Thursday, November 30, 2017

PNW Bloggers

Anybody in the Seattle area? Will be visiting next month and would love to squeeze in horse time, a blogger meet-up or tack shop visit :) hit me up if you're in the area or have recommendations on must-visit locations! Comment here, FB message me, or email dressagebarbie (at)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Glorious Holiday Weekend Part Dos

My recap of Thursday and Friday got away from me a little (although in my defense, I did A LOT OF STUFF), so I decided to be nice to you poor readers and write about the rest of my weekend separately. Saturday when I woke up, I hurt all over -- my body was very loudly protesting my very busy Friday. I slogged through chores at home, and then sacked out on the couch for a bit. Apparently I was more exhausted than I realized, as I drifted off for a brief nap (this probably had something to do with my 3:30 am wake up call when DH's phone rang with a work emergency and he had to leave extra early). Cinna got the day off since I lacked a ground person again, but I did head down to the barn early for chores so I had time to ride Ruby in the daylight.
A significant portion of my day looked like this.. haha.
But this made it worthwhile!
DH worked late as a result of his work emergency, so I had more time on the couch to snuggle the dogs. In the evening I got some bad news about a dear relative, so there were some frantic hours and tears, but I've since gotten a better report, so hopefully the worrying was for naught.
I also stress organized my tack shed, which definitely needed some TLC! I should have taken an "after" picture.
That led to a pretty fractured night of sleep for me, so Sunday wasn't as productive horse-wise as I hoped. DH and I accomplished quite a bit around the farm -- some vehicle maintenance, playing with the goats, shopping, etc. After a run to town, we popped back up to the barn so I could ride Ruby. After a good bareback ride, we hung out for a bit to help with evening chores and then to help hang some Christmas decorations! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (at the barn at least!). DH was a bit depressed, because he pulled our our Christmas decorations (a giant star that normally hangs off the front of the barn) and most of the lights were dead. I'm sure he'll finagle something though, he always does!
Goats in wheelbarrows y'all -- too funny! 

Barn all decorated for Christmas!
Monday while I was working, DH and a friend industriously spread like 3 years worth of composted manure to fertilize our pasture -- poor old geriatric tractor and manure spreader were working overtime! I made time to sneak in another bareback ride last night, although I dropped my phone cantering and had to search the arena for it, lol. Today I brought riding clothes so hopefully I can put in a more productive school with a saddle ;)
Combined age of like... 150 years... haha.
Black compost everywhere!
Phone didn't even begin to do justice to this sunset!

Are you ready for Christmas? Does your barn decorate? Do you? I'm kind of a scrooge when it comes to Christmas, haha.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Glorious Holiday Weekend

