Friday, October 3, 2014


S2's horse moved out last Sunday and things have been...interesting.

In short, Moon runs the herd and he's a bit of a dink. A lot of a dink. To the point of running the poor horse right through a fence. Go Moon. He learned well from ol'Black.

So after the fence was fixed, Mooner was sent off to live alone in the front pasture, where he's been running the fence and screaming. Sometimes he eats like a proper horse or stands in the shelter. He's not a total noob.

I went out yesterday and rode the piss and vinegar out of him. Over an hour, with a LOT of trotting. I like to believe we were all long and stretchy like we've been practicing, but instead I'm pretty sure he was working at doing the opposite of his normal routine...and instead of doing the giraffe, he had discovered going behind the bit. And tucking his face up to his chest. Damn horse.

We rode and trotted, and circled and figure-8'd until my legs and side burned. They burn like crazy today.

Then we hacked out 4 miles with S2.

Needless to say, I'm exhausted. Add that to the hectic life at work (joys of working in infectious disease in a time like right now), and keeping house as winter approaches, well, I don't have much spare energy.

There's a new horse coming by the barn on Sunday, which means reintroducing pasture mates again. Plus one that's away recovering from surgery. So I suspect the next month will be insane chaos of introducing horses, and I'm not sure I'm gonna get that long and low stretchy work that Coach W was recommending. So do I just push past it and work him to work him regardless of quality, or do I focus on what he can do well and leave it at that?

Joys of ponys.

Friday, September 26, 2014


They say time heals all wounds, and perhaps it does. It certainly has an impact on all creatures, big and small.

Yesterday coach W came out and mounted up ol'Moon. I'm not sure why, but my riding has been struggling, probably because of a lot of things if I'm to be honest.

When I first got Moon, we had the excitement of a dream coming true and I was thrilled to have a horse I could ride whenever I wanted. Do whatever I wanted. But slowly that faded we started taking lessons with W.

We loved that. So we moved to her barn. And after awhile we went to H's place and have been there ever since.

We spent that first year at H's showing. It was awesome. The experience of a lifetime and another dream achieved. Winter came, we enjoyed just hacking out, riding bareback, making it more about the company. Another spring rolled around and I was miserable in my home life. Happiness for me was at the barn, and so that's where I spent my time. 5 nights a week easily, I was out there riding like crazy. Until my world imploded.

Which led to the chaos of building a house. It's been about 2 years now from the time I started working on the plans for it, prepping the land, and working the budget. Those 2 years have been 100% about that build, which is now coming (almost) to an end. A close. There's little things sure, that still need to be done, but spending a Saturday afternoon putting quarter-round above the range hood or painting the kitchen door is NOT the same as 3 days of building a fireplace chase in the pouring rain, or hanging from the roof laying shingles. It's just not. Nothing really seems "critical" anymore (aside for a few odd things to please the RM).

The thing though, is that kind of intensity comes with a real let-down. My life is a series of HUGE dreams, each of which seems to come to fruition and then fade away. Which is AWESOME and means I either need new dreams, or I'll simply exist.

I don't do well with the later.

Of course, I've already lined up a new list of big dreams, and it's harder and harder in life to work through them, because they are far bigger than I am. My world isn't just me anymore, my time is something I happily share amoungst a number of very important people in my life.

So where does Moon fit into all of that??

I fluctuate a lot in this, trying to figure it out. Showing Moon was an INCREDIBLE highlight of my life, and a time in our lives that I am very proud of. But it was expensive, time consuming and required a HUGE commitment. Even if I had the money to spend on it, I'm not sure I'm willing to spend the time on it again. Moon and I are never going to be competitive riders that are anything more than hobbyists. Neither of us has the drive in the ring to out perform anyone other than ourselves, and that means I have no interest in spending the money to see what I can see at home for free. I also don't care enough to sell him for a better mount or anything like that. I don't. Competing just doesn't matter to me, aside from the new exposure it offers and change of scenery.

