Thursday, February 26, 2015


Ellie seems to take everything with a grain of salt and it was no different when the barn was doing some construction on the back walls of the stalls this past Saturday.

She spent her day chillin' with the Skye Valley crew while her stall was being refurbished. Always the spectator, she'd grab a mouthful of hay and slowly chew over the partition while watching the show.

Can you spot her?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Review: Complete Printable Horse Binder

I was pretty darn excited when Tracy from Fly on Over Eq opened her Etsy Shop The Printable Pony. I purchased two Complete Horse Binder sets and in her words "The Printable Pony’s Printable Horse Binder is a one-stop spot for all of your horse’s important information and documents. Perfect for keeping your equine files and paper clutter organized, these printables combine to create an incredible equine management binder system for the home or barn by keeping all valuable information centralized in one location. "

It's neat to be able to support the community in entrepreneurial spirit and frankly, I needed something to keep me on track for Wilbur's various appointments.

Once I had actually made the transaction it took me a good long while to actually get Tracy the info she needed to create the document. Rather than read her (very) simple instructions which detailed submitting name, age, and breed- I chose instead to assume that she needed EVERYTHING all the way down to hay type in order to build my binders.

Tracy had my printables turned around in just a few days and I promptly visited Office Max. Going whole hog on this one I got both books laminated and a set of dry erase markers so I can easily make updates and changes.

I brought them home today and went to work on Wilbur's book. It's so neat to have all this info in one spot and the binders include some great pages of actionable add ons like an emergency contact form that I can tape to my locker and a stall card that I can hang on the gate.

Always a fan of a checklist- my two favorites in this set include Packing for a Horse Show and inventorying First Aid. Maybe Tracy's budget worksheet will finally get me to put numbers to paper.

And finally there's an entire calendar year to update as a visual scheduling tool- and Tracy has been kind enough to make sure I don't miss out on any major horse events- notice the Rolex in April?

Thanks Tracy! I'm excited to develop these binders into great tools!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pinched Nerve

I'd been feeling a little soreness in my right shoulder, which I attributed to funny sleeping, until I picked up my laptop bag to go to Montana. Ouch.

While I don't know exactly what is going on my guess would be a pinched nerve in the rotator cuff area and I spent most of the weekend with an icepack strapped to my upper arm trying to be relatively immobile.

Of course it is hard to let your primary arm live entirely without duty when you need it to help with simple tasks.... like pulling up your pants.

I've reached out via email to my Doctor in hopes that she'll refer me to someone who can give me a shot of the good stuff or just cut it off (seriously- I've had a few "sever the infected arm" Walking Dead moments recently).

In the meantime I'll just remember fondly to a time when I could hug my horse without wanting to punch someone. I have a mean left hook.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

To Pelham or Not to Pelham

Kelly had me lesson on Thursday in a short shanked rubber Pelham with a converter (I don't have enough dexterity to manage two reins) and honestly? I liked how she went in it. Ellie can get a little heavy in her front while I try to engage her hind and whether it was the early morning chill or the new bit she seemed to carry herself in a more uphill and balanced way.
I tried it again today, Sunday funday, but since I came prepared with no plan we tootled around without getting that same focused ride.

I'd like to use it again in my lessons this week and continue to evaluate.
I know this group has a penchant for bits so I'm curious to hear examples of Pelham use and how it has aided your rides.

I think Ellie likes the extra bling. She's so vain.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Do you know what time it is Mom?
And I managed the gym tonight! Tortilla Soup is on the stove for dinner. Rockin' my Thursday schedule!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lobster Roll

I've been in Vegas for the past two days on a quick work trip to the Platform Trade Show and totally forgot to take pictures save for this Lobster Truck lunch stop. Well worth the long line for some fresh air and sunshine!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Good Man Part Two: A Day in the Life Gone Awry

Warning: Graphic photos and content ahead.

11:45am: Shortly after we arrive at Shiloh West I notice Paul throwing loose bits of hay into Ellie's stall. We catch up with a couple friend of ours for a few minutes and as I start to get Ellie ready to go Paul remarks that the chlorine in the pool yesterday must have really dried out his skin- he was feeling itchy.

12:30pm: I noticed a little redness in his face and he wandered off to the bathroom to investigate.

2pm: Fast forward to our arrival home- where he remarks that he thinks he might have been allergic to something at the barn and has a few red bumps on his face.

3pm: I ignore him, classic hypochondriac symptoms, and we go furniture shopping at West Elm.

9:45pm: Getting ready for bed Paul mentions that this rash has moved down his arms and thighs. I suggest poison ivy.

