Tuesday, 21 December 2010

It's Official..I Hate Winter!

Grrr, our pre-Christmas hack and tack room party got cancelled on Sunday due to all the ice and snow we got over the weekend. I was so disappointed as I was going to wear my Hohlwein inspired riding habit and ride Hattie in a Pelham!

This winter has been a let down due to the extreme weather with shows and all the fun stuff being cancelled! Plus I think I cracked my rib again :(

I was laying on the floor on my left side (the side I broke my ribs) trying to plug the Christmas lights into the only plug in the living room (and it happens to be in the most inaccessible place) and when I got up, I had such terrible pain. Ever since then my rib has been hurting all over again. I suppose it's just as well it's happened now as I won't be doing much riding any time soon as the arctic conditions are set to stay. Very unusual for England! We usually still have some green grass left this time of year!

Despite my broken body and rubbish weather, I managed to get in a ride on the weekend. I booked the indoor school at a stable down the lane from me to school for half an hour. My right hip has been acting up from the weather aggravating my arthritis (gosh, I sound like such an old woman!) so decided to ride in my off-side side saddle to rest it.

Oh man, does that saddle need flocking up! BADLY!! It's so unbalanced from the flocking being so soft and the panels flat from 80+ years of being ridden in. I tried putting that grip pad stuff between the panels and saddle that I used to temporarily flock up my near-side saddle but my off-side saddle is desperately in need of stuffing that it wasn't enough. Needless to say, we couldn't do much more than I walk as I kept wanting to drop to the right.

It looks like the next big chunk of money to go out of my poor battered bank account is getting my two side saddles reflocked but this will have to wait until it thaws out a bit so that I can borrow friend's outdoor school as the saddler has to see the saddles ridden in. The indoor school at the stable down the lane from me, has to be paid by the hour so the less I have to spend, the better!

SO, despite having inclement weather, a broken rib (AGAIN!), a bad hip and a unbalanced saddle, we DID manage to walk the Intro B dressage test AND try Hattie out in our new Pelham bit! I tell you what, my mare is such a saint to put up with everything and not bat an eye.

I found the Pelham bit at a second hand tack sale I went to the other week for £3.50! It came with it's curb chain so all I needed to get was a lip strap which my local tack shop had. I already have two sets of extra long reins for side saddle riding (a laced pair for the snaffle and a plain pair for the curb) and a Pelham bit just goes on a normal snaffle bridle headstall so I was all set!

It wasn't difficult to fit, I just had to raise the cheek pieces a little higher and that was it. The curb chain I had on the 2nd link on each side and the tack shop said that the lip strap just has to be fitted loose. I practised picking up and holding double reins at home before doing it on Hattie. Since I would be mostly riding off the snaffle rein, I put that rein on the outside of my little finger while the curb rein, I held between my little and ring finger where it could stay quiet and put. There are several ways of holding double reins but I think this way out of all I have seen, is the best for Hattie and I.

Hattie didn't seem to mind the Pelham at all and went about her business as usual. I can't use it for the level of dressage I do but it is considered proper in the UK for equitation and showing classes so we may as well get used to it!


  1. You didn't mention what type of mouth piece the pelham has. I'm curious. Hope you don't mind. Living with snow and ice is not something that I can imagine. Yucky is what I am thinking. It is said that "poverty is owning a horse". So true.

  2. I originally wanted a french link mouth piece as I ride her in a full cheek french link but they are hard to find in pelhams and are expensive when you do! The one I bought is a normal jointed snaffle with a thinnish bars. Hattie hates thick bars on a bit (she sticks out her tongue sideways on thick bits as if there is no room for her tongue), she prefers thinner mouth pieces.

    We usually don't get all this snow and ice here this early and for so long, it's very unusual. It usually comes for a few weeks at the end of January/beginning of February and then it goes fairly quickly but this year is severe.

    Yes, poverty is owning a horse! LOL!