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I'm about 2 weeks into my graduate program here at Washington State University, and I love it. My classes are great. My professors are amazing. And my cohort is beyond amazing! Everyone has told me how important a friendly and supportive cohort is, so I'm thrilled we all get along so well. I'm also excited to be studying and doing research again. Although, it is a bit of an adjustment going back to student life after taking the last couple of years off. But I feel like my life has more direction now, and it's helping me feel more settled.

Finesse is doing very well and enjoying the 10 hours of turnout she gets every day. I finally broke down and started her on SmartPak: Cosequin (joints), Farrier's Formula (hoof), and a B1 supplement for her skittishness and focus issues. She's amazingly calm in the barn or at the end of a lead rope, but once the saddle and bridle go on, she gets hyper-aware of everything going on around her and in the distance. She gets distracted very easily by things that might be scary, and that can make it hard for us to work on what we need to work on. I love her spunk and sass, so I'm hoping the B1 just helps take the edge off a little so she can focus on me without being so worried about the tractor on the hill across the road. Despite her little case of equine ADHD, we're making great progress building our partnership. We're entered for our first show on September 28. I'm so eager to get back into the show ring--it's been 6 1/2 years! 

Tom is visiting in a couple weeks too for my birthday and the WSU vs. Oregon football game. It's been almost 2 months since I've seen him. Distance has been tough, but we've been able to Skype every day, which has been a tremendous help. He's excited to meet my friends here and see Finesse again. It will be nice to finally introduce him to this new busy life of mine. 

Long story short, things are going well. I'm ready for a busy semester, but I'm determined to make it great!
  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: The Fratellis
  • Reading: Redwall
She's here!!! :dance: Finesse arrived safe and sound this morning. We shipped her with the transport company Equine Express. They've moved horses for us before, and they're wonderful with the horses. The driver told me that Finesse travelled very well, drank plenty of water and munched at her hay happily. She got doses of Probios, a probiotic paste that aids in digestion when a horse is under stress, such as lengthy travel. She seemed very calm when I saw her, and she immediately knew me and wrapped her neck around me when I hugged her. Of course, the first thing she did when we unloaded her from the rig was drop her head to eat grass. So, I don't think the move stressed her too much.

I walked her up the road to the barn and turned her out in the indoor arena for a few minutes to let her stretch and roll if she wanted. Then I let her settled in her stall while I got her feed bin set up and rationed her feed for the week. She gets a half portion tonight before going back to her regular portion tomorrow morning. I love the stalls here. They all have small runs attached to the back, so there's space outside to stretch out, walk around, and socialize over the fence. She's next to a little paint mare named Sassy. The automatic waterer was an adventure though. The first time Finesse took a drink and the pump kicked in, she freaked out, but settled back down pretty quickly. She's a little spooky by nature, so I wasn't concerned. 

She also got a nice grooming. It's been a few days, so she really needed it. I have a bubble bath planned for her for the weekend. Now, I'm home and she's settling in. We'll have a light hack tomorrow morning to stretch out and explore the indoor and outdoor rings, and then get back to work this weekend. I'm targeting mid-October for our first show, so that's a short-term goal I'm working toward with her now.

It is amazing to have my sweet girl here with me. It's a dream come true, and I feel like my whole life is coming together now. Classes start on August 25th, so I have a couple of weeks to just relax and play with Finesse :heart:
  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: "Quadrophenia" - The Who
  • Reading: The Circle - Dave Eggars
Where to start...

Change is hard. "See you later" is hard. It's a good kind of hard, but that doesn't mean I'm good at it. 

This week has been a whirlwind. Tom and I left Dallas last Friday on the three day road trip up to Washington. It went pretty smoothly except for my exhaustion and anxiety catching up to me, resulting in a nasty episode of carsickness on the first day. We stopped a couple hours short of Denver (our intended target for the day), and I slept for about 12 hours. I was good to go the next day. Colorado was beautiful; we even took a detour by Mile High Stadium to take a picture for Tom's mom. Montana was incredible too once we got into the mountains, thought it was certainly a relief when we got to the rolling fields of Washington. That is not a drive I'm in a hurry to make again. 

The movers came two days late, so we did what we could with the things I brought in my car on Monday. Tuesday, Tom and I checked out a couple of the local wineries. Washington has a fantastic selection of wineries and wine. Both of us are eager to take a trip to Washington wine country. The movers finally came Wednesday afternoon, and unloading/unpacking didn't take as long as I had thought. The organizing is what's taking a while, just finding convenient and appropriate places for everything. I've finally gotten my books and Breyers mostly sorted, though I anticipate some shuffling. 

I couldn't have done this move without the help of my parents, aunt, and uncle. My uncle got every picture and mirror hung as soon as it was unpacked. My mom and aunt put the kitchen in order, and Tom and my dad got all the furniture and the elliptical assembled in no time. They all left Thursday morning, which gave Tom and I a few days together to explore and relax. We went to the barn yesterday to drop off my trunk and tack. Now, I'm counting down to the 30th, when Finesse is supposed to ship up here. I cannot wait to see my baby girl!

