Sunday, June 14, 2015

ride along

Feels like summer is here. It is HOT and BUGGY. I was thisclose to skipping riding altogether... Didn't want to school in the ring but did want some mileage. Our solo trail ride last week was awesome, but would it be pushing my luck to try again? Who cares,  #bossmareup amiright?


the fly whisk is indispensable in these parts
I broke out the ridiculous circus freak hackamore too since it hadn't made an appearance in ages. I love the idea of riding Isabel bitless... but like having brakes in the form of the curb chain if things go south. Except the nylon bridle has never fit the mare well (the cheek pieces go into her eyes when the reins are activated). This leads to much head flinging and displeasure (deservedly so) from princess.


toned down a tad? poor isabel looks miserable all the same tho lol
So I pulled out a spare horse-sized bridle that lives in the trailer (lest something breaks on an expedition). This one doesn't really fit either - her face is decidedly NOT horse-sized - but the leather's stiffness helps keep things in place. Plus the overall picture is maybe less ridiculous?


isabel was in paradise with all the grass
She seemed to love it tho. I made myself hold the buckle (these are pony-sized reins, so too short anyway) and martingale neck strap in one hand - leaving the other hand free for much fly whisking. I'm also a terrible enabler and let Isabel stop to graze every few steps along the fence lines on our way to the woods... 


fly whisk was in constant motion - except out in the field when the bugs left us alone
Once in the woods we just powered right on along. It was seriously glorious. Just over 3 miles of marching up and down hills, through stream crossings, a quick romp through a field next to a development and electrical grid, and other miscellaneous terrain. All on the buckle with me holding the neck strap.


still blurry. but still pretty!
Sure, I occasionally picked up a rein if I really strongly disagreed with Isabel's wish to trot down a rutted rooted steep hill... but generally I left her to her own devices. That curb strap tho - wow this mare RESPECTS it. Like, no question, no fuss, no nothing. A little rein and she WHOAs. 

But really it was so pleasant. So much so that I was comfortable enough to have a long-ish phone chat catching up with a friend at one point, and take videos on our way home. I figured our pictures always come out too blurry, maybe gifs would show the trails off better? 






Anyways fun times. I gave Isabel a few days off this week in an attempt to recreate that amazing looseness she had after the flu-related stall rest. Tho 3 days won't do as much good as 3 weeks... but it's something! Then dressage lesson later today and then into show prep mode for Tranquility the following weekend!

Hope you're all having a nice weekend!

**Also - I'm trying to update my 'stuff for sale' page with a few things that need new homes. check it out and let me know if anything looks interesting!**

18 comments:

  1. To keep the cheekpieces from coming too close to her eyes you can run a string (spare number string?) from one cheekpiece, under her jaw, to the other cheekpiece. It's not pretty but it works.

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    1. that was actually my plan B if the leather straps didn't work. so far so good with the leather, but if she starts getting annoyed by it i will absolutely try the string!

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  2. I love riding in hacks. :) I'm using a little S right now, great brakes and it's a really nice hack.

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    1. i actually spent a bit of time checking out the little s when i first started thinking of bitless options. tho it was hard to justify the $$s when i only wanted the bridle for fun trail rides. so it was perfect when this silly red thing showed up on consignment for ~$15

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  3. Replies
    1. thanks - they are really nice and lush right now from all the summer growth and storms!

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  4. What an interesting contraption she has on...I love the expression on her face!! Those gifs are great..what lovely trails! Look at her plop over the water like it's nothing!! Sounds like you have a good plan for the next big outing!!

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    1. haha yea she's always pretty easy to read with her facial expressions... and she's always just gone right through the streams with no problem. perhaps bc she can see the bottom of the streams, vs the water complexes on xc courses that are murky and dark?

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  5. I've never heard of using a "fly whisk"...I am stealing that! :)

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    1. oh you should definitely get one! this one is real horse hair too so the horses don't mind it swishing around their face and ears and bellies at all. i'm always a little appalled at how much they cost... but they're perfect for helping a horse out - or bushwhacking through spiderwebs etc

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  6. Beautiful views! I'm just waiting until the weekend and I am going to rally, too !

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    1. thanks! and that sounds like a good plan! :)

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  7. Love the trail riding GIF's! I think our next adventure after an XC school should be CAMPING WITH PONIES. Yes. Let us do this thing.

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    1. omg yessss!!! i LOVE camping - and camping with horses? never tried it but yess we should do this!!!

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    2. I've never done it either but my BO is currently riding her horse across the state of Michigan being a badass and camping on the trail for 20 days... so I'm sure she can help us! I've got the camping & trail riding skills, just have to put them together!

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    3. seriously!!! we should totally do this. and i'm sure there are plenty of places not too far away that can accommodate.... :D

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  8. Loved the trail gifs, and sounds like you had a wonderful fun ride!

    Regarding your hackamore woes, I just read this blog post written by someone who was having the exact same issue as you re: bridle straps going into her horse's eyes when using the hack. I thought of you, of course. :) Here's how she fixed it: http://gopony.me/2015/06/01/functional-pony-roulette/

    You can find the padded noseband she's talking about for $20 at places like www.thedistancedepot.com. :)

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    1. thanks so much - that's super useful!! i'm not quite ready to give up on this ridiculous red fleecy 'noseband' yet, but it's good to know there are options!

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