Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Truthful Tuesday: Horses vs Humans

I kind of feel like I'm having deja vu. Romey's leaving this weekend feels so much like when I said goodbye to Ducky a few years ago. They are a lot alike in many ways. They are both really reactive. They both have very strong opinions. Both enjoy the taste of human flesh. And somehow, they both took a tiny, itty bitty, little piece of my cold black heart.
I eventually ran into the same issues with Romey as I had with Ducky. Refusal to work being one of the most frustrating. They both had some soundness stuff too. So for each case, it was time for them to move on when they did. But both times, I was really surprised at how sad I felt when they pulled out of the driveway.
As I was hiding in the barn having a bit of a moment after Romey left, I realized I'd felt these emotions before. Not just when Ducky left, but I've felt it with humans too. Being in a wrong horse relationship isn't much different than being in the wrong human relationship. And here's where it gets interesting to me...
Awhile back, I dated a wonderful man for about a year. I think I knew it wasn't working much earlier on in our relationship, but I kept it going trying to make it work. He was a really sweet guy. He thought the world of me. But I didn't think the world of him. Beyond his being sweet and wonderful to me, there was a side from his past that was less so.  History of drug abuse, children he didn't see, that sort of thing. While I know people change, there were signs that those things were still there. I put a lot of work into that relationship. Tried to get him to see where things went wrong in his past. Why he should reach out to the kids. Etc etc. But my advice went unheard and eventually we had to part ways.
"I want more of dis please. No workies."
 As I sat with my coffee after saying goodbye to Romey, I realized my relationship with him was much the same as my ex. Romey could be sweet (mostly when he was sedated...) and he cared about me (probably because I supplied the food) but our relationship was not a healthy one. We wanted different things. Romey wanted to live in a field and eat grass and not do work. I wanted him to be a show hunter. Very different wants, clearly!
It helped me process my feelings a little better, to see that comparison. I couldn't figure out why I was so sad when Romey left until I saw those similarities. I gave Romey almost two years of my time, energy, and even some love. It's hard to see that pull out of the driveway the last time, whether it's a human or an equine. It might even be harder when it's a horse.
For all the good and the bad, Romes gets to keep his little, itty-bitty, tiny piece of my heart. I'll keep him there forever. The rest of him arrived safe and sound in KY. He's going to have some time off and then see if he'd like a job as a light trail horse.
So after all that, today's confession is that I seemingly can't separate my human and horse relationships. None of them easy, are but all of them have been worth it.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday's Threads

Outfit Day!!! My favorite day! Well, you know... other than Saturday of course. I have lots to share today as the boys wanted to be included in outfit day this week. I also got up and went for a run so I have a running outfit to share too. We'll go in order and start with the horsing clothes.

 I  based my outfit around my horses' saddle pads this week. True story.

Helmet: Charles Owen
Greenie here is definitely still my favorite. It's not as breathable as the One K, but it's GREEN! With gold and brown! Perfect.

Top: Rue 21
This t-shirt is super old. I think it's a cute tee for riding with the apples all over it.

Belt: C4
Probably a solid color belt might have been better than having pattern on pattern here... But I think it's working anyway.

Breeches: Tuffrider
I think you've seen these before? Might have been the black ones. I saw them on Tack of the Day awhile back for under $40, and they're definitely worth that. I like the technical fabric and the grippy knee patches a lot. The silver zippers on the pockets are cute too.

Boots: La Mundial
I'm very slowly but surely getting these broken in. They don't fit with some of my breeches that have a lot of fabric at the bottom, so I don't wear them as much as I probably should. I guess they'll last longer though, right?

Spurs: Centaur and Color Tack
Straps: Mane Jane
So I just discovered that Mane Jane has brass buckles available now AND golden crowns! So I may be replacing these straps pretty soon. But I still can't get over how perfectly they match the boots.

The boys wanted to play matchy-matchy too this week. Here's what Jampy wore:
What a handsome guy. Please excuse the hay belly.

Saddle pad: Lettia baby pad
I love foxes. Gimme all the foxes! What I love about Lettia, is they make most things in both a baby pad AND a regular pad. Rio wears regular pads these days since he's losing muscle along his topline. But I generally prefer baby pads. So it's nice to be able to get for both horses and still match.

