Monday, 24 February 2014

Spotlight On: Olivia

I originally posted this on my old blog, and since I've been riding Olivia lately (more on that later), I decided it was a good idea to reintroduce her.

When I asked for ideas on things I could feature on my blog, Natalie suggested I write about the horses at the farm. I have already posted about the stallions (here and here), and (keep your eyes open) I've decided to write about a few others... mainly ones of whom I can find ample photos for you guys.

So without further ado, I present to you... Olivia.

Photo "stolen" from Candice Crosby.

Olivia is a light bay mare, as pretty as they come - as if you couldn't tell from the photo. Her dam was Classical Jazz, fondly known as Grey Mare, a premium Canadian Warmblood (CWHBA). She was a very successful broodmare for Crosby Stables, with prominent offspring including McGiver (pictured - grey, Danique Rowsell photo), Enigma (pictured - bay, Candice Crosby photo), Stage Fright, Winda, Fox Mulder, and many, many more.

Olivia's sire is Oxford, a well known Dutch Warmblood Stallion. Oxford (Burggraaf / Voltaire) has been a very successful stallion to date, with extensive wins in both the hunter and jumper rings, up to Grand Prixs. He was even shown in the Maritimes by a local rider for a period of time, but now resides on the west coast of Canada.

In addition to being so darn cute, Olivia has a wonderful lovey personality and is just plain enjoyable to work with. It doesn't hurt that she's incredibly fancy and will make one hell of a show horse, either. She hasn't been shown much yet (too many horses!), but hopefully I can manage my time well and be at the farm more this year to help get her going.

She's one of Kevin's favourites, understandably so.

Danique Rowsell Photography

 I hate to say it, but the white stuff is coming here, *sigh*. Candice Crosby photo.

 CC photo.

 With Fraser! CC photo.

CC photo.

 This is more like it! CC photo.

I LOVE this! CC photo.


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sport vs. Hobby

There are riders who make it happen, riders who watch it happen,
and riders who wonder what happened.
—  Jim Wofford   

I think that there is a bit of a distinction between people who are involved with horses as a sport, and people who are involved with horses as a hobby. I know many people who fall into both categories, but probably more who fall into the hobby category.

Currently, I fall into the hobby category. I think I always really have, but over the past few years it's been a now and then hobby instead of a serious one. Sometimes, things get in the way of me devoting more time. Life - working, school, spending the odd day with loved ones. But sometimes I just don't make enough of an effort.

Now, there's nothing wrong with this. Except for that fact that it's not exactly what I want.

You see, I want to be the person who falls into both categories. I will always be involved with horses to some extent, because I genuinely enjoy them, as animals. That's the hobby part. But I also strive to be competitive, and get a thrill out of nailing a good course. When I daydream, I daydream about executing a perfect jump off, and I can get myself pretty worked up about said daydream (especially if there's a good jam playing, haha). That's the sport part.

The thing is, I haven't applied myself in a way that would enable me to enter this sport domain that I am so fond of imagining. Which is without a doubt, 100% on me. My actions do not match my desires.

I've been a bit bummed about summer lately, because I've discovered that there is no way around me working 6 days a week. I'm trying to get a Mon-Fri work term within industry for experience, and I have to work at my current job on Saturdays so... well, so I can keep it, 'cause I kinda need it. Given my grandoise plans of riding all the horses (ALL THE HORSES!) over the summer, this kinda puts a kink in it.

But last night, I decided that it's not a big deal. More than that, I decided that working Saturdays justifies me going to the barn 4-6 times a week. Since my barn is an hour away, I have to factor in gas money... and as a broke student, it's not always possible for me to go out as frequently as I'd like. However, I did the math, and working every Saturday will pay for my barn gas money. Now instead of dreading working Saturdays, I have effectively convinced myself that it is a good thing, because it is paving my way to the barn (almost literally).

Time to kick it into sport gear.*

*when I'm done being lambasted by school work in two months


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Not So Comfortably Numb

Best laid plans, right?

When I posted on Monday, I had all these plans to go ride this week. I had been suffering from some jaw/tooth pain the week prior, but over the weekend it seemed to lessen... or at least be well controlled by a rotation of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Monday night, however, took a turn for the worse.

Long story short, I have seen a few doctors and a few dentists, and I've been diagnosed with TMJ (the jaw issue) and an infection in a molar (the tooth issue). I have some suggestions to relieve the TMJ pain, and I had a root canal on Friday to take care of the infection.

Thankfully, I am feeling a lot better now. While I will require several follow up visits, the root canal seems to have alleviated the pain I was suffering. This pleases me immensely as there isn't a real "fix" for TMJ, had it been causing the bulk of the pain.

