Tuesday, February 28, 2017

First Lesson of 2017!

Clearly I've been lacking in creative post titles...anyways..I had my first lesson! And it was a jump lesson (minus the jumping?). I literally haven't sat in my jump saddle in probably two years. Like holy crap. Jumping is really where my heart is (you know..the whole Two-Point part of my blog) and it kills me to not do it anymore. 

I've been teasing the idea of having a jump lesson for a long time now, and I finally put myself out there and made it happen. Neither of the first 3 trainers I had previously tried to lesson with worked out, so I went with whoever got back to me first! This trainer is located in my town so it is pretty convenient to get to her place. She also hosts some derbies and league dressage shows so I was glad to check the place out.

I rode an OTTB gelding named Bullwinkle, who is primarily used as a lesson horse for the kids. However, W (trainer) assured me he is a nice horse underneath the lesson pony exterior. I felt like a jockey when I first got on, and W informed me that my stirrups were about somewhere between flatting length and jump length, so the transition up to jump won't be as awkward as I anticipate.

We started out doing exercises at the walk just so I could get a feel for him. It was embarrassing how much I struggled at the beginner work. Once we started trotting I got some sort of groove back. He responded especially well to my seat and leg aids (besides the whole forward one) and put himself rather nicely on the bridle. Apparently I don't lose all of my riding skills when I shorten my stirrups! 

W didn't know what to expect of me as a rider and was excited to see how put together Bullwinkle became, compared to the normal plodding along he normally does. I was given a lovely compliment that she would love for me to ride him whenever I could, but I'm pretty sure she changed her mind once she saw how awkward I got at the canter haha. 

I'm already awkward enough trying to post the trot without feeling like I'm launching myself out of the stirrups, so getting a canter transition was...interesting. I couldn't just sit and use my outside leg and shift my weight to get a soft transition. It almost reminded me of riding Merlot. He ran into the canter and I stayed in half seat trying to sort everything out. I'm sure if I would have just ignored my awkward body and just forced myself to ride like I know how, I would have been fine. 

After that mess we went back to trotting and practiced two-pointing. I seriously was like "yeah I can totally hold a two-point no problem" and then I did and was like THIS IS SO MUCH HARDER THAN I REMEMBER. I kept falling (gently) back on my seat or needing to rest my hands on his neck. My thighs were burning. I have a feeling I know what I will be doing in lessons from now on. 

We ended by trotting some poles between standards. By this point, Bullwinkle was tired and me trying to both two-point, steer, and keep a forward trot stride left me exhausted too. Overall it was a really fun lesson! I felt like a total beginner but I'm sure I'll get some strength and muscle memory back and will progress forward. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Naivete

What horse related or equestrian related piece of knowledge did you believe was true for an extended period of time that turned out to not be true?

I guess it's time I air my dirty laundry of stupid horse knowledge that isn't real. 
Riesy 003
I basically though Ries was the best most majykal hunter

When I first started riding "hunters" I was taught to see-saw to no end. "Get his head down! See-saw!". Also, slack in the reins was a good thing. Oh and to lunge a horse that wouldn't "get his head down" while under saddle, I was taught to take a western bridle, run the reins under the chest, bring them up and over the top of the withers, and tie them in a knot. Then lunge them until the sun sets. 

lala 074
This poor dude suffered my see-sawing and poor lunging skills

Luckily, my new dressage knowledge doesn't leave me like a hopeless freak. And seeing A rated hunters ride (instead of the unrated circuit I showed on as a kid) with contact, makes me happy that hunter rider's aren't actually dumb, I was just taught to be a dumb one. 

lala 099
Such a saint, hes still a happy pony today! I'll have to write more about him!
And my last ungodly stupid knowledge was related to bits. I was taught the more breaks in the bit the more severe it was. So basically, Waterfords were of the devil. When I first worked at a tack store here in Idaho, I cringed so hard at the first girl who bought one. I didn't understand why everyone wasn't buying a single jointed snaffle. Sorry girl I gave dirty looks to who bought that Waterford (in fact, this was Alyssa, and I was MORTIFIED when I found out that I was the stupidest judgmental Californian-turned Idahoan that existed when we became friends). 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dreaming of Spring

Winter is still wreaking havoc on Idaho, at least in my area. My place is a mud pit and J's place is half mud half 1ft of snow. It's killing the vibe. J is even more of a hoarder than I am so I propositioned her to spend a day cleaning tack and day drinking. Yesterday happened to be that day.

