Monday, January 31, 2011


If you happened to notice the timestamp on last night's post (and many of the other posts I have up), you might have realized... I write these late at night. Well, usually (this one isn't nearly so late). I'm going to try and write sooner from now one, haha. Not that this has much bearing on the blog but just so you know.
Today's just another picture heavy day in the life of the blog.
But now, it's going to be pictures of Rusty and Pepper as well as horses from the barn.
If you need a bit of reintroducement--
This is Rusty (and yes, I took it from way above him as I was perched on the tall fence):
And this is Pepper: He looks a bit ribby, doesn't he? I think he's around 22 and gets fed twice what Rusty does... and yet, he's still skinny while Rusty is hugely fat (imagine staring down at his width from above in total disbelief!).
I was playing around with the manual focus while Pepper was fastidiously munching his hay. Usually I use auto-focus with animals but he was just sitting so still...
It's funny to compare the horses' eating habits (don't laugh, when you're waiting around for both of them to finish eating you start to think about this stuff). Rusty gobbled down his food in maybe 15 minutes flat (including a flake of hay), tossing bits of hay all over, chomping, and making a mess. Pepper took much longer. Granted he got twice the amount of grain Rusty did, but he was done with that in about 15 minutes and then proceeded to hay. He has a little routine. First he'd nibble a bit from the rack, then very carefully lip up all the fallen stuff from the tray below, being extra careful to get everything from the corners. He'd then go to the other side of the rack and repeat the process.
As you might imagine, I was there for a couple hours.
Many times, I'd sit down, then feel a snuffling on my head. I'd look up, and there was Rusty, asking for treats! He's very sweet, albeit a bit greedy.
I also have a new horse to show you all. It's the WEG Jumper Stablemate and it's a lovely color.
And I thought I'd include this cute picture of him going over his "first jump."
And to conclude, a nice picture of the sunset.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lots to show!

This weekend has been mostly dedicated to horses and I had my camera the entire time. What more need be said?
On Saturday I went out to the barn with Debbie and had almost the entire day to kill taking pictures. I also brought the telephoto lens my dad has. In short, during the first wave of riders in the ring, I had a field day taking pictures.
It's nice to be able to take close-ups of horses halfway across the ring.
Many of them came out blurry, unfortunately. I need some sort of staff to put the camera on so it doesn't move around so much--with a big lens, it's hard to hold still.
Here's a nice photo dump:

Expect a lot of these. There are so many pictures to share!

I, obviously, rode Jones. There are no pictures because we were doing a flat lesson (in which we focus mainly on eq., transitions, and core/leg strength--eg trotting without stirrups. Ouch.
We started with trotting without stirrups, progressed to trotting and doing "sit-rise-rise" and "sit-sit-rise" (each specific action taking place on a single beat of the trot) which wasn't too bad because I got to use stirrups. We then went on to sitting trot with and without stirrups, and finally to canter transitions which we did from both the trot and the walk.
It was a valuable lesson because my canter transitions have been getting... sloppy.
Now some pictures of Jones.

I also rode the barn's new lesson mare, Mandy. She's old-ish (her exact age is unknown since she was a rescue many years ago) and she's done just about everything from showing to having a baby.
She lives in the pasture with the other three lesson mares (Tigerlilly, Tilly, and Feliz) and seems to enjoy it. When I was taking her away from the others to go tack up, she would walk a step and then start trotting, leaning to the left. So I'd circle her around and we'd keep going. Either she's very tricky or she wants to get back to her new friends. Either way is viable.

The mare pasture is at the bottom of a hill and to get back up to the rest of civilization you have to go through a pasture of geldings. The group who goes out in the evenings is fine... but the group of geldings during the day... is hellish.
One of the geldings, named Lex, was in my opinion probably gelded late. He's always bothering the mares as they come up from their pasture and to my annoyance--Mandy was in heat. Why?? Why must mares refuse to go through menopause?
On the way through the gelding pasture she was still doing the circling thing so it wasn't exactly to my delight when Lex came galloping down the hill with his two cronies. Or when he started sniffing... you know... or when she started kicking out at him, etc. etc. It was all I could do to keep her either circling or moving a step forward while staying a good distance away and up by her shoulder. Finally someone came to head Lex off but it took another person to keep him away.
After all the drama of getting her up the hill the ride was fairly uneventful. She's a bit strong and likes to stay as far on the rail as possible; nor does she really understand the idea of turning around a corner. But she's got a nice trot.
Getting her back down was better--Kim came with.

More pictures.

That concludes the post for today because it's so late. Just expect pictures of Rusty and Pepper tomorrow--along with pictures of my new Stablemate. I tell ya, minis are like potato chips. Can't have just one...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I feel bad.

