Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Past Year in Review

I'm a day or two early but whatever.

Originally, I didn't even want to write this post. I mean... I already know that I did horrendously awful with completing the goals that I set for 2015. Really, really bad.

1.  Go to Europe for six weeks in February/March and have a safe, enjoyable trip. Come back with lots of great memories and experiences and ride at least one horse during that time.

2.  Move to Lubbock, settle Lady and myself in, and enroll in classes for January.
3.  Ride 120 times.
4.  Ride 5 different horses while I scout out a barn for Lady.
5.  Take 10 riding lessons.
6.  Get my energy back and stick to a proper, healing diet.
7.  Enjoy a balanced and organized lifestyle.
8.  Continue writing on both of my blogs, as regularly as possible.
9.  Improve my riding ability.
10.  Bring Lady back up to health and a proper work schedule.
11.  Work on the trailer issue and go to an event.
Bonus: Write a second novel.

Not too great at all, I think I'll say.  But I wanted to put this on the blog for future reference.

Now, on to 2016!

Monday, December 28, 2015


I'm back in East Texas with family for Christmas, which means I've been experiencing the intensity of the rain while back at my place everything is snowed under.
Yeah. Prayers and good thoughts to everyone who has been affected by this nasty weather. I head home on Wednesday if everything clears up and lines up properly. Because work on New Year's Eve.

Despite the rain, I've had the chance to spend a bit of time with my girls while I'm up here. After the horses I've been riding in Lubbock, Lady felt like a tiny pony. Made me giggle.  But I love her so much, and I have the best friend in the whole world watching out for her right now and making sure she stays at the proper weight and health.

I'm feeling a bit caught up right now between what I want Lady's future to be. She is so happy to get ridden every so often and just wander around having some fun, where she doesn't really have to work. But I really want to follow what I'm pursuing right now and do some showing next year, which would not be very possible with her. Do I keep her in her semi-retired lifestyle, or do I try to bring her up to fitness and health levels where I could possibly do a few dressage shows with her? Somehow I just see her being so happy with her life right now that I don't want to change anything.

Missy, from our ride on Tuesday.
The Tuesday before Christmas, I got to go out to the Tech Center and meet with the trainer/equestrian team leader to see if she thought Missy and I would go well together. It was a good ride and I really enjoyed getting the feel of L, the trainer at this barn. Missy was a sweetheart. Seriously, I'm holding my breath for when she decides to have a bad day. Such perfect manners and training. Her owner has done a very good job with her.
When I get back from vacation, I'll take an actual lesson on Missy with L. I would also like to see her go over a few fences, but her owner and I are 75% agreed on a partial lease for right now while I settle into school. I don't know that I would want to hold onto the lease for the long term but right now I think Missy is exactly what I need to really improve my own riding skills and gain some valuable confidence and experience.
2016 is almost here!  Whether we are ready or not.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December already?

Christmas is less than a week away.  Just throwing that out there.

With no proper internet access at my house, and I absolutely cannot stand to write on my phone, I'm now sitting in the mall, at Starbucks, trying to focus on writing this blog post, while trying not to think about all the bazillion other things I have to do this weekend. At least the coffee is good.
And my cat is cute. Yes, he sleeps like that.

Since this is primarily a horse blog, I will attempt to update you on what I have been doing lately.  
About a year ago, when I first started planning this move, I vaguely entertained the idea of leasing a horse, then decided not to because of wanting to move Lady with me, and so on and so forth. Keep that in mind.

Now that I have been here for nearly six weeks (how did that happen?) I can say that my perspective has changed on a lot of things. I focused on work for the first few weeks, then slowly got irritated with my life, really frustrated with a lot of things, etc, etc.  And I really really missed my horse.

During the first week of December, I decided on a whim to go visit some barns again. It didn't look like Lady was going to be joining me out here very soon (still doesn't look that way) so I figured I might as well start meeting people and trying to get into the horse world in some obscure way. Good plans, right?  Haha....

I hit up my favorite barn from the last time I visited barns and arranged a meetup lesson with the trainer who is going to go by Liz for right now.  I got to ride this lovely lesson pony named Mojo and we did about an hour of flatwork and getting-to-know-each-other-stuff. I had a blast, we got along really well, and I decided that this was awesome.

Mojo. Adorable, perpetually grumpy, gets lots of  kisses from me.
Immediately following this lesson, I decided that I was interested in a lease again. Tasting the horse world and riding again made me so happy!  So, of course, I hopped online and took a look around the horses for sale/lease in the area. Almost right away I ran across an ad for a lovely little TB mare up for lease. On a whim, I decided to text the owner and set up a time to meet this horse.

Last Sunday, I met R, the owner of Missy, the mare. She is at the Texas Tech barn, so different barn than I had started taking lessons at.  In order to have the lease, I would have to be in a lesson program at the barn, and would probably end up on the school's equestrian team. The horse, Missy, is a very sweet girl, and I really liked her. Her owner has done a fantastic job with her. I'm still trying to set up a lesson with the coach at the barn in order to find out if we're a good fit and if I could work things out with the team and so on.  That portion of things is still up in the air, so no answers for you!

Missy! Very pretty, well trained, easy to ride!
This last Tuesday, I had another lesson with Liz, again on Mojo. She started me over jumps, and suddenly I'm really addicted to it.  Somewhere near the end of the lesson, she mentioned that there was a horse on the property that I could probably ride and maybe even lease.  So after my lesson, we pulled this horse out and put him in the round pen so I could see him move.
Winston is a very handsome warmblood gelding that I instantly fell in love with. I've hacked him twice, taken him over some poles, and overall been very pleased and happy with him. Once again, the lease is being funny to work out, so I have no answers there either. But I really do like Winston, and if all works out, I will be leasing him and possibly showing on him in the spring.

Probably no answers or finalities until the new year, but there you have a basic overview of what I've been up to in the horse world.
If I don't get another post up before then, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Me and Winston.  Huge, handsome, perfection.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Oh Hi!

Hey look!  Blog!  I keep doing this, don't I?  Whoops.


