Friday, December 28, 2018

Bloghop: Favorites of 2018

I haven't had time yet to go through my normal year end update with lots of pictures, so I thought Amanda's blog hop idea was perfect!

Favorite show picture

I will keep reposting this photo forever, especially as it's from my favorite show this year - our first recognized dressage show!

Favorite non-show picture

I am ecstatic over how these pictures turned out. I could not have asked for better!

Favorite thing you bought

I don't think I ever blogged about it, but I got this helmet on super clearance this year and I LOVE it. I have never had such a nice helmet!!

Favorite moment on horseback

First time out with both my girls - puppy and horse went for a perfect walk around the field.

Favorite moment out of the saddle

Seeing how well Maisie handled things on her excursion to the barn, how she didn't even care about walking over poles or investigating the sprinkler and fan. She is such a great baby horse!

Favorite "between the ears" photo

I think this was my favorite trail ride all year - on my birthday even!

Favorite horse book or article

Sadly, this was not a year for reading. So unless study material for the NAVLE counts...

Favorite horse ridden or cared for besides your own

I have quite a few horses that I loved caring for at the vet school during my rotation on large animal medicine. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to post pictures without client consent and I never really took any anyways! I got to interact with some really great owners who loved their horses and it made me fall in love even more with my chosen career path. I was so glad we got to have lots of happy endings for horses that were really sick and made good recoveries.

Favorite funny picture of your horse

I had way too much fun with Maisie's birthday party this year

Favorite fence that you successfully jumped or movement that you conquered

I was so proud of Jetta at this show for being able to transition from a lengthened canter back to a regular canter without throwing a fit or trying to yank me out of the saddle. It was definitely one of the things we struggled with the most this year.

Favorite horse meme or funny picture

I don't know why I find this so funny, but it's hilarious

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

End of Year Goal Update

I'm suuuuper bad at achieving goals for myself, so this is mainly to try and keep me accountable
  • My far off goal is for Jetta and I to get our First level scores for our Bronze medal. I've wanted to work towards this for a while and I think it's definitely doable, I just need to hurry up and get started! This is far off since I start clinics in June and I'm really poor so hopefully I can save and have enough for a recognized show!
    • We did it! I didn't think it was going to happen after a couple of lackluster league shows, but Jetta did amazing! I was SO nervous, but we pulled it off with our best tests this year! I may have almost bankrupted myself, but the show was 100% worth it!
    • I think the clinic helped with an unwritten goal to get more involved and make an effort, I've wanted to ride with that clinician for years too! 

  • Take Jetta for trail rides! I'd really like to go to the beach since it has been years! 
    • We did get to go on quite a few, but sadly no beach ride. 

  • Baby needs to learn lots of things
    • Tying
      • She's a champ! Cross tying is still a work in progress, but I'm super happy with her normal tying. Next step is going somewhere new and tying her there or tying her to the trailer
    • The beginnings of lunging
      • We've started lunging, but that is still a work in progress, especially as I don't want to lunge her too much until she's older.
    • Ponying
      • Soon!
    • Trailering by herself
      • She's great! A regular little traveler
    • Teach her to self load in the trailer
      • Not yet, but I should definitely start this
    • Take her on a handful of field trips
      • So far only two field trips, but we will do more!
    • Bathing
      • Failed. Poor baby has still never had a bath, but I will probably take her to the barn where there's a hot water wash rack for her first one in the next month or two
    • Maybe wear a surcingle and bit 
      • Another one on the "soon" list
    • General ground work and manners
      • This is coming along really well, we now trot in hand, back up with halter and chest pressure, and she yields her haunches. We need to work on yielding her forehand more, but she's learning that swinging her head around as a weapon is not ok, neither is body slamming.
    • Clipping her face
      • Done! She's not a fan of her bridle path, but we finally are at the point where I can clip her bridle path, muzzle and chin while standing quietly! 

I set the bar really low this year due to vet school, but I'm really pleased with how well everything went! I tackled some huge goals for Jetta and I this year that have been in the works for way too long. 

