Thursday, November 16, 2017

1 Step Forward, 500 Steps Backward

So owning Sailor has been a saga. I have gone from sitting a few bucks and laughing to ugly crying the second he flicks his tail and snorts in disagreement.

About 1 month after I got him, Sailor reared and bucked with me. We had a few training rides, a few lessons, and all seemed to be well-tense and guarded, but well.

Then we had a jump lesson over crossrails, and he BRONC'd after every fence. We stopped the lesson early, and I called the vet, and the chiropractor, and my mom, and my boyfriend.

Saddle went off to be adjusted. Sailor got adjusted. And I emptied my wallet.

Sailor got 3 weeks off because my work schedule made it convenient, and I thought it was a great rest for his back and a good way to spend his time while the saddle was adjusted.

We started back on the lunge over poles, then in the Pessoa, then on the lunge in the saddle over poles, and he looked so comfortable. So I sat on him, trotted him for 10 minutes, and scheduled a flat lesson.

The flat lesson, he was distracted and anxious. I was anxious. He was willing until we asked for the canter, and he gave me a frantic flat trot. We tried again, and he dove through my outside leg and snorted. The aggressive rider I used to be on Candy and Lexie wasn't there. And I just bawled. So my trainer hopped on, rode through a few micro-bucks and got the canter both directions.

I made the decision to call out a professional saddle fitter, and decided I would not ride him until we addressed the saddle. If the saddle fits, then his back gets X-rayed, and he starts ulcer treatment.

And, as much as it breaks my heart, if we can't figure out our working relationship by the end of the winter, or at least improve it, well. I really hope it's not the case. Riding isn't fun right now. It isn't relaxing. But I like him- I like his canter when he is proud of clearing a fence, I like his big scopey jump when he is nervous.

Here's hoping we can fix him, and start to develop a partnership.

- K & C & S

Friday, October 20, 2017

Adventures in Owning a New Pony

What I thought it would be like:

What it's actually been like:

One chiropractor appointment, one vet appointment (for cellulitis), a new SmartPak, and saddle refitting later...

I think I can ride my *new* horse in exactly 2 weeks from now.

- K & C & S

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Horse of a Different Color

When I moved back to Kentucky, I chose not to take Lexie with me, and I was devastated- the amount of crying, wine-drinking, and chocolate eating I did made it look like a bad breakup and it felt like I was losing a loved one. I decided I would wait until the fall (at the earliest) to start a horse hunt or bring her up. I took lessons here and there after I left Lexington, and fell into a small depression when work ramped up. I was on call constantly and didn't have a day off for weeks. Standard intern life, conducive to riding Candy but not to lessoning on a going horse consistently.

During this time, I got a phone call that a horse I was interested in had dropped in price... conveniently into my budget. I had lessoned on him weekly for two and a half months during my preceptor in Lexington, and really loved his personality.

After a week or two of negotiating, an almost spotless PPE, I accidentally bought a horse a good 3 months ahead of my timeline!

Meet Sailor! He's a 16.1h, 7 year old OTTB with a puppy dog personality and a (nervous) heart of gold. I think he'll make a cute derby/3'-3'3 hunter, but for now (mostly because of location), we are going to dabble in eventing.

Can't wait until he moves here in September!

- K & C & S!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Not Quite a Student, Not Yet a Doctor

I'm 2 days away from wrapping up week 3 (of 52) as a veterinary intern. So far, I've been learning a lot, but struggling to find my place.

I used to be an unlicensed vet tech, and I tech'ed for 5 years. It's been hard to undo my habits of cleaning, tidying, restraining animals, and doing everything in between. I'm struggling to find my way as a doctor, which is exactly what this program is for. Hours have been long, but not as long as they could be, and I'm grateful for that. I spend the day working with patients and clients, sometimes on my own, sometimes not- depending on the service.

Overall, I can't say too much about the experience yet. I am sure the knowledge I'll gain will be indispensable.

