Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Ever Evolving

 Property improvements continue slowly. Boarding at Friend S's house (where we are all super happy) the pressure is off as far as any imminent moves. I still very much am excited to get further projects rolling, but as I sit here typing there's yet another big weather system coming in and I think we can reasonably say that we're not actually getting an arena completed in the wettest months of the year.


Friend S has even got her own beautiful trail system. Spoiler alert: my ~ 1 acre place will not.

I'm totally the person who puts together the plan and gets it done  - deviations from the plan annoy me. So, it's kind of interesting right now. I feel like I have so much time. I'm finding myself making changes to the property layout and design that are going to make it work that little bit better. Things as minor as planting trees in a slightly different location than originally planned, to adding a whole new separate building and paddock.


We're building something similar to this on the south property line. One side will be for equipment storage, freeing up space in the barn for hay, one for a horse (Read on for why I'm building a second paddock space)

In the theme of evolving goals and plans - Sophie. Sophie was purchased to be Bridget 2.0. More athletic, sharper, fancier, going to go get those further dressage goals. I saved up money for a long time, I shopped for an equally long time, and finally bought Ms Sophie. It was not a spur of the moment decision by any stretch of the imagination. I was very invested in her financially and emotionally before she even set foot in the barn.


2 year old Sophie here actually just looks like a scaled down 5 year old Sophie. She's grown about 6" but the somehow has stayed proportionately gangly looking :) We're still waiting on her to fill out.

You want to know what the #1 thing that's absolutely changed how I ride her and my confidence doing so?

My husband G.

 "You know you don't have to keep her, right?"

"I'd miss her, but if you'd like something different I'll support that"

"I'd love to see you out having fun at events again, like you did with Bridget"

"Did you want to buy that Welsh Cob foal? We could find the space"*

"E's horse does seem really nice. You know we could buy you something like that if you wanted, right?"

Comments like that didn't immediately make a difference (in fact, maybe the opposite: "Are you trying to say I'm FAILING with Sophie? I'm FINE."), but gradually they started to filter in as he repeatedly assured me it's not that he really wants to sell her or doesn't believe I've got this, it's just good to reevaluate your plan now and then and make sure you're still having fun and on the path you want to be on.

(Sidenote: I pay all my horse expenses and like putting the training work in so the chances of me asking him to use his money to help buy me a dream pony are nil. But it's beyond nice to have that level of support offered on the days when it seems like a struggle :)

*But I do still REALLY like the cob foal so...never say never.

Even with B sidelined, it's slowly got to feel like my riding future isn't totally hung up on Sophie, and that it isn't all on me to do a perfect job of bringing along the 'too nice for a rider like me' and sometimes not so easy pony. If for any reason it's not working out, there is a lifeline there waiting.

Don't get me wrong, we love her, she's great, there are no plans for her to go anywhere and I'm 110% committed to doing a good job with her. But just knowing I can have a Plan B if I want one, and have support for that? Just amazing, and takes away so much of the second guessing and anxiety around the bad days. I've adopted kind of a 'whatever will be, will be' approach to our rides and strangely enough, with the stress levels on my part dialed right down, S is a happier girl as well.

When I saw this on Bridget's blanket the other day, though, I was like "well, let's take some sale pictures of Sophie! No one messes with Bridget." Bad Sophie. Sophie's been very wary of B the last few days though so I suspect B didn't need any intervention on her behalf :) This confirmed for me that I want a second winter paddock at home - even horses that get along super well need to be separated now and then.



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Monday, 11 October 2021

Progress

 We had a super fun weekend clinic, but I didn’t worry about media so you’ll just have to take my word for it ;) The joys of being a mediocre blogger. On the bright side, it’s a good thing I am not a vlogger! 

Since this was a local event, we just took a 20 min trailer ride down to our club grounds. No ferry rides, yay! 

Day 1 we did an intro to Working Equitation. Sophie was super mare-y week, so I wasn’t at all sure what I was going to get on the day.

 

Has had an extra strong attitude, also has numerous bite marks on face to accentuate the tough girl teenager thing she’s embraced.

