Friday, July 10, 2020

So This Happened.... BABY!!!!


Soooooooo yes. I have been keeping it under wraps for 11 months now b/c I didn't want to let myself get to excited. But I bred Marley last year and the little filly arrived this morning at 3:30ish!!!

I love her ears!!!!
So far Marley has proved to be a wonderful mom and is constantly nickering for Baby Yet To Be Named (I had the perfect boy named picked out but have been struggling with the girl name) and now we're waiting on the vet to arrive to do all the vet things required after foaling.

Those tiny nostrils!!! Squeee!!!

Baby Daddy is an Irish Draught named Cappa Aviator and sadly was gelded the day before Marley's 1st pregnancy check so the 4 foals born this year are his only crop. Luckily we snuck in and was able to have a foal by him.


Hope you enjoy the baby pictures!!!! I will be posting endless pictures to my instagram so if you need a cuteness check look there and maybe I'll come up with a name soon!

"What sorcery is this!!!!" exclaims Chimi 



Friday, January 3, 2020

Blogger Comments

I'm at a loss. I'm struggling to comment on people's posts and even reply to ones on my own blog and I can't! WHAT THE HELL??!?!?!?!!?!?!!

So far I have:

Emailed Emma and asked her advice about using name URL (that doesn't seem to work sadly, or I've written the same comment 20 times on someone's blog and for whatever reason it's not showing up on my computer)

Deleted my wordpress account associated with my email- this seems to of done nothing b/c every time I try to comment on someone with wordpress it asks me to log in but I can't because I DELETED IT. Grrrrrrrrr


Deleting my wordpress account had temporarily solved all the problems and I thought I could comment again but then suddenly I can't and now I can't even reply to comments on my own blog.

I've even tried to make my other gmail address a co writer for my blog thinking I can just use that account.... but every time I accept the invitation it sends me back to my main email account on blogger and doesn't add my 2nd address.

Any advice??? OR am I going to be a silent blogger until I can contact wordpress and have words? 

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2010's Photo Challenge and an Update on Things I Should of Blogged About

This has been such a fun blog hop! Thanks Emily for coming up with this idea. I've loved reading everyone's decade and had to share my own. Lots of memories... plus I realized I had "written" (either in my head or saved as a draft forever...) and never posted many happenings over the past 10 years. I really have mad props to those that are able to get a blog post out on a regular or semi regular basis!


2010- I was living in Charlotte trying to figure out my life and see if I could make horses work in it. I was leasing a horse named Liaison at the beginning of the year but after my lease ran up with him in August I decided it'd be more fun to take on a project pony. That's when I "stole" my mom's horse Gus from her. She had gotten him in March b/c his owner couldn't get him sound and the poor guy had spent a year and a half on stall rest with a torn suspensory that just wasn't healing. My mom loves a challenge and bought him for $1 (after consulting with her vet friend who had some ideas) and basically pulled his shoes and turned him out for a couple months. Once he was sound she started riding him and he really was to much horse for her at the time. So that's when I took him and thought I could make an eventer out of him.

Cuddles with the Pocket Pony aka Gus 

2011- This was a really big year for Gus. It started out with us being eliminated at a schooling horse trials in February. Partly b/c I had taken him to the facility the week before to get a jump school in and there were zebras in the paddock right next to the SJ ring. They freaked Gus out but he was a good boy and jumped everything while keeping a very watchful eye on those smelly horse eaters. When we got to the show they had put the zebras up but Gus KNEW they were hiding somewhere and I couldn't get him anywhere near the jumps at the end of the ring where the zebra paddock was. So we were eliminated over a tiny X. But it was a good thing because it made me get help and we started taking lessons from a local HJ trainer that I really liked and respected. He was the biggest change to Gus's jumping confidence and helped me ride my pony better. From there I took Gus to Dressage Rally (Pony Club's version of a show and I was a Horsemaster aka Pony Club for Adults) and we cleaned up at Training level. Oops. Sorry kiddos, my pony could lay down a dressage test. We got 70 somethings for the dressage tests and then kicked ass and took names at the Training Level Freestyle where we got an 82%. I'm not the best dressage rider but Gus was a fantastic lower level dressage horse thanks to a really solid foundation that his previous owner had put on him.


