Bloggers at a Baazar

The one part of getting married that I had really enjoyed (besides the getting married part) was actually planning my wedding. I loved looking at the options, comparing prices, researching etc. I had seriously considered becoming a wedding planner as I had so much fun with it but quickly realized that trying to deal with bridezillas would be my downfall. When L. got engaged and mentioned that she wanted some company to a bridal baazar happening at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, I was there for that.

We ubered from the showpark to the fairgrounds. It was quite crowded when we got there even though we were there early-ish in the morning. L had specific things she was looking for but was interested in looking at most of the other stuff.

We walked around, got a bunch of free information, ate some cake slices (YUM!) and got a few pictures from a photo booth. It was a lot of fun, even more so since I didn’t have any pressure of paying attention or worrying about which options would work for me.

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The fashion show was interesting. There always seems to be a trend in wedding dresses for the year. This year seemed to be sparkly. There were a lot of dresses with sparkles. There were a few that had see-through sections as well. Scandalous! It’s hard to picture how a certain dress would look on someone and L agreed. It was good to see the variety but she wants to go and try on a bunch of styles to see what she likes.

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Afterward, we ate lunch and watched some equitation classes at the showpark. Then, we said hi to Dante and watched him be a goofy baby in turnout. He is so handsome and has really bulked out over this last year. It was a really fun day being silly with a friend.

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Rugged Maniac 4/28

Backlog of posts incoming. I’ve had ideas/media for all of these posts but just haven’t squeezed in the time to write them. I didn’t want to not share them though so let’s all take a trip back in time.

My sister asked me back when I was training for my half marathon if I wanted to do a rugged maniac run with her. She had done it last year and really enjoyed it. The race was a 5k with obstacles and mud to get over throughout the course. This one had 26 obstacles. I agreed to do it and found myself gearing up to get completely dirty on a Saturday morning.

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I felt a little concerned about my ability to complete the course when there was a chest high wall you had to boost yourself over before you even got to the starting line. I was able to get over it and it wasn’t as hard as I feared but talk about throwing you into the deep end.

We got most of the way through a mile before we even hit the mud section of the run. The obstacles were stacked on the back two miles of the run so we didn’t get much running in there. I’ll spare you the description of each one and just say look at the pictures.

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Instead, I’ll tell you about one. One terrible, horrible obstacle that I cannot remove from my brain. It was called Claustrophobia.

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They took a large drainage tunnel under the road and filled it with mud. This wasn’t ordinary mud either. I swear that they added corn starch or gelatin to it because it was the stickiest, most slippery mud that I have ever seen. We had to wade through around 15 feet of mud that came to mid-calf. You had to carefully pull your feet up in a somewhat sideways motion or you’d lose your shoe. After the wading, they had made a huge mound of the mud for another 15 feet that you had to climb up onto and either walk bent in half or crawl. I had the worst time trying to get up there. Slippery mud doesn’t help with climbing up things. I ended up getting my sister’s bf to boost me from behind and then I crawled through. The mud stuck to hands and feet like nothing else. It looked like I had dipped my hand into wax. It would not come off when shaking your hand or scrapping it off. It took forever to get clean. My feet felt 10 pounds heavier with all the mud stuck to my shoes.

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We had to go back through it on the way back to the finish line. It was definitely the worst/best part of the run. I’ll definitely remember it for a long while.

It took about two hours to complete the whole run since there ended up being quite the bottleneck at the obstacles. There were a lot of people out running as well. I managed to not get burnt except for a tiny spot on my neck where I missed with sunblock. I’m sure the mud helped protect me from the sun as well. It was fun. I’ll have to see how I feel next year before I decide whether to do it again or not. I definitely would only ever do this as a team. Without other people there, I would have had a lot of issue getting over the obstacles and would not have had as much fun laughing at myself.

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SO MUCH RIDING!!!

I got to ride so much in the last three days. I rode four times!

Four times you say? How could you manage to do that with only one horse? Did you ride him multiple times in one day?

