Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Decade: By the Numbers.

In the Past Decade:

- I have had Granite for One Year

- I have sold One horse
- I have had One Best Friend

- I have owned Two different Cars
- I have graduated Three times
- I have owned Three horses
- I have had Four roommates
- I have had Five close friends move away

- I have lived at Six different residences
- I have gone Six years without competing in a horse show
- I have had Seven Boyfriends

- I have had Nine employers
- I have been in school for Ten years

I'm hoping the next 10 years will bring some consistency and stability to my life. It will be the first time that I am not a student, but I hope that doesn't mean that I will stop learning. I hope Granite and I can enter the show ring and stay there. I hope to find a lasting loving relationship. I hope to purchase a truck and trailer and a home. I hope to settle into a well paying career that I love.

I wish you all a happy New Year. I hope to get some good posts to you over the weekend!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gran Man? OR Snow Man?

The snow has yet to melt. But the roads have been plowed and I was finally able to drive out to see my boy today. What stuck me strange was how clean his hooves are. You rarely see your horse with perfectly clean hooves right out of the pasture, but I guess snow will do that. He is warm in his blanket and doesn't seem to be phased by the inches of snow covering the pasture. I took a few photos for you...

Its back to work for me tomorrow but I leave for my parent's house on the coast Tuesday at lunch! D is coming to see my office and have lunch with me tomorrow. I am really excited about that and I think she is even going to come to my apartment tomorrow after work to see my new boots and watch the Redskins game with me! Yippie!

Oh I totally forgot to mention that my parents dognapped Daphne! They took her with them when they left yesterday. It is so quiet and weird around the apartment without her. Thank god for Roomie's dog. D suggested that I "borrow" Daphne's brother (D owns him and his name is Mr. Splotchy) until I leave. But on the other hand it is kind of nice not having to take the pup potty in the snow or worry about her while I am at work. It will just be one more reason to be excited about going home on Tuesday! YAY.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Wonderland

I hate snow! It snowed all night and we ended up with about 6-8 inches. I drive a little 2-door red toyota and upon my dad's suggestion, I will not be attempting to navigate it down the 2 lane road to the horse farm. Poor Granite probably has snowballs in his hooves :( I was also supposed to go to the downtown bars with my friends to celebrate my graduation. We planned the party for the weekend because my parents didn't head home until today. They also took my dog! I will be heading down east in 3 days and they love their grandpup, so I let them take her. Now I am snowed in alone with my party looking doubtful and no pup. This is definitely a time when I wish I had a boyfriend. Lets move to Florida! We did navigate to the play downtown last night since my parents have an SUV and my dad is an experienced snow driver. It was actually pretty disappointing. I went to the same play last year and I loved it! Perhaps it was because we consumed 4 bottles of wine during the play last year and I only had one glass this time around. Maybe the play was the same amount of crappy and I was just significantly less forgiving...
Hope all of you and your horses are making out alright in this nasty winter weather.
Enjoy some photos from our snowland.

This is the view from my apartment balcony. Lots of sledding has been going on down that hill!

The view of downtown Greensboro from the car.

Another shot of downtown.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I am a Master (at least in theory...

Well, I survived! I walked across the stage without incident. While approximately 13 friends and family watched and cheered, I received my Masters of Public Affairs from the University North Carolina at Greensboro.
My parents came in town on Wednesday night and so did my great aunt and uncle in addition to some family friends who are like an aunt and uncle. I have enjoyed spending time with them and showing them where I work and where I keep Granite. Its currently snowing its butt off and my parents are at my apartment. Daddy is fixing chicken and dumplings and I am here on the couch with the laptop. So happy! We are going to see the Santaland Diaries tonight if the snow its too heavy. Enjoy some photos from the last few days.
The Grandparents came to visit.

My Parents and the Graduate!

D and I :)

Bestest and I heading out of the ceremony.

I got my graduation boots today. So looks like I'm ready to compete!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I grew up in a small town. Actually, it wasn't even a town. It was a county. The only county (of 100) in North Carolina without an incorporated town. Thankfully there was a horse population, but not much of one. Growing up, there was one very reputable, high-end farm which relocated to Charlotte by the time I hit high school (I was fortunate enough to ride there for about a year and bought my very first horse through them). Actually, they are worth checking out- so click-, Hidden Spring Farm. There was also one horse trainer/ show team that was a big name in the NC Quarter Horses Association. Other than that there were a couple of nice boarding barns but none of them offered in house trainers. Long story short, as far as showing and learning about horses it was off-and-on lessons with trainers who would travel to teach and the county 4-H.

