay feeders in the style I like - I'm not currently using mine (for a variety of reasons) but I do still like them and I believe the company has gone out of business so when I saw these at the sale cheap, I snapped them up. 

Before the sale, a friend let me browse the clothes she had available and I made out like a bandit with several nice riding vests. She also sent me home with two flexible filly grazing muzzles and some shooflys, which will definitely get lots of use next summer!

And I still need to pay her for Emmy's "new" bridle, a lovely Schockemole 🤩

Overall a productive, but expensive, day 🤣 I ended up donating half the athletic polos and lower end breeches to a lesson program, so I just have a handful of nicer ones still to sell. Maybe if I get that done, I will actually break even on the day haha.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Trail Adventures: Cuivre River

My long weekend was gloriously full of horses! So much to write about 😁 we'll start with Friday. It was a state holiday, so another friend who works for the government and I decided we wanted to trail ride. It was also opening weekend of deer season, so we needed somewhere that didn't allow hunting. We decided on Cuivre River - her horse is shod, and I recently acquired rear hoof boots for Ruby, so I wanted to try them out (she wears Trigger's in the front, since he is quasi-retired). 

It was a lovely day.

And although we missed peak colors, Cuivre River was still gorgeous!

Cuivre River is actually quite close to Indian Camp Creek, so the drive wasn't too terrible. There were two large equestrian parking lots (they offer both electric and primitive camping spots), and despite many horse people.... Not knowing how to park (🤣), I arrived within minutes of my friend, found a relatively open spot, and we got tacked up. 

My friend was far more prepared than me, and had already printed a map and sketched out an approximate route - I love when that's not my job lol. We started off on the first 7 mile loop. There were sections I think my horses could manage barefoot, but they were interspersed with very rocky sections, so I definitely wouldn't attempt without shoes or boots.....which is a bummer, because mine are generally barefoot and hoof boots are 🤑 oh well. I'll keep trying to pick them up a pair at a time as finances allow. 

On the buckle the whole ride - bestbaymare™️

When we got to the turn for the second loop, both horses were still fresh and my friend asked if I wanted to add it - I didn't have a schedule for the day so I said heck yes! We thought both loops would be around 13 miles total, but it ended up being more like 11+. I think there were a few smaller spurs we could have added to get to the full 13, but it was plenty of riding. Particularly for someone who hasn't done that many trail miles this year 🤣

The entire trail was wooded, but there were different sections of woods - if that makes sense? We had fun identifying the vibes from each section. Like the section that was "swamp witch leaving breadcrumbs out to lure small children into our cauldron" lol 

We had to use the gravel briefly to connect the trails

Frenchman's Bluff - I wish photos could adequately capture the depth! This was a TALLLLLL bluff.

And the trail ran... Uncomfortably close at times lol

Hoof boots held up great! 

I was definitely a bit stiff when I got off (and the next day haha), but it was a great day to explore a new to me trail with good company!