Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Truthful Tuesday

Winter came early you guys. You know how I feel about winter. I'm not sure I've reached full on winter doldrums as of yet, but I'm sure they're coming.
It doesn't usually really snow here until after Thanksgiving. And some years not at all until after Christmas even! But this year, it's starting early.
The forecast said snow for the commute home on Wednesday with an expected accumulation of just 1-3 inches for my area. I wasn't concerned. That's reasonable, and with temps in the 40's forecast for the rest of the week, I figured it would all be gone pretty quickly anyway.
All of it.
We got something like seven inches. SEVEN INCHES OF SNOW. In November! Not ok. It wasn't even pretty since it was dark out, and then cloudy the next day still. (And it took an hour to get home from work.)
Ok, so it did melt quite a bit by the next afternoon.
 It was annoying for a LOT of reasons, most of which I'll spell out tomorrow. But today's confession isn't really that I'm pissed about the early snowfall (I mean that's not exactly news). Today's confession is that I'm trying REALLY hard to be an annoying Susy Sunshine and see all the reasons why things could be a lot worse. I mean, it IS just about Thanksgiving, so that's the point right?
They say you can usually fake it till you make it, so I'm going to give that a go with my attitude towards early winter. I can't make any promises for when winter won't end though. That's worth being pissed about.

How's the weather where you are? Are you getting ridiculously cold temps and snow already too? And if it's like 75 and sunny, you can just keep that to yourself...

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Thursday's Threads

Outfit day!!! And I remembered to photograph the riding outfit yesterday. Yay for not being completely senile! We'll start there since I owe you guys...

Yeah... I couldn't actually just wear that sweatshirt since it's freaking freezing now. It was more like this:
A little monochromatic on the outside I guess. Whatever. Warm beats exciting every time.

Helmet: One K
Yeah... it's a recycled photo. Same helmet though!

Sweatshirt: Unbranded
Vest and Jacket: Eddie Bauer

This sweatshirt is HILARIOUS! I mean... look at the mare with the fancy hat! Hahaha! I was targeted by Facebook's algorithm with an ad for this sweatshirt, and I figured it matched pretty closely with some accessories I had already... so you know. I bought it. It's not particularly warm, but it's amazing in it's own right. The jacket and vest I've had for a few years now, so you've seen them before. I still love them after all these years!

Belt: C4
See??! Pretty close match right?! The ponies aren't as well outfitted on the belt, but the color scheme is similar.

Breeches: Devon Aire
I've always kind of hated Devon Aire stuff, but found these breeches on sale awhile back and thought I'd give them a chance. I have regrets though, and once these are washed they're going straight to used horse stuff. They would NOT stay up! Seriously, when I got home last night the crotch was sagging somewhere around mid thigh. No thanks.

Socks: Ovation
I discovered by accident that Ovation made socks to match the C4 belt. And it was an exciting discovery.

Boots: Tuffrider Regals
This pair is really holding its own... I almost wore fun boots for you guys today, but then the sweatshirt arrived and I HAD to do that first. Maybe next week!

That's what I rode in yesterday, and now for today's work outfit:
The theme today is cozy. We're expecting snow later today, and honestly, I want zero part of that. But I will me cozy damn it!

Sweater: Tommy Hilfiger
It doesn't quite show in the photo, but this is actually a heathered brown color. I LOVE it. I went to the Tommy outlet Saturday to get my brother's birthday gift and this beauty was sitting there all 40% off so I got me a present too. Don't pretend like that surprises you.

Belt: Tredstep
I think these elastic belts from Tredstep are really fun. They're not as easily stretched as the elastic ones I like to complain about, so it still does its job pretty well.

Jeans: American Eagle
These pants are like lint magnets, but because the color is so perfect, I don't hold that against them. Plus they're super comfy like jammies.

Boots: I can't remember the brand.... sorry!
I had to grab this photo with the boot stool in the back... I match my furniture! Hahahaha! Anyway, I forget the brand on these, but I got them from Zulily last year. You've seen them a ton, and I have a feeling you'll keep seeing them if this ridiculous weather keeps up all winter.

Arm Party!
It's all homemade on the arms today (other than the watch of course). I love these memory wire/leather bracelets I found a tutorial for last spring. And I was soooo excited to find this rhinestone leather for this horse bracelet in GREEN!

