Verbindend Bit Tip!

neue sheule bit love

A  shout out to this golden wonder.

My mare really likes the Salox material in this bit.  She needs a very slim bit for her tiny, tiny jaw space.  At 12mm and in this design, she seemed happier than in any other snaffle we’ve tried.  Of course it comes in thicker versions too.

salox material in bits

Soft, very lightweight double jointed loose ring snaffle with less tongue pressure than most.

Dressage On A Dime Tip:  Get it on Ebay! 🙂   Ordered from the UK, arrived impeccable, and a day early!  At a steal.

#loveNSbits
12 mm, 5 1/4′, Bridoon sized rings.

A little Verbindend love.

neue sheule bit love

Tack Room Tip

ikea planter for tack room use

Quick tip for a quick and easy tack room organizer!

I’m a sucker for a very neat and well supplied tack room.  I know many of you are tucked into dark, musty little corners without much opportunity to actually hang something on the walls.

Read on for a look at something new.

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Today, a plug for IKEA cleverness.

Already so yesterday’s news – the IKEA potties for cavaletti.  But in case you’ve missed this brilliant idea for lightweight, sturdy, super easy to handle, and low-priced little holders – here we go again:

ikea potties for jump poles

Picture from Gift Horse Eventing  

She gets extra credit for color coordinating with her poles, instead of the original, lime green, color!

Here’s my Dressage On A Dime tip of the day!

Meet the all new Veberöd.

This is the tip you don’t want to miss! Only need to watch 19 seconds of this to get the idea.  Music “off” to come out of the experience still feeling normal.

Super easy to fit in any tack room where you can’t install anything permanent.  And it’s on wheels so could even serve as a mobile grooming station.  And there’s seating!

Endless possibilities, on a dime.

ikea planter for tack room use

Or how about this, Bittergurka, super easy to hang planter?  But for the tack room!  Also in gray or pink.

Thinking tack cleaning sponges, or gloves, or braiding supplies…

Or a safe place for cookies donated to your trainer so the dogs won’t eat them.  Yes.  This happens.

 

More Sneaky Trainer Types To Avoid At All Cost

dressage training level test 3

Yesterday’s post was so insulting.

As promised, here are the next 3 riding instructor types to watch out for.

1     The Non-Stop Criticizer

With this instructor, constant negative comments is the the norm during lessons.  It’s all suck it up buttercup or get off, in a George-Morris-Hopped-Up-On-Meth way.

No, that’s not it, don’t do that, stop, what are you doing, NO not like that, I see nothing, you’re not even trying, hands look awful, you’re not getting it, that’s never going to work, you can never ride with legs like that, too tight, that’s awful, I don’t think you’re getting anywhere.

Go girl!  It’s never felt so good.  To get off.

Growth comes from failure.  Reluctance to try, fail, and try again will never result in mastering any new skill – any area of life.  Somehow though, especially in the dressage ring (?), there’s been an older tradition of heavy critique.

Look I’ve run endless 400 meter repeats in the dark and wind on the track, winter nights.  Only two people would show up.  And a coach with a watch.  The dedicated ones.  I’d run them at  the very best effort, and do it well, for nothing else than a – “Good job” at the end.  I’ve had very good coaches, one an Olympian, and been able to run results that maybe this body wasn’t made for.  Still it did.

Think it would have worked as good if the coach would have screamed -“You’re never going to make it in under 70” when approaching the back curve?  Or, -“If you can’t stick 7.10 minute/mile pace for the whole 12 miles you might as well quit!  Or, -“Keep toeing out like that and you’ll cap out at 5.55 pace in the 5K and that’s it!”

In riding, there is a huge stifling of physical capability when a rider is told what not to do.  The Non-Stop Criticizer is best left for toughening up coddled millennials, not the best ticket for learning.

dressage training level test 3

2     The Monologuist

This one is simply exhausting.  Lessons contain long monologues about the instructor’s own riding, or horses, or accomplishments.  Current and past competition or training challenges.  Yes, some snippets of really good information!  A sprinkle of anecdotes from other riders and horses.