J decided we needed fondue to go with our wine so while she was at the store I went and harassed all her ponies. I'll introduce you to the small group of ponies that were into the whole selfie game. 

At the top of the post is an unnamed 2 y/o that is the sister of Winston (Bay RPSI yearling that lived at my house last year). She was in a neglect situation and her feet never got trimmed so her soundess is questionable. She is pasture sound now, and because she's related to J's herd, J wants to rehab her and keep her around even if she can't be ridden. If she loses her pasture soundness she will be put down, but we are hoping for that not to happen!

Next is Merlot, aka 5 y/o green bean who accidentally broke my foot. He is such a sweety, I'm obsessed. 

J was given this sweet grey mare to re-home, but her daughter fell in love. She is a super sweet QH packer and we plan on taking her to a few schooling shows this year to sell because, unfortunately, a 13 y/o really can't ride 4 horses at once. 

Next is this cute little weanling, yet to be named. I hung out in the momma and foal pasture, but this was the only brave baby to let me cuddle and take selfies. He is a cute little RPSI colt. 

As soon as spring hits, all the babies will get cleaned up, inspected, and sold to their new homes! Until then, I'll keep taking any opportunity to give them smooches. 

If you are looking for a pick-me-up this winter, I definitely recommend tack cleaning with fondue and wine. And for anyone interested, this is the amazing fondue recipe:

Bring one cup of dry white wine and the juice of half a lemon to just under a simmer. Shred half a hand sized round of edam, a 6 ounce block of swiss, and a 5 ounce block of gruyere (doesn't have to be exact weight, just similar). Toss shredded cheese in 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of flour, making sure shreds are evenly coated. Slowly add shredded cheese to wine and stir thoroughly. Lower heat to low and eat when all cheese is melted! So easy, so amazing. I was too busy engorging myself to take a picture, but trust me, it looked amazing too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2017 Goals

I'm a little late to jump on this track. I've had these ideas on my mind for awhile and just never found the time to write them all down and make a post about it.

Last year was entirely spent mentally figuring my self and my life out. It is when I came to the conclusion that I want to really try and pursue my equestrian dreams. I have had them suppressed for so many years, and it is time I take control of my own life. I have no one to hold accountable but me, and no one to blame my own happiness on than me. So here are my goals and aspirations:


Figure out Riesling's future- Will the pentosan injections keep him sound? Will we be able to ride first level tests?

Get my first level scores- Ideally this will be on Riesling, but also I have two backups. Even if I don't get above 60%, just going to the USDF shows and showing first level will be the accomplishment.

Do some schooling jump shows - Unfortunately this is more of a stretch goal. I have a ton of opportunities, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to make this a priority. I really want to get back into jumping though.

Ride at C's and J's three times a week - my poor gas tank hurts writing this one. Ideally I'd like to ride at each place 3 days a week, but if it just adds up to 3 days together that will be fine too. Just want to get all the riding in I can.

Ride Ries 4 days a week- In summer this basically means getting up when its still dark outside to ride before work. I am far from a morning person, but I need to utilize all my time if I want to make my dreams come true.


Get fit- I used to be moderately fit. I need to get back to that point in order to be a successful rider.

Eat healthier- This is imperative to a healthy mind, body, and soul

Be more organized in life- I hoard like nobody's business so this includes purging. Also includes being more organized with my time and working hard to better myself.

Excel in school - I can't let my horse education get in the way of my business degree.

Save $$ - I need to have a reasonable savings account piled up. It is time to start my life and being broke won't help.

Buy horse trailer- Now that I have the truck, the next item I need to further my equestrian ambitions is a horse trailer. I have an entire year to do this. The sooner the better but it is time to make this happen.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

My Inspiration

My mom was the driving force for my equestrian life. Above is a photo of her and her first pony, Patches. I believe she was around 10 when she first started riding and got Patches. She saw an ad in the local paper for a pony and convinced her mom to take her to try it out. Patches was listed for $300. Somehow, the pony came home for little charge and lived in their small backyard. My mom told me of when she first rode Patches he bucked and bolted, throwing her off. For some strange reason, my mom loved him. 

Somewhere around this time my grandfather leased and managed a small boarding stable in the San Diego river valley, where a giant mall currently sits. My mom told me about how one time it flooded and they had to go and rescue all the horses in the middle of the night. 

