Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thursday's Threads

It's a stormy day here in CT, but to be honest, we REALLY need the rain. So I'm not going to whine about it. I'll just leave this image of today's forecast to do the explaining for me:
I'm thinking the ponies will skip their walks tonight... Anyway, since it's not super warm, and VERY rainy, It's another long sleeve outfit day.
I'm throwing it back to the late 90's with my tucked in shirt... It didn't lay right out.

Top: Ariat
I grabbed this one during an online sale for maybe $15? I'm always a fan of a pony themed button down! I really like the colors on this one.

Belt: Rebecca Ray

I love this belt, but I don't wear it as much as I probably should. It adjusts on both sides of the bit, and has fancy stitching in the back.

Jeans: Kate Spade
What are the odds that I would have jeans the exact same shade as the teal bits on this shirt? Ok, yeah, the odds are pretty good if you're me. But still, I was excited they matched! I stumbled across these jeans a few years ago on the clearance rack at Marshalls. I didn't know Kate Spade even made jeans back then.

Shoes: Sperry
These photograph almost black, but they're really navy. Found these on ebay when I was looking for, well, not these. But they were super cheap so I grabbed them.

Arm Party!
In keeping with the bit theme today, I wore this brass curb chain bracelet from Swanky Saddle. Looks cute with the apple watch!

Righty has on this rein bracelet (also from Swanky Saddle), a bit cuff from Sloane Ranger, and another bit that I think is from Fornash.

That's what I wore to work today, but I figured I could also show you what I wore to show last weekend. I didn't think to snap pics while I was actually wearing everything, but enjoy these photos of my dirty laundry instead....

That's me standing with the white ribbon in my show clothes
Helmet: Samshield
This is the new one that I got when my local tack store closed up in May. First time out!

Jacket: RJ Classics
I grabbed this one when the OTHER local tack shop was closing a couple years ago. (They've since reopened.) I'm glad I had it because my other jackets were a wee bit too snug... First time out for this item too!

Show Shirt: Essex Classics
Tack of Day had my favorite Essex Classics shirts on sale a few years back and I bought like 4 of them I think. This was one of them. I LOVE the print in the collar. It's tough to see, but it's horses wearing pretty colored blankets. I also had never worn this piece. Practically a whole new outfit!

Belt: brand unknown
The belt I normally show in is still in Florida since I never went back down to get my stuff this year. So I wore this belt instead. It's black patent with a gold bit buckle. I actually really liked it, and think it may be my new show belt if ever I get to show again.

Breeches: Tailored Sportman Trophy Hunter, side zip
I was shocked these still fit me. Thank goodness they're so stretchy I suppose... Anyway, these are your basic breeches that many people like to show in. I really prefer side zip breeches for showing, because they allow your jacket to lay nice and flat. Not everyone likes them, but I sure do. Maybe it's my age? EVERYONE wore side zip to show when I was a junior. Well, the females anyway.

Boots: Parlanti
We all know I have TONS of boots to choose from. But I'm super traditional in the ring. Especially for equitation classes. So these will likely be the only boots you see me show in. Unless maybe next time I do the Alumni I bust out the green ones since that is Skidmore's color. Probably not though.

And that's it for today! Are you a traditionalist in the show ring, or do you like to mix it up a little? Any favorites from today? Thoughts on Ariat apparel (I love it!)?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Last week was insane you guys. But somehow I made it through and proceeded to make the weekend a little crazy too. Why not, right?
So we last left off with braiding horses Monday and Tuesday. So that continued for Wednesday and then Thursday too. I wasn't supposed to have any for Thursday, but then I did. So that was a monkey wrench in the week too. But let's back up to Wednesday.
I worked all day Wednesday, went home and hand walked the free loaders at home. Then it was off to Durham to braid two manes.

Both horses were perfect angels so that fortunately went quickly. Next up, I drove back to the other barn to do two manes and two tails.

Also good ponies, so it went pretty quickly. I was home a little after 2 am. Changed Jampy's ice boots and fell asleep possibly before I even got into my bed.
Thursday was another regular work day. My mom and I had tickets to a play about forty minutes north of where I live. But I was kind of hoping she'd want to skip it and just get dinner instead. The tickets were a gift, so while obviously wasteful not to go, it wasn't like it came out of our own pockets at least. She was down for a nice dinner instead so that was pretty great. I was able to get to my braiding job at a fairly reasonable hour. I had the same two horses to do again.

I was home a little after midnight, but I couldn't go to sleep yet. Oh no. I still had to finish making our company's logo out of felt for the center pieces for my dad's retirement part on Friday. (Why yes, I SHOULD have finished those last weekend, but I didn't.)
It was close to 2 am by the time I finished. But hey, I FINISHED THEM! Phew. If any one's keeping track, I got no more than four and a half hours of sleep any night last week. Who needs sleep anyway?

