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Moving into the Transition Bit

Moving into the Transition Bit

Look at how good he was in his new bit! ๐Ÿ™‚

Meet the bit that my trainers call “the transition bit”! It’s got a jointed, Myler type mouth piece (curved with copper strips) and shanks that swivel, which I think puts it firmly in the Tom Thumb category? I’ve had a little experience with the Tom Thumb before, and while I didn’t like it then, the experience was completely different with a horse that has a solid training background (versus a horse that’s been over-bitted).

Trainer M and I had a sneaking suspicion that Ezhno had probably been ridden in a leverage bit before, but when my lesson rolled around on Wednesday we still started out on the ground, practicing our halts, rein back, and bending to both sides. Unsurprisingly, he was 100% not worried about the new bit.

Trainer M climbed aboard and, honestly… he was fine. He didn’t care much about the new bit at all. In fact, he looked better than he did in the snaffle. She put him through his walk/trot paces, fixed a couple of spots where he stopped bending and locked up, then passed the reins over to me.

Guys, he was such aย  P R O F E S S I O N A L .

Seriously, he was fantastic. He felt a million times better than he did in the loose ring snaffle, it was like having a whole new horse. I could ride him with a drape in my reins, turn him off of my leg, and slow him with my seat (when I remembered to stop wiggling my hips like a lunatic LOL). It was almost like he was… gasp… WELL TRAINED AND CLOSE TO WALK/TROT SHOW READY.

Two weeks of consistency and I’m confident that we won’t be a complete embarrassment at the PtHA show. ๐Ÿ˜›

New Saddle! 16″ Winner’s Circle w/FQHB (so shiny O_O)

New Saddle! 16″ Winner’s Circle w/FQHB (so shiny O_O)

Tuesday evening I was busy tutoring when the Show Buddy sent me this pretty picture:

She originally found this saddle on Facebook and was hoping it would fit her Arabian gelding. Unfortunately, this hulk of a saddle was too big for Teak, so she did me a serious solid and pulled my doof out of his stall so that she could check out how it fit him while I was at work. The verdict? She liked the way it looked and thought it was a serious contender, so she sent me the seller’s contact info so that I could set up a time to meet up with her and check it out in person.

The saddle itself is a 16″ Winner’s Circle brand show saddle with FQHB. It’s decked out with fancy tooling and Montana silver, plus it’s almost brand newโ€”the owner only used it for shows, which means it has exactly five rides on it. This thing is pristine.

The tutoring center I work at was closed on Wednesday afternoon to commemorate the anniversary of a local natural disaster, so the seller came out to the equestrian center and I tacked Ezhno up in the saddle. We walked across the parking lot to the arena, where Trainer A took a look at the fit while Ezhno tried his best not to EXPLODE. (Side note: he’s doing better at behaving, but he’s still a spazz.) Trainer A approved, so I took Lexi for a spin in it and…

$750 later, I have a fancy show saddle and a matching headstall!ย  โ™ฅ

Without a pad the saddle’s a little bit big on Ezhno, but with a pad it’s got good wither clearance and no pressure around his shoulders. It’s a saddle that fits well now and will still fit him when he’s back in work and putting on muscle. I wasn’t looking for something with bling, but it was in my budget and the stirrups go up high enough to fit my stubby legs, so I call that a victory!

He’s so bad at taking pictures.ย  -__-

I guess this means I need to start thinking about show options for when Ezhno’s back in action…

The New Horse Shopping List (Part III-B)

The New Horse Shopping List (Part III-B)

Well, the Snohomish County 4-H Tack Sale has come and gone, marking the passing of another equestrian calendar year. I went in with a pretty sizeable list (you can check it out back in Part III) and even though the general consensus is that the sale was a little less impressive this year than it was last year (less stuff, higher prices, lower quality, etc.), I still came out of it with around $200 worth of secondhand tack. Here’s what my list looked like after I got back from the sale:

There were a ridiculous amount of saddles on hand, but I forgot my wither tracings at the barn and I didn’t feel comfortable making such a large purchase with no guarantee the saddle I chose would fit Ezhno. I did, however, purchase a new nylon halter, a western headstall, a pair of split reins, and a low tier showmanship halter for his handsome face!

Look at all of these awesome face decorations. LOOK AT HOW CUTE HE IS IN THEM.ย  ๐Ÿ˜€

After I was finished buying stuff for Ezhno, I checked out the apparel section, but didn’t find anything I liked enough to purchase (and by the time I made it there they were mostly out of my shoe size, so no new western boots for me ๐Ÿ™ ). I did, however, get two pairs of western spurs, plus very plain leather spur straps.

So adorable and spinny.ย ย  O_O

I forgot to pick up a curb strap to put on my snaffle (to help prevent the bit from pulling through his mouth, not that I make a habit of yanking on his face), so I used that as an excuse to take a trip to the Bony Pony. I got a curb strap ($9, woo~!)… and then I snagged a $575 15.5″ Circle Y equitation saddle out of the consignment section to take with me on trial.

Cute saddle pad from the sale + the latest saddle candidate

The fit on the Circle Y was surprisingly good, so I kept it overnight so that one of my trainers could check it out in the morning. Trainer A took a look for me and approved the fit, so I saddled Lexi up in it for our Monday morning lesson. I immediately realized that the seat of the Circle Y was quite possibly the most comfortable western saddle my butt has ever had the joy of gracing… but the stirrups couldn’t go high enough and the flap over the girth made the top of the fender’s too bulky. When you’ve got short legs every inch of contact counts, so the saddle was close, but not quite right.

No Circle Y saddle for usย  ๐Ÿ™

To wrap up a weekend(+) of splurging, I spent all of Monday night/Tuesday morning combing through collections of cowboy boots in search of a style that didn’t make me cringe. It was a challenge, but after hours spent glaring at my laptop screen I finally picked out a pair that I consider to be cute (for a western boot, at least). Here’s hoping they’re comfortable, too…

And my lovely supportive mother also ordered me a pair of insulated Bogs, since the last pair of cheap Fred Meyer rain boots I bought are splitting at the seams. They lasted right around three months of daily beatingsโ€”not bad, for $30, but I’m hoping to get some good use out of my next pair, since they’re almost three times as expensive!

More shopping to come in the future, no doubt. After all, my tax return is on its way…ย  ๐Ÿ˜›