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Happy Carrot Day!

Posted Jul 27 2010 4:48pm

**Disclaimer: I don’t think it’s truly carrot day. I bet they have one, though. They have days for everything!**

For the first time in a while, the thought of “gottadolaundry.” had me shooting out of bed rather than breakfast. I think that actually jolted me awake more than the thoughts of delicious breakfast ever have! Of course, had I done laundry before I had a stockpile which rendered me useless until I did some – I probably wouldn’t have been thinking these thoughts. As it were, I wasn’t going anywhere (re: barn) until some clothes were washed and dried.

After taking care of that situation in addition to some fuzzy four-leggeds begging for their breakfast, I started making my breakfast. So kind of me to feed their cute faces first, no?

Carrots are once again becoming quite admirable to me. Carrots tend to come and go for me. And I didn’t realize this until today, but they’re definitely a go lately.

To my usual waffle recipe , I added:

  • raisins
  • 3/4s of a large carrot, grated
  • generous pinch(es) of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of ginger

and I topped them with the rest of the grated carrot, raisins and a sliced banana. I nuked this with a splash of almond milk and mixed in a bit of cinnamon, too. And of course – a chunky peanut butter icing of greek yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds, and chunky peanut butter. I missed the crunch that the nuts provide that I usually have – but I didn’t have any pecans or walnuts…and call me picky, but I just didn’t feel like peanuts, cashews, or almonds could play the same role. Instead, I enjoyed my southern pecans in liquid form. That sounds gross, but I’m talking iced coffee here, kids!

Ready to go...

I scurried right off to the barn after plucking my breeches and polo from the dryer and brekkist was cleaned up. It was really quiet out there today, for some reason! It’s always quiet – but usually A is there, and then there’s another girl who comes around 10, and another shortly after. Today it was just me and Teddie! Not gonna lie, I was actually sort of giving myself a lesson, talking out loud reminders on position, figures, etc. There’s no radio in the barn, so it was too quiet!! Since there was no one to chat with I left earlier than usual – 11ish, and had time to make some phone calls before diving into lunch.

Enter: Carrot Cake SIAB.

Naked

Ever since Michal posted this delicious-looking page of eats, my mind has been non-stop thinking about making a carrot cake green monster. Uh, not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing when you have no qualms about adding spinach and carrots to your smoothies. It’s whatever. I didn’t think to do this until I opened the fridge and, once again – the carrots were staring me down. I wasn’t sure I was in the mood at first – but that seed was already planted, and I just had to see what the result could be.

The end result!

Into the blender went:

  • couple handfuls of spinach
  • approx. 1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
  • one medium carrot
  • approx. 1 frozen banana
  • 1 peach
  • a splash of almond milk
  • quick drizzle of maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • ginger

mmmm good.

On the top went:

  • quick oats
  • marcona almonds (this time I really needed crunch – but pecans or walnuts would have totally ruled)
  • dates
  • chunky peanut butter
  • raisins
  • drizzle maple syrup (for the oats!)
  • cinnamon
  • wheat germ

The verdict? Delicioso! Actually, next time I’d add more carrot and cinnamon, but I’d rather not have enough the first time around than too much. And lets just imagine how divine this would be with pineapple in place of the peach.

I decided to replenish my homemade cracker stash afterwards, with some changes to what I did last time. I wanted to use less cashews and see if I liked it better. I ended up with 1/4 c. sunflower seeds, scant 1/4 c. sesame seeds, 2 T. cashews, 2 T. poppyseeds, 2 T. milled flax, paprika, garlic powder, and smoked sea salt. I think I used a bit more than 1/4 c. water total to get this:

I didn’t have any chia seeds that weren’t cranberry and ginger so that’s the only reason they weren’t in there. I actually prefer them with the more noticeable cashew flavor! These ones are much lighter and crispier – not a bad thing, but I just preferred the others, I suppose.

In fact, does anyone else – when uncertain whether you like something or not – try things over and over because you can’t tell what you think about it? That’s sort of how I was all afternoon with these.

Note to self: Use this as a pizza crust recipe idea sometime soon.

Luckily, though, their long baking time allowed me to do stuff in between – like mucking out both sets of four leggeds and doing some more of the raking that I love so much. We weren’t able to get everything up over the weekend, and there’s still a little left, too. Wasteful creatures, they are. I should also mention that all throughout the afternoon I kept munching on a carrot, too. See, the intent was to bring it out with me to give to the horses – but I kept forgetting and kept snagging a bite as I’d go in and out.

I wanted to wait until my mom got home so we could work with the ponies together, so in the meantime I made Veganomicon’s Cheater Baked Beans. I’d made them once before and loved them, and decided to put the rest of my black beans to use in that same fashion. I didn’t stray from the recipe save for using black beans rather than white and I used cinnamon and nutmeg instead of allspice, with no bay leaf. It’s a very simple yet delicious recipe…and if you can caramelize onion, add garlic, and then mix in tomato sauce, molasses, dijon mustard, black beans, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg – you’re golden. Today, surprise of all surprises – I threw in two carrots, too.

