Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hoof Beats in the Dark

I had a great time this afternoon catching up with all my sisters in recovery, and came home feeling a little more connected, and a little more at peace with the world.   I was glad I went. Even son and TC were also glad they went.

When we got home I took a short nap, then encouraged Simon to get his boots on for a trail ride.  My boys have shoes now so I felt like an easy ride was in order.

So we hurried with our saddles, didn't even bother with warm ups in the arena and headed down the road.

 The reason for the rush?

The Sun was going down.

We moved out down our road at an easy trot, turned onto the paved road, chatted with Miss Hella Cool on the corner, and then beat feet down side of the main road. We had a mile to go to get to the unlocked gate.

I took this one just as we got to the gate.  We got through the gates and out into a section of desert I have not yet had time to play in. We could see where we were going but just barely, so we crossed a wash, set the goal of a big tree and then just rode.  When we got to the tree we circled it once and headed back to the gates.  

I got this one snapped just as we got through the gate. 

And this one as well. Its a bit blurry- cell phones don't take very good action shots.  At least mine doesn't. 

As we headed back towards the gate and it was getting much darker I started wondering where we were going to cross the wash. We got all the way to the fence and there was no way to cross there. Well I was not willing to try it. So we had to back track a little ways. We could just see some tracks where someone else had crossed so we went that way.   The boys (all three of them) did very well. 

By now it was dark enough that all the cars had their head lights on. I was unsure of how the ponies would react to this. They have no issue with cars during the day, but in the dark with headlight...could be a different story.  It wasn't.  We pointed them towards home, kept them at a walk in case of gofer holes and moseyed home.  I have a "headlamp" flashlight, which also has a red strobe on it. I had Simon put that on and put him in front where I could see him.  Perhaps next time I will hang reflectors off the horses tails!  

Once we got to our road we went a head and let them trot again and I decided to make a video. I call it "Hoof beats in the Dark"

It's not super exciting but kind of fun. 

After we got home we had to do the gratuitous "What a couple of good ponies" shots. 

"Hey Lady, can you quit messing around and get this saddle off?"

Good Boys

"Can't you see it is past my dinner time!"

Killian's wild hair doo

It was a great way to end the day. I need to do that more often. Not the riding in the dark part, but taking time to just go and ride.  I still need to work on my arena stuff, because I still do not have the control that I want to have on Trax. But I need to remember what is really important...having fun. 

Something that someone mentioned on one of my recent posts has me thinking.  She said that it seems as though I have had a rough time the last few months.  It is true, that things have not all been peaches and cream and the move was stressful, but I think my perception of "bad" had been a little distorted.  Or perhaps I have been whining a bit.  One thing I have noticed is that I have lost my inner balance.  Especially the last month. Why?  Simple, I don't have my mornings to sit and watch the sunrise.  I have not been taking the time to give thanks for my life and all the things I love.  It is always get up before dawn, race to get ready and run out the door.  

So what is the answer, how do I fix it?

Well I think I could try by using my driving time for that.  I can shut off the radio and use that time for finding my spiritual connection again. Without it , I have nothing. With out gratitude I will lose everything. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Long Week...Yay for the Weekend!

I was going to go out and take some pictures this morning, but camera battery is dead so have to wait until it charges to do that.  By then I'll be wrapped up in the day, so who knows if any will be taken.

This was one of the longest weeks of my life.  Or so it seemed.

I do want to thank every one for the birthday wishes and for the support on my "midlife crises".  I think my problem is not that I am afraid of being older.  I think that mental image just hit me so hard unexpectedly.  I'm over it now.

My job is going ok, I feel like I make a lot of mistakes, and I always feel like my coworkers are looking at me and thinking, "Wow I thought she had experience."   But truthfully if I can quit beating up on myself long enough to be objective, many of the guys who have been there several years still make stupid mistakes too.  The things I said I was good at, I am good at.  For example, if I look up parts for someone's truck, and nothing has been modified from its original state, then I will be 99% confident that the parts are correct.  If I am not sure that it is right, then I say so.  But it is not unusual for things to have been changed on these trucks some where along their lives, and if the person ordering the parts from me doesn't know that it has been modified, then it makes me look like an idiot.  Even if I can show him, "Hey look at this computer screen.  It shows that what I sold you is in fact what the truck originally came with."  But usually by then they have quit listening and are just busy being mad.   But I am not at work today- so lets just not even think about that right now.

