Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Truthful Tuesday

Happy New Year's Eve! I'm still in (not so) sunny Florida. Home tomorrow which is kind of a bummer... Hard to return back to the frozen north!
Today I have two confessions. First, ugh. I have been eating my way through this vacation and getting very little exercise. Definitely going to have to buckle down and get back on some sort of fitness regimen when I get home! Or at least get back to riding everyday. Sheesh. I'm gonna start mooing soon.
Second... I finally caved. I've been needing a new computer for awhile. Mine was ten years old and really having a lot of struggles lately. There's no space on it, so forget trying to get any videos off my Soloshot onto it to edit. Wasn't happening. And start up time was approaching 30 minutes. Which really isn't ideal. I tried having a knowledgeable computer person try to fix it, but apparently it was a "relic" and was ready to retire. Apple was offering 6% back on purchases using the Apple card, so did it. There's an apple store about 5 minutes from our house here, so last night I brought it home. And it's so dreamy you guys! You click on something and it just opens! Like magic! So starting the new year off right with a quick computer!
Anything you guys need to confess today? Make any big after xmas purchases? I can't be the only one...

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Blog Hop: 10 year picture challenge

Emily over at May As Well Event started this insanely difficult blog hop, and I thought it would be fun to play along. The challenge is to choose just one photo from each of the last ten years to kind of recap what that year was all about horsey wise. I've been struggling hard to get this post done. So many wonderful things have happened over the last ten years, but obviously most of them included either Rio or Jampy. Or both of them. And it's a little hard. But I love looking back and embracing wonderful memories so I'm not dwelling on the heartache. Instead, let's meander back in time and celebrate the good days.
Also, fair warning... While I chose just one photo for each year, I also wrote a small novel to fill in the blanks cause one photo definitely doesn't tell a full story!

2010 was a VERY full year. I took my medium pony to his first horse show over fences (I think it was his last one too, he has a job as a beginner teacher now, and I don't think they jump with him). This was also the year that I turned 30 which means it was the year I bought Jampy. My dad, stepmom, and I traveled to the Czech republic to shop for horses. It was my second time importing, but first time doing it without a trainer by my side. It's debatable if it was a success or not... but I found Jampy and made him part of the family. He didn't get home until fall though, so I spent the summer playing around with Mowgli the pony and showing Rio in the adult hunters. He had already stepped down from his jumper job.

2011 brought my first year showing Jampy and the only year we actually showed in the jumpers. We didn't have a lot of success honestly. I got jumped off at Saratoga when I made a poor decision in a tight roll back. He was still a stallion and I was terrified that he got loose, but fortunately he stayed in the ring and let himself get caught. At Vermont though, he got loose and chased a mare around the show grounds... It was horribly embarrassing, but I did blog that whole story awhile back... No one was hurt, but it did aid in my decision to eventually geld Jampy.
I rehomed my mare Aries this same year to what would be her forever home. A friend of mine was able to take her in and used her for some lessons. It was a wonderful situation for everyone and she stayed with my friend until she eventually succumbed to old age many years later.
Mowgli the pony was also sold this year. He went to a forever home a few towns over from me. He teaches little kids and has a tiny pony friend too. Many days I kind of wish I had kept him myself, but he's loved and happy. So no real regrets.
My horse Jasper ALSO was sold this year. (I am terrible about collecting horses, but apparently in 2011 I did a lot of letting go.) Jasper and I were never right for each other. He really needed to be in a more professional program than I could provide as a working amateur who didn't really have a trainer at the time. He was sold to a wonderful kid with a great trainer, and they had many years of successes together.
Rio showed some in the adult hunters this year as well, but I think he may have gone into the winter with a tendon injury that year. Hard to recall, he was king of soft tissue injuries!
2011 was the year I battled the flying squirrels in my house. And they brought a few friends, GRAY squirrels! It was chaos.

