Friday, October 28, 2011

Money Pains

Everyone knows horses = money... of course for some people that means people with horses HAVE money.  As those of us who actually have horses know it actually means people with horses are BROKE! 

I don't know what hay prices are where you come from (I know Texas and Oklahoma are having it rough this year) but I just spent $400 on 100 bales of lespedeza and prairie grass bales for my two horses.  That's not going to last me the whole winter and I'll probably have to get at least another 100 before the end of the winter.  What are hay prices like where you come from and what are you feeding?

Also, I can't remember if I wrote about this earlier but Buck broke his bridle after he decided it would be fun to try and do a back flip while we were riding, not a good idea!!  So I need to replace the reins on my snaffle bridle and I haven't really found that are worth anything that are less than $50.  So if you know of any good, black reins which are not going to break the bank hook me up!

I was also planning on purchasing a double bridle at some point in the near future.  I was looking through the Dressage Extensions magazine I received in the mail yesterday and here's kind of what I noticed on that front...
Cheapest Double Bridle = $189.95 (good news it comes with handstop reins for the snaffle and plain leather reins for the curb so you don't have to spend money on that part)
Cheapest Loose Ring Bradoon = $18.95 (not sure this is what I'm going to go with I just use a loose ring on a snaffle bridle I have now and it seemed like a good choice for this purpose)
Cheapest Curb = $39.95
So with all three of these things a new double bridle is going to set me back $248.85.  Don't get me wrong, I think for a double bridle that would be a heck of a deal and honestly, the cheapest bridle in the magazine was not the one I REALLY wanted (I really like the ShowTime Weymouth Bridle with the crank caveson which is $258.95 and you still have to buy the reins separate which range from $73.95 to $109.95... totaling $332.90 to $368.90!)  Guess it's gonna be a while before I invest in that bridle.  Good thing we're a long way from those levels yet!

Finally, my riding teacher is great, I love her to death, I just wish I lived closer to her.  I have been working and getting paid every month for the chores at the barn but she's getting ready to leave for the winter and go to FL (LUCKY!).  Anyway, I want to keep riding at the barn while she's gone so the idea is to bring my horse up one night and ride and do chores that night, leave him there the next day and do chores and take him home that night.  So basically I'll do two days of chores and he'll get to spend the night up there.  Good side is the barn is awesome!  Indoor arena, outdoor jumping arena, outdoor grass dressage arena and trails and cross country course all over the property.  Pretty much if I died this place would be heaven for me haha!  Not to mention it would solve my problem with his anxiety over watching Dolly while I'm trying to get some work done with him!

My only concern is there will be no money involved, just the trade of my horses stay for the work (which it only take like 20 minutes to feed during the winter because there's only like 6 horses at the barn and the owner makes my life SO easy... it's really the easiest barn job I've ever had).  It costs about $70.00 to fill up the truck right now (gas is $3.15) and it take me it's a half of a tank to get to the barn and home again (it's about an hour away).  So I guess I wonder if the cost of driving up there is worth the pay off. 

I can't afford to board him permanently I don't think (I think $350 a month) so I drive and ride for a while and bring him home again.  I go to college in the town where her barn is so I'm driving up there and back every day anyway (although I'm driving a car that gets 32 mpg)which makes during the week would the best so I wouldn't have to burn gas going up there on the weekends.  I just don't know what to do.

Obviously my first instinct was an automatic yes because she's great and I love the barn and it's the perfect training facility for a prospering eventer. Then I started worrying about the gas money.  My husband is the most supportive person ever so he told me to do it because it does no good to have Buck if he's not going to get ridden hahaha!  He's not a trail horse and he's not a pasture pony... he needs a job!

So after this LONG post that is my money rant and worry, I just don't know what to do with myself.  Why can't I just win the lottery??? Oh right.... I have to buy a ticket first :-p

Friday, October 21, 2011

How Far

I received my latest issue of Dressage Today and there were some ads in the back for horses for sale.  Great read by the way if you're in or interested in getting involved in the FEI Junior & Young Rider Program.  It's really my favorite magazine.  Anyway, I've never noticed the ads in the back before and I was flipping through them day dreaming about which ones I would buy if I had more than $10 in my checking account. As I flipped through the pages I just happened to spot this guy thrown in there with horses anywhere from $3,500 to $60,000... $225,000!!!

My question to you is, how much would you be willing to pay for a competition horse?  How far would you go to compete international?  Honestly, if I had the money to spare, it wouldn't be beyond me to consider a horse who's purchase price fell into the 6 digit range hahaha!

Here is the link to his full ad on, Aristo.  He is gorgeous, beautiful gaits and obviously has proven himself internationally...  If I could only win the lottery (of course you have to buy a ticket first).  So just how far would you go (given you had the financial means of course)?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Creepiness Begins

I am a member of my local H.O.G (Harley Owners Group) Chapter and they decided it would be an awesome idea to ride from Columbia, MO to Jefferson City, MO (approximately an hour on the back roads) to take a tour of the shut down/haunted Missouri State Penitentiary!  I snapped some pictures along the ride and thought I would share them with you guys.  I know it's kinda off topic but it was still pretty neat!

