A bit of a catch up

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve been sick (again. I can’t seem to fight this thing, whatever it is). And work. And teaching. And life too. Too busy and not enough hours in the day. Of course, it’s my ponies that suffer though they’re happy enough.

Last Saturday I went out to watch the cross country at Fair Hill. My second year going and always fun. We only saw about half of the CCI** but did see all of the CCI***.  Honestly, I love watching cross country but I doubt I’d ever be able to do any of that, even on a much much much much much smaller scale. I just don’t have the nerve. I get nervous in the ring jumping. Jumping cross country? Not really for me. Still, I’m in awe of everyone I saw. Truly amazing. IMG_6072 IMG_6099 IMG_6026 IMG_6149 IMG_6162

I also had the chance to by 2 MangoBay belts! I thought about ordering some earlier this month but talked myself out of it. Seeing them at Fair Hill, I was convinced. That said, I tried them on over my belt and now I realized they’re a little longer than I’d like. That said, they work and I can get them cut to size later. Love them though!

Mango Bay belts

Mango Bay belts

Riding-wise, I haven’t done too much. Lots of trail ride on weekends lately. 1 last weekend, 2 this weekend. So, by the time I get home from my weekend  barn/teaching/trail riding work, I’m way too tired to ride. Plus being sick… Anyway, today before the trail ride, I hopped on Heidi to make sure she was quiet enough to take out. I’ve been riding other horses out on the trails lately and I don’t think she’s been ridden since I last rode her on labor day. So, we played around in the ring first. Lots of walking followed by a little trotting and she was exhausted in her halflinger way. I love her but she doesn’t walk. She marches and trucks around the ring. Anyway, my calves were killing me after our ring ride (didn’t help that I pulled something in my right calf on yesterday’s trail ride — sort of the start of a charley horse that thankfully didn’t actually happen) so I enjoyed my half hour break before I had to take out today’s ride (of course the break included horse catching and hills….). Anyway, we had a good group on today’s ride (3 of them, the perfect number) and the horses were perfect. Of course, Heidi spooked at something at the start when we were walking past the frat boy field (saw a horse? no idea) and I almost came off. The spook was sudden and I didn’t expect the spin on the edge of a short by steep hill. I ended up in front of the saddle sliding off her neck but somehow I saved it? My trail riders were impressed! No other incidents during the ride though. Just exhaustion.

But, I needed to ride when I got home so I forced myself to hop on Subi when I got home. I haven’t ridden him in a few weeks and being that I was tired and needed my 2 point time, I just hopped on him in the round pen without lunging. Thankfully my crazy dork of a horse was as tired as I was and didn’t seem to have any energy. He’s like a walk trot lesson pony when he’s like this. Of course, he’s not always like this. Anyway, we survived out 10 minutes and 4.96 seconds in 2 point and then with my aching legs trotting around a few times before pain told me to call it a day. I love my Subbadork. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some time to ride this week to get one more 2 point time….

My favorite doofus

My favorite doofus

Love him to death.

Love him to death.

two point!

two point!

The other loves of my life

While I’m drowning in laundry (towels and sheets already folded and put away!), I thought I’d post about my other 4-legged loves. My husband, he can have a post of his own later 😉

My two puppies are the best things in the world and even when they’re trouble, I love them to death. Hermione is a 4 (how the heck did that happen) year old mutt believed to be a lab/sheltie mix though I’m convinced she’s also got Jack Russell in her. We’ve had her since she was an itty bitty 12 week old cute thing. Dealt with a crazy amount with her (early stomach issues related to giardia, extreme separation anxiety), but she’s a princess and loves me like crazy. She’s the boss and we all know it. At a whopping 27 lbs, she’s in charge. Even the horses know it.

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Then there is Marble… Marble is a complete sweetheart we adopted 2 years ago. She’s a chocolate lab somewhere around 3 or 4 years old. She loves people, Hermione, swimming, fetch, and walking around with toys in her mouth (pine cones are a good substitute outside).

