Saturday, March 31, 2012



Actually, Reveille wasn't buckskin with all the mud, but there was some mud. She definitely looked scraggly and like she needed a good shedding out, though. Sweaty, too, just from standing there in the lovely sun we had this morning.

After a pass with the metal curry, a good scrubbing with the Epona Shed Flower (EXCELLENT use of $6, incidentally), a workover with the Slick'n'Easy block, and a final pass with a body brush, I got a basketball-sized ball of hair off her. She absolutely adored all the attention. :) She now looks like a horse someone cares about, instead of a yak.

Didn't ride, because no one was at the barn by the time I'd finished with Quality Time, and it seemed ... unwise. But she got lots of attention and running around, and it was good.

It came from the pasture unrecognizable, unspeakable, and horrific!

It went back to the pasture an adorable bay mare. :) Cutest mare ever.

Friday, March 30, 2012

* Yes, I am a slacker. In so very many ways. Work and volunteer commitments have kept me away from the barn for the most part, and I am dreading what I'll find in Rev's pasture. Some buckskin thing, I'm sure ... ;) It has been very rainy, ergo very muddy, here. I don't mind terribly much that Rev wallows like a sow, because it's not too much of a chore to groom off, plus the mud takes SO much winter coat with it that I can't be unhappy. Plus, I picked up a new Slick & Easy block and a Shed Flower, so that will be fun to break in.

* I also got my new, pretty lead rope! I couldn't find a blue and white Big D braided lead anywhere, so I went ahead and ordered one. I am so glad I did, too! It's lovely, and I can't wait to get it out to the barn tomorrow. I plan to spend lots of quality time with my little muddy beast tomorrow.

* In theory the first TOC night is ... er ... soon. I guess we better start thinking about that, eh?

I'll try to be a better blogger. Right now, though, I have very little to update with. :) Appylollogies.

Friday, March 16, 2012


The jury is OUT on the KanTeq body protector. I had a lovely chat with the owner, Wendy, and talked about sizing. Since I'm short-round, they don't have a vest right off that will fit, she thinks, at least not with complete confidence in its safety and BETA rating. She's going to look into it, though, and should get back to me in two weeks or so. I'm excited to hear what she finds out. I'm hopeful we can sort it out.

The jury is OUT on the Rodney Powell body protector. The contact at WEFI said she has no idea when the vests will be available, as they're still deciding what vests to make in the first place. I have to say ... Wendy at KanTeq is much nicer and more helpful than this person at WEFI. Makes me more inclined to go with Kan than RP if I can.

The jury is IN on a crop. I went ahead, bit the bullet, and ordered one from SmartPak. *nodnod* It'll be nice to have a decent one. I love my dressage whip, but ... yeah.

The jury is IN on my little mare: she's awesome. :) Free Jump Friday went really well again -- she's a good little jumper. Powerful and economical. MT was very pleased with her, and so was I. After last night's MEAN HORSE MOM ride -- first I groomed her and let her bliss out, and then I made her WORK! Do HARD THINGS! Like leg yield to the right! -- I was glad she got to run around and enjoy herself over jumps.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gah! Can I please just have a Rodney Powell vest already?! I am trying to find out when they'll be available so I can make a plan. If they'll be ready in the next two weeks, I'll wait. If not, I'll go with a Kan-Teq, I think. They're a bit more expensive, but not much, especially when I consider that I want shoulder covers for the RP. They don't come in such great colors, and I prefer the RP design, but ... I need a vest soon.

Meanwhile, I can has ride tonight? I've been way low on energy this week, plus working late, so I haven't gotten out to the barn. It's only three days, though, so we'll survive. I really want to get out and ride tonight, though. We need to work on straightness and answering the right leg. Plus, I picked up a Happy Mouth mullen, and I want to try her in it. ;)

Then tomorrow is Free Jump Friday again, yay! I love it. :) I think Reveille is learning a lot, and it helps me ride better. Very much looking forward to it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Also, great googly moogly. Since when are decent, medium length, black, traditional-style popper crops SO difficult to find?! And since when are they $30?! I thought $10 was a better price for a crop, but apparently I am wrong-wrong-wrong. Hrrrumph! Oh well. I need a real crop, instead of the 12" bat or the odd-length, odd-shape whip I got at the Western tack shop or the dressage whip!

Hrrrumph. Highway robbery, I say. Back in my day, crops were cheap, and they were uphill BOTH WAYS. In the SNOW. And we LIKED IT THAT WAY!

There will be video.

