Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Product review: Thermax Headliner

 Winter riding brings the need for warmth. For me my ears are one part that needs to stay warm or I am miserable. So years ago we found this headliner in the motorcycle section of our Marine Corps Exchange.


The liner is super thin, so it barely takes any room in your helmet. It is stretchy and can also be a balaclava or just a neck warmer.

It is sleek enough to wear at a show or clinic.

Just as many things the price has gone up over the years. It is still worth the $18 price tag. 

We just gifted one to our Magna Wave practioner and she was thrilled. She has a long walk to get to her lesson and was looking at something to keep her head warm.

I will warn that it holds heat really well, so it can get very warm using it in an indoor. It is durable, mine is still in great condition. 

Item:Seirus Thermax Headliner

Price: $18-$25 depends on retailer

Monday, December 6, 2021

Foal Pool Prize

 As you all know Lauren from She Moved To Texas, won Roscoe's 2021 foal pool. She generously donated her gift card amount to a charity. So I really wanted her cross stitch to be special. 

Fortunately she has really great photos to choose from of Simon and her dogs. I ended up formatting something completely different than I had ever done. It has a level of depth and nuance I hoped would come through. I gave it to my sister to be transferred to the pattern and crossed my fingers. 

Amazingly it worked out to fit all my parameters. It did need every stitch completed to make it come together, but in the end we were happy. My sister found the perfect frame quickly, a process we normally go back and forth on multiple times.

We shipped it to Lauren and surprisingly it even arrived early. She was brought to tears, but in a good way. These prizes do not come quickly, though I do try to make them worth the wait.

Lauren, Simon and her dogs

I am not sure Roscoe will have a foal due next year. It was a rough year for mare owner's. Maybe we will do a pregnancy pool instead 🤔 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Permission to Fail

 We said goodbye to Karrigan at our last lesson as she moves with her military spouse. She definitely pushed Roscoe and I to be better and I felt she was invested in our progress. Unlike previous trainer exits, this time there is not an assistant trainer to take over. I was mildly panicked at the thought of no lessons the winter before I attempt rated shows. Enter Lauren who worked it out that I can ride with her until an assistant is hired.

Now was nervous for a whole other reason. Which turned out to be for nothing. Lauren is a completely down to earth, tell it like it is person. I found myself calming and feeling like I could do this dressage stuff. And that transferred to Roscoe. He did not get upset or tense. 

I included all the working portions of the lesson. Lauren is clearly heard, so you can get an idea of how she teaches. 

The lesson was centered on the basic principle of him being "on the bit" at all times. He still fakes it or uses his under neck at times and I have not been tough enough. So after warm up she put us on a circle to begin spiraling. Left is our hard way and it was obvious. He would pop up when I gave the inside rein. But we kept asking him to lift his back, cross his legs and move forward. Slowly,  Roscoe moved differently.  

When we stepped up to canter, Lauren specifically stated if he dropped down to trot it was okay. He is allowed to fail. Success is built on failure. Even if he fails the exercise, he still worked the muscles in the process. Permission to fail made for some of the best canter work we have ever done. And when he did trot, he was balanced instead of splatting. Rescuing him in the canter could result in him sacrificing quality. Roscoe definitely thought it was hard and he did not like the new transition parameters. He did try though. 

My pony felt fancy! We were by no means where we need to be, but the stronger base was definitely being built. And my ride at home the next day was almost as good. So fingers crossed we can keep it and strengthen him over the winter. I can tell other movements will be easier once we firmly establish him working over his back.

Even after only one lesson, I am already thinking I will need to plan to pay the extra to take an occasional lesson with Lauren in between regular lessons with the assistant. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Trailer Issue Snowball

 The downside to having a breeding stallion, lessons, shows and a full time job is the trailer is tough to schedule a checkup. We did not notice anything until the well into breeding season and the show season. So we did fixes and watched until we could get it in. Fast forward to the beginning of November. Mom and I were driving back to the barn after a saddle fitting. The roads are hilly, winding and a little narrow, but we have gone this way for four years with no issues. This time we felt a huge bump, or something that only affected the trailer. Immediately we thought it was a tire. A look around showed four tires on both the trailer and truck. Roscoe was good and we could not see anything. We moved on.

