Scratching the brain

So far, Amber has been doing well. Feeling good, walking very nicely. But I noticed Wednesday that she seems to be shortening her hind legs again. Not by much – mere inches – but I have been watching her like a hawk since that injection.

The good – she feels so much smoother. I think I actually feel a swing in her back now, and her right side feels amazing. Switching directions at the working trot, I used to feel a hitch in her step, an awkwardness until either it felt normal to me or she actually got better. I haven’t felt that awkwardness at all. When I sit to change diagonal, her back doesn’t feel hard as a rock anymore – more like a soft spring. I can tell it’s much easier to go more into the bridle for her than before, and everything feels better and easier for her.

The bad – she still sort of seems to refuse to center her weight and push more into the outside right rein as we track left (which was very easy and fluid for her directly after the injection). She still wants to come out of frame and look to the right – the latter I’m thinking is because she was consistently startled on that side at the other arena. But, this was Wednesday, and our ride kept going until past dusk. Birds were calling though no fluttering wings, and whereas just minutes before our ride was calm and soft and rhythmic and purposeful, she became agitated to the left and didn’t want to stay in frame for more than a few seconds. Trying to center her shoulders and get a little push to the outside rein was like smacking the EVADE AND RUN FORWARD button. But, again, it WAS past dusk at that point, and while she’s gotten much better about dusk, it juuuuuust might have been a little too dark for her because by the end when I circled once more she actually really tried to stay focused, to center her shoulders a little more and come into the contact and relax a little. Her walk also calmed as soon as I relaxed my back, so fingers crossed that it was the dusk factor and that I wasn’t relaxing.

Dusty poneh

Keeping what happened on Wednesday in mind, I set out on Thursday planning to do all of our first work to the left with as much light as possible and then dabble a bit to the right and then work on our 2pt.

The good – I’ve been noticing that she’ll actually eat her food with her right front forward and left hind supporting – I haven’t seen her do that in a very long time, so that makes me feel super optimistic! She had a huuuuuuge overstride at the walk. Almost more than what she had the day after the injection. She was not too good in the warm up to the right, mostly because we went like a half-circle that way, then switched to the left and she was better. Not much better like I was hoping, but while still looky, she was much more relaxed. I only had to remind her once that she can’t do things the old way, and she settled right back in instead of getting upset. We got another good circle, and called it quits. Worked on her walk and figured out that I need to do something different that’ll hopefully help in circles to the trot. I’m eager to find out! Our ride was a grand total of 15 minutes, but I thought it was very productive! I was so happy with her tries.

I is happy too, ma

The bad – No 2pt work. Womp womp. It was a little too dark, and I’d purposefully wanted to keep it short and sweet so as a “reward” for really trying and doing the work – no dusk. I thought perhaps I felt a little hitch switching directions, but it could’ve been my imagination. Her back didn’t feel as swinging at the trot, but everything felt better as weird as that sounds. And she still wants to really drop that shoulder at times.

But look! As opposed to Wednesday, there’s a lot more good than bad! So I think the majority of the problem Wednesday was dusk, but I’m still waiting until Sunday for a final verdict. The vet may be absolutely right that her hocks are bothering her a bit. She did strain them when she was injured, and sliding stops and hard ground may have aggravated them sooner than expected. So I’m going to watch over the next few weeks, and if she goes back to really dropping on that left side, then I’ll look further into that left hock the vet saw. It could also be that she’s so used to it hurting that she expects it, which I am more than willing to have the patience to get her through it. She was still much softer through her back though, and while not typical dressage pace, I think her trot feels good (although I bet when I take that dressage lesson it will be like OMG MOVE YOUR HORSE FORWARD lol).

Lookin’ good!

On to the weekend!

Review Wednesday-ish: first impressions

So this is a partial Review Wednesday. I’ve had some things come to me recently and I’ve been able to use them a bit finally, so here’s my first impressions on these!

