Monday, February 4, 2019

Chimi's Photoshoot

His face gets me every time... I smile just looking at it!!!!

Back in September I had a few houseguests for WEG. I loved having them here for the weekend and lots of hilarity and wine was enjoyed! One of the guests was Britt over at Red on the Right and she of course had her camera handy for some epic photos of WEGness and Chiminess!!!

He's really good at staring off in the distance

With rain/a hurricane in the forecast we were lucky to sneak the photo shoot in the first day before we were tired from the endless walking around TIEC and eventual Hurricane Florence that basically canceled WEG for a day and made us all cry over the not to be rescheduled Freestyle.

just excuse Chimi's hay belly...he definitely enjoyed his 6 month vacation

Poor Chimi was quite feral looking when Britt arrived b/c he'd basically been sitting in a field all summer waiting for the hoof crack to grow out. His mane was long, he hadn't had a bath in ages, he was FAT, but luckily his winter coat was starting to come in and he was in that perfect moment where all his dapples were at their peak before disappearing into a full on black coat for winter. Right before the photoshoot we quickly pulled his mane, washed his sock, brushed his tail, and rinsed off any trace of mud on his body.

I mean seriously- those DAPPLES!!!!! This picture is my computer's wallpaper

After doing the quick cleanup of Feral Beast we headed out to various spots around the property where Chimi showed off his best poses. Overall he was a pretty good model and kept his ears forward the majority of the time. We got so many amazing shots of Chimi that I can't really decide which one is my favorite. I was so appreciative of Britt for taking her time to not only capture amazing photographs of Chimi but help me pull his mane!

Nothing here...just posing because I'm so handsome...

 If you ever want a quality photographer to take gorgeous photos of your pony I highly recommend Britt! This was the 2nd photoshoot I had with her and I love both sets she did. The first one was of my old guy Johnny who ended up passing away a few months after she took his pictures so they were even more special because they were the last quality photographs I had of him. Also if you enjoy just looking at gorgeous photographs on Instagram and Facebook give her a follow at Britt Gillis Design!(hopefully those 3 links will work and take you to her Facebook, Instagram, and website)


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Just Keep On Keepin' On

Not a lot has been happening around here other than surviving winter. Chimi and I keep trucking along hoping to get some ride time in but most of the time not because of crazy weather. But on those few nice days we set out and enjoy getting ourselves back in action, however slowly it seems to be.


My small arena is starting to get dull and boring and sadly the trails are still closed from the snow storm we had in December. There were so many down trees that the majority of the trails are/were impassable. The trail committee is supposed to of been working on them but the weather has been such shit that I'm not sure how much they've been able to do.

WEEEE!!!! Trot around at full speed!!!

But despite all that each ride is getting better and better. Chimi feels awesome and other than fitness he's ready to go. The past couple of rides I've actually been able to work on keeping Chimi together and not let him flail about at whatever pace he feels like. He's not a fan because it means work but at least we're accomplishing something other than surviving!

I guess I'll pose for another frickin' picture...

So I guess for the foreseeable future we'll be doing boring shit until we have enough rides under our belt where we can get back to the fun stuff!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Blogger Gift Exchange

Ah! I’m so embarrassed that it’s taken me forever to write this post but it’s been a whirlwind of family staying forever and then husband having to move to Charleston for a week and a half to help his step dad while he has surgery. So as probably the last one to post about the gift exchange here is mine! (Also if you just want to see the gift and not read about how I got the package scroll to the bottom because there's a short story about how I finally opened my gift!)

My Secret Santa this year was Amanda from The $900 Facebook Pony.  Her gift arrived before Christmas and I was pretty darn excited to see what was inside because this was my first year participating in the blogger exchange. My husband knew how much I was looking forward to open the present and decided to play a practical joke on me. I had come into the house all ready to open my gift and then thought "I should pee first so I don't rush through the opening process and can enjoy it more". Leaving the package unattended on the kitchen counter I skipped off to the bathroom and then ran back just a few minutes later to find....nothing. My package had disappeared and my husband looking all nonchalant. "You asshole! What did you do with my package?!?!?" to which husband calmly replied (with a wicked grin) "It's a Christmas gift so you have to wait until Christmas to open it" After cursing him and telling him blogger gifts don't have to wait I stormed out (all in jest, heck this whole thing was just a game to us, so please read this as humorously as possible, I knew I'd eventually get the package that night) and drove off. In actuality I had to go anyways to take care of a friends horse so the timing worked out perfectly for a fake angry drive off.