I'd been waiting to use this music since 1999 when we played Overture to Chorus Line in band class. I tried to dress Gus up so those "spots" you see on his bum were star stickers- Broadway music means Broadway star!

After that we went to a Rebecca Howard clinic at The Fork and had a pretty successful weekend overall. It was Gus's first real XC schooling and we did banks, ditches, water, jumps into and out of water, and various other things. We kept up with lessons over the summer, went to a jumper show in October and then moved to SC in November.

When he jumped he was cute!

2012- Living in SC I was traveling a lot for my job so didn't really have time to show. Did head back to Dressage Rally to try my hand at First Level and had a very respectable showing, getting 64? 65ish%? I really don't remember but was very happy with it. That summer I took Gus to Windridge for their schooling HT and did really well. Oh! And OMG how could I forget??? In my quest to make Gus the best all around horse ever he cleaned up with a tiny rider in the Walk Trot division at a local all around show series. Little Becks rode Gus in the AM in the english divisions and then I took him barrel racing in the afternoon. HAHA. OMG we were so slow but it was so much fun! Also started riding Marley this year. She was sort of in the background of Gus b/c she wasn't my horse at the time.   (Hell, Marley's never really been my horse, I just sort of became her caretaker and attempted to do something with her)

Walk Trot in the morning...

Barrel racing in the afternoon!!


2013- This was the year of change. Was trying to juggle 2 horses, Marley and Gus, and work at the same time. Marley went to the Ralph Hill clinic in January and Gus went to his first recognized horse trials in April at FENCE. While we did really well on paper (4th overall in an open BN division of 20+ riders) something wasn't right. Trainer AM looked at me in my eyes and told me that if I wanted to do more than BN I needed a new horse. She was right. Gus just didn't have it in him to easily jump the bigger fences. If Gus nailed the perfect take off spot he could easily jump 3'+ but in eventing you need a scrappy horse and he just wasn't scrappy enough over 2'6". This lead me to finding Chimi just a few weeks later. I really wasn't looking but future husband found him and said "Try him" so I did and he came home with me :) He ended up spending that first summer and fall standing around in my pasture b/c he kept throwing shoes and going lame. It was just bad luck and a bad farrier (seriously-  a bad farrier can screw up your horse in 1 cycle that takes a good farrier months to fix. It's craptastic) Took Marley to a schooling horse trial, dressage was terrible, ok in stadium, and amazing XC. Then she broke herself that fall and started her career as a pasture ornament (long story short, old injury that just got worse over time. Tried everything) Future Husband and I bought a house and moved in together and he proposed that winter.

My favorite picture ever of Gus

Marley at her only event ever

The day I got Chimi


2014- After struggling with trying to fix Marley all winter and spring, decided to take Chimi Starter at Windridge for this Spring HT and it was fantastic. I honestly was scared shitless going into the show b/c I had about 2 weeks to prep for the show from the time that I entered and Chimi's jumping was...well... uhhh... questionable at best. But it worked out in the end and on XC I felt Chimi's brain click over and go OHHHH..... THIS SHIT IS FUN.... LETS GO FASTER and I had a potential eventer on hand! Mom and I went to WEG in Normandy with some friends and had a blast. Showing was put on hold b/c of wedding plans Future Husband and I got married in November and that basically wrapped up that year.

WEG 2014- it was a blood/mud bath of a course but it was gorgeous!!!

