Monday, May 24, 2021

If You Can't Take the Heat, Go to the Trails!

After nearly a week straight of rainy days, I desperately wanted to get out and about this weekend, but I was worried the trails would be too muddy/closed. Imagine my surprise when I checked the rainout app Sunday to see my favorite trail was open! After some catching up on barn chores (we needed to switch to night turnout so all the fans had to be dug out of storage/fly sprayer/etc etc), I threw tack in the trailer and hit the road! 

I rode my normal loop backwards, since it was mid 80s and muggy so I figured ending with a chance to play in the creek would make Ruby a lot happier. That was true, but about 80% of our normal creek access points were completely swarming with people 🥴
Had to wake her up to get on the trailer, lol

So much screaming. One kid yelled and asked me how much to buy my horse so I told him he couldn't afford her 😂

The trails were hopping - 3 other pairs of riders (including some teenage yahoos cantering around blind corners, who ended up being in a terrifyingly tiny truck hauling a huge steel trailer when I got back to the parking lot 😬), several pairs of mountain bikers (all polite this time, yay!), and a truly baffling amount of pedestrian traffic on the equestrian only trailhead... But as the first really hot day this spring, apparently all the city slickers wanted to go sit in the creek. I let a few kids pet Ruby at one of the access points (because I had to go around them to get in the water), but we tried to make a beeline by all the other screeching ones and get out of dodge quickly. 
I never get tired of between the ears shots on her. 

I managed to pick back up the wrong trail when I got back out of one of the creek access points, so what I intended to be a pretty quick 5.5 miles turned into about 7.5, but it was 90% shaded and we just walked, so Ruby didn't seem to mind much. 
Not as squicked out by fresh asphalt like last time. 

"Why are they on the equestrian trails carrying coolers?"
Dunno Ruby, dunno

Keeping one ear on the screaming kid in water wings throwing rocks

It was definitely a much needed break from my current reality, which includes commuting 10+ hours a week again, having to wear dress clothes (gross), and car shopping for DH while we fight with insurance companies. Pro tip, try not to get hit by a driver under the influence, because their insurance company won't accept liability without talking to their driver which is hard to do when THEY'RE IN JAIL 🤬 
I don't miss how much of a PITA the goats were but on stressful days I absolutely miss hugging the bebe goats, sigh. 

Anyway. Fun outing, even if everyone I invited was too busy to come keep me company (that's what happens when I do things spur of the moment, haha). 

Monday, May 17, 2021

Unicorn Bridle Perfection

So if you remember my unicorn bridle.... I've been casually keeping an eye out for the perfect browband for it. I had a hand-me-down Topline with purples and blues, and it was nice, but just not... perfect... you know? And then Amanda, who has been involved in this since THE BEGINNING, sent me this.

And you all know what happened next...


Of course, it arrived on a rainy day kicking off a 10-day forecast that is pretty much entirely rain, but that didn't stop me from putting it on the bridle and dragging Cinna out to take some pictures! She was so unamused 😂


Could this be any more perfect? Trick question, no it could not 🤗😍🥰

Great service from the Bling Bay as well, the browband shipped out within 24 hours, showed up really nicely packaged with a cute little thank you card, etc. Will definitely buy from her again! 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Tune-ups for Trigger

Monday got off to a rough start -- I was pretty much over the day by 9 am, which is not normal for me. Some of it is stress from things I can't change, but some of it is just good ol' fashioned not getting enough saddle time :) however, as previously discussed, I can't ride Cinna when I'm already in a mood, and Ruby has been out quite a bit lately, so I made a slightly different choice...

DH called while I was saddling up and I told him Trigger and I were going out on the trails.... "Is that because you don't want to deal with your crazy bitches?"
Well, not because they're crazy, just because occasionally I like to meander through the woods and make zero effort, so Monday that was Trigger... lol. 

We hacked down the road a little first, then hit my trails out back! They uh, need to be mowed. And trimmed. I definitely whacked my head on a branch once (or rather, my helmet, thank God I was wearing my cheap schooler lol).

I let him stop for a mouthful of grass and it was a little horrifying to see how much he could cram in around his bit haha. 

