I’ve Been Cheating

On my saddle that is.

My brain malfunctioned several times in the past few weeks and led to my saddle being left in the kitchen – while I was off to the barn.  Since my friends either took pity on me, or find my spastic tendencies entertaining, I was able to snag a few rides in new to me saddles.


Saddle in high school days

Remember that my saddle and I are in a serious, long term relationship, the longest that I’ve ever had.  It was a secret gift purchased by my mother, unbeknownst to my poor father.  The Devoucoux biarritz has been a constant in my riding life ever since.  It fit my large and lean TB lease mare in high school, and managed to work for my round as a barrel appendix mare..and almost anything in between.  Dee doesn’t count, that mare is a hard fit!



Fits this round mare. 


Just not this one.


The first time I showed up saddle-ess to ride,  I walked right by my saddle at home and arrived to ride big red horse before I realized my mistake.  I borrowed my lesson – mate’s Beval Stamford.  I was pretty sure I could survive the ride, but did not think it would fit me.  She is all of 5’4” (sorry Julie – just guessing) and I am 5’10”…but after I dropped her stirrup leathers (children’s leathers by the way) 9 holes or so, I managed to get my foot in the stirrup.  I was so, so impressed.  It was really comfortable for me, and feel like I fit the saddle much better than I thought!


Not good picture, but okay fit!  

The second time that I left my saddle (I am a creature of habit), I was riding at the same time as lesson-mate, so I begged a different friend for a ride in her Antares.  Formerly my trainer’s saddle, this rider and I have similarly sized limbs, so I didn’t have to adjust as much.  Climbing up, I started to feel guilty…because it felt awesome.  With just a slightly higher seat and longer knee flap than mine, it really held me in place while big red horse and I hacked around.

In hindsight, I had some kind of illusion in my mind that since my saddle had worked for me for such a long time, that I somehow would be ruined for any others.  And for a long time, I think maybe I was.  But now I’m an adult, with different proportions than 15 year old me.  The idea of saddle shopping gives me nightmares, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the diverse options I had tried, and how well they worked.  Maybe when that scary day happens and I have to find a new saddle, it won’t be as bad as I thought?

Anyone else want to tell me good stories about their easy saddle shopping?  Or perhaps how many times their barn family put up with them saddle swapping?


Because bareback walks are all about all I can manage without a saddle!  


The Challenge: A 3 Year Plan

My husband is an engineer.  My mother is an engineer.  My uncle + misc. family are in engineering.  Huge shock that I ended up working for an engineering company, eh?

But regardless, I usually speak their language.  Which essentially means, I can follow a lot of processes, and not be offended when they triple check things.  Twice.

With that in mind, I was challenged by my husband to come up with a 3 year equestrian plan.  Yup.  I did just put “plan” and “equestrian” into the same sentence, which is a rookie move for sure.  But as mentioned above, he is most comfortable seeing an outline of what I’m looking for, what makes me happy, and approximate timelines.  Bonus points if I manage to put some numbers together too.


I know that anything can happen with horses, but I also know that if he took the time to ask, he will take the time to understand.  So I need to come up with something.

So question today.

What would you include in a three year plan?

So far on my list I have:

  1. Local lease prices for what I would be more interested in
  2. Local (ish) pricetags for what I would be interested in
  3. Short list of what I would be interested in, so we are on the same page
  4. Basic PPE prices
  5. Annual “have to” vet costs (known)
  6. Insurance options for horse 2
  7. General cost for boarding
  8. General cost for training rides, lightly scheduled during our busy seasons
  9. Half lease options for months I tend to travel a lot (this one is pretty far out there, but you never know)
  10. Backup plans for horse if it breaks itself and needs to be a field ornament

I’m sure I’m missing millions of considerations, as with all living money eating equines, but this is my jumping off spot.  What do you think I should add?  

photo 3 (27)

Updates in Life

I hope everyone is enjoying time with family, eating too much food and sleeping it off afterwards. Bonus if you get time with the horses in your life!

My husband and I are spending the day lounging and visiting with family. And of course…charging all the devices so we can destroy Black Friday. He hates to shop last minute, and I love to get presents as soon as possible so that I can geek out and wrap everything. Different reasons but same shopping explosion!

A rough look at my personal shopping list:

  • New helmet for me
  • Helmet for tiny equestrian
  • The new sports tek pants from riding warehouse

  • Tights for tiny equestrian
  • New tan breeches for me
  • I also have a total crush on the new equestrian belts from C4 (review coming soon!)


I would also like to thank everyone who voted for me in Horse Junkies United’s blogger contest. I was really honored and excited to be a part of the final five, and ended up being the runner up! Such a cool experience!

So happy turkey day, and happy shopping days!

Frugal October

I’m not naturally someone who spends easily spends money.  I tend to overthink my purchases, and am definitely the chick who takes stuff back…all…the…time.    Because I have to be sure.

There are two areas I can be kind of dumb with money in.

