Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Gift for the Mare

This year for Christmas I didn't get the pony's presents, nor did I receive any horse-related items. Although, I did just receive a gorgeous saddle rack from the SO for my birthday in November (how did I not blog about this before?!)

Looking pretty empty, but now that all my saddles are
home from the barn, it's jam-packed!
Truthfully, I didn't mind it not getting any horsey-things considering I tend to just buy what I need when I need it, and that I don't have many horsey-friends I exchange gifts with in the first place. In saying that, I was completely blown away when a friend from  Alberta and I exchanged gifts two days ago.

Tucked delicately away in a Christmas bag was her old Dressage bridle I had been lusting after all year long - a love affair I was keen on mentioning every chance I could get. When she had purchased a new bridle and offered me her older one, I couldn't really justify the purchase and it was swept under the rug. I did, however, drop numerous hints to the SO to purchase the bridle for me.

Little did I know that my friend had already contacted the SO and had made arrangements to gift the bridle to me for Christmas - how thoughtful of her!

The bridle itself is a BR Premiere Dijon, and it is excessively fancy. I'm excited to snap some more photos come Spring time - especially with mare's mane done up in braids and whatnot.

So this morning, in the sub-zero temperatures, I just had to go put it on Suzie and see how it fitted. Over the course of the next few wearings, it'll be refitted and put on much nicer (my fingers were literally frozen and Suzie was more concerned with eating her breakfast, although she did pose quite posh for me).

I am delighted to give this bridle a new home - hopefully with some exciting new stories to be told.

Also, get a load of this mohawk. Omg.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Year in Review: 2015

This year it finally felt like things were coming together - I managed to tick off a few of my pre-generated goals, as well as surpass some of my own expectations. Truthfully, the year was chocked full and I don't really remember a time where I got to sit idle. As with all things in life, some ideas didn't go as planned and I had to make changes... but with adaptation, comes great memories - right?

Last year, I truthfully must admit I made some pretty random goals -  none of which I was truly certain would come to fruition. However, with the placement of the goals and the way the year played out, I am much more attuned to what some realistic expectations are and what is actually acheivable. Interestingly enough, the things we set out to do last minute were the things that surprised me and made my aspirations reach even higher.

Recapping on last year, I started off January with driving Spud, purchasing a kiddie saddle, and freaking out my mare had ulcers. I also planned my event schedule with the horses - which ironically enough did not go to plan.

February brought about the re-installment of goals, but the impending doom of Snowmageddon  (also this post too) made that pretty much impossible. Instead of pouting about not being able to ride due to the massive dump of snow, I decided to drown my sorrows in purchasing some horsey stuff from Riding Warehouse. Towards the middle of the month I was able to drive Spud and ride Suzie - and Suzie also decided to become a complete drama llama. I also changed the way I feed my horses to save on the hay wastage that had been occuring all year.

I had more issues with Suzie's shoe back in March - continuing from February. And as if the weather Gods were wanting to tempt me, they threw hundreds of inches of rain down into our little town. Admittedly, I did fall off the blogging wagon due to visiting my parents on the island, but I redeemed myself by posting a Happy 2 Year Anniversary to my mare. And after some successful rides on Suzie and ground-drives with Spud, I hit a bit of a road-block with the little shit-head.

Hitting off April with a ride on Suzie seemed like the best way to begin the month. I partook in lots of bloghops, photo sharing opportunities and spa-days for the horses. I continued to have a shitty time with Spud, and my  red-mare ended up falling during one of our rides. Thankfully, we started to get somewhere and Suz was able to help me get over my frustrations with Spud. Towards the end of April, we had a little case of NQR-ness in Suzie, I started the Probiotic treatment for Miss Mare, and both horses saw the Vet.

Once I got the all-clear from the Vet in May, I climbed back up into the saddle. I blogged an entire weeks worth of fun - including cantering in harness and trail riding. The end of May had a sad closing, as my little rattum passed away.

June: the introduction of clipping for Spud among other things. I trailered Spud into town to take my Grandma for a ride, rode Suzie, and took my nephew riding - all found here. Perhaps in the most exciting of news, both horses were taken to a town a few hours away for a driving clinic where Spud was a superstar. This was also the debut of my brand new harness I bought for Spud. Let's not forget when the tire blew up on the horse trailer on our way home from the driving clinic. I also whined about how I needed lessons, and then promptly booked some.

Tail end of June and beginning of July brought on some riding lessons on my main squeeze. And as if I didn't complain enough about the snowfall and rainfall, I complained some more about the amount of heat we were receiving. I also re-told the tale of how my mare almost sunk when a friend and I tried to take the horse's swimming. Suzie came out OK, although a bit sore and stiff. I blogged about the myths behind owning old horses and what the real "truths" are. And I also began my flip-flopping between Western and English riding with my poor, tolerant mare.

