A not so great ride

Finn was not himself today. The weather was beautiful and all I wanted was a nice ride in the outdoor. What I got was a horse that was lazy, dead to my leg, and look-y/spooky at the same time. I don't think Finn is very happy with his current bit, this one, as it seems to be pulling a little through his mouth. I also think the apple flavor is just too much for him. He wants, and tries, to chew the bit to pieces. I've had him in a Myler comfort snaffle in the past, but I think I might try a single jointed baucher, possibly this one. Finn loves to play with all bits and it's a balancing act trying to get him to listen to me and keep my hands soft and quiet. I was really mad at him today. Our ride looked mostly like this, with Finn's best impersonation of a baby giraffe:

Could it be that my hands are in my lap, my elbows are locked, and there is absolutely NO elastic contact? Could it be I'm a horrible rider when I don't work with a trainer for a few weeks? No wonder he was bracing against me. I left the barn angry and upset for wasting half of my day off. 
Then I went home and uploaded a bunch of pictures hubby took of us today and compared them to pictures from last April. And I guess you could say there's been some progress. The horrifying results below:

OH MY GOD. Looking at that last picture of us cantering...probably the most embarrassing equestrian picture of me ever. I could have kissed his ears....I THANK GOD that my horse is the most forgiving creature ON EARTH. I would like to blame this on an ill fitting saddle that pitched me forward horribly, but it wasn't all that.
    But you know what, last April, I wasn't thinking about my horrible riding. I was just so happy to have a horse of my own. I didn't have that feeling of enjoyment at all today and that's really not fair to Finn. We've come so far together in a year. I've taken him from a rearing, green, out of shape TB, and have turned him into a happy, trusting, and (mostly) willing partner. I've come a LONG way as a rider too, and to forget where we were to where we are now is something I don't want to do. I let today's ride ruin my whole day. We had some beautiful moments today amid the ugly. I really need to find a trainer to work with us for a month before we move. The trainer I loved, and had coming up weekly, can't anymore because she hasn't renewed her off property insurance. Surprisingly, it's pretty difficult to find an instructor with off property insurance to come give us lessons.
     Tomorrow afternoon it's back to the barn to apologize to my horse.



First time the outdoor, temps in the 50s, pony that hasn't been ridden in a week= sass!

Michelle was braver than me and rode him first...

The we took the ponies on a nice hack. Welcome back Spring!


When life hands you lemons...

It's been a funny few weeks. Two weeks ago we went to Florida to visit Matt's parents and celebrate Addie's 2nd Birthday. Can't believe my little girl is growing up so fast!

We played in the pool
We went to Disney and waited in lines for  two hours

And we ate lots of cake!

Munchkin unfortunately got the stomach bug the second half of our trip so the flight home was pretty miserable. Matt and I had taken the full week off of work, we flew home Friday, and then had Saturday and Sunday off before heading back to work. Matt's birthday was on Saturday, and of course we came down with the stomach bug ourselves and were deathly ill and in bed Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday we went back to work. I usually head into work an hour or so before Matt. My normally friendly boss barely said one word to me which I thought was pretty strange. When Matt got there the boss and his wife called Matt into their office next to mine and shut the door. For some reason I had a bad feeling and started shaking. When Matt came out of the office and into mine he said "I just lost my job. Don't quit". Matt's position had been eliminated...basically they couldn't afford to keep him on the payroll. Matt was extremely upset and so was I. I know the company hasn't been doing well, but we definitely didn't expect this. My boss told me that I could pick up more hours but how could I stay at the company that had just let my wonderful, hard-working husband go who had put his heart and soul into everything he's done the past year.
        It's been a tough week to stay the least. Luckily Matt qualifies for unemployment. The only other factor is health insurance. Luckily, we also qualify for state health insurance. He actually qualifies for a lot of things...This week has made me realize how messed up our nation is...We currently pay $1200 a month for our EMPLOYER health insurance, with high copays. State health insurance? $28 a month, and no copays. Matt will max out on unemployment benefits. He will get all sorts of education assistance. We will end up BETTER OFF and with MORE money in our pockets with him UNEMPLOYED than EMPLOYED (working 60+ hours a week at a job he hates...). How does that make any sense?
        While we were on vacation the barn I was supposed to move Finn to, after already telling current barn I'm moving May 1st, fell through. The barn owner told me she had just done her taxes and had to raise the board by $100. In the end, it would have cost me more to board at this barn (with two days of barn chores) than it would at a full board barn with an indoor and amenities on property. I can understand raising board by $25 or so, but to raise it a full $100 from the asking price made me very nervous about boarding there and dealing with this woman.
       A few days ago we also looked at a little backyard barn that was nice, clean, but the turnout was basically the size of my living room, and the outdoor ring was not fenced.
      Then I talked to one of the woman I boarded with at current barn who bought a house near me and is moving her horse (Finn's best friend) June 1st. She told me to check out the barn she planned on moving her horse to, which is about 20 miles from my house, and half the distance current barn is from me. It's not as close as I wanted, but it's for sure closer. We checked it out today and I went in with low expectations... In a nutshell here are the amenities:
1. Huge 14x14 stalls, heavily bedded
2. All day, large, grass turnout, great fencing
3. A bale of hay a day
4. Wash stall, hot and cold water
5. Monster sized outdoor, lighted, great footing
6. Large, bright indoor with windows that open in the summer
7. Grooming bays, which I love
8. Clean, clean barn
9. Schooling shows on property, trainer takes students to shows every weekend
10. 26 acres of fields and trails to ride in
11. Cross country course being built in the next few weeks
12. ....And finally, not much more than I'm paying now

It seems too good to be true. It really does. I got such a good feeling there, and loved the trainer/barn manager. Looking out from the barn and seeing all the areas to ride. Those wide open, flat fields....Ahhh! It seems, and was a no brainer to us. Finn will be moving with Jake on June 1st. Luckily Carole, Jake's owner, has a trailer so I won't even have to worry about a $300 trailer ride to move him.
Finn & Jake

Best friends

It will be great to have a friend at the barn for both me and Finn! In pony news, Finn has been a hot, spooky mess. Hoping to get him back into some sort of routine this week after all the chaos seems to be over.