Thursday, December 28, 2023

Thursday's Threads: Rainy Florida Edition


Outfit Day! Today is hopefully our only really bummer of a weather day, so today's outfit kinda looks more like something I would be wearing at home now... But it's still a fun change since it's not a riding outfit. Anyway, here's what I have on today:

It's currently 59 degrees (F) so long sleeves are a must today. Also, yay for a full length mirror in my stateroom!

Top: Tahari
I haven't been clothes shopping much in recent years (other than riding stuff) but I had some rewards certificates for Marshalls/TJ Maxx that I needed to use soon. I popped over to one of them earlier this month and found this cute top in the clearance section. It's perfect for today!

Belt: Tory Burch
This is an oldie. I got it years ago on one of these Florida trips at the Tory Burch outlet. 

Jeans: True Religion
Technically these pants are a little out of style in that the rise is on the lower side. But I'm an old woman and will wear what I please, so they're still in my rotation. Plus, I love the stitching on them. True Religion are my favorite jeans. They're usually the appropriate length on me, and have room in the butt without the waist being huge. It's nice when you find a good fitting brand. Jeans can be tricky!

Shoes: Sperry
I mean.... I'm on a boat. So boat shoes are the obvious choice. I also have flip flops here, but they're not ideal in the rain.

And that's it for today! Short and sweet for a vacation day. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


It was quite a week at home as I'm sure you can all imagine! Between the troubles with Al and the holidays... lots to do! But let's start with Eros since he finally has a plan. 

I had been tack walking Eros whilst awaiting our follow up vet appointment, and he has been a perfect boy as always. But I was very excited to get some answers. But you know how it goes... rarely are things straight forward. The good news is that whatever is causing the lameness in his right front is not the suspensory attachment nor is it a high bow which doc thought seemed the most likely culprits. So that's the good news. The less good news is that we can't figure out for sure what is going on without an MRI. And unfortunately, to image the area where he blocks sound, he cannot do a standing MRI. So Doc had a horse present very similarly in the past, and we've decided to use that case as a guide and forgo the MRI for right now. Current working hypothesis is that he has bone edema in the knee area and rest is what would be prescribed for that anyway. Which is ironic because I also have bone edema in my right knee... Like mother like son! Ha! Our plan is to give him eight weeks of hand walking, ice, and turnout (as long as he's calm out there) and reevaluate then. It could take a lot longer, it might not. Typical wait and see as is the norm with horses. But honestly, heading into the coldest months, it's not the worst time for him to have a little vacation. 

Shiny's still the MVP around here this week. She's been great. We had our lesson on Saturday and she was absolutely wonderful. Though she did do a rather large leap through the air when she rubbed a rail one time. She's so silly sometimes! I'm giving her the week off while I'm away. She's been working hard all year and a week off shouldn't hurt her too much. Though she might gain a few pounds back. If I could have just let the kids play with her for the week I might have done that, but we have to pay for training rides if we're away and she doesn't really need that.

And then there's Al... So when we last left off, he had been kicked out of the training program. And since I have to fix this problem myself, I decided to take full advantage of my vet appointment on Friday to bend doc's ear. I let him know everything that's been going on and how I don't have help to fix it, so I needed his. He asked some questions, and seemed to think some of the behavior is studdy (he wasn't cut until six and a half if you remember, so that behavior was already learned even if there aren't any hormones anymore). But he wasn't convinced that's the whole issue, so he palpated all over to make sure there wasn't obvious pain (like from saddle fit or an injury). He seemed satisfied in those areas, but we pulled blood to check for EPM (which I know isn't the best test, but I'm not doing a spinal tap first thing), lyme (very possible in these parts), and vitamin E deficiency. We also did a Succeed test to look for ulcers. The ulcer test is done right in the field and that came back negative for both front and hind gut ulcers so we don't think that's the problem. The others I have to wait for results. I do keep all my horses on a vitamin E supplement since they aren't out on pasture, but it turns out, I didn't have them on a high enough dose of it. So even though I don't have those results yet, I went ahead and adjusted their smartpaks for next month. I had doc give Al the hormone implant about a month or so ago which didn't do anything to fix his behavior. So doc mentioned trying a regumate shot this time. It has been helpful for a lot of late cut horses and I'm willing to try just about anything honestly, because some days the horse is practically unrideable. So we did that too. 

