Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Have I Done? (Farrier Edition)

Happy boys playing in the arena before the latest ice sheet
Ok, so I have this rule on my blog: no discussing of hoof care techniques. It's like discussing politics and religion in polite society. Just don't do it. People get all up in each other's business and things are said that shouldn't be. We all have opinions and we probably hold them dearly and if we want to change other people's minds, we need to do it on NOT MY BLOG. K?

That said.

Cuna has stereotypical TB feet. His last farrier didn't do him any favors, but the new guy is doing his best. Cuna's right front hoof has a badly underrun heel and it hasn't been getting better. Given our absolutely horrific winter weather and the fact that our trainer escaped to AZ for better working conditions, we aren't doing a ton.

I told the farrier to pull Cuna's hind shoes. I got my hours cut way back, and every little bit helps. He hemmed and hawed and muttered and grumbled. And then muttered and grumbled more. "Are you having a brilliant idea?" I ask him.

"I think we should just pull them all," he said.

After subjecting him to a string of questions and verifying that he would indeed come back out and put shoes on if/when it starts to go very badly, he did it.

"That's all?" I asked.
"That was a fine bit of work there," he said.
"Well yes," I said, "but usually your fine work takes a lot longer."

Cuna is boss horse. Go away.
So there it is. I never, ever thought I'd say this and I'm not convinced it will last, but my TB gelding who has probably been in at least front shoes since he was 18 months old is now barefoot. The plan is to leave his shoes off for one cycle to let his heels decontract a bit and hopefully get them growing more.

Only problem so far? Due to the aforementioned cut hours, I have to choose between new muck boots (mine gloriously died and we have INCHES of water and ice everywhere) and a hoof supplement to help him out while we try this out. Or neither and then I can afford gas.

It's not like we have a lot else to do.
So that's the story of my barefoot thoroughbred. Alternate title: "Oh god, oh god, what have I done?"

Someone tell me his hooves aren't going to explode into tiny pieces and take years to recover. I am really quite nervous.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ammy Hour: Meet Karley!

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: adult amateurs are the backbone of all equestrian sports. I'm forever in awe of the people who balance life, family, and horses and somehow still come out on top. We all know what the challenges are, but here's Karley from All In to explain a little about how she makes it work.

1) You’re at dinner with work colleagues. How do you introduce yourself?
Hi I am Karley- Project Manager by day but a mom/wife/equestrian by night. Yeah I ride horses, the kind where you jump things and "paint a pretty picture" for the judge. No I am not a cowgirl though I have carried flags in multiple rodeo grand entries- you know those people who carry a flag on horseback and go really fast. Yes my daughter has ridden a horse and she will have a pony, no my husband is not a horse person.

2) But what you really meant to say was this:
One day hubby and I hope to own property and have a barn. I don't want to be a trainer but I would love to manage the property. Work that you love really isn't work right?! I am enjoying being a Project Manger but my real passion is in horses.

3) Tell us about your horse:
My Henry... Henry (JC name House of Fortuny, show name All In) is a 6 year old, 16.2 hand, chestnut OTTB. In a year and a half we have gone from super greeenie beanie boy to jumping 2'9consistantly (and 3'9 in a trainer ride), almost having consistent lead changes and a rock solid boy with a level head at horse shows.  He was born and raised in CA ( His claim to fame is that his great grandpa is Secretariat... thankfully he wasn't fast enough and needed another job, in steps me!

4) How did you meet him/her?
Henry and I met when I was in the LONG process of finding my next horse. I was determined not to fall in love with anything I looked at as I told my trainer to be really really picky for me. I was out of shape after just having my daughter - went to see him and fell in love (of course) and bought him (without trying him) after my trainer agreed that he was a nice mover and good prospect. See I stuck to my plan- thankfully she liked him! HA!

5) What have you done together?
Henry and I have jumped  3 ft (but normally stay around 2'6 - 2'9), attended 4 schooling shows last season and have become a team. I can honestly say that I am confident when riding him... big deal for me to stay this- if you have read our blog, you know that post baby I thought I was going to die every ride ha! Henry is my sanity after work and in the middle of being mom/wife. The barn is a place where I really know who I am and what I am capable of... love my horse and having him in my life!

6) Where are you going together?
This next year the plan is to ride with George Morris, attend more shows and continue to build Henry and my relationship. I think that 2'6/ 2'9 classes will be in our future despite that scaring the crap out of me... but I can do it! Being that I work full time, am a mom and my hubby is starting a new career I am going to have to be flexible but I hope that we will be able to attain some of the above.

