Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Editing Videos

So I've been sitting here, bored asf, barely conscious, in & out of a fever, but weirdly motivated. One of my goals for today was to edit the video clips I took of B on Saturday and send the link to my trainer who's been asking for it for some of her clients and for a woman who's interested who's been asking for it...

I know, I'm the worst.




First, I had to actually DL a video editing app. SO many to choose from.

[[I bought the new iPhone 7 (well, traded my 6 in) with EXTRA extra storage because no matter how much I deleted from my old phone, I NEVER had room. Therefore,  I used  to film on my SUPER shitty OLD as fuck iPad, edit, convert then upload to YouTube. Aka took literal hours for one shitty video. And they were always shitty and I hated them. Then said iPad got so old that it could no longer sync with YouTube or my mac and therefore, all my unedited video clips are lost in iPad space. WHOMP WHOMP.]] 

I ended up paying for one  called Videoshop because it had the best reviews and I know I won't use it just the one time now that my technology and storage is up to speed.



Anyways, I bought the app for my phone because I JUST figured out how to get pictures to my Macbook.... I don't think I could get videos uploaded AND edited. I am ancient when it comes to technology, okay.

The app was legit though, you could edit literally anything, re-size, add filters, text, flip images, slo-mo, fast-mo etc etc etc.

Meaning, all I could figure out how to do was mash clips together and add some music. It took me LITERALLY 30 minutes to add 5 words of text to the video. I ended up deleting half the clips and had to re-do it and re-add text because I am actually retarded. 

Don't get me wrong, the app was super user friendly. But I am not most users.

I even filmed all the clips horizontally like you're supposed to, and they still showed up in the app as vertical and dumb ass me couldn't figure out how to flip 15 clips without deleting it all.

The most accurate representation of me today 
Regardless, two hours later (45 minutes for the upload on our country ass slow ass internet) we have a semi-OK 5 min YouTube clip thats more recent than shit from September. 

Behold.



It starts off with some flat work from my lovely friend S, who came to visit a few weeks ago. Then super friend L who put him through his paces on the flat and over fences Saturday in the pouring and freezing rain. I was bummed we only got footage from the indoor, but this Saturday we are hoping to get something from outside. Unfortunately its supposed to monsoon for the next 6 days, including Saturday, so we will see.

Luckily, I've had a few people share the video on FB and its been viewed a few times more than normal, despite my struggles with mashing it all together and how crappy I think it is in the end.

So. Do any of you have tips and tricks on how to make a video. What apps/editors do you use? Can you give me a tutorial? Do you have a  few hours to spare?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Down With The Sickness

Its official.

I got the black lung.


Highly annoying considering I have a horse to sell and haven't actually been to the gym regularly in weeks. Also even  more annoying because I had some weird strain of the super flu at the end of November and spent two weeks essentially dying and then recovering slowly from that.

I must have never recovered fully and ended up catching a strain of pneumonia that is set on destroying my life slowly and painfully.



Its just as bad as I remember it and I've spent the majority of two days in and out of consciousness.

It must have started as just a cold or like a cold, because I was able to continue going to work and surviving with mild symptoms. I was good to myself for 8 days and didn't do shit (aka went to my desk job and watched netflix at night, nothing else) which was SO hard, and it was miserable. On day 9 I said fuck it and lifted a little at the gym and got to ride a little bit in the following days. It wasn't until Saturday that I came down with a fever and it stayed.

Extra super annoying that I was sick on my birthday (Sunday).

I FINALLY went to the Dr when I was on day 2 of a fever and had the aches and all the other fun things that accompanying an illness more serious than a cold and it was confirmed that I'm a (barely) walking sac of lung pus.

GREAT.



I had been putting off going because I ALWAYS stay sick longer than most people due to a genetic blood disease that makes me anemic and gives me a less than stellar immune system. Having a 10 day cold is normal for me. Having a fever for several days following said 10 day cold is not.

*Begrudgingly goes to Dr office*

So now I have Dr.'s orders to stay at home and rest and do nothing. Easier said than done for me, especially with all the things I like to do and have to do! Who has show and book recommendations for me?


So in addition to missing work, not being able to ride or lift,  I also have an appointment with some specialists to run some tests and see if we can figure out a treatment plan for me and why I am always sick and stay sick. This may possibly lead to the removal of my spleen. Luckily, I have great insurance this year, unlike last year (Thanks Obama), but its still freaking me out a bit.

