Thursday, November 9, 2017

SADDLE FIT SADDLE FIT SADDLE FIT

IF I ONLY KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW!
No really!... because I would have put more value on finding the BEST saddle fit for my horse, which improves performance which in turn helps me not develop bad habits that inhibit my riding!
PERIOD!
You are fooling yourselves if you think you can do anything other. 
First off, we need to stop listening to our "friends" and seek out professional opinions. Because opinions are like A@@holes.. and everyone has them. Before you know which end is up, someone has talked you into a bad deal for you and your horse. You may at the time think WOW great deal, I didnt know that ... and look I found a great price on this saddle that they said would work!
NOT! NOT! NOT!
You may be able to get away with that a lower levels of your chosen discepline but if you want to really perform well and want to exceed, anti up and buy tack that will last you a lifetime and fit well!
If you dont know, ASK! Ask only qualified persons what would work best for you and your horse.
DONT CHEAP OUT ~ it will cost you... eventually!
HERES YOUR SIGN 
NOT EVERYONE FITS INTO A 15" SADDLE DAMMIT!
I know I come from English background, lessons and showing... I have done it all from Western Pleasure to Team Penning to Bridless riding and I know me and what I need, so why would I just take someones word that a 15" PRO RIDER (P.O.S.) would get me to where I was going?
I KNEW BETTER
... yet I still conceeded .... and here I am ... back at the drawing board and years behind schedule trying to undo all the bad habits from bad balance, not to mention gaining weight and getting more out of shape every year.... I am tired of eating dirt in the back forty!

The questions you need to ask yourself is what position does my body need to be in to get the job done. Does this tack pitch me forward, restrict my leg movement, bruise my thighs or legs, does horn jab my guts out when my horse makes her move. Where should my stirrup legnth be for this sport, shorter to keep my ass in saddle or longer for me to leverage my backside? How do I ride my horse? Horses are different too in how they work! MOST by how they were taught, some due to confirmation, others due to unknown chronic issues never addressed!

I like being free in the tack. I love riding bareback, always have. Running a set of barrels bareback I have not.... I dont plan to this late in the game either BUT I still would like to have space to work, or so I think. I may be thinking all wrong due to this particular dicepline of BARREL RACING! 
I have ridden in crappy saddles that have me all hemmed up and jacking me around at MACH10... but I have never tried a quality saddle that fits me and my horse... and the fact of the matter is it MAY just keep me from coming up out of the saddle, falling behind and grabbing a hold to catch up!
HELLO BRENDA ~ Here is YOUR SIGN!
sigh.... the vote is still out.... 
because they DO NOT MAKE BARREL SADDLES BIGGER THAN 15"!!!!
... apparently fat gurls ~ or J-Lo gurlz dont ride barrel horses?
THEY DO... I have seen it...AND THEY RIDE THE SHIT OUT OF THEM
... in their poor lil ol 15" saddles

THIS SADDLE was my first barrel racing saddle.... tho I didnt know it yet!
ACTUALLY a pretty decent saddle for the brand name (no name basically)
DC WESTERN of GREENSBORO NC
When I sat in it I felt the quality of the saddle
THO a 16" I could ride in it ok... except the stirrups werent free and I got pitched forward
Saddle leather great, fleece great but TREE created issues eventually and caused white spots to appear on my mares whither/shoulder area ~ NOT GOOD!
Sold it for a lil less than I paid for it ~ paid $525






HILSASON TREELESS saddle shown above. GREAT fit on mutton whithered horses that only a custom 10" gullet would fit. PRICING new $425 but basically only last about a year or two tops!
Stirrup leathers broke thru and had to replace and actually cause horses back to be sore after awhile.

 I started doing Southern Stockhorse and figured I needed a saddle for that too... and though I couldnt afford the one I really would want which was a WADE style at a whopping $3500 I figured it would be ok to get a Wade look alike for $325 on ebay. Leather quality was thick and gross. Stain color orange-ee... worksmanship was bad... look at the stirrups hung way too far back from center and though turned wasnt able to work well while on cows. NOT TO MENTION the tree wasnt right and the whole saddle pitched to and fro and felt like it was sitting on top of the world... NO FEEL of your horse what so ever!








