Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ecogold featuring Pippi! (video)

Ecogold - who by the way has the best pads and boots on the market - made a new video making us think about all that horses do for us. Pippi is featured in it, which is super fun!

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Guest blog - Searching for breeches?

In Search of a Pair of Breeches? Check out the Romfh International Fullseat Breech!

I don't know if this happens to everyone else, but all my horse stuff seems to wear out at once. This year, my breeches all died so I went on a mission to find another pair. To be honest, this is a chore for me. I am very picky about my breeches.  When I find a pair and brand I like I will stick with them and not consider trying something else. However, I realized this year my preferred brand was no longer holding up to daily barn activities. For example, I get holes in the knees in a couple months. I decided that I wanted to try a new brand.As a university student, price is a concern. I want quality, but I don't want to spend 2-300$ on a pair of breeches. I also want material that is durable, washes well and can hide dirt (every time I brush a horse I seem to get covered in it!) 

Romfh clothing has been on my radar for a few months now. 
I have been envying their Sarafina white full seat breeches for shows. This breech style was a bit out of my price range for everyday breeches, so I decided to see what other styles of breeches Romfh had.  In the end, I felt that the Romfh International Fullseat breeches would be a good choice for me. This breech, at $140 US, was a more affordable price for me. The material was also advertised as cool in the summer and very durable. Reviews I had read stated that these breeches hardly ever looked dirty and came clean very easily. From pictures, I also loved the style of the international breeches (the thickness of the belt loops, the pockets, and the romfh logo locations really drew me in). There was also a wide range of colours to choose from (mocha, dove grey, black, white, beige, sesame, and dark pearl).

After careful deliberation, I decided to order a pair. As I am in Canada, I had to wait about a month and a half to receive my package. Although, a very long wait, it was definitely worth it! I love the material. It is thin enough to be cool on hot days, but thick enough that it doesn't show "everything" (you know like pesky underwear lines or the colour of your undies J). The mocha colour I ordered also hides the dirt very well and I find the colour and fit of the breeches to be very slimming.
My only complaint is that this style of breech does fit a bit tight. I would recommend buying a size larger than you normally wear. The material is very stretchy and forgiving, so after a few days of wear they have stretched and are more comfortable around the waist (of course I realize I could have avoided this mishap by trying a pair on but Romfh is not easily found in Canadian tack stores yet, and I am at least an hour from any tack shops).

Overall, I am definitely pleased with my purchase. So pleased in fact, I have another pair of Romfh breeches on the way. This time I am trying the champion style as I fell in love with the anthracite colour!

If you are looking for a quality breech with a reasonable price tag, I suggest you check out Romfh (www.romfh.com). I bet you will become a Romfh groupie too!

Thank you Samantha for that review. Always good to know what things fit like before taking the plunge. The Dressage Connection carries Romfh and you can find them here! They have just about everything you will ever need for your horse with superb (and quick) customer service. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hot? Me too, but this helped!

Wow - time flies huh? I dont even know where to start, so I will just continue on as though there was no break.

Pippi and I have been training hard, riding 3-4 days per week, and finding that canter. I realized that I was asking too hard for the transition, and when I asked softer so was her response. (I know, DUH!)

We had a chance to go ride with Jen Roth in Columbus for a private lesson, and it was awesome. After all our great work with my Trainer at home, we were finally ready to step it up. One hour that changed our entire lives for the better. Relax those legs, stop holding and worrying and let those legs swing. That is a huge relief for someone with longer legs than horse, and I more than willing to do less. Especially when less turns out to be so much more! NO HEELS DOWN? Hell yeah! Everything changed and Pippi was forward and soft, and I was so happy. We have been able to keep this new seat going, and have our first lesson at home tonight to show Trainer what we learned. How lucky am I to have a trainer that is willing to listen to me?
letting the legs hang down!
I also wanted to tell you about some great products that I have found to help keep cool. Being someone that does no sweat well, I always have a hard time with heat. Its almost as though a Viking does not belong in humid Ohio. My Bestie sent me a cooling towel from Frogg Togg for my birthday, and I cant tell you how awesome it is! You just drape the wet towel around you neck, or wipe yourself off, and wow! You can buy one here.

I also got some Absorbine Botanicals for Pippi. The massage foam, which is much easier to deal with than regular liniment, and the cooling/liniment spray. I used the spray after my very long and hot lesson with Jen Roth, and Pippi loved it. She actually felt cooler to the touch. And she seemed to love it. They smell great too, much fresher than the regular liniment. Read more about them here!
Absorbine Botanicals- YES!
We do not have any big things coming up, but I sure hope to have more lessons with Jen. Having access to a great Grand Prix (and Gold medal) rider that is kind and a fun instructor is invaluable. Love her! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The BIG trip - Rolex and Riva!

