Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fancy a Knitted Hat?

  I have a slight obsession with knitted hats for horses.  Knitted hats - he he he.  That term cracks me up.  I had a lady comment at a show once on how she adored my horses "knitted hat".  This is now my good luck term, before every showjumping or cross country phase I always tell my horse, "can't forget your knitted hat!".

  Much like browbands, I have a collection of bonnets.  I have had a collection since I was about 13.  I had a white bonnet with frills, a red bonnet with frills, and the holy grail was my white and red striped bonnet with frills.  I still have it.  It's hideous and huge, but it was one of the first bonnets out there and as you may or may not know - I am OCD on co-ordination for colours.  My colours used to be red and white, and therefore this fly veil was an absolute must.  Bonnets were not used in eventing then though, they were best saved for home or the jumper ring.  Somewhere between then and now someone manned up and went out on cross with one...starting another trend in the equestrian world that I love.

   The navy and baby blue bonnet above was first bought for my pony Fandango who was the first to wear my new eventing colours.  2009 was the first year I went eventing in a bonnet.  I normally use a bonnet for flies but I was %100 wearing it on Fandango for the look in those days.  He looked adorable in it too.  Then when I started competing Archie, he was so easily put off by the noise from the loudspeaker, I used the bonnet to help wean out any noise it could.  It almost seemed to become a comfort to him every time I grabbed his knitted hat to throw on before his bridle.  

  I had my blue bonnet but I needed one for showjumping (right??).  I picked up a beautiful grey bonnet with white and black piping that matched my show jacket perfectly.  I still have this bonnet and it is one of my favourites.  I hardly ever showjump without it.  I use a bonnet every single ride on every single horse in the summer.  The horses seem to like them, and they appreciate the shield from flies.

  The picture at the top of this post is one of my favorite schooling bonnets.  I used it a few times in competition but I quickly replaced it when I found the better matching one found below.  I usually use that one for clinics and lessons.

  Then there is my collection of bonnets for dressage, and schooling bonnets.  Above is Williams beige one, as bonnets have to blend with your horse and be a natural colour for dressage.  A baby blue one, and the bonnet I bought Alayne for Cayden....he needed a magic knitted hat for himself.  I also have another brown/chestnut one and another navy/baby blue one.

  My newest bonnet was another eBay purchase, trying to get closer to my actual colours of royal blue and white.  This is a brighter navy blue with silver piping.  I really like it, my only qualm is the blue isn't bright enough for me.  I am still searching for a true royal blue and white bonnet.  I don't want a crappy one though, I prefer high quality and well made so it can stand up to many events, hot and sweaty ears, or soaked in the rain ears.  When I say OCD about coordination I mean OCD.  Oh well, another reason to love eventing.  If you see any nice royal blue and white bonnets, send me that way!

 So, let's hear it.  Do you enjoy a knitted hat for your horse?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

TTE Thrills and Spills II

  My second time doing a "Thrills and Spills" video of some friends and I eventing this summer.  Lucky for us no spills this year..! We did have some funny moments though that I have included in there.  Makes me miss eventing season even more now...

 Only 2 more months of being buried under a mountain of snow...ughhh

Friday, January 24, 2014

For The Love of Browbands

  Blinged out browbands are the latest fashion, but what if I were to tell you this is not a new fad?  Some of you probably know that already, and some of you may be surprised to hear that the blinged out browband has been around for long before I started riding.  Long before I was born even!

  The browbands were a bit different then, instead of diamonds they were covered in layered ribbons of your favourite colours.  I remember I did my first bridle in purple and green when I was just 7 years old. I have always been one for flair.

my original and favourite bling - even though my bridle is pieced together with different bridles...

  Several years ago my mom was given a true bling browband, complete with Swarovski crystals.  Her past coach was gifted it while competing in the Grand Prix at the Royal Winter Fair at the time.  It was a bit too much for her back then and she handed it over to me.  I happily slapped it on my bridle and away I went.  Who knew 7 years later it would be one the biggest trends in horsey fashion.

  Since then, I have collected a few more nice browbands.  I have the ODB (Original Diamond Bling), the lesser of the bling but still nice diamond browband, Williams red and orange fire diamond browband by Pink Equestrian (also a hand me down from my mom), and my newly acquired browband for my cross country bridle - with blue and silver beading!  My coach made this browband - her website here.  The perfect finish for my overly co-ordinated cross country outfit.

Ace wearing my simple bling

William in the orange/fire bling

my new cross browband

  I like most bling browbands, but not all of them.  I like them simple, and the ones that match the horses colour tone also.  Not a fan of the crazy wild bling myself.

   Are you down with the bling? Yay or Neigh?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Will Not Stress About Not Riding

  Well folks, the Polar Vortex has returned.  Yes, that nasty little trinket in our weather system has returned.  The Polar Vortex is over they said, it will be warmer from now on they said.  They lied.  I should have known better.  In the fall I read the Farmers Almanac online and this was the weather prediction for this winter; mild temperatures followed by frigid temperatures. Absolutely freezing temperatures.  Below average for cold.  Lots of precipitation.  I should have known they were right.  They were not kidding when they used the word; "frigid".

