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Blog Hop: What’s your worth?

Blog Hop: What’s your worth?

I originally found this blog hop on Viva Carlos, but it can be traced back to Alaina @ Spotted Dressage!

As Equestrians… everything costs money, and it adds up quick.Β  Our expenses are often spread out which lessens the blow, but at the end of the day it’s still an expensive investment. We often discuss our reoccurring or random expenses, but what about the items we buy that last 1-10 years? I realize it varies daily depending on what you’re doing, what the season is, etc.Β  But on an average ride this time of year,

what’s your worth?

On a normal day, I get to the barn around noon. I take Raglan’s $70 sheet off at his stall and then put on his $0 leather halter (it came with him!) and his $13 lead rope (he chewed through his free one, the #brat). Once we’re back in the tack up area I pull out my grooming kit (which probably cost around $20, though I only use two of the brushes because Raglan is a delicate flower 😏). I brush him and pick his feetβ€”he has a full set of shoes and his fronts have pads on them, a set up that costs me $135 every eight to ten weeks.

Throw back to Raglan in the most ridiculous of pajamas while getting a pedicure

Then I put on his $20 Lami-Cell saddle pad (I bought a few of them while they were on sale!). I keep his $200 Fleeceworks half pad attached to his $1500 Devoucoux Biarritz saddle (which needs to be replaced; it doesn’t fit us super great πŸ˜ͺ). I cinch the saddle on him with a $0 fleece girth (that I got from a lovely Instagram follower!), then I put his $0 HDR five point breastplate on (given to me by SellerH!). Some days I put on his $50 open front boots, but most days I don’t. Usually I run to the restroom and then come back and put on his $150 Ovation bridle (originally bought for Ezhno; definitely spent too much on this πŸ™„) with its $10 reins (found at a tack sale!), $2 rubber rein stoppers, and $25 eggbutt snaffle with a French link.

I think the Devoucoux is too wide for Raglan and the flaps are too long/not forward enough for me

Last but not least I slap on my $45 Ovation schooling helmet (in pink, duh) and yank on my $18 pair of mismatched gloves (the right one is worth $5 and the left one is worth $13; I lost the other half of each pair πŸ˜‚). I’m not super big on riding outfits. My top/jackets/etc. cost me $0 thanks to a bunch of mother-daughter trips to Value Village and I typically have on a pair of cheap $40 breeches and my $300 Tredstep Donatello field boots (+$50 for the new zippers and +$20 for their insoles).

Total daily worth: $2,668

Blog Hop: 30 Things

Blog Hop: 30 Things

Get ready to get personal! I first found out about this blog hop on Hello My Livia! It’s been fun finding out more about all of the equestrians that write the blogs that I follow. At first it was hard to think of five things, let alone thirty, but then all of a sudden my fingers just started flying. πŸ˜…

Fact #0: It doesn’t matter what I do to my hair, I’m GORGEOUS 😍

1. β€ŽI’ve lived in Washington my whole life. Some days I hate the rain and the dismal winters and the mud, but most of the time I can’t imagine living somewhere without the temperate climate and the trees and the valleys and the mountains and the water all right in one area.

The majesty of Lake Boardman in July cannot be understated

2. β€ŽI’m a bastard child. My mother got pregnant with me when she was twenty-five. My biological father has never been a part of my life. I was four or five when my mom married my dad.

I have the best baby photos ever πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°

3. I have a scar on the back of my head from where I accidentally fell off of the bed as a kid. I probably should have gotten stitches, but I don’t think we had the money for the emergency room back then.

4. I’m afraid of getting stuck in small, enclosed spaces. My aunt took me to see the Mount St. Helens lava caves when I was a kid and there was a narrow cave you could crawl into and it was TERRIFYING.

I don’t have pictures from St. Helens, so here, have Dash Point instead

5. No one else in my family likes horses. My dad’s never had an interest and my mom is terrified of them. Like she almost burst into tears when I asked her to go into Ezhno’s stall and put a halter on him.

6. β€ŽAs a child I vowed never to ride English. The one time I tried it I didn’t tighten the girth up enough and I was cantering around the arena and my whole saddle slid off of the side. “NEVER AGAIN,” I said.