RJ Classics Prestige Gulf breeches – hunter

I tried these on after reading Amanda Chance’s review on these (you can find her thoughts here), because she and I seem to be the same shape. I was pleasantly surprised with these that they actually fit. The waistband does gap a bit on my back, which I honestly wasn’t surprised at, but so far, I have never needed a belt with these. They’re on the thinner fabric side, but not quite as thin or specialty fabric of my Ovations. I like that they’re different from my Ovations, but still fit very well. No Velcro bottoms – that’s a plus. Front pockets = yay since I’ve sort of become a pocket snob. (Hint: I love pockets). I have 2 pairs of these actually – white and hunter, and since the fabric is on the thinner side the white pair does reveal some not-so-flattering things (or thigh cheese, whichever you prefer), but I still think the white looks good and they are still somehow slimming despite the not-so-flattering things. I haven’t ridden in them yet. Saving those for a first official dressage show or something weird like that, but so far, I’m really liking these breeches!

Mountain Horse Sovereign tall boots – brown

It could be the fact that I’ve never owned a GOOD pair of tall boots. But whatever it is, I adore these tall boots. I love the way they look – especially the two-tone. I think that’s fantastic. I love that they’re actually MADE to be leg conforming (which, yes I know is not all that uncommon these days) and that I have had little to no break-in time whatsoever. They were gorgeous out of the box, even more gorgeous on, and I wore them for probably an hour before deciding I’d show in them the whole morning the next day. And you know what? Only towards the end of the show day, after wearing them for about 5 hours as a first wear, did the boot start to hurt the back of my right ankle (and I wasn’t surprised – for some reason in every shoe that goes above the ankle my right one needs extra breaking in). I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to wear them to the October show, but I’ve ridden in them a few more times to continue breaking them in, and so far, every time I put them back on they feel better. I’m expecting them to fall a little more – I think they’ve maybe fallen 1/4″ already, and for someone that doesn’t like uber tall boots, even if they don’t fall more than that it will be fine because the back of the boot doesn’t bother me.

The only cons for me so far are that 1) they’re a bit narrow and 2) the footbed isn’t very supportive. My feet are definitely not very wide, but when they expand the boots do feel a teensy bit tight. I think though that since I’ve been sticking boot trees in these after every wear, the foot either will stretch a little bit to be very comfortable or just remain the same. The footbed is nice, but maybe I have old feet, and they just don’t seem as cushiony as I’d expect for a tall boot that you’re most likely going to be walking/riding in all day.

Ariat Cooling Sunstopper show shirt – white

This shirt is great. I’ve used this at shows and just around the barn, and so far, I really like it. It does exactly what it says. I love the snap collar, and how you don’t need an extra collar that chokes you and then you have to put on the stock pin…. Yeah this has none of that! Super easy to snap up and you’re ready to go. Stain factor….the barn stains have come off of the shirt with some Clorox 2, but it’d be nice if I didn’t have to always C2 the sleeves after wearing it.

Equine Athletics hunt jacket – navy windowpane

So far, I really love this coat. This is the first time since I was 14 that I’m branching out again and trying to figure out what the best materials are for show coats, keeping in mind that I’m in the desert and I also need something relatively cool. I bought this at a booth at Rolex on a ridiculous sale, and I’ve always been a fan of windowpane, and this fit that bill. Then, it also offers so much freedom of movement in my shoulders by being a wool/poly spandex blend. It fits me pretty well, although because it was one of the few sizes left I did end up getting a tall. But I still think it looks nice, and hopefully before I show next year I’ll have gotten it tailored.

Roeckl gloves – white chester summer and navy performance

I bought the white ones at my local tack shop on a great sale, and the navy at Rolex. I show in the navy, and use the white for everyday use. I may use the navy once we get into winter, but I’m not sure. Either way, I love them both. Both gloves are grippy but not sticky – a reason I haven’t worn gloves much. They fit nicely and remain flexible, and the summer ones do keep my hands cool while the mesh still keeps the sun off of my hands. Not too much to say about these except I love them!

