We’re Gonna Be a Mighty Team

Tuesday morning I walked into work, bleary eyed and pale (I caught a terrible death plague and ended up leaving early yesterday and staying home today), coffee in one hand, bagel in the other. Stupidly, I had forgotten about our usual Tuesday morning product training meetings. Awesomely, I had woken up exceptionally early and decided to just go in instead of laze around in bed. I was only ten minutes behind schedule for the product training, so I quietly twisted the door handle to the conference room full to the brim with my coworkers, and slipped inside.

Immediately, I was met with a chorus of cheers and applause. I stopped dead and stared blankly at my loud, opinionated, funny, caring coworkers who were beside themselves with glee over the fact that I had found my next horse. Dover has given me a room full of women (and one token gentleman who is very, very patient to put up with all of us!) who are surrogate aunts, mothers, and grandmothers. When I lost Image, their hearts were breaking too. It shouldn’t have been a shock to me that they were all so thrilled to know that I had finally found The Horse, but knowing that all of those lovely people were rooting for me was one of the sweetest things I’ve encountered in quite awhile.

I’m sure that little anecdote has told you exactly what I’m about to say, but just for good measure: yes, the charming, funny little yellow Walker has decided I should be his. Previ the Peruvian was a lovely little horse with personality coming out of every pore, but something just wasn’t “right”. There were a couple of outside factors that concerned me, but as we were gaiting around the ring, I realized that I wasn’t picturing my next riding adventures framed by black ears. I was picturing them framed by yellow ones. I sighed internally, and gave in to what I had a feeling was going to happen: I didn’t want another Walker, but another Walker wanted me. So, here we are.

Lookit those big fuzzy wuzzy ears!

I’m already starting to think about a riding plan and getting his gait back to being a true, four beat gait consistently (he’s more apt to pace or step pace if given a choice)…and he may have a brand new, bright blue rope halter sitting on my bed right now. Some of Image’s tack will become his tack, but I think he deserves some new things of his very own as well. Admittedly, I’m keeping their color the same, because that electric blue looks SO freaking good on a palomino! I am also coveting this set from Taylored Tack (www.tayloredtack.com):

Lynika headstall. SO PRETTY.
Brice breastcollar. 

In this color biothane:


like NO ONE’S business. I may need an intervention before I start painting the actual pony blue as well 😉 I don’t NEED more tack…but who doesn’t want to spoil their new critter?

Anyway, I am scrambling to find Simba (yes, I am calling him Simba!) a place to stay for a little while, as both Coworker L and Barn Owner L have zero room at this point in time. I have a couple of options that I need to flesh out before Saturday, as the boarding situation where he’s at is kind of…well, it’s special, to say the least, and I’d like him out of there as soon as possible. No fault of M’s whatsoever, but it’ll be a weight off of M’s shoulders to not have him at that barn any longer. I will bring him home, have Dr. McGee do a vet check for me, and hopefully we will be on our merry way.

I am, as I was with Image, excited and terrified. However, this time is feels so very different from when I was getting ready to bring Image home. There is nothing like the excitement of bringing your first horse home, and I’m a bit sad I won’t ever really feel that again…however, this is the start of something new. Something good, I hope. I feel like a really big weight has been taken off of my chest because I have something in my life to hold on to again. I still miss Image, and I still miss GP…but hopefully, Simba and I are going to have a long, lovely story full of adventure and laughter and kisses all over that sweet face!

Blonde Bombshell

I went back and rode King today.

I’ve never been one to fall for blondes, but I think I’ve fallen for one.

Today was the coldest, windiest day yet this season. It didn’t even get above freezing, and with the wind, it was likely to be painful if you stood around too long. Still, after M and I checked in with each other (“Are you game?” “I am if you are!”), I donned my warmest riding clothes and trekked out to western MA. I sang at the top of my lungs the entire drive out to keep myself from thinking too much. It worked, for the most part. I decided late last week that as much as I loved Lucy, I just couldn’t stomach the “what if” that came with her age. I will, however, be going back to J’s to ride in the near future! So, with that in mind, this little test ride had a lot weighing on it and I was trying not to psyche myself out.