Friday was the day of the big party for my dad. We had a full day of work to get through first, but the party started right at 5pm. I asked my horse sitter to tend to the boys for me so I could stay for the shindig. Everything really went great at the party, and my dad really enjoyed it.

I didn't really get photos, but I hired a photographer and will have those pictures in a few days. The party went until 9 so I was home at a reasonable hour. It was nice to be home and relaxing by 10 pm! I stayed up until midnight to change Jampy's ice boots, but had asked my weekend helper if she woulnd't mind changing them in the morning so I could sleep in a little. I was exhausted!
Saturday morning around 9 I got a call from my friend that runs the Skidmore show in Saratoga. She said I should drive up there and ride her horse in the Alumni classes. You all know I try to do that every year! Last year, it was going to go too late so we did a Q&A instead of actually riding. I wasn't planning to go this year since I need to stick around for Jampy's ice and special needs. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could take off for a few hours and he would be ok. My weekend helper was barn sitting across the street, so she said she could take care of dinner for the boys and Jamp's ice. My mom could come to feed the pups.
After a brief scramble around the house to find show clothes that fit, I was on the road! It's about a three hour drive, and the class was getting earlier and earlier by the minute... They had a bunch of rain up there, and a lot of the adults had scratched their classes which ran before. Fortunately, my friend keeps her horse at a full service show barn, so he was all ready when I pulled in! (Such service... a girl could get used to that!) I quickly got my boots and hat on and off I went to the ring! Our flat class was first. And I'm sorry I have zero media, but I'm hoping to get a pro pic or two in a few days. Anyway, the flat went really well. Sochi (the horse I was riding) is an adorable little warmblood. He's MAYBE 16 hands, jet black. Adorable. Looks like a big pony. And he's SUPER broke to flat. Plus, I've flatted him a few times over the years, so I knew him a little bit that way. They tested us a little on the flat with some sitting trot and a change of direction at the canter via a simple lead change. Then we had to answer some questions from the judge individually. In years past the questions could be a bit risque... but with the me too movement and all, they kept it pretty tame. I wound up winning the class! Woohoo! Imagine that? I have barely ridden, and not at all for two weeks. And I won the flat! I was a little shocked honestly.
Next up was the fence class. I was a little more worried about that since I really haven't jumped much in a very long time. Other than a few single jumps with Bradley a few weeks ago. And I've never jumped Sochi. We warmed up ok though, and I wasn't feeling too petrified as I stood at the in gate. So that was good!
Apologies for the terrible course diagram. I should have taken a photo of the actual course map, but I didn't. So enjoy this terrible recreation. Pretend like 1 and 7 aren't actually intersecting because in real life they did not. Anyway, back to the class!
I was maybe a hair slow to jump one, but it worked out just fine. Two was perfect. I think I was a little late with the change behind to fence 3, but we did get it. The line was lovely in six strides. 5 rode great. The roll back to six, went well, though he was a little tough to turn. He likes to bulge pretty hard to the right! And then things went awry. I mentioned yesterday that Sochi is a legit, fancy hunter. So he likes you to push him up to the gappier distance. I LOVE me a nice distance at the base. So that's a learning curve for me, trying to find that gap and get to it nicely. Well, at 7 I saw the base spot. And I didn't get him shortened to it in time so we had an ugly pop chip jump. I got jumped a bit loose, and wound up having to make a circle. It was supposed to be a bending seven strides. I definitely could have made it to the oxer without a circle, but I knew the other girls would be great (there were only four of us), so I had already clinched last place anyway. My thoughts were that I might as well get organized and end with a nice jump, rather than end flailing over it just to get over it.