Then I upgraded my horse from a ranch style to a cutting style and had to have a cutting saddle!
I went all in!
I got a Calvin Allen and thought well FINALLY I got it right! $1300

            BUT after a year trying to get my seat right, I just couldnt get my ass to stay down in the saddle while my horse cut a cow.... and I paid dearly one day... she cut left... I fell right... OFF!
At a show... in front of a crowd.... and then I was like that is it! What is the deal!????
so I decided to get a deeper seat ~ a JEFF SMITH close contact... and it made all the difference in the world. MIND YOU I was lucky to have found someone who wanted my Calvin Allen and traded even for this trophy saddle Jeff Smith. A Jeff Smith cutter NEW is $3600-$4500 so I thought I got a deal! Well it was an older model but had great bones! High rise to the Pommel... low cantel, cut out under fenders.... I did well in that slick seat and learned alot!






















Meanwhile ... back to barrel racing tack connundrum... I thought well that Hillason is kinda working but being that its a glorified saddle pad with a pommel and a cantel mounted to it.... I need something with gullet for my high whithered runaway pegasus I was trying to tame and retrain at the time. I thought well I dont know how long I will have him but this cheap treeless nightmare is causing my proven 1D champion twitching at the whither and dry scabbing soon prevailed... and for $250 
 this saddle was NOT the answer... PERIOD! P.O.S. for sure!

Then I finally decided to order this TREELESS saddle made by Circle Y Saddlery called 
JUST BE NATURAL saddle. Custom ordered the 16.5 to make sure I would have enough room and was so excited to choose my chocolate on chocolate and bling and stirrup choice.... yippee!
3 months later it shows up... and I saddle up... SAME ISSUE with his Whither! Well I ride in it... and Im being pitched forward, the billets are faux leather which will last what ... a year or two? 
Soooooooo dissappointed after the first few rides, wanting it to work so bad... and waiting so long for it to show up so I can ride a nice light weight wonderful special ordered saddle for $2400!!!!!
I couldnt ... so I shipped it back... and still awaiting it to sell on consignment where I purchased it from! UGHHHH! Cuz remember.... NOBODY rides in anything but a 15" saddle and this is a 16.5!




 So while at the Worlds this year ... I spent time asking questions sitting in saddles, soaking up all the information I could about this saddle and how it is... what it is... who makes it and what it was designed for and to do or what it would do...

I brought both my horses to the woman to saddle fit several different types of saddles. I sat in almost every saddle... well she had me sit in almost every saddle she had... asking me what I felt and what I thought about it. That helped .... and then it didnt... because I seemed to get more confused... .I think I know what would work and what I need... and then I look at what styles of saddle I am drawn to and think I know why.

The Charmayne James C13 has been the apple of my eye for at least 5 years.... $3500 seemed outrageous and I still think so.... but after all that I have been through with trying to save a buck... what have I gained besides frustration and dissappointement? I like the C13 becuase of the close contact cut, the drop riggin and high rise and the seat pocket....

Now the new barrel saddle by JEFF SMITH just came out called the C3 ... ????? hmmmmmmmmmmm similar isnt it? Same price ... or there about. A little more refined than that of the C13 .... deeper seat (higher cantel) doesnt necessarily work for me... I do appreciate with as much leather skirting that has been cut away they do offer the rear cinch rigging to compensate for any movement that may or may not jack around back there.... but again... here we are... they dont make anythign bigger in either saddle than a 15" dammit! soooooooooooo why would I even bother? Maybe Jeff Smith would consider custom size but I know the other C13 most likely would not!
I have thrown in the towel on both styles ... unfortunately!





Below are two saddles that are similar and have pros and cons that we went over during saddle fit!
The top one is the chosen saddle by the vendor claiming it fits MOST horses and rides similar to the bottom one which I PREFERED.... $1999 for top and $2600 for bottom. Notice why I prefer the bottom? Because MY BOTTOM fits in the pocket! Close contact and high rise to the pommel keeps me sitting up and back and doesnt allow for me being pitched forward. Guess what size the bottom is that I rode in and actually rode ok in it... 14.5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know right! LIKE WHAAAT!
Its by JEFF SMITH.... I am starting to see the light here folks! Its taken me this long!???? 
Well the story is I wanted to order that saddle... BUT it has a Buster Welch tree... and may not feel the same as that one... they are all different... and so she discouraged me from wanting it... or tried to. she really wanted me to want the top one... that I just didnt ride as well in... it was a 15.5 and it felt smaller... and yes it fit my horse better... BUT ... I have to have it fit me to or what is the point?

