Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Well, It's a Look

Doesn't mean it's a good one, but it works for me! Just how dressed up does one need to be to get on the back of a horse? There was a time, when the riding pants came out, the high boots, the expensive gloves, the nice shirts and vests. Gosh it was a lot of work just to get all slobbery and hairy. I also want to mention high boots are very uncomfortable for walking, let alone walking home with either a horse that is lame in hand or without since I might have been abandoned ( Dandy, YOU know what I'm referring to here). The riding pants rarely have decent pockets and I have yet to figure out the sizing of any of the brands. Seriously, that 14 looks like an 8 or 10. Just about every piece of riding apparel is geared for slim, tall teenage girls and I am not joking here. It is. It is also very costly.
A pair of good riding pants will run in the $125.00-$200.00 range. Jackets and boots can go up into the $500.00-$750 area for show gear. In my opinion all that money can be more wisely spent on the important things, like a good comfortable saddle for your horse. That is the single area where folks shouldn't skimp. Pay for a professional fitting. Imagine carrying over a hundred pounds on your back in a saddle that pinches because it is too tight or rubs and chafes because it is too loose or too long? I can't think of anything worse and it's amazing to me the people who own horses and have no clue as to why their mount doesn't enjoy riding and they have never even thought to check how their saddle fits. So, lets set it straight, I don't show, I don't think at this point I could assemble an outfit acceptable for even a training show and I am a more comfortable rider for it. Sweat pants with good pockets work great,

Lands End has yoga pants that for all purposes are like riding pants with a boot cut ( at $20-$30/pair). I have good sturdy boots ( don't skimp on footwear, ever, it will make you miserable) with a heel for safety and will serve me walking if I ever have to hike back. I have warm shirts, loose jackets ( with good treat pockets), thick socks and a good bra or two just for riding.

So after throwing on my pieced together attire, I may look the slob, but I never have to give it another thought and can enjoy my time aboard unfettered. So it was yesterday when Gene decided he wanted some snaps of the fall ride.
I whined, "I look like Ma Kettle gone to pot!" He said "Who's Ma Kettle?". So it is you all get to see me in fashionable glory.

I had my hair up so the hot pink helmet was too tight for yesterdays ride.

Cooper is always at the height of fashion I might add, with his lovely dark bay coat and his big white spotty bottom for interest. The curls are just starting to appear on him. Hard to see and he sure isn't like Berber Carpet Imp!

We had a super ride.

I wasn't expecting to see much wildlife. The deer are scant at this time and who could blame them with the opening of rifle season this past weekend! But low and behold, when you least expect it, you get a delightful surprise. Coop and I have a little known path that meanders up to the canal road. It requires a little more work for him hill wise, but the footing and scenery are better than just a gravel log road. So up and over the rim to the canal road and point west and there about 100 feet away is a lovely coyote having his morning drink at the canal. He is truly startled, Coop, once he has identified it as something known is interested. We watch while Wily J thinks about leaping the canal and then decides to run away from us down the road. So Coop you wanna catch him? And we are off on a delightful little fools errand, galloping down the road, knowing we won't even come close but it's fun anyway. We dropped back down to a walk and I spent the time tracking our quarry. He ran a good long while down the dirt road before veering off to woodier parts. I was happy to see him. I've heard them from time to time and seen tracks but I'm never sure if it's a big dog or not. This one looked healthy, well fed, coming into a beautiful winter coat and damn fast!
We spent two hours out putzing around, looking at the snow on the higher peaks around our home and noticing the quiet that is settling in with the coming winter.
The sun was warm, the shade quite cool and the breeze hinting that we should enjoy fall with as much abandon as we can muster because winter is growing restless to arrive.


  1. That looks so fun and I love your orange jacket. And yes I know who Ma Kettle is, I would watch all the Ma and Pa Kettle show when I was a little girl! I can't remember her name that played Ma Kettle but she also played in a few disney movies and I just loved her. Ok now I'm going to have to google her!!!!

    Happy horse riding!!!

  2. It was Margorie Main that played Ma Kettle. I loved her hair and thought I would wear mine like that when I got old. Guess I'm not old yet!

