This week marks the first time when Texas will be hitting the triple digits this year. Couple that heat with the coastal humidity and you have a perfect formula for dehydration and eu de sweat. As wonderful as my Pikeur Ciaras are, they are not built for profuse bum sweat. Hence, my closet has a need for something I've long hated: riding tights.

If you're early on in your eco-conscious journey, you may not have run into this word, but you've definitely encountered greenwashing. Marketing teams across the nation have latched onto eco-conscious buzz words and assign them to products that have no business being labeled such. Some of these mystery words include "eco-friendly", "vegan friendly", "sustainably produced" or even just "good for the environment".

When it comes to secondhand shopping for clothing outside the barn, ThredUp is my go-to site. There's so much to love, but my favorite reasons are:

  • Their rewards program
  • Targeted, detailed search function
  • Abundant coupons and sales
  • Everything is secondhand, even the NWT items
  • Saving searches for later

I cannot remember coming out of a lesson as pleased and happy as I did last night.

Last week, my main goal was creating a more positive attitude, which I can check off 100%. I felt great going in, especially since the windy weather I was preparing for died down. The evening was perfect. The briskness in the air pepped Riley up with a forward, manageable energy. Most of the barn was away at a show with Barn Owner/Head Trainer, so it was quiet and serene.

There's normally a group lesson that happens during my private, but since St. Trainer was manning the ship, she asked if I was comfortable riding with the group for the full hour. Happily, I said I was game to ride with the two younger girls and their ponies.

Did I make the score of the century? After totaling the math, I realize I may have, even when it was a bit of an impulse buy!

Last month, I was scrolling on Poshmark one night. I stumbled upon a pair of Pikeur Ciara breeches. To me, Pikeur wasn't on my radar during my h/j time. However, Pikeur is king in the dressage world, so I quickly regarded it as brand whose quality matched its high price tag. Normally, they retail at $300 USD new in the US. In Europe, where Pikeur is based, they are priced around the equivalent of $200 USD.

From the last lesson we had, I could only go up, so up we went.

The more I ride Riley, the more I'm intensely grateful to ride a mature horse with a nice brain. It does so much for my confidence and allows me to hone in on how I can improve myself. Short version, we did get to jump a little crossrail, working on straightness, creating a good pace and starting to train my eye again.

The lesson was crafted around opening up Riley's stride to get a nice, forward pace by getting off his back and reinforcing my leg with a light tap of the crop. The crossrail we went over several times on the left rein was positioned at the quarter line, angled about 45º from centerline.

As children, many of us horse people were often bombarded with horse-themed gifts growing up. The minute we expressed even the slightest interest in the beasts, doting grandparents and friends likely thrust horsey pencil kits, horsey toys, horsey clothes, horsey wall racks, horsey everything on us! As horse kids, I'm sure we were thrilled; I know I was.

This week, I relived some of that childlike excitement. A squeal may have even passed my lips.

A baptism by fire is still a baptism, right?

Many new things happened during this lesson.

I rode in the middle of a group lesson with about five other riders in the ring. Not a problem, but more to keep track of.

A cold front brought intense winds, so the entire barn was rattling with spooky monsters according to Riley.

I went in with a sparkling attitude, brimming with excitement and optimism. Truly, this is the best I've ever felt going into a ride.

I fell off.

So many of us riders enjoy a color-coordinating outfit based off our horse. Perhaps, we ascribe to color psychology and want a pair of breeches in every emotion we want to channel. Some of us encounter lifestyle changes that change our bodies' shapes and sizes often, so buying multiple sizes is a must. If you crossover disciplines, maybe you want different cuts and seat styes.

All these situations are personal and different. Thus, there is no cemented formula or answer to deduce, but I'm still willing to try.

My second ride back was a pleasure!

This time, I rode another senior, been-there-done-that eq horse named, Gunner. He's a lovely, dark chestnut with an adorable face and a quirky personality. If I thought Riley was behind my leg, Gunner was even more so. Luckily, we spent the majority of the lesson focusing on getting some quality gaits out of him.