Thursday, July 25, 2013

Product Review

Dover Sport Boot

When I am feeling to lazy to wrap Whin's legs I use the Dover Sport Boot.

Whin gives it Three Hooves up!

This Boot looks nice comes in black with white lining or white on white. This boot is also affordable. I have never used other brands of fleece lined boots but this is the most affordable one that I have been able to find. It also protects the leg well from knocks that might happen while riding.  I have found it to keep the leg cooler than polo wraps which is nice during the summer. The white cleans up better than I feared it would.  It doesn't stay looking new for ever but it cleans up well.

The only draw back is durability. I would not call it a rip off, it holds up reasonably but now that I have had a pair for about a year they are starting to look old.  The elastic is starting to wear out and the plastic on the out side is cracked.  I have ridden in them regularly for a year but my last pair of cheap neoprene boots lasted about 5 years.

Over all good for the price, and looks very nice!

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Big Fences

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Getting my feet wet

This was Whins first time out this week. I was a little under the weather so she had 3 days off. She came out really lazy, I think most horses get hotter when not ridden Whin gets more sluggish.  As a result going forward was all that we worked on today. Transitions in the gait, in between gaits. but that was one of my goals so I guess that was good.

After our work out I met up with some eventing friends who convinced me to try to get Whin in to a stream near by.  Whin does not, I repeat does not go into water, not puddles, not trickles of water... it doesn't happen.  
So we walked up to the water the other horses went in Whin stayed out, boy was she nervous, she really wanted to go with her buddies but she was too scared, so she stood shaking by the bank. It really was adorable and pathetic. I just don't think that spurs and whips help much in these situations when a horse is genuinely nervous about something.
One of my friends was wearing rubber boots so she hopped off her horse and tried to lead Whin in, Whin was not having it, It was like she wanted to go in, but was too scared. I thought If I just walk into the water she will decide its ok. I was in by yucky boots with holes any ways, so I bit the bullet.   I hopped off and waded into the stream... sure enough one hoof after the other Whin cautiously stepped in. I then mounted and rode around in the water for a bit.  Ironically she was hard to get back out.

With this mare sometimes I seriously wonder if she doesn't have a twisted sense of humor, that she is like, I am not getting wet  unless you are...
I swear she was laughing as we walked back to the trailer and with every step the water slogged around in my shoes.

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Local Championships

So  this really is not a big deal, but to me it is kind of a nice thing. I received an email that says that Whin and I qualified for the little local dressage championships.
Last year I went to two really little not even scored schooling shows, I was a ball of nerves and Whin spent most of the warm up rearing, bolting and spooking at every thing from the 4wheeler bringing hay, to the trainer standing still by the side of the arena. It was a mess. So I set my goals low and decided I would take a try at the "short tour" my GMO was hosting this year, with a championship class at the end. I thought it would be a fun way to get Whin and I accustomed to showing and not have the presser of a recognized show or qualifying for Regional Championships.

So this year Whin has grown up a ton and has been a star at shows, she only bucked in one of our tests. (Thanks to the public arena, one day I will have a whole post about public arenas). She is even calmer than my first horse, Pixie, a seasoned had been there done that ottb.  So I am happy with our little accomplishment, over coming my nerves and Whins... Chestnut Mareishness, enough to qualify for the Short Tour Championships.

Who knows maybe next year we will try to qualify for regional Championships

All Fat Bay Mares Can Hardly Ever Kick

Wish List Brown and Blue

I have been style crushing on the USG saddle pads lately as I am sure you could tell. They just come in so many colors with beautiful colors, I think at some point I will need to buy one... with matching fly hood of course!

Helmet- Troxel Dakota
Saddle Pad- KL Select or USG
Fly Hood- KL Select or USG
Bell Boots- Horze
Polo Wraps-Tolkat
Breeches- Pikuer Lagauna
Vest- Irrideon

Monday, July 22, 2013


Dressage is a very traditional sport. I mean when non-dressagey people see my drawings of dressage riders they think I am drawing 18th century people. 

And really they aren't far off. 

I appreciate the tradition and there is a beauty and elegance in the outfit. However the shadbelly is very masculine, in a sport dominated by women.  My mother has always maintained that it is hard to tell the girls from the boys.

Tophats give 0 protection should a rider fall off.  I love the new rule  that all riders not in FEI competition, must wear a helmet at all times while mounted. It smarter and safer, but the traditional look is already thrown off when a rider wears a helmet so why continue on with shadbelly?

Dressage competitions are usually held when it's very hot.  This is a sport, it takes a lot of effort to sit the trot etc. No one wears suit jackets to run track, or play basketball, why do we wear so many layers to ride in?

