Almost Missed it Monday

I have never claimed to be a great rider. I’m not really a very good rider, really. And to prove it, I’m sharing a few select photos from our first Novice stadium round…

This is the first fence:


Somehow I stayed on!
Fence six:


But don’t worry, we did have some good moments:

Small Details

Now that I have a new job and a fattened paycheck, I decided I would update my schooling wardrobe a bit.

I was stoked to see that Ovation had added a true black and a forest green options. These breeches are all I wear these days and so I’m happy to have new colors. But as I was admiring the pretty green color something caught my eye.

The sock bottom was different.

This might be a short person problem but I really don’t like the new sock bottom as much. It sits on me weird and bunches under my boot socks. Nothing else about these breeches has changed but this one little detail is enough to leave the door open to a new favorite someday.

On the other hand, it was the little unexpected detail in the Kastel Denmark marino wool crew neck shirts that has me falling in love.

Thumb holes!

My husband would probably not agree but I am easy to please. Thumb holes make me feel warm and comfy and screem crisp fall days. With this kind of little detail, I’m stoked to see what Kastels breeches look like when they finally debut.

Maybe they’ll be my new favorite.

My 5 Favorite Things: the Dog Grooming Edition

Giving my large hairy and only-loves-water-if-it’s-a-natural-body-of-water-or-a-swimming-pool-but-no-bath-tub dogs is the bane of my existence. Between the de-shedding, being covered in water, and their “I hate you” expressions, I just don’t do it as often as I should. In fact, lately I’ve just given up and have been sending them to the groomer. But, when I do venture into this, I have found a few helpful products:

  1. Vetrolin Bath Ultra-Hydrating Conditioning Shampoo0022218This is my favorite shampoo. I use it for the horses and I use it for the dogs. Does a great job cleaning and leaves them smelling great. It also doesn’t agitate Guinness’ skin and he is so so sensitive.
  2. EZ Wash Wand
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    This one is something that makes my life easier rather than something the dog really likes but bath time is so much easier with the EZWash Wand! The one shown is the dog size (which I didn’t know they made until doing this post) but I have the larger horse size. Lets me get all over the body with minor wrangling of dog and I barely get wet while using it (unlike a normal hose).I also found while writing this that they have a shampoo container that can be added. I ordered that to give it a try.
  3. HandsOn Gloves
    6y5a5369These are both of my dogs favorite grooming accessory ever. I get them out of the bag and they go crazy! They like the massage that they get. I like that they pull out all the extra hair. But really, what I love about these is how easy they make bath time. I pour the shampoo right on my hand and then attack the wet dog. They help me get right down to the skin  so that I truly get a clean dog. And the dogs don’t mind baths quite as much when they’re getting a massage.
  4. SleekEz
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    I originally bought this for Gus. He’s always sweaty and grows a way thicker coat than he should in the summer (to the point that I actually shaved him in the summer) so I thought maybe this would help. It didn’t. So I brought it home to try on the dogs. We have used so many different shedding brushes with Guinness and he hates them all. But this one, he didn’t! He not only tolerated it, he actually seemed to like it. The SleekEz pulled out the undercoat but didn’t seem to pull on his skin. It also left his coat looking shiny and healthy. The brush didn’t do as well with Harley but she also doesn’t have that big undercoat like Guinness does.
  5. Synthetic Chamois
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    They technically make these for drying off your car but I was given the tip to use them for the dogs at a Dock Diving competition. It was instant love. They soak up the water, you wring them out, and they’re easy to store and carry around without having to deal with wet towels. I currently am using The Absorber Synthetic Drying Chamois but I expect any high rated brand would do the trick.

The Dogs, the Bible, and Me

Yesterday ended up being a bit of a disappointment since my regular lesson had to be rescheduled to Saturday thanks to a tornado watch and thunderstorms rolling in just as my lesson was supposed to start. What rotten luck. Especially now that I’ve sent in Gus and I’s very first recognized horse show entry and need every day we can get!

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But at least there was no major damage and no tornado touch down here (as far as I’m aware). The dogs didn’t think the whole experience was that fun though and I finally gave up and let them all cuddle on the bed with me. Harley never used to be frightened of storms but ever since Ziva arrived, the heightened anxiety of both the shepherds has convinced Harley the world is ending.

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There was some upside to the day however. For one thing, the bible came and holy smokes is the new iteration pretty.

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I have never done a lot of ordering through Dover (see ridiculous shipping prices) and have always felt like they waste a lot of paper on catalogs but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy looking through them every now and again! And when I pulled this baby out of the mailbox my mouth sort of dropped open. That is one impressive looking catalog.

But the best thing to happen yesterday is that my new belt from Boy-o-Boy Birdleworks came! It is just as pretty as I pictured and can’t wait to wear it at FENCE H.T.

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Book Review: Ambition

Ambition by Natalie Keller Reinert

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Synopsis

“Jules Thornton didn’t come to Ocala to make friends. She came to make a name for herself. Young, determined, and tough as nails, she’s been swapping stable-work for saddle-time since she was a little kid – and it hasn’t always been a fun ride. Forever the struggling rider in a sport for the wealthy, all Jules has on her side is talent and ambition. She’s certain all she needs to succeed are good horses, but will the eventing world agree?

On her own at last, Jules is positive she’s poised to become eventing’s newest star, but soon finds she’s making more enemies than friends in the close-knit equestrian community. Little mistakes cost big — her students are losing faith in her; her owners are starting to pull their horses. And then there’s the small matter of Peter Morrison, the handsome, on-the-rise event rider who keeps showing up when she least expects him.

Jules is convinced that all she needs is good horses — not friends, not romance, not anyone’s nose in her business. But it’s just the beginning of the long, hot, Ocala summer, and as Jules tumbles through the highs and lows of a life with horses, she might find she’ll need help after all to weather the coming storm.”

– from Amazon.com

Review

In a lot of ways, this book is the eventing version of The Dressage Chronicles. The author has first hand experience with the upper levels if eventing and that shines through the pages. It’s very nice to not be thrown out of the story due to a minor detail that just doesn’t ring true. 

That all being said, it took me a bit to get into the story as the main character, Jules, is definitely prickly. Her ambition is all consuming and sometime makes it look like Jules cares more about winning than the horses. 

This is not the case though and, while Jules doesn’t get any softer, her heart eventually wins the readers over. More than that, she’s scrappy and bold and I know I wish I was like that occasionally! 

Also like The Dressage Chronicles the story brings the readers into a world that a lot of people don’t see and that few authors like to discuss which is just how hard the professional Equestrian life is when you aren’t born with money. While Jules mostly lands on her feet, things are not easy between natural disasters,  typical horse shenanigans, and difficult clients. 

Then there’s the attractive Pete, a fellow trainer and competitor who is doing his best to win Jules’ heart…

Final Thoughts

While it took me a few chapters to get into the story, by the end I was eagerly turning the pages wanting to know what happened next. In fact, I’ve already downloaded and started reading the second book, Pride. It’s really nice reading an book about eventing written by someone who actually events and has worked with upper level riders. Currently, the book is free on Kindle Unlimited or you can buy it on Kindle for $1.99 and for that, it is so worth it.