I was wrestling on my heavy Mountain Horse jacket when M pulled up, waving enthusiastically. We schlepped out to King’s paddock together, wincing against the wind that cut to the bone. King spotted us once we got into the paddock, and didn’t hesitate at all to leave his hay to come say hello. He snuffled his mama, and then turned those bright eyes on me.  I melted a little, against my better judgment. Hmph!

M handed me the lead line and we walked into the barn. King crossed tied nicely, even if he was a bit wiggly, and inspected us both for cookies. He made me laugh with his curious, in your pocket attitude about everything. He got a little cranky with me when I rubbed his belly, but quickly quit with the ‘tude when I told him off.

We quickly groomed him up, and welcomed L and R into the midst. L, bundled up to the millionth degree, reaquainted herself with King before taking control of my camera. R was handed my cell phone to get some video. It’s lovely to have ground crew for these horse evaluations!

I dragged my saddle out (with stirrups this time, thankyouverymuch) and situated it on his back. He cocked an ear, and I could see the gears twisting in his head. I had already decided to lunge him before even thinking about getting on his back, but the slight tenseness that traveled through his body with the addition of the saddle cemented that plan into my mind.

We headed into the indoor (the lovely, lovely indoor!) and I asked him to move out around me on the end of the lunge line. Much like Image did, he zoomed away from me, a little bit of panic in his eyes. This time, however, I knew it wasn’t from bad handling anywhere along the line. The indoor was windy and there was another horse being worked at the other end of the ring and oh my dear LORD she’s asking me to work WHAT AM I EVER TO DO?!

He lost his brain for a bit, that’s for sure. He zipped around me, snorting and putting on a decent show (including a buck or two!). I did happen to notice that even though he was flying around me at mach ten, he wasn’t unbalanced and only leaned into the rope halter I put on him when he was trying to be naughty. It took him maybe five minutes, but after a couple of changes of direction, I saw his inside ear trained on me and the crazy, frantic look leave his eyes. Soon enough, he was licking and chewing at a walk around me, lowering his head and sighing in relaxation. At that point, I figured it was now or never!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a wee bit nervous. I didn’t expect perfection from him, but I’m coming to realize that I have some PTSD left over from Image. I have to constantly remind myself that MOST horses aren’t going to go all esplodey into a bucking fit when you mount up. So, I put my big girl panties on and climb the stairs (LITERALLY. Biggest mounting block EVER!) and swung my leg over.

King didn’t move a muscle.

Well. Okay then. Good boy!!

I futzed with my tack for a moment, before we headed back down to our side of the ring. I almost burst out laughing. Whenever I actually got to sit on Image (after his bucking fits…poor critter!), I described it as riding a nervous couch. King felt rather similar! His energy was more pent up, “gogogogogogogo” type energy, as opposed to Image’s “omfg imma EXPLODE ANY SECOND” energy. Even with all of this electricity coursing through him, he didn’t offer any sort of rude or mean action. No bucking, no rearing, no shying (even with some gnarly noises coming from the wind outside!), no bolting — not even the slightest inkling that he was going to do any of these things. I thoroughly appreciated his lack of antics. +1 for King!

“What is this work you speak of?” Also I have a very large ass. Please ignore it.

We toodled around the ring at the walk until he relaxed a bit. He was very “up” and a bit snorty for the first few minutes, but was quick to settle and tune in to me. I tested his responsiveness to leg, seat and rein. He was a little dull to my leg aids for moving over, but worked off of a gentle squeeze for faster movement. He was definitely rusty at simple things like “whoa” and “back”, but not so much so that I was concerned. I also have a sneaking suspicion that he is used to (and happier in) some sort of shanked bit. His sale photo from when he was a youngin’ showed him ridden in something with a shank and curb chain, and by the way he was reacting to direct pressure from the snaffle I put in his mouth, it’s wasn’t something he was super familiar with.

Listening and trying!

When I asked him to move out, he was understandably pacey. HOWEVER — when I checked him back and got him to use himself correctly…what a gorgeous gait this horse has. He has a very correct little rack and the beginnings of a running walk if asked very precisely. He was soft, soft, soft in my hands and super bendy through his body, which was incredibly lovely after riding some pretty stiff, bracey horses the past few months.

Awkward face moment but holy chunky monkey gorgeous pony!

