Happy Gotcha Day

Happy Gotcha Day

Six years ago Friday, Heyleigh officially became my horse. Looking back on all those years I can't help but be amazed at how much we've been through together. When my family bought her, the main thing we were thinking about was signing the papers as quickly as we could so that her old owners (who were extremely neglectful and borderline abusive) couldn't change their minds about selling her to us. She was only barely rideable, was pretty skinny, and had probably only seen a farrier once or twice in her life.

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Back to School (For Heyleigh)

Back to School (For Heyleigh)

While classes at Rose won't start up again for another month, Heyleigh and I have taken the leap and started taking lessons again. I originally started lessons back in 2008, and took them pretty constantly until around summer 2013 when I started working at Dover. For a while, my schedule there was so erratic that I couldn't keep to a normal lesson schedule. I still took them whenever I could, but it wasn't every week. Once I started college, all bets were completely off. Between the workload at Rose and the expense, it just wasn't possible; I got some pointers from instructors, but no real lessons. 

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The Award that Keeps On Giving

The Award that Keeps On Giving

When I was a senior in high school, I applied for and won NCWIT's Aspirations in Computing Award (Basically an award for girls interested in coding) at the state level. It was a nice award; I got to go to a local awards banquet, got a bag full of fun swag (including a Samsung tablet), and an interview with the local newspaper and TV station. It helped me later on when I got to list it on my college applications. After I got accepted to Rose, I put it on my freshman resume, and figured I'd never think about it again. 

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Meet the Rest of the Herd

Meet the Rest of the Herd

Heyleigh may be the only horse I have, but she certainly isn't the only animal I own. Between Heyleigh, my two cockatiels, a goldfish, and the family dog, I have something of a menagerie going that I've yet to introduce on this blog. Unfortunately, Heyleigh is the only one who was able to come with me to Indiana, but I still impose on my mother to let me Skype with the rest of them from time to time. 

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Roth IRA Emergency Fund

Roth IRA Emergency Fund

Like most horse owners, colic surgery is one of my biggest fears. An incredibly expensive surgery without particularly good survival rate? It's enough to make anyone shudder. So far I've been lucky; Heyleigh rarely needs anything beyond routine medical care, but I always worry that someday she'll colic to the point of needing surgery, or have some other medical expense come up that I can't reasonably deal with. A couple of years ago, that drove me to look into ways that I could pay for an equine medical emergency if it ever came up.

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Big Leagues Saddle

Big Leagues Saddle

Over the course of the last school year I'd been getting more and more sure that Heyleigh had a saddle fit problem. After doing some research, I realized that she had a forward girth groove. I got a total saddle fit girth, which helped keep her saddle from slipping forward, but I was still having a lot of the same issues. The biggest problem I was having was that all the signs of poor saddle fit listed in magazines and saddle fitting websites are pretty much the same signs of a really crabby mare. 

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Packing and Baking

Packing and Baking

These last few days have been very busy. In a couple of days I'll be leaving my house and on the road back to Terre Haute, so I've spent a lot of time packing and cleaning. This year I'm trying to bring as little with me as possible so that my dorm room doesn't get to cluttered. However, I haven't been able to restrain myself in a similar fashion with things for Heyleigh. I went on a mini shopping trip to pick up some necessary supplies like fly spray and crush cleaner, as well as some not-so-necessary things like a new western girth (on clearance!) and a new brush. I also bought a full set of used Wintec Easy-Change gullet plates to try to get Heyleigh's saddle to fit better. 

On a more fun note, I talked myself out of buying loads of German Horse Muffins by making up the Nicker Bait Cookie Mix that I received in my December Horsebox.

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The Island of Misfit Tack

The Island of Misfit Tack

Since I'm currently without access to my horse, I figured I'd take the time to finally sort through all of my tack. All of the tack that I left at home, anyway. 

Because I have no access to my parents' garage when I'm in geographical proximity to my horse, the vast majority of what I left behind were the dregs of my collection. Some of it is junk, and some of it just doesn't have any reasonable use for me or Heyleigh.

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A brief history of time (and Heyleigh)

A brief history of time (and Heyleigh)

Here's a quick recap of the first 10 years of my life:

Years 1-3: Not really a conscious being, learning how to human.

Years 4-5: I like ponies! And dinosaurs! And making things! and memorizing infomercials!

Year 6: Saw Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron, I need a horse; preferably a mustang.

Years 7-8: Please! Just one more chapter of The Black Stallion book 64! Also, I still like making things.

Years 9-10: Overnight horse camp, *yawn* my parents won't catch me reading just one more chapter of The Black Stallion book 342 at midnight, engineers make things? As a job?

Then, Year 11 hit. This was the tail end of elementary school, and I had finally convinced my parents to let me start riding lessons.

This is also when I met Heyleigh.

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