One of the horses that boarded there was an OTTB chestnut gelding named Cartego. His owners owed back board and he had a lock around the gate to his pipe corral. My mom was 14 at the time, and her father had a proposition for her. She was outgrowing her pony at a quick rate and was needing to move up soon. He asked her if she would rather have Cartego now or a car when she was 16. Like any teenager bitten by the horse bug, she chose the horse. 

The horse was hot and known for being kind of a jerk. She almost fell off nearly every time she rode him. When she started driving she had him in full training at a barn in Rancho Santa Fe, where she worked around the barn to pay for her lessons. He always seemed to have his own mind on what they should do when they were training at home. But my mom wasn't worried, as soon as she stepped in the show ring, she said he became a different horse. Cartego loved to show off. 

My mom recalls how they could never get any flying changes at home, but in the ring he offered auto changes whenever necessary. My mom showed him in the A circuit in San Diego, with her friends who are now well known trainers in the area. One time, my mom completely forgot her show boots to a show and borrowed a pair from her male friend and fellow competitor. She ended up wining the classic. 

My mom had Cartego until his last breath. He was her heart horse and I know she'd give anything to take him around the show ring one last time. She continued to dabble in the amateurs until us kids were the main priority. She tried so hard to get my older brother and sister involved in horses, but unfortunately (fortunately for me!) they weren't interested. 

I am incredibly lucky my mom dragged me to the barn with her at every waking moment and that a few months before I turned 9 years old, I got to start taking riding lessons. She took a long riding hiatus from when I became a teenager to just this last year. I can't wait for summer to be riding with her again, except now I'm the one giving her lessons and shouting at her to keep her fingers closed!  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Barn Vista

Just for Emma! This is looking towards my house. On the right of the haystack the little white building is my tack room and on the left you can see the green roof of my house! Riesling is in the stall by the muck bucket. I need more hay to be gone before I can get a shot the other direction that looks out onto the pasture! 

There is also a black cat on top of the beams to the right. They get on the roof actually all the time. Just waiting for snow to melt....

Friday, February 10, 2017


So I have a long wishlist of treats I want, including Dreamers & Schemers socks. But I can't justify $20 for a pair of boot socks. 

I'm so poor trying to ride as much as possible that my latest "treat yo self" has been new straws for my camelback water bottle and a starbucks travel coffee mug. Both purchased from the thrift store (the straws were new in package) for a total of less than $5. Yeah, I know, big spender. 

What are some things you've been dying to get your hands on but can't yet justify? You know, so I can add it to my wishlist 😜

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Auzzy Ride #3

Shoveling snow off the roof of the trailer
So I said I was going to post the video but instead I made the video into gifs for your viewing pleasure! This ride was back on 2/3 and haven't had a chance to ride since (boooo). This ride we actually got some great work in. She was responding nicely to my leg and and our trot tempo was way steadier. She still isn't even into the bridle and tends to be on the forehand but progress! She was able to maintain an inside bend a lot easier, but the video is extremely helpful to see what else I want to work on. 

On the first ride she was extremely nose to chest anytime I tried any contact, and a little of that is still shining through . Her canter was also the most uncomfortable up-down gait I had ever ridden. She also went to a running trot before finally cantering. These transitions are a lot smoother and her canter actually felt normal. She is pretty weak though and kept breaking so I didn't push her too hard.

On to my own position, I feel like I was having to use waay too much inside leg to maintain bend and you can see my heels tend to sneak up. My upper body looks stable but I really need to work on my lower leg strength. I'm so embarrassed to even show you the gifs, but my lower leg has always been a struggle of mine. Me thinks its time for no stirrups. 

Overall, I'm pleased and see a lot of good areas for improvement. Good thing I just got my gym membership back! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


ft. puppy pics because shes so cute <3
So I'm in week 5 of classes this semester and I realized this is the best semester I've had my entire life. I'm enjoying classes, getting all my homework done, and haven't skipped anything yet. I was really happy and proud of myself when I finally made a correlation. My narcolepsy meds also are used for ADHD. No wonder I can finally get shit done. 

To not be tired all the time and also super focused in my life? This is amazing.

On the riding front, I've gotten 3 rides in this year! Auzzy has been a doll and I've really enjoyed riding her. I have a video of me riding (like a potato) from last week I'll share with y'all. Can't believe I went nearly four months without riding and barely walking. I'm so ready to kick 2017's butt!