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The Great Jumper Braid Debate

The Great Jumper Braid Debate

Okay, so this debate might not be all that “great”.  With WEF starting and me not going this year, I spent some time looking through my photos from WEF years past.  That’s when I realized that jumper braids seem to fall into two categories these days. We have the traditional button braids. And what I officially the “sticky uppy” braids. Both are almost always tight and neatly done, but I just can’t get behind the sticky uppy braids.  To me, there is…

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TOABH: Wish We Could

TOABH: Wish We Could

My mood has been foul this week for no particular reason.  I could dwell on that, or I could distract myself with an equestrian fantasy in The Owl’s Approve‘s blog hop this week.  I choose option two. Let’s pretend that financial restrictions don’t exist and logistics isn’t a nightmare.  If you could do anything with your Ponykins, what would you do? If I could do anything with Simon, it would be show at WEF for the entire twelve week circuit….

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WEF – Junior Jumper Hardware

WEF – Junior Jumper Hardware

When I go to WEF, I feel like I’m at a horse show aquarium.  So I watch a lot and take a lot of pictures and learn by observation. One of the things I like to do is pick a class and see what kind of bits/hardware/tack people are using.  For this trip, I chose a Low Junior Jumper classic.  It was interesting, because overall I’d say that the horses at this level were super athletic, fast and scopey… but…

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WEF – Jumper Jacket Fashion

WEF – Jumper Jacket Fashion

As a hunter girl, I have few coat options.  I know if I want to be fashionable I show up with a navy coat and a white shirt.  Feeling old school?  Wear chocolate or charcoal.  Daring and trendy?  Hunter green. I don’t know much about the amazing coat fashion coming out of Europe.  I don’t get to play with those coats, but my jumper friends do.  What do I know about jumper coats?  They are pretty, and I take pictures…

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WEF – Boots in the Equitation Ring

WEF – Boots in the Equitation Ring

If you’re like me, you grew up thinking there was one kind of boot that belonged in the equitation (and often jumper) ring.  You know what I’m talking about… the “boots with the fur” otherwise known as leather sheepskin line open front boots.  Bonus points for a matching fetlock set. I still like those boots, I really do!  They have their downsides though – they are hard to maintain, super expensive, and they tend to warp and not always fit…

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WEF – Maclay Big Eq

WEF – Maclay Big Eq

I bet I wasn’t the only one who didn’t really know that “big eq” and the Maclay Medal Finals was a really big deal before the Horse Power  TV series on Animal Planet.  Since I didn’t grow up showing on any type of hunter/jumper (or any) circuit, I had no idea of the big eq world. Even when I did figure out the big eq existed, the classes weren’t usually big in NC and we don’t even have a decent 3’6″…

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WEF – In Search of Color!

WEF – In Search of Color!

I am a total sucker for a colored sporthorse.  That doesn’t mean I don’t love my plain bay Thoroughbred, but if it’s flashy… I adore it. Bonus points for spots. Triple bonus points for palomino.  One day… one day I will have a palomino hunter, and it will be beautiful. Anyway, WEF is a sea of bays.  Even a chestnut or a gray stands out among the grays, but I did find some color few and far in-between.  I’m sure there’s a…

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WEF – Scrim a dim dim

WEF – Scrim a dim dim

Maybe this is the case at all the big horse shows… it probably is.  Remember, I show locally and my A/AA experience is just as a bystander at mostly regional A shows.  Before I visited WEF, the biggest show I’d ever watched was the Duke Children’s Classic in my hometown of Raleigh, NC. At Duke there were lots of amazing horses, but I don’t remember scrim sheets.  WEF has tons of amazing fashion and beautiful horses, but I swear the…

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WEF – Helmet Survey

WEF – Helmet Survey

A few years ago, the helmet scene at WEF was pretty standard.  A survey would have been useless because the answer would have pretty much been “GPA” across all three rings. This year?  Not so much! There are more competitors on the market (I call it the Euro invasion) and the styles do seem to vary more from ring to ring than I have noticed in years past.  Of course, these are all just my observations from my few days…

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WEF Horseware Ireland Grand Prix

WEF Horseware Ireland Grand Prix

For each week during the Winter Equestrian Festival, there is a “Saturday Night Light” class that is open to the public and hosts a big show jumping (usually) or occasional hunter class.  These vary in difficulty and prize money, and every year I’ve previously visited I’ve been lucky enough to go for the $500k WEF Finale Grand Prix… which is massive and filled with the best of the best. This year I went during week 10 instead of 12, and…

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WEF – A Shopping We Will Go!

WEF – A Shopping We Will Go!

The Winter Equestrian Festival is a equestrian lover’s shopping paradise.  It’s also full of the 1% and many vendors cater to the 1%. Fun fact – I am not the 1%. Also fun fact, in the past two years I have only bought from the “WEF Boutique” (the souvenir store) and both of my purchases were well under $50.  But hey, this year I took pictures so y’all could see some of the smanciness that I cannot afford. What would be…

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WEF – General Observations Around the Show

WEF – General Observations Around the Show

When I go visit WEF, I generally creep around with my camera.  Usually I talk to no one, and just walk, watch, listen and shoot. Of course there are exceptions, like the time that I took so many pictures of these two horses that their grooms heard my camera clicking, stood up, fixed their shirts and said “I’m ready for my closeup baby!”  Oui. So through my stalking around the horse show, I try to pick up a few things.  A…

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