A Chapter Closed

I haven’t gone into much detail about Dee’s owners because it’s a need to know basis right?  Dee is one of their 3 horses.  1 gorgeous baby hunter, 1 Grand Prix level jumper, and Dee.  With two teenagers riding and competing (in different arenas) and three horses on the docket you can see why they started looking for someone to lease Dee last year.  Since I have known them, and their horses for several years it was an obvious fit for me.  At the time my trainer was not convinced and pushed back.  Dee’s family and I didn’t back down and so began my lease; on a month by month basis to be sure it was the best fit.  


I went into the lease knowing that she would leave our area this August to go to college with the oldest daughter.  Now you can read back over our past 9 months together, but what I’m writing about today is that our lease has officially ended. 

 The families lovely Grand Prix horse hurt himself and is taking a 6 month vacation; leaving his very talented rider is horseless. So…you can see where this is going.  The girl would like the rides, and I understand that.  


I’ve said all along that what I have with Dee is very much a professional relationship.  And it’s true.  I was incredibly shocked by the emotions I felt when they told me that not only is the lease over as of today, but they are moving facilities.  They had their reasons and none of them were crazy or wild.  Losing some of my favorite people at the barn, and my favorite little mare is a doozy.    She’s been a bright spot in this rough few weeks at work, my partner in fitness and horse shows, and while she doesn’t give a fig about me, I do adore her.  


Tomorrow she’ll join her “big brothers” in the trailer and head off to her new home.  And while today I get to be a bit teary and slump around the house, I know that her people love her and will provide her all the best.  I’ve already told them that they won’t be able to get rid of me that easily, and we’ll just have to do drinks in lieu of rides for awhile. Plus a date to shove Dee full of cookies once they settle in.  

 I’d like to write about all the wonderful things that came out of my lease because there are so many…but not quite ready for that yet.  Obviously I knew the lease wasn’t permanent, but I have honestly no idea what is next for me.  I was hoping for a few more weeks to figure out a game plan, but I should’ve know planning around horses is useless, haha.  


And so ends the Demelia chapter of this riding adventure.  I wish her all the best, and hope that I get to see her someday soon!  It’s been a real pleasure having her in my life.  

Thinking Back and Forward

My current crazy train keeps going, and horses continue to be a bright spot. Lesson with bonus drinks with barn lovelies is tomorrow, so I’m real excited for that!

However, today I was going through my poor half-dead, cracked, hot mess of an iPhone to make sure I had everything backed up for my new one, and I found some pictures I just really wanted to share.  They both made my heart happy, and just a little sad.  But I think all big life changes prompt that kind of emotion!

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My Olive, the week I bought her. I was infatuated.

Seeing these photos of O and my journey, especially in the one above where we are a brand new partnership, makes me crave that relationship again.  The bad memories seem to be the first to fade for me.  I know why it was hard to be an owner – but it doesn’t seem as important as time moves on.  As my time with Dee nears it’s end, I really find myself wondering what to do next.

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O was always ready for a selfie

After some heart to heart chats with my husband, I do understand and grasp that this is not the right time to buy a horse.  Not with my career, not with some upcoming home and car improvements, it’s just not ideal.

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And I’m not willing to do anything until the situation is as near to perfect as possible – I need to set myself up for success here!

So what’s the plan?

Not a friggin’ clue.  And that’s terrifying for someone who literally plans things for a living.

I guess I’ll just have to make it up as we go!

1, 2, 1, 2, 1…

I don’t care how old I get / how advanced I might get…my go-to for courses, especially ones with plenty of long approaches, is to count.  I know some riders sing, others talk, but there is something ridiculously therapeutic about counting 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2 and so on.  With a greenie like O was when I bought her it helped me regulate the pace, to be an active rider.  With Dee it operates in the exact opposite way, it distracts me from micro-managing the long approach or picking at the distances.  But regardless, it is my go – to maneuver.

