Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sunday Photo Share

I don't have too much to share beyond that I had an AMAZING time at the beach this morning and really enjoyed my meal at Native Foods. I was going to spend more time in Portland but the traffic even 30-40 minutes away from Portland was nuts and it was hot so I just didn't feel like driving into the city mainly just to eat lunch or dinner.

Instead I'll share the pictures that I took over the past few days!

Space needle from the Uber on the way to Pikes Place Market

Planning to go back tomorrow to get some produce!

Schilling cider bar in Fremont with a colleague, we had two flights and
ended up finishing everything except the hot pepper cider. It was spicy!!

This cider from Moonlight was our favorite.
Over 13% alcohol and sweet and toasty going down :)

Only at an AirBnB would you have
cherries waiting for you in an antique bowl
I passed Devonwood on the way to my AirBnB. I would have LOVED to have gone and checked it out but there were signs posted that it was private and I know they wouldn't appreciate me poking around. There was supposed to be a schooling show scheduled this weekend and I would have loved to have gone but it was canceled :(
I was hoping to see some horses but didn't. On the way
back to town I saw SOOO many trailers though!

Proposal rock

Had to get a picture of the mountain. Not a common sight for me!

I ended up having an interesting experience at Gallops. I walked in and said hi to the sales people and let them know I was just shopping, when they asked, all said with a smile. I grabbed a bunch of stuff to try and asked about where I could find the fitting rooms. The woman who was working made a face and said "you must have not been here before?" Thinking she was just curious I smiled and laughed and said that no, I was from MN. She looked at me sideways, not teasing, and said "well everyone who rides seriously has been here before". I sort of laughed it off but it was awkward and seemed rude to me. Then as I was going to get more stuff to try she caught me and asked if I was moving to OR or just visiting. I said visiting, again with a smile on my face, and she just nodded at me and didn't say anything else.

Just so weird! I probably would have bought something (I still want a hot pink C4 Belt and they had one) but I just couldn't after how weird it got so I tried on a few more things and then left. Really cool place though and I'm sure that's not normal. Maybe my accent scared her off haha.
Nice saddle selection!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What a Summer

Alternate title could be All the AirBnBs since I'll have stayed at 6-7 by the end of the year 4 of which are for this trip.

This has been a crazy year for me travel-wise. In the past going to Lexington for the Pony Cup and doing a couple of work trips (of one week or less) to WA were about all I did. This year that has not been the case.
Certainly can't argue about the accommodations
 First there were a couple of long work trips to Seattle early in the year. I went out in January and again in March for a week. Then I went to Omaha for World Cup which was amazing! After that, I ended up with another trip (this time stressful) to Seattle in June. I had a chance to recover from that and then got to travel to Lexington for Pony Cup again :)

And of course got to hang out with Jen and Connor!!! Photo credit: Jen's mom
I've known that I'd have a longer trip at the end of July for work (mildly stressful) but then that turned into a longer and more stressful trip that was going to be 8-9 days. However, plans changed and it's now going to be 12 days. Yikes...

Puget Sound outside my bedroom
I do get to go to Portland which is a trip that I'd previously wanted to do this year but decided not to do for financial reasons. However, work is paying for the hotel and since I can drive down there from Seattle I don't need to pay for a flight so I'll have 2-3 days in Portland this weekend (for the cost of a rental car) and then back to Seattle for the following week.

The day before I left I was feeling the stress and didn't want to get
into an argument with her so we just cuddled and played in the arena.
She did think I was unfair not getting her Starbucks
I'm also in Seattle long enough that I'm getting to do more exploring than I have in the past which is awesome but... I really miss my pony and I miss Veggie. I'm probably going to go slightly crazy between not being able to see them for 12 days. Not getting to ride means that I'll need to remember what I'm doing when I get back along with likely being sore. All of that with just about 3 weeks to prep for our show at the end of August.

