Last week I texted my barn manager “Hey, want to meet at Tack Warehouse on Friday at nine?”
“Maybe. Why?” she responded.
If you’re in Northern California, you really should check out this sale!
Tack warehouse is a local tack store that I loove. It’s located in Woodland, just 15 minutes from my barn, and while they don’t carry absolutely everything, they do an amazing job of helping you get what you need. Last year, they consulted my trainer to help them increase their selection of eventer-oriented products, and if they don’t have what you want they are more than happy to order it for you! The owner and staff are all friendly and helpful, and they keep both English and Western tack, with staff who know the products to help you get what you want! Tack Warehouse is also really supportive of local events, providing goodie-bags and prizes for local venues. And I LOVE having a place I can just drop in and pick up what I need instead of having to order it online.
So of course, I walked in on Friday looking for a pair of tall boot laces (blew out mine on my right boot and have been riding around with it slowly flopping open) and some new polo wraps. And I walked out with this.
Ooops. Critical mistake. But it’s so pretty!
needed wanted a dressage/stadium helmet for a while. My skullcap I love, but it really isn’t the look I want in dressage. And I struggle, somehow, to get my hair into it. And it’s just not really the look I want in dressage. And it always looks a little bit dirty, because of the pebbly exterior (even with a cover on). And it’s really just not the look I want in dressage.
When Barn Manager and I got to Tack Warehouse I (stupidly) started stuffing my head into various helmets with my hair up, to see what I look like in them and which ones fit. I like the One-K helmets a lot, and I seriously like those bling helmets, but I’m not good enough at dressage to pull them off yet, and they don’t quite sit on my head right. Then I went to the COs, and did a huuuuuge double take at the price of the JR8 vs GR8. The GR8 is a solid $350, and the JR8 was $170. Umm, what?
A quick exploration on my phone showed that they have the exact same safety standards (see here the GR8 and the JR8), and the look, feel, and fit of them were very similar when I put them on. (I suspect the JR8 is just a juniors version, and because juniors’ heads grow faster than adults, they price them cheaper to get people hooked on the brand, so you’ll buy the nice one later. Much like the Point-Two childrens’ air vest. Well, suckers, I fit kids sizes as an adult so will never pay your full prices!!!) I did my best to stuff my hair in them, and stared at myself in the mirror and was surprised when I actually really liked the look. The only thing I worried about was that, with my hair inside, the helmet was slip-n-sliding all around my head because my hair is so slippery. #AsianRiderProblems
One of the staff helped me out by busting out this neat Real Women Ride hairnet, which I found shockingly comfortable and effective. The hairnet has a headband-like strip of strong elastic at the base, and then comes up like a stocking tube which holds your hair up. No more fighting with my slippery hair just to get it INSIDE the stupid hairnet, with this baby you pull it down over your neck like a headband, then push it back up to trap all your hair inside. If you do this poorly, you may look like a 1990’s home invader, but no matter! My hair was trapped inside the hair net and there it stayed, AND it helped stabilize the helmet on my head and stop it from wiggling around.
So there you have it. I went in for boot laces and walked out with a new helmet (at 20% off!), a hair net, and was pretty happy about it.
(Soon, I’ll figure out how to DIY class up that nylon harness too!)
Jump lesson this week was very good. We have a pretty technical course set up in the indoor right now, lots of rollbacks, and Murray was very honest through it. Our step was a little off, as he was just a touch behind my leg, and I ask him to hold instead of pushing him forward. We ended up getting deep spots to a lot of jumps, but they all worked out fine despite it. Thank goodness for honest ponies and a solid base of support — a few months ago, I’d have been letting my lower leg slide back and probably have been pitched over a few of those fences.
We started with the navy fence, bending to a big blue/brown X in 5-6 strides (we consistently got 6). Rollback around to the green-red one stride, then around to the navy again, which was straight. A nice open turn to the brown skinny, which has an old Christmas tree under it, bending to the green/yellow oxer. After the oxer, another rollback to the one stride the opposite direction (red to green), then three or four strides to the blue fence.
Murray backed off to the Christmas tree the first time he saw it, but listened to me when I said that we were really doing it, so that was good to feel. He did get a little on the forehand/pully around the rollbacks, but if I lifted my inside hand to half-halt and re-acquire a quality canter I could get him listening again before the next fence. I rode all the fences before the rollbacks really straight, as once Murray learns a course he’ll land and happily throw himself around a corner, which really isn’t what I want.
There’s just two weeks until our first show this year!! I’m super excited. And I’ll get to wear my new helmet!