Rider (and a half)

First I must confess.  Maternity leave is a strange, strange world.  I’m definitely not used to being home as much, and man do you notice random things.  For one, shopping is SO MUCH easier during the day.  Another, I discovered the trim in my living room is actually two different shades of white.  Finally, there is no one judging as I dressed my poor kid up in a bear suit, and hauled her cute butt out to the barn a time or two during the week.


Torturing child with tummy time after a barn run.  Bear suit in all it’s glory.


The first time I went out there with her, O actually hightailed it away from me.  Guessing she wasn’t a fan of the cooing ‘belly’ I was wearing.  Baby was in a carrier, zipped into part of my coat.  After I convinced O that she wasn’t going to be eaten by baby, we have had some really nice days together.


Baby carrier-vital for hauling child around stables.

Some days I just have time to groom, rearrange blankets, and give nose kisses.  Other days I wear baby into the arena and lunge O.  Which is much easier than you’d think.  And then there are days that I bribe random people with Starbucks to watch baby sleep so I can ride.

Have I mentioned I am seriously the luckiest Mom ever?   This kid is totally chill, and as long as we have a binky for times of crisis (like when I brush too vigorously and bug her, or try to awkwardly pick out feet or tail clumps wearing her), we are good to go.  It’ll be interesting to see how baby handles barn time once she’s more aware.  Fingers crossed she keeps up the awesome-ness.


Random cuddle picture.

Anyway, more coming on recent rides, and slowly getting back into shape!

Don’t forget, Hampton Ivy giveaway closes on the 28th and will be announced on Friday!!  Get excited!


Icy Goodness

After giving my horse the last 4-5 days off I probably should’ve been more prepared for the spootacular show that O put on last night. The biggest of her issues having to do with the little pile of ice that somehow ended up in the indoor ring. It was well out of the way of us 99% of the time, but she knew for a fact that it was actually there to eat her.

This is what O saw.

This is what O saw.

So grateful that she’s an honest spooker and really didn’t go anywhere but up when we went by it. There was one pretty significant one in there, but really she was just very aware of the ice…and felt like she was about 18hh tall.

Just a bit more UP than usual.

Just a bit more UP than usual.

Eventually after doing about 15 figure eights around it, she decided it was harmless and went to go stand with it at the end of our ride. What a goober.

What the ice really looked like...

What the ice really looked like…

The rest of the ride was awesome, she was feeling forward, responsive, and had some nice bending (minus some intial stiffness to the left). After so many days off I was very happy with my fuzzy girl. Back to her hay bale she goes!

Lackluster, but Productive(ish) Day

I’ve quickly discovered after years of having and riding horses that were a little warm under the collar, that riding the quiet ones is much harder than it seems. My mare is a great example of such a ride. She looks sweet, she looks quiet, but really sometimes I feel that she is purposely being TOO quiet to irk me. Today was one of those days. She was really excited to come inside, get her grooming, but once I had my feet in the stirrups she acted like a slug. A fat, lackluster, slug. My calves are going to hurt badly tomorrow, because even with spurs she made no part of our ride easy. Urghhhhhhh.

We also had to have another conversation (O and I) about the mini. It was outside, basking in the sun, being adorable during our ride. O had just started to accept the mini horse when it is walking or standing around with it’s blanket on. The fact that it was laying down….game over. We could not handle that today apparently. So we did about 50 circles in the corner of the arena closest to mini until she actually gave in and worked at a nice trot without giraffe-ing her head towards the sleeping pony.

Evil sleeping mini monster preparing to eat O.

Evil sleeping mini monster preparing to eat O.

I had one other to ride today, and the mare was really good. She worked well in the ridiculous wind, and it’s always fun to get on someone different. I also used her for my final two point challenge times, since I spent most of my ride on O convincing her to listen to me. Starting time was 4:14, final time was 6:05. Some improvement, but I wish it’d been more!

Almost have both ears forward here...

Almost have both ears forward here…

O was enthused for our ride

O was enthused for our ride

Her feelings about the mini

Her feelings about the mini

The wind had one last victory today…my favorite glasses!

They lasted almost 2 months, that's got to be a record for me.

They lasted almost 2 months, that’s got to be a record for me.

Plans Made and Changed

Apparently I have not learned my lesson about getting overexcited. O and I were scheduled to have our first lesson in 6 weeks on wednesday; our trainers were feeling positive. She felt great at the walk, I moved her into the trot…and it was glorious and smooth and…yah…within a half lap around the arena it was falling apart in my hands. Now she is officially in horsey rehab, and while I will be working her a lot, I will be lessoning on another mount for now. Bitter, but probably good for my mental state down the road.