Opportunities like this just don't come around that often and even though it's stressful it's fun to explore and get to spend more time on the west coast. I haven't seen the ocean since I was 18 and I'm SOOO excited to get to go back in a couple of days. I've also had Portland, or OR in general, on my list of places I'd like to live so it will be nice to get to spend more time there so that I can decide if it stays on my list.
Missing this nose soooo much right now
I do have two more trips planned this year. One at the end of August to Rochester, NY (can't wait to hang out with my sister and BIL and meet Bobby!!) and one more for work in October/November but hopefully that will be it. I'm also really hoping that next year there will be less travel. I'm really a homebody but I haven't been able to travel that much in the past and I don't think next year will have as many opportunities for travel so I'm going to enjoy this while I can and pray that I don't fall off or completely forget what I'm doing when I get to ride my pony again.

T minus 8 days and counting until I get to fly back home.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Proof Is In The Pudding

Pony Beast Mode Activated!!
She's fit and getting some muscles. Plus look at how uphill she's gotten!
It's so tough to get confirmation photos by myself since she doesn't want to stand still but today she stood herself up in the cross ties fairly well. I haven't been able to capture a picture of how much taller she's gotten in front/how her withers have come up but this represents it pretty well.

Unfortunately the angle still isn't good and she's standing pretty far under herself in front which isn't doing her shoulder any favors but still, not bad at all!

Worse angle but cuter since you can see her head
 Both Jane and I are so happy with her weight and now just want to make sure that she keeps getting enough groceries to keep putting muscle on. She's completely on alfalfa rather than grass hay right now and getting quite a bit of it to keep up with her workload. She's also on no grass, or no more than she can pick at in her small paddock and what she gets when I hand graze her. We may actually end up adding a bit more grain here at some point if we continue to increase her workload so that she can actually keep at least this much body condition.

It continues to amaze me how much the work we do with them effects their body.

She was so cresty and fat here!

Fall 2016 right before moving to Jane's barn.
Yes, there really has been that much of a change to her withers

Monday, July 17, 2017

Crazy Week and Crossed Wires

Well I tried to make this past week productive and sort of like boot camp but it didn't really turn out that way.

As mentioned I had two lessons last week, one on Sunday and one on Tuesday and didn't ride on Monday to give her that time off. The plan was to lunge on Wednesday, do a longer tougher ride on Friday and an outdoor ride on Saturday morning (still work but not as focused) when I could ride outside without the bugs being too bad.

On Wednesday I lunged as planned and Katai was clearly tired but was a good girl. She got Thursday off and then on Friday I showed up ready to work.

Pulling out all the stops in the bug battle this year.
The farm is in a marsh so they seem to be particularly bad.
These boots are working really well!
I'm a bit OCD about my horse things. I'm not that way with anything else in life but everything at the barn has a place and I put stuff back the same way every time. I was surprised to see the crank noseband on my bridle fastened differently than normal. However, since I'd lunged last I thought maybe I'd done something different than normal when I put it away and just didn't remember or that someone was checking out my bridle which I never mind.

However, that night Katai was REALLY weird to ride. Very unlike her normal self and very tired and behind my leg. She kept stopping and spooking at the end with the door and she never does that, or almost never, and never this bad. I kept it pretty short but was nervous that she wasn't feeling well. Because of that I decided to do another quite day on Saturday and gave her a bath and hand walked her down the road and let her graze a bit. It was really good for both of us but not really the way I pictured the rest of our week going. With that being said I still got to the barn 5 days so that felt good.

All geared up minus her fly mask :)
For a $25ish fly sheet this one has been doing great so far!
Please ignore the horrible angle, she's not nearly this downhill.
Sunday I got to the barn in the evening and planned to do a ride outside. Jane had put together an arena outside and I really wanted to play ride in it. While I was tacking up Jane came out to feed and walked straight over to talk to me. I found out that we'd had our wires crossed and she'd thought I was out of town last week so had my fellow boarder K ride Katai on Friday. Jane felt so bad but I wasn't worried about it and honestly was just glad that I had a reason for Katai's weird behavior on Friday.
the new arena!
I then went on to have an AMAZING ride! Katai has SO MUCH FUN riding outside and I need to remember to do it more. I played around with transitions and asking her to be consistent in the trot but we didn't ride for too long. In the span of about 5 minutes we had attracted a nice little herd/flock/murder of horse flies and they were plastered to her ears. I seriously don't know why she didn't just buck me off and run for the hills but she didn't. Instead she was a princess pony and just kept listening and playing along. I didn't want to make it a miserable experience for her though so after a couple of really good transitions I called it, we went for a little walk loop past the outdoor "arena" and then ran for the barn. I was covered in biting flies, horse flies, and mosquitoes so I was ready to be done as well.