This bareback pad remains one of my better purchases - I ride in it almost as often as I do a saddle!

I don't have photos of this so you'll just have to trust me, but I headed the opposite way I normally do down our gravel road, and I almost died. Turns out Trigger, the rock solid steady eddy who gives zero fucks about anything.... is actually "turn tail and flee in terror" scared of the neighbor's little tiny sheep haha. When he first saw them his head went UPPPPP, he froze and snorted for a second, they came running over to see what was going on, and he spun so quickly he almost left me on the road lol. This of course, scared the sheep, so they ran away as fast as they could, and Trigger tried to bolt for home. I turned him back around and made him finish walking to the sign I was aiming for before we turned back around (and then he still had to walk nicely home), and he was pretty sure I was going to be responsible for his demise. TORTURE, I swear. I'm so mean!

Anyway, it was a fun little jaunt to clear my brain and also gave me a chance to test him on some terrain to make sure his hoof is still feeling good before we start hauling out for longer trail rides this summer :) mission accomplished! And maybe I'll luck out and get some decent weather on a weekend so I can haul out soon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

WW: Vet Visit

Won't be totally wordless (are my WW posts ever? haha), but we had a good vet visit where everything was routine, which was SUCH a relief after last year

Blogger reversed the image order AGAIN. Oh well. Jack modeling his new fly sheet. It's actually a $40 ebay special and I like it WAY MORE than the ones I normally get, so naturally when I went back to order new ones for everyone else, they were out of the sizes I need. Because of course they were. That's just sort of my life these days. 

Angry drunk pony.
Two of the vets that were out were the ones who took care of Trigger through his hoof rehab, so they were so excited to see how well it's grown out! And also how sound he is (since Friday morning while I was at the other vet with Cici, DH was cleaning up the barn and raking old hay from the aisle into the turnout, and Trigger took the opportunity to bust through the door, run over to the neighbor's, duck down their trail, and have himself a good ol' time haha).

Checked on the holes from where he was missing two molars (one came out on it's own, one pulled last summer). Everything looked reasonably okay!

My special needs tooth child also got a relatively good check up -- just took down some of the rough edges, but everything else looked good!

Trigger being a pest. 

In the aisle for his TPR being sassy. I reminded the vets that last year he was a SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT for his sedation so they backed down his dose, and he was still almost on the floor anyway, lol. 

Ruby - nothing weird, just taking down some points and hooks. 

The guy vet actually went in to do her TPR while the other vets were working on Cinna and I was so busy watching the float that I didn't realize he'd gone in there and done the whole thing without haltering her - I don't think he realized it either until after he got her temp, lol. She's such a good egg ;) this was after we haltered her to give her the sedation to start on her teeth. 

Started with Cinna and her weird offset molar. Just some normal work to smooth out the edges, nothing weird. Bless all of these horses for giving me a slight break on the vet bills!

Cici had a morning acu appointment. 

She was doing SO WELL that the vet said we can go back down to 6-8 week maintenance, and she's off almost all her drugs as of today (tapering off the steroids, has been off the painkillers/muscle relaxers since the weekend). Of course yesterday she seemed sort of ouchy so I immediately started to doubt EVERYTHING but she's got laser tomorrow and we still have another 1.5 weeks of tapering off the steroids and we'll see how it goes. I guess. Sigh. I'm really over this at this point. 

Skeptical dog is skeptical lol. 

I'm glad that the vet bills will be stabilizing a little, and that the horses gave me a break after last year's complete and utter shit show of expenses. I guess if there's a silver lining to working remotely last year, it's that the money I saved not commuting covered three dental surgeries, one really bad hoof puncture and rehab, and then Cici's litany of back/neck issues this spring!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Gut Punch

