Monday, October 22, 2018

Shopping

This may sound silly but I knew I was feeling better mentally and motivation wise with horse stuff when I wanted to do some shopping again.

Yes, I’m pretty sure I’m officially a tack whore.

I had picked up a few things since I last posted much but nothing too exciting. I got a couple pairs of summer appropriate breeches and a couple of warm weather shirts. I also got some fly gear and other assorted summer items all from Riding Warehouse. I had also picked up a rope halter and lead rope since the main thing I was working on with S2 was natural horsemanship techniques and I didn’t have appropriate gear for that.

Honestly, whenever I move barns I feel like I need to get at least one or two things in order to have what I need with the new set up. At this barn I needed to reassess my winter gear and pick up another blanket for Katai, namely one with a neck cover. I’m not quite sure what this winter will bring but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be riding enough that I’ll need to clip. I’m going to go pretty conservative at first since I’m not sure how Katai handle the lack of heated barn and heated arena but I want to make sure I’m prepared so I picked up this pretty blanket so that I’d have one with a neck.


I spent the additional money on this name brand since I have two of the liners for this system and they also sell various, different weight neck covers. Hopefully that will give me some flexibility to make sure she stays warm and dry. This time I didn’t need much more than that. I may pick up a blanket bag for the front of Katai’s stall but with the move I’m really needing to stick to my budget so I’m going to make what I have now work, and store stuff in my car for the time being, and will just figure it out as I go. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t do some shopping just for fun. The items I have on my list for potential future splurge purchases (maybe Christmas and birthday money?) are:
Now Katai can finally be a proper pony ;)

HKM Flower Power pony dressage pad


Eskadron bandage liners


Eskadron polos in pink (can you believe I don’t have any pink polo wraps?!?)


PS of Sweden grooming bag (totally over the top but the space to store my phone and separate brushes sold me on this one)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Updated Goals


My new coach made this adorable name plate for Katai's stall
I think it’s safe to say that I pretty much failed/will fail all of my 2018 goals. Rather than ignoring that and coasting for the rest of the year or feeling defeated by goals that are no longer appropriate I’m going to make some new goals.

October:
My goals for October are to get back to more consistency. I don’t really care what I accomplish but I at least want to go through the motions with the following things.

-Get to the barn 4-5 times per week
-Groom better
-Dress like we mean it (both me and Katai)
-Take two lessons
-Have barefoot trimmer friend check my hoof improvement work (third week in October)
-Build up to Katai wearing the BoT sheet for longer periods

November:
For November I’m hoping to get pretty much back to where we were when I left Jane’s
-Get to the barn 5+ times per week
-Make sure at least 1-2 of those times are not riding and work on other necessary things such as ground work, trailer loading(?), etc.
-Take two more lessons
-Continue with grooming better as possible with fluffy pony

December Goals:
For December I’m taking the pressure off both of us since I know it’s going to be tough to accomplish much while we adjust to the cold at a non-heated barn and with the holidays
-Step back a bit and have some fun including reducing to going to the barn 4-5 times per week
-Teach at least one “useful” trick such as targeting and/or stretching
-Focus on varying fitness with poles etc.
-Keep up on trimming Katai’s feet even with the cold
-Adjust to the cold in a non-heated barn
-Take at least one lesson

It's important to inspect inside one's nostrils 
Big picture goals for the rest of the year:
These are my bigger goals that I want to work on through the rest of the year
-Work on the following to strengthen the canter
                -Use square corners (at all gaits)
                -Straight rein backs, lots of them
                -Strengthen the walk to strengthen the canter. Focus more on walk and making sure that it’s mechanically strong and not just the gait that we do when we’re tired.
                -Canter/Walk/Canters -Get her stronger on the outside rein
-Re-address half halt (as a horse that has a tendency to rear my tendency has been to push her forward and rush her. In addition she’s a very forward horse. At this point though she needs to understand and listen to my half halts and halting aids and reply promptly)
-Start yoga on a consistent basis to gain strength and flexibility. My funds are short for the rest of the year so I’m going to follow in other bloggers’ footsteps and start following YouTube videos. Let me know if any of you have any suggestions for good ones!
-Lose some weight again. I swear there’s a thing with being in a relationship that’s as bad or worse than the freshman 15. I’ve put on a decent amount of weight and I’d like to lose it again. Luckily we live in an apartment that has an amazing, free gym!
-If the opportunity arises, ride in a clinic

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tack Storage

With the moves, for me and Katai, I needed to do a significant amount of downsizing. Not only did I lose storage space at the barn, I also lost a lot of storage space at the apartment.

At my last apartment I had an entire closet (that was pretty large) full of stuff as well as a large tack trunk. Even then I was often busting out of that space so it only made sense that when I moved in with another person I couldn’t necessarily expect to use the same amount of space for my passion (ie: buying all the horse things). However, I also wasn’t willing to get rid of TOO much stuff so when we officially signed the lease for this apartment I right away “called” one of the small hallway closets.

Tough to tell from this picture but at my old apartment
I had this HUGE closet and it was packed full of horse stuff. This doesn't even include the stuff I had in my antique horse trunk or my tack locker at the barn.
I wasn’t sure exactly how I’d fit all of my stuff in that space but I knew that I needed some dedicated space for all of the tack and horse items that I couldn’t keep at the barn and that I wanted that to be near the front door in a space where it could be a little messy as barn stuff often is. I had just been tossing stuff in there and it was reaching cartoonish levels when I saw an Instagram story from my new instructor of her tack set up. She had a full tack room to work with and I only had a small closet so I knew that I’d need to get creative to make my plan work but at least I now had something in mind. With that I began measuring the space I had and shopping online.