Overall, I was happy with the day - she was definitely grumpy and sassy about moving off my leg, but hey we didn’t need to pick that fight incessantly. We had obstacles to navigate! The day was more about seeing new things and using the experience to gain confidence. I really know nothing about WE, to me it felt like a combination of a western trail course and dressage test, with a giant spear/pole to carry around. You can’t help but feel slightly cool carrying a jousting like pole around.  What made me super happy is that she was unsure of many of the new to her questions, but navigated them calmly and willingly when I asked. Clinician was happy with how she thought things through rather than the previous go to of just reacting.

Day 2 started out a little more challenging as it was quite a bit colder, wet, and very windy, plus I realized as I loaded her it was her first trip all by herself in a trailer! 

Not helped by the fact this creature snuck in the gate ahead of our truck and climbed the tree directly above the trailer parking. Because of course. He was legit trying to stay out of our way but kept picking the exact place we needed to go. Sorry, little guy.

I was also generally feeling stressed and pressed for time as we had spent the earlier part of the morning getting hay into my barn before the storm came. I unloaded the last hay bale, the rain started really pouring, drove across the street, tried to shoo the bear along, gave up and loaded Sophie to hit the road again.

So, she was a bit “up” with the stormy weather and being all by herself. She loudly announced her arrival to everyone. Incessantly. Could not stand still, and had about 10 stress poos. Just like old times. I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for absolutely not buying into it though and worrying about how tight I was for time - we’ve had so many good rides lately I assumed I could get on and she’d just settle in and get to work once we got going. And so she did. Good girl Sophie :)  


Random picture 

Day 2 was a basic dressage lesson - transitions, spirals, leg yields, and finally a run through of a training level test. With her increased energy levels the sluggish transitions of the previous day turned almost too rushed (mares!lol) but what a treat once she settled to have her using her own motor and confidently cruising around on a nice soft contact. So easy to ride! 

As always, there is much homework. Some of it I think is more reflective of her age and the fact she’s needing strength so I think that’s the priority rather than nitpicking. Our dressage “test” was wobbly and even that 10m turn down the centreline is hard when you’re a baby pony. We’re not ready. To be totally honest though, for where she’s at and the time I’ve put in she’s exactly where I’d expect her to be. And I’m happy.


What we will be working on: 

-My riding to the left is less effective than the right. That good old left shoulder sneaking forward strikes again. I’ve been spoiled for years in that Bridget is naturally better to the left so it works out. Sophie is not, so I need to up my game - she’s very sensitive. 

-Keep on keepin on with leg yields, transitions,  to build strength. It was nice to go into a proper lesson and have the exercises be exactly what I’ve been working on. Almost like I knew what I was doing or something. Maybe I owned a baby Bridget once upon a time?


Non baby Bridget ;) What I wouldn’t give for a foal pic of B!

-Adding canter back in as a regular thing. She’s strong and confident enough now, and we have that huge arena. 

Wins from the weekend:

-S showed up and went to work in a busy arena, with spooky obstacles and less than ideal weather.

-When I put the pieces together riding wise, she’s very quick to pick up new things and tries super hard to get it right.

-I stayed calm and thinking and didn’t worry even when things got a bit rough. We had an interesting conversation about “hard eyes” and “soft eyes” (hard eyes being the internalized, focused mindset most of us bring to lessons, that actually limits the instruction you can take on board and retain).

-The working equitation course was unexpected, but really far more valuable for building confidence and partnership than another dressage lesson would have been. A good reminder to get out and try new things. 


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Monday, 4 October 2021

Feeling Accomplished (Again)

 But wait, there's more!

On the theme of big personal accomplishments of late, I'm having great rides on Sophie. The other day, I rode alone, at twilight when everything is shadowy and spooky (according to Sophie) and I still got some solid work done and felt like we made a few breakthroughs. We've had several good arena rides with friends, and she's got so relaxed about the whole thing that yesterday we had to have a chat about moving off my leg. You may recall previously even touching her near where my leg goes or using a stick near her was cause for much irritation and threats of violence (from her, not me!) So, recent developments may be a testament to how relaxed she's gotten, or perhaps to how much I'm willing to nag. I'm trying very hard to be self aware re: the latter and follow up immediately when I don't get a response.
Can we talk about how civilized she's been at the fair grounds - there's a busy farmer's market next door she's eying up here, but not at all worried about.


