Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Christmas to ME!

Look what I just got!

Meet Aljak's Brite Lights, my new dressage prospect.  He's four years old, a roan sabino pinto (yes, pinto!) morgan, who has won championships in many divisions plus he also drives.  I flew out to OKC the day before yesterday to try him, and had an absolute blast with him.  As a rail horse, he's pretty clueless about bending and the inside leg, but that will come.  I also got to drive him and it was great fun.

Here he is in action:

I'm not sure if any of my sidesaddles will fit him, so I may need a new one. Sue!!!! I'll need your help, so we'll see you at Gladstone next year.

Of course, all of this is dependant on the prepurchase exam, but I gave him a good going over myself when I tried him, and if all goes well he'll be shipping east in January.

I've wanted a new horse for so long...I just can't believe this!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Love a Parade!

Yesterday we converged on the small unsuspecting town of Lisbon, MD for the "Ole Fashioned Christmas Horse Parade", an event I expected to simply be a hokey little affair.  Hokey it arguably was, but it was anything but little with over 500 equines participating.  500!  Can you imagine that many equines of all shapes, sizes, and species dressed in all manner of Christmas attire, along with fancy carriages, miniature horses sporting antlers, even a standardbred pulling a racing bike.  There were mules dressed as angels, multiple mounted Santas, and a troop of tin soldiers riding drafts.  Everywhere you looked there was something equine to marvel at, either because of its beauty or its entertainment value.  It was like an incredible Yule time costume party.
It was an absolute blast!  Barb's husband Tom was already riding in the parade as part of the Howard County Mounted Patrol, so tossing her horse Beau on the trailer that AM was no big deal.  Separating the two of them once they arrived, however, did turn out to be a big deal since Beau seems to think he is a conjoined twin with Tom's horse Max.  At one point, Beau even started running sideways, so I quickly dismouted, drew up some ace, and gave him a jab of liquid love.  While the drugs took effect we casually started introducing Owen to Beau in the hopes that he would see Owen as his new BFF.  Happily our plan worked pretty well, and other than his continuing to call now and again he quited down and Barb was able to enjoy the event.
Even tho' this was literally a last minute plan Barb managed to get two additional ISSO riders to join us, Sue and Nancy, who both rode english in traditional black habits which nicely offset the colorful habits and western tack that Barb and I used.  To top it off, Barb found these wonderful long plastic candy canes that we all used in place of our traditional riding canes.
There was some initial tension and jostling around at the start as an organizer with a bullhorn tried to get all 500 participants in their proper order for the parade, but she did an amazing job and we fell into place behind the Goshen hunt and headed out onto the route.  Not only was I impressed with the equine turnout, the crowd turnout was equally impressive with people crammed several bodies deep in places.  Ironically, the two ladies bringing up the back of the field were also riding aside, and one of them, Lou Steinfort, I knew from way back in my 4-H days so many years ago.  She and her friend were turned out in formal attire with appointments, riding absolutely beautifully in perfect fitting habits riding equally elegant and turned out hunters.  They were amazing, and I wouldn't want to face either of them in the show ring.  Riding behind them really showed the wide scope of riding aside, tho' they did make me riding my little poinsettia pony feel like a poor sidesaddle relative indeed!  To top this off, we later ran into Ingrid Gentry, a local dressage judge, and there I am on my supposedly FEI mount dressed up as an 1890's cowgirl.  As you can see, Barb and I elected to wear helmets rather than top hats; I was too worried about riding on asphalt to risk my skull, since I'm still making student loan payments on the veterinary knowledge that's crammed into it.

Waiting to head out onto the route.


At the parade formation: me on Owen, Barb on Beau, and Tom
on Max; the lady in the center is my mother, Alice.

Team of mini donkeys

Drill Team

Don't you love these kids dressed as Christmas trees?

Percherons pulling a formal carriage

Maryland Park Police

The Goshen hounds with a small field

Ta Da!   ISSO on the route.

Angel mules pulling a stage coach

Of course, there were several Santas

What a cutie!

And the other end of the equine size spectrum.

4-H group

A different kind of four in hand; Owen was not happy when
he saw these coming at him.

Owen, Beau, me, Barb.

A nice group of sidesaddle ladies showing the variety of our sport.


and Nancy again.

A close up of Owen's head...note the little cardinals I attached to
his mane.

Owen starting a nice piaffe in hand before...