Most of all, he made me smile. He TRIED his little furry heart out for me, and that endeared him to me more than anything else. He paid attention, made attempts to give me what I was asking for (even if he didn’t understand) and listened to correction if I gave it. He has his own brain, though, and would test the boundaries once in awhile…I’m okay with testing the boundaries — I like a critter that thinks for itself! He is smart, funny, forward, willing, and while he’s not naturally bold, he takes a lot of comfort in the person who is handling him and has the potential to be a very fun boy out on the trails.

When I got off and took him back into the barn, M slipped out to go find a light blanket to cover him with. I shoved myself into the crook his his neck, and he, quietly and gently, rested his head on my back. He is quite the little fussbudget most of the time, so to have him standing so quietly with me, my face pressed into his warm yellow shoulder, was a little magical.

Okay, little yellow horse. You’ve got me. You win. STAHP.


Tomorrow I go and see Previ the black Peruvian horse, but he has some serious, serious competition right now. I know I said that I really did not want another Walker…but this horse and I clicked and I guess you can’t dictate when and where that happens. It just does. Unless something truly magical happens with Previ and I, I feel I know what my decision is going to be.

It could also be that Image and GP got together somewhere and are snickering at their handiwork right now.

Goddamnit, you furry assholes. Harrumph.

(by the way if I take him I’m renaming him Simba because he is yellow and furry and is pretty convinced he rules all the things)

It’s a Small World After All

Is the song stuck in your head yet? Yes? Good!

(I’m an asshole. Sorry not sorry!)

New England is small. Horse world is small. Put one small world on top of another, and you get really, REALLY small.

Remember Renegade?

How about Daisy Mae?

Neither of these horses were for me, through no fault of their own. There were just things that I couldn’t reconcile within my own head. Rene and I just didn’t have that magic “click” moment, and Daisy and I probably would have clashed like oil and water. I’m not in a place where I want another major project.

Both of these horses were for someone else, though! The woman who purchased Renegade, who saw him mere hours after I did, is a lovely lady from Maine. Kelsey is a fellow blogger, and she stumbled across my blog on an unrelated thread on the Mainely Gaiters Facebook page. Needless to say, I went “HI CAN I STALK YOU AND RENE?” and she said “SURE WHY NOT IT’S ONLY A LITTLE CREEPY!” Okay, maybe she didn’t say that, but that’s how I figured it was going to go in my head.

A month or so after she brought Rene home, her friend, Casey, decided she needed a gaited horse too! Kelsey touched base with me and asked if I knew of anything in the area, as she was having a hard time finding something suitable. I was going to suggest King if I ended up not liking him, but before I could even go see him, Kelsey told me that Casey had found a critter…lo and behold, it was Miss Daisy Mae, the sassy little Walker mare that I had looked at not too long ago. It seems that Casey and Daisy have hit it off rather well, and Daisy is now living with them at Kelsey’s Blonde Bomber Acres in Maine.

I am very excited to be able to follow these two horses. They weren’t for me, but they both deserved fantastic homes and they both couldn’t have found better ones. I hope to watch them both blossom into awesome trail horses with their respective people. I hope to travel to Maine to ride with Kelsey, Rene, Casey and Daisy some day (and maybe, if we’re feeling nice, we’ll invite N and her barn girl, C! 😉

As for news in my little world…I am now up to THREE horses. Three. 0 to 60 in the span of a week and a half. I go back to ride King on Sunday, and then on Monday, M and I are headed down to the southern end of CT to meet Previlegio, a 13 year old, 14.2 hand black as night Peruvian gelding.



*flops over*

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Okay, there were no actual diamonds today, but I feel like I’ve hit the proverbial gold mine. I know this is the best dilemma in the world to have, but all of a sudden, I have two very nice horses on the table.

Today, I drove to NH (to the same town where Image was from!) and got to ride with a coworker. Said coworker has Paso Finos. I didn’t actually know that J had Pasos until about two weeks ago…she friended me on Facebook after we chatted a few times at work, and I immediately noticed that she was friends with a big name Paso Fino farm in Pennsylvania.

