Lessons learned with the help of horses:

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Maybe every young girl doesn’t need a pony for Christmas. There are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t have a horse, money and time being two of the biggest, but I want to talk about some amazing things that my favorite hobby has gifted me, and why I’m kind of glad I got a horse for Christmas all those years ago:

  • How to manage money: The old joke is that you should buy your children horses because they’ll never have money for drugs, it’s true, but all jokes aside the horse taught me financial literacy and responsibility from a young age. They’re expensive pets, especially if something goes wrong or if you’re showing them. I’ve always been a bigger money saver than a lot of my friends, and that really started when I was 15. My parents told me that I was responsible for D’Artagnan’s vet bills. Which would have been fine if he didn’t get seriously hurt, but of course he did, and I emptied my savings account. My parents stepped in then, but it taught me that that savings account needed more in it in case of emergencies, and not just the equine kind.
  • How to be patient: Bad habits take a long time to work out, riding ones are no different. Learning to deconstruct your riding, find the bad part, then put everything back together again without it is no easy task. It takes a long time and a lot of work. It gives you patience. So does dealing with an animal that is just as stubborn as you are. Horses get set in their ways too, and getting their bad habits fixed takes time and energy as well. There is a lot of slow work that needs to get done before you can move on to the exciting parts. Any trainer will tell you just how important slow work is.
  • How to handle competition: It’s funny, but I became less competitive when I was racing as a child. It became more about competing with myself, my past times, my past rankings, and less about competing with my peers. This might not be true for everyone, some people are just competitive to their core, but what is true is that horseback is a game of give and take. If you want to place better, you have to give a lot of time and energy, and you know that all the other rides are giving it too. It gives you perspective on how to gauge your success and what to keep in mind when you’re going for the gold.

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Equine Study: Yellow and Green

Bear with me if you’ve seen this before, there was a glitch and this post got reverted to a draft, minus all my text, so I’m writing a new post with the pictures from Friday.

Today is a dreary and rainy Monday, it seems almost a lifetime away from last Friday when I took these beautiful and sunny photos. I realized that it had been a while since I had done a photo diary or an equine study, which is a real shame because my horse is one of my favorite things. I should be making a better effort to record all the things I love.

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Where to Donate to Hurricane Florence Recovery:

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Hurricane Florence is currently devouring the coast of my beloved home state, but it’s not done yet, it will be here for days, visiting both us and our neighbors to the south. This is the biggest storm to hit us in decades, as you can see from the image above, the storm is quite literally bigger than us.

I’m fairly inland in North Carolina, so our biggest concern is flooding from the rains later on. I’ll be fine. It’s the eastern half of our state and South Carolina that will not come out on top. Please, if you have any means to consider donating to help rebuild and recover. I’m publishing this post before the storm ends because I know that storms like these slip out of national news quickly, even though it take the region years to recover.

To donate to the people hit by Florence:

To donate to the animals hit by Florence:

A Day at the Aiken Polo Club

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It’s been a month since my adventure down to Aiken, South Carolina. I wanted to spread out these two posts a little bit so I would overwhelm everyone with horse pictures.

Sometimes when I get really into taking pictures I seriously wonder whether I should drop everything and become a horse photographer, not necessarily because I’m the best at it, but just because I honestly enjoy it and am always pleased with my results.

This was my first polo match, I enjoyed watching it, but I’m definitely glad it’s not the horse sport I went into.  It takes more hand-eye coordination than I will ever have!

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The Aiken Steeplechase

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I was in Aiken South Carolina this weekend. A family friend of ours has a place down there and welcomed us for some of the fall horse festivities! I got to go to my first steeplechase and my first polo game (watch for another post).

To put it simply, it’s a world away from barrel racing. It’s on the opposite end of the horse spectrum, but man is it something I could get used to. We just don’t have open bars and buffets in the rodeo world.

Enjoy some gorgeous athletes (and their riders). I had a wonderful time watching them in their zone.

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Places to donate to hurricane Harvey relief:

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NASA/ISS Imagery Of Hurricane Harvey Over Gulf Coast

I had another post ready for today, but there is a more pressing matter right now. As many of you know Hurricane Harvey is sitting over Texas and causing a ton of damage. I’m sure if you’re in the states you’ve been seeing it on the news. When your not located near a tragedy it can often feel like you’re watching something unfold that you can do nothing about, so for those of us who can’t put our feet on the ground I wanted to link charities and relief funds. Donations will be needed for some time, so please give if you are able.

People:

  • RedCross: LINK (Or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation)
  • Salvation Army: LINK
  • United Way: LINK
  • Samaritans Purse: LINK
  • Americares: LINK

Animals:

  • Humane Society: LINK
  • Austin Pets Alive: LINK
  • US Equestrian: LINK