Thursday, December 19, 2013

Love Sick Pony

I think I mentioned this before but about a year ago I decided to move Gatsby to 24/7 turnout. Partly to save money but also partly because I thought it would be good for him. He had been on night turnout before (usually from 3-4pm till 5am) and it did wonders for him. So when a spot opened up with my BO's semi-retired mare I jumped at the chance to try it out. The mare is known to be picky about pasture-mates but she and Gatsby hit it off right away.
This is them sharing their first meal together. Love.

This has turned in to a wonderful situation for me because not only does Gatsby get 24/7 turnout but he also has a great buddy that he has grown super attached to. Until he becomes too attached.Gatsby and Jass (the mare) appararntly have a pretty strange relationship...Gatsby is totally fine and well-behaved if he is taken out and Jass stays, the separation doesn't bother him at all. In fact, he often seems relieved to be rid of her for a bit. But, if you take Jass out and leave Gatsby...major no no. He will call to her, buck, run like crazy, pace, etc. until you bring her back.
Here they are catching some rays over the summer.

Unfortunately we had a little case of this on our walk this morning. The farrier was already at the barn working on Jass. I brought Gatsby down to the cross-ties no problem. Everything was going fine until Jass was done with her shoeing and got put away. Gatsby was not pleased to say the least. I got him mostly calmed down (I thought), finished tacking up and got on. Bad decision. He was so anxious about her leaving him that he would not stop tossing his head on our whole walk around the track and actually did it so much that his curb chain unhooked from one side which just aggravated him even more. At this point I was pretty sure he was either going to re-injure himself or I was going to get thrown so I hopped off and walked him back to the barn.Our ride was much shorter than it should have been but at least no one got hurt.

Silly lovesick pony. annoying lol!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blogger Gift Exchange

HUGE thank you to Tracy at Fly On Over for hosting the Blogger Gift Exchange. I had so much fun participating and cannot wait to do it again next year!

I picked Amanda over at An Eventful Life, who apparently lives in the coldest climate ever. I ordered her a wonderful "Heat-Tech" fleece turtleneck that I am hoping lives up to it's description and keeps her warm enough to do some riding this Winter. It was super fun to get the email with her info and pick out something I thought she would like. Also super stoked that it fit her (I went with a medium size to be safe haha).

Last Friday I received the sweetest email from Carly at Poor Woman Showing saying that she had ordered my present and had wanted to ship it to me herself to pack it with peppermints but didn't have enough time. So nice. And then, on Monday I checked the mail to find this...
Just the top one...still AMAZING!

I know everyone else grew out of these bracelets when they were about 13 but I kind of still love them. Super stoked to have one for Kanye (Chi-Town) now! Thank you Carly!!!!

Temps have been rising over here on the left coast. We had about 2 weeks of crazy freezing (literally) cold but now we are getting back to normal. It's kind of nice to be warm again but the cold was kind of fun and different also. Sorry to those of you who have that every winter though!

Kanye eating breakfast, frost on the ground.
This is my last week at work before my much-needed VACATION!!! I am so excited. Can you tell? Haha. Work has just been insanely busy lately and I feel like I am stressed and exhausted all the time which is no fun. And to top it off I have had hardly any time to go riding which just adds to the stress. Gatsby gets ultrasounded on Friday and then will have a week off before *hopefully* starting back towards full work!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It has been FREEZING in SoCal this past week or so. I know this is no big deal for those of you on the opposite cost but here in sunny SB, this is VERY strange weather. All the more strange because it is mostly beautiful and sunny out, but still freezing. We have had temps down in the 30s during the days and in the 20s(!!!) at nights!!!

Both ponies have been doing very well. I was finally able to put Kanye in with our other three horses at home last weekend but unfortunately that did not last long. He was getting seriously bullied by our rescue gelding, Bodie, and was not being allowed to eat or even come say hi to me! That really pissed me off to be honest. Anyway, our older QH mare was also starting to get bullied away from her food (she is normally the alpha but her heath has been slipping) so we decided it would be best to put her and Kanye in one pen together and leave Storm and Bodie together. So far that has been working really well which I am very relieved about.

Kanye is turning into such a sweetheart, so glad I bought that boy! Even when he is in with other horses he prefers to be with me. I feel so lucky that we have been able to bond so quickly. I can only imagine how close we will be when he is all grown up and we are out there tearing up the XC!

All is good on the Gatsby front as well. We are taking his rehab a little slower than expected mainly because I have been so stinking busy at work lately and haven't always been able to get all my rides in. But, my job is what pays the bills so it is always going to have to come first to riding. I feel so lucky to have him at such a wonderful barn where I know he is well cared for when I am not there and also to have him out 24/7 with his girlfriend so I don't have to feel too guilty on the days I can't make it out. He will be ultrasounded at some point within the next couple weeks and then hopefully when I get back from vacation on the 29th we can start ramping him up to full work again! I can't wait until we are able to gallop again!!!

