Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rolex: The Shopping Edition

I think I've been rebelling against this post for awhile since it's my 100th and I feel like I should have some really thought-provoking, insightful, reflective kind of post but I've come to the realization that I am none of those things.  And honestly, it's pretty ironic that my first milestone post will be about shopping.  So without further ado, here's what Charlie got.

On Thursday, our first stop was Smartpak.  Everyone knows I love Smartpak and the fact that all Smartpak branded items were 15% off made me love them even more.  Charlie got a lovely new flysheet (he didn't have one) that came with a huge LL Bean-like tote (for those unfamiliar with LL Bean totes, it's a huge canvas bag) for FREE!  Love free!

We then swung by Stubben per Megs suggestion and I managed to pick up some web reins for $20.  I've never been willing to shell out the $$ money for web reins (meaning even $40 was too much) but I couldn't pass up $20 for really nice web reins.  This way if I hate them, I'm not too terribly annoyed at having spent oodles of money on them.  In fact, I could probably sell them for more then I paid.

Next stop was Five Star Tack just to "browse."  Well, lucky for Charlie they were getting rid of all their old stock.  We scored a lovely figure-8 mono-crown bridle and matching reins for a fraction of their original price.  It came with a fancy stitch browband but I put an old clincher browband on it so I can keep the fancy stitched one's white stitching white.  Yes, I really am that OCD...

 Charlie's new bridle - he's thrilled.

That was it for Thursday and I stupidly thought I was done for the weekend.  You'd think by now I would know better...

Friday brought the "BIG purchase" - I bought a pair of custom boots from La Mundial.  Oops!  I'm not entirely sure what came over me as these were most definitely NOT on the agenda.  Sigh.  In my defense, all their display boots are so pretty I just couldn't resist.  On the sale front, I managed to pick up 2 pairs of Tredstep Symphony knee patch breeches for $89/pair.  They retail for $119 from Smartpak so I was pretty excited.

There was nothing bought on Saturday but we did once again wander the trade fair where we stumbled on Majyk Horse Boots.  These are the boots Boyd Martin has helped design and I must say, I was very impressed.  A pair of these is most likely in Charlie's future - they didn't have any for sale.

Sunday, we hit the trade fair after SJ was finished in hopes to avoid the traffic rush.  Here is where Mom got me my Xmas present (I told her to wait in hopes of trade fair sale pricing).  I had been wanting a brown Ecogold triple protection half-pad but every time we stopped by the Ecogold booth either nobody was there or we couldn't get the folks who were there to acknowledge our presence.  Very disappointing.  So, I started looking for a shop that had Ogilvy pads.  We lucked out and found one.  I love this pad!  I had an Ecogold for my dressage saddle that I traded for some lessons and I liked it but I LOVE the Ogilvy.  It fills in the holes behind Charlie's shoulder perfectly and I no longer need to use a breastplate thanks to this pad.  And in all honesty, if it's good enough for Reed Kessler, it's most likely good enough for me. :)

Charlie's lovely new half pad.  It's brown with black binding and tan piping.  He likes it almost as much as I do.

Last purchase was a halter with chrome hardware and a chrome nameplate from Albright's.  They had to make it special and it just arrived today.  It's sumptuous.  

And there you have it, everything I got at Rolex.  I went with a budget in mind and seeing as it was very generous, I was pretty convinced I was going to stick to it.  Well, I spent 2x as much as I planned. Oh well, good thing there's a bunch of overtime opportunities coming up.

All has been well on the Charlie front.  We've signed up for a schooling horse trials (I'm still having my riding identity crisis) in two weeks.  Biggest issue right now is all the stinking rain.  I don't do riding in the rain - I like my tack too much.  But yesterday I was reduced to just that.  It wasn't raining to terribly hard when I went out for trot sets but we dodged a few drops.  Overnight, it rained more than 2 inches and had bunches of thunder and lightening.  Lovely.

A pic from our ride last night.

Lesson tomorrow as well as a date with the farrier.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rolex XC!

Day 3 saw SuperMom and I up bright and early to try and avoid the cross country day rush.  We got to the horsepark around 9:20 which gave us 40 minutes to get in the gate and out on course.  Perfectly timed if I do say so myself.  All in all it was a great day.  I think we walked the whole course 2 times which is a long way when you consider it's approx 4 miles long.

Meghan O'Donoghue and Pirate.  Quite possibly my favorite American pair of the weekend.  She looked like a seasoned pro even though this was their first 4 star.  Great story as well - she bought Pirate (an OTTB) when she was 15 and he was 3.  Loved them!

Becky Holder and Can't Fire Me.  So sad she fell so close to home.

