Year In Review: 2015 

Our year was a just a little bit crazy  but full of amazing memories.

January: We started off the year by starting the house shopping process. By mid month we had a pending contract on a house we figured that we would grow into.February: We got engaged! The week we both closed and moved into our house Kyle proposed and made me the happiest girl around!
  
March: By this point Kyle and I were cement on the small wedding and had even set a date. We went to a wedding in Asheville and got to see a bunch of our friends which was awesome.

img_3077.jpegApril: A friend and I went dress shopping and I found the dress that I never knew I wanted to get married in (I didn’t picture myself as a ballgown girl) and I got to see my mom for the first time since Christmas and we had an awesome mother daughter weekend. My mom also got to see my dress in person – we facetimed when I picked it out (oh technology). I also got a new job this month!

May: My awesome friend Katherine became dog mom to Tucker and he stayed with us briefly. Wedding planning (aka my mom confirming my thoughts) were in full swing. I spent the month scheming about buying a horse and stalking the internet. Thanks to all of my friends for putting up with the gazillions of texts you got from me. You know who you are.June: I turned 25, we got hitched in Cali, and we honeymooned in Hawaii. This month was a total whiz. It buzzed by faster than imaginable. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. (Media: Pics – PW: June27, Video, Post)





     July: I dove head first into horse ownership and purchased a 3yo TB filly located in IN while I was in Hawaii. Whoops. She wasn’t introduced on the blog until August though.

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August: Sonny and I had an awesome trip to the lake to celebrate K’s birthday. By this point Kyle knew that the possibility of moving to Nashville was on the table and our life was kind of on hold.

September: Big month for us. At the beginning of the month Annie got off the farm for her first field trip. She was an angel. Kyle also accepted his position at his new company so we started the process of listing our house (this takes more time than one might think) and navigating the move to Nashville.

October: Annie got the cut from hell and had an infected leg as well as hives most of the month – no 2Pointober for me. We did get to have a mini getaway with my family for the naming of the Hart School at JMU. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my parents for this. It was a great time! Our house hit the market while we were in VA and was sold after the first showing. I also became a part of the trailer club! Kyle started his new job as well as the process of commuting weekly. While I couldn’t ride my own horse I did get to participate in Opening Hunt and LOVED it. Last but not least we signed the lease on our apartment on Halloween.


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November: We packed up and moved ourselves one state south to TN! We bought and sold our first house together all in the same year! I even had my first lesson with NT the last weekend of the month. I also bought all of the things. Literally all of them.

 

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img_7509.jpeg December: I have spent all but one week of December in Cali. That one week was pretty good though and I am happy to say that I had 2 more lessons. Annie had her first lesson/ training ride as well. We also embarked on a barefoot experiment. From there the month gets a little sad as I had to fly to Cali due to my grandfathers declining health. He passed away just 2 days after I arrived (click here for obituary). It is bittersweet as we are obviously sad that he is gone but I can say that I am very glad that he is no longer in pain. I also ended up getting to spend the most time with my family that I have in probably 3-4 years. Now that Kyle is here I am happy to be celebrating the holidays with a large portion of my family.

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Which brings us to now… I will be closing out 2015 at a NYE wedding and can’t wait to ring in the new year with lots of lessons and progress for the baby horse!

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Merry Christmas 2015

Still no horsey content but I did want to say Happy Holidays to all of you. Given the lack of Annie or pup pictures I present some awesome Christmas gifs.

Enjoy the time with your families and hug your loved ones extra tight. If you are in the midwest I hope you haven’t been affected by the recent batch of tornados.

MerryChristmas merry-christmas-eve-gif-5 tumblr_lw9vjaObwi1r7zaoqo1_500 giphy tumblr_myb3jlYHip1rlhv36o1_500 merry-christmas_1240 tumblr_lwos1wPgoo1qbp4vao1_500 giphy-2 tumblr_lwq5nvj6cr1qiol6o tumblr_m8pio0nQDw1rdt491o1_500 tumblr_myfvai5Hb31rp0vkjo2_500 tumblr_mye1ke1UEU1rp0vkjo1_500 tumblr_ngkvsd4Fen1qc8jh0o1_500 5da7d4635491626a80fb5be91353e09eI will probably try to get a year in review up when we are traveling home. I also need to work on my 2016 goals. 🙂

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Barefoot Nanners

I don’t have a lot to update on because of not being home or seeing my pony for over a week and a half so far…

My awesome BO has been taking good care of her though and sent me this cute pic a couple of days ago.

