Thursday, October 24, 2013

This Year, for Halloween I want to be....

A Gingerbread House!

Ta-dah! And done....

Now, for my reaction to my home's choice of costume: WTF? It isn't even November yet! How did I have measurable snow on my front porch (I even had to dig out the snow shovel!). 

This 'early' snow fall is completely wrecking my weather associations as they pertain to the year end holidays. 
That's my front yard

Halloween is supposed to be all fall like with leaves blowing and light jackets out. 
Thanksgiving is colder, with a possible temporary dusting of snow or ice.... which signals my little mind that it is OK to start humming/singing/whistling Christmas Carols
And finally, near Christmas it is allowed to really snow. Like it did on Monday. 

Still a creepy movie...
So here I am, shoveling snow and singing Christmas carols. I blame Walmart... After all, it's hard to tell what time of year it is when I can buy my Halloween candy,  Thanksgiving dinner and a Christmas tree all in one trip. 

//Rant Done.

Of course, since I baby all of my animals, at the first whisper of cold rain/snow/snain I pulled out box after box of winter blankets. For me, my horses and my dogs. Tempi has easly the largest array of winter clothing, and she hates it all. Either that or she hates the cold. Or maybe both... evidence proved she's really happiest when buttoned up into my jacket so I carry her around over the snow/wet/cold. 
Farm poodle, right there. 
"My paws are COLD! Pick me UP!"
 Bacon kinda sorta needs a jacket. Really he just loves getting dressed up. But really, isn't blanketing 95% of the time about making the owner feel better? Because I do.
Look! The snow is melting!
And Scott, well. He's a fat guy in a little coat.... But the reflective striping makes it much easier to keep track of him as he runs all over the property living up the farm sheltie life. It's not easy being at dog camp....

Riding through the snow...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Let it snow, Let it Snow, Let it.... Wait. What?

Well, today it happened. It snowed this morning. Fortunately nothing worth sticking, just intermittent flurries floating by through the air... 

I groaned. 

But I manned up, telling myself that I am rapidly running out of good riding days. The it started raining in earnest, so I threw hay and went inside for velia and another cup of coffee. 
Good morning. 

As I glared at the thermometer that I have handily mounted outside my kitchen window, I had to replan my morning. Instead of my morning full of riding and training, I went through my admittedly extensive blanket collection, combing my libraries to find something-anything- that would work in the meantime. 
Tilly is proud of her new polka dot blanket
Tilly's new mid weight blanket showed up on Saturday (perfect!), but Tini's had to be returned for a smaller size. Darn tiny Tini... I'm drowning in 78" blankets and I acquire a horse who needs a 74". Of course. Surprisingly I was able to alter RC's BMB blanket enough to get it to fit Tini. Who'd have thunk?
Tini, wedged into RC's baby blanket. 

 After finding appropriate blankets for all three ponies, I settled in for a thorough grooming- the whole nine yards, showsheen, tails and currying wooly winter ponies.
All three mares, enjoying their blankets

By the time that I finished grooming Delight, the weather had changed from cold and raining to chilly and partly sunny, partly snowy. So I did what any reasonable rider would do. I took Deli out for a bareback ride.... In the snow. And you know what, it was a really fun ride. Yay. 
Snow Pony! Again. 
Now here's hoping that Tini's blanket is on it's way.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Rain Is Gone...

For now.

Well, yesterday it was 40 and raining, so all three ponitas got a day indoors. Yep, 24 hours in a stall for three young horses. And I couldn't ride. Terrible, right?

Plus side is that I got my dishes done. Yay me. Oh, and stalked all over eBay for saddle options... but more on that later.

I worked Tilly, who has finally stopped moping about how she doesn't get shoes anymore. One set of shoes, and you'd think that I'm torturing her to make her go back au naturale. Mares, sheesh. 

Then I worked Tini, who was amazing, all things considered. I mean, a three year old Thoroughbred who has been in a stall for over 24 hours, and I aske her to not only wear a saddle -with stirrups, but behave like an adult horse on the lunge. And she did. No spook, no buck, no explosion. She even started to come up over her topline! I may have a sport pony yet. 

And since Delight is still sans saddle, I didn't work her. Instead I turned the herd out and went inside to make myself some hot chocolate. When I came out of the house to head off to work, I heard the dreaded sound of running hooves. 

Fortunately, it was just my herd kicking up their heels instead of the various worst case scenarios that played through my head. I missed the more athletic of their airs above the grounds, since ponies seem to get distracted by my presence... But I still managed to get some good shots with my phone.
Redirected by the fence

WEEE Ponies!

Notice Tilly is nowhere to be seen... She was checking my pockets for treats.
Delight, showing Tini how to leap

And Tilly rejoins the party!

Monday, October 14, 2013


You know the worst thing about this sport?

