Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Wrap up

Looking back over 2012 it seems to me that it flew by.  It was full of ups and downs, good times and bad.  I am ending 2012 with hope and a determination that 2013 will be so much better.

I know everyone makes resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking --- which I need to do both... but I want to work on my health and hopefully be able to make myself feel better and push through the pain of the Fibro.  I want to be able to ride my horse again without it wiping me out for a couple of days afterward.  I want to be able to show some next year and possibly next fall be out fox hunting. 

I am also letting go of my past and getting rid of the things that blocked my heart on the advice a shamanic healer.  I know it sounds crazy but I met with her last night and I never known anyone who saw me like she did... the good and the bad.  She knew things about me that only were in my head and never spoken to anyone else...  She also said I did have 3 horses in my lifetime that were my favorites.  Its true, over the 20 horses I have owned my three are Squeaky, Hailie and my all time favorite - Baylady.  But Kelli's horse Charlie was saying hi too... that was funny.

I am hoping I can be better off financially this year.  Taking my job with the government has been rough on me cause I took a massive pay cut to come here but I have the job security and benefits.  I wasn't guaranteed a job in the civil engineering world... Developers can't afford to build houses so I was running out of work.  I want to be able to build on the Etsy shop and really be able to market my hair bows.

The things I am thankful for is the 2 people who have came into my life and have become like sisters to me.  I don't have any family besides my mom and these two have made my life better with having someone to be able to talk to about life.  Thank you Kelli and Jess.

So with that I want to say goodbye to 2012 and ring in a happy and health 2013 and I hope everyone else does the same.  Please be safe tonight if you go out...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Etsy!!! I did it!

Well I just took the plunge last night and went into the retail world of Etsy...

I figured I have some things to sell and hopefully I can promote my business of making handmade hair bows for the pony riders in your life.  I also have some vintage equestrian things on there since it is all the fashion rage!

Anyway for the people who read this blog please stop by and check my store out!

Aside Pride Store

Hopefully I will be able to find some neat sidesaddle items to list on there as well and I am going to be selling some of the photos I have taken of the local fox hunt.

Here are the bows

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Barn

Well I ended up not being such a Grinch this year.  Our Christmas was very low key spending it with great friends.  Also we were blessed with a white Christmas eve and the snow lasted till morning.

Christmas morning started with breakfast of chip beef gravy, biscuits and sausage.  A Connors' tradition.

The goose is in memory of my Dad.  It was one of his decoy's.
Then down to feed the horses and we had a little fun decorating some of them.


Snip was not thrilled. 
And finally the barn mascot was ready to give out doggie gifts of kisses.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and is looking forward to the New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

'Tis the season to be.....

a Grinch... 

Well I figured I would write one last blog post because you do know that the world is going to end tomorrow, right?   I am not holding my breath on that one...

Its been forever since I have posted so lots to update on. 

Life in the horse world has been pretty non-existent.  I leave for work in the dark and I basically get home in the dark.  I only see her basically on weekends when I am trying to catch her.  My mare is the most stubborn horse alive.  The only way to catch her is when she wants attention.  Or my friend K goes out into the field.  She can walk right up to her.  That makes me mad to no end.  Its not like I make the old girl do anything horrible.  She will gets some hot beet pulp with her grain and usually we just walk around the ring while a young girl I help rides one of the ponies.  I'm not asking much.  Oh well, I guess.

Next thing on my list is my health.  It sucks...  I was just diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (not cool).  I have been having steady neck pain, headaches, joint pain, and no muscle strength since October.  It seemed like a fast onset.  But now looking at a lot of the symptoms together it all makes sense.  All my blood work and tests all came back normal.  I am perfectly healthy in that aspect.  Add together that I pretty much feel like shit everyday of my life, I have IBS, HS, psuedo tumor celebri and now Fibro.  Two things are listed on the disability list.  I am 30.  No one should have all this stupid shit wrong with them.

So that's why I am a Grinch!  The only thing I like about Christmas is getting and giving gifts.  I don't have any family to spend it with, so my mother and I become Jewish for the day and go watch a movie and then hit up the Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner.

So what movie should I see???

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has read my blog.  Your awesome. 

Update about Sandy.  We made it thru OK.  Just no electric and all horses are fine.  Just lost some tin and siding and a tree thru the fence.  Hope everyone else is doing OK.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Update on Sandy

I'm sitting here in the dark writing this post on my phone so please forgive me if auto correct does something wonky...

