Learning and Exploring

Happy… Tuesday? I feel like every week I’m like “wow where did the last week go, time flies” and then tada there we are again at the start of a new week. It felt like a productive one though, which is always good.

I very productively ate all this ice cream

Last week I had to go pick something up at WEC, so I timed it over my lunch break. I’m not stupid, and I definitely won’t miss an opportunity for tacos and ice cream. I’ve certainly had worse lunch breaks from work, I can tell you that much. I guess there was a Paso Fino show or something going on, someone asked me if I rode Pasos. LOL. No ma’am, no ma’am I do not. There’s always something interesting going on there though, you can count on that.

On Friday I met someone from Instagram for lunch at Yum Yum (Don’t mind me, just eating my way across town. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you move somewhere new, right? It’s called assimilating.) which is this little food truck that’s only open for half the day and only accepts cash. It’s a local treasure and always busy, people always rave about it. I have yet to find the thing on the menu that makes me love it, but the things I’ve had so far have been good. I’m willing to keep trying things until I find my order. For, uh, science.

the cheesteak was pretty good, i give it a 7

My favorite thing to do when I go places now is to try to find a different route home, even if it means driving farther. I’m trying to learn the area, #1, and I also am just nosy as hell and want to see what all is where. Sometimes I just turn down a road for the hell of it, to see where it goes. I discovered a whole new connecting road on the way home from Yum Yum with some bougie farms on it (that I drove slowly past like a creeper) so it was all in all a worthwhile expedition. I like exploring the “neighborhood”.

Lest you think all I do is eat, I’ve also been doing plenty of riding. The way I’m rotating the horses around means I’m usually only riding two a day, but it does mean I’m riding 7 days a week. I have zero complaints about this, considering there for a while over the winter I was only getting to ride one horse a few days a week. It’s challenging though because all 3 horses are so very different and want to be ridden very different ways. It keeps me on my toes and thinking.

I’m still figuring Presto out, especially. He expects to be ridden a particular way (he is pretty light and wants a lot of finesse/correct timing from your seat and core… lower your expectations bro, you’ve got an amateur now), and sometimes it feels a little bit like trial and error trying to learn where his buttons are. Not being able to have had that transition period between having him in full training and me taking over the ride has been a bit frustrating, because sometimes I know there’s just something about the way I’m asking him to do something that he doesn’t understand or doesn’t like, and it would be simple to solve if only I knew what he was expecting. Luckily he’s patient, and he’s pretty obvious, so when I do figure it out he’s like “there ya go human, you did it!”. Nothing quite like getting educated by a 5yo.

They’re all getting their teeth done next week, and then after that I’ll get serious about finding someone around here to take lessons with. I feel overwhelmed with options, and I don’t know anyone super well nor have I seen them teach, so… I’ve been a bit hesitant to be honest. There are so many good trainers here, but trying to guess which one will be right for me and my horses is a really hard one. I need to just start testing the waters and see how it goes. Thinking about heading over to one of the schooling shows and creeping around the warmup ring… I feel like that tells you a lot about a trainer. We’ll see though. It hasn’t been super high up on my priority list yet, but it’s working its way up.

On Saturday night I got to experience some super fun pop-up Florida thunderstorms. The forecast said literally 2% chance of rain and there was not a damn thing on the radar when all the sudden a wall of water just appeared from the sky across the street and swept across to us. It stormed like hell for a couple hours, with tons of lightning and wind. That was probably the worst storm we’ve had here yet, so now I have severe trust issues with both the forecast and the radar. It’s made me very hesitant about leaving the horses out at night, at least until their shelters get built (waiting on some backordered metal). I always worry so much about lightning.

lost a tree in Henry’s pasture 😦

I did get one project done (or, well, semi-done) this weekend: I painted the inside of the little farmhouse. It was very tan. Tan tan tan tan tan. It made the floor look very orangey and the whole inside just looked kinda dingy to me. Granted, I freakin hate tan so I might be biased.