The answer to that is no. I got to ride two horses in one day! XD But that didn’t happen until Sunday so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Friday I ran again for probably the first time since my half marathon. I shouldn’t have let it go so long as all of my endurance totally disappeared but it is what it is. It was only a short two mile run but I could still feel it. Riding was a bit harder as a result since my legs were quite tired. This week has been a lot more exercise than I’ve been able to get recently. I’m very happy with this but the result is that I’m extremely tired.

Scarlet was well behaved and we did a bunch of simple changes across serpentines during the ride. But I was honestly too tired to really ask for much more. I’m hopeful that my stamina will improve now that I’m getting back to my normal routine. (My tiredness is probably  not helped by the fact that I stayed up late three nights in a row to read)

Saturday, I meant to get up before it got hot out to ride but did not make it. I had wanted to get out to the barn around 8:30 but that was when I woke up. It probably ended up being 9:30 before I made it out there. It was hot. Hot hot hot. It was one of the first days that I felt like it was really uncomfortable for both me and Scarlet. My plan for Saturday was to ride him longer and get him really working but I did not. I gave up to the heat (I’m a weenie sometimes).

Sunday was awesome. I am friends with a lady named K at my barn. Our paths don’t cross too often during the week since we have different schedules. On the weekends, if I get out in the morning, we can generally say hi or go for a ride together. She has three horses and offered to let me ride her horse M. I jumped at the chance. K is an eventer and M has gone up to Training level before. She is a much more trained horse that I’ve had the chance to ride outside of a lesson in a long time.

I set an alarm so I’d get out of bed on time and met up with K at 8ish at the barn. We got M and another of her horses, JC, ready for the ride. K had put up a grid of fences for the ride with her first horse and she adjusted it down to a trot pole, cross rail to another pole that would eventually be a vertical.

While I warmed up, M made me work for the ride. Not that she was naughty or lazy but she made you ask for real work and ask properly. A lot of my warmup involved really getting her through the outside rein and her shoulders not popping out toward the rail. We did a lot of circles and spirals in and out. K coached me a bit on how I needed to ask her. It took a bit but I got the hang of it.

One amazing thing about riding M was you could immediately tell if something wasn’t right. If her shoulders popped out, her trot got very bouncy and almost gaited feeling. It was really difficult mentally and physically to keep remembering what my body needed to do. Scarlet isn’t micromanage-y like that but he also doesn’t have a ton of difference between his bad and good gaits so I don’t know as quickly if there are problems.

There were a few trot poles set in the arena. One set was a bit short, so I had to remind M to keep it slow and steady. The other was set a bit long so I had to ask for a more open stride. I  must have asked too well because once we got over the first pole, M CANTERED through the trot poles. It was the weirdest and funniest thing I’ve had happen to me on a horse in a while. K was laughing as well and pointed out that she got all her feet in between the poles. Mare is flexible obviously.

After we finished warming up, K pointed me toward a couple of fences and reminded me to commit to the fence and taking off where I want to take off. My bad habit of throwing my upper body at the fence emerged and I had to remind myself at every stride to think “Sit back.” We got several good trot fences once I reminded M that we were waiting until we got to the fence, not taking the spot that is twelve feet away. We repeated for the canter.

Sufficiently warmed up, K sent me through my first grids ever. We trotted in and over the cross rail. The pole was left as is until I went over it a couple of times. K had to remind me to not act like I was jumping the pole, let it come to me. I also needed to lower my hands and let them follow M’s mouth. I did my best to improve and M seemed to appreciate it.

Then K set the pole as a vertical. M loved the extra jump and rocketed through the grid. Not that she was being overly fast. She just has this… force to her jump that I’ve never felt before. Mare reaches under herself and really gets up and over the jumps. It was fantastic. It felt so powerful and so much fun. We called it after a few go-throughs as the horses were sweating and the lesson kids were showing up. We put the jumps back in their original places and hosed our horses off.