  3. yoga pants, Land's End - great to know!

    hey, you look just fine for your first fall ride - comfort is all about where I am these days. And you're wearing the all important hunter's orange this time of year - that's a must!

  4. Coop could care less what you look like! I love that you've taken the comfort and happiness route for you both!

  5. Personally, breeches are the only things on my lower half that keep me from getting chafed on my inner knees and, um, elsewhere. But I have picked up what I need for a song on eBay or at a deep discount when they are on sale, so the prices you list are completely foreign to me. And I LOVE Ariat paddock boots (purchased the same way) for comfort in and out of the saddle. I picked up my show boots (Cavallos) used for $95. When polished up they work just fine. :-)

  6. Michelle,
    I agree, nothing beats good breeches ( I like the ones that are constructed like tights as compared to fly front) without seams and I have a few sweats that really aren't comfortable for riding. For the most part they work fine and when they get pine pitch or holes in them, they get tossed in the rag bag or go for painting clothes. I do like teh mostly cotton yoga pants though with the little bit of spandex and the fit is good for my short little troll like figure. The boots I have are Ariat and they are tops, the higher Terrain boots. I think they stopped making them, but I bought two pairs on sale. ;-)

    Nope Coop could care less what I wear and since it is up in the mountains no one is going to see me anyway.

    Cindie, yep orange is a must for woods wear this time of year. I was eyeing that wool fabric and knowing I don't have a snowballs chance of getting that on the machine...

  7. This looks like a great ride in the forest! Thank you for the advice on riding clothes. One of my boys has just started riding, and we haven't bought anythind fancy yet, he just uses normal clothes. By the way, I think you look great on horseback.

  8. Because of Lynn Lloyd's ranch here and the "fox hunts," just about half the people seem to ride English. They're quite the sight to see - long boots, formal jackets and the red hunt masters jacket and horn which call to the gaggle of hounds that accompany them, baying and straying everywhere. It's a good thing we're inside a fence - our dogs go gaga when they come. They don't care about the horses. The hounds are a completely different story!

  9. You know, one thing I really and truly appreciate about NH is that there's no pressure here fashionwise. Your horse outfit would fit right in!! (Hmmmmm....that sounds a little like a back-handed compliment and I definitely don't mean it to!)

    That's so cool that you saw a coyote! We saw a few in the Rockies....and I even managed to get a picture of one. (You know I'll be blogging about that!!)

    Your ride sounds really nice. I hope we've got some of that fall weather in store for us. Today was mostly rainy....although we did get out for a walk during the mid-day hour of sun.


  10. Charlotte,
    Thank you, I'm always happiest on a horse.
    Sweats and cheapy breeches will work for a while, but if he's taking up riding and really loves it, good breeches will be treasured. Jeans are the worst for riding because of the heavy seams although plenty of people ride in them here. Hope you put some pics on your blog though of him riding.

    Sharon, we shared off blog comments but I would love to see one of those hunts near you some day.

    Sue, I've been checking your blog at least 10 times a day for trip blogs! Glad you saw coyotes and I hope you caught some other wildlife too.
    I know what you mean about the clothes, Ashland is very laid back and being a college town there isn't much you don't see. I grew up riding English and it has been a long road to leave a bit of the "musts" that have nothing to do with skill and partnership behind. My days jumping and in hunters is long gone, along with being a size 4! :-)

  11. Hi, Theresa...
    I so enjoyed this post as it brought back so many good memories of taking off on my horse 'round these parts (and elsewhere when I was much younger...). I actually enjoyed not having to "dress" for rides, rather spending my energies towards both the horse and the scenery. Dollar never minded what I was or wasn't wearing, just that I was spending time with her.
    And I/We used to chase coyotes or pronghorn or deer thinking it great fun for all. I remember a herd of pronghorn who would actually look for us along certain mountainous trails.
    Thanks for taking us along with you. I really enjoyed it. :)

  12. Oh Theresa, you make me wish my life had been different. I was a horse-crazy kid who managed to talk my folks into riding lessons for a month, but that was about it. I think you look great all dressed up to ride and wouldn't mind looking the same if I could have a horse.