Sort of working but I'm going to try a different type of lotion next time.
This would all be easier if spray bottles were a thing...
Next time I'll use her cute little fly bonnet but it's bad enough out there that I'm not even sure if that will really fix it. At any rate, she was a total princess and I had so much fun!

Now this week I've already been prevented from riding tonight (I'd planned another good long ride) because it's in the 90s and extremely humid again with impending storms. I had wanted to at least go spend time with her but an hour in the car just to go rinse her off for the second time in three days just didn't seem like the best idea. It looks like it will be cooler for the rest of the week so I'm planning to continue my boot camp through Sunday and then I'm off to Seattle and pony will have a few rides from K but mainly a vacation :)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer Reading List: Favorite Horse Fiction

I've been wanting to do a post like this for a LONG time now but it feels like a lot of work to do a book review for some reason. Also, I have SO many fiction and nonfiction books and I was going to try to put everything in one post but it just got too long so I kept giving up.

Instead I've decided to do a couple of posts. In this post I'm going to share my two favorite fiction horse books/series for summer and some of the runners up. The reason that I classify this "for summer" is that these two books are light and fun, easy reads so perfect for summer.

The House at Worlds End

This is my second favorite summer horse book. Even though it isn't specifically about horses the main character is a horse crazy girl and most of the book is focused on horses. It's also just a fun read about four kids who end up living on their own on a farm and they all have lots of fun, animal related, adventures. I love the writing (which is a bit dated in places) and there are lovely quotes like;

She had always wanted a kitchen where there was a saddle on the back of a chair and at least one bridle on the knob of a cupboard door.

Which is exactly how I dream of my kitchen. Unfortunately I think this book is out of print but if you can find it, I HIGHLY recommend it. Oh, and yes the author is Charles Dickens' great granddaughter. 

Another Kind of Cowboy

My absolute favorite horse book of all time and one of my favorite books in general. I'm not sure what makes this book so perfect but there are a few things that stand out to me. First, it's one of the few fiction horse books about Dressage. The only other books I'm aware of are the Dressage Chronicles (which I also really like) but most seem to be about jumping or racing.

Second it's a YA book but  I never feel talked down to or pandered to by her writing style. There's a lot of depth to the writing and her humor is dry and absolutely perfect. It's also a stand alone and fairly short so it's a perfect summer read.

Third, she NAILS dressage culture, absolutely nails it. Her description of the dressage clinician is humorously accurate and  she really seems to get dressage and the people who ride it.

Fourth, the location is in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. I haven't been to Nanaimo but I have been to Vancouver Island and it was GORGEOUS and I'd love to visit again some day. The location of the book and her descriptions of the boarding school and dressage barn are fantastic.

Honestly I don't think I can accurately sum up what makes this book so perfect so I'll just highly suggest that you read it. (Now I feel like LaVar Burton "But you don't have to take my word for it")

Runners Up

The Dressage Chronicles - I LOVE this series as well but Another Kind of Cowboy is just a little better (and a little lighter) in my opinion as far as a dressage book and The House at Worlds End is just such a fantastically light summer book about adventures and farm life that it beats this out as well. 

Star of Shadowbrook Farm - This one is another YA book and isn't nearly as strong as Another Kind of Cowboy but it's also really good. It's written by Joanna Campbell (who started the Thoroughbred series) but this is a standalone and about jumping rather than racing. I also think the writing on this is stronger than the Thoroughbred series. 

Shadow Horse - This one is by Alison Hart who apparently also wrote some of the Thoroughbred series books. This is the first of a two part series and is also YA and also about jumping. This one is a mystery with a great twist. 