I've moved!  Yay!  I now live in West Texas, instead of East Texas. So that's exciting. Also living on my own for the first time in... well, my entire life. So that's also exciting. And scary.
You know what's really scary?  Having food in the fridge and knowing that if you let it go bad, mom isn't going to take care of it for you. Yes, that's what I'm scared of. Wow.

Anyways, I'm living in an RV - that's an adventure in and of itself. I'm in a fantastic RV park that is the opposite of what you think of when you think RV park. It's beautifully maintained, super clean, I have a fantastic landlady who keeps the place to high standards, and I just overall feel great about everything. Pictures sometime soon ;)

I've been here just over a week, and yesterday I landed my first job here. That is awesome too, of course.

Now, all that's left to really do is get things straightened out with the school, move the horse down here, and pay the bills!

Watch out, world. I'm coming ;)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Plans for November

So I procrastinated about writing anything on this blog and then it just didn't happen and somehow I didn't even care.  And now suddenly its November. Hey there new month! Didn't see you coming.

Have a picture of my horse before she started looking like a case for neglect.

Yeah, I haven't ridden in at least two weeks. Probably more than that. I leave for West Texas next week and then I won't have a horse to ride for almost a month. And to top it all off, the mare refuses to gain weight, has absolutely no topline to even think about, and is going to need a serious case of rehabbing before I get back to where we were even back this May.  Yeah, this year has been a serious roller coaster.

So anyways!  Plans for November - let's be positive, shall we? :)  Keeping it simple this month.

Yes, I'm doing this on top of everything else that life is throwing at me. At first I wasn't going to because of the added pressure, but then I found a story idea that not only won't stop nagging at me, but is also going to be a good way to get my frustration and craziness out. Sounds insane, doesn't it?  Believe me, you have no idea.

Move to the desert.
Yep, moving time is here. Preferably, I would like to have the mare here by the end of November, but that's still up in the air. So for now we're going to stick with the plan of moving me, my trailer, and me finding a job.

Stay positive.
None of this post is sounding very positive, so I must not be doing too great so far. Chin up, Kit.  Keep going and think of the good things.  And keep breathing. ;)

Another picture of my horse once upon a time when she was cute.
I thought about making this something about forcing myself to go out and meet new people in a new city and making new friends, etc. And then I realized that I have some of the most amazing friends already, and I need to learn to treasure those relationships. So, I'm going to meet some new people, yes, and I'm also going to continue loving the people I already have, even if it is long distance.
That just got weird and complicated, really fast.

Lady's Health.
I want some weight on her before she gets moved across state. She needs a dental appointment, but I don't know if she'll get that before moving or after. She is going to get a hoof trim before moving, that is a definite. Right now she's not having any urgent or immediate problems, so I'm okay with maintaining her/adding a bit more weight. Back to rehab in December.

And ta-da!  There you are. I'll try to catch up on everyone else's blogs soon, and comment some. ;)

Friday, October 16, 2015


Hello blog!
I've been awful about writing lately, in any capacity, which should be obvious by my last few ramblings-of-incoherent-thoughts-strung-together-into-a-post... things.
Also, warning in advance, I'm not about to do much better in the near future...

We snuggle and nap together.

For one, MOVING. This is happening - the first week in November, I'm taking my car and a few things, and then two weeks later, my "house" follows me with the rest of my things, and then a few weeks after that (if finances are still in order), the Queen (Lady) herself moves across the state. Life changes, y'all.
Also, TIME. Re-read the last paragraph and make a guess as to my current amount of free time. When I do get to sit down for a while, watching Doctor Who sounds a thousand times better than writing. Sorry (not sorry).
And FOCUS. Regrettably, my poor ponies are currently having hay, grain, and water thrown at them and I kiss their cute noses every morning, but little else. I'll pop on Lady every so often and have a bit of fun, but that's it. Therefore, next to no new pony-related content. Sad. :(

Proof that I do ride sometimes. Also proof that my horse has crazy hair.

But I miss writing on this blog and keeping up with other people and all the other fun stuff that goes along with it. So maybe I can expand from the horse stuff and include some random stories about moving into a travel trailer, preparing for school, and any other crazy pursuit I find myself distracted by on the way.
After all, 75% of my reasons for this blog's existence are to be my own personal record.
So, here's me wishing I could say I'm back to writing regularly, but its not a promise, its a hope!


Friday, October 2, 2015


Whoops. So much for writing regularly and posting on time.

Life kind of happened. Let's see.... the car sat up on blocks for a week, I absolutely adore my friends right now, we've been dealing with a death in my extended family, which caused an out of country trip for a week.

Hello country-that-I-have-not-seen-in-a-while.

Lady has been what I will call "stable" the last while. She's allowed out on pasture full time for the moment, but her pasture is practically dried up, and I'm searching for a good source of hay to feed her until we move.
I no longer feel comfortable turning her out in a herd situation. Perhaps once Comanche leaves then she can go back out with Tempest, but for right now, she is happier and more relaxed on her own. Wow... the things I will do for this lovely horse.

See how old she's gotten this year?  (Maybe I need to do a comparison post...) Her winter coat is coming in and it is super dark... totally new to me. She's always been a bright red color in the winter, not this liver chestnut look-alike.  Right now our rides are limited to walking with a tiny bit of trotting. She doesn't sweat or wear out easily per se, but her muscles can only take so much before she is sore. So... little bits at a time.
My biggest focus right now is getting some more weight on her. Yeah, she looks okay, but her ribs are showing and with her immune system being so weird right now, I want some extra cushion on her before we go into winter.
Therefore... guess who is slowly getting their daily feed doubled.... and guess who's bank account has a sad face on it right now?  Yup, that would be my life right now!

On a happy note, our groundwork and rides lately have both been absolutely lovely! I'll try to write on that next week.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Four Things Survey

Since I've been super lazy this week and have four unfinished blog posts sitting in the wings, just waiting to be posted... enjoy this unofficial, ridiculous blog hop thing.  Maybe you'll learn something about me ;)  First posted by L Williams.