...rocking back into the levade.  It needs polish but he's really
making progress.

And as if that wasn't a great enough day, it finished up with my running into Kristen Barth, nee Mowery, my absolute partner in crime back in our pony days.  She is now married with children, and I asked her how she would feel if they did as many stupid things as we did back then, such as jumping our ponies over guard rails.  It was so wonderful to catch up with her and I think it's great to have one of my oldest friends living only a few miles from me. 

All in all, it was such a wonderful day and it really invigorated me back into equine activity.  I'd been in such a slump and had actually discussed giving Owen away and selling off all my equipment the night before with Bruce.  What was I thinking?

Anyway, fellow ISSO members...we need to make this parade a regular item on our sidesaddle calendar.

Did I say it was amazing enough?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gather Ye Poinsettias While Ye May...

OK, so things have sucked a lot lately and I've been down but once again the Dream Team (Barb Thelan and I) has managed to dig up some sidesaddle trouble by agreeing to ride in the Lisbon Ole Fashioned Christmas Horse Parade (   this weekend.  Last night Bruce and I excavated my red and green victorian habit out of storage, plus I stopped by Joann Fabrics to pick up some assorted goo-gaws to put on Owen.  Now, we all know that sidesaddle is my passion, but occasionally embarrising Owen really gives me a lift.  Last Easter I put bunny ears on him and rode in an egg hunt; reindeer antlers are too cliche, but I've got some other forms of amusement to attach provided he tolerates it.

I'm bringing along a nice bottle of ace.  What else would you carry in that little offside purse?

In the mean time, I've started Owen on his new special diet (which he hates) along with a supplement and am trying to get hold of Boeringer to order the new pergolide formulation.  According to my veterinary colleagues, this new version is far more effective than the compounded versions I've used in the past.  Owen also got a new clip job, one of my least favorite equine tasks.  Over 15 years of managing a Cushinoid equine (Chummie) mandated three to four body clips per year, and every time I swear I'm going to start paying someone else to do it.  Heavy sigh...I own the clippers so I might as well use them, and I'm always pleased to find a nice fit equine underneath all that shag.

I've also finished the last of the tweaks to my newest western saddle.  I realize the leather color doesn't quite match tho' it will darken over time, but I added a cinch and latigo hanger along with a tapedero stirrup.  The stirrup is rather ugly but functional, and I do have a fear of getting my foot caught up since western saddles don't have break away bars.

I also found this nice cinch with a roller bar that lets me for the first time tighten a western saddle while mounted.  I've really grown to love this saddle and am beginning to feel quite the centaur when I ride in it.

Our mouted training has stalled a bit, and the flying changes are non-existent some days, beautiful on others.  But I've really stepped up the in hand training and started Owen on the levade a few months ago.  It's a long slow process that may take a year or more to finish but he has progressed to the school halt, in which the horse rocks back on his hocks in preparation for the air but only lifts one foot, and he has a few times come off the ground with both front feet.  I think it frightens him a little, so keeping him calm is key.  Yes, I could just snap his hocks with the stick until he leaps up but the levade should be calm and controlled so he must be relaxed to pull it off correctly, and I only school it for a few minutes to keep him from getting sour or tired.  He's getting to the point where he'll even do it in a halter.

We're still having fun together...we'll see how the weekend goes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crushing's Disease...

No, that's not a misspelling.  That's my new term for Equine Cushing's disease, since Owen has it and I'm crushed by the news.

Equine Cushings is caused by a pituitary tumor in the brain stem, and I've been consciously blocking out the subtle signs I've seen in Owen (most noticeably fat deposits in what is usually an extremely fit horse) because I didn't want to face the disease that ultimately took my beloved Chummie from me.

I forced myself last week to draw the blood and send it out, and though I had girded myself for a positive test I was nonetheless devastated by the news.  Yes, there is medication to manage the symptoms, but it is not without side effects and cannot stop the inevitable and destructive progress of the pituitary tumor.

I fear this means that Owen has peaked and I can expect no further progress with him.  It also means constant vigilance for the remainder of his life in the form of diet and turnout management...Owen is going to HATE wearing a muzzle, but on the plus side it will keep him from cribbing!

Our meeting with our attorney last week was not inspiring, either, since he said it was unlikely we would get any of our money back from the builder and that we would be throwing good money after bad should we try to pursue legal address.