August set off with a horse show, which I decided to blog about later, after I wrote about how hot my mare gets in the show pen. After the some-what disasterous show, I came up with a game plan for the BVX show, to make it a positive outing. But before I took Suzie away to a show, I hitched Spud back up after a 1.5 month hiatus and practice drills were initiated. Oh, and I disclosed that I bought a very expensive Dressage saddle. And then... ready or not, we were off.

The BVX recap dominated my first posts for September - here, here and here. And before I even had time to breathe, I posted yet another recap from a Fall Schooling Show where Suzie and I played English pony and LOVED it. I also gave a long-overdue update on the property we purchased last October. Spud celebrated his gotcha day/birthday all in one. I also reviewed my favorite blanket ever. The end of September brought about a friend's wedding and lastly, I talked about another life lesson I learnt courtesy of my mare.

Ah, October. It started the best way ever - with a birthday montage of my dog. And ironically enough, I also posted about how often my goals changed and why I chose to not keep so much "track" of them, like I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post. I posted (I'm sure a few times) about how Spud is a huge asshole and escaped his pen. Flooding came and went with the crazy weather, and a good friend's mare passed away. To bring some happiness back to the blog, I announced I had finally bought a horse trailer. And Suzie went back to her heritage and we chased some cans. My last post of October showcased that the trailer restoration began.

At the start of November, I recapped the fun Halloween Jackpot I had entered both horses into. I also shared the tricks I had began teaching Spud. My second ever bloghop went off without a hitch and reached a few hundred readers! I also blogged about riding another red-head - more specifically a gelding. The second installment of the trailer restoration also came out.

Which brings us to December, where the days are short and the nights are long. Wherein I recounted the Lights Festival I took Spud to. And I also blogged a pity-party for one and shared my AQHA award. I reminisced one one whole year of Spud. Part 3 and 4 of the horse trailer restoration was blogged about. Some sporadic bareback rides have happened, but nothing too crazy.

All in all, it was a busy, crazy year and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I learned a lot and grew even more as a person - here's to another year just as crazy and fun as the last.

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of my readers.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Snapshot Saturday

I apologize for the infrequent posting - I literally have nothing interesting to blog about, but now that I have two weeks for Christmas-break, I hope to have some well-needed (and deserved!) pony time. As a commemoration of my Christmas-break holiday, and so that my regular readers know I haven't died, I've decided to share a few photos!


Hopefully my camera will be getting some regular use - I can't remember the last time I snapped some nice photos of my critters!

The mare - Ruler of the Roost!

Spud - the little shit who got out AGAIN this past
Wednesday. Thankfully with the snow, I was able to see
his tracks and block him from getting out again. But srsly horse.

Ty - the handsome 11 year old :)

The Odd Couple - similar photo to the one I took last year.

I did family photos for some friends on this road
last Sunday.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Trailer Restoration: Part 4 (And a mini update)

A bunch of "little" things have been done to the trailer over this past weekend, and only a few are really noticeable changes. The little "to do" list is getting shorter and shorter, which is so nice to see. I'll be relieved when this thing is finally done!

Placing the side stripping on and installing the windows!

Putting the other front window in. You can see
the stripping we laid down across the roof bars so the
roof has some extra cushion. It didn't have anything like that

So over the weekend we still managed to cross a long list of things off the "chore" list. The windows were re-installed, all the "junk" went back into the trailer, the fenders had stripping laid into them and were re-attached, the tack room doors got an extra piece of checker-plate, all the edges and whatnot got sealed with silicone and we put extra rivets into the checker-plate in the front. I still have to head out and buy some vinyl, foam, and plywood for the bumper pads (we are going to redo them).

So what's left?

- Bumper pads need to be re-cut and finished.
- Electrical needs to be completely rewired. (Hopefully by the end of this week!)
- Floor needs to go down.
- Foam stripping around edges of doors. 
- Rubberize the latches on the back of the trailer.
- Painting touch-ups to be completed.
- Fix the chains/ links. (The chains which connect the trailer to the truck don't have the best clips).

This is pre-sealing, not that you could tell the difference anyways.

The trailer has gotten pretty dirty from all the installations of windows, etc.

So, it's getting pretty close to being finished. If we really push, I'm sure we could get it done by the end of the week. Boyfriend is already thinking of switching out the fender trim for checker-plate as well, so that could be added onto the list as well.

Other than the trailer, things have been going OK. I shouldn't complain, but the need to vent is stronger than my ability to keep it all in...

Unfortunately, the car is a write off, which doesn't bode very well with me considering it technically isn't *my* vehicle. I feel pretty awful for the Boy and right now we are down to one vehicle... I suppose it could be worse, though. But it's been a pretty crappy last few weeks as I came to find my remaining rat, Rattitina, lifeless at the bottom of her cage last Tuesday. And then lastnight found a slow-leak in my winter tire from picking up a nail. Oh, and work announced everyone is getting a 9% pay deduction. So yah... things aren't so awesome right now.

