Monday, June 26, 2017

Hard Liquor

On the same day I rode Roman, I also rode Vodka. Yup, two green horses in one day after not riding for six weeks. I have 0 regard for mine own well being.


I made a mistake in my earlier post: Vodka is actually a gelding, and he is SUPER CUTE. He is legit small horse goals. His owner is also a college student who just doesn't have a lot of time to ride (#relatable). He was pretty straightforward. He has his basic leg to go and canter cues and pull left to go left and pull right to go right but he needs to take the next step in order to be show ready.

Inside hind not looking too shabby
I was actually surprised by how nicely he moves. He felt a lot like a pony when I was on him, but I wouldn't doubt that he was a bit antsy with someone new who probably felt like a large sack of melons on his back. Jumping him was a bit uncertain as we had no idea if he was ever jumped. I doubt it'd be a wild accusation to say that my time on him was his first jump ever.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fat & Sassy

Tuesday was my trial on Roman and also my first time riding in a month and a half. I guess it technically wasn't a "trial" but more just me seeing how he is over fences. The horse has been doing very little over the past couple of months besides being lightly hacked a couple times a week. I think he was popped over fences another time or two, but he's still a green bean.

I have no fresh media, so you'll have to enjoy the same screen shots from the same video that I've been posting since December. Just take my word for it: he's quite tubby and very not down for work. Nice to ride when you've just worked off a semester's worth of stress eating and have 0 leg muscle.

Large bean got even larger
He was fine just lazy and not really wanting to soften. Eventually he just went "Meh" and hacked around nicely. We got some really good canter, especially to the left. He jumped the way one expects a green horse to jump. Very wiggly and uneven in his pace, but he's a prefers to trot over type. All that nonsense for basically nothing.

Covering some ground, y'all
Of course though, he's still the cuddly, lovable big dog that I missed so much.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fashion Thursday: $8 Tank Top

$8 Tank Top.

1. Aéropostale Men's Graphic Tank Top
    aeropostale.com
2. Coach Rexy Apple Watch Strap
    coach.com
3. Goode Rider Denim Jean Rider Full Seat Breeches
    ridingwarehouse.com
4. Torpol Active Collection Half Pad
    torpol.de/en
5. Hoof and Woof Half Chaps

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wait a minute

So I got to thinking the other day that I haven't tasted dirt in a while. I checked my posts and checked my memory as thoroughly as possible, and

Guys

I haven't fallen off in over a year. Not since the last time I rode Pixel. Granted, I really haven't ridden that much in the last 12 months, but who cares! This has been one of my joke goals for a while now.

Let's see how long I can keep it up.

Let's also see if I can stick the landing again

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Eyes ahead

I feel like I tend to write a lot of depressing posts on this blog about how horse related things never really go the way that I want them to, starting as far back as my 2014 show season. And, to be quite honest, a lot of things over the past three years have really not gone the way I wanted them to, even when I lowered my standards. That aside, I'd like to not let this blog become a depressing, woe is me corner of the internet, at least for today. I'll pass on assorted details from the past couple months because I want to do a comprehensive post (or series of posts) on leasing and instead catch y'all up on what the next few weeks will look like.

And maybe one day I can make a horse look as good as Tec
General things: I have a summer internship, I got my driver's license, and I started a blog for my architecture stuff (though it's quiet because designing things takes an effort, lol).

Alrighty, so, still trying lease horses. I really wanted this to be done and over with, but it ain't. I have three to try this week, and I hope to settle on one by Friday so things can move along. None shows happening for me in June, and I'll probably only end up going to a couple of Dressage shows this summer, but guess what? IT'S A GOAL. AND IT'S STILL VERY ACHIEVABLE. Also, I'll probably say screw it and be entirely non traditional in my F.O.A.L. coat.

Let's meet the candidates!

Roman
A completely new face to the blog. Never seen him before. Entirely unmentioned prior to this post . . . okay, I'm done. This actually came as a shocker, but Miss El offered baby horse to me. Goes without saying that his Dressage is fantastic. He's only jumped a handful of times, but he's as quiet to fences as he is on the flat. I'm curious to see how he'd do in hunter classes if that ever happens for us. I have two reservations, the first being my weak right side. I gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of tone this past semester, but now I am back on a daily fitness schedule, and I've been experimenting with strengthening my right side and overall trying to balance myself out. From the ground, my attempts seem pretty successful, and I'll do a write up after I get back on a horse and see if anything has changed. My second reservation is that he's for sale, which is both tempting and anxiety inducing. Either someone buys him before the summer is up . . . or I can go into debt and buy him myself.