Hurricane Sandy has just made landfall off the shore of New Jersey.  I'm located in northern Harford county about five miles from the Conowingo dam.  Its been raining steady since early this morning.  The wind has picked up pretty bad.  We haven't had any trees come down yet but we also haven't gotten the most severe wind yet either. 

So we have decided its better for the horses to be turned out for the storm.  The barn is an old bank dairy barn and I'm not sure how well it will withstand the wind.  Plus a lot of the stalls have flooded.  One stall even had a piece of plywood blow into the stall.  Its good that that horse was not in cause he would of probably ended up getting a nail in his hoof.  All the fields except for two have run in sheds and the mares have been making use of them.  The geldings would rather graze.

So I will try to update in the morning to see what effects of the storm have done to the farm.  Everyone on the east coast stay safe. 

Also saw a link on Eventing nation that had a bunch of listings for if you need to evacuate your horses. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

From Furlongs to Fences

On Saturday October 27th, my mother, a friend and I loaded into the car for a quick drive up to Fair Hill, Maryland.  A group of dedicated people arranged a packed full day of education for FREE for people who wanted to see what our OTTB's learned at the track before they came into our lives.  It was presented in cooperation with the Retired Racehorse Training Project that was made popular by Steuart Pittman's Trainer Challenge that was done at the MD and PA Horse World Expo's.

At 8:30 we met at the Clocker's Tower at the Fair Hill Training Center with Training Center Manager Sally Goswell and Alex Brown who wrote the book Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and his Legacy.  They gave us an inside view on the track that they train on and the facilities.  They explained the different between galloping and breezing.  We got to watch Mike Trombetta's horse Next Question breeze.  His horse should be flying out of New York on Monday to head to the Breeder's Cup.  I wish him luck as he tries to out run the Hurricane Sandy!  I was excited to see Michael Matz' group come out on the track to train.  Also got to see him ponying a horse that morning.  I grew up when he was at the top of his show jumping career and I loved him. 

I was dumb and forgot to take my camera so all I have is some cell phone pics. Grrr.

Michael Matz set

Michael Matz

Next our group went to tour Bruce Jackson's Therapy Center which is located at the Training Center.  He has a beautiful facility with a variety of ways to get the horses back healthy and to also keep them at the top of their game.  He has a AquaPacer that is a treadmill that you can fill with any level of water depending on the horse.  We next saw the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber where Next Question was receiving his treatment after his breeze.  Then is was on to the Cold Saltwater Spa.  He also has a stall set up with the vibration plates and an area set up with infrared heat.  If you go to Planet Fitness gym, they have the same thing on a much smaller scale for people.  I think he also has about 50 stalls at his barn also. 


Hyperbaric Chamber
Vibration Plate Stall

Then it was on to tour Mike Trombetta's brand new barn.  He did a wonderful job and everything is well thought out and practical.  He was informative and didn't seem to mind answering questions which I found very nice and down to earth. 

Next we walked through the Herringswell Stables that Graham Motion trains out of.  He is also headed to the Breeders Cup with the horse Animal Kingdom.  Office Manager Sue Kenny was very nice and told us a little about all the horses.

At the same time of the barn tours, if you had planned on it, you could take your OTTB on a trail ride of the park led by Alex Brown and exercise rider Jennifer Paxson.  I do believe they even took them to the training track to have a go around. 

We then congregated back at the Fairgrounds where they presented OTTB's for adoption or sale by different organizations.  They did have a little clinic that Steuart Pittman did on some of the training of OTTB's.  Exercise rider and author Alex Brown, trainer Tim Woolley and Jennifer Paxson showed what tack is used on them in training and why things are done the way they are.  They rode two of the horses that were in their second career and it was amazing to see them remember what they were taught to do.  Some of the clinic riders also tried to ride like a jockey too.  Its much harder than it looks! 

After what was a very long day, the group met at the Fair Hill Vet Clinic where three vets from New Bolton went over the common injuries and problems that a lot of OTTB's face when leaving their career as a race horse. 

I was more than impressed with all the things that were done for people that wanted to see behind the scenes.  Now granted it wasn't the track life but at the Training Center all you saw was happy horses!  All were healthy, shining and relaxed.  It helps to keep their minds fresh that all barns had turnout for their horses and plus their is plenty of trails to keep them always doing something different.  I almost guarantee that if you compared the number of horses with ulcers at the track compared to the number at the Training Center, it would be a huge decrease. 

