Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014, Year of Interest

Its that time of year again.

2014 recaps.

Not a fan of lengthy posts, so I will keep it as succinct as possible. Also, it takes an incredible amount of energy to dig up old posts/ pics and re post and I just cant do recaps like some of you.

Sadly, we started off the new year with the death of my dear grandmother. She was a HUGE fan of mine and always came to my shows/supported my horse obsession. I actually can't remember a show in OH she didnt attend. Crazy its  been almost a year since she's gained her wings

10 year old me with my first horse
I didnt do much in the ways of riding in January. We mostly putzed about and did a few indoor schools, but the MO winter was brutal. BRUTAL.

In Feb I travelled across the country helping my best friend move to LA and it was AMAZING.


When I returned, German Rider began our Dressage boot camp and we buckled down and rode hard for the remainder of February, prepping for the Spring Dressage show.

Such slobber. Many trots.


In March, Yankee and I continued our dressage training, but also BEASTED out at a jumer show. Not only did we win 3 classes that were over 3'3, and secure a fourth place in the 2'6 class, but we were GRAND CHAMP and won a saddle pad. I was beyond stoked. I had never won anything besides a ribbon before! OTTB power!


In April, Yankee rolled on to win it all at the Spring Show and cleaned up! Not only did he win his 1st level class, he also was 3rd in the 2nd level class and snagged the TIP Award for 1st level. Couldn't believe it, another saddle pad!! TIP is the Thoroughbred Incentive Program, and its given to the highest placing OTTB at that level.


We also cleared 5' for the first time and I almost shit my pants.


May was a month of insanity.

Personal issues arose, my life crumbled, I met TWO loves of my life (Bacardi & The Boy) and I moved to OH after almost 6 years in MO. Its was scary, but the right decision.

Saying good bye to my BFFs was the hardest 

BUT NEW HORSE

Bye MO, hello OH

Bringin Yankee home to OH
Bringing B home to OH
In June we brought yet another horse home! She isn't mine, but we board her here and she serves as a mount for my family and The Boy when we go on adventures. Her owner rides her too on occasion.

Lilly!
I struggled to buckle down and ride once the weather was set to incinerate. But I was happy to have 3 horses to work and a new baby on the farm!


The end of June/ beginning of July the "great Thigh Injury" occurred and put me out of commission for 3 months. Read the Synopsis here if you missed it. It was horrible, and painful, and tragic and I wanted to die. I was being over dramatic, but I had only had B ONE month before the injury, and there went ANOTHER show season-just like that.

mmmmm torn thigh muscle.
I spent the majority of July-September being a real grouch and not minding the doctors orders by riding my horses with long stirrups and going on hacks. I also lunged the boys every other day in sad attempts to keep them in work. The fact that I couldn't walk was a little shitty though.

In August I had surgery, not related to my leg, which was equally as fun. So naturally, my dad and I went on a trail ride abut a week later.

Smiling in defiance
Yankee also got a spot of colic. My year was really panning out!


I started riding Bacardi lightly, much to my legs dismay, but he was really starting to learn how to be a dressage horse!


In September, the great shoe debacle occurred. Basically, both my horses were lame for a month and it boggled my mind as to why. Yankee was losing shoes like crazy and B was lame. It was fun.


I did finally get B to load in the trailer though!!

October was mild. I worked Bacardi a lot and he was getting better and better. I rode Yankee occasionally and it killed me. I also started "What Do Wednesday's". We also got 3 tons of rock put into our pastures near the gates and doorways. *AMAZING*


In November I clipped the horses for the first time, Bacardi and I struggled to work well together over jumps and I dabbled with Yankee.

Srsly what are this


I also announced that Yankee would be leaving for Kansas to event with with Stiver sisters.

Bacardi took his first field trip to an ACTUAL arena and it was wonderful!


December Bacardi lost his damn mind and we struggled to get anything besides spooking done on our rides. I'm sure you all know about this.

And yeah, here we are!

What a tumultuous year. If I had to pick one word to describe it, that would be it. Ups & Downs and inbetweens. A lot of frustrations, but so many new beginnings! terrible luck, but so many things to be thankful for!

Also, I wanted to share this with all of you, sort of my "year wrap up" victory/Transformation Tuesday.

June-December
Our newest confo/weight gain monthly picture, in comparison to when he first came home.

*JAW DROP*

I had no clue just how much he's changed for the better. I could stare at this picture all day, for real!

Here's to a new year!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

I See The Light...Maybe

Finally a follow up post on my ramblings and worries about the babyface.

First off, love all of you for suggesting nix the alfalfa. I think that might've been key. We will revist momentarily.

Second, for those of you that suggested Magnesium, he's been on it now for 2 months. As well as Vit B1 because I heard that helps the Mg. I don't know how long it takes to actually see a difference, but he's on it.

For everyone else, thank you for your condolences on his shitty behavior. This is why I love blogging. Virtual support groups that legit understand my ass pain!

Back to the alfalfa thing.

After more than a week of no alfalfa, I do conclude it had the effects of giving a toddler candy. Everyday. For weeks on end.

