Horse Shaming/Loving

When I read the No Shame in Our Game: Horse Loving Signs post from The Plaid Horse a while back, I was inspired. When I read the final one with the sign in front of a beautiful bay horse saying, “I carried my Mom when she was too sad to go alone <3” I may have shed a tear. OK, I may have ugly cried just a little. That one hit me right in the feels and then some.

A while back Horse Shaming was a thing, dog shaming too! And while it’s hilarious and I’m sure I could make an endless amount of signs for my mare. In a world where there is so much negativity going around, it’s nice to focus on the positive for once.

I have openly documented the trials and triumphs over the last two years of bringing along a young horse, but it got me wondering am I focusing too much on the negative? Not just online but in my head too. Fire has been tough sure, but equally as rewarding. You attract what you put out there, so I am making a conscious decision to be aware of what I am putting out there and to try and guide it only towards positivity.

It also got me to thinking of what my positive sign would be for my horse. That wasn’t so easy. There are so many I could make… both for Horse Shaming and Horse Loving. But here is the one I came up with taking a page from Lauren Mauldin.

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Not pictured with my horse because apparently, she is scared of paper and ain’t nobody got time for that.

No matter how bad a day I am having, or how much I am struggling. I know my horse is always waiting for me with a kiss and a cuddle. She doesn’t hold a grudge, even if I have a terrible ride, or forget to bring cookies. For a horse that is as ever-changing as mercury, she is also solid as a rock when it comes to time spent in her stall and the love she so freely doles out. That in itself is worth more than any ribbons or championships out there.

❤ Apes

Get in Loser, We’re Going Shopping (E. 7)

Ah, September. I think it’s that “back-to-school” vibe that always leaves us feeling like it’s a new year, and time to turn over a new leaf. We’ve tried to be more conservative in our spending, but that always leaves us wanting more.

As part of our fresh start, we’re taking on new ventures! We have our website updated now to allow for you to shop our closets, for when we simply can’t cram anything in there anymore! We are just a group of friends trying to make room and live our dreams, so feel free to visit our website and contact us if you like something, but want to make an offer, or if you have questions on sizing, fit, colour, etc. We don’t bite, and we really do want to hear from you.

Here’s a list of things that we just can’t live without for the month of September.

HAVE IT

SEPT CELERIS 2Oh. Baby. HL ordered these back in July, and could barely contain her excitement to share this with you all! She decided to wait and make sure they fit, but now that they’re here OMFG THEY’RE BRILLIANT! To be fair, they haven’t been ridden in yet, but they are just as described, and best of all is the fit. Celeris are a FULL CUSTOM boot. Heather ordered hers from a shop in Australia (very International in our shopping efforts!), and had to measure herself (with the help of a very understanding boyfriend). She felt confident as she had self-measured before for a different brand of boots, and these measurements were even more specific. 12 different measurements were taken, along with a drawn outline of each foot, to be sent along with the measurements. After doing measurements was the grueling task of determining exactly which details to choose (you can literally have whatever you want!), HL chose a conservative pair of boots, with a bit of faux-iguana for flare. They are beautiful, and exactly as described. Give them a try, or feel free to email us (the.mane.girls.are@gmail.com) to ask Heather about her experience! Prices vary on these – again, ask Heather if you have questions.

SEPT CELERIS

IMG_9296_2048x2048  So, it’s not summer anymore, and that makes us sad.  But, a fun new cozy scarf makes us happy again.   These beauties were purchased from a local merchant (shop local babes!) Pony and Pear, and are to die for.  Super soft and cozy, and perfect to wear either to the barn or out on the town.

 

 

 

 

 

image1Oops I did it again! Technically Apes isn’t supposed to be shopping right now but when she saw Pony Up had Tailored Sportsman belts on sale it was impossible to resist. Someone once said a good sale was like finding money so it had to be done. These belts are beautifully made, come in a variety of colours and are wider than most belts so look super stylish. Apes opted for the Grey Garden one and it paired beautifully with her TS Clarets and will go with so many other colours too!

