deep thoughts

On Tuesday and Wednesday I attended a seminar at the San Francisco Zoo addressing the care and welfare of elderly animals.  It was an incredibly thought provoking and enlightening seminar, though at times really, really sad.  The most difficult part was discussing hospice care for animals — which you would expect, at a conference about caring for elderly animals.  It really made me think about the way we make end of life decisions for our pets and horses, and how even in “hospice” our animals can still have valuable and meaningful lives.

There were cuter and happier things too – like a geriatric polar bear playing in artificial snow and digging dens in her enclosure on the reg. And a really old rhino who likes to sneak out of her night house in the dark, roll in a secret area of her enclosure, and then head back to bed.  And an ancient gray seal who has no teeth left and is blind and pretty deaf but still loves doing her training activities and doing ring fetch games with her group.  It’s so easy for us to marginalize older animals and diminish their lives because of our own perceptions of their experience.  But they can have meaningful and valuable individual and social lives well beyond our expectations.

IMG_3401Poco was pretty old, though definitely not the oldest chimp I’ve met

I turned Murray out on Thursday with some friends to see if he wanted to have a little play before I rode, but none of them wanted to play for more than a moment.  So after a little gallop we went back inside and tacked up.  I’ve been taking a hard line with tacking up lately because Murray has been so horrendously reactive and absurd about girthing.  So I now do his girth up very, very slowly while he’s tied to the safety ring. I don’t respond to him at all (positively or negatively), unless he’s standing still(ish).  It’s certainly easier than chasing him up and down the barn aisle with a girth, though the jury is still out on whether or not it’s working.  We’ll see in a few weeks.

Tucker is absurdly cute and human-oriented. Not that old, just really cute.

After thinking a bit about Murray’s constant leaning/falling to the right, I decided that I would try to be extra accountable for my bend while riding him.  Because of both of our weaknesses I tend to hold my torso facing a little to the left even when we are tracking right.  So I exaggerated my own inside bend and found that it helped him keep his shoulders underneath him a bit more.  I can’t figure out how to employ that strategy tracking left, so it still requires a little more thought.  We’ll see how it holds up under trainer scrutiny next week.

We practiced JM’s straightness exercises at the trot and canter, which also needs some trainer scrutiny honestly.  I feel like we’re getting pretty straight, but now I can’t tell if I’m over-doing it with the haunches.  Murray got super connected cantering left though, and for a few strides on each of the long sides his canter felt so fucking good!! Like we were floating!  Not pulling or brace or rushing, just powerful and forward and balanced.  I’m terrified I will NEVER get it back.

feb dressage canter 3(from feb 2016) I wish I remembered how this felt and not just how it looks…  hrm

As always, Murray struggled with being through + forward at the walk.  I just can’t seem to get him to maintain impulsion and connection, it’s a one-or-the-other situation — and realistically, neither.  I’m kinda addressing it by doing a lot of walk work and trying to keep him forward and with some connection through it, but I’m a little worried it’s just teaching him to lean on the bit with his underneck…

I finished up with a some test movements (10m half circles at the trot, canter transitions and 20m circles) and some sitting trot circles, which were shockingly not the worst thing that have ever happened to us.  Maybe next year will be the year I actually learn to sit the trot?  Probably not.  Hasn’t happened yet.

happier things

I’m not very good at getting involved in politics, and I really suck at discussing it with strangers, so I’m going to leave things as they are and move on to happier things.

One of the amazing, wonderful boarders that I share a tack room with took it upon herself to do some renovations this week. I was supposed to help but cleverly poisoned myself with some slightly-past-good creme fraiche, so was out of the loop until I showed up to see the magnificent transformation.  It won’t seem like a transformation to you all, since you didn’t get to see the pit that was “before”, but here’s “after”.

tackroom tackroom2

My barn straight up does not have enough tack room space for all the boarders, but we’ve all agreed that building a new tack room shakes out a less important than improving footing or paddocks.  I keep my stuff in the tack room that was once restricted to our trainer, working students, and leasers of her horses only (so that all the tack belonging to/used for her horses would be kept in one place).  It has since expanded to include three other boarders, and when you have twelve saddle racks and twelve bridle hooks that 9 people who event are trying to share well

macaronsSo this is a huge improvement and I’m overjoyed and need to think of a good gift for our boarder and her handy friend.  (Any ideas on gifts for 50+ year old men who are willing to take a day off and rebuild things to help out a friend?!).