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season! This year it seems to be going by even more quickly than usual!!

xoxo, Elena

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

5 Day Challenge - Day 2

6. Favorite equestrian book and movie

Definitely the Thoroughbred series for book(s). I was absolutely OBSESSED with these books when I was a kid/young teen. I recently discovered that these books are no longer on the shelves at the few bookstores we have left:( So, I did what any logical person would do and starting ordering them on Amazon! 1-10 just arrived, I'll go for 11-20 next month. Can't wait to enjoy these again and share them with future horse lovers!!

Favorite movie has to be Black Beauty. That one still gets me ever time. I even tried to name my first horse Black Beauty...

7. Most common riding misconception

Ugh...that it's easy. And the horse does all the work. And "don't you just sit there?" Sometimes I daydream about putting non-riders on Gatsby and seeing how long they last...

8. 2 riding strengths and 1 riding weaknesses

Hmmm...this one is tough! For strengths, I would have to say persistence/stubbornness. When I first got Gatsby a million trainers told me he was not the right horse for me, he was too crazy, I was too green, etc. But, I happen to be a very stubborn person and was determined to prove them wrong. Granted, I could have bought a more solid horse and could have been competing at a higher level right now but I probably wouldn't be half as good of a rider as I am now. I wouldn't trade Gatsby for anything. He is my once in a lifetime horse and so much our bond is due to all the hours we spent learning from each other.

Another strength I guess would just be my attitude. I think much of that also comes from Gatsby. When I first got him he was a bit nutso and I learned to just roll with it. These days when he takes off bucking I'm usually just laughing and pushing him on. 

Weakness is definitely fear. After our big fall back in 2009 I've been pretty chicken when the jumps get big. I sort of pretty much got over it during our 2011 show season but when that ended with the Great Steeplechase Escape I kind of lost it again. It basically comes and goes but I know that confidence would make me a better rider.

9. Least favorite thing about horses and/or riding

Definitely the expense. It always depresses me a little when I think about how much disposable income I would have if I didn't have horses. But, then again, I wouldn't be as happy. It's definitely worth it:)

10. What do you feed your horse?

  • Morning - Alfalfa (Gatsby + Kanye)
  • Bucket - Beet Pulp + Rice Bran + Cosequin ASU + SmartDigest + SmartMSM (Gatsby)                         - Purina Senior + SmartThrive (Kanye)
  • Night - Orchard (Gatsby)                                                                                                                       - Alfalfa (Kanye)
Side note: Gatsby goes through beet pulp and rice bran like a madman...and I still can barely keep weight on him:( Any input here would be welcome!
SmartPak is my best friend. Duh.
In other news, work is still crazy, Kanye is still a baby and Gatsby is still walking. The vet came out to see Kanye this morning and commented that he is one of the sweetest horses. Always nice to hear considering I'm sure Gatsby is one of his most difficult clients.

Rode bareback with Gats today for 20 minutes. He was such on good boy. Did some basic lateral work (leg yield, shoulder in, haunches in). Trying to get his mind back on working. I do mix it up though and do some work days and some hack days so we don't get bored. Leg gets ultrasounded again in about a week...fingers crossed!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Lot to be Thankful For

This morning I took Gatsby for a bareback walk around the arena, chatting with our BM who was walking a client horse. So thankful that Gatsby is happy, *mostly* healthy, and relaxed enough for me to ride bareback even while rehabbing! Also very thankful to be at a barn with such wonderful people who I truly enjoy sharing this hobby with.
Love him. 

As I mentioned, tomorrow is a big day for my family. It's always a tough time of year as almost 4 years ago a very close friend passed away who was a HUGE part of our Thanksgiving tradition. I would say it's only the last couple of years that  I've been able to start to appreciate the holiday again without him. I know I will feel very sad tomorrow, as I always do when I am reminded of him, but I am also very grateful for all of the amazing people who are still a part of my life and who have more recently become part of my life.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

xoxo, Elena

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5 Day Challenge + Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange!

Well, all has been pretty quiet in my life, equine-wise. Gatsby is still walking along and doing great (15 minutes this week!) and I'm pretty sure Kanye is the best baby ever, but I may be biased:) Any of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen an adorable video of him following me around his pasture last week. I was trying to get a conformation shot but it turns out Baby Yeezy is a BIG cuddler!!

George's parents are in town this week which has been really fun. They live in England so unfortunately we only get to see them a few times a year.My family is also prepping for Thanksgiving big time. It's probably our biggest holiday and we definitely go all out, pictures to come!

As the holiday spirit is definitely sinking in, I have decided to participate in Tracy's Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange, you should too!!! I am also copying her 5 Day Challenge as I really need some blog content since I have nothing exciting going on with my ponies:)

1. Most influential person on your riding

This is a tough one for me as there are quite a go with the most recent one though I would have to say my trainer from when I was up in Northern California, Alexis Helffrich. He understood Gatsby more than anyone else I have ridden with, helped me get my confidence pack, coached us to a successful Training level season and had me actually thinking about a move up to Prelim. When I moved back to Santa Barbara work, travels and finances sort of got in the way of competing but I will definitely be training with him again when I get back at it. I wish I could still lesson with him every week but away at shows will have to do!