It’s a Haggerty’s sunshirt – solid sunshirt

I’ve wanted to try this shirt for a while, and the opportunity came up to get one with the Presto logo on it. First off, I love that it’s custom. Second, SO MANY COLORS. It’s definitely worth it. I love how the vents keep me cool. I’m still a little iffy on the fabric. It’s heavier than my Kerrits, and that has been a not-so-good combination for me in the summer. I have another sunshirt with similar fabric that I get way too hot in, so for now I’m a little skeptical. But, I haven’t gotten too hot in this one so far. Definitely glad that I got a size up – it fits nicely around my torso and a teensy tight in the arms, but I still like the shirt. The sleeves are a little long for me, so while there are a few things I love and a few things I don’t like, the jury’s still out on this one. I’ll probably have a better idea for them after next summer, and let you know the full verdict then!

Digital Sports Watch LED screen

I’ve had this watch since July. It’s about $12-13 from Amazon. It may not be fancy, or come in cool colors, or beep as you set your timer down, but it’s a great stop watch. It times my rides, and has helped me get my butt in gear so I actually work Amber. It helps me target a warm-up time for us. Good, cheap purchase for the win.

It’s a Haggerty’s shirt, watch AND gloves!

WIN detergent – regular (the blue bottle)

I’ve been using this since July as well ever since I noticed my equine specialty summer clothing started retaining some funk. I’d read about this from Amanda Chance as well, and since it’s not expensive, bought a bottle from Amazon. I love it. My clothes no longer retain funk. Even some of my non-athletic clothing that is still a synthetic blend I’ll wash with this detergent. Still has that clean scent! I still have like half the bottle, even though I’ve been doing laundry about every week. It’s small loads, though, and I really love it so far! Plus, it’s septic safe.

Coronet Prince of Wales spur round end – 3/4″ and Camelot spur straps

My normal, pointy  Prince of Wales spurs were too long and poked Amber a little too much, so I decided a round end spur was the ticket. I had a hell of a time trying to find 3/4″ though – everything was either a half or full inch. I looked at some other places, like those lovely Signature Spurs, but in the end I just didn’t need engraved spurs at the time. Maybe later when I get more money (HA! like that’ll happen). But, these were cheap, they were the right size, and they’ve been the perfect fit for Amber. So far they’ve held up well – nothing wrong with them! I’ve been impressed with the Camelot spur straps. Usually it’s “you get what you pay for” and for $9 bucks these were great. I got black and brown, and the black I’ve used more and have really broken in well but don’t feel flimsy like I thought $9 spur straps would. So far so good with these!

Schneiders Dura-Tech neoprene ice boot – full leg

These I am still on the fence. I bought them since I loved that they went over the knee, and that if Amber moved in them that they wouldn’t fall down and spill everything like ice water boots. The first time I used them, they were fantastic. But all the ice just seemed too pookie, and I worried I’d put pressure somewhere where it shouldn’t be. So I used my own homemade “gel ice packs”. Ugh, the whole thing smelled like pungent rubbing alcohol. Too much. So I broke down and bought the advertised gel inserts to go with the boot. Aaaaaand they’re hard as ice. No bend like people gel packs. Which does NOT work for a horsey leg that is not perfectly straight. Plus, one of the packs had leaked in the box, and they’re just not really working. So, I will return the defective one and probably the others. I’m going to try some other gel packs here soon, and I hope those will work, but we’ll see. I’m “meh” about these for now.

The walkies

This is mostly a boring recap. All we really did was walk. All weekend. But, I have great news.

Amber looks great!

Must. Sniff. Poop

Friday I took her out for a short walk, and Choco accompanied us. It was just to get her out with a purposeful walk, let her really stretch her legs and go somewhere after being in her stall after the injection. She looked good, but of course I wouldn’t know until I sat her. Per my questions to the vet, he said 20 minute walks under saddle were just fine, and to start putting her back into light work mid next week.

Sometimes she walked with us, and others she looked dejected. Like this one lol

Saturday my mom rode with me – just a walk for Whisper too but she’s looking better as well! It was a targeted 20 minutes, walking all over the arena playing follow the leader. But when we first walked out there, she was ready to go. Just really swinging in her walk and not stabby as I’ve felt her be plenty of times. My mom watched for a good time, too and promptly told me she looked awesome. I agreed since I couldn’t feel her hip kicking mine forward on the left, and you can never be too sure! After, I watched her walk, and though I’ve never aimed at getting her to do past her ability, her hind feet landed smack in her front hoof prints. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her do that. It was just so nice to see that she was feeling really well!

