Thursday, July 11, 2024

Thursday's Threads


Outfit Day! I have a fun one today! Al wanted to be the model because we wore bees today and Eros hates bugs. And Shiny modeled last week. So Al it is! If you follow Pinsnickety's socials you might have gotten a sneak peak, but they attributed the outfit to Shiny. We know the truth though! It was Al! Okay, let's get to it. Al's outfit is cuter than mine, so he'll go first:

From afar, it looks relatively classy. But you know me better than that. It's full of cute. You'll see.

Bridle: Joseph Sterling
Brow Band: Home made by me
Charm: Pinsnickety
I always forget how much Blogger murders the photo quality. So I will include a closer photo of our silly brow band and cute charm here:
I love how silly these brow bands are. The beads are from Amazon, they have all different themes of these wooden beads, and I just think they're ridiculous and adorable. I've been trying to use more of my Pinsnickety items in everyday life since I don't show much, and I thought this was the perfect use for the charm. 

Saddle: Butet
Half Pad: Ippico
Saddle Pad: Ogilvy with some embellishments by me
Pin: Pinsnickety
I think this set up is pretty cute. I also think I need to clean and condition this saddle... Here's another close up because you can't really see the ribbon trim in this above photo:
Aren't those bees cute?! I'm not a big fan of real life bees. Stings hurt! But these kinds of bees are adorable. 

Boots: Premier Equine, embellished by me

I used this fabric with the crowns for my interchangeable boots to match the Pinsnickety pin. But they definitely work with the saddle pad trim too! I think they're pretty cute. Queen bees!

That's what Al was wearing, and here what I had on this week:
I do have some kind of bee print tee shirt, but it's cotton and the humidity here this week is not cotton friendly. So I went with this yellow top instead. It was a smart choice.

Helmet: Samshield, embellished by my friend

Okay, so full disclosure... This helmet has expired. But I wore it maybe ten times in it's lifetime before that happened, maybe even less. So I still wear it now and then. It was a regular brim, but I had this wide brim that snaps on to it already so I've been using that with it. I like how it looks! A friend of mine just retired and is trying to start up a little side gig blinging helmets. She did this one for me. It has black crystals along the rail, and some green ones just below the shield. She also put my initials (SS) on the back with green crystals. Nice and small so it looks really cute. I should have grabbed a photo of the back. Sorry about that. 

Top: Luyaa
I'm such a fan of these Amazon shirts. They're perfect for summer. I want to get rid of most of my sunshirts and just wear these. 

Belt: Amazon
I tried really hard to find a bee belt buckle that was black and yellow like a normal bee. But this was all I could find. It does the job. The belt is reversible, it's yellow on the other side, but not the same shade as my shirt. 

Breeches: Hadley
These are super old, I haven't been wearing them much. I think they'll probably end up in the sale pile. I still like them, but they are a bit too big and I have other black breeches I wear more often. (I'm a little behind on laundry or you'd have seen those instead!) 

Boots: HKM
Half Chaps: HKM
I haven't worn these as much this summer as when I was at the other barn still, but they're still around and going strong! I actually really like them, and would recommend them. 

Alright, that's it for today! Did you like the bees? What should we wear next week? I've been having trouble deciding. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

What's Up Wednesday


This past week was a little horse light as it was a little busy around here with the holiday. It's not really as though I have a busy social life, but my dad does... and it trickles down. Lol! We have an annual 4th of July cruise we take with some friends of the family and that happened this year on Friday the 5th. Boat left at 1, so I might have had time to ride one horse, but I decided to just let them all have the day off. We all deserve a holiday now and then. The food was RIDICULOUS on the boat and I think I gained 10 lbs in one afternoon. 

It was lovely. But the extra day off messed with our schedule a little bit. I normally jump Wednesdays and Fridays. I prefer not to jump after a day off so this week it was Wednesday and Sunday. I didn't set up Pivo Sunday though, so I don't have any media from that day. My new Pivo X broke so I've been limited to the old one, and that one is being difficult... I had better luck today though AND my replacement pod arrived tonight. So hopefully next week we'll be back in business. Just a quick shout out to Pivo, when my X pod broke, I sent a short clip of what was wrong with it, and they just replaced it, no arguments. So high five for that! 

