30 Things About Me

This has been the hot post around the Equestrian Blogosphere, and far be it from me to give up the opportunity to overshare on the internet!  Without further ado, here are 30 Things About Me:

1. I joined FFA specifically to be on the horse judging team, and then morphed into a total aggie. I won an award for being the Top Ag Student my senior year.  This was no small feat, coming from a small farming community: my high school had about 500 kids, and 180 of us were in FFA.

I won the award thanks to competing in record book, extemporaneous public speaking, horse judging, livestock judging, meat judging, crop judging, and dairy judging.  Basically, if they needed an extra person on the team, I was the one to learn it quick and fill the spot.

I also got to do fun stuff like take my horse to the annual FFA petting zoo.

2. I also won the award for being Top Music Student my senior year. I was first chair trumpet and was kind of insanely competitive about it.

3. I got my bachelors degree from Truman State University. I majored in Ag Science with a focus on Ag Business, and a minor in Equine Science.  My favorite classes were probably the Equine Repro and Bovine Repro practicum, and the Futures & Options Markets classes.

#802, my favorite Gelbvieh calf!

4. I’m incredibly introverted. I spend a lot of time alone and can be rather anti-social.  I like to enjoy the time I do spend with people, so I’m picky about it.

5. Despite my introverted ways, I love public speaking. It doesn’t scare me in the slightest!

6. For those of you who follow the Myers-Briggs types, I’m an INFJ. Discovering and researching this helped me tremendously in my 20s!

7. If you’re into astrology, I’m a Gemini Sun, Scorpio Moon, Scorpio Rising.

8. I strength train, for fun and profit. Helping people move better and get stronger is one of my very favorite things!  I have a personal training studio and strength training is a big part of my life.

9. I used to compete in Tactical Strength Challenges. My last competition was in 2015.  I pulled a 340lbs deadlift, did one pull-up, and 140 kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes with a 16kg kettlebell.

10. I’ve deadlifted up to 355lbs, but don’t have any pictures/record of it. It was kind of an ugly lift, so that’s probably for the best. XD

11. I got into fitness along the way of my journey to lose 90+ lbs. I was super unhealthy in college and dropped the weight after graduating.  I’ve gained some back – some of it muscle and some of it fat – but it was quite an experience!

12. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on being overweight, having lived it myself.  I’m not sure if I’ll get into them on this blog, but the biggest take away is this – being fat and/or gaining weight doesn’t make you a bad person, but people sure act like it does!

13. I used to do professional web design, back in the day when professional web design was super easy. Nobody had tablets or phones, so your site only had to work/look good on a computer!

14. I did a bit of professional horse show photography. It was fun, but I got burned out, fast… it was SO much time and effort, and people (who I knew and considered friends!) would just straight up steal from me.  They’d buy the cheapest print and then scan it and print it out themselves or at Wal Mart, resulting in really hideous prints (grainy and with the color profile all off)… with my name on it. D:

15. I’m a gun enthusiast/avid shooter. I enjoy target shooting with rifles and handguns, and of course the shotgun games (how could you not?).

16. I’m also a big makeup enthusiast. I watch a ton of makeup Youtube videos and really enjoy experimenting around with different techniques and looks and products.

17. I’m the youngest of 4 sisters, and my sisters are my best friends. Being the beloved youngest is truly ideal.

18. I had an emergency appendectomy when I was 13. It was the FIRST TIME my parents ever left me home alone by myself.  AND there was a blizzard.  I looked up symptoms of appendicitis online and called my grandparents to ask them to take me to the doctor.  My grandpa couldn’t get all the way up the lane thanks to the snow, so I had to walk down it, through the snow drifts, with my side cramping up like a mofo.  Everything turned out ok and I’ve got a cool scar and a fun story to go with it!

19. I’m an adventurous eater. I’ll try pretty much anything once!

20. I LOVE the taste of vinegar.  Salt and vinegar chips are my favorite, but sauces heavy on the vinegar (like A1) rank right up there.

21. My drink of choice these days is either a Long Island Iced Tea or a Whiskey Sour. I prefer the latter made with Tennessee Whiskey (George Dickel ideally, but Jack Daniels is just fine).

22. I love smoky foods. The reason I love TN whiskey so much is because it’s filtered through charcoal.  Chipotle peppers and other such smoky flavors are my favorites!

23. I drive a 2009 Toyota Tacoma named Taco and I love it so much! I used to drive a 2002 Chevy Silverado which was an absolute beast, but my love for it pales in comparison for my love of Taco.

Taco the Tacoma

24. I owned two ferrets for a while. I’d wanted them my whole life and got them when I was in college.  Ferrets are fun but WEIRD.  They constantly get in trouble and they run around making a little chuckling noise.

Huckleberry Finn

25. I’ve lived in central IL my whole life and I love it. Even though we make fun of the corn and soybeans, there’s a lot to be said for being surrounded by some of the most fertile land in the country!  I love 4 distinct seasons – in my life, I’ve seen cold down to -36F and heat up to 110F.  I love a snowy winter and a sweltering summer with beautiful spring and autumn in the middles.

26. I’m 5’7″ tall, which I have to say is pretty ideal.

27. Besides my personal training business, I also work in finance.  Don’t worry, you’ll never see financial advice here (it is strictly forbidden)!  I work with my dad, and I’m proud to be taking over the family business!

