Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ten Things

I'm doing another informal blog hop.  I saw this one at Chasing the Dream.  She even added some of her own questions so it's not actually ten hehe.

1. Is your horse spooky or bombproof? 
Neither.  He will eyeball things and occasionally spooks in place (or a small jump sideways) at things like birds that come out of nowhere or deer moving in the woods where he can't see them.  He's definitely not what I would call a spooky horse at all.  I think his wariness right now is just because he is so green!!  I think with experience he will turn into as bombproof of a horse as you can get.

2. Does your horse have a long or short stride?
I'm not sure... it kind of depends on how tense he is and how the footing is.  There have been times when he can really walk out and other times when his hind hoof doesn't even overstep his front hoof lol.  This might become more obvious to me when we start some dressage work (and I get video of me riding... someday...).

3. Describe your current barn in 3 words?
Home, rustic, sufficient.

4. If you could switch barns, would you?
No.  I love having my horses at home!  I've never boarded so I may not know what I'm missing, but it would be hard to give up my always available equine hugs at any time of the day or night.  :)

5. Favorite brand of breeches? 
I've only ever tried Kerrits... well there is another pair that someone gave me but I have no idea what they are and I'm not getting up to go look LOL!  I love my Kerrits tights though.

6. How many blue ribbons do you have? (Red if you live in Canada or Britain).
None.  I have never competed in anything ever...  I hope to change that someday.

7. How many saddle pads do you own? 
Three.  I have my black square pad that Chrome dunked me in the pond with and then I left it outside to dry... forgot about it... and now it is seriously sun bleached... sigh.  My others are the fleece pad and a white show pad that I won in dirty Santa before I even got Chrome and I've still never used it... I really want a wool pad to use under the Aussie saddle and/or one with the spine relief for my bareback saddle.

8. Is your horse your phone background/lock screen?
He used to be, but then I accidentally deleted the picture and just put Jackal on there instead.  I need to get a new one of Chrome to put on there... or one of both my boys!!  I hate my phone though...

9. Do you go trail riding often? (weather permitting)?
Trail riding is pretty much all I do, but my riding has been very sporadic due to being very busy.

10. Favorite horsey movie? 
Black Beauty... I have no idea why.  Probably because I grew up watching it.  I still cry when Ginger died...

Here are the other questions she asked.

1. If your horse was a person, who would they be? (you can generalize personality if you can't think of someone). 
Uhh... I have no idea!!  He loves attention and is very laid back.  Not much bothers him.  I can't think of anyone though.

2. What is one (or two...or five) piece(s) of equipment you CANNOT live without. 
Curry comb (my best friend always forgets hers when we go ride her horses and it's impossible to groom a horse without one!).  Hoof pick (sticks or pointed rocks just don't get the job done).  Neem oil (not really equipment but it's a must have with his sweet itch).  I can't think of anything else.  I guess baling twine LOL!  It has so many uses and would be a replacement for halter if these items were the only ones I had.  :D

3. When did you start riding/ what discipline?
I started riding when I was five years old.  Learned to ride on my own property from my dad, then started trail riding on neighborhood roads.  When I was seventeen I took a year of dressage lessons.  Then I didn't have a horse for two years and then got Chrome and he was too young to ride for three years.  Now I just trail ride again, but I'm dying to take dressage lessons again!  I also want to try Competitive Trail Riding, Driving, Working Equitation and lots of other things.

4. Do you have a barn dog? If so, what breed? 
I don't know if Jackal would be considered a barn dog.... he lives inside, but he does go with me whenever I go outside and to the pasture for the horses.  Jackal is a six year old male brindle Beagle/Mountain Cur cross.

5. Do you like doing stalls or nah?
I don't care either way.  No strong feelings on the subject lol.

6. What treat(s) does your horse go nuts over? 
Any and all!

7. If you've switched disciplines, why? If not, also why.
 I haven't switched.  I will always love trail riding more than anything and dressage I just haven't done enough of to decide if I want to switch.  I really want to just try all disciplines lol!

8. What is your least favorite discipline and why (yeah, I ain't afraid to be scandalous)? 
The first thing that comes to mind is the bick lick gaited classes where they do that creepy exaggerated gait.