Boots: Clarendon
I love how these boots look. But I don't like how they work. You have to pull the elastic across both the front of the leg AND the back. I don't like that. So I think these may be going to Used Horse Stuff the next time I send a bag. I'm thinking I may order the next size up, so I don't have to tighten across the back to get the hooks to reach. Or maybe I'll just not get these again. So pretty though!

And here's Rio's outfit:
It was dark out so we had to take his photo indoors.

Saddle Pad: Lettia
The saddle pad is a bit cuter than the baby pad with it's fancy trim and foxes all over. Rio liked it very much.

Boots: Pelham Ascot
Oldies but goodies! I've had these awhile and you've seen them before. I definitely prefer this type of closure to the pair Jampy wore.

Rio also got some new tack that we tried out last night.
Bridle: Royal Sports (I think a lot of us bloggers fell victim to the 60% off sale!)
Bit: Sweet Billy'sBits

That's all the horsing clothes, let's see what I wore running this morning!

NEON! It's important to be visible during the morning commute. And also, I was born in the 80's so I love neon.

Tank: Puma
This tank is kind of mesh, but not really. So it's minimally see-through. I like that it's not totally see through, but I especially like how breathable it is. I get ridiculously hot when I run, so it's nice to have a little ventilation.

Tights: Fabletics
I've pretty much stopped running in shorts and run exclusively in different length tights. They don't ride up, and you don't chafe. Win-win! And how crazy is this pair?!

Sneakers: Mizuno Wave Sayonara
I probably don't have to reiterate how these are my dream shoes. You already know that.

And now on to today's work outfit!
I wish I could take that Pug accessory to work with me...

Top: Devoted
I picked this top up in one of Zulily's blowout sales. It's kind of gauzy and so comfy! It's pretty sheer which kind of makes me question its appropriateness for work, but I wore a cami underneath, so I think it's fine.

Belt: Ariat
This was a Tack of the Day find awhile back. It matches some awesome brown croc boots I have that you all haven't seen yet. I love the spur buckle! Plus, it reverses to a plain belt, so you could use it to show as well.

Pants: Paige
You guys have seen these before. I also have them in black and white. They are my most favorite pants EVER! I mean, they have horses on them, and yet somehow don't seem like they should be on a six year old. Magic pants.

Shoes: NYLA
I feel like Katharine Page sandals would totally make this outfit. But I also will never drop $300 on sandals. So this pair of $20.00 real leather sandals are doing a fine job! I've had these for several years now, and they are holding up great.

Arm Party!
Lefty is donning my most treasured Gucci bit bracelet, along with my rein bracelet from Swanky Saddle, and my trusty apple watch.

Righty is wearing a stack of Stacie Originals. I love the horse head clasps I found and I'm really glad I decided to make matching wrap bracelets. I have a cuff I need to assemble too, so the stack will be growing eventually!

And that's the end of this week's Thursday's Threads! Any favorites from today? What are you wearing?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

I honestly don't have a ton to report on this week. I had been thinking about going up to Vermont for the weekend to see Badger, but I never really found the motivation. He didn't end up showing, though last I heard he was back to work. Anyway, I felt like staying home and tending to things there was a better use of my time. I wanted to get Romey looking less homeless so he heads back to KY looking better than ever. Plus, Jampy is finding his groove again, and I didn't really want to give him a bunch of vacation days.
Saturday was supposed to be stormy but turned out to be pretty nice. I had a great school on Jamp though I did some horribly amateur things to him. Ugh... Should I even tell you guys? Ok, I will. To start off, Jampy was being a little ridiculous about the far end of the ring. It was a sunny day, but breezy, so the shadows were dancing all over. Jampy doesn't really do shadows.... Once we were jumping though, he was paying more attention to what he was doing and less to the shadows. Less, not none. Anyway, I went to jump the single going toward the scary end and I totally over rode and chased him at it. I expected him to land and take off to punish me (as he should have) but he didn't. He landed nicely and continued on like I hadn't been a dumb ass. Good boy Jampy.
My next bit of stupid came the first time I went to canter through the outside line. I tend to set things short in my ring because it's small. It's really tough to ride on a 12 foot stride in there. Especially on Sir-spooks-a-lot. Most of the time, I'll trot in and canter out the first time, but I had already jumped a bunch of singles and was feeling pretty good about our canter. So I decided to canter in. Except I totally missed. Like completely chocolatey chipped. Because it's set short, there's really not room to add in this scenario and I didn't want to run him down there to make the number either. He likes a good run down the line and I really don't want to encourage that. So I committed the worst of all adult ammy sins: I pulled him up. Ugh. Sorry Jampy. I then turned around, trotted in and cantered out nicely. Then continued to canter all the way around and canter through without issue. And that my friends, is the reason Jampy is such a good boy. He causes plenty of drama all on his own, but he NEVER holds a grudge. No matter what stupid ammy things I do to him, he comes back like it never happened. I think that's why he gets away with all of his bolting shenanigans. It's kind of a give and take relationship.
Rio was forced to work in a bridle for a few days this week/weekend. He's been a little difficult to steer lately, and while I don't mind him going long and low, I also don't want him leaning too much on his front end. He IS neurologically handicapped after all. Best to keep that weight in the middle, ya know? So I put his big mean rubber loose ring in his mouth and asked him to carry himself just a little bit. Of course he's perfect so he did exactly as asked. What a man!
Fact: there is nothing cuter than his low hanging ear
Saturday night I actually hung out with people at a party. Can you believe it? I actually know humans and can socialize with them. It was fun, they even had a band!

