I had a nice ride yesterday afternoon! Finally. I really needed it to keep me from getting too frustrated.

Anyway, I started out on Subi and Sandra on Batts as is usual. We just walked around for a few minutes, up to the road and back down to the drive. Subi was a little weirded out by the driveway (he would be…), but didn’t do anything stupid. After that we headed into the “ring” in the woods. It worked really nicely. I have some more stuff to clean up and if we cut down the little sapplings before spring, there will be even more space. Thankfully the real trees are not in the way. If I can get footing put down in a year or two, it’ll be perfect in there. But, it’s working nicely now too.

Anyway, once in the woods I put Subi’s butt to work. We worked on carriage and his neck and butt muscles were working over time. That said, I’m realizing how much my saddle doesn’t work for me (I’ve known, but it fits the pony so…). I wished at that point I had a dressage saddle because I really wanted to sit deeper than I could. Oh well. We worked. Hard. And thankfully Subi was exhausted. After lots of work at the walk, I decided he was dead enough that I could trot a bit. He was a good boy too. Super springy trot, responsive, etc.  I didn’t canter today, but give me a few rides with a nice trot before I move on to the canter. Still, I’m proud of him. I’m sure he’s a bit sore today as he was using muscles that he hasn’t used in quite awhile.

Then it was pony changing time… This is when things got interesting. Does it count as falling when you’re standing on the ground? Subi and I left the woods first and noticed Batts and Sandra were coming out the other entrance. Then they were trotting so I hopped off as I was planning to anyway and my pony was dancing around like an idiot. I jumped off and suddenly Batts “galloping” and jumping the ravine/walkway and heading up the hill. Subi starts crow hopping, I hit the ground, almost get stepped on until he realizes I’m under him so he stops and stands stock still until I get back up. Evidently Batts decided to “take off” (it’s Batts, taking off to him isn’t what taking off is to a normal horse). First she figured trotting was fine until he broke into his version of a gallop and jumped the ravine… If Subi didn’t need an opinion, it would have been entertaining. Anyway, after he galloped up the hill, he broke to the walk and that was that.

So after that, we swapped for a little while and I did some trotting without stirrups on Batts. Just a sitting trot today, but my legs were aching anyway. Then I cantered some  (with stirrups) and called it a day. All in all it was a nice day.

Dewormed the ponies after that and then ran out to Erik’s parents for raclette. Too lazy to write more about that.

Anyway, I’m going to attempt to ride at least Batts today. If time allows, I’ll hop on Subi too (once Erik is home), but we’ve got errands to run and his sister and boyfriend are coming to see the house and it’s evidently going to rain/snow later. Great. And then rain pretty much every day but Christmas for the rest of the week. Not looking forward to that. But, I hope I’ll have time for at least Batts and possible Subi as well. No real goals for today. Too much to do instead.


Riding this afternoon with my friend Sandra. Having someone to ride with DEFINITELY makes riding at home easier. I’m so happy she’s been able to follow me and the kids wherever we end up. Yes, she gets a good deal to pretty much ride Batts whenever she wants (though it usually only ends up being 1x/week) for virtually nothing, but still, it’s excellent for me too. It’s freezing and frozen out, but the scary winds of yesterday are gone! We usually ride in the mornings, but when it’s so cold, afternoon should be better. Plus, Erik’ll be home from work and can babysit the needy dogs. They (read: Hermione) can’t stand that I’m home and they’re inside and they insist on crying (well, howling) the entire time I’m riding. They could be outside but they feel the need to start playing underneath the horses’ feet while I’m riding. They only do that when I ride… Thanks guys.

Sometimes the having the horses at home is a pain. Sometimes I don’t want to deal with mud (don’t get me started), frozen hoses, poop (Hayley’s endless diarrhea is another days post), and not being able to walk outside with the OMG FEED US WE’RE STARVING reaction from the herd (they’re waiting a the fence line by 7am each morning… probably earlier but it’s dark out so I can’t see…). But having them outside my bedroom window does have some good points.

Batts and Hayley attacking their morning hay.

Batts and Hayley attacking their morning hay.

