Sales Paddock App Review

The other day I was scrolling Facebook and noticed some local trainers had liked a page for the Sales Paddock App.  The app claimed to be the cool new way to connect with sales horses.  It hosts an easy communication tool with the owners, along with lots of filtering and sharing options.  Seeing as my riding life is a little on the quiet side, I was all over this. Who isn’t looking for their unicorn right?  I found my current job on an app…it’s not that crazy.

I quickly downloaded and got my account started.  It begins with the basics that you find on many horse sale websites (ie Dreamhorse.com, Equinenow.com etc.).

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Once you narrow your interests a bit, the app launches up with 3 main pages

  1. To look at horses around you
  2. Show “check in”
  3. Look up horse by trainer selling them.

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Show Check in

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Even though my region doesn’t have a ton of “really big” horse shows, I immediately thought the show check in was really neat.  I know that a large portion of horse trying and buying happens at shows, and it’d be interesting as a potential buyer who is showing, to be able to see who brought what sale horse.  If you’re like our area, there is also some really standout breeders and trainers, so having the ability to shop exclusively their horses is a fun feature.

As you get to looking, I would highly suggest using the additional filters at the bottom of the app to fine tune things a bit.  In my case, budget and location range helped a significant amount.  I was intrigued to see a lease option as well.

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Since I help my trainer advertise some of her sale horses, I see value in the ability to share any ad to Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram and Email.  That’s a lot of birds with one stone.

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This horse has the best name!

And not someone who wants to call 10 people about their elusive horse ad– no fear, you can chat with the sellers on the app itself.

In the week or two that I’ve had it on my phone, I feel like I open it every couple of days.  As is the case with any sale site, it doesn’t change a lot, but a few new horses have popped up.  I wish their was a way to sort the ads, but maybe that will come later.

If you’re like me and love pursuing the sale ads, and seeing what’s out there, I encourage you to download and shop around a little.  Anyone else seen or used this app?

Happy (app) shopping!

 

Self Preservation

I think a lot of riders can relate to the ‘good old days’ when falling off was no big deal, or when you would literally ride anything someone pointed you at.  I was definitely that kid and that teen, and I attribute many skills I have now to valuable lessons taught by those horses.  But a surprising takeaway from all of that is now, as a young(-ish) adult, my self preservation drive is sky high.  Gone are the times I would hop on a strange horse, or be the test drive dummy for someone else.

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This one wasn’t scary.

In some ways, I honestly hate it.  I hate that I second guess things.  I hate that I get anxious about certain horses.  I hate that I grew to resent my own horse, when she began to put me in a precarious situation over fences.  I used to be brave, I used to push the envelope, and I used to beg for a challenge.

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Teen me being dumb.

Whereas in the past few weeks, I pretty much broke down to my trainer about her well trained thoroughbred…and asked that I not ride him anymore.  He was never dangerous, but I was so focused on my anxiety over him, that I had stopped learning and stopped enjoying.  Again, stupid self preservation.  At this point in my life, I’m not willing to keep pushing if it doesn’t feel right.

Changing lanes a bit, my husband grew up around horses, and broke his own mare to ride in middle school.  Since then, he has sat on a lot of baby horses, and when his mare’s first colt was old enough to be ridden, he wanted to do it.  However, this time, he grabbed me as back up, had a lead horse to help, and kept it very short.  As he got off, he laughed at my teasing and said “I’ve got too much on the line now”.

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And it’s true.  As kids we only really answer to our trainers, maybe to our parents.  But as adults, we have family who rely on us, trainers who care about us, careers to maintain, and lives full of things other than horses.  So while I hate the second guessing, and the general increase in anxiety, it’s important as adults that we be our own advocates and do what feels right.  Even if it means slowing down the growth process a bit.

Everyone loves to ask me what I’m wanting to buy next, but my honest (and boring) answer is something that I feel safe on.  They laugh, but it’s true.  Apparently I’m past the days of reckless bravery…and that’s okay, I’ll just have to find a way to fill that void with a boatload of confidence and experience.

Happy Friday everyone!

Third Lesson Not the Charm

Since he is apparently going to stick around the blog a bit longer (no one seems to ride him on my lesson days) the red giraffe, formally known as Cooper needs a bit more of a bio.

I like him in purple!


Cooper was purchased by my trainer in 2016 (I think) from his home where he was doing the equitation stuff at some of the rated shows.  I actually rode him right when he arrived and where I sort of blundered through our ride.  However, he was perfect, and didn’t put a toe out of line.  After joining the lesson program, a teen rode him and fell in love; so while he is technically a lesson horse, he only “teaches” randomly.  He’s a OTTB standing 16.2+ but all withers.  Very giraffe-like in appearance, but has fabulously easy canter to ride.  He’s quiet, but can get a little heavy.  Until last week I carried a stick just in case I needed back up.

