Finnley Friday

I was out of town for work and when I got back he held me down for lots of kisses!
Whatever it is I didn’t do it!

Broken Confidence

Just got home from my jumping lesson and I have to admit that my fall last week got to me more than I let on (even to myself). The lesson started much like it did last week with Winifred being a good little hunter going low and relaxed.

Things started to go downhill when as we went around a corner by the mounting block trainer closed her coffee cup lid which made a snap and after that Win was absolutely sure something was hiding in that corner waiting for the perfect time to jump out and eat him.

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We changed direction and suddenly the other end of the arena was a mine field. The funny thing is that is the clubhouse end and at the beginning of the lesson the barn dog was barking but by then she was silent. Normally his spook is to jump sideways and spin. We had a few of those and also two butt-tuck-under-then-jump-ups. He even did a “hopping” canter at one approach to that end to. Then he would relax down the long end then the scary mounting block monster would threaten. *Sigh*

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I thought that that things would be fine once we started jumping. While he gets super strong over fences he does get focused and scary things tend to fade away. We trotted the warm up X, well the front have of him did at least. Did it the other way and he definitely didn’t want to hit his legs again. Back and forth one more time fine then did the outside line. I like to force him to do the add in our warm up so we did a 6 SUPER easy and I relaxed but not one stride off the line he shot left. Not something he has ever done.

That run out brought up nerves I didn’t want to acknowledge that I had after the fall.  Part of me even wanted to tell my trainer that I was good for the night but I soldiered on. Our first course was going good until our last fence which was a long approach to a single. Win was building his canter stronger and stronger but I was holding my own. I saw my spot and it was the right spot but as he got stronger at the last second I gave in and ended up jumping ahead for the 2nd time ever on him (1st time ended in a face plant). This time ended up better because it was a single and not a triple but still not good. Second course was alright and I hit my spot on that fence but I am pretty sure I had a death grip on him.

This night (and last week) have got me completely rethinking my goals. Look, I know that many of you are jumping 3’, 4’, or giant cross country fences and probably think I am pathetic to question if I can do 2’6” but I didn’t grow up jumping. I did dressage and even a little western pleasure (shhhhhh don’t tell anyone!) and after my back surgery I know my mortality. Can I do this? Which yes, I am still confident that I can jump 2’6″ but can I do this on Winifred? I know that I can but am I good enough to handle a strong, spooky horse like Win?

Trainer and I discussed this after my lesson. She reminded me how confident I was at the clinic and how good we did over the solid jumps there. She reminded me that we have not jumped in a month (expect for last week) and that everyone loses confidence after a bad fall and that we did 20 jumps tonight and had 1 bad and 2 eh jumps. But of course all I am focusing on are the 3. Lastly, she pointed out that we have a schooling show in a couple of weeks and I can make some decisions then.

I thought I was fine but it is clear that I am now second guessing my distances. Anyone else ever feel this way, and if so, how did you get past it?


2018 Goals (Real original, I know)

Goals, goals, goals……. Everyone is posting about their goals and I need to evaluate what I want out of 2018. As you know from my previous post my trainer set a showing goal for me but I need to think about some other personal goals. I know that this is a blog about horses but there are no horses without being healthy. I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s. It attacks my glands and specifically it has been decimating my thyroid the last 2 years. I have put on MANY MANY pounds in the last 2 years. I get my thyroid tested every 6 months and last month it was at its lowest level ever. I have tried everything from Weight Watchers, My Fitness Pal, and everything in between without any weight loss or any more energy. I am currently on Day 2 of Whole 30 and of course I have weight loss goals but I also have non-scale victories. Ok this is supposed to be about 2018 goals but I feel like I needed to give some background.


  1. Lose 50 lbs
  2. Reduce my rosacea
  3. Improve flexibility
  4. Handle stress better
  5. Exercise 3 days a week
  6. Blog twice a month
  7. Keep my back healthy and strong
  8. Get Finnley’s jumping on people under control!
  9. Don’t totally embarrass myself at a show
  10. Qualify for medal finals
  11. Scared to write this one but trainer set it…… Be in the ride off for medal finals
  12. ***After looking in my closet I am adding finishing scrap booking for the following trips:
    1. Budapest
    2. Vienna
    3. Prague
    4. Hong Kong
    5. Stretch goal start Shanghai
He is so cute!

What’s in a name?

