Review: For Horses breeches

This is another one of those items that I get to publicly admit to being totally wrong about. It’s always fun when I’m wrong.

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A while back, my friend Michelle called me from a tack shop in Florida (what up, TackNRider), telling me about all the cool stuff they had. We are both fans of cool stuff. She sent me pics of a few things, and was gushing about these breeches, the Julie Grip from an Italian brand called For Horses. Well, really, they were tights. As soon as she said the T word, my hackles went up. I dunno about y’all, but when someone says “riding tights”, I picture some kind of hideous, elastic waistband, stretch cotton monstrosity that shows every dimple of my backside and only looks cute on 10 year olds.

Michelle had a pair sent to me anyway, as a birthday present. I opened the package and my eyebrow went up… “what in the hell are these?”. I held them up and they looked child sized. I really thought there was no way they’d fit, or be at all attractive. I set them aside for a couple days before trying them on – that’s how optimistic I was. But when I finally pulled them on I was pleasantly surprised to find that they actually fit perfectly. And they were pretty flattering. And really, really ridiculously comfortable. I wore them around my house for a few hours that evening, not really wanting to take them off, and needing some time to process my feelings.

and take creepy mirror pictures to send to Michelle

These things are like no other riding tight I’ve ever met. There is no elastic in the waistband, it’s just the same fabric that the tights themselves are made of. The cut is very good – it’s slightly higher than normal breeches so that they don’t slide down or bunch up, and the waistband is stupid comfortable. They have silicone dots on the knee area for grip, and a sock bottom. The fabric itself is a sleek, stretchy tech fabric, so that the end result is kinda like a pair of breeches and a pair of leggings had a really nice Italian baby.

The first time I wore them to the barn I kept looking down to make sure I was actually wearing pants. They’re SO light and comfortable and breathable… by far the best breeches I’ve ever found for hot weather. If it’s balls-hot, these things are awesome. Not only are they way cooler, they also dry really quickly. I like them so much, I now have two pairs. I’ve been reaching for those breeches by default pretty much all summer, wearing and washing the heck out of them. So far they’re holding up really well.

The only thing I don’t really like about them is the little faux pockets on the butt. Well really I like the faux pockets because it gives them more of a breeches look, but IMO the little “flap” needs to be tacked down. I ended up tacking mine down with a couple stitches, just because the flapping kind of made me nuts. Maybe other people aren’t as crazy as I am about things flapping on their butt?

butt flaps, before I tacked them down

Full retail price for them is about $150, which admittedly maybe seems a little pricey at first glance for, uh… tights (that word still makes me cringe). But I’ve been so impressed by the fit, comfort, durability, and performance of these things that I have to say – if you live in a hot climate, they are an absolute godsend in the summer. Worth every penny, for sure. I’d love to have a pair in every color. Thanks Michelle for knowing that I would like them, despite my initial misgivings!

Blog Hop: Horse Thief

If the spirit of me not having a horse to ride for a while…

If you could steal a horse from any of your friends or barnmates, which one would it be?

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The obvious choice here for me would be Halo. I mean… he’s a total badass. He’s a lovely mover, a beast on XC, and a good showjumper. He’s big, he’s kind, and he’s gorgeous. I love Herrlerr. Who wouldn’t?

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I mean, he’s famous.

But he’s a big, strong, rangey horse, and I don’t think I’d ride him nearly as well or get the same results that Bobby does. I’m also 100% certain I’d get completely run away with on XC. He’s super fun, but he’s not the type of ride that I’m typically drawn to. Therefore, my answer is Violet. Definitely Violet.

She’s a young TB mare, only 15.1, quirky for sure, and just too adorable for words. Totally my type… I love mares, and obviously I like quirky. It would be easy to pass right by her in the barn, being plain brown and a bit dainty. But under saddle she’s ridiculously impressive – a lovely mover with a wicked good jump.

Baby Violet is FANCY. What a nice young horse, this one is the real deal! #youngeventhorse #ottb #thoroughbred #mare #eventing

A photo posted by Anchor Equestrian (@anchorequestrian) on

 

I’ve ridden her a couple times – there’s not a lot of horse underneath you, size wise, but she has a big stride and lots of power. She sure doesn’t know she’s little.  She’s sensitive but brave and always ready to go go go. What’s not to love about a little fancy sportscar of a horse with tons of talent and plenty of try? She probably has way too much talent for me, but still…

Violet. Definitely Violet.

Good News, Bad News

The good news is, it’s NOT soft tissue. (Can I get a collective hallelujah?)

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The bad news is, I was correct – Henry doesn’t feel right. In fact, we found a fracture. A teeny tiny, little bitty baby fracture that most likely happened about a month ago in turnout when he was playing and kicked the fence. Minor, in the realm of fractures, but it’s likely being exacerbated at the moment by how hard the ground is. He also has one hell of a bone bruise. And he is a huge wuss (official, professional diagnosis).

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good luck finding it

So far the bone looks good (no signs of displacement, fragments, or dying bone) and it’s already trying to heal. There’s not much to do besides give it time and let it continue healing. Luckily complete rest or stall rest are not required. The vet does want it to stay wrapped though, and he’d like for Henry to keep his current conditioning as much as possible. Unfortunately, the ground is just too hard everywhere at the barn to do that, so guess where he’s going for 30 days?