2012 was a year of starting over. Over the winter Jampy was gelded (poor dude) and then he switched from being a jumper to being a hunter/equitation horse. He wasn't the most huntery of hunters (we did the 3'3" A/O's) but he was really a pretty great equitation horse. Most of the time.
Rio spent most of the year rehabbing from his injury. He showed in the alumni class at the Saratoga show since the jumps were tiny, but otherwise had an easy year of mostly flatting.
I did a lot of running that year including my second half marathon and my first (and only) Ragnar Relay. I also managed to fall while running the 5K at the Boston Marathon which was pretty embarrassing. But makes for a good story at least!

2013 was another of Rio's many comebacks. He showed another year in the adult hunters, but lightly. Jampy was also doing the hunters and equitation. I made a last minute decision to show Rio rather than Jampy at our state medal final in August. It was the best decision, and we finished in second place! For sure up there on the list of best days we had together. This would also be the last year he would horse show but I didn't know that right away. The photo I chose above was from our very last horse show together. It was just a small, local one day show, but we finished up Champion, and I was proud of him. That horse was so special. Once in a lifetime guy.
Ducky joined the family in 2013 too. He was a challenge that hony! He was pretty good this year, he hadn't yet figured out how to be a stationary hony.
My first niece was born in 2013 and Artie joined the family too! So it was a big year for new family members.

2014 was the year Rio got sick with EPM. It affected his cranial nerves which isn't the most common presentation. He stayed up at Cornell for almost three weeks getting diagnosed and working on his recovery. I really thought I was going to lose him, but he was such a fighter!
Ducky moved out for awhile this summer to spend some time at Cowboy Camp. This was the year of the stationary hony! Not a good trait in a riding horse. He came home early fall and seemed to have learned something while away.
Jampy continued showing in the hunters and equitation. We didn't show as much as I was reluctant to leave Rio for too long. But we did well and qualified and showed at New England Finals again.

2015 was another transition type year. Ducky started back to work in the spring like a solid citizen, but soon reverted back to his stationary hony games. I decided to look into finding him a job he actually enjoyed and wound up giving him to my stepmom's sister.
This was the year that Rio had the crazy foot issue. We thought he had an abscess but when my vet tried to dig it out, it just turned into proud flesh. It was very painful for him, but with the help of my vets and farrier we got him through it!
This was also the last year I showed Jampy. We had a good year, but mostly stuck to the 3' equitation. We were 10th at Ct finals that year.
And the day after Thanksgiving that year Romey joined the family!

2016 was a pretty big year, just not for showing. Badger joined the family, but he would live with trainer since he was such a green bean. But the best part of 2106 (or maybe my life ever) was this day pictured above when I got to ride Rio again after two years of recovering from EPM. No lie, it was the best moment of my life. It felt like I had finally come home. And clearly, he didn't miss a beat either. LOOK AT HIM! So handsome.
I also threw Rio the most epic 20th birthday party, complete with a nearly life sized cutout of him and a pizza truck. Fifty of his closest friends came and even brought him presents! It was a great time!
Badger spent the summer doing some shows with trainer and gaining experience. I met up with them when I could and got to take some lessons on him in VT.
Jampy stayed home this year. He wasn't really unsound, but his age was catching up with him. We did plenty of schooling and having fun at home, but he didn't show.
I had really hoped to have Romey and Badger both showing with me in the baby greens that year, but it never came to fruition. Badger was a bit sassy for me, and Romey just never got sound enough. Those things were kind of a bummer, but I rode that high of getting back on Rio to balance things out.

2017 was the year things really started to fall apart. We got Jampy pretty sound and I was able to jump some real fences at home with him, but I had decided his showing days were behind him.
Rio started out the year doing some riding, but by the fall he was pretty unsound and earned his second retirement. I would sit on him from time to time, but mostly just to walk around and eat grass in the yard.
Badger started the year well in Florida, but once he came north and went to his first show up here at HITS Saugerties, his summer of showing came to an abrupt end. He pulled a shoe there along with half his hoof. He was never horribly unsound, but he was very sore, and stayed that way all summer. It was pretty frustrating.
Romey was basically in the same boat. After several vet visits, we finally discovered that at some point, probably during his racing career, he had fractured his leg way up high near his hip. He wasn't in any pain, but he had a hitch in his get-along that would always be there. So obviously, his career as a hunter was over before it started. Romey never seemed very happy at my farm, so I started looking for another job for him. Fortunately, the lady I got him from took him back and she was able to place him in a trail riding home where he is loved and spoiled rotten by a vet tech mom and her daughter.

