NEW DOG!

I got a gorgeous and awesome new dog named  Paisley! I am so excited to have adopted my first dog with my sweet boyfriend Рpictured below!! Here is a really cheesy celebration of my new pup, Paisley!!!!

She is:

Precious

Athletic

Instigative

Snuggly

Lawless

Eager

Young

YAY! So I know I have been so so so quiet, but this is why!! Now I don’t have enough time to write a lot, but I hope you enjoy these photos. I am pretty convinced people enjoy my photos more than my writing anyway! ūüôā

Pony update – injured leg, but I did ride a big horse, this week, and I forgot how different ponies and horses feel, sometimes!!!!!! Anyone else ever had this experience? The difference is kind of extreme!

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How to feel instant regret

Argh, I meant to publish this two days ago! I am the worst! So sorry to my, like, possibly three readers, if those even exist!

The recipe for instant regret is to drop your stirrups after your ride, like I did last night. I couldn’t believe how much tension was in my seat. I felt instant regret in not having begun my ride without stirrups. It’s funny how using muscles takes so much energy, and yet I use so many muscles without realizing it.

I would like to get a bareback pad (and a dressage saddle and riding lessons and a Hawaiian themed brow band and more cute saddle pads and well…a lot of things).

I’ve done a lot of research on this and have decided that the thicker suede ones look like the best. I’d like it to give me more stick, because riding up any type of incline leaves me sitting on the other end of the pony! I also think it would help me better distribute my weight as I get used to bareback riding, but, I’m not gonna lie, it will take me a long time to feel confident at all the gates bareback on Comfort. Maybe master the sitting trot in my saddle first.

Excited to continue my research! I like the one Parelli makes, but I really don’t care for the Parelli price…. So onward we march!

Walk, Trot, Canter, Jump, WINNNN!!!!

Super pumped that I actually walked, trotted, cantered, and jumped today, all in the arena I keep convincing myself is too tiny to canter in!! It’s hard to explain what’s challenging about Comfort. Maybe because I mostly just do independent riding on her, maybe because she feels very very…

…very very tiny.

Underneath you. and can drift sideways weirdly and leave you hanging in the air. And also thinks she knows what’s up, when actually I am the one who knows what’s up.

I think one reason she was so laid back was because there was another human there with us. Comfort and I both seem to relax better when there’s someone there.¬†But anyway!! I am so grateful for my little pony who totally put up with my bad (but effective enough) 8 steps of cantering! We even did sitting trot successfully, and she gave me the most relaxed walk I have ever experienced on her! So proud of my sweet girl! ūüôā ūüôā

Also, our downward transitions were THE BOMB! I am super pumped about that!!!!

YAY!

SO EXCITED!

 

Morphing

You know you’ve gone to the other side when….

I think any girl or guy can be crazy obsessed with horses, whether or not they have a horse (or have even touched a horse). Some parents and friends will hope the crazy will subside once you finally get a horse, however, we all know this is not the case. The crazy is a one way street. It simply grows exponentially without end until something bad happens.

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Sending super low quality selfies to your mom on your way to the barn. 

Here are some examples of my journey of crossing to the other side, using improper fluidity between the meaning of I and you. Every time I say “you” I am giving ridiculously specific examples of things from my actual life. I thought about changing it all to say “I,” but then, laziness. Hopefully you feel some kind of connection to these blurbs.

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Cocoa the donkey. I think that’s how we spell his name, I don’t write it, often!¬†

You grew up with a donkey. You wished so badly it was a horse, but, it was mighty close! You made it your life’s mission to domesticate him.

As a little kid you were SO PUMPED to inspect hay and wondered what it was like for a horse to eat it. You plucked samples out of people’s bales and studied them scientifically. Hay rides were GOLD! Sitting on a bale and snorting up those allergies was like a dream come true!

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It’s the ghost of ponies future! Just hang in there, younger self, you DO get a pony at the end of the story!!

Going antique shopping with your mom because you know there’s a chance you might find an old saddle in there. Or an original copy of Black Beauty. Or a horse figurine. Or more TACK!

Justifying how you’re sort of a cowgirl already because you live in Texas. Step 1 accomplished!

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Speaking of being a Texan, my mom sent me this salsa from Texas for my birthday- I LOVE IT! Not sure if it’s Texas made, but I love it just the same! Salsa=LIFE.

