Moving Whirlwind

This past week was a whirlwind. No other way to put it but we are officially home owners again. We actually didn’t know if we would be able to close on Friday until Thursday afternoon (I have a lot of negative feelings towards the selling agent of our house…). Thankfully it all worked out and Kyle and I (mostly Kyle) actually moved our bed over ourselves Friday night because we were so excited to get into the house.

Little did we know that our water heater would be a dud and we were doomed to take cold showers for an undetermined amount of time. We figured it would just be Friday night but 4 days later we finally got hot water yesterday morning. Could have been worse though and I considered it conditioning for my cold hose showers at events!

We are now mostly moved into our new house. It feels more like home every day. The dogs especially are loving their new kingdom and Stella has secured her place on the throne as top dog. Our yard is a bit sad right now as the grass seed is still growing but it is fun to see it now and know that soon we will have an awesome backyard. Most importantly is that my new barn commute is less than 10 minutes!!! The only thing that would be better is living there so I am pretty happy. Huelet also made a move this weekend back into the main barn. He is even getting turned out with Nanners for the foreseeable future – or until McLovin is weaned and Annie gets her bestie back. Hopefully now that things have settled down a bit regularly scheduled programming will resume. I need to get my butt in gear!

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Pressure Off

Sometimes I need the barn to just be the barn. No expectations. Nothing to work on. No pressure. The past 2 or so weeks that is what I have needed the barn to be. I am not thinking about shows, stressing about our progress, or even committing to riding regularly. The barn is my happy place and with house stress and our pending move I opted to keep my trips to the farm low key. Sometimes the super special girls in my life have different ideas (Annie I’m looking at you Miss TriesToWalkOutOfHerShoes and DevelopsMysteriousFacialAbscess). Aside from some small bumps it has been working very well. I stayed out of the saddle when I knew that I couldn’t deal and instead groomed my horses, stuffed them with treats, and enjoyed some wine. It has been just what I needed but I am ready to get back into the swing of things once we move.

Fingers crossed we will be moving into the lovely below this weekend and all of the house buying drama and road blocks are past us. I hope to get back to regular programming next week! What do you all have going on? Anyone else been bogged down recently?

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Big Star Offspring @ Bolesworth

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If you are a fellow breeding nerd you might have seen that a Big Star colt sold for £92,000 at the Bolesworth Elite Auction – holy moley! The colt in question is out of a mare named Tinka’s Serenade (Tinka’s Boy x African Drum) who competed under Billy Twomey at the ’12 Olympics in London as well as ’10 WEG Kentucky.

Tinkas Seranade
Of course I felt it necessary to point this out to Kyle… His first question was do you think you would sell Luna for that much? (Disregard that Luna is not worth that much and not out of a mare that had a successful top sport career). I am not totally insane so my first response was an enthusiastic yes… Then I made my contemplative face with some sighs and Kyle said you know what nevermind… Lets not go down that path. HA! He is a keeper.

After a few seconds Kyle then pointed out that this is how I broached the initial purchase… Oh look what a great investment this is… So and so “could” be worth this much one day… This list goes on. Maybe I do this because it makes me feel better? Now naturally I know that horses are literally the fastest way to a small fortune — if you start with a large one! It is fun to think about my horses potential value even though history proves that I am not very good at selling them!

Any fun comparisons that you guys make?

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Follow The Leader

Equestrian sports are very unique and all too similar to other sports at the same time. For parents/children and amateurs the culture would imply that we are all supposed to have a leader and follow them blindly. In a lot of ways that would make it much easier for the professionals in the industry. Unlike in a corporate setting a job interview for an equestrian position can be a lot like playing trust fall. This is honestly how it feels as a rider or owner when trying to find a new trainer as well.cat-trust-falling

A decent amount of the lower level equestrian professional population do not seem to have vast records that support their careers. Please note that I am not saying that every professional needs to be experienced at the upper levels. That said just because  you can WTC a horse or hang on over fences doesn’t make you a trainer. Honestly even being a good rider doesn’t always qualify someone as a good trainer or instructor. Not

It feels like there is an opinion that amateurs or anyone with the (perceived) means should support up and coming talent. I don’t necessarily disagree with this. If I had the means to do so (while also riding/showing my own) I would happily give a talented up and coming trainer the ride on my horses where appropriate. It is a two way street though.  A lot of the people that are in the middle grounds get taken advantage of. Not everyone with nice horses is a millionaire and a quick way to get those with the dollars to spend to run is to always have a hand out. If those young or up and coming trainers/riders want the ride on horses that could quite literally be their ride to the top it seems like there should be a give and a take. I totally understand that most professional equestrians are not getting rich by any stretch of the imagination. I am not implying that they don’t deserve to be paid either. BUT I do think that if you are going to go pro in this industry you need to be realistic about what to charge for services given relevant experience.

What is giving some of these professionals this mentality? It seems like it should not be that complicated to operate under a business model where you don’t take advantage of your clients and only expect to be paid what you have earned. If you didn’t find the horse/ actively search in my eyes you don’t deserve a commission. If you didn’t ride the horse you don’t get paid. If you didn’t actually do the service that is showing up on the bill please explain why any of us should be expected to pay for it. I know that I am not alone with saying that I don’t like surprises on my bills. I have even gotten to the point now where I don’t let most horse people bill me. I want to know what you charge for the service you have agreed to provide BEFORE it happens. I do acknowledge that that can be easier in eventing land when its 3 parts over 1-2 days 95% of the time vs assorted #s of classes spread over a week.

I just want to say that I respect the hell out of the pros in my life but it makes me a little sad that I have to be so skeptical when finding them. To all of the great horsemen/women that have groomed all of us to this point kudos to you!

How do you guys feel about this? Have there been specific areas that you have lived where this is more prevalent than others? Maybe even a specific discipline vs another?