Four names that people call me other than my real name (note that my real name is actually Katharine):
1.  Kit
2.  Kitkat
3.  Crazy
4.  Kath (hate this one, but people use it at work)

Four jobs I've had (I've had strange jobs):
1.  Waitress
2.  Farm sitter person
3.  Vocal assistant/Lead pianist for a dinner theatre
4.  Sales manager

Four movies I've watched more than once:  (only four? I rewatch stuff all the time)
1.  Hook
2.  The Princess Bride
3.  Mission Impossible (any of them)
4.  Age of Adaline

Four books I'd recommend:  (again hard... I collect books)
1.  When Knighthood was In Flower (by Charles Major)
2.  Just David (by Eleanor H. Porter)
3.  Alice in Wonderland (by Lewis Carrol)
4.  The Hobbit (Tolkien)

Four places I've lived:
1.  Way up north Canada (no idea what town)
2.  Steinbach, Canada
3.  Seminole, TX
4.  Paris, TX

Four places I've visited:
1.  Durango area, Mexico
2.  Vienna, Austria
3.  Rome, Italy
4.  Venice, Italy

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1.  On Lady's back
2.  Anywhere in Europe again
3.  At an Il Divo concert
4.  School

Four things I prefer not to eat:
1.  Eggs
2.  ummm... Pork
3.  this is hard... ummm... Tomato sauce
4.  very very hard.... not picky.... ummm.... anything at all that is spicy

Four of my favorite foods:
1.  Chocolate
2.  Coffee
3.  Ice cream
4.  Pasta almost anything

Four TV shows I watch:
1.  Doctor Who
2.  Sherlock
3.  Once Upon A Time
4.  Call The Midwife

Four things I'm looking forward to this year:
1.  Christmas
3.  Moving out on my own
4.  Cold weather <3  (can you tell I love the holiday season and the winter coldness?)

Four things I'm always saying:
1.  Ummm
2.  Terrific!
3.  I love you
4.  Politics are such a joke

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Seasons Changing

I meant to post this on Tuesday, but being out of town, just didn't happen.  That also means no new media.  Sorry :(

I got a text from my trimmer this morning telling me to pull Lady off the grass ASAP. We've gotten rain over the weekend, and the new fall weather means that the grass is making changes. Which means that Lady's laminitic issues are definitely going to be flaring up.

So... back to the dry lot, hay, and more limited space.

Frustratingly though, Lady is still a bit underweight, so she's going to need to continue getting some extra feed besides hay. Buuuuttt... I can't just pack more fat into her diet because that causes her laminitis to flare up if I'm not careful.
Horses. Ugh.

The solution for right now... more alfalfa pellets (concentrated roughage), a small amount of rice bran, and just increased feed all around.

Problem... she hasn't put on weight even under that regimen for several weeks.

Why do I own horses?  I ask myself that a lot some days.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Rare Video...

... of me riding.

This was at the end of July. Definitely shows her balance/coordination issues at the moment, and highlights a lot of my regular riding faults.  Plus, we're both out of practice due to all the time off.
I don't link videos very often, so hopefully this works.

Enjoy? I guess?


Monday, August 31, 2015

Goals for September

Photo link here.

1)  Work on building up one friendship.

2)  Meet two new people - reach out more.

3)  Go on a healing diet + supplements again.

4)  Start running again.

5)  Waste less time on tv shows and computer games.

6)  Find a job in Lubbock.

7)  Pass my college audition (hopefully - might be scheduled in October).

8)  Ride Lady three times a week.

9)  Work on my 2 point position.

10)  Finish up Comanche's training here at my property.

And by the way, I'm in love with the brown dressage tack in the photo above. Seriously... anyone else?

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's Been A Long Week

I've been busy all week, without much time for writing here... so I figured I would just make a bullet list of my thoughts this morning and leave it at that. Already got some posts put together for next week, so it won't be boring for long.

  • Spent yesterday changing up the layout of this blog and updating some of its pages. Yay!
  • My writing brain has been stuck on fanfiction most of this week.
  • I've slept a lot less than usual and somehow I still have energy. Figure that out.
  • Comanche and Tempest got moved to a separate pasture. Lady is by herself and her attitude has improved. The youngsters wear her out, it seems.
  • Comanche goes home in about 2 weeks. He's getting a lot better about a lot of things, like girths and blankets and me going all around him.
  • I miss riding.
  • I've been eating a lot of cookies. And I mean a LOT.
  • I helped a friend out by trimming her horse's hooves. Today I'm sore from it. Ouch.
  • There is a stack of six books on my desk from the library, waiting to be read.
  • Job applications are the worst.
  • I'm currently working a lot more hours than normal, saving money for The Move.
  • My best friend's birthday is coming up in 2.5 weeks and I need to plan something :)
  • Doctor Who is the best thing ever... next to Sherlock.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

2015 Goals... Updated... Part 2

Hi again!  Third posts in a week. I'm doing good, haha.

Here are my updated goals for the rest of 2015.  Enjoy. :)

1)  Europe.  Completed 2/12/15

2)  Move to Lubbock, settle myself and Lady in, and get enrolled in classes for January.

3)  Ride 120 times (mostly on Lady).  

4)  Ride 5 different horses while I scout out a barn for Lady.

5)  Take 10 riding lessons.  2 down, 8 more to go.

6)  Get my energy back and learn to stick to a proper healing diet.

7)  Enjoy a balanced and organized lifestyle.

8)  Continue writing on both of my blogs, as regularly as possible.

9)  Improve my riding ability.  Diagonals, transitions, and jumping.

10)  Bring Lady back up to health and a regular work schedule.

11)  Work on trailer issues and go to an event.  Completed May 2015.

12)  Bonus: Write a second novel.  First draft done by Christmas?

I'm mostly done with this goal/priority talk for now.  See you next week! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015 Goals... Updated... Part 1

In the theme yesterday of priorities changing, I've had to look at my 2015 goals and realize that not all of them are going to work out because its just not the right time and season for them.

