This post is going to be a little rambly, but the gist is about whether or not to let my son do Pony Club.
So I did not do Pony Club when I was a kid. As much as I desperately wanted to be part of that group of kids that showed up at the same schooling days and shows, I never was. I did get lumped in with them during the schooling days with our lovely schooling trainer but I was always the outside on the "crazy lip flipping quarter horse mare thing" and whose parents were never there (I bummed rides from adult barn mates). I had to do it all on my own with lots of hard work and a long suffering trainer that came weekly to our barn and obviously would rather teach the adults but put up with me and seemed more frustrated with my dedication than anything else.
In the end, I don't regret not doing Pony Club and feel I would not be where I am now if I HAD done PC. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE structured programs and am always trying to find someone that has "written the book" on something I want to do and I can follow it word for word and achieve my goals. Interestingly, the world doesn't really work that way from learning to knit to learning to pilot an airplane.
There is no one way to achieve your goal. When I flew a dog down from Syracuse, NY last month, I could have her route through Atlanta, DC, or Chicago. All of them got her to me in Houston, but I chose the northern most route because of the heat. Is that to say she would have died or gotten lost going the other way? Probably not but the chances by default were simply higher due to the existing and unchangeable factors.
I'm not tied to any one method, but I do know the path of least resistance and sometimes you need to step back and look at extenuating factors... such as extreme southern summer temperatures and an airline's reputation for successfully transporting animals.
So considering I'm not tied to a single "most perfect" method, I do have an open mind about things but also want it to gel with what I know from my personal experience works and what my goals are. My dressage coach lets me do things my own way and simply coaches me, rather than doing the training and a "her way or the highway" type of approach. I've learned a TON from her but she's also learned a fair amount from me. I love this two way flow of information and respect.
OK, but what about the ground level people that just want to learn?
Great question! I think for parents that are wanting to get their kid to have a broad knowledge of horses, Pony Club is the jam. It looks like a great all around program with a basis in horsemanship and safety. Who wouldn't want that?
As a parent, I LOVE when people can teach my kid and let me off the hook. I'm always doing the "training" on him so a chance to step back and clap/cheer like a really parent makes me happy. We have this in football. My kid is stupidly talented and we've gotten him in with some great coaches (and some not so great) and he's improved and I've gotten to go to the games and cheer.
My son has always wanted to do the horse thing and while I've tried to discourage it, he persists. Maybe not with the obsessive compulsive way I did at his age, but he's wanting. He's also fearless and well, who doesn't want to see a kid hauling a$$ on a jumper course having a blast? Even my safety conscious/obsessed, slow and steady self cannot ignore that. It would be fun to clap and cheer my kiddo on while he and his mount have a blast around things I did as a kid but didn't have the cheering. Not bitter, but I'd love a second chance at that for his sake/my childhood.
But I'm not sure he really needs it. Maybe it's my slight desire to live though him? Dunno but I know I'm not trying to take more on either. If he wants to help us cool out horses, I'm all for it since we need the help plus everyone likes to see kids/beginners on a sales horse to prove how safe and quiet they are.
So last night I had Sarah on Feina for a brief lesson and I was on the new horse, Luna. This was Luna's first time in the covered, in it at night, with lots of things going on. She was a rock. So willing, so sweet, so happy to just be doing something that I decided to have Pierce get on her and walk/trot her around for me so I could help Sarah more from the ground. He hopped on and... was bored. She was too easy but as a parent, I loved it. The mare did as close to taking care of him as I'd ever expect a horse to. The idea that Pierce could do some Pony Club things on her and then "move up" to another horse was tempting so I thought about it.
We had a one day "try it out" thing a few years back with the local Pony Club. The group was very supportive and welcoming. My son ate up the attention (only boy, what?) and had fun doing the activities. I didn't have too much of an issue with what they did in the riding part of the meeting except the only horse I had for him at the time was a touch too much for him. I had mentioned that and they said I could lead line him basically through it. Well, PC is strictly NO PARENTS in the ring and I had to fight to get what the arranged agreement was done (we were just "trying it out". They gave in and my son had a great time on the mare. There was some chaos in a ring of kids and horses but it was fine overall. I left feeling a bit meh about it but Son loved it.