When I got to the barn to take care of friend's horse I got a text message from Husband.

Please excuse his typing errors, I promise he's quite intelligent but sometimes texting eludes him...

Curses to bad elf husband!!!! But it didn't end there! After finishing up taking care of friend's horse I hear my phone chirp with an email and see an email from Husband to Amanda regarding blogger gifts!!!!! He had contacted her through the blog and she so graciously replied shortly after.  They had had an entire conversation before I got copied into the email about how blogger gifts are exempted and her SO knew better than to steal packages from her b/c she knows where he sleeps and all women know how to hide the bodies... just saying ;) HA! As soon as I got home he tried to convince me to wait one last time but he gave up the goods and I had my blogger gift back into my hands!!!!!!!!! 

Wrapped in awesome unicorn paper with two little holes curtesy of Grem was one of the best gifts ever. Inside I found a pair of adorable socks, a Riding Warehouse gift card and a personalized long sleeve shirt with Chimi's name on it!!!

And not only was Chimi's show name on the arm but on the front had the cutest graphic of a burrito with wings and Flying Burrito written around the happy burrito!!

The Flying Burrito has his own logo now!

Honestly could this be any more perfect??? Amanda I have no idea where you found or created the logo but I absolutely love it!!!!!! I am pretty stoked about competing again just so I can wear this shirt at the show and on cross country and I know everyone who knows Chimi will get a good chuckle when they see this shirt this show season. 

As for the socks and gift card... already have washed and worn the socks a couple times b/c they're so me (seriously Amanda, I've never met you in person and I know my blog is kinda all over the place but you are the best gift picker ever) and the gift card has been spent! 

Thank you Tracy for organizing the gift exchange and I'm so glad I got a chance to participate this year! I've had so much fun reading through everyone's posts and seeing what they got for Secret Santa and I enjoyed trying to come up with a fun idea for my gift recipient L. Williams over at Viva Carlos. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Butt Imprints

The weather lately has been a joke. It has either rain or snowed every week since probably September. While I’m all about getting enough rain to keep things alive there comes a point where you’ve gotten to much- we’ve passed that point and nothing ever seems to dry. But we did have a few glorious warm days that helped the ground dry out a little bit! This also meant that I got to RIDE MY DAMN HORSE!!!!!

Marley decided she wanted to wear mud colored eyeshadow. Yay for grey mares...

Oh man it was a glorious feeling!!! I hoped on him Monday afternoon after work and it was like coming home. My butt imprints from riding countless hours in my saddle over the past 5ish years welcomed me back like an old friend. My muscle memory just relaxed into it and I felt at peace. For about 2 seconds that is!
Missed these ears!!!

I didn’t ride for long because the sun was starting to set but I rode long enough to think “oh shit, I’m so damn unfit” Chimi felt good though. His nasty habit of curling was back in full force so I had to remind him to stick his nose out but other than that it was a really nice first ride back!

Somehow the warm 60* weather continued on into Tues and I thought YES! I will ride 2 days in a row!!!! What what?!?!? As soon as I got on though my body protested! Gone was that warm hug from my butt imprints and instead there were all the pressure points screaming at me. Ouch! My legs hurt from the stirrups leathers! Ouch my inner thighs hurt! Uggggh!!! Why does everything hurt?!?!

did lunge him for a few minutes to make sure his back was warmed up enough before climbing on. He was perfect though 

I ignored the sore spots and headed to my little ring. After walking around and loosening up my muscles I asked for the trot and proceeded to flop onto poor Chimi’s back like a sack of potatoes! Wtf legs?!? Why won’t you work?!? So I quickly pushed through it and got my balance back but it was a struggle. My legs tired quickly so it was a short ride (plus the sun was setting yet again… looking forward to the days getting longer!)

