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Showing posts from January, 2018

2019 Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange

For the fourth year in a row, I participated in the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange, which Tracy so kindly hosts (and has for seven years)!  I love choosing gifts for a fellow blogger, trying to find just the right thing to match their likes and interests.  And it is definitely fun to come home from work to a surprise package of horsey things for me!


This year, I received my gift quite early!  Thank you so much Eventing Saddlebred Style for the two surprises this past week!  She must have been checking out my Pinterest board I indicated I have, as these are both from my "want" category haha.

Plus, this is a new-to-me blog, so as soon as I finish this entry, I plan to tag along as a follower.  I like adding to my reading list, even though I have been terrible at commenting lately.


The cute little fox mug just makes me laugh.  I definitely cannot bring it to the middle school where I teach hahahaha, but I have already used it here at home a few times!

And the teal lead rope is aw…

Maine Morgan Horse Club Banquet and Annual Meeting 2017

Owning Ellie sparked me to renew my Maine Morgan and AMHA memberships after a roughly fifteen year hiatus.  (This also means that I dropped my US Trotting membership, which was kinda sad, but there is no real reason for me to stay a member any longer.)  

When I saw a Facebook event for the Maine Morgan banquet and annual meeting, I had a fleeting thought I should attend.  After all, it was being held at Pineland Farm, which is just under an hour away (that's close when you live where I do in rural Maine haha) and it is a phenomenal facility.  I always think it is important to be social, even though I am naturally not a social person.  And, they were honoring Miss Gardiner in a Hall of Fame induction, so I thought it might be nice to be a part of that, considering I now own one of her Kennbec Morgans.
(Side note: Pineland is no longer the dressage facility it boasts about on the website.  Just last month, they cleaned house and now a Morgan trainer is there in one of the barns.  Pine…

Uncommon Praise - An Unofficial Blog Hop

Amanda at Bel Joeor wrote a lovely post, Uncommon Praise, about the ways our horses are special that are not the typical reasons (such as we might list on a sales ad).  I really liked her post, beyond the fact that she is a good writer, because it is so true that I love my horses in ways that other riders may not understand.  Her words made me think of the ways I adore my mares and I thought I would share.  I love to wax poetic about my horses (who doesn't!) and I tried not to get too ridiculously sappy.  

(Also, I don't know that Amanda wanted it to be a blog hop, hence my use of unofficial in the title haha!  ;-)

I will always love Sparky fiercely because she was my first horse, and she stuck by my side longer than anyone else ever has (not that she had a choice haha).  I loved her in a way that only a thirteen year old horse crazy girl could.  She definitely had a wall that she spent years trying to keep up, not quite wanting to let me in at times, having been abused and misu…

Bitting Miss Ellie Part 2

As I wrote back in December, bitting Miss Ellie has been an ongoing journey to figure out what will work best for her.  Armed with a little Christmas money, I ended up ordering a Neue Schule lozenge eggbutt from Hastilow, the 14 mm bridoon style, for $205 shipped with a 30 day return policy (I'd just have to pay 20% of the bit in exchange for trying it).  
Well, that was a mistake, because the minute it arrived in the mail, we went into a deep freeze and there was no effing way I was riding in -20 degree weather to test a bit.  And because I just checked the website so I could link it here, I see that in actuality the return policy is only 14 days, not the 30 days I had in my mind.  Soooooo, guess we are keeping it!  LOL!  I should have just waited until later on, maybe like, ohhh I dunno, spring time when I am actually riding more regularly.  But clearly I have no willpower and needed to have a new bit NOW.  

Thankfully, Ellie does seem to like the bit.  It fits her mouth well and …

2017 Year End Awards

In all honesty, some years I set competition goals that include qualifying for year end awards, but 2017 was different.  I did not plan or expect to win any year ends, but somehow I did anyway!  Because, obviously, I may or may not be a ribbon ho.

We had a fun year showing both the little red steers at fairs and horse shows with Snappy and then Ellie.  I always display our ribbons on the kitchen hutch throughout the year and then hang them up with all the other ribbons around this time of year.  The only one missing is Snappy's Area I Championship ribbon because I put it in her shadow box already.

