Friday, June 28, 2013

It's Friday! Time to get Random!

Linking in to A Rural Journal For the Random Five Friday.

1. I am related to the founder of Dallas Texas.  His name was John Neely Bryant.  He is my great, great, great, great, great uncle on my fathers side.  I have heard this story  since I was young but recently wanted to verify that it was true so I start researching. Oddly enough I was able to google my grandmothers name, and came up with a genealogy that showed me it was true.  Through this little endeavor I started an account at and have found a ton of pictures of my ancestors that even my own father had never seen. I have traced back some family lines to England.  I also found out that some of  my mothers ancestors and fathers ancestors lived 2 doors down from each other in a small town in Louisiana.  There is so much more information I have learned- sometimes I think I should start a blog just on my family history, and probably will.
This is part of my fathers family.  The oldest man in the chair is John Pryor Durham Sr.
He is my fathers great grandfather. 
This is Sarah and Edward Ware, they are my mothers maternal grandparents.
 I am always struck by how pretty Sarah is at a time when many women looked
hard and tired.  Also I am amazed at how much my mom looks like her grandmother. 

2. In case you have not noticed, I am a huge history buff. Whether it be family history or just history I think it is the single most important thing we can preserve.  I know that in the Mormon religion it is common for each person to write the memoirs in order to preserve the family history. I think this is a brilliant idea, and think that everyone should do so.  On the other hand, so much of my own personal history was so dark, I can't imagine leaving that legacy behind.

3.I am going to have flowers at my new house in AZ. There are rose bushes and a lot of natural blooming desert plants in the front yard.  I am excited, because even though I am not a big gardener, I have always wanted to have something pretty growing in my yard.  Of course I can't even keep my front yard green here in WY, so hopefully I don't kill all the flowers.

4.  I try to be a spiritual person.  I am not a religious person, as in I do not go to church, but I do have a conscious contact with God and I do pray on a daily basis.  I do not pray for "things", but I do pray for guidance and understanding of my fellow man,  I do like to give thanks for every little thing I have, I do pray for others as well. My grandmother was the most spiritual person I have ever known.  She radiated peace and serenity. I never once heard her say a cross word about anyone, even if she did not care for them, she always found something nice to say.  I have always wanted to be more like her.

5.  I am in love with Vintage British Motorcycles.   If I could own any bike in the world it would be a 1938 T500 Speed Twin Triumph.   My second choice would be a Vincent Black Shadow or an AJS Matchless.  My favorite Harley is a 1948 Panhead. First year of that engine model.   I also always thought it would be cool to own and old Servi-car.  Yes I do love me some vintage bikes.  I should probably stop there, because I could go on for days!
1938 T500 Speed Twin Triumph. Steve Mcqueen used to own one.
I believe his sold at auction for 45,000.  That is just a tad
out of my price range.

Vincent Black Shadow- one of the fastest motorcylces ever made. 
AJS Matchless. The name speaks for itself
Harley Pan head.  Now that is just cool!
I can totally see me putting around town on this bad boy! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Playing Favorites

I try not to have a 'favorite" horse, but the truth is, I do.  Trax, is my favorite. Danny is my second favorite. Those red horses...well some days I threaten to send them to the glue factory, but really I love them too. They just get on my nerves.

They are constantly pinning ears and making ugly faces at each other, at Trax, at the neighbor horses and at Danny.  They are constantly kicking at each other through the fence.  Sassy paws at the fence, and likes to be an all around destructo-bot.   She has broken more fencing, and done more damage than all three of my other horses combined.  She's a monster!  Killian knocks down stuff, and leans over the barbless wire (my whole outer fence line leans at a 30 degree angle now), starts fights, charges the gates. And they both are terrible about trying to get into the barn to get into the food.

On Sunday, when we got home from the shows, I let Trax out into the pasture.  Killian and Sassy were out. The first thing those two red heads did was run after him. He wasn't even close to them. All he wanted to do was graze!  Killian went after him like a stud horse ear pinned and teeth bared. Trax took off running, of course Sassy joined in the chase.   I was thrilled when I saw Trax give one of his mile high bucks right in Killians face. He almost connected too!  Finally I took Danny and Trax and put them in the dog yard together so Trax could graze in peace.

Obviously Killian needs a job. He needs a job that does not involve herding that mare around.  In fact, once we get moved, I am going to separate those two and Big K is going to get some serious work outs. Sassy is also going to start getting some work too. It might not be physically hard, but it will be mentally challenging. A little something to get her mind right.  Those two are out of control and I know it is my fault.

The other day Sassy went to the fence to talk to "Da Brudders" next door.  Killian raced over and got between them. He pinned his ears at her and pushed her away and then he stood there and pawed the ground and challenged poor Attan to make a move. Attan just looked at him like, "Dude, you can have her." Its just stupid.

If Danny even walks past Killian's pen , K charges the panel and scares the crap out of Danny. All Danny is trying to do is get to his own pen.  Like I said it is stupid.

The new place has enough different stalls in different locations that I could take those red horses and put them far away from each other.  Then for Grazing I can start putting Danny and Sassy together some, and Trax with Killian. Trax can hold his own with the bully. He is much faster, and has no qualms kicking old green teeth right in the face if needed. (Did you catch the "Uneasy Rider" reference there?)

Trax is the Golden Child. He doesn't try to get into the food. He doesn't start fights, he doesn't tear stuff up. He just wants to be left alone to graze and roll at will. He thinks red horses are stupid too. Especially the ones he lives with.  Trax can do no wrong!

Danny is pretty good except at dinner time then he paws at the ground and the gate, and he will go in and steal food too if he can.  But for some reason it is cute when he does it.

Ok I guess I do have favorites.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


These are 11 random questions from Funder, over at It seemed like a good idea at the time.

1.  Where are you from? 
2.  Where have you been?
3.  What scares you the most (and I don't mean "spiders")?
4.  What's your favorite food?
5.  What's your biggest regret, or do you not believe in regrets?
6.  Favorite band (with links!)
7.  What's the first name you ever gave?  (I named my first cat Butterfly.  I was three.  I have no explanation.) 
8.  Is there a name you're saving?  For a girl child, or a homebred horse, or a funny cat name?
9.  Biggest personal accomplishment, present or future?
10.  What's your favorite book?  (reusing this, but I always love to hear the answers.)
11.  What do you want for your epitaph?

My answers:

1.  Born in Shreveport, grew up in Arizona, currently in Wyoming, moving back to AZ.

2. To the darkest depths of my mind and back to the light again.

3. Being homeless.

4. That is tough, probably my own home made waffles. Or Gravy....gosh I love gravy!

5. That I didn't fight hard enough to get custody of my 2 older sons, and then used that as an excuse for a lifetime of self medicating.

6. This one is a no brainer...number one fav of all time is Jalan Crossland  or
 I also love The Allman Brothers and Dicky Betts  This particular video is one of my favorites they ever did.  There is something about a simple Jam session that does it for me.   There is another guy named Diamond Lou, down in Texas that I really like, but can't find the link to his video right now. (He is my brother)

7. I think that would be my Golden Retriever, Charm.  She had a registered name that I can't remember now. But she was a show dog that was sold to me by a friend of my mom's. Her sire was the top winning Golden in the country at the time, and she was equally as gorgeous. We won every time we went into the show ring, but then she got bone cancer and had to be put down.

8.  I always thought Treasure would be a pretty name for a girl, but alas I had all boys. I also love the name Lillian.   I have a name I want to name a horse some day....Wheels.

