Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Well, it hasn't been the most exciting week, but it has been really productive. PLUS I got to ride BOTH days over the weekend! The weather has been so weird. During the week the ground was frozen solid after work everyday. But we did have some solid de-shedding days.

Someone needs to tell my horses it's going to be winter for another two months... They're going to have major regrets losing all this hair so early.
Saturday morning was pretty chilly so the ring was crunchy. I decided to keep working on the great closet purge of 2018 until the afternoon when it was going to be close to 50 degrees.
I stopped after making a partial dent in the project to go work the horses. The footing was a lot better than last week, so I was able to let the horses play on the lunge line a little before hopping on. Contrary to photographic evidence, they did go both directions.

I think Jampy kind of looks like Rio here

Not bad for a 21 year old!

Fortunately, they weren't too crazy, so I hopped on after just a few lunge minutes. Jamp was kind of funny. I let him walk around half the ring a couple times before asking for trot. The first lap he was fine, but the second walk lap he started spooking at the top of the circle (closest to the "scary" end of the ring). I tried to distract him with more bending and more leg and pats on the neck... all the usual things you do. But it's Jamp, so I finally gave in and made the circle smaller. Not that it mattered much.
he's so ridiculous.
I really couldn't be mad at him. For one thing, that's just Jamp. And at 18, he is who he is. For another thing, I rode him last Sunday, but not since. And prior to that it was a solid 6 weeks of not working. Who can blame him for being a little sassy? But we did get some slightly better work in too.
I mean, his mouth is open, so it wasn't exactly soft and relaxed work. But whatever, he's out of shape! (Me too.) That's the thing about just hopping on randomly during the winter. You can't do any real work. The horses have zero fitness and about a six minute attention span. Rightfully so. When you get on, you walk, trot, and canter just a little bit at each gait. Mostly there's a lot of walking. But it's still pretty great just to get in the saddle. Even if the real work is minimal at best.
Rio was actually pretty sassy on the lunge line. He actually let out a few bucks! But I wasn't worried about hopping on. He's really good about not carrying play time over to riding time.
I just walked and trotted him since he played quite a bit on the lunge line. Don't want to cripple the old man!
The rest of Saturday was spent continuing work on the great purge. I've made a great big dent in the chaos, but sadly, I'm not done. Hopefully I'll get there soon!
Sunday started off pretty rainy. The poor weather men around here are having a terrible time with forecasts lately. It was supposed to rain over night and stop by 8 am. But it didn't. It rained until about 1. This would have been fine but I had a kid coming to try my Hermes saddle and as you all know, I have no indoor.
Just an aside, I'm not selling the original Hermie, I'm selling Hermie 2.0 who is actually in Florida at a consignment shop. But since they're exactly the same saddle, I told the mom to come try this one and see if she even liked it before I went about schlepping the other back home.
If I had my choice of which horse to put a kid on to try a saddle, it would definitely be Rio. BUT, with his neurological issues, that's a total liability. So Jampy it had to be! Normally after riding the day before, I wouldn't bother lunging him again Sunday. But since I knew this kid was coming I figured it wouldn't hurt to have him a little extra tired. He was super quiet on the lunge line, so I hopped on quick before they arrived to find the "scary" parts of the ring. Fortunately, I think he was exhausted from Saturday. The kid looked ADORABLE on him and he was a perfect gentleman. I think maybe he'd like a kid. Too bad he's stuck with me.
"I'd like one of these please," -Jamp, probably
Unfortunately, the trainer didn't like the kid in Hermie. I'm not really that disappointed, because flying with saddles is super annoying. Plus, hopefully next trip I'll be bringing the Voltaire back home.
I hopped back on Jampy after they left so I could canter him a little. Of course, the first thing he did when I asked him to move forward was spook. Sheesh. Well at least he didn't do it to the kid! Rio was perfect as usual. I don't have any media from Sunday other than the kid on Jampy because it was raining and my only source of media is a cell phone bungee corded to a fence. Not good in the rain.
But I do have this photo of Jampy at night check
Winter came back with a vengeance on Monday with highs only in the 20's. We were supposed to get a light dusting of snow early Tuesday morning, but we wound up with this:
If this is what my weatherman calls a dusting, I'd hate to see what his house looks like. Must be filthy! hahaha! Crack myself up.
Obviously, riding is not a thing once more here in the frozen north. So instead, I'm trying a new hobby.
Metal stamping! You guys. I'm terrible at it. It's a lot harder than you'd expect to make a straight line of letters. It's also kind of tricky if you're using a shape instead of letters to get the whole shape to imprint the metal. I'm sure it will get easier with more practice... if not, I'll have a lovely set of metal stamping stuff for sale!
These were my first attempts:
It's interesting how the different metals take to the stamping. The silver, which is aluminum, is really soft and easiest to stamp. The copper is the hardest, and the brass is in the middle. The brass blanks I got are REALLY thin though, so they don't shape into bracelets as well as the other metals. I took a jewelry and metals class in college, so I'm excited to use some of those skills along with the stamping. I need to find all my tools from that class...
The pugs have been working REALLY hard. They're trying to perfect their nap positions. I really think they're getting there.

