Wednesday, November 18, 2020

WW: Long Days

 For whatever reason, Blogger inserted all these photos backwards.... but ya know what? Don't care. 

New biothane bridle is a much better aesthetic than the hideous brown nylon halter/bridle I used on this little S hack for YEARS. 

Had to use night sight mode on this one so you could actually see Ruby, it was too dark otherwise. 

The original photo lol. 

It was a LONG work day so I swung up and headed out to clear my head.

She was LIT to start with (actually couldn't get on for a minute until she ran herself silly in the arena for a few laps). But she settled in, like the champ she is. 

I'm just sad I couldn't get video of her spooking the neighbor's sheep. They kept running in and out of the barn (or rather, BOUNCING in and out of the barn) and Ruby couldn't stop dragon snorting at them. I almost fell off I was laughing so hard. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Mellifluous Mondays

Another day, more between the ears shots of my pretty girls! I have been super taking advantage of both the new trail loops and also the ease of just tossing on my new Brockamp bareback pad -- it provides just the right amount of structure and grip for hacking Ruby out, I've ridden in it more than I've ridden in a saddle this month, lol. 

The other night I squeezed in a bareback hack on Ruby at sunset, and then turned the arena lights on to work Cinna. 

She was absolutely brilliant. I haven't ridden her as much this month, so I kind of expected some shenanigans, but she was perfect. DH wandered out when I was cantering her around on the buckle. 

I really thought he had gotten some video of it but what he got was video of me stopping her, getting off, and them him grilling me about where the new bareback pad came from.... hahaha. Oops. 

A really gnarly storm blew in about 20 minutes after this picture and ruined our streak of 70 degree days. It was SHEETING rain with insane wind gusts, and the temp dropped like 25 degrees in 2 hours. 

We had last Wednesday off and I considered making it a very horsey day, but in the end we ran some errands and I tried to relax a bit. Work is stressful through the end of the year now so I have to take those moments where I can get them. 

Pretty frost on the leaves though!

The sun came out that afternoon so all the horses were sunbathing. 

Except Cinna. Always eating, this one... lol. 

The dogs kept me company when I went back to work Thursday. 

Snuck in another really good ride where we strung together multiple loops more than once and rode close to an hour. 

I had some concerns about Friday the 13th lol. 

If you follow my blog's FB page, you may have seen my post about Thinline. They had sent out an email weekend before last about their muzzles being 40% off the whole weekend, so I planned to stock up. The sale price showed Friday, but then not on Saturday and Sunday, so I didn't end up buying any. I emailed them, and they got back to me first thing Monday morning -- apparently their site glitched so they re-ran the sale and I went ahead and bought $275 worth of muzzles for about $130 (thanks Alli for the extra coupon!). Thumbs up to Thinline for great customer service :) also thumbs up to great blogger friends who share coupons!

Over the weekend we spent most of our free time working out at my mom's place, with this noticeable exception. We haven't put up a tree since 2009, the first year we lived out here. That year we cut down a cedar in the back pasture, and between the kitten and puppy we had at the time, it was a disaster and I swore off Christmas trees for good. DH has been making noises about getting one this fall so I finally caved and let him get a tree. I also let him set it up before Thanksgiving, which has never in the history of ever happened -- I am a very firm believer that Christmas can wait until after Thanksgiving. But its 2020 and this whole year has been a fucking shitshow so I guess why not?

Also went ahead and ordered these ornaments for said tree... haha. The one on the left a coworker showed me -- we ran into each other at the office and she was like "oh! I saw this ornament and you're the first person I thought of!" -- not sure if I should be flattered or offended, but I bought it anyway, lol. The second one keeps getting targeted ads on FB and I'm a sucker for those, you know. 

Anyway. That's what's new in my world. I hope if you've had a string of nice weather days like here, that you're getting in lots of riding -- or whatever makes your heart happy!

Friday, November 13, 2020

Trail Adventures: Indian Camp Creek

Last Sunday was another beautiful, sunny, 70+ degree day, so DH and I had previously agreed it would be perfect to haul out and ride! Saturday at the tack sale, I ran into my dressage instructor (side note: its been an embarrassingly long time since I've had her out for a lesson, can I keep calling her my instructor? I need to schedule a lesson lol) and she wanted to pick my brain about local trails. She was planning to haul out with one of her clients, so we discussed the pros and cons of various trails within easy hauling distance. I told her we were hauling out to Indian Camp Creek, which is hands down one of my favorite trails, and that we were amenable to planning our timeline around theirs if they wanted to explore the park for the first time with someone more familiar with it :) also since Trigger and Ruby are relatively chill trail horses, they can be a good influence if you're taking out a horse less comfortable on the trails -- which is something I've definitely taken advantage of when getting Cinna some trail miles!
Ridiculous weather for the first weekend in November, but no complaints here!