Murray has been a super star, despite a week off thanks to travel and work.  We have become even more consistent in developing the connection from ride to ride and I’ve started to work on transitions between the gaits now.  It’s something Murray can do beautifully on the lunge line and when he decides he’s prepared for it, but we struggle with maintaining an active walk so we can do them at the drop of a hat.  Add in rider struggle bus and things get exponentially harder.  But on Tuesday we got some solid work on transitions that didn’t involve anticipation OR me trying to yank his head down.  So that’s progress for both of us.

RBF Q’s baby horse blew a massive heel abscess which obviously brought me great joy.  And my boyfriend proved he is truly my soulmate by responding “Pics for me?” when I told him about it.  Between Q and I we had soaked the abscess for four straight days and only seen (unfortunately) increasing discomfort.  As we dried off the hoof to wrap it that day it started to seep and drain (and yes we poked and prodded it to see how productive it would be).  Four days after that the baby horse is happily galloping around in pasture again.

I don’t like the pain they cause our horses, but I secretly love abscesses. I know there are those among you who do too.

treat yo’ self: custom leather work

I spend a fair amount of time on Etsy around the holidays, mostly window shopping.  I don’t do a ton of Christmas-gift exchange with my friends (we all know how poor we are), and my family doesn’t mind that the gift giving goes in mostly one direction.  But I do find a lot of neat things on the Etsy (because it is a veritable font of neat things), and this year a whole pile of custom leatherwork has caught my eye.

First up: this magnificent, chevron monogrammed belt.  I would adopt this into my show outfit in approximately one second.

I mean yes, yes please. PLEASE.

From the same craftsman, look at these incredibly apropos coasters.

6 Personalized Leather Coasters, Custom Leather Coaster set, Hexagonal Geometric, Handmade housewarming wedding anniversary gift. Honey Bee

Sometimes beautiful things motivate me to get things done.  Like this sweet leather journal from Brika.  If this were daily-planner style, I would buy it in one second, but since it’s just journal style I’m still on the fence.

I Can Leather Journal

I have made my own tote bag with pleather accents before, but it was a lot of work and definitely more than $38 in time.  And I’m into leather totes, but I can in no universe justify buying a Tucker Tweed.  But a leather tote with a subtle monogram that’s just the right size for putting a planner, wallet, and notebook in? Yes please!

Monogram Purse, Monogram Handbag, Monogram Shoulder Bag, Monogram Tote, Fall Purse, Personalized Purse, Bridesmaids Gifts, Tassel Purse

And finally the one company I am for sure ordering from this year, Bija Collars!  It’s not secret that I’m completely obsessed with Ellie, and one of the first things I got her was this amazing leather collar from Apryl at Bija Collars.  She does custom work to match color, width, and length of collar to your pup.  The leather has held up through Ellie’s disgusting, hippo ways, many baths, and just a couple of cleanings when I do my saddles.  10/10 will buy again.

wp-1478279887058.jpgwp-1478279606161.jpg
Ellie is a bad collar model. Really, it’s an amazing collar and gets a billion compliments.

 

 

end of the year goals

The good rides continue for me and Murray!  I’m reveling in the glory of how great it feels to develop a connection into which you can actually ride your horse.  Even after 4 nights of no turnout (hello, tiny fall rains!) and a rather sassy start to our ride where we both struggled to just trot, Murray was like “oh right, this game again. super!” And off we went, working on better gaits and pushing into the contact and even doing so with a fairly straight body for the most part.  IT JUST FEELS SO GOOD.

