|So much riding, so little treats|
The Passier was old, hard, and quite uncomfortable for me, but Mia really seemed to like the saddle. She moved freely, happily, and forward in all three gaits. Personally it felt like riding in a bareback pad with stirrups. I made that comment during the ride, and while A thought that was a good thing, I am not quite sure it is. I will definitely be looking for a newer, softer Passier if I go that route! Mia did not, however, move well in the Stubbens at all. I had to really force the issue of trotting, and we stopped before we went a full circle as it was clear Mia didn't like the saddle.
After that lesson, Mia's left front swelled up and was lame. We suspect it was the residual affects of the right front being off for so long and the left front compensating. That JUST cleared up when we had Lesson 21 and Mia was lame again. We did a short, mostly walk lesson where we focused on bending and trying to fix some of my bad habits. Mia's left hind popped an abscess about a week later so I took the holiday break to do basic walk/trot fitness. Maybe I was bringing her back too quickly each time, maybe she needed more basic level fitness? Or I was in a huge mental funk and didn't want to work hard, either option is possible.
|That was definitely an abscess|
Around this time is when my bad knee decided it was unhappy when riding, and would hurt/swell/lock up even during a trial ride. Even with drugs. Off to the interwebs I went to find recommendations. Perhaps some new stirrups would make life easier? After searching (dozens of) forums, threads, and groups, there were a few stirrups that were always recommended. Composi, MDC, and Freejump. I expected to see the Bow Balance in the list, but they rarely ever came up! Disappointing as someone at the barn had Bow Balance I could have asked to borrow. I know 2 different bloggers use and love their Freejump stirrups so off I went in search. It took weeks to find one for a price I was willing to pay, as they are damn pricey, and even then they were much more than I really wanted to spend.
|I don't hate the blue|
Queue the post office being the post office, things took weeks to arrive. The stirrups I bought Dec 12 arrived Dec 30th. The saddle I bought on Nov 18 that was shipped with Priority? It didn't arrive until Jan 5th. By Jan 1, I had all but given up on my saddle! When it arrived, it was the saddest saddle you had ever seen. Cold and stiff from being folded into a box for 30+ days, I spent a good hour cleaning and conditioning it after moving it to my office where it was warm. The result? I am very pleased, very pleased indeed.
|Can I be warm and be on a budget? Yes!|
Speaking of pleased, one of the barn peeps started wearing snow pants to work/ride in instead of bibs and said they were a game changer for her. Never one to refuse an opportunity, I found these white snow pants in the clearance section for 75% off. But....white? Eww? I researched dyes for polyester and settled on iDye Poly in Turquoise. While they didn't turn actual turquoise, IMO, I really am impressed in how they turned out. The dye was very even and looks like it came from the factory this way!
|Boil, boil, boil away|
The results are impressive, I do agree that the snow pants work just as well (if not better than) as bib Carhartt's. They are lighter, they have more flexibility, and are not nearly as bulky. If anyone wants some warm over pants, try some snow pants this winter!
|I like these, a lot. No more sweat pants as an overpant, |
I am going with these!
The feedback I have on the dying process? It definitely needs to be done outside, and you need a big stock pot but less water than you think you need. The water went to the tip top of the pot when I had about a third of the pot filled with water after dunking my pants. My pot wasn't big enough to submerge the entire pants either, I did have to stir it constantly for 30 mins, which wasn't nearly as bad as you would think. I would also buy the next larger size pant if I did it again, however, because there is very minimal shrinkage during the boiling process. It isn't bad at all, but it is just enough to be snug in the hips and crotch when I am riding. I think they will relax and stretch a little, but these first few rides have been snug. And hey, having more room is never a bad thing.