10pm-12am: I wake up on random occasions to see Paul's reading light and/or get cat cuddles.

12:30am: Paul wakes me up to tell me the reaction is getting worse, he's going to a Walgreens to get Benadryl, and that he was going to sleep on the couch.

1:17am: I hear a car door slam, but no garage door, so get up to investigate. See Paul return home through the front door and he stays downstairs to sleep on the couch.

1:20am: "Thank God," I think selfishly. I have to be up at 3am for a flight.

1:25-3am: Sleep, but have dreams related to being responsible, which must mean I was hoping to get the rash as well to get out of travel. Feel slightly itchy.

7:35am: Land in Las Vegas and am greeted by this....
Jesus. This always happens. Inevitably I say "no biggie" and Paul ends up with a staph infection or something, Wish I was kidding.
Topical and oral steroids and he'll be back to normal in 2-3 weeks. The Doc said it was an allergic reaction to some combination of airborne things- a combination that may or may not ever occur again.
So. That happened. And now Paul may never go to the barn again. Frankly- I wouldn't blame him!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Good Man

Why Paul decided to join me on my two barn pilgrimage on President's Day is beyond me. He hasn't seen Wilbur since he's come home so it was great to see them catch up. Now Paul knows where Wilbur lives so I can send him on after work missions out to Brown Ranch.

Ellie seemed to recognize her audience and strutted her stuff! Also love the weight on her- the "gastro stuff" seems to be helping!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Day in the Life....

Tracy from Fly on Over did a great post detailing a "day in her life" and then did something awesome by turning it into a blog hop! Because really? Who doesn't want a sneak peek into how others fit everything in!

I chose to chronicle today's events because this schedule will soon become the norm every Tuesday and Thursday. Enjoy!

5:20: Alarm goes off and I hop *slowly* out of bed, grab a quick shower, snag my prepacked bag, and zoom out the door

5:50: Swing through Peet's for a much needed coffee

6:22: Arrive at the barn and sit in front of the barn bathroom space heater mustering up the energy to get Ellie out. While I'm in there one of the guys turns on the arena lights and begins dragging.

6:55: Ellie is tacked up and I am ON! Emma arrives just in time for my 7am lesson. Ellie is in forward form again and we have fun trotting and cantering around (minus a few bucks). Love them spurs!

7:30: Jump off, get Ellie put away, and tack cleaned.

8: Thank Emma- what a great way to start the day! Jump in my car and alternate between analyzing my lesson, listening to talk radio, and being stressed about work.

8:35: Arrive at the office, switch out tall boots for Toms in the parking lot, and decide that breeches instead of jeans would suffice for work attire.
Spend a moment feeling sad about the clutter in my trunk and vowing to wash saddle pads.
9-12:10: Meetings. Unexpected meetings, meetings that run long, meetings that I am running late to. All the meetings.

12:15: Realize that I am a bit jittery from all my coffee. Coworker and I divide and conquer- I go to Chipotle and she makes a Target run (*cough* Valentine's stuff *cough*). My youngest sister confirmed on the phone tonight that I am basically the worst person ever.

On my way out the door I run into our CEO. As we chat about the biz for a moment, she gives me a once over, and I immediately rethink my decision to wear the breeches. Too late!

12:33: Back at my desk to tackle all of the stuff! One of those days where there is so much to do yet nothing seems to get done!

1:30: Take a moment to visit with my "cube dog" Zoe!

2:15: A friend stops by my desk to tell me she's horse shopping. We huddle to look at videos and discuss.

4:30: Some visitors poke their heads in. They must be getting rid of samples because I end up with some loot! Is it free? I'll take it!
I also took the opportunity to open a package that arrived while I was out of town- some new show I have to do a little showing right?
5:35: I look up from my work pile and realize that I'm going to be late to the gym if I don't skedaddle!

5:40-6:20: Race towards home (and by race I mean slowly crawl), swearing intermittently at other drivers while mumbling to myself about work.

6:22: Run inside, change, leave for gym.

6:37: Cannot. find. a. place. to. park. Late for class. Feeling equal parts annoyed and tired. Decide to go to the grocery (originally planned for after gym) to pick up salad, blue cheese crumbles, and pears.

7: Pull into home (again), leave everything in the car, and go for a walk. I just wanted to get moving! Tomorrow is a new day and I will go to the gym! It's been so hard to go on the random days that I've been home. MUST get back to schedule!

7:30-9: Do catbox, put away new things, wrap Valentine's gift, start blog, fix salads, prep for tomorrow.