 As of last week Annie is barefoot for a YTBD period of time. I am not sure how she will hold up to this but this winter at her age seemed like a good time to give it a try.

I am missing Kyle and our fluffs a bunch but FaceTime with the creatures has helped. Also getting to snuggle my parents dog and even smuggle her into my dads office eased the pain!

  
I am not sure if I will update again before Christmas but if I don’t happy holidays to all of you! I can’t wait to get home to the pony and I’m excited to see my Secret Santa present as well!

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Weekend Wrap Up: CA Therapy

driving the duffy
Thank you to everyone for the kind words last week. It was a rough few days but things are leveling out. I am so so so grateful that I get to spend extra time with my family now however that means that I do not get to see the pony.
I did participate in some retail therapy of both the human and horse variety last week. I might have accidentally or not so accidentally bought my first PS of Sweden bridle. I couldn’t justify one for so long but now I have a normal sized creature I couldn’t help it. I had a moment of weakness and bought the Hackamore Sport Revolution and maybe also the Three Point Breastplate. Sorry not sorry. 
In my defense I have been wanting/ needing a new breastplate but was hoping to find a CWD used available. The price on the PS was good and it had the features I wanted so SOLD.

I have a lot of good stuff waiting for me at home and I can’t wait to use and review them! (Including: Lorenzini Stirrups, Veredus Open Front Boots, Back on Track Quarter Sheet, Asmar All Weather Riding Coat, assorted treats and grooming supplies, and some SmartPak Piper Breeches)

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Grandpa 1930 to 2015

This is not the post I wanted to be making but life has a way of doing that to us.

My only solace is that my grandfather is in a better place now and no longer in pain.  

    
    
   The only plus to this is that I get to spend an extended period of time with my family for Christmas now. This will probably be the longest time I have spent with them since before I graduated college. I flew out to California Monday night so that I could be here and as we will have a service sometime in the coming week or so I will just be staying in CA through Christmas. 

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Thoughts for my Grandfather 

My grandfather is unfortunately not doing well. He has been rapidly declining over the past few months and that has accelerated a lot the past couple of weeks. Trying to keep my head up and remember that he has lived a long full life. 

   

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Weekend Wrap Up: Automatic

Sunday was full of fun barn times! I woke up early and headed out to the barn to get Annie ready for our very first lesson together. We started her out on the lunge line because baby horse with no work… NT gave me some tips for lunging Annie which were very helpful.

After lunging NT hopped on Annie. I loved getting to watch him ride her. It really helped me to see what he was doing with his body and the responses that she was giving him. He told me that she seems to be a horse that really likes contact in the bridle. He reminded me that this needs to be followed up with my leg too. Annie really liked his ride and was looking great.

I wish that I had thought to get video but I as just enjoying seeing the baby horse go around. My fabulous baby horse has natural lead changes. Which I had already seen signs of but it was AWESOME SAUCE when she did them without effort for the trainer in her first training ride. I hopped on for a few minutes after and learned a great trick for getting Annie to pickup the correct lead if we get a little stuck in our transitions.

The trick is to post on the wrong diagonal as you go into asking for the transition. I was skeptical at first when he mentioned it but it really helped. More for me than for her as the issues were my balance more so than anything she was doing. All in all the first training ride/lesson was a great success. 🙂

After the fun with Annie I headed out to NT’s farm for a lesson on one of his horses. I had a blast and a half and LOVED the horse I got to ride. He was incredibly fun and game to the fences. Totally different than Annie from a feel perspective and also way bigger.

The main focuses for me over fences are for me to keep the correct canter and to sit up/back. I have a horrible habit of throwing my body towards the fences now and I want to break it asap. I also need to get more straight on the flat. I have a bad habit of leaning to the inside and not using enough outside rein. Luckily NT calls me on these things and has done a great job of explaining ways to overcome a lot of my equitation issues (form follows function anyone?).

I have another lesson with Annie tomorrow after work and hope to come up with a plan of action for the next few months to prepare for the spring.