9. Who is currently your favorite rider? 
Uhh.... I don't know.

10. What is your BIGGEST pet peeve regarding horses? 
I don't know, but the one she mentioned about non-horse people (and even some horse people) calling all foals "colts" is kind of annoying lol.  Sorry.. kind of tired and don't want to think that hard.  Although my friend's husband purposely teaching his horse not to stop when he gallops so other people won't ride him is pretty stupid!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ride 63

Dang his toes are long!  My farrier has been sick... :(

I went to a friend's house today (getting reacquainted after living in another town for six years-gotta love moving back to your hometown) to talk art.  She's been painting for fifty years or something like that.  She gave me some tips on my charcoal and we just had a lot of fun talking art.  While I was there she said she would love to meet Chrome because she's only seen him on Facebook and she thinks he's beautiful.  So when my husband got home I decided to ride to her house (only about a mile).  Chrome hasn't been ridden since the end of July (too hot and busy with new job) and last night he was going nuts in the pasture.  He was galloping around and created the mother of all dust storms!  I actually saw him intentionally kick the donkey with one hind leg three times!!!!  I've never seem him kick like that!

So I might have been a tiny bit apprehensive about riding him down the road, hence why I asked hubby to walk with us.  :)  We took Jackal too (did you see him in the above picture?).  Chrome had apparently been in the pond and after I got done brushing him there was brown dirt layering the gravel... sheesh.  He stood rock solid while I tacked him up.  He wasn't too happy about the bit because it's been a while, but he didn't fight it and he quickly got used to it again.

He was great as we set off down the road.  Slightly looky, but walking on a loose rein.  The entire time we were on the paved (familiar) roads he was great.... then we turned down a gravel road where he's never been before.... a gravel road with at least seven horses on it.... seven crazy horses that liked neighing, bucking and galloping.... with pastures right next to the road.... I'll admit I was mildly terrified!!  The awesome thing is he didn't act like he noticed the huge gravel he was walking on at all!  Part of it was probably distraction, but he definitely does not seem foot sore which is awesome because he seemed a bit sore on our last road ride.  He would occasionally step on a really big, pointy piece that would make him gimp a step, but not much.

Sorry these are crappy cell phone pics and I didn't get any as we went by the horses because I had my hands full.  I made it halfway by the first property with two horses that were going nuts with him just doing a huge, floaty walk with his ears in my teeth... then he saw the five insane horses in the next pasture and I finally got off.  He was being very strong, wanting to trot, completely ignoring me, tail flipped over his back... On the ground I had to jerk on the bit (I know... bad momma) a couple of times to get his attention because he wanted to put his shoulder into me as he gawked at the horses.  Next time I'm taking a crop!!!!!  He wasn't horrible, just extremely excited.  On the ground I never felt in danger or anything.

Shortly past the crazy horses we turned into the driveway to my friend's house and then he spotted her two horses lol.  They were calmly grazing, ignoring us (except for one neigh) so he just stood and stared at them.  He didn't dance around like with the others.  I HAVE to get him better socialized!!!!  We had a nice visit for fifteen minutes or so (wasn't looking at the clock or taking pictures, so not sure).  Then we headed back home.  I walked until we got off the gravel road, then mounted up and rode home.  He wanted to veer off into fields, but otherwise he was great and on a loose rein.  He has trail riding nailed if there are no other horses LOL!  I'm a little worried to see what his first ride with other horses is going to be like...

Once back at home I let him lick on the salt block.  I swear his eyes glaze over and he goes off into lala land when licking it.  Will the salt hurt my bit??

He's a good boy.  For a five year old horse who has had a rider on his back only sixty two times since 5-19-12 and hasn't been ridden in a couple of months I think he did fabulous (who doesn't love a horse you can just grab out of the pasture after time off, hop and and go??)!  He's so sane  and laid back (when there aren't other horses around).  :)  Love him!  I'm not even disappointed in myself for having to get off and walk, because I know we will get there.  He walks past the other neighbor horses with me on his back now.  We will just have to work with each new pasture of horses.  If that's his biggest hang up I'm not going to complain.  Also the fact that as soon as we were back on the main road away from the horses he went back to calm on a loose rein makes me happy.  He doesn't stay wound up after the stimulus has moved on.  :D

At home I trotted a couple of circles in our driveway parking spot.  It actually worked out really nicely for a twenty meter circle... sadly there are normally vehicles there.  I need to work on some dressage stuff though because he can barely trot a circle LOL!

