Sunday at the Barn – And Blondie’s New Accessories

Summer during the Freedom Class

After a week of unrelenting rain, today dawned bright and clear.  You couldn't ask for a more perfect day.  Temps were very pleasant 70's, down from the muggy 90's we had been suffering through.  The horses even seemed to be in better moods, and they weren't drenched with sweat before they even had their saddles on!

Sara brushed Blondie for me, and then I happily started getting her tacked up.  Why happily, you might ask.  Because I dragged Dean to the only tack store in the area that carries saddleseat tack, and went on a little shopping spree.  Not only was I delighted that I finally have my own gear, but I am now convinced of Dean's undying love and devotion.  Though he remained in the car while I picked over the bridles and reins, he didn't complain once when I got back to the car with my purchases.

I am very happy with Blondie's new tack.  Even though it cost twice as much as the junk that I returned last week, the quality is at least ten times better.  I'm not exaggerating, either.  The leather is so much better, as are the fittings.  I picked up a running martingale, and a bridle with two sets of reins.  I also bought an extra braided rein, and a bottle of fly spray.  That stuff is expensive!  I'm going to have to keep my eye out for season close-outs and buy a big jug for next year.

I was having a bit of trouble getting the bridle adjusted correctly, but D saw that I was having difficulty, and he came over and showed me how it was supposed to fit.  The first thing he did was take everything apart, and then he kept the caveson and the headstall separate.  As he was refitting everything, he commented, "No snaps, I see."  Yeah, that's the only thing I didn't want - once I buy a bit, it won't even matter than I opted not to purchase those surprisingly dangerous quick change bridles.

Out in the arena, Blondie was being a dingbat every time we approached the far door going the first way of the ring.  I don't know why she started spooking away from the door again, but I just tried to keep her from cutting her corners and scooting into the middle of the ring.  I wasn't having much luck!   Once we changed directions, the door didn't even faze her. She's such a spaz.

M had me bring Blondie into the middle so she could adjust the bridle again.  She didn't like where the caveson was sitting on her nose.  Then we headed out on the rail again, and Blondie kept her head back and didn't give me much trouble with her head dropping.  M complimented me on having soft hands today, and keeping Blondie up in her bridle.  I think Blondie was so happy to have her own tack that she was showing off for everyone.

We cantered the second way first, and Blondie just stepped into it.  She didn't race off like she normally does, and she had a nice cadence.  When we switched directions, she was stronger going the other way, but I think it was because of the scary door.  She did try to quit at the other end of the ring, but I got after her right away and she kept cantering.

While I was walking her out, M told me that I had a really good ride.  I said that Blondie was getting better, but she said that Blondie is the smart, I'm the one getting better.   Personally, I don't think it's so much that I'm getting better, but that I'm more comfortable riding her.  I can hardly wait until she's on turnout and I can get started working on a lot of my weaknesses with her.

M & D are off with the Morgans to Jubilee tomorrow, and they'll be gone until next Sunday.  I asked if I could ride Harley while they were gone, because I don't feel comfortable riding Blondie by myself.  M told me that I could, so I'm going to try to work with no stirrups, and I want to try the steering around the cone with one hand exercise again.  Harley neck-reins, so it should be easier with him.

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