After making the bracelets for the Skidmore College horse show this summer, I've become slightly obsessed with this flat stitched leather. These bracelets are so easy to make and are soooo cute! Love this little stack in my barn colors.

And that's it for today! Any favorites? Are you already adding all the layers where you are too? How long till spring again?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Sorry to keep you all in suspense all day! I know you just wait around hoping for this post every Wednesday.... (I'm totally joking in case that doesn't come across!) It was a busy day. Anyway, let's jump into the past week!
I had my lesson on Thursday and it went much better than the week before. We let him have a little romp in the indoor in the morning, and apparently he was a wild child! Guess he's been needing that. He gets to go out every day for several hours, but I don't think he really lets any steam off out there. So we're going to let him have a little indoor free lunge on my lesson days going forward.
Back to the lesson! So I had a group lesson this time, which was super fun, but also allows for a break while we each take our turn. We worked on bending lines, which have been a little tricky for me with Eros. The first time through the course I was pretty angsty, but everything worked out ok, and we were able to smooth it out more and more each time. The jumps stayed low which was just fine!
When I got to the barn Friday after work and feeding the bay boys, I saw that the ring was all set up for the clinic. Which I was fine with, but Eros took real exception to this stuff in the far corner:
Normally when he's "bad" he just throws the dirty eyeball and that's about the extent of it. But not this night. Oh no. This night, he was trying to spin! Naughty! He didn't actually because he's only fake naughty thankfully. I was kind of worried about it though, because my step mom was riding him in the clinic the next day, and she didn't need to be dealing with that nonsense. Trainer said she'd give him a free lunge in the morning and walk him up to everything before things got going for the day. I really shouldn't have worried. He was perfect for her as always. It's amazing to me how he knows the difference between us, and treats her with kid gloves. Such a good boy!
I digress... again. (See what happens when I try to blog late at night!?) Saturday morning I was out the door fairly early. Stepmom was riding in the 9:30 am class, and I needed to bring her a clean saddle pad (I forgot to do that on Friday) plus run a quick errand before hand. I wanted to watch her class because I haven't ever seen Eros go in real life, and I've not seen her on him yet (obviously).
I wasn't sure how Nona would be with the lower level group, only because I think it's sometimes hard for someone with ALL the experience to remember what it's like to be starting out. But I was really pleasantly surprised. She was very patient and kind, but gave useful feedback to everyone. She even pushed their boundaries some by having them do some teeny jumps! Some of the riders in the group have jumping experience, but my stepmom really doesn't. She jumped our old mare Aries over a few x's years ago, but that was it. As a kid she rode western, so didn't do much jumping, if any.

Looking like pros!
They started out with two poles set very far apart from each other. There were standards set up for a 5 stride line, so there was a single pole between each set of standards. They practiced half seat over the poles, and after a few passes, they added more rails. And then they put the rails in cups! Little jumps! Stepmom and Eros went over those like they've been doing that their whole lives! I was ridiculously proud of them.
I mean really. Cutest thing ever right?! Yes. The answer is yes.
I stuck around after her class to watch the next one, and to watch this adorable twenty-eight year old pony have a retirement ceremony:
That's a shadow, he did not have a giant poop stain on him!
I thought I would get to ride Eddie after, but his owner has someone else riding him once a week now, so I'm down to only one day a week with Ed. Total bummer! But he's not mine, so c'est la vie. I'll take what I can get!
And when I got home, here's what I found:
Why yes, that IS a giant hole in my ring. They had finally started my septic project on Friday. Apparently, when they said they didn't have to dig in my ring anymore, they were just joking. I was BESIDE MYSELF when I saw that. And then I just shrugged and remembered that's generally how things go for me. The ring needs to be regraded in the spring anyway, so now I just REALLY need to do it. Right? Sure.
I spent some quality time with the bay boys to ease my angst. Jampy was happy to supply the entertainment.
Obviously hand walking in the ring wasn't an option... but they were happy with groomies and a walk in the aisle.
I had planned to spend the rest of the day trying to clean up my house, but then I remembered it was my brother's birthday the next day and we were all having dinner, so I had to go hunt down an appropriate gift. Thank goodness I live near an outlet mall! I had planned to try and get to bed early because I wanted to be well rested for the 9:30 am lesson. And then I got that text asking me to ride earlier, so I made sure bed time was early. But I was really dreading that 25 degree morning.
Sunday morning came quickly but my car tried to cheer me up by displaying the outside temp as 28 degrees. Better than 25 right? Barely. Fortunately, the barn wasn't too cold. The ring was cooler, but pretty tolerable. Plus Nona worked us really hard so we warmed right up.
I had told my dad and stepmom that they didn't need to come since I was riding so early, but they both came and sat out in the cold for the jumping portion of my class. It was so nice of them to come support me, but even better, stepmom got video! Yay!
I feel like a bit of fraud when I flat Eros. He's so ridiculously broke on the flat, I really don't have to do much up there. Nona said little to me at all during the flat session except to compliment our lateral work. His only hole is that he struggles with his changes on the flat. Odd, because he normally gets them when we jump. He does need his hocks done though, so I'm hopeful that issue may resolve when we do that.
I already talked about how scared I was to jump, but that we worked through it. Nona does a nice job of building things up. We started out easily (though I thought it was going to be terrifying and hard). There was a combination set on the diagonal that was a two stride to a two stride. She had us start by figure eighting over the last two obstacles. After we each did that a couple times, she had us come through the combination. I stayed a little behind the first time through because Eros and I haven't done any gymnastics yet. But he was a total solid citizen that day, and just went right through.

