Monday, March 23, 2015

Time to eat the elephant.

The idea of writing a blog post after so much time away with so many things happening in life is overwhelming.  I put it off and put it off some more but it is inevitable I will make my way back.  So I need to start somewhere.  I am taking my first bite of the elephant.  Warning this may not be pretty.  All the thoughts, all the things spilling out all at once.  It is just gonna happen so if you can't handle the ramble you may want to come back after I graduate, no start my business, no wait my writing has always been equally atrocious so if you aren't into bad grammar, and random thoughts you most likely do not enjoy my blog.

Horse related stuff:

This one is easy peasy. 


See it's done.  Yup blank space, that is all.  All horses are alive and well.  Had a minor blip when the precious grey pony decided she wanted us to meet the vet the very first day we moved to our new farm and colicked.  Though terrifying after about 48 hours she finally pooped and then wondered what all the fuss was about.  Gawd Pony don't scare me like that!

Life related stuff:  (move along if you aren't into life updates.  Its about all I've got right now since the horse action is nonexistent.)

I graduate from massage school in 3 weeks then I am off to Washington D.C. for a couple weeks of specialized training in Equine Sports Massage and Human Thai Massage.  Then school is done for a while.  Then I have to focus on the "rest of my life" part.  We'll see how that goes.  But here's hoping for more time and more money to ride, take lessons and compete.  I can hope at least.  It has been over a year since I have been able to take the riding thing seriously and that is not acceptable any longer.  I've met my limit.

We moved states.  We live in Ohio now.  Yup two people born and raised in Michigan living in the Buckeye state, oh boy.  Besides their over zealous football fans it's not so bad actually.  We couldn't have asked for a smoother transition in selling our old place and finding a new one. We pretty much moved into heaven.  For me at least.  We have a private 6 acre mini farm.  A nice 6 stall barn, 2+ acre pasture, dry lot with a run in shed with automatic waterer(perfect for a fat haffie) and a lighted outdoor round pen with decent footing. We are across the street from a nearly 8,000 acre state park and 3 acre lake.  About 30 miles of horse trails are right across the street along with a couple mile shared trail system in our back yard.  The only things this place could use is a little more pasture and a full sized arena.  The former there is not much I can do about.  It's the land we have and that is that.  Good pasture management is going to me a must.  The latter though will be in the near future.  If not this year definitely next I will have a lighted outdoor arena. We only have about 3 acres of fenced area.  The other 3 acres is wooded with ravines, stream, trails and the previous owner was a natural horsemanship trainer so we have our own private obstacle course in our back yard which is cool.  Did I mention a super nice hot tub came in the deal?  Oh yes I frequent that.  I actually watched my daughter work and ride the Haffie from the hot tub the other night.  Not a bad life.









OK OK I know enough with house pictures.  I am sure with many of you, like me, a nice house is an added bonus but when "house" hunting I'm not going to lie I always skipped to the barn pictures and description first.  Oh it only has one bedroom and an outhouse, but what is the barn like?  No for reals I think Ryan and I had this argument. I have no idea why this made him mad.  But hey at this point he is used to me and my crazy ways.

So here is the part any of us actually care about.



Six stalls

Storage

Tack room.  This was taken when I first looked at the house so it now looks like a proper eventers tack room.

And a few more photos for good measure.

The whole fam at the lake across the street.

View from my office connected to my bedroom

Living room window view


The horse trail runs just past those first trees.  A few hundred feet from my door step.

The round pen.

Picture from my dinning room table.  Can you spot one of our frequent visitors?

Literally my view as lay in bed.  One pony munching and the other napping.

One crappy thing came out of the move.  I no longer own a horse trailer.  Thankfully no horses, only stuff we were moving was in it when the axel broke loose.  Trailer guy said it's more work than what it is worth for us to get it fixed.  We haven't even had a second to address the trailer issue.  It has been sitting at the repair place for a month now.  Hopefully soon we can figure out what we are going to do about that situation.  I have a feeling the money I had planned on putting in an arena with, will now be used toward a horse trailer.  It is hard to complain about something that seems so trivial though and while yes is sucks. Life is still pretty damn amazing so I have not really stressed over it.