Today they held an All Thoroughbred Show at the Fairgrounds.  Luckily it sounds like the weather held out and I do know that they had filled the maximum number of entries in every hunter class.  They had some amazing sponsors that stepped up to the plate to donate prize money and any donations left over where going to support various TB charities.

I hope that they will hold this again next year and I am very thankful for the dedicated individuals that donated their time and knowledge and connections to share all their years of racehorse experience.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mt. Carmel Hunter Trials

On Sunday October 14, the girls and I from the barn left to go to the hunter trials.  Now mind you I have not competed at one since 1999 or 2000.  Since Squeaky has been off I was planning on riding the one OTTB at our Barn Indy.  Well he was really being a turd schooling so I decided against taking him.  I didn't want everyone to see me parting ways with the bucking bronc.  Here is a picture of the boy sporting my birthday gift saddle pad.  I love it- I hunt so the Max 4 Camo pattern was perfect! 

So Saturday night I decided to take one of the sales horses.  His name is Mickey.  First on Saturday we had to do pony rides at the local police station kids day.  He did pretty good and it was a great bomb proofing session.  We had one medivac and one news helicopter land to do demonstrations.  The horses and ponies were scared when the first one landed but by the second one they were old pros.  So Saturday evening was the first time I got to ride him.  I jumped him a couple of jumps and decided we were ready. 

At the hunter trials I was signed up for Pairs and Hunt Teams at 2'6".  I rode the pairs class with a nice man who led because I had no clue of the course.  Mickey did wonderful not looking at anything and happily jumping everything.  I on the other hand thought I was going to die.  I haven't galloped around a course in more than a decade!!!  We did well but not good enough to pin which I was not expecting to get any ribbons at all.  I was supposed to do the open class but I knew I wouldn't have enough energy or muscle strength left to compete in Hunt Teams so I scratched that class. 

So when our last class came around, Mandy, Caitlin and I went out on course.  We put in a nice course.  I was constantly trying to play catch up with the other two since my horse liked to take his good old time.  We came to the last fence to jump abreast and Caitlin's horse did not like the fact that Mandy was on one side and I was catching up on the other.  He was trying to take off with her and at the last moment I saw the long spot and kicked on for it.  We all jumped it abreast.  We didn't stay around to see if we pinned but we had fun so that was all that mattered.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks if Mickey is still around I hope to take him to Elkridge Harford and the Pony Club's hunter trials.

I also got the deal of the century at Maryland Saddlery on Saturday.  I picked up a nice Pytchley Melton Coat for 165 dollars and fits me like a glove.  Also picked up a sidesaddle and I am getting ready to post soon on that after I get some more facts about it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Para Olympics

Bad me... I have not posted in forever but while looking through the headlines at the The Chronicle of the Horse I read about the results from the Para Olympics.  I am so amazed by these athletes that overcome what ever their disability may be to compete at the standard they compete at.  I also was thrilled when scrolling through the pictures and I saw this one.

This is Barbara Minneci and Barilla finished eighth in the Grade II individual standings for Belgium (70.09%).  Its great to see her showing sidesaddle.  What some people don't know is that sidesaddle can be ridden by people who are missing a lower leg.  I don't know if that is her case or not but she looks beautiful!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The heat wave of 2012

So here on the east coast the heat wave has finally broke.  Last week it was high 90's and felt like it was 110° with the humidity.  Anyone on the east coast knows that the humidity will just suck the air out of you.  So last week was a challenge of keeping the horses comfortable. 
The one day that it was so miserable I gave squeaky a really good bath and then I parked her here for about an hour.  She loved it.
How did everyone else keep their animals cool?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Elkridge Harford Point to Point Part 2

Going the the paddock.  Mr. Mouse had a bunny tail because it was the day before Easter.  We didn't have time to put his ears on...

Walking around in the paddock

Trying to get in first place

I think he had fun!

Lined up to get their awards

A Happy Boy

In a later race a lady fell and had to be flown out by Maryland State Police.  Luckily she only had a broken nose and needed some stiches.
Overall this was a very nice day and we all had lots of fun.

2012 Elkridge Harford Point to Point Part 1

On Saturday April 7th, Elkridge Harford Hunt Club held the steeplechase race.  The race was held at Atlanta Hall Farm owned by Thomas Voss.  The day was a bit windy but the weather beautiful.  Usually with these races it's hit or miss on the nice weather and since we are having such a warm spring, it held out and made a large turnout for the event.  There was lots of tailgating and some beautiful spreads. Click here  for more information on Maryland Steeplechasing.

