Gateway Drug

How is it already Monday again? And mid-September at that? Time is absolutely flying. Which is fine by me since fall is my favorite season. We got a couple of cool, crisp, low-humidity mornings last week that were just DIVINE (it was nice to not be a puddle of sweat on my spin bike at 6am for once) to the point where I even wore a sweatshirt for like a whole hour. Henry was a big fan of the cooler temps in our morning rides, too.

How dolphins do lead changes. It’s his face for me.

Even though the afternoons were still getting up into the 90’s, the humidity dropped significantly (down to 25%!!!) so it didn’t even feel that hot. Henry doesn’t have nearly as hard a time with the heat when the humidity stays low like that… which is rare here unfortunately. But the cooler drier weather did make it feel very fall-like which was pretty exciting for all of us. Yesterday it was back to being hot and humid but now today we’re getting some of the rain from Tropical Storm Nicolas – which we desperately need rain for the grass – and it feels pretty darn nice out. I’ll take the rain and 80’s high temperatures for a few days, thank you.

Henry’s been keeping to his usual riding schedule, although since the ground was getting pretty hard I’ve kept the jumps lower. Which Henry was not impressed by in the least. He jumped them all like this.

It’s just a canter step after all, right? He saved his enthusiasm for all of his dolphining in the corners. I like the spicier version of Henry though, he’s a lot more fun to ride in the fall and winter when his sass level and energy level increases. He’s like that because he feels good, and I’ll never be unhappy about a Henry that feels good. Even if there’s a lot of yeehaw. It’s entertaining to me.

Last week had some good mail days, too. I had taken advantage of a Vistaprint coupon and ordered a couple things in anticipation of showing Presto next year – a navy and white WTW banner (because I will rep the shit out of WTW in all situations) and a stall sign for Presto. I’d spent the past couple weeks wavering about the stall sign, not really finding one that I loved. I think I looked at every single one on Etsy, but nothing was quite right. I wanted navy and white, I wanted the WTW logo, and I wanted his breeding on it. And of course since it’s for shows I thought it would be helpful to have his photo and my phone number. I couldn’t find any that were as professional looking as I wanted, or weren’t $$$. But in browsing Vistaprint after making the banner, I saw that they make little aluminum signs, so I set to work making the design I had in mind within one of their templates. I had no clue how it would turn out once they printed my design but it was only $18 so… worth a shot.

I think it came out great. It’s nicely done, has everything I wanted on it, and it’ll look good with his stall set-up. Can’t beat it for the price. I’m still debating how I want to hang it… I could make holes in the corners and run a chain through if I wanted, or use adhesive photo hooks and run a chain from the back. Or other adhesive hooks. Or clips. Or command strips. Or velcro. Or just some duct tape on the back. Honestly I’ll probably start with the duct tape method and see how that works before I go overcomplicating things. It seems easiest, and then I can just stick it up wherever I want on the stall front or door that is out of reach of his mouth, depending on the venue. Either way, very pleased with my low-budget stall sign. Two thumbs up for Vistaprint.

I also finally got my package with my missing Epplejeck items from my July order. They weren’t the quickest to resolve the situation, but they did make it right and send me the two items that were missing from the original order. It took a few weeks to get here, but it made it and I’m satisfied with how they handled it overall. Of course I was convinced that since I’d had to jump through so many hoops to get these two things, neither of them would fit. Luck was on my side though, because both items fit and I really like them both.

These Quur Cardie breeches are pretty much a dead-ringer dupe for Equiline (complete with the little triangle badge thingy on the left leg) but I honestly prefer the fabric on these to the fabric on my Equiline. These are a true tech fabric vs a more cottony feel, which is more comfortable IMO. They call this color purple but it looked merlot to me online and it is indeed very merlot in real life – my pic makes it look more pinkish than it is. For under $100 (according to my receipt I paid $83 for them on sale) these are a great alternative. The website said they run small and they do seem about a half size small, which works in my favor. I kinda want more colors.

I had also kinda forgotten that I ordered the world’s best show shirt. Yep that’s navy glitter. Do I already have a navy glitter long-sleeve? Yes but the top part is white so under a jacket you can’t see it’s magnificence. This one is full on navy glitter. Even the buttons have glitter inside them. It’s dark sparkly perfection and no one can convince me otherwise. Plus it fits great, so yay.

AND, continuing on the sparkly navy theme, a late birthday present showed up from the UK – the most stupid beautiful saddle pad I think I’ve ever seen in my life.

This doesn’t even capture it

Look, I’m not really a lover of saddle pads. I’m not a connoisseur, a collector, or an enthusiast the way a lot of horse people are. I really have very few saddle pads and use the same ones day in and day out, I’m not into the matchy-matchy thing, I don’t do color, etc etc. Lots of people are into it but it’s just not my jam. At least, not usually. There’s something about those Kentucky saddle pads though. They do really cool stitching patterns that make everything look more elegant. And they put details on them that really dress it up without being overly in-your-face about it. They’re just mega classy looking pads, in a more subtle way. And also generally expensive, which is why I hadn’t bought any. Seeing this one in person though… man. I might have a new addiction. I can already see this is going to be a problem. The pad I got is the dressage version from the Glitter Stone line, but now I want the jump version of it too. Is it a birthday present or is it a gateway drug? We’ll find out sooner or later. These aren’t sheepskin lined so Henry can’t use them, but Presto sure can.

Speaking of the noodle, I spent yesterday afternoon making his next vlog installment for the Futurity, so hopefully that’ll be ready to post this week. Tomorrow morning I head up to DFW for a couple days to take my first official lessons on him, and I’ve not had time to draft any posts for while I’m gone so things will go dark here for a day or two. I promise to come home armed with lots to say and hopefully lots of media (I’m taking my Pivo, anyway). I’m equal parts excited and intimidated, mostly because I haven’t sat on him in like 6 months now and the horse I have today is definitely nothing like the horse I dropped off in the spring, nor is he at all like Henry. I know I have a very steep learning curve ahead of me, and I expect that, so that’s the intimidating part, but at the same time I’m so excited to get back on him and feel what I’ve got now. The challenge of learning to ride a “new” horse is invigorating too, I’m really looking forward to it. I just hope I don’t suck too much. Definitely glad I’ve spent the last 6 months getting in better shape at least, I have a feeling I’m gonna need it!

6 thoughts on “Gateway Drug

  1. I’ve been following your blog for about a year now – I’m excited to hear how your lessons on Presto go!
    Since you mentioned how you upped your fitness level with a spin bike I have to ask – what youtube videos do you follow? I have a young warmblood dressage mare that my trainer and I just started and I’m debating trying a spin bike to up my fitness for when her rides evolve past the minimum “good job, baby horse” stage.


  2. I like those breeches a lot! Wish they had the same ones in knee patch.
    I CANNOT wait to read all about your lesson! This is so exciting! I don’t know how you’re getting through the day waiting to leave…


  3. For the stall sign, glue a rare earth magnet (with 5 pounds or so of pull) to the back. There’s always something metal on horse show stalls that you can stick it to.


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