Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Fail: Craft Edition

so pretty
You remember how I said Micaylah is a crafting goddess?

Well maybe not, but she is.

So when we had craft night this week, she randomly decided we (she) should make bridle charms.

They are splendid.

I kind of love this picture
And then I made this ooooooh so pretty bonnet I was pretty stoked about.

I mean, it's sparkly and cool looking and fabric bonnets are coming in. I made the pattern off of a sort of trace of another of my bonnets that fits Courage well.

Not gonna lie, I was super pumped to go put it on C-Rage the next day.

Face cropped for anonymity
Until I actually did it.



So I'm trying a new pattern I created with some serious modifications this time around. Are there any mini mules with low self esteem out there who want the first draft for something?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday TSB Style

Confession: I think Wordless Wednesday are the dumbest thing ever. If it isn't worth your time to write something, thennnnnn why do you think I will read it? I sort of lump Thursdays into the same pile, but then I was like "OMG I LOOOOOOVE PROGRESSION POSTS".

So here you go.
January 2014

 January never works out very well for me. Still, at the time this was taken, I was really excited that Courage was able to trot forward and carry his head lower instead of the trademark "giraffe moves" he used to stick to.

We spent all year working away at it, but we've really been putting in the flatwork time this winter:
November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

Sure we still have a long ways to go, but YOU GUYS look how far we've come. :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

5 Things that Make January Go By Faster

1) my horse looking dramatic in jump tack
I'm having trouble writing solid content because all I want to do is whine about how much I hate this time of year. Even with the indoor, it's cold and dark and we never see the sun (yay freezing fog ALL THE TIME) and just say no to winter, folks.

So instead, I'm sharing five pictures that make me happy right now.

2) riding around with no reins on said dramatic day

3) the faces he makes when I'm not feeding him

4) Micaylah coming over to make bridle charms

5) screwing around with making fabric bonnets. that sparkle.
 So yeah, not exactly riveting. I'm mean, I'm so crazy go nuts on winter that I literally set up a craft night and went to the fabric store all of my own volition. AND I'm actually crazy excited about my fabric bonnet and enjoying whacking out a prototype and making patterns and figuring out the fit.


Until now. You win again, January.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Teach Me Tuesday: White Breeches

black and fleecy
As much as I love tack shopping, I have the worst time with clothes. I don't like trying them on, hate paying shipping even more, and am not interested in page after page of ridiculously photoshopped models with impossible anatomy. Just say no.

But my breeches are trying to die and I'm going to have to do something because at my (cough) highly advanced age, it is not ok to prance around in leggings. Ever. So I need breeches in a dressage-acceptable color and that don't make me horrified.

Grey, not fleecy
SOME OF YOU claim it can be done well. Or done at all. So let me in on the secret. What breeches do you wear and why do you like them?

I'm specifically curious about weight and people who are not pixies. I wear a 34. I'm ok with that, but things that look fantastic on a 24 are not always going to be for the 34s of the world, if you know what I mean. (Read: no plaid. Ever.)

Even if you don't wear white, what's out there to like?

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Little Bay Horse

the best at dressage
I was going to do a write up about my really great lesson and accompanying pictures by Alyssa from last week, but I keep stopping because that's not really what's on my mind.

It happened. I had a great lesson. We talked about doing more with less (and how to sit in a dressage saddle) and I learned how to apply some concepts to improve all my rides (and showed C how I could get Courage to stick his head straight up every time I got tense).

And all that was very good.

But what stands out to me more is how far Courage and I have come together, even just this winter. I knew I tackled a big project when I got him straight off the track, but it was the right thing at the right time and I've never regretted it.

That said, moving him this winter and becoming solely responsible for his care and training has been a big step for me. It's not a new thing--I had the same responsibility with both Izzy and Cuna, but it's a first for Courage and I.

There's no one holding my hand. No one watching our every move. No helpful words of advice outside of lessons (because apparently I am the only nut job who thinks it's cool to ride on yet another frigid night in January).

And as we spend time together, our relationship changes a little bit. I've had plenty of rides start poorly and get worse and then I had to sort them out myself and find a way to make them positive. There was no throwing the reins away to someone else--Courage is all my problem right now.

I'm a better rider than I give myself credit for and Courage keeps reminding me that he really does want to be a good horse. We aren't the best or the fastest up the levels or the most talented, but we're melding into a team. We're learning what makes each other tick.

I've struggled relating to Courage because to me, he's always been "not Cuna". I don't have that passionate adoration and fiery connection that so defined my relationship with Cuna. I haven't held it against him, but it's definitely made me question what I'm doing on more than one occasion.

love this
And yet, as we learn new things and progress and make plans together, I'm starting to find my connection with Courage. The hallmarks of our relationship aren't the same as they have been with any other horse, but they've become uniquely ours.

I don't know where we're going. We're having fun exploring dressage. I still want to make it in the jumper ring. I love trail riding and I haven't ruled out working cows.