I learned so much in 4-H and appreciate the experience and hope to volunteer with my local 4-H horse clubs. My group wasn't terribly organized and I missed out on many of educational opportunities that 4-H affords, such as Horse Bowl or Horse Judging Teams. We basically were involved in horse projects to be allowed to compete in the district and state level 4-H youth shows (Ye,s I was a 2 time district show Champion, thanks for asking.). When and If I get to volunteer with a club, I hope to make the competitive and help them take advantage of all that the program offers. I plan to blog about this as soon as I hear more about my volunteer application.

What I am slowly getting at is that the US Pony Club was not available in my geographic region growing up and I think I missed out on a great deal by not being able to learn and be tested in such a rigorous way about such a broad range of horse management and equestrian skills. I recently discovered that they now have a pony club for old people (actually 18 and up, but I'm starting to feel old here). Its called Horsemasters and I want to take part so badly! The closest club is about 1 hour away from me which poses a problem for trailering Granite out to their events (considering that I don't own a truck or trailer). But since he is still just a pasture ornament, I could do the unmounted skills and take part in the making friends process! There is a pony club in my area who is rumored to be thinking about creating a Horsemasters club. I contacted the supervisor and she let me know about a clinic this weekend that is free to audit. You had better believe that I plan to attend. Its with Richard Lamb. Hopefully I can speak with her. She said they are really lacking an organizer. I told her that I am willing to take on a leadership role in helping to get it started. If not, I will probably travel to participate in the established club. They have invited me to their meeting in January that I do plan to attend.

From what I can understand, there are not ratings as in Pony Club, but there are levels of skills. They do many club events such as rallies and Tetrathlons. Most of my friends are moving in the spring and I want to meet people, get involved, and find ways to make Granite a well rounded boy (and myself a more well rounded rider). I hope this may materialize into a way to meet some of those goals!

In non horse related news, My family is coming in town tomorrow afternoon for graduation! There are 6 family members coming in plus my best friend then a handful of people in the area. This should be really fun, but I'm sort of stressed too. Graduation is hard around the holidays. And while I adore my job, the financial crunch gets worse every day. Ugh nothing like my least favorite holiday (Christmas) to bring out the stress...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bundle Up! Its Winter Time!

Brrrr. Its cold here in NC! And I? I am not a fan! I hate winter with a passion. Thankfully my pony is very fuzzy and has a thick warm blanket to keep him toasty in his run in shed (equipped with a buffet of hay). I left work early yesterday to go visit with the horse before getting ready for the holiday party for my job (joy). The ground wasn't frozen (yet), so I took the opportunity to work him for a bit. Now, because of injury or weather or whatnot, I haven't worked him in probably almost a month. So, I was pleasantly surprised that he took his bridle like that teething issue never happened. Then he was a perfect gentleman on the lunge line. I really think that he will be easy to get under-saddle. Only 5 months and 1 day to go!!! Wahoooo!

In other news, I have applied to volunteer for the Guilford County 4-H and found a program made up of 8, 2 hour "short courses" about equine management. Its only $30 for the whole program. Some classes are on Natural Horsemanshit... oh, I mean ship. And some are for first time horse owners but I am half tempted to go to them all. It can't hurt to learn everything I can, right?

Here are some pictures I took of my furry monster yesterday! And one of the 38 year old pony at the barn. Affectionately named "Pony"!

This one is from this morning with after Granite had just sniffed the ice to see what that really cold stuff was there on the ground! He's such a child.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Boot Bliss!

Click on the picture to read all about um

At least I Hope!
After 6 tack shops I finally went to my most trusted shop: The Horse & Rider, Inc in Greensboro, NC. If you are ever in town, check them out. While their store is not large, their staff (all 3 of them) are very knowledgeable and helpful. I popped in on poor Nicole at 5pm (they close at 5:30) yesterday begging for help finding me ANY boot that would fit me! She threw me into a pair of medium weight tights and whipped out her measuring tape.

