Sunday, February 17, 2013

A New Horse Girl

The Memoirs of a Horse Girl blog hit a milestone this week:

100 Followers!

I can't believe how excited I am over a number.  I write this blog for so many reasons and connecting with other horse people is a big reason that I love blogging and reading your blogs.  I know that the number of followers is not a perfect count of how many of you visit and read about my adventures with horses, past and present, but for some reason it has been really fun to watch that number go up this week.  I am grateful for all of you down to my very first follower, because you cannot get to one hundred without every single person along the way who decided that this little corner of cyberspace might be a nice place to visit.  Thank you so much for visiting, reading, and sharing your comments when you have the time to do so!

Thank you!!!  Carrots all around!

Partially in celebration of hitting the century mark and partially because I have decided that the time to hesitate has passed, I have some news to share...

Lately, I've been doing some shopping around.

I have been looking for a new, cheap back-up blanket for Harley (suggestions welcome).
I have simultaneously been purusing the internet for information on...
car seats, strollers, and crib bedding sets.

SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My husband and I are expecting our first little one AND

"It's a girl!"

My parents are very excited, as are we, and my Mom has already noted that Harley may have two girls grooming him before long.  Harley would love this, of course, and I find myself appreciating him in a whole new light as I imagine a small person interacting with his wonderful temperament.  I have started describing my horse to non-horse people as "the golden retriever of the horse breeds", even though I used to like to emphasize the fact that he has a strong canter (still true) and is too forward and sensitive to be a lesson horse (still true, but give him a few years...).

I absolutely love that I feel completely comfortable around Harley even though my belly is starting to stretch the elastic in my winter riding pants to the max and I now use the therapeutic mounting ramp to mount and dismount my horse (sooooo convenient).  So yes, I am still riding Harley and all the pictures you saw taken from his back were real and taken by me.  This time of year does not lend itself well to riding, so I have not been riding as much as I would during the other seasons, and that has worked out fine.  I also have been doing far less trail-riding than I had originally planned.  Remember the Easyboots that I bought in the fall?  They will have to come out next year for their debut, because I am not interested in riding out for hours far from home (and a bathroom).

A life-changing experience is on the horizon and, quite possibly,
a new horse girl is in the works!

We made a special cake to share the sex of our baby with our family.  As a science teacher, I had to get some chromosomes and genetics symbols in there.

After some pomp and circumstance, we cut the cake to reveal....

the pink interior: strawberry mist in vanilla cake with dark chocolate frosting.

Harley was good about keeping the secret until I told all my human friends, but I did have to keep him quiet with more carrots than usual.  Every time he tried to open his mouth to share the news, I stuffed more carrots in there.  ;)

SURPRISE!!!

56 comments:

  1. Awww Congratulations! I think we all dream of someday passing the love of horses onto our own daughters...so exciting for you!

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    1. Thank you, Mare! I feel the same way. Even if our daughter does not catch the horse-bug as severely as I have, I am sure that she will enjoy having horses in her life as a child.

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  2. Congratulations!!!! Wonderful and exciting news. I love the way you announced it was a girl, by cutting into a cake with pink frosting in the interior.
    So glad you're still able to enjoy riding. What a great boy you have and how fun to look forward to sharing Harley with a little girl. I'll enjoy reading about your new adventure.

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    1. This is certainly a new chapter and Harley is very much a part of it. There were many factors that went into our decision to start a family now. For me, Harley's age was one of them. I am hoping to have him around to teach our daughter her first riding lessons. It would mean the world to me if Harley was "that horse" for her.

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  3. Congratulations Val! Wonderful news. Good thing it will be a while before Harley has to share his carrots. ;D

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    1. Hehehe! I do not think he would be into creamed carrots, so, yeah, I think we are good for a long time.

      Thanks!

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  4. Congratulations on the new addition to your family! I'm very happy for you. I'm sure Harley will also love the new girl in his life. Horses sure know how to keep a secret but stuffing carrots in his mouth bought his silence in the nicest way. Love the cake.

    And more congratulations on your 100 followers. It's always nice to know that you're not talking to yourself.