I hope all of my American readers enjoyed their long weekend! (assuming you didn't have to work Friday, of course). I know I sure did :) Every single one of my four days off was BEAUTIFUL. Long entry though, prepare yourself!
One of the gorgeous sunsets from my weekend.
Sunrise another day.
I'm extra thankful for that, because my week got off to a rough start -- driving home from work on Tuesday, an inattentive driver attempted to change lanes into me on a busy bridge and clipped my car. I saw them coming and swerved as far over as I could without smashing into the concrete barrier, and with all of the adrenaline trying to avoid a major wreck, I didn't actually realize they made contact. There is no safe place to pull over for miles without risking life and limb or backing up traffic (which is already horrendous on a daily basis), and the person quickly slammed on their brakes and got behind me so I couldn't get a license plate number. I pulled over at the first available exit to check for damage, but by the time I realized there WAS damage, it was too late to catch the person. While I'm frustrated (and a bit annoyed with myself for not pulling over immediately), my car is high mileage and paid off, and the damage is merely cosmetic. And considering how badly things could have ended if I hadn't seen them coming and mitigated the damage a bit, I'll just count myself lucky and hope karma catches up to them (the damage was on my passenger side so I couldn't see it from inside the car, but they had to have realized they made contact and seen the damage to their mirror). This put a bit of a damper on my Tuesday night, and I was still pretty grumpy most of Wednesday. But the prospect of a 4-day weekend cheered me up a bit!
Nothing like a freshly dragged arena to lower your blood pressure ;)
Thursday our Thanksgiving family plans were an early lunch, so I actually had time to ride after we got home, which was amazing. Ruby and I put in another no-stirrups ride (since I was still in striking distance of the lead in my barn's contest!), and then cooled out hacking down the road. While I was riding, DH (who is the best and why I listed him twice on the things I'm thankful for post!) installed the light in the grooming area that I've had for months now, haha. Of course I had to test it out, so I pulled Cinna out for a quick groom and lunge. (he also installed a nifty pipe system to fill the water trough without using a hose, which will hopefully keep us from battling frozen hoses all winter!)
Extra thankful for her.
Got home to a new light!
The far side is still a little dim, but I should have sufficient light to knock the dust off the horses and get tacked up!
Friday was the day I'd been waiting for all week -- the weather forecast was 70 and sunny. I had grand plans of working and bathing both horses -- while I didn't quite get that accomplished, I still did quite a bit! It was still chilly when I got up at 6 am, so I knocked out all the outside chores at home, and then did like five loads of laundry and dishes (which I knew would make DH happy, and get me off the hook to spend the rest of the day outside).
This loon always sticks his tongue out after drinking -- 11 years together and it still makes me giggle.
I started down at the barn with Ruby -- we had another excellent no stirrups ride, where I worked on sitting the trot for longer stretches of time. My ability to sit her trot has improved this month with all the no stirrups work, although there is definitely still a long way to go. She also gave me much nicer canter departs than the night before, which was appreciated! The downward transition from canter to trot without stirrups is still a bit hard for me, but it's getting better. Practice makes perfect, right? I was finishing up at the same time a lesson was finishing up, so we hacked out together to cool the horses off. When we got back, I gave Ruby a VERY THOROUGH SCRUBBING. She was super grungy, and I wanted to take advantage of the warm, windy day to quickly dry her. She was a bit grumpy about the face washing, but the end result was definitely worth all the elbow grease and soaked clothes (I cannot bathe a horse without also bathing myself -- no idea how people do it and stay dry, lol).
So clean!
Pretty even in winter woolies.
While I was letting her dry, there were other lessons going on, and we jumped back in on another hand walk down the road (I certainly got my steps in, haha).
Could this kid be any happier? Gosh.
My next goal was to get Cinna ridden, but I was a bit stymied by the fact that I didn't have a ground person -- Cinna is improving rapidly in terms of trustworthiness, but I am still not comfortable riding her when no one is home. I was going to text a friend when I got on and then tell them to send help if they didn't hear from me in an hour, but I ended up kidnapping the barn rat pictured above (who I adore, and is the only kid I can tolerate for more than about 5 minutes lol) to come ride with me! She climbed on Trigger while I tacked up Cinna -- in my new alta escuela saddle!
I had to get on and off about five times to adjust the stirrups (since I rode Ruby without them and had no idea how long I needed to make them, haha), and then of course we had several people stop by (new neighbors that I had to talk to, and then a FedEx delivery) -- but I finally got to settle down and focus on working Cinna. She was AMPED and I was extra glad for a 911 dialer, just in case. At one point she got frustrated (walking is hard for energetic baby horses) and bolted across the arena, and I couldn't stop her even with her nose on her shoulder. Not my favorite feeling! But once we worked through some of that nervous energy, she was really good.
Let's ignore how badly the teal helmet, green shirt, and pink gloves clash.... haha. I had been wearing a pink vest in the morning, but it got hot!
Post ride -- she told me I should take a picture so I could "remember this moment forever"
I really should have given Cinna a good scrubbing also, but I was getting pretty tired by this point, and the idea of waiting for her to dry made me veto this idea. I felt better about skipping it when the first thing she did after I turned her back out was to find the biggest patch of dirt she could and coat herself in it, haha. We headed back to the barn to help out with evening chores, and when we got back the indoor arena lights were all finished! So of course we had to celebrate by dragging Ruby back out and riding under them, even though it wasn't actually that dark yet. We capped off the day with a quick run through the local farm store to see if there were any to-die-for Black Friday deals (spoiler alert, there weren't), and then I finally crashed on my couch at 7 pm (13 hours and 30K steps later, haha).
The FedEx delivery was for a new sheet, since I went through several from RW that did not even come close to fitting, which made me mad, cause they were teal plaid and PERFECT minus the fact that they literally wouldn't fit any normal shaped horse on the planet.
In full dark!
I was going to write about the rest of my weekend, but this post is already insanely long, so I guess the rest can wait for part two!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful Thursday

It's that time of year! In no particular order, here are some things I'm thankful for <3
This guy, and our ability to hang out on the river with friends. 
These sassy sausage dogs.
These rascally rescue mutts.
This guy again ;) 
These dramatic Spanish mares.
My family (all of them, even though this was the only photo I could find).
These retirees.
Friends (particularly awesome bloggers!) and the ability to travel.
The beautiful place I'm blessed to live 
The goofy goats (parents included).
Our lovely property and (lighted!) arena.
I could go on for ages about my blessings, but I'm off to spend the day stuffing my face with family. I hope you all are equally as blessed, and are having a good day!