If you haven’t yet, check out Terri Cage Part 1 first!
Ok, where were we? Oh right- we had just arrived at Red Hawk Ranch for the shoot. Horses unloaded well, and we got them set up with their hay nets while we figured out what the plan was. Terri arrived around this time and explained that there would be multiples photographers shooting multiple ‘models’ in various locations and to just get ready and jump in whenever.
Joanne (HH’s awesome guest blogger and my friend IRL) and I relieved an awesome opportunity this Sunday to shoot with Terri Cage (Terri Cage Photography) and other budding photographers at the scenic Red Hawk Ranch. Terri was hosting a photography workshop over 3 days and had lined up all sorts of ‘models’ from bridal to equine. Although I have had black background photos taken of Rio in the past, I have never had to opportunity to do an equestrian photo shoot WITH him. I absolutely jumped at the chance to shoot with such a renowned equine photographer as Terri, at no cost to me expect my time (and gas money for hauling!).
I have some more video for y’all- same lesson as I shared videos from earlier this week (last Saturday), but different clip (didn’t want to overwhelm everyone on the initial post). This one is a goodie- because it includes a giant fail as well as the triumphant re-do.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted any video. When we moved to the new barn at the beginning of March we had to take a few steps back to focus on a few weak spots in our training. I didn’t put much effort into getting video, because it just plain wasn’t very exciting. Now that we are getting going a bit more, I’m excited to share some video.
Now that spring has come to Texas (mostly), we Texans have been lucky enough to enjoy some truly gorgeous evenings. Dare I say, perfect evenings. The kind where the temperature is just cool enough to prevent sweating, but not so cool to cause you to reach for a light weight jacket.You literally have no concerns about being hot or cold. There is a light breeze that moves the fresh air and keeps it from feeling stagnant. The bugs aren’t in full effect yet, so even though they are starting to realize it’s spring too, they aren’t a nuisance yet. The best part about perfect evenings? The soft, golden light. It highlights everything it touches with a heavenly luminescence. I’ll move on now, because I am far from a poet! You get the gist of it.
Unfortunately, last Saturday Texas forget it was spring and at the peak of the day it “felt like” 35 degrees in Dallas. So rude, just so so rude. I had a lesson scheduled for 2 pm on Saturday, and like a crazy person I didn’t reschedule it. I’m glad I didn’t too, because it was a fantastic ride!
Even though it was as cold as a witch’s tit (one of my very elderly patients used this phrase recently and I am enamored with it), Rio was super well behaved. He, of course, came out to the ring very frisky, but Stacie put us right to work cantering on a 20 M circle until the hamster in his brain calmed down and started to focus. Thankfully, Rio is a naturally calm soul, so it only took about 10 circles each direction until he was as calm as cucumber despite the 40 degree drop in temp in 24 hrs.
During the lesson we continued to focus on NOT taking the long spot, even though that is the exponentially easier option. Stacie pointed out that Rio’s weakness is his right side (nothing new there!) and emphasized the need to continue to build up muscle by jumping from the base so that Rio will be able to jump stronger/straighter off of that lead (making for better jumping form). Currently, when Rio jumps verticals off the right lead he tends to not be even with his knees, and he lands more to the right.
Rio also loves oxers. We are not allowed to practices oxers for the foreseeable future #sadday. Stacie explained that Rio is great at oxers because he is naturally brave and has no problems jumping “out” and over oxers. Whereas with verticals, he struggles to sit back and jump UP over the jump. Let the vertical torture begin!!!
Our hack last night during the perfect weather was light and relaxed. Rio did everything I asked. He is getting muchhh better at carrying himself at the canter, and I think I am really starting to get better at remembering to let him. I look forward to Saturday’s jump lesson!
I do this thing where no matter how much I like a new trainer, I doubt them quite a bit in the beginning. I don’t even realize I am doing it usually, until I get myself in trouble by NOT listening, and then I spend some time after my lesson mentally going over what happened. This is who I am, and I simply can’t help it.
