Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Body Work

Friday Pony had a Chiropractor appt.  None of the vertebrae in her back were out of alignment, but her left hip was once again slightly out of alignment.  However, overall, the chiro said that from her perspective that Pony's back is much healthier now than it has been.

That tells me I am on the right track! However, I haven't been able to ride her pain free since then again maybe I'm not!

Saturday I had a massage therapist out. She also practices cold laser therapy.  Have you guys heard of that? It's like this little machine that had a laser that will penetrate deep tissue in places you otherwise might not be able to get.

So this massage therapist watched her walk and took note of the way she moved, etc. I had sent her videos previously, so she already knew what I was dealing with and how Pony moves.

She noticed that she was very stiff through her back end, and she also noticed another abnormality that she couldn't quite explain.  When Pony uses her left hind, she sort of squeezes her thigh and brings her leg in towards her body.  As if when walking we would squeeze one thigh shut and not the other.

This is where it gets weird.

Running across the muscle that she uses funny is a scar from when she sat down on a t post six years ago.  Obviously no one ever thought anything else about it, since she had this accident six years ago and has never had an off step since.  However, apparently it can work that way.  The masseuse told me that horses can absolutely have a problem like that and it seems like it comes on over night, but really it was slowly building in their muscle for years.  She suspects that this could be the root of all the problems I am having.

She found major muscle spasms in her neck, barrel and mainly her butt.  She was able to release muscle spasms in her butt that she said were definitely large enough to cripple her, no wonder she couldn't hold an adjustment!!

When the masseuse left she said she looked about 75 percent better, and recommended another appt in about three to four weeks.  The body work can be painful to the horse and therefor she didn't want to do too much and push Pony too far...

She also released the muscle fibres along her spine, she said that they were very tight.  She did the cold laser all along Pony's back and also in her inner thigh.  Heres the crazy soon as she put the laser on the thigh muscle, her entire butt twitched and relaxed, and then the entire area started RADIATING heat.  Like I'm talking the entire area was WAY hotter than the rest of her body.

She told me to go ahead and ride her the next day, but unfortunately she nixed all of my saddles.  So she said to just ride her bareback.

Okay, lemme jump on my crazy ass horse that will now feel really good and hasnt been worked in months and try to work her through her crazies.

Well, thats basically what I have been doing.  Rest assured that my thighs are KILLING me from hanging on while Pony gallops around the arena.  Luckily enough, she seems to honestly be feeling good! She is crazy, but seems like more of a feel good crazy.  She isn't bracey and doesn't seem to be giving me any of her pain responses.

So here's how I'm feeling.

I'm thinking that there was a series of unfortunate events that has led to these four/five months that she hasn't been rideable.  Partly, I think that I crippled her.

So I originally had the chiro out because I came home from vacation and she was completely sore and couldn't get her hind underneath her.

After the chiro she was great for a few weeks, then I took her swimming and she has been off since then, regardless of more chiro appts.

I think that by having the chiro out, I shifted her muscles into a different place, she felt good for a little while, and then I took her swimming, which while swimming I think it triggered her deeper muscles in her back. Then, I think that because her body had completely shifted and her muscles were asked to be used in different ways/places, that is what triggered this funny muscle in her thigh to suddenly not be as effective as it used to be, and that set off a chain reaction throughout her body and overall she ached.

So basically, thats what I am thinking happened.  One of those totally bizzare freak things.  So I am hunting for a saddle and currently (fingers crossed) I am thinking I have found the answer and she is on the mend.  I don't want to jinx myself though, please keep Pony (and my wallet) in your prayers!

Moral of the story? If you decide to have chiro work done, you should definitely consider doing massage work along with it.  And if your horse comes up sore, do not wait 5 months to get the massage work done.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Snap Back to Reality

Oh! there goes gravity.

Brownie points to you if you get my reference.

I rode Talli today.

She's my trainers new lesson horse, and she is the funniest horse ever.  Shes a quarter/American showhorse cross so she's like kinda super araby.  She walks around like a giraffe, and she has one normal eye, and one eye that is literally half the size of the other one so its completely surrounded by white.  And she always walks around with her ears cocked funny so she always just looks SO FUNNY.

normal eye
Crazy eye
However, she's really a cool horse.  She's got some nice training in her (nothing crazy fancy, but she's a solidly trained ranch horse) She'll stop, rollback, spin etc. However, I like her because she handles a lot like Pony.  But overall she's kinda spazzy on the ground, but super calm under saddle. She's gonna make a good beginner lesson horse! The first week my trainer owned her we took her swimming, walked through a campground bareback in a halter....I'd call that a pretty solid horse.

She cracks me up though, she lives with Pony and has suddenly became Pony's BFF.  Talli freaks out when she's not with Pony.  Which is why she's kinda spazzy on the ground.  She'll scream for Pony, and when she's tied up she's just kinda antsy.  But still, nothing crazy at all.  But its so funny because Pony doesn't really care about Talli all that much....I guess its unrequited love.

Talli was away for the weekend camping, and when she came home she ran up to her friends like 'Hey guys! I'm back!' and they all looked at her like 'Oh, we thought you died.'

And then Pony was in the middle of their area sniffing out any food remnants and Talli kept trying to come over to Pony, and Pebbles was chasing Talli off everytime she got close.  Of course Pony is head down, completely unaware of any activity around her.  So funny.

So yeah, I rode Talli today and it was fun.  She's a cool horse.  I timed my two point today and I'm up to 2.08.22! Yay! I rode her English, and I'm not sure if she's ever been ridden english before, but she was good! A little confused as to why the saddle was so small...but gave me no grief!

Easy ride, we just did an easy walk/trot/lope (or should I say canter since we rode english....?)

This weekend I am participating in a groundwork half day clinic with a cowboy from one of the large cattle ranches around here...its a roping clinic! It's the only one he's done for beginners and I'm so happy to be able to participate.  Next weekend I also get to participate in the full day clinic for live roping...I'm going to ride one of my trainers horses.  Stoked to be learning new skills!
'You call that a saddle? Your aware I'm not an english horse, riiiight?'

Monday, October 14, 2013

Getting Over A Long Term Relationship

This post is completely un horse related.  Just an FYI.

In fact it's pretty personal.  On the horse front, I have a massage appointment and a chiro appt for Pony this weekend....wish us luck!

As I have mentioned on my blog before....I have a boyfriend.  Or had.  Definitely had.  

We broke up, less than a week ago, after three long years together.  In fact our three year anniversary would have been yesterday.  Really sucks, huh?

I am writing this blog entry to lend the advice that I have learned should anyone ever stumble across this entry in the right place at the right time.

