Tuesday, April 8, 2014

March Re-Cap/April Goals + Kanye's First Ride!!!

March Re-Cap


  • Be ready to schedule a check-up with the vet in April to get the OK to start cantering.                         Success! Our vet is coming out next week for Spring vacs and to re-check Gatsby's tendon. He has been feeling great recently so I am hoping for a thumbs up to canter!
  • Continue to work on relaxation and stretching.                                                                                    We actually ended up working a lot more on serious dressage work, which has been going great. And, as an added plus, when he works his tush off doing dressage, he actually WANTS to relax and stretch after!!
  • Continue to work on straightness and strength-building.                                                                       Yep! Lots of this! He is super fit and actually in some ways feels a lot stronger than he did prior to the injury.
  • Stay happy and healthy!                                                                                                                      Definite yes! Even though March got a little hectic leading up to taxes at work, I was still able to ride fairly consistently. Also, a friend of mine was able to start riding him a couple days a week which is AWESOME! Gatsby loves the extra attention!!
  • Get that faux-ssoa on!                                                                                                                        Starting to think this may never happen....
  • Get an under saddle ride in!                                                                                                                This totally happened and it was AMAZING!!! I am super late to blog about it and it definitely deserves it's own post (very soon!) but I will just say that I cannot imagine a better baby.

April Goals

  • Start cantering!!
  • Start more work outside the arena...hacks down the road, around the track, etc.
  • Maybe go to a local schooling dressage show if the canter gets ok'd
  • Stay happy and healthy!                                                                                                                      
  • Get a couple more rides in before I leave for England.
  • Do some work on ground manners, he is pretty good but could be better.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: What's In Your Bucket/Smartpak?

What supplements and feeds does your horse vaccuum down everyday?

2 flakes of alfafa in the morning (has to be separated from his gf or else she will eat it all)
2 flakes of grass in the evening                                                                                                                     Rice bran and beet pulp (don't know exact weights, sorry! It is a ton though because he is a super                 hard keeper)
In SmartPak: Cosequin ASU & SmartDigest Ultra (total = $94.40, definitely pricey but I really       like both supplements for him)

Alfalfa morning and evening (exact amount varies depending on who feeds him and how big the                     flakes are, just know that he gets plenty)                                                                                                       Purina Senior with Amplify (all of our pasture horses get this and it is pretty great)                                         In SmartPak: SmartVite Thrive Pellets (total = $19.95)

I've never been a whiz at feed or supplements but I have tried a few things with Gatsby and what he is doing currently seems to be working the best so far, especially in terms of keeping weight on. He has always had a really nice coat; his feet were not-so-great when I got him but have been good for a while, needs shoes all around though. Kanye seems to be doing well with his current program also except for his feet; not sure if it is the supplements or the shoeing schedule but something is not quite right. I am going to start with adding a hoof supplement but may start front shoes soon if that doesn't help (he is barefoot all around right now)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy Birthday!

A day late but I obviously needed to wish a blogging birthday to my main man, Gatsby of course! Knucklehead turned 17 yesterday!!! Most people still guess he is under 10 which seems like a pretty good sign.

Monday I got in a wonderful dressage ride after work; it's so nice to be able to spend more time at the barn now. A friend of mine is going to start riding him a couple days a week to help pick up the slack a bit. She is also going to be riding him when I am in England.

Headed out tonight for another ride and then sadly no more this week as I am headed to Big Bear for the weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2014

February Wrap-Up/March Goals

Ack! How did it already get to be mid-March and I haven't done this yet?!?!?!

February Wrap-Up


  • Be ready to move up to 30 minutes of trot-work by the end of the month.                                            Fail. We are currently at 25 minutes/week. Things are definitely going much slower than planned but I think that has only helped the healing process so I am not complaining! Gatsby feels stronger than ever.
  • Work on relaxation/stretching at the walk and trot. Really get that back swinging.                                  Success! We've been working on lots of stretching and really using his back and he has been doing great! I can't wait to see what effect this has on him once he's back in full work.
  • Straightness! This is a great time to get us on track in this area while we don't have much else to focus on.                                                                                                                                                     Success! This can be a little bit difficult depending on his mood but it is definitely something we have worked on every ride which is success in my book:)
  • Actually ground-drive!
  • Lunge in the faux-ssoa at least once!
  • Maybe try some more pony rides or...one or two short actual rides?!?!                                               February was another failed month as far as completing the goals I set out for us. I did take him out to ground-drive once and it was apparent that his ground manners had deteriorated a bit so we have been working on that. Luckily he is a quick learner and I feel like we can try ground driving this month. He also "learned" to graze which was pretty exciting!

March Goals


  • Be ready to schedule a check-up with the vet in April to get the OK to start cantering.
  • Continue to work on relaxation and stretching.
  • Continue to work on straightness and strength-building.
  • Stay happy and healthy!
  • Get that faux-ssoa on!
  • Get on under saddle ride in!
I am super excited about daylight savings and all the extra time it gives me to spend with my boys! I have plenty of time after work now to work with each of them!! I plan on splitting my evenings with them, probably 3 week Gatsby and 1 or 2 with Kanye, depending on how he is doing learning-wise.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: What's In Your Name?

