Friday, March 30, 2012

Great People

I am lucky enough to now have access to amazing horses and riders. One of them is Erin. Erin is one of the kindest, honest, and most sincere people that I know. She is so upbeat, and no matter what happens, she finds the positive and focuses on that. I have a lot to learn from her.  Her goal is London 2012 for the Paralympics. You can read more (and donate if you can!) here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


This week I have been on my feet doing 2,000 things each day. I've been tired and was looking forward to riding today.

I tried to rush from work, just to get pulled back into school for a meeting. Note: Don't change into riding breeches/boots. Meetings become awkward. My lesson was at 4:45, and I got to the barn at 4:35 (almost an hour in the car, thank you Seattle drivers! It's rain. It rains here 9 months out of the year. GET USE TO IT!) I rushed to get Mr. and gave him a quick look over, tacked him up and got to the indoor arena 5 minutes late (fail!)

While I was adjusting the leathers my trainer pointed out that Mr. had a HUGE swollen side. Right where my leg goes. I didn't notice because I didn't do a really thorough grooming. She touched it and he was super sensitive. Poor guy. I felt bad. He was extra touchy and since my leg would keep hitting it I decided that I wasn't going to ride. Boo. I was actually looking forward to it.

I called his owner and gave him some medicine. Hopefully the swelling goes down. Poor guy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Barn Day


Not wonderful form, but I'm cantering! LOVE this horse!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oh Denali!!

Today was Denali day! I found a friend to go with me at the last minute, so I picked her up bright and early (well...9am.) We hit Starbucks and started our road trip. We got there around 11am and as we pulled up I saw that barn owner leading Ms. Denali into the barn. I also noticed that there was a broken fence in the arena. Ugh. Apparently she turned Denali out...Denali walked over to the fence....and promptly turned, kicked and broke it.

The barn owner (who ranks in the top 10 of my favorite people) was running out, but had a few minutes to chat. Apparently the caretaker is afraid of Denali. GREAT (said in a low, long sarcastic tone of voice.) I don't care that he's afraid of her, I just worry that she is going to get kicked out. I'm not sure where she'd go if this didn't work out. The barn owner told me she's not afraid of Denali, but that she respects her. Denali isn't a mean horse, but she is an anxious girl who's brain disconnects once in a while. I had taken Denali off of SmartCalm Ultra and put her on SmartHarmony, but I am switching her to a Calming Supplement again to see if they see a difference. She has a lot of smartpak's already there so I ordered another smartpak for "Mare-Wolf!" so she can get it now. I hope it helps. I think my husband put it best when he said, "She expects 100% confidence and if you don't have it, she knows it and will push you."  If it helps keep her calmer and from being stupid it's worth it to keep her there.

Denali looks GREAT! It's been pretty nice, she has a good winter coat on (while she's shedding pretty good) so I talked to the barn owner and decided to take off her winter blanket and let her go naked for now.  It shouldn't drop below 35 and it's in the mid-50's for the next 10 days. She has a really fuzzy coat so I hope she'll be okay. She HATES being hot and gets uber cranky (if it's possible for her to get crankier.) They will blanket her if she gets cold, and that way I don't need to worry that she is too warm. You can see her ribs "a little" and the barn owner got really worried about it. I said not to worry about it. When you run the Kentucky Derby a few times a day, it's hard to keep weight on. I didn't get a good photo of her.

What's the first thing a horse does when they get their blanket off? Denali found the muddiest spot and rolled....and rolled....and rolled. I told her she got to stay that way and threatened to leave her, but of course couldn't handle the dirt. Gave her a good grooming and got the matting off of her belly. She was a good girl. It took me a while, but I brushed and brushed and brushed her hair. I'm not ready to roach it, but did get some scissors. At first I committed a huge sin and just brushed it down and cut it straight. She looked like she was from the 80's with layered hair. I was going to leave it, but after I got done laughing at my poor girl, I fixed it. It's still pretty long, but looks a lot better than it did. Hopefully without the Wild Stallion Mane, she'll stop the wild stallion behavior.

Bah! So bad!! Poor Mare-Face

It was actually sunny out, so we jumped into the car and ran out and did a few errands. I got some $ for the farrier who is coming out in a few weeks (including a tip) and we went back to the barn. My beautifully groomed horse was back to a hot dirty mess. I give up. Love Mud Denali! I'm glad. She doesn't ever like being groomed, but when she's shedding, it's her favorite thing! She was such a good girl for me. She usually is a really good girl for me (except when the brain disconnects.)