But I did manage to get some pony time on Sunday afternoon with the red-mare and it made me happy.

We just toodled out bareback with a friend and it was nice... she was a bit spooky but nothing really crazy. I have to remind myself to take these kinds of breathers - it's good for my mental health.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Trailer Restoration: Part 3

If this trailer restoration process has taught me anything, it is that nothing comes without blood, sweat, and tears. I had an idea in my head of how I wanted the trailer to come out looking, and it's kind of ironic that it is evolving and molding into something even better.

I know a lot of my readers are probably interested in what this has costed me - to completely strip down a trailer and refurbish it couldn't be that inexpensive.... or could it?

Let's all take a moment to remember what she looked like upon
Truthfully, the break-down in cost for this trailer is minimal - the Boy's dad owns a painting and sandblasting shop (convenient!) and he has been allowing us to utilize his shop facilities, old paint (not literally old, but paint they will never be using again), as well as discounts in purchasing the sheet metal. The Boy gave me a rough estimate on a break-down of "real life" costs and right now we'd be sitting around $6000-$8000 just for the sand-blasting, painting, paint, labor, sheet metal, etc.

So what have I paid out of pocket for this rebuild?

Well, with the cost of some materials and products, I have about $800 invested into the trailer thus far. My end cost will most likely be around $1000 with the new bumper pads.

Not bad considering I scored this trailer for a mere $1750.

Now, onto the fun part. Photos and progress!

The checker-plate came in last Friday!

The Boy painting the roof - the actual color is a dark
metallic grey.

Fenders - resanded and painted.

Stripe goes on.

The inside of the trailer was painted with a beige-tint, as
there were no more "extra" cans of white paint so we
had to decide if I wanted to purchase more white paint out of my
own pocket (roughly $100/can) or if I wanted them to mix
a light beige up from other colors. I opted for the cheap option,

Another view of the inside vs the outside. (The doors are
going to remain white, but have not yet been finally painted).

The stripe was lined with tape and the remainder of the body was
painted, including the rims of the tires.

Roof and fenders were slapped on!
Now the only thing missing is the checker plate... oh and windows.

Checker-plate is assembled and it looks
pretty damn sexy.

Now to mount the other fender and implant the windows.

So tonight we re-install the windows, the rest of the chrome pieces on the outside and hopefully remount the spare tire. After that, it's re-lining the bumper pads and installing them.... and then waiting to get the electrical installed by a friend.... and then laying down the flooring. She'll be ready for her maiden voyage soon!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TRM December Blog Hop: 12 Days of Christmas

Since I had an overwhelming response from the blogging community regarding my last blog hop, I figure I'd do something a bit funner and more interesting!
Sorry to be overly "plain" but I do not have a
Bloghop banner/tag.
Basically, this blog-hop is a play on the "12 Days of Christmas" song and bloggers are encouraged to put their own spin into it - pictures, gifs, etc! It doesn't even have to be 100% horse-related (feel free to include other owned animals, vehicles, husbands [ha ha ha!], etc).

You will also notice that I have joined the game in linking-up. This will mean that you guys can easily add yourself instead of having to wait for me to add you in. Enjoy the hop and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me....


On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me....


On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me....


On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me....
(RIP Ratticus <3)

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...


On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Merry Christmas to you all :) 

One Year of Spud

As most of you guys know, Spud came home officially on November 29th, 2014. I have been meaning to make this post for a while, but things have gone to the way-side and I will make up for it by posting hilariously cute and some rare and unseen candid Spud-isms!

I was tagged in his ad by his future driving trainer (she was helping me look for a miniature):

Spud's ad photos.

And nearly a week later, I bought him and he was sent, sight unseen to a trainer I had never met. Apparently I'm super smart when it comes to this horse buying thing.

But I'm glad I took a chance. He's turned out to be a pretty radical little dude.

His first night home, he laid down and started eating his food
like this. No, he wasn't colicking. I think he was just tired from
the long journey.

Suzie and her minion, Winter 2014.

Taking my 90 year old Grandma for a spin. She was so excited
and kept giving me pointers on how to drive him properly. LOL

Trotting down the road, amidst several dogs.

One of our first drives, back in December 2014.

Showing how broke he is.

Added the nephew briefly.

Our very first drive, November 30th.

That time we let him in the house.

Hanging out in the snow.

Snowmageddon, February 2015.

First drive away from home and in an indoor arena.

Spring is in the air!

Our first clinic, July 2015.

Looking pretty trim and fresh.

Coal-miners pony.

Making friends.

This is how we trail ride.

Matching game on point.

In the midst of a heat wave.

Showing off his extended trot.

That tail!

Another afternoon drive.

BMFF (Best Man Friend Forever) and Roxy.

Halloween 2015.

Tackling random obstacles on a hand-drive.

Winter 2015.

Announcement that went out a year ago on November 29th.

Festival of Lights

On to more exciting adventures and more memories.

Here's to many more years together.