Year in review.

2014 ended up being a pretty interesting year and not as horsey as I would have thought it would be. I’m not a fan of riding in the winter, or cold weather in general. Yes, I did grow up in Alaska, but I think that’s why I hate it so much. I rode a little in January, not much in February or March, a decent amount in April and May, once in June and a few times in July. Then a few other random times a one of my friend’s places. Without going into too many details on this blog, I had a fair amount of health issues. Don’t worry, they’re all fixed now, but that ordeal went from the beginning of February until mid October.

In the middle of this mess, I bought my Dexter who has been the best thing ever. Buying an unbroke horse was a complete gamble, but I’ve really lucked out so far. I bought him June 18th and he came home from training September 1st. 30 days at the owner/breeders, 2 1/2 weeks at a complete bust of a place where he just sat and then finally where he got 30 days of consistent riding. In the middle of all of this my friend strongly cautioned me that it may not work, but thankfully it did. Even after a really stupid/painful fall last week, I still love him to pieces. I can’t ride much with the very cold weather, sometimes muddy mess and darkness, but I enjoy having him around and getting to visit him every day.

Thank you to all those who helped this all come together. His owner/breeder for helping me find him and putting 30 solid days of ground work and a few rides on him, the in-between-cowboy who didn’t charge me an arm and a leg for keeping him for two weeks, my friend for putting a very solid 30 days on him and my trainer/BO and very good friend for making it possible for me to board him for 3 months and riding him probably more than I did in that time.

Advertisements

http://nowthatsthespot.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/thats-the-spot-tack-swap-blog-hop/ is hosting a blog hop tack sale.

Here is what I have for sale:

1) Marigold Wool Hunt Coat, ladies size 16. Note: this is not street sizing. Comparing this to a size 14 Grand Prix, the measurements are pretty similar. This would be slightly less fitted. I typically wear a 6 to 8 in street clothes. I would consider this a mid weight wool. Very pretty dark navy with a tone on tone pinstripe. This coat originally retailed for $589.90 and has been worn all of once.  This did acquire some horse slobber the one day I wore it. I have wiped off some of it with a damp cloth, but it could potentially use a dry cleaning, or at the very least dryel. Asking $150 shipped.

2) Tredstep DaVinci Tall boots. Size 37, medium, tall. So 6.5 to 7 foot (I wear up to a 7.5 and these fit fine, though are not generous in the sizing). Calf is 14 1/2″, height is 18 1/2″. These have been worn 10 times at the very most, though likely less than that. Not even all the way broken in. Asking $200 shipped.

3) Essex Classics Coolmax wrap collar show shirt. Brand new, has just been hanging in my closet. White with tone on tone paisley pattern, size 36. Has a lavender/gray floral pattern on the inside of the collar. $50 shipped.

4) Last, but certainly not least, a brand new pair of Aztec Diamond Equestrian Flight breeches. Super nice, techincal fabric breeches made in the UK. These are a UK 16. I wear a 32 in most breeches and these are a very good fit, though the waist may be a hair big. The waist measurement, per ADE is 88cm. These are roughly $136.00 USD (after conversions, minus VAT and with shipping). Asking $125 shipped.

please email rhi (dot) fleming (at) gmail (dot) com if interested.

Link to a post of the same items with pictures:
http://s8.zetaboards.com/The_Outside_Course/topic/8512031/1/#new

My unsuccessful adventure in buying products from the UK

So, my friend and fellow blogger, Amanda convinced me to try breeches from Aztec Diamond Equestrian, a UK based company who makes gorgeous technical fabric riding apparel.

Like Amanda, I ordered the Houndstooth Luxe breeches, but I also decided to order the Flight technical breeches. Since she had ordered the UK 12/Euro 40, which is the size equivalent to a US 8, I thought that size should work for me as well, since that is my usual street clothing size. Editing to add that my size for breeches varies pretty widely, depending on fit. I don’t have any Tailored Sportsman breeches, but I have: Ariat All Circuit Breeches in a 28, Ariat Pro Circuit Breeches in a 32 and Tredstep Symphony breeches in a 30.

I ordered the breeches last week Friday, the 10th. ADE isn’t set up for US orders through the website yet, but if you use the contact form on the website, it’s very easy to order. Jane, who is in charge of sales, got back to me very quickly. Do keep in mind the time difference though. While the responses were timely, they were very early in the morning. She confirmed what I wanted to order via email and then sent a Paypal invoice. Note: don’t be a dummy like me. These prices are in GBP, NOT Euros. The conversion amounts were a bit different and it ended up costing a bit more than I expected. Another thing to note is that since we are outside of Europe, we don’t have to pay VAT. In the end, that ended up saving me roughly 16.67%, or roughly 30 pounds. The Houndstooth Luxe came out to 83.33 pounds and the Flight breeches came out to 66.67 pounds, with postage being 20 pounds. Total=$170 pounds, or approximately $273.22. Yes, I realize that sounds like a lot, but let me tell you why I think it is worth it:
1) These are gorgeous. To die for.
2) The fabric is amazing.
3) That really only equals out to $136.61 per pair if split down the middle and here in the US, that can’t even buy me one pair of Tailored Sportsman breeches.
4) They are unique and so much fun.
5) It only took 6 days for them to arrive, even with Columbus day in there.
6) The customer service is fabulous.

