From Endurance to Dressage
No, wait, don't!
Ack, Riding Warehouse is killing me. Right now they're having a 20% off sale on everything. EVERYTHING! I don't need anything, but I couldn't resist.
I might have mentioned something the other day about indulging in a wee bit of retail therapy. That stuff isn't even here yet, but after this week, I felt I deserved just a bit more. I am pretty sure my therapist ordered it. Dr. Buy-All-the-Things, that is!
My buy it finger showed some restraint though as I only bought another Union Hill Dressage Pad - man I love those pads, but really, at $14.36, how could I not buy one? Riding Warehouse is practically giving the thing away!
Oh, I also threw in a fresh bottle of fly spray because at this time of year, I buy fly spray no matter what else is in my cart. It was only $12.76, half what it would cost me here in town!
I guess if you're going to "self-medicate," a bottle of fly spray is probably a good route to go.
I hate flies. Not that anyone likes them, but they drive me batty, and the truth is, our flies are nothing compared to yours (probably). I hear horror stories about the lethalness and cunningness of the flies around the country. Ours are just regular black flies that lazily hover around the manure pile and dive buzz our ears. My least favorite trick is how they like to land on my forearms while I ride because no amount of blowing will dislodge them. I hate the little boogers.
Speedy is pretty immune to them, maybe it's his white coat?, but not poor Izzy. The flies love him as much as they do me. It pains me to watch him do the fly shuffle - lift the right leg and shake, lift the left leg and shake, kick your belly with a back leg, repeat all day long. Fortunately, he's not a stomper, just a lazy lifter. I also hate to see the party going on in his eyeball goop. The flies practically swim in the corners of his eyes.
I don't know how fly season always sneaks up on me, you'd think I know it was coming, but it does, and it did. I have some old fly masks that are still in excellent condition, but they're way too small for Izzy. I am not sure why I have two Speedy-sized masks in storage, but he got one of them this weekend.
Riding Warehouse is running a fly control promotion right now that prooved very timely for me. I really want to get Izzy a fly sheet, but I know he'll just destroy it. Instead, he got a new fly mask and a fresh bottle of Pyranha. Riding Warehouse tossed a $10 gift card into my cart without me even needing to enter a promo number. Nice, right?!
For me, I tossed in a pair of Noble Outfitters Over the Calf Peddies, my favorite socks. I hate paying shipping if I don't have to, so socks are always my go-to for hitting the order minimum.
The Riding Warehouse's Fool the Flies promotion is good through May 11th. If you haven't stocked up on your summer fly defense, this might be a good time to start. Who doesn't love a gift card?
You know that adage, when it rains it pours? The holidays are like that for me when it comes to receiving gifts. You see, my birthday is just one week after Christmas which means that my yearly haul comes all once. I have all kinds of new stuff to share with you - like this ...
This item was on the wish list I gave my husband because of all the things that I could have received from my family, this was the one I most wanted. When I didn't get it for Christmas, I got a little worried that I was going to have to buy it myself, but I waited patiently for my birthday to roll around.
When I got up on Sunday, my birthday, I waited for my husband to pull out a giant box, instead, he handed me a card and said I'd get a gift later. I was a bit disappointed, but I figured the cart might have been back ordered.
Like we always do, I headed out to the barn to ride while my husband took the dog for a hike. It's not totally unusual for him to stop by the barn with the dog, so when I saw his truck pull in, I didn't think much of it. I was actually riding Speedy at the time, so I just shouted out a hello when he said the dog wanted to come and run around. When he dropped his tailgate however, I asked what was up. I am not very clever, obviously.
The sly dog had waited for me to go to the barn so that he could put the cart together and deliver it! It is totally awesome - far sturdier than I thought it would be. Once Speedy was back in his stall, I dropped a muck bucket in and wheeled it around the barn, giving it a test drive.
Many other bloggers have written about this cart claiming it is a must have for shows. I'm sold. No longer will I have to schlepp around my 100 pounds of ricketiness that I currently use at shows. While old cart is great for the barn, it can now stay at the barn while a newer, hipper generation takes over.
Interested in having one of your very own? Check it out at the Riding Warehouse.
I know I am hard to buy for. In many ways, I think I am easy - if it's got a horse on it, I am all in. But I understand that finding horsey gifts that are more specialized to what I do is not so easy. Unless you are in my barn every day, you wouldn't know which show pad I've been eyeballing (Steffen Peters Dressage Show Pad) or which leg boots I am currently coveting (DSB Dressage Boots, of course!).