9. Just celebrated 10 years free from active addiction. That is a biggie for me.

10.  Tam the Untamed and the rest of the Ajax series and the Brumby series by Mary Elwyn Patchett. I love her books with a passion. They are geared for young folks, but I still love to read them even now.   The Symphony of Ages series (specifically Rhapsody) by Elizabeth Haydon.  I wish that some brilliant movie producer would pick this up and recognize what a great movie it would make.
 Of course all the Harry Potter books, and also the Lord of the Rings. I am a sucker for a good fantasy and these were so well written, I could not put them down.  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, where we learn a lot about being a human from the perspective of a dog.  Horse Power- A Memoir by Annette Israel, which is a great horse story.    Deep summer by Gwen Bristow. (I read this a million times as a young girl, and just found out today that it was part of a trilogy so now I need to get the set!)

11. She came to believed that all things were possible, and so they were.

I would love to see other peoples answers to the questions.  Feel free to answer them here or send me a link to your own blog with the answer.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 2, Ranch Horse show

As I type this I am as sore and tired as I have been in a long time. But I am loving it!  My doctor had told me recently that horse back riding doesn't count as exercise because it is not sustained.  Clearly she has never been to a show.  LOL

So if you missed my previous post, where in we actually placed in 2 classes on our first day, you can click Here to read about that.

Picking up where I left off....
It was such an awesome day and I was almost in tears I was so happy with my boy.  Once I had him put away, I went to the motor home and took off my jeans because my legs had been itching and sore most of the day. What I found was that I had hives from my ankles to my thighs and some of it was dark dark red and burning.  I tried putting some lotion on but that was the wrong thing to do. Burn burn burn!!!   (I have a picture but it is pretty gross so I won't post it.)

When the last class was done, I went to help RC and Sky load up the jumps. They had to drive those back to Casper and then get the trailer load of cows for the next day.  To be honest, I was sore and tired, and volunteered to stay at the motor home with Sky's Golden Retriever, Dozer.  That way they could just get their cows without having to worry about the dog. Not that he isn't a good dog, but he is young and does require some supervision.  So off they went to town and Dozer and I grilled a burger and shared it. I took a nice shower, checked on my horse and went to bed.  They finally made it back about midnight.  I swear those gals really put in some long hours to make this show happen, and don't get near enough credit.

The next morning Dozer wanted out about 5 am, so I got up with him and let the other two sleep.  I grabbed a cup of coffee, and went and got Trax and let him do some grazing.  It was beautiful out, a little chilly but not bad, but quiet and serene.  Trax was more than happy to just hang out with me and graze. Dozer, thought grazing looked  like fun so he joined in.  Once my coffee was gone I tied Trax to a pole surrounded by grass and cleaned his stall and put down fresh bedding, fresh water, and his breakfast.

The day before I had two buckets of water for Trax, a black rubber one with Douglas water, and a galvanized one with water from home. At first it seemed that he only wanted the water from home. But through the course of the weekend I realized that it wasn't the water, but the bucket. He did not care for the rubber bucket.  It was not a new bucket, and he has eaten grain out of it a gazillion times. But he prefer's galvanized.  He sucked those buckets down like crazy.  One thing I love about him. He travels well.

By time I got back the motor home, the other two were up and showered and it was time to get to work.  The nice thing about Ranch Horse Shows is that there is a lot less going on at one time, so I was able to really focus on my horse this day. I lunged him, he seemed pretty calm for the most part, I saddled him up and rode him some and noticed the judge (Same from the day before) watching me.  As I rode past he said, "He looks a lot better today."  I thought, "You have no idea." but said, "Thanks"  That was also right when I found out that we had to have a cowboy hat, or be DQ'd.  I had managed to forget mine at home and ended up having to borrow one, which was way too big, but at least had a strap to hold it on.

Then I realized that the halter class was first and here was my horse all sweaty and still kind of dirty from rolling in the dirt the day before.  I ran him back to the trailer and got him cleaned up as best I could. I did not even have time to brush his main and tail!

The show was divided into 3 divisions. Jr. Horse, Non- pro, and Open.  We were in the Non Pro and there were a total of 6 horses in that division.   Each division has to do Halter, Trail, Ranch Riding (like western pleasure) Reining and then the cow work.  The open class  gets to do extra cow work by circling and roping the cow.

So we head into to the halter class, my horse looking like the poor relation from the south while everyone else was shiny and clean.  The judge looked everyone over, I tried my best to get him to stand square, but it wasn't happening and asking him to only made him fidget more.  So I gave up and just stood there.  He made his choices, they announced 6th place, it wasn't me.


They announced 5th, still in the ring. 4th place, still there. 3rd place still there (are you kidding me?) 2nd place, they called our names! I couldn't believe it! The horse that got first was built like a brick...well you know, so I did not mind losing to him at all. I was truly blown away.

Then it was back to the trailer to saddle back up and get back to warming up.  Poor Trax, couldn't tell if we were coming or going, but he kept his cool during it all.

The trail pattern was relatively easy and I was confident that we would do well. What I didn't count on was my inability to pick up the rope for the log pull with the correct hand (I'm so bad with left and right) which meant in order for me to dally on the proper side I had to pass the rope under his neck. Then (the judge told me later) I did not dally correctly, so that hurt us too. (I also learned that almost no one dallied right) Trax did great though.  The only place he failed me was when I needed to ground tie him.  He wouldn't stay still. I ended up having to throw in my  little trick of picking up each foot to get him to stand still. We were allowed to do extra stuff to show off our horse so I did what I could to make him look better.  The judge said we could have done better on our rope gate, because when we are backing into place to close it, Trax tends to swing wide and I always have to push his hip back in. No biggie though, I can work on that.  He did commend me on our trailer loading. The task was to load your horse in the stock trailer, shut the gate then go back in and get back him out.  Trax was the only horse who did not have to be led into the trailer. I opened the gate, told him to load up and he went in and to the front of the trailer.  Then he backed out like a dream. Every other horse struggled with backing out.  Still it was a scoring run and I think we ended up in 5th place. The log pull killed us.

Next was Ranch Riding which is a rail class. When ever we were asked to lope, Trax thought we were in a race. There was one time when we were told to trot and he took off at a lope  extended lope   dead run.  I turned him in a circle to slow him down.  At the end of the class the judge told each one of us how we did. He told me that if I had just checked him down instead of circling him, we would have been 3rd, instead we were 5th.  I'll take it.

Then came the reining.  The pattern was a working cow horse pattern. 3 circles to the right, each one slightly smaller and slower, lead change, 3 circles to the left, go down around the end of the arena, come up the middle and do a sliding stop at the opposite end, 2.5 spins to the right, run to opposite end another sliding stop, 2.5 spins to the left, run to the center of the arena, another sliding stop and then back up.  Then you ask for your cow. For the cow work, you pen your cow at the end of the arena pushing to both ends, then pen him down one side of the arena staying within the markers, and push him back. You are timed, and only have 4 minutes.

Trax struggles with patterns like this, too much running sends him to a different place, you know...the marathon runner place, so I was really a little concerned about how well he would handle it.  But we practiced and did lots of downward transitions, and re directions to get him in the right frame of mind.

We were the first horse in our class to go. I wanted to get it over with. I had been practicing the pattern for an hour so I knew it was as good as it was going to get for us, the longer we stood around the worse it would be.  I rode out and the Judge waved to me. I thought that meant go, but really it meant wait.  So they called me back. I went back to the starting point and waited, at which time Trax decided he needed a pee break anyway.  He always knows when to give some comedic relief!