After doing that both directions a few times, she added another jump. And then a line. And then... The Triple Bar. Eros has been a little looky at jumps the first time he sees them in our lessons, but Sunday he brought his A game. He didn't peak at anything, not even the triple bar! I was really proud of him! And also grateful. So grateful. Maybe he knew I needed his help that day? Probably, he's a smart guy.
Our last trip was definitely our best one. We weren't perfect by any means, but it was relatively smooth and I finished without my heart trying to leave my body. Definitely a win in my opinion.

So did I learn a lot in this clinic? No, not really. I was given the same feedback I regularly get: I need to let go on the way to the jumps and be less busy in general up there. But it was totally worth it in that it really got me feeling back in the groove again. I felt like I actually rode my horse instead of just being a passenger up there. And it let me start to trust my new mount. That's probably the best take away for me from the day.
I didn't really expect to learn new things. I'm riding several levels below where I left off a few years ago. But it's always good to be reminded of all the things I actually know. And I feel like that's what I got in this lesson.
After tucking Eros in, I watched the rest of the next class (from the heated viewing area thank you) before heading home to tend to the bay boys. I feel like I'm not giving them enough attention during the week, so I'm trying hard to make up for that on the weekends.
At 2, I headed over to the neighbor's barn to ride my buddy Eddie! Yay! His mom told me alllll about his ride the day before and how forward he went, blah blah blah. And how he didn't spook at all, not once! A few eye rolls she couldn't seen later, he was pretty good for me too. I got a few spooks from him, but nothing crazy. And I did my best to gallop him forward like she wanted. She said the other rider just kept pushing him forward and never touched his mouth or the reins. The problem I have with doing that is he gets totally hollow and loses his lovely shape. I mean, I KNOW that you can't have a horse that's using himself if he's not forward, but I also don't want a hollow horse galloping at fences. He's not mine though, so I just did what she wanted. She did agree though, that ideally you want forward WITH shape. All in good time I'm sure. I did get to jump him a little bigger, and that was really fun. Hopefully mother nature calms herself down before the weekend because I'm looking forward to another ride on him.
The weekend ended with family dinner for my brother's birthday. Afterwards, I got home and snuggled with the pugs fell asleep on the floor surrounded by pugs. Not a bad evening if you ask me.
Monday is the day off at Eros' barn, so the bay boys had good groomies and walks in the barn aisle. I just flatted Eros Tues and Wed (and lightly groomed the bay boys). I'm hoping to have my lesson tomorrow, but we're getting a messy ice/snow storm in the afternoon, so we'll have to see what the roads are like. It's not far though, so I'll likely go either way. Just depends how long it takes me to get home from work. I'm seriously not ready for winter weather. Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet! It's presently 23 degrees out. So you can imagine what I have to say about THAT.
How was your past week/weekend? Are you freezing cold and getting snowed on too? Is there someone we can talk to about this?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Truthful Tuesday: Chicken Edition

