Calika

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This horse was my everything.

She was the first horse I ever owned. She was who I grew up with. She saw me through heartbreak and she saw me through some of the happiest times of my life.We got through Colic surgery. More than one major injury and more than one major move over 12-ish years together. Huh, you know what, I think I lost her pretty darn close the day we officially bought her.

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we were both babies

Calika came into my life as a late 4-year-old/early 5-year old ( I can’t remember for sure because I am getting old) when I started taking riding lessons again. I thought my coach was crazy putting me on such a young horse when I hadn’t ridden in a couple of years! I also could not for the life of me, understand what her name was. I kept thinking she was telling me it was Teacup – nope – definitely Calika.

I fell in love with her instantly. She was a tough ride for me coming back into lessons but we got through it. When my mom said we could FINALLY buy a freaking horse of our own I was over the moon excited….until I found out her price. Yeah, if you are asking, I did cry.

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literally me when i found out her $$

Once we started looking at other horses, and finding out how difficult other horse people were, it was pretty much settled that she would be mine. With help from my parents, we did a vet check on the muddiest day of life and she became mine back in I think 2006.

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I struggled so hard for quite a while with her. I kinda sucked at riding (looking back at videos ), and she sure let me know it. That didn’t matter, I was a kid and I finally had my first horse, whom I adored and knew she could do no wrong.

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bestest

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I was lucky enough to be able to bring her with me when I went away to University. She got to be extra spoiled when we left too, because my mom didn’t want her to be on outdoor board during the winter. She was worried about her “getting cold” at night during the winter so she funded the difference to keep her inside. Have I mentioned yet that technically my mom owned her? She called dibs on her front half, so of course I got the back-end. That’s okay, it was the best half – except when it stopped working.

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PC: Sarah Ingram
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and then we got sick

Who knew a horse not pooping for a little big would be so stressful? That was a long ten days in the clinic. And several of them were spent worrying whether or not we were going to lose her. Even though people kept thinking she wasn’t going to make it – she pulled through.

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in our gear for the first ride back

Our return to work was pretty un-eventful, because she is the best, until she hurt herself right before I decided to bring her back home again. Like literally two weeks before we went home. Then we had a couple of months of work and she hurt herself….again! This time pretty good. Two rehab’s in less than 12 months is not my idea of fun!

That second rehab had me start thinking about things. I knew I was never going to sell her, but I never expected her to keep up to the level that I aspired to be at anymore. That’s when Luna kind of appeared in my life.

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how could you not love this face

I made the decision at that point that Calika wasn’t coming back to the city with me. Looking back, I think all the things that happened to Calika were really her just trying to tell me that she didn’t want to leave her home. I wish I had listened to her better, maybe she could still be here.

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when i left her at home again

It wouldn’t take long for Calika to make her way back down to the city. I couldn’t say no to bringing her back to me. That’s when she found her new person. The kid of her dreams I think. I always joked my horse didn’t love me anymore, she had her own kid, she loved that kid to the moon and back

Her and that kid did so much together. She helped K grow as a rider. She brought her confidence back. I am so grateful for having such a magnificent horse and seeing how good she was to someone other then me. She took care of her her like she took care of me.

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her bestie jazz
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i spy a luna

But when she got hurt for the billionth time (girl was on a mission), she came back into my life, albeit for the final time.

1 week left of rehab….that’s it. That’s all we had left before we would have had the clear to go back to full work. 1 week. You never know when they are going to go. Even when you’ve had a brush with them leaving before, it doesn’t make it any easier when they do go. Seeing your vet upset when saying goodbye sure doesn’t help either

I thought writing about her this year would maybe help a bit, but I’m not sure that it has. Maybe after this weekend is finished, and I have this posted I will feel a bit better. But for now, my heart is still broken. And this blog post doesn’t do her justice, but I will keep on hoping that maybe I will feel a little less broken next year.

I miss you Big Red. 4/22/2016.

the best assistant/tear licker 
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We adventured today…

All by ourselves ! And even lived to tell the tale !

Lessons were running and it was a beauty of a day, so I figured I would try to get down the trails by ourselves. We’ve only done this once ever. And that one time includes having Lexie with us.

