Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Letter Art: Glitter Pens

Because life needs sparkle.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Nice Horses and Lesson Programs

In another comment from my return to saddle seat post [And We’re Back, 1st comment post ], buffy bourbon said that I like older Stepping Stone Farm horses because young, nice horses are priced out of lesson programs. (Full quote below.)

I don’t want this to be true.

I will grant the market angle. It was approved of by people who know more of such matters than I. Over my 40 years of horsing, I’ve owned a handful of horses (5 or 6 depending on how one counts Mathilda. She certainly never thought of herself as my horse. But I digress.) I tend to look at horses in a narrow focus, as individuals. I don’t have the wide-angle, market view of someone who buys and sells that many horses in a year.

I will also grant that we all like to ride nice horses. An Olympic aspirant may be more interested in athletic talent than manners, but who wouldn’t take manners AND talent, should such a beast exist?

What I don’t want to be true is that I can only ride forgiving horses. I may be an amateur, but I still want to be the best rider I can be.

One interpretation is that Ms. Bourbon’s comments apply to me and saddle seat horses. I’ve often thought of riding in the saddle seat world as similar to living as a expatriate. You have a good time. You enjoy the people. You might even fantasy shop for an apartment. In your heart, you know you will go home eventually.

I can speak saddle seat, but I am not fluent in it. Not the way I am in whatever bastard combination of eventing/hunter/jumper/dressage is my default riding style. The fact that kids can ride horses I can’t [Show Photo] is on par with children speaking their own language better than an adult can as a second language.

Perhaps cheap, green, and saddle seat is more than I can manage.

May I present an alternate version of your theory? It seems to me that it’s not an “age of horse” that you get along with, but a personality type. You feel comfortable on the more forgiving horses. Most of us do, that’s not a weakness just a fact. The age thing comes in because of price point. A young, talented, forgiving horse just doesn’t make it into the lesson string very often, because an amateur is going to pay more for that horse than a training barn can afford to pay. Eventually, that horse ages up and the amateur wants something else and that’s how the older versions make it into lesson strings. So, I submit that you want to ride the same sort of horse that most of us want to ride… but you’re riding on the Stepping Stone budget which means some older horses.

This is not the first time I have cited a comment by Ms. Bourbon [Patterns, Clean Cups!] Clearly, a friend I have not yet met. Would it be considered stalking if I flew out to a show to cheer on a stranger?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Foto Theory

At the first Oak Mountain State Park photo class [Spotted], one of the other attendees asked me about my photo experience. I managed to garble a few words and blink. Really, I’m getting terrible at any interaction not mediated by a keyboard. So, I came home and thought about why I photograph.

Self-Improvement
It’s good to learn new things, right?

Self-Expression
Making the blog more visual.

Self-Employment
I used to be paid to take photos. Someday someone might do so again. Would be good if I remembered how.

All of these are worthy goals. What they are not is immediate goals. Any of them would be just as valid if I put them off for a day. So I do. Plus, as far as the blog is concerned, I often default to the phone as my best camera, i.e. the one I have with me.

I want to. I intend to. Suddenly it’s Friday and I got nothing.

How do you motivate for valued but nebulous goals?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

The Other Parts of My Life

A reader who has know me IRL for a long time pointed out that I have been letting my life get consumed by horses lately.

Practically, I can’t stop horsing. They live here. We have plans. In the next five weekends, one or both of us has a lesson or show (Awesome!). That doesn’t take into account Winter Tournament starting on weekend #6. Plus, I’m not gonna stop blogging (see Sane, Keeping me) and horses are what I have to talk about.

OTOH.

Maybe it’s time to stop pondering my problems, at least for a while. If wrestling with my issues was going to be successful, I would have pinned them to the mat by now. I could take a mental break. Look around. See what else is out in the wide world. Maybe find out what has been happening with the local LEGO folks. That’s as opposite to horses as I get (Of course I have a blog post on the subject, LEGO v. Horses). While I will always want to know why, leaving everything to simmer on the back burner may bring clarity. Stranger things have happened.

This is the reason one has friends. To point out when one has wandered into the weeds.

Confession Time
Her actual quote concerns driving in specific not horses in general.

I’ve seen you ride. Lots of times. I’ve never seen you look weak. You’ve been concentrating on the driving so much lately, you’ve simply forgotten what a good rider you really are. debandtoby [And We’re Back]

When I saw the comment the first time, I read it as “concentrating on RIDING.” I was struck coup de foudre. I really have been obsessing to an unhealthy, certainly unsuccessful, degree on horses and my riding lately. Hence the new mental direction and a post that wrote itself by that evening.

