Embrace the Blur

I’ve talked before about how I am the only eventer at my barn, and how, for the most part, it’s actually kind of nice. I’m really one of just a few people there that even rides more than a couple days a week, and definitely the only one dumb enough to show up on rainy days or days with temps below 50. Apparently normal people find those conditions to be undesirable.

Image result for Shrug gif

Granted, if I was just riding for fun, I probably wouldn’t show up on those days either.

Nah, j/k, I totally would, I’m a glutton for punishment.

different from being a glutton for cookies, although I am also a glutton for cookies

There are a lot of perks to being solitary. I have basically taken over an entire corner of the tack room. I pretty much always have the crossties to myself. I almost never share riding space with another person. I can bring the corgi sometimes and not have to worry about his goofy ass getting in anyone’s way.


The barn owner also lets me put jumps wherever I want, and once I set them, nobody else ever touches them. You know how annoying it is when you spend forever setting a good course, only to come back the next day to find everything taken down to crossrails and all the filler removed? Clearly I don’t have baggage about that kind of stuff at all. (seriously though, I will break your damn fingers)

Of course, the down side to having everything to myself is that I have to drag those damn things around and set them completely… by myself.

not gonna lie, I reset my course like 3 times a year basically

It also means that there is never anyone around when I jump. Not my favorite thing, but I let the barn workers know when I’m headed out to the jump field and tell them that if I’m not back in 45 minutes, please come get my body with the golf cart. I also always keep my phone with me, either on a standard or in my pocket if I can fit it. Not an ideal situation but it’s reality.

This also means that I basically NEVER have media of myself riding at home, unless I prop my phone up somewhere to video and then try to get screenshots later. A media-less blogger is a tough thing to be. Who even reads posts with no pics? No one. Did it happen if there’s no proof? Definitely not. #bloggerproblems

FYI when you’re bored of all the pole exercises you set, this totally functions as a skinny 

So there I was this weekend, alone, ready to jump school. I was tired of my course (I’m past due for a re-design) but too lazy to move everything around right then and there. What to do in that scenario? I dunno, I figured I’d just jack a couple of them up a few holes. Of course, I have to get off to raise the fences, so I went with the lazy man’s method of setting a 3′ warmup fence, a 3’6″ oxer, a 3’9″ gate, and a 4’3″ vertical. Options, people. Options that don’t require getting off and back on the horse several times.

this is some amazing photography, I know

Then I was like well, if we actually make it over that 4’3″ jump without dying, I’m gonna want proof, so I better go prop my phone up on the barrel (the one that acts as a standard for another fence, bc my life is honestly just kind of ghetto) and see if I can get it. Of course that barrel is kinda far away but it was the only propable surface within video distance, since my jumps are in the middle of a giant field.

And well… that isn’t exactly conducive to excellent quality media. You can tell the blur is a horse and you can tell that the blur is jumping over another blur, but that’s about it. Still though, it’s the biggest I’ve jumped this horse and I’m claiming that it totally counts as photographic evidence.


These are the times when I honestly wish I had someone around to video. Or set jumps. Or any of those things that you totally take for granted when you aren’t solitary.

I say that, but I should actually qualify that statement to be more specific, because the SO came out to the barn with me the next day (for the first time in like a year) and the only video he got is a few seconds of some monstrosity that he shot through literally the worst filter ever created by mankind.

That. Is. Terrible.

It is also still blurry.

It is also set to some kind of weird techno beat.

I should probably look more closely at something like a Pixio or a Soloshot (do those even work in big open spaces?), but I think I’m probably way too cheap for that kind of thing. Not sure that I can justify hundreds upon hundreds of dollars, even if it would be a great learning tool, unless someone wants to give me a bag of money.

Until then… just embrace the blur?

22 thoughts on “Embrace the Blur

  1. Fellow media-less blogger (unless I can con a lesson kid’s mom into filming or guilt Nick into sneezing for several hours) and it STINKS. Pretty sure most of my posts at this point are “we did a cool thing. I have no proof, so just take my word for it.” Luckily bloggers seem to be a trusting group. There are plenty of people at the barn when I’m there, but I STILL don’t get media because they’re all busy with their own stuff.


  2. I’m pretty media-less, although my trainer is good about shooting some video during lessons for me because I learn by being able to feel how something looks and vice versa. Especially when it comes to thinking I’m going fast and then seeing it on video and going oh… I’ve experimented propping my phone up on a wall in the indoor, but all I’ve succeeded in filming so far is the ceiling or the edge of the wall.


  3. I’ve had reasonable luck in the past with setting my helmet camera on a standard and letting it go. The wide angle lens captures a surprisingly large portion of the action if I am strategic in what I set up and where I put the camera. It isn’t great for getting HQ stills but it’ll definitely suffice for some video. I’d LOVE a SoloShot or Pixio but neither are currently justifiable for me right now.


