Saturday, June 29, 2013

Liebster Time!

So thanks to Chasing the Dream, I have been nominated! Gracias, mi amiga!


-You have to link back to the blogs that nominated you. -Answer 11 questions and state 11 random facts about yourself -Come up with 11 more questions and nominate 11 more.

I'm not sure I can nominate 11 more! I think everyone has probably been nominated at this point. But I will try!

1. I have a horrible problem with water getting in my ears. So bad that it happens from simply showering sometimes! And then I can't hear for a month.
2. I absolutely love pitbulls!
3. I've never fallen off Amber, and I refuse to talk about it or state that fact to anyone because I will jinx my streak. Probably screwed myself just now.
4. I have several dime-size purpleish blue spots on my right shoulder, which I've had since I was very young, and I have no idea what they are. Even a dermatologist I went to didn't know.
5. I've had my lip pierced 5 times! Not all at once, mind you.
6. Chinese and Mexican are my favorite foods, ever.
7. I don't believe in ghosts.
8. I accidentally killed my pet hamster when I was a child. And lied to my mother about it's untimely death!
9. I always eat egg & cheese biscuits from McDonalds for breakfast. Just egg and cheese, nothing else. Doesn't sound good, but it's pretty freaking awesome. Although not very healthy.
10. I didn't drink for my 21st birthday!
11. It takes 6 alarms to wake me up in the morning.

1. What's the last book you read cover-to-cover?
Little House in the Big Woods - I was being a bit nostalgic of my childhood, where I read everything I could get my hands on, and the little house books were my favorites. 2. Have you ever broken a bone, and if so how?
I had a hairline crack in my arm, that still bothers me today, and a crushed - yes, crushed, as the doctor put it, my left pinky finger, at the joint where it joints with the carpal bone. This was the result of me falling off a horse, and falling on my arm when I landed. He tripped because we were following some of my friends in some crappy footing going like a bat out of hell. I was 14, and a moron.

3. If you could chose any super-power, what would it be?
Mind reading!

4. What would you change about the horse world that doesn't have to do with animal abuse or money?
I think some sort of license should be required for horse ownership. People get into horse ownership with good intentions simply having no clue how much it entails. Nothing that would demand everyone be experts to own, just something that says the person has a fairly good understanding of how to safety and properly keep a healthy horse. And if you didn't have such a license you would have to keep your horse with/work with a licensed professional.

5. What are those 'Baby on Board' signs for cars really for? Nobody have ever been able to give me a satisfying answer.
Because I was totally going to plow into the side of their car, but since there is a baby on board I'll just run into someone else.

6. What are your 3 favourite words?
Twilight (NO reference to the Twilight Saga!), Fossil, Ocean

7. What's the most 'out there' thing you believe in?
I don't really believe this, because honestly, I don't believe in anything that's really "out there", but sometimes I wonder about reincarnation. Or maybe memories of our ancestors being remembered by us.

8. Describe the last time you laughed out loud.
When my dad was making fun of the fact that I said "Hello Kitty shit".

9. Mares, geldings or stallions?
Mares. Though they be witchy, they have such personality and wit!

10. Who would you most like to go on a trail ride with?
My boyfriend, but alas, we have no packers for him at our barn, and he can't ride worth a hill of beans.

11. What's the most ridiculous thing you've bought for riding or horses?
Hmm. I have never really bought anything too ridiculous but I do have 8 saddle pads and ear nets to match them all.

1. If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be?

2. Have you ever been out of the country that you live in?

3. What's your job, do you like it?
I'm a kennel assistant at a small animal vet clinic. I love it! It can be stressful at times, but I have the best coworkers and bosses ever. And most of our animals are wonderful. I also work at my barn on the weekends and I like that most of the time. When people are doing what they're supposed to and not leaving it all for me.

4. Proudest moment with your horse?
Probably the first time we jumped 2ft, or the time she was giving me flying changes without me asking.

