Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reminiscing (literally a pretty pony photodump)

So, I went for a run last night, and my phone was near dead, so I opted to use my iPod instead for music. One thing led to another, and I started looking through my gallery, digging up some old photos and videos (some of which I posted early on with this blog), including some from my first show season. Let's just say I've always been bitter about having to ride a horse before noon.

Short, cold, tired, AND bitter
Twix w/ her old owner
Baby in her short stirrup mode
Still short stirrup, but looking real good
Sometimes Duke went fast
I also used to take pictures during lesson weekends, too. Two full days at the barn every other week (sometimes every week) from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and noon to 4pm on Sundays. I'm a barn rat at heart, and I hate being an adult and having to do adult things because I get minimal barn time.

Fish/Fisher/Fish Face
Splash (he had no nicknames :/)
Todd/Toddy/Toddster/Mr Todd
The best part is that now I have copious old, embarrassing photos of Izz. Yes, more embarrassing than her walking into the ocean while wearing jeans.

My fellow barn rat
When the jump is 2' but you're dramatic
Probably smart mouthing @ me
Of course, my personal favorite.

wen u try 2 b artsy but ur horse disagrees
I also have a copious photographs of Baby, partially because I used to be obsessed with having post media, but also because she's so damn cute.

Sunset Bean
Sunset Bean but zoomed in with more sass
And, of course, old courses during lessons (I'm G-A-G-G-I-N-G at these).

This is the course from the day I decided that Zoey was too much for me followed by a more daring but laidback ride a couple months later.

As a bonus, some more recent footage of Corbinator just as spring was making its appearance, and Miss J was letting us jump competition height again. 2'6" never felt so good.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November's 10 Questions

 Finishing off November the right way with questions from Viva Carlos.

How old is the youngest/greenest horse you’ve ridden? At least 4 years, but there might have been a 2 or 3 year old that I rode very early on. This has not been the safest/most logical journey for me.

How old is the oldest horse you’ve ridden? Buddy! Not sure of his exact age, but he was in his 30s.

Were you scared of horses when you first started riding? Lol no, but now it's questionable.

Would you say you’re a more nervous rider or a confident rider? Nervous, with emphasis on the nervous. I can deal with horses that are a handful, but I'm always on the border of a break down. Too many bad experiences.

Biggest pet peeve about non-horse people around horses? Not necessarily non-horse people in general, but my parents frustrate me. They aren't horse people, and they haven't really made an effort to learn about horses, so explaining things always takes a lifetime. No, dad, the stirrup leather does not come with the horse.

A time you’ve been scared for your life? P-l-e-n-t-y of times. Most recent was when Abbey took a rather persistent couple of canter strides towards a log during one of my lessons. To be clear, we were riding Dressage. Nothing that a little inside rein couldn't fix, but geez. Even my trainer couldn't get me to settle after that one.

Have you ever fallen off at show? What happened?

What’s a breed of horse you’ve never ridden but would like to ride? Hanoverian. I know it seems basic, but they are one of my favorite breeds of all time. No warmblood can compare.

Describe the worst behaved horse you’ve ridden? I'm saving that post for a rainy day.

The most frustrating ride you’ve ever had? Probably the last lesson I had on Baby. Relative to most of our lessons, it was a good ride, but I was so horribly anxious, and the fact that I knew it would be my last ride on her just made things worse. I do miss jumping big things though.

I WILL jump big things again // photo by Blue Ribbon Photography

Friday, November 25, 2016

We Moved

Right on time for those Black Friday sales, my shop has moved to Redbubble. I made the move for various reasons, but overall the new platform seems to be a better option with a wider variety of products. Redbubble has 20% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY, so have at it, y'all. I've also decided to make better use of my non-equestrian designs. There are a couple up right now, but more are on their way. One perk having a class where they teach you how to use Photoshop: cool looking homework assignments.

Shockingly, my TA was not the biggest fan of this one
Also, I bought a fish on impulse, so my Black Friday will be spent buying him everything.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Octovember's 10 Questions

Because sometimes we forget to post these during the right month.

What do you consider “jumping high” for yourself?
At this point, anything over 3'0" would be high. Even 2'6" still feels a bit daunting.

Remember when I was young and reckless?
What are your short term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them?
My big short term goal is to get back to showing at 2'6" without wanting to throw myself off a cliff. I'm not sure how likely that is. It depends on a lot of different factors at the moment.

Long term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them?
Become a trainer. We appear to still be going in that general direction.

How many barns have you been at in your riding career?
Ah, geez, too many considering how long I've been riding. If I'm really counting all of them, 10, all for various reasons, and that number may go up to 12 by the summer.

Newest location is straight grass and trails, my kinda heaven
How many different trainers have you been with in your riding career?
This seems incriminating, but I guess I'll spill. I've only had two trainers who I'd consider my main trainers: Miss S & Miss El. The other four were/are situational.

Ever worked at a barn? What did you do?
Yeah, I did a ton of work for Miss S, in and out of the barn. Besides cleaning pastures and helping out during lessons, I did her website and a lot of photography. Had we been able to do a show before I left, that would also be added to the list.

Scariest thing that has happened at your barn?
One of my teammates went over her horse's head a couple weeks ago and took a hoof to the ear. It was . . . unsettling.

GP jumpers are also a bit stressful to watch let alone ride
Have you ever given a lesson? What level was the rider?
I've walked lead liners around, but the most I've ever done is try to explain left vs right to them, which is shockingly difficult. My children won't know direction because I'm not teaching that ever again.

What is your opinion on the accuracy of critiquing riders online?
Accuracy is a crap shoot. Same as real life. Plenty of people traipsing around show grounds and internet forums pretending that they know what's up, flaunting their so called "knowledge" when they can't tell an elephant from their own ego. That being said, I personally appreciate those conversations because it becomes painfully clear who I shouldn't ask for advice.

What is the ideal height of a horse for you?
Listen, if it's a horse, I will not complain. I don't have many options at the moment (although minimum 15.2 is preferred).

Pony days are never over

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Going . . . going . . . good

Horses are awesome, y'all.

Despite the near constant stress that is caused by this hell hole we call higher education, I've still managed to go to the barn without feeling like I had a bajillion other obligations to take care of. The last couple of weeks have been quite a bit of swapping and intensive flatwork with some jumping. We've been fortunate enough to be outside for most of it, but winter is most definitely coming.

Tragically, I haven't been on Oscar lately, but the bag of recent mounts is a mixed one. I started out on Dori a couple weeks ago and swapped a bit. Last week, I started on Kodi and did some more swapping, then I finally got my hands on Tiber to school for an IEA show last Saturday. This past Friday, I rode Smooch, who we love dearly.

He actually gave me a hard time when I first got on. Some spinning, some inverting . . . he ended up knocking over the mounting station for shows . . . and then I forgot to put it back up, whoops. He settled right down for our ride. I think we broke every time we cantered. We did a lot of switching directions and transitions today, plus a little no-stirrup work. I was actually shocked since Coach S is all about No Stirrup November. Eh, I'll take the break.

He was p-e-r-f-e-c-t to jump. He even did a trot over for our warm-up fence. We nailed every distance, and he was so energetic to everything. Everyone harshes on Smooch because he's undoubtedly the angriest horse you'll ever meet,
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