I need to get her out on the trails again, and she's going to have three days off this week prior to our clinic. I think there's a good chance she's bored of our routine and also just a bit sore and tired. I think I've been riding every day for a month (don't worry, Bridget's still on the team too, so I'm not just riding Sophie day after day.) But, Sophie still is quite underdeveloped/immature looking, plus I've been adding spirals and baby lateral work into the mix so she's likely in need of a little time out in the field.

Zero riding pics though, because I seem to just take pics for everyone else then kind of lose the momentum when it comes to arranging some of myself these days. Pivo was going to help with that, but the arena's been so busy it's not been ideal either.

I owe a bit of the recent ride successes to the RideIQ app - thanks for the reviews! While it's no substitute for a lesson, for those of us without regular coaching or who struggle with ride plans it's perfect. Without a coach, it's easy for me to waffle around and lose confidence in what I'm doing when things aren't going to plan. I think this app probably really shines for riders like me who've done the thing before and probably have the basic tools in the toolbox, but don't have a regular lesson schedule or maybe just need some added validation and encouragement. I don't think it'd be great on it's own for riders themselves who maybe are greener - I can see in some of the more advanced lesson notes I'd definitely want to be going through the exercises with a coach a few times in real life first to make sure I know what it feels like to do it well.

Her neighbor this day was a giant tree. Far less exciting than a cute gelding.

The big value for me is to have someone talking in my ear and reminding me to check in on this or that. Yes, sometimes the lessons end up being a bit not applicable because we're doing OK (or we're not and I need to go back to work on something else!), but it's still good to check in and I feel like my brain retains a lot of it the information even if I don't end up using or needing it for my ride or my particular horse. Plus, I don't think there's ever a time it's not useful to hear someone remind me to sit up and carry my hands ;)


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Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Feeling Accomplished

Is it possible to have horse trailering PTSD? 

I went for so many years without owning a trailer, so despite my horses trailering well and us going on the odd adventure, trailering them was kind of A Big Thing. 

Despite many fantastic, fun filled adventures that I'm eternally grateful to have been invited along on, I feel like I also had more than my fair share of stressful travels.

Most recently, the borrowed trailer that stranded us far from home (and a tire shop) when it turned out the tires were out of date and prone to randomly exploding.

Prior to that, sucking up lesson and clinic costs when my ride share had a last minute change of plans and didn't go. That time my horses were 36 hours late arriving, with radio silence the whole time. The pro hauler who started not answering my calls the day before she needed was scheduled to pick my horses up from training. That time a friend's horse panicked in the trailer as I was loading mine, knocked her unconscious, and I ended up trying to be on the phone directing 911, keeping an eye on her, and trying to stop traffic to catch a loose horse on the highway, all while holding Bridget. That was fun, and probably not at all what you should do in such a situation.  

Plus, smaller things like needing to be on someone else's schedule and the stress involved with trying to adjust mine with theirs. Add in random vehicle breakdowns, trailers I was nervous about putting the horses in and me generally being a worrier at the best of times, and well, I knew it was going to take a bit before hauling the horses didn't feel like a big deal. 

Remember when my new trailer even had the resident deer interested? :)


Anyway, last night I looked out the window after work, and saw some rare sunshine interrupting our current 'Parade of Storms' (I don't know who the new Environment Canada media people are, but they are fully on board for drama - 'Atmospheric River' being my other favorite forecast from this week).  So it felt pretty freakin' cool to decide spur of the moment to trailer the horses to the ring and get a ride in.

