Wednesday, April 27, 2016

blaze faced chestnut celebrity meetup (incidentally including bloggers too)

(also winning for longest post title evar)

Ok. But seriously y'all. I had the incredible opportunity to meet Alli and Niamh at Carousel Park Equestrian Center for the cross country schooling blogger meet up of a life time. Perhaps you already read about it on Pony'Tude (and if not, go do it now!).

i like red rumps and i cannot lie
This outing has been in the works for the better part of a year, and I am so so SO tickled that it finally happened! And even more grateful that Austen and her goofball huskies could be present to document said adventures!

maybe the only actual picture of Austen from the whole day. and huskies. bc obviously huskies. always huskies. 
Really, tho, there isn't much more to write about it beyond what Allison has already shared. It was just awesome. These three horses are something special - and I'm not even trying to be biased here. Case in point - the picture below.

What isn't immediately obvious is the environment surrounding this photograph. Directly behind and adjacent to the photographer are: a peacock in full demonstration mode; alpacas; sheep & goats climbing playground equipment; lesson ponies doing what lesson ponies do; and countless family groups full of very small children - apparently none of whom have ever been in close proximity to a horse.

Days since Any Fucks Given? uncountably infinite
So it turns out Carousel Park is a bit of a zoo haha. Whatevskis, it was totally fine. Isabel, Austen, the huskies, and I arrived early, with Niamh and Alli hot on our heels.

emma: "Isabel don't you care?!?"
isabel: "no my life is meaningless we are all just chaos spiraling into nothingness"
Then it was simply a matter of getting everybody dressed and ready to go - sadly on a somewhat tight schedule bc work is a real thing and I had a plane to catch, womp.

isabel: "Unless we get to gallop go fast do the thing. In which case, GAME ON."
Obvi there was still plenty of time to ooooooh and aaaaaahhh over the ridiculously cute floofy Dino!!!

emma: "OMG HE REALLY IS REAL!!!"
Over the past year I've gotten to "know" Dino so well via text and blog posts... but meeting him in person was something different altogether. Kinda like coming home to a warm fireplace and slipping on your favorite pair of sheepskin slippers. Is that weird? lol

Dino the wonderkind takes it all in
And Riley - what can one even say about this laid back guy? He is DARLING - while simultaneously maintaining that unexpected little spark (generally in the form of his Beyonce-like posterior haha). He acted like such the seasoned veteran - this quiet, confident 'been there, done that' attitude that must certainly mean Niamh's in for one hell of an excellent year!

Riley. Oh Riley. Such Majesty!
Anyway, we headed out to the field post haste to get in as much fun as possible before yours truly had to hit the road. Luckily, Carousel Park is arranged such that it's a series of fields, one after the other, all going uphill. We opted to start in the farthest field (home to the water complex) and trotted much of the way there as a warm up.

trit trot, jiggity jog
Alas, the water complex was dried up... Le sigh. It was a particular area I wanted to dig into schooling-wise... Oh well... The complex was still cool, and the basin was still reedy and mushy.

Plus it was surrounded by banks with some jumps on either side. So we trotted and cantered in and out and up and down some of the banks and over some of the jumps. Izzy was fine so that should count for something, maybe. lol

about 80% of the pictures look exactly like these
Mostly, tho, we kinda just bombed around trotting cantering and jumping with those handsome geldings. Or standing around spectating (and grazing, as the case may be).

except when they look like this. run mare RUN
Isabel loved galloping and jumping around too - obvi haha.

Wheeeeeeee jump the things!!!!!!
It's honestly kinda hard for me to go to a new place and formulate a plan. I dunno why, it just is. If a trainer tells me to do a thing, I'll do it. Or if any particular jump is assigned to my actual course, I'll jump it. But left to my own devices? Ehh... I'll kinda just bop around not doing much.

yasssss Dino loves to GALLOP!
Nbd tho - bc this particular ride wasn't really supposed to be about that. Rather it was about getting to know the friends I've made through this incredible blogging community. And their fantastic horses that are even better in real life than I could have possibly imagined.