2019 is a huge up-in-the-air year for me. I graduate in June and have no job lined up at the moment so I have no clue where I'll be come July. I may not even be in the same state depending on what opportunities I find. That means that the horses are going to be up in the air too. They are definitely never going to be sold, but they may be put on the back burner (like, super back burner, more so than now!). That said, I still like setting goals, so here's our new ones:

  • Show at Second level
    • Even if it's just a ride-a-test clinic. I want to go out in public and ride a second level test!
  • Go cross country schooling
  • Ride in a league show at least once
  • Go for a few trail rides
  • Beach ride! 
    • This is always going on my goal list
  • Audit a clinic
    • I would love to ride in one again, but it may not be in the cards this year
  • Since we're getting fairly comfortable schooling second level, start schooling third level movements and wear a double bridle a couple times
  • Pony
  • Lunge - install voice commands
  • Self load in trailer
  • Wear bridle and bit
  • Long rein
  • Carry a saddle around
  • Go for a trail walk - ponying or in hand
  • Get a bath
  • Play on a trail obstacle course

Monday, December 10, 2018

Belated Black Friday

I'm back from the dead! I have been so incredibly busy lately I've hardly had time to do much more than eat, sleep, and go to school. I'm sure not many people read this blog much any more, but I enjoy posting regardless so I'm going to attempt to get back into it.

I had quite the Black Friday shopping extravaganza. I finally sold one of my fancy western show saddles that I haven't used in ages so I actually had some money by the time Black Friday rolled around. I love hearing about what people scored so here's my list of the horse-related items I got!

Riding Warehouse:

Jetta trying her best to model
Horze Venice Bridle - for Maisie. I had one of these for Jetta and I quite liked it for the price. Obviously cheaply made, but for something that is only going to be used temporarily until it's outgrown... perfect! A grand total of $40.

Asmar long sleeved tee - I've heard great things about these shirts and I love this color, so I had to try it.

Chestnut bay show shirt - I've been wanting a show shirt in this style for some time and these were the perfect colors! I got a navy and a gray. I can't wait to show in them, they are so comfy and cute. I'll do a review on them eventually (hopefully).


This was an interesting experience. I'm not really sure I want to shop at Horze again - or at least not directly through them since it was not a good experience. Basically, they said they had a blanket in stock. I bought it. 3 days later they emailed me to say that they didn't have it any more and that they had "no other option but to refund my money and send me the other items in my order". When, in fact, they could have asked me if I'd like another color (of which there are 4 other colors available in that same size blanket). I emailed them back saying I still wanted the blanket in another size, provided it was the same price as the previous one. Three days later (again - no fast responses here) I got an email saying they could provide me with coupons if I wanted to go that route. I responded that I did and got yet another email with a coupon code, you guessed it, three days later. But, the problem was they only provided me with one coupon, not the two that I previously used so it wasn't even close to the same price. Plus, they were slowly selling out of the blanket it the size I wanted, so by the time I probably would get all the coupons I needed, they'd probably all be gone. So I gave up. If they're going to be that difficult to work with, I don't need to give them my money.

Andi Technical Shirt - I did really love this shirt! It's in one of my favorite colors, it's super comfy, it fits well, it has thumb holes AND pockets!


Maisie also got her first sparkly browband! I can't wait until it arrives. They rarely have sales and at most it's typically only 10% off, which is not enough to entice me to buy things I don't really need. However, this year they had 20% off which was awesome!

I definitely spent more than I needed to, but definitely worth it for the deals I got ;)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Favorite time of Year

I can't help it - I love clipping. Yes, it takes forever, you get hair literally everywhere (I found some in my teeth even!), but I think it's super fun.

I mentioned that I wanted to do something similar to what I did last time I clipped and I didn't realize how similar the clip was! Basically I did the same thing, with less hair on the neck, than last time so it's a modified blanket clip. I'm super happy with how it turned out!

So shinyy
Also, I've been wanting to buy some Snaks 5th Avenchew treats for a while now, so I finally ordered a cute Halloween cookie set and the unicorn crunch cups. You can give them to both dogs and horses and Kaida loves them! I've given her some of the crunch cups and she really likes them even though they're very hard and she had to figure out how to crunch them up with her soft mouth. 

 Jetta was a little less sure about her cookies, especially as they're pretty big. Once she figured out how to eat them she really liked them. They're just so adorable, I will definitely buy them again for special occasions (they're a little spendy), but they'd make perfect gifts.

A monster cookie for my monster pony

Fall (basically all of October) and Halloween have to be some of my favorites. Love this time of year <3

Friday, October 26, 2018

Decisions Decisions

So many decisions lately. A bunch of people have already been clipping their horses and I'm trying to decide when I should do Jetta. It's a little early for me to clip, but then again I have time this week before my schedule gets crazy... so that leaves the decision for what design do I want to do?

I miss her tail!

My favorite
I'm probably going to do something similar to the year before last (my favorite one). She didn't get done last year because of baby, but even if I don't ride her a whole lot this winter she just has too much hair. She's been getting pretty sweaty during our rides lately. She has a super dense winter coat, but there's not a whole lot of length. Still too much hair!