- K & C

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Finding a Fit

I've been a little quiet on the horse front, mostly because... well, there is nothing. Since moving, I've been struggling to find a lesson program that fits my needs. I found one that was seemingly perfect- if only they would call me back.

The area I moved to has a handful of eventing barns and even less hunter jumper facilities. It's been a frustrating two weeks for me- I took one lesson, but ultimately decided the program didn't offer what I needed as a rider, and have been cold-calling facilities ever since. I can't decide if I'm being impatient or if our fast-paced culture is making expect a returned call within 24-48 hours. It's been depressing, and has been making me really nervous about my upcoming internship year- I miss the lesson program I joined in Lexington (1.5 hours away) and miss the lesson horse I had bonded with there (also 1.5 hours away). If I worked a standard 40 hour a week job, I could justify a 1 hour drive to a hunter jumper facility. If I worked a job with a good salary, I could justify the weekly $70 riding lesson, but unfortunately, I don't work either of those jobs, and never will. Being realistic, I'm not sure when I'll actually lesson regularly again, not sure when I'll have a *sound* horse of my own, or when I'll compete again, if ever.

The only positive is that Candy is safe and sound in Kentucky with me- his retirement facility seems like a perfect fit and the care seems phenomenal. Any farm with 5 horses over 30, all with mirror-shiny coats, has to be good, right?

Trying to find the good in this situation. I feared it for a long time, and it's here, and it's just as I was afraid. I just hope that although the immediate future is cloudy and rainy, I hope that my long term career with horses and in veterinary medicine is bright and sunny because of these sacrifices.

-K & C

Friday, June 9, 2017

Veterinary Intern Essentials

I'm about to start my veterinary internship (Wednesday!), and I've already stocked up on my essentials to get me through the year. What do I love? Here's a list... Featuring the world's best attempt at an image board collage. #amateurhour

 1. Comfy scrubs are a must. I love Grey's Anatomy and Figs scrubs to keep me clean and mostly fur free.

2. Comfy shoes. I spend 12-16 hours a day on my feet during clinics and will keep those hours during my internship. I love my Dansko clogs and New Balance 574s for my high arches and for preventing foot fatigue.

3. Little black book. I use Moleskine pocket notebooks exclusively. I have an address book for medication dosages, and a plain notebook for taking notes on rounds, patient histories, and treatment plans. They're a splurge, but hold so much information and last forever!

4. A favorite pen- yeah, yeah, yeah. These are kind of a goober essential, but I use black, BIC Atlantis pens. I buy them in bulk at Sam's Club. I like my ink to match and not smear, and have found these to be ultra-reliable over the years.

5. 1 Liter Nalgene water bottle. Whether it contains caffeinated Crystal Light or plain water, my Nalgene is always with me. I jokingly call myself a psychogenic water drinker because I am always sipping to keep myself alert and hydrated.

6. Patagonia. Between the Better Sweater and my obnoxious patterned Synchilla vest, I am always warm and toasty even in the chilliest of clinics.

Beyond that, I have more standard essentials: my Littman Cardiology III stethoscope, a Vick's thermometer (super fast- handy for the wiggly ones!), a trusty watch, a lint roller, and a pocketful of healthy snacks.

- K & C

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Horse Supply List- I'm An Addict

Horse Stuff
1 Prestige Nona Garson Saddle + black fleece saddle cover
2 Bridles: 1 Five Star Tack Wembley Bridle, 1 Five Star Tack Ascot Figure 8 Bridle

1 MHB Creations Fly Bonnet (charcoal, baby blue, hot pink, rhinestones)
1 Five Star Tack Signature Breastplate with running attachment

1 Five Star Tack Hickory Cavesson Noseband 
3 reins: 1 Nunn Finer Soft Grip Rubber Reins, KL Select Fancy Stitch Reins, Harwich Curb Reins
6 Bits: 1 Loose Ring French Link Snaffle, 1 Rubber Dee, 1 French Link Dee, 1 Plain Snaffle Dee, 1 Copper 3 Ring Elevator, 1 Loose Ring Plain Snaffle
1 Girth: 54" Total Saddle Fit Girth
1 Pair of Prestige Stirrup Leathers

