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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Paul and I spent yesterday's standard "date night" carving pumpkins, drinking Fireside Chat Ale from 21st Amendment Brewery, and hanging a spooky spider web (complete with spider) over our front railing! Getting excited for treaters!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday Night

Quick visit out to see Wilbur after work on Tuesday. He's got a new best friend!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ellie's Flying!

Kelly sent along the below video and pick of Ells catching some air with Emma last week! She looks fab! We'll be playing with the big kids soon!


Monday, October 27, 2014

New Front Yard!

Interrupting this regularly scheduled horse content to THANK my fantastic in laws for landscaping our front yard! They spent the entire weekend (their visit) working away and we can't be more excited for our new space!
For some reason this photo has a lot of blue tones


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wilbur Comes Home

A big day on Friday- Wilbur arrived mid-morning at Brown Ranch about two weeks ahead of schedule! A rather last minute decision but more convenient for everyone involved.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day, he jumped off the trailer looking great, and we introduced him into his herd of 5 others in the gelding pasture.

All of the anxiety and nerves I had been feeling evaporated when I saw him trotting (sound- looking!) around his new home!

And then of course I woke up in the night to pouring rain which equals slightly worried Mom. When I stopped out to check how he'd fared after his first night I was pleasantly surprised to see how dry the ground was- the rain had just softened it a little. Of course the group had found the ONLY puddle in the entire 10 acres and Wilbur was coated with an inch of mud from head to toe.
I only stayed for a quick once over- the caked mud was too daunting a task and the weather was threatening. I stopped by Western Saddlery on the way home to grab a few supplies- grooming tools, basic first aid (will be expanding that assortment), a rope halter, and a few other odds and ends.

Sunday was sunny with a slight chill in the air. I stopped out after my Ellie ride and spent some time cleaning him up (what I'm sure will be a futile exercise). A few surface bite marks but nothing outside the norm of acclimating to the herd.
His mane had grown LONG and was matted with mud and tangled with sticks. So.....I cut it off with scissors! Yes! I tried to get the fringed hunter look that Kelly and Brook are so good at but it ended up looking like a chop job. I suppose that's the beauty of having a horse in a field- no one cares what his mane looks like! I feel a little gleeful about it!



Lou photo bombing the two pasture newbies- Diesel and Wilbur

Shows off mane and tongue

Love flat California pasture

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Barn Dinner

SO much fun to meet up with the barn gals for a yummy Monday night dinner at Penrose in Oakland! Great food and friends!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saturday Lesson

Two words.... Swedish Oxer.

Nailed it! Twice!
Lexi and Jinx model the Swedish

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday. Oh Thursday.

Thursday night lessons are always a little rough. It's the end of the week, my calves are sore, and freaking work. I love work- I just don't love airfreighting product that doesn't end up shipping. Holy moly I almost cried a little bit today.

And it's funny- Ells and I don't tend to get along that well at the end of a long day. I'm tired and she thinks she's getting an extra vacation day. While she seems excited to see me I'm sure she's like, "Oh Man. Right when I'm eating dinner. Really? Every time."

Kelly is back for a few weeks between shows and I wanted to get some ride time with her but totally wussed out of doing real jumps and ended up trotting a few crossrails. Kinda fail? I begged into her 11am lesson on Saturday and I am bound and determined to keep up. Or at least I will be until Saturday at 10:45.

Ah well. Enjoyed getting some ride time in. Per the usual Ellie is cute.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wilbur Update: Pulling the Trigger

Trigger has officially been pulled and Wilbur is moving to Brown Ranch the first week of November.

Honestly? I'm f-ing terrified. This is the most "hands on" horse ownership that I've ever experienced.

Without telling Paul (smart move me) I've upgraded him from the 10 acre flat pasture to a smaller paddock with three other horses. Slightly more expensive (really, it's all relative when dealing with horses) but the peace of mind that comes with pulling up in the pouring rain and seeing that he's alive versus tromping around a giant field with a flashlight up to the knees in mud.

I've got a good support system already in place- a group of KMT peeps with horses out there, a friend from an old barn, and a co worker. Not to mention the awesome Natasha (vet).

Despite all my worry (TIME, money, impending doom)  I do feel a small glimmer of excitement. Now don't get me wrong- Ellie is a dream- smart, sensible, sound, and a sweetie- I could not ask for a better horse. But Wilbur is just THAT guy. My heart does little flip flops.
What a stud muffin!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Longest (and Possibly Best) Tuesday

I may have had equal parts the longest and best Tuesday in quite a while.

Up for my 5:30 gym class (SUPER stoked they started an earlier class- I was having trouble getting to work at a reasonable time in the 6:30 class- who am I?)!

Visit to Target today for Halloween decor items! I might have splurged on mini pumpkins/ gourds. And  a fancy light-up spider and pumpkin for the window. So cheesy!

My cheap, cheap, cheap Tee's came in from One Horse Threads- I'm all about horses on my clothes- particularly if they are on sale!

The Driver's License finally arrived. Now I am no longer a hooligan driving around with an expired license (for 4 weeks! and flying with my passport)! Too bad the new address isn't on there!