We've been pretty lucky with the weather here at the farm. We were supposed to be under a heat advisory the last couple of days, but it hasn't really been that hot. Yesterday a little bit since it was sunny. But today, it wasn't bad at all. It was overcast and it was windy. The humidity was nuts, so we were all very sweaty, but the heat really wasn't bad. I do see 90's in the forecast for next week though, so I'm not sure if we'll continue to luck out. No complaining from me though, summer is my season. I'll take the heat, even if it messes with riding occasionally. 

Anyway, you're not here to talk about the weather. Let's talk ponies! 

Why, yes that IS a blurry screen shot of Al jumping 3'

Al is wonderful. Truly. I'm not sure if it's solely because oppressive heat and humidity makes for a well behaved Al, or if he's really come around to being a very good boy. But whatever it is, I shall enjoy it while I have it! I was looking back at our daily notes, and nearly all of them say what a good boy he was that day. There was one day last week that I called him medium. He was a bit spooky, but came around and finished well that day. And that was the only "bad" day the whole week. So proud of him. 

As in the past, as I let him jump a little bigger, he gets easier and easier to ride. I'm not sure why I forget that every year, but it sure is nice to figure it out eventually. I don't really feel that comfortable jumping bigger than 3' by myself, so we'll probably stay at this height for awhile, but boy was he easy to get to the bigger fences. He's such a weird little horse. The part that's the hardest for me (jumping) is the easiest for him, and that's why I've stuck it out with him through this rough patch we had. This horse gives me wings in a way that I've never felt before. Not even Bud nor Rio made me feel like it was easy to jump high. I felt confident on them, and we put it all together pretty well, but I still wouldn't have called it easy. Al is. Most of the time. He's still a little lazy and would like to hide behind my leg on landing. But once he gets locked on to something, it's like point and shoot. 

I have a few more terrible screen shots to share of him. I didn't try to run Pivo for his ride as I didn't want to miss all of our attempts at bigger jumpies. So my apologies that the quality is terrible. But this is a personal blog, not a major publication. And therefore, these are "good enough". 

We had a lot of fun today. I hope we keep it up! 

I'm not sure what's happening with my hands. 

Eros continues to do well. I've chosen to repeat last week's rehab schedule because we were a little inconsistent between weather and the holiday. But we have started adding in some more circles, some lateral work, AND lead changes! So lots happening for him this week. 

The circles are still very large and only at the trot for now. But all seems good so far. His favorite part is still stretchy trot though.
I'm not getting a good low stretch yet though. We're overdue for the body worker so I'm thinking that's the issue. He got all that maintenance but it all happened after his last adjustment. So I think that's the final piece of the puzzle. Not that he doesn't feel good, he does. I just think he could feel even better. I try to tack our body work visits on when the other barn has their horses done. Since our places are so close together, she includes me in the split on the barn call instead of charging me a full one. For some reason, they haven't scheduled her since the last time she was out in May, so that's why we are behind. If they don't schedule soon I'll see what it will cost to have her come just for us. But I'm afraid it might be A LOT. She comes from a few hours away. 

Shiny is doing pretty well too! I finally put the spurs back on. I figured since she's wearing the belly band anyway, she shouldn't get a rub from them. So far so good on that front. I wish I could say I've trained this pony to move nicely off my leg without the spur, but I haven't and she doesn't. I've said it before and I'll it again, I am not a horse trainer. I can't work miracles. Haha! Anyway, she's listening slightly better with the spurs back on, so that's been nice. She's always been this way, but she starts out SO SLOW even when we're jumping. It's like she has to slog around and trip over herself before she'll bother with engaging her hind end and moving forward. I'm not sure why she's like that. It's just who she is as a pony I guess. Maybe it's on me too. Maybe I should just pick the fight right away and avoid the slogging around? But it feels so mean. I like to give her the opportunity to step up to the plate before I get after her. I guess as long as we get there eventually, that's the important part. 

That's about it from here. Things are good, and I'm starting to look for a little local one day show to go to. I have a few options, I just need to see if I can line up a groom and see if I can get someone to do the chores at home that day. Oh and a trainer. I need one of those too probably. Fortunately, I just got a braiding job for Friday that will pay for a one day show, so yay for that! I'll be filling in for a much better than me full time braider, so I'll be paid her rate instead of my lower one... I hope I can live up to her standards! Her braids are incredible. Mine are nice, but nothing like hers. This isn't imposter syndrome, hers look like they were produced by a machine. Every single braid is identical. It's amazing. The trainer whose horses I'll be braiding is one that I rode with my last junior year. She's very accomplished and one that I would try and train with again if our paths cross. So I'm excited for this job! I won't see her, she's already away at another show. But still. Feels kind of like a full circle moment.