I did get to go on the most amazing vacation ever. It was mostly amazing because we got to go to the Ritz Carlton in Naples Florida eat, drink and do anything we wanted and didn't have to foot the bill.  My amazing husband was rewarded by his company for doing a great job last year.  They send about 25 of their sales reps each year on this trip and he made it this year.  The best part is they never send spouses along until this year!!!!  Hopefully they don't change their mind about spouses after they see the bill I racked up at the spa!  No joke it was literally in the thousands!!!!

 

I haven't had a second to do much sitting at a computer.  I can't remember the last time I sat down and watched a television show.  But life is simply amazing, hectic, wild fun right now and I am just along for the ride.

Trying to get 3 kids, 3 horses settled after moving states, school full time, moving 11 years of a family of 5 and a small farm, secretary of a fairly large horse show, leading the entire Heartland Region of US Pony Club I am finding it hard to keep life straight right now.  I do think I need to learn how to say no once in a while though...I kid, I am enjoying all of the things.  And it is always a good day when you can go to bed tired.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hillbilly Desensitizing edited

Edited.  OMG mobile blogger is not my friend.  I originally posted this from my phone then the next day read it from a computer and the ridiculous amount of typos.  I am quite sorry.

That is what we did tonight.   See all you need do do this is for a hillbilly family with their like 35 hillbilly children to move in next door and viola, your horse is desensitized to chainsaws,  lawnmowers,  bonfires,  screaming, screeching, running children, shouting adults.   Prefect. Well almost.  Except for the idea that living out in the country is supposed to be relaxing and peaceful. Despite the chaos next door we had a super super fun night.   I challenged my daughter to a bareback jumping challenge.  She accepted the challenge.   It was a fabulous post surgery first ride.  And E had never jumped bareback before so she was having a blast.
Just a cute picture of these two because, cute.  And jumping bareback and taking pictures or video at the same time is probably a bad idea.

We started with a bitty x.  She asked how this challenge worked.   She gave me a funny look when my response was,  "well you just keep raising the jumps and who ever falls off first loses".  What?  Do you mean that is not some thing that all mothers say to their children?   This is why I am winning at parenting.  Ok there was no falling but lots of fun.  We put up an 18 in vertical.  Once we both got our bearings then it got real.   2 ft then 2'3" then 2'6" then skinny log and we were tired.   We both were equally successful clearing all the jumps.   I then said she won it all if she jumped the 2'3" 3 log stack that has a decent spread.   She again accepted the challenge and like the badass in the making that she is it was no problemo.

Jumping 2'6 bareback for E the first time ever and she was bomb and I surprisingly had to talk myself into the last one on my first ride back.  I wasn't concerned about the no saddle jumping thing but had more to do with my sometimes over exuberant horse and the hillbilly chaos going on just feet away.   But I'm glad I talked myself into it.  The first distance could have been better.   We got a bit of a long one so I needed to do it again.   The next was great and Steady was a saint. E thought the whole challenge was crazy fun and her and Lily were rock solid every time.  All the while the littlest on Penny was having her very first bareback ride.   She mostly walked and then decided she was brave enough to try trotting.   She did awesome.   It isn't easy on a quick strided pony.   She couldn't resist watching Mom and big Sis jumping and stated trotting poles and baby logs.  Badass kids have I.
And the littlest.  Not you just need to imagine these two trotting around saddles and you get the idea.


I am working on the post recapping the crazy awesome Team Challenge weekend.  It is a lot of work to put such an amazing experience into words but I am trying. Promise.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cheering Up