7) How do you finance the addiction?
Financing the addiction... haha I am independently wealthy, aren't you all!? But for real it's tough... I work a big girl job, don't eat out, haven't bought clothes or taken a vacation in forever. Henry is more important then those things to me. I am grateful that my hubby is ok with all extra money from my paychecks going to my sanity aka Henry.

8) How often do you ride?
I ride 4-5 days a week. Henry is fit and needs the time out of his stall to keep sane. A typical week looks like: Turn out Sunday, hack Monday, lesson Tuesday, off Wednesday, lesson Thursday, trainer ride Friday, lesson/hack Saturday.

9) What’s the single biggest thing that helps you achieve your goals?
My husband.. there are days that he doesn't get it and isn't as willing but MOST days he is behind me 100% and I can't thank him enough. He has been successfully taught to lead, pick feet, turn out, put on splint boots and bell boots and feed/grain. My grandma is right up there with my husband. She is the one who financed my riding from the age 8-18... she really is the reason I was able to pursue this love.

10) If there was one thing you could say to people getting ready to join the ranks of riding (or re-riding) adults, what would it be?
Be realistic with yourself and your riding goals, competitive riding isn't for the faint of heart and it takes a lot- ok all of your free time. I (and my family) have committed to Henry and the level of riding that I hold myself to. Once you have been bitten by the horse bug- you are screwed! I mean for Christmas I got 1 thing that was for me, the rest was for Henry ha!

11) Bottom line: 
 Riding is my life(outside of my family) and where I am at home. I love it and wouldn't take back a day of it. It's hard work and I am glad that I have and continue to push through the sweat, pain and fear to accomplish things. How many people can say that they have done what I have done, trained what and with whom I have trained, ridden at the level I have ridden and done it all while still holding down a " normal life" outside of it all. I am beyond blessed and so thankful for all the things I have and opportunities God has given me! 
 Many thanks to Karley for participating! Be sure to check out her blog to keep up with her and Henry.

I'm definitely inspired by the people I'm interacting with putting this series together. There are so many cool ways to connect with horses and the effort to stay engaged when the parental paycheck is gone is fun to explore. Want to be a part of the series? Know someone who should be? Contact me either by email (on the contact us page) or through the comments.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Another Tack Dilemma

As I've mentioned, Cuna and I are moving into the jumper ring this year. I'm an equine-fashion-conscious person, so I am a bit concerned about what he's going to wear. We need to look the part.

Here was his show jumping get up at our horse trials last year. The saddle/bridle/girth will stay the same. I add a running martingale as needed, but over BN stadium, it's definitely not needed.

We might go all crazy and get a navy bonnet and pad--I saw a cute chestnut gelding going GP at Thermal in navy and it was adorable.

But that's not the issue--BOOTS, PEOPLE. It's all about the boots. I'm planning on doing a post on the hows and whys of booting, but the fact of the matter is that I have tried Cuna bare-legged and he interferes and hurts himself.

I love love love my tboots up front. If you don't love them, well, all I have to say is you need to spend some time fondling the foam liners and then you will love them too. I wish I had brown ones, but what can a girl do?

Given that Cuna does interfere, I need to keep his kinds covered too. In this shot, I'm using my Eskadron climate wraps, which coordinate well and look sharp. However, wrapping is kind of a pain. Plus, one doesn't wrap when it's wet if one can at all help it. I'm wondering if he won't need some hind tboots (link here) to make life easier.


But there are other options... I love the look above, but I also love some of our other looks:

Fancy breastcollar, fleecy boots, fuzzy bell boots. I know Steph hates all the pretty colors and I'm on the fence about it distracting from the horse, but it is pretty.

And the other fleecy boots. Picture this with gum bell boots, I think.

I need some feedback from jumpers and fashionistas. ;) How do we put our best look forward in the jumper ring? Brown? Black? Boots? Breast collars? Ack! So many options.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Fight and a Plan

Fancy show jumping Cuna
So I may have mentioned that Cuna and I had a fight. On a warm day last week (15f, hate it), I pulled Cuna's blanket off, brushed him, and turned him loose in the arena. He loves to run around, but he always takes care of #1, and to him, the footing was only safe to trot.

Trot he did, flicky toes and all, with his head in the air and snorting. It was absolutely hilarious except for one thing: his beautiful topline is gone. Vanished. Scary. I was so sad at the state of his neck that I put him away with no cookies.

He threw his hay on the ground and tipped over his water bucket. AND pinned his ears at me.