That was the last thing we've done with PC and while I'm not against it, I'm still undecided much of the time.
The ride last night made me revisit this thinking for my son. Do I want to bother with Pony Club? Lots of top riders are A rated and learned a ton from the program. I love that it is pretty standardized and I love the ratings. What I don't love though, is the major flaw: humans. Each club seems to be built around political nonsense and parents (usually moms) that want to live vicariously through their kid(s) that never got to do horses while younger or did and haven't been able to since. I just want my kid to learn yo and I don't need momma drama.
So I was considering it and well, the meetings where a "top" trainer comes and helps out has me concerned too. When I hit it hard with the horses in 2014-2015, I went to some of these PC A rated trainers to catch up on what I might have missed from PC. Honestly, I lost my confidence with them rather than learned anything back. It's only recently I've been able to realize WHY I'm not ok with jumping when it used to be as easy as breathing. The addition of "its always your fault" and "more leg always" and "count COUNT DAMMIT COUNT RIGHT!" as well as other hallmarks of "learning to jump" had me in a twist. I NEVER put that much thought into jumping before. I was taught how to do things by feel and be effective. I can SEE a distance like no one's business, but get me over thinking about it and I'm going to miss it every time. Do I understand the concept? Absolutely. Can I do it? Absolutely. Can I count it out perfect every time? Nope. But I endured lessons where I was basically a failure if I couldn't do this "simple" thing and I had to put the horses EXACTLY where I wanted them and so on. It was nerve-wracking and really killed my confidence.
I've found my home in dressage, don't get me wrong, but sometimes the urge to go "have fun" is real and we want to get the horses out. I also think cross training all animals (and people!) is necessary for their bodies and minds so we do it. I just hate how I went from confident to not in a short 9 month period with these A rated PC trainers.
And these are the people that would be teaching my child in lessons.
Most of these trainers are pretty nice people on the surface, but I feel that there's more cursing (coming from my no filter mouth is saying something), more drinking, more suggestive talking, and basically inappropriate behavior from these people than I care to expose my kid to (see Instagram...). Is he a prude? Not at all. I curse like a sailor (especially when tired) but I would NEVER do it in a lesson/professional situation (especially for beginners) and NEVER with a child (especially one I didn't make). Do I think people need to be pushed a little? Yes. That's how we learn and get more confident. But you need to learn from mistakes not be berated for taking a chance well outside your comfort level and naturally failing. This is not a good way to learn and best case will lead to disinterest and worst case.. well.
I also don't like how a lot of the kids get "holier than though" if they ARE good and can take the beratings. They turn into little shits and I don't want that for my kid. He's a confident thing already and being a quarterback does stoke the ego but he also knows the leadership and responsibility that he has to be part of and he meets those challenges. I don't need him learning to snark adults and be disrespectful because he's fearless and gutsy (and the only boy). Conversely, I don't want him learning to be worried in situations that he's overfaced in and forced to do them anyway. We teach the horses and the dogs to try and when it gets too tough, we just break it down into smaller pieces, master those and then work to putting them together rather than just forcing forcing forcing.
But then again, that's a big reason we get some many nice horses in to fix. :/
I know many of these PC graduates have done amazing things and I hope that it's restricted to our region, but I just don't see myself making the time, training the kid, training the horse, just to have an outing that makes me want to pull my nails out and possibly go all stabby stabby on someone. Honestly, I have the knowledge and horses that if I wanted to push my kid, he could get his bronze medal by the end of 2018. That's not the experience I want from him though and honestly that really pads my resume more than his and its a lot to ask from a 20 year old let alone a 10 year old. I also want him to learn to work for things. Find the value in "fixing broken things."
