Thursday, January 29, 2015

TOABH: Wishes, Sugar, & Words

Firstly, thank you so much to everyone for commenting on my last post and sending me healing vibes. I am really, really touched and so thankful.

Next, shout out to The Aspiring Equestrian! I've had the pleasure of meeting Paola and she did a great interview post with my trainer Laurie Canty.

The Owls Approve
And now on to Beka's blog hops. Again I'm late and catching up on a few. Such is life. But I'm loving them and think its a great celebration for Archie.

Wish We Could
Let's pretend that financial restrictions don't exist and logistics isn't a nightmare. If you could do anything with your Ponykins, what would you do?

Foxhunting, swimming, exotic destination trail rides, and camping.  I think we'd both enjoy all of them.

Sugar Momma

Let's continue pretending that horse poop magically transforms into money instead of the other way. So money doesn't matter. If you could buy anything for your horse, what would you buy? 
  • A ranch with acres of rolling green pastures so Hemie could live with me and eat real, live grass instead of hay.
  • Friends. Of the horsey variety. I'd collect them all.
  • Custom-fitted saddles that fit both of us perfectly. 
  • A nice comfy trailer with all safety features that exist. 

Worth 1k Words.
Let's share our favorite photos of our stud muffins. No limit.
Adoption day

On the trail
On course

So handsome

I have dozens of favorite photos, yet none of them really capture how amazing this horse is. <3

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blood Stained Breeches

2 weekends ago I attended the annual fundraiser clinic at Galway Downs in Temecula, CA. I had planned to do a recap early last week, followed by some scheduled posts while I was traveling at the end of the week and weekend. Unfortunately we had a serious accident and I was injured at the clinic, going to the emergency room, and spending the next few days sleeping.

Hemie and I completely ate it at a small jump that happened to be situated on a hill. We powered up the hill, stalled out, and Hemie attempted the jump from basically a stand-still. His front legs got caught on the jump, and we both fell forward over the jump and then rolled down the hill. I detached from Hemie before hitting the ground, so we each rolled down the hill separately. He did not roll on top of me, but a hoof hit my helmet on the top left of my head.

Hemie is fine. He got up right away, was immediately caught, and came away with just a small scratch on his knee. He was checked out by multiple people, and has since been ridden without any issues.

I am alive and grateful beyond words that my injuries aren't worse than they are. My head was bleeding and I thought my face was crushed. My left shoulder and neck had severe pain. A friend kept me stabilized until the ambulance arrived, and I was transferred to another ambulance for the trip to a special trauma center in the next town.

Ultimately the diagnosis was: a mild concussion, AC shoulder joint separation, 2 lacerations to my face requiring 2 layers of stitches each, and nerve damage to my face and head, all of which are healing. Nothing broken. The only casualty was a favorite riding shirt which had to be cut off of me. And there's bloodstains on my breeches that I doubt will wash off.

I was wearing a helmet, impact vest, and air vest. If you do not own an air vest, even if you are a low-level rider like I am, I hope you will consider investing in one. I'm certain it prevented my injuries from being worse - including potentially neck/spine damage.

I'll get to the actual recap sometime soon. In the meantime, give your horses and family extra hugs.

The black eye came the next day.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

How I lost over 10 lbs in 2014

I've been overweight and trying to lose for as long as I can remember. Over the years I've had successes and setbacks, but overall it felt like a struggle that I'd be dealing with forever.

However, I no longer feel that way. It's no longer a struggle.

I'm sharing this post because I know there are other fuller-figured horse gals who have felt the burden as I have. The guilt. Desperation, frustration, resignation. I would like this post to offer some hope.

In 2014 I dropped 13 lbs, and 9 lbs of that happened in the last 3 months of the year. I have haven't reached all my goals, but I've made great progress and know with confidence that I'll continue.

So how did I do it?   Diet, exercise, and cognitive therapy strategies.


In the past I've done Weight Watchers, South Beach, Paleo, private nutritionists, etc. Last year I tracked calories using My Fitness Pal. Unlike past calorie counting attempts (which were a nightmare of books and logs), the app made it quite easy. While I was committed to tracking all food, I made sure to not get anal. For example, I don't own a food scale, I just use estimates based on approximate size. For eating out at mom and pop restaurants, I just do the best I can with foods that are already in the database. It's not a perfect science, but it helps me stay accountable to myself to eat reasonable portions and stick with healthier choices.

