Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's here!!! It's here!!!

My sidesaddle arrived yesterday! I'm so pleased with it! It came in the biggest box that was FILLED with styrofoam "popcorn". Boy did that make a mess at the office! It got all over me, all over the mail room, in the elevator and a huge mess near my desk OOps! Nobody seemed to mind though, they were all really intrigued by the saddle.

I couldn't wait to get home and try it! My fingers were crossed that it would fit!! And it does!!

I'm sure glad I lunged my mare first though! Boy was she fresh! There was a good round of bucking that I would NOT have wanted to attempt to ride through on a sidesaddle! I can't really blame her though, she's been cooped up in a tiny pen getting all kinds of extra food to fatten her up. After she got her energy out she was really good though. We did some trot both ways and cantered to the left.

I really REALLY like this saddle though. The ones I rode in this past summer had smooth leather seats and I really didn't feel very secure. My saddle has a doeskin seat and pommels which I felt a lot more comfortable with. I also thought the seat felt softer than the ones I had ridden in. I still wasn't feeling 100% confident but still pretty good for my 4th time riding sidesaddle!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Must remember to post regularly!! Update on the sick pony...

I've just been so busy! Teaching lessons and doing lots of running around!

Brigit is my 15 year old Westphalian mare. She's been fighting a sinus infection since August. At first we didn't realize that it wasn't just a cold. After a month of it not going away we decided it was time to get her looked at because there must have been something more going on. They xrayed and scoped her and thought that there was a "suspicious" looking tooth causing the sinusitis that would need surgery to be pulled. We scheduled the surgery and came back two weeks later. Only problem is that the drainage switched from the right side to the left side....which wouldn't happen if it was a tooth. Onto another round of xrays and scoping. Poor mare! This time they could definitely see a buildup of fluid in her sinus's but still weren't 100% sure what was causing it (tooth or just a sinus infection). We had two options, surgery to flush it all out and get rid of it for sure OR try a month of heavy duty antibiotics twice a day. I opted for the less invasive route first. We're at the halfway mark for the antibiotics and they seemed to be helping for the first bit but now the runny nose is coming back again! AARGH! The vet said that they *sometimes* work but a lot of the time they just mask the problem and as soon as you take them off the antibiotics the problem comes back. I'm hoping we can get it gone and stay gone but at the moment it's not looking so great! It's not as bad as it was though. I just can't figure out why it's coming back though.
I had to laugh, I rode Brigit for the first time on Saturday and she was a wee bit....wild shall we say? I can't say I blame her though, she's been in a small paddock cooped up and getting all kinds of extra feed pushed to her to put some extra weight on. Fingers crossed she'll get better and stay better! I really don't want to have to do surgery on her!!

The plan for tomorrow is to call the vet's office and see what they think. I might see if they'll send the xrays to another vet for a second opinion to see if they can come up with a collective opinion. I'd be ok with doing the surgery if they knew for sure what it was that was causing the problem. I'd hate to go in and do something and then find out that it didn't work and have to go in again.

The other possibility is getting an endoscope up there and flushing it out that way (if possible) another question to ask.

If we do have to do surgery, they're going to do a procedure called a "bone flap" where they cut a square hole in their skull and flip it back and go in and flush the sinus cavity out and possibly take the affected tooth out at the same time. I guess we'll see.

On a much more positive note! My sidesaddle should arrive tomorrow!! Yay! I sooo can't wait to try it out! Runny nose or no runny nose!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Now to find an outfit....or two....or three!!

Part of what I love about sidesaddle are the outfits. I think I need a whole closet full of them!

I'd love to have a formal habit.
So elegant.

I absolutely love something with a little bit of color.
Simply gorgeous; the horse, the rider, the outfit. Wow!

Or perhaps a more neutral tone.

The costume type outfits are stunning too! Julie had some wonderful examples on her blog RidingAside of some gorgeous costumes.

I have to admit, I might have already put the cart before the horse a bit...because I've already started collecting some clothing. I picked up a black sidesaddle apron from a consignment tack store awhile ago and some matching fabric that happened to be on sale! The lady that runs the barn where I keep my horses has offered to help me make a jacket and a nice yellow vest! How exciting!

In August I saw a fantastic outfit out Ebay. It's not formal and would probably only be good for fun or costume classes but I just had to have it! It took awhile to get here due to shipping issues but I finally got it today! The seller absolutely went above and beyond to get it to me, when she could have just said she'd refund my money. It's so gorgeous and it works absolutely PERFECTLY! (Ok well I could maybe lose a pound or two around the midsection and it would really fit perfect then! LOL) I can't wait to see what this looks like on a horse!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Exciting news!!!!