Finding yourself fascinated by leather shops which had literally no equestrian products in them. But you got to learn about LEATHER! And, more importantly, you got to SMELL IT.

Striking up conversations as a child with cowboy hat shaper guy. Cowboy hat shaper guy=Gandalf.

Wrangling your parents into helping you try that horse riding rope contraption that Velvet uses in bed in National Velvet.

Having way-too-long conversations on road trips about – well what if we just pulled over and knocked on the door and asked the nice farm owners if we could ride their horses? All farm owners should have been on guard when my family drove by. I was liable to fly out the car window onto the back of a stranger’s horse.

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THIS HORSE. So many riding lessons on this mare! Little teenage me! I think that was a super awesome Tegan and Sara shirt I had… Where is that, I wonder ?

Then you get older and some of your dreams come true – you get to take mother F***ING RIDING LESSONS!! Because people now see that your parents vaguely encourage the horse obsession, family and friends feel validated in buying you horse themed presents – SCORE!

You get a watch for christmas that looks like a horse head – you wear it until it falls apart completely.

You go to Barnes and Noble with your family to happily explore literature. You go to the how to tool leather books and the 101 ways to solve your riding problem books. You go to the CD section to try to find new wave nature music because there might be some kind of hoofbeat-themed track on there. You look at the photography section digging around for books about barn architecture or horse photography.

This horse was the BEST! He put up with my learning curve masterfully. 

You drag your non-horsey friends to riding lessons and shows.^^^

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Draw ponies. EVERYWHERE!

You have an emotional breakdown in art class because you aren’t sure you’ll ever be able to afford your own horse (as you draw a picture of a horse). Your friend says of course you’ll have a horse one day – you think of this conversation secretly every time you talk to her on the phone like 8 years later and still want to bring it up every time.

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Branding all day at Philmont Scout Ranch at Ponil!!! Feeling pretty close to being a professional rancher. . . Even though I was branding water bottles. . .

You’d jump at the prospect of a 2 man horse part in a school play – obviously the best role.

Your dad buys you a leather wallet. You just smell it obsessively. It’s the thing you keep in your pocket to smell several times a day.

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Taking waaaaaay too many pony-bestie selfies! 

You go to the “musk and leather” type of candles at the cute boutiques, only to be massively disappointed.

You listen to Gene Autry. It’s cowboy music. You get highly offended when people sing the incorrect version of “Back in the Saddle Again.”

You graduate from an equestrian-heavy college. GO SWEET!

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Your anonymous “Senior” in college requests that you dress up as a centaur from Harry Potter during the traditional week that you and the entire junior class must wear costumes to school every day. It was very hard to sit down.

You get a job at a local barn during college so that you can work off riding lessons. In addition to the riding lessons you take at college.

You free lease a horse while you exercise another. The one you exercise is insane. But cool. You get a real job and immediately find the horsey person at work to be friend with. #instantbesties

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Comfort and I at our first POA show!

You spend your free weekends going to the mystical land of spotted ponies, where you eventually end up finding your very own pony!

You find a boyfriend who grew up in a foxhunting family. SCORE!

You break up with him. You remain friends with his foxhunting mom – obviously.

You find another boyfriend whose sister loves riding.

Still not quite right.

You find another boyfriend. He likes riding! In cars….

You break up with him.

You find another boyfriend, he grew up with ponies- SCORE!

You keep dating him. You buy a pony. He keeps dating you. You kind of date your pony.

You go home on the weekends with your friends who own horses so you can sort of creepily study them.

You become clinically insane.

 

Pictures!

I ADORE having a spotted equine. I’ve always been surprised, though, by her dapples. Until meeting Comfort, I had never encountered a roan, spotted, dappled pony!

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We had a brilliant little hack, I guess you’d call it, in Comfort’s rope side pull. Walking trotting and cantering in a little pasture. Doing some minor hill work, etc. she was great! Especially with the murderous sounding dogs, next door, barking at us, the 4 wheelers swarming to our left, and the road to our other side. I need to work on giving a clearer canter cue, but hey we are just getting started!

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She was adorable, but her saddle pad keeps sliding when we canter. The half pad stays in place. I’m not sure what to do about that.