28. I have a king size bed, THANK GOODNESS, because between the 200lbs of dog and the 15lbs cat, I still only get a very small sliver of it.

29. I (and 2/3 of my immediate family) have a knack for finding four-leaf clovers.  Family lore states that pressing them into a folded check or deposit slip will bring you good financial luck.  I carry 50+ of them around in my purse at all times.

30. Despite my propensity for finding four-leaf clovers, my very favorite song of all time is Metallica’s “No Leaf Clover.”

Friday Five: Current Wishlist

There’s some BIG BIG stuff in the works, but I am feeling vulnerable and a little paranoid about it so I don’t want to post everything here until everything’s For Sure™.

As a pleasant distraction, here’s my current Wishlist, in Friday Five form.  Amazon links because it’s Friday night and I’m feeling lazy.

1. Total Saddle Fit English Girth

I bought the Western cinch earlier this year and so far have really liked it.  I purchased it from the Amazon warehouse site, where products that have been returned or opened are sold at a discount.

Simon seems to roll out of his shoulder nicely at a dog walk and flat walk which wearing it.  So now I’d like to get an English version so that I can get back in my cutback.

2. Canine DNA Test

When I adopted Monty, they said he was a German Shepherd/Mastiff mix.  I figured he was actually part Pitbull… he’s got the short coat and blocky head.  Basically, it’s been a mystery!  I’d love to get a DNA test to find out for sure, but I know as of a few years ago they were still pretty inaccurate.  I think they’ve improved, and now I’m chomping at the bit to swab Monty’s little puppy cheeks and see what the results say.

3. Gin Gins Candies

I had one of these at my massage therapist’s studio and it was amazing.  They come in a few different varieties (original, super strength, ultra strength, double strength) and I have no idea which one I tried and loved.  I’m PRETTY sure it came in a blue wrapper.

4. Air Bag Vest

I think it would be super cool to have an air vest to wear while riding.  It’s been a while since I’ve fallen off been thrown (knock on wood) but I wear a helmet every time I ride.  I would feel so dumb if I got a head injury simply because I was too lazy to put on a helmet.  It makes sense to protect other parts of your body, too, and an air vest seems like a very reasonable thing to wear whilst perched atop a 1,000lbs beast.

5. Back on Track Sheet(s)

I have a few BOT products already.  But I WANT MORE.

Not only for the pony, but the dogs, too, on the rare occasion they’re not on the bed (heated mattress pad) or parked in front of my faux fireplace.  I’m surrounded by senior animals and I want them to stay comfy!

Lemme know what you’ve got on your wishlist these days!


Simon in the Autumn

The past couple weeks have been a flurry of activity.  Now that the clocks have turned back, I feel like I’m at the precipice of the free fall that marks the slide of autumn into winter.

We’ve had some cold, rainy, and blustery weather that really dampened my spirits.  Or rather, it lit a fire under my “time to eat a lot and hibernate” instincts.  To be fair, it doesn’t seem to take much to call those to the forefront…

Chicken Au Gratin at the Chanticleer

R and I hit up the Chanticleer, our favorite local restaurant, last week.  I know I’ve posted about it before, because we go there constantly.  This time I tried a new dish, one of their specials that evening, the chicken au gratin.  It was, in a word, amazing.  It’s a rich, creamy macaroni and cheese dish with sliced chicken breast on top.  Thus, it is technically a chicken dish and technically the whole thing counts as “lean protein.”  That’s just how it works!

Simon Misty Morning
Walker Amongst the Fog

I’m not the only one chowing down lately!  Mr. Simon has been a hay hound, easily putting away double the amount he was eating in the summer.  It probably has to do with the fact that the small pasture next to the neighbor’s pasture is eaten all the way down.  Of course, he has another pasture to go into but he can’t see his girlfriend from there, so anytime I shut him into that I can hear the faint strains of “In the Arms of an Angel” while he emotes in the corner.

Our riding time is going to be extremely limited for, like, the next 6 months.  Since there’s no indoor arena at my parents’, we’re at the whim of nature.  Dusk at 4PM doesn’t help either.

Simon the Tennessee Walker
Looking VERY Walker-ish

I sat and thought about some goals for Simon.  I’ve barely ridden him in the past 3 years, so a lack of saddle time is really not going to be a huge change.  We’re going to continue to work on his mobility, flexibility, and strength through ground work.  My goal is to get/keep him both physically and mentally fit enough that I could throw a leg over him if we get a chance.


Squat Shoes by Risto

My own fitness life has shifted.  I’m on week 3 of a new program, focusing on the barbell power lifts (squat, bench press, and deadlift).  It’s been a little odd getting back under the bar, but I think I’m starting to get back into the groove of it.

Bonus: I get to wear my awesome watermelon-esque squat shoes.

Buster and Beretta

My roommates are dealing with their own November struggles, namely that I haven’t increased kibble rations.  These two are in cahoots and cornered me this weekend.  “We’ve seen you with the carbs and we want in on it,” they said menacingly.


“Aren’t they awful?” came Monty’s voice.  “Such naughty naughty animals.  We should make sure to note that on the intake form when we surrender them to the shelter.”

No one’s getting surrendered and no one’s getting more kibble and we’re all going to have to learn to cope with it!