30 Special Kinds of Crazy

I think these have been so much to fun that I couldn’t hold back on joining in, despite being pretty sure I am not a very interesting (just weird) person.

  1. My degrees are in Business/Industrial/Org Psychology and Healthcare Administration (masters). I loved school so much and would go back and stay in school collecting degrees forever if I had the funds to do so. 100% serious.
  2. To go off the first one, I’m a complete health policy nerd. I love reading about it, learning about it, all of it, even though it also makes me want to cry/jump off a building/slam my head into a wall in this country.
  3. I’ve broken my left foot twice, both in dumb ways, neither involving horses. Different bones though.

    Living boot life at grad school graduation
  4. My brain thinks in Excel spreadsheets. I love Excel spreadsheets. I want everything to be in Excel spreadsheets, color coordinated and in a pivot chart.
  5. I was in an awful riding accident at age 9 when a horse ran me through a fence. It destroyed my confidence for years in many, many ways.
    This left a super cool scar though?

    Worst iPhone image of my scar today…
  6. My side hustle is making ugly PowerPoints beautiful.

    Competing at case competition where we had the most beautiful of all the presentations.
  7. I’ve lived in New Mexico, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Indiana. Places I’d love to live include Phoenix, Ft Worth, Raleigh, and Greenville (SC), among others.

    Tan and blonde in Asheville, NC
  8. Food-wise, I’ll try anything once. I consider myself a relatively adventurous eater. I order all my steaks blue/extra rare – basically as rare as possible. My friends all think this is horrifying. My family has gotten used to it. Mostly.

    Including fish I caught myself
  9. I have a few soapboxes I will go off on. A few of them are vaccinating your kids (WHY ARE WE EVEN HAVING THIS DISCUSSION) and irresponsible antibiotic use/antibiotic resistance. Thrilling stuff, right? Yes, I probably should have been a pharmacist.

    Instead I just go to medical professionals weddings
  10. I was the first girl born in 48 years on one side of the family and the first grandchild on the other.
  11. When I moved to Alabama at 18, I did not own an umbrella, a rain jacket or rain boots. New Mexico kid problems at their finest.

    I was also a baby. A CHILD. OMG.
  12. I have a serious love of designer shoes. When I wasn’t riding and was working in a corporate setting, I accumulated, um, a lot, of fancy heels. I can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

    This is not all inclusive…
  13. I also have a serious love of makeup and skincare and all the beauty products. See: blog name. I’m also perpetually running late in the morning and use nothing but mascara and SPF. But seriously, my collection would make you cry. Or run away, depending on who you are.

    Fixing my hair, typical
  14. I’m not afraid of planes or boats or sharks or snakes… but I am afraid of escalators. I will ride them, but they seriously give me cold sweats. The long, steep ones in subway stations are the actual worst. Barf.

    Will ride in helicopters though!
  15. I’ve been to 37 states and 9 countries and while I love to travel, I also really love sleeping in my own bed.

    Fishing with dad in Florida… my family’s preferred pasttime
  16. Staedtler Triplus Fineliners are the only pens I will use at work and everyone knows if you steal mine, I will hunt you down. I actually keep a separate stash of pens just for people to borrow. Told you I was a special kind of crazy.
  17. I am a very high maintenance sleeper. Pitch black, cold (like preferably 62-64 degrees), fan on, heavy blanket, silent. Also, never buy your child a queen size bed at age 8.

    I also have one younger hockey-playing brother
  18. I hate going to the movies because I can’t sit still and do one thing that long. I would much rather watch it at home where I can also be on my phone/computer/playing with the dog. Such a millennial.

