Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Naivete

L from Viva Carlos asks: What horse related or equestrian related piece of knowledge did you believe was true for an extended period of time that turned out to not be true?

Teenage me: Wow that horse gets injections?  That means it must be either a big time Grand Prix horse or it’s super broken.

Teenage me: Giving a horse a “cocktail” before their classes wasn’t weird or wrong.  (Obviously I was never the giver of any of these drugs, but saw it happen among the shows in our area).

Teenage me: Riders who didn’t stay in a regular program were not as devoted.

Teenage me: Jumping without a trainer present was punishable by death.

Obviously not super devoted to training here lol

Teenage me: Galloping was something only done between jumps in the medal class. Ha!

Teenage me: Your trainer is always right.

Young adult me: Buying a young prospect will alleviate my fears of health issues versus buying an older horse.

(Joke is on me)

I could go on and on about this.  It’s weird to think back about the things you used to believe.  Some of these seem stupid or crazy, but at the time I could reason with all of them.  Great topic L!  Thanks for be fun content idea!

Just a Few New Things

Since I don’t have a horse to dress up pretty, or search for tack for, I feel like I haven’t really bought any horse related items for awhile.  But I fixed that now with a few new things!

Bought: my first ever Ogilvy baby pad.  I hope it lives up to the hype!

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In action.

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Bought: Roeckls, supposedly to be saved for shows or at least summertime…except now I can’t stop using them.  In love.  Need every color.

Bought: more Riding Warehouse tees–because they are so comfortable!

Bought: Blue/Gold (barn colors) attachable reins. Halter hacks-here we go.

This was right about the time I realized I didn’t have my helmet and got back off.


In the works: Rainbow reins.  Because rainbows.  And practicing for gifts!

 

 Nothing major going down, it’s been nasty and cold lately so just kind of moseying along.  Hopefully lessons will be back in action later this week!   

 

 

The Nope Week

I’ve decided we’re having a nope week.  It’s where things look promising, and then end up with a big ole giant nope instead.

It was lovely Monday, a sunny 55 degrees, and I drove out to ride Dee with baby in tow.  Typically she eats her snack in her stoller, plays with her book, screams at the barn cats or Dee, drinks her milk and chills out with us.

Nope.

Image result for nope memeInstead, I get on:

  • Dee doesn’t want to go forwards.  Baby throws her pacifier (my insurance plan) on the grass.
  • I get off, get crop, give baby pacifier, get back on using a handy dandy hill to climb aboard.
  • Dee goes forward (yay), and I break out my new bluetooth remote (thanks Sarah from Eventing in Color for the idea) to snap some pics.  Oh but wait, cell phone has already fallen off of post.
  • I look over at baby, she has now thrown her book, paci, most of her snack on the ground.  She’s working on taking a shoe off.
  • I get off, prop up phone. Give baby back her crap.  Put shoe back on.
  • Climb back on Dee, proceed on wards.
  • Making all the way through cantering before baby proceeds to cry at me.  She’s pissed her shoes are off.
  • I give up.  Get off horse.  Grab stroller.  Proceed to tell them both they are going to be sold to a 3rd world country.
    • Joking people.  Not my horse to sell, and selling babies is illegal.

Our other hack this week was quite similar, only no baby to contend with.  Dee wasn’t a huge fan of the go button, and we got in a lovers quarrel about the fact she can indeed go around round as a little ball.  Her llama impersonation is not impressive.  I invented a new term for the pictures we got, and here it is.

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BLURGLY!

Blur-ugly.  You’re welcome.

Here’s to hoping this week takes a turn for the better for my lesson this weekend!

Do all the things

It’s been awhile.  Dee decided to nap in some hay and get poked in the eyeball.  So she got a few days off.  Then I decided to come down with the 3rd…yes 3rd stomach bug of the season (day care is evil) and then got this sweet sinus infection.

Essentially, nothing much has been happening in my neck of the woods for about 2 weeks.  I hadn’t swung a leg over anything and I broke a sweat going up the stairs.  BUT.  This week I dragged my butt to the barn on Sunday for a makeup lesson, tossed on some spurs, grabbed my stick and off we went.

Someone was exhausted.

How Dee feels when I asked her to get up! Lol

Dee of course, was a good little cupcake, and did her job per usual.  I had forgotten that smarty pants mare would know exactly how to evade work, and got a little heavy on me.  But lots of transitions and the fan of death (bounce poles on a circle) had us moving right along.  We  jumped around a low little course; things came up easily and we finished with a smile. Bonus: I have media coming!

Blurry snaps from horse shows ftw

I was sore afterwards (pitiful I know), but still snuck in another quick ride in the random 60 degree weather this week.  It feels good to be back on track.  Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I managed a second lesson, where we really worked on my eye and my (bad) decision making skills.  Such as this:

I want to pull the pony to the jump.  She doesn’t like to be pulled to the jump.  Inevitably we put in teeny baby stride and sloth over the fence.  What did I learn here?  Apparently nothing, as I tried it like 3 times last night.  In the end I decided to do what I’ve been told a “few” times for the past 15 years and put more leg on.  Magic!!

