Friday, May 27, 2016

Fail Friday

Now I know as horse girls, we've tried a fair assortment of horse food. I really wasn't into eating strange animal food as a child and think I tried sweet feed once. Unfortunately, as an adult, I broke that. 

I went to give the dogs I'm house sitting a treat last night before I left and noticed there was this jerky treat. I opened the bag. It looked like jerky. It smelled like jerky. I had to know if it tasted like jerky.


My name is Micaylah and I ate a dog treat and liked it.

What strange non-human foods have you tried? 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Damn Ducks

My escape

Things have been changing rapidly for my life at a rate I am not comfortable of. Even though the school semester is finished and I passed my classes (with relatively good grades!), I never fully settled into the routine and still feel like a fish out of water returning to full time work. The biggest struggle I face is wanting to do anything after work. 

I used to work from 8-4 and although I'm not a morning person, getting off at four left me plenty of momentum to do things in the afternoon (even nap!). Now I work from 8:30 to 5 and as much as I appreciate the extra half hour of sleep I can't get over the feeling I get when I am off. Between 4 and 5 I turn into the grumpiest little toddler you have ever seen demanding wine and a nap.

At 5 I have a few options; get over my feelings and cry my way to the barn where I am reminded I love riding and horses and don't understand why I'm a little bitch or feel both guilty and relieved to just drive home (trying not to fall asleep at the same time). Or, I can feel so empowered from the barn to power on and drive to ride Monty where I am again reminded why I bought this fabulous creature and why horses are worth every ounce of my life.

It seems like an easy decision, but for whatever reason, I'm having a hard time driving my emotional self to the barn. I think the reason why I get so emotional (besides just that extra hour) is the lingering thought that things at my house need to get done. I need to ~be myself~ again (looking at you, eyebrows that are overdue for plucking). I can barely take care of my self (I really am a toddler) and that emotional impact is driving me crazy.

I got so behind in my daily indulgences that going through the motions is just not doing it for me anymore. Everything in my life feels like a chore until I actually do it. But getting myself to do these "chores" is so emotionally exhausting for me.

I know I sound like a whiny child, and that's just because I am right now. I really am trying to get my ducks in a row so life can be more enjoyable again, but the fuckers keep taking off in different directions every time I think I have them straight.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekend Review: 5/21-22

So empty

I spent Saturday volunteering at our local Dressage Festival. It was freezing and drizzling. I was in charge of the covered warm-up and would send competitors to the indoor arena before their ride time. It was a really slow day. 
Vendors weren't too interesting either so I left empty handed (good for my wallet). The crappy weather led me to go back home and nap. 
Yes I fangirled over CCI event rider Sara Mittlieder 
Sunday's weather wasn't much better. I spent almost 2 hours at Walmart adulting real hard. I joined the cool kids club and bought a FitBit. I mostly did housework and laundry (again- adulting so hard). I even meal prepped for the week! That evening I took Monty out for a good lunge as hes been quite sassy lately. 
He was pretty sure his only job was the weed the arena. I put him to work anyways and he was pretty stiff. I just let him do what he needed to on the lunge for about 10 minutes and let him return to his very important job of weeding. 
He is slowly improving and I have to keep reminding myself that Rome wasn't built in a day. Today is a Riesling ride and I'll probably take Monty out again this evening to stretch his legs. Happy Monday! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Pony Update

Wednesday I had another glorious ride on Princess Ries. The footing in the arena was terrible so I watered a twenty meter section. Despite the limited space he was amazing. We worked more on collection and extension in the trot which he is really getting good at. I also was able to sit some trot! In the canter since our transitions aren't trash anymore I focused on first getting a long loose canter and then collecting up to get some "jump" in his step. We got about three good jump steps tracking right and tracking left I had to focus on loosening him up so nothing really exciting there. 

Unfortunately yesterday started the downpour for the weekend. Rain + limited time because of house sitting just isn't optimal pony time. Dressage Festival is this weekend and I will be volunteering there as well as getting my #buttcloud fitted to Ries better. 