After Al has a rough training ride, it often takes a few days to get him to take a breath and relax at all in our rides. By the time Doc came on Friday, Al was starting to come around. He was still spooky but not in that crazed way. And he got better throughout the weekend. The hormone shot would not have worked that quickly, but hopefully when it does kick in, this pattern will continue. I'm sure he'll be tough when I get back again. He's not getting ridden while I'm gone (obviously, since he's not welcome in the training program) but I have him down to have a rig today and Saturday and free lunges on the other days. So he'll still get to do some moving around and I think that should help for when I get back. Time will tell. I'm hoping to get him back in lessons right away too. The trainer who dislikes him will be in Florida by the time I return, and I'll be able to work with someone else. So while I was feeling incredible discouraged last week, my hope has returned, and I no longer think I need to do anything drastic like send him to Florida to my other trainer or sell him. (Though I wouldn't mind going to Florida for the winter... Come on Money Tree, BLOOM!)

Anyway, I'm really thankful for a vet that listens to me and wants nothing more than to help me make my horses feel the best that they can. He was very frustrated to not be able to give me a definitive answer on Eros, which, I don't want him feeling that way, but I appreciate that he cares enough to have that emotion. And not only did he listen to my concerns about Al, he offered several options to explore and seems invested in getting us back to a better place. You really can't do horses without a great team around you, and I'm so grateful for mine. 

So that's where we're at with the horses. Things aren't perfect, but they're good enough, and I'm excited for some quieter days at the barn over the next few months. 

In other news, it's been a fun week outside of riding. We had our annual Festivus dinner at my brother's house on the 23rd complete with Chinese food of course. Always nice to see my sister-in-law's family and eat too much. And Santa came for the four legged kids on Christmas, much to everyone's delight!

The horses all got treat balls from Likit which they all seemed to enjoy very much. I imagine they've already finished them knowing my kids... And their stockings were stuffed with Stud Muffins (the slims!) and peppermint flavored sugar cubes (maybe we share those). 

Rita got a couple new toys. One was a stocking that has little holes in it and it's filled with little squeaky stuffy toys that she can pull out through the holes. And another which is the blur in that photo above that is a gym bag, and the little toys inside look like a pair of tighty whiteys and gym socks. So funny! And she clearly loves it. 

On Christmas day morning I stopped by the barn to pick feet and deliver the goods from Santa. It was a Monday when normally the barn is closed so we couldn't ride, but we were allowed to come for a visit in the morning which was very nice. Then Rita and I headed over to my mom's house. Rita is staying there this week while I'm away. Plus my mom and I exchange stockings and some little gifts which stems back to traditions we started when my brother and I were little kids. We grew up in a very non-Jewish area so people always would ask have you been good so Santa can come? My parents were afraid we'd think we were bad kids so they started having Santa come for us. It was never expensive gifts, just little things to stuff the stockings, some games and books, and things like that. Now that we're grown, my mom and I still do that for each other. It's a nice little tradition. And stocking stuffer things are my favorite!

And now I'm in Florida! Today is the only sunny day we're getting, so I'm soaking that up. We're staying on the boat which means I don't have to do anything for myself. It's very much like Below Deck, but without all the drama. (Our crew is wonderful and like family.) So presently I'm sitting at the table outside, breathing in all the warm fresh air, and drinking Espresso. Rough life. My brother and the kids are staying in the condo which is maybe 100 feet from the boat, so they should be over soon and we'll all have brunch. My younger brother and his girlfriend arrive this evening, so it will be so wonderful to all be together. It's been a long time since my little bro joined us on this trip so it's extra special. I'm hoping to head down to Wellington one of the mornings to visit with my summer trainer too. Tonight they have a carnival here where the boat is docked. They're boasting 32 food stations (YES! BRING ON ALL THE FAIR FOOD!) plus rides and games. It was really fun last year especially with the kiddos, and they're saying they added more stuff to do this year. Should be a good time! Tomorrow is a rain day, but the rest of the week will be dry. Cool and cloudy, but still better weather than Connecticut! I'll take it! 

