Sunday, September 28, 2014

Confessions Of The Worst Dressage Queen Ever



I view bridles as straps of leather on which to hang a bit. I'm not impressed by the latest noseband technology or ear cutouts. And I have zero interest in sparkly bling-bling brow bands.

I never clip my horses. Ever. I don't even clip their fetlocks and whiskers for shows. I have never been marked down in a dressage test for having an unclipped horse. I figure if you've gotten close enough to the judge for her to see your horse's whiskers, you've gone off course. 

I ride in jeans. A lot. It doesn't make me ride any worse, nor does it mark up my saddle. It's a lot easier to get things done around here without a wardrobe change for every activity. 

My horses live outside 24/7. I don't blanket them unless it's below 35 and actively raining or snowing. Horses come from the factory with their very own built-in blanket and, judging from the way they destroy and find ways to wiggle out of the blankets I buy them, I get the impression they're not too keen on the after-market additions. 

I rarely bathe my horses, although I will hose them off if it's hot. I haven't used soap to bathe any of them at all since sometime last year, probably the last time Spider went to a show. They all have beautiful, shiny dappled coats despite my "neglect". 

I don't pull manes, ever. You can't tell me it doesn't hurt the horses. I've been waxed, it hurts! And just because your horse doesn't react, doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.... I don't deck the lady that waxes me, but that doesn't mean I'm having fun. I cut their manes instead. You can't tell if it's pulled or cut once it's braided, anyway.  

I know I'm not alone, here.... Share with the class: What are your Bad Dressage Queen/Hunter Princess/Eventer Confessions?

I'd make it a Blog Hop, but I'm still posting from my phone like a caveman with a phone but no internet. 








26 comments:

  1. My mare gets pretty long in the whiskers before she gets clipped. Usually because it bugs trainer more than I. I just find them ticklish when getting harassed for cookies. She gets rinsed plenty, but soaped mostly in spot baths, she can stink for such a clean freak of a horse in her stall/ paddock.

    She doesn't get blanketed often, because I can't drive 20-40 min twice a day to play the on/off game. She may get a light clip and light blanket combo this year, but we will see. I agree they are built with pretty nice stock blankets from nature.

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    1. I hate the on/off blanket game! Especially since mine love to roll in the mud or snow as soon as the blankets come off, so then I have to clean them up before the blankets go back on. I don't even have to drive, they live with me, but I won't play the blanket game!

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  2. I am with you on many of these. Only bathe for shows. My hunter roots do force me to clip for shows. Mine live outside 24/7 and are only put in stalls for cold and rainy weather. I only blanket steady under 30 degrees because he loves to loose weight. Other two have plenty of insulation. I pull mane once a year under sedation for teeth floating and trim with scissors the rest of the year. I don't do bling. I don't match pads and polos and outfits.

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    1. I forgot another of my Bad DQ habits: I don't even own any polo wraps!

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  3. We rarely blanket our horses. If they are old and having trouble maintaining weight, I will blanket. Otherwise, they are in a pasture 24/7. They have trees for shade and shelter, as well run-in sheds. If a storm is particularly nasty, or the pasture gets ridiculously sloppy, we bring them into the barn. No clipping -- I used to do a trace clip if when I was riding five days a week because it took too long to cool them out otherwise. I don't train like that anymore. I love not clipping. No trimming of whiskers or pulling of manes. EVER. I cut the mane if they are showing. Otherwise, they grow long. I don't keep the tails banged either -- just before a show, maybe. But only if its a big show. Usually not. I trail ride in jeans but am more comfortable in breeches for dressage... so they are pretty sad looking; I do barn chores in them as well.

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    1. You guys have the best weather out there! My grandfather lives outside of Cool and he always calls me up when we're having Nor'easters to tease me about living in NJ.

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  4. Well....I love bling. But my horses live out 24/7, I let their feet tell me when they need done not the calendar, and in a world dominated by black/navy/white I love all the colors!

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    1. I love all the colors, too! I'm thinking of taking up Western Dressage so I can wear colorful outfits instead of looking like a penguin!

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  5. Haha I love grooming my horse but I do slack on a few things. Like mane training - Fiction's mane is all over the place and I just don't care. You don't know it when it is braided and no one cares what a mane looks like on XC. Also I'm impressed you can ride in jeans! I find them to be very uncomfortable for riding.

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    1. Braids mask everything. I use the hair gel from the "ethnic" hair care aisle to slick down the horses' braids and hold them in... It's made for braiding and it works better than any of the horse products on the market!

