Wednesday, April 17, 2019

WW: Construction

I know I've been absent anyway, but now I have an even better excuse than just my awesome new job and the perpetual to-do list of farm life keeping me busy.....we broke ground on our house today!
When the contractors said bright and early, they were not fucking around, they pulled up at 6 am haha.
House site staked out.
Officially breaking ground!

I imagine life will be even more of a whirlwind than usual over the next few months, and I've temporarily deactivated my FB account to give myself a little breathing room off social media -- but you can still follow along on Instagram or reach out to me via any form of social media (FB messenger still works even when you deactivate your account, fun fact lol) or email or blog comment if you want updates ;)

Monday, January 14, 2019

It's Snow Fun

I have SO MANY things I want to write about, including a really fun hack out with my dressage instructor, BRAND NEW BABY GOATS, lots of dachshund shenanigans, and more..... but I can't focus on any of those things because of Winter Storm Gia.
"WHAT ARE THOSE SQUEAKY THINGS IN MY STALL?!?"
Aren't they impossibly cute? Red doeling in the back, traditional buckling in the front. 


"Friends?"
"No."

We swung wildly from 70 degrees last Monday to being HAMMERED by Winter Storm Gia over the weekend - almost 48 hours of snow, racking up over 20" on the ground. But that's okay -- you know why?
PHOTO OP!
Wheeeee! Ruby was a good sport about the knee+ deep snow, haha. Did anyone else get smacked down by this storm? I hope you were able to find SOME fun in it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

WW: When Tech Cooperates.....

Still too busy for lengthy entries, but I did have a great lesson Sunday! 
And the Equisense continues to be awesome. 
Low-quality screenshot of a high-quality horse <3 love her. 
I had 70+ minutes of video and only a few minutes to attempt to grab screenshots, so sorry they're both tracking the same way lol. 
Cinna continues to think our rides are a chance to practice her Spanish Riding School audition moves. 
But she's so danged cute!
This one is less cute..... 
I think I spent more time brushing mud off her than I spent riding... haha. 
I'm actually surprised how most of my rides are (relatively) even -- I think when I was using the Equilab it dinged me a lot for being more 70-30 split. So either I'm doing a better job mentally of riding both ways, or the Equilab just wasn't that great at tracking. Who knows!
We briefly enjoyed a bit of a "heat wave" (multiple days in the 50s, whooo!), so I feel like I've been relatively productive with the horses.  And the Pixio has worked TWO TIMES IN A ROW GUYS!!!! It makes me so happy when all my toys play nicely and I end up with all this data and media (that TBH I have no time to deal with but like... I have it? haha).

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

WW: Equisense

Thankfully, the equisense is proving much easier for me to use than the Pixio.... 🤣
First ride with Ruby, at the indoor down the road. Long side wasn't long enough to grade symmetry, and we didn't work hard. Also I didn't have all the updates installed yet so it missed like 10 more minutes of walking lol.
Last night with Cinna -- the "jumps" recorded were some fairly expressive airs above ground. #dramaticSpanishmare 


Too wild in hand to get a symmetry score on the lunge line but apparently trotting under saddle went better haha
Shes a good egg, despite the occasional theatrics.
I'm at that period in winter where bad weather has me annoyed and I'm grumpy about the lack of an indoor... But it's just not something I can make work right now so we'll just keep on keeping on when the weather cooperates!

Also, happy 9 years of marriage to DH ♥️

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Treat Yo'self Tuesday: Black Friday Edition

