Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Taking a Break

Due to some overwhelmingly complicated life stuff, I think blogging will be on indefinite hiatus -- I will try to still read everyone else's updates, but no promises on comments either!
Nothing wrong, the changes will be good (I hope!) but you know how historically bad I am with changes, so I need a minute to figure out my new normal. In the meantime, the horses are still great (and well-dressed, see above!) and things are still clipping along at a good rate. I will still be posting on social media, so head over there if you want to keep up while things are quiet here! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dead Batteries

You guys I have another Pixio confession to make. This morning I set it up (I'm really getting in a groove and getting quicker with that!) and was excited for some good Ruby media. And then I realized I'd forgotten to charge the camera 😂 I'm legitimately the worst at this! But I did get 3.5 minutes of walking for our warmup, so you can have screenshots of that I guess 🤷 anyway....
My ME contest prize boots arrived last night! Cinna was interested, but clearly not as excited as me haha.
I've been slowly recovering from our hay extravaganza -- yesterday was Cinna's turn to work and I still wasn't feeling 100% so I opted to lunge instead of ride... And then halfway through I was kicking myself because she was being SO GOOD. No spooking, no bolting, no dolphining into canter transitions. She was rhythmic and methodical, keeping her mouth quiet and her attention focused on me.
So majestic, haha.
Cinna would like the record to reflect she could also be a bridle model -- especially when braided Otto is involved. 
When tacking up, I noticed a small wound on the inside of her left hind, but thankfully she was sound on it. There was some swelling so after a short lunge I cold hosed it and cleaned it up really well, and will be keeping an eye on it. She tends to bang herself up a bit and it seems like as soon as I get one cut healed up she's done something new. Horses! Thankfully she's never lame from these misadventures, I think she just likes the extra attention and fussing...haha.
Definitely an attention whore.
Ruby's ride this morning was similarly uneventful, working on simple concepts. I wanted to really focus on straightness down the long sides so I rode a lot of quarterlines to test myself without the rail doing half the work for me. The first few were wiggly but when I really focused on keeping her between the aids she was happy to march along. I dredged up a technique from a previous trainer imagining Ruby as a flowing creek and my job was to clearly set the boundaries (my legs and hands) in a straight line to direct the energy forward -- it's been more than a few years since that lesson (which was actually on Topaz, before Ruby was even under saddle, haha), so I may not be explaining it well, but it made sense in my head and worked for the ride, so I'll take it!
Accurate representation of how we usually warm up -- I'm on my phone setting up EquiLab and the music, while she's just motoring around getting loose.
The canter was a lot of fun today, I am a little sad the camera died so early in the ride. I was really focused on keeping my reins short (because no matter how short I think they are, the Pixio video tattles on me) and my hands forward. I know I'm a broken record, but the left lead canter was so fun I could have ridden it all day. She's getting the hang of letting me half halt more in the canter and not immediately thinking that means break to trot, but rather letting me adjust the tempo. The right lead was a little faster, and she wanted to zoom off a bit more, but it's getting better. 
Realizing I had forgotten to turn the Bluetooth speaker on and remedying that haha.
I'm so grateful for summer hours right now because we're back in a heat index through the weekend, but being on by 6 am means I can usually squeeze in a productive 40 minute ride before it gets up to the 80s.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tack Model Tuesday

Y'all, I'm pretty sure my horse missed her calling as a bridle model..... Just sayin'
Featuring Ruby's new Red Barn Piaffe bridle that I annoyed Aimee into selling me (just like Otto, are you sensing a pattern? 😂). My horses are incredibly grateful for her good taste, and that she's willing to sell me pretty strap goods 😍 they're also probably grateful right now that I made myself so sick last night unloading hay in the heat and humidity that it's probably going to take me a few days to recover, so they get a mini summer vacay.
Totes worth it to have beautiful green hay stacked all the way to the rafters of my hay barn with 18' sidewalls 😍😍😍