I kind of feel like this post is super depressing, and unfortunately, the proverbial poo starts to really hit the fan in 2018. But there was lots of good too!
The worst part was Jampy foundering in early May. That put an end to his riding career. That meant I had two officially retired horses in my care. And zero riding horses. It was really hard getting Jampy through the first month or so of the laminitis. I worked from home for a few weeks so I could change his ice boots every two hours. I slept in four hour blocks to make sure the boots never got warm overnight. But we got him through! Eventually he graduated to hand walking and going out in the smallest walkout.
Badger stayed in Florida for the first half of the year. He was really starting to get going again, but I had finally admitted to myself that he and I were not a good match. I sold him in the fall to a wonderful lady who loves him to pieces. They've done lots of fun things together including showing at the KY horse park in the adult medal finals.
Rio actually had an okay year in 2018. I didn't ride him, but we lunged once in awhile and did a lot of grooming and grazing. I missed riding him, but really loved spending time with him. He really was the sweetest guy.
My neighbor up the street was kind enough to share her horse Eddie with me some this year, and I got to go to two small horse shows with him. It was a ton of fun, and felt great to wear show clothes again! My friend Katie shared her horse Bradley with me quite a lot too, so I was really lucky to get to keep riding some throughout the year.
The best part of 2018 was welcoming Eros to the family. As you all know by now I'm completely smitten with him. Definitely the highlight of 2018. Oh and I got the trailer too!

I'm breaking the rule for 2019. I earned that for this year. It's just impossible not to pick a photo for everyone. But I'm going to talk my way through them, so get your popcorn. This might take a bit.
This year was the worst. Seriously. And it's sort of ending the same way it started... Only different. I started this year with two unsound horses, Rio and Jampy. And then Eros also was off for much of the winter. So three unsound horses. Which is not a good ratio.
Anyway, things started looking up for Jampy at the end of March. He got x-rays done that cleared him to start turning out in the ring and getting back to work under saddle. It was really exciting!
I decided to let him have his turnout first, and then slowly start adding in riding. Unfortuantely, I should have done that faster as I never did get to sit on him again. Exactly one week after getting cleared to go back to his old life, Jampy's kidneys failed and I had to say goodbye. But my friends, family, and you guys, my blog family rallied around me, and helped me through.
Now I had Rio home alone and that was pretty upsetting to me. So just about a month after losing Jampy, Shiny joined the herd.
She and Rio got along well. And it was really fun to have a horse to ride every day! Eros came back from his limpy winter well, but I mostly rode him just on weekends through the summer. My stepmom did him during the week. And she also welcomed Fefe to our herd in the spring!
Shortly after Fefe moved in, I found Pammon. Things were really looking up!
I had a bunch of lessons and we were really finding our groove.
And then the thing finally happened for Rio. I came home from work one night and he didn't want to stay on his feet. I really didn't think it was that serious, but at 4 in the morning, I had to make a decision I knew would come one day, but didn't expect so soon.
My heart is still broken, and I'm not sure I'll ever really get over losing Rio. But we carry on, don't we?
Not long after losing Rio, Pammon tore his check ligament, and then proceeded to somehow make it about 100 times worse. He's finishing the year at the vet's clinic. I'm really starting to miss him, but I think he'll be home in the next few weeks.
Shiny is fighting through her abscess. I'm hoping by the time I get home from vacation she'll be on the mend. Poor girl.
Eros has been the constant for me these last few months, and I'm probably developing a really unhealthy attachment to him. Fortunately, horses don't care about that stuff.
If the last ten years have taught me anything, it's that new beginnings regularly fall apart. So I'm not looking for 2020 to be a new beginning. Rather, I'm just hoping it will be a continuance on a more positive trajectory.
I really am grateful for all of you for helping me through this year (or decade maybe). It's been a long ten years, and I really never would have guessed how it would end. But here we are! Starting the decade with two red heads and a blond! (And Fefe!)
See ya 2019. Won't miss you.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Thursday's Threads

Outfit Day!  I didn't forget! We'll start with this week's riding outfit which was from Christmas day:
Somewhat Christmassy right? Sort of? Eh. Close enough.

