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.


HG Blog Hop: Every Day Tack Set Up

Stephanie at Hand Gallop asks:

It’s fun to try new stuff and experiment with the latest goodies, but I’m curious to know what your every day tack setup is like.

Maybe it’s because I mainly focus on hunters, and by nature they are pretty boring…but I am the epitome of boring in almost every way.  (it’s kind of sad.)  On my plain bay mare with limited white, we rock:

Bay pony.

Bay pony.

My tried and true Devoucoux saddle.

Loves it.  It's the 14th birthday/christmas gift that keeps giving!

Love this saddle. It’s the 14th birthday/Christmas gift that keeps giving!

It fits O really well, and I’ve loved it for years.  Sadly, there are some concerns about my knee flaps being forward enough (legs=too long with shorter stirrups), but it probably won’t be an issue until we move up more.  Or at least I hope so.

O goes in a super simple, cheapy white foam bump pad.  I tried a few wither pads, including the beval pad I loved for years.  Sadly she goes best in Mr. Boring Foam Pad.  Jealous?  Buy your own here!

Can you see the foam pad?

Can you see the foam pad?

And on her cute face, we have one of two options available.

The favorite child: Bobby’s English Tack Raised Fancy Stitched Snaffle Bridle, find it here.  Bobby’s has a great rep around my stable, and I can see why!  Since I’ve used mine mainly for show or the occasional lesson it hasn’t gotten a ton of use, but the leather was soft upon purchase and I love the look and feel.  Oh and the reins, something about the reins I love.

Can you see them?  Urgh, most of the close up's of this one also involve her stopping...

Can you see it? Urgh, most of the close up’s of this bridle also involve her stopping…so this is all you get.

The worker bee (aka schooling bridle): Picked up an HDR fancy stitched bridle on the cheap last year and we’ve been hacking and riding in it every since.  It is a great buy for a basic, working bridle, and I actually really like the way it fits on her larger face.

HDR in action

HDR in action.  Also, look at her lashes in this one.  Daww.

There’s a variety of saddle pads that get rotated through, and a cheapy girth that I picked up in college when I was at the eating ramen every day stage of broke.  Like I said, we are thrilling over here in Hunterland!

Next post is lots of photos and updates from O’s time at the ranch!  Sneaky preview….

Coy and Olive June 3

Saturday Shopping with Savings

I’ve been biding my time and window shopping like crazy in preparation for today…it’s the biggest tack sale of the year in this area put on by a nearby tack store.

Primary objectives: Buy everything!  Buy what I need to get ready for the winter season that will be here before we know it.

Well the prices were even better than I could have hoped and I lugged my goodies around the store smiling like an idiot.

The goods.

The goods.

First off, I picked up a cute olive green Rhino medium weight turnout with neck cover that is usually priced between $209-$249 online for $90.  VICTORY!  Also, when I found it I had a good laugh (by myself mind you) since it’s called olive tartan on olive…and O’s barn name is Olive.

So now when she's wears it it will be Olive Tartan with Olive on Olive.  Te he.

So now when she’s wears it it will be Olive Tartan with Olive on Olive. Te he.

I grabbed an Amigo fleece cooler for my BFF’s mare, Honey, since she couldn’t be there for $29.  Typically priced at $54.00 online.  Bonus that it’s dark navy and will look super cute on Miss Grey Pony.

Finally I happened up on a pair of Tailored Sportmans in my size and long.  Priced at $189, I got them for $50.  Bingo.

I also grabbed some random tack cleaner, but that’s not very fun, and the savings was like $1.  So yeah. Not nearly as cool.

Price tag total for my outing was $192.?? for all four things.  Compared at full price ($452), I saved $260.   Woo hoo!

They have arrived!

I had a half day last Friday…so I was there when my brand new, rather gorgeous Tredstep boots arrived at my door. I actually jumped around on my front porch in my sweatpants in the freezing cold and yelled thank you to the quickly retreating delivery man. I was that pumped.