Sunday was a beautiful day, and I had promised all the boys they would get awhile out on the grass. Yes, even Romey. I took tons of photos with my real camera (especially of Romey since he's leaving soon). Unfortunately, I'm having a little trouble getting all my devices to sync, so I'll have to share those later. But enjoy this one of Jamp that I took with my phone:
Pampering and grazing ponies took up literally the entire day. I finished up right around six though which was just in time to get changed and walk over to the lake for some live music and my Sunday lobster roll.
There was a guy making these huge bubbles there. Just after this pic, like ten million kids rushed him. Pretty hilarious!

After lake time, the pups and I went for a short walk. They were excited to get out, but didn't actually want to walk. What is that? They were all YEAH! Leashes! We're going for a WALK! Then they were all, hang on I gotta smell this. And this. And that. Twenty minutes later, we'd only gone like a quarter mile. Sheesh. Kids!
The rest of the night was boring chores and laundry. This week has been pretty status quo so far. The tall kids had last night off, so I went for a run after work. I really thought I was picking up the pace. Hahaha! Nope.
But I felt a little better about it when I saw it was 90% humidity out. No wonder it was hard to breath!
Also of note, Monday was Artie's 4th Gotcha Day! I can't believe it's only been four years. I feel like he's been part of the family forever. He's such a great dog.
He may or may not be twice the width he was when he arrived... Me too buddy. Me too.

And that's really all that's up this Wednesday. What's up with you?

Just dropping this here cause it's pretty.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Truthful Tuesday: Romey Edition

Today's confession is that I've given up on Romey. Sometimes you have to know when you've spent all you can spend. Not just monetarily but emotionally too.
Romey hasn't been sound since he came to me. I've given him lots of time, lots of rehab, and lots of vet and body work visits. Only to finally discover he had an old fracture way up high on the right hind. My vet can't fix that. We tried injecting the SI to see if that could help him compensate better. Which it did. For about three weeks. I had the vet back out when Romey decided he was no longer interested in trotting for me. (Let alone canter!) Romey also has kissing spine. And while Doc didn't think that was causing Romey's refusal to work, I can't help but wonder if it's contributing. Add in his not so delightful personality and I finally had to admit this just isn't going to work.

So then what? I love my little farm, but it's far from perfect. My turnout is barely adequate for my working horses, let alone one who isn't going to be ridden. So keeping him at my place would be unfair. Not an option. Romey may not have been a good match for me, but he was a war horse on the track. He's more than earned a decent place to live his life. So I started researching retirement farms. I had no idea the scope of what was out there! They can range anywhere from $150 per month to over $1000. But I didn't really want for him to go somewhere that would pull his shoes, throw him in a field and forget about him. So we're talking in the $450 to -$650 range per month. Not horribly unreasonable, but with Badger in training, it would definitely strain my ability to buy groceries and put gas in my car. (And I'd have to quit shopping cold turkey. Can you imagine?!) The other factor? Romey is eight years old. Other than having a creaky skeleton, he's quite healthy. And he's a little aggressive. All those things mean that his horse will happy and comfortably live in retirement for at minimum 15 years. You guys. That's approximately $90,000.
I like to think of myself as a responsible horse owner. I do the best I am able for my tall kids (the short ones too actually), and if I can't keep them, I find the best home I can for them (not the short kids, they always stay. ALWAYS). But financially, I wasn't sure I could swing this for Romey.

