Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thursday's Threads


Outfit day! As promised, we are back to our regular schedule programming this week with a riding outfit. Shiny wanted to model this week, and who am I to deny her? So here's what she is wearing:

She is going to be SO sooty this summer! I thought she was muddy the first day back from vacation and was trying to curry the dirt out, until eventually I realized that was her summer color coming in. I can't wait to see when it's all in! She's going to be extra pretty. 

Bridle: Joseph Sterling
Brow Band: Dark Jewel Designs
Shiny's bridle is the newest of my JS bridles, and I love the changes they've made to them. The other ones we have, the noseband is the traditional type, and goes through and over the crown piece. This newer model is a mono crown and I really like it a lot better. 

Saddle: Custom Saddlery
Saddle Pad: Premier Equine
The Premier Equine pads aren't as affordable as they were years ago, but they're still a really nice product. We've had this brown one for a couple years now, and it's holding up beautifully. 

Boots: Busse
These boots are pretty new. I really like them! They're actually mesh, the only fuzzy part is on the edges. They fit nicely which can be tricky for Shiny. 10/10 highly recommend.

So that's what Shiny is wearing this week, and here's what I had on:

Yeah, it's cold again. All the layers are back out. All of them. 

Helmet: Samshield
See that thing on my chin? I mean, you can't miss it. I have had this happen a few times in the past, but never on my chin. (Twice on my forehead, once on an arm.) What is it you ask? No, I didn't fall or scrape my face on a horse neck. Nope. Nothing that exciting. What happened was first I got a sunburn, and then a bug bit my sunburned face. And now this is what I have. At least the swelling is down. Hopefully it goes away quickly without too much of a scar. It's only ever happened when I'm in Florida, so must be a reaction to a bug we don't have up here in New England. Either way. I hope this is the last time.

Jacket: Columbia
I had some free time and went and wandered around Kohl's the other day while I was waiting for Ulta to open. (I needed moisturizer for my poor sunburned skin.) And I found this jacket in the clearance section. It was the only one there and just happened to be my size. I had to have it. Thinking I may someday get my logo put on the back. 

Belt: Zazzle
I have a accumulated a bunch of these Zazzle belts. You can pring pretty much anything at all on them, so you can imagine the fun I've had designing them. They're reversible too, so you get two belts for the price of one! 

Breeches: RJ Classics Gulf
I like the gulf breeches. I like the Harpers better, but these are fine too. The RJ fabric does tend to pill, but the fit is pretty decent, and they are comfortable. Plus they are frequently on sale which makes them significantly more attractive to me. 

Half Chaps and Boots: HKM Killarney

I really was wanting a plain black pair of boots to wear until I can get some of my zippers replaced, but new boots really aren't in the budget. While I was searching for something affordable that was also nice, I stumbled across this set up. They're a knock off of the Tucci chaps and boots which means they are very affordable (especially if you order from R&R Country in the UK) but look like they're fancy and expensive. They broke in very quickly and are super comfy. I'm not sure how long they'll last, the chaps feel pretty thin. But for the price, hopefully I'll get my moneys worth from them. I like how they work. They don't have an elastic under the foot, but they have a little slit in the front that matches up with a snap tab on the front of the boots. So the tab goes through the chaps and it holds them in place. So far I'm a big fan! We'll see how long they survive. Some photos below of other angles.
That's not a blemish on the one boot. Just dirt. I didn't clean them.
Just keepin' it real over here.

That's it for today! Any favorites from today? I can't wait for more fun silly outfits when the horses get home! It's getting closer!

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What's Up Wednesday


Okay, so I know this is a horse blog, but the majority of my week was spent on the second half of my vacation. Last week we talked about seeing totality up in Vermont, and I got to ride quickly on Tuesday. This week was part two of the family vacation. So not much riding to cover, but lots of pretty vacation pics! (I will touch on the horses after though, promise!) 

I very briefly considered riding before we left Wednesday, but I had to pick the parentals up at nine and wanted to be showered by then too. Which meant I needed to be showered and in the car at 8:30. So I opted out. If I had less horses it would have been more doable. Anyway, we arrived at our destination around 4 and had just enough time to hit the water park before dinner. (Solid first day of vacation if you ask me!) Our plan for this trip was to fly into Nassau, Bahamas and spend the night at the Atlantis Marina on dad's boat. (Hence the water park.) 

