Don’t Worry!

I haven’t forgot about y’all!

Moving is some serious work, I tell ya! Our house is starting to closely resemble an episode of Hoarders (except without all the poop and bugs) and I’m on nervous breakdown #12001 about shipping Willow cross country…. seriously. It’s the most nerve wracking part of  this whole move. Thank the Gods that I know Stacy is wonderful and competent and loves Willow!  I’m still waiting on a few more quotes from various shippers (after deciding that it won’t be worth the $200 savings that it would be to do it myself via trailer rental) before I make a decision, but once we get settled I’ll be sure to post a review from the company that we chose. 🙂

In good news, Shannon’s 12 month appointment went really well. She’s 18lbs 6 oz and 28 inches tall, which puts her in the 18th and 11th percentiles, consecutively.  She’s in the 15-18 month physical development stages (whoop smart babe!) and while she doesn’t have a whole lot of words yet, she understands a ton and can tell me “Yes” or “No” depending on my question. If given a choice, she’ll usually point to what she wants. We are working on being pretty deliberate with her speech (so if we hand her a cup of juice, we’ll say “Juice” a few times).

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Things on the Willow front have been slow. Dr. Cathy of Vermont Large Animal came out to do all the requisite vaccinations and  do some chiropractic work on her as well. Herself’s right hip was two inches lower than her left! Yikes. She also suggested Aloe Juice to help determine if she has a hind gut ulcer issue (which we already put her on supplements for), She said the Aloe acts to numb the area, and if her cranky stopped while she was on it than it was a pretty good indicator that we were looking a ulcers.  Interesting!  Her attitude has changed significantly with the addition of more hay to her diet, the ulcer supplement, and the chiropractic. I mean, the mare was inside BY HERSELF (!!) and fell asleep while Tom was doing her feet. Yea… big change much?! I’d think so.  She’s still a total grouch in her stall, but I think that that’s just her. She happily follows me around the arena like a puppy dog (and into the tack room… whoops). I really haven’t had time to sit on her more than just wandering around bareback, so I don’t know if the whole kicking thing is cleared up… but hopefully once we get a bit more space to really move out, she’ll know that she won’t be restricted and CAN move out. 🙂

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I’m off for now. I feel like I have so many people that I want to see and so little time to see them all between sorting, cleaning, packing, errand running, vet and farrier visits, finding a shipper, etc. It’s overwhelming, a bit daunting, a bit sad, and a bit exciting all rolled into one!  At least I know that I’ll have these two to liven up the sad moments!

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To-Do List…

And it’s about as long as my arm…

I was going to write a cutesy Valentine’s Day post about how much I love my husband… because he really is the greatest thing ever. And about how much I love my kid, because she ties him for the greatest thing ever (except today…she got up at 0330). Or about Willow, since I’m hoping she’ll stop trying to kill me in the near future. Or the dogs, because Jack Jack isn’t pooping on the rug anymore.

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For all that the mare can be naughty… she seriously loves this kid.

But in reality, we have so much to do. Our PCS deadline is closing in way too fast. Shannon turns one in a few days (what the fruitbat!). I’m getting my ducks in a row to jump into small business (perfect timing, right?). And we’re preparing for an 18 + hour trip with a small child, two dogs, and 80% of our wordly possessions.

So what do we have left to do? Everything…

Sort through the house and organize what we’re taking and what the movers are packing? Nope!

Clean out my stuff at the barn, decide what I’m going to leave with Willow and what I’m going to take? Nope!

Get Dixie’s microchip installed? Nope!

Make reservations at stop #1 of our roadtrip? Nope!

Be really excited about spending a WHOLE DAY with my friend Ashley, combing the backsides of the racetrack to find pretty ponies?  Check!

Get animal vet records together in one spot? Nope!

Replace stupid iPhone so I don’t worry about being separated from my husband on the drive because of an equipment malfunction and being lost forever, eventually to be rescued by the Amish and forced into their way of living? Check!

