Friday, May 31, 2013

Herd Nerds

Through Sammi's blog I found this.

http://herdnerds.weebly.com/index.html

Kind of cute, and just getting off the ground.

Stop by and show a little love.

Are You Sure?

As I sit here in my office, in a long sleeve shirt, huddled in front of my little heater, and still wishing I had a sweater, I have to ask...

Are you sure it is almost June?


I purchased some Fly Predators because it was warming up and the flies were starting to congregate in my barn.  I put them out on Monday.
I'm pretty sure they all froze to death last night.

I also bought some Bye Bye Odor to spray in my stalls.  I think it is going to work nicely. I clean them regularly of course, but Danny and Sassy both insist on peeing inside. The dirt gets smelly and it makes the whole barn reek.  I used it for the first time this morning.  It was only 48 out this morning. (Are you sure it is almost June?)  I could tell the difference immediately!  Next I will use it under and on my deck where my lazy dogs have been peeing.

It has not been good riding weather, and I still do not feel very good. I just can't shake the nausea.  But hopefully I can at least get a little trail ride in this weekend. I still haven't even had time to try out my sidepull.

My grandson is coming to visit for the first time tomorrow, I have to get my old trailer cleaned out and ready to go (I sold it while we were at the show) which means I need to get to work on the new trailer so I can use it.  Our first load of stuff is going to AZ in 2 weeks, so I need to start getting that together too.

Are you sure its almost June?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Broken

A couple of folks suggested I try a running martingale on Trax.

So as always, when someone suggests something, I take it to heart and try to determine if it is the right answer.

I did some reading, did some thinking, and then discussed it with my trainer.

He basically said that they work great for some horses.  He also said that some horses get into trouble with them, because they feel "trapped".  He said we could try it if I wanted.

I let that sink in for a moment.

"Trapped"

What happens when Trax feels trapped?        He runs like hell.

And if that doesn't get him untrapped?            He bucks...like hell.

I envision previous roper owner sailing tits over teakettle into the dirt.  (ok, yes I admit I giggle a little)

I've not been through that with Trax.  Nor do I care to.

I think some more.
I think about our training sessions. I think about flexing him at the jaw. I think about how in just a couple of months I/we have been able to get him to trust me enough as a rider to let him self relax and drop his head.  He is learning to move off the hind. He is learning, in spite of my lack of riding skills.  In spite of me, and with Marks help, we are slowly undoing years of damage. It is taking time.

It reminds me of when I was new in recovery. I was broken.  I wanted an easy fix to make me better again.  I wanted a magic potion that I could take to help me instantly make better decisions, quit with the bad habits, change my way of thinking. There wasn't one. I had to do the foot work and ask God to guide me. I fell down, I made mistakes, but I kept pushing forward.  Slowly, over time, and only by the grace of God, (and the help of a sponsor) was I able to get better at it. But it took a long time. It is still an ongoing process.

Thus, is the story of "Makin Trax".  He is broken, just like I was. He needs help learning to make the right decisions.  He needs to decide that he wants to get along.  It needs to be his decision to rate me when I ask, it needs to be his decision to stop when I ask. He has to make the decision to trust me. Granted, there are things I can do to help him make the right decisions,(insert "Make the right decision easy and the wrong decision hard") but the decision still has to be his.  Other wise it is just a tug of war, and I will lose every time.  If I lose, he fails.  Trax has begun to make the right decisions, all on his own, unless he feels like he can't trust his rider. Then he takes the control back.

That arena, that event, was like a trigger for him. I'm sure it took him right back to his roping days.  "run fast, pain, run fast, pain pain pain, run away, get out, I want out, I want out, I can't handle it, I want out"

Then I was nervous, I put expectations on him that he wasn't ready for. He was trying to tell me that he was uncomfortable in the situation I had put him in. Instead of understanding, I got frustrated, and yes I got angry at him. Instead of backing up and breaking it down to a place he could relax, I let my emotions escalate which triggered him even more. That's really sugar coating it, the truth is, I got mad and I took it out on him. Yeah, we didn't get that part on video, but it wasn't pretty.   He said, "Hey I'm really bothered here." and instead of showing him that he could trust me, I showed him that he absolutely could not.  In doing so I set him up to fail.

I failed my horse.

The only thing I did right that day was recognize what was happening with me and stop it.  But truthfully it was already too late.  He "relapsed" because I took him into a "trigger" situation without giving him the support he needed to be ok.  I took a horse with serious trust issues, took him to a place that does not have good memories for him, and then reinforced everything he believed to be true.

I failed my horse.

So what do I do different next time?

Well I start by going back to the drawing board at home and with our lessons. Break it back down to where he is relaxed again at home and at Marks.  I have to rebuild the trust again. I don't think it will take much. (he still follows me around like a stalker, he still runs to the gate when I come out in the morning)  Then I will take him to the fair grounds to ride at least a couple of times before the next show.  It will be just like at home only at the place where he/we fell apart, but without the pressure.

Then for the next show I will just focus on us and our riding. I will warm up properly, and I won't stop warming up until he can rate me and drop his head and relax.  It might take longer than normal because his stress level will be higher, but it will take as long as it takes and I will be okay with it. We will flex at the jaw, we will move his feet, we will do all we can to take his mind off of his running away. If we miss the class because we are still warming up, then we miss the class.  If we warm up and he never comes down, then we won't run the class. I won't lose another game of tug of war. No matter what  I will support him mentally.  I will understand where he is coming from, what his weaknesses are, and help him get past them.  I will not set him up for failure.   No matter what, I will stay calm. I will mentally remove the pressure from myself, which in turn will remove any from him. I will show him that he can trust me.  Right now that is more important to me than anything else.

And if I can't stay calm?  Then I will pack him up and take him home, and know that he is not the only one who isn't ready.

