Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thursdays Threads

Ah New England. You're so weird in the winter. I left work last night a few minutes early to avoid the snow squalls we were supposed to get. The weathermen were telling us that it would be extremely dangerous to drive and we would probably get 1-2 inches in about a half hour. So that's a little nuts. Fortunately, in my area this didn't happen. We got a light dusting of snow only, but the wind was really intense. Between the time I got home (around 5:20) and the time I headed over to Eros (about an hour) the temperature had dropped from 33 degrees to 15. So gross. And the WIND! Ugh. It was cold. The barn wasn't awful yet though, it takes a little while for it to catch up. Anyway, my point is, I DID hop on Eros last night, and I DID remember to take some pics of my outfit for you!
There were many layers. There was also an Eros head in my lap.
Here's a better outfit shot, minus the giant coat:

Layers my friends. Layers are a must.

Vest: Smartpak Hadley
Fleece top: Eddie Bauer
This angle is much more flattering...

The vest looks REALLY olive in these shots, but the top photos on this post more accurately show the true color. It's more of a sage green. I LOVE this vest and the jacket, though I do wish there was more room in the arms. Story of my life though. I apparently have enormous upper arms. Which used to be muscle, but currently is just, um... insulation.
Belt: Mane Jane
Rarely does a Thursdays Threads go by without a Mane Jane sighting. I paired my navy croc belt strap with the rose gold buckle. Speaking of rose gold, I cannot wait to get my Celeris boots in a couple months so I can make a rose gold riding outfit...

Breeches: Smartpak Piper, winter knit
I gotta be honest you guys. These breeches aren't warm. I thought they would be since they have WINTER in the name. But no. I have some corduroy breeches from Horsewares that I think I will ride in exclusively while it's cold. THOSE are warm. I have both colors even. And they're on sale at Horseloverz for under $50 if anyone needs any:

Boots: Tuffrider Regal
My favorite thing about the Regals this time of year is how many pairs of socks I can fit in them! I wore two last night, a pair of light wool with boot socks over them. But it wasn't enough. Double wool next time!

I wore my black One K helmet, but didn't grab a photo. You can see it in the first photo, sort of. And now on to what I wore to work today. Keep in mind this was the forecast when I got up, and so far, the numbers haven't changed (hey at least it didn't get colder):
That isn't a C for Celcius. It's just a cut off degree sign. That's Fahrenheit my friends. And that's effing cold. Warmer than the midwest by a lot though, so I'm trying not to be an ass about it. Regardless, it's effing cold.

My goal was to be warm but comfy. I think I accomplished that.

Sweater: Rue 21

I got this sweater a year or two, or maybe three, ago. It's not a super quality sweater given the source, but it's the longest one I have, and I think the braid on the side is really cute. It's also pretty heavy. But acrylic not a wool or cotton blend, so it could definitely do better in the warmth department. It's doing the job well enough though.

Belt: Harry's Horse
I bought this snaffle belt in the fall when I was filling up my cart with a rose gold outfit for the ponies. I wish it were a tad wider, but I like it a lot anyway.

Jeans: Lucky Brand
Ha, it really didn't matter what pants I wore today, you can hardly even see them! But I wanted a fairly heavy jean. These were a solid choice. I actually just got them at Marshalls where they had these and another pair of Lucky Brand on sale for $18.00. Yes please.

Boots: HKM
Technically, these are meant to be riding boots. but they're fabric and seem to me like they'd be really slippery. I bought them to wear in the cold and snowy weather, not for riding, so I can't really judge. They are lined top to toe with faux shearling, and I kind of love them.

Arm Party!
I know. My arm parties are pretty redundant lately, but I'm really just loving these bracelets! Sorry! Maybe next week I'll mix it up. Maybe not. It's my blog, I can do what I want.

I added an H bracelet to this stack today, and I think it's working. I'm so in love with that bit bracelet in the middle. They actually have one in hunter green leather with a rose gold bit, but I can't pay retail for that. Hopefully someone will get it and consign it way under value so I can have it.