But Momz, you camera case looks likes a treats!!

After visiting Denali we made, what felt like 7,000 stops, and ended up about an hour east at a friend's farm. It was beautiful and we got to play with more adorable horses (and the world's cutest pony!)

It was a good day. I really miss Denali (her naughtiness and all!) and wish she was closer. I'm glad that she's happy, healthy, and loving life, but I miss her. Honestly, I couldn't pick a better place for her and am really grateful that she is allowed to live there. Cross your fingers that it's for a while! I don't think I can handle looking for another barn. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Anyone Out There?

I actually don't know if anyone reads this anymore since the star of the show is more of a dim glow. I've been in a weird place for the past few weeks with a few different things in my life. The last time I rode the big guy was the last time I blogged about it. Last Thursday I had a meeting that went late, and Saturday I came down with a killer cold and spent all of Sunday in bed. A whole bunch of other crap has happened, but it's not exciting so we'll skip it.

Today was lesson day and to say I was a nervous wreck was the understatement of the year. Not that I want anyone to know how I feel, because it sucks, but today was really hard. I wish I could just "forget" about the past and move on. When I got to the barn I was a little early, and I didn't want to get on him BEFORE my lesson started.

Mr. Man was asleep when I went to get him. I took his blanket off and he is in full shedding mode. After last week I didn't want to try to put him in the cross ties. I went to his stall and groomed him while he ate hay. We were both happy. Once I go out of his stall with him I realized how "up" he was. It was a sunny day, and I don't know the last time he was rode, or turned out. Note: His "up" and Denali's up are totally different. He was just looking around and walking fast.

For some reason I decided that today would be a good day to freak out. I think that not riding for two weeks, and the last time sort of freaking me out didn't help. Even though I got there early we ended up being late for our lesson. The trainer sent me down to the outdoor arena and said she'd met me down there. I have never ridden (other than the barn mascot pony rides my friends give me) in the outdoor arena. Before I got on him I had a small meltdown and almost turned around and gave up. He was being fine, just looking around and I was just looking for an excuse to give up.

Eventually I found my big girl pants and started to warm up. Once I got on him I felt totally fine (almost.) It's SOOOOO nice to ride such a safe/sane horse. He is such a good boy. Our lesson went really well, I got some nice complements on my transitions and their improvement. At one point she told me "We're keeping things simple, don't do anything fancy?" I was confused, but it turns out when I stop worrying I can remember how to do lateral work. I laughed. Wasn't trying to be fancy, just moving him to the wall so we could make a wider turn.

After a bit my trainer asked me to canter him. I told her no and kept working. Luckily she doesnt' take no for an answer. His canter is AMAZING. It was like a rocking horse. At one point he spooked at a bird and it was the funniest thing that has happened this week. I started to laugh and couldn't stop. He sort of moved sideways while he went into the canter.

Overall, great lesson. Great boy. Amazing trainer.

Sorry it's so crappily written.... I am trying to get everything organized, but I wanted to write this down before I forgot. What's this weekend? Saturday is Denali day! I can't find anyone to go with me, but I am still planning on making the trek myself.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Windy Weekend

I had quite the horsey filled weekend. Yesterday was teeth day at the barn. It was sort of neat. The dentist that they use has a dental trailer. The horses walk right in and he has everything he needs right there. The owner of Mr. Man came out and we got to hang out and talk while he was getting his teeth done. He was such a good boy. She introduced me to the dentist as "Mr.'s new other mom." Made me glad she likes me enough. I do love the guy.

Today it was cold, it was windy, and it was raining. Mr. (I don't want to use his real name.... and I have yet to be creative enough to think of a good one. Anti-Denali?) and I had a date with him mom who offered to drive out and hang with me while I ride him. I appreciate it SO much because I am just unsure (read: NO Confidence) and it's nice to have someone there to help me. Today was one of those days, that if she wasn't there, I would have packed him up and given up before we got started. The horses have runs off their stalls, but don't have turn out right now due to the weather (see first line of paragraph.) Most of the horses were really amped up due to the weather. I walked Mr. up to the cross ties and started to groom him. He's shedding a ton and apparently he is afraid of his own hair.

He proceeded to have a mini-melt down and sparks were flying (from his shoes.) He was a good boy, and as soon as he stepped back he stopped, but my heart was going a mile a minute. He did this a few more times and I was just beside myself. Since his mom drove the whole way there I figured that I would suck it up. She finished tacking him up (since his tiny, mini-melt down caused me to have a mini-panic attacks.)