I didn’t see the correct version until I copied the quote here. Equally valid. Perhaps I saw what I needed to see. I don’t usually get words that wrong.

The statement on friendship is still true.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Foto Friday: Instagram September 2017

September Instagram from @rodneyssaga.

Hot Dog, aka Gus

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Look what followed us home.

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First boo-boo. Rolling out from trailer not= rolling back under. Not me!

A post shared by @rodneyssaga on

Lesson Saturday. Photo for Thursday's post. Couldn't wait to share.

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Milton excited for his driving lesson at SSF.

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Since I haven't posted a pasture sunset in a while.

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Previous [August 2017]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Tweets: Indiana CDE 2017

Tweet record from the Indiana CDE [Show Report]. 93 tweets, plus replies.

Day 0: Getting Ready
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
5 tweets

Day 1: Travel
Thursday, September 21
22 tweets

Second note to self: navigators/grooms are *not allowed* to walk cones, even if they will be riding on the carriage. It’s a crowd issue. Those not on the carriage don’t need to know. Grooms on the carriage are not supposed to move. They are there as ballast. So, they don’t need to know the course either. Also, drivers must walk the course in show clothes. Rules not strictly enforced below the FEI level. “Only Athletes, Chefs d’Equipe and Trainers are allowed to inspect the course on foot and they must be correctly and smartly dressed.” 973.7.1

Day 2: Dressage & Cones, CT
Friday September 22
23 tweets

… make (ya wonder) …

Day 3: Dressage & Cones, CDE
Saturday, September 23
24 tweets

Day 4: Marathon & Trip Home
Sunday, September 24
19 tweets

The interesting point of all these beer photos is that these are the only 3 beers I will drink this year.

This ended up being a photo essay as much as a tweet storm, maybe because it was our first CDE, making everything all new and shiny and interesting. Although, it is a photo essay of everything else. As soon as the competition got going, I was watching/participating instead of reporting.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Equestrian Bloggers Blog Hop: A Blog Is More Than Words

September Equestrian Blog Hop Theme: Why did you start blogging? Write a post about why you were inspired to take the plunge and show the world your experience as an equestrian. What have you learned?
Bridle & Bone: Equestrian Blog Hop
Equestrian Bloggers Facebook Group

Why did you start blogging?
Blog history, with links, appears on my About page [About]. Short answer: I was being paid. Metaphysical answer: I was being paid, at the start. I continued on my own as an exercise. I keep going as my way of fight back against the void.

What have you learned?
At the end of last year, I had my fifth blogiversary [Five Years Ago Today]. At the time, I didn’t think I’d learned much. I hadn’t; not about producing text. My blogging voice hasn’t changed. I’ve been writing professionally since the late 80s, so I already knew about cranking out copy. Twenty inches of school board report on deadline will get you over writer’s block in a hurry.

What else?
In considering this blog hop, I decided that I have learned something: A blog is not just text.

Photo Skills
Loading photos from camera to computer. Uploading photos from computer to blog. Location scouting. Photos that look good in the camera don’t always look as good on the screen. Take extras. Cropping. Embracing digital (yeah, I’m that old). Resizing. Watermarks.

Graphic Design Skills
GIMP. Layout. Paragraph size. Use of white space. Headline fonts.

Social Media Skills
Posting to Facebook [Rodney’s Saga]. Understanding Twitter, or not [Another Aborted Twitter Adventure]. Instagram [rodneyssaga].

Still To Go
Photo post production: light levels, color balancing, other than for humorous effect [Color Cat]. SEO. Self hosting. Analytics.

Words of Encouragement
If you are new to blogging, or are considering a blog, don’t be intimidated. Starting a blog is extremely simple. The hardest parts are deciding on a name & picking a color scheme. As for posts, I will often throw up an unadorned wodge of text and call it a day. You can do all of the above, or none. It’s your blog, do what you want with it. If you’d like direct help, feel free to email me, rodneyssaga@gmail.com.

Blog away. Entertain me.

More to Read
Blog Hop list to appear here, soon. My posts are scheduled to publish automatically at 12:01 am. Once I’m up, I will add the required code. Come back & check out the rest of the hoppers.
Click the blue button to read more posts in the blog hop.

#EquestrianBlogHop #EquestrianBloggers

Previous Posts
Referral Saturday, Equestrian Bloggers Facebook Group
What Makes You, You? A Blog Hop.
My Best Class: Blog Hop Invitation
Loot. A Blog Hop.
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Today’s post will count as State of the Blog for September. [Previous SotB]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott