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Vlog #31: July 2020 (Goodbyes)

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While we were still monitoring Lucie's condition, her other leasor played some music to help keep her calm. "Godspeed" by Frank Ocean came on a couple times, and it felt like the best choice for this month. I'm having a lot of thoughts about how to move forward from this, but I will hopefully have an update soon. Godspeed by Frank Ocean https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv2yNGkNhZc Godspeed Ambient Loop by Colin Flynn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljkHRSI4vGQ&t=326s

Product Review: Padded Ponies Shimmable Half Pad

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This was supposed to be posted a while ago when I got my new Horze riser half pad, but I guess I forgot to ever hit publish . . . oh well, better late than never. I've had my Padded Ponies correction half pad for over four years now, so it's safe to say this is a well informed review. Padded Ponies Half Pad with Shims My saddle was purchased while I was still in undergrad and riding with the IHSA team. I knew that I wanted to get an adjustable half pad to have more flexibility. At the time, I was just getting into  Etsy  and the growing number of small equestrian businesses that rely on the platform. My stirrup irons are also from an Etsy shop as well as my half chap monograms . Many shops sell Ogilvy dupes, but I've never been a fan of memory foam nor do I aesthetically like the pads. Padded Ponies was the only shop at the time that had a traditional looking half pad with pockets for shims. Match made in heaven! After three and a half years of service, this pad has

Jumping Jack

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Now that Blackjack has a respectable level of fitness, Trainer G is getting him going again over fences. Like I said before, things have been a little on and off due to the weather and with both lessors being back in school. That being said, Blackjack has really enjoyed doing up downer lessons. I was supposed to have this lesson on September 26, but a full torrential downpour left the ride cancelled. Okay, I need to digress for a moment. Weather on the East Coast is far from tolerable; I've lived here my entire life. I know the drill. Florida, however? Batshit. Fully insane. At least in Maryland when we get the regular 2pm, out of nowhere thunder storm, it happens, then it's over, and it drains in a reasonable amount of time. When I tell you, if it is damn near a hurricane in Miami, it is fully a completely different weather situation once you go 10 miles in any direction. Not to mention, when it rains, it pours . And this year is even more inconvenient then last year. Long sto

Virgo Season

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I would make a legitimate goals post, but considering the circumstances, it's kind of not worth it lol. I've just started coming out of a sudden slump that was more frustrating than expected. It wasn't until a couple days ago that I remembered it's Virgo season. I'm always on a high during Leo season, but once August starts to fade away, my mood takes a sharp dip and is very slow to recover. Out of all of my annual mood fluctuations, this one has been the most consistent . . . and somehow, I still forgot after this many years, ha! Safe to say I'm feeling a lot less frustrated and a whole lot more motivated than I was even a week ago. And do you know what more motivation means??? More time for questionable graphic design! I had a lesson on Blackjack a couple days ago, which I promise to write about. It gave me a lot more clarity and focus moving forward with him. The last month has been a little on and off for everyone, so his fitness isn't 100% yet. The rai

That Ain't It

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Awe geez; I'm genuinely trying to post fun, happy, pony things on here, but some people are just making that difficult. Boyd Martin recently posted a response to the Plantation Field controversy . In case he suddenly deletes it, here's what it says: First and foremost, I want to be absolutely clear that I am one hundred per cent for diversity and equality in equestrian sports. At our farm here at Windurra I employ people from all different countries, cultures and religions. I have enjoyed training and competing horses with people from all over the world. The issue of race has nothing to do with my problem with EventingNation.com. Being on the board of Plantation Field International, it is my opinion that EN handled their questioning of the name “Plantation Field” terribly. They knew exactly what was going to happen when they pushed for the change just before our premier event, and I have emails to prove it. I am absolutely open to a discussion about changing the events name, bu

6 Month Covidaverssary: Gifts to get yourself during this extended quarantine

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 Y'all . . . half a year. We've been in this since March. Maybe for some non-Americans, things are going alright, but the threat of Covid-19 is still very real here. It's impossible to ignore the clear mental impact that this pandemic has had both on those with and without pre-existing mental health afflictions. Oh well, nothing that a little retail therapy can't cure! To be less facetious, the pandemic has pushed me to reconsider my shopping habits and lean harder towards supporting small/local businesses. Even when ordering food via Grubhub or UberEats, I've made an effort to avoid chains and try food from local places, which basically ended up with me eating too many burritos and drinking way too much bubble tea. I also turned to Etsy not only for cool masks but also some things to spruce up my at home work space and even my anniversary gifts. I recently got an email about the  Etsy Design Awards  and figured this is the perfect way to help promote small business

The Horses Were Racist, Too

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I was going to wait to make this next D&I check in until the end of this quarter, but some things have happened lately that I feel are worth talking about. First, in good news, Eventing Nation published the winners of their essay contest . Apparently everyone got a whopping $200 for sharing their stories. To the disappointment of my den mothers , I didn't end up entering because college has warped how I understand deadlines, but I've been scrolling through the 27 essays with both hesitation and glee. After harsh but fair criticism, it does seem like Eventing Nation/Nation Media is taking conversations about diversity seriously. From what I've been reading, there is a genuine effort to understand racism at more than a surface level. It's exciting to see the conversation shift from "We need diversity. Here's a Black person next to a horse," to a discussion about why existing socioeconomic systems factor into the lack of diversity and quite blatantly exp

Feel Good

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Classes started up again almost a month ago at this point. Long story short, it's been a  looong  month. I went to the barn a couple weeks ago and just cried for the last portion of my drive because I felt so overwhelmed by work and school and life. It seems like everything is starting to hit now. Memories are starting to actually feel like memories. Lucie isn't coming back. Blackjack and I are still getting to know each other, but it feels like an okay fit for now. I did have a conversation with my co-leasee and her mother, and Trainer G is open to finding a new horse, especially if both of us are still all in to lease. Both of us are genuinely struggling to feel attached to Blackjack. For me, it feels like more of an obligation and getting my money's worth. Even with another horse, it would likely be the same, but I do want to see this kid happy again. I also found out recently that she's very popular on Instagram, and a new horse would be a nice boost to her stats. T