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It’s Party Time!

I can’t believe how quickly this summer is flying by already! Not much to report, things have mostly been business as usual. We did, however, have a barn party at my trainer’s house to celebrate her mare’s 29th birthday on Sunday!

Moshello is a 1984 Appendix Quarter Horse Mare, bred, raised and trained by my trainer. She’s done a little bit of everything, including Dressage and Hunters, as well as Trail Horse Extraordinaire. She’s still absolutely beautiful and the only way you’d ever guess her age is the grey on her face.

Trainer also has some precious mini donkeys (which are famous in their own right, but that’s another story),  so we also celebrated their birthdays:

Donkeys JoJo and Jose
JoJo and Jose <3

And that was the moment I fell in love. I have never been around donkeys before, but these two were so cute. Very affectionate with big personalities — JoJo is the gentleman and Jose is… well… not afraid to let you know what he wants. Every time we walked away from his stall, he would stick his nose through the bars, snort loudly and paw, and generally make a fuss. So naughty, but it’s hard to be mad at a face like that!

My new best friend!
Bay stock horse

9 Equestrian Questions

Wow have I been busy! After collapsing on Monday after my horse show, I have been crazy busy at home and at work. I promise to post all about the show later this week — I’m uploading videos to share, which is taking longer than expected (stupid, uncooperative phone!). But until then, here’s a little Q&A:

1. How long have you been riding?

I started in 4th grade, so about 15 years.

2. What discipline do you do, and what’s your favorite thing about that discipline? 

I ride Hunters, mainly because for me it’s more exciting than only riding on the flat, but less scary than other options. I really enjoy low-level Dressage, but I don’t think I could do only that day in and day out. I would consider Eventing, but there is no way I could ever make it through an entire cross country course without having a heart attack!

3. If you couldn’t do your current discipline, what discipline would you choose? 

Reining for sure — it’s a heck of a lot of fun! I used to not know how to answer this question, because even though I tried a lot of different classes in 4-H, none of them are appealing anymore. Then last year I got the opportunity to participate in the NRHA’s Ride-A-Reiner program at Quarter Horse Congress and it was amazing!

Keep Calm and Let it Slide

4. Do you show? How often?

I show about 4-7 times a year. Showing is one of the things I love about riding — it gives my competitive nature a positive outlet. I would show every weekend if it was free!

5. Long-term equestrian goal?

Before I die, I’d like the opportunity to show in Adult Amateur or Amateur Owner at WEF or similar big-name shows, but I’m definitely a long ways away from that! Like 30 years far away. At least. So a more realistic long-term goal of mine is to compete on a local circuit at 2’6″ for a year-end award. That could more reasonably occur in the next five years.

6. What has your main riding struggle been?

Lately, it’s been filling in the gaps in my education. I was a 4-H boss in high school and I’ve had to learn the hard way that especially when it comes to jumping, I have a lot to learn.

7. Favorite horse book?

The Thoroughbred Series for sure! There are about a million books in the series and I never got through them all. Sometimes I want to go back and read them, but they are really written for a younger audience.

7b. Are you subscribed to any horse-related magazines? 

Just the free stuff: In Stride, America’s Horse and I look at the Equine Chronicle and Go Horse Show online sometimes.

The Thoroughbred Book Series

8. How often do you clean your tack?

I clean my bridle, girth and martingale after every ride… and I really need to get better about cleaning my saddle and tall boots. Those I only manage once every couple of months… which is awful.

9. What lessons in life have horses taught you?

Horses have taught me so many lessons, I couldn’t possibly list them all. I think the most important include that hard work pays off, I’m never going to be the best or the richest and that you get what you put in. But I’m learning more each and every day!

Flowers from Sam

Keeping Promises

After Visa died, I made a promise to myself that every year on the anniversary of his death [April 17], that no matter what, I would go to the barn. So when that date fell on a Wednesday this year, I did what any responsible adult working full-time would do: I took vacation. Sorry, I’m not sorry. The morning was tough, I won’t lie. I cried, a lot and seriously contemplated not even bothering to get out of bed.


Around 9 am there was a knock at the door, so I shuffled up to answer it. Lo and behold I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my amazing boyfriend complete with a heartfelt card. It was really sweet and made me start crying all over again. I finally managed to pick my sorry ass up off the couch around 11:30 to pick up my friend N for lunch. She took the afternoon off so we could eat mac n cheese and fried pickles, and then go to the barn together. I know, I have the best friends.