All I know is that wherever I'm going, there's a little blaze faced bay horse right there with me.

Friday, January 23, 2015


black breeches, jump saddle
I failed to consider the bigger picture. I went all crazy go nuts and bought this dressage saddle that makes my ass sing. I mean, I picked out some actual dressage shows to attend. I'm taking dressage lessons on my horse and having fun. I was in DO ALL THE DRESSAGE mode.

And then JenJ was all "you need white breeches".




White breeches? White?? WHITE??? I vaguely remember this about dressage, but I thought they'd modernized in the past few years. I mean. I am just an average adult ammy. I am not a gym rat and I have neither time nor money nor inclination to become one. AND I AM OK WITH THAT ABOUT MYSELF.

What I am not ok with is arbitrarily stuffing myself into blinding, glaring white sausage casings and then jiggling my ass all around the sand box in front of eyes I am paying to be critical. I'm an office worker, not a goddamn stripper AND I HAVE THE THIGHS TO PROVE IT.

Hellooooo. What deranged psychotic lunatic thought that as a bumbling ammy rider ANYTHING about my ride would be improved by wearing the world's most unflattering color in ridiculous tight pants I have no business in anyways?

So uh.... is there a way out if Micaylah won't take her saddle back? How do y'all get through this? Or is it like I suspect and all the other bloggers just magical teeny pixies in 24 breeches with no ass?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SMTT Equestrian Scavenger Hunt

So Lauren had this fantastic idea about an equestrian photo scavenger hunt, but it's freezing cold and icy/muddy here and I have this rule about all original photography, so I sort of ruled myself out.

Then Carly showed the world how it's done.

Without further ado, I bring you the completely original-photography-but-knocked-off-idea of the equestrian scavenger hunt.

1. The most magical Friesian of all the Friesians
an ottb dressed like a clydesdale is practically a friesian

2. A 10+ Jumper
you're just jealous of my eq
3. A horse we can all call Shenanigans! on
ok i didn't take this, but it's my horse
4. The (best) worst clip job you’ve ever seen
I cannot explain why I did that to his face
5. The cutest miniature horse on the planet
6. Bitchiest. Mare. Ever.
I win.
7. Funniest horse meme/cartoon
as if
8. The most matchy McMatcherson outfit
um yeah this was great
9. A most saintly creature
it can happen
10. The Black Stallion Returns… 2015 style
this was 2014... still count?
And there we go!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Meet the Blogger: Paint Edition

I've been trying to go through and update all my pages on the blog with current information. That gets a little tedious sometimes, and all of a sudden, I thought it would be sort of hilarious to introduce myself via paint drawing.

I dunno. It sounded like a good idea at the time.

Without further ado, meet me in paint:
I've highlighted some useful features that I can explain here:
1) hair that absolutely refuses to be contained
2) long ape arms that are the envy of all you t-rex folks out there.
3) I dunno, don't really use those anyways.
4) What bounces to distract judges from what's actually bouncing
5) what's actually bouncing
6) world's longest torso (tm). Actual torso may be less cylindrical and more bulgy.
7) super proportionate legs. no one is jealous of these.
8) because thigh gap is for losers

And my horse:
1) Ears
2) perfect hair
3) actually a little uphill
4) perfect hair
5) insert cookies here
6) muscle bulge that needs to go away. remember when i said i'd never own an upside down horse? ha!
7) legs for days
8) ridiculously sexy ass. not kidding. his back end is amazing.

As my stunning drawings no doubt show, we are pretty much the ideal partnership. My long arms compliment his short neck and he definitely has enough leg length to go around.

Sooooo how do you and your horse match up?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Talking Tuesday: Drugs and Horse Showing

but I used to jump, remember?
Given that I don't show horses on a national level (or even pay to belong to an organization that does), I generally keep my nose out of national equine politics.

But then I ran across an article on Chronicle of the Horse that argued for changing the banned substances rules. It's fascinating read if you have the time. If you don't, the gist of it is that the USEF can ban/fine it's members for even the tiniest violations, a 1000th of a 1000th of a gram, which is so small that it could be explained by a horse metabolizing a drug differently.

It's an interesting argument, to be sure.

not a DUI
Basically, the only proof needed to hand out punishment is trace evidence that something was ever present. The author argues that the USEF ought to also be able to prove that the substance was available in an amount that might have a therapeutic effect.

Part of me agrees with the author. The hoopla around the disqualification of Jock Paget at Burghley even when he proved he did nothing wrong intentionally was wildly unfair in my opinion. The other part is offended that the author's examples are enforcing speed limits (on vehicles by police) and blood alcohol limits placed on DUI enforcement.

only strike dramatic poses on cloudy days
It bothers me that the author compares horse sport with motor vehicle operation because a horse is in no way equivalent to a machine. I don't worry about my car consenting to drive me to work. I don't ensure that every drive ends on a good note. Why? Because it's a non-sentient being.

