Thursday, April 30, 2015

El Establo

Don't mind me, just wowing you with my lingual skills. Nevermind that establo means "stall" and not "barn". You get the point. You're all suitably wowed at my one Spanish word, am I right?

Totally right.

I thought I'd do a post on Bobby's new digs. Nothing too exciting is going on at the moment--that's what happens when your horse actually keeps his brain in his fucking head for more than one ride in a row (lolz, just cursed myself), or you're just feeling too damn lazy to do anything but wander around on trails and enjoy the gorgeous weather that's finally rolled in.


SO! The barn.

returning from a trail ride. from the left: indoor, stalls, more stalls with tack room/hay loft above.
the horse with the big stripe is bobby's bff ricky. 

I contacted a couple of places that I found online when we got the news that Hubby was being transferred. Out of those, only one got back to me, and it ended up being the one I was leaning most heavily towards anyway.

The basic specs are these:

  • 100X200 outdoor with sand footing
  • 70X120 indoor with rubber/sand mix footing
  • 2 outdoor wash racks with access to hot water
  • Heated bathroom
  • 12 stalls
  • Group or individual turnout
  • Two looping miles of trails onsite, with access to twelve miles of trails at their smaller barn in the next town over
  • No extra cost for blanket changes, fly masks, etc.
The arenas are immaculately maintained. They get dragged every morning, and I've yet to see a poof of dust rise up in either one. There are about 8-10 sets of jump standards that vary from 3' to 4' tall, which is a little weird to jump since we school 3' on a regular basis, and that obviously puts the pole on top of the standard. 

hello, beautfiul.

the outdoor from the indoor.

The paddocks are...okay. I don't think most of you would even blink at them since the group fields are pretty large, but you really can't beat the size and quality of our last barn's fields. The field Bobby's in is currently split in half to let grass grow on the other side for summer, and grazing is supplemented with a giant hay feeder.

The hay quality is amazing and consistent. The BO's in-laws make it themselves, and it is seriously gorgeous stuff. I actually felt confident dropping the amount of grain Bobby was getting a bit because I think this hay will fill that void just fine.

The only snafu was that for the first week, I'm not sure if Bobby even knew what the fuck the hay feeder was. I'd bring him in to his stall to tack up, and he'd inhale every last scrap of hay he could find like he wasn't getting anything to eat during the day. I thought for sure the paint pony in his paddock wasn't letting him eat, so one day I shooed the pony away and physically stuffed Bobby's head into the hay.

The very next day, I arrived to find Bobby and the pony sharing hay side by side with no issues. I don't think I've pulled up since then and not found my horse with his face in food.

"who cares about friends? look at all this food i have!"

Sometimes he has the dumb and cannot horse properly.

I need someone to come out and show me the trails on property. I don't want to accidentally wander onto someone's land that I'm not supposed to be on. We've mostly just been walking in circles anyway since everything is still super wet. 

"are we going in the water? because i'll sing right now."

Bobby's stall is something like 10X12 which is smaller than the 12X14 he was in while in PA, but still plenty big enough for my giant pony to get a good nap. All the stalls are open on the top half, and he's enjoyed hanging his head out and mugging for treats when he's inside. 

Overall, I'm satisfied with the place. The BO told me today that there might be two eventers coming in, and I really hope that's the case. These weird scheduled cross country schooling days are in the middle of the week, so I can't go unless I have someone to go with. Someone come be my eventing friend!

In other news, positive vibes would be appreciated for my tiny Striper cat. She's currently on an IV for massive kidney failure that literally came out of nowhere. Fingers crossed she pulls through!

stripes soaking up the sun

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Oh Lawdy

Can we move back to Pennsylvania yet? I'm so over New York. Not that I was ever down with it anyway, but the fact that it snowed every fucking day last week, and thought about having an encore Monday morning is not okay.

NOT OKAY.

trudging through the mud from the melting snow.
NOT OKAY.

So the move is officially over. At least I hope so. We have the interwebs now, so my life can go on even if there are a few boxes that need to be sorted through still. INTERWEBS IS MOST IMPORTANT.