Truth be told, I'm doing really well.  Honestly.  Surprising right? Well people, our relationship was never a picture perfect Nicholas Sparks movie.  It had its up and downs.  Lots of downs.  But we honestly loved each other and why give up on someone you love? So here I sit, three years later reminiscing about everything that I am feeling and have learned.  He was my first love, he was my only love.  I have been with him since I was fresh out of high school and 18 years old.  Guess what? I never would have started riding horses if I hadn't dated him.  I never would have found my Pony.  I never would have matured, and as stupid as it sounds, since it was a semi long distance relationship (I was only able to see him on the weekends, he lives about 40 miles away from me) I was able to figure out how to be alone while I was with him.  Therefor, I created a life for myself away from him and I figured out how to be happy alone and not just base your happiness on who your with. 

So although no one asked for advice, I'm giving it to you anyways.

1.  You are not responsible for other peoples happiness.
Your not.  You are responsible for yourself, and that is it.  I think that my ex is not a very happy person with himself, and how can he love me if he doesn't love himself? It finally got to the point where I wasn't enough of a distraction to not deal with himself.  
2. Change is scary.
It is.  But change would have been just as scary if I dealt with it when we first started having problems. Don't let your fear of an alternative change your decision of what you can do now.  What is it that is so scary about breaking up? Is it the fear of the pain your going to feel? Probably.  That and the lifestyle change your going to have to face.  But guess what? Change isn't always bad.
3. Its okay to feel how your feeling.
I honestly feel like I should be more upset.  But I'm not.  I feel slightly relieved.  Our relationship had been lacking what we needed for a long time, and now there is a weight of anxiety that is no longer there.  And guess what? Thats okay to feel.  It doesn't mean I didn't love him, and it doesn't mean that I was in some abusive relationship.  It just means that clearly, we are moving in the right direction, just without eachother.
4. Don't over think things.  
So I'm not uber upset. Does this mean that the hysterics and broken heart is going to hit me in a few weeks and I'm going to be a wreck? I don't know, and frankly I don't care.  Take things as they come. 
5. Take things a day at a time.
Don't think about 'the wedding that may never happen now' or the 'valentines day you'll have to spend alone' or the next six months single.  Think about how your going to make today the best day possible. And tomorrow, think about how its the best day you can make from it.  
6. Realize your freedom
Seriously.  Now that your not in a relationship you can take that semester of studying abroad, or you can take a road trip just for shits and giggles, and do whatever crazy things you want without needing to answer to anyone.  Just realizing that makes it seem slightly less shitty.
7. Imagine the possibilities.
As I stated, now you can do whatever crazy thing you want. You can travel, you can fall in love with the perfect boy in a foreign country.  You can marry a movie star.  Yeah, daydream.  It's good for your soul.
8. Give your horse a hug
Seriously.  But if your feeling shitty, don't ride.  That only makes things worse if you have a bad ride.
9. Do what feels right
Flirting is fun.  Don't overthink things yet again.  If something feels right, then do it.  Don't hold yourself back because it isn't the conventional what you should do when you break up with someone thing to do.  Honestly, do what feels right.  Have that friend that you always had chemistry with but you were too busy dating someone for three years? Hit him up and get dinner, that doesn't make you a bad girlfriend.
10. Cry on your moms shoulder
My family isn't very close.  Like, not about personal things.  Well guess what? I called my mom crying and it was the best decision I made.  My family has been sooooo supportive of me. 
11. Remove yourself from the situation.
Seriously.  I went to my exes facebook page the night of the breakup so that I could hide his posts from showing up on my newsfeed.  Guess what? He had already deleted me as a friend, as well as deleted me off of snapchat, and blocked me on instagram.  He handled it really shittily, but the effect was the same.  I didn't even have the option of looking up what he was doing, and it has made it so much easier.  Your broken up, and its over.  As much as you might want to see if he's out with his friends at the bar, it'll only make you feel shittier.  I know because I had one friend that posted pictures of them out, and it made me realize that not being able to see his profile made it out of sight and out of mind and that was much nicer on me.  Moving on takes time, and unfortunately that's shitty because there isn't any hack for making time pass faster, you just have to wait it out.  However, waiting it out while not knowing what he is up to makes it easier. Because honestly, you can't 'resist the temptation' to check on his page. It's impossible.
12. Immerse yourself in things you love.
Turns out theres a roping clinic this weekend and next weekend that I get to participate in! And there I go, immersing myself in things that I enjoy and things that are social and I can do without thinking about how I'm single.  Go out with friends.  Ride your Ponies.  Go to the pumpkin patch.  Hit up old friends. Make new friends.  The busier you are, the more you get to realize that life goes on with or without him in your life.
13. There is someone else out there for you. 
Seriously.  You will not die alone because this is the only man that you are ever supposed to be with.  True story.  You will move on, and you will find another to love.

Breakups suck.  Theres no getting around it.  But there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with a breakup.  Don't let the breakup rule your life. You decide how you life your life, and you are solely responsible for yourself and your happiness. No one else is responsible for your happiness.  Remember that.

Hopefully someone else can find solace in what it took me three years of an up and down relationship to learn.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Why Do We Blog?

I began a blog really to reach out into the horse world and connect with other people.

I wanted to share my ideas.

I wanted to get new ideas.

I wanted to share my stories and cool things with anyone who felt like listening.

I wanted to learn how to do new things I had never even thought of trying before.

One reason I did not start a blog was to feel beat down by people that read my blog.

If you don't have anything nice to say than don't say anything at all.

Each and every one of us has blogs about our horses because we care about our horses and do what we think is best for them.

Everything I do with my Pony, I try to do for her own good.

Sometimes, it takes a matter of choosing between two less than stellar options.

Yes, Pony has been back sore.  She has been having god knows what problems...but I am on my own path to finding them, and theres only so much I can do right now.

I still believe her back soreness is stemming from chiropractor issues...

However, I unfortunately made the mistake of changing two things with her, which resulted in back soreness again.

Everyone has different opinions about what is best for horses bodies.

I think that bareback riding is no worse for a horses back for short amounts of time.

Last weekend I was faced with the option of A) Unsaddle and end my ride with her being a completely spazzed and freaked out giraffe who was completely crazed or B) ride her bareback and end our ride with a calm and happy Pony.  I chose option B because at the time it was what I thought was best for my horse.

If my horse cannot hold my weight bareback for ten minutes, then I think that she has some other problems going on that I need to figure out, any healthy horse can be ridden bareback for short amounts of time.

I don't blog to hear that I am doing something wrong or detrimental to my beloved horse.

Why do you blog?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wounds wounds everywhere

So Ponys wounds are looking better. Here is her leg this morning (day three) 

This was after I cleaned it. 

And here is her belly today. (I guess it is also day three)

So the belly still looks pretty nasty. But I'm thinking it actually is much goopy yellow today unlike two days ago...and no more ooze from it either. So I'm thinking it is healing from the inside out. For reference, here was the belly two days ago 

I think it's slightly less concaved now, it's less of a gaping hole. 

Pony says 'I'm sorry I hurt myself, I'll try not to do it again'

However, I did in fact jump on her today, and rode her for about 15 minutes total (I want to keep that blood circulating to heal it!) my friend said she looked slightly 'bouncy' on that leg but she was moving nicely. 

