Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Looking Ahead

I have many plans and goals for 2016 although we all know the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray. 

The two biggest plans:

1) Sell Benny - I plan to list him in March. It's crazy to think that I only have 2 more months with him before that time. 

2) Start Emi - I'm beyond excited for this one. This one hinges on when I sell Benny. Most likely we will start having training sessions with KB in March or April. Once her ground work is complete we'll begin riding. 

From baby girl to big girl. How did that happen so fast!? 
Beyond "start Emi" I have a whole other subset of plans for her. Once Benny sells she'll take his spot at NDF. Besides the first four months of her life this will be the first time I'm not taking care of her morning and night. It's going to be strange (and a little sad) to not have her at home anymore but she will be in excellent hands. Poor Rozzy Ridge is also going to be sad. 

If all is going well with her training we have a show on the calendar for the beginning of August. It's the Oregon Welsh show that will be held less than an hour away from where we live. I'd love to be able to show her in the walk/trot riding classes. I feel like that's a reasonable goal although we have a lot to get done in the next 9 months. 

We are also going to work on her driving training and possibly have her pulling a cart by the end of the year. This one is the most tentative since I have no driving experience and would have to get a cart and everything to make this one happen. The thing I do like about this goal is it would help us have some variety in our work which I think would be good. 

No matter what actually happens (or what the time frame is) there are sure to be a lot of changes in 2016. I'm so excited!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Review

2015 has treated me quite well.

January: January brought my first lesson on Benny (our clinic with JW). Talk about fun!

February: Benny and I went to our first show at Training 1 & 2. We scored a 59% and a 65% respectively. 

March: Benny and I got to ride with JW again and Emi got her first grazing muzzle.

April: April was Emi's month. She got her teeth floated, attended an in hand clinic and earned herself an emergency vet visit for an eyelid laceration. 

May: We had an awesome two day clinic with JW and leaned a lot.

June: This was another big month for Emi with a trail walk, a Perrydale Trails field trip and a local schooling show. The month ended with a serious case of diarrhea that grounded us from another show I had planned to attend.

July: Benny and I had horse show number two this month. We showed training 2 (63%) & 3 (60%). I Also spent a week in Montana at the Event at Rebecca Farms. That was a cool experience!

August: This was another busy month for Emi. I ponied her on a trail ride at Willamette Mission and led her on another one at Elijah Bristow. Benny also went on these rides with my friend April. Additionally I started taking regular lessons with KB. 

 September: Benny got to go on his first beach trip and was spectacular. We also went on two other awesome trail rides.

October: The Adult Team Show took place this month and Benny won his first champion ribbon at Training 2 (68%) & 3 (66%). Not only were we champions in our individual division but our team was the champion of our division too!

November: The League Finals show kicked off November. We placed 4th in a competitive division with scores of 64% and 68% (at Training 2 & 3). Emi and Benny also went to the Mountain Trail course. Both horses was so good!

December: This has been a pretty lazy month for us with the biggest excitement being dressing up for Christmas. 

Wow. Looking back is such a great reminder of all of the things we did and the progress we made along the way. All of the outings and events we attended were so fun. Trail rides, horse shows, clinics, lessons and several other outings with 2 different horses and all went smoothly...the loading, hauling and the events themselves. I'm so thankful for all of the wonderful opportunities through out the year and I look forward to the progress that will be made in 2016. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Horsey Christmas Presents

Like most of you I received some fun Christmas presents that are horse related.
  • A pink stethoscope with my name engraved on it. It will be perfect for getting a heart rate or checking gut sounds on my horses.
  •  Pink and black dressage sport boots for Emi. Talk about cute!
  • A Garmin Forerunner 15 which I plan to use for GPS tracking on trail rides.
  • Equifuse Gleam and Cowboy Magic
  • A head lamp. We lost power a couple weeks ago and doing the chores in the dark was not my favorite activity. 
What horse related items did you get? 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!
The cutest collection of bay horses

Luke 2:8-14

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Blog Hop: Collector?

A blog hop brought to you by The $900 FB pony.

What do I collect?

