Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Reflections: June 2020 Quarantine

The month of June at TCF. Scottie lost a shoe twice, lost his fly mask, Peebs lost a shoe and Cinder lost her fly mask. But we're on day 10 and everything's been staying on!

Loving: That plans are coming together and things are starting to move forward.
Smelling: Nothing. My allergies have been awful.
Learning: History, especially what wasn't in our textbooks as kids.
Writing: Sadly, not much.
Reading: Blue on Blue by Dal Maclean
Watching: Queer Eye Season 5.
Craving: Berries. It's on the cusp of berry season up here and I AM READY
Obsessing: Over sending Cinder out to training. My baby's growing up!
Needing: Can't really thing of anything I NEED right now
Wanting: To buy Cinder's dad who is for sale. I can't afford another horse, I can't afford another horse...
Trying:  To stay awake.  I'm trying to reduce how much coffee I'm drinking.
Drinking:  Water, tea, and lemonade
Feeling: Cautiously optimistic for the future
Hoping: That momentum for BLM continues and we can have some real change
Listening: The audio book of The Lightning Struck Heart by TJ Klune
Clicking: Blogs to read

Monday, June 29, 2020

Back to Full Work

Peebs is back in full work and feeling good. When we first started increasing his work he was definitely a little stiff and lazy. We had one CTJ ride where I broke out my spurs and reinforced the idea that when I ask, he needs to go. He was very insulted but got his rear in gear and has been more forward in our subsequent rides. 

Unimpressed ears

We had our first lesson and jump school two weeks ago. I wanted my trainer’s eyes on him to confirm my thoughts that his stiffness was more of a coming back into work fitness issue and not a lameness one (she agreed with me) and to help us through his first jumps in almost two months. Peebs was much, much more forward when he realized we were jumping and suddenly I was having to hold him back and calm the beast instead of firing him up. I swear at one point his legs were spinning like a cartoon animal about to take off.
Having fun on the barn's new derby field

In our lesson last week we were able to advance from trotting single cross rails to trotting in and cantering through a line of cross rails, then putting together a course of cross rails including a rollback and bending line. Super exciting stuff! Peebs got tired quicker than he normally would have but we managed to fix (most of) our mistakes and end on a good note. Our last time through, we counter cantered the bending line but it was a very well balanced canter with the appropriate number of strides and my trainer said it would have been great if we were in an equation class and they called for it. We debated about going back to fix the line, but honestly I was so happy with everything else and for how I rode the counter canter, we decided to not pick that fight and end on a good note. 

Plus we had an exciting adventure two days later and I didn’t want to tire him out or make him sore. But that’s for another post!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Now Enrolling for Kindergarten

July 1st Cinder starts kindergarten! I had originally be planning on sending her to an event trainer who has a great reputation with babies and is certified as a young event horse rider and trainer. Then the trainer moved barns and her board prices went up $200/month and the barn was farther away from me. I thought about it and figured I could make it work since show season has gone out the window. Then she stopped responding to my messages and when she did respond she said she's not really doing the young horses anymore, and isn't starting any under saddle. Ok then.

She's going to miss her BFF Scottie

So I posted an add on a local FB page asking for recommendations. I had a few other trainers in the back of my mind but figured I'd see what was out there. About half the replies were for the trainer mentioned above which obviously I disregarded. And even though I stated in the ad I wanted someone within an hour and half of me, I got a few people 3-5hrs away, and two in a different state. But I did get a few recommendations for a local trainer (15mins from work and 25 from my house) and messaged her.  She was great to talk to and we arraigned for me to come watch her teach a lesson last Saturday.

When you can't find a step stool and have to use a chair

Trainer S is also an event rider, but has a h/j background. She's started a number of horses under saddle and had ridden a lot of young/green horses as well. All the horses in the barn looked happy and healthy, and while the property is a little run down, I can see the improvements Trainer S has been making. The lesson I watched was with a jumper rider who has done up to the 1.30m, and I liked how Trainer S explained things and tried to trouble shoot the problems that arose during the lesson. Trainer S was easy to talk to in person and, most importantly, she's a fan of red headed mares!

Tentatively the plan is for Cinder to be with Trainer S for four months, then I'll bring her home for the winter. Once she's going a bit under saddle Trainer S will let me swap out 2 lessons a week instead of training rides which will be great. I'm excited for Cin's next chapter and hope she'll be good for Trainer S. This will be the first time in my life I'll have a horse in full training and it feel weird. I'm going to go check on her multiple times a week since she'll be so close but I'm for sure nervous sending my baby off to boarding school!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Happy Birthday Peebs

Peebs' 13th birthday was Sunday. We celebrated by sharing a bag of Sour Patch Kids (his favorite treat) and having our second ride since the fence incident.

