Friday, May 15, 2015

A rogue left hand and skinny jumps

Before my lease ended for the summer, I knew I wanted some good photos of me on Skylar. I don't have many photos of me riding anyone other than Lucy and Coorina over the years, and wanted some record at least to look back at. Luckily, one of my good friends here at school's boyfriend is an amazing photographer (like press passes big time). He'd never taken photos of horses before and doesn't do much action, but he was game to come give it a whirl.

It was perfect because not only was it a great morning, but most of the barn was off showing, meaning I had the arena to myself to play (and nobody had to worry about getting run over). I set everything in the arena between 2' and 2'3" and off we went!

That's cool, ignore my hand, I'm sure I wasn't asking you to do anything important. Like steer. First strike of rogue left hand.
Time to lengthen my stirrups methinks. Also, left hand just out there, doin it's thing.
This is called, "I jumped a skinny and didn't die! Whee!"

Up photos are awkward and I apparently don't know how to bend at the elbow. Super.

Rogue left hand strikes back

And finally, we have, in which Tracy and I make the same face and you should too because it is a face of INTENSE FOCUS

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Goodbyes and horse hugs

Since I last fell off the planet Earth, I have:
• Given the best presentation I've ever put together (insert sassy emoji here)
• Took four finals in under 30 hours - sleep? HAH.
• Passed. Yay, I get to stay in school.
• Had a 5:20AM flight cancelled by Southwest... at 1am.
• Been on four airplanes, in two time zones and four airports
• Spent 90 hours in the state of New Mexico
• Rode Lucy bareback in cutoffs, because tacking up is like, hard
• Rode Lucy bareback in cutoffs... facing backwards
• Did not fall off of Lucy (horse is a saint despite the stupid things I make her do)
• Started my summer internship
• Online shopped in my sleep
• Shopped in real life
• Picked up my things from the barn and kissed the Sky pony goodbye :(

Lucy iz best pony ever. The End.

In better detail, those things actually mean:

I finished finals in a whirlwind, got on a plane for home and went to see the fam for four days. It was a fun time getting to be at home and just hang out and do nothing except eat my parents' food and catch up with one of my best friends (like... so nice)! Then I got on a plane and came back and started my internship like... 18 hours later. Awesome. (No, actually it really is awesome - pharmacy admin is this super fun new game and I love it.)

I swear to you I brushed AND green spot removed all over this horse. 
My lease on the Skyhorse ended this week - because his mom is home from her study abroad trip! I'm obviously sad, but I know she's excited to have her horse back. With my full time internship kicking off and fellowship applications starting to loom, along with two weddings to attend this summer and some other commitments, the decision was made to not look for another lease at the moment. The option is open to come hack and take lessons at the barn throughout the summer, so I fully plan on taking advantage of those opportunities. I loved having a horse this semester, so hopefully in the fall there will be something around the barn that I can pick up with again.

So I don't usually ride my hunter like a reiner... but apparently here I do. And someone has an opinion about that.
Also, when I shop at 2am, I buy seersucker skirts and swimsuits. In case anyone was wondering. #RogueSouthernerShopping

Sunday, May 3, 2015


It's this great time of the year known best as 'finals'.
I really have no reason to complain, because classes ended last Friday (as in, over a week ago) and all of my finals? Fall this Monday/Tuesday.
As in, I've had a week to sit around. Yeah, I went to the library and worked and sorta studied and typed things on my computer like I was Doing Productive Things when I was really just reading Buzzfeed articles, but you get the gist. Did some things. Rode my horse.

Well, it's also this time of year known as 'pool season'. AKA Holly's Favorite Season Ever Of All Time.
Why doesn't Hobby Lobby stock a section for that?!
This means I do five things:
• Go to school/do school things (like the PowerPoint I just spent four hours doing.. See Mom, Grad School)
• Ride #SkybarTheHorse (no, really, he has a hashtag)
• Lay/read/sit/sunbathe next to my glorious pool. (Apartment managers commented they have never seen someone spend so much time there.. Roommate commented I am far too tan for May 2nd. #hatersgonnahatehatehate)
• Church things. Because, like, Jesus, y'all.
• Sleep and eat and shower and brush the knots out of my hair (sometimes) and grocery shop (went for the first time in six weeks last week, y'all... Adulting is hard)

What do I not do?
Um, everything else.

No, really, let's see.
Skybar The Horse now leg yields (rather, he always did and I didn't know how to push the button), he ground ties, and he trips over his own feet, falls on his face and very nearly launches me to live a new life on Mars. 

In all actuality, he's been phenomenal. Neurotic as usual, but a great horse. Once the weather warmed up consistently, he did a total 180 personality and spookiness-wise. We Jumped All The Things this week and we even went for a nice little stroll OUTSIDE of the arena. Big moves up in the world here, people.

Look, we do ballet!

