Taco Party

This years Rolex might be the largest Blogger gathering yet. Thank you Amy for hosting the Taco Party last night!

After Amanda and I got literally the best campsite ever set up Wendy and a couple of her friends stopped by for some cider – bc priorities. Texas bloggers fort the win!

Liz, Austen, Aimee, Karen, Leah, and Lisa were all at the TP – (if I forgot you I’m sorry 😭) to all the bloggers that couldn’t make it for the taco party were looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Now begins the really fun part… creeping casually on Michel Jung #fangirlstatus and shopping!

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Glamping Ruined

Amanda and I have landed at the KHP! Let the best weekend of the year begin! 

The RVShare experience has thus far been awesome! The camper is just as described and even Sonny approves. I’m not sure primitive camping will ever be the same…

Before we roadtripped to KY we had to make a stop out to the farm to meet the stars of the show. All the pets and cookies for the ponies and then it was go time! 

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Reset Button

It is normal that, as with everything in life, sometimes you need to push the reset button. If I have learned anything with the horses that I have had in my life it is that none of them are the same. Sure there are types and similarities but each of them is an individual. The trials and tribulations that I experienced with Houston as a young horse could not be more different than what Annie throws at me.

I am going to level with you. Coming off our last event I was defeated. I know without a doubt that Annie could be a successful event horse. She has actual springs for feet and when there’s jumping involved I’m not sure I have ever ridden a horse with more heart. She might be green but she doesn’t hesitate. When I say jump she says “how high”. Unless of course I am riding like a drunk monkey – then her self preservation comes into play. Fair enough little mare. 

It wasn’t the over fences phases that had me down (though there is a lot of room for improvement there too). It was the dressage. I have never been more mentally and physically defeated by a horse on the flat than I am by Annie. I actually used to love dressage… Some days Annie is actually pretty pleasant. We will have a bobble here or there but we recover and continue about our business. Lately though we have been going 0 to 100 real quick with no reset button. At Spring Bay literally the only thing that went right was that she managed to pick up the correct gaits in generally the right place and we managed to halt and not plow down the judges booth.

*not my image

I wish that I was being more dramatic but it truly was that awful. It is infuriating to feel like this horse could be winning but unless I can tame her inner giragon (giraffe x dragon) it will never happen. So with my trainer out of town… what did I do… I pouted. I did a lot of reflection about why I even bother. Dramatically I even contemplated not eventing anymore. Not wanting that to fuel Annie’s fire with my own frustrations I didn’t ride. I called the vet. Then it rained for a week.

The vet has seen Annie numerous times and before spending even more money than I already have on diagnostics for what I am pretty sure is just a bad attitude for hard work we opted to try some hormones. We’ll see where we get with that and then reevaluate. I want to do 2 doses before I make any judgments. Luckily avoiding the saddle was supported by the cruddy weather.

Yesterday I finally hopped back on and in an effort to both have fun and focus all of the energy we set up one of the exercises I learned from the Lainey Ashker clinic. We only went through maybe 3 times but it was just what we needed! It likely won’t mean anything new for our dressage work but at least we had some fun. What do you all do to reset? Anything that helps you get out of a funk (aside from gorging yourself on food and wine…)?

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Weekend Wrap Up: Bel Joeor Meet Up

This weekend was almost a wash. It rained pretty much non stop. Literally the thing I was happiest about – that I wasn’t farm sitting! I got to spend a lot of time inside watching movies with my little fam bam. Unfortunately the dogs are all but crawling up the walls.

The exciting part of the weekend cam when at the end of last week I found out that Amanda from Bel Joeor was in my neck of the woods for a bachelorette week(end). Of course we had to promptly plan a meet up. I am embarrassed to say that in her short trip Amanda has seen more of the local destinations than I have. I guess now she can tell me the ones worth hitting up!

Yesterday we met up for lunch and then headed out to the barn for her to meet my cheeky buggers. And also the resident foal because OMG the cute. Pizza and ponies made for a fun afternoon! So happy that I have been able to meet so many cool people through this awesome community.

Sunday Funday getting to meet @beljoeor and share all of the cheeky little buggers on the farm with her!

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This week is going to be heavy in blogger meet ups with Rolex right around the corner! Now to survive 3 days at work before the fun begins!

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RK3DE Count Down Begins

A week from today Amanda and I will be making the trek up to the Kentucky Horse Park for one of the best weekends of the year – RK3DE! Amanda actually flies in Wednesday night – we will get to play with the ponies before we head out Thursday afternoon!