I had a minor spaz attack over this little bit of information, and then stalked the SHIT out of her photos. It was pretty obvious she had a couple of Pasos. The next morning, I ambushed her, and despite the fact that I was admitting to being a super creepy Facebook stalker, she was delighted to chat with me. When I mentioned that I was horse shopping, and reallyreallyreallyreally (did I mentioned REALLY?) wanted a spicy Spanish gaited horse, she smiled and said she had a mare she was looking to sell.

Meet Lucy.

She cuddled with me. It was adorable.

Pros? Sweet, kindhearted, perfect level of brio, well trained, sure footed, brave, forward, and FUN as all get out.

Cons? She’s 19.

I know it’s not a death sentence for a horse to be nineteen. GP was 34 when we had to put him down, and we were still running around like fools on the trails right before he colicked. 19 does not mean the horse is going to come home and break down on me. However, it really, really ups the risk factor here. Again: all horses are risky, no matter what…but I really wanted to bring my risk down to the bare minimum this time around!

I went into the ride not expecting to be impressed. I got off of the horse a little blown away. First of all, can I say how AWESOME it is to ride with a bunch of like minded, fun, chatty people? J, her daughter, and her husband all tagged along (on Pasos, of course!) for the ride and it was just a blast. There is truly nothing like cortoing along, four abreast, chatting like you’re meandering down the trail at a walk.

Lucy was easy to catch, even though J warned me she can be a little shy. She stood tied without issue, and quietly hung out while I groomed her, fussed with my saddle — and yes, I remembered my stupid stirrups today! — and untangled her bridle. Of course, it wouldn’t be me without some minor tack malfunctions. I had to use a mini girth on her because my size 26 western girth was waaayyy too big. Thankfully, the mini girth did the trick! It wasn’t long until we were all saddled up and ready to go.

All the pony kids were psyched to be going out, so we set out at a lovely pace. There are few things that bring a smile to my face and get it to stay there like riding a Paso Fino!

It wasn’t long until Lucy was able to show me what she was really made of. Now, these horses are little firecrackers. They have lots of go, but they usually have excellent brains and temperaments to even out the “go”. J’s daughter was on the spunkiest grey gelding out of the group, and once we hit our first hill, it was time to go hell bent for leather. Yee-haw!

It’s not often I feel comfortable galloping a horse I don’t know. I’ll do it, because it’s fun, but there’s usually a part of me that goes “you know, this is potentially stupid and you may die because if this horse bucks, you’re going to take a header.” That thought didn’t even enter my mind with Lucy — I felt like I’d be riding her for years the second I got on her. I had no problems whatsoever getting up off her back and letting her fly.

Dear friends, there is truly nothing better than a good gallop on a good horse. Lucy flew after the spunky grey gelding like a bat out of hell, and I laughed and whooped the entire time. What was even better, was that when I asked her to come back down into my hands, she didn’t fight me. She quietly dropped back into a happy corto, even with all the energy coursing through both of us. I could have turned around and gone back to the barn right then and there, and been happy as can be. The ride continued, of course, and there were plenty of opportunities to go zoom. One gorgeous stretch of grassy, flat wide trail was cause for internal squeals of glee. Lucy was more than happy to indulge me.

The rest of the ride was equally as fun, spent at a lively corto for the most part. The only time Lucy even considered doing something “wrong” was when a sheep (no really, a sheep!) came bouncing over to us from the other side of the fence. All four horses went “WHAT THE ACTUAL EFF” and scooted away from the horse eating monster. We had a good laugh and I thoroughly wish I had caught that on film!

The entire ride was one to stash away in my mind and revist when I’m having a bad day. It was probably one of the best rides I’ve had since I lost GP, and I’ve done a decent amount of riding since then. It was truly the most fun I’ve had with horses in a long, long time!

I thanked J profusely, and after filling her in on King, told her that I’d probably have a better idea of what was going on come next Sunday. She waved me off, as she’s in no rush to place Lucy. I’m sure we’ll chat at work — I don’t tend to feel at ease immediately around a lot of people, but like some horses, there are just some people out there you “click” with!

I was half hoping that I didn’t like Lucy. That didn’t happen. I’m kind of going to have to hold steady until I ride King, but I fear I’m going to have a very, very hard decision to make. 19 or not, Lucy is a fabulous little horse and I feel that we would have an absolute blast together. However, am I willing to take that risk? I don’t know.