Grumpy faces all around for several days. I'm focusing on the fact that the weather HAS to get better and that we can build another topline. He's focusing on the giant bag of peppermints I got him, and we're on the road to reconciliation. I may even be able to get on him today, provided we don't have another bout of freezing rain.

So. Let's pretend his topline comes right back and I end up with a paying job. In that fun and magical world, here is the projected show schedule for Cuna and I:

April 27&28 - Show jumping clinic with Julie Winkle, 3' - 3'3" group

May 11 - Boise Pony Club schooling jumper show 2'9" - 3'3"

May 24-26 - XC schooling and derby at novice

? June 8-9 - H/J show in Bellevue, ID 

June 22 - Dressage at Les Bois (we can hack there!), training 3 and first 1.

June 29-30 - Unrecognized horse trial (local) at novice

August (10-11, 24-25) - both IHJA jumper shows at the Idaho Center.

September 7 - BPC schooling jumper show

We have a dressage look now

No one tell Cuna about the dressage show or we might have another fight. ;)

Pretty exciting
I think it's actually within reach. Everything is local, so at least I won't be spending tons of money on hauling. There are usually a couple of jumper shows in Hailey, ID that I'd like to go to, but they're not on the calendar yet. We'll see what happens. Honestly, this feels within reach. I'd like to hit another jumper show, but everything else is going to be far away and more expensive.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Hellooooo out there blogosphere! I miss you all, but my life has been a bit out of control lately. Crazy adventures in the cold, and Cuna and I had a fight*.

I hope to rejoin the world on Friday and hopefully we can catch up on awesome stuff like SHOW SCHEDULES!!!! Anyone else using their cold-induced downtime to make extravagant plans?

*I bought a big bag of peppermints yesterday. We're working things out.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Boys and Their Toys

I'm not a big believer in horse toys. To me, they seem to amuse the owners far more than the horses and just cost an unnecessary amount of money that would be better spent on tack. (Tack 'ho alert: exciting new tack post in the works!)


Cuna, however, is demonstrating that I probably need to reconsider my position.

He started out by stealing his neighbor's grain bucket and licking all the residual ugard powder out of it. Irony: I used to buy that stuff for my mare and you couldn't BRIBE her in to eating it. Now Cuna is stealing for it.

Wish you had a bucket, haw!
He had a great time, throwing it up in the air and demonstrating his coordination and prowess.

I'm sure part of it is boredom from the incessant cold and horribleness, but there may be a jolly ball in his future (that I will steal for him... haha.)

Too cute together
In the mean time, the dogs and I are hanging out and watching tv, overdosing on citrus, and trying to get better in a hurry.

And napping. Lots of napping.

It leaves me a lot of time to consider: would Cuna actually play with a horse toy? Anyone own one? Anyone actually see a horse use one? Maybe there is something to this.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Hello blogosphere! I've barely had time to look at my phone, much less sit at a computer and I can never seem to remember what day it is right now. The weather is horrid, I'm sick and getting sicker, and Cuna is still adorable.

Good news: I get to ride in an indoor tomorrow (probably). 

Happy news from your worlds? 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ammy Hour: Meet Emily!!

 It's time for another round of meeting the most interesting people in the horse world: the adult amateurs who make it happen even with all the challenges of real life. Ever wonder how they do it? Me too. Here's the latest feature blogger, Emily from A Mile High on Horseback.

1) You’re at dinner with work colleagues. How do you introduce yourself? Hey guys, I’m sure you’ve all seen me walking around, my name is Emily if you need a name to go with the face. If I haven’t gotten the chance to stop by your desk and say hi and ask how your day has been then here I am, l love my horses, my family and being outside, and I enjoy making small talk, how about you?

2) But what you really meant to say was this: This meal better not have anything to do with work – let’s just have a good time!!

3) Tell us about your horse: Ah, Call Me Mr Cash, also known as Mr Handsomepants (but he just goes by Cash most of the time). He is a 9 year old OTTB gelding who raced for nearly 4 years, won a few races and earned about $38k before he came to me. He’s big (16.3hh), bold, lazy yet energetic (right?), athletic, brave, easily distracted, and affectionate. He kinda reminds me of John Wayne, big and tough on the outside but really a total softy. He is the kind of horse that makes you earn his affection, but once you earn it he will give it readily and is an in-your-pocket kind of horse. He’s freakishly scopey over fences and has three very lovely gaits, what I love the most is how he naturally lifts his back in the canter, it’s an awesome feeling.

