Well, my virus and my ear infection went away and Hattie's kicked leg unswelled so I thought "great, we can start schooling again!".
Not according to Hattie after deciding to pull a shoe today while schooling. It wasn't even loose and she took a chunk of hoof off with it despite having bell boots on. Sigh...
I swear she does it on purpose to get out of work.
Anyways, the few times I did get to ride this week, were spent practising our transitions and our left rein cantering as we are going to attempt a Prelim test in September. I've been trying to put into practise what my instructor Lili, said about making a nice smooth downward transition (she is reading this! :) ) and this work has paid off as we FINALLY got some good marks for our transitions at our last dressage show.
Any ways, when I come back from vacation (and touch wood that Hattie hasn't found some new and interesting way to injure herself), I'm going to have a lesson with Lili so she can whip us into shape again as we need it!
We also had an interesting hack yesterday when Hattie ran off with me down the lane. I changed her chaff based feed to another brand which I thought was the same but is actually full of molasses and sugar beet (both of which are no-no's for Hattie) so it's sent her crazy. I've been having to school her before hacking out to take the edge off of her. On the plus side, we had some good fast canters!
While hacking out, we passed a man who asked if I was "practising" riding side saddle for a special occasion, I said no, I always ride this way! He couldn't believe it! It reminded me of a photo I came across on the internet a little while ago.
"Side saddle riders, Broad Chalke. A rare and unusual sight these days. The three ladies were beautifully dressed in side saddle habits as they rode their horses down the village street."
© Copyright Trish Steel and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The caption made me chuckle as we side saddle riders are becoming less rare and unusual these days!
I also bought myself a Belly Buster girth tightener on Ebay as my fingers are becoming too arthritic to do up a non-elastic girth, especially when Hattie blows out. I paid £6 for it and it's the BEST £6 I have ever spent. I can tighten the three fold girth easy without straining and Hattie doesn't try to bit me when I do the girth up now as I'm not heaving and struggling to grip the billets. I can tighten slowly which is what Hattie likes without stressing my fingers. It truly is a godsend.
My saddler Roger Whitehead, is also coming out next month to finish my off-side side saddle (YAY!!!), reflock my Whippy and restore my side saddle surcingle. I told him about it and he's excited to see it! If my off-side side saddle is done for September, I may try a dressage test in that as Hattie seems to like that saddle. With the age that it is, I don't think it will be a jumping saddle but purely for dressage. I'm going to have Roger take off the leaping head cover so my farrier can open up the pommel for me too.
Someone posted this video on the Sidesaddle Riders! Facebook page of Aly Howard who has started doing eventing with a side saddle. I WANT TO DO THIS!!!! I wish I was 15 years younger and a bit less stiff as I would love to event side saddle. LOL, I will have to be happy with my little 1' fences :)