I asked her for a lope and she did a left lead (the one I was having chiropractic problems with) and picked up the correct lead with no problem and it didn't feel crazed or frazzled.... So we do have some small victories!

FYI, I tried to post this Thursday but blogger sucks....we have a little schooling show at the barn today, So excited!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In which I eat my words

No sooner than I told you all that I swear my horse isn't high maintenence, I went out to the barn to check her belly again, what do I find?

A bloody mess of a leg. 

My trainer wasn't out so I texted her pictures and called her and went to find BO. Trainer called back and said she would call the vet and send her out, she thought it needed stitches. 

So I hosed it off a little and waited for the vet to call and cried hysterically to my mom on the phone. 

I mean, why does this happen to me!!!!

So my trainer called me back and said she called four different vets and there weren't any that could come out tonight, and she wouldn't deem it an 'emergency' to call the emergency line and pay extra for an emergency call. 

So I was going to wrap it to keep it moist and get it cleaned up and the vet would call me to come out and stitch tomorrow morning. 

I went to get BO and she came up to help me wrap it. She cleaned it up way more efficiently than I did. 

This is what it looked like after BO cleaned it up. 

She said that she honestly didn't think that it would hold stitches, and that it would heal up nicely without them. There's no flaps of flesh, it's just pulled apart so I can see how the stitches could just be ripped apart....

Anyways, trainers coming out tomorrow morning to look at it and see if she wants stitches or not. But it's a really clean cut, but SERIOUSLY HORSE?!?!?  

Pony says I'm sorry. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

I swear she's not high maintenence

IIt really never ends with horses, does it? 

Good news : today pony has gone two days without bute and she isn't back sore. 

Bad news : she got a fly strike reaction/infection so I have been doctoring and not riding. POO!

Seriously. This horse has never had any problems ever, she just decided she's allowed to have some time off and be high Maintenence for once. 

I went out to see her on Thursday, and seriously overnight a huge lump popped up. 

So Friday I scraped the scab off, squeezed it to make sure it wasn't infected, (it just bled, no pus) put swat all over her belly and covered just the scab spot with desitin to keep it covered and gave her bute. 

Can we look at how fat my horse looks from this angle? Please, feel free to laugh at her expensive, I've earned that with her high maintenenceishness. 

Saturday, I cleaned it up with some Betadine and then it started pussing a little. I did a warm water compress and after that I was able to squeeze it and have a stream of pus come out. Finally, when it was all out I put swat all over her belly and covered the spot itself with neosporin  

Saturday after I squeezed and cleaned and applied antibiotic. That's what the yellow goop is. 

I couldn't come out Sunday, but this morning I went out and first saw that the swelling had gone down massive amounts. Then, I noticed it looked like it had been lanced. 

I cleaned it up with some water to soften the dirt that had accumulated and then some Betadine to make sure the wound was clean, and then I saw it was basically a gaping open flesh wound on her belly. So nasty. She must have gotten down to roll and scratched her belly until the abscess blew. 

This is what it looked like today after I cleaned it and the abscess blew. Nasty huh? 

So I'm going to go out again to wash and reapply neosporin. I think it's going to be absolutely fine as long as I keep it clean and the flies off of it. 

If anyone comments and says its pigeon fever I'm going to virtually punch you in the face. 

I posted this picture ^ on Facebook late last week and had a bunch of know it all friends comment and say it was pigeon fever in really bitchy ass ways that made me super angry and inferred that I know nothing and don't take care of my horse. 

Let's be honest, I am one of the most observant people and nothing happens to pony that I don't notice. 

Point of my story about pf? Pony has a history of getting a swollen fly strike infection there, but it's usually swollen for a few days and goes away, it's never ruptured like this before. However, I don't think it's pigeon fever. Other than the obvious flesh wound, she is very healthy, alert, no fever, not dehydrated. She doesn't look like a sick horse. 

Obviously it could be pigeon fever. Which is why I am obviously keeping an eye on it, and if it doesn't get better ill call the vet, but I'm not going to pay for a ranch call when they're going to tell me to keep it clean and flys off of it. 

But in my opinion even though its now a gaping flesh wound, I think it's much healthier, all of the infected dead skin and flesh is gone, leaving healthy skin, so it's just a matter of keeping it clean!

Poor girl

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm Back!

Hopefully for good!

Thank you to Cindy for checking in on me, it reminded me that I probably need to get back to blogging!!

Basically, Pony has been off for 3 and a half months.  I got tired of constantly posting that nothing had changed....I have basically been playing the waiting game.

Here's a recap for anyone that hasn't paid attention or doesn't remember (and I probably didn't do a very good job being clear with what was going on either!)

May - I noticed Pony's left lead was getting kinda 'off'.  It was rougher and more erratic, not very easy to ride.  This happened slowly over time so I didn't notice it at first, but I figured that chiropractic was possibly going to be needed in the future, but it wasn't a pressing matter since she was fine!

June - I went on vacation for 2 trainer took her on a easy short trail ride but other than that she stood around (she's on a mini a half an acre with three other horses).  When I came back from vacation, I rode her bareback the first day back and she was great! Super calm, we played with the ball with a few other horses, we stuck to mostly walking though.  I took her walking around the ranch and she started pissing me off, lots of trying to trot, not wanting to stand, just generally being annoying.  The next day I rode her western...the fun started when I mounted and she flew sideways.  After that, she gave me a crazy trot, her lope was a completely erratic gallop.  I put her in the round pen and I found out she couldn't pick up her left lead at all.  She physically could not get her hip underneath her, she would throw her hips to the middle of the round pen and balk.  She came up SUPER back sore.  Clearly, since she hadn't been ridden, it wasn't a saddle fit or rider error. I began rehabbing with massage therapy, lunging, carrot stretches, linament gel etc.  I tried to ride every few days and I got more and more frustrated with her because she was crazed.....her version of telling me something is painful is getting faster and bracey.  So difficult and frustrating to deal with.

July - I had the chiropractor come out.  She popped Pony back into place...most notably her left hip was out and her vertebrae right where a person sits were rotated left.  Also her neck was slightly wonky.   I gave pony a few days off then started riding again.  She was an absolute dream, I was amazed at the night and day difference that it made! She felt so good, light and springy, slower than her normal crazed self, and so responsive.  It was awesome! After about two or three weeks, we took the horses to go swimming.  She was doing lots of crazy trotting in like chest high water (cause she's a spaz) and it turns out thats the part thats hardest on their back...chest high water.  So the next day she was sore....and then the day after that.  And it didn't get any better.  She was back sore, butt sore, tight EVERYWHERE.  So I gave her a week off and had the chiropractor come out again.  She was out in most of the same places, notably that left hip and vertebrae.  I gave her a few days off and started to ride her again, and she was bracey, head like a giraffe, crazy eyes, trotting every few steps and absolutely crazed.  I gave her a few more days off, and it didn't get better.  I gave her a week of massage and lunging her in a nice long trot, nothing helped.   She slowly was able to pick up that left lead again, but she just got crazy when I was on her.  Some days she seemed really good when I lunged her, other days she would rip the lunge line out of my hand and be bucking around the arena.

