Monday, May 19, 2008

Daffodil All Arabian Spring Show - Saturday Afternoon

Part 1

Obviously, I did make it through my class with my Arabian horse despite my too tight wrangler jeans. I also poked fun at myself a lot over the adventure. I really did feel like the Pillsbury Dough Boy in drag.

Thankfully I was riding a kind horse who didn't need much to keep him on task. He may not have been going his best but he wasn't getting much efficient help from me. Those jeans sure didn't let me do much in the way of using my legs as aids.

The jeans actually got in my way more than they were helpful. It wasn't just that I couldn't bend my legs at the knee, I didn't have much motion for gripping either. They stuck out nearly straight on both sides of my horse or at least that's how it felt. If my horse had done anything unexpected like buck or shy you can bet I'd have been in the dirt.

I was not looking forward to Saturday afternoon's ride. Heck, I was even less looking forward to dressing for that ride. The very thought of facing the struggle pulling up those jeans again was enough to make me squirm. I was nearly hoping for something to happen to interfere with my ride so I could just be put out of my misery.

That particular class was the amateur owner to ride 40 & over western pleasure and Angie was riding as well on her gelding, Midnite Eclipse. That meant we were getting ready at the same time and sharing the dressing room. My "secret" was out and Angie confided one of her own. She doesn't wear jeans or riding pants at all, instead she has a secret weapon, Push-Up Leggings that Put Every Body in Perfect Shape or so the catalog reads.

The following day Angie brought me an old pair of these leggings to try. I must admit after getting over the feeling I was committing some kind of sin because the leggings felt like I was wearing my pajamas or maybe even some luxurious lingerie, I really liked the feel of riding in them. An added plus was that they are much thinner than my jeans so my chaps were easier to zip as well. I think that my wrangler jeans are history.

So Grey Horse Matters who commented that i should be riding english because the breeches are stretchy fabrics. Just for the record, these leggins come in a soft gray which is suitable for hunter. My breeches are toast as well.

But for this class I still had to deal with those darn Wranglers and their over the top fit. Thankfully, they had stretched out a wee bit from riding the previous night. They were, however, way to tight to be the least bit comfortable. I'm sure that even my horse could tell that something was different.

The 40 & over purebred Arabian division is the toughest class out there. I don't think anyone would deny the quality of the horses these baby boomers are riding. Because there is Sweepstakes money riding on this class as well, it's always going to be one of the bigger classes at the show.

I knew going in that the current status of my horse put the likelihood of us doing anything right up there with the long shots at any horse race. But schooling was important and that's what we were going to do despite my too tight jeans interferring with my leg movement. Legs would just have to figure it out.

I remember as we jogged through the gate noticing all of the swishing tails. Looking around the arena there seemed to be more horses flipping their tails around than not. It was clear from the start that I just schooling my naughty horse wasn't going to be my only challenge. Keeping my horse out of trouble with these tails was going to be interesting as well. The tails going sideways closed up passage ways normally used for maneuvering between horses.

Not only were there lots of horses with flying tails, the amateurs for some unknown reason were circling around the center of the arena instead of sticking to the rail. They weren't just cutting the corners and ends of the arena but both sides as well. That left only the outside of the ring available for passing. Not a position anyone wants to be in, I can assure you. The size of the arena had just gotten a whole lot smaller to be navigating an unproperly rated horse.

Despite the bunched up horses and tails flying, we managed to get through the jog ok even though my horse was still moving faster than most. Sometimes he slowed to their pace but not for long. A number of times I found myself heading through that outside hole hoping I could make it through before another horse and rider drifted momentarily to the rail.

Riding up behind a slower horse would have brought Legs right down to his normal speed anytime before but it wasn't working now. As long as he was worried about this bridle he was going to be compensating with more forward and less round. I was going to have to be really really careful at the lope if I wanted to keep my horse out of trouble.

I was doing pretty well with that until just before the lope to the left was finished. I'd come around the corner of the far end of the arena on the outside trying to stay as deep in the corners as possible to buy myself some time. That extra ground can make up for a few longer strides if used properly.

As I rounded the corner I surveyed the ring looking for a safe line of travel. All I saw seemed to be tails going sideways everywhere. The only opening at all was along that rail. But that wasn't as clear as I would have hoped. There were a couple of horses off of it but not really dedicated to their line.

