Wednesday, October 4, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


I don't have too much to report on this week. Just plugging along over here! The weather has been LOVELY as in back in the 80's and the sun has even been out! Amazing! So much better than the constant rain, gloom, and fifty degrees of last week. That was the worst. 

Anyway, the horses have been pretty good. We were rained out last Friday, and it was a LOT of rain. So while we did ride all weekend, we were stuck on half the ring. They got adjusted Friday though, so it was kind of a nice day off for them, and maybe not so bad to have an easy few days after their adjustments. 

Tuesday, Al kind of came undone. I knew it was coming. The neighbor has been decorating for Halloween, which I fully support... But Al is not such a fan of the ghosts he has hanging in the trees. When he's finished his food, he just stares out his window at them. All day long. At least at night be can't see them. Anyway, Tuesday, I got on and he started out okay, but then he spied the neighbor walking in his yard. You can see better now that the leaves are starting to fall, and Al just kind of lost his poo. I opted to hop off and let him have a free lunge. Because I have learned from last year. If Al tells you he needs to blow off some steam, you should hear that and let him. Otherwise... well, I'm sure you all remember this:

And I don't want to do that again this year. So anyway, he had a bit of a gallop and then I got back on. He was still somewhat unsettled but he kept a lid on it and gave me some okay work. Today, he was feeling MUCH better about life. Still mildly petrified of the one long side, but rideable at least. We popped over a few jumps, which was fun. I was anxious they would be spooky about the new fill, but no one cared. He did spook some at other things, but the jumps were a non issue. I'm still struggling with the forward button, but I know that can get fixed when we move for the winter. Pivo was struggling with the shadows today, so no real video, but we have screen shots from a few jumps. Unfortunately, it never once saw him jump the oxer. But that's okay. I'll share photos of everyone when we're done chatting about all the horses because I uploaded collages of them all instead of individual photos.

Eros has also been a lil' wild. I didn't think he would be today because it was pretty hot out, but I was incorrect. So there were torpedos today. All the torpedos. But it was still fun. Eros doesn't scare me when he lands and goes. He never bucks or anything. You're just mildly out of control for a few steps. He was brave about all the new fill though, so I'm happy for that. Weather depending I'll let him have a gallop before we jump again later in the week. 

Shiny has been great! I think the adjustment on Friday really helped her. She's been her lazy self flatting lately, but today when we were jumping she was on it. She was really hunting the fences. I think she was excited about the new fill. She even did the pony strides in the line (adding one to the horse number) rather than the double add she's been giving me most of the summer. So nice to feel her excited to jump again. If she stays like this, maybe we can start putting the fences back up to 2' again. I've been keeping the fences extra low to keep it easy for her. 

None of them jumped particularly fancy, but I'm chalking that up to the jumps being low. And honestly, I'll take rideable over fancy any day. 

I'm not sure if you noticed in these photos, but I did change my boots halfway through riding today. My black everyday Celeris boots finally gave up on life, so I've been wearing the Mountain Horse Sovereign boots (the brown ones with the croc). They've been fine, I've been wearing them about a week now. But all of a sudden today, they gave me the biggest blister on the lower part of my heal. Not sure what was different, but after three horses (I got to do two at the other barn today) I couldn't suffer through it anymore and swapped out for my sparkly Celeris. Much better. 

In other news, I got a surprise text from one of my braiding customers. She forgot to ask me to braid for a little hunter derby nearby and was hoping I could fit him in on Sunday. I jumped on that opportunity, because that job paid for those awesome huge skull planters on the purple jump. Ha. Thank goodness for the side hustle since I have no self control. 

Not my best work on the tail, but I didn't have much to work with. The hair on top wasn't long enough to reach across, which is pretty normal at the end of the season. What was less normal, is that it was like that pretty far down. Like normally it's a couple inches maybe, but this guy had that going on for several inches down. Made it work though. Even it wasn't as pretty as usual. 

Lastly, I celebrated the 15th anniversary of having horses in my backyard this week! I can't believe it's been that long already. Time really does fly by. So much has changed. None of the originals are here anymore. But this current herd is just as special as the OG's. So thankful for all of them. And for this place we call home. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Truthful Tuesday


Soooo.... I wasn't going to do a Halloween jump this year. I was thinking I should save my money since life is pretty expensive right now. But then I don't know what happened. Things spiraled. And instead of one Halloween jump, I did three. And then I had leftover stuff so two more got outfitted lightly. 