One of the water slides passes through this shark tank

I've been to Atlantis a few times. We went twice when I was just out of college, and had lots of fun back then. I was a much younger, wilder human then, and enjoyed nights at the club and meeting yacht crew guys. I'm too old for yacht crew now. Lol! We also stayed at the Atlantis a few years back. It was my first post covid trip that time, and my brother and sister-in-law both tested positive before we left. Ha. Thankfully we did not repeat that part this time. 

This trip though, we didn't stay at Atlantis. Instead, we we out exploring. The first day, we headed out with the big boat to Highbourne Cay. It's a tiny island with only one permanent resident. I believe he owns the marina. And probably everything else there. It was BEAUTIFUL there! And very quiet. Once we were tied up, we spent a few minutes at the beach next to the dock while captain and the crew got everything settled. 

I know. These beaches, right? 

Then we headed out on the tender for some adventures. First up was supposed to be snorkeling at a pretty well known island... It formerly belonged to Pablo Escobar, and has a plane sunk just off shore that you can snorkel around. (This was also supposed to be the original site for Fyre Fest. We all know how that turned out...) But the current was too strong for snorkeling, so we just zipped around on the little boat. From there we headed to another island (I'm not sure which one this was) and fed the Iguanas grapes. They are clearly used to this because they all come out when they hear (smell?) the humans.

There were lots of them. After touring around all the islands and feeding the iguanas it was time to head back to dock, have dinner, and turn in for the night. 
Captain knows everyone at the marina (he's been at this a long time), so in the morning one of his buddies let us meet the baby goats on the island. They were adorable!

I got to hold this one. I also got a sunburn.

This cute parrot lived at the marina. I don't know his name. But I wish I did. Anyway, after playing with goats and taking photos of the parrot, it was time to head out. We didn't go directly to our next destination though. We had an important stop to make first. My favorite stop of the whole trip!

Piggy Beach!!!!

That's right. We got to swim with and feed the piggies!

They were much larger than I expected. And I loved them. They were adorable, and furry, and SO CUTE! After piggies we headed to our actual destination which was Compass Cay. Another sparsely populated island. It was BEAUTIFUL. Wait until you see the beach. But first, my niece had to swim with the sharks. She's much braver than I. They were nurse sharks though. Those kind don't have teeth which is significantly less terrifying. We sent Jason our deckhand in with her. He's also braver than I.

This is the dock we stayed at that night. You can find a piece of driftwood at the beach (or bring your own I guess) and put your boat's name up on the shack there. We did that before we left and all signed our sign. You'll see it below.
We also took some time out at the beach on Compass Cay. Now I know we weren't the only ones on the island because there were other boats at the dock. But at the beach? It was just us. Look at this place:

So beautiful. The water wasn't too cold either. We swam with the nieces for awhile and then went shell hunting. And then it was pretty much dinner time. (The trip from Highbourne to Compass is about three hours, so that ate up some of the day.) 

Dinner at sunset was pretty lovely. 

The next morning we were up early for some snorkeling. 

And then we took a tender tour of some of the nearby islands. There's a prince who owns one of the larger ones. He's built lots of infrastructure and his island has all the modern conveniences. We also saw Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's island. This one below belongs to Johnny Depp.

That signs says the island is private and there's cameras. So... he does't want visitors.
After our little tour, we headed back to dock, and hung our sign. 

Our boat is called Indulgence. M/Y stands for motor yacht
And the number is the length of the boat. Then we each signed it. 
If you ever visit Compass Cay, take a photo with it and send it to me!

After sign hanging it was time to head back to Atlantis for our last night. It was about a four hour ride back, so we had enough time once we were tied up to have a little more water park fun before dinner. For our last dinner, we had a pre-birthday celebration. My birthday is the 30th of this month, my younger niece is May 6th, my older niece AND my stepmom are May 7th. So lots of birthdays to acknowledge. Dinner was a feast and we had chocolate cake for dessert. Solid last night if you ask me.

Our Stew Abby does the best job with our table scapes. Much more creative than I!