While I was a little bummed I'd messed up that last line (and the earlier lead change) I was really happy with how things went. I had a BLAST! Got to ride a REALLY nice horse with a great sense of humor. And even came home with ribbons!
I hung out for a bit after the class to watch the grand prix, and catch up with some friends. And then I stopped back at my friend's house for a bit before the three hour drive home. I was home right around midnight to change Jamp's ice and snuggle the pugs for a few minutes before bedtime.
Sunday I really needed to do some catching up at home and in the barn. First I headed out for some errands and a stop at the farmer's market in town. And a breakfast sandwich of course.
After that I spent some time with the ponies. I let Jampy have a roll on the lead line this time, but I was too slow with the camera.
He's looking svelte these days, which is what the vets wanted.
I'd forgotten how tiny his butt can get. So oddly proportioned when he's not rocking the dad bod.
Rio had a stroll and some grass too.
After ponies, I ran to the grocery store because Jamp was out of celery. And I mean, I was 100% out of groceries too, but I probably would have procrastinated that task if not for Jampy's needs. Then it was time to feed the equine and head to the lake! Unfortunately, it was looking like this out:
So as soon as my food was ready
best one of the year
 the skies opened up and the music was over. Booooo. I hung out with some friends inside the snack shack though and we shared a bottle of wine. All was not lost even if the weather hadn't cooperated!
That was about it for Sunday. After the wine and lobster my motivation for doing productive things was all gone.
Monday was back to work, but a good friend invited me for dinner so that was a lovely way to end a Monday!
Yesterday was the dentist (UGH!), work, and then ponies. AND THAT WAS IT! Also a good phone convo with trainer about the yellow pony and his future. I think he's coming up here, but I have to decide where he goes. I'm actually thinking of sending him to a friend that does a lot of horse sales. But I'm not 100% decided at this point. Will keep you posted.
Jampy has a vet appointment this afternoon to get blood work and have his weight checked. Hopefully that all goes well. He was able to have his breakfast, but he has to fast for four hours before the blood draw. He's NOT going to be a happy horse, that's for sure. Last night, when I went to give him his ace, he whirled around and kicked at me. Not in his character AT ALL, so clearly he's over getting shots. I'm going to ask the vet about trying some resurpine maybe. I hate having to sedate him at all, but I have to watch out for my safety too. And honestly, he's not going to recover if he's bouncing around on those feet. So we have to do what we have to do.
How was your past week? Did you show this weekend? Or do anything else fun?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Truthful Tuesday: Happy Hands Edition

If you follow my instagram, you know that I made an impulsive decision to show in the Alumni classes at the Skidmore College horse show on Saturday. I'll talk allllll about it tomorrow (it was so much fun!) but for today, I want to talk about my rogue hands. Unfortunately, I have no new media, so sorry for the repeats.
It's no secret that I love to balance to the base of the jump. Hunter gap be damned! My go-to method for jumping is to collect right on down to the base. I've been able to get away with this for the last many, many years because I was riding jumpers. Jumpers carry an engine, and they jump great at the base. You WANT to get to the base so they power up and over and land into the line. Jamp and Rio both are kings at covering this up for me. They jump perfectly well at the base, knees up, the whole thing.
 But this weekend, I rode a legitimate REAL hunter. He loves the gap. He had NO idea what to do with the distance at the base. None. And I clearly didn't know how to get him there early enough to create the gap. I mean, I haven't ever jumped him, and I haven't jumped a course in probably a year and half. So I'm not worked up about it. But there was much evidence that I have things to work on.
Bob Braswell helped me at the show, and after I found the base spot in the school ring he told me "You have to calm those happy hands."  Lol. I'd call them manic hands, but happy sounds nicer. And he's totally right. The next time, I came through the turn, put my leg on, and rode up to the gap. The horse jumped AMAZING! But it was SO HARD for me to just put my hands down and not take back. SO HARD. I really wonder how I'm going to break this habit on my own. I guess it's a non issue at least until I have a horse to jump. But definitely something to work on.

Do you have happy hands? Or are you more of a deer in headlights when you don't see the spot you want? Any tips on how to get the hands to just sit chilly and calm the eff down?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday's Threads

There isn't enough coffee on the planet to get me through this day... Zzzzzzzz.... But alas, I must be a responsible grown up and do my job... ish. I mean, I'm writing this blog post, so that's not super responsible. But I digress. I don't have a riding outfit to share today since I didn't log any saddle time this week, but I have a really cute work outfit today! I have a customer flying up from Miami today, so I needed to look less homeless than normal. **WARNING** My legs are showing, so you may need protective eye wear for the glare.

Yep. That's me. Wearing a dress to work! It's denim though, so I think it still qualifies as jeans.

Dress: Kate Spade
I popped into the Kate Spade outlet near my house over the weekend to see if I could find something to wear to my dad's party tomorrow. I did not find that, but I did find this one! It was marked down a bunch and then 60% off the marked down price. So it was a great deal.  And it has pockets. Definitely a good investment.

Shoes: Bass
It's bad enough I haven't had a proper pedicure since December... but you'd think I could at the very least take off that bit of polish still lingering on my toe? Nope. Clearly, that's too much for me to handle. So gross. I'm disgusting. But these sandals are ADORABLE!

Arm Party!
Lefty kept it simple and just wore the trusty apple watch.

Righty is donning a wrap bracelet and a cuff that I made a few weeks ago. The flowers aren't the same as the ones on my dress, but the colors are pretty similar, so I think it works.