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    1. I try not to let the follower number dictate my happiness with regards to blogging, but I would be lying if I didn't feel validated in writing this blog when I saw the number climb to the century mark. I try to keep talking to myself to a minimum. ;)

      Thanks! I borrowed the cake idea from a friend at work. She is due a few weeks before us.

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  5. Congratulations, Val! What wonderful news! I wish you and your family a safe and healthy pregnancy. :0) I'll also keep my fingers crossed that you get a "horse girl."

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    1. Thanks, Karen!

      A part of me wants her to be 100% horse girl, but another part of me wants her to find her own passion. I will try to teach my kid as many of the life lessons and values that lend themselves to working with horses and then go from there. I think that will be worthwhile no matter where her interests take her.

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  6. Congrats all around! How exciting!!

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  7. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. And who knows, Harley might get a little friend in a couple of years :-)

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    1. Thank you so much!

      My Dad was already wondering about that, but I tried to reassure him that a new pony would not be for at LEAST a couple months after the kid is born. (laughing, I'm kidding!)

      Welcome and thanks for your comment!

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  8. Congratulations! Riding with my son has been the greatest joy of my life with horses. Wishing much similar joy to you.

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    1. I am so excited to hear that. I really enjoy reading about your riding adventures together and I look forward to that. I also very much appreciate how you have approached teaching your son to ride.

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  9. CONGRATULATIONS! I am so happy for you, bet your so excited I love this!

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  10. YAY!!!

    I wish we lived closer, how fun would it be to teach our little ones to ride together?

    Anyway, in case you haven't already found it, do the exercises they recommend here http://www.spinningbabies.com/. They were seriously a life saver when I started getting bad round ligament pain, they help a lot now as the baby gets heavier and heavier.

    Also, get yourself a maternity support belt now, it will make you so much more comfortable in the near future.

    All my best two the four of you!!!

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    1. When I saw your announcement on your blog I literally squealed out loud (not my usual thing to do, but I was so excited!)!!!

      I wanted so badly to ask you about how you were handling trimming your horses, since I am doing the same with Harley, but we did not spill the beans until 2013 and I wanted to wait until we knew if it was a girl or a boy to share the news here.

      I would love that! It would be so much fun to teach them together. At least we can share our adventures virtually and lend support. :)

      Thank you for the exercise link. I am experiencing some of that pain already. I bought a support belt, but I have not used it at work yet. That time is growing (pun intended) near, because I have passed the halfway mark. We are due in June.

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    2. Well I trimmed their hinds Saturday at 35 weeks and I'll do their fronts next weekend. Finishing the roll is difficult since I can't really bend over anymore so I do as much as I can using my knee as a stand. So long as you don't get stuck on bed rest or whatnot you should be able to take care of him most of the way and only let him get a little overgrown at the end.

      Obviously if Harley was anything less than a sweetheart I wouldn't recommend it (I gave up my clients at 12 weeks), but your own horse that's used to you taking care of his tootsies shouldn't be an issue :)

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    3. Yay! That is very inspiring. I have been going along as normal so far and wondering if I was crazy to think that I could continue to the end. I am ever-grateful for Harley's good temperament and wouldn't dream of trimming anyone but him right now. I completely understand your decision to give up clients for the time being.

      I hope you are feeling good these days!

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  11. Congratulations! Oh, think of the tiny riding outfits! How exciting!

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    1. Thanks! Little boots are pretty darn cute, even for someone (me) who does not like shopping.

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  12. Awww!!! Congrats!!! I have 5mos old twin girls I am still recovering from. Kids are such a blessing!!!

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    1. Wow!!! Congratulations are in order!

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  13. Congratulations!! How exciting! I hope you have an easy pregnancy, easy delivery and an easy baby girl. :)

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  14. Eep! I'm so excited for you Val, and your husband and Harley of course! There is nothing like the joy a little one will bring to your lives. :) I am expecting our second - also a girl we are told - very soon, and only just gave up riding at 32 wks.