Monday, July 9, 2018

Trail Ride: Three Creeks CA

I think I might have recovered some of my brain cells enough to write a coherent entry. We'll see! This weekend we finally got a break from the heat wave, and Saturday was GORGEOUS. Once chores and catching up on some things around the house were done, I dragged DH on a trail ride. I didn't want to drive super far, or deal with a ton of people, so I scrounged up a new place we'd never been to try. Since it was a new place and I wasn't sure what to expect, I opted to take Ruby.
I know, I know. Shorts and sneakers. What am I going to do with him?
We went to Three Creeks Conservation Area -- it wasn't overwhelmingly awesome, but I'd ride there again. It's open to pedestrians, bicyclists, and horseback riding, but the parking lot definitely isn't built with horses in mind. Although there was a really nice mounting block, bonus! When we got there, there were two other trailers, and a few cars. We actually ran into the other group riding as we headed out (they were just getting back). Because there wasn't a lot of room to park (and also I was worried some idiots would block us in), we ended up parking on the side of the gravel road (it dead-ended in the parking lot). That worked out okay, and we were tacked up and on the trail quickly. After running into the big group coming back as we were going out, the rest of our ride was pretty quiet -- a handful of pedestrians, and one other pair of riders (on really cute gaited horses!). Thank God no bicyclists 🙄
I got fun new color blocked Kerrits tights from TOTD and kind of love them. 
There wasn't a ton of shade, so I'm glad we had nice weather (80 with low humidity) -- I think it would have been miserable in the 90s! It probably also would have helped to get there earlier in the day, but ya know. There were some nice open fields to trot in (if you were so inclined, which we mostly weren't), some hills, and one particularly rocky section -- if it hadn't ended about 150 feet in, I would have turned around, because my horses are barefoot and huge rocky sections are not my favorite. The conservation area is called Three Creeks because it has....three creeks (shocking, right?). But we managed not to hit any of them on our ride, which unceremoniously ended at a sign that said "trail closed". There were a few other trail forks we could potentially have explored, but we were reaching the end of DH's patience, plus our hay guy had called and needed us for the afternoon, so we opted to head back.
The rocky section -- didn't photograph too well!
It was a quick, easy place to ride, and would probably be a decent first outing for a young or green horse. I think we'll probably go back, just because of how convenient it is, but it definitely won't be replacing Indian Camp Creek as my favorite trail! The rest of the evening was devoted to farm work, moving various tractors and pieces of equipment to and from hay fields. The tractor pulling the rake was having some mechanical issues, so we ended up not getting anything baled, but DH headed back out there yesterday afternoon for a few more hours of work and I met him to bring home 180 beautiful bales of hay 😍
I know it's not technically "his" tractor, but I still think it's pretty sexy!
I climbed up for a minute while we waited, haha. 
DH told me we need a third truck, so he can hook his boat up without unhooking anything else. Right *rolls eyes*
 Mmmm beautiful hay! Didn't lose a bale on the way home either haha.
 Too tired to unload at 9:30 when we got home so we just stashed it all.
Doing chores this morning was fun haha.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Tired Thursday

I have both words and media for you, but no brain cells to organize them. DH got called in to work overnight unexpectedly and I've been melting in this heat wave for most of the week and dealing with some work-related stressors. So you get this miscellaneous photo dump in lieu of a real post, but I figure since it's a holiday week things are slow in blogland anyway! 😉
Teeny sass.
My dogs definitely aren't spoiled or anything. 
My newsfeed is full of heat memes (although I think it should break for this weekend, thankfully!)

Had a super ride on Monday, and got the Pixio to cooperate for footage! 
Will I ever learn to sit up and stop staring at her neck? Probably not. 
Celebratory carbs and Chianti on Tuesday after Zumba (probably defeating the purpose of Zumba lol).
Went to the sandbar yesterday for the holiday. Most of it was underwater 🤷🙈
Ruby had some feeling about this morning's work.
Hopefully everyone survived the 4th with all their digits and sanity intact! 😎

