Thursday, December 22, 2011

Riding Diary: 3

Horse: Trouble
          - boarder's horse

Bit: Eggbut snaffle w/ Copper Inlay

Time: 1.5 hr

Ride: Trouble was all sorts of fire-y when I first got on her to warm her up, then of course my trainer came in and it was "her head is going everywhere", "more contact", "watch your hands", "get her to focus". Thus, today was another day of lots of work at a trot.

Exercise 1: Collection, Collection & More Collection
- I am still really struggling with my contact, I can count numerous times in my life with horses where someone has prided me in having loose reins, little contact with a horses mouth, etc. etc. Ya, well, now we're in a snaffle bit, and we're in an arena and shit is getting real (contact-wise)! haha I just need to remember that having "contact" does not mean "cruelty". So poor Trouble and I, we learnt together today, me with my contact, her with her collection. It's hard with her because she doesn't really understand it yet, she isn't one of those horses that has to be checked every once and awhile, with her, she needs to be constantly aided in her collection, or else her head is swinging one way and her rib cage the other and my body is seemingly mimicking this, and her and I probably end up looking like one big shit-show.

Exercise 2: Barrels
- We started off with 2 barrels, trot up to one, turn (with proper contact, leg and hand placement - easier said than done), release, trot to second barrel making sure she is collected, turn barrel, exit. Then, once I kind of sort of figured out what I was doing with my legs my trainer up'd it to a turn, counter bend while trotting to second barrel, turn, counter bend past 1st barrel. Trouble drifts through her turns and then I tend to lose full control/contact with her after the second barrel thus not being able to effectively counter-bend so we worked a lot on that.

Exercise 3: Counter-Bending
- want to know something super fun? Trouble doesn't know how to disengage her body, and I apparently have one very weak leg (my left) and one dominant leg that can actually do what I want it to (my right). Here we go! In the end, after I was sweating buckets and having "LOUISA, QUIT GOING OVER THE MIDLINE" screamed at me over and over, we got it together and she was moving pretty nicely.

Then my trainer jumped on her and attempted to work on rollbacks with her, but again, she's just one of those horses that was never properly or professionally trained, she was quiet enough to be given to a kid who did 4-H and in the end she ended up too much for the kid and injured. So she just needs a lot of work, and a lot of time I suppose. She was having a hard time moving off her front end, and my trainer commented that he thinks she has issues with her left hock and that she will probably end up needing Cortisone shots because of it. Which is really sad.

Exercise 4: Barrel Pattern
- Issues we have: drifting, my hands/legs, her rib cage/collection... these issues culminate into ... a bit of a gross barrel pattern, baby steps, baby steps, baby steps..

For Next Time: Same as always, hand and leg placement.

Honestly, this Riding Diary may seem negative but I'm really happy with how the lesson went, I have clear issues that as a rider I obviously need to work through, but atleast I know what those issues are now, you know? Before I had no one telling me how to work through my issues, now I have someone, standing in the middle of the arena, screaming "YOUR HANDS. YOUR GODDAMN HANDS" and as scary as that sounds, I totally need it.

Also, my trainer commented on how much I kiss to horses, and it's true, it's just one of those things that is so ingrained in my behaviour. He pointed out that I kiss to put on halters, to talk to them, to get them to speed up, to get them to turn. So that's another little thing - NO MORE KISSING. :) (Unless you have a hot cowboy for me hahaha)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Riding Diary: 2

Horse: Betty & Freckles
           - Owned by the barn I work at

Bit: Snaffle
- one was a weaver D Ring with copper roller, the other I'm not sure

Time: 1.5 each horse

Ride: So this was my actual, real life, first lesson at my barn! Exciting! Both Freckles & Betty are 6, both are pretty well broke, and both were started on the flag a couple days ago, so it's interesting to see how each one progresses/changes since they are so similar in age/how much they know. They both have really different backgrounds though, Betty was trained at/by Olds College, and her owner thinks that is the reason she's really good with all her cues, like lead changes and what not. Freckles was a roping horse that was pretty much given up on by her previous owner. She had a tendency to pull back, due to pain in her poll, and because of it she was pretty much given to my trainer for free because her previous owner hated her so much. Pretty sad story, especially because she is the nicest little mare, she's so forgiving and in your pocket cute. Today I stood with her and we just straight up cuddled for about 20 minutes. She's really captured my heart, plus, she's gorgeous, she has a bit of a short neck/big head going on, but otherwise she has a dark chestnut coat and a flaxen mane and tail, both really long, and then a big white blaze with chestnut freckles.. hence the name. Betty sort of looks like a buffalo haha, she's this short stocky fuzzy sorrel, but what she lacks in flash she's a really nice ride.