Last week was the emotional equivalent of being punched in the face, repeatedly. All state workers were given a date to return to working in the physical office - despite months of work being poured into an official remote work policy, and essentially being told that we could continue working remotely permanently, as long as it made sense from a business standpoint (aka, your job could be done remotely, there was no interruption in services, etc.). We have been told this is just a "reset", and they still plan to move forward with remote work options, but I'm not feeling super optimistic about that right now. I have a lot of thoughts about that whole situation, none of which can be currently talked through ad nauseum here, since it's not complicated to connect my blog to my real life... sigh. And regardless of this current speed bump, I *DO* love my job. It's just frustrating to have worked so hard to make this shift to remote, spending tons of money on a remote work set up, figuring out a way to offer even BETTER service and working longer hours than I did in the office, and then basically being told to flip a switch and go back to my 10+ hour a week commute. My dogs will also be horrified, as they've been living their best lives for the last 14 months... I guess the only tiny silver lining to this situation is that we had decided on an addition so that I could have a real dedicated office (instead of working out of our guest bedroom), but the INSANE price of lumber meant we were holding off on getting started -- so at least I didn't start a VERY EXPENSIVE addition to make space for the remote job that I... you know... apparently don't have. Oy vey. Also don't even get me started on the irony of announcing this during Public Service Recognition Week...
Actually she's probably ready for me to go back to the office and stop obsessing over her every move. 

He's gonna have a rough transition back to his crate :(

Cruce will miss sunbathing in the yard all day, but he doesn't mind his crate, especially now that's got a fancy memory foam bed. 

These hooligans will be the saddest about the change, since they come "to work" with me every morning. 

Friday was a state holiday so then Sunday morning these little goobers thought it was Monday and I couldn't find them -- they had already done their "commute" and were settled in under my desk waiting for me to start work. I died a little inside!

Anyway. Horses. You're probably here for the horses. And shockingly enough, I do have some horse content for last week!
Agreed to buy this bridle off a friend months ago. Forgot until it showed up. I also apparently bought a cute blingy fly bonnet too. So that was a nice pick-me-up the day we got the news about going back to the office. 

Walking out to catch the horses one night last week. 

This little bastard was hanging out with the horses and when I walked up I thought to myself "why is there a random dog in my pasture? OH!" He's been killing our chickens so both DH and the neighbor have been keeping an eye out for him. 

The day the bridle came in the mail I decided I wanted to try it on Ruby. It's a cob, but all the way on the last buckles it was a passably decent fit for a 20 minute hack in the bareback pad. 

I wasn't feeling up to any serious schooling, so we just tested all the buttons and then went for a meander. 

I'm still trying to work her through the weird amped way she gets on our trails (even though she's perfect on trails away from home).

So we hung out at the church for a minute, I let her eat some grass, then we went back to the arena. Very low key. 

I do love that view though! (you know, minus the neighbor's house)

I didn't have any rolled bridles in my collection, so this was a fun addition! Although it doesn't have a throatlatch, which weirds me out a little. I'll just throw a generic french link on it and use it for lunging/ground driving, since my supply of reins far outstrips my number of bridles lol. 

DH got home towards the end of our ride so he came to give Ruby some snuggles. 

Thursday I was feeling a little more emotionally stable, so I thought I could manage a ride on Cinna. She was V MAD that all her friends were out without her. 

Still obsessed with checking out her own reflection, 5+ months in. If I don't keep her at least 3 feet away from it she will march over and smash right into it with her nose, haha. 

Cinna had a reasonably good ride where she did finally relax and let us get some work done. Then when I had her cross tied to untack she went absolutely beserk, broke the cross ties, and rampaged around the back area in front of the pasture until she had herself so tangled up in the broken cross ties that she literally couldn't move anymore.... so. One step forward, 15 steps back? It was a good reminder to replace those crappy nylon cross-ties, so I'm planning on buying some nice biothane ones from the place I got all my buckle nose halters -- at least they won't get so brittle from the weather! Also a good reminder that I have a telephone post for DH to set so that Cinna can spend some time tied to something she can't break, so that maybe we can move past this stage of tying nicely 95% of the time but then sometimes just setting back and breaking the ties just because she can, which I find SUPER ANNOYING. 

Last week we had a 3-day weekend (yay, random state holiday!) so I was able to schedule our annual vet visit on that day, so I didn't have to waste PTO. Spoiler alert -- not nearly as much bad news as last year! :)