Love seeing progress! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dirty Bucks

I love how the light shines on the hills

I absolutely love long summer nights. It was 8:15 by the time I had made it to see Monty. I could immediately tell upon mounting up that he was feeling saucy. We kept it simple to warm up, and I focused on some trot work before I attempted the canter. 

Monty was very anxious in our trot work and I should have taken that to not canter, but he really needs to learn that cantering isn't going to kill him. We worked on adjust-ability in the trot and he certainly is game for extension but is pretty sure collection is dumb. He wasn't even in both reins so I did some serpentines. At every change of bend he was pretty sure I was going to ask him to canter and got very nervous. He did work out of it and maintained a calm attitude. 

Cantering left (his weak side) was definitely a shit show. He was bucking and crow hoping and refusing to canter like a normal horse. It's like he forgot where his legs went and was upset that he couldn't get himself together. After half a lap of cantering like a normal horse I transitioned down and let him walk. We went about ten steps on a loose rein before he stopped and threw a buck. Whoa, rude, dude. I gave him a firm talking to about how it wasn't very nice of him and he seemed sort of embarrassed with his behavior. Tracking right it only took two ugly transitions/temper tantrums before I got him in a nice balanced canter. We did a few laps and I was so proud of him! It definitely gives me hope for his left side.

After I got off I ran my hands down his back and put pressure to check for soreness. None at all. He hadn't been out in a few days so I'm thinking he was feeling fresh and had a lot of anxiety. He was a very happy man to get some attention. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Baby Horse Logic

He tries to groom me after I groom him
Well this is my first time working with baby horses and have basically been told by the owners to have fun and play with them. So far I have brushed them and felt them up (seriously surprised I didn't get killed). 
"dis brush thing iz nice" 
But here's the thing. I cannot get either of them to eat treats. Hay in my hand? Sure! But other than that they look at me like I'm showing them my friend and they don't understand or care what to do with it.

They aren't afraid of me and don't care if I attempt to shove said treat in their mouth. They mostly think I'm crazy and why in the world would they want to eat it. I absolutely adore spoiling horses and have thus earned the name "cookie lady" by most horses I meet. But these guys won't budge. Help. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Equestrian Adventures: Dartmoor Derby

Starting a new series on my blog where I look at Equestrian Adventure Destinations. As I am developing my career I see a beneficial opportunity for study abroad, internships, and adventures. While this place specifically is more an adventure place, I do believe all travel is beneficial to learning. I came across this freaking awesome adventure by looking into study abroad experiences and while I also want to share those on here, this is a more open opportunity for everyone.

This article popped up on my google search about a first time derby to take place in Dartmoor based off of the Mongol Derby. The Mongol Derby, located close northern China, attempts to recreate the postal system developed by Ghengis Khan. The race is 1000 km (~621 miles) where you switch horses every 40 km (~25 miles). The race lasts ten days and costs around $12,200 dollars. It is unclear whether or not this includes food/lodging. They round up around 14,000 Mongolian ponies for the race. Reading anecdotes, it appears that while the horses are "trained" they are very green and need experienced riders. While this sounds absolutely exhilarating (tbh just added to my bucket list) it is also pricey.

The Dartmoor Derby , hosted by Liberty Trails, appears to be a more tame version of this. Dartmoor is located in Devon, England (southwest England). The terrain (I would assume) is definitely different than Mongolia. This area is very scenic and inspired Steven Spielberg's award winning movie War Horse. The duration is only 3-4 days as well compared to 10. Instead of being a race, the event is centered around an enjoyable romp through the English countryside. However, all riders are recommended to be fully experienced and comfortable in all gaits; this certainly isn't for Joe Tourist who has ridden on the beach in Coasta Rica in flip flops and board shorts.

This event also allows you to bring your own horse to the event or hire a pony trained for the event. While there is a demand to finish each day's ~24 miles before the sun sets, this isn't a competition. You travel in groups and have the option of "glamping" or staying in a luxury hotel at night. Food is provided as well as full medical and veterinary support. The price also suggests a luxury excursion (or at-least it should, ha!). With the option of bringing your own horse or camping versus hotels, the cost ranges from $1,800 - $4,300.