Yesterday we launched the zoo research challenge projects that I have been working on for the last month with Experiment.com.  You should head on over and have a look, if for no other reason than to watch adorable animal videos and have a look at some of the really super projects that are being done in zoos.  Like studying thermal images of tortoises and their environments to understand how different heat source influence their body temperature.  Or looking at circulating markers of fibrosis in gorillas (heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in captive great apes!).  Or a project that addresses how hooves of wild giraffe differ from those in captivity — something all of us ungulate-lovers should be able to get behind.  (PS That group has their very own GIRAFFE FARRIER I mean SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.)

lemurbootcamplemur boot camp features an adorable animated video that is 100% worth your time

I love all the projects that the researchers put together, but for the sake of brevity I won’t link them all here.  But they are all definitely worthy of contribution!

But let’s get on to some end of the year goals, shall we?  I’ve missed all the major quarters this year for goal setting, but as the year calms down a bit it seems like I could get some shit done in the next 60 days.

Riding

  • Continue/resume work on lengthenings so I can more easily incorporate them into trot improvement work
  • Put significant effort into sitting the trot (i.e. at least 5min per ride, 2x per week). I somehow avoided no stirrups November AGAIN this year, because it seems rather stupid to sit (very poorly) on Murray for much of a month while I’m having such success encouraging him to lift his back and move his whole body more.  I will make up for it with a no stirrups month early next year if trainers think we can handle it.
  • If trainers approve, re-incorporate some lateral work
  • Really nail our straightness/squares so we get good marks on our straightness homework when JM comes back in December
  • Have the fitter out to evaluate dressage saddle and price replacing foam with wool

Murray

  • Eat ALL the grass and roll in ALL the mud
  • Clip again towards the end of December
  • Avoid being mounted by friends in playtime turnout

jan-play2

Personal

  • File the thesis (still not done… sigh)
  • Get all my Experiement projects funded
  • Finish MAF grant application
  • Finish UFAW grant application
  • Increase tutoring hours – if I can get up to 20/week (a rather heavy schedule with all the driving included) I will be in really good shape, even including breaks for holidays
  • Get Macaron skills back!
  • Run once a week – work up to 5k
  • Apply for jobs?

not the good kind of funk

I spent much of today feeling rather… blergh.  I have to re-investigate a part of my analysis that I thought I was ready to just put behind me, and the fact that I have to open that whole can back up irritates me.  That was but a minor part of my mood, though.  I recently found out that a family friend is super irresponsible with animals (one of those who adopts pets just because the kids think they are cute, then return/rehome them when their landlord demands it or the kids grow tired of it) and I can’t seem to get over it.  I’m not close with this person and could not have stopped any of this before I found out about it (but you can bet your sweet ass I will be opening my big, fat mouth in the future), yet the feeling of anger and disappointment is hanging over me.  This categorically puts this family friend in the “you are a bad person” category, where once they were just, well, a well-intentioned dullard.

handle-yo-shitthat shit being not getting pets you can’t care for

But the bigger piece of the down-home funk is that Murray has been not quite right for much of this week.  Now, all of the horses have been stuck in their stalls since before the new year, as the steady rain (thank you, El Nino, I don’t even care that it is unpleasant because we need this) has kept the pastures 8″ deep in mud.  Murray’s been working a bit harder, and the footing in our indoor is due for replacement.  He’s been a little stiffer on the left hind than usual, and I even saw a bit of a short-step at the walk when I took advantage of the empty arena to turn him out. But there was no head bob, he didn’t seem in pain, and is otherwise frisky and generally Murray-ish so it definitely fell into the most irritating category of possible horse lameness.  I’ve never had to deal with it before (I know, I know, I’ve been lucky), so it’s a new adjustment and feeling for me.  My dressage trainer, with whom I had a lesson on Wednesday night, thought it was possible the lower joint in his hocks are fusing — apparently very common in sport horses? — but it was total speculation based on watching him go during my warm up.  (More on my lesson in a moment.)  He’s also felt a little off and hunchy in the canter, but not his usual hunchy-evasive with a hollow back.  More super-stiff-backed and sucked behind my leg while making a rolly, porpoise-y back… so weird.