Helmet: One K
Old faithful still. Tried and true.

Top: Original Deluxe
I wore this last year for our holiday card. It's a cozy fuzzy pullover in green buffalo plaid.

Belt: Mane Jane
I paired my Christmassy sweatshirt with the black Mane Jane strap and rose gold buckle.

Breeches: Hadley by Smartpak
Hadley's are 100000000 times better than pipers. It's true. They cost more too though. Boo. Anyway, I like these a lot, and the gel patches are nice and grippy.

Socks: Dreamers and Schemers
How great are these ugly sweater socks from Dreamers and Schemers?! I loved them so much I'm giving them as gifts too.

Boots: De Niro
More old faithfuls. These are SO comfy you guys.

So that's what I wore to ride, and here's what I wore to fly to Florida today:
Also, this is what tired Stacie looks like... it's not pretty.
We didn't leave until 6pm, so I needed comfy and warmish clothes that wouldn't be too warm upon arrival.

Top: Nantucket
This was one of my super sale shirts I got when we went to Nantucket this fall. It's the softest shirt I've ever owned. Perfect for flying.

Belt: Boy O' Boy
This one is stock colors over at Boy O'Boy but also matches the boarding barn's colors pretty closely. I really love these belts. If the price were lower I'd have a ton of them.

Jeans: Hudson
These looked pretty ridiculous in CT when I had socks on still... but they're cute without socks!

Shoes: Sperry
Before you're totally grossed out by my lack of socks, I DID have socks on to travel. I'm not an animal.

Arm Party!
Lefty is donning the old faithful bit bracelet and apple watch combo.

Righty is wearing one of my Chanukah gifts up first, followed by the Hermes wrap bracelet, and my Fitbit.

And that's it for today! Nothing too fancy, but it was a travel day. Comfort over fashion is a must!

What's Up Wed.... Thursday.

Um... well. Wednesday was busy. So I guess it's What's Up Thursday this week. Lots to catch up on!
Let's start with the horses. The vet checked in with me and said all is going well with Pammon. But he hasn't done another ultra sound yet, so I don't really know if the treatment is working or not. No estimate on when he'll come home yet either. But he's in good hands. Miss that goober though!
Last Friday (which seems like ages ago, but apparently isn't quite a week yet) Shiny came out on three legs. Because I mean, it is her turn right? I couldn't ride that night so I had her down for a training ride. Assistant trainer texted me in the morning to let me know. You guys, I think I'm just numb to this crap now. I was like well yeah, sounds about right. Anyway, they were pretty sure it was an abscess and called the farrier for me. Farrier was in agreement and we've been doing the obligatory soaking and hoping since.

It looks to me like it's trying to come out the coronet band, but she's still very painful, so I'm not sure it's really worked its way up there yet. Another call in to the farrier today, so hopefully he can come out and take another look soon. If not, we'll get the vet out. Poor girl. 

Eros has been wonderful as always. We had a lesson Sunday that was great, even jumped a few 3' fences. Moving on up guys! Today's lesson though, he was WILD! Which is hilarious and kind of fun. But a little hard to ride. The worst thing he really ever does is grab and go. Not much of a bucker or spooker which is a nice change for me! It's a total body workout trying to ride through fresh Eros, but it's never scary. And I love that he's feeling good.

Horses aside, it's been a ridiculously busy week! Friday my brother rented out a movie theater so he could watch the new Star Wars movie with 175 of his closest friends (and family). Now you know I have an inner geek. But it's geekdom by relation mostly. Anyway the movie was great if you're into Star Wars.

Saturday was a horses in the morning and present wrapping forever kind of day. We had our family Chanukah party (Mom, brother, and his fam) on Sunday, and I had a LOT of wrapping to do.
Pretty relieved I got it all done before 10 pm, and had time to hang with the pups. They thought my present wrapping was a real waste of time. I took them for a walk earlier though, so they weren't TOO angry with me.
Sunday I had my lesson early, and then did some wrapping for Christmas/Chanukah with my dad and other brother before heading over to Mom's for Chanukah dinner and presents.
So many presents. In no time, it was nothing but carnage.
The holidays really are a ton of fun with some kiddos around. 