2. Piece of tack you’d love to splurge on

Definitely a custom Antares saddle. I have ridden in one a couple times and was absolutely enamored. Not to mention my current Stubben doesn't really fit me all that well. This is definitely the first thing I will purchase when I strike gold...whenever that happens to be:)
Yep, that'll do!

3. Top 5 riding playlist

I never listen to music when I ride so this doesn't apply to me.

4. Most important aspect of your barn?

There are so many things I love about my barn but I have to say the most important is the amazing  24/7 care provided. The barn manager lives on site and is constantly checking the horses and does an amazing job keeping track of everyone and keeping them all happy and healthy. And, as a bonus, the owner's house is overlooking Gatsby's pasture so I know between them they are keeping good tabs on him!

5. Three winter riding goals

This is tough with Gatsby still being in the early stages of rehab but I would like to really work on my position, building up his topline (again) and getting Kanye out there on some pony rides.
Would LOVE to get Gatsby on one of these...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Busiest Time of the Year

Thank you everyone for your input on my last post! I got back from NYC late Monday night and have had a crazy busy workweek since then so I actually haven't been able to go out to the barn at all yet:( Because of this I am going to do 10 minute rides on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then bump him up to 15 next week.

This time of year always seems to be hectic for me, regardless of where I am working or what's going on in my life. Next week is both of my boss' last week in the office before their vacations so everything is rushed trying to get them on track to leave. In addition to that, I now work for a finance company and year-end is rapidly approaching. Outside of work we are preparing for the holidays; Thanksgiving is huge in my family and we always have an all out event and Christmas is also a pretty big deal, especially since I am in charge of the Secret Santa.

This weekend George's parents arrive from England which is super exciting! We also just found out that we are going to be an aunt & uncle with is also very exciting!

I have some product reviews and planning that I would like to get up here...if I don't get a chance next week I definitely will the following week when my bosses are gone and things slow down for a bit:)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Advice Please!

So this week I am supposed to be riding Gatsby 10 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week. I went out on Tuesday for our first ride and he was absolutely perfect! Walked around the arena totally relaxed, on the buckle but did pick up more of a contact when I asked. (Note: I was not asking him for collection or anything, just a stretchy contact). Perfect. Amazing, well behaved rehab pony.

Wednesday I rode again before work. Unfortunately they were dragging the arena when I got there so I had to walk him around the track in our field instead of in the arena. Still very well behaved but much more looky and power-walking than on Tuesday. Nothing out of the ordinary and still much better behavior than I would have expected from Gatsby, even if he wasn't coming back from 5 weeks off.

My plan for the week was to also ride him Thursday after work and today before work. Unfortunately neither of those days worked out. Thursday I had to work late and today I really felt very sick to my stomach. I am going out of town tonight and won't be back until Monday. In a case of terrible timing, the only other people who can ride him are also out of town this weekend. I have already scheduled for him to be hand-walked on Monday in place of one of our rides next week.

My question to you, lovely readers, is what would you do about his schedule for the rest of the week and next week? Basically, because he only ended up getting 2 rides in this week, I don't know if I should do another week of 10 minute rides or if he is ok to bump up to 15 minute rides? My instinct is to go with 15 because it is such a small increase and because he is out 24/7 walking around anyway. Any ideas guys??


xoxo, Elena

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I RODE MY HORSE!!!! Well, one of them anyway:)

Work & life have been crazy busy this week but I promise to give a good recap ASAP. For now, I will just leave you knowing that I did ride (twice!) and Gatsby was fantastic and well behaved and his leg is still nice and cold!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013



Haha, can you tell how excited I am??? It will have been 5 weeks since I have ridden him and man, oh man have I missed it. Not that I haven't enjoyed every single minute of our hand walks, because I have, but there is something magical about sitting on his back. He is such a special beyond special horse to me and I am so excited that we are back on track to move forward in our partnership. 

Having said that, we have definitely renewed some sort of bond over the last 4 weeks of his rehab. See, last December I made the decision to move him to a 24/7 pasture at our barn and he has been living out there with one of the BO's mares ever since and they have grown quite attached to each other. Prior to the move, Gatsby would always walk up to the gate to see me when I arrived, even if he had just been fed his dinner. Since the move, not so much. It's not that he doesn't seem happy to see me, it's just that he clearly has another love now. This might sound totally cheesy and superficial but the fact that he has gone back to his old habits has made me smile quite a bit recently. There is just nothing like seeing him waiting for me at the gate, excited for our next adventure.