Sun setting and the security light comes's close enough to the area I can sort of call it  an arena light? But just barely... only shines in about a 20meter circle so only kinda helpful in the winter months

My good luck continued on into Wednesday and even though it was a little bit cooler it was still warm enough to enjoy a quick ride! I hoped on again and thankfully the sore spots were kinda dulled and it felt like a normal day getting back into the saddle. We headed down to the ring and after warming up I started to trot and about 2 seconds later I thought “holy crap- I feel like a rank beginner!” My balance was off, my muscles sore, and I couldn’t make my body do what I wanted to to help Chimi out. He motored on around the ring like a good boy but I didn’t have the coordination to really do more than let him poke around as I fought to stay with his big bouncy trot. I even tried to slow him down and he was like “walk? Ok… oh slow trot… ummm, no” I gave up on that quickly bc his big trot was really nice and forward but I knew he wasn’t using his butt to push off the ground. I figured I’d let him motor around bc it was still a controlled trot and I’d work on the push after I got my riding legs back!

Sunsets from the ring

I started to quickly fade and then thought about KC and Pilgrim’s trot sets to getting him legged back up for his suspensory. While Chimi is fine, I am not so I figured that those trot sets would be a good way for me to get started! I set the timer on my phone to 2 minutes and off we went! It was terrible. Tracking to the right I thought the 2 minutes would never end. My poor wonderful horse was such a trooper and just marched along while I got my body back in place. When the 2 minutes were up we walked for 4 minutes and then changed directions. Going to the left wasn’t to bad and I found myself stopping at the beep instead of thinking “when will this end!”

Chimi wondering when I'll stop taking pictures and bring him inside so he can eat

So basically I am going to trot set myself back into riding fitness. That and join a gym. Living in the middle of nowhere has it's perks but also it's drawbacks. Gyms aren't exactly on every block and even then they're kinda small and expensive for what you get. But for right now a gym is better than no gym especially because the weather has yet again turned south and it rained all day Thurs and is supposed to rain on and off today. We've gotten so much rain already that my phone keeps reminding me to watch for areal flooding. My arena is back under water after spending a week covered in a foot of snow. Oh well!!!! Chimi doesn't mind an extended vacation after his 3 days of work!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

And we've MOVED!!!!

A lot has been happening behind the scenes over here and my terrible blogging skills have left out a big detail that is pretty significant as far as riding goes... but as of the Sunday after Thanksgiving Chimi and the gang have moved!!!! To say that I'm excited is an understatement. I was dreading another winter in my old barn, especially if it was going to be a wet one. I've written about the woes of my barn in the past and the major stall flooding that goes on during a big rain and so far this fall/winter we've has a lot of rain...and now snow, and more rain on the way... basically the move could of happened at a better time!

After 2 days of melting there's still so much snow!
We didn't move far, just 20 minutes from our old house and we only moved because a neighbor had approached us about buying our house b/c her daughter and son-in-law were looking to move to the area and neighbor wanted to be close to her grand children, aka our house! So after discussing the pros and cons with husband we packed our bags and off we went!!!

The horses approve of their new pasture

My list of needs were very small but important. Working lights in the barn, stalls that didn't flood, and more pasture. After that I could make due with anything. My guys are pretty easy to take care of and live out most of the time anyways so the barn is mainly a place for them to eat and shelter from shitty weather. This past week I have enjoyed my barn more than I could ever admit because we got more snow than we've ever gotten since I moved to the area. We easily got a foot of snow starting Saturday and through Sunday. Up into the mountains they got over 18" which is insane! I'm sure it's nothing for those in snowy areas but we get excited if the snow is over 3"...especially for December! (though side note- it takes to damn long for 18" of snow to melt! it'd be gone by now if we only had a nice dusting and I'm over snow if it's been on the ground longer than 3 days!)

You have no idea how much of a luxury it is to be able to be at the barn at night  with lights!!!!!  Also my farrier can come in any type of weather or at any time b/c he'll be covered AND will have lights to see by!!!!!!
Anyways enough about weather! Here are a few pictures of the new barn (well barns! There are actually 2 small barns- hopefully will rent out the 2nd barn for self care so trying to not use it as storage...or will use it to feed when they move to the back pasture b/c it's just a simple shed row, no tack room but you can use one of the stalls as a feed/tack room and be quite happy)

Oh and there's a RING. I haven't had a ring in 6 years!!!!!! It's not very big, just a little bit longer than a small dressage ring and 10 meters wider? Honestly I suck at measuring but it's big enough to ride in but not big enough to do a whole course in. I'll still be trailering out for lessons.
And it has a cute little tack room!!! My Dressage bridle was the first piece of tack that got to enjoy it's own private space. 