That's it from here today! Hope you're all staying warm! Any favorites from this post? Or want to recommend your favorite winter breeches?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

It was another quiet weekend on the home front. I already mentioned yesterday about the vet coming out on Friday. I hopped on Eros last night hoping for a miracle, but alas, he's not there just yet. I didn't honestly expect him to be sound, but was hoping for more improvement than I felt. He wasn't bad to the left, but tracking right, he was still quite off. And it got a little worse the more we trotted. I'll hop on again tonight and get video to send to the vet, but honestly, I think it's just time that he needs. Hopefully not too much of it though. Fingers crossed for him!
He's a little perturbed though, because he's had to go on a diet. All this not working has very much caught up with his already round waistline. I can relate buddy. Me too. I should probably join him on the diet train. Ugh.

The boys at home are doing just fine. The nicest thing about having heat in the barn, is that they aren't as aware of these crazy temperature fluctuations we've been having. Sunday was close to fifty degrees, but the high tomorrow is 7. Fortunately for the boys in the barn, they won't really know it's colder than 45. Maybe 43 if the heat struggles to keep up. Not bad though. Obviously they know when they go outside, but short exposures don't seem to cause the concerns for colic like constant exposure does.
I'z not cold mom.

I'm thinking about all of you in the midwest. The extreme cold is INSANE, and I'm really hoping you're all doing ok with your horses out there.

Oddly enough, Jamp and Rio think it's full on spring and they're shedding like crazy! I probably won't groom them much tonight or tomorrow so they can hang on to as much hair as possible for the cold snap.
That's a lot of hair.
P has a little growth on her eyelid that I just noticed the other day, so she's going to the vet Saturday morning. I'm hopeful they can just pop it right off, and it's nothing serious. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to be bothering her in the least. But it sure looks uncomfortable.

I don't have anything else exciting in the works unfortunately. Can't say I'm super sad about not really riding when it's going to be so cold. But I REALLY hope to get back in the saddle for real sometime soon. Riding tonight to video though, so that's something! Take whatever I can get!

How was your week/weekend? Do anything fun and exciting? How are you and your horses keeping warm during this arctic blast?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Truthful Tuesday

I have a couple confessions this week... We'll start with the big one, because I can admit when I'm wrong. I cannot continue to blame the trainer at Eros' barn for his lameness. The vet was out Friday, and what we discovered is that he has a shoeing issue. Now, it does concern me a bit that trainer couldn't tell the horse was lame... but that's a different problem, and if you don't know a horse, it's sometimes hard to tell what their normal is.

I'm not sure if you all remember back at Thanksgiving when Eros' pulled  a shoe. When that happened, he also lost a good chunk of his hoof wall. It wasn't a real issue, he was sound, and the farrier had enough hoof to nail a shoe on, but it became a problem.

When we did the pre-purchase exam on Eros, he did flex positive on his right front, but we aren't exactly sure why. It's the same sort of flexion that a horse with navicular changes would trot off positive, but his navicular bone is perfect on the x-rays. It's a bit of a head scratcher. Anyway, after he lost the shoe, and farrier had to do his best with what he had to work with, the toe wound up getting a bit too long, and the heels compressed some too.
on the left is his x-ray from Friday, and the one on the right was from the pre-purchase. Note all that extra toe on the recent x-ray
He also wound up with more pressure on one side of his foot.
again, new on left, older on right
You can see how crooked his leg is sitting right now. Fortunately, my farrier and my vet have a good working relationship and we should have him straightened out (literally, no pun intended!) in no time. Doc pulled the shoe Friday, and said to wrap it with some animalintex poultice for a couple days, (handwalking ok) and then have the shoe put back on in another day or two. He went on some meds as well, which he will stay on for a few weeks while things are moving back to where they're supposed to be. Shoe went on yesterday, so I'm allowed to hop on tonight and see what we have. No miracles expected yet of course, but there should hopefully be some improvement already.