However, when I lunged Murray on Thursday he was pretty even across both hind legs (I did bute him last night), and did his Murray-best to make me feel better. All I wanted was for him to spin around on the lunge line a little and assess his soundness, as well as let him get out any yayas stuck in there.  When I moved him out on the circle Murray frolicked in his most foalish fashion — throwing his legs in all directions and tossing his head down — but as soon as we started going on the circle he was all “business”.  “Business”  being a lazy, shitty trot.  We are working on it.  A few more episodes of antics — though nothing at all what I expected was hidden in there — and we determined that he was moving evenly behind and I can probably ride tomorrow, but we will continue to assess daily.  The ridiculous, nonsensical frolicking improved my mood greatly.

tell-me-again-oqaqpk

I’ve been giving him some bute, and just letting him sit isn’t going to do anything for him if it’s a stiffness/soreness kinda thing.  So work goes on.

My dressage lesson was very interesting.  Murray was stiff through his back, as usual, and not quite right.  Tina really called me on my rein length, pointing out that Murray is much fussier when my reins are floppy, and when I actually push him into a steady contact he is quieter.  We worked on using the lateral work to get him round, and Tina suggested I ride him always with a little bit of the shoulder-fore feeling to encourage him to really be round.  This is especially helpful now that Murray has discovered he can intentionally put his haunches to the inside and pretend I asked him for it which, most of the time, I did not.

taken

Since the indoor is (f0r) now our only arena and there are almost always fences in the way there is limited work for us to do the counter-canter.  And, since Murray was stiff and a little fussy already, Tina did not want to introduce the full counter-canter figure eight.  Instead she had me work on flexing Murray to the inside and outside on a big canter circle, getting the feel of the counter-canter without having to actually find the space to do it.

Tina didn’t have me work for long, but Murray was exhausted at the end of it.  Not sweating necessarily, but really struggling to keep himself together.  This was probably compounded by his soreness/stiffness/offness.  I am always really interested in how this happens, though.  Murray works, four or five or six days a week, and we work pretty solidly.  Then we get into a lesson with Tina and he is like “oh my god I am DYING right now” after a quick 30 minutes!  Tina is generous and gives us lots of walk breaks, and somehow Murray is like “I’m dying. I’m simply dying.”  So clearly… I need to work more like that on my own, because that is probably more like real work.

This week’s images brought to you by: my honest, irrational, rageful, and sometimes inappropriate feels.

anniversaries

I’m attempting to get back to something of a normal blogging schedule.  School is starting back up, so now I will be juggling my time between my jobs and school a bit more, but I honestly think I can manage it.  As long as I don’t waste too much time driving between places…. I think.

Anyway, this weekend I celebrated a couple of anniversaries.  First, mine!  I had my golden birthday (turned 27 on the 27th!) and one of my friends made me the most magnificent cake EVER.

unicakeThat this cake coincided with team Always Be A Unicorn’s victory at the AECs is no coincidence, I am sure.  Unicorns are majikal.

It looked even better with 27 candles.

unicake2

And then I sacrificed the horn to the gods.  i.e. I put it on my head and my friends took pictures.

And photoshopped them.

unicake3

My birthday is also, almost, Murray’s and my anniversary of starting to work together.  I was technically out of the country on my birthday in 2014, and started working with Murray on the 29th of September, but I call them close enough.  This year, I was lucky enough to ride my horse on my birthday.  A first.  It felt pretty awesome.  I’m trying to come up with some kind of fitting ode to Murray this year.  Other than feeding him unicorn cake, of course.

 logoHorse Junkies United, where I also blog, just underwent a remodel.  One of the things we released with the remodel was a series of blogs about why we blog, and I wrote one that was pretty hard.  I sorted out a lot of my feelings about Murray post-Camelot (much of which I did on here, and with your help) and came to a pretty awesome-feeling conclusion: that I was being a giant cockhead.  I’ve written about much of that on here already, but this blog put it all together in one place and was really soul-cleansing to write.

ecogoldAlso, Ecogold is doing two half pad giveaways right now, if you’re interested.  One over at Heels Down Magazine, which is a pretty fucking swank swag bag for the winner, and one on The Legal Equestrian.