Baby horse hasn't been doing too many exciting things, though she did finally get some boots of her own! I had a pair of medium Veredus splint boots that are a hair too small for Jetta and I haven't been able to get anyone to buy them off me. They're the perfect size for Maisie so I decided to keep them. Then at WEG I looked at a bunch of different boots and decided I liked the Horseware Amigo Air Flow boots. I would've liked some Majyk Equipe boots but I needed to stay under $50 a pair and these were half that price. I'm trying really hard not to buy lots of things for her, especially ones that she will grow out of. I think at this point she has a handful of halters, a cob sized bridle that I used for Trask, a baby blanket, and now boots (one pair of which was a hand-me-down).

Ugly but free!

A friend that used to breed warmbloods gave me a blanket for her this spring. I measured her at around a 62-64" (I was being lazy and trying to measure a moving target). Luckily the blanket fits perfectly, unluckily it fits perfectly so she's going to grow out of it shortly. So now I need to hunt for a cheap blanket that will last the winter! I was thinking maybe a 68" or 70".

She could have cared less about the boots and took a couple funny steps before getting over it and walking a few laps around the round pen. Such a good baby!

Best baby
I made the decision not to go to the dressage show this weekend which is a bummer, especially since I am so ready to start showing at second level and this was going to be out debut. But, we need some more time to polish everything and I have other plans this weekend, so we'll have to wait until spring. The good news is that I really like the new second level tests for next year, so I'm excited to start riding them!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fall Photos

As usual, I don't have much to report around here. I am enjoying my current rotation on small animal medicine, however it doesn't leave a lot of time for riding. Jetta's mild lameness in her front feet has finally resolved so I wish I was!

However, I've been itching to get fancy pictures with Jetta this year and this fall has been GORGEOUS recently. I can't afford to hire anyone to take my pictures and I don't have any photography friends who had time at the moment so I coerced the BF to take my pictures. He has a rudimentary grasp of photography but I can do all the settings on my camera and direct him how to take them. He was a good sport, though obviously not super enthusiastic about taking a bunch of pictures of a horse, but he got some great ones! He said, and I quote, "Even a blind squirrel can find a nut."

I didn't get all the pictures I wanted (someone was impatient), but enough that I'm content for the next few years probably. They turned out so great and I wish there were other people that would let me take fancy dress-up pics in this little forest grove!

Hopefully I'll get to ride Jetta soon, though sadly I don't think our goal of competing at the end of this month is going to happen. We will see!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Birthday Ride

My birthday was on Wednesday and since I was still off of school this week, everyone else was either working, traveling or in clinics. So I loaded up my pony by myself and headed to the trails. I finally got a new hoof boot to replace the one that broke so we were back in action!

Pretty leaves
I decided to go to Chip Ross, it's a park that's pretty close to me but for some reason I haven't been there in years. I really have no idea why, it's been almost 3 or 4 years since I've been there but the trails are really lovely and I used to ride there a bunch!

Cool fallen tree

Jetta was on her best behavior though we mostly just walked, which was good because we rounded a corner and came upon a gaggle of children sitting in a circle directly on the trail. I'm really glad we weren't going any faster or we would have crashed through them like a bowling ball. Jetta loves little kids though and obligingly lowered her head after they all came running over to pet her.

Overall, it was just what I needed! I've been really stressed this week as I prepare to go back to rotations (I will be on small animal surgery for the next two weeks) and also trying to study for the board exam which is in just over a month. Scary!

A lady at my barn offered to take a "birthday picture because you both look nice". Jetta was unenthusiastic

Also, my birthday is October 3rd, which is also a Wednesday so I had to wear my pink(ish) shirt

Monday, October 1, 2018

Media Monday

Finally bought a couple pictures from our recognized dressage show! I was so excited for these pictures, but I really didn't like a lot of them surprisingly. The photographer is very talented and I always love her pictures, but I was leaning forward and Jetta wasn't moving as nicely as I know she can so that combined just made the pictures pretty meh. I do really like the two that I bought and in a way it's for the best that there weren't more pictures that I liked because they're quite expensive and I can never afford more than two. Two of my favorite pictures of Misty are by the same photographer.

Maybe someday I'll sit like a dressage rider and look where I'm going

While I will always try to support show photographers, it's hard to spend over $100 just for two pictures. Especially when you don't get the complete file. I paid $25 for her to take pictures of me at the show on one day, then I paid $45 for each of the pictures to get an 8x10" print and a tiny digital file that is only good for social media sites. Then I had to pay almost $10 for shipping the two prints. I tried making one of them my computer background and it was terribly pixelated, so that was a bummer.

I was a show photographer for several years so I understand how hard it would be to make a living from that. It takes me forever and ever to edit photos so you have to put a lot of time into these things and photography equipment is not cheap!