Anyone wanna take B off my hands? Plz?


Monday, January 16, 2017

Winter Claustrophobia

Tis the season of shitty, blurry indoor pics and being stuck inside for weeks on end.

Even now, despite the raging bipolar temps here in Ohio, we have been literally swamped with rain, preventing rides outside more often than not. This leaves us all to cram in the smallish indoor and hopefully get some sort of work done.

Despite having ANOTHER cold from hell (I've been sick since Jan 3), I have actually been working the beast. I am struggling a bit, since the cold seems to have settled in my chest, but overall its been productive and positive.

However, I am noticing that jumping B indoors is not going as smoothly as intended.




Last year we were still at the old farm and the indoor there, while shittier in the footing department, it was MASSIVE. I would say easily twice the size of the current indoor at the new farm and it might have had higher ceilings too. Here a the new farm, B has trouble jumping even a single fence because his massive body just can't make the turns comfortably afterwards. Even the indoor jumper shows we have been to had bigger rings, and he just seems to be struggling in ours.

I've come to this conclusion after 3 separate rides this past week. One was our jump lesson on Wednesday, the other was a  ride outside on Friday with a break in the rain and the other was an attempted sale video on Saturday indoors again.

So wednesday; it was not great. I am trying to not make excuses, but for one, I was quite sick and weak AF, and I should have just cancelled--but I rode anyways. Secondly, there were so.many.people. and horses at the barn. I've never seen it so busy and it was weirding ME out a bit. The group lesson was big, there was a wall of people watching, and the wind & rain was whipping outside....not the best conditions for a fractious TB.


He warmed up exceptionally well though and his flatwork was lovely. No canter explosions and he was truly on the bridle and forward. I had him in his snaffle hunt bridle with a standing martingale, which I have been using recently with him.

It wasn't until we all started jumping that problems arose. I don't know if it was just too much commotion going on (sensory overload) or I was riding like shit, but B was rather inconsistent. He was jumping, then spooking, then jumping cautiously, then spooking. I was having trouble staying with him and he was having trouble focusing. My trainer ended up getting on because after 40 minutes, I was tapped and collapsing into coughing fits.

Snorty TB
The kicker was that she was having the same issues with him and we settled on jumping the grid line quietly and ended his ride there. Quite disappointing, but I shrugged it off to the crazy weather and the amount of commotion going on everywhere. Still no excuse, but rather understandable IMO.

Trainer being patient

Friday was nicer outside and despite the ring being pretty water logged, I decided to ride out there. First I lunged him, since there was a bonfire burning and the farm next door was moving their sheep around and they were being loud AF. He was a little snorty, but actually settled quite nicely with a big powerful trot as our warm up.




He was a dream to ride, and we even popped over a few fences with no issues. I had opted to ride in his hackamore (even though I lunged him in the snaffle on the bridoon hanger) because he was really resisting the snaffle on Wednesday and I wanted it to be as positive as possible for him.. I was feeling better about things and had planned to get some video over a course the next day with my friend L in the stirrups since I was sick.

The weather was not cooperating though, and we were forced inside. Yet again it was windy and rainy and the ring was slightly crowded. Luckily, those in the ring gave us some room to TRY and jump him over something substantial so we could get some video for some prospective buyers. I also put him back into his hackamore, which he seems to like on Friday.

Get it B!



Again, he was lovely for warm up and even gave us some super solid flying changes. He was jumping well until I added the panel and moved the fence height to 2'9...then he started throwing in a random spook now and again. It was never predictable, as he would jump fine a few times then out of nowhere snort and sidestep the fence. So strange.


could be a hunter IMO


Eventually he settled a bit and we were able to get the fence raised to 3'6, but he was really struggling with the turn afterwards and I think his confidence was just in the toilet regarding the small ring and being asked to jump higher. I think he was actually slipping a little on the turn, and when that happens he gets fresh. This is a totally normal reaction for most horses, but it is not conducive for a positive training experience. I truly understand the feeling of insecurity, and I'm 99% positive that was the reason for his antics on Saturday.

struggle....

...bus

Its hard to remember that he's such a big horse because I make him look small and he makes the jumps look small, but it makes sense when you think about how compressed the ring is in comparison to him. His canter stride covers the short side in like 3 strides, its crazy. I decided to not push him further and we ended on a several good leaps over 3'6 and cut our losses to try again next weekend over courses outside.