I started out on Betty, she used to have issues with her stop but apparently she's over that. My trainer commented that I have a really good seat/hands with my stop, so that's good. Then we worked her on the flag, I've only ever worked a horse on a flag twice, and it was a finished cutting horse so obviously he knew what he was doing and where he needed to be. Betty kept drifting away from the flag on me and I struggled to keep her square and at that perfect distance. Then my trainer jumped on when some english riding clients came and showed them how the flag worked, they seemed pretty amazed by the whole thing. It's funny because my barn is so english and western but you often forget about how different the two worlds really are sometimes.

Then I rode Freckles, my trainer commented that I really need to work on leg and hand placement, especially around turns and recommended I do a lot of saddle time at a trot working on figure 8's and turns. I really struggle with hand contact, I've always ridden horses, on trails, in curb bits, and so I'm use to neck reining and really loose, long reins. So the minute I'm "on" a horses face I feel like i'm ruining their mouths, so then I drop my reins and it goes to shit. I just need to remember to keep a small amount of contact and to not lose focus on the rest of my body while I do it. He's right, lots of time in the saddle, working at the slow stuff and one day i'll be a pro at the fast stuff.

I'm also finding that the horses just don't seem as responsive to my leg as they do to his, obviously he's a way higher level rider than I am but I also have to wonder about his spurs. Clearly I'm not ready for spurs, but obviously spurs are going to slightly desensitize a horses side, it's not like he rakes or anything, he's very gentle with them, but all the horses at my barn are ridden with spurs and it just seems that my leg, no matter how hard I'm pressing, doesn't seem to get the message across. Is that my issue? or are they just not as sensitive to my heel? Hm.. things to think about.

For Next Time: Lots of slow walk and trot stuff, collection, and working on my hand and leg placement in turns and circles. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Want: Jak Wonderly Prints

I reaaaally want to order these prints for my room, if I had to choose it would be the first, and the fourth. I think they are so beautiful. I'm re-decorating my room over the holidays (if I find the time - how is it the holidays can be busy?! Is that a contradiction.. I think so.. ugh) so perhaps these can fit into the budget come January :) I have theee perfect place for them - I'll post photos if it happens!

What's in the Colour? Overo Paints

So I was over at Western Horse Review and saw the Paint Horse World Championship Results. What struck me was how often Overo Paint's end up in the lead. Now, I'm not saying judges are giving extra points for colour, (although in some classes they are certainly adding flashy colour as a factor), but clearly paint horse breeders and showers are looking towards the flashy Overo's over Tobiano's and Tovero's.

Just to clarify the different colour variations, these descriptions were taken from the APHA website...

G Its Showtime defending his championship in Tobiano 3 year old & older geldings
Tobiano - the dark colour usually covers one or both flanks. Generally, all four legs are white, at least below the hocks and knees. Generally, the spots are regular and distinct as ovals or round patterns that extend down over the neck and chest, giving the appearance of a shield. Head markings are like those of a solid colored horse - solid, or with a blaze, strip, star or snip. A tobiano may be either predominantly dark or white and the tail is often two colors.

Roses And Chocolate, sorrel overo, who took home All-around open horse, Super Gelding & High-Point English Horse at the World show this year.
Overo - the white usually will not cross the back of the horse between its withers and its tail. Generally, at least one and often all four legs are dark. Generally, the white is irregular and is rather scattered or splashy. Head markings are distinctive, often bald-faced, apron-faced or bonnet-faced. An overo may be either predominantly dark or white. The tail is usually one colour.

Tovero - Dark pigmentation around the ears, which may expand to cover the forehead and/or eyes. One or both blue eyes. Dark pigmentation around the mouth, which may extend up the sides of the face and form spots. Chest spot(s) in varying sizes which may also extend up the neck. Flank spot(s) ranging in size. These are often accompanied by smaller spots that extend forward across the barrel, and up over the loin. Spots, varying in size, at the base of the tail.