While I know there are two sides to every story, things like THIS about a person that's competed at Rolex, has an upper level record, trains lots of horses and people, works with PC kids.... it makes me nervous no matter what level of truth is in this. The horse world is so secretive because people fear retribution from bullies and such. We try to be as transparent as we can about our horses and program. I don't see myself putting my kid in a position where he would have to learn from people like this person. Since we have little control over the trainers that "help," this would be a very real concern.
So while I had to do it all on my own and was a little jealous of the PC kids that had a built in group and got to play with ponies in a kid friendly atmosphere, I wouldn't trade my horse upbringing for anything. It taught me what PC is supposed to teach you: Horsemanship, Organized Teamwork, Respect, Service, and Education.
There's always more than one road on your journey.
As for my son, well, I'm just going to have him learn on our sales horses whatever he can and I know some lovely people that taught me when I was young that are kind, supportive, and I'd happily have him train with them sporadically. I'll have to be brave enough to help him learn (apparently I'm an ok rider ;) ) and know when to push him and when to let him figure it out. I'm a bit worried that he's going to be really good though lol.
When I bought Jade, one of the things I liked best about her was the following part of her sales video:
I mean, sure I'm not "an eventer" anymore but I can appreciate a horse that can walk over a log like nbd. Besides, the idea of showing up everyone with a Friesian at a local show sounded good back then. Spoiler alert: insurance frowns on that and well, she gets hot and is WAY better at dressage. Nevertheless, we like to cross train our horses and while Jade won't be competing against HH Azur or Petite Flower anytime soon, it is fun to throw her into new things and let her figure it out. She's a super fun girl that's always game for trying new things (especially when it's me ignoring her right side stiffness or insisting on a shoulder in with actual bend and angulation). Plus she was stumbling all over the terrain when we were just walking at Pine Hill in July. Derp. So after not really riding her for a month, I couldn't bring myself to do hard core dressage on her so we slapped my Chiberta on her and had some fun in the covered at dusk. Besides, I'd tortured Sarah with jumping right before this so it only seemed fair that I do the same to myself. The following video is NOT edited because it makes me lol so so much ><
The part you don't see here is how many times we had to raise the jump before she would actual JUMP the thing. She can get some serious air trotting over thing y'all. Once she realized they weren't actual cavaletti and real things to hop over, she got pretty excited which lead to the above bouncing while she tried to bounce her way to a correct canter and then didn't give a flip and bounced us up the arena. Silly girl lol.
Also dressage core strength SERIOUS helps with jumping. I mean, we KNOW that but man, I felt great.
This is my farrier, Jason. While I'd love to say he's all mine, he's not. I'd love to have a private farrier but alas, we're not there yet. But Jason is a wizard with horse feet. I know there are plenty of horse owners and trainers that feel the same about him. While he doesn't get a lot of the really fun perks or the really low lows we experience, he happily takes on whatever project horse I buy and makes their feet look like a million bucks. Seriously, wizard.
Kind of looks like farting...
My first farrier in high school was amazing. He did all the barn's horses with only a few exceptions. I don't recall him doing hot shoes but I do recall him lining the horses up all down the barn on cross ties while the barn manager dutifully swapped the finished ones with the to be done ones. It was a really fascinating system. He also was completely fine with horses being barefoot. My mare was barefoot for most of the time I had her ($25 trims ftw) but once we hit Training level in eventing, her feet were getting chipped from the drops and we swapped to front only shoes.
I never once in those 4 years knew about the anguish, horror, annoyingness, etc of "normal" farriers.
Enter my college years. I caught up on all the horrors. I've tried basically every farrier in this immediate area and wow, its been an adventure. Nothing has made me long to do my own horses' feet like trying out farriers in this area. I finally found a really nice person to do my horses feet and that was good - for a while. He was really good at maintaining the status quo. I had a pony that perpetually had white line no matter what we did. When I finally swapped to Jason, he had it cleared up in one trim. Spoiler - it wasn't white line it was separation of the wall because pony needed some extra temporary support with shoes while her hoof recovered from the 2 years of trying to "treat" the white line.