August - All of august I would come out and hand walk her, grain her (I thought she had a selenium deficiency as well, I got her cured of that though, she looks really good and isn't eating dirt anymore!) and try to ride her every once in a while.  Sometimes I'd hop on bareback (we could lope in the round pen bareback and brideless, but she acted so funny, she would reach back with her head and ears pinned.  At first I thought it was a learned response, I couldn't tell if she was actually in pain or just thought she was in pain.  Everytime I rode I would leave feeling so frustrated and upset.  Other people offered me horses to ride, but thats not the same!! I rode her once and had the absolute last straw.  she was fine walk trot, then I let her lope to the right.  I sat back, dropped the reins.  She gave me a working canter for about four laps around the arena then stopped and looked at me.  I turned her around to the left, and let her lope.  It was a PRCA completely crazed gallop around the arena that wasn't going to stop anytime soon.  Clearly, this isn't something I was imagining! (There was never any visual lameness, everyone said she looked fine)

September  - Finally, I had the chiropractor come out again (visit number 3). After having had about a month off, the chiro was able to very clearly see where she was out, unlike the second visit where she was so tense everywhere she looked off everywhere.  So that was good.  She was of course out in that hip again, as well as the vertebrae.  Her poll was also stuck in flexion.   (Chiro said carrot stretches forward and up are really good for horses if any of you do carrot stretches...if you can get their chest against a fence and have them stretch their necks out and up!) Chiro recommended two days off, ride her walk trot today and tomorrow, and add some lope in on saturday!

I decided to do two consecutive weeks of five days of bute as well.  Adjustments are difficult because their bodies get used to their muscles working one way, and then the muscles continue to work that way and pull the adjustments straight back out.  My theory is that she strained something in her back when we went swimming, and then she was so sore and tight that the adjustments were pulled right back out almost immediately.  My goal this time was to let her body accept the adjustment.  I am keeping her buted through tomorrow, see how she feels on monday and decide if she needs to be buted next week as well.

I rode her today, and the difference was amazing.  (Don't forget, she was buted though) I could feel that she was thoroughly's amazing the difference between her 'relaxed' before the adjustment and after.  Before, she would walk trot fine for the most part, it was once you added the lope that she became a fire breathing giraffe.... but I can now see that her relaxed walk trot was much more subtly tense than she was today.  She was loose everywhere! She trotted nicely, I kept up an even posting along the rail and she did such a good working trot.  Not fast or crazy, just slightly extended.  I could feel her swinging through her hips so much more! I'll see how tomorrow goes (walk trot again) and hopefully she doesn't turn into a crazed horse come saturday when I can add lope..... fingers crossed! Wish me and Pony luck!

Basically, I have been so frustrated because it's hard to know if I was even on the right track with it being a chiropractic problem at all! There are so many different things that back soreness and 'I feel an offness' could be! I got so frustrated not knowing what was right to be doing with her (work her through it? stay off of her? chiro? could it be her hocks? stifles? nothings wrong and its just my riding? I anticipate and get tense and then she does!) and it was frustrating to come home from the barn frustrated and then rehash the shitty day!

Which is why I haven't been posting! I have been keeping up with reading your guys's blogs though (until like two weeks ago at started and I started a new job!)

I'm not sure if I've posted this one yet, but I love it! Pony isn't quite sure what to do with me....thats why we get along so well, I'm the only 'person' she's ever had that's crazier than her!

P.s. this off time has helped our relationship! She NEVER runs away when I go to get her anymore, she even nickers when she see's my car pull up sometimes.  She will sometimes walk to the gate, and sometimes walk towards me when I have her halter.  I put her in the arena to play the other day, and she walked away from me, turned around, and walked right back over to me! She has never done that! She will usually walk towards me as long as I am walking towards her, but she JUST started to come up to me when called or invited.  Crazy how it's taken a year to get here!

Monday, August 19, 2013

How Awesome Is This?

Pony is still sore.  But we did take a nice bareback gallop up the hill in the pasture... then I got off and walked back down with her since the going downhill is tougher on her. So no idea what to do with her still!!

Anyways, I got a new car for my 21st birthday! It is awesome :) 

I wanted a 'horsie' sticker to put on the back of it.

However, what sticker should I get?! There are so many options out there on the internet....barrel racers, horseshoes, horses, reiners, jumpers, dressage riders.... anything you could long as it pertains to something specific. 

I don't have anything that is specific in my riding.  I ride english, I ride western, I ride bareback.  I do gymkhanas... at a low level.  I don't show, and I don't want a 'cowgirl up' sticker plastered on my car.  

So I decided to get a sticker custom made JUST for me :)

Does anyone remember this picture?

How cool is it translated onto my car?

I love it!!!!

The person I got it from is on Etsy, her store is here, if anyone else has a sticker they want made!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Days Have Escaped From Me

Don't we all feel that way?

How is the summer almost over? I start school today.  That sucks!

Also, in life updates....I quit my job.  About a month ago.  It was due to life changes in the family I was working for, and scheduling changes.  Good news, is that I have found a new job.  Bad news, is that it  starts in about two weeks, and then since I wont get paid for two weeks after that, it'll be about a month from now before I get paid.  So, I am so broke that I am literally rationing my barn trips to save gas money so that I have gas to get through the next month!

Pony is doing better, her back soreness is being improved every day.  She is picking up her leads in the round pen, I've only gotten on her once in the past two weeks or so, and it was in the round pen bareback.  She lunged fine, but then as soon as I got on her, asking her for the right lope she does this thing when she turns around and pins her ears and nips at me.  My trainer came to watch, and she said she thinks that it's a learned response since she she was hurting so bad after swimming.  So I pushed her through it, let her see it didn't hurt, and got off.

I am just at my wits end with her! Why is she sore? What can I do to help her? What exactly hurts? Who can I call?!

I mean jeez Pony!

In other news, Kadin got retired.

I love that old man horse.  He packed kids around like a protector.  He took me to gymkhanas and did everything I asked for.  I knew that spring stampede would be our last gymkhana.  His age really started to show this summer.  He slowed down a lot, and really showed his displeasure at being made to work.

However, somehow, he got the best retirement home a horse could possibly ever ask for.  Seriously.  Somehow, this situation just fell into my trainers hands, and it worked out perfectly.  She trailered him about three hours north last week to take him to his new home.  It is a beautiful ranch with ten acres of irrigated pasture, two other horses, and a 7 year old girl that loves him beyond repair.  The mother has showered us with pictures of her loving on Kadin.  There are two other horses.  A 4 year old mare and a older gelding.  Kadin has taken on his mare and won't let the gelding near her.  Kadin does not stand up for himself whatsoever, and I am so happy to hear that he is now! I think he is truly enjoying himself there. Nothing could make me happier, and I know no horse that could deserve this wonderful forever home more than him.