A horse cannot consent to compete in a sport verbally. It can't understand the risks inherent in putting that kind of stress on a body and it has no concept of what another option might be.

Because a horse cannot give informed consent, I think the standard of evidence for riders MUST be higher. It's not as simple as saying "I drugged him, but he wasn't impaired" to the USEF enforcement officer looking at a tainted blood sample.

At least, in my world, it shouldn't be.

Thoughts? I really can argue this one either way.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oops I did it again

too cute to be believed

Yeah, we're rocking the 90s pop blog titles lately. Sorry not sorry.

I don't really know where to start. Some of you probably remember when I took my teensy puppy out for barn day and got to play dressage (poorly) on blogger Micaylah's horse.

I absolutely loved her saddle, though it didn't make me look that much like a dressage rider. Oh well.

obviously, he's fine
Anywho. Courage and I have been playing dressage in a jump saddle this winter. My instructor assures me it's fine--it won't make me a dressage rider, but Courage can certainly learn the necessary skills at this level without specialized tack.

It's certainly been fun.

Buuuut I have taken dressage lessons before and I know it's easier when when you ride like a proper dressage rider and dressage shows are on our goal list this year.

yeah. just keep thinking that.
I'll admit to having poked around online for cheap saddles, but nothing struck my fancy and I hate cheap tack and fit is such a crapshoot.

And then there was the slight problem of Micaylah wanting to sell her old saddle. I asked about it, but apparently she wanted money for it and money is not so much for me right now.

But what harm could possibly come of me taking it on trial, right? I mean, if it doesn't fit her and her giant super wide horse, there's no way it will fit me and my average medium horse.

Am I right?

and lipstick
I put it on Courage by myself the first day and it looked pretty perfect. I sat in it and my butt sang songs of happiness.


There may have been butterflies.

But that was just me on my own. It's been like two years since I've sat in a dressage saddle correctly and I knew for certain I was doing it wrong.

I didn't want to commit to anything (plus the whole cash flow thing) and I'm not 100% comfortable fitting saddles without a second pair of eyes.
that time i accidentally bought polka dot polos
So I dragged Micaylah out to the barn. Now you might say it's a conflict of interest because she's the one trying to sell it, but bear in mind she has to live with me if I hate it... so I was ok with that risk.

She liked the fit on Courage just as much as I did.

We poked around with it (on my hotass freshly clipped horse) and then tacked up.

Complete with cookie monster bonnet because **** you, January.

the best at stretchy trot
Micaylah talked us through some dressaging, which was fun (SIT UP LEG DOWN OMG WOULD YOU SIT UP ALREADY)

She also took pictures, but dark and blurry indoor+iPhone will only get you just so far apparently.

At any rate, Courage looked and felt fantastic. Plus some of the pictures are blurry enough that I don't look THAT terrible. Yay!

So. Micaylah is taking payments and I'm buying a dressage saddle.


if you squint a little, i could be dressaging. squint harder.
Wait, what?

How is it that I suddenly have a friend whose cast offs I want?

If you need me, I'll be over here playing with my saddle and pretending I look all glamorous and German instead of like a dumpy American who can not haz dressage.

Friday, January 16, 2015

1/16/14 - 1/16/15. One year without.

My whirlwind romance with my big red man ended a year ago today. I still don't really have words to capture him and I can't bring him back. Here's a pictorial journey of our last months together.
After the first vet visit. 

Cuna spent the first two weeks after the initial incident with some dear friends while his barn got worked on. It introduced me to what life without a show barn could look like for him and gave me some mental space to make better choices. I still believed he could get better and that if I did the right things, I could help him.
taking time to breathe

Shortly thereafter, I took a rare me trip and realized that I needed to quit pushing the recovery and get Cuna out of the situation he was in. It was time to dial everything back and let him be a horse.
someone was happy

I have rarely regretted a decision less. Cuna loved his stall, but he was always pissy and weird in a barn situation. His whole demeanor changed with this move--he played with his buddies, enjoyed his time, and almost completely gave up flipping his nose at bugs.
beautiful and broken

I carefully monitored lameness levels on detailed calendars and gave him the best of everything. An early winter vet visit helped us out for a while, but I could read the writing on the wall.
he didn't love that garland

We tried to live like it wasn't. I saw him nearly every day. His feed, feet, and comfort levels were carefully managed. Cuna's barn (a private situation with one other person) was a sort of haven for us. I didn't offer to share it with other people very often. That time was just for him and I.

January came and I knew it was time. Even through tears, I could appreciate what Cuna had brought to me in terms of the little bay horse. I posted this shot on the internet, only labeled "Courage" and I made the last appointment we'd ever need.
Hakuna Matata
I ran an auto scheduled post morning of. If I'd thought of it, I would have stopped it.

But I didn't have words and Ellie wrote the post that told the blog world one of their own was no more while Lindsey and I trekked through impenetrable fog.

Even now, I don't know what to say.
I'll see you again, red man
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...