Chummy and chatty, sure.  Easy to get stuck in this, because hey, it’s way more comfortable than sitting the trot after another unbalanced canter transition.  But aren’t most of us too horse-poor to pay for this?

Best suited for “fill up” while getting the wedgie out of the breeches.  Or, OK I admit it, catching my breath.

large dressage braids elinor yee

3     The Horse Wrangler

No avoiding it – this one will be around.  Forever.  It’s a classic.  The Horse Wrangler gives repeated pitches to sell your current incompetent scumbag of a horse and buy something else, preferably from their barn.

To be honest, if the right horse was there I would really want the trainer to bring up the connection,  to help make better riding possible.  Because better riding is.  Better.  (Please make this happen, now.)

If it was within budget…  Which it usually never is.  Instead it’s a waste of time.  And riders training for The Horse Wrangler will always feel inferior.

Eventually they’ll think of leaving their discipline.  Pick up trail riding.  In a treeless.  Mission accomplished?  I haven’t figured this one out yet.  Maybe it was the goal for The Horse Wrangler from the start…?

I’ll be over here doing equine agility with my Wiener dog horse.  For some time at least.  Beats not riding, it’s still fun!  Join in at any time, there’s more room!

 

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Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

6 Trainer Types To Stay Away From

bad horse trainers

There are many types of trainers out there.

I’ve been lucky to train for some really good instructors, but maybe you have met any of these sneakier types below?  Being able to identify them quickly solves half the trouble!

These are found in all disciplines, but somehow most often in dressage.  And yes, dressage riders still take lessons after 20 years of riding, don’t let anyone say something else.  Spend the time wisely.

Let’s get at it and meet the first 3 types!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

1     The Neigh Sayer

This Trainer Professor will often ask questions during the lesson, only every answer you’ve got will always be wrong.  This instructor already has a planned, single specific answer.  No matter what you have to add, it’s going to be shot down.  Your answer is always wrong.

A style that can fit many riders – just be aware that in the end, students taught this way will become more and more reluctant to answer at all.  Your own response to your riding journey is, stifled.

If dressage is an art, then art needs creativity…  Or at least an implied creativity.  The Neigh Sayer will not feed into this.

close up of horse legs cantering

2    The Theoretical Sermon Holder

At first glance, similar to The Neigh Sayer:  Questions are asked during lessons.  Only here, there will be intricate questions you simply don’t have an answer to and this trainer won’t take -“I don’t know” for an answer.

Maybe it’s a tricky question, or the subject is simply above your riding level, or you are too focused in the current task assigned with your horse (Who is about to brace and evade any second now, you can feel it and better figure out what to do!).

The Theoretical Sermon Holder does not teach “in the moment” – instead asking some version of this question over and over.  Preferably at a halt.  At the end of the lesson there is, you guessed it, a lecture.

This riding session ends up more of a tirade, a theoretical oration, leaving the rider with that – “I’ll just never figure this out” feel.  Riding is shrouded in mystery, you consider saddling off for a couple of months to read up on more theory, or maybe switching disciplines.

Riding is physical, a sport with two athletes, in continuous motion.  Want to talk about doing it?  Want to talk about how to do it?  Or want to try to do it while actually trying to do it?  Just curious.

best detangler for grey horse tail

3     The Monarch

Under Monarch’s reign, your requests around your own barn/your own horse/your other animals/your own equipment are ignored.  You’re in Dressage Queen/King Domain, and no matter what you petition, The Monarch will waive the dressage whip scepter and denounce your appeal.

If this is a relationship you want; a version of dictatorship of each minute detail on how your horse is handled, by all means continue on.  It’s a very easy route, just do the right thing – just make sure it’s never your own thing.

But, riders not enjoying hobbled dependency – be aware of this subtle red flag!  Soon, there will be no tack purchases without consulting the majesty, you will stifle any resourcefulness in handling your horse, and, most importantly, you will forever be second guessing your training technique.

cantering legs

Met any of these?

Coming up early tomorrow morning – the next 3 types!

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Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Horse Blog Do’s & Don’ts Part 2

leading horse to barn

Here’s the next 10 blogging tips for a reader friendly blog!

Yesterday’s Part 1 was a huge hit!  As promised, today we’re doing tips #11 through 20.