Scarlet got a really short ride again as I was exhausted by the time I got on him. I did get him over a crossrail a few times at a trot and canter. I wanted to see if I could feel a difference keeping myself back better over the jumps. I think I did feel it a bit but I’m not entirely sure. It’s a very different feel on him since he is a full 5″ shorter and not nearly as powerful.

I’m really grateful that I got to ride M. K would like to do it again as she thinks M needs to get out and be ridden more often. She gets her three out as much as possible but its not easy when you have three to ride and a day job plus a family. I’m very much on board with this plan.

Getting Back to Habits

*Adding pictures from Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC and Seattle for interesting media from my vacation*

I’m one of those people who lives by her habits. If it’s not something I do daily, it’s really hard to get me to do it at all. That’s not to say that I don’t have flexibility in my schedule. I have gaps of downtime to do what I want. But exercise, visiting the horse, chores and such, those need to be on a schedule so I do them.

My schedule has been all kinds of messed up recently so going out to the barn the first time this week was both amazing and hard. I’m glad I went and I feel much better for it but getting out there in the first place was hard. I felt a little off and everything felt a little weird.

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We went on a duck ride tour! It was amazing. Cheesy and silly but well worth it.

It had gotten cold suddenly after a few days of 80-degree weather here (cold being 60s) and I hadn’t ridden Scarlet much lately so I wanted to let him out into the arena to get some wiggles out. I grabbed him out of his pen and got the lunge whip from the tack room. I was thinking I’d let him roll and then lunge him a bit. However, he saw the whip and was not interested in relaxing after that.

He was pretty snorty and did not want to trot around me. I haven’t used a lunge line in forever with him as he is pretty good about circling me and I don’t generally lunge anyway. This time, it would have been nice as he was not listening to my voice when I was asking him to slow down. I kept at it until he responded to me and transitioned down and back up as I asked.

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Portage Bay Cafe had a breakfast bar where you could add whipped cream and tons of fruit options to your pancakes or french toast. Yum!

I quickly tacked up and we walked to the front arena. He power walked his way over. We’ve been doing laps around the barn more often so he is more comfortable walking around. It’s nice because it makes for a good warm up or cool down. I didn’t push hard while riding because we are out of shape. But we did a bit of trot and canter and I called it good.

Tuesday I worked on getting us nice and stretched out. Again, I didn’t push much. Not for Scarlet’s sake but for mine. I could feel my muscles protesting while I moved.

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The bathroom stalls at Pike Place Market are… short. I’m 5’7″ and my head is completely over the wall. Awkward….

Wednesday, it was hard to get out. I had to leave 20 minutes later than normal due to needing to stay back for work stuff and then there was an accident and traffic. I decided to stop by the feed store and grab some shavings. While I was there, I bought a rubber stock tank to put his hay in. I’ve wanted one for a while but haven’t gotten around to getting one.

I dumped the stuff outside Scarlet’s pen and pulled him out. After giving him a quick grooming, I put the bareback pad on him and then walked around the barn. I have been trying to get him to venture toward the front after each ride as there is a trail setup in the far arena and I’d like to be able to use it occasionally. I’ve not got him past the back of the main barn yet as he gets tense. While I want to push him and ask him to go further, I also don’t want to make it a terrible experience. I don’t want to fight him. I want him to trust me when I say it’s okay for us to go up there.

We headed just past our normal jump arena and Scarlet got spooked by… poles? A small piece of plastic blowing? A mounting block? I’m not sure which spooked him but he decided to hurry in the opposite direction. And my heart leapt as I realize I was trying to push him out of his comfort zone with NO SADDLE.

I might be crazy.

After circling him, I made him sniff the things and then pushed forward. And he kept going. I kept my legs on but didn’t really push him much. Just encouraging without force behind it. And we kept going. We made it all the way to the front of the main barn and stood looking at the front arena. I was super happy with him and didn’t want to jinx it by pushing him further so I turned him back to end our ride.

