Friday, February 24, 2023

NaMoPaiMo 2023 = Complete!

NaMoPaiMo or National Model Painting Month is an annual event that takes place each February with the goal for customizers to start and finish a model horse within the month. This year the rules were expanded to allow for completion of a model that was started before the event and also welcomed international participation. 

I honestly thought I wouldn't be able to participate, let alone finish a model, for this year's event but I somehow managed to get it done! 

Breyer Stablemate Arabian Stallion "Twist" repaint. This is one of my favorite molds that I conga.

After finding out mid-2022 that we were expecting, I was forced to take a break from customizing when the nausea got really bad. By some miraculous timing, I finally started feeling much better towards the end of January enough to slowly get back into it. I had a few client projects sitting on my desk untouched and got to work the beginning of February. 

After much prep, painting, and detailing I managed to get not one but three models done before the end of the month for NaMoPaiMo. I'm really pleased to have accomplished this especially after such a long time away. 

My project queue is full of fun things coming up and I'm hoping to use the time during my leave later this year to make headway during baby downtime. This is very optimistic thinking obviously but here's to hoping! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Moving Day

Barn moving day came and went uneventfully. Last minute, manager J told me that her hauler would be able to meet us at 8am instead of the originally agreed upon time at 1pm. It's kind of a huge time difference...but we made it work. 

I've done every move on my own in the past but with how massively huge I am now, I requested W to come along to help carry my tack trunk and other things. I really can't risk a fall especially with how close we are to the finish line. My wonderful husband already anticipated my request and was happy to help thankfully. With groggy C along for the very early morning adventure, we got a quick on-the-go breakfast and arrived at the barn with time to spare. The hauler arrived a little before we did and was ready to load whenever we were. 

W grabbed my stuff while I took care of Quest and led her to the trailer, a 2h bp with ramp. Mareface hesitated midway up the ramp but within 10 seconds she followed the rest of the way in without a question. After a thank you and big goodbye hug with T, we hit the road and arrived at the new barn in less than 20 minutes. 

Quest hopped off the trailer alert and attentive, and I walked us over to her new pasture with barn hand M and pasture mate, a QH gelding named Bert, leading the way. Mareface trotted off and after about a minute of that, she decided that she was more interested finding a nice place to roll. That being accomplished, it was time to immediately stuff her face with hay. 

It was the most boring move day ever and just the way I hoped it would be. Manager J has been giving me updates throughout the weekend and Quest sounds like she's settled right in with no drama. 

It never ceases to amaze me how far along mareface has come mentally since I pulled her from the feedlot all those years ago. Back then she would have been a lathered mess from a trailer ride but nowadays she is just attentive and settles down within minutes. I'm hoping my gut is right about the new barn move and things continue to go well.

Monday, February 6, 2023

A Year for Self-Care

About 2 months to go until Baby Girl's arrival! Time really seems to be flying by. 

The baby shower is in a week and I'm really looking forward to celebrating with our close friends and family. We had to skip out on all the "fun" things back in 2020 so this time we're hoping to make up for it in some ways with a little gathering of sorts.  

In addition to all the family related preparations, I've also been pre-emptively making plans to invest in my own well-being and health once the physical part of "having a baby" is done. Since having C, I have admittedly not been as active as I wanted to be and a big part has had to do with the fact that my riding adventures with Quest came to a grinding halt when we moved to the new barn a little over a year ago. I honestly love the barn, the owner, and the care is top-notch but riding in a WMA has been a hair-raising experience more often than not during hunting season. 

I don't fault the hunters - they have every right to enjoy their hobby too but hearing a gun go off in the field nearby is just a little too much for me sometimes. Mareface, to her immense credit, has never ever put a foot wrong during our rides last year even when things got a little too much for her. At her worse, she'd snort and jig for a few steps before relaxing back into my hands again. But I never pushed it and if the parking lot was crowded with hunter trucks on a particular day, I turned us right back around and we usually just putted around in the pasture or the little outdoor arena. 

The original plan when we moved in about a year ago was that the BO would to take us on a trailer ride down the road to the 5-mile ballast trail so Quest and I could get some miles in. But sadly, after over a year of being there and asking multiple times, the trip did not happen due to a reason or another. I think I gave up on asking. It's not like me to give up easily or quickly, but I was honestly tired.

After thinking long and hard, I've decided it's time for Quest and me to move on to our next adventure. A few weekends ago, W and C joined me on a trip to go check out a prospective barn. The new location is nearly the same drive distance and time as the current barn but has miles of horse-safe trails directly accessible from the barn and about 2000ft from the driveway is nature preserve with miles of bridle paths to explore. Quest would go back to being 100% pasture boarded as well, which was what I had preferred. I feel in my gut the new barn will be a good fit for us and what I want to do with Quest in the near future. 

Over the years as a horse owner, perhaps my lofty goals have become simpler now- My biggest priorities are top care and safe, accessible trails. I did sign up for PonyUp 100 this year though. You can be sure once I get medical clearance, I'm going to be right back in the saddle again! I still dream of doing distance riding, but that's for another day whenever that door opens. For now, I choose to enjoy what I have and nothing better than a good mare that is sound and game for any trail I put in front of her.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Winter Days

The colder weather has definitely set in and everyone- both human and horse - are now bundled up warm and toasty under fluffy coats and blankets. 

We stopped by the barn this past weekend for a quick visit/grooming session and to drop off gifts for the staff. I try to make it a point to thank them during the holidays for all the hard work they do keeping Quest's stall clean and her turnout pasture safe every single day. I have been unable to make it up to the barn as often as I would have wanted the past couple months but knowing she's getting quality care gives me peace of mind. 


For those who don't do social media or FB, I have BIG news to share: My husband and I found out a couple weeks ago that we are having a baby girl! It's very exciting to be rounding out our little family with a fourth member and maybe another future equestrian. Thankfully C has a natural affinity for animals and loves horses...but I'd be only so lucky to have not one, but TWO horse-loving kids. 

We have a name picked out for baby girl but won't be sharing that until she arrives in the spring. Until then, it's a flurry of preparation to finish setting up C's big boy bedroom and getting ready for an actual, in-person baby shower. We can't wait to celebrate with all of our close friends and family this time around vs while expecting C in 2020. 

So... hence the lack of riding posts lately and in the past few months, it was all for good reason. Even with my medical history, I'm low risk but it's always better safe than sorry. And to be honest, Quest probably enjoyed her semi-vacation and we'll be back to the trails we love in no time.  

Here's to a happy and healthy end to 2022, dear fellow bloggers and readers! See you all next year. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Another Year

I had a lovely weekend enjoying another birthday. Never ceases to amaze me just how blessed I am with my family, both human and 4-legged! 

We started celebrating on Friday. W and I did a barn visit in the afternoon so I could get some grooming, treats, and cuddles with Quest. She indulged me with a sweet horse hug that left me grinning from ear to ear <3 

Saturday was supposed to be a "just the two of us" day but unfortunately my parents had a conflict last minute and were unable to watch C as originally planned. It was no matter though, and our little family did a road trip up to CT to check out a gorgeous park called Grace Farms (very aptly named if you ask me). The location was formerly a horse farm and the current owners kept the original turnout fields and barn building layout. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed wandering the grounds and getting family photos. 

And finally, Sunday night was spent together with a special family dinner with grandmother (who turned 98 a couple months ago). It was a really wonderful time.