Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year’s

If you’re like me, you’re scratching your head wondering what happened to the summer…wasn’t it July 4th just last week?   I can’t believe it’s the end of the year already, that the holidays are just about over and we have a long winter ahead of us.

So to keep myself from falling into a deep depression (because I seriously hate the cold weather…especially after we say goodbye to Christmas when there’s nothing else to look forward to), I’m going to make some New Year’s Resolutions.

I usually avoid making resolutions (minus one you’ll see below) because I can get a little obsessive about holding myself accountable…and quite honestly, I put enough pressure on myself as it is.  But this year I’ve decided to make some open-ended resolutions – no due dates!

1.  To have fun with Misty
Every year I say things like, I’m going to take Misty to at least five shows…take biweekly lessons…be at this level of competition by this date, etc. and these things NEVER happen.  With horses, the only thing you can count on is…that you can’t count on anything!!  I’m finally learning this lesson…nothing with those crazy equines ever goes according to plan.  If I say I want to do X number of shows, something will surely happen that with throw everything off.  Misty will start having back pain…she’ll throw a shoe and the farrier won’t be able to get out right away…I’ll have a bad day/confidence buster and talk myself out of doing whatever I had planned for the following week.

Misty Mystique lives to ruin my plans.

So instead of making concrete plans with a Misty Mystique who lives to break them, I’m just going to set this simple resolution.  This way I won’t (hopefully, anyway) beat myself up if I’m not bringing home the blue ribbons every weekend.  I have finally recognized that horses are unpredictable, and I can’t always control every aspect of our mommy-horsey relationship.  Therefore, I vow not to get down on myself if I’m not where I’d like to be at a specific point.  Overall, Misty and I have come SO far, further than I ever thought we’d get.  So as long as I’m having fun and enjoying her company…and she’s a happy and healthy horse, then I’m okay.

2. To streamline my house/life
As a child, I was an extreme packrat.  I would keep everything because I thought “I might need it someday.”  In recent years, I’ve gotten over this.  Instead, I think – if I haven’t thought of this/worn this in over a year, it’s gone.  James and I are constantly putting bags of clothes and household goods aside for Purple Heart. 

Because clutter is scary...
This year, I want to continue that trend and give my whole house, thus, life, a makeover.  I want to continue going through my closet and keep only nice pieces that I wear on a regular basis.  I want to go through my house, room by room, and streamline everything, keeping only the necessities.  Everything else will go to Purple Heart…or the trash.

By doing this, I will be clearing the clutter from my life (although I wouldn’t really classify my house as cluttered, for the most part), and feeling more comfortable in my surroundings.  Also, I will be readying myself in case I move in the next year or two, which is the goal.  When we finally do move, I don’t want to be packing up boxes of useless crap…so if I sort things beforehand, I’ll be ahead of the game!

3. To eat healthier
This is my resolution every single year.  I love sugar…love love sugar…but I really need to eat it in moderation.  Some days are better than others as I really try to be conscious of what’s going in my mouth, but each year I still find myself hitting the sweets hard.  So…again…I’ll make this resolution.  I’ll feel like I’m eating healthier when I cut back on the sugar and add more fruits and veggies to my diet.  Fingers crossed I actually stick to this one for once…but given my track record, I’m not very hopeful!
Misty lives by the apple a day rule...I need to as well...
So there you have it…my resolutions.  Each is designed to make me a better, healthier person.  I know that I put a ton of pressure on myself in almost every aspect of my life, so I’m really hoping to put an end to that pattern and learn to relax and live in the moment a little more.  What are your resolutions?

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!  And thanks for sticking with my blog during its first year! 


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Baltimore Horse Examiner

For those of you who don’t know, The Sassy Grey blog is not the only place I share my wit and wisdom.  I am also the Baltimore Horse Examiner and maintain a page through Examiner Online.

This is Rachel Alexandra - I write about her a lot!

This page is a little different than my blog in that it’s strictly about horses and horse-happenings in the Baltimore area.  I can post reviews (like book/event/movie reviews), but these articles are mostly how-to in nature.   My blog is a bit of a loose cannon compared to this page!

I don’t update my Examiner page as often as I’d like (maybe once or twice a month), but I invite you to follow it nonetheless!  The link is below!

Thanks and happy reading!

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Not Too Late To Give

Tis the season to be generous!!  This time of year, James and I like to donate to our favorite charities, and I’m sure it will come as no surprise that animal-related rescues are always on the list. 

One rescue that’s on my list every year is Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc.  This year I donated $100 and got to pick a horse to sponsor.  While I follow all the horses’ stories and love them all, I ended up picking Buildmeup Buttercup Baby.  As soon as I get a farm of my own (fingers crossed that next year is the year), this sweet mare is mine!

I think I can speak on behalf of the entire Maryland horse community when I say Days End is a dream come true.  Words simply cannot describe the amazing gift they give neglected and abused horses.  “Days End Farm was established in 1989 to ensure quality care and treatment of horses through intervention, education, and outreach.”  If you visit their website at: www., you’ll see that they take on some of the absolute worst cases of horse abuse, cases that some might turn away from, and use their love and knowledge to rehab these animals into the brilliant stars they once were.

