Monday 30 October 2017

Rider Boot Camp

As part of my ongoing efforts to be better at this riding thing, Monday nights remain lesson nights at EC's barn. My ride is the lovely Audrey, my coach's upper level dressage prospect.

I'd ridden Audrey previously and loved her - she's supple and big moving and super athletic...she feels like what I fantasized dressage might be all about, way back when as a kid.

But the flip side...talented horses are often quirky, and oh my is she quirky! When she first came to the barn she'd get super anxious and throw herself on the ground, also she was a terrible stall kicker/climber. I feel like if she could learn to be well behaved at a show, any horse can learn to be! She still does a bunch of weird things, and is nicknamed "Squirrel" due to her attention span, but she's actually really sweet (and did I mention talented?)

So that's your Audrey intro. Moving on, first boot camp lesson for me.

It became evident tacking up that sweet Audrey was actually no where to be found. She was super grouchy. In my warmup, she definitely felt like she had a hump in her back, and was not a fan of me kicking her forward in an attempt to not die. So, horse logic then meant that me touching her with my leg was the actual cause of all her angst.
Bad ass squirrel memes just for Audrey.

Our first lesson came in the form of the circle of death, on a mare I was royally pissing off, and that was having mini heart attacks over the shadows from the arena lights, plus our fellow lesson mate's horse. Ohhh, sounds fun, right?
COD refresher. 20 m circle plus 4 poles/jumps. Simple in concept, difficult in execution.

We trotted it, and I thought I might die. So obviously the next thing to do was canter it, right? Either my coach truly is not worried I'll die or wreck her horse, or she has a really sick sense of humor. In retrospect, I'm thinking it's equal parts both.  (Third option is that she simply hates me, but I think trying to teach me to ride is probably more punishing for her than me, so the third option is unlikely.)

In the end, we got it done, and I'd like to think we got it done relatively decently. But there was a whole middle part filled with bucking, kicking at my leg, angry mare face, exuberant unasked for lead changes, and general horse pretzelness. She's really good at bending herself into fun and interesting shapes in order to avoid bending to the left. I'm apparently quite good at just pissing her off.

Take homes:

-Some of her 'tude was her saying I'm asking for canter with too much leg. I did manage to get a feel for what she prefers and a few good transitions. My take home goal is to get Bridget as responsive as her, and to ask once, then ride B with my leg off, if it's on it means something, stop letting her ignore me! Stop holding it there "just in case" - she needs to keep her feet moving without me nagging.

-Big moving horses are way more of a workout than the Bridgets of the world. I'm sore tonight from using core muscles I don't usually need to sit Bridget's trot or canter.

-Don't take it personally, don't always assume I am the problem. A was having an off day, my riding was fine, and my requests reasonable,  so I just needed to keep riding through it and princess horse just needed to suck it up and meet me half way.

-New goal. Ride horses like this mare well. Not just adequately, but well. She's complicated, but when she's going nicely, it's addictive. This is probably a huge goal for an ammy like me, but a worthy one, I think.

-If you really want to improve as a rider, ride different horses. You'll get pretty instant feedback from them on status of your riding, notably the bad stuff your usual horse is used to and ignores, or on the flip side, good stuff that maybe your usual ride is letting you down a little with.

Next week, I'm told the circle of death returns, except it's no stirrups November and the poles will be jumps. So, just a quick FYI, I'm probably going to die next Monday, or have the most fun ever. Not sure which at this point.

Can you guess what I'll be practicing in Bridget's jump school on Sunday? :)


Sunday 29 October 2017

All Moved In

In a good example of how small the horse world is, the owner of the farm Bridget moved to this weekend needed a pony brought along from "somewhere on the lower Sunshine Coast" to her farm. The highway through the area  is something like 100km long, but since Bridget was leaving from the furthest end, other pony would have to be somewhere along our route. Fun surprise, when I called to organize pick up the pony turned out to be the mini that lives next door! The same one Bridget talks to everytime we go for a hack.
1.5 ponies, both back there being very quiet and patient waiting for the ferry.

And, she is the sweetest mini there ever was. She whinnies to me every time I talk to her, and trots along on her little lead like a superstar...even jumping up into the trailer with me first try! We were all so instantly smitten with her it was sort of funny.

Beautiful, smooth sailing

I'm a terrible blogger, because I have no photographic evidence of the mini's awesomeness, but never fear, I fell in love with her and so did G and Bridget. You will be seeing more of her, because we are allowed to borrow a certain adorable mini for walks and adventures, and how can we resist an offer like that? :) For now, picture in your mind a female 3 year old version of Cathryn's Spud. So unbearably cute!