Off hand, I'm not sure. Adorable bay horses!? If that's not a legit answer then I'd say saddle pads. Saddle pads are one of those things that I have a hard time passing up, especially when they are on sale. You can't ever have too many!

I also appear to collect hoof picks and combs....other than that I'm not much of a collector. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Reminder

Sometimes I need this reminder...and I bet some of you do too. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Photo Booth Fun

We had our annual barn Christmas party on Sunday. Last year we did mounted games but this year we have several horses out of commission. Because of that we ended up doing a "photo booth" and decorating horse cookies sugar cookies shaped like horses. Here are some photos from the day. I'm so thankful for a fun barn community to be a part of. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Photo Fun

Saturday I hauled Emi up to NDF for Christmas photos. If you follow Emi's Facebook page you've probably already seen these photos (and more).  I don't know about the rest of you but when I get a chance to dress my ponies up, I'm all over it. Emi was unconcerned with the decorations and fanfare. She's such a fun pony. 

On another note, today is the shortest day of the year. Woohoo! You know what follows winter...Spring!!! I can hardly wait. 

Can't you see how excited she was!? 

I sure do love that sweet face!
Bows, santa hat, red scarf, polos, lights and one tolerant pony.
Cheesin' it up...Christmas 2015

Do you see the resemblance?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


I finally feel like Benny and I have had a real training break through. The connection has drastically improved over the last few weeks in the walk, trot and transitions. A friend rode him for me on Sunday and also agreed that she noticed a big improvement.

I take lessons every other week and was discussing what's been going on since my last lesson. I told KB about our recent success before we started the lesson. After just a little bit of trot work she remarked on how much better the connection is and how much it has improved his trot. Although I knew it was a lot better it was nice to have her notice it too. Since we didn't have to spend a bunch of time working on connection we were able to go right to work practicing leg yields.

Once we finished with those we moved on to lots of canter work. Again, this is Benny's weak spot and something we are still struggling with. We worked on helping him relax before doing some counter canter (the single loops from 1st level) and also leg yielding at the canter. As the time went on I do think his canter was improving. I now have a lot of new things to play with to see what kind of improvement we can get. Once finished, I was struck again by what a good worker Benny is. The canter work is hard for him yet he never quit or even got snotty with me about it. I also thought back to when I got him and that he could not have done the canter work we did today with out swapping leads behind (which he didn't do even once). Yah for progress and good ponies!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Baby Teeth

Emi lost her first baby tooth! I've been watching them and could see that they were getting close to coming out. A few nights ago I peeked in her mouth and saw that she had finally lost one of them. I looked again on Sunday night and her adult tooth had come in so much in just a couple of days. It will be interesting to see how quickly her other baby tooth comes out. I was looking up some information regarding horses baby teeth and here's what I found. 

"The central upper and lower incisors are the first to go when the young horse reaches about 2 1/2 years of age; the intermediate incisors will be lost at about 3 1/2 years, and the corner incisors at about 4 1/2 years." 

She's right on track as she will be 2.5 on the 20th. Where has the time gone?!

Our first Christmas, December 2013

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Value of Ribbons

I know most of us enjoy winning ribbons and I'm no exception. Our barn has a ribbon wall that we fill each year. It's fun to watch the ribbons stack up as we attend shows. With Christmas coming it's time for the ribbons to come down and the Christmas decorations to go up.
The ribbon wall from a previous year
Christmas decorations
After pulling my ribbons off the wall I put them on Benny's stall for a quick photo. As I looked at them I did some quick calculations about how much each of those ribbons cost.

Boarding: $325 x 12= $3,900
Lessons: $65 x 10= $650
Entry Fees: $150 x 4= $600
Grand Total= $5,150 (This figure is actually very low as it doesn't include farrier, vet, equipment/tack and is a very rough estimate in terms of lessons and entry fees) 

$5,150/8 ribbons = $643.75 per ribbon

Yet, even using the low number of $643.75 I would argue that the cost of the ribbon is not actually why we value it. We value it because of all of the blood, sweat and tears it represents. We value it because of the memories it holds. We value it because of the partnership we have with our horse. We value it because it represents the journey we are on and the dreams that have been realized. What would you add?