Tom left this morning, and more than ever I wish Finesse was already up here. Tom and I have seen each other almost every day since we started dating last June. It's weird, now, knowing I won't see him until September. Hopefully this first semester will be the only one we spend half-way across the country from each other. He's eyeing Seattle, Spokane, or Pullman for new job opportunities. I'm so grateful that he's not only willing to move, but excited about moving to Washington. It's certainly a grand adventure we've set ourselves on!

So, I guess the takeaway is that things have gone well. The move went about as smoothly as I could hope for. I'm happy and excited to be up here, but the next week or so is definitely going to be an adjustment period. Orientation isn't until August 16th, but I've got plenty to keep me busy until then. And that's definitely a good thing.
  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: "Change" - White Lies
  • Reading: The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
Texas by SilverFlameWanderer
Texas
This is a quick color sketch of The Wanderer galloping through a field spotted with bluebonnets beneath the vast Texas sunset. I was directly inspired by the song "Texas" by Magic Man, which resonates with adventure, nostalgia, optimism, and freedom. You can listen to the song here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWWMga…

I started the sketch a couple of months ago when I was trying to draw every day. Life started to get hectic with my impending move and the purchase of Finesse. But, things have calmed down this past week since the movers have picked up my stuff and I have most everything else packed up. I'm working on some other sketches now, too, but wanted to finish this one up. I probably should have spent more time on it, but I'm happy enough with the result. It's actually pretty important given my move up to Washington. And this isn't just going off to college when Texas as still home. I'm changing my residency, and I'm actually a little bummed about it. I love calling myself a Texan after all these years. And, though I'm excited about the new adventures ahead of me in Washington, I definitely look forward to returning to Texas some day. It's home.
____________________________________________________
The Wanderer and picture copyright Ashley Mutek.
Prismacolor pencils on paper. 
July 8, 2014.
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I'm about 2 weeks into my graduate program here at Washington State University, and I love it. My classes are great. My professors are amazing. And my cohort is beyond amazing! Everyone has told me how important a friendly and supportive cohort is, so I'm thrilled we all get along so well. I'm also excited to be studying and doing research again. Although, it is a bit of an adjustment going back to student life after taking the last couple of years off. But I feel like my life has more direction now, and it's helping me feel more settled.

Finesse is doing very well and enjoying the 10 hours of turnout she gets every day. I finally broke down and started her on SmartPak: Cosequin (joints), Farrier's Formula (hoof), and a B1 supplement for her skittishness and focus issues. She's amazingly calm in the barn or at the end of a lead rope, but once the saddle and bridle go on, she gets hyper-aware of everything going on around her and in the distance. She gets distracted very easily by things that might be scary, and that can make it hard for us to work on what we need to work on. I love her spunk and sass, so I'm hoping the B1 just helps take the edge off a little so she can focus on me without being so worried about the tractor on the hill across the road. Despite her little case of equine ADHD, we're making great progress building our partnership. We're entered for our first show on September 28. I'm so eager to get back into the show ring--it's been 6 1/2 years! 

Tom is visiting in a couple weeks too for my birthday and the WSU vs. Oregon football game. It's been almost 2 months since I've seen him. Distance has been tough, but we've been able to Skype every day, which has been a tremendous help. He's excited to meet my friends here and see Finesse again. It will be nice to finally introduce him to this new busy life of mine. 

Long story short, things are going well. I'm ready for a busy semester, but I'm determined to make it great!
  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: The Fratellis
  • Reading: Redwall

deviantID

SilverFlameWanderer
Ashley
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
United States
I've always loved art and have enjoyed drawing and painting. Horses are my truest passion. I competed in hunter/jumper shows all through high school. Two years out of college, in May 2014, I was finally able to buy my first "forever horse," Finesse.

I graduated from Colgate University in 2012 with my B.A. in Psychology. I spent the past year working as a research assistant in a developmental psychology research lab at the University of Texas at Dallas. The primary project examined adolescent aggression and antisocial behavior. Currently, I am continuing my education in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Washington State University.

I also love books, film, good wine, and an exciting hockey game. I am an avid Pittsburgh Penguins fan.

My classes, work schedule, and horse keep me very busy, but I try to draw and post whenever I can. I'm always looking for constructive criticism and I try my best to respond to all comments. Enjoy my art :)

Current Residence: Pullman, Washington
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Small
Favourite genre of music: Indie. Classic Rock. Alternative. Progressive.
MP3 player of choice: iPod
Personal Quote: "And in that moment, I swear, we were infinite..."
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:icontheshiranja:
TheShiranja Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the watch :la:
Reply
:icondaenzar:
Daenzar Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the Fav 
Reply
:iconsolinabright:
SolinaBright Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
happy birthday deary! :heart:
Reply
:iconsilverflamewanderer:
SilverFlameWanderer Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! :heart:
Reply
:iconmoominfan80:
Moominfan80 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014
Happy Birthday! :) :cake:
Reply
:iconsilverflamewanderer:
SilverFlameWanderer Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconmoominfan80:
Moominfan80 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014
Your welcome! :)
Reply
:iconpolarisastrum:
PolarisAstrum Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GORGEOUS! :iconwuvplz:

I hope you have the most wonderful of days :love:

Lots of love,
~Joana
Reply
:iconsilverflamewanderer:
SilverFlameWanderer Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, Joana!! :cuddle: :heart: :D

Lots of love to you too!
Reply
:iconpolarisastrum:
PolarisAstrum Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome :tighthug:
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