Then there’s King, who is so much like my little black horse that it was almost painful. EVERYONE saw just how much he was like Image, even just through pictures. I have to reserve full judgement on him until after I ride him, but even then…I really had my heart set on a Paso Fino or a Peruvian. Riding Lucy really reinforced that. Not to mention…as much as I loved Image, I don’t know if I want one exactly like him right now. It’d be a lot of mixed emotions, and that would be complicated.

I’m feeling rather conflicted, even after discussing it over salted caramel brownies with B (have I mentioned how much I adore her? Because I do. A lot!), who lives right up the road from J. I know I’m going to just have to sit tight until after I ride King…but I fear my decision isn’t going to be any easier then. Part of me is wondering that maybe this just means there’s something else out there meant to be mine?

I don’t know.

What I do know, is that I had a really, really fabulous day. I’m going to stick with that for now.

Kings and Queens

Meet King.

I should have learned a long time ago that fate likes to laugh when you make plans. Sometimes, it likes to laugh a lot. I think it’s currently peeing its pants its laughing so hard.

A week or so ago, a horse person from another blogging platform forwarded me King’s Craigslist posting. I, upon discovering that he was a Tennessee Walking Horse (strike one), a gelding (strike two), and had been out of work for awhile (strike three), almost just let his ad slide on by.

Instead, I shrugged and said “he’s got Image’s face. Might as well at least talk to his owner…”

A few emails later, and we had set up a day for me to come and meet him. I blinked at my computer screen, a bit perplexed at how I had gotten to this step when I realized that I did, in fact, want to go meet him. What happened to wanting a sassy, spicy Spanish gaited horse? Harrumph.

So, I did go see him. Today, in fact. M, his owner, met us at his barn in western Massachusetts (and by us, I mean my coworker/friend/partner in crime, L) and introduced us to the little gold horse. King pricked his ears and frisked me for cookies. Once he determined that I was fresh out, he turned back to M and mooched a couple of cookies out of her. “Food motivated” is an understatement, and he knows exactly who is going to give him said food. M is such a sweetheart of a woman, and King has her wrapped around his hoof. She was refreshingly honest about King’s shortcomings and made no excuses as to why. I appreciated her thorough description of her critter, and her wherewithal to bring his registration paperwork. It’s REALLY nice to know a horse’s background. In this case, King Shadow Maker was bred in Tennessee, raised a bit in North Carolina, and then came up to New England as a three year old. In recent months, he hasn’t had much work due to M’s bad back — she’s way worse off than me, the poor thing!

It was shortly after going to get my tack that I realized I had (stupidly) left my stirrups at home — please don’t ask, I’m completely and totally mortified that I didn’t notice that I had no stirrups on my saddle to begin with — it was decided that we were going to just play with him. King took one look at me when I got on the end of his lead line, and went “Hmm. Newbie. What can I get away with?”

He attempted to barrel through me.

I backed his ass up. His name might be King, but I am the Queen when it comes to whatever horse is on the end of my lead line.

His ears swiveled — first one, then the other, then they tipped back, and when I laughed at him, he pricked them forward again. He might be a blonde, but he’s no dummy — he knows perfectly well who is on the end of that line. He figured out very quickly that I was not going to tolerate bullshit from him. He was still a bit of a fidgety fussbucket and it was very obvious, very quickly, that he’s BORED. He’s bored with his life and the monotony of standing around doing a whole lot of nothing. So, we toodled off to the indoor to play.

I lunged him a bit, and he reacted accordingly: a little affronted that I was asking him to work and even more annoyed that I wasn’t letting him get away with simply turning in and stopping. Once he settled in a bit, I had his attention and he was trying to respond to the buttons I was press. I knew that I wasn’t pressing the right buttons to get the correct response out of him (if they’re even installed!). I honestly wasn’t interested in getting the “right” answer out of him. I just wanted to see his reaction to slightly confusing stimuli. He was honest with his responses, and that was encouraging to see. He didn’t overreact to correction, and moved off when I asked. He was VERY soft in my rope halter (yes, that was Image’s. Yes, it broke my heart a little to pull it out and put it on another horse), and I absolutely loved that.