Other Books

Ambition, book 1 in the Eventing Series - This one is a bit darker and the writing is very suspenseful but, for me, not in a good way. I felt like I was going to freak out because it kept feeling like something really horrible and dark was going to happen and it just KEPT NOT HAPPENING. Well something really bad does eventually happen and then it gets worse, and then it gets a little worse, and finally everything is ok and there's a happy ending. 2/10 do not recommend.

Riding Lessons (and subsequent book(s)) - This one is also really dark. I read both books awhile ago and then picked up this one at a Half Price Books so that I could have my own copy. This one isn't suspenseful because bad things just KEEP HAPPENING and it's only a page turner because you keep waiting for things to get better. Spoiler, they don't really get that much better but somehow there's a happy ending. Great book, but not a light summer read.

The Mare (only partially a horse book)- my mom got this for me for Christmas this past year and I finally got through it. It's not a bad book, it's really well written and the parts at the barn and about the horses are fairly interesting but it's also fairly dark and it's written from different people's perspectives where it shifts back and forth all the time. As you can maybe tell I like light happy books where good things happen to nice people so this just wasn't my favorite. It did make me think though and was very well written.

Home to Woefield (not a horse book but written by Susan Juby who wrote Another Kind of Cowboy) - I also LOVE this book. It's a bit different, not about horses, and I don't think it's YA although technically I guess it could be. It's another light, fun, positive book about a young city girl who ends up on a farm. There's some suspense and some dark parts but it's got the same great, dry sense of humor and overall it's a really quick, fun, positive summer read. Think Another Kind of Cowboy crossed with The House at Worlds End ;)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Can of Worms: Lesson Recap 7/11

I'm calling this next couple of weeks #summerbootcamp since we have two (now more like 1.5) weeks to really work on things before I'm out of town for 6-11 days for work. Very appropriately we had another lesson on Tuesday.

The previous Sunday we'd had our makeup lesson from the 4th of July Tuesday and then this was my regular lesson. I hadn't ridden on Monday because I needed to do #adult things such as laundry and grocery shopping. Plus it was hot and Katai had a tough ride the day before for my lesson and was going to have a tough ride the next day for another lesson so a day off didn't seem like a bad idea.

My cell phone photo library tells a
story of what I've been doing recently ;)
I always deal with a lot of rush hour traffic and since I'm driving directly North I spend it sitting directly in the hot sun in a car that doesn't have strong enough ac to deal with it. In addition, this week I got to the barn a bit late since I'd forgotten that my normal way to the barn was right through a road closure for construction #summerinMN. Then the detour had a bad car accident that had the road down to one lane and meant more time sitting in the hot sun in my car. By the time I got to the barn I was already hot and crabby and I hate being late so was feeling a bit stressed as well.

After tacking up in record time we got to the arena the bugs were HORRIBLE. I was being eaten alive and I couldn't get more than a few steps of walk from Katai before she was stamping and bitting at them. We didn't walk for too long before we went to trot since that keeps the bugs at bay.

At least better than the fly spray that I'd coated both of us in...

Again we started with getting her moving out around the full arena. After she was moving well Jane had me ask for a lengthening down the long side. At first we just got rushy steps and then Jane asked me to get her more round. 

Most of the time pony goes around like this.

Blurry but you can kind of see
She's soft through the poll, has good contact, and is very ridable but not especially round. Typically we're happy with this but on Tuesday at least she was faking the contact and not really through or using her back.

Jane had me get her way more round and get her neck lower (not overbent, just rounder than she was going). She said it may look too round from above since it's not what I'm used to but she wanted her there and for me to keep her there while I did the lengthening. The next long side I started to figure it out and then the second time I tried it that way it felt like magic. She was really pushing, her back was up and she was really carrying me along. We gave her a break and Jane said "well that really opened a can of worms". I looked up at her wondering what the heck I'd missed and she explained that now that we know she can move that way, she needs to do this more of the time. 

Veggie had a great time at the doggy daycare lady's house this past weekend.
He's good at supervising the big dogs...

I had a huge smile on my face. Apparently this pony can really move now that she's getting stronger and Jane really didn't expect it. I didn't either haha.