First impressions:
Fancy schmancy. I haven’t bought new tall boots and such a long time that it took me a minute to get over the prettiness of the boots, and how each one came with it’s own inflatable boot tree and velvety storage bag. Otherwise also noted that they come with instep risers. Probably not needed for me, but a neat feature for those who will need it.
photo 1 (10)

The inflatable trees are my husbands favorite part.  Boys.

The inflatable trees are my husbands favorite part. Boys.

Once the box was open there was only one course of action…Put them on while wearing my PJ’s!

I strutted around the house for a few minutes, but was actually a bit concerned about the fit across my calves. I have big calves, but rather small/normal-ish ankles. To my surprise I thought these might be a little too big (shock) for me. Panicked, I threw on some breeches and tall socks before trying them on again.

They do fit!

They do fit!

Monster calves are contained!

Monster calves are contained!

Much better fit!! The boots have great contour to them and I don’t feel like my monster calves are going too crazy or noticable. The zipper is tight but not pressured. I think that they fit very true to measurements (if that makes sense). Also, their big promo/selling feature is that they are easy to break in or don’t need to be broken in. I will say that they foot/ankle/calf of the boot is soft and lovely; the tops will drop and become more comfortable with use.

So here I am nerding it up in my living room wearing the new boots! So far I love them. We’ll see how they do mounted up!

Who's pumped?  THIS GIRL!

Who’s pumped? THIS GIRL!

Stylish O

I’m so excited to say that I received O’s new bonnet, courtesy of Dandyism’s contest. I selected the black bonnet from KL Selects and was so excited that I actually ran out during my lunch hour to put it on O. She can be weird about things around her ears, so I also went out prepared for some work getting her to be as excited as I was.

She shocked me by being totally game to be bonnet-ed.

And by golly, I just think it’s the cutest thing in the world.

bonnet 2



bonnet 3

All ponies should have hats. End of story!

Happy(er) Mouth

I was extremely excited to try the loose ring bit on O yesterday, after our fail with the double jointed happy mouth the last ride I was feeling hopeful. I got out the bit, adjusted the bridle and popped it in her mouth. Within 2 seconds this is what I had on my hands….20130724-145239.jpg
The pictures don’t do her reaction justice, she apparently get quite strongly about this bit, and actually held her mouth open. Once I made her walk the aisle-hoping she was just being over-emotional, she had worked up a foam by the time we got to the cross ties. Ears still back, mouth still partially open. I changed my mind-and decided to give the happy mouth one more try, this time a simple dee ring happy mouth.
It was so much better! Perhaps it was the double joints that were bothering her the first time because she went just fine in this one, quite happily actually. The ride was only so-so. I spent the first half thinking she didn’t feel good because she was so “looky” and lethargic. After a spank on the butt (totally deserved-the witch actually kicked out at our friends in the ring) she seemed to realize, after a few half-hearted hop/buck things, that she might as well get to work. I rode her hard the second half, partially to play with the bit, partially because she obviously needed it.
Sassy thing! I think her smaller turnout is definitely changing her attitude. Having more horse doesn’t bother me, having a cranky one does! Hopefully we can work out of that, and put that brain to positive use.
Her new thing-licking the stall walls….


and after she got in trouble…
Pretty night at the stable-it was actually under 90 degrees! Heaven!


One Bit Down

I was extremely excited to try O in the new happy mouth bit, borrowed from another sensitive mouth horse at the stable. However, as soon as I got on I knew something was not working. If it would’ve been possible O would’ve been going backwards the whole ride-she was so unwilling and pissy! Not her style at all. Hell, at the canter I actually had to put my hands all the way up her neck, and leg hard just to get her to keep going. If there was so much as a fraction of contact with her mouth, she would slam on the breaks and give me a couple of angry hops. I got the message loud and clear-the happy mouth was a no-go. Yikes!

Anyone ever used a loose ring bit? My trainer is hoping it might be a better fit for her, and we’re going to try it on Monday. And we’ll see what happens!

In the meantime we are working on ground tieing….

Here we were doing really good, and then she discovered I was unable to stop her from investigating this tack box. Baby steps!



And no laughing at her mismatching bell boots, that girl couldn’t keep both on to save her life-hence the mismatching.