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I moved his hay into the stock tank and cleaned up his stall a little before splitting open the shavings. Scarlet nosed his way through them and looked like he was trying to eat them. I had hoped that he would roll in them but he was more interested in eating. Oh well. I’m glad I got the shavings though. I’m going to work up to getting his shavings built up in his stall somewhat. I can’t fit too many bags into my car at one time though (Prius C) so it will be slow going.

 

Looking for Muscles

My lack of riding recently (and honestly any sort of physical activity) has come back to bite me in the butt in a major way. I’m so weak while riding and sore afterward. I got out three times last week and two times this week. While that may not seem like much, my body sure thought it was.

I’m not focusing on anything in particular when riding right now since we are both out of shape. I just want to get Scarlet moving. I got some trot pole work done on Monday. That ride we had zero bend for forever so I did a lot of serpentines and circles on Tuesday in order to encourage bending.

Tuesday as I started posting, my back muscles screamed at me. Not a sharp enough pain to make me stop riding but enough that I really felt it. I did work out of it as I warmed up but that was not fun. My job is sitting at a computer all day and I’m sure that is doing my back no favors. As I get back into shape, I’m going to have to do my best to strengthen my back muscles a lot in order to compensate for what my job does to my back.

I’m out of town during the week for the next two weeks so not much riding in the future. I’m planning on posting still just not with riding related posts. I’ve got a huge “things I bought” post that needs to happen. And I’m sure I’ll figure out something else to post.

Life, stahp, please!

So, life isn’t letting up on me. This past month has been kinda crazy. I was able to get out a handful of times and then I went to Mary’s annual tent sale and got sick. I’m never around people since I work from home so that many people crammed into a small space kicked me in the butt hard.

You’d think that a cold would just suck and I’d be able to work past it. Not this one. For some reason, this was the worst cold I’ve had in a while. I ended up calling out of work one day and sleeping the day away. It took about a week for me to get back on my feet.

Then I got the notice from my landlord that we were going to actually be starting the repairs in our apartment. This involved removing all the hardwood floor in the house and replacing it with a tile. That’s about 60% of the living space. Since I work from home, there was no way I was going to be able to actually work with construction going on outside the room. So we had to go to a hotel. But first, we had a week of clearing out stuff out of the hardwood area. So maybe 1 time riding. I honestly can’t remember at this point.

The week we were in the hotel I actually got out to the barn 3 days in a row for the first time in forever. Scarlet did so well. I wasn’t focused on anything in particular. I just wanted to get us out and moving since we hadn’t. He definitely is out of shape. The few days that were slightly warmer, he worked up a sweat quickly.

We’re back in our house now. Thank you fabulous tile layer who moved at the speed of light. The hotel room was terrible and I’m really happy to be home. But my life really isn’t getting slower. Work (hopefully) finished our new version release last Friday and we will be moving on to actually releasing and then starting the new version. We are switching teams around for the new version and are being brought into the home office for mixing and doing team building stuff. I’ve got one week and then I’ve got to spend the whole week in the central coast. Then the week after we are going on our first just us vacation in a looooong time. I’m looking forward to that but I’m really missing barn time. I’m going to get out as much as possible this next week in order to get my barn fix.

30 Facts About Me Blog Hop

I decided to join in on the blog hop that started on May As Well Event and has been making the rounds. This was super hard. I don’t find myself all that interesting and got to maybe 12 before I had to go re-read everyone else’s posts to get ideas of what to talk about.

30 Facts About Me:

1. I graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Modern Languages and Literature. It’s a degree that is basically combining a Spanish major with a secondary language minor. This means I’m fluent in Spanish and conversationally fluent in French.

2. As part of my major, I studied abroad in Spain for a semester. I studied in the Basque country in Bilbao. I loved being in Europe, but honestly wish that I had gone through a different program. All the members of the group were mostly there to drink and party. I don’t do either of these things. Our classes were segregated from the Spanish students there and I feel like that was a big portion missing. I was fluent enough that I could have easily slid into a normal class at the university. I don’t regret it, but I wish the program had been different.

