Friday, December 26, 2014


Fly On Over's Secret Santa that is!

On Christmas Eve I received my Secret Santa present and I was so flipping excited to open it!!  This was the first time I participated in the Secret Santa and had a blast getting a gift together for my blogger, and was so excited to see what someone had thought up for Mollie and I.  Plus I just like horse-y presents, ok?

One of the things I'm loving about this swap is finding out about new blogs, like Nicole's at Equinpilot!  I admittedly haven't read her blog before but she seriously spoiled me and will definitely be a blog I follow from here on out.

First up was a gift for Molls, which is really what this was about in her opinion.

Inside was a equine Russel Stover's box!  Nicole included all sorts of treats for Mollie to sample, and even had a handy little print out explaining what each treat was.  Spoiler, Mollie hasn't turned any of them down yet.

Sorry this is upside down.... I'm still not fixing it.

Also upside down.... you get the point.

Next up was this adorable bracelet.... or maybe necklace?  I admittedly have not taken it out of the package but I love the pendant :)

And in case Nicole hadn't done enough (she had) she really went over the top with this last gift.  Let me just say I am absolutely BLOWN AWAY with the framed cross stitch she sent of my girl.  It looks JUST LIKE MY HORSE.  She obviously used a photo from this blog and turned it into an absolutely beautiful keepsake that I will seriously treasure forever.  I still can't get over how perfectly this turned out, the photo doesn't do it justice.

Thank you so much Nicole for the gifts, and thanks to Tracey as well for organizing this!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Not My Horse

Thanks to all for your comments on my last post.  The post was inspired because I had a "discussion" this weekend with the new BO about how much hay I thought was appropriate for Mollie.  That discussion was inspired because my horse has been acting... well not like my horse.  Mollie has always had pretty impeccable ground manners if I do say so myself.  She makes a decent mess in her stall but aside from that is an easy horse to have around.

Until now.

This is what Beaver Molls has been up to lately.

Please note that all of these photos are from different locations in her stall where she is straight up just eating her way through.  What the hell horse?

This chewing has been going on for a few weeks and has honestly baffled me.  Mollie has NEVER chewed wood before, never mind to this extent.  We tried a Quitt supplement but I had a feeling boredom/being hungry was the actual culprit.  You see, at the last barn, Mollie basically lived at a 24/7 buffet.  She was never without hay/grass in front of her face and that is no longer the case.  She now gets 2 flakes at breakfast, another 2 at lunch, 2 more at dinner, and 1 last flake at night check.  The problem is after she's gobbled up this hay (in 10 minutes flat) she just stands around, bored and hungry since she is no longer out on grass.  In my opinion, she's also dropped a bit of weight.

Right after moving to the barn
This weekend :(
We established a plan that we would increase her hay by an additional flake at each meal, just for a month to see what happens.  She's also going to get a bit of hay stretcher thrown into her morning and night grain to see if that helps.  Mollie has never eaten much grain to begin with so I'm hoping the added forage will be enough to curb her appetite and prevent her from eating the barn.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Question & An Awkward Photo

First, a question.

How much hay does your horse eat per day?

Feel free to specify how many flakes, how they're divided up, and whether or not your horse is out on grass in conjunction with hay-age.  Just running a little "focus group" so to speak to see if my idea of appropriate forage is wildly unrealistic or not.

And as promised, an awkward photo.

This is how A Mollie likes to eat grasses.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Double the Loving

Snowy night at the barn

Headed out to the barn after school today for a cruise on the Mollie-Wogs.  I have been riding her in her snaffle for about 2 months now.  It started back at the old barn, because I wasn't riding very often and it just kind of carried over to this place when we moved in November.  Since she was out of shape I felt kinda bad stuffing her in it right away.  When I first introduced her to the double my instructor explained it by saying that a double bridle truly allows you access to a horse's skeleton.  That's a lot of access for a 17 year old out of shape QH who isn't built to do this anyways.

But alas, Mollie has been feeling SUPER fit lately and it's been showing in our rides.  Tonight seemed as good a time as any to go back, so on the double went.  Fun fact: when putting your horse back in a double bridle again you should probably attach the curb on backwards.  That way when you put it on her in the middle of the barn during dinner time when she's trying to run to her stall you can take it all off to fix it, put back on her head, and try not to kill her in the process.