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More 2 point

Finally rode again. After being sick for another week (after also being sick the week before), I finally had the energy to ride. I decided to skip my zumba class since the day has been crazy, my husband has my car, and on a vacation day, I don’t really feel like driving to work. So, I forced myself up off the couch and got on Batt.

Well, first I removed the crazy amount of mud caked all over him…

He wasn’t feeling the 2 point as we stayed in the very muddy round pen. But, I managed to stay up for 8 minutes and 2 seconds and then we moved on. He is so much easier than Subi. With Subi, he’s so long strided and bouncy and there’s so much movement, even at the walk. It’s so tempting and easy and often necessary to grab his mane just to stay up. With Batt, not so much. He’s just there and easy and a little down hill (which makes neck pressing counter productive). Anyway, I survived today’s challenge (I really wanted to make it to 7 minutes, mandated I make it to 6, and somehow survived until 8).

After 2 point, we did some trot and canter sets up the mini hill but neither of us were feeling it. He was bored, my legs were jello and the ground was mushy. We ended up jumping some gymnastics and calling it a day.

Not much else to say right now. Enjoying a few days off from work while recovering from a nasty cold. Fun planned tomorrow before I head back to work on Thursday? Laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. Fun and exciting.

Hand Gallop Blog Hop: What’s in a name?

So in an attempt to continue blogging, I’m going to try my first blog hop! Thanks Hand Gallop!


What’s the origin of your horse’s show name and barn name?


Sub’s show name is Subliminal which was his name on the track. His sire is Power of Mind and his dam is TV Bee (http://www.pedigreequery.com/subliminal). When he came to my then barn from the track, they kept the name Subliminal and called him Subi for short. Subi is sort of his barn name, but Subliminal has always been used as well, especially for all official (or unofficial) paperwork (aka – vet bills and boarding contracts). Nicknames are Sub, Subba, Dub, Dork, Submarine, Subbers, Subba Dub Dub. He’s also been referred to the drama queen and diva by horse professionals.


Hayley came to me as Haley. The only change I made was to the spelling of her name. I don’t know, I can’t bring myself to change names even if I don’t love the name to begin with… She’s registered as Watch Dixie Shine, but I don’t use that name on anything… Nicknames include Hayley Hoover Vacuum Cleaner and Haybale Hayle


Batts was once Batman. He was named by my former trainers kids. He joined a group of lesson horses that included a Scooby, Barney, Bam Bam, Hot Wheels, Sponge Bob, etc. He’s a chestnut.  I struggled with his name but couldn’t bring myself to really change it. So, his show name or “official paperwork purposes” name is Batiste and he goes by Batt or Batts. Nicknames also include Batthorse, Batty, and Battabat.


In an attempted to provide motivation, accountability, and strengthen my weakish legs, I decided to participate in 2pointober sponsored by Viva Carlos and Equestrian At Hart. My leg is weak and it just seemed like a good idea. I didn’t participate last October so this year it is. I’m not expected to do well, but I am curious to see how much I can improve by the end of the month. If I’m motivated, maybe I’ll keep going through winter too. It definitely can’t hurt.

Anyway, it was cold and windy (thank you 20* temperature drop overnight) and I decided to hop on Subi for the challenge. Now, I did lunge him to get the craziness out of him (I haven’t been on in 2 weeks, it was colder, and the ground was wet/slippery) and let him figure out the footing in the round pen. He had a couple stupid moments (first one he actually put effort into his buck/rear combo, second, not so much) but after 10-15 minutes of trotting, I got on. What can I say, I’m a wimp and some days my confidence needs lunging more than others. Right now, it’s better for me to do that and get on and have a good ride then not and either not ride or have a bad ride. I had too many of those bad rides over the past couple of years.

Because of the ground and honestly? my confidence, we stuck to the trot for 2 point. Baseline is 5 minutes and 22 seconds. Way more longer than I thought. I felt OK at the time (though really sore at the end), but my thighs hurt more now. I’m suffering a bit from jello leg syndrome.