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Annie’s First TN Ride

I talked with new trainer this week about lessons for the weekend and we discussed him helping me with Annie and then a lesson over fences at his farm. This seemed like a great idea until I remembered that the ginger hadn’t been worked in close to 2.5 months.

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Commence panic. Ultimately I decided to lunge Friday night – arena lights for the win! Luckily Annie still remembers how to lunge like  mostly civilized creature. Yesterday I went to tack up and turns out that the little red head has been packing on the pounds.

I am very pleased with her condition and TN seems to be agreeing with her. I am having some debate about giving her a trace clip… I am going to wait and see how much colder it gets and how much work NT thinks we should plan to be doing this winter.

How much work warrants any clipping for you all?

Onto our first ride at the farm! Trying to save myself I did throw her onto the lunge line for self preservation. She was super lazy and I should have seen through her guise but I decided to climb on board.

All things considered she was good. There was a lot of activity outside of the arena and while distracted she worked through. I am hopeful that NT will have good suggestions for exercises I can work through with her this winter. I am very excited to get someone to help me with her and that I have the opportunity to ride other horses in lessons so that I can get back over fences! 🙂

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Rider Review: Gun Dog Supply Leash & Collar

Recently I ordered our dogs new leashes and collars from Gun Dog Supply online. I ordered Sonny a 16″ Mendota Collar and a flat Mendota Leash. Stella got the same collar but in the 3/4″ style and a rolled Mendota leash.

Price: $29.95 Collar & $24.95 Leash (Sonny’s leash and collar). This price point was honestly the best that I could find for the quality. Between the great feedback I had heard about the website and then a friend putting in a good word I felt very confident placing the order.

Pros: The leashes and collars that we received are much nicer than I expected for the cost. The leather is strong and supple at the same time. The plates are well made and securely attached. Additionally the safety ring is the perfect place to attach the leash so that you don’t have to battle with the tail of the collar to use the main hook.

The sizing of the collars is exactly as the website suggests and they even provide a nice walkthrough for how to measure your dogs neck. I was a bit skeptical when Sonny needed a 16″ collar and Stella needed a 14″ collar but turns out that Stella is just a little beefcake. 

Cons: The only cons that I can come up with are the fact that the collars are a little stiff when you get them. That is the case with most leather products though so it’s nothing that I hold against the quality of the products.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a nice quality leash and collar at an affordable price that is sure to last I would definitely recommend checking out the offerings of Gun Dog Supply. The customer service is fantastic and they ship things very fast.

Happy Shopping!

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Lesson Recap: Balance

This weekend I had my first Tennessee lesson and it was awesome!

I rode a spicy little jumper mare and while the lesson was very frustrating it was also incredible and fun. I think that this new trainer is going to be great for me.

I have gotten in the bad habit of over riding with my upper body. This is extremely apparent when I am jumping and makes me resemble this:

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Then I proceeded to get a few well deserved refusals and I was more like this:

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To break it down (more for me than for you all) I was getting nervous as we approached the fence and instead of remaining still approaching the fence I was throwing my upper body into more of a fetal type position.

Fetal Position

Obviously that is not the desired position over fences but I guess my general nerves about jumping combined with a new horse and trainer was the perfect combination for out of shape/practice me to make a fool of myself. The mare I was riding was not super into me totally changing my ride and balance as we approached the fence and wasn’t about to tell lies for me. No leg plus a floppy body makes for an unpleasant sight. She wasn’t dirty at all and honestly I probably wouldn’t have been on her back on the opposite side of the fence so I am not holding it against her.

I was much more upset about the events that occurred than new trainer (who is totally fabulous btw). As it became evident that my body wasn’t going to listen to my brain trainer had me hop off so that he could pop the mare over a few fences because I had gotten her a bit frazzled riding like a drunk monkey. Then I hopped back on and we were good to go.

Trainer talked me through it step my step as I got more comfortable and while there is a lot of room for improvement I can’t wait for more lessons. He is just what I need. Tells it like it is while still being kind. No sugar coating but just the right amount of assistance. He was still getting to know me too but I am sure that with more lessons he will whip me back into shape in no time.

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I am hoping to have 2 more lessons this weekend!!! This week can’t go by fast enough.

 

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