    I can't wait to share horses with her as I already get to do with my son, and I am sure you are looking forwards to that too. It's so much fun! Congrats again and I hope everything goes really well for you and baby.

    xox,
    bonita of A Riding Habit

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    1. So you were able to ride for most of your pregnancy? That is great. I am playing it by ear, but, of course, my riding is all very low key. No galloping around or jumping and Harley is my exclusive mount. ;)

      Congratulations to you, too!

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  15. Congratulations! How exciting! I'm so happy for you!

    I rode until I didn't fit in the saddle anymore, then worked on lungeing and long-lining for the rest of my pregnancy. It kept my horse fit, and me, too!

    Val might just surprise you with his lesson horse abilities. I never thought Spider would make a good lesson horse, but he's wonderful with my kids. He behaves better for them than he does for me!

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    1. Thank you! I was admiring your playground/riding ring setup a little while back in the photos on your blog and thought, "what a brilliant idea". Now I just need the farm to go with it!

      Harley had a few little kids on his back for lessons this summer. He was very good. In fact his MO was to stop when he wasn't sure what to do next (He also tried to sniff poop once, but what can you do?). He is very easy to steer and stop so the most difficult thing was getting the kids to use small movements with their hands and just sit down to ask him to stop. One kid loved backing him up, but I think he got a little annoyed with that after like the fifth time. I will have to teach my kid to have restraint. The biggest problem was that they had trouble riding his trot. It had way too much bounce for all by the eleven-year-old. ;)

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  16. Wow - congrats on the little one! How exciting... Good to hear that you are still riding a bit - I think it is good to keep moving and keep active! A friend of mine rode right up until her 8th month or so...whatever works, right?

    Congrats on the 100 followers as well!

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    1. Thank you!

      I read that "squats" are an excellent pre-delivery exercise, so every time I go groom Harley and have to struggle with scrubbing the mud from his leg hairs I am practicing my squats even if I do not ride.

      I hope to stay as active as I can. It also makes me feel like a normal person and not just a pregnant person.

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  17. Congratulations for the little one! I'm happy for you and hope that Harley will enjoy the soon to come "Mini Horse Girl".
    Best wishes!

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    1. That is a very cute way to put it. Thank you!

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  18. Oh, how totally exciting!!!!!!!!
    I'm pretty darned impressed by your riding skills, and to keep them up-while pregnant-testifies to your trusting horse bond , with Harley.
    And
    adorable,
    revealing cake cutting!
    Looked really good too.


    Congrats on your readership "100th" follower. You write very well and ride even better.

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    1. Harley is a doll and continues to be a wonderful ride. I can't believe how great I feel when I ride. I think it is a combination of physical activity and doing something normal with my horse. I am sure that riding will not be comfortable at some point, but for now, I am still happy to go out for a gentle ride on nice days.

      What an awesome compliment! Thanks, KK!

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  19. Yay!!! Congratulations!! Love the cake too!

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  20. Such wonderful news!! You are going to be a wonderful Momma. I had a sneaky feeling that a baby wasn't to far in your future, not sure why, I just had an inkling. I am so happy for you both. Harley is going to be a great mentor. I loved the cake idea, very clever.
    And 100 followers! That is pretty neat in it's own right, I have always enjoyed your blog since the day I found it and i do look forward to reading it. You do have a way with words.

    Did I miss the due date? I am so excited for you!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Mary. I thought the post about my new four-door car was a big hint. I could not have fit a car seat in the civic coupe!

      late June :)

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  21. OMG, I've been soooooooo behind!! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!! :))))

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  22. I am SO behind on my blog reading!


    Congratulations! That is awesome awesome awesome! I'm glad you're still riding too. My husband seems to think the second I fall pregnant that I will have to stop riding. Humph!

    I LOVE the cake idea too. Very cool!

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    1. Surprise!!!

      I am sure that as long as you are comfortable, you will continue to ride. Having a solid, dependable horse is also a must, of course. :)

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  23. Just catching up here and wanted to say congratulations! It seems a lot of my horse friends are taking this big, exciting step lately! I look forward to following your adventures in motherhood.

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    1. Thank you!

      I still can hardly believe it sometimes. :)

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