Our flight wasn't until 2, but the boat had to leave the dock by 1, so we got picked up around 12:30 to head to the airport. Dad and stepmom stayed on the boat. They went with the boat to Chubb island for the night, and then back to Florida the next day. They'll stay in Florida until the end of May when they head up this way for the summer. The rest of us hopped on the plane. We had to stop in Wilmington, NC. It was kind of nice though. It split the flight more or less in half and allowed us a potty break in a real bathroom. It was quick too. No one else was there checking in. (This was a pretty secluded vacation other than the Atlantis parts.) 

Customs. View from our plane window. That one in the photo is not us.

We landed around five, but as I drove home it clouded up and eventually started raining. It was a quick shower though, and we were rewarded with this pretty rainbow for enduring the storm. I stopped home to drop my bags, then immediately went to pick up Rita at my mom's house. I missed that pup so much! I hadn't seen her since before the eclipse. I thought it seemed cruel of me to stop by and see her in between and not take her back with me. 

So that was my trip! Sorry to bore you with that. I know it's not horsey. But it was such an amazing trip and who knows if I'll ever get to do that again, so I really wanted to document it. 

The only bad part about coming back on Sunday evening is that I didn't get to see the horses until Tuesday. It was a little nice (I'll admit it) to have a day to get settled back in at home to unpack (and clean my filthy house) before jumping back into horsing. 

I really wasn't sure what to expect when I got to the barn Tuesday. Everyone is back from Florida, so I had some anxiety about that. It's easy to get used to the quiet mornings and well.... I'm just gonna say it, the lack of judgement from others during the winter months. And it's a little hard to readjust to the busy and the comments. But so far it's okay. I also wasn't sure what to expect from my horses. They mostly hadn't been ridden while I was away. Al did get exercise though. He did some free lunges and I spaced out a couple of rigs for him. So at least he shouldn't be TOO crazy. Shiny had a couple free lunges, and her summer kid was home for the weekend so she took a lesson on her. I don't normally let me horses jump after a day off, but I made an exception. I knew she wouldn't jump very high and Shiny knows how to take care of herself. The lesson went well and Shiny is no worse for the wear. Eros just had turnout everyday while I was gone. He was zero percent wild upon my return. So that was lovely. He's just so perfect. 

I've ridden them all twice this week so far, and everyone has been great. Yes I said that. Even Al. I'm sure it won't last... But maybe it will? I think Al appreciates a little break here and there, and that might be something for me to build into his schedule. Maybe all the work all the time doesn't allow him to thrive the same way as the others. I dunno. We'll have to experiment. 

Lessons are down to one a week now that barn owner is back. We are in her way Thursday mornings if we lesson, so those have been discontinued. It will just be Saturdays until we move home. I do have the option of lessoning later in the day during the week, but I really prefer to lesson earlier. Hopefully once my other trainer gets back we can back to more regular lessons. I am looking forward to getting Al jumping real jumps again. Eros is bumping up to ten minutes of trotting on Friday, and then 15 the Friday after that. Once we get a solid week at 15 minutes, if he's still sound we can start adding some canter. We'll have another check once we're cantering 15 minutes and that will determine if/when he can start jumping again. He's feeling pretty good, so fingers crossed! Shiny is feeling great too, so I'm excited to maybe do fun things with her this year. 

Now that everyone is home, I'm not getting any extra rides anymore, which is kind of a bummer. But I certainly have plenty of riding to do anyway. Somehow though, I don't seem to be getting finished any earlier... Where does the time go? 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Truthful Tuesday: Eros' confession


Hey guys, Eros here. Mom said I had to come on here to tell you about what I did. But really it's all HER fault for ABANDONING me for a whole week. A WHOLE WEEK! She just... didn't come here. Can you believe that? Just forgot all about us kids. What I should have done is call the authorities. But I didn't. Instead, I did the next best thing. I pulled my shoe off. And a little bit of my foot. Not enough to cause damage. Just enough to make sure mom noticed something was amiss when she picked my feet. It was especially funny because no one told her, but they did get my farrier out asap so it was back on when she got home. 