Is this for eats?

He was very pacey, though he gave me good moments of a running walk once or twice. I’m not going to hold that against him on the ground, but it will be interesting to see what he’s going to offer me as a default under saddle, and whether or not the correct buttons have ever been installed to get him to collect up and gait properly.

He entertained us while we stood around talking by inspecting my camera bag, poking me incessantly with his nose, and generally acting like a goofy kid who just wants to be paid attention to. Of course, this meant that I had to entertain him…so, I did. There were a bunch of these hanging around the indoor, so I just picked one up and plopped it over his neck. He didn’t bat an eye. His funny, curious, thoughtful nature shone through when I asked him to walk around with it around his neck and he just went “Oh…um, okay. This is weird, but sure! Cool new game!”

Wearing a hula hoop!

Once I was done messing with him, he did something terribly mean and cruel and adorable and god damn it horse this was NOT OKAY AT ALL.



Except…I might want this one. Next week, I go back to take him for a spin and see how he is under saddle, which will make or break the whole thing.

Damn it all.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s (er, today’s?) escapades with a coworker that has Paso Finos up in NH.

Equine Affaire 2013

I forget sometimes that Massachusetts is horse saturated. People think Massachusetts, and they think Boston, Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, Boston Tea Party, Revolutionary War, Battle of Lexington and Concord, foliage, people with funny accents, and really terrible driving…but not horses! It’s only when I sit and think do I remember that Massachusetts is home to many, many horse people (and two of the largest equestrian equipment retailers in the world — SmartPak and Dover Saddlery). We have beautiful trails, incredible farms, varied disciplines, and lovely horses all over the state.

So, I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised every year that people flock from all over the East to go to the Equine Affaire in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Toss some big name clinicians in there, and we’re likely to see people from as far away as the Carolinas. Equine Affaire has been going on for as long as I can remember. The first time I went, my aunt D brought me for my birthday. I was either twelve or thirteen, and it was one of the best weekends of my life. I was only taking lessons at the time, so being immersed in all things horsey was one of the most exciting things I had ever done at that time. Ten years later (oh my good lord I almost threw up writing that!), I still get the same rush when I enter into the Better Living Center and see the hundreds of horse people milling around. Of course, things are a little bit different now that I’m working for a major tack company. Shopping isn’t quite the same, that’s for sure! However, I’m still surrounded by like minded people and that’s always a great feeling.

I usually go with a friend, so this year, M and I coordinated a day trip on Saturday. After an obligatory coffee stop (PSA: EGGNOG LATTE IS BACK AT STARBUCKS. SQUEEE!), where M proceeded to order two coffees and double fist it the entire drive to Springfield, we were on our way. I’m surprised we made it in one piece, if we’re being honest…M had me in stitches the entire ride. Of course, this was in between the two of us singing along to the Wicked original soundtrack.


It was a cold, blustery day on Saturday so we made an immediate beeline for the Better Living center to peek at all the pretty pony things. M had a shopping list, and I was hoping to run into something special for Christmas presents. I came away empty handed for the first time, and M found most of the things she was looking for. Quick plug for monogrammedhorsehalters.com — they have beautiful product and were quick to monogram a dog collar for M. They were helpful, kind, and thorough, even amid the Saturday Equine Affaire kay-oss!

M and I were sidetracked on our way to the C barn by a clinic worth watching. C barn is where you can pat the ponies…and maybe buy a pony, if you’re so inclined. Just as we were heading over, aunt D texted me to say they were in the Coliseum to watch Guy McLean. If you’ve never seen this man work with horses, you are missing out on an insanely awesome experience. Guy is genuinely kind hearted. He loves his animals more than anything. He is a wordsmith, and can keep us all entertained without even demonstrating anything. In short, if he can make horses love him as much as they do, I can’t help but wonder…what can he do to WOMEN? 😉

I stood on the rail with M and proceeded to test out my shiny new toy in low light settings. I don’t totally hate the results! I have a lot of work to do to really wrap my head around this lens, but I’m not regretting it one bit…and, despite not having Image Stabilization, the only blurry images were the ones I didn’t focus correctly. Love it! The images are still a bit grainy for my liking, but that won’t be remedied until I can afford a camera body that handles high ISO

Guy McLean and his awesome, awesome horses!
Love the expressions here!
So much kindness is emanated from this gentleman.
Spinabbey jumping on command!
Collection comes from within. I would love, love, love, LOVE to be able to learn how to do this with my next critter!
Quarter Horse gelding from Road to the Horse. CUTE!!
*ovaries explode* SO ADORABLE. I want one…meaning one of Guy. Immediately. Where can I get one?!

