Home sweet home

I’m finally home after two weeks in my Home town of Austin Texas. It was a grueling two weeks of training andjust plain   nose to the ground grind work… It was amazing tho, to catch up with my friends and Family. I got to spend some great quality time with my mom which was much needed! The down side is I have completely lost touch with   Austin! Everything has changed so much it no longer is feeling like home. 50% of our old stomping grounds are Either re-named or no longer exist! And the traffic… Wtf!?! I thought bmore was bad… Austin is just insane!

Everything went great at home until no lie, the day before I left… Again I’m having farrier issues, this time severe lack of communication… I was told he’d be out in two weeks to do Grey’s backs (he threw his front left when I was in Houston, and at that time the backs didn’t need to be done).  Anyway… He never came out… And I’ve been so stressed with work and traveling that I just plain didn’t follow up… So I take 100% of that blame, I just wish people would follow through like they say they will. Anyway so Friday, grey’s back left twisted and the clip went up into his hoof, it isn’t as scary as it could be, but I couldn’t get a hold of my new farrier… Like who doesn’t respond to calls and texts? So the vet has to come out and pull the shoe… Of course I’m still in Austin while this is all happening so my awesome hubby is handling everything with the vet. Lots of freaking out happened blood was apparently abounding but, when I got out there yesterday I really wasn’t overly concerned…
Sooooo I now have a new, vet recommended farrier coming out tomorrow to pull his other back shoe and do his fronts, as grey isn’t allowed to wear shoes till the vet oks it.  We are also on some serious stall rest with foot soaking and wrapping everyday.  The most ridiculous part, is I texted the old farrier to explain everything that was going on and let him know my new plan, and I get a response RIGHT back… I just can’t… Like if you had been better at communicating from day one maybe I wouldn’t have switched, but multiple times I call, text, leave messages with noooo response. But when I fire you, I get blown up… Ugh
Who would have thought that in horse country I would have such a hard time finding decent farrier work!? Some more horse show pics since I’m so bummed I won’t be riding for awhile!

  

The great Shoe Debacle of 2015

I will begin my tale of woe,  stating, I am in NO WAY a professional farrier and I am in no way saying I have the knowledge that a true farrier has, HOWEVER I have been around horses for over 20 years and I can generally have a good eye for what a decent shoeing job should consist of.
I was new to MD and was desperately in need of a knowledgeable farrier to shoe grey. The farrier my old amazing wonderful farrier Douglas Hogue had recommended, but 1. He never called me back and 2. Was $250 a pop, just over half what I pay in board. So I took to the inter webs and located another CJF through the American Farrier Association. Chris Diehl seemed knowledgeable and was willing to do the short drive to Aberdeen to do grey. Now, he had all sorts of rules for what your horse could and couldn’t do, so being a little nervous I had my trainer hold grey the first time. He behaved perfectly and we decided next time no holder. And as far as I know all went well, however Chris stated his feet were too long and we needed to go from 6 weeks+ to 4ish. I said ok because they did seem pretty long by the time he was finally done. After the third job I got a text that grey slipped his halter and got loose but all was well. Me thinking, hmmm that’s odd especially to slip and not break the halter, but maybe grey just had a moment.  So fast forward to 4ish weeks later, I didn’t really think Grey was due, but since I had the appointment and Chris has to schedule so far out I figured he would do what is best…

Imagine my surprise, horror, and concern when I receive this text:

I obviously tried calling immediately but all my phone calls went straight to voicemail. So I continued the conversation as shown below.


    

They are out of order but you get the ide.Only getting half the story I finally call the trainer and ask her what is going on, and find out A. She and numerous other people offered to hold grey so he could finish and B. My horse was now standing in his stall completely shoeless.

I think I did finally get Chris on the phone but all he could say was “I am sorry” the worst part of it all is we were trying to horse show that weekend and my mom had flown out just for the show. So I get down to work and start asking my md  peeps for farrier contacts, everyone I called was too busy to add a client and at this point Grey was almost crippled BC his feet were so sore. I finally stumbled upon Jake and told him my tale of woe, and also emphatically assured him the reason my horse was standing in his stall sans shoes was not related to me not paying my bills.  He couldn’t come out Thursday but he made it out Friday. $318 later my horse was once again sound and comfortable.
In hindsight it was a blessing in disguise as I believe grey had been hurtin for awhile. He had started twisting his body in the air and started launching himself in the air in order to try his best to land on all four feet. Exhibit A.


