7 Ways of Combatting Helmet Head

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Dude, this is such a real problem. I know it seems trivial, but helmet head always leaves me feeling ugly. I have naturally fine hair, so when it loses volume because it’s stuffed into a helmet for the better part of a day, I lose all hope. Especially when you’re riding before work or you have someplace important to be after the barn. But never fear! I’ve figured out how to get rid of (or hide!) helmet hair while still being safe and wearing a helmet.

  1. As soon as you get off, take your helmet off and let your hair air dry. If you run your fingers through your hair, even better! It adds volume and returns to its normal glory.
  2. When you spray your horse down, spray your hairline too. Yes, it’s odd to give your head a spritz when you’re at the barn, but are equestrians known for being ‘cool’? Right, so don’t worry about it! Same as #1, run your fingers through your hair to fluff up your roots. I like this method better because then you don’t have sweaty, disgusting hair until the next time you wash it. And if you want to wait until your in the safe space of your house, follow tip number 3.
  3. When you take a shower, but don’t want to wash your hair, just wet down your roots when your hair is in a ponytail. This instantly revives your hair and it won’t smell like sweat and horse! This is also a good method for post-gym workouts, too.
  4. Wear a freaking cute headband. Just embrace that your hair is going to lose its volume and wear a cute headband to distract everyone. Or wear a hat! Hats squish down your hair anyways, so just plop on a cute ball cap and call it a day.
  5. If you are good with braiding, try putting your hair in a cute side braid or french braid. Braids 100% conceal helmet hair and 100% distract others from the lack of volume.
  6. Another good idea is to carry dry shampoo or a volumizing product around. It will fluff up your hair while getting rid of the dried sweat that can irritate your scalp. Dry shampoo will also give you more texture if you want to try braiding your hair.
  7. Literally own it. Flat hair, don’t care! If you’re comfortable wearing breeches out in public, then it’s time to be comfortable wearing flat hair out in public. To me, helmet hair means you’re staying safe while competing in one of the most dangerous sports! Own it! Just throw your hair into a ponytail, a half up-half down style, and forget about it.

So those methods are what I use to go from the barn to the outside world and look like a normal human being. Let me know in the comments of what you do to combat helmet head!

 

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Hello, 2018!

I hope everyone is crushing their New Year’s goals so far! It seems that I’m asking a lot of myself this year, so planning my goals is a must right now.  My desk has been cluttered with planners, lists, and coffee basically everyday since the New Year.2018 plannin.jpg

And while I would love this post to be solely about planning (because boy, do I LOVE planning!), I wanted to give y’all an update on Raven. A while ago, I wrote about the hard decision to retire Raven. If you want to know the details, see this post. Turns out, she was sound a mere 3 weeks after the trip to the vet. Weird, right? One moment I hear that she needs to be retired and the next is filled with all of these hopeful thoughts about potentially riding her.

Over the summer, I started working her slowly, and she was sound…up until I moved her to Northern California. Then she got really lame. I spent a lot of time and money in order to have her back to normal, and finally, it’s paid off. She’s sound! What am I going to do with that? Not sure yet…

Why am I telling you this? Because frankly, there’s a lot to take from this experience. First and foremost, sometimes people tell you what you don’t want to hear. When that happens, you need to make the decision if you want to accept defeat and become passive, or if you want to take matters into your own hands and fight. Naturally, I decided to do whatever I could to make sure Raven will be forever happy and healthy. Raven will never be the same, and I might not ever jump her again, but at least I know she will have a good, sound life.

Another important thing I gained from this experience is perspective. Back in April, when I first found this out, I was devastated. I could barely make it to class without puffy eyes from crying so hard. My world seemed to cave in around me, and I couldn’t focus on anything other than Raven. But then time went on, and I felt better. She could be lame; she could be sound; but either way, we’ll get through it.

Finally, it’s also important to accept change. I always think that will be easy, but after some self reflecting, I realize that I’m horrible at change. So yeah, Raven and I might never compete again. I took this about as hard as anyone would. I don’t want to give up my girl! I don’t want to be that crazy lady with 6 horses because I could never part with them. But at the same time, I feel like Raven is part of who I am. How could I give her up? Obviously, this is a huge change for me! But, to look at the bright side, this gives me an opportunity to find another competition mount! So whatever happens, change is always going to be there, and it’s (for the most part), good.

And about 9 months later, she’s sound. Doctor’s orders have us on another 60 day lay-up, but I’m not letting this get me down. At the end of the day, she’s healthy, she’s sound, and we’ll get through this.

