Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Back to Regular Programming

The fog is lifting! I am still getting into my pajamas when I get home, I am still a little anti-social, but I am no longer eating everything in the fridge: carbs are a little safer around me! Whew! I just had to get over the hump and let my body adjust to the winter darkness. This blogging thing is amazing. How wonderful that people that share a common interest with me, but who I have never met, can be so supportive. Thank you!!!

The weather has been quite amazing the last couple of weeks, which has been great for my SAD. Lots of sun and warm-ish temperatures. I have managed to get in quite a few rides.

Recently, I have been working on having a loose rein and just using my seat and legs to tell Gem where I want him to go. This exercise is based on a routine from Chris Irwin's Riding the Waves DVD, which Shannon over at It's Quarters for Me recommended (yes, Shannon, I watched the DVD!! :-)). The exercise that Gem and I do is part Chris Irwin and part LA and is to promote more effective communication with your horse through your legs and seat. We do this exercise at a walk. It doesn't look like much when you are watching someone else do it; the cues are so subtle. However, it does take balance and good seat and leg position, areas that I definitely need work on.

I do my usual warm up with Gem - walk, jog, walk - and then move him to the middle of the arena. There we do a few back ups, walk ons, and 90 degree turns. After we have loosened up, I start the exercise. While we are standing, I relax contact with the bit allowing the reins to hang a little but they still touch the sides of Gem's neck. Then I start using my legs and seat to ask him to walk on, turn, zig zag. In some ways, this is the perfect exercise to do when you are in an unbalanced state of mind. :-) It promotes relaxation and loosening up. I can shut out the "noise" going on around me and feel my body. The first few times we did this exercise, my lower back hurt; an indication to me that my balance was off. I am getting better at turning my upper body in the direction I want Gem to go. When you do that, everything else just falls into place. Go figure! :-)

Now on to something near and dear to my heart - fashion! It can be challenging for me when it comes to riding attire. I am curvy....just a little too curvy. :-) I am currently looking for a pair of heavier weight stretchy jeans for riding, preferably with tummy and thigh control....kidding!!! I am looking for something that I can wear in the colder months and that will cover the top of my boots so the cold air doesn't blow up my pant leg. I tried on a pair of Q-Baby Wranglers in my regular size, hoping that my fairy godmother would appear and make me look like the model in this picture. No such luck. While they looked decent when I was standing in front of the mirror, I think getting on Gem may be a problem and even if I could manage it, I think the supply of oxygen to my brain would be cut off by the waistband once I got in the saddle. I understand that they eventually loosen up with wear, but should I chance passing out while riding? Have any of you out there had experience with Q-Baby's????

Happy Thanksgiving to my American blogging friends!! Enjoy your family and friends.


  1. I don't have much luck with wranglers - they presume a waist, which I don't have. I'm a darn rectangle.

    Lots of boot cut warm tights these days...

    Glad you're feeling better. Nothing fun about the seasonal blues.

  2. Glad to hear you're feeling better. I've heard vitamin D helps for the blues in the winter, don't know if you've ever tried it. Sounds like a good exercise regimen you're on with Gem. It's amazing how your seat and legs can cue the horse, the only thing I have to watch out for is to not drop my shoulders while I'm doing this sort of thing with Dusty.

    Have you ever looked at the Equissential's site. I got a pair of thermal type riding breeches from them. They are custom made(I got the no zipper type waistband) and you can pick your own type of leather for the legs, they have lots of styles including western. Take a look you've got nothing to lose. They make a nice product and the breeches fit right over your boots. ( Good luck.

  3. I actually have several pairs of Q-Baby's. And it's funny, every time I put them on I think there is now way I'm going to get in the saddle with these today! But they really do loosen up.

    For warmth I like silk long underwear. They fit under almost anything, including my Q-Baby's. :)

  4. Breathe - I have seen your pictures and you don't look rectangle to me!! Interesting...boot cut tights...

    GHM - yep, I take Vitamin D and it does help a lot. I appreciate your comment about the drop shoulder. I have to watch for that myself. You mentioned Equissential to me last year. Their product is gorgeous, but a tad out of my price range. :-(

    Story - Thanks for letting me know! I, too, wear silky long underwear, so I am glad to hear that they don't bulk up the Q-Baby's.

  5. glad to hear you are feeling better, and that you are taking vitamin D- which they are finding is one of the most important vitamins for health. Exercise helps, of course, getting out in the fresh air, even if it's cold, lol!

    not sure what part of Canada you are in, maybe the prairies where they are having insanely cold weather...but we got to make the best of it, since it's here for several months.

    As to jeans, no one ever looks like the model in the picture, those girls barely eat!
    Oprah had a pair on yesterday on her favorite things show, and she said they made your butt look half it's size, lol! That's my kind of jean

    take care

  6. LMAO! I was wondering if you were ever going to watch that darn thing! I learned a TON from that video, I'm glad you got something from it too.