tan is the actual worst

I went and got a nice warm gray instead, and it’s amazing to me how much it completely changed the look of the interior. I started on Saturday just painting around the trim, removing the tv wall mount and spackling the holes it left, removing old picture hooks, etc. I wasn’t sure how the gray would look with the floor since it did look so orangey before, or the countertop since it looked so brown, but Rejan (who I shall now refer to as paint guru) was certain that it would work, and she’s got a way better eye for this than I do. As soon as I started painting around the trim in the kitchen I was like oh yeah for sure, this is way better.

in progress

She was 100% right, it changed how everything looked. Now you can see how much gray the counters have in them, and it waaaaaay toned down the floors. I think it looks a lot cleaner in general too, and no longer dingy. Also, whoever decided that walls need texture, what the hell man. I had to roll this shit twice to get it all in there. You know what’s not that fun? Painting twice. The outcome was worth it though.

I still have to do the two bedrooms but my arms were killing me after this, so that’ll have to be an ongoing project. I also can’t wait to replace all those boob lights… there are 7 of them in the kitchen/living room area alone, you could nurse a litter of kittens on that ceiling.

As a reward for painting I went to my favorite little Italian ice place and tried the mango. It’s so good. Considering I live kind of in the middle of nowhere I have not been disappointed with the food game around here.

does not suck

Things are ticking right along here really. It feels like there’s never a shortage of things to do, but we’re having fun with it. I am anyway. And Presto definitely is… he always is. I do love having him back, he certainly knows how to spice up day to day life with his shenanigans.

Hope everyone else had a good long weekend!

12 thoughts on “Learning and Exploring

  1. Amazing how a new paint job can freshen a place. Good choice on the color, too; looks good and really helped the floor color. Glad to hear (at every post) that you & the “kids” are settling in, having fun, and you are getting to know your way around the area’s food & sights. Continue having fun!


  2. Just be thankful it’s not a popcorn ceiling…..those absorb paint like a freaking SPONGE and you feel like you’re never done!

    Also. Boob lights. I’m dying.


  3. As a FL resident, I highly recommend you follow weatherman Denis Phillips – especially during hurricane season (uh, now). He’s based in Tampa so his focus is there, but walls of rain tend to soak the whole central west coast of the state so it might be helpful for you to see what’s brewing.


  4. Curious what wound up happening with the t!ny h0use? I know you moved it, but I assumed it was to live in on the new farm. Can tell me MYOB if you’d rather not give details.


  5. New paint looks great! Really made a difference.

    One of my biggest concerns when I got my current horse was how he would handle an amateur rider, especially since he’s a little younger and has mainly been ridden by pros and juniors that might as well be pros. Luckily so far (6 months in) he seems to put up with me really well! Thank God for patient horses.


  6. Phew sounds busy! I really hate painting. So much so that I never finished painting my house when I moved in… 15 years ago. So props to you for getting that done right away!
    Glad you’re finding time for lots of riding!


  7. I appreciate the grid layout of the roads
    In Florida (coming from the northeast where roads are both going north and south at the same time) and the numbering scheme is very helpful.

    For trainers, I think Jan Bynny (sp? Eek) is down there year round and she was super helpful in figuring out my guy. For dressage I adore Barend Heilbronn. He gets such good work out of me and always leaves me feeling positive.


  8. What a fun update! I love grey too – my whole house is varying shades of grey, even my floor. I find to so soothing.

    There is so much to eat in Ocala! Latinos Y Mas, Taco’n Madre, BD Beans and the Impact Island Cafe food truck (Caribbean food and my Caribbean partner gave it his stamp of approval!) are all good options on this side of town if you find yourself near the Florida Horse Park.

    Presto looks beautiful under you – it’s always a different feeling when someone else has been riding your horse and installing buttons but he looks quite impressive and happy from the photos and video.

    Glad you’re enjoying Ocala – I tried quite a few places in Florida before I settled here 14 years ago, and this is definitely the place to be!


  9. Love the new paint color. Gray all the way! I’m confused though – is this your house or are you living in the tiny house? You probably discussed this and I spaced on it.


    1. My issue with the rice bowls is that I don’t like most of the things in them (onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, jalapeños, basil, cilantro, etc) and every time I ask them to leave something off of whatever I’m ordering I get *the look* from the cashier lady. 😂 Now I’m scared so I’ve been sticking to the things that are less complicated.


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