Sunday, June 23, 2019


Very first time on her back!
I've had a lot going on lately and have still been working a lot to try to figure out why I've lost my motivation and some of the magic of riding and dressage that I was feeling for so long.

A few things have come up that I just wanted to document here for my future self.

First, I was feeling really burnt out after having weekly lessons. I realize that doing that is the quickest and best way to improve but while I very much want to do my best, having such regular lessons, especially as more started to happen in life, was REALLY tough.

Way less inverted
My preference would be monthly lessons or lessons/clinics as needed vs. always needing to feel ready for a lesson each week. Katai also was feeling burnt out and I think a bit body sore on that schedule. She's been WAY more relaxed since we moved to the barn we're at now and all of the behavioral things we'd been dealing with are gone. As I slowly get her stronger and back into more work I'll be curious if they come back but I kind of suspect they won't since I still won't be putting as much pressure on both of us.

Doing this right now has allowed me to feel like I can take a breath and do things like trail ride, do more spa days, lunge, and find a schedule that works for both of us. It does mean that I've been at the barn less but for the past few weeks I've been out there 3-4 days per week which isn't bad by any means.
Such a baby, so tight, so inverted but still a cool picture

Second, my amazing bf and I were talking about how I feel like there's something weird going on this year where time has flown by and I feel like nothing happened. He was quiet for a minute and then very insightfully asked if I thought it was because I was focusing on too many things and spinning my wheels. I was like yes, that is exactly what's been going on but I hadn't realized it until he said something.

With him in my life I've had so many more things going on, meeting more people, and more hobbies vs. just watching Netflix and riding. It's wonderful but also a little overwhelming. I'm trying to boil it down a bit and do those things but not focus on them so much and not spend some much time worrying about things. Instead I've been just going to the barn on a regular schedule and learning to say no to social engagements.

So much more grown up :)
Third, I feel like I've been waiting on a lot this year. I have a few big things on the horizon that are pretty life changing. One of those is that I started interviewing and looking for a new job in January this year. While I started out looking really casually I got close to an offer a couple of times (second in line actually twice for jobs I really wanted) which was tough. It's not that I'm unhappy in my job, just that I'm ready to move on, increase my salary, and have more growth opportunities. After missing out on those two jobs I started looking more seriously and that's been unfortunately taking a lot of my time and energy. It means good things for riding and horse things though since part of the barrier I've been facing recently with this is budget related.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

25 Questions

Sometimes I have a tough time enjoying reading through this sort of question and answer post but I've actually really enjoyed reading everyone's answers to this one. Based on that I decided to go ahead and do this as well even though I'm REALLY late with it!

Hopefully more updates soon after I make some progress this weekend.

1. What is the first thing you do when you get to the barn?

Normally maintenance things that I don't want to try to remember after a ride. Usually I grab empty supplement baggies, get my tack all uncovered and make sure it's ready to go (put my reins back on my bridle if I lunged last etc.), grab some Tums peppermint to help head off any ulcer issues, and set up my grooming bag.

2. Is there a breed that you would never own?
Personally I'm not interested in owning a gaited horse.

3. Describe your last ride?

I went on a trail ride with a friend :)

4. Have any irrational riding fears?
All of them. I have high anxiety so it's normal for me to imagine the worst case scenario with anything and everything. I'd say worst would be getting trampled since Katai's groundwork is her weakness and, while we work on it ALOT, she's much more ridable than she is handleable from the ground.

5. Describe your favorite lesson horse?

Probably the small, white, Arabian mare (can't remember her name) that I rode when I was 9. I've only taken lessons on other horses very rarely.

6. Would you ever lease out your horse?

No, not sure who I'd get to lease her. I'm a bit of a control freak, and she's a tricky ride. She's too small for most adults and way too much horse for a kid. I'm happy when my trainers climb on her but she usually gives them grief so I'd worry about having someone lease her. 

Moshy climbed in by the garbage can and then couldn't turn around to get out

7. Mares: Yay or neigh?
Oh yeah. If I have my druthers I'd only ever own mares.

8. How many time per week do you get to see your horse?

I could be going more. My goal is to be back to 5 days a week by the end of June! This year 1-3 has been more typical.

9. Favorite thing to do on an “easy day” with your pony?

A good spa day including doing all of the maintenance stuff such as washing legs, trimming her bridle path, trimming feathers, pulling chestnuts, and trimming feet.

10. Conformational flaw that bothers you the most?

Hmmm, downhill is a big one for me as are necks that are put on wrong.

Adorable puppy loves her bear

11. Thing about your riding that you’re most self conscious about?

All of the things. If I had to pick I'd say that I can tend to a have a chair seat and my right toe sticks out more than my left.

12. Will you be participating in No Stirrup November?

No, I don't want to die ;)

13. What is your grooming routine?

Hmmm, I don't have a great routine really. Prior to riding I typically use some sort of curry. A flower shedder for shedding season, a rubber curry for summer and a jelly scrubber for her legs. Then I'll go over everything with a stiff brush paying special attention to her back, girth, and legs. 

