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Miles and I jumping 2'9"

2’9″

I read a lot of blogs, all with horses and riders of varying skill levels and goals. I would venture to say that I am one of the less experienced bloggers out there, but ya’ll seem to put up with my weenie adult amateur moments. Today I’m not going to talk about one of those moments though. Instead, I’m going to show you a video of me jumping the highest I’ve ever jumped in my entire life: 2’9″.

shopping at rolex

Rolex Bachelorette Shenanigans

So this post is not going to be what I had hoped… but shenanigans did ensue, as predicted!

Friday Night

Maid of Honor, N, and I left for Kentucky late Friday night after her final. We grabbed some Wendy’s, I fed N cheesy fries while she drove and we chatted. We got about an hour into the drive when I realized I left all the Rolex tickets at home. So we turned around, picked them up and finally rolled in Lexington at 2:30 a.m.

Saturday

This should have been a sign… but hindsight is 20/20. We woke up late on Saturday and didn’t get into the Kentucky Horse Park until 10:30 a.m. We watched a few horses go through the water complex near the end of the cross country course, and then proceeded directly to shopping. We had a blast going through all the tents, including snapping pics of horrendous color choices… like this pink and black Devoucoux saddle… which we may or may not have sent pictures of to our trainer, proclaiming we bought it for one of her juniors!

Anyways, we visited ALL THE BOOTHS. And promptly bought ALL THE THINGS. We met Hillary of Equestrian at Hart and Kristen from Stampy and the Brain, who led us to the coveted Ogilvy booth. There weren’t many half pads left, but I found a gorgeous navy jumper pad to school in, and was quite pleased with myself.

shopping at rolex

And then my phone stopped working. Literally, just stopped. No service, no phone calls, no texts. My best guess is everyone was jamming my cell phone waves (is that even a thing?) Needless to say I missed about a bazillion texts from Jess at Riding Rainbow… to whom I am forever sorry! Love you girl.

N and I also got matching Rolex 3 Day Event saddle pads, embroidered with “Bachelorette 2014” and a few other random goodies… like Likits… lots and lots of Likits. Anyways, N also needed new stirrups leathers, so we went in search of those as well. She ended up buying a pair at Prestige. Well, actually, this is where shenanigan #2 occurred. N tried to purchase the leathers, but we’d spent so much damn money her credit card got flagged for fraud. Oops! A quick call to Chase and all was well, but it was pretty funny!

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After shopping, we stopped in the stadium to eat some lunch, and watched a few horses go through the cross country course on the jumbotron. We got sunburned, and were still tired from the night before, so we headed back to the hotel for some quick R&R before dinner.

Saturday Night

One of the girls we ride with back home actually attends the University of Kentucky, so she drove us to dinner; a nice little BBQ place. We had pulled chicken sandwiches, cheese grits and collard greens. After dinner, we went to a Mexican bar and had tons of laughs over a few margaritas.

We had a blast chatting, and of course made friends with our waitress and a bus boy. All in all, it was a perfect bachelorette evening. We called it a (fairly) early night around 11 p.m.

Sunday Morning

At 4 a.m. I woke up with a very, very angry stomach. And it never went away. I was so sick we never even made it to Rolex on Sunday… we drove home stopping almost every 20 minutes so I could… empty my stomach on the side of the highway. By the time we got home in the early afternoon, I was so dehydrated I almost passed out.

Sam took me to the urgent care, where I stayed for a few hours getting checked out and some IV fluids. And then I slept for 20 hours straight. So… yeah. Not exactly the best ending, but I did have a blast on Saturday and I’m already planning to return next year… but I definitely won’t be going back to that barbecue place!

Props to IRH

So not to long ago I took a tumble and hit my head. I’m a bit of a safety nut, so I immediately wanted to replace my helmet. I hemmed and hawed over what to do, but eventually decided that with riding roughly five days a week (and not wanting to miss any rides or lessons) I really needed two helmets. So I went to the tack store to purchase a higher-end helmet just for shows, and ended up with a lovely Samshield ShadowMatte that I absolutely adore. It has all the features I wanted: removable and washable liner, hard plastic cover for easy cleaning, venting to help keep me cool and a conservative look for my old-school trainer.