My giant bay donkey got moved as planned nearly two weeks ago. We got to the barn at eight, and I barely refrained from being a big sobbing mess saying goodbye to my barn family. I plan on going back down for a few days in July for the rodeo and one of the camps. I need to finish the rest of Bobby's costumes after all, and BO has pledged herself to help.

Bobby and Memphis said their goodbyes with some bittersweet face licks courtesy of our favorite Dutch Hippo, and then we headed out for the new trailer's first loaded adventure with us. Hubby was like, "I hope he goes on this." Psh, Hubby. Please.

Bobby rounded the turn in the driveway and proceeded to drag me very rudely towards his open chariot. I actually had to get very rude back to get him to stop before he dragged us both right into the still latched butt bar. Bobbys love adventures, especially if it means the jumping and the running.
Of course he didn't know he'd be standing on the thing for five hours with no jumping or running at the other end. Worst road trip ever!

surveying the new grounds

I followed along behind in the car with our two kitties, one who whom went right to sleep and didn't make a peep the whole ride. The other one spent the five hours continuously yowling to be freed so he could puke on my seats. Nice try, fat cat. You shut your mouth.

Bobby alternated napping, playing with his hay net, and occasionally actually eating his hay instead of just flinging it through the air. He is the best at traveling.

When we were finally able to unload him, he wasn't too impressed with these horse show grounds. He refused to enter the barn and stood there like a good mule staring around him for nearly ten minutes. After a long stop and start process, I finally got him in his stall so he could pee and get unwrapped before going out to his temporary isolation paddock.

That, at least, was uneventful. He sniffed around, rolled in the dirt, drank some water, and started eating his hay. Seriously the best at traveling.

A couple days later, he got turned out in the "big" paddock (coming from a twelve acre turnout field, nothing looks big up here) with three other geldings. They walked him around for all of thirty seconds before getting bored and playing halter tag with each other. Bobby ate some stubbly grass and ignored them.

just doing donkey stuff.

I haven't seen any of the other horses go yet. I've run into a couple of people as they're coming or going, but I've mostly been flying solo. No doubt these people are loaded enough to just have pretty ponies sitting in a field if they wanted.

Last weekend, Hubby and I walked out of the barn to find my thirteen year old Saturn sandwiched between an Escalade and a brand new Camaro.  When I got done riding Tuesday, I'd been joined by a shiny black Range Rover.

Is that downsizing? Upsizing?

I'll tell you what it is: boarding too close to Rochester proper.

Maybe I'm still feeling bitter about how badly we're being raped on rent for our house, and how I could go snag a couple of racetrack ponies from Fingerlakes to let stand in a field and look pretty if my soul hadn't been used as collateral for the security deposit.

dear leg, let's get married. i love you.

As a whole though, the few people I've met have been very polite. I wouldn't say friendly because they simply do the little closed mouth smile thing, say hello, and scamper away. The woman who does stalls is very friendly though, and she's the only one I've carried on a conversation with that was more than, "How did you come to live here? What part of Pennsylvania are you from? Okay, bye."

Although twice now I've also experienced this:

I say "Eventer" and they say, "I've been to the Genesee Valley Hunt races! They're amazing."

And then I say, "Well. That's very cool…but totally not the same thing."

Speaking of, our dressage is perhaps not as fancy as it could be since the indoor looks into Bobby's turnout, but hot damn is my horse acting like he's been trained to go over fences without killing anyone.

What. A. Concept.

He's been relaxed, attentive, adjustable, and just downright rideable. I actually came into a small bounce over the weekend, half halted a little with my shoulders, and he came back to a trot. I had to leg my horse on to canter the last stride!


Such magic.

He hasn't been backing off of course, he's just tuning me in instead of tuning me out. Yay for him trusting that sometimes I might know what the fuck is going on!


Of course it might help that my position is mother fucking on point lately. Srsly. My leg, it's like, "Imma be there for you" and my arms are like, "Imma go forward with dis horse, yeah?"


We're all one big happy jumping family.

To celebrate, or just to get the fucking ball moving here, we're doing a CT (dressage and stadium only, non-eventers) at Novice next Saturday in Geneseo. I thought about sticking on a Training stadium round, but I'm going to be flying solo since Hubby has to work, and I don't want any extra pressure added on to that.