9-9:30: Paul gets home from swimming, we start dinner, and I insist on watching an old episode of Top Chef.

9:45: In bed rereading "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

10: Hit publish on this blog and lights out! That's a wrap on this day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Brisk Trot

I stepped off the plane today into drop-dead gorgeous California weather. I don't know if it was the chill in Bozeman or the stale airport air that made the weather seem so extraordinary, but it was that perfect temperature for breeches and a tee shirt.

Straight from the airport to a prescheduled lesson on Ellie- Emma taught me today in our covered outdoor ring (the big outdoor is still too muddy from the weekends rain).
When Emma came out I relayed that in the, about 4, times I've ridden Ellie since the first of the year we've 1. stuck with our tried and true walk trot exercise, 2. the head tossing has gone away, 3. she is like molasses and without constant, nagging leg she peters out step after step.
And then I remind her again that I've only ridden four times in the past month and a half.

Now Emma has a British accent. So it's pretty hilarious that after I finish my diatribe she looks at Ellie and says in British baby talk- "Ellie- you're a liar. Stop lying to your Mum." Apparently they do not have the "slow as molasses" problem in their working relationship.

With that we get to work and planned to add in some trot to canter short transitions in the same vein as our walk to trot transitions. And true to form I'm huffing and puffing away trying to keep Ellie going forward.
Bless Emma's heart- she stops me and takes my spurs, which had been resting low on my boot to avoid accidental, leg fatigue poking and adjusts them up. "Give her a good poke and make her carry herself," she says.
Sure enough, that inch adjustment was just what I needed to get her engaged. So off we went- performing leg yields, circles, and canter transitions.
Additionally we worked on taking more of a feel of her mouth and getting her to engage the back end while staying soft in the front.
A productive lesson on a much more forward horse.
Snapchat courtesy of Lexi

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Just a quick spin through Montana!
Apparently this is the Bozeman version of an economy car!

Roost- awesome lunch of, what else?, fried chicken and sweet tea!

If I lived by a Murdoch's I would never shop anywhere else!

Would not be complete without a chick sighting!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Tough Mudder

Despite a rainy weekend I was glad get out and see Wilbur embracing the "muddy" life!

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I caught Ellie mid bite and think she looks a bit mulish right here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Adult Ammy Manifesto

In lieu of attempting any original content I wanted to share out the well written post, The Ammy Manifesto, by Sprinkler Bandit.

Now back to bed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Finally Home and Under the Weather

I'm stuck in that annoying place between being not quite sick enough to justify staying home from work, but just sick enough that everything requires that extra bit of effort.

Paul is coming home with Thai food and we're going to catch up on episodes of The Walking Dead. I did have a chance to stop out, enjoy breathing some fresh air, and snuggle with the Elle.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What Did I Bring Home from AETA?

A head cold.

And a pair Knix Wear Undies, my AETA treat.

Spring is always a challenging show- the weather is terrible, flights are brutal, attendance is limited (Paul asked who in the world would be there on Superbowl Sunday. The answer? No one).

I go to AETA for three reasons:

1. Retail partners. I love getting the face to face time with our accounts. I don't often get the show the line so I'm always eager for walk ins- it's not hard to be passionate about the English biz. Most of the team spent the Superbowl having dinner at the Melting Pot while entertaining clients. I was busy (between Katy Perry and fondue) showing an account from the CLE area photos that my Dad had texted of the snow covered house and apologizing for living in sunny CA.

2. Friends (Old and New). The English team are some of the hardest working gals I know! I love spending time with them and am glad to have them as friends!

I also had the chance to connect with some new friends at dinner on Saturday night! Amanda from The $900 Facebook Pony was at the show as well and coordinated a meetup that included Alli from Pony'Tude, Jenn from Stories from the Saddle, and Pam the owner of Mango Bay. A big thanks to Alli and Jenn for taking the time to drive over from their various parts of Pennsylvania! Horse people are the best kind of people and it's truly amazing to be able to meet folks from all over the country that share the common passion of horses and writing.

3. WaWa. The name alone is amazing but I could also live on the Tastykake Krimpets.
This Epic jacket on the plane row in front of me. Sir- please do not smack me with your fringe. 

WaWa on a Monday morning- nothing better. 

Yes please. One of each! 

Dinner with these awesome gals! Alli, Amanda, Jenn, and Pam!

I might be a bit biased but our booth looks good! 

Friends from the team looking stylin. Minus the hat. 

Busy booth was the theme of the weekend! 

Lots of GREAT new product for Fall '15!