Lately, it seems like there have been a lot comments and conversations about names. Kristen from Stampy and the Brain had a whole post about it (The Great Name Search)  and our table at the barn Christmas party this weekend spent a great amount of time throwing out every name on the internet to her. Even The $900 Facebook Pony had a comment in one of her recent posts that she was not a fan of the name that Henry had when she purchased him.

I too have been racking my brain about show names for Winifred. The majority of my youth showing was done in the Quarter Horse world where you showed by your horse’s registered name no matter what it was even if it was Cluminator’s Bozo! It generally had something to do with the horse’s lineage and could tell you a lot. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I moved into the Michigan Hunter Jumper Association (MHJA) circuit and I was surprised to find out that 1. A horse’s lineage is rarely used in the name and 2. If you don’t like your horse’s name that you can change it with a snap of your fingers (or really the click of a mouse). You could change a QH’s registered name but it took a lot of paperwork and money plus I was always told that changing his/her name was bad luck. Lol.

So here I am though not pleased with my lease horse’s show name so I asked my trainer (his owner) if she was ok with me showing him under a different name and she agreed. Winifred’s registered name is Winni. This is not bad but it reminds me more of a pony than a big 17.2 hand warmblood. The girl who leased him before me showed him under the name Final Win. She did this as a tribute to her horse who had passed away because he had “Final” in his name. I respect her reasoning but Final Win sounds like I am going to die. Lol.

I promise not to kill you if you give me cookies!


Now the big question……… how to choose a name????? Do I stick with something that has something to do with Winni, something that has to do with his personality, some cool science term since I am a big science geek, WHAT DO I DO???? Well I thought of all of these and came up with quite a lengthy list.

The problem with coming up with a name to suit his personality is that they all were very “jumpery” names since Win likes to fly around the ring. Full Throttle, Terminal Velocity, Risk and Reward, Never look back, etc. I have many more but you get the idea that none of these really suited a hunter. I did have Easy Does It and Take it Easy on my list since those are things I say to him all the time. My trainer did like those.

I have a jumper bridle on so that must mean I am a jumper.

Then there were names that really didn’t tie into him but just sounded cute like Natural Rhythm, A Million Miles, Above and Beyond, Anything but Ordinary, Uniquely Me, etc. I also liked Under the Influence but I am hoping that the name that I pick will stick with him and since a junior might eventually show him I decided against that one.

This left me with names that had something to do with his name. I thought of In it to Win it but that sounded kind of conceded to me. I also liked Without Words. That doesn’t have Win in it but the double W was a stretch to tying it to his name. Lol. Then on a two hour car ride to an equine seminar on neck pain my friend suggested that I look at German words with win in it since Westphalians are a German breed.  We found out that win in German means friend. Awe, cute.

Final decision…….. Aldewin! It is a German word for noble friend and I think it suits Winifred perfectly. Now I can finally order his Christmas present which is a stall name plate. In the very off chance that I take Luther into a flat class I love his registered name Big in the City so I am all good there.

No you are a hunter now!

What are some of your favorite names?


Happiness & Guilt

I know that I still have not written about how my riding is going, but I am having a hard time not feeling guilty when I am happy. I sat down to write about my riding but it felt wrong to write how amazing it made me feel from the very moment I sat on JB when I am overall still so heavy hearted. It hasn’t even been 2 weeks since I lost my best friend so it just feels wrong to write happy things yet.

I am also feeling guilty that I am looking at new dogs. This is yet another mixed emotion for me. On one hand it does lighten my heart to think of a new dog in my now oh-so-empty home. But on the other hand is it disrespectful to Oscar to consider this so soon? My friend, M, has been spear heading the search. He told me that the best way to get over an ex is to get a new boyfriend and it is the same for a dog. While I do not necessarily believe in that there is some things that only a dog will be able to heal in me. Do you think I am moving too fast?

The other concern that I have with getting a new dog is the incredible bond that Oscar and I had. I know that most people think that they have a great bond with their animal but I have never felt or seen a bond like he and I had. It literally started from the first day we met when he broke free from the lady fostering him and ran directly to me then sat and leaned on my leg like that was exactly where he belonged. Once she caught up he jumped into my lap and put his paw on my face. In a very movie like moment he chose me. I know I know that I will find a new bond with a new dog and it won’t be the same but it will be there. But how do you beat the story of your puppy choosing you from across the room?

Did I mention how cool Oscar was? He was totally secure enough in his manhood to rock pink blinged out sunglasses!
He loved water so much that he even thought he might want to join us in the hot tub. When I told him no he splashed me!
So tired after a day at the lake that he couldn’t even hold his head up on the way home.