Sporting Days HT April 2017

If you follow me on Instagram of Facebook you will have already seen this photo but bam! We did it.

I had so much fun this weekend and can’t wait to share it all with you. The drama. The tears. The successes. It was definitely a bit crazy for my first recognized but now I’m hooked to do it again.

 

And We’re Off

We are on the road to Sporting Days for our first recognized! One very put upon husband, two rambunctious dogs, one OTTB who thinks he hasn’t had breakfast yet, and me… the only one who is excited.

Make sure you follow me on Instagram at @grayhorseproblemsblog or Facebook to follow along this weekend. I will be updating and posting plenty of pictures (pending Wi-Fi of course).

Wish us luck!

Stupid Boots

This is one of my favorite parts about getting ready for a show: pulling out all the pretties!

Call me crazy, and I know a lot of you will, but I LOVE putting on the jacket and the stock tie and the white breeches. LOVE. IT. Even though Sporting Days is a one day, you better believe I am pulling out all the stops (plus, Super Trainer says I have to). I don’t know where I get it, maybe it comes from my dance back ground, but I have always loved dressing up and horse shows are the perfect time for me to do it as an adult!

Not to mention that you get super pretty pictures. You all know how I feel about my pictures!

So I was feeling pretty good about Sporting Days. Laundry was getting done at a reasonable rate. Camping gear is sitting in a pile to be put into the truck the night before. I was feeling prepared. And then this happened while riding Gus the other night:

You have got to be kidding me.

So I rushed home and got on all the sites to try to find a pair of tall boots. I have very short legs (15.25 inches from floor to back of my knee) and super wide calves (15 inches) so this is not an easy task. Sure enough, basically everything that I was interested in was out of stock or would be available in 10 days. I don’t have 10 days! Why do you hate me eventing gods?!

I did find a few pairs that might work. They should be here on Thursday so cross your fingers for me!

Ashland XC Schooling 4.15.17

Oh man, this was not the XC schooling I had imagined. Especially not the weekend before our first recognized outing. But, ironically enough, it was the XC school I needed.

Because here’s the thing: not a single jump or line or question that LT put us over scared me. There were even higher options that LT gave us and, while I didn’t chose to do them for other reasons, I wasn’t nervous that we couldn’t get over it. I knew we could. Gus can jump any dang fence out there. But, even with knowing that and feeling confident about the fences, I became so frustrated that I couldn’t do anything but cry when things started feeling crapy.

I have been doing a lot of crying lately. That needs to stop.

Truthfully, there’s a reason behind all the crying. Life has been hard lately. Mostly due to work, I haven’t been sleeping well or a lot, I’ve been stressed, and I’m having a hard time caring about anything else. So really it wasn’t a surprise that my frustration cup hath runneth over.

The whole point of this XC lesson was to work on pace and rhythm to the fence. If you ride the pace, you’re going to have a nice jump, right? Maybe, I don’t know because I couldn’t seem to get it. No matter what I did it seemed to be a coin flip on whether or not we’d chip in or jump out of stride. All I wanted from Gus was a little help. For him to be the confident one and take me to the fence.

It didn’t happen. Not once.

Cue melt down.

That’s when LT stepped in and gave me a little bit of tough love: Gus is not that horse. He will most likely never be that horse. Like Lainey said, he’s careful and he has a sense of self preservation that you need in an event horse. But, and this is important, he is so so willing. If I put the leg on and say yes Gus goes every time.

I’ve got to learn to ride the horse I have. It means that I have to be the leader. In the long run it will make me a better rider but in the short run, things may be hard. If I want this, I have to work for it.

I won’t bore you with a breakdown of every exercise we did. LT ran us through our paces and left us on a super positive end note where we did jump out of stride and over a skinny. Skinnies are one thing that Gus does fantastically. Lots of horses at his level don’t. As brave as Dandy was, getting him to a skinny was a fight with the devil.

Sporting Days will be a real test for us but one that I think we are ready for. This kick in the pants was hard to hear but exactly what I needed. And even if I am crying in almost every single photo, I learned what I needed. Ride forward. Lead.

White Breeches Showdown

With our first recognized trial just around the corner, I realized I should probably get my butt in gear and find a new pair of white full seat breeches. I know you can ride in beige for all phases at the BN but I like the look of the white. And, I have to take advantage of riding in white now while Gus is still gray! It won’t be long until I’m battling with the dingy look.

So, I ordered four pairs of white full seats. The first, the Kerrits Cross-Over Full Seats, looked so bad on me that I immediately sent them back without taking pictures. I was disappointed because I’ve seen lots of peopleR wearing these and I’ve always thought they looked so nice. Plus the price was great.

That left me with three more options, two from Romfh and one from Ovation.

Ovation DX Celebrity Slim Secret Full Seats

I ordered these specifically because I love my Ovation Aqua X breeches so much. I had hoped that they would fit the same and have a lot of the same features. Well, I could check the box off on both of those counts. The fit was great and they had my sock bottoms (something that I found lacking in the Romfhs).

However, the material felt more like cotton than the moisture wicking fabric I liked. For winter shows, or anywhere that doesn’t have the intense humidity that Georgia does, I would be fine with this. But I’ve had a pair of full seats in this type of material before and trying to pull them off between phases in my trailer? No thank you.  Plus, they were the thinnest of the batch and I didn’t like how it looked like I was wearing shorts. No go.

Romfh Women’s Isabella White Full Seats

These breeches were an immediate nope the minute I put them on. The fit just wasn’t good on me. If I had liked them otherwise I may have tried a size smaller since they just seemed too big all the way around, but I didn’t. Negative point one, no sock bottoms. They aren’t Velcro but they aren’t really sock bottoms either. Negative point two, the weird weird belt loops. You can see me in my pictures that it looks like there is space for a tiny belt above my belt. I do not like this look.

I do like how light weight the material is and I imagine it would be very comfortable in the Georgia heat. And, to give more props, they were not very see thru. A big plus! In the end though, these were not the full seats for me either.

Romfh Sarafina Full Seat Breeches

The Sarafina breeches had everything I liked about the Isabella and had fixed just about everything I didn’t like. Still no sock bottom… get on that Romfh! But the crazy extra belt loops were gone and the fit was so much better. That fabric seems a little thicker but still very light weight. I knew right away that these were the ones.

Unfortunately, these were the most expensive of the batch. Such is life. I have champagne taste on a beer budge.