In Kanye news, the swelling has gone down almost completely in his sheath area so I think we have nothing to worry about, which is great. I am planning on making this a major training weekend for him. I don't want to over face him but I do want to set some solid work to make the transition to under saddle as easy as possible. Saturday we will do some long lining, just walking around the field that we take our normal walks on and Sunday......I am going to pony him off one of our other horses!!! Super excited for that. I think he will do just fine but, you never know:)

xoxo, Elena

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Little Bit of Catching Up

Sorry for the quiet week guys! Between my rehab pony, being sick and one of the busiest weeks of the year at work I didn't actually have too much to write about. Gatsby is plugging away at his weeks of handwalking, we are actually down to the final one! *hopefully* Our vet is coming out on Wednesday for vaccinations and is going to check on the leg to see if we are good to move forward with tack walking. Fingers crossed!!!
Cutest thing ever.

Kanye has been doing well also. I got a little nervous over the weekend because his sheath area seemed very swollen from the gelding. It's been a bit of a struggle to get him trotting for 30 minutes a day as he does not know how to lunge and me chasing him around his pasture doesn't get much except for a confused look. I called the vet and he said not to worry but to try to get him moving more and give him a little bute until the swelling goes down. I finally succeed in figuring out how to get him to move...just get all the horses in the neighboring pasture as far away as possible so he thinks they are leaving...even then he's not too crazy though. I tried tying a plastic bag to my lunge whip but he couldn't have cared less. He is going to be BOMB. PROOF. On Saturday we were fixing some of the fencing in his pasture and were drilling holes and hammering nails and he stood there with his nose on my shoulder the whole time. LOVE HIM!
Baby trying to figure out what lunging is

Hope you all had a fun Halloween! I didn't do anything because I was so sick but I am SUPER excited that it is November because now my favorite holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) are on their way! George and I are going to New York City for a long weekend on the 15th and his parents arrive the following weekend so lots to look forward to over here!
Oh my god so cute. Just wish Gatsby could be in it too!


P.S. Don't forget to enter SprinklerBandits' awesome contest here! Who doesn't want a bright colored pair of boots!?!?!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Stud colt no more...

So little baby Yeezy got gelded today. My vet said he was very well behaved and should recover great. He also had his shoes pulled and feet trimmed over the weekend and the farrier said he was great to work with. I haven't worked with too many babies but he does seem to be one of the more easy going ones I have met. On Saturday George and I took Kanye and Sirius for a walk around our property and I was really amazing at how well they both behaved. Sirius has expressed some fear towards horses in the past but this time around he was really good and curious about Kanye but not overly excited or intrusive into his space. Kanye also was amazingly calm especially considering he walked through our farming area, past the goats, chickens and swans, up the driveway and chilled out in front of the house and around all the cars. So far he is a super baby and I am crossing my fingers nothing changes!

His recovery plan from the gelding procedure involves lunging for 10 minutes twice a day so this week is going to be a little bit of a struggle for me trying to fit everything in. I'm going to have to walk Gatsby in the mornings or else I will be home too late to do anything with Kanye but getting them both out in the morning will require some VERY early waking up on my part. No big deal though, it won't be for too long and it's worth it for some extra time with my boys.

Tonight, I am off to see the original Kanye with one of my best friends down in LA!!! Very excited.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sunshine Award!

Thank you Lauren for nominating us for the Sunshine Award! Very exciting as it is my first award!!!
The Sunshine Award is for people who “positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” The nominee must do the following: thank the person who nominated her, nominate ten bloggers of her own, answer the ten questions given to her, and post them and the Sunshine Award button to her blog.

Here are the questions:
  1. Mares or Geldings? Geldings! I don't actually have a strong preference but seeing as Gatsby and Kanye are both geldings (or soon to be) I figured I should choose that. However, a couple of my favorite upper-level eventers (Gin N' Juice and Andromaque) are mares so I am not too biased.
  2. English or Western? English. I sort of dabbled in Western when I was first starting to ride but it never really piqued my interest. 
  3. Do you prefer “younger” or “older” horses? Hard to say but I think younger. I obviously love Gatsby and even though he is 17 he doesn't come off any older than 7. I think it's a lot of fun to work with younger horses but I wouldn't say no to sitting on a schoolmaster every once in a while!
  4. Have you trained a horse from ground zero? Not quite. My first horse, Belle, was a homebred but while I did work with her a lot throughout the whole training process, I was DEFINITELY not the one who trained her. Gatsby was very green when I got him but had been off the track for a while already and had already started jumping. Kanye will be my first! Although, he does have a lot of groundwork covered already and has technically already been broken.
  5. Do you prefer riding or groundwork? Riding for sure. Although I am enjoying some serious time on the ground with my boys lately I would definitely prefer to be riding them.
  6. Do you board your horse or keep it at home? 50/50. Gatsby is boarded at an AMAZING facility in Santa Barbara and Kanye is chilling at home while he grows up.
  7. Do you do all natural things or just commercial stuff?(in sense of products) I think I mostly use commercial just because it's what I know but I am not opposed to natural. In fact, I see a homeopathic doctor myself and years back I had her do a work-up on Gatsby to try and get some more weight on him.
  8. All tacked up or bareback? 50/50. I love riding in my tack and galloping and jumping and feeling totally secure but I also love jumping on bareback, I feel much more connected with Gatsby and I actually feel like our dressage work is better than with a saddle.
  9. Equestrian role model? Tiana Coudray. I have had the pleasure of meeting her many times as we evented in the same Area when she was based in the US and she also was good friends with my trainer and some of the other girls at my barn. She is such a nice person and man that girl can RIDE! She is a beautiful rider and her current mount, Ringwood Magister, is probably my favorite upper-level horse.
  10. What’s your one, main goal, while being in the horses world? Realistically? I would love to compete at an FEI level event one day, hopefully with Gatsby. In fantasy world? Rolex Kentucky, DUH!
Thanks again Lauren, this was super fun!!