4) How did you meet him/her? Well, before I had my baby I was cleaning stalls on a regular basis for a couple who have this to die-for setup. I wasn’t really looking for a horse at the time, but I was putting away money with the intentions of starting my horse hunt for a youngster come summertime. Well, these folks both work at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital here at Colorado State University, and it was a connection through the school that the wife heard about this horse available from a local Thoroughbred breeder. I was out cleaning stalls one afternoon almost exactly a year ago when she walked in and goes “Hey Emily! I found a horse for you!” ... “Oh?” – Well, I went and looked at him and he was wild as could be on a blustery winter day after sitting untouched in a paddock for 4 months. But I watched him go, rode him a little, liked what I saw (like a huge floaty trot--yum), and the purchase price was exactly the amount I had saved up so far in my horse fund. Perfect.

5) What have you done together? Well, not much! See, not but two weeks after I bought Cash I found out I was pregnant.  How’s that for timing?  I was able to get some solid ground work and lunging skills on him, and then one month of riding before I had to give over the reins to someone else. I didn’t have the $$ to put him with a trainer so I put an ad up on craigslist (my favorite-est website ever, well… along with ebay) asking if anybody wanted a project horse for the summer. I made it very clear this was a big and VERY green off the track horse that needed an experienced rider. I got several responses and went with a gal who ended up doing a wonderful job with him; I can’t thank her enough for spending her time on my horse. I just recently picked up riding him again mid-November and we’ve been focusing on mostly dressage work (I’m one of those weird eventers who actually loves dressage), we’ve had a small setback as of late with some cracking hooves (booo), but I can’t wait to get him going and start jumping him again!

6) Where are you going together? If it all goes as planned: The Colorado Horse Park CCI* event is our goal. And I want to achieve this within the next five years (if I didn’t have work, school, and a very limited lesson/show budget I could do it in two… but, yeah, gotta give breathing room). Cash is more than capable of competing at (and even winning) that level. I can’t wait. 

7) How do you finance the addiction? Blood, Sweat, and Tears. ….. Ok, not really. But it is a lot of work and I often clean stalls or do other various barn chores to cut down on my boarding costs (which, no thanks to this drought we’ve been in, have gone through the roof, ugh), I will also teach lessons and do training here and there. It pretty much comes down to being able to budget, budget, and budget some more. Knowing where my money is going each month, even each week, allows me to keep my head above water and even have some extra spending money here and there.

8) You balance a combination of kids, work, and school while maintaining an adult relationship. What top three things help you stay focused? The first and foremost is honestly my faith, knowing that God has a plan for my life and will always provide for my family and I absolutely keeps me from going insane from all that I have on my plate (and trust me, it’s a big plate!!). Next would be a positive attitude, when you tackle any problem with an “I can do it!” attitude it makes all the difference. Third would be being able to find some down time. Now this isn’t necessarily “me” time, it could be hanging out with the family and watching a movie together, but the important thing is that it’s time when I don’t (and won’t) think about the nasty customer at work, the exam I have next week, or the dirty dishes in the kitchen.

9) How often do you ride? Not as often as I’d like. I aim for four times a week, if I can get more, even if it’s only ten minutes of walking, then awesome! Often, with the baby, it can be hard to get a solid uninterrupted period of time to work with the horses, so I take whatever I can get.

10) What’s the single biggest thing that helps you achieve your goals? Determination. Without a doubt. It’s the ability to soldier on no matter how hard or how long it may be taking to achieve that goal. (Having a husband who is encouraging and supportive is a big help as well!)

11) If there was one thing you could say to people getting ready to join the ranks of riding (or re-riding) adults, what would it be? Be ready to compromise. Be ready to abbreviate. As adults we obviously have adult responsibilities, like making dinner for the family, running kids to soccer practice, picking up a couple extra hours at work, keeping the hubby happy ;) … Sometimes the two hours you thought you had to spend at the barn turns into only half an hour. But just because you don’t have the time you thought, don’t pass on the barn altogether, get out there, see your horse, take him on a quick walk, groom him, whatever. He’ll be happy to see you, and you’ll feel better for it, because you at least accomplished something, even if it wasn’t what you had intended to do.

12) Bottom line: I thought about this answer all day, and decided to fall back on a recent quote that I read on Eventing Nation: “Plans are always made in pencil but writing down your goals makes your dreams achievable” – Sinead Halpin. The bottom line is even as an adult amateur don’t be afraid to dream big, make those goals and work towards them and don’t give up, no matter how many speed bumps you may hit along the way. And most importantly: Have fun doing it!!!