Regardless, I love these two pictures. I was so proud of Jetta at the show and I'm happy to finally have some really lovely show pictures of the two of us!

And I'm curious - what do you typically pay in your area for show photos?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

WEG Part 2

Like I mentioned in the last post, everything on Sunday got moved to Monday so there was nothing for us to do that day. We had a lazy morning and ordered pizza to our room for lunch (a novelty for us because we both live out in the country where food doesn't deliver to). We tried to buy wine at the grocery store down the street but discovered we couldn't because it was Sunday. Crushed, we decided to do some exploring even though very few businesses were open on a Sunday.

We ended up finding Overmountain Winery pretty much right down the street from the TIEC. The owner was super nice and she had tents erected for the rain so that people could sit outside. We had a nice time wine tasting there, talking with the owner and eating brussel sprouts from the food truck on-site. One thing I love about the Carolinas - you can get brussel sprouts EVERYWHERE and they're delicious. If I could only pick one veggie for the rest of my life it would be brussel sprouts lol.


After that we made it out to Farmhouse Tack. They had a nice store with a great variety of tack. I didn't find anything I had to have, but it was nice to see it in person. On the way back to our hotel we passed a little shop called Horse of Course (I think) and it was adorable. I almost bought some artwork but that would have required I ship it home which would have been a little bit too much work for me.
Everything horse themed
We went to a great taco place for dinner - Willy Taco. Highly recommend for people in the area this week!

Such good tacos

Monday we got to the TIEC early again since it worked out so well last time with zero wait time to get on a shuttle and into the grounds. They moved the parking so we didn't have to worry about our tiny rental car having to get towed out of the mud at the original parking site.  The organization was a little better - they had the metal detectors set up and were screening people but still not checking tickets. Again, no one was open even at 9 o'clock so we headed to the arena to get our seats for jumping. We were crushed that musical freestyle was canceled, especially my mom who is not a horse person and really only wanted to see the "dancing ponies". But luckily stadium was just as fun to watch!

Love when riders are so excited about their rounds

My friend PR was doing a vet externship at the games so she met up with me to hang out and watch jumping
Horses were pulling poles left and right, time penalties everywhere, there was a refusal, one horse took off and his rider could not pull him up - he jumped some greenery decoration and plowed into the next rider's horse who was entering the arena. Oops. I was so crushed for Ingrid Klimke when she pulled a rail at the final fence but Ros Carter had a gorgeous round so she definitely deserved it.

My haul - PR even managed to snag me an autographed picture of Lynn Symansky and Donner - go TB's!
Monday was an absolutely gorgeous day

We FINALLY got to do our shopping after stadium was over. Pro tip - park your mom at a shady table and feed her alcoholic beverages so you can get all your shopping in. I managed to not do too much damage - Arista had some great sale items, including a whole rack of tops at $30 each so I got one of those, I got a non-official WEG shirt, a cool belt, a wine glass, and a hat. I drooled over the La Mundial boots and found out they have a rep in my area which is awesome! Now that they have supposedly fixed their production issues, I really want a pair, but we will see...

Yes please
*grabby hands*

Pretty new Le Mieux
I talked to Dubarry about my boots. They recently sprung a leak in the bottom of the boot somewhere which is a huge bummer. I was hoping these boots would last me forever. They're at least 6 years old at this point. Basically they told me that they couldn't fix it, it wasn't a defect that was their fault, the Goretex is still intact so it really is the bond between the rubber sole at the Goretex liner that is coming apart, and it was time to throw them away which made me sad. I was really hopeful for such an expensive product they would have something they could do for me since I really don't have any desire to drop $500 on a pair of non-riding boots, especially when I take care of them really well and they don't last me at least 10 years (I'm cheap and I want things to live forever!)

Otherwise I just had fun looking at cool products - I'm not a huge shopper because I want everything to be on sale but it's nice to feel things in person. I decided on which boots I want to buy Maisie now that I got to compare them all in person at the Dover store, I found some gorgeous new Tredstep boots that I want, etc.
So pretty

It was a really fun day and we ended it by going to a fancy restaurant called Level 10 overlooking the town from the 10th floor of a hotel. Then I dragged my mom to a brewery because that's what I do and it was really good! I always think it's hard to find good IPA's outside of my state but I loved all the ones I tried on this trip.

Gorgeous area

I had a great time at WEG - it was definitely a different experience than in 2010 but it was a gorgeous area and besides musical freestyle, everything worked out perfectly. I'm glad the hurricane weather didn't dampen our experience (pun intended) even if we did get a little wet. I did end up coming home with a sunburn after all.