M and I bebopped over to the C barn after that. On our way, though, we had to stop and squee over this:


I was hoping to run into some lovely gaited people in the C barn, but no luck there. M threatened to smuggle a gorgeous, tall, total sweetheart of a Friesian home in the back of my car (which is a Chevy Prizm, mind you!). I was courted by an adorable buckskin pony gelding, who decided that the best way to get my attention was to stuff his nose in between my boobs and motorboat. No, I’m not kidding. No, I didn’t get a video. Yes, I’m mad at myself that I didn’t because oh my good lord was it FUNNY! I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe, and the lady sitting with him seemed to be a touch mortified. I would have taken him home, too…SO much personality in one little horse!

One other thing I realized while meandering through the C barn, is that if I ever decide I’m bored with gaited horses (yeah, right!), I’m getting a Morgan. I was absolutely enamoured with the Morgan aisles, especially the older style Lippit bred ones that were charming the heck out of everyone that wandered through. I love their build, their brains, and all that hair!

After I determined there were no Paso Fino or Peruvian representatives hiding in the C barn, we puttered around for awhile until finally ending back up in the Coliseum. D and her friends (one of which is a coworker of mine as well!) had decent seats for the Arabian and Friesian demos. I, of course, spent the entire time behind my camera. It was so much fun to see these two very well known breeds do SO many different things. I’m not an Arabian person, but I dream, like so many do, of owning a Friesian one day. Both breeds were represented well and they were GORGEOUS. Drool!

Spunky western pleasure Arabian.
Saddleseat Arab…preeeetty!
Hoooooly trot, Batman!

We had to scamper back home after the breed demos, so after a quick wave good bye to my aunt, we headed back to the car. I was officially wiped out by that point, and had a sneaking suspicion I was developing a nasty cold. I brought M back home, spent a few minutes snuggling her horses, and skeddadled back to Framingham to fall into bed.

On Sunday, I did…well, I didn’t do a damn thing. It was lovely for the first five hours, but then I got bored. I like to THINK I enjoy sitting around doing nothing, but I really don’t like it as much as I want to! 😉

The holiday rush has started at Dover, so forgive me if I’m a little more absent than usual the next few weeks. I do, however, have three exciting things going down this weekend…but no spoilers!

Until next time, ya’ll! 🙂

Little Bay Princess Blog Hop — Equestrian Bucket List

I figured I should “hop” on this bandwagon! It looks like fun!

“I want to hear about your equestrian bucket list! I think we all have things, whether they be on paper or in our head, that we would love to do someday. Pick three that are horse related, and tell me a little about them!”

My bucket list is kind of erratic and varied, but right now, number one on my bucket list is:
1. Own a horse. (Amendment: for more than six months…snork!)

This is the kind of love I’m craving! K and her Rocket!
I have wanted a horse since I was two years old. I spent many a daydream as a kid thinking about what I would do if that dream ever came true. It came true for a little while…and now that it’s gone, I miss it more than ever. I love the horses I get to play with daily, but I’m slowly realizing that my biggest desire right now is to own a horse. I should probably set my sights on long term plans, but honestly, I can’t. This is what I want right now.

2. Run a reining freestyle.

Four years and about 50 lbs ago…reining lessons!
I’ve wanted to do this since I took reining lessons a few years back. It was SO much fun, and I love the creative expression in freestyles! When I was riding reining regularly, I would create freestyle runs in my head to music on the radio. I like speed, I like excitement and I like music…so it all adds up 🙂
3. Ride all over the world.

New York through palomino ears!

I want to experience the world from horseback, because I feel that’s where I can appreciate it most. Having my world framed by horse ears is one of the best things ever. I’ve been riding in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Texas so far. I’d like to ride in all the states, plus as many foreign countries as possible.