IS THERE NOT A DANG SADDLE OUT THERE THAT WILL WORK FOR ME? 
I AM ABOUT READY TO QUIT AND START A NEW THING ... BAREBACK BARRELs!!!!








At this point I am beyond frustrated and dissappointed and refuse to do anything about it right now.
I am still riding in my P.O.S. Hilason Treeless saddle(s) I ordered a second one for my second barrel horse. But my older one is the one making my horses back sore... and have made an offer on a treeless saddle by Circle Y called the Tammy Fisher ... its a lil too blingy for me... but rides ok... and its $1699.... but see ... here I go again trying to save a buck! It is a 16.5 which is only 1/2" difference than the two hilasons I am currently ridding in that are a 17"! Image result for tammy fischer saddles
Tune in next time for the continuing saga of "How The Barrel Turns"

NBHA 2017 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Well, we have returned home from our 
National Barrel Horse Association World Qualifying Championships
..... now that is a mouthful. That is why they just say "WORLDS" in the barrel racing circles! 

I qualified in 2015 to run 2016 and again to run this year which happened to be their 
25th Anniversary. 

I felt that if Jeff couldnt represent us, I should since I did qualify
 ... AND it is the 3rd anniversary of his proposal AT THE WORLDS! 


They always recognize us ... well him and then they remember me! He is that memorable! 
Soooooo off we went to Perry GA from Oct 27th - Nov 4th. 
We got the perfect RV site ... FINALLY! 
After years of dealing with dogs dogs dogs DANG DOGS barking, pissing an shitting at our site... 
I pre-registered 6 mths in advance a PRIVATE SPOT, at the far end of no where at the fairgrounds WEST GATE. IT was great.... a view out of the front of our camper of where we proposed across the pond, and clock building and water fountains. 
We will want that spot PERIOD every year.... it was that nice! 
The horses were great, got them out daily, brought them to our campsite to hang with hay bag for the afternoon a few times. Made sure they had their Ulcerguard, Chiropractic and Back On Track treatments as needed and they were happy ladies!




Good runs after I got the butterflies out... unfortunately I didnt qualify back to the finals with either mare after their two runs each soooooooooooooo we just enjoyed the festivities and then loaded up on Sunday and headed home!
It was sooooooooooooooo good to be home
... and nice that we came, we competed and we got our tshirt!




Monday, July 17, 2017

FOREVER CHANGES ALWAYS

One thing you can bank on through time is CHANGE. It is forever and always.... which also is good to keep things fresh and new. Giving you perspective on how far you have come.... and goals to where you want to be. I remember wanting to just be with horses, doing something all the time showing, training, lessons, boarding and sharing my knowledge. I am at a point in my life at 47, now my energy levels dont support my goals. I have to change my perspective and find out what do I really want to do? Wanting to still do 3DE some day at a * or ** star level....would be fufulling life goal. Acquiring my realestate license this year seemed to be a natural process given my background, and utilizing other gifts and talents I have into flipping homes would be a great retirement income advantage. This year (2017) is only half over and I know that once it is ... things wont be the same again. We will look back and call these years the "good Ol' days".
Next month (AUG) Charlie will be going back to St. Andrews for his continuing education, thankfully having a job at least 9 mo out of the year. I have not kept up my end of the deal showing him at even the lowest level this summer. HOW BAD is that? THREE shows, one in JUNE, JULY & AUG! I did go to JUNE show at Heather Ridge Farm for our premier after having not ridden him for a year. He did decent, really did, he could have been awful... well actually he was when we tried to load him on the trailer..... almost kicked me in the face to days before show for our dry run lesson at the facility. My hopes of finding him a new owner this year was a complete FAIL due to my commitment to riding him consistantly.... WHY WHY WHY!!!!!

