A Little Bit of Rebellion

This Monday it will be the first day of week 6 of my last winter quarter as an undergrad. I don’t think I’ve blogged since November or December? I’m slightly too lazy to verify that factoid this lazy Saturday night.

Despite the major laziness occurring tonight, there has been some major learning going on since December!

I learned how to strip furniture (and how not to get a major chemical high while doing so), how to weld and lots of tidbits about bits–and a bunch of other stuff from class.

For my Senior Project, I’m going to design and fabricate a couple styles of bits. As of right now, I’m thinking two shank styles with three types of mouthpieces that are interchangeable. I am still sifting through my giant pile of information, which will need to be formed into a draft paper in two weeks. Another scary thing–I need 50% of fabrication done by the end of this quarter.

The horses have been doing fairly well. Farrah is the only 100% sound one. Liza pulled a belly muscle, and that is almost healed (I am hoping by next week the knot won’t be sore when palpated, and then she can go back to some easy work). Olympus tweaked his back and we are not quite out of the woods with that one either. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise since I do not have time to actively ride/work horses if they were at their 100% sound potential given my heavy course load (19 units…annnnd I’m in quarters).

Want to know the most satisfying thing I have done lately?

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I roached Farrah’s mane. And it felt SO good to do so. No more pulling, banding, braiding, brushing, taming, etc until further notice. Her and Liza can have their own exclusive club now!

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Not a flattering shot, but it better illustrates her new ‘do.

On another note, I’m not sure about shows this year. I’ll most likely make the Tehachapi CDS Dressage shows. As for others….I have no clue.

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Home for the Holidays

As of last Thursday at 10:57am…it’s Christmas break!!!!!! WOOHOO!

And because I was so tired of assignments and deadlines and bitching and moaning, I drove around campus and took pictures. It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was exactly what I needed.

Why was something so simple, so wonderful? Answer: it was something I wanted to do and could spend as much time as I wanted doing it.

Here’s the product of my photo spree…

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All of the above are from Cal Poly’s campus.

And here are some from my drive to Bakersfield…

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Once I hit the valley, it was all cloud/fog/mist.

I’m now working on getting the ponies legged back up after their nearly month long vacation. It sounds a little daunting, but after today I think they benefitted immensely from my need to actually spend a normal* amount of time studying and doing homework.

Makes me so happy to be home for the holidays!!!!

*Normal meaning the average college kid that has no horses and limited responsibilities because of the aforementioned condition. This entails lengthier amounts of time spent on school work, indoors and with a filled coffee mug within reach 12+ hours per day.

A Little/Lot off the Top

Have I mentioned I realllllly like clipping horses?  If not, I REALLLLY like clipping horses.

After receiving some stellar Clipmasters for Christmas last year, bodyclipping the following year was just a “Well, DUH!”

Therefore, I embarked on a clipping journey spanning a total of three glorious (non-consecutive due to time constraint) days.

I opted for a “Traditional Hunter Clip.”  Well, what does that mean?  Legs, belly and a “skid-plate” on the chest are left with full hair because traditional Hunters go on fox hunts AND need that hair to protect their skin from the elements (ex: brush, shrubs, jumps, etc.).  I also chose to leave their cute little heads because they all look pretty okay color-wise like that.  Plus, who likes a cold face?  Yuck.

And no, I am not so disillusioned to think that my horses are real Hunters.  I chose this pattern because it will keep them warmer (my blankets do not have belly-bands) and it keeps some of the sensitive areas more protected.  As for the upside-down V-shape Farrah has on her shoulder and the others having a regular V beneath the shoulder–it is a matter of personal preference.  To me, Farrah matching the others would not have done HER confirmation justice.

Here’s how my first bodyclips turned out (with some AMAZING coaching):

Farrah: Traditional Hunter clip with V-shape left on shoulders, day of

Liza: Traditional Hunter Clip, day of

‘Pus: Traditional Hunter Clip, 7 days later

Some of the lines (near the head and belly) look untidy…but my regular-sized set of clippers decided it needs a new cord.  SO, I’m dealing with the eyesore until I can run the clippers over the beasts in a few weeks AND get a new cord.

I’m looking forward to winter riding with no fear of putting a good work in!

PS. Ponies are vacationing in Bakersfield without me right now.  I needed to have less responsibilities/commitments as the quarter winds down to do more important school related things.  Last final is next Thursday and then I’ll be home with the beasts!

One or the Other

Found this gem over at Bakersfield Dressage!  This provided me with a much need study break AND blog post.

 

Splurge or Save: 
1. saddle: splurge–I’ve got my custom western saddle and a wonderful used Passier for dressage
2. board: splurge –gotta have my fat horses and plenty of shavings
3. halter: save
4. bit: mostly save, some splurge–more likely to shell out cash for nice curb bits
5. bridle: save/splurge–save for schooling bridles, splurge for show bridles
6. saddle pad: save–love finding wool pads on sale
7. trailer: save–just big enough for two horses and nearly all my tack

First Thing That Comes to Mind: 

1. Haflinger: cream colored. round cute things
2. Quarter Horse: some of the most wonderful creatures
3. Thoroughbred: long, long legs
4. Warmblood: fad
5. Welsh Cob: wish I could see more of these

This or That:

