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Lisa Lach

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Event Season is Coming … Buy All the Things!

Event season in Wisconsin is approaching quickly and suddenly I realized … I have to buy, like, ALL of the things. It’s my first season eventing so I have to get equipped from scratch. I quickly realized I have a bunch of strangers/friends who would be happy to share their product wisdom. (That’s you, reader!)

First, the important part. I picked cross country colors! Red, white and black. Not the most original, but I’m a UW-Madison alum so I decided to rep the color of my beloved Badgers.

Also, I look pretty dang good in red. Photo courtesy of Lisa Lach.

I took stock of what I have that’ll work:

  • Cross country vest. I found one on Black Friday and snapped it up.
  • White show shirts.
  • A red sun shirt.
  • Saddle/bridle.
  • Saddle pad for cross country and show jumping.
  • White breeches (thanks, Santa/Mom and Dad for the gift!)
  • Gloves, hairnets, etc.
  • Tall boots.
  • Helmet.

I have compiled a list of what I (think) I need. Have you ever tried just Googling this stuff? There are so. many. choices. And since I don’t have a bottomless pit of a wallet, I’d like to try and strike a balance between quality and value. That’s where I need your help! (Side note: Anyone know where I can find a bottomless pit wallet/endless supply of money?)

  • A show coat that’ll work for both dressage and show jumping. I’ve got long arms and long torso. And boobs. Help.
  • A stock tie and pin. (Trainer is traditional.)
  • Cross country boots. I’m leaning toward Woof Wear.
  • A watch, maybe? I’m probably running Starter Novice with all the children so do I really need this?
  • Do I provide my own pinny?
  • A medical armband. This seems straightforward.
  • A white dressage pad.

What are your favorite brands and products? I am 100% sure that I’m missing something on the list, so feel free to add to it. After all, it’s kind of like you get to go shopping for your favorite stuff … without spending any money! Win-win. (Except for my wallet, unless anyone has invented that bottomless one yet!)

Lisa Lach has been riding for nearly 20 years in a variety of disciplines. She has been competing locally in Wisconsin for the last four years while riding anything she can get her hands on. She is a marketing professional by day, and in her free time she blogs at Centered in the Saddle.

10 Things I Learned in My First Dressage Lesson

Photo courtesy of Lisa Lach. Photo courtesy of Lisa Lach.

Lisa Lach has been riding for nearly 20 years in a variety of disciplines, mostly recently throwing her hat in the ring for the sport of eventing (see her previous blog post “A Hunter Comes to the Dark Side.”) She has been competing locally in Wisconsin for the last four years while riding anything she can get her hands on. She is a marketing professional by day, and in her free time she blogs at Centered in the Saddle.

I had my first two dressage lessons recently. If, like me, you are new to eventing and/or dressage, then this list may hit home. If, unlike me, you have been eventing for years, this list may bring you down memory lane, back to when you were just a wee thing with starry eyes beginning your adventure in the sand box.

1. You’ll think more intently about the bend in your elbows than ever before.

2. Your butt muscles will be extremely sore for three days after the lesson. At least.

3. It’s really hard not to push your heel down when that has been drilled into you for years.

4. The outside rein is your new BFF.

5. Sit up straighter. Always. You are not sitting up straight enough.

6. It’s time to start doing crunches and planks because your core is not strong enough.

7. Ride everything like you’re moving up an incline, even downward transitions.

8. Full seat breeches are the greatest sartorial invention ever.

9. Seriously, open your hip angle and sit up straight.

10. Dressage is kind of awesome.

It’s true. I think dressage is pretty cool. It’s hard, it’s cerebral, and it requires a lot from both horse and rider. Not that I’m ready to give up jumping all the things, but I will no longer feel that slight disappointment when I hear the words, “flat lesson today!”

A Hunter Comes to the Eventing Dark Side

Lisa Lach has been riding for nearly 20 years in a variety of disciplines. She has been competing locally in Wisconsin for the last four years while riding anything she can get her hands on. She is a marketing professional by day, and in her free time she blogs at Centered in the Saddle.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Lach.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Lach.

I’m a chronic lurker. The observer on the sidelines — or more likely, behind a screen — quietly reading Eventing Nation articles and following along with the major events to keep tabs on my favorite riders (looking at you, Elisa Wallace). I stalk for sale ads and the Weekly OTTB Wishlist to pick out the perfect partner that I can’t actually afford right now.

And then I head out to the barn and get to work … training a youngster to be a nice little hunter. Yes, I confess: I am an adult amateur hunter. And not even at the A shows! (See above: cannot afford, must adult.) So what, you may ask, am I doing with all this low-level stalking of the eventing world?

I’ve always loved eventing. I’ve always wanted to do it myself, but opportunity found me in the hunters instead. But opportunity recently deserted me when that nice little hunter I’d trained was sold by his owners.

And I think I fell victim to some “insanity in the middle” between my ears, because I decided that this would be the perfect time to quit the hunters and start eventing. I have no horse of my own. I have little to no eventing experience. See what I mean about insanity?

But from what I’ve gleaned, eventers are excellent at taking a sucky situation (i.e. your free lease gets sold from under you) and fixing it with a get-er-done attitude and a sense of humor. Or duct tape.

Seeing as duct tape wouldn’t be too much help in my situation, I instead opted for the good attitude and found myself a place to take lessons. My overall plan is to learn the ropes and hopefully be ready to compete by next spring.

And when I feel a little seed of doubt and ask myself: Am I really ready to join the ranks of #EventerProblems and Insanity in the Middle?

The answer is always yes. I know this because so far, not one person I have encountered has seemed to think that a late-20s adult amateur from the local hunter circuit wanting to be an eventer when she grows up is really all that strange. I’ve met only with support, enthusiasm and excitement. So, as I start this possibly insane adventure, I’m pretty confident that whatever happens, competitively or otherwise, it’s going to be a helluva lot of fun.

I’ll be reporting in with regular updates on all my “firsts.” First time doing dressage, first cross country outing, every time I have no idea what’s going on … all of it. And hopefully, whether you’re a seasoned eventer or a chronic lurker like I used to be, it should be fun, or at least, mildly entertaining.

Eyes ahead, shoulders back, leg on. Here we go.