Liam and Ozzy Kisses

Liam, almost 3 now! 

just no

  I had a dressage lesson on Sunday and was able to try a used Amerigo that my coach brought down.  It looked like a good fit and it rode very nicely.  It is probably in the top two of saddles I have enjoyed the most.  I also had a fitting done, with photos and measurements.  They are then sent to a fitter and she will  advise me of what saddles and models are the best fit for Penny and I.  Then, if she has any on consignment she will ship them to me to try.  Her website is Equestrian Imports.  My coach uses her and my mom bought her saddle through her also.  Just a wait and see now what she thinks of the saddle I tried and if that is the right saddle for Penny.

  My lesson was excellent and also tough.  The weather was insane and Penny was very caliente...I almost fell off...the arena door blew open and a gust of snow blew in as it slammed against the wall...the weather was seriously crazy!  I stayed on somehow, and I actually came away from my lesson with some good things to work on.

Parker - so cute

Sugars new blanket :)

  The weather continued to get worse and yesterday it was cold, again.  Really cold, like, -17c.  My friend Dana was coming over for a lesson with my mom though, so I decided I would tough it out and ride one last time before the real cold was coming.  I rode Penny and William and they were both very well behaved.  I gave them a good workout knowing there was going to be a major break in the riding this week.  So, I am happy I was able to at least have that ride, but today and the rest of the week is supposed to be well into the -20s/-30s at night.  There will be no riding. Boo.

  I am more annoyed than normal because things seem to have made a good turn with all the horses, and they are happy and enjoying their work and routine.  Now, they are freezing all day outside wearing too many blankets, then come in and stand around at night all bored in the cold!   This morning Sugar was shivering in her stall.  Sugar - a Shetland pony!  She had a blanket on but apparently it was just too cold last night (-37c).  My mom bought her a nice heavyweight Weatherbeeta today and it suits her perfectly!  My pony will never again be cold thank goodness. I hate the winter, I feel so bad for the animals in the winter.  And I feel bad for me because I can't ride.  Boo.

 But, I am just writing tonight so I won't stress over it.  The horses can have a little vacation this week and I can take a break and get some things done around the house.  Maybe relax a bit.  Stay in, and keep warm.  Like Miss. Piggy.

 Tell me I am not the only one.

spot the swine.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - A Few Pics From My Past Eventers Pt 2

  Pt 1 here.

My first pony, my very first show.  Ballin'

Westie and I rockin

My second pony - super pony Snapple!

Eventing at Hawkridge - possibly the best event of all time.

My moms old Appy Jewlie eventing Pre Training

Snapple and I at Pony Club D rally.

she could JUMP!

yes, my helmet cover has a mane on it :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Penny Update After Acupressure

  I received Penny's acupressure report via e-mail.  A neat visual to have to see where she reacted and compare with her next visit.  The acupressurist will be out February 1st to do her again and also do William.  I have been doing my homework on her religiously before every ride, and also doing it on William.

 The palpating techniques I have been doing relax them both immensely before I put the saddle on. I have also been doing a few stretches from my book "The Injury Free Horse",  co written by none other than the great William Fox Pitt.  I've had this book for a while and although I have read it several times, I wish  had of absorbed the information a little better.  There is so much good info in here.  Judging a horse for soundness, palpating, massage, stretching, and stable management techniques.  If it works for WFP, then hey, it's good enough for me! Seriously though, trying to study and learn this now.

  So far I have noticed both horses are feeling much better.  I have been riding in my jumping saddle or my moms dressage saddle.  They each had some time off and now their backs are feeling much better.  Both have been much happier under saddle.  I have had some really good rides this week.  I am not working them too hard, just keeping them going and hoping to build up those muscles that were sore and possibly damaged.  Things are looking positive...hopefully it continues this way.

  I have a lesson on Sunday along with a saddle fitting afterwards.  Fingers crossed it goes smoothly and who knows, maybe I will be able to start looking for a new - and properly fitting dressage saddle.  The horses (and me) will be much happier in the end for it.

happy Pen

happy Will

Monday, January 13, 2014

Share Your Barn Blog Hop!

  I am joining in on the fun of sharing some pictures of my barn.  It's making me miss the summer even more.  I can't wait to see green pastures and pretty flowers once again!  Without further ado, here is my little piece of paradise;

1.  A view of your barn:

Archie modeling the back side.

Out Parkers window

the shelter on the side

other shelter out the back side

2.   Your horses living space;

Williams stall with look out window.

sacrifice paddock with large shelter, the view out of Williams stall.

small second shelter which seconds as a clown car.  View out of Pennys stall.

Pennys stall (was Archies')

Williams stall, now have racing gates.

their 7 acres of pasture

3.  In the tackroom;

I have two huge tack lockers for now. This is from when I first moved in, they have been organized since! In the future the tack room will be finished.

4.  Where you ride;

my beautiful sand ring!

also, the mini cross course!

6.  Your favorite feature;

the many rainbows,

and killer skies...

in my own backyard.

I also love the proximity to my friends and family but it is hard to show in photos.

{This is a "Show us Your Barn" Blog Hop!  Hosted by  Ashley at The Process of Learning and Sprinkler Bandits!}

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