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Thank You Equine Snob & Fancy Pony

After spending the holidays with my side of the family, I returned to a wonderful and fabulous gift via the Equestrian Gift Exchange from Equine Snob (and Fancy Pony!). I probably would have received it a little sooner, but somehow our leasing office lost my phone number… and Sam’s phone number… yeah.

I digress, back to the excitement! So I arrived home to this wonderfully wrapped package, and since I’d read about others receiving theirs, I remembered to whip out my phone for some amazingly high-quality hopefully decent cell phone pics.

As soon as I ripped through the paper (yes, I’m a ripper!) I saw that it was a box from SmartPak and I ripped faster. In my excitement I did not get photos of the carnage… but it probably would have been rated NC-17 anyways.

Inside everything was individually wrapped! Plus there was candy, so Sam was quite pleased. I’m pretty sure the exact sentiment was “Oh, you must write about me all the time since they know my favorite candy!” Yeah, right. Uh huh.

So pretty! And earned me bonus points with the fiance. 

Being the responsible adult I am, I opened the card first. It was very sweet — and I appreciated the note so, so much. I’m so glad everyone is enjoying this little gift exchange so much and it means a lot to know that I am making connections all over the country. So thank you, Equine Snob!!

Next I quickly opened the first blue package and was SO freaking excited to receive a bottle of Higher Standards Saddle Soap (in Ben’s Rosemary Mint)! Everyone in the blogosphere has been raving about this stuff for months now and I’ve been dying to try it. I opened it and the smell was so wonderful I almost left it open next to bed all night… almost.

I also got two AWESOME pairs of Zocks (well, not that brand, but riding socks). I absolutely love the patterns: pink plaid and blue English bits! I have an obsession with fun colored riding socks… it’s kind of intense. I can’t wait to try them out soon!!

So thank you, thank you, thank you, Equine Snob and Fancy Pony for the wonderful gifts!

Christmas Loot!

On a side note, I want to thank each and every one of you who participated in the gift exchange this year! I wasn’t sure how well it would be received, but it’s been so much fun to organize the whole thing and read about all the fun things people got.

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Year in Review: Statistics

In case you missed it…

Year in Review: Month by Month


I’ve been actively blogging now for nine months, which seems like an eternity to me, but in the grand scheme of things makes Fly On Over still a baby blog. FOO has matured a lot since its inception, and while I try to have a narrow focus to things equine-related, I have branched out occasionally. I’ve started to plan and schedule my blog posts more recently and the consistency is certainly paying off.

Total Pageviews This Year: 10,766

Worst month: April (391)
Best month: November (2,133)
As soon as I started posting more consistently, my pageviews increased dramatically. My most active month (see below) was also the month I had the most pageviews. 

Total Posts This Year: 111 (and counting!)

Avg. Posts per Month: 12.33
Most Active Month: November (19)
Least Active Month: August (7)
I’m happy to have reached my 100th post milestone and that my averages increased throughout the year. But I’d really like to step up both my consistency and overall average in 2014. 
mouse bar chart

Total Comments This Year: 995

Most Commented Post: [TIE!] Engaged and Save the Date Debate(28)
Least Commented Post: A Fun Contest Entry (1)
Funny how the most commented posts are wedding related and not horse related at all! Not sure that this is a great indicator of what my readership would like to see though… since they are all exclusively equine bloggers. 

Most Popular Posts

#1) Blogger Gift Exchange (195 Pageviews; 22 Comments)
#2) 5 Day Challenge #1 (116 Pageviews; 11 Comments)
#3) 5 Day Challenge #2 (84 Pageviews; 9 Comments)
#4) Meet Miles (74 Pageviews; 23 Comments)
#5) 5 Day Challenge #4 (74 Pageviews; 9 Comments)

My Favorite Posts

#1) [TIE!] Meet Miles and Engaged
It’s been a big year for me, and my favorites really reflect that. I’ve gone through a lot, but I’m finally on an upswing and I plan to ride my high all the way through 2014… which will (hopefully!) be another year of milestones (no pun intended) and huge accomplishments. 
workstation
Overall, with my background in marketing, it’s hard not to judge my blog’s success by the statistics. But no matter what they show, I know I’m learning a lot and this adventure into the blogosphere has been a fun one so far.
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Gift Exchange Reminder

Don’t forget to send out our gifts for the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange this week! I know a few of you have already done so, and I can’t wait to read about all the gifts everyone receives. I bought mine today, so hopefully it will arrive sometime this week!!