Going down the road is one thing. There aren’t things hiding behind the fence posts, and vehicles aren’t scary (just bicycles). But in the forest ? That’s like going into the basement where the Boogey-man lives 😅

Not to mention the one access point is blocked by a trailer, so you have to sneak by a terrifying pick-up truck horse eater to even get into the trails. Once we got through that it was smooth sailing !

We were moving at an excessively fast walk but that’s better then stopping and spooking at everything. But the birds, that’s an other story – flying horse eaters are the worst type of horse eater.

It’s so nice to be out of the arena again ! Even if there is still tons of snow.

Spring, where are youu?!

It is already mid-April and there is STILL snow on the ground. Not just a little bit – a lot. And just last week temps were down to -20*C…so it’s effing cold !

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We aren’t seeing double-digit temperatures until pretty much the end of April.

Normally I don’t complain about the weather, but when my horse won’t come out of the barn because it is snowing AGAIN, we have a problem. That and we haven’t even had a break from winter since the beginning of December really. Usually the snow has left and it’s been warm and then we get snow after a couple of weeks of nice weather.

she was not impressed

Not this year apparently.

Please Spring, could you show up?! I really want to get out of the arena!

Review : Collegiate Anatomical Girth

About a month ago, I ordered in this girth hoping that Luna would appreciate it and a happy pony  not be such a grump, and it would not pull my saddle forward.

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First thoughts right out of the box : it looks kind of cheap. There were some frayed threads and a piece of material that was kind of poking out where it wasn’t sewn very well.

I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of giving this girth a chance. Because I really needed to give this girth a chance.

The first couple of times I used it, Luna was pretty non-chalant about it. She wasn’t anymore girthy, or any less girthy then normal – I took that as a sign that it would be okay.

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I originally ordered this because my fitter had suggested it, and it looked like it was less curved then the Total Saddle Fit dressage girths that seemed to keep my saddle from being pulled forward, but did not fit Luna the greatest.

It seemed to do its job of keeping itself where it needed to be, without pulling my saddle forward. 1 point for this girth.

After a few more rides the inevitable happened – Luna gave me the big F U to this girth. So we cut out the handy carabeaner it comes with, thinking it was a pressure point. That didn’t help either.  Boo!

I didn’t get to use this girth much, so cannot review its longevity but here is what I can tell you more about it.

Pro’s

  • Handy carabeaner attachment vs. having just a loop or d-ring to attach anything to
  • It is a nice shape. Not too shaped like the TSF girths.
  • Easily washable as it is synthetic and you can just wipe it down and let it dry

Con’s

  • The carabeaner is too inset in the girth and doesn’t have any padding behind it really, so it seemed to cause a pressure point.
  • Not very padded – so if you have a princess like I do, they might not like it.
  • Cheap looking straight out of the box

Final rating : 3.5/5

If you are looking to try a shaped girth like this, without spending a fortune, this would be worth the money to try something. It is only $70~ CAD before shipping/duties out of the UK.

When you go shopping…

And spend all your monies, you get nice things.

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I have been on the hunt for a bridle for Ms. Big Ears for probably just under a year and have had no luck.

Either they didn’t quite fit her right, like the Shockemoehle Stanford I tried and had high hopes for because of its design features. Like the slight curve it has to keep all of the straps off of their TMJ area – that was my favorite thing about this bridle and I am so sad the rest of the bridle just did not fit.

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stanford

Or they are way more than I am willing to spend – like the PS of Sweden Bridles. Should I have bought one a couple of years ago before they were “in” and a reasonable price ? Yeah probably, but I didn’t. And now they are at an astronomical price so I definitely won’t be buying one at retail price. Specially when I don’t need/want a special fan-dangled noseband – I just need the anatomical crown they have !

That is an other issue – so many bridles that HAVE a more anatomical crown piece, also have an irregular noseband. Similar to the PS High Jump. Luna has made it very clear she want’s the plainest of everything except for the crown piece.

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high jump

Most of the bridles that I found that have ear “cut outs”, just have a slight indent which is not enough for her big ears. OR I found bridles on questionable websites or they were never in stock.

