Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April Condition Photos

These were taken on the 17th, and I grabbed her weight then too. I was told by my friend at the show this past Saturday (more on that in a later post) that she thought Lilly looked too skinny. There are times where I can see her ribs, but I wouldn't say she's "skinny". That's also the reason I haven't totally pulled the trigger on the muzzle. My vet is coming out on Thursday, so I'll see what she thinks about her weight.

According to my tape, she's actually gained a little bit of weight since last month.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

Where have the years gone?

I don't have any human children, although I hope I will someday. Being sans children, I don't run around calling my horses and my dog my "fur-babies" or my "4 legged children", and I don't try to make Mother's Day about how I'm the mother to three wonderful animals, but sometimes I can't help but think of Lilly as my child.

We got AJ when he was four years old and he'll turn 30 this year, but the relationship I have with him is different than the one I have with Lilly. And while I've had Rylee since she was 13 weeks old, and she'll be three in a couple months, it's still not quite the same.

Sweetest thing in my life.
Lilly has been with me her entire life, from the time she was weaned from her dam until now. We had a brief separation when I was transitioning from the Marines, but for the most part, I have had her with me always. When I think about her being sixteen years old this year, I get a little emotional, and I can't help but compare her a little bit with a human child. "Wow... sixteen. If she were a person and not a horse, she'd be getting her driver's license." That's how long we've been together.

Always making me smile.
She's seen me through happy times and tough times, countless moves to several states, new jobs, new relationships, and has always been my rock. Changes are always happening in my life, nearly every day it seems, and she is always there. Even if I can't get out to see her, I know she's there. She's there being herself, not needing anything from me, but just waiting until I need her. Always there.

I love her so much, and while today is just another day for her, it's a day that makes me pause and remember just how lucky I am to have her in my life, and how grateful I am for everything she has done for me.

Happy sweet sixteen, my sweet Lilly. May we have at least sixteen more.

Our earliest days together.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Day Has Come

I was hawking the weather all week, counting the days until our first show of 2016, and it was rain, rain, rain. It wasn't the kind of day where it was going to rain nonstop, but it looked like there was definitely going to be rain. I hit up the show manager and asked her when they'd make the decision to use the rain day or go as planned, and she said Friday by 6pm.

I really hate the "Friday by 6pm" answer... Friday by 6pm I want to be cleaning up and heading home for dinner, downtime, and early bedtime. So it's either, go ahead and start the arduous process of packing and cleaning a mostly white horse, or take the gamble and hold off until 6pm.

Well, I decided to hold off, and they went ahead and decided to hold the show anyway. Even though it was going to rain. Even though they have a rain date. On a day with zero rain and bright sunshine. WHY?! She said, "Bring your rain gear!" Ummm, no.

Who wants to show in the rain? Who wants to get their western hat wet, their showmanship halter, their english saddle? Not me. I thought about hauling in later to ride in the western classes after the rain was done, but by that time it was like 2pm.

So no show. I was really excited to show somewhere new. With any luck, I'll be able to show this coming Saturday.

Oh, and this happened over the weekend too.

Not happy...
I'm slowly introducing her to it. We'll do a few hours here and there, then a few days, then put it on her full time for the foreseeable future. She was actually better about it than I thought. She didn't try to shake it off, but she has yet to grasp the concept of snagging grass through the tiny hole on the bottom. She kept trying to grab the grass as if she wasn't wearing the thing. If I was her, I'd be pissed.

It's for her own good and mine, but I hate it.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

New Show Colors!

Show prep for this Saturday has been in full swing for at least a week and a half! I've been clipping legs, having pants hemmed, oiling leather, printing out paperwork and signing up for all kinds of things... oh, and spending money on all the things.

Due to several reasons, I switched up my show attire this year. I was tired of looking the same in all my photos, so I had made several new purchases (some years ago), and had an outfit or two planned for this year's show season. I ran into some "fit issues" with a very important piece of clothing (the pants), couldn't find a different size, and thus had to completely start from scratch. There was much eBaying happening in my house.

What a nightmare this whole process has been... some things were too small, some things were too big, some things were only available in certain sizes, some things were just ridiculously priced. I'm relieved to say I'm finally done!


With any luck, I can wear these outfits for the next three years at least, or hopefully add a piece here and there to stretch it out even more.

So without further adieu... Behold! The New Colors!

Oooooohhh...  Ahhhhhhhhh....
I ended up buying all Hobby Horse stuff this year, because it made my life so much easier as far as matching colors goes. So I chose garnet for showmanship (which is just a fancy word for MAROON), and indigo blue for my riding colors. I have two shirts for riding, blue pants, blue chaps, and a blue mayatex blanket. Showmanship is just one shirt and a pair of pants, but I'm hoping to catch a certain shirt that I love with all my heart when they run their Broken Heart sale. I just couldn't bring myself to spend $300 on a shirt, especially after spending a small fortune to buy all the other items.

I also purchased a new pair of breeches and some actual tall boots so I don't have to wear my paddock boots and half chaps anymore. I'll feel totally legit out there in my hunt seat classes. WOOT.

It's supposed to rain on Saturday, of course, so I don't know if I'll actually get to show this weekend, but I hope so! I can't wait to try out the new stuff.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekly Ride Recap 3/7 and 3/14

Yeah, I'm doing two weekly recaps at one time... I know, I know. Even the weekly ones seem a tad boring these days. I've been trying to stick with my Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday schedule, but I've had some physical disruptions over the past couple weeks, so I only managed two days these past two weeks. Lilly is doing great, though!

Week of February 29 - March 6:
Tuesday - Rode for about 30 minutes. Despite it being a gorgeous day, Lilly had lots and lots of energy, so we pretty much only worked on the canter. I did a lot of transitions and lots of figure eights.
Sunday - We had a nice, normal ride, and I've been working on cantering along the rail instead of on the circle. She tends to fall apart a bit when we're not in some kind of bend.

Week of March 7 - March 13:
Tuesday - We had a great ride with several other horses in the arena, so that's always helpful. I'd say about 95% of the time, we're alone, so it's nice to have distractions in the ring like she'd have at a show.
Thursday - I decided to longe her instead of ride. I don't do much longing in general, but I thought it might benefit her some. I didn't use the saddle because I didn't want the stirrups flopping around and banging her sides, but I wish I had a pair of side reins because I think it would have been really helpful to saddle her and use those to help her work correctly. She did great, though.

She's the cutest!
Our first show of the year is April 2nd, but I have a million things to do to get ready. I refreshed my show wardrobe, but it's taking forever to get my showmanship pants, and when they finally get here, I'll have to take them in to be hemmed. I have no idea what kind of timeline we're looking at there. I sold the pants from my other outfit, so I'm going to be without something to wear if they don't make it back to me in time.