There's a H/J show the weekend after that that I hope to go do the 3'-3'3" jumper division at, but we'll see what the money situation is. And from there? Who knows! I hate New York! I hate New York shows! Fuck you, New York!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Stop...

Hatin' is bad.

In the name of love.

Hammer time.

And on and on...

This is a PSA that ye ole bloggity blog is going a brief hiatus as we get moved. I should be back in two or three weeks. Possibly longer if I'm convicted of murder for killing Hubby, all the residents of New York state, or even just a few of the moving company's employees.

I'm trailering Bobby up on Sunday in case anyone is wondering and would like to divert us to a better location. Virginia maybe?

sir robert is ready to roll.

See ya on the other side!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Bonus Costume

just two bay dinosaurs getting their outfits worked on

"you give us cookies?"

all of the blue fabric we wanted for hair was sold out, so we improvised

"let me help you with that, best friend."

and there they are

thing 1 and thing 2

even matching faces of pure joy!

i won't have friends like these at my new barn. :(

they're both as uninhibited and hungry for cookies as bobby and i are

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

TOABH: 18 on the 18th

Coming up with 18 likable things about Bobby is going to be tough, and I know I won't do as good of a job as Beka did, but I have to at least try in order to honor the handsomest big bay Thoroughbred on his 18 birthday!


In honor of Archie's 18th birthday, tell me 18 things you love about your horse.

1. He's tolerant.

2. He has personality out the wazoo. (Blogger, you recognize "wazoo" as a word and not "oxer"? Really?)

"snackzzz!"

3. His ears are so large they would probably aid in flight if that was an option.

4.  He trusts me enough to at least attempt to do anything I ask him.

5. He's the fastest horse in the whole world...according to him.


6. He has gravel crunching, rock hard feeties that can go anywhere without trouble, mostly thanks to him not going lame as I learned to trim him myself.

7. He's besties with everyone and everything he meets, even if someone else doesn't like him, which isn't rare as he can be seriously obnoxious about asserting his friendliness.

8. He keeps himself clean while turned out.


9. No spook.

10. He'll trail ride through anything by himself or with other horses.

11. Big jumps look small from the back of a big horse.

giant horse is giant.

12. His trailer loading skillz are flawless.

13. His love for junk food and soft drinks.

14. How quickly he picks things up.

his intelligence really shines through

15. How he changes colors literally every month.

16. He'll get to the other side of the jump no matter how badly you screw up.

working it.

17. Despite less than ideal conformation, he's a seriously fancy mover.

18. His snoring is a barn favorite party trick.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Bubble wrap

For me, not my horse.

I could not stop getting bashed, burned, poked, or otherwise maimed over the weekend.

It started when I went to get Hubby's wallet out of his truck while we were signing the lease for our new house (that might be a post in and of itself, but we did end up with a place to move both ourselves and the hoss on Saturday), and it was horribly, atrociously, I-hate-New-York-ingly windy. I leaned into the truck and the door slammed closed, pinning my right knee between it and the door frame so hard I instantly dropped to the ground it hurt so fucking bad.

zoom zoom.

Sunday morning we went to the barn to finally get some outdoor riding shots. As I lifted my saddle onto Bobby's back, the girth that I usually secure in the straps on my saddle cover slid off and hit me buckles-first directly in the face. That wasn't much fun either.

warm up jump

Back at home, I got a face full of blowing, burning cinders as we got rid of a bunch of pallets Hubby had laying around. As I was helping bring them over to the fire, I tripped and rolled my ankle.

And that night, while working on a Bobby costume, I came within a millimeter of sewing my finger into a lime green tulle skirt. At that point I just waved the Fuck It Flag and went to bed.

pig dogs love modeling outfits.

So there's basically a whole post of me whining about being an unlucky idiot this weekend. Now for some quick pony stuff!

jumping the edge of the coop because bobby does what bobby wants

Our laid back jump school Sunday was a blast. Bobby was forward and light right from the get go, and he coasted around with a seriously fabulous canter. We kept the forward momentum over the cross rail and coop for warm up without ever getting rude or stupid.

Well. Only once getting stupid anyway. Bobby had just jumped the coop quietly out of stride, and as we came back around, Sarah called out that he looked so calm. Bobby took Great Offense to this. As soon as she said it, he burst forward and charged the coop because HE IS NOT A CALM HORSE, HE IS A RACEHORSE.

