Sunday, April 27, 2014

When Bloggers Collide!

I recently needed to go to Texas for a work conference.  About a year ago, upon learning I'd be going there this March, I casually emailed a stranger-blogger who I knew lived where I was going and mentioned I'd like to meet her.

Kinda expected to be told to please stop stalking her,  but instead she said "absolutely!!!"  I assumed we'd meet up for coffee or something, but after I lost Junior I needed to focus on something in the future so Laura of The Roany Pony fame, invited me to stay with her for a few days.  She even offered to let me ride Spencer Spectacular.  (Insert squealing fangirl moment!)

So as soon as the conference was over, (and I took a power nap in the hotel lobby) I was picked up on a street corner by a stranger and driven away to an unknown fate...

And it. Was. Awesome!

Even more awesome than I could have imagined.  I'm incredibly sad we don't live closer to one another because we would HAVE to be best horse show friends.

Laura really did let me ride Spenny and I gotta tell ya, that boy floats. FLOATS.  I admit terror at his gi-friggin-normous 17hh size, especially after only riding a 13.2 pony for the past few months.  Spenny, however gave me no reason to worry.  He did everything I asked and moved off the slightest pressure.  We didn't try anything hard, just trotted around and even did a few laps at the canter.  FLOATS.

I also got to spin him around at Showmanship which was super fun.

And he's also seriously adorable.  He seems to love to have his photo taken.

Showmanship Fun!

Taking a photo of Laura while she gets ready to take a photo of me on Spenny.

I even made a new kitty-friend.

On Saturday we drove up to Pilot Point and took a driving tour of all the fancy-schmancy ranches and training barns.  It was fun to see the signs of so many of the trainers who advertise in the magazines.  We also made a trip to the Smith Brother's store.

The last day before Laura drove me to the airport, I selfishly introduced her to the sport of Geocaching. I'm not an avid cacher, but I thought I'd check and see if there were any nearby and there happened to be one in the park right by her house!  So we took her adorable 5 month old basset hound and went hunting.  Thankfully we found the cache (eventually) and I was able to get my Texas badge.... I think Laura might have caught the 'Caching bug, too!

Laura even gave me some homework, so I'm busy working on that post-worthy little item.  One word: SPARKLY.

A huge THANK YOU to Laura and Spenny for a really wonderful (and much needed) Texas Horsey Adventure!!!!!

And for the record, she promised to come up for Congress in the very near future, so we'll have an Ohio Horsey Adventure to post about some day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oh, Hi.

I just noticed it's been a month since I last posted.  Sorry, I don't know where the time went.

By the way, did I tell you I received a hand-written sympathy card from Smartpak?  I cancelled our SmartBugOff auto-ship and there was a "please tell us why you are canceling" set of boxes so I sighed and clicked the "Horse has passed away" option.  Then not long after I received a sweet card from them with a nice personal note.  Nicely done, Smartpak.

And as if we haven't had enough to mope about, sadly, I need to report that my best girl is gone.  Dear old Banee is young again and running through a green field somewhere, and I'd like to imagine she and Junior are swapping stories and having a good laugh.  Though I am very sad that she's gone, I've been prepared for this for a decade.  She was 34 years old, for heaven's sake, so it was her time.  She lived a grand long life and I am grateful for the lessons she taught me.  I'd been thinking a lot about her since I lost Junior because I had the scenario in my mind that he would be there for me to help me through losing Banee, just like he helped me though losing Lany.  I guess because losing him was such an unexpected shock, getting the news that Banee was gone wasn't as hard as I'd expected.  I burst into tears, of course, but it was short lived and I'm very much at peace with the knowledge that she lived a long and spoiled life and that she was able to leave this world with dignity and grace.  I don't feel the need to do a whole post on her, since I've really said all there is to say about her, but if you want to know more, there's a "Banee" tag on the sidebar that'll take you to the MANY posts that feature her, including our final visit last summer.  My only regret is that I don't have video of her nicker.  It was the sweetest you've ever heard.

Well, now. We have had simply too much sad shit happen lately, so let's just take a deep breath and move on to happier things.  Yes, let's.

I've been riding in my lessons once a week and in addition to Lillypony (who I've decided is my Therapy Pony) I've ridden two other lesson horses now, Beau and Super.  They're both sweet and they were fun.  BO is looking for another lesson horse that's more my style (ie not a pony or a 3' jumper) so I'm "helping" her by sending her all the ads for horses I think might fit the bill ie horses I would consider buying if I could even fathom that thought for more than a moment.   For now, I am enjoying getting to know Lilly and the other lesson horses.

I tagged along last weekend to an IEA show to be the BO's gopher and to help Lillypony make her IEA Zones debut.  Oh, and my barn's middle school team is headed to Nationals!!!  Woot!  This is why I try very hard to do all the things BO tells me to do in my lessons; she clearly knows what she's talking about.

Lilly was so popular at the show.  It was a lot like taking Debon to a show.  People just squealed over Lilly and a somewhat alarming amount of people asked if they could take a picture with her.  I know she didn't look like much when she was still a sasquatch, but after a body clip and a bath she looks super friggin adorable.  I'll get a photo on Saturday.  Adorbs.

On Saturday morning I begin my training at a local Humane Society to become a volunteer. I'm excited to have something to do with myself as well as all the doggy/kitty/bunny time I'll get in.  Who's really helping who here?

Then in the afternoon I get to go ride Lillypony AND Zip!  Zip's person moved out of our barn last fall because she got a farm of her own... jealous... but she's been hauling in to my barn while her indoor is still in progress...jealous... so it'll be a fun weekend.

I PROMISE there is a neat post coming about something that happened in March.  Soon. Promise.