It's one of those things where it sucks that it happened, but I'm kind of glad it did because now we know what to keep an eye on with him. He does have some kind of mystery achilles heel in the right front, so we need to pay extra attention to keeping it comfortable. Lesson learned! Sorry to Eros for having to learn that the hard way. Poor dude.

Confession number two is that I always told people I didn't like Indian food, but it turns out I just never really gave it a chance. My brother and I met up with our cousins from California on Saturday night (my little cousin was interviewing at Uconn!) for dinner. They picked an Indian restaurant and I was a little dreading that. But my bestie gave me a recommendation for something she thought I'd like, and it was delicious. Like I can't wait to eat it again delicious. So I have to eat my words (lol, that pun is intended) when it comes to disliking Indian food for the last 30 somewhat years. My bad.

Anything you need to confess today? Have you had a similar issue with any of your horses? Thoughts on Indian food?

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Thursday's Threads

It's another non riding outfit Thursday's Threads, I'm sorry to say. But the worst part is, I actually DID get to ride last night and I just completely forgot to photograph my outfit. Sorry. If it softens the blow, I didn't wear anything cute... just a giant Skidmore sweatshirt, Hadley breeches, the Regals, and the black OneK. See? You didn't miss much. Ok, on to today's outfit...

It's actually super warm (comparatively) today. My truck said it was 50 degrees when I drove to work this morning. But we're having torrential downpours. Gotta take the bad with the good I guess. Hopefully it doesn't all freeze back up. Time will tell! Anyway, due to said weather, I decided I needed something cozy to wear.

Sweater: Yishang
What's more cozy that a crochet blanket?! Nothing. So clearly, that's what I had to wear today. I'm pretty sure I've worn this before for Thursday's Threads. It's a favorite and I wear it a lot.

Belt: Mane Jane
There are so many accessory options you can pair with this sweater since pretty much every color is in it. I decided to pull the purple out by adding this strap from Mane Jane. Along with the rose gold buckle to match the pink.

Jeans: Seven
Just a basic blue jean. Sturdy for a rainy day.

Shoes: Tretorn
I figured since the blanket sweater was such a throwback, I should wear some throwback shoes too. These paint splattered Tretorns seemed appropriate. Did any of you wear this brand when you were little? All the cool kids had them when I was in fifth grade. I was so excited when they showed back up in stores last year!

Arm Party!
I was going to go all purple with my accessories, but then I realized all these colors in the sweater was the perfect opportunity to wear some of my unicorn colored bracelets! It's a little tough to see in the photo, but this bracelet is the same finish as the unicorn bits a bunch of us have.

Righty is donning a unicorn wrap bracelet with a cute horsey clasp that I made, along with a vintage leather bangle with a bamboo clasp.

And that's it for today. If I get to ride at all this coming week, I'll take pictures. Promise!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

What's Up Wednesday: Winter Edition

First things first, I want to thank everyone for the input on yesterday's post! Most of you all gave me the advice I would give too: have a convo with trainer. Which would be easier if we were in the same state. And also if I was better at having those talks. But yeah, we need to chat about things, she and I.

Next up, I'm sure you're all wondering how the vet visit went on Friday. Unfortunately, the "assistant trainer" misunderstood the office when scheduling, and the vet isn't coming until THIS Friday. So we are still waiting. Ok... now on to What's Up Wednesday!