This year I had the pleasure of grooming for a good friend of mine, Kelli.  She entered both of her kids in the Leadine Pony Trot Race.  It is probably the most watched race of the day.  Kelli entered both of her kids.  Peyton who is 5 was riding Buster and Sadie who is 3 was on Mr. Mouse.

The kids were chowing down before their races

I didn't bring home a program so I can't list the races or who won but the following pics are from the beginning of the races.

When riders up was called, this jock did a good job of sticking with his mount

Out rider for the day is the Huntsman

I love these 2 pics.  What a jump that horse has!

Giving it his all!

Part 2 will be the cutest little ponies and kids you have ever seen!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Allie Cat

Allie is a three he old Norwegian Fjord. She is an in your pocket pony who loves attention. She will follow you around the field while you are trying to get the other horses in.  I watched some tutorials on how to properly maintain their manes.  Here are some pictures I got this morning when I was turning horses out 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ponylocks Necklace

I ordered a necklace from Pony Locks at the Maryland Horse World Expo.  I got home today and it was in the mail!  I am please with how quick of a turn around it was and it looks so beautiful!  It was made with hair from my mare Squeaky. 

A lot of people do this in rememberance of a horse they have lost.  I decided I wanted to do it while she is still alive and kicking!  She is my heart horse and we have such an understanding of each other.  She will be with me until the day she dies. 

So if anyone is looking to get some jewlery made - check out pony locks - they did a great job!
Silver tube is engraved with her name

Friday, January 13, 2012

I copied this from over at Horse County Chic.  Great article written about Boyd Martin's horse return to Eventing after the horrible fire that killed 6 of his horses!  Usually articles written about horses are not that great, but this writer did a very good job!

NY Times Article

Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting Things Organized

This past weekend, I spent both days at the barn.  With both my Mom and I moving we had things just thrown in totes to go thru for another day.  I had wanted to get my tack trunk organized and moved into the tack room and other totes gone thru and sorted. 

On Saturday, Mom and I both rode.  Its been a while since I had been on Squeaky so we mainly just walked with a little trotting.  Plus its the first time we have rode at the place, so she was taking in all the sights.  After that we had a spa day.  Both horses got their manes pulled and I gave Squeaky a bath!  For it being January, Saturday was in the mid 60's!!!  So she got all cleaned up and mane braided over.  I want to try to train it.  I never have had much luck. 

Squeaky rockin a mohawk!

On Sunday I was glad to sleep in and made my way to the barn about 11 o'clock.  When I got there Mom was already working on a project.  The night before I went to Home Depot and bought casters to put on the bottom of my tack truck so I could move it with ease.  We got them on and moved into the tack room.  Finally time to start going thru totes!  Got what I needed placed into my truck and put all the rest of the stuff in labeled totes.  I never realized how many no-bows I have in all different sizes.  My shipping tote is huge!  There is still more to go thru.  All the blankets need to be put into my other trunk and odds and ends sorted.  I did come up with stuff to take to the consignment shop!  Hopefully make a little money off this stuff.

 My goal this coming weekend is to clip Squeaky because I cannot stand furry horses and ride both days.  Now that the days are getting longer I hope to be able to start riding after work!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Who will be the Queen B?

Yesterday, we moved my horses to the new barn.  For the first time Squeaky and Butter were separated.  She was put into the mare field and him into the geldings field.  He was so upset.  Butter ran the fence line for a while as did she, but then she ventured off to meet the rest of the herd.  It was interesting to see the pecking order come to play.  I thought Squeaky would be very dominant, but instead she was low girl on the totem pole.  The one white mare would make sure that she didn't get near the rest of the horses and today when the other grey was turned out- she seemed like she made friends with her.  They stood next to each other at all times, but when I went to bring them two in - the grey would keep herself between me and Squeaky.  I usually have my horses turned out as much as possible, but I left her stay in tonight so she could rest.  She is 21 after all, and the look in her eye was like "Mom-- do I really need to deal with this shit".  I felt really bad for her but they must all learn to get along...

Butter settled in finally when Squeaky would no longer call back to him.  He met the rest of the boys with no problem. 

Today we brought them in to feed and they got to see the barn and their stalls.  They ate dinner and seemed happy in their stalls. 

So it will be interesting in to see how the girls will work out the pecking order and who will be Queen B.

Hope every ones new year has started off on a good note!