We were signaled to start and off we went.  He was good, not too chargy, struggled a little with the lead change (again) but got it done and circling to the left really rated me well when it was time too. I had to reach down with both hands and adjust my reins a couple of times, and used 2 hands on the stops, and I figured that doing so had DQ' us.   His stops were not sliding, of course, and as always it takes him a few steps, but he did stop and I did not have to one rein him or really get after him. I gave him his cue and he gave me the best stop he could give me, at this time.  His spins were a little coke bottle-ish but I'm going to take the blame for that. I could have gone a little slower and done better on those.  His back up was a little crooked but relatively smooth and with his head down most of the time.

We asked for our cow, and he locked on to it immediately.  We penned it at the end, we ran it down the side, and turned it around just in time. Then we ran it back up and penned it again. We attempted one more go at it, but didn't quite get what I was hoping for, but we did keep control of our cow the whole time. They called the 1 minute warning and we pushed him down to the gate and called it done.

As soon as we were out the gate I jumped off, loosened the cinch and told him he was done.  He got a hose down, a roll in some dirt and a nice long drink once he had quit breathing so hard.  I was happy with the cow work, not unhappy about the reining work, even though we had dq'd.

Tired and dirty after a long hard weekend. 
Once TC had left with the motor home and I was pretty much ready to roll, I went back to the announcers booth and got to see my scores for the day. As it turns out we did not DQ the reining, we just had the lowest score. I spoke with the Judge about our cow work, and he said that although it was nothing fancy it was perfectly acceptable, and we did a great job of reading the cow, backing off when we needed and get around him to turn him around when we needed. He said that all in all we did a decent job considering the skill level of both me and my horse.  He said that although there is lots of room for improvement, especially in the reining, he thinks that given Trax's drive and energy, he (we) will eventually do very well, if we keep at it.

I thanked him so much, and loaded my horse to head home before I started bawling like a baby.  It was my last WY show, and I was sad to see it end. (I did cry for a while when I was driving) I felt bad later though, because I should have stayed and helped RC and Sky load up the last of the stuff. I don't think anyone stayed to help, and that sucks.  I did send her a text and apologized but the words really seemed empty to me. Too little, too late.

So when I totaled it up, we were in a total of 8 classes and only disqualified in 1. For day 2 our total score put us in last place, but we still scored.  As far as I am concerned, that is flipping amazing!  I am really going to miss this little club and the friends I made here, but I know there is a lot of horsey stuff going on in AZ, and so at the same time I am looking forward to that as well.  

One more thing I want to say on this already too long post, is that when we were warming up on day 2, I noticed that if I rode with 2 hands I was able to get him to really drop his head at all 3 gaits. I mean nice and soft and really pretty.  This is a new thing for him, to be that soft so I can see where the work I did with Mark has really paid off. He is still not one of those horses that drops his head the second you pick up on the reins, but it seems as though he is headed in that direction.

So for now we are done until we get moved, then I am looking forward to being able to ride early mornings in our new arena in San Tan.  I am considering the idea of sending Trax to Mark for a bit before we move to see if he can work on his stopping for  me...depending on how much it would cost and if he would have time to put more than 1 or 2 rides on him.  For now I will just be happy with how far we have come, and look forward to where we are going in the future.

I will post my video's once I have them uploaded to you tube, first I have to find my camera cord!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I'm finally home from the 2 day show and boy what an event it turned out to be.  I was going to let Trax tell the story, but he opted for grazing instead,  It's ok though, he earned.

Friday I got home from work, got him washed, and dried off and the last of my stuff in the motor home.  I was supposed to be meeting RC there, with another gal and we would all stay in the motor home the whole weekend.  RC is the driving force behind the Central Wyoming Performance Horse club. She busts her butt to put these events on, and for the most part doesn't even get to ride in them much.  So I want to say thank you to her for all her hard work. She has a helper named Sky who also works very very hard, and she deserves many kudos as well.

The first night we had motor home issues before we even got on the road, weather issues in the form of hail, tornado's and torrential rain.  The next morning was flooded arenas and a late start due to not being able to set up jumps right away.  However, we all pitched in and got the jumps up, and got things moving in the warm up arena, so it was ok.   I helped out where I could, but felt pretty useless most of the time. 

Finally, it was time for me to start warming up my horse.  He looked great, was nice and clean (for the most part) and seemed pretty calm and relaxed.  So I saddled him and took him to the arena that was still wet, and started lunging him.  He was smooth and easy at the walk and the trot, then I asked him to lope and he literally blew up!  He bucked and ran and jumped, and pulled the rope out of my hands and bucked from one end of the arena to the other.  Everyone ran over to make sure I was ok, and then  a few people helped me get him caught. But not before he led us on a pretty good chase.  He was literally having the time of his life!!  Once he was done with his shenanigans we went back to work.

I want to insert a very important point here.  Trax had either been in a trailer or in a small stall since 6pm the night before, and it was after 10 am already.   He obviously needed to let off some steam and as far as I am concerned he absolutely chose the appropriate time to do so.  I had several suggestions to work him till he was lathered, but I truly was not upset with him at all, and didn't really want to punish him.  I mean, it took a few of us to catch him, but only because he wasn't "done" yet.  The minute he was done, he stood quietly and waited for someone to walk to him.  He told me exactly how he was feeling and what he needed, and I was okay with him having that. 

From then on, he was pretty much a dream.  I did lunge him longer than usual, but not to the point of being lathered, just until he was soft.  That is when I knew it was okay to get on him.  We warmed up just like any other day, and it did not take long till he was feeling pretty darn good, to me. 

About that time RC asked me to help set up the trail class, and then go get some lunch for the judges.  I was kind of bummed because I felt like we had some good momentum going, but I also knew that she really needed help so I set aside what I thought I needed to give her a hand. As it turned out it was all good.   By time I got back with the food another storm was on the horizon.  I went ahead and grabbed my horse, feeling a little bit rushed, but pushed it aside.   Helping set up the trail course gave me a real good understanding of how it went, so practicing wasn't a big issue.

There had been a barrel racing event going on in the biggest arena, but they all left when the storm was coming, so from then on I was able to go over there to warm up.  That right there made all the difference in the world for us.   I could focus on just him and I, no one else was going over there, and it was perfect. 

First we did the Adult Trail, and DQ'd but I honestly can't recall what we did wrong. I just know that we did.   Then I waited just a little for some others to go and went back and did the Open. Trail was an "at will" class so we got to chose when we did it.  He did the rope gate perfect, he did the back through an L perfect.  He struggled with the sidepass over the L, but got it done, the bridge was a walk in the park, turn in the box was good, trot over poles was fair.  I was very very happy with our run, but was pretty sure the side pass over the L blew it for us.  Most of all he didn't run off, he didn't break course, and he did a correct lead departure.  Good Boy!

Then I grabbed my pattern for Ranch pleasure. I was very happy to see that it was one of the ones we had done several time, and it was a relatively easy one.  The main thing I like about already knowing the pattern is that if I can remember it, and run him through it a few times, He knows what is coming and tries hard to do it right.  So we practiced back over in the main arena again. We worked and worked and worked. Sometimes on the pattern, sometimes just on downward transitions or serpentine's.  It rained on us, and we stopped for a minute, but as soon as it blew past we were back out there again. I did the pattern from each different corner of the arena so he would focus on the pattern and not so much the land marks (if that makes sense). The main thing was staying calm, lots of big exhales when I needed him to rate, and a lot of repetition.  At first I thought we were going to have to go ahead and DQ and do it 2 handed, but by time the class was ready to start, I knew that we could do the whole thing with one had.

When it was my turn we rode quietly into the arena. There was no pulling at the reins, or charging through the gate.