I, of course, have done my research and let her know what wouldn't work (Ariat, because they don't offer a wide enough calf for my foot size) and what I was looking for and my meager budget. She put me into an Ovation Pro Circuit Gold boot. The size 8 was a bit tight and the X-wide would not zip (go figure!). She then took out her handy-dandy sizing chart and realized that they offered an XXW in a 8.5 with the correct measurements. She also informed me of a 10% discount that I would be receiving (I can only imagine it is because I am a VIP, but I didn't ask questions). She then told me she would order them on rush and have them there for me to try by the time my mom comes in town next week! AT NO EXTRA CHARGE! I asked what would happen if they didn't work and she said she would shelve them and we would try again. After all is said and done they will cost me (read: my parents)$245. Sooo, although I have never been enamored with the brand: here are some advantageous qualities that they offer.
1) They offer a size big enough to fit my large calves(but seriously people, I don't weigh 300lb. YES, I am over weight. I am 5'8 and in a size 12... BUT it could be worse. What does anyone larger than me do for boots??).
2) These are a step up from their introductory model! They are made of calf skin so are super smooth and will be easy to break in.
3) Detailing around the toe
4) Elastic Gusset
5) Did I mention they will fit??!
So folks, It appears that my Boot Blunders have turned into Boot Bliss :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Masters? Check! .... So whats NEXT?!

Hello All!
I finished my oral defense today which happens to be the final hoop through which I had to jump in order to walk across the stage and accept my diploma (read: diploma cover) next Thursday morning in front of my fan club of about 50!

So in honor of the occasion, I have been thinking about what is next in my life now that work and Granite are my only commitments and I have some thoughts I wanted to share with you all in addition to some blog posts I will be working on in the comming weeks...

Ideas to occupy my time (expect blog post dedicated to the following as well):
1) Earning my Open Horse Show Judging Card!
2) Becoming a 4-H Horse Volunteer
3) Attending Horse Husbandry "short courses" through the local extension service
4) Hoof Care and Shoeing Short Course (no I dont want to be a farrier but want to know more about hooves!)
5) Creating/ Joining a horse club (such as my best friend's "sporthorse competition club" in Raleigh-- I am jealous)
6) Volunteer to coach youth cheerleading (I will save you a trip down high school memory lane and hold back on blogging on this topic)
7) Get a Part-Time Night/Weekend Job (could be at a tack store or judging or schooling horses or...waiting tables-BOOO)

Topic on Which I (also) plan to Blog...
1) American Warmblood Certification (for beautifully conformed and equally talented warmblood mutts such as mine)
2) Upright Hoof? Impacts and Effects
3) Continuing/Adult Education in Equine Sciences (Community College Programs)
4) Adult Pony Clubs (apparently they DO exist)

Let me know if you think of anything to add to either or both categories. I plan to spend some time researching interesting topics to blog about and enlighten myself!! I can't wait to get invovled!

Cheers and expect these super awesome blogs in the near future!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Boot Blunders

My parents have agreed that Field Boots would be a lovely graduation gift since I outgrew mine in college and have yet to replace them (or require them as I have not been competing). Mom and I went to 4 different tack stores in Virginia Beach when I was home for Thanksgiving. NO LUCK!! I tried on a pair of Ariat Heritage II zip back in a size 8.5 Wide Medium. They Zipped which was AHHmazing since I was convinced that I would need an XW (I'm a chunker!). But, as you may know, Ariats run big. So my usual 8.5 translates to am 8 in Ariat. I love love my Heritage II zip Paddocks (size 8). I hate boots too large b/c I feel like I can't feel my irons. I guess its the same concept as me only riding in close contact no knee roll saddles-- I need to feel my horse. I tried on the 8 wide and what do you know... NO LUCK. In addition they would be a touch too short once they settled (I am 5'8).

Now, I'm not married to the idea of Ariats. I hear the zippers don't hold up very well on the tall boots anyway. This is my mother's money I'm spending here and she doesn't have much of it. She has probably been saving for a while for this. So my max is close to $250 (Internet shopping and such lets me get retail $300 for about that).

I looked at some new TreadStone's at a tack store this summer. They felt amazingly soft. Apparently the leather is Indian but is tooled in the English style which keeps the price point low and the quality high. They have the spanish top and I have read some COTH reviews that speak very highly of them. I found some on EBay and the measurements are 18.5 height and 15 3/4 W (for the 8.5 foot Wide Calf) These are the same measurements as the Ariat 8.5 MW that I was able to zip but may have been a tad short once they settled (now keep in mind they were NOT spanish top).

I am wondering... Do I take a chance on those? What are my other options? It seems that I may need semi-custom, but thats not in my budget!! My other thought was to get a pair of Ariat size 8 Tall and see about getting the calf stretched??