  1. Horses
  2. Daughter

Luckily for my finances not having an actual animal to spoil helps out significantly with item #1.  It really just leads to obsessive online horse shopping.  I mean, I would’ve taken this one if you forced me….https://canterusa.org/horses/listings/bout-time-again-16-hand-6-year-old-solid-gelding/


But anyway, my daughter has halted her latest growth spurt, quickly followed by my car needing 4 tires, our deck needing redone and did I mention my car got 4 new tires?  So frugal October has officially kicked off.  My husband and I gave this idea  whirl earlier in the year when our home decided to stop working and needed some interventions.

It’s an easy principle….for one month…anything out of the ordinary, or things not needed — just don’t push buy, don’t swipe that card.   If it can wait, it should.  It seems easy enough, but has a big impact.  The first time we did it we managed to completely compensate for our household updates.  It really says a lot about how the little things really add up.  It feeds my constant Mint.com obsession, and makes me feel good about adulting.

Obviously if I forget my lunch at home (ahem-yesterday) no I won’t go hungry, I’m going to go grab something.  But it just means that I make the effort to plan for purchases.  Maybe I ought to skip one month of my wine club subscription thing and go grab some cheap stuff at Trader Joes?  Maybe my frozen chicken meal will be better than ordering chinese tonight?  I will say that like many rule structures – it does automatically make the opposite reaction very tempting.  In this case buying stuff or shopping now seems much more fun.  Even the little things.

A short list of random things I’ve now decided (within the past few days) I want…but not need.  Yet.

I want this rainbow crop.  It’s so obnoxious.  My black one disappears constantly…sometimes it comes home to me…most recently it has not.  No one will steal this thing in a hunter/jumper barn.

Or these adorable stickers I can adorn all the planner pages with?  And there are more for when I purchase dream horse 2.0!

sticker 1

Etsy link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/505361287/multi-colour-horse-backriding-planner?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=riding%20lesson%20planner%20stickers&ref=sr_gallery_15


Personalized Chirstmas stockings…I need them right?  Even though my mantle doesn’t let us hang stuff?

And of course – something for the tiny human.

Most of these are pretty inexpensive.  I could and should just grab it, but stupid Frugal October is only 5 days in.  So I’m waiting.   Whew.  Adulting is a lot of work, and an effort in self-control.  Wish me luck!



Just a Few New Things

Since I don’t have a horse to dress up pretty, or search for tack for, I feel like I haven’t really bought any horse related items for awhile.  But I fixed that now with a few new things!

Bought: my first ever Ogilvy baby pad.  I hope it lives up to the hype!


In action.


Bought: Roeckls, supposedly to be saved for shows or at least summertime…except now I can’t stop using them.  In love.  Need every color.

Bought: more Riding Warehouse tees–because they are so comfortable!

Bought: Blue/Gold (barn colors) attachable reins. Halter hacks-here we go.

This was right about the time I realized I didn’t have my helmet and got back off.

In the works: Rainbow reins.  Because rainbows.  And practicing for gifts!


 Nothing major going down, it’s been nasty and cold lately so just kind of moseying along.  Hopefully lessons will be back in action later this week!   



Saddle Ignorance

I remember within the first few months of blogging I was shocked by everyone posting about how crazy saddle shopping and saddle fit was.  I also remember thinking ya’ll were crazy people.  I sat in exactly one saddle most of my time riding and guess how many I looked at while shopping?  Yup-just the one.  It went on ponies, TB mares, fatty warmbloods, and whatever else I threw a leg over that day.  Needless to say I never understood what everyone was talking about!

Now I’m curious and nosy about others’ experiences.  Did I just miss something down the line?  Or perhaps the hunter/jumper world is less concerned about our saddle fit being as exact as other disciplines?

Or maybe my saddle is magical and it will live forever, and I will never have any problems with future rides?  Because that’d be stellar.

But really-anyone out there riding along with the same saddle forever?

Dee is the first horse where the fit has been iffy.  She was round as an exercise ball when I started riding her.  (It got old fast, slowly sliding off one side or the other during my rides)  I imagine now that’s she is more fit I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it.  For the time being it’s easier to pop her real momma’s Bates on her and head off.


Awkward photo FTW–But with her borrowed Bates.  Ariat coat=still my favorite.


Shopping List for Rolex

I’ve been toying around with what I really want to look at this year for Rolex, and it comes down to two lists.

My realistic list:

  1. Try on some Pipers (I’m a super odd fit, and I am in the market for some fun schooling breeches)
  2. Find a sparkly browband for my lovely new/barely used show bridle.
  3. I’m a bit obsessed with getting myself some Roeckl gloves.
  4. Cute tee shirts (One Horse Threads I’m coming for you)
  5. Black or navy polo wraps for schooling
  6. Liniment/grooming supplies

My over-the-top funky list (that I’d probably never actually buy…this weekend):

  1. Everything from the list above
  2. Nice open front boots
  3. New show shirts
  4. All the pretty saddles
  5. Leather halter for someday horse
  6. Ogilvy half pad/Ecogold half pad

Anything else I should shop for ya’ll?   I’m so excited for a weekend full of horse show shenanigans!


Rolex pic I took in 2014