I almost got to ride Trax this week. Got him saddled, and even got him warmed up. Just about the time he was in a good frame of mind for learning, Simon needed my help with Killian.  This would not have bothered me if he would listen to me when I tell him what he needs to do. But he doesn't, he argues instead and it frustrates me to no end. By time I was done with him, I was out of the mood for riding and Trax was out of the mood for learning.  We called it a night.

Yesterday Charlie came and put shoes on Trax and Killian.  I don't know if they are happier having shoes on or not, but I know that they don't look all ouchie when crossing the driveway anymore.  Also they didn't have any problem cavorting around the pasture last night.

On Monday he will come and recheck Sassy and trim Danny.

Today I get to spend some time repairing some fence. I hit a fence with the tractor last night while trying to clean the pens.  Fun fun fun!  Hopefully some time today I will get to ride.

Tomorrow is a kind of a special day.  Back when I was trying to change my life I ended up at a women's rehab facility in Mesa.  After I graduated, I went to work there, and I loved it.  Giving back to those women who came in after me was fabulous.   Anyway, they are celebrating their 20th anniversary and I have been invited to attend. I am very excited to get to spend some time with my sisters in recovery. There will be people there I haven't seen in several years so I am really looking forward to re-establishing those connections.

Now I am off to get some fence posts.

Wishing everyone in blogger land a great weekend!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I'm getting old

In a few days I will be 50.

How did this happen?  I'm pretty sure I was just 30 a few weeks ago.

Wasn't I?

Okay so maybe not, but it is kind of how it feels.

This morning I was laying in bed, getting to sleep in until the sun was starting to rise, and I remember laying there envisioning what the next 20 (or how ever many years I have left) are going to be like.  It was a fleeting picture, much like my mental image of the past. I'm not even sure I could describe it to you.

Perhaps it was more of a feeling than an image.

I'm not ready.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Queen of Sidetracked

I had to work today... a Saturday.

It has come to my attention that I need to invest in a pair of glasses with florescent green lenses.

If I had glasses like that, then the bright green yard sales would just look like everything else.

I wouldn't even notice them.

As I drove to work this morning they were EVERYWHERE!





It was all I could do (being the reining Queen of sidetracked) to keep both eyes on the road and the tires between the yellow lines.

I wonder if I could find some blinders like race horses use.


Since we are on the subject of yard sales let me just interject a few rules of etiquette that I wish more people followed.

1. Do not falsely advertise.  There is a huge difference between a yard sale and an estate sale.  Know the difference and advertise accordingly. When I go to an estate sale, I expect to be able to walk in the house and find that pretty much everything is for sale.

2. If you and your mom live together and decide to have a yard sale, that IS NOT a "multi-family yard sale".

3. If you live in one of those gated communities with all the twisty windy roads that make no sense, please make sure that you leave a good trail of bread crumbs for us to follow.

4. When you decide to have a yard sale take an honest look at what you have to put out there. If all you have are a bunch of kids clothes, all your clothes from the 80's that you finally decided to get rid of, and that ugly ass clown painting on black velvet that hung in your crazy aunts us all a favor and donate that crap.  Don't waste my time or yours by trying to eek 2 or 3 dollars out of your junk.

5.  If your really really want to get our attention, take a big piece of tin, spray paint yard sale on it, and use wire to tie it to a stop sign.  That tells us that you have things like tin, tie wire and spray paint at your house. People who have that stuff generally have great yard sales.

6. Most importantly...When your yard sale is over PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE  take down your signs, even if you are going to reopen the next morning.  There is nothing worse than driving through some crazy ass gated community only to find that there is no yard sale.  Not to mention the fact that it makes the area look like crap with all those old signs hanging around.

Okay, I think that about covers it, unless some one has anything they want to add.  Now if I could just find a way to get this message out to the public.  LOL

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Not as in "you chillens get your butts back in here and clean up this mess!"

But more like- Chill Method horse training. AKA Charlie Hill.

I had my first ride with Charlie tonight, and I can post his name because free advertising is the best advertising!   He has an open ride night every Tuesday, so I loaded up my paint horse, and we made the trek to his house. It isn't too far, but I still hate driving in the dark.  It costs $30.00 to ride on open ride night and he works with each one of us on what ever we want help with, plus if he see's something going on, he points it out and gives some pointers on how to correct it. I feel it is worth every penny.

There were only 3 other riders so we didn't have to compete for space to ride, nor time from Charlie either, so that was cool too.  What was also cool was even when he wasn't helping me, I was able to learn lots from what he was explaining to the other gals who were riding.