I honestly can't get over his trot
Hanz
An actually new face here. He's a cute bay gelding that has been in a local lesson program for a bit, but his owner and the woman teaching lessons want him to be excelling with an individual rider. Well, don't mind if I do. I've been told he needs confidence going to 2'6"-3'0" fences, which quickly sparked some reservations, but he's still been doing that height regularly. I know myself; there will 100% be another mental block to jump before I'm able to confidently ride 2'6" courses. I'm completely fine with playing it safe and sticking to lower courses at home to build my confidence because, in the long run, that'll be so much better for me (and probably Hanz). From the videos, he looks well trained and relaxed on the flat.

Vodka
It's a Paint mare, and that's all I know. My trainer actually texted me "You can try roman and vodka" and I honestly thought she was offering me a drink. I didn't ask for any more info because I'm kinda itching to ride a horse at the moment, and if she recommended it for me, then it def won't kill me. Plus mares. I like mares.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

May's 10 Questions

Please thank Rhiannon for content because I am currently not with horses and have no ideas.

What are your summer goals?
Compete at 2'6". Go to my first Dressage show. Then there's all that assorted stuff on my 2017 goals list that pertains to fitness and such.

Do you have any tips or tricks for fly control?
Buy frog to sit on your shoulder while you ride. No, jk. I actually don't have many tips outside of picking a really good fly spray. I tend to just suffer.


How often do you bathe your horse?
I always hose down after a ride on hot days, but then there was also that particularly hot day last summer where I hosed Max for his own sake. There will probably be plenty of those this summer. Other than that, they only get full baths before shows.

Do you have any upcoming travel plans? Equine related or otherwise?
I'm actually on vacation right now, and I'm hoping to take a weekend trip to New York with a friend at the end of the summer.



What is your favorite way to beat the heat?
Stay inside, lol. I actually like hot, humid weather, but if it's ever too much, I just wait to go outside until the evening. The weather always tends to be doable after 5pm.

Do you do anything to prevent your horse from sunbleaching?
Nighttime turnout, but, frankly, I've never cared about coat bleaching. It only bothers me when the tail bleaches and the hairs begin to break.


How hot is too hot for you to ride?
I'm uncomfortable when it's in the 80s, but I can deal if it's overcast or if I have an indoor arena to ride in. Of course, ponies will be thoroughly hosed after.

How important is sun protection for you riding or just in general?
The perks of having melanin mean that I don't need extra sun protection . . . well, I probably need it, but ol' soleil hasn't killed me yet. For the horses, white noses get sun screen/protection as needed, but I've never had to deal with sun burn past burnt noses.


Have you ever gone swimming with your horse?
NO AND I WANT TO SO BAD BUT EVERYONE GOES SWIMMING WHEN I'M NOT THERE.

And because shopping is always on my mind, what’s on your summer wish list?
At this point, to avoid prolonged frustration and the need to plan things ridiculously far in advance, a horse of my own would be real nice.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Vlog #12: Avocado Toast


This video has nothing to do with avocado toast, but I just want to make it clear that avocado toast is GOOD.

Music:
Valesco - Cloud 9: https://youtu.be/nRa-eGzpT6o
Jesse Warren - Miles Above You: http://youtu.be/6AHLjpw3O18

Filmed 5/24/17

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Unspoken Rules of the Hunter Ring

Ever since I started riding, I've been a part of the hunter ring. It's not an easy sport, and it's kind of difficult to really fit into a hunter operation if you've never experienced it before. So, if you're about to switch disciplines or just dipping a toe into the sport, keep these bits of information in mind. From one hunter to the next, good luck!

1. Only black or white saddle pads are allowed.
I cannot stress this enough. It's about being profeshunal, people. Just because the page on Dover said HUNTER green, doesn't mean it's allowed in a hunter barn. Common mistake. Don't make it.

sin!!! sin, I say!!!
2. Your everyday riding attire will be as follows: solid colored polo shirt (tucked in), beige Tailored Sportsman breeches, a black belt, black tallboots (either Ariat, Tredstep, or Parlanti).
The only time you can divert from this is at shows. Then, you are allowed to school in a quarter zip, but that's it. Also, I'd like to reiterate that if your breeches aren't Tailored Sportsmans, you will be sacrificed to Smaug.

3. Horses may only be bay, chestnut, brown, or black.
Exceptions:
- ponies may be any color
- palominos are only allowed if they come with an eq kid
- grays are only allowed if they can also file my taxes

We could never be *real* hunters
4. Every horse must have chrome.
A continuation of the last rule. Why is this? No one knows.

Nevermind, I know why
5. Your horse's show name must sound like any adjective being spoken in Spanish. A "Z" at the end is optional but not required.


