Thursday, February 16, 2012

Equestrian Daniel Craig

Okay, after seeing the by now infamous Equestrian Ryan Gosling tumblr that everyone has been buzzing about and laughing out loud over the Equestrian Ryan Reynolds meme that was presented on the Tucker the Wunderkind blog, I decided to try a few with the celebrity hottie of my dreams.

I give you - Equestrian Daniel Craig

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jumpin' Joey!

My riding lesson this past Wednesday was great! My trainer gave me some good exercises to work on. I'm particularly happy he gave me one to do to work on getting flying lead changes involving cantering over a ground pole.

The jumping we did was great, Joey is better over a bigger jump. I had a feeling he was bored with all the little cross rails we've been playing with. We started over a single 18" straight rail with a ground pole one stride out and that worked up to a 4-stride 2' line. Joey did so well!

Joey was so unfettered as we worked on all this that my trainer had to ask, "um, is he always like this, quiet?" So I laughed and said, "um, yes, that's why you wanted me to have him!"

Then my trainer set up a long approach X-oxer at about 2'6" with orange traffic pylons in front of it. I looked at him like, "you're kidding, right?" I hadn't jumped anything bigger than a little X-rail in a good year.

I was told to stop whining, that based on my level of riding experience I needed to knock it off and canter to this fence NOW.

So off we went, Joey cantered right up and over, he never even looked at the jump. In fact, he seemed happy to cruise right up to it, he liked the bigger fence! Now it was a little clunky, my take off was kind of long and not well thought out but pony was game and went for the distance.

We rode it again a few more times, worked on my approach and release (Joey needs a very generous release because he stretches his neck way down to his knees as he jumps) and by about the 4th time we nailed it!

My trainer asked me to switch his bit to a rubber snaffle. I laughed and told him I already tried that and he'd chomped a chunk out of it. So we agreed on trying a Happy Mouth bit because Joey is so calm, we want him to have as little mouth pressure as possible so as not to interfere with his forward roll to the fences.

So I'm motivated! Looking forward to next week's challenge. Just hope with the weather we're having this weekend that the indoor isn't too crowded for me to at least work on the lead change exercise.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Riding Lesson this evening

Okay, it's been 6 months since Joey and I became owner and horse. I figure that was plenty of time for us to get to know each other, for me to rehab my knee in the saddle, get back in riding shape and to form a relationship. I have decided we will start to put on a little more pressure and go into a lesson program, specifically to work on Joey's jumping style... or lack thereof.

He's honest and game over a fence but not always the most graceful goose in the pond if you get my drift. So I'm hoping to work with gymnastic exercises over fences under my trainer's watchful eye and school him to be more aware of picking up his feet, using himself with a little more effort and striding into an obstacle correctly.

But mostly I think it will just be fun to be challenged again!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

And in case you were wondering...

In case you read my previous post and were wondering what I chose for my new helmet, there it is, the IRH Elite Ultra Helmet in black.

My helmet budget is a little less these days than it was when I bought the GPA, so after much consideration, I decided this helmet had everything I wanted for under $250.00. Besides, a black leather covered helmet is trés chic, no? Kind of adds a touch of badass to my usual preppy, adult amateur self. ;)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Goodbye to my Trusty GPA Helmet

It is time.

I have prolonged this as long as I could but the time has come to let you go.

I bought your replacement well over a year ago because the tag inside you was marked "March 2005". I know all safety headgear should be replaced after 5 years or impact to the helmet such as from a fall.

But I've had a really hard time letting you go.

I've known you were coming to your end for awhile now. You have never been in a serious fall but have the many nicks and dings from a well lived life in the sun and rain, wind and cold. Your insides were no longer well padded and even starting to peel. Alas, there's no delicate way to say this but awhile ago you also began to develop a noticeable, embarrassing stink, especially in the summer. No amount of Charles Owen helmet cleaner and deodorizer or even Lysol could remedy it for long. It required that you be left in the hot sun to dry out completely to stop the smell but I knew that was also just speeding up your demise.

But we soldiered on, you and I, we were comrades with a past to bind us.

I remember when we first met. I shopped around online and found you for the amazing price of $375.00 with free shipping, a sweet string pack that had "GPA" screened on the side and as a special bonus - I got a free helmet storage/carrying case too! You had it all; Class, Style, your own Accessories and Safety. I was one of the "cool kids" with my new Titium GPA helmet!

Right from the box you fit my head like you were custom made. You never gave me a headache or complaint. The ventilation feature under your futuristic titanium strip was such a welcome change from all those hot stuffy helmets that came before you.

I am sorry we didn't go to more horse shows together. You would have fit right in in the Adult Amateur Hunters and I just know you'd have seen many blue ribbons if you had.

But we sure had fun doing everything else together - all the schooling, the jumping lessons, the dressage lessons, the trail rides, a mock fox hunt and the hunter paces. Oh man, did we ROCK those hunter paces!

I hoped there was a way to have you re purposed at the end of your usefulness and I even blogged about it and learned that there really isn't any other life for a well-used equestrian helmet. There isn't even any way to recycle any of your parts. And a helmet that has been well-used and worn must never be sold to another rider as it cannot guarantee safety to its new owner, who really doesn't know just how MUCH use that you were given!

So today I took your replacement to the barn. As I rode Joey around, I realized that this was the first time I'd used this helmet while working with him. I decided that as I set out to meet my goals with Joey this new year, we would do it with the nice, new helmet. It was time to let the memories of the past rest with you and move on with my newer, safer model helmet.

You will be joined in your retirement to refuse by two friends who you've worked with on several occasions: a much-loved pair of Mountain Horse boots with a broken back zipper and a pair of stirrup leathers that must have given me 10 years of service and have more self-punched holes than can be deemed safe. Still, throwing you away bothers me the most and I think I know why. Besides the fact that you were expensive, you were with me through everything - EVERY RIDE, EVERY TIME. The horses may have changed, maybe I used different tack or rode in different boots or clothes but you were the one piece of equipment that was ALWAYS with me. You saw it all - my joy with Monty, my frustration with Rugby, the return to happiness with Ruby, all the horses I tried as I searched for my next equine partner and you were with me on that first ride with Joey and every happy ride since.

So, I will miss you, my fabulous GPA helmet but I do have many treasured photos of us together doing what we did best and I thank you for your years of stylishly flawless protection.

Friday, February 3, 2012

For those with a Dirty Mind...

Um, I was shopping for a slightly longer set of spurs when I came across these pictured above. Okay, I get the concept and like the idea but I immediately started giggling to myself as I really looked at the picture. Do you see what I see? I almost want those even more for the Freudian aspect of them, LOL!

If you think your trainer will let you get away with sporting these, go for it here at Big Dee's Tack:


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wait - I've been a blogger for 6 years????

Just scrolling through my blog this AM and noticed I've been at this for 6 years!



I'm not the most consistent blogger for sure but I'm still here. And thanks to all who still stop by to see if I'm around. :)