Thursday, January 29, 2015

I am an Irresponsible Horse Owner

Today I got a text from the barn manager at Brown Ranch who also keeps her gelding, Cooper, in the pasture with Wilbur. She was letting me know that she noticed a huge tangle in Wilbur's tail and suggested I work it out before the tail starts to break.

Some people might be like- "scuse me?" I was like- "You are the most amazing person ever. Call me on my shit." Because really? He's had that knot for like a month and every time I go out and visit him I think, "Hey Emily, at some point you should be a responsible person and make your horse presentable."  That text shamed me into finally dragging some Cowboy Magic and Avocado Spray (as well as my trusty, PINK, Oster comb) out the the pasture.

At first I tugged at it a little tentatively and then I just started pulling. It was less of a knot and more of a fancy french braid. Seriously I actually wondered if some small child had gone out there and braided his tail.

But even beyond cajoling me into taking care of my horse, the text showed me that someone else is keeping watch- which in my tenuous attempt at "self-care" is worth its weight in gold!
"After" tail. Can we say "ready to show?"

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Date Night

Paul and I are resurrecting date night on Wednesday night and despite my late arrival home we had a jolly time at an Oakland dive bar- The Alley- over in the Grand Lake area.

Now, The Alley isn't really about the drinks- more about the character, karaoke, and they actually serve a very good steak. At $12.50 a plate I'm a relatively cheap date.

Although out of character for me, after one Anchor Steam, I suggested doing a shot. Like what? I was the gal in college that either sipped shots or threw up (for real). Paul pointed out that it was good that after all these years I could still surprise him. I'm not sure if I should take that as a compliment.
It was just one of those days and Paul suggested Tequila.

Then we headed home. It is a school night after all.....and we're old.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On to Ellie

Despite the slightly shaky experience earlier with Wilbur, I was rarin' to go and ride Ellie on Saturday afternoon. That ride turned into a longe with a fresh mare, 45 minutes of gabbing with the girls, and a few pretty solid walk/ trot transitions (clearly I love that exercise). Lovely day at the barn!
I included a video I got while at OR with Ellie and Emma- she loves to jump!
Who is this person holding my reins?

Love this screen capture from the video with Emma. She is concentrating! 

Sarah and Lexi- best barn buds eva!

Monday, January 26, 2015

I am a Responsible Horse Owner

When Wilbur first arrived and Dr. Natasha came out to do her checkup, she wrote, amongst other things, a list of wormers that Wilbur needed and the appropriate months to administer them. 

Like a good soldier I promptly ordered the set from Smartpak and then let it sit in my office for the next month  plus. This past Sunday, the only day this month that I'm not working (not kidding), somewhere from the dark recesses of my brain I managed to remember that we had to do a dose in January.

I opened the box, translated Dr Natasha's writing, and said to myself, "Remember- it's the purple one." Then I did what most people do when they understand the concept but have never performed the action. I watched a YouTube video.

With the wormer in my back pocket, halter over the shoulder, and a vague sense of trepidation I found myself face to face with the beast.

After all that suspenseful build up......there was some head tossing until I finally managed to shove the tube in his mouth and squirt the stuff in. I would call the procedure mildly successful. Most of it ended up down his throat, a little on my hands, and a little on hay pile. I attempted to salvage what was on the ground by making hay/wormer cookie sandwiches which he ate a little resentfully. The allure of the cookie was too much for him.
And I actually have no idea if you're allowed to feed little bits of wormer on cookies. We'll find out if he's still standing tomorrow.
If I did in fact inadvertently try to kill my horse....well....someone just let me know in the comments please!
Tracy- I am sending you this binder to decipher 

All of the wormers

I don't think Wilbur loves it

The two aggressive horses in the herd have moved and I love the quiet bunch he's with!

He is still alive

Someone left jars of jam in front of my locker with no note. I'm slightly concerned that I've stolen someone's preservatives.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Outdoor Retailer

My blogger friend, Lauren of SMTT, wrote a post a while ago about the Makings of a Great Blog. One of her callouts is having dependable content- which is absolutely true- I visit the sites that post daily and the ones that don't fall off my radar. 
Not that I am necessarily in the business of collecting readers- but even with Em is a Gem I posted in an incredibly regular cadence of Sunday- Thursday each week. 
It bugs my routine-centric tendencies when I don't get to blogging every day despite best intentions. 

I was home for a full day after Denver before heading out to Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City. As horse folks, we're generally aligned with the great outdoors and this trade show is simply a mecca for every outdoor brand. From the enormous set-ups by North Face, Marmot, Under Armour to the pro-deals from Smartwool and Danner- it is easily and away my favorite show of the year. 

Relaxing (and blogging!) for a few days at home before hitting Philly on Wednesday for the English AETA show! 
View of the Rockies heading into the show each day....before the sun comes up!

Notice the Elkhorn Chandelier?

Outside of Salt Palace waiting for our shuttle back to the hotel!

Pretty sweet conference room!


I've seen dogs (even a Lama!) at the show- but Kenneth the cat was a first!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Denver Market

Busy, busy, busy over here at Denver Market- the biggest Western trade show of the year! Ready to come home!
So many Vendors! 4 Floors and countless expo halls...

A late night dinner ends with a dead car battery. A nice guy gives us a jump!

Good Morning!