Don’t let the sleepy giraffe fool you.


My first lesson was all peaches and cream.  Second lesson is discussed here.   Third lesson, this past week, oh HOLY HOT MESS. Cooper’s teen has been traveling this month, so his 5-6 days a week of exercise has ended up being more like 2 times a week.

Everything was so exciting!  Trotting circles, passing the broken arena door, the barn cat – the whole thing was pretty exhilarating to Coop. Points to my Roeckl’s for still sticking with me after the giraffe just went around and around.  I was also in tights for my lesson, which I almost never do (it was so humid) and I felt like my butt just slid everywhere in my saddle.

3 legged giraffe! 🙂


We made it through our warm-up, and at the trot, I actually had a few moments where I didn’t have to peer around his giant head to steer.  Yay?  I did have a big issue with the “whoa” this week.  It wasn’t much there.  Half-halts were turning into pulling fests, and I was losing ground.

We were both sweating extensively by the time jumping came around.  And even then, I couldn’t regulate his pace to save my life.  By the 2nd or third try to quietly canter a 18″ single I was pretty angry.  I know, anger has no place with horses and all that.  BUT.  It wasn’t that I was necessarily mad at him, but I was so angry that I couldn’t ride him. Sure, I did call him some…names…but what was most difficult to swallow was that I could not ride this mostly level headed, lesson horse who I have seen less experienced riders waltz around on.  Enter internal self-esteem tear down.

Was he rude?  Yes.  Was he dangerous?  Definitely not.  Was I so embarrassed and angry and wanting to scream?  Absolutely.

It’s been a long time since I felt as bad about a lesson as I did last week.  I know there were good moments, but it really did shake me up.  Change is hard you guys.

 

 

Rocking E Blog Hop: 10 Questions

Thank you to Allie for the fun content!

  1. What is your earliest, clearest horse memory? My little pony everything?  Or that box of horse figurines with all the breeds!  (anyone remember that!?)  That was a gift from my great grandmother when was I was 5.  I carried them everywhere.  I can’t seem to find them for sale anywhere now, but they were similar to the pic below. First living horse memory would have to be a friends little grey Arabian who we used to torture with bareback rides and kisses.can delete
  2. Describe the perfect summer day.  It wouldn’t be “too” hot, so I could go out, ride my hunter mare who I leased in high school, who would miraculously be 9 again and we could bound over some fences (and she would squeal/buck).  Then I would take the baby and the husband to a pool with a lazy river, where we could float and drink frozen cocktails (baby would not partake).  Eventually we would be served Chipotle and cold stone ice cream for dessert (birthday cake remix).  Open a nice bottle of white wine to end the night.
  3. Are you reading anything right now? Tell me about it! I don’t have anything exciting to read right now, last really good one I read was Girl on a Train.  I like mystery novels.
  4. Do you follow a celebrity (horsey or non) that you’re embarrassed to say fascinates you? Tell me. NOW. I don’t follow much in celebrity news except for whatever I see on social media or something?  I think Beezie Madden is super fascinating person but not sure I necessarily follow her?
  5. What is your single most biggest horsey dream or goal? Uhh…buy my next horse.  Not exciting, but right now it’s where I’m at.
  6. If you were at Starbucks right now, what would you order? Hot vanilla creme – I do not do coffee.
  7. What is your biggest equine pet peeve? Biggest?  Dang, that’s hard.  Probably just not being taken seriously as an adult rider.
  8. With everything going on politically and in the media, tell me, do you follow it religiously? Tune it out? Or something in between? I went to college thinking I wanted to become a journalist. Now I’m terrified of who is actually saying the right thing versus the true things?  I mostly tune it out so I don’t get ulcers.
  9. If you had to show your horse to a song, what would you choose? Alone by Heart….because I’m horseless.
  10. What are you most looking forward to this summer? Spending more time at the lake with family, floating on the boat, and drinking all the margaritas.

    Tube is good fun too.

Horses Handed Down

It was an assumed part of having a child with my husbands background that said child would need to, at minimum, be able to handle horses, or sit quietly enough in a saddle to get drug along with a group.  His family still actively use their horses for work on the ranch, and we always planned on any kids we have being able to contribute as well.  From my perspective, though, I dreamed of cross rail classes and braids and bows.

Getting to ride Dad’s horse.


That was until recently.  A friend of mine, whose teenage daughter had caught the horse bug from her Mom early on… she had trained relentlessly for her first Grand Prix with the horse of a lifetime.  The girl is an amazing rider and she was more than ready.

