Monday, July 15, 2019

Hitched and Happy Trails

W and I got married last Sunday! Despite the family drama and emotions in the weeks leading up to the event, our big day went perfectly.

Not surprisingly, I had the ambitious idea to tackle all the flower decorations (garland, bouquets, corsages,etc...) by myself + Team Bride and I'm so proud to report back that WE DID IT. Everything came together beautifully in the end and the venue looked absolutely stunning.

We also got so very lucky with the weather- despite the forecasts, it was blue skies and sunny the entire day and we were able to have our ceremony outdoors and our guests got to enjoy cocktail hour and the reception in all the open spaces. Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, the food was amazing, and the company even better.

The next day, W and I drove north for our short minimoon at an all-inclusive nature resort in NY. We spoiled ourselves with delicious food every meal and spent the hours in between hiking, lake kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, tomahawk throwing, pool lounging and even did some trail riding!  I got to try a ton of new things including my first ever rock scramble.

Looking back, we're definitely both relieved that the wedding event itself is over but during the entire process, especially now in hindsight, W and I were reminded of just how incredibly blessed we were to have talented, loyal friends along every step of the way who whole-heartedly and gladly celebrated our union with us.

The days after have been the slow gradual return to real life (going back to work, ugh lol), finish setting up our little home, and finding a new normal which includes barn time! This past weekend I was finally able to snag a ride with the mareface and it was SO nice.

As always, Quest went from sitting in a pasture for a month to back to trail riding with quiet ease and zero fuss. We hit up a trail that we had not done in awhile and got some lovely lake views along the way. Mareface was definitely excited for an adventure though and was raring to go on the way home. That being the case, we finished up our trail ride with a quick but effective indoor arena session reviewing dressage basics and fundamentals to brush off the cobwebs. Afterwards Quest got a nice bath and her treats.

What a week! A lot of changes but I'm looking forward to what the future holds (: 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Barn Photoshoot Outing

I got my hair done all fancy a couple weeks ago and stopped by the barn for an impromptu photoshoot. Quest was so compliant despite being surrounded by the world's most tempting grass salad buffet haha

And rest in peace pink plaid blouse...I did laundry, retrieved it from the wash, and found a huge rip along the arm ):

Everything about this photo is love, esp Quest. She's so pretty.

Easy relaxed canter with happy ears (: 

Best mareface <3

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Been Awhile

Hi and hello from TeamQuest- we're still here and all doing well.

The past few months have been nothing short of sheer insanity but things turned out well...the angst, worry, and crazy stress I've been enduring during all this time since paid off and I have yet another big life-related piece of news to share with everyone: As of a month ago, I became a homeowner! It was a huge project but W and I finally closed on the house after a very tedious multi month-long ordeal.

The process occupied much of my time and free moments in between work and life but it was worth every bit of effort.

As for the mareface, Quest did great through winter this year and held her weight excellently. The barn staff have been good about keeping in touch with me from time to time and it is assuring to know that she is still thriving with the 24/7 pasture life-style.

After Mel moved back to the old barn, I worried that Quest would work herself up to a frenzy from being alone but....nope. Despite being completely by her lonesome for about 2-3 weeks, mareface was completely okay with it and handled the change with no issues at all.

Quest's new pasture friend is now a pretty chestnut TB mare named Penny who came back to OF after a few years away. Back in the day when I used to work with Rori, I had ridden in a hunt pace with Penny and her owner, H. It was good to see a familiar face back at the barn again. The two girls get along well and I'm glad that Quest shares pasture just as well with a mare as she does with a gelding. Her being so versatile in terms of buddy options is definitely good to know.

With the weather finally turning for the better and the increasing daylight, we have been doing as many long trail rides as we can fit in. Quest has been nothing short of amazing and has stayed entirely sound.

Inevitably, I have been feeling the pull to do endurance and compete again but still being limited without a proper tow vehicle. However this may soon change, I hope? I've also been giving thought to trying out mounted orienteering which may be a good medium for Quest and me to try out if we don't have the time nowadays to properly train for endurance. Or we can just go with our endurance plan but just take our time and turtle every ride lol At this point, I'm simply hoping to start our journey and don't even care about accolades- I just want happy and sound for every moment of our adventure together.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Hello 2019

Wow, I can't quite believe we're already halfway into January. But yes...happy belated New Year everyone! I hope you had a great end to 2018 and a wonderful start to 2019 so far.

