We actually got to have a lesson outside last weekend! And jump! Miracles, I tell you.
Of course, it’s snowing again now. Staahhhhpppp Indy-anna.
Saddle adjustment seems to have fixed our go button issues, thank goodness, and the weekend before we had a great dressage lesson. Wherein I got to ride my first half-pass (at a walk, but STILL). Of course, I also leaned so far over in my canter circle I almost fell off, but hey, I never claimed to be good at this stuff.
The fun thing is that my dressage lesson translated over into my jumping lesson really well (like, imagine that?!). A better canter making things easier? Who would have thought…
This lesson marked the first time we’ve really jumped since we got kicked into the indoor, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that 2’6″ didn’t feel big at all. My steering is undoubtedly rusty (um, we took out an entire crossrail and my foot nearly took out a standard), but the actual jumping felt great. (Minus one bad-ASS inside turn I pulled off like NBD) I still need to work on not leaning at my jumps, because what do you mean, lean at jump and land in a heap isn’t a reliable strategy? Idk.
My eye got better throughout the lesson, but will just need more repetitions (gonna be playing a lot of the ‘counting’ game) all spring. And you know, remembering that my horse has a lead change and on the occasion he isn’t automatic, like… asking for it? Not ‘panic, panic, where do I do, what is happening, why is the sky blue’. You know, what happened immediately after the video above stops.
The part not shown on video (not because I don’t want to, but because all the technology rebelled) is when we turn left after that jump, come around the end of the arena to jump two flower boxes + barrels set without standards. And miss them. Because riding all the way through the corner and keeping your inside leg on is too difficult for me to comprehend or something. While Doc may be a saintly creature who carts my butt around, it was a good reminder that I still have to sit up, ride and steer. That when jumps look like uh, not jumps, he still needs me to do my job and set him up right. Straightness, corners, not-leaning-around-turns-like-I-am-a-racecar.
Our dressage lesson also pointed out my extreme weakness when it comes to my inside rein. I just cannot let go of it. Trainer C actually had me pushing my arm/hand forward to an extreme – like 6″ forward for 2-3 strides at a time just to get a feel for it. My brain just can’t comprehend how I can be on a circle/have contact/have even reins/insert something here and not be on my inside rein. UGH. I keep practicing physically pushing that hand forward, trying to overcome my muscle memory, but it’s like my brain overtakes and yells at me “NO DON’T DO THAT.” Seriously, I’m at my wits end with myself over this issue – if anyone has ideas on this, please toss them out. It’s 100% a mental block at this point. I need to work on it though, because it’s only going to be a bigger issue as we progress. Halp.
It’s winter and if you’re anything like me, your skin is not really feeling the endless weather cycles, heaters blowing and wind chapping going on. I won’t do an entire deep dive on skincare all at once – I could talk for days and nobody wants to listen that long. However, after offering suggestions and advice to a few people, I figured doing a fun little beauty series might be well-received. And if not… well it’s fun for me and it’s my blog.
The nine products below are my basic routine right now, more or less. I’ll sub in a different product I have if my skin calls for it that day, or I may supplement with something else if I’m not loving a specific ingredient, but this is the basic foundation.
I try to keep my morning routine as short and sweet as possible because I like to sleep in until the last possible second.
Drunk Elephant Vitamin C Serum: Vitamin C helps protect against sun damage and other environmental factors, helps improve healing, reduces discoloration and overall brightens. It can be used at any age and comes in a few different forms, L ascorbic acid being considered the best. The important thing to remember about Vit C is that light and air will cause it to lose efficacy so make sure whatever you buy comes in a dark bottle and is stored in a dark place! Personally, I like Drunk Elephant’s serum, but when I run out, I want to try one of the other brands out there.
I have dry skin and if I don’t put some type of moisturizer on drier spots, I will look like the face of Mars all day. Not cute. The Belif Aqua Bomb is lightweight, sinks in easily and works under makeup or alone. My skin is super sensitive to ingredients, but this one plays nicely!
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. If you take anything here – wear. sunscreen. It’s the single most effective, proven way to slow aging, prevent wrinkles and uh, you know, prevent skin cancer. That detail. I have an entire thing of sunscreens, but right now I like this tinted one from MDSolarScience.
My nighttime routine is a little more in depth – I figure it’s more important since I’ve been outside all day, have who knows what on my face and I don’t particularly want to go smother my face around in it on my pillow all night. Great visual, right?
Finding a cleanser I liked has been one of the hardest things, but I’m on my third jar of Clinique’s Take the Day Off balm. It’s unscented, doesn’t dry out your skin, but still leaves it feeling clean. It doesn’t irritate my eyes and it doesn’t leave any oily residue. I will buy this forever and ever (and it lasts close to a year!).
The Drunk Elephant product I will repurchase is their AHA/BHA Night Serum. I use this one every other night and I love this serum – the combo of an AHA and BHA together really work well with my skin as a chemical exfoliant. A gentle chemical exfoliant is one of the great things you can use on your skin – it helps clean up all the dead, dry cells and reveal smoother, firmer skin underneath. It can diminish the look of lines and wrinkles and help even skin tones. There are a ton of AHAs and BHAs available out there at all price points.
On nights I don’t use the Drunk Elephant serum, I use a prescription strength tretinoin cream. Tretinoin is a retinol, which is one of the only things that has been scientifically proven to help with anti-aging. You can buy it OTC, but don’t get sucked into expensive creams and serums – either get a prescription (mine is 0.025% and the tube costs me $5 and will last years), or go for Differin, which became available OTC in the last few years.
