Passion Never Rusts

In my effort to fully immerse myself in everything horse this week, in preparation of possibly taking a lesson, I’ve been going through my “horse stuff”. It’s a box I brought from home, my South Carolina home, with some of the stuff I thought I might need, should I have the chance to ride while I’m out here in the Wild West.

A couple of months ago when I first got the idea to start riding again I tried on my riding clothes. Unfortunately my extra slim calf field boots no longer fit. They were a pair of Ariat Heritages, I know they aren’t the fanciest boots but I loved them, they were magical. There was no hope of ever fitting in them again, I honestly don’t want to be that skinny anymore. So I bit the bullet and listed them on eBay. It was a quick sale. I’m sad that they don’t make these boots anymore. I’ll have to wear paddock boots and half chaps this weekend, I’m not happy about this. At least they fit. My half chaps used to be so large on my legs that I would have to were multiple thick, long socks. Now; they are snug.

The next thing was breeches. The last time I tried any of my breeches on, they were all too small, so I had low hope of finding a comfortable pair. I love breeches. I haven’t ridden in a pair of jeans since I was 16 and I refuse to endure that ever again. They’re so uncomfortable. I have an old pair of Ariat breeches that used to be too big, and I always hated how they were high rise. I tried them on today, though, and they actually fit. They’re a little snug, but at this point it’s good enough. I’m even kind of digging the high rise now, it’s almost like a sense of security – everything is tucked away.

A lot of my other equipment is not in great shape. For some reason, I had it in my head that everything would stay in the same condition since I wasn’t using it. I was totally wrong. Everything is rusty, falling a part, or just lost forever.

My poor dear helmet. I wore this thing for a while and then fell off three times in one day at a show. I’m pretty sure I didn’t hit my head, but you know the rule. I bought a Charles Owen Wellington after that, and this Hampton Hat became a decoration. The last time I started riding, back in 2013, I couldn’t find my Wellington anywhere. I rode with the Hampton and hoped for the best. It looks like the foam is disintegrating. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? This helmet is probably 7 or 8 years old. Oh my Lord.

At some point while riding Morgan, my instructor instructed me to use a set of Tom Thumbs. After a while she told me to invest in a pair of Prince of Wales. Now I have one Tom Thumb, a set of Prince of Wales, and one that’s slightly longer and more curved that’s the PoW. And three straps. What? I’ve bought two sets. I’m so confused.

My gloves. These gloves were amazing. Does anyone remember when Tailored Sportsman made gloves? They weren’t very popular, but I loved them! Unfortunately they didn’t hold up very well and I ended up buying a bunch of pairs. This is the nicest set I have left, they’re kind of crunchy. Ew.

Bonus round! I have the Ariat helmet bag, boot bag, and garment bag from 2007. This helmet bag smells horrible! Can I wash it in the washing machine? Is there a special way to clean it? Should I just invest in new stuff and stop expecting things to last the rest of my life? Thanks for reading!

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Picking Up Where I Left Off

It’s been nearly three years since I last rode a horse, or wrote in my blog. I just spent the past 30 minutes re-reading every blog entry, so I could start up where I left off.

First things first; the trainer and barn I was taking lessons with became very shady and never called me back. I heard they went out of business, but who knows. BT, the amazing lady that was letting me work with her ponies, left for Colorado. I stopped riding after my last blog entry, because there was nowhere else to ride. By the end of that year, 2014; I had enlisted in the military. I left for basic training at the beginning of 2015 and have been in training ever since.

Processed with VSCO with m3 presetDuring the past two years I’ve moved to Texas, then again to New Mexico, which is where I’ll be stuck for the next four years. I also met an amazing man, we’ve been together since basic training and became best friends. Our relationship grew strong, and just last month, November 5, we tied the knot. He’s very supportive of everything I do, and we’re so lucky to have found each other.

New Mexico is great horse country; lots of horse people, amazing barns, fantastic arenas. THEY’RE ALL WESTERN. Don’t get me wrong, I like western! I’m from the Deep South, I should’ve been a western rider. But I’m not. Finding a hunter barn in rodeo country is quite a task.

A couple months I volunteered at the state Special Olympics rodeo, which was phenomenal. While I was there I met a lady who is an eventer, not the same as hunter/jumper but she totally understands my struggle. We’ve became very good friends and have tried searching long and hard for a lesson barn. There are some amazing barns in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, 3 hours away. Also a couple potential places in west Texas, which are only two hours away. However, I got a message from my friend saying she found a place that teaches hunter on flat and has lesson horses, and it’s only ten minutes from here. No indoor arena, but apparently a nice outdoor. I’m not shooting for the moon but still really hoping for a miracle with this place. We’re going to check it out this Saturday, so until then I’ll be trying to sort out my riding clothes.