Teeny Blurb

So, if you were wondering if I was going to ever canter – yes. I did canter, in fact. I cantered last week, and I realized that I am the one whose not ready to canter. I find that if you put enough energy into wanting something from your pony, sometimes they just offer it up to you ¬†-like oh hey no big deal here’s that thing you were longing for in your innermost soul.

I noticed when I got on in the ring, that Comfort was ready to G.O.¬†GO! And I thought she was just being an out of control freak like she usually kinda is, and in reality, I think she was kind of reading my sadness and had diagnosed me and come up with the solution that not being a control freak rider and just enjoying the ride would probably cure whatever the heck was wrong with me. We worked on going over a jump which she immediately knocked over, so we actually just practiced walking and trotting between two jump standards over a pile of crushed dreams shrapnel. I was making a circle to go to the jump the last time, and I felt something different. I think that it was Comfort trying to lift into a canter, but I brought her¬†back to trot immediately. I twice I felt her inside shoulder come out differently, and I think it must have been me feeling her¬†take just a single canter stride.¬†Well I wouldn’t dare let her canter in the arena – because I am scared it’s too tiny of a space even though I have absolutely safely cantered her in the arena quite a few times.

I got off and I decide we needed to go to¬†a big field and face our fears and just let go and canter. I was really really sad about my grandmother and thought that somehow finally cantering Comfort was going to be the cure. Comfort obviously was also on the same page. After lots of fussing about me getting back on,¬†I walked her down to the lowest corner of the field and asked for her to trot up the “hill” ¬†– aka pasture that has a slight incline. Then I asked for a canter – and I mean just barely. I am not sure if I just sort of squeezed her a little or if I even did that much. I don’t know how she even knew I wanted a canter, it was almost like she knew what my heart wanted and didn’t care what my leg said it wanted. After thinking “canter” Comfort basically just went for it! She gave me a perfect, completely in control, nice paced, lovely, willing, fabulous, comfortable canter. I am so thankful for her giving me this, because we both knew it was what I needed. Now is cantering your pony in a field going to get you to the next show? Absolutely not. But it did give me my confidence back – which I lost from a supah nasteh fall, and I am so excited to canter her again and start to got more comfortable at this gait.

In the in-between time, I am going to start riding my barn owner’s horse for practice so that I do not start developing green pony habits. I think I am going to realize a lot about my control freak self after riding a school horse again. looking forward to that reality check so I can be a better rider for Comfort.

So, It’s Been a While!

Hello, internet friends! It has been a while since I’ve posted anything, and I really wish I could say it was because I was competing at the Rolex with my pony, but, in actuality, it’s because my dear, wonderful grandmother has died and I have been in Texas with my family for the past few days. Comfort is still her angelic self, sort of, but I realized that taking her off the property to go explore the world together is not what you do when you haven’t seen your pony in almost a week. So that was really stupid. I caused a tiny traffic jam of people waiting for me to get my damn pony to stand still so they could drive by, and, all in all, it was a total failure.

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I remember when I didn’t know my pony well, and we took her to her first show. I walked her all over the property without any company, and she just assumed I was the leader and was an absolute angel. Since that time, however, I seem to have put her through so much, that we can’t do that anymore, and it is really frustrating to see her not trust me. I understand it can come from herd-boundness etc, but trust me, that pony was at her first horse show, by herself, with a human she hardly knew, after being wrenched away from a herd of about 70 ponies she was born with, experiencing a show for the first time… etc. etc. you get it. The pony I know, today, would have kind of been freaking out. I am so frustrated that somewhere along the way, I totally dropped the ball on her trusting me like that. She just knows too much now, or something.

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I wish I knew how to fix it, and I wish that I had done something more confidence building with her immediately after returning from this exhausting trip to Texas. I know there have been a lot of times, in the past, where I didn’t know how to step up and be the leader, but I don’t know how to fix that now. I wish I did. I know that text heavy self pity posts are not what people want to read, but hopefully you were able to bare with me till the end of this and possibly have some insight as to what kind of exercises I can do to build that trust that came naturally to her, before. I do also think she was super nervous because a storm was coming in.

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I want to explain that while she was a little wacky when I was walking her off the property, she was great as soon as we got back to the barn. I turned her out and she walked right back up to me. We hung out in the barn, afterwards, for a long time just watching the rain come down together. She likes to be in my presence. I just wish that when it came to those moments where it really counts to know how to get a horse to calm down, I could, and I could do it quickly. Any thoughts?