So for today, I decided to look at the goals I made for the year and edit or delete the ones that are no longer appropriate.

1)  Go to Europe - COMPLETED.  :)
2)  Write my second novel, have a completed first draft by Christmas 2015.  I have been working on this and will continue to, in my spare time, but writing is no longer a top priority. This is going down to the bottom of my goals list as a bonus thing to do.
3)  Go back to school.  This already isn't quite as I had planned; I bumped it forward a semester. But I will be moving in order to attend school again. Still a priority - still a goal.
4)  Ride Lady 120 times.  My horses are still a top priority, so this is remaining a goal.  Whether it will happen or not, ummm.... not sure! :)
5)  Ride 12 other horses.  This one is under the horse priority, but it really isn't a good goal anymore, especially since I'm not in a position where this happens very easily. I'm changing it to be:  Ride 5 other horses at barns in the Lubbock area during/after the move while I choose a barn to move Lady to.
6) Take at least 10 riding lessons.  Still a priority - still a goal.
7)  Push myself into a healthier lifestyle.  Still a priority and still a goal, but my plans to make it happen are changing.
8)  Enjoy a more balanced and organized lifestyle.  I still like this plan and it is still a priority and a goal. Moving on :)
9)  Improving on my blogs.  Writing again - not a top priority. As far as this blog goes, I want to keep it going and polish it up a lot. My other one, same thing, but its not going to bother me as much if I go a while without posting or something.
10)  Improve my riding ability.  HIGH priority. I had some specific riding goals that I wanted to accomplish this year and I really think they will still happen, depending on how far Lady improves and what other horses I get to ride.
11)  Improve Lady's fitness and balance.  This is a big priority, but we're taking it slow due to her health.
12)  Work through trailer issues and go to an event - COMPLETED :)

I know this is turning into a saga and it's probably really really boring, but I'm mostly writing this up for my own sake. Enjoy it if you will. :)
See you tomorrow ;)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Life Always Changes

I've started this post so many times and always either got distracted or couldn't figure out what to say.

Anyways, everyone is doing alright.  I've been very busy working with the local community theatre on a production of Little Women the Musical. Yesterday was our last performance and I was very very sad to see it end.  I love working in theater. :)

The good thing about the show being over is that I won't be neglecting the horses anymore.  Because of all the late nights and me being super worn out, they've all become lazy pasture ponies.

The Pony herself is doing well except for some weird wound she obtained on her hindquarters. Never caused her any soreness or lameness and its almost healed up now, but I could not figure out what in the world it came from. Almost reminds me of a picture I once saw of a gunshot wound, but that's not possible o.O  Anyways, she is fine and dandy and happy.

The Colt, Comanche, had a fine time for a few weeks finding every hole in the fence and pushing his way through it. He has been banished to the front pasture with the impossible-escape fences. Poor baby. He keeps growing and recently surpassed Lady in size! He's slowly accepting ropes around his girth area and random things around him. Plans are to introduce him to a real girth/surcingle this week and start laying on top of him. Colt is ready to be backed!

The Mare is the only one that isn't doing so well. She was doing better and then I ran out of hay and various other circumstances occurred... and well... the pasture got mowed and she got put back out on it.  She's not lame, but her hooves have resumed their insane growth rhythm and she's not super comfortable. She has a bit of a belly again from the combination of grass and hay, but her ribs still show and her back doesn't look right. Since I have more time again, I'm putting her back into work and changing up her feed and schedule. We'll see if we can't get this figured out... SOON.

I'm going to be working a lot more hours now... since I'm less than two months away from moving away to college and having money saved up is kind of important for that kind of change. My priorities have definitely shifted over the course of July and August so far... its been an interesting thing to experience. More on that tomorrow (post is schedule already, so this is true).

I may also have more pictures sometime during the rest of this week...  Hopefully.

Monday, August 3, 2015

July Goals Review

This is going to be a bit of a strange post.  July did not go according to plan in more than a few ways, and I'm totally fine with that.  Another post on that tomorrow though...

  • Write 50,000 words.  Nope.  I got almost 20,000 words in and then life got in the way and I just stopped writing.
  • Ride Lady again.  This did happen.  Yay :)
  • Get a saddle on Comanche.  Introduced it, but didn't get it on him yet.
  • Polish piano songs/prepare for college and moving.  Yeah, let's say this got done. Mostly.
  • Take time to look long and hard at my life goals.  Done, and done.  Again, more tomorrow.
  • Continue with regular workouts and 5K training.  This kind of fell by the wayside halfway through, but I'm getting back to it now.
  • Keep the blue hair.  I re-dyed it once, and was going to do it again, but due to certain circumstances regarding a play that I'm in, I'm letting it fade out. We'll go blue again in September perhaps.
  • Stay focused and productive by taking time over the weekends to recoup.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

20 at 20 Update

I turned 21 on July 16th - last Thursday.
Last year for my birthday, I put together a bucket list of 20 things that I wanted to do before I turned 21. In just one year, I didn't get to do all of them, but I did get a good portion completed. And it was lots of fun!  :D  Here's the updated/completed list.

1)  Make new friends.
2) Complete Level 3 Freestyle with Lady (solid).  FAIL. I didn't get to ride as much as I needed to.
3) Act on stage.  Not quite yet, but our show opens in 2 weeks, so close enough.
4) Laugh every day.  I did a million times better. :)
5) Write a third novel.  Kind of? I'm in the process of writing it now.
6) Pay for a drink for the person behind me at a drive-thru.  I didn't write down the date though.
7) Try out a new instrument.  FAIL.
8) Learn how to dance.  I don't do much out in public, but I can dance now!
9) Get my health back.  Not perfect, but well on the road to it.
10) Visit Europe.  February 11th, 2015 through March 25th, 2015 was spent abroad. 
11) Take riding/jumping lessons.  One in January 2015 and one in April 2015.
12) Eat vegetarian for 28 days.  June 2015
13) Have a party.  Christmas 2014.
14) Try a new language/learn basic phrases.  Very basic French and Italian.
15) Go see live horse racing.  November 22nd, 2014 at Zia Park and January 19th, 2015 at Oaklawn.
16) Go to the beach.  The Mediterranean Sea doesn't count, so FAIL.
17) Help/volunteer at a horse show/event.  FAIL.
18) Ride/work with as many horses as possible.  FAIL.
19) Start writing with 1-3 penpals.  FAIL.
20) Try a new art medium.  I played around with pen drawings.
So.... 13 out of 20 or around 65% complete?  Not bad!