Suggestions? Opinions? Sympathy?-- I will take them all.

16 days til graduation btw... Classes are over & Papers are submitted. I only have Oral Defenses left on the 8th!!!

In other news, IT. WONT. STOP. RAINING. I am going to paddle out to see my pony tonight. When I went to see him Monday, his back legs were both swollen although he appeared sound (I trotted him through the barn aisle as it was pouring!!). I gave him a bute, antibiotic, and DMSO. The farm owner emailed yesterday saying she didn't notice any swelling. So lets pray it is gone and a non-issue. B/C I cannot afford a major (or any) injury. I may really have to consider selling him if he keeps getting injured! I just can't maintain until I get a better paying job :(

Thats all for now. I have been brainstorming awesome blog posts for after graduation. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham

Friday, November 20, 2009

I quit...

Yes one of my big final papers came back for its THIRD round of corrections... I must be a moron. I quit! Throw in the towel! Call a truce with my prof! ARGH. OK-- Done complaining. I havent seen Granite since monday. I will go see him tonight and then probably spend the evening writing. papers.--- Have fun to all of you who actually get to RIDE!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Pictures & Winding Ridge Farm

My Sweet Family!

Love my Baby Boy!

I emailed some of these pictures to the woman who sold Granite to me. I know I would want regular updates if I were her. That got me thinking that I should share her website with you. They are a really sweet little sporthorse farm. You can see Granite's mom and even some baby pictures of him on the site. You have got to check out the stallion that Granite's mom (Grace) is currently in foal to! LA Baltic Sunrise! Nice stuff-- I'll trade for THAT baby! JK.

I turned in a ton of work this week. Only 2 small papers and 2 classes left of my Graduate School Career! Its carzy. What will I do with all the time? And whats life like without stress and guilt? This is sure to be a new adventure!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting better... But looking BaD!

How can such a pretty boy have such a horrible looking mouth?? He must be feeling better because he finally let me touch his mouth. I didn't try his bridle or anything but he was alright with my fingers in his mouth for the first time since last Monday. You can see pretty well in the first picture that he has one cap still hanging on. He had about 4 new permanent teeth (all in one week) so I can't imagine the kind of pain he was in. Hopefully by next week he will be feeling back to his old self.


I submitted 77 pages worth of Grad Thesis type stuff today!! Sweet Victory. Just pray it doesn't come back for 8,000 rounds of corrections...

Between last minute corrections, I did have time for my photog friend to come snap a few pics with her new camera. More to come-- but this is a preview.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tidbit for you dressage folks...

This link came to me from a friend. I think its funny although it highlights some upsetting trends in a wonderful discipline.

Check it out:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mystery Unraveled

Well thanks for all of your advice! Today I had the barn owner and her husband try to help me bridle Granite. He was extremely resistant and we did not succeed. Then the husband pried his lips open and he see 2 teeth that are longer because they are about to fall out. The gums are a little irritated because you can see the permanent teeth cutting in behind the baby teeth that are falling out. I did some research and at 2.5 in the fall/winter they are supposed to lose their first set of incisors. We went down to look at Granite's pasture mate who is the exact same age and he is losing 2 teeth also! So crisis averted. It seems that he is in some pain but it is natural and his pasture buddy is going through it too. Poor bubba! I feel horrible that I fought with him so much to try to get his bit in his mouth. So tonight since he is having a hard time getting grass, I (paid extra) put him in a stall with hay tonight. We are in the middle of the perfect ficken storm. Hurricane Ida, a Nor'Easter off of the coast and a low pressure system hovering. It is cold and windy and rainy and schools and businesses are closing. So I am happy to have my boy warm and dry even if it may put me in the poor house. I just wanted to update you all and thank you again for the suggestions.

Anyway below is something I pulled off of one of the websites that seems to sum up the situation pretty well.... sheesh why did I determine that buying a baby horse was a good idea?? Shoulda got one already done with this crap-o-la.

"Back teeth in young horses often cause difficulties when being replaced with permanent teeth

Young horses often suffer more tooth problems than adults, especially when the temporary baby teeth are being replaced with permanent teeth. It is easy to see the horse's front teeth shedding and being replaced with larger ones but not so easy to examine the back teeth-and these are the ones that cause the most problems in the young adult horse.

