Thursday, February 12, 2015

So Then That Happened, Wherein Now I Feel Like an Idiot

Its no secret that I have zero friends. I don't mean blogging, internet, or faraway friends, I mean friends here in Ohio. Every single longtime BFF I have from OH has either transplanted to another state or lives about an hour away. Even The Boy lives in Cinci which is almost an hour from me. The Wondermare's Mom lives In KS and German Rider lives in Colorado. It really sucks. Maybe I will make friends at my real real job.

Anyways, an old friend from my 4H/beginning eventing days is the only person who lives rather close, but she works so much its almost impossible to see her. She had a few hours to spare yesterday and since I currently do nothing with my life, I was able to meet her. The weather was *nice* and since we spent hours fucking around on ponies as children and tweens we figured for nostalgia's sake that we should go ride.

L circa 2010
L is one of the few who's gotten to jump Yankee XC
I forewarned her what a jerkoff Bacardi has been and that I decided to give him time off, so I would sacrifice myself and let her ride Lilly. She just chuckled and thought I was exaggerating and I was like, no, really.

Backing up fo' a minnut.

Since it was *nice* out (45 degrees), I decided to nab the opportunity to take Bacardi's tail down and wash it. 45* isn't all that warm, but with heated bucket water it wasn't terrible and my hands didn't fall off. I was stunned at how big and fluffy and LONG his tail has gotten.  You all know I prefer to keep tails up, in winter especially, to prevent breakage and mudlocks. Our fields are mudpits and its really annoying. Its been up for about 6-7 weeks which is longer than I normally leave it up, but its been bone chilling cold and I regularly check it & it was more than fine.

fucking swoon
I was prety excited to see it when I took it down & washed it. I swear it grew 4 inches! Major love going on here. And do I spy dapples? <3 p="">
I was feeling a little guilty while tacking up. I had lamented over the decision to take a break from riding publicly& forever, and now that I had finally done it, here I was tacking up le pone for what I could only assume would be a horrible ride. He was ancy, prancy and dancy in the crossties...& the wild wind was not helping. I was extra nice, stuffing his face with treats and brushing his face (literally his fav thing) and saying sorry because I am a terrible horse mom. Lilly on the other hand was super amped to get out. She loves being ridden more than any horse I know. Its weird.

Good ole shaggy girl power walking
Sure enough, as soon as I led him outside his antics amplified and getting on was more than a notion. It took everything I had to try and be gentle while he attempted to rear, prance & bolt. I took this moment to inform L that he also kicks when nervous & to steer clear.

L soon became aware what I spoke of when it came to seemingly unwarranted spooking. It was a glorious example of what I've been dealing with and she was equally as baffled. I however was committed to the ride and forced myself to walk on a loose rein and administer half halts when needed and ignore the jigging.

For once, B actually settled down (barely) after about 15 minutes of prancing, sideways dancing and minor spooks. I was intent on being calm lump on his back.

We continued at a walk for another 20 minutes or so, covering the entire nature preserve, going through about 6 fields, catching each other up on the last 5 1/2 years of our lives. Bacardi continued to settle down and his spooks came less frequently & the jigging dissipated. He was still wound like a rubber band, but I didn't blame him. The weather was shit and it was spitting a little bit.

On our way back I asked L if she would video us just for a few minutes, because either way I wanted new footage.

He gave me a little resistance at first when I asked him to move out, a few head tosses, but then settled right into it like being ridden was old news.


PLEASE for all that is good, ignore my equitation & look at everything else. 

In the video I think I say "dude holy shit what is happening. L, are you my good luck charm? What is happening" like 13 times.

He literally was almost perfect. I would say 91% of his normal self. I was so floored I could barely ride, obvious in my terrible terrible posture.

Like, so bad. What is that.
But, hock action...& relaxed topline

I cant even
I was barely messing with him, and only using my legs for guidance and support with a few balancing half halts. But even his canter was wonderful. He felt a little weak, no doubt because we haven't really done anything in 8 weeks, but

*insert all emojis here*

So there I sit, on my basically perfect horse again, who's taking the wind, spittle rain and mud like a champ and I feel like the SHITTIEST horse mom/rider/person/blogger alive. I simultaneously want to die and celebrate wildly.

In addition I'm also wondering if this is a fluke (mind into overdrive deal). Maybe it was just for today. Perhaps he likes this field better. Maybe he really just needed 45 min of walking (aint nobody got time fo dat everyday-lets be real). Or maybe, for fucks sake, his tail being up pissed him off & I COMPLETELY disregarded that factor. I looked it over while digging around for more obvious reasons. How stupid.

I should've thought of it. He HATES having his tail brushed and has always been super sensitive when being groomed. Besides face brushing, I think he would prefer it if it never had to happen. I've never had a horse object to tail balls...but then again they all have their quirks.

