Monday, April 27, 2015

The XC clinic that didn't have any XC

So shiney!
I am alive and well from my out of state adventure, and so is miss Bacon. Though my body has realized that things aren't exciting anymore, the adrenaline has worn off and I am sore and worn out. You are also probably wondering about the title of this post. Well, it is true. Stupid Utah rained most of the night Friday night, and rained all night Saturday night. Which ruined the footing and made things unsafe.
Hey Bacon. Remember the race track?
The plan was to jump show jumps on the terrain the first day and come up with two courses that we would like to ride twice each for Sunday. The two earlier groups (me included) worked completely on the terrain with the show jumps. The later groups did a little actual xc things to make sure all of their horses could do ditches, water and banks. After my group finished up, Bacon and I took a stroll with another new friend to make sure we could still do ditches, banks, and water.

We could.

We strolled all around the facility. It is very pretty there, with the mountains surrounding us, but also a very distracting place for a horse. The course is in the middle of a race track, and also on the side of it. There were soccer games going on right next door as well, and trains going past or hitching up to other trains. Plus, frogs galore in the water. Bacon was delivered late Friday night in good shape and went straight to eating her dinner. The next morning, I tacked up and we strolled out to the infield.
Skinnies are for the birds.
She was a bit nervous and tense, but still really good for all that was happening. Our last xc adventure was the beginning of last October, so it was all very exciting. I was made to go first in the group after our warm up (damn you S) and we were to choose four lines to jump the jumps on the different terrain. There were skinnies, oxers, verticals and such in a wonky circle-like shape. Since Bacon was a bit strong, I choose three of my lines coming up the hill and one going down. She was awesome.
The mountains make for an epic background.

More skinnies. And trains.

Use that butt Bacon.
We didn't have any stops or run outs. I didn't fall off or have an asthma attack. We were game for all of the jumps and trying to have the right kind of canter and pace for each of the lines. We switched it up and she told us which jumps to jump and strung some things together. Saturday was just a blast. After watching my other friends go, we walked around the facility and came up with our courses for Sunday. Some jumps I put on my course were large and questionable but I figured we could do them. Unfortunately, that plan was ruined on Sunday...
All smiles.

Pick your leggies up.

Much shine.

Probably my favorite part of the pictures. The many faces of this kid.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Also, finished this painting for Chili Dewop. My hands pretend they don't know how to paint anymore, but I forced them.
My body is fricken ELECTRIC with excitement/anxiety/nausea/happydance/peedances/holycrapness/sweatypalms/etc. I can't calm self. I can't sleep. I don't want to eat breakfast this morning. I am going through a giant checklist in my mind, and my husband would be ashamed because check lists should always be on paper or on phone/computer. Oh well.
Also, I don't have any other pictures, so you are going to see more of these from the other day.
Bacon and I are going to our first cross country clinic of the year this weekend. It is at Golden Spike in Utah. Because I do not have a truck to haul my bad ass trailer, I had been panicking to find a ride there. Lindsey and Prisoner are going too! But were unable to take the weaving creature. Luckily, I was able to bum a ride off of a person I have never even met. I shall bow and wave my hands at them (or maybe I won't. I don't need to expose them to my weirdness that quickly).
We are not normal. Together, we are, the SUPER WEIRDS.
That enters part of my anxiety. Mare is embarrassing because she weaves in the trailer. Doesn't kick. Doesn't paw. Doesn't do anything else. But weave. I alert all traveling agents of this behavior well ahead of time, but no one seems phased by it. Also, I don't know these people. And I will be riding with them for at least 4 hours a piece. I hope I don't scare them or bore them or make it really awkward. I am a shy person when first met, soooo it might be awkward.
Make me look good Bacon.
I will be riding in the beg nov/novice group with the redheadlins. I hope they don't make me look foolish. I hope I can do well and make my horse proud. We are taking me out of my comfort zone but I am always game once I am on my horse. I will be equipped with my grandpa's doo rags when riding too, so he can "ride along with me". I wish my husband could come, but alas, he is not.
They see me dressaging. They haten. Except, no.
I am on extra high alert thanks to yesterday too. As I went to leave my house to pick up grain for the kids, I noticed an alarmingly high amount of cars around my neighbors house. And people crying and hugging. My neighbor, who normally was out any second I went outside to chase me down and chat up everything, hadn't been coming out lately. Even on Sunday, when I was out front all day weeding. I knew she was in a bad way, but I didn't think she would be leaving us so soon. So that was quite sad.
From out first clinic last year. Let's compare when I get back?
On my way back home, the song that reminds me of my grandpa the most came on (Ramble On by Led Zeppelin). I even said "Hi Grandpa!" when it came on. And then all of the sudden, the car right next to me went flying around me, hitting the guard rail and bouncing in front of me. The car that hit it went flying backwards into a parking lot and hit another car. I was inches away from being involved. I think my eyes were pretty damn huge and I sat there clenching my steering wheel and just looking at everyone to make sure they were ok. Luckily, there was a Big O Tires place next door with a ton of people who came rushing out. It was scary. And I am still shaken up by it.
Part of car in other lane. Car that hit them on the right in the parking lot.
So, fingers crossed that all goes well this weekend. I love xc, and so does my horse, so I think we will be fine. I will miss having the awesome Aimee there to photograph like she did at Rafter K (with running shoes to make a dash across the venue to get all the good shots) but I will sucker someone else into doing it. And hopefully NOT have another asthma attack.
Inhalers and waters at the ready. 