1. English or Western: Western
2. tall or short: short ones are easier to own, but I look better on tall ones
3. trail ride or beach ride: trails!
4. long mane or short mane: ROACHED
5. hunters or jumpers: Hunters
6. XC or barrel racing: XC
7. outdoor arena or indoor arena:  outdoor
8. trot or canter: trot
9. canter or gallop: canter
10. paddock boots, tall boots, or cowboy boots: Cowboy boots (but I prefer my Vans over those!)
11. horse shoes or barefoot: barefoot, if they can handle it
12. saddle or bareback:  bareback

About You: 

1. How long have you been riding?  16 years
2. Do you own or lease a horse?  Own
3. Breed? Age? Height? Name?  Quarter Horse, 7, 15.1hh, Liza and Quarter Horse, 3, 16.0hh, Farrah
4. Do you have any other pets?  Homer, a 6 year old Beeler (Queensland Heeler/Beagle mix)
5. If your horse was a person, what kind of voice would he have (you can use a celebrity for an example)?  Liza would sound like Foxy Cleopatra from Austin Powers in Goldmember.  Farrah would have to sound like Regina George from Mean Girls.
6. Does your horse have a “color”? If so, what is it, and what do you have in that color?  Not really, everytime I try to coordinate I can’t find a color from another brand that is similar enough to match.  Most of my colors compliment  each other well.
7. Does your horse do any tricks?  Not much of a trick, BUT Liza poses (ears pricked, head raised while standing stock still) whenever she hears a camera shutter
8. Have you ever dressed your horse up for Halloween?  Not intentionally, but Farrah wears a neon orange blanket and is sometimes referred to as the “Great Pumpkin”

Favorites: 

1. Breed:  Quarter Horse
2. Discipline:  Riding?  No matter what saddle (or lack thereof) I’ve got on…it is all the same.
3. Coat color:  Blue Roan/Buckskin/Palomino…I can’t decide
4. Famous horse:  Man O’ War (because of the Walter Farley book in grade school)
5. Horse race/competition:  Rolex for the dressage, Kentucky Derby/Preakness/Belmont for the thrill
6. Brand of tack: hmmmm Passier is quite nice
7. Thing to do with your horse: watch them graze

Chuggin’ Along

Long time no see/read/type?  Not sure how to go about that one…pretty sure y’all know what I am attempting to say.

I’m way, way, WAY behind on updating and writing what I am thinking about.  Senior year is really no joke.  Between group projects, homework, reading, working on my truck and TRYING to find time to learn how to weld…things are just plain nuts.  OH–and not to mention the whole three horses waiting for their daily love/affection and work AFTER my classes brutally beat me…daily 5 days a week.

There’s been a lot of this…

And I’m passing through the Midterm phase currently–also…replace “Middle of Break” face with a bed and some Z’s.

Have I mentioned how much I love the barn in SLO yet?  Because I really REALLY love it!  The people are great and one pony per night gets to sleep under the stars in 1.5 acre turnout [so long as it is not raining or excessively cold].  It has been about a month and I am starting to get a system going.

Here’s what a typical afternoon looks like [I’ll plug in names to make it less confusing, just remember they are interchangeable]

  1. Get to barn and greet the lovelies
  2. Turn Farrah out
  3. Work Olympus
  4. Work Liza [she had previous night of turnout]
  5. Pull Farrah in, maybe do a light work in the roundpen
  6. Blanket/Sheet everyone, depending on temperature
  7. Put Olympus out for the night

Here’s some dinner time photos of Liza and Olympus today

I interrupted her dinner, she was slightly confused.

 

The teddy bear all tucked in and ready to sleep under the stars

 

 

I Think the End is Near…

And by that I mean the end of show season. Yeah, I didn’t do much showing this year–that displeases me greatly.

BUT, when I step back and take a look at the year…I have accomplished so much and I am grateful for every last bit of it. I am equally, but actually moreso, grateful for all who have helped me out and been encouraging and supportive of my life engulfing habit.

I know I don’t talk much on riding and whatnot–although I can [verbally] talk for days on the subject, I just don’t feel right about placing it here. I aspire to write a book, so maybe that will be about riding and schooling. Who knows? This is a place where I write in order to deal with my stress, my horses and myself.

I guess this also explains my hit and miss writing. When things are really great or really bad, I don’t write. When I’m spastically flailing trying to find something abstractly steady, I do write. [The whole dealing with myself part.]

Aside from the words, I have some pictures I rather enjoy.
Special thanks to boyfriend.

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Could these too look any more enthusiastic about a trailer ride?

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“I think I need more carrots in order to prick my ears, buddy.”

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While Liza will pose for anyone…

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Detouring to the front gate. Girls are happy to be home!

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You know you’re in tune when you’re in step with your horses.

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I love it here.

Head ’em up, Move ’em out

Remember awhile ago I had a change of scenery in SLO? And it was working out well? Well…fuggetaboutit. By the end of spring quarter I was not a happy camper and in the beginning of fall quarter I hated going to the barn–but I still went everyday to care for my little darlings! It caused a large amount of stress to dislike the barn atmosphere so much AND it was not helping my ever growing monster I like to call school-stress.

So, what did unhappy Erica do? Long story short—ponies and I needed a change of scenery. A wonderful friend suggested I check out this barn and BAM, the rest is history.

Things that make me happy:
-Flat arena
-Good footing in arena and round pen
-Copious amounts of shavings
-Happy people
-(more importantly) Happy horses!

The trio of terror settled in record time and riding in SLO has never been better!

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Pus looking studly in the new arena.

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Liza being glamorous post-ride/rinse down.

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Farrah across the street from the old barn a couple weeks ago. I need to take some pics of her at the new place!