Monday, February 28, 2011

Everybody dies, but not everybody lives

The past week has gone by in a whirlwind.  I worked at job one on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday before class,  and then on Friday I started my new job at the other farm.  I never thought that doing stalls could be as relaxing as it is.  Its a pretty simple morning routine - feed the inside and outside horses, turn them out, check waters, clean stalls.  It only takes 1-2 hours depending on how many horses came in over night but either way its not bad.  My shoulders are sore which is great, and when I turn out the horses I get to watch 8 absolutely gorgeous hunters float across the fields.  All the horses that my boss owns are extremely well bred hunters.  Two are retired, two are four year olds, one is a two year old, one is a broodmare, and two are currently show hunters.  I'm lucky that I get to watch these beautiful horses float across the ground as I turn them out each day.  

On Saturday I went out and did the stalls again, and then afterwards I drove to Raleigh for the Professional Auction Services Quarter Horse and Paint sale.  Though I'm not a western person/rider I really love getting to understand different breeds and what their disciplines ask of the horses.  I went down there with Grayson, David, and Mary, and our awesome vet, Dr. Schuler, also came.  Having him sitting behind me, able to pinpoint even the most barely noticeable lameness, was really a treat.  He's so good at what he does, and is so willing to teach those around him that I have gotten to a point where I find out when he is coming to the barn and I drop what I'm doing just to listen to him, watch him work, and absorb information.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.

I now have a second job!  Updates later but this means that I may officially be the busiest person alive.  

Full time student
Three horses to ride at Grayson's farm
Riding job at Farm 1
Stable job at Farm 2
Photography business
Social life? (AXiD)
P90X added in there somewhere...

Then again, as they say - "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." If there is anything I can say it is that I couldn't be happier (well maybe if we could pick all of this up and put it in Spain...)

The face that makes it all worth it!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

‎"Don't look for the next opportunity. The one you have in hand is the opportunity."

 Somehow its always easy to keep looking ahead for the next thing.  We have this tendency to continuously plan and work and keep our "nose to the grindstone" as we run through life at a million miles per hour.  Ferris Bueller once told us, "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  How often do you slow down your daily routine, slow down all the work you have been doing, and think about whether what you are doing is for the end or the means?  It sounds silly because the means to an end has been so engrained in my of our minds for most of our lives, always working hard for the next thing, that we forget that we really only have this one chance at life.  I think a lot about what I could possibly want to do with my life after I graduate college.  At this point I've only found a few things that I know I wouldn't be happy doing, and putting the one thing I know I could wake up to every single day for the rest of my life on the back burner because its deemed a career with too long/hard hours and not enough reward.

Could you ever see me happy in a 9-5 desk job though?  Sure there will always be the benefits of a job with a salary, but what cost should we allow at the expense of happiness and contentment?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

89 and three rides

Days like today really make me appreciate the priviledges I have been given.  Not only am I able to attend a great private university, but because of my parent's generousity and willingness to pay my basic living expenses I have the chance to own a talented horse.  Today I woke up around 7:30 and made myself a bowl of cereal.  Before long I was on the road headed out to the barn to work with two of the three projects.  I figured that  I would work with the two that aren't mine so that if I didn't have time for the third it would be my own problem.  I think its necessary for me to make sure that I'm doing all I can for the other two as their owners are very generous to me.

The yellow pony was a firecracker this morning when I got started with her, but overall seemed very happy to be getting messed with.  I tacked her up, I'm still using the full cheek slow twist snaffle on her, a bridle without a noseband, and the running martingale, and off we went.  You'd think someone had lit a firecracker next to the ring with out she was acting when I got on, but after about 10 minutes of just slow slow slow you could see the lightbulb go off in her head as she realized what her job was.  We putzed around the ring for the next 10 minutes at a dead head trot.  PERFECT!  Slow and steady will win the race pony, I promise!  No cantering yet, I'm going to build her up slowly and hopefully I can loosen up her hind end and get that cross cantering issue worked out.  We'll see how that goes.  Next I pulled Emma out and got her ready.  I used the same saddle for her, she looks rather funny in English tack!  I used a corkscrew snaffle, although in reality she doesn't need much in her mouth, and put boots on her back legs and out to the ring we went!  This mare is broke western pleasure and WOW is that a different ride than what I'm used to.  My job is to get her really moving forward and out so that she can loosen up through her shoulder and free up her whole body.  The problem is that she was broke and is a western pleasure horse so all she really knows is collection.  The more I ride the more I should be able to loosen and bend and really get her going forward though.  She's truly like sitting on a cadillac and I feel very lucky to be able to ride her.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day One or Day 90

I woke up bright and early this morning in the hopes of working with Emma or the pony before heading out to work in Hillsborough at 10.  Instead I just helped Grayson do the horses in the morning.  I think I'm normally going to try and get Emma or the Pony ridden in the morning, and then save Aston for the afternoon.  Today that didn't happen, I just lunged Aston at then end of the day.  