And now, on to my nominees (many of whom I'm sure have already been nominated).

Monday, October 21, 2013

Welcome Home Kanye!

As I'm sure you have seen from my Instagram posts (if you follow me), Baby Yeezy made it home safely on Saturday morning. According to the shipper he was very well behaved and he came off the trailer to his new home with no issue. Yay!!! I'm not going to lie, because all of this happened so quickly and I didn't get to meet the shipper or hand over the cash directly to his previous owner, I had quite a few fears of being ripped off and ending up with no money and no horse. Luckily, everything went VERY smoothly and both the shipper and the dealer I went through to purchase him were absolutely AMAZING and I would strongly recommend both of them.

Back to baby; like I said, he was great coming off the trailer and, although definitely very surprised by his new surroundings, walked to his new pasture calmly like a champ. He literally has done a complete 180 in terms of living situation so I could not be happier with how he handled things. He went from living at the busy backside of a racetrack to living in a pasture 24/7 on a ranch with some other horses to keep him company. The first thing he did in his new home was take a walk around and explore before settling down to munch some hay.

For now he is separated from the other 3 horses by a fence and hey were up in the hills when he arrived so he got some nice time to get used to his new home before being harassed by them. Unfortunately, when they did show up he was quite interested in them and when they chose to leave again, threw quite a fit. In order to restore some calm and to force them to actually get to know each other I shut them in their paddock as well. They still have plenty of space to roam around but not access to the hills and trails that they usually do.

All in all, I think it was a successful homecoming although he did throw a hind shoe when he was pining over the other horses. Seeing as I was planning on pulling at least the hinds anyway I'm not too bothered except that I don't yet know when the farrier can come out. He seems to be doing fine though and doesn't seem sore even though it was definitely not a clean pull.

In other news, Gatsby is doing as well as I could hope. He still has a little bit of edema surrounding the injury but that is to be expected. We move up to 15 minute walks this week. I know, super exciting!


Friday, October 18, 2013


Tomorrow morning I will be crashing all your Instagram feeds with adorable photos of Kanye.
Not this Kanye but he's pretty amazing also...
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

xoxo, Elena

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Spoiled Ponies

Still waiting on Gatsby's Ice Horse Tendon boots to ship.

Decided Kanye has to be just as spoiled as Gatsby. At least as much as I can reasonably afford. That means nice leather halter with a name plate and SmartPaks. I chatted with one of their reps today and he will be getting SmartVite Thrive. Looks pretty good to me. He doesn't need much as he won't be in work but I do want to make sure he has all the nutrients he needs to grow up to be a healthy pony.

When he is all done growing and I have saved some more he will get one of these in my colors. I know it is a lot for just a sheet but I have one for Gatsby that was a Christmas present when I first got him and I LOVE it. I really only use it at shows but I just think he looks so smart and handsome in it.

xoxo, Elena

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I did it!!!

Well guys, I did it!! Baby Kanye will be coming home to me this Saturday! Still can't believe it all came together. As the real Yeezy would say "that shit cray!".

Love this boy already haha! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

And So It Goes

Today marks one week since Gatsby's injury. Also the start of our first week of hand-walking. His leg still had a little bit of edema yesterday when I went out to ice so I am opting to give him today off and start hand-walking tomorrow. Probably didn't help that he came galloping over to see me when I got there yesterday:( Our vet said he would prefer for him to stay in turnout so he has room to move which I'm glad to do as he is SUPER miserable when boxed up but it does worry me that he won't let himself recover.

In other news, got a text yesterday that the TB I looked at at the track is still available. Trying to see if I can coordinate logistics to bring him home and get him gelded. Waiting to hear if I'll be able to vet him right now. I will keep you guys informed!

Puppy and husband are happy and healthy so that's wonderful. Still enjoying lots of love and snuggles from Gatsby.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Barn Mornings

Been spending all my mornings at the barn this week. As sad as it is to see Gatsby injured I have really enjoyed the quiet time with him to start my day off. He has been a dream and is so sweet and happy to see me in the mornings, he literally just wants to cuddle. Even when his bucket of grain is right in front of him.