Funnily enough, a woman at the barn asked me to ride Toby since I have had a lot of time and she can't get out during the week.  Toby is Kadin's slightly younger 'brother'.  (Kadin is 24ish, Toby is 20ish)

The woman, M, got both horses about ten years ago when a dude string went out of business and sold their string.  M and her family weren't horse people, and since they had visited the dude string a few times, they decided to just take the plunge and get two horses!

I honestly have truly enjoyed riding Toby.  I'm not quite sure why this surprises me so much.  He is like, the exact same as Kadin! And, has the smoothest most rocking horse gaits.  Such a joy to ride bareback :)

Anyways, overall I am frustrated with Pony but loving the horsie life regardless.... Pony and I are doing great relationship wise :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

And Then, It All Went To Hell In A Handbasket

So, I left you all on the day we took the ponies swimming, which was Thursday the 25th.

The next day, I went to ride Pony, and she was really good at first, but then got faster and more strung out.  So I kinda thought that maybe she wasn't feeling her hottest after swimming, that was tough on their bodies!

So I untacked, took her in the round pen, worked on our bowing and picking up her feet, and jumped on her bareback and bridleless for a little while.  She was wonderful :)

I decided to give her the weekend off, she deserved it and definitely needed it.

I came back on monday to find her so back sore she was unridable.  WHAT?!

I massaged, stretched and massaged some more, but it didn't help her.  I emailed the chiropractor, and she told me she could come out on Friday.  So began the waiting game! I came out every day and groomed her and massaged, but she was still back sore.  I also began to think that she was deficient in something....she was constantly eating dirt, and not going for the salt like.

I began researching, and I am assuming she is low on selenium.  Most of california is low in selenium, and oregon has none. Selenium comes from the ground and is naturally in hay.  They way I heard it described best was 'areas where plant roots have to go further underground to get water, the selenium is higher (new mexico, arizona, utah)' but it also has to do with what type of soil makes up your area.  Selenium is important for horses, but the safe zone of feeding is very slim.

Does anyone read the 7msn blog? Who remembers her battle with the infamous Locoweed? The plant that will slowly make horses go crazy if they eat it, resulting in neuro issues and having to be put down.  Turns out, Locoweed is SUPER high in selenium, so that's what selenium toxicity does!

It's more common for a horse to get toxicity than it is for a horse to get a deficiency, because there is added selenium in most grains sold in our area (make sure you don't have any selenium in your added feeds in places like New Mexico, places that are naturally high in selenium!) However, Pony hasn't been getting grained, and we get our hay from Oregon sometimes.

When I began reading about selenium deficiencies, the words 'MUSCLE PROBLEMS' jumped out at me.  Oh, do you mean that some of her soreness could come from a mineral imbalance?

So this set me on the road to find a good grain/supplement for her.  After looking at a million things, I decided to go with LMF Gentle Balance.

LMF feeds are designed for people in my area, which I think is awesome.

Gentle Balance is designed for horses that are in light/moderate work and it is a grain free, mineral and vitamin based pelleted feed.  It isn't exactly low in fat, but I haven't been able to find any grain that does what I need that is low in fat! I didn't want to get a grain, and then a selenium supplement to add in, because grains usually have selenium in them, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't giving her too much.

This grain was on the higher end for selenium, so I figured it would be a good grain to start her on heavily, and then slow to a maintenence dose to make sure she doesn't get deficient again.  I was also thinking about California Trace, or Red Cal...but I am currently between jobs and don't have money to spend 100 dollars on a really long supply, I'd rather spend 20 on a bag of grain that will last me a few weeks.

Typical Analysisprintable product sheet button
Crude Protein, min. ………………….……………….……....12.0%
Crude Fat, min. ………………………..…………………..….5.7%
Crude Fiber, max. ……………………..……………………...26.9%
Dietary Starch, max. ………………..………………………...3.0%
Sugar, max. ……………………………..……..………………6.0%
Fructans, max. ………………………..……..…………….…..3.0%
Calcium, min. …………………………..………………….…..0.9%
Calcium, max. ………………………….…………….….…….2.4%
Phosphorous, min. ……………………..………………..……0.65%
Copper, min. ……………………….…………….………..…..55 ppm
Zinc, min. …………………………..………………………….165 ppm
Selenium, min. …………………..…………………………....0.60 ppm
Vitamin A, min. …………………..……………………….......3500 IU/lb
Vitamin E, min. ……………………….…………….…..….....100 IU/lb

Thursday, August 1, 2013

We took the ponies swimming!

Seriously.  So much fun! Turns out theres a lake about half an hour from the barn that has horse access to swim with horses in it!

We took Pony, Chief and Tally there to swim.  It was fun because you had to park and walk through a campground to get down to the rivery lake access.  While walking bareback and in halters through this campground we realized that we have awesome trail trial horses! This is like, exactly what trail trials are all about hahaha.  There were screaming kids and flapping tents and walking on pavement.

Pony wouldn't step on any of the painting in the road.  She took big steps over or around it all haha, so cute.  She had one small freakout moment when I went to walk her up a sidewalk, but it had those bumpy yellow mat things that are on crosswalks and stuff, and she didn't realize it until she had already almost stepped onto it.  She realized she had no clue what it was and turned away from it, but she turned straight into another one of them! It was hilarious.

How many of you have swam with horses before? Pony was a champ and got into the water like nobody's business.  It was basically a river coming off of the lake, and it was all rocky with a deeper channel that they could actually swim through.  Chief wasn't so thrilled about being in the water, and Tally immediately decided that Pony was her new best friend.

Anyways, turns out that when a horse is actually swimming, it's really hard to stay on their backs! You kinda just have to grab mane and hold on for dear life! I fell off once, it was hilarious because Pony went from swimming to finding the embankment with her front feet and left her back feet dangling in the deep water for a second until they found the embankment as well.  So, her front end went up so fast that I slid right down her butt and off the side hahaha.

Turns out they get super slippery as well.  since their fur gets slippery and wet, it makes you slide backwards on their back, but then since its wet, its really hard to slide yourself forwards against the fur to get where you should be!

Anyways, it was a totally awesome day!

Pony Boot Camp Days 4, 5 and 6

Monday July 22nd
I got to the barn and groomed and tacked up Pony with my new revelation that maybe my whole saddle problem was from me clearly not being an english rider. Checking with my trainer, she told me that as long as she isn't telling me that it was too far back, and it didn't look too far back, then it is working for me! Sweet!

She was well behaved, somewhat slow pokey.  I had trouble getting her to pick up her left lead (which is where her problems started with needing chiropractor work).  I commented on how she is getting super softer in her face, and that while we still weren't doing much trot transition work, I thought we were heading in a good direction!

I untacked her and gave her a massage, because I noticed she was somewhat back sore. At first we were all baffled, since she was looking great, but then my trainer remembered that (being the funny little pony that she is) that she can be kind of funny and sensitive when you touch her when she is hot and sweaty.  Since the next day she wasn't back sore at all, that was what I chalked it up to.