MyFitnessPal food diary screenshot

Ultimately I think limiting quantity was more effective for my weight loss than limiting food types/groups. I've been eating healthy foods for years, but I was simply eating too much too often.


I've done various exercise programs including sports teams, gym memberships, Jillian Michaels and Denise Austin DVDs, private trainers, etc. This past year my exercise (in addition to riding) was made up of daily walks and 2-3x/week weight training. One of our dogs was diagnosed with a nervous condition that requires consistent exercise, so I take her for a ~1 mile walk every morning.

I use MapMyFitness to track my morning walks

I also started a weight training program called Starting Strength after my husband did it for a few months. It's only 3 exercises, high weights, but low reps, lasting generally 45 minutes or so with most of that being resting between sets. I have found that it has really helped with my ab strength and has positively impacted my riding. And that's all for exercise - no running, no high-impact cardio. I've lost weight without any exercise that involves me wheezing and heaving and sweating like a pig. I'm still amazed that low-impact cardio and weight training have been so effective in weight loss.

**Cognitive Therapy Strategies**

THIS THIS THIS is what made all the difference for me.  I followed the principals in The Beck Diet Solution. It is not a typical diet book: it doesn't tell you what to eat or how to exercise. It gives you dozens of strategies and skills that will allow any diet and exercise program to work for you. For me, the biggest impact was in dealing with the mind-game of dieting. The principals in the book released me from guilt about dieting mistakes. It prevented me from getting frustrated and throwing in the towel, letting one bad meal become a bad day become a bad weekend become a bad week! It changed my perspective on dieting from being connected to my self-worth to simply being a skill that takes time to learn and practice, like playing the piano or horse riding. Some of the exercises felt silly or hokey. But I did them anyway. It took time, it took effort. I did it anyway. I saw results just a few weeks in.

Weight progress screenshot from MFP

I'm still in the process of losing weight to reach my goal. It's continuous work and effort, but now that I've come through 2014 and can see and feel solid results, I wanted to share and maybe help another gal or two like me.  I'm not a nutritionist or health coach or anything, but I'd be happy to share more details or answer questions, just drop me a line.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Eventing Explained: Competition Levels

I'm excited to bring you a new post series where I will go over various aspects of the sport of Eventing. I hope to cover everything from the basics to the finer points, and help distinguish between rules and traditions. If you have a specific topic you'd like me to cover, please leave a comment or email me!

Our first topic: USEA Recognized Competition Levels

Newbies to eventing often get the competition levels confused. After all, 4 of the 6 levels' names are basically synonyms for the word "easy" (I wrote an early post on it, in fact). Each of the 3 phases of eventing (Dressage, Show jumping, and Cross country) have specific rules for each level.

In the USA, the 6 basic competition levels for recognized events are, in order from lowest to highest:
Beginner Novice
Beginner Novice
  • This is the lowest competition level. Horses must be aged 4 or older, riders can be any age. No qualification (show experience or scoring record) is required.
  • Dressage is equivalent to Training Level under USDF (US Dressage Federation) and requires for walk, trot, canter, free walk, and 20m circles. 
  • Show jumping is 9 to 11 obstacles at a speed of 300 mpm (meters per minute), with max height 2'7".
  • Cross country is 14 to 18 obstacles at speed between 300 and 350 mpm, course distance between 1400 and 2000 meters. Max height is 2'7", or 3' for brush jump, max drop of 3'3".

In my opinion, every sound horse has the physical ability to get through a horse trial at BN level. USEA (US Eventing Assoc.) advertises BN as the "introductory" level, and the courses are designed to be very straightforward.  If the horse and rider have experience jumping but no eventing experience, this is a suitable level of competition. However, when you have a green-on-green pairing where the rider and/or horse is brand new to jumping, I suggest starting off at a lower, unrecognized level.

BN house at Galway Downs

  • Horses must be aged 4 or older, riders can be any age. No qualification is required.
  • Dressage is equivalent to Training Level and is looking for walk, trot, canter, free walk, and 20m circles (no material difference from tests at BN).
  • Show jumping is 9 to 11 obstacles at a speed of 320 mpm, with max height 2'11".
  • Cross country is 16 to 20 obstacles at speed between 350 and 400 mpm, total course distance between 1600 and 2200 meters. Max height is 2'11", or 3'7" for brush jump, max drop of 3'11".