He saw lots of things that I was doing that needed help. But hey, that is why I went right?  He pointed out that when lifting my legs off Trax's sides, I tend to really push down in my stirrups which lifts me out of the saddle. If I am asking him to stop, the last thing I want to do is lift out of the saddle.  So that is a big one for me to work on. Body position in general was a big factor this evening. I try so hard to grasp what he is saying...wait that isn't right. I understand what he is saying, but making my body do it correctly is the challenge.

He noticed that when loping to the right Trax really is heavy on the forehand. So he thought for a minute, then tried something out on his horse, and then had me try it, and he says it worked.  I can't really tell, except that Trax did seem to be a bit smoother.  What he had me do was even though my circle was to the right he had me drive forward from the left and then the right and then the left and then the right again. Not big changes, but just subtle pushes with my leg and rein.  So that is something else for us to work on.

He also has me working on picking up on the reins instead of pulling back on the reins when asking for my slow down or stop, along with using my seat.  This is something I had started already but he helped me take it a bit further.

I will say that I got a couple of really nice stops from Trax, one in particular that actually got a "Woo Hoo" out of me!

I was working on my "spins" or side passes with the front leg crossing over, and he basically told me I was wasting my time trying to do it the way I am.  Well he was not near that rude about it, but he made it clear that until I get better control of the speed of Trax's front end and hind end, as in separate entities, then I wasn't going to have much success in what I am trying to accomplish. Then he demonstrated on his horse. I wish I could have taped that part, because it was really cool.

"As I ride in my circle I can slow down the front end or slow down the hind end, depending on which way I want this to work." (not his exact words but close)

As he was talking I'm watching his horses front and hind ends go two entirely different speeds, which was the beginning of his spin.

"Then I add support from my rein"  And he starts spinning around so effortlessly, it was like a dance.  It was actually prettier than what I have seen a lot of reining horses do.

I really can't even describe what all he did, and how awesome it was, but I recall watching it thinking, "I'll never be able to do that"

But then he told me, "You can do this, " as if he read my mind, " but first we have to get you some control over your horses body parts....but you are getting there."

He did explain that by just holding my leg on Trax and asking him to move off of it, I am just giving him something to lean against. It is the same with my hands on those reins, I am allowing him to lean on the rein and so he does.

Now that is actually a lot of information for one night, and I have a couple of weeks to work on these things and try to make some improvements.  I can't go every week, because Simon usually has football Tuesday nights, but tonight he is out with a pulled muscle, so I got to go.  I'm really hoping I can go in 2 weeks.

In some ways I wish that I could just send Trax to him for a while.  Sometimes I feel like I am holding my horse back with my lack of experience.  But then common sense tells me that if I don't learn how to communicate to him, then the training would be wasted anyway. So I guess it is best if we learn together.

In other news, the vet put Butch on some prednisone and I see some improvement already.  There can be some pretty nasty side effects to that drug, but he doesn't seem to have any so that is a relief.

I'm still working with SAssy some, and she has sort of reached a plateau.  I have cut her bute back to every other day, and she isn't getting worse so that is a good thing too.

Now it is late and 4:30 comes awfully early. But I couldn't go to bed till I wrote down all I could about my ride tonight.

Take care all!   FYI, I haven't been commenting much, but I have been reading everyone's posts.  Lurking I guess.  LOL

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Some thoughts from the week

As you may have noticed, my alloted blogging time has been greatly reduced by my J-O-B, as have been my picturing taking time, my book reading time, and my equine time.  Although I did get to go for a nice trail ride with HC (that stands for "Hella Cool") down the road, yesterday morning.

But over the week some thoughts have been forming and I would like to take a quick minute to share them with the hundreds  few readers I have. (insert smiley here)

TC moved my feed storage container (an honest to goodness shipping container) over closer to where my ponies actually live.  Two things are awesome about this. First the fact that he has the capabilities to do so is flipping awesome!  Second, the fact that I no longer have to haul buckets of hay cubes from one end of the property to the other is also pretty flipping awesome!  I think I'll keep him around! LOL

I had some gals who wanted to board their 2 horses here. I was all set to do it, then got a full time job and told them I needed to hold off for a while to see if I could handle the hours.  I can't.  Not yet anyway. Plus TC is getting ready to build a shop and revamp the whole property. With all that construction going on, I think it is best to just hold off till that is done. Then we will see how I feel about boarding.

