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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Monday, March 23, 2009

Life Is Good!

So many good things have happened in the past three days! I have been a bad bad blogger not keeping you up to date on all these recent developments!

Friday was the dressage lesson I already talked about, and later on in the afternoon, I received an e-mail from my mother about saddles. I've been on the hunt since May for a Prestige Eventing saddle in black, and have had no luck finding a nice used one anywhere. Most places online sell them new for $2500, so I was surprised to get this particular e-mail stating that she had found a tack store called Green Valley Tack that sold them new for $2200. I googled them, and was completely thrilled to find that they were in New York, less than two hours away. I decided to give them a call, and asked if they had any in stock. What do you know? They had one on consignment, 17" seat (perfect), 33cm tree (also perfect), and it was IN BLACK! $1900. No freaking way. What are the odds??

So Saturday, first thing in the morning, I headed off to New York. The drive was gorgeous, through the serious boonies of New York, and the tack store itself was very nice. I also got some new Herm Sprenger knob spurs and - gasp - white gloves, because I feel it is time to graduate to them, finally. I also found the saddle on the rack, and wow.... it was in perfect, amazing, gorgeous condition. I mean, flawless. You could see that the billets, which are long by the way and therefore necessitate the use of a short girth, had been used a bit but that was really all. So hooray! I loaded up my prize for a test ride, and off I headed back to Connecticut. Immediately when I arrived, I hooked up my trailer, groomed my pretty mare, loaded her up, and headed out to the Larkin Bridle Trail, a 10-mile trail that was once upon a time an old rail line, but was abandoned in 1947... I think. We're ready to start out conditioning hacks, and with the excellent, slightly giving but still nice and firm and dry stonedust footing on this trail, it was a perfect place to begin. I LOVED the saddle, and she liked it too. The flap is very forward, but it didn't seem to interfere with her shoulder at all, and she was still striding out for all she was worth. This week's conditioning hack began with a warmup of 10 walking minutes, them 10 minutes of nice, forward trot, and then another 1:40 of walk hacking for a total of 2 hours. Next week, we will up the trotting to 15 minutes, and the week after will have 15 minutes again. The following week will have 20, and so on until we work out way up to 25 of nonstop trotting, with the remainder of the 2 hours at the walk. Anyway, oh the saddle! It was SO COMFORTABLE! My only complaint was that the leather was a bit slick, but hey, nothing a good conditioning won't fix! And oh, the trail was just beautiful.

This place was only 20 minutes away. I'll be going back here PLENTY this summer, I can feel it.

Sunday, I decided to give Gogo off instead of jumping. She seemed a bit tired after her workout on Saturday - took TWO lay-down naps in the morning! - so I figured she deserved the rest. She got a nice grooming and handwalking instead, sweet girl.

And yesterday? Oh, lovely mare! After her morning turnout, I brought her in, tacked her up, and set up two simple verticals in the indoor, just to get a feel of the saddle over fences. Talk about SECURE. It has a HUGE knee block and a big thigh block too, and with the long billets there isn't any bulky girth under my leg, so I felt like, aside from the slick leather, I wasn't going ANYWHERE! After warming up over the little vertical (made of blox, I think it was about 2'), Shannon came in and we progressively raised the other vertical. And raised it. And raised it. And Gogo jumped higher, and better. And better. And better. And before we knew it, she was sailing over 3'9" like she had been doing it in her sleep, all her life. I didn't even realize how high it was until I stopped and got a good look at it. "Higher?" Shannon asked. And I declined, only because I didn't want to tempt fate. Next time! ;)

She was THE happiest clam back in the barn. On one of the approaches to the 3'9", her big-strided self made a very interesting judgement call, all on her own. She got a hair closer to it than I think she anticipated, so instead of risking taking the rail down, she took off a hair towards the left of the jump to give her body more room to open up in the air, and then readjusted her straightness on her own on the other side of the fence. She hates a close, chippy spot and that was where she would have ended up taking off from had she stayed perfectly straight, so I accepted that call as a good one. Instead, she made just enough room for her body that the jump itself was excellent. She's a smart one, that silly little mare.

It just felt soooooooooooo easy. She's gonna jump big sticks, I tell you! Big sticks!

And, on top of that, we made an offer of $1800 on the Prestige, and the lady accepted. I am the owner of a beautiful, almost completely brand new Prestige Eventing saddle, only the sexiest saddle EVER MADE! I'll get some better pictures to post tonight because I am DYING to show it off! This also frees me to sell my old County - any takers? ;) - and, if I can get $500 for it... that's the entry fee for the AECs right there. Good news, good news!


The other two good things that happened? We have a clinic this coming weekend with Sharon Schneideman, and I was thinking about how best to pay for it (dip into my show fund? I didn't want to!) when I was asked the other day if I would trailer a horse going in for a bone scan to the nearby private equine hospital, at the cool charge of $2.00 a mile. Well duh I'll do it! Now the clinic is completely paid for :) And also, I went to the post office at 9pm last night in order to get this into the mailbox for post the first thing this morning:

My entry for King Oak Farms HT!!!!!!! It all begins here!

So the Cliff Notes version of all this:
1) Finally, finally found my new jump saddle, a used Black Prestige Eventing model!
2) Can now sell my old saddle!
3) Just made a chunk of money trailering a horse around and can now pay for this coming weekend's clinic!
4) Had a gorgeous conditioning hack on Saturday, and am really starting to get into our conditioning work now!
5) The entry for our first 2009 event goes out in the mail TODAY!

Life is good.


Heidi said...

Can't wait to see pictures of the new saddle! It sounds amazing :-)

Beckz said...

Woo life is good.