Thursday, 27 January 2011

Remind Me Why I Do this?

And why I couldn't have learned side saddle when I was a kid and more flexible??

I feel like how I felt like when I first went horseback riding- sore!!

I woke up and my butt was sore and every muscle in my arms and torso hurt. My left side of my ribs is sore too. I think after I broke my ribs, my body subconsciously, stopped using that side as a form of self preservation and with Lili making me sit properly and ride my horse, these muscles which haven't been used for a while (or not used properly) are being whipped back into shape and then some!

It makes you wonder how rubbish I was riding before if after just one lesson, I'm all ouchy from using the correct muscles?!

I felt better today after riding my bike to bring my son to school and then head to the stables and then to work but having to stack the tables at the school when the kids finished eating was "fun" but at least it got my muscles moving, LOL!

Unfortunately, I didn't get to ride today as I had to get dog food for my "poor suffering" dog (she had to make due with salami sausages for breakfast this morning!) and had to pack some parcels for the business (and I needed to recuperate from yesterday) but am planning on riding and practising what Lili taught me. I hope I can remember everything!

An interesting thing that Lili did during our lesson yesterday, was tell me what she would have rated the various things we did if we had done them during our dressage test and why she would have marked them as such. For example, our walk/trot transitions at the beginning of our lesson would have been 5's which is classified as "Sufficient" but later on in our lesson, our transitions were staring to become 7's which are rated as "Fairly Good". The thing that stuck out in my mind was how much WORK it took to raise our marks from 5 to 7 and what the hell I had to do to make them 10's?!!

Lili is judging at the next dressage show that I'll be entering on February 20 but I asked her is I would be allowed to show as I'm her student or if I would have to do it Hors Concours. She said that it is fine for unaffiliated dressage but that she would have to notify the show organizers though. She said not for me to expect her to be soft on me when judging but I said, "Nope, if I'm crap, then make sure you let me know!"

I want to practise and do well to make her proud though!

I'm just dreading the saddle rolling over tomorrow though when we school as when I took it off of Hattie yesterday, all her fur was all badly ruffled on the left side of her withers from the saddle dragging downwards to the left. Towards the end of my lesson, it was literally my right blubbery butt cheek, that was clenching onto the saddle with all it's life, to keep me on that darn thing.

It didn't move forwards which is good but just dropped down..alot..sigh..

Well, hopefully when my saddler comes to look at it next week, I'll look more like this Edwardian rider (from an early 1900's postcard in my collection),



instead of having my saddle end up like this!



To be fair, she was riding an old "cow horn" Victorian side saddle which aren't meant for jumping in, but my saddle felt it would have ended the same way! LOL!

7 comments:

  1. Well, I hate to have a laugh at your expense, Leila, but I can't help myself. I know that sidesaddle sore feeling all too well, and I'm not surprised about it after your successful lesson yesterday. Remember, beauty hurts.
    Definitely get that pommel flocking looked into; it'll take the hide right off if you're not careful.
    And as a veterinarian, I *have* to give you a tsk tsk about giving salami to your dog for breakfast; maybe Hattie might like some...
    A nice hot soak in the bath with a good sidesaddle book will work wonders.

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  2. Hi Leila,
    So pleased that things are looking up for you, you sound much happier (if much achier!)
    I found on the internet the other night your post from when you won your class at the show with Hattie - there are a couple of videos on there too, but now I can't find it again. I was so impressed and thought you two looked an absolute picture together!
    I am doing my first show up at Pittern Hill in a couple of weeks & am wondering if you have any tips? For eg you mentioned covering your ears with your hair - is this a must? And how do you make sure all your hairnets and veil etc behave - any particular order you put them on in etc?
    I have joined the SSA but no handbook has arrived as yet, and even if it does I'm not sure if it will tell me EVERYTHING I need to know.
    Hope the practicing is going well - looking forward to hearing all about it!

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  3. Robin, I feel much better today but my core muscles are very sore (which shows I was riding properly!) but oh, how it hurts to cough/sneeze/laugh! LOL!

    Hattie probably would have bit my hand off for that salami sausage but this morning poor Pepper was back to the "mundane" with her Pedigree chunks in gravy.