B of course travelled like the little star she is, and settled in just fine. There's a tiny bit of grass in her new paddock and so she was instantly happy. I was super happy when the farm owner gave me a ridiculously reasonable quote for board. I knew it was cheap, but I had forgotten how cheap, I've got so used to city prices.

Grazing = pony happiness

And so, mission accomplished, I'm all moved in, B is settled and content, and it feels really, really good to be home.

I go back to work tomorrow morning, then have a lesson on Audrey the super mare Monday night. Wednesday evening, I will be driving back home and Bridget and I will try out this new schedule. I can't wait!


Friday 27 October 2017

Jump School

I've been a very, very bad pony trainer and haven't had a jump lesson since August! That trend will continue for the foreseeable future, since I'll be moving and at any rate, get way more from our dressage lessons - that's where the struggle currently lies.

Midge is pretty confident and fun motoring around our little courses at home. She's got quite wise about where her feet need to be and I feel like I have a decent feel for the canter needed. with a normal horse, maybe we'd consider moving the fence heights up, but pony is not so scopey and I'm easily bored/demoralized by lessons that feel the same week after week.

Don't get me wrong, there is still a lot I can be working on, but I think a lot of it basically comes down to our confidence levels - B's over new fences in new places, and mine in making the right decisions unsupervised, particularly when things get a bit bigger. We can work on that at home - I'll have access to a lot more 'interesting'  jump equipment and the arena I hack to is not on property. To be honest, B was so backed off and wiggly at our events this past summer it wasn't overly fun and I sort of 'gave up' temporarily and had lost motivation.

But, Best Working Student has still been riding Bridget once every week or two, and helps me jump school with about the same frequency. She loves jumping B and setting up interesting questions for us both so I'm very lucky there - we have improved dramatically with her help this past year! I love her calm and confident vibe, and I think she's going to be a super pro when the time comes.

Yesterday night, we had our final jump school and came up with this:

I actually had butterflies! It's been a while (last winter?) since we did gymnastics and I remember having some struggles keeping my body under control and feeling the right canter. Also, beyond the odd fence or two thrown into our dressage rides to keep things interesting, I have only been jumping B maybe twice a month.

But, not to worry. We keep things small and everything rode great. I felt totally secure and confident in the tack (even with the freakin' slip slidey leggings I mistook for riding tights and packed in my barn bag). That actually makes me happier than maybe it should, because even a couple of years ago I was not feeling secure enough to even want to flat in anything but full seats, and definitely noticed the difference if I wore 'normal' pants. Last night, I didn't notice the leggings beyond the initial slide into the saddle :)

B was on fire, and we actually needed to have a conversation about not dragging me around. She was attacking the bounces, and way over jumping the 1 stride. It was fun.

So, this serves as a friendly reminder that I need to jump more often. B loves it, and I almost always have fun when B is happy.


Thursday 26 October 2017

Change Is Good

We're still keeping on keeping on over in this little corner of the world. I've got Bridget's upcoming move planned out as well as I can, and I've even got most of her things packed and ready to go. For myself it's not so hard, I've been living in two towns for so long now I think I have equal belongings in both and no need to pack anything just for an extra few days a week in my "real" home.

We had a lesson Monday night that really didn't leave me feeling positive about being left to my own devices up north with Bridget. There were some comments made I may have to stew over for a while before sharing, because I know they're true, but ouch, I'd rather pretend they're not!

I did my last feeding shift at the barn this morning, which was bittersweet. I won't miss the early alarm clock and the time commitment, but I will miss the peace and quiet of early barn mornings. I will miss the barn kids too, they're so enthusiastic and motivated! I am still planning on taking a once weekly lesson on one of my coach's dressage horses when I'm down here working, so at least it's not a real goodbye, more just a step back.
B will miss the sand round pen

Also on the learning front, I've signed up for a clinic in two weeks with Bridget, dressage,  of course, with a clinician I've enjoyed in the past and who travels to teach occasionally. Then the following month we're tentatively planning for my coach (EC) to come for a weekend visit. If we can make a go of that,  she's on board for trying for a once a month clinic schedule there, which would be really nice for me.