I hope you all had a nice holiday if you celebrate!

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Truthful Tuesday


Sometimes I make mental notes to use something ridiculous I did for a truthful Tuesday post, and I do recall having that thought this past week at some point, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was that I did. So I guess it wasn't all that ridiculous. Or not enough to leave an impression.

Instead I shall confess that I am VERY MUCH enjoying a small break from all the stuff at home with a quick trip to Florida to visit my dad and stepmom. And I feel so much relief. When I get back, the Florida crew at home will be south, and I can get back to things with Al without so much drama encircling us. Very much looking forward to that. I know it seems ridiculous to need a vacation from my basically retired life, but I've never felt like I needed one more than right now. So good timing. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Thursday's Threads: You'll Shoot Your Eye Out Edition


Outfit Day! I'm trying not to let horse drama ruin my holiday spirit, so in an effort to bring some joy back to the horses for me, Eros and I dressed up for Christmas today. Specifically, in our A Christmas Story finest. And while I realize it should be Al's turn to model, he doesn't get to today. I may or may not have also given his bedtime cookie to the other horse I ride today... Consequences. Anyway! Let's see what E was wearing today for our tack walk.

Bridle: Joseph Sterling
Brow Band: Dark Jewel Designs

I know. This isn't festive! Imagine my surprise when I realized I never made a Christmas Story brow band! Something to work on for next year.  

Saddle: Butet
Saddle Pad: Hopeful Equestrian
Half Pad: Mattes
I am very clearly off my game because I forgot to bring the black half pad to the barn with the rest of E's outfit. But there is some blue on the pad, so it kinda almost goes together. 

Boots: Premier Equine, embellished by me
Didn't forget boot tabs though! Ha! I love these!

As has been the norm, I wore my Samshield and De Niro boots, so we'll skip over those. Here's the rest of what I had on though:
Of course, it was FREEZING out today, so I also had on a puffy vest and jacket so no one say my outfit. But that's okay. This joy is for me anyway. 

Sweater: A Christmas Story
It's wrinkled funny because of how my arm is, but it says Fragile on top. It's pretty fantastic. 

Belt: C4
I mean... does a better belt exist? Okay, well yes. My Rio and Jampy belts are better. But this is a close runner up!

Breeches: Tailored Sportsman
I'm not really a red person generally, but a couple times a year red breeches are pretty much required. Namely, Christmas and Fourth of July. For something I will only wear twice a year, I never cared if my red breeches were high end. But after my old pair of horseware ones died a bit ago, I went hunting for new red breeches. And I happened to get lucky and find this pair second hand for reasonable money. So now I have fancy red breeches. You'll see them again in July. Lol!

Socks: A Christmas Story
I really need D&S to make some leg lamp socks. These are mens crew socks which are almost tall enough to be knee socks for me... But not quite. They're pretty adorable, but they really aren't working with the red breeches.

And that's it for today! Something fun for the holidays! Do you love or hate A Christmas Story? Have you seen the sequel that came last year? I loved it!

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


Heh... well. Barn owner/trainer has decided she's no longer going to do training rides on Al, so I guess I'll be solving this issue on my own. She's decided she won't help fix problem horses that she didn't pick out herself. I hope to see this new protocol apply to all the horses she didn't pick and not just mine. I doubt it will be the case though. Regardless, I don't think I want the help anyway, if that's how she feels. 

I have the vet coming out Friday for Eros, so I will be taking some of his time (whether BO/Trainer likes it or not) to discuss what's going on with Al. We have treated for ulcers in the past in an effort to curb some of this behavior and it's never helped. So I don't think that's what we're dealing with, but I'm not averse to setting up an appointment to scope if doc thinks that's something we should do. I'm also going to ask about treating for EPM. Maybe there's something going on with his eyes. I dunno. Grasping at straws a bit, but I just really don't think his issues are all behavioral. I've had lots of spooky horses, but he seems to grow more spooky the more we try to resolve the problem. Nothing seems to get him over what he's worried about. And I've just never had one that didn't improve by the end of the ride. Or after a lunge. Or whatever else we've tried. I feel like I'm generally a pretty good judge of character when it comes to horses, and I just don't think this horse wants to act the way he is. Maybe I'm wrong, and he's just a real turd and I picked a bad one. It's not impossible. But I don't think that's the case. I really don't. Time will tell I suppose. 