  4. I think the soloshot would be perfect for your big field, since it tracks via GPS (not sure how the sensors of the pixio would do, and you’d have to talk around the field to set them up?) – but ya know…. $$$$ 😉

    Blurry riding media is better than no media, so #winning. 90% of my photos lately are either lunge shots or between the ears, lol.


  5. That video cracks me up. Also, I am so jealous of your ability to set jumps and leave them. I would looooove to leave jumps up and not have to set up and take down every. single. time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have the SoloShot3 and have used a Pixio- Pixio probably won’t work for you in your field (unless you keep to a 300′ square area or something like that and want to set up the camera and 3 beacons every time). The Soloshot3 would work for your space, but it does have a few limitations (don’t get within 30′ of it while using it, but you can go up to 2000 ft away I think). I’m happy to talk about my experiences with it, if you’re ever interested. So far, I’d give it a 3/5, but it’s getting better.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This sounds about right. I settle for between the ears snap shots.

    I do have a go-pro though and while it won’t follow me around the arena I can set it up on a tripod to try and capture as much of my arena as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I take tons of quality media for my friends who don’t even have blogs and on the very off chance they ever return the favor- it is always disappointing. Like, I get it, my horse is big and I am tall but there are ways to get my head in the frame. And unless it’s a video, the only photos I ever get are best used for fail themed posts. sigh.


  9. Yep, all of this is a real #firstworldproblem for me too. I bungee cord my phone to the fence and let it video then grab screen shots that way. I also do the same thing with the jumps, set a few low for warm up and the rest at height. The pixio looks super cool, but I don’t have an extra grand or whatever laying around to buy that system AND a camera. So fence video it shall be!
    For what’s worth, you can totally tell through the blur that Henry is jumping fantastic over that vertical!


  10. DAMN, HENRY!

    I have the same kind of situation for jumping. All of the same pros and cons, too. Mostly happy with it until the media dept, too. I have a phone tripod now (like $15 on Amazon) that I can set on a jump standard or barrel, though what I prefer to do with it is to use an old elastic headband to “tie” it to a standard. Much easier to get a good angle from there!


  11. action camera otha 4k sports underwater camera on Amazon, less than 100 bucks
    It has a wide lens and good quality picture, of course not as great as someone videoing you or a go-pro, but way better than a phone on a post I think.


  12. Lack of people around while I ride is the reason my Instagram/facebook Pictures are all pictures of my ponies eating, standing in crossties, sleeping, the odd awful selfie and generally looking like they never work a day in their lives when in reality I ride 5-6 days a week MIN. Because my coach lives 4 1/2 hrs away I am REally lucky if we get Monthly lessons. This lack of having an eye on the ground to help or not being able to see myself drives me Nuts. So this winter I started propping up my Phone to record myself while I ride. I then ride for a bit, stop review the video and quickly note: that Yes I am pushing him past his rhythm again, that my hands are creeping up and why can’t I look up! Rinse and repeat. It is better than nothing but the stop and go is less than Ideal and I end up with hours of kinda bad close,now far away videos I would love a Pixio (ideally that would broadcast live onto a big screen so I could have real-time feedback, or even better a really good Internet connection so could set up a skype lesson with the said coach)
    The Odd time I can sweet talk/con someone into taking pictures or video it is Blurry, shaky, to dark and they miss the good things. If I ever win the Lotto big time I am getting a Butler and a Photographer 🙂
    But Dammmm Blurry or Not You two Look awesome over that Vertical!
    Totally jealous that you get to set up and leave your jumps.


  13. I know the pixios have a range up to 100m, so they should work fine in the space you have.

    I really want one but… poor.

    Also I follow Olivia Towers, she had a lot of trouble receiving the soloshot so she cancelled it and got a Pixio, and has now had endless troubles with the Pixio, so I’m not sure if the tech is still too new to be reliable for the amount they cost.


  14. A friend got a sport video cam for Xmas from her husband. She hangs it on the side of the ring and it’s wide angle capture most of her ring work even in the really big ring. It doesn’t track her just shoots a really big zone. I was thinking about trying one out. Some models are really affordable.


  15. I use my iphone on a cheap tripod I got off amazon. It’s not great as I can never get the whole school in, but at least I can see where I am going wrong. If you got a tall tripod you could reach down and pick it up to move it to the next fence without having to get off?


  16. We have a under 18 phone policy at our place (also known as stop Facebook-ing on your horse policy), so I have to snag the random parent watching or find someone who isn’t busy to get any video of riding. Makes it tricky for sure!

    Blur still totally counts as proof. 🙂


  17. Congrats on jumping the 4foot3 mate. That is so big!! Myself and Moo are off to a jump club this weekend to conquer 50cm and 60cm so i’ll see you and your pegasus in the future lol.
    I understand your pain at not having video. I found that if i bought two video cameras and set them up i could get the entire dressage arena, but with jumping you may need a go pro i reckon. I bought a cheaper style go pro, so not really a gopro at all! and it works just awesomely fine.
    Loving the style over the jump too.
    Mel x


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