    Issues? Never
  19. I’m fascinated with personality and what makes people ‘tick’ and how we’re different styles of learners and communicators and how perception impacts us. Like, way too into it probably.
  20. I love to ski, but can only afford one expensive sport, and I’ve found I’ve gotten much more cautious the older I get. (Except on horses?)
  21. I am a champion sleeper. Normal people are great on 8 hours, functional on 6. I am functional on 8, much prefer 10. Or 12. I keep waiting for the day I don’t need as much sleep as your average 2nd grader, but it hasn’t come yet. It’s 100% a real reason (not the only one, but one of them) that I didn’t go into medicine as a physician or nurse. Residency would actually kill me.
  22. I have a perpetual reoccurring dream I have a physics test I haven’t studied for the next day and no matter how many times I have it, it never ceases to give me anxiety. Physics is also the least favorite class I’ve ever taken. In general I have really vivid dreams and and on more than one occasion I have woken up wondering/thinking these things actually happened.
  23. I am a nervous anxious wreck about the most menial things possible thanks to being a little Type A perfectionist, but put me in a real emergency and I’m super calm and take charge. I loved being on incident response/planning when I worked in a hospital.

    Doing tornado recovery in Alabama, spring 2011
  24. There are a limited number of foods I hate, but they are entirely random: cucumbers, jalapenos, olives, cherries, pickles. I had a coconut aversion for a long time, but it’s grown on me. I don’t like pulpy fruit, but it’s the pulp, not the actual fruit, so I can handle them on occasion.
  25. My body is just downright terrible at regulating temperature. I am never the right temperature. My house is set at 64 degrees because I hate getting hot, but then I also wear sweatshirts and slippers everywhere. As I sit in my office right now, I have on a jacket, a blanket and a heater blowing on me.

    It was like 70 degrees
  26. My eyesight is terrible. Like approximately 20/800. It’s not ‘can’t read the eye chart’, but literally cannot see the eye chart exists. I’ve had glasses since I was 8 and contacts since I was 12.

    Needed some Lucy here
  27. My drink of choice is champagne. Beer is fine, wine is fine, cocktails are nice and good, but champagne is where my heart lies. My motto is quite literal when it says, “Champagne taste, tap water budget.”

    Fun fact: that lipstick color is called Palomino and that might be 90% of the reason I bought it.
  28. “Gross” things don’t gross me out – draining abscesses, lacerations, hematomas, injuries… If anything I find them fascinating and want to watch. If you post a photo of your horse’s gory injury (cough Emma), I will probably demand you take more photos.
  29. When I get really stressed out, my left eye twitches.

    Not stressed out in Greece
  30. I absolutely love working in medicine – human, veterinary – all of it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Reading back through these, I feel like it can all be summed up as anxiety prone girly-girl who also loves gross medical things and sleeps a lot.

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Name that baby

Now that everyone got to meet Baby Pie, we’re looking to enlist some help – naming him! We’ve all thrown around some ideas on a group text, but haven’t come up with anything we love yet. We would love to crowdsource any and all ideas from y’all.

His sire is Spooks Gotta Gun, this hunk here.

 

Sadie, his dam’s, registered name is Real to Reel (Real Bonanza x Coorina Corina)

Sadie in her life as a show horse, circa 2011

The APHA naming rules are:

Names may not exceed 21 characters and spaces combined. No two horses registered by the association may have the same name or a name that sounds similar. You may not use punctuation marks, numbers, Roman numerals or profanity in the name.

Without touching politics (just, like… not here), anything ‘gun’ is a little touchy right now. Thoughts are something maybe old western-y, John Wayne, southwestern (being that he’s a New Mexico-bred)… Honestly, I’m a little stumped here.

For inspiration, here’s Pie lounging in the sunshine today with mom. Life’s pretty hard, guys.

 

Should a name suggested here end up being what he’s registered under (it’s obviously not my final decision), I’ll put together a little gift pack for the originator – I’m thinking an Ogilvy baby pad or a gift card?

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Baby Fever

Because I like to make my horse-family-life as confusing as possible, I have multiple horses I colloquially refer to as “mine” or “ours” who… don’t belong to me at all. But I’m also not just like, hijacking horses, promise.

My first horse, Coorina, was technically always owned (ugh, but not via APHA so let’s add more confusion!!!) by my mom’s cousin (who is essentially her sister/my aunt) and her husband. I had Coorina on a long term lease at two different points and she was mine in all every sense of the word, minus some complicated legal paperwork. When she retired from showing (aka when I got Lucy), she went back to my aunt and uncle to be bred.