 

NEED IT, WANT IT, GOTTA HAVE IT

SEPT ASMAR 1This jacket is all that and everything. Out here on the SEPT ASMAR 2west coast, our winter weather is best described as “chilly and wet.” If chilly and wet is the question, the Asmar All Weather is the answer. This jacket can zip open at the back so you can wear it while riding, though we feel this is more of an “around the barn” jacket. As we all know, most of the time spent “at the barn” isn’t really on a horse, so this is a great solution to keep yourself warm and dry. We especially love the length because when you’re wearing breeches it’s so tough to keep your thighs and toosh warm! We’re all counting pennies so we can snag one of these puppies. $348 USD

 

Tiffy_du_Vogel_Jacket_Dark_Blue_1801-0528-0067_01Winter is coming (or so they say) and it is not cool to be freezing your butt off.  Enter the Naketano Tiffy Du Vogel bomber jacket.  Made of a light canvas this coat is not too bulky for riding but will also keep you warm and dry while you watch your fellow manebabes from the sidelines.   You need to hurry though because these are going offline 12/31/18.   Christmas presents anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPT MG ARMY PANTS

On Sundays We Wear White

For someone who has been riding for thirty years and competing on and off for most of those years, you might be surprised to know that I had yet to compete in the jumper ring in white breeches. Something I considered to be a badge of honour and also something I’ve really striven for. So, I preemptively purchased a pair of second-hand whites from H for the upcoming show at Thunderbird, hopeful I might get a chance to finally show in whites.

The week went well. We moved from the 0.9m’s to the 1.0m’s and I felt like both Fire and I handled that leap well, especially considering we did the Baby Greens for most of the year. I do feel a bit like in the last year I have ridden eight different horses while in the process of bringing Fire along and am currently struggling to try to figure out how to ride this cool new horse I seem to have under me. That’s the great thing about young horses – they’re never boring! Or at least mine certainly isn’t.

On the last day of the show, dressed in my new-to-me white breeches, we warmed up well and I loved the way Fire felt. I was feeling confident, even if the first two fences were oxers, (admittedly not my fave). We walked in the ring and all the sudden that horse under me was gone and instead I had one that was backed off and I had to fight just to get to the end of the ring. I found a long distance (my biggest weakness) to the first oxer. I was desperately trying to put her together around the end of the ring to the second oxer and when I put my leg on and there was no response I got desperate. Old habits die hard, and this one is dying a slow and painful death. I pushed coming out of the corner for a ridiculously long distance to a substantial oxer and while Fire tried to jump initially, we did not make it.

I hit the dirt and was up as soon as I could, worried my horse was going to go for a victory lap around the ring. The jump crew very kindly caught her as she ambled away from me and the jump, likely wondering what the heck was wrong with me and why on earth was I laying in the dirt? I determined I wasn’t hurt enough to need a medic unless they could repair my pride. Talked to my coach, got back on and jumped a couple jumps in the warm-up ring. We talked about what went wrong, how we needed to fix it and then our show was done, and it was time to rush home for the ferry.

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PC Totem Photographics

It wasn’t the best way to finish a show, there may have been a few tears shed on the drive home but that might have been in part because of the exhaustion and looking at the state of my bank account after paying my entries for the week. It was and still is a good wake-up call as to what we need to work on at home. When I put my leg on to go forward the answering machine cannot be on! We have since had about a month back to work and the issues we had at the show are still here but we’re working towards fixing them. While I wish we could have finished our season on a higher note this year, I am truly looking forward to the fall and winter of boot camp to get ready for 2019 Show Season and another chance to show in white breeches again. Maybe next time I’ll make it over more than one jump 😉

Some days good, some days “bad”, all days successful

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Did you know that every ride could be a “win”?  Yep, even the rides that suck can be a success.

This last week the 3 of us and our gang of 5 year olds ventured off to Thunderbird for a week of fun in the sun at the show (or so we thought).   Don’t get me wrong, over all we  had a blast, even when the rain came.   However, we (especially me) encountered some of the growing pains that can come with young horses.

