Sunday, December 30, 2012

Highlights from 2012

I really didnt post much this last fact, this final post makes 101! Wow! Coming from someone who used to post near daily, thats quite a leap. But life tends to change things...

The big change in January was that Milo and I moved from our boarding facility forty minutes away, to a smaller, quieter (and cheaper) one 8 miles from home. Some days I still miss the old facility, but the drama has certainly gone down. We put hind shoes on Milo and attended a horse show that was really embarrassing, and Milo got his camo sleezy.
I STILL think its adorable. :)
Ah, February. We attended a horseshow with Sarah that did not offer reining, but in the process my truck left me stranded. I started really noticing and becoming frustrated with the imbalances in my body - it was also hard work to get used to the smaller arena, making all of our issues I could easily overlook front and center. I also went to Texas for the first time and visited my Dad as well as went to the NRCHA World Show which was really fun.
My favorite pair at the show. Looked the happiest and most natural
Milo turned eight years old and I was reminiscent of the journey we had taken so far. I had some really good rides on him (we were finally figuring out how to stay balanced in the arena), and I started learning the value of trail rides. Angie killed a barn swallow and I started my own crafting business, The Crafting Cowgirl!

Happy Birthday!
Sarah made her first trip to my barn for a lesson. I was getting frustrated in the arena and retreated more and more to the trail as the weather warmed a little, again learning its benefits. We got more work done at the property at home and I was dreaming of the day when Milo would finally arrive (still am).

Looking pretty clear of trees!

I started riding the fiery red mare, Cayenne, and got to put the first few rides on her. I also rode a few other people's horses for tune ups. Pain in my back was really starting to take a grip on me and I knew pretty soon I would have to do something about it (still a problem actually...). I took Milo to an impromptu local horse show to try the Western Pattern class and practice our lead changes in another arena.

I cant skip a picture of Miss Pretty Cayenne!
I had some epiphany moments for my lead changes were starting to become solid. I went to my first Quarter Horse show, although it was a Rookie one. We had an awful run in our class but I learned that I really needed to stay in the moment and ride the horse I know I have, not the one I want. I spent a lot of quality time with Milo this month and took tons of photos.

Angie and Milo
Horse show season was in full swing and I went to some Zone shows in Port Angeles and FINALLY broke the 70! I was ecstatic. I beat myself up over my own body issues again, had one of Sarah's students come ride with me, which helped, and attended another two-day show in Port Angeles where Milo won two overall neck ribbons in Novice Reining and Stock Horse Halter.

My little red Ford hauled one of it's last half-ton hay loads (though at the time I didnt know that). I had fun at the County Fair helping the mini horses (and Spanky!), spent more time on the trail (even took you guys along for the ride), got the professional photos from the July horse shows, and attended the last one for the season in Port Angeles, which didnt go as planned because I forgot the pattern in EVERY class

I had only four posts in September: one on our spins and the online video I found which changed my mindset on how I approached it and has seemed to help. I posted on another way to work on circles, my hatred for run in patterns, and a bad ride I had on Wesley. No photos from this month.
Apparently I never posted about the WA State Finals Show?? Well, Milo and I went, got nearly last in all three of our classes, and I felt pretty stupid after going. In reality, we were just up against some really good riders and our mid to upper range 60 scores just werent a match. I had fun though as this was a show I was wanting to go to for years.

Let's see, I took some more photos of the Baby, he got that awful cut on his face, needed to be doctored and kept on stall rest, got his winter clip, and I ended my job at Costco and went to Texas for a week to see my Dad before starting my new job.

My friend Caitlyn giving him a clip. 
Two whole posts! You can see my new job really has had me busy...I had a really good few rides on Milo when I came home from Texas and really enjoyed spending time with him. I also started using the slow-feed hay net for his evening feedings, which I still like. I started my new job at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

I realized the importance of making time for Milo, even in my busy work schedule. I have found a way to be happy with the fewer rides, which doesnt necessarily mean less time spent with Milo (as chores still need to be done), but have found that the time we do get together is really rewarding and I am constantly reminded how much my horse really enjoys spending time with me too. I posted some Christmas photos of the Baby, and some from our ride in the snow and my new buckle.

2012 was good, for the most part.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas was Good to Me!

I honestly have had stuff to post, I just havent had the time. Then it feels like the moment is gone and its too late to share that "update". For instance, when I have a little bit of down time at work, I have jotted down a few "from the past" stories in my little notebook that I have wished to share, plus a Milo update, but now thats been nearly three weeks since I wrote those and they arent really updates anymore....

But Milo and I are both doing well. Taking it easy this winter with once or twice weekly rides. I didnt get his second clip scheduled in time and so his original clip is starting to grow out, but with the way this winter has worked into fewer rides it seems to be for the better anyways. He has been happy and the funny thing is, although I havent ridden as much, when I do get on and go in the arena we have nearly perfect rides. I remember again how much this horse loves to work.

