Friday 29 September 2017

What Is It?

One interest that I have is photography. I especially like taking pictures of things that show texture, and close-ups of small things, otherwise known as macro photography. I'm not necessarily any good at it, and I don't spend as much time as I would like doing it, but I try to have fun with it.

I took these pictures a couple of years ago of an item that I found at the barn. Can you guess what it is?

The cropped version.
A little further out.

Any guesses?

It's a tooth cap!

I found it in the arena one day. No idea which horse it would belong to.

It was covered in dirt from being in the footing. I brought it home, soaked it, and scrubbed it with toothpaste and a toothbrush (an old toothbrush!).

Here is the other side:

I find the cracks in the tooth interesting and surprising. They aren't visible with the naked eye. Also the chewed up grass in the crevice of the tooth. I scrubbed and scrubbed at that tooth to get all the dirt out, and that grass didn't come out, so it must be deep into that crevice.

This is one of the things that I like about macro photography - being able to see details that you can't see just by looking at an item normally.

Thursday 28 September 2017

Lazy Barn Day

The lack of energy due to the onset of the plague head cold continued on Wednesday. I had to do more of the umpteen coats of paint on my project that was still required (when will I learn to not choose dark colours?) and be at the barn for 4 pm to teach lessons. So my guys had another day to basically chill.

As promised, here is a post with mainly photos.

Phantom and Cisco were in the shelter when I arrived. Cisco came right to the gate to meet me. Phantom is a little more cautious.
Cisco's butt was hanging out because Phantom likes to hog all the space in the shelter for herself.
Phantom: Who's there??
Oh. It's just you.

Then she made faces while at the water trough.
I'm gonna bite that water!
I took Cisco for a walk around the yard. I tried to take some pictures of him - this is what I got.
That mane looks good though.
It's hard to take a picture of something other than a nose while he is taking me for a walk. He definitely gives me the feeling of going somewhere, whereas Phantom I always feel like I have to drag her along with me.

We came across the barn pig, Wilbur, on our walk.

Cisco is hard to photograph because he always wants to stand with me. I have taken a lot of pics with him walking towards me.
Started out at the trough.
O hai there!
Here I am!

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Cisco - Naked Baby Pictures!

I did succumb to the cold germs that are being spread at my workplace. It hasn't reached full-out plague status yet, just really dry sinuses and throat, and a fuzzy mouth from mouth breathing. And zero energy. So there will likely be little in the way of horsey updates for the next few days. Expect some pic heavy posts for the next week or so (I am also working nights next week so won't get too many rides in next week either).

We will start with baby pictures!!

Here is Cisco on the day he was born!

He was bred by a friend of mine, so I have known him right from the beginning. I didn't originally have plans to one day own him, so I have some pictures, but not as many as I would have had I known the future!

This is his mommy:

His first summer:

As a yearling:
 Two years old:
 Three years old:

After I bought him in April of this year at 5 years of age:

After he turned 6 this summer:

A winter project will be going through my three portable hard drives and finding all the pictures I have taken of him and put them in one place! This post took a lot of effort to find the pictures, and in the end resorted to saving the images from my Facebook page where I had shared them this spring. So hopefully the quality isn't too crappy!

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Weekend Update

Not much to update from this weekend.

Friday night had me taking a Yoga for Equestrians class. It was being held by a friend of a friend, and cost only $10, which was going to the local SPCA. For 10 bucks, I was totally willing to find out how bendy I was not.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good I did (in my mind, anyways). There were a couple of moments that I was really hoping to move on to the next movement, and I was definitely not able to breathe the right way, and I'm sure that she was teaching an introductory class, but I quite enjoyed it. My back and hips felt great afterwards. For about an hour or two. Then my body stiffened up and I was a bit sore. But I picked up a couple of moves that I will throw into my regular stretching routine.

So no barn visit that night.

Saturday evening had me visiting the ponies to chase them in the arena with the intent of riding on Sunday.

Cisco ran around the safe end of the arena. Then I did some clicker work with him at the scary end. I'm working on teaching him to do head down on command (the command is pressing his neck), which I will try to use when he gets stressed and wants to turn into a giraffe.
Phantom keeps her eye on me in case it's time to be done.

Phantom ran around quite a bit also. She loves playtime in the arena. Even gave a buck this time. I mean, a really crappy buck, but still more than she usually does.

Sunday I woke up with the makings of a cold with a sore throat and sinus pain. I taught the couple of lessons I was scheduled to teach and went home to have a nap. I just couldn't keep my eyes open for the rest of the day so didn't manage to get out.
Slurping her beet pulp soup. The soupier, the better.

Monday was a planned day to make a project with my dad. I worked all day on it, and still have probably another 4 or 5 hours to do before it's finished. I'll report on it once it's finished.
Here's the preview!

I had hoped to make it out on Monday night, but I painted until about 8:30 and still had to get supper and do laundry. I need to get this done quickly so that I can park my car in the garage and not have to scrape windows in the morning. So the ponies got another night off.