After her massage, I took her in the round pen and worked with her a little.  She was doing great! Her bowing/laying down has improved, definitely at a slow pace of 1% a day, for like 300 days, but still.  Being a half feral pony thing, trusting me enough to lay down near me is a VERY daunting task for her, so we're taking it slow.  I'm also trying to get her to pick up her feet when I touch it with a whip.  I would like her to eventually pick up a foot when I cue her with my foot, but I'm starting from sticks and stones with that one.  My method has been to tap a fetlock with the whip, and then continue tapping it while I pick it up.  Once it is up (I hold it in front of her) she gets a carrot, and then gets to put her foot down.

Before I took her home, I worked on sending her over some things to try and improve her confidence.  Also, I worked on leading her from the right (her right) to try and improve her confidence.  She gets really nervous when she is out of her comfort zone, so I'm also working on that with baby steps.

Tuesday July 23rd
We had a completely Liberty day, except for the ride itself.

I went to get her from her paddock, and she followed me up to the tack area without me ever having to touch her with the halter.  She then stood to be groomed and tacked like an angel! I think that she seemed to enjoy being groomed at liberty more than she does when she's tied up.  She was way more relaxed than normal.

The ride itself was great.  She was way softer in the face, and slower in her lope.  She was also able to sustain being collected up for a longer time.  We did do a few simple lead changes that she was awesome at.

After our ride, we took a lap around the ranch, and she heard something she has never heard before... a goose! She was mesmerized.  She couldn't see him, but she could hear him.  So funny.

She stood awesome to be untacked and then I took her in the round pen.  I worked on picking up the feet with the whip and also her bowing.  Such a good pony!

Wednesday July 24th
We did a liberty day.  She wasn't exactly an angel.  I groomed her at liberty, and then I tried to tack her up.  However, she wouldn't leave the tack area, and my saddle was in the trunk of my car! She kept looking at the tack room, and no manner of pulling on her to leave the area (and go back towards her pen, might I add) would she leave! At the time, I couldn't figure out what she was trying to tell me, however, later, I realized I think that she was waiting to be tacked up!

Since I couldn't figure out what she wanted, I decided to grain her, with a big scoop of electrolytes.  I am worried about a mineral deficiency.  Pony has been constantly head to the ground eating dirt, and I can't figure out what it is that she is lacking.

After she got grained, she was happier to leave the tack area.  We walked around the ranch and over poles and through a few little obstacles.  Then, I pushed my luck and tried to walk her over this big drain pipe thats laying around.  I walked straight, and she veered to the side to try and go around it.  The second that she was out of my reach, she realized it and took off for her pen at a gallop.

Obviously I ran after her with a chorus of people yelling that my horse was looks.  Yup, thanks, figured that one out, I don't generally take runs around the barn for fun.

She reached the gate at her pen and turned around and walked halfway to meet me.  Like, what the hell pony! She got confined to a collar around her neck.  I took her in the round pen and worked on her bow and picking up the feet.  This day, when I tapped her right foot, she shifted her weight off of it, so she is starting to figure out what I am asking for!

Then, I jumped on her and we loped around the round pen bareback and bridleless... a lot.  So much fun! And makes me remember how far I have come :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pony Boot Camp Day Three

English Tack, New Saddle, Ride time is 1 hour

This was the day that I was able to borrow my moms friends saddle, to see how it fit her.  I tacked her up, and went to ride, and she felt great.  I think she does much better with the noseband bridle.

She was feeling really good, but then I kept thinking that the saddle seemed too far back.  So, I moved the saddle into proper placement, and she didn't feel quite as good.

Then, I realized, have I been putting an english saddle too far forward this whole time, and thats where my saddle fit problems are coming from? I'm obviously used to tacking up western, which the saddle is much further forward than it should be english.  I noticed a slight difference in her left lead lope, which makes me think that possibly she needs a follow up with the chiropractor.

When we loped with the saddle further back, it was seriously wonderful.  Smooth as butter.  Once I moved it up though, my seat was harder to control, and she wasn't quite as responsive.  After our ride, she had even sweat marks, so I hosed her off (it was 95 degrees!) and let her in the arena.  She marathon rolled (as always!) and then ran around quite a bit.  After she finally came down, I worked with her a little at liberty.  She still will not walk up to me, but as long as I am walking towards her, she will walk towards me.  I see that as confidence lacking, which is already one of my goals to be working towards.  She followed me except for a short period when she went back to the gate, but for the most part she was good at following me around.

I brushed her, and went to put her away.  There is a stretch from the tack area to her pen that is right in front of the barn where she gets super rude.  She doesn't necessarily mean to, but she just picks up the pace walking and gets faster than me.  We have been working on it, but this day she was much better about it.  I walked super slow, and she was focused on my feet, she wouldn't move a foot unless my foot was moving as well.

Pony Boot Camp Day 2

Friday July 19th.
English tack, 45 minutes ride time.

- 1 lap each direction walked
- 1 lap each direction extended trot
- 1 lap each direction walking in two point
- 1 lap each direction sitting trot
- 1 lap and a few circles on each end loping

Of course I did some trot after the lope, and some walk in between and such.

Here is what I wrote in my journal

'She was much calmer and slower today.  We also had the arena to ourselves which makes a difference. It was easier to get a sitting trot if I did an extended trot first.  The first few circles of lope were quick, but she quickly slowed herself down and calmed down.  She was slightly better at the trot after we loped (usually she anticipates loping again and gets super fast in her trot after we lope once) '

It was nice to see that after only a day of some focused work how she was responding nicely.

Pony Boot Camp Day 1

So as it turns out I'm better at keeping an old fashioned journal to chronicle my Pony Boot Camp, than I am at keeping an online journal! So, let me catch you guys up on whats been going on.  This is day one, Thursday July 18th.

We rode english, the ride time was about 45 minutes.

I had a very short amount of time, I was definitely running late.  Here's what we did

- 1 full lap in each direction at the walk, cutting across the diagonal after 1 lap.
- 1 full lap in each direction at the walk, cutting across the diagonal after 1 lap, in two point the entire time.
- 1 full lap in each direction at a sitting trot, cutting across the diagonal after 1 lap.
- 1 full lap in each direction at an extended trot, cutting across the diagonal after 1 lap.
- 1 lap each direction loping.

She was somewhat hot and funny, but of course this was after her not being worked for quite some time!  I definitely should have done an extended trot before the sitting trot, a slow jog has never been her forte.  However, once I let her extend her trot a little, it felt absolutely wonderful.  It felt so springy and loose.

So, I came up with a list of goals that I hope to have seen an improvement in by day 30 of Pony Boot Camp.