I think the vast majority of sound horses have the physical ability to go Novice. The courses are presented in a very straightforward, inviting way. Many trainers and experienced riders, when bringing along a young or green horse, will skip over BN and go Novice. Newer riders on experienced mounts can safely go Novice. Either the horse or rider should have experience eventing though.

Novice hanging log at FCHP

  • Horses must be aged 4 or older, riders can be any age. No qualification is required.
  • Dressage is equivalent to First Level and adds trot and canter lengthenings and 15m circles.
  • Show jumping is 10 to 12 obstacles at a speed of 325 mpm, with max height 3'3".
  • Cross country is 20 to 24 obstacles at a speed between 420 and 470 mpm, total course distance between 2000 and 2600 meters. Max height is 3'3", or 3'11" for brush jump, max drop of 4'7".

This is the first level that really starts to introduce "questions" into the courses to make it more challenging, such as jumping while on a significant incline or decline of a hill, and having combination jumps. Most training courses include a "half-coffin" complex, which is where a jump is placed just a few strides before or after a ditch obstacle.

I think a majority of sound horses have the physical and mental ability to go Training. Even though no qualification is required, I do not think this level is suitable for either horses or riders brand new to eventing - even if very experienced in other disciplines. I suggest doing at least 1 Novice outing first.

Training chevron at FCHP

  • Horses must be aged 5 or older, riders must be 14 or older. Qualification is required.
  • Dressage is equivalent to First Level and asks for shoulder-in, 10m circles, counter-canter, and backing.
  • Show jumping is 11 to 13 obstacles at 350 mpm, with max height 3'7".
  • Cross country is 22 to 30 efforts at a speed of 520 mpm, total course distance between 2200 and 3120 meters. Max height is 3'7", or 4'3" for brush jump, max drop of 5'3".

I think the name of this level laughable. Prelim is a very challenging level and a number of horses and riders will never compete at this level (Jimmy Wofford has stated that any horse can go Prelim - well, maybe if he is riding it!).

Qualification is required for a reason: these courses are tough. Its not so much the height as the technical questions being asked. For example there is typically a coffin complex: a jump, 2 or 3 strides to a ditch, then 2 or 3 strides to another jump.

I think many sound horses have the physical ability to go Prelim but may lack the heart. The questions are challenging, so both horse and rider need to be skilled and brave to get through successfully. Personally I don't think I'll go Prelim. I can school single jumps that are prelim height, but the courses are very intimidating.

Prelim jump at Galway Downs

  • Horses must be aged 6 or older, riders must be 16 or older. Qualification is required.
  • Dressage is equivalent to 2nd Level and includes collected and extended gaits and travers.
  • Show jumping is 12 to 14 obstacles at 350 mpm, with max height 3'11".
  • Cross country is 26 to 34 efforts at a speed of 550 mpm, course distance between 2600 and 3575 meters. Max height is 3'9", or 4'5" for brush jump, max drop of 5'11".

Despite the misleading name, this is a very, very, very challenging level.  It takes a special horse and a very talented rider to go Intermediate. The questions are very technical, the speed is very fast. At this level most of the competitors are trainers or professional riders - amateurs are in the minority.

Intermediate jump. Very deep and off a downhill approach.

  • Horses must be aged 6 or older, riders must be 18 or older. Qualification is required.
  • Dressage is equivalent to 3rd Level and includes half-pass and flying changes.
  • Show jumping is 13 to 15 obstacles at 375mpm, with max height 4'1".
  • Cross country is 32 to 40 efforts at 570mpm, course distance between 3200 and 3990 meters. Max height 3'11" or 4'7" for brush jump, max drop of 6'7".

The only level with an appropriate name, although "Super Duper Advanced" might be more appropriate. The jumps are ginormous, the questions are cringe-worthy, and the speed is insane. It takes a truly amazing partnership of a team to go this level.

Advanced jump at Galway, off a sharp turn after an uphill gallop.

I hope this helps you get a sense of the competition levels in the US. Despite the synonymic names (I made that word up) there are clear cut differences between the levels.

What about "Intro" divisions, "T3D" and "P3D"? How about CIC versus CCI? What about stars****? I'll answer these and many more on future Eventing Explained posts!