2015- Chimi and I competed at BN that Spring at FENCE and Windridge and then I twisted my knee in June and when I was healed enough from that he bucked me off in August and hurt my back so any hopes of a fall season were quickly dashed. But in the middle of those injuries I went to Iceland on a riding trip and had a blast riding Icelandic horses! If you've ever thought about doing this DO IT. I have never laughed so hard while riding until I rode an Icelandic horse. Their mane. Their gaits. Their size. Best vacation ever.


Tolting through Iceland


2016- Chimi and I came out swinging. The American Eventing Championships were basically in my back yard at Tryon International Equestrian Center and I had been dreaming of competing at them since 2003. I was hell bent on qualifying and going that year. I also had planned to get a sneak peak at the XC course at TIEC and qualified for Pony Club Championships that were also being held at TIEC in July. We did both and had a pretty successful showing. At the AEC's we technically had a refusal on XC at the water but I know it had nothing to do with the water and everything to do with Chimi's claustrophobia. All the levels (BN through Advanced went through the tiny water complex and Chimi freaked out at how close the jumps were to him. Oh well. That did put us just out of the ribbons in 13th place but honestly I was so happy with how he handled the electric atmosphere that weekend and we had a blast. We ended the year with the Lucinda Green Clinic where we jumped A LOT of skinnies.


Instead of a picture you get a video: started it at XC b/c dressage is boring- plus its fun to watch Chimi spook at everything in the first half and him run away with me in Stadium

2017- We had a fantastic start testing the waters at Novice in the spring and hit our stride with 2 successful outings at The Fork and FENCE. I had plans of competing at the AEC's again but this time at Novice so needed another outing and planned to go to River Glen. Apparently that wasn't going to be b/c Memorial Day Weekend I injured my knee (again- ugh old injury that I kept re-injuring)  and was out the rest of the summer. Towards the end of summer I found out I had qualified for the AEC's but at BN (apparently they counted Pony Club Champs in 2016 as a qualifying score so that gave me the 2nd score I needed) and I thought heck why not? In hind sight I wish I had saved the money and just gone to spectate b/c with my knee injury we weren't quite ready. Sure we survived and were fine but neither of us were on point. I decided to spend the fall getting legged up so that we could come out swinging again in the spring and maybe head to a Novice 3 day???? Chimi had other plans and blew a nasty abscess out of his cornet band and had the fall off. With Chimi lame my trainer offered her semi retired eventer for me to ride in the Karen O'Connor clinic. Joe was amazing and I probably got more out of riding him in the clinic than I would of riding Chimi.

Joe teaching me how to ride all over again

On a sadder note we had to put down Gus in September. I wrote so many blog posts abut this and ended up deleting them b/c they all turned into lengthy sagas about how wonderful he was. In the end a rare form of cancer ate away at his body and he no longer could process nutrients in food and wasted away. He was cheery and snuggly all the way to the end and let us know when it was time.  I will forever love that creature for everything he did.

My 2nd favorite picture of Gus


2018- This was the year of Damn it Chimi. Basically Chimi and I took an unplanned year off. It started with me trying to qualify for the Novice 3 day at Heart of the Carolinas. Winter was shit so we spent a lot of time road riding. This gave my barefoot horse a stone bruise and a new set of shoes. But with the time off to heal the bruise we weren't ready fitness wise for the 3 day. So rerouting we were going to have a spring season at Novice and I fell off at jump 1 on XC at FENCE's spring HT. The best part is I caught it all on helmet cam! If you're going to fall off it's better to have video evidence to laugh at later on! Just a few weeks after FENCE Chimi cracked his back left foot and was lame until November.



2019- Winter was shitty and wet so we didn't get back into regular riding until spring. No shows, but had a couple of fun XC outings and it was nice riding again. Chimi went to camp and took a few campers for joy rides around the Big Ring. Then in November we headed to Stable View's Eventing Academy, schooled their XC and stadium on Saturday, and competed in the Beginner Novice Combined Test on Sunday. I wasn't sure what to expect and other than Chimi losing his shit in the barn he was a super star and it was a great way to knock the dust off. (This has been a blog post collecting dust in my drafts...) Since then we've been riding whenever we get the chance and hope to head back out to a few events next spring. We'll see what happens though but my fingers are crossed!