Um, #mareglare hard at work here lol

I really wanted to go out of the arena for our Sunday hack (and I know Amber did too) but we kept to another follow the leader day with Whisper. Amber still felt great. Even though the vet had warned me that the injection might take up to three weeks, I knew this would be a relatively immediate feel-better for Amber, and I was right. She was power walking! Just ready to go places and felt smooth. We walked over a pile of poles every now and then, and it was really good to feel that while before she’d generally chip in a step to get her left front over first, she had no hesitation whatsoever when we kept getting to the poles with right front leading. And she felt so soft going over those poles.

So, I decided to trot just a little. And holy crap it felt like riding air. I don’t remember much about how smooth she was when I was trying to sit her bouncy trot western so long ago, but compared to how she’s been recently, it’s like night and day. Like sleeping on a foam mattress pad after a hard bed. She felt so nice. She wanted to pull her old compensation stuff, but with just a few fixes of “let’s try it this way”, she seemed to really move into it. I quit there – didn’t want to ask for too much – but her right side felt marvelous while her left side felt much better. It’ll probably take her time to realize the trot feels much better and is much easier for her to the left, but I am so okay with being patient.

I am so happy she feels so good. I plan to hop on again today and just do another 20 minute walk day, and maybe by Wednesday or Thursday I can start adding back in some trot work. I definitely want to keep this slow if it’ll help more in the long run! I can’t wait to feel her canter, because after how airy her trot felt I think her canter will be great, but it gives me a lot to look forward to later this week!

Time change isn’t until November 5 this year, so I’m crossing my fingers we’ll have enough daylight for a short walk by the time I get home from work this week!

Life happens

Well, it has been busy. October through February seems to be the busiest times of the year, then it dies down again until it begins to build steam around September. It’s been busy here, but more for the fact that I have work and then most of my free time is riding, buying more shavings/food/vet bills for the horse, blogging, and getting errands and phone calls and everything else done that I couldn’t while I was at work.

So, because it is busy, next week you may not hear from me much. It’ll be getting darker sooner, and people at the office will be gone, so I have the 10 hour shift for 4 days in a row. But, that means 3 day weekend so yay. It’ll also work out since Amber had injections yesterday.

But first – after the show. I was pleased with how she came back from the show and that she didn’t look as sore as I feared she’d be. I could tell from some of the videos where her hips were bothering her, and I’ve been keeping in mind a few videos my mom took for me where she looked extremely sharp in the way she’d lift her right hind. Kind of like snapping her hock up. It’s the only time I’ve seen her do that, and she felt weird that day, so I’m thinking it’s still her hip but I’m going to watch and see.

Tuesday we went for a nice 20 minute bareback hack around the arena, and she was good. Learning that even in a halter she needs to keep her walk consistent with clear 4 beats instead of fast and stabby. So Wednesday I pulled her out, saddled her up with the intention of working just a little and then trying to get in some 2pt times (spoiler alert – I was not very successful in those times lol).

So majestik

Oddly enough, though I could tell she was a bit stiff when we started walking, her trot work was some of the best I’ve ever gotten from her. I’ve mostly left her head alone, letting her find the right place as I use leg to remind her to pick her shoulders up, but she reeeeaaalllly wants to be lazy and not go into the bridle like I know she can (and I know part of that is her hip). So I was a little more insistent that she place her head where I’d like it to be, and she did really well. At times it was too low, but I was also glad that she maintained really nice pace through it and didn’t seem to lose her forward. Her left canter was nice, her right one choppy but she really tried, and I left it at that and proceeded to attempt a really good 2pt time. Aaaaand only did slightly better, but we’re working at it though!

However, it was also so weird because before and after the ride, she tripped and went down on her knees – outside the arena. The first was because (I’m 99% certain) there was a hump in the ground, she hit it with her right leg and then her knee just couldn’t lock and she went down. I checked her out and walked her out a bit. She seemed to buckle slightly again, like she hit a rock or something. It was a bit strange, but she seemed okay, so we rode and no tripping in the arena. After the ride it looked like she stepped on some pretty sharp rocks by the gate and almost went down again.