This past weekend Eros took part in a Nona Garson clinic, one day with my stepmom and one day with me. I'm going to talk more about the actual clinic tomorrow, but today I wanted to talk about being a little ascared...
So originally, I was supposed to be in the 2'6" group at 9:30 on Sunday morning. But then I got a text asking if I could do the 8 am group instead. I wasn't thrilled because the forecast said 29 degrees for that time... But I'm not really one to rock the boat so I said it was fine. I had seen the schedule earlier in the day, and it was also supposed to be a 2'6" group anyway.
Well. I get there in the morning, get on Eros, and take a look around at what's set in the ring. And there was a triple bar! A TRIPLE BAR! I've barely jumped an oxer on the horse, and there's a triple bar! OH, and it was set at 2'9". I think I may have jumped one actual 2'6" jump on Eros so far. Like one. Maybe two. And here I was going to have to jump a 2'9" triple bar. Oy.
Needless to say, I spent the flat portion mostly dreading what was to come. I've been starting the jumping portions of my lessons over something super tiny. Like basically a speed bump. But not so in a Nona Garson clinic. We started out figure eighting over a couple 2'6" verticals. I was petrified. I went last in the group (there were five of us). And I legit was panicked about jumping these little verticals. I did it though!
My photos are terrible video stills, but tomorrow I'll share some actual videos. Promise!
You guys. I'm not exaggerating when I say this: my heart was beating so hard after I took my turn, my chinstrap was vibrating. I've never felt that before. How ridiculous though right? 2'6" verticals causing such panic? I used to jump the 1.25M a/o's! Ugh. Each time I took my turn (the courses got a little longer each time) I finished with my heart just pounding away, like it might come right out of my chest. But you know what? Despite being pretty much completely panicked, I still managed to ride my horse. And things got easier each time. And we did the triple bar with zero troubles what so ever.

My last trip was probably the best, and you know what? When I finished it, my heart wasn't trying to beat out of my chest. And I actually had a lot of fun. Imagine that?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thursday's Threads

I'm hanging my head in shame... I completely forgot to take riding outfit photos yesterday, so I have only a work outfit to share this time. So sorry friends! BUT my work outfit is equine themed, so hopefully that makes up for my error some.
You also can't really tell it's equine themed from this photo... but bear with me, you'll see! (Side note: see the SUN pouring in?! I'm soaking it in, because it's leaving soon and the rain comes back tomorrow.)

Shirt: Ronner Designs
Cardigan: Sweet Rain

See it now?! My Ronner shirt is horsey! I can't condone paying full price for the Ronner stuff, but it IS gorgeous. And the quality seems to be there. They had a 60% off clearance a few months ago, so I snagged a couple shirts and a raincoat. These sweaters are interesting too. I had gotten one years ago from Modcloth, and really loved it. So when I saw they had them on sale for $15 I ordered a couple new colors. But they aren't the same as the old one. These are longer, which I actually really like, but the material isn't as nice. It's kind of stiff and says dry clean only. Yuck.

Belt: Mane Jane
I finally got myself a second Mane Jane buckle. My old one was scratched beyond belief, and I had been eyeing the new rose gold ones. No regrets! It's really pretty!

Jeans: Vero Moda
I snagged these at Marshall's from the clearance rack for $14. They're ankle length, which may be a tiny bit short for the shoes I paired them with, but whatever. I like the side detailing, and the cutout part around the ankle. You'll see that better in the next photo.

Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden

I've had these booties for a few years now, and I really love them. The gray color goes with so much, and they're super comfy. I feel like they're still fairly stylish too. Which is nice because I don't plan to retire them anytime soon.

Arm Party!
Lefty is donning a dainty bit bracelet I found on Poshmark, along with a mantra bangle... I think this one came from KJ's Creations. It says, "survey says... ADD LEG" which is really appropriate to my current riding state. I've recently concluded that my left leg has not yet come off hiatus...

Righty is wearing a really neat horse bracelet that I found on Ebay. It's gold (colored, not solid) and the eyes are green rhinestones. I often find rhinestone eyes to be really creepy, but these aren't somehow. The next one is my #backyardbarn mantra bracelet (KJ's Creations), and the last is from HKM.