Anyway the ride was 55 minutes long including the part where I walked and stood around talking to my friend.  Not that far, but it was fun.  The weather has been nice so I'm hoping I can get back to riding.  It's just hard to schedule rides in around work during the week and that will get worse with winter on the way... oh well, I'll try!

P.S.  I think next time I'll take a crop and ride to those horses, hop off, do ground work until he's calm and focused on me instead of staring at them, then hop back on and ride home.  That's my game plan anyway!  Also yes I did wear a helmet.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Confessions Of The Worst Dressage Queen Ever

Shannon at A Work in Progress made a post confessing the reasons she considers herself the worst dressage queen ever.  I'm not surprised a lot of my answers were the same hehe.  She can't make it a blog hop because she's posting on her phone, but if you want to join go for it (LINK)!

Here are my confessions.

I actually like bling brow bands, but other than that I don't care what brand my tack is and the simpler the better.  :)

I have never clipped a horse and probably never will (not ears, whiskers, nothing).

I ride in jeans when not in a dressage saddle.  In a dressage saddle it rubs my legs raw, so I have to wear breeches (my riding tights are cooler in the summer anyway).  I did start wearing breeches in my Aussie saddle to see if it would help my swinging legs at the posting trot, but I didn't notice much of a difference so for winter I'll probably be back to jeans (or .... sweat pants.... the horror!).

My horse (and donkey) live outside 24/7 and I never blanket.  They have a run in shed and free choice hay.  If they are cold they can get their butts in the barn lol.  I have dried Chrome off with towels when he was shivering before though.

I rarely bathe.  It's usually when I'm bored.  I probably will have to get over that when he turns gray...  I will rinse them off when it's hot though.

I cut all of Chrome's mane off since he tears it out because of his sweet itch.  I pulled it once to see if I liked it and will probably never do it again because it makes it too thin and like Shannon said it has to hurt.

So there you have it.  Do you have any confessions?  Are you a dressage queen?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September's Ten Questions

L. over at Viva Carlos did a fun questionnaire and I thought I would join since I have nothing to write about... I was out of town at a friend's the last two days riding her horses and wishing I was riding mine.  :/  While there, I saw a horse put her head through the roof of a fiberglass horse trailer.... needless to say I'm traumatized even though she was fine... it makes me never want to put Chrome on a trailer again.

Anyway here are the questions.

1. Is there something you don't like about your riding? Mainly just that I don't ride often enough... I wish I were more consistent....  also I could use a confidence boost really bad.  :)

2. Does your horse buck? Not really... so far... but he's green LOL!  He crowhops a bit at the canter, but that's all so far.  I think it's just because of his stifles.  While out playing he can throw some masterful rodeo bucks so I hope I never experience them undersaddle!

3.  Is your horse head shy? Nope.  Sometimes in the summer when the bugs are bad he won't want his ears touched, but the rest of the time I can scratch down in them or pull on them.  I can touch his entire face.  I play with his lips all the time.  Seriously this horse has a right to be head shy as much as I pick on him.  So tolerant.  :D

4.  Favorite barn chore to do? My favorite horse related chore is grooming.  It's so relaxing.  When I was working at the dressage barn my favorite chore was taking the horses out.  The pastures were set up with runs so we could just turn them out of their stalls and watch them gallop back out.  I love watching galloping horses.  :)  I also loved setting up for shows!

5.  How many times do you ride a week? Er... see my answer to number one.  Sometimes I don't ride for a month (or more) and sometimes I ride four times a week.  I try to only ride Chrome every other day so he has a recovery day and doesn't get sour, but eventually he will have to learn to work multiple days in a row when he's fitter.
6.  Who is your favorite pro rider? Uh...  I don't compete and I don't have T.V. so I really have no idea who the pros are these days...  I'm lame I know!