So anyway. That's what Al's been up to. Nothing like a solid dose of unnecessary stress during the holiday season! Thanks Al. 

Shiny on the other hand, is really stepping up to the plate. She's the MVP over here right now. She's moving forward, learning to actually stretch DOWN at the trot, and absolutely loving it when we get to jump. We had a lesson on Saturday morning and she was fantastic. She did practice some airs above the ground once when she hit a rail, but it was pretty entertaining. She rubbed a fence simply because she wasn't being careful and then got VERY MAD about it, leapt into the air and let out a giant buck. She stayed nice and straight though, and she's so wide you don't really get unseated so I giggled and continued on with the course. I'm very much looking forward to January when she can lesson twice a week again. I think she's looking forward to that too. 

Nothing at all to report on with Eros. We're still tack walking and just awaiting the ultrasound which will be on Friday. I look forward to finding out what exactly we're going to be rehabbing. It will be nice to have a plan anyway. Especially since I'll be away for a few days, I like having a solid plan to leave with whoever is caring for him in my absence. 

I'm very excited to spend a few days in Florida with my family and get warmed up! But I'm pretty anxious about leaving the horses. I wish I could just take them with me. And maybe stay all winter. Lol. 

The weather here has been all over the place, but thankfully so far the precipitation has been rain. I have this one plant outside that has no idea what season it is so popped out a few flowers over the weekend.

We had our family Chanukah party on Saturday which was lots of fun. I got some new warm sweaters for the barn and a pair of insulated slippers that have a sole so I can wear them anywhere I want to. My feet are very excited about those! 

Next up on the itinerary is our annual Festivus dinner on the 23rd. My mom and I will exchange stockings on Christmas, and then I'm off to Florida on the 26th. At some point I need to pack... Ha! 

That's about the long and the short of it over here. How are things your way? Are you all ready for the rest of this holiday season? Any big plans? 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Truthful Tuesday


Welp. I'm not one of those people who can't admit when they were wrong. So I shall tell you, I was wrong to withhold jumping from Al. So very wrong. Like the wrongest wrong to ever wrong. That boy is BESIDE himself. Practically unrideable. 

You see what happened was, I thought I had beat the system by signing him up for a training ride last week. But I wasn't specific in my request and it was just a flat ride. In which he was just as much of a spooky a-hole for the trainer as he is for me, but I digress... The ride wasn't what I had hoped for because I really wanted him to jump to get his head back on straight. Since he didn't, he has snowballed into the biggest spookasaurus that ever spooked. Like ever. 

We attempted a flat lesson today and it was probably one of my top ten worst rides on him. He nearly got me off once, and has decided there is no safe space anywhere in the indoor. Mind you, he had a free lunge in the morning. Then spent several hours outside with his friends. Then he got worked on by his favorite body worker. AND THEN we had the lesson. So he had a pretty fab day prior. I don't even know what's wrong with his brain, but man. Something isn't right up there. He got this way at home too just before we moved, so it's certainly not location specific. 

I am not a quitter though. I will figure this horse out. Some day. Hopefully. Plan for the rest of the week is to have a training ride WITH JUMPS tomorrow. And then I will lesson on Thursday. And if he's still a spookasaurus after that? Well... I dunno. But I'll keep trying. 

My other confession though, is that when he's like this, I lose my brave. And without that, it's hard for me to really dig deep and be tough and give him the ride he needs. Usually I have Eros to help me find that confidence but since he's on the injured list, I'm kind of having to face this without him. And it's tough. All I can do is keep trying though. He's too nice of a horse to give up on. 