    I can't help on the jeans front. I personally can't ride in jeans because the seams drive me crazy. My fave right now is a pair of Ariat bootcut riding cords. Sadly I don't think they make them anymore,

  7. The name is kind of lame, but several years ago I got a pair of "Horsewoman Spirit" riding jeans. They are long straight legs with denim knee patches, stretchy and contain both my thighs and belly wattle. The best I could do as someone whose anatomy looks quite like an olive on toothpicks.

    But seriously, thanks for the detailed description of how you are working to learn seat and leg aids.

  8. I'm so glad to hear your SAD is better:) And if changing into PJs when you get home is wrong I don't want to be right!

    I still love my Kerrits and Irideon riding tights-the Irideons are also boot cut. If you find a pair of riding jeans that are very stretchy and forgiving please share!

  9. I bought 2 pair of Wranglers a couple of years ago designed for western riding - I think they were Aurora or something like that? They were very 'fitable' (lots of flexibility in sizing).
    For winter riding (I do lots), I love Kerrits winter riding tights. They are very flexible and easy to move in and have a thin but very warm inside fleece layer.

  10. Wolfie - Thanks for the THanksgiving wishes. I really appreciate your kindness and friendship!

  11. You never cease to crack me up! The Hunter Princess over here rides in tall boots and breeches every day so I'm no help to you, but man did I laugh about the cutting off oxygen to the brain comment. I'm glad you have been feeling a little better with the nice weather and have gotten a chance to ride. Sounds like a really helpful exercise. Anything that helps you relax and shut out the noise is always a good thing!

  12. Good morning!

    Pink - I am a real believer in vitamin D now! And it helps your bones. Win, win. A pair of jeans that makes your butt look smaller??? Hmmmmm.....

    Shannon - Yes, I finally watched the video. :-) I can see that it is going to be a great help and is one that you can watch over and over and still get something from it. I like the way he explains things. You know he's got a big facility in Alberta, right? Maybe you should come for a visit to Canada...??? :-) Thanks for the info on the riding cords.

    Muddy K - I actually bought a pair of Horsewoman Spirit jeans when I first started riding a couple of years ago! They are very, very comfortable and do hold things in place. Where the heck did I put them???

    Miles - Thanks! I love my PJ's!! Thanks for the info on Irideon and Kerrits. Similar idea to what Shannon is recommending. I will check it out.

    Carol - Fleece lined tights??? I love it!

    Victoria - Always a pleasure. Thanks for stopping by!

    Marissa - Tall boots and breeches??? It is times like this that I am envious of your youth!! :-)

  13. Glad to hear you're feeling beter. Like Arlene, I believe I heard that vitamin D is helpful for SAD. Makes sense, I guess, since the sun is our best source of vitamin D.

    As for riding jeans, I am clueless. I am an old fuddy duddy who does not stray from what works. The brand I wear, I've been wearing forever and probably will not change unless it disappears and I am forced to do so. That means I've never tried any other brands or styles for that matter. I'm probably missing out on some great product but I don't know that for sure, so I'm good. LOL

    Good luck in finding the right ones for you.

  14. So glad to hear you're feeling better :D And what's wrong with lounging around in PJs?!?? *says she who regularly answers the door to the postie in the morning still in her fleecy dressing gown*
    Your exercises with Gem sound most impressive!
    Can't help with the jeans-issue I'm afraid; I'm basically a skirt-person; the only time I wear trousers is when I'm riding or lounging about at home! But elasticated-waist is an absolute MUST!!! Good luck with finding the right pair! xx

  15. Hello!

    RR - Appreciate your support. Regarding your jeans, if it works for you, why change it? :-)

    Joy - You make an excellent point regarding elastic waistband. My summer-weight jeans are pull-ons with a very wide lower rise waistband and a fake fly-front. They feel and look great. I just can't seem to find something similar in a heavier weight. My search continues!!

  16. Wolfie-when I am designing kitchens at my home office and am not meeting with client, I'm in my uniform-PJ's!!!!!!!!!!!!! The minute I come home-PJS! I LOVE Pjs! :) Nothing wrong with that!

    I ghetto ride in stretchy jeans but only saddle I stick to tights, etc. Check out for tons of cheap sales lately too. I also tend to wear yoga pants from Old Navy in a pinch and works out great for only $10-19!
    Let me know if your sister ends up giving you the dog food recipe too!

  17. Hi Kristen! I have to say that I am so glad that I posted my jeans dilemma! What great ideas I have gotten, including yours. :-) I am still waiting to hear back from my sister (she's traveling) on her secret recipe. When I get it, I think I will post it so everyone can benefit.