Weekend Wrap Up: Learning

Something that I knew going into the “buying a baby horse” adventure was that I definitely wanted to lesson on going horses and continue to improve and advance on my own as a rider. 

There have been a few road blocks to that general goal but I finally got to have a lesson again yesterday with a really great trainer. She isn’t local but she’s worth the drive! 

She totally nailed all of my main issues within the first 10 minutes. She called out my nervous habits (not in a mean way but more as a hey you’re doing this) and really gave me tips for how to correct the problem. There may be hope for my equitation and effectiveness after all!  

Sonny and his new GF
The horse I was riding was a won’t take any lies kinda guy. If you asked wrong he wasn’t about to do it correctly. I appreciate and respect that though because a lesson would be much less beneficial if I was riding a horse that allows me to get away with murder – even if that would be easier!
My primary take always were:

  • Shoulders up and back – don’t let my nerves get the best of me and have me crouching forward in a guarded position 
  • No swinging legs! Legs at the girth are better for sending messages and more secure
  • Hands up – you can’t do very much when they are in your lap
  • Ride my outside aids more effectively
  • Learn how to ask for lead changes again… Dur (luckily I was able to get my stuff together toward the end)
  • I have more time than I think I do between fences and don’t need to be rushed
  • Don’t second guess myself – when we started my first distance attempts were pretty ugly… I would get it right and then last minute nope and go for the long spot PULLS HAIR! I need to do lots of pole work and get my eye back and gain confidence again

I am really grateful that I was able to take this lesson and hope to have many more in the future. 

Lots of stuff going on for us so I apologize for the radio silence. Hopefully I will be able to open up about some of the news later this week 🙊.  

baby horse is a free jumping star

On the Annie front the baby horse continues to impress me. She had a definite ginger tantrum last week but honestly it was expected to happen eventually… Instead of getting intimidated or scared as I would have 3 years ago when I was bringing Houston along I just trucked along and continued the ride. It made me feel very solid that I made be right decision and that I can infact bring along a green(er) horse again myself (with help of course). 

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Training: 3yo Workload

Having never had a horse as young as Annie I have been doing a lot of research on what I should be doing with her. In that process I have been defining some reasonable expectations.
 Given that she is so young and green I want to make sure that I keep things light and easy. WTC – straightness – and hopefully some trail rides… She will likely get most of the winter off and then come back to light work in the spring.

For those of you that have either gotten a young one off the track or raised your own what did their 3rd year look like? TIA for any insights!

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Weekend Wrap Up: Field Trip

This weekend Annie got to go on her very first field trip. My trainer friend was planning to go schooling with her daughter at the KHP XC schooling day and asked me if I wanted to join. At first I was hesitant but I figured this would be a safe place to get her off the property and there would be no pressure. A sane pony and a horse that regularly fox hunts seemed like the best company I could ask for!

K and her friend/ roomie came to visit/ watch/ document this monuments trip and I am so grateful for all of the pictures and the video. As far as first outings go I don’t think I could have asked for anything more – except maybe a cooler day – it was blazing Saturday!  

Annie got to walk up the babiest of banks, school through the water, and even meandered over some logs. What I was most impressed by was her general cool cucumber demeanor about everything. Horses were wizzing past us and it was kind of chaotic at times but she just went about her business.

What are some other fun things those of you with young horses have done to get some exposure? I am going to try to meet up with a fellow blogger at some point to go for a trail ride (I’m lookin at you Karen) and will hopefully get to tag along with the friends I went with yesterday again. Nothing too stressful or very often but I think that getting her out and about would be good for her.

I am pretty happy with my little filly that’s just less than 2 months off the track. Given that she’s got about 12 rides max on her I would say that’s pretty darn good.

And no – I’m not aiming to event long term but it was a good opportunity to get out and about inexpensively. Given that my area is saturated with eventers and not so much hunter/jumpers I will be taking her to any and everything I can get to for exposure/ experience in the coming year.

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Tack Lockers

I have always been at barns in the past where there was a tack room and everything was in the room. Saddles on racks, bridles on racks, and some kind of cabinet for other items. 

Our new barn does not have a tack room (or the barn I’m in anyways) and everyone seems to have magical trunks that their saddles and other items fit in. I don’t even have a wooden trunk let alone something that my saddle would fit in. 

Cue interweb searches… There are not as many options as you might think out there for tack lockers. I searched Smartpak and Dover and eventually broke down and ordered from SaddleLockers.com.   

 The locker will be the most expensive peice of storage furniture I have ever purchased myself but I feel like it will be worth it. All of the plastic ones I saw didn’t have various things that I wanted and I actually like the fact that my locker will be difficult to move. I don’t want something that can be rolled away easily!  

Once I ordered the locker I realized that it had to be shipped as freight… For those of you that haven’t had that happen it’s a treat… The company sent me pictures of the locker and how it looked when it shipped out… And advised not to accept the shipment if I saw any damage (but that shouldn’t be super likely).   

I finally was able to WAH to meet the shipper… And they try to deliver me this:   
Needless to say that was not going to fly and I sent it back. Not on the supplier but didn’t change my frustration… 3 weeks later now I am finally supposed to have a new locker tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Do most of your alls barns have community tack rooms and the option for a standard trunk? Anyone else have lockers similar to this style? 

