Saturday, October 20, 2012
I've been having a lot of fun with my new gelding, he's incredibly patient in the barn for a 4 year old and just oh so mellow under saddle. Such a treat to be around. I figured I should maybe go pick a few things up for him so I went on a bit of a shopping trip today. He's now got his very own fancy padded hunter bridle and matching martingale. Looks pretty swanky in it too! Now this horse has THE most amazing tail I think I've ever seen. Touches the ground when he's standing in the stall and is thick as can be. I figured I should maybe put it in a tail bag to keep it nice and see how long I get get it hehe. So I bought one of those "tail tubes" that has the 3 separate sections to put the tail in and then you braid it and "voila!". Well... I think that's easier said that done. Slippery tail + slippery fabric = how in the world does this work?!?! After a good while of fighting with it, I got it in and it looks pretty decent. Lets hope it stays in for awhile so I don't have to re-do it anytime soon! I think this winter might involve quite a bit of trailering out to other barns...with bigger arenas. Our arena is just so darned tiny. I'm grateful to have an arena but this guy is just SO big we seem to make it down the long wall in a few large canter strides. I kinda feel like I'm trying to drive a large yacht round a small duck pond on this guy! The one thing I've got to figure out for him is a new name. He came with the name "Cocoa" and I'm just not sure it suits him. He's a big, fancy boy and needs a name to suit him. His sire is "Beau Soleil" and his dam goes back to Northern Dancer. So far I haven't come up with anything good. Hopefully I will figure it out soon so I can quit calling him "the moose" or "Mr. Brown" or whatever else comes to mind at the moment lol!
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Well since Rain didn't work out as a sidesaddle horse, I ended up listing her for sale and finding a great family for her. Couldn't let that money sit in my pocket for too long, so it promptly burned a hole in my pocket and I found an absolutely gorgeous Canadian Warmblood gelding. Meet "Cocoa" (yes we're going to change his name! lol) a 4 year old, 16HH gelding by a stallion called "Beau Soleil". Definitely love his attitude already, he's a pretty mellow guy and has a lovely floaty trot and an amazing canter. We just picked him up last night and I'm itching to go to the barn tonight to play with him. And yes, hopefully he will be my next sidesaddle mount!
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Went to a dressage show on Saturday and figured I'd try riding a few 1st level tests. Plus I just really wanted a good excuse to get out and wear my new habit! After sewing & resewing buttons on to the apron to get it to fit just right and staying up till 1:00am the night before cleaning tack & making a new stock tie, I was tired but ready to go! Ok maybe not totally ready, for the life of me, I could not memorize the 1st level tests! I thought I had one but couldn't remember it at ALL! Good thing I had some friends there that could read for me as I rode. Our first test felt horrible. Brigit was really hot & feeling a bit spooky (scary dressage ring!) and pulled on me the entire time. We broke into a canter in the lengthened trot once (oops!). I figured the test was a write off, we got through it but it sure didn't feel nice at all. However I guess the judge disagreed! We won the class! Our second test felt a lot more relaxed and I thought we nailed it. Well except for one part. Brigit decided she liked the lengthened canter a bit too much and refused to come back to me, so instead we ripped around the corner like a motorcycle, broke gait, popped into the wrong lead and finally managed to get ourselves put back together again. I did have one point of contention with the judge on this test, on our score sheet it noted that we had picked up the wrong lead once, which I know for a fact we hadn't (we have other pics that show it! lol) but it's not a huge deal. For the amount of riding/practicing we did (or lack thereof.....), we did really well and we ended up the Open 1st Level Reserve Champion! Woo! Definitely pulled that out of the dark! lol Definitely have some things to learn & work on for next time. The leg yields are definitely a tough part, it's really interesting to get some feedback on things. For instance, our leg yield to the right felt great but as you can imagine, the leg yield to the left is a bit sticky. But again, the judge said our leg yield right was a bit rushed (we still got a 7). To me the leg yield left felt like we just barely got it. I think she was focused on everything else but listening to my cane lol. And now for a picture from yesterday! More to follow. (Thanks to my friend for taking pics!) I'm sure glad it wasn't any warmer, with a wool vest on and a wool habit, stock tie and gloves, I was cooking!
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Visiting Cold Saturday Farm was another one of those unforgettable parts of the trip. Robin's family used to own Cold Saturday and the now live next door to it. It's a beautiful old stone house built in the 1700's (I think 1760-something? Should have written it down! lol).
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Staying with Robin and getting to ride Owen was such a highlight of my trip. What an amazing feeling to have the opportunity to hop on a horse that does the upper level movements and get to play around a bit. First of all, I LOVE Robin's arena. It's just to die for.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Well we finally have a shed in our back yard and last weekend we finished building a little lean-to greenhouse on the side for all of my plants. Usually in the spring we play the "in & out" game with the planters and seedlings I've started. They go out in the morning and come into the dining room, turning it into a jungle, in the evening. To give you an idea of what our spring is like, the tulips, daffodils and May-Day trees are blooming now (seems like forever since I was in Virginia & Maryland enjoying spring flowers!), the cherry-trees and crab apples are just about to bloom. It's still a bit cool in the evenings (and some days) and there's the odd chance of frost but it's slowly warming up. I did manage to get a sunburn two weekends ago, so occasionally it gets really nice & warm! I've planted three types of onions, radishes, several types of lettuce and a few different carrots. The radish & lettuce has sprouted but no sign of the carrots or onions yet. The sweet peas are coming up now too. I started 7 heritage varieties of tomatoes - Ildi a small yellow grape tomato, Sweet Million a small red cherry, Black Krim a bigger dark purplish brown fruit, Hawaiian pineapple a tasty and HUGE yellowish orange tomato, Fried Green the name says it all, Beefsteak just to have something that matures a bit sooner and Striped Roma's. I found the heritage varities took forever and ever to produce fruit. This year I'm going to make a point of trimming them back so they work on putting more energy into the fruit instead of getting 8' tall. I'm really pleased with my flower beds, most of the perennials have come back with a vengance this year. Well, except for the tulips. I think a mole or vole got into the beds and had an all you can eat buffet over the winter. The one bed in particular looks rather pathetic! I know for a fact I planted at least 50 tulips in it when I separated them last fall and I've had a pathetic 10 come up and then wither away. No flowers at all. No good. I've got a whole bunch of annuals to plant once the fear of frost is gone but for now they're in the greenhouse looking pretty happy. Boy do I love having a greenhouse to keep everything in! I feel like a kid with a new playhouse!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Robin (Sidesaddle Quest) invited me to stay with her while I was on my trip and she had enticed me by telling me I could go for a ride on the fabulous Owen! After arriving and meeting her sister & mother, we decided we had just enough time to go for a ride before dinner. So off we went for a tour.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Well so much for painting jump poles and perhaps planting a few things in the garden today. Woke up to a pretty good snow storm. Great big flakes coming down. Luckily it's stopped now and is just raining but it's fairly rotten out there. Definitely not going out to play in the garden today! Good day for puttering inside!
My next stop was Annapolis. I really didn't know much about the city of Annapolis but I'd been told that it was somewhere that I really should go. So on my way to Robin's house, I stopped and did some touring. At first I ended up in a very industrial, rough looking part of the city, I definitely wasn't in the right spot! I wanted the historic section down by the water. After stopping by a hotel, I found a touristy map and I was off again. Annapolis was definitely a good choice! So many neat old buildings, antique shops, history and seafood! Yum! After I found parking, I went around exploring the historic section. This church was sort of a central spot, there was a gigantic traffic circle that went all the way around it.