Just a little eye candy for your viewing pleasure.
I hope not to sound whiney, first world , spoiled here.  That is not my goal.  But for the sake of full disclosure I will be plain old honest.  I need you all to vent to because you are the minuscule population that can relate to my feelings.  Because to own horses is to know disappointment. Because you have the non horse people that are trying to be kind but just don't get it saying "awww that is a bummer you don't get to ride in your horse show this weekend.  I know it is hard not getting to do something you want to do."  Really?  You understand what it's like to spend thousands of dollars,  hundreds of hours working, training, planning, preparing for the culmination of one single event then have it disappear for a ridiculous reason?  Oh wait, you meant like you didn't get to go to the mall one time and you were sad.  OK never mind. 
I WANT TO RIDE MY HORSE AT TEAM CHALLENGE!  Actually I want to ride my horse focus on goals,  show regularly and move up levels altogether.   So this isn't just about TC.  I am eternally grateful that Yankee and Bicardi's mom was so super rad, awesome, crazy brave to pull this off with my horse.  So that is not to be confused with my simultaneous pity party.   It's gonna be fun and it is going to be cool to see my horse do each phase from a new persective.  That I am looking forward to.  I hope he is on his best behavior like last year and these two even come home with a kick as story.  I really would not be surprised if they end up in the ribbons.  I have that much confidence in both of them to pull it off.  plus I will be armed with all sorts of cameras to capture every moment.  So there is that. 
But is it possible to be completely grateful and sort of sad and jealous at the same time?  This was it for us for this entire year.  I hate to play the money card but we really just don't have the disposable income for this right now and I was really pushing the envelope entering but I did. The roller coaster ride I feel like I've been on for the last two weeks has drained me emotionally.  I'm over it. To get my head out of thus place my next posts I plan to look forward.   Look to goals for the big horse and the little horse.  Next year there will be no big as school payment and I will be working.   Can you say money to play!!!!????

Ok I got that out of my system.   Now it's on to prepping and packing to go down to team challenge to have an awesome time!   Hang out with awesome people and cheer on Monica and Steady as they kick ass and take names!!!!!!  Meet my weekend drinking buddy and consume copious amounts of alcohol. Go Eventing!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Revamp

This blog is in need of a revamp.  So many things have changed since I started writing this blog and I feel it has become this anticlimactic unending story with little foundation on which to build.  For a good story you need a background,  key players, a climax and an end. Blogs are weird in that they don't really have the ending part.  I have been going back and reading some of the very first writings on this blog and WOW is all I can say.  Where we started was crazy and where we are now is both cool and disapointing.

My guess is very few have been here from the very begining.  Nor do you really know our (as in Steady and my) stories.  I write here as if everyone already has a basic understanding of the background story.  That is another strange thing about blogs.  Sometimes it can feel like you are jumping in on a trilogy in the middle of the second movie and nothing really makes much sense.  So I will be in the process of rethinking and revamping this blog. In my post a few days ago about where the readers have gone it took me all of about 3 comments to whole heartedly agree with Karen and Sprinklerbandit that, this blog, for me, right now, just isn't that high on the priority list. I just don't have the time and energy to put in the effort it takes to make this blog really great.  I don't like that because I love this blog.  I love the blogs that I read.  I love the people and connections I have because of this blog. So the idea of it dying out scares me.  I am afraid that if I let it slip at some point it may slip away all together.  I don't want that to happen. I guess I am so surprised I even stuck with this for a year not to mention 4. It would not be surprised at all if it ended up just one of those things I did one time that was cool while it lasted.

So the revamp is my attempt to not let this blog slowly die with my increasingly packed full world.  I have some ideas in the works and one of them involves a cute little kid and her cute haflinger adding guest blogs about their journey together. And few background posts bringing those new to Slow and Steady Wins the Race up to speed with who we are where we came from and where we are going.

I most of all love my few very faithful readers!  You all do not go over looked!  I am thankful you keep coming back for more.  I feel that you are all interested and invested parties in my journey and have been moral support and advisors along the way.  I know it may be weird to feel so connected to many of you whom I've never met (some I have met and are super cool) but truth is that even if I can't explain it you really do mean a lot to me.  So here is to the next phase in this crazy crazy thing I call my life!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Home horse keeping costs, written on morphine.

Edited to add that this post was written entirely under the influence of morphine.  If it makes little sense now you know why.

Well plans are made to be broken or something like that, so they say.  With the minus 9 days until Team Challenge my appendix decided it did not care to spend anymore time with me.  So just a little major surgery to test your true eventing blood.  I am in conversation with the surgeon about whether or not I am going to pull it off.  Right now I have to play it by ear.And I need to dedefinitely find a stronger bit for XC before then.  There is no way I can relay on pure brute strength to keep Steady under control out there.  So give me your best slow the 'F' down bits. But the real trick is it can't be so harsh it makes him reactive.  LAZ mentioned slow twist last week but i wonder if that will be enough in my condition.  Anyone out there riding a over exuberant, insanely fast OTTB XC horse who is also reactive and easily pissed off?  I need help here.

