Friday, June 24, 2016

Wordless Wednesday, Written on Thursday (and Probably Posted on Friday)

Life has been hard.

Too busy working to write.

Friend's dog is painfully cute.

A photo posted by megan (@kieshorse) on

I'll have a real entry next week.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fantasy Rio 2016 Olympic Team

Guys, it's 2016. OLYMPIC YEAR.

Let's imagine, for a second, that I was the chef  d'equipe and in charge of selecting the Olympic team. Now that you've stopped laughing, look at my choices and realize I AM A GENIUS. USEF if you're interested in hiring out my services leave a comment on this entry. And this obviously isn't my most dreamest of dream teams because my most dreamest of dream teams would have Ingrid Klimke possibly marrying me, getting dual citizenship and representing the US. And I would groom for her.

Who's dream is to groom for someone else at the Olympics???

In alphabetical order, by horse name. Because it's all about the horse.

Blackfoot Mystery and Boyd Martin
So I guess I first really noticed this horse at the Eventing Showcase in Wellington. I didn't watch the dressage because I forgot and it was on a Friday. But the stadium I saw him and I was like oh-em-gee who is that pony he is so CUTE he looks like a Thoroughbred. Googled him and yep - he's an OTTB. I'm a sucker for some upper level OTTBs.

Photo via Boyd's website
Look how cute they are!!!
I found some more videos of him competing at Fair Hill and other big east coast events. This horse is a jumping machine. He looks like an awesome old school cross country horse. He was the highest ranking OTTB at Rolex this year.

Omg, the qt
Also he was so cute in his jog ups, which is really important for the Olympics. No fuggos in the jog.

Covert Rights and Colleen Rutledge
I freakin' adore this pair. I love that he's a homebred. I like that he's a Clydesdale TB cross. Colleen has brought him on herself which I super respect. Some might say he's a bit young and green to go to the Olympics. We took a risk, in my opinion, on Mystery Whisper last time, so I totally think we could take a risk again. And this wouldn't even be a huge risk. He's competed well on the international stage and he's got all three phases in him. Besides, who isn't rooting for Colleen Rutledge?? Communists. Communists don't root for Colleen Rutledge. Don't be a commie. CR & CR 2016 (JUST REALIZED THEY HAVE THE SAME INITIALS).


Fernhill Fearless and Kim Severson
I'm obsessed with this pair and have been for some time. I took a bunch of videos of him at Fair Hill CCI*** a few years ago that I of course cannot find now but Sparky is a cross country machine of epic proportions. Kim rides him so well in the dressage. I feel like riding him in dressage might be akin to that scene in Game of Thrones when Daenerys rides Drogo... I mean what spoiler alert.

It's a shame about their Rolex run, because she was having such a good round I think she would've shot right up the leader board by the end of the day Sunday but I saw the moment he got his tongue over the bit and I was like... god dammit. Whatever. As the Queen of my own Private Olympic Selection Committee I'm willing to overlook it because they're awesome.

I couldn't find a better picture of this,
but this is Kim pulling off a ridiculous save.
Kind of kickass we need on Team USA.

Simply Priceless and Elisa Wallace
I think if I could go be a working student for one of these riders, it would be Elisa Wallace. And I think she has a working student position open right now (when I heard I started packing my bags) but you can't take your own horse. Runkle and I are a package deal so alas, no seat of the pants quitting my job and f'ing off to Georgia for me. Probably better that way. Plus I can't drive a manual (although I was considering just lying and flying blind on that. How hard could it be? Elisa Wallace please never read this I would never lie to you).

Love that dress. And sweet biceps.
AND CUTEST EARS. On the horse not her.
Although I'm sure you have very nice ears Elisa.
Veronica and Lauren Kieffer
If this list weren't in alphabetical order this pair would be at the top. I love a good mare, and I love how grumpy and stubborn Veronica seems. I mean c'mon, her barn name is Troll. Even on a bad day she lays down a better dressage test than most US competitors. The mare is of course an XC machine with a fantastic record, especially at the biggest events when it counts the most. And the two are aces in stadium. What more do you need for a team pair?

As chef d'equipe I am also making myself fashion coordinator. The theme for this year's Olympics is "Red, White and Bling". 

I actually thing every country should get
these flag combo pads from The Padded Pony.

Ear Bonnet is a must.

A flag... shirt...?