Blurry but beautiful
So now, I feel like an idiot and a total bitch for being frustrated with him. I *know* just as well as anyone else that 98% of the time its the riders fault. I KNOW this. But I just didn't think that the tail could be the possible issue. I had exhausted everything else on the list of NQR possibilities and came to the conclusion that he was just wild & uncontrollable outside in winter.

"What. An. Idiot."  
           -Hermione Granger

I still don't really know if that was the reason for his beautiful behavior, and won't for a while because the weather turned south fast and the projected windchill for the next 4 days is well below zero. No thanks. But the idea that the issue possibly resolved itself is cool. I'm gonna go find a hole and live in it a for a few days though...#shamed

Cannot get over the relaxation and hind end movement. Cannot.

Tail *worships it*
Mind is whirling & I'm having a hard time organizing thoughts and putting them into words, so I'm going to end it here with a teaser pic that I will eventually post about...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What Do Wednesday: Organization

Favorite comment on my last post had to be "you're adulting so hard right now" haha! Loved it! Thank you ALL for the + thoughts though! I'm pretty nervous about being a real real person with stuff and things to do & like knowing I have the blogging community right thurr with me.

Speaking of stuff and things....Spring is right around the corner. I can feel it. Barely, but I can feel it creepin'. With the Spring comes the cleaning (sidenote I feel obligated to inform y'all to NOT google "spring gifs"...what eyes). I for one, LOVE cleaning (its a sickness) and finally getting all the winter grime off all my things is liberating! The problem with me is that I also love organizing. But I don't really have anything to organize into.

Most barns have cubbies, lockers, racks and trunks for all their precious's but I have a ratchet barn thats about 1000 years old and no real system of organizing my plethora of wraps, boots and saddle pads.

Its a tragedy.

For one, said old barn means it looks dirty even when its clean. It really needs new paint and a new roof. I also wish all the birds that live in the rafters would vacate. My chickens do not assist in cleanliness. It also IS always dirty. Its like dirt seeps in through all the holes. It won't leave. Ever.

To combat the dirts, all my fluffy stuff (pads, wraps, polos) lives in giant bins you can buy from walmart for $8. They're hideous and large and annoying but, no dirt leakage! My horse boots live in plastic drawers you can also find at Walmart, organized by types of course. My odds and ends (clipper blades, studs, rubber bands, rags) live in a smaller version of stackable plastic drawers. And my leather goods (bridles, breastplates, etc) live in a tiny ass utility trunk thats approx 13 years old. Not even joking. Covered in bumper stickers my 12 year old self thought would be wonderful decorations.
Bridle house

Boot apartments
The saddest part of all of this, is that the dust COVERS the plastic. I'm pretty sure it settles into the plastic and permanently lives there because no amount of fierce hose spraying can get my containers clean. So while everything has a home, they always look dirty. In addition, the plastic drawers DO NOT protect against dirt. So everything that lives in them are forever dirty. Literally defeating the purpose of having a home.

The other part of the problem is I have like 7 bins of stuff. And then I have special bags for my riding boots and helmet. And then I have a grooming bucket. And then I have halter hooks. And then I keep my saddle in the garage on the ATV. I JUST HAVE TOO MANY PLASTIC CONTAINERS & LIVING PLACES FOR MY THINGS.  I realize I could get rid of half of it (GASP) but I can't because packrat.

That being said, I would really like one of these to organize my most relevant shit. Meaning, the stuff I use everyday, or the most often & leave my other crap in plastic containers, in the barn rafters.

I'm pretty confident I could make one & intend to try (see: goals). Not only is it swanky and gorgeous, but it organizes ALL THE THINGS. Removable grooming tray/tote for grooming things and odds & ends, rack for polos/boots/wraps, hangers for leather goods, room for saddle pads, riding boots AND helmet. And you can paint it however you want AND adorn it with a shiny brass nameplate.

I've asked for one for Christmas since I was like 14 so I think its time to organize in style now that I'm adulting.

So dear readers, its your turn...What Do? How do you organize your tack/boots/grooming tools/etc? Do you have a tack trunk? Cubby? Plastic bins?

Feed me your secrets!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Newton's Law

Crossing fingers that the indoor barn situation will work out (currently vying for position)because I am going more crazy than usual with the amount of riding I'm getting in.

Which is none.

100% by choice, but still...killin' me. Figured it was best to take a break from everything (including trailer loading and attempts to get to the indoor) until we figure out the barn situation and just let B be a horse. He's enjoying it thoroughly too. Mud is his favorite thing and he gives me heart attacks daily tearing around his field whenever the wind blows. Not sure if this is excess energy from not being ridden, or just his normal energy in general. Either way, its pretty cute/terrifying.

