Monday, February 26, 2018

30 Facts About Me

I thought this was a great idea that I saw over at $900 Facebook Pony. I love learning more about other bloggers, especially non-horse related stuff so I thought I'd participate and I hope others do too!

1. I used to want to be a marine biologist and do field research, then I did dive certification and discovered that I am super claustrophobic underwater so... that didn't work out
2. Other than briefly wanting to be a marine biologist (or a horse trainer) I have pretty much always known that I wanted to be a veterinarian. I love science, I love the human-animal bond, I love education, and obviously love animals.

3. I have two tattoos currently and want more! One is a dolphin on my ankle and the other is Grady's hoof print on my wrist

4. I got my dolphin tattoo in Costa Rica. I did a 5-week volunteer trip to the Golfo Dulce to work with a cetacean conservation group. There are Pantropical Spotted dolphins there and they are THE cutest things ever. I absolutely adore dolphins.

Image result for spotted pantropic dolphin
THE CUTEST - look at it's little freckles!!

5. I have been to 10 different countries so far and if I could just spend my life traveling, I would. Costa Rica, Nicaragua, India, Bhutan, France, Spain, Italy, England, Germany, Canada. The more culturally different it is, the more I love it.

6. I love reading and I read really quickly. My favorite genre is fantasy or historical fiction. I always need good book recommendations. The longer the better! (I seriously read about 100 pages/hour. If it's not at least 600 pages, it's too short). I cannot pick a favorite book or author, but my current favorite that I've been reading (when I have time, hah) is Brandon Sanderson.

7. I could live off Mexican food. Or even just tacos.

8. I took 6 years of French through high school and college and got a minor in it. I wish I had more opportunities to use it!

9. I am extremely un-athletic. If I ride a bike I WILL fall off of it. I like going skiing but I have to stick to the easy slopes while my friends go down the black diamond slopes. I once went night skiing and got stuck in a snow bank. The only "athletic" things I really enjoy completely are yoga and rock climbing.

10. I have never broken a bone

11. My worst horse accident is when Jetta flipped over on me and rolled all the way over top of me. I sprained both my MCL's in my knees and still have issues and soreness due to it.

12. Someday I'll have a reining/cow horse just for fun. I miss playing with cows!

13. I LOVE food for the most part and don't consider myself a picky eater, but there's a fair amount of food I don't like. Olives, raw tomatoes, blue cheese, and shellfish top the list.

14. I currently work for a research company and I love it. I wish I had done more research before vet school and maybe I would have gotten my PhD instead. I also did an undergrad research project and presented my research at a national conference.

15. I like all alcohol. Wine? Yes. Beer? Yes, I'm all about IPAs. Tequila? Yes. All the margaritas. Cider? Definitely. I am not picky. If you need to get me to do something, bribe me with alcohol.

16. Coffee hates me, I cannot drink it. Thus I am addicted to energy drinks. I blame vet school.

17. I have a younger brother.

18. I love dogs and cats equally, I could never choose between the two!

19. I love hiking, especially if it involves waterfalls. I am so lucky to live in an area with a multitude of wonderful hikes within easy driving distance!

One of my favorite hikes

20. I am painfully shy and have a really hard time getting to know people/make friends. I prefer listening to talking for the most part. But once I get comfortable around someone, I don't really shut up.

21. I love riding western just as much as I love english. I really miss it and the wonderful, supportive people I grew up riding and competing with in the western world.

22. I used to do competitive trail riding (not endurance, but more obstacle courses) and I have a bunch of belt buckles I won from it.

23. My favorite TV shows are probably Doctor Who and Supernatural. Favorite movies are Lord of the Rings, Phantom of the Opera, Lagaan, and Mulan.

24. I am deathly afraid of needles and receiving injections. However, I have no problem giving them to animals.

25. My dream is to someday be able to afford to build my dream house/barn. It will be a barn with living quarters in the loft!


26. I'm not much of a candy person, but I love dark chocolate. And I have a soft spot for cupcakes and german chocolate cake.

27. The first horses I can remember riding was my cousin's draft horses and my neighbor's horse. I remember being led around bareback on a giant Clydesdale named Cody that they used for their driving business. My neighbor's horse was an old QH named Ruby and my dad used to take me to their barn and we'd lunge her and she'd try to buck me off all the time but I absolutely LOVED it.

28. I love flowers but I seriously have a black thumb. I think the longest a plant has lasted around me is 8 months. So I settle for cut flowers!

29. I played flute for 8+ years and did competitions and elite bands and such. My poor flute has been untouched for 5 years now though.