USEA/USEF Rulebook
Discover Eventing
USEA Dressage Tests

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 Goals

Last year I had lots of goals. Perhaps too many goals. This year, I'm keeping it simple:

1. Compete at registered horse trails.

That's it! The number of competitions is going to depend on my budget, but I'm shooting for 3 or 4. After spending most of 2014 at local/schooling shows, I am ready to get back to some real horse trials!

Of course, I want us to perform to the best of our ability at competitions. I have my eye on US Eventing Association Awards:

USEA Certificate of Horse & Rider Achievement - completion of 3 registered HTs in one competition year (at BN level only).

USEA Eventing Medal Program - completion of 3 registered HTs with qualifying scores at various levels.

These would be cherry-on-top achievements that I'd love for us to earn, but they're not realistic goals for a few reasons.

Firstly, I haven't decided what level we'll be competing at this year (BN or N). So that might take the Certificate off the table.

The Medal program looks awesome, and given our past performances at HTs I'd be gunning for the bronze (lowest) achievement level. Since I can realistically only afford to attend a few HTs this year, and since even the lowest achievement level is higher than our historical average score, the chances of us achieving a medal is not high. But I think its a great program and I'll be aiming to earn medals in the years to come as we develop skills and become more competitive.

Shout out to Dandyism, where I learned of the USEA awards programs.

Let's look at our record at recognized horse trials so far:

August 2013
Location: Shepherd Ranch, Santa Ynez
Division: Intro
Final Score: 94.7
Placing: 8th out of 8
Positive Notes: Reserve Champion Team for Area VI Adult Team Challenge (with neck ribbon!).
Negative Notes: Major wigging out in warm-up and stadium jumping.
Other Notes: Time penalties on XC due to trotting most of it (which I'm fine with).

October 2013
Location: Fresno County Horse Park, Fresno
Division: Intro
Final Score: 59.0
Placing: 16th out of 23
Positive Notes: First place team, achieved bucket-list goal of finishing a HT on my dressage score.
Negative Notes: Dressage judge thought Hemie was lame, major drama/mixups with show officials.
Other Notes: Met Paola!

February 2014
Location: Galway Downs, Temecula
Division: Beginner Novice
Final Score: 60.0
Placing: 11th out of 14
Positive Notes: Our best dressage score at a HT (40.0)!
Negative Notes: Fell off in warm up, had issues in stadium.

April 2014
Location: Fresno County Horse Park, Fresno
Division: Beginner Novice
Final Score: 59.1
Placing: 6th out of 11
Positive Notes: Got a ribbon!
Negative Notes: Giant buck in dressage test. Same dressage judge thought Hemie was lame.

That's a total Median score of 59.05.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2014 Year In Review (Part 2 of 2)

Part 1 here

In July I felt like we were really making headway. I identified Hemie's faux spook maneuver and tried turning flatwork into flatFUN (twice). We went to a derby at El Sueno and brought home 2 blues.

I also made a flash from a throat-latch

I felt our progress sliding backwards in August. We had a number of shenanigans during lessons and I started to question some approaches. I did a bunch of blog hops and explored other equestrian topics because our own training updates were so mixed.

In September I started trailering. We had some really excellent jumping with increased heights, fun and challenging exercises, and our first skinny! Our flatwork backsliding came to a head with a giant rear which led to hours upon hours of overthinking, but luckily backed up with plenty of saddle time, a change in tactics, and we started moving back in the right direction of progress.

"Pray First, Then Ride"

October was a good month. I trailered my horse off property for the first time, to a show that went well. We adopted a 3rd dog, Fenrir. I clinic'd with Chemaine Hurtado and had some positive lessons. Lots of blog hops and fun posts. And we ended our show year on a great outing.

Ponies in Pink!

November was pretty low-key. I did some dressage analysis and played with bits and such. We also did a cross-country schooling at Tugger X Ranch.

Oh December. Rains made for a frisky pony so Hemie got plenty of turnout time. We were able to get a few rides in around the weather. My amazing dog Levi passed away and left a hole in my heart. Holidays were good for taking time off from work and seeing family.

