How cold is too cold?

With all the talk of cold weather around the country right now and so many bloggers experiencing freezing temperatures, I thought I would repost this from a local veterinarian. A great scientific (!) look into the question, “how cold is too cold to ride?” Enjoy, stay warm and have a happy new year! We’ll see you in 2018!

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2017: In Review

Well, it’s been a year, that’s for sure, for better and for worse.

The beginning of the year saw Fin come home, the greatest belated Christmas gift there was. I wrapped up 2016 with a count of the number of shoes I purchased: 16. 2017’s count? 15. Oops. It snowed in South Carolina. I got used to life with a dog, was still working in human healthcare and not riding. It was 80 degrees. Dad came to town and took me to dinner, we discovered alternative facts must have been what horses have been spooking at all this time, and I spent a weekend refinishing a free dresser. Discovered that when being read in on a confidential project saying, “it’s okay my only friend is my dog,” does not instill as much confidence as you think it might. Learned Fin likes to be vacuumed. Reorganized my closet, cleaned my baseboards and generally prepared for spring.

Miss this little apartment!

Went to NYC for a weekend with my best friends. Purchased expensive candles, saw the Carole King Broadway show, laughed way too hard, ate a lot of really good food. Cheered on the Heels to a National Championship!

Jump judged The Fork 3* and realized I was officially bitten by the eventing bug and it wasn’t going anywhere.

Went to Asheville, NC and spent the day hiking with a friend and the dogs. Fell into a waterfall.

Not capable of looking at a camera

Flew up to Washington DC for a week and visited multiple friends, bought a scrunchie, attended a wedding and… ate. Duh. Spent a day with our Life Flight crew on the helicopter and had one of the coolest experiences of my life to date.

Accepted a job in Indiana and moved, 13 days later. Spent almost a month back in New Mexico between jobs, celebrated my younger brother’s high school graduation and rode Lucy bareback in a halter.

Tolerating me.

Started new job in veterinary medicine and bought Fin the Dog a swimming pool.

Signed a lease on Doc and officially jumped head first into the eventing world. Celebrated a quarter century on Earth. Finished my first CT!

This moment happened

Went to Kansas City for work and snuggled puppies.

College football season started!

Proved to Olivia how awkward I am

Visited Olivia in Virginia, rode Frankie the Unicorn and drank wine with a mini-donk. My parents came to town and I fell off Doc… turning. Observed neighborhood plant drama.


Auburn. Won. The. Iron. Bowl.

I showed (successfully!) at BN. I did not freeze to death.

Still not impressed
Rode cowhorses

Fin and I went home for Thanksgiving, I continued the saddle shopping ordeal, and did Black Friday damage. Discovered that my fate was determined in 1999.

Totaled my car. Celebrated our company’s 35th anniversary and looked like a real human!

Went home for Christmas, bought a new car, bought a saddle, bought three jackets to deal with real winter. Took the donkey on a walk.

Returned to single digit temperatures in Indianapolis, cried to myself. Took a blanket to work. Received the almost-last of the Black Friday purchases and wrote a blog post summarizing the entire year.

While perhaps not the horsiest of years I’ve had, once I ended up in Indy it became decidedly more so. 2017 was a big year of change – my first big job out of fellowship, my first move above the Mason-Dixon line, a transition from human medicine to veterinary medicine. I grew up a lot in 2017 and started to feel like I might actually sortof understand this adult thing at 25.

This begins photos unrelated to anything that I like and never shared


I realized the horses keep me sane when everything else in my life goes a little haywire. While this post may be more personal than equestrian, they’re all so interrelated in my life that I don’t think it’s possible to talk about one without the other.

Some changes were scarier than others, but I learned I can trust my gut, that I know myself better than I think I do and that I’m stronger than I think I am.