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s important to have perspective in your life. Listen to others, but also listen to yourself. You are the one that is living your life, so you should have say in how you live it.

But it’s always remember it’s good to take things one stride at a time!

 

Alsooo here’s a picture of Raven from today because she’s just so darn cute 🙂

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Jump Into…Clarity

I was 5 years old when I decided that I wanted to be a vet. I spent my whole life being passive about it, worrying about other things like what movies were out or when I could ride. I never once took an internship at a vet’s office or asked my equine vet to ride around in his car. But I still kept this dream all through elementary, middle, and high school.

I was 19 years old when I decided I didn’t want to be a vet. I decided so after riding around with the previously mentioned vet and being thrown into thermodynamics (which I absolutely hated for many reasons). I decided that my career would have to be something different.

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So there I was, 19 years old, at a college that specialized in agriculture, engineering, and architecture, in a major that specialized in pre-vet, and I literally have no idea why I’m there. Instead of running away, I decided to take every single interesting animal science class I could to expose myself to different things. I learned that I love horses, anatomy is amazing, and I still have no idea what I want to be.

A couple years later, I graduate college. I enroll in the MBA program because a well-rounded education sounded nice. I’ve worked in businesses before and people seem okay, right? Okay, well then I graduate. I still have no idea what I am doing.

Then, people start asking me what I want to do. As if I need more pressure, right? But it was actually useful because these people were a bit older and wiser and actually gave me sound advice.

So, after years and years of feeling lost, I am slowly pulling myself out of confusion. There’s a couple of things that helped me with this and I want to share them so everyone can embark on a journey of confusion to clarity.

  1. Talk to different people about things like careers, their past, or and wisdom that they can pass down to you.
  2. Don’t be passive in your life. Sometimes I think back and feel like I was dealt the wrong hand. I feel like I wasn’t given as many opportunities as some of my peers. But when I think more on that, it’s because I didn’t allow myself to open up. I didn’t allow myself to try new things or ask people for help.
  3. Do things that interest you. Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks because in 5 years from now, those people won’t be living your life.
  4. Read self-help books. Whatever you want to believe about them, these books are actually very helpful. Right now, I am reading about finding your career of your choice. I’ve also read books about empowerment and the like.
  5. Read memoirs. Watch documentaries. Learn. Expose yourself to things that might not be ‘you’ at the moment. This will all help you find yourself and your true passions. Plus, you might learn something really cool.
  6. Take time to self-reflect. I always loved the idea of keeping a journal. I’ve never been able to do it until I started this blog. If blogging isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other mindful activities that help. Doing something mindful for 20 minutes a day really helps.
  7. Don’t forget to have fun! I think I did this throughout my life, more than the other lessons that I’ve written down. While it’s not as productive, doing something fun helps you know what you want, what you like, and what you want to keep in your life.

There are so many more lessons I’ve learned throughout the years. But I think everything here is really important. No matter what stage you are in life, it is good to just allow yourself to have new experiences because that puts you one step closer to a life of happiness. And that’s what everyone on this planet should have.

 

Ok cool, so just take this thing called life one stride at a time and you’ll be good, yeah?

Jump Into…A Brand New Place

I totally thought that I would have time to blog throughout this move…but I was greatly mistaken. These past few weeks have been full of moving, starting a new internship, finding a full-time job, finding a barn for Rae, barely sleeping, and some part-time exploration of the town and the rest of NorCal! I can honestly say I am so happy to be back up here, but I can also say that I miss SLO more than I thought.

 

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It’s hard to change everything and move, but there is also a beauty in it. I feel like you learn who you are when everything else isn’t stable in your life. On top of that, it shows you that you’re stronger than you think. Trust me, I’ve had some hard moments in the past month between applying for jobs and devastatingly missing Raven. During those hard times, it’s best to just keep going. Because I’ve also had great ones! Not only did I find a place for Raven, but I also got to try backpacking for the first time and dare say I’m addicted!

Putting yourself into new situations may seems scary at first (or maybe even exhilarating), but it always ends up being a good thing. I’m thankful that I can be optimistic during this time period and understand that it will all work out.

But more about backpacking because I can understand why so many people go. The feeling of being in the woods with literally no one else around is beyond words. This was my  first time backpacking and before then, I always was hesitant to try. I’ve always loved hiking, but I didn’t know if I would like carrying upwards of 30 pounds on my back or going to the bathroom in the woods. Heck, I didn’t know how I was going to wash my hands for putting my contacts in! But I put that all aside and just dove in and did it. I’m glad that I put my fears away and explored the beautiful backcountry of Tahoe! I highly recommend going there, but also just ignoring your fears (or at least not embracing them). It will surprise you what you’re capable of!