That's it for today! Sorry it's so short. I'm going to have to start photographing random riding outfits so I have an archive available for days like this... Any favorites from today? Do you have anything from Ronner? Get anything new I might need to have?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

I feel like so much happens in a week these days, that when I look back, it's hard to remember everything. And I have a severe lack of media AGAIN. You'd think being at a busy barn there'd be people around to take some photos or video or something... Anyway, let's try and look back at last week.
I had my lesson on Thursday, but it didn't go as well as the last one. It was more reminiscent of that first time Eros and I jumped. He's been a little spooky lately, nothing like Jamp of course, but just looky and inattentive. I'm wondering if he was on depo before I got him, because it would have worn off by now for sure. He's not been bad really, just not quite the super quiet horse he's been. Anyway, he jumped all the jumps and all of that, but was very strong an landing and trying very hard not to be a straight horse. We finished up with a nice straight line with the correct amount of steps and called it a day. I'm hoping I'll have a better lesson this week. We've been working a lot harder in our flat sessions, so hopefully that will take some of his edge off.
 Friday I took a half day from work because Jampy was getting x-rays again in the afternoon. And GOOD NEWS! His feet are really looking good. Doc thinks maybe three more shoeings if he keeps growing at the same rate, and he'll have grown out all of the founder hoof! He doesn't need to have x-rays again until spring time either. And Doc was talking about when I start riding him! RIDING HIM! Who'd have thought?
After the vet, I ran over to the barn to ride Eros quick before meeting up with a friend of mine to see a play. Ugh, you guys. The play was terrible. I knew going in it was about a young woman from the north who moves south in the 1950's. All of the women in her new small town are KKK members. That's all I knew. I figured there was a good message there, and it would end with the KKK falling or something. Only it didn't end that way. It ended with the whistle blower getting run over repeatedly (they didn't show that at least I guess). Anyway. It was awful. Wish I could get those hours back.
Saturday was yet another rainy day. A BUSY rainy day. It started with a 5K I ran with some friends.
Fortunately it stopped raining long enough for me to slog my way through that. Faster than the last two even! (35:59 so not by much, but I'll take it!) All I really wanted to do after that was take a shower and curl up in a blankie, but alas, I have horses so that wasn't an option.
 I fed the boys at home lunch and then headed over to the barn. Eddie's mom brought him over there for me to ride since her place was too muddy, and we were having this insane wind (50 mph gusts). He definitely needed a little lunge, but he was really good in the new and busy environment. Eventually I got on Eros too, who was a little ridiculous with the wind noises in the indoor. But he kept it together and nobody died. So #winning!
 Then it was home to groom the old men and feed.
I spent Saturday evening with these two doing some laundry and not socializing because I was exhausted. Too much exercise for me in one day!
Sunday morning I made Eros work his giant bum off. He had it easy Saturday, but I really don't want him thinking it's ok to be spooky. It's really not because he needs to be safe for my step mom. He was actually fantastic and finally softened into a nice frame with actual engagement. Good pony.
Next stop was Eddie's house. We had some jumping to do! I think it's been 2, maybe even 3 weeks since we last jumped, and Eddie is BORED. He LOVES jumping. He was a little distracted so it wasn't really our best jump school ever, but it was still pretty decent. We stuck to single jumps and some roll backs to keep his attention.
After Eddie I headed back home to take care of the boys. I wanted to finally walk Jamp outside again. Unfortunately, just as I brought him out, my PITA neighbor started hammering away on something. You all know Jamp. That was too much for him. So we walked inside again. Boo. Rio walked outside because he doesn't care about the spooky neighbor, and then got to have some grass too.

Monday I kind of took a day off. I went to work, and fed my boys, and went grocery shopping. But I didn't groom or walk anyone. Hey, even horse mom's need an evening off now and then!
Tuesday was the usual, walk, flat Eros, groom the boys.
And that's about it! This weekend Nona Garson is coming to do a two day clinic at the barn. Step mom is riding in a flat session Saturday, and I'll be jumping on Sunday. Hopefully it goes well!
How was your weekend? Do anything fun? Run a race, show a horse? Go for a trail ride? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Truthful Tuesday

Today's confession: I got up on time for like the first time in a long while to vote before work. And there was a fairly huge line (for my little town):
The lady in front of me and I were talking about how great it was that so many people are coming out to vote today.
After voting I had a Dr.'s appt, and he too commented that it felt more like a presidential election. We both agreed that was fantastic.
I also stopped at Starbucks for a coffee. I was eavesdropping on the very young baristas' conversation. One guy was telling the other how important it was to vote today, and that he really needed to make sure he MADE the time to vote. The other was clearly not informed and had no idea why today was so important. The first guy did a fantastic job educating, and as I left, I told barista #2 to listen to his buddy.
So, I'm using my little corner of the interwebs to encourage you to make sure get to the polls today if you haven't already voted. Your voice matters.