7.  If one pro rider could train you for one day who would it be? I just want a lesson from my trainer!!  I'm easy to please!

8.  Favorite facial marking? I love snips.  Love them!  Especially with a star.  A star/snip combo is probably my favorite.  I probably prefer solid faces the most though.  I don't like a lot of white on faces, especially over the eyes.

9.  Leg markings or no leg markings? For a horse that I own I don't want any leg markings at all.  For just admiring at a distance I LOVE four even white socks.  :D

10.  Ever broken anything falling off? Not yet... really dreading the day that happens.  I did have a horse fling her head back into my face when I had braces though... that wasn't pretty!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blog Makeover

Hey guys, just a quick question because I need to go to bed.  What do you think of the changes I made to the blog?  I was told it was too busy and had too much information overload so I tried to simplify it.  I also wanted a happy, autumn theme for right now.  There is still more tweaking I want to do, but how is the general layout and link colors?  I'm not sure I like the narrower look, but supposedly it's easier to read than the really wide one.  It might just take some getting used to.  Any feedback is greatly appreciated!  I want it to be easy to read and enjoyable to look at for you guys.  :D  Thanks!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SFTS Blog Hop: Why Do You Do What You Do?

Jenn over at Stories From the Saddle has hosted a new blog hop (these are so addictive!  You guys are making me want to do one!).  She said:  I want to know why you have chosen the particular discipline you have. Do you ride dressage because you watched your friends and it seemed like fun? Do you ride XC because you love galloping through open fields and jumping over rustic jumps? Do you dabble back and forth across many different disciplines? Would you ever change disciplines? 

I have never actually shown in anything so I'm probably not qualified to answer this, but I love these blog hops so I'm going to anyway.  :D My number one love will always be trail riding.  That's what I grew up doing and I love exploring new places and spending hours on horseback in nature just relaxing and forgetting about the stress of the real world.

As for disciplines I have tried and would like to try...

I don't remember exactly when I discovered dressage, but when I did I begged my mom for a subscription to Dressage magazine.  I read everything I could find on the subject.  When I was a teenager I was approached by the owner of a dressage stable asking if I wanted to feed horses for her.  I jumped at the chance!!!  I had no idea there was even a stable in my town and I was ecstatic for the chance to learn more.  I'd always kept my horses at home so I knew nothing about boarding stables, horse showing or anything like that.  I saw (in person for the first time... obviously I'd seen all this on T.V.) my first warmbloods, first English saddles, first dressage, etc.  It was the experience of a lifetime and I thank my lucky stars I was in the right place at the right time.  I'm still friends with everyone there, I'm going to a dressage clinic there this weekend (as an auditor) and I will take lessons again from there.  I took a year of dressage lessons in exchange for work as a teenager and it was amazing.  The weird thing is that I love learning dressage, but I never really had the desire to compete.  It all seems like so much stress and money.  I have stage fright so I'm terrified of being alone in the ring and I'm terrified of failing publicly.  However I like to try new things so I do plan to show Chrome in a dressage show at least once!  Just to see what it's like and to say we did it.  :D

I actually really love an all around horse that can do anything and as you've probably figured out I love trying new things.  I would be thrilled if I had the chance to try every equestrian sport out there just once.  :D  The ones that really interest me, other than dressage, are Competitive Trail Riding, Driving, Foxhunting and Working Equitation.  I also love mounted shooting and archery as well as the SCA events like jousting.  I want to try them all!  I don't really have the guts for jumping or for galloping a racehorse around a track but everything else is fair game.  :D  Thanks for the blog jop Jenn!  It was fun!

Monday, September 22, 2014

NTTS Blog Hop: What do you do besides ride? (lots of pictures!!)

I've been absent from blogging lately, but luckily I got back in time to join in on Now, that's the Spot's cool blog hop.  She asked, what do we do besides ride horses?  Oh boy, I have a LOT of hobbies!  Too many, actually.  I'll try to mention which ones I'm currently still involved in and which ones are kind of waiting for me to find the time to indulge in them again.  They are not in any sort of order.