3'3

3'6
Truly, I am thinking he is just claustrophobic in the indoor and his confidence goes in the shitter when we ask him to jump over 3ft. He hasn't really been asked to jump much this winter and right now I don't think he is fit enough for jumper turns, especially after a large leap. Bummed out this seems to be a minor training bump, but I think it might just be the indoor. I consulted with several friends and they said thats actually pretty common and they know a few horses who simply will not jump in a small ring indoors. I guess thats reassuring, but its still frustrating as all hell!

Luckily, his flatwork is fantastic and we can still do sub 3ft inside when we have to, but I think I am going to only ask for major effort outdoors in order to keep his confidence intact.

Currently have a love hate relationship with the indoor! Hah.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Leg. Always MORE Leg.

Despite getting sick AGAIN with the black lunge plague that everyone seems to have, its less aggressive and awful than the last time I was sick with whatever I had that was trying to kill me, so after a few days of sneezing, coughing and dealing with congestion I said screw it and rode anyways.

Once the temp rose, of course.

No more snerr
I don't know about you all, but where I am in Ohio, the temperatures have been INSANE the last 3 weeks. In that time frame we have gone from 20s, to mid 60s to negative temps back to 60s and it is pretty awful. Not only am I worried about colic, but it makes for ridiculously unrideable days and unpredictable weather.

I rode yesterday for the first time in about 9 days (minus the photo shoot which I don't count at all) and it was....lit.

In addition to the warm spell, we also had thunderstorms (WHAT?! it was literally 5 degrees on Sunday) and the wind was INSANE. Gale force. Hurricane.

So even though B has grown up and minds his manners most of the time, yesterday was a struggle and I do not blame him one bit. Skyrocketing temp changes, gale force winds, being kept in due to rain and a crowded arena do not a calm thoroughbred make.

We've also been busy taking pics from every goddamn angle for prospective buyers. 

HOWEVER.

It was a really good ride despite that.

I was prepared for antics and set myself a 2 hour block of time to ride. I of course can only ride once its dark and lessons for the evenings are in full swing. This means I do a lot of standing around, letting the lessons do their thing. I don't mind at all, and it gives B a chance to brush upon his 'stand calm' skills in addition to being comfortable with lots of horses in a small space.

For the most part, he was actually a really good boy and some people I had not seen in a while complimented how different he looks. I will say that he was giving some solid and connected trot work. Super pliable and really moving off my leg--it was lovely.

The trouble was the canter, again.

Half the time, its how I ride and the other half the time it was the insane weather understandably spooking a hot TB. It was spooking me, so I never got mad at him for it.

Going back to the lesson with S though; I learned that at this point, B cannot be coddled or just toodled around long and low. Boy needs to WORK and work from the get-go, so I hopped to it.


Like I said, the trot work was lovely but when it came time for the canter he was a wild child. I'm not sure if he was stiff from being inside, spooky or just sensitive to my leg (his skin gets that way with temp changes) but he would EXPLODE into the canter, dive into the circle and crow hop his way around.

At first, we fought. It wasn't pretty.  At all.

Then the lightbulb went off and I remembered what he was like outside with S during our lesson. It was a windy day, he was spooky, but whenI didn't give up on getting "a good ride",  I brought my hands up and supported with the reins (instead of pulling back like I habitually do) and added leg and sat quietly like nothing was happening, he magically transformed into a uni.

So thats what I did.

It worked.

Holy shit guys, this is real stuff.

Minus the one time on the left lead, when he literally cantered in place and kinda half hopped around (honestly would've been a really good canter pirouette) to which I refused to cater to his bullshit and literally cow-kicked him into an actual canter, it was mostly without fight. After 4 transitions, he no longer exploded and it was lovely each and every time.

So my assumption is that I've been jabbing him in the face accidentally with my wayward hands, or someone else has (he was ridden a lot by people at my barn while I was sick) and he's started spooking/scooting due to one thing or another when I ask for the canter.

Luckily, with S's tips on how to, you know, ride properly, we ACTUALLY worked through it instead of getting a "good stopping point" and ending there.



