Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Truthful Tuesday

Today I must confess that I've really turned into a backyard horse owner. I used to be super on top of making sure my horses were perfectly trimmed and groomed all the time. If I had a vet appointment, I made sure to trim the horses up, give them baths, and pull their manes. They were show ready all the time, and especially if I knew they were having visitors. Now?
Not so much. I have lots of good excuses.... It's mean to shave their whiskers, I don't want their ears to get cold in the winter/have flies in the summer, I can grab the mane easier if it's long... But really? I've just gotten a little lazy. So last night everyone had their manes shortened. I didn't braid them over this time, but will soon probably. Maybe I'll even trim them. Maybe.
Do you practice neat horse keeping? Are your horses ears fuzzy in the off season? Am I the only one with fuzzy pony faces?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thursday's Threads: Thanksgiving edition

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a great day spent with people you love. Or animals you love. Either one. I got to spend it with both, so that's a great day! I haven't ridden due to the weather, so no riding outfit to share today, but I do have my Thanksgiving outfit. We're a casual family so no need to get too fancy!
I mean just because we're casual doesn't mean I can't wear some shiny pants!
Let's look closer:

Sweater: Cabi
A few weeks ago my sister-in-law hosted a Cabi party. I saw this sweater there and HAD to have it! This picture of my back is doing no justice to my backside nor the sweater, but I swear it's only awkward (and enormous) because my arm is raised to take the photo. I love the shape of this sweater and the fun back is a total bonus!

Pants: Trina Turk
Shiny pants!!! I love me some shiny pants. Not news, I know. I found these pants last year at Nordstrom Rack when I was in Florida. They were marked down to $30 from something ridiculous like $250. Obvious must have for me.

Belt: Burberry
I think you've all seen this one more than once. I thought the tan plaid was perfect with both the sweater and the shiny pants.

Booties: Vince Camuto
I'm pretty sure I got these booties a few years ago when Little Black Bag was closing down. If I remember correctly I only paid $10 for them. They're real suede, and pretty fabulous. Especially for $10. 

Arm Party:
Lefty kept it simple because as usual, I was running too late to pick out jewelry. Just my trusty apple watch today.

Righty wore these adorable hand painted bangles from Deux Chevaux. I stumbled across these on Ebay awhile back for  better than half price. I did try to get them even cheaper because I'm frugal, but was unsuccessful. I think they're gorgeous though, and worth every penny. 

That's what I wore today! How was your Thanksgiving? What did you wear?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday Friends! It's the best Wednesday because it's also Fake Friday. Fake Fridays are my favorite. ESPECIALLY when they fall on a Wednesday. It's been a weird week over here, I'm glad it's a short one!
Last Thursday I had the vet scheduled to come out for fall shots between 3 and 5. I decided to work just until two which would give me some time to let the dogs out even if the vet arrived right at 3. He usually texts me when he's a half hour out which is great. I let the dogs out and decided to hop on Jampy quickly since I hadn't heard from the vet yet. Silly to waste a chance to ride in the daylight! He was a spookasaurus of course, but it was still nice.
The vet arrived about 20 minutes after I got off which was perfect timing. I had him palpate on Romey some and we had a nice chat. This vet isn't my lameness specialist, but I think it never hurts to get another educated opinion. Dr. A said from palpating on him, he really didn't find any sensitivity which is what my lameness vet thought as well. Dr A did say though, that he might need to be in more work to be able to really diagnose it. So that was going to be my plan, until the temps dropped and the ground froze over. Have I mentioned I hate winter?
But I digress... Friday was fairly warm, so Jamp and Romey both got ridden after work. Rio got loved on. Happy boys all around. My weekend helper needed this weekend off so I was on my own for barn chores. Have I told you guys that I'm the world's slowest stall cleaner? I totally am. But they are so clean when I'm done! The boys all enjoyed their turnouts while I was cleaning.
Rio snacking while he waits his turn in the ring.

