& The Tale of Milton: Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Foto Friday: Farm Art

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Valhalla Farm
Woodbury, TN

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Driving Thursday

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Practice Round & First Trip:

Second Trip:

Photos by Elizabeth Hickman, Nashville, TN, and Kate Bushman, Franklin, TN
Videos by Darren Murphy, Bethpage, TN

Show Details
Middle Tennessee Carriage Club Driving Derby
Valhalla Farm
Woodbury, TN
September 24, 2016

Greg & Lyricc, Katherine as navigator
Preliminary Horse: 1st of 1
Preliminary Division: 3rd of 5
(Winner of the division was the small but mighty Hero [Watching from the Sidelines].)

Kudos to Coach Kate, Whip Hand Farm, for the coaching, the cart, and the loan of the amazing Lyricc.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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Jod Straps Endorsement

Saddle Seat Wednesday

This is for those of us who need gizmos to tie up your riding pants. (Explanation for those of you with britches, or with no riding pants at all. Saddle seat pants hang below the heels when riding. When one dismounts, one needs elastic bands to keep the pants from dragging on the ground. Some of us like to jazz up our jod straps.)

I bought these straps [Giveaway] from The Little Chic Pony Boutique as an add-on when I bought supplies for a lettering post [P is for Polo Wraps]

polo wraps jod straps

Look carefully at the left strap. The outer material completely covers the inner elastic. Usually the outer covering is a simple sleeve.

I noticed the feature. I made sure it was in the photo. I put them aside for showing and didn’t think beyond that. Then I used them. Suddenly I didn’t have to worry about the elastic snapping back into the sleeve. With the standard model, idle straps have to be vigilantly kept closed to prevent this.

Magnifiqué!

If they came with more vibrant color &/or bling, I wouldn’t buy anywhere else.

Disclosure: No back room deal. No contact with seller other than though sales and commenting on her blog, Riding like a Lady Truck Driver. I just really like the straps.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Or Not. Rodney

I’ve given up hoping for a turning point with Rodney. Oh, I still wish for a sudden explosion of fairy dust that will have us hopping him carting me over 3′ 6″ with aplomb. But I don’t live my life waiting for it. He is who he is.

So we putt along.

I was a hot mess [Turning Point]. Then Rodney arrived and made it worse [Square One]. I grew unable to speak up. I lost all confidence in my decisions. My wonderful, kind, supportive groundcrew would suggest I do X, Y, or Z with Rodney. I didn’t have the will to say no, even if the idea made me uncomfortable. He was right. I really should be able to do X or Y or even Z. So, I’d do it, i.e. walk around the ring several times. It would go okay, but I’d be tentative. I’d be waiting for it all to go wrong.

Lately, I have been getting more assertive, mainly with myself. Yes, I should be able to do Y or Z. For now, we will do X. That’s all. Even if X means standing at the mounting block for a few minutes. For now, I am only doing what I feel secure about.

I’m also getting more assertive with Rodney. Yes, I know you prefer a hackamore. I don’t. You have not earned the cred. Therefore, you will wear a bit. Deal with it. Ditto, putting your head down by your knees. You need to convince me that you are acting out of relaxation rather than stress. Until then, head up & pay attention.

Will it last? Will it lead to progress? Time will tell.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Turning Point? Milton

Are Milton & I ready to make progress?

I will absolutely put my hand up for being a disaster zone since the triple bitchslap that was 2008/2009: death in the family [September]; my industry tanked, so work slowed to a trickle [Origin Story]; Previous Horse died, which was horrible in its own right [Dreary Monday] and meant I stopped riding. Grief and inactivity, both toxic, worse in combination.