This week was our “Let’s plan for 2014” meetings with our trainer. I love planning, I love riding; hence this is pretty much my favorite meeting ever. However, owning this horse has made me very anxious about how much of a certain path I can really have right now. Trainer and I instead discussed what on earth we are going to do with O this fall/winter, especially if she continues to be so ouchy.

The official (we wrote it down) plan is to give O pony 60 days of constant training, 5 rides a weeks, with conditioning, supplements-increasing her usual, and tons of love. On December 1st (or close to it) we will be making the call about whether or not this work and rehab is working for her. If she continues to be mysteriously lame then she will be leaving to spend the next 6ish months living with my in-laws as a lawn ornament.

These would be two of O's roomies in the country.

These would be two of O’s roomies in the country.

She will eat, play with other ponies, and have time to heal. Essentially she will just be a horse. Husband is totally on board with the idea, as are the in-laws. O will probably love it out there, and they do have an arena I can ride in if I want to check on her. But no “work”. Just rest. She’s only 7, and has such a bright future ahead of her. I refuse to give up on her, without giving her the time she may need.

O pony last winter

O pony last winter

Things I loved that came out of this conversation is that 1. Trainer does not think I made a bad purchase in O, and that she really is a nice horse, she is just struggling right now. 2. Trainers both believe I have done everything within reason to figure out what is wrong with her. 3. Trainers believe that I’m ready to move on in my own riding while we work on making O good again, and are excited to see what kind of riding/showing I can do next year (hopefully with my own horse).

Not what is important, but it'd be wonderful to show again.

Not what is important, but iit’d be wonderful to show again.

So until Dec. 1st, it is my goal to give her every chance I possibly can to come back from this! I’ve contacted two junior riders (who are awesome) and they are totally willing to help when I’m stuck at work. Our little “Olive Rehab” project has begun, and now we just have to see what happens. Suggested by a friend we are going to do weekly or biweekly, I haven’t decided yet, photos of her progress back into work. Also, we can all laugh at how fluffy she will be getting.

Starting photo:

Chubby pony.   Before conditioning.

Chubby pony. Before conditioning.

Giving It Time

Well the big day had finally arrived!  I tacked up O, put on my fancy britches, tall boots, and headed out to the ring with her in tow.  After 6 weeks of varied treatments this was the day she was ‘supposed’ to be sound!  I honestly think that I felt the urge to get completely decked out because I was hoping it would somehow give us a better chance of being sound?  Kind of pitiful.  But you do what you have to!

As you may have guessed already, she was still not sound.  And from the look on my trainer’s face when I halted in front of her, she was as confused as I was.  I tried laughing it off, but was crushed inside-so much for our easy fix.  I just focused on rubbing my hands up and down O’s neck while my trainer and I talked over a few more options.  The first one on the to-do list-give it more time. 

I do not flatter myself and claim to be a patient person, and it’s so much worse when it’s your baby (as O is to me)!  I wanted her to be all better, to be sound, and to be back on the road we started on together just a few months ago.  I know 6 weeks is NOTHING compared so many equestrian injuries, but it really does feel like forever when you start out.  The plan is to let O have a few more days off, and we are hoping that maybe the last round of meds and her new pads just haven’t taken effect completely.  She does look better, my trainer yelled as I left the ring.  Better than her crazy, 3-legged, head throwing trot from Monday?  A small victory-I’ll take it!

I’m still postiive though, and appreciate all the good thoughts you could send my way!!  Fingers crossed for luck.

No riding means more time for O to graze, get groomed, and have lots of baths!  Her life is so tough!

Cute pie!

Cute pie!

Fuzzy Ears

Happy Thursday!

Happy Thursday!

Well it looks like the nice weather might FINALLY be here to stay in the midwest!  Two randoms things I am super excited about include the fact that my horse can get rid of her rather awkward winter coat (it did not come in very pretty-but rather orange honestly) and I’ll still have light with nice weather to be able to ride outside even after I get off work!  During the colder seasons that doesn’t work very well, even with the outdoor lighting.  Since O has been footsore, I’ve been spending a lot more time obsessing over her appearance.  We can’t ride, but gosh dangit we can groom you like crazy!  I’ve pulled her mane (test run, and then a final decision on length), trimmed her nose, around her legs , and even attempted to do her ears one day.  My normally mellow mare, we found, does not tolerate foreign objects near her ears.  I guess they’ll have to stay fuzzy for now.

My trainer and I always made the decision that at least kind of working would be really good for her mentally. Last night I hoped on her bareback with her bridle on and went for a walking adventure around the ring.  Circles, bending, a lot of moving off my leg were on the agenda.  She behaved very well, even when her best friends were calling to her from the field.  I called it a success and sent her on her way.  We either have 3 more days until farrier or 9….fingers crossed for the 3.