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Purple thinking hat on!

This weeks lesson had a long approach small single to start off, where you really hard to get the pace early on.  Then a long 3 stride off a short approach.  To a nice moving two stride.  To another super long approach single oxer.  So lots of great questions!  My job was to get the pace early on, keep Dee bouncy and block that outside shoulder around the turns.  After running through each component individually, we strung it all together.

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Matching game is strong (for hunters)

 

And it was good.  Like it felt good, Dee felt good, pace was correct.  I even gave a tiny, slightly embarrassing “whoop” at Dee once we landed the last oxer.  We let her be done with that.  It couldn’t have gone any smoother in my mind.  It might have been due to my obsessive 1, 2, 1, 2 (you can totally hear me coming to the oxer) counting, but whatever it is, I’ll take it!

Please also note, that I had packed for my lesson the night before, grabbing a purple Kastel shirt.  Once at work, I realized I had both a purple saddle pad AND a purple trimmed bonnet in my car…cue fabulous idea to convince the two other adult ammies in my lesson to go matchy match.  One went all navy, one went all black/grey and I was in purple.  I don’t know if Dee has ever even wore a horse hat, but it was really fun dressing her up!

An Exercise in Happiness

As I mentioned lately I have been stuck in this funk for a few weeks.

I usually would feel comfortable telling people that I handle stress well.  Deadlines keep me sharp, challenges are welcome, and I don’t mind being pushed.  I, at my core, am a people pleaser, and am content to work hard in the hopes of being recognized down the line.  I also admit to being stupidly hopeful that people are generally good.  Lately things, and people, have been letting me down.  I started not sleeping, grinding my teeth, and bickering with my husband.  In his endless wisdom (and ability to not get angry), he volunteered that we should talk about what was really bothering me.

So, I made a list.  Because 1) I love lists.  2) Lists can solve anything.  Specifically this is a process that I’ve gone through before whenever I have to figure out where my head is.  Half the time I stress about things, I already know the answer on how to fix them.  Seeing the answer on paper, written out – with clear directions, is a whole different thing though.  And I need that at times.

Sucky List: All the things that are upsetting me

  • People suck
  • Husband hates my haircut
  • Baby is teething / hence baby is not sleeping
  • I’m not sleeping
  • Got the bill for my little trip to the ER
  • People suck

Once they were out on paper – it looked kind of stupid that I was that worked up over all of this.  But I kept going.  Part 2 in the exercise…

Happy List: Some of the things that make me haIMG_2042ppy

  • Family
  • Horses
  • Wine (or Champagne – I’m not picky)
  • Good food
  • Cooking said good food (with glass of wine)
  • Reading

Sounds simple, but all of the things that make me happy?  They were all action items.  That week I planned a trip to the library to get more books, updated my reading apps on my phone (axis360 is a favorite), went to the grocery store and picked out my favorite recipes.

Besides the obvious, my family, I knew horses would be on my list of positives.  After my list directive, I scheduled a few lessons, grazed Dee, hacked around the farm, galloped around the front yard, and generally just immersed myself in all good things horse related.

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Selfie outtake of sorts

On the day of one of my lessons, I actually texted Trainer and told her I wasn’t sure I should ride.  Obviously confused I explained to her that you have to be able to stop angry-crying long enough to get around the arena.  She held her ground, saying that it would help.  Wellllllllllllllllll, I was running almost 30 minutes late by lesson time…I showed up, and promptly melted down…Dee’s owner and I had had a miscommunication and she’d already ridden her.  (COULDN’T HANDLE-NEEDED RIDE SO BAD)  After some texts, we figured out that she had just taken her on a bareback walk and a lesson was definitely a good idea.

I gathered what was left of my brain, and got Dee ready.  When I met the Trainer in the ring, she just said “Get on, let’s go gallop at some fences.”  And so we did.  After a easy warm-up, she set up the fences to a healthy 2’9” and sent us off.  Dee was really into it; I couldn’t stop laughing at her “being wild”.  We had some really lovely jumps, but honestly, I just remember how much fun I was having.  How stupid happy I was; laughing out loud happy.