5. Any horse tattoos?
Negative, no tattoos at all!

6. Favorite place to haul out to ride?
I don't even know anywhere near us, honestly. We are boring and never go anywhere!

7. Any other hobbies besides riding?
Not really. I like to dabble with writing novels. But I think they stink.

8. Most ridiculous piece of tack you've seen?

9. Furthest distance you've taken your horse aka road trip, day haul, show, etc...? The farthest Amber has been was 2.5 hours to the vet in Apex for her hip. MY first horse was about a 4-5 hour trip one way to get her home!

10. Is this your first blog award?
I think so. I may be wrong.

11. Do you board or have your horse(s) at home?

If you could travel to any place in world, where would it be and why?
Probably England. I'm not really sure why. I have some family there, although I don't even know who they are.

If you could live in any historical period/location, where would it be and why?
Probably the US in the mid-late 1800s. Probably because I've read too much Little House.

If you had to change to an entirely new equestrian discipline, what would you go to?
Entirely new? Probably jumpers.

If you could have a ride on any famous horse in the world competing right now, which would it be?

Describe your dream barn.
Well, it sort of depends. If it were a personal barn or a boarding barn. I've always wanted to run a semi-large boarding barn, so I've thought out some budget-free master plans in my head for that I must say.

It would be a 20 stall barn. 10 stalls on each side, and in the middle, a large, insulated indoor arena with fans for the summer. Each side of the barn would have it's own tack room, feed room, and wash pit, so that both sides could function separately without anyone being inconvenienced by having to walk from side to side.

On one side there would be a storage room for various items, and on the other there would be a laundry room with a washer, dryer and a rack for air drying with a fan. There would be a staircase leading up to a lounge/observatory above the indoor arena. Each side of the barn would have a bathroom, one of them with a shower. On the opposite side, the upstairs area would be a hay loft with a pulley system for lowering the bales.

The stalls would be 12x12 with outside doors to the feeders and hay racks. Outside doors and windows. The doors would let out directly to their pastures. Two groups of five. So stalls would be assigned based on who was turned out together.

Directly behind the barn on the left side would be storage sheds for extra hay, shavings and equipment, and two spare pastures for rotation or horses requiring individual turn out. On the right side would be a large arena with a 100ft roundpen attached to one corner (the corner being the gate).

Yeah, I might have thought this out a little.

Favorite non-horsey activity?
Reading books or bowling, probably.

Which is better: the book or the movie adaptation?
The book!

Can you cook? If so, what can you make?
No. But I can make spaghetti!

Favorite color?
Hot pink or dark turquoise.

Describe yourself in 10 years.
Probably the same. Just older. And red mule will probably be a slow, lazy trail horse.

How did you first start riding?
My parents enrolled me in lessons as a gift for my 8th birthday. Best gift EVER.

Get up early to ride, or stay up late?
Get up early. I hate the getting up part, but once I'm up, I'm a morning person.

What do you do for a living?
Previously answered.

What do you wish you did for a living?
Managed a big fat fancy boarding barn. Like my dream barn, previously described.

If you could try any type of riding what would it be?

What is one thing about your horse you wish you could change?
Probably make her half a hand to a hand taller. We were recently consoled by our trainer about our inability to do anything but large pony stride down the line. LOL. "Let her go down the line like the ponies", she says...

If you could change your horse's name to anything (registered or barn) what would it be?
Firefly. This would be cute.

Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram?

Ebay, Craigslist, or Tack shop?

If you could take on the life of any character in any TV show or movie, who would it be?
Probably Luna Lovegood, from Harry Potter. Don't

If you had an unlimited budget, what type of car or truck would you buy?
I'm going with the previous answer given by Monica...Dodge RAM!

If you could move to any part of the world, where would it be?
Previously answered!

+11 questions. Which I shall answer for the sake of thoroughness.

Do you have any non-equine pets, and what are they?
A red brindle pitbull named Allie, a black and white border collie cross named Matilda, two orange domestic shorthair cats, Garfield and Spyro. And I count my mom's dog as "mine" also, so a beagle chihuahua cross named Dixie.