There's a Thicc somewhere out there
6. Hair must always be in a hair net and Samshield helmet while riding.
This rule was actually recently amended. It used to be "Hair must always be in a hair net and Charles Owen helmet while riding." It was changed because Charles Owens don't get as many likes on Instagram.

7. Your name is Catherine.
Not a Catherine? You are now.

8. There are only three bits: D-ring, Full Cheek, and Pelham.
But you school in a 3 ring elevator. Always.

I gotta stop posting memes on here
9. Follow. The. Trends.
Listen, I get it; your net worth is approximately $0.06 and half a chicken nugget. But let's face it, you won't place if you're not riding in a CWD with an Ogilvy. It just won't happen, sweaty :)

10. Finally, have fun!
You're spending obscene amounts of time and money to be here. Might as well feel good about it on occasion sometimes.

Smile through the pain

Filed Under: bad satire

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bite me

Carlos, a.k.a. King Asshole, actually managed to get me with his teeth this past week. Broke the skin and left a bruise. Have I mentioned enough how much I hate being assigned to him?

Horse was likely in a bad/weird mood because of the torrential downpour that morning plus the change of season. Overall, he was acting strange. After our ride, he got really nervous when I left the stall, and him getting uppity while tied makes me nervous. He got even more anxious when everyone else starting going out, which is understandable, but he's never been that upset before.

I'm actually having a hard time being mad about the bite because he was kinda good to ride, still weird tho. I don't want to say he was behind the leg, but he was being reactive to cues for downward transitions. I had to sit the trot with leg because homie thought it was time to walk, but then his walk wasn't an "I'm tired" walk, it was a really nice, forward walk. Laterally, he was amazing, and we had a ton of really nice loose rein circles. I'm talking minimal hand here. But then when I picked up contact, he spent half the ride doing that weird, head twisty thing that some horses do. Again, he's never done that with me previously.

Grom Pre
Now, the weirdest thing he was doing is something that I can't decide if I like or don't like. Carlos has, on occasion, stretched to the bit with me. He's pretty stiff in the poll and jaw, but the rest of his next has some flexibility (probably cause he's always turning it to bite people). Until this past week, he never curled, and yet, here he is learning a new skill. He's prone to root and show displeasure in his mouth through gaping, but the curl was pretty random. It reminded me of Max when he was first learning to soften and would fall behind the vertical, but 1) I don't even bother asking Carlos to soften anymore and 2) it was a much deeper curl, closer to LDR than anything. He did it for short bursts at the trot, then in much longer periods when we cantered. The curls at the canter were also much deeper than the trot (nose to the ground) and coupled with ample snorting. This was the first time I used a BoT square pad with him, so perhaps he does actually feel free in his back and is trying to do a real stretch, but I honestly don't know. If I'm on him next week, I'll try a different pad and see what happens then go from there.

Anyways, onto less weird but still new stuff that I learned about the horse: he does not understand poles. Crazy for a horse that likes to run at fences. Trotting him over cavalettis was hilarious because you can tell he's confused but he tries so hard. When Coach put a canter pole in front of the fence, Carlos actually broke to a trot the first time through. We had to push him up to it because poles are oh so scary.

Spotted: angry mare attacking scary canter pole
He put in some good efforts over each fence. We swapped twice, and I think I only majorly screwed up on Dori because wot in forward impulsion. My last time through on LB was described as "very good" by Coach. I apparently "looked nice over the top of that fence." Boo yah.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Q1 Goal Review

At Emma's recommendation, I've opted to do quarterly reviews this year in order to keep myself on track.


Improving Equitation: It comes and goes with my confidence. I started out nice over winter since my last IHSA lesson of the semester was really good, and then jumping Silver was a fun time as well. Carlos' antics caused a bit of back track where I was jumping super defensively. Fortunately, I tend to get it together easily on a horse that I'm more comfortable on. In terms of confidence and skill, I'm super happy about this.

Opening Hip Joint: Actually fixing my physiology has been difficult for a number of reasons. Coach S is a very get on and get trotting type of person, so once it hits 11am, I'm in rising trot. Oh, but why don't I just get on early and do my hip stretches then? Well, as I've mentioned before, my Fridays are quite tight, and the earliest I get on is 10:58. I think from now on, I'll just take advantage of our breaks in between work in order to get my stretches in. I can actually feel my hips tightening and becoming less balanced as the semester goes on. I'd like to even myself out a bit before I get back home for the summer.

Softening Ankle: I mean, I think I'm doing this, but my lower half is contorted most of the time (see above), so I can't really tell. Dressage saddle will tell all.

Balance: See above above.

