Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some neat old films!

I was parusing a german facebook sidesaddle group and one of the members posted the link to these old films. They're of ladies racing & jumping sidesaddle in the 1920's. I've never seen it before but it's super neat.


I have so much respect for the ladies that hunted and rode sidesaddle all of the time "back in the day".

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.....

Oh wait.... It's almost May 1.

It sure looks like Christmas out there today though. We've had a winter storm blow through and we have quite a bit of snow. The roads are nasty so I'm having a day of working from home. Luckily it's not too cold, it's just wet and white. I'll have to try and get some pictures up later!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Mane Event 2010

It was a great time! I'm so glad I decided to go even though I was by myself.

When we first got there I was nervous and so was Brigit. There was so much going on. We had a chance to do a quick warm up in the main ring before they harrowed and got the demonstrations going. Brigit was pretty scared of the crowd, there was SO many people. And then there was the scary banners on the rails of the arena, those might jump out and eat us too. AND there was cows in a pen along the one side of the arena, also scary! We only got a few minutes in there and then went over to the other ring to continue our warm up ring. I was worried after that, I wasn't sure what was going to happen when we went back in there by ourself, sidesaddle.

We swapped to the sidesaddle and toured around the warmup ring for awhile. I wish we'd gotten some pictures of all of the people/horses in the warmup together. There was miniature horses, donkeys, mules, fresians, drafts, ponies and a whole bunch of carts/wagons. I thought for sure Brigit was going to freak out at the carts and the donkeys but she did so well! I was super impressed. My old mare would have been outta there like a ferarri in reverse!

I got lots of funny looks when I was wandering around with one tall boot and one paddock boot on. LOL Kinda looked like I got dressed in the dark.

As did this outfit! Lucky green socks, cowboy boots, navy breeches and my nice coat (forgot to bring a practical one!). Not to worry, I only wore this while I was grooming/tacking up. So then I went and got dressed and brought my habit over to the ring. I can't seem to gracefully mount (even with help) with all of it on so I usually get on and then get "dressed" on the horse. Here's the classic one tall boot, one paddock boot look prior to getting dressed. My wonderful boyfriend (/groom/boot shiner/runner etc) standing by. I believe after this picture was taken I bailed off. I didn't realize that the draft horses went right after me, so when I saw the 6 horse draft team coming out way and Brigit started to get all googly eyed I decided I was better off on the ground! LOL That was the only thing that caused her to really spook.

Then we got dressed and waited for our turn to go in. And then it was our turn! Off we go, here goes nothing! I was most worried about her spooking due to applause, the stands were PACKED.

Here's some trotting. All of the action shots are pretty blurry, my camera really didn't like taking pictures indoors with the lights/dust etc.
And some cantering..

There you have it! We talked to the event photographer before we left to see if she might have any photos of us and she said she'd send them to me. I'm hoping she got some good ones!

Oh and here's a video of us cantering. We managed to get TWO flying lead changes from the right lead to the left lead using just my cane. It was pretty neat, we got applause for both of them.

Here's the link to the youtube version if you'd like to see it a bit bigger.

I was so thrilled when we left the ring. Brigit was great, so much better than I had expected from the normally spooky mare. It was fun to get all dressed up and show off what we'd been practicing. I think our sidesaddle debut went great!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Making a list....Checking it twice....

And I hope I don't forget anything! I've got all of my riding clothes together, all of my little stuff like stock tie, pins, gloves, veil etc all fit nicely into my hatbox with my tophat. I've got the script printed off for the announcer to read as I'm riding and I've got a CD with my music burned on it, also tucked into the hat box. One thing I MUST remember to bring are my tall riding boots, they've been stuffed away in my closet since the fall.

What else..... I need to remember to bring my english saddle and my sidesaddle, cane, girths, saddle pads, brushes, bath supplies (just in case!) show sheet, hay, wheelbarrow and pick.

Anything else?? I hope I don't forget anything! I'm starting to get REALLY excited now!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bath time!

I decided last night was the night to give Brigit a bath. She was SOOOOO dirty, there was no way I could take her anywhere the way she looked. Today, Friday and Saturday are all supposed to be cooler/rainy, so I figured last night was idea.

She did not appreciate her bath all that much, but for once actually let me wash her head off! That never happens, we usually get into a game of "big brown giraffe". Even so, I still managed to get about as wet as she was! lol After we were done she was shiny and her white socks & stripe were actually white. I coated her in show sheen in hopes that I can keep her clean-ish over the next few days. We shall see!