We switched sides and did the same thing. A bit of trial and error later we had a very similar trot on that side and then Jane had us move on to 3 loop serpentines and try to keep/get the same sort of movement. Honestly it was a hot mess. It was a lot for me to keep track of and Katai was trying to just rush through it rather than doing it appropriately. It's new for me to feel that much power from her and to push her appropriately without just making her run. In the end I was at least getting my serpentines right, the bending right, and not letting her rush with bigger movement than normal but we weren't really getting enough trot still. It's going on the list of things to practice.

My 4th of July project was trying to recreate my favorite cookies in vegan form
They turned out better than the original and after this picture was taken I added chocolate frosting on top of the marshmallows. 
By that point I was quite hot and getting tired myself and Katai was also feeling pretty done. Because of how much we'd asked at the trot, and how much we'd asked at the canter on Sunday Jane just had us do a bit of easy canter using the full arena and doing some 20 meter circles. We continued to work on getting a nice, slow, steady rhythm and also on trying to get her rounder at the canter. For this Jane had me focus on lifting the inside rein rather than pulling back. It was tricky for me to get the right feel but I started to get it towards the end. By then Katai was DUN done so we did just a tiny bit more stretchy trot and then called it a day.

She got hosed, I got splashed on and drank some water and then got my stuff put away and headed home for the air-conditioning and lots more water. In the end it felt like another amazing lesson even if my evening didn't start out that way. This tiny mare just continues to amaze me and Jane and I just can't wait to see where we go together.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Milestone: Lesson Recap 7/9

No new pony pictures so you get some more pictures from Kentucky
As mentioned in my previous post the plan was for me to have a lesson once I got back on Sunday to make up for the past Tuesday when we canceled due to the holiday. Jane's amazingly nice and flexible as she didn't expect me to set a time on Sunday and just watched for me to get there so that I didn't need to feel stressed about making it at a specific time after my flight. I ended up getting there right around 5 I think so it was hot but not unbearable.

We warmed up using the full ring again and getting Katai cruising before we asked for anything else. She was moving nicely to start (especially after a few days off) and so after a bit we did some leg yields and we NAILED them! We've still been struggling but on Sunday we really got them. I think it was a combination of getting her off my leg better in warmup and that I'm finally starting to put the pieces together to be able to ride them appropriately even as her balance changes throughout the movement.

After a walk break we did some shoulder in and just worked on sitting trot in general. It's already improved from how it was at my last lesson but I'm still struggling with losing my stirrups and maintaining consistency in my position. Even with that we got some really good should in. Jane had me do an exercise where we'd do half the long side, do a 10 meter circle and then go straight for the rest of the long side just to make it so that Katai didn't need to do SI the whole distance. I struggled enough with getting her shoulder off the wall and making the 10 meter circles appropriately that Jane set up cones and that ended up being as much a focus of the exercise as the SI was. Ah well, I have to keep reminding myself that this sitting trot thing is really new for both of us.

Overall Jane was really happy with our SI and with our progress in sitting trot as well.

Downtown Lexington
After another walk break we started our canter work and did some counter canter through shallow serpentines. To the right we did quite well but (maybe because she was tired after all the canter to the right and SI) to the left she struggled and wanted to use speed to cheat. However, her canter is still much improved and she's mostly letting me slow her down and control the rhythm and tempo better than she was.

At our final walk break Jane brought up that she thinks we're going to be ready for 1st level at our next show!!! I may make that goal after all. First level test 1 basically has the addition of leg yield and if we can keep going the way we have recently we'll be ready for that by the end of August for that show. Then I'll probably also enter Training 2. It will still be opportunity classes for both and then next year I'll join all of the things so that we have more test options.

The horse park is such a beautiful place
We also decided that instead of doing any other schooling shows I'm going to do two clinic rides with Susanne likely in November. She teaches the clinic at my old barn which is just a few miles away and we'll trailer there and back both days so it will be a great experience for Katai. It shouldn't be too intimidating since she lived there for awhile and it's a nice short journey so it shouldn't be overly stressful. It will also be good for me since I'm sure I'll learn even more than I would at a show.

