Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I'm Alive

Just a quick post to let you know that I'm alive. Hannah is great. I'm reading your blogs, though I'm behind. I hope to get back to a regular posting schedule soon.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Get it together now

Firstly, congrats to DIY Horse Ownership for 200 posts! Check out the giveaway to celebrate. 

And congrats to 'Fraidy Cat Eventing for 1 year of blogging!

In my perfect world, the 2 weeks leading up to a horse trial is filled with extra barn time. A few more "serious" rides are substituted in for our casual hacks or bareback rides. More tack cleaning, boot cleaning, trailer cleaning, everything cleaning.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to swing it this time due to some medical and family stuff going on. Even so, I feel ready and excited.

Hannah, please stop finding ways to scratch your face in turnout.
I wash your face daily - it really shouldn't be that itchy.

Our last jump lesson before the show was a good 2'3 - 2'6" course.
The max height at the show is 2'.

I removed the ears from her fly mask because they were rubbing.
She looks hilarious in this mask!

Lovely evening pink clouds lately. And that's a bird on the tree branch. =)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Show Prep Fun!

The Happier podcast reminded me that part of enjoying an event is savoring the lead-up.  So I'm diving into the preparation for the Shepherd Ranch Horse Trials in a few weeks.

I've printed my dressage test and I keep in my purse to review when I get a free minute.

Hand drawn arena not to scale lol

Time to get down my show binder, update it with the event info, and start a prep checklist.

Hannah needs to try on my black bridles for dressage. We're also training the mane to lie flat.

As for goals, there's 15 people in my division (Open Intro A), so going home with a ribbon would be lovely but improbable. Our goal is simply to get through all 3 phases and have fun.

Monday, August 10, 2015

XC #3 - Meadows of Moorpark

Exciting news - Hannah and I are entered for our first horse trial!! Its in 2 weeks at the beautiful Shepherd Ranch in Santa Ynez!

This past weekend we got a final cross country schooling in, at the Meadows of Moorpark.

Unlike our previous schoolings, this one as more of a supervised ride than a lesson. Hannah and I were off on our own and jumped whatever we wanted. They have a plethora of tiny jumps so it was the perfect opportunity for me to take it slow and only jump as high (low) as I felt comfortable. I didn't pressure myself, and my nerves stayed quite managed.

My wonderful husband came and took photos on his fancy new camera.

It was a fabulous outing. I feel much better now about the upcoming horse trial.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Strad Farms Jumper Show Recap

The other week Hannah and I competed in our 2nd show together and had a really fun time. We did 2' and 2'3" jumper classes at the beautiful Stradivarius Farms in Santa Paula.

We did 3 rounds total. The first went well. 

I was happy with how forward and relaxed we were for the entire round. We ended up 3rd out of 5. 

Our next round didn't go as well. I was first to go in that class and I made a wrong turn. I ended up doing a series of awkward turns  to get to the next jump. The judge thought we crossed our tracks (I disagree). However, one of the jumps was "backwards" (the fill and ground line was on the wrong side) so the judge allowed my round to count and they fixed the jump for all the other riders. Besides all that, I thought I rode okay. We got another yellow ribbon.

Our last round was also mixed. We started off totally in sync then we started chipping to the jumps, so I put my leg on and we finished strong. Only we didn't finish. I again forgot the course and stopped after the second-to-last jump! So we got disqualified. Womp womp.

Overall I had a wonderful time. Hannah was foot perfect the entire day. I love that all our problems were with me, not my mount, and are totally fixable.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

VCBH: Cubicle

Fun blog hop time! Because it's taking me forever to do a measly show recap post from 2 weekends ago. Anyone else have post procrastination issues sometimes?

From L. at Viva Carlos:

Most of us work for a living, some of us in way swankier places than others. I am curious for a pictorial tour of your office or cubicle.

I have neither an office nor a cubicle, but a quasi open office setup with wing walls and no door. 

View from the hallway.

The first thing you notice is my shiny shovel. This is from the groundbreaking ceremony for the Volkswagen Test Center California, the first build-to-suit I worked on. It's a fun decoration, and I use it to adjust noisy AC registers and buzzing light fixtures.

Panorama view of my area. No one sits at the chair on the right currently, so I have it all to myself.

My work space has lots of counter-top area, which is great for spreading out, organizing papers, and reading full-size blueprints. 

My desk. On a tidy day.