 

Jump Into…Packing!

I’m kicking off this new series a couple of days early. I felt like it needed a to happen now and not later so here we are. Without further ado, welcome to the new series…Jumping Into! What better way to track the progress of moving than beginning with packing (yuck).

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I was laying on my floor last night, drinking a beer, and taking a break from packing up our apartment when I just got this crazy feeling. I’ve been so anxious about this move (for obvious reasons), but I felt oddly calm.Besides the time that I moved from home to college, I’ve never moved by myself to a new city.  In what is supposed to be such a hectic and disorderly moment, I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. It was such a great feeling. It was one of those moments that you cherish forever because you can never forget that raw happiness and excitement.

And I think there’s an important thing to remember about this. Even though change is scary, it is absolutely necessary. Not to say that I was fighting all of the change that was in my life in the past couple months and now, but I certainly wasn’t welcoming it. That mindset, though, didn’t allow me to grow with this change. That mindset didn’t allow me to become better.

Change is in everything, not just the typical examples of moving towns or graduating from a school. It’s also true that basically every living thing resists change. Raven hates when I give a command a different way, when I’m late with her dinner (or even worse…her grain!), or just anything that deviates from normal routine. And while this all seems trivial, it makes a big difference in our lives.  Think of it this way: If I don’t do things slightly differently, or give her the change to experience new things that changes her routine, going to a show or learning something new will be over-dramatic and will probably lead to an uphill battle.

So, it’s better to just embrace change, because it’s inevitable. Another good way to think about change is that we are growing, learning, and striving to be something better than we once were. I’m trying to take this mindset over everything else, and I think that it’s working!

But then, all of my positive mindset went away when I remembered all of the packing I had to do and how I still need to clean everything before we leave. Uhhh my to-do list is so long….

 

Sayonara Cal Poly!

This week marks the end of my journey at Cal Poly. While it’s bittersweet to leave the place that made me who I am today, I can’t wait for what is in store for the future. Along with that, I’m going to start a new series on this blog. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’ll be one for the books!

The next few months are going to be hectic while I am packing up my life and relocating to an entirely new city. Not only that, but I have to transition from the sporadic college life to a grown-up career and balancing a horse with that. I have no idea what is in store, but I want to chronicle it on here in a series because I’m sure I’m going to learn a couple useful things along the way. And if not, it’s going to at least be an experience worth remembering.

I think it will teach me something, though. When I first came to college, I thought I knew a lot more than I did. By all means, I knew that I had room to grow and expand my knowledge, but I never thought I would have the experiences that I did. College taught me more than just technical knowledge, I also learned important life skills that I could never forget. From things like diagnosing a lame horse, to getting through foaling season with only 20 minute naps every so hours, to juggling horses and school and a social life, my college experience equipped me with vast amounts of knowledge for the horse industry.

My time at college taught me important life lessons. My dad died my sophomore year here, and I had to cope with the stresses of not only losing a loved one, but how to deal with the legal stuff after. I also met some of my favorite people here like my one of my best friends or my boyfriend. It’s hard to think of where my life would be if I never went to school. I’m so thankful for these times, but I can’t wait to never take a final ever again.

College was daunting at first, don’t get me wrong. I remember crying while I was leaving the barn after my last visit before I went to college. I didn’t want to go and I didn’t want to leave my horse. But, had I never gone, I would have missed out on so many opportunities. Change is hard and most people don’t want to do it, but that anxiety that everyone feels means that you’re pushing yourself. And that’s what I feel right now. So hopefully that means something amazing will happen with this move!

So, here’s to my last week in college and a fresh start to the world! I’m definitely going to have to take things one stride a time with these next few months…

Why I Ride

I don’t ride my horse to be perfect at something. I ride because it’s who I am.

I was 6 years old when I decided that horses must be in my life. I had my mom, my dad, my teachers (basically a lot of people) tell me that I couldn’t do it or that I couldn’t afford it or that I wouldn’t have time for it. I had a lot of people tell me no, so why did I say, actually yes?

Honestly, I don’t really have an answer. Riding horses was always a no-brainer for me. I might not be the best at it, I might not have the money or time to quickly move up in show competitions, but I still persevere. I keep it in my life because the feeling of sitting on a horse is the most liberating feeling. You have control over a 1200 lb. animal with the ability to go anywhere and do anything.