I do love all that leather and metal....

Tonight was also about 30 degrees and super raw, so Mollie got to wear her wool cooler for the first time this season.  Unsure about whether or not your thighs are active and engaged while riding?  Just try to hold a wool cooler in place for an entire ride and you'll find out.

Hot pink polo wraps to spice up your Tuesday

 I eventually got the bridle sorted out, got to the ring, and hopped on.  Mollie had a SERIOUS case of the zooms from the second I got on.  This doesn't work out so well because a zoomy Mollie means a heavy, on her forehand Mollie, and that's no bueno.  I tried SUPER hard to just keep my hands soft and still, my body in perfect alignment, and be very persistent in my requests.  And can I just say.... damn my horse was good.  I really think that people who don't enjoy dressage just haven't really experienced it the right way.  There is absolutely nothing like collecting my reins from a long walk break, aligning my body just so, closing my legs around my horse and feeling her pick herself up right in front of me.  Then finally having my reins short enough for contact but feeling nothing because she's just that light up front.   It's really freakin cool.

Mmm carrot slobbers

I only rode for about half an hour but got off beaming.  This horse seriously keeps getting better and better, and even when she gives me a run for my money so many of our rides have been positive lately, and I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


In the last week I think I rode my horse more than I did the entire month of October.  While things aren't perfect at the new barn (more on that later... princess Molls is NOT adjusting to the new feeding schedule) I have absolutely loved having her so close to home.  Another nice perk is that I can frequently drag my sister to the barn with me, and then force her into taking videos :)  While I can't promise the next 6 minutes of watching my horse trot around on the flat will be the most riveting part of your day, they'll probably be more interesting than whatever work you're supposed to be doing!

I have to say, I'm really pleased with where Mollie is right now.  I didn't ride much all of October, and rides the month prior were pretty hit or miss.  Since being at the new barn I've been riding her in the snaffle, just because I really didn't think she was fit enough to go in her double, but she's definitely ready to go back.  While warm up still is, and probably always will be a little slow, she's been getting really nice by the end of our ride.  If you skip to minute 5 of the video you can see what I mean.  She was so incredibly soft in my hand, and when I remembered to stretch UP (why is that so hard?!) she did the same.  She was actually picking her legs up instead of dragging them along, and the little bit of "hop" in her stride you see on the last long side is what I strive for.  This little horse isn't built for this work at all, but it's so good for her and she tries her heart out for me.  Can't ask for any more than that.

Enjoy some random commentary from my 14 year old sister, or turn down your volume.  Either way :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Mollie is settling into the new barn pretty well.  I'll have to take photos and do a barn tour post soon but for now here are some pictures of Molls being cute.

It cracks me up that she ALWAYS halts like this, no matter what.  Front legs totally square, left hind a hair in front of the right.  Silly horse.

Poor girl can't see over the fence.
One thing that is different here is that Mollie ALWAYS meets me at the fence.  I really do think she is a little bored here.... hopefully she'll adjust because for right now she is where she is.  In the meantime it's nice to think she's actually happy to see me, because usually she doesn't acknowledge me until I walk out to her.

The cutest girl

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Equine Affaire 2014

So I've been putting off this post because I wanted to take nice pictures of everything I bought at EA, but that just isn't happening, so you're getting a post with janky-ass pictures.  Sorry.

Equine Affaire has been an event that I look forward to and attend ever since I was a little girl.  I refer to it as "Horsey-Con" to non horse people, and it truly is a sort of equine mecca.  There are years I have gone and bought absolutely nothing, because the deals can be hit or miss, but there is something about being in a place that is absolutely brimming with other horse people that draws me there time and time again.

For those of you that aren't familiar, Equine Affaire truly is a horse convention of sorts.  There are clinics, breed demonstrations, demo rides, and vendors representing every single facet of the horse world.  From high end tack shops to farming equipment, you'd be hard pressed to need something that WASN'T there.

I almost always go with a friend, C, and this was also the first year I brought my 14 year old sister, who also rides.  It's safe to say we were way more excited to show her everything than she was to even go :)

I definitely walked away with more than I have in previous years, but I didn't even spend $120!! I was pretty proud of myself and definitely scored some awesome deals.  The haul included...