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Catch Up and Making Plans

Unfortunately an ugly bug had me down for the count the past couple of days. All of the creatures are doing well and between farmsitting, cabrewing, and a trail ride this weekend was packed to the gills before the plague hit! Thankfully I seem to be on the mend now and no worse for the wear.

All in all things have been going pretty well with Annie. She continues to improve on the flat – though we are far from consistent. I go back and forth pretty regularly on if I will continue to event her. We have so much fun over fences but trying to get through a dressage test with her – despite hours of work at home still makes me want to throw up. At some point it will kill all of the fun from eventing anyways and I really don’t want to get to that point. We aren’t there yet and will continue to give it a go but the idea of staying strictly in the jumper arena for competition purposes has crossed my mind. I guess I will know when I know if that time has come.

This weekend coming up is not only my birthday but also a fun schooling event at a local HJ venue. Here’s to hoping that the wheels stay on the bus as we haven’t been anywhere since Spring Bay in April.

As I prep for this schooling outing I have been thinking about what could be next on the calendar. Some unexpected potential travel plans have July a bit up in the air but some (unlikely) options are:

July:

August:

I am honestly not sure if any of these things will be happening but it’s fun to think about. What do you guys have on the docket?

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Rocking E Cowgirl Blog Hop 10 Qs

Summer-blog-hopWhat is your earliest, clearest horse memory? I am not sure that I could pinpoint one specific memory most. I was always obsessed with horses and I remember being little and asking my parents to take a riding lesson. They said “when you are 8” I am sure thinking that I would forget or grow out of it. Well come my 8th birthday I had set up my own first riding lesson and the rest is history.

Describe the perfect summer day. A day during the summer where it feels like spring or fall???

Are you reading anything right now? Tell me about it. I am perpetually reading something. Right now I am in limbo though and haven’t picked up a book in months which is a long time for me!

Do you follow a celebrity (horsey or non) that you’re embarrassed to say fascinates you?  Totes obsessed with Michael Jung for obvious reasons. Not embarrassed. I am also totally a Kaley Cuoco fangirl. She loves all of her animals so much and I respect that she seems to appreciate what she’s got.

What is your single most biggest horsey dream or goal? This tends to vary but ultimately I would love to run Training or mayyyyybe Preliminary in eventing and my end goal in the jumpers would be the Low AO jumpers which is about 1.2M-1.25M? Not sure that’s at all doable but for now I will keep on keeping on and see where that gets me.

If you were at Starbucks right now, what would you order?  A cake pop. Because SUGAR!

What is your biggest equine pet peeve? People that don’t take care of their horses. Or any animal for that matter.

With everything going on politically and in the media, tell me, do you follow it religiously? Tune it out? Or something in between? Somewhere in between. I try to stay current.

If you had to show your horse to a song, what would you choose? This is tough. For now I will just say this is what comes to mind for dressage.

What are you most looking forward to this summer? New house new house new house. Cannot wait. Horse wise probably River Glen in August because that is my first for sure show planned and RG is one of my favorite places ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Camping Essentials

Much to my mothers shock I have grown to LOVE my horse show glamping set up. I was honestly surprised myself that I enjoy it so much but it is so convenient. Admittedly Rolex with the camper kind of ruined my version of glamping just a touch. I did want to expand on my horse show glamping set up though for anyone considering the truck tent/hammock trailer set up. I have now camped at pretty much every show or clinic that I have gone to in the past year (unless someone I know has AC and lives near by ha!) and I have been constantly improving my camping essentials list.yt45b_f

Thankfully before camping even entered the equation I had purchased a YETI cooler. Yes it’s expensive and you can totally make due without one but I personally LOVE having ice cold drinks and food available for days at shows. RTIC is a more affordable brand that I have heard great things about. In line with the cool products is the HydroFlask. hydroflask

Last summer a truck tent joined the team so that I could start camping at shows. This has now evolved into the addition of a hammock for 1 night stays. I was able to snag an Eno and I really like it. Very comfortable and doesn’t take up much space for storage. Side note: the fact that they make a hammock that supposedly 2 people can sleep in blows my mind.eno

Next up was the purchase of a nice sleeping bag. Enter the Kelty! Kyle convinced me to buy this as I had previously been making due with sheets and blankets.  Haven’t regretted it for a second and it works quite well to be cocooned in my hammock during the cooler months. kelty

Anything solar powered is awesome as well. Most of the time I pay for a primitive electric hook up because a fan is vital for summer time camping. Sometimes though I don’t have access and in those times portable or solar powered items are the bomb.

evapolarThe only thing that I kind of want to add is a portable AC cube called Evapolar. I think it would be boss to be able to plug in a small unit to keep myself from roasting in my trailer. I recently saw an add for it on IndieGoGo and I am debating if I want to splurge and invest in one. I don’t have any events or shows on the horizon so anything I purchased probably wouldn’t be used much this year. Do any of you guys that camp out of your truck or trailers have good solutions for the sweltering times of the year?

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Kaitlyn Karssen Photography: Houston B

Months ago a friend shared a promotion that this photographer she knew was running for equine portraits. I figured it wouldn’t be feasible to get the photographer to Nashville but wanted to reach out anyways. Turns out there were a ton of us that wanted to get pictures done and before I knew it photo shoot day had arrived!

Houston was up first and was a acting a little feral… I was a bit anxious about how his photos would turn out and I can’t say enough about how trilled I am with the end result. Thank you Kaitlyn Karssen Photography for the wonderful shots of my boy! I love how well she captured his personality while showing off his good looks – yes I am a bit biased! I cannot wait to see the pictures she got of the girls! I would highly recommend Kaitlyn to any of my friends considering having professional shots of their horses done. Now I will let the images speak for themselves!

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