Riley's got that BADONK
Seriously. It's one thing to see a picture of a friend's horse and think, "wow that's a nice horse!" And it's another thing altogether to actually get to see them go in the flesh, to actually gallop around with them. What fun!

wheee we jump the same jump the other way too. craaazy lol
So ya know. That was pretty cool. Tho, for whatever it's worth, Isabel did in fact jump wonderfully through the schooling.

and small green thing too!
The venue didn't have a huge variety of options to jump, mostly either very small or bigger but lookier. We stuck with the inviting stuff, as this was not an outing intended to push ourselves - but I made an exception for that N brown lattice thingy. Given our historical issues with lattice style jumps, it seemed like a ripe opportunity to test whether the problems were truly laid to rest or not. Verdict: lattice = nbd now. #goodtoknow

mare don't care tho - she likes it all :)
We also played with practicing out of the starter gate on the way back to the trailers. Bc why not, isn't that just plain fun? Standing around the lane watching your friends ZOOM out of the gate and over fence 1?!?

#enablerthynameisemma
And obviously Isabel was more than happy to stand around and watch graze while the others took their turns.

chestnuts unite!
And of course she was more than happy to stand around for photo opps too... tho my enabling ways meant she was driving those poor better-behaved geldings mad. You can clearly see in Riley's expression above that he resents how Isabel blatantly flaunts the "no grazing" rule lol.

victory gallop!!!
Of course, last but not least, before we all headed back to the trailers - there had to be a final victory gallop. I mean, right?!? How can you not have a group of this many solid, obedient and well-behaved chestnuts without letting them go a little crazy?

So much fun - lemme tell ya! I've long heard from Alli about Dino's "after-burners" and initially thought that must all be a load of bunk when Isabel sprung off from the starting line leaving everyone in her dust... that is, right up until Dino zoomed past us haha.

austen: "POSE DRAMATICALLY!"
isabel, dino + riley : "maybe we're born with it. maybe it's something terrifying in the woods"
Those ponies, guys. Apparently you gotta keep an eye on them!

#winning
But seriously tho - this was one of the most fun social outings I've had in a long time. What's not to love? Hopefully we can do it again sometime soon!!!! And who knows - maybe there are other local bloggers who wanna come play too?!?

Obvi our photographer extraordinaire Austen should have had Pig handy, and Carly clearly needs to get her ass back down here bc dammit she should be a part of this too! What about the rest of you - any interest in getting out and about for some galloping / jumping / extreme trail riding?

64 comments:

  1. This looks like so much fun! Blogger meet ups are the best.

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    1. Definitely the best! I can't wait to meet even MOAR folks at Rolex!!!

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  2. Definitely looks like a blast! Wish we didn't live so many hours away!

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    1. We will get you out here one of these days - it's just gotta happen!!

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  3. I have a blaze faced chestnut gelding who would love to join! Who fancies chipping in for our plane tickets?

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    1. Emma your name and comment confused me so hard for a second here! Hahaha!

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    2. OMG me too! Much confusion.

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    3. Ha you guys don't know Emma and her adorable welsh Sunny?!? And yesss Emma if you ever make your way across the pond you must come say hi!

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    4. We're adorable, I can confirm it! OMG Life goal to come play with Izzy ok? Thanks.

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  4. OMG looks like sooo much fun! Great photos!

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    1. So fun! And so grateful to Austen for taking these pics. She always gets a great shot!

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  5. Sounds like an awesome day! I love love love all the chestnuts!!!!!

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    1. Stinker would fit right in!!!!

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    2. Well minus the jumping and the total pro attitude... But we will get there eventually. :)

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    3. totally :) who knows, maybe he would be on his best behavior to impress his new friends?!?

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  6. Needs moar chestnut. You know... we could good to Woodstock, and then you could pick me up for a 5 min drive. (Only because I don't wanna walk Pig down the HIGHWAY)

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  7. This was, basically, the best day EVAR. We need to do it again, only with EVEN MOAR CHESTNUTS!

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  8. Looks like a lot of fun! Now that I am in NE PA, it is possible we may bump into each other at a show. Another blaze faced chestnut to play with!

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    1. Oooh yes we are so happy to have you closer now!!! Opportunities abound!

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  9. This really does sound like the most fun!