enough about the crap that has totally ruined my week.  I wanted a distraction and thought i would go over the cheap horse keepers budget.  I am the farthest thing from an equestrian diva you could meet.  I require quite little.  I actually take a bit of pride of taking very little and making a lot out of it.  No fancy barns, no plush arena, oh wait no arena at all.  But what I do have is happiness and 3 very healthy happy equines.  I know others do require much more to make their equestrian dreams come true and if someone was handing out million dollar equestrian facilities I by no means would turn that down and reality is when we movewe will be moving 'up' and a nicer barn and arena are high on the priority list. So i am not saying it is perfect and best way i am only saying it can be done.

So here it is. And i have been told that i need to take into account home costs to be fair since they are on my property. Which i don't completely agree with because even if you board you still have to pay rent or mortgage.  unless you sleep in your horses stall then you are paying to live sonewhere.  But my mortgage for a 2700 Sq ft home with 15 acres with taxes and insurance include is $1050 a month. We wouldn't have a lower Morgane if we lived in a subdivision so I am comfortable not including that cost.

Steady

Feed $100 mo. progressive nutrition diet balancer, fat supplement and oats
hay $30 mo.
shavings $10 mo.
vet $200 yr
farrier $35 6 x yr
deworming $15 3× yr

Total for the year for Steady is $2120 that is $176.66 a month.

The ponies are far cheaper.  They eat very little and don't have shoes.

2 ponies

feed $25 mo.
hay $60 mo.
Shavings $10 mo.
vet $400
Farrier $35 6 yr
deworming $15 3 yr


Total for a year for 2 ponies is $1895 and monthly $157.91.

With a grand total for 3 equines $334.57 a month.

This is solely horse care.  There is obviously more expenses when it comes to horses when you actively train and compete.  Tack, equipment, truck, trailer, fuel, lesson/clinic fees, show fees, hotel costs.  But that is a whole other ball game and also not basic necessities of everyday care.
Keep in mind I live in a low cost of living area.  Happen to have an awesome Amish farrier that completely under charges for his work. Rent 9 acres of our land to a farmer and trade for hay and only stall horses in inclimate weather.
I am not usually honest with people who are wanting to get into horses about my expenses because I believe I am an exception to the ruke.  I made the mistake of being honest with someone once and they assumed they could do the same bought themselves a horse and cut corners to save money.  Now THAT pissed me off.  Cutting corners is absolutely, positively unacceptable.  I would never sacrifice any of my animal's care to save a dime, ever.  And if I couldn't provide them with the utmost care then I would give them to some one who could before they went without anything.  Period.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

4 year-versary

So this in particular is not horse related but for the few of you who still read this blog I have some questions. I have been at this for four years now!  Wow.  Unfortunately readership has never been lower and commenting even lower.  Now I know the right thing to say here is that, 'I don't care who reads or comments on my blog because I do this solely for me not for who reads it'.  At least that is what I hear a lot.  But the reality is if we wright a blog we do it for others to read and give feedback or why would we not just get a journal and then it would truly be for our eyes only. I know it makes us feel like less of an attention whore but I am here to say I have no shame.   I want attention!   I look forward to comments and am happy when what I have taken the time to write down is actually read.   Now my question is,  what happened? Is it my lack of presence as of late that keeps people away?   Is it that my repulsive grammer has finally sent everyone running with their eyes bleeding?  (see how right there(I did it again! ) I used their in the correct form?) Or is it simpler than that?  Am I posting at the wrong day and time to maximize people seeing my posts?  Is it my lack of time to comment on others blogs and karma is just getting me back?  Come on you blogger geniuses help a girl out. Please tell me how my blog sucks, what I need to do to improve it.  It's OK be brutal, I can take it.  If you need to be anonymous to let me have it then feel free.  And one last question where in the 'F' did this Spanish soccer blog come from that is completely filling up my feed????? WTF? And how the hell do I get rid of it?

I will give you some horse related news to tease you until I can see if there I s possible photographic evidence.   I took the big horse Xc schooling yesterday and he may have made it his mission to see if he could catapult me. And the haffie and elaina schooled too and well you'll just have to come back to find out how it all went. See what I did there?  I just  left a cliffhanger to create suspense.   Hehehe....