Winter Wonderland

We got at least four but probably more like six inches of snow here in the heart of Georgia! I was shocked but thrilled. It made things feel like home for a small period of time.

Every solid surface was covered with snow. It looked like a scene straight out or Narnia.

So you know I dragged my husband out of bed to take photos.

And I am in love with these photos.

So thankful to my wonderful husband who took over a thousand photos of me struggling with two horses. He perfectly captured this magical moment.

Goodies

The only good part about buying a horse in the fall is that you can take advantage of all the great Black Friday sales to buy things you didn’t realize you’d need two of now that you have two horses.

Some of the more fun things are not pictured due to them bring custom. I can’t wait until they come!

But one thing I didn’t actually buy during Black Friday but that came shortly after has become my all time favorite purchase of 2017: the Arctic Horse Riding skirt.

I bought two, the wool Outlander and the Tongass rain skirt. I’ll do a more in depth review when I’ve actually had more time with them but I am in love with them.

We finally got a bit of a cold snap and I was able to wear the wool skirt to the barn. I stayed so warm! As soon as I took it off for my lesson, I started to freeze. Also, my trainer promptly stole it to put on under her big puffy long coat.

I can’t wait for it to rain so I can try out the rain skirt!

No Longer a Track Horse

I’m sure you are all sick of hearing about how Gus and I are handling our Novice debut and really just want to hear more about how New Kid, aka Pax, is doing. Right? No? Oh well, here’s an update anyway.

Except for that he’s had the last week or so off due to Pine Top and the holidays, I think we’re making a lot of progress. Pax is getting a lot better in the cross ties (though I’m still a little hesitant to put him back in the wash rack considering he already broke the cross ties once) and no longer thinks about kicking when I put hind boots on. He was very naughty for the farrier though, which is not at all acceptable. So we’ll be working on that.

Pax has had to learn a whole new way of going though. One where he has to mind and be respectful of people instead of doing whatever he wants.  But he’s a smart kid and he’s learning.

My big goal for Pax is to take him to the Heart of the Carolinas and do the Future Event Horse 2yo division. I don’t expect him to score well,  he’s not really what they’re looking for, but I think it would be a good experience for both of us. It gets him off property and in a show setting without a lot of stress (or at least I hope not a lot of stress!). I wish I was closer to Ocala and could go down to the FEH symposium next year to learn more but it’s just too far unfortunately and in the middle of the week.

One step at a time for the baby horse. More ground work and desensitizing this winter and then, once things start warming up, we’ll start hacking. It’s fun to have a horse that’s old enough to do some riding but still be able to focus on a lot of the building blocks.

Thoughts After Pine Top

Normally by now, the week after a show, I’d be knee deep in show recaps and bothering my husband to edit photos (okay, I’m still doing that but only because there are other people waiting) but this show left me with a very different taste in my mouth and it’s taken me a few days to process. Even now I’m not really certain how to feel. I was on the opposite side of the field but I saw the accident out of the corner of my eye and I saw that horse lying on the ground as every free hand went sprinting towards them. And as I watched, knowing what the outcome was long before any official statement was released, I cried. That could have been Gus.

Gus has never been a super star jumper. I’ve complained about it here over and over again. He’s not always careful with his knees. He still jumps over his shoulder if we get a really bad distance. He isn’t naturally brave (though he is willing). There has been some improvement from when I first got him and he does love being out on XC. We’ve run him through grids and chutes and I’m also getting more confident. He is better than he was.

But is better good enough?

I had no plans to go training any time soon (the novice fences at Pine Top were huge, in my eyes, and the training fences even bigger) but this is definitely making me rethink if I want to take Gus training ever. While accidents can still happen at all levels, I am confident that we can handle anything at the novice level or lower out on XC with minimal risk. Not that something couldn’t still happen but then Gus could trip on a trail ride too and I can’t stop riding all together. Riding horses is inherritantly risky.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want to lower it where I can.

I’m not sure at this point what the future is for Gus and I. Everything is as clear as mud right now. Luckily we’re in for a little bit of a break around the holidays so I’ll have some time to think. Gus doesn’t have anything to prove and, more importantly, I don’t either. There’s no rush to move up to training and I have plenty of time to decide if Gus is the right horse to take me up there or not. For now we are going to have fun at Novice and keep the higher heights to the stadium ring.

Under Review

Pax doesn’t have a name.

I’m sure they called him something on the track but he has never officially been given a name with The Jockey Club and now the pressure is on. OTTBs, as we know, come with a whole range of crazy names. Some cute. Some silly. Some are just “huh?” But those are the names they came with and I’ve never had to take the credit for one.

Now I do.

Now I’m the one who’s going to be responsible for naming this baby and it’s a little terrifying!

Especially when you take a look at The American Stud Book Principal Rules and Requirements  around naming. After reading the very short document, I now understand why OTTBs can be named weird things like Candy Space Center (a filly I seriously looked at before deciding I couldn’t live with the name). Some of the rules are easy to understand (can’t name a horse the same name as one who has won the Kentucky Derby), some are not.

For example: In part 6 (Naming) Section F Number 9 – Names clearly having commercial, artistic or creative significance [are not eligible for use].

What. The. Fuck. does that mean?

I actually have a name that I’d like to use. It’s latin which means that I’d need to provide a translation to The Jockey Club when I register the name and there’s no guarantee that they will accept it but I hope they do. And over the weekend I submitted that name to The Jockey Club and it is currently under review!

But, in case they don’t accept I’m on the hunt for a mother name. The problem is that I’m so set on the name I do want, I can’t even think of anything else. So I need your help! What would you name Pax if he was yours?