Chimi's got wings! Camper learning what it's like to ride a Flying Burrito

And that was my decade! Looking forward to what 2020 and beyond will bring!






Monday, September 23, 2019

10 Questions for September

I love these kind of questions so I thought I'd join in for this month!

1) Favorite Quirk Your Horse Has

Chimi rolling

Oh Chimi...he is a weird horse.... I do love that he hates peeing in his stall. If I leave the horses in I have to  make sure I get down to the barn so I can take Chimi out of his stall and into the grass so he can pee. He will pee if I don't get down to the barn in time or if he's stabled at a show but usually he'll try and hold it as long as he can before peeing!

I also like that whenever he rolls he flips sides by sitting like a dog and shifting to the other side and never fully gets up... he does it EVERY TIME. It cracks me up.

2) Three adjectives that perfectly describe your horse



Brave, quirky, and nosey. When Chimi's got his big boy pants on and he's mentally checked into the situation nothing bothers him. Point him at any jump and hold on!!!! But the quirky side comes out b/c he has some many weird things that he doesn't like or will set him off. He's also super nosey b/c he has to know everything thats going on. Dogs barking? Must go check that out. People standing in the aisle of his barn? Must stick his nose on someone's shoulder and demand to be included in the conversation. If he was a human he would be who you'd go to to find out what was going on...call him Gossip Boy.

3) Plan your next ride- what will you do/work on?

Well right now I'm sidelined with a knee injury so it's going to be a bit before I can ride....but I guess my first ride back will be something simple. Probably just a flat ride and getting Chimi and myself back in the groove

4) Have you ever trained an OTTB? If yes what was the biggest challenge?


Sort of? When Marley first arrived at the barn I was boarding Gus at no one else had enough skill to ride her so I helped out. (I'm not saying I'm a great rider but everyone else was basically a beginner and barely did more than walk circles around the ring) She wasn't mine at the time nor was she fresh off the track but she was still very green and coming back into work after a stifle injury. My biggest challenge with Marley was her tension. She struggled to settle and relax when you rode her. Sometime we'd get it and OMG she was such a nice horse!!!

5) Have you ever groomed or worked for a professional rider?

High School Trainer and her group of students. We had so much fun riding and showing together! 

I did when I was in middle school/high school. The summer before 8th grade there was a group of us that worked for our trainer the entire summer(?) I honestly don't remember how long but it was great!!!! Though I will always remember my friend losing control of the golf cart and it went downhill into the fence and broke a board that was put off to the side for some reason. Luckily the fence part was fine so I don't think we ever told anyone b/c only a small piece broke off of the loose board that the golf cart hit :)

I did work for a professional in Southern Pines for a few weeks when I was 15 (only remember my age b/c I didn't have a license/car so couldn't go anywhere) and then I groomed at a couple shows for my trainer when I was in high school. Nothing extravagant nor for long periods of time but what I did do was a great experience!


6) Farvorite Horse and Rider combination?

I had to think about this for a minute but I think I my favorite combo is Sara Gumbiner and Polaris. They may not be on the WEG or Olympic team but after listening to her story on Major League Eventing I have so much respect for her. She is making a name for herself and working hard with a tricky horse but her on Larry and Allie Sacksen on Sparrow's Nio were the first two competitors to come through the finish flags at Kentucky this past year with pretty famous names going and falling before them. Allie and Nio are another favorite pair b/c who doesn't love a Connemara and he's running around at the top level as a half pony- go pony!!!!

7) Have you ever ridden a horse at the beach?



Yes! In Ireland- my mom and I went on a riding vacation and one of the days was a beach day where we just galloped along the beaches. It was so much fun!