Any of you have a horse like this? What are some things that have worked for you? If it helps to understand what I'm dealing with, when Al spooks, it's not just a little hairy eyeball and a bulge away. It's a full on prop and spin. And sometimes there's no prop, just the spin, and that's when I have a hard time holding on. He'll pretty happily follow another horse around the ring, but the moment we separate from that horse, he reverts right back to being spooky. I can hand walk him back and forth around what he's scared of. But at each gait, and each direction at each gait even, it's like we have to start from scratch. I can't imagine he enjoys life like this anymore than I do. So we have to figure this out.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Thursday's Threads: Last Night of Chanukah Edition


This is it! The last night of Chanukah! Well technically anyway. My family elected to have our Chanukah party this Saturday, so we're dragging it out a little. Plus we'll celebrate again at the end of the month when my siblings and I all visit our dad and stepmom in Florida. But it IS the end of Chanukah Thursday's Threads outfits for this year. Shiny wanted to celebrate today, so here's what she was wearing:

Bridle: Joseph Sterling
Browband: Home made by me

Why yes, those are gnomes on the brow band! Shalom Gnomes! Ha! Apparently some marketing genius came up with them in the recent past as they are pretty readily available in all kinds of forms. I am the reason these marketing people have jobs. 

Saddle: Custom Saddlery
Saddle Pad: Hopeful Equestrian
Half Pad: Ippico
This was my very first Chanukah set that I had done quite a few years ago. Still going strong! I would like to add a one more to the collection next year, hopefully I'll remember in time. 

Boots: Premier Equine embellished by me

Getting lots of use out of the interchangeable boots lately! Love how this pattern looks on the boots.

And here's what I had on:
Still wearing the same helmet and boots so we're skipping over them again.

Hoodie: Etsy
I know it's a hoodie and not a sweater, but let me assure you, I've been hunting for YEARS for a purple Chanukah sweater. It does not exist. So I decided to hunt for a hoodie instead. And then I got the gnome beads, so obviously I needed a purple Shalom Gnome sweatshirt. No regrets here!

Belt: C4
I wore this one last week too. I do have another belt, but it didn't match either outfit. I'm probably going to add a third for next year though. Need a purple one for the Gnomes! I also have a needlepoint canvas that I should start stitching now so it could be done for next year... We'll have to see how that plays out! Haha!

Breeches: Dover

You've all seen these plenty before. My go-to cold weather breeches. It stayed in the 30's today so was pretty chilly. I think it's going to be a very long cold winter. Boo.

And that's it for today! What do you think of the gnomes? Pretty cute, right?! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


I spent most of the weekend stewing about things, and then got my covid booster on Sunday evening. That wore me out enough to stop stewing, so we're mostly back to our regularly scheduled lives over here. 

As mentioned last week, Al hasn't had a lesson since the failed one a week ago. Unfortunately, I had forgotten how semi unrideable Al gets when he doesn't jump a couple times a week. I'm not sure I'm ready yet to try again with lessons, so I signed him up for a training ride tomorrow. That way he'll get to jump, I'll get a day off from his antics, and hopefully he'll feel satiated for the rest of the week as far as jumping goes. And then maybe next week I'll rescind my decision about not lessoning him until after the New Year. We'll see. I do want to jump too. I'm petty enough to do things out of spite, but I don't want to spite myself, ya know? So we shall take things day by day. 

Eros saw the vet on Friday for his lameness exam and unfortunately, we are waiting for a second visit for a diagnosis. After the initial under saddle exam, doc thought it was the same old right front problem that crops up from time to time. If you recall, he has a tendon that's attached sort of backwards and sometimes it gets angry. So he blocked that area and that didn't help. So we worked our way up the leg, finally getting somewhere just below the knee. Since he was blocked, he couldn't get an ultrasound that day, but did get x-rays of the knee to rule out anything boney. There's not much swelling, just a touch right below the knee, but in an area that I didn't even feel or see. X-rays were clean, but doc said it doesn't mean he didn't bruise something there. Other potential diagnoses are a high bow, though doc doesn't really see anything that would suggest that other than his age, or a suspensory attachment issue. But again, not much swelling, so that isn't necessarily the culprit either. We just have to wait until he comes back to image and hopefully find whatever IT is. In the meantime, we're tack walking and enjoying each other's company. Which honestly, is pretty lovely this time of year anyway. Also, since he's a pretty laid back dude, we haven't restricted his turnout yet either. So he's quite happy enjoying a little break from work. 

