Friday, July 13, 2018

friday foto finish (the 4th)

Happy Friday, everyone!! Congrats on surviving another week of summer. Surely I'm not the only one who feels like it's FLYING BY right now, right?? Like the days are already noticeably shortening. Wth, how does that even happen??

can we just appreciate what an inspired gift this is?? the quotes on each card are perfect too.
Who knows. All I do know tho, is that Sara's 2nd Quarter Prize for her 2018 Volunteer Challenge was absolutely spot on. This gift is so perfect in so so so many ways and I mayyyy or may not have gotten a little misty eyed opening it up!

oh man, so many pictures, so many memories!!! <3
Obviously the calendar aspect is perfect bc - again, I can't stress this enough - time is flying right now lol. More than that, tho, Sara spent a little time browsing ye olde 'Fraidy Cat Eventing blog for some of her favorite shots. Which, naturally given my fully fledged #mediajunkie status, there's no shortage to choose from lol!

Her selections are so great tho. So so so so many of my favorites here, so many special moments. Especially when I think about not only what's happening in the picture, but also what was happening just outside of the frame - my friends who were all right there cheering us on either from the sidelines, the saddle, or from behind the camera. Just so many memories, and I'm so freakin touched. Thanks so much Sara!

omg hand shit and shitting rainbows socks. yesssssss!
Plus there were also some awesome socks and the most delicious smelling Hand Shit too. Seriously guys, Sara gives great gifts. She's pretty committed to making her 2018 Volunteer Challenge awesome, and for rewarding those who give their time to making eventing such a great sport.

So definitely get out there and volunteer! Sara does random drawings monthly (except on the quarterly months) so even just a little bit of your time is enough to be eligible for a prize! Volunteers who have accrued the most hours in a quarter win special prizes too, so there's real incentive to make time for it!! So what are you waiting for, right??

moar saddle surgery!!!! bet you're not used to seeing their guts spilling out like this, eh?
Anyway. Tho it may seem like I spend literally all of my time volunteering (bc uh, yea I do it a lot and will actually be in the CCI1/2* Cross Country Vet Box tomorrow, much excitement!!!), I do actually do other horse stuff too.

Like, ya know. Occasionally ride. Lol, assuming the horse is sound.... Which, last I checked he was. So these are all good things.

but just like that, charlie's got himself a new gullet plate
I wrote after Plantation that we're doing a comprehensive wellness check for Charlie, which includes all sorts of little things like checking tack fit etc. Charlie's massage therapist felt like he was a little saddle sore, so I finally got around to changing out the gullets in my Bates jump saddle (after sending back that beautiful Beval monoflap.... much sadness).

mcta always has the best prizes. allllmost made me sad i wasn't showing this day!
It's hard to say if it's made much of a difference, honestly. Mostly bc it's not really clear if saddle fit was really the big issue anyway at Plantation, vs regular old attitude problems. In any case tho, I've jumped Charlie in the new gullet plate three times now and he seems fine. He's also been happy to stretch out for a gallop or two as well.

So we'll see. A new jump saddle is probably a little higher on the "Want" list these days, but it luckily isn't urgent. For now..

it was exciting to be cheering on friends tho!
And meanwhile I've kinda been bummin around other local shows too. Not always volunteering - sometimes I'm just the cheering squad and/or chauffeur. Like when I took a couple barn mates to MCTA's starter trial at Tranquility.

brita and bella are back in action after a little vacay. bella naturally looks like she never skipped a beat!
It was a really great day - the first starter trial ever for both riders and both horses. And they were all superstars! Did the dressage thing, jumped all the stadium jumps, and tooled around the same awesome little starter xc course that Isabel and I did at a Tranquility Hunter Trials all those many years ago.... They even had the same little stone wall and everything!

Brought back a lot of happy memories, and I was so happy to see both my barn mates kill it!

rachael and birdie meanwhile have been keepin busy!
I also got to go help Rachael out at Loch Moy's recognized event recently too. They had pretty tight times between phases so I was happy to hang out and groom for her while she rushed off to walk her courses.

usef blood testing!!
Which proved extra convenient bc Birdie got pulled for random testing lol, which I had never seen before and naturally asked about 1,000 questions lol....

Anyway tho they had a great day and made that course look like a cakewalk! Made me kinda sorry to not have anything on the books for a little while myself. Oh well, in time!

fireworks prep is very serious stuff, guys!
Bc for now we've kinda just been chillin. Enjoying summer. Relaxing. Like obviously everything I've been writing about being disciplined and consistent still holds and is still my #1 priority. But that doesn't mean I'm full on Gunnery Sgt Hartman all day every day, ya know??

this was the day i learned trainer P is also a licensed pyrotechnician lol
Bc c'mon, let's be real: we gotta make time for the parties, right?? I've heard tell of OF's epic 4th of July parties, but had never actually been to one before. I moved Charlie to the farm at the end of July last year, so clearly had just missed it. And despite coming to the farm for lessons for the past 4 years, I never really came for anything else.

the on-farm fireworks show did not suck at all
This year tho, I was determined to go. And I also learned this year that my weekly jump trainer P is also a licensed pyrotechnician. So... they definitely got the BIG fireworks. And put on a BIG BIG show. It was seriously impressive. Plus we were all basically right there directly underneath the explosions - they were so loud and so bright I needed my sunglasses lol, and by the end I was completely covered in ash. #worthit

horses are also just bein horses. way too smart horses lol
The horses had been kept in the barn until after the show was done, but they were all fine anyway. Like, annoyed and confused about being inside and eager to get out, but not at all crazy or anything. Apparently the golf course next door sets off fireworks fairly often too so I guess they're all used to it.