 After the shoes we were almost back to normal exhibit b.



I even emailed the American Farrier Association to file a formal complaint, not about the shoeing themselves, because like I said I am not a professional but due to the lack of professionalism displayed by someone they list on their website. I was pretty much shot down. Oh and the other professional opinion was grey was hurting because Chris took too much foot off and he was in pain hence the running away while being shod. So here is my formal complaint and public service announcement to STAY away from Chris Diehl!

Long time no blog

Remember that job I was really excited to start in Baltimore?? Well it ended up being life sucking draining pretty much zombie inducing type of environment…. I was working 50+ hours a week and had a 2-3 hr commute a day… Still tried to find time to ride not one but two during the week as well!  Thankfully I saw the giant toll this was taking on me (and the hubby) and put into action operation find a better job.
I now work from home for a company I used to work for and its amazing!!! I ride both horses during the day and work out before work…. No complaints here! 

Quick update on the horse front: Grey has been doing amazing! Minus a giant shoe debacle that we are still trying to solve (will have a post dedicated to this) our new goal is to ride in a 3ft Hunter derby next year, possibly tackle the 3 6 hunters if I can get my shiz together. We ended up reserve champion at our last show 🙂

   
       I’ve also been riding Rowland a tb disguised  as a warmblood and am hoping to have him ready for the adult jumpers soon! 

       

Currently I’m in training in Austin for the new job and am loving being home 

Let’s try this again….

So I had my last blog post, oh 60% complete, when my wordpress app decided it no longer wanted to work… And of course no draft was saved :/ lots of crazy things have been happening! First of all holy SNOW! This texas girl has never seen more than an inch maybe (besides skiing in Colorado) let alone a full on snow storm! Of course the storm had to come when hubby wasn’t around so I am now a PRO at snow shoveling. My body is still so very sore. I kept the mindset though that I was just cleaning a very dirty stall and it wasn’t hard to get done. Here is my handy work!

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Have not been able to do much riding since the temperatures have pretty much been in the 20’s the last two weeks. It wasn’t really an issue as Grey was turned out all day everyday, however, some electrical meltdown at the barn had two other geldings needing to share Grey and his buddy’s turnout. The trainer watched him and everything seemed to be going well, mind you Grey is the only horse with shoes on in the turnout, and then Grey gets kicked. The positive side to this is I immediately received a phone call from the trainer and by the time I arrived a pressure bandage was on and the vet was called and counseled further action. It really wasn’t a big cut at all, maybe two inches, but holy hell did it bleed. So far recovery has been well with minimal swelling. Tonight will be the first night with no bandage. I am very interested to see how it looks tomorrow. Bellow is the pretty sight I arrived to at the barn.

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On the super positive side Grey is Finally putting on weight!!! I am loving how much food he gets a day and am not noticing any crazy spikes in energy! YAY! I actually think he is behaving better because he is getting FAT and healthy! I mean, if I was hungry a bunch I’d probably be a little bit of a shit too! I’m so thankful for such a positive barn! All the barn kids love Grey and always say how beautiful he is! Warms my heart! Check out Greys glamour shots!

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Look at that belly! All and all great results at my new barn home! Can’t wait for the weather to warm up and be able to ride more!!

I’m BACK!!!!

After almost two weeks we finally are back with Internet!! I have so much to say but don’t want to kill everyone with a really long and boring account of the remainder of our trip to Maryland. Here is a short recap:
Stayed a bit longer in Alabama to get our energy back up, but still hauled it up here in one day because we thought our household goods were getting here by the 3rd.

Didn’t happen… Our goods arrived Friday the 6th… We are currently in the process of sorting through the mess the packers in El Paso left us. I have literally found random glassware in boxes labeled pictures, to linens, garage, I did not find them in appropriately labeled boxes like oh you know KITCHEN!

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Current state of our home
On the plus side one of our family is enjoying the mess….

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On the double plus side Grey also arrived Friday at 330am!! It was a little scary because we had to meet the 18 wheeler at a very busy rest stop, unload him and load him on our trailer. I was expecting some serious misbehaving from Grey, but he was a perfect gentleman and handled it all in stride!