At night, I need a heavier moisturizer and IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream is one of my all-time favorites. It’s just heavy enough, but not overwhelming and doesn’t have any scent that is bothersome (it also lasts forever!). I also love Avene products and Cetaphil.
I love ending my routine with an oil – it feels luxurious and relaxing and it makes me happy. This Origins oil came highly recommended, but I’ll be honest… it’s nothing special. I’ll be swapping this out for rose hip oil when I run out.
These are my top six ‘as needed’ products.
Bioderma Micellar Water is my ‘need to rinse with more than water, but not washing my entire face’ solution. It’s also perfect for touch ups, wiping off makeup mistakes, you name it. I actually keep a small bottle in my riding backpack for post-barn.
Cosrx Acne Patches are tiny clear miracle stickers. If you put this on a pimple that has come to a head, it will literally suck all the gunk out of it overnight. It’s the human version of wrapping your hoof abscess in a diaper and duct tape and vet wrap, but easier.
Sometimes when I feel truly disgusting, nothing else will cut it. Spent 12 hours at the barn and now covered in gross from head to toe? One Love Organics Brand New Day is this super fine powder that you mix with a little bit of water and it turns into this amazing microdermabrasion paste that will seriously make you feel like you got brand new skin.
Sunday nights are ‘me’ nights. Hair mask, face mask, bad television, puppy snuggles, don’t interrupt. I, like any good beauty junkie, have a bunch of different masks, but this one is one of my favorites. After a week of stress + barn + life, Herbivore’s Blue Tansy mask provides just enough to send me into the week feeling new. It doesn’t irritate my overly-sensitive skin, yet has AHAs and BHAs, along with Aloe Vera. It has a slight cooling effect that feels amazing post-horse show or long barn day too.
I turned 25 and suddenly my skin went on a full revolt. Like Boston Tea Party style. Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion is my savior. Dab some a blemish overnight and things are drastically better in the morning. Not great for daytime use because it’s definitely pink, but worth looking like a chicken-pox-kid overnight.
Finally, my holy grail, all time favorite, best product EVER. Aquaphor. This stuff saves my life on the reg. My #1 lip product, clears up dry patches like no other and calms irritated skin. I have the mini tubes stashed quite literally, everywhere. Pro tip: don’t buy the special ‘lip’ ones – just buy the mini tubes. Same thing.
This sounds like a lot, and it definitely is, make no mistake. Do you need every step here? Nope. Can you use every step here? Totally.
Was this interesting at all and would anyone be interested in more beauty/skin type posts? It’s basically my favorite topic outside of horses, but I don’t want to bore anyone to death!
I have a bizarre love of shopping some of the random Chinese online stores – like Chinese Amazon, but not? Every once in a while I find real gems at super cheap prices which makes it all worth it. The other reason it’s all worth it are the hilarious things I come across.
I searched ‘horse’ this afternoon in a fit of boredom and the results were glorious.
Oh look, it’s Lucy in retirement…
How about a new front entry piece for someone?
This is a dog apparently?
Kind of want to buy these just to torment my Jack Russell
This feels like the appropriate way to store post-barn wine bottles
The translation in this is just… a lot.
100% would buy these if they came in adult sizes
I have so many questions and I don’t think I want any of them answered
Actually need this to get me to work every day. Guys, it’s only like $1000!
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.
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.
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.
I’ve broken my left foot twice, both in dumb ways, neither involving horses. Different bones though.
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.
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.
My side hustle is making ugly PowerPoints beautiful.
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.
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.
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.
I was the first girl born in 48 years on one side of the family and the first grandchild on the other.
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 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.
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.
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.
I’ve been to 37 states and 9 countries and while I love to travel, I also really love sleeping in my own bed.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
When I get really stressed out, my left eye twitches.
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.
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)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
There has been a distinct lack of riding material here as of late and it’s not due to me being lazy (well yes, I am, but that’s beside the point). The truth is that riding has been… hard.
I mean, riding is always hard. If it was easy, I’m pretty sure 99% of us would find a different sport because we like being perpetually broke and challenged and waving in danger’s face. But this hasn’t been, “Holly stop leaning” hard or omg my legs hurt can I have my stirrups back hard. This has been, my horse refuses to move hard.
He goes along happily for Trainer and her too-cute-for-words son (who is Doc’s FAVORITEPERSONONEARTH). And as soon as I get on? Your quarter ran out, lady.
I’ve left the barn in tears twice. He bolted through the open arena door and went back to his stall once. I checked his legs, I checked he was sound, I checked his bit, his face, his feet. “Well,” I thought, “so much for eventing this year. My horse hates me.”
Until I thought, “Huh. I never checked my saddle.”
Since, you know, it was custom fit for him less than two months ago. Lo and behold, it’s sitting lower to his withers than we’d like. Shot pics off to fitter, appointment scheduled, fingers crossed. Cue guilt of, “OMG I was making my horse do what when he was trying to tell me he was uncomfortable, I am the worst rider ever. I do not deserve to ride. I must never set foot in a barn again to atone my sins.” K. Dramatics slightly calmed down (but still guilty feeling), we had a lovely bareback ride Saturday (well he was lovely, I was… well, Big Eq winner, I am not), which has me hopeful this was our issue. We know he’s particular about saddle fit (hello, measures as a medium, prefers to go in a wide). Fitter comes tomorrow.
Please, please let this be the issue. Please, please, please let my horse not hate me forever.
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.
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.
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?!