Guess what I did today! It's so exciting that it definitely deserves it's own post!!!

Can you guess??













I'm so excited! It's such a nice saddle. I was going to hold off for a bit until I knew for sure if my mare was going to need surgery or not but I decided I should just bite the bullet and do it. I'd really be kicking myself if I waited too long and it sold. I've looked at all kinds of sidesaddles and this one really caught my eye. A lot of the older saddles that I had seen needed some kind of repair and didn't come with the fittings. This one comes with just about everything.

I looked and looked for a saddle in my area but couldn't find any. Well I did find one but it was a very old western style saddle. Very interesting but not quite what I wanted. I figured if I'd have to take the chance and ship one in from across the continent, then so be it! I am determined to ride sidesaddle!

It's an Aulton & Butler saddle with a Mayhew breakaway stirrup assembly. This is the only one of this maker that I've seen. I was told that it was purchased 10-20ish years ago at a big show in England. The lady that owned it rode in it for a few years and then her horse passed away and it had been sitting in a closet since. I'm happy to say that it is definitely going to get used again.

I took wither tracings and mailed them a couple of weeks ago and the lady selling the saddle said that it was about as perfect a fit for a horse as she's seen! How about that! I guess my mare's super high withers are handy for fitting sidesaddles to.

Here's a picture of it...


I'm just waiting for the seller to get it packed up and get a quote on shipping and let me know. Once that's done, it'll be paid for an on it's way!!! Hopefully it will be here sometime next week! I really can. not. wait!

Goodbye flowers....

I did something yesterday that I had been putting off because it really made the coming of winter official... I cleaned up my flower beds, ripping out all of the annuals and weeds and cutting back the shrubs and roses. My yard looks so empty and big, kind of like when you move out of a house. Oh well, I'll have this to look forward to again next spring!

I think I'm going to have to go get some halloween decorations or something to spruce it up so it's not so "blah". Perhaps some headstones and pumpkins? I just had another great idea too! We've got a longhorn skull that would work good to... I wonder if anybody would try to steal it though?

I also acquired two more lesson kids yesterday! One is 5 and the other is 7. Both are very keen to ride and learn about horses. I had to laugh, the one family with the 7 year old girl brought her little brother who's 5. He was right in there wanting to learn too. I was teaching them how to pick out the horse's feet and he was right in there doing his darndest to pick up a back leg and pick it out. Talk about determination! And thank goodness for the trusty schoolhorses!

And I got another 3 calls for lessons today! Boy am I going to be busy!!! That's ok though, I really enjoy teaching lessons and the extra $ is definitely nice too!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

An Interesting Find

I was looking through some of my pictures today and I found this... It's a fossil that I found this summer while we were out hiking at the Quilchena Ranch in British Columbia (it's been in my boyfriend's family's for over 100 years, such a neat place but that'll be another day's post).
It's a fossilized wasp. There's a spot on one of the sidehills that's been dubbed the "fossil pit" because there's hundreds of fossils to be found. Mostly leaves and plants but occasionally something really interesting like this pops up! Luckily my step-dad is a palentologist/geologist and could tell us what it was. Neat eh?

Friday, October 16, 2009


Here goes nothing, this is my first blog post! I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to write about but I guess the best place to start is an introduction. I'm 25 years old and live in Alberta. I own a house with my boyfriend, we bought it just over a year ago. We have a couple of horses and no pets other than some fish. I'd love to have a dog but we just don't have the time for one. I recently got my english riding instructor certification and started teaching in September. I'm thoroughly enjoying teaching lessons. I love to help people improve their riding and enjoy their horses.

When it comes to riding I've done a little bit of everything. I started out trail riding when I was little and then moved onto english riding lessons. I competed in High School Rodeo and have shown hunters & jumpers as well as Tennessee Walking Horses. My most recent riding accomplishment was learning to ride sidesaddle this summer on my warmblood mare Brigit. It's become my newest obsession, I'm determined to get a saddle of my own and continue learning to ride aside.

I work as an environmental consultant in the oil & gas industry. I get to travel to some pretty neat places around Alberta and see a lot of things many people don't get the opportunity to.
Hopefully my posts are interesting and you enjoy reading my blog as much as I've enjoyed reading some other blogs myself.