30. I consider myself an amateur photographer and I really love it. I love taking pictures of landscapes and horses. I used to photograph at shows and I miss doing that. I also love taking pictures of friends with their horses. I don't think I'll ever turn it into a business, but I just love taking pictures and I love having pictures of my own horses so I like to do it for free for my horse friends.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Plan

Of course, I feel like whenever you post Plans (yes, with a capital P) into the blog-o-sphere, something will magically come up that makes your plans moot.

But I'm gonna do it anyways, my Plans are currently very nebulous and up in the air at this point due to vet school, especially with the onset of 4th year clinics, but we're going to try anyways!

I already decided we're not going to make it to any shows in February, so we're looking at March for our first show. Of course, before then we need to figure out our downward transitions because at this point in time, they don't exist. Why would we ever need to come back down from a canter? Jetta things that there are no reasons for that nonsense.

March 2nd is an eventing derby show I was thinking of attending. However, we are over half way through the month at this point and we haven't jumped at all... plus no brakes... I don't think this one is going to happen. Plus it is pretty spendy for what it actually offers, so I think we might save our money and stay home from this one. 

It's been so long since we've done this!

There is a schooling show March 18th not too far away so that is the first on our list. It would be a nice, laid-back reintroduction to showing for Jetta and allow us to stretch our legs and see how it goes. I typically dislike schooling shows (I want awards!) except for baby horses, but it's been a really long time since I've showed Jetta so it would be worth it. The only problem is that it's the weekend before finals so that is very irresponsible of me... but I'm doing extremely well in all my classes this term (so far) and we have a pretty laid back finals week. So... maybe we'll try it. After all, what better study break is there?!

April 13th is another derby, so we might aim to be jumping by this point. Again with the cost, so we'll see what happens with this one. 

The first league show that I am most definitely planning on going to is April 29th. This is one of my favorite shows - laid back and at a familiar and close venue.

May 6th is a H/J show that I think we might try to make. 

June 2-3rd is the two one-day HT that I love attending every year. They are really well run, very affordable, laid back, and a lot of fun! We'll see if I can attend at least one day, since I have clinics during this time, but I am not on call.

June 10th is a dressage schooling show. I'm not sure I want to spend the money on another schooling show, I'd prefer a league show, but if we're bored or want to attempt Second Level, maybe we'll try it.

Another league show (finally) is July 7th. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do this one due to clinics, but I really want to!

I mentioned in our yearly goals, that I really, really want to get our First Level scores for our Bronze medal. I think it's totally doable, it's just the cost of showing that is the issue. But, I still want to aim for it. There are a few options for this show. I can only attend one. August 3rd-5th is one at a facility that we've been to before, but it's a fair drive. It seems to be pretty laid back, though I've never attended this one. August 18th-19th is a new recognized show at the facility that hosts a lot of other league and schooling shows. It would be fun to attend, but I'm not sure on how the dates coordinate with my clinic schedule. October 6th-7th is a fun one that I have friends who always attend, so it might be a nice support system to go together. I also don't have clinics at this time.

October 21st is another League Show. I'm not a huge fan of this venue (it's got awful footing) but if I need to fit another league show in to get my little award plate, and maybe at this point we'd be ready to try Second Level.

Sometime in the fall there is usually another of the two one-day HT so I'd like to attend that if possible. 

I'm really hoping at least to make it to a couple league shows and the one-day horse trials. But otherwise, not a ton of pressure to do all the shows. I'd also like to fit some clinics in, but we'll see how that pans out. I don't think we're at a point yet where we can participate in a clinic and get anything new out of it (we're really just doing basics right now to get Jetta fit and back to where we were before baby) but I'd really like to do at least one clinic with JW who comes down fairly often and I've heard great things about her!

Fingers crossed I get a little bit of showing in this year!

Friday, February 16, 2018

What Horses Teach Us

I've been thinking about what all of the horses in my life have taught me. I've had a fair amount of horses and I feel like each one of them imprinted something important on me and have shaped me into the rider and person I am today.

Just wanted to reflect on them and I'm curious, if you could narrow it down to one word or phrase, what do you think the biggest thing your horse(s) have taught you?


Like a lot of little girls, he was my first horse and my first love. He taught me SO much. If I had to pick one thing that he taught me, it would be resilience. He bucked me off many, many times. I learned to get back on and try again and again. I also credit him with my desire and love of training. He was the worst horse to begin with and became the best horse I have had thus far, and likely will ever have.


My second horse, Jazz is the horse I credit with my love of competition, specifically dressage and jumping. She taught me about precision. She was an amazing horse to compete and we did it all. She was another very special horse.


My first training project, I bought a mangy little paint horse from a pasture in the middle of nowhere. She wasn't much to look at but she turned into a wonderful little horse. She taught me the importance of consistency.

Katy and Tux

I also trained Katy and Tux from the beginning. They were super fun and such easy, easy horses. I would work with Gypsy or Draft crosses again in a heart beat! They taught me the importance of having fun. From riding them everywhere bareback, going swimming, splashing in the waves on the beach and more, they were such a blast.


