Monthly Archives: December 2014

Thank You, Santa!

Besides getting to lease Angel again until I go off to college in August (yippee!!), Santa brought some amazing presents this year.  I guess I was a good girl?! 😉

I got the Tredstep Symphony No. 3 Rosa Front Zip Knee Patch Breeches

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Pretty good view of the breeches here. My cousin, me, Angel

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#rootd ft. Tredstep breeches

Considering I have HIPS (thanks, Mom), they fit pretty well. I’m usually between a 28-30 (when I accommodate for the hips) and the 28 fit well. They feel very technical and have nice details all over the place.  I’ll do a full review later when I’ve had them a little longer…

I got a wool dress sheet from Dover in hunter green.  Angel used to have a really nice Beval cooler but somehow got demoted to a yucky one.  Now that I’m leasing her again I figured a proper cooler was in order.  We use them from October-April around here so I think I’ll get good use out of it.

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*in hunter green* It has a fancy hip ornament, leather front buckle, and nice trim

I did get the replacement fly bonnet, Higher Standards leather cleaner (yay!!), and a few other things here and there from my sisters and parents.  Thank you, St. Nick, for the Bose noise canceling headphones!! All in all, it was a fantastic holiday spent with my parents and sisters at home.  Although it wasn’t a white Christmas, it was still a pretty good one. 🙂

Now I’m off to enjoy the rest of break before I get back to school and they hit me with finals.

What was your favorite memory or present from this holiday season?

-Val

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And She Lived Happily Ever After

Not quite, but it’s good enough for me.

I’M LEASING ANGEL AGAIN

I knew back in August that after I had applied to college and gotten in, my parents said I would be able to lease again, but 4 months felt like FOREVER.  Not being at the barn all the time. Not seeing Angel all the time.  It just felt off. Now I’m happier than a clam and my lease officially starts in January.  It truly feels as if Christmas came early for me.

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I hope everyone is having a good time with friends, family, and loved ones this holiday season.  IMG_9056

-Val

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Where Did She Come From? Where Did She Go?

I blame my week-long absence from the blogging world to a couple things.  I’d like to get you all caught up so here we go:

  1. I got into college.  Duh.  After my last post about getting into school, I had to at least pretend to focus on my last week of classes before winter break.
  2. I tried Harley again.  This time things went splendidly minus forgetting gloves and having all the skin rubbed off my ring fingers.
  3. I started to get sick.  This was the thing that wiped me out the most.  Thursday night I got the tickle in my throat.  All day Friday I was slowly deteriorating.  Saturday I had to work so I was up early and had to stay up late which just aggravated this thing more.  Finally, on Sunday I spent the ENTIRE day in bed.  I don’t remember the last time I’ve ever done this.  It was amazing.  I took NyQuil midmorning and spent the entire day sleeping.  It was beautiful!

I have some exciting news for my next post, but for now, I hope everyone enjoys Christmas Eve Eve! 🙂

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-Val

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Someone’s Going to College!!!!!!!!

Yup, I will be in Claremont, CA next year attending Scripps College.  I am so thrilled.  I could write a huge long post about the ups and downs of emotions I’ve been feeling through this whole process, but not tonight.  Tonight is for celebrating!

Margaret Fowler Garden and Oratory (2002), Scripps College Campus entry Rhall_01main college-photo_3082. 24e69aa8-9a7a-4473-927a-9359ea4d852f SCRIPPS_interior

-Val

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Test Ride 1 on Harley

Today I tried out the horse I’m considering for lease, Harley.  I know I can’t be picky because I would only be part leasing him, but the barn he’s boarded at left something to be desired.  I think I’m so used to riding at fairly plush barns, when I stray a little to the “backyard barn” side of things I get a little shock.

Anyway, small rings, and slightly dingy barn aside, it was nice to see him in person.  My first impression was that he was super fuzzy (his owner said that when he’s in a more consistent riding schedule she’ll clip him).  His general personality was kind hearted but with  lot of pent up energy.  His owner just doesn’t have the time to ride him as much as he should be ridden and that’s where the lease comes in.

At first she hopped on him and warmed up a bit walk, trot, canter, circles, etc.  She warned me that he might be a little frisky after having two days off, but he looked pretty good.  Next it was my turn to get on and test him out.  Initial thoughts: he’s chunky (chunkier than Angel at least), he wiggles a bit, he gets fairly distracted if you don’t keep his attention at all times, he has pretty sweet walk to canter transitions.  

After putting him through his paces she set up some ground poles, then a cross rail, and then a vertical.  He was pretty good with the cross rail.  He’s a point and shoot kind of ride to the jumps so long as you’re ready to ride whatever you’re telling him to go for.  For example, you want to go for the flyer, you better believe he’ll take it and you have to be ready.  Hold for the distance and he waits.