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Stupid happy.

Anyway, I guess you are always learning to push back on the sucky parts.  But my focus should be on my bottom line – do what makes you happy.

Hair Do Redo

Dee is the easiest of easy keepers.  Fluffy and fat, she rocked it out this winter living outside.  (She’s also barefoot which is really neat.). But anyway, she has been losing giant tufts of hair the past two weeks, but not in an organized way.  So she’s been looking a bit…ragamuffin?

Dragging a tufted hair Dee along with the baby.

 

I mean, I think she’s always cute but…she got a bit of an upgrade this week.


Ta da!  See!!!  Ugh-dorable.  Also note the absence of several hundred pounds.  Now that she’s been in consistent work and without her fluff, I think she’s really looking like her super sporty self. 

Smile Dee!


I am also enjoying the ability to groom her without covering myself in 10lbs of hair.  A big shout out to Dee’s momma for taking some time to turn her out so lovely!


We snuck in a really great ride in our front field tonight. I badly needed a break from the real world, and taking a cute shaved pony for a ride was just the thing.  

Kamik Rain Boot : A Review 

In spring of 2016 I was on a hunt for some rain boots to bring with me to Rolex.  This was to replace the random boots I had snagged at Rolex when it became one giant mud puddle event two years beforehand.  Lessons learned people-it always rains at Rolex.  Or it will unless you buy rain boots.

In action at Rolex 2016


I’m an Amazon prime lover, so when I stumbled upon these Kamik Jennifer Rain Boot, with a 4-star  review rating, and a pricetag around $30 I was very interested!  Add to that the fact that there is over 10 colors, and the logo has a horse on it and I was sold.

They are a bit more fitted, and while I usually wear a size 9, I can make it work.  They are best with the slick riding socks.  For future buyers, I would recommend going up size, especially if you plan on wearing thicker socks!  They don’t come in half sizes.

Amazon prime FTW


Since I wanted to be able to use these boots year around, (and I have an awesome sister-in-law) I was gifted a pair of boot socks/inserts to add to my outfit.  I’m not sure exactly which store, so I’m guessing a bit here.  They are monogrammed for extra fun.
Something like this:

Etsy Store Link

I’m still thrilled with these boots, and they remain 100% waterproof a year later.  I may need to buy another larger pair (my bad)or another color, but will definitely be looking into these boots for any future purchases.

Also great for snowy bareback rides


So check ’em out.  It is mud season after all.

Amazon Link

 

Feeling Green

With envy that is.

I’ve been struggling with jealousy lately.  While I love my current situation with Dee, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being envious of all those horse owners out there.  I felt ashamed of this post for awhile, seeing as I’m quite spoiled.  Yet seeing friends, on and off the internet, out doing all kinds of things, and having adventures has been hard.  Obviously I think it’s great for them.  But it makes me yearn hard for something I cannot have right now.

To cope, I then spend hours trolling dreamhorse.com and equinenow.com, sometimes Facebook, to find this mystical animal who I suddenly need so badly.  By the time I find something that might work (heavy on the “might”), I’m rooted firmly back in the real world.  It’s not the right time for us to buy.  Too much going on in work, at home, and well everywhere.  And I know that.

Knowing and accepting are two totally different things.

 

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So you’ll have to forgive me for wishing I was out there.  Wishing I had a show season to map out, clinics to go to, and plans to make for the next move up.  Maybe it’s my stupid knee, which still hurts and is keeping me from the saddle, or the fact it’s been raining for almost 3 weeks, but I’m bumming hard over here. Even my husband (happily horseless in KC) seems sympathetic to my funky mood.

I set up a much needed lesson tonight.  I need to clear my mind, as much as Dee needs the workout (probably way more).

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