30 Day Pony Boot Camp Goals

- Will drop head and be soft on bit at a walk and trot for a good amount of time.  When I say a 'good amount of time' that means not much more than 6 or 7 strides. Collecting herself is tough for her, and it is requiring muscles that are not developed at the moment.  So, I am not asking for a miracle, just progress.
- More exact walk > trot transition.  Thats our worst transition. I have no clue why.  It's seriously hideous though.
- An acceptable lope > trot transition.  This one is SUPER tough for both of us.  She listens to my body nicely when I ask her to transition down from the lope, but then its either a jackhammer trot or she trots a few steps and stops, and no amount of squeezing in those few steps will make her keep going in that trot.  Such a fickle pony.
- Calm and Collected simple lead changes.  I don't actually mean her being collected, just that I want to be able to have a simple lead change where she doesn't loose her brain.
- I should be able to sustain two point for at least a full two laps in any gait. (I may have reached a little high for this one....)
- Calmer and slower lope overall.
- Work on engaging core and having a better seated trot at varied speeds. (Who knows how difficult it is to sit a trot in a jump saddle? It is SO difficult.  I can sit a trot bareback better than I can in my jump tack.  This one needs some work.)
- Work on engaging core and get my butt glued to the saddle in a lope.
- Better hind end control, better rollbacks and spins.

I also have a list of things that I would like to improve in the bigger picture scheme.

Overall Goals

- Improve/continue carrot stretches.
- Improve flexibility (massage/stretches)
- Improve her ability on her right side (she gets upset if you lead her/are on her right side.)
- Improve her confidence, work on sending her over things by herself.
- Circus pony tricks!
- Teach her to lay down.
- Teach her to pick up her legs with mine.

I have more posts to do about each ride since then, but so far we are doing great!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tomorrow Begins

Marissa and Pony boot camp.

Me and Pony have a lot in common right now.

1) We're fat.

2) We're out of shape.

3) Neither of us have a job

4) We've had lots of time off

I rode yesterday, and I could barely drag my fat ass out of the saddle into two point.

In case you didn't know, two months off of riding will really make those muscles go flabby.  Since Pony's mysterious offness has been cured by the chiropractor (I officially fully advocate Equine Chiropractors, assuming you get referrals and get a trustworthy one) she is feeling good, and I can start riding her again.

I rode yesterday, and she feels so dang good.  She's got her left lead back, and it is smooth as butter.  I suppose having restricted movement in your hip will really throw you off canter! (Teehee, I'm punny)

Due to schedules changing, I am currently unemployed (life of a nanny!) so while I am on the job search, it will be whipping me and my pony back into shape time.

Does anyone have any good advice on a good regime to stick to? Basically, she is literally the energizer bunny and I get worn out before she does, but she forsurely needs to lose some weight, but hey, I'd rather have an easy keeper than a hard keeper! (go mustangs!) I'd like to have a base and continue to build each day.

In other news, I'm getting a saddle to try (english) from a friend of my moms (aka, I can borrow it for free for as long as I want) and I am crossing my fingers that it fits my fat hard to fit pony.  Seriously, she isn't fitting in any saddle (except for the expensive sentimental western saddle that she doesn't prefer to go in).  Her english saddle gets tight on the shoulders and then bridges the back a little, my moms friends saddle is what she used on her thoroughbreds, so she thinks its probably pretty narrow.  I've tried going wider on Pony, and I think that narrower is the way to go, wider does nothing but make it even tighter on her shoulders.  She loves being ridden english so I KNOW we will be on the path to success if I can find her a saddle that feels good for her!

Originally there were a few jumping shows at the end of the summer that I really wanted to spend the summer working towards, but with all the lameness and tack problems, I don't know if thats going to be a viable option, but we'll see how we feel a month from now!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cute English pony

I turned in a bunch of coins to coinstar a few weeks ago, and rather than get cash (they take out 10%) I chose to get money for amazon (they don't take a percentage). I figured that way I could get lots of horsey things! 

I found a bridle I really liked, an English one. It was only 40 dollars, so I didn't have very high hopes for it being very soft leather. The brand is gatsby. 

I got it, and couldn't wait to try it on pony!  The leather was actually pretty impressive. It's not exactly buttery soft, but it definitely doesn't feel or look cheap. It's got a pretty stitched browband and noseband.  It's dark leather, and I ordered pony sized. They offered cob, pony, horse and oversized. Usually horse sized are too big and I have to punch more holes and it ends up looking raggedy with long tails out of every place. However, the pony sized wouldn't have fit if it had been even a centimeter smaller! I had to punch a hole to drop the bit a little more, but other than that, it's JUUUST perfect. 

Heaven forbid I ever have to put it on a different horse though. The one thing I don't like is that the reins are somewhat short. I'm wondering if they are pony length reins since its a pony sized bridle....

Or maybe I'm just used to riding with long reins!

Anyways, pony looks AWESOME in it. While I was waiting for my trainer to show up (I wanted her to look at it before I ripped off the tag) I was bored and I braided her mane. Anyways, she ended up looking super legit English Pony, it was sooo cute! 

Now I just need to shave her ears and whiskers and feathers and bang her tail and pull her mane....

Haha just kidding, over my dead body will anyone shave her feathers or pull her mane!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chiro work

Finally, Tuesday evening, the chiropractor was able to make it out. The barn was EMPTY since it was still 95 degrees at 7pm. She was super nice and had me walk out pony to show her the movement. 

She noticed off the bat that her left hip had restricted movement in it, and her tail was slightly set off to the left. She stood on a block thingy and pushed on her hip and back, Pony was a champ for it.

The chiro loved Pony, she thought she was adorable and actually ended up charging me a little less since Pony was well behaved and so small and easy. Makes me a proud horse momma :) (even though Pony was basically born with good manners, alllll on her own). 

It was cool, because she has a program where she puts in what was out, and it sends me an email with a follow up report and diagrams so I know where stuff was going on. She had a few vertabrae out, which was probably what was causing her back soreness. 

I came out the next day to ride, and while she still felt like she could be slightly sore (obviously, the muscles are all now being used differently) she picked up her left lead immediately and it was smooth as a baby's bottom. 

I'm going to include the diagrams I got sent, in case anyone is interested...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Flexion Test

So today I went out to the barn (in 104 degree temperature) and ran around with my Pony.

I sat down afterwards and thought I was going to die.  Why is it so difficult to do things when its so hot? I really prefer humidity when it's hot, I personally think that a dry heat is way worse, but I know barely anyone in the world feels that way haha.

So, I was alone and didn't feel like waiting around for my trainer, so I did the flexion test by myself.  I set up my phone recording on the table, walked past it, lifted the legs, waited, then trotted her out.  The first time she had no idea what I was asking of her, and I ended up with rope burn on my hand.  OUCH.

Learned my lesson there!

Anyways, what I have to show you is her hind flexion.  I wish I had gotten more of her trotting, but oh well, this is what I have.

You can skip to 1:07 to watch her RH trotting out, and skip to 2:03 to see her LH trotting out.  At first, I didn't see anything, but now watching it again, I'm seeing some lameness in the LH.  Remember, I've been having some problems with the left hind.  However, she had a lot of back pain on her right side, and she loved it when I massaged in front of her hip on the flank on the left side.