We had hoped to be in our new house by now, and the deal with Bruce was that once we had the new place established I would get another horse.  But I think I need another horse now.  I have so much emotional investment in Owen, and I need to start another project lest something debilitating, such as founder, happen to him.

But what horse can possibly fill his tiny shoes?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Self Improvements

Of course, when I say self improvement I mean improvements done by myself rather than actually improving my person.  It's true I've not posted for a while but it's not for lack of sidesaddle activity.  I've been hamstrung by the limits of technology...I can't post from work thanks to the security programs put in place by the NSA and I can rarely reach the internet from home since we can't even get a paltry dsl line here in the sticks.

Little by little I've been tweaking my latest sidesaddle and I've been giving it alot of miles.

Owen ready to hit the trail.

First, I replaced that horrible plastic stirrup with this antique Nettles stirrup I found online.  It's got a nice wide tread which any endurance rider can tell you really makes for more comfort than a narrow one.  I still need to replace that cheap cut off leather, and ultimately I'd like to put a tapedero on it; it's safer than a standard western stirrup since there is no break away, tho' of course you can't show in them.  Don't know why...

I also swaped the tie straps so the half breed is on the offside where it is more accessible and doesn't form a bulge under the left flap.  I purchased a set of matching yuma berry conchos and saddle strings to give it a more uniform appearence.  I also added leather rosettes, which actually have a purpose since they act as washers under the concho screws and keep them tight.

This little saddle is fast climbing the list of my all time favorite sidesaddles.  It definitely is my favorite sidesaddle for trail riding and general hacking, and today after a long ride I did some quick schooling in it.  It rode extremely well, and we even were able to get some rough tempis in, even without having a stick on the offside.  I'm still not thrilled with the rigging, but Owen is comfortable in it and the saddle doesn't shift a bit even after several miles on the trail so I'm not rushing to change it.

Old tymey Owen...looks the part, doesn't he?

Yesterday was the Fall War for the medieval re-enactment group I hang out with.  Due to the move I wasn't able to find 99% of my gear, and in the end just threw some of Midas' old Men of Warwick gear on Owen.  With a bit of tight lacing it all worked out, and after a little warm up we headed out to the fighting which was a series of brief skirmishes in front of the castle.  Owen was the only equine present, and though we didn't actually participate he did stand at the margins quite well, even when the canon was fired.  Owen will now let me carry and throw a spear from horseback, and yesterday he even let me carry and swipe a sword around.  At one point he even did canter pirouettes in both directions with the reins in one hand and sword held up in the other. Where is a photographer when you need one?  I'll tell you where he was...sitting only a few yards away, engrossed in a conversation with our friend Bill about computers and missing the whole thing.

On the depressing side of things, our builder has gone out of business, taking our money with him.  We consulted an attorney, and tho' he is going to send a threatening letter, he told us it is highly unlikely that we will get any of our expenses back.  I think the term "blood from a stone" was bandied about.  This leaves us absolutely strapped, since we really can't afford to take the guy to court, and we don't have the money to start again with another builder.   We've been taken to the proverbial cleaners and are now homeless to boot.  I'm not sure where we'll go or what to do with Owen.  If we have to move to far from Woodwind I'll be forced to board him somewhere and I'm not sure where the extra $$$ will come from.  Bruce and I are both determined not to sell him, tho' he could provide a deposit for a builder.  No way.  All the money in the world couldn't buy the experiences I'm having with him.  (Owen, stop that!  Owen, spit that out!  Owen, leave that alone!)

Happy times.  But I may have to sell some sidesaddles and habits.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Good Morning, Sandy

We're starting to get hammered, so I thought I'd get a post up before we lose power.

Saturday we had an open house and a halloween party.  We had some re-enactor and sidesaddle people show up, along with some work colleagues.  Now, I really take Halloween seriously, and finally I'm living in a house that is crying out to made into a haunted house, so naturally I tricked it out:

I added cobwebs everywhere...this
is the front hall.

...and the stairs...

...the landing...

One of the several serving tables

my kitchen 

I put this creepy lady behind the living room door
so you didn't see her staring at you until you turned
around; note the little mouse on the chair rail.

I threw together this little skeleton
cake, which was a challenge since
my cake stuff is all in storage and I
had to make do with what was to
hand.  It's devil's food (which I found
appropriate) with butter cream cheese

We even used Owen for pony rides!  Occasionally a child grew nervous and clamped down and squeaked, which only made Owen piaffe.  If only that kid knew what he was accomplishing!