Romey gloating that he always goes out first

Jamp just wanting to not be outside. Ever.
It was a ridiculously gorgeous day out. Temps were in the upper 60's and the sun was out much of the day. I couldn't wait to ride! Once chores were done and the dogs had been out, I got ready to ride Jampy first. But when I put him on the crossties he was breathing really hard. Poop. He does that when he has a fever. 103.3. Double poop. So I texted the vet, pumped him full of Banamine and tucked him back into his stall. Poor baby. Reaction to his vaccines we think. He's just fine now thankfully. We're going to start giving him a little Banamine whenever he gets shots from now on since he's been so sensitive to them lately. It's not easy getting old. I still can't believe he's turning 18 in the spring. Yikes.
Romes was actually pretty good Saturday thankfully. I do think he's much happier when it's not freakin' freezing out. Me too Romey. Me too.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were stupid. 18 mph sustained winds with gusts around 10-25 mph. Highs right at around 40. Ugh. NO THANK YOU! The boys have enjoyed much grooming, zero work. They're pretty happy with the arrangement. I'm crossing my fingers I'll get to ride this weekend. It's supposed to be a little warmer but it's also going to rain. So we shall see.
In non horse related news, I got to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning before doing chores. I picked up a breakfast sandwich and drove down to the lake for some quiet time. Just me and Acoustic Sunrise on the radio. (I know, I'm super old. Simple things my friends.)

I spent the rest of Sunday cleaning my house and working on some reviews for Beeju Boxes. One of the boxes I was sent to review was the RLB Art Box Studio. So I had to do some arts and crafts. I made a pony. (Totally not the point of the activity... whatever.)

Check out my review over here! (You'll be able to see what the actual point of the activity was. But you'll agree my way was better.) I have some others posting this weekend ranging from snackboxes, to lego boxes, to jewelry. Stop over there when you've had enough of the black Friday and small business Saturday crowds. We should have some coupons and what not up too.
Thanksgiving Day will start early with pony chores, and then I'm meeting my family at my brother's for a giant meal! I can't wait to eat everything. EVERYTHING. What are your plans for the holiday?
Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Truthful Tuesday

Ugh. You guys. It's so freaking cold here! The high the last two days was 41 degrees. And with the wind chill it felt like less than 30. And that's during the day! The high this past Saturday? 68. How does that even happen? A nearly 30 degree drop in temps overnight?! WAHHHHHHHH! Needless to say I haven't ridden since Saturday. So today's confession: I think I'm losing my edge.
I used to be pretty hardcore. (Though I used to also have use of an indoor, so there's that.) I would ride in any temperature! As long as the ground wasn't frozen of course. Not only that I would show in sub zero temps! Indoors of course.

That cloud you see in the photo above around Rio's knees is actually from his breath. That's freaking freezing you guys!
But now? Now when it's under 37 I generally opt out of riding. I'm a little more gung-ho if it's daytime, but at night? In 20 mph winds? Nope. Not for me! Maybe it's because I don't have a trustworthy, well behaved equine partner now? Maybe it's because I'm getting old? Maybe it's because I'm stuck outside in the elements? I don't know really. Maybe it's all of those things. But I've definitely lost my edge.

What are your feelings about riding in the cold? Do you ride outdoors? Know where I might find my edge? 'Cause I hate being a wimpy ammy.

Friday, November 18, 2016

10 Questions for November Blog Hop from Viva Carlos

I love reading everyone's responses to the monthly questions posed by Viva Carlos, so I'm joining in the fun too! Here goes...

 How old is the youngest/greenest horse you’ve ridden?
I think the youngest horse I've ridden was 3. The greenest I've dealt with was a pony that I had on trial. I wasn't informed of this, but she had only been under saddle for two weeks when she came to my barn for me to try. After a few days off, (remember I had no idea she was THAT green) she bucked me off while I was mounting and broke my nose. Needless to say, I didn't buy that one.
How old is the oldest horse you’ve ridden? 
We had some pretty ancient school horses in college. The oldest was a horse named Cajun (he's on the right in that picture right above here. He was a thoroughbred who had raced, then became a polo horse, and finally wound up at my college as a lesson horse. He was a saint. When I knew him, he just did beginner flat lessons. He did the beginner classes at the home shows too, so a few times I warmed him up. We always thought he was in his late 20's but then we looked at his tattoo one day and realized he was either 8 or 34. And we knew he wasn't 8. I think he was 36 when he passed away.

Were you scared of horses when you first started riding?
A little? I was kind of scared of falling off, and I was definitely respectful of their size. Where I started, the quietest most wonderful beginner horse was 14.3 so I didn't start on a little pony.

Would you say you’re a more nervous rider or a confident rider?
I'm a chicken little. If you read my blog you definitely already know that about me! But I will say, that on the right horse I can be very confident. Rio and I had some pretty bold jump offs in the low amateurs!