A young Stephani riding a big Appaloosa gelding named Mighty during summer camp

7. I scored a 2100 on my SATs. I’ve always been at the top when it comes to standardized testingβ€”not that it did me any good when it came to mental health or real life experiences.

8. I got my associate’s degree at 17. Washington state has a program called Running Start that lets high school juniors/seniors take their classes at a local community college. If you stay organized and get all of the right credits you can graduate from high school with your AA.

My high school cap and gown (left) and my college cap and gown (right)

9. I used to work in IT making $50,000 a year. I started out making tech deliveries and moving equipment at Boeing, then I got a couple of IT certifications and ended up working for a small hosting company.

Me looking at some cool server hardware in a data center pic that I probably shouldn’t have LOL

10. I bought a condo when I was 19. I got into a relationship right after high school. We lived together for a little over a year and then I made the (young and dumb) decision to go halfsies on a condo with him.

11. I left my fiancΓ© on Christmas in 2015. He bought out my half of the condo and we went our separate waysβ€”THANK GOD. I don’t regret my small foray into adulthood, but I’m glad I got out when I did.

12. I live at home with my parents and my childhood best friend. I moved back home after my break up and then a year and a half later my best friend graduated college and moved in with us, too.

Said best friend, me, and my mother in Las Vegas for my 21st birthday

13. β€ŽI have my TEFL certificate. I almost decided to travel internationally while teaching English to students in countries like Thailand, Vietnam, or Ecuador, but ponies and family kept me here.

I took a 20 hour TEFL practical in Los Angeles and stayed at a hostel two blocks away from Venice Beach

14. I tutor four days a week for a local Native American tribe. Teaching kids can be frustrating, but it’s also very rewardingβ€”especially in such a small, tightly knit community.

15. β€ŽMy income isn’t very far above the poverty threshold. Part time tutors don’t make a lot of dough.

16. β€ŽI review books professionally. Have you just finished self-publishing your novel? I write reviews for IndieReader, a website dedicated to improving the credibility and discoverability of independent authors.

17. β€ŽI write for a video game website. Poke around on Sidequest and you might find a couple of video game reviews posted under my name, but feature pieces are my favorite thing to write.

Standing under a huge Monster Hunter display at PAX West 2017

18. β€Ž I’m 80% straight, 20% gay. I think I fall under the category of “bicurious”? A lot of people see that I chopped all of my hair off and jump straight to lesbian. It’s silly to judge based on appearance!

19. I know how to pole dance. I took a class with some friends during a bachelorette party, then we all ended up buying a whole package of lessons. I even have a pole in my bedroom.

The original pole dancing party crew

20. I have a very outgoing betta fish named Frita. She lives in a big, spherical punch bowl on top of a wooden pedestal in my bedroom. She’s got a pineapple to hide in and a little #FISH decoration.

She’s the best fish ever, I swear

21. I go to the movies at least once a week. Everyone in my family has a MoviePass, so we keep track of what’s coming out every week and take advantage of free movies whenever we’re bored.

22. I’m part of a weekly writing club. I’m not sure any writing actually gets done, but it’s nice to sit in our kitschy little coffee shop and complain at each other about life’s trials and tribulations.

23. I’ve written four novels. None of them have been publishedβ€”in fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve deleted them all by now, except for one that I have squirreled away as a hard copy that’s waiting to be rewritten.

When you’re an author, you dramatically burn your old writing so that you can start “fresh”

24. I got my camera from a friend that was upgrading models. I traded her some accessories for her new camera (a tripod and a shutter release) for her old D40 camera body and voila, photography!

Taking a picture of myself in a bathroom mirror in Anchorage, Alaska, because WHY NOT LOL

25. My phone is a Samsung S8+. I only break out the big camera for horse shows, so most of the photos on my Instagram were taken with my cell. I’m almost due for an upgrade…

26. I map every week out in my Passion Planner. This is my first year using a Passion Planner and I LOVE IT. It’s so colorful and organized, plus it keeps me very aware of my goals.