Favorite soda?
Diet Coke.

Does your horse go barefoot, or have shoes?
4 shoes, aluminum fronts.

If you could have any saddle you wanted, what kind would you get?
A tad coffin in a medium-dark havana.

What color is your horse's halter?
Navy with a kelly green and navy lead. She also has a leather halter with a hot pink lead rope that I refuse to let be used for taking her to and from the pasture.

You paint your fingernails. How long does it take you to chip them?
Depends on what I'm doing. Sometimes it lasts up to 2-3 days!

Favorite movie of all time?
The Awakening.

Mountains or beach?
I can't even pick. I love both.

Have you ever done anything illegal?

Would you rather be too hot, or too cold?
Too hot. I can't even function when it's cold.

How many saddle pads do you own?
8. I'm pathetic.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Guess who is flying over fences again?

And, for the millionth time, I failed to update my blog regularly after a promise.

But I am super pleased to report to you guys that:

A) Amber is moving better than ever. Casey says most of the time she doesn't drag at all. We know she tracks up because she's constantly tapping her front shoes with the hind! I probably need some bell boots, but she never does any harm to herself. She just hits the shoes because she's such a daisy clipper. The only things we have changed are her supplement, and the footing we ride on. We switched to Grand H.A., and I've been pleased with it. We don't really need any other supplementation because she doesn't have a weight problem anymore, her coat and feet are great, so really nothing needs "help". I think the grass footing is much better than the deep sand at the old barn. White honestly I think it was making her sore. She's been pretty perfect at the new barn.

B) We are jumping again! And making great progress. I still have my fear issues, but it's coming along. I'm taking weekly jumping lessons. I have no problems with her on the flat. She has days where she wants to get a little strong, but I've finally learned not to fight with her about things and it's made her much more relaxed and willing.

A lot has gone on since my last blog.

We are still enjoying trail rides, although lately I've tried to put some focus on the arena as well. I've been trying to do 2 days of flatwork, 1 day of jumping, and then use Sundays for trails.

I have actually started a trial and gymkhana club for some of the kids and teenagers at the barn, and it's pretty fun. Some of them can really give me a run for my money in the games we play! So we have started doing that on Sundays and after we play games we go on a trail ride and canter around in the fields across the road. They are quite amused by cantering together in the field because it's Saddle Club-esque. LOL.

The groundskeeper we had, I don't think I mentioned him, had 18 horses and was taking up 5 of our pastures, leaving us (who had the same amount of horses), with 3! He was recently fired, for reasons the owner didn't elaborate on, and we got 5 extra pastures. The smaller groups really make for less drama amongst the groups, allows for mare-gelding separation, and because the fields are HUGE, with only 3-4 horses in each, we shouldn't have a problem with grass growth. If we do, we still have plenty of room to regroup everyone and start rotating the pastures.

In other news on the front of our horses and boarders...remember Amber's pasture mates when I put her on 24/7 turnout to recoup from being stalled 23 hours a day? Stormy and Myrada? They're coming back to pasture board in the back fields, since our stall boarders aren't going back there (because nobody wants to walk all the way back there to bring in/turn out every day. The barn they had moved to shut down because the owner there went a little crazy. Something about a meth lab in her barn! Crazy stuff.

We had a couple of boarders leave for different reasons, nothing against us really. And we have 3 new ones coming in. We are almost full of boarders. Casey plans to move her own few ponies she has left to the back pasture to make room if necessary. I think she's getting out of resales.

SO, my jumping.

We started out trotting crossrails and I thought I sucked. I was pretty sure I lost all ability I ever had.

After a few lessons of that, last week, we started trotting in and cantering out of crossrail lines. I forgot that when I try to fix Amber's stide, it messes her up, because she sets herself up. I was jumping to early and jumping for her and our distances and timing was shotty. We ended on a good note though.

