Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Little Weather

We got our little bit of expected winter weather. A nice, wet snow. I cannot and will not complain. That moisture is needed. Actually, we could use quite a bit more. Although I do prefer if the majority of it lands up in the mountains, where the snowpack levels are most important.

I try to take advantage of snow/rain days to work on at least one project indoors. I have no lack of them. LOL.

I started out just wanting to go through a storage container. I was looking for some of the instructional articles on sewing that I have saved over the years. I got a new serger for Valentine's Day this year and am most anxious to use it....but it's a wee bit intimidating. I've sewn quite a bit over the years, but have mostly stuck to easy to work with fabrics that have a minimal tendency to fray. That is all about to change. With a serger, I can work on pretty much anything. Hence the desire to find all of the info I have stashed over the years.

Well, if you are anything like me, digging into containers of saved information is a bit like finding a treasure trove. LOL. Not only did I locate my tips and ideas stash for sewing, but also pretty much any other kind of crafting, art, painting, woodworking, etc., etc., that you can imagine. Sooo... as usual, I ended up spending a few hours sorting and organizing it into appropriate sections again. Some of it got trashed, because it no longer interested me, but it's surprising how little my tastes have changed over the years.

Probably the best find was a thick folder of saved horse show patterns. Showmanship, Horsemanship and Trail stuff. All the years that Megan showed, I always saved the patterns. It helped tremendously to have patterns to work from for precision practicing at home.  Most of them are relatively simple 4-H and open horse show patterns, but I do have a pattern book from the World APHA show and a few more complicated patterns I nabbed at breed shows years ago. Even setting up and practicing sections of those intricate patterns will help a lot with precision.

I didn't have much of anything saved on Ranch Horse Versatility type trail obstacles though, so I did a little internet searching and found a lot of good ideas on how to make simple, affordable obstacles. One great idea was saving paint cans, painting the outside of the can in bright colors and filling them with sand for weight and using them as cones. Another easy idea was using 2 5-gallon buckets, some PVC, a little concrete mix and streamers of choice to make a 'car wash'. Old tractor tires, filled with dirt make great climbing obstacles (of course those are not easily moveable, so I might put them and a few other more 'permanent' obstacles at the far end of my pasture, in the otherwise useless strip of land between the irritation headgates and the fenceline.

I also found a stash of 'how to's' on inexpensive jumps. I haven't done any jumping since I was in equine college, 20 plus years ago, but it has always been one of the things I really wanted to do more of. Well, no time like the present to start laying the groundwork. I actually have several barrel racing friends that come from hunter/jumper backgrounds and I am so impressed with their ability to 'read' a situation during a barrel run. They tell me that it comes from having to learn to judge distances and count strides in a jumping course. Not to mention, all of these girls are excellent about keeping their eyes up and looking where they want to go. Again, it's the training they learned from jumping.

Suddenly, the space I laid out for my arena area doesn't look big enough. LOL.

But first things first. I had taken all of my ground poles and such to the Arizona house, not that I foresaw myself dragging all of that stuff back and forth, but I don't have a single pole or cavaletti left here, so I went and bought a stack of landscaping poles so I can begin doing some groundwork. Everyone has been off for so long now that groundwork is better than nothing. So that is my goal this week. :-)


Shirley said...

You are gonna be busy! Ummmm, so much for the sewing.... looks like you got sidetracked with horse stuff, imagine that!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Squirrel! Hahahahaha. Yes, I do jump around. Part of the whole organizing bit was to get 'my' space cleaned up, organized and set up so that I can sew in the evenings. :-). Mission mostly accomplished. My area is all cleaned up, just need to pick up a couple of old desks at a thrift store and a folding table and my permanent sewing room is ready to rock. :-)

Sherry Sikstrom said...

busy gal!

Laura said...

It is sort of fun digging through storage bins and such - you never quite know where it will take you! ;-)

I have a binder of patterns - I save all of mine too - makes for good material for a ride at home when you need some structure instead of just trotting in circles.

I love riding/doing groundwork with poles - I have about 10 and add a few more to my collection every season. Loping poles is one of the best exercises for me to get rhythm and speed sorted out.

Cool about the sewing machine...I was just given an old regular one at Christmas. It is in a box of stuff upstairs as I have no desk/table to set it up on. Maybe this spring I'll get around to it.

cdncowgirl said...

Oh shoot... this post reminds me I've got a sewing machine buried somewhere that I keep meaning to find! ;)

Do you plan on sewing any horse items?

LOVE the tip for using paint canes as "cones"!! Those suckers are kinda expensive, unless you 'liberate' some from a construction area ;)

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I can't think of too many horse items that are worth sewing Lisa. The fabric and webbing to make blankets is so expensive, that it's more economical to just buy large items like that when they are on sale. I did make a couple of fleece coolers that I use, but they were easy and the fleece was on a big sale at the time.

I hear ya on the cones. I've got one set of little marker cones that I carry with me in the trailer, that I bought at a garage sale for $10, but all of my other ones are ones that I found alongside the road. Hahaha.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Plastic gallon milk bottles make great 'cones' too. Much cheaper and easily replaceable when you plow them down. Ask me how I know??? lol

Way cool on the sewing machine. I have 5 of my own, 3 in cabinets and two without. When you get used to using one and it's your favorite.... :-)

I have a line for you for jump cups. Sometimes you can pick up a few pair for pretty cheap online.