Monday, July 15, 2013

Decisions and Changes

Some decisions have been made and changes have occurred.  I have been hemming and hawing quite a bit as of late over my current hauling situation.  I've felt pretty much from the get-go that my current trailer is a slight squeeze for Charlie but told him he had to make do because of finances, i.e. no job.  It's not horribly tight, just not as roomy as it could be.  With this in mind, I began thinking about what type of trailer I wanted to get.  I knew it had to be a gooseneck, two horse straight load (I am NOT a fan of slants - personal preference kinda thing), and I kinda sorta wanted a front ramp.  In creating my dream list, I began to consider my truck.  It was about to cross over 100K miles and if I was going to trade it I needed to do it before it crossed that abyss.

I don't really want a new truck, I want a new trailer.  I did lots of research and asked lots of people (please note the folks at the dealership are idiots when it comes to determining load safety) and came to the conclusion my truck would be fine for a two horse gooseneck with a dressing room but no front ramp.  And I was ok with that.  And then I talked to my farrier.  He said I would be fine and the gooseneck would actually make the rig more stable because of how the weight was distributed.  Only thing I needed to be aware of is it would take longer to stop because the brakes on a 1/2 ton are much smaller than those on a 3/4 or 1 ton.  At first I was ok with this.  I mean, I have brakes on the trailer so everything should be fine, right?  Then I got to thinking; if anything ever happened and it came to light said anything could have been prevented if I'd had a bigger truck with bigger brakes, I would be devastated.  As in do my self harm kind of devastated.  So at 99,500 miles, I traded my 1/2 ton, fully paid for truck for this...


I'm now no longer debt free but I think it's going to be well worth it.  I won't have to worry about running a red light because I can't stop or being unable to avoid an accident for the same reason.  I've never driven a truck this big and I must say the difference between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton is pretty significant.  I haven't pulled with it yet but I'm looking forward to it.  And now I can scour used trailer ads and not worry about whether or not my truck is big enough!

Onto the pony front.  Not a lot going on there other then grooming and cookie eating.  It seems like we've been averaging approx 2-3 inches of rain/day for the last two weeks.  To say the ground is soggy is a HUGE understatement.  The next town over got 9 inches of rain in a 2 hour period Saturday night (yup, you read that correctly - 9 inches in 2 hours).

Charlie is totally unenthused by the sight of more rain.  

I did go for a walk today and he got to try out his new pad from Ecogold.  They were having a sale (not a discount sale because nothing is ever really on sale there) where they donated 20% of sales to a girl who was hit by a drunk driver.  The money is going to help pay her horses expenses while she gets better.  Charlie is officially chubby!  I think he looks really good and his one girth that's typically a little large on him is now just right.  The others are a tad tight.  Is it odd that he has 6 girths?  Every horse has 6 girths, right?

He was confused - he hasn't worn this junk in forever!

Only good thing about the monsoon - the grass is going crazy!

Now for a little Sadie update - her wound is almost gone.  Nadine has been using a moxie stick (at least I think that's what she calls it) to prevent proud flesh.  It's some sort of eastern medicine thing that she swears by.  Seems to be working!

Almost gone!

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Thanks so much to Kate at Grey Brook EventingNiamh at Life of Riley, and Jess at Riding Rainbow for nominating us - very much appreciated!

HOW TO ACCEPT THE AWARD: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers.  Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued.  Here are the rules for accepting the award:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
  2. List 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  4. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  5. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
  6. Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them.

11 Random Facts

1.  My first pony cost $85 and was procured from the local auction - I named him Cheerio in honor of my favorite cereal.
2.  I joined the Navy after college because I honestly didn't know who else would hire me.
3.  I've been on a tour of the racetrack in Dubai where the Dubai World Cup is run - missed the 9 week racing season by one week.  Guess I'll just have to go back...
4.  I was born in Idaho and lived there for the first 5 years of my life before moving to Connecticut.
5.  I like to knit and I wouldn't mind learning how to crochet (can we say custom fly bonnets for Charlie?).
6.  I'm a horrible speller.  Like really horrible - if I didn't have spellcheck, people probably wouldn't be able to figure out what I'm trying to write.
7.  I seriously love cheese.
8.  I prefer to go to the beach in the winter and the mountains in the summer.
9.  I hate to drive but I hate being a passenger even more.
10.  I am unfortunately addicted to my iPhone.  I keep trying to go one day a week without it but can't do it.
11.  I secretly want to move to New Zealand.  I suppose it's not so secret now...