The blue bag on the bottom right has my riding clothes as I go straight to the barn after work. Besides that, the only horsey thing is my lovely business card holder, which I bought at a fundraiser event for Debbie Rosen to go to Rolex.

Love this!

My time with the company is coming to an end in a few months. They're moving their offices quite far away and it's the right time for me to find a new opportunity.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

All The Fails

A double blog hop entry for your enjoyment today.

First up, 'Fraidy Cat Eventing's creative Panorama Fail

Next, the hilarious Everyday Fail from Zen Baby Horse

I did not have to look back very far to find some fails, haha.

Like our first solid jump together:
Sarah & Hannah - XC Schooling May 2015 1
make animated gifs like this at MakeaGif

"Jesus take the reins!"
Sarah & Hannah - XC Schooling May 2015 2
make animated gifs like this at MakeaGif

Photography fail

photography semi fail

one-rein jumping + all sorts of body fail

Hooray for blogland for not taking ourselves and our hobby too seriously!

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Safety Ultimatum | Let's Discuss

Overall my husband is pretty supportive of the horse hobby. But he has concerns about my safety. Legitimate concerns.

Over a year ago, he asked that I wear both my safety vests whenever jumping, not just XC. And I have, 99% of the time.

Point Two air vest over Tipperary impact vest.

At our hunter show a few weeks ago, I brought my safety vests but decided not to wear them. While I'm not completely up on the rules in hunterland, I understand that "non-traditional" attire and tack counts against you in some classes. Looking around, there were dozens and dozens of riders - and not one had a safety vest of any kind.

I decided to see how I felt in the warm-up and would put on the vests if I felt at all nervous. I felt fine. We warmed up and did 3 jump classes wearing traditional hunt attire and that was that.

Traditional, right? Except for the fleece girl? Close enough?

Hubs didn't make it to that show and was very bothered when he realized I didn't wear the vests. To him, a jump is a jump, and he doesn't know (or care) about hunters vs eventing vs jumpers vs whatever.

So he gave me an ultimatum: I commit to wearing both vests 100% of the time when jumping, or else he will not support the hobby: no more videoing, attending shows, or even chatting about how it went.He wasn't rude or pushy. He was concerned and said he didn't know how else to show me how strongly he feels about this.

Putting myself in his shoes, I'd have similarly strong sentiments about him wearing safety gear when riding motorcycles, for example.

Safety. So hot right now. Safety.

I already made a decision about it, and my trainer and barn-mate also came to the same exact conclusion as I did about it.  I'll wear both vests 100% of the time. We'll stick to jumpers and eventing, but I'll probably pass on hunter shows; I'd be embarrassed to stick out.

But I'm interested in your opinion. Kind of a sensitive subject, since it involves life-partner relationship, but important. How much does your partner's preferences impact your horse decisions? What if they feel very strongly vs. less strongly? What do you think about safety vests in general and what are your reasons for wearing or not wearing them?

Funny note, I'm such a cheapskate that the idea of spending ~$30 on a replacement air canister has been enough for me to somehow get my butt back into in the saddle after some hairy moments!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Riding Update

First of all, thanks to everyone who read my Be Ready Safety Spray review and to Giddyap Girls for hosting the giveaway! Congrats to the randomly selected winners:

On to a riding update. Following our last XC schooling, I was really touched by the encouragement and support for dealing with fear and anxiety. 

Our jumping rides since then have been gymnastics with a focus on my body position and solidifying my lower leg. The height has stayed pretty low (2' - 2'3") which has been A-OK with me. 

I've said goodbye to my old friend, the neck strap. It took a few rides for me to get comfy without it; I used it for pretty much every single jump on Hemie. I no longer need the neck strap to remind me to keep my hands forward. I am releasing better over jumps and carrying my hands higher in general.

Hannah continues to be a doll. She has her sassy moments, but overall I'm impressed with her patience and sense of humor when I get discombobulated or nervous.

The other day I dropped a rein over the first jump of a 5-stride line. I pulled out of the line, but then regretted it. We would have been fine over that 2nd jump even if I couldn't manage to get my rein back in the 5 strides. It was a good feeling, realizing that I trust her to know and do her job.

One-rein jumping.

We are headed to a jumper show this weekend. It will be our 2nd show together and I'm looking forward to it. I'll also be meeting up with Karen from Not So Speedy Dressage who is in my area for a dressage show. Bring on the weekend!