Thursday, April 28, 2011

Show report and a new addition

The most recent addition to my herd is Maynard's Miss Sheba.
I apologize for the bad photo. She has no name from me yet, but she's already a favorite.

This weekend was the second show of the year. It was a two-day show held at the local Expo center (which, by the way, is a total mess). I was there three days, because Friday was a day off from school and I wanted to help set up and do show prep. There were a lot of people there and I got plenty of good photos.

OK, so there aren't that many good ones from Friday. At least I got some with all the setting up I was doing! 

Of course we also had to practice in the ring on Friday. When I first started trotting Jones around he was definitely off and felt very lame. Thankfully, after warming him up and working the stiffness out he was fine. As it turns out he had been messing around in the pasture the night before and got a bunch of bruises/shallow cuts on his hind leg.  They were already scabbed so all we could do was warm him up really well. 

That's all for Friday... there's more talk coming later but I needed to get this post up!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Shedding Monster

You'll learn who the shedding monster is later, though I'm sure you can guess already.

But first, I'm going to show off my journal cover. It's not the best--I have never been even close to good with bias tape and I probably never will be. Still, I like it. Oh, and the stitching on the ribbon is white intentionally! Even though it is a little "unsightly," I like the contrast.
Without Flash (sorry it's blurry!)

With flash
 Now some pictures of the endlessly handsome and shedding Jones--the shedding monster. I can't wait until mid-summer when he has lost all the extra hair and is silky smooth again!
Looking remorseful... wonder what he did?!

I guess you can't see his fuzz from these pictures, but he is shedding like crazy!

I don't have time to upload and post the pictures from the northeast, so I may put them up next time I have nothing else to say.

One more thing! I finally figured out how to make the entire blog wider, so the photo size is going up! No more clicking to see better (but you can still do that if you like). Hope you like it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Uh.. Horse Knowledge..?

I lied two nights back about making two posts. Not really, I just mysteriously ran out of time.
And tonight, suddenly I no longer have time to make a long post about horses, so instead I'll talk about sewing.

My mom has taught me how to sew over the years, and lately I've begun to get into it a little more. This year I made three skirts to wear to school (well, I only wear two of them, but oh well). I decided last week that I'd like to make some dresses to wear, and not necessarily at school. To this end, I just bought two pattern books with some cool ideas. One of them has one dress in it, but includes several other patterns I'd love to try. The other is about bags. What I'd like to know is if anyone has any dress patterns that they know of that I might look at.

Yesterday evening I made a planner case, for those nice leather planners that you don't want to scratch. I was hoping it would fit my journal but it was a little too short. It ended up being a gift for someone, and I'm making a new one for myself.

I have more homework to do so I'll stop rambling. But tomorrow be prepared for a long, long photo post from New England and today.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New England News and Much More

This weekend in New England I certainly accomplished much. I chose a high school, bought my first three Hagen-Renakers, found patterns for skirts and dresses I'd like to make in the future, and took a few pictures. I don't have as many to share as I would like, but I have a few.

One of the best photo opportunities I met with was at a horse show. We didn't expect to be going to a show this weekend, but when we drove down to ogle Mount Holyoke College's riding facilities we ran right into the midst of one. I got a couple photos, which are probably blurry, and you will get to see them on Saturday or Sunday when I do a picture post about riding.

Hmm... speaking of real horses, I'm extremely stiff. Why? On Tuesday I felt a need to do a lesson without stirrups. Off they came before I even got up on Jones, and to get on him I had to make a big jump. Even after just warming up at the sitting trot I was in pain. This tells me that I need to work on leg strength a lot before I go to many more shows (by the way, our next is two Saturdays from now and is a two-day show). Debbie had more elaborate plans for us than just doing the sitting trot, however. We did sitting trot, posting trot, and canter on Tuesday. Shall we just say... ow.

By the end of the lesson I knew for a fact what is wrong with my leg. It is not strong enough to support itself, so I rely on my stirrups to hold me in position. In order to further secure myself, I keep my hands safely down by Jones's neck, which breaks the ideal straight line that goes from the elbow directly to the horse's mouth.
Keeping my hands by his neck limits my effectiveness when giving directions, as well as making it look as if I'm sitting on my hands. In other words, that's bad. On Saturday we will be jumping, since we'll have a show the weekend after. However, I fully intend to take the saddle off Jones and walk him out bareback, keeping my legs in proper position.

Okay, this turned into something longer than just an explanation for my stiffness (which hopefully stretching will get out). I'll be posting once more today, about some other horse knowledge. I have yet to decide the topic, though.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stirrup Failure

My stirrup leathers are stretching.

This is to be expected since they're new and made of leather. But it's an awful nuisance, and the past two lessons have consisted of half-riding and half-adjusting leathers. The left stirrup was stretched further than the right due to mounting so I have to keep switching them. It gets annoying!

The good thing about this is that it's uncovered something I do wrong. Often when I feel like Jones is turning in too soon I'll step in the inside stirrup. Unfortunately I remain in the left stirrup after the turn, which is a no-no. It's incredibly destructive to my position and, I imagine, gives Jones mixed messages. I'll be working extra hard the next few lessons to fix that and stay balanced correctly in both stirrups.

Among other news, I will hopefully be painting my first Micro Mini soon. The work has already commenced; I just straightened his legs to make him stand nice and square. The blow-dryer didn't work but sticking his legs into hot water certainly did. I'm very pleased with the results, but then I guess it's not hard. I did learn one thing: Micro Mini plastic needs to be chilled as soon as possible after heating and reshaping, to keep it from returning to the original position.
Here's the little guy right after leg reshaping and a rinse:

I don't know what color I want him yet. If anyone has any suggestions (easy suggestions!) I'm open to ideas.

And the last thing. I will be visiting the Northeast this weekend and taking pictures. I probably won't post until Monday, but expect several photos.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ethereal Fire and Earth

I have more pictures of Fire and Earth as promised. Unfortunately they are a little bit blurry--I still haven't quite gotten the hang of keeping the camera still.


I have yet to come up with original names for these two, so any suggestions are appreciated!

Last post I said I might have a palominos with white markings in my future. (That's a little redundant because palominos have to have white manes and tails, but whatever.) Now you get to learn about it!
It is the Just About Horses Special Run, a dappled palomino with sabino markings on the Wintersong mold. He's called Pamplemousse, or "Grapefruit" in French. And he's glossy. I still have to decide if I really, really want him or not... but I think I may be leaning toward yes.
Breyer stock photo:
Someone really needs to tie my hands. My shelves are already getting full... haha.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sneak Peek

I just got my Ethereal Earth and Ethereal Fire today! They're both absolutely gorgeous.
I'll post just a couple pictures right now and more tomorrow.


And I recently discovered that my future will most likely hold more two colored horses--especially palominos with white. But you don't get to learn about that until tomorrow.