Monday, April 20, 2015


Not totally, but naked of the nose bra! And back to riding. Heck yes.

After my doctor's appointment last Wednesday, I learned that I was healing slightly slower than most, lost 5lbs in 5 days, and got my stents taken out. Also, sneezing feels like your brain is being ripped through your nose at a high velocity speed. Ow. Don't do it.

Thursday I wanted to ride, but husband wouldn't let me. But Friday, I dressed for success in hopes he might change his mind. And he did. So Bacon and I dressaged.

Well first we had to wait for Blake to turn off the buffer. Blake on a ladder using a buffer= instant Bacon death. I told him to wait until I tacked her up and she would be fine after I hopped on. And I was correct. She does not like being tied up when there are scary things, but when I am on her, things aren't as scary anymore. Sissy lala.

Anyways, we started where we had left off and worked on transitions some more, as well as a good cadence to our trot and canter. And our free walk. I tried to keep myself loose so I wasn't bracing against her. And I kept losing my stirrups again. Sigh. She was really really good though and I thoroughly enjoyed our ride.

After, Blake tortured her with the buffer again and ended up being able to touch her with it. Even when it was on. She really didn't want it to touch her, but she dealt with it. Plus, my horse shed superfast.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Nose Bra

Yep. I have on a nose bra. Not because my nose is well endowed or anything. It acts more like a nose pad, collecting all of the blood draining from my face. It is delightful, really.

Especially when you answer the door and scare people.
That was me trying to smile.
Anyways, yes, this does mean I had my surgery. I was nervous the day before, as I have never had a real surgery. The day of was not too bad. I was prepped in the back pretty quickly, and they let my Blaker come back and hang out before I went in. Several people came over and talked to me about all of my symptoms and meds. I had to tell the one nurse to not worry when the low blood pressure alarm went off because that was my normal pressure. I remember them having a hard time getting an IV into my crummy veins.
Prepped and ready. Pre-sedative.
I remember them giving me a sedative, and watching the room spin around and then getting wheeled into the surgery room, where House of the Rising Sun was playing. And then that's it. Surgery went well, as far as I know, and apparently I was rather uncooperative when waking up.
Sedative given. Husband entertained.
I quickly removed the first bandage off of my face, so the put another one on and held the oxygen mask there so I would leave it alone. I briefly recall hearing one of the nurses telling another one about how bad I was. Whoops. Blake was brought back to see me, and he doted over me. His mom and sister came too. It was pretty painful, but I remember they gave me grape juice and I downed three cartons. They sent me home pretty quick.