We had had a great season so far, and I felt we had done all the necessary preparation to be there, but as we all know “the best laid plans……”   I had a few rides early in the week that royally SUCKED, and I’m not being a whiner here.  I mean sucked as in falling off twice in one day (at the same fence no less), a pretty scary crash and a lot of questions with no answers   It would have been easy to say that this was my horse’s fault, and that he “was bad” but it wasn’t and he wasn’t, it was an accident, plain and simple, so, I dusted myself off, made sure my horse was okay and decided tomorrow was a new day.

Unfortunately it wasn’t that easy.  The next day was another day on the struggle bus with my horse too scared from his fall to compete.   I had to make a decision on where to go from here.  Was I frustrated?  You betcha!  Would it have been easy to blame my horse?  Of course!  But, really what I needed to do was take a step back and recognize what was my chance to turn this bus around.   To turn the SUCK into SUCCESS.

Every time you ride it’s your chance to pick up the reins and turn what sucked last time into a success, but I have found that in a mistake – not mistake binary thought process it’s hard to see the small gains.   As with most competitive endeavors it’s pretty black and white, you won or you didn’t, you beat your PB or you didn’t, you made the play or it was an error.  But, in this sport where our partner is a living breathing animal and not an inanimate object there is an entire spectrum of grey and grey is where most of the work is done.

Think about it this way; if you are at the bottom of a cliff and you have to climb to the top, and you only think about how much work it’s going to be to get to the top, you will a) become overwhelmed and b) think about how much it’s going to suck to have to climb up that whole way.  But, if you break it down into smaller steps i.e.:  climbed it to the first ledge – Success!   Climbed half way – Success! And so forth until you have built up success after success until you are at the top.

And this is how I needed to approach this; jump one small jump – Success!   Jump down a line –   Success!  Put a small pattern together – Success!  Jump a course at height – Success!   Get into the show ring the next day and complete the course – Success!  And after we rebuilt ourselves on all these small gains, we ended the show on a positive note with solid rounds and even a couple good ribbons.  The suck was turned into success.

So, the next time you find yourself piloting the struggle bus,  know that you can take what isn’t going well and turn it into something great, and also that you ain’t on that bus alone!

~Ranchero

Get in Loser, We’re Going Shopping. (E. 4)

They say money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you stuff and that’s pretty much the same thing.

HAVE IT

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Riki recently purchased these from Halter Ego and was surprised at how quickly they came. They are super comfortable, great for those who prefer a higher rise but may need extra room for the booty. If you follow the size chart to find your size you’re golden. The details are beautiful and great quality for a great price point.

 

 

 

 

Not only does this backpack look great but it’s also super practical. Made of durable 600 denier canvas it’s heavy duty and water resistant. They really thought of everything including a vented helmet compartment, a fleece lined pocket for sunglasses or cell phones, and stretch pockets for whip/crops. H picked one of these bad boys up and can’t wait to stash all of her ringside goodies (let’s be honest there may be a bottle of wine in there) in it at the next horse show. PS Noble has a full line of matching luggage available, H also has the 6.3 liter duffel #matchinggoals

 

 

NEED IT, WANT IT, GOTTA HAVE IT

 

Every single one of us wants, needs, gotta have this shirt… Too many great features to list including a surprisingly slim cut (tbh who doesn’t want/need that?!), quick dry fabric (because I’m not sweaty, you’re sweaty!), and beautiful colours to choose from… did you know that #OnWednesdaysWeWearPink Considering how fabulous this shirt is, it’s still machine wash and wear with little to no ironing needed, cause who has time for that?

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously we are obsessed with these unicorn earrings, because unicorns. Not only does Dogwood Bling make the most beautiful and yummy treats for horses AND dogs but she also has been getting the most fun accessories to boot. These stud earrings are 18k gold plated with a high-polish finish and secure friction back clasps.

 

 

 

 

 

These breeches are Black Heart’s answer to Lululemon! These beauties will make people want to “touch the heinie!” with a super flattering cut and signature heart details. These are definitely next on the Mane Girls shopping list. Black Heart also has a line of base layers, with a great UPF rating, great for riding or the gym.

 

 

 

 

Until next time babes!