Many thanks to Emily for taking time out of her busy schedule to share! She's a fun blogger and I have nothing but respect for mothers getting it done (and aiming past Prelim, eek!). 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Winter Shots

Alright, I know I've said over and over that the part of Idaho I live in really isn't a winter place. It snows in the morning (a couple of times a year) and it melts in the afternoon (always).

And I'm having to eat my words. We have had three different snow storms over the past week or so and we still have snow from ALL OF THEM.

I hate it. I am not a "snow and cold" person. I never have been. I doubt I ever will be. Those of you in Canada (and its' attendant misery) are laughing, but seriously.

Where is cookie?

It started out yuck.

This is from yuck round two. Cuna was not impressed.

Awesome stuff like this is happening.

This should never happen.


In fact, there were sideways icicles on the fence this afternoon that I would have taken a picture of but I was too cold to get the camera out and my phone had died of cold.

The snow. Gets on ears. Not ok.

This shot marks the last time Cuna voluntarily left his stall. The snow is now covering his run, again.


Staying in the box

This is what he does if you ask him to leave the box.

Weather not fit for Cunas.

Just keep walking.

Now he just watches me go by. If I bring peppermints, I must go in the stall to feed him. Nasty snow.

As we were wrapping things up at the barn today, I got this shot.

Still snowing. Supposed to snow all night and into tomorrow. Then temps are dropping to single digits.

This weekend=fail.

I want to go play somewhere warm.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tack Review: Dark Jewel Designs Browbands!

It's about time for another tack review! Amelia, the owner/operator of Dark Jewel Designs, contacted me and asked if Cuna and I would be interested in doing a review of her custom browbands. Given Cuna's status as an equine supermodel and mine as his photographer, we were thrilled to participate.

Here's one of the cool features about Dark Jewel Designs browbands--the fancy bead work is fully custom and interchangeable. I selected the first string color (blue and blue--I do love blue) and let Amelia surprise me with the other.

Can't have him getting cold.
Cuna was super thrilled to play model in the horrid cold of the past few days, but I gave him regular breaks.

Plus cookies. Cookies make everything better.

The first string is the one I selected. It's absolutely gorgeous! I love the shimmering colors and the cheerful look. The blue on blue is striking and wow. Yeah. Just love this one.

The decorative bauble at the end of the beads is actually a chicago screw--an ingeniously simple way to change out the bead strings with a flat head screwdriver. Non-technical me did it by myself on the first try with no trouble at all, so they are definitely easy to use.

Favorite shot.

Then it was time to bust out the surprise string! I wasn't too sure about it when I first saw it--I mean, it was pretty, but it didn't have the sparkle-bling-wow appeal of the one I had chosen.

Beads #2
And then I put it on him. This one is a beautiful combination of brown and blue, two of my favorite colors on Cuna to begin with and the tone is just perfect with his lovely red coat. I guess I shouldn't be surprised when an artist out guesses me, but this is absolutely my favorite look on Cuna. 

The ladies. They love me.
He knows he's awesome.

We had tons of fun playing with the browbands (and my bit collection, what can I say?).

I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the craftsmanship. The beadwork was tight and professional, the connections strong and the browband as described. It will definitely be making the trek to our dressage debut with us and I'm tempted to take it into the jumper ring... ;)

I'd always secretly wanted a sparkly browband, but the high price tags associated with them were just too much for me to deal with and I had yet to see an interchangeable design that I actually liked. Until now. 

Here's the best part: for a browband and two fully custom bead strings, you're out a whole $40.



Additional strands are $10, in case you need a color change. It can happen.

So not only are they gorgeous, but they're also completely affordable (and your horse can start to dress like Cuna).

Oh. Yeah. As an outed tack whore on a shoestring budget, I can say I am absolutely thrilled to know about Dark Jewel Designs.

Rocking the shiny!
Now we are fancy.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekend Fun!

Too sexy for this bit...
Cuna may be a little sick of modelling, but he has one more photoshoot this weekend. ;) You're going to love hearing about why all of this is going on.

Notice anything different?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Living Through a Cold Snap - Tack Whore Edition

Yesterday was my day off from the barn. Usually I just go out and ride anyways, but given that the high was like 19f and I've been putting off housework for... well, does anyone not put off housework? I think that's par for being alive.