This whole blog post got started when I realized that Overo's completely dominated World's this year. At the World Championships I counted 4 Sorrel Overo, 3 Chestnut Overo, 1 Bay Overo, 1 Brown Overo and One Red Roan Overo that were all champions. There was a measly 1 Tobiano and 1 Tovero to round out the winners in all the different classes. Clearly you can tell where the trend in paint horse breeding is at the moment.
It's not like this is a new thing in the horse world, if you're buying a buckskin you can tack on probably around $500-$1000 more for the colour alone, possibly more depending on what discipline you are going into. However, I'm always amused at how many "plain-as-jane" sorrel's and chestnut's end up being championship cutting horses. There isn't any shame in loving certain colours either, I personally adore Tobiano's that are predominantly dark in colour, and as for Quarter Horses, of course I think palomino's and buckskin's are just "sooooooo prettyyyyy". It's just interesting to me the different colour trends that come and go in breeding throughout the years, and in what disciplines colour is an important factor, and which it doesn't matter much at all.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Be Relentless.

This video is amazing,
the quote is definitely some words to live by.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Riding Diary: 1

I am the worst poster ever, Finals are here, out of nowhere, and I feel very, very behind... but yet, all I do is lurk around the internet? duuur, worst student of the year award.

Anyways, I've been meaning to do a sort of riding-diary in here, so here goes, first one!

Horse: Trouble
         - Boarders Horse

Bit: Snaffle

Time: 1 Hr

Ride: Went well, I rode her last week after she'd already been worked on the treadmill earlier in the day and she seemed very tired, and worked up a sweat really quickly. She's a fun little horse that I quite enjoy. We worked on a lot of slow stuff in the walk and trot because she's always so eager to lope and I wanted to  just work from a slow to fast trot for a lot of things.

I wasn't aiming for much because I worked all day and was pretty lethargic at this point and I had to turn her out after in freezing weather so I didn't want her soaked, so I just played around with some stuff. She has a great stop and I fooled around a bit with spins, she turns well but slowly, and I'm wondering if anyone else that rides her rides with spurs, because she didn't seem very alert to me bumping her without spurs on. She's younger, 4-5 and carries her head really nicely and will drop it, but needs to be reminded to keep herself in a frame. Other than the slow stuff we loped a bit, I find her lope a little rocky and hard to sit, and she kept drifting inwards so I just worked on big, large circles in the arena and she finally slowed down into a nice slow lope so that was good.

Finally I cooled her down and just to see what she'd do I dropped the reins and attempted to get her to back without rein, she seemed a bit confused but by the 4th time was backing 4 or 5 steps really nicely. I'm wondering if in a past life she had some reining training, or at least was trained by someone who was a reiner, she seems to know all those basic cues. I know that she was a 4-H horse but was a little hot for the kid riding her.

For Next Time: I'd like to work a bit more with controlled speed and see how she does. :)

Anyways - that's all for today, hope you all are staying warm! From a maniac wind storm last week and driving in blizzards for what seems like two weeks straight, i'd like to curl up and hide under my covers.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hip Hop meets Dressage

I'm in love with this video, so funny.
Too bad this isn't real life - gangstaa dressage.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So many equestrian problems...

Images taken from the brilliant "equestrian problems" tumblr.

These are all spot on, I love it. She has a ton more, every one makes me laugh. 
My profile pictures on facebook are overloaded with horses,
 my glove-tan line this summer was atrocious and it took a month of sucking it up and forgoing the deer skin gloves for it to disappear, 
lately any day with horses means brutally early mornings for me, 
I certainly agree that the company of horses is often much better than the company of humans
and ... hahaha, that last one, what's a boyfriend? You can't really go on a date when you don't leave the barn until 7:30 pm and you are soaked, smell like sweat, horse crap and various other "heavenly" scents for us horse crazy girls. Unless of course, you get that perfect boy.

Lately I've had a couple more serious equestrian problems

- balancing horse-time with work-time, school-time, friend-time and just general me-time.
lately it's been in that order and I really wish I could be one of those people that just balanced life better, more effortlessly you know?