1 Single HDR Stirrup Leather (Grab Strap)
1 pair of MDC Hunter Classic Stirrups
5 Saddle Pads: 3 Lettia Coolmax Baby Pads (Green, Brown, White), 1 Dover Saddlery Pad (Black), 1 BoT Pad (Black), 1 Barn Baby Pad (white)
1 Ogilvy Memory Foam Half Pad (charcoal with baby blue)
1 Thinline Trifecta Half Pad with Cotton Rolls (white)

1 Thinline Sheepskin Half Pad (white)
2 Thinline Hind Shims
2 Thinline Front Shims
1 Beval Wool Half Pad
1 Fleeceworks Show Pad + memory foam shims
2 Pairs of KL Select Italia Bell Boots (natural & black)

1 pair of Veredus Carbon Open Front Boots
1 pair of Veredus Carbon Hind Boots

2 sets of Dressage Sport Boots (black)- front & back
1 set of BoT Polos
1 pair of BoT Hock Boots
1 pair of Nunn Finer Double Lock Brush Boots (black)

1 set of 4 white polos
Miscellaneous/variable numbers of black and navy fleeces polos
2 sets of 4 Standing Wraps (black & navy)

1 set of 4 Black Standing Wraps
3 pairs of baby blue 14" Pillow Quilts

1 pair of BoT 14" quilts
1 Noble Outfitters Grooming Tote containing: 1 Haas Schimmel Brush, 1 Haas Lipazzaner Damen Brush, 1 face brush, 1 hoofpick, 1 comb (pink glitter), 1 Oster Mane and Tail brush, 1 bot knife, 1 pair of scissors, 1 mane pulling comb, 1 bottle of Farrier's Fix Hoof Oil, 1 bottle of Show Sheen, 1 bottle of Pyrahna Fly Spray, and 1 bottle of Eqyss Marigold Spray

1 small black bucket containing: 1 hard brush, 1 Oster soft brush
1 Cosequin bucket containing: a sponge, Gallop bay shampoo, Mane and Tail Conditioner, and Fungus Amungus shampoo
1 set of Wahl face clippers
1 set of Andis body clippers
1 Baker Halter
1 Leather Halter with Candy's show name on it
2 Lead ropes - 1 Royal Blue and 1 Black and Rainbow
1 halter + muzzle

1 sheepskin muzzle guard
1 set of sheepskin halter covers
1 Horseware Cooler in blue stripes
1 Horseware Quarter Sheet in blue stripes
1 Rhino Lightweight Turnout

1 Beval Medium Turnout
1 Amigo Heavyweight Turnout
2 fly masks: one with ears, one without ears
1 Centaur fly sheet
2 Stanley trunks: one for standard horse supplies, one for seasonal items

1 small Stanley chest containing sundry first aid supplies

Riding/Rider Stuff
1 GPA Speed Air
Varying number of brown hairnets

5 Sunshirts: 1 brown Kastel, 1 heather Tailored Sportsman, 2 EIS (black, baby blue), & 1 Hunt Club grey sport hirt
5 "cold" weather shirts: 1 burgundy FITS zip, 1 black EIS, 1 Nike Rolex pullover, 1 Columbia fleece pullover, and 1 red Nike pullover
5 Pairs of Schooling Breeches: 4 Tailored Sportsman (Charcoal, Black Forest, Black Olive, and Boysenberry/Black), 2 Pipers (Burgundy and Military Green)
1 Pair of Show Breeches: Tailored Sportsman
1 Black North Face Down Jacket

3 Vests: 1 grey Auburn fleece vest, 1 black North Face down vest, and 1 grey Champion down vest
1 Navy Blue Mountain Horse Barn Jacket
1 Pair of brown Carhartt insulated overalls
3 Pairs of Gloves: brown SSG Digital Riding Gloves, black Roeckls (show gloves), winter-weight black Roeckls
1 Pair of black DeNiro Salentos