I was super proud of him for coming back to me so quickly and proud of myself for actually really working through a tantrum. Usually I would bring him down to a walk, distract him with lateral work and be done, but I worked through it at the sticky gait and it was brilliant.

I think this was the ride I really needed to give myself confidence that I AM doing OK with this horse and he doesn't hate me and I'm not a POS rider now. Sometimes its super frustrating when you feel like its you holding them back, but now I know I can do it and work through the rough spots. Coming back from this back injury has been so ridiculously slow that sometimes I feel I will never get my strength or confidence up again, but last night really helped me.

Tonight we have a jump lesson, first in months, and first time I've jumped since the disaster of my clinic, so I am nervous and excited. Its a group lesson though, which will diffuse some focus on me and I signed up for the 2'6 and under class to keep my nerves at a minimum.

Its interesting, the last time I really jumped B was in September and we jumped a sick grid ending with a 3'6 oxer and then I jumped him ALONE, 3'9 just to see if we could. THEN, I went to a show, competed in a thunderstorm, fell off (are we seeing a trend with thunderstorms?) and now I'm shattered and can't seem to jump anything over 2ft without collapsing in on myself into fetal position and  riding like shit.



Where is this badass? Why am I like this?

Since then, minus the clinic (which was DUMB), I have avoided jumping, and the weather has supported this by being too cold for jumping. But damn, I need to get this horse jumping again...

LOL at me for being nervous to jump my fucking badass jumper horse who I'm trying to sell as as a jumper...

I have issues guys. Lort give me gumption.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Appreciation

I'm not usually a fan of super sappy/annoying/heartfelt blogposts and perhaps have strayed from my sarcastic tone only a few times, but since listing B for sale and trying to sell his ass...I've been feeling all the feels.

In May (if I still have him then--lort plz no) he will have been mine 3 whole years.

DAMN.

That went by so fast, I can barely believe it to be honest.

Day 1: trying him out

In selling him I have found it INCREDIBLY difficult to not preach how god awful he was when I first got him. Its so difficult to not say "well x amount of time ago he was y and how he is z"...because people don't care. They don't care if he was a giant exploding ball of anxiety around trailers and stalls and in crossties and now doesn't bat an eye at any of it.  They don't give a shit. They see whats in front of them, which I can 1000% understand...but as an owner its SO damn hard to not be like here's xyz.

He used to literally be dangerous. He would rear, kick, bolt, buck and explode at any and all moments for no given reason. A lesser person would've given up or treated him like garbage, but I saw what was underneath that hard & explosive exterior. He was horse who had been broken. Broken to to core and just needed love, trust and understanding. He needed time. And I gave it to him. Years, actually.

& it was fucking brutal.

Do you know how hard it is to watch everyone else schooling their 6 year olds over 3ft fences, when yours can't even walk forward half the time? How hard it is to struggle day in and day out with loading in a trailer? How miserable it is to re teach the same thing over and over and over because your horse is afraid of the wind and literally cannot keep himself together for 5 minutes at a time? How embarrassing it is to have your horse jumping 3'6 one day and refusing ground poles the next?

So fucking hard.

But, I slowly kept chipped away at him, building a partnership, teaching him its OK to not understand and to trust what I'm asking of him. I kept at it, when everyone else was light years ahead, because I knew he was special. I knew it would pay off.


And it did. It DID pay off. He's a brilliant horse, with so much talent and he is finally less of a spaz. Sure, he still spooks at the wind on occasion and we have a bad ride here and there (everyone does) , but I'm no longer leaving the ring every single time in tears. He has grown.

Realizing that any potential seller could easily google my name from the ad, find this blog and read it. Great. I don't care. If anything, I wish they would to learn what a badass B is now.

BUT.

(for me) When selling, its a constant struggle to show him in his best light vs. what he was because I find that to be more informational than anything, and a true testament to the horse he is today.

But alas, thats not how it works.

I love this goon

I also apparently forgot that people want X-rays and photos of legs, of which I have neither. I refuse to get X-rays for a horse that's under 10K, so people can ge over that or order it themselves.

But for real. This whole process has been numbing.

Bacardi was and is my dream horse. Forever.

Don't get me wrong, I adore Yankee and he is my heart, but I also outgrew him in many ways. He does not challenge me any more and he is physically too small for my amazon body. Also if I am being frank, he is quite plain and not a stunner in any way other than his brain and talent for learning. I had ALWAYS wanted a shiny, chromey, flashy, BIG horse. I will never forget what Yankee has done for me and he is never leaving...but B encompasses everything I've ever wanted and ripping it away after such success is killing me. I finally felt whole and content in my purchase of that big crazy chestnut boy.