Trying our new Fenwick pad (yes it has an RRP logo on it, lol. The lady I got it from placed like 3rd overall in the trail competition a few years ago?)

She said the drop wasn't right for any of her western saddles, but it worked out pretty well for mine! 
You can also see the new girth strap and off billet in teal I bought, lol. 

It's a lot of teal. I know. I love it... .lol. 

We tentatively planned to meet up around 10:30, which turned into closer to 11:30 due to a variety of factors: we pulled out of the driveway and realized we desperately needed fuel, and the closest gas station (aside from the one down the road that's closed on Sunday, bah) was in the opposite direction we needed to head, then there was a slowdown on the highway, then the GPS was being squirrely, etc.... but it worked out just fine, as the parking lot was PACKED when we got there, and the delay meant we let most of the big groups go out in front of us. Our riding buddies for the day were on a cute gaited horse (Rocky Mountain I think), and an OTTB that Ruby and I boarded with a few years back. 

I asked him if the green shirt was to match his green saddlebags and he gave me the DIRTIEST look haha.  

First water crossing is thankfully very wide and inviting and helps to set a good tone for the ride!

Ruby cooling her heels NOT in front... always good for her to remember she doesn't always get to lead :) she got impatient from time to time but did settle in and enjoy being third in line. 

Always bringing up the rear, no matter what, lol
Always a rockstar in her sidepull. 

SUCH a beautiful day!

Once all the horses were comfortable we got a little silly lol
We made it like the first half of the trail without seeing a single bike (a new record) but of course after I said something (and then knocked on each tree I passed lol) we saw a few. Ruby moved back to the front because I have no qualms about yelling at people on bikes to slow down/stop and let us pass. MOST of the people out this day were very polite, we exchanged pleasantries with a few bikes and pedestrians, and saw some (leashed, thankfully) dogs, including a GIANT dane puppy who seemed VERY confused about seeing even bigger "dogs" lol. We also passed a few of the other riding groups :)

I think we missed the peak of the color, it wasn't quite there last time we visited, and by this time a lot of the leaves had fallen off. Oh well. Still gorgeous!

Stopping for a drink on the way out. Peep my new teal saddle bags -- I had the same ones in purple and I decided I used them enough to justify the teal ones, haha. So now I have spares to keep in the trailer for other people riding with us :)

We stopped at about the 2/3 mark for a bathroom break, and I put on Trigger's new kicks (since we were heading into the rocky section). They worked like a charm! He was very clearly more comfortable. 

I don't think this captured all of the trailers but gosh there were so many!

My app fritzed the fuck out haha. I need to figure out what to use for trail tracking again, I had been using OneHorse but I think they stopped supporting the app, then I used Equilab but it kept closing, so this was with the Equisense app even though I didn't have the girth attachment on. We rode probably 6 miles in a little over 2 hours (I started this one once we had already been riding for a little)

Not sure why this is out of order, but our happy place <3

DH and I had a really good time, so hopefully our trail buddies did too! I really, really love this trail, so it makes me happy to be able to share it with other people. Although it was a little frustrating to post a few photos to social media about what a fun day it was only to have someone come on and post a vaguely pity party-esque comment about wishing they had friends to ride with. It was so weird, because it's not like this was some sort of grand conspiracy or some sort of exclusive trail riding clique, we just happened to run into each other at the tack sale and discuss meeting up. And then the person who made the comment (who was someone I would have previously called a friend), made another backhanded comment about how I was just an acquaintance and they would never expect me to invite them out riding. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. I've met up with a variety of different people to go out trail riding over the last few years, I feel like I'm pretty flexible and chill about it, whenever people comment on my posts about it I always tell them I'd be happy to go with them to whatever park it is and show them around. Sometimes I do think about it far enough in advance to post where we're going and when in case anyone wants to meet up, which I guess I didn't do this time... but still... IDK. It just kind of annoyed me a little, but I guess in the end whatever comments people makes on my happy, positive post really says more about them and their frame of mind than it does about me, and ultimately that's not my responsibility. So. If you're local, and you want to go trail riding, it never hurts to reach out :) if it's going to be a reasonably nice day and I have no plans, I am ALWAYS up for trail riding!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Second Autumn