So much for nice.
I made the swap to Jason when I got Jade. Terrified of doing things wrong with my "big horse," I sought out someone that understood Friesian feet (they're square shaped if you don't know). My farrier at the time seemed indifferent to my thoughts about the mare and was even there doing a horse of mine's feet and seemed indifferent bordering on distant. At this point, I knew I wanted someone that was going to be on this journey upward with me.
After Jason not only being knowledgeable about Jade's feet, he was super stoked about the horse herself. I'd never had this before and well, it's an endearing thing that (from what I've seen), Jason does this with all the horses. He really likes his job and he really loves the horses (especially the big ones lol). I know Jason is a huge, huge part of why Vana is as sound as he is. The giant aluminum rockers that he came with were replaced with wedges and then swapped to a simpler flat show with a frog supporting pad (that's super pricey but thankfully reusable). He's helped Feina so much and kept her barefoot and happy since we got her.
Since this point, Jason has been our farrier and despite what most of the people around me think, he's excited when I get a new horse in and loves to meet them. He allows me to work them how I need to to get them steady and he just does an amazing job with each of them. Really, this guy is a gem.
I just can't even <3 #yesthatsahoofmontage
Earning a pony ride. Piper not impressed (per normal)
With the sale of Simon, this means we've been working hard on our up and coming projects. The timing was really good for Simon to head to his new home as we're in the hottest part of the summer and show season is coming up. Naturally this means that we need to keep the big horses in work for fitness reasons but otherwise, we're not pushing anything new on them.
Our current horses in training (to be resold in the near future), are Wesley, Luna, and Patrick. Wesley has been here since the spring and came with little training. We've put weight on him and started him in our boot camp where he's been enjoying himself and learning really quickly. He's a doll of a horse and we look forward to seeing where we go with him.
A newer horse is Luna. She is a warmblood cross mare that has lovely movement and a super fun and loving temperament. We've only had her since July and we are working on her fitness but hope to do some schooling shows with her in the late fall when it cools down and we're done with recognized shows. She has an excellent canter and lots of pieces pre-existing knowledge of eventing/dressage/jumping so hopefully we can work through the pieces and make a cohesive unit.
That trot tho... <3
Patrick is our newest addition. While we officially obtained him in July, we were busy with our events and had him vacation at a farm until we could go pick him up to come home. He's in great shape and we had Jason work a little farrier magic on his feet and we're good to go. Patrick is working in our Foundations program but has a good start to begin with. Like Luna, we hope to hit some schooling shows with him in the later fall!
I know this is called "Fall Prep," so here we go. My plan right now is to simply show Vana at PSG at the Laborious Day shows in Katy in a few weeks. We've both been off this past month for the most part and while I-1 is a better test for us, I figure we can chill out and do the "easier" PSG test while we get back up to full speed as the heat breaks a little (luls). Hopefully we can do I-1 in the fall and then work all winter on our Intermediate Freestyle and Grand Prix debut. Thinking the Jan show in Katy? We'll see! I just want to finish up my Silver Medal at this point and maybe play at Regionals.
Jade has been doing pretty well but kind of in a holding pattern this summer. As a heavy built black horse, she doesn't do terribly well in the summer here for more advanced work and by the time I'm done riding Vana at 10pm, sometimes it's easier to just hug on her and go to bed. #reallife I'm thinking (pending how Vana does), that I'll hit another schooling show with her and maybe go to a recognized show in November. My plan is to do just 1st level. I need 2 more scores for my Rider Performance Award at that level and while she's capable of more, I figure it'll be an easy entry into the "real" world of showing since her off property showing is limited.
I'm debating what Sarah (working student) will be doing at this point. Now that she has #dressageskillz , I want to keep her working on them. She rode Feina last night and it was a good ride for both of them. I think Feina really enjoyed being under saddle for the first time in over a year and she was so gorgeous. Luna will probably be the horse for Sarah as they're really liking each other so we'll see. Lots of great options at our farm right now so we're excited to keep growing!