I can also say that horses teach lots. There’s so much you learn about communication, responsibility, perseverance, discipline, and love that you can’t really learn from another sport, animal, or person. My horse taught me so much about interpersonal skills and the importance of humility. She also taught me that I need to be for her every single day, just like she is for me. She taught me that I need to take care of her, just like she takes care of me. We have created a team, and that is probably one of the best feelings ever.

So why do I ride?

I ride because it’s who I am. I feel free, I feel alive, I feel like myself.

What I’m Good At.

Soon I will be an MBA. I will have a masters of business administration and a graduate degree in animal science. That’s a lot  of schooling. With all of this experience, I feel pressure to be wise and to have myself figured out. I know that I don’t have to, but that’s what modern society says.

I can sit here and blame society, but honestly, I would just be avoiding myself and not taking responsibility. It’s literally my fault that I can’t figure out what to do. You know why? Because of my attitude.

I am terrible at making decisions. I am afraid of risk. I am freaking terrified of failing. I let people get into my head. I over-analyze every situation and cannot stop thinking about it. I can easily feel depressed, just as I can easily feel over-the-moon. If I don’t do well at something, I automatically think that it’s not for me; I never assume it’s because I need to persevere. I am never an A student — I can’t motivate myself to try that much. My vocabulary is subpar at best. I’m a terrible test taker. I constantly make bad decisions. I’m not as selfless as I could be. I have low self-esteem.

There’s a bunch more I can write, picking apart everything that showcases my flaws. I’ll spare the details because, let’s face it, everyone has at least some of these characteristics. Sometimes I spend so much time devoted to thinking about everything I’m bad at, that I never highlight my good qualities.

The truth is, I am a strong person. I’ve been through a lot and I’ve lived to tell the tale. I’m good at hiking. I love nature and appreciate everything the environment has to offer. I constantly try to improve myself and become more well-read. I can ride my horse well. I drive a truck and trailer like nobody’s business. I can keep relationships strong. I am awesome with animals. I can run 2 miles in 15 minutes. I’m pretty good at drinking beer. I don’t fail classes. My mom likes me. I actually read the news daily. I stay humble. I crack myself up, even if no one thinks I’m funny. I’m good at making small talk.

Not that everything about me will get me a job, or suddenly make me feel better about myself, but it’s a start. I’ve been listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and while this book points out a lot of other things, it also emphasizes that you cannot go somewhere, you cannot motivate yourself, unless you start somewhere.

So I am beginning by writing down everything I can work on, everything I am good at, everything I like, don’t like, want to improve on because I believe this will help me understand more about myself. I also believe that this will help me start to figure out my life and what I want from it.

Now this is only the beginning, but I think it will work. I think that eventually it will lead me in the right direction. If anyone feels something similar to how I am feeling (which is lost), I encourage you to do this, or read self improvement books, or just do something. It can inspire you, motivate you, make you feel life you have a handle on life.

And I’ll be back with an update/more horse stuff/more hiking stuff soon. Remember to just take things one stride at a time (especially when life throws you a curveball).

 

6 Ways to Enhance Productivity

 

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To-do list. The first “to-do” of productivity (sorry, I can’t help it) is to compose lists of everything that needs to be done. It’s easier for me to wrap my head around the amount of work I have to do if I write it out. These lists can include everything from what needs to be finished in a day to a ten-year plan.

To-do lists also help break big tasks into smaller components. If you had a huge project due at the end of the quarter, lists can help you establish a timeline to finish the project early and definitely help you not lose motivation.

You can also prioritize your list of things that need to get done. I have to see Raven every. single. day. So that definitely goes on my high priority task list. But buying those cute boots I see at the boutique across the street isn’t really necessary, so I can put that on a low priority. And I should probably but saving money for said boots at medium priority, too.

Plus, it’s ridiculously rewarding to cross items off of your to-do list.

Organize. I LOVE organization. My idea of a fun Sunday morning activity is cleaning out my closet and tidying up my house. Organizing your purse, your life, your house, heck, even your kitchen, can not only help you keep from procrastinating, but can also relieve anxiety about a dirty house or even just make you feel more put-together. I always sense a bit of accomplishment and motivation whenever I have a tidy living room or a clean kitchen. Then I want to organize my task list my tackling it.

Take breaks. The number one killer of motivation is burn out. If you don’t allow your body and mind to refresh every few hours, you will quickly reduce your concentration, and therefore, productivity.

The tricky thing I’ve experienced with taking breaks is rather simple. Avoid Netflix. Seriously, Netflix sucks you in and before you know it, you’ve watched 5 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and your final is in two days and you haven’t studied a lick. Instead, take ‘productive’ breaks. I know, I know, it doesn’t sound like a chance to relax, but it actually works!