Let me tell you some things. I spent the first night afraid to fall asleep because I didn't want to choke to death on my blood. I didn't take enough pain pills the first night either. Also, once you do fall asleep and shut your mouth, you will abruptly wake up from suffocating because your nose doesn't work anymore. Once you finally get your mouth to stay open, you tongue will turn into a piece of jerky and become unrecognizable when you wake up. You will also become hyper aware of where your husbands elbows are at when he is flinging covers around.
I refused to open my eyes after surgery. They hurt.
My sweet husband. He hurriedly went and got my prescriptions and foods after getting me settled at home. He then wrote out a menu so I could choose from the different soups and popsicles he bought, and set alarms on his phone to make sure I got all of my meds on time. He and his friend also spent the weekend sanding and grinding almost all of the rusty spots on the trailer, and repainting them. It almost looks new now! I am very thankful for him.

My drugs are starting to take over now, so I am going to call this good. Hopefully I can ride soon!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WW: Video Clip From Nicole Cobb Clinic

Here is a short video of some jumps that we strung together. This was the last ride before the asthma attack ride. Still debating on whether I really want to share that one or not.


Here you go. Nothing amazing, but it shows how we were riding for the most part.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Great Trailer Adventure

Teeny gray trailer.
So, I have been looking for a trailer to fit my giraffe. I have the teeniest tiniest two horse straight load that all of the others fit in. But not Bacon. Husband wanted a gooseneck four horse. He settled for a three, because really, I plan on hauling one in there most of the time. We had a couple of other requirements and then stuff that would make the trailer extra desirable if it had them.
Teeny gray trailer behind giraffe.
I had been searching and searching and came across a facebook group for selling trailers in the Northwest. I found that most trailers were cheaper on there. I posed an ad, and someone responded. I really really liked the trailer. It was a North Star Double R 3H gooseneck trailer, created in 2007. Aluminum skin with a steel frame, extra large tack room and even came with a mini fridge and microwave. She sent pictures, it had some wear of course but all looked great.
Picture I got from trailer lady.
We chatted for a few weeks and finally got the loan settled and a day settled (Friday). Fortunately, I have cool friends who have a truck to pull it and will donate a whole day to helping me. Redheadlin's red haired racehorse husband fairy man was one volunteer, while his racing partner (who we call Chili Dewop) was another. We were to drive from Boise, Idaho to Pendelton, Oregon to meet and swap. The trailer was coming from Spokane.

I bribed Chili and Fairy with donuts, fancy cupcakes and cake to start the journey off on a good note. It should take about 3 hours to get there. I had a feeling trailer lady would be late, so we doddled and said hi to baby Blakers (named after my husband because he was born on my birthday!) and had many pee breaks.
Baby racehorse Blakers!
About 10 minutes away from my destination I get a text from trailer lady asking how far away we were. I told her, and her response was that she was at least 1.5 hours away. She then became trailer ho. Seriously, you didn't think to let me know that you were going to be incredibly late? We were already tired and frustrated, and now had to keep ourselves entertained for a while. We ended up at Hamley's, which is a super cool western tack store full of expensive beautiful things. I don't know why I didn't take pictures. And we went to Walmart. A little over two hours later, she arrived.
My trailer's butt.
I was star struck because I could finally touch and see my trailer. There were a few things she never mentioned to me on facebook though. Like two of the tires need replaced. And there was some rust I could not see in the pictures. Superficial rust, but still. And that one of the windows has some trouble shutting, the dividers were extremely hard to adjust in length, and so on. All little things, but still annoying. I just wanted my trailer though and wanted to leave, so we made the switch and back home we started.
Mini fridge. Hell yeah.
We stopped for dinner at a Chinese restaurant and eventually ended up back home in the dark, which made it especially fun to try and get the trailer backed into the correct spot behind our house. We sent Chili on his way back home, as he still had two more hours of driving to get there (it was already 10:30pm) and drove Fairy to his house and then drove to the racetrack to get my truck and drive it home. I think it was 12:30am when all was said and done, and we had left at 10:45am the morning before.
Inside when dogs are loaded up. With shipping boots.
Needless to say, I am still happy with our purchase. It will fit our giraffe, and the others, and do the job greatly. Husband is peeved about the rust, but now I realize why trailers are cheaper from Oregon and Washington (always wet and salty). Whoops. Lesson learned. We already took the padded deviders out too, because a family member can redo them. There were only two with some chew marks, but hubs wanted them all to match. Anyways, I got my trailer! And now, I need a truck to pull it.
How good would this look... 
...being pulled by this. Yes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Day 2 of Nicole Cobb Clinic: AKA Another Attack