2d5ri8

Ice, Ice Baby (#TipTuesday v.2)

Yo VIP, let’s kick it!

Sadly, this blog post is not about early nineties hip-hop (too bad because that is one of my favorite jams!)

This blog post is about the many benefits of ice (or cold) therapy for your beloved unicorn’s legs.

As the old saying goes “no hoof, no horse” it should really be more like “no leg, no horse”, since all our riding endeavours hinge upon our horses being sound and comfortable.  Whether you are show jumping, doing dressage or pleasure riding injuries can happen at any time.

The goal with using cold therapy is the reduce inflammation and minimize any tissue damage to our horse’s legs.   This could be applied to new injuries, an injury that is healing, or as preventive maintenance for a hard worker.   The methods for applying it range from simple to high tech, the simplest being cold hosing – running a stream of cold water directly over the area for 15 to 30 minutes.

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Supermodel “Carma”

 

A large bucket filled with ice or ice water is also an easy way to apply ice and in our humble opinion the most effective way to ice your horse’s feet.  This comes in handy if you have a horse with coffin bone or sole sensitivities.   It may take some time to get your horse used to standing in a bucket of ice but most of them seem to get used to it after a few times.

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Supermodel and ice bucket professional “Victor McDreamy”

 

Cold packs can also work, these would be secured to the leg with a polo wrap or stable bandage.  These are handy as they can be put back in the freezer for reuse (disclaimer:  don’t be a fool like me and think your horse is mature enough to go back into his paddock and not rip said wraps and ice packs off his legs and make a giant mess of blue goo) *eye-roll*

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Supermodel “Carma” wearing Equifit wraps

 

Alternatively (and a bit more expensive) there are ice boots or ice wraps that have pockets you can put ice into, or come with the ice packs already sewn in.

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Supermodel “Aloha V” wearing Finn Tack ice boots

 

The timing for these applications is about 20 minutes at a time, you will not have any better results if you leave the ice on all day and in fact this can cause further damage to the tissues.  For icing a specific area more intensely you can take an ice cube and apply it directly to the area, moving in a circular motion.  Since this is the most intense form of cold therapy it is recommended to only do this for about 9 minutes.

As with anything you will have to experiment and see what works best for you and your unicorn but hopefully this can help you get started in the right direction!

Word to your mother,

~Ranchero

Deep thoughts from the drive home

Sometimes progress shows its self in the form of a red (or blue for our American friends) ribbon, but sometimes progress is just completing the course without parting ways, or a clean lead change or not spooking at the people on the outside of the ring. When it’s not a winning round it’s hard to look back on the day and not focus on the negative, the I didn’t lunge for long enough, or I wish there wasn’t small children screaming on the rail.   Your brain inherently goes to the negative and we have to be able to turn that around and recognize the positives (no matter how small).

A while ago COTH ran an article about the different equine personalities here and our MG herd is made up of a few different ones but I am especially lucky to own a “Neurotic”; you know,  the one that you’re sure is hearing voices and will take any excuse to go on a hunger strike.

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“I see dead people”

 

Flash back to the last show where said unicorn and I parted ways unexpectedly and he did a victory gallop which earned him the title of “fastest horse on the show grounds” (#winning!) well, we were off to try to do it (not exactly that…..) again this weekend and after it was all said and done instead of beating myself up that I was not the Champion of the Universe I took an inventory of the things that did go right:

  • There were no unscheduled dismounts
  • There were no rodeo demonstrations
  • We did not spook and run blindly away from the people on the bleachers, the photographer, our coach, the other horses
  • We made it around all the courses
  • Our coach was happy with us

My rounds weren’t beautiful, and I did not get any ribbons but what I did get was PROGRESS. So many little things that have been stumbling blocks were not, and I can honestly say that each round was better than the last one and at the end of the day that’s all I can really ask for.  Progress. I know if I keep working at it and accepting the small steps in the right direction that the results I’m after will come.

I am not a slave to the story line in my head that says the only form of success is a win.

So, if you had a weekend like I did, please, be kind to yourself and try to reflect on what did go right for you, no matter how small it may seem.

~Ranchero