Now, I did find a bridle a few months ago on Divoza’s website – a Dyon flat dressage bridle – in brown ! BUT it was a bit more than I wanted to spend so I didn’t jump on it. Except that they sent a 25% off coupon….and then a 20 Euro off coupon a couple of days later.

So what did I do ? I finally ordered it and it should be here today! Here is hoping that it works and everything fits her weird head !

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look at these moose ears

What item have you had issues finding just the right fit for your horse ?

Lesson update.

We’ve had a few lessons now, and of course I haven’t written anything about any of them. Husband even came to one of these lessons and got lots of media for me! And yet I still didn’t write about them. Such is life.

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But also, who wants to read about how great my horse always is ? Because for reals, she is always great. I can’t say that she’s ever been bad because anytime we have had “bad” rides I have been grumpy…so that isn’t her fault.

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i am oscar the grouch

We are starting to work on more advanced movements as she has been learning things SO quickly. Which may be a problem when we get out this year to show and show at Training Level ! But we will see. We might skip that if she keeps going as well as she is right now.

This video is from about a month and three lessons ago. Just watching it I can see how she has already changed so much. I wish we could get our shit together over fences like we can on the flat!

We are working on lots of counter canter and walk-canter-walk transitions. The transitions are the freaking hardest thing to do. I keep pushing down into my right stirrup which is lifting me out of the saddle and making it impossible to sit down and ask for the downwards transition. All a work in progress.

Nothing exciting has been happening, I haven’t even bought anything new lately !

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happy trails

One of those weeks

This week was a week that I got hardly any riding in at all.

Sunday my fitter came out to check out my saddle as its been over a month since it came and the flocking as settled a bit. I rode around and did a few things but nothing like what I would have done on a “normal” ride.

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Tuesday/Wednesday there were lessons till late so I snuck a ride in later Tuesday night but again didn’t do much other than a light hack because I was too busy talking with a friend. I like to talk….a lot.

Friday was lesson day. I was hoping Luna wasn’t going to be a wild baboon…. She was feeling frisky on Thursday when I brought her in to change blankets. Because you know, on Friday’s, when I have lessons there usually has to be some weird funky weather change! Perfect! This time its an other winter storm. They’ve changed the forecast about 67 times since yesterday morning. It has yet to start snowing so I think I should be okay to get there on time…hopefully.

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this weekend’s forecast

Slow riding weeks always seem to just drag on. They also make me incredibly sore I have found out.  So how do you make the weeks with little riding go by quicker?!

30 Things

I am jumping on this blog train today – The $900 facebook pony  and Patently Bay  are the two that I have read so far and have been super entertaining to read. This blog is actually going to take me forever to write – I don’t think I have 30 interesting things going on in my life!

  1. I have only ever owned two horses. My current mare Luna, and my very first horse Calika.img_0900
  2. I am OBSESSED with all things Harry Potter. I could talk about it all day and probably not run out of things to say!
  3. My schedule revolves around horses. I literally do basically nothing else but spend time at the barn.
  4.  My hubby and I eat out at new/different restaurants ALL the time. If I am not at the barn, we are probably out trying new food.
  5. I haven’t left Canada since 2009 – when I went to Japan the year I graduated High School.

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    loved the cherry blossoms
  6. If I could live somewhere in Asia – probably Japan – and be able to have a pony, I would be ecstatic. I LOVE any type of Asian cuisine. I haven’t actually eaten something that I don’t like. Give me some Dim Sum, or sushi, or udon and I am the happiest person ever
  7. I REALLY like wine.
  8. I am a huge procrastinator.
  9. I am a secret gamer. Most people that find out that I game are very shocked by it for some reason. Not that I have much time too play anymore, but I would be happy to game all day.
  10. I am an introvert that LOVES to talk. But I also don’t like being around people. Which is why when you get to know me, you learn that I won’t actually stop talking. Like ever.
  11. My favorite thing to wear in the summer – dresses. I never used to, but now all I wear are dresses. They are so just so comfy. But also so hard to be lady like in them all of the time !
  12. I think my life literally revolves around horses, food and wine. Horses are obvious. Food and wine just go well together and I LOVE to eat, I wish I could eat all day long and not get fat. 387dd0b2-56bd-4545-8bb1-e8a86070ef72
  13. I don’t do change well. I realllly like routines.
  14. I groomed for a summer – hardest work of my life, but I enjoyed it and actually miss it.
  15. Everything World War 2 attracts my attention to the point I start to get obsessive.
  16. All I can think about is travelling….but it also freaks me out and the anxiety gets out of control.
  17. I have been in 3 (2 non-major) accidents living in this City within in the last 4 years.
  18. I drove the same car for (also my first car) for just over 8 years until it got destroyed in my accident in August 2017.