The weather has been bonkers here you guys. Like one day it's in the forties and the next thing I knew, my driveway looked like this:
Ice... as far as the eye can see...
In case you're not sure, that's just ice. Everywhere. Ice. Super fun. I'm actually really glad the horses are on small paddock turnout for once. Much safer where they go out than the ring, that's for sure.
Backing up though, I actually got to ride this weekend! One of the adults at the barn wasn't coming out because she had some projects to work on at home, and offered her horse to me for Saturday. I jumped on the opportunity (after getting permission of course, don't want to get anyone in trouble!). It felt great to get some saddle time, and fun to ride a new to me horse.
That blurry one in the front is me and the loaner pony
Here's a cuter photo of his face:
Saturday wasn't too cold either, so that was nice. But it was the calm before the storm, and it was one of those that they didn't really know what was going to happen. Initially they were threatening two feet of snow. But then it set up a lot warmer, and they were saying snow, turning to freezing rain, and then regular rain. Which is more or less what happened. I was happy to have less snow that's for sure. But the problem was, we had torrential rain on top of a few inches of snow for most of Sunday morning. It was borderline temperature wise, hovering around 35 degrees. So I went out to the barn early to take care of Eros while it was still raining (more on that later). I got done there pretty early, and headed back home to groom the boys. I was in with them maybe an hour and half, and in that short amount of time, the temps dropped fast. Everything was freezing up. And by night time it was 5 degrees. Ugh. Frozen tundra. Yuck. When I got to work Monday morning it was -1 and the feels like was -13. There was ice on the INSIDE of my office windows, and the heat wasn't working right. It wasn't off, but it was quite cold in the office. Double yuck. Fortunately they had it back up and running after lunch.
Have I mentioned I hate winter? Yeah? Ok, just checking.

Anyway, back to Sunday. Everyone keeps asking me if Eros is still off, and truthfully, I didn't know for sure since we'd just been hand walking. So I decided to hop on Sunday to see what we had. It had been almost two weeks that he'd had off so it was possible he'd be feeling better.
This was only a test. Had it been an actual ride, it would have been on Instagram.
Unfortunately, he wasn't any better. I trotted for a few laps to the left, because at first he just felt stiff, but then when I changed direction it was very obvious on the turns that he still was not right. So I went back to walk. Then the "assistant trainer" asked to see him trot and she was like oh, still not right. Then in the next breath she asked me if I was sure, because he's not the soundest horse out there. I wanted to run her over. Seriously? Yes, he does come out stiff some days, but he works out of it, and this isn't stiff, it's LIMPING. Honestly. Anyway, I'm glad the vet will finally be out soon. I realize the vet coming won't fix him, but hopefully we can figure out what's actually wrong and set about trying to help it.
Not too much else going on really. The pugs took advantage of the ridiculous weather for extra snuggles:

The tall kids have been getting mini grooming sessions. They're really shedding, but I don't want to take their hair off when it's 1 degree out. So they haven't enjoyed any mega groomies. Tomorrow is supposed to be almost fifty though (and raining of course) so maybe we'll get the shedding blades out then.
And I saved the cutest for last! I ordered a couple Pony For a Ponies around holiday time with a note that they weren't gifts, so no rush. And they just arrived yesterday! I had one done of my junior hunter Bud:
And it came out ADORABLE:

And the other was of course, of Rio:
And I mean... Look at that FACE!

 Spot on, right? I love how they came out and am so excited to have little mini versions of my two heart horses.
How was your week/weekend? Do anything fun? Did you get hit with this arctic front too?

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Truthful Tuesday: The one where I'm confused about trainers and horse shopping

So I've been shopping the interwebs for my next magical unicorn. And truthfully, it's  beginning to look like what I'm wanting is actually a mythical creature. I have what I really thought was a decent budget. I did ok selling Badger and I have some money saved up so I was confident that I could find what I'm looking for fairly easily.
Granted, I want something special. I want a horse that could maybe pass as a hunter. (Doesn't have to be a fancy hunter, but something that if I had to step down, could hang out in that ring and be considered competitive, even if toward the middle/ bottom of the pack.) Something I could definitely take to the 3' adult medal finals. And maybe something I could try to get back into the AA jumper ring with. So it's a bit of a tall glass of water. I don't want a hot jumper, because I do want to be competitive in the medals. But I don't want specifically an equitation horse, because I'd like to get back to jumping 3'6". The adult medals are mostly 3', and I think there is one that's 3'3". So most of what we'd do in the near future would probably be jumpers (or hunters). I guess what I'm saying is, I want another Rio.
A/O Jumpers