Quest and I are doing well though there have been some big changes at the barn recently. Last weekend, A moved Mel back to the Dust Bowl barn. There were a lot of things that factored into the decision but bottom line A was never quite happy at OF. Also our barn schedules didn't coordinate for us to do as many rides together as we had hoped so Quest and I were solo 90% of the time. Oh well. 

With Mel now gone, Quest has been without a pasture mate for the past few days while the barn staff figure out a new arrangement. Hopefully whoever they decide to place with her will be a compatible fit with little to no drama so fingers crossed!

Asides from that, Quest and I have been getting in some good solid rides. The weather has now become bitterly cold so we've been doing pretty much all bareback rides both on the trails and in the arena. Gotta make use of the fuzzy butt heater lol

Trail stuff is very limited and we only go out in certain conditions though due to the melting snow or rainfall that freezes right into ice, making the roads EXTREMELY dangerous. In fact, I had to emergency dismount once a few weeks ago when Quest took misstep and started slipping on a hidden patch of ice. She didn't go down and I hopped away quickly to safety. We came out of it totally fine but that was a reminder to exercise more caution.

That being said, the indoor arena has been our usual fare so far this winter and fortunately, it is not all that bad. My goal this season has been collection and better seat communication. We have been chipping at it slowly at our own pace doing simple dressage stuff and fundamentals. Quest is getting the gist of it and looking pretty good for our efforts I daresay.

The undersaddle work has seem to transfer to a better relationship out of saddle as well or for whatever reason Quest has been surprisingly more snuggly with me. When I fetch her from pasture, she often leans her head against my arm and just breathes me in. In the arena, she follows me around while I toddle back and forth with a laden manure fork cleaning up after her. It's also good to see that she's maintaining her weight too. The whole lack of pasture-mate thing might set us back due to her running around and worrying but I hope that will be resolved quickly.

As for riding/event plans for 2019, things are VERY much in the air at the moment due to all the big life things that will be taking place this year. W and I are in the throes of wedding planning and also just restarted our efforts in looking for a home together. We'll also be attending 3 of our friends' weddings before ours in July and have several trips to do all before summer happens. Things are chaotic lol but it'll be fun.

Its in the crazy moments that I fully realize how lucky I am for Quest being as steady and constant as she is. While mareface does have her Arabian moments, being able to just swing up for a quick, no fuss bareback ride on the trails or arena when I need to get away from life is a immeasurable gift of relief and solace itself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Moments In Between

Hi and hello from Team Mareface! Quest and I are doing well and have been enjoying the quickly fading daylight and frigid evening temperatures. Not.

But really, we have been getting in some great rides despite all that! Earlier this month, I celebrated a milestone birthday and took a couple days off to indulge and self-care. I managed to fit in two trail rides that week and did a long ride out to Hawk Watch.

The trails were really busy as we had several days of rain and the weather finally cleared up for everyone to come out of the woodwork. We had several leashed dogs lunge at us but Quest was totally fine and just moved along.

Autumn held on for quite sometime this year but we finally got our first snow earlier this week. It caused a huge headache and rather dangerous conditions for the homeward commute (my usual 7-minute drive turned into a 2-hour ordeal), however I didn't get into any accidents and am incredibly grateful for that.

The snow stuck around for Quest and me to enjoy it, safely, on the weekend though. I tacked Quest up in the bareback pad and we started in the indoor first before headed out onto the snow-laden trails. Despite the cold, it was a lovely day to be out and riding bareback kept me nice and warm.

Mareface was fantastic and still seems to enjoy being out and about in the snow which is great news for me. I love snow rides so much.

Things like this definitively reassure me that taking this year off to mentally and physically rest was the right choice. Simply being able to enjoy time together has done good things for us and our relationship. The changes aren't super noticeable to most, but for me they speak volumes.

I miss distance riding to be sure and we'll get back to work when life allows. But for now, we're both happy and that's what matters the most.