People read his ad and see an unshown 8 year old off the track Thoroughbred and nothing more. I KNOW why people focus on a show record, but it is so fucking frustrating when people have all the money in the world to show every weekend and I am scraping together every cent I have to provide for my passion and show a schooling show a month. I feel like thats worth some credit too and pricing B where he is now is almost a slap in the face to myself. It sucks.

I just wish everyone could see his transformation like I have and realize he is so so special and worth every cent he's listed for and more. It kill me to give him up after all we have been through.




XoXo forever 

Friday, January 6, 2017

SNERRR

I generally have a rule about NO RIDING under 20* because reasons, but I texted V when I was at work around 2PM and was like, "SCREW IT meet me at the barn at 4PM and bring your camera" because it was snowing big old fat flakes of snow!!

And like, pictures are everything.




Literally, and especially since B is up for sale this may be our last snowstorm together and I really wanted some majestic pics even if it was 10*, windy as shit and I'm nursing another head cold. But I'm a total photo whore and everyone knows it and the opportunity was perfect.

We tacked up faster than I ever have before and wrestled our annoyed beasts outside (OF COURSE we were riding right at feeding time and they were PISSED at us) to frolic in the newly fallen snow.



Never mind that I had on about a million layers and looked like A Christmas Story, it was fun even though all I did was walk B. He was extra lit, since it dropped about 40* in one day then snowed and we pulled him away from the hectic mess that was feeding time, and the wind was whipping. But he was a good sport for about 15 minutes, hahaha.

"Mahm ees cold, no plz"
I am not sure how the rest turned out, but V sent me a few to "tide me over" (her actual words) but I love even the few she sent me < 3

I was hoping to get some good riding in this weekend, but OF COURSE the temp doesn't go up until Monday (back to 45*...wut) and we are sitting pretty at sub-20* all weekend. So we shall see.

I want to give a huge thank you to any of you who follow me and are friends with me on FB and shared my equine.come ad, or my FB post. His ad was viewed 600 times yesterday and I was swamped with messages yesterday evening. Thank you SO MUCH for advocating in my boy and making this process easier by being so supportive. I love you all!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Officially for Sale

I've quite literally drug my feet over listing B on the "official" sites for like, 2 months....whoops.

Mostly I have just advertised him on my personal FB, instagram and this blog. Not exactly the best way to get a horse sold that you desperately need to, but I was also dead inside from the decision and not being the best about it in general.

Now that I have a set date for moving houses and grad school loans looming and my car needs replaced and insurance premiums rose like 200% and medical bills to pay....I am freaking out and realized I needed to get over myself and list the damn horse *cries inwardly and outwardly*

So I did it. Today.

In hindsight I should have removed the wraps, but we were getting ready to ride

It was every bit as awful as I imagined and I teared up picking the photos (there are too many good ones to choose by the way) but my loyal equine friends banded together and shared the shit out of my post on FB and ad from equine.com and its generated tons of interest already, which is super overwhelming TBH.

When I first casually listed him, I had him listed for much more than I am asking now and got a lot of responses just off instagram from followers who have known him for years, which would have been great if they weren't thinking I was listing him as a flip project for $1000.

No. GTFO.

KIND OF A BADASS OK

I've already done the HARDEST part of retraining this beast, you will have it easy from here on out, TRUST ME. He is 8, not 3 and he's kind of BAMF, so BYE.

So that was annoying and put me off really pushing him for sale. Then, I got some super PA and bitchy DMs re my decision to sell and it was truly the cherry on the cake of my emotional stability over all of this. Fun times. Additionally, I was sick as a dog and he barely got worked. All I could think of was someone coming to try him and him not even being able to canter properly due to being out of shape, so I put it off for that reason too. ALL THE EXCUSES!

But I listed him. It is done.

I can already tell this is going to be exhausting, as I vaguely remember the physical pain I was in reading some responses and dealing with people the last time I sold a horse. LORT give me strength.

This is hard and I hate it.

Anyways, he's now officially officially for actual sale and I decided on a price and you should tell your friends.

Peace and blessin's.
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