And that's it for today! Short and sweet!
What are you wearing? Is your work casual, or do you have to look appropriate all the time?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Phew, Wednesday again. This week is nutso as we talked about yesterday, but last week was pretty quiet. I had ZERO plans for the weekend which was pretty awesome. I was looking forward to taking it easy before this week got out of control.
I wanted to give Jampy the opportunity to roll outside, but I'm not comfortable letting him do that on the lead line. He's a little nutty, and I was afraid he'd get up like a whirling dervish. I've been having to give him a little ace to walk because he blows up. And that's really terrible for his feet right now. So I gave him a little extra on Saturday. I walked him in the tiny paddock (where Rio has been having his small paddock turnout of late), and then gave him a few minutes turned loose in there. With the grazing muzzle on just in case he wanted to weed it for me.
Unfortunately, he was so concerned about that muzzle he couldn't relax and get his roll on. I also was too nervous to leave him alone for long, so he really only had like 5 minutes. Maybe I'll be braver next weekend and give him a little more time. He's lost a lot of weight, and I think is looking quite good. I'm still feeling a digital pulse in both front legs though, so we're not in the clear just yet. Still icing all day everyday, but we've switched to the Banamine granules to make that part easier on the both of us. Plus I already buy that for Rio so I have plenty available.
Rio had a nice walk Saturday and some grass. Although, he was definitely more excited about the grass than the walking. It was more me dragging him around the ring.
After pony time, I took the pugs out to play in the yard. It was a warm, sunny weekend, and walking on the asphalt was going to be much too hot for them. We had fun running around the yard, especially Artie. P was more into the lounging.

I spent Saturday night cutting out felt. I'm making our company logo out of felt to stick in the flower centerpieces at my dad's party.

I had a lot of better ideas, but not the time to execute them, so these will have to do. He's kind of cute! I think the apron is too big, but it's good enough. I don't talk a lot about my work (it's not very exciting) so for reference, our logo is actually a compilation of our most popular items that we manufacture.

Sunday was an amazing day weather wise. It was pretty warm, about 82, and the sun was shining ALL DAY! This is my weather you guys. I made sure to spend as much time outside as I could! I started the morning at our town's farmers market which started back up last weekend. I bought an exorbitant amount of cheese and I'm #notsorry about it. I got Rio some fresh carrots too. Sorry for Jampy that he can't have them, but he has a new bag of celery at least.
After the market I went out for pony time. They both had a nice scrubby tubby and the usual hand walks. Rio had some grass too.
I also managed some poolside lazing with the Pugs.
Seriously. Such a nice day. I'm so glad I was home and had time to enjoy it! After relaxing by the pool (and binge watching season 2 of 13 Reasons Why) I made my way over to the lake for my lobster roll and live music.

Probably one of the best parts of summer really. I feel really lucky to live where I do. How fun is this to have just a quarter mile away?
Finally it was back to cutting out more felt and gluing together some logos. I haven't finished those yet, and honestly, I have no idea how I'm going to fit that in... but it will get done. Hopefully.

Monday was back to the grind. I'm working two jobs Monday through Thursday this week, plus all kinds of other stuff going on. Regular job during the day, including a customer coming up Thursday (UGH SHOOT ME NOW PLEASE!), and then braiding at night after taking care of my boys. My mom and I have theater tickets for Thursday too, but I'm trying to see if she'd like to go out to dinner locally instead. The theater is only about 40 minutes away, but there's a big golf tournament along the way which is going to make it take a lot longer. Plus I have two horses to braid afterwards. And my horses to tend to. Why does everything always happen at the same time? I had several weeks of not much going on, and now everything is happening in the same week! It's ok though, I should have a quiet weekend to recover.
Anyway, Monday I had only one horse to braid after work, and just a mane, so that was really easy.

 Last night I had two manes and a tail to do, so still not too bad.
I don't know what it is, but I do not braid this horse very well. Also he likes to suck on my leg which is super weird.

He's adorable though.

This one on the other hand, should be my poster child.

Tonight is killer. I have the boys to take care of, then two horses to do about a half hour away. I think they're manes and tails and fakes, then back to the local barn to do two more. Not sure yet if they're just manes though. I know I'll get it all done, but I'm already tired just thinking about it. I'm excited though, because Friday, at the end of this very long week, is my dad's retirement party. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. The tent is going up outside my office window as we speak!
I didn't get to ride this past week unfortunately for me. Bradley's mom is home so she's been riding him. She did offer to let me ride him last night, but I couldn't fit it in with the braid job and taking care of my boys. Maybe next week I'll get another chance though. Hopefully! One of my neighbors got a new horse too, and she offered him up for some rides once she gets to know him a little. So maybe there will be some more saddle time in my future! Fingers crossed!

How was your week? Are you having a busy summer? Getting lots of saddle time in? Tell me about it in the comments!