At work I worked with the QH mare BB again.  She's settling down and is much less fearful/skittish around people.  Her owners came out to watch me work through the issues she had presented, and I taught them the way I work with a horse in the round pen.  It was so gratifying to watch a shy and timid 13 year old girl who had been afraid of her horse have the confidence to really play with her and form a connection.  Hopefully that connection will continue to grow, and we will begin to see a noticeable difference in the way this child carries herself.

When I got home I cooked myself a vegetable medley of scallions, baby portabella mushrooms, carrots, and spinach marinaded in balsamic, and slices of beef that were marinaded in sesame ginger. Yum!  And low-calorie too.  Around 8:30 I put in the DVD for the first day of P90X Lean.  Lean focuses more on cardio since thats what I'm more interested in building up anyway.

89 more days.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Free jumping, and p90x

I should have known, as it is always the case with horses, whenever you feel like things are getting too good to be true, you should assume its right and will soon go backwards.  Yesterday the mare was awesomely fantastic.  Today she was a terror.  She does NOT like being taken away from her fellow musketeers (the other two bay mares) and she was sure to let me know!  She screams, tosses her head, dances forward and back, and generally tries to make my life miserable.  All I wanted to do was put her bridle on, since I was planning to lunge and then free jump her.  Boy was that an ordeal.  She twisted and turned, and tossed her head whenever I got close to being able to pull the headstall over her head.  I put her in Buck's stall and it took even longer than I would have guessed.  She even double barreled in my direction more than once (kicked out with both back feet).  Not cool!  

After about 20 minutes of Aston and I arguing about the merits of wearing a bridle, we headed out to the ring on the lunge line - I win!  I let her play and run on the line, I'm not the type that minds playfulness on the lunge.  Once I had her all warmed up I unclipped the lunge and let her do her thing while my friend Brittany (a new AXiD girl!) set up the fences for her to free jump.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

First ride!

I went out to the farm this afternoon, since I had plenty of time.  Since I'm still not feeling like 100% I just played with Aston and called it a day.  I got out there and continued to work on her mane.  She HATES having it pulled, but doesn't actually get mad at me about it.  She just dances around a bit and as soon as she realizes my intentions tries to keep me from grabbing a handful of it.  Fortunately, I have about 80% of it done, so just a few more days and the whole thing will be done.  I then tacked her up, and as I tacked her Sarah arrived.  I didn't want to be alone for my first ride, so I was glad Sarah made it at that point.  I threw her bridle on, my boots and helmet and off to the ring we went.  As I got on, I didn't add leg I just let her walk off.  We walked around for 7-10 minutes and then I hopped off.  That's all I wanted from her, a happy experience!  

Tomorrow I will free jump her and hopefully get some good photos!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Horses, classes, horses

Last week was recruitment week for Alpha Xi Delta and all the other sororities on Elon's campus.  With round after round each day, I was left with very little time to go to the barn or relax during our "Fake Break".   Last Sunday was Bid Day which means the girls that we accepted into AXiD ran down the hill and became new members.  They won't officially become sisters until after initiation but they will work towards that for the next six weeks!  By Sunday I was starting to feel pretty sick, and it only got worse on Monday and Tuesday.  I had a shallow cough, pounding head ache, sore throat, no energy.  I'm finally starting to recover which is great though.  

Sunday was also my first day of work at the new farm!  I absolutely love my new job, boss, and all the horses.  Since it is a beginner barn that I'm working at I'm able to really focus on the small details of the issues plaguing these schoolmasters.  I worked with two horses that day, Lucky and BB.  I worked with Lucky first, he's a palomino QH and probably about 15h.  His issue was that in the ring he randomly stops with most of the riders who get on him.  I got on him and just focused on keeping his energy moving forward.  He got a little mad at points and hopped around, but for the most part he was good and continued to move forward.