Friday, August 18, 2017

a day out west!

Last week I delved into the idea of "collective intelligence" as one of the many benefits of this wonderful equestrian blogging community. Another huge benefit tho is the friends I've made through blogging. There are a lot of really cool people out there and it's been amazing to connect just by virtue of shared interests.

So as hinted at yesterday, I knew the moment work decided to send me to Sunny San Diego that I'd try to meet up with the SoCal blogger contingent.

familiar bay face to kick this thing off
Luckily everything worked out surprisingly well - I was able to tack a full day on to the end of my trip and catch the red eye home. Meanwhile, L Williams (whom I've now had the pleasure of meeting a few times in various cities on both coasts) was able to mostly free herself from work to act as activities coordinator for the day. Yay!

Thule dog is a good dog. also i've been mispronouncing her name in my head all along. whoops.
First up on the docket after my birdie-filled breakfast (as posted yesterday lol) was riding along with L over to Carey's house to pick her up and head out to the barn. Naturally this involved spending some quality time with Carey's lovely pups Thule and Reef too. Such good dogs!

Thule and Reef. gooood pups, also very handsome!
You may recall Carey recently blogged about a riding accident that left her with a pretty nasty broken leg. Bleh. No fun at all :( Having been there myself within recent memory (despite all efforts to block it out haha), I could definitely sympathize with the sheer exhaustion and overwhelming nature that comes with even the simplest tasks while on crutches.

speaking of handsome!!! it's Cosmo!!
Somewhat amazingly tho, Carey has a pretty awesome attitude about the injury. And was still in bright enough spirits to hang out for the day, yay! We first headed out to the barn where she keeps Cosmo. Who, by the way, this horse guys. He is such a character haha!

Big, gentle and friendly. But with a very definite sense about him like he knows how things are supposed to be done and expects everyone to do their jobs just so. lol.

and Dante! i love the progression of his expression here as L shuffles around that plastic cup, eventually grabbing it with her teeth. Dante was.... not so sure about that haha
Also I'm always basically fascinated by west coast barns. The horses live so differently from the typical arrangements here on the east coast. And yet they all seem to be happy, healthy and thriving all the same. Talk about an argument for the horse's general versatility haha!

reminded me of being back at charlie's old h/j barn with all the white pads and monograms
 After hanging out for a while with Cosmo and Carey and some of the other riders around the barn (including casually observing while two recent imports went through their paces), we dropped Carey off at Mary's Tack Store to move on to phase 2 of our "Get Emma Her Horsey Fix" agenda: meeting Dante!!

they had fancy machinery at the horse park too!
Naturally this also included a tour of the horse park where Dante lives - all the various arenas, buildings, show facilities, etc. It's a pretty cool place! The stalls look a little more similar to what you might find on the east coast - just everything is much more open to the elements (since, uh, it's San Diego. they don't really have elements lol).

giant baby pony crossing!
Dante is also just freakin adorable. It's been a long time since I've interacted with such a baby horse too. Most of my experience (tho not quite all) with younger horses is with ottbs. And let's face it, there's a HUGE difference between a ~4yo ottb who has had a job and has developed more physically, and a ~4yo wb who is still growing and learning what it means to work.

turns out Dante is quite the snuggler. my efforts to capture funny expressions were rewarded more than i expected haha
It was cool watching how L went about her work with Dante tho. Very methodical. Very systematic. Very focused on showing the horse what was expected while exposing him to all kinds of activity. And of course, lots of pets and rewards when he was a good boy.

told ya i had to get my fix somehow!
He's such a lovely horse to watch, beautiful mover and everything, that it can be easy to forget he's just a green broke baby. He's a clever pone tho. Seems like a quick learner who likes to please. I'll be excited to see how he continues to develop!

still learning how to "look of eagles." but he'll get it one day!
After Dante finished his little workout we went on a meandering tour of the horse park, with L showing me all the coolest fixtures. Like the grass grand prix arenas.

shiny pony
Obviously it's kinda comical for me to think of the grass arenas as being somehow very special or unusual or reserved for select competitions and classes. Because everything here on the east coast is grass. I can ride on grass every day if I want.

he's not.... what you would call an elegant eater lol
But that's really not the case out west. There really isn't any grass anywhere it seems lol. So it actually is somewhat of a novelty lol.

Anyway obviously L and I had to hit up Mary's tack shop too for a little casual browsing. Tho I did actually end up buying something - might write more about that later. Mostly tho it was just your typical adventure of ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the absolutely bizarre (and borderline hideous) shit ppl will spend tons of money on for their horses. Like. Uh. This.... bridle.

shopping time!! itsy bitsy saddles and blinged out bridles. for which obvi some sheep sacrificed its existence. 
Final stop of the evening was actually maybe one of the most highly anticipated: L set up dinner with a whole group of local bloggers! Carey met back up with us, and Alex and Karen both joined in as well! We all met up at La Perla for tacos (omgsogoodtho) and lots and lots of pony chat.

wheeeeeee blogger fun!!!!
L to R: Alex, Karen, L Williams, me, and Carey
It's always so cool getting to meet other bloggers in person and hear them describe their horses in ways that don't always come across as well on the internet. And get to hear what everybody is working on, what's new, and what's coming next.

