Getting Creative

Things are relatively quiet around here, which I suppose is the case with just about everyone at the moment. I’m still riding Henry about 4 days a week, which for him is a pretty relaxed work load. Some days we do dressage in the arena, some days we jump or do pole work, some days we do canter sets in the field (which are mostly him spending the first few minutes leaping around all over the place), some days we do bareback flat work, and some days… I get more creative.

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Presto really likes to watch me ride now that he’s also getting ridden occasionally, it’s kind of funny

Last week after a few relatively sedate and boring days, I made up a little mini-XC course for him. All of the pastures here join together, so I opened a few gates to let us pass in and out a few different pastures, kicked any rocks and sticks out of our projected path, and put a couple jumps in the dressage arena. I already have a little baby log (like a foot tall) out in one of the farther back pastures, and some coops/barrels in a middle pasture. By opening the gates and linking them all up, I was hoping we could string together enough jumps to make Henry feel like he was having fun. They were all small, the biggest being 2’9″, but it gave us a little bit of that XC feel.

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pardon my shitty course diagram, you get the idea

We started at the little log, went down to the little natural ditch (it barely counts as a ditch, more of a little dip for runoff, but Henry always jumps over it like it’s a ditch, so…), then out of the far pasture into the middle one, where we jumped a skinny coop to a barrel bending line, then looped back to the other skinny coop, out of that pasture into the dressage arena pasture, where we jumped a barrel and looped around to a stadium fence, before galloping back out to the far pasture to jump the ditch to the tiny log again. I had Henry in his sidepull that day, so it was a yee-hawin’ good time. For him anyway. He was jigging afterwards, like he really did just run XC. Close enough I guess? It seemed to make him happy, so we’ll call it a success.

It was quite hot the rest of the week so we kept the other “work” a little more basic.

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Record-setting heat for April. Great.

Tuesday was Presto’s really good “redemption” ride, which I already talked about, although I did ride him on Saturday too (ride #8!). We’ll talk about that separately. Mostly he just spent his week galloping around the pasture like a lunatic and playing with his ball. Or rather, teaching me to play with his ball. He kept tossing it over the fence and watching me retrieve it and toss it back. It happened 4 times in a row before I realized he was legit playing fetch with me, except I was the one fetching. Who’s the idiot now?

He’s really trying to secure a ball sponsorship

I did order some breeches from Luxe EQ last week, which came in the mail. This is my first pair of Cavalleria Toscana and boy are they comfortable. Those damn Italians, I dunno how they’re so consistently superior at making riding clothes. They’re super stretchy and a really pretty green. I may or may not have worn them basically all weekend.

with matching socks, of course

Getting those in the mail appeased some of my sadness about packages. The Mattes pad I ordered for Presto way back in January left Australia almost a month ago and hasn’t been heard from since. Either it’s just sitting somewhere in California in a pile with a million other packages, or a man on a very tiny boat is rowing it across the Pacific… I’m not sure which. And the pretty new La Cense bitless that I ordered is stuck in the country of manufacture at the moment, with nothing really moving outside of their borders, so, no idea when that will come. But I did get some good news last week – the navy Brockamp bareback pad that I’ve been waiting a couple months to be back in stock did ship last week and will be here this week. I was concerned I might not ever see that, since 1) they’re made in Italy, then distributed out of Germany 2) they have a very limited number sent to the US distributor every year anyway. But my navy one did arrive in the latest batch (which may end up being the only batch for the US this year), and it’ll be here hopefully on Wednesday.

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hello Precious, my crotch bones are very eagerly anticipating your arrival

I also decided to try something different for Presto’s crazy thick mane – a dog rake.

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I don’t really pull manes anymore, but Presto’s is so thick he really has enough to have one whole mane on each side. A few people on my facebook were discussing a thinning rake, and I figured… for $12 on Amazon, might as well give it a shot. There was a slight learning curve to figuring out the best method of attack, but it did seem to help. I’m gonna do a little bit at a time over this week and then shorten his mane… we’ll see how it turns out in the end. But I think we thinned it a good bit on the first go and it’s quick and painless.

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What has everyone else been up to? Staying sane I hope!

8 thoughts on “Getting Creative

  1. I’m really intrigued by the dog rake idea. I don’t pull either and I love my mares long mane but that draft in her makes it SO thick.

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  2. That sounds like a lot of fun! We’re finally moving to the outdoor arena for the year, but it rained a ton all weekend so we have our own water obstacle right now. Those Cavalleria Toscana breeches are beautiful. 💚

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  3. Once you figure that rake out, tell us more. My two VERY thick maned horses both really despise mane pulling, so I’d like to find another method. Unfortunately, they both will need to be braided for the hunter ring (I mean maybe someday possibly if they get/stay sound, I can ride again, and horse shows are still going to be a thing) so also let me know how braidable it leaves the mane.
    Yay about the bareback pad! At least something should be turning up for you!

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  4. So I did the same thing re: mane rake because I also hate pulling but B’s mane was wayyy to thick to not do it.

    I never got around to reviewing it because the damn thing broke on me (sort of). Keep an eye on the nuts at the end that keep the rake screwed together… one of mine obviously came loose and the whole thing just popped off. Even if I found the nut and screwed it all back on the prospect of reassembling all the little hooks in the right order was daunting. Don’t get caught out like I did haha.

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