I'll probably make up a 30 before 30 list soon too.  Except that I don't want to think about being 30 yet...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Back Home

I'm grinning so big right now, its funny.  I won't explain too much, I'll just give you this picture.

Yeah, y'all. I got to sit on my horse. *cue ecstatic grin and squeal*

Side note: No, I don't advocate riding shoe-less by any means at all. It was a super short ride and I only kicked my shoes off for while I was actually on her.

But guys, seriously... its been about 2ish months since I last rode a horse and as soon as I sat down in the saddle, I felt so at home. I knew I had missed riding, but I didn't realize how much I had missed it until I looking through her ears and picking up the reins again.
Now I'm going to crave it.

All we did was walk around for less than 10 minutes, test the gas/brakes/steering, and so on. She's gotten a bit pushy and has more energy from being cooped up, but she was mostly responsive, just a bit unfocused.

I'm pretty pleased about this. :D

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tips Needed

In the midst of the taking care of Lady drama and everything else that is going on....

My brain is trying to wrap around the fact that I will be moving in approximately 3 months...
I'll be moving across Texas so that I can go to Texas Tech and continue my education.  It's coming up fast and I'm diving headfirst (terrified though, believe me) into searching for housing arrangements.

And boarding barns for Lady, because the horse has to come along, obviously.  I've never ever boarded a horse before.... and although I have family in the area, I don't know anybody with horse experience or connections.

So, my question to everyone is.... have you moved to a totally new city with a horse before?  Did you know people, or how did you find places to board/lesson/vet/etc?

Huge step over here that I'm taking...

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Lady Update - In Picture

Because I'm terrible at taking pictures... here are a few I took yesterday, so that you can see what she is up to and how she looks. 

Note that I'm well aware of how bad she looks. If you haven't been keeping up, read HERE. She's fine.

She is the best at awkward pictures.

She eats a lot of hay.

Making more faces and frisking me for treats

This one shows how much she's dropped weight and condition. Makes me sad.  (Forgive me)

Night-time does not make for the nicest photos. Her eyes look totally normal, I promise. ;)

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Super-Official Health Plan Update

I've seriously started writing this post five times in the past week. Never could get into it or anything. Blech.

Anyways... Lady is doing better in some ways.

The Good:

  • She is sound about half the time.
  • She's putting on a little bit of weight. She's just ribby now, not so hollow.
  • Her attitude is amazing - she's a lot happier and much more perky.
  • She's interested in "work" again.

The Bad:
  • She's still coming out stiff and lame half the time.
  • That left front hoof continues to be sore. Can't figure it out.
  • She doesn't want to put on weight properly. Very odd for her.
  • She still can't go out on pasture like I would like her to.
  • She has almost no topline left and almost zero muscle in her hindquarters. :(
The Questionable:
  • She is drinking a lot of water.  A. Lot. Of. Water.  This is an Arabian who doesn't drink much.
  • She calls to her buddies. But when she's let out, she doesn't go see them over the fence and when she's with them, she doesn't stay with them. My horse is a social-bug! Weird.
  • Her feet look kind of funny shaped - even for her.

So things are kind of making me unsure about how to proceed. Since the silly horse is moving around of her own accord in her paddock and pasture, I feel like she's okay to be in some light exercise as long as she doesn't limp the whole time. With her whole topline being such a mess, it doesn't seem to be a good idea to ride her or stress her back though. 
Her laminitic issues plus the high water consumption and topline issues are making me think Cushings, but I'm trying to avoid that thought. 
The current lameness issue with her front foot could be an abscess trying to come out - or at least that is what I'm hoping. 

So what is the current/new plan?
  1. She stays on the grass restrictions - hay almost exclusively with 6 hours of pasture/socialization time maximum per day. It's usually 2-3 hours and some days none at all.
  2. Keep a hay as free-choice as possible. Keeps stress down for her and she's happier. :)  Also, two small grain feeds per day - if she doesn't gain weight on that, something's wrong.
  3. Lunge/exercise for at least 20 minutes 5 days a week, including some hill work. Hopefully she starts to put on a bit of muscle. This is the plan for the next two-three weeks.
  4. If none of these things cause improvement by the end of July, then the vet is going to run bloodwork and see what we can find. I would love to not have to do the tests, but if that's what it takes, then we'll do it.

It's definitely not fun having a horse that's NQR, but at least we have a plan and as long as she's happy, I can't get too depressed about it.

Anyone else have any experience with any of these issues? :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2015 Goals - Quarter 2 Update