Kate's Questions:

1.  If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be and why?
Hmmm...this is a toughy because there are lots of places I still want to visit but I guess I would have to say Switzerland.  I'm intrigued by a culture that has managed to stay totally neutral. 
2.  If you could live in any historical period/location, where would it be and why?
Probably Paris during the advent of impressionism.  Whenever I see the paintings from this era, I see so much hope and possibility.  I also love the rebellion factor. 
3.  If you had to change to an entirely new equestrian discipline, what would you go to?
Hunters or cutting horses.  I'm totally fascinated by both.
4.  If you could have a ride on any famous horse in the world competing right now, which would it be?
I have a few...for hunters, Inclusive, jumpers, Flexible, dressage, Valegro, eventing, toss up between Mr. Medicott and Manior de Carneville.
5.  Describe your dream barn.
4 stalls (14x14), 1 large grooming stall, 1 large wash stall, a feed room, a tack room, a bathroom, and a storage room for winter blankets, extra buckets, etc.  It will be functional and utilitarian - no fancy or useless details just because they look pretty.
6.  Favorite non-horsey activity.
Reading, anything and everything.
7.  Which is better: the book or the movie adaptation?
Book, hands down.
8.  Can you cook?  If so, what can you make?
Yes.  I'm pretty good at following directions so I feel pretty confident making anything that has a recipe.  I can throw stuff together as well but I'd really rather just put a cheese and fruit plate together and have a glass of wine.
9.  Favorite color.
Blue, navy in particular.
10. Describe yourself in 10 years.
If the last 10 years have taught me anything, it's that I have no idea where I'll be because I can guarantee I never would have described myself now.  My only wish for myself is that I'm happy and I've enjoyed the journey.
11.  How did you first start riding?
My mom had horses and rode until she was approximately 7 months pregnant so I guess you could say I was born riding.

Niamh's Questions:

1.  What's your biggest fear as a rider?
Falling off.  I hate to fall off and will do just about anything to make sure I don't hit the dirt.
2.  Who's your favorite rider and why?
Probably Sinead Halpin.  In an era when the norm seems to be to run horses legs off, she seems to run her horses very judiciously and puts their needs before those of her career.  Also love her style and rapport with Tate - have you seen her round at Burghley?
3.  What the most useful piece of advice someone's given you as a horse owner?
From my friend Cherie - heart and brain matter more than confirmation.  Charlie has horrible confirmation but somehow he makes it work.
4.  How old were you when you got your first horse?
3 when I got my first pony but I learned how to ride on my mom's quarter horse Jack.  She decided it was time to get a pony when she caught me cantering.  Spoiled, I know.
5.  Burghley, Badminton, or Rolex?
6.  Quick, you're trapped on a desert island, what three things do you bring?
Charlie, lots of sunscreen for both of us, and a library.
8.  Favorite guilty pleasure.
Real Housewives of Orange County.  I just can't help myself.
9.  Three things on my bucket list.
Visiting Ireland, completing a training-level three day, and riding in an A/O jumper stakes class.
10.  If you could ride any well known horse, who would it be?
Probably the hunter Inclusive just to see what's it's like to ride a hunter.  He looks AMAZING.  However, I'm pretty sure I'd get totally jumped out of the tack on the first jump.
11.  Would you rather: Ride without stirrups for the the rest of your life OR have one armed tied behind your back at all times?
No stirrups.  I think it would be pretty tough to figure out the balance thing associated with one arm behind your back.

Jess' Questions:

1. Would you rather ride a mule or not ride at all?
Mule, definitely.
2. List your three favorite books about riding or horsemanship.
I'm mildly embarrassed to admit I've never really read a riding/horsemanship book.  Thumbed through some for Pony Club but that's about it.  I do have a Jane Savoie book I keep meaning to read but somehow it's always on the bottom of the pile.
3. Have you ever used the Clinton Anderson or Buck Branaman methods to teach a horse groundwork?

Nope but I'm intrigued by it. 
4. Do you know any gay riders (besides me, if you know me)? (Duh, I'm obviously going to ask this.)

I'm sure I do but it's kind of a non-issue for me so I don't really think about it.  I will say my first experience with anyone gay came through riding.  The owner of the farm my trainer boarded at was gay and lived with his boyfriend.  They were some of the kindest and funniest people I've ever met.  I suppose it's because of this experience, I've never understood the whole homophobe thing.  
5. What's your favorite discipline to watch that you don't compete/train in?

Cutting or reining.
6. Totilas or Blue Horse Matiné? (There is a correct answer! Ha!)

Blue Horse MatinĂ©.  Just not a huge fan of Totilas.
7. Who is your favorite thoroughbred racehorse of the last ten years?

Big Brown or Barbaro (breaks my heart to think what Barbaro could have been).
8. Biggest pet peeve on horse blogs?

When people just stop blogging.  I worry something horrible has happened.
9. The Black Stallion or Black Beauty?

The Black Stallion.
10. Would you rather ride in the heat or the cold?

11. Your area of the tack room or your bedroom: Which is cleaner?

Tack room. :)

It seems like every blog I have read has been nominate so I'm going to steal Jessica from Hopeful Jumpers idea and say if you haven't been nominated, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to tag you.  Thanks again to Kate, Niamh, and Jess!