Not sure why I have t-rex arms.
I got the the barn that Bacon was staying at extra early to check on her and make sure she would be feeling good enough to do the second day of the clinic. I threw her on the lunge and she was back to her crazy leaping self. No soreness or stiffness to be seen! I tacked her up and she could probably tell I was super nervous again so she got a little antsy herself. Sorry mare.
Tense pony and rider.
I hopped on and got her moving once we unloaded and she was quite strong again. Nothing bad, but she was certainly ready to go. We warmed up slowly, as I tried to stay out of the way on the riders that were at the tail end of their clinic time. Nicole got us started with a trot oval and having us sit the trot, speed up the trot, collect the trot, etc and then do the same with the canter. I was already pretty tired after that, so I knew it was going to be a tricky day.
Going through the gymnastic.
Next, we had to trot into a cross rail, rollback right at the canter, break down to trot and turn right over the cross rail again, rollback left at the canter and then stop straight. Bacon and I actually did that quite well. But Nicole wanted me to change my seat to try and close my hip angle more to help Bacon have a softer landing, but still keep contact with the saddle. It was very difficult for me to do, but I tried.
Weee gymnastics.
We did the same exercise again but at the canter, and did quite well. Bacon got her leads too (for the most part), so that was nice! My memory is not the greatest, but I know we ran through the gymnastic line a time or two as well. She was better going through there this time too. And then we started to string some jumps together.
The orange vertical was our best jump every time.
Canter orange vertical, go right and canter triple one stride line and stop straight. It wasn't the prettiest, but our jump to the orange vertical was so nice compared to Friday, where I really had to establish everything before hand and try to get her to keep that same pace. On Sunday, she just did it.We ran through just the triple one more time to make sure my position was ok over it because I had kind of lost it the first time through. She just basically cantered over the jumps.
The middle of the tiny triple.
We don't care about flowers.

flowers are dumb.
We then did left turn canter over xrail, right roll back to a four stride oxer to vertical (which she got crooked in and took down a rail), left turn over a brick wall and then stop straight. We discussed the rail and discussed the ride, but it wasn't too bad. We then did left turn to xrail, right roll back and through the triple line to over the brick wall to the four stride line and left rollback over the xrail again. That was actually quite a nice ride. Bacon was very straight through the four stride this time, came up a little short on the brick wall and a little long over the xrail, but overall it was very nice!
Entering the four stride.

And there goes our top rail. Whoops.
And then came the last course. And I was TIRED. But I wasn't done and I wanted to keep going. I am not even sure what it was supposed to be, because once I started, it was like everything kept getting darker, but there will still a circle of light. Pretty sure I jumped the 3'3" oxer backwards. I just kept jumping jumps and then my body quit and I couldn't breath anymore. That's right. I had ANOTHER asthma attack during a clinic.
Jumping the oxer the correct direction.
Jumping it the wrong way...
I kept trying to form the sign for my inhaler with my hands and Linds took off to grab it. Some people knew exactly what was happening. And then some were very confused. My hubs came up and tried to give me water. NOPE. Give me that sweet steroid gas for my lungs please. The next rider went while I recovered and Nicole came over to check on me. All I could really do to explain was say "I have Lyme disease. I get tired very easily." She asked if I wanted to try again, at least a simpler version and I said yes.
Coming in short on the brick wall.
The last course was orange vertical, right to the four stride line (with the big oxer) and then left over the brick wall. We got it done, even though we were a tad crooked into the four stride, but it felt nice to get one more course in. I felt so dumb. I don't know why I didn't alert her of my ailments before hand, but we talked about it afterwards. She basically said that I didn't quit, my body did. Mentally, I was still game, and sometimes that just happens. Can't help but feel like a goon though. Next time, I will alert all clinicians. My horse was good though, and we very tiredly went home afterwards. And I continued some more horsey fun for the day.
Over the big oxer. Again. Notice the exhausted terrible body position.