This past weekend G and I went to the city and I went a little shopping crazy and spent far too much. Our little town is more isolated than where I currently work and board, so I felt like Id better stock up on supplies! Added bonus - I solved part of my "what not to wear at a dressage show" issues and got a lovely new coat, so pretty much that means I need to practice hard all winter and get to some decent shows next year. Oh, and buy a trailer to get there in. It'd be a shame to waste such a nice coat :)

In other news, I stopped giving B her meds (thyroxine) and her energy level has suffered. The thyroxine was supposed to help her lose weight but I didn't find it super effective - its a long story with everyone doing the best they could, but essentially I think the lifestyle and feed at current barn simply isn't the best fit for B. Now that we're moving to a place where she will have her own paddock and I can have total control over her intake and feed, I'd like to skip the meds if possible and see if we can maintain a reasonable weight and energy level strictly the old fashioned way. So, second order of business will be to track down a reliable supply of local, low sugar "filler" hay, so she can feel full without risking getting so fat.
Always on the lookout for food

In real life news, I'm super excited to work remotely from home part of the week,  but I've got a couple of other interesting opportunities on the table, both with government organizations with offices in my hometown. Both pay better than my current job, and obviously only needing one place to sleep would cut major costs, so a lot to think about and decisions to be made...working there full time would be a dream come true, and I'd be super motivated to buy a farm with G. But, it has to be admitted, I do enjoy the freedom and variety of my current situation, barn, and job and would be sad to cut ties permanently here.

This weekend, we're moving Bridget home, to a place I've boarded at previously that's only 10min from our house, and maybe a 10min hack to all the amenities at the local equestrian club grounds. I'm excited and anxious all at once. Remember how the first time G and I trailered horses it was an epic road trip including ferries and snowy Coast Mountain passes to the interior of the province? (Ever seen the "Highway Thru Hell" TV show? It was that road, lol, G really is a keeper for going along with that whole situation) I keep telling myself if we did that safely we're good for a 1.5 hour drive, one ferry in safe interior waters, and familiar, non snowy roads :) But still, I'm nervous,  I don't haul "alone" often enough.

I'd be pooping my pants right here if I had Bridget in the trailer. We've been lucky so far and avoided rough weather with the horses. This ferry has served safely for many years, but seeing it out in this sort of weather every winter always makes me happy to be on dry land.

Whew,  for not feeling like I had much to say, this is a long post! Hope everyone else is having a fantastic fall season! I'll update again when B is safely in her new (old) home!

Tuesday 24 October 2017

October 10

Thank you to Liz from In Omnia Paratus for the list of 10 questions. I've been feeling uninspired lately content wise, so this is just the ticket!

1. Most equestrians quote fall as their favorite season to ride. Are you one of those that does? Or maybe not; what is your favorite season to ride, if so?

Fall is my favorite. While I do enjoy show season, I like the quiet fall evenings working on all the things we've learned over the summer, getting ready for next year. I  tend to give myself permission to take a time out here and there in the fall, and maybe just do some trail riding and pony spa days...I love that the days are still long enough, the weather is perfect, and there's no pressure to prepare for anything major riding and competition wise.
We went to the race track this weekend and saw some many gorgeous TBs. However, the only picture I took was of this tree on the way in...:(

2. Do you clip your horse in the fall? Or maybe you wait a little longer? 

Bridget is getting clipped this week. I skipped last year because she wasn't overly fuzzy. This year she's a woolly mammoth already and overheating in our mild coastal temps so the hair must go.
Already getting so furry. B waiting for room service this morning.

3. Have any costume riding events in October on/near/around Halloween? What will your horse be dressed as? What about yourself? What would you dress as if money/time were absolutely no issue?

There is a local event coming up, unfortunately I'm travelling that weekend. Bridget has previously been taken by the lesson kids as Pippi Longstocking's horse, and Pokey (as in Gumby and Pokey). Neither required costumes for her, she just got to be herself :)

4. Is your horse afraid of any autumn colors? Or maybe has a certain quirk that appears only in the autumn?

The leaves rustling and falling off the trees last weekend were cause for much alarm, but normally she's a pretty good girl and not overly spooky.
Our low winter light does make the forest look extra dark and spooky though.

5. Pumpkin spice. It's everywhere right now. Find any natural pumpkin [squash] spice-esque recipes for your horse? 

Ick. Am I the only person in the world who doesn't like pumpkin spice and especially pumpkin pie?

6. We're getting to the end of the calendar year, any final few "big-bang" shows to look forward to?

Nothing left show wise, although I did submit our scores for provincial year end awards and am crossing my fingers they're good enough for a placing. I've got a dressage clinic I'm looking forward to mid November and another one mid December.