After riding I'll use a curry if she's sweaty and otherwise just stiff brush and then finishing brush. On spa days I do more. I have been known to just brush the most critical parts with a stiff brush and during the winter when she's blanketed and shows up clean I do very little.

I always forget to brush her face.

Wanting this again!

14. Describe a day in the life of your horse?
Normally she gets breakfast supplements in her stall and then goes out around 7:30ish AM and gets a ton of hay in a paddock with four other mares. She comes in around 5:30ish PM and gets more hay and a handful of alfalfa pellets in her stall. If it's a weekday and a barn day for me I normally get there around 4:30 which interrupts her dinner. 

On those days I bring her in, groom, and either ride or lunge. Usually by the time I'm done the horses are in so I put her in her stall.

15. Favorite season for riding?

Definitely the fall. Winter is also nice as long as it isn't too cold since there aren't bugs and I handle the cold better than the heat.

16. If you could only have 1 ring: indoor or outdoor?

Definitely indoor here otherwise there would be at least 3-4 months where we couldn't ride much or at all.

17. What impresses you most about the opposite discipline (english vs. western)?

I'd say that a lot of western riders are more about the utility of the horse and are less fussed by little quirky things that english riders seem to spend a lot of time and worry over. 

18. You have unlimited funds to buy one entire tack set for your horse, what is he/she wearing?

I'd say I actually have it now. I've saved and work hard to have the tack that I have and while it's always fun to shop what I have now is gorgeous, fits, and is everything I've wanted.

More sparkly broadbands would always be nice though and I'd really like one with pearls.

19. How many blankets do you have? When do you blanket?

So many!! My current count is;
2 turnout sheets
2 liners (one light and one medium)
2 medium turnout blankets (one with a high neck and one with a detachable neck)
1 heavy turnout blanket with a high neck
2 quarter sheets
1 fly sheet
2 cotton sheets
1 fleece sheet

I do need to replace one of the turnout sheets since it's quite old and not as waterproof anymore plus has a few tears.

20. What is your horse’s favorite treat? Favorite place to be scratched?

Mac Muffins for sure. They're made by a local couple and are the very molassesy kind with oats and often some sort of candy in the middle. Her favorite place to be scratched is her udder but sometimes she'll threaten to kick me if I try. Mares...

21. Something about your barn that drives you crazy?

Hmmm, unfortunately at this barn that there seems to be more drama than what I've dealt with at barns in the past. Also, not having a heated barn or arena, the very tiny arena, and the fact that both outdoors are rocky.

Oops, that's a lot.

All of the things I need to bring with me to the
barn (well except the vest since it's ungodly hot out now.

22. Roached manes, pulled manes, or long flowing manes?

None? I'd say pulled except I don't pull and neatly trim Katai's mane instead.

23. Can you handle a buck or a rear better?

Probably a rear since that's Katai's move of choice.

24. I would never buy a horse who ___________________?

Was taller than 14.2 hands or who was really jumpy and spooky.

25. Favorite facial marking?
Big, wide blazes

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Problem Solving

It’s that time of year again!

I’ve had an idea for a blog hop for a while but wasn’t sure that it would gain any traction with how my poor, nearly abandoned blog is doing at this point. I did decide to go ahead and post this and if you don’t feel like responding to this via a post on your blog I’d still love to get a comment which things you problem solve and how.

Short of maybe Jen from Cob Jockey’s barn :) I don’t think that anywhere we board our horses is perfect. Either it’s a long way away, lacks an indoor or outdoor arena, doesn’t have the ideal turnout, or anything else. As I’ve been looking at options for where to go when this barn closes (obviously I’m already looking so that I don’t get caught without a place) I’ve been wondering how others problem solve for this.

One example is that I currently have a barn that isn’t heated. With that, I can’t keep anything that’s temperature sensitive at the barn including most first aid gunk. My problem solve for this was to get a grooming bag and bring it with me home, to work (since I’ve been going to the barn directly from work), and then to the barn. It certainly wasn’t the ideal set up but it did allow me to have those items at the barn with me without the risk of them freezing and becoming unusable.

This brand new alfalfa smells so good!

I’m working on a solution to the problem of the rocky outdoor arenas at this barn since I’ll likely still be here through the summer and most, if not all, of the fall. My goal is to move someplace that has a heated barn/arena by the cold part of winter but who knows if that will happen since wait lists are fickle things. Some options for problem solving the rocky arenas are low profile hoof boots and/or Hoof Armor.

So, the questions I have are;

1. What are the things at your barn that aren’t ideal for you and your horse.
2. How do you problem solve for those items, what workable solutions have you found
3. At your current or past barn are there things that you haven’t been able to find a workable solution for? What deal breakers do you have for a boarding barn?


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...