They do more than give second changes, they give life.

Please add Days End to your list of charitable donations – every little bit helps.  (A bale of hay is only $3 or $4!!).  Once on their website, just click the Donate Now button at the top right corner and help a horse in need.

Thanks to all and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Misty’s Christmas List

Misty’s a bit of a diva.  She likes the finer things in life and dreams big.  As I have had the privilege of being her mom for more than three years now, I was not surprised to receive her extravagant Christmas list.  Please see below.

Recently, Misty and I have gotten into dressage.  We have been taking lessons at Thornridge Manor and even showed in a small schooling show this past November.  I purchased a dressage saddle (well, my birthday present from Misty – she’s occasionally quite generous), but didn’t have the extra money for a bridle.  Misty wants one for Christmas so she can have matching tack.  She’s a very particular fashionista.

Misty has requested treats…but not just any kind of treats, organic treats from Withers & Withers.  She likes the fancy tin with the grey horse on it…figures.

A stall ball.  Misty lives outside 24/7 because she has a run-in…but she will occasionally come indoors to her stall during extreme weather.  Though she isn’t inside often, she wants to be entertained when she is.  She wants a stall ball in either purple or blue.

Since Misty and I are traveling a lot more (to lessons, shows, etc.), she wants a horse trailer.  We already have one…but she wants another one.  A newer one.  The bigger, the better.  Girlfriend wants to travel comfortably in style.  See the picture below…classic Misty.  She’ll have a grande white chocolate mocha with 2% milk and whip, please!

Misty really likes her current barn, but she’s asked for another…one on MY farm.  I haven’t had the heart to tell her that we haven’t bought the farm yet, but she’s not the best listener anyway so I probably won’t even mention it.  She wants a barn like the ones I saw in Kentucky.  She says she deserves it.

And finally, Misty has asked for some shoes.  And no, not horseshoes.  She wants two pairs of Manolo Bhalniks.  What can I say?  She’s sassy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas cards that didn't make it

Tis the season for Christmas cards!  James and I will randomly get all ambitious with our cards some years (don't expect much this year), and will do some family portraits with the pets.  My all-time favorite was the one we took in 2008 with Izzie and Misty.  While the final one that we sent out turned out really well, there were quite a few that didn't make it!  The ones below are the best.

At first, Izzie was so excited to be near Misty that James had to sit on her to keep her quiet.

Iz adores her sister; Misty is not amused by the photoshoot.

Apparently Misty doesn't like it when I cluck at her.

Okay - everyone's getting bored now.

Getting a little too close for comfort!!

Picture Perfect!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Traveller – Another Sassy Grey

I’m late with this post too – this one is about my mom’s horse, Traveller, another very sassy grey.  I can remember life before Trav, but just barely.

My mom rides Traveller Western, but he is trained English as well.

Traveller is an Arabian and was born 23 years ago at Imperial Egyptian Stud, a beautiful farm in Parkton, Maryland.  I’m not sure of all the specifics since I was so young at the time, but apparently Traveller was born without Arabian show-quality features, and therefore his owners didn’t want him.  My mom had lost her first horse, Pepper, about nine months prior and was ready to bring another horse into the family…and this one was free!

I remember the day Traveller came home – he was only a yearling and was a funny roan color.  Basically, he looked pink with a black mane and tail.  We were told that he would “grey out,” which, of course, excited me, and my father, being a Civil War buff, suggested the name of Traveller (the name of General Robert E. Lee’s favorite horse who was also a grey). 

For my brother and I (Andy was 8 at the time, I was 6), Trav was like a big, fun dog.  We’d play with him in the field (Andy would flat out try to wrestle him), we’d chase him with our bikes (and then he’d turn around and chase us back!), and, of course, we helped my mother take care of him.  Sometimes I would drag a chair out to the barn, and sit by Traveller’s stall and read.  Trav would stick his head out the window and just watch me – he has always been super inquisitive.

I remember sitting outside the barn, hanging out with Trav while my parents were inside fighting (which was a regular occurrence).  I remember saying to Trav something like, “if mom and dad get divorced, don’t worry.  I’ll make sure we keep you.  If I have to get a job and pay for you, I will.”  I think I was about 7 at the time…always willing to work for my horses.

Sure enough, when I was 19, my parents divorced, but of course we kept our Traveller.  We moved him (and Komie) to the farm where we board now, but now our herd has grown from two to five!

Me and my "Crazy Man!"

One note about him though – Trav likes to bite.  He’s the one horse we have that we can’t turn our backs on.  But even though he can be a brat, you will not find a better trail horse.  Traveller has always been very reliable, a good, sturdy trail horse who loves to get out and see new things.  I showed him a handful of times as well; we always did great as he was very flashy! 

He turned 23 in July and is still going strong…just watch those teeth!