My days are filled with the usual stuff like working, cleaning house, cooking, building my house (we've been working on it almost two years and it's almost finished, just the kitchen counters and some painting left to do), worrying, sleeping, etc.

Photography!  One of my favorite hobbies is photography.  Sadly I've been unable to practice lately because my camera died.  To break up this post, and because you all know by now I hate posting without pictures, I'm going to share some of my favorites.  Not all of them are my best, but I love them for whatever reason so I'm going to use this as a chance to share them (again).  You can definitely tell which ones were taken after I dropped my camera because they are out of focus.  Ugh!  I can't wait to get a new camera.  Anyway these are all taken with a Fugifilm Finepix digital camera (two different versions) and most were in automatic settings.  I only learned how to take pictures manually this year and most of the time I'm too lazy to mess with the settings (animals move too much!).  I'll get back into practice when I have a new DSLR (fingers crossed!).  :D  So the pictures have no relevance to the post besides just sharing one of my hobbies.

 Art.  My big thing lately has been my art.  I've always done a lot of drawing with graphite, but this year I discovered charcoal and I LOVE it!!  Charcoal has to be my absolute favorite medium so far.  I've been experimenting in watercolor, zentangle, ink, figure drawing, still life, colored pencil and I'll be trying oil pastel soon.  It's so much fun!  I'll be doing a post soon on all of my art work because it's been a while since I shared anything.  Here is a sneak peak of one of my charcoal drawings though...

Sorry the picture is so horrible!!  There is no brown in it.  I don't know why it looks like that.  It was dark outside so I had to take the picture in our crappy indoor lighting.  I promise I will get a new picture in natural light when I share the rest of my art.  Disregarding the bad photography, you can get an idea for how far I've come.  That's a vast improvement from my first charcoal drawings that I shared on my other blog here (LINK)!  Those were only a few months apart.  I did it all from watching Youtube videos and a little help from an artist friend of mine (who isn't very familiar with charcoal but can still point out where I need to adjust value or whatever).  The funny thing is she helped me through text messages because we couldn't find time to get together.  I think I've improved a lot!  :D  The windmill isn't my best one.  I am saving the best one for my next post.  :)

Youtube (and Pinterest).  I absolutely LOVE Youtube and I can get lost for hours and hours on that stupid site.  For someone like me who doesn't have the money to take classes or pay for formal instruction in my many hobbies Youtube is a valuable resource.  I use it to research everything from equine yoga, art techniques, clicker training methods and trick ideas, etc.  Sometimes I just mindlessly waste my time watching T.V. shows that I LOVED as a kid (who else watched all of the T.G.I.F. shows??).  Pinterest is almost as bad.  There are so many great recipes, craft ideas, decorating ideas, genius storage ideas and sooooo many animal pictures that are great inspiration for my art.  :D  Before I started using Pinterest I thought it was so stupid and did not see the point in it at all, but now I'm hooked and I'll actually intentionally avoid going there because I know I'll lose hours.

 Writing (and blogging).  Since I have a blog it's kind of obvious that I like to write.  I started participating in NaNo in 2009.  I participated in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 (didn't get to in 2012 and don't know if I will this year) and won all four times - one was actually 50k works in 14 days because I forgot about it until halfway through November.  I've been writing little stories since I was nine or ten years old (I've been taking pictures and drawing since before that hehe).  Some of the novels I still write in I've been writing for ten years or more (I keep rewriting them as my interests, perspective and world experiences change).  I keep ALL of my old drafts though and it's so fun to go back and see how much my writing style has changed.  I like to write (horse related) young adult fiction, but my favorite is fantasy (bring on the dragons!!!).  I've been blogging since 2008 and I LOVE it!  I hope I can always keep a blog.  :D

I love sunsets!