3. My ultimate goal for my language skill is to be pentlingual. I’ve got three down and am currently teaching myself Japanese.

4. I have never lived outside of CA. Each time I’ve moved, I have moved progressively more south in the state. Redbluff, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo for school and now San Diego.

5. I was born blue from being in the birth canal for too long. I put my mother through almost 24 hours of labor. She reminds me of this often. Luckily, I suffered no ill effects from this incident. (No one has told me otherwise. lol)

6. I have only one sister and am grateful it wasn’t more but a huge, talented extended family. Both my dad and my mom have several siblings and most of them have 2-5 children each. One of my cousins almost was in the Olympics for gym in 2016 but didn’t want to move away and do the crazy training they all do. She beat almost all the girls on that team in most of the individual events and all round as well. She was something like 3rd in the nation at one point. Another cousin works for DreamWorks. He worked on large films like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. I’ve got a cousin who’s a lawyer, one who is an actress/model, one who regularly travels the world. It’s not hard to develop an inferiority complex in my family. lol

7. I raised market sheep for 4-H for four years growing up. It was hard at first but I figured out how to not get attached to them as they were going straight to market. I still won’t eat straight up lamb. Kebobs are the only exception.

8. I currently work from home as QA for a software company. It’s lovely to work from home but my job is not so lovely. It pays a lot for very little overall effort so it works for now. Definitely not what I want to do in the long run.

9. I have a huge needle phobia. I tried to run out of the Drs office when I was 12. I can’t watch needles on tv nor in person even if it’s not going in me. I was in an equine science class in college (for fun) and was at the front of the group cause horses when the professor handed me a capped syringe while he got a horse out of a stall for a vaccination demonstration. I had to focus super hard to not drop the syringe or pass out from fear.

10. I didn’t get ears pierced until 18 mostly due to the needle phobia. No matter how much I told myself it wasn’t a needle, I couldn’t separate the fear from the action. I almost managed to get it done a few months before I actually did it but when I was sitting in a chair there was a dad trying to convince his daughter that she didn’t actually want to get her ears pierced. He joked that they were going to use a super huge thick needle. I noped right out of there so I wouldn’t have a panic attack. My mom wanted to punch the guy in the face. I have no other body modifications though would love to get one tattoo. I even know what I’d get and where I’d put it but don’t think anyone would do it on someone drugged out of their mind to deal with it.

11. I had melanoma at 21 and surgery the week after diagnosis to remove it. I’m ethnically several different pale northern European countries so I’m really freaking pale. And have moles. So predisposed to skin cancer. yay… I’m absolutely obsessed with keeping myself protected from the sun now. I’m constantly wearing SPF 70 with SPF 50 sunshirts when outside. I love the sun but it does not love me back.

12. I love reading. I will giggle maniacally when I exit the library with a haul just because I’m so happy to have a new stack of books. My current favorite authors are Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop, and Tamora Pierce. I will loan out my favorites and will do my best to get anyone hooked on reading. I will find a book you will like! I also read super fast so my library having a checkout limit of 40 is fantastic. I can read a full normal sized fantasy book in about 3-4 hours. Of course, I do nothing else during that time but pee and drink but its a lovely 3-4 hours. 🙂

13. I love writing. I write in my journal, I write in this blog and I write fiction. I’ve been writing stories for forever. I wrote fanfiction back in junior high and high school. In college, I really tried to write original pieces but never made it past the beginning. Last October was the first time I wrote a full novel length story. I currently have one and a half novel-length stories written. Being an author is my dream job and I’m working hard to make it happen.

14. My hobbies outside of riding and reading are video games and watching anime. I’ve been playing video games for a long long time. My favorite cousin introduced me to them in the Nintendo 64 era and I was gone. I like the types that have more story elements involved (RPG for those others who play them) or some type of overall goal to achieve. Anime I picked up in junior high and really enjoyed. I actually met my husband through a college club related to anime so it’s been a good thing in my life. 🙂

15. I did all the sports in school. Basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and field, cross country, tennis. The only large one I didn’t do was swimming because we didn’t have a pool at any of my schools so the swimming team was very small.

