Buying Pants: The Saga

Something you may know about me is that I have a pants obsession. A riding pants obsession. To the point where Assistant Trainer literally told me to stop buying pants. I have a problem.

My go-to has been the TS Trophy Hunters- the 26L fits like a glove and they’re super durable, so I haven’t felt any burning desire to change that up. Until now.

Partially because I really want to try some of the newer tech fabrics, partially because there are some really GORGEOUS options out there, partially because I’m a firm believer in voting with your wallet and I’m not super supportive of the TS brand ATM, and in large part because Amanda said she had breeches for sale.

It was a perfect storm to fuel my obsession.

It started simply: I asked for options in my size. She assured me that there would be plenty to choose from, and then convinced me that big sales mean the expense doesn’t actually count. I was willingly convinced.

She sent me picture after picture of high-end gorgeous pants. So so many. I was in heaven. Then she dropped the price bomb:

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In classic Olivia fashion, I quickly made a spreadsheet to keep track of all the beautiful pants under consideration (in case you were wondering, the columns were brand, color, how much I liked them from 1-5, and price). Despite wanting to take them all, I knew I couldn’t.

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I finally managed to narrow it down to the 3 top contenders. Despite originally being in the market for tan and white only, two of the three were colors. Womp womp. I have no willpower.

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My spreadsheet only took me so far. I started spiraling. How could I give up any of those pants? At those prices?! I begged for help and got only “BUY THEM ALL” back. Traitor.

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I continued spiraling. I continued making spreadsheets. I continued bombarding Amanda with a play-by-play into the workings of my brain.

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Clearly asking for help from a financial angle wasn’t working. I decided to go the emotion route, hoping that Amanda would be able to give me some clarity. No such luck. I eventually had to make the call myself.

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We both solidly threw Buddy Fianci under the bus (literally the day after he proposed, Trainer started talking to him about what a great wedding present an import would be. He is a very patient man). Buddy Fianci politely declined to buy me the pants. I’m still working on him.

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I bought the dang pants and called it a day. Then SPENDMYMONEY MCDEMONFACE started pushing SWEATERS OF ALL THINGS AS IF I HADN’T ALREADY BLOWN MY BUDGET ON BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN PANTS.

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I guess I can forgive her. After all, these gorgeous things are winging their way towards me:

Mmmmmmm pants.

And that, my friends, is how you buy pants in 34 easy steps when you’re a spreadsheet junkie, have no willpower, and have a friend with a bright future in sales.

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The Tough Good Call

Lemme tell you a little story about something that happened recently.

First, the cast of characters: a 12yo girl at my barn, and her pony. Devyn is a total kickass barn rat (she’s my go-to rider for Francis and her equitation is out of this world), and she’s had Sadie Pony for 6 years. They qualified and competed at Pony Finals this year where they finished top 20 in their division and top 10 over fences. So clearly both Kiddo and Pony are really talented.

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The pony jumps like this literally every single time, she’s incredible

But Sadie is also starting to get a little older, so Devyn and her family decided to step down her workload after Finals. They’re looking for someone to lease her for the lower levels so that she can keep sharing the joy with another kid, without stressing her body by continuing to compete at full division height. So while she’s been in work since Finals, it’s been fairly light and she hasn’t jumped at that height in several months.

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Instead, Devyn has been preparing to move up to the Highs and totally CREAM me and Francis with her lease mare.

Fast forward to last weekend: Devyn got a notification that she and Sadie Pony had unexpectedly qualified for the WIHS Pony Eq, to be held 3 days from that notification. She was elated to hear this, but also shocked to hear so last minute.

So she and her mom- both a bit overwhelmed- immediately reached out to Trainer to talk about pros and cons. After going back and forth for a little while, Trainer stepped back and said: “I trust your judgement as a horsewoman. What do you think you should do?”

Without hesitation, Devyn said that she felt it would be unfair to ask her pony to go compete at that level without giving her the fitness and stamina needed to perform. She said it wasn’t worth risking her health.

So to recap: this 12 year old got a chance to compete at one of the biggest shows of the year, and turned it down because she put her pony’s health first.

I certainly don’t think I had that level of maturity at that age.

In the face of so much controversy in different disciplines about the next generation of horsemen and horsewomen, I am so incredibly proud to ride with such an excellent young horsewoman. One who works her butt off and seeks out opportunities to learn, and always loves her horse more than she loves competing. I’m proud of her family, for nurturing that love of learning and supporting her decisions. And I’m proud of my trainer for giving her students the education to make tough calls, then trusting her students to make healthy choices.

Next time I’m faced with a difficult decision, I hope that I can see as clearly as Devyn did.

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