The temporary back teeth usually push up through the gums sometime during the foal's first month of life. These baby teeth remain in place until they are pushed out by the permanent teeth. Between ages two and four, the horse is in the process of losing those baby teeth (often called caps), and they are normally shed in sets of four. In textbook order, the first set of caps is shed when the horse is about 2 1/2 years of age, the second set at three, and the final set of caps comes off at about 3 1/2 to four years of age.

Tooth problems cause pain and discomfort. An observant horseman usually will become aware of problems when they start and have the horse examined by a veterinarian or equine dentist. Tooth problems in a young horse may cause it to throw its head while being ridden because of pain caused by the bit. Or the horse may resist having a bridle put on it.

Mouth pain can make a horse perform poorly during training. A horse cannot concentrate on its lessons or its athletic endeavors when its main attention is focused on pain in its mouth. Even in the normal youngster, sharp edges may form and cause discomfort."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Need your advice!

Alright Readers (all 5 of you...hehe),
I need your help!
As you know, Granite has been lunging in his bridle/bit for months now. He carries it wonderfully. Yesterday I went to put his bridle on and he would not let me near his mouth. I tried for 30 minutes! I eventually lunged in his halter hoping to wear him out. I tried and again with no results. I am truly praying that he is just having a 2 year old tantrum. But I think it may be an issue with his teeth. He is 2 years and 7 months old. Wolfe teeth? Caps coming off?

Do any of you A.) have any suggestions for correcting this bad behavior (which I hope is all it is)
B.) know more than I do about the dental development of a horse his age?

I will do some web research and speak with his trainer (I tired calling last night and left her a voicemail). Its just that my recent DC trip has wiped me clean of any funds I have at it seems that I owe everyone money. Lets all pray its not his teeth! Cause this will entail farm call, sedation, dental work! Ahhhh! I am STRESSED now! I never thought I would pray that my horse is just being a jerk. Any advice is much appreciated.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Dapple of my Eye

I just want to share a few photos from the last couple of days. Granite is doing wonderfully. I have my first lesson in ages on Wednesday... Wish me Luck!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Quick ReCap

Hello and Happy Fall Y'all!

I know I never have time to write and I do apologize.
However the end is in sight. I graduate Dec 17th at 10am (hmmm, then what will I call my blog if no longer a grad student?)... Expect regular posts to follow.
Until then, I can share with you a brief recap of the past 3 months...
This week marked 3 months at my "big girl job". My Town Council votes on removing me from my probationary status tonight at our Council Meeting.
Granite is steadily progressing and is lunging like a champ in the arena decked out in bridle and saddle.
I have decided to have the woman who owns my farm break him. She is a paint trainer (yes he is a warmblood hunter prospect) but she knows her stuff and its much cheaper to keep him home and will avoid the stress of him traveling. The trainer I sent him to this summer got pregnant (damn her!) so I can't send him to my first choice trainer anyway... Either way, he goes under saddle in April!
School is still plugging along, but as I mentioned, the end is in sight.
I am STILL perpetually single as I have no time or energy to devote to a man not named Granite...
Daphne is still my wild woman pup but she is joining me at the horse farm on weekends and is getting along great with the 2 dogs that live a the farm.
I started weight watchers... I am only down 3 pounds, but am eating much better and am jogging with consistency all in an effort to be in shape when Granite goes under saddle.
My best friend and I took an amazing trip to Washington, DC to watch the Washington International Horse Show 2 weeks ago! It was fabulous. I got to watch Margie Engle, Rodrigo Pessoa, and McLain Ward ride in addition to some stellar junior riders. It was an inspiring experience (except when you realize that short of winning the lottery, I will never be able to compete at that level no matter how good I may be...sigh).
Finally the most exciting news- I found a riding instructor. I met with her and told her that I can only afford a lesson every few weeks, then she mentioned some horses she has that need exercise - free of charge (one of which is on the market for $30,000!). I rode him last night for the first time! It was phenomenal (I havent been on a horse in months!). I am in pain today...significant pain.
Well then, I am off to do some school work before my fate is decided by Town Council.
I promise at least a few more updates then I am back to blogging again after graduation (and when I actually have more than lunging and brushing Granite to share with you!)
"jackson" The expensive horsie I got to ride last night at my new instructor's farm!
McLain Ward winning the High Jump at 6feet 10inches
Margie Engle, my childhood idol (ok, she's still my idol...perhaps I drooled a little when I watched her ride-- don't judge me!)
Me and Bestest being giddy school girls at the WIHS! Yours Truly posing in front of the arena the night of the Eq Medal!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Big Changes in the World of Rachel!