Shiny had the best week in awhile if you ask her! Since her brothers were both problems this week, she got to do all the lessons. Okay, well not all of them, but she took Eros' Thursday morning lesson AND did one Saturday morning. Thursday she was a little spicy, but in all the best ways. she was quick and taking me to the fences, but not in a lean on the front end and charge around sort of way. More like an uphill jumper pony sort of way. It was lots of fun, though when she rubbed a rail I was a little worried there might be theatrics on the other side. She kept it to a minimum though, thankfully! Saturday she was perfect. She marched around the full course so nicely! Forward, but not fresh, and in a much more lovely huntery shape. We both had the best time. I just love her. She feels so much better after her vet work a few weeks ago. And she gets body work I think next week too. Lucky pony. Thursday lessons are canceled until after the New Year so she will just get one for the next few weeks on Saturdays. But that's enough for now anyway. 

We took our holiday photos this weekend for our very late cards (the ones with the typos) so the pics here today are from that. A little sneak peak. The actual compilation is completely ridiculous. I love it. Typo and all! Ha!

In other news, I got to braid a very sweet horse today for some holiday photos. Her name is Brie, so her people had a cheese charm for her to wear. So cute!

Hope you all had a great week and weekend! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Truthful Tuesday: Holiday edition


Well. It finally happened. Got my holiday cards printed up finally, and there's a typo. A TYPO! And it was my fault. And you know what? I'm sending them out anyway. The mistake is in the signature line. It reads: From Stacie, Al Eros, Rita, and Shiny. Do you see it? I missed a comma between Al and Eros. So now they're apparently one big hybrid horse. Oops. 

Anyway. That's my confession today. Also, I haven't bought the stamps for them yet, so I guess that's confession number two. 

Lastly, if you'd like a card from me and you didn't get one last year, shoot me a message with your address and I'll get you on the list! Our photo is super silly this year.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thursday's Threads: Night 1 of Chanukah Edition


Happy Outfit Day everyone! It's the first night of Chanukah so Eros and I decided to start a little early and dressed up for our ride today. Today's outfit is not a new one, but it's super fun, so I'm sure you'll still enjoy. Here's what E had on:

Bridle: Joseph Sterling
Browband: Home made by me

I really can't stop with the wooden beads. They're just so cute! 

Saddle: Butet
Saddle Pad: Equine Star
Half Pad: Mattes

Chanukah pad for the win! I love a good festive saddle pad. 

Boots: Equine Star
I mean... you gotta have matching boots. Right?

That's E had on today, and here's what I wore:
Please excuse the baskets of Chanukah attire all over the floor...

It was ridiculously cold here today for December. I don't think it ever got above 35F. Fortunately, when having this outfit made, I planned for all weather scenarios. You just never know with Chanukah if it will be tee shirt weather or ALL THE LAYERS weather. Best to be prepared. I wore my Samshield and black De Niro boots, which you're already tired of seeing, so I'm not sharing those today.

Tops: ArtsCow
It's tough to tell in this photo, because they are all the same print, but I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie, and a puffy vest. I sadly also had to layer a coat over this for the barn today so the true fabulousness of this outfit was not fully on display. But we know. And that's what matters.

Belt: C4
I think I want to get a new belt for next year. Or maybe I need to actually needle point the one I have a kit for... But this one is looking a little worn these days.

Breeches: Tailored Sportsman
I don't wear this pair a ton as they are pretty bright and don't match a lot of shirts I have. So why did I buy them you ask? They are perfect for Chanukah week! I got them secondhand in a bundle with another color I had been hunting hard for. It was a great deal, so I figured why not. 

Socks: Dreamers and Schemers
Okay, yeah. These aren't Chanukah socks (I have some en route though!) but they did match the outfit kinda. So I went with it. I SHOULD have worn some of my heavier knee high Chanukah socks though. My toes were frozen solid all day. 

So that's it for night 1! Well sort of. Rita and I still have Chanukah jammies for bed time. You'll probably see those on Insta if you're on there.