I dont know if its truly the alfalfa, or the new bit, or the weather change, but B was an absolute angel today. Minor spook (yes, singular) at Levi running around like a psycho, but otherwise a total doll.

He just so happened to lay down in a mud PUDDLE right before I came out. Which was really annoying. How do I know? He was literally dripping mud. Dripping. I fucking hate winter. Didnt even attempt to mitigate that issue and said fuck it, riding you with big mud splashes up and down your right side.

Super excellent really good angle (sidenote, those stirrups are the SHIT)
Other than the mud, couldn't have been happier with the red nugget. I'm hoping it was the absence of the Alf making the difference, because if today was a fluke I'm back to square one and scratching my head. Who really knows with horses though.

Oddly, its 30* colder than it was last week and he's BETTER behaved. So really, whats the explanation on that one, ha.

All I care about is that, for once, an almost perfect ride was had.

We hacked down the road for a bit and he was perfectly content on the buckle. No jigging, no dancing sideways, no snorting...NO SPOOKING.

Majestic moose modeling his new bit
 I trotted him on the buckle up and down the road about a 1/4  mile near my house for a few laps, since that was the only solid ground to be had in sight. Then we ventured out into the wilderness.

Deer season is finally over, so the wondrous world of Ceasar Creek Park land has opened up to us. My favorite part of winter! Long rides through the trees and fields, just me and my horse and my dog. Its magical.

And luckily, no baby antics!

Sadly it was a tragically mucky mess, so we just walked, but it was still a breath of literal fresh air to have a good ride.

Lets hope it stays this way!

Cookies?

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Very Equestrian Christmas

Wow, I had such an amazing holiday! I hope everyone had a splediferous day and enjoyed the company of friends and family and stuffed their faces in the typical American way.

This truly was the best Christmas yet, which is saying a lot because for my 10th Christmas I got a pony!

It was special in several ways. For one, The Boy spent Christmas with our family. He's a Tennessee transplant and couldn't get extra days off to see his fam, and it meant a lot to spend such a special holiday with him. We have a semi-long distance relationship and I only see him on weekends, so that was immensely enjoyable. Second, my BA brother bear was able to make it home for Christmas. We just went to FL to watch him graduate from TACP school (aka total badassery, seriously, click the link) and it made my YEAR that he was able to stay for a few days before beginning other training. He will be moving around to different bases to complete training before he gets deployed, so I'm sure you can understand what a blessing it was to have him here. Thirdly, one of my best friends from OH got engaged and asked me to be in her wedding. OF COURSE I said yes. Plus, open bar. Lastly, FOOD! So much food.

gratuitous repeat Santa hat shot
In the realm of gifties, I was super surprised and grateful for everything. My family seemed to embrace my horsey nature and I pushed my Dover Wishlist HARD. Seriously whoever invented that is  saint. Non horsey people dont know shit about equestrian wares and Dover made it a breeze!

Also, my Secret Santa's gift was a total and wonderful surprise. I mean, I knew it was coming, but I didnt know who from and what it was! I LOVE this idea and can't wait to do it next year. Such a cool idea.

I felt like a kid again when I received TWO packages in the mail and a card from my Secret Santa.

Super intrigued at the gorgeous boxes I ripped them open like a 7 year old!



My Secret Santa was Nicole & Murray from Zen & The Art of Baby Horse Management. Surprisingly I wasn't yet following her, so not only did I get thoughtful, beautiful & amazing gifts from her, but I now have a new blogging friend! YAY FRIENDS. If you havent followed her you should; I stalked her page and not only is her horse a baby (love babies and the adventures) but she has stunning photos. Really really neat.

Inside the boxes were four little trinkets. Perfect and gorgeous trinkets. I could tell Nicole really took some time in searching for great gifts that fit me.


In the brown box was a stunning pendant of Da Vinci's horse. ONE OF MY FAVORITES. In college, Da Vinci was one of my Master Study subjects and I fell in love with his style. Google "Da Vinci Horse" and you can see all of the beautiful drawings hes done on horses. For one major project we had to replicate 2 Master's art. I chose the Da Vinci horse, of course, and one of his human studies. I wish I knew where I put them!

BEAUTIFUL
Its like she knew me or something! I'm so in love with this and have to think a little on what I want to do with it. I know you're supposed to wear it as a necklace, but I might make it into a bracelet. So. In. Love.

Second box was full of fun, shiny things as well!



I'm not sure if the Bacardi and Levi tags were meant to go on a necklace but thats what I did with them!   I loved the idea of the animals wearing them, but they were too gorgeous for that so I put them around my neck. That way I can keep my boys close to my heart all the time! Also I'm assuming the Bacardi plate is for a bridle, which is where its going! Nicole did an awesome post about her Etsy shopping for me and I think you all should take a look! I think I need to get a few more tags because they are gorgeous and I LOVE THEM. Thank you Nicole!!