I know I have been guilty of neglecting my blog and I do apologize but when I tell you everything that I have been up to in the past two weeks you will understand, I am sure. So I logged 51.5 hours at my internship in my final week and as a result, did not see my baby boy until Friday. My mom came Friday to help me move out of my old apartment and in to Chateu De Meg et Rachel (pretty sure thats ala french, latin, spanish and eglish, but get over it). My boss let me leave early on my last day and my mom and I went to see my new office. Then I took her to visit her Grandson (Granite Obviously) for the second time. She loved him although she was intimidated. I measured him, and he is 16.0 hands at 2 years and 4 months old. He looks so mature and he has really stated to come around.

Weekend before last was filled with movers, sweat, and stress. Thanks God my roommate felt like paying for movers (god knows I dont have the money!). My new apartment is super cute and so close to Granite's farm (11minutes). To continue on with the monumental life moments, I started my first full-time job with a salary and benefits in the career field in which I was educated. I loved my first week!

So check out the pictures... Granite has begun to lunge in his bit and bridle!

Baby boy in his bridle

My new office (see Granite's picture on the wall)
Granite working like a big boy!
Hand Grazing is all we can do in the 100 plus heat!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Starting to forget what my pony looks like...

I haven't seen Granite since Sunday night. I don't foresee getting to see him again til at least Saturday. I am so sad about it, since he is so young, I always think that he will forget me! I am packing for Saturday's move tonight. Tomorrow, my mother is coming to town and she will be helping me finish packing and start cleaning the old apartment. The movers come early Saturday to take us to our new home! Hopefully, I can go see my boy and show my mother his new farm after we have most of the big stuff moved in. My mom has only met my horse once, when I was recovering from surgery and it was raining and muddy and she certainly didn't get to see his personality. I really mom has a chance to get to really know him this weekend, but it is going to be crazy busy, so who know! I will update you on the moving progress on how Mom and Granite get along.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Too busy, way too busy...

So I am too busy to write.

I have 45 hours of internship to finish by Friday (as of 11pm tonight). I am working in every waking moment to try to get this accomplished so that I can start my new job on Monday without this hanging over my head. I did mention that I am moving Saturday right? Yea, I haven't packed a single bag! I am SO grateful that my Mom is coming into town Friday to help me! But, either way, I am working 13 hour days until then... That means I probably won't see my poor pony all week. I am an awful Mom. At least I got to see him 5 times this weekend!

So abbreviated version of a post is going to be this-- Farm sitting went very smoothly. Very well mannered equines!

My photog friend just sent me the huge file of pics and I figured to hold you folks over until my world slows down, I would share some of the prize pics (even though, I am starting to think that 'hanoverian' they promised me is actually 'mule'-- check out those ears!)...

Also: I measured my boy on concrete and standing square: 16.0 at the wither and 16.1 at the butt at age 2yr 3m.

OH- one more thing, Granite's trainer just started a blog: see the "blogs I follow, and you should too" Its called Rooster.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My whole family

OK, I don't really have time to write right now, but my photog friend came out to take some pictures of Granite (I want to blow up a black and white for my new office) and she got one of my whole family...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I am in love

Yes in love, with the new Town where I will be employed starting August 3rd! I went there tonight for a board meeting and I love the building, the people, the atmosphere. And listen to this little morsel of wonderfulness-- I get dental too! If you knew me, you would know how I am about teeth... so YAY dental! Anyway, I think I am going to fit in just peachy and my office has a window. Bring it on Baby! Tomorrow is my last day at my part-time job and I have 66.5 Hours left to put in at my internship (although I only have one week to accomplish this). Plus we are moving a week from saturday, thank god for my roommie or I would be trying to pack the whole house next Friday night... EEEKKK!

In other news... I over slept this morning so Daphne had to stay at the house-- I usually take her to D's farm to play with her brother and 4 other dogs while I am at work-- but she was great for Roommie and apparently kept Roommie's dog entertained while she was trying to pack. So this may work out well for everyone when we move and it would be difficult and time consuming to take Daphne to daycare at D's farm.

