New Beginnings

So after some thought, I pulled a paragraph from Wednesday’s post. Not because I felt remotely guilty for anything that I said, but I’m trying to keep the peace until everything is completely finalized. I’m so close.

While yesterday was about looking back, today is all about looking to the future! 2019 is proving to be an exciting year already.

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Maui

Back in December I decided that I was going on a big trip for my 30th birthday whether I went alone or coerced someone to go along, so I proceeded to plan a week long trip to Maui. Initially I wanted to go abroad somewhere for the first time (I’m still coming for you Italy…), but I really wanted to go away over my birthday week and the odds weren’t high for me getting my name changed in time to apply for a passport and get it back in time. So, darn, going to have to compromise and go to Hawaii. 😉

After booking my flight and AirBnB my mom decided to go with me. She and I spend a lot of time together and go on adventures together regularly, but this will be our biggest adventure to date. I’m looking forward to going with her and stretching both of our comfort zones a little bit while we’re gone. So far I’ve booked a whale watching boat tour since we’re going right at the tail end of whale season in Hawaii. There is also talk of kayaking, snorkeling and maybe horseback riding, though apparently I’ve booked a trip to an island that doesn’t allow you to ride on the beach, so I’ve yet to determine if riding on the island is worth the cost if I can’t ride on the beach. If anyone has any experience with this, feel free to fill me in. I’m pumped about this trip though, and beyond grateful that K is willing to keep my dogs and run by the farm for me to check on the horses. I truly don’t know what I’d do without her.

Joey

Another reason to not spend money on potential horseback riding in Maui is that soon enough I’ll be able to sit on Joey. I’ve been watching him pretty carefully this winter and have decided to go ahead and send him to the trainer to be started under saddle during his two year old year. He’s mentally more than ready and physically I think that the exercise will do him well. He’s looking very round lately, though there are random glimpses of the horse to come underneath the polar bear fluff. It’s next to impossible to get a picture of him that demonstrates the good moments; they all turn out to show him still looking like a pudgy little kid’s pony. For example:

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Could literally eat dinner off of his back…he gets it honest from both sides…

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His eyeliner in this one makes me giggle.

I haven’t been graining him since before Christmas, though I didn’t make a conscious decision not to, I just didn’t start him back on grain after the big snow we had. When I talked to the trainer last weekend he said to go ahead and start him back on grain despite the fact that he looks like a walrus. My words…not his…he is unaware that he is getting a walrus/polar bear hybrid in for training in April, though the polar bear tendencies will be gone by then. I did end up going with the trainer that is 30 minutes from home. I went down on Saturday and watched him work with three different horses. From what I’ve seen, I think he’ll be a good fit for Joey. He’s a quiet and kind rider and agrees with me that Joey’s long term soundness is our first priority and that developing him to be a safe amateur ranch riding horse is second. Any competitive successes are just the icing on the cake.

So just like that, young Joey will be thrust into adulthood this spring. It generally takes a ranch riding horse a year to get to the point where they’re ready to go out and show after being started under saddle, so by starting soon, we’ll be more likely to be able to show next year. Of course, you guys know how horses are, so anything could happen.

Paige

Speaking of how anything can happen to horses, Paige is still mysteriously lame. With how much of a cluster my life was at the end of 2018, I was unable to get her to VT to be xrayed. I had anticipated that I would be living in an improved two income household during the fall and would be able to afford to get caught up on a bunch of things, but instead I found myself re-calibrating and figuring my situation out. Now that I’ve got a better grasp on things, I want to get her in to be looked over soon. She doesn’t seem any more lame than she was last summer, but nothing has improved with months out of work either, so I’m apprehensive to find out what’s going on. That appointment will hopefully happen prior to Joey moving out, but after the weather around here becomes less sketchy for trailering.

Copper and Robin

These two are allowed to exist and be happy and healthy on the property for as long as I’m lucky to have them, but I also don’t have any grand plans for them outside of that in 2019. Pasture sound and mental sanity is a lot to ask for these two sometimes, so we’re going to keep things simple for them. 😉 On another note, the Clydesdale boarder has been sold and moved out over Thanksgiving, so I’m open to the concept of new boarders.

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The three amigos (including boarder, Kricket)

Donkeys

Luckily there will be no donkey births this year. Russell was gelded in December of 2017, so his swimmers should’ve been long gone by June when the girls had foaled and became able to be bred again. Rudy moved in with K this fall, so Russell and the three girls are the entirety of the donkey herd right now. If I knew of someone I trusted who wanted a donkey, I’d be willing to let Russell move in with them. The girls have been bullying him more lately and haven’t been letting him eat as much as I’d like, so he’s loose in the barn with a free choice round bale and is getting grain rations until I feel better about his weight. So if anyone local-ish is looking for a little gelded jack that is easy to get along with, I’m willing to part with Russell if he’s going somewhere where he’ll be taken care of.

Horse Shows

Originally I intended to show Joey at the APHA Eastern Nationals that are being held in Lexington (two hours from home!) this year. The combination of lack of funds due to him going to training in April plus the fact that it is coming up soon in late March with limited information available about the event has caused me to reconsider that and I’ll just be driving myself down to cheer on friends and leaving Joey at home. I really hope it is here again next year when he’s able to be shown in more than two classes so that I can support the concept. It just doesn’t seem to be worth the money to me when we’ll only be eligible for tobiano and two year old lone line.

We will still be attending the VPHA Futurity show on Labor Day weekend, though not showing under saddle. I intend to take him in the two year old versions of all the same classes we did in October and try to win some more money. We should be much more competitive in longe line since he will have been in training for months at that point. He will lope on a circle by then I’m confident. 😉 They also do not have two year old ranch classes, so his first opportunity to show under saddle won’t be until next year, which is preferred in my opinion. We’ll see how he’s doing training wise…I may get to ride him around the showgrounds for fun? Or maybe my trainer will come down? Who knows…this is a new world for me…I’m certainly not used to having a trainer.

Everything Else

I don’t have much else planned for 2019 at this point, but it is still early in the year and my life changes constantly. I do plan to have some vet work done on the dogs this spring. Ariel needs her teeth cleaned and Tucker needs to be neutered. 2018 was one of the lowest maintenance years for vet work on the dogs, so I’m hoping this year will be comparable outside of those procedures.

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Best little family.

As always, there are a few house projects and a few farm projects I’d like to do, but with prioritizing Joey’s education, anything that costs significant amounts of money will be put off for a while. I’m very lucky to be in the position in life where my financial decisions only impact me, so prioritizing something so incredibly first world isn’t as big of a deal as it would be in many situations. I’m not saying everyone should be en route to divorce before thirty, but it certainly makes it easier to make these sort of decisions alone.

So, here’s to a year of selfish spending and (low budget) self improvement. Hopefully I’ll even get to ride a horse more than 6 times this year? 😉