This is officially The Braided Mane's first blog post. I have never blogged before in my life, but it seems to be growing in popularity so I figured I would take a shot at it.
If you don't already know, my name is Kaitlyn Cross. I am the owner and sole operator of The Braided Mane. I am 26 years old, and boy do I feel old most days. My body is already creaking and cracking in ways it shouldn't for a woman in her twenties. I blame it on sports through middle and high school, horses, and children... children always age you (haha, I still love those crazy heathens though). I am a mother to two beautiful blonde hair, blued eyed girls. My oldest starts school next year and in all honesty, I am not sure if I am ready for this step. Let's be realistic here, Time flies when you have children, but it goes even faster when they start school and really start gaining independence from you. I am excited, don't get me wrong (I won't have to hear sibling bickering for 8 hours during the day and that will be heaven!), but all I picture is my daughter in a cap and gown holding her high school diploma ready to start college, and I am not ready for that at all.
Peak into my romantic life now. My boyfriend and I have been together going on four years (four years this coming march actually). He is so wonderful to me and the girls, and I am beyond blessed to have him in our lives. Since we started dating, my family grew from two (my oldest and myself) to SIX. He has two beautiful children from his previous marriage, and he and I had a daughter together. The concept of a large family is still something I am getting used to, considering I grew up where I was the only child in the home (I have a half brother but he lived with my father [yes, my parents are divorced]). When I say large family, I mean large. Not only between he and I we have six total, but my boyfriend has FIVE siblings. From those five siblings, he has THIRTEEN, yes... 13, nieces and nephews.We won't go as far as telling you how many aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. he has, because I hope at this point, you see how LARGE of a family he has.
I has been a wonderful journey with him, and I have received the most support from him through everything. I mean, he quite literally did NOT want to move to a certain area because my horse would not be close enough to me. That's support right there and very smart on his behalf, because I am not sure about you, but my horse is my stress relief. Without that, I am just a ticking time bomb of boiling irritation.
Time for a new subject to cover, because if I don't cut myself off now, I will end up writing a full novel just of my family.
Speaking of subject, at this time in my life it looks like I will be learning plenty of new subjects. I have decided to go back to... *building suspense*... COLLEGE. It has been 7 years since I attending college and those were not my more proud moments of life. Short story, I partied too much and started falling behind with my grades, so I left before I really messed up my life. I got married, moved 2000 miles away, had my oldest, moved home, got divorced, met my boyfriend, etc.. You get the picture, I messed up the first go around and then life happened that postponed going back. ANYWAYS, I will be attempting to obtain my nursing license. Licensed Vocational Nursing to be exact. I still have a few prerequisites to complete before being able to start the program, but I am ready. I am ready to really take college seriously and show our children that it's never too late to make changes that will better yourself.
I am sure at this point in my blog post you are wondering, "Okay, sooooo what about her horse?". No? Oh, well. I am going to tell you now anyways.
I have grown up my entire life around horses, whether I owned a horse or I groomed and exercised horses at a local barn for free just to be around them. I currently own a 15 year old Thoroughbred mare and my mother and I share (we just split his cost right down the middle) a 25 year old Quarter Horse gelding. Our quarter horse is that horse we have that we ride to boost our confidence as riders after working with our other horses. He is a sweet old man, but don't think he won't crow hop you right out of the saddle if you aren't paying attention and he gets to reliving his barrel racing days.
My mare is my main focus right now. When I first brought her home, she was an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE!! I have seen wild mustangs load into a trailer better than she did, and overcome obstacles faster than she has. She had ZERO trust with hoomans (how I envision most animals saying the word h-u-m-a-n), she was unpredictable, and the living, breathing stereotype of a Thoroughbred Mare. I blame myself for how slow progress was with her. Right after I brought her home, I found out I was pregnant. That slowed progress down, then once I had my youngest, I was very inconsistent with working with her. I was constantly tired from being a mother to another baby while working full-time, and running a small business on the side. This past year since becoming a stay at home mom, I have been able to spend more time with Gracie (my mare). I have been able to really listen to her and what she needed to overcome obstacles. For example, she had to be switched to a bitless bridle for a few months because of her radical behavior when she was in a bit. Once, she started to realize I was not going to snatch on her mouth and she started relaxing under saddle, I was able to switch her back into a bit and she has been a dream since. We are finally to a point where I can focus on finessing form and cues during our ride instead of just trying to make sure she doesn't panic and completely check out mentally. She and become such a great partner; she loves doing simple liberty work, lets me wallow on her back, she likes to graze by me when I lay down in the paddock with her, she has gotten where she loves scratches and actually makes silly faces. I am so proud of how far she and I have come together that I actually see the potential to do well at shows.
She and I are actually working towards being able to attend our first show next year in the Jumper ring. Hopefully, we will be able to complete that goal. FINGERS CROSSED!
Well, I am going to wrap up this post. I have two kiddos wondering when I am going to be done so they can get their snacks. So, I better go before I have an uprising on my hands. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! If you enjoyed this, please let me know and keep an eye out for the next one!