Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Oh God What Now

The universe seems determined to keep throwing me curveballs - yesterday afternoon I got a call from the show secretary and they were able to fit me in a test of choice class once each day, so I'll be showing after all! 
"Helping" me while I work

The next curveball is that DH has been struggling with a rapidly deteriorating herniated disc situation - he has a steroid shot scheduled for tomorrow and surgery tentatively scheduled for the following know..... 36 hours before I need to leave for the show πŸ™ˆ and he won't be able to do any of the chores the weekend of the show, so it looks like I'll be commuting back and forth which is... Less than ideal. Oh well. It is what it is, right? I'm just so glad his surgeon is taking it seriously, he has been in such excruciating pain it's hard to watch, since I can't help at all. 

Anyway. We've also been getting some much needed rain, which is fantastic! Except it's been raining every morning I have time I ride πŸ™ˆ so. Also I had an annual exam last week for the first time in, idk, 7 years? (My horse has a chiropractor but I don't see a doctor 😏) and my doctor started me on some meds that leave me perpetually exhausted - hoping that situation stabilizes before the show! Clearly things are going well here πŸ™ƒ wish us luck! 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Lesson Recap: Situation Salvaged

Well, I moped briefly and then got on with life, lol. The show secretary and I traded some emails, so for now I am registered as a non-compete and will plan to use the weekend as a mini clinic and grab three lessons from TrainerB, while simultaneously getting Ruby used to the indoor at the show venue (in April we showed outside). I'm second on the wait list if there are any scratches, so we'll see how that goes. I reached out to the photographer and we'll either use the money I already paid for show photos towards artwork from Ruby's portrait session (which we'll do while she's at the show venue to help everyone's scheduling lol) or she might be able to hang around and snap some photos of one of my lessons -- in which case you better believe I will put show clothes on so we can be fancy AF haha. 

Sunrise rides are still happening on any days I WFH (or at least WFH in the morning, sometimes I have to drive in for meetings in the afternoons, sigh)

Matchy matchy game was strong this day - digging the $36 clearance Smartpak tights!

Realistically this is probably how I should have STARTED the show season, but when I was tallying up costs in the spring it seemed SO ridiculous to spend this much money and not actually like..... SHOW. So I guess the universe just wanted to make a point to me :-P 

Early morning bath to get the worst of the sweat (from just grazing) and dirt (because its been a fucking DUST BOWL here) off before an ADVENTURE!

Felt so good to be on the road again!

In the meantime, it's been absolutely fucking DISGUSTING out, and some work craziness has resulted in me spending more time in the office than I'd like, so not as much morning riding happening. But some is better than none! Originally both days this past weekend were scheduled to be 100+ before a heat index (105 Saturday, don't even want to know what the "feels like" was!), but then Saturday morning when I looked again, the weather for Sunday was still hot, but more reasonable. I shot a quick text to TrainerB to see if I could haul to the interim farm for a lesson, but also acknowledging that it was SUPER last minute and I would totally understand if she didn't have any slots. But the stars aligned and she had a 9:45 lesson slot for me :) based on the drive to the farm it made for an EARLY morning but it at least let us finish up before the heat index hit triple digits! I went alone, so limited media and nothing under saddle (I almost asked her to film a bit at the end, I should have!), but it was really, really nice. Not that we worked on anything particularly hard or that we were particularly spectacular (lol), but it just felt so damn good to be out there doing the thing with my best bay mare. Especially poignant for me being seven weeks to the day from fracturing my ankle. I still have some occasional residual stiffness, and I'm certainly not out running any marathons on it, but it feels pretty good!

I love how chill she is on trips. She was at this farm once before in mid-May but then hasn't really gone anywhere but trail rides since. 

Going for understated elegance, because I wore those bright AF teal tights again hahaha. 