1 Pair of grey Parlantis
1 Pair of brown Ariat Crowne Pro Paddock boots
1 Pair of brown Tredstep Leather Half Chaps
2 Pairs of spurs: roller & Tom Thumb
2 Pairs of spur straps: black and brown
2 Riding Crops: 1 black crop, 1 black/baby blue/hot pink cross country bat

1 black Tipperary vest with baby blue laces
2 Pairs of Hunter Wellies: navy (quarantine/gross boots) and olive
1 Show Coat: grey GPA
2 Show Shirts: 2 Essex Talent Yarns
2 "Nice" V-Neck Sweaters: grey J. Crew and black Ralph Lauren
5 Belts: 1 leopard print needlepoint belt with monogram, 1 green Tredstep Flex, 1 brown 2" Handy Hunter, 1 brown Hunt Club Polo, and 1 maroon Hunt Club

Coordinating Set of black/baby blue/white boot bag and bridle bag


All this for a....
23 year old

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Photo Dump/Updates

Trying to get back into the swing of blogging, although it may turn into more of a veterinary intern blog rather than a horse blog.

In the meantime, here is a photo dump from the last two months!

3 year anniversary present from the dude.
Shameless swing shift selfie
Favorite lesson horse at my current barn: Sailor, a lil 8 year old OTTB.
An "oops" on my love, Lexie-Lu.
Last ride redemption!
More of sweet Sailor.
Graduation trip: Disney World and Harry Potter!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

For Sale/Lease: Rider

5'8, skinny-fat, 26 year old rider. Smart and eager to please. Good build for the adult equitation, but needs some work to place in stiff competition. Has experience in the jumper ring up to 1.0m, and would make a solid 3' hunter/equitation rider if she ever pulls her head out of her ass. Has buttons, just doesn't always remember them. Requires a horse willing to take a joke. Asking $40k or whatever will pay her rent for the next year.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


I feel like the mood of my blog has been one of not quite hopelessness, but frustration and stagnancy.

I am an incredibly fortunate soul- I have an internship next year at a phenomenal private practice, I have found a small apartment to call my own, will be able to afford weekly riding lessons most of the year, found a wonderful, beautiful retirement farm to keep my horse of a lifetime, and my equine soulmate is in good health, shiny, and happy. I have plenty to be incredibly grateful and thankful for, but I feel so... just... empty.

I've been taking weekly lessons at a wonderful hunter-jumper facility in Lexington for the last month and a half. I've loved every lesson horse I've sat on, appreciated all their quirks, and savored ever moment in the saddle.

The last time I was riding once a week was over 10 years ago; for the first time in my life, I am riding less instead of more, and it is breaking my heart. Being out of the saddle even this much makes me ache. It's so hard to be so distant from a hobby that is all consuming, that you love, and allow to drive your very being.

I know my situation is only, at most, a year, but it is difficult wanting to maximize and cherish each day when you spend every moment counting the seconds, days, months until your next ride. It is difficult to give up something that has been with you through your darkest moments and your brightest days.

I've spent a few weeks trying to put into words how I'm feeling about my current situation, and my life for the next year; it is so hard to explain that while I am grateful for my situation, and thrilled for the next chapter, I am so devastated to put horses on the backburner, even if it is only temporary.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Resolutions

Given my current situation... my New Year's goals are a little... depressing. Basically, I'm trying to make the best out of what I will have.

Riding Related:
1. Continue riding- really all I can set goal-wise. Even if it's a 20 minute walk session on Candy once a month, just stay in the saddle during my internship year.

And that's... it.

Career Related:
1. Read all of Ettinger's- the internal medicine bible.
2. Attend IVECCS if possible.

Personal Related:
1. Try to maintain a positive attitude/positive vibe.
2. Get my body back to pre-vet school weight/fitness.
3. Focus on living a minimal lifestyle- less consumption, less waste.

Nothing too exciting- at a weird transition phase of my life, and just dealing with all of that.

- K & C & L