A zebra print turnout sheet.  Mollie didn't even need one, but it's zebra print and was only $19.99.  Done deal.  Side note, Mollie had a perfectly good turn out sheet but chose to tear it to shreds the day after I purchased this one.  Clearly she knew there was another in the wings.

Safari Molls in her natural environment

Like some fellow bloggers I was very excited to stop by the Mango Bay booth!!  Pam could not have been nicer and was surprised (pleasantly, I hope!) at how many people recognized her belts from blog-land.  The belt that I wanted was no longer available in my size, but Pam heard me commenting to C, and immediately told me to grab any one off the hook and she would cut it down to size.  So nice!!

All the pretties
Photo stolen from the mango bay site, because lazies.

Other purchases included a pair of no-name breeches for a whopping $15.  Again, no photo because they're already in the wash but they fit well, have pink knee patches, and did I mention they were $15?  I also picked up two halters for some of the ponies at the lesson barn, then it was off to watch the David O'Connor clinic.

Panoramic of the Colosseum.
Most of the clinicians at EA post what they are looking to do in each clinic, and then local riders can apply and be selected to participate in the clinic, which is way cool in my opinion.  This year however, David O'Connor did things a little differently.  He brought 3 riders with him that train in his program year round, to really show "what he does" each day.  I was a little disappointed at first, but he was right in saying that some of the clinics there turn into dealing with a horse's nervousness because of the venue (it is overwhelming).  And I will admit, it was pretty cool to see some "up and coming" grand prix, four star riders.

The clinic didn't disappoint, and I did like most of what he had to stay but we didn't stay for the entirety of the clinic.

All in all it was another very successful EA in the books and I already can't wait for next year.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Girl's Still Got It

Taking a quick second to brag about my horse.

She's had 12 days off and hasn't jumped in about a year and a half.  Maybe two years.  And then today we did this.

I recognize it's a video of me trotting my 17 year old horse over baby cross rails, but god she's a good girl.  I decided to not really steer or do anything about finding a distance because I'm pretty useless, yet she popped over anything I sort of pointed her at and landed on the correct lead about 99% of the time.

Also, lets all enjoy that first line, where Molls swerved left and right all in the course of 1.5 strides.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Digs

So Mollsie has a new house.  I didn't really plan on moving her, but a few small things happened that added up to "it makes sense to move the horse".  And my commute time from my house to the barn just went from 50 minutes to 5.  Definite score.

More details to come, but here are some photos of Mollie in her new digs.  Sorry they're almost exclusively of her butt...

The new indoor is clearly rull skerry. 

No crossties ever

Checking out her window

Not her butt.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

La-Di-Dah what is a Horse?

In unsurprising news I haven't blogged or ridden my horse anytime recently.

Hopefully this will change by next weekend... more on that.... next weekend.

For now I'll blog about things hardly horse related that have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

Remember that time I went to a glorified line dancing convention last March?  Well I did it again.  And it was awesome.  Here are some photos that probably only I will find funny, but look anyways, because it was all so funny.

For example, my friend spent the ENTIRE weekend in this fricken chicken mask.  She rode to NY wearing it, danced in it, and woke people up wearing it.  Maybe she took it off to shower, but I'm not sure.

Also, check out this sweet foliage.

This is a broken light.  It's broken because I demanded to be carried to dinner and my 6'4 friend picked me up, threw me over his shoulder, and directly into the light.  Yes, I broke a hotel light with my head.

The silly people at the hotel gave my roommates and I adjoining rooms with our other best friends.  Naturally we dragged their mattresses into our room and had a slumber party.  Don't worry, we put them all back before we left and the hotel employees only hated us a little.

On a horse related note, for the first time in 13 years my horse bit me.  In her defense it really was an accident... I was tacking her up in her stall, and when I went to tighten her girth she swung her head around and snapped her teeth like she does every. single. day.  This time she got a little closer than normal though, and grabbed my thigh.  By the time I even realized what happened she was halfway across her stall because she knew she was in trouble.  I was pretty pumped about my bruise though.

This photo looks kinda racey... it's not.

So I saw Eric Church.  It was maybe the best concert I've ever been to.  He is now right up there with Tim McGraw.