This year at the  NAJYRC riders were required to wear polo shirts, due to the heat.

I think it looks lovely!  It is still a very tidy clean look, but it is not as hot and allows for more individuality!  Maybe it's time to put function before form, and retire the 1800's look.
What are your opinions?

All King Edwards Horses  Canter Many Big Fences 

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Yesterday I rode Whin at the public arena I usually ride  at, it was deserted (not unusual for this heat). I was really trying to focus on getting her rounder.  I think she was although she also slows a little as she gets rounder.

Doing Canter trot transitions helped, I worked on true lead, trot, counter canter, trot. that really woke her up. I do have to leg her slightly to pick up the  counter canter to the right, but she is obedient. After cantering I brought her back to the trot and did more shoulder in to haunches in, she was much better, it seems that being forward fixes our haunches in problems.

Tomorrow I want to focus more on transitions in Warm up. Especially within the gait. To get her moving off my leg better.

Also I want to hack her out more, really get her endurance up, and do hill work.  I need to round some one up to come with me on a nice hack up the mountain!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lost in Translation

I am not particularly new to dressage, I have been puttering around showing the lower levels for some time. however there are still terms that I have been translating incorrectly. Most recently Thrust, all of the judges kept commenting in the rider marks that we need more thrust.
What is thrust? In  Dreamworks "Chicken Run" they needed more thrust to launch themselves high in the air, in an attempt to fly (I can safely rule that definition out). However I was thinking along the lines of  this.

I kept pondering how an earth I was going to get Whin more forward, faster. Every judge seemed to think that needed to happen. They can't all be wrong? 
I mentioned this to my Trainer in my last lesson, she informed me that I didn't need to go faster or more forward but I needed more of this.

(I know, I know, we all need more of that) Meaning I needed to get Whin to bring her poll a little higher and spring more.  Not go faster. So maybe the "Chicken Run" thing was not so far off.
While its a relief to not have to go faster, we have some work to do, to gain this elusive Thrust!

All King Edwards Horses Call Me Blessed Fool

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Product Review

Redmond Rock

A while ago I noticed that Whin would lick the Dirt. She had one of those big block, salt blocks but she never licked it, so I thought I would try a Redmond Rock.

Whin gives it 4 hooves up!

She has stoped licking the dirt and one side of this rock is licked smooth! A success all around. It is more natural than those processed square salt blocks and Whin seems to think it tastes better.

A Fat Black Mother Cat Had Eight Kittens

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Light Bulb

I had a great ride today, there were some workers building a shed and other horses in the Arena so Whin was nice and forward. She was ohh so very light in the bridle, sitting on her haunches (well at least as much as we do in our showing first level schooling second sort of way), prompt off the leg. Basicly a dream horse to ride.
In last weeks lesson I learned that trying to twist my body into a pretzel during renvers, and haunches in is counter productive.  When I sit up striaght Whin can do nice almost forward going lateral work. It was an epifany.
Mabey one day I will figure out how to get out of Whin's way and then we will have nice rides all the time.
All King Edward's Horses Can't Make Big Fences

Wish List

I though this green and brown selection would be fun for schooling in the summer!

1. Le Miuex Polo wraps
2. KL Select fly hood in Apple Green
3. KL Select saddle pad in Apple Green
4. Horze Grand Prix Breeches
5. DeNiro Boots in Brown
6. Kerrits top in celery
7. Horze diamond quilted vest
8. Eskadron sheepskin lined bell boots in brown
9. Troxel Dakota helmet

All King Edwards Horses Call Me Blessed Fool

Sunday, July 14, 2013

5 tips for memorizing dressage tests

I am dreadful at memorizing tests. Then get me stressed and throw me in the arena and it gets even worse! 
So I thought I would share some of the tricks I use to keep those test firmly in my brain.

1. Draw a mini arena and draw the test out with a pencil or pen

2. Make a mini arena with imaginary or real dressage letters and do the test on foot.

3. Watch the test you are going to ride on Youtube. 

4. Visualize yourself riding the test when your falling asleep, board at work, on a bus etc. 

5. Ride the test on your horse. I used to be very opposed to this, because horses seem to be so keen on memorizing the tests, however for me it is absolutely necessary, its very hard to get the feel of riding the movements correctly and in order if you never do it. So use sparingly, but it can really help.

A Fine Bay Mare Came Home Eating Kale

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Horse Show

A blurry picture of Whin clean and ready for the show!

I am so proud of Whin today, we went to a little local show, She did so nicely. She is growing up I no longer feel like I am going to die when we ride in crowded  warm up arenas.