Still on the path to do our thing at the home show in February.  AND loving my new gloves!!

The Little Guy

I have never been “the little guy” in any group.  I’m an easy 5’10” and wear heels for work a good portion of my life.  And I was almost 5’8” in 7th grade, so being the giraffe was always in the cards.  In line with that, since I can remember I’ve been riding large horses.  To some degree it was the hunter/jumper complex that bigger is better.  The rest was simply finding a horse that my 36” long inseam didn’t miniaturize.

My history is a series of 16hh+ horses.  As follows…

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16.2hh gelding

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16hh+ gelding

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16.3hh gelding

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17hh+ hand gelding

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PC: She Moved to Texas, her wonderful Simon

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16hh+ mare

I remember that buying O, at 16hh was considered “smallish” for me.  You can see in the picture just above that obviously the mare was plenty big.  But it’s a culture thing in Hunters.  People seem to love the giant, rolling stride horses.

Buuuuuuttttttttt…..

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Then I started riding this mare.  Dee is just over 15.1hh (I think), and while I love to call her shorty/mini/pony/hony there is nothing this little horse can’t do.  Our lessons do nothing to challenge her; she’s sporty, clever and cute on the flat.

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15.1 rockstar

And in being so, she has totally changed how I see horses.  How I see any future horses.  I’m not going to shrink anytime soon, so being tall will always factor into my rides.  But, if that means that maybe I just need to be more careful with my upper body at the fence-I don’t see any problems with that.

So for the first time in my 20-odd years of life, I’m the little guy.  Or rather, we are.  I’m choosing to embrace it, laugh at it, and then continue on my merry way.  I have no great ambition to challenge the bigger is better hunter complex, except in my own mind…and perhaps those who love this little horse as much as I do.

How Easy It Would Be

In review, 2016 was full of massive amounts of change for me and my family. I will say that for the most part it has been great.  Yet, at the same time I’m feeling driven to give a more transparent look at what my experience has been as a riding parent.  It is easy to focus on the good parts, which I do 90% of the time.

There was the day that my baby finally figured out how to properly pet Dee without scaring her half to death, or poking an eyeball.  The summer mornings where I had fantastic rides while my child sat happily cooing in the shade feeding the barn cats.  Nights like tonight where my kid, with a very limited vocabulary, said as clear as day “hi Dee Dee” to the little mare before my lesson.

I have a very tolerant spouse, local baby slaves family available and a very, very tolerant barn family (including the horses).  All of these things make it possible for me to continue riding the way I want to.  But.  That does not mean it’s easy.  People at the barn comment on how happy my baby is at the barn, and that I’m such a relaxed mother…

Truth be told?  I am constantly stressing.  I stress about people judging my decisions, I stress that my little girl might set off someone else’s horse.  I stress about my husband shouldering too much.  I stress about her getting hurt because of my choices.  It can be suffocating.

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And then let’s talk about pushing a stroller, leading a horse, and carrying a diaper bag during our barn trips.  I mean some days managing it all is oppressive.  Some days it does not seem worth it.  So when a barn mom told me a few days ago that she was impressed with my ability to deal with it all, I found myself laughing and saying, “…it’d be so easy to quit”.  I think my answer surprised both her and myself, but it was the honest truth.  Right now, riding 3 days a week is all I can manage without my head exploding, and sometimes 3 days makes my head explode.  Life would be so, so much simpler if I wasn’t riding.  Which is scary.  But in someways very clarifying.  I know exactly where my limit is.

But for transparency’s sake, I will tell you that even remembering all the good parts, just so I could type them in this post, makes me tear up.  Some days it will be too hard.  And yes, I could quit.  Yet, for now, I want to focus on the fact that I get the opportunity to share my favorite thing, with my favorite little person.  Watching her love what I love (as much as a toddler loves anything), keeps me going.

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With her pony.

 

Secret Santa=Awesome

Again this year I was blown away by the generous and thoughtful gifts I received from the blogger gift exchange.  

Erika of An Optimist, a Pony and a Pug sent me a fantastic blinged out body brush, treats, boots socks (and they are PURPLE!!), an adorable hat and a snaffle key chain!  I haven’t gotten new brushes forever, so this not only makes my locker prettier, but more functional.  Plus, Dee is all about the treats!  Thank you so much for all the wonderful goodies Erika!

The cute hat in action!!


And thank you for Tracy for hosting again.  I’m constantly blown away by the equestrian blogger community-ya’ll are awesome.  And if you aren’t following Erika’s blog, you have to check it out!  Gavin and her pug Fudge are simply adorable!

Happy 2017 to you all!  Let’s make it a good one!