The capital building as we were driving up to it and the other picture is the federal court building across the street from the penitentiary. 
The gargoyles and the entry way into the prison.  The Gargoyles had spouts and would run rain water out of their mouths... I wanted one lol!

Some of our members listening to the tour guide (the guy in the white shirt with the barcode on the front).  He REALLY liked to talk... the tour took an extra hour because he liked to tell so many stories.  It was awesome!


The first picture is of the first hallway we came to and the middle picture is of a cell (they were smaller than a stall I would put my horse into!) and the last picture is of different knives the tour guide had collected over his time working for the department of corrections (30+ years).

Just some razor wire and part of the wall in a section of the yard.

I believe the guide said this is the oldest section in the prison and it's green because the lighting was so dim.

The gas chamber... this was a particularly creepy section of the tour because the guide had A LOT of information about it!  I don't know that I should really blog it but I'm going to anyway.  He said the gas chamber was probably the worst way for someone to be executed because it was extremely painful (like mixing bleach, drain-o, and any other clear together and taking a GIANT sniff of it!).  He also said up until lethal injection it was the most effective way because no one ever survived it until the electric chair, hanging and firing squads.  Oh, and if you have ever had a surgery you have had one step in the lethal injection process... creepy!!

So that was the beginning of my Halloween "festivities" lol!  I don't think I will need to visit any haunted houses after that little experience...

Friday, October 14, 2011


I saw this nifty idea on a link posted to my Facebook by Mary King.  Ride-Alert seems to be along the same lines as On Star or Life Alert but for riders.  I tried to do some searching and I couldn't really find a lot of information so I was wondering if anyone else knew if there was something like this in the US yet?

I would say for those of you who trail ride frequently or those of you who spend a good amount of time riding alone, this could be some what helpful if you fall off your horse (excluding instances where you're unconscious and unable to call).  What do you think?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Random Thought

So I was reading one of my Dressage Today magazines earlier today and there was an article about the men in dressage.  The article is Wanted: More Men in Dressage if you're curious.

I was then thinking about all the dressage shows, or any english shows I've been to for that matter, and I think I only remember competing with one guy and he was in the junior division.   I live in the midwest, a world of rodeo, roping and western riding.  Every guy I know who rides either ropes, rodeos, or just trail rides for fun.  I don't know any who actually ride english.  Here they even make fun of the men they do see competing in english events saying it's for "sissys" or it's a "wimpy" sport... little do they know!  I'm just making an assumption but I would venture to say in other countries there are many man who compete in english events.

Anyway, it's as though you go for years in lower level dressage competitions rarely seeing men at all and then one day you get to an upper level, national or international events and suddenly  they are dominating the competition (Steffen Peters, Guenter Seidel, John Williams, etc.)!  Now granted I understand some of these men do compete in eventing but still, a lot of them are still clearing out those "blue ribbons" in dressage.

What I wanna know, does the same apply to other parts of the country?  Are your dressage or english riding competitions dominated by women or do you compete equally against both genders?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple Lovers Everywhere are Mourning

I'm sure it was as depressing to all of you Mac lovers out there as it was for me to hear the news of the passing of Apple's Co-Founder Steve Jobs today.

I remember the first Mac I ever bought (not to hard to remember considering it was only 3 years ago). I was so excited! I had to wait for almost 2 weeks because I had to add some different things to the basic model (better hard drive, more memory, etc.). When it finally came I ripped into the box and carefully pulled out the cute little while laptop. I couldn't believe how light and thin it was and I was skeptical about how it would compare to my $2,000 Dell laptop I had received for my high school graduation from my dad.

Needless to say I was instantly hooked, and have been ever since. Since the Macbook I have also acquired an iPod Touch and will, hopefully, soon have the latest iPad. I love Apple products and I fully intend to buy another Macbook when this one has run it's course.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) passed today at 56.  He was a visionary and really a genius and he will be sorely missed.  The technology world was forever changed and bettered thanks to this man.

"You're time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life, don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary." ~Steve Jobs

Season Changes and Blankets

So it's getting closer to the time of year when I have to start thinking about blanketing Buck for the winter. Now, normally it wouldn't be a big deal because he usually lives in a stall and the sheet I have for him works pretty well. Now I have moved to a place where there are no stalls, just a shed he can go in and out of with Dolly whenever he wants.

My concerns are 1) he doesn't really grow a good winter coat so he needs something pretty thick I think, 2) since he is out all the time it makes it difficult to keep him from tearing up the blanket so I need something which will hold up and 3) like most college students I am running on a limited budget so I need to find something which has 1 and 2 but is also not a ridiculous price.

Last year I had purchased a Wrangler (I think) blanket for him when he went out to the pasture during the day but sadly one of the girls who turns out turned him out in a pasture with a horse who ended up almost ripping the blanket right off of him. Needless to say I do not think it is repairable.

I'm hoping maybe some of you will have some suggestions on blankets you've tried and liked because at this point I'm not really sure which way I want to go with this.

P.S. I don't blanket Dolly because she turns into a wooly mammoth in the winter and some how always manages to get blankets off and wrapped around her no matter how many straps they have on them!