It was such a great lesson and felt like a great payoff after a few tougher rides :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

NDPC Recap Part: 2

On Saturday I had three people to watch ride and those rides spanned the entire day from 9:50ish am to 5:30ish pm. For a horse show, though, that didn't feel too early and since I'd planned to spend all of Saturday at the horse park those ride times actually worked out.

10 years! It sounds like it was so big this year that next year they may need additional space.
That says a lot since they were using at least four of the
five rings in the KYHP dressage complex the whole time.
I got to the horse park just a bit before the first ride, which was Jen's, after stopping for Starbucks. I'm getting spoiled with  my trips to Seattle where there's literally a Starbucks on every corner and it took me a bit longer to get coffee than I expected so I didn't get there quite as early as I'd hoped. At any rate I had a bit of time to chat with Jen's mom and Connor's breeder before Jen went in for her ride.

I don't want to give away any spoilers but their ride was fantastic! I ended up video taping the ride on Jen's mom's video camera plus I don't like to share pictures of people riding unless they approve them first so I don't have any media but I'm sure Jen will have some to share.

After her ride we talked a bit and then Jen headed back to the barn with Connor while I waited with the other two for a golf cart because #ourfeethurt.

We got back, got Connor hosed off and helped with a scary loose horse situation (everyone was fine as far as we could tell). We grabbed some food and then headed over to the Mustang Makeover to see what was going on over there.

Helping with Connor's bath. He clearly wasn't too fussed by the loose horse.

Unfortunately we would have needed to buy tickets to see any of the demonstrations and we weren't quite dedicated enough to do that but we did check out some of the horses and burros that were up for adoption and walked through the barns.

I got another golf cart ride back and made it just in time for H's ride! I took video again for her and this time the GRP pony filly did really, really well and they snagged a placing for their training level class. I spent some time hanging out with H and the women from her barn again after and then went to do more shopping!

I did a really good job of budgeting this weekend and didn't splurge much other than on coffee. For shopping I just ended up with a set of appropriately pony sized, navy blue polos (no pictures but I'll get some of them on her soon). They were a good price and it's so tough to find polos that fit Katai's dainty legs so I couldn't say no. I also got an NDPC logo grey polo shirt that will work great for schooling shows and clinics. They had a lot of really cute NDPC merchandise this year but the polo was the most useful so that's what I decided to go with. That was the extent of my shopping which is both disappointing and makes me happy haha.

By that point it was around 3:00pm and I was dragging a bit. The weather was cooler than I had thought it might be but still quite hot and humid and it had been a long day in the sun so I decided to head to the Starbucks for some coffee and air-conditioning. I got back around 4:30ish and headed over to watch Emilie ride!

Busy warm up ring
By that point I just couldn't be in the sun anymore so I found some shade that put me a ways away from the ring Emilie was in but where I could see her warm up and ride. She and Crumble looked really, really good and the judge must have thought so as well since, from Facebook, it looks like they made out pretty darn well ;) Emilie is an amazing rider and it was really great to see her warm up and ride her test, it certainly gives me something to aspire to!

After that I pretty much packed up and headed back to the Airbnb. It was great to be back in the air-conditioning and I spent the evening watching Friends on cable (I don't have cable so it was a treat) and spending some time on my computer.

The person taking care of Veggie (I booked through Wag)
took this picture of him modeling the bandana.
I think it may be a bit too big and he clearly doesn't think it's his color.
My flight back on Sunday morning was uneventful and I got home around 2:00. I quickly got an Uber home, drove to Minneapolis to pick up Veggie, and then headed to the barn for my lesson! It was a really great lesson but I'm going to make you wait until the next post to read about it ;)

I had such a great time at NDPC this year and really hope that I can spectate again next year and that in the next few years I can go to compete!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

NDPC Recap Part: 1

I have so much to write about! For now I'll start with a recap of my NDPC Friday :)

I had an amazing weekend and this was easily the most fun I've had at Pony Cup so far. I also realized later that it was their 10 year anniversary and I've been there for three of those 10 years. Not bad! Now I just want to actually ride there at some point :)

This year my flight to Lexington was scheduled for early morning on Friday with a 1:30ish arrival. I was going to check into my AirBnB and then go straight to the KY Horse Park and planned to get there around 2:30ish. I knew I was going to miss Jen and Emilie's rides since they were earlier in the day but I had hoped to make it to H's ride since it was scheduled for 2:37. I was so close but ended up being just slightly too late. I wasn't worried though since I knew I'd be able to see everyone ride on Saturday.
Don't let Katai see this...
This pony cup was slightly different for me than the ones I've gone to previously. Since I had three people I knew I ended up spending more time with them and their ponies in the stable area and less time watching other people's rides. That's also part of what made this year so much fun!