Her knees have buckled before – both of them while riding (especially on trail if she hits a sharp rock) but only ever at a walk. Never when she’s trotting or cantering in all the years since her knee injury. And she’s never gone down like this before. I do know that sometimes she’s not the brightest about where she’s putting her feet. She’s just not paying attention, and that’s usually when the buckle happens; it also happens when the arena sand gives way a little too much. But it was just extremely strange, and it does worry me.

So, since Thursday I drove her to the vet for an appointment to get her SI injected, I talked to the vet about it. Thankfully, he didn’t seem worried about the stumbling. Said he couldn’t notice anything in her front end that would suggest a problem, but did agree with me that she was really sore in her hips. He actually saw a bit of “off-ness” in her left hind, but said that the SI for right now was a good place to start and we’d go from there.

Scrub-a-dub-dub

For about 2 weeks now she’s got some very light work ahead of her, but like I said above it works out perfectly since all I’ll probably be able to do next week is walk anyway, so that’s a plus. Nothing stood out to him for me to really watch in the next few weeks, so we’re crossing our fingers that it’s just general soreness and this injection really helps!

After getting the happy juice, the assistant gave Amber a chair to rest her oh-so-heavy head on LOL

It also turned out super productive because the vet’s assistant does training and lessons as well, and trains out of the same barn that the dressage trainer I’d like to see does. She was really nice, and really seemed to love Amber, so I’m thinking of starting lessons with her. She also knows another vet’s wife who loves eventing, and has a huge field full of xc jumps. That’s only, like, 40 minutes away. Um, YES!! So I grabbed her number, and hopefully after the show and a bit of rest, we’ll grab a few lessons! A very productive day indeed.

Blog Hop: October 10 Questions

Another blog hop! These are pretty fun! Today, we’ll be going over 10 questions blogger In Omnia Paratus shared with us about fall.

Best. Trip. Ever.

1. Most equestrians quote fall as their favorite season to ride. Are you one of those that does? Or maybe not; what is your favorite season to ride, if so?

It’s 2-fold. I absolutely love fall and the leaves changing and the new nip in the air, (you know, for those climates that actually have trees and cold weather), but it’s also bittersweet because that means winter is coming. Spring is my favorite season to ride. The days get longer and it’s the promise of summer.

2. Do you clip your horse in the fall? Or maybe you wait a little longer?

I have actually never clipped a horse lol. This year, though I’m considering it. Amber doesn’t and probably won’t need much of a trim because she only grows enough hair to be warm, but my mom’s mare Whisper grows hair like she’s in the arctic. Now that she’s at home and it’s easier to blanket, we’ll probably have to clip her this year so she’ll stay more comfortable during the day.

3. Have any costume riding events in October on/near/around Halloween? What will your horse be dressed as? What about yourself? What would you dress as if money/time were absolutely no issue?

Ha, we just had a show with this! I was a pirate. Amber was…..a sort of pirate lol. If money were no issue I’d be a knight. With Amber dressed in battle armor. That or the Amazons and their horses from Wonder Woman lol.

Like this, but with much less rearing lol

4. Is your horse afraid of any autumn colors? Or maybe has a certain quirk that appears only in the autumn?

No, not really. She’s only wary of dusk. She’s not afraid of much.

5. Pumpkin spice. It’s everywhere right now. Find any natural pumpkin [squash] spice-esque recipes for your horse?

I haven’t! I actually don’t even know if she’d like pumpkin. She gets picky about carrots lol. Apples are one of the only things she’ll eat no question. And butterscotch.

6. We’re getting to the end of the calendar year, any final few “big-bang” shows to look forward to?

Our last show is in November, and it’s the cumulative show to win a buckle! Looking forward to seeing who can win!

This was one of the best times I’ve ever had horseback

7. Winter is coming. What are you doing to winterize your trailer/rig/car?

Even when I was in a snowy climate, I didn’t do anything. I mostly just went to a parking lot with my car, swerved it around a bit to test it, and then continued. Then I’ve had trucks, so snow isn’t a problem, and then here in Vegas we usually don’t get any snow so….yeah.

