Birthday Girl

img_5399.jpegFive years ago yesterday a baby ginger came into the world. Almost two years ago (in July) while casually err aggressively stalking horses online on my honeymoon I came across an ad for a gangly coming 3 year old filly. I found her, pre purchased her, and bought her off about 60 seconds of video.  I still can’t believe just how lucky I got. Anyone that has gotten one of the track can attest to the leap of faith it can be.

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first horse show

 

I refer to her as the dragon sometimes (how to dressage your dragon might be a new thing) but in all seriousness she is a little horse with a lot of opinions and even more heart. I am not sure there is a sweeter horse on the ground and when I ask she gives her all out on course. I know that even if we can’t tackle the dressage aspect of eventing we will tear it up in the jumper ring for years to come. LCP_4456We have had a full 2 years and I hope that this year will be even better than the last. Regardless of what we end up doing I am lucky to have such a creature in  my life. Happy Birthday Nanners!

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RK3DE: Cross Country

best horse show dog evah

In an attempt to not get too repetitive I will keep this on the shorter side. If you want to read about how Amanda and I stalked Maxime Livio and made him write “I LOVE YOU BOBBY” on a poster head on over to The $900 Facebook Pony.

After busting literally my entire body the day before getting out of bed Saturday was a struggle. Amanda and I parked our butts in front of fence 9 and pretty much stayed there for the long hall. We did venture off course around lunch time for a blogger meet up. Unfortunately I guess there was a mix up because it was mostly just us standing awkwardly in front of the Dubarry tent. We waited 10 or so minutes then decided to give up and say hi to some vendors and grab lunch. This actually worked out beautifully and I think that this years rolex is the first year I haven’t been torrentially poured on for XC day. After legit stuffing our faces we high tailed it back to fence nine in hopes to get our front row seats back to watch Rocana tackle the wall!

We both pretty much only had eyes for MJ though so every horse before him was just a nice little opening act.

Well minus Matt Brown – that dude has some serious balls. He jumped it NBD with one hand. Props to you dude, props to you.

The general consensus from Amanda and I was that we literally never want to be galloping up to jumps this large because there would be a serious situation in our pants. I have a lot of respect for the riders that left the start box but I do question UL eventers sanity justtttt a bit. I don’t know how they do it.

After XC wrapped up there was a final blogger meet up at the head of the lake. It was nice to see everyone again (sorry to those that we didn’t get to see!) before Amanda and I hit up the trade fair again to stand in line (Bobby – you owe us big…) to get Maxime Livios autograph. One hilarious and creepy conversation later and Saturday was a wrap! All in all it was a great day. We saw the riders (read Michael Jung) we wanted to see, thoroughly stalked Maxime Livio, and then rebooted for the last day of the best weekend ever.

 

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RK3DE: Friday

The horse show hangover is in full effect today. I am honestly not even sure where to start with all of the happenings of Rolex weekend. Amanda said it and I’ll say it again – this really is the #bestweekendallyear. Diving right in I am going to say OMG I never want to Rolex without a campsite ever again. Much to my dismay 2018 spots are already all booked up… Let the stalking begin though!

shopping for days

 

Friday was all about shopping and Michael Jung. I’m not going to say I didn’t care about anyone else but… I had eyes only for Michi and Rocana if we’re being honest. While Amanda and I waited to creep watch the warm up arenas we took in all of the vendors of the trade fair and sponsor village. I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the lack of purchases. I was honestly kind of underwhelmed this year though and have other priorities at the moment than buying all of the stuff. My favorite brands made appearances though and we of course had to check those out.

If you're at Rolex, go see Beverly at @toprailtack … she's got the new Purple @majykequipe boots! #rk3de #rolex2017 #rolexkentucky

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I loved getting to meet the genius behind Majyk Equipe boots and it further cemented why I love to support not just great products but great people behind great products. Thank you Beverly and Michael for being great supporters of the industry with your innovative products!

We also got to catch up with Pam from Mango Bay Designs in addition to the heart of Awesome Artifacts. My own Boy O’Boy belt was inspired by the Awesome Artifacts grey belt!

Check out @boyoboybridleworks belts at @awesomeartifactsinc at @rk3de_official #boyoboybridleworks

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After we escaped the chaos of the trade fair we secured primo viewing of the warm-up rings. We could essentially touch Michael and Rocana if we wanted to – minus the getting kicked out of the park aspect… I have to say getting to see the behind the scenes so to speak was perfect. Incase all that wasn’t enough I was tricked into signing up for the RK-5K twilight run. Newsflash… If you literally never run signing up for a 5K might not be the best idea after 6 miles of walking and another 2 days to go afterwards. I am not a quitter though and while I did want to sucker punch Amanda numerous times I trucked on. I think I might already have amnesia though because while I do recall not having the best time I am not totally opposed to doing it again… Maybe its true when they say that eventers aren’t quite right! Next up CROSS COUNTRY DAY!

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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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