6 Years Ago…

I want to say that I can’t believe it’s been 6 years but honestly I can’t believe that it hasn’t been longer. It feels like forever ago I got the “free horse” call…

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I still remember the first time I saw you. Scared. Worried. Completely broken. Just like me. I didn’t know in that moment you were going to be what saved me in my darkest hour. And I’m sure you would tell me the same thing if you could. But you still followed me right onto the trailer in pitch black not knowing what your future held.

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Well B… It’s been incredible. You have brought more joy and happiness and friendships into my life that I could have never imagined. I am so thankful every day for what you’ve done for me and I don’t think I could ever repay you.

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Equine Affaire came and went and I found a few good things (like a new pair of Dublin Pinnacle boots that I still haven’t taken out of the box). But who are we kidding. I went for the “reunion”. New friends joined the group but we missed the old ones. Unfortunately K wasn’t able to make it but the good news is her baby is super healthy and happy so that’s what matters right?

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Plus that meant I got to start the E.A. weekend with my favorite little human. Don’t tell the girls but that may have been my favorite part. I’m already starting down the days until the next time that’s for sure. Maybe my shopping list will be a little longer next time around.

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Trying to get in as much ride time in on as many horses as I can. There was a little hiccup in my confidence over the last couple of weeks after a little spurt of barn crap. There’s no better way to fix that than more pony time that’s for sure. Especially with my favorite sidekick to my left.

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Cody has been absolutely super… So much that I think he might be sick. Or maybe something just clicked. Or I just learned how to ride over E.A. weekend by osmosis and he really appreciates that. I know I do!

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I’ve been trying to throw in a few rides here and there on this guy too while the BM is working her way back into the saddle. I forgot my barrel saddle so I hopped on him and I think he has a secret yearn for eventing and just doesn’t know it yet! His name is Jasper, the Little Red Ranch Horse ❤

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Lucky for me, W said I could hop on Elijah too. She’s had him since he was a baby and she has done such a good job with him. Even though sometimes he can be a brat about moving forward, he is such a pleasure to ride.

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Of course none of the other boys will steal my away from this guy. Just helping me become a better rider for him. I’m so proud of how far he’s come and we’re definitely in winter mode. Long, low, and no place to go fast. We definitely are in need of a quiet trail ride with our buddies but he’s not being a jerk about getting stuck inside now that my winter schedule has taken over. Thanksgiving is definitely going to be lots of treats and a kiss on the star while I run out the barn door.

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At least I got in one last hoorah before this crazy week begins with a few friends! Good friends, good beer, and a great band. I’ll take it. Oh… And here’s Mitch.

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New Jersey Vacation

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Clarity

I had been waiting to head out for months and everything just kept getting in the way… But the last thing I was going to do was tell Lauren that my truck was unable to haul and there was a slight issue with getting a trailer. I knew it was going to work out. It just had to work out. I needed this trip. We needed this trip. With a stroke of luck and some bartering, I was able to borrow a friend’s trailer and Dad so graciously handed me the keys to his brand new Dodge… I was one lucky girl.

It was only about a 4 or 5 hour drive but the closer I got, the lighter I felt. I think Brantley some how knew exactly where we were headed and I didn’t even stop for snacks. We pulled into the barn to L waving her hands and jumping up in down. I could of cried.

B unloaded like he was already home and once Charlie caught a whiff, the air was filled a thick bromance once more.

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Bromance

So of course when we started fitting Brantley for a halter for overnight turnout… Charlie lost his shit in his stall which included rearing, striking, bucking, and making all sorts of, “YOU JUST GOT HERE! DON’T LEAVE ME!” noises…

Luckily that ended real fast when C realized how dumb he was being. After a couple errands we had a quick ride before it got too dark and got the trailer ready for the next day. L had a list of places that she wanted to check out and I was psyched! The next couple days were going to be a great way to prep us for the hunter pace we planned on going to.

Our first ride was out to the Round Valley Reservoir and man did we have a blast. It was Charlie’s first outing in a while so we took it easy until he settled in and B was an absolute rock. As things went on and they got comfortable, we started to move out pretty well. Luckily down one strip I got hit in the face with a rock sooooo… We stopped bantering just in time to not get hit by a car.

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Whoops…

Thank goodness we survived that because L decided to explore a hill we both thought led to nowhere when actually it was an incredible gallop path with an even more incredible view at the top.

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Saturday we had breakfast with L’s hubby and headed out for another adventure at Deer Path Park which was about 8 minutes from her house. We didn’t have the highest of hopes for anything spectacular but we really just wanted a nice easy ride to follow our 6 miles mountain ride the previous day.

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We got both of those things including a few fields where we clocked about 25-26mph. Poor Brantley is not used to losing but he ran his heart out!

