Looking at the title, you might be thinking, oh no….she’s doing another challenge….. But no, it’s not THAT kind of a challenge. I have been so busy trying to cram in lots of work, and riding Plezant before the days get too short that my blog has kind of taken a back seat to my life lately. And while I’m ok with that, I miss writing.
So while I was perusing some old blog posts from other bloggers, I can across a 5 day challenge from way back in 2013 at A Enter Spooking and I thought it would be fun to do.
Each day for the next 5 days I am going to share 5 questions that I will answer that pertain to my riding, and my horse life. So without further ado, here is my day 1 of a 5 day blogging challenge.
Most Influential Person in Your Riding
If I had to pick one person who has influenced my riding, I have to say it is Beezie Madden. No, I haven’t even met her in real life. But thanks to the internet, and the Madden’s YouTube channel, I feel like I have access to her. I watch all of the Grans Prix’s she has been in, and watch how she works with her horse, how they are a team, and this is how I want to ride. I want to have a relationship like this with my horse. They also have some lessons that have been video’d on their channel where Beezie is giving lessons. I can turn the vido on my phone while I am riding, and it’s as if I am getting a lesson from Beezie Madden! Now if my horse would just do what the horses are doing in the lessons…..
Piece of Tack You’d Love to Splurge On
Well, I just did this. A few years ago when we were allowed to spectate at horse shows, I sat in a Voltaire saddle for the first time ever. It was almost magical. After sitting in that demo saddle, I was trying to figure out how in the world I would be able to have a saddle like this of my own.
This is the Voltaire Design Palm Beach Saddle.
I have seen a lot of people riding in these saddles, and I finally understood why. This saddle is incredible. But the price tag is pretty incredible too. Around $5200.00 incredible. Ouch. There was no way I could even think about spending that much money on a piece of tack.
I did end up buying a Voltaire girth though, and it is awesome. That was my first Voltaire Design purchase. And that ignited something in me, a way to figure out how I could have a saddle like this. Because honestly, I have tried many, many saddles hoping it would be ‘the one’ but in the end, they were never a Voltaire.
So with a lot of selling on eBay, saving, and waiting, I FINALLY found a Palm Beach saddle that I could afford! And while it is not a new saddle, it’s new to me!
And it is everything I had dreamed it would be. From the first time I sat in it on Plezant, I was like….wow wow wow! It was definitely worth the wait.
I found it online at CWD actually, and they even threw in a bottle of saddle soap along with a saddle cover. I was really impressed with their service, and their saddle cover! But I’ll be sharing more on the whole process of finding my dream saddle in an upcoming blog post.
Top 5 Riding Playlist
Now this is just fun for me. I love having playlists for riding too. Do you listen to music while you ride? My playlists change from time to time. I find the music motivates me while I’m riding. And right now, these are my 5 favorite songs to listen to while I ride:
- Shut Up and Dance (Walk the Moon)
- Dance Monkey (Tones and I)
- Any song from the Pitch Perfect Soundtracks
- Sugar We’re Going Down (Fall Out Boy)
- Centuries (Fall Out Boy)
My playlist does change from time to time. And a lot of the time, I will just let Amazon pick music for me, especially when I am cleaning stalls, or just working around the barn. I like Amazon music for the most part. A lot of the music is free, and even though I have an iPhone, the Amazon Music app still works. And I have to say it’s just as good, if not better than iTunes, because it’s free. I like free.
Most Important Aspect of Your Barn
Well, since my horses live at home with me, just the fact that I have a shelter (sort of a barn) for them is the most important aspect. But I still want a REAL barn. And I think I have found away to be able to make the real barn happen, short of moving to a new house with a barn. Because honestly, that is probably the only reason we would ever move is to have a barn. And I can’t really justify moving to a new property with a price tag of almost a million dollars just to get a barn. Yeah, that’s how expensive homes are getting to be where I live. It’s ridiculous.
So when I think of the most important aspect of my barn, I will look at it from the perspective of most important for my new barn.
Most importantly it MUST have stalls that I can keep my horses in, completely away from the elements. I make do with what I have right now. But being able to tuck my horses in at night, or during a snow storm will be the stuff that dreams are made of.
In addition to that, electricity and water to the barn are important too. It would be so nice to be able to flip a switch for the lights, and to have a water spicket inside the barn to fill buckets are two things that my barn will have.
And also having a separate feed and tack room. Because every time I fill hay nets, my tack gets a nice coating of dust. So being able to fill hay nets without having to clean my tack every time would be a real time saver, and nice too.
Three Winter Riding Goals
With winter right around the corner, now is the perfect time to set some goals for the colder months. And I have to be honest, winter is my least favorite time of the year. It’s cold and dark, and my riding time is very limited. Add on to this that for much of the winter my ground is frozen, and it snows and my riding opportunities drop down even more.
So coming up with 3 goals for riding is definitely challenging. But, let’s do this. Ok, here are 3 things I want to focus on this winter:
- Ride Plezant around the block in my neighborhood
- Have Plezant walk consistently without stopping at least 1 complete revolution in my arena
- Keep consistent contact on the reins with my fingers tight
Now these might seem like odd goals, but they are actionable goals that I want to work on. And I think over the course of 3 or 4 months of limited riding, I will be able to achieve them, I hope!
Riding Goal 1
The first one of riding around the block will be good because all of the roads in our subdivision are dirt. And even if the ground gets really hard, the roads will be pretty consistent. I am pretty good at taking Plezant out for walks and venturing further and further away from home, but in the tack is something I have yet to perfect. So this winter should be a good time to achieve this.
Riding Goal 2
My second goal of having Plezant walk without stopping in the arena, well this one might take a little bit of work. Once he gets going, he walks, for a bit, but then just stops. It’s like he’s telling me he’s done enough for the day, and work time is over. So if I can get him to go one complete revolution around the arena, in both directions I will feel like I have climbed Mt. Everest!
I have even resorted to using spurs. And with trying to find a pair that I feel are humane, I now have 4 pair. The ones that have had the best impact on him are called Spursuader spurs.
They have a large flat surface that comes into contact with the horse’s body, so they are very humane when it comes to spurs. And he seems to respond better to these. I am going to have to remember to bring my crop with me every time I ride to, and back up my leg with the crop.
I’m not a huge fan of artificial aids. But at the same time, I am not a fan of getting on my horse, and he just stands there either. It has definitely been a battle of wills. And in order to be able to actually ride my horse, I have resorted to artificial aids. But they are helping, so I will continue to use them.
Riding Goal 3
And the third goal of keeping consistent contact on the reins while keeping my fingers tight, well, this is something I really need to work on, which is why I have made it a goal. If I concentrate on it, I can do it. It’s when I start thinking about 15 other things that I lose the contact, and my fingers end up all loosey-goosey.
5 Day Challenge – Day One
Ok, there is day 1 of my returning to writing! And 5 different things about me, and my horsey lifestyle. Be sure to come back tomorrow for day 2, and 5 more questions, and answers. And if you just can’t get enough of The Budget Equestrian, I have a YouTube channel too. In fact, if you want to learn in detail how I was able to afford my dream splurge (Voltaire Palm Beach Saddle) I have made a video showing all aspects of the saddle as well as talking about how I was able to make this dream come true. It didn’t happen overnight, but I made it happen.
I have a new video every Monday, and over 600 videos in my YouTube library. Lots of different ideas to help you make the most of the time you have with your horse. And I would love it if you would go check out my channel!
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