Monday was a work day, but after work we had ANOTHER family gathering. Our annual Festivus dinner. It's all my parents (mom, dad, stepmom) plus my brother's family, plus my sister-in-law's family. And enough Chinese food for a small village. I'm still full. 

This year, for the first time ever, my company was closed for Christmas eve. Free paid day off? This Jew will take it! Somehow I had to make not one, but two trips to Walgreens for things I forgot... But also got to ride Eros and soak and wrap Shiny. So it wasn't all chores. I also ate my weight in chocolate and cookies. Tis the season.

I frequently have complaints about the boarding barn. But one thing I really appreciate is that they let us come see the horses and ride on holidays. So Christmas morning I got to do just that. But not until after the pups got to open their santa presents.
Santa/Chanukah Harry left presents for the horses too, so I had to deliver those.
Pammon's are waiting for him in his locker. Santa wasn't sure how to get to the vet's barn I guess? Once deliveries were made, I cleaned our stalls, gave Eros a light hack, and took care of Shiny and her foot.
Then it was off to Christmas dinner with my little brother's 99 year old Grandma. Followed by dessert and Christmakkah with my dad, stepmom, and brother's family. So much family stuff in so few days... But it was lovely getting to spend time with everyone. And all the food. Oye. So much food. 

Which brings us to today! I did the horses early, dropped the pugs off with their grandma, and now I'm in Florida! I felt mildly terrible leaving Shiny with her sore foot, but that is the one nice thing about boarding. She's in good hands, and will be tended to appropriately. Hopefully by the time I'm home next week she'll be as good as new. I have the vet coming out on the 3rd to check her neck and if need be, that foot. 

Not much planned for this Florida trip. My brother and his family are with us, so I imagine a lot of kid friendly stuff. But I hope to visit trainer at her barn at least a couple of mornings. I'm also going to tag along with stepmom when she rides Fefe. We may try and get a lesson together one day too. So that would be super fun!

And that's it from here! I hope you all had a nice holiday break. Do anything fun? Get any exciting horsey gifts? I didn't this year really (horsey stuff I mean, I got lovely gifts, just not horsey ones!), but did get security cameras for the barn which I'm pretty stoked about.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Truthful Tuesday

Phew! Late to the Truthful Tuesday party, but I made it! For the first time EVER, my company closed on Christmas Eve, so I had an entire day off to do with as I pleased. It was lovely. But in the process of enjoying my free day, I managed to forget it was trash day. Oops. I honestly haven't known what day it is since sometime last week. There's just so much going on. And I feel a little off this holidays season. It's weird not having the horses home, and my traditions aren't happening with them. And Pammon is away completely being at the vet's. It's all just a little weird. Plus, I miss the old men. Horribly.
I had a dream the other night that I had the horses home with me still. But it was just Jamp and Shiny. Which was really weird for lots of reasons, but especially because they never did coexist at my farm. I woke up feeling sad at first, but then as I replayed the dream in my mind, I realized it felt really nice to see Jampy again. Even if just in a dream. I wish Rio had come too, but hey, you can't have everything. Maybe another night soon I'll get to see him again too. I think the real reason for the dream was that I've been so worried about Shiny. More tomorrow, but she is currently suffering with an abscess. It's in a back foot which is a little out of the norm, and her posture is the same as Jampy had just before he got so sick from his failing kidneys. While logical me knew Shiny was just dealing with an abscess, crazy me was convinced it was something worse. And subconscious me is apparently a real asshole making me dream about it. Sheesh.
But all that said, I'm really trying to see all the good around me this holiday season. So many wonderful people have supported me through this kind of awful year. And despite losing my old guys, I gained Pamony Pony and my Shiny girl. Plenty of good to be found for sure.
So today's confession is that though I'm struggling a little with my level of jolly, I'm digging deep to get in the spirit. But also, I'm forgetting to put the trash out. Hey, I am who I am...