I didn't have time to go to the farm tonight with the board meeting, but I went out yesterday. I put Granite's saddle and girth on and walked him around and let him graze. He was such a champ! I then lunged him and worked with him the the large arena for a while. He continued to knock my socks off, and let me tell you about his extended trot! Good lord, I think he may accidental be a dressage horse. NO Granite! Be a hunter for mommy, PLEASE! I followed this great work out with a Granite shower and he was SO good. He stood in the cross-ties and generally made me never want to put him on Craig's List :)

Farm sitting begins tomorrow... wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Farm Sitting Chronicals, Part I.

Last night I went out to my new farm to learn the feeding routine as I will be babysitting 9 equines this weekend. She sent one to training and two are going away for the weekend with her, so I am left with Granite and 8 others. She only has 5 stalls (even though there is room for at least 3 more) and she uses a John Deere 4-wheeler thing to put the poo in then I can easily drive it out to the pit where she dumps it. Only three horses will be in during the day and everyone is out at night. Only those 3 and Granite get fed dinner, everyone else only has breakfast. This should be a cake walk!
I was in a rush to get home and help roomie pack last night so I only groomed Granite. He has sores on his Jaw from the fly mask. It is totally my fault b/c I left it on for 2 days, but I thought it would be OK since it is padded. I feel soooo horrible, but I am very grateful that the owner of the farm noticed and took it off for me. I guess he will have to deal with flies in his eyes b/c I am NOT willing to let him get rubbed raw again. Poor baby horse!
I have a dinner date w one of my co-workers after work but then plan to go work with Granite before I go home and pack some more... I will let you know how it goes. For now, here is a picture of me and the big man that I took yesterday evening.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Daphne is SO going to have to get a job...

Roomie and I went to look at our new place last night. It is 11 minutes closer to my new job & Granite's barn than our old apartment is. The place is bigger (at least the floor plans say so) than our current place, but it felt small to me... which could be the fault of the ugly furniture they had in the model apartment. Either way we paid 123$ to apply to live there. They will probably turn us down considering Roomie was laid off from her teaching job and I make next to nothing as Town Clerk. It will cost us over $1,000 to move in and over $700 (not including utilities or Daphne's damage) to move out of our current Hell-Hole. I am panicking!!! I have no clue what I will do to cover all of these expenses when my new salary will barely cover my usual monthly bills. Not to mention this place is slightly more expensive (which I hope is offset by the gas savings). I am grateful to have a roommate, but I feel like I hold her back because I just want something cheap when she really wants something nice. Either way, we are going to do this even if I have to borrow some of the initial money from her. So now I must log over 100 hours at my jobs by next Friday in addition to packing to move on August 1st! I start my new job August 3rd. I may die of some sort of panic attack. Hope you won't miss me too much.

In better news, I am going to the farm today to learn the feeding routine. I will be feeding Fri-Sun and hopefully putting a nice chuck of cash toward next month's board. Also, my current boss at my internship ran the idea of doing some contract work for her by me today! These two endeavors could be a total savior for me. If I could manage to work off most of Granite's board every month by feeding or cleaning stalls or even exercising, and I can pick up some weekly hours contracting for my internship City, I may end up OK after all. I also applied for a scholarship today that may cover my last semester of school. If all of these opportunities combine, I may have the perfect storm on my hands and be able to sustain my current lifestyle! Wahoooop!

Well, sorry for the short and worrisome post today, but I am training my replacement in less than an hour and I want to get caught up on some work first. I will let you know how it went at the farm learning how to take care of all of the critters.

PS- If you think of any more clever ideas that can help me earn some extra cash on top of my 40hr a week job Tuesday night class & saturday class (not to mention night meetings for work)... please share them. I told Daphne she needs to start checking craig's list for work or at least a man to take care of her and mommy ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

This RollerCoaster of Life keeps on flying...

I didn't go to the farm Friday, I was nearly out of gas and feeling very down (too down to make the drive to visit the horsie...). So I went home and cleaned and did some data entry for work and took a long walk with Daphne. That helped and I was able to settle nicely into my TiVoed episodes of So You Think You Can Dance (Where is So You Think You Can Ride?? Then again, it would probably kick my ass...).

Saturday brought the inevitable. NMML now stands for: No Man in My Life. Things just were not working out for us. This made me very sad as he is the first guy in a long time to have long-term potential. But as we know from our equines, potential is merely that... it is no promise.