Her first baby, Sadie, by Real Bonanza, was shown by them for a number of years and I had my fair share of spins on her as well. She was really the first horse I was present for watching grow up. So I still call her “ours”… even though ours here is a… rather broad definition.

Baby Sadie and incredibly awkward teenage Holly

This last year, they bred Sadie to Spook’s Gotta Gun, a freaking badass reiner who is an NRHA $1 million sire. And the sire of Spooks Gotta Whiz, a 2x WEG Gold Medalist. Freaking royalty here.

And last week, “our” newest  baby made his entrance into the world!

Meet baby Pie! He’s a colt born February 9th early in the morning.

Already loves to eat, so he’s definitely one of ours
Already has that QH Kardashian butt too

He totally has his grand-dam and dam’s face and it makes me so happy I could cry.

We lost Coorina in 2014, so seeing her still live on in her babies and her babies’ babies just makes me a whole blubbery emotional human. So instead I’m just going to coo over adorable baby Pie and obsess over the fact that he has Coorina’s little curly squirrel ears.

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A favor to ask…

I promise it is a very small one!

About 9 months ago, I swapped human medicine for veterinary medicine, moved to Indiana and haven’t looked back since. In my new role, I got to be a part of opening a brand new clinic here in Indy: 14,000 sq ft combined general practice and specialty/emergency practice in a gorgeous building with all the top of the line things. It’s awesome what I get to see our staff do for animals with the technology and skill they have (real life, someone did CPR on a turtle last week, casual).

It’s pretty!

Our building is actually now up for Hospital Design of the Year and one part of that is a People’s Choice Award.

Not these People’s Choice Awards

If you would take a few minutes out of your day to look through some really pretty photos of a really pretty veterinary hospital and vote, I would be immensely grateful. If said vote were to go to Noah’s Animal Hospitals in Indianapolis, IN, I would be like 100x immensely grateful.

This is the beginning and end of my illustrious modeling career. No, that is not my dog.

The link to more photos and information about our practice is here and you can cast your vote here until March 31st. And if you happen to be local to me, shoot me an e-mail or text or Instagram DM or telegram or whatever and I would love nothing more than to take you on a tour, meet some of our vets and introduce you to our practice in person!

Talking about our practice like

 

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Fancy letters

Like any good Southerner, I love a monogram. The fancier the better, in fact. Particularly if they look like something from Leotine Linens because DROOL. Also like, #champagnetaste #tapwaterbudget to the extreme here. This drooling led me down a rabbit hole a few weeks ago, however, that ended both beautifully and affordably. Say what.

With the help of some artsy people and my trusty copy of Photoshop, before I know it, we had the logo now prominently featured at the top of this page.

Glad you asked, yes, I am wildly obsessed with it.

While traditional monograms would be three letters and a two letter would be first and last initial, I wanted something smaller than a three letter and I don’t love how U looks with a two letter monogram – so HM it became. The addition of the bit at the bottom to ‘equestrian’ it up and the perfect blue coloring completed it.

And then I just stared at it and giggled and sent it to all my friends to look at.

The next step was obviously to put it on ALL THE THINGS.

Which in this case, meant stickers.

Not the greatest photo… but STICKERS

So now I have all these stickers to stick on things. I’m like a 5 year old with a sticker book. Water bottles! Laptop! Corkboard!

Of course, the next step is to embroider it on all the things – I already have a bonnet in the works, I’m scouting out saddle pads, hell, maybe we’ll toss it on vest. The possibilities are endless.

And this is the story of how I gave myself a logo. For no reason at all except pretty letters and feeling fancy. Give me all your ideas of places I can now put it. A tattoo is not out of the question (JOKE, that’s a JOKE MOM I’m still afraid of tattoos because commitment issues). But like, a phone case with it? I need. (And that’s practically a tattoo because I’m a millennial and my phone is essentially another limb.) What else does it need to go on?!