Excuse the crappy cell phone picture. I was leaning out my window and trying to keep the screen from falling to the ground… Batts is on the left (ignoring me as usual) and Hayley is on the right.

So the plan for this morning is to go out and pick sticks so that the woods are cleaner for riding today. Hopefully we can have out trot track now.  Then I need to make a trip out to Walmart (my least favorite store, but convenience of location wins) to get a different sized picture frame so I can wrap holiday gifts. For some reason I can’t count…

Goals for the ride? To stay on. Seriously.

All kidding aside (maybe.), today’s main goal is to get Subi’s butt working. We’re going to work on a nice FORWARD walk. Then add in head carriage. Then if that goes well and he’s not dying (he’s super out of shape and we haven’t worked on this hard stuff for way too long), CIRCLES, still working his butt and moving forward.

I’d also like to get on Batts so hopefully Sandra will be willing to pony swap so I can work my leg some more. I’d love nothing more than even 10 minutes of no stirrups (well, love is an overstatement, but I need it!). Plus, even if she just walks on Subi, it does make me feel better so watch someone else on my horse.

If all else fails? Back up plan is a “trail” ride, or rather, a ride through suburbia. Then Batts can be disappointed that he doesn’t get to go down every driveway. I’m convinced that horse is looking for a new home. He loves nothing more than to walk down driveways. Streets aren’t necessarily exciting, but driveways? OMG. But really, the goal is work.

And if I survive all that, dinner at the in-laws tonight (it still feels so strange to have in-laws). My mom, her husband, and my aunt will be there too, but… Raclette! Nothing better than raclette!

As an act of accountability. I’d better be back tonight/tomorrow to report on today’s ride.


It’s crazy windy out today. I thought I was going to blow away when I went out to feed this morning. It was scary windy. The dogs kept freaking out because the front storm kept blowing open. Evidently a self opening door is really scary to the dogs. Anyway, we all fought the wind and fed the horses then headed back inside for cover. It’s really that windy. We’ve all eaten now and are hanging out on the couch. The puppies think it’s nap time and I guess nap time requires that we all curl up against/on top of me. I love you guys but it’s a big sofa…

Hermione and Marble: Best Buddies

Hermione and Marble: Best Buddies

Anyway, it goes without saying. I love the crazy girls, but sometimes it would be nice to have a little space on the sofa…

Back to the wind. It’s not looking promising for a ride today. At this point, it would be downright dangerous. But, if it improves, I’ll go ahead and hop on  Batts. But, with the trees flying sideways it’s not looking too promising.

On Wednesday, not wanting to work before the department holiday party, I hopped onto Chronicle of the Horse and saw that Horze was having a blanket sale. Now, I have millions of blankets, well, at least I have enough that they don’t all fit into this trunk (I’m thinking about purchasing a second this spring when it’s time to put blankets away). That said, right now, the majority of my blankets are Subi’s… He’s got his to Rider’s that he wears regularly (med. and heavy), 2 old Statelines (light and med.), and a sheet. That said, I can’t remember if I ever fixed his light stateline as he busted the front last winter. Regardless, the statelines are going into their 7th winter and really just serve as backups at this point. His medium Rider is also 7 years old and the other Rider is 2. Batts has a Rhino that I bought used to Hayley the first year I had her so it’s going on winter number 4 with me. It’s several years older I’m sure. Batts also has a rain sheet that he ripped before moving home so I’ll need to repair that eventually. Then Hayley has a sheet, a stable blanket (I combine the 2 or throw the stable under her TO if it’s freezing), and a SmartPak pink blanket that fit her wonderfully, but now, not so much. She’s just lost weight the last year with all her issues, diarrhea, “founder” that turned out to be 5 abscesses between her 2 hind feet, etc. Ahh. She’s a walking medical bill.