This is the driveway to the garage at the AirBnB that I stayed at
Reaaaaally doesn't feel like it's going to fit in person either.
When I got to the horse park I had a brief fan girl moment when I looked up and saw a big name pony breeder/rider/trainer and said hi. I'm sure she wondered who this weird person was who recognized her when we've never met. After that I went and found H right away to see how her ride had gone. Turns out that the mare she was riding (a young GRP belonging to her trainer) had an issue with a bug. Overall H was happy with the test but disappointed about that part of it. The pony was also quite young and green and hasn't shown much so she really was fantastic for the most part.

I spent some time with H and the other two women from her barn chatting and figuring out their schedule and then decided to go meet some blogging friends! Emilie was closest so I went to say hi to her and Crumble first. OMG is Crumble ever adorable!! He was going to work on his hay and probably not impressed with another admirer but it was great to get to see him. Emilie was also trying to get her tack ready for the next day so I kept my visit pretty brief.

Getting Connor kisses :) So jealous of that forelock!
Then I headed over to meet Jen. I went straight to Connor's stall first. He was pretty sure I had food for him and spent some time licking my hand while I texted Jen to see where she wanted to meet up. We figured out a good spot and I headed over. It was SO GREAT to get to meet Jen! I've felt from reading her blog that I'd get along with her really well and I was so right. We sat and chatted for awhile and I got to meet her mom and Connor's breeder as well!

We spent most of the rest of the afternoon chatting, trying a bridle on Connor and doing some low key shopping (seriously tough to resist getting some things!) and then Jen headed out and I went to say goodnight to H.

Later that night I ended up going out for drinks with Jen, her mom, and Connor's breeder and I had so much fun!! It seriously felt like we'd known each other for a long time and it was great to try out some new craft beers and learn more about everyone. I really want to visit Jen and Connor and am definitely planning on Rolex next year!

Next up, a recap of my NDPC Saturday :)

Saturday, July 8, 2017


Well, I feel like my rides have completely fallen off a cliff recently. It's not so much that I lack motivation, just a combination of things. Last week I rode 4 times but this week I'm going to have ridden 1 time, yep, 1 time or sort of 2 since I kind of rode bareback on Wednesday.

Proof of my laziness.
Also, all the sweat is just from standing, I hadn't even ridden at this point
The main thing is the heat. We had another big swing up in temperature, this time with really high humidity so the horses are sweating standing still in front of their fans. I'm certainly not going to ride (other than the 10 minutes I spent walking with a bit of trotting bareback) in that sort of situation.

Monday was an amazing ride. I did a full 45 minutes and we got the most AMAZING lengthening at the end of the ride. Then the fourth of July with fireworks going off everywhere and then finally the heat hit.

and spending lots of time grooming so
we could spend time in front of Katai's favorite fan.
Of course Friday-Sunday she won't be ridden either since I'll be at Pony Cup!!! I'm really looking forward to this trip and know that I'll be really motivated when I get back.

Unfortunately it is going to be tougher to meet my July goals. Once I get back from KY I'll have two full weeks of pony time and I'm going to make sure they're action packed! Then I'll likely be in Seattle for around 11 days straight from the 23rd through the beginning of August.

Then the plan is for no travel until my next horse show which is planned for August 26th or 27th!! Straight from there I'm taking the last week in August off through Labor day and will be traveling to Rochester, NY to visit my sister and hopefully meet Bobby from Poor Woman Showing. I can't wait! Even better, I'll likely be traveling Wednesday-Saturday but will have the rest of the time to spend time recuperating from the show and having a fun staycation :)


With my current decision to move I didn't have to think that long to decide which barn I would move to if I could. The barn I'm movi...