I can't vouch for the coherence of this entry -- I have several thoughts piled up, and they probably won't come out in any real order or relevance to each other.
Five Star Tack is having a Black Friday sale! OMG. OMG, OMG, OMG, et cetera, ad nauseam. Seriously, though, this is exciting and torturous at the same time. I have wanted a Waverly dressage bridle for a while now. It's the one with the integrated crown, which I think is really desirable, and I'll be honest: the silver Celtic cross is awesome. Plus, Five Star gives back to the horse community by donating portions of sales to things like the True Prospect fire rehab fund, CANTER USA, New Vocations (from whom I almost adopted a horse), et cetera. Plus plus? The leather is high-quality, the craftsmanship is lovely, and it supports a small business. Plus plus PLUS? Five Star Tack sponsors Sara Mittleider! That grabs my loyalty right there. :)
So that's the exciting part. The torturous part? After one of my cats was so sick this month and his resulting vet bills, I can't afford to buy it. Even on Black Friday sale. ACK! I mean, priorities, right? I already have a bridle that fits Rev and that I like. So I'm not trying to ride dressage in a halter. But ... but ... ack, want! Alas. Some other time. It's also on my Christmas list, so maybe it'll work out anyway. I'd sure want my family to know it's on sale, though. *grin* No use not saving money on something expensive.
And of course, I'll need a set of Nunn Finer Soft Touch reins to go with it, and a new bit. I've discovered that the bit I use now is a Danger bit -- the name being a bit of a foulup between German and English. Anyway, I'd love a second one to put on a second bridle, but I'm not sure I want to spend almost as much on a bit as on the bridle, yknow? That's a $100 bit, not even counting overseas shipping. So I think I'd like to put her in a mullen mouth for dressage. I really need to give one a good college try, though. Must see if I can borrow one or get one on trial.
Reveille seems much more present when we work. It's not at all that she's perfect, but she just seems to have her brain engaged a lot more these days. Granted, I could be imagining things; it's been known to happen. I start thinking I feel something but it's all in my head kind of thing. Whatever the case, I feel like she's just more there, more with me. And if it's actually real, I don't know why it is. It could be any number of things -- she could just be growing up. She's fully seven now, and this is about when they start to grow a brain, says TW. It could just be a function of time and mileage.
It could also be because of the work Doug Hannum did with her, too. Almost like she had a headache for most of five years and doesn't have the headache any more since he rearranged her TMJ and her poll and her hip. (I don't think she literally had a headache, at least not how humans understand them. Maybe more like something NQR, uncomfortable when working?) I do know that her attitude under saddle changed the day he worked on her.
I suppose it could be because we're learning to work in the draw reins, too. Those really do help her with her outline, which helps me ride her more effectively. I find it so much easier to ride her these days, now that I have access to her back and her shoulders, yknow? So much easier to send her forward and get energy going. I think a winter training in the draws and developing her neck and topline is going to be huge for us.
Anyway, whatever the cause, it makes me happy. Little mare brain is engaged, and that's a very good thing.
Makes me wonder if the brain engagement will persist through jumping, too. We haven't jumped in a good long while now, because we've moved to the indoor arena, where we can jump but it's easier to focus on dressage. Anyway, I wonder if her brain and attitude will continue in the jump tack ... and I wonder if the confidence I'm finding will stretch to cross-country next spring and summer. I really want it to. I want to eat up the dang course!
And after dinner out with friends last weekend, which included a beer with dinner, I suddenly realize why there's some self-medication going on before xc at events. I should probably be ashamed that I don't drink often enough to remember this, but oh yeah -- alcohol DOES relax the body and get some of the shrill, anxious voices to shut up in my mind. Come on, self, it's only accepted wisdom ... so yes. Packing myself some plain porter for the next show I do, whenever that is.
Oh wait. Yes. The North Wind Jumper show. I heard mutterings that MT is going to be teaching at the show, and therefore there will be trailer/s going from our barn. Which means I can likely go! Hehehe. :) I'll doublecheck with MT and TW this weekend, but I think I will do it if I can catch a ride. Fun!
I am really grateful for my little horse -- she's turning into a wonderful little creature. We're managing a reasonable approximation of a leg yield these days. It needs plenty of work to be a real leg yield, with tempo and consistent angle and relaxation through the neck/back/poll, but ... we're getting closer. This stuff has always been a challenge with my girl.
And today, I got to spend hours at the barn, just playing equine beauty salon, longing, and then riding. And getting to see the oldest barn daughter, who is a riot and a half. :) She's coming back to the state -- yay for being within a few hours, but boo for the circumstance. I'll be glad to have her around more often, though. Things are louder-faster-funnier! with her around.
At any rate, yes. Pony time. I lurves it. Rev's tail is all brushed out, she was curried to within an inch of her life ... and then I rode her and got her all sweaty. Heh. Ooops.