8. Do you have any autumn traditions you/your horse follow?

Unfortunately not. We’re pretty boring lol.

9. October in many places marks the beginning of deer hunting season. Does this affect your riding at all? Do you wear blaze orange or modify your schedule to accommodate the season?

No deer in Vegas, so no worrying about that!

10. What are you most looking forward to goal-wise as the final months of the calendar year approach?

I’m looking forward to that last show, but really looking forward to crossing off the dressage and jumping lesson goals. I’m super excited to start diving head-long into eventing!

But you’ll never need to twist my arm to get me to go on another fall pack trip!

Weekend recap part 2: NSHA V show

The morning was bright and crisp, and unfortunately, again, I hooked up truck and trailer and Amber proceeded to buck and kick and smash and let me know that she was not up for another trailer ride. Well, too bad, pony. We’re going. Aside from that, though, she loaded right in and we were off!

Chillin’

I got there with enough time this time (thank god), and walked around with her a bit and “lunged” her with just her lead rope to assess her and see how she was. She baby jogged around twice (and looked okay) and then stopped and faced me. Okay, then. That’s always a good sign that she’s ready to get to the work and won’t pull any shenanigans (though, really when does she ever?)

So we geared up for our first class – ranch riding. I took her around a bit, loped a circle, and stopped. She felt good. Relaxed, not completely listening with so many things to look at, but she was really steady. So I repeated last time and stood around waiting. She seemed just so much more relaxed this show day, and I was thinking all that standing around and relaxing helped. I want her to think when we come to shows, she’ll get tired because it’s an all morning thing, but that it’s actually easier at shows. We sit and do nothing. Relax. At home we work really hard. And she was very much up for the “relax” portion of this show.

Since I focused a lot on relaxing, when we did our pattern, it wasn’t our best. She got a bit excited and distracted so missed a few cues, but I thought we did okay and got fourth! Out of 5 or 6 I think. So when back in the warm up ring I worked a little more on the canter, played around with a few lead changes to get her thinking about them for the reining, and then sat again to wait.

I actually really loved that go round we had. At the first lope off, she could hear someone kissing to their horse from elsewhere and got really upset because she thought it was me, but then settled so nicely. Our stops are….not really stops, and not nice at all, but she’s doing a try-slide-but-missing-it-and-collapsing thing, and I know that without slides we’re not going to score too well. Her spins could’ve been better, but I was actually quite happy with our circles. She felt really solid in those the whole way round, even though we missed our first change. I knew it probably wouldn’t happen because she was still a bit sore and she’s not good left to right, but we got the right to left one! She surprised me in her right rollback by jumping into the canter, and while it wasn’t really nice, I was very happy how hard she was trying for me. It earned us a tie for 4th in reining!

After that I hopped off and let her grab some water and munch on food. She was really doing well with the show that day, and I felt that our work for 2-4 minutes and rest for a while at the previous show really helped her this time. Like I said she wasn’t as on target with cues, but I’d rather start relaxed and work up to that since I can get worked up at shows and would rather she not take that cue from me lol.

Lookin’ pretty!

Next was our horsemanship pattern. We walked around and chatted, got her a little warmed up with a jog, then popped into the ring to stand some more. She was much more responsive and calm in the thru-way walking into the arena. Before she was a bundle of nerves, but today it worked out! I really liked our horsemanship pattern better than the one last show, she was just a little touchy for the spin, and not quite on it for the simple change, and there was some tough competition but we still got 3rd!

We walked back to the trailer, got all of her tack off and then I was changing for the fun class which for October was the costume class! I had forgotten a bit of my costume, didn’t have any time prior to the show to get Amber anything really good to wear, and so we ended up with this:

Look at that enthusiasm LOL

I don’t know what I’m going to do with you guys – Amber probably lol
Okay, I’m done LOL

All in all though, we had a blast. There was a hippy girl and horse, a faery and her unicorn, the evil queen and Grumpy, and Harley Quinn (who I couldn’t get a pick of). And of course, the winner – this little girl and her mini! Coincidentally, the pony’s name was Oreo lol.