This week, it was like a lightbulb came on. Instead of trying to adjust her perfectly, I let her figure her stride out and pushed her at a steady pace down the line. Remembered to count approaching the fence. And no problems. And then Casey sets up a 2ft vertical. LOL. I refused to canter it. It was on the bending line anyway, so I was a chicken, but I did trot it. We cantered the 2ft flowerbox that you'd think I'd be more wary of, since it's got so much stuff sticking up for Amber to look at. It's a visual thing. There was only 1 pole on the vertical, and it just "looked" taller.

But we will get there. We did have 1 bad distance cantering into the crossrail line, and I ducked out because I thought we were going to crash - Casey wasn't pleased with me for that, but we came back around and nailed it.

She's not really getting her auto changes like she used to, but I'm not really thinking about my leads like I should on my approach, so she'd probably get that back if I'd start paying attention. She does great skip-ups and simples, so at least we don't have a fuss fixing them!

Being that we are doing interesting things now, it might inspire me to keep up my blog for a change. I think the main thing has been...our riding has been the same thing pretty consistent.

...And I got another custom saddle pad. Should be here in a couple of weeks. I'm not going to tell you guys about it, you'll just have to wait and see! I also got a new leather halter and I have a nameplate on the way for it.

If anyone is interested, my other leather halter is for sale. $30 OBO. It's warmblood size, would probably fit a draft, it's huge. Padded leather.

My 72" lavender/mint plaid cotton sheet is also up for grabs for $15. We got new blankets so I'm selling this stuff to recoup my funds.

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Barn = Paradise.

I'm really horrible about updating. I need to keep on it...

That million-dollar barn that we were supposed to move to in a few months? Still in the works, most likely taking longer to get running than originally planned. However, C has decided to keep the "temporary" barn. And I think she is wise to do so.

A lot of her boarders and students aren't going to be willing to drive that far, period. And I am at the point where I'm not willing to either. And, too, I love our new barn. I'm a bit sad that I'll miss out on the giant indoor they'll have, but I really, really like the property and barn we have now.

Things have been pretty great at the new barn. We've had a little drama lately regarding Casey's organization and cleanliness of the barn, but S and I should get it resolved. I hate to jump to conclusions on things, but basically, for the past couple of weeks, perhaps a little more, stalls aren't getting cleaned on Fridays, and possibly not finished entirely on Thursdays. And some boarders have noticed, one even cleaning their own stall 3+ times - that's bad!

I won't really go into our barn drama.

The barn is wonderful. Concrete aisles, hot/cold washpit, HUGE arena, and so many places to ride. The stalls are slightly smaller, but still big. The barn has two aisles, and it's basically shaped like an "H", the washpit being in the middle and bridging the two sides. Each side has ten stalls, 6 on the outside with windows. I need to get some pictures for you guys - I can't believe I haven't take many.

We have lovely white vinyl fencing around some huge pastures for most of the horses, and surprisingly, Karona, Mac, Mareeloo and Cindy are going out together in a smaller field beside the arena. The arena, is actually a reformed pasture. But Amber seems to like the grass footing better and she toe dragging is virtually non-existent now.

We were able to take virtually everything with us. Most of our jump standards were some that Casey had made. Most of the useable saddles were Casey's. I heard the new operator of Spring Bank, which is it now called again, doesn't even teach, likely due her charging $60/hr to train - LOL. Literally all the boarders except 3 pasture boarders left.

Things with me and Amber have been pretty great as well. We've kind of got that "black stallion" relationship going on, except she's a chestnut mare. She has never been happier though. We have so much room to run around, beautiful trails and paths. And there's an empty sub division across the road that is great to play around in, it's huge. We haven't done a lot of arena work, but somehow, it's perfect just about every time. She's even throwing in some dressage type stuff when I ask for it. We're jumping again...she's so good at setting herself up. It's like we have such a close bond, I feel connected to her.

I promise pictures soon. It's a little weird that this blog is so short and I haven't blogged in two months. Most of anything I have to say is about barn drama, which I won't go into. At least my relationship with my horse is amazing!