 Better yet, anxiety levels were finally pretty non existent - I keep the trailer packed with everything I need, I know our truck, it's a local drive, and my girls both haul super well. So, I did all the driving myself, despite G being there, ready and able to help. Laugh at me if you want, but it's kind of a big deal for me - I've been practicing with the trailer empty forever and more recently, delaying adding horses to the plan due to a giant twisty hill with a narrow bridge at the bottom that stands between the horses and the club ground across town  :)

Actual bridge - was not worried about it at all until a well meaning friend was like "don't worry about the bridge" :D

Maybe hooking up and trailering my own horses without any pre planning or worry is not your standard big picture accomplishment, but I've been looking forward to it for so many years that it's a huge personal one.





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Sunday, 26 September 2021

What’s Old Is New Again

 I’m on a bit of a roll with the weekly updates!

I got the all clear to get back in the saddle, so that’s exactly what I did. Bridget had several outings this week, and Sophie got some too! 


Happy ears

Bridget and I, plus friends, spent a few evenings this week exploring the trails. I met friend S when we were about 10 (in other words, a very long time ago) and we both worked at a trail riding barn (child labour laws weren’t a thing, that’s how long ago ;). In my early 20’s I bought my house across the street from her current place with my first “real job”. I did a ton of work to it, then off I went in search of something bigger and better (in terms of life AND horsey acreage) Many life goals have been met but horsey acreage remains a dream, so a number of years later, here I am, back in the same town, riding the trails where it all started, with S, while I get the old place ready for horses again. It’s different, but the same, and as fun as always.

This used to be all forest - sad to see it go, but the ocean view is stunning now

Trying to get home before the street lights come on :)

I can’t say enough how grateful I always am for Bridget. She’s rock solid, but with enough opinions and energy to be super fun. She’s really a dream pony for trail riding in suburbia where the unexpected is kind of the rule. Plus, I guess I don’t really need the bigger horsey acreage after all - she survives on air and isn’t overly big on stretching her legs on her own time😁



G was working a 16hr shift -  sending him pics of us trail riding on the bluffs above may have been insensitive :D

Sophie got out for a walk one evening and a longe another as the daylight’s already fading too soon to ride both ponies after work. She did get her own outing to the arena, and I was pleasantly surprised with her. Due to me not feeling great, she hadn’t been trailered off property or even properly ridden for almost two weeks. She’s previously not done super well when there’s a gap like that, but aside from a little initial tenseness to start she settled in and did all the grown up pony things the best I could have hoped. We were stuck in a banana shape, so left circles weren’t as nice as I would have hoped, but for the most part she was soft and relaxed and willing to stretch to the contact. Leg yields to the wall are quite nice, spiral right is lovely, as mentioned left is a bit more of a struggle. More balance is coming in the transitions,  and giraffe antics have settled as she’s figured out her body again (she grew again this summer) Anyway, I’m pleased. We’ve got two lessons booked in a clinic two weekends from now and I’m looking forward to it. 


I should pull her mane. Step one towards anyone taking us seriously!

Friday nights out = meeting at the arena to ride. It’s fine, my friends are all horsey anyway.

I was hoping to capture the nice sunset but it got a bit dark 

It’s been a while since I mentioned how I’m doing - I don’t want to jinx it, but the “riding the reactive baby pony” butterflies are totally gone, and in fairness that’s probably a good part of why she’s been so much less spooky and “reactive baby pony” too. I did seek out some help with the anxiety in general, and the recent move has done a world of good as far as lowering stress levels...so yeah, while I will continue to work at it, I think I’m on a good path again.

Sorry for the novel...my tendency to be wordy is probably why I continue to blog rather than just post updates via instagram, lol

Hope you all had a good weekend too! 

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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Still Loving It

 PSA: You're going to get pretty tired of me saying how happy I am to have moved my ponies!

While the people at the other barn were lovely, it's just so cool to be sharing a place with one of my best friends. We grew up riding together and are pretty much on identical wavelengths on all things horses.


Yesterday afternoon's greenery, and B's ears

 I have zero worries about the horses being there. Not that I had huge worries at the other place, but self boarding and not living on site caused me anxiety. There was all the driving and worrying about getting there when I had to work early or late or the weather was bad, plus the unavoidable mix ups and missing things that go along with sharing a common storage space with many people.