There are a surprising number of tooth pain memes out there...

I'm feeling almost normal now, and eager ready hesitant to head back into a hella busy school week (for which I feel super unprepared and behind because of my time off).

All that to say that I haven't been riding since I was there last week, and it doesn't look promising for this week. Boo urns!

Please send me good vibes that I get through this week alive... and hopefully have time to ride next weekend!


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Wild Child

Miss Mex posing as the Paper Bag Princess.

Photos taken by Danique Rowsell in March, 2010.


Monday, 10 February 2014


I haven't spoken of my struggle with weight on this blog (it'll happen eventually), but those of you who followed my old blog know it's been an ongoing issue for a while now. To sum it up, I gained a substantial amount of weight due to a few different health problems (some remain mysterious), and to say that losing it has been a challenge would be a colossal understatement.

In addition to the general joys weight gain brings - lack of fitness, loss of muscle, impaired balance - I have another concern that weighs on me (no pun intended): I own a small horse. Last I measured, Mexi was 15.2hh in front and about 15.3hh in back. With her petite posterior and my super sized one, this creates a bit of an issue.

My weight is definitely a very large reason (ha - again) that I haven't been riding her... in addition to other totally insane reasons like "I haven't ridden in 6 years and she's completely green". I currently have a number in my head for where I'd like myself to be, and I'm about 20-25lbs away from that. I will be there by spring, damnit!

 Anyway, in addition to not wanting to ride my midget mare, I've also lost a lot of motivation for riding in general. The desire is there, and it is SO strong, but the idea of shoving my butt into tight breeches, testing the absolute limits on the zippers of my half chaps, and fumbling around in my saddle like a Weeble? Not so appealing.

This is merely a mind game, however, and one I need to win. I need to get back in the saddle, not just because it can contribute, in whatever small part, to my overall fitness... but also because I really need to get reacquainted with my old riding self.

The winter weather may be a blessing in disguise. For the most part, it keeps us hacking in the fields instead of schooling in the ring. I had forgotten just how great it is to get out and ride in a field, but I was happily reminded yesterday.

A girl who may be leasing one of Kevin's horses came out to try them, and Kevin asked me to take her for a hack. I rode Olivia, and let me tell you... it was a blast. We went in the front field and just walked for the most part, with some trots and canters thrown in. And it was FUN. Really, really fun.

Sweetest face

It was like a combination between a big slap in the face and a huge surge of motivation. I love to ride. I really, really love to ride. While my desire to ride never lessened, I think I let myself forget how much I thoroughly enjoy it - regardless of what size my breeches are. I had a blast yesterday, and I never once felt hindered by my weight.

Since my ride on Sunday, I've made plans to go for a hack tomorrow with K, to go for a hack after school on Friday with E (girl trying the horse), and I hope to get up either Saturday morning or sometime Sunday. I'd love to go both days, but I'm not sure if it's in the gas budget.

Moral of the story: just hop on a horse, find a field, and RIDE. The rest will come naturally.


Sunday, 2 February 2014


I have fallen victim to my own procrastination. Initially I felt self-inflicted pressure to create new dazzling posts on my blog, but the longer I went without posting, the more that pressure dwindled. Eh, it's already been a week, I'd say. Who cares now, it's been two weeks, I'd say... and so went the cycle of not posting.

I had even convinced myself that it didn't matter that I wasn't posting, because this blog was started as a training journal and, well... I wasn't exactly doing any training as our bipolar winter weather threw us arctic blasts followed by spring showers (and repeated incessantly).

While that is an accurate statement, it would also be true to say that my blog may have evolved ever so slightly into something a bit more than a training journal, especially since I've been writing for what feels like ages without so much as throwing my leg over a horse.

And so, here I am, resurfaced. For now.

Mexi is alive and well. She is fuzzy, fat, and happy with the herd, stuffing her face with hay. I have not been able to visit much lately as mother nature is a cruel mistress and seems to only display amicable weather when I have no time to go kiss pony noses.

As you can see, she now sports a stylin' plaid blanket to aid in the fight against rain rot. I was able to pick a fair bit off when I went up to blanket her, but she still has a lot left - even on her little face. Since she is out 24/7, clipping isn't a viable option, so I'm just going to continue to treat it and keep her blanketed in the mean time to help protect against the elements.

In other news, I start at a new store at work this week; back to where I originally worked, actually. I think the change will be good and I look forward to seeing some old co-workers.

Other than that, not much has changed. School is busy, work is necessary, barn trips are infrequent, and in spite of that, Mexi is happy. Typical story of a horse loving student.


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