A couple weeks ago I noticed that there was still one campsite remaining onsite at the KHP campgrounds. If you have ever been to Rolex you probably know that the parking is a nightmare. Doable but it takes forever to get in and out. I considered a preferred parking pass but I didn’t want to spend $150-200 for just parking. When the spot came up I made sure Amanda was on board and then we made plans to camp. Not only do we get a primo parking spot we also will never have to leave the park if we don’t want to. Win win! (We will be on the left outer loop but for safety sake not going to post exact location – because crazy ppls…)

Immediately following the camp planning conversations my trailer went into the shop. Turns out it might or might not be done in time for our departure. For those of you that have been to Rolex…  img_0325.jpgYou can back me up when I say that it is pretty much always wet at least one of the days. Truck Tent Glamping is a blast and all but not so much when you are going to be like a wet dog all weekend. img_0332.jpgFrom there I started looking into RV rentals. What do you know there is an RV version of AirBnB! Most of them are way more than we will need but I am pretty pumped that we wont have to go outside to community showers and we will also be able to cook to save some money for some of our meals. Plus AC.

Still ironing out specific details but as of now we will be Lexington bound Thursday afternoon! Hope to see any of you guys that are going at the Taco Party! Who else is in???

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Trailer Improvements

I have had my awesome sauce 4Star trailer for a little over a year now and it was time for it to go into the shop for maintenance. Considering how many miles I hauled last year I maybe should have taken it in sooner but here we are.

Since it would already be in the shop for that and a repair to the padding because of the WORST DOGS EVER I decided to add a few other features. None of these are necessities but I think will make the trailer even better than it already is. trailereyes

  1. Trailer Eyes Wireless Camera
    • For Christmas this year Kyle’s parents gave me a trailer eyes camera. Technically you can use this without it being wired but the 9V battery won’t last very long. I decided to have the camera hard wired so that I can use it on longer hauls. I am excited to finally get to see what is happening in the trailer when I am hauling.hayring
  2. Hay Net Ring
    • My trailer came with hanging mangers which can be nice but Annie is an aggressive hay consumer. I really like for her to have the hay in a net. Because of where the current hooks are I don’t have a great place to hang her hay net. Enter the above ring – any ring would do but I like the idea of being able to hook it up.buckethook
  3. Water Bucket Hook
    • A couple of friends have installed bucket hooks in their trailers. I figured it might be nice to have in mine as well and decided to “splurge” and get this model that is supposed to keep the bucket from tipping. I figured this would be useful for long hauls.4starlatch
  4. Interior Door Latch
    • After getting the truck tent I started trying to think of ways to camp for just one night without having to set up my tent. In came the hammock. Only problem is that my trailer has exterior latches on the escape doors – similar to those on a ramp – so that you can convert it to a box stall and not worry about the escape doors coming unlatched. This means that I cannot close the door from the inside when I am sleeping in there. I have rigged it a few times but with limited success. We will see how the latch works!

Have any of you added things that I am missing here? I might end up with a water tank sometime but for now that’s staying on the wish list. Next up will be tack room organization as I still haven’t ironed out a set up that I like.

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Laziness Leads To Innovation

hydraulicjackIf you have a trailer you have probably at some point grumbled about the hitching up process. I actually find my GN to be a lot easier than my BP was in terms of hitching up and general hauling. Normally it’s not a big deal to hitch up a couple times in a weekend. That is usually inevitable. This past horse show though I got to wishing I had a hydraulic jack. #eventerproblemsmakitahammerdrillOnce I got the idea in my head I couldn’t let it go. I even went as far as to ask for a quote on installing the hydraulic jack. Twelve hundred ($$$) heck no’s later I got to thinking and remembered another friend that used a drill to raise and lower her trailer. After a little consulting with the handiest barn owner ever and a trip to Home Depot I present to you the Makita Solution. Technically the brand of drill isn’t important but the type. I wanted something reliable and as a bonus the battery packs were included. Don’t try to use a regular drill and expect that to work. You need a lot more torque and thus a hammer drill is required. I highly advise the kit and/or purchasing a side handle. I purchased a Makita 18-Volt LXT Brushless Lithium-Ion 1/2 in. Cordless Hammer Drill Kit for $299 and had even the trailer repair shop owner impressed! Win for #eventersolutions

I am sure that there are other brands/options and ways you could spend less money. If you know more about power tools and try something else let me know how it works out! Would love to be able to share other options at varying prices. Have any of you come up with creative ways to improve your travel get up?