Friend S has three horses of her own, lives on site, happily puts out morning hay nets for me (I get to sleep in if I want, for the first time in YEARS. It's weird!) and is out at the barn most of her free time. She's also one of those people who genuinely is happy, positive and motivated most of the time and that's contagious when it comes to smiles as well as riding plans. 


Hiding from the rain

That being said, frustratingly, my pony time was a little restricted this week - winter came out of nowhere and we had winter temperatures and the rainiest days in 3+ years (which is saying something, on the Wet Coast). I also managed to have a surprise health scare and needed a bit of a time out. Fun times! 

Not the exact scenario, but reflective of my medical appts last week ;)

 I still snuck out for a walking only ride on Bridget a couple of times. 


A trustworthy set of ears

At this stage, I'd like to say Sophie is pretty low risk, but she still has moments and it's not overly fair to ask the energetic baby to sedately walk an entire ride because I feel delicate. For the record, she has stepped up and looked after me before, but it requires a lot of try from her.  I like us to be on the same wavelength rather than asking her to accommodate me too many times in a row and risking her getting confused or frustrated about her job. Not to fear though, Sophie still got longed and had a couple of days of pasture turnout. We've got some upcoming clinics booked to keep us motivated too.


I need to get video. Because she's the actual cutest, she comes running in to say hi and tell me about her day the first time spots me or my truck anywhere. Bridget just gives the horsey equivalent of a casual wave from her pasture buffet ;)

We got a little bit of work done on my property this week, mostly just G brush cutting and mowing and me making plans for further improvements. I don't want to get my hopes up, but we saw the tenant packing boxes yesterday...maybe we'll move ourselves in too, sooner than we had planned? No plans to evict anyone since the rental market here is absolutely brutal and we'd feel terrible making someone homeless, but maybe packing boxes = alternate plans on the horizon? :)


B enjoying the all you can eat buffet - photo of her acknowledging my presence courtesy of a zoom lens, lol




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Monday, 13 September 2021

Kind of A Clinic

 On the downside, my much anticipated trip was a no go this weekend, so no new saddle fitting or EC lessons for me. I'm going to try to set up lessons in a couple of weeks when my work schedule relaxes, and it sounds like the saddle fitter has a wide area she travels to so one of the upcoming visits to areas around me will likely work. All is not lost!


Sometimes we ride on the ferry, sometimes it is broken and then it's a chain reaction of side effects in our isolated town.  

On the plus side, there was a clinic at home, and while I was too late (and thrifty, after buying a trailer and planning for a new saddle the horse budget is tight) to sign up, I did go audit and volunteer to take photos. So that was fun. 

Sophie's boyfriend looking pretty cute

The really good decision I'm glad I made, though, was to load up Sophie with friend S's horses and have her hang out all of Sunday. I treated it as a practice show/clinic outing for her.

The clinican is a regular and he's great - you all probably know by now that I can get a little weird about riding in front of new people, particularly shows or clinics, but zero anxiety about it in this situation. He's kind of one of the gang at this point and the clinic is pretty relaxed, so it was fine for me to bring Sophie along and ride on the periphery (provided I gave the paying folks space and priority :)

<I'd insert Sophie pictures here, but did I take any of my own horses this weekend? no, of course not >

And, she was absolutely fine - a little aware of all the horses, people, and vehicles coming and going, but honestly the arena itself was pretty tame considering what it can be like when a few people are riding with less organization ;) She's still a bit looky about horses cantering towards her, or hearing them coming where she can't see them, but it's pretty easy to refocus her. I don't think she'd be happy in a crowded warmup yet, but we're light years from where we started and every horse was cause for distraction. She was very quick to settle and let the anxiety go, and I had zero moments of concern about there being any pony antics beyond my capabilities.


A previous barn friend she was happy to see again.

She was great in her stall, but she'd kind of had enough by the end of the day and was getting excessively dramatic and flirty with her neighbours. I moved her a couple of stalls away from everyone and there were feelings expressed for a while, but nothing too terrible.

