Tuesday, 14 June 2016

'Scuse me, I need some technical support

When I'm not riding, I'm usually on a computer.  It makes sense considering I provide tech support in my 'real life'.  You know what a couple decades of technical support has taught me about horses?

Life is SO much easier if the problem is me. I can fix me, or at least improve.

I can change my approach, learn something new, RTFM (read the 'fine' manual aka a book) take a lesson/clinic, go to the gym, even change disciplines.  There's soooo many options.

But an inherent bug? It takes a ton longer to deal with. If it can be fixed at all.

In software, someone other than you (usually) has to go find the problem, work it out, test and hope they haven't triggered any unintended consequences in the process. Sometimes, the problem is an inherent limit that can't be fixed without going back to scratch.  Sometimes, the fixing the problem exceeds the physical limits of the machine and there's nothing to do but work around the problem.

And horses are really no different in that respect.

So when a problem crops up with my horse, and the problem is me?  Its a very good day indeed because there's always hope.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Countdown and Cross Country Vests

Its almost here! Its almost here!  The first horse trial of the year!  Not that I'm excited or anything, but OH MY GOD its like Christmas in June.

Ready everyone?

Tack has been cleaned and boots polished. Laundry is ... ongoing.  Sweet merciful god, the laundry, its unreal how much gear is required for one person and one horse to go off property for 2 days. Then again it doesn't help that I tend to bring back up items in case of bad luck or weather.

Lets total it up shall we?

  • Horse: saddle, bridle, reins (2 sets), breastplate w/ martingale, neck strap (2), saddlepad (2), halfpad, xc boots (4), bell boots (2), stadium boots (2), cooler, rain sheet, fly bonnet
  • Rider: helmet, breeches (3), show shirt (2), show coat (2), gloves (white and black), dressage whip (2), jumper bat, Sun shirt (2-3), riding boots, spurs, overshoes, rain boots, sneakers, boot socks (3 pr) ... 

On second thought, we need to not do that.  I might start adding it all up $-wise and have a stroke. 

One of the things I had to dig out of a box after a long winter was my XC crash vest. This means I've been sitting around wearing the bloody thing to re-mold it to my shape somewhat. So I've been reminded of a basic tenent of XC vest manufacturers

XC riders do not come with large breasts installed

Contrary to this belief. guess what I have? This makes my XC prep entertaining and a bit R-rated.
  1. Wiggle into vest, squeeze elbows firmly to sides and try to reach zipper with fingertips
  2. Reach into vest, grab sports bra strap and haul tits up into position, repeat on the other side
  3. Tug vest down, check that tits are still firmly squashed under chin
  4. Attempt to climb on horse while unable to lower chin to see where foot should be aimed for stirrup
  5. Hum 'Ride of the Valkyries' loudly as you rampage around the course.
  6. Mutter 'Remember the vest adds 20lbs' when you look at photos.

Seriously, who needs an air vest when I have these? 

Trying to take it off is even worse