What a great weekend! :) I rode Friday and Saturday and had a lesson on Sunday, and it was lovely weather for all of it, Reveille was awesome, and basically the planets aligned exactly the way I needed them to.

I'd planned to take Rev out and see if I could find top gear on Friday. Seeing as one of our issues with jumping is pace, I want to get comfortable with going Faster!.

Okay, I will tell the truth. The weather was beautiful and I was feeling really upbeat and all I felt like doing was galloping around like a maniac like I used to when I was a kid. ;)

But -- I am not a kid any more, so I didn't. I decided that trying to find that gallop was enough. :) The footing outside was kind of crunchy, though, so I didn't do a lot of galloping. We did get up to the gallop, though. Kind of nice, but it seemed like a lot of work. Hm.

Saturday was another gorgeous day. I went and caught a few classes of the local jumper show, including watching The Sprinkler Bandit's last round, which I'll let her tell you about. I was so delighted to watch my friend Kate and her newish horse absolutely kick butt around 2'6, 2'9, 3', and 3'3, too!! That's a heckuva horse she's got there. :)

I'm always surprised at some of the rounds, though. Some of them I just watch through my fingers, terrified that the horrible things I see building up in horse and rider are going to happen right there in front of us. Sometimes it happens; sometimes the game little horse gets the passenger around the course. Either way, it makes one of my goals "don't be that scary pair."

Anyway, when I got out to ride, I did baby, beginner trot sets, as much for my fitness as Reveille's. I don't have a watch at the moment (on the To Fix list), so we went for laps rather than time. Four laps at the round working trot, one lap at the energetic walk. Repeat until rider exhaustion, which will come way before horse exhaustion. ;) I actually found it fun, if, well, exhausting. It's on the list of things to continue doing and refining.

Sunday we FINALLY got to have a jumping lesson!! I wasn't sick or any broker than usual, and Daylight Savings Time could kiss my butt -- I had a lesson! :) We had SUCH a good time. We didn't have that suck-back type pause at jumps this time, whether that was because Rev is learning during Free Jump Fridays or because I'm learning about pace and kicking on or just luck ... Whatever the case, we had a great time. We're now needing to work hard on straightness. Very hard. Rev drifts right and gets her haunches out of line with her shoulders, which doesn't help her jump.

We had a Swedish oxer in the mix this lesson, and in the middle it was probably 2'9ish or so. On the ends, it was 3'. Note that I didn't know this when we started. Anyway, when we took our first round at it, I didn't keep Rev straight enough at the fence, and we jumped way right, over the high side. It wasn't a pretty jump, and I got bounced out of the tack a little but caught myself fairly easily (yay me). When we came around to talk to MT, he said, "I have to confess that I built this one just for you. It's about straightness, here, and if you don't keep your horse straight, she has to jump three foot."

*blinkblink* So ... we made a mistake. But ... we jumped 3' and lived to tell the tale? Boo, and YAY! *laugh*

The next time through, I held her STRAIGHTSTRAIGHTSTRAIGHT and kicked on to keep her feet moving. I was really, really firm about it, and we had a much better jump! I got left behind some, but that's totally okay, and I was expecting it. (Better that than get forward, fordamnsure.) Still, she jumped way better and we were right there in the middle.

Learning experience FTW! :)

After the lesson, MT said that he was really proud of all of us and that we'd all ridden really well. This was a great thing to hear. :) He doesn't just say stuff like that, and it made me feel a lot more confident, especially after several weeks of not jumping.

Happy dance! And there will, as I said, be video! Margie's husband videoed the lesson, so you'll see the good, the bad, and the ugly soon. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quotidian minutiae

Yep, Rev's leg is fine. She was still a bit puffy and hot when I got there last night, but scrubbing and riding had her back to normal. She wasn't off at all last night either. So a blob of Furazone and I feel completely comfortable.

Asthma attack in the saddle, though, curtailed my ride last night. I was pretty freaked out afterward, and I decided that staying on wasn't in my best interest, especially when the other two ladies were leaving about the same time. I didn't want to be out there alone when I knew I was having issues. A wise decision, I think ... especially since it seems to have cut my brain loose at the same time. I was almost out the barn door with Rev to put her back when our lesson partner pointed out that I had failed to buckle up the belly straps on her blanket. 0.o Eeek. So Rev got a light workout and got to go back out.