8) If you could experience the equestrian community (i.e. ride and compete) in another country, what country and why?

Ireland or the UK. I know a lot of people have this answer but there's a reason!!! It's Mecca for the eventing world and there are so many events there. Though I wouldn't mind eventing in Australia either b/c it'd be a really unique experience!


9)  In your opinion what is a piece of equipment that is given unnecessary hype?

Standing Martingales. I don't get why everyone wears them in the hunters. If you need it sure, I totally get that but just b/c everyone else is??? That doesn't make sense to me. When I was a kid showing in the hunters someone told me that if a judge had to decide between two horses which to place first and one had a martingale the one without it would be placed first. Now that rule of thumb doesn't matter b/c all hunter horses seem to wear them. But why???? Someone please explain to me why a horse who doesn't need a standing martingale wears one??? I know if I was a hunter I'd be that person purposefully NOT using one and trying to win just to prove a point!! ;)


10) What was the first horse you rode called? Are they still alive?

hello 80's

Popcorn the leopard appaloosa my mom leased when I was super tiny. Mom had a tandem saddle and I'd ride in front of her until I grew too tall and would hit her in the chin with my helmet. Sadly the barn that Popcorn lived at when my mom wasn't leasing him had an outbreak of EIA and he was one of the horses who got sick. So no, he is definitely not alive and unfortunately passed away a couple of years after I rode him.

I love this picture- Popcorn with my dad, uncle, grandad and barn owner


Monday, September 16, 2019

Bad Eventer Needed Help

This weekend I was reminiscing that WEG was exactly 1 year ago. Say what you want about WEG 2018 but I had an amazing time. I shared a memory/picture of me scribing for Dressage and Sara from The Roaming Rider commented... "Do you follow the Bad Eventer? She is at TIEC this weekend and in need of jump crew tomorrow night if you are available"

Waving hello to my mom from the judge's box at C!

Hummmm..... I quickly ran through the things I had to do Saturday and then thought "why not?" I was probably going to go and watch anyways b/c I had some friends competing this weekend and what a neat/educational experience it would be to hang out in warmup? So I sent Bad Eventer a message and said if she hadn't already found someone I'd be more than happy to come and help out. She responded and I was set to help her during Saturday Night Lights!!!!

"....in warmup"

So on Saturday I headed over to TIEC (Tryon International Equestrian Center) to help Bad Eventer at The Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials! I met her at her stalls, petted all the ponies, and then off we went to warmup. And HOLY FRICKIN COW. That was not the warmup I'm used to at the lower levels!!!!! What happened to the cross rail, vertical and oxer that are set and no one changes them except to put a knocked rail back? Yeah apparently that was not the scenario that I had volunteered for! 

Doug Payne was the first to go in the Prelim division and Bad Eventer wanted to watch him go before she hopped on and warmed up. It was balls ass hot and humid even as the sun was setting (seriously- WTF weather???) so I don't blame her for wanting a short warmup! She came back from watching Doug, hopped on her pony, and then off we went to the warmup! 

Poison Ivy is really good at selfies....me not so much

Warmup is always a bit crazy anyways but this definitely took it to a new level. There was an "empty" jump in the middle (aka no one was standing next to it) and she had me make it a small oxer. She hopped over it a couple times and then asked me to raise it up 2 holes. She kept saying "two more holes" until we reached Prelim (or higher?) height and then I squared the oxer and then it was time for her to go into the ring. When she finished with the first one she came out, met her groom, and swapped out for the 2nd one- BE was seriously one BadASS Eventer for riding 3 horses in such a short amount of time b/c I know I would of been ready to call it a day after just the 1 horse! 

