Friday, April 28, 2017

Rolex Update

Considering how much I've neglected the blog lately I figured I could drop by and throw up a quick update. 

Despite my trip getting off to a rough start with some sad family-related news, then driving through a hailstorm in Illinois, I did eventually make it to Kentucky to meet up with Karen and Aimee. 

I am having an absolute blast, drinking too much, and making way too many impulse purchases (which anyone following my Instagram probably already knows lol).

Expect quite a few posts when I'm home breaking down this awesome experience! (And all the purchases lol). 

Also, Sunday officially marks my one year of blogging so Monday should be a fun post with stats!

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Horses Meet the Goats

DH has been keeping me busy knocking things off the to-do list for the last few days, so nothing to report on the riding front. One of the last things he wanted done this weekend was to update some fencing in a lot we weren't using so the goats could keep the weeds knocked down. This lot is adjacent to both my arena (that should be fun), and the dry lot. After we finished, we let them out so the horses could come meet them. 
These are the second round of photos -- the first 50 or so I took would have been AMAZING. I kept clicking the shutter and thinking "gosh I can't wait to see these, they're going to be TERRIFIC." And they would have been..... if I had a memory card in the camera.....
 Cinna kept coming up to me and touching my shoulder -- "Mom, do you see that??"
The goats seemed equally as interested in what was going on on the horse side of the fence.
After everyone got a good look at each other, the horses went back out to the pasture, and we took the rest of the afternoon off!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Always Shenanigans

Well hopefully you’re getting your goat fix on my Instagram, because my blog needs to get back to horses in the few spare minutes I can scratch together to write (although I will admit the goats are a little cute – I still think they’d be cuter in someone else’s yard!). 

The girls have a temporary boyfriend.....
Last week before the great goat invasion, I managed to get Ruby out two nights in a row for good hacks. The weather was perfect, we had good company, and we did so much trotting! I don’t have access to a lot of trails in terms of distance riding, so my options are limited to hauling out (not really feasible on weeknights with my schedule and kind of time consuming on weekends), or just using the same few trails built together in different loops to increase the distance. What I DO love about my current trail access is the nice mix of hills, footing types, creek crossings, and the big fields to canter in! 

The woods smelled HEAVENLY!
Both nights Ruby worked up a light sweat, but wasn’t hot or breathing hard coming back in. I tried to mix up the walking and trotting to teeter on the edge of what she’s fit for while also pushing a little so we can keep building the fitness. I also have to manage to fit all this into not very much available free time for training, so we’ll see how things go as she gets (hopefully) fitter this spring). 

Random barn cat photo.
And no entry is complete without a photo of at least one of my teeny dogs.

Unfortunately, I didn’t pay enough attention to using my tracking app, so I’m still not sure on distance/mph. Plus, the app I currently use tracks in km instead of miles, which I find horrifically annoying. Anyone out there have a suggestion for a free app that would track my distance and MPH? I don’t think I need to invest in anything fancy while we’re just toying with the idea (shhhhh don’t look at my endurance saddle and hackamore, haha), but surely there is a free app out there that would help give me an idea of how far and how fast we’re going? I feel like I’ve seen some mentions of Endomoto, is that a good one to use? 

Grazing ponies are excited for spring!

Everyone got the weekend off between donating most of my day to photographing at our GMO’s spring show (which will hopefully pay off with selling a few photos to offset my time there -- can you say, Rolex shopping money?) and then spending time with my family for Easter. Monday I had my GMO meeting in the evening, so no time to ride then either, boo.
I only managed to take one photo on Easter -- this is me with my "baby" cousin. I swear I am completely normal sized, he is just insanely tall.
Tuesday I got back in the saddle for an extremely fun trail ride with several other boarders from my barn. Everyone else was on stock horses in western saddles, so I made Ruby ride in the back of the pack for most of the trip (which she was unamused by) -- she made her feelings about that very well known when I finally let her stretch her legs a little in the hay field. 

I should have gone to the barn last night too, but DH was off taking a proctored final and I've been battling insomnia (that basically makes me tired all day) so I did chores, and then vegged out on the couch alternating between folding laundry and packing for ROLEX. I have a feeling content will be a little light here through the end of the month (although who am I kidding, when is the content not light? haha) while I try to wrap everything up and then head to Kentucky!