7. Winter is coming. What are you doing to winterize your trailer/rig/car?

I live on the west coast just slightly north of Vancouver, so my winterizing amounts to nothing...we get relatively few days below freezing, so I tend to just live with it if my windshield washer fluid or whatever is slushy for a day or two.

8. Do you have any autumn traditions you/your horse follow?

I keep saying I'm going to make it to the couple of foxhunts they hold up here in the fall, but so far that's not happened. My tradition is planning to go, then not :)

9. October in many places marks the beginning of deer hunting season. Does this affect your riding at all? Do you wear blaze orange or modify your schedule to accommodate the season?

Here is BC something like 95% of the land is crown land (the Queen of England 'owns' it, the federal and provincial governments manage it, and in theory it is all available for public recreation), so you can hunt in a basically unlimited wilderness. Fingers crossed, this means I've never seen anyone hunting anywhere near civilization or the trails we frequent. Honestly, we're lucky here and don't pay too much attention to hunting season when we ride.
Although I could just not be seeing the hunters, our terrain is pretty rough and thick with vegetation

10. What are you most looking forward to goal-wise as the final months of the calendar year approach?

Goal wise, I'm going to take lessons once a week on my coach's amazing 3rd level mare. I'm hoping that improves my riding and feel for how I want Bridget going. As far as Bridget, she's coming home with me and I'm looking forward to becoming independent again and getting my problem solving skills back up to par. Also, the trails there are great, so hopefully I can get her fitter easier than here where I am mostly stuck in the arena. But, speaking of arenas, the one at home is huge and has a ton of different jumps to use, so I'm hoping we can set up some makeshift xc practice and get her more confident about coming at speed to new/different fences.

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Winter Fitness Plan

With my new (temporary?) work schedule comes some new challenges in my neverending 'keeping pony fit' battle. Basically, I am going to be unavailable a minimum of two consecutive days a week, sometimes 3. A further 2 days, I will only be available after work (ie when it's dark, and I won't be boarding at a place with lights or even an arena). So yeah, basically weekends I can ride whenever, the rest of the week is going to be a bit...challenging.

Lucky for me, B is going to live in a large-ish paddock so it's not like she's locked in a stall when I don't ride. She is also fine to hack in the dark, and the road is quiet. The road also leads directly to the equestrian club grounds, which do contain a small indoor with lights (no jumping allowed in there, though) I have outfitted B with bike lights and reflective gear previously, so riding in the dark between the barn and arena isn't out of the question.

A trusted barn mate and I came up with the following strategy:

Monday/Tuesday: OFF. I am away for work

Wednesday: Can likely ride in evening every second week, depending on what ferry I catch home. Hack to arena, light flatwork or quick longe.

Thursday: Evening ride. hack to indoor, work on dressage.

Friday: Evening ride. hack to outdoor and work on fitness. This could be a bit adventuresome, but the outdoor is  about 200x400 ft and good footing. I think I'm probably safe to do trot and canter sets along the rail with my bike lights assisting? If not, we'll attempt it in the tiny indoor.

Saturday: Long walking trail ride (1.5-2hrs), or light flat work if the weather is unsafe for trails (high wind or snow, mostly)

Sunday: Outdoor arena - jump school.

I've tried to alternate 'hard' (jumping/fitness) days with easier days as much as possible.The name of the game here is going to be multitasking - ie I'm going to work on 'dressage' stuff at the walk while we're hacking to and from, and my jump courses are going to be long and gallop-y in places for fitness. Trail rides are definitely incorporating some hills.

I'm not super attached to this schedule, so if anyone has alternate suggestions, or ideas to make my time more effective, I'm all ears.


Tuesday 10 October 2017

Weekend Shenanigans

This past weekend was our Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend. *Spoiler alert*, I am a bad person and tend to avoid traditional long weekend shenanigans like the plague. I knew the ferries would be a zoo, G was otherwise occupied, and I just couldn't find a good reason to brave crazy travel and family commitments without the moral support he provides.  So, I, stayed on the lower coast and instead gave my thanks for an extra day at the barn.

