Sunday, March 20, 2011


On me:
Helmet: Troxel
Tank: Target
Shirt: Target
Jeans: parts unknown
Half chaps: Dublin
Paddock boots: Ariat

On Indy:
Saddle: Bates
Bridle: older than the hills
Medicine boots: Professional's Choice

So you've met my valentine, and the next logical step is to meet my project! This is Indy, and he's probably the sweetest horse ever. He's not the smartest horse ever but he's probably the most willing to do anything. He is eight years old and he is half Thoroughbred and half Percheron. He has the mellow attitude and clunky moves of a Percheron but when he wants to he has the skill of a Thoroughbred. He's a really sweet guy and I quite enjoy riding him, even considering how lazy he is!

Style on a horse is usually the last thing I think of, but it can't hurt to wear proper clothing. Some of the riding style "rules" I've picked up over the years include:

Cover your shoulders. This sounds like a stupid rule, but I had a riding instructor who refused to let her students ride in sleeveless shirts because she saw a young woman tear open her shoulder once during a fall on gravelly footing. I've fallen on my shoulder and just on sand my arm's skin got scraped pretty badly, so I make it a habit to wear short sleeves, even in summer.

Don't underestimate stretch denim. I'm not talking jeggings because I doubt the fabric holds up well to riding, but a good pair of stretch denim jeans in a midrise are a godsend when I don't feel like prying on a peeling off my riding pants.

Don't wear loose clothing. This sounds counterproductive because during the winter I wear a ton of clothing to ride. But heavy doesn't equal loose, and here's why. Before I took up riding seriously (I was about 9 at the time), I was on a trail ride with my parents and the horse I was on ran off with me. I went flying, but my shirt got caught on the horn of the saddle. I was lucky and my shirt tore, though I'm sure I didn't see it that way at the time. If my shirt HADN'T torn, or if something else had gotten caught, I could have been dragged quite a way. Which is always worse than just falling. I also had an instructor who hated loose shirts in lessons because she couldn't see if my back was straight. Ha!

Do NOT wear anything that isn't wash and wear. This shouldn't be rocket science.

Belts are unnecessary. I hate belts when I'm riding and in Pony Club, I was required to wear a belt whenever my riding pants had beltloops. As far as I've always known, this is totally an aesthetic thing. Lame. Same for gloves, earrings and pearls.

Avoid fleece at shedding season. And dark clothing, for that matter. Fleece is a MAGNET for loose hair and the last thing you want when you're brushing your shedding gray horse is to be coated in the fuzz yourself. Black shirt? Same deal.

Put on your sunblock. Again, this doesn't take a genius. Another reason to wear sleeves is because they cover your shoulders.

Glasses are a touchy subject. Especially now, when it's cool to wear sunglasses all the time. George Morris (HUGE name in English riding) hates riders who wear glasses unless they're for health purposes, but how is a judge to know if a rider is wearing prescription glasses? Oh well. I need them to see, so I'll wear them whether George likes them or not!

That was probably uninteresting to most of you, but maybe you enjoyed it! Either way I hope you at least liked the pictures of Indy. I mean look at that face! How could you not? :)

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