- proving myself
grumble grumble gr gr grrrr, just when you think you're a step ahead of the game, you get knocked down 7 spaces, I hate it. 

- being good enough
the barn i'm volunteering at is the by far the nicest barn i've ever even stepped foot in. Embarrassing confession time; i've been horse-raised on ranches and backwoods, I had never even cleaned stalls that had shavings in them... Now i'm cleaning 15+ a day, while balancing rehabbing and conditioning horses, talking to clients and attempting to not come off as a total idea, and attempting to please the owner... not working. uuuuuugh.

However, today I banged out a seriously good polo-wrap; (I am still really getting the hang of these damn things), so that's one equestrian problem that isn't nagging at me so much anymore!

Also, way less serious equestrian problem that I just thought of...
- being clean. haha
whenever I get home from a long day at the barn the last thing on my mind is, you know, showering, or generally not smelling awful. I'd way rather just sit and stare blankly at my computer/tv.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dreams about you

I dreamt last night that we were reunited, and it was summer again. I dreamt that you were in a large, open field with the rest of the herd, and you came right up to me and I wrapped my arms around you and laid my face in your mane and you rested your chin on my back like we've done so many times together. I remember looking at S and saying, "See! I told you he'd remember me" and laughing so happily as the three of us walked back to the barn together, you never missing a step, following us the whole way there. I continued dreaming, and throughout the dream I was reluctant to ride you, I was nervous, I was panicking because I had forgotten your bridle, I felt like I was disappointing people and in the end something happened, I can't quite remember what, but people were trying to take you away from me. I woke up with my heart completely aching for you, for your smell, for everything that comes with you. I couldn't shake you all day, you were just there, with me. If that makes sense.

 I love you, and I often think to myself that we were thrown together, and that another rider would suit you much better. I think this dream has a lot to do with my insecurities lately, and the fact that another rider could have taught you so much more this summer. I often wonder what horse you would be if I wasn't the one you were stuck with, if I wasn't the one fumbling around on you, ... if i knew what i was doing.  I sometimes lose myself in dreaming about spending time, just you and I, no rush, no one watching us, just... figuring stuff out. Just me, you, an arena and a snaffle bit. No stress, no time restrictions, nothing but you and I. 

But, you know what? I love you. There is just something between us, that when I'm with you, when I'm spending that extra 20 minutes grooming you when I should realistically be doing something else, when I'm working you in the round pen, when we click, and everything falls into place, that's just perfect. "He just follows her around like a goddamn puppy, you can tell he loves her when he looks at her." I hope one day, even with all my big lofty horse aspirations, I can still call you mine. You don't have to be a performance horse, or a perfect horse, but i'd like for you to be my horse.

I'm such a lame horse girl, but after my dream last night I've been thinking about my baby paint boy, Jingle, all day, and I just can't shake it. I think it also has a lot to do with how stressed I am with school right now (hence the lack of blog posts) and how much I'd like to saddle up and just .. get away from all the stress of life right now. Anyways, I had to write it out, so that I could get it off my chest. So, there ya go, a letter from a girl to her horse.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Sunday morning, the sun was shining into the barn, I was talking with a boarder, leaning on my pitchfork and feeling a little less-frazzled than usual when she said, "Oh my god, I have news, I heard last night from a friend in Europe that Hickstead died in Italy." The first thing that went through my mind was, .. well, not Eric's Hickstead. Then, How is that possible?. She continued that he had jumped a clear run, and after the course he seized, fell and died... most likely of a heart attack. Everyone in attendance agreed that it was an absolute tragedy to the horse industry, and then we went back to what we were doing.

But for some reason I couldn't shake it, Hickstead was dead. Impossible. You see, Hickstead is the horse that every little girl that loves ponies dreams are made of. He was cute and compact, but powerful and awe-inspiring. He was that out of the blue, nobody saw it coming (not even Eric Lamaze in the beginning), who woulda thought, kinda horse.

When I was a little girl, dreaming of ponies, my grandparents would take me to Spruce Meadows, and I would wander the grounds for hours, happily petting the noses of the massive jumpers in their beautiful stalls. I could have spent days just sitting there, watching those animals literally leap into the sky. So, although western is my heart and soul, a piece of me has always loved the "Spruce" atmosphere, English saddles, jumps so high that you couldn't climb them if you wished and those horses... that fly. It always seemed so magical.

