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!?!?!