Work Outs: Listen. A valiant effort was put in here, but my education is more important than abs. I'm a generally healthy person, and my fitness is more for aesthetics than anything . . . ok, I would also like to be able to carry two water buckets at one time, but that's besides the point. I workout when I have time, and I've become more strict on my diet since I've still managed to gain weight (and hit my goal weight) with limited lifting. On the plus side, I can maintain myself on a 10lb dumbbell. Things to work on going forward: up running speed, up muscular endurance, decrease chocolate consumption.

Ride with Miss El: It happened over winter break, but the finances weren't there come spring break.

Fluidity: I saw major improvements in this over the winter when I was riding in the Dressage tack on Roman and jumping tack on Silver. The biggest issue I've noticed is in my shoulders. I get used to the stirrup length after a while, but I tip forward a lot. I tip forward too much in hunter tack already, so it's not surprise that it gets worse in the Dressage saddle. That being said, the leg and seat are much better, so I'll keep working my way up.


Qualify for Colonial Classic/MAEF Finals/MHSA Regional Finals: TBD.

Go to Brandywine, HITS, or Upperville: TBD.

Compete at First Level & begin working towards my bronze: TBD

Go to Rolex: Heavily hashed. Not possible. Sorry, Iz :(

Compete on Roman: Um . . .


School/Compete at 3'0": HA!

Compete/Qualify for Ariat Adult Medal: I've watched the YouTube video of it. Does that count?

Start saving for a horse of my own: Ok, haven't actually done it yet, but I do think I'll be able to start putting money away by the end of this year. Ya know, after all those expensive medal finals :')

I also apologize for exactly none of these section headers.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fashion Thursday: Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

1. WithChic Tie Front Top
    withchic.com
2. Covalliero Charlize Bomber Jacket
    divoza.com
3. Horze Grand Prix Self Patch Breeches
    horze.com

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Thoughtful Equestrian Blog Hop: What makes you, you?


In the spirit of actually having interesting content, here's a blog hop brought to us by Catie of Thoughtful Equestrian.

What makes someone at the barn (or your trainer) think of you immediately?

Frankly, Catie, I think we're quite similar. I, too, wear things that make my trainer want to kick me out of the ring. The difference: a good 90% of the time, it is completely unintentional. I'm just that ghastly looking when I show up to the barn.

C O M P L E T E L Y    U I N T E N T I O N A L
I'd say my Tiffany Blue breeches are my worst "offense," but I've received bug eyes for my purple pair, too, which I considered pretty conservative. That's mainly the reason why they didn't travel with me to school this year, but dag nabbit, I will be a grape if I want to.

Just call me Gilbert
My second unique aspect: photography. Yah, I jumped right on the bangwagon of equine photographers under 18 years old. I was pretty into it, but I never sold my photos or tried super hard to make a business out of it. It's more of an on the side thing at this point just to give other people media and fill the space between paragraphs. Every once in a while, I grace my trainer with quality shots to use on her Facebook page. A+ student status.

My third lesser known but occasionally acknowledged quality is sounds. I make a lot of sounds when I am around horses. Think of any sound you've ever heard. I have, at some point, recreated it around a horse. If I'm being honest, horses are generally unsettling to me, but instead of expressing myself through actions, words, or interpretive dance, I just make a sound expressing my displeasure. Miss El actually heard me once, and gave a weird look. In my defense, I am a fairly quiet and reserved person at the barn. Just let me be my weirdo self on occasion.

My trainer when I do literally anything

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Regionals Swing

Yup, that time of year again. I still didn't qualify for regionals, but after seeing how last year went, I didn't even put it down as a goal. Eh, I might try senior year. I don't feel too pressured about it.

Reaching (in vain) for my taco
My parents and I made the 2.5 hour drive on Saturday morning. We actually arrived early, so I started helping bring horses in and unblanket them. Everything ran smoothly during set up. I was only schooling Leia, which went fine except her being super slow. Over the past year and a half, Leia has gone from being super strong and forward to fences to being a leg ride the whole time. We started with some trash distances but got it together for a good school. Unfortunately, so was just as slow and chippy with most of the people who rode her. Eh. Horses are kind annoying anyway.

Looking for free tacos
I spent a decent amount of time cuddling with Carlos in the morning before helping tack up Murry for the flat classes. I also finally had a taco in a bag, and it was great, except I got it right before we had to start tacking up. Just imagine me, throwing saddle pads on with one hand, Doritos bag in the other, trying to speak through the ground beef in my mouth. Plus, Murry tried several times to get a bite of my taco. Not too happy about that, lol.

Smad cause I won't share my taco
It was really a slow, quiet day. Show started at 11a and ended by 2p. I went home and did nothing productive until 1am. Decent way to spend my day.
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