I haven't shown in forever and I forgot how long it takes to get ready to go out in "public" so to speak.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The countdown begins!

Only 4 days (if you count saturday) to go before we make our sidesaddle debut at The Mane Event! I'm really excited but nervous at the same time! I think I've got my music picked out to ride to but I'm not sure if I should have 2 or 3 songs. I've got to ride for 5-6 minutes which now that I've been practicing doesn't seem like much time at all. However, the two songs I picked are only about 2 minutes each. Not sure if that's enough!

I've decided that Brigit just gets far too frazzled at this point to try and do a proper dressage tests, she doesn't like to do a nice canter to trot transition and insists on trying rocket back into the canter. So I think I'm going to trot to an entire song and then canter to a song and just keep it simple.

Wanna know what our songs are? We're going to trot to Corb Lund's "Shine up my Boots" and we're going to canter to Doris Day's "Que Sera Sera". I was also really tempted to use Dolly Parton's "9-5" song. They're all so fun! I found that I can get two figure 8's of trot done in the first song and then a canter serpentine and a circle done in the second song. Perhaps we do need that third song? Hmm.....

We played with some more flying changes (astride) last night too and found out that we can get a perfect change when going from the right lead to the left lead but vice versa is a disaster. I'd looove to execute a perfect flying change in our demo but I think that might be pushing it. Besides, it might be tough to get that "good" change just using the cane as a cue. Might have to play with it some more!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another fantastic ride!

I rode sidesaddle yesterday outside, it was pretty windy but I figured the more "scary" stuff we can do in the next week the better. Brigit does soooooo much better in the outdoor arena. It's much bigger and I think it's easier for her move out a bit and stay balanced. We were trotting and cantering around on a fairly loose rein and I barely had to pick up the reins, sit tall and she would transition down to a walk. It was so nice!
Riding with the pelham and a cane is a bit of a learning curve but we're getting it. I actually think Brigit really likes the bit, I just have to make sure that I give her, her head and ride with far less contact than when riding in a snaffle. The other trick is managing the double reins AND keeping the cane still, especially when cantering.

I thought I would play around with some leg yielding yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised. We actually have a nicer leg yield to the left, using the cane to ask her to move over, than to the right when I have my leg to ask her to move over.

We also tried a flying change which was not so pretty lol. Our flying changes aren't the best at the best of times so I think we'll just stick to simple changes.

The weather is supposed to be gorgeous for this weekend so I should be able to get lots of riding in and hopefully have someone take some new pictures.

I finally got my fancy hat to go with my purple outfit and it looks great! I need to get the skirt altered though, it's a wee bit too tight at the top. Here's a picture of the hat and the outfit. My boyfriend laughed at the hat, can you believe that! lol I think it's perfect!
I just love this outfit. It's my absolute favorite. I'm almost tempted to wear this next weekend, although I think the navy habit would be more appropriate. I'll have to find another occassion to wear it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some nicer weather again...

Well after a few days of gale force winds and snow, it's finally seeming like spring again today! It's supposed to be really nice and warm on the weekend, I'm really looking forward to that.

So it looks like I'm going to be doing the sidesaddle demonstration at the Mane Event all by myself. I'm definitely a little bit nervous about it but I think it'll be exciting! We're either going to shine or have a lot of people watch us crash and burn! LOL I think we can pull it off though, I had an absolutely fantastic ride aside the other day, Brigit was phenomenal. The only thing I'm worried about is her being nervous/spooky at the event. There's going to be a LOT of people there. I guess we'll see though! Practice, practice, practice until then!!! I think I'm going to haul out to another arena saturday to get her out and about and see how she reacts.

I finally think I've decided on some music to ride to, it won't be a precise Kur but it'll be fun. I think we're going to do our trotting to Corb Lund's "Shine up my Boots" song and cantering to Doris Day's "Que Sera Sera". I still have to download the songs and make sure they're going to work though. So much to do!

Shadow is healing well. The scratches on her chest are looking good and her leg is healing up. It's definitely going to take some time before it's completely healed over but it'll get there. Then we've got to decide what to do with her. *sigh* I hate being in this position.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What a week....

Sorry for the lack of posts. I came down with an awful virus saturday and haven't had the energy to do anything. And the big grey mare went through a barb wire fence friday night. She's pretty scratched up, the worse of her injuries is on a hind leg. She took a good chunk of hide off of her cannon bone just below her hock. We weren't able to stitch it up so the flap had to be cut off. It'll probably be a good scar but I'm sure she'll pull through.

Anyways, that's all for today.