Category Archives: Just for Fun

Take advantage of cold and flu season – show your helmet some love!

Us equestrians are a tough sort.  All that time in the barn getting filthy and we get to brag about how our immune system is almost that of a superhero.  But alas, every superhero has a kryptonite.  Mine is children, so when exposed to the young’uns at a family holiday gathering, I immediately fell into a shell of myself.

Also, like most equestrians, I cannot sit still for very long.  Even if I am sick.  Netflix binge and afternoon naps will only get me so far.  It’s hard to entertain a sick equestrian.

So I finally got around to something I have been putting off – decorating my new helmet.  I will have to say, this is a bit of an emotional time for me (the DayQuill highs were not helping) as my current helmet has seen me through so many fond memories.  Its hard to put away, even though I know that all those fond memories means the helmet will not perform as intended (its old and has taken a lot of branches).  I have had this unblemished new helmet, exact same make and model as the previous, sitting on the shelf since International Helmet Awareness Day in September.  Not quite ready to say goodbye.

The design had been in planning for a while.  After I purchased my new helmet, I set about the internet to find decals that would easily adhere to the helmet without damaging it.  My previous helmet, I had made a stencil and cut out duct tape (Red Green style) to make a giant maple leaf in the back, but this time I wanted something a little more foolproof.

I found decals on Etsy, and messaged the seller about getting custom decals – both in sizing and colour.  She could do it, and the price was great!  The decals arrived in the mail shortly after and of course, they sat beside my untouched helmet for a while.

I highly recommend the decals, they were super easy to apply, looked great and are difficult to remove.  The gold has a nice shine to it and it makes the job look a lot more professional than my duct tape!

Its like a temporary tattoo for my helmet!
Cutting the base of the decals helped to make it look more natural around the visor

If you are ready to customize your helmet, here are a few tips:

  • Clean your helmet with soap and water first to remove grime then wipe the entire area with rubbing alcohol and let dry before applying anything with an adhesive
  • Be aware of different materials – the visor and or vents may not adhere as well so you will likely want to avoid them
  • Plan your design and cut your decals according to the vents and curves that you are accommodating.  Make sure to buy or make extra decals in case you make mistakes cutting
  • If you are using raised decorations like rhinestones or studs, be careful where you place them – of you deflect a lot of branches with your helmet, they are more likely to be removed.  Put these more along the side or back of your helmet.
  • If you plan on using paint, make sure that the chemicals will not degrade the materials of your helmet – you want to stay safe.
  • If you are nervous or unsure of your design, practice with an old helmet first – remember, you should be replacing them at least every 5 years anyway!
  • The dollar store has lots of great colours of tape, adhesive rhinestones, and other decorations that will help you make your helmet as unique as you are, and keep the price low!

Happy decorating everyone!

-Sarah

@esrr_sarah

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Cures to beat the winter blahs

The end of daylight savings time is the bane of my existence.  My work schedule only allows me to ride in the evenings and on weekends, and even then, I am at the mercy of the weather gods as I do not have an indoor arena. Keeping my horse at home means I am, more often than not, riding alone. Needless to say, I need to get creative this time of year, otherwise, I’m going to go a little crazy!

 

First things first, my trusty headlamp comes out of storage. Riding while holding a flashlight becomes a little cumbersome, plus if your horse decides to spook, having your hands free to grab the reins is always a good idea!

winter riding

In terms of clothing, Kerrits Pro Fleece Cross Over Breeches and my Eat Sleep Ride Repeat merino base layer, paired with my Ariat Bromont boots, are my go to’s to keep toasty on those chilly rides, because as long as is it not a blizzard, you can bet I’ll be out there riding!

winter riding

If your riding area is limited (or if you are not comfortable venturing out into the dark on your own), arena exercises by yourself or with barn mates are a great way to break up the monotony of just going around in circles in the arena.  Find some dressage patterns to practice and master or create a pas de deux to music! Build some obstacles (Pinterest has a ton of great ideas) and work on desensitizing. Set goals each time you work with your horse so that it gives you something to work towards. It could be as simple as just having fun!

Dogsledding? Sure!

There’s a certain letdown after a huge accomplishment.  It’s been almost a year since I decided I wanted to tackle Tevis.  Over Christmas last year I was driving cross country from Michigan to Southern California with two horses, one of which would hopefully make it to Tevis.  In August, we did it!

But then what?  Post adventure letdown.  But TODAY voting opens for hopefully the next big adventure!  It’s not horses…but it still involves animals with 4 legs…

MotherWasASledDog2

Fjallraven Polar!  Each year 20 people from around the world have the opportunity to compete in an Iditarod style dogsled race in the Norwegian arctic.  For each of 10 regions of the world, two people get a spot.  One is selected by Fjallraven jury, the other by popular vote (this is going to be me!!)

Fjallraven is an outdoor clothing company based in Sweeden and they provide gear, training and dog teams to the expedition which culminates in a 3 day race.  No prior experience dogsledding is necessary.