So picture this guys. Mom noticed something looked off when she picked my feet in my stall. Then she stared at my feet while we walked to the crossties. THEN she stared at them some more. Then barn owner lady was like "oh didn't anyone tell you he lost a shoe?" And I was laughing! Like, not on the outside where she could see, but inside, I was CRYING laughing. Mom was all, "Ohhhhh, that explains this odd looking foot." 

So yeah. That's what I did. I took my shoe off. I mean, I had to do something. No one had paid any attention to me at all for SEVEN DAYS! I mean, I was fed, watered, and turned out. And wrapped in the evening. But like. That was it. And I mean, I know I keep saying I'm retired. But even a retired horse wants to be groomed. And told how handsome I am. It was truly awful. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Thursday's Threads: Vacation Edition


Thanks to Starlink, I have internet down here in the Exumas. Woohoo! But also, since I'm down here living the island life for a few days, I don't have a horsey outfit to share. Instead, I have a super comfy vacation outfit. And we don't wear shoes on the boat, so it's a very short edition of Thursday's Threads. Just three items! Let's go!

Here's what I wore before and after we did things that required swimwear. (And there's pretty much a zero percent chance I'll be sharing photos of me wearing a swimsuit. No one wants to see that. Trust me. Anyway, here's what I had on for much of the day:

I did a little mini wardrobe refresh before my trip at TJ Maxx and Marshalls because I really didn't have any summer type clothing that wasn't either at least six years old or riding clothes. This outfit is mostly new, and it felt very refreshing to put on something new today.

Shirt: Cable & Gauge
I am very excited to see this dusty pink color is still popular. This top is flowy and soft and SO comfy!

Belt: EqueTech
I got this in a subscription box awhile back. It's nearly the same dusty pink shade as the top, just ever so slightly lighter. But close enough!

Jeans: Kenzie
I am a big fan of Kenzie jeans. They just fit really well, and are generally soft and comfy. They also aren't insanely expensive, especially if you find them at TJ's or Marshalls where I think I paid 16.99 for them. 

And that's it. Short and sweet today. We'll be back to our regular schedule next week though, fear not!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

What's Up Wednesday


I'm thoroughly off schedule this week and have no idea what day it is anymore. I mean, I know this will post after midnight and it will be Wednesday when you read it... But still. I'm a little out of sorts. Not in a bad way, just in a my schedule has been disrupted sort of way. Anyway. Let's talk about horses!

I managed to sneak in a few more rides than I thought I could this week with my traveling. We left late enough on Sunday that I was able to get up at 0 dark thirty and ride all three horses before we departed for VT. And then we returned home in time Tuesday to get to the barn for late afternoon/evening rides. They'll have the rest of the week and weekend off from riding though. I think. Shiny might get ridden. Her kid is visiting from Florida for a few days while I'm gone and I told her she could ride whenever she wants while I'm away so long as barn owner allows it. She may just require that kiddo rides in lessons, which is fine with me. We pay a service fee each month that we can use for lessons or training rides or rigs or whatever, so I will have some credits that need using anyway. 

Shiny has been great this week. I mean, she still wants to kick out when we pick up canter, but other than that she's feeling quite good. I'm hoping that behavior is related to needing the chiro and will hopefully resolve when her body worker gets back from Florida. Fingers crossed anyway. She was exceptionally good in her lessons this past week though. She's really jumping well! She's finally jumping across the fences and has plenty of impulsion off the ground which we've been missing for the last year or so. I really wasn't sure the EPM meds were doing anything from her, but I've since decided they are helping a lot. Just not with the kicking out part. We'll keep investigating that. Regardless, I'm just really happy with how she feels at the fences. 

It was weirdly beautiful and warm here when I got back from VT so I got to ride Shiny outside. She loves it out there! I have a real appreciation for what a good steady pony she is when I head outdoors. She's exactly the same out there as she is inside (though slightly less grumpy about going to work). People who don't have extended winters and/or don't ride indoors exclusively for a length of time might not fully grasp how INSANE some horses can be when you transition back outside. I've generally had the horses who go a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs when they first get out there. Shiny doesn't do that, and I'm so grateful for her! Eros is normally also fine, but not always. You have to see with him. So he hasn't been out just yet. Al is better outside than in, but the first few rides can be a bit exciting. I'll likely lunge him out there before I ride the first few times. But ultimately, he's not as worried out there as he is indoors. 
Eros is doing great! I've held him up at six full trotting minutes and 24 minutes of walking for our rides. He could have progressed to 10 minutes this week, but I figured with me going away and him having time off, we should probably wait for the increase. I'll likely do half a week still at the six minutes when I get back, and then start building. I'm not in any hurry with him, so better to take our time. 