Typical Dinner. Harry Potter and Beignets!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Layover Day

Paul and I had such a wonderful time in Hawaii and I have tons of awesome photos to share from our adventures! Sadly it won't be today-  my in-between day finds me running around like a nutter - laundry, dry cleaning, horse check-ins, gym (what!?!), packing, wine drinking. Oh- and work. I might just pull an all-nighter before the 6am flight to Denver tomorrow. Or not.

Loved the setting sun over Wilbur and friend enjoying dinner.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Goals Meeting

Every year Kelly puts together a goals packet for everyone one the team. The questionnaire asks about short term goals, long term goals, showing goals, etc.

We then round up one on one to discuss and execute a plan to meet those objectives. I really appreciate that KMT is focused on helping riders achieve their goals!

Today I treated Kelly, Emma, and Brook to lunch at Zachary's Pizza to review plans for Ellie in the upcoming year.
It was great to have the entire team together to take the pulse of Ellie's progress and identify areas of improvement.

I'm probably to most excited about the revised lesson schedule. Currently it's a bit, shall we say, flexible. While I really appreciate being able to jump in and out of lessons, I've found that without a set schedule I'm less likely to a. actually schedule lessons and b. work hard in them. Additionally we're experiencing a bit of "square peg, round hole" in trying to fit in with the groups. What we really need are shorter privates focused on the things that we're struggling with.
One of the primary challenges is finding a time that fits with both the KMT schedule and my work schedule. I hadn't realized that Emma had been arriving early to beat the traffic so once I'm home from travel in Feb we're going to begin twice weekly lessons at 7am, a Saturday pop in, and Sunday fun day.

I think I'll do much much better with a set schedule to follow and we'll go from there!
Until then- see you in a few weeks Ellie!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

101 Dressage Exercises

Look what came today! 101 Dressage Exercises! No, I am not stepping into the dressage arena just yet (although my distinct lack of jumping makes it feel that way)- however one of my goals for this year is that I approach all of my free ride times with Ellie equipped with a plan of attack. Or just any plan really.
I have a feeling that when I enter into a ride with set exercises in mind that I will likely be much more successful than when I arrive in walk, trot, canter mode.

And of course who doesn't need a copy of the "bible" aka. Hunter Seat Equitation by George Morris. Can I get an amen?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I'm feeling disorganized in this new year. Which is why I did not set goals. Case in point- my dear friend got married in September and I am just now sending a wedding gift. So tacky.
And why am I sending this gift 5 months after the fact?
No good reason. When I got my new cell phone (already a month after her wedding) my text messages, where her address is stored, did not port over. I still have the phone- it was just a matter of getting it to a place (my home instead of work) where I could charge it long enough to pull the address. Literally the phone and I just needed to be in the same place with a charger.

So I thought that since I'm not seeing the horses this week (busy in the office with proto review for Spring '16), and have no good new riding news, that I might make a list of things I need to do here on this blog to try and temper my mind.

* Send Tracy from Fly on Over the horses info so she can build my binders! This is a must do now that I need to be in charge of when Wilbur gets shoes and wormed. Right now I have the info she needs scattered between work and the barn. Organize all the horse things!
Due Date: Review what Tracy needs from me on Thursday morning, bring current binder of vet notes to the barn and write down feed instructions. Send info to Tracy on Friday while flying.

* Write down friend's addresses and birthdays in new 2015 diary. Clearly phones cannot be trusted and I cannot be left to my own devices.
Due Date: Flying on Friday

* Set up monthly training for Wilbur with Amanda. This should be pretty easy- I've already met her, just need to shoot and email and drop off a check. Perhaps I should be there for his first session.
Due Date: Realistically? End of January

* Create Pinterest Boards of the furniture I want to buy for the living room.
Due Date: I promised to have to Paul by next Wednesday so this will be flying home Tuesday project

So. I guess written down this list isn't too bad and it looks like if I follow my deadlines I will have most of it completed by next week. Of course I've managed to cram it into 10 hours of flight time to and from....Hawaii!

But for the rest of tonight, until the furnace is fixed, I'll huddle with the kitties by the heater in the bedroom!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Lookin' Fresh

She was in fact not. Fresh. At all. Back to basics in our Saturday lesson.....walk to trot transitions. Emma is mostly a genius and sometimes I wonder if I have any thought in my brain at all.

The few times I managed to get out and ride Ellie in the evening has been, frankly, a dismal failure. She flings her head about (what you saw in the beginning of the video? It's not just reserved for play time) and I worry that she's uncomfortable, that she's going to buck me off, or a combination of the two.

Not so friends. She is just trying to get out of work as illustrated when we did 15 walk steps, 15 trot steps, and continued to pare that down to 5 and 5. At the start of the sequence she would fling and we would ignore while giving her a boot with the spur and carrying onward. By the end she would merrily bounce into her trot without batting an eye.

When we repeated this exercise on Sunday morning she spent less time flipping me the bird and more time trotting forward, albeit sort of grudgingly. I'll take it.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Livin' the Pasture Life

What a wonderful sight!
New green grass! Dry Pasture! I think Wilbur might be ready to go back to work- he followed me all the way back to the gate....and it wasn't just because of my cookies!
Love this!

Wilbur and a New Friend

"Let's go Mum!"

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Some Rules are Made to be Broken

A play day to celebrate the New Year! Some might call this turnout in the indoor ring.....
I call it free-longing.