On the 29th Peebs had his stitches taken out and was cleared for turnout. Vet still wanted me to wrap him with a standing wrap, 12hrs on/12hrs off to wean the leg off of being wrapped. He also said to wait a week to ride and to slowly bring him back up to full work. Knock on wood he's sound and did no soft tissue damage, so we're not taking it as slowly as if we were rehabbing a tendon, but we've only trotted two laps around the arena so far. And as of Saturday he was wrap free! He was a little stocked up Sunday, but it went away during our ride and hasn't returned.

He was less happy about going back to work than I was

It's been raining off and on for the past few days and is supposed to continue all week. I was going to ride last night but it poured right before I got to the barn and Peebs was soaked. Hopefully I can ride tonight and continue our rehab!

Monday, June 8, 2020

What I'm Doing

It's been hard to put into words what I've been feeling this past week, but I know I need to. As it's been stated before, and much more eloquently, now is not the time for silence. So to follow Megan's lead
 I'm going to share what I've been doing and am planning on doing.

  •     Since the election in 2016 I've been a member and made monthly donations to the ACLU. I upped the amount of my donations starting this month
  • I donated to the local bail fund for protestors in my state
  • My family is a bunch of book nerds, and my mom and I both used to work for Border's, so I love the idea of Saddle up and Read.  I've donated to them and plan to donate in the future.
  • One of my friends posted on FB that for then next week she's matching donations up to $500 to any BLM/LGBTQ organizations. Since I had already donated and felt like using those receipts would be a cop out, I donated to the Okra Project, which provides meals and resources to Black Trans people.
Reading and Learning
  • Blogs, especially from POCs
  • Books. I have a few that I've ordered on the way, and a couple on hold at the library I need to go pick up.
  • Articles (basically anything on L's list)
  •    I've been trying to share info about what I'm donating to, when and where protests, marches, and vigils are happening near me.  
I know there's more I can and should be doing, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This is my first step and I'm determined to continue on as long as needed.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Reflections: May 2020 Quarantine

Frosty the pony. Pretty sure I was 8

Loving: That I got to see my parents and that my mom is spending a week with me
Smelling: Spearmint and eucalyptus lotion that I'm slathering on my hands to combat the dry skin all the washing and hand sanitizer is causing.
Learning: Working on the HQC course material (still!)
Writing: Jeopardy questions
Reading: The Ballard of Songbird and Snakes
Watching: Avatar: The Last Airbender (so happy this is on Nextflix)
Craving: Not much at the moment
Obsessing: Obsessively checking horse trailer dealerships to see if there's any COVID-19 sales
Wishing: Campus would stay quiet forever
Needing: A new mattress. I've known I've needed one for a while, but after spending a night in a hotel it's become VERY apparent that I need to move a new mattress to the top of my list of things to be bought.
Wanting: To ride Peebs
Trying:  To practice patience and go with the flow
Eating: My mom's matzo ball soup

Still the cutest
Drinking:  Water
Feeling: Fairly ok. Still a bit anxious, but not as worried as last month.
Hoping: To get good news tomorrow for Peebs' leg check up. The stitches should be coming out and I'm hoping we can graduate to turn out and/or riding. He's been great about stall rest and his 10mins of hand walking, but he's obviously bored.
Listening: Lots of happy/upbeat songs on Spotify. Samsies from last month
Clicking: Restaurant websites to see when/if my favorites are opening up again. I'm still very much in the take-out only mode, even if my county has allowed people to eat in restaurants again.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thirsty Thursday: My Horse is a Ho

Since Cinder turned 3 last week she's started to blossom into a woman. She's in flaming heat right now, and it's the most intense heat she's had. The couple of little heats she had last summer and earlier this year weren't bad and I figured I'd maybe lucked out in a less mareish mare.

I don't know why, but this pic of her and Blue cracks me up. The 23yr old paint vs the 3yr warmblood

But nope. Overnight she's turned into a friendship destroying ho. She's turned out with two geldings right now, and yesterday I watched them fight over her while she stood around and peed.

Blue trying to bite her while she tries to pee on him

Blue was ultimately the winner. He is herd boss (when Peebs isn't around, then the two of them vie for that spot) and Scottie is a wimp who gives up pretty easily. Scottie and Cin are usually BFFs so I think Scottie was more upset that Cinder was spending time with Blue more than anything else.

Cinder: Come and get it boys

To top it all off, A offered to let me ride Scottie last night and when I pulled him out of the pasture instead of Cinder she pinned her ears and gave me the mare glare of death. And when I started riding she was galloping back and forth along the fence having a meltdown. She never does that when A takes Scottie out to ride. She did get over herself and when I brought her in for dinner she only glared a me a little.

It might not be chestnut ears but it was great to see this view again!