The Judge said to me, "Wow, you are really going to ride that horse?" (referring to the bucking incident)

I laughed and said, "Of course"

 I set us up in the starting place and took a deep breath and a big exhale. I felt him do the same, and started him forward. Now I'm not going to sit here and tell you that it was perfect, because it wasn't, we struggled a little with the lead change, which we always do, and of course his stops weren't perfect...BUT he stopped. He stopped on his own without a fight. There was one time when I had to check him with my other hand because he dove into a turn, but we did not break the pattern.   We had a clean run.  We rode out, I jumped off and loosened the cinch right then and there. I gave him a big hug, took him for a drink, and then a nice roll in and empty cow pen that wasn't too nasty.

About 30 minutes later they started announcing the winners of my classes.  We got 2nd out of 13 in the Open Trail, and 3rd out of 6 in the Ranch Pleasure!  Unfortunately I don't have ribbons to show for it. I guess they ran out before the end of the day. But it is ok, because I know that we did good. I was/am so happy with my boy right now. He could not have impressed me any more if he had one the Triple Crown.  He worked hard, and tried so hard to do good.  I don't have any video or pictures of the first day either, but I do have some of day 2.

Day 2 was the Ranch Horse Show.  TC came down and sort of worked my camera. His skills are actually even worse than Simon's!  But, for now I am beat and so day 2 will have to wait till tomorrow.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Random 5 Friday

Following with A Rural Journal  Here are my 5 random facts for Friday.

1.  I have decided that I need a wife. One that cooks, cleans, sews, irons, and does all kinds of nice domestic stuff.  Its not that I cannot do these things, they are just so low on my priority list, they rarely seem to get done. Especially now, with everything we have going on with the move. My house is starting to look like an episode of hoarders!  I am however, quite good at making sure the stalls stay clean, the barn is clean, dog yard poop free, horse trailer is organized, animals are all cared for, yard gets know, all the important things!  

2. I'm pretty sure I am not only a terrible house keeper, but I am also a terrible mother.

3. I used to sell truck parts for a living.  I am quite good at it, but I hate it.  Now I am an office manager for a truck parts company, but everyone knows I know how to sell parts so they still try to get me to do it. I fight it kicking and screaming every step of the way.

4. My co-workers take paid smoke breaks, I take paid blog breaks. In fact I'm getting paid to write this post right now.   But I have timed it. I spend less time blogging than they do smoking!

5.  When I was a kid I had a dream where my dad and I were fishing on a boat and a huge shark jumped up on the boat and was trying to chomp us into bite sized pieces as we slid down the deck into its mouth.  I told my brother about the dream and he told me I was a whack job.  2 years later they came out with the movie Jaws.  I saw the movie, and wondered how to collect royalties for them stealing my dream. Also for years I could not swim anywhere I could not see below me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Short Story

So there we were after a long day of travel, sitting in our hotel room in Albuquerque, NM.  My ankle was swollen and throbbing, so I asked Simon to run to the ice machine and bring me some ice to put on it.  
He gets a big smile and says, "Oh I have something even better than that!" and ran out the door.

TC and I looked at each other a little perplexed but went back to resting our eyes.  Simon was gone for what seemed like a really long time.

Finally he returned.

He comes to the side of the bed and has me close my eyes and put my hand out.  

I felt him dump something into my hand.

I opened my eyes, he had given me a handful of dirt.

"Rub some dirt on it Mom!"

The boy watches way too much football.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Trax breaks in the new trailer

I did get to go ride yesterday, the storms seemed to go right around us and the wind even stopped long enough for me to actually enjoy the ride.

The ride itself was uneventful (just how I like them) but also wasn't anything to write home about.  It was more of the same. Down ward transitions, some obstacles, and loping in squares.  Trax did quite well, except for the whole moving off my leg part.  I forgot my spurs (again) and I am starting to think they have become a crutch for him us I have trouble getting him to side pass with out them.

One thing that was funny was there was a small man gate to the arena open and Trax kept gravitating to it. So I decided we would close it from horse back.  I moved him up to the gate and asked him to side pass over so that I could close it. It took some work but we got er done. Then I opened it again, and we went through it and I was going to try it from the out side.  Epic fail there, because he saw open territory and thought, "Woo hoo, we are done!"  And tried to head for the trailer.  So I turned him around and we went back into the arena, but I had to let go of the gate.  I lined him along side of it, as it was open inward, so we could close it again.  Trax said, "Here let me get that for you."  He tucked his nose and then used it to push that gate shut as hard as he could.  I laughed so hard I almost fell off.  He was quite proud of himself and I was laughing too hard to work on it anymore so we went back to riding.

We did the rope gate from the left and the right, backed through our L trotted over poles, and just all kinds of different things. He really did great.  Once we did our canter work we really had to work again on the downward transitions, but eventually I was able to sit in my seat and say walk without touching the reins and he would slow down. He wouldn't hold it for very long, but I just kept doing it over and over again.

We did one reining pattern which he executed perfectly the second time around, so at that point we called it a day, I dropped the reins and let him wander around. He would try to speed up and I would use my seat again to ask for a walk, which eventually he would give to me.  It was a completely uneventful ride, just like I said, but slow, simple, and easy was exactly what I am looking for with him.

I think Trax likes the new trailer.  I know that I do. It was so easy to get my tack in and out, and it actually pulls down bumpy dirt roads really nicely.  I'm still having to learn to compensate for the length of the trailer when I turn corners.

I think what he really likes are the big windows. He likes to see out as we go down the road.  I had the window and the  safety bars open at first.
Aw shucks

Hey Lady, you got cookies?
But then as I was driving I looked back and saw this

See his nose sticking out of the window?  You can Bigify it to see it better.  I tried to get a picture of him sticking his whole head out but my phone wasn't fast enough.  I decided that having his big old long nose hanging out the window could be bad, especially if I hit a bump, so I stopped and but the safety  jail bars back up.   Naturally, being Trax he did a great job of breaking it in, by peeing and pooping.  I can always count on him for that! (personally I am thrilled that he is comfortable doing so)  The good news is that it no longer smells like new rubber!

As I was leaving the arena I got a call from my neighbor. Marks son, Dallas was there to give Trax a quick trim.  He had was just finishing up one of her horses, and I pulled up just in time.  Usually Mark does my trims but he is still in Haiti, and Trax was starting to crack in  few spots. I just wanted him cleaned up a tad before the show. For an 18 year old kid, he does a pretty decent job. He isn't quite as adept as his dad, but I was not unhappy with his work by any means.  The cracks are cleaned up, he didn't take off too much, and his feet look nice just in time for the show.

Afterwards I needed to feed my ponies before I went in and got him a check, and he jumped right in and gave me hand. As I was writing his check out, he grabbed my dog food bowls and fed my dogs too.   He took care of them all when I was out of town so he knew what to do.  I told him he could come be "my kid" any time he wanted!  He is a good boy, much like his dad.  I sent his mom a text and told her so too.  I think that it is nice as a parent to hear when your kids do good.  They are a nice family, and I will miss them when I am gone.

I am hoping to get one more ride in tonight, just to work on those transitions a little bit more.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pasture Management

Last years drought absolutely killed our pastures, yards, and anything else we had growing around our house.

So in hopes of an average amount of rainfall this year we made the decision to reseed one of the pastures and the front yard.  Keep in mind that the total size of the property is 3.5 acres, so we are dealing with less than that for actual pasture.
(I did not take any pictures of the front yard because it is still a sand pit)

This is the pasture we reseeded and I am quite happy with how it is coming in.  Where I am standing to take the picture is still a bit sandy but I think if we keep all the horses off it for this year, it will come back all the way.

The grass is at least 4 inches long, if not longer.   Oddly enough, I haven't put a nary a drop of water on this pasture from a hose. It is all from rain fall and the swamp that resides just a few feet under ground.  It is really growing nicely.