OK, so they're not actually lambs either but man, can't resist using this title!
So we have sheep. Sheep are great grazers and I use them for herding training with my dogs too. Also, sheep are dumbs. Sorry guys, you just are. They're also creepy as hell especially at night where they lurk in the brush with their ghostly faces, green eye shine, and just watch you go about your business in the dark looking every bit the part of psychotic wolves or something worse.
So anyway, the sheep were grazing the weeds in the horse areas (yay productive) and then it rained (yay rain). Sheep got wet, sheep were able to go under electric fence, sheep found rando hole in the neighbors fence and ended up on the next road over standing under a road sign like the dummies they are.
Our neighbors were driving in and saw them standing like dummies and called us. I left work to find the jerks, couldn't find them, so drove all over the place on the UTV looking for them. After enlisting the Sheriffs to help and telling them where I thought they had roamed up onto someone's property and how I didn't want to be shot, they headed up there to look while I drove around some more. Got caught in a rain storm and SOAKED so I headed home where I was half naked with dripping clothes and... sheriff called and said they were right where we thought they might be. I threw on half an outfit (sexy yo), grabbed a bucket of feed and walked up to the spot. A quick SHEEPIE SHEEPIE and they came tearing over to me (yay fundamental training) and we trotted our way home with a police escort. #truestory
Spoiler Alert: Majority Not Pregnant
OK, so if you're keeping up with this sh*t storm that is me attempting to make epic horse babies in 2017, here's the count:
Attempted AIs: 3
Positive Ultrasound Results: 0
Attempts With Real Live Stallion: 1
Positive Unltrasound Results: 0
4 tries / 0 success
So I moved my original breeding to Sempatico for Sangria to Piper, my awesome Paint mare and we tried her:
Attempted AIs: 1
Positive Ultrasound Results: 0
1 try/o success
Granted this is a one try deal but I'm not going to try again until maybe the spring and honestly, Piper is a blast to ride and I'd rather keep her as a sales horse and enjoy her until the right person comes along.
Attemped AIs: 3
Positive Ultrasound Results: 2
Reabsorptions: 1 (Boo)
Currently waiting for her 2 week check up to see a heart beat so until then I'm pretty meh about the whole thing.
OK, so what does this all mean?
Well first, I should have just bought a damned baby horse really. Whatever. My mares can all get pregnant except Sangria at this point, so that's a good thing. It also means if Feina keeps this baby (don't you dare eat it this time mare!) that we'll be skipping breeding her NEXT year as it'll be stupid late and pick her up in Spring 2019 so we can be on a sane schedule. At least that's what I'm thinking right now but wtf, really.
Sangria. Oh Sangria. She's gorgeous, she's sweet, she's going to make some pretty babies if SHE'D EFFING GET PREGNANT. Her cycles have been wonky and adding in the Lutalyse has rocked her world so at this point we might be doing a half hearted attempt with the live stallion but really, I'm going to be picking her up in the next week, throwing her in the paddock, and ignoring her until I'm emotionally ready to even think about it.
Piper, well, I'm going to ride her or have Sarah ride her and things. I'm trying hard to line her up for some dressage shows, but the power pony is such fun at eventing that we may hit a few schooling trials for fun. I dunno. I'm not in charge of this train sometimes.
I was going to not think about baby horse anything but Sarah (who's 19 year old maiden mare is totally preggers and loving it at the house) was asking me about 2018 plans for her mare's stallion and so now I'm hunting around figuring out things I'd love to see her crossed with. I may not be able to get my mares knocked up reliably, but I'll help other people do it!
This weekend was a little cray for dog events. No horses were ridden (sadly) but I was still recovering from Julypocalypse 2017. We put on a Barn Hunt trial series Friday PM and then Saturday AM before grabbing a handful of dogs and show grooming them. Sunday we headed into town with Cole, Capone, and Pike to strut their stuff. Actually, the purpose was more for training. Alex needed to learn ring procedure and I needed to work on Pike learning to show dog.