Reading.  I still remember the first book I read voluntarily (not for school).  I was seven or eight and it was a simple little story but I remember thinking it was the best thing ever (still have that book... I'm starting to sound really sentimental lol).  From that day on you could not make me stop reading!  I've probably read thousands of books.  As a kid I read everything from the classics (Wuthering Heights was actually one of my favorites...), Saddle Club and every single Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey book I could find.  I also read stuff like the Cat Who and Aunt Dimity books.  Lately I've been into mysteries a lot and I'm LOVING the Anna Pigeon books by Nevada Barr.  I also love fantasy books like the Sword of Truth series and the Wheel of Time series.  I enjoy series more than stand alone books because I get so attached to the characters hehe.  I read constantly!  When I'm stressed (during bad weather afraid of tornadoes or in doctor's offices), when I'm bored (sitting at railroad crossings when I wait on trains), at night to go to sleep, when I'm sick, when it's too hot or cold outside... yeah I read all the time.  :D

 Piano.  I started teaching myself to play piano out of lesson books (before I discovered Youtube) when I was a young teenager.  I took a year of lessons as a late teen, but my teacher moved (military transfer) and I hated the new teacher so I kind of gave it up.  I still play sometimes, but not as much as I should and I'm horribly, horribly out of practice.  I still love it though.  One of my favorites to play is Fur Elise, but I also LOVE the Disney songs like Beauty and the Beast, A Part of Your World, A Whole New World, etc.  I miss playing and I hope I can pick it back up and maybe have lessons again someday when time allows.

 I have to put a line of text to separate these two pictures because they create a really weird optical illusion next to each other lol.  LOVE macro!!

 American Sign Language.  My brother has cerebral palsy and can't talk so I've been using sign language since I was a little kid.  It was very basic though like eat, drink, sleep, etc.  When I found my parents' sign language book I was fascinated and started learning it.  I was probably around fourteen or so.  The book was in Signed English.  I learned enough to sign some of my favorite songs at the time (Crash and Burn by Savage Garden... I still remember all of the signs... too bad I can't sing LOL!), but I never learned how to form sentences.  A year or so ago I discovered a website called Lifeprint that gives free lessons in American Sign Language so I've been using those to learn about sentence structure in ASL.  It's so much fun!  I love it!  I know probably two hundred signs, but I still have a long way to go.  I need more time in a day though!!  I've been so into my artwork lately that I kind of let this fall by the wayside.

 Dog Training (clicker training).  Anyone who has followed my blogs long knows how much I love dog training and clicker training.  I've used clicker training with Chrome, Zep, Storm, Jackal. Jasmine (a goat I use to have), Faran, etc.  I still consider Jackal my biggest success.  I got him when he was seven weeks old and I started using clicker from day one.  I honestly believe he is smarter and has better problem solving skills than most dogs just because of clicker.  He knows over forty tricks and he would probably know five times that many if life hadn't gotten in the way.  I've been a total slacker on dog and horse training lately.  Between building the house and Storm being sick for so long and dying I just haven't had it in me to do anything.  Hopefully someday I'll get back to it though because Chrome and Jackal both love it.

Fishing.  Going out on the lake in my dad's boat with him and my husband is one of my favorite things ever.  I enjoy bank fishing with my husband too, but the boat is icing on the cake.  Sadly we haven't had much time for it this summer because of building the house and work schedules.  Hopefully next year we will be able to make up for that!!  I don't even care if I don't catch a fish.  I just love being out in nature, enjoying the company of my family and friends, taking pictures, etc.  So relaxing!

LOVE the lake!

Computer Games.  I don't like to admit it but I'm a total gamer geek.  A lot of the people in my life think gaming is a stupid waste of time, but I can't help it.  It's so much fun!  I love Nintendo (especially Nintendo 64), Sims on PC, Fable on Xbox, WOW on PC, etc.  I'll even admit to playing those dumb little games like Hay Day on my tablet hehe.  I guess I'm just a computer addict.  :D

Gardening.  I love growing my own food, herbs and flowers.  Sadly I kind of suck at it.  I either over water or under water everything.  The longest thing I've kept alive (seven years) is a cactus hehe.  It's HUGE now.  It started out about four inches tall and now it's so big I can barely pick up the pot.  We didn't have time to grow a garden this year because of building the house, but I'm hoping next year we can.  I also hope to get all of my flowers in the ground when I know where everything is going to stay in my yard layout (the dog yard has moved several times hehe) and when we don't need room to get big vehicles in for moving appliances, lumber, sheet rock, etc.