Do you have hopes and dreams for the Olympic Team? Do you think I'm the perfect Queen of Eventing Selection Committee? I'm pretty excited and I wish I had more vacation days so I could take off work and live stream the whole thing. Guess I'll just do it at my desk like I always do.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Training Tactics and Helmet Cam Fails

It's been a glorious few weeks back in the saddle, y'all.

I have involved myself in very little ringwork. The weather has been unseasonably beautiful the past couple weeks. There have been hot days, but on the whole it's been gorgeous with very low humidity. I finally have enough daylight to not be handcuffed to the indoor after work, no matter what time I finish up.

Runkle and I have done about fifteen minutes of  ringwork over a two week stretch because of this. I've definitely been riding, but it's either been on hacks around the perimeter or galloping in one of the fields. I've used this opportunity to test drive my helmet cam. It was cheap but it has great battery life and is really painfully easy to use so we'll just ignore the fact that it's crooked as shit (for now).

Yeah... I'm gonna need to work on this.
Anyway, it's fortunate I'm not alone in my arena hatred; several of my nighttime warrior friends also can't be bothered. Professional Unprofessionals strongly believe that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Since I don't want Runkle hacking down any doors in rage we do lots of play.

Does that even make sense? It does. I hope you're still with me.

We went out last week with some friends, another very green mare and our babysitter horse Shotzee (one of Runkle's besties). It went fantastic... for the first half. Runkle was a kick ride and I had him on the buckle. Towards the back half things got interesting; some horses in turnout were curious about our hack and came to investigate... at a gallop. Not everyone liked this idea and once one horse lost their rag Runkle gleefully joined in.

At one point I sneezed and everything moved so much it looked like I had a stroke.
A few days later Runkle and I ventured out with Shotzee and his mom again. There was significantly less (but not no) running. A pair of bros in a jeep with the biggest American flag I have ever seen drove past us when we were riding the fence line past the road and also were nice enough to honk to say hello. Everyone kept four feet on the ground which was shocking to all of us, even the lady across the street who witnessed the whole thing and commented that her horse would've left her in the dirt.

There's a deer that hangs around the farm frequently by herself, whom we have now named Samantha. Samantha the deer gives 0 f's about any of us and our hacking and she's extremely chill and doesn't spook the horses.

So we ran into Samantha.

Not shown: the other balloon that was low enough to start skimming trees.

Then a pair of hot air balloons tried to land in the field next to us. REALLY. And this isn't even my first run in with balloons at the farm! But Runkle was level and fantastic for all of it. I couldn't have been happier. And I didn't have to go to my follow up appointment and tell my doctor I rebroke my pinky riding before he gave me clearance and then a hot air balloon tried to land on my head and scared my horse. Because who wants to have that conversation with their doctor.

Most attractive picture of us, to date.
All of this has translated into a really excellent flatwork and magic canter transitions that are not trantering or exploding into the next gait. I'm pretty happy, with all of it.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

It's Not a Setback

I was stalking a big name rider's Facebook (normal) when I came across another page through several layers of friends and groups that had this picture:

And I was like "Yep, that's it."

I've tried to start this post about eight times (which is why it's late, again, oops. I don't know why I bother having a day anymore it's useless) but every instance came out so contrived I felt ill at the thought of someone else reading it.

The long and short of it is, I'm FINALLY back in the saddle.

I'm sorry, he's the cutest horse in the world.
I don't know what I was expecting but Runkle was fantastic, really better than I could've imagined. He was pleasant, obedient and still remembered everything he did two months ago. Yeah, our canter transitions were a little dicey but that actually ironed itself out by our dressage lesson on Tuesday. Yep, I've even had a lesson already.

It's fantastic to be back, and not just because I missed riding my horse. I like being at a boarding barn because of the social aspect, but it's hard to be in it when you're not riding and frankly slacking off about going to the barn at all. I miss riding with people and talking to them, going for little hacks and watching our horses interact. 

So cute.
I've still got a ways to go before I'm back to where I was. I'm going to OT twice a week to pick up little foam plugs and curl my pinky around straws. That sounds a lot easier than it really is, it is brutal and painful. I'm really loose in the tack and have no hand strength so jumping is off the table, probably until I get back from Montana (oh, yeah, I'm going to Montana...!) but I'm okay with that. At least we're back together.

So that's all for now, and it's more than enough!