  1. Go to Europe for six weeks in February/March and have a safe, enjoyable trip. Come back with lots of great memories and experiences and ride at least one horse during that time. Completed in February/March.
  2. Write my second novel by finishing all the character development, plot structure and background work before actually writing. Possibly use Nanowrimo to complete the writing part. Have a completed first draft before Christmas 2015.  Quarter 2 update: starting to write with Camp Nanowrimo to help!  I've gotten so far already!
  3. Go back to school in Fall 2015, at TTU if all works out, and move out on my own. Move Lady to a barn nearby, find a decent job, and get settled into a new life.  I've applied to school and am working a lot in order to save money in time to move in October. Starting to look for barns and places to live too!
  4. Ride Lady 120 times. Keep track of this by recording every ride, its length, type of work, and good/bad thoughts. Add a page to this blog to keep this record.  Record page here.  I hit 20 rides in May. All the lameness issues have pushed riding aside for a while. This will still happen.
  5. Take the opportunity to ride horses of varied disciplines, ages, and levels with the goal of riding 12 different horses for at least 30 minutes each throughout the course of 2015.
  6. Take at least 10 riding lessons, preferably spread out throughout the year. Try to have at least several that are discipline-specific.  See Goal #4.  Same issue.
  7. Improve my lifestyle to be healthier by having a full food allergy/intolerance test done, exercising 4x per week, taking daily supplements again, and creating better sleep habits.  This has definitely improved a lot in the second quarter. 
  8. Become more balanced, organized, and stress-free by spending more time outdoors, keeping a daily journal, and utilizing Tech-Free Sundays. Say no more often.  Yup!  An on-going process though.
  9. Keep up with and improve on both my blogs. For this blog: post 5x weekly, host at least 3 guest interviews, and clean up categories and tags. For Katharine Marie: post 3x monthly, become more active on Facebook and Twitter, and start monetizing.  Getting there!
  10. Improve my riding ability so that I can ask for transitions properly, ride the canter and gallop, jump up to 2' with decent EQ, and see/feel/change diagonals well.  See above.
  11. Continue to work with Lady, especially in fitness so that she can gallop for 3 minutes/canter for 7 minutes. Work also in balance so that she can work in a 50/50 frame (not on the forehand) and not throw her shoulders in.  Again, see above.
  12. Work Lady through her trailer issues and prepare/go to an event (trail ride, parade, clinic, show) in the summer/fall.  Completed May 9th and 10th in Athens, TX.

Friday, July 3, 2015

It Never Ends...

I had an update planned for one of these days about how we've been working so hard to get Lady sound and how she was doing a ton better.

And then she got trimmed... aka more stress on the feet.

And she came up dead lame again.

So we're back to the beginning.

I'll update on the sweet girl soon. For right now, enjoy my view lately while spending time with her.

On the other hand, Comanche is getting better and better. He is SUCH a sweet boy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

HGBG: Everyday Tack Setup

Considering I haven't ridden in quite a while, this is kind of a funny blog hop to participate in, but here goes. I also don't have any fancy pictures, just what I can find.

Stephanie at Hand Gallop asks: It’s fun to try new stuff and experiment with the latest goodies, but I’m curious to know what your every day tack setup is like.

In general, this is how she looks.

When we ride, we go in a lovely Kieffer Aachen all-purpose saddle. It's a 1999 model that I bought used in December 2014 and I seriously love it. It fits me well and its a good shape for Lady's back - not perfect but the closest we've ever gotten.

I use whichever of my multiple saddle pads that I feel like using on any given day, but I just got bought a thick Roma pad that is going to be the go-to until we build back her topline.
I have no-name brand stirrups and stirrup leathers from the local tack shop - the stirrups are great and work fine, but I would love to have something a bit nicer and more fancy to help my position. The leathers need replaced, so I'm looking into that.

All of that is secured with my very very favorite TSF girth. I splurged last year and went for Total Saddle Fit as a last recourse to helping Lady's saddles not slide all over the place. It works like a gem. Unless I'm not careful about tacking up, the saddle stays put and I feel solid. Plus, it's pretty.

When I use a breastplate I have a no-name brand one again from the local tack shop. It's a very very nice heavy duty one though with great hardware and double leather. Stands up to almost everything I've thrown at it in the past 1.5 years.

I ride in a plain headstall that I bought locally and I don't use a noseband (as of right now). I got my reins off of an older Stateline bridle that was more broken in than the reins that came with the bridle. Nothing special there. In search of a plain cavesson noseband that fits Lady though.

I'm currently using a french-link full cheek with Lady, but we swap between that and a plain loose-ring snaffle. Depends on what I feel we need to work on.

WW: Collecting Tack

My collection of equipment that is assigned specifically to Lady.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Monthly Review + Goals

June flew by!  It seems like just yesterday that it was cold outside, and it was raining like it would never stop!  But suddenly its time for another review.... so here you go ;)

Looking Back on June...

What did I complete that I'm proud of in June?

  • I kept up the running and working out - even got back into it after a week of being sick!
  • Lady got to be sound again.
  • I made several big steps towards starting my small writing business.
  • I finished applications for going back to college in 2016.

What goals did I attempt in June?

  • Health: Diet.  I went vegetarian for the month and succeeded (except for broth once or twice). Doing that really made me focus on my protein sources and put careful meals together. I limited grains for the whole month and actually lost most of my cravings for bread-stuffs. I did great on the first week of NO sugar, and then slowly backslid again, oops. But I'm doing better on this too. I seriously feel a ton better.
  • Health: Exercise, etc.  The exercising went terrific. I'm up to being able to run for 3 minutes at a time and except for the one week when I was sick, I stuck to the 5K training schedule. I also committed to using less chemical products and I really improved here too, using more natural products (coconut milk and oil are awesome). And then this happened... Ooops.
Because hair dye is totally natural.
  • Horses.  We had a TON less rain, which was great! Comanche finally got to go out with the girls and they're all getting along beautifully now, although it took about two weeks to get there.  Sadly, because of Lady's health issues and busy life, I didn't squeeze in as much training time as I had hoped. And riding didn't happen.
  • Writing.  I'm ready and excited for Camp Nanowrimo to start tomorrow. My goal is 50K words.
  • Blogging.  I got my own domain name (www.katharine-marie.com) and its been onwards and upwards the whole month. Yippee!
I definitely have the cutest/sleepiest horse.

Goals for July!

I want to...

  • Write 50,000 words for Camp Nanowrimo.
  • Ride Lady again.
  • Get a saddle on Comanche.
  • Polish piano songs for college audition/prepare for college and moving.
  • Take time to look long and hard at my life goals.
  • Continue with the 5K training and regular workouts.
  • Keep the blue hair (aka redye at least once more).
  • Stay focused and productive by taking time over the weekends to recoup my brain.

I want to focus on this 1 habit...

  • Getting up in the morning and going right to work.  I'm horrible about being lazy first thing in the morning and it ruins my productivity for the rest of the day.