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Pure happiness!
I’m absolutely in love with my barn! The trainer is no nonsense and really kind. All her lesson kids are in LOVE with grey which warms my heart. Below are some pics of the facility:

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Grey even has a new friend! I’m so happy he is so happy!
I received great news today that I got the job I interviewed for! I know I promised pics of possible interview wear for help in decision making, but it’s hard to blog from your phone! Sean and I have done some exploring, we found the water (literally we can access from our house, but we’re trying to find a dock), we have eaten at some great restaurants and found a vineyard we can call home!! Below are some pics from our recent adventures:

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At Boordy Vineyards wine club party!

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Beautiful sights!

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Sean tried his hands at oysters!!

Ok! That’s the skinny on our first week here! Up next I’ll review my three pairs of tall boots! I finally got my brown pair and can’t wait to break them in

Oh and how could I forget I have ridden grey twice now, the first with some cocktail and the second with only a little spin on the line. He was great both times and my new trainer really seems to like him! I promise now that we are settled more horse talk and less move talk!!

Are we there yet???

So we got slightly delayed in our time line… We stayed an extra day in Austin and are now staying an extra full day in Alabama. The 15 hours it took us from Austin to Huntsville just about broke us. But it was less mentally exhausting not having horses in the trailer.

Let me recap the last few days

The last rides in Austin went really well. Dali schooled like her old self and didn’t sky rocket over anymore cross rails, thank god because honestly I might not have stayed on. Wednesday Grey kind of remembered how to jump and Thursday we got a perfect flying change both ways!! It’s amazing what an actual arena with good footing will do for your horse!

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Mom riding Dali like a rockstar

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Yeehaw

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Todd, Eva, and Wall-E playing

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My mom sets a nice dinner table

We left Austin by around 6:30 am and didn’t get to Seans parents house till about 9pm Friday. The drive went OK it was just so long and grueling. Sean and I both dressed inappropriately because we got spoiled with the high 70’s in Austin. Sean was in shorts with a sweater and I had on Capris with a very light sweater. Brrrrrrr!! Fikki was no help this trip and found a perch in my car and I never saw him again!!

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Spoiled rotten.
We drove up through Dallas, Arkansas, Tennessee then down through Mississippi and into Alabama. The drive through Arkansas was actually really pretty. I guess I never think of how green it is! Or Sean and I were just so starved for Greenery living in El Paso, anywhere is beautiful in comparison!!

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Arkansas driving!
It’s raining here today in Alabama and it feels glorious!! Wall-E and Eva actually stood outside in the rain getting SOAKED today, I think because they missed it! Grey leaves Austin tomorrow which is really exciting!! I’m using equine express to transport him. I went ahead and had him in a box stall for the journey. When we first got grey he didn’t really stand tied or in cross ties. With a great deal of patience and repetition he finally stands perfectly in cross ties, however I thought a 20 hour journey in cross ties might just be pushing it! I’ve been happy with equine express in the sense that they are available to take my calls and are very courteous, however, it was a pain in the you know what trying to get a firm price AND firm date from them. I had to call for four days straight to get them to give me a definite answer. That was the most frustrating part. Has anyone else had similar issues? Hopefully only good reviews:)

I can’t wait to finally get to Maryland and get moved in! I have a job interview Thursday with a mortgage company. I wasn’t sure if our household items would make it in time so my mother in law and I went to the Dillard’s outlet here and I purchased FOUR suits for $150!!! I will post pictures this week and you all can help me choose which one to wear! Happy Super Bowl Sunday all!

Austin time traveling

The last two days have been crazy crazy busy. Monday we went out to the barn later in the morning to ride. The rings were still a tad damp but rideable but no where to let the horses take a spin on the line:/ Dali was pretty good day one definitely really excited to be working! She settled in ok and Mom got to ride her and did a little walking and trotting.

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She had so much fun!

I had The barn owner give Grey one cc ace BC honestly I really didn’t know how he would react without going for a spin to get out the energy. He was excellent!! Thank goodness for a little bit of ace!

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Then we gave the kids baths because it was nice and warm and they were disgusting! And had a nice little photo shoot.

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Day two started off a little earlier BC I had a phone interview at one. We stopped at our favorite taco place, taco shack, and pigged out!! We rode Dali first again and she had really settled nicely so I jumped her some so the barn owner could see what she can do. Lets just say she was reallllllllly feeling her oats!