While plane fair will be expensive, it seems like a fun equestrian excursion that doesn't seem too far fetched.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Riesling's Story

Outfit on point
Yesterday after finishing a fantastic ride, one of the ladies of the barn approached me asking if I had heard Riesling's story. I gave her a puzzled look; I knew as much of his history as I could find. But no, this was a different story.

Saturday as the ladies were chatting and doing barn chores, a motorcycle pulled up alongside the road to the barn, stopping at Riesling's stall. He pulled an apple out of his pocket and began to feed Ries. This was very alarming to the ladies, noticing a stranger feeding one of the horses. They quickly hurried over to catch any trouble. 

"Hi sir, we would prefer if you don't feed the horses", muttered D.

"Oh no, I don't mean trouble; this horse saved my life." 

D and T exchanged confused glances.

The main continued his story, "I suffered very badly from depression and as I was driving down this road one day I was having suicidal thoughts. I was distracted by this horse. This horse was acting very strange, which caused me to pull over. I approached him and he seemed to think I needed comforting. He was very sweet to me. I figured he was fine and was headed on my way when he started getting upset again. I went back and stayed with him. This was a sign. This horse knew I was going to do something bad. For the past four months I have taken a drive down this road and feed him an apple. He saved my life."

The ladies were shocked needless to say. 

The end of the month marks my 7th year owning Riesling. This horse has been through so much with me and I cannot be grateful enough to have him in my life. To know he has made an impact this huge on someone else's life just blows me away. This horse guys. Yeah he was a major asshole/accident prone horse at the beginning of the year but he is my heart and soul. I can't wait for the next ten+ years with him, even if that means hes retired. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekend Review: 5/7-5/8

Baby Winston Nose

What a relief of a weekend. It was really nice knowing I wasn't procrastinating homework all weekend. Saturday and Sunday were both joyous horse days.

Saturday I got to play with both goobers. Ries was first. We had storm Friday night that left the outdoor a little slick and with lots of puddles. I decided that it would be good for us to ride in different terrain. We only worked for maybe 10 minutes and walked on a loose rein for another 15 minutes. It was such a nice feeling. The wet sand smelled of the beach as we strolled from puddle to puddle. It was a warming sense of nostalgia for me. 

Being severely out of shape, I really didn't want to drive and see Monty. But I am so glad I did. Immediately when I arrived he reminded me of why I bought him. He is so sweet and loving. I opted to lunge because it would benefit him more than me attempting to ride like a potato sack. He was such a good noodle! His canter is becoming way more relaxed and he is getting stronger in his stifles. I'm so excited this week to ride him under saddle again. 

Sunday I ventured to our first-in-a-long-time USHJA show. I was a little girl at a candy store. Having not seen a recognized show in AGES it reminded me of happy times from my childhood. There was also a CWD rep and Voltaire rep. Cue internal screaming. We don't have any nice tack stores local and having lusted over nice french saddles for so long, I couldn't stop touching. 

I spoke with the CWD rep and figured out what saddle I would need, and thus begins the saving to hopefully find a used one in August. Of course I wanted to hear her whole spiel about why CWDs were the best, ect ect. I am definitely in the market when my horse is fit and I have money. 

Unfortunately the Voltaire rep was no where to be seen. Booo. I've always been a fan and really wanted to here what she had to say about their saddles. 

There was also a tack trailer from SLC. I absolutely admired her trendiness as I saw a lot of brands I had wanted to touch in real life before. I really wanted one of the TS 2" belts or she had gorgeous Asmar belts too. I played with some Equifit half pads (that I've been interested in).  She also had the new sheepskin Ogilvy's. It was really hard not to buy everything, especially a pair of Rockels. I've been needing new gloves but I have bills to pay before I can justify buying anything. 

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and YAY SUMMER! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Foal Friday

A little tease with more info to come. Ps this isnt even the exciting thing Ive been working on that will happen soon. Pss I PASSED CALC. Alright one more final to take, wish me luck!