16. I’ve run two half marathons. I set them as goals more so to push myself to actually work out. I don’t necessarily regret doing them but running that distance is difficult and moves from fun to painful and boring.

17. All my workouts end up being in my home, running or riding. I hate gyms. I like the equipment in them but something about the atmosphere throws me off. I can find classes I like at studios and such but that is very dependent on the group of people and the feel of the place.

18. The worst injury I’ve ever had was either my bruised tailbone or a weird bruise/swelling on my knee/upper shin area that I got from falling on the goat ladder. I’ve never broken a bone or even sprained anything.

19. I don’t drink alcohol. None of my friends really do so its not a social thing for me and I don’t like the taste of almost anything. Super sweet mixed drinks and some hard ciders are about it. I think it’s kinda a waste of calories unless it’s really necessary for a social situation.

20. I’ve been riding since I was 8, though I got on a neighbors pony a few times around 4 or so. I don’t count that cause I didn’t really do anything on my own. That’s almost 20 years worth of riding. My college years were sparse in regards to riding time as I didn’t have my own horse and could only afford some lessons here and there.

21. I’ve only ever owned one horse, Scarlet, in two different chunks of time. (I really need to write about the actual story in full. It’s quite the story. )

22. I have literally no preference in color for Future Horse. I think some are prettier than others but color is literally not even on the list of things to consider.

23. My horse related dreams are to someday get all the way to a Grand Prix jumping class. I don’t need to win or even place. I just want to be able to safely and competently get around the ring. It’s a very big dream and I need a lot more money before this even becomes a possibility.

24. My husband is the only guy I’ve ever dated. I didn’t intentionally avoid dating but I didn’t ever find anyone that I really liked. It was hard to be attracted to guys when they honestly couldn’t hold a conversation. I like talking and getting to know people. There was one guy in high school who I dated for maybe a week but that doesn’t count given how short it was.

 

25. I’m a pretty picky eater when it comes to veggies/squash. The texture is a huge problem for me. My husband has worked steadily to expand my pallet for foods where the texture isn’t a huge turnoff and it has worked. I can now eat a lot of spicy dishes and more variety than I have previously. It’s quite nice because I’m able to try restaurants and new styles of food without being concerned that I won’t be able to eat anything.

26. I love baking but not cooking. I can make delicious sugary, chocolately, carby things when baking. I wish I had a bunch of friends close by I could give food to because then I could bake more often. Otherwise, I eat it all on my own.

27. I like watching shows but I have a terrible time sitting still through them. It’s hard for me to actually sit down and finish watching them. However, I like things on in the background while I work so I generally have something on youtube streaming (generally gaming related). We have Netflix but won’t bother with an actual tv subscription until we can pick and choose channels.

28. My  memory is really really good for absorbing things (probably why languages work well). Don’t challenge me on Disney or harry potter facts. =P I can probably tell you the whole of a book’s story if you start me with a title and author. My aunt quizzed me once on a book that took me no time to read and I got everything correct.

29. I am a fantastic listener. I’ve been told this by many many people and I tend to be the default for my friends to rant to. You want someone to listen and just commiserate? That’s me! You want someone to listen and figure out ways to resolve the issue? That’s also me!

30. I’m terrible at self-motivation. It is the bane of my existence and something I am constantly trying to overcome. Self-motivation is super duper important for working out, writing, riding etc. I know I need to improve so that I can meet my own goals but it is so hard. When there is no one but myself to disappoint, it is very easy to let myself slip. I am getting better. I’m good at habits so if something becomes a regular thing for me, I’m more likely to keep it up for forever.

So there we have it. 30 things about me. Some of them may have been talked about on the blog already. I’m super open to sharing things and don’t remember talking about any of these in detail. Hope you all learned some more about me!