Once we got down to the arena the wind was blowing. There was some plastic on the barn that was flapping around, someone was shooting a gun, and horses were going coo coo. Mr.'s mom (who was not dressed to ride) was a saint and hopped up on him first for me. He of course was perfect and did everything she asked and then some. I felt a little better after watching them for a bit and jumped up on him when she was done. He was a really good boy and worked on lateral work. He's a pro at it. I just had a really hard time focusing. Everything was making a noise and he kept looking back at me like, "Lady, what in the hell is your problem?" Poor guy.  I really pissed myself off. I wish I could just ride without having panic attacks about getting hurt. That was around 2:30 this afternoon and I swear my heart is still beating a mile a minute (at 10:45.)

This Thursday I have an event at school so I can't ride him, but I am going out Wednesday to watch his mom ride him in a lesson. She offered to let me ride him another day this week, so we'll see if I can find the time. I can't wait for summer (with less rain and wind) and more time to ride!

Oh! Meet my new love. He's such a saint! I'm 6 feet tall, he's not massive, but bigger than Denali.  Sigh...I've lost 15 pounds since January. 35 more to go! OH! Also, I'm not mentioning him to Denali. She'll get mad.

Edit: The only two kinds of horses I think I can ride without having a panic attack.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Awkward Barn Moments

Today was lesson day! I had to rush to the barn to get there in time to get Mr. ready for our lesson. I got there with 15 minutes before our lesson. I ran up to the barn to get everything out (I wanted to make sure that I could get the tack box open. I suck at combination locks.) As I was getting the stuff out I noticed a girl walking Mr. Man up to the barn. Hummm..... She had her helmet on. Awkward.

I introduced myself to her (and I've met her a few times. She exercises horses for some boarders.) Apparently she didn't get the memo that he has a leaser now. Opps. I felt bad taking him from her, and if I didn't have a lesson I would have just let her have him first.

After tacking him up we headed down to the arenas. It's so odd for me to have a horse that does what I ask and doesn't freak out. I was a nervous wreck (understatement.) It's been SO long since I got on a horse by myself with no one else around. The trainer/my friend (I can say that now I think...) was schooling a horse in the outdoor arena for her owner. Seriously AMAZING rider. Anyway, I was SO nervous. I voted to go into the indoor arena since I enjoy the mirrors and the walls that contain a horse if I made a unexpected dismount. I don't plan on it, but I've only ridden him twice, so just to be safe.

Of course he was such a good boy. He tried to test me a few times, but nothing unsafe. Just "hummm....let's walk..No? Okay, fine, we'll trot." We only did 1/2 a lesson since I'm just getting back into riding. We did walk/trot transitions. I felt like my legs were bouncing everywhere, but I can tell that working out is helping.

I did an amazing dismount. I forgot how big he is and was expecting to hit the ground sooner than I did. Ha! It was a bit funny. My trainer asked me how I felt and I think this sums it up: Terrified. I'm so afraid something not good will happen when I'm getting back into riding, I don't know if I could take something else bad, and I really do love horses and riding.

After I got off I let the girl who was planning on riding him cool him off (not that he needs it.) She is a lovely rider! I'm super jealous of a senior in high school. SUPER JEALOUS! When she got off I took his reins over his head and the stinker BIT ME! Lol, it was dinner time and I think he was done. He was still a really good boy, even if my arm has a bruise. Seriously, I'm not able to be around horses without getting hurt. Still had a great time.

Iz sorry. Iz just hungry.
Oh! I think I mentioned that I am going to be the groom for some of my friend's this summer. I sent this this photo and told them that I require this if I'm going to groom. Them paying my way will no longer be enough. :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Equestrian Clearance

Back in August (maybe September) I was contacted by Equine Clearance ( and asked to write a review of one of their products. Yes! I love writing, and I love writing reviews. They gave me the choice for a few items. I was expecting something in a smaller box, so when the post office asked me to come pick up a box I was confused.

In it was a beautiful turnout blanket for princess. It really is one of the nicer blankets that I've seen. I love the clips and straps on it. The neck is attached, and it closes with nice loop closures.
Icouldn't wait to get it onto her. Unfortantly, it is a pretty heavy blanket, and our weather didn't get down low enough for me to throw it on her. Sad. It is so snuggly and warm (I may or MAY not have worn it at the barn as my blanket.) I just love it.