Whew, it's been a minute! We've been enjoying what I've been referring to as "second autumn" for the last week or so, including a ton of days in the mid-70s last week. I didn't get as much riding done as I would have liked early on, because I was feeling a lot of stress over the election... and if there is one thing having dramatic Spanish mares has taught me, it's that on days when my emotions are out of control, it's best not to swing into the saddle. Ruby will tolerate it a little bit, but Cinna just feeds off me and then we end up in an ugly downward spiral. But let's play catch up in photos, since that's what I'm best at! 

I did actually make it out for a ride on election day, Ruby and I had a nice time!

Saw one of our deer friends. 

Election day was also the day that a switch flipped for "grey kitty" -- he's been hanging around eating for probably 6+ months, and gradually getting over his fear of humans. Made a huge step last Tuesday when he decided head rubs were THE BEST. 

He has a really cool swirly tabby pattern (which a FB friend informed me was silver classic tabby. He probably needs a more descriptive name than Grey Kitty. DH has been calling him Ribeye, but I hate that. 

The birds discovered my new feeder and I'm still obsessed with watching them. 
Also with photographing sunsets. 

Last Saturday a local barn held a big tack sale. I had been planning to go to poke around (not that I needed anything) and hang out with friends, but then someone posted an ISO in the event looking for a 17.5" W dressage saddle.... I had been idly kicking around the idea of selling my Schleese, since I bought it for Topaz (and then sold her like 9 months later). I held onto it hoping Cinna would grow into it, but the last few times I've tried to ride her in it, she made it VERY CLEAR she doesn't care for it... the idea of listing it online and dealing with people/shipping seemed awful, but a local sale wouldn't involve most of that. So I traded a few messages with the person posting the ISO, and while it ended up not working out for them, another lady was interested in it. So I tossed it and a bag full of other junk I keep meaning to sell in my truck, and had a really nice Saturday at the sale. My saddle sold in about 20 minutes to the person who had been wanting to try it (although I told her I won't cash her check until she has a chance to ride in a few times/have her fitter give it a look over, and if it doesn't work out we'll just swap the check and the saddle back), I sold some old riding tights and bought some fun new stuff, swapped a saddle pad for some breeches, but most of all got to have lots of (masked, outdoor, distanced) conversations with local horse people... I hadn't realized quite how much I missed all those interactions I normally get photographing shows or attending GMO meetings until that day. It was really, really great.

My haul: (ignore the girth, that was something I took to maybe sell with the saddle but it was too big for her horse) black/silver bonnet, brand new white SSG gloves, a unicorn belt buckle, cute navy breeches, cute grey/teal pipers, a Fenwick titanium western pad, and DH's score -- some easyboots for Trigger. 

The easyboots were $20 for the pair, so I took a shot they would fit somebody (if not Trigger, maybe Ruby). One of them had a little dirt in the bottom, and the other was clearly brand spankin' new. 

Once things started slowing down at the tack sale, I packed up the handful of my things that didn't sell (leaving a good chunk of stuff for the local pony club because I didn't feel like taking things home lol) and headed back to fit in a little riding before we lost the light -- couldn't waste another beautiful 75-degree day! While I was gone, DH had been working with the neighbors to clear more/connect the existing trail systems. 

The 1940s Ford we drag the arena with also spent the better part of last week broke down, but DH got it up and running again by the time I got home from the sale, so walking by my freshly dragged arena made me smile. 

Clearing with a really cool tree -- I kind of want to hang a swing back here so I can walk back and read on nice days!

DH working on making the trails more horse friendly

Knocked some mud off Ruby and went out for a quick ride to check out all the new loops. 

Talked the neighbor into coming with!

One of the loops on the neighbor's side passes by the big lake.

Trigger was a good egg for this ride. He mostly shuffled along looking for stray blades of grass, but he did trot up a few hills lol. 

Another ride in my Brockamp bareback pad -- I'm a little obsessed. 

After we got back we tried the "new" boots on Trigger -- they were a pretty good fit!

And since this entry is getting a little long.... some foreshadowing for tomorrow? :)