Thankfully my best friend was slated to come in town as my friends were throwing me a "Job-a-Palooza" party to celebrate my job offer. I really needed Bestest after such a crappy morning. She arrived in late afternoon and we headed straight to the horse farm. She hadn't seen Granite's new accommodations and I was so pleased that she was VERY impressed with them. Granite proved himself a gentleman as we worked in the round pen on the lunge for his "Auntie" to see. His new fly mask also stood the test of his pasturemate and I was pleased to see that it was still secured on his head when I arrived. Bestest and I had to rush off after only an hour with Granite in order to finish decorating and getting ready for our party.

The party went off without a hitch and it lifted my spirits. I have really great friends (especially my Best Friend & Colorado & Ms. Priss- a girl from my program). Sunday morning was a lazy one, as most are when they follow an evening of celebration. Bestest and I, to our delight, realized that O'Charley's serves Sunday Brunch. Then we went to go see "My Sister's Keeper". I loved the book by Jodi Picoult and for the first time ever, I must say the movie not only lived up to the book, but surpassed it. Three tissues is NOT sufficient, so I recommend that you go see it, but come prepared!

Bestest headed back home to Raleigh and my day went back down. I went to a used book store b/c I just finished one of the most fun and entertaining books that I have read in a long time: "Bitter is the New Black" by Jen Lancaster. I really wanted her next novel "Bright Lights, Big Ass". Go figure, the book store didn't have it, so I ordered it on and will have to wait until next week to get started on it. Her blog is fabulo! Check it out-- although not at all horse related, I love her Whit and blunt humor.

To top off that slight disappointment, I called home. Daddy finally asked me how far in student loan debt I am really. He was not pleased, to say the least when he got the answer. He proceeded to make me feel super guilty about all the money I spend on my animals. I won't be making much at my new job (sadly, b/c I finish my master's in only 4 class hours!) and Daddy thinks I need a part time job (I do too), but this will be difficult considering I have a Tuesday night class, a Saturday class, and must attend night meetings for work about 5 times a month... Money is going to become more a more of a struggle in my near future. Roomie and I are going to sign leases on a new place after work today. The place is less expensive (although not by much) but it is only 15min from the horse and my new job as well as school and D's farm. This is great considering I am 30min from Granite and my new job in our current crap-tastic apartment complex. It will, however, cost a fortune to get out of our current place thanks to Daphne "Destroyer of all things carpet". Thankfully, I was asked to feed the 14 horses at my new farm when the owner goes out of town for the weekend and this will take care of MOST of next months board!!! If I can work this out or maybe some exercise rides, maybe my finances in regards to the horse would be a bit more stable.... < haha, get it? Stable? hehe-- I crack myself up.

That is my weekend in a nut shell, down, up, up, down, down... Life is truly a roller coaster ride.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Its not over till the fat lady is covered in wormer...

So, I signed my "letter of intent to vacate" yesterday at my Crap-tastic apartment complex! Monday, Roomie and I are going to check out what will probably be our new digs. So many changes, so little time...
So, I went to the tack store that is about 3 minutes from my new farm to get some wormer and a fly mask (his roomie keeps taking his off). 68 dollars later, I left with a fly mask, wormer, bridle rack, 2 sponges, hoof dressing, treats, saddle soap, and a lunge whip. Hello paycheck, goodbye paycheck... I think I just realized why I am always so desperately poor. UGH!

I got to the barn and worked Granite in the round pen. He was an angel. We lunged and moved his feet around. I could tell after about 15 minutes that he was getting frustrated and I realized that my baby still has a very short attention span. I took him in and put him in the wash down. He has never been in one and I expected it to be a big deal, it wasnt! He walked right in and turned around without batting an eye! I was so proud. I didn't tie him (again) and he stood like a gentleman the whole time I groomed him. Fly spray was a non issue! He was a little nervous about the hoof dressing but it didn't take us long to work through that. After he was all cleaned up I decided to pop him with some paste wormer since he is on the feed-thru but missed a month of it while at training and he is in a new pasture, so I thought it couldn't hurt to give him a dose. He bobbed his head and would NOT let me give him the wormer. By the time all was said and done. His nose was covered in yellow paste. My shirt was splattered and I even found some on my nose (of course I realized this AFTER I went to subway). It was kind of funny, but I need to get that under control and quickly! Anyway. Here are some pictures. I swear he is a much prettier mover than these pictures portray...
It is forecasted to rain today, but I hope to make it out to the barn if only to groom. NMML is not working out so great for me right now and I could really use a big horsie hug today :(