Okay, that's really it from here. Enjoy this adorable photo of Rita sleeping as I sign off...

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Truthful Tuesday


I had a realization today as I was flatting around on Al. I really needed to decompress once I got home this year. I knew I was feeling some kind of way about my riding and my horses before the move, and it took the last two months for me to finally be able to take a deep breath and remember that I'm capable with these horses. And that THEY are capable too. And I realized as I was trotting Al around on a loose rein today that I'm not getting that feeling in my gut anymore before I ride. Not even on jump school days! I was having so much anxiety before my lessons, it made me want to cancel. I didn't of course. But boy, was I an anxious mess. Even in the lessons with my favorite instructor. Even sometimes on non lesson days. 

These days, I'm not feeling all this pressure to work my horses long enough or hard enough. I work them until I get the results I want. If we're having a problem, we work through it. And if I get the answers right away? Well maybe we'll quit early and take an extra long walk at the end. At the other barn, we've been told walk breaks are stupid and for bad riders. But at my house, we take walk breaks. Especially on these hot and humid days. 

Oddly enough, despite our more relaxed attitude, I feel like Al and I are  ready to get to some shows. I'm not ready to go jump around the 1.2M of course. But I think we're ready to hold our own at the .90's. And Shiny is ready to try... I dunno. Something! I just need to figure out who I want to help us when we go. Our trainer is still stuck in Florida. I can probably handle just Shiny on my own with a groom. But I think with Al I'd like to have someone who knows more than me on the ground. There's just something reassuring about that. Depending on where we go though, I do know most of the local trainers well enough that I could probably ask one of them to help me. I just need to pick a show and get my bum in gear. 

Anyway, that's today's confession. I'm finally feeling a little more confident and getting those trust banks refilled. FINALLY. 

Friday, July 5, 2024

Thursday's Threads: 4th of July Edition


Outfit day on a HOLIDAY! My favorite. You all know I love a theme. To be real though, I'm a little worried about America and I'm not sure how festive I'm feeling. So I didn't get too crazy today. We kept it fairly classy. FAIRLY. It's Shiny's turn to model, so let's start with her. 

She looks oddly unfestive here which I didn't realize... I guess you need us together to get the actual theme. Maybe next year I'll come up with something more festive for the equine to wear. Anyway... You'll see in the close ups that is wearing blue.

Bridle: Joseph Sterling
Brow Band: Dark Jewel Designs
I felt like the spiked brow band gave firework vibes. Maybe it's a stretch... But I'm going with it!

Saddle: Custom Saddlery
Saddle Pad: Premier Equine
Belly band is from Horze
I'm still really happy with the Premier Equine pads. I wish they'd come out with fun colors again... but specifically like good combos, maybe not so much the crazy combos they had before. But also... like bring back the crazy good prices too. They're stuff is pretty pricey these days. 

Boots: Horze
You guys have seen these before. I like them a lot for the horses, but for Shiny, the straps are really long. They work, the velcro isn't too long, but there's a lot of strap left hanging. And you can't really cut it off because of how they're designed. That aside, they're nicely made, and fit well otherwise.

That's what Shiny wore today, and here's what I had on:

There we go. That's more festive! I told you we kept it pretty classy today. Maybe next year we'll get more festive. We'll have to see how things go...

Helmet: One K Avance Mips
I haven't worn this navy hat much lately. I like it with the shiny gold shield. 

Top: Ralph Lauren
I thought I had a couple of cute festive tee shirts, but turns out, I only have tank tops. I had to do barn chores this morning since it's a holiday, and I don't really like to do chores in a tank top. I get too itchy. Thankfully I discovered this perfect top in the tee shirt drawer! The Pony is even red!

Belt: Equetech
I wore my pink version of this belt a few weeks ago, and here's the white one. I got this one also in a Forelock and Fringe box, and have been so happy with it. I've had it a couple years now, and it gets a decent amount of use, and still looks lovely which is saying something for a white belt! This one is a bigger size than the pink one though and I had to punch some holes in it. 

Breeches: Tailored Sportsman
Red generally isn't my color, but I like having a red pair of breeches around for Fourth of July and Christmas. I snagged these from consignment since it really didn't make sense to pay full price for pants I wear twice a year. 