I go every weekend to Simon's football games.  I never feel like I fit in with the rest of the football mom's and there for stick pretty much to myself.  Last night during half time, they were playing some music and one of the songs that came up was The Cupid Shuffle.  It came on just as I was coming back from the concession stand.  A few of the mom's from the other team were attempting to do the dance at the bottom of the grandstands, but did not know the steps.  I just smiled and gave them cudo's for getting up and trying. (while thinking to myself "Epic Fail")  When I got to my spot at the top of the stands (where there is something to lean against when you sit) one our team players younger sister was also trying to do the dance but didn't know the steps.  I know the steps.  So she and I did the steps together. I showed her how and we rocked it!  Pretty soon we had a few young girls lined up with us.  It was fun fun fun!!!!!  When it was done, all the other mom's (the ones I don't fit in with) laughed and cheered.  I truly had no idea that anyone was watching.

Afterwards I told the girls, "The trick to true happiness- Dance like no one is watching!"

I worked Sassy in the round pen today.  She was able to go both directions at a trot without limping.  I am excited about this FOR SURE!  On the other hand I watch her and she still lands toe first with every step.  If what Pete Ramey says is true (and I suspect it is), if I can't find a way to change this, her condition will continue to worsen.

With that (his) whole thought process in mind (Here is the link to that thought process if you don't know what I am talking about) I have been watching the way my other horses walk.  Especially the one I ride the most, Trax.  Trax is the exact opposite of Sassy.  He really really lands heel first, almost to the point that he flops (for lack of a better word) his hoof down. Especially the one that grows flatter than the other.  On the bright side, I doubt he will ever have navicular issues. On the not-so-bright-side, I suspect that eventually the way he walks could cause some other issue.  Only time will tell.

Speaking of Trax, I am sort of regretting my decision to take him out on a trail ride yesterday.  He is due for a trim, and a barefoot trail ride did nothing but tear his feet up.  He has big chunks ripping off, and they need to be trimmed ASAP before the chip off too far. I have found that the feed store right down the street is carrying Easy Boots now, and I really want to buy some. BUT I have measure first, and you have to measure right after a trim.  I'm still trying to recover financially from my lack of income so although I will have the money for a trims all around soon, It will be even longer before I can afford the boots. It is a tad on the frustrating side and I suspect that I will cave and just get Trax and Killian some shoes on their next farrier visit.  I know that eventually I will go back to barefoot with boots, but for now I just need to get them some protection, and shoes is what I have to do then, it is better than nothing at all. I suspect that sometime today I will try to go and get some nippers and a file to do my own very mild trim on him.  I just want to keep things from going bad.

Speaking of Killian, I noticed some changes in him lately.  I can see that although his belly is huge (as always- it never seems to go away) he is losing muscle tone and mass.  He is middle aged now.  In fact if I think about it, he is past middle aged now.  Killian is more like my age, and that means that things are starting to hurt, and we need extra help to stay in shape.  With that in mind, I am changing his feeding routine.  He was getting just pasture or grass hay in the mornings, just a tiny tiny bit of senior feed with hoof supplements at night, and hay cubes at night.  I am going to up his senior feed to a regular serving, and give cubes morning and night unless he is on the pasture.  No one gets food if they are out on the pasture.  But I think he needs more alfalfa and less grass.

Danny is still King Danny, and pretty much does what ever he wants. We have started back on some exercising in the round pen, mostly backing up, to help build those back muscles up again.  He is just a funny old man and a joy to have around.

Speaking of  "Joys to have around" we have a new addition to the family.  Warning: super cute alert!

Meet "Oscar"

He came home with me from my new job. He came from a family of Feral cats but I think it wasn't in his nature to be wild because he fell right into the herd.

 In fact as I type this he is investigating all over the desk. He loves TC and follows him everywhere. Pretty soon he will get moved out to the shed where we will install a kitty door so he can come and go as he pleases.  That isn't to say he can't come in the house, but he was brought here for a purpose and he can't do that if he is a spoiled rotten house kitty. 
He spends most of his free time stalking the dogs, which is hilarious!  Especially since any one of them could kill him with one chomp, but they all give him a wide berth.  Mason won't even make eye contact for fear of retaliation!
In some sad news, I am very concerned about old Butchy.  He is eating well and all of that but has started having severe reactions to the sun. He is breaking out in big sores all over his mucas membranes. From the research I have done I suspect that he has Canine Lupus.  He will be going in to the vet next week to find out for sure.  There is no cure for this so all we can do is try to keep him out of the sun as much as possible and for now we keep antibiotic creme on the sores.  It would also explain why he has never been able to gain weight. His nose is very tender to the touch making it painful for him to eat as well.

So now I am off to work in my yard, move some fencing around to make one more big pen, and work on something new with my hay nets.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend.,