So, that does mean I received the breeches yesterday. I will admit that opening the package felt a bit like Christmas. The packaging was lovely. I opened up the plastic shipping bag to find a nicely wrapped black tissue paper package that had an ADE sticker in the center. Upon opening that, I found two absolutely stunning pairs of breeches.

The fabric is awesome and even though it looks thin, they look very good on. They have so many cool details. Normally I don’t like big logos on anything, but the ADE logo is very appealing to me.

Unfortunately, this is where the good news stops for me. I tried on the houndstooth luxe breeches first and I couldn’t button them. So I tried on the flight breeches and those were even further away from buttoning. I didn’t find that the waist band had any stretch, which most of my other breeches have at least some stretch.

So at this point, I was sad. Very, very sad. I emailed Jane and she was baffled that the two pairs fit differently, as they are cut from the same pattern. So I am not holding anything against ADE, I will just chalk this up to manufacturing variations. When I laid the flight breeches on top of the luxe, there was definitely a difference. There was about half an inch of fabric sticking out underneath the flight breeches from the luxe breeches on each side. The waist sizes looked roughly the same, but the flight breeches were slightly narrower through the hips and thighs.

I can exchange them and I’ll just have to pay postage back to the UK, which isn’t a bad deal at all. I may give one pair as a gift if they fit my friend, so they (one pair of breeches or two) won’t go back to the UK until probably Monday.

I feel like these run about a size smaller than indicated on the size conversion chart. So If I exchange my breeches, I will order the UK 14/Euro 42/US 10 instead, for sure in the houndstooth luxe. As far at the flight breeches, I am on the fence, since they should fit the same, but in my case did not.

Flight breeches on top of the houndstooth luxe:
image

Flight breeches:
image

image

image

image

image

image

Houndstooth Luxe:
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

A funny story, a picture and a project in the works

Yesterday I visited my horse for the first time in a week. Luckily I have an awesome friend who rode him for be all week. I brought some carrots and an apple. I went into my horse’s turnout which he shares with another horse. They’re quite hilarious and I know they’ll miss each other when I move Dexter home. Anyhow, I held out the apple for Dex and he wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. He took it from me and was rolling it around in his mouth. He finally rolled it towards his front teeth and Prinz tried to grab it from him. He finally bit it in half and Prinz gladly picked up the half that fell on the ground. Then they begged for carrots. I split what I had between the two of them and was able to take a carrot to my buddy Mars, the horse I rode before I got Dexter.

Dexter and Prinz

image

Mars

image

I’m also starting a project that so far isn’t going the best. Let me just say that spray painting is harder than I thought it was. I can’t seem to figure out how far away to hold the can, or get a very even coat. Hopefully it turns out okay. As for what I’m working on, I bought a blue pair of Equipe aluminum stirrups a few months back. I love the stirrups but not the blue. So they’re getting repainted. Or at least that’s the end goal. We’ll see how it works.
Before:

image

image

During:

image

Update to come soon!

I had planned to ride tonight but it’s cold and rainy outside and I still feel like someone hit me in the head with a bat. Not sure what is wrong with me.

Since I’m a terrible blogger, here’s the last month

I was well intentioned when I decided to start a blog to chronicle the adventures of my new horse, but I failed. I failed quite miserably.

I visited my horse exactly three times before bringing him home. I sat on him twice. I had only walked and trotted him. The day we picked him up (Labor Day) was the second time. Turns out he was pretty
awful the first couple weeks my friend had him, but once he decided to just be good, he was pretty lazy. He was good when I rode him and loaded like a champ. Other than moving around a lot, he rode in the trailer reasonably well. He nearly stumbled out of the trailer, but seemed to like his new home.

The first time I attempted to canter him, I evidently curled up like a hunchback because I got him to crowhop. Things were better after that. Our first few rides were in the roundpen, then we graduated to the indoor arena. He was good in the outdoor and the jump field too. He didn’t seem to be very spooky. We really had no issues until it got chilly and he got wild. Then it warmed back up and he was lazy again.

He gets groomed often and gets lots of treats. He’s had his teeth floated and feet trimmed. So far so good.

One of my friends also helps ride him which has been a huge help, especially this week since I was out of commission.

In addition to the western saddle we have a wintec dressage saddle. I like it and he seems to be just fine with it. Though if his back changes much, I think we’ll have to look for a hoop tree saddle. He’s currently in the XW gullet. He doesn’t have much of a wither and has pretty big shoulders. Hello hard to fit QH back.

Hoping to ride in some lessons and do some more riding outdoors before he moves home either later this year or the first part of 2015.