Once we went up to the vertical things got a little iffy.  In part I’m blaming it on the poles used.  In the indoor they had the super lightweight plastic (pvc?) hollow poles.  Not good.  He kept knocking it down and wasn’t learning.  Wood is so much better because a horse knocks it once and chances are he won’t knock it again.  I would push out of his sticky corner and try to go for a little longer and he would land super heavy on his forehand.  Then, I would try to steady and hold it and he would get over it but knock it down again.  I really think it was a jump issue rather than him.  However, he was getting pretty excited with the jumping and threw some baby bucks on landing.  I did fall off during one of his antics but for some reason I still have hope for this.

Despite a couple issues that need fixing, I feel like this has the potential to be a good relationship.  His flatwork will definitely allow me to focus on myself, and I really want to do some jumping exercises to get him to jump up and land calmly.  I’m very hopeful. I’m going to try him again on Thursday and then I’ll make my decision.  His owner did say she had one other person come out and try him, so I don’t know if there will be conflict there….

Tomorrow I hear about college!!!!!

-Val

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Whirlwind

This last week and a half before break is a serious doozy.  Yes, I said doozy.  School work is insane, my nerves are beyond me, and I feel like I’m on auto pilot trying to get through everything.  It’s like colleges planned to give their early decision responses during the two craziest weeks of the fall semester… I don’t get it, are they trying to kill us before we graduate high school??

Hearing about my classmates’ college acceptances is exciting, but it’s making me a nervous wreck.  I’m not nervous so much about if I’ll get in or not (my first choice happened to be a pretty solid target school on the verge of safety), but rather, I’m starting to rethink the school I’m most likely going to be attending.  I guess you’d say I’m getting cold feet.  If all of this college application talk is confusing you or stressing you out, don’t worry.  It confuses the best of us.

So, in less than 3 days, I will probably be committed to a school.  Yikes!

On a much less gut wrenching note, I meet Harley on Sunday!  I’m super duper excited and hope all goes well.  It seems like serious fate that I stumbled upon the ad of a horse for lease just 10 minutes from school who appears to satisfy everything I need right now in a horse!

Now, for a teeny update on Angel: we had a pretty good lesson today.  I had to switch days this week (stitches are officially OUT!) and ended up being in a group lesson.  I haven’t ridden in a group in a while and it was a nice change.  I did have a mini breakthrough with my release towards the end of my ride.  I have an ugly habit of way over releasing.  I say ugly because it’s not the worst habit someone could have, it’s just not super pretty.  Well, I reverted back to my controlled auto release and ended up having much smoother courses because of it.  When I don’t throw my arms away at every jump, our ride seems to have a nicer harmony than:

canter—–canter—-jump and throw away control—-land—-gather Angel back together—-canter—-canter—canter—-

This time of year is crazy for everyone, so I hope you all try and do one thing for yourself this weekend to unwind a little.

Enjoy these pictures from last weekend..

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I had a great Yule Ball and even took a pretty picture.

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Time for the sillies!

-Val

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Am I Crazy?

After a chat the other night with one of my horsey friends, I did something crazy.  Well, not really crazy.

I know we all do this, the online window shopping of horses…  Browsing mounts that are way over budget and all that… Somehow, on one of my first searches, I found a horse for lease 10 MINUTES AWAY FROM MY SCHOOL.  I don’t know if you guys know this, but I commute 45 minutes to school everyday, so fitting in riding time is always the issue.  Well, on a whim I emailed the horse’s owner.

Basically, she said the lease terms would be $375 a month for the half lease which would cover everything (this is unheard of in my county, luckily it’s in the next county up), but it would be very flexible.  She said I could go three days a week one week, but if I was busy or something and couldn’t even ride for a week I could go everyday the next week.  Basically, she’s working and wants her horse to have more to do.  He’s an “8 year old 16hh hunter for half lease. QH x Warmblood Bay w/ 4 white socks and blaze”.  She said she’s only jumping him 2’3-2’6 right now but when she had him at college in a consistent work schedule he would do up to 3’3.

I’v been emailing back and forth asking all the typical questions (medical, vices, etc. etc.) and I think I will go meet him next week.  However, every time I start to get really excited about this opportunity to have flexible access to a horse, I start wondering about Angel.  I still want to lease her, but she’s just soooooooo much more expensive.  I don’t know what to do.  Perhaps I could do the lease, but still take the occasional lesson at my other barn?  I don’t know. I don’t know….

Enjoy the pictures of “Harley” from his owner:

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Anyone have any advice?  I’ve been at my current barn since I started riding over 10 years ago and I don’t want to sever ties, but I just want to ride more without blowing all of my parents money, ya know???

-Val

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