She was a super good girl, starting off nice and relaxed and just showing up to work. No shenanigans about wanting to canter the whole time (which we are still struggling with at home), but letting me really supple her into both reins and turning from my outside aids. Neither of us has a ton of stamina at the moment, so I was pretty wiped out by the end of the lesson (despite copious walk breaks and also starting electrolytes last week to see if that helps me deal with the heat better)

She enjoyed her hose down and then grazing in the shade while I finished my water. 

So, this is no longer me questioning whether or not we're back -- we're officially back! And I'm looking forward to the second half of show season, some fun stuff this fall (a girl's trail trip and hopefully using my Gifted grant!), and then I'll make lots of big plans for NEXT YEAR and the universe can continue to disappoint me in new and exciting ways hahaha. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


I'm starting to feel like the universe just.... doesn't want me to show πŸ˜‘ shortly after I drafted and scheduled yesterday's post on my lunch break Monday, TrainerB texted me to give me a heads up that entries for the next recognized show were filling quickly, so if I wanted to enter I should probably do so ASAP. I already had an account on the site to do it so as soon as work wrapped up for the day I went ahead and submitted my entries. Then preordered a horse show package from the photographer, because YOLO πŸ’ΈπŸ’ΈπŸ’Έ
Pee Pie Penelope was looking forward to being a horse show dog again!

Annnnnnd then an hour later I got an email from the show secretary that the show was full so they would be refunding my entries.... Womp womp. I'm on the wait list, but not hopeful. TrainerB and I discussed the option of me still coming as a non-compete and just taking three lessons while I'm up there, so that may be what I redirect to I'm just... Really bummed. I started the year with such high hopes about a show season and it's been sort of an unmitigated dumpster fire 🀣

There aren't really any other show options this season unless I aim for the open show in conjunction with Regionals but I have the same concerns about that one that I had about Pony Cup - it's probably going to be a big show with a lot of atmosphere and it doesn't seem like a way to set us up for success at our second attempt showing recognized.

So currently I'm moping around annoyed at the world πŸ™ƒ at least at Pony Cup I *did* finally get to discuss a new barn timeline with TrainerB and we tossed some ideas around for me using my Gifted grant later this fall so obviously none of this is the end of the world I'm just... Miffed currently lol. First world problems, amirite?

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

National Dressage Pony Cup 2022 - Spectating

National Dressage Pony Cup looked a little different for me this year than last year -- and not in the way I had hoped! Back in May, my plans were to ENTER Pony Cup (the open show, naturally, since Ruby is neither a pony nor a small horse lol) to give me a shot at redemption over my lizard brain that sort of wrecked the April show work on overcoming my show nerves enough to have a more productive show - but alas, my ankle put a kink in those plans. Technically last week would have been my last week in the boot if I had followed the ER doctor's instructions (lolz we all know I didn't do that), and even once the ortho cleared me to do a little more sooner, I still didn't feel great about our odds of being ready in time -- when you add in the fact that it's a HUGE show with a ton of atmosphere (six rings running for three straight days) plus the fact that it probably filled before the closing date, it was a no brainer to skip it and aim for a smaller (but still recognized show) a few weeks later hosted by TrainerB's GMO. 
My mom got me a saddle mattress for my Fairfax and I'm obsessed. Nothing like finally having a really nice saddle to make me up my game a little bit lol. Especially since my fitter took a full time job doing something else (still with saddles but not an on the road fitter) sooooooo I have to find someone else, le sigh. 

However! Just because I didn't SHOW at the show didn't mean I couldn't go up to hang out! And it was the perfect opportunity to give Penny some more practice at being a horse show doggo :) I also brought along my camera to snap some photos of TrainerB, her clients, and even some local friends who made the trip in. Like last year, the show was incredibly well run from a spectator standpoint, and despite some HOT HOT weather, it was really fun! Because I had originally blocked off Friday to compete, I didn't have any meetings, so I was able to take a vacation day and go spectate Friday/Saturday (same as last year). I wasn't quite motivated enough to catch the 7 am rides (since the venue is an hour away), but I made it up around 8 both days and stayed through until 5 before heading home. I got to watch everything from training level tests through PSG, some kickass musical freestyles, and I also got to see some people having FUN with the newly expanded dressage attire guidelines and I shamelessly snapped pics of some of my favorite ensembles lol. I sent quite a few purple outfits to Megan, and may or may not have straight up accosted a junior riding walking through our aisle to find out the brand of her VERY PURPLE shirt hahaha. 
This was not the shirt in question but this was an outfit I surreptitiously snapped a photo of for Megan.  