And that is it for me, for now.  Tonight I will recap some jumping exercises and progress Murray and I have made, and tomorrow I TEACH.  Oh undergrads, fear me.

a rough fortnight

So far, the last two weeks haven’t been great.

Two weeks ago, our barn lost a long-time lesson horse and an old friend of mine.  It was the definition of a tragic pasture accident, and there was never any questioning what choice had to be made.  Mighty was the horse who taught me how to jump, and, really, how to ride.  He taught countless beginners to be determined, persistent, and accurate.  He wasn’t always cheerful — okay, he was a straight up grump — but if you rode him right he’d do everything you wanted.  Mighty was the perfect herd boss and firmly yet kindly taught every new horse in his pasture the right way to behave.  When a friend’s retired 30 year old gelding moved in with him, Mighty would shelter Ashton during feeding time and forgo his own food until Ashton was done.  Then Mighty would happily kick all the other geldings off the remaining piles to get his fair share. He was the poster boy for solid citizen, with just a few days here and there when he tried to ditch a beginner after getting thoroughly fed up with him.

might bigger

This weekend, one of my trainer’s first students lost her first horse.  This student took her horse T with her to college, competed him through prelim, and retired him when he told her he couldn’t compete any longer.  In a cruel twist of fate that was no human’s fault, T’s retirement was far too short.  He deserved longer, but at least he is now at peace.

And then Tuesday morning I found our barn cat dying on the barn aisle floor.  Noel was gasping for breath, and I ran to get our barn manager, and the two of us comforted her while she breathed her last.  Something went horribly wrong inside Noel in the last few days and she never let us know.

wpid-wp-1435726926707.jpgNoel was one hell of a barn presence.  Everybody moved around her, because she absolutely was not going to move for you.  Cars, horses, dogs, the tractor — all yielded to her superior willpower.  One of my favourite games was letting Murray sniff her and blow air through her fur on our way out to the arena.  It was a test of patience — Murray typically had more curiosity than Noel had patience — and I was always waiting for the moment she would tell him enough was enough.  Instead, she just rolled her eyes and moved away from the giant blowing thing and flopped down somewhere else.

I’m not sure Noel ever caught a mouse, or even scared any away.  When she arrived seven or eight years ago we thought she was pregnant.  So we waited for the kittens.  And waited.  And waited.  And seven weeks later there were still no kittens and Noel showed no sign of getting bigger or smaller.  And she never did.  She pretended to be pregnant for the rest of her time with us.  We will miss her, the tick, our little lion heart.

We buried her behind my garden and I’ll plant some flowers later this week.

So if you’re paying attention, universe, we’re done for a while.

 

the little things

It feels strange to write about the little problems and triumphs in my life when someone I know, respect, and care for is suffering so deeply.  Another thing that I can’t help but strike me as strange is that I’ve never met this person face to face, yet her mere internet presence has clearly made an impression upon my life.

My life continues here in California, though.  I taught my first two sessions of the Summer today (I have a 100% teaching appointment which will hopefully get me through the paycheck drought of September/October) and while my sections are being purposefully overenrolled to allow more students into the class, I think we’ll have a good time.  Both classes were engaging and fun and that is much preferable to the sleep-deprived zombies I seemed to be teaching last quarter.

IMG_20150617_112358Saw this in Oregon. Made me lawl.