Boots: Pioneer
Okay, well MAYBE navy and gold isn't really USA colors, but I think the way the gold is painted on these it kind of looks like fireworks. So I'm allowing it. Plus they match the helmet perfectly with the gold shield. I snagged these a year or two ago from the Dressage Boots Addicts Anonymous Facebook group for an absolute steal. They're a little too tall, so I stuck some heel lifts in there and that seems to be working well. They're not even broken in yet, so that kind of makes me not want to wear them a lot. But they were actually feeling pretty good by my last ride today. So maybe I'll use them more. I don't think Pioneer boots are the best quality, but they do have some fun designs. 

So that's what we wore today for America's birthday. We stayed on theme without getting too crazy this time. I'm not sure what we're going to wear next week... Any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

What's Up Wednesday


I've been in a fight with Pivo lately, so I don't have great media which is disappointing. But the horses are mostly in great places, so that for sure makes up for the poor media. 

I gave up on Pivo and just used it as a tripod instead.
Stationary video is better than no video at all!

So after my post last week praising the new leaf Al has turned over, we had a bit of setback. It was not his fault though. Have any you ever heard the sound an electric hedge trimmer makes? It's terrifying if you haven't. It kind of clicks loudly while tearing through sticks and leaves... I can imagine you know where this is going. So Friday, we had planned a jump school day. But the neighbor was out there slinking around behind the tree line, and Al was having a little bit of a tough time with it. Not as bad as he could have been, but he wasn't comfortable. We tried very hard to work through it, and started popping over some little jumps. But as we landed off the flamingo jump, the neighbor started hedge trimming in the corner directly where we were headed. I nearly died. So did Al. Thankfully we both survived, but I had to end the ride. The trouble with Al is that he doesn't forget these things. Which is why it is so hard when things scare him. Trying to work him through stuff that he's genuinely scared of tends to escalate things and it takes a lot longer to get him over the fear. So I opted to finish our ride. Here's where it gets... interesting. I have a bit of a mouth on me, but I'm also not a very confrontational person. So I frequently call the guy next door an asshole, and ask rhetorical questions like "are you TRYING to fucking kill me?" Most of the time he's wearing ear muffs (to drown out all the noise he's making of course) so he never hears me. BUT THIS TIME HE DID. I almost died. I was walking away from him when I heard him ask if I was talking to him. So I just kept walking cause you know. He's a scary dude. (Remember the screws in my tenants tires? Or the spray paint on my neighbor's car?) Anyway I continued walking around avoiding that side of the property and got off and went inside. Well. Scary dude WALKS OVER TO MY BARN (effing trespasser) and was all, were you talking to me? And I was like well, I was trying to get you to stop the trimmer for a minute because you nearly got me killed. And he was all, oh I had no idea that would scare the horse. I thought they'd be used to it with all the lawn mowers and everything. I looked him in the eye incredulously and told him, they're not used to any of that. These are prey animals, noises in the woods or that they can't see the source of are TERRIFYING to them. And he was all, oh I didn't know. I wouldn't try to get you hurt. Why would I try to get you hurt? 

Guys. All of that is bullshit. We've had this conversation numerous times. He KNOWS what scares horses (pretty much everything he does.) and honestly, he HAS tried to get me hurt before. So I just looked at him when he asked that and I said, I really wouldn't know. He never said sorry though. Cause he's NOT. So anyway, eventually he went back to his place. And I've been very on edge and on high alert for his retaliation. So far nothing damaged that I can tell. However, when it was time to ride on Saturday he was using a chainsaw next to the ring all day. I was able to ride Eros and Shiny through that drama, but Al had a lunge line day. Fortunately, Sunday was super humid with impending storms on the way, so neighbor stayed inside all day and we were able to work through some stuff. Turns out, now that Al is feeling better, even when he's a little unhinged I can make things better by not playing into it. I just need to pretend like everything is fine and trust him to believe me. It's probably the hardest thing in the world to actually do, but it works. We ended very nicely. Tuesday he came out mostly ready to focus and get some work done. He tested the waters a little in the beginning, but I just did my best to sit chilly and not worry and it worked well. We finished with some lateral work and I was really proud of him. 

Definitely lower quality media, but I'll take it over none!

