Thursday, December 12, 2013

Riding Beau and Cash.

I completely forgot to post this yesterday – OOPS! Sorry about that!

On Tuesday I went out to the barn to ride for the first time since my lesson. My trainer hurt her back so before I went out there I asked her if there was anything I could do to help her out. She told me that I could go ahead and ride her horse, Cash, for her. I feel bad her back is out but… I was really excited to get some extra riding time in!
First thing I did was setup the jumps to the correct height (2’6”) and grabbed Beau from his stall. I tacked up and then we were ready to work. Beau was an angel! After my lesson last week I told myself that I was going to go into this ride with a clear mind and completely forget about the bad ride we had a few days prior. Doing this completely relaxed me and we were so much more in sync. Me relaxing, relaxed Beau and it was smooth sailing from there. I didn’t do full courses but I did jump two lines in a row (4 jumps) several times and we did great!

Beau was really lengthening and finding his spots so I settled in and let him point us in the right direction. It worked most of the time and we got some really nice fences in. I was so pleased with our ride, I ended it on a good note and we headed back to the barn. Next I was going to ride Cash.
I had never ridden Cash before so Mandi (my trainer) gave me a few pointers and sent me on my way. I hopped on him and immediately realized how much closer I was to the ground; he is a lot smaller than Beau! I trotted Cash around and got him to frame up nicely and then asked him to canter. While I was cantering him Mandi came out and gave me a few suggestions to get him to settle and lengthen his stride and then asked me to do flying lead changes (this is where you are cantering in one direction and then switch them to the opposite direction). We did flying lead changes both ways and he was really good! I have to say that I really enjoyed riding Cash and I would love to get the opportunity to ride him more in the future!

All in all, I had two great rides on Tuesday! I am so happy that Beau and I were on the same page again and recovered from last week’s lesson failure. As always, I’m looking forward to going out there Sunday and riding him again!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Weekend Update.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Nick and I worked hard this weekend painting the house...
And putting up out Christmas decorations!
I can't wait to show you before and after pictures of the house when we're all done painting! I'm hoping to have the whole house done after this weekend.

I hope you are all having a great start to your week! I'm headed to the barn this afternoon and will be getting to ride Beau and another horse, Cash! I'm excited to ride Cash...he's a really good boy! I'll update you on my rides tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I feel like I have drifted a little bit from the reason I started this blog. Since today is my One Year Blogging Anniversary, I’ve been thinking a lot about this little blog of mine and why I began writing. I think I had a few reasons for it but the main one was that I wanted to document our move from Florida to Michigan. This time last year we still did not have a clear idea of when we wanted to move or how we were actually going to approach it; we just knew it would happen sometime. Nick made a new year’s resolution to begin college classes at some capacity. He has known for a while that he wanted to get back into coaching football but we weren’t sure what would be the best way to approach it.

As some of you may know, Nick quit his job this past April and began working on getting his AA. Next week he will be done with his second semester and have 21 credits under his belt! I could not be more proud of how hard he is working to follow our dreams and moving to Michigan. He is on track to graduate with his AA next December, so, in the meantime we have been painting the inside of the house (everything was white) to give it a little bit more market value when we list it for sale next December/January.

Our plan when I started this blog was roughly this: try to get some college credits, move to a suburb of Detroit (Belleville was where we were seriously considering), Nick finish getting his Bachelor’s Degree and then get a teaching/coaching job somewhere outside of Detroit. Well, this plan has changed a lot in the past year and we are 100% confirmed with what we are going to do now. Here is our plan now: Nick graduates with his AA in December 2014, I find a job (and we buy a house) somewhere between Mt. Pleasant and Alma, list our current house for sale, Nick starts online classes for his Bachelor’s for the spring semester, we move and Nick starts coaching!

I get so excited thinking and talking about this because it has been something we wanted to do for years and now we are only one year away from it becoming a reality! So, as we approach this huge time in our lives, I hope my lovely readers are looking forward to following along with us and this adventure we are about to embark on.

Now, even though this is the reason I started this blog, it has turned into so much more than that. It is a virtual diary where I can write posts about fun things we do, or yummy recipes I’ve made, and it has really become a place where our family can come and see what we’ve been up to. I have rekindled a love for photography that I knew burned deep down in me and want to save up for a nice camera to start taking some awesome pictures with! This blog has also become my historical library of throwback posts and riding stories and I know I will be so grateful to always have this to look back on.

