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Equestrian Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest phenomenon of our generation. It has transformed communication, business and marketing and created an entirely new way of doing things, at least for those of us who have embraced it. There are so many social media channels to choose from — from blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Foursquare, Pinterest; the list can go on and on and on. Each avenue provides a different iteration with unique possibilities.
In my experience, sometimes us equestrians are not at the forefront of embracing technology, including social media. And I will admit, I’m not necessarily the first one to jump on the bandwagon. But, horse people are inherently inquisitive and we love a good story — and we love pictures. And videos. Well, at least I do. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite equestrian-inspired social media channels. This list is sure to do two things: 1) waste a lot of time or help you procrastinate, whichever way you like to look at it and 2) let you oogle all the pretty ponies and their accouterments, which you will never be able to afford — my two favorite pastimes!
New Vocations Facebook Page

New Vocations Facebook

New Vocations is an awesome OTTB rehoming charity headquartered right here in Fly Over Country. Even though I’m not in the market for a green OTTB, I can’t help but peruse all the [very pretty] horses that get posted daily on the New Vocations Facebook page. They take the most adorable pictures, paired with equally adorable captions making it really entirely too easy to fantasize about my next horse…

Reed Kessler’s Instagram

I have a mild obsession with Reed Kessler to begin with, but she is really hard to resist when she posts such cute photos of her horses all the time on her Instagram. Cylana begging for treats? Yes please! Goose passed out in 10 feet of shavings? Adorable. Oh, and don’t forget her photos from all around the country as she travels to all the shows I dream about.
Reed Kessler Instagram

Chronicle of the Horse Forum

I’m sure everyone has been to the Chronicle of the Horse [COTH] forum at least once, but it’s just fantastic. It’s the online equestrian version of Desperate Housewives; never a dull moment and always entertaining. It can be educational informative if you remember to take everything with a grain of salt. Never-the-less, COTH never fails to provide entertainment if you’re in the mood for a bit of salacious gossip.

SmartPak Blog

Equal blends of truly educational blogs from assorted vets, farriers, etc. and life events from their staff and sponsored riders, the SmartPak blog is always a good read. Of course, they have wonderful photos and engaging graphics to go along with everything… which I love. They generally recommend their own products (which I admit, can be annoying sometimes), but the information is pertinent and it’s not an overwhelming sales pitch. Plus, I have a strange fascination with the SmartPakers (I love to know what they did over the weekend!) and it’s always interesting to hear what their sponsored riders are up to.

BigEq.com’s Pinterest

While there are a plethora of great equine Pinterest boards, being a hunter/jumper myself, I just love BigEq’s. Three words: very fancy ponies. Everywhere. All the time. Jumping, cantering, posing. It’s AA Circuit overload and I just love to drool. Plus they always have a few artsy shots, which are pretty cool… mostly because I have no photography skills what-so-ever and would never even think to take a photo from that angle. A photo beneath the horse as it jumps so all you see are its fancy knees and belly guard? Awesome.
BigEq.com Pinterest

So those are my favorites. What are yours?

gold trophy

Struggles of Adulthood

So I started writing my post-show recap and realized I needed to write a post about one single moment, before I get to the good stuff. I’m going to be honest and preface this post by saying: you really don’t have to read it; it might be long and boring and short on pictures — but I need to write this for myself.

We schooled Friday afternoon, and as predicted, Vinnie was uncooperative. He was up, looking at everything and not paying one ounce of attention to any request I made. Right then and there, I almost called it quits. I’m so sick of this attitude. If it’s not fun, why do it?

I remember horse shows being loads of fun, and parts of it still are. I love hanging out with friends all day, eating good food and watching pretty horses go around; and all of those things still happen and I still love it. But what I loved most about horse shows was winning. I miss being good; I miss being competitive. I know, it was just 4-H, and honestly, I’m not trying to make it sound like I won the Maclay or the Congress, but I’m a competitive person. I’m so competitive I couldn’t stand to play softball in high school because the other players didn’t try as hard as I did. And now horse shows do not fill that void for me anymore.

So where does that leave me? The thought of not showing anymore makes me kind of nauseous — I don’t really think that’s what I want. Maybe I need a break?