Importantly, I have a couple of opinion questions for you all.  Temps at the show next weekend promise to hit 105 on dressage day (guessing XC will definitely be split) and I suspect this will get our coats waived.  Agree?  This makes me super sad that I won’t get to wear my new Horze soft shell with subtle bling but also means I won’t have to roast my boobies off.  Also, it means Murray will probably behave (I am not above using the weather to my advantage).  However, it means I have to go find a nude or white sports bra — nude is preferable, right? — and make some stock tie adjustments.  Any suggestions from my fellow show-folks on the best way to tie your stock when it runs the risk of slapping you in the face?  Also, will a dime-sized purple unicorn stock pin be out of line?

IMG_20150623_073613Stone cold killer right here.

My ride tonight promised an interesting test next week.  Murray has been having Resistance Face going left the last few weeks so our circles are kinda, uh, squares.  And today he decided to Just Say No to canter departs.  So our beautifully cultivated canter departs — that we got a 7 and 8 on last year at Intro — are now giant piles of crap that shame me.  I know this is at least partially my fault.  In my ride today I specifically wanted to re-crisp up those puppies but when I put my leg on Murray was like “nah” and so I asked with a slightly increasing aid two more times and then went WOMP and he was like “well fuck this shit then!” and poof! No more pretty canter departs.

But for real, what am I supposed to do in that situation?  Let him decide when and where we canter depart?  Alana always advises me to lighten up my aids when he gets fussy and resistant, but this wasn’t even fussy resistance.  He was straight up ignoring me.

LE SIGH. PONIEZ.

We got back to almost-acceptable during our ride, but it took a while.  I had to be like “no remember this, you like these!” and made a HUUUUUGE fuss over Murray when he did a semi-reasonable one which seemed to appease his tortured soul.  Also, my dressage girth when missing which threw me into an absolute apoplexy of rage.  Do people not know my horse is GIRTH CHALLENGED?!?!  And so am I.  I had to borrow a leather girth and it was on so loosely I had to get off to hike it up a bunch of holes.  It was embarrassing.  BUT FOR REAL BRING BACK MY GIRTH.  It’s literally the smallest girth at our barn that’s still in use — no joke — so I GUARANTEE nobody wants it. GIVE IT BACKKKKKKK GREMLINS.

IMG_20150623_182927

Fortunately, my garden has started to yield quite magnificently.  I’ve been snacking on Sun Gold cherry tomatoes off one bush for the last two days, and another is showing the first blush of promise.  Eggplants are starting to come out, but really seem to be getting absolutely scrooged by some kind of aphid pest that is eating the crap out of their leaves.  Kale and basil are taking off and I’ll start some more basil here so I have a continuous crop.  Cucumbers going nuts.  Squash are — as squash will do — spreading out.  There is a heinous watermelon pest eating my vines though — and not even eating the whole vines, just cutting them in the middle — so I let Ellie go all scorched earth on some fossorial mammal tunnels we found today in the hopes that would deter them.

IMG_20150623_180654 IMG_20150623_180658

Only six more rides til show time.

Gulp.

life, the universe, and everything

The answer is, of course, 42.

Thanks for all your support last week, blogger friends!  Due to my deeply procrastinatory nature, I spent literally every spare moment of my life working on my presentation last week.  I didn’t see Murray for five days, but on the up side, my presentation went really well.  I got good feedback, and I didn’t disgrace myself.  Despite being really nervous about my presentation in general, once I started talking I got kinda zen and didn’t have the voice or hand shakes I’d experienced previously.

graphAlso, I made graphs like this! With my own data! MY OWN DATA MAN!  I know not everyone gets excited about graphs like me and Megan, but damn guys.  There is something to creating graphs out of your own data that is awesome.