I need your help to win this thing!  And please please share!

vote4rose.com

(Aren’t you glad I’m not fundraising?  This is an easy one!!)

Before I started writing for ESRR, I had (and still have) an adventure blog, www.whatthehellisrosedoingnow.com.  You will be able to follow the non-horse (but still endurance) related adventure there.  And of course since I’m in Southern California, it’s a bit challenging to dogsled, so I’ll be riding to stay fit and ready.  And I’m on the lookout for my next project horse with an eye towards next season.

11 Reasons to Love Love Love Autumn Riding

  1. The colours (duh!)

Do I even have to say anything here?  Yeah green is nice and fresh, but nothing beats the vibrant reds and yellows of the season.  Plus, it goes with all my tack.

2. The BIG trot

Cooler weather + endurance season fit horse = wheeeeeee!!!!!!!!  The giant gaits and frisky snorts are pretty much my favourite thing ever.  Catch that air!

 

3.  Chase the spotlight

The days are short.  Change out those old batteries in your headlamp and hit the trail in the dark.  It may seem scary at first, so stay close to home, but the feeling is unbeatable.  Bentley and I play chase the spotlight, I just point my light where I want to go and he goes (of course at the big trot).  For all the times your coach reminds you to “look where you want to go, not at your hands.”

4. Flannel, Wool and Pockets

Don’t get me wrong, I love my summer clothes, but once the weather dips enough for me to put on a sweater, I relish all the pockets that come along with them.  Seriously, why don’t they make more (and affordable) riding tights with good cargo pockets.  Give me like 20 down my legs please!  Vests, hoodies, jackets, so many options for storing phones and treats!  Then add in the cozy comfort of a nice flannel or wool baselayer or jacket and…. oh I am melting with comfort.

5. Change of Focus

Winter I think of my upcoming season and set my goals.  Spring I am implementing the training plans I made in winter, bringing both myself and my horse up to condition.  Summer is compete compete compete.  Fall is just about fun.  We play around in other disciplines (Bentley loves to jump and seems to know once Oktoberfest is done, he goes jumping!), go for leisurely rides, and just hang out in the paddock and play.  What a relief!

 

6. Halloween

Bentley got to be a big bag of garbage for Halloween this year. Not insinuating anything here!!!

No animal in my household is allowed to get past October 31 without being completely humiliated.  As an adrenaline junkie, I like to push my limits of how much I can get away with before said animal turns around and bites me in the ass.

7. No Stirrups November

You mean you DON’T love this?  Whats wrong with you?!  Maybe I am a little masochistic, maybe I am just addicted to the great feeling that comes with improvement.  Either way, my advice for those of you thinking about how sore your muscles are going to be tomorrow: that’s tomorrow’s problem.  Pull those leathers right out, lube up your thighs and lady bits with some body glide, and stock up on painkillers.  You can do this!

8. Hunts, Hunter Paces and Fun Shows

Going to a real hunt is still on my bucket list… maybe this year we will get there, but I have been to hunter paces and love it.  I think Bentley did too, despite being very confused.  I could practically hear his thoughts through the back of his head “Oh boy, time to ride!  Wait, who cleared this trail, they did a lousy job, all these big logs to jump.  Weird place for a hold, here’s my left leg forward… where is your stethoscope?  Isn’t it early to start drinking Sarah? I haven’t even dumped you yet.  What, its over already?  Can I go again… and like ten times faster?  That was fun!”

9. Fur Coats & Blanket Season

Nothing cuter than when all the horses get their furry winter coats… thick enough to bury cold fingers in. Mmmmmmm.  Add to that blankets… oh yes they are a pain when you have to change them as quick as the weather changes, or when they shred them to bits, but if you have a grey horse like me, you appreciate how clean your horse remains from the neck down November through March.

10. Apples and Carrots

Ever notice that in Autumn you can get giant bags of carrots super cheap?!  Not to mention all the free snacks growing on the trees down the trail.  Bentley knows where every apple tree is on our route and will drag me to them… even in the dark and I have no clue why he’s beelining it into the woods.  Cheers my friend, get your winter potbelly on.  You have earned it.

11. Critters

Cute chubby animals are everywhere (not just beneath our saddles).  Deer, coyotes, grouse, turkey, porcupine, skunks, raccoons… I have seen them all within the last few weeks.  Every time I go to the forest I swear the chipmunks have multiplied at a rate that could only be explained by mitosis.  Once I saw one pop out the side of a very steep hill (poorly placed exit you idiot) and roll a good 20 feet down the hill, desperately grasping at all the loose leaves on the ground with no avail.  I laughed.  I laughed so hard.  Nature can be so stupid, thank goodness its not just us people!  I will treasure that memory.  Busy critters make for great entertainment, and there is no busier time of year than Autumn.  Plus, the mosquitoes are (mostly) gone!