I'm hoping I can be responsible this year and safely store this stuff and use it again next fall. Because it's silly to buy new stuff every year mostly because I was lazy and left it out all winter. Although also, I turnout in the ring, so Hurricane Al and Hulk Smash Eros have a lot to say in whether our jump fill survives for a second season. Time will tell.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Thursday's Threads


Outfit Day! And yes, I'm wearing green again... But it's officially autumn and therefore my farm colors are very much on trend for the season. Eros is our model today, so we'll start with his outfit. But um... I forgot a full body photo. Guess we'll just jump right into individual items.

Bridle: Pinnacle
Browband: Boy O'Boy Bridleworks

Is there a handsomer face in all the land? No. No there is not. (Don't tell Al I said that. He is also handsome in his own way.) Anyway, still really liking these Pinnacle bridles for the price point. I think more than the old Camelot bridles I was so happy with. (I think I'll have a couple of those for sale soon, if anyone is looking.) 

Saddle: Butet
Half Pad: Mattes
Saddle Pad: PerfEq Pad by Anatomeq
These pads are pricey, but Taylor does run sales a few times a year when you can save a little. I really like them. They are very breathable and they do seem to keep the horses cooler underneath. They stay put really well too. If a pad doesn't move on Eros, it probably won't move on most other horses either. Al wore this pad in white for our two shows this year, and I really was happy with that pad too. 

Boots: Eskadron
I'm kind of loving this new color from Eskadron. They call it Cognac, but I call it pumpkin spice. I've been hunting for some tan boots, and I think these will fill that roll. 

So that's what E wore today, and here's what I had on:

It's a very autumnal outfit. For someone who doesn't really love fall, I do very much like the color pallet. 

Helmet: One K CCS MIPS
I think it's kind of funny that One K made this helmet in gray and navy but not in brown. Odd no? I'd really like a brown one. Anyway, I wore the black one with the green and sand inserts. 

Top: MathCat
Vest: Ariat
I hope I manage to keep this vest in good shape for a long time. It's one of my favorites! I like it with this tan shirt; I wasn't sure if it would work, but it does!

Belt: Noble Outfitters

I have this belt in a few colorways as they are frequently a promotion at Dover. This is obviously my favorite of the bunch though. It's like it was made just for me!

Breeches: RJ Classics Harper
I scored these on Poshmark for like $60 and I don't think they were ever actually worn. I like the RJ breeches, and these Harper style are my favorite of theirs. 

Boots: Mountain Horse Sovereign Luxe

My zipper finally gave up the ghost on my black Celeris boots this morning, so these are officially stepping into the roll of "go-to boots".  I'd have worn them today anyway though, because they go best with this outfit. 

That's it for this week's outfit! Any favorites? Anything you want to see before we move back to the other barn for the winter? 

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


Today marks four years since I lost Rio. I hate to dwell on these types of anniversaries, but I also want to honor his memory forever and always. So that's why I make mention. I had a busy day, so I wasn't thinking about what day it was, but I felt a little off kilter all day. Not really in a bad mood per se, just a little less patient than normal, a little humbug-ish. You know? And then when I finally sat down this evening and saw what day it was, I was like Ohhhhh. That makes sense. So if you have one nearby, raise a glass to Rio tonight. 

Anyway, I do still have horses to love and enjoy so let's talk about them! There's been a lot of rain. So much rain. Always raining. I mentioned that yesterday. I'm still hung up on it. Despite all the rain, I haven't really missed out on any riding other than Saturday which was definitely more of a choice than a forced day off. I've felt like I haven't been quite as disciplined in our work schedule this summer, so the last couple of weeks I've been trying very hard to stick to a plan. I mean, I've ridden all the horses six days a week (with occasional weather interruptions) all summer, but I just feel like we've had more "easy" days than we maybe should have. And I haven't been consistent with our jumping schedule either. But now that everyone is feeling good, I'm trying to get back to our usual schedule. Which is roughly something like this:
Monday: off
Tuesday: Flat day- Stretching and working on forward! (We're all a little behind the leg at the moment. oops.)
Wednesday: Jumpies!!!!
Thursday: Flat day- easier day, make sure everyone is sound after jumpy day, keep working on forward
Friday: Jumpies!!!
Saturday: Flat day- lateral work!
Sunday: Sunday Funday! Light flatwork, usuallly bareback for Eros and Shiny

For the most part, we've been pretty on top of this the last couple weeks! Yay us! 