AA Hunters

Some Equitation Class
And I HAVE the budget for what we paid for Rio. Unfortunately, that was 15 years ago. (HOLY CRAP, I've had him for FIFTEEN years?! We're both really old.) Apparently, horses cost more now. Plus I imported him, and I'm trying to shop here in the US this time. And this my friends, is why people shop overseas. Horses seem to cost more here.
Anyway, I already mentioned what I'd like to be able to do with this mythical beast, but here are the other things I'm looking for:
-Gelding (non negotiable)
-15.3 to 16.3, but could go bigger if the horse is perfect. Don't really want smaller. 3'6" looks enormous from anything smaller than 15.3.
-be sound, and give decent indications on a ppe that it should stay sound for a few years at least.
-Some show experience
-not especially spooky
-can take a joke (remember, it's me riding)
-I know horses buck and do stupid things. But I want one that will tell me when it needs to do that, and will get it out on a lunge line if need be. I'm too old to be a lawn dart.
-not too big of an ego (this is why Badger and I didn't get along, he thought I was the worst. He might not be wrong, but I prefer my unicorn not have such opinions.)
-it should be fairly attractive, most shows I just come home with a nice photo
-It needs to like being handled and groomed. My horses live with me, and we spend a lot of time not riding together. I want to enjoy the horse, and would hope he would enjoy me too.
Must appreciate weird horse moms.
You may have noticed I didn't mention an age. Preferably I'd like something between 8 and 10. The problem though, is that anything in that age range that fits the bill seems to cost six figures. While I have a rather padded budget (IN MY OPINION) I do not have six figures to spend on a horse. And to be completely honest, I wouldn't even if I did. That's nuts.
So that in a rather large nutshell is why I'm confused about horse shopping. I don't know what to give up to fit the unicorn into my budget. As you might imagine, I don't want to compromise on soundness. I can be flexible with age, but I also want a horse to ride and show for awhile, so I really don't want something well into his teens. Definitely no mares.
I've actually found several horses that seem to fit the bill, but they are all between 5 and 6. Which I myself am not opposed to, but this leads to my trainer confusion.
Got this one when he was 5 and I was 11.
My trainer, when we found Badger, had a lot of faith in me. She didn't think a young horse would be a problem. And I don't think Badger's age nor inexperience were really the issue, it was more just how everything played out, coupled with a personality miss match. You really can't know going in, especially with a very young horse, whether you'll have a personality clash, until you do. I don't hold anyone accountable for that. That's just how it is sometimes. No one gets along with every horse. And that's okay. But when I sent her a video for a horse I really liked, that was in my budget, she said he was too young. He's six, and did a handful of relatively big shows last year. Not too much for his age or anything like that, but enough to get an idea of how he'll handle those situations. The seller says he's an old soul, takes a joke, not spooky, etc.
I was really taken aback when trainer said six was too young. I mean, I DID say no more babies. But six to me is not really a baby, especially when it's already been showing. Both with a pro AND with an amateur. So I feel like my trainer has lost some faith in me, and that's lead me to some questions about where to go from here. I just really want someone who believes in my abilities and can help bring out the best rider in me. If she thinks I need something dead broke and half dead, I'm not sure we're on the same page. Not that I mind dead broke and half dead, I just can't afford that. And not to be cocky, but I KNOW I'm a decent rider. Rusty? Yes definitely. Sometimes have confidence issues? DEFINITELY. But if I get to ride regularly and have someone on the ground working with me at least somewhat regularly, there's a good rider in this body. And I have no issue with training rides (from my trainer, not boarding barn trainer... just to be clear.) But I do want a horse that lives with me, so that is something to consider with a green horse. Maybe that's all she was getting at. I dunno.
So to summarize, Truthful Tuesday today, it seems I need to be a little more realistic with myself about what kind of horse to be looking for, and what my abilities really are. I think this is the horsey version of a midlife crisis.
Anyone else ever been here? Any advice? Words of wisdom? Just be patient, and the right one will show up when it's supposed to (I do tend to believe that)?