Which seems reasonable to me - Isabel lived next to a gun shooting range, and sometimes they'd be shooting some LOUD stuff. But the horses never really cared about that either. Go figure.

we've still been finding lots of time for this too
Anyway tho, things are just chuggin right along. After a seriously crappy June, July is starting to feel a little better. Charlie feels good again. And feels like he's responding well to my zero-tolerance approach.

they've been mowing like crazy and everything is getting brown :(
He's also been jumping well - like you saw from last week's lesson with trainer P. And I'll actually have more to share from another lesson this week with trainer K. Nothing ground breaking, but just good solid practice. Just what we need!

can't wait to get out and gallop, but just wish the ground wasn't so hard...
Meanwhile, the farm is finally finally putting the xc jumps back out in the fields after having pulled them all out back in May for Shawan Downs. The ground is harder than concrete right now bc it's so dry....  but we may be scheming all the same anyway. More on that soon ;)

For now tho Charlie and I have been just trying to get back in sync at speed. There are a couple great spots out in the trails that are perfect for some speed. And Charlie's been rarin to go! Like, we turn toward a clearing, I push my hands up his neck and get into half seat, and he just GOES! Now that is the feeling I want from him leaving the start box haha.

So maybe we'll do a little more galloping this weekend too haha, it's addicting. Plus obvi I'll try to take a lot of pictures in the vet box tomorrow at Loch Moy. I'm pretty excited about that - have never really been behind the scenes at the finish line for upper level cross country, so hopefully there will be lots to learn! Stay tuned for more later.

Do you have any big plans this weekend? Or is it more like the dog days of summer - weekend beach trips or backyard bbqs or quiet trail rides?


  1. That photo gift is incredible! I love it! I'm looking forward to a weekend of hanging out at the farm, making jam and riding my pony. We've been busy quite a bit so a quiet weekend will be perfect.

    1. that honestly sounds like a pretty lovely weekend plan to me!

  2. Those gifts are awesome!

    Summer is weird for me. And unfortunately my awesome schedule got totally snafu'd by acquiring poison ivy (which might be finally figured out and is being treated correctly by a dermatologist) and then my boss quit so I'm back to a heavier work load and hours until we hire someone new, who will doubtlessly need to be trained by myself and my coworker.

    This happened last summer too, much to my dismay. It's definitely put a damper on some of my plans.

    1. ugh i hate it when stuff like that gets in the way of my plans!!

  3. love that photo calendar gift. Sara is so good at the prizes :)

    Wow you have been busy even if you havent been showing:) i feel like a slug right now between unpacking and packing to go away for a week next week for work then found out I need to go to work HQ in August so its a busy time. I have found a couple dressage trainers in the relatively local area so hope to reach out and get some lessons on the book. I am meeting a new friend today that Tate's trainer put me in touch with she lives right near me and has her horses at home now and she has evented. SO going to pick her brain a lot :) YAY weekend...(Next Tuesday I leave for Austin and will have to work all thru the following week boohoo)...BUT I GET TO MEET PRESTO VERY SOON :) Have a great weekend Emma, glad Charlie is enjoying life (and galloping)!

    1. oooh good luck with meeting new friends among the local TN horse people! sounds like some great leads ;) and have fun in TX too!!

  4. Oh damn! I recognize a lot of photos in there! 😉 I wonder if that was my friend who did the testing... Hmm. We do events a lot.

    1. lol yup - a lot of great shots ;) and i kinda don't think this is the same person you normally work with. it could be, but idk. the assistant working with her was..... inneresting for sure.

  5. That calendar is awesome!! And so are those fireworks, so cool.

    Sounds like you have been very busy, what cool volunteer opportunities you have been getting. Maybe you should look into becoming an eventing official of some kind... ;)

    Can't wait to hear more about your future fun summer adventures with Charlie. We are currently in full winter adventure mode!

    1. There are a couple eventing jobs I would like to do at some point in my future life and I’ve looked into qualifications for them. Most involve earning qualifications at least in part through reaching certain competition levels (in addition to other more targeted training). So for now I just focus on learning as much as I can to see if that added incentive is enough to make me want to compete at higher levels lol

  6. That calendar is an excellent idea! I think I'll remember that for Christmas...

  7. wow! that gift is so so so great! Love the photo calendar! sounds like you are having a fantastic July! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the vet box!

    1. So far it’s been a pretty reasonable month lol - it’ll be crazy the next few weeks with moving but we will see! And thoughts coming soon on the vet box ;)

  8. The calendar looks amazing!!! I think I might treat myself to something like that for my 2019 desk calendar :) Well done on all your volunteering!

    1. It’s really such a great calendar and an easy idea to customize for anyone - Sara was super clever to think of it!

  9. I'm late to the party on this post, I'm glad that Charlie and you are chugging along. I hope all the things you've done big and small since Plantation add up to one supremely happy and willing horse so you guys can rock your next show! Carlos was pulled once for random testing, in 2006 I think. Haha. I haven't had one pulled again - yet.. California is planning on doing more testing (yeah Cali and USEF BOTH do drug testing at shows)


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