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!