HONESTLY.... because I just dont like him .... its a JOB and playing russian roulette is not for me.
I have  good horses, ones that dont try to kill me. They just do their job and I enjoy mine, though not my choice discepline in barrel racing, still making progress in getting better is good for me.
Making hard choices to let horses go that dont work for me is tuff. I loved Willy, and after a few lessons with Amanda.... WOW, WHOA... really amazing things were going on! Then.... I fell down on my consistancy job.... WHY WHY WHY.... and he reverted to being ... .Willy. I cant ride that when I have two mares that ride similar and give me 100% every time.... Willy was a project, I wanted to make him better, but I FAILED ....  my issue with consistancy....
SAD STORY!

I have my hand on him still, connected by the riders mom who loves essential oils and we are kindred spirits in some ways ;) hoping I can still get him to where he needs to be ... and have all the love this girl says she has for him. Thank You Jesus!
Jeff will be having hip surgery in the coming month and then 6 weeks recovery and I am sure sooner than later getting back on and riding hard and fast once again. Until then, I am glad I have broad shoulders for whatever may come my way in this time frame!
The new addition, "DALLAS" the miniature pony is out for formal training, or should I say MILES, and whatever they can do with him to make him more bomb proof than he already is. Mom may be driving down in the fall and she said I could have her miniature harness and mini cart.... that needs work but willing to take it, in hopes that Dallas can be utilized until Kensley wants her pony ... he is adorable and we hope to have him for many years!

SOOOOO Forever Changes.... Always....
forever doing something new with horses....
eventing, cutting, barrel racing....
then getting a new career in Real Estate means not always having time to do horse stuff....
.... or getting a hip replacement surgery.... meaning... doing things a little different or to a lesser degree than you are used to. Realizing that your energy levels are not what they were, or your drive to do bigger and better always... is not your main focus anymore.
Just enjoy life every day! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

SPRINGTIME IN HORSELAND

Spring still in the air!!!!!

I already have the whole year  planned out with a calender showing the few weekends we may be able to take off! .... which sounds kind of funny ~ but true!

NBHA shows are priority now that my honey is in his second year as Director for our district. I am the Web Admin, flyer maker, updater and points poster LOL. Here is a link to the goings on:
                                                           http://www.nbhanc02.com/

NO Southern Stockhorse this year as I sold my darling little Zoey back to the trainer to rehome.



We have widdled down to 5 horses and a mini.... mr DALLAS!
                                             Image may contain: horse, sky, outdoor and nature
 2 horses are currently on lease locally ~ Charlie at St. Andrews College doing very well for himself this past year and will be home by the end of the month for the summer but will return to college in the fall as they requested! YAY! (tho I may have to show him this summer just to see how his college education has has paid off!)
      Image may contain: one or more people, people riding on horses, horse, tree, sky, outdoor and nature    Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and nature    Image may contain: one or more people, horse and outdoor

Bo is still with Billy who is still trying to get with him. Sadly I understand, it takes alot to get with that type of horse. Some days are better than others and you just co-habit and take the good with the bad. Which is why I have begrudgingly decided to part ways with my Sweet William.
He is sweet, kind, happy horse... but he leaves sometimes... and you cant get him back :(
I will miss him, and I will pray for him daily :(
Image may contain: horse, tree, sky, outdoor and nature  Image may contain: sky, horse, outdoor and nature


So you understand there has been serious progress here with Willy.... this was my first run on this runaway who had issues with a bit, and once I put a hackamore on him ... we then made that progress :)


I just cant seem to muster up the stamina to maintain his level of inconsistancy, which in turn is from my level of inconsistancy unfortunately :( I just DONT DONT DONT want to work on "IT" every day, day in and day out...  He reverts often, and when the switch goes off  he just wont, WONT come back. The jigging and head tossing... I just want to enjoy my days in the saddle. I have two "OL Faithfuls" ~ Sally and now Cassidy (jeffs hand me down mare) who both ride and work the pattern the same... I am ready to work on myself, my ability to progress and enjoy our time. TRUST me ~ there is plenty to work on with both of them, even though they are almost automatic. BUT ... your seat, your timing and rider anticipation can screw up the whole 15 sec ride if you let it!  so this year, I plan to stay out of thier way and letting them DO THEIR JOB!