We ice for two more days and then Monday we start hand walking. I always enjoy walks with him and I think this will be a good period for us to just connect and not worry about any goals or competitions, etc. The most important thing right now is the time we still get to spend together.

If any of you feel like following along with our morning adventures I usually post pictures on Instagram, username NauticalCowgirl. I will definitely continue with blogging as well but there probably won't be much to talk about for a while. You never know though!

Also, I am withdrawing from the 2-Point Challenge since I won't be riding for the remainder of October, we start tack walking the 2nd week of November. Good luck to everyone who is still in it!

Elena and Gatsby

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Not the Best News...

Well, he looked way better this morning and I had my fingers crossed for a clean ultrasound but alas, it was not to be. He has a small tear in the superficial digital flexor tendon. Not the worst news we could have gotten but also not the best.

We will continue with icing and bute for a week and handwalking for three weeks and then gradually bring him back to work. Honestly, I am obviously very sad that he is hurt at all but at least it's going to be during the Winter when he wouldn't be able to run and play as much as he wants anyway.

I'm just so glad it's not any worse. Love that boy with all my heart.


Monday, October 7, 2013

More waiting

So our vet came out today and said (thank goodness) that he doesn't think it's a tendon injury! I wasn't there but was informed that Gatsby didn't seem very reactive to palpation. There is still a chance that it is a soft tissue injury though so we do need to ultrasound. Right now there is too much edema to get a good visual so we will be moving him to a smaller turnout and icing twice a day along with administrating bute and dex. Dr. Goss will be back Wednesday afternoon to ultrasound so keep your fingers crossed please!

Thank you all for your sweet messages on my last post. If there had to be just one reason to be glad I started blogging again it would be the sense of community and support from all of you.

I've also scratched from the Fresno HT. It's disappointing as we were on a great roll and I felt a good comeback in action but obviously something wasn't right. Luckily the season is winding down so we have plenty of time to put a plan together and get back in action for the spring!

Elena & Gatsby

The Waiting Game

This morning I got the dreaded phone call from my BM "I think Gatsby's done a tendon". She says he is off about 3 on a 1 to 5 scale and it is visible at the walk. I've gone through a few mood swings of bad to worse and back to bad. Our vet is coming out in about an hour so I will know more by the end of the day. We did some XC prep for the horse trials yesterday and the footing was a little hard. He also had a weird moment where he stumbled through a ditch instead of jumping it. Either one could have hurt him or it could have been something totally different. I will update as soon as I have more info.

I also went to look at that colt at the track last weekend. Super cute and such a sweetie but unfortunately someone else had already put down a deposit. They are going to call me if that falls through.

Not too worried about that at the moment, just want to make sure my main man is ok.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

In other news...

I am seriously considering buying this horse

I am totally not looking for a new horse right now but I was browsing CANTER CA (always) and stumbled upon him and fell in love. He's really young so my hope would be that (if I did end up buying him) I would just keep him in our pasture at home for a while, let him finish growing, do basic work with him and then move him to the barn in a few years and bring Gatsby home to chill out.

Who knows. Probably a stupid idea but I am obsessed and when I suggested it to George he said I should go for it. Hah! Best and worst answer.

My friend and I are probably going to go see him this weekend, I will let you know how it goes!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Prep, prep, prep

Well, as Fresno seems to be rapidly approaching I have to say, I am getting less and less nervous and more and more excited! I'm sure that will change at some point but right now I am just stoked to be able to compete with Gatsby again. That horse is such a beast on XC, it's a huge privilege to get around with him.

I really want to be competitive at this show and make my money well-spent, not going for blue or anything but I want to make sure we perform the best that we are capable of. In doing so I have managed to spend even more money by signing up for some extra lessons and a dressage schooling show as well as buying some new show gear. I have to say, I am more than incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful supportive husband who totally understands that this is my passion and is fine with the time and money I spend on it.

Last weekend we had a really good jump school, worked some more on a grid and then did a serpentine exercise. Gatsby is jumping really well and I am feeling more confident on him. That's not to say that we don't have our issues though! I definitely ride better in the grid than I do to single fences and we have a really tough time getting a good spot to an airy vertical. This weekend we are going to do some XC schooling and then next week we will work on some courses to prep for the show.

On Sunday we had a dressage lesson with Ludgar. I always love riding with him, he is just so in tune to Gatsby. Unfortunately his lessons are pretty pricey so they don't happen often. We ran through my test and he gave me some really good information to get the most out of Gatsby. He said for the trot I really need to keep him moving VERY forward or else he has a tendency to look like he is not moving over his back. Also with the lengthened canter on the circle, always tough, he suggested I ride as if there's a jump on the opposite side of the circle to make sure I really keep the impulsion, this helped loads! If I get him in front of my leg during the regular canter circle and then do this for the lengthening he is spectacular. Ludgar said that his canter work is just as good as any of the horses out there which really pleased me as I have done a lot lately to get that gait to where it is. Unfortunately the same is not true of his trot work, he does go nicely but there is always going to be those warmbloods that outshine him in that area. Because of this it is really important that I not leave any points on the table with our canter and also with geometry.