Back to the Important Stuff

With my half marathon over, I’ve been trying to get back to my normal rhythm of life. This first week back wasn’t quite normal but it was definitely closer than I have been recently. I was able to get out once on Tuesday and then Friday and Saturday. Monday I was too dang sore to get out period.

Tuesday was freaking cold. (Seriously winter why do you wait until the end of February to get here?) It was blowing hard and that made it about 20 degrees cooler than the actual temperature. I got Scarlet out and put him into an arena to run around a bit. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I was going to ride or not. It had been almost five days since I’d ridden him and it wasn’t calm horse weather.

He rolled and then had a fun little sprint down the line of the arena. I walked in and he lunged in a circle around me at a trot and canter without too many shenanigans so I decided that I could probably manage a ride.

He was so good for the ride. I’m so proud of him. He was tense for sure but he didn’t have a fit or spook and just kept going forward when asked. I just wanted to get him out and moving so I didn’t ask for much more than circles and serpentines as far as hard work.

Friday, I got out of work early due to having a meeting through my lunch hour so I was able to spend plenty of time grooming and fussing with Scarlet before getting on. I wanted to make sure that Scarlet worked for at least 30 minutes as he has definitely not been getting as regular of work in the last couple of months. After warming up, he was pretty sure we were done and needed to leave the ring. He just kinda slid sideways at the opening. I told him we weren’t done yet and he continued working.

It was only about 20 minutes in for our ride and I wanted to trot a lot more. Scarlet stocks up in his sheath area without regular work and trotting gets the blood flowing the best. But just trotting forever is boring. I decided I wanted to try to have him trot without much rein direction from me. I slid my reins to the buckle and we trotted.

It was hard. Scarlet speed up like nuts without rein direction. I know my hands do too much while riding and it’s something I need to work on. Sometimes we are good and he isn’t leaning on my reins but it takes a lot of effort to get to that point. He trotted without listening. I had to fight my body to not lean forward and thus encourage him to go faster. Leaning back, I tried to slow down my posting to encourage him to slow down as well. But I’ve never really understood how to do that without getting off beat on the posting so it didn’t go well. (If anyone has a good article explaining that, please let me know.)

After a bunch of circles and some voice commands to slow down, we ended up getting the idea of trotting at a normal speed down. I kept trying to use the reins to tell him to slow down but with my hands basically on the buckle, they really didn’t do anything so I had to really stick with my voice and body.

To cool off, I tried to get him listening to my body to halt from the walk. I shortened the reins and combined the voice command with doing my best to still my seat per what I’ve read in Jane Savoie’s books. I backed it up with the reins if he didn’t listen after a few steps. It got better as we went along. I’m hopeful we can figure out how to do this together.

Saturday was more just for moving around riding. Nothing new there.

After each ride this week, I took Scarlet to graze on the grass growing in the field. Hand grazing isn’t something we have easy access to at this barn. They don’t have a patch of grass they maintain that we are allowed to graze on. I really dislike it but it is what it is. The last barn had a huge lawn to graze on and I loved just letting Scarlet scarf up mouthfuls for half an hour or so after each ride.

I did find myself zoning out while hand grazing. Does anyone else find the sound of horses eating grass soothing? It allows me to get to an almost meditative state, just holding the line and watching Scarlet eat. I wish I could graze him more often but that’s CA for you. I’m making a point to take him to graze as often as possible while the grass still exists.

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Next phone I get needs a good front and back camera. Also, does anyone have any classes on selfies? This took 14 tries!

Half Marathon: Accomplished

Saturday, I ran my second half marathon.

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I did one back in college and I was in really great shape when I was training for it. I don’t get in shape very well without a concrete goal to goad me into working out so I signed up for another half marathon. As I was training for it, I realized I really don’t have the time to devote to running like I used to.

In college, I could run for 2 hours each morning no problem. I still managed to go to school, do homework and work. Now, I just don’t have that time. I was able to run during my hour-long lunch. But that was about it except for the weekends. If I had wanted to do more, I would have had to give up days with Scarlet. As it was, I was too tired to ride some days.

