Thursday, March 26, 2009

"You're the reason we can't have nice things!"

You know how everything you own breaks at once like when BOTH my laptop battery AND power cord needed to be replaced at the same time? I've had that week, but I'll get to that in a second.

Somehow my 1/2 hour private English lesson yesterday was an hour long. KAT kicked my ass and I'm glad for it. It rained all day yesterday (and is still raining today) so he wasn't turned out yesterday. I rode without lunging anyway and he was still fine. I wanted to warm up before my lesson so I rode for about 20 minutes at the walk and jog/trot before KAT came in. For some reason I spent the first 20 minutes fighting to get his frame better and as soon as I told KAT of the struggle and started off again he dropped his head. Show off. We trotted forever and cantered even longer. He was SO sweaty and I was exhausted but we seemed to improve as the hour went on. He doesn't really respect the slow-twist snaffle I'm using and I had to use a LOT of upper body strength to keep him listening to my aids. Not that I want to use a bit that's too severe, but even KAT mentioned how he was not really listening to it. Though when I first sat in the saddle I felt again like I was perched on top of a mountain I felt much better quicker. KAT worked him at English gaits with an English bridle but used her western training saddle so he still took a while to stop reacting to every little jiggle of my leg. At the end of the lesson I felt much better than I did the last time I got off, wondering if I should just NOT ride English at all.

I wanted to see if she approved of my 7 year old cheap field boots to show in so that I could avoid the replacement expense until next year. I've shown in them before and the only thing I recalled being wrong with them is that they are too big in the calf but since they are a little tall for me you can't really tell when I'm mounted. As soon as I put them on (at home) it shocked me how un-godly uncomfortable they are! They pinched, they rubbed and were overall NOT comfy. I told myself to suck it up and went to the barn. After riding about 30 minutes my toes went numb, I assume from the lack of ANY sort of cushion in the footbed, and when I got off and walked him to cool him out I started feeling the development of a blister and something else unpleasant in the left ankle area. By the time I got home and took them off I had a deep blister starting on the pointy bone on my left heel and above that a trench where my breech elastic was forced into my flesh which turned into a swollen area. Of course she told me they look fine so I'm caught between sucking it up for this summer, or buying new. I'm relatively unmarred from their wearing and I could probably add some molefoam to the heels and a thin footpad, but this all makes the $200 Ariat Heriage boots Dover has on sale look REALLY worth it. I just found that price in the sale catalog yesterday and am considering. I'm going to cheat and go to Equus and try some of their Ariats on to find my size. Two of my pairs of western boots are Ariats and I've had one of them for about 15 years and they've been my primary riding boot the whole time. Seriously. The only thing wrong with them is they are only a size 7 (I was 15 when I bought them!) so I can only wear them with very thin socks. Equus only carries the Heritage in children's sizes.

Speaking of Equus I realized (after spending an hour and a half oiling and softening it) my new bridle is an EXTRA full size and is too big. It sort of fits on the smallest holes but I asked for a full, looked at the tag with the clerk, and my receipt says FULL. The bridle, however has a little stamp that says XF on one of the tips. I saw it while I was oiling and wondered (stupidly) what the X was for since I thought the F was for the Flex Rider brand. I still have the tags and I didn't ride in it and I'm sure whoever buys it next will appreciate the oiling and working, I REALLY hope they let me exchange it, since it seems it was labeled wrong. Of course I THOUGHT I checked it's fit when I first got it but it fit differently when I actually put a bit on it it was more evident. I still have the tag (and access to a tagging gun) and the plastic loop that held the reins on so I'm going to put it back together and take it back.... wish me luck that they don't see the oiling/softening as being "used."

And to top off all of my malfunctioning equipment I realized on Tuesday that the halter plate was gone from his halter. I figured it was in the field somewhere and one of the kids said she thought she saw something shiny over the weekend in the middle field. I went and found it easily but the screws have, of course, gone the way of the dodo and I'm not sure how to fix that. Do I just get him a new engraved halter since this one is too big anyway? Luckily he's the most unique looking horse on the property so he's not likely to get mixed up...unlike Zippy and Max who despite their different genders and markings are still being confused by the TOG (turn out guy). I cannot find an embroidered turn-out safety halter anywhere. THAT would be ideal. Know of any? Right now we have his too-big single-ply formerly plated leather halter as every day and I have the brand new sage green nylon/graphite halter and rope for "good."

And I still need leathers, breeches, shirt, belt, (boots?), hairnet, western chaps, pants, shirt, reins..... Yay for ME stimulating the economy all by myself!!!


  1. hahaha, I can totally see where you are coming from. Horses are just so expensive and crazy and it makes us all crazy. I only show hunter and equitation so thank God I don't need two outfits like you. But for the boots. I absolutely love Ariats. My paddock boots are Ariat, my show boots are Ariats and I even have a pair of Ariat clogs. Their a great company and my feet love their footwear.

    In terms of bits, I also am not into getting harsher bits, but have you thought of maybe using a kimberwick. It has a curb and uses more poll pressure than a straight snaffle. Their frowned upon in our hunter classes, but in breed shows their quite common. Just something to think about. I personally show Possum in a happy mouth pelham, but school him in a happy mouth elevator. There's no reason why you can't switch around and see what works best for your horse.

  2. I'm not sure exactly how old worn in your field boots are but it is usual for new field boots to hurt and rub and squeeze a ton when you first get them..

  3. I feel your pain. I just had to pay all my association dues for showing for the year, about $170 total and I have to get almost all new show clothes besides my boots and my helmet. In addition to the horse stuff, I need to buy a kitchen table for my apartment. For bits you might try a Dr. Bristol, it is a little different type of pressure. I had a mare we alternated between a slow twist snaffle and a Dr. Bristol.

    Ellie and Werther Blog