I sat down here to do my recap of last week’s happenings and had a hard time remembering what the heck even happened. How does last week already feel like such a long time ago?
Really though, I think between AEC and Bicton I spent most of my free time watching livestreams. The AEC one was bad for my blood pressure, they had a tendency to cut to commercial break or cut away to another ring/person RIGHT when the person I’d been waiting on was about to go. The only time their servers went down the entire time was precisely for the entirety of Tenny’s XC run and I don’t think I’ve ever yelled at a screen so much in my entire life. That was the one thing I wanted to see most, of course.
For a free livestream though I can’t complain too much, and overall we did get to see a lot, and at least something from every level. It gave me a little bit of FOMO (okay maybe not so much the first couple days when it was absolutely pissing rain) and extra sadness that Presto didn’t get to go. Then again I didn’t think the Novice looked particularly challenging, definitely not as technical as the course he did at Chatt, so… oh well. It was a beautiful show though and the courses were lovely, that’s for sure.
The Bicton live stream was great – good commentary and we got to see a lot of the course. The terrain was absolutely INSANE, that’s for sure, and the “bloodier” horses definitely seemed to fare better – the average blood percentage of the top 10 was 62%, and the average of the top 5 was 66%. Some horses just plain ran out of gas 3/4 of the way around after going up and down so many hills.
I did think it was interesting how many times the pin at the bounce coffin gave way – often on only one side. Of all the times it went, only one horse really whacked it particularly hard. Most just scraped over the top with the hind end the way XC horses often do when jumping into coffin questions like that, but they certainly would not have fallen or even stumbled if the pin hadn’t gone. Lots of 11 penalties where it wasn’t deserved, IMO. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of discussion comes about after all these penalties that have happened on the big stage lately.
The other highlight from Bicton was seeing Gemma Tattersall finally win a 5*. I feel like she’s a bit of a kindred spirit with that pompom up there on her XC helmet. Pom Club things. If Gemma can ball around a 5* to win it like a complete boss bitch in her lavender and white pompom helmet cover, the haters can definitely STFU about mine.
Otherwise the only interesting things to happen last week were the acquisition of a few new things. Free Ride had a sale so I finally caved and ordered the black shirt that I’ve been eyeballing for months. It has a little tone on tone stripe down the arm/side and sparkly glitter mesh so duh, I needed it. I do honestly need a few more shirts that are more fitted for when I tuck them in, so that plus sale plus free shipping seemed to justify it in my mind.
It’s a cute shirt for sure, although the fabric is a bit thick for a sunshirt, IMO. I’d call it more of a baselayer. Which works fine for me because I’ll be able to wear it more over the coming months. It’s really nicely fitted and Free RIde shipped the same day I ordered, big props to them there. I’ve always heard good things but this was my first time ordering from them.
The week before that, when I was still high off my $40 amazon breeches find, I had ordered a show shirt from another Amazon company. I found it kind of by accident, hidden in a listing for sunshirts. They had navy and gray, both with full mesh sleeves, so I took a shot and ordered the navy one. The all mesh sleeve is really appealing to me because I’m pretty much always at shows that are hot, so I wear my Motionlite coats, but if you wear a short sleeve shirt under those you can always see the line really easily, which drives me nuts in pictures. The mesh sleeve seemed like a good compromise – you’d get the bit of white cuff at the wrist from the long sleeve, and the sleeve would be a nice flat smooth profile under the arm of the coat, but the mesh would be cooler than a regular long sleeve. In theory, anyway. I didn’t have super high hopes for a $30 shirt but figured what the heck it was worth a shot.
This one is another winner though, for sure. The fabric is nice – thin and stretchy, and the mesh sleeves are REALLY cool and breathable. The fit is great for a show shirt too, not too boxy. I immediately went back to order the gray one but it’s sold out in my size right now. I think these things will be magical for warm weather shows. The mesh is delicate obviously so my dumpster fire self will have to be a little careful not to rip it, but also… they’re $30.
The other acquisition/upgrade last week was my running martingale clip rings. Presto is jumping in a running right now, but I sold my last running attachment (Henry used one when he was greener and more, uh, enthusiastic too, but settled out of needing it) a couple years ago. I grabbed a cheap $6 adjustable running attachment from someone on facebook one day so I’d at least have something for when he comes back. I dunno about y’all though but I freaking HATE having to unbuckle reins to run them through the rings (ain’t nobody got time for that) so I wanted clip-on ones like the Prestige and CWD runnings have. Stacie pointed out that duh you can just buy the rings by themselves (I got mine on the same Amazon order as my shirt, it was $7 for 5 rings) and convert any running to the clip-on ring style. She’s a genius. All hail Stacie.
It was as easy as cutting the old rings off with bolt cutters, then sliding the new ones on. Took all of 30 seconds maybe.
I got the 40mm, which are a little bigger than the rings that came on the running to start with, but I figured I’d rather them be slightly bigger so it was easier to clip them on and off over raised reins.
That was definitely the cheapest and easiest upgrade that I’ve done in a really long time. Unbuckling reins is for the birds, man.
We did get to do one other fun thing this weekend too but it gets it’s own post tomorrow! Hope y’all had a good long weekend.