Sorry for such the long hiatus - I am still alive, I swear! I bit the bullet and dyed my hair to bring a little spice into my life. Spring may be officially here but our weather in New England is not reflecting it. I needed some change so I impulsively scheduled a hair appointment. It really isn't very different but it served its purpose. Hope you are enjoying "spring" and I will post again soon!
I apologize for the radio silence, I have been working as many days as I can manage in order to save for my upcoming Europe trip. It has been good to stay busy and I've even been exercising regularly. I figured I might share a few pictures of recent Massachusetts happenings here to make up for the silence.
I went to a Providence Bruins hockey game with SmartPak friends and my roommates. Even though it wasn't the Boston Bruins it was still a blast! Apparently, the Providence Bruins are the "feeder" team for Boston. During the breaks, little kids came out and played short games, which was beyond adorable.
I saw a gorgeous sunrise last week on my drive to work!
I finally hung a few thinks in my room after living here for more than a year. And this picture makes me super excited for Marion yard sales and estate sales in the spring. The mirror and the bureau piece were purchased for a collective $15 last year! Also, I made cranberry orange nut bread (I varied the recipe) this morning.
And to top off my week, Margaret and I tried our hand at homemade pretzels. They need a few tweaks and then I will share the recipe! I hope you are having a fabulous February and I promise to post more.
There's not much better than delicious biscuits for breakfast so they were next on my bread baking challenge. I made Smitten Kitchen's recipe and they were surprisingly super easy. Since I didn't have a pastry blender, I used the cuisinart to mix the butter into the flour mixture. The first picture is the result of doing that and it took about one minute. If I could change one thing, I would have made mine a little thicker when I was rolling out the dough. Overall, these were a success!
Went out to hop on Candida today and just walked around on her bareback. I am happy to report that I didn't fall off! I am not the best bareback rider to begin with and seeing as we had a very special ride last week (crow-hopping and rearing) it was definitely a toss up as to whether or not I would stay on her.
My goal for the year with her is to make her a rideable trail horse. She has an old soft tissue injury that was never rehabbed properly so she is never going to be super competitive again. I mean, there is a chance, but it is very slim. Right now, she is way too spooky for trails but I hope to slowly get her there.
This is slightly delayed since I have been back in Massachusetts for two weeks but I took a walk on the farm one of my last days in Tennessee. We have a boarder who goes on hikes with her dogs and hand walks her horse, too, but I just haven't done much of that. It was a lovely day and the sun was setting so I did my best to capture some of the beauty. Wish I could have the best of both worlds, pony in my large backyard and ocean to boot, but for now I just get the ocean.
Do you ever just have a bad ride? Or a just a bad day... or month? I do!
I went out to ride Candida, the mare I am riding her in Massachusetts, for the first time since before I went home to Tennessee. Let's just say, it wasn't the ride of my life. She is a fairly sensitive mare and she was just not interested in me touching the reins at all this weekend.
Even though it was a huge bummer to have a blah ride, it reminds me that patience and persistence is key. Not every ride is going to end the way you thought it might, sometimes it might be a "stop while you're ahead kind of day," and sometimes you'll get to keep coming around to that vertical while your trainer raises it higher than you had ever thought of jumping. Either way, both contribute to who you are as a rider, and you are a better rider each time you climb back into the saddle.
So, here's to forging ahead and becoming better!
I was wandering around the blogosphere and came across a "Show me your barn" blog hop, so why not join in? Unfortunately, Gracie is 1,000 miles away but the barn is still pretty awesome if I say so myself (I get to declare this loudly since my family runs and owns it)!
1. A View of the Barn: The barn sits a ways off of the road with paddocks and pastures surrounding it. The best part about the barn itself is the lofty roof. It feels so spacious and airy because of this feature!
2. Your Horse's Living Space: Gracie has a 12X12 box stall and currently gets turned out during the day with three other mares in a 5 acre field with a run-in. As you can see in the picture, Tennessee's grass has died for the winter so they have a big round bale to keep them happy.
3. The Tack Room: I sadly don't have a picture of our tack room. Since I am part of the family, I share a room with my stepdad's tools. And currently, since I am living in Massachusetts, I have moved my tack into my bedroom closet. As a substitute, here's a picture of Gracie's new SmartPak Ultimate Turnout in our cross tie area!
4. View of Where You Ride: A few years ago, we were finally able to put in a sand arena which has given us quite a few more available riding days each year. Unfortunately, it isn't perfect so there are still days when it freezes or puddles in areas. To make up for that minor inconvenience, we have 600 acres of available land for hacking! (Photo below taken by my trainer, Lauren Romanelli)
5. Favorite Feature of my Facility: The best thing, by far, has to be the endless miles of fields and trails to ride on. Gracie doesn't particularly love just going out for a trail ride but it is so good for her mind to go out and trot, canter and gallop. She usually is so refocused after one of those rides. The other great thing about all of that land is that we cut our own hay, which means the quality and care of the hay is top notch.