I have not blogged on here for a while, but I have rather cool news. Worlds are about to collide: Kelly and I will meet after being online blogger pals for a couple years. You can read all about her riding here. I will get to meet Kelly and her husband. All that is super, but as a Horse Junkie I am super excited to meet her horse, Riva!! And Kelly asked me to bring riding apparel, because she expects me to take a turn on the mare. I could not be more excited.

Oh, and I get to go to Rolex! And meet all the Horse Junkies United bloggers at the Meet & Greet Friday at noon. Its at the Ecogold booth in the trade fair. Read all about it here. I'd love it if you stopped by and said hi, and there will be some to riders to meet as well. How cool is that?

If you are gong to Rolex and see me, please say "hi" and dont be shy ( I never am).

Friday, March 14, 2014

EtSy StOrE! Check it out.


Please check out my Etsy Store. I am now adding Swarovski Crystals to my items.
I hope you like them. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Exciting Opportunities

I have been asked to be a regular contributor to HorseJunkiesUnited! Which is super cool, and I am very excited to be a part of such a great team of horse enthusiasts. You can read my contributions here.

Anyway; I just wanted to post my Annual Holiday wishes to you all. I wish you a magic season, happiness and health, and time with your loved ones. May the new year bring you lots of time in the saddle, and money to enjoy every equine activity you want.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Losen Up Pippi!

And so, as I wrote in my last blog, we attempt to losen up a very stiff and unbending Pippi. Ha, that's not really fair, she bends, just not well enough.

Trainer asked me to work on softening, and one of the things she said was to ride a lot of serpentines. Like snake serpentines. A few strides in one bend, and switch, a few in the other and switch. She wants me to be consistent with the same amount in each bend for a while until Pippi gets the concept, and then start switching it willy nilly just to really work on flexibility.

On my own, I came up with an extra plan. First off I shortened my stirrups, (just one hole) so that I would get more heel on. Thereby be able to use my spurs better and easier., Looong legged with smaller horse. I then read an article "How to Help Your Stiff Horse," by Jane Savoie. Great article.

So using that information I made some adjustments for Pippi. I rode the long sides of the arena in Counter flexion, which as the article described is more like a Haunches in/shoulder in movement. When we arrived at the corners, I released and let her pick on her own, and she naturally switched to the correct bend. I kept that bend through the next corner, and on the long side did the counter flexion again.

Pippi was more able to bend with her nose to the wall, go figure, and kept that bend easier than she does normally. Normally we have issues traveling to the right, but when traveling left with a counter bend she was softer. Again, Go Figure!! We did this going both directions, and both worked really well. After that I attempted the legyields, and, according to Donna, Pippi was crossing pretty good. I was able to keep her level, and we certainly hit the wall (coming from center line) faster than I ever had before.

So, this was cool. I can't wait to work on it some more. To be honest I really felt a discouraged, but after this I am ready to keep going. We will get there, one bend after another.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hunter Horse to Dressage = pitfalls

Pippi was a Hunter Jumper Horse, for about 4 years. She was great at it, and liked it a lot. Her job was to canter and jump, canter jump, canter jump. And she did. Beautifully. Her jumps were quiet and even, and she could spot a distance with her eyes closed. Hardly ever did I see her chip a jump, or miss a distance. Miranda taught her very well, set her up in a nice even canter and they were off. If it called for five strides, you go it, want it longer, no problemo, shorten to a four, sure thing. As one show she was the only horse to ride a long five stride as a long five, while the bigger horses did it in six, and she won that class even being the smallest horse.

Pippi is not a Hunter Jumper anymore, she is a Dressage horse, but she is having a time of it. Forward calls for a two-point position, sit back and the canter falls apart. Ask for a flexible, bend? Uuuhhhh, not so fast. Want to Canter? I hope you wanted some speed with that order?

I am a green rider, and so we are learning this new world together. After getting a bit frustrated I asked Trainer to take her for a spin (again), wanting to see what I was missing. Was it me, or was it Pippi? Well turns out, drum roll, it was US!! But you knew that, as did I, but what part was mine? (all of it obviously, as I am the one that wants the change, DUH!!)

Trainer mounted up on a very confused horse. She has had very few riders, basically Miranda and I, and tightened up like a ball of muscle right off. I was excited to see what a Pro could get her to do, and was both amazed and dismayed. Pippi certainly did better with a more experienced rider, but Trainer struggled with the same issues. The great part was that Trainer did get somewhere, and found out what Pippi feels like, thereby making more tailor made exercises for the future. She knows how hard I have to ride now, and how much it takes to get somewhere with Pippi. Her comment was that riding Pippi was like "riding a bike uphill, you have to pedal the whole time." But promised that with more work, and the right strategy, we will get to coast at some point.

Please comment below with any good exercises you have come across to unlock a stiff necked horse, and/or get the elusive bend. Thank you