So we had a white Christmas up here in Washington this year (the snow has actually stuck around at my house for about two and a half weeks now), and I had the incredible fortune to get a trail ride in on a beautiful snowy day. My facebook friends saw these photos when they were taken about a week ago, but now you all can too. Just some of my favorites from the day...

He's turned into a bit of a chunk!
Beautiful snow on one of my favorite stretches of trail
Love this view. :)
Been considering making this one my new header. 
Oh and check out those gloves boyfriend bought me. It was when I was at the Mario clinic and he left for lunch then came back with goodies from the farm store! :) I have REAL riding gloves!
He had a few good rolls when we got back :)

So handsome

being a goober :) But I loves him
So, to continue with the title's post, Boyfriend got me this really neat gift. For any APHA members, you might have seen the limited edition buckle and clothing items in celebration of their 50 year anniversary. Buckles were limited to 500 pieces and I had my eye on one of those since their announcement. Well, Boyfriend listened to my pleas and got me one for Christmas! It's so beautiful, and I've literally always wanted an APHA buckle but the ones I had seen available (before this one) just didnt appeal to me. But now I have my buckle, and its limited (stamped 464), and its an anniversary edition. Very cool!

So, what kind of awesome stuff did ya'll get??

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Season's Greetings from Milo and I!

Some of my favorites for cards...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Something I MUST Make Time For

No, I have no dropped off the face of the planet - just been busy. Sorry if anyone was concerned or is long and exhausting (but I'm not complaining!) and I have a hard time fitting in everything I need to get done during the day just after I get off work and preferably before the sun really goes down at 5pm. Making time to actually ride has been hard, although I do still see Milo each night for feeding and chores, and love and cuddle time.

I have found that the nights that I actually make myself ride (and yes, I do have to make myself...I tend to guilt myself into it because I know how important it is for Milo to get out) I am so happy that I did and just kick myself for not making ride time a priority over errands, making dinner, and business-related chores at home. While the laundry pile increases daily and although I promise I will get tasks done around the house on the weekend (then end up being asked to come in the weekend), I have been feeling a little less then motivated to get on a ride.

But, tonight I did make myself get on. I had been wanting to get a "real" ride in since this last weekend when I had the opportunity to ride (got off at noon), but found the arena packed with three other horses trying to take advantage of the sunny Sunday afternoon. So I was limited to a walk with a few strides at the trot. Which ended up being a good route anyway as Milo hadnt been out in a few days, the weather had changed, and the largest horse in the arena, a beautiful Gypsy Vanner named Seamus, was bewildered by all the strange horses and acting silly. At one point, in fact, Milo threw out some little crow hops and acted silly - just the same way he used to when he got excited on the drill team if any of you remember me posting about that. He gets this look where his ears go forward and together, but turned out (kinda looks like bunny ears), his head goes down and he started bouncing - literally its like he just leaps in place a little. Its kinda cute.

Anyway, I wanted to get a more productive ride in so I mounted up and had a really nice ride. I was again reminded how important it is to give my horse this opportunity to not only stretch his legs, but exercise his mind as well. I have found time and again that he truly enjoys work, no matter what any crazy PETA people might say, my horse loves to have a job and loves to be ridden. I was thrilled with the time spent with him as well. The nights I dont make time for cuddles and kisses Milo keeps an annoyed look about him. But I must have a different air about me when I do have the time and effort because he is happy and content.

Before I rode I snuggled with him in the arena next to the mounting block. He dropped his head down and I wrapped my arms and upper body around his head and neck - stroking his big beautiful face and watching his eyes so heavy enjoying the touch. My ride was great and afterwards I patted his neck all the way back down to the barn, so happy with my horse, who walked contently beside me, ears pricked and a happy look about him.

After I cleaned his stall and stripped off his navy cooler, he must have sensed that soon I would toss his winter blanket back on and leave. He stepped away from his hay net and looked out his open stall door (he was tied in the stall on a long-ish rope - enough slack to allow him dinner and access to water). I walked into his stall readying myself to give him his last groom and he easily blocked my path with his head and looked right at me, begging for more time. I happily obliged and snuggled some more with him, breathing in his scent and enjoying his big soft face. Finally I broke our moment and finished up.

I untied him, gave him a few cookies for stretches, and went to leave. He stood by his water, then followed to the closed stall door as I passed the stall. He watched me attempt to leave. I made the mistake of looking back and seeing his begging face. So I stepped in front of the bars of the stall - he reached his nose through them and nosed my hand looking for more treats. When there were no more, he began licking my hands like a happy dog. His eyes went heavy again and I was taken back to the first day I met this awesome horse; he licked my hands for five solid minutes that day until I broke free. That was when I was sold on this horse. I enjoyed every moment this evening of him slobbering all over my hands. This long time licking is not something he does all the time - it most often seems to be when he really craves attention and honestly seems to simply enjoy my company. I need to remember how integral I am in his life instead of just how much he means to me, and when I can make the time for more then just chores.