Thank you L for hosting another blog hop!

What is the story behind your blogname/url?

My blog story isn't very exciting unfortunately. I was introduced to horse blogs by Nicku at The Polka Dot Periodical and stalked a few blogs for probably a few years before deciding to try one out myself. After I moved to Berkeley in 2010 I felt pretty lonely and decided it would be a good time to start building a larger community of horse friends and also to chronicle my journey with Gatsby.

I didn't really think much about my blog name, I wanted something sort of clever and horse-related and, as cross country has always been my favorite phase, Out of the Box just jumped out at me. I like the name because I feel like nothing about my journey with Gatsby has been routine, I bought him as a crazy OTTB when I should have been looking for something much more mellow and with much more experience and our journey together has had ups, downs and jumps all over the place as we've tried to figure out what works for us.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sloth Undone

After my seven deadly sins post last week I felt pretty bad about my Sloth list. Luckily we had some amazing weather this weekend and I didn't have much in the way of plans so I was able to tackle some of my items.

Saturday was about a bazillion degrees and I was running late. I contemplated having a slightly short ride but when I brought Gatsby down the barn and saw how horribly dirty he was I opted for a bath instead. I think he enjoyed the extra on-the-ground attention and he definitely looked way better afterwards, definitely need to up my grooming routine though as he has developed some icky fungus recently on his belly and near his stifles.
Gatsby would never stand this nicely for a bath.

Sunday was fantastic because I literally had nothing else planned so I was able to spend from 11:30am to 3pm at the barn guilt-free. Brought Gatsby down and gave him a thorough grooming, lots and lots of currying to get that winter coat out! He was clearly feeling a bit fresh so I threw the draw reins on and I am oh so glad I did, he practically exploded in our first trot set, complete with canter piaffe, sideways bucking, etc. Luckily he calmed down after the first 5-minute set and I was able to get some really nice dressage work in without using the draw reins much. I was even able to do one whole sit sitting and I had a feeling we looked pretty fancy! Gatsby got hosed down and ice booted afterwards while I cleaned my tack for probably the first time since October (possibly longer).

Got back in my car to head home and realized that my new BoT gear had arrived and I had totally forgotten about it! Oh well, I will break that out on Wednesday. My knee has been a bit ouchy so I think I will wear my knee brace tonight.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Blog Hop - 7 Deadly Sins

Yay for my first time actually participating in a blog hop! Thanks L for hosting:)

Seven great things/strengths in your riding life

  1. My amazing horses.
  2. Supportive family who encourages me to continue pursuing what I love.
  3. Ability to afford to keep Gatsby and Kanye (even if it doesn't always seem practical).
  4. Wonderful barn where I know Gatsby gets the best of care.
  5. Stubborn attitude which has allowed Gatsby and I to get to where we are today.
  6. Enthusiasm to always keep learning and trying.
  7. Great group of friends to share horse life with (barn and online).
Seven things you lack or covet for you or your horse
  1. Truck and trailer so we can go places and do things.
  2. New saddles, dressage and jumping.
  3. More $$$ to pay for lessons and shows.
  4. New tack that isn't saddles.
  5. Nice schooling attire.
  6. Fancy navy dressage coat with velvet collar.
  7. Enough funds to not have to hold back on any medical/preventative treatments.
Seven things that make you angry
  1. People who don't understand the relationship riders have with their horses; they are more than just pets!
  2. People who don't understand how difficult riding actually is.
  3. People who "borrow" other peoples tack, grooming supplies, feed, etc. and never return/repay it.
  4. When I get overly frustrated and end up riding terribly and making things worse.
  5. People who don't appreciate how amazingly lucky they are to be able to afford to ride, in whatever capacity they can.
  6. People who don't give their horses enough love and treat them more like sporting equipment.
  7. People who don't wear helmets. I just don't get it, why take that risk?!?! (Even more so when they have already had multiple concussions.)
Seven things you neglect to do or cut corners on
  1. Cleaning my tack.
  2. Grooming well.
  3. Pulling mane.
  4. Riding as often as I should (sometimes).
  5. Sheath cleaning - not as often as I should.
  6. Organizing/keeping my trunk organized.
  7. Working with Kanye as much as I should.
Seven most expensive things you own for your horse/riding
  1. Gatsby.
  2. Board/lessons/shows over the years.
  3. Custom Stubben jump saddle.
  4. Kniedersuiss dressage saddle.
  5. Mountain Horse Field boots.
  6. Ariat Dress boots.
  7. Tack trunk.
Seven guilty pleasures or favorite items
  1. Mountain horse boots.
  2. Purchasing Kanye.
  3. Gatsby's board/supplements/etc.
  4. Stubben dressage bridle.
  5. Royal blue everything.
  6. Tack of the Day or Bit of Britain sales.
  7. Spending a few extra minutes at the barn and being late to work.
Seven things you love about horses and riding
  1. The smell of the barn.
  2. Hugging my horses.
  3. The feeling of accomplishment when I have a really good ride.
  4. The exhilaration of going cross-country.
  5. The amazing bond I have with Gatsby and am forming with Kanye.
  6. The work ethic, focus, motivation, drive that riding has taught me over the years.
  7. Everything else.