The older boys were rock stars for Alex and she learned a ton. Pike was super duper smart and figured out how easy it was to stand, act fancy, and eat chicken. He loved the game and strutted around with me to a Reserve Winners dog to a 3 pt major in the second show! Alex did great handling Capone and learning how to drive that Ferrari of a dog as well as showing Cole in Altered competition. Cole was Best of Winners both shows and earned 5 more points! He now only needs 1 more point to finish his ASCA championship so that was exciting!
I'm way behind on my writing (I won't call it blogging since I basically hammer out months worth of posts in one day when I find time) but I felt the desire to write this post because a lot is going on right now.
This has been a long, trying, exciting, and exhausting spring for us at Cirrus Sky Farms. I won't lie.
We've been trying to sell horses, trying to breed horses, trying to grow our dog training business, trying trying trying. At this point of the year, we've sold the horse we needed to sell (two weeks ago and naturally the one week that I had to be out of town to run an event in Houston), bred two gorgeous litters of puppies, lost two of our top females from our dog breeding program to freak but separate accidents, spent many thousands to breed the mares with none being pregnant to this point (Feb to August time frame if you're keeping track). In reality, we're breaking even most months.
Why am I not devastated or freaking out? Why do I keep trying?
Well, first, I'm breathing so I have a ton to be thankful for.
Second, while I've always had these ideas in my head since I was a small child, I honestly never thought I'd be able to play the game in any capacity. Maybe I'd be able to breed a dog once every 3 years. Maybe I'd have a Champion dog. Maybe I'd have a Training Level dressage horse. Maybe I'd compete in eventing again at a schooling show. Basically, I wanted to be my high school self but maybe without my parents hanging around all the time.
Third, I have a plan. Sometimes the plan rick rolls me on any given day, sometimes it comes through right when I need it most. So long as you're at least leveling out regularly and then constantly moving upwards you should be good. I swear, this is just like training a horse for FEI levels... keep your eye on the prize, right?
What is this magical plan?
Well, it's called a business plan. Sorry, it's not romantic or exciting. All those years of struggling and planning and waiting for "one day" led me to be able to code my own website, I know horse selling markets like no one's business. I know lines/pedigrees. I know how to scrounge up unbelievable deals. I know how to take care of horses in a preventative medicine way. I know how to forge relationships with the people that are most important to my success and keep them happy (husband, vet, farrier, prospective clients). I know how to be honest and how to value that in people. I'm an excellent photographer and marketing person. I can write. I can be upfront. I don't let people waste my time. I know how to say No. I know how to make choices based on numbers and not emotions. Sometimes you can get emotional, but I never let it make the choices. Dust those pants off and get back in the game.
This is about the long game and not the short game.
Business plans are amazing and so many people don't have them. I have about a hundred versions. Plans A through AAAAA so there's always a back up to my back up to keep me on track. I'm not a brave person by nature and the amount of money that is coming in and out of our farm is staggering and makes me want to hide in the corner. Thankfully Zoloft helps with that (just enough) and the numbers do the rest. Plus, the success of my dog training clients, our events, the horses, the interest I have on my sites, the warm feeling I get when people try our sales horses and they're rock solid, the pride I feel when my working student looks like a "real" dressage rider without my help... it all confirms that I'm on it. Oh and I've done SO MUCH in one year if I want to forget what I've done personally.
I'm basically a bad ass. Although I feel like a 13 year old girl staring at my life most the time wondering how this is all happening and wishing I had a stuffed horse toy to hug.
It's scary putting yourself out there. It's scary getting other people to buy into your stuff. It's scary as hell to throw more money on the line than you ever thought you'd make in a year on a single cause. It's scary to talk to banks and accountants about your dreams. It's scary to log into my banking app. (Even though I breath a sigh of relief more than I grimace most the time thankfully). It's scary to have people support you. It's scary to know that people have your back and are willing to work their asses off for you.