Fin does not doubt his strength

I gained confidence personally and professionally and realized I have the power to change circumstances that made me unhappy. While I’m nervously excited to creep towards the upper end of my 20s, I’m also at peace with a lot. I loved South Carolina, but spent a lot of my time there anxious and unsettled and while the move wasn’t one I ever imagined for myself, it has certainly provided some relief to those emotions.

Thanks to this great community, I’ve made friends all over the country, ended up in a new sport, developed an addiction to obnoxiously expensive Italian breeches and had a damn good time. Grateful that at the end of the day I am happy, healthy and incredibly blessed. Ready for 2018 – onwards and upwards!

And for everyone who reads this stuff…
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Holly & Jolly

I’ll be back in action soon (as I write this from my parents’ couch where I’ve taken not one, but two naps today), but since I left you last with the world’s biggest pity party, I thought a more positive update before Christmas was in order. Fitting, because Christmas came early this year…

First, the day I found out my car was totaled, I came home to my Secret Santa gift from Sarah at DraftMare which automatically made my day 100x better. I didn’t take any photos before I unwrapped it, but the dog had a great time playing with the wrapping paper (important things in life). She totally hit it out of the park with this adorable C4 belt (how did she know I’ve always wanted one?!) and matching socks (seriously, I love socks so much it’s not funny). And in navy, duh, because #navyornothing. Plus about 9832498 peppermints. AND I got a new blog to read.

As always, thanks to Tracy for coordinating all of us and realizing gifts are my love language. Well, gifts and sugary treats.

Then, the demo saddle I’d been waiting for from County came in… and it’s amazing. Beautiful. Perfect. And was less than I had expected.

It’s a 2013 17.5 County Conquest, but it must have been a demo because this thing looks like it’s had maybe 15 rides in it. My County rep was amazing to work with – she put up with the princess and the pea horse (he measures a medium, but wants to go in a wide…) and my short legs’ needs. It’s amazing how it feels to ride a saddle that actually actively helps you versus fighting one.

Finally (these keep getting progressively more expensive), thanks to the poor crunchy car episode, Santa (aka my bank account…) decided to bring me some new wheels. Doc probably appreciates this, since I jokingly said that with the new saddle, I’d just start riding him to work everyday. Conditioning work, right?

Luckily, we spared him this horror and I’m proudly the new owner of an Acura RDX. You know, just my dream car. Santa definitely spoiled me, that’s for sure.

Otherwise, we’re just over here enjoying vacation, two and four legged members alike…

Sancho the Mini-Donk aka a New Mexican Reindeer
Fin was less thrilled
And as a parting gift… The expression of 2017 and the one who puts up with me.

Merry Christmas to all (two and four legged)!

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Mr. Grinch

I recovered from my nice strep session this weekend more or less and had grand plans involving a large (fun) purchase, riding my horse, finishing my Christmas shopping and other general life things this week, capping it off with our big Christmas party next Sunday.

Then I totaled my car Monday night. (If you don’t care to read my pity party, feel free to just know I’m okay and skip this. Doesn’t offend me.)

Rewind. I handle new employee orientation at my job and Monday night we had an evening session meaning I didn’t leave until about 8:15pm. I’ll spare the details (aka I’ve spent all day on the phone with insurance and don’t really feel like typing it out… again), but it was… not good. Bye-bye front end of cute Cadillac. I’m sore af, bruised the heck out of my ribs and managed to bruise one very specific spot on the outside of my right foot (???), but no major injuries. I hit my steering wheel hard enough for it to bruise and knock the wind out of me and nobody can figure out why my airbag didn’t go off, but I guess we’re just lucky it wasn’t worse. (And that I didn’t have TunaDog with me, since he comes to work with me relatively often.)


Within 45 minutes of looking at my car this morning, insurance was like, uh, yeah, that’s totaled. Cool guys. So, Merry Christmas, I get to buy a new car which was decidedly not in the budget this winter. What was in the budget? Clinics, lessons, saving up for event camp next summer…

I’m just pissed. So so happy not to be hurt of course and I know it could have been way worse, but pissed that all my fun horse money just flew out the window. Riding is my therapy, it keeps me sane, it has been the only thing I’ve really thrown myself into since I moved to Indiana. I left all my friends and family behind and I happily spend all of my time at the barn, at work, snuggling with TunaDog or sleeping basically. It’s not like car = never riding, but it definitely throws a wrench in my plans.