My bucket list is much longer than this, but I figured I should start here. What about you guys?


Cantering Cures All

I turned 23 this past weekend.
Birthdays and holidays aren’t really my “thing”. I’m not much for big get togethers, and am REALLY not a fan when the spotlight is on me for an extended period of time. I can’t remember the last time I had a real birthday party. I’m much happier hanging out, going for a ride, and maybe going out to dinner!
However, I got a text from K two weeks before the actual day, asking me if I was at all interested in spending the weekend in New York City.
Obviously, she had to twist my arm really, really hard 😉 There would be no celebrity stalking this time, but K promised me a lovely surprise (which turned out to be 2nd row tickets to Wicked, which was AMAZING and you should all go see it!) and a ride on her sweet Quarter Horse gelding, Rocket.
So, after getting Friday off from work, I toodled my way down to CT. K and I arrived at her barn, and the views took my breath away. It wasn’t a fancy barn, but it was 100% functional and well looked after, with a small indoor and gorgeous paddocks that were in direct line of the warm evening sun…also known as a photographer’s dream. I wanted to move in immediately!
K introduced me to the critters at the barn, and pulled her chunky monkey of a gelding out into the aisle. Rocket immediately inspected me for cookies. Upon finding out that I was cookie-less, he flopped his ears out to the side and let K and I clean him up. The pastures have a great assortment of burrs, so we had to spend some time picking the offensive things out of Rocket’s mane and tail. He allowed me to smooch his nose and cuddle his face without looking too put off by all the attention!
K tacked him up, and hopped on. Rocket is in his mid teens, and is mostly a steady eddy kind of guy…maybe a little bit too “steady eddy”. K warned me that spurs might be a good idea, so I wrestled mine out from my car trunk tack room, and strapped them on for the first time in God knows how long. We went outside, I snapped some pictures of her running around on her pony, and then she handed the reins over to me.
I ground mounted (!!!) very carefully, as I am a Big Girl and I don’t ground mount well. I swung my leg over, settled in the saddle, and immediately my body went “Oh! We remember this!”
It’s the first time since my ride on Dorada that I got to walk, trot, canter and gallop. I ditched the spurs about ten minutes in because while my body remembers how to do this, my muscles are no longer conditioned to hold the proper leg position for spurs…so, after accidentally poking him in the side and getting the world’s most pathetic buck, I wrestled them off and was able to easily get him into all four gaits without them. It’s been so, so long since I last rode a nice, rocking horse lope that I couldn’t help the wide grin that spread across my face. K, who also happens to be an aspiring equine photographer, manned my camera while I was cruising around on her sweet gelding.

It was really wonderful to hop on a horse and ride…no worrying about getting bucked off, or having to micromanage their every move because they’re green…just get on and GO. Rocket and I got along well, and I got off feeling much lighter (figuratively, anyway) than I have in quite some time. This time of year is tough for me, with so many not-so-fun anniversaries, my birthday, and the holidays squished into one short period of time. A good canter can cure anything, though, and I felt a little more human when I dismounted. Of course, Rocket continued to woo me when we untacked him, and he happily stayed nearby in the pasture for hugs, kisses, and cuddles.

After we gave Rocket an adequate amount of treats and snuggles, we headed into the city. Of course, the two of us sat on the train with my laptop and laughed hysterically at the pictures we took of each other. I mean, seriously…

You’d think I was riding into battle or something! Just need a sword or something and I’d be set. Please ignore my hands. I like to pretend I’m a puppy when I ride and forget that I have fingers. Grumble.

Less battle like, more normal horseback riding woman like. Again with the hands. Bah!

Spurs came off directly after this. Poking the pony in the sides made him buck, which made me laugh…but still, probably not the best idea 😉

This weekend is going to be just as exciting, as I’ll be attending the Equine Affaire come Saturday. It’s a little more difficult for me this year…I realized yesterday that exactly a year ago, I decided to take the plunge into horse ownership with Image. I miss him more than I can describe. I was so excited at the last Equine Affaire, because I could actually plan and purchase for my very own horse. It’s going to be a little heartbreaking to be there this year, and not have that. However, I do plan to poke around the sale barn a bit, just to see what’s there.

Who knows? Maybe my dream pony and I will find each other 🙂