I didn't tell anyone until it was solidified and in writing, but I switched jobs and I start next Monday. My last position was AMAZING, but only temporary help for AEP (insurance terminology). They helped me get my licensing and I know too much about insurance now, but I was grateful for the experience. But now I am a real real adult with a real real, full time job in a big city & I need to do real adult things. Anyways, I've been unemployed for over a month and its been HELL.

You literally go crazy.

I think I have some form of SADS or February Funk because I have had zero motivation to do anything of worth. Lack of riding is not helping.

But it has given me an insane amount of time to do some thinking. Lots and lots of thinking.

For one, need to revamp "Feb Goal List Thing"

-->to recap:
       1. Nix alcohol
       2. Only 2 "eat out meals a week"
       3. Ride 3x's week
       4. Gym 3x's week

1. Okay. You all told me. Nixing alcohol was dumb. I'm 24 for crying out loud and have friends that go out. I think it should've been a "drink one night a week" or "don't drink yourself into oblivion on those nights". I "could" make this rule happen, but I also am really into peer pressure. That being said, we really did only drink on Saturdays,

2. We ACTUALLY did amazing on the take out rule. Rocked it surprisingly. Not sure if because literally broke, or we don't want to be fat anymore, but we never once broke this rule.

3. This one wasn't working out and probably can't work out until something changes. Working on that.

4. I tried to gym at home. I really did. I was all like "YEAH WILL RUN EVERYDAY.. BIKINI SEASON". But then I forgot its really cold outside with dumb windchills & I have no hamster wheel. I did "okay" with doing body weight exercises inside, but half the time I would do like 30 air squats and a few push-ups and be like, sweet, TV TIME. #Fail #NeedACoach The ONLY thing that has saved me is my diet. Like, seriously, its really good. But I also have all the time in the world to cook right now.

Bacardi stretches and works out everyday
With work starting up again that means my lifestyle will be changing again. Luckily, I'm the type of person that THRIVES on being busy. I obviously do not do well on my own and turn into a giant slug that accomplishes nothing. I am Newton's Law..."objects in motion will stay in motion and objects at rest will stay at rest"<---me br=""> I also think half the problem is non specifics. General or broad goals leave me a lot of room to negotiate with myself. Its a real issue. First step is admitting you have a problem. Check.

B has no problem getting all 4 off the floor
That being said, "My Brand New 6 Week Goal Plan" was born inside my brain and since I have no horse posts to write, I figured I would continue onward with the Fitness Blog Hop with spanking new ideas.

In the Fitness area; I sadly will not have access to a CrossFit gym. Its not in the budget and Fancy Adult Job (FAJ) provides a gym for all employees (YAY!). This is an interesting issue, because I won't have to pay for a gym & it will be inside my building BUT I won't have someone to kick my ass everyday. I will attempt to follow the WODs daily, but I have a tendency to fall back on the normal "jog on the treadmill for ten and then pick things up and put them down" because I am lazy. Solution, print off giant photo of Nina Agdal and worship her abs. #Motivation.

Seriously though, I downloaded the WOD app, I packed a gym bag and intend to stick to it. At least 3 days a week I shall gym. I SHALL.

In the Food area; Like I said, I actually have a pretty excellent diet...almost strictly Paleo 5 days a week. I still heart dairy, but whatever, I have no desire to go full Paleo because that would suck all the joy out of life. I also tried strict Paleo for a month and literally almost died. My body was like

I thought it would be super duper difficult to make the change and eat a certain way (because lets be real, I fucking LOVE food..and not the kind that is good for you). The best tip I found was "find what you like to eat and eat it". The easiest thing for me was to print out a giant sheet of "paleo approved foods" and circle what I knew I liked and go from there. I chose paleo because it has a ton of options and a lot of the stuff is super tasty (see below for my daily ritual). Trust me, as a picky eater myself, it IS possible to eat well.

As for my "goals" though I will keep it as is. No more than 2 "eat-out" meals a week and attempt to keep balanced meals throughout the week once I start work. Food prep food prep food prep..necessary evil. I also have an stupid hard time staying hydrated. I can go all day at home without a drop of water. First step will be finding a jug or bottle. Second step, chug that shit all day. Drink all the water.

**Warning, lengthy explanation next, skipping allowed**

You can't just eat whatever you want though on Paleo. I mean, bacon is Paleo approved and I couldn't just eat bacon all day. Though that was would be awesome.