For those of you curious about the LOA thing, it was...denied! But, that's actually a good thing because we talked about it and decided there are other options. It sounds like they're going to allow me to work from home (up coast with G) 2 or 3 days a week instead, on a trial basis in Nov/Dec. This is a great thing, because I didn't actually want to not work...I  really just wanted less time travelling and being pulled in all directions, and more time with G. Traditionally, my work has been very inflexible, so to accomplish my vision of a simpler life I thought I'd just need to take the time off. Luckily, my new boss is from the 21st century, and now there may be better options on the table!
Off topic, but remember my 'friend' from the dressage show? I need to confirm whether this is a true story, but I heard second hand that at the last horse trials my barnmate was held on course due to him hanging out in front of her next fence. This pic that came across my facebook feed shows him at a clinic this past weekend and seems to confirm that the story I heard might be true!  Pretty sure he must be an eventing fan, at least?

So, with that news, I spent part of this weekend scheming and planning. Since I'll only need to sit at my 'real' desk 2 or 3 days a week, it makes sense to move Bridget home with me temporarily. I've found a basic boarding situation near enough to my house, and super close to the best trails and the local club grounds, so it looks like riding 4 or 5 days a week can still be a thing! I'm just leasing a paddock and a shelter, so I'm looking forward to taking back full control of Bridget's diet, fitness, and daily routine.

I've discussed with EC, and it sounds like she'd be willing to come up for a clinic once a month if a can find some people to share, so our progress doesn't need to be put on hold. Honestly, though, as you all know organizing clinics is like herding angry cats (and owing money for it after) so I'm hesitant to put it on the to-do list quite yet. We'll see.
Still too chubby :)

As for my actual rides lately, they've been stinky at best. I've tried a few bits that should have been quieter in her mouth, and they all resulted in crazy-running-through-the-bridle-giraffe pony. Zero respect, and instead of needing to move her up into the contact, instead I was dealing with mouth gaping, bracing  steamroller pony with no brakes or steering. Fun times. Her talent for avoiding using herself properly is strong. In an effort to eliminate my hands as a suspect in all of this, I brought back her old bit and the trusty neckrope (hold it in addition to reins, it basically makes it so you cannot inadvertently pull or move your hands) and saw no difference...pony just doesn't want to go forward into contact consistently. There was an incredibly large, time consuming bit of a scene, but eventually she did go forward immediately when I put my leg on, without any dramatics. She does her vaulting classes on the lunge in side reins, but insider sources tell me she's been difficult there too of late and requiring multiple reminders about sucking back in the up transitions and falling through the down. Ughh, ponies.
Ginger recently using her smarts to stretch her topline herself. This was deliberate, and very funny as there was much groaning invloved.
Yesterday, I just didn't have it in me to handle any more pony 'tude, so I planned a long trail ride with a barnmate. When B started out by wobbling along and sucking back the nice loose rein trail ride I planned turned into a marching medium walk most of the way. Oh, and a canter which still required too much "encouragement" for my tastes.  She was sweaty and sad about that, but I had reached my limit of rude pony behaviour. EC told me a while ago that Bridget has abused the system long enough, she doesn't get to be ridden on a loose rein, meandering down the trail anymore until she deserves the reward. I was like "Ohh, harsh, we have to have fun sometimes!" But I think now I'm starting to see her point. Consistency in every.single.ride is going to be the only thing that might put the rude pony behavior to bed for once and all..
No rest for the wicked!


Thursday 5 October 2017

10 Great Things About Boarding

We all know boarding comes with it downsides. I'm personally ready to move my girls home again and take a breather, but, to be fair, there are lots of really great things about boarding that I miss when the horses are at home. Here's my impromptu list:

1. Better Amenities. If you're anything like me, you'd be hard pressed to compete with a good barn as far as amenities go. It's not that I couldn't theoretically build my own indoor to ride in, it's just when realistic budgets are considered, I'd rather have a house to live in or pay for 11 million years of boarding with that money:)

Someone else can build and maintain this, I'll just ride there
2. Vacations. You can keep the horses at home, hire a farmsitter and plan accordingly. OR, you can give the boarding barn manager a text the day before and book that last minute deal. I do appreciate the second option.

3. Participation. Good boarding barn buddies help make it fun to be there. Fun to be there =  a greater likelihood I'll tag along to more shows and attend more lessons. With a built in barn support team, it's a lot easier to push outside your comfort zone. Also, did I mention, fun?

4. They're watching you.your horse. I enjoy knowing that there are knowledgeable horse people at the barn for a good majority of every day. If anything happens, the time frame before it's noticed and I'm told is way shorter than when I'm the only eyes on my horse.

5. Travel Logistics. Not only is attending shows with barnmates more fun, the trailer sharing opportunities are generally much broader at a boarding barn. The horses are happy to have a friend in the trailer, I'm happy to save money. It's a win/win.