However, signs are starting to point to Yes. As a indication of advancement, I’m reading more. There were long periods when I didn’t have the concentration to keep track of or care about fictional characters or non-fiction information dumps. I flat out didn’t read. (That gasp you heard was from people who knew the old me IRL.) Oh, I binge shopped as entertainment, but I didn’t read what I bought. Then, I got to the point where I’d start books, but stop at the slightest provocation. In the last month, I’ve finished a handful, some new, some rereads. Okay, I’m reading the lightest of the light, for example the Evan Tanner books by Lawrence Block [Zirgs-prens & Frivolity]. But still, I’m buying fewer and reading more. That has to mean something. (BTW, Tanner’s Twelve Swingers was published in 1967. Imagine writing a book that people read for fun 50 years later AND being alive to know it. Cool.)

That’s me. Then there is Milton.

No, he didn’t need two years off from riding. Neither did he need to go to a show the day after he arrived. Somewhere between was time for him to adjust:

a) Get used to a new place and new people. We are coming to the conclusion that horses take longer to do this than people give them credit for.

b) Adjust to the weather. Canada to Alabama threw him for a loop. He still sweats way more than Rodney. But then, Rodney is a lizard. He loves the heat [Therapy].

c) Remember when I said we thought something was wrong [Milton for the Moment]? We never did get the vet out. The medical profession, equine or human, does not excel at diagnosing barely noticeable, intermittent problems that might or might not be there. We kept meaning to get around to it. Then the bottom of his foot blew off [Hoof]. He’s been happier ever since. Given the slow rate of hoof growth, this might have been bothering him for 6 months to a year. We’ve learned that Milton, um, feels things deeply.

It hasn’t been ideal. That’s an understatement. But neither has it been a total waste of time.

Will the log jam begin to break up, or will I be making the same noises a year from now? Time will tell.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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Training was the highest I went in USEA Eventing. Getting around Prelim with a modicum of grace is my bucket list goal. These days, I’d be happy to get back to Training. Who am I kidding, I’d be happy to leave the start box at any level.

~~~
2016 Alphabet

 

S is for Swim
R is for Reins
Q is for Quote
P is for Polo Wraps
O is for Opinion
N is for Nature
M is for My Missing Motivation
L is for Leadline
K is for Knabstrupper
J is for Jenny’s Jodhpurs
I is for I Love You
H is for Halter
G is for Ghost Gallery
F is for Fence
E is for Eventing
D is for Do
C is for Carrot
B is for Brush
A is for Apple

2015 Alphabet

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Question for you. Should I change my title strategy?

On Fridays, Sundays, and the last Saturday of the month, I use special titles: Foto Friday, Letter Arts, & State of the Blog. I use these as warning when the content is not standard horse spiel, i.e. if you are not into art photos, lettering, or my thoughts on blogging, you might wish to come back tomorrow.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, since it is standard horse spiel, I use sub-heads to indicate specific content, i.e. saddle seat and driving.

Example

I’ve started to wonder if I am overthinking this. I read a blog that categorizes posts depending on whether the topic was covered previously, whether the post is long or short, and so on. I’m sure the organizational scheme makes sense to the blogger. For me, it is overly finicky and gets in the way of the ideas.

So, should I simplify to one consistent style?

Options
1) Put all labels in titles. Example, last Wednesday would go from

Pretty Ribbon
to
Saddle Seat Wednesday: Pretty Ribbon

Clarifying or cumbersome?

2) Put all labels in subheads. The title for today would go from

State of the Blog: Title Question
to
Title Question

State of the Blog

Neat or not enough context?

3) Keep it the way it is. It helps, or at least doesn’t hinder. Mox nix.

Previous State of the Blog posts [list of links]
~~~
Elsewhere in the blogosphere

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Contest for Horse Bloggers
“I thought it would be fun to have fellow bloggers send in their “between the ears” photos and then everyone could guess who is who (for sweet prizes – that have yet to be determined!).”
Peace & Carrots: Upcoming Blog Giveaway! (aka Guess Who? Between the Ears Edition)

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Stop Cabin Fever
“Total estimated time til a fixed pony: approximately 8 weeks … I guess I’ll have lots of free time on my hands for the next couple months. Lord help us all … if there’s anything you’ve been wanting me to write about or review, now is the time to put in a request.”
the $900 Facebook pony: Good News, Bad News & the $900 Facebook pony: Not Quite Right

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott