Archive for the ‘Fiona’ Category

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Acclimating Chloe

April 22, 2013

Yesterday Chloe got a fair glimpse of what life is going to look like in her immediate future. 

1.  Emily really likes to groom horses and cares not if red-headed mares think they don’t like it. My desire to have SHINY PONIES far outweighs grouchy faces and threats.

half a mare was curried off

half a mare was curried off

2.  Emily is lazy therefore prefers to ride out silliness rather than have to lug a lunge line to the arena.

(after all – they are sooo heavy 😉 )

all rides end like this no matter how they start

3.  Much of life out of the stall/pasture involves standing around while I yell at people ( 😉 ), take pictures, and do a variety of non-productive non-training-ish things. Patience and chillaxing are virtues and skills.

Magic had his first full ride under someone else – Jess!

4.  We always end on a good note under saddle, on the ground and afterwards with a bucket.

nom nom nom

Chloe is really incredibly sweet. She’s definitely a mare – but she’ll soon learn that she can be a ladylike mare.

The other two got baths and played with Jess and Maggie… my trusty sidekicks.

Magic’s first bath was just about as exciting as every other new thing. *Zzzzzzzzz* 😀

Life cereal is clearly the greatest treat in the world according to Fiona

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Ride #7 – Cavaletti!

April 18, 2013

After two very serious (not really) dressage-y rides I thought it would be fun to give Magic a peek at the other skill we need to be working on – jumping 😀

Thursdays are now, officially, Wife and Pony Day according to The Husband. (Have I told you how excellent he is?) Since his pony time involves leaping and cavorting with Fiona I thought introducing baby cavaletti was a good idea.

At first approach The Dark Horse thought, “OHMYGODITWANTSTOKILLME!!” Enter Auntie Fiona… The Husband and The Pony escorting him safely over the horse-eating pole. The second attempt involved us tripping and almost falling to our deaths (or so he thought 😉 ) The third attempt involved jumping really big!! Every attempt after looked pretty much like this…

He works for pats

He works for pats

And then we trotted… that was not as pretty, but that was probably more due to our lack of turning ability and our poorly placed cavaletti.

[youtube:youtube.com/watch?v=M0te-IF-o9g]

Then we took a break to watch The Husband and The Pony and their shenanigans.

[youtube:youtube.com/watch?v=uzGjC4sT8LM]

Then it was time for some cantering…

And after seeing that leg of mine I ran straight to the weights… Oy.

[youtube:youtube.com/watch?v=Wp8ycA9zscw]
[youtube:youtube.com/watch?v=m-XWYmizUFg]

There is much hope for the right lead – and DAMNNNNNNN he’s got a nice stride! No wonder he was a little rocket at the track!

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Weekend Update

April 15, 2013

To say this weekend was busy would be an understatement.

Friday night was date night. Just me, my husband, two friends and four thousand rowdy hockey fans. We hoped our beloved San Francisco Bulls would stay alive in the playoffs in their inaugural season… but it didn’t happen. We still had fun – and GO BULLS next year!

Next weekend I am running in my first ever race. It’s a 5k but I’m not smart and starting off with just a plain 5k – I’m going a trails challenge. Why? I have NO IDEA. I blame Janette 😉

So I got up bright and early for my long run. I intended to run four miles. I was positive that Lake Merced was 4 miles around, on the dot, if I didn’t take the short-cut bridge. Whoopsie – it was almost 5.

I survived. Barely.

I survived. Barely.

The Husband picked me up and we headed out to breakfast.

Ok - that really looks good despite all the animal inconvenience.

Ok – that really looks good despite all the animal inconvenience.

Then we met Ronda and Richard for a double-date at the driving range. We are a funsome foursome, for sure!

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After lunch I took The Husband back home so he could watch MOAR HOCKEYS and nap before his graveyard shift – then I headed to the barn with Jess. It’s so great – she has a great interest in learning the training part of riding and wanted to be my shadow at the barn. She’s the very best kind of sponge and I get to raise a mini-me that will allow me to take a weekend off with my family and know that my horses are under her loving guidance 😀

Magic continued to blow me away.

After that full day it’s really no surprise I was out cold by 9p 😉

Sunday was a slightly later start. I stopped in Vacaville and took my hand-me-down Tony Slatter dressage saddle (it’s brown!) to a saddle maker to be restuffed and repaired. I had decided I only wanted to put $300 into it – otherwise I’d just buy a used Wintec. The lovely man talked some sense into me. Spend $600 for a used Wintec that has 10 years in it – or put $600 into a saddle that’s got 30 years left in it. Ok – fine. I will be the proud owner of a totally rebuilt and classic BROWN saddle in 6-8 weeks. (The thought of a brown saddle on my sable brown gelding – or chestnut mare – is totally swoonable!)

After picking up Haley I went back to the barn. Molly was aghast – she said Magic’s #4 ride looked more like #45. I think I agree!

[youtube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH5WUD5X5uc]

We are actually doing straight lines! And circles! And even some leg-yielding at the walk! Oh – and STANDING QUIETLY!!

I am convinced he’s pretty much a super-genius super-athlete!! 😀

Then Jess got on – and he was totally unfazed by a change in rider. I schooled the Pones some and we all went out for a ride around the roads at the barn. You can see – he’s one of those totally crazy OTTBs – totally unsafe at any speed 😉

IMG_20130414_173448_272

Who’s more laid back? The OTTB or the Paint? I think it’s a toss-up!
(I know it was NOT the pony I was on! 😉 )

Yes – I am 100% positive this horse – a winning race horse – is going to be the poster child for life after the track.

Also – my life is goooooooood.

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Pinch me

April 11, 2013

I must be dreaming. The Husband asked to go to the barn. ASKED. Well, The Pony is pretty much his favorite pet but he wanted to spend time with me – and the ponies. (SQUEEEEEEE!!!)

ANY WAY… he wanted to be sure I could get on Magic today and I felt like I still needed the option to have someone there to lunge me. He’s good that way…

Magic is pretty much the greatest green Off The Track Thoroughbred EVER. I’m not sure I’ve ever ridden a horse that so desperately wants me to be happy! He tries.

So, after a 5 minute twirl around on the lunge line I just got on and went. And it went wellllll.

Please keep in mind this was his second ride…

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J0CAg_s4Uk&feature=youtu.be”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J0CAg_s4Uk&feature=youtu.be%5D

So steering still needs some work – but “round” will not be a problem for him at all!  Also, at the walk to the right I thought he felt more like a drunken sailor but at the trot he was already listening to my inside leg and staying on the rail.

I was a good baby!!

I was a good baby!!

And while I was riding, The Husband and The Pony were enjoying each other’s company.

OMG they are adorable

OMG they are adorable

So after a successful ride in the outdoor arena without a lunge line or a lead, we headed out for a walk on the roads. He was perfect. We walked on the buckle and were all smiles… We were having so much fun that we got super brave and we decided to do a bit of work on the grass jumping court!

IMG_0167

The picture of relaxation – OUTSIDE!

The REAL subject of the photographer's eye ;-)

The REAL subject of the photographer’s eye 😉

(zoom in to see Magic being amazing)

And then the BEST part of the afternoon…. SCOTT JUMPED FIONA!!!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWVw-lSKX5o&feature=youtu.be%5D

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Sweet freedom

April 10, 2013

Magic is one happy little camper. He’s been released from quarantine and is a happy resident of the boys’ pasture.

IMG_0136

Bodie doing what Bodie loves to do: bite butts. Hopefully Magic will kick him in the face!

After a week of rain, this sun and wind is drying up the mud in short order!

I was a little worried that Magic would hate me. I stuck him in a terrible stall and made him work, after all. My fears were unwarranted – as soon as he heard me call him he knickered and trotted right up to me. I am going to assume that’s because he loooooooves me and not just because he’s a darling, social little horse. 😉

Just to reinforce that I do, indeed, love him to bits and I’m not just a big meanie who locked him in a cave – I just took him out for grooming and a bucket.

I brought Fiona out for the same and whilst admiring my gorgeous equine family it hit me…

I like big butts, and I cannot lie.

Seriously – look at those asses!