All told, in 2014 we:
  • competed in 2 registered horse trials 
  • competed in 4 derbies 
  • competed in 1 dressage show 
  • That's 7 shows, with 12 judged dressage tests
  • did 3 schoolings with our trainer 
  • participated in 2 clinics off property 
  • That's 12 outings total!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

TOABH - Stars, Losers, Faves

Catching up on this excellent series from The Owls Approve

Shining Star

Let's talk about the biggest achievements your horse has accomplished. I'm not talking about you as a rider - I want to know what your ponykins has done to make you proud. Is there a glorious satin collection, did he/she figure out some dressage movement that took months to learn, or are is it just a great day when your butt stays in the saddle?

Hemie is such a good boy. He loves to snuggle. He loves to jump - any kind of jumps, but the bigger and solid-er the better. He loves to trail ride. He's got perfect ground manners and loads in the trailer like a pro. He's a blue ribbon winner at hunter shows, at local eventing derbies, and even dressage when the stars align. We've had our meltdowns...several, actually. But we get through them as a team and we've always come away from competitions with a number and not a letter.

I'm A Loser, Baby
Let's talk about your horse's biggest fail. What did Thunderhooves do that embarrassed you, scared you, shocked you or just annoyed the hell out of you?

Rearing. He's done it a number of times now and its just completely unacceptable. 
Also, wigging out at shows. In front of lots of people. At the registered horse trials that cost a fortune of course. For example...

What is your horse's absolute favorite thing? Outside of riding! Are there treats that instantly convert your pony into an addict or liniments that leave him yawning and chewing? What does your horse just love to have?

He likes treats and naps and snuggles, but he LOVES his time in turnout. Whether alone or with friends, he loves to run around, kick out and be playful, roll, chew on things, make cute noises. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014 Year In Review (Part 1 of 2)

January started the year off quite horsey. I felt some improvement in our dressage rides at home and we had some fun outings at Schranch and the Galway Downs XC fundraiser clinic. I had a blast riding with Hawley Bennett-Awad and my horse was a rockstar.

Galway Downs clinic in January

February we kicked off the show season at Galway Downs with an up-and-down outing. I fell off in the warm up, hitting my head on a tree and hurting my back, but then we achieved our best dressage score at a registered HT to date. We rocked XC but had some unexpected baubles in stadium. Then we had a major scare when we arrived home to find one of the horses down in the trailer. Later in the month I attended a Dr. Schacht dressage clinic which was fun. I tried to stay positive and empowered while dealing with some depression and anxiety.

Dr. Schacht clinic in February

In March we attended a dressage schooling show and overall I was feeling positive about our improvement in the sandbox. Winter rains made for less riding/training progress updates and more blog hops and other fun posts. I started to consider a bridle change and I went to Santa Anita racetrack for the first time as an adult and came away with a better understanding of my horse's past.

Dressage show at White Birch in March

I really got the eventing buzz in April, with the excitement for Rolex and my 2nd horse trial. I had interesting discussions on moving up and why I event, and participated in some really great blog hops including why my trainer and my horse are so awesome. Hemie and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary together. We attended the Fresno Horse Park HT and it was another mixed outing, although we did come away with a lovely green ribbon.

Blog readers voted for our XC colors for the show!
Photo courtesy of Paola

In May I had a meltdown. Lameness concerns morphed into bad behavior concerns and for the first time I was scared to ride. Luckily it was a short-lived panic, and I found my cahones and started moving forward with improving our flatwork. Hemie turned 9 and we did some fun blog hops. Unfortunately he came back positive for worms again.

Birthday cake for Hemie!

In June we attended a local show and had a good positive outing. I spectated at Shepherd Ranch HT and discussed safety choices. We continued to hunker down in our flatwork and I kept reading about training concepts to implement.

From our mid-year photo challenge

Part 2 coming soon!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Good News Bad News

Bad news first - Hemie is lame. He first showed signs Monday night - head bobbing, feeling off. His hind left started swelling, but very little heat. 

Luckily I already had the vet scheduled for the next morning for annual shots, so at least he had good timing. All parties (me, trainer, vet, every other person I could track down at the barn for their 2-cents) concluded that he likely just whacked himself in the turnout being fresh and silly. He gets stall rest for a few days, standing wraps, daily topical application of Surpass, and some bute.

And cookies. Lots of cookies.

Good news is that he is already showing signs of improvement, and that our rides so far this year have been excellent. Time for photos!

