I have been reminded that I am a week behind on my blog and that this is causing agita for at least one reader. Mea maxima culpa!
Honestly, I feel like I'm a week behind in my life, too. I am still dealing with some random stomach issues, so other than work and staying home, I don't have a whole lot to report. I have been out to play with the best pony in the world a few times, though.
I don't remember exactly what we did on which day, so a couple of highlights:
We have some new jumps in the outdoor arena, a few panels and some barrels. Nothing huge and fancy, but they are non-poles, which makes them exciting. The sun was out on this day, and life was gorgeous, so I took Apollo on an in-hand walk around the arena, up to the new fences, around the new fences, around the arena, etc. I was half-expecting some spookiness and kind of wanted to get it over with from the ground, but nope. Pony didn't bat an eyelash. Not that this is surprising, when I think about it. On the ground, he's completely chill. It's when the crazy monkey gets on his back that he worries. ;) Anyway, I am really looking forward to jumping again. I miss it.
Under saddle we've been continuing to work on straightness and contact. Apollo was rather distracted the last couple of times I rode -- I mean, it IS spring and all -- but I think we got some good work. I used the techniques I learned from TD as well as what MT has been having me work on, and by the end of the rides Apollo was soft and round and connected. What an awesome feeling that is! Now I need to work at getting him strong enough to stay that way and to get there faster, rather than 40 minutes in.
And we need to get outside. I haven't been out much, mostly because on weekdays it's still not light enough by the time I'm ready to ride (come on, Daylight Savings Time!), and on weekends I'm either in a lesson indoors or trying to stay out of the way of a lesson that's going on outdoors, ergo riding inside. Plus, it'll be good for me to ride Apollo through any "omg what is THAT" he does. Which, historically, hasn't been much.
And I wanted to weigh in on The Sprinkler Bandit's Booting Call post. Like she says, I don't buy the idea that boots support tendons or ligaments -- I've known way too many horses that've blown out their legs while wearing a variety of types of boots to actually believe that claim. On the other hand, I definitely believe that they protect the leg. Brushing themselves, hitting jumps, sand burns, bushes on the trail, interfering, whatever - if I can prevent an injury to the leg, I'd prefer to do that, thanks.
For now, my main leg boots are Toklat Valena boots. I use them for flatwork and whatever jumping we do/have done. On the surface, they look like your average fleecy boot, but once you pick them up the difference is obvious. The outside is vinyl, rather than PVC, and the velcro is good-quality and stitched well. The lining is what I like most -- real wool pile fabric, rather than synthetic fleece. They're fuzzy and flexible and secure, and I heart them lots. Plus, I just love white boots on non-gray horses.
Apollo does sometimes overreach, so I have a couple of sets of Westropp petal boots. I think I've got the older version, though, which is all good with me. I like the petal boots for a few reasons: most importantly, NO VELCRO. Argh! I had a few sets of bell boots before these, and every dang time, the velcro would fail in some way. Come unstitched, just quit sticking together, fray, whatever. I hate velcro on bell boots! I like it on leg boots, but not these. So the petal boots that buckle on with a strap work way better for me. Plus, the general consensus is that they don't cause nearly the accidents bell boots do if a horse steps on it on course; the petals just break off without tripping the horse up too much. This is a boon, for sure. And for the everpresent aesthetic aspect, I adore having royal blue and white petal boots. :D I have a set of black, too, that I use mostly for flatwork. Because I can.
The next Horse Purchase is probably going to be Dalmar Eventing Boots, for cross-country, whenever we come around to needing them. I like the sturdy strike plates for protection. Much more protective than the Toklats, for solid fences. (YES I KNOW we don't do anything huge or scary, but still.) They also have cooling vents/mesh built in to cut back on the heat. They're the top of the line for the price range and purpose ... yesh. I like them.
I also have some open front boots for jumping, your basic Roma open fronts, like this except with the Roma logo. *shrug* They worked for Rev, who could get careless with her front legs. So far, I haven't felt like I need them on Apollo. I'm not selling them, though. Plus, they're white. :) Apollo might need open fronts, or short hind boots, or something, but we haven't really discovered a need for them yet. So I might as well use the boots I adore until I need something else, yeah?
I know. I am not a very good tack whore. I tend to find something I like and stick with it. And as long something I like is performing well, I don't feel like I need to get another just for fun. Once something stops performing well, though ... it is OUT and I HATE it and it is CRAP. ;) No in-between around here. Except for Davis boots. I am still just crushed that they rubbed Rev's legs. I love Davis boots. (but only in white)
The next big thing for me will be a jump saddle, as I've mentioned. I'm pretty sure I want a County, but I'm not excluding anything right off. I have a "don't love it" list, but ... we'll see. And of course, the money for said saddle is still being accumulated. As soon as I find a good saddle, I'm sure I'll be a devotee of that brand too.