Forty-five minutes later and we were ready for western dressage. My mom called for me again even though I’d wanted to have the pattern memorized; I’d just had a lot going on that I didn’t have it fully memorized. One of the board members took the video for me, and it’s a little choppy, but I’m glad she got video! Amber was really good, and you have an option to go one or two-handed, and for this one, I decided on two. Partially to practice my hand/arm/body position, but it just seems to flow a little better with two (which seemed to pay off since the judge really seemed to like my position – a 7.5. Wow 0.0).

I was….a little confused by this test. I thought the judge last show echoed my thoughts on the ride, but this one was a bit confusing. She was a USEF judge, but some things just didn’t make sense. Something that I thought she’d ding me for and even commented on it, she gave me a 7. And then one where I thought we’d get a slightly better score based on her previous notes she gave me a 6. I mean, even still I got a 35 and won the class (thankfully I wasn’t the only one lol), but it was just a little strange. I know I’ll have to get used to it since every judge has different preferences!

Either way, we were done! And silly, stupid Amber – I don’t know what it is about mares – or at least our mares – but she refused to poop or pee until she stepped into the trailer. She just HAD to hold it. I really don’t understand that lol. Just pee where you are, mare! But, I was very happy with our day. We got more points towards the buckle, Amber felt much better and the work in the walk was paying off! She was still a little short, but much smoother and cadenced.

Loved how she looked in reining!

We still have things to work on for the next show, but we get to relax a little since we’ve got 4 weeks until the one in November. And now, we have an appointment at the vet tomorrow to look at and inject her SI. So hopefully, she’ll be really ready to go for November!

Weekend part 1: Ren Fair

Friday I got home from work, talked to my mom, and decided to scratch the show for Saturday. She told me that Amber was super reactive in her back and hips, and when I went out to feel how she was I could see the same thing. Plus, with my sister here, and not taking a day off of work, I’d had very limited time with her and Kayley up to that point, and I just decided to scratch. It allowed me another day to really focus on getting Amber stretched out as well as spend some time with my sis and my niece.

So, after Amber got a good massage, we got dressed and headed to the fair! I’ve never been to one before, and neither had most of my family, but my oldest sister is an amazing seamstress and had sewn a costume for herself and Kayley to match. Apparently, the one here in town was pretty extensive. There were first the shops and everything to browse through, and they had some pretty amazing things like a pressed paper, leather-bound notebook (which I almost bought but know I won’t ever use) and some good, super sharp Game of Thrones looking knives.

Kayley very much enjoyed browsing around and looking at everything.

Just about as many people that were dressed up were also in regular clothes, so a good mix of half and half. Many of the people were dressed in the more revealing costumes I suppose you could call it, but my absolute favorites were the people dressed traditionally in those time periods.

Like these great pirates
And these lovely ladies from the Elizabethan era

It was also really cool to see that with all the tents around, that was where most of these vendors slept – and even had their laundry out! Whether it was for show or they really did their laundry, I still thought it was a good touch.

Yes, I got a picture of the laundry lol

They had jousting and knights fighting, and other knights dressed in great armor with fake blood walking around… It was really a lot of fun. They had sections where the people walked around and didn’t interact with the crowd too much but (I forget what it’s called) were there to show the day-to-day life of the people of that era. They had what looked to be soldiers’ tents with a long banquet table, and some areas of gypsies with a real Gypsy Vanner horse – complete with mustache (can you believe that I DIDN’T get a picture of the horse?!).

There was an enchanted forest with faeries and mermaids. There was one very very nice lady dressed as a mermaid that was so sweet to entertain Kayley’s desire to come give her a hug and sit on her lap for a bit. It was very sweet.

And a mermaid in a tank!

My favorite part were the singers that sang little ditties for the crowd. It was pretty damn hilarious, and I’m glad I got video instead of just stills! Also the people were so nice. Most of the stuff that we were able to do was free, and at most other places it would have cost for you to do that.

All in all, though, it was a blast.

Saturday saw Amber and I doing a quick ride which did seem to ease her muscles a bit when I massaged and stretched her before and after. After she was all clean I decided to have some fun since I had the time to braid her mane as I’d seen in one picture before.

I have to admit, it turned out well. After packing everything in the trailer, we were all ready to go to the show bright and early!