A week or so later we went to what turned out to be my final lesson with Karrigan. Along the way we found the trailer had no lights. I called our trailer place and told them the problem. Mom brought it in the next day and we hoped it was just a fuse. Which is partially was. The truck blew a fuse, but fixing that did not fix the trailer. So they told us they could not do any work on it until the first week in December. That was not good as I have a lesson scheduled for the first. But with no lights we could not go anywhere, so the trailer stayed in case they could get to it sooner.

Thankfully they got to it this week and fixed the lights. Now they needed the truck to adjust our balance system, which we said had not been acting right. When my parents dropped the truck off, they found out why our lights died.


It turns out after three hours of searching for the problem, the bracket to our balance system cut the wires for the lights and the brakes. We have noticed over this year that the brackets had been slipping and it was on the list to tell the trailer people when it went in. We just tightened the bolts. It seems that all the issues we have felt with the balance system probably stem from the wires it was gradually cutting. And the big bump we felt was when the brakes locked after the wires were cut completely. The trailer literally jumped.


This lovely trailer issue snowballed into a big bill. You can bet we will be bringing it back right away if we see any slippage of the brackets. They will added a strip of metal if needed to hold it in place. It figures that the wires are the least protected on the tongue. What are the chances? Virginia requires an annual inspection so our trailer goes in at least once a year, but this all happened after. Hopefully now our trailer issues will be limited to little things like interior lights and the dang moonroof.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Stuck with Lauren

 Sadly this winter my trainer is going to Florida so I will be on my own. She was going to come back a couple of weekends but now that's not happening. Lauren Sprieser emailed and said we were stuck with her. Like that is a bad thing.

So the winter before my biggest show season will end with camp with Lauren. Although I have ridden at Sprieser for four years, I have not ridden with her. Her lesson prices are nearly double that of my trainer making it too pricey. 

I am looking forward to getting her help. Sometimes a different person can say something in another way that causes a light bulb moment. She has seen Roscoe a fair amount over the last six months and may already have ideas.

My pocket book hopes we don't fall in love with her training. 

Sunday, October 31, 2021

A New Addition to the Heavenly Herd

 I have gone radio silent not because there is nothing to say, but because we have been on an emotional roller coaster with DaVinci. He got two months of EPM treatments, continously treated with PEMF, acupuncture, and Equioxx. We saw improvements and then we saw him go downhill. We made the decision to inform his previous owners of the fact he would leave soon early September. 

It was extremely hard to make a choice while he was interacting, eating and showing some improvements. We had to go day by day. I was actually able to pick up and trim a little bit of his feet. He was not running into walls as much. We took off his protective eye mask since eye injuries were the least of his worries. That helped his mobility improve. 

My parents had to go to a wedding in October and my dad stressed about something happening while they were away. The vet came just before they left to see Dottie, who could not put her head down, and said DaVinci looked good. Then the day after they returned, Peggy told us DaVinci was lame. Sure enough his left front was problematic. We attempted to treat, but the pain and neurologic issues made it difficult. After a PEMF treatment we managed to get a boot with a soaker diaper on. He did walk better though the pain was evident.

Wednesday mom told me he was separating himself. That night we made the decision. His feet were a battle we could not address. We had to do an emergency as the vet was not available until the next week. The next morning we did the painful process of walking him out to the field using Dottie and his breakfast. 

Ever suspicious he flipped out,literally, when I put the halter on. We did manage to get him in place again. The vet gave him and Dottie a sedative. DaVinci opinionated as always decided to back up to a different spot. Kudos to the vet for staying with him. Fortunately after that drama the process was smoother than expected for a neurologic horse. 

Dottie was very upset as last one in her group. The boys went to the fence line to see. The herd dynamic is amazing. We ended up calling a different burial service than previous times and he was super. My dad and the boys were by DaVinci during the whole process. 

Fifteen years ago DaVinci came back to VA after four years in CA where he had a dressage career. We promised to keep him till the end and now he joins the rest of our heavenly herd. 

Thank you everyone who helped make his last half year better.

His previous owner found his show halter and used it on her current horse at an event in his memory. 

And yes he has a Painted Pony. That post will come later