Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: My Practical Wish List

Now that I'm seriously enjoying my time in the saddle, I want to buy ALL THE THINGS. Seriously, I think of something new I "need" every day. In all fairness, I do have a new-to-me horse, and while my tack miraculously fits Degen for the most part, I do honestly need a few things.

Here's what I came up with:

1. Hind boots for Degen. I have a pair of the Woof All-Purpose Boots that I use on the fronts, and I really like them. I've had my pair for about 3 years now, and they've held up great. They are pretty easy to clean (I just hose mine down and let them dry), are easy to put on and adjust, don't slip or retain water, and overall, I think they are a great value for the price.

2. White show shirt. I have this shirt from Riding Sport, but I don't love it. It shrank BIG TIME in the wash (at least that's my story!), and now it's just tight and uncomfortable. Any suggestions for an affordable, comfortable show shirt?

3. Leather Soap. I'm almost out and dying to try Higher Standards!

4. Bath sponge. Mine is gross. It's time for a new one.

5. Not really a "gotta-have-immediately-or-I-won't-be-able-to-ride" item, but I'm still playing around with bridles for Degen. My dressage bridle didn't fit Kwik and they have about the same size head so I figured it wouldn't fit Degen either. My cheap-O Suffolk Fancy Stich bridle fits him great but has laced reins (hate laced reins). I swapped out the laced reins for the black webbed reins that came with the dressage bridle so now I'm riding in a brown bridle with black web reins. It's ghettofabulous, let me tell you. I would absolutely LOVE a pair of brown rubber reins.

6. Also not needed immediately, but I would love a pair of wide-track composite stirrups. It would be great to have a bit more stability as I ease back into jumping, and alleviating knee pain would definitely be an added bonus. The Royal Riders are so expensive though! Anyone have experience with the Composti Reflexes or another cheaper brand?

I really want an Oglivy memory foam Jump half pad, but that is most certainly not on the short list of things I NEED at the moment.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Riding is FUN!

Once again, it's been a while, but this time I've just been so busy RIDING! I can't say enough wonderful things about Degen. He's such a great babysitter. I look forward to each and every ride, and I'm now riding with confidence and a smile on my face. I've been taking weekly lessons with E, Degen's owner, and she has me focusing on lengthening and strengthening my leg to develop a more independent seat via lots of no-stirrup work. I've seen a dramatic difference in my position in a short amount of time as a result, and I'm now riding a good bit of my dressage schools sans stirrups at the moment. I almost feel like I ride better without stirrups now!

 E graciously brought out one of her old XC saddles for me to use for jumping, and I'm loving it! It's an old Ainsley with a nice forward flap and great knee blocks. I feel extremely secure and just love riding in it. Degen and I did our very first XC lesson with A yesterday, and ohmygoodness, we had so much fun! We worked over a combination of logs and stadium jumps that were set up in the XC field, and I am proud to say I jumped my very first skinny and corner! We also did several mini courses, practiced cantering in and out of the water, and walked up and down the water bank. I'll admit, I was a bit nervous going into the lesson, but by the end, we were cantering all of our exercises with confidence. I had a blast, and I think Degen really enjoyed himself too. He's an old pro, and he really took care of me. Can't wait for the next lesson!

Sky and Degen

We've also got some show goals as well. There is a low-key dressage schooling show down the road from my barn at the end of May, and I asked E if she thought that would be something we could work towards. She thought that was a great idea and even offered to bring along one of her horses and pick us up on the way! I pulled my jacket out of my closet the other night, and it definitely does not fit anymore. Thank goodness it's a schooling show, but it's probably time to do some show clothes shopping!