Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Digs!

Happy to report that the move went really well and was utterly uneventful.  Thankfully the barn is the one place in my life where I keep myself organized (my apartment, my truck, and my desk... not so much), so I was able to pack myself up in a little over an hour, then cleaned Tucker up and got him loaded without a fuss.  Other than a pang of regret as I pulled away, thinking of how much I've enjoyed boarding at my previous farm, it was completely smooth sailing.  (But to my former fellow barnmates, if you're reading this, I already miss kissing your horses goodnight!)

My first ride on Tucker at the new place was great, he out-did himself once again.  The wind was howling around the barn and indoor and I was sure he was going to be fresh, but he hacked around the indoor with a couple of other horses as though he'd been there all his life.  I didn't make him work too hard, mostly because I was so surprised and relieved at how level-headed he was.  Have I mentioned lately how much I adore this animal?  (Tucker apparently shares my feelings.  He's quite smitten with the horse in the mirror in the indoor.)

On our first night at the farm, the girls threw a little martini party for me in the tack room when we were done riding (yup, I think we'll fit in just fine).  We cleaned tack, we had a few laughs, and Tucker settled in for the night in his cozy new stall.  Well, I don't know if "settled in" is the right phrase.  I had forgotten how strong his feelings are for my friend Kathleen's mare Chloe, who made an appearance way-back-when in this post.  (Don't worry Sug, Chloe does not return the sentiment.)  Chloe lives next to Tucker, and when I left, Tucker was using every inch of his 17hh to see over the stall wall and catch a glimpse of her.  Not sure Chloe noticed, but I thought it was cute. 

Since then I've had two more great rides, so I think Tucker is feeling pretty good about the change of scenery.  Sunday we did some really solid flatwork, focusing on transitions within the gaits at the trot and the canter.  I think I've honed in on a key issue with respect to my aversion to going forward.  When I send him forward and he gets flat and strung out and a little downhill, it's a very disconcerting feeling.  When I collect and make him really sit down and use his hind end first, and then send him forward from there, I like that forward canter much, much better.  Makes sense right?  So we've been doing canter circles spiraling in to increasingly smaller circles, to really make him collect of his own accord, and then spiraling out and extending the canter by the time we hit the rail, but making sure to maintain the back-to-front connection with seat, hand, and leg.  I'm a big fan of this exercise at the moment.

Tucker is getting turned out with his buddy Tuck (I'm sure that won't get confusing), whom you probably remember from this post.  So do you think they are getting along?

Two peas in a pod

You can get a glimpse of the beautiful farm we are at in this shot, but I will share more pictures later in the season.  The winter weather won't do it justice. 

So that's all the news I have for now... happy big brown horse, happy little girl. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine

Tucker asked me to post this today....  hoping that Sugar would login to facebook and find it.  I thought it was too sweet not to share.

Also, Tucker has begged me not to show this to Hudson.  He says he'll take away his stud card (I hate to break it to him...).  Anyway, let's just keep this one between us girls.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thank You

I'm not really sure what the appropriate response is when one of your blog posts goes kind of viral and draws 100 times the traffic of a normal post...  I mean I guess if I were really cool, I would just pretend like it's nothing and not even mention it.  Since I've never really been all that cool though, I half expect people to start recognizing me on the street and the train platform.  (I can just picture it.  "Aren't you that girl, who writes that blog?  You're hilarious!"  "Who me?  Oh, it's nothing really, but thank you so much," as I blush modestly.)  Or maybe I'll get an email from Ryan's publicist threatening to have me thrown in internet jail if I don't stop convincing Ryan's adoring public that he's an equestrian (incidentally, Ryan, I'd be happy to meet you for lunch to discuss).

I've been told my next post needs to be incredibly funny, or really interesting and insightful, so that I somehow or other keep the thousands of new readers coming back.  I've been told I need to do more Ryan Reynolds, or that I need to do Equestrian George Clooney (which I might still do, ladies), or that I need to do something else different but equally hysterical.  Since I wasn't really sure what to do here, I figured I should just go with my gut.

So, this post is simply a Thank You.  Thank you for visiting the site, thank you for laughing, thank you for commenting.  Thank you for bookmarking, following, friending, liking, plus-one-ing, linking, and sharing with your friends.  I realize it's just a silly little blog about a little girl and a big brown horse, and my last post was an even sillier little story about an imaginary handsome man who loves horses and horse-crazy chicks (an elusive creature I've been hoping to find my whole life).  And I realize it's probably just those rock hard abs and that crooked grin that made you pass along that link... but I'm glad you did anyway. 

