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.

Post Op

I know it has been a while but I swear I have a good reason. Let’s start back with the good stuff. Last weekend our barn hosted a show. There was no primary division at this show so I was not riding Tango, but I did get to ride in a class. A friend of mine, J, has been showing both a schooling horse, Radar, as well as his fancy lease horse Riley in the beginner division. He has been doing well on both of them over fences and was having a hard time deciding who to take in the flat class and since I still qualify for beginners I got to take Radar in the hunter OTF! Who doesn’t love getting to ride new horses! This was extra cool for me because even though both Tango and Radar are thoroughbreds they could not be more different. Tango is very compact where as Radar is taller and super long. I swear he is about 3 feet longer than Tango!

Handsome and very long Radar
Handsome and very long Radar

I really only had time to do one quick WTC in the warm up ring before going in the class. Right from the get go of the walk I was shocked at how different Radar moved from Tango. Radar’s trot was smooth and lofty which was really nice and his canter made me wish I was going in to an eq class with him. His rhythm just lulled you in to the saddle and it took everything I had to actually stay up in a hunter seat!

As we went in my trainer told me that Radar likes to trot around the corners and can have a hard time with his right lead. He definitely wanted to give up a few times but with a little leg he gave me a great ride! He even picked up his right lead like a pro. I had so much fun! We ended up 4th which I was so happy with. Thanks J for letting me ride him!

Now on to the not so good. From my previous posts you know that I have had some back issues. Tuesday morning I was in terrible pain. I was able to shimmy to my couch and called the pain clinic that did my spinal injections back in January. They had told me back then that I could get them every 6 months and I was right about at that time. I scheduled an appointment, laid on the couch and did some work with my laptop on my stomach. About 2 hours later I needed to use the restroom and I tried to crawl to the bathroom. It was very quick that I realized this was not the same back problem as before. My back started spasming with such intense pain that I had never felt before. I did everything that I could to reach my phone and called me cousin, A, who is not only engaged to an amazing neurosurgeon, M, but is also a nurse and surgical sales rep for spinal rods. She told me that it sounded like this was a nerve issue this time and to try to relax on the couch and see if it goes away.

I waited about an hour and it was clear it was not going away and I needed to get to a hospital. A friend came and got Oscar for me and my dad came to take me to the hospital. As soon as he tried to sit me up though, I could not take the pain and we had to call an ambulance. I have never taken one before and for some reason I was so embarrassed by the defeat of having to do this. I got to the ER and they asked me to sit up to determine how much pain killer to give me. Needless to say I did not get up very far. They gave me a shot and told me that once I felt better they would discharge me. I was NOT happy! I wanted some sort of diagnostic tests because I knew this was not right. They waited about 30-40 minutes after the pain killer to ask me to sit up again. I did and OMFG my back started spasming so violently that my entire body seizured! It was so violent that I somehow threw my body sideways and pinned myself on my left side against the railing of the bed with my head, shoulders, and legs hanging off the bed and my legs were kicking like I was running. This seizure lasted for 50 minutes straight. Once it started the nurse quickly put an IV in my hand and gave me another dose of pain meds but it didn’t do anything.

Sometime during the spasm I heard the doctor say that he was going to admit me and get an MRI as soon as possible. DUH?!? I felt like yelling at them that that was what I was asking for from the start! After the MRI, I was taken to my room and was in for a long night. I am so thankful for my nurse that night. There was not much that she could do to take the pain away but she was there for every spasm to hold my hand and made sure I was not alone. M came in my room at 6:30 am on Wednesday and told me that I had a huge herniated disc that was compressing on the nerves in my spinal column and that is why I was having the spasms and that I would be having surgery on Thursday. Technically first he told me that I looked like shit. Lol. M also started me on steroids which helped the inflammation so that my nerve wasn’t compressed as much and while I could not sit up still the random spasms definitely lessened.

Surgery day was finally here and I was ready! I did get a little nervous when they told me that I would have to have a breathing tube to breath for me. I know that this is normal but for some reason that is the thing that scared me most. But before that could happen I needed a new IV. The one the ER put in was too small. The OR nurse said they need to be able to get fluids in me quickly so they needed to put a bigger needle. 3 nurses and 8 sticks later they gave up on getting a bigger needle in and decided to keep my current IV and to add a second smaller IV to double my fluid intake. Let me clarify, this is not the nurses’ fault. My veins do not like IVs and I have always been notoriously difficult to drop an IV in.

Cause 1 IV just isn't cool enough!
Cause 1 IV just isn’t cool enough!

The surgery went well and M was very pleased with result and said he only needed 13 staples. I was up later that night for a walk down the hospital hallway. It was difficult to stand up but once I was up it got easier.

Overall I am very happy but am very sore. I can move around but it is difficult to get up. I cannot lift anything more than 2lb for 2 weeks and I start physical therapy in 3 weeks. The best news is that M said I will be back on a horse in 6 months! I know that seems like a long time but the fact that I will be able to ride again is keeping me going! I did end my lease on Tango which is sad and I will miss him but when I do come back in 6 months I need to make sure I find the right horse that is smoother.

In the meantime I will lay here on my back and get lots of kisses from Oscar!

The best medicine I could have!
The best medicine I could have!