Friday, April 14, 2017

New Arrivals

I wanted to write a post last night about all the trail riding I've accomplished this week (aka, conditioning for Ruby to maybe dabble in endurance). But while I spent the week riding, DH spent the week plotting to start his own goat herd. He built a pen, then a shelter. And then last night he dragged me to a goat auction.
Half built goat shelter on Monday, the day he decided he wanted goats.
Completed shelter on Tuesday... he doesn't mess around!
Lots of sheep at the auction
Lil bebe goats are kinda cute, I will admit.
Myles really wanted to bring this guy home. Luckily, he was a boy, and we wanted girls.
Bottle babies 😍
We ended up with two unregistered Boer (or high percentage Boer) females, around 3 years old -- which was the goal. It was my first time bidding on an animal by the pound at this auction, you should have heard us frantically doing calculations on the sidelines while we tried to stay under the financial limit I set, haha. We planned ahead and brought the horse trailer, and they loaded right up. They were dewormed, fly sprayed, had their hooves trimmed, and are now leisurely chewing on grass in their new pen! I haven't seen them in the daylight yet, so all you get is a crappy cell phone picture from my trailer, but I'm sure they will feature heavily in my IG posts (which is where I draw about half my media), so you'll be seeing more of them in the future!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Baby Horse Conquers the Katy!

Last Sunday, I made plans with fellow blogger Kaity to hit the trails with Cinna and DH’s horse Trigger – initially he told me he would be busy with schoolwork all day (this was like the 5th Sunday in a row I had wanted to trail ride but he didn’t have time, so I finally got tired of waiting haha). He ended up finishing up right before Kaity arrived, so we quickly adjusted our plans and threw Jack in the trailer as well, then headed off to the Katy Trail (I’m just now appreciating the irony of taking Kaity to the Katy, lol)! I initially wanted to try out somewhere with less foot traffic like Rudolf Bennit, but I forgot it was hunting season. Boo. On the plus side, the Katy is flat and has great footing, which was good for the geriatric geldings (especially Jack, who doesn’t always know his own limits).
Kaity on the Katy!
The horses all loaded up with a minimum of fuss, and we hit the road! I opted to ride in my western saddle for extra security, one of her normal dressage bridles, and then a rope halter with lead over the top just in case. I was wearing jeans and boots, but my sparkly helmet, so I’m pretty sure we were an entertaining sight to anyone who knows anything about equine disciplines – mix and match! 