Monday, June 22, 2015


I'll confess - I laugh reading some of my favorite equestrian blogs when they talk about their tack-hoarding tendencies. I've always just had the equipment that was needed, spent my money on good feed and farrier bills, and enjoyed my horse.

And then I got into English riding last year. And suddenly, my tack collection started to grow.

Seriously, I only bought my first English saddle last February. At that point, I had one Western saddle, one girth, one saddle pad, one breastplate, one bridle, one bareback pad, and a few different Parelli ropes and sticks.


I own two saddles, three girths, four saddle pads, three sets of boots, three nice halters, a lovely hackamore, three sets of reins, three breastplates, five bits, a bucket a overflowing with lead ropes and lines, a blanket, and a host of grooming and care tools that I never thought I needed.
And then a few weeks ago a friend gave me a pair of side reins. I had been wanting a pair of side reins, so yay! :)

But then... I realized that I didn't have a way to use the side reins... My saddle isn't set up for them and my girth doesn't have side rings.

So I needed to scrounge up a surcingle to attach these pretty side reins to. But I couldn't scrounge anything up in the area or that I could afford! And then I went online to find some hay nets because of Lady's frustrating grass allergy and guess what?! I found a good deal on what seems like a nice surcingle with lots of rings and pretty things!

So I claimed it, and it turned out that the seller had a few other things that looked nice.

I may or may not have a surcingle, three new pads, and a new bit with reins on the way. Who knows.

At this point, I'm just going to take this as a normal part of my equestrian life.

And I might be going paddock boot/half chap shopping next week because cowboy boots + English saddle flaps = NO FUN.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Daily Battles

Hi everyone.
I almost didn't update today, but since I hadn't posted all week, it was overdue.

So far, Lady is not doing any better. She's spending time with her buddies today - hopefully that relieves some of her stress.
Her feet are doing better - she is only a bit tender on her left front. 

Because I found a picture from the endurance ride.
I bought good hay for her, but even with that and her daily feed, she hasn't put on any weight in a week. If anything, she's lost even more. When she runs out of food, she paces, and when she's tired of pacing, she stands with her head in the corner of the paddock.

She's physically and mentally tired and stressed. She isn't a horse that does well without a herd, and her instincts convince her that grazing is the only way to survive.

I'm not sure if she's actually allergic to insects or if she is just super sensitive. Either way, she seems to attract wasps and gets all kinds of fluid-filled lumps from their stings. The horseflies and botflies make her legs bleed when they bite, and now that its been raining, she's losing hair on her back and rump (strange, but she really isn't feeling well).

Sorry for the downer post. It's been a difficult week. I have a hard time seeing the bigger hopeful picture, which makes the daily battles that much harder.

Monday I'm going back to the vet to discuss strategies, and my barefoot trimmer will be coming out next week as well. Until then, we'll continue to fight the small, daily battles.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Catch-Up Post on Lady

I just had to go looking through my recent posts to find the last one I did about Lady.

Well, here is the update that you all have been so anxiously avoiding, lol. :)

I did very very little with Lady following the endurance ride. She pretty much became a wild pony... all three of my equines did. So when I finally got out there consistently again, starting last week, I was quite irritated with myself and discouraged to see that my poor little Arabian had lost too much weight and had absolutely ZERO topline remaining. Ouch.

Since Comanche was now out of quarantine, I immediately turned the girls out with him, thinking of course that nothing was better for two slightly underweight mares than some grass and herd-time.

Yeah, my mistake. I didn't really put much thought into the transition period between the overgrazed pasture they were on and the much greener and nicer pasture they were going into.

So when I pulled Lady out on Monday morning to start some conditioning again, I was more than a little upset to see that she was sore on her front feet, grouchy about moving, and overall pretty irritated with me.  At first I wasn't sure what exactly was going on, so I put her back out with the others when we were done working, but when I pulled her out Tuesday morning to to grain her and she was still ouchy and short strided, I figured out what was going on.

Me putting my sensitive little horse out on green pasture triggered a mild laminitic episode. My mistake caused my horse to hurt (lots of guilt going on over here).

Tuesday she spent all day in the small paddock and came out feeling better. I turned her out around 8pm and she spent the night on pasture again. Wednesday morning she was back to being lame, so she got to spend the day cooped up again. I waited until 11pm to turn her out that night, and brought her back in by 8:30 the next morning. This time, she came out almost sound. Yay! :)  So I decided to continue with that, turned her out at 11pm last night and brought her back in at 9 this morning.

Today, she was sound at the walk, dead lame at the trot, and wouldn't turn very tightly for me.

Super awkward picture, but showing the condition she is in right now.
I discussed the situation with my vet yesterday, and my hoof professional as well as my other very knowledgeable sources, and for right now we're going to treat her as an Insulin Resistant patient. As long as she's sound, I'll be walking her and hopefully building up condition again so that we can go riding. Until the grass is done growing/seeding, she'll be on hay almost exclusively.

Anyone who has ever dealt with laminitis, IR or EMS, or even Cushing's knows the kind of stuff I'm dealing with and the decisions that have to be made.
I'll keep the updates coming, at the same time that I do my best to keep up training Comanche. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

FOO Blog Hop: Weigh-In Wednesday

200th post!  Yikes!!

I've been lurking around these monthly blog hops of Fly On Over's for a while, and decided to participate this time around.

So, here are 5 health and fitness that have been with me lately.

1. Epona Fitness Wellness Group on Facebook

Epona Fitness is a terrific fitness group on Facebook for equestrians. I found it through the awesome dressage discussion group that I'm a part of, and they are always hosting fitness challenges with a new video or workout every day. Currently, it's a running program, with either a 5K or a 10K option, and I'm totally in for it! There are check-in posts put up every day, and getting to announce to the whole group that I finished today's workout is highly satisfying.

2. Vegetarian-ism

For the month of June, I decided to be as vegetarian as I possibly could. So far its been working fine and I hardly miss the meat. Today for lunch I ate my mom's chicken noodle soup - made with chicken broth - but only because I absolutely cannot resist that particular piece of my mom's cooking. Mmm.
But other than that, its been totally fine. As long as I pop enough almonds and peanut butter and other sources of protein I don't even notice the absence of meat in my diet.