Al's been generally pretty good lately, though I think I've completely uninstalled his gas pedal. I am really struggling to get him moving. He's a little more willing when it comes to jumping, but on the flat? I'm DEFINITELY working harder than he is. He'll for sure see some training rides when we move to the other barn for the winter. At the end of the day though, I kind of prefer having to work hard for forward over trying to stay on the whirling dervish he can sometimes be... Of course, as I was singing his praises about not being so spooky, he was ridiculous today. He didn't feel wild at all, but he was VERY concerned about... well everything really. So much dragon breathing and threats to rapidly reverse directions. Which unfortunately led to me not jumping him today even though it was on the schedule. I'm hoping maybe tomorrow we can pop over a few fences instead. He did jump last week though, so we're not totally off track. 

Eros is perfect. I mean obviously. He was funny today too. Not spooky, and there weren't any torpedos! But he was jumping out of his skin! Over 2'6". Which makes me giggle every time. I just love him! He's been a little stuck on the right side, but we're overdue for our chiro visit. (Poor doc got struck by the Covid and had to reschedule.) He's not unsound but I can tell the flatwork is a little harder than usual for him. 

Shiny also is missing her favorite chiro doc. She might be about ready for another schockwave treatment too, but I'd like to try and hold off until we move. (Be nice to split the farm call, ya know?) She's been good, and she's able to get round both directions at all gaits. She's feeling sound and even in her movement. But she wants to pivot around the turns rather than bend through them (at the canter) and achieving a truly forward right lead canter isn't really a thing right now. The left lead though? That one is feeling pretty great. Celebrate the good, right?! But overall, she's doing just fine. 

In other news, as mentioned yesterday, I went to the fair on Saturday to visit my friend and her moo cows. She has Jerseys which I think are the cutest cows. They won some ribbons and had a good show.

I have no idea what they look for at a cow show. But it's fun to watch anyway. 

Other than cow watching, I didn't really do much other than eat. It was raining, so I was zero percent interested in rides or games. But I did eat. A lot. Before even finding my friend, I had a giant baked potato loaded with cheese, sour cream, butter, bacon, and broccoli. (Covered all the food groups in one!) Then I saw the cows. Then I ate pumpkin fritters. Then we watched some jumping bunnies (10/10, highly recommend.)
I got a real kick out of this burly, bearded man with a bunny on a leash. This was a young bunny, so it just went over small jumps. But some of the more experienced ones jumped bigger fences. 

After the bunnies I had this hot dog on a stick with a ribboned potato around it. 
It was just okay. The potato could have used a little salt and the hot dog was pretty stuck to the stick making it kind of tricky to eat. Probably wouldn't have again. After that, we went back to the cows for a bit and then I started making my way to the exit. (Had to get back home to feed!) Of course, I got some snacks to go too... I mean this was the last fair of the season around here. I stopped first for a lime rickey. I HAD to have one as my town's fair didn't have them this year and I was VERY SAD about that. And then as I continued toward the exit I stopped for a bucket of cookies. They were delicious, but I was a little disappointed that they didn't keep very well. I got the bucket figuring I could have cookies for the rest of the week, but they got hard really quickly. So maybe next time I'll get the small size.  I just love fair food. It's a good thing they only come around in the fall or I'd have some seriously clogged arteries. 

I think that's all I have to report for this week. Hope you're all having a good one! Did you get to any fairs this season?. What's your favorite fair food?

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Truthful Tuesday


Guys. I think it's been raining forever here. I really hope this wet summer (and now fall) isn't going to be indicative of snowfall this winter... Yikes. Scary thought! Anyway, my confession today is that I took a rain day on Saturday. It wasn't raining that hard, it wasn't THAT cold (low 60's F), but I just decided to give my horses the day off anyway. And you know what? It was fine. They weren't crazy on Sunday. They didn't lose fitness because of a bonus day off. And I got to visit my friend who was showing her cows at a local fair. Which also meant I got to eat a bunch of fair food. Which was the perfect way to prep for my Yom Kippur fast! So yeah. Today's confession is that I chose not to ride in the rain on Saturday and instead ate my weight in junk food at the fair. And I'd do it again!