It just so happened that Target had a sale on shelves so while I started with looking on Amazon I quickly found something even better on Target. Unfortunately none of the dimensions worked out exactly the way I wanted but since I didn’t want to go custom I needed to find something close.

What it looks like now! Much smaller closet but much cuter organization :)
In the end, I purchased these really cute cube shelves! They may not be ideal from a storage set up perspective but for the cost they work well and the ability to use the storage cubes to organize all the small items is invaluable. I also had been wanting to hang my saddle pads for a long time and after seeing my instructor’s set up I settled on that as part of the plan. With that in mind I bought an adjustable curtain rod and two holders, one storage cube (I already had the other two), a couple of hangers and voila!

It doesn’t fit perfectly, the fact that it can’t be flush with the trim drives me very slightly nuts (but no way am I pulling the trim in an apartment and incurring the cost to fix it when we move out) but I can deal with that especially for the cost. Overall I think everything cost me just about $65 which I can definitely live with!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

New Barn Feels

First I just want to put a note that I've been trying to comment on everyone's blogs but for some reason google isn't allowing me to submit comments. I thought it was just a temporary thing one day but I'm still not able to at this point. I'm going to reach out to support to get it figured out but in the meantime just know that I'm still reading them all!

Mostly I’m loving the new barn. I adore the arena which is the perfect combination of cozy, cute, and had pretty decent footing. It’s not spacious by any means but two people can ride fairly comfortably in it and, let’s face it, Katai is tiny so if I can’t maneuver her around a space this size I don’t have any hope of getting any geometry correct in any test at this point ;)


Katai has a nice sized stall, the hay is amazing, I love having a nice low key trail just outside her paddock, there’s a grazing pen for horses that are in dry lots just so that they can have a mini graze while their people hang out, 99% of the people are great (just like any barn), there are a ton of very long term boarders, the barn manger is FANTASTIC, and I really like my new instructor.

The only drawback so far has been that 1% of people here (let’s be honest, that’s one person) haven’t been very nice but I can handle myself and I’m hoping that with time that will calm down (side note, it's already gotten better between when I typed up this post and when I posted it). It’s never been an issue for me before since I’m good at making friends, I work hard, I’ve been around horses since I was 7 so I know a few things, I have good communication skills, and I tend to get along with everyone but for some reason there’s one person here who I apparently rub the wrong way. Oh well, we can’t all be friends with everyone.


The other main drawback is that the two larger, outdoor arenas are fairly rocky. They’re fine for most horses but Katai is barefoot and we’re rehabbing her hooves right now so she’s still a little tender. The last thing I want is for her to not trust her footing so we’ve just avoided both arenas for the most part. With winter coming it isn’t worth worrying about but we have a couple of ideas for how to combat it next year if her hooves still aren’t at the gravel crushing phase.

The best thing is that Katai has been calm, happy, relaxed, and just seems really content at this barn. She was happy at Janes but still had more anxious energy than she does here and it’s a huge improvement from the last barn where she constantly seemed to be in flight or fight mode for some reason. I’m also loving the cost and the much, much shorter commute.


In addition, K (my new instructor) is nicely low key and relaxed about things while still having great suggestions and I love how she explains theory. She’s also already talking about bringing me to shows next year which would be amazing. I’m excited to keep taking lessons with her and see how far we can go together! I also have plans with one of the amazing barn people who invited me to go to a hunter pace with her! With weather and other things we aren't going to be able to do the hunter pace this year but hopefully next year and we already have plans for a trail ride in a couple weeks!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Zen

There are so many new things going on that I don’t even know where to start! I was going to just post a bunch of updates in the one post but I’m getting tired of doing that so instead I’m going to do a bunch of more involved update posts about some of the things that are happening in my life right now.
During the move. Luckily it's cleaner now but not quite
where I'd feel comfortable sharing a picture on the internet
To start this off my boyfriend and I have successfully moved into our apartment together! This marks a huge step for me since I’ve never lived with a significant other. I can’t imagine a more amazing person to experience this with though. Yes, I’m pretty sappy about all of it.

Walking Moshy in our "backyard"
Our new apartment has amazing views of a couple of Minneapolis landmarks and we’ve got a great view from our public roof top. The gym is amazing, now I just need to make use of it, as are all of the other public spaces. I love the layout of our apartment as well as the fixtures and we have in unit laundry which is fantastic. We’re still in the moving in phase, even though we’re mostly unpacked, and working to find homes for some of those last pesky things. We also have a few more things to pick up from James’ apartment but 90% of our stuff is here at this point.

Moshy's favorite place to play guard dog
We were also excited to be entertaining friends for the first time this past Sunday doing something extremely nerdy *cough* D&D *cough* and we’re both looking forward to being able to do things like this. Neither of our past apartments were good for having people over so that was one of the things on our checklist when we picked this place.

We have gorgeous views!
It is still a bit small so we’ve both had to downsize a bit. Space wise it feels huge compared to my last apartment, which was only about 400 sq ft but that apartment only needed to fit my stuff and since my bf owned a home at one point he has way more things than I do. We’ve both done quite a bit of downsizing and have a bit more to go but we’re getting there and it’s starting to feel less cluttered. I also came up with a really cool set up for my horse stuff, at least the horse stuff I’ve been able to keep through the downsizing, but that’s for one of the next posts!

At night the view from our public access rooftop is spectacular

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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...