Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Brighton CTR 2019

I did not forget my girth. Or my saddle ;)

I DID forget to drive by a gas station and had Eric try and find me a Kroger (because points off of gas are put to good use filling up a truck tank). As I was angling to put the trailer in a string of empty spaces out in the middle of nowhere, the middle spot got sniped by a lady in a white SUV who was behind me.

Bitch. Fucking bitch. She pointedly ignored me asking her if that was necessary (there were closer single spaces available) and I ended up parking with the truck pretty much taking up a HUGE amount of space where people were trying to exit. I really wanted to block the asshole in, but I didn't dare take the chance she would try and hurt Gwyn without me there. Ooooo I was boiling mad.

I ended up seeing her leave as I was leaving the store and tossed my middle finger her way. She responded in kind. And then, after griping on the phone about it, I resolved to forget it because I REALLY did not want that bitch to spoil my weekend.

And she didn't :)

Friday, April 12, 2019

It's Brighton Weekend!

I'm nearly, but not completely packed. My mind is on a hundred different topics ranging from when to leave on my cross country road trip with Gwyn, to how to fit in a couple of shows in May, to finding boarding in Washington and how the hell I'm going to sell a ton of stuff here and how to organize yard sales...

You get the idea. On anything but prepping for this trip.

I need this weekend with no cell/internet service, with my horse friends.

And in a bittersweet kind of way, Brighton was the first Michigan distance ride I went to and will be my final one here. Of everything in Michigan, I'm going to miss the GLDRAMI and UMECRA people the most.

Gwyn is definitely ready for our 15 miles. She's done up to 10 so far with energy for more. The weather on Sunday when I ride is going to be cold and rainy. While not ideal for humans, it'll be good for her drafty self. And I'm packed for every weather option in the world (70s high today, 40s and rainy Sunday and everything in between).

I've got all my blankets because ride managers coordinated to have a washing service pick up today and return on Sunday. It should be a good weekend.

Just don't let me forget my girth. It's not with my saddle. Or my saddle. Because neither are in my trailer.

If you have the time, I'll be volunteering Saturday as the timer, and other wise I'm at H10 campsite in the horse camping loop. Come visit :) We love having spectators.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Back to 'work'

 Hazel saw me putting on a sweatshirt and asked what I was doing. I told her I was riding. "I wanna come toooo!" Turns out, I didn't need the sweatshirt.
 Which Kaylee overheard and so SHE wanted to come as well.
 Hazel decided that once she had picked out Gwyn's feet she was done. Kaylee stuck around. I lunged Gwyn first because I wanted to see if I could pick out any differences after her chiropractor adjustment.

Right away, with a slight cue to canter on her better side, she had a non-rushed, three beat canter with legs landing in the proper order. I had her canter the two poles and she didn't miss a beat. We tried the other direction and she still had some wonkiness, but I think it's her weaker side. She did manage to have at least one short cantering period on the correct lead, front and back, which is way better. I'll continue to do some trot poles to get her strengthened and build up her back so it gets easier. She wants to rush more going to the left and that's when her bunny hopping gets really bad or when she really wants to buck.

 She was a bit of a pill for Kaylee because I'd brought Saffron to the front pasture and she kept wanting to go back to the arena gate. But aside from always walking back to the gate, she was very safe.
 Kaylee even got to walk over poles.

Then I got on while Kaylee covered herself in sand.  We started with some large walking loops then some trotting. When I moved to the canter I made sure we were going in her good direction and wonder of wonders I had a controllable canter that I then rode over ground poles as well. I praised her so much.

I tried her bad side and it was immediate toe biting and ear pinning. So she was not happy with that. I didn't push it, she was probably still sore from the adjustment. We walked a bit more and then left the arena to hack around the property and up to the fields.
 We walked around the front pasture, then she was a dingus across the septic field and ran me under a low hanging pine tree branch. JERK.

Then we headed up to the fields and she was excited about that, but we had to wait until the neighbor came and caught his sometimes very aggressive doberman who was playing guard dog on their property. Humans gave me permission, but dog is new (belongs to their adult daughter who is currently living with them). I don't like the dog. It's okay with adults, has awful recall, and has snapped at my kids. I do not let the kids go near that dog.

Once we got past scary dog we got to the farm fields. The entry field was muckier than I had thought and Gwyn kept trying to get out of the muck by going further to the side, but everywhere was bad. So I got run into bushes. Jerk.
 Then we hit the road and I thought, "This will be a good place to do some straight line trotting, which should be fairly easy on her body"
Gwyn went, "GALLOP!" and took off, drifting dangerously toward ditches. I do not trust her to gallop in the open. This was not fine.

This field was not as muddy 
I went into a different field section that was not as low and the footing was better. So we practiced whoa.  Due to the physical borders of the field I felt a bit safer if Gwyn tried to take off on me and so we practiced big canter circles with the reward of cantering the slight uphill on the straight. She did really well. I tried to school the other lead but she preferred to counter canter.   That right side, :/   I didn't push it and started to head back as she was puffing pretty hard from the canter work. I haven't asked that much from her in a while.