I also got an email that the brown One K helmet I had ordered was out of stock and wouldn't be available. Kinda choked that it took them 6 business days to let me know, and my order status said completed so I figured it was on its way. I might still end up with it in the Matte finish, or might switch to navy as a second option. I really don't want black!

I'm really hoping I don't wake up with a full blown cold in the morning!

Monday 25 September 2017

Equestrian Blog Hop: Why Did I Start Blogging?

The Equestrian Bloggers Facebook group is starting a monthly Blog Hop. This is September's topic.

Why Did I Start Blogging?

I decided to start blogging about all things Equestrian a couple of months ago when I was on a staycation. With lots of time on my hands, since I will do anything to avoid housework, starting a blog with the aim of writing five posts a week seemed like a great idea.

I've owned horses since I was 12 years old, which was 30 years ago (you can do the math). During that time, I was without a horse to ride for maybe 3 years after my heart-horse was euthanized in 2006 (laminitis) and I was house-poor after buying a house the year earlier. Add another 3 years of riding, but not owning my current horse Phantom, and I have been a horse owner for 24 years.  That's a lot of money spent on board and paid to the farrier - I don't want to add that up and discover that I could have bought a Lamborghini (it wouldn't fit me anyway, I'm too short).

Through most of my riding time, I have kept track in some way of my rides. When I was a teenager I lived in a small rural town so joined the local Light Horse 4H club. I was the only rider who rode English only. One of the requirements of 4H were monthly reports and an annual project book. We were supposed to record expenses, amount of feed used, amount of time spent riding, etc. So I had a calendar up in the tack room that I had to myself and I would write on it with a dry-erase marker after every ride, then transfer the information into my 4H book. I also had a ledger that I recorded all my horse expenses in. I was 14 years old.

This is what started me on tracking my riding. I was in 4H for two years, and after moving to the big city I kept up with the tracking. I moved onto a day-timer type of calendar that I kept in my tack locker. I would record how long I rode, what I did, was there something I needed to keep in the back of my mind, etc. I used this format for quite a while, which came in handy when I had significant soundness issues with my gelding Farly. 

When I got back into riding after Farly went to the big grassy field in the sky, I was doing it in a more casual style than what I had been doing previously. I wasn't really planning on competing, and I didn't know if I would plan on owning a horse again, so recording what I was doing with my riding went by the wayside. I think I also realized that although I had spent time recording my progress, I never looked back at it. It's not easy to see how far you've come from a few hastily scribbled sentences. 

Over the last 7 years of getting back in the saddle, I have had a few attempts at recording my riding, but never stuck with it. I used a journaling program on my iPad - until my iPad died a premature death and I replaced it with a Samsung tablet. I went back to my old method of a day-timer - which worked, but once the year was done I would put it aside and never look at it again. I wrote things down more from habit than anything else. 

This spring, I finally decided to take the plunge and take on a second horse, Cisco. He wasn't broke yet, but I had done a bunch of groundwork with him a couple of years earlier. He had little life experience, as he had lived the first 5 years of his life on the same acreage he was born on. He had never been inside anything other than a run-in shelter. He had never been on a trailer. He had known the same 8 horses all his life. He had a lot to learn on his way to being my riding horse.

One of the items on my horse bucket list is to train a horse by myself, from start to finish. Cisco is hopefully that horse. And I want to have a record of our journey.

So this is the reason that I decided to start blogging in a public format. To share my journey of training Cisco. It forces me to write more than a couple of scribbled lines, and hopefully add some images and video on occasion to mark our progress.

A couple of years ago I started reading some other people's blogs on a daily basis. I love to read the trials and tribulations of my fellow horse lovers. As someone who lives for her horses, finding others who have the same passion for these beautiful, fragile beasts has been delightful. And I hope that there are some horse lovers that will read my blog, and realize how lucky we are to have our equine experiences.

Friday 22 September 2017

Better with Glitter

About a year ago I was perusing something online - don't remember what. I think I was looking for options on making monogram decals for some of my stuff. I came across a machine called the Silhouette Cameo. I stayed up late researching it, and the next morning zipped over to Michael's and picked one up.

I loffs it.

One of the first things I made was a monogram decal for my car.
You can't tell in the picture, but my initials are in pink glitter.

I know monograms are a big thing in the southern states, but not up here in Canada. But I've always had a thing for them - to me it screams "classic equestrian".

Since then, I have been working through all of my horse stuff and labelling whatever I can. 

My helmet
Blanket storage box at the barn

Pony treat container (contents result in rotundness)

Brushes will get their own blog post one day. All of my wood handled brushes were painted and decorated.

Then there are the things I can decorate with HTV - heat transfer vinyl. Unfortunately, the material that most horse blankets are made of won't work for this - the vinyl won't adhere as the material is too slippery. But if it's a cotton or polyester blend, it should be good. So not much at the barn, but lots for my house.

Pillow cases

Lots of pillow cases

Sweat shirts

Dish towels (in a way, horse related since I'm probably at the barn avoiding housework!)


Tote bags

And more T-shirts (with lots of glitter)
I love my Silhouette Cameo. So many things to decorate. Preferably with glitter.