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Thursday's Threads


Outfit Day! And I have a fun one today! (I promised it wouldn't be green again this week, and it definitely is NOT.) Al wanted to model today, and since he's been the problem child of late, I figured this outfit was perfect for him! Here's what he had on:

Boy that's an awkward angle... It looks like two different horses welded into one. Lil' guy in the front and a behemoth in the back. Adorable though, even if the ends don't seem to match. 

Bridle: Joseph Sterling
Look at that face! Love this roman nosed sillypants! That browband was a dog leash from Zazzle. I was able to make a horse sized and a cob sized browband from it. It's hard to see what's printed on there in this photo, but those are indeed F Bombs. Lol!

Saddle: Butet
Half Pad: Ippico
Saddle Pad: Dreamers and Schemers
Hee hee... I had to get this print. I thought it was SO punny when it first came out as socks, and it's even more punny on a saddle pad! I like these pads a lot. They don't seem to shift at all and while they are a bit thicker than I normally use, Al seemed perfectly comfortable in it. They do not have any keepers on them which I really like because I never use any of those anyway.

Boots: Premier Equine 
I mentioned a bit ago that I wanted a pair of interchangeable boots that weren't fuzzy lined for summer, so dug my Premier Equine boots out of the shed and made all the horses a pair! I got this fabric from Spoonflower for the straps. 

So that's what Al wore today, and here's what I had on:
Definitely no green in sight! Plenty of orange though. 

Helmet: Samshield
I was going to wear my blue helmet with this outfit, but it didn't really match, and I already had this one on from riding at the other barn this morning. So I just went with it. 

Shirt: Amazon

We've reached that weird point in September where it's not t-shirt weather, and it's not hoodie weather either. So I layered my tee over a seamless top. I'm nothing if not resourceful. 

Belt: C4
D&S collaborated with C4 awhile back for some sock and belt packs and this belt is from way back then. Hence the reason it's not the same color as the pad or the current edition of the socks. But I wanted to wear it anyway, because sometimes I just don't match. Okay? Okay. 

Breeches: Vestrum
I've been hunting for a very long time for the perfect shade of orange breeches. And I haven't had much success. Until these! I got them from my favorite breeches dealer (okay, it's a tack store) overseas, Riders House, for a great price. The first time I wore them I wasn't sure if I liked them. The fit is a little different than my other pants, but after today, I've decided I like them very much. My only complaint is that the pockets are useless. They're like an inch and half deep. Seriously. Why even have them? 

Socks: Dreamers and Schemers
I did upgrade to the new socks. The old ones were the first generation material which I was not the biggest fan of. But I LOVE the current material they're using so I had to snag a pair to match my pad. Obviously. 

Boots: Celeris 
I'm still limping this pair of boots along! No holes yet! The zippers are nearly kaput, but they're hanging on for now! I briefly considered wearing my navy pioneer boots today, but I was spray painting some boards in between horses today, and figured I'd be less sad if I accidentally got paint on these, so I stuck with them. 

And that's it for today! Any favorites? Do you love the F-Bombs as much as I do?? (The answer is yes.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


Between outside activities and weather, the horses didn't do much jumping last week. But honestly, I think it's fine to have an easy week here and there. But we did do some quality flat work most days so all was not lost. (And you know... some days the flat work was lower quality, but that's okay too!) I'm trying very hard to stay on track this week though. So everyone put in a solid flat day on Tuesday, and today we popped over a few fences. I was a little short on time, and the windy weather was giving me anxiety (me... not the horses this time) so we kept it short, and mostly just popped over single fences. I didn't really put any courses together. That IS my plan for Friday, fingers crossed they're wrong about it being another windy day. I don't think we've had a still day the past couple of weeks. In the summer a breezy day is fine, but this time of year, the way the sun hits, we get some crazy moving shadows in the ring which is tough for Al. So far he's been trying very hard to be good though, despite the active shadows. Gotta give him credit when it's due!

I jumped Al first today. We avoided the spookiest jump which I stupidly placed right in the moving shadows... But we jumped most everything else. I had to tuck in some of the fill because of the wind, but I have a plan to fix that problem for next week....