So, while I do see a little lameness, I still don't think thats the problem I've been having.  I figured if it is something that has been causing her problems, the flexion test would make it way obvious.  We watched her move from the back, and neither of us saw any difference in the hips when she walked or trotted.  However, if she has a vertabrae out, then that wouldn't be obvious in the hips, but could still cause her problems.

So I have officially emailed the chiropractor, and I cannot wait to have her out.  Let me know if you guys are drawing any conclusions that I haven't though about yet. I just can't seem to see any other options of what this mysterious 'offness' could be, since there is absolutely NO lameness.  I read online that someone that had super similar problems ended up their horse had a neuro problem similar to wobblers... I did a neuro test on her and she doesn't have any problems there.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Liebster Blog Award!

I am back from my sisters bachelorette party!

I have been so busy, and I know I have been such a bad blogger, but I will try to be better! But, lets be honest, this time of the year is so busy for everyone! (Where did june go?)

I have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award from two different blogs! Thank you both! If you don't already follow them, go check them out! One is Adventures With Shyloh, which is about a girl and her adorable haflinger that has way more attitude than I've ever seen in such a small horse! The other blog is Nuzzling Muzzles, who is a blogger that lives with her three super araby arabs, and her new quarter horse Rock! (Congrats on him!) She's really good about documenting HOW she is training her horses, so especially follow her for training tips!

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.
Here are my random facts :

1. I have always lived in California (I am the first one in my family born in california) but my heart and home is in the lowcountry.
2. I don't watch much tv, but I watch tv series on netflix and hulu on my computer in my room. 
3. I LOVE to read! I read all the time!
4. I am totally a hoarder.  And that makes me so upset! I recently went through my room and got ruthless, I threw away SO MUCH STUFF.  It's hard for me to throw away stupid things that I am sentimental about, but you can't keep everything! 
5. I am a really good baker.  My family always asks me to bake things.  However, I don't necessarily eat all the things I bake.
6. My brother in law wants me to go to culinary school.  I am a super picky eater, but he claims I have a perfect palate, since I can describe the tastes in things better than anyone he's ever met.
7. I absolutely cannot stand blueberries.  Just the smell of them will make me gag.
8. Peppermint Pony breath is like, the best smell in the world. 
9. I love to laugh.  I love funny things.  I will rewatch series of tv shows that make me laugh.  The New Girl is one of the funniest shows ever, in my opinion.
10. I get super stressed out about the amount of miles I put on my car.  I recently received a brand new car for my birthday, and with its whole thousand miles on it, I'm already stressing out with each mile that goes by.  It's a very frustrating thing. 
11. I have SUCH a tough time managing my weight.  I yoyo and it sucks!

6 Questions from Adventures with Shyloh

1. How did you get into horses?
I got into horses because me and my boyfriend took a break for a little while.  He moved up north a little, and our relationship had a little more strain.  I needed some interests of my own, and a way to be happy with myself (you can't love someone else if you can't love and be happy with yourself!) He had someone boarding horses at his property up there and it looked like fun, so I started for myself!

2. What other animals do you have?
I have three cats.  I have had 2 of them since I was four years old. They have been indoor cats their entire lives, and I love them so much.  They definitely don't seem their age.  My other cat is younger, and we rescued him probably 8 years ago or so. He's autistic.  I know you guys are thinking that cats can't be autistic, but I guarantee you that he is!

3. How do your friends/family/significant other feel about your horse obsession (because we all know, we are obsessed)?
My family is SUPER supportive of it.  Seriously, they're amazing.  My boyfriend listens to me drone on, but isn't necessarily into it like I am.  Obviously he's supportive, but I just wish he actually took lessons and learned to ride like I did/do.  I think he would like to, but doesn't know where to start and it's such an expensive hobby!

4. What is your favorite non horsey thing to do?
This is tough.  Horses ARE my hobby.  Other than that, I like to read and go to the lake, lay in the sun etc.  Does anyone else have non horsey hobbies?

5. What is the weirdest thing you ever tried to feed your horse? Did your horse like it?
I fed Pony mango, papaya and banana.  I guess none of these things are exactly crazy, but she hated the banana. It got stuck on her tongue and she freaked out.   She liked the mango but LOVED the papaya.

6. What is one thing with horses that you would like to try that you have not done?
Vaulting or trick riding.  I guess bareback riding is on the way to that, but it would be fun to learn how to do some trick riding things.  

6 Questions from Nuzzling Muzzles

1. Why do you blog?
Good one! I started a blog because I wanted to record what I find when working with my horses and share it with other people! What I didn't realize was how much I would learn from other bloggers along the way!

2. What problem do you have that keeps coming back to haunt you?
I keep having this problem of not having any career path! I need to figure out what I want to do and make it happen!

3. How do you deal with annoying people?
I try my hardest not to be mean to anyone.  But, at the same time, I find it to be REALLY important not to be two faced.  For example, if someone irritates me or annoys me, I'm not going to be mean to them, I will be kind, but at the same time, I'm not going to pretend like they're my best friend and then tell people I don't like them behind their backs.  So, if your annoying, I will be kind, but also distance myself from you.

4. Go without television or your cell phone for a week?
I think I could easier go without television for a week.  However, I think I would enjoy going out without my cell phone for a week.  It would feel liberating!

5. What do I do to relax?
See my pony of course!

6. Who is my hero and why?
My mother of course! She has been the most amazing person I have ever met.  She has done so much for her kids, and we mean the world to her.  

11 Questions that my bloggers can answer 
1. What is your biggest accomplishment with horses?
2. Do you have any hobbies apart from horses that you love?
3. What is your ultimate goal that you are working towards with your horses?
4. What is your favorite tv show?
5. What kind of music do you listen to?
6. What is your personal love story? (With a husband/boyfriend/ex? If you don't want to go that deep, with a hobby? Or more obviously, with horses?)
7. What is your favorite love story? (Movie, books, etc?)
8. What is the most important thing to you when looking at a horse boarding facility? (Obviously our horses care is the first and foremost thing.  So lets skip that one and be really picky and selfish. So basically what is your favorite thing at your barn that you couldn't live without, or the thing you most wish you had. Lighted arena? Indoor Arena? Covered tack area? Trail access?)
9. What is the most lavish thing you have ever had at a barn? Or, considering a lot of us board at something that is awesome for the horse and not so awesome for us, what do you wish you had in your wildest barn dream? (Air conditioned riders lounge? Heated tack area? Showers and lockers for riders? Couches?)
10. I think my questions have been pretty awesome, but I'm seriously running out of steam.  Did you guys like my questions?
11.  Who is your hero and why?

11 Blogs that I want to nominate!

There were a LOT of blogs that I love and read that have already been nominated and done their post! Also, I suck at the 11 what, more love to go around! Also, I didn't really check to see how many followers a lot of you have....but there again, more love to go around!