All in all, a couple of very long horsey days. I managed to get some nice photos of everyone, plus I got to cheer on everyone's successes, learn a little for myself,  and give Sophie a bit of education too. So productive!





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Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Some Things We've Seen Lately

 We're super spoiled here for trail riding - at the place I was boarding there was a nice lake about a 30 minute hack away, and tons of nice forested trails.


A typical scene

Moving where I have, I'm in a more residential area. When I had the horses at home years ago, I usually had to spend a bit of time on paved roads and sidewalks to get to the better riding. But, across the street at S's, she's built a lovely network of trails that directly access unlimited amounts of crown land. We could literally ride for weeks and never touch pavement.

I've been doing the odd neighborhood loop anyway, and it's somewhat amusing - Sophie happily walked everywhere through the forested part, through ditches, over bridges...but a fire hydrant and a storm drain almost had her pooping herself :) Civilization isn't something my two have seen a lot of, apparently. Bridget being Bridget, she's fine with everything, but the noise of the city bus driving past us had her looking twice.

Mostly, though, we've been hitting the new to us trails and enjoying some new scenery.

Look closely and you'll see some friends we took for a walk last night. They went ahead for a while, then hid in the bushes and let us pass, then popped out to follow us for a while longer. Bridget and her chestnut eared friend think they're big dogs and barely pay attention to them.


Friend S enjoying a spectacular view across to Vancouver Island.

600 privately owned waterfront acres that we have permission to ride on and rarely see anyone - just us and the wildlife. Just a little spoiled.

I'm terrible for not taking trail riding photos, which is a shame because our surroundings are stunning. Perhaps the different sights and new areas to explore will change that? I'll try!

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Monday, 6 September 2021

All The Things

 What just happened?! I’ve gone from spending most of my riding time solo, to having some kind of social riding adventure organized nearly every day this week. Which, actually, is all sorts of fantastic and motivating.


One downside to riding with friends is we have so much to chat about we don’t get finished riding til dark

S and I have been good friends since we were kids, so this move to her place has been easy. I feel right at home and the transition for everyone has been seamless. In fact, it’s been so much fun we’re just going to make it a semi permanent arrangement and I’m going to stay indefinitely. My own place is right across the street and I still plan to move them there, but there’s plenty of work left to be done before it’s ready (if you hadn’t already guessed from the lack of barn progress updates this past month!) 


The girls might be happier here, there is a lot more grazing space

Bridget of course settled in as expected: located source of hay, had a nap, made friends with the over the fence neighbours later on her own time. Sophie of course doesn’t work like that at all at is sporting some interesting bite marks on her face, likely a result of bringing too much enthusiasm to the table. She’s not figured out keeping it low drama and having a respectful personal space bubble might earn her more friends, despite Bridget telling her quite clearly to behave herself. I have no idea why Bridget ever decided to take responsibility for raising Sophie right, but I 100% support her efforts :)


Cute temporary accommodations.

B has been out for a couple of nice trail rides this past week, and she was so HAPPY to get out there. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of same old, same old, and forget how much horses like to see some different trail adventures and buddies now and then. So, that’s been wonderful - few things are better in this world than a nice trail ride on an enthusiastic Bridget pony, and we’re very spoiled for trail options right now. 



Sophie’s been surprisingly good too. Friend S has a ginormous trailer, so we’ve just been popping Sophie in hers and tagging along with them to the arena. Shockingly, she’s had zero drama surrounding that - not at all worried about the other horses, the different trailer, leaving Bridget at home, riding in a group. I’ve been able to hop on and have productive rides and she’s pretty much got right to work with minimal opinions. Who is this pony? 


Just chilling at the exhibition grounds and minding her own business.

In Sophie training updates, I’m still over here just trying to build strength and topline. She’s beautifully consistent in walk now - I have tons of adjustability and can pick up or give the reins without it affecting tempo or turning her into a giraffe. Trot is really solid again too, it’s mostly just the transitions where she loses balance a little and things can get funky. Still, it’s improving all the time. Today’s exercise was 15m to 20m and back spirals and she had some lovely moments when I got smart enough to use the leg yields to help set up the up and down transitions. You’ll still find me limiting most rides to less than 30 minutes - once I feel her starting to tire I give her a break, then go a little more so it’s me making the decision that we’re done, not her.


