Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks

I can't tell you how lucky I am to have the people I have in my life. And that includes the Blogger/Wordpress crew as well. You all make a huge difference in my life and I hope you know that.

I'm not a huge holiday person but only because, like I'm sure a lot of you out there, I have a very low tolerance for my family. Me? Low tolerance? Low patience level? What? How could this be!

I just can't.

I started off real early... 4:30 am to be exact. Took care of the pup I'm staying with, grabbed a coffee at my favorite coffee shop, rushed across town and took care of the most adorable ponies ever, stopped at cleaned the schoolie barn at a local equine facility, and headed back to the house I started at to shower up for Thanksgiving. Luckily through "Happy Thanksgiving" messages, Lauren from My Life With Charlie stated Starbucks was open. Coffee #2? Definitely thinking ahead.

I made it about 20 minutes with the family... Even before the rest of them actually showed up. How awesome was it that at that moment I looked out and Brantley was finishing his lunch. Yes, my Mom's house is right next to the barn I keep Brantley at and I can basically see him from the kitchen. You'd think that'd be pretty awesome right? Hahahahaha.

I had about 30 minutes before they showed up. I really wanted to just throw on a vest and hit the trails but I knew that I would be on the shit list. So? Mini jump session? Oh hell yeah. Definitely took the edge off. If you can't drink away the anxiety... Ride it out.

Right when I was finishing up the rest of them showed up and my aunt and uncle came up with their little girl. It was nice to see them. I can't believe how much Brantley loves kids.

Made it through dinner before I had to go back to work. Food was good and I ate like a Marine before anything else happened. I ran up to the barn for a few more needed pony kisses.

I am so thankful to have him.
That hole in my heart will never be filled but he's squeezed his way in there 
and just made more room.
With my head in the clouds and his feet on the ground, there's nothing we can't do.

Need to get out there again tomorrow with the boys.
I miss Chevy when I'm away at other houses... Definite could use that snuggle tonight.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Finally taking some time to blog a little. Really need to get back into the swing of things. That goes for kickboxing and running too. I'd like to start up again before I have to start doing the New Year Resolution things. Speaking of that, the holiday season is upon us and I am all signed up for the Blogger Gift Exchange! ARE YOU?! I did it for the first time last year and absolutely loved it.

So on to other things. Brantley and I kind of hit a road block this week but we worked really hard at the Equine Affaire (which I will talk about) so I'm not taking it personally. He did definitely get a few days off to do mysterious swollen/squinty eye. Weird... And now he's got some mysterious swelling in his right front fetlock area... No heat, no tenderness, and no lameness soooo light easy work. Seems to help it go away a little but he's not stocked up so I don't know.

Went a nice quiet trail ride today and brought Chevy along. Both were very good. Brantley had some points where he really want to turn around but I couldn't figure out why. He wasn't being a jerk but he did get a little strong a few times. I just asked for him to point his nose and followed through with my leg and we got through it. Had a little trot and mini adventure over the bridges. All in all, I'm happy.

Okay, here we go.

Equine Affaire!

Thursday - Up bright and early, ready to go. Wendy trailered because she's amazing and I drove up with Kate. Brantley settled in great and we met up with Lauren. Had a little work out in the outdoor by the barn he was stalled in, but wanted to definitely get up bright and early to work in the Coliseum. We watched Fantasia which was amazing. The clinician I was working with that weekend performed a tribute to "Man from Snowy River" - That was much appreciated.

Friday - Woke up bright and early (4:30am), showered, and borrowed Kate's car to get to the fair grounds. Brantley was happy to eat breakfast with me. Groomed and booted up, he walked in the Coliseum like he lived there. I wasn't sure what to expect so I did ground work with him for... Well until they kicked us out. He was so curious watching the other horses work in the arena.

Received a text from the office, they had money for me since I never got my packet in the mail. When we arrived, the woman in charge asked if Brantley wanted to be a demo horse for a western saddle fit and a massage that afternoon. Ummm... YES!

Unfortunately... he wasn't okay with it.

The saddle fitter was so great and understanding that Brantley was very nervous and not 100% into the situation. Small matted area to stand, three sets of bleachers surrounding him with lots of eyes. I don't think I had seen him that anxious and worried in years, but he looked to me and not once did I feel the situation was unsafe.

The fitter was great and followed him around when he just couldn't stand still any longer. I felt terrible because I couldn't take that energy and put it to use like I usually do. He kept looking at me asking, "Where can I go? What can I do?" I felt awful about it. Then Kate walked over with some treats and voila! We made it through our first demo.

I worked him for the rest of the afternoon and took a break right before the massage. He walked to the same building into the same arena like he was a pro... The woman doing the demo seemed pretty great. She asked if she could hold him while she did the demo and I said that was fine because he seemed to like her... Notice I keep saying, "seemed".