Hardest of all... It's scary to believe in yourself.
Believing in other people is easier. Supporting other people in their dreams is much easier. You can clap them on the shoulder and then talk smack about them behind their backs or just be jealous and wonder "why not me?" although you're realistically be scared to death to even try.
I won't lie... it's scary where I am. But I also see where this freight train is going (it's exciting and terrifying) and since I'm the one that let it out of the station... let's see where it goes. So far it's been one hell of a ride and I'm honored and humbled by the braver than me souls that have chosen to jump on this train with me.
Even though my village scares me to death, I wouldn't be where I am without them either and I am so grateful for them that I cannot even. I have sincere people that back me emotionally and financially. I now have people that if I need help teaching dog training lessons, they'll swallow their insecurities and give it a try (and rock the crap out of it!), I have shoulders to cry and vent on about what's going on and we Gif the hell out of each other until we're laughing on Messenger. My husband of course is a ridiculously big saint for going through all of this and honestly, we'd have that $1.5 million dollar loan and 60 acres in progress right now if it was up to him. He believes in what I'm doing and what he's seeing so much that he can't believe I haven't jumped in and done that yet.
$1.5M? *cries in a corner
I'm not alone and that's a heavy responsibility but also a slowly glowing wonderful feeling as I trust in it more. Even if I don't trust in it.. my limited time means I have to start taking more and more help as we grow at a cheetah's pace. Thankfully management skills and delegation are things I've learned very well as well. :)
This brings my wandering post back around to the diversifying concept. I NEVER have put my eggs in one basket. It scares me that I'll be left with nothing. We have horses we're trying to breed. Sales horses populate our round bales on our farm. Dog training is a constant happening at our farm. We do handling for people at dog events we're going to. Events are put on. We produce some amazing puppies for show and companionship. I just bought a smoking deal of a saddle from England that if we don't like it, I can easily flip it for a tidy profit. There is always money coming in (sometimes $30 at a time and sometimes $20K at a time) to offset the money bleeding out. The mares refusing to be bred is a bummer but I don't have time to dwell on it; a new sales horse comes in tomorrow and a new working student starts shortly. Do I need a bigger horse trailer? Time to research the numbers. We're running a dog event Friday - Saturday and then we are showing at a dog show on Sunday. No rest for the wicked.
It's all about diversifying and taking on things that make sense. It's also about saying no and making choices based on the non sexy numbers. I say No so much and I do feel (a little) bad but I cannot go negative for a dog club because they want barn hunt at an event (for example). I cannot drop the price on a horse that I know is worth it based on feelings. I don't do things if I break even on them (I could stay home to break even kthnx) unless it helps me in another way (advertising, marketing, reputation building, my personal enjoyment).
I do want the day to come where I'm not working three full time jobs personally (Thanks "real" job but we will need to part at some point). Would I ever do just one or the other? Probably not. When one is lacking, the other one tends to do well to cover. My CPA (who recently passed :( ) gave me the confidence to lump things together in that way versus playing the "this vs that" game. Portfolio thinking or something like that. He gave me the confidence to talk to financial persons about my goals, plans, and how spiffy I am. He believed in what we are doing and was one of the first to find me "incredible" when I still hadn't even hit that first show with Nirvana. I still have plans for a tropical fish store in my folders as well as some other business ventures that I will diversify into when I can. Me? I'll be riding ponies as much as I can when that day comes.
So basically: Learn to believe in yourself (as much as you dare) and diversify your gambles to spread the risk out.
Now to cry about the idea of the $1.5M plan (while dying to get to the point where we have it).
JK, it's the vet. Again. For preg check. Again.
This time it was Piper and spoiler, she wasn't pregnant. Instead of fixating on that, let's check out my co-pilot for the day, Ticket and all her adorableness of learning to be an errand dog!
Now you go and get things together to start chores. Try not to die tripping over puppy.
Round the ducks up and move them away from the trailer.
Puppy tries to figure out how to ride in the truck. #youredoingitwrong