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So this first jump she took me completely by surprise by how big she jumped this. She then planted her nose in the dirt and did some bucks. I literally thought I’m going to fall off Jumping a freaking cross rail, but I got my seat back and just laughed. So I’m thinking ok she got the one stupid one out of her she should be better…. Then this happened:

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I like to call this masterpiece “Whoa Dammit!!!”
After Dali I rode grey no ace and he was actually pretty good. A little stupid here and there but settled in no spooks. Jumped him a bit too. Let’s just say he’s a little out of practice and was not jumping well :/ we took care of the kids and hurried home for my phone interview. The interview was quick and to the point and I should have an in person interview the first week we are in Maryland!!! Yipeeeeee! We are headed to the farm this afternoon to ride both kids and I get to ride one of my favorite, not my horse, kicks!!

We made it!!!!!

Let me just say that is NOT a drive for the faint of heart! We got to the barn right at 5:30 am, loaded up the trunks, and hooked up the trailer. It was a cool 20 something degrees so we were in super fast mode to get everything done. I grabbed Dali and grey from their homes brought them in the barn and I wrapped while Sean took off blankets. Let me side bar for a second to say truly how lucky I am that my husband is willing to step in and help so much with the horses! We got both horses loaded with only a NO once from each horse. I had been praying all night that Dali would load smoothly. The last two trips in the trailer were way too much work getting her in!

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View as we are leaving El Paso

I had the Fikki with me in my car and Sean had the dogs in his truck. Here is Fikki loving the car ride

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We had an uneventful ride the entire way to Austin, again thanking God, horse gods, and any other god you can think of. We made it into Manor Equestrian Center right at 5. Unloaded and settled the horses in.

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My m

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My mom with Dali and grey chowing down.

We quickly came home Changed and met my good friend, fellow blogger, Bay With Chrome, at trudys. Love me some tex mex and margaritas!

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After dinner I made my mom take a selfie!

We are about to eat breakfast before heading to the barn for our first rides! Wish us luck! Thank you to everyone who had us in your prayers!

This time tomorrow!

Sean and I should be on the road to Austin!! I’m so excited! And nervous which is probably why my 5 am wake up turned into 1:30, however, it did allow me to realize I FORGOT to pick up the mess I renewed at the pharmacy on post which is closed today. So I have to try to beg and plead at the open pharmacy on post to give me my meds :/

Our little caravan tomorrow will be the truck with Sean, Eva, and Wall-E; the trailer with Dali and Grey; and finally my car with Fikki and myself . We got the truck serviced yesterday and the trailer got brand new tires in April or May so hopefully we are good to go. My only real concern is getting from El Paso to Austin with no issues.

Yesterday we had a wrecking ball team of a cleaning crew come and get the house cleaner than it was when we moved in. We better get our security deposit back dammit! Our land lady’s mother in law comes to do the walk thru today. Not terribly sure why, BC we never had a walk thru to begin with so legally she can’t hold us liable for anything, at least that is what I have been told. Because of the cleaning crew I didn’t make it out to the barn so here’s hoping there are no surprises waiting for me today when I go out to lunge the kids. No riding because my helmet has a bit of a funk to it and I’m not sure I’ll be able to shower before our going away lunch at hoppy monk.

We decided about an hour into the clean to go ahead and take the dogs to the boarder where Fikki is. It just didn’t make any sense for us to keep them around shedding hair when we paid almost $500 to dehair the house. Normally Eva is really excited for this particular boarder BC they do such an excellent job it’s like a doggie vacation. This time though the poor thing was worried we were deserting her I think. Wall-E of course is oblivious to just about everything and was more than excited to go play.

After the cleaners left we set up our little air mattress set up TV and all and ran out to eat at one of our fav local spots Ardovinos.

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Looks delicious huh??? Nom nom!

After dinner we got home and settled in to watch one last movie in our home. We decided on Gone Girl. Having read the book I had wanted to see the movie. Sean was most definitely shocked by the ending. Well it’s that time to do our final pack up and clearing out of this house! I’m still so shocked we are finally leaving! We had been waiting months to know then WHAM get packed up its time to go! I promise there will be more horse centric posts soon!

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five o’clock in the morning….

