A couple of days ago, I was nominated twice for my first blog award – the Liebster Award! I plan to fulfill the requirements for the award, but that’ll have to wait until after the horse show. Until then, thank you to Gallops & Garlands and Piaffe Girl for the nominations. I enjoy your blogs!
Show prep continues!
Today is my last full day before hauling Sebastian to the show grounds. All this week I’ve been knocking out this and that, but now is the time that preparations get intense.
Some things I’ve gotten done this week:
I had another grooming session with Sebastian after our ride over the weekend. This time the focus was ears and bridle path. Again, I do all of my trimming with scissors, so it takes some concentration to make sure it doesn’t look like…well…it was done by scissors!
The bridle path was easy, Sebastian actually fell asleep while I was doing it. For those of you non-horsey people, this is trimming a small section of the horse’s mane just behind their ears where the part of the bridle goes up and around the top of their head. The length of bridle path varies depending on the breed, but for Sebastian I just do a small one that clears a spot for the strap of leather to sit and makes it easier to section out that area of mane when braiding.
The ears were a little trickier because Sebastian is sensitive and ticklish. I don’t get too worried about getting them really shaved down – which would pretty much be impossible without clippers – but instead just focus on getting the fuzzies tamed. He also wears a fly mask with ears to help protect his ears from bugs with the absence of hair. Here’s a few pics:
I decided to stop that day after the ears because it was pony supper time and he was getting antsy. The only thing I really need to do now is trim under his chin (which I did a few weeks ago – he just needs a touch up) and trim his whiskers around his muzzle. I can’t wait to post some show pictures so you guys can see how well he cleans up!
That’s the last Sebastian thing I’ve done recently for show prep (other than having my last lesson on Tuesday). But, of course, the fun of horse showing is there are two entities to this showing team! I needed to get some of my stuff ready.
This is my first recognized show, and that means that this is the first time I’ll have to wear full show gear. In a schooling show, I can wear any color clean, nice breeches and a polo or button down shirt. In a recognized show, one must wear white or light colored breeches, a white show shirt, a stock tie, tall boots, and a coat. I also wear gloves and, of course, my helmet.
Because I’m doing these shows on an EXTREMELY tight budget, I dug through my breeches and found two pair of light tan breeches I can wear. I’ll probably be the only one at the show not wearing white breeches, but I can’t swing the extra hundred or so for a new pair. But – “light” is technically allowed so, breeches, check.
I’ve got two white tech tees with collars (actually, they’re my husband’s) that I’ll be able to use as under shirts. The risk of wearing a t-shirt-ish shirt is if coats are deemed optimal due to heat, you still can’t take your coat off because the undershirt isn’t appropriate alone. I’m not too worried about heat right now, so, undershirts – check.
I’ve got my tall boots, tall socks, and recently purchased stock tie (which Steve spent 30 minutes on google to figure out how to tie correctly for me), so the last thing to secure was a coat.
Cue the coat adventure!
A coat ordered from an equestrian catalog will typically cost anywhere from $100 to upwards of $600 and, again, don’t have that money to spend, so I decided to have a little adventure in coat shopping.
After hopping around a couple stores, I ended up at our local Savers in a last-ditch effort to find something. Luckily, after about 20 minutes of searching, I found two coats that just might work!
Now, the style of a suit coat and a dressage coat are different, but it’s mainly a button placement issue. (…humm, reminds me of this one Seinfeld episode…) The dressage coat buttons higher than a typical modern-styled suit coat. I decided to be handy and try to mend the two coats I bought at Savers.
The plan was to sew snaps on the top of the jacket so it would close a little higher, add a false button so it didn’t look like it was missing one and, then, voila! Show jacket complete! Super easy, right?
First, I bought snaps, extra buttons and grabbed some black string and needles. Then, I put on my stock tie and jacket to see how high up the closure should go. In a stoke of genius, I used sticky scrapbooking Zots to mark where the snap should go and stuck the snap right to them to help hold them in the right place. Twenty minutes later, after a near disaster when I almost sewed the second part of the snap on backward, I had my first set of snaps on! Time to try the jacket.
As expected, the snaps pulled the collar a little funny, so that had to be fixed by sewing the collar to the coat so it would lay flat. I also thought it would be a good idea to reinforce the snaps with another set, so I set to sewing on another pair. Once that was done, I put on the jacket. It looked pretty good! I was proud of myself. Now I had to put on the false button.
I grabbed the new button, threaded my needle, measured four inches up from the current top button, and sewed that puppy on! Jacket went back on, buttoned, snapped, and, wait? Where did the button I just put on go? Ugh! I had sewed the button to the wrong side of the jacket so, instead of sitting in line with the others when it was closed up, the overlap actually covered the false button. Boo! Oh well, easy fix, I thought, and took off the coat.
I grabbed some scissors, removed the improperly placed button, and sewed it on to the correct spot. Jacket back on, buttoning up…but, wait? Where did my middle button go? SON OF A B*TCH! I had removed the wrong button! So now I had two buttons on the top on either side, one on the bottom, and none in the middle!
So, jacket came off, I removed the correct button this time, and sewed it over where the middle button used to be. Jacket went on and, FINALLY, was right! If you look closely, you can tell that the middle button is slightly different than the other two, and the top button is slightly out of line with the other two, but after I spent some time fiddling with it, it looks pretty good. They’ll be paying more attention to my awesome horse anyway, right?
Total cost for my show coat:
Coat from Savers: $6.99
Snaps, buttons, etc: $3.00
Time spent sewing: about two hours
Losing my sanity last night: Priceless
After that fiasco, I decided to just leave the second jacket alone and bring it along as an “emergency” coat. If for some reason the first one does not work or malfunctions, I can always safety pin the other so it looks ok for my one ride.
Whew! So I think my show wardrobe is finally complete!
Now, for the humans: all we have left to do is pack up our other clothes, toiletries, camping gear, tent, food, portable stove, etc for the weekend away.
For Sebastian, though, I still have to run to the barn, grab all his tack, bring it home to clean and condition it, dig last year’s show trunk out and get it organized (grooming tools, first aid kit, blankets, sheets, buckets, etc., etc., etc.), pack everything into the vehicles, head back to the barn in the morning, pick up the rental trailer, pull Sebastian out and bathe him, and hit the road to the show grounds…where everything needs to be unloaded, tent set up, Sebastian ridden, braided, and everything else done to prepare for the morning ride.
I never said showing was easy!
Well, that may have been a bit of a boring list to read, but at least it got it all organized in my head. And I’ve realized how much more I have left to do, so I think I’ve got to go!
There isn’t great internet coverage on the grounds, however, so this will probably be the last post from me until we get back from the show.
Wish me luck! 😀