 Shooting.  Growing up I learned to shoot BB guns and .22s.  I tried a rifle once but the kick back scared me.  I'm such a wimp even now that I don't like a gun that kicks back.  For that reason I LOVE handguns.  My favorite is my EAA Witness .40 1911 style.  I like the weight of a .40, but a .45 is a little too heavy and a 9MM is too light.  I'm picky lol.  I always loved guns, but my husband was a competitive shooter and he got me into handguns.  Now we love to go to the range together.  :)

 Four Wheelers (and mudding).  I LOVE riding four wheelers!!  My best friend used to race dirt bikes and she got me into four wheelers.  I've always loved them and jumped at the change to ride but it wasn't until I met her that I had the opportunity to ride regularly and to try mudding.  Considering how prissy and germ phobic I can be you wouldn't think I would like mudding, but it's a total blast!!

 Biking (and hiking).  Another friend of mine LOVES biking and I really enjoy going with her (although she's twenty years older than me she can out bike me any day lol).  I need to get back in shape though because I get so exhausted riding these days.  I really enjoy biking though because it's kind of like trail riding on a horse, but you move a little faster.  You can stop and take pictures, enjoy the silence and the scenery.  It can be very peaceful.  I'm too much of a wimp to do much mountain biking though I think it would be fun.  I REALLY need to get back into shape!!  I miss it!  Hiking is great too because I love exploring new places and it's great for taking pictures.  I did a little hiking and biking this year, but not as much as I would have liked.  Hopefully now that I'm feeling better I can get back in shape and get back to exploring and having fun.

 Misc. Outdoor and Physical Activities.  I used to be a really active, outdoors type person before my health declined.  I'm hoping now that I've got the Celiac and Thyroid diagnosed and treated that I can start feeling better and getting back to the things I love to do.  Things I've done in the past, enjoyed and would love to do more of include yoga, Pilates, kayaking, swimming, running and weight lifting.  Of those things the ones I enjoyed most were Pilates, kayaking and weight lifting. I love swimming but I only recently learned to do that and I still have fear issues about deep water (yet I love to kayak with a life vest.... lol).  Unfortunately when I stop working out I have a really hard time getting back into it.  I really want to get back to all of these activities though because I gained a lot of weight this year (which I've actually been losing again without doing anything other than removing gluten from my diet) and I feel so weak.  I have no muscles anymore!  I almost forgot to mention I love camping too!

 Arts and Crafts.  I love trying new things.  Some of the things I've tried during my life are needlepoint, crocheting, scrapbooking, latchhook, web design, jewelry making, beading, sewing, decoupage, papier mache, stained glass, dreamcatcher making, origami, puzzles (LOVE doing puzzles and I even have some framed and hanging in my house), etc.  Out of all of those the ones I liked most were scrapbooking, web design (one of the reasons I change my blogs around all the time... well I used to), puzzles and jewelry making.  I think the only one I've done any time recently is the jewelry making.  It's been a long time since I've done the others.  One of the things I still want to try is pottery making.  That looks like fun!

Miscellaneous things I enjoy doing when the opportunity arises includes billiards, chess, basketball, Sudoku, bowling and various card games.  Things I still want to try are calligraphy (I am FASCINATED!), rock climbing, dancing, pottery, wood carving, archery, paintball, sailing and kick boxing.  I would actually love to try several types of self defense training to see which I prefer, but kick boxing has always been the most fascinating.

 So yeah I have many, many, many varied hobbies and interests.  Probably the ones that I'm most interested in and will actively pursue are all things horses, dog training, photography, drawing, writing and American Sign Language.  I will always read and fish too.  Everything else comes and goes, but that's the way I like it.  I get bored very easily hehehe.  That should be obvious by now.  :D  So I'll be quiet now since you're probably all sick of reading and I'll leave you with the rest of the pictures (I hope I don't bog your computer down).  It took me FOREVER to narrow it down to this many pictures.  Sorry!!


 Oh and I love travelling too!!!

 Thanks for reading and please join the blog hop.  I would love to know about all of your hobbies.  :D