We love trail riding, but in the same mindset, we're a little bored with it. I love going for a hack to enjoy the company of friends, but if him and I go out, we're happy with a short hack to a good place for a run, and then come home and we're content. 4 hours wandering the trails solo just isn't in our books anymore. Probably because I just can't spend 4 hours on something that doesn't feel like anything is being accomplished. I can enjoy my company anywhere :P

I *know* that has so much to do with the house build. Up until this summer, my time was SO strapped with the build that I lived, breathed and died by that house. I would skip birthdays, parties, get togethers, everything, just to get a couple more hours of work in. I would get home at 4:30 and work until 10:30, shower and go to bed. Every day. Over and over.

Now I see the pile of gravel that needs to be spread and shrug. Meh. I'll get to it.

I see Moon standing in a field and I think "Meh, I'll get to him."

And I don't want that anymore!

Which means I need to feel like something tangible is coming out of my rides with him. And make that happen. Moon needs a new goal. A new dream. But what?!


I stood at the fence line after W mounted up and watched Moon go into full-on evil rabbit face. Round and round they went at a walk and he pulled his lips back and barred his teeth at the world. "Ugh" I thought, seeing the stiffness and frustration and opposition that I've been dealing with. He was tense, he was bracing, he was tweaking all over the place. Ugh.

Not 30 minutes later, I saw something akin to this: (I didn't actually take pictures):

Most of you may think "So?", and that reminds me of how much has changed. Moon started out with me, riding more like this:

And I'm not exaggerating.

In 30 minutes of working with him, I watched her transform him into something I've been looking for for 4 years now. Something I've dreamed about, but believed wasn't truly possible. It sounds horrible, and W would shake her head at me and roll her eyes and probably say "Of course it's possible. You just have to make it possible". But I didn't believe it.

I watched him move around that ring, long and low, moving into contact with the bit, maintaining pressure with her hands, and starting to reach under himself. Use his back.

I looked like this --> :o

That's what I want. I want to develop my skills enough to be able to ride him like W rode him. To be able to ask him to reach down and straight and bend and move around so beautifully. I wanna make that beauty happen WITH me.

When we traded and I got back on him, I didn't have nearly the finesse that W did, and I certainly needed the coaching, but we got further than we had last week. And it felt awesome (aside from the cramp in my side and the pain in my arse from falling down the stairs the day before...).

This is what I want. Moon and I are going to go back into training, for the pure pleasure of searching for that magical moment. I know the moment. It was a year ago or so on W's Josh. This moment when my legs and my upper body became separated.  I still remember it like it was yesterday. My upper body just floated above him, and my arms and fingers worked one piece of magic, and suddenly, this separate half of me which was legs and seat, they did something different. And I could work 4 different aids, all independently. I can't even describe it. It was like magic. Floating. Like having a fully moldable piece of playdough under my control. Hands, seat, fingers, seat, felt like magic. An "out of body" experience on horseback if you would. I've been chasing that feeling ever since.

And I want it with Moon. That's what I want. So that's what we're going to work towards. W suggested 4 nights a week, and while it may be a challenge, I think we can make it happen. I'm already riding again tonight and Sunday, so just need to keep it going. Lots of variety still, but I think with some consistency we'll make some progress.

I hope.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Moving Forward.

Settled back into something of a riding pattern, if nothing more than once a week due to the chaos of life. Which is better than nothing.

But when Moon and I were working in the ring last Friday, and granted there was a big storm brewing (the other horses were running the paddock), I just didn't feel like him and I were getting anywhere. After about an hour of work, he felt incredibly stiff to the left, and only moderately flexible to the right. Now granted, it's been a long time since we've worked on this stuff, but his stiffness to the left was so severe that it was almost impossible for me to manage. I mean, I couldn't even ask him to flex his face inward, without getting him to step around. I finally placed him alongside the fence when I asked, and you could see how difficult it was for him to flex.

I gave it my best, but just didn't feel like we were getting there.

Frustrated, I knew I needed to do something.

Insert Coach W.

