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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

18 Reasons I Love Lucy

I didn't participate in any of the rest of Beka's prompts for Archie's birthday, mainly because I was in-between horses and just didn't really know who to write about, plus I try to keep some semblance of a horse-life balance around here (ha jokes), but this one was just fun. Also because I miss Lucy.

Eighteen on the Eighteenth. 
In honor of Archie's 18th birthday, tell me 18 things you love about your horse.

1: Lucy's personality - easygoing, mostly concerned with food, patient and cool as a cucumber. The very first time I tried her, there were fireworks going off overhead from a baseball park next door.

2: Baby Lucy

3: Her great jog/trot

4: How adjustable she is - fast is good, slow is good, stopped is best
In the hay stall...
5: The fact that she will eat anything I put in front of her

6: That she used to stand still while my 12 year old self shimmied my way up her side to mount

7: I can ride bareback, bridleless, halterless, hell, I've ridden her backwards (note of caution: I ended up on the ground after attempting a lope. Do not try at home, kids.)

7 year olds? No prob, we'll just go Top Three at Congress
8: That I can throw anyone up on her and she'll take care of them

9: Her long, beautiful drags-the-ground tail

Came home to find her on the back lawn...

10: The fact that her name should probably be Houdini

11: Showmanship skills

Entirely unamused by me

12: Never needs to be lunged - a week off, six weeks off, no big

13: Goes in a loose ring snaffle 99% of the time

So pretty... so dark?
14: Is allergic to 99% of life - my sweet little epipen pony

Whatevs, I'm asleep
15: Isn't mareish in the least

So regal
16: Minimal white overo - yay to being clean

Lucy iz reindeer
17: Puts up with me when I take 1089 photos, dress her up, play with her ears while I attempt to make her Dumbo the Elephant, and do generally dumb things

18: Made me a better person, better rider and helped me accomplish some of my biggest dreams

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

All the Adventures

You know how they say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb? Well, swap that around.

March was outrageous - it started off slow with a slower few weeks of school (midterm exams mostly, but what seemed like more relaxed classes), then spring break hit, where I proceeded to do absolutely nothing at all, except ride and read books (for fun!).
It was awesome.

And then the second half came around. Like the full-blown lioness it was. First, we were off to Chicago for ACHE Congress, because you know, professional and school and learning. After four days of great sessions and meeting some pretty great people in the industry (because #networking), we spent the last two days exploring Chicago. Basically we ate our way through Chicago and I have zero regrets. Did a ton of walking, had great weather, and generally can't complain.
These are s'mores cookies 'n cream pancakes and now I am dreaming about them

Please note: those are charcoal TS Trophy Hunters. I wore them no fewer than three times in Chicago, as pants.
Got back home on Saturday, slept for something like 14 hours, caught up on school (start laughing now) and then boom - the week was here and we were back at it. Monday after two weeks of play time? Not a fun time. Managed three days of whirlwind classes (including like 42 changed assignment dates, which royally screw up any prior prioritization completed) and then began the Tour de South Carolina, as I like to refer to it.

Started out visiting some family friends in Spartanburg and had two days of meetings/shadowing with healthcare executives in the Greenville/Spartanburg area, which I absolutely loved. I want to move there... tomorrow. That's boring unless you like hearing about perioperative administration, which, no.

The fun part of the weekend started Friday night, when I got to get back into my car (so. much. time. in the car) and headed for Camden, South Carolina. A whole conglomerate of friends and I had a house on the lake for Carolina Cup and everyone got in at various times throughout the afternoon on Friday. I loved getting to be reunited with my best friends from Auburn and have my Carolina friends in the same place. More on Cup to follow, but it was a wonderful, hilarious, exhausting time - just as it should be.

Sunday, we all piled out and headed back to respective homes and I collapsed onto my bed and swore I'm not leaving town for like 53 months. Because five cities in fourteen days, thirteen hours in my car and allergy season just leaves a girl wanting to sleep in her own bed, y'know?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What I Bought: March

March was spent on airplanes, in cars, and in five different cities, which left a minimal amount of time (and money) for shopping. Not that I'm complaining, because at the end of the day, I love spending money on experiences instead of things, and after February's spending spree, I needed to rein it in.

The only thing added to my closet during the month of March were these sandals. Last summer I wished I had a dark pair of sandals more than a few times, so when these popped up, I couldn't say no.

I ended up returning the maxi skirt from last month's purchases, which balanced out buying these. The slit in it was so high, there was no way I could wear it to work and the fabric felt cheap and shiny. You win some, you lose some.

Otherwise, I haven't really seen a whole lot of new spring things that I've loved. Maybe it's just because it seems like it's taking forever to warm up (yes, northerners, I know I'm whiny), but I've just been generally unimpressed.

Retail Value: $195
Paid: $62
Saved: $133

Linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers!
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