Im ok… seriously! Its just been a while.

Well its been a while, and hopefully you haven’t assumed the worst.  In all fairness, I did write yesterday, until blogger had some difficulties and lost my entire post.  I have to say, I am surprised that I am mustering up the effort today after that!  Since my last post, I have several things I could talk about, so sit tight, this might be a long one.

Friday, I had my second lesson on LBH at myrddin.  He did try and bolt on me again, but I was much more prepared for shenanigans and it didn’t affect us at all.  In fact, I was very proud of our performance.  We jumped lines of gymnastics, which means a straight line of jumps one after another.  Barely time to think in between!  I don’t think I have done this since I worked at Saddlewood, so what… 12 years?  Jumps were added one at a time and by the end looked like this:

                                                           X     X     X               I                     I

So 3 crossrails at bounce distance (no stride between, just land and jump) then a short 1 stride to a 2’6″ vertical  then a long 1 stride to about a 3′ vertical.    I think we may have been the only ones to jump clear every time.  I was so worried that I would be thinking about the line as one obstacle and relying on the horse to carry us through instead of considering each jump inside of it.  Not an easy challenge, but LBH and I jumped clear every time, and I surprised myself with my ability to make changes throughout the line (we seemed to veer right, so correction WAS needed).  It almost feels like a different level of consciousness when I’m doing it, guess this is what they call the “zone.”

Saturday I worked at the barn as usual and was greeted to a 2 storey wall of hay in the hay barn.  Someone hadn’t considered that I need a way to get at the hay (didn’t feel like playing life or death jenga).  So I had to mountain climb up the wall and make my own hay stairs.  Just sort of a pet peeve I needed to get off my chest, not what you want at 7:30 on a Saturday morning.  Fortunately it was an easy day and I got out at a good hour.

So I went to see Bentley on my way home.  Our ride didn’t last long because we were having some tack malfunctions.  I noticed our veering to the centre while trotting was getting worse and no amount of leg seemed to work.  But then I also really thought about it and noticed that my weight wasn’t centred correctly while I was leg yielding.  I got off and checked my saddle, yes it had slipped to the inside.  Girth could be tightened 2 holes!  Almost out of the fat horse girth 🙂  Still wasn’t working, so I suspected stirrups were the issue.  Rode around for the first time without stirrups and no veering problems, and leg yield was working correctly!

So we did some more work without stirrups.  I was nervous since he is still young and there were a LOT of screaming kids running around and playing outside the ring, a big risk without stirrups.  So it was short!  But he did so well, seemed a bit confused as to why i was extra heavy at first (I have sat trot on him before, but never without stirrups, i was weaning him into it by lightly sitting, using my stirrups to take a bit of weight off him) but he seemed happier that I was correctly balanced for once.

To skip ahead, I took the saddle apart and found that the holes we punched were off by over an inch.  That plus loose girth and I was doomed!  So since Saturday, B has had a nice horsey holiday.  I will need some new stirrup leathers.  I am going to try and ride in my all purpose saddle in the meantime, assuming I can find a girth for it.

This also brings me to determine that while this saddle is good for winter riding, it wont be appropriate once we start doing OCTRA events.  I need more security over the longer distances and varying terrain.  I have budgeted now for a nice saddle.  Its weird to pay 3x on a saddle what I did on my horse, but I think it will be worth it.  I want to get one that is very high quality and will last a lifetime and multiple horses.  After lots of research, I think I have decided on a Tucker saddle http://tuckersaddlery.com/catalog1.shtml

I have not yet decided what model, but it will likely be either the Endurance Trail (pg 16) or Equitation Endurance (pg 18).  I like the aesthetics of the equitation model, as it reflects an english style, which is my riding background.  It also seems a bit more versatile for if I want to do any jumping, as the flaps are more forward.  So long as I stay out of the hunter rings and just jump for pleasure, it should be fine.  But, I do ride with a longer leg and like the idea of the enduro balanced rigging availble on the western style saddle, especially since I have had problems with my saddle slipping forward and to the right.  Seems more secure.  Also I suspect the fenders would mean less pinching and rubbing on my leg for the longer distance.  Anyone out there with experience care to offer their two cents?  This is a tough tough decision!

Also, not sure if I would spend the extra $300+ for the Gen II model.  It claims to be more comfortable for both horse and rider, but reviews show the original being pretty darn comfortable, so im wondering exactly what the value would be to having the latest and greatest considering the cost.  At least I have some time to figure it all out!

Saturday night was nice.  Since my ride was short, I was home and showered in time to consider the option of going out for once.  Lee and I went to Rapinis in Brampton, as Mom and Dad had gotten a voucher for him for his birthday.  The food was good, had great ciabatta bread while we waited, but the wait for our dinner was extremely long.  I had ordered the citrus ginger salmon and Lee ordered the steak.  The salmon was actually very good and perfectly cooked, but I was disturbed by the fact that the potatoes it came with were mashed and smothered with gravy.  Not only is it a strange combination with the fish, but I specifically ordered the fish because I have special dietary restrictions with meat.  Its a good thing I filled up on bread!

Sunday was cleanup day and after I came home from working at the barn, we spent the night doing laundry and other chores that had been overlooked in favour of the barn.  The last 2 nights also don’t have much to report, I have been feeling off recently.  I don’t feel sick, I just don’t have any energy.  I will be going to the barn tonight to catch up with my vacationing steed.  Lee is stealing the car for the night so I am there until someone decides to take me home or I call my parents for a ride!  I’m sure B will love being pampered for the whole night, maybe its about time I clip him!

And now, because this was such a long and text heavy post, here are some pictures of the barn cats enjoying the sun on Sunday.  You are welcome!

Proof I should never leave tack room door open… they nap in there and then eat my lunch!

Luka and Chili playing.  I love Luka’s expression here, he looks like a panther!

 So cute to watch them playing
 Nemo is the big man of the barn, as you can see Chili wanted to play… he would sneak up behind Nemo and bat him on the head.
Nemo is one very content looking cat!
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