Al has been a tale of two horses lately. It seems for most of my flat rides lately he's a complete basket case. But when we lesson, he's all business. As long as his buddies stay in front of him. He followed our lesson mate all the way around the entire ring Saturday even though there were sunspots all over and the wind was howling outside. AND it was effing cold out. (Like 34 F. Gross,) He just got behind that buddy of his (who happens to be a half brother, they share the same dad. And they're both spooky idiots, just about different things) and followed him right around. He almost gets trance-like when he follows another horse. It feels like he stops thinking entirely and just does what he's told. It's pretty pleasant really. Except that he has a really big step when he relaxes like that and we have to slow down to keep our buddy in front. Similarly, once we got to jumping little courses, as long as his buddy stood at the scary end, Al went right around so nicely! No buddy down there? The wheels come off. This horse is a weird one guys. We have a lot of work to do. Now that he's coming around enough to let me put some pressure back on him, it's time we start trying to work through some of his anxieties. I don't think it will be fast, but I think we can get better. At least a horse shows there are usually horses all over the place to keep him feeling safe!

So that's the update on the equine. In other news, after getting up at 5 to ride all three horses before 9 (which I accomplished thank you very much!) I headed north with my family to visit my little brother. His farm was right in the path of totality for the eclipse, so it was a really fun trip. We headed that way Sunday night. Stopped at the farm for a visit and early dinner. 

Hilde, Hugo, and baby Toby

The rooster's name is Red and he's a pretty cool dude. Very friendly.

It was a lovely day up there and it was great to see my brother. Then we headed to our Air B&B which was an interesting place... but did the job. Had plenty of room for all of us and was clean and warm. (There were too many of us to crash with little bro- my dad and stepmom, me, my older brother, my sis-in-law, and the two nieces.) We headed back to the farm mid morning on Monday. We saddled up the horses for a little wander around the property. All the non riders hiked instead. Riding is way more fun though. 

Do you see this attire my brother rides in? I bought him a helmet but clearly he's not using it.

Yes.Those are crocs. CROCS. Geeze.

Around 2pm we all got comfy on the patio to watch the eclipse. I gotta tell you guys, I thought I knew what we were in for. I was present and witness to the eclipse in 2017 which was about 92% I think where I was. It was interesting and all, but not THAT exciting. But Totality? It's amazing. If you ever have the chance to witness it, definitely take that chance. It was pretty incredible. My older brother had a ton of different cameras set up with all different settings (including a drone he sent up just before Totality) and got some really impressive footage. You can see it on his Facebook page, look him up (Lon Seidman). I don't think he's private, but FB won't let me share his eclipse videos for some reason. These photos below I snapped with my iphone so they are zero percent impressive. 

Anyway, when Totality occured, it got VERY dark, muck darker than I anticipated. Not quite dark as full night, but close. When the moon completely covers the sun and you can remove the glasses, it just looks incredible. It got very cold too. Really was a sight. The animals didn't seem particularly bothered by any of it, but the mare Hilde was pretty convinced it was dinner time. Apparently so were the men folk because once totality had passed the grill got lit and we ate again. So I guess Hilde wasn't wrong. We headed back to our home away from home around 7 and just relaxed for awhile before bed. 

My brother makes maple syrup on his farm (look him up and place an order, you won't regret it! Season is winding down, but the sap was still flowing, and he had a boil planned for Sunday. Obviously we stopped by for that before heading home on Tuesday. 

It was really neat to see the boiler firing. We got to taste the product as it was in process too, which was delicious. We didn't linger too long though since we had to prep for part two of vacation when we got home. Plus I wanted to ride. So that catches us all up! We're off to do some island hopping on the boat for the next few days. I will try to post a Thursday's Threads, but I'm not sure I'll have internet. So if that doesn't happen, I apologize! I hope you all got to see at least part of the eclipse if not all of it!