My parents want to get me stuff that I really want though, so my step mom will often send me a gift card to the Riding Warehouse. To me, that's a pretty personalized gift because I want EVERYTHING in that store. This year, my Dad and stepmom sent a card loaded with $100. Holy cow - it's easy to do damage with that kind of moolah.
I have been drooling over several new show coats. I have two already, a black and a gray, but the black one is feeling a lot frumpy, and I get tired of wearing the gray one every time. I was wanting something a bit more high tech or with a bit of bling. Guess what? I got both, and this one is in navy!
The Riding Warehouse was having an amazing 20% off most everything after Christmas sale (ends today), and the Romfh Bling Coat was already on sale from its original price of over $200. With the sale price, the additional 20% off post-Christmas sale, and my gift card, I paid a mere $20.29.
Had I known how wildly fantastic this coat is, I would have gladly paid full price. Even now I am considering getting it in black as well. It is seriously THAT nice.
First and foremost, a show coat needs to fit right to be fantastic. As soon as I slipped this one on, it felt like it was almost custom made for me. It's a tad bit long in the arms, but I suspect that once I am in the saddle, I am going to appreciate that extra bit of length.
Through the shoulders, it felt roomy without being boxy. And while my weight tends to go up and down every few years, I am at my heaviest again right now which means my 5'3 frame is carrying a few extra pounds. I chose a 10, and I am glad I did. If I were 15 pounds lighter, the 8 would have been fine, but I might have still wished for a bit more room.
This coat has all kinds of little features that make it true athletic wear. First of all, the fabric is beyond awesome. It's 91% nylon and 9% Spandex, and it's machine washable. This is the stretchiest coat I have ever put on. It doesn't just give. It s-t-r-e-t-e-c-h-e-s. This is what athletic gear should feel like.
The second feature I love is the hidden zipper. Thank you, Romfh. There is nothing worse than having your buttons threatening to burst open as you're saluting the judge. And this zipper is thick and sturdy. I also love that it is short and hidden right behind the buttons.
This jacket doesn't stop there though. The armpits are also vented. I don't know if they will actually provide any relief on a hot day, but I appreciate the thought. And while they're easy to see in this photo, they are not obvious when the jacket is on.
This coat has all kinds of bling that brings the level of sophistication up a notch. The collar and the pockets are all lined with tiny Swarovski® crystals. All of the buttons are also embedded with little navy blue crystals.
Somehow, the coat is also quite slenderizing. I think it might be because of the little flare the coat has. It's ever so slightly fitted through the waist but then it has that tiny flare which gives the rider a nice silhouette.
The Riding Warehouse no longer lists the coat on their site, which is a shame as it is a lovely show coat. It is available at a number of other online retailers though. If you're in the market for a quality coat, this might be what you're looking for. It is completely worth the $200 price tag.
SmartPak sent me this email the other day ...
I am definitely a careful shopper, aren't we all?, but I don't shop at SmartPak just for the USEF savings. I go where the deals and best customer service can be found. Even so, SmartPak's prices are usually very competitive and that extra 5% often times makes the difference.
I looked over my 2015 purchases just to see how I saved so much. Most of the $28 bucks was saved on Izzy's SmartPak; he gets a daily dose of Quiessence, a magnesium supplement. But since shipping is so cheap (free) at SmartPak, I found myself adding various things to the monthly SmartPak shipment. Yes, I know that's part of SmartPak's sales campaign, but it works for me.
The number one add-on was fly spray. Pyranha Wipe N' Spray is only $14.20 at SmartPak; it's $24.95 at my local feed store. Now that I think about it, just buying my fly spray at SmartPak rather than at my local store more than pays for my $55 USEF membership.
Did anyone save more with their USEF discount than I did?
Now if only the Riding Warehouse would offer the same deal ...
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. We're currently showing Third Level for the 2020 show season. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are schooling and showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2020 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2020 Pending …
7/26 TMC (*)
8/8 - 9 RAAC (Q) (***)
8/30 TMC (*)
9/20 TMC (*)
10/11 TMC (*)
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
2020 Completed …
10/26-27/19 SCEC (***)
6/20-21/20 SCEC (***)
6/29 Ulf Wadeborn (c)
7/11-12 SLO-CDS WC (***)
2020 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
3rd Level Qualifying Modified for 2020
2 Scores/1 Judge:
Score 1: 60.405% Atkins
Score 2: 62.432% Atkins
3rd Level Qualifying Modified for 2020
3 Scores/2 Judges:
Score 1: 60.405% Atkins
Score 2: 62.432% Atkins
Score 3: 61.750% Johnson
Stuff I Read