I decided to take the risk and go for that outside line. After I committed the front horse began to head for the rail with the one right behind following. By this time the hole I had left was now filled with another horse and everywhere in front of me it seemed like the horses had all drifted towards the rail. There was no place for me to go.

I tried to get Legs as slowed as possible and hoped they'd call for a change of gait soon. If they didn't, I was going to be stuck. Riding my stallion right up the butt of that slower horse in front.

To be continued............

Part 2 of Saturday Afternoon
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  1. Two words...Stretch Denim!! Best invention in the last ten years:-) Wrangler makes a line called "Aura" that you can find at most Coastal Farm and Ranch stores...awesome to ride in. Holding my breath...from imaging tight jeans and waiting to find out what happens.

  2. Man alive the suspense is killing me.

  3. OM Gosh MiKael you are a master of suspense. I am willing to bet that 90% of those other horses were mares too!!!

    That reminds me I have two pairs of jodpurs stuck away somewhere, wonder if they will stil fit me LOL, I may resort to riding in them because I always seem to find a pair of Wranglers or Levis that ride up the leg while I am riding (yes I know that is because I am not using my legs properly but this western stuff is all so new to me). I am still used to making the mistake of riding in shorts from time to time and having the stirrup leathers leave painful pinch marks all over my legs riding in an english saddle!!!!

    I digress, looking forward to the next instalment.


  4. I was only joking about you changing to English and the stretch pants. Those tights you found look like a good option. I have found some nice riding tights that I use for schooling at home, Kerritts has a nice line of riding tights in a lot of sizes and colors. Usually I get them from Dover Saddlery, there's another catalog that has really nice deerskin tights, Back in the Saddle, they are a little pricey so I haven't tried them yet but they look nice. The tights are comfy and stretchable, and I like them because they have sueded patches for extra grip.I usually wear them with my half chaps. Check them out.
    I just hate being crowed in a ring like that. I'm sure you did well since you're an experienced rider.

  5. On pins and needles again, wondering what happens next. You mean you stuck with the tight jeans and couldn't go with the leggings?

  6. photogchic, after these leggings stretch denim is not even a consideration. I can't believe how comfortable these leggings are. Right now they are on sale for $20. Can't beat that. Comfort and a good price too.

    beckz, me too......I'm still trying to remember what happened. lol

    lori, I don't know about mares. I wasn't worried about that at all. Legs is such a good boy in the ring. Even when he's being naughty it's not because he's thinking about girls.

    Riding in shorts....Ouch!! That's all I have to say on that subject. lol

    beth, sorry, it's what I do best from what they tell me. lol Besides this darn show seems like ages ago, I'm still trying to remember what happened the rest of it. lol

    grey horse, I know you were joking. I was teasing

    I know about Kerritts and other soft breeches as well. Believe me these leggings have them beat and as I mentioned above......on sale for $20. No suede patches though...I'll have to think about that. hunter is not my favorite class......sometime I will have to post why that is. lol

    callie, nope on the leggings, she didn't bring them in until Sunday morning after my too tight jeans were exposed before this class.

  7. Wow sounds like another exciting show for you!! Congrats on doing such a good job despite those tight fitting jeans.

    Thanks for your prayers for our family last month. Check out my blog for an update.

  8. I wish someone would make some comfortable riding jeans that don't look like Mom jeans. I had some really comfortable stretch denim ones that shredded after a season. I will have to check out those leggings...

    Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

  9. Yipes!! What happens next?!? Uggghhh!! Can't wait to read more! :)

  10. Like photogchic, I'm a huge fan of the Wrangler's Aura stretch jeans. And the best part is that they suggest you buy one size smaller than you wear in other jeans because "these jeans are cut to fit better." If that's not a great marketing ploy...
    Can't wait to hear more Daffodil stories!!

  11. I owe a lot to whoever incorporated spandex into denim, they have made my life happiers!

    ya still look great though.

    My (english)breeches always showed all my fat worse for some reason. Not much to hide the wide load behind or something.

    I really dislike when people are crowding me in the arena, it never failed at everys how, someone would be too close for my comfort.

  12. Ah MiKael, always keepin' us hanging in suspense! Glad you found something comfortable to ride in!