It has been a while.

A long while.

And that’s ok.  Life starts happening and sometimes things change.

But I have missed having this little space to write my thoughts and share our crazy family stories.

I felt like it was appropriate to use a horse phrase for the title of this post because, well, horses are a big part of our lives right now.  Well, mainly Caroline and Lilly Cate.  Why, do you ask?  Because we are now officially leasing this not-so-little beauty!

Meet Toska!

Now, I would just like to point out the following:

I swore that we would never have a puppy.

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I’m sorry, what did you ask?  Who is this?  Oh, that’s our puppy, Pippa!

Ok, ok.  I gave in and surprised the kids with a goldendoodle last Thanksgiving.  But that’s IT.  There’s NO WAY we will ever have a horse.

I’m sorry, what did you ask?  Who is this?

That’s Caroline jumping Toska!

Ok, ok.  I gave in a little.  We technically do not own Toska, we are leasing her for the next year.  See!  I did a good job and kept my promise to myself that we wouldn’t own a horse.

 I would pat myself on the back but that somehow doesn’t feel right.  Have you owned or leased a horse before?  To say this is an expensive sport is an understatement.  But…there’s always a “but” isn’t there?  I will say that our girls have been riding for 2 1/2 years.  The first year was kind of hit and miss with lessons, mainly just trying it out.  The girls loved horses then but I wasn’t sure how they would take to riding and if it would develop in to anything.  The second year, we became more consistent and as the girls started doing more around the barn, the more they fell in love.  Especially Caroline.  And somewhere around February of this year, right around 2 years of riding, things started clicking.  Big time.  They started wanting to go hang out at the barn and do chores on the weekends just to be there (and to see if there was a chance our trainer would let them hop on and ride).  When we had increased our lessons to 3 times a week and they were spending 6-8 hours at the barn on the weekends scooping poop and cleaning tack on their own time, we knew they were serious.  After a few months of this, we became open to the idea of possibly, maybe leasing.  Baby steps, people.  Baby steps.

So we started leasing a horse that was already at the barn.  We — Bwahaha!  Why in the hell did I just write “we” on here like I competed in the shows?  I’ve barely even touched a horse much less ridden one.  Actually I’m kind of afraid of horses.  But that’s another post for another day.  Isn’t it ironic, don’t ya think? — competed in two shows with him and it just wasn’t a good fit.  We — there I go again — competed in Week 2 of Summer in the Rockies (a huge national show out here at the Colorado Horse Park) and decided to part ways at the end of the show, no hard feelings.

We went to NC for 3 1/2 weeks and took a break from over analyzing the whole horse thing.  (And I had several fruity drinks with pink umbrellas and slices of pineapple in them while sitting at the beach.)

So when we got back we kind of knew that we needed to revisit the horse thing again.

It was the last week of Summer in the Rockies and our amazing trainer had been looking at a couple of horses for us while we were gone as possibly a good fit.  One horse was in Kansas.  The other had just left the shows in Colorado and was back home in Texas.  We were seriously considering the one in Texas but would have to fly down there and do a test ride and see him, or just take the chance that it would work out and ship him back to Colorado.  Folks, both of those are expensive options.

And then on Sunday, July 23rd, our trainer called at 8:3o in the morning and said to go get Caroline’s saddle and meet us at the horse park.  There was a horse she wanted us to try out before it left for Texas…later that day.  Um, what?  Ok, Katie, just go with it.  I told the girls we were going to try out a horse and they were, well, running around the house screaming like little girls about to get a pony (er, horse).

I have to admit, I was nervous.

Everything seemed to be happening so fast and I knew that if we fell in love with this horse we would have to make a decision that day.

Caroline rode Toska first and was beaming.  When she got off she said it was the best canter ever.  I don’t have a lot of personal experience with that — HA! — so I just had to go with it.  And then LC rode her and was beaming.  So far, this was a good sign.

We went back home and I needed to talk things over with RJ and my parents.  Yes, I I talk to my parents about pretty much everything.  Especially big decisions.  And a horse is a big decision.

I talked to our trainer, Karen, for a while.  She had been watching Toska for several weeks in competition and our stalls and the other barn’s stalls were right across from each other during Summer in the Rockies.  I think at a certain point, you just know when something might be a good fit and go with your intuition.  This is what I think Karen pretty much did.

So we decided to go for it.

Toska was at our barn that afternoon.

I mean, I didn’t sleep a wink that night because all I could think about was what in the world have we done?!

But we have had Toska for about a month now and things are really going well.  We have worked out a rotating schedule with the girls for who rides Toska when and we are at the barn 6 days a week.  Yes, you read that right.  But the girls are so in love with her and she has been such a good fit so far.  We are excited to show her in the Fall Preview next month and just enjoy loving on her for the next year!

She is our Toska Boo Bear…and yes, we talk to her like she’s a baby!