Al was good, though surprisingly a little too quiet. I'm still taking it slowly with him as he lost a lot of fitness during his sore foot episode. He's probably my laziest horse, and I didn't realize how much I was letting him get away with not actually working in our rides. So the next few weeks I'm going to try and focus on getting more from him. I think he needs a training ride to re-install the go button honestly... But that's still several weeks away. My achilles heel is that I absolutely can create a horse that gets a little dead to the leg. And this is why I'm not a horse trainer! Anyway, despite him being behind my leg, and not really ever getting a quality canter, he still was honest and a good dude to the jumps. A positive day! 

Eros went second. I offered everyone a free lunge today before jumping (see note above about my wind anxiety) so E was actually pretty quiet for our jump school. I had to really push him to get down the line in four. But since he'd had some play time, he came right back to me despite being pushed down the line. If you know Eros, that's a big deal!

I love this horse so much. He can be a little silly, and sometimes he drags me around like a runaway train, but I just trust him so much. As long as I ask, he always tries. Even when I'm wrong. Even when I get left behind. Or jump ahead. He just forgives it and tries again. He's really a special guy. 

Shiny went last. I was starting to run low on time, so we didn't get AS much done as I'd hoped, but we still popped over a few things. She wasn't bad, but I really needed more time to get her going. I've found this summer that you kind of just have to keep jumping small things until she decides she's there to play that day. Once that happens, she will actually start to take you to the jumps and she's a really easy ride. Up until that point though? She sucks back at your leg, and chips to everything. And if you try to rush her through this silly process of hers?

You get all the sass! All of it! Lol! She's too much. I never fully achieved getting her to take me to the jumps today, but she gave me a few semi efforts anyway. 

She's a good pony. She just has a lot of feelings that we need to work around. But the nice thing about her, is even when she's throwing her feelings around, she's still never out to hurt you. She states her opinion and then it's over. You want to raise women who stand up for themselves, and well... I've done that I suppose. 

On Sunday, I actually got to have a lesson over at the other barn. I rode the most wonderful good boy! He's enormous. Even bigger than that tall guy I rode for spirit week's Thursday's Threads if you can believe that. But he's just as sweet as they come and honest as the day is long. No photos since I got no media and he's not mine, but we had fun! The flat part went just fine. I've flatted him a bunch of times, and while he is a challenge for me to really get put together (he is SO LONG!), I can do it, and it was actually a lot easier in a lesson setting. It took me some time to figure him out over fences. He's so big and long, I had two things to figure out. First, the correct distance always looked a little long to me. It wasn't, he was getting there just fine, but there was just so much horse in front of me, I was confused. There was a moment mid lesson, where I decided to try to hold for the add, and that was very much the wrong choice. But it did help me realize that longer one was actually correct. The second tricky part was in the air. It was hard for me to follow him all the way across the jump. It was like I ran out of arms to give with. So I would land a little discombobulated, and then it was a little hairy in the bending lines. But eventually we put it all together. I was in a lesson with 2'6" riders, so thankfully the jumps weren't so big that I was REALLY getting jumped loose! She did put the out of the last line up for my last time through, maybe to 3'? Nothing crazy. And it felt great, so that was a nice way to end. That horse was so kind and sweet to me, and it was really nice to get to jump around on something different. 

The week was busy outside of horses too. I attended the most beautiful fund raiser gala on Friday evening. One of the families at the barn have a son with a very rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, so they organize this fundraiser every year to benefit research for the disease. Not only was it a fun night out with the barn friends, but it was successful too, and they raised a lot of money. 

Thursday I had an old friend from high school stop by who is in town visiting from California. It's always great to see her, and one of our more local mutual friends came by too. Shiny wound up having a day off because I spent too much time hanging with my friends. But these things happen. And it was worth it. 

Saturday was Rosh Hashana dinner with the family which was delicious. So I've been very well fed this past week and all kinds of socialized. Clearly, it's time to return to my bubble and get back to a proper riding schedule! 

Did you all have a good week? Windy where you are? Is it COLD? Because it's getting chilly here for sure. The horses are wearing sheets at night. And I might even go throw on their 100 grams tonight. Boo. Summer is my favorite season, and fall is always kind of a bummer for me. But don't get me wrong, I love me some pumpkin flavored everything!