3. Morning People

I am not a morning person. I'm a writer and an artist and I often stay up late working on projects - and I love my last hour or two of sleep in the morning. But now that its becoming summertime and the temperatures are bounding upwards (we had a 95 degree day today, what?!), I have to resign myself to getting up a bit earlier, especially if I want to get both my run in, and work with one of the horses before it gets too hot. Blech. But it's getting easier. :)

4. Swimming

We set up our pool again today, and I am crazy excited to start swimming again every day. Because I have some minor issues with my joints (from diet choices over the years) I prefer to do as few high-impact things as I can. Swimming is totally my favorite way to exercise. Besides... summer fun!

5. Spaghetti without Tomato Sauce

I know... sounds weird. But I'm IN LOVE with either spaghetti or linguine with toppings other than tomato sauce, especially since tomato sauce kills my stomach. Today I made my own alfredo sauce with butter, milk, and a bit of flour, plus spices. Last week I melted a bit of butter on my noodles, tossed in some roasted garlic cloves, and shredded parmesan cheese on top. Heavenly. And healthy!

Join the blog hop over at Fly On Over!

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Three Horse Herd - Maybe?

It's a sad day when you don't have pictures to share... I'll get some tomorrow, promise!

Saturday was the big day!  Comanche's vet-recommended 60 days were up since his gelding, and him and the girls could finally get together like one big happy family.
I was nervous because I've only had two horses for six years and Lady and Tempest are really really close. Adding Comanche could be the catalyst for a fight.

Anyway, after a few issues at the gate, because OBVIOUSLY everybody needs to be really close to each other while we're walking through the gates... the girls ended up in the new pasture, and we caught the boy.

My girls have been low on grass in the other pasture for a week or two now, so they were just happy to have grass! They hardly cared when I let Comanche loose, but he cared a lot and went running over to see them.

Lady had fun doing her whole pawing/striking routine that she does when she meets a new horse. Tempest squealed and tried to kick everyone, and Comanche did a LOT of sniffing around wherever either of the girls would let him.

So far, since then, whenever I look out at them, the girls are hanging out and Comanche is nearby, but obviously not really part of the "group" yet. We'll have to see how things play out.

The most interesting episode was actually this morning when I brought Lady out to work with her, leaving Tempest and Comanche alone in the pasture. Comanche always gets excited when I work with one of the other horses, but Tempest nearly had a meltdown. It was obvious that she was MAD - that Lady and I would dare to leave her alone with a crazy baby horse. He kept trying to get close to her and she bit and kicked him like I've never seen before.

Guys. I have a mean pony.  o.O

Lady was well-behaved (I'll post about her later on this week), but even she found the situation a bit strange and unnerving and called a few times - strange for her.
When I turned her back out afterwards she acted like she had never seen Comanche before and had to go check him out all over again. Of course, that made Tempest furious and she kept getting between them, biting their noses, kicking out, and squealing.
Nobody was getting hurt, so I let them be and went inside out of the heat.

Two hours later when I checked on them again, the girls were off by themselves again and Comanche was wandering around by himself.

Go figure.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Comanche Moon

Remember this guy...?

He is arguably the cutest little boy I've ever seen. I would say he's the cutest baby I've ever had, but I'm afraid that Tempest beats him out on that count. Baby ponies are definitely the cutest.

However, Comanche is definitely growing out of the cute stage and going through the awkward stage before he becomes handsome, lol.

Just like with Lady, he's been getting some time off lately, with all the rain and mud and flooding and MUD and storms and tornadoes and MUD.  Did I mention mud?

However, his brain has started settling down a little bit. He doesn't quite act like a little stud anymore, he doesn't rear or kick as a first or second response. Instead, he actually thinks about things.
He's only a three year old, so there's no telling how he'll even out by the time he's five or six, but I'm quite pleased with how he is doing right now. He has a lazy streak, which is just fine, he can be pretty stubborn, and he does argue with a lot of things, but there are just so many things that he doesn't know and wasn't taught at a wee young age.
He doesn't like flappy things (aka saddle pads).
He doesn't like things tight on him (aka girth), but he's getting better here.
He does like scratches, especially on his withers, and he likes treats.
He likes lots of treats.
He likes calling to the girls.
He is super confident and not spooky.
And he definitely likes attention and a kind hand.

Best news of all?  He gets to finally be introduced to the girls this weekend. If all goes well, we'll have a three horse herd in a week.  *fingers crossed*

Monday, June 1, 2015

May Recap / June Goals

May 2015 Goals
  1. Fiction Writing: Finish setting up the plot and outline as many scenes as possible. Write 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time.  Done!  This was fun :)
  2. Blog Work.  I failed again.
  3. Ride Lady 10 times.  We were getting somewhere, and then flood-disaster-status-Texas took over. 
  4. Start saddling Comanche.  See above.  I hate flooding.
  5. Read 2 fiction books and 1 nonfiction book.  In reality, this turned into 3 fiction books, but same thing really.
  6. Do some form of exercise every day, even if it is just stretching.  Kind of?  4-5 days a week.
  7. Drink more water.

June 2015 Goals

...divided by priority, then listed as steps to be taken...

Health: Diet and Exercise.

  1. Eat no corn products or meat, and limit grains and sugar.
  2. First week of the month will be completely sugar-free (taking a challenge).
  3. Start getting rid of chemical products and take better, more natural care of my skin and hair.
  4. Start a 5k training program.
  1. Preferably enjoy some sunshine with a lot less rain than May (not really a goal, but whatever).
  2. Get pasture arrangements moved around - Comanche gets to be turned out with the girls!
  3. Fit in as many rides and training sessions as possible before the summer turns hot!
  1. Prepare my story process for July's Camp NanoWrimo.
Blogging "Fun".
  1. Move my author blog onto it's own domain. Finally.
  2. Keep moving forward with the improvement work that I've been doing on both blogs.