Anyways, here in fly over country the weather has sucked. Majorly. With high temps in the low 20s, I honestly haven’t gotten in much riding. In fact, I rode last Monday in a lesson, and then not again until Saturday… in another lesson. Bad horse mom!

I left my house extra early, and thank goodness I did! Even though the temp was a balmy 32 degrees and it was pouring down rain, somehow the horses all got turned out. Poor Miles was soaking wet, but luckily that new SmartPak blanket I bought kept him mostly dry, except for his head and neck. He wasn’t shivering, and I was able to get him mostly dry with some towels.

Our lesson was pretty much a continuation of the last few lessons: we focused on pace and Miles was very, very well behaved… especially considering his lack of riding time. We started out with an ajustability exercise. Trainer set out two ground poles and we cantered them at our medium pace, counted the strides (I got 6) and then came around and did the poles again, this time adding another side (7 strides for me).

We struggled a bit, mostly because I haven’t been practicing that and I felt like I was focused too much on getting the right distance to the poles, like I would for a jump. I also felt like I was looking down at the ground poles throughout the exercise, which is something I’ve been trying hard not to do. So that was kind of frustrating.

But as soon as we moved on to jumping, things were much better. We only jumped singles, but one was an oxer and I’m happy to say that our work over these wider jumps is starting to pay off. The only time I was nervous about the oxer was the first time it was set at 2’3″, but I just raised my eye, looked beyond the jump and of course Miles sailed right over.

Sunday I played jump crew for my friend N and her horse, Romeo. She’s going into surgery today for her hip, and she’ll be on crutches for about six weeks. No riding (especially jumping) for quite some time, so I’ve “adopted” Romeo for a while and you’ll get double the chestnut gelding photos! If you have some jingles and good vibes to send her way today, I’d sure appreciate it!

N and Romeo doing what they do best! 
three-socks-merry

Three Days Left to Join Gift Exchange

Happy Hump Day! We have 28 participants for the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange — can we get up to 30? There are still three days left to enter!

In case you missed the first announcement, here’s the jist:

Interested bloggers can email me the below info by Friday, Dec. 6 and I’ll randomly assign you someone to shop for! Send your gift out by Dec. 16 and post about your awesome surprise gift and how amazing the organizer is (okay, that second part isn’t mandatory!)

STEP 1: Send an email to tbidwell614(at)gmail(dot)com with your:

  • Name
  • Shipping address
  • Two gift ideas for yourself under $20 (to help your shopper)
  • Blog URL and
  • Whether you’d be willing to ship TO Canada or not

STEP 2: Check your email on Monday, December 9 to find out who you’ll be shopping for!

STEP 3: Send your gift out on the week of Dec. 16

STEP 4: Receive your gift and thank your fellow blogger

Thank you, Horse Nation.

 

Reindeer Horse

Blogger Gift Exchange

This past year I started Fly On Over, a personal blog dedicated to my equestrian pursuits. My goal was to chronicle my thoughts and feelings as I worked my way through the first horseless period in my life since I was 16.

What Fly On Over has become is a journey in and of itself, in which I not only document some of the most important events in my life, but also learn and grow through an entire community spread out across the country and Canada. This blog has allowed me to tap into a network of knowledgeable, generous and supportive group of horsewomen who have celebrated my success and commiserated in my shortcomings. I’ve truly made friends, something that I never expected to find from simply writing a blog.

So thank you. To each and every one of you who have read my entries, commented on my pictures and included me in your blogging circle — it really means a lot.

During this time of the year, when I am reminded to be more thankful and more generous, I celebrate all of us, together. So I’ve decided to host a little Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange. Here’s how it will work:

I will compile a list of all interested bloggers and randomly assign you another blogger to shop for! The gift limit will be $20, so nothing too expensive. Once you receive your gift, please put up a post about what you got, and thank your fellow blogger.

gift exchange logo

Interested?

STEP 1: Send an email to tbidwell614(at)gmail(dot)com with your:
• Name
• Shipping address
• Two gift ideas under $20
• Blog URL and
• Whether you’d be willing to ship TO Canada or not
all by Friday, December 6.

STEP 2: Check your email on Monday, December 9 to find out who you’ll be shopping for!

STEP 3: Send your gift out on the week of Dec. 16 (or before if you’re on the ball)

STEP 4: Receive your gift and thank your fellow blogger!