Let’s take stock of what is holding me back from being more competitive:

  • Strength: I need more strength in my thighs and core.
  • Endurance: Only riding twice a week isn’t enough — but part of that is my fault. I need to ride for more than 20-30 minutes during my hacks.
  • Hunching: I need to stretch up (and not hunch over), even when I’m half-halting with all my might.
  • Flowing over Fences: I need to fold my hip angle more and not perch or pose over the fence.
  • No lead changes: Vinnie does not, and will never, have a lead change.

All of these things are fixable (except for the last one). I can ride for longer intervals, focusing on exercises to help my strength and quit hunching. I can practice more jumps and work on flowing over each fence.

All in all, I think I need to remember that I’ve changed and that horse showing is different for me now than it was when I was 16. I no longer think I’m immortal, I’m the one that pays all the bills and I’m the one shouldering all of the responsibility. But does that mean I don’t enjoy it anymore?

What do you think? Has showing changed at all for you as you’ve gotten older? 
Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award

I promise a show update tomorrow, as soon as I get pictures! But today I am excited to share that Viva Carlos gave Fly On Over the Liebster Blog Award! Thanks so much L!

HOW TO ACCEPT THE AWARD: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued. Here are the rules for accepting the award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
  • List 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  • Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
  • Go to each blogger’s page and let them know you have nominated them.

Palomino AQHA Halter Horse

11 Random Facts

  1. I used to work for the world’s largest single-breed horse show [Bonus points for anyone who knows which show that is!]
  2. My favorite TV show is Burn Notice
  3. I hate going to the grocery store
  4. I don’t like to wear heels
  5. My family names all of our cars
  6. My favorite cookie is white chocolate chip macadamia nut
  7. I’ve only lived in two cities my entire life and only one state
  8. I’m a Negative Nancy by nature
  9. I hate making phone calls
  10. Dream Dinners are amazing
  11. I can’t keep anything alive that can’t tell me when it’s hungry

white chocolate chip macademia nut cookie

L’s Questions

  1. Favorite type of Jump
    Themed Grand Prix or Cross Country Jumps. Like this frog jump at Rolex or this Budweiser jump.
  2. Favorite Professional Rider/Horse Team
    Honestly, I don’t really follow top professional riding that much, so I’m not sure if she counts, but I really like Reed Kessler. I think her story is cool and I love the photos she posts on Instagram.
  3. Favorite Riding Exercise
    Any type of gymnastic. They really help to fine-tune my position and give me a lot of jumps to get it right.
  4. Lease favorite Riding exercise 
    Adjustability with ground poles — such as two poles set at 6 strides and then going back forth to 5 strides or 7 strides. It’s really helpful, but incredibly hard (at least for me!)
  5. Where do you see yourself next years (horse/career/life)
    Horse-wise I hope to purchase my next horse and move up to 2’6″. Career-wise, I’m a bit fuzzy on; mostly I just want to keep learning and improving my writing skills, as well as project management. Life in general? I’ll just wait and see what it throws at me!
  6. Advice you would give yourself 5 years ago
    Stop f*cking around and remember what is most important to you — you never know how important things are until they’re gone.
  7. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
    I actually like my name. It’s fairly unique without being unheard of… so I guess I wouldn’t change it.
  8. If you could train with anyone who would it be and why?
    Again, maybe I’m a bump on a log, but I’m really happy with my current trainer. I feel like I wouldn’t get much out of training with someone that’s really well-known because I’m not an advanced rider.
  9. I’m giving you $5k what would you buy?
    A horse. 🙂
  10. Give me the recipe for your favorite dish you can make White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce
  11. Dream vacation destination?
    Fiji for sure!

show jumping

My Questions

  1. What horse show would you love to show at, if money was no object?
  2. Name one attribute that would be a deal-breaker for a horse you would like to purchase?
  3. Name one piece of tack you covet.
  4. Favorite equine website?
  5. Describe your dream trailer.
  6. Cats or Dogs?
  7. Favorite 90’s TV Show?
  8. East coast or West coast?
  9. Are you a girly-girl or a guys’ girl?
  10. Name one fear.
  11. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

11 Blogs with Under 200 Followers

Moshello

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!

Jose
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!