Lynn Symansky and Donner.  My second favorite pair of the weekend and the highest placed American's.  Just in case you didn't know, Donner's an OTTB.  Go OTTBs!!!

Andrew Nicholson and Calico Joe.  How annoyed was I to only see the them gallop by.  Hard lesson learned - pay attention to the order of go.

Cute appy outrider.

Buck Davidson and Park Trader.  All of Buck's horses are incredible jumpers.

Kristi Nunnick and R-Star.  Lovely mare but wholly cow did she look strong.

Crowds.  Lots of people and everyone said this was a light year - can't imagine what it looks like when it's really "crowded."

Pirate in the vet box.  Let me tell you, he was ready to go again!

Unfortunately we were just too far away to get good pictures in SJ.  To be honest, I was really disappointed in the majority of the American riders.  It's pretty apparent that most of them (including the big names) need to spend some time in the jumper ring - especially if they want to be competitive against the likes of Andrew Nicholson, WFP, Michael Jung, and all the other amazing event riders from Europe and the lands down under.  Peter Barry of Canada was great as was Hawley Bennett.  Lynn Symansky was a shining star for the US and Andrew Nicholson is a master!  Honestly, after this, I can't even remember who William Fox-Pitt is...

Just some general, overall impressions of the event - they need signs, something, anything, telling you where to go.  On Thursday, we had no idea where we were going when we left the car.  We just sort of followed some people hoping they were going to the event.  And it would have been nice if there were some signs pointing towards the XC start.  The horsepark is really, really large (I think I mentioned that before) and some more shuttles would have been nice along with signs saying where they stopped so you could maybe wait for one if you were beat and really didn't want to walk.  Also, I wish they had sent riders out at 3 minute intervals instead of 5 and the hour and a half lunch break kinda sucked.  I really like Phillip Dutton's idea of adding some sort of 3 star - would have been awesome to see more ponies.  At the end of the day, 40 or so horses isn't very many.

Now for the good things!  The stadium is beautiful and made for a lovely time watching dressage and SJ.  Everyone working the event was super nice and very helpful.  While many on the COTH forum poo-poo'd the shopping, I thought it was fine.  I don't know why folks expect things to be marked down 90% just because they're at a big show.  There were some deals to be had but I just enjoyed being able to touch and see bunches of stuff that I normally only get to see in a catalog or on my computer.  The weather was perfect - not too cold, not too hot, and not really rainy.  The decorations on the XC jumps were amazing.  A lot of time and effort was put into the design of each jump and they were lovely.  All in all, we had an amazing time.  Feel very lucky to have been able to go and going with SuperMom just made it that much better!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Oh my gosh!  So much fun!

Mom and I left on Wed afternoon and got to Lexington by 10PM after a quick stop at Cracker Barrel.  Drive was pretty uneventful through some very pretty country.  We didn't really have a plan for Thursday; originally we were going to maybe try and do a TB farm tour but I kind of dropped the ball on that one so we headed to the horse park to just get the lay of the land.  Big mistake!  Lots of shopping was done...oops!  (I'll talk purchases in another post)

After shopping, we decided to take a drive to downtown Lexington just because.  I wish I hadn't been driving because I would have loved to have taken pictures of all the houses.  They were all older and the architecture was very interesting.  We then headed back to the hotel and then to dinner.

Friday we headed back to watch some dressage and walk XC.  We decided to walk XC first and then watch the afternoon dressage session.  For those of you haven't been to KHP, it is huge.  I mean HUGE!  And completely lacking of signage.  After stumbling around and having folks vaguely point in the distance in some sort of direction of the start box, we finally found it.  I think we walked about half of it before we decided we needed food.  On the way to lunch, we got to meet Hillary from Equestrian at Hart!  She is so cute and so nice!  It was very cool to get to chat with Hillary - it's nice to be able to put a voice with the blog. :)  After chatting with Hillary for a bit, we headed for lunch which ended up being popcorn and lemonade.  Easy to eat while watching dancing ponies!

WFP and Chilli Morning - just lovely.

Chilli Morning was so relaxed throughout the entire thing.  Just lovely...sigh...

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter.  This poor mare has got to have the ugliest head I have ever seen.

Marilyn and Demeter - halt before the rein back.  Ugly head and all, I wouldn't kick her out of the barn...

Buck and Reggie - first salute.

Buck and Reggie - it was a nice test but I felt it lacked sparkle.

Jan Byyny and Inmidair

Jan and Inmidair - canter lengthening.

Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo - after this weekend, I'm pretty convinced Andrew is some sort of god. 

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice.  This horse is so handsome.  He was really tense but lookout world because this is a seriously nice horse.

Phillip and Mighty Nice.

Even though Andrew's a god, he still appreciates his pony.

Just because he's awesome...

To be continued...