It's been A LONG TIME since I've had a lesson with Coach W. A long time. And that's a hard time for me. W isn't just my coach. She's a dear friend and something more...she's that person for me, that reminds me to have patience, appreciate what we are achieving and keep dreaming for more. She motivates me to keep riding through the frustration.

So I turned to her and booked Mr. Moon a training ride for Thursday.

I don't know what to expect, I don't know how far backwards Moon has gone since we left her barn and left her training (or me!), but I know that if I want to ride more again, I need to bring her back. Financially we probably won't get a lot of rides, but I want to use them when they're going to do the most, and I know that they give us, so it's worth skipping a hair cut or making kraft dinner for supper. It just is.

Here's hoping it helps.

My dopey boy, post ride. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our Future

Moon and I have been together for awhile now. I almost can't even remember how long, which tells me that it's probably been long enough to no longer be new. That makes me happy.

And with that, comes a HUGE gaping question of where we're headed.

He is, and always will be, my heart horse. Those of you who have one, you know what I mean. This isn't about ribbons, or riding or how pretty he is or what he can or can't do for you. I don't care if he'll ever jump higher or run faster. I just need him. Even when I don't see him.

Moon is a 1999 baby if I'm not mistaken, making him 15 this year. He's not young, he's not old.

I'm a 1985 baby. I'm not old, but I'm not so young anymore either. I can look at my life and see that my priorities and the demands on my time are changing, which isn't a bad thing. It's just different.

A HUGE thing I really want, is to have Moon in my own backyard. I previously was certain this meant a beautiful barn and a riding ring, and fancy corrals and paths through the bush. Now? Not so much.

The reality is that winters here are COLD. And HARSH. And as S2 pointed out, living alone in a field during the 8 months of winter we get here (I'm not stretching the truth too much!), would be hell for any horse. Winter also means ensuring you have adequate shelter, heaters for the waterers, water access, ability to get the farrier back there, to be able to get back there to feed every day, hay storage, road clearing...

It goes on and on. Winter is hell.

Nor do I really want to slog through the bush in the dead of winter every day to feed Mr. Moon. I love him, I love feeding him, but every day is hell.

Add in that I would sometimes love to travel with the future hubby, it just doesn't make sense to have him home 24-7-365.

Which leads us to summer pasture.

May to October we have acceptable pastures to feed him, we have enough shelter to protect him, and enough warmth to keep him watered. I'm thinking that if we fence off at least two, 1-1/2 acre pastures to start, that will give us the freedom to rotate between the pastures to allow for grass growth. I'll probably try to regularly pick the poop from the paddocks too, just due to the smaller size of the field.

Our beautiful pasture acreage.

Really, I'm pretty excited. I wish we could set it up next Spring and bring him home, except that we're getting married back there next fall! Yup, right in our own backyard. No reason for horse poop on the party right? ;)


Since it's been awhile, I was thinking maybe I'd go back over the last year a bit...

Last fall, the house looked like this...

And after a lot of work, it looked more like this, when I got home from pony camping on Sunday night. Yes, it's my dream home. Yes, I'm obsessed with it.

Not finished, but closer!

And because we plan on marrying in our backyard, we finally started getting some grass planted...

Grass finally growing!
We have two amazing furlings, Halo our alaskan husky of 7 years, and her new best friend, Pixel the kitten. Pix came from a friend's farm after her teen momma had just the one kitten. She's all torti-tude, and we love her. If you ever watch two animals run and play together for hours, it's these two.

Of course, there's still Mr. Moon, who survived the whole home-building adventure well enough. He's out of shape and not nearly as skilled as he was when I parked him after our summer of showing, but he's still a great ride.

He unfortunately suffered a bout of "Photophosphorylation" last summer, where the vet believed he had ingested some clover leading to "internal sunburn". In short, all the white on his nose cracked, blistered, peeled and oozed for a couple months. It was GROSS. Thankfully H loved him all better for me, and he now wears a funny get-up of a flymask and muzzle all summer long (well, when he's not taking it off). He's muzzled because he's a fatty and has no problem gaining weight.