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Before we get in to it – remember to have fun with your blog!  There’s really no true rules.  As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say at the end!  Share your own tips and pet peeves!

 

11.     Consider the content in any picture before posting.

Readers will have a hard time seeing a quick image as something fleeting or temporary, or as something unusual.

If you choose to post pictures of your horse, let’s say lathered and with a rope halter rubbing off its outside eye on the lunge line, then yes, viewers will see this as a true representation of how your horses are normally handled.

Even if it was just one time.  For 5 minutes.

Just that it was published on your blog draws a parallel, and sets a precedence.

Getting off track here…  As you can tell below, I check every picture before posting to make sure everything is correct and in place…

candid picture gone wrong

     12.    Ignore the statistics for now.

Hits of 2000 per month is insignificant, and won’t pull in any money.  Just write anyway, have fun with it, and think of the reasons the blog started in the first place!

A way to document?  An adventure?  A chance to create a network of like-minded that could never happen in real life…  Because we’re always too busy waiting for the farrier.  Or run out of time cleaning tack, or fixing the broken hay net, again.

 

     13.    Spell check.

‘Nuff said.  No grammar police, but a spell check is nice.  I butcher sentences in my own special way and reverse the words to where the syntax is broken.  More or less on purpose perhaps.

But a spell check is easy, and readers really do like it.

The easy part is pushing the square with ABC and a check mark, every time.  Yes?

Benefits of hand Walking Young horses on trails

     14.     Imaging is king.  (That’s not even a sentence, I’m lost.)

See 11 above – pictures mean a lot.  Include a photo in every post.

We know content is king, but the eye is a cheat and an easy sell and will stay longer on a page with a picture.

Posts with no images get very little views.  It’s simply how it works.  You can read all sorts of marketing studies on this.  Or just go with it – and break up those chunks of text.

Honorable mention:

Aim to use only your own images for at least 90% of all pictures on the blog.  It makes a difference – the material should always feel as if it comes from you.

Hand walking green horse on trail

     15.    Page Backgrounds.  Just.  Don’t.  Do it.

It should be illegal for themes with purple and pink paisley to even exist as an option.

No one does this any more.  Right?!

 

     16.     Once-weekly posting may be enough.

Supposedly webcrawlers look for fresh content and it will help in search ratings if the website has been updated.  If your site has new content, it will pop up higher/earlier in search engines.  That’s all.

Excessive posting doesn’t really do anything.  This blog is published more often, just because I like it…  More posts doesn’t always equal more reader-worthy posts.

Cantering green horse

     17.     Answer comments on the blog.  At some point.

I’m always incredibly grateful for reader comments.  It’s fun, I love to interact, hear what others are doing and find out what they think about the post!

But there’s not law that says a writer has to be a slave to commenting right away.  Many of us have an incredible long list of things that has to happen every day.  (We’re horse people!)  Taking time to write is huge.

Every one will understand if comments are unanswered for a couple of days.  The less stress around anything with your writing, the more fun!

 

     18.     Quit it with the pop ups.

Unless it’s a cheesy self-help site.  Or a scam.  Or a virus.  It feels a bit like click-bait…

Most of us are snake-fast with the “Back” button!

     19.     Focus on “Ease Of Use” for your readers.

The blog should be easy to read, access, and navigate!  There are blogs where readers have to “click for more” to be able to read the entire post.  Really?  Come on!  Many won’t click…

Don’t sacrifice ease of use just to get more page clicks and increased statistics on a page that doesn’t bring in any money in the first place.  More “views” don’t make a difference in the larger scheme of things.

Readers will stay longer instead if the full post can be read upfront, and why not allow several, earlier, posts below it?

Maybe infinite scrolling of 5-10 posts?  Sure, statistics will show more views if readers are forced to “click-through” to see each individual post.

But why??!  I’d love to hear your feedback on this.  Hit me!

cantering green horse and half halt

     20.    Reviews, and how they may, or may not generate more followers.

Write reviews because they’re fun and because you enjoy writing them.  My posts with the largest statistics and the longest shelf life are all reviews.  (Aside from a post with a tag Mount A Horse which keeps getting high hits, Germany every time.  So wrong.)