And something I didn't have to work on...this is a grave that has been on the farm property since 1894.  It contains the body of Edith Gittings, a little baby that died at the age of three months and is buried on top of a very steep hill, back in the woods and rather far from the main house.  Her's is the only grave we know of on the property.  I wonder why she wasn't buried in a church yard or consecrated ground and why she is all alone out there on the hill top.  We take the care of her grave very seriously and check on her regularly.  Interestingly, once some of the children at the party heard that there was a grave they insisted on visiting her.  It's not an easy hike, but my sister took them out bushwacking to see the site.  The children suggested they say a prayer for her, and they all knelt down and recited a blessing in french.  Children can amaze me.

The horses are all tucked into their stalls, with heavy rugs on, knee deep shavings, and a half bale of hay each in case we can't make it out to the barn before tomorrow.  Several parts of the driveway are already under water.  My sidesaddles, however, are safely inside.  Naturally, when Barb Thelan arrived at my party I had to drag her over to see my newest saddle first thing.  I've made some superficial changes to it, which I'll post at some point.  Currently I have a few more pressing things on my mind...such as 90 mph winds.  But I feel really safe here at Cold Saturday, sitting within 2 ft thick stone walls.  I rode out Hurricane Agnes back in the day here and I'm sure we'll be fine this time, tho' we are having to strategically place buckets around to catch the 10 inches of rain being dumped on us.  This house has stood firm since 1740, and curled up here on the couch with the cats I'm barely aware of the storm outside.  I know we'll lose some fencing, some of the driveway, and possibly the bridge, but everything that counts is hunkered down under cover.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Sometimes you just have to make do with whatever is in the tack room.  I have ordered a queen for my new saddle, but it hasn't arrived yet and I wanted to take it out for a hack.  Fighting the saddle for correct position certainly didn't appeal to me and there wasn't any vet wrap to hand, so in a flash of inspiration I took one of Owen's fetlock boots and fastened it around the upright horn.

Worked a treat!  Had a nice longish ride, including some good cross country trail work.

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Kingdom for a Queen...

At last, a real post with real information!

But first a little gloat...
Here is the view from my kitchen window:

But this old house is long and linear, being only one room wide, strung together like railroad cars, so it's also the view from my living room, bedroom, get the idea.  Kinda makes up for living with the ants and air leaks around the windows.

But back to sidesaddle meat and potatoes.  Since we sold the house I thought I deserved a little treat, and what better way than to add to the sidesaddle stable.  I was looking for something lightweight, easy to toss up on Owen's back, that I could use for training and trail riding, since trying to lift my other western sidesaddle is a real chore that's killing my back.  I came across this little saddle on ebay, and while I don't recommend most people buy saddles that way, I figured it was worth taking a chance on...and I didn't pay much for it.  According to the seller, this saddle was originally purchased from Hundred Oaks and has been passed around on the Arabian show circuit.  Supposedly, it has won some National championships.  There is no maker's mark, and it's origin is a puzzler.

When I first saw the photos online I thought it was rebuilt on an old tree, but once it arrived I was able to take a peak at the tree and discovered it was fiberglass.  I cannot speak to who supplied the tree, but I'm sure some of the saddle historians and experts out there know who is making trees these days.  The style of manufacture (the types of nail heads and spacing, as well as the manner of the leather cutting) is consistent with Pete's Custom Saddles, and I know they do make saddles for Hundred Oaks, but this saddle has some amateurish touches that make it a little like a 4-H project.  The leather used is first rate saddle leather, but the silver is mismatched, like they just scrambled around and put assorted bits here and there on the saddle.  Also, the stirrup isn't even leather's plastic and strung onto an english stirrup leather than has been cut down in length.

Nearside view.  It doesn't ride as down in front as this picture
looks; Owen decided to graze and it popped his back up.  But
you can see what I mean about the stirrup and leather.

In addition, who ever put this saddle together put the tie straps on backwards, with the half breed on the offside and the tie on the near side, something I always associate with people that really don't know sidesaddles.  Once the lady is mounted you can't tighten the cinch, plus the knot from the tie strap forms a bulge under the left flap that I find annoying.

The tree has what appears to be a Steele inspired bowl shape, but you can see it sits nice and level.

What gives with the height and setting of the upright pommel?

