So lately we've been working on half steps and today we made the leap to doing a "moving piaffe." Whaaaa???
Trainer must be on drugs (she's not).
Vana and I struggle bussed through this exercise (he wanted to piaffe in place and I can't do things with my legs apparently for very long. It was a difficult but VERY fun lesson of basically "Simon Says" on horseback with Trainer calling the movements. Medium trot! Piaffe! Counter canter! Lead Change! Moving piaffe! and so on.
Really kept me on my toes and was a blast.
Vana started getting all collected, responsive, and fancy so we found his 1 tempi button (he was so proud to hammer out the 5 he could do) and then I found the passage button and omg, SO MUCH FUN. Vana has a wonderful passage and piaffe and I giggled like a school girl while Trainer kindly shook her head and let us get on with it and back to work.
Naturally at the end, Vana demanded ALL the cookies for doing ALL the tricks.
Well, we're cracking right along and I'm failing at pictures as we close in on the end of the year. Vana and I are prepped to do our 3rd and 4th level show in January at Great Southwest and then we're supposed to move up to PSG. I bought myself my shadbelly over Black Friday ($50 off whoop!).
I bought the following coat but in black:
That's the Romfh Silk Shell Bling Shadbelly if you would like a name and a link. As soon as Trainer said we were NOT hanging out at 3rd and 4th level and to get my double and my shad, I started shopping. Working Student/Groom made me (forced against pain of death really) to check them out at the last recognized shows. I really liked a few of them and the idea of customizing sounded good but I'm quite frugal by nature and $1500 for a coat didn't sound ideal. No matter how fun FEI is.
So I decided to check out the sub $500 coats and after a month of debating, I was down to either the Romfh or the Ovation as I had coats from them already and knew my size. I can always get a fancy grey shad when Jade goes FEI, right?
So I waited for Black Friday and hoped that the Asmar one would be on some crazy awesome sale, alas it was not and so I pulled the trigger on the Romfh. When it arrived it was WAY nicer than I thought it would be. I had hoped that it might have some pouches for weighs but it did not. Nevertheless, the leather(ish) lining has plenty of weight and the fabric is INSANE!! Like a similar feel to the Equiline ones, but wait for it...
I CAN MOVE MY ARMS!!!!
Like everywhere! Crossed over each other! People came to check out this magical coat that didn't act like a straightjacket! I rode both Vana and then Jade in my coat and it was a piece of cake. Best coat I've ever had on even doung pirouettes and other more flamboyant moves. The tails stayed nicely in place, the coat breathed excellently (I even forgot I had it one while I groomed and tacked up Jade hence me riding her in it), and I was so so pleased with my purchase. The length in the torso was perfect for me (maybe a touch large in the bust as I'm pretty flat there) but it moved nicely with me and didn't look frumpy at all. Some tailoring would ahve it looking like a million bucks but I'm going to wait until I reach my FEI fitness level before going nuts on that stuff. Durability will be TBD but honestly, it's a shad and I won't be using it except here and there so I expect it'll be wonderful in that area too.
The bling is nicely subtle and in a black crystal, not a clear one so it's a pleasant touch instead of 8 year old girl with pigtails and bows blingy (yes I'm jealous of you kids *waves cane). The crystals are in a tasteful row above the chest pocket and the edge of the collar. Technically the buttons are also blingy, but I didn't notice them shining and drawing attention to my midsection.
Zara has continued to be a wonderful baby horse now that I've convinced her that she doesn't need to be wild as a march hare. We've been working on being caught, being touched everywhere, picking up feet, moving around politely, and all those basic baby things. She's an excellent student and so smart like her mother. Speaking of her mother, check out how Zara is almost the same height! Piper is 14.1 (on a good day) and Zara's closing in fast. She's not going to be a genetic midget like her mother for sure!
I'm working on plans to wean her but she's nursing pretty regularly and there's no rush so we'll just keep working Piper, turning all the mares out together, and just integrate everyone that way. Piper's tail hasn't really grow though in the past year so I'm suspecting there's some nibbling going on and I can't afford for Zara to nibble on Simon, Vana, or Jade so I'm going to have to figure out a way for her to have a buddy that she can nibble on safely or something that will actually tell her to GO AWAY when she does. Sadly all my horses are way too nice to do that currently.