Wide Load 1 and Wide Load 2

Wide Load 1 and Wide Load 2

Dat ass! It’s made for flying over fences – high and fast!

I’m sure it’s some subliminal compensation for my own fatassitude. At Kitty’s suggestion I am founding Feed the Sandbags International where big bottomed creatures of all species can gather… and EAT! 😀

I could stare at this horse all day long.

I could stare at this horse all day long.
(even if he does knock my phone in the dirt)

Can you tell that my barn life is very good right now? Thanks to my amazing family, my home life is even better! They have been SAINTS about not having dinner on the table and me being good for almost nothing other than offsetting some of the horse expense with a paycheck and creating laundry. So. Much. Laundry.

As good as things are, they are going to get even better… When The Husband lovingly put his foot down and told me that I was only “allowed” to ride for myself and follow my passion all kinds of good karma came rushing my way. Mostly in the form of HORSES!

In about 10 days, the equine family will grow to THREE! Eeeek! OMG! and YAY!! Anyone looking for a nice little dressage mare should look me up… I’ll have a beaut for sale shortly!

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The new girl.

And again… because I really can’t do it too much… THANK YOU to The Husband and to The Child for loving me and supporting me and allowing me to do this thing that makes me so incredibly happy. Without you two, I am nothing.

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Magic and Fiona… fast friends

April 6, 2013

When two very well-mannered horses meet for the first time and get to play, it’s a joy to behold! And these two PLAYED. They’ll be spending a lot of time together – I’m sure glad they enjoyed each other’s company. It’s a blessing to have two such well socialized horses.

Magic learned right off the bat that Fiona may be small, but she’s competitive. Clearly, she took the fancy racehorse to task and let him know that it takes some serious effort to out-run her 😉

(and AAACCCKKKK! even the big camera was foiled by the blasted fog and rain!)

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Giving Thanks

November 26, 2010

We certainly had a great Thanksgiving Day and a half! I sure hope you did, too!

Our merriment started on Wednesday night when we went to see the Blackhawks get beat to holy hell by play the Sharks.

As soon as we got home at 11:30p I headed to the kitchen. I didn’t think I would last long because I was so tired, but the next thing I knew I had finished the cranberry relish, cubed and toasted bread for stuffing, baked a cake, made sweet potato pie and cleaned the kitchen.

Our fridge was packed to the gills!

I hadn’t broke out my trusty Kitchenaid sidekick since last Christmas. Oh, how I have missed her! I shan’t keep her out of commission that long ever again!

I was back up at 6:30a to bake the sweet potato pie, make stuffing, make frosting and set the table.

At 9:30a, done with all my cooking except what had to be done right before we sat down, I slipped out for a nice ride.

Boy am I thankful for the ponies – especially our pony, Fiona. She’s a special little beast. She’s incredibly sweet and gentle and a joy to handle from the ground – but get on her and she’s a firecracker! The big horses can’t keep up with her cracked-out-pony speed walking 😛 The day was so gorgeous that I was back in the barn before I realized I didn’t take my camera. That’s ok… it was amazing to have a couple hours break from Thanksgiving preparation to be with the wee one for a wonderful trail ride. (Next time the mud ball will get a bath!)

While I was gone, The Man was busy cooking his first bird. He did a great job! He even made his mom’s traditional stuffing. (I love him!)

Because we had some guests that usually eat vegetarian and gluten-free I really had to put on my cooking/thinking cap. It was SO FUN to have to think and be creative in my cooking. I actually glanced at recipes!!

I even took it up a level and it’s all vegan and gluten-free! And it was DELICIOUS!! I stumbled upon 2 new concoctions that will surely be seen again – the sweet potato pie topped with candied pecan crunch and tofu cutlets with creamy mushroom sauce. YUM!

I know that our guests enjoyed it!

Let me take a moment to tell you how much I love Scott’s friends. His best friend John and his parents are great. And I’m not sure I could love Steve and Nancy any more than I do! It was really a great bunch!

And to top off a lovely holiday the freeways were deserted this morning. It took 11 minutes from our house to the office.

Thank you!

Starstone/by Veronica Merlin

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