Plans like working all winter to successfully go BN in 2018. Like clinics with the trainers they bring in and consistent lessons with C. And that didn’t become impossible, but it sure as hell just became a lot harder.

I have some longer term plans (like 6 month range) that will help with the budget, but the next few months are are going to get pretty tight (plus it’s cold and I hate cold). Yay.

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Mini Reviews and the No Saddle Club

I’m currently finishing out the remainder of my 24 hour strep throat quarantine from my living room couch, where the extent of my human contact has been listening to my neighbor’s Christmas party downstairs. One, which I am invited to, but you know, strep throat isn’t really a great hostess gift. Or so they tell me.

Instead, I decided, what better time to throw a hodgepodge of reviews and things I currently like at you? Strep throat is not on the list, FYI. 0/10, do not recommend.

Fur-Zoff Pet Hair Remover

The consequence of a Cyber Monday Amazon Prime ‘One Click Buy’, this weird little rock has become my favorite new obsession. Horse people = dog people, more or less and I am no exception. The downside to adorable Bluefin Tuna Dog (his formal name), is that he sheds like nothing I have ever seen before. Like the entire barn in April. Like my blonde hair when it sees a black cashmere sweater. Like a drunk fraternity boy losing his clothes en route to a pool at 1am.

His hair (the dog, not the fraternity boy), embeds itself in my furniture and makes itself at home. Forever. Or so I thought. Until I discovered the Fur-Zoff. You basically just… brush? with this thing and the hair all pulls out and balls up and you basically have a brand new looking couch. For $10.

Paper Pony Co. Pretty Pony Notepad

I love notepads and stationery, so when I saw this one from Paper Pony Co. it was a no brainer to add this to my office supplies. I wasn’t disappointed either. Not only did it come packaged adorably with this nice note, she even included a cute postcard and stickers.

The notepad itself is high quality and on nice, thick paper. It’s only 50 sheets, but it’s 4″x6″ and has 10 lines with extra room around the margins.


Heist Tights

Now reeealllly not related to horses. But if you’re like me, you have to go to work to pay for the horses. And between the months of December – March, that means tights come into play. Let the record show: I hate tights. HATE. I find them itchy, annoying, they roll or fall down, they snag… the WORST. But I discovered Heist Tights recently and um, all of my feelings changed. These are the best tights ever. They’re soft. They don’t roll (I swear!), they don’t fall down. They’re downright comfortable.

They come packaged adorably from the UK and their customer service is super happy to help make sure you have the right size. I’m not posting photos of myself wearing tights ’cause uh, no, but take my word here. I’m a 30 in breeches (44 Italian), about a 10 US in regular pants and their 12-14 fits me perfectly. I have the 50 and 80 denier in a low rise (think midrise breeches) and love both pairs. These are for sure a work winter staple.

I’m still waiting on a few Black Friday purchases and will happily review when they’re here.

We got our first snow this morning and I’m happily enjoying watching it out the window, baking bread and not going anywhere. It’s super pretty so I’m trying to bottle up this feeling when it’s still snowing in like, April or something and I want to cry/move/die.

I’ve already halfway thrown in the towel on effort, as reflected by my Wednesday ride this past week where I decided I was too cold (it was like 35 and omg am I becoming a midwesterner because I literally was like, oh that’s not even that cold, HELP WHO AM I) to put on a saddle. So bareback it was. Everyone else at the barn had the same idea, leading me to make the joke we were like the No Saddle Club.

I think I’m a lot funnier than I am, by the way.

All that to say, we got our best trot we’ve probably ever had for the longest amount of time, so I’m pretty sure I’m not getting my saddle back anytime soon at this rate.


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