I received a random phone call at the beginning of December from the lovely owner of Hilltop Equestrian Center.  She wanted to let me know that Snappy had won her division for the year, which they awarded at their last three phase in October, and she wanted my mailing address to send the ribbon and cooler.  She said something about missing me that day (since obviously I didn't show Sna…

It's finally warmer than the Arctic Circle and we can RIDE!

Yay for finally warming up and not snowing or raining so I could ride!  

Boo for all the rain that occurred last weekend and created ice under this week's new snow!  :-(

Yes, it's true.  I finally, FINALLY got to sit on a horse again this weekend since Christmas Day.  Hopefully the below zero temps are behind us, there is more daylight in the evenings now, and I figured maybe this could be a start to slow legging up!  

But, not so fast!  We had rain last weekend and while it did a great job of knocking back the snow to near bare ground, it also created a TON of ice.  And we had more snow just a few days ago, so now the ice is all hidden under the 4" of new snow.  So, while generally my fields are safe for winter riding, the ice is now everywhere and I cannot see it to avoid it.

Well, crap.

So, on Saturday I had to stick to the barnyard and gravel paths around the barn and to the pastures. It wasn't horrible, because yay, I got to ride, but it wasn't exactly fun times i…

And this is why I don't bother...

For years, I put time and effort into several horse clubs.  I fully believe in giving back and volunteering one's time.  I was president of a state club for two years, treasurer of another for nearly three years, secretary of one of my GMO's schooling shows for six years, and did all sorts of odds and ends whenever I was needed.  For a wide variety of reasons, mostly the ridiculous drama, I pulled back from volunteering.  Also, it was time to focus on ME and to make some major life changes.

At the end of 2017, I found a breed and discipline specific club that seemed worth joining.  I had never heard of the club and I am not going to bother listing the name of the club, as that is not really what is important.  I thought maybe Ellie and I could submit points and potentially win a year end.  When I sent in my membership form, I checked off the little box at the bottom where it asked if I would be willing to volunteer.  I specifically chose newsletter and writing, because I figure…

Who doesn't love a fun giveaway?!

Amanda from Bel Joeor Metier (etsy and blog) is having a giveaway for one of her adorable handy bags!  I bought the larger size from her last year and I love it!  It is well made and super cute.  I was going to use it for my braiding supplies in my show trunk, though I admit it hasn't made it out to the barn yet.  It is just sitting looking cute in my bedroom at the moment haha.

She also does saddle covers, which are also quite nice, and I was lucky to test out a prototype for her last summer.  After using it for a few weeks on my own saddle to provide feedback, I ended up gifting it to a young rider who needed her own saddle cover.  



Click here for more information and to enter!

In Like A Lion

Whew!!  The new year has certainly kicked my butt, hence the ten day absence from the blog.  Not only has it been bitter, bitter cold here (you know it is cold when the day's high temp is -5...), but we have had our fair share of craziness already.  We went from having to get the furnace repaired on New Year's Day, nearly running out of oil because the suppliers cannot keep up with the demand needed to keep homes warm (tank is plenty full now, thank goodness!), to having my truck tire randomly almost fall off (all is fixed now), to both children getting the stomach flu.  We found out that when the two year old gets the flu (his first of his life), he has febrile seizures, soooooo that was a fun (NOT) ambulance ride and overnight stay in the hospital.  He had two seizures in one day, and honestly it was the most terrifying day of my entire life.  We had a snow day last Thursday (the first day of his illness), and I have not yet been back to work.  Needless to say, I am mentally…

2018 Goals

It's funny that when I went to look for my 2017 goals in order to write a recap, I couldn't find the post.  Well surprise, I just found it published in MAY.  Ummm, better later than never?  Hahaha!  I had been looking in the January section of posts, and clearly my memory is crap, but whatever.  

My goals for any year are always similar, with more specific mini goals for whatever is going on with a specific horse.  As I stated in 2017, I try to create a realistic yet challenging show season for myself and my horse.  I try to set goals that are attainable, fairly specific, and FUN! And I always want to keep my horses happy, healthy, and sound.


In 2017, I lamented the fact that I felt stuck at tadpole level with Snappy and I couldn't deny the feeling of wanting to just have a horse that can easily canter.  I knew deep down that Snappy's soundness was fleeting and I also knew (but did not want to admit) that there would come a point sooner rather than later where she wouldn…