    Mummy Mellie, lucky you!! I wish I was going to that show but it's the same day as my dressage (and I've got no transport!). Even my instructor wanted to go but she is judging at the dressage too. What classes are you doing?

    The videos and photos of us in the equitation show are in the September 2010 folder, here is the link to the actual blog post:
    http://www.sidesaddlegirl.co.uk/2010/09/im-back-part-twothe-side-saddle-show.html

    My tip is to make sure your turnout is immaculate. You can't do much about your riding on the day as either you are ready to ride or not (don't forget to keep your right shoulder back as nerves can kick in and make you forget) but your turnout can affect whether you win or not if it comes down to the last two riders. I would wear a riding helmet or a bowler but not a top hat.

    You don't have to put your hair over your ears but I think it looks nicer and neater instead of having ears flap about. It's handy too if you have very long and thick hair like I do as your bun (according to the SSA) can be no larger than a small orange. Putting the hair over my ears takes up some of the length so that my bun ends up being the correct size instead of grapefruit sized!

    I start by doing my hair and bun and putting MANY hair pins in it to keep it put. Then I put the hair net on and secure that with lots of little hair pins on the top of my head so that they won't show as they will be under the bowler. You can use one or two hair nets but I find one enough for me. I just use the normal Aerborn ones that you see in every tack shop.

    Then I put my bowler on and put my veil on. Put it on under the chin first and then up and over the brim of your hat and button it at the back.

    It has to be snug fitting, no baggy nets and has to be UNDERNEATH your chin. The judge told the other rider off in our class as she was wearing hers baggy and perched at the tip of her chin as she didn't like the feeling of it on her mouth. TOUGH!

    If your veil is a bit big, you can always roll it a bit at the top so that the brim of your hat covers the roll.

    I push the top of the veil down so that it sits level with the crown seam (the bottom edge of the ribbon around the hat) of the bowler.

    Make sure your habit is well pressed and your apron hem pressed. I forgot to do it and my curled up which the judge commented on.

    Always enter on the right rein like a normal astride class too.

    I plaited Hattie's mane but not her tail. She hates having her tail pulled so just used a tail rake on it. Make sure you wipe your bit and everything before you go in (I brought baby wipes with me and had Josie wipe everything down including my boots with them).

    The judge told me that my shirt collar should be on the outside of my waistcoat, not tucked in and make sure your shirt collar isn't too baggy.

    That's all I can think of for now but ask away if anything pops into mind! :)

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  4. I'd like to add a comment about the veils; be sure to remove them from the hat between uses. Many ladies over here just leave them rolled up around the brim of the hat between shows, which stretches them out and makes them baggy.
    Owen also hates having his tail pulled, so I shape it two ways:
    1. I use snap on dog grooming combs on my regular clippers to shape the dock. With practice you can achieve a smooth pulled look, not that horrible shorn look you would get with clippers alone.
    2. I also like to use a stripping comb or blade.

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  5. Mummy Mellie, you could also dampen and wrap the tail just to slick it down. There ought to be some sort of hair product that would help keep the shape. Don't unwrap until you are ready to show.

    Leila, you made me sore just thinking about it. I'm sitting here at my desk pouting having opted out of a glorious lunch binge with coworkers, and made myself a salad with chicken instead. Can't binge and skip the workout on the same day! Now I'm not feeling as sorry for myself as if I'd gone, eaten lots of bad things, then come back to read this.

    That Edwardian rider looks verrrrry elegant... but remember. She's dead. So we mustn't envy her.

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  6. Ouch! Sounds like you worked extra hard in your lesson! Next time I'm sure it won't be as bad. I really enjoyed reading about showing and what to do and more importantly, what not to do!

    The grey horse in your old photo is gorgeous!

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  7. Thanks everyone for all your tips - I'll let you know how I get on, doing the Equitation class on a rather tricky horse, should be a bit of a challenge, and entertaining for the spectators!
    Leila, I seem to remember you saying that you struggled to finds shirts to fit you well, have you tried Bravissimo? They do a great range of clothing for girls with "assets"!
    If anybody thinks of anything else do let me know . . .

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