Anyway. Horze. I’ve never ordered from them but buy 2, get 1 free was a deal I couldn’t resist. Plus, someone also posted a code for 50% off. I was able to get 3 blankets for the price of 1. With free 2 day shipping. Hayley and Batts used to have a spare blanket the shared, but it was on Hayley a week ago (it fit better than her pink one) and it died. It’s been repaired to death and just wasn’t great anyway, so I can’t complain. But with all my long lasting blankets, this one was anything but. Anyway, I ended up with 3 of these blankets for $150 (1 spare for each kid though if it hold up, it might be Hayley’s main blanket). The price of one. 2 in black, 1 in teal. Evidently later in the day the company changed it so that the code and the sale couldn’t work together but they worked together when I ordered. Awesome. Best yet, the blankets showed up Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after I placed my order.  Anyway, I threw one on Hayley this morning and it’s a pretty decent blanket. First pretty well too. We’ll see how it holds up, but it looks decent. She was a jerk while I was trying to put the blanket on (Subi was still eating so she kept trying to help him along… oy.) but it’s on and seems to sort of fit. The high neck is a bit odd (I never get high neck blankets), but other than that…

On a non horse/dog related topic, my new ice skates FINALLY arrived. It’s only been 2 weeks, but I’ve been inpatient and my feet hurt too much to skate in my old ones. Anyway, I called the pro shop yesterday and got word that they had just arrived so I went over at lunch (having the ice arena on campus is super helpful). The fit so much better than my old pair. 1/2 size smaller and a wide width seemed to have a huge difference. Anyway, they’re heat moldable so they baked for 10 minutes then I got to stand in them for another 10 minutes after they came out of the oven. But, as I said, they were so comfortable. I can’t wait to try them on the ice. They’re stiffer than the old skates, but they fit! My feet have been in so much pain lately that I haven’t wanted to skate (so I haven’t since my lesson last week). I have a couple weeks to get used to them before the next LTS session starts in January. I’m not bothering with privates until group class starts again either. Best yet? Pro shop took back my old skates (since he fit me incorrectly) and charged me the difference between the 2 pairs. Since new skates weren’t in the budget (not that blankets were either…), $68 for skates was much better than the $230 that the pair would have been.

new skates!

new skates!

In other purchases, I also got a food processor this week. I. Need. To. Stop. Spending. Money. But, I did need the food processor and it was on sale and it’s pretty so…

Anyway, hopefully the weather will improve and I can at least hop on Batts…


So, part of the reason I decided to start this blog is for accountability. It’s so easy to say you’re going to do something, but at the end of the day, saying is not doing. If I write something down, it’s there in print and it’s harder to deny something to myself. Verbal statements are so much easier to deny to myself. Anyway, where am I going with this…?

Accountability. I need to set goals and stick to them.

When it comes to horses, I have 3, but only 2 are ridden. I keep saying I’m going to try and bring my mare back, but it seems her soundness issues always surface once I have the idea that I’ll get her back in work. Or she gets an abscess. Or we fear founder. Or stomach issues. Or there’s 12 feet of snow. Or something else completely ridiculous. I’m not entirely convinced something won’t happen if I put her back into work again.

But, just because the Hayley-Mare is a young retiree, doesn’t mean the other 2 are. In fact, they desperately need to work. So I need a plan for each one of them.

Subi: I think right now I just need to get 0n him consistently and make him work. If the ground is a mess or I’m not comfortable trotting/cantering because he’s decided he should be a circus horse, there is no reason that he still can’t work, hard, at the walk. Part of the issue right now is he is SO out of shape and trotting on the soft, hilly ground is super challenging and it’s easier to act stupid then to actually work. As he gets into better shape, the terrain won’t be as much of an issue. So I need to just get on him as often as possible and get his butt working. A couple years ago we worked hard on carriage and engagement and the poor horse was exhausted after a good 45 minutes at the walk. While we later moved on to the trot and canter, there’s no reason why I can’t spend a few weeks drilling this stuff again at the walk. Besides, the time in the saddle, working, even at the walk, will help me get my leg back…which brings me to the root of the problem.