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Rider Review: Strip Hair

Last year I went searching for another shedding/ grooming tool that wouldn’t be so abrasive. When I came across the Strip Hair product line I was intrigued and decided to give it a try. It is unlike any other tool I have used as it is made of a flexible rubber. I was hopeful that this tool would be better received and more useful on sensitive horses or on sensitive areas.

Price: $48 for the kit (some retailers sell individually)

1-StripHair-Large-1024x877 Review: I have to admit that initially I wasn’t a fan of this tool. I tried it out on my saddle pads first and was not impressed. It is a self proclaimed jack of all trades type of tool… but unless your horse is a yak I find that it is a bit hard to get satisfying results when using this as a shedding tool. It did essentially nothing for cleaning up my saddle pads but I do rather like it as a grooming tool now that I live in a land of sensitive mares.

@striphair Hard at work on the baby horses yak coat

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Not only did this tool keep Luna from wanting to kill me when I was grooming her – she is a delicate flower – it also helped with hard to reach or soft spots (legs, throat, nooks and crannys). My primary comparison is the SleekEZ tool which is probably one of my favorite shedding/ grooming tools around for both dogs and horses. While I still think that the SleekEZ is superior in removing caked mud or dead hair the Strip Hair will be my tool of choice for my more sensitive horses. Instead of shying away Luna was actually leaning into me running this tool across her. Annie and Houston don’t seem to be quite as opinionated about it but it did work just fine on both of them as well. striphair

Bottom Line: If you could buy just one of these at or under $15 I would say give it a try. I personally wouldn’t pay more than that and I think the kit is a bit unnecessary. I won’t be replacing my SleekEZ with the Strip Hair but they are both useful and will each maintain a spot in my grooming bag.

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Spring Bay 2017: Cross Country

I tossed and turned all night on Saturday. I wasn’t so much worried about the fact that we were running novice but rather super anxious to run in general. Turns out I need not have worried. Annie dominated the course despite me. Unfortunately I forgot to use Course Walk when I walked the course… And even more unfortunate is that my stupid Cambox wouldn’t cooperate. Also can’t seem to determine if there was a show photographer. Super thankful that Rachel Lynn Creative got the shot below.

All that matters though is that we finished on a number and not a letter. We didn’t have the most pretty run. There were plenty of learning moments for both of us but when the going got tough Annie took over and really packed me around. I picked at the distances and got her to some bad spots and she still jumped with all of her heart. That cannot be taught.

We still ended well out of the ribbons but moved up 10 places to finish in 15th place. Not too shabby considering the division had 25 people and we were in last place going into the day. 

We have a lot to work on but despite the ugly bits I still crossed through those flags with a grin on my face and an unexplainable amount of gratitude for the little red dragon. Not sure what is on the docket next but I am sure we will only continue to improve! 🙂

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Spring Bay 2017: Dressage and SJ

This weekend was spent in Lexington, KY at Spring Bay HT. This event was a bit of a brain jam for me as the last time I competed there was with Houston and we were eliminated on XC. I was determined to come away from the weekend with a number not a letter though!

jdpanicThe weekend got off to a not so great start when my TPM light came on. It turns out I ran over a screw and had to handle that mess before getting on the road. Shout out to my awesome barn owner who saved me like $350 by plugging my tire when the tire store said it wasn’t possible and that I would have to buy a new tire. pocgreat

Once I finally made it to the KHP my anxiety kicked in full force. I managed to convince myself to get on the dragon and we actually had a pretty decent school before calling it a night. I am not sure why I was so nervous because while our dressage is hideous it isn’t dangerous. She’s not stupid she’s just opinionated.  Saturday morning our ride time rolled around and Annie predictably was belligerent in the sand box. We secured our usual last place position and I felt pretty defeated about heading into stadium. pocworldend

Warm up arenas (for SJ and XC) might be the worst part about horse shows. The entire time I am in one I feel like I am in a war zone. Annie was a super star though and warmed up great. All I had to do was SIT  BACK FOR THE LOVE OF GOD and keep her stride compact. Guess what I didn’t do… Thankfully Annie was incredibly rideable in the hackamore and tried her heart out for me. Unfortunately I went into fetal position mode and picked at all of our distances which cost us 2 rails in stadium.  I was tired, frustrated, and honestly just poor company Saturday evening. pocstuKristen was kind enough to let Annie crash at her lovely little slice of Lexington on Saturday night. I am sure that Annie appreciated getting off the concrete at the KHP and getting to stretch her legs. I am saving the best for last and will talk about Annie’s XC beast mode/ my continuing inability to ride tomorrow.

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