I'm not currently planning to go out to the barn tonight, but that plan could change based on time here at work and the weather. It's supposed to be gorgeous, so ... :) Plus, I'd like to make up for yesterday's ride cut short.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


My timing is SO BAD! I decided that I'm going to go ahead and just order the Rodney Powell protective vest I want when I get paid next week. I got all the measurements but one (the one that requires the saddle, heh), and I was checking around on prices ... only to discover that the company is changing manufacturers, and I won't be able to order the vest! Argh!! At least, I don't think I can. It's certain that I can't as of today. Maybe by the 15th? No idea how long it'll take to get the new manufacturer up and running.

The other concern is whether I'll be safe, whether I'll be getting a quality product, if I order one of the first ones from the new manufacturer. Of course RP will assure me that the vests will be top quality, etc, but we all know that manufacturing problems creep into things, especially with a new process/factory/etc. before all the kinks are worked out. I'm skeptical, but I'm willing to go for it because I think the RP vest is the best choice for me, safety-wise and cut-wise. They have shoulder protection available, they're certified to BETA 3, and they have a version that's better for the curvy rider. Plus, they have awesome colors. That's the last consideration, though.

I have found exactly one (1) online retailer in Canada who still has some in stock; they've said "give us your measurements and we'll see if we have your size!"

Heh. I'll take them up on it, but I'm not holding my breath that they have my size in stock. I'm short-round. We'll see. They're also the most expensive of all the options I've seen online, so I might be more inclined to wait.

But if I wait, how long will I have to wait?! I need a vest for XC schooling soon!! ACK THE UNCERTAINTY. I am holding out for the RP, though, for sure.

What I'm planning on is this: RP Pro. I'm thinking Layout 1 with the main color being royal blue (purple in the example) and the secondary color being white (black in the example). Then I'll put white chevrons on the shoulder pads myself when it gets here. :) Anyone want to talk me out of white?

IN OTHER NEWS ... Rev has a cut just above her LH fetlock. It was a bit swollen and hot last night when I went to ride, but she wasn't off at all when I checked on the longe line. She wasn't off under saddle either, and the swelling and tenderness had gone way down after I booted her up and rode. We'll see how she is tonight after the exercise. I doubt it's anything major, but ... I worry. If she's off, I'll put a sweat on it; I should be able to cold hose, but I don't know. I'll check with TW if I need to. At the very least I'll scrub and Furazone it again. *nodnod*

She was definitely not off when we rode, though! She was quite good. She's funny -- she knows when I have the draws on. Even if they're loose, she rounds up when I have them on. I'm thinking a few rides with, a ride or two without, lather, rinse, repeat for the next months.

IN OTHER OTHER NEWS ... The roller coaster ride labeled 2012 Show Season is clicking upward and will be letting go toward the end of the month. I've officially volunteered to scribe and jump judge at Twin Rivers and to run the silent auction at the Idaho Dressage Festival. *eeeek* I'm thrilled about Twin, anxious about the IDF. It'll be fun, though. :)

First TOC night is, in theory, in about a month. Whee!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Well. I think that a flu shot might have been the reason why this bout of flu didn't last very long and wasn't hugely serious -- thank goodness!

I missed a gorgeous weekend to ride, though, so boo to that. However, I'm feeling better now and am looking forward to riding tonight, cold or no cold!!

Reveille's been joining in the Free Jump Fridays at the barn, which has been really cool to watch. She went from not being able to figure out the striding -- 23 feet from first to second, 25 feet from second to third -- at first to being smooth, athletic, and efficient in her second week's run. She went from crashing through 3'3 to clearing, I think, 3'6 easily. I was really impressed with my clever little mare! My goal for her through this is for her to learn how to really keep herself in balance and even through the jumps so that it's easier for her to jump with a rider. Of course, this means I have to get better with her. ;) I think I can commit to that.

I was just looking over the show season I'm planning, and OMG I need to get my [butt] in gear! And Rev's. Heh. I was about to freak out over the fact that Golden Spike is earlier than I was planning -- June 22-24, rather than July as I thought -- but then I saw that they have an Intro division. And all that freakout went away. If we're not ready for BN, which is a possibility, we'll sure be ready for Intro. I think I might want a season at Intro, just to have a successful season, yknow? Last year I was going to go Intro, but crap happened, and I pulled out. So we'll see what I'm ready for this year. We'll see what MT says and how we do.

Meanwhile, I'm excited about the next Twin Rivers -- I'm going to go and volunteer as well as help a friend with her two horses. :) I'd thought I would hit the vendor's walk there to get a body protector, but I realized that it's going to be far too late for me to get a vest before we start schooling XC. So I'll order the vest in a week or so when I get paid, and I'll have it by the time we start schooling. Very much looking forward to it!!

So yes. Motivation found. Flu gone. Ready to get on with it!