And then life got busy… so my old IRH sat in the back of my car for a week… or two. Oops. But, when I finally got around to sending it back (with a letter describing my accident, copy of my receipt from SmartPak and a check for $110 for the replacement) I figured I just wouldn’t worry about it for a while. Lo and behold a week later I was shocked to find an box from IRH on my doorstep, containing a brand new IRH ATH SSV helmet. I mean, shipping to and from New Jersey took at least a few days, so that means IRH pretty much got my old helmet and issued a new one in less than 48 hours. Impressive!

The replacement cost me less than half of retail, came with a carrying bag and fit perfectly. I spent a grand total of 10 minutes on the phone with customer service to get a replacement number, sent in the stuff and BAM! new helmet for my noggin magically appeared.

You get old photos of me in my IRH because I haven’t been to the barn recently. Bad blogger!

I have to admit, I was geared up for a bit of a fight over the replacement; my accident wasn’t that bad and there certainly was no external damage to the helmet that was immediately visible. But that was certainly not the case, what so ever. IRH was professional, helpful and did exactly what they promised: replaced my helmet I didn’t feel safe wearing anymore.

So props to IRH for standing by their safety guarantee and making the replacement process easy peasy. I’ll definitely continue to buy my schooling helmets from IRH after this experience!

Friends don’t let friends ride without a helmet… or matching pink owl socks.

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Appreciating What You Have

I’ve been in a bit of a weird mental space lately, with lots going on outside of my equestrian life. Without going into all the boring and depressing details, let’s just say this blog hop topic is once again quite timely for me. Instead of dwelling on everything that’s going wrong in my life, I want to focus on all the things that are going right. And for the most part, Miles is pretty freaking awesome.
I’ve said it before, but it always worth repeating: I got damn lucky to find this horse. He’s young, athletic and perfect for the hunters, with a nice 11-12’ stride, and cute jump (when he deigns to try). He’s got enough experience to not be considered green, but he’s still got a ton of potential, maybe even enough to show 3’ someday.
And his personality couldn’t be better for me. He’s a steady eddy; his spook is a stop and stare and he never refuses a fence. He’s easy-going, extremely forgiving and even though he can be a huge grouch sometimes, he’s so damn cute you can’t ever be mad at him for long.
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I love that he’s improved on the flat, and that his trot is really coming along nicely. He might not win the hack every time, but he’s definitely getting closer to being able to pin every time out, which is something I had only dreamed of when I went horse shopping.  We’re really learning to work together, I’m beginning to truly trust him, and we’re getting better together… which is what I’ve wanted all along.

Miles might not be the fanciest horse, with great breeding to back him up (hell, we don’t even know what breed he really is!) but he’s definitely the perfect horse for me right now. And I am truly lucky and blessed to have him in my life.
Thanks for that reminder, L. J
Also, a special shoutout to Hillary from Equestrian At Hart for reaching 100 followers! Congrats girl!!

One month into our partnership, he had already exceeded all my wildest dreams <3

 

Better Than I Thought

Monday night we had our group lesson and Miles and I just weren’t quite feeling it… or at least that’s how it felt at the time. It was pretty hot out (80 degrees) and we were both feeling a bit sluggish; and it definitely didn’t help when one of my trainer’s clients horses started acting colicky in the barn 10 minutes into the lesson. Luckily Moiya will be just fine — the vet came, tubed her and added some mineral oil and she started to feel much better. Needless to say though, we were all fairly worried during the lesson and not 100% focused on the exercises.

Trainer set out a circle of death (four jumps set on a circle) but we never actually went all the way around; just worked on putting a few fences together at a time. We warmed up over some crossrails, which Miles declared were super boring and deemed them not sufficient to jump after the first two, so we moved on to 2′ and 2’3″ verticals, including an oxer. Overall the fences were okay — I got some short spots and some long spots, but I always felt in control and I flowed well no matter what. It was also nice to note that 2’3″ didn’t feel intimidating whatsoever, and I think I’m well on my way to being bored at that height… which means I’m getting closer to moving up!

There were a few times where Miles rubbed the rails, and trainer said that is just a fitness issue. After such a long winter with lots of time off, we’re both a little weak. I’m hoping to start increasing our ride times and work on adding in more transitions in the coming weeks to build some stamina and power in that hind end.

Overall the lesson was fine… I just didn’t feel great about it. Just kind of “meh.” But then N uploaded a video of Miles and I going over the 2’3″ oxer and I honestly had to do a double-take. I recognized Miles right away, but I didn’t recognize myself! I looked way better than I felt, so… that’s good?

Here’s the video: http://instagram.com/p/nHMi5gmT_Z/ (for some reason it won’t allow me to embed it)