Magic was definitely in the air this year when I went with a good friend to the CN International, Eric and Hickstead jumped both rounds clear, and the crowd roared for them. You could tell the second Hickstead walked onto the course who the crowd favourite was. Everyone stopped speaking and the world seemed to stand still as he took those jumps, and by the time he had cleared the last one the crowd was in hysterics. Eric and Hickstead, Canada's dream team.

So, although I never personally met Hickstead, and have never met Eric Lamaze, and realistically have no true connection to the Show Jumping world, I felt that sting of losing a hero, losing something that meant so much to so many people. The little stallion that could. May he rest in peace.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mug from Mama

My mom came home from the store with this the other day, such a cute little surprise.
It's definitely helping me as I power through death-midterm studying.
One day my entire house will have mugs like this... tacky? absolutely not!

Mug from Cypress Home

Friday, November 4, 2011

First Snow Fall of the Year

So, most of southern Alberta experienced the first official snowfall today. You know, I'm one to complain about snow.. I truly am, winter isn't my thing and I'm a big cry baby. I enjoy the beauty of winter, I love Christmastime, and I can appreciate the season - I can look like a fool on skates, and, as of last year, I have decided I quite enjoy snowshoeing. I don't mind snowboarding - as long as it involves beer afterwards, and there is something pretty amazing about riding in a crystalline paradise of white. 

However; there is nothing fun about getting stuck in a snow drift up to your horses shoulder, there is nothing fun about your car spinning out and refusing to stop (this happened to me quite a few times in a 5 minute drive this morning) and there is just nothing fun about having to prepare 15 layers of clothing before you leave your house.

But, I won't complain too much yet, today turned out to be semi-decent and most of the snow has already disappeared or retreated onto grass only. When one of those big 6 day snowdumps occurs though, Oh yeah.. i'll be whinin'.

Here's a couple pictures of me on a -30 day in Alberta two winter's ago; tending to some horses. You gotta be crazy in love with a creature to haul hay out to them 2 times a day in -30... no wonder my friends don't get this whole "horse thing" of mine.

The herd, snowy fur included.

I'll have you know on this particular day in Alberta I was wearing a sports bra, a tank top, a t-shirt, a long sleeve, what looks like two sweaters, a shell of a snowboarding jacket, and a puffy vest. Leggings, Jeans, snow pants, two pairs of gloves (the snowboarding gloves were off for this photo), and i'm assuming at the time i was wearing three pairs of socks in rubber boots. Aswell as a bandanna, followed by a toque and a facewarmer. ... Lovely; things to look forward too.

Snow, and snow, and snow for miles.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bridleless - Clinton Anderson & Phil Rapp

Phil Rapp on "Dont Look Twice" aka Lipstick, cutting bridleless 
(I am obsessed with this mare, absolutely obsessed with her)

Clinton Anderson on Diez, doing a bridleless reining pattern

Pretty cool stuff, also amazing how horse & rider make it look like absolutely nothing at all.
Of course, you are watching Clinton Anderson & Phil Rapp, two of the biggest names in the industry right now. So cool.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Summer Gypsy-isms

Snow is coming, a windstorm shook the life out of all the trees and their fall beauty last night,
and now we're slipping slowly into winter, bare trees, cold winds, bleak and dark skies..

Winter isn't all that bad, but when it doesn't hold a candle to summertime,
I always feel like a roving cowgirl gypsy in the summer,
I feel like I could go anywhere, see anything, be anyone
however I choose to take up settlement at my camp, see the red and the grease rivers and be myself
but there's that... knowledge, that you're free and it's summer.
Winter doesn't have any of that.

Where'd my roving cowgirl gypsy life go?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Want: Horsehair Jewellery

A random twitter account started following me and I pretty much ignored it, until in a fit of boredom I happened onto this person, and then the website listed in their bio. It turned out to be a rep for Nanna Salmi Horsehair Jewellery, I've heard of horsehair jewellery before and I absolutely love the idea, but this is perhaps the most beautiful stuff I've ever found - however, it definitely reflects that in it's price.