Dont mind my terrifying eyes here

Not to take away from Nicole's gifts, I just have a ton of posts in the que and wanted to knock out the Christmas deal now, I got some other pretty sweet equestrian gifts from the family. My brother got me 2 pairs of breeches I really wanted and bit guards. The Boy got me the composite stirrups I've been drooling over and the Gina Miles Waterford Wonder Bit for Bacardi. The rents got me a new muck fork (Seriously, I was so stoked for that. My old one was TWELVE years old and dying), a beautiful Italian Leather riding belt, Michael Kors phone case and D&B wallet as well as some money to pay for those pesky adult things. German Rider got me some breeches (can never have too many!!) and I haven't yet gotten Wondermare's Mom's gifts but I'm sure they will be perfection because she knows me better than anyone.

YAS. 

They look amazing! Now to clean that nasty saddle and get new leathers

A terribly grainy pic of me modeling a new pair of breeches and the riding belt

Can never have too many bits.
All in all- awesome, thoughtful and USEFUL gifts. I am always just grateful to spend time with family and friends, so gifts are the icing on the holiday cake! I also LOVE giving gifts and making people happy! Christmas in general, really.

Did any of you receive something truly amazing or useful this Christmas? What are you thankful for this season?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Santa Hats and Stuff

So many things to discuss and people to thank regarding my last post, but right now there are bigger things at hand...

Like the standard "Heres My Equine In A Santa Hat" pic dump.

"Dafuq is this shit ma?"
"Cookiez?"

"Just give me cookiez"
"I still hate this"
"JK I love you"




Merry Christmas y'all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fucking Mental

As far as weeks go in winter, its been a semi-productive, almost OK week.

With the exception of my horse. And the rain.

He's a mental case.. and it sucks.

Seriously.

I know I said I "figured him out" in the last post. I sort of did. I figured out HOW to fix his naughty insanity, but not the WHY.

I doubt there really is a why that I will ever comprehend/be OK with/accept, but I have a few ideas.

Before I address his constant bastardly behavior, I would like prove we are indeed working, with a few rather horrible lunging pictures.

NOTHING is worse than lunging pictures. They all look the same and have the ghastly white line in the frame and they're just dumb. But here they are. Because pictures.


#neckmuscles

That day (pictured above) he was a 2x4 but at least not bat shit crazy. He was listening and seemed to remember our break through from the day before. Mild spooking episodes but in general not dreadful.

Zoomies

Better

Best
And THIS day (pictured above) was TERRIBLE. Those pictures were taken 30 minutes into our session. I literally NEVER work a horse more than 20 on the lunge. I just dont. But I did yesterday because I refused to end terribly.

I always start our sessions with no sidereins. I generally believe that they need a good hideous warm up before being asked to do any sort of real work. But thats just like, my opinion.

Super important with the babies. They tend to have episodes and fixed reins can be dangerous in that situation. (Lets face it, theres always a risk using them, but more so with fresh babies)

In this case, Bacardi had many episodes. ONE could actually say it was a 28 minute show. Apparently Lunge Like A Complete Bastard Day was a double holiday for him.

I shit you not, he would spook vivaciously LITERALLY every 30 seconds. AT NOTHING.

We are talking, head up, butt down, scooting, bucking, galloping spook.

WHY. WHY. why. why. why. FUCKING WHY.

I was getting so frustrated. SO.

I would follow him when he spooked so as not to jam his face, but he never stopped & would just take the fuck off like



For seemingly no reason. AT. ALL.

Why and what in 5 lb 8 oz baby Jesus's name would a horse be spooking that much?

After his maniacal spooking session he finally chilled out "a bit" and I felt comfortable lunging with loose sidereins. At the trot he was a gem for the most part. I didnt even dare ask for the canter in case he felt like I was giving him permission to run off like a brain damaged citizen.

I've literally laid awake at night trying to think about it. He just recently started doing this about 4 weeks ago, every damn ride/ workout. When he does it its not a reaction from an aid or cue, it is literally about nothing. He will be waling along and all of a sudden BAM, gone. There is no reasoning. Hes had his eyes checked and his teeth checked too.



Truly, perhaps winter is just not his season. Maybe hes too fresh and its too cold and hes just too much of an ass in winter. His old owner said he was barely ridden outside in winter. Which woudl explain why hes a gem indoors but not in our muddy field or out hacking. Perhaps he really is scared of it. What "it" truly is, I have not a clue. Perhaps its the alfalfa making him spurt around like Satan Spawn. I started giving it about 4 weeks ago. Perhaps he really has gone mental and there is no real explanation for it. My mother thinks Yankee leaving broke his brain. They were turned out together and stalled near each other. Lilly is here, but in a separate pasture half the day. Maybe Yankee was his stabilizer...his chill pill...his goat. Legitimate thought.

I am at the end of my rope though.

Its making any progress impossible. Along with the rain and mud *I* might go mental too. He will be going along great and then just explode and lose his mind.  Coming back down from that takes another 5 minutes IF he doesnt spook again during that process.

Its getting unmanageable and I want to pull my hair out. I've tried everything. 4 different saddles, no saddle, cleaner pads, no leg boots, different bits, no bits. There is no difference. He wasnt doing this before with his normal tack though during summer and fall.. And now he is. And I have zero answers.

And I hate it.

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