Kaity was a good sport about riding Jack, who is not always the most pleasant horse to ride. While he’s better on off-the-farm trail rides, he still does get amped up and want to trot a lot – she handled it with grace though, and kept his jigging to a minimum. It actually worked out really well to have him along, as his walk matched Cinna’s in terms of pace and he is her BFF, so he acted as a security blanket whenever she was scared (and the equine version of a bumper car whenever Cinna forgot how to steer).
There were some really good moments, and moments of baby brain. She confidently walked out for a half mile or so with Jack at her side, but then promptly came screeching to a halt at the first wooden bridge crossing (in her defense, Jack wouldn’t cross it until Trigger did, and even Trigger fussed a little more than normal – even though they’ve both crossed that bridge at least 10 times in the past 2 years). She danced at the edge and I could feel her gearing up for a major meltdown. She got really light in the front end and I could tell she thought the appropriate reaction was to launch onto the bridge, so I tried to diplomatically shut that down. About the time I was seriously considering climbing off to hand walk her over, she finally took a tentative step onto the bridge, and I thought we were home free. She made it about 4 steps before the noise of her hooves on the planks unnerved her and she took off trotting as big as she could manage. This is where I probably didn’t help things, because I burst out laughing and that scared her even more until she could catch up to the boys and bury her nose in Jack’s butt for comfort. On the way back, she crossed it with much less fanfare, although she still was coiled tight waiting for the bridge trolls to attack or something, lol. Work on bridges in the future, noted.
Aside from that, she was remarkably well behaved. We did quite a bit of walking on a loose rein, and she and Jack kept pace together really well (with Trigger usually lagging 10-50 feet behind, which is pretty typical for him haha). She gave the hairy eyeball to a group of pedestrians that walked past (in her defense, several of them were kids with large sticks and she couldn’t wrap her baby brain around that), but she wasn’t naughty. The only other baby moments were with the bicyclists – my experience with bicyclists on this trail has been hit or miss. Sometimes they’re polite and follow the POSTED rules of the trail (which is to yield to equestrians and announce their presence), and sometimes they’re road warriors who think it’s appropriate to just blow right by and cause issues.
Trigger lags.... haha
The first group we encountered was one of the former, thankfully. We saw them coming quite a ways off, and as they approached, I elected to dismount and walk her by them. They saw me get off, so they pulled over to the side of the trail and stopped and let us walk pass (bless them). Cinna had a brief stutter stop and didn’t want to walk by, but she did manage it with a little encouraging (and a treat or two). I thanked them and told them she was young and green. Since she seemed fairly okay with the first group, for the next set I decided to stay on and just see if she’d follow Jack. That didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, and she came perilously close to crashing into one of them as she bolted past (as I called apologies). So for the third and final group I dismounted again and hand-walked her past. I think some desensitizing at home with bikes will definitely be on our agenda this spring! 
Kaity was kind enough to video the first encounter, enjoy! haha
All in all, we did about 4 miles total, and I would say for 85% of that, she was a joy, so I’ll take those stats! Even when she was being less than pleasant, it was all just baby stuff that she’ll grow out of with time and more exposure. So I’ll call that first off the farm trail outing a win! I really want to take her to Indian Camp Creek so she can get exposed to water crossings (I’m sure that will be exciting) and then to Rudolf Bennit for more variety in the terrain and footing, so we’ll be out and about a lot this summer I hope!
A tired baby is a good baby!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Playing Catch Up

Yay, finally things to write about and a few minutes to jot them down! Last Thursday evening I was so stir crazy after the incessant rain that I tacked Ruby up for a brief jaunt around the gravel loop at our barn – not a long ride by any means, but we at least got out and got to enjoy some warm weather and open space! She also gave a ride to a barn friend of mine, which made me think about how few people have ridden my horses. Cinna has never had anyone but me on her (which will probably continue to be the case for a bit). Ruby’s first two rides were with someone else, I had a barn friend up on her when she was just doing walk/trot, and she packed DH around once for a cool down session… but that’s really about it! It was fun to watch my friend ride her Thursday night, and see how responsive she was to someone else’s cues. 

We also got the arena dragged Thursday night (even after 2 solid weeks of rain, color me impressed!), so it was ready to rock and roll over the weekend!

Friday, DH and I hit up a tack auction with some friends, but since I’m saving for Rolex, I resisted the impulse to purchase junk tack I didn’t need… haha. Although I did kick myself later for missing out on some inexpensive western girths, especially because I needed an extra one on Sunday! Cici came along, and was a good little auction dachshund until the kids behind us wanted to pet her – then she barked at them. Since that’s basically how I feel about kids, I didn’t really blame her. Chalk that one up to a case of dogs resembling their owners, haha. 

Is there anything funnier than a big man with a little dog? Nah.

Saturday was super productive in the property management department, but less so in the riding department. We have 17 acres, and more than I like is lawn, which requires near-constant mowing. We have two riding lawnmowers, so at least we can get it done marginally faster than if we only had one, but still… that ate up a chunk of my morning. We also had some errands to run, and then I had chores at the barn in the evening (and I snuck in a short trail ride on Ruby!). After I got home I did manage to also lunge with Cinna before my mom came over to watch Downton Abbey (#addicted). As always, she was super, even with her inconsistent work schedule.

I was playing musical bridles again and I tried her in my drop with a single-jointed snaffle, and she seemed remarkably unconcerned. So I'm still unclear if her previous angry chomping is completely bit-related, or if it's baby-related -- or if it's some combination of the two. So I'll keep playing around! For now I think our go to will remain the NS baucher on Otto, which seems to be her favorite (and mine too, incidentally!) I have even more to write about for Sunday, but the entry got away from me length-wise, so look for that tomorrow! ;)

Monday, April 10, 2017


Too busy adventuring to write this weekend, but hopefully I'll get caught up soon! In the meantime, here are some pics to tide you over ;)