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Thursday's Threads: winter edition and new quarter sheet

I don't know why I'm always surprised that winter is cold. But like, it's REALLY cold out guys. This is what we're dealing with today:

The 14 is bad enough. I mean, that's would be -10 Celcius... just saying. But it feels like 0. ZERO! That's cold guys. I pulled out the ammy card and canceled tonight's lesson. I'll ride, but lightly. Brrr. Should be back in the 40's by the weekend. We can jump then!
Anyway, last night wasn't AS cold yet. I think it was around 28 degrees while I was at the barn. So Eros got to try out his new Mattes Mer System. Well part of it anyway. I didn't need the chest piece, but maybe we'll try that tonight. We'll start with Eros' outfit since I'm excited to show it to you guys!

I know Amanda is gonna cringe all over at this thing between the rope piping and the fleece, but I gotta tell you guys, this thing is genius. I wish I could sew cause I'd make it in wool. Downside to this is you can only use it with the special Mattes pad because you need the button holes. Upside is pretty much everything else.

So the quarter sheet buttons right to the pad. No extra bulk anywhere. And it has little elastic leg straps so you don't have to worry about it blowing around if you're out in the wind or jumping with it.
I'm undecided how I feel about the leg straps. I may cut them off as I don't really think I need them. But it's a nice option anyway. And yes... of COURSE I got the set in my barn colors too... I have just this one set in the boarding barn's colors which I got for Eros. And then Pammon and Shiny each have a set in our colors. Shiny is a wooly yak again so I'm just going to keep using her horze quarter sheet this winter.
So that's what Eros wore last night! Now here's what I wore (minus the outter layers).

That's right! Winter boots are out. Expect to see them regularly for awhile.

Helmet: One K

Are you guys bored with this one yet? It's just so convenient not to bring another helmet out with me...

Sweatshirt: Ralph Lauren
I popped into the Ralph Lauren outlet over the weekend to get a gift for my brother, and whilst there I saw the polo bear drinking a martini. He was on a very overpriced sweater, so I was going to leave him there... but then I found him again on a sweatshirt that was somewhat less overpriced. So I brought him home. Tis' the season for giving right? I gave Ralph Lauren my money.

Belt: Ralph Lauren
Well obviously I had to get the matching belt. I am who I am.

Breeches: RJ Classic
You've seen these before. They're not winter breeches. I had regrets.

Boots: Tredstep
If any of you are thinking about a warm winter boot, I'm going to have to suggest these. They have that furry lining all the way through the toes. And with the laces in the front you can adjust them to fit over multiple sock layers. They also have a thinsulate lining which is never a bad choice. Worth every penny if you live somewhere cold.

So that's what Eros and I wore last night... But I have a winter themed work outfit to share too.
Can't go wrong with built in mittens. Nor fuzzy boots.

Sweater: Modcloth
I bought this sweater last year at the end of the season for next to nothing. I LOVE the mitten pockets. So cute!

Belt: C4
Obviously when C4 came out with a mitten belt, I needed it to go with my sweater. Shut up. I know, I have a problem. I enjoy my problem.

Jeans: Vigoss
I like a little detail on my pants sometimes. These are pretty cute with the studs on the pockets.

Boots: Tredstep
I did some holiday shopping at Stateline earlier in the month, and with my purchase I got a gift card. So I figured I should put that little bit of money toward these super warm boots I've been eyeing... Irrepsonsible? Yep. Regrets? Zero. These are much like the ones I ride in, just a different style. The furry lining goes to the toes and there is also thinsulate in there. I'm not sure if I would ride in these, but maybe? We'll see. For now I'm going to keep them non horsey and wear them to work on cold days like today.

Arm Party!
Lefty was lazy and just wore the everyday stack of bit bracelet and apple watch.

Righty put forth a little more effort. First is a wrap bracelet from Tory Burch, middle is a monogram from Fornash, and last is the fitbit in the navy bracelet.

And that's it for today! Any favorites? What do you think of the Mattes Mer System? And/or Tredstep winter boots?