Moving on to pasture # 2

Now, here is the really cool part.  The picture above and below is the pasture that the horses have been grazing on. We did not seed it, and we do not water it.  Yet look how nice and green it is staying.

It is not quite as long as the other pasture, but seems to be holding at about 2-3 inches.   I learned a very valuable lesson last year, and it is making a difference in the growth.  Last year I had 2 horses out and 2 in at all times. For example, I'd let the red horses out during the day, and then Danny and Trax out at night while the red horses were locked up. That meant that the grass was being grazed on 24/7. This year the routine is 2 horses out each day, but no one out at night. That gives the grass 12 hours a day to grow without a horse hunting down its tender shoots.  It also keeps anyone from getting too fat.  If they are grazing they do not get fed any cubes.

 Of course we have to have the gratuitous grazing pony shots.  The blog is called "Herdlife" after all!   But let me just point out that this is not pasture at all. This is actually the highly coveted dog yard. This is the yard where where Danny stands my the gates and demands to be let inside.   As  you can see if you click on the link, and compare the grass from those pics to today you can see that there has been a lot of growth in a month.
"No pictures now Lady..I'm eating"

 Trax loves the dog yard too, although he hasn't quite learned how to ask to go in.  But once Danny gets his way, Trax is right on his heels.

"Nom nom nom"
 Danny is the head of the yard crew!  Actually I mowed this yard a few weeks ago, and have not watered it one bit. It also gets fed by the swamp, and I swear the grass is at least 6-8 inches long.

I have been giving everyone a couple of hours in here each time they are out. If I do any more than that, they will eat themselves sick.  I will have to go home at lunch time today to let these two out.

Yesterday Sassy and Killian got to be the yard crew for a few hours.   Poor Smarty is convinced that the horses are going to eat him so he remains on the deck with a worried look on his face,  as long as there are in there.  I should have gotten a picture of that as well I guess.

In Arizona we will only have one pasture but it will have irrigation so I think I can take my new routine and implement it there as well. I think grazing is super important for mental health (more that physical) so although they won't always be grazing, if they all get some time on the pasture it will be like therapy.

Tonight we get back into training mode.  I am hoping to get to ride tonight and tomorrow, then Thursday will be about getting the motor home ready. Friday night we will head down to Douglas and I will stay there all weekend. TC says he will come home and feed the critters but go back to operate the camera watch me compete.  I'm hoping there is a place at the fair ground where I can hose my dirty pony down. Asking him to stay clean from Thursday on is a little much!

I see that the Black Forest Fire is finally dying down and some folks who still have homes are being permitted to return to them. Then there are the over 500 who have no home to return too.  What a terrible loss for those families.  It must be so hard. I was happy to read that all the bloggers I know in that area, so far have come through without incident, but still pray for those who have lost.  May God give them strength and guidance through these troubled times.  I have never had to deal with something like that myself, but I suspect that if I take the fear I felt when we had the little wild fire we had by our home last year (put out in a few hours by crews and neighbors) and multiply it by about 1000, I can get a good idea.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Safe and Sound

I hate flying....hate it with a passion.

I am not afraid of flying, I just hate it!  I hate that we pay 3x more every time, and receive 6x less for our money, every single trip.  I hate the little tiny planes that we are forced to ride on to get from Denver to Casper, they make me nauseous.  I hate airports, I especially hate trying to figure out how to drive through an airport. Well the big ones anyway. Could they make Sky Harbor International any more confusing???   At least Casper Airport is tiny. One way in, and one way out.
I do not mind security, I do not hate the people who work at the airports. I feel like they are doing the best they can with what the executives give them to work with, and that isn't much.   I mean, they don't even offer free peanuts any more, and on the bigger plane, they have fixed the seats so they do not recline even the slightest little bit.  It was by far the most uncomfortable airplane ride I have ever been on. Blah blah blah....I could go on for hours.  

Anyway, we made it home safe and sound and that is all that matters, but shame on those folks who make the decisions of what you get for you money when booking a ticket. Spring for some free nuts dammit!

The first thing I did when I got home was run out to the barn. I had Dallas (Mark's son) taking care of my animals for me.  He did a right fine job, with only a few minor mistakes.  I couldn't even be upset about the mistakes because they were all mistakes I make myself on a regular basis.  Everyone was healthy and shiny.   Trax looked at me with a certain indignation as if to say, "How dare you leave without me?"  Actually I think he was upset that he had not been getting his hand fed treats.  He'll get over it.

The dogs were totally wild when we got home. They really missed TC who spoils them rotten.

I sure did miss my nice comfy bed!

This week will be all about getting ready for the next show which is coming up on Saturday.   I haven't had time to get the camera out yet but will get some pics up pretty soon.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Time to go home

Well its been a great little visit but now it is time to go home.

I have pictures but it will have to wait until I get home to post them.   We spent a good amount of time trying to figure out how to work automatic sprinklers so the grass will stay green, and the trees watered.  Who knew they could be so complicated?

Simon is staying down here with his brother and sister in law, so we decided he can be in charge of lawn care.  Yesterday we went to Home Depot to make pick up a cheapo lawn mower, and a few things for the house. I decided to go ahead and apply for a card there, to make purchasing easier.  TC was behind me in line with his own cart of stuff, when the cashier sent me to the service counter with my items to complete my application and pay for my goods.   When we were done, I found TC and he asked if we were all set, I said we were and away we went.  The alarms went off as we exited, but the cashier waved us on.

An hour or 2 later, we came to realize that one of the items we purchased would not work for us. TC asked for the receipt, I asked what he did with "his"receipt.

"I didn't pay for anything, remember, you did."

"Um, I only paid for the items I had in my cart."

We checked my receipt, sure enough, we had walked out without paying for the lawn mower and a few other things.  Whoopsie!

So then came the chore of trying to explain what had happened to the manager, and that we honestly didn't mean to steal those items.   It was kind of hilarious actually and the manager was so happy that we came back, she went ahead and took 50 dollars off our bill!  I guess it does pay to be honest.   I won't say that just keeping our mouths shut didn't cross our minds, but there was just no way I was going to have that bad karma hanging over our heads.  No Way!!!

So I've been here a little over 24 hours and already resorting to a life of crime!

Last night we went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.  I will not be going back there again.  Not because the food was bad, in fact is was delish, but I cannot stand a restaurant that adds the tip into your bill.  I am generally a pretty generous tipper if my server does a decent job.  I know that waitressing isn't easy, and I respect those women and men who do it and do it well.  BUT I think that what I decide to tip should be my call not theirs.  They decided that 18% was the magic number.  I felt like she had earned a solid 15%, but had no choice but to pay the 18%.  Also if I had not looked closely at the ticket I could have easily tipped her another 15%.  Not cool!

I really love our new neighborhood.  I thought it was wonderful how many people on our street made a point of driving by  very slowly to check out what was going on at a house that they knew was empty.  It could just be that they  were being nosy, but it seemed as though once they realized that we were working on the house, they went on their way.   I like that they are paying attention.

There are so many horses in that area, and it seems like quite a few donkeys too.  Many of them look wonderful! Well bred and well fed.  It is nice to see that.  Although there was one boarding stable in particular that made me sad, some of the horses I saw there were skin and bones.  Then another place I went past has a palomino paint who has some seriously deformed front legs.  He looked relatively well cared for as did the other animals there, but his front legs splay out to both sides so badly he can hardly walk.  He didn't seem to be in a lot of pain, he just walks funny.  I wonder why he is like that?  

 I also am surprised at how many have no shade.   I couldn't even imagine having to stand out in a dry lot with no shade all day every day.  I guess to a lot of people they are just livestock.