I splurged on an extra flat ride with Vinnie, and worked on the usual: bending and giving especially to the left and then did an adustability exercise with ground poles. As we rode around N and I chatted about everything: Visa, her heart horse Romeo, riding and showing. It was really nice to just let it all out with someone who understood. After our ride we did a spa day with Diamond, who was especially thrilled to not be in her stall “resting.” I spent extra time brushing out her mane and tail, and just loving on the big red mare. Trainer even came out and chatted with us for a bit, and told me that for my lesson on Saturday I could start out on Diamond to see how she feels! Here’s hoping she’s all recuperated and 100% sound so I can show her in some flat classes at our farm’s schooling show in a few weeks.


Vinnie and I on 4-17-13


Of course, a special trip to the barn always warrants a photo shoot. We even tried to take a picture of another’s clients three horses to send to her in the hospital; she’s having hip replacement surgery and we thought a shot of her three favorite babies would cheer her up. It was a bit of a clusterfuck, but I did manage to snap one that has all three horses’ ears pricked! From left to right: Moiya, Reiki and Bruin; the three musketeers!


Suzannes Horses 4-17-13

After our barn shenanigans, N and I headed up to the local tack store for some retail therapy. Because nothing makes you feel better quite like dropping stacks on stuff for horses and riding gear. I bought a Professional’s Choice girth for Diamond since I’ve been coveting one for a while and since I can’t manage to ever walk out of a tack store without new boot socks, N and I got matching pink owl zocks. Yeah, we’re about 10 years old. All in all it turned out to be a good day. I didn’t do a lick of work for anyone and I spent a ton of time with ponies- which was exactly what I wanted and I kept my promise to myself.

Diamond and I on 4-17-13

Rodizio food

Date Night & Equine Affaire

Thursday night BF and I decided to do an impromptu date night. For a while we did a scheduled date night once a week, but we’ve both been so busy lately that we haven’t had the time. Since I haven’t been my usual cheery self this week [I blame the rain and grey skies] we decided to go out. Where to, exactly, was the dilemma. BF and I are both creatures of habit; we like to go to the same places over and over. But last night we decided to be adventurous and try someplace new.

We ended up at Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse. Spoiler alert: it was fabulous. The only option is the buffet where you get unlimited access to the salad bar, which has may more than your average salad. I sampled a lobster and shrimp salad, pineapple cole slaw, as well as a mozzarella salad, just to name a few of the options. You also get unlimited appetizers which included polenta, cheese biscuits and cinnamon-fried bananas–yum! After that is the main course: various bite-size meats are brought around the dining room by waiters, and you pick which ones you want to try. I had pork, fish, several cuts of steak (the best was a Parmesan-crusted filet), as well as rattlesnake sausage. I guess I really was feeling adventurous, haha. After eating way too much, we retired to the house and watched the Lincoln Lawyer. Well, I watched the movie and BF fell asleep.

Tracy and Sam Selfie
A rare selfie of myself and the BF

Equine Affaire

Saturday was a busy, busy day. I got up and started chores: cleaning, picking up and laundry, followed by a quick workout. I’m really liking Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD; the workouts are only 20 minutes and I don’t need any gadgets except hand weights. I hate being in the gym with everyone staring at me, so for now, working out at home is a great option. Finally, I took a quick shower and took our dog, Rocky, to his grooming appointment. I even managed to get all the grocery shopping done before picking him back up and heading home. Productivity FTW!

After all of that the BF and I trekked over to the state fairgrounds for Equine Affaire. In case you aren’t familiar, Equine Affaire is an exposition with educational seminars, riding clinics, breed demonstrations and a huge trade show. I usually try to make it every year, but this year I especially wanted to attend. I had a few friends participating in various riding clinics, whom I hadn’t seen much in a year or so since I moved barns. So we met up with them first and chatted about their ponies [who both did stellar in their respective clinics] and went to visit them back at the barns. Ledger, my friend’s Appaloosa colt, was actually broke in his session, and it was so great to see him–he’s certainly filled out a lot in the last year!

After we said our goodbyes, BF and I traversed the [quite large] trade show. I bought a new rubber grooming mit, as well as some Back on Track No Bows for a friend. Her OTTB has an old suspensory injury and she’s working on bringing him back into work. I hope she likes them!

Baby Ledger
A photo of a much younger, baby Ledger!