Beat the Heat

Beat the Heat

First weekend at the new barn was lovely.  We had a nice, rolling canter in the big grass ring with the wind blowing and the reins loopy – enough said, right?

That being said, Texas summer is here and it is already sweltering.  Saturday was a high of 97 and Sunday wasn’t much cooler.  It’s the time of year where I need to plan my weekend schedule around riding in the cool hours of the day, and not whenever I feel like it.  This weekend I totally failed at that, and therefore rode 30 minutes top and ended up with me and my horse both a sweaty mess.


Saturday he was still a little looky at everything, so I threw him on the lunge line for 10 minutes before I got on.  The barn was empty, so it was a great time to get him desensitized to things.  He was missing his RF shoe, but wasn’t off at all so we rode WTC in the dirt jump ring basically just to get him out and listening.  Got a lovely, lovely canter which I thought was a fluke… because I just lightly two pointed with my reins loose and he cantered happily along with his head relaxed.  After our ride, we rode around the property past all the previously scary pastures and I could tell he was really settling down.


Sunday is lesson day at the barn, so when I got there mid morning it was packed.  Got Simon out, and he seemed chill/exhausted/partied too hard.  He’s been transitioned to what should be his normal turnout situation – out back in a medium sized paddock with a big warmblood gelding named Oliver.  The weekend feeder told me she thought Oliver was alpha (big shocker here), and I noticed some bites on him Sunday but nothing I wouldn’t expect from a transitional period.

The farrier had tacked on a shoe for me (he may be my new favorite person, that was so nice to do on a Sunday!) so I felt fine riding in the grass ring while lessons were going on in the dirt ring.  Since Simon was so chill, I hopped on without lunging for the first time and felt like I had my 100% normal chill OTTB, yay!  I’ll spare you the boring details of our ride, but it involved a lot of sweating and another lovely canter… maybe not a fluke after all.

He has his first training ride today, and then I’ll ride tomorrow.

Now a question for all you fellow tack ho’s – what would you do if you ordered a new pair of stirrup leathers and your flat length was 2 holes from the top?  I got the SmartPak 54″ lined stirrup leathers, and while the quality is decent for the price they seem sooooooooo long.  I must have been riding in more like 50-52’s before, but the only options SmartPak has are 48″ and 54″.  Without any stretching or thinking about jumping length stirrups, I only have 2 holes to go before I need to punch them.  So I don’t know whether to just deal with it because they were cheap or return them while I still can and see if the 48″ is do-able.  I’m 5’8″ – had no idea these would be too long!

22 thoughts on “Beat the Heat

  1. If I basically like the leathers, I just punch more holes. I ride pretty short (I think the leathers on my jump saddle are actually child-sized) and this just kind of goes with the territory. No big thing as long as you’re not punching so many holes that you have a foot of extra leather flapping past the keeper. But if that will be the case, I would return and buy shorter unless I’d gotten a killer deal (and felt like chopping off the excess, which I’ve done but is not so pretty).

  2. So glad he’s settling in and you’re back to rididng! Btw, I’m in love with Simon- he reminds me of Kwik. Gotta love those shiny bay OTTB boys!

  3. Ugh, it’s summer here, too. Gotta love Florida. I can ride at 7:30am or 6:30pm and that’s about it until, oh, late October.

    As for the stirrup leathers, maybe see if you can find a comparably priced pair in 52″ elsewhere and if so, return them? I might also measure them to see if they’re the length they’re advertised to be (Lex’s girth, which I got from SmartPak, measures as a 50″ but is advertised as a 54″ – I had to do a couple rounds of exchanges to get one that fit). Worst case scenario, punch some holes, and tuck the rest of the leather under your saddle to neaten the appearance. 🙂

  4. Argh. I am on the hunt for new leathers, too. Even took the time to measure the old pair. 54. Easy. Ordered a new pair in 54, and they aren’t even close. The holes don’t go nearly short enough for my little legs (I’m 5’3″). The 48s look REALLY short though. I hope you have better luck deciding than I’ve had 🙂

  5. Just so you know, while you’re complaining about your summer, it snowed in Atlantic Canada yesterday 😛

    I’m surprised the leathers are so long. If it were me, I would probably get the other size, but mostly because I’m lazy. However, if you can easily punch holes in them and it’s cheaper this way, that’s probably the better option.

  6. I would punch holes in the leathers and just measure to make them the same length – but i’m notoriously cheap.

    Also, if it’s 97F in May, how hot does it get in July/August? You are blowing my mind with these temps.

  7. I’d return tem even if tey were cheap there’s no sense having something that’s brand new that doesn’t fit. Glad you’re settling in there nicely. That’s really hot for May.

  8. It’s pretty hot here too! The humidity is what really kills us east-coasters though. As for the leathers, I’d probably punch holes. If the ends turned out to be too long, you can always double them underneath themselves and shove them into keeper on your saddle a second time, so that they don’t flap too much.

    1. I’m from NC, and I do think the humidity there is much worse than the heat here. I mean, TX is very very very hot but it doesn’t stick with you the way it does in NC.

  9. Glad hes settling in well!! I hate the hot weather. It can be so hard to ride in.
    Can you just get extra holes put in your leathers??

  10. Remember that SmartPak accepts returns on anything that is sized–clothes, girths, stirrup leathers–with free return shipping. I agree, measure the leathers first, to make sure, before you send them back. I’ve got several pairs of the SP leathers, same size you have, and they were fine for me at 5’4″. They might be mis-labeled.

  11. I have those stirrups and they are a) really hard to punch (I gave up and just rolled them) and b) have not held up as well as I was hoping. They are turning splotchy in the coloring. Still work perfectly fine but I’m wishing I had kept my old leathers from the saddle I sold. I’m still looking out for the perfect pair.

  12. Seriously, what is up with stirrup leather lengths? I’m 5’9″ and have had to punch holes in just about every pair of leathers I’ve ever owned except my dressage ones – and they’re still near the top. For XC I actually have punched a few holes AND I wrap the leathers around the stirrups. Wish I’d returned them when I first bought them.

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