But here's the head scratcher:  If one were to go to the trouble of building a new tree (and I assume the maker made several of these, since fiberglass trees require making a mould so why make just one?) why in the world would you make such a tiny upright horn?  Yes, I've seen these tiny pommels on old saddles but if one is building for the modern equine and human figures why not make some adaptations?  Whoever made this tree did make it nice and wide and the seat width is generous, so why not increase the horn height?  Also, the horn placement is a bit low down and back, so there is too much room for the width of the thigh, a total contradiction. (why, why, why...sounds like whine, whine, whine!)  But it makes your right thigh lie at too oblique an angle and cross the spine at an inappropriate place.

The plain offside flap, with no purse or balance strap.  It does
ride level, honest, not tilted down like this photo shows.

The reason I was drawn to this saddle is because there is NO balance strap or offside purse.  Those of you who have read my old posts know my thoughts on balance straps.  I really do understand their role and I would never advocate anyone start pulling their balance girths off their saddles, but for my dressage purposes I find they do get in the way.  My logic is that with a well fitting saddle and the appropriate rider they can be left off.  Now, I would never hunt or event without one, but when I ride in my Chandler western sidesaddle, the rear cinch is left so loose as to be non functional, so I'm not really using one then, either.  And offside purses are cute and decorative, but I've never found them to be particularly functional, always being of an odd size and shallow depth, plus stuff rattles around in them when you lope.

Also, the front rigging is a 3/4 position, one which I'm not crazy about because it places the cinch too far back on Owen.  Yes, it's true that the cavalry used centerfire rigging on their Maclellans, and many cowboys in the past did too, but a lot of those old saddles were designed with narrow horses and upright shoulders in mind, and they don't work for everyone; but it's no big deal to have the rigging changed to a 7/8, which would put the cinch staps further forward.

Mind, even tho' I'm pointing out the flaws in this saddle this does not mean that I am unhappy with my purchase.  The leather quality and structure is good, and the saddle safe to ride in.  And ride in it I did.  We went out on a longish hack, up and down some very steep hills and that saddle really stayed put.  At one point I did experience a bit of roll to the left, but the cinch had worked loose and I'd never bothered to tighten it after mounting.  I was able to recenter the saddle and finished the ride.  My biggest complaint comes down to that upright horn placement, since I couldn't really stabilize my right leg and therefore my seat was somewhat compromised.  When I wedged my hand between the horn and my right leg the situation was vastly improved, proving the necessity for a nice fat queen.  The leaping head also needs bending, but of course my farrier can take care of that the next time Owen gets shod.  Overall, this saddle will work well for what I bought it for; it just needs some tweaking.

This picture shows some interesting wear pattens in the seat.  When the saddle arrived the sitrrup leather was very short, showing that some previous user really cranked her left leg up into the pommel.  At the same time, there is excessive wear on the left side of the seat, indicating that she was hanging her weight to the left and wasn't rolled up onto her right seat bone.
Sidesaddle forensics! (and the saddles don't lie.)

The cats have settled into the new house
very well...LT has such a high stress life.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New internet!

Just moved, bought a new western sidesaddle that I'm dying to profile for you all, but moved into the new house only to be informed by Verizon that they can't give us internet connection!  So much for posting!  No chance to ride, plus a new cat has joined our feline herd.  What a total mess.

Stay tuned for evaluation of my new saddle...can't tell you much about it, who made it, etc., but it will be a learning experience for us all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Still Questing

To most of you it probably seemed like I'd dropped off the face of the earth, or more likely, lost out in the wilderness firmly implanted in the mud courtesy of Owen.

Alas, I've been tied up in mundane affairs such as selling the house and moving.  I even had to pass up my beloved Side Saddle at USET this year...the first time I've missed it since its inception.  But I've not had time to so much as brush Owen, let alone ride, and spent considerable time scrubbing and painting the house to get it on the market.  We listed it in mid August, assuming that it would take a few months to sell while we iron out the kinks in the building process.  Shockingly, the house sold in 2 days to the first people to visit it, leaving us searching frantically for a place to live, not such an easy thing when you have 6 indoor cats.  Then we were broadsided by the news that our new house which was initially supposed to be ready in October won't be ready until February...just a bit of a delay of 6 months. 