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Lots of doing absolutely nothing

Riding my horse? HAHAHAHA. You say that like it’s been warm enough to be outside here. Not for this displaced Southerner. (Or as they call me at work… ‘The Tourist’) The average temperature here for January so far has been 16 degrees. Too cold for me!

Just… no.

So instead I got a different way to get around. AKA my new car came!

And promptly showed up (from Texas) in the middle of 5″ of snow. Nothing like having the interior of your driver door covered in snow the day you get it. Also, OMG I totally get why people have all weather floor mats now. And all wheel drive. And snow brushes! Boot trays!

It’s so pretttttyyyyy

So instead of driving to the barn, I’ve been focusing on playing with all. the. buttons. and just getting to work in one piece. One thawed piece. Just in time for work to be totally over the top and in need of multiple 11 hour days. Ugh.

Yes, I turned kennels into my bookcase. Welcome to my office.

I did manage to have a lesson (sob) two weekends ago that went really well. Mainly working on bending and moving off my leg, but also just getting my head back in the game. Which, you know, I’ll have to do all over again when I finally get to ride again.

So instead I just look at my very expensive tack room aka my dining room

 

This is totally a phase of eventing right?
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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.

Everyone
took
naps

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.)

Crunch.

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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The off season

It’s obviously holiday season (if you missed that, you might want to consider exiting your cave because good food) and with that comes travel. All the travel.

Unrelated photo of my tack trunk aka my car

I’m currently home in New Mexico for Thanksgiving until the 27th, quickly followed by a trip December 1st-4th and back home December 20th-28th. Leaving very little time for other things… like riding. On one hand, it’s the off season, there’s nothing big on the calendar looming and it’s nice to have time with my family (I am apparently a weird person who loves nothing more than hanging out with her parents). It’s beautiful weather here, the dog is overjoyed to have my parents’ big property to run free on and I reallyreallyreally love having someone else responsible for my meals. Like, really. Like, I got home Saturday night, but my parents were actually out of town until Sunday afternoon, so instead of going to get food or something to feed myself Sunday, I just waited for them to get home to get dinner. As my mother put it, I was lazy-hungry – too lazy to be seriously hungry. Truth.

Second unrelated photo of showing at CAF – trying saddles meant I had four saddles for one horse. Obnoxious AF.

The flip side is that the off season is the time to get good. It’s always been the time of year of torture – this is our chance to fix stuff, improve, put the work in that will pay off come springtime. So being gone 23 days in fiveish weeks? Puts a bit of a dent in that plan.

Current dog situation at my parents house… only minor chaos

Instead of coming up with fun ways of trying to die on horseback, I’m just trying to keep up some semblance of fitness amongst all the pie and potatoes and birthday cake (five weeks = three immediate family birthdays). Instead of spending all my spare time at the barn, my life looks something like work, pack, airport, fly, airport, unpack, laundry, work, pack…

It’s not like these couple weeks are going to torpedo my goals for 2018 or set me back months and months, but they have a little bit of a sting. I want to be at the barn, working hard, putting in the blood, sweat and tears (k maybe not the blood). I want to come out at BN in 2018, ready to kill it. I want lower dressage scores and clean jump rounds and to meet the goals I set for myself.

Goalz (um not the rail down)

But while 17 year old me would have focused entirely single mindedly on these things and let that little sting become something more, there’s a great thing about age – you grow up. And 25 year old me? Yeah, I can’t wait to get back. But I’m also not going to rush through the holidays and cease to enjoy the time with my family. There’s no expiration date on my goals, I’m not Cinderella, the clock isn’t going to strike midnight and turn Doc into a pumpkin.

Lab vs JRT/Corgi = Fin gets dragged around. Despite this, the lab is hilarious afraid of him.

So if it’s a little quiet around here, there’s your why. I’m probably at about 30,000 feet, on my parents’ couch or otherwise somehow entertaining myself. I’m going to enjoy these 23 days, feel lucky that I have a family to spend the holidays with and after they’re over? Well then the real work starts.

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