I lost my leg. I didn’t ride consistently thanks to life, weather, time, work, and I lost my leg. It’s hard to be confident or trust your horse when he’s acting stupid and you have no leg. Without my leg back, I can’t stay on when he decides to act like an idiot. Then I lose confidence. Then I ride less. Then I get myself into situations where I have a horse who decides to act like a nut case thanks to lack of work…

Batts: I have 2 hard keepers in the winter and then I have Batts. Somehow he’s managed to put on even more weight in the last 2 weeks. How? I do not know, but his weight gain plus lack of fitness (in part due to weight gain) make riding him…interesting. He can have all the time off in the world and he’ll still be pretty much dead quiet. He’s got his issues, but bucking is not one of them (thankfully he doesn’t have a clue how to buck so when he tries, he more or less drops his head and if he’s lucky, gets one hoof about 6 inches off the ground).  For his sake, he needs to work and he can help me get my leg back. Over the next week, I’m going to try and get on him as much as possible. Hopefully I’ll have the “track” in the woods cleared out so he and I can really work. He needs a refresher course on using his hind end and I need to do some no stirrups work. So perhaps for the next week or so, each time I work with him, we spend 10 minutes without stirrups at the trot (though with his lack of fitness, I’ll probably have to do 5 minutes and 5 minutes because at this point, I’m not sure if he can even trot for 10 minutes…). How much else I do will depend on how much huffing and puffing is going on. But we can definitely work on using his hind end and possibly some hill work at the walk?

So. I have a plan. It’s in writing. I need to stick with it.

Getting back in the routine?

I moved my horses home a few weeks ago. It’s wonderful to see them again everyday and to have them right there in the backyard. Generally, I think they’re happy. Generally, I’m thrilled. But riding…

I’m battling a lot right now when it comes to riding. I’ve been out of the routine for months. Just with time, moving, the wedding, and the commute, I just haven’t been consistent. So my horses are showing that now that winter has come and I’m trying to ride again. I guess I should clarify. Subi is my issue. Batts seems fine, but Subi… I can’t say I’ve been all that comfortable since he bucked me off (nasty buck too) a month and a half ago. I haven’t ridden that consistently since then either. Again, life. But, now they’re home and I need to ride.

My friend Sandra and I rode for the first time at my house a couple weeks ago. We all survived and the horses were more or less good. But, the grounds been horribly mushy and out of shape horses on mushy ground and not level ground… It’s been a recipe for disaster. Last weekend, I came off almost immediately thanks to an unexpected crow hop at the trot. I’m not in shape so it is my fault for coming off, but it’s right there in my brain. I’m stressing because there isn’t a great place to ride at home.  I’m sure once the ground gets harder and the horses get into better shape and I get consistent, we can tackle all these issues, but until then, I fight my brain.

I did get on and we rode for another 40 minutes or some, at the walk, through the field, up some hills. Horses were exhausted and no one tried anything, but… I guess the issue is, at the walk, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything. But, if I’m making Subi work, even at the walk, maybe I am? Right now, the most level portion of my property is actually the woods. The horses are loving wandering through the woods and seem relaxed in there. There is a path way and I could easily (once I pick up twigs and branches) turn it into a trot and canter track of sorts. But, in the back of my mind, fear. So where do I go from here? I’m off for a week and a half starting Saturday and the plan is to ride as much as possible. Both Subi and Batts, as much as possible. Batts is fine. He’s quiet and just fat and lazy and should build confidence, but Subi… Should I just walk and do work at the walk? Extension, making him work and engage his hind end, and hill work?  If he’s tired, he won’t be stupid (and he rarely acts stupid at the walk–famous last words…) and maybe things will just fall into place?

I know the main thing is to ride more. I know that. But work and real life just get in the way. Why am I an adult again? I told Erik that any day we’re both off and it’s not raining, he’s riding with me. He’s not thrilled about it, but he’ll do it. All we’ll do is walk, but it’s another way to get the horses working more. Maybe we’ll explore the neighborhood on horseback as well? There are some nearby farms/houses with horses so it might be a way to meet people as well and find trails, etc. I invited another friend out next week as well and she’s game for exploring so…

I created this blog months ago and haven’t posted anything until today. To be honest, I’ve almost forgotten about it. But, the other part is lack of time and lack of motivation. But, it’s the Thursday before we’re closed for the holiday, I’m at work, and bored out of my mind. What better time to start then now? And instead of doing any sort of introduction (considering I’m mostly talking to myself), why not just start?  So there we go.