Next winter maybe? Not that I want it to be that cold, but it really is a nice blanket!

Tomorrow is Thursday...which means Pony time!! The owner of the farm that I work at e-mailed me on Monday. It was quick, "You have a horse, now let's have a lesson!" So tomorrow night I have a lesson at 5:30. I am SO lucky to have such an amazing person at my finger tips. We'll see how it goes. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Horse Sales Terminology

BIG TROT: can't canter within a two mile straight-away.

NICELY STARTED: lunges, but we don't have enough insurance to ride him yet.

TOP SHOW HORSE: won a reserve champion 5 years ago at a show with unusually low entries due to tornado warnings.

HOME BRED: knows nothing despite being raised on the back porch.

BIG BONED: good thing he has a mane and tail, or he would be mistaken for a cow.
NO VICES: especially when he wears his muzzle.

BOLD: runaway.

GOOD MOVER: runaway.

ATHLETIC: runaway.

SHOULD MATURE OVER 16 HANDS: currently 14 hands, dam is 14.2, sire is 15.3 hands, every horse in pedigree back 18 generations is under 16 hands, but *this* horse will defy his DNA and grow.

WELL MANNERED: hasn't stepped on, run over, bit, or kicked anyone for a week.

PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED: hasn't stepped on, run over, bit, or kicked anyone for a month.

RECENTLY VETTED: someone else found something really wrong with this horse.

TO GOOD HOME ONLY: not really for sale unless you can
1) Pay twice what he is worth

2) Are willing to sign a 10 page legal document to allow current owner to tuck him in beddy-bye every night.

EXCELLENT DISPOSITION: never been out of the stall.

CLIPS, HAULS, LOADS: clippity clippity is the sound of his hooves make as he hauls butt across the parking lot when you try to load him.

FOR SALE DUE TO LACK OF TIME: rider cannot afford to spend anymore time in the hospital.

QUIET: dead (almost).

SPIRITED: psychotic.

WELL BRED: mother and father are also brother and sister!

COLOR IS BLACK: brown and/or dirty.

ANY VET CHECK WELCOME: Please pay for us to find out what the !@#$ is wrong with him!

SUITS EVENTING: no brakes.

SUITS DRESSAGE: no accelerator.

WESTERN PLEASURE: lame on three legs most of the time.

HUNTER: lame on one leg most of the time.

TRAIL HORSE: always lame on all legs.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Barn Mascot

The people at the barn I work at are AMAZING. Each and everyone of them. Since Denali was retired I've been getting my horsey fix by hanging out there. I live vicariously through them as they buy and ride horses that cost more money than I make in a year.

 A few of them have decided that their only goal is: get me on a horse.

I think it's sort of become a game between them. Who can get me on their horse, and how long am I willing to stay on their horse. Yesterday I went out to the barn to hang out with my new friends. On of them bought the boy I have been in love with since he moved to the barn. He's beyond fancy and amazing. While I was watching them practice things I've never dreamed of doing she stopped and asked me if I wanted to ride him. Umm....A. He's super fancy. B. He's curretly in a double bridle, and I can barely manage one set of reins. She didn't take no for an answer. I gracefully fell off the mounting block I was so nervous, but managed to crawl up on his giant back. We tied up the curb bit and I just sort of wandered around on him using just the snaffle. I was a giant chicken and so she led me around. That was fun. I hopped off him and had another girl tell me to get on her new girl.

Today was my first day with my new lease boy. His owner came out to the barn around 1:30 and together we went to get him. He's a dutch warmblood, imported to the US and competed up through 4th level. He's not massive, but bigger than Denali (around 16.2.) While we were getting him ready there were two other horses in the cross ties. Some cats were running around so they started getting unsettled. Not Mr. Steady. He stood perfectly still and was a saint.

Once down in the arena she explained that he hasn' been ridden in a week and that he hasn't been turned out (even though they do all have runs off their stalls.) I was a bit nervous, but he was amazing. Didn't take a wrong step and did everything he was suppose to do plus some. She told me about a horrible accident that she had on a horse a few years ago (ICU bad) and she got him to rebuild her confidence. Good choice.

I got on him and apologized right away for my nerves. I knew that I was going to be stupid on him, but that only lasted a few seconds. I instantly felt great on him and safe. We did walk/trot transitions and circles. I didn't canter him, but apparently it's amazing (it looks amazing.) I'm already in love with this guy. He's mine on Thursdays and Sundays. We will see how it goes!!