Yesterday and today I got really lucky in that the neighbor didn't seem to be around and for the first time all summer it wasn't windy! So Al was pretty content. Today he was a little suspicious of the shared tree line, but we worked through that and then started jumping some little jumps. I put a few up to 2'6" before I got on, so we quickly moved on to those little bit bigger fences and he was just so great. We strung a few things together and even did one of the bending lines. I'm trying to keep things easy and positive, so we didn't do a ton and I didn't get off to make anything bigger even though I really wanted to. I think we're ready to get back to 3' and work our way up again now that he's feeling better, but I don't want to rush anything. I know the fence height means nothing to him, but I just want to keep things short and positive right now. Next time we jump I'll probably stick one or two up a little bit, and we'll just keep inching our way up to where we used to be. It doesn't look like our trainer will be back anytime soon, so I need to figure out an alternative. I want to get to some little shows this summer, and it's like half over already. So we need to get moving!

Eros is up to ten minutes of cantering and twenty of trotting this week, so we've started adding in some circles and not quite full lateral work, but starting to exaggerate the bend a little here and there. He's beginning to loosen up and lift his belly and get back to his old self. We did have to have a little discussion yesterday about paying attention and that leg means forward not sideways... But I kind of like when he lets a little naughty slip out once in awhile. He's generally a by the book kind of guy so it's nice to see a little other side of him. As long as he doesn't take it too far. Ha! I'm hoping we can start popping over some little things soon, I'll check in with doc next week and get his thoughts. I think he's pretty bored with all the flatting by now. I know I am! 

Look at that shrinking belly! 

Things are a little weird with Shiny. Nothing is wrong really, but her skin is being very sensitive. It started over the winter when I had to stop wearing spurs. She was getting rubs really easily. Even her saddle pad rubbed her on the edges. I figured it was due to winter since it happens to Eros and Al a little bit too in the winter time. And it seemed to resolve once her summer coat came in. But this past week the little spur rest on my Cavallo boots gave her another rub. And then her D-ring bit rubbed her mouth. So I put her in the side pull and that rubbed her face. That was on Saturday. So Sunday, I snapped some reins on her halter and just rode her in that. I put a full cheek on her this week and so far that seems to be okay. The mouth rubs had healed up by the end of the weekend, and the full cheek sits a little differently than her dee does. So hopefully we'll be okay with that. I lubed her up with some bit butter too. I'm thinking the skin sensitivity might be from the Thyro-L that she's on, but I'm not certain. I had mentioned it to doc at one point and he agreed it could be from that but hard to prove without taking her off, and we can't do that just yet. So I'll just try to be really careful about what I put on her. 

Riding wise she's been good. She's a little unmotivated but once I convince her to actually use herself things go really well. I have absolutely no media of her jumping from either of our last two jump schools because Pivo is on the poop list. But I did get a few trotting screen shots. Better than nothing at all I suppose. 

That's about it from this end. A little excitement, but mostly things are going well. Horses are all finishing up their various meds from our last vet visit (Adequan for Al and Shiny, Relyne for Shiny) so it's nice to be wrapping up the extra stuff. How are you guys doing? Enjoying summer? Doing fun things with your horses?? 

Truthful Tuesday


Sorry to post so late today! I got a phone call from an old friend and we had a lot to catch up on. Next thing I knew it was now… anyway, that’s not my confession but I suppose it could be.

My confession is that sometimes I get so focused on one thing that I wind up ignoring something else. Case in point: yesterday was Monday. On Monday I tend to spend very little time with my horses. After two 11ish hour days in a row together over the weekend, we can all use a little break from each other. My helper is there in the morning for turn out and what not, so I just have to feed meals and do night check. Also on Mondays I tend to wear normal people clothes which in the summer might include sandals or flip flops. 

The footwear is obviously a poor choice in the barn, so I tend to be hyper careful about where I put my feet if I have to go in the stalls. Which I need to do for Shiny to swap her haynet. And yesterday I also had to go in Eros’ stall to wrap him and to retrieve his feed pan that he had thrown to the back of his stall. All was fine with Shiny. She’s generally very good about staying in her own space. Wrapping Eros was also fine. But where I ran into a problem was retrieving the feed pan.

Due to my hyper vigilance about my feet, I failed to notice that Eros had positioned his giant head directly over my own. So when I stood up from grabbing the feed pan I smashed the back of my head right into his teeth. 

Thankfully it was the back of my head so you can’t see the bruise that I imagine would be very colorful if not covered by my hair. So that’s today’s confession. I’m careful with my feet but not my noggin.