Fikki car ride to boarder
Fikki car ride to boarder
Four inches of snow!
Four inches of snow!
Snow flake bomb to seans face!
Snow flake bomb to seans face!
Beautiful!
Beautiful!
My cat drives, does yours?
My cat drives, does yours?

And I’m wide awake! I keep joking with Sean that I am practicing for east coast time zones… Sorry for the picture dump, they don’t really go much with this post, but wanted to share anyway

Today is our LAST day in the house we have called home for the last three years. THANK GOD! We have liked the layout of our house and the decently sized, for El Paso, back yard but that is it!! Unfortunately with the army you don’t always get a whole lot of time to find and locate a house when you are PCSing(moving posts). When Sean was graduating from the captain career course this was one of those not enough time or $$$ to get out here and explore. We found a few houses we liked but were all at our max BAH(basic housing allowance) or more. Since I didn’t have a job yet we really wanted a rent that allowed for a little room to help pay for utilities. I found the current house we are in and contacted the landlord. I asked all the right questions including”does your house have ac?” Knowing swamp coolers existed and we didn’t want one… I received a very positive”oh yes the air conditioning works great!” Fast forward to our first summer here: We have to call the land lady to turn on the AC??? Don’t we just flip the on switch??? We got duped! House has a swamp cooler!!! For anyone who might move to the desert climates they call everything air conditioning but if you want real central ac use the phrase refrigerated air…otherwise you will, like us, be investing hundreds of dollars in Window units because swamp coolers realistically only cool the house down about 15 degrees from the outside temp and if there is any humidity in the air they don’t work at all!!

So you might be thinking hey that sucks but that is not so bad just wait! Our roof has leaked into the house FIVE times and she has not had the property checked for mold, nor would she when we asked BC “mold doesn’t grow in the desert” seriously she is brilliant… One of the leaks really messed up this artsy angled wall in the hall, she couldn’t get the”roofers” who worked on sealing the roof out there for almost a week so we ask her if our contractor friend can come take a look. She agrees and he comes out and says we have to open up that part of the ceiling and get all the insulation out, we call her she says ok and we save all the water logged material. Her roofers finally make an appearance and the cheap company they are try to say they could have fixed the drywall you have to pay to fix the ceiling. So of course our land lord tries to put that on us to pay. At this point we hadn’t resigned our lease and were just about ready to leave. She ended up working something out with the roofers and payment was dropped.

The garage door warped off its tracks BC they came off the ceiling guess who had to pay 300+ to fix it???? Yup… Us because we use it… Not that is normal wear and tear. toilet flooded this last Christmas we call her BC we thought it was maybe a pipe… Her plumber comes out the next day and can’t find anything wrong… So guess who got stuck paying the $80 service call??? Yup! That’d be us! On top of all this the carpet was stained when we got here and was old… So of course with three years of living on it its gotten worse… The house was built in 1995 and has your typical builder basic everything in it and we are 99% sure this is the original carpet… I read somewhere that carpet that Old you have to vacuum every day!!! Who has time for that nonsense!?! And my last pet peeve before moving on: The house is painted no Lie 10 different shades of similar colors and swear to god has different kind of sized light bulbs in all the fixtures! Pain in the butt to touch up and replace!!

And moving on…

Sean and I drove in the El Paso blizzard to check on Dali and Grey. Thankfully my friend Shelley gave me a really nice blanket and water proof sheet for grey when I visited her in Albuquerque. Grey ripped his sheet and I am not sure his current blanket is super water proof. Dali has mega water proof blanket so I wasn’t as worried but I still wanted to make sure they were dry and warm. Both kids were of course standing in the snow not minding it one bit and were thankfully warm and dry. The barn I am currently at has been a little disjointed lately so I was really concerned my horses would be wet and shivering under their blankets and no one would notice…worst feeling ever!! I probably won’t make it out there today and I bet the ground will be too wet anyway. Unfortunately at tho barn they don’t have any real footing they just kind of tilled up the ground in the rings (which used to be old brood mare turn outs) and where I mostly ride, BC remember the rings are a mile away is just a field they drag on occasion. Because of this there is a great deal of clay in the footing so any bit of water makes it crazy slick! Then if it is over watered and worked you get this awesome super giant dirt clods that turn hard as rock.

On a positive note Sean and I are hauling the kids from here to Austin which will be about 11 hrs any advice?? Also anyone had to deal with a crazy land lord like mine? How did you handle it?