Darth Pony.
For us, that's where we're currently at. Happy at H's place, doing a little riding here and there, and just ready to start some new adventures together.

Monday, September 15, 2014

- Blink Blink -

-Blink Blink-

It has been a long haul out of the depth of this blog, MoonSox's blog, to get through some of the most difficult, amazing, challenging and exhausting times in my life. Our life.

But driving home across the prairie yesterday, sun shining through the window, close horse friend seated beside me, I felt like everything was reinvigorated. Like the first time the sun shines on grass after a long winter. Like the warmth of a warm spring day. Like the crispness of the changing seasons, spelling new adventures.

Moonpie and I left the blogging world 2 years ago, and it wasn't the happiest time for us. We were hurt and we did what was necessary to make it through those times. But 2 years have passed, we've experienced a great many things, and while we're not fully sure where this is going from here, I had the overwhelming pull that it was time to see.

Wounds take time to heal. They do. But when the moment is right, it's almost not difficult any more to move forward. You lose those old pains, you feel refreshed to start anew.

I like to think we're there.

Happiness on horseback.

Where have we been for 2 years??

We built our dream home. We really did. Against all odds, all possibilities, we built our dream home. I broke free from a really, really unhappy relationship and fell headfirst into the greatest love I've ever known. Something I wake up every morning with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for. Not saying we're perfect, but that we're perfectly imperfect together. We have plans for a wonderful wedding next Fall, and he is so supportive of Moon and I that I know we have many wonderful miles together ahead.

We added a tiny furball of evil to our family, one Pixel kitten who is the reincarnation of a teddybear heart in a cactus body. And we love her. So does Halo. Sweet Halo tore her cruciate ligament earlier this spring and we spent a rather terrifying amount of money trying to piece her back together. 12 weeks of hellish recovery and only one set-back, and she's a happy dog again, chasing her cat and relaxing around our beautiful home.

We experienced a HUGE loss, when my best friends' horse Manwell (aka. The Black) had a laminitic bout that she just couldn't pull him out of. Watching their struggle was heartbreaking and hellish and more pain than I ever wanted to see her endure with her hearthorse. The thing that stuck with me was more than just how he was her heart horse, but they were Moon and my partners in crime. Galloping bareback beside the fields was not the same. Hitting the trails was not the same. Schooling dressage, feeding ponies, nothing was the same.

This past weekend a group of us ladies headed out for our first ever horse camping trip. Something that was on many of our bucket lists. And it was awesome. And horrible. Every time I saw H on the black steed she borrowed, I was angry it wasn't Manwell. I was. And Moon seemed to know it too, because we didn't race down the field the way you KNOW we would have, and we didn't canter the trails together the way we should, and it just wasn't right. We had grown to just expect to look over and there be H and the Black beside us, perfectly matched to us, smiling faces and that *glance* we'd share between the four of us that would cue H and I into kneeding our fingers into our ponies' manes and having them surge forward into a fast gallop as we raced side by side.

It was, and will never be, the same.

I don't know why, but for some reason this weekend helped me accept that that hollow will be there forever. Or at least for a very long time. Moon will get older, even when H gets another heart horse, I may have lost mine and not be ready for another. That's life. But as she reminds me, we had those moments, and they'll carry us through. Let's not miss out on making more.

So that is kinda where we're at at this point in time. This weekend camping out with the horses was incredible, and was the kick in the arse I really needed to get back to riding with Moon. We're SOOO close to being all done with our house building adventure and such a huge part of my life and happiness is on the back of that horse. I could feel it so much riding him this weekend and just how happy he is to be out. There's a huge connection there and I don't want to miss that.

Plus it's excellent exercise, gets me out of the house, gives G some time to himself without me and keeps Moon in shape.

Did I mention that S2 is moving her pony to H's barn this winter?! That's right! Her boy, who we'll all alone at her place and she felt he could enjoy some winter company and we could ride together more! So he'll be coming out to the barn probably next month! Yay!