I also started to dislike running because it became a hated chore. Not a good thing to do when you need to run multiple days a week. I was counting down the days till the stupid run so I could just stop running.

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Someday I’ll hike here so that I can appreciate the view without trying to suck in air like it’s going out of style.

The track was off-road and had a super steep mountain we went out and back across. It was a lot harder than I had anticipated and I had to walk a lot more than I had planned. My joints hurt from rolling my ankle and not having a flat place to set my foot down. The track was narrow and a favorite of mountain bikers so we had to dodge those while running. I was out there so I just kept my focus on finishing because I had to.

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I finished in 3 hours and 5 minutes. Almost a full 30 minutes slower than my previous one (that one wasn’t off road). I’m a little disappointed but mostly just glad to be done. I don’t think I’ll ever try an off-road half marathon again. And if I ever run a half again, it would ONLY happen if I have a work schedule that would allow me the time I need to actually work out to the point where I feel prepared. So basically, never. XD

Now that I’m done, I’m very much looking forward to getting back into a normal routine with relaxing occasionally during lunch, running a bit and riding all the days I want to. 🙂

How to break up with a farrier

Okay,  haven’t fallen off the face of the planet I swear. Work is still nuts. (Seriously how long do they expect us to run at 120%? This is nuts. It’s been product release time for about 4 months now and it’s killing me.) My half marathon is this Saturday and I’m freaking about that. My goal is to finish and anything else is a bonus.

I’ve not been able to get much horse stuff done. I visited my best friend over the weekend which requires flying up to NorCal. It was delightful but I didn’t get any riding time obviously. (Not a horse friend.)

One thing that has been on my mind is breaking up with my farrier. I’ve never done it and have zero idea how to go about it politely. It’s such an awkward thing.

My farrier isn’t bad. He hasn’t done anything noticeably bad with Scarlet’s feet. He is just “meh” as far as quality goes.

My problems with him are centered around 2 things:

  1. I have limited knowledge of how horse feet are supposed to go and what healthy feet consist of. I like asking my farriers questions so that I understand what is going on. The farrier I had before I moved was fantastic about it. This farrier barely responds to direct questions. This isn’t a huge problem because I’m also not there when he shoes so my questions are over text. Still, I’d prefer to have more back and forth when discussing my horse’s hoof health.
  2. He keeps creeping the reshoe dates closer together. He contacted me for the first reshoeing at about 7 weeks. We planned it for the week after. Every subsequent time, he has been trying to get it to a 6-7 week cycle. Not because Scarlet needs it. He is fine until the standard 8 weeks. Longer right now since we aren’t riding terribly much.

I don’t generally allow the quicker shoeing and push back the time he will come out. When I was out of town this weekend, he texted me asking if he could shoe Scarlet since he was out there. It’s about 6 weeks. I told him not yet as he was still good. I then was told that Scarlet had twisted a shoe and he had already pulled it since he noticed it when he was walking by. I then gave him permission to reshoe since Scarlet was already missing one.

He explained that the back nails were loose. That’s not a twisted shoe. That’s not something you are really going to notice when walking by a stall filled with soft dirt. Maybe you would as a farrier but that’s kinda the last straw. If my horse’s shoe was really twisted and would be causing him pain, yes please do pull it before contacting me. Loose nails? I’d rather you don’t.

I’d been contemplating trying another farrier in the area that L and Carrie used. I think he is the same price for a half shoe or maybe 10$ more. I think I’m going to reach out to him and schedule a shoeing the next time. Now, I just have to figure out how to convey that I’m not using you again to my farrier. It should be simple. “Oh, I’m switching to a different farrier.” But I’m worried about being asked why. I’d ask if there was a specific reason so I could know and improve upon said reason so I’m just expecting him to ask. And as I said, there is nothing terribly bad about him, just that his service is meh and I feel like I can find (and deserve) better when I’m paying $140 for a half shoe.

Anyone done this before? Any suggestions?