In other news:
• I passed Operations Research aka Spreadsheet Modeling & Decision Analysis AKA HELL ON EARTH... Despite not understanding anything since oh, mid-February? Good to know grad school is going swell.
• I bought swimsuits and a pair of pants. Will tell more later. Not that exciting.
• Still haven't gotten a haircut. Starting to look a little Sister Wife-ish.
• The Great State of New Mexico anticipates my return next week. By which I mean, my mom, Lucy the Horse, MC and maybe the dog.

Life is swell.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Carolina Cup 2015

The last time I went to Carolina Cup, I was in undergrad and visiting a friend at USC. It was a blast, but I couldn't wait to take all of my friends along and have our big, happy reunion.

It did not disappoint. 

We ended up with a group of eight - two of my best friends from Auburn, three of the girls from UNC and two mutual friends who joined for the weekend. I managed to find a great lake house on VRBO and we were off. 

Friday night, everyone came in at staggered times, since we were coming from five different cities. I had the chance to grab dinner with A & K, who came up from Auburn/Birmingham at the cutest Mexican restaurant in Camden, Salud (you know if a New Mexican recommends your Mexican restaurant, it's good). We caught up, headed back to the house and waited for everyone else to get in.

Saturday morning, we were up bright and early to get ready/pack coolers/throw everything but the kitchen sink into our cars and then it was down to Camden we went! Thanks to some friends/clients, we had a great spot on the back row of the infield, facing College Park. Which obviously made for great entertainment and fun adventures pretending to be undergrads again. We also had a steeplechase jump right in front of our spot, which made for great spectating.

My dad's currently working on the Kershaw County Humane Society, and as one of the sponsors, they were set up. I went by to say hi and touch base, and was pleasantly surprised to see the new building's drawings out! We snapped a pic to send to dad and I kind of love it - animals, big hats, race day - it kind of encompasses everything I love (too bad there isn't a horse actually in it).

I wish it'd been about 8 degrees warmer - it was warm enough to be in our dresses, but not quite warm enough that you wanted to take off your jacket or unwrap from a blanket. Nevertheless, food was eaten, drinks were had and good times for all. I'm also proud to say, I was the only member of our group to end up on the ground, thanks to a chair incident, in which I was also laughing too hard on the ground to get up without help. #graceful 

I want to go back like, tomorrow and do it again, so fingers crossed I can drag everyone along again next year! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Skybar the Horse

So, we had a favorite college bar in Auburn in undergrad, no surprise there. It happens to be known as Skybar. Well, what happens you combine four years of sending texts with the word, 'skybar' in them meets 'I now have a horse named Skylar"? Oh, just that your horse is magically renamed Skybar.

I don't really have a problem with it. In fact, I kind of love it. So yeah, I named my horse after a bar, but c'mon a) there are worse things and b) he drives me to drink, so I'm not seeing an issue here.

On that note.
Last week was beautiful, so I ended up riding Tuesday-Friday (normally Wednesday is not my day to ride). Tuesday was wonderful - I had this calm, down to earth, adjustable horse. I had been so nervous to get on him, because I'd been gone for two weeks at this point and I wasn't sure how many rides he'd actually had during that time. On top of that, he's now going out alone during the day, because his former pasture-mate is in Florida doing things like winning the Medium Greens in Ocala. Okay. Well, we played and we lengthened and we collected and all was right in the world. I got off beaming about how happy I was and how much fun that ride was. So happy, I texted his owner and asked if I could ride Wednesday. She agreed and I thought, whee, can't wait!

This is why his name is Skybar.
I got on and he was already just not there mentally - his mind had shrunk itself down to that little, baby place where life is just way, way too hard to process. I figured we'd just do a quick ride, get something, anything going and let that be that.
Instead, we went into full-out, total meltdown phase. The place in his mind where truly nothing gets through because he just shuts down. A combination of a lesson going on in the ring, that place in his mind we started at and a lesson kid's sibling playing (distractedly) outside the arena and I should have just known, it wasn't gonna happen. He lost his ever-loving mind about 6 times before I finally gave up and got off and hand walked him out until he settled down enough I felt okay to put him away.
And then I drank. (Kidding).

I had Thursday and Friday off of classes, and of course, he completely redeemed himself and collected his brains off the ceiling and we had two wonderful rides wherein I drilled my poor legs until I couldn't walk and it was awesome. We also went fast and I didn't feel like I was Going To Die. The ring was set entirely at crossrails (+ one baby vertical on an outside line), so I popped him over just about everything in there and he was great. I love feeling myself get stronger and can tell I've gotten a lot better just in the three months I've been riding him.

This week he had four days off due to a combination of weather and school, so yesterday was my first ride. I got on knowing I should have lunged, but was feeling lazy, so just prepared myself for a look-y/spooky horse. You know was I got? Two tiny peeks, easily corrected by making him go engage his mind somewhere else. Otherwise, a great horse who even gave me some hind end engaged trots that were unreal. I don't know where it came from, but I love it.

And that's life with Skybar the horse lately.
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