I actually think I want to extend my shade for my horses at this new place, because there are times of the day when they will not have any at all. Danny is all about standing around in the shade.

Well it is about time to go get on a plane.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Random 5 Friday

Well we are finally in AZ, and I am sitting in Apache Junction soaking up some AC waiting for my son to get off work so we can go unload some stuff at the new house.  Meanwhile here is my Random 5 for this Friday which are a direct result of the drive here.

1. Am I the only one perplexed about the telephone poles in NM? They are only like 5 feet tall.  WHY?

2. I think that "Wagon Mound" is a cool name for a town and it would be cool to live there.

3. Why do teenage boys fart so much?

4.  We saw a ton of old abandoned little farm/ranch houses along the highway.  I want to know what happened to those families. Were they bought out so the high way could go in?  Did the younger generations abandoned the ranches for lives in a city?  I really need to know.

5. I can listen to my IPOD for hours and never hear the same song twice, but it doesn't make the drive go any faster. But if I put on just my Jalan Crossland playlist and listen to only his 5 cd's the drive goes by in double time.  

So Far so......

We are in Albuquerque right now trapped in a motel parking lot by a ton of other cars.

But it has not been a bed drive by any means.  Well except for that drive through Denver...UGH!

As we cruised through CO and the smoke was thick everywhere I found myself praying for all the folks, bloggers and non-bloggers, who are evacuated from their homes.

When we hit NM it was pretty smooth sailing.  This was my view the entire trip  I don't know why it is sideways.
 As we came up on Santa Fe' I waved to the 7MSN ranch, as I know they are not too far from there.  Then the rain started.  Bad for us, but hopefully that means that George, Hank, Lucy, Alan, and Winona are getting a break from the heat.

As soon as we can get the trucks out we will hit the road again.  But this will put is in downtown PHX at rush hour...not awesome!

Take care everyone

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Wonder

We are rolling out in the morning.   Funny thing, although I am excited to get down there and see the new place again (as well as my kids and grandkids) I really just want to get home again so I can get back to getting ready for the next show.  We had such good rides the  last two time and I have been so busy getting ready to roll I haven't had time to go try again.

Sometimes I find myself wondering about Trax.  He was such a different horse the last 2 times I rode him, in the sense that he was trying so hard to please me, is it possible he felt as bad about our last show as I did?  I do not believe that horses feel remorse, so I seriously doubt that he sat there in the pasture and thought out how to prove to me that he was sorry.  But I do know that we lost our "connection" that day.  What I wonder is if he missed that feeling, like I did.  Did it make him kind of sad to not feel connected anymore? Did he try to please me more because he wants to feel the connection again?

Remember that Trax never really had a person till he had me. He was always aloof and a loner. When we started training and working a lot, our relationship changed so much. He was happy to see me. He puts his head in the halter, and approaches me at the gate.  In the pasture he comes and asks for scratches and loving.  This has become even more true since our fall out at the last show. It is as if he is trying to rebuild the connection again.

Is it possible that those last 2 rides were all about, "See Lady, I can do this, I just need a little more guidance." ?

Or maybe he is saying, "Please don't give up on me, like everyone else has."

Perhaps I am humanizing him a little too much.

"You still love me, right?"

I still love him, not in spite of who he is, but because of who he is.

Monday, June 10, 2013

What I learned this weekend

1.  Trax's name fits him to a "T".  I watched him in the pasture yesterday.  He stands out there and grazes for a while, then decides the south side of the pasture looks greener than the the north. So he races from one side to the other and begins to graze again.  Then he gets thirsty so he races to water tub, drinks his fill, then races back to where he was grazing. A half hour later he races to a different area, and grazes some more.  As we drove trucks in and out of the gate to load with "movables" he would race to the gate as soon as we approached it.   When he was shoo'd away he would race back to a new grazing spot.   "Makin Trax", is what he does all day! He doesn't walk anywhere.

2. Labrador Retrievers are most helpful when packing.  I decided to make good use of the closet full of linens that I never ever use. They became packing for all fragile items.  I would wrap a fragile item in an old pillow case (or something along those lines) and place it in the box on the floor behind me.  Then I would turn back to the next item and wrap it as well. The minute my back was turned, Smarty Pants would grab the piece of linen and race through the house with it as my fragile item went bouncing down the hallway behind him.  Then I would have to stop what I was doing and chase after him.  We did this about 50 times yesterday.  Even when I moved the box up higher, he would manage to get up there and steal stuff.   Smarty is going to get his own T-Shirt or Bumper Sticker or something. It is going to say
"Retrieve it like you stole it"

3. Mason was also quite helpful. No matter where we needed walk, (generally backwards with a heavy piece of furniture) he managed to be napping right there. When Mason sleeps, the world moves around him...literally.  You cannot move him when he is sleeping.

4. 13 year old boys have the attention span of a gnat, and grumpy old men have the tolerance of...well, a grumpy old man.   I finally ended up sending them to separate corners to cool off for a while, while I continued packing and loading by myself.

5. It is illegal to duct tape your kid to top of your load for traveling. (biggefy the picture and you can see the duct tape on his mouth) This is where I would like to keep him for the trip down.

6. I am ten times better at packing a vehicle than TC, but he in turn is ten times better at getting said vehicle up onto a trailer.  Apparently I tried to drive it off the side of the trailer.(I blame it on his directions.) What is not shown in the picture below is the 2 go carts which are now strapped down in front of my pick up.

Camper shell is packed full as well. 

7. I guess I can now be classified as a tack whore.  My tack was always buried in the dark cave of the forward tack room of my little trailer, so I didn't really see what all I had.  I sold the trailer and had to move it all to the new trailer, which has a rear tack.  Now it is all laid out in front of me.  Keep in mind that these are just the items that I use semi-regularly.  The stuff I don't use is crammed into a tote or still hanging in the barn.

8.  I have more rocks than I realized.  Every time I turned around I found another box with anywhere from 5- 20 rocks in the bottom.  Simon seems to be as bad about as I am. Perhaps worse because most of his rocks aren't even all that cool, but they are his and there for, had to be moved.

We still have one more truck to fill and then our old Buick Wildcat to load up and then we will be ready to roll. Naturally they are calling for thunderstorms Wednesday.  It always rains or snows when I am moving...always!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Random 5 Friday

I'm jumping on a band wagon...but it looks like a fun band wagon, where every Friday you post five random thoughts about what ever you want and then you can link it to A rural Journal Which I have never been to until today. I found it through Go West Feral Woman.

So anyway here are my 5.

1. I love that school is out.  I hate having to make my kids adhere to a schedule and the fight over homework.  

2.  I am terrified that I won't be able to find a job in Arizona.

3. I have 4 best friends but none of them have ever met. They are each from a separate chapter in my life.  It is my goal to bring all my best friends together.  I sure hope they don't fight over me!  Tee hee!

4.  I am an avid rock collector.  I have been collecting rocks since I was a small child and have a ton of them. Where ever I go, they also go.  People don't like to help me move because of it!   I don't get to travel out of the country but I have friends that do so I always ask them to bring me a rock.  I have rocks from Hong Kong, Germany, Amsterdam, Aruba, Africa, and I forget where else.  MK is in Haiti right now and hopefully will remember to bring me one from there as well.   About 20 years ago a gal I knew was going to Africa, and I asked her to bring me a rock.  But I did not see her again until about a year or so ago.  When we finally ran into each other again, she handed me a beautiful fossilized sea shell. It was the rock that she had been carrying around for 20 years.  I was blown away. Somehow she always knew we would see each other again.