It's just my tiny little corner of the internet, and I never thought anyone would really read it, but I am sort of proud of it.  So seeing so many people stop by to read the last post, and then venture a little farther back through the archives to see what else I had to say, really made me smile.  My 15 minutes of internet fame, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. 

So thanks, Tucker fans.  I hope you'll keep on reading, and sharing, and commenting, and laughing. 

p.s. --  While I have your attention, is there something you'd like me to cover?  Something you want to see more of?  Something that bores you to tears?  If so, I'd love to know.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Equestrian Ryan Reynolds

I'm sure by now you've seen Equestrian Ryan Gosling.  It's been making the rounds.  If it hasn't made its way to your corner of the internet yet, check it out.  My hat's off to the creator.  Seriously, so funny.

But as you know, imitation is the highest form of flattery, and I happen to partial to another Ryan... and his new movie is coming out today and all.  So, I thought it would only be fitting to give you the TTW version of this concept:  Equestrian Ryan Reynolds.  Talk about every fantasy I've ever had....

FYI, due to the overwhelming popularity of this post, I've made an album of these photos on our facebook page. 
Feel free to like us on facebook and share the album with your friends, and thank you for visiting!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cures for What Ails You

Several life events lately have sent me completely reeling (don't you hate when that happens), mostly non-horse related although I also had one of those "I'm ruining this horse" crises (probably just a side effect of the other life events), but at any rate, I've found a couple of sure-fire fixes that will, guaranteed, make you feel better.

Cure #1:  Hug a Mini-Donkey

My roommate and I have long suspected that all of life's troubles would melt away simply by hugging a mini donkey.  I field tested this theory, and it turns out to be true.  The particular mini donkey I'm hugging in this photo is named Jelly Bean, and Puzzles is behind her.  I love them.  Puzzles is the precocious one, so she trots up to you first.  But Jelly Bean is the snuggler.  (Also, before agreeing to let me publish this photo, J.B. insisted that I let you know that her belly isn't that big.  It's just her winter coat, she says.  And while we're on the subject, I've got several winter layers on myself.  Not that I couldn't stand to shed some holiday cheer.  Ahem.)  So my suggestion to you, if you find yourself in the midst of one of those horrible life events that leaves you grasping at straws and staring up at the sky in disbelief:  Find a mini-donkey.  Bribe it with food.  And then squeeze it.

Cure #2:  Encourage a Two-Year-Old's Pony Love

This is my niece, Ella.  She is starting to love ponies, which, I assure you, I've had nothing to do with.  I swear, she developed the disease addiction attraction all on her own.  This particular rocking horse is only the second one I've purchased for her (along with only a dozen or so assorted stuffed animal ponies and unicorns).  This one is pretty great because she calls him Tucker.  And she pats him on the head and tells him he's a good boy.  I'm teaching her to cluck.  Which mostly just makes her laugh really hard.  I also showed her the WEG Showjumping DVD and to my delight she clapped for the horses (she was in particular a fan of Phillipe Le Jeune's Vigo d'Arsouilles) and yelled "JUMP!" at every fence.  Anyway, this child is a delight... if you have access to one like this, I highly recommend getting her a toy pony.  It will definitely make you feel like at least some parts of the world are warm and fuzzy and covered in sunshine and rainbows.

Cure #3:  Go Look at Your Horse.

Yeah I know this sounds like an obvious choice.  But sometimes we get so caught up in the training, the program, the diet, the supplements, the tack, the gear, the yadda yadda yadda.... that we forget to stop and look at our horses.  I did this the other night, just stepped back and took him in, and fell all back in love again.  I looked at this gorgeous athlete and thought about how lucky I am to have him, and forgot for a minute about ruining him or improving his canter or wondering if we'll ever show in the High A/O's and I just remembered that at the end of the day, no matter what, I still acheived the dream I always had as a pony-crazed little girl.  And then I realized he was looking right back at me with that goofy lovesick look on his face too.  There is something about the singular way that a horse who loves you looks you right in the eye that can't even be put into words.  So... there you have it.  Tried and True Cure #3, go look at your horse.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a really good Friday Funny.