I learned that veggies and fruits are your friend. Get as colorful as possible (hard for me, because veggies are disgusting). Protein is necessary, and chicken is a lean option, but definitely not limited to that. Whole grains are an excellent way to stay full longer. And good fats are a requirement.
With tons of research I learned how to mix & match and what was best to eat when. For me, I eat a HUGE breakfast. Its actually extremely difficult for me because I'm not a huge breakfast person, & it usually takes me an hour to get it all down. But I usually have a breakfast quiche (turkey, egg, cheese all baked), with some whole grain "cereal" (home made grain mixes) & as much fruit as I can stomach, plus coffee! Tons of protein, some fats, and some short/long lasting carbs. I only like apples and strawberries for the most part. Today I tried Almond milk infused quinoa with almonds and berries. Sometimes I make cottage cheese pancakes, and those are really tasty protein nuggets. This week I'm trying Protein muffins!
For lunch I try to eat as many veggies as I can stuff down, with some protein (3oz). I HATE veggies. They seriously taste like dirt. So I tend to stick to big (mean BIG) salads with chicken or turkey meat and just oil/vinegar as a dressing, lettuce & meat wraps, a shitload of carrots with protein...or dinner leftovers! This week I am trying Tuna Patties and Avacado Tuna Salads for lunch!
For dinners, its usually some form of chicken (occasionally pork, beef or fish) and a ton of veggies. I stick with sweet potatoes, asparagus and brussel sprouts. I hate all of it but I know its good for me so I just stuff it down and salt it a bit. I'm obsessed with quinoa and have an amazing Lime Chicken & Black Bean Quinoa Salad recipe as well as a bangin Quinoa & Turkey Chili. This week I'm trying Rosemary Chicken and Salmon with Sweet Potato Fries!
I also eat a lot of whole grain snacks and fruit/cheese in between meals. I also drink 2 cups of green tea a day in addition to my morning coffee. I swear by it!
 I pretty much eat the same thing everyday. Its easy when you have a routine & things you know you like. BUT, with limited time at home to prep, I'm wondering how bored I will get with the "routine" meals I've been eating that are quick to make. Lately I've been trying to vary it a lot since I have the time to cook it. My mom LITERALLY has eaten the same thing for lunch for like 5 years. Not even joking. The same thing. I cannot do that, but I also will have very limited time to cook and cooking actually takes a while. Will have to figure out what will work best with time and space constraints. #ThatGirl #BigAssCooler

**OK its over!**

As far as alcohol goes...I think sticking to one day a week is reasonable. I'm a huge fan of vodka, wine a beer stouts

When its comes to horsey things...Bacardi is at least getting the rest of Feb off. Its going to kill me, but I know its probably best for now. After that, if we get the barn spot, I intend to ride 4x's a week. I would like to start incorporating pole/jump work into our sessions and can't wait for the opportunity if that happens. Again, I would like more consistency with transitions, especially UP. His lateral work has a lot to be desired too. Straight and forward is more important to me than sideways when beginning lateral work. Jumping wise I want to introduce baby grids. 

I can haz jumps
I also have a few things I've always wanted to try my hand at. For one, we all know I'm obsessed with polos. But did y'all know I can sew? Yeah, machine or by hand. Thank you Grandma! I would LOVE to make some really cool polo wraps or even take an old tattered sheet and make it into a quarter sheet for riding. I think those would be really cool projects! I also have ALWAYS wanted a wooden tack trunk. Thanks to my dad, I am slightly skilled in woodworking and I know with blueprints I could figure out how to put one together. I'm actually a huge fan of powertools, which comes in really handy when making repairs at the barn. 

I also still need to clean my tack. And attach the plates to Bacardi's things.

Other...I didn't have this "category" before, but I feel its necessary. The Boy and I discussed being productive and using our brains to promote feelings of well-being and purpose. I actually MISS college.. We decided to learn spanish. I was HORRENDOUS at foreign language all through school so I know this one will be tough for me. But, The Boy was once fluent, so with his help I think its possible. 

I've also wanted to start tart a travel savings account with said Boy, in addition to contributing to real real adult savings accounts. Because travel.

I also also started an Etsy for my artwork and am really hoping to get a few more commissions this year. Mostly I've just been doodling and I have no real goal or purpose in mind when I pick up a pen, pencil or paintbrush.

I should also prob get away from drawing thoroughbreds that look left ...haha!

Lastly, I've been putting off reorganizing/updating my ipod for ages. I might be the only person on the planet with an ipone that doesn't have music on it, but I prefer my tiny nano ipizzle when working out/riding. I literally only have one playlist though..and all the music is from like, middle school. Need. Organization.

So to recap, in case anyone got lost/bored along the way...

1. Gym at least 3x's a week, stick to WODs, motivate thyself however possible
2. Food no more than 2 "eat-out" meals a week, drink all the water & don't get bored with meals and cheat
3. Alcohol saturdays only
4. Riding nothing until Mar 1, then 4x's week. Lateral work (forward, straight), Transitions (esp UP), introduce baby grids
5. Horse stuff learn how to make polos, quarter sheet, tack box (and make them), actually clean my tack and attach tags to said tack
6. Non-horse stuff start to learn spanish, travel savings account, organize music, make Etsy better, art more

Thank you all for your bak to your regularly scheduled programming