After our 2 pointing, I did a bit of trotting each way and called it a day. Subi was perfect and quiet, but since I was riding in the grass round pen and it was super mushy/wet, it wasn’t worth risking falls/injuries.

Anyway, that’s this week’s 2pointing. We’ll see where I am next week!

Time to start blogging!

It’s time I started blogging. I’d say again, but I never really go started to begin with. But, I need a way to stay accountable with my riding/horses as well as a good forum for me to vent about my horse related frustrations! Current plan it to blog to myself, but if anyone out there ever starts reading this, that’s OK too.

Who I am:

I am an (almost) 30-something (eek! how did THAT happen) rider who has been involved with horses for more than half of my life now. I started riding weekly a hunter/jumper lesson barn through high school. After high school, my mom stopped paying for my lessons and I started working off my lessons and riding 2-4 times a week. I also showed IHSA and learned a lot doing that. Somewhere along the way, junior year of college maybe? I started teaching up/downers in lessons/camp. I love teaching, but hate the drama surrounding it! Anyway, I’ve always been better on the ground then on a horse, but that’s OK with me. I stayed with the same barn for years, first buying my first horse, then through first “real” jobs and grad school. I eventually moved my guy to a self care barn, bought a second, then a third, then moved a few more times before finally settling in with my ponies in the backyard of the house I now share with my husband. I stopped teaching in 2010 because real life (aka real job quite a distance from barn where I taught with terrible hours) and recently started teaching again last year (at a new, less drama filled place) and am enjoying it again. I also lead trail rides in the warmer (non winter) months which can be enjoyable as well.

Outside the horse-world, I am a librarian.

What I do:

As I mentioned, I began riding hunter/jumpers. When did equitation through IHSA in college and showed hunters (minimally) when I got my horse. I’m not necessarily a competitive person and I never had the money to show as much as I needed to (both for me and my horse). I stopped working with a trainer years ago (terrible, but that’s life) and am learning here and there from many people. Right now, I just like riding my horses and having fun. I do a little bit of everything, but at this point, just consider myself a pleasure rider.

Who I ride:

I have 3 horses: Subi, Hayley, and Batts. They’re all chestnuts and are all in there teens.



Subi is my now 17 year old thoroughbred. My original. He’s the love of my life even though we’ve had some rocky years lately. I don’t do that much with him anymore beyond light rides and stuff, but hopefully, we’ll do more in the coming years.

Hayley was horse number 2. I love her to death though she does little more than eat. She’s about 14 now, but soundness is just not there (navicular plus some arthritis). She’s got major hind gut issues that no vets can figure out but right now she’s happy and comfortable so… I did hop on her for the first time in about 2 years last month and she was pretty sound. But, the next time I worked her, less comfortable. Hayley lives to eat and is the first to vocalize when breakfast should be served!



Batts was the 3rd edition (and final edition while everyone else is still alive) to the crew. I wanted desperately for him to by horse number 2, but my trainer/boss at the time wasn’t willing to part with him at that point. Of course, 1 year later she was… Batt was formally known as Batman and is now formally known as Batiste, but in reality, he’s just Batts of the Batthorse. He does need a Batman saddle pad though… Anyway, he’s as quiet as can be and safe, safe, safe. I think everyone needs a safe, reliable horse. I love him to death though the other 2 are way more cuddly and affectionate. Batt just likes food, galloping up hills, and walking down random driveways when we ride around through developments. He like motorized equipment like tractors, lawnmowers, and snow plows, and generally doesn’t make sense. He’s a strange guy buy he’s Batts.



Goals/plans for the future:

With the horses at home and finances an issue, goals are limited. I recently bought a trailer and hopefully in the future (when I’m comfortable driving), I can start taking the guys out for trail rides and the occasional lesson, and maybe even a schooling show or 2. More than that? Not in the cards, but as long as I can continue to have fun and enjoy my kids, it’s all good.

More blogs to come, 1 in honor of 2pointober!