Well... that's what's up this Wednesday! What's up with you? How's the weather? Did you get to ride this weekend?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Truthful Tuesday: Pia edition

Today's confession comes from my short kid, Pia. For those not fully in the know of who's who, P is my 11 (almost 12) year old Pug daughter. She's the best ever in almost every way. I got her just before I bought my house, so we've been through lots of major life changes together.

Anyway, as she's aged she's had some medical stuff come up, as most do (canine, human, equine, all alike). Sometime last year, she started throwing up her daily supplement which helps her liver function. She's had some liver abnormalities since she was a pup, but the supplement seems to keep her going happily and healthfully. So it was of some concern that she was all of a sudden rejecting her supplement. After a vet visit and some tests, the diagnosis was acid reflux. So now P and I take the same medicine! Ha. It's not easy getting old... for any species!
So today's confession, coming straight from P is this: Sometimes she doesn't eat her pill. USUALLY if she doesn't, she spits it out right next to her dish, so I know and can force it into her. (Fortunately, Artie has no interest in stealing her meds as he will leave it right there on the floor by her bowl.)
But SOMETIMES, I find them in weird places. The other day, I looked down at my storm door as I was going outside and saw this:
She had stuck her little half a pill to the door. I have no idea how long it was there. I'm telling ya... animals are just as naughty as kids!

Do any of your fur kids hide their meds? Or do something equally sneaky?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday's Threads

Outfit day! And as promised I have a riding outfit. It's not a fun and exciting one. And the horses didn't match me. But it's something at least. So let's start there!
Bundled up! It was warmish out, but not ACTUALLY warm.

Jacket: Eddie Bauer

 I have this in two lengths and two colors. Because it's very lightweight, but also pretty warm. I get really gross at the barn, so I like to have more than one in case I don't get around to doing laundry often enough. And the long one I have to layer with, but it doesn't work for riding since it's long.

Sweatshirt: Skidmore
I think you've actually seen this hoodie before. I got it when I was up at my 15th college reunion last summer. I so love that our mascot is the Thoroughbred!

Belt: Mane Jane
I grabbed this strap from the Mane Jane clearance section. I really love the color, it goes with SO much! It's a great neutral but it isn't boring either. Did you know that the sale belt straps are only $35? They don't come with a buckle, but if you already have one, or you have one of those trendy H buckles, you can save money by getting just a strap! You can do that with any of Mane Jane's straps, but the sale ones are the cheapest.

Breeches: Ovation
These are the Taylored euro seat line. I love them. They're cut a little looser in the thigh which is exactly what I need... Especially after the holidays.... Moo. (How much longer can I blame the holidays for my weight gain? I have till at least February, right?)

Boots: ToughRider Regal
Well... should have cropped THAT photo. Hello backside... Anyway, I opted to wear my Regals because they're extra grippy. Expect to see those for awhile, at least until I can ride with consistency and have some hope of holding on with actual muscles.
Helmet: Charles Owen AYR8
Still a favorite! I think it could use a cleaning though. Looking a little dirty around the brim.

So that's what I wore to "ride" this weekend. It was great to get back in the saddle! And now for today's work outfit:
 Kept it pretty simple and casual today. It's freaking freezing out there, so I really just wanted something cozy and warm.
Yeah, see? Cold. Gross.

Sweater: Kate Spade Saturdays
Yep, definitely found this sweater during the great closet purge of '18. I picked this up last year at the end of the season in Florida of all places, and promptly stuck it in the back of the closet for this year. And then forgot about it. So glad I found it! It's actually coated in this iridescent... I don't know, paint? Dye? Whatever, it's coated in something that makes it shiny and awesome. I love it!

Belt: Mane Jane
One of these days I'll wear a belt that's NOT Mane Jane. But this is not that day. You've seen this navy belt before. I opted for navy because originally I was going to wear a really dark pair of jeans. Unfortunately, they definitely shrunk from being in the closet unworn for so long... so I couldn't wear them. (And yes, fully aware that can't happen, but please let me have that.)

Jeans: Vigoss
These are pretty basic blue jeans. I am loving them today though, because, well... they went on.

Booties: Bomoes
Remember these! So glad I found them that day at TJ Maxx. The jeans I had planned to wear were pretty much this color, though not shiny. I figured these would tie everything together: shiny like the sweater and navy like the pants. Bummer it didn't quite work out that way, but hey, they still work!

Arm Party!
Lefty is donning a shimmery cuff that's almost a match to my sweater! Almost... It's a touch more mint than blue. But it's pretty close.

Righty is wearing this (in my opinion) awesome glittery stack of bracelets that I made. I made the wrap and the horse last year, and the cuff I just did this past weekend. I think they are super fun all stacked together!