The way these properties are set up, there are drainage ditched between the road and the property. Some of them are steep, some are gentler. Gwyn offered to turn into the ditch and not one to pass up an opportunity to face terrain we might encounter on cross country, I let her go down. She did jump the bottom and from there decided that we were galloping home and took off on me again. I finally was able to circle and then one rein stop but she's a freight train and it's not fun in the open when I'm paranoid about falling and then her running out into traffic.  We walked back home and she was sooooo sweaty.

 It was warm enough though that I figured I could hose her off. And then, I figured, why not actually bathe her? So Goober Pony got lathered up with soap and rinsed. The water was just browwwwn coming off. And when I tried to soap up her tail in the bucket the water must have been super cold on her tailbone and she hunched right up. Ooops.

 The two long red stretches are where she ran away with me. The mix on that right side is where we schooled so wonderfully.
Back in the green guard.

war wounds

Like, there were issues this ride. And more than ever I really wish I had access to a giant jumper ring where I could try and school large canter geometry. Soon. Soon I will. In Washington I can haul to the Hollywood Hill Saddle Club and ride in that arena as a member. It's giant and well maintained with trails to cool down on afterward.


Uh, tangent.

There were issues. But there were also good things. And I feel like I'm dialing in more on what I need to do to work through those issues. I came back to the house smiling and happy because I like this challenge. And being out there figuring it out is still my retreat from life's stresses.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

A Weekend Assortment of photos

Using the timer function to take pictures when riding solo

After a week, they still looked good during chores. Have since obsessively peeled them off

Not enough Saffron

Gwyn got a new muzzle, the Greenguard.

Dead Horse Day

Farrier came out for Saffron and Gwyn was in my face

This is the road that borders the Ford Proving Grounds on the North. I've always wished I could ride their perimeter because it would be a fantastic way to condition. Total perimeter distance is 10 miles. It's nice, wide and clear the whole way, with this lovely, long gradual hill

The farm store had a good deal on shavings. I didn't have the truck. Even with car seats, I could have fit 2 more.

My 'pony' tail. I think a lot of my facebook friends did NOT realize who that hair belongs to... It is a freakishly good match though

Gwyn managed to get the crown piece over one ear. I've since adjusted the fit to be tighter around her face as a whole (it is a breakaway halter)

Problem solver Hazel brings the step stool in so she can brush Gwyn up higher

Dead Horse Day (Today)  I tried to join her but she got up and then I felt bad about interrupting her nap

So we hung out and I sat on the ground
 Even though it was a perfect day for riding, Gwyn has off until tomorrow. She was adjusted yesterday and her SI was out again, as well as her right jaw and a bit in her neck. We'll see how she feels on the lunge line tomorrow and will maybe try and find some gentle hills to stretch on, if not the farm fields will likely have good enough footing for a long hack.
She just stood here with light contact. <3
 Also, I ordered new shedding blades because I couldn't find mine. I found it today.   >.<
And then I itched her a bit with my fingers. She shook and I watched horse hair FLYYYYYY into the wind, lol
 Also also, I ordered some breeches and a sun shirt from smartpak (code APRPERKC19 for a free piper sun shirt if you buy a pair of piper breeches, it was on the calendar) I tried on the sun shirt and it is amazing and soft and cool to the touch. It's bright purple (obvs) and has the tiny mesh on the underside of the sleeves. According to smartpak sizing  I am just baaaarely too big for the XXL but it's loose on me and still stretchy. I will probably get more haha
And then since it was warm enough to be out in capris and a tank top I cleaned out the trailer dressing room.  First camping trip coming up this weekend!  Before

And after! I'm planning to get more hooks for the future road trip and to hang my saddle pad hanger

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

What Sparks Joy?

I've taken a lot of Marie Kondo's techniques and advice to heart in a lot of areas of my life. And even before I binge watched her show on Netflix, I knew what absolutely sparked joy in my life.

Washington State.

I've come to like things about Michigan. I have. But in many ways we are not happy here. When GM announced that they were doing layoffs and then held off on announcing those layoffs until the government shut down had finished, Eric put out feelers and applied.

Two weeks ago he had an interview with Boeing, in Everett. Today he got the official offer. We're still not sure what the timeline is going to be. I'm anticipating that Kaylee will be able to finish out her school year here in Michigan. But we are going to be back out in the Seattle area and I'm just thrilled.

It's one of the reasons why I really haven't planned out many horse events this year. Instead I'm dreaming of PNW endurance rides.

I'm mapping my road trip to bring Gwyn west with my truck and trailer. (ALLLLL the advice welcome on that front, btw). I've got three stops planned, of 8-9.5 hours of driving a day.

I'm looking for places to board.

I'm searching for a place to rent to live, and a place to eventually buy once our house here sells. My head is all over the place. I'm putting in my two weeks notice tomorrow.

More of this view, plzkthx

Mount Si, aka Twin Peaks :) behind me