Saturday, 24 December 2011

My non-rhyming 12 days of Christmas

Merry Chirstmas/Happy Holidays from Felix and all his humans, also, from the barn goats.

AKA: All the gear I badly want, but are not in the budget at the moment.
In the interest of full disclosure, being as I don't have huge readership yet none of these companies have paid me anything, or sent me any free merchadise (wouldn't that be nice though!).

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me (no really - buy me all these things I'll happily come be your "true love"):
Dublin Pinnacle Boots
I can't explain to you how much I want these untill you see them in person, I tried some on a couple weeks ago and absolutely fell in love! Butter soft, made for muck, and nice enough to go from the house to the paddock to the saddle with no boot changes.  Currently I leave the house in my street shoes, change into rubbers at the barn, then change into riding boots.  After I ride I go back into the rubbers, and then back into my street shoes.

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
A Snazzy Sheepskin dressage girth

Found out my 24" girths are WAY too long - also I'm super paranoid about girth galls on the little monkey. The fleece girth for his other saddle is working out perfectly (it's a cheapy) but now I have a taste for nice stuff....

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
A St. Lourdes Odyessy Saddle

I don't need this - I just want one.  I'm impressed with the quality of my dressage saddle.  A few of my friends have these, and they're just lovely. 

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
An Ecogold saddle pad

These get amazing reviews everywhere I go. I'm reluctant because of the price tag, but they seem like such a good product - who could resist?

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
Kentucky Horseware XC Boots

These I don't know a lot about - but watch the video at the bottom of the EN post!  If it can protect the egg.... 

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
Some Jimmy Wofford books

I've heard him interviewed, he's a great speaker, and I've heard so much about the books I just have to have them. 

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
Some stylish horsehair jewelry

I came across this line of horsehair jewelry a while back, I absolutely LOVE it. Precious metals, very classy, you could wear this every day.  One day I'll have one made...

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
Veridus riding boots

Jessica had a pair of these on at the clinic - I LOVE them. I have a hard to fit calf, but these would work for me.  

Well, OK - I guess my Christmas had only 8 days this year!  Again, have a great holiday whatever you celebrate, and a fantastic horsey filled new year!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Aww... We're all famous and stuff :)

This blog post was so eloquently written by my friend Laura, who was the offical photographer/ring crew on the weekend.  There are a few more pics of Felix, a very detailed description of what everyone got out of the weekend, and just a very well written article.

Do you want a new hunt coat?

If it's free - I do.  Also, this blog post is really pretty entertaining, so go read it anyway :)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Jessica Phoenix Clinic

This past Sunday Felix and I went to the Jessica Phoenix clinic that was hosted by a local farm. Huge thank you to Jester's Court for hosting, I think a great time was had by all!

Felix was very good.  Trailered like a star as usual, and was super for his first ever time on crossties.

We got in a good 10 minute walking warm up, which helped him out a lot - the new arena was a little interesting, but he relaxed out of it quite quickly.

Jessica had a set of 3 poles on a circle set up for us, we warmed up other these in walk and trot in both directions.

After this, we moved on to cantering through the excersise both ways, and my photographer moved on to video.

The next step was a pole and an X down the long side of the arena.



After this the outside line was made into an X and a vertical.


And then finally, moved up to a full course.

The biggest jump on the course was just shy of 2'6", and is possibly the biggest thing Felix has jumped yet.

What I took home from this is Felix is honest, canter jumping is easier then trot jumping, and I really have nothing to be afraid of.  honestly, I feel like we could go hop around an Entry or Pre-Entry course right now without a problem.

Was this clinic much more expencive then my regular lessons?  Definitely. But it was a day out, and a kick in the pants that was much needed.  I have a tendency to not push myself and him, which sorely needs to be done.

All in all, Jessica is a super positive, nice, and effective coach - I'd ride with her again for sure.

We also got a chance to see Jessica's Pan Am Medals, which was very cool - got a great picture of Sarah with Jessica and the medals.

And of course, me and the little superstar himself!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Now I'm all inspired

To get into competition mode for spring!

Had a fantastic lesson yesterday. We did some small gridwork, which went nicely and my jumping position is coming back very nicely.  I have nothing but good things to say about my coach - who give me all kinds of brilliant little tidbits each lesson.

The saddle fits wonderfully, now I just need to become flexible enough to be able to sit in it properly.  Found some excersizes on the net the other night, hopefully they help out.

On another note - there is a clinic with Jessica Pheonix up here this weekend.  For those that don't know her, she's a member of the Canadian 2012 Olympic Eventing team, and a Pan-Am gold medalist.  I was just going to go audit, but after mentioning it to my barn owner he's going to take his guy out to it, so I've talked myself into a spot in the Entry level group.  I'm absolutely thrilled and freaked out at the same time!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

What's been going on.

I've had little riding time over the last couple weeks thanks to work - but now I'm pretty much off till January, so hoping for more saddle time.

Felix had his wolf teeth out a couple weeks ago, this has improved his behaviour with his mouth quite a bit. He always has a bad ride after he's been used with the kids - so he'll be getting a sidepull shortly for use with the riders with slightly less forgiving hands.  Hopefully this will fix the fact that he can evade by going behind the bit badly.  I've also been making an effort to be more gentle with my own hands, as I do have a tendency to ride a little more "front to back" then is truly needed. 

I came out to the barn on Friday to a forelock absolutely CAKED with burrs.  It took over an hour to get them out, so untill snow really flies and the ground freezes he's going to have it braided. It was so bad I nearly cut it off, which would have been a shame.

He got his first big chunk of time off accidentally last week - I was gone for 8 days and his trainer forgot to ride him. He was actually very good the day I got back, I am very happy.  

We have also been in search of a dressage saddle. A couple weeks back we tried out a nice little Paramount with Flair pannels.  If the saddle had been more comfortable for me, I may have kept it - however I did find my seat aids getting lost in the air pannels, so I think these are just not for me. It's too bad, because he seemed to really like it.   Saddle #2 is a St. Lourdes Magnus, it's sitting in my living room waiting for a test ride tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that the tree size is OK for him, it was a fantastic deal.

Other then that, we've been working on nice smooth canter transitions - he has been rather annoyingly bucking when asked for canter at A (the door) lately, I think this will improve with work - and it's not a total rodeo so not big deal.