I'm not really a huge black Friday shopper -- zero percent chance I have any interest in dealing with physical crowds, even for good deals.
And even though Amanda's list is famous throughout the blogosphere, normally at the end of November I'm pretty financially tapped out between holiday gifts for loved ones and the ever-present specter of real estate and personal property taxes looming over my head. So typically, I eagerly scroll through it, fill a few shopping carts, and then let my better judgement get the best of me, sadly sigh, and spend no money.
I know, I even bore bore myself.
But this year... Something caught my eye.
My precious 😍
I've been lusting after an Equisense for ages -- each time another blogger gets one and starts posting all the fun data, I get even more obsessed. The first few times I checked in on the store, the $400 price tag was a major obstacle. I may do a lot of impulse shopping (although I've been SUPER good this year), but I'm not a $400 impulse shopper. Or really even a $400 planned shopper a lot of the time, haha. Of course, since they're so new (relatively speaking), used ones don't come along very often. I did keep tabs on a few on FB, but most people still wanted $$$.
So as I scrolled through Amanda's list last Wednesday, the equisense deal stopped me in my tracks -- 50% off the first 50 sold on Black Friday. I hopped over to the store to see what the current conversion to US dollars was... Around $300 (IDK if they just went down in price or if the exchange rate is magically moving back into our favor?). Half of that was... Doable! Especially considering I made some decent money with my side hustle earlier this month that I had earmarked for lessons.....except the weather has decidedly NOT cooperated with that. So it was just sitting in my bank account, waiting for me to make bad decisions.
Equisense even helpfully put the time the sale would start -- 8 am CET. Which worked out to 1 am Friday here. DH ended up going into work Thursday evening and doing some Black Friday shopping of his own on the way home, so he got home late (making my decision to stay up an easy one lol). So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Luckily, I noticed that they opened the sale a few minutes early and quickly nabbed my equisense in black -- and in the nick of time! They sold the first 50 in less than 10 minutes -- although the rest of the day they were 30% off, which was still a good deal!
I did get a chuckle at the email they sent promoting the sale after the best deal was already sold out lol.
Naturally, I was too excited to sleep after, haha. And then I got even more excited Friday morning to wake up to a text from DHL confirming delivery for MONDAY. From FRANCE. USPS needs to get it's shit together considering I'm still waiting for something I ordered from Stateline a week ago....
The packaging was super cute too!
Giggle
Anyway, my fun new toy is all charged up, now I just need my arena to not be an ice skating rink! Six inches of rain over Thanksgiving weekend and then a blizzard and massive temp drop was not kind to it.... Haha. Although I've already begged the use of the indoor down the road if I get too impatient! I can't wait to play with it!

Did you get any screaming deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Anything you're particularly excited about? 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Blog Hop: 25 Questions

Y'all know I love me some blog hops, and this one from Amanda does not disappoint! (And yes, I know the font/background color/whatever is all sorts of a hot mess, since I copied and pasted, but I have been fighting with blogger for like TWO HOURS to even get this post scheduled, so you'll have to forgive any formatting inconsistencies)

1. Why horses? Why not a sane sport, like soccer or softball or curling?
I'm entertained by that question, because I actually did play soccer for like... 13 years. I loved it, and I do miss it. But once I was an adult (aka actually in control of my own finances and able to spend my time how I wanted), it was horses, horses, and more horses. They're in my blood. I love the partnership I form with my horses and the parts of the relationship that have nothing to do with riding. Just being around them is therapy for me.

2.What was your riding “career” like as a kid?
Nonexistent? My mom sold her horse when I was born, and she kept in touch with the new owners, so I did get "pony rides" occasionally. When I was in middle school/high school she had a few other friends with horses so I got to ride and show occasionally (no lessons, just hacking and having my mom yell at me haha). I pushed really hard to lease a horse, but it didn't happen. So when I turned 18 I took my graduation money and bought the most wildly unsuitable horse I could find. 

Said wildly unsuitable horse still lives in my backyard, and a few weeks ago I bought him EIGHT FUCKING DOLLARS A BALE HAY so he better appreciate the fact that I bought him and that he didn't end up dog food....
3. If you could go back to your past and buy ONE horse, which would it be?
Classic, hands down. He was a CUTE little bay arabian I rode for a few years in HS and I LOVED him. He was sensitive and fun and actually for sale when I was riding him. Sadly, see "not actually in charge of my own time/finances". 
4. What disciplines have you participated in?
Western pleasure, showmanship, english pleasure,  speed events (barrels/poles), hunters, jumpers, dressage, and above all else - trail riding! 

5. What disciplines do you want to participate in some day?
I still would really like to try endurance, but I don't think it's in the cards with where I live and the (lack of) availability of rides close to me/footing. Working equitation also looks fun, so hopefully it picks up in my area. 

6. Have you ever bought a horse at auction or from a rescue?
Not directly, no. Both Jack and Jasper were purchased out of bad situations. 
From this....
To this. Funny how much better horses look like when you... feed them?
7. What was your FIRST favorite horse breed – the one you loved most as a kid?
Definitely arabians -- thanks Walter Farley! I also went to some sort of performance as a child where a black arabian was doing a liberty act and I was MESMERIZED. I am pretty sure I had my Arabian Legends book memorized.