Every time I visit a country I also make a point to do some kind of riding tour. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that some of these things can be pretty touristy and a but if a let down for experienced riders, but I do my best to read reviews and find the best option possible. Mostly, I just like to see what it’s like in other countries. I have so far ridden horses in 3 different parts of Mexico (Cabo, Cancun, ad Puerto Vallarta), Jamaica, and in Morocco (last time I went, 3 years ago). The riding experience in Morocco was terrifying to say the least, I am pretty sure those horses had maybe 15 rides under saddle. MAYBE. Obviously, I was not going to miss an opportunity to see what riding Spanish horses was like, so I googled around and made the appropriate arrangements.
While on my vacay, I was secretly plotting to go to a Spanish tack shop. I say secretly plotting, because I knew if I made it a ‘big deal’ and tried to place a heavy focus on going to one, my dear sweet hubby would balk. After all, this was our vacation, and not supposed to be horsey centered. He had already agreed to let me book a riding tour in the Andalusian country side, so I didn’t want to push my luck.
But, this didn’t stop me from googling tack shops in each city we visited. Our longest stay in was in Seville (3 nights). I discovered that there was a smallish but totally adorable looking tack shop about a 15 minute walk from our hotel, right next to the bull fighting ring. Although I am not a fan of the Spanish tradition that is bull fighting, and it wasn’t even bull fighting season, I sneakily steered our wandering walk through the city in that general direction. We literally stumbled upon it, and I so gleefully jetted in before the hubby could stop me.
The shop was called El Molino, which translates to “The Windmill”. Ok? Unclear. Moving on.
I was familiar with several brands, but some were foreign to me. The shop also had some Spanish style tack, and carriage driving stuff. There was also Anky and Horze brand products, as well as some Veredus carbon front boots that I almost come home with because they were a solid $80 cheaper then in the US.
I didn’t pay too close attention to the saddles, but they predominately looked fairly low-end. I was surprised to see several Bates brand saddles. The bridles looked pretty nice, but they were up high on the walls, and since I knew I wasn’t going to buy one I didn’t want to make a fuss about getting them down.
Let’s be real- I do not NEED anything horse related. BUT- I really wanted something to remember the trip by, so what better then a new pair of breeches? They had several different styles of well priced Harcour breeches, so I decided to try some on. At this point, Hubby knew that resistance was futile, and he stood outside the dressing room with credit card in hand. I did mention he is the BEST, right?
Thankfully, I snapped a pic of the breeches I bought at the hotel our last night in Spain to send to a friend, as it is the only memento I ended up with. After this, tragedy struck. The breeches didn’t make it back to the US with me. When I got home, I noticed that my luggage was noticeable disheveled, like it had been searched. There was no note in there from customs, which is customary when they search your luggage for whatever reason. I was perplexed, but didn’t think much of it.
The next day I had a lesson, so I went to grab my new breeches, and I that is when I realized they weren’t there. Anywhere. Could I have left them in the hotel? We packed everything the night before, and both the hubby and I were super methodical and packed up everything neatly while wide awake and not in a rush. We also both double check hotel rooms when we leave to make sure nothing is left behind, which we did in the morning. The hubby emailed the Hilton right away to see if anything was found in the room, and they said no.
The breeches were in the tack shop shopping bag in my suitcase with the tags still attached, clearly showing the price (approx $120 USD). Unfortunately, I am afraid they were swiped at the airport, of which we were at about 3 hours before our flight. Maybe I am wrong, and they somehow got left at the hotel and weren’t turned in, but I also know that my bag had clearly been hastily rummaged through. I am disappointed for sure, but unfortunately there is nothing to do about it.
Next time we go to Europe, I am going to make a bigger effort to find an awesome tack shop, and bring a shopping list!
My old Antares is out on trial this week, and I have decided that if it sells I mayyyy treat myself to a new pair of breeches to help soften the blow ;).
I am so happy to be home from my trip and riding again! I will be posting some about a few of the things I did in Spain (riding an Andalusian and going to a tack shop), but I first want to write about the 2 lessons I’ve had since I got home while they are fresh in my brain. Hint: The theme is that riding hunters is hard.
Hello everyone! I am officially back from my 2 week vacay in Morocco and Spain. I totally planned to do a blog post today to start getting caught up after my long break, but I have been spending all afternoon working on the Voltaire Design Giveaway entries instead, sorry! Promising people an extra entry for reposting the contest on instagram was actually a huge PIA lol! I had to check every single entrant’s insta individually to see who reposted so I could give then an extra entry. Talk about time consuming!!!