 
Friends make horse shows more fun!
For BE's 2nd horse Britt from Red on the Right came out and helped me b/c she was also helping a friend in warmup (plus competing her own awesome pony!!!) and it was much faster raising the jump having one person on each side! Even with help in the warmup you have to be on your toes! There were a couple times that we'd be raising the jump and then suddenly another horse would be sailing over the jump as we're about to take the pole out of the cup! Besides having another person to help raise the rails you needed someone to watch your back in case another horse was on its way to the jump! I really should of counted how many close calls we had but it was easily over 5 oh shit moments! That and watching Britt's face as I heard poles crash behind me twice b/c Britt had a direct view of someone taking out the entire warm up jump really made me realize this was a whole different animal than I was used to!

After Bad Eventer finished with her 3 adorable critters (seriously loved all of them!!!) I stayed behind to finish watching the rest of the competition and catch up with Britt. It was such a great evening and a perfect way to spend a Saturday evening!!!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Chimi Goes to Camp

Chimi in the Big Ring

First off I apologize to the readers I have and the blogs I follow. My phone has decided posting comments is unacceptable and unless I'm at home reading on my computer I can't comment, no matter how hard I try. I've given up. The unfortunate part is I read 90% of the blog posts on my phone b/c I can't at work (stupid website blocking software...and lack of a desk job in the summer) I'll figure out a better way later... but back to this blog post about the one and only Chimi!!!

The Rest Hour Bay gang!

One of the perks about working in the school system is summers off. One of the disadvantages of working in the school system is summers off. But luckily enough in my college years I worked at a summer camp and all these years later I was hired back to run the barn and riding program for the boys camp. It's a great job, I get to be around horses all day, I'm outside hiding under protective clothing and big hats, and I get to meet great people from all over the world because my staff are usually from other countries. The disadvantage is lack of free time to ride my horse. The past two summers it wasn't a big deal because either I was injured or Chimi was injured so we both enjoyed having the summer off to heal. However this summer neither of us were hurt, just really really unfit.

Follow the leader is fun when you're not the leader ;)

Thankfully the barn manager over at the girls camp (there are 2 camps owned by the same family and are run individually but also cohesively) said "bring Chimi to camp! I need to ride my horse so we can ride together during rest hour!" And that is how Chimi found his was to summer camp. It has been a whirlwind summer and we are in the home stretch (just 3 more weeks!!!!) and then Chimi will be back home. I'll miss the rest hour rides with friends once camp is over but I'm looking forward to more than an hour to tack up, ride, untack, and hose off my horse! There are a few stories I'll hopefully be sharing about Chimi's time at camp but in the mean time enjoy a few photos!

"Staff Training" aka we just wanted to ride

Staff training in the Back 40

one of the rest hour rides where we headed out  to the mares' giant field

View from the geldings' pasture.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Spare Tires...

One lesson I learned last weekend was why you should always have two spare tires for your trailer

WHY?!?!?! My poor brand newish tire!!! Sidewall puncture...  bye bye tire...

Yep. That happened. No idea how, but either way when I pulled up to my destination I had one flat ass tire! Thankfully it was on the right side and I only had 1 horse in the trailer so hopefully the rim is still good to go?

I had all my tire things in the trailer so I felt pretty confident being able to get the tire changed and back on the road. Thankfully the barn manager where I was came out and helped me change the tire (he was soooooo much faster at it than I would of been!) and as I was rolling my spare tire over to him I looked down and thought MOTHER FUCKER. My spare tire is rotten!!! Yep. Damn thing had a bulge and the tread was splitting.... I ran through some thoughts in my head, "Chance it? I'm only 20 minutes away....can drive slowly on the backroads... no, thats dumb.... it's about ready to pop....Do we have another spare tire at home that I don't know about? OH WAIT THATS RIGHT. I HAVE 2 SPARE TIRES!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE OK.....YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! BRAND NEW TIRE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!



And that is why having 2 spare trailer tires is a necessity with your trailer :)


(also side note another good reason is usually when one blows it might take out the 2nd tire or if you hit something that punctures your tire it's probably going to puncture both tires....ask my mom how she knows...which is also why I have 2 spare tire spots in my trailer!)