Saturday, March 26, 2011


McKinna has developed a sad little case of scratches on her right hind fetlock/pastern. She doesn't seem to have it anywhere else, which is interesting - I'm wondering if it came up because she got a small cut in the area a couple weeks ago. Maybe that opened the door to the fungus?

It's not too bad, just pink skin that develops those crusty little scabs and some hair loss. It doesn't seem too painful. We've been washing it very well with betadine scrub every day, using a blow-dryer to get rid of all the water on her fur and skin, then smearing it with antibiotic ointment and vaseline. Last night we bought all the good stuff to mix up and put on it: an anti-fungal cream (since that's what scratches is, a fungus), antibiotic ointment (because apparently secondary bacterial infections like to piggyback on scratches), and desitin (to act as a water barrier).

Yesterday was a mega-score in terms of new apparel, thanks to Tack of the Day and eBay. (I am hopeless.) A few days ago I received my Mountain Horse Sportive High Rider II tall boots. They are zip-up dress boots and they are perfect.

I love the chunkier footbed, and have realized this is important to me in my boots. They're just a tad bit snug, which means they'll break in perfectly, and in general they fit me WAY better than my last pair. They're quite comfortable to wear already, though my right foot is apparently bigger than my left and starts to feel a bit squished after awhile. I'm planning to wear them to the Pony Club jumping lesson tomorrow, though I'll bring my paddock boots and half chaps just in case I'm dying halfway through.

The next item to arrive was: my very own pair of FITS breeches!!!

Yes, they are the dreaded monkey-butt breeches, and no, I don't care how ridiculous they look. I tried on a pair last summer and they are THE most comfortable breeches I've ever worn. It's like wearing pajamas, but with full-seat awesomeness. They've also become pretty much ubiquitous on the eventing scene, so at least I'll fit in ;)
I am also wearing these to the lesson tomorrow. So excited to FINALLY have a pair of these! I have wanted them approximately forever, but they retail for over $200 and that is way too much. But, I found a pair of the beige color in my size on eBay for $99 buy it now, and I was all over that like stripes on a zebra. Now I just need to find deals like that another time or two so I can have some schooling pairs in black and brown...

Finally, I got a package of some Patagonia tops from another eBay seller. Those I actually bought for hiking and other fun outdoor things, but they are definitely getting commandeered for lessons and clinics. They are form-fitting, warm, and sooooooooooft.

So yes. I essentially received a whole clinic's worth of riding attire yesterday, and it was awesome. I think this may do more for my riding motivation than anything else! (I kid. Mostly.) I have been having some good rides on McKinna in the outdoor, but keeping my energy up has been a bit of an issue. A bunch of things have kind of hit me in a row, from putting those 30 days on my barn owner's mare which took lots and lots of daily work, to getting sick, to hitting finals week, and finally this week the (loving and necessary but still very difficult) end of my long-term relationship.

Most times I head out to the barn, I'm just tired and don't feel like riding. Sometimes I make myself do it anyway, and I usually go on to have a good ride and be glad that I did. But that doesn't make it much easier to motivate myself the next time. When I think about all the stuff I have planned out for my competition season - the goals, the unrecognized HTs, the smaller shows, the recognized HTs, my C3 rating - I just don't get that excited, must-plan-things-now feeling.

It's not all bad. A big part of my horse-related reluctance is how much fun I've been having working in my advisor's lab on campus this term. I've been getting very excited about the science we're doing, I'm working on my very horse-related thesis project (which is going to be AWESOME), I've just started on another project that will hopefully wind up with me presenting a poster at a scientific conference next's been a lot of fun and it's all happened very fast. Exciting, yes - but it's hard for me to maintain super high levels of motivation for more than one major thing at a time!

On the other hand, the new term starts on Monday, so I'll get a little reprieve from academic overwhelm (hopefully I can stay more on top of the studying this term). And I did just get all that fun new gear, which will help drag me out the door and onto the horse. My plans for the summer are flexible. Nobody says I have to move up to Training! My #1 priority is that I never ask McKinna to do anything for which she is physically or mentally unprepared. My #2 priority is to have fun. So I am free to shift my plans around as much as I want to accommodate what I'm feeling, as long as I never try to do something we're not conditioned for. Just deciding this has taken a weight off my shoulders...I think I built up all these expectations for the season and I was pre-emptively worried about it.

We'll get back in the swing of things. Leslie is back in town soon, so I can start taking dressage lessons again. And I've got a few things coming up, like the SJ Rally in two weeks and then an Upper Level Prep with Jen Verharen. Those should be fun.

Plus, the weather will eventually get nicer, and that always helps.

Thank goodness I have a horse who doesn't need to be worked 6 days a week for an hour. Though unfortunately she DOES need to be bathed in order to look presentable in public, which means today is bath day. Sigh.
It's worth it, I suppose. She is pretty much perfect in every other way, after all.


Kate said...

hey, atleast you have an outdoor to ride in. Mine's covered in over a foot of snow... and it doesn't appear to be melting :(
I've been dying to get a pair of those breeches. Sooo comfy! Oh, and have fun breaking in the boots ;)

Val said...

Hey, I've been thinking about getting a pair of those mountain horse boots. I have the Rimfrost and love them. I agree about the footbed. Did the size run true?

Anonymous said...

Those boots look sweet. And $99 for a pair of FITS?! Off to eBay I go!!!!!

I hope McKinna's scratches heal up quick! Those are such a pain. They are SO hard to get completely cleared up.

manymisadventures said...

Bummer, Kate! Fingers crossed for your snow to melt soon!

I have found that mountain horse consistently runs a little large. I usually wear a 6.5 and ordered these boots in 6 rather than 7, since TOTD didn't have half sizes. I imagine if you already have a pair of another kind, the same size would work.

Stacey- just save a search for FITS breeches and have it email you any newly listed ones. Deals on used ones don't come up super often, but it's so worth it when they do! I rode in them today and they are wonderful!

Barbara said...

Excellent shopping! I love the Fits breeches and plan to get a pair somehow by summer. I have had the Mountain Horse winter boots and loved them, I will have to take a look at the regular tall boots.

tangerine said...

I swear it must be a common theme among horse people to shop for riding needs to make them want to ride more. I just bought a pair of Ariat pull on tall boots (the way older model, but ariats still!) for ... Dun dun DUN! $75!! I promised myself that if I bought them I would show more this season, so there it is, my motivation to get out and ride more.

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one :D

I second the envy of you being able to ride your horse. Not fair. Mine's in a puddle that washed away my arena :(

Good luck with the scratches!

Checkmark115 said...

OMFG how did you find FITS for less then $150 on Ebay?? I looked not even 3 days ago and that was the cheapest pair! I am totally drooling over your boots too, like seriously you just got 2 of the things I wanted most! lol. I just put darts into my boots so I wouldnt have to buy new ones, I am that poor. Lucky you :)

Dom said...

Scratches is such a pain in the ass.

FITS breaches make me sad. I got a pair last summer. They lasted me for one ride and ripped. Grrr.

summersmom said...

Try shaving the area where she has scratches. It helps the skin breathe a bit better and makes applying the ointments a lot easier. Congrats on all the new gear!! Oooooh! I got to ride in Rebecca's Ansur saddle. Fit me really well and I'm thinking I need to ride in it for a lesson or two. Sound fun?

Anonymous said...

I think the Sportives run large, too. They are so comfortable and mine needed no break in time. Your post reminded me to buy another pair before they go away.

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