Biggest pet peeve about non-horse people around horses?
Not listening or trusting in what I tell them. Romey bites. He's not friendly. (And before him Ducky was the same way.) So when I tell you not to stick your fingers in his stall to pet him, please don't do it! And especially don't stick your face in there to kiss him! Sheesh.

A time you’ve been scared for your life?
When Ducky first came to me, he was skittish. He had clearly been in a bad situation and his response to being uncomfortable or afraid was to challenge me. One day, about a year after I had brought him home I was picking his feet in his stall. Like I had done every single day since he came. But something I did or the way I moved upset him and he pinned me in the far corner of his stall. I had no escape, and I thought for sure he was going to kick me. (Because he would do that...) Thankfully, he let me go. And I mean that. He decided it was ok not to kill me that day. But he might have had it been sooner in our relationship. Freaking scary you guys!

Have you ever fallen off at show? What happened?
Um... more times than I can probably recall! Stop me if this gets too long!
My very first horse show that wasn't a schooling show at home, I fell off, not once but TWICE in the schooling ring. My horse was not very honest though I learned later that he didn't see well. So he got up to the jump which maybe he couldn't see, who knows, and ducked out. I was about 4'8" and he was 15.3 hands so my attempts to cling were pathetic.
When I was 11 I had an appy I did in the children's hunters. He was pretty perfect all of the time. But one day while doing a warm up, I asked for a long distance into a line. He took it but for some reason forgot a leg. It was a tiny jump, maybe 2' so it wasn't like he had time to rotate, but we both went skidding on our faces.
I went to Devon once. I think I may have shared this story before. I was doing the junior hunters, and my horse wasn't quite himself the first day. His normally enormous stride was really short, and he wasn't making it down the lines. Apparently, my answer to that was to gallop, not get there, but jump up to his ears anyway. He took the safer option of not going, but I catapulted myself right through the jump. Jump crew had to pick me out.
One time at Saratoga I was showing one of our lesson horses (we had insanely nice lesson horses at Skidmore). We were out starting to school in the warm up ring over a tiny little cross rail. Well I still to this day have no idea what happened, but he didn't unfold his legs one time and just landed on his face. Me too. So odd. We were both fine and continued on with the show.
When I first moved back home after college, I had a fun project horse to play with. He was a four year old ottb and I did him in the adult hunters and pre greens. One day, on my birthday, we were doing a little 2'6" thoroughbred hunter class. Well I was on my way to the first jump, when he very suddenly spun out from under me. I held on for awhile with my right leg just barely hooked over the saddle. But I couldn't get my balance to climb back on. Wasn't much of a birthday gift!
My very first amateur class with Rio I did almost the same thing I did at Devon. (Do you see a pattern?) I jumped into the very first line which was a bending seven. This was a jumper class though, so if I did 8 that would have been fine. But instead I let him bulge out so the seven was too long. Rather than wait for the 8, I launched myself up to his ears at stride 7. Literally. I pulled the bridle off while falling.
Ok, last one, though there are plenty more... One of my first real jumper shows with Jamp was at Saratoga. The jumps were a pretty solid 3'9" and we weren't as prepared as we should have been. Anyway, I came around a turn to an oxer, didn't quite get his eye on it, jumped ahead and got jumped right off.
Now the funny thing here, is that I very rarely choose the long distance. And nine times out of ten I will get left behind rather than jump ahead. But it seems that one time out of ten always really does end in disaster.

What’s a breed of horse you’ve never ridden but would like to ride?
I would love to sit on a Paso Fino some day!

Describe the worst behaved horse you’ve ridden?
I've ridden some naughty ones... ahem Jasper... Who could rear, buck, spin, spook... (I hate all of that crap, remember I'm a chicken!) But the worst behavior I've come across was definitely, hand down, without a doubt Ducky. He would plant his feet and refuse to move. FOR HOURS! OMG. SO BAD.

The most frustrating ride you’ve ever had?
My horse Cosmo was an amazing teacher. He could jump ridiculously high, but he was really unorthodox and not at all careful. But I had been working REALLY hard with him all summer. Taking lots of lessons from some big name professionals. We had been getting better and better in the show ring, even making the jump-off and getting ribbons occasionally. I was heading into the ring for out last class of the summer. It was an adult jumper Marshall & Sterling classic. I felt SO CONFIDENT in both myself and in Cosmo. We were ON IT! We schooled great. Well, I went in the ring, and he just threw his feet at every single jump. I had like 4 or 5 rails. It was so upsetting because it wasn't how I wanted to end our season. And I really had thought we were there and ready to be successful that day. I gave him a good ride. I held up my end of the bargain in the ring. Cosmo just couldn't that day. Horses, man. Horses.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday's Threads!