And I pulled the trigger, sent in Wilbur's board agreement, and he's coming home the first week of November!
Spooky!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sunday Lesson: Medium Canter

Had a great Sunday lesson with Brook- she's awesome. So positive and encouraging!

We worked over a single cross rail and a little bounce line of a pole in, crossrail, pole out. All with the goal of focusing on a nice, steady canter. Because guess what?! Ellie has been cantering all on her own with just a supporting leg!

Why was this exercise so great? Because we know a few things about Ellie. She's a huntress and will track down that fence, rider be damned. She also has an enormous, ground covering stride for such a wee thing.

When we're in what I would consider a forward medium canter, she's actually about a half foot or foot too long, and she she spots a distance she extends that even further, making it feel like we're zooming Mach 10 at the fence.

So we worked on bringing that canter down just a notch which allows her to extend just slightly for that  gap if needed. Truth be told she added a few times when I thought she was leaving and I ended up on her neck. She popped over with pricked ears and a smile. Gotta love a horse that takes care of her Mom.

And on the home front we have two cats that are finally starting to get along!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Meat Party

Jen (of Jen and Pie) invited Paul and I to attend a dinner party, or "meat party" as she called it. Jen's husband is Argentinian and apparently in Argentina they eat a lot of meat.

The dinner started with giant slices of provolon slightly melted on the grill and devoured with bites of baguette. Then course after course of meat off the grill- sausages, skirt steak, short rib, chicken- topped with homemade chimmichuri sauce. A watermelon salad with feta and basil (a-mazing).  Topped off with a few bottles of Rose, Tea, and cookies from La Farine.

Quite a few of the attendees were horse people so naturally the conversation ebbed and flowed around various horse topics. Such a fun group and a great evening!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

31x31: Challenge 2

It was a happy coincidence that I stopped by the barn tonight! I got to complete challenge 2 of 31x31- Body Clipping. I have to be honest here, I didn't clip the entire horse, just a bit of her neck and side.

Brook, self taught, has been clipping for years and has it down to a science- about an hour and a half per horse. Her take? Chestnuts are the most difficult color- errors are easy to spot.

When we got down to the nitty gritty- an easy clip comes down to equipment, equipment, equipment. And a clean horse. Brook gives a mineral oil rise before a clip to insure the coat is soft and conditioned.

Then you just follow the direction of the hair!

I am going to follow up the completion of this challenge with a full clip on her next round, Brook supervising of course!
The 31x31 List
1. Body Clip
2. Give IM & IV Shots
3. Pull a Mane
4. Polo Wrap
5. Set a course (including gymnastic differences to trot poles, bounce, 1 stride)
6. Clean a stall
7. Sweat Wrap
8. Poultice
9. Braid- Mane and Tail
10. Name and find all tendons, ligaments, bones in the lower leg
11. Emergency response: choking, colic, etc- signs and treatment
12. Administer Bute, Banamine, Ace- circumstance and dosage
13. Hook up, drive, and back up a trailer
14. Pull a sprung shoe
15. Check vital signs- temperature, respiratory, pulse
16. Palpate major soft tissue structures in the leg
17. Clean a water trough
18. Tie a quick release knot and learn to ground tie
19. Pack and wrap feet
20. Learn identifiers of body condition scoring
21. Clean sheath/ teats
22. Basics of saddle fitting
23. Nutrition- what Ellie eats and why along with setting up grain for the barn
24. Properly fit a bridle
25. Groom at a show
26. Make up a basic first aid kit and understand basic shoeing tools
27. Learn anatomy of a horse and basic conformation
28. How to twitch- when to use and basic methods
29. Rasp a hoof
30. De-worm
31. Learn basic massage and stretch techniques

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ellie Gets a Visit!

Ellie was lucky to have two very special friends come visit the barn tonight. Two work buds from the East (coast) are in town for a few days and we made trek out to meet Ellie. We only had a little bit of time- it's getting dark so early- so we took her on a walk around the property in the last of the light.

A boarder from another barn was doing a similar circuit and when Ellie spotted the second horse she reared like a little lipizzaner. I kid you not-  full on rear.
She's so docile it always catches me a little bit off guard when she does something so un-Ellie like. Naturally she likes to embarrass me in front of my friends.

Ells was placated by some carrots and pets while Kasey (from the Mowery farm) had nothing but sweet things to say about how cute she was (duh). Soon we said goodnight and headed to Chipotle. Classy ladies.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Joys of Having a Kitten

I had just sat down to write a nice post and then the little asshole (also known as Felix the Cat) spilled my entire glass of wine (and I have a heavy pour) all over my desk and floor. This was especially painful as we (mostly Paul) had just cleaned the entire house and now my office smells like a bar.
Yup, Ellie pretty much sums it up!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Twinning!

It's not uncommon to run into someone in the office wearing the same pair of jeans or the same shirt as you. But the whole outfit? When I rounded the corner with my morning coffee and saw Alison we had a good laugh and snagged some shots for social media.

We attempted a jumping high five but it didn't quite work out as planned!
Nonetheless we managed to get a cute candid of twin day! Love my co-workers and cheers to wearing breeches to work!