What Next?

Wellllllllllll, alright game plan time.  

Since the husband and I made the decision to not pursue buying this year, I’m living the quiet riding lifestyle.  I’m stealing rides on some lovely beasts who reside at the barn and reading everyone else’s blogs to fill in my horse quota.  I’m kind of in a holding pattern until I can either find a new lease, or stumble upon a similar situation for my lessons.  I have great faith that something will come wandering by, but in the meantime I have been soaking up the extra quality time with family and friends.

So it looks as if I am going to rock out as life as a lesson kid again.  I’m sad to not be riding as much as I was with Dee, but it still feels good to be riding period.  That’s what I need to focus on.

My first real lesson as a free agent was this past week, and I was so pleasantly surprised!  I always worry that since I had been riding the same horse for a long time, that I’d struggle with a new mount.  Well, my trainer must have a sense of humor because she put me on a 17hh+ red giraffe masquading as a thoroughbred.  He is long, bouncy and jumps quiet and flat.  So essentially the only thing he has in common with Dee is his species.  Ha!  But I had a blast.  And by the end I figured out how to steer again and we had some nice moments.  Not sure he’ll be a permentant fixture in my life (he has a lesser), but I was very glad for the ride.  

I’m the worst at photos. Here’s the giraffe feasting after our ride.  

This week everything will settle into my new normal, lessons midweek and hopefully a borrowed ride during the weekends when they are available.  It’s going to be good.  

BUTttttttttt if anyone knows of a magical unicorn who wants to be leased by yours truly-just let me know!  


Chrome for Days

While I’m not someone who historically follows horse racing, like any good horse crazy lady, I definitely follow the big ones.

Like for instance.

This one.

California Chrome

A few recent accolades include:

  • No. 1 in this Monday’s release of the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. (He collected 37 of 38 first-place votes cast by a national media panel.)
  • He won a second prep race and the 2016 Dubai World Cup, becoming the all-time leading North American horse in earnings won
  • He won the 2014 Secretariat Vox Populi Award
  • His Kentucky Derby win was awarded theNTRA “Moment of the Year”
  • He won Eclipse Awards for American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse and American Horse of the Year.

But my favorite Chrome fact?

He is completely cookie motivated and soft as silk.

I was starstruck.

Tall, Dark and Handsome

While I’m still scrambling around a bit about a permanent plan to move forward, I thought I’d take a minute to highlight the thoroughbred gelding who has been shipping my butt from one side of the ring to the other.

So this, my friends, is Grover.

FullSizeRender (25)

Work that pink saddle pad.

This little dark bay fella has recently found himself a job with my trainer as an advanced schoolie, and was recovering from some ouchie in his front right.  He has buttons everywhere, and even swaps his leads out.  He is a huge boost to my self-esteem, and  when I fall apart, or have a bad moment he’s there to lend a hand.  In return he expects me to stay out of his face (like totally out of it), to ride him softly, and tighten the girth slowly.

Grover could jump around the stuff we are currently doing in my lessons in his sleep.  But I have to say I love seeing his little brown ears perk up and that he gets a little quick going around course.  It’s been awhile since I’ve ridden one that enjoys it’s job so much, and it is really refreshing.  He won’t take me any higher than 2’6” but since I’m still a limp noodle at the end of my rides, it’s not an issue.

He’s such a good boy, and I’m glad to be spending some time with him.

Side note: Are all geldings this laid back?  He’s so chill.


Stolen Post Idea to Fill the Void

Stolen from Monica at Chasing the Dream, because I have a ton of crap going on, and may not be able to ride for another day or two.  Thanks a bunch workload.  Being an adult…the struggle is real.

1. If your horse was a person, who would they be? (you can generalize personality if you can’t think of someone).
O would be one of those ridiculous, overly perky camp counselors who totes around a clipboard ordering everyone else around.

2. What is one (or two…or five) piece(s) of equipment you CANNOT live without.
Bell boots, my saddle (I’m obsessed), and a pair of gloves.

3. When did you start riding/ what discipline?  
11 years old, hunter/jumper

4. Do you have a barn dog? If so, what breed?
I do not, there are several around, but none I can claim.

5. Do you like doing stalls or nah?
I don’t wake up thinking “I really want to clean some stalls”, but I really don’t mind and it’s a great workout.


6. What treat(s) does your horse go nuts over?
Currently she’s super into Charleighs Cookies-they smell amazing, and I finally munched on one myself to see what the big deal was.  It was pretty good, I get it!

7. If you’ve switched disciplines, why? If not, also why.

Not really, but I bounced into the jumper world for a year or two in high school when I didn’t have  hunter to ride.

Loved this boy!

Loved this boy!

I used to not learn forward....

I used to not learn forward….

8. What is your least favorite discipline and why (yeah, I aint afraid to be scandalous)? 
Gaited classes are just confusing, and I don’t get it.  That said, I still think they are pretty.

9. Who is currently your favorite rider? 
Lillie Keenan, come and teach me all the things!

10. What is your BIGGEST pet peeve regarding horses?
Hmmm welllllllllllllll……  If you aren’t a professional, a close friend, or someone I’ve consulted…DO NOT tell me what to do with my horse, or what you think he/she is capable of.  I will be forced to attack you.

Reminiscing Part Two

I thought I might highlight another one of my favorite horses from my past. He was a totally different ride than any horse I’d ridden before, or since. Plus who doesn’t like tall, dark and handsome??

Meet Erv…or Erving as I liked to call him.

Playing hunter pony here.

Playing hunter pony here.

Cute boy

Cute boy

This horse arrived at my trainers stable the summer after I turned 16, and right after my first “real” horse had been sold to another rider. With that lease over, I was on the hunt for something to focus on. However, I wanted nothing to do with this psycho. He was a 10 year old stallion, and while highly intelligent he was moody, and tolerated only certain people.

A few weeks into his new lifestyle/training Erv had a full scale meltdown in the stall aisle and kicked out, hitting a teenager and throwing her back against a stall.  A bad concussion and nasty cut would’ve ended this stallions reign at our stable, but my trainer still thought there was something there. My trainer acquired Erv from his long distance owner, and immediately gelded him.

Many weeks later, I was told that I would now be schooling, and showing him that year for my trainer. After my first ride on this opinionated, dark bay thoroughbred I was hooked. He was smart, incredibly athletic, and desperately needed someone on his side (I’m a sucker for the ones no one else likes). While he had calmed down as a gelding and with lots of training rides, Erving never made things easy. He was a whirlwind to ride, all enthusiasm and sheer determination. We showed a bit in hunters to ease him into the horse show world, but where we really found our sweet spot was in jumpers.

Looking for the turn

Looking for the turn

Such a good boy here.

Such a good boy here.

We were pretty successful in the next year and a half that we rode together. I really wish I had more pictures of us riding and showing. He became a totally game ride, who loved his job; I learned the fine motor skills that are required in the jumper ring. And for god sake, I learned how to hold on for dear life. He overjumped everything, and was known to “crack” his back hard. During my senior year of high school my trainer offered him to me for a steal of a price. I was 8 months from college, and had to refuse. I was devastated.

One of my favorite pictures.

One of my favorite pictures.

Shortly after I went to school, he went to a wonderful new owner, who I had ridden with for many years. She and Erving dominated the childrens/adults jumper courses with him until he was 18, when he went to on to go teach another younger girl how it’s done at the lower heights. Such a great guy.

Team Irving 2006

Team Erv 2006