Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sudden realization

I was outside in the snow with my dogs this morning and my thoughts turned to Aiken, as they often do when the weather is being disgusting here in New England. While I sludge through a winter storm that popped up on March 1st to remind us all that we still live in the Northeast, my mare has been enjoying sun and 70's day after day. Lucky. I rescued Peyton from a snow bank, thankful that this was our first significant snowfall in months, and laughed about it landing on March 1st. In like a lion, out like a lamb indeed.

March 1st.


Holy hell, I leave for Aiken in two weeks! When did that happen?!

It's time for a frantic scramble of shopping and packing. While Fiona and all of her gear are already down there, I still have to pack for myself and there's some shopping that needs to be done. I use camp as my reminder to go through my riding clothes and make updates for the upcoming competition season. I've got my first actual competition season as an eventer under my belt now, so I have some adjustments I want to make:

  • White breeches. NO. Just no. Not only are they less then flattering, my mare has the alarming habit of waiting until I'm just about to mount so the warm up pants are off and then sneezing all over the front of me. Usually with a mouthful of chewed up grass. I have tiny green spots on my breeches in a lot of photos if you look close. Fashion be damned, I'm wearing tan. Or champagne. I got a pair of champagne breeches, but they're a bit yellow to my hunter/jumper eyes. I need to get used to them and hold them up against my chestnut mare to make sure they don't make her look more orange than red. And they don't have a full seat.

  • Full seat. I wasn't allowed to have one of these as a hunter/jumper and I hated them when I first started wearing them. Now I can really, really, REALLY appreciate them. Combine that with my calfskin seat on my jumping saddle and I might as well be velcro'd in. It's a beautiful thing when the princess is suddenly ten feet to the left of where she was supposed to be.

  • New bridle. Fi has an odd little head, and when I first got her I had to rush out and buy a lot of tack. She has been wearing a Geologic brand bridle I picked up at the consignment shop for $10 as her jumping bridle for about a year and a half. It's time she gets a real bridle for her jumping bridle, one I can put her blingy browband on. She will be very stylin'. It seems the fancy stitching is out of vogue in the eventing circles.

  • Embroidered saddle pads. I love the princess's jumping saddle pad. It's in my colors, mostly black so it doesn't show dirt, and it has a silver tiara embroidered in one corner. I've gotten a lot of comments, and for anyone that knows my mare, it's ridiculously appropriate. I think she needs a matching dressage saddle pad.
This is a very, very expensive hobby. But I love turning my mare out the way she deserves.

After the princess decided she didn't want to play on cross country, my trainer had a vet check her out. Nothing wrong with her hocks (whew) and she didn't flex lame anywhere (WHEW!) but she was exhibiting back pain. A chiropractor/acupuncturist he liked was up from Miami and available, so that same afternoon Fiona got her first chiropractic adjustment. From the list they read off to me, my mare was out of whack from her poll to her tail, particularly around her SI, her elbows, and her poll. He noted that she was probably having more trouble to her right, which was dead on. She got some acupuncture to follow it up and a doctor's note saying she was cleared to go at Sporting Days this weekend. Hopefully this will help with the wandering soreness that occasionally crops up with her.

The other topic was Fiona's breeding. With her current work schedule she's put on some more muscle, giving her an almost warmblood look. Less and less people are believing that she's a thoroughbred. The chiropractor said that if she was a thoroughbred, she looked Irish to him. Bobby Costello thought she looked like a warmblood, possibly a Hanoverian. Considering there's been no success with tracking down a history or even a name with her, I'm starting to have my doubts as well. If she isn't full TB, she has a heck of a lot of TB in her, but it's quite possible that the princess was more than a random broodmare.

It's fun to 'what if' with her. And just two weeks from today, I get to give her donuts and coffee. But only decaf, she's a show horse these days, you know.


  1. Have you done a post on how you got Fiona? I'd be interested to read that.

  2. Yup, I wrote up that adventure the same day it happened. I only managed to horse shop for about two weeks before I stumbled across her!