Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Don't Stop the Music

I seem to go through phases of music- no music… And I am currently in a music phase. Could it be inspired by the costume freestyle class in October?


Is it easy to listen to music when one’s arena has no available power source?
Certainly not.

I mean, I make do with my Zune but its big and bulky and the ear buds are always falling out and ends up pissing me off more than providing soothing tunes. So I tried having a battery operated speaker hanging up by the mirrors, which worked if one has a thing for 20 meter circles by C. Now, don’t get me wrong… I do love me some twenty meter circles… but every so often I have to go rogue and oh, I don’t know… shoulder in down a long side or even extend across a diagonal. Wild. Crazy. Out of speaker range.

Oh Alison, how ever did you solve this world-ending problem?

Why thank you for asking. I got a nomorerack.come email advertising free shipping for three hours, and on a whim, I opened it rather than immediately sending it to the trash folder like every other email I get (except for SmartPak… those bastards always lure me in). Low and behold, the Pyle Sport MP3 headphones, regularly 199.99, were featured for 35.99.
Worth it?


 It’s only a little 4G player, so it doesn’t hold a ton of tunes and since it’s the size of a Bluetooth ear piece all of the buttons are really small. Of course, there it only on/off/pause, volume and previous/next buttons to contend with, so it’s not like the thing is rocket science to operate.  Even I could figure it out.

Today was my first ride with it.  I was really hoping that I hadn’t just wasted 35 bucks with something that was just going to bounce around and/or fall off mid ride.
So I put it on, hit play, adjusted the volume and then donned my helmet. The neckband – or whatever you would call it – fit perfectly just over the harness of my helmet. And I will say that I was impressed. It lasted through all three horses from everything from pony pissy fits to the piaffe-passage tour. No ear buds getting bounced out of place in the sitting trot or bulky MP3 players pulling on my waistband.

Oh, and it’s waterproof. It’s really designed for swimming, so I really don’t worry about a little bit of sweat ruining it. Plus, those post ride baths where the rider ends up just as wet at the horse? Now set to music!

Now, I wouldn’t run out and drop $200 on these bad boys… but for $35, it’s totally worth it.

If you like music. Otherwise, save your money. Seriously, though, who hates music?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Learning All the Things!

Again.... sorry for the lengthy break.
It's exhausting being me....
I;m boring. And don't have internet access at home. I am forced to go to McDonald's and steal... ahm, borrow, their wifi to post. Legit, right?

The things I do to be able to afford to go to dressage shows.

Hunter poodle, Bacon
Anywhoo... I've been taking lessons. Two of them. Every other week. But it's better than nothing right? I mean, 7 hours of driving for one hour of instructions isn't too nuts, is it?
I knew horse people would understand. You guys are fabulous.

Lesson one I brought Delight, hoping to show her off. I love that giant pony and when she's on, she's on. But she was not on. She was a little time bomb. Pleasant.
The whole lesson was how to relax the pony so that she would use her back and short little neck for good, not little pony evil. We made progress and I was just happy to be receiving instruction. Win-Win.

Yesterday, I brought Bucky. I mean, since he's the one going to Kentucky in two months, it only makes sense to bring him for lessons. He's good; I could be better... Thus the lessons.
We worked on bend and getting him to actually use his shoulders instead of 'assuming the position' and allowing me to have some significant input rather than sitting up there like a figurehead. And he did.
What a wonder pony.

Now to keep it....

'Cause I'm a Grand Prix Horse!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Can You Paint With All the Colors....

Of the Wind?

Because I can. Well, maybe not all the colors, but at least half of them.
Because I can.  And I have junk in the trunk. Or at least I have junk and thanks to a great yard sale find I have a trunk!

It’s an old steamer trunk with metal fittings and leather straps all over the place. It’s old and musty and AMAZING!
So I ran out and bought primer. Immediately. Again with that patience thing… Good thing I’m in such an immediate gratification sport, amiright? On day 1, I primed it, painted over all the rusty corner pieces., dry cracked leather bits and icky brown canvas sides.

Due to my instant-gratificatio-itis and my love for one design genre, I found and used hammered copper Rustoleum spray paint that I had left over from a previous project. Since I had it, I spray painted the side and edges that were and odd mix of leather and metal pieces first thing. In hind sight, painting the canvas should have been first, followed by spray painting then finished by my corner pieces. But, hindsight being what it is, live and learn.
Also, I was just so excited to paint!
So, after spray painting the straps to give them all a uniform metal look, I ran to Sherwin Williams (during their summer sale! Yay savings!) and selected what I thought was a calm, decadent blue. You know, the navy nautical upper class look since I seem to be stuck in a steamy, punky rut.
You know.
But as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men… You know?

My blue, picked off of a one inch by one inch swatch was not Upper Class Calm. It’s steamy and punky and by the second coat, I loved it. So what that we’ll never fit into the high dollar AA Show Jumper barn where everyone wears the right clothes and has the best brands… but it works for someone with ridiculous sport ponies and  dogs who wear jackets (though sometimes under duress).
I finished the trunk with shiny copper paint found for $2 at WalMart. I painted each and every little steel corner and edge piece. Oh, and the leather pieces on the top and front and the hinges. And clasps.

Who designs these things with so many little pieces to paint? Seriously. This was boarder line ridiculous. Even if I do love the aesthetic. 
What do you think? Totally adorable, right? I was tempted to stand it upright and toss some saddle racks and bridle hooks into it, but then common sense prevailed. I need basic storage more than a fancy tack trunk.  So I ModPodged the hell out of the inside lid with posters and pages from old issues of Dressage Today. Adorable!
Fancy-Schmancy Tack Trunk for under $50.

So now what projects can I find next….

Friday, August 1, 2014

It's a Dog-Eat-Dog World Out There

Now, I've been having one of those weeks where self confidence and general morale is at a low, so I'm going to try to keep the general melancholy to my self and not let it creep into my posting... But sometimes it slips in. Sorry about that. There's really nothing worse than someone else feeling sorry for themselves, is there?

Anyway. Back to the fun entertaining life of Moi.

This week the coyotes have returned with a vengeance. Occasionally I've seen one when out trail riding, off and on for the last three years. But ever since the dramatic fence incident of 2011, I've only heard the creepy yips off in the distance.
This week they were coming from across my creek.

There's something about coyotes singing that instinctively makes me to a poodle head count.  It doesnt matter if we're all in bed and I know that they are safely behind closed doors, I still have to actually pet both poodles just to make sure that they don't turn into Poodle McNuggets.
I am NOT a poodle Mc Nugget.
And I hate my post-bath PJs.

I usually let the poodles go out hunting while I ride. Well, in all honesty, Bacon hunts and Tempi naps in the sun or occasionally shriek-barks at Bacon. Yesterday while taking Bucky up to the arena for a little workout, I saw two coyotes on the path by my arena. Bucky was freaked out, even though I told him that there was no way that the coyotes could hurt him.
"I am a GRAND PRIX HORSE! I do not have to deal with predators!

I was freaked out because this was in broad daylight and I've only ever seen coyotes in the late afternoon or early morning and sometimes Bacon and Tempi trot up that path to come watch me ride for a bit before heading back to the house.
Now they are under permanent house arrest unless I am able to keep an eye on them.
Poor Bacon just wants to be able to hunt chipmunks in peace...
It's ok, I still love you!
And I'll wear all the bows that Tempi won't.