View from my seats

And well, here's a horse.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Equine Photoshoots

So way back before I even started blogging, one of the first blogs I read was She Moved to Texas.  And I remember clicking through all of her related articles one day, and stumbling upon this one, regarding tips for portraits with your horse.  I really liked this article and thought that if I ever started blogging one day, I'd like to do my own spin on it.

As you may have noticed from the photos on my blog, I love photos of myself and my horse.  I spent years lusting over images on google, and later pinterest, and always thought of what I would do if I got photos done of Mollie and myself.  A few years ago I got friendly with a girl who took absolutely fabulous photos as a hobby.  As a fellow horse back rider, her favorite subjects were horses, and lets just say Mollie and I were willing participants :)  Here are a few things I've learned along the way.

So serious
1. Select an EQUINE photographer: I cannot stress this point enough.  I'm not going to lie, I've seen some friends of mine post "professional photos" that they've had done that I wasn't overly impressed with.  Just because someone advertises themselves as a photographer doesn't mean they've worked with horses, or outdoors at all!  All three of the photographers that I have used happen to be equestrians themselves which I think helped tremendously.  They knew what I was looking for from a horse-y perspective and I really believe it played a part in how the photos turned out.

I like photos where my horse looks good
2. Think long and hard about your outfit choice(s): This is something that I learned a bit through trial and error.  It is SO important to go into a photo shoot with a clear idea of what kind of "look" you're going for.  Do you want formal photos?  Do you want to ride your horse for some of the photos?  Do you want to look more country, or classic equestrian?  All of these things are important in selecting your outfit.  Along the same lines, make sure that you feel confident and comfortable in the clothes.  There was nothing worse than picking an outfit that I thought would be cute, and then realizing it wasn't cute at all in the photos.  While I want my horse to look nice, I really want to look nice in the pictures too :)

Not my favorite outfit because the shirt was too billowy :(

3. Practice: This sounds kind of silly, but it isn't a bad idea to practice standing around with your horse.  Not only did my friend at Knoopdawg Photography take my photos, but I also "assisted" her on many other photo shoots and there was nothing worse than a horse and rider that were awkward on the ground.  If your horse can't stand on a patch of grass without dragging you all over it, that photo you wanted in the pretty field with your horses head in your arms probably won't work out.  Make sure your horse is comfortable with the various locations you plan on shooting in, and isn't a total tool when asked to stand still.

Not what we were going for Molls....
4. Communicate to your photographer: If there's a certain photo you have in mind, TELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER.  Even better, bring in/show them inspiration photos ahead of time so you're both on the same page.  If you want candids, tell them.  If you want to look at the camera, do it.  If you want them to take the lead and have a really artsy shoot, be open to their ideas.  This is your shoot, and you should get what you want.

So art-c
5. Have a game plan: This is a really easy way to make or break a photo shoot.  If you show up at the barn with 16 different outfits, still haven't decided how you're going to "dress" your horse, and are already wearing a photo shoot outfit to get your horse ready... you're screwed.  Always have your outfits narrowed down, but make sure you have a big t-shirt or something barn appropriate to wear when getting your horse ready.  Decide ahead of time how you want your horse to look (whiskers trimmed and mane pulled?  braided?  au natural?) and take the appropriate steps to getting them ready.

Fuzzy winter horse is fuzzy

6. Have fun: Corny as all get out, but have fun when you're taking these photos and enjoy the moment.  It sounds cheesy but when I'm standing out there with Molls getting our photos done it really causes me to reminisce about everything we've been through together, and that's part of why our photos mean so much to me.

Sometimes candids are the best :)

Photo Credit goes out to Knoopdawg Photography (photos 4, 5, 6, and 7), Doug Foscale Equine Photography (photos 2 and 8), and Polar Square Designs (photo 3).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Fotos: Part 2

One day I'll create a real post about my actual horse and our riding.  Lots of changes happening that have me in a weird head space, so for now here are more photos from our fall photo shoot.  Once again, all photo credit goes to Doug Foscale Equine Photography.

Who doesn't love a Mollie portrait?

Love the lighting here

Wear a helmet kids

Also, hold your reins

Love me some B&W

The foliage game was strong

This came out way better than I imagined

Cookie mugging

Listening ears :)

My favorite, I think

But this is a close second :)