Tho we definitely decided that next time I had to plan a longer visit so I could meet the rest of the ponies too - including Scarlet (who is undoubtedly very similar to Isabel in some ways) and the new baby Catalina!! Next time guys, for sure!! Thanks y'all for making the end of an otherwise boring work trip so much more fun!!

Anyway - for the readers out there, have you had any opportunities to meet up with horsey folk you met from the blogs? Or gotten to tack on fun horse-filled activities to an otherwise unrelated trip?

40 comments:

  1. What a fun day. One day I will get to meet up with some bloggers!

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    1. i hope so! it's a surprisingly rewarding experience! obvi if you're ever down this way you have to let us know too!

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  2. What an amazing trip! (Although I've now spent 5+ minutes wondering if I've been mispronouncing Thule in my head hahaha). The west coast bloggers seem like a super fun crowd! So cool that you got to hang out with them. And I'm dying to know what you bought at Mary's 😋

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    1. lol it wasn't anything super exciting from mary's - some special padding for my jump bridle. will probably write more anyway tho lol. and yea the west coast gang is pretty awesome - all up and down the coast!

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  3. what a great end to a work week! Love all the photos. And yes must know what you bought!!

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    1. haha glad you like the pictures!! it was definitely a great end to the trip, tho unfortunately not the week. taking a red eye back east and working that same day was... actually pretty shitty lol. 0/10, would not recommend!

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  4. That bridle... Why??? . Thule...like the car carrier company...my friends all pronounce "tool-ee" yeah?

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    1. yup that's the way!! i was trying to be all like, phonetic or whatever. my bad! and yea that bride was really something. like. whyyyy??

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  5. Fun work week! I love Dante, so cool that you got to meet him!

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    1. omg i love Dante too!! wanted to take him home in my pocket!!

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    2. He would let you too - such a pocket horse

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    3. omg yes he is - such a sweetie!! but not rude about it at all, just very very adorable!

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  6. I have also been pronouncing Thule's name wrong... haha.

    Glad you had a wonderful time :)

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    1. it was a great time had by all for sure!

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  7. I'm so sad you didn't buy that bridle. I really think it could have instantly turned Charlie into a grass ring ready grand prix horse. He'd intimidate the hell outta those jumps with that bling.

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    1. ha maybe they'd think he was a wolf in sheep's clothing with that giant tuft of fleece stuck on his face!

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  8. OMG that blingy bridle. I like bling but WOW lol. Overkill much? haha That's so great you got to meet other bloggers! Awesome to actually meet them in person :)

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    1. uh yea that bridle was intense. like. intensely hideous haha. you'd have to have a horse with the biggest, ugliest, plowhorse-esque type head to pull it off, i think. and yea meeting bloggers is the best - there are some really cool folks out there!

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  9. That bridle is a good look for you, I hope you got it!!! (not seriously...wtf, who designed that?!)

    Sounds like a great trip!! Those bloggers all seem amazing!

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    1. omg right??? who even thought all of that on one bridle was somehow not the worst idea???? like, esp bc it's not even like a dressage bridle, where you kinda expect that shit haha - it's definitely a jump bridle.

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  10. How fun! There should be a "horse blogger con" every year where we all get together and swap stories and eat so much food.

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    1. omg right? i've talked about an idea like that with a few different folks. it would be interesting for sure! or like, a blogger's retreat. Lauren from SMTT did something informal a couple years ago

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    2. I would legitimately participate in a horse blogger con. I'd even help organize it and such if the interest became high enough. No joke that would be the coolest thing.

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  11. Love Cali bloggers! Thule and Reef are awesome! Glad you had so much fun!

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    1. it was a ton of fun, i'm so happy it worked out!!

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  12. Such a great day! So glad it worked out and I can't wait for our paths to cross again!

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    1. thanks for introducing me to the wonderful Mo Mo!!!! looking forward to next time too, tho hopefully by then you'll be all healed up and riding too!!!! :D

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  13. SD really pulled out all the stops to give you really nice weather for your visit. Thanks for including me in the activities! It was great to meet you and see the other girls again. I'm sure Catalina will be way beyond baby horse size next time you come out. Glad it was a good trip.

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    1. it really was gorgeous!!!! and yes, my sun burn is basically almost entirely faded already haha. so glad i got to meet you and hear all about your ponies!! thanks for coming out!!!

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  14. YAY how fun! So envious of your blogger meetups!

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    1. definitely a silver lining to work travel!

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  15. That looks like SO MUCH FUN!!! This has been my year for meeting bloggers. I've met two so far (Jen from Cob Jockey and Emilie from BecausePony) and I'm still planning to meet Carly from PoorWomanShowing in about two weeks. It's been great meeting people!

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  16. Sounds like such a fun trip!

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  17. Aww yay and baby Dante! Glad you had such a good time meeting everyone

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