Friday, June 29, 2018

Rain Delay

Well I originally had like 2/3 of a post typed up yesterday morning, and then Blogger glitched out and ate it, and I was too annoyed to try again. But today is a new day, so let's go over a quick recap of this week!
A storm rolling in over the church we got married in :)
Monday and Tuesday morning were reasonably nice weather-wise, and I was able to fit in rides on both girls. For Cinna's ride on Monday, I was particularly motivated, and I busted my butt to get through chores quickly. My plan was to set up the Pixio and get some updated footage of how she's going in the new bit. Of course, like most of my plans, things didn't quite work out. The Pixio was feeling uncooperative, and after fighting with it for 20 minutes I threw my hands up in defeat and grumpily got on my horse. News flash -- grumpy and annoyed is not a frame of mind I can be in when I get on my baby horse and have a productive ride.
Matchy matchy for the nonexistent media *sobs*
I had to let her walk on a loose rein for a few laps while I focused on readjusting my attitude, and then we went on to have a nice ride. She was much freer in the base of her neck than she had been for the last few rides, so we got right into the day's work of bending and working on lots of random figures (which keeps her from anticipating what we're doing). We had a handful of regressions in steering from time to time, and my stirrup clipped the gate once (spooking her away from the very loud noise), but it was a good ride. Just gotta keep putting in those wet saddle blankets to turn her into a productive member of society!
Not interested in posing for post-ride photos. 
So um. All those white things? That's chunks of deer hair. After I found a large piece of hide in the goat's pen over the weekend O.o
Monday also involved buying the dollar store out of teal organizational items for my tack room. 
Voila!
I initially wasn't sure I'd be able to ride Tuesday, because the forecast called for rain overnight Monday and then all day Tuesday. But thankfully the overnight rain didn't materialize, and the all day rain didn't start until after I left for work, so I squeezed in a ride anyway! Aside from getting so excited about cantering to the right and flailing around so much she was swapping leads and having to break down and start over, the rest of the ride was great. I didn't ride super long (because Tuesdays I have an exercise class so I try not to murder my legs lol) but when we finished I was smiling ear to ear -- and that happy feeling helped me not get too depressed the rest of the day during the torrential storms! I apparently neglected to actually take any photos of Ruby, but I did get some other interesting photos.... 
The tiny skull I found in the arena Tuesday. Not far from a tiny pelvis and some leg bones. My arena is officially haunted and I think I need an exorcism? 
I giggled about this for HOURS.
Unfortunately, all that rain meant there was standing water in my arena when I got home Tuesday night, and it was too soggy to drag Wednesday. No complaints! The grass needed the rain, so I just spent my mornings doing other things besides riding. I was kind of hopeful about riding yesterday morning, but we got clipped by another storm so it rained during the time I usually ride, then was ridiculously hot the rest of the day. Typical Missouri summer!
Alien eyeballs!
The skies have been lovely this week. 
We have a heat advisory through the weekend (and possibly into next week!) so we'll see how much I'll be able to get done riding-wise. We got some new fans installed last week for the horses and they seem to be much more comfortable in the extreme temps.
Upgraded fans!
The only other notable thing this week was that my Eponia bridle FINALLY arrived. I dithered between ordering cob and full, hoping that since Cinna and Ruby are reasonably close in head size that I might be able to let them share it. After measuring all my bridles and comparing them to the Eponia size chart, I finally went with full. Once it arrived, I realized I probably could have made cob work :-/ ughhhhh. But dealing with Eponia has been such a PITA (I still don't have the browband I ordered, apparently despite saying it was "in stock", it wasn't, so I'm waiting for it to be shipped from Sweden to Connecticut and repackaged and then shipped to me) that I don't think it's worth the headache of trying to exchange it (or trying to swap out the noseband, which is really the only thing that's too big). So that was a bit of a letdown. But it's a lovely bridle and it might replace the PS knockoff and make it into Ruby's daily rotation. 
On the smallest hole the noseband is still woefully loose -- but I don't tighten the crank down that much anyway, so I'm sure we can make it work if I need to. 
The horses were super annoyed I interrupted their dinner for this and I was struggling to get the leather through some of the keepers, so nice photos will have to wait until I'm actually using it haha. 
More pretty skies!
At any rate, things are clipping along at about the usual rate here. Nothing really big on my radar, just working along on the daily grind :)