Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Schooling, Habits & Shows!

This post is a bit of an amalgamation of the past few days as I've been so busy with things. I've been schooling everyday as we have a show on Sunday and had planned to do the Riding Club Horse & Pony class which includes a jump (about 1 1/2' high) but have decided to scrap that class for now.

Our flat work is coming along but I'm still out of shape from my holiday and it's affecting my riding. I started my Aquatone class again but promptly got an ear infection after my second class, grrrrr. I've have narrow eustachian tubes in my ear and my ear drum is riddled with scar tissue from years of ear infections since I was a child so it's my achilles heel. I ordered some silicone ear plugs, an ear band AND a swim cap with elastic chin strap to protect my ears during Aquatone from the water so I can continue my fitness for riding!

Defective ears aside, we attempted jumping again with mixed results. Hattie likes jumping and tends to rush the jumps and we were ok on the right rein (it was only a little 1' jump) albeit a little rushed but she went wappy on the left rein and had to abort our mission (which she wasn't happy about!). We ended up trotting over it on the left rein a couple of times but even then she tried to rush it.

It's a combination of me being out of shape, not riding for the past three weeks and the left rein being Hattie's weaker rein.

So I'm going to put the jumping on hold for now and work on our transitions to get both of us balanced and her listening to my aids when I say to slow down. We schooled for a bit this morning and it was better, we had a good transition from trot to canter and back again on the left rein so left it at that.

I have till next summer anyways to work on little jumps for when the show season starts again and then maybe we will attempt the Riding Club class.

I also had an unexpected class from my local tack shop the other day as well...

In December, I paid my local tack shop a visit and they had a new Mears "County" model cutaway jacket in navy in my size and a TALL size to boot! I knew I was going to sell my old black habit as it didn't quite fit right anymore so was kind of in the market for a new habit. The tack shop rang up Mears to see if they would be able to make me a matching apron for this particular jacket as they already make side saddle habits with the County model jacket option to begin with. They said "no problem", so I purchased the jacket (which was a bargain!) and sent it off to Mears with a cheque and my measurements for my apron.

My tack shop kept chasing them afterwards wanting updates on how my habit was going and also asked them if they could also add an off-side apron to the order after I had purchased my Beck Morrow saddle.

It turns out that Mears was trying to find an exact match for the jacket as they no longer had that batch of particular material in stock and even went back to the fabric manufacturer to see if they could match it.

Well, it turns out that Mears managed to find a small amount of the left of that particular batch of fabric, exactly enough to make two aprons in my size and that's it!! How lucky was that! They shipped it to my tack shop and the shop called me the other day to pick up my new habit complete with opposite aprons.

It's FAB and for once I have a habit that is long enough for me. The only thing is that I've lost a bit of weight since ordering it so I had to push over the buttons by 3" on the apron to make it smaller in the waist and hips and will have to move the buttons over by an inch on the jacket. I may take up the sleeves an inch or two as the jacket would fit a woman up to 5'11"- 6' and I'm only 5'9"!

Since my off-side saddle is still with Roger along with my side saddle surcingle, I haven't had
a chance to ride in my off-side apron but have been "breaking in" my nearside apron for the past two days while schooling.

These photos were taken the first day before I took the waist in. The waist was pulling forward due to being too big and something funky was happening with my right toe sticking out.

But I managed to sort my foot out and point it more inwards towards Hattie at the end of my left rein canter and the downward transition to trot.

Hopefully it will bring me luck at the show on Sunday!

Speaking of shows...

Remember my blog post in June about online horse shows and if there would be enough interest in an online side saddle class?

Well, our wish was granted and Horse Shows Online has created a side saddle photo class. Horse and rider will be judged on presentation and turnout. Entries close August 28, 2011!


  1. Awww pink looks so cute on Hattie!!

    I think you'll do fine on your show!

    BTW, I missed the nationals ( the pictures were very droolworthy, many thanks for those!!), are there any other shows like that in the UK? were they show horses but also have stands with side saddle vendors? I;m definitely going next year, but it's such a long wait and I was born without patience :D I'd love to stroll around between beautiful new and vintage side saddles. In Holland we don't have anything like that, even our nationals don't have stands with saddles. but I'm pretty sure I could entice my mom ( who I've infected with the side saddle virus) to go to the UK with me for a day if there was a show like that.

    oh, and I'm selling my Elan, could I maybe put it on your blog. I'm not sure how to go about it though, should I send you an email or something?


  2. Hi Leila,
    I just wanted you to know that I cheated and looked at your pictures before I read your post.. but I could see that you have lost (not a little) but a lot of weight. You look great!!!

  3. Thanks Julie! :) The only problem now, is that there is only so much I can move buttons over before I have to buy a new habit!! Losing weight = losing money, lol!!

    Sure Lieke email me some photos of your Elan along with measurements, etc and I will post it here. I wish there were more big side saddle shows too as one isn't enough for me either :)

  4. I was going to say the same thing, you look fantastic Leila!
    That stinks about the ears though, I used to get an ear infection almost once a year, it was awful.
    The habit sounds so nice! What a great find for you!