6.Not My Problem. That crappy feeling when you notice the driveway gate is broken, again, 5 minutes before you need to leave for work? Or when the hydro bill arrives mid winter and you're pretty sure they accidentally double billed you? Yeah, that doesn't really happen when you're boarding :)

7. Perspective. There's nothing like being involved peripherally with other people's horses and barn life to help you appreciate what you've got, or to motivate you to get better.

8. Borrowing Stuff. Yes, I know this is a tricky one and the downsides could go on a "10 Things I Hate About Boarding" list...I've learned kids in particular can have a pretty vague sense of who owns what. But on the plus side, at most barns you'll know someone who you can comfortably swap ideas and supplies with in a pinch or borrow before committing to purchasing your own. Using my current adventures into trying different bits as an example...I'm really, really appreciating the inventory of "I'm not using it, go ahead and try it" stuff in the tack room right now. On the flip side, I like knowing my extra stuff is useful to someone else.
In this photo: borrowed giant hay net from that time I forgot to pack a  net...or grain...for Bridget. No worries, the barn kids had it all under control

9. On Site Clinics/Coaching/Shows. You can make it happen from home, but it's really much more likely that those things are going to be available on a regular basis at a boarding barn.

10. Regular Appointments. In a similar vein to #9, I love the convenience and cost savings of having the farrier, vet, hay delivery, saddle fitter, etc come to the barn for a group of us at regular intervals. No more trying to plan and fit everything into the calendar!


Tuesday 3 October 2017

Sick Day Spa Day

I'm pretty much the worst person at confrontation. And emotions. And adulting. Exhibit A: Yesterday, instead of acting like a grownup and arranging a meeting at work to request/discuss a LOA, I got out of bed and started worrying about it and...called in sick. Then went to the horses.

Because karma frowns on such deceitful behaviour, when I got to the barn it was immediately apparent B was feeling sassy, but had the world's grossest nose goop. I guess one of us had to be sick for real.

Tail game on point
Fingers crossed, so far she just has a snotty nose and a bit of a fever. Fingers crossed so, so hard, because I DO NOT want it to progress to a never ending cough and multiple vet visits a la 2015. A couple of the other horses have been coughing, which is just...ugh. I pay for vaccinations why? (Google answered this for me: If you vaccinate, there's no guarantee your horse won't get sick, BUT there's a better likelihood if/when they catch something they'll only suffer minor symptoms)

Because I'm a worrier, I'm going to ask blog your horse getting a virus once or twice a year a normal thing for you? I have literally never had this happen so often, as in actually, I've never had one get any type of respiratory virus prior to the past couple of years.

Shiny B from last week
So, B is getting a few days off.  I've been using the spare time to give her spa days instead. Yesterday she got her pony beard and bridle path buzzed off, then her tail washed, trimmed and detangled.  Today, she's getting her feet trimmed up. Her winter coat is coming in, all shiny and fluffy. She looks adorable, so there's that.

In jail. The note says to please only feed her in a meal times. You can see that it's very effective LOL

Sunday 1 October 2017

Old Pics

Once upon a time I bought the worst laptop ever...and a few years ago I got frustrated with it's continuous warnings and overheatings and may or may not have closed it with slightly more force than necessary. And..since it's a piece of shite a finely tuned machine, it hasn't worked since. Getting my pony pictures off of it has been on the to do list for about 3? years now. Finally, I've checked it off the list and the world's worst laptop can go visit the recycling depot and stop taking up shelf space.

I'm sure I've shared some of these before, but even so, I thought it might be fun to delve into the world of Ginger and Bridget circa 3-5 years ago.

Ginger and me, 2013ish?

Baby Bridget! I think she's 2 here.
Bridget, first trot poles

Bridget's first day jumping tiny things. 2014.

Both girls playing twinsies.

She still waits at the gate like this

Ginger, where we used to board prior to our current place

B - so fluffy!

Love this one of Ginger

B's first clinic. LOL

First clinic

More polite

Turning was an issue for us

Where did this big reachy trot go? :(

Learning about bridges.


Oh, Gingersnap!

Ginger eyeing up dinner

So much canter struggle bus with B, likely fall of 2013. She really couldn't even. I should look at this pic everytime I'm discouraged about our progress, lol

Ginger's mane is roached nowadays, flashback to when I used to pull it.

B's first trip to the lake

B's sire. She sure took after him,