Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Little things, revisited

I told you it doesn't take much to make me happy... look, the little garden I planted at the barn (well... it's only half finished) has it's first flower!

Do you think that means spring is coming?

(That was a "BC weather" joke. It's almost June and we're still waiting for the good weather. Sigh.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's always the little things...

Look what I found when I got to the barn today! (Well... other than a flood... somehow, the water faucet in Gia's stall got left on overnight, flooded her entire stall and half the aisle...)

Beautiful, groomed, freshly harrowed arena! It looks so professional!

Now I know what you're thinking... "who cares?" Or something along those lines. But honestly, it delighted me. It just makes riding so much easier. Plus, it looks so nice!

It doesn't take much to make me happy, lol. Plus, my last couple of rides on Gia have been fantastic-- I feel like we're actually getting somewhere! We are going to the Sunnyside show this weekend, that'll be a good test of her concentration... and my ability to stay on :)

Just had to share!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Still thinking about tea parties...

I've been mulling over ideas for the Mad Tea Party, and naturally my brain is full of baking ideas. One of my favourite places, Etsy, has so much inspiration... scones, Linzer tarts, lovely French macarons, or how about finger sandwiches made with rainbow bread! And of course, my homemade marshmallows... and no tea party would be complete without cupcakes! (Oh-- and tea, of course!)

So... that's a LOT of sweets! What the heck am I going to do with them all? Perhaps a real tea party is in order, after all.

I'll keep thinking...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I want to introduce you all to one of my absolute favourite online inspirations: Vanessa Valencia at A Fanciful Twist. She did our wedding invitations. Seeing the beautiful images in her Etsy shop, and following her incredible blog, has really changed how I look at life, at everything around me. Her vision is amazing to me.

Every year she hosts a virtual Mad Tea Party. I'm so excited to be a part of it this year!

I have exactly a month to plan! Do you think I should have an actual tea party? Or should use the theme to inspire photographs... or graphic art? Or perhaps a mix of all three?


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Want to see happiness? :)

Jessy made a video of the Superpony. This kind of thing makes my heart feel good :)

Unfortunately, we may be skipping the show next weekend. Moira is very lame on her right hind. I think it's an abscess, we have the farrier coming out tomorrow and we'll know better then. Today we soaked the hoof in epsom salts and wrapped it, and iced the swelling and wrapped both hind legs, and Moira already looks a TON more comfortable. SO at least we're going in the right direction.

And although I feel a bit bad for Jessy, there's yet another show the following weekend... so we're not missing out on much.

Wish Moira luck!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hello, my old friend!

I haven't done much baking lately. There are only so many hours in the day, and with the better weather coming, I've been focusing on the horses (as you've probably noticed, lol). But, on Sunday, Noah asked for cupcakes... and who am I to refuse his adorable face?

So here's what we made...

Nothing fancy, Noah just wanted green cupcakes. I compromised and made cinnamon sugar cupcakes with green frosting. He was happy, and I admit it's quite a pretty colour!

It was lots of fun and I'll do it again... sometime!

Showtime, revisited

I've been spending a lot of time looking back over the goals I had posted originally (here), and looking at what's available to me this summer, and trying to sort out my plan. Adding miss Moira to my family changed my goals a bit, in that hitting up the Arab shows isn't going to be my priority anymore. Instead, I would like to focus on just getting out there and getting some miles on Gia. Here's what I'm looking at now...

The 29th is the Willoughby Saddle Club show. This is what Jessy and I are taking both the ladies to. I don't even necessarily plan to enter, I am going to see how the Supermodel behaves and take it from there. Ideally I will enter the walk-trots but I'm not super concerned about it.

The following weekend - June 5th - there is a hunter show at Sunnyside Saddle Club. Sunnyside is up the block from us, so within riding distance. The way I see it, these shows are totally worth going to since we don't have to pay for a trailer, making them very cost-effective. I am definitely aiming for the June show, but barring previous commitments, can see myself going to all of them. I'd like to start in the walk-trots and watch how we advance over the course of the year. Hopefully miss Jessy and the Superpony can come too, they are further ahead of us. Perhaps they'll be showing in the over-fences classes by the end of the summer.

June 18-19 is the BC Sporthorse and Sportpony show. This is a bigger show, like I mentioned, and I want to keep costs (and stress) down by just doing in-hand classes on the Saturday.

They also have another show Sept. 23-25, which I'd like to do in-hand again. That would meet my goal of 2 bigger shows.

Beyond that... Willoughby has more shows over the summer, Sunnyside has dressage shows aside from the hunter shows, and if I venture further afield there is even more to be found. I don't think I'll need to, though. I think hitting up the small shows close to me, maximizing Gia's exposure while minimizing cost, is going to give me the greatest satisfaction at the end of the season.

