Friday, February 28, 2014

A place for dreams

I went for another hike around the 100 acres, mainly down by the creek yesterday.  My friend (and barn pasture owner) and her son went too.  Their reason for the trek was rock and moss collecting for terrariums and I went because, why not?!  You should see the rocks in this creek, I wish I'd taken some sort of geology class during my insanely long career at Boise State University.
I keep expecting to find arrow heads!
That is the hay barn and everything way over there!

Why hello creek.

And future gallop path

All sorts of great water crossings out there

I found a jump!
So much terrain

Never gets old to go exploring here


A great cut up to the top there across the creek

There is a future sunken road up there in the hole

Which way to go!?


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Soap soap soap soap Balm!

So Tuesday on my way to school I checked the mail and what did I find?

So excite!
My prize from Hillary!  The balm was a total surprise too, I was just expecting the soap.  I left the soap open in my car on the drive to school, and it was like spa day.  I call it Lavender Bliss, and while the balm doesn't have a specific scent it smells lovely as well (hints of cocoa anyone?).  I have been wanting to try these products for years, but have never bit the bullet (broke college student and all).
Zelda checks things out (yes those are saddle pads on my kitchen table)
I cleaned my boots before I went to class, they sighed with contentment.  Last night as a treat for (I think) doing well on a BioChem exam I cleaned Bridger's bridle.  While it wasn't really dirty, it was the only bridle I had that hadn't been cleaned since its last ride.
Already shiney
Note: Bridger was totally kick a$$.  He was consistent on the bit and trotted perfectly.  He hadn't been ridden since about the first of December due to weather.  In fact a bird flew up by his face and he took one small spook step and that was it, he is growing up!
Post clean and condition
Both products are lovely and my hands felt great after using them.  As you use the soap and it warms from your hands on the bridle the subtle vanilla scent become more apparent over the lavender scent.  I love lavender, but sometimes it does't smell right (read: cheap room sprays).  The Higher Standards smells like a spa, it is divine. Zelda even tried a lick of the balm, it smells that yummy!  I'm seriously that crazy girl carrying tack cleaning products around with her to show her friends...luckily they are crazy horse girls too.  The consensus is that the smells are amazing, the packaging is attractive and profession looking, and they work great!  Now to find a equally good smelling lavender vanilla room freshener.

Thanks again Hillary!  And thank you to Libby over at Higher Standards she has been such a generous supporter of the blogging community.  The package even had a few candies and a sweet handwritten thank you on the instructions card, I'm the one who should be writing a sweet handwritten thank you!

Diva's tail
The last couple of days have been absolutely glorious weather and I squeezed in a bit of riding between classes and tests.
No photoshop here

Or here, just an incredible morning
Gus the equitation horse
Gigi struts her stuff
Today the farrier comes out to do my guys, woot woot!  Meaning, tomorrow all the riding will commence!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunday Funday

Another great weekend has come and gone.  

Saturday I worked in the morning, at the tack store, with my friends, so not really work.  The couple that own Gigi, Gunner, and Zyda came in to look at dressage saddles and we found a few that might work.  They took two out on trial.  

After the tack store I headed out to ride Rio (the hairy Andalusian princess).  The barn she is at was packed with weekend warriors.  She dealt with the over crowded arena well, but took offense to a horse she spotted far away out the door.  We went from a tense, but passable walk, to head in the air sideways run/spins.  Deep sigh.  When will you grow up horse?  I quickly got her back under control and stayed on a tiny figure 8 somewhat out of the way.  She is so strange, if you get on the fight with her she stays on the fight for the whole ride, if you can manage to just walk around until she chills then suddenly she is all responsive and behaves and you can ride all around walk, trot, canter.  By 'just walk' I mean walking with head throwing, spinning, backing up, and general rudeness.  I swear she waits 'til you get to that point of pulling your hair out and then she's all, 'oh hi, did you want me to do something?'  

Finally I headed out to the 100 acres and cleaned my tack room, rode Bridger, and ate amazing food.  The tack room seriously looked like a bomb had gone off, it is now much more organized and has the appearance of much space.  I pulled Bridger out and gave him a good grooming while he worked on inserting his brain (first time out of the field in a while).  He chilled out pretty quickly so I tacked him up and hopped on.  We just walked around for a bit and called it good.  I didn't lunge him, but if I'd wanted to trot it may have been helpful, because as I turned him loose back with his friends he gave a good snort/buck and bolted across the entire thing!
Yay Bridger!

Happiest Pat cat in the world!

After feeding everyone I went inside and had the most amazing polenta and pork chops.  Just. Wow.  I could have ate my weight in the stuff, so delicious!

I didn't get pictures of the food, but check out these pink sparkle nails!

Zelda is still cute:)
Sunday morning involved two homework assignments and some spring cleaning.  Then I met up with sprinklerbandit and we went and rode.  I helped try the dressage saddles on Gigi and Gunner and we may have found one that works quite well.  Then we headed over so I could ride Gus, but he had thrown one shoe and sprung the other, doh.  So he got some grooming, and we looked at all his beautiful tack (including two of my current crush, Ogilvy pads).

The highlight of the day for me was hiking around the 100 acres.  My friend with the property, her little boy (light saber in hand) SB and I trekked all around it.  I didn't get any pictures until we were past the creek (for some unknown reason it was a low photo weekend), but up at the top the view is amazing.