5. I hate melons.  All Melons.  I can't stand watermelon, cantaloupe, or  honey dew.  Some days when it is really hot I think that some melon would taste really good, so I will try a piece.  I still spit it out and say UGH!

Update on Sassy

I went home last night a little worried at what I would find with Sassy.

She seems to be moving ok.  Not great,but not as badly as I expected.  I thought she was short striding on the left front yesterday morning but when I watched her last night she is equal on both fronts.

There is no racing and bucking and farting like there was a year ago (even with the coffin bone issue) so I know that she isn't happy, but she can put weight on them and that is going to have to do for now.  I suppose that I could be Buting her, but I know that prolonged use can cause stomach problems and so I am saving it for when she is really going to need it.  (the long drive to AZ)

She is a tad overweight, I'm guessing about a 6+ so I have cut her food back some. I wonder about laminitis, but I really do not think it is her problem. But just like in dogs, I think that if an animal  is having joint or bone issues, extra weight is going to aggravate it.  I did check for a digital pulse in her yesterday and could not find one, so if I understand how that works correctly, then that is a good thing.  If I am incorrect then someone please, correct me.

In other news, the rest of the herd is doing quite nicely. Trax still loves me, still stalks me, and still greets me at the gate of his pen for treats. (haycubes)  Danny looks fabulous, Killian still enjoy's tormenting him, and spends the rest of his time herding his mare around. Killian needs ridden in the worst way

The flies are starting to hit us now, and the blood sucking gnats are already on the prowl. I used fly predators, but not sure if they survived the last cold snap.  Today I will go by some fly traps and place the strategically away from the barn to draw the flies away away.  I also have been using the odor eliminator (In Danny's pen especially) and it seriously makes a huge difference. Less smell, less flies for sure.

As our move draws closer, the pressure is building and there is so much to get done. Our first load leaves  the middle of next week.  It should be the easy load. Mostly vehicles (3 pickups, one car) the boy and his stuff and what ever else we can cram into nooks and crannies.   For some reason I made the stupid decision of letting my free slave laborer (Simon) stay in AZ with his brother and sister in law until we take the next load down in a month.  What the heck was I thinking?  Who is going to help me load stuff? Who am I going to boss around over the next month?  Who is going to be packing while I am dinking around at horse shows and stuff?   He does have to come home with us when we take the second load down.  I need all hands on deck when we move the animals.

Planning a move this size is a daunting task to say the least.  The fact that it is going to take 3 trips, tells me that we have waaaaaay too much crap!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

So Much to Tell and So Little Time

Yesterday was ELPO farrier day in Cheyenne with Sassy and Killian.

Killian has not grown at all so we left him be.

We moved Sassy for Steve, and he was quite perplexed.  Then he had me watch her with him.  What we saw was that she has a hip out of place. It was quite obvious, because her right hip came up much higher than the left. She also had a pronounced head bob.

So, he did the leverage test on her hind feet.  She clearly had some uncomfortable spots and he ended up putting shoes with a lateral wedge on. Then he moved her again and the head bob was gone, and her hips were much more even.  BUT he said we still need to have her seen by a chiro.

Then he moved on to the front feet.  First he trimmed off a ton of hoof.  He kept go on and on about how much her feet had grown.  I'll be honest, I had to really bite my tongue. I wanted to tell him that I felt that he left her way too long on the last visit and that is why it seemed like she had grown so much. Maybe I should have, but I didn't.  

Then he leverage tested her again.  She is much better on the right than when we tested her last time. So although she did still get a clog, less modifications were made to it, to get her comfortable.  On the left though she still shows considerable lameness. Specifically on the outside toe. The outside toe is where that coffin bone was chipped.   So she got her clog on that hoof to make her comfortable there as well.

We moved her out and she was looking much more comfortable.  BUT this morning, I thought she looked as though she was short striding on the LF even at a walk.  I will re-examine that again when I get home.

She still does not land heel first.  When I mentioned that, he said that ultimately that is the goal but with some horses it isn't going to happen because they are always going to be compensating for pain.

That is what he said.

What I heard is, "We really are only giving her relief from the pain, we are not going to be able to heal her."

So 300 dollars later I have a horse that is more comfortable, and she does seem to be healing on the RF, but there is most definitely something still going on on the LF.  I'm wondering if we are still dealing with a coffin bone fracture.   I am seriously pulling my hair out over this horse. I am also seriously out of money.  I think she needs a new xray of that coffin bone. I just can't do it right now.

This will be last visit with this farrier, because of the move. But he gave me "The Man's" (Gene Ovnicke) phone number and even called him while we were standing there and he agreed to take us on.

But is that what I want?   I have read a lot of his stuff and he really does some great work. But I want to heal this horse, not just give her relief from the pain. If pain relief is all I wanted I'd nerve block the hell out of her and ride her till she is crippled. Or I'd give her the ultimate pain relief of a nice shot and deep hole in the ground. I'm sorry if that seems cold, but I am having a hard time watching her go through this.

On to better news....

When we got home, I unloaded 2 horses and grabbed another.  Trax and I ran down to the arena and did a little work. We started slow, did lots of transitions, practiced our trail obstacles, back to transitions, just lots and lots of different things. Then we moved on to some canter work.  I started out by just asking for a canter for a short ways and then asking for the trot again.  He did pretty good. Only once did I have to ask more than once for the trot.

Then we went back to trot, walk, trot ,walk, trot walk, for a while. Then I asked for the canter again to the right.  I kept him moving for a long time.  We did lots of squares all over the place, never the same place twice so he had to wait for me to tell him when to turn rather than anticipating it.  Then when I was ready to ask for the trot I said, "Ready aaaaaaand, Trot."  Only he thought I was going to say "Whoa." so he tried to stop.



He did what?

Yes that is exactly what I said..."He tried to stop."

He planted his spotted butt right into the ground.  But then I was saying trot, so then he took off again.  But I had to laugh. He is darn sure trying!

So we walked and trotted a little bit more. Then we cantered to the left.  Same thing, lots and lots of squares all over the place.  He was rating me, had his head down, was waiting for my cues, and then when I thought we had done enough I said, "Ready aaaaaaaand Whoa."  I planted my butt, and he in turn planted his.  It took him 2 steps to stop and when he stopped I mean he stopped!   It was the best stop we have ever had...EVER!

It was not a big fancy sliding stop. I don't care about those.  What I mean is that he stopped on his hind end as best he could, and once he stopped moving he didn't try to take off again. He stood there stock still until I released him.

I gave him mucho mucho praise, swung down off of him and loosened the cinch.  I could not have asked for a better ending to a ride.  He got big hugs and treats and lots of grass to graze on.

I could not have been happier!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Glimpse Into My World

Saturday was one of those days where even the simple tasks are like trying to climb Mt Everest.

I have sold my little trailer and will be delivering it on the 8th.  That meant that I had to get busy getting the bigger trailer ready to use. I wanted to get an early start so we hit the ground running at about 6:30 am.  While I was cleaning pens, spraying fly spray, and feeding I asked TC to hook a truck up to the new trailer, so he hooked up the brand new truck.  Then he said to me "Be careful pulling out of the pasture, if you dip down in a hole you will crunch the bed....again."

(Side note: When we brought the trailer home it was on this same truck.  The trailer is longer than anything I have pulled before. He just put a new gate into the pasture, and it is a tight squeeze.  I asked him to pull it in through the new gate the first time so we can see what it is going to take to navigate it, and his response was, "No you have to learn to do it."  3 minutes later cue "Crunch" as the trailer caught the corner of the bed. This was as we were learning that you can only come in from the south. I yelled, "This is your fault dammit!"  That was the second time I crunched it, the first time was a whole different story, it was totally my fault the first time.)