Penny had THE BEST time. She's still working on the whole being social thing, but it was definitely assisted by the fact that EVERYONE AND THEIR BROTHER wanted to pet her/feed her treats, lol. I hadn't even made it to TrainerB's stabling Saturday before I was stopped by like three people who met Penny Friday to ask me how she was doing and try to pet her again. My barnmates (okay so I don't technically board with them but I consider them like my honorary barn family, IDC) took turns keeping Penny company so I could photograph unencumbered -- which was good practice for her because I'd like them to do the same thing when I show in a few weeks -- eeeee! I was a little worried about how she'd handle the heat, but I brought her collapsible water bowl and she drank like a champ almost every time I offered her water. She was also content to loll under the shade trees with my barnmates several of the times I was out in the scorching sun trying to get the best angle for photos, haha (smart dog). 
Hanging with a barnmate so I could take pics

Meeting a VERY BIG DOG (lol)

Napping while I photographed the warm up

Paparazzi getting photographed lol

Another barnmate picked Penny up when she ended up on the wrong side of the fence and omg Penny's FACE - I think she thought I was the one who had picked her up and when she realized it was a "stranger" she was HORRIFIED. Thankfully by the end of the weekend I think she came around to being handled by a lot more folks haha. 

"Paint me like one of your French girls"

Snoozin' in the tack stall. 

Absolutely passed TF out on the way home from day one. 

Begging for breakfast burrito on day two (she got fed entirely too much people food last weekend haha). 

Enjoying some nice rollies in the grass!

Being a good drinker :)

Napping on "her" saddlepad a barnmate loaned us (I had a blanket in the car but kept forgetting to grab it in the mornings when I came in). 

Begging for belly rubs #spoiled

She was exhausted and content to be carried around like a baby at the end of day two by another barnmate <3

Totally blissed out just being snuggled!

Dead to the world on the drive home from day two haha. 

I got some other adorable photos on my real camera and that people texted me, but Blogger/Google Photos integration is dong this really annoying thing now where only photos I actually took with my phone are showing up and it's too much of a pain to separately upload everything else, so if you want the full "Penny the #horseshownoodle" experience there's an album on my FB page lol. 

Next up is trying for one last in-person lesson before sending off show entries for next month! I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

WW: Long Weekend Fun

Truck brakes are officially fixed, hooray! The brake module didn't do it, but in chasing down why it didn't work, DH was able to locate a short and fix that, which seems to have fixed things - whee! So when my mom stopped by for dinner, we went on an impromptu trail ride Sunday afternoon :) 

Mom rode Ruby

Trigger seemed excited to be out again!

Not my best life choice to take the horse who has been off all month while my ankle is still recovering..... 

Playing in the creek was great though!

Introduced DH and my mom to the cave!

Playing in another creek. 

We 4.7 miles in about an hour and a half :)

The horses were soaked! Loving the water cubes in the trailer for sponging off after we're done :)

Monday we spent some time cleaning up the boat. 

Penny was excited we did all that work so she could go play in the water lol.

"This is the life"

She spent most of yesterday sleeping off her busy 4th. 

Another anonymous octopus gift hahahaha. 

She though this was pretty cool too!

We are under an extreme heat warning all week with temps in the triple digits and heat indexes that are... horrifying, so I'm giving the horses some time off. Still haven't been able to get anything on the books virtually with TrainerB, which is.... sigh. Frustrating. So we'll see how things shake out this weekend. Maybe I'll have to drive down there again :(