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Yup, back to the spa. Guess he liked it so much he wanted a month long rehab stay instead of a spa day trip. 30 days of tons of hand walking, some supervised turnout (sorry kid, no running), wrapping, and aquatred. Then we X-ray again to make sure the bone still looks good and everything is healing appropriately, and if it is, he can start being ridden lightly on soft ground. Total estimated time til a fixed pony: approximately 8 weeks. Worst case scenario the bone starts to die and we have to go in and remove some. Luckily that doesn’t look likely at the moment (my vet is sending the rads to a surgeon at A&M to confirm that opinion) but it’s a small possibility if things go awry. As of right now the bone looks healthy and shows some signs of healing.

This definitely 100% sucks and it definitely means our show season is over. However, I’m so glad that it’s something fairly minor with an excellent prognosis. Once it’s healed, it’s over and done with, and should never be a problem again. I’ll take this over soft tissue or something chronic any day of the week.

So… I guess I’ll have lots of free time on my hands for the next couple months. Lord help us all.

Not Quite Right

You may have noticed there hasn’t really been any riding content happening here in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, there’s a reason for that.


When Henry came back from boot camp he felt awesome for a few rides, then I galloped him, then gave him a day off, got back on, and he felt… not right. He’d been starting to feel a little “stabby” behind, just like he did last fall, and it had been 10 months since he got his ankle injected. I thought that was it, so I scheduled the appointment, he got his ankle juiced, and I figured it was over and done with.

But it didn’t get any better. In fact, it didn’t really feel any different at all. The problem is that the NQR is so very very slight, really hard to see, and not super consistent. I could feel it though – just the little odd thing here and there that threw up a lot of red flags. A slightly wonky step with the hind end when changing direction, a toe drag on a circle, a really 4-beaty right lead canter. Something is ouchy somewhere.

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I gave him more time off, had the vet back out, and all signs pointed to hocks. This made sense, so I opted to just go ahead and do the hocks rather than do the more drastic (and more $$$) full diagnostic work-up. The vet was reasonably optimistic that doing the hocks would fix it, so I hoped we were right.

It doesn’t look like we were right. It’s maybe slightly better, but I still feel something. So… crap. I already scratched our first Training, which was a big womp-womp moment. The vet is coming again today, and we’ll start at the bottom and work our way up, trying to find the source. Hopefully we can. I’m trying not to get myself all worked up about it being a Major Thing Wrong, because it is so very slight, but I’ve had a knot of anxiety in my stomach for a couple weeks now. I’m terrible at dealing with not knowing what’s wrong. And when there are problems in my horse life, I’m one depressed walking lump of doom and gloom.

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I live here now

I just want my horse to feel like himself again. He’s wild and bored, and I’m not doing much better. Just when you think you’re finally making some real progress. Ugh.

This.

Freaking.

Sucks.

But… if there’s anything you’ve been wanting me to write about or review, now is the time to put in a request. There might not be much riding-related content in the near future.

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Congratulations, it’s a… rabbit?

Today marks day 161 in Sadie’s pregnancy, putting us close to the halfway point. My anxiety level has not decreased, and probably won’t for oh, I dunno… ever? I stalked the hell out of the Burghley young horse championship results and the Bundeschampionate results, obsessing over the Mighty Magic babies. Fun fact: a MM won the 4yo final at Burghley.

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Hello, handsome. I’ll take one of these.

It’s fun to keep track of where Sadie is in her gestation though (it keeps my mind off of how ridiculously long this takes and how easily it could all go wrong) and I particularly love this little timeline:

Currently Baby Presto is about the size of a rabbit. A big rabbit.

Day 150 – Gaining more than a pound every 10 days, the fetus now is about the size of a rabbit. Hair graces its chin, muzzle, and eyelids. If you look closely, you’ll see that eyelashes have emerged.

He really looks something like this. Not quite as cute as a rabbit yet.

Considering how giant and floppy Sadie’s ears are, there are lots of jokes to be made here with the rabbit thing. My friend Michelle’s favorite looks something like this:

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Momma Mare, however, seems unperturbed by our attempts at comedy and keeps right on doing what she does best: eating food and growing babies. Good girl, Momma Mare. Good girl.❤

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6 more months… just 6 more long, agonizing, anxiety-ridden, super obsessive, crazy months…

Helmet Awareness Day (and sales)!

aka the best day of the year to buy a new helmet! Tomorrow is International Helmet Awareness Day, and tons of brands and retailers (ahem Riding Warehouse – with coupon code HAD20 on 9/17 only) are offering great discounts on a new helmet.

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Even if your helmet appears to be in good shape, don’t forget that the protective materials break down after 4-5 years (check the tag inside for the manufacture date) and are no longer as effective at taking an impact. It’s also recommended that helmets be replaced after a fall, as a helmet can appear to be undamaged on the outside while actually sustaining significant damage to the internal protective layers.