Outfit Day! It's a gorgeous day here today. Highs should be around 60 which is pretty fab for mid November. The sun is out, and I have a half day of work! The boys are finally getting fall shots. Bummer for them I suppose, but I'm pretty excited to break out early on a beautiful day!
Let's start with last night's riding outfit:
I'm happy to report that navy looks great with my green helmet too :)

Vest: Aeropostale
Sweater: Ariat

That is the coziest vest EVER. Of course I also got the matching jacket, because necessities. The only negative is how badly everything sticks to them. Worth it though for the cozy factor. The sweater you've all seen before. I'm a big fan of the Ariat wool sweaters. If you see them on sale, definitely add one to your wardrobe!

Breeches: Ariat
You've all seen these before. I swear they aren't actually faded or dirty, but I couldn't get a shot that they didn't look that way. I love the teal stitching on these!

Ok, on to today's outfit!

It happened you guys. I am wearing leggings. Leggings as pants. I'm not sure if I'm ok.

Top: Goo Yoo
(Seriously? Who names these brands?)
Obviously when I saw this top I had to have it. It's green. It has tan elbow patches... There's nothing to dislike here. It's a nice length for a tunic, covering my entire bum so I can make a legging attempt. And it's nice and loose so my tire doesn't show!

Leggings: Michael Kors
Corduroy leggings! YES! This is what swayed me! They're a nice heavy fabric so they cover up the lumps pretty well. And they're REALLY stretchy so it's like wearing your favorite breeches to work. Thank you Michael Kors for making a classy legging!

Boots: Seychelles
Yes, these are the most amazing boots on the planet. That's high praise coming from me! I found these a few years back, and they still remain at the top of my favorites list. They're SO SOFT! And SO COMFY! And green and brown. Perfection!

Arm party!
Lefty is sporting a vintage Gucci bracelet along with the apple watch. I love that the bracelet has an actual, functional buckle. Although, I sometimes have trouble getting out of it.

Righty is also sporting a vintage Gucci bracelet, along with some artisan made bangles. We have the cutest restaurant in my town. It's part gift store, part gourmet deli. I stopped in a few weekends ago to grab a breakfast sandwich and found these bracelets while I was waiting. I knew I had the perfect outfit for them! Plus, they're my barn colors so...

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What's Up Wednesday! (And my day at the Equine Affair)

I really miss having actual riding related things to talk about on What's Up Wednesday. While I am still riding, it's mostly in the dark on a very small portion of the ring because I don't have the energy for the spooking and running that occurs when I venture toward the dark side... The literal dark side. I only have lights on one end of my ring at the moment. But let's try and talk ponies anyway despite my doing zero actual REAL work with them.
Jampy is currently being ridden 4-6 times per week. We work on not being a giraffe and trying not to run away from every little noise he doesn't actually hear but thinks he does. Riding him is a total chore, because he's just so worried the entire time. I can see why they took winters off with him when he lived in Europe. To loosely quote Anna Nalick, winter just isn't his season. But riding aside he's gotten really affectionate lately. Last night he literally kissed my face. With his lips. It was odd, but adorable. We haven't jumped anything in weeks and I'm starting to really miss it. I'm thinking about maybe taking a lesson once a week some place on a school horse just to try and keep going this winter. We'll see if I follow through on that.

I've been REALLY inconsistent with Romey. He's being an absolute turd but I'm really not sure if it's because he's uncomfortable or he actually just needs a little tough love. I need to pick my vet's brain about him again and figure out a plan. I did have a nice ride on him Monday though. He only complained for a few strides about picking up the trot and then he actually KEPT TROTTING until I told him to walk. So that was a small miracle. It's really disheartening when your goal has become trot a circle. Literally. That's it. Just trot a damn circle. UGH. No more green horses for me. Lesson learned.

Once I remembered how cold backed Rio gets when it's not summer, I decided we wouldn't ride any more until spring. We've been hand walking and doing some VERY LIGHT lunging instead. (He gets turned out everyday too of course.) He's pretty happy about all the extra time for grooming that makes for him.