This little mare taught me balance. It was a fine line between making her too sensitive or too dull, too forward or too lazy. Partly because we switched back and forth between western and english, but she was a great all-around horse and we had a lot of fun dabbling in different things.


This guy taught me patience. He was such a tough horse for me. Smart, but could not deal with simple things like gentle pressure when he was stressed. He really was one of those horses that this quote was talking about:

Image result for emotions in the saddle quote


Jetta has taught me to always keep learning. She is always coming up with new evasions when she gets bored and there is never a dull moment with her. She's a wonderful, complicated horse and she keeps me on my toes. I'm constantly trying to figure out new ways of keeping her engaged and interested in learning.

I can't wait to see what this little one teaches me in the future!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Always Trying to Catch-Up

I have so many blog posts in my head that I want to write, but no time to write them! As usual, vet school owns my soul this term and this term started off extremely quickly. So quickly that by Wednesday of week 1 we were already stressed out, to the point that one of the teachers asked us why we were already stressed, "It's only day 3, how are you all so stressed already??". Answer: cause vet school.

Always tired

It's been an extremely fun term so far though. I can't believe I'm getting to the point where I can accurately diagnose things off of radiograph, ultrasound or ECG (echocardiograms are a whole 'nother story which I'm happy to leave to the cardiologists though!). We have surgery ponies for our large animal surgery class which has been really adorable and fun. They are a TON of work outside of class, especially since they came in feral, not halter broke, with some health problems. But I love our little pony and it's going to be so sad when he goes home.

This term has however, not left hardly any time for things outside of school, especially when you add in boring life stuff - like the washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher all breaking within a week of eachother. #adultingsucks

The little amount of time I have spent with my own horses has been great though! I took Jetta for a short trail ride the other day. It was SO great to be back on my own horse. While I really liked Trask and he was a fun (if frustrating) challenge for me, it was so nice to walk down the driveway not worrying if my horse was going to spook at the garbage cans, the neighbor horses, a puddle, etc. Jetta was extremely happy to be on the trails too - she's still not very in shape and I thought the hills would slow her down, but I thought wrong! She just wanted to go go go the entire time.

Side note, I bought a cheap black 5-point breastcollar used and nothing humbles you more than trying to assemble a piece of tack you've never used before and having it take FOREVER to get on correctly. I felt like an idiot because the straps that attach to the saddle's D-rings came attached to the lower ring (where the straps attach to the girth) and I could not figure out why I couldn't get the straps to stretch to the D-rings, especially because Jetta is solidly a horse-size breastplate and even runs on the smaller size. Duh.

A good 20-30 minutes later...

I'm trying to adjust to my new riding schedule - I get to ride Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. It's a good amount of days to ride and I feel good about managing 3-4 days a week. It just feels weird not to go to the barn in the middle of the week.

I had a fantastic ride on Jetta Monday. It's also nice to have the ability to ride with other horses without worrying about if my horse is going to bolt and have a meltdown into another horse! We have a new boarder with a GORGEOUS black/very dark bay warmblood gelding. He is quite stunning and I think Jetta has a crush (I'm also insanely jealous of his tail... I need Jetta's to hurry up and grow faster!). He came into the arena during our ride yesterday and it almost felt like Jetta was trying to show off, she got more uphill and just a little more lofty in her gaits.

Someday we'll get this trot under saddle

Currently we're doing a lot of shoulder-in and haunches-in to get Jetta off her forehand, listening to my aids and engaging with me. She's doing super well with it and already I think her muscles are starting to fill in and she no longer looks quite as terrible as she did, but we still have a ways to go. I'm hoping by the end of February/beginning of March we'll be ready to hit some schooling shows.

Such a majestic dork
My awkward donkey

I also got her a new saddle pad. I'm going to sell our plum Le Mieux set because we don't need two plum sets, but I just love this pad from Equestrian Stockholm and I got it on sale. It's so pretty and I love all the little details - double silver piping, square corners, velcro girth strap, etc. In response to Amanda's post the other day, yes some DQ's (aka me: tack hoarder) need several matching colorful sets. Just because. And where do I store it all? In many different boxes... I have a problem. I have tack in my trailer, in the storage room at the barn, in my tack locker, and in my office at home.
It's the same exact color as the Le Mieux plum, just a little different!

Miss Maisie is just continuing to grow up and explore the world. I ordered her some new stall toys so hopefully that will continue to discourage her cribbing. I had a discussion with an equine behaviorist about her cribbing and the conclusion is that her cribbing is genetic since everything else in her life doesn't have any predisposing factors. We're also going to try some acupuncture since there is a small amount of research showing that it can stop their cribbing in up to 60% of cases. I figure it can't hurt!

our mini menagerie