She let him walk all over her. She gave him no support. It just made him worse. He even stepped on her toes and she let him wrap his leadline almost completely around her. She hushed and she cooed to him thinking it would help but as you know, it makes it worse. What made the whole situation worse? She finally gave up and handed him back to me while saying (over the microphone in front of everyone), "He needs to go back to the barn, I'm truly afraid he's going to colic tonight."


Let's just say, Lauren and I walked him back and within 30 feet of leaving the building, he was dragging his nose on the ground again. Lesson learned? Brantley is not a demo horse.

By the way... He didn't colic... He happy trotted and loped around the arena and nibbled on dinner.

Saturday: Day 1 of Clinics!

Bright and early again, but no fooling around. I wanted to ride. And I did. Who was awesome?
Lauren showed up after we had warmed up and had a nice work out with him too which was nice to see. Just seeing my guy in action with someone else makes me feel like I really did something good.

First clinic was at 9:30 so we ran to Starbucks and hurried back to get ready. It was just a ground work session which was great. Of course it was in the building where the demos were but luckily we showed up a little early and had the ring to ourselves so I could really send him around.

We did our introductions and when the clinician asked what B's name was I said, "Brantley." He repeated, "Brantley... Like..." and I saw the light bulb go on. "Yes... Like Brantley Gilbert." Which he also repeated on the microphone which was followed by laughing. Okay okay, I have a problem!

Brantley was pretty nervous again and didn't want to stand still. I didn't know if I should correct him the way I usually do or just wait for the clinician to tell me what to do. Another horse had the same problem and he helped that owner in the same manner I would've so, I followed suit! I think there was really only one time he came over to fix what we were doing.

I guess we did a little too well in the session because the other sessions, Brantley didn't get much more attention which felt great because apparently I knew what I was doing but at the same time... I was being needy.

It was nice to see him work with B though when he did.

Saturday continued: Session 2

Later that afternoon we were supposed to have our riding session but unfortunately, there wasn't enough time. We did get in the arena to continue some ground work with their headstalls but Dan had asked if the horses were having issues with the crowd, that he'd work with each horse individually but we would most like run out of time. We all agreed we'd rather have happy horses than something bad happen. Of course we all secretly wanted him to pick Brantley but... He didn't. Oh well! It was good to get in and out, and we ended up riding in the indoor warm up arena instead.

Sunday: Session 3 & 4!

Sunday I think was my favorite day. Kate came out to ride which I really loved. It's nice having a morning buddy! Plus, it made me feel good that she could enjoy Brantley in that setting.

Then we had our morning round pen session. First dibs? BRANTLEY! He was a complete rock star. Would you think any different? This whole session was about starting a horse at liberty. Dan kept saying over and over about how great he was and how he liked his sensitivity. I couldn't stop smiling, especially when he said, "He gets distracted easily, does he like to watch the Disney channel?" I said, "Yes... We're a lot alike."

We didn't get to take part in the long-lining clinic which I was pretty disappointed about especially because that's what I really wanted to take part in. But I was blindfolded and whipped around the arena. Yes... If you heard anything about this clinic, I was the one doing the Spanish walk and lying down. Going around and around with your eyes shut really makes you quite dizzy after a while.

All I have to say about that weekend was, I will never forget it and I will try to get in again next year. It was an absolutely incredible experience even if I did miss out on a couple of things. I had an amazing support group with me and I couldn't have done it without them... And Starbucks.

Can't wait to give it another go!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WW: Equine Affaire Prep

WW: Equine Affaire Prep

Now for the tease!

All pictures courtesy of Polar Square Designs - Kate Taylor

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


FIRST OFF! Thank you everyone who commented on my last post and I'm sorry that I didn't responded individually but it couldn't have been possible without your support, because you guys are awesome. <3

Yeah, the situation above just happened.

It's only 9 days away.

I know there is a lot of stuff going on in the horse world that I should probably discuss and comment on but honestly... When things get crazy like wars over blanketing, BLANKETING! I kind of just have to step back and be thankful for my own bubble.

And I love the amazing people, horsie and non-horsie, in my bubble.

And then there's this guy... Who loves his blanket by the way.

This is the face I got when I said hey, you ready to wake up and be on the trailer by 6am?!

I won't lie, Brantley has been a little bit of a turd but the amount of stuff we did in October compared to the last few months or actually, since the Spring? Zip. We've lucky been able to go out for a few gallops with Zoe and Kate but nothing compared to what we have been doing. I've been working but tush off trying to make money so I don't go completely broke with all my Equine Affaire checks cash... I do have to say though, working for myself? May not be paying off bills as fast as I'd like but, I feel like I have a soul again and seeing the positive in things again is wonderful.

Hope everyone had a great start to their month and reached their October goals - and if not, just make it a goal for November and you're set. My November Goal? Survive Equine Affaire! Tear Drop Winken: November 2015

Tear Drop Winken