Anyway, so he told me to be careful, and I asked him to pull it out of the pasture, and once again he told me I needed to do it.

Now keep in mind that you can raise the hitch so that it isn't so close to the bed, but it puts more weight on the rear axle and causes the trailer to bounce when you are pulling it.

So he lowered it.

Apparently it was more important to have a trailer that didn't bounce than to have plenty  of clearance over the truck bed....of a new truck...that the trailer already hit once...that I was driving.

The gate was up hill from the trailer. I pulled up the hill and the minute the truck leveled out...yup you guessed it...crunch!  Of course it was the opposite side, too.  On the bright side, both rear corners of the pick up match now.

Insert an entire string of expletives as I backed back down the hill, stomped inside and said, "Never ever ever again am I pulling that trailer in or out of that pasture!"

He had the nerve to get mad at me!  Hey! It wasn't my fault!  You remove all clearance, put me in a no win situation and then get mad when  things get broke?  Not cool mister!

He unhooked the new truck, went and grabbed the old flat bed, and hooked her up. She pulled out beautifully and we looked at each other and at the same time said, "Why didn't we think of this before?"

So then we had to fix the rear doors on the trailer so they would shut better.  Bolts were stripped, hinges were bent, and we managed to break off the little tabby doo-hicky piece that holds the handle that latches the door. Now our handle won't stay on and the door is as loose as it ever was.

But no biggie right? TC has a trucking company. To own a trucking company and have any kind of success you also have to have a shop.  You know, a shop with every super cool tool imaginable.  He has welders, presses, compressor, power tools, jacks of every size imaginable, and one wall lined with tool boxes. Electric grinders, air grinders, portable grinders, drills, taps, dies. Not to mention a side room of nothing but every piece of spare hardware known to man.  You name it, he pretty much has it.  TC's shop is the kind of shop that men have wet dreams over.  Trust me, if you have a man in your life, he would give his right testes to have a shop like TC's.

BUT, guess what he doesn't have...a way to weld aluminum. (all his belly dumps are steel)

Guess what our trailer is made out of?  Yup.. aluminium.

Well Crud.

He says, "No worries- we'll just call our good neighbor "Tin-Horn" who does have an aluminum welder."

Ah but good neighbor is at the car show.  So we have to wait.

In the mean time, lets take it back home and put her in the driveway and I'll start pulling out the mats and getting her cleaned up.  TC is busy hauling gravel for the next door neighbor.

All is going according to "plan". I'm pulling mats and sweeping out shavings and poo.

With much heaving and hoeing, and huffing and puffing, and major groans of, "Oh Crap" I get the old mats out, and start measuring my new ones.

Well crud!  My new mats are not wide enough.

This requires a lot of math, and tape measuring, and calculating. Luckily I have a smart phone. Math is not my strong point.

So then I decide it is time to spray out the trailer. This requires a hill. The hill is in the pasture. Yeah that pasture. It also requires a high pressure sprayer.

I have options.  I can go to the car wash...expensive and I wasn't sure if their hose would be long enough.   I can use TC's high powered super duper pressure washer that lives on its own little trailer.  To use it though I have to fill the 500 gallon tank.  No problem I'll just run it down to the water station at the end of the road.

Oh wait, no I won't, because you can't use that anymore unless you have an account with the city.

Plan B. I'll fill it with the hose from the well.  Okay that works.

Wait a minute. I need to get it from the shop, to the house. TC's Flat bed pickup is hooked to horse trailer. My pick up is hooked to the other horse trailer. White Dodge is hooked to car trailer. New pick up is hidden where I cannot touch it. Service truck is out on a service call. White flat bed is being used by TC's number one shop hand.  The yard truck is out of service for a steering box.

How is it that we can have so many pick ups, and not have one to use when I need one real quick?

We decide to pull the pressure washer with my jeep.

We finally get the pressure washer and the horse trailer back in the pasture on the hill.  The pressure washer won't start. Its out of gas.  We fill it with gas.  Then the battery is dead, we jump it.  Then the floats are stuck on the reservoir and water is pouring all over the ground. (luckily pasture always needs water).  Finally I've got wand in hand and am ready to spray.

TC cranks up the engine and the hose jerks and jumps. I squeeze the trigger and out the side of the handle comes all the black, icky, goopy, slimy "water" that has been in the hose since last summer.  It soaks me in black, smelly goop.  Yum.

"Um, TC? Is this supposed to be spraying out the side?"

Seems that "number one hand"  forgot to drain the system last year, and the water in the wand froze and busted a hole in the side of the wand.  Bugger!

Oh wait, there is another wand (with less knobs and levers) in the tool box.  We hook it up, and start all over.

I finally get down to some spraying. I spray the dirt and poo from the floor up onto the ceiling. I spray myself in the face.  I spray TC in the face.  Neighbor comes over to see what is going on, and to pay for some hay cubes. She gets sprayed as well. TC puts check in his shirt pocket and goes back to hauling gravel. I keep spraying, neighbor runs for her life.

Finally I got it as clean as I was going to get it.   Just in time, because Tin-Horn called to say he was ready to weld.

We haul trailer one street over to his house. He starts welding but the welds won't stick.
"Are you sure this is aluminum?"
"Pretty sure."
He tries again, nothing is sticking.
"Oh wait, I'm using the wrong gas."  (Tin Horn has moments of "duh" too)

We grind everything off and start over. Taa Daa!  We have a latch again!

We go home and it is time to start cutting mats.  I am pretty sure I have my measurements correct.  The mats are 3/4 an inch thick, solid rubber.  I am armed with a little razor knife.

I say that to myself now and think, "How did I not lose a finger?"

Safety with knives...not my strong point. (along with math)

2 hours later I am finished cutting the first mat. I have a system now

It only takes 1 hour for the second one.

The 3rd mat needs a hole cut right in the middle. It has to be exact or it will not fit. The hole is 1" wide and 4" long. (that is 4 girl inches by the way- not guy inches)  You can't even get a good slice, because of the shortness of the cut. All you can do is stab at it.

I stab the mat, I stab my fingers, I stab the concrete.  My ankle (the one I sprained falling down the stairs) is swelling up, because I keep sitting on it while stabbing the mat.  The razor knife is dull.

Simon comes to help. He says, "Mom, your knife is too dull." and leaves.

Thanks for the heads up, son.  (is what I said, what I was thinking was, "No Shit?")

TC comes and demands to know why dinner is not done.

"Um, because I am busy?" (I had no clue what time it was- hell by then I was lucky to know my name)

I stop what I am doing to go fix dinner.

After dinner I go back to cutting. My hands hurt, my knees hurt, my ankle hurts,  my head hurts and I'm still a little miffed over the whole "Where the hell is dinner?" scene.

 Mr and Mrs. Tin Horn show up and  he says, "You seem to be having a little trouble there."

Oh look, it's Captain Obvious!

"Here let me help."

He takes the mat and with fresh  undamaged hands, which are stronger than mine to begin with, finishes the cut I need and helps me get the final mat into the trailer.

Its off by a half inch.  There is a gap between my mats.

I'm done. I cannot cut anymore. I make the executive decision that if the ponies don't like it they can cut their own mats next time.

We call it a day, I go inside and take a shower, then later that evening start a load of laundry.

The couch is now my best friend.

The next morning TC says, "Hey, where is my shirt that was hanging on this chair?"

"Oh I washed it."

He shakes his head in disbelief.

Remember the check he put in his shirt pocket? was now plastered in a gazillion teensy weensy tiny pieces all over the inside of the washer.

I feel like I have just rolled down the mountain back to base camp.