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Well I am all of 7 days into my lease on Orion, and I wanted to share a bit more detail to his story.

I have “told” Orion (and my trainer) that what him and I have is a business arrangement. Not to be callous, but just realistic.  I take good care of him, ride him to the best of my abilities, and in turn he is a stable partner who doesn’t seem to mind my tumultuous life.

50% of the reason my life is tumultuous.

I don’t need him to love me, and I don’t need to fall in love with him. Business is business. And that’s okay! I will still love on him, but more as an overly affectionate associate. I think it’s a great combo, and he doesn’t care as long as I keep the treats coming.

Treats go here amateur.

In more fun news? I thought I’d share some details I’ve learned about this beast (not just in the past 7 days, but in the past months of riding him)…

  • He loves having his face brushed.  Like leans in, pushes into your hands.
  • He thinks my daughter is a living treat machine (he’s not wrong).
Treat machine in action.
  • He doesn’t care if I get on him bareback. My crotch however, does not enjoy it.
  • He doesn’t grow much in the way of winter hair and seems to enjoy having his blankets on.
  • He has no idea how large he is.  Legs everywhere people.
  • He looks really cute in hunter green; which is my favorite.
  • His worst nightmare is a small blue box in our arena.
  • He has such wiggly lips! And they are always into something.
  • So far he eats anything I’ve given him, so he’s not particular.

Soooooo close!

Overall, he continues to show me that he is a very good guy. And that he has quirks (the not scary kind) that are going to build my confidence and abilities exponentially. It’s different than riding a schoolmaster all the time. Sometimes you learn best by doing, or problem solving in the moment.

So here I am, onwards!

Also, I am so sore.

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2018 was an amazing year. It brought about my son, loads of wonderful family memories, and plenty of horse themed adventures. However, it was a year different than any before, even the other partial year out of the saddle – the one during which I had my daughter. That year I still had O and was trying to understand what our next steps were.

This year horses were a “happy” backburner situation. I’ve written about it before, and have been mostly content to push pause and see what happens next.  As you may have guessed, my patience in the matter turned a little angsty as I continued to not have any ideas of what to do.  I don’t function well when there’s no direction.

So after spending part of December throwing myself a stellar pity party (I am an event planner by trade – har har), I opted to get the heck over myself and figure some things out.  I sketched out plans, I set up budgets, I wallowed over decisions…and not surprisingly the outcome was much the same as this fall.  Still not ready to do the ownership gig.  At first, it was kind of suffocating.  Mainly because I just felt incredibly stuck.  Also, because it was my own fears and concerns holding me back.

However, my pity party, brainstorming session did have one possible bright moment.  An idea sparked by my extremely tolerant trainer.  Remember this guy?

Hello.  I’m Orion.

Well for the month of January, I get him 3 days a week.  Yes, you guessed it—A half lease situation.  Since he belongs to the barn/trainer, it’s a pretty sweet gig.  I get to feel like I’m going somewhere, and I can figure out what will work and what will not work for future equine endeavors.  Plus he jumps around, swaps his leads, doesn’t eat my kids, and lives inside.  Only downside (if we can even call it that)?  I’m still learning how to ride him.

I’m really excited about it. Obviously it will be an adjustment, but we’ve talked this thing to death. It’s as good of a time as any to dip my toes back in.  Orion is going to help me do that.

So happy new years, and cheers to pushing play on 2019!

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Gratitude.

I’ll be honest. When I first started writing this most I was mostly stuck on words like patience (which I suck at), or perseverance (this year has not been easy). But scrolling through the photos in my phone, I realized while I worked on both my patience and such this year that looking back they are not what defined this year.

2018 was broken into 3 chapters for me; being pregnant, healing after baby, and finally the emotional and physical restoration stage I’m in now. And the underlying theme through all of these parts, is the heart aching gratitude I have for everyone involved.

I’m also grateful for horse shirts too.

To the people who held my screaming baby while I tried to finish a lesson.

To my mother who unfailingly supports this love affair with horses.

I vividly remember she was watching this ride back when I was 17 on a sales horse.  I bet she took this photo.

To the kind schoolies who gave me a safe place to land.

To my daughter for the way she loves animals, and for reminding me what this is all really about.

https://agifthorseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/img_1604.trim_.mov

To my trainer for not making it easy to quit, and calling me out on my stupid moments.

To my fellow riders who inspire me constantly, and that means you too bloggers.

A special thank you to all those who have shared their horses with me this year.

For my son, who sometimes needs me to carry him around (see pictures above), but melts my heart.

For the amazing opportunities I’ve been given in and out of the saddle.

For my health, and ability to be involved in all the things I want.

For a spouse who challenges and loves me no matter what.

For horse friends I can text weird and random questions too.

For the chance to wake up each morning and keep dreaming about what 2019 will be!

For all of this, and so much more…that’s why the word of the year is gratitude.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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A Gift Horse by Admin - 1M ago

Guys, the time has finally come to say goodbye. To my beloved Tredsteps DaVincis that is.

I snagged them off of Tackoftheday back in March of 2014, and was immediately smitten with them.  And yes, that makes them every inch of 4 years old right now.  While I don’t typically ride multiple horses a day, I did wear these things everywhere.  Shows, clinic, lessons, hacks, walking back and forth between pastures 900 times and to the grocery store numerous times.  They were well used, and honestly a little abused.  I crammed my preggo calves into them for months, and they still managed to stay pretty nice.

Unzipped in the back because of initial baby weight.

But the other day, I hopped off my friend’s mare (who I want to steal on the daily) and something felt off.  Closer inspection proved that I quite literally had broken their soles.  On both feets.  And if that wasn’t enough, the tops have been breaking down and sagging, and the leather was rubbed badly on the inner calf.  In a word?  They were done-zo.

Before I begin the terror of shopping for new tall boots on my awkward, giant-calved giraffe legs, I would like to point out a how awesome these Tredstep boots have been.  They are flattering to the leg, the fit was spot on to measurements provided.  I only had raw ankles from the breaking in period for a short time.  I also liked the squared toe and zipper protectors on top and bottom.  Would I buy them again?  Definitely.  Will I?  I don’t know yet.

So sell me here…what tall boots do you love?  Nothing custom, because $$$.  I’d probably stick to a fairly boring black pair for all around use.  And preferably something with a return policy if they are online, because as mentioned above, my legs are special snowflakes.  Recommendations?  Let’s hear ’em.

Good thing it’s bonus season. Whew!

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