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    see ya car
  19. The Great Mouse Detective is my absolute FAVORITE Disney movie.
  20. My family lives 5 hours north of me and I don’t get to see them very much. It’s hard, and I definitely would have moved back home if I hadn’t met my husband when I did.
  21. I LOVE to read….but it has probably been a year since I actually read and finished a book. And I am betting that it was probably a Harry Potter novel.
  22. I have found out I dislike writing out so many things about myself.
  23. I have reached an age in my life that buying a freaking STEAM MOP excites me.
  24. Purple is my favorite color….but so many things that I have for Luna are NAVY. Saddle pad, polos, cooler, blankets….like 90% of it is freaking Navy.

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    so much navy
  25. Don’t put my in charge of ordering Ogilvy saddle pads….your order will end up being $5k….also a large reason why the tack store I work at on the side has SOOOOO many saddle pads.
  26. Currently addicted to home reno shows and am watching one right now!
  27. My dog helps me write all of these blog posts.

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    some of my favorite things
  28. My music tastes are weird and all over the place. Country Music, dance, pop, give me some heavy metal…just everything.
  29. I haven’t really dealt with losing Calika yet.
  30. I love running….but hate having people watch me run. And also hate running on my treadmill.

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It took me THREE whole days to finish this…And I feel like all I wrote about was my love for food, wine and my horses. I haven’t “done” much in my life, but I wouldn’t change anything. My life has always been about horses and I am okay with that.

What are 30 things we don’t know about you!?

Life gets in the way…

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Of a lot of things.

Biggest thing of all is this whole blogging thing.

I have all of these things that I want to write about, and no time to write anything. Being on the road for anywhere from 80-110 minutes a day, just to get to and from work, and then added time for the barn, there just isn’t much time!

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I lessoned on Friday and of course Luna was fantastic. She is never “bad”, we may have some not as good rides, but its never “bad”.

So for now, here are some furry kid pictures.

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wtf am i looking at?
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she had cold toes

Jan 30th Lesson Recap

Usually my lessons are every other Friday, but the forecast for this Friday is COLD and SNOWY. The snow is a big enough deterrent because of where I work compared to where my barn is – if there was one delay anywhere I would not make my lesson. So I managed to tag on to the end of lessons on Tuesday!

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me in this weather

We changed things up a little bit to warm up, and instead of starting off with leg yields during our warm up, we started with shoulder in to settle her in the walk and get her bending. She immediately relaxed and went straight to work.

Our coach immediately commented on how much less “dance-y” she is in the walk, she has more swing and has a softer looking eye. All thanks to our new saddle I would say ! What a difference a well-fitting saddle can make!

We are always working on straightness. That was a big part of our whole ride. Luna likes to travel with her haunches to the left and is good at pushing me around on her back, specially at the canter, so that they can travel crooked and not work so hard.

Well little mare, I think we have you figured out! Coach had me sitting down more and within 2 seconds Luna straightened up and sat more on her hind end and went to work! And everything after that was so easy. She stayed straight, I could move her shoulders where I wanted them, she was working through, she much less argumentative.

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how i felt during my lesson

Everything is really starting to come together now. We have our challenges ahead of us still, but having a proper fitting saddle now is making such a world of difference. It has taken much longer then I wanted it to, to find the right saddle, but I am glad I stuck to my guns and finally found something right for her.  Never stop trying to find the right thing!

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navy isn’t actually my fav color but it looks like it is