Eat all the food in the house, so that the movers don’t pack half boxes of cereal along with the cat and the garbage? Workin’ on it.

Get Shannon’s birthday present? Nope!

Get decorations for Shannon’s birthday party? Nope!

Thoroughly research the layout of our house and design it via Pinterest? Check!

Find a new home for Willow? Nope!

Convince my child that biting is not the solution? Nope!

Convince Willow that biting in not the solution? Nope!

Figure out what to do with these new side bangs? Nope!

Plan fun and educational stops along our roadtrip route (bonus points for clean bathrooms!)? Nope!

Clip, trim, pull, and beautify Willy so that she doesn’t look like a feral beast when she makes and appearance at her new home? Nope!

As you can see… I’ve gotten most of the really strenuous stuff out of the way. Pinterest was a real arm twister, I tell you! This lifestyle, with it’s constant change is something that I’m trying to embrace. In reality, I’m nowhere near organized enough and Mike will probably end up doing most of the heavy lifting while I yell at the movers to ‘Don’t you dare scratch my saddle’ and whine because I won’t see Willow for almost a month (not that I’m worried… she’s in AMAZING hands). He’s better at that stuff anyways and I just concede because it’s what makes our marriage work. 😉 

I hope that you all have an amazing V-Day (hallmark holiday that it is, and all)! I’m going to go snuggle with my family in bed (since Shannon was up at 0330 this morning) and enjoy the day!

 

wakeywakey!

 

❤ to you all!

Just a Few Thoughts…

Hey y’all! It’s been a while since I updated (well… like a week).

Nothing new has been going on. We’re in full on getting ready to move mode, which makes things really fun since our landlord decided that this weekend would be a great time to show the condo. *eyeroll* Dogs will be off to the dog park with me to play in the snow, and Shannon and Mike can stay home and make sure nobody pilfers our stuff.

Shannon is as charming as ever! Mike was away this weekend, so she kept wandering up to the door, kocking on it, then saying “da!” “da!”. She is such a fun little thing. She’s so smart, and it’s fun to watch her learn new things! Her Nana taught her that babies don’t drink coffee… so now when she sees my coffee mug she points at it and shakes her head. It’s a little hysterical.

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Her father ‘claims’ that she picked out her own outfit.

I’ve decided to go a new route with Willow. As I’m sure that y’all know, she’s been frustrating me to no end! I think that the root of the problem is that she’s bored. We’ve been in an arena all winter, drilling the same thing… I’d be pissed off at me too! We’re going to change it up for the last two weeks that we’re here. Some free lunging (which she always has a blast with), maybe some free jumping, as many hacks outside as I can get. I was flipping through pictures of her from this summer and she was a totally different horse. I plan on finding her a situation where she can be outside 24/7, as she seems to do best that way. She HATES her stall, for the most part. I’m also hoping that in that situation we can cut wayyy back on her grain intake. In the summer she ate once, in the morning, since when they are out on grass she maintains a great weight. In winter she gets fed double that…since there isn’t free range grass.

I’m also going to ask the awesome Dr. Phil about potential reproductive system related issues, so we can rule that out.

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I feel kind of like a schmuck, getting frustrated with her and not taking full stock of the situation. I have to remember though, that I’m not perfect. We’re going to take these two weeks to just have fun, with no expectations, and start fresh in KY.  I didn’t go into this with her expecting to hit the show ring and clean up (although it’d be nice, we probably couldn’t afford it anyway). If I can squeek out a respectable training level test this season, that’ll be great. Maybe we’ll just keep our awesomeness at home, so as not to blind everybody. 😉

I know that I have a lot to work on as well. I was ‘raised’ in the hunter ring and I do not have a traditional dressage seat. We have a long way to go, but I feel that we’ll get there with some help, lots of soul searching, and a few kicks in (my) ass!