And then we came around again and he was fine. Point proven, Bobby. We'll never make that mistake again.



After warming up, we did a small one stride vertical (2'3") to oxer (2'6") line. I couldn't figure out the vertical to save my life, but for once I actually rode like a grown up and instantly upon landing moved on to make sure we nailed the oxer.

recovered and rocking

Bobby didn't really care either way. He was locked onto that oxer the second we turned in for the line. So happy to have his Good Horse brain back. It was definitely missing for awhile there.


We finished up playing over the cross rail a few times while marveling at Bobby's levitation skills.

magical floating horse

We didn't do much for the ride, but I was really happy with both of us. Bobby stayed chill and obedient, and so did my lower leg. My knee might hang six inches over the flap, but this saddle has really allowed me to put my leg where I want it and keep it there. I'm sure being religious about no stirrup work has helped as well.

solid.

Today Sarah and I played dress up and went for a bareback trail ride with our horses bedecked in dinosaur/alligator masks.

a relatively common sight at most barns.

what's common at our barn when i'm around.

I'll share the costume pictures later this week. They turned out pretty amazing.

rawr.

We attempted to go for a long trail ride, but Bobby got to the base of a hill and his brain couldn't decide whether to be good and walk up it, or bad and run up it. So instead it just exploded and he got stuck.

Literally.

He couldn't move because he was broken. As Sarah so aptly put it, "And this is why dinosaurs went extinct."

Eventually he decompressed enough that we were able to turn around and walk back to the barn. So speshul, Bobby.

bobby photo bomb

Friday, April 3, 2015

Costume Creations: Easter Lamb

Sweet baby Jesus, this costume took for-ev-er. It looked so simple when I was browsing pictures online. And it is simple. It just takes for-ev-er to do.

I started with a twin sized fitted bed sheet from Walmart. I didn't really care if it was long enough to cover Bobby's entire body, and it was cheaper than buying a yard or two of real fabric. I ripped the elastic border out except for around his face, and then cut out eye and ear holes so I would know where not to put the cotton once I got to gluing.

the draping stage.

I bought one bag of cotton stuffing, even though I went back and forth a few times if I should get a second while I was there. I finally decided that if I needed more, I could always go back for it. I also picked up a $3 mini hot glue gun and a 30 pack of glue sticks. While Hubby and I were at Michael's a few weeks ago, they had fake flower chains on sale, so I snagged a pretty one of those, too.

before a much needed face fluff trimming

From there, it was just a matter of gluing the cotton down on the sheet. If you're stupid enough to want to do this costume for your own horse, here's a gluing tip: only lay a few stripes of glue down at once before pressing the cotton onto it. That glue dries really quickly, and you'll just have to go over it all over again if you try to do large sections at once.

much better.

The cotton pulled apart really easily while still retaining its volume, so I ended up only using three quarters of the bag. I did, however, have to go back for a second bag of glue sticks. I ended up using about forty over all.


I got as much of the face area done at home as I could, but because of the elastic, it was hard for me to hold it flat and lay the cotton down like I wanted to. I ended up having to finish gluing that part on at the barn while it was on my horse.


I glued the seams together to cover his chest and under his head, and then carefully escorted him outside with my BM along to bribe him to put his ears up.

And also to laugh at him.

We got a good five minutes of him patiently posing before he got a face itch and rubbed it out on his leg. That was the end of any containment of the cotton.

going in for the itch.

the result.

I don't even know how BM and I were still breathing at that point we were laughing so hard. Bobby continued to stand there unperturbed with fluffy pieces of cotton blocking his eyesight until we could get control of ourselves. The struggle was real.

"hai guys. why are you on the ground?"
because we're dying bobby. we're literally dying.

Once we were done, I rolled everything up and was contemplating whether or not to just chuck it, or bring it home, stuff it in my trunk, and chuck it at some point in the future. Fortunately, one of the barn kids walked in and asked what I was going to do with it. She is a girl after my own pink-loving, horses should be in tiaras at all times heart, so I said, "It's all yours, S. Use it well."


She was seriously thrilled, so I hope to see her grey pony being tortured sometime soon, and I'm glad all that fucking time I spent gluing isn't going to go to complete waste.