I headed up to Equine Affair on Saturday. I had several things I wanted to research and had thought about catching some of Guy McLeans's clinic. Spoiler alert: I was so busy shopping and researching I missed that. Oops.
 I have been thinking for a long while about upgrading my trailer. I have a Sundowner two horse, straighload gooseneck with a tack room. I absolutely love it, but because of the needy children I have, I always need to have someone come along with me to help with loading and unloading. This gets expensive because no one wants to give up their day to hang out at a horse show for free. Or at least not anyone that I know. I've been contemplating the 2+1 size for awhile, but honestly it's much too big for me. I don't want to haul around a huge trailer. And I'm not a fan of slant loads. (Just my opinion, not judging them or anyone who loves them.) There is an option of a two horse trailer, gooseneck, straight load, with tack room that has a side ramp, but is smaller than the 2 plus 1. I have seen a few configurations from different companies, but I really couldn't get a sense of space from photos. I was hoping to see some in person over the weekend.

And I did! I got to see a few different versions, though none were exactly what I wanted. Which is good because I just bought a truck and therefore cannot also buy a trailer right this minute. But now I know exactly what I DO want, and I also found out that I can have it built for about the same price as an in stock model. So all good things. What did I see, and what do I want you ask? Most brands that had the side ramp along with a tack room, had a slanted wall between the horse area and the tack room area. I hated this. It gave a lot less room to the horse on the side not next to the ramp. Kingston however, had a nice roomy square area for the horses to walk through. So that's definitely what I would want. It does give less room to the tack room, but it's still absolutely big enough. I think it's still the same size as my current tack room. But I didn't like the Kingston trailer in general. The style was really dated on the inside, and it just lacked a lot of finishing touches I saw from other brands. I think when the time comes I'm going to go custom through 4 Star. There's a dealer within a reasonable driving distance from where I live, and they take trade-ins. I'm already getting itchy to place the order... Settle down Stacie.

I also wanted to pay a visit to Blue Saddles. They're a used saddle dealer specializing mostly in higher end saddles. While I'm really not excited to buy another saddle just for Romey, I do want him to be comfortable. And I also want me to be comfortable. The Del Grange I'm using on him now still doesn't fit him very well, despite his being happier in it than in the Hermes. It also doesn't fit me at all. Again, I didn't go up planning to purchase, just to research. And I behaved and did just that. (I know I'm shocked too.) I sat in a bunch of saddles and really didn't love any of them. I still think my choice for a saddle should I decide to get something would be the Voltaire Stuttgart. But they are expensive and kind of tough to find used. The Palm Beach model is the most popular, but I don't really like that one. I'm also not doing anything until I figure out what's going on with Romey's back. If heaven forbid he can't be ridden anymore, then it's silly to buy him a saddle.
Obviously I didn't walk away from Equine Affair empty handed of course. I still managed to spend my money. I got some new brushes for the boys (they each got their own because we don't like to share grooming tools). The Diva brush from Haas is pretty awesome. I'll probably do a review on it if I can get some good before and after photos using it. I also got a gold glitter crop because everyone needs one of those.
Diva brush, beastie brush, glitter stick. No need to photograph all the brushes since the others are the same.

The pugs even got some Himalayan chews which was nice because I hate to do for one set of kids and not the other, ya know? That was pretty much all I brought home with me. I would have been proud of me except that I did buy something else. But I'm not ready to admit it yet, so you'll have to wait until February to find out about my guilty purchase upon its arrival.
Waiting on my door step when I got home was my order from EC Equestrian.

Look how pretty! (And it all matches my green helmet!) The baby pads are awesome, and I will probably order some to keep in the trailer at some point if I ever start showing again. I like the half pad too, though I do wish the foam was little more dense. The horses seem to like it though, so what do I know? The polos I don't love. They're cute, but the fleece isn't my favorite. I won't order more of those. Customer service was fabulous and turn around time was really quick too! Especially since she ordered special velcro just for me for the wraps.

The pups have been really busy loafing around, but on Saturday morning my dad dropped off Juno for the week. My dad and step mom are at a trade show in Germany so Juno is hanging with the puggers.
The three of them having been causing all sorts of chaos, but only the best kind. And also little Juno rules the roost. P tried ONE TIME to get at Juno's food... let's just say that didn't happen a second time. Pia needs that once in awhile, she totally takes advantage of Artie.

That's what's up this Wednesday! What's up with you? Tell me about your week in the comments!