Friday, January 23, 2015

So the search begins: a horse for Holly

A photo captioned, 'I was 14 and blue eyeshadow seemed 100% appropriate for hunter under saddle at the World Show and my horse has RBF'

While I've talked about all the new fun things (like Betty the Butet), I haven't said much about what horse I'm actually riding. My rides on Mac and Lady are still there for me, but towards the end of last semester, I really started missing being in a barn, having a routine and being able to really progress.

For some background, Mac and Lady are at a private barn of the family that owns them. They have a small arena (quite small) and the only other person who ever rides with me is their daughter on occasion. While it was a great arrangement first semester, very low pressure and great for additional experience on different types of rides (recall: Mac is actually half-freight train, half-Thoroughbred), I realized what I was craving. So, I looked hard at my budget and rearranged some things to figure out a half-lease situation.

I've been overwhelmed by the offers I've had - at the moment, I have eight incredible opportunities that each look promising and I'm actually sad I can't just drop out of school and go ride them all. But, on the other hand, how fun is it to know I'm going to have one to spoil all my own this semester?! Along with take lessons again, jump, and really progress. (Maybe even a schooling show here or there - who knows!)

Since I'm mid-process and every single owner and barn has been phenomenal (literally, this is going to be an incredibly tough decision), I don't want to say too much before I've made a final decision, but I am jumping-for-joy, little-kid-can't-sleep excited. Nobody wants to hear me talk about horses anymore and my roommate is flat out sick of watching videos.

The goal is to have something finalized by the 1st, and after that... well, the sky's the limit (jk, 2'6" is because I'm a chicken).

Although, let's be real, the dream is still ship Lucy to NC, condition her and show her because HELLO, doesn't she look good braided?!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

#tbt: Pretty much ready for the Maclay

A throwback Thursday post seems to be in order because I stumbled upon approximately hundreds of hilariously awesome photos from my illustrious (cough) youth career last night. Behold...

The photo known as: caught without a baseball cap on at lunch
This one made the rounds on my father's phone for years, YEARS.

The blurriest video capture ever... and the only good hunt seat photo of Lucy and I from ANY world show.
Also, from the HUS class where we were something stupid like 0.25pts from the finals and I cried all the way to the barn, because that's what 16 year olds do.


The horse known as Lucy says, 'you suck, you rode like crap, and color coordinating doesn't help.'

My very first lesson at home on Lucy, at the age of 12 (real life, I showed the same horse for seven years)

Known as the time I got jumped out of the tack, left my thumb open and broke it. Only gotta learn that lesson once.
Also, let horses discover the brick wall before takeoff. Also, I was skinny and my lower leg still sucks.

And for giggles, this is circa 2007 and I still, still get corrected to, "Stop making that face, Holly!" Also proof horses can match rider's expressions. Perhaps should be titled, "GTFO."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Betty the Butet

While December may have had the fewest purchases to date like, of my life (for myself, Christmas gifts were another story), January did not follow it's predecessor's style - for many a reason. The biggest? A surprise a few of y'all may have seen make its way around Instagram a few weeks ago. What's that? Oh, yes, the best gift ever.

Meet Betty the Butet (yes, I named my saddle). She's like Anna Wintour or Meryl Streep, you go, "wait, she's how old?" and then promptly slather on sunscreen, anti-wrinkle cream, drink 64 gallons of water and look up Botox prices, because it just shouldn't be possible to look that good. (Or like Sheryl Crow... c'mon you look better than I looked at 18 and I'm only 22!)

She's a classic though, top of her game for years, and now she's ready to pass her wisdom down to me. (Think Betty White here)

Too much over a saddle? Sorry, not even a little bit sorry.
I sit and obsess over her in my living room (where she currently lives on a dining room chair because I don't own a saddle rack in my apartment, sorry Betty) and my roommate thinks I'm really freakin' bizarre. Bu-but she's beautiful and she smells like wonderful, high quality leather and I'm sorry, but I'm in LOVE.

K, I'm done.
(10 points if you can pick out the other shiny new object to be mentioned later this week... thorough normal person reviews to come as well!)

Monday, January 19, 2015

SWOT Analysis: 2015

The business major (and essentially glorified business masters student) in me squealed when I saw everyone starting off their 2015 blogs with SWOT analyses. Why? Because I am a nerd and also, any excuse to sound like I've actually learned something during my 18 years of school to date (and five of higher education alone) gets an automatic go from me.

I can definitely see these becoming part of my quarterly goal updates throughout the year.

So, without further ado.

All in all, not a half-bad way to be starting out 2015. There's so much in the works right now, between internship applications and potential horse situations that I'm excited to see where everything goes.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Review: Still Beautiful

Another day, another book review... On the New Year's Resolution train and going strong (checking in at -- books to date!)

Still Beautiful
Amy Patrick
Oxford South Press
Romance/New Adult
3.5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads

"20 year old double-engineering major Cinda Moran is the smart one. Her older sister Kenley… is the pretty one. Their nightmare match-making mom has always made their roles pretty clear, and it’s no mystery which daughter she prefers. So while Kenley played the passive dress-up doll, Cinda did the opposite, refusing any attempts to prettify her and make her into “billionaire bait”. Instead, she’s fiercely focused on academics and her internship at an Atlanta TV station. And as far as romance goes—please—she’s not even sure true love is a “thing”. As she does for everything else in her life, Trekkie-girl Cinda’s got a logical plan: select a sensible mate, come to a mutually satisfactory agreement, and decide to stick it out for better or worse. Then she meets Blake Branham. He makes no sense for her at all. He’s a reporter at the station, years older, and has ambitions to work at the network someday while she intends to stay put in Atlanta. Even worse—he’s a total alpha. With her own Mr. Spock personality, the last thing she needs in her life is a swaggering Captain Kirk taking stupid risks and tempting her to do the same. And he is tempting. When she’s forced to work closely with Blake on live shots and gets to know him outside the station as well, Cinda feels things she’s never felt for another guy and starts to wonder… should she boldly go where she’s never gone before? Should she give love a chance… even if it’s not logical? This is the fourth book in the 20 Something series but can be read as a standalone novel."


I was recently sent a copy of Still Beautiful, the fourth book in the 20-Something series by Amy Patrick. I'd previously read the first three books and found them to be perfectly enjoyable bedtime reads - that is lighthearted, easy and fun. I spend enough time with my head buried in Spreadsheet Modeling and health policy textbooks - when my time to read rolls around, I don't want to be challenged, think or anything that could possibly be construed as learning. Sorry 'bout it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the fourth installation of the 20-Something series. Patrick does a great job of creating the fun, dream world every real 20-Something wants to live in (gorgeous boyfriend, great job, no finance issues... sign me up!), while keeping the emotional issues we all go through at the front of the stories. This book was probably my least favorite of the four, perhaps because of the parental issues, or possibly just my lack of connection to the characters. Despite any shortcomings, it was a perfectly pleasant airplane or sunny afternoon read and I'll continue to read the author's work.

Still Beautiful (along with the entire 20-Something series) is available now in bookstores, on Amazon or in most online retailers.

An advance readers' copy was provided to me by the author/publisher in exchange for a review. These are my honest opinions!
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