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So I hope that y’all have found some sort of enlightenment, like I have! I’m off to play in this large amount snow we just got dumped on our heads!

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Just Walk, Ya Crazy!

Willow’s little pea brain was officially blown last night. It was a little bit hysterical, from a Mom point of view.

The stars actually aligned last night, and off I bundled to the barn. (Can we just take a moment to say how kind of cruddy it is to leave your hubby and baby snuggled on the couch to go into the freezing cold to wrestle with an overly large toddler who has four legs and hates you? Mmkay?)

I was greeted with the typical snake face, but ignored her and she actually stood still so I could trim her tail/fetlocks/etc. It’s funny how quickly those ears perk up when she hears the crinkle of the carrot bag. Not such a wenchy anymore are you, Will? We suited up, and off we went.

I always lunge her in the winter before I get on, it helps her warm up, establishes who is the boss (over and over and over), and I can get an idea of the kind of crazy horse that I’m going to be swinging onto. Some may call me a chicken, I call me wise beyond my years (and also, the ground is frozen in the winter and it hurts to fall off).

She had a few moments of high headed snorty dragon moments, but relaxed pretty quickly and trucked along with her head down. I spun her once in the other direction and called it good.

She was (not surprisingly) *terrified* of the end of the arena that the mounting block was on, but we had only one episode of “Lets fly Mommy like a kite all the way to the other end of the arena, juuuuuust in case we’re in any danger of the boogeyman I know doesn’t live under the mounting block.” Seriously y’all, I had no clue that I could get that much air.

After she got over her drama llama episode and  I swung on, it was apparent that today’s lesson would be to just walk. Willow is much happier rolling along, trotting as fast as ever she can with her head stuck straight up in the air. Me, not so much. The first thing she wants to do is trot, trot, trot. I created that monster by getting after her when she decided that all she wanted to do was stand still and buck around in a circle.

We walked down the long side, made the turn, and then all the sudden I didn’t have a horse in front of me. She was happily playing (my fellow horse people know those big rolly happy bucks) underneath me. After another quick thank you to the ponies of my past, and a fit of the giggles, I pulled her head up and just made her stand. Like, still. Her little mind was totally blown. I think I could see the smoke rolling out of her ears.

Photo credit goes to SmartPak!

Photo credit goes to SmartPak!

We walked on a circle, spiraling in then out until we were using the whole arena, then back in again. It was walk two strides, jig eight, walk one, buck four, for about ten minutes. That’s fine, get the tickles out of your feet horse. I just sat and kept asking her to just walk. Once she realized that nothing was going to get her out of it she plugged along like a reasonable creature.

I set my hands a little bit higher so that she couldn’t yank downwards to buck (she was ever so please, I tell you!) and then let her trot a bit. Again, spiraling in and out to keep her engaged and focused. We had a few really lovely extensions that in no way did I ask for, and one piaffe that was glorious but again, not quite what I was going for. So back down we transitioned to just walking. She stuck her head up in the air and got a bit pacey so we slowed it down even more. One. Two. Threeeeeeee. Four. (Cue more smoke). It was harder for her than asking her to trot forward into my hand. It was kind of funny, really.

Once she got that down we did a whoa and a stand while Mom scritches all over and she did lots of huffing and puffing. Then promptly took advantage of the loose rein to leap in the air, do a 180, and stare at the cat. Thank the powers that be that I have a sticky seat! So back to work for us. I was really hoping that we could have been done. More walk work, this time it included some awesome lateral work away from the cat. Gotta love my horse. She settled back down after another few minutes and we did another whoa/scritches. She didn’t try to kill me this time.

I dismounted and, of course, we had to go over and investigate the cat. After 10 minutes of puffing and blowing at him, she chilled out and stopped trying to run backwards.

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She did lots of snake faces while I was untacking her, but warmed up for a snuggle when I busted out her end of the day candy cane. Food whore.