They baked for an hour while I cooled off with an iced coffee, and then my mom was home. Perfect timing. Unfortunately, today – this had to be done:

:(

You see – Georgie came to us with this bunch of burdocks in her tail. We’ve been putting baby oil on it in hopes it will work itself out, and also waited a while to tackle it because we weren’t sure what she would think of having us pulling at her tail. It’s sort of close to the range of fire for a horse you don’t know much about. Today, though – we decided to just hack it off. She didn’t much care when I was pulling on it, but there was just too much that it was nearly impossible to salvage. Not to mention – we don’t have burdocks now, and want to keep it that way. Picking them out would almost guarantee one flying someplace and growing a monster of a bush!

Luckily, it actually looks like a lot more tail than it is – and she still has quite a bit left. I mean – poor Jiggy just about has nothing, save for a few strands!

After doing other chores involving them, I went shopping to get food for dinner.

Shopping in our garden, that is! I “harvested” some lettuce and the first Roma tomato. I was pretty excited to have my first homegrown Roma.

I beefed up the garden lettuce with some romaine, chopped up the Roma and a yellow pepper, added some roasted broccoli and spooned some of my baked beans over top. I wanted some sort of cheesy-ness but just wasn’t feeling feta, so stole some of my mom’s Muenster. I’ve never been much of a cheese fan – I enjoy feta, goat cheese, and good mozzarella, but never in a diehard way. Growing up, I remember preferring Muenster, and felt like having it tonight. Wasn’t impressed…I’ll stick with my feta, thank you.

The beans with carrots was a lovely idea, if I say so myself. I’m thinking carrots baked in pasta sauce might be a new craze of mine.

And I’m a little concerned – I didn’t have a hankering for bread today! And rather, went with crackers. I hope I’m not phasing out of my bread adoration! I quite like visiting my friendly bakers every so often. Maybe it’s because this loaf isn’t as good as the others?

Oh! And for those wondering – the $1.89/gallon for gas came about because Price Chopper has a thing where for every $50 you spend there, you earn $0.10 off a gallon of gas at Sunoco stations. It carries over each shopping trip but once you use it you start back over. Since neither of us had used it for gas in a while, we accumulated 90 cents off!

_________________

Horsey Blah-Blah

There;s so much you can tell about a horse's personality just by looking at their eyes...

Teddie was a champ again today. In fact – I’ve been really proud the past three days! He’s been very agreeable and easy to work with and around. It probably seems like I’m saying that all the time, and should really tell more about the times when he tests my willpower – because working with young, green horses is not all sunshine and smiles ;) In fact, I sort of sensed he was maybe getting a little unhappy in his work a couple weeks ago, so backed off on work. I now do undersaddle work Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, though soon will probably be adding in one more day. On his days off, I still stop by just to love on him. I think it had a lot to do with being in a home where he just was a lawn ornament, basically – and here, it’s work, work, work!

But, it’s important that horses have fun with their work, so I backtracked and added in more “play time,” so that we could bond and learn about each other. It’s certainly worked – his personality is really coming out! When he first came, he was a lot more reserved. Didn’t care if I brushed him or not, but he was still sweet and always came up to me. Now, he’ll just stand in his paddock while I rub him all over, totally making the “oooh, right there!” face and lip wiggle. It’s pretty adorable.

And then there was the day I mentioned where I had to be a “mean mom” and have a discussion with him about what I wanted when I told him walk on – and that I wanted a response! I think this came about when I asked him for too much, too soon. Longer trot works than he was comfortable and fit for. It’s all too easy to forget that just because we’re fit enough to trot for a couple laps around the ring – even that much might put a previous lawn-ornament out of breath. Hence, just slamming on the breaks. Since this issue, I’ve been more careful to have limited trot work, but enough to build his fitness. In this case, I think it was also a spoiled issue – he wanted to stop, so he did. I am certain he wasn’t on the verge on having a heart attack before I made him go. forward. though, don’t worry :P For all I know – maybe this is why he went to auction and just stopping has worked in the past to get him out of work! The issue hasn’t really risen since our discussion. I also make sure to make it my idea to stop- never his.

So lately, this is our typical 25 or so minute undersaddle session:

  • 5 mins walk work on a light contact, lots of figures, but generally just getting him focused, attentive, and supple. Main figure is down the centerline, circling to the right 10m until back on the cL – straight for a couple steps, circle left 10m – straight, circle 10 m right, repeated all the way down.
  • 10 mins walk work on a bit more of a contact, still with lots of figures but really making him bend around my leg and give to the contact (though not “on the bit”) the figures generally include serpentines, 10m. circles, spiraling in and out of a 20m circle, hourglass figures, leg yielding (quasi, anyways) occasional ”whoa” is thrown in, but we don’t drill that since he knows it quite well, almost too well. hah.
  • 5 mins trot work (ish) – both directions, simple 20m. circles, change of direction across the long diagonal. stopping is on my terms, not his!
  • 5 mins walk work with more contact, working on getting him to really lift and give to the bit. He’s been doing quite well with this lately, though I’m not concerned as much with this. Forward is most important, first! But, since he is quite good about giving to the bit, figured I might as well incorporate a little!
  • “cool out” on a long rein, cool out being in quotes because it’s not like it was hard work…aha. but, regardless – allowing him to stretch down and out, and I still do a lot of figurey type things from seat and leg, with next to no contact with the bit.

I know that’s long, and I doubt many read it – but if not for my own personal “Teddie Diary,” of sorts – thought it might be interesting to those of  you working with young horses. I always make sure to mix up my figures and such – but if you have any you find really good for young, learning minds, please do share :)


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