I decided to oblige my husband and sort through the mountain of horse stuff in the garage. It's much more structured and reduced, with a mighty heap going off for consignment today. Hubs probably doesn't need to know that I brought ALL the horse stuff in the house because the garage was cold, but we'll survive. ;)

The good news is that I started playing with a bridle I sort of forgot about. I mean, I knew I had it, but I didn't like it as much as Cuna's other two bridles, so I put it away and told myself it was crap. When I pulled it out yesterday, I realized that it really isn't crap. I spent some time cleaning and conditioning it again, then played with bits.

Rocking the d ring
Here's a picture of it the first day Cuna wore it (at our old barn). It's an Ovation with a padded monocrown, crank cavesson, and completely removable flash. It's horse size, but the reins are a little short and flash is a little long.

In fairness to the Ovation folks, Cuna has a teeny muzzle and super long neck, so his proportions probably aren't what they were planning for.

Whyyyy must pelham connectors be a wretched color?

When I was playing with it last time around, I was planning to use it with my fancy new bit, the happy mouth mullen pelham.

Conventional wisdom is that using a curb chain with a flash or figure 8 is unadvisable because you have two straps trying to go in the same small area of real estate under the horse's chin.

That, coupled with the fact that Cuna really doesn't need a flash, convinced me to pull it off and go with this setup.

Show jumping clean
We competed in it last year, but once I got my beloved fancy stitched hunter bridle for a song, this one retired to my garage.

Until yesterday.

I am compiling a hearty bit collection, and I had a couple I wanted to play with*. Plus a super secret new toy came in the mail that needs its' own photoshoot.

Plus our focus on the jumpers means that I want to mix things up and look like total b@d@sses.

The high today is 21f (miserable), but I am super psyched for barn time. I know I'm totally tack motivated, but there are other things. What guys you excited to go to the barn when it's too cold to be alive?

*As an O'Connor conventionalist, Steph thinks this habit of mine is incredibly annoying. Like... why play with new bits when what you have is working perfectly? My answer: OMG BITS!!! TOYS!!!! PIKTUREZZZZ!!!!!

PS Thanks to all the contest entrants!! I will be updating soon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Goals!!

It was a little sad to write my 2012 review post and realize that I hadn't stuck to any goals that I could check in with. In fairness, I switched horses, relearned how to ride, and dealt with some intense XC anxiety, but that doesn't make for a tidy list at year's end. If you've known me for very long, you know that I like lists.

Regardless, it's time to set some 2013 goals. Obviously, because I am a person and Cuna is a horse, they are completely dependent on both of us remaining happy, healthy, and sound.

We've already answered some novice questions. 

1) Run novice either at a trial or local event derby. I want solid dressage, double clean XC, and a stadium round to be proud of. The show schedule isn't out yet, but I'm thinking May or June for this.  I want to do it early in the year.

This was good. We're even better now.
Maybe this is silly, but I don't want to be one of those people who only ever did BN. I want to go out there and have a blast.

2) Training 3 and First 1 at a schooling dressage show. An actual show with a judge and ribbons. It's not that I plan on winning, but I want to showcase just how far Cuna and I have come together and I think we're up to the challenge.

This is akin to my eventing goal--I don't want to only ever do training level. Dressage doesn't interest myself or the red man enough to want to go much higher, but 1st is reachable.

3) Showjumping, here we come! I want to go to one/some jumper shows and ease my way up to being solid in the .95 meter jumpers (3'1").

Ideally, we'll make it to the jumper shows in Hailey, ID (a couple hours north, unrecognized) and maybe one of the Bend, OR shows (6 hrs west, rated). All of this is money permitting--need to get the cash flow issues sorted out.

4) Weather/conditions permitting, hack out at least once a week. This was never a challenge at our old barn (hello beautiful hills), but the new location isn't as conducive to it. We need to be out and moving. This is less of an issue when I'm not freezing to death than it is right now.

Here's what this means: I want to run novice on Cuna. I think we will have an amazing time and I honestly believe we have a shot at winning another eventing ribbon. That said, Cuna starts to demand accuracy out of his rider in that height range. In order to be that accurate, I need to spend lots of time doing schooling that I can't afford and don't have access to. We need to have two sets of tack. We need to constantly kill ourselves to be the best at three disciplines.

So good.
The honest truth is that while I think eventing is a super cool sport and the pinnacle of training for horse and rider, I'm not in a place in my life where I can be a viable competitor. Instead of beating myself up about that, Cuna and I are moving into the jumper ring. :) He likes jumping, I like jumping, life is good.

I am super excited for 2013! Wish they'd release the show schedule already... I need to get dates penciled in before people start trying to steal all the weekends with those weird "social events" that don't have any Cunas at them.
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