Finally last year me & SALLY we getting it! ~
so if I can get even close on Cassidy .... hoooooooooooweeee that frieght train will be HONKING!




 Here is to 2017 ... may it be a year to remember ... and the building blocks to tomorrows success!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY .... BABY!

... that could mean alot of things.... really.
... being that this BLOG was originally started to share and reflect on my trainings of my eventing steeds... and my desires to event at upper levels...  and coming back from the ROLEX all inspired to go farther and all things possible... Wasnt going to happen AT ALL after getting laid off from Kitchen Design Job in 08.
Coming to terms with losing that $76k yr income was hard. Having to let go of some horses that I loved, and facing the facts that affording horses in the northeast without a trainer or show opportunities for jumping just give up on that dream and have trail horses! ... but I couldnt just have trail horses, give lessons and have a boarding stable... unfortunately was not me.

THEN in 2011 after two hard depressing years of trying to make a marriage work ... I relented to a forced Divorce and terms of move out date Aug 30.... reluctantly, grieving and exhausted... I packed up whatever would fit in a 3H slant and headed toward KY, where my dreams would take form, I just knew it... it had to... I mean how could it not work? I could find work at a stable and be right in the midst of horse life and live the dream.... or so I thought. I cried all the way to NJ where I stayed overnight at my A. & U. while my horse slept standing in the trailer alongside my 84 FLH iron hoss.
My hay and stock tank and fencing, buckets blankets misc items... it was stuffed full and the LQ was boxes all the way to the door of everything but the kitchen sink. My dog in the front seat riding shotgun and off we went to NC to stay with a friend and enjoy trail riding with friends, some barrel shows and rodeos until heading to my secluded temporary home in western KY.

WOW... what fun NC was! I never imagined so many people doing everything with horses every weekend! WHAT! Eventing at Carolina Horse Park, Wagon and Carriage trails at the Moss Foundation, overnight camping especially for horse rides in Lumber River, Rodeos and Barrel racing everywhere.... sandy trails and great weather.... I didnt plan on leaving for a month.... and was told I could stay... I looked for work and ended up getting into Kitchen Design in an upscale design center in Southern Pines, right up my alley!

Deciding to stay and seeing where GOD was going to take me was the best decision I made... and actually it was all made for me... I just had to allow good things to happen to me ... for me... everything falls into place at the right time... if you allow it. SO SO BLESSED. I always say... I cant say what would have happened to me if I carried through with my plan in KY, who I would be or who I would be with... it would have been hard, harder... maybe wouldnt have made it without all the support I have found here in NC. ... I dont want to know how it would have worked out.... I am happy with how it has worked out. I never would have thought I would be here today... ENJOYING EVERY DAY!

I am OK.... I am LOVED... I am a BLESSING to those around me. I am THANKFUL... GREATFUL that I am doing what I love... HORSES. I have accomplished more with horses in 5 years... FIVE YEARS... than I have in having horses my whole life with the desire to do something with them. Yes I have done this and that... but the variety NOW of doing it all which is what I love the most! ... most importantly ... having someone BY YOUR SIDE to do it with you and loves horses as much as I do... is the cherry on top!

THANK YOU GOD ~ YOUR GRACE AND MERCY IN MY LIFE IS BOUTIFUL!
Looking forward to tomorrow every day!


                                Keeping positive and Looking UP giving Him ALL the Glory!
                                                                                 AMEN

Friday, June 17, 2016

LIFE IS TOO SHORT... EAT DESERT FIRST!

... life IS too short....
that is why you shouldnt fret over the small things!
If you want to HONEYMOON before the WEDDING ... JUST DO IT!
That is what we did and it was great!
We made great memories, got some great pictures and really took the time to enjoy ourselves!

GRAND TETONS & YELLOWSTONE
it was an amazing view that I enjoyed capturing myself!









This picture is the ONLY one we actually got someone to take of us ... 



THEN IT WAS ONTO THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS!


ITS ALL ABOUT THE COWBOYS ~ AND COWBOY BOOTS BABY!





... AND .... 
it was U. Jerry and A. Beckys 50th Anniversary!
What an honor to share that special day with them and they with us!



 ....here is to another blissfull 50 years! xoxoxo