Working on our rear command
We jumped this for the first time the other week. Hemie had no issues.
99 problems but a ditch ain't one!! 
We've had some really fun coursework in our lessons so far this year, such as the right-side yellow to oxer - 4 strides, and the skinny red on the left to the tall X or the red boxes.

Center shows our two one-stride gymnastic. We've also been doing interesting lines and angled jumps, such as red boxes downhill, turn to to white gate. 

Black tube to ditch, right turn down the bank into water and over the log.

We've signed up for the cross-country clinic at Galway Downs next weekend. Fingers crossed for a full recovery for Hemie so we can still go! I've signed up to ride with Debbie Rosen so I'm very excited.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Q4 & Annual Goals Review

2014 Goals
Q1 Goals
Q1 Review & Q2 Goals
Q2 Review & Q3 Goals
Q3 Review & Q4 Goals

 October-November-December/Q4 2014 Goals Review

  1. XC school at a new venue. - Done! We went to Tugger X ranch (recap and video here).
  2. Participate in a clinic or get a lesson from another trainer. - Didn't happen.
  3. Continue to focus on relaxation and Hemie's enjoyment of flatwork. - Yes! It's been a high priority.
  1. Continue with healthy choices for weight loss. - Yes! I've been losing weight even with the holiday celebrations so far. I'll post about how I'm doing it sometime.
  2. Get my act together with remembering people's birthdays. - Meh...mostly fail. I've been good about checking FB regularly and sending birthday wishes online though.
This was my first year doing quarterly goals and reviews, and I'm still considering whether I'll continue in 2015.

2014 Annual Goals Review

This year I had many more goals than in the past several years. I like to have a balance of goals that are action-based and results-based (so that I can check things off the list even if we don't get the results I'd like) and this year that proved to be a smart strategy.

Horsey goals
XC school at 2 new venues - Done! We schooled at Galway Downs in January and Tugger X in November.

Show at 2 new venues - Done! We competed at Galway Downs February and White Birch in March.

Participate in 4 clinics and/or lessons with other trainers - Mostly done! I did 3 instead of 4: clinic'd with Hawley Bennett-Awad in January, Dr. Christian Schacht in February, Chemaine Hurtado in October.
Galway XC Clinic Jan 2014 with Hawley Bennett-Awad

Improve our dressage scores from 2013 - Done! Not a huge improvement, and there's the eternal debate of schooling show scoring vs rated show scoring...but at the end of the day I think we have a better time in the sandbox now.  

Become 100% solid at Beginner Novice - Not done. I've come to realize that I wont feel 100% solid at BN until we've gotten through at least 1 or 2 (maybe more) registered HTs where I feel very positive in our performance and we finish at least half-way in the division.

Set and review specific goals each quarter - Done! It was helpful in some ways, needs improvement in others. 

Other Goals
I'm happy to report that I achieved my blogging goals, which included having more photos/art/visual interest in posts, regular design updates (header, etc), overall streamlining and beautification, and pretty consistent posting. 

I also did okay with my personal goals. Horsey budget & expense tracking was better this year than past years, but wasn't detailed or consistent enough. I am most of the way to my weight loss goal, so that is good. The garage got organized, and all moving boxes finally unpacked (from moving in 2 years ago!). Remembering birthdays was hit and miss throughout the year.

All in all I'm proud to have accomplished most of what I set out to do in 2014, and look forward to setting out some new goals for next year!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Blogger Secret Santa

I'm late in posting about it, but I am delighted that Fly On Over hosted another Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange! It's such a delightful way to connect with other equestrian bloggers and share the love for the holidays!

Monica from Chasing the Dream sent me a wonderful holiday gift. Thank you Monica!! 

I knew the moment I saw the package that it was from my blogger secret santa. Who else but equestrians has such excellent taste in duct tape?

Red sparkly duct tape on the shipping box,
and adorable wrapped box within!

Inside was an artistic hand-made Christmas card, a sturdy, attractive OTTB mug filled with an assortment of chocolates and candies, and a lovely hand-drawn ink sketch of Bohemian.

Love it!
Forgive the bad photo.

Truly wonderful gifts that bring a smile to my face! I've since framed the sketch and eaten most of the candies. I love the mug - it's my very first OTTB logo item.

This year I was privileged to have our host, Tracy from Fly On Over as my Secret Santa recipient and I'm so glad she likes her socks! I'm too late to join the link-up but it has been fun seeing everyone's great gift exchanges!