Overall I'm pretty excited about the move. There are some things that are better about the new place and there are other things that were better at the old place. Trailer parking is really difficult here and I'm going to have to learn how to back up while turning and not run off a very steep hill. Also in some ways I have less storage here. I'm really going to have to keep myself organized b/c I don't have  the same storage space. I do have an inclosed tack room so hopefully can keep my tack from molding in 3 days during the summer. Feeding the horses is going to take a bit longer b/c I can't just open the pasture gate and let them walk into the barn. They actually have to wear a halter to go out to the field b/c it's a longish walk to the different pasture gates (nothing bad, just not right next to the barn) Poop management is a bit more difficult too... still working on how I want to deal with that. But overall the pros out weigh the cons and I'm pretty excited to be here!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Back in Action!!!

It happened it happened!!!!!! Chimi's never ending vacation is OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 fricking months (how the hell has it been that long?!?!?!?!) of pasture ornamenting has finally ended!!!!!!!! To say I'm excited it seriously an understatement because I'm SOOOOO READY to get back out there and do something!!!!! (quick side note- lameness was from hoof crack that he got in May, and then various shoe pulling shenanigans, followed by general NQR on the left hind, and basically lots of $$$ later he's sound!!!)

Marley being curious while I longed Chimi between rain storms before WS was able to come out and ride. I wasn't totally evil to her and had been working Chimi for a few weeks before she came out and rode. But because of the massive amounts of rain it wasn't very consistent.

Though I will admit it was not me that rode Chimi on Sunday. I pawned that service on an unsuspecting working student who bounces back much faster that I would if Chimi decided to leap about like a gazelle....

Working Student has recently moved to the area and is leasing a horse from a friend. When WS got the job with a local trainer, Friend sent me a message looking for a boarding situation with individual turnout for horse b/c the Trainer barn wasn't able to provide that. Long story short I pointed her in the right direction and helped her out one day with her horse so she could go home on her day off. When she tried to pay me for that day I just said "How about you be the first one to ride my horse after his extended vacation?" She quickly agreed and a date was set! (Though we had to wait till after it stopped raining! OMG so much frickin' rain this fall!!! 2 hurricanes and a recent giant storm of never rain and cold)

Chimi just hanging out while they take out one of the 2 trees that fell on my pasture fence during Hurricane Michael. 

So yesterday morning she came out and got to meet Chimi. She immediately snuggled with him and he was happy for all the extra attention b/c lets face it, Chimi's an attention whore and loves to be doted on. I tacked him up and noticed he was extra tight in his back (which is normal for him when he hasn't been ridden in a while and the temperature is on the cooler side. Riding keep his back more comfortable than not riding, basically another reason my horse is quirky!) so I told Working Student I was going to do his walking exercises a bit longer.

Chimi stealing some snacks from our neighbor's field

Every time I ride Chimi I always do a few exercises to warm up his back. I make him walk small circles and use his hind end to cross under him both directions and make him back up before I get on. This seems to help loosen up his back but on colder days it definitely takes a bit longer. Sunday morning was no exception. As I was hand walking him around he shot straight up in the air and grunted before settling back down and snorting. I looked over at WS and said "Thats why you're riding him and I'm not" and then we laughed. After a few more minutes of walking I tightened his girth and we just stood in the sun for a few minutes. I knew there was at least 1 more lurch waiting unsuspecting and sure enough while he was just standing there in the sun he suddenly stood up on his back legs, crow hopped, grunted, and then settled down and snorted like "Shit where did that come from??" The whole time I just stood there holding the reins and moved a little bit to stay with him. Poor WS looked at me like "what the hell did I sign up for?" and I said ok time to get on!

Chimi says curling is for winners!!!! Noooo says everyone else!