Add in, this weekend we unfortunately had one friend not able to join us on our camping adventure which unfortunately meant we were also one trailer spot short. How did we solve it??...well...we FINALLY used my beautiful blue trailer I fixed up 2 years ago!! We did!

Ol'Blue arrived at the camping site a'okay!

Our friend A from out of province flew out, and H hooked up my blue trailer and picked up her horse at a friend's barn. The trailer hauled out and back without issue (phew!!!), and besides being in need of a new set of tires, it seems to be doing just fine!

The real perk though, was that A gave me a hand in trying to load Mr. Moon into the trailer. You may recall me trying myself 2 years ago and it was a total flop. After a fair number of hours. I finally parked it at home with NO idea of whether or not Moon even FIT in the trailer. about an hour of working together, we had him loaded twice into the trailer, WITH the bum chain and door closed, and happily eating away from from the manger. :D Yup! And he fit! Maybe not with a ton of room, but appropriately without any body parts rubbing or squished!! I'm SOOOO happy! :D So that meant that there's no reason to sell the trailer!

Moonpie inside our very own trailer, FINALLY!! :D BLISS!!

...which was even more awesome when H suggested that we borrow her truck this winter and haul Mr. Moon to Coach W's barn for Friday night rides!! :D Her and I have loved riding together for so long, and it would be not only awesome practice for Moon to load in the trailer, but to work in a nice warm arena for a couple nights a month. The perfect compromise of all the things I wanted out of winter.

I'm THRILLED. A Friday night schooling with H and maybe a Sunday afternoon bareback trail with S2 or S2 and H, and I'm one happy lady. :)

I feel reinvigorated. I really do. It's weird. I'm so excited to get back out riding again. Something I haven't felt since last winter. At all. And last winter I didn't have the time for it. Nor did I last summer. It finally feels like it's time again. And I'm thrilled.

Jumping with Moonpie again, maybe teaching S2 to teach Strider to jump, riding out at Coach W's with H....I'm excited. I have every intention, and finally feel like it'll happen, to ride Moon on Friday night, to ride again on the weekend and just get serious about it again. It's time. This is it folks.

Manitoba MoonSox is back.


A view we've all been missing for far too long.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wow. looks like...

Mr. Moon...

Is gonna have a man of the house...


Hehe. Guess who got engaged to the love of her life yesterday??


Friday, March 14, 2014

Back for a Cause!

If there's ANYTHING that will bring Mooner's blog back out from the woodwork, it would be this:

And apparently mean people can't spell either.

You see, I've been following "A Fat Girl & A Fat Horse" for years now. Those who know me might think..."But S, you're a freak of a toothpick? What would draw you to a blog about "Body Positivity for Plus Sized Riders"??

Well, I like people who come up against the harshness of reality, pull up their big girl panties, and show the world they're worthy.

Amanda's got one of those blogs. I love reading about how she's changing her mentality, her view of self, and being strong in the face of adversity.

Like her most recent post.

Turns out folks had stolen one of her blog pictures, one where she was just a girl on a horse she loved, and with cruelty or perhaps just a lack of sensibility, turned it into a meme (many memes) that were hurtful, lewd, derogatory, offensive and not something ANYONE would want to see with their picture. This touches close to home, because as bloggers, we often post pictures of ourselves in less than 'perfect' scenarios, because we're trying to show the world, our blogging community, that we over came adversity, or that this, this is the real me.

We don't need those used as internet fodder and pointless, hurtful bemusement by people who can't figure out the difference between funny and a$$-hat.

So my blogger friends, I can only ask you, that PLEASE, let's all go to the meme site and let's make Amanda some positive memes! I want the next time she googles that picture of herself, she's inundated by all the horse bloggers out there, who believe that we ALL deserve the joys that horses bring, regardless of our size, and we all deserve to be treated fairly.

My meme for Amanda!

Make your motiviation Meme for Amanda, plus sized riders, riders who just don't give a damn what size you are, and decent people everywhere:

And feel free to let Amanda know on her blog, A Fat Girl & A Fat Horse. She deserves it.