I had a totally self-indulgent weekend of doing NO WORK and only all the most funnest leisure time activities.  So Saturday I gardened my little heart out, and transplanted my last few seedlings to the garden.  I put in the last of my home-started eggplant and peppers, put in the basil and kale, and conditioned the soil for planting carrots, which is basically why I started this whole garden to begin with.  My whole plan was to feed Murray carrots and sing “Circle of Life” while I did so, because I used his poo to grow them.  Boyfriend helped me build a little wabbit-deterrent fence around those tender greens, as many of my plants have been nibbled by the herbivorous kittens* that seem to populate our barn.  We also planted mint, and I started prepping some mounds for pumpkins which we will transplant in a few weeks.  Ellie helped by taking a dump in the middle of one of my watermelon plants and rolling in the grass.

image (3) image (4)
Regular mint and lemon balm!

* This stems from an argument I had with my boyfriend where I insisted that there are no little fossorial creatures at our barn that would eat my plants. Then my plants got eaten.  I blamed it on the barn cats.

Gardening totally took it out of us, and I declined to ride Murray Saturday.  I did get to see him and pat him and tell him he’s so totally adorable.  I’m kinda getting paranoid that he’s losing all the beautiful topline I’ve worked so hard to put on him, but he’s looking really fabulous weight-wise.  So that is a plus.

Boyrfriend and I also made scotch eggs, which are soft-boiled eggs that you wrap in meat. Then you bread it, then you fry it, AND THEN YOU EAT IT.  They are freaking delicious, though next time we will incorporate cheese and hot sauce.

Saturday I also got a fantastic package from Sarah at Eventing in Color and Beka’s metalworking shop, Straight Shot Metal.  So, I was basically about to buy from Beka’s store, because I couldn’t resist the horseshoe cuff and love metal work, and then I won Sarah’s raffle.  What whaaat!  Beka said she’d make me a gift pack and so I told her my colours (purple and pink, duhhh) and what I got was an AMAZING AWESOME PACKAGE!!!

image (2)Dressage mantra + collaging.

Beka sent me a dressage cuff as well as the thin horseshoe cuff, and I’m wearing both constantly.  I’m very into permanent jewelry — stuff I don’t ever have to take off — and I’ve been wearing these since I got them.  They’re super comfy, even with the computer work I’m always doing.  And they look swanky to boot.  And they jingle!  I love jingling while I walk.

imageI am very clearly not a hand/arm model.  My new bracelets join one I bought in Zambia in 2011 and haven’t taken off since.

Beka also included a bunch of charms which I will review more thoroughly in another post, but this one is absolutely perfect.  It’s copper and stainless, and it says “zen” (says Capt. Obvious, just in case you can’t read…. which isn’t going to help you if you can’t read anyway).  It’s about the size of a dime (best American coin btw) and is the perfect size for a braid charm.  Which is exactly what I need: a braid charm to remind me to be zen.

image (1)Eff. Yes.

Sunday a colic emergency bogarted my riding again, as I had to rush out to my trainer’s house in the morning because one of the horses had an upset tummy.  We administered banamine and waited for the vet to tube him, and at the end of all that I was tired and exhausted and sweaty so Murray got another day off.

All in all, a delightful way to spend a weekend.  Now, on to the big plans for the next five weeks: Prepping for CAMELOT!!!

shit is getting real

Entry for my first recognized horse trials opens today.  So I did what everyone does and registered their horse under their stupid JC name even though I so want to use one of the better names we talked about but… JC, man

murray reg

 

This was, of course, a total procrastinatory tactic because I have basically daily deadlines this week leading up to a huge presentation on Friday.  Just presenting all my research to my entire graduate group and whatever faculty want to come.  No big.

So I’m just going to go ahead and neglect my horse, health, and blog while I finish that shit up.

I did have a fantastic day Sunday shooting the cross country portion of a show.  Nothing to make you want to run prelim like watching horses LOVE their jobs at prelim!

IMG_1316How freaking happy do these two look?!  First training and they were awesome.

IMG_0742That is a galloping fence!

Last night Lainey Ashker commented on my position on an instragram photo. So that was badass.  And liked a selfie. #madeit

LAE is clearly way cooler than me because she uses the word “fleek” and I didn’t even know that was a word until like two weeks ago.

So that’s this week.  See you all after my presentation.

IMG_6847-2