We were hiking around to get more of a feel for the lay of the land for future cross country course building.  I need to make a video or something so you can see how amazing it is.  There are hills and plateaus and valleys and a creek that varies from wide and shallow to having steep sides.  So much potential!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mojito cops a 'tude

First of all I get to say THANK YOU to Hillary over at Equestrian at Hart, because I won the Higher Standards soap giveaway!  I'm am really really excited, I've been wanting to try that soap for a couple years now.  I can't wait to try it out!
Mojito says, 'he likes clean tack'

Yesterday was super fun, I did some homework in the morning and then headed out to ride 4 client horses and then Mojito.  I promised Bridger I would actually leg him up this weekend.  The first two of the day were Saddlebreds with the world's nicest owners.  While they are not high on my list of favorite breeds, they do pretty well with low key rides, and hitting the canal bank and fields for hacks.  Putting a lot of pressure (or cantering) seems to get them frazzled, but their owners just want them to be solid riding horses for beginners so I don't really have to put on any pressure.

Holding horses for the farrier last winter

Then I went and rode Gus, he is a super star.  I believe he is 16 and off the track, and he has this I've been there done that attitude with a little of the TB hypers thrown in.  I am getting him legged back up over the next two weeks for his owner and then will be riding him once a week to help her keep him going.  Gus is an equitation horse and has all the fancy tack.  Want. So. Bad.  Who am I kidding, I also have fancy tack.  First world problems.
I'm diggin' bridles with nameplates
Then I rode Zyda, she is a total solid citizen.  While she doesn't like the fact that I get her on the bit, she is still willing.  I can't wait for her to get a bit more fit so we can pop over jumps again.  It has been a long winter!
I'm rockin' a flowered shirt here
Finally, I'm getting to the title of this post!  The spinklerbandit came out with me while I rode Mojito.  I've been going on and on about how good his first two rides back have been.  In typical equine fashion Mojito pulled out his middle finger and left it up for half the ride.  In his defense he is actually really green still.  I hopped on and he walked off politely and then he tried his old tricks of head in the air and stopping and stomping etc.  I just kept my hands low and wide and kept kicking.  He threw in one half hearted buck and lots of stomping attitude.  Then he blew a few times and put his head down and was generally good.
He he he
Pat cat wants this jump set up!

Just imagine what this trot will be!

Trainer Pat cat is bored
Then the sunset turned spectacular!
Swishy tail

Looks like a mountain horse here

Mojito practices his dramatic poses

Love him so much, even with his 'tude.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I'm not going super crazy deep here, but I've had some thoughts/quotes/insights rolling around in my head.  If you follow my pinterest then you know I love me some thought provocation and then humor in the next breath.

Learn to be content without being complacent.

There aren't enough days in your life to do something that makes you miserable.

Fight for the positive, don't dwell on the negative.

The sun will always rise.

Unless you can be a unicorn, always be a unicorn.

There we go, that's what I have been thinking about.  I just finished up with two tests last week, three this week, and am looking towards two more next week.  Those professors are keeping me hopping!  I rode Gigi and Gunner today.  Gigi was super duper and Gunner was pretty good (he began with an aversion to my spurs*).

*Sprinklerbandit found an extra pair of roller ball spurs.  I have been waxing on about how I want to try them so she brought them with to the barn, woot woot!

Love her caramel color with the shave
tail action

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sparkles and Sadness

Ok, bad news first.  One of our Thoroughbred broodmares foaled out two months early on Tuesday afternoon.  She had twins, they both died.  She lives at the farm about an hour away with the Hubby's brother and dad.  She hadn't started to bag up or anything, no warning.  Back early in the pregnancy the vet that checked her said that she had twins, but in a way that he couldn't pinch one off (common practice with horses) and if we were lucky she would absorb one.  We weren't lucky, but the outcome is unsurprising as twins with horses nearly never works out.  While I am sad, the Hubby is devastated.  This is one of his favorite mares and he was really looking forward to another baby from her.  The silver lining is that Holly (the mare) seems to be doing ok, eating and drinking, maybe she can have a baby next year.

Here are some shots from her first baby's first win:
Handsome guys
Fan club

Flew our jockey friend in for the day
Race trainers get a bad rap for 'not caring,' and while those I know might kill me for writing this, I've seen nearly as many of them cry over heart breaking horse news as people in the adult amateur ranks.

Doing a 180, Mojito was awesome last night.  I had been headed out to the farm to see if I could help with the one foal that was still alive, but hadn't gone five miles when they called to say it was too late.  So I headed out to snuggle my alive and well ponies.  Mojito soaked up a few tears and even made laugh worthy faces.
Hey there
I also tried on the bridle and it fit him great!  I know the noseband is way  loose here, but I need to shave him and I didn't want to catch his hairs.  Mojito is cute, but a total priss.
So much hair!
I also rode him in a full cheek french link for the first time...magic in his mouth.  I had been riding him in a happy mouth loose ring when his teeth were bothering him, but he didn't seem to be liking it anymore.  I had actually put the full cheek on thinking I would put this bridle on Diva, then I thought what the heck lets see if Mojito fits in it.  He was soft and responsive without being overly sensitive.  Also we trotted several circles and he was forward and reliable.  Best of all, his trot, swoon.  I had forgotten how nice it feels under saddle, but seriously it feels like you are going over caveletti with every step.  Float, float, float.  I'm hoping to get some actual pics and or video of me on him in the next few days, keep your fingers crossed.

*Thank you Mojito for being great at snuggling.

Finally, you probably wanted a picture of Tanner actually racing.  Oops, I got busy looking at the red head.

Here he comes

 Thanks to Alyssa over at fourmaresnomoney for the racing and paddock pics!

Also don't forget about the contest for soap over at Equestrian at Hart!