The same goes for some shared posts and certain content found through Online Searches – they generate hits, but not necessarily new Followers.

Many come for the content, read, and move on.  A view from Pinterest means just that – a view.

Just what everyone does when getting information, right?  We don’t always take time to click-through past the article to find out who wrote it, what else is going on this site, and decide to Follow, Share, Like, Pin, or Forward it.

This doesn’t really change anything in the actual writing of the blog.  Just more something to keep in mind – a blog can sit with lower followers and still have a huge reach.

"Elinor Yee"

Enjoyed the tips?  Chime in! 

Help your friends out and share your thoughts.  Of course I’m all ears for your ideas to help make this blog easier to read.

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Best Deal On A Mattes Half Pad

find the best deal on mattes half pad

And not just any Mattes – a custom Mattes correction half pad.

Original version, not the thinner “Gold” sort of rip off version…

Sure, anyone can order it with express shipping from any of the big box tack stores and pay full price.  Boring and predictable, when you can live on the edge and order it from overseas.

best price on custom mattes half pad

Find your little Sheepskin Plush Happiness at Mon-cheval.com

custom pads here:

http://custom.mon-cheval.com/marque-mattes-custom-made-lambskin-saddlepads-mon-cheval-saddlery-1.htm:

Not affiliated.  Just happy customer.  Risking it.  So now you don’t have to.

Well, actually not all that risky, I’m not the first one doing it.

find the best deal on mattes half pad

Ignore the scary English grammar errors on their French/English website.  Prepare to wait for your order.

Mine went in November 1st, and was hand delivered through our post office, signature required, on December 13th.  Yes, worth it!

platinum version of mattes half pad
All di rite plush!

157.45 € (Euro) total, which includes the shipping price.  That’s around $164, depending on the day.

Mine has no back sheepskin roll – I like this simpler look.  As you can tell I’ve gone absolutely brilliantly wild and Technicolor with the colors too…  If you go for a non-shimmable version, a pad with full rolls go in for a similar price.

Nitty gritty on this one:  Sheepskin, Dove Gray.  Pad body, Gray.  Piping, Silver.  Velcro straps and spine, Black

Absolutely NO extra frilly triple layer cords or double bindings.

Have fun!

the cheapest way to order custom mattes half pad
Merry Little Early Christmas!

Thick Dressage Braids – Swedish Style

how to make dutch dressage braids

Here’s a great tutorial on how to make the fluffier Dutch/German/Swedish/European or whatever name you’ve been forced to call them.

Got such nice comments at shows (Not really on the ones where I was able to get pictures, figures.) on these braids during the summer.  Today – sharing a video tutorial on how to make them.  It’s in Swedish, but very self-explanatory.

how to make dutch dressage braids

Video by Elenore Simberg.  Just like me;  a blond, blue-eyed, Swedish dressage rider from the West Coast, with an awesome name.  All similarities end there – she’s an elite rider, trainer, competitor, educator, and, well, you get the picture.  In September, right before competing at Swedish Breeder’s she won in the National 5-Year Old futurity.  At 91%…

It’s too bad my chance of International Working Student has expired 🙂

Here’s the video!  Starts after a 30 sec. intro.

The change I’ve made on my own (from another top groom’s video) is to fasten the thread at the braid’s bottom (simply back-sewing it in-out 3 times), by the rubber band.

Time consuming, but helps since my mare shakes her head violently countless times before even making it into the showring, and this can help.

Pro’s with making this type of braid:

  • Less total braids to make.  Usually you’ll never make 9 of these.
  • Less chance of losing mane – braids are loose at top and hairs won’t pull out as easily.
  • Comfortable for the horse – no stretchy, tighty-tight feeling along the neck.
  • Still look OK if they “loosen up” some.
  • Easy (easier) to take out – because stabbing around with scissors around your horse’s neck at the end of a long day should always be made easier.
  • Great for young horses with thin necks.  The crestier the neck, the better I think it looks with a smaller, tighter braid.

Just because I really wanted to go home – Come along for a simple wintry ride with Elenore in Skåne, Sweden here: