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.