It all comes down to money. I'm not saying that those who have the innate talent and rise to the top are always rich. I'm not saying that at all. I consider those riders with a ridiculous amount of talent at the 1%.

I'm in the 99%.

I cannot just get on a horse and be amazing. I have to put hours of blood, sweat and tears into that, and apply a little financial aid (trainers, lessons, saddles, shoeing) on top of that to maintain where I am.

And I don't just want to maintain. I want to excel. Or at least improve...

Which is why I am currently seeing how I can balance my budget to be able to buy Deli the saddle of her dreams (non negotiable expense) and also get a lesson or two (or how wonderful would FOUR be?!?!) with a clinician this fall... All while eating something other than Ramen for three square meals a day.
Speaking of improvement... She lunges!


On the animal front, I nearly killed my house guest, Scott. I turned my back for a few minutes, and by the time that I noticed that he wasn't underfoot, per usual, he had already destroyed a nice old Kieffer bridle that I had in my 'spare parts' bin. He chewed through the noseband, a cheek piece and the throatlatch.
He doesn't know how lenient I was being when I banished him to his crate for the rest of the night.

We made up over s'mores the following night.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Round and Round

So... What's been happening since the saddle fitting?

Uh, not much.

Since the jury came back that no saddle that is currently in existence that would fit Delight... We've been alternating between lunging and riding bareback.
And now I'm sore. Thanks, Deli.
Good news is that Deli seems to like it. As long as I don't lose my balance. Or cling. Or get tense.

Other than that, we're golden.

And in other news: the Tini can now lunge. At the walk and trot, to both directions. Yay! I even laid across the saddle and she... did nothing. Whew!

Maybe next time I'll actually have something worth posting about..... With pictures.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Where does one go to sell an egg? Or plasma? Or a Kidney?

Because I had a saddle fitting.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. And the moral of the story is that horses keep me broke.

 After we had a tire blowout on the drive up there (dammit! there goes another $500). Because even 'local' events are 100 miles away, we got there a tad late. Fortunatly, there wasn't a rush since she had all day to do us 8 people. Thank goodness

Anyway, Tilly's fitting went swimingly. The tree was mostly ok, just needed a minor readjustment and a reflocking. And Tilly approved of the change in her saddle.

Delight, on the other hand was a whole 'nother ball of yarn. She was wedged into RC's custom saddle and had it fitted to her as a 3 year old with the assumption that she would grow a bit. She grew. Up and out... but not longer. Which leaves us with 14' of usable saddle space between her massive shoulders, short rib cage and huge hips.

For those of you playing along at home, I need 25% more saddle than a 14" saddle offers.

I need to diet.

Of course, the wonderful people at Schleese have a solution. They make a saddle that fits a 17" seat into 14" of back. And used! And even brown! for $4000.
Then, being the proverbial sucker born every minute... I even rode in it after it was fit for Deli. And she was a gem. Just perfect.

So now I need to scour the internet for a 17" saddle with a relief wedge and cutback shoulders or find an extra two grand to pony up for a saddle that actually fits my horse.

Anyone want to sponsor an aspiring rider/pony?


Anyone need a kidney?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

And Then There Were Three.... Or Five. No, Six.

So, the Championships are over. Thank god.
No, I did not win. The world is safe from Pony Domination. The Tillner was terrified of each and every judges stand, so I single handedly dropped our show average 20%. Yeah... you read that right. Twenty. Percent.
And she wasn't last.
Delight scores fifteen percent higher with a minimal issue test and came in last.

Fuck this sport.  I don't get it.

Anywhoo... Now it's time to move on to my favorite season at the moment: Fall.

Followed by Spring. Then Summer.
Not you, Winter. Not you. If I had my super-awesome-never-pay-off-this-loan-in-my-lifetime-arena, then maybe we can talk. Until then, I say Good Day!

Anywhoo... What's with that title?
Oh that? I was counting down the number of animals I am currently responsible for.. And I am down to three horses since both of my boarders have moved for winter and Mr. RC has relocated to the sunny south to introduce my mother to the joys to showing the Wonder Pony.
But, I added a dog. Who wakes up at 5. Every. Morning. Court's dog is here for the season, relearning how to be a farm dog after months off lazy suburb-dog-hood.
"Hi. Why are we not up and at 'em?"
So what have I done since the Championships? Not anything horse-related. Well, at least not teach. And I took a whole week off of riding- which turned Delight into a fatty-fat fat-pants.
Yep. They are highly motivated sport ponies. Except for Bacon, zooming in the background. 

 I even went to the beach. It was 60 degrees. I wore jeans. But the dogs had fun.
 Even Tempi.... Fetching rocks in the Lake.
 Scott got wet. And sandy. And loved the cold water.

 Bacon looked stoic and posed by a rock so that I could take one picture without his ears flying wildly.

Oh, and I introduced The Tini to a saddle....
It was a total non-issue. Now we're fine tuning our lunging skills...