At this point, I was basically thinking I should just give up riding and nurse these animals I have through old age as best I can at my farm. But finally, I decided to reach out to his last owner. As they have a no slaughter cause in their contracts, I figured they must know of affordable, decent places to retire these horses. Luckily, this was a great decision. In talking with his last human, she asked what my vet had thought about him having a light work job. My vet very much thinks he can have a job, and that he doesn't necessarily need to retire fully. But he does need some more vet work and will require some maintenance. Previous human has many people come to her for light work horses and/or walking trail horses. Either of these jobs could be great for him. So she agreed to take him back (I pay shipping and a small processing fee). She will give him the winter off, consult with the vets at the University of Kentucky, and then find an appropriate home for him.
I'm relieved that this is all working out, and I hope things go to plan. While he didn't work out for me, I still have a spot in my cold little heart for him. I'm sad that he's leaving, but I'm hopeful he'll find a home that he's happier in. He's such a handsome guy, and while kind of a bitey jerk, I really do think he's more playful than mean. He'll be leaving next week sometime. Oddly enough, I'm really going to miss him.

Safe travels Romes. I'll miss you buddy.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday's Threads

Happy Outfit day everyone! It's a perfect summer day here today, not too humid, highs in the lower 80's. I wish it could stay like this forever! I don't have a running outfit today because despite it being perfect running weather, I was too lazy to get out of bed and go. I don't even feel all that guilty. Anyway, let's start with last night's riding outfit:
Blurry action shot of said outfit. And Jamp's attempt at stretchy trot.
It was a nice evening last night so I was able to wear a t-shirt again. It's been a little chilly here at night and I've been riding in long sleeves. Brrr.

Helmet: One-K Snakeskin Defender
This helmet is really comfy, it's been getting worn a lot lately. I did order a smaller liner to see if I want a little snugger fit. It does stay put though, so I'm not sure I need it. We'll see when it gets here!

Tee: Exquisite Equine Apparel
I thought this was funny when I saw it and decided it was a must have. No regrets. Though Jamp wiped his face on it and stained it forever already.

Belt: Vineyard Vines
Gotta wear a whale buckle with whale breeches. Obviously.

Breeches: Equine Couture
I still think these are super fun. I don't wear them a ton because they're really snug which I don't love. But I do love the grippy knees, the seersucker, and the embroidered (not printed!) whales! Maybe I'll scour the internet for the next size up.

Boots: La Mundial
These are the orphan boots I got in Florida last year. I haven't worn them a ton because they seem to get overshadowed by some of the others. But after last night, I think they're earning their place in the rotation. They're starting to feel broken in, and I love that they're actually the right height for me. The top part is navy blue patent leather with kind of a crinkle effect on it. Subtle, but still really fun.

Spurs: Evo Equine
Straps: Stacie Originals
I figured my oil slick spurs would liven these boots up some. So fun!

And here's what I'm wearing at work today:

Cacti! Which you probably can't really see in this photo, so we'll have to look closer.

Top: Mine
Cacti are totally in right now. Who decides this stuff? And I thought this print was cute. I love the very subtle green and pink hues to the plants.

Belt: No brand
This is just an el cheapo generic leather belt strap from Ebay with my H buckle on it.

Pants: Rue 21
My local Rue 21 store closed up shop a few weeks ago, and I found these on the sale rack for like $5. I've been loving the frayed hems that are all around this season.

Shoes: Soludos
Cacti shoes! I've gone a little over board on collecting these loafer type shoes with ridiculous things embroidered on them. This pair is so cute! If you are interested in Soludos shoes though, do note, they run pretty small. You can size up between a half and a full size be just fine. This pair is a full size bigger than I normally wear (they were out of the half size so I took a chance) and they are only a hair loose.

There's a fairly good chance this entire outfit happened because I found this adorable necklace and needed a reason to own it.

Lefty is donning some vintage Gucci bracelets in similar (though brighter) shades as the cacti on my top.

Righty is wearing a stretchy stone bracelet from Ettika and this GORGEOUS hemp and stone bracelet that Nicole from Nicole's Creations made just for me this month. It arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to wear it for Thursday's Threads!

That's what I'm wearing today! What do you have on? Any favorites from today?