From their website, "Nannasalmi™collection is a horsehair jewelry collection created from horsehair, precious metals and diamonds. Each nannasalmi™collection is a horsehair jewelry collection created from horsehair, precious metals and diamonds. Each piece is completely hand-fashioned from your own horse's hair. Jewelry can also be made from the stock hair. is completely hand-fashioned from your own horse's hair. Jewelry can also be made from the stock hair."

Because I am in love, and am hoping someone who loves me sees this blog post and decides to drop an exorbitant amount of money on me I'll post a few of my favourite pieces from their collection, taken from the USA-Canada Facebook page.

- Gold - $3,540 USD; White Gold - $3,900 USD
I looooove this ring, and you could almost stomach the price if you decided to use it as your wedding band - that would be super cute if the couple were "horse people" together. Right?!

- Silver - $260 USD; Gold - $990 USD; White Gold - $1,265 USD

- Silver - $335 USD; Gold - $1,480 USD; White Gold - $1,920
- both could be options for the groom! I'm thinking here! Rationalizing!
Also, this was commissioned specifically for HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Miteb Abdullah Al-saud, from the Saudi show jumping team, it was named after a prized stallion of his.

- Silver - $540 USD; Gold - $2460 USD; White Gold - $2950 USD

these were specially made for someone, but they are coming out with cufflinks soon in different colours/variations

- Silver - $320 USD; Gold - $980 USD; White Gold - $1,160
this is one of my absolute favourites, it's gorgeous, I am dying over it.

- Silver - $540 USD; Gold - $2,460 USD; White Gold - $2,950
absolutely, dying, over, this, bracelet

(in silver with arrowhead pattern)
- Silver - $320 USD; Gold - $865 USD; White Gold - $1,070
pretty, pretty, pretty, la la la la

So, all in all I am completely in love. Although, I highly doubt the day will ever come I could comfortably buy any of these pieces I still can't help but pretend that the one day I'll be prancing around to events with the "Shoe-Shoe", "Mistral" and "Scirocco" all on my wrist, and the "Cassiopeia" on my ring finger. (...because they'd totally look amazing together, right?)

After I discovered the prices I checked online for other horsehair jewellery and couldn't find anything I liked and found as just totally classic and beautiful as this collection. Have you guys found anything comparable?

Monday, October 24, 2011


There is just something about fall, you know?
The way the tree's turn from green to shades of red and yellow,
the way the leaves seem to rain down for a month on end,
the way nature seems so in-tune as she gets ready for the winter cold, 
how all the colours seem to blend and meld together 
that cold crisp but somehow refreshing fall air
I'm a summer girl, but I can appreciate the sentiment behind fall,
it is pretty beautiful.

Another thing I enjoy about fall is (obviously) riding amongst the leaves. Some friends and I went out to a dude ranch to grab a trail ride before the snow flies and we had a great time. We managed to get in some really perfect laughs, get a little lost, we rode some horses that weren't your stereotypical "trail ponies" and we even managed to have some beers at our favourite local Saloon! .. Saloon's still exist you know, if you've never been to one, I suggest you go, immediately. They are, realistically, just bars with a western-name, but there is something so cool about saying, "I'm just heading to the Saloon"; love it!

All in all it was one of those, "I love my friends, life is so good" kinda days

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Playing Make Believe

This last week I got a chance to house-sit for a couple with a beautiful home, horses and barn. The house is so cute, everywhere you look there's paintings of horses, cowboy artwork, bridles hanging on the walls as works of art themselves, horseshoe accents, etc. The barn is a 6 stall, and has the smell of the sweetest hay. Lucy, a quarter horse, always runs up to me when she see's me in the mornings. At first it was a little intimidating, as she full on gallops at you, and then comes to a stop and waits for you to cuddle her. Guess she hasn't given up being a reining horse yet.

On the porch you can see horses everywhere, little acreages with massive houses and beautiful horses and barns. At night you can see the twinkling city lights, and in the morning the sunrise bursts throughout the entire house. I think this place is definitely paradise.

So, I've definitely been playing make believe, pretending this is my own little horse-palace. One day I sure hope I can wake up to candy coloured sunrises, horses nickering in the morning fog, and being able to curl up with the latest issue of Western Horse Review next to a fire, with a beer in my hand. Life would be so sweet.