27. β€ŽMy favorite foods have Asian origins. Gimme dat sushi and rice and pho and miso soup and baozi and banh mi and satay and rice noodles and bok choy and cabbage and yum.

28. I’ll choose a good cake over a slice of pie every time. I don’t love flaky, buttery crust. I want squishy cake, yummy frosting (not overly sugary, though), and some sort of filling. GIVE ME THAT TIRAMISU.

29. I have a tattoo of a D-ring snaffle on the back of my neck. It’s my only tattoo thus far, but I have plans for full sleeves when I’m in a spot where I can afford them.

30. β€ŽI’m going to Dallas this June. My trainer and a couple of her 4-H kids (+ their moms) are going down to the APHA Youth World Championships to spectate and I’m tagging along!

Blog Hop: Your Perfect Horse

Blog Hop: Your Perfect Horse

Late to the party (as always), but this one comes from Olivia, who challenged other bloggers to describe their “perfectly perfect ideal horse”. I think equestrians are hardwired with a natural proclivity towards daydreaming, so it wasn’t surprising that the moment I read the question my brain started churning.

Don’t get me wrong, I love these idiots, but if I had $1,000,000 in my pocket…

The first thing that always comes to mind when thinking about a dream horse is how the horse looks, so let’s start there. I want something big. Bring me a 17.2hh monsterβ€”I love the feeling of being the tiniest girl on the biggest horse. I want something athletic, but not lanky. He should have a thick neck that looks good with a roach. This gelding has big hindquarters, a short back, and clean legs. His head is attractive, but not delicate (he might even have a tiny bit of a Roman nose!).

Color, of course, is very important (hey, if we’re playing “dream horse”, we’re going to really PLAY it!). Let’s get real: I’m a sucker for the spotlight, so I’m going to go ahead and add the words PINTO WARMBLOOD to the list of requirements. That’s right, we wanna turn some heads!

This gelding is so athletic that lateral work feels easy. Counter canter is easy. Lead changes are easy. He’s such a good mover that if he didn’t have a passion for jumping he’d be a killer dressage prospect.

He’s got BIG gaitsβ€”the kind that make you feel like time’s slowed down and you’re not moving when really you’re covering a huge amount of ground. On top of that, he’s got the scope to get us out of any situation and to take me as far as I want to go (okay, maybe not the Olympics, but at least the cool 1.30m money winning classes they have at local rated shows).

Cornet 39, HUBBA HUBBA. (photo by Stefano Grasso from the Longines site)

My dream gelding is also young (four or five), because I love having a project to work on. He picks up on things quickly, but if he doesn’t understand something he keeps guessing until he gets it right.

His work ethic is huge (but he’s also very forgiving). Not only does he want to do the job, but he’s so game that he never says no to any fence (unless, of course, it’s too dangerous to jump). Even though my leg only comes halfway down his barrel, he listens super well. Sometimes he might get a little over exuberant when we’re jumping, but he slows down when he feels me getting off balance and tries his hardest to keep me on.

Umenno, another one from Solaris Sport Horses. 😎

This dream horse LOVES water and is great on trails. He might stop and look at things, but you can feel safe riding on the buckle. He’s a chill guy in general; he doesn’t mind if other horses smush up against him, and he keeps out of any major trouble so that he stays healthy and sound. He’s a little on the cheeky side (he loves to be all up in your business), but he’s got good ground manners. When I let go of his bridle he strikes a pose so that I can take majestic Instagram photos of his handsome face.

Radikal, from Cocolalla Creek Sport Horses.

If you add all of those traits together, you might have noticed that my dream horse looks suspiciously like the horse you might get if you took Ezhno and Raglan and smashed them together.

Now if only I could combine them into one knock dead gorgeous athlete…

Take Ezhno’s color, his hardy feet, and his brawniness and merge them with Raglan’s size, athletic ability, and squishy nose (then dial it all up to 10 and add in the innate ability to pose for photos), and you’d have something pretty darn close to my dream horse. Maybe someday I’ll find the perfect combination of the two of them, but for now I’m very happy with my two bozos! πŸ˜€

And if I can’t have my dream horse, I’ll just take Caribis Z. :mrgreen: (photo from NF Style)

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