After tucking them away we prepped for the hunter pace which was the perfect way to end the weekend that’s for sure. Lots of walking… and galloping… and even a few jumps. Unfortunately we came in a bit too fast (13 minutes?) but I don’t think we would’ve wanted to ride any differently. The best part about the weekend (other than stealing a dog at the finish line) was watching L and Charlie click all over again.

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It was definitely difficult to leave… But I was glad to get home to my other boys. One of which I think missed me a lot. Luckily Equine Affairs is right around the corner so I can get one more Lauren fix before next year.

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Downtime

After the trial last weekend we definitely took it easy the following week. I went out for a couple great trail rides with the pup in tow and for once Brantley seemed completely content just standing and talking to strangers for a bit which is new. Usually he’ll dance around wanting to keep walking but I had him on the buckle and he dozed off as we chatted.

We had a couple of quick flatwork days but took a break from jumping and our dressage test. He had Saturday off and then we had a 15-mile ride at the Myles Standish State Forest with Wendy on Sunday.

I didn’t start my watch at the beginning of the ride so I didn’t get to track the whole thing but you can see where we should’ve started. Loooots of gallop time which is what him and I both needed for sure. There were even a few times that I asked him to move out and he questioned it for a second and then obliged like the gentleman he is.

We trotted through puddles and passed dead trees on the sides of the trail without a second thought and even had a couple run in with not so nice cyclists flying by on the main road. One was probably doing 40mph while grunting and moaning so loud we thought he was having an intimate moment with his bicycle. Both boys handled it well and Wendy and I were laughing too hard to even be mad.

After kindly passing another group of horses with a not so happy/friendly chestnut, we took off down the trail so that we didn’t have the chance of getting mangled up in that mess. We were having too good of a ride. We came up again to another road and stopped to check the map. Of course my ears as well as Brantley’s perked up when we heard a motorcycle roaring around the corner… this guy was not going to slow down.

Luckily Brantley lived in a field on a main road by a motorcycle shop so I wasn’t too worried. But the guy saw us and still took the corner hard, kneeling to the ground, picking up speed. Wendy and I just looked at each other and before we could say anything, three more flew by. Boys didn’t even twitch. I was sure something terrible was going to happen after that. There’s no way this ride could be that perfect…

But it was. We went for a quick dip and had an amazing lunch, boys loaded up nicely, and we were homeward bound. Guess this means back to work. Horse Trail #3 on Saturday and we’re so going to kick ass.

Still A Little High

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I’m still a little high from Sunday… ridiculous I know. But can you blame me? Look at my boy… he’s so happy and ready to get sh*t done.

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We haven’t been doing too much this week. Monday came around and the farrier showed up. I guess I forgot an appointment that we made last week? By the time he was done we figured we’d be better off just taking a day and going on a hike. He was pretty content with sleeping all day though.

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I planned to ride on Tuesday even just some quick flat work but then Surprise! Apparently we scheduled our second round of shots and strangles vaccine. After that I figured hey… a day off definitely won’t hurt… and then he had Wednesday off…

Put him on the line Thursday and he definitely had a little more piss and vinegar than I wanted to deal with but I was determined to go for a nice walk/trot on the trails with the BO. We have a 10-mile ride tomorrow so I needed my horse to have a brain. He was great and we did do a little canter headed home. I tried to keep our “Brantley, stop being a dick” conversation quiet so the BO wouldn’t get worried as she cantered off. He finally relaxed after realizing that not being in the lead isn’t too bad. He really wanted to go though… so Friday happened.

Walked into the barn after dropping all of my money on vet bills for the other four-leggers and said, “I’m tacking up English and we’re going for a gallop.” to the BO. I love how game she is for just about everything. We ended up having a fantastic ride and I definitely pushed passed my English tack safe zone a little. Worth it!

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I got to go visit my boy Rio today which was a lot of fun. We hopped over a little branch. He was adorable and definitely not the bravest of ponies but he obliged. I have a feeling I’ll be spending a little more time with him in the near future. ♡

I figured I should get a good flat ride on B before our ride tomorrow. Life can’t be all about galloping on the trails and jumping… although I definitely think I’d be happier doing that as well. We were both really not in it to get anything done but we got a good 30 minutes in before the bugs got too bad so I figured I’d call it before things took a turn.

Told him I needed picture for today’s post… and this what I got.

I may or may not have streamed XC today on my phone… while driving. More like I listened to the commentary and caught what I could at the stop lights. I know. Super naughty but it was incredible. The jumps themselves looked pretty straight forward but the course itself looked pretty rigorous. Man those horses are crazy athletic and LOVE what they do. Next year I’m so going!