And that's it for today! Any favorites? Still cold where you are? What's your favorite winter riding jacket?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

I'll try not to talk about poop too much today. I'm disappointed to report that Rio's poo is still rather runny, but it's at least not exploding out of him like the other day... That was horrifying. It's definitely still wintering out here in CT, but it's calmed itself down quite a bit. We've not only been above freezing for almost a week, we had a RAINSTORM yesterday! Rain! I love rain. At least when it could be snow and instead it's being rain. That's when I love it. So let's see... what happened in the last week?
Thursday evening I basically neglected my horses. I fed them after work and then I headed off to meet up with my book club. I was pretty excited as we were meeting at a restaurant right down the road from my house that I had yet to try.
 Turns out some family friends of one of the girls was seated by us, and as they were leaving, sent us two bottles of wine. Those are the kind of people I like to be friends with! Free wine for all! Woohoo!
Friday, to apologize for the Thursday neglect, the ponies had a nice grooming each and the puggers got some extra snuggles.
I was REALLY hoping to ride on Saturday but alas, the weather was being dumb. Originally the forecast was for 50's this weekend. And while we did very briefly see 50 on Saturday, it was only for about a half hour and not until later in the afternoon. Saturday was VERY windy too. Nonetheless, I was hopeful to get on. I kept walking the ring to test the footing. ALL DAY LONG. While the very top layer got soft, it was still very hard and frozen under that, which makes for terribly unsafe footing. Boo. So more groomies for the boys and that was that. Instead I had some fun with crafts in the house.
First I made some cuff bracelets that I've been meaning to put together for awhile. They all have matching horse head bracelets to wear in a stack. The horse heads I made last year though.

You may or may not remember that I mentioned Rio having lost a chunk of (non-pooped on) tail a few weeks ago. I really wanted to make a bracelet with it so figured I had the time so that was the next project. Because the tail chunk wasn't cut off neatly, I had to try and organize the strands before doing anything with it. This was kind of a PITA and I eventually got bored and super lazy about the whole thing and decided to just braid it. But I didn't JUST want braided Rio hair because there wasn't enough of it to be very thick. So I thought I could braid it with some leather cord I had. It kept just not looking right, until finally I tried adding hair to the cord sections as well, and then it finally looked ok.
 Unfortunately, the clasp I choose, which looks ADORABLE as I'd hoped, is not a very functional one. It's magnetic, which usually is fine. The magnets on most of the clasps I've used are really strong and hold very well. But with the way this one is designed, it's just not working.
The bracelet has to stay flat where the clasp is or else it comes apart. And when you wear a soft bracelet like this one, it doesn't hold that flat shape unfortunately.
It's perfect if you DON'T MOVE!
Honestly though, I'm feeling a little superstitious about wearing a Rio bracelet anyway. I don't want to put any bad JUJU out there by wearing part of my horse that's still alive and well. Seems weird right? So maybe it's for the best that this was just a prototype. And that was the extent of my wild Saturday night!
Sunday I was more determined than ever to get on my ponies! I had learned from Saturday to wait until the afternoon to even consider such things. So instead I got started on the great closet purge of 2018. I only allotted myself a couple of hours, so I didn't get very far. But hey, it's a start! At 1 I headed out to feed lunch and work the ponies. The footing was still pretty bleh, but the one corner was soft enough to do a little walk trot on the lunge line to see how their brains were working.
I started with Jampy. He was actually a lot less nuts than I expected. He tried to get stupid once, but he is smart enough to realize the footing was not good enough for such nonsense and reeled it back in.
I didn't want him doing too much since he hasn't worked in a solid month, so I let him trot around a little each way, and then decided to climb aboard. I was hoping to do some trotting too, which we did, but very little. The footing was crap, and my neighbor had come home and was making all kinds of weird noise over there. Jampy was a good boy though!

I left my Voltaire in Florida and was curious to see if I would miss it. I haven't used my Hermes saddle since the Voltaire arrived! Fortunately, Hermie felt just as great as I remembered.
I pretty much had the same plan for Rio. He was feeling a bit sassy and gave me a bunch of happy head shakes on the lunge line. He's smart enough to respect the footing, but I think if it was better out he'd have been a bit of a bronco. Silly old man!
after the wild was out. AKA 2 minutes later.
Since it's Rio he got over the wilds pretty quickly. I climbed aboard but just walked him. Since he's less of a kook than his brother, I let him use the whole ring. I think he enjoyed the walk. I know I did. There's seriously nothing better to me than getting to sit on him. He's definitely my soul mate.
I was half thinking about taking the pugs for a walk since it's been FOREVER since they've gone on one. I don't take them on the road once winter hits because all that salt is terrible on their feet. I wound up not taking them because everything was a wet muddy mess and they're very low riders. I wasn't up for the bathe the doggies battle. Instead we played some fetch in the house and got some snuggles in too.
we're not very good at family selfies

We ARE good at naps.
The temps have been falling ever since Monday so by the time I get home from work, the ground is hard again. It's looking promising for some riding on Saturday though, so everyone keep your fingers crossed for us!
How was your week/weekend? Did you get to ride? Do any crafts? What's going on with you and your ponies?