Yet, just weeks before their big moment, her handsome gelding started acting off.  Fast forward to an intensive vet appointment that left the young rider, her coaches, her mother, and even the vets in tears.  Her gelding was done, they weren’t sure if he’d come back to be riding sound, let alone jumped again.

Always interested in Dee.


Everything in my soul ached for her.  All those years of dreaming and suddenly it was all over.  I watched her mother experience it all right with her; the heartbreak was palpable.  Obviously her gelding is living out his days as a very attractive lawn ornament, but where does it leave his rider?

My point here is that the night I learned about all of this, I swore up and down that I could never let my daughter get into sport horses.  The highest of the highs could not be worth the lows, right?  I didn’t know if I could support the heartbreak, the one you know will come.  They are horses after all.

Who doesn’t love a teeny pony?

 

I want to know, would you pass down you love of horses?  But risk watching and experiencing the heartbreak with them?

Every day I bring my daughter to the barn it becomes more of what she knows.  She’s happy there, and people are constantly offering me lead line mounts.  I’m pretty sure my trainer has a pony in mind for her (shh don’t tell my husband) down the line.  But I’m terrified for her.  Not just of her being trampled on, or falling off, but of having her heart crushed by these beautiful animals.  I know all sports can be brutal, but there is something so deeply emotional about horses.  They really become a part of you; which is wonderful until the moment it’s not.  I can barely handle it for myself, I cannot imagine watching your child go through it.

Yet right now, it’s safe to dream and allow her to love horses as much as an one year old can.  And I’m trying not to stress about the future, whether it holds cross rails or soccer practice (or God forbid both).  We’ve got a long ways to go until she has Grand Prix dreams, and that is a huge relief.  For now we’ll continue celebrating days that she stays in the saddle for more than a few seconds.

A Professional Relationship

I will openly admit to being one to anthropomorphize my animals, especially horses.  It was easy with O because she was ridiculously affectionate, and truly loved people.  I found myself thinking of her in some ways as a kindred soul; she was transparent, sweet, and just dying for love.  She was also a huge baby about any “ouchies” or things she didn’t like. Simply a more emotional creature all around.  I thought she was the yin to my yang and all that, so when I sold O, I figured that I would struggle to find another horse whose personality meshed well with mine.  I loved to be needed. I loved to hold her hand.

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Dee is literally the opposite of everything I’ve written above (except the sweet part, she’s still very sweet).  She is confident, independent, and used to being correct.  She does not need me.  In fact, she humors me by allowing me to monkey around on her.  She sees every ride as a task, and while she’ll relax for a nice hack outside, it never alters the fact that she’s the kid at school, rolling her eyes because her Mom is making her hold hands.  It cracks me up.

 

I call her a professional.  And honestly, even though I adore the horse, what we have is a professional relationship.  I don’t need to baby talk to her about how big and brave she’s being (even though I do), and I definitely don’t need to remind her how good she is.  She knows.  I also don’t need to melt into a gooey pile of mush about how much I love her all the time.

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This sweet girl.  

We have a good thing.  I adore her, I watch out for her, I give lots of rewards, I ride her well, and I respect her.  I love to ride her, and I am and will be eternally grateful for the confidence and joy she’s bringing to my life. I was joking last week that Dee is one of my few high functioning adult relationships.  It’s true.

And she’s not mine, and she has a whole family who love her to death.  I know that come summer she’s off to her next adventure with one of her girls.  While I will very badly miss having her around, I know that when she leaves I will also be able to be happy for her.  If anything, I think that tells of the success of our relationship.

 

Anyone else out there have a professional horse in their life?

 

 

Tuesday, the new Monday

Besides having a great support system I place there is one giant thing that has really allowed me the ability to juggle all the pieces in my life.  It alone, swayed my husband on signing off on the lease of Dee at the end of the summer.

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Queen Dee on Halloween.

Tuesday is my new Monday.

As of a few weeks ago, I have been working 4 days a week.  32 hours versus 40.  While I salute all the women out there who stay home with their kids, this actually wasn’t originally a family based decision.  I work in an industry directly related to the oil industry which has taken a huge economic hit this year. I volunteered to reduce my hours.  Layoffs are not something anyone should go through, and I wanted to do my part to help.

Only once I had the opportunity to spend one more day a week getting stuff done, riding and hanging out with the baby….well you can see where this is going.

So it’s official now. And I love it.

 

It won’t get me more media because usually I’m practically alone out there, but it has given me so much peace of mind.  And joy.  Because riding during the day, while your baby feeds the barn cats cheerios is too good to resist.

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