Overall I think things are definitely going in a good direction! This week has been really busy for me at work so I won't get a chance to ride until tomorrow. He lives outside 24/7 now so a few days off here and there doesn't effect him like it used to which is great. We'll do some more dressage schools and a probably a conditioning day as well as an XC schooling this week.Then next week we will school courses and we have the dressage schooling show on Sunday. Really hoping that helps out with both of our nerves heading to the sandbox at the event.



Friday, September 27, 2013


Just thought I'd share all my splurges from yesterday...still trying to justify them as you can see;) I also have a (fairly lengthy) wish list of new show gear that I'm going to try and slowly chip away at.

Been lusting after this coat for a while. I stupidly left some stuff up in Berkeley when I moved, including my show coat, and considering how things ended with my ex and I, I don't have high hopes for getting them returned. Sad because I had that coat since I was 11 but I'm not too upset because I wanted to upgrade my show wardrobe anyway. Found a great deal on a CO JRY8 in navy a couple months ago which will look schnazzy with this.

Got a full set of this in white (obvi). Another item I had wanted since before I moved back to SB and since my Nunn Finers got left my trainer when I moved, I did need a new set of XC boots.
I mostly got boring stuff from SmartPak (gloves, spurs, leather oil, etc.) but I decided to go for this lovely stock pin as the one I currently have is just plain and super boring.

Lastly I decided to go for one of these beautiful browbands by Dark Jewel Designs as per SprinklerBandit's review. This is one of the options I went for, I don't have a picture of the other but I am sure it will be just as gorgeous!

I was also really tempted to order a custom Frilly Fillies ear bonnet but between all my purchases, HT entry fee and hotel room I figured I should hold off for now. Maybe for Christmas or before my next show if I have some extra cash floating around.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ready, Set, Show happened...I finally sent out my entry for our first horse trials since Galway in November 2011. In less than a month Gatsby and I will be heading out to Fresno County Horse Park!!

I've spent a good chunk of my morning making lists of things I have and things I need and have definitely shelled out a good amount of cash for some new show gear. I am justifying this because my old stuff is either super old or super missing. Now we just need to get ourselves ready to go! We have another jumping lesson this weekend and a dressage lesson so I am hoping to hone in on some areas that I can work to improve on over the next few weeks.

Wish us luck!!

Elena & Gatsby

Monday, September 23, 2013

Back in the Swing

I think it's just time to admit that I might never be a regular blogger. Sorry guys for making you deal with all my sporadic updates!

As I mentioned last time (I think) Gatsby has had a low-key month since I've been back from England. We were waiting for my vet to get some Adequan in to start him on so we decided not to work him too hard until then. Also, I have been dealing with injuries of my own (shoulder, wisdom teeth) and then WE GOT A PUPPY!!!! So he has been taking some of my time and love up as well.

I got the call from my vet last week that I could pick up the Adequan so I decided it was time to start getting back in our groove and see what we're made of again. My schedule is still not going to be as consistent as I would like because of the pup but I think we'll be ok. Gatsby has been doing well with less work so I'm hoping we can get through the Fall like this, he can have a light Winter and by the time Spring rolls around Sirius (pup) will be old enough that George & I can leave him on his own sometimes. Unfortunately my barn has a no dogs rule which kind of sucks but I think they would let me leave him in the car if I needed to.

Friday Gats had a short but really good Dressage school. Our dressage work has been pretty basic lately but now that he's had his shot I want to start ramping him up again. I'm excited to see how he will feel after the loading dose is done! Saturday he had off because we had to take the puppy to the vet. Sunday we had a really great jump lesson with our BM. She found a great grid exercise for him that really helped us work on keeping a consistent canter. Ground pole, cross rail, one stride to a cross rail oxer, two strides to a vertical and one stride to an oxer. We kept the first two jumps small to keep him relaxed and raised the last two. After going through a few times we added a couple solo jumps to make a little course. I was really happy with how relaxed he was but I also was very aware of riding him well to keep him relaxed.

Here is a video of our grid and a couple pics of the new pup!



Sirius DK

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Worst Blogger Ever

Seriously! Even my return to blogging is failing. You guys will have to be patient with me...maybe eventually I will get back to multiple posts per week but for now every once in a while is gonna have to cut it.

I think I mentioned in my last post that we have been thinking about injections for Gats recently as he is now 16 (holy crap) and experiencing a bit of stiffness. He is never off and always works out of it but I do want him to be as comfortable as possible. Well, last week the vet came out and trotted, flexed him etc....Verdict: On a scale of 1-4 he is maybe a 1.5 so NO injections!!! I am super pleased with this as well as with the fact that my vet commented on how fit and healthy he looks. We did decide to move forward with an injectable supplement and will be starting him on Adequan as soon as it's back on the market.