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Weekend Wrap Up: Barn Dog

I know that having dogs at the barn isn’t for everyone… But for me it’s a god send. Shortly after I got Annie Sonny started acting out – more destructive, more clingy, and overall kinda disobedient. I couldn’t figure it out until Kyle and I were talking and I realized that when I started riding again I stopped taking Sonny to the dog park as much.   

Once I came to that realization I really wanted to find another barn where he could come out with me. Stella being a Frenchie doesn’t have as much energy to burn (mental and physical) so it isn’t as much of a concern for her. After a few weeks of searching I found a barn that seems both perfect for a greenie (lots to see and lots of turnout) and perfect for Sonny. Not only does Sonny get to go to the barn with me he also gets to play with the BOs GSD. 

My friend that recently moved is also at a dog friendly barn and it’s really awesome that on the weekends we get to have the pups at all of the barns. It makes for some very happy and tired dogs! A tired dog is a good dog! 


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Introducing Annie


I have been holding out on you guys…

First I am going to start with the fact that I am beyond grateful to have such a supportive partner. Kyle is gonna be a kick butt horse husband and I am so happy that he loves and supports my riding like he does.

honeymoon selfie

While Kyle and I were on our honeymoon I did some shopping pool side… Kyle was literally laughing at me as I spewed chatter about horses at him all week. Being the amazing guy that he is he encouraged me and before I knew it I was planning a pre purchase on the best wedding present ever.

When I decided I couldn’t stay away from riding I knew it wouldn’t be long before I owned a horse again. I also knew I wanted to set myself up differently and provide myself some more freedom by getting some wheels. With all of the recent happenings for us my budget was pretty limited.

Enter LittleOrphanAnnex (Annie) an unraced 3yo TB that was at Ellis Park – I’m questioning my sanity too.
I almost didn’t email based on her ad because the picture above was all that was posted. Once I saw a video of her moving I was sold! Buying a horse off the track is a serious gamble but she was a safer bet than most of the other candidates I saw.

Given that she is so young she pretty much gets to hang out with light work until next spring. She was already going undersaddle (she’s a race training flunky) when I purchased her so I will either work her from the ground or lightly undersaddle 2-3 days a week and then she will get the winter to grow up. That’s the plan for now anyways.

In the meantime I will continue to lesson on going horses to get myself going for when mare face is ready to start learning more.             

So there you have it. Whoops I bought a horse!

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Wordless Wednesday: Grem So Hard

Kind of wordless… But please feast your eyes on some pictures of our pet gremlin… Err bulldog I mean! 

These are just some of the many pics that I have taken in the past year with the little creature that strikes fear into the hearts of many bigger dogs… Well that might be an exaggeration but seriously most dogs are kinda skeptical of her – I don’t think they recognize her as another dog.


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Turnout Cards

I think that for most of us (sorry, probably not most of you west coasters) it seems like the horses go out on a regular basis if not daily. For many that means that during the summer months the horses go out at night – typically that’s before I can get out to the barn after work.

Stall Card

I am guessing that as most of us are adult working amateurs this is probably a similar story for most of you. My question is does your barn have a system for asking that your horse be left in the time between general turnout and when you typically arrive to the barn? If so what is it? If not do you just catch him/her yourself?

I am genuinely intrigued. At the smaller farms I have boarded at it has been easy to just ask the BO or trainer if my horse can be left in… at bigger operations it would be really easy for the caregivers to get bogged down with texts trying to keep everyones various schedules in line.

Thanks in advance for sharing any cool methods that you have seen. Some interesting ones that I have seen are:

  • white boards on the horses stalls
  • laminated cards that say “in” or “out” that slip into sleeves taped on the stall door

Some things that I have brainstormed (for the made up land where I have a barn of my own):

  • tags that can be placed on a hook on the horses stall or halter
  • schedule on stall cards for those of us that have pretty regular schedules

Excited to hear the different ideas out in all of your guys barns!

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VCBH: My Cubicle

 Viva Carlos started a fun blog hop and I decided to join in.

Most of us work for a living (wishing I didn’t have to), some of us in way swankier places than others (right now thinking of all my friends who work at places like Google and Salesforce.. le jealous! all dem snacks!) Anyways I am curious for a pictorial tour of your office or cubicle.

I work in a cube farm… There are no windows on the floor except in offices so those of us in the cubes just hope that the office dwellers leave their doors open. My picture above is a panoramic fail… My cube is not shaped in any unique way as this picture depicts but I thought it was funny so I decided to run with it.

On the left you can see that I have a cork board of pictures. Otherwise I live in a sea of post-its to remind me of my deadlines. Once a week I get to work at home and that “office space” is much more appealing! I have two awesome sidekicks in Sonny and Stella and it makes getting out the barn after work so much easier! Definitely my favorite office space 🙂


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Wordless Wednesday: Drunk Pups

Sonny and Stella had big days at the vet yesterday. Sonny had to have an oral growth removed and Stella just needed her gremlin teeth cleaned. They were both kinda looney yesterday because of being sedated. I’m looking forward to having our normal characters back today!


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