I took Chimi over to the fence and told WS to get on slowly and to not sit down until he's walked around fo a bit. She was such a trooper and just waited for him to settle down and relax. Once he stopped hunching his back she settled down into the saddle and started him on his paces. The ride wasn't about making him work but allowing his muscles to start functioning again and loosen up. It was really interesting for me to watch him go from a curling ball of tenseness to his more relaxed enjoyable self. Even though I wasn't riding him I could mentally feel what she was feeling and could see how much he changed while working under saddle. I really enjoyed being able to spectate from the ground because it's usually just me that rides Chimi and I never know what he looks. I could see how badly he curls at the beginning but also got to watch him relax and start to stretch and curl less.

All in all Working Student probably rode 15 minutes max but it was a great start. She did a great job with him and he only bucked once when she asked for the left lead canter but it was such a tiny buck that we both laughed and commented on how small it was! When she was done you could tell Chimi was much happier to be back in work. Later on that afternoon he had a saddle fitting appointment and for the first time in ages he stood like a perfect gentleman while the saddle fitter checked the balance. I think Chimi's the kind of horse that does well with short vacations but if it's to long he starts getting a bit mental. The damn hoof crack took way to long to heal and now that it's gone I'm glad to have my horse back!!!! I've been itching to ride for a while now and thankfully we have at least a week of nice weather coming up! Fingers and toes crossed that this is a dry winter so we can get back on track and ready to tackle the spring season!!!!! Forward and onward!!!!!!

pats for a good Chimi!!!!

Friday, September 21, 2018

WEG WEG WEG WEG!!!!! WOO!!!! But First...Endurance

It's been a whirlwind of a month with WEG, Florence, and volunteering. It's been a blast and I really will miss WEG being here!!!!!!!

Leading up to the start you could definitely feel it in the air around town. Welcome to Tryon signs were being hung up, foreigners were eating in our restaurants, and The Farm House put on a Meet and Greet with some of the competitors from Endurance, Show Jumping, and Dressage. Even if you weren't a big fan of WEG coming to Tryon and all the bad press leading up to it you couldn't help but feel a bit of giddiness with the countdown to the start fast approaching! It felt just like Christmas but with WEG spirit instead :)

Endurance was the first event to go for WEG and unless you live under a rock or have no interested in anything WEG I'm sure you've heard about the fiasco that it turned into. I'm sad that it turned into such a shit show but glad I did get to see some of it before it was canceled.

The first loop for endurance went around my mom's house so I woke up bright and early and headed over there to watch. Mom, her houseguests, and my BFF JG all jumped into mom's ATV and off we went to watch the horses blast around the trails nearby. It was so cool watching them come down a hill on a newly created trail and then take off down the road towards a pit crew point. I thought it was a vet check point but it really was just a place for the crew members to give the rider water and pour huge bottles of ice cold water onto the horses as they continued on. Some riders stopped and let their horse catch their breath while having non stop cold water poured all over them and others did the "drive by" where their crew members rain along side them pouring the liter bottles of water over the horse, handing the rider a bottle of water to drink on the move and then at the end of the lane the crew stopped and the rider tossed the water bottle onto the ground and took off. After we watched the Pit Crew action for a bit we headed off to a different section of the course where a few vets were nearby watching the horses as they made the turn. They had vets all over the place to keep an eye on the competitors for what I can assume was to be eyes on the ground to make sure the horses weren't in distress before getting to the vet check point? That I don't know and you'd have to ask someone more qualified than me!!! 

After that viewpoint we took off to the last point near mom's house hoping to get a picture of the riders with the mountains in the background but alas the clouds had rolled in and you couldn't see them in the distance. But we still got a few more awesome snapshots before headed back home. This also ended up being the point where I heard one of the road crew commenting that they had screwed up the start and sent some of the competitors the wrong direction and were talking about a restart. He was just shaking his head as he walked to his truck and I noticed a few of the other trucks left the area. After that Endurance went to hell in a hand basket and you know the rest of the story (or if you don't you can look it up!)

Anyways here a few more snapshots from the Endurance phase! I'll write about Eventing next because I had the BEST seat in the house for Eventing Dressage and was in the Judge's Box at C for two days as the Electronic Scribe!!!! That was one of the coolest experiences and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Traffic Jam during WEG :D