Gats has had a couple easy weeks as I went to England to visit the in-laws and go to my brother-in-laws wedding. Super fun, amazing time. Hopefully pics will be up soon and I can share some!

Now I am working on healing myself:( I have an old shoulder injury that has been acting up lately so I am doing physical therapy twice a week and going in for a cortisone injection on Tuesday. With all that going on I am planning on ramping up to our normal workload a little slower than usual after a vacay. After all, we do have until November for Galway! And, before vacay, vet, shoulder, etc. we took Gats out on our little XC field to play and he was super fantastic so I am feeling good about being ready for an event.

Elena & Gatsby

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Lulls

Unfortunately it looks as though I picked a bad time to return to blogging as not much has happened in the last week. Work got crazy busy and I got a little sick so Gatsby got a few more days off than usual.

Let's see...we had a lesson with Terri on Saturday which I was very happy with. As he has aged over the last few years Gatsby has developed some stiffness which he usually works out of but is getting to the point where it needs to be proactively taken care of and I am deliberating about hock injections. I personally don't think he needs them quite yet so I want to see what other options we have before we go down that route. I recently put him on Cosequin ASU which I am loving but I think he still needs a little something to go along with that. So the goal of the lesson was really to discuss our options with Terri, have her watch him go and then have her get on him and see what she thinks. All in all I was happy with what we came up with, although she did seem to enjoy riding him so much that she took up most of the lesson:) We decided to start with an inject-able supplement, she recommended Pentaussie which, from what I can see, is similar to Pentosan, so we will be having the vet out soon to get a scrip! We both agreed that hock injections are in Gatsby's future but that he doesn't need them right away. It's his right hock that seems a little stiff but, like I said, he always works through it and never seems to be in any sort of pain. She also mentioned that (while I was riding him) he was MUCH straighter that he was the last time she saw us. I was really pleased to hear that as we have been working really hard on straightness. However, when she got on him she commented that it was difficult to get him straight...perhaps a case of "You're not my mother" Syndrome?? Gats has been known to not give his all for anyone but me (this has been noticed by pretty much anyone whose ever trained or ridden him).

After that was when work got busy and I started not feeling well so Gats ended up with Sunday and Monday off and just a quick lunge before work on Tuesday. I rode yesterday after work but didn't have a ton of time and still wasn't feeling 100% so it was just a lot of leg yields and stretchiness, trying to get us both back into the idea of doing some real work.

Today I won't be riding as I am going to get a tattoo(!!!) after work but I am hoping to do a little dressage school tomorrow and then a jump lesson and conditioning ride this weekend.


Elena & Gatsby

Friday, July 26, 2013

And We're Back!

So I am well aware that Gatsby and I pretty much disappeared (save for a few comments here and there) from the blogisphere well over a year ago (probably two actually) but I am pleased to announce that...WE ARE BACK!

I'm gonna keep this first post short and sweet with a quick update on where we have been and what we have done since you last heard from us. I believe we left off mid-season 2010 with a goal of the T3D at Galway Downs in the fall. Well, we had a pretty great season to be honest, no ribbons but HUGE improvements in dressage, some fantastically fun XC rides and some beautiful with a touch of ugly stadium rounds. We made it to the T3D healthy, fit and focused, put in one of our best dressage tests to date and ended things right about there. Actually, we made it a little further than that...all the way to the third jump on the steeplechase when Gatsby decided that rather than jump the steeplechase fence, he'd like to jump out of the racetrack. Yep, no jokes there, we jumped OUT of the racetrack. Needless to say, our T3D journey sadly ended there.

Mere weeks before the T3D I had made a sudden but probably forewarned decision to vacate the bay area and head home to Santa Barbara. While I loved my barn and all the new friends I had made there, my relationship wasn't working out well and overall I knew I wasn't happy there and missed my family. So, two weeks after Galway I packed up and headed home only to leave again to travel with my family for two months in French Polynesia. While there, I happened to meet a dashingly charming British man who completely swept me off my feet and has forever changed my life. Those of you who are friends with me on facebook will know that I spent the next year half in Santa Barbara, half traveling and 100% falling in love with this man who I would eventually marry in December of 2012. During this exciting time, while I was still riding Gatsby and giving him all the love and attention he deserves, eventing and competing were put on the back burner. For one, I was gone for most of the eventing season and two, I was not fully employed and couldn't really afford lessons or shows.

I guess that wasn't really all that short but what can I say? A LOT has happened in the last two years! Which brings us to now; living in lovely Santa Barbara with my friends, family and wonderful husband (still feels weird to say that!), working at an amazing job in downtown SB, and, the part I'm sure you've all been waiting for, working hard to get myself and Gatsby fit enough to compete again! Right now we are shooting for a possible fall HT and we will go from there! I will try my hardest to be a better blogger this time around because I so enjoy reading all of your blogs everyday and it's not really fair for me not to contribute now is it?!?!


Elena & Gatsby