But we were extremely fortunate in that the old stone tenant house at Cold Saturday was vacant, which leaves us living right next door to our farm.  And it's cool to to living back at our family place, even if we don't own it any more.  Here's a link:

While madly clearing the basement much of my tack was thrown into storage; not, however, the sidesaddles which are probably growing mold under their protective fleece covers.  My back has been quite bad lately and I was afraid riding aside might exacerbate it, but my ride in the Manorgrove left me feeling pretty spry whilst my latest ride astride left me in so much sacral pain I was unable to sleep for 2 days.  I'm really feeling the need to add to my sidesaddle collection, something lightweight and hackable.  The Manorgrove is pretty comfy and that flat seat is lovely for your posture, but it leaves something to be desired when riding down a steep hill, suede seat or no, so I'm keeping my eye out for something with more sweep to the seat (hint, hint to any of you out there with a saddle to sell).  Of course, there's pretty much no obstacle I won't tackle when out's good for Owen, even if it is an almost vertical drop down into a stream bed, me thinking the whole time "right shoulder back, right shoulder back" while trying not to get left when he leaps over the water.  He's game for such adventures...shame he's useless over fences.

And speaking of the boy, I never thought I'd say this about Owen (and Jeannie can back me up on this) but he is getting FAT.  He's always been such an equine gyroscope that putting on the pounds was never an issue, but I had to go up a girth size this month.  The rain has really brought on a last hurrah from the grass and since he lives out he stuffs himself.  But I finally cracked the passage code with him.  I tried everything from ankle rattlers to working him in shipping boots to get him to lift his front legs in the passage but he persisted in being lazy with the front end.  In desperation I held a very thin PVC pipe in front of his legs while working him in hand, and boy did that do the trick.  He lifts his legs to step over it, but since I'm carrying it along it acts like a floating cavaletti.  He knows what to do, but he is always looking for the easy way out but when he puts in the effort, well, wow!  It wears me out to keep up with him, but on the plus size I've dropped a couple of of clothing sizes in the last couple of months.

I'm hoping to squeeze one show in next week.  Dona is hosting a small dressage show, and she is allowing me to ride a 4th level test in western tack under the Western Dressage Association rules, which considerately allow sidesaddles.  We didn't even have to petition them to allow sidesaddles, they just did it on their own.

Fancy that!

In conclusion, "Questing" is also the term for the action of baby spiders to find their new homes.  Once hatched, they spin a small thread and climb to the top of a tall piece of grass or tree and allow the wind to sweep them away like eight legged paratroopers, landing and settling in wherever the breeze deposits them.  Kinda like what's going on with me and Bruce right now.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Blogging...or Not!

I know, I know...I have been slacking lately, especially compared to Michelle and Leila who continue to set the sidesaddle world on fire with their activity.  I must confess, I have not so much as touched a sidesaddle since my last demo in May with Barb except to shove one out of the way during my clearout.  We now have a date to list our current house on the market, and the builder anticipates that we will be able to move into our new place at Woodwind in October, so things are really picking up speed.  Unfortunately, that means a lot of work around the house and very little time for riding and since I had nothing sidesaddlish to report I didn't bother with any posts.  Alas, the timing means I have to sit out Camp Leaping Horn and the Sidesaddle at USET show (this is the 1st time that BHS Photography won't be there) since that is the last week prior to listing the house and we have to have the stager and photographers in.  Total bummer for me, especially since I'd worked out an entertaining freestyle with Owen.

Speaking of Owen, my riding has been limited since me injury last month, so I've been working him in the long reins.  We've made real progress and can now canter down the long side on both reins, tho' I have to stop and puff once we get to the end of the arena.  Even more amazing, we've worked out a full working canter pirouette left, the left canter halfpass, and even a flying change in the long reins!

But I must post something sidesaddle related, and during my clearout I've come across a lot of old photos, including these from the archives.  This series is of me and my arab/welsh pony, Foxy, at my first sidesaddle show.  The little guy (13.3 hh) competed in all three seats against horses and won some good ribbons, even winning one class.  As I recall, Jeannie was at that show, too, riding a mare called Sapphire...or something like that.  These were taken back in the 80's, and I apologize for the quality and the cropping; they are 11 x 14s, and my scanner bed is only 8 x 11.

Western Pleasure

Saddle Seat...that bright pink coat was
quite daring back in those days!

And finally, working hunter, and yes, they
allowed ponies to compete in the working
hunter in this show.Foxy, however, was
the only one that did.

Quite the versatile little guy, eh?  I sure do miss him, and could use another just like him.