It’s been such a hot summer, everything bloomed and went to seed early. We’ve had cooler days lately which is a relief, riding and barn chores are much more bearable!

Mostly I’m just grateful the wild child of last winter seems to be on a long term hiatus - having a pony who shows up ready to work makes everything so much simpler and more fun. 

Bonus gratitude for changes resulting from last week’s sketchy situation resulting in nothing but better things for myself and my ponies...how lucky is that! 







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Monday, 30 August 2021

Silver Linings

 Well, that week didn't go to plan...

A person directly involved in where I board went on a trip, got quite sick with Covid, then opted to travel all the way home three or four days later while obviously still sick. We got warning (second hand) a few hours before they got home. So, as you might guess, my faith in them doing the right thing and quarantining, letting people know their status, and taking precautions on site wasn't strong but I didn't want to overreact. 

However, my suspicions re: them not staying out of the barn and away from other people were confirmed immediately, so we've moved the horses out (hopefully temporarily) rather than stressing about a situation beyond our control. G's mom is in the hospital and we just can't mess around with this and not take it seriously. 

(Boarding is super fun, am I right?)

My place at home is still nowhere near ready, but I have a friend right across the street from my barn-to-be who was willing to take us in short term. I owe her a ton of gratitude for finding space for us on super short notice.

So, some of my ride plans will be put on hold as the horses are in a different area without such easy access to the usual local events and amenities. 

Silver linings, you ask? The ponies and I get an upgrade - her place is beautiful and we're getting spoiled there. Plus, she's been a great friend since we were kids, so it's just nice to have more of a reason to see each other.  Also, I have added impetus to get working on my barn again. Finally, lots of  'new' area trails to explore and a built in buddy to get out there with. 

So, an unexpected plot twist, but I think we're going to have fun for the next couple of weeks!




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Monday, 23 August 2021

Slo-Coast Weekend Update

 After the go-go-go of last weekend and returning to work after a week off, this past weekend really needed to be a laid back one.

There are tons of upcoming clinic opportunities and events on the schedule, plus I need to arrange for EC to come here for a clinic (or me to travel there overnight) but I've currently got commitment issues and haven't organized or signed up for anything - I just want to slow the F down for a bit and keep a fairly open schedule.


Attempted glamour shots on Saturday, failed for the most part. She doesn't stand still long enough to stay in frame AND keep her ears up.

Sophie went trail riding and had a session on the longe last week, plus I rode at the arena on Saturday. Not quite the full fitness schedule I'm supposed to be keeping - especially when you consider my 'ride' was more Sophie serving as a mobile couch for socializing. Still, I think given her stress levels last weekend, I think there is value for both of us in revisiting the concept of things not being a big deal and some outings just being a chance to relax and have fun with friends.

Bridget's been out for a trail ride, but mostly the two ponies have just been enjoying extra field time. We've had basically no rain all summer, so the fields aren't doing great...in a way that's great for ponies, but it does mean I'll need to pull them off soon and wait for rain so the grass can recover - normally they can be out there until November-ish, so it's a bit sad this is the last week or two of the grass holding up now.


Bridget: "Nom nom nom" The most wonderful time of the year for her

I got more hay in the barn this weekend as well. The plan was to get enough to tide me over until we move the ponies 'home' this fall, but probably we shouldn't talk about the lack of progress there...I may be staying where I am longer than I think! There is just not enough time in the day to get it all done, and I've got a few projects pending I just haven't found time for yet. With the hot, dry weather affecting things we've also got to wait to run machinery there due to fire hazard, but I'm worried our fall rains will come all at once and turn things into a mud pit we also can't run machines in! Honestly, I haven't sorted a schedule beyond verbally discussing plans with the equipment operator for some point in the future and ordering the wood post and beam for the barn addition. Go me! ;)

Eating last years hay for dinner, because she likes it better than the $$$$ new stuff?





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