Happy happy me! The thought of showing again is so exciting. Although, I kind of hope BC decides to give us a summer sometime soon... if this inconsistent weather keeps up, it's going to be kind of frustrating. I don't like the idea of hacking to a show in the pouring rain!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mare makeovers, and showtime!

Well, I took the plunge... Gia's mane came off. She is officially a Big Girl now, a working horse, not just a pretty face. It looks pretty good, but definitely needs some tweaking and a couple of weeks to grow out and look natural.

I finally broke down and did it because showtime is coming up! We are taking both the Supermodel and the Superpony to a teeny-tiny schooling show in two weeks. Honestly, I know that we aren't even close to being ready for a show, even a little bitty one like this. So, my goal is to go to the show, get on at some point, and not get bucked off :) If I actually end up entering any classes-- even walk-trot-- I will consider that the icing on the cake.

Two weeks after that is the BC Sporthorse/Sportpony show in Cloverdale. I plan on taking her to that show in the halter classes. I'm pretty excited about that, it's a bigger show, plus I'm really interested to see how she does in a halter class. I personally think she's very well built but I know that conformation is by FAR not my strong suit. So I'm curious as to how others (such as judges) will see her.

I'm happy to be making plans for the show season, so often for me, life gets in the way of my goals. And this is only the beginning!

Anyway, I had a chance to take some pictures of the ladies a couple of days ago before the heavens opened and the rain came down (again). I let them into the arena, and of course they ran around like crazy people, with much snorting and Arab head-tossing:

(Doesn't Moira look like a Breyer pony??)

After the running around, Gia had to roll...

... then resume her fancy "look at me!" trot.

"I'm the beautiful-est!"

Moira tried to keep up for a bit...

But eventually just got cranky about it (see her ears, lol)

and decided that eating would be way more fun.

Gia ran around a bit more but eventually did slow down, and I managed to get a couple of pics of her new mane...

And of course, a couple of pictures of adorable Moira just for fun.

How can you not love that face? <3

Anyway, they are both doing well and are happy, and I can't wait for the good weather to get here (HELLO, it's almost JUNE, where's our SUMMER??) so I can ride more consistently, and hit the shows!

Wish us luck!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gia winter pics

Just a couple of pics, as promised... she's still gorgeous, even in her winter fuzzies. I can't decide about that mane... I'm not normally a long-mane person (except, of course, with Arabs, which is why Gia still has hers). But if we pursue dressage, I may end up cutting it off like I did with Moira's. Which was a vast improvement, frankly.

Guess we'll just see :)


She is thinner than I'd like, having dropped a lot of weight when Bentley and Laila left and she found herself alone. I suspect she's going to be a bit of a hard keeper since she's such a worrier, but hopefully the ulcer medication will help calm down her tummy and encourage her to eat more. She feels good when I run my hand over her ribs, but you can still see them when the light is right. She's just such a picky eater!

But she's my baby girl :)

Edit: just have to add this adorable picture of Jessy and Gia. This is the mare who was impossible to catch, wanted nothing to do with people, would run all over you or run AWAY from you, reared, threw herself over backward... now look at her. It's amazing what a difference patience makes.


Well, miss Moira's massage (say that three times fast!) went very well. Jen (the massage therapist) had a lot of interesting things to say. She said she felt Moira had, at one point, fallen and twisted her hips. She was very tight-- like, ridiculously tight-- on the left side of her spine. She also felt that Moira's nervousness came from expecting a "heavy hand"-- to be harshly disciplined or punished. I know this isn't because of US, Jessy and I are definitely not "heavy handed" type of people, so I can only imagine this was from her previous owner. But we will make sure to stay calm and loose when working with her, and eventually she'll figure out that she doesn't need to worry about it anymore.

Jen suggested we get a chiropractor to take a look at her spine, and she will be sending me the name and number of one she recommends. I will have to have a vet's permission in order for the chiro to work on her, which works out okay because Gia needs her teeth floated anyway. But it just means that I'm not certain when I'll be able to get it all done. I'm working on it.

On the plus side, Jessy rode Moira yesterday and said that the difference was very noticeable. Moira was still a bit pissy but nothing like normal. That's so encouraging to me! Perhaps I'll have Jen out again while waiting to be able to have the chiro out.

The ulcer supplement comes this week so we'll be starting that as well, and see how it goes. Gia is looking much more sound so hopefully the weather will get better and I'll be able to actually ride later in the week :)

I ran into the barn owner yesterday for the first time in several weeks, and he has purchased a harrow so is going to start dragging the arena on the weekends, which is great news. We've also been noticing some low spots in the paddocks where water is puddling because it isn't reaching the pump to get sucked out. So he's going to bring in some more crusher dust to raise those sections for better drainage. I'm looking forward to this summer so much, things are going great!

More updates as they come, and I have some pics of the Supermodel shedding her winter coat I will post later today. Moira's gotten all the attention lately, it's only fair for miss Gia to get her fair share too!