8. If you could live and ride in any country in the world, where would it be?
Spain.
Spain beach ride photo stolen from Les Googles. 
9. Do you have any horse-related regrets?
I wish I could have started riding regularly a lot younger and had formal instruction, but it wasn't really within my control as a kid. I'm happy with where I am now and the future possibilities though. 

10. If you could ride with any trainer in the world, ASIDE from your current trainer, who would it be?
I mean, if we're dreaming big, Steffen Peters? 
SP on Legolas at the 2012 Olympic Selection Trials, photo by moi. 
11. What is one item on your horse-related bucket list?
Riding Andalusians on the beach in Spain -- see photo with number 8!

12. If you were never able to ride again, would you still have horses?
Absolutely. I spent a few years not riding and playing "owner" with a trainer riding some of mine, and I liked being the trailer-driving photo-taking doting person standing on the sideline cheering. If I couldn't physically ride, I'd still do that. Or just run a home for geriatric horses who just want to be snuggled every daycare (roughly half of my current herd, lol). 

13. What is your “biggest fantasy” riding goal?
Biggest fantasy? Riding a GP dressage test on a horse I trained (or ideally, bred AND trained). 
Horse I trained, check. Horse I bred and trained, check. Future GP mounts? Haha doubtful, but they're mares, so I can have another go with the next generation ;)
14. What horse do you feel like has taught you the most?
That's hard to say because they've all taught me so many different things and so much of it is intertwined. Right now I'd have to say Cinna - it was because of her that I learned so much about breeding/foaling/young horse raising, and now she's teaching me a lot about riding sensitive dramatic Spanish mares that have OPINIONS. 

15. If you could change one thing about your current horse/riding situation, what would it be?
Can I have unlimited dollars for an indoor arena and daily lessons? That would be cool. It would also be nice to be in an area with more showing opportunities. 
Fuck puddles. 
And wind chill. 
But most of all fuck snow. 
16. If you could compete at any horse show/venue in your home country, where would it be?
It would be cool to ride a dressage test in the KHP arena :)

17. If you could attend any competition in the world as a spectator, what would be your top choice?
Aachen or the Olympics, I think. I had a good time spectating at Rolex, but that was way more about the company than the competition. 
Bloggers = the best
18. Have you ever thought about quitting horses?
Absolutely... haha. Not really in a serious way, but it's hard sometimes not to look at the large percentage of income I spend on them and fantasize about a nice house in the suburbs and regular vacations and things that normal people do. But my life would be so empty without my horses. 

19. If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the horse industry, what would it be?
That's a hard question for me. I think snapping my fingers and eliminating all horse abuse would be great, but ya know, unlikely. In terms of a change that actually could happen, I wish people would stop breeding crappy backyard horses from everything that has a uterus and then not training the babies and ending up dumping them at auction. 

20. What’s the dumbest horse-related thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?
Accidentally buying a yearling from across the country when I already had like 6 other horses... lol. 
Can never turn down a chance to share this photo of the baby yak. 
Turned out pretty well for me though, TBH.
21. As you get older, what are you becoming more and more afraid of?
Catastrophic injury. I'm not as bouncy as I used to be, and I ride sensitive, athletic horses.

22. What horse-related book impacted you the most?
Hmmmm. You know, I don't know that I can pick one. I have a ridiculous library of unread horse books and I'm still struggling to find the time to read what I have. 

23. What personality trait do you value most in a horse and which do you dislike the most?
I value a good brain and a work ethic - basically a horse that wants to be with you and wants to please. I don't like lazy, standoffish horses (Trigger gets a pass on that because he is SUCH a good husband horse). 
Even though he low-key hates both people and actually working, he gets a pass because once you actually let him know he has to work, he's totes fine and you can put LITERALLY ANYONE on him.
24. What do you love most about your discipline?
I love how dressage done well can improve the horse and their way of going. The OCD part of my personality really likes the precision and attention to detail. And let's be real, I also love the bling ;) and I like that with individual scoring you can continue to compete against yourself (even though I'm a closet satin ho). 
Sparkles 4 lyfe
25. What are you focused on improving the most, at the moment?
Improving myself so I can stop holding my horses back.