Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The wee sidesaddle!

I finally have a sidesaddle small enough to fit my lesson kids. I figured why not? They are definitely VERY hard to find. Let me tell you, this little saddle is just adorable! When I opened the box and pulled it out it was definitely an "Awww!" moment. I believe the seat measures 18" from the front of the leaping horn to the back of the seat and I thought to myself "Well it can't be *that* small, it's only 4" shorter than my saddle".
Yes, yes it can be! It's almost a miniature version of my saddle.

And of course the first thing I had to do was strap it to a horse and test it out... Well I gues *I* didn't get to test it out but one of my little lesson girls did. And surprisingly, to fit this big guy, it only took a 56" girth, with an extender and a stirrup leather to make the overgirth reach around his belly.

She was an absolute natural! They were both motoring around the arena in no time at all, trotting, leg yielding, weaving around some pylons. I have to say, for a little tiny saddle, it rides very nicely and stayed put quite well.

I said to her at the end of her lesson "So next week, you can decide if you'd like to ride in your regular sidesaddle or the little one." and she shouted "SIDESADDLE!!!". I'd say I've got another one hooked.... LOL

Holy COOOOLD Batman!!

It is even colder than yesterday and sounds like it's going to get worse before it gets better! Ick.
Today our high is.... are you ready for it? -28 celcius. And to be honest, I don't think we're even going to make that, it's currently staying pretty steady at -30. Any breeze at all and we'll be well into the -40's. Yuck, yuck & double yuck!

Tonight will be extra fun with a low of -38.

Y'know what's interesting about this cold weather? (here comes the science nerd in me) If you take a container of boiling hot water outside and throw it into the air, it will instantly crystallize and turn into snow. Neat eh?

On another note, poor Brigit was pretty stiff & slow moving yesterday morning when I went out to check on her. I think her age really shows in this weather. So I took pity on her and asked the barn owner if she could stay inside at night until this weather warmed up a bit. Into the heated barn she went. I figured Rain was hairy & young enough that she'd be ok. Tonight I might bring them both in, it'll make me feel less guilty as I sit on the couch, wrapped up in a nice warm blanket! lol

I did make it to the fabric store yesterday and they had some really good sales on, so I've got a few more projects to work on. Some nice lavendar polo's for Rain, a fleece cover for the wee saddle, a wee saddle pad and maybe another vest? That should keep me busy for at least the rest of the week... probably longer.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter has REALLY arrived.... Yuck.

It's -20 outside and snowing today. We've had such nice mild weather until today, so I guess we can't complain too much. Though I wish the wind would die down, with the wind chill it's a good -26 celcius.

But hey, we're tough Canadian girls and we can deal with it. We didn't cancel lessons this morning and all my girls did really well. The worst part was bringing in horses I think. I don't know that the horses mind the cold all that much, they were sure feeling a bit silly today!

I sure didn't feel like riding myself today. I've spent the rest of the afternoon hiding inside, watching some movies (Downton Abbey is on at 7pm tonight!), reading a new book on dressage by Jane Savoie and working on some sewing projects. Definitely a good day for it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Exciting Christmas Present!

For Christmas my wonderful SO and my parents got together to pay for a trip to Maryland at the end of March for the ISSO Awards Banquet & Clinic. I couldn't have been more excited!!! I've been looking through the AAA Travel Book since Christmas and having so much fun looking at all of the neat things to do & see down there. I've really always wanted to travel to that part of the country. I'll also get to meet a LOT of people that I've only every talked with on the phone or via email. And I've even been invited to go foxhunting! I'm aiming to be there for just over a week and planning to cram as much in as possible!!!

I know a few of my blog followers are from that area, so hopefully we'll get to meet!

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

We were away visiting family over the holidays and I didn't get a chance to do any posting. We had a great visit with lots of family that I haven't seen in a long time. We did a LOT of driving and a LOT of eating but I suppose that's what the holidays are all about! Hopefully you all had a wonderful Christmas & New Years as well!

Prior to leaving, I went to a dressage show and we tried out the 1st level tests. As you might recall I was having a lot of problems with a few pretty important parts of the test so I was nervous that we would completely tank. Well to my surprise, it all went very well! We nailed the canter to trot transitions, we got some nice lengthening, our canter loops were lovely, the stretchy trot circles were relaxed and very stretchy and we even managed the leg yeilds.... without a whip.
I decided not to ride with the whip because it was just creating too much tension, so I had schooled the leg yields a few times with the whip and then went without. I used that "phantom limb" theory and some bum movement on my part and there was the leg yield! I got a 6 for the leg yield to the left and a 6 to the right, so I figure I must have done it equally well both ways (or equally poorly haha).
And my scores? 60% on the first test (which was the easier one) and 62.5% on the second ! (even though we got lost in the test at one point... ooops!) We did much better than I thought we would, so maybe there is hope for 1st level next year.... Hmm....

I think I figured out what the problem was at home too. I couldn't believe how much we had struggled with some of the movements at home and then at the show, they were easy. I think the size of the arena is key! The show arena was HUGE compared to ours and allowed a lot more time between movements and it didn't feel so rushed. So I think if we decide to persue this further, we're going to need to school regularly at another bigger arena.