Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things to Think About

I'm taking the plunge and buying something for myself today. I go through breeches at an incredible pace. I always have. I have a friend who patches them up for me, but even that's getting expensive. I asked Cathy about the durability of the more expensive breeches, and she gave me a great little cheat secret: jeans. I know this sounds obvious, but I almost never wear jeans to the barn, except my nasty old pair that I muck in. I don't like how they feel in the saddle and they don't really bend well. She said that Fred Meyers carries a type that is pretty elastic and pretty cheap, and they last her quite a while. So, much as I hate shopping, off to Freddy's I go when I'm done at work.

Do you remember the bit experiment? (Sorry Shannon, I know it's not scientific at all.) I put Izzy in a loose ring KK to see if she liked it. Well, Sunday it was precipitating a lot, so we used my old bridle and the eggbutt french link. Guess what? She hated it. She has become a loose ring kinda girl. Oh well. Thankfully, Cathy still doesn't need the bit we're using, so I'm ok for now.

Our ride today was pretty darn good. The canter transitions are coming along. I feel like the more I clarify my aids and understand what I want, the easier it is to respond. We also did a lot of lengthen/shorten work in the trot. Have I mentioned that her lengthen is amazing? It's like flying. Ahhh... So good. We did a little bit of leg yielding. I like to keep her listening though, so we rarely just go down center line and leg yield to the rail. I prefer to start at the rail, leg yield to the middle, and then leg yield back to the rail. That way, Izzy is responding to my aids rather than just falling over.

So, do you think jeans and half chaps will look cool, since denim breeches are ridiculously expensive, or tacky, because they aren't real breeches?


  1. I ride in jeans and half chaps frequently, usually when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to change into "proper" riding attire. I think it gives me a slightly mysterious "I'm too cool to care" vibe. *LOL*

    Hey, science is all about trial and error and experimenting. At heart, scientists are just people who like to say "Lets see what happens when we do this!" instead of following the established dogma. You can get into all kinds of discussions about the anatomy of a horse's mouth and bit shapes, but in the end it comes down to how a horse feels in a bit. I've acquired a vast collection of bits over the years from the process of trial and error!

  2. I ride in jeans (straight leg and narrow leg) and half chaps about 90% of the time. Way more durable and easy to wash. Just make sure that you don't get the type that has all 4 pieces meeting in the middle in the crotch area. Stretch jeans are the most comfortable. :-)

  3. Jeans are fine...if the leg seam does not rub your leg around the knee. Another option might be full chaps, if you are worried about "looking cool." I stopped worrying about that years ago and ride in whatever is comfortable. I have riding tights/pull on breeches for most of the time, and I usually buy them on sale.

    I just got a myler bit from eBay. It the weather every moderates, I'll be trying it out on Tucker. It will be interesting to see if he likes it. Finding the right bit for each horse is a matter of trial and error....more error, I fear.

  4. I used to always ride in jeans because I felt a bit self-conscious in breeches. But a few months ago, I started riding in my TS breeches and realized how much better it feels -- less slippery, for sure! I ordered a pair of full-seat breeches, which I'm hoping will feel a bit like riding in full chaps (which is what I always wore "back in the day").


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