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    1. What's not to love about getting out and about with good friends and nice horses on a beautiful day?

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  10. That picture galloping up the hill looks SO fun. I couldn't help but think DRILL TEAM when I saw everyone all together haha

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    1. Ha I would LOVE to do some drill team stuff!! Used to play at it at my first barn but haven't tried any of the moves in years!

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  11. "Maybe it's something terrifying in the woods." I snorted. For real.
    I wish this weekend wasn't Rolex, or if borrow a client horse from my mama's farm and we could go for adventures! Next time maybe!

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    1. Oooh but are you going to Rolex?! Bc I will totally be there and would love to meet if you are!! Otherwise yes you must borrow a horse and bring it to the east coast so we can all play!!

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  12. Your captions are the best, roflmao. So jealous of this epic meetup!!

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    1. haha captions are my favorite lol

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  13. I mean, it's only like an 8ish hour drive now. Ain't nothing but a thing. Seriously though, it looks like you guys had the perfect day for it! Hopefully there will be more blogger cross country schoolings across all the land!

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    1. 8ish hours?!? no way - i can make it from baltimore to rochester in 5.5 hrs FLAT ;) totally not overly far!

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  14. What a lovely bunch of chestnut horseflesh!! Looks like a super fun day, so jealous

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    1. i think these horses knew we were totally in awe of them too as they just kinda nonchalantly strutted around lol

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  15. Man I wish I lived closer! Boca and I would definitely be in!

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    1. oooooh yes!!! Boca would be a perfect addition to the matched set!

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  16. My blazed-faced chestnut and I live so far away from all these fun blaze-faced chestnuts! He would love to chow down on that grass while the rest of you run around and jump things.

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    1. ha he would totally dwarf all our horses too - probably even Riley, but definitely Dino and Izzy!!

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  17. Oh man I forgot you guys all have chestnuts! What a sight you guys must have been. And I know what you mean, I've worked so long with a trainer telling me what to do and when to do it (over fences on the flat I am totally fine solo) sometimes it can be daunting, though I am getting over it. Grow up! LOL

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    1. ha yea i'm workin on it! when i'm at a familiar venue and i know where everything is (esp if i've had a lesson there before and worked over some of the same things with a trainer) it's easier to formulate a plan. this place was entirely new to me tho and it was more like - eh that looks jumpable, let's jump that. or - eh, don't feel like that one today. even now, after the fact tho, i'm still thinking about ways we could have improved it or done more lol.

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    2. bahaha for real! I was having major regrets about what we chose to do/how I rode afterwards! You'd think I'd be better at this since I jump alone, like, all the time... I think this just means we have to get together and school more often.

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    3. i definitely think so. there was so much novelty in just enjoying each other's company that rigorous schooling played second fiddle. next time we will be serious and disciplined and what not. maybe. lol

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    4. OR just gallop around and giggle like children..

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  18. I mean, it's only a 20 hour drive from Oklahoma, and Moe is a great traveler.

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    1. absolutely - that sounds totally reasonable. Moe would love it here anyway!!!! (and nooooo we tooootally wouldn't steal him once he's here, i pinkie swear!)

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  19. I wanna do that.

    Probably in an Austen-esque capacity. Y'all don't wanna see me on xc.

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    1. Ha we would take you in any capacity ;)

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  20. You have the chestnut club out east, and we have the bay OTTB club out west! Love all of the photos, you all look like you had too much fun!

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    1. one day these two clubs must meet!!!!

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  21. Brb, finding a chestnut for the next outing!! Haha I love it! You guys look like you had SO MUCH FUN! :) Also amazed by how well everyone behaved.

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    1. i was pretty impressed by the good behavior all round too - and yes definitely find yourself another red head to come play!!

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    1. a very fun day. harder than anticipated to plan out and coordinated, but totally worth it!

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  23. That is awesome!! The three chestnuts are all so darn cute!

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    1. aren't they sweet? i thought Riley and Dino looked particularly adorable together!

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  24. Love all the pictures, and all the chestnuts. Chestnuts are the best.

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    1. they're definitely something special :)

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  25. So many gorgeous chestnuts, such an epic blogger meet up!
    Man how I wish I didn't live on another continent!!!

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