It has certainly been interesting since I last posted. I’d meant to post an adorable photo dump of Amber being the perfect babysitter for my niece (and I still will post that), but things started happening one after the other so it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.
My family has had a slew of health problems in the last few weeks – thankfully not due to covid – but it has been really hard, so I was in need of some retail therapy. I haven’t really bought anything I don’t absolutely need for Amber in probably the last year and a half, so when RW’s 15% popped up, I figured I’d snatch up a few things I’ve been eyeing.
First were the BOT Royal Hind boots. Amber has responded very positively to BOT products, and it isn’t as if I can’t use any of these things on the next horse I get right?! Haha, so into the cart these went. I’ve been eyeing these for a while. Amber definitely needs back boots now that she consistently interferes with her hind legs, but as good as the cheap ones were, there was always a nagging in the back of my mind that a boot this style with hard plastic would benefit her more.
Next was a navy BOT jump pad, because why not? She loves her dressage one, and always moves so well with it. I actually really like this pad almost more than her dressage one tho because it’s a lovely mesh on the bottom that is super moisture wicking even tho it has the Welltex particles in it. It’s super lightweight, and it fits her nicely. Most of my jump pads look weird now, especially since I’m shimming up my half-pad so my jump saddle fits her, but I like the way the BOT one looks on her.
I went back and forth on these, but eventually I just said why not, and added the MDC Sport stirrups. My knee pain hasn’t been bad, especially since I’ve left my stirrups long in my jump saddle, but I’ve experienced a lot of foot numbness the higher I raise my stirrups. I thought about trying the Freejump stirrups, but the price wasn’t quite low enough for me to bite the bullet and try them just yet. But it was certainly different riding in these in my jump saddle! I raised my stirrups, and it was crazy just how easy it was to push my heel down in these. I’ve never had a problem with lowering my heels – if nothing else I push them down a little too much. But I hadn’t noticed there was a slight resistance in the wide composite stirrups until I tried these.
It took a good twenty minutes before I felt numbness in my toes, and usually it’s only about five or ten minutes in that they start to go numb in the composite ones. I had absolutely no knee pain whatsoever, so fingers crossed that continues. My ankles were killing me tho, but I think that had more to do with my boots than the stirrups. Since it’s god-awful hot at 5 pm here (I think when I first test-rode everything it was still 105 at 6:30 pm), I’ve been trying to use the heat and my sweat to my advantage to further break in my black MH boots. I always have ankle problems breaking in new boots, and these seem to be a little tougher to break in than my brown MHs. But, so far so good on the stirrups!
I also tried the BOT boots and pad on Amber in that ride, and she felt really good. I think I was right that the hard plastic of the hind boots, combined with how stable they were around her ankles really helped her feel way more steady in her hind end. She tended to come out of frame a little more, and was a little “hotter” than usual, but that was more due to lack of fitness and my raised stirrups than lack of comfort. I was actually super pleased with how nice she felt. Her left canter felt uphill (for her lol), and her right lead was actually steady, something I am super happy about considering that is her very bad lead now.
All this arrived certainly at the right time! Trainer G has a horse for me to ride now, so I have a lesson with her this weekend that I’m super excited about. Since I am still out of shape, I am trying to ride Amber a little more – get good riding and 2pt practice in – and am working out on my home cycle-bike so that perhaps I have some semblance of “fit” for Saturday haha. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more soon!