The list of participating brands:

Jin

Resistol

Charles Owen

IRH

GPA

Champion

Troxel

LAS

Gatehouse

Tipperary

One K

Ovation

Samshield

Uvex

Kask 

 

Those of you who have been looking for Kask – Luxe EQ has them (and Samshield) and is a participating retailer! Use code 4helmets to apply the discount, and get free shipping too with code 4ship.

Find other participating retailers here: http://www.riders4helmets.com/helmet-awareness-day/participating-retailers/

Pick up this shirt from shophuntclub.com while you’re at it – it’s 20% off with coupon code MindYourMelon
Whoever wants to sign up to be my new BFF is welcome to pick up a navy Kask (I’ll take any of the Dogma models) or a navy Samshield XC for me, size 7 1/4… k thanks.

Bobby’s Summer Update

Drum roll, please…

My Summer Update, by BOBBY!


As you all know, the pinnacle planned event of the summer was Coconino Horse Trials in Flagstaff, AZ.

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The Coconino gang! Please note where Chance’s right arm is. Is that her trying to hug  me? Yes, I think so… boo loves me.

In preparation for Coconino we had to have the horses extra fit for the altitude, which meant an amped up conditioning schedule. Of course, it seems like when you really need to ride in Texas, it rains and rains and rains so that everything is flooded. I still had to keep Halo fit so I started trotting on the side of the road – the same road we’ve trotted on the side of for years. Apparently all the rain washed away the topsoil, and guess who stepped on a very very old Coke bottle and punctured his frog by about ½ an inch?  Yes, my poor sweet Halo.  I lept off of him and had to pull the glass out. We were still a ways from home and if he’d walked on it, it would have shoved in deeper.  You know how paper cuts never stop bleeding?  You get the picture. Blood bath. I immediately took him to the vet, where they flushed it, found no major damage, and said it just had to grow out.

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For weeks I couldn’t ride Halo on anything except asphalt, otherwise he’d limp.  This is a little concerning when you’re leaving in a month to haul halfway across the country to horse show.  So I did what I could to keep him fit and went all Ireland-style, with lots of road trotting and long forward walks (a forward working walk in a frame works the same muscles the horse uses when galloping!). If I never trot on the road again, it will be too soon.  It worked though, Halo was the most fit he’s ever been. The weekend before we were set to leave I went and XC schooled with Trainer to get the green light or red light… we got the green light!

As for Coconino itself…  Chance already blogged about it so I’ll spare you the details and post cute pictures of Herrlerr and I instead.  Can anyone guess the most shocking thing about the whole trip?  I spent 13 days pretty much 24/7 with Chance and she’s still alive!  I know, I am shocked too.  You never know your own personal strength until you’re put in that kind of extreme circumstance. Plus the ride home would have been BORING alone, so I resisted the urge and didn’t push her into the Grand Canyon. It would have been SO easy to scoop her up and flip her over. There’s always next year… ;)  (Editor’s Note: I think Bobby is just mad because I like to refer to him as “my sidekick”)

Here are the boys at our overnight layover location in Clovis – Halo didn’t stop staring at the Air Force base the entire time. “Herrlerr nerrr lerrrrk plerrrrrns”

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DUSTIN!  He rode with us to his parent’s place in New Mexico (in the truck… not on that horse…).

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“Herrlerr good boy, Herrlerr cart daddy’s ass around show jumping.”

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I am just a passenger at this point…

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My rule of the thumb: NEVER EVER under any circumstance walk up to a BAT (Big Ass Table), just shield your eyes as you walk past!  Look how huge is that F***ING thing is!!!

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Two weeks and I didn’t walk up to that thing until the last day, and guess what? It jumped like a dream!

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This was the Training corner (see rule above about BATs).

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Halo has so much heart and so much talent, I’ve never ridden a horse who loves his job so much.  #BestHorseEver  P.S.  Can you see Chancercise’s further influence on me in this picture?  Halo is actually poulticed and wrapped (in red  – color coordination, duh!) and he has hoof pack in his feet. (Editor’s Note: The poultice and hoof pack in question are mine. See my good deeds? Bobby basically counts as a charity case.)

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Halo and I were 1st in Training the first weekend and 4th the second weekend.  This  picture was probably Chance’s 20th attempt at the ribbon photo – Halo doesn’t like to pose with ribbons and isn’t shy about making his opinion known.

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Da boyz…  Herrlerr love Henny!!!  Total besties… but only AT the show. When they get home they’re all pinned ears and threatening to bite each other.

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I cannot wait to go back to Arizona again next year – it was the most fun ever!

Three weeks after we got back from Coconino, Dustin and I departed for vacation in Iceland and Greenland.  I really hate writing so here’s more pictures with captions…

YAY Iceland!

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Upon arrival we went straight to the Blue Lagoon where someone (ME) got a surprise marriage proposal!

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And of course I said yes!! Remember the saddle?  He supports my horse addiction – KEEPER!  Chance is still in tears about the fact that I’m officially off the market.

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After our Icelandic wedding, the second week was our honeymoon – so naturally we had to experience the ‘Tölt ’ on Icelandic Horses. Dustin is such a sport.

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And, well… that was my summer in a whirlwind, so….

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