Thank you all for following along with Motor City on my Mind this past year! I hope you are just as excited about this next year as I am!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lesson Number Thirteen.

Disappointed-this is how I felt after my lesson yesterday evening. Beau and I were out of sync, I was off balance, we we’re both tired and...I fell off! We were pretty much a train wreck. I’m feeling a little better about it today but every time I go back and watch the videos, I cringe.
We are starting to do course work (6 to 8 jumps in a row); which we need to perfect because this is what we will be doing at competitions. The beginning of my lesson was great. Our flat work was good, jumping single fences and single lines (2 jumps) were great but as soon as we threw in two more lines, everything seemed to fall apart. I think most of it was from being so tired and not having the stamina to do multiple courses in a row but I don’t need to have excuses. My show is in less than two months and if I want to be any competition to my opponents, I need to push myself now!
When I think about it, I remember having off days with Susie and feeling so defeated and like we were never going to get it (this was in many different aspects with her-from when we were in walk/trot to when we were jumping 3 foot) but I believe that just comes with the territory. I think it is so difficult for me to have a bad day because I expect perfection, not out of Beau but from myself and this is in all aspects of my life. Whenever I do something I expect the results to be excellent and if they aren’t, I get pretty down on myself. I guess I may be what they call a “perfectionist”.
I need to remember that for every bad day, we have three or more great days! I need to keep in mind that we were trying something new and I should prepare myself for the fact that it may not be perfect every time. I know that the next time I go out to the barn to ride; I will be positive and ready to take on the challenge of jumping courses. Even though I feel crushed right now, I will push through and try even harder than I did on Wednesday. For me, that is the only way that I will be able to conquer the feeling of defeat.
I must say though, that I am lucky to have such an amazing trainer willing to work with me and teach me what I need to know before I move to Michigan and possibly start my own career in training/barn ownership/competing. She is the most patient teacher I’ve known and she really puts a lot of time into me and Beau and our growth as a team of two. I am so thankful for her and what she is allowing me to do and I find great motivation in that to work hard, not only for me but for Mandi and Beau.

Even though I am not pleased with the way I rode yesterday, I still uploaded the video to YouTube.

I got a few replies that the video wasn't playing. I took out the music and re-uploaded it and it should now work for you. Please let me know if it isn't working.
I don't ride again until next Wednesday, but pictures or not, I will update you on how it went!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mandi and Nova.

Yesterday I went out to the barn and got to watch Mandi (my trainer) ride Nova before I headed out to the pasture to get Beau.
Mandi is going to be showing Nova at the same time I'll be showing Beau at the end of next month. They are really coming along well and I can't wait to get back to competing with them!

After watching Mandi ride (and lowering the jumps), I grabbed Beau from the pasture, tacked up and headed out to ride. Beau was such a good boy today! He was really lengthening his stride and rounding over the fences. Mandi watched me ride and threw me some reminders about my position (mostly my hands and keeping them down) when I needed them. I wish I had gotten some pictures of us today but unfortunately didn't get the chance to ask before I was already riding.
I hope to get some pictures and videos soon!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and/or families! I got off work early Wednesday and headed out of the office excited for my four day weekend ahead. I packed my new bag from my mom and Nick and I were on our way to my Dad's house!
We spent the evening by the fireplace, just enjoying each other's company.
Thanksgiving day started out slow. Nick built a fire and I sipped on hot apple cider while looking through old family pictures. We watched the Lions WIN while my Dad and I began cooking. My Dad and Step-Mom, Tami, are on the same low carb diet as me, so we tried to keep our Thanksgiving meal as healthy as possible. Here is what we had.
Turkey. Gravy. Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Mashed Cauliflower. Green Bean Casserole. Low Carb Stuffing. Cabbage and Sausage.
Everything was really good and we were all happy we weren't cheating too bad on our diets; a difficult feat for Thanksgiving! The rest of the weekend was spent at home, continuing to paint the house. Nick and I are so surprised with how much painting we've gotten done! Just this week we've done the loft, living room and dining room (basically all of the downstairs). All we have left are the tall walls buy the front door (into the loft) and two accent walls.
Today I went to the barn, watched my trainer ride and then rode Beau...I'll fill you in on that tomorrow!