One of the main parts of this blog is supposed to be TACK. Model horse tack (important distinction since I posted saddle pics last night). But I haven't made any recently. I can't bring myself to start sewing any halters. They're so darn irritating, since I have to sew so much. Not that I dislike sewing... but it takes forever. I have little bits of halter sitting around; a noseband here, a cheekpiece there. It's a bit discouraging, but I suppose that's probably because I should be sleeping more. Haha.

On my "backlog list" (oh no, I have no orders and yet still a backlog) I have four halters and two coolers. Three of the halters and one of the coolers are for the raffle. And one halter and cooler set is a donation for the Great Outdoors Live show sometime this spring. I guess I have a while to do that, but I'd like it finished soon.

And yet. Zero productivity.

I guess I'll go work on those raffle halters now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I didn't get pictures of my saddle yesterday.

But I did today! After riding yesterday I brought it home to oil it once more, and took some pictures when I was done.

 So you can see it with flash and without. Isn't is gorgeous? If you want a really nice saddle for a reasonable price, this is the way to go. It's the Beval Salem, in case you're wondering. This is, as I said, its second oiling so it's pretty dark.

And just for kicks, here are a couple of pictures with the new stirrups and leathers we got. The leathers are still stretching so it's a bit funky to ride in them... they feel too long on one hole and too short in the next up! After a bit of riding they should be fine though, or so Debbie says. It is pretty pliant leather, so I'd not be surprised.

I also got pictures of Jones and some of the other horses around yesterday.

And that's the extent of the good horse pictures from yesterday.

In my oiling frenzy this afternoon I also dark-oiled my work-boots, which I have with me since I was wearing them around earlier this week. Though you couldn't see it in the pictures from Sunday, the color of the leather looks a bit greenish in certain lights. So when I finished with the saddle, I turned on the boots. Just so you can compare old color vs. new color--

They actually look more like the top one, but I can't stand posting only blurred pictures. Hah.

I recently found out that my parental units read this blog. You can imagine how disturbing this might be. I might need to start regulating comments to make sure they don't start commenting--yikes!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State of the Union

Can't really argue with much the President said, eh? The whole thing about "winning in the global economy" was a bit odd though... if the US "wins," doesn't that mean that everyone else loses? That's not where we want to be going.

Also thought it was funny how he was retreating on the health care bill just a little. Not a whole lot, but a bit. And he really stressed the bipartisan thing.

I did agree on a few points, but you can't really argue with what he said as I mentioned above. The thing about public transportation--that was a good point. Maybe he should start here, haha. The city's been trying to do public transport with high speed trains for a couple years now and boy, is it failing. They've put in a new high-speed train but haven't redone the tracks, and if I'm right that does not bode well.

Since I don't know much about politics, I'll shut up now. Those are just the things that stuck out at me the most. What did you think about it?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Picture overload

I think it's ending...
I've put up so many pictures lately I don't have many "fresh" ones and I keep worrying that I'll post one that's already up. I did that yesterday, haha. Oops.
I'll still put some up though, so no worries.
After putting together a list of horses I want to get at BreyerFest, I've found that to get all of them, or at least to get most and maybe a couple different, I'll have to raise $100/month from now until BreyerFest. Oh joy. I don't know if bake sales every Saturday will help much with that, either. At least we have a garage-full of stuff to put in a yard sale! Now all we have to do is to put price tags on it all. What fun.
If you have any ideas to raise money, please share. If I get enough tips I can make a post with them all as a reference, since BreyerFest isn't the only reason people have ever needed money in past, present, or future by any means.
Nothing much else to report today.

And remember: tips for raising money for any cause go here!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Taking Care of Your Leather

In day-to-day life, even if you're not involved with horses or farm work or something of the sort, you still might need to know about how to care for your leather goods. For instance: the current style of cowboy boots. They're leather. And you want them to last, because they're really expensive. If you care to keep reading, I'll go into this a little more.

For instance: when my family goes out to the lake, we clear juniper. I recently got a new pair of Ariats to work in since they keep cactus spies out and can stand up to some pretty heavy wear. But, they're so nice I feel bad just using them on the weekends. Every Sunday, granted we're at the lake, I clean them up. Usually they have scuffs on the surface and occasionally there's a bit of mud on them. This weekend they looked like this.
 Look at all the scuffs! Well, okay, it's really not that bad--just kind of unsightly. To fix that, I always go over them with a generous helping of Lexol leather conditioner on a sponge. You don't have to use this specific stuff, but it works well. There are a lot of different leather conditioners and they all work very well though. If you want to use Lexol, you can find it online, at most tack shops and places like that, and Tractor Supply Co to name just a few.
 After their Lexol bath, the boots look much better. Any major marks will stay but the leather is softened, cleaned, and looks really nice.
If your name happens to be Sara, this might be a good idea. Just a hint. *wink*

I think that's all for now. I don't want to post pictures of Rusty and Pepper from today because most are blurred (the telephoto lens wasn't cooperating). I do have more from yesterday though. I'll probably always have more from a while ago. Haha.