Let’s say that you have allocated 10 hours for studying over two days, or about 5 hours a day. If you take a break every hour or so (or whenever you feel yourself slipping in concentration), take 10 minutes to go make tea, coffee, doodle in a notebook, call your mom, eat some almonds, literally anything that gets you off of social media and gives your brain a rest. You can even switch activities for an hour and go do something else on your task list. Simply taking a break from anything using critical thinking skills will benefit your work.

Establish a (healthy) morning routine. I’m sure you’ve heard this. I think everyone has heard this. But I still think it’s important to mention, because I notice that variations in my morning routine can affect my productivity. Take Saturdays for example. If I lay in bed later, checking Instagram, and not working out until later in the day, I tend to not get anything done. But during my week, I wake up every morning at the same time, walk my dog at the same time, and continue on with my morning routine of making breakfast, getting ready for school, and I cannot forget coffee.

This routine allows me to budget my time out, but also reduces my laziness. Have somewhat of a plan for the mornings allows me to create more time in my day for activities.

Eat and drink well. Eat a vegetable. Have water. Simple as that! Give your brain healthy food to feel productive, increase concentration, and feel better. No one wants to work when their body feels like shit.

Leave room for fun! While productivity can seem like your sacrificing spontaneity, I would argue just the opposite. If you write down everything you have to do in a day, you should have a rough estimate of how much time you need. So for the other spare hours you have, go do something adventurous! Hang out with friends, let your mind relax. This is where you can watch the 1o episodes of Westworld all at once because you can’t just not.

 

So there you have it. These are rules I follow to increase my productivity. I love staying organized, having task lists, staying healthy, this all leads to a better lifestyle. While changing things in your routine are hard at first, they soon become second nature, and you’ll forget what it’s like to have Instagram open all of the time.

 

Thanksgiving

Hi, all!

So I’ve been gone awhile….sorry! Grad school is kicking my butt. Not gonna lie I have been so busy and today I totally forgot to shower and I didn’t realize that until just now.

But anyways, on to what I actually wanted to say.

I tried something new and hopped on the Western train! As many can tell from this blog, I ride English and, aside from a couple of tourist trail rides, I have never ridden Western. Over Thanksgiving I was able to try something new, starting with a Western saddle.

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(Excuse my riding attire, my family abruptly asked me to ride with them while I was in the middle of cooking so I had no time to change)

On Thursday, I warmed up my ride on the “western” side to get a feel for the tack change and for the differences in command. My AQHA judging experience came in handy!! It was definitely a learning curve to ride in this saddle, but I acclimated quickly. I even taught my boyfriend how to ride and he grew comfortable enough to go out in the pasture on his own.Thursday was a good warm up for the big guns. We were able to become comfortable with the horses and tack in time for the next adventure – a BLM trail ride.

Friday was the big day. We decided we were going on a trail ride, rain or shine. We loaded up the horses in 45 degree pouring rain and headed to the Bend in Red Bluff.

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Oh. My. Gosh. So gorgeous. The rain actually stopped (thankfully) as soon as we hopped on our horses and headed for the trail. Even though we ended up walking and trotting a bit, I absolutely loved it. There was no one on the trail, everything was fresh from the rain, and the views were absolutely to die for.

We even had enough time for Wes and I to take cute pictures with all the gorgeous nature. Once of my favorite things about the Bend was the always changing scenery. There was over 300,000 acres full of rolling hills, rivers, forests, and meadows. The trail ride was truly a beautiful thing.

These pictures do not do the area justice, but take my word because this ride was one of the most serene and picturesque. It was also a great experience to try something different.

As a typical horse girl, I will take just about any opportunity to spend time with a horse. However, I get so caught up in my discipline that I sometimes forget about others or I never think to try something new with my horse. Spending time with family, especially with a fellow horsewoman who strictly trail rides and packs, gave me a different perspective.

My horse sense grew over the weekend because I was able to learn from the trails. These horses were so comfortable with trailering, with jogging on trails, even with gunshots! It reminded me that increased exposure makes a better horse – something that my horse definitely needs to work on.Trail riding also taught me to slow down and enjoy the view. Constantly in the competition world can be detrimental to both our horses and ourselves. This is why I think we need to experience different things. It doesn’t need to be as drastic as racing barrels on Saturdays and show jumping on Sundays, but a casual trail ride every once in awhile could benefit your horse. You can even work it into your training regimen as a hack or conditioning!

All in all, doing something different every once in awhile not only opens your perspective, but it could maintain the health of your horse, and you might even find your next new hobby!