Wednesday, January 23, 2013

In 3, 2, 1..........

Friday is "Francis Day"! I'm heading to Charlotte to audit his clinic and spend some time with good friends. What a great way to kick off 2013!!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


The one and only.

I swear I have been working on some posts related to eventing, shoes, and equestrian fashion, but life just keeps getting in the way. And now school is back in session, so things will continue to be crazy. But, just know that I haven't completely abandoned my blog. In the meantime, since several people have mentioned how much they also adore Mr. C and have appreciated my several Cumber-postings, here's one to tide everybody over. More horses and shoes to come, I promise!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Equestrian "Fashion"

It's that time of year when the mainstream masses decide to adjust their seasonal wardrobe and begin introducing fall elements into their ensemble rotation. Cooler temps and autumn tree-colors always inspire the non-horsey set to gaze longingly at the rider folks down the road who they see traipsing around the barn in gauzy dresses, bikinis, blankets wrapped and belted, and high heels so high that the wearer is more over-at-the-knee than her old retired equitation hunter. Wait, what? That's not what you wear to muck stalls, clean tack, and drag the arena? Yeh, me neither. 

I've been known to pipe up in the past in regards to the ridiculous nature of the haute couture approach to equestrian fashion. While killing time on Pinterest the other day, I decided, on a whim, to see what was out there for fall, equestrian style. I happened upon these little gems and could not believe my eyes. As someone who shares my disdain for 90% of what is popularly known as "equestrian fashion," I dedicate this post to Leslie Wiley. Proceed with caution....

I would really like to know just what this young lady
plans to do with a tennis racket, lacrosse stick, and golf
clubs while hacking out.

What is happening here? I have been known to take
a last minute potty break in the corner of Eddie's stall,
but I usually disrobe -- to some extent -- first. Plus,
spurs and Mary Jane heels do not mix.

Oh, that poor pony. Human lasso? I guess that's one
way to catch a horse.

Ladies, this is a "don't." Do not ever attempt to trail
ride while wearing nothing more than boots and lingerie. I
am terrified to even begin to imagine the amount of chafing that
will be going on there. 

There is a time and place for a stylish and well-fitted
shadbelly. That "time" and "place" would not, however,
involve satin shorts, red sheer tights, and suede
thigh-high boots. 

Starting with the head, this might be an equestrian fashion
"do." Yes, let's do retire the old velvet hunt caps to
recreational wear that doesn't involve actually being
on the back of a horse. But, once the eye travels
down past the shoulders, there is just too, too
much wrong, here.  I like the grey tights, though.
That's it.

Stock tie? More like stock "noose." You catch that on a
low branch while riding first-flight and you're a goner.

How many eventers do you see accessorize to quite
this extent while riding cross-country? Yeh, me neither. Plus,
if you do actually manage to place (and not get eliminated for
riding with an unsecured helmet strap), the ribbon goes on your
horse, not on your belt. 

That coat looks like a wooly blanket that is belted with something borrowed
from Captain Hook's wardrobe. Or Santa Claus's. Never ride a horse swathed
like this, unless you're after a "cushion effect" to soften the blow when you
inevitably dismount unexpectedly. Then, maybe this would work.
But fashion, it is not. 

Finally, an equestrian fashion "do"! You want to dress in equestrian style
and emulate the late, great Jackie O? Then buy a safe horse, take some lessons,
acquire the proper attire, and enter a horse show. All other pretenders
can go home and try again another day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


....that fabulous coat. The guy wearing it isn't too bad to look at, either. ;-)

It's a Wednesday and the week is dragging. I really needed some Benedict to cheer things on a bit! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Plan C

Octoberfest it is! I came home on Monday afternoon, ready to ride, when I noticed a nasty gash on Eddie's left shoulder. You think I kid when I go on and on about how he is constantly finding new and ingenious ways to get out of doing work....but I manage to provide the proof and evidence to support that fact time and time again. He is not accident-prone, so I think he sensed my newfound excitement for a revised competition plan, and his shoulder took one for the team. Evil, evil pony. 

He is doing much better on the second day, with antibiotics and a healthy dose of Wonder Dust. I may not be able to use the 5-point breastplate or do any jumping for another week or so, but come Friday: the dressage tack is ON. No excuses!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Revise, Revise, Revise

I tell my students all the time, "Don't be afraid to make a necessary change in your process, preparation, or in your draft writing." Revise, Revise, Revise! The same is true for everyday life, as well. We plan something one way, then we have to resort to an alternate route when things don't go our way. Lately, things have been completely topsy-turvy in my world as the school semester has begun and, sadly, my dad had a medical setback in August that has him declining in health and becoming weaker and weaker as each day passes. He and my mom are here in Knoxville right now, so I can help stay with him at their house when I'm not teaching and my mom is at work. He is too unstable to be by himself for more than an hour at a time, so we've been trying to work out a routine between my schedule and my mom's work schedule so someone is always there. I haven't ridden Eddie once in the past 3 weeks, but then again I've hardly had the time to even see him or feed him either. I haven't washed dishes in my sink, done laundry in 2 weeks, cleaned my bathroom, mowed my yard, or even shaved my legs in quite some time now. But, when your family needs you, you don't think for even one second: you just immediately do what needs to be done. Things are tough here right now, so my competition plans, schedule, and preparations have been decidedly halted in their tracks. That's what I get for being so optimistic a few weeks back!

I had originally planned to get out and compete at Jumpstart in Lexington, but as the closing date has long since passed, and since the show is next weekend, I have re-routed to enter the Starter division (a nice, relaxed one-day competition) at MTPC horse trials in Nashville next month. The closing date is Tuesday, so I have one more weekend to see if it's a possibility afterall. If I don't set a foot in the irons this coming weekend, then I will by-pass MTPC and try to get up to Lexington to go Beginner Novice at the Octoberfest schooling horse trials later in the month. 

There are plans, and then there are always "plan B's" when those original plans aren't realized. I was frustrated the past few years for everything to just stop almost altogether because of my tight finances. Now that I can afford to do some competing, other obligations have arisen that I don't begrudge or grumble over. I wish things were different, obviously for my family's sake, but as it stands, I'll have to get out my show calendar and do some revising. Next time, I won't write in pen.....I'll just use a pencil and think positively.  :-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"You Better Redneckognize!"

When you take three Tennessee eventers, two small dogs, one golf cart, and add a little hard core're gonna get some questionable behavior. Yesterday evening, while searching Chattahoochee Hills for Jodie's mom and Comet, we came upon the Land Rover driving course, whereby Julie wondered if "the golf cart would make it under the bridge and up that hill." Shockingly enough, the answer was "not even remotely." 

Julie and Jodie bottoming out in the mud under the bridge.

Spinning out and sliding sideways.

Giving up and going home.

I should probably make it clear that we tried to top that hill at least twice before these pics were taken. However, halfway up, I (perched on the back of the flailing cart) started panicking and said, "Let me off! Let me off!" (whence I got off the cart and sought the safety of the opposite bank). The concept of falling, being rolled on, and breaking a shoulder at AECs is frightening enough. But, when the "faller/roller" is a badly-driven golf cart in a struggling, kinda-inappropriate situation, that concept loses all respect and credibility. I'm sorry, but I wanted off that crazy train.