Quo Vadis: Part 2 – Current State of Affairs

Quo Vadis is Latin for “Where are you going?” (Before I decided on a business degree, I was a philosophy and classical studies major so forgive me the chance to toss in a little Latin.) In this mini-series, I’m going to articulate where I’ve been, where we are now, and finally where Nibbles and I are heading. This is a personal exercise to make me think critically about my goals but also to further introduce myself to the wonderful blogging community that has supported me so much already.

Last time, I covered where we’ve been.

This time, I’m going to try to objectively talk about where we are now. To help organize my thoughts and not drag you all through a giant narrative, I’ll break this up into my non-horse life, my riding life (or lack thereof) and Nibbles’ life.

My Non-Horse Life Status

Woo, actual headers to break up my ramblings! I think it’s important to reflect on where I’m at now in my life outside of horses because we all know it has a big impact on what we can realistically commit to horses and riding. In the past 3 months, I’ve experienced a massive amount of change. I got married (in June) and we moved for my husband’s two-year MBA program. That means I left my old job (working in the marketing world with many equine clients) and started a new job (that I really enjoy but has nothing to do with horses). Don’t they say the most stressful things in life are starting a new job and getting married? If not for my husband’s amazing support, I couldn’t have accomplished both at the same time. Throw in a European honeymoon and we’ve been, literally, all over the place!

Photo by Jamie Abitz Photography

Photo by Jamie Abitz Photography

As stressful as that sounds – and it was – things are better than they have been for me probably ever. I have an amazing support system, steady employment, and I know I’ll be in this location until at least May 2017 (MBA and all).

What does that mean for what you care about, the horse part of my life? It means I can finally look at a budget I know isn’t changing anytime soon, look at my other commitments requiring a lot of my time, and carve out what can be “spent” on horses and riding.

It’s taken a long, long time to get here. I know it won’t always be smooth sailing. Exhibit A: Surprise, we have to buy husband a new laptop for grad school. But it feels good to finally be mostly stable.

 

My Horse Life Status

The last time I rode was visiting Nibbles July 13th and before that was in April. But I’ve taken the first step to change that:

I scheduled a lesson with a local trainer. I am beyond excited. My last lesson was last May and, while I was annoyed with what I couldn’t make my body do, I had a blast. This Saturday can hurry up and get here as far as I’m concerned. I’ll be riding one of the trainer’s school horses since Nibbles is still 4 hours away and will be until at least after her first show on September 20th.

Ok so those half chaps ARE pretty fugly...

Ok so those half chaps ARE pretty fugly…

Additionally, I’m trying to sell my trailer. It needs some work so I’m not asking much and hoping that will lead to a relatively quick sale. In fact, I’m working with a local dealership to trade it in for a flatbed trailer that I can then sell (I hope) much easier.

As far as tack goes, I really don’t need anything right now. I have everything I need to ride. Given, I still have my ugly helmet that does need replacing but that will come after I’ve committed to regular lessons (as a little incentive, ya know?). Given that we now live pretty far north (think Chicago-ish), I have a feeling I’ll be investing in some winter riding pants and boots. But for now, I’m going to delude myself into thinking I can survive with what I have and pat my wallet.

Hoping this is not in my future with Nibbles

Hoping this is not in my future with Nibbles

Nibbles’ Little Life Update

Nibbles is broke. I love writing that sentence! That was the whole point of sending her for training and it’s definitely been accomplished. She’s green but she is most definitely broke.

August 11 - photo by Trainer E

August 11 – photo by Trainer E

I’ve committed to sending her to her first dressage show on September 20th. I’ll be heading up there as groom, cheerleader and photographer. After that, it seems likely that she will be making her appearance in my neck of the woods which means I am fervently looking for the right boarding situation (hopefully even at the barn of whomever I decide to lesson with). She’s green and I’m out of riding shape so I want to be as close to a support system as I can be.

Next up: the good stuff – where we are going in the future.

 

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Calling All Tack Hos!

My nice dressage leathers were stolen at a previous barn and my (crappy) back up pair finally cracked. So I’m in the market for new leathers for my dressage saddle. I’d like to spend around $100 or less for half decent leathers that aren’t going to crack on me on a couple months. They don’t need to be super fancy or French but definitely nothing synthetic.

Dis my saddle on the beast

Dis my saddle on the beast

Tack hos! Can you suggest any brands that I can shop for online? Know of any deals going on? I am not in the know. Teach me your ways.

Tack Haul

In preparation for the show next weekend (!!), I did a little online shopping for some bits and bobs I needed. We all know how this goes – you go to order what you need and it up with a few, if not several, wants. It’s been a long time since I’ve bought more than grain for my girls so this was long overdue.

First up was a sale at Higher Standards. I’ve been coveting their products and several friends told me how great they were. They had a 20% off coupon so I ordered straight away. I got them in the mail yesterday and I can’t wait to try them. I didn’t clean my bridle all week in anticipation of using the new goodies. For starts, the soap sure smells good! I chose Woody’s Confidence blend (citrus-rosemary). I’ll let you know what I think after I try them tonight.

Higher Standards

So excited to try these!

With the weather we’ve been having in Kentucky, I’ve been really frustrated with not having a dress sheet or cooler to use on Nibbles after I bathe or hose her. The wind has been a monster and it really chills her. Plus, I wanted something to help keep her clean after her show bath next weekend. So my mom sent me a link to a braided dress sheet at Schneiders for a really great price.  I also needed some new show sheen, hoof polish and the like so I decided to make one relatively large order.

Dress Sheet

Better photos coming

For the price, the dress sheet is surprisingly nice! I’ll take photos when I put it on her. I opted for black before I really didn’t want BRIGHT red or neon green. I also bought two pairs of No Bows because I’ve actually never owned any. I’ve always just used cotton quilts underneath polos. I’m really excited to finally have a pair. Plus, after fifteen years, I lost one of my quilts and Nibbles has more than three legs.

No Bows

There’s more in there than just No Bows…

In addition to the Show Sheen (a staple) and clear hoof polish (black is illegal for sporthorse in-hand), I also picked up a couple tubes of Quietex. It IS her first show, even though she’s normally a very good girl. I picked up a cheapy sanding “sponge” to try. It was something like $2 and I don’t have my own power sander so I thought it’d give it a whirl on her hooves and see how it works.

Yay goodies!

Yay goodies!

I finally got my own supply of Sore No-More. Nibbles has been ever so slightly puffy in her hind suspensories – and I mean ever so slight. No heat, no pain, and she’s not off. But I want her legs to be as clean and tight as possible for show day. Plus, I was completely out of poultice and you never know when you’ll need it! Last was the spitfire paper, of course.