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  6. I think you might be my soulmate! :P

    I'm a jean-riding non-mane puller as well. I recently read a study that proves mane-pulling is painful, I commit a horrible sin of cutting my horses mane's with scissors but apparently there is something new called a humane mane puller (apparently it's just a mini razor device).

    I don't hate bling but it's not the first place I'd spend my money.

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    1. I have one of those razors! I also use thinning shears as needed, but now I've started using the thick cobra braids that are currently popular in dressage, and I don't really need to thin their manes.

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  7. This is a great idea! I do so many of the same things :)

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  8. The only one we differ on is my silly saddle did get marked up from my jeans...so leggings or yoga pants it is!

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    1. I wear the $20 skinny jeans from Target, they're mostly spandex, anyway. I always hated full-seat breeches, I call them "butt prisons". These cheeks gotta fly free! Most of my saddles are old-school hard leather, none of that buffalo or calf skin, they can take a seam!

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    2. OMG - "butt prisons" You are hilarious!

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  9. Word to this post! I hate that mane pulling continues to happen even though it's not necessary! So it's traditional to yank your horse's hair out? SMH - Weird! I bought one of those razor combs - works great and doesn't hurt my boy.

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    1. Love the razor comb! Sometimes I use it on my own hair to trim my split ends.....

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  10. I don't show, which helps. No mane pulling, ever, no clipping bridle paths, ears, whiskers or feather (not that any of my horses get much). Odd tack - western bridles with dressage saddle (Dawn). Western tack for the other two. Each horse has their own saddle (everyone needed a different saddle for fit), headstall and other stuff. Red's bridle (brown) doesn't match his saddle (black) - the black headstall I bought for him only fits Dawn, but at least it matches her black saddle. No polos or other leg gear ever. Dawn has several black dressage pads - looks nice on a bay - and Red and Pie each have their own single wool Cashell pads. That's it, that's all. And I ride in riding tights - jeans have never worked for me - without full or half chaps - I never get rubs - and Ariat terrain lacers. Nothing fancy but it all gets the job done.

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    1. Fancy never gets the job done in my experience, functional is much better!

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  11. Love this! My dressage saddle is currently covered with a mondo sheepskin cover for the trails, with Wintec Webbers and caged stirrups attached. I think that says how far I've strayed from the Dressage Queen stereotype! Lily has a hogged mane, Gracie's grows as long as it will go. Fetlocks get clipped in the winter but only because it gets so muddy here; that long hair has already led to scratches which are a bitch to treat when it's cold! Mine live outside 24/7 and thus whiskers don't get clipped. I do trim bridle paths but only because it is so much easier to get bridles on without hair getting tangled up in them. I have never pulled manes; when I've done the short h/j/dressage mane, I used a sharp blade. Lily gets a trace clip in the winter if she's in heavy work; blankets if it's 30's or colder + wet. I have one blingy browband that I got for free and a "proper" leather dressage bridle from which I removed the noseband entirely when I read about how noseband a are used in upper level dressage circles. :( Currently the bridles in use are brightly colored biothane: SO much easier to keep clean! I love my tights for riding for hours in hot weather, but will ride on jeans when it's 40-60 degrees out. I've never had an issue with rubs or chafing. And I love my Target skinny jeans for riding too! :D

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    1. *ride IN jeans, not "on" them!
      Bah autocorrect!

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    2. I use Wintec webbers, too! I love the webbers, they're so much easier to adjust and they lay really nicely under my leg. I was going to upgrade to the Bates leather webbers last year, but then I looked at the price and decided my Wintecs were just fine!

      As far as the nosebands go, you don't have to use them the way the "popular kids" do. My bridles all have crank nosebands because that's what most dressage bridles come with. I have never "cranked" them, I can fit my whole hand into the noseband after it's buckled. I might as well take the whole thing off, but that's not legal in dressage competition, so I just leave it so loose that it's just hanging around being useless.

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    3. Oh totally agree! Since I wasn't competing I just removed the noseband: one less strap to buckle! Haha It was my own little personal rebellion. ;) If I were to compete again, it would have to go back on, but I'd adjust it loosely too. Like I do with my halter-bridles now. Have really enjoyed reading everyone's answers to this semi-blog hop here and on other blogs!

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  12. I'm with you. We don't clip or blanket anymore. And I'm all about letting them be horses and staying out as much as possible. I love my jeans, I get them from Old Navy, they're called Rock Star. Love them, they fit snug but are stretchy enough for riding. And the best thing is you can actually pull them down without unzipping. How's that for convenience or should I say laziness...

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