We still have a lot to work on but we won both our test with decent scores.  I need to work on the  geometry, that held us back a bit. Our second test was better geometry wise but we were both tired (we both need to get into better shape).

The good: Our halts were respectable no hula butt, and we nailed the trot canter trot transition. Only three strides of trot! Better leg yields than in other tests

The Bad: I got too greedy on what was probably the best lengthening we have ever done, so she broke to canter.

The Beautiful: Whin all clean and braided.

The Ugly:  A Huge spook when the Judge rang the bell.

All and all it was a good day winning both our tests, I think with more mileage for both of us we will get better and better!

All King Edwards Horses Carry Many Brave Fellows

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hula Dancing Horse

So the big accomplishment was a halt, I know I know, but last winter we completely lost the ability to halt. Whin developed what my trainer called a Hula Butt, meaning we halt the haunches swing left, then she shuffles forward and sometimes swings her haunches right. Needless to say we usually score a 5 on the halt.
Yesterday I decided I would run over some things that were in the tests we are going to do this weekend. The halt being one of these movements. I had her trotting nicely I put my legs on took a deep breath and thought about riding each hoof to a halt,
And she did, no Hula Butt every hoof landed and stayed where it was!
I also figured out how to half-halt a bit better, I need to release the pressure (I know duh, that is like the first thing one ever learns about the half halt) even if I didn't feel her round up that little bit more, I think Whin is reacting and I am just not being sensitive enough yet to feel it, then if I want more roundness I just repeat the half halt.
 All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wish List Show Season

I started doing these little out fit things... they are so fun, since Whin and I are going to a show next weekend I thought a show wish list would be in order. 
 Cream and Grey (I know the creams vary but I can only hope they would be close enough in real life)

Stock Tie: From Dressage Extensions permanent press stock tie
Dressage Jacket: Cavallo Galathea
Boots: Konig
Helmet: Charles Owen GR8 Black and Charcoal
Breeches: Pikeur Mondega Cream
Fly Hood: KL Select Cream and Grey
Saddle Pad: KL Select Cream and Grey

I think Cream and Grey would look dreamy on a chestnut (or any horse really)
Disclaimer, I am not sure if fly hoods are legal in dressage competitions, in the USA right now.

All King Edwards Horses Canter  Beautifully Forward

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Whin was good today, we practiced some of the stuff we worked on in our lesson. We even had a few really nice strides in the haunches in right. (gotta count the baby steps). 

The Canter work was nice, although we were having a tough time getting the the walk right away. maybe I should practice this a little less. Whin over thinks it and gets a bit stressed, they seem to get worse not better if I work on them 3 + times a week maybe once or twice is better.

Yesterday I didn't have time to ride so I just worked in hand nothing big I just wanted to get her brain going. I sure got a work out though, running around with a 16.3 horse is tiring! Its good for me and much needed I am out of shape.

All King Edwards Horses Canter Merrily Between Fences

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th

My lesson was today, It was good, I have an awesome instructor.  But I thought I would be all cleaver and get Whin going forward by hacking her out on the trail before my lesson.
Fail. She walked at a funeral pace the whole time, and then I didn't have enough time to get her going off my leg before my lesson. Ohh well now I know what not to do.

Other than being behind my leg (and therefore a little more on the forehand than is to be desired) Whin was very good.  We worked on some new things today which is always exciting, we started Renvers and played around with a little half pass.  We have a long way to go but it was fun to introduce new movements.

Just last week in my lesson the shoulder in clicked, we had a light bulb moment and the shoulder in became easy, I am still waiting for that to happen with the Haunches in once I get her bent enough the forward shuts down, I just have to figure out what I am doing to get in the way the haunches in.

Our canter walk transitions are coming along going to the right we get a trot step sometimes, going to the left we stop so fast it would make a reining horse jealous (ok not really).

Happy Independence day

All Fat Bay Mares Can Hardly Ever Kick

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Catch up day

Umm.... So I kind of already failed at actually keeping a riding journal here. but I will catch up today. Are break through for Mon. and Tues. Forward is our friend even in lateral work. We have finally managed to go forward through the leg yield and all of a sudden no more wiggling her head around and much better consistency! Hurray.

Despite the heat Whin has been more forward the last little while.  No complaints there.

Next goal Haunches in consistently instead of bend lose bend. gain bend lose tempo ect.

Today will just be a hacking out sort of day so we can be energized for our lesson. what better way to spend the 4th of July than Riding!

All King Edwards Horses Carry Mighty Brave Fellows