Not too long ago when I was stressing over bits, a very wise Blogger said something that really made sense and I have tried to follow it ever since.   She told me, "You know your horse better than anyone, follow your gut."  And she is right.  My gut says a running martingale is not the way to go for this horse. Good training, and time is what he needs. Lots and lots of both.

Now for those of you who made the suggestion of the running martingale, I want to say an extra thanks. It was your suggestions that took me down this train of thought in the first place.  I seriously  needed to go down this road. I needed to examine what really happened to us on Saturday, and I needed to woman up and admit that I was at least 50% of the problem that day....if not more.  I mean inside I knew it, but in order to change it, I needed to say it.  I was not fair to him, I did not bother even try to understand what he was telling me. I just wanted him to listen to me.

That is not the relationship I want with my horse.  I want him to be able to say, "I'm not ok." and for me to hear it.  I want to be able to clearly say to him, "I will help you be ok." and have him believe me.  It is the foundation of the relationship...isn't it?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Trax does the Trail...Cindy does not

Here is the video for our first Trail Pattern. Trax did great.  I did not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svsY4OzANZQ


All Critiques are welcome.

I need a new camera man

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Sleep through Memorial Day.

First on Saturday, you wear yourself out at a horse show.
Then on Sunday, you wear yourself out some more taking the doggies to the river for a swim.
Then upon returning from the river, you fall down the stairs and sprain your ankle.
Then on Monday about midnight you start throwing up.
Continue with the nausea and vomiting for the rest of the day.
Avoid all daylight and any human contact by keeping head under covers.
Get up for work on Tuesday, and wonder what happened to your weekend.

I am totally grateful though, to the brave men and women who have risked and given their lives so that I may have the opportunity to show horses, play with my dogs in the river, and sleep for 24 hours straight when I need too.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Train Wreck Video

I will have the trail video together tomorrow, but for now here is this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tyyxh8OStQ

You might note the words to the song.  It is Jalan Crossland's "Slow Your Pony Down"

Everyone had some great comments yesterday and I haven't had time to go back and answer them all. But one thing I want to comment on is that I did have fun, and I am definitely not giving up yet.  You see, the things he wouldn't do, I know he can. I have seen him do it. I have been on him when he did it. So we just have to get over another hurdle. The more shows and events we go to the the better we will be. I know it!

I showed up, I did the best I could. I tried to execute the best horsemanship I could without just letting him run all over me. To me that was much more important that just fudging through the pattern.

Also I as I watch my video I can see that there were times when he felt awful to me, but he didn't look too too bad. Not great but not as bad as he felt, for sure.  I also wonder why I didn't push him towards the fence further knowing that he wasn't going to stop.  Perhaps that is why he wouldn't.  You see our practice arena is  smaller and I use every inch of it. So I always stopped him at the fence when we practiced that arena.  Perhaps he was trying to tell me that I was stopping in the wrong spot. LOL!

I spoke with Kim today, and she says that we should start riding at the fair grounds no less than one day a week. She offered to pick my horse up in the morning, and she will drop them both off at the stalls. It is 5 dollars to leave them there during the day. Then we can go there after work. and just HIT IT!  I am all for that!!!!

Well off to eat my dinner now.

Thank you again everyone for your wonderful comments.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

RUNAWAY FREIGHT TRAIN BLASTS THROUGH CASPER FAIR GROUNDS

Luckily no one was hurt, maimed or even injured.  There was a case of seriously injured pride, but nothing that can't be repaired over a little time.

Well first show ever is over and there are parts I wish I could forget, parts I will never forget, and a horse I haven't seen in a while.

Lets start with Friday...No lets start with Thursday.

It was our last lesson for a little while, and it went beautifully.  Mark said several times how great we looked, how Trax was really starting to move off of the hind, and was really responsive.  He felt good too. We warmed up, practiced a pattern, and called it a night.

Friday I took the day off, and we practiced again. He gave me a little trouble but not too bad, and we did one run on one of the patterns we had tried earlier in the week, and he aced it!  I thought we had a decent chance of not making fools of ourselves.

It took 3 whole hours to get him clean. I'd get him bathed then move to the concrete and try to get him dried and brushed and stuff and each time he'd flip out over a brush or a tube of cowboy magic, run back into the mud, splash it all over, and we would have to go back to the hose.  Finally I got him all done and got him put away.

This morning we got loaded and to the show plenty early and he was still relatively clean. A few minor spots but, no biggie.  He actually looked fantastic.

Waiting for our class
There were four horses in our halter class.


And Trax really did quite well for no training. I mean he stood pretty quiet and almost square.

He moved very nicely

I mean really...I was very very proud of him.  Look how good he looks here.

But in the end we were beat out by this guy (whose horse didn't even get a bath)

Which is none other than my trainer and his mare.  She is a very nice horse with that nice little head that every one loves.  She deserved to win. It was not a total loss, we did get 3rd. but no ribbon.

I was very proud of my boy.  I can say that it will probably be our last halter class, ever.  With his big head and mismatched front feet, he will always be passed over and truthfully it was just too much work to get, and keep him clean.  I really need to focus my attention in other areas.

I shouldn't post this picture but I'm going to because it is so funny to me.  I was studying my trail pattern and he, obviously was getting ready to pee. Simon just thought he was standing pretty. LOL

Trail class was ok. I was a little rushed at first, because I walked over to the dog show to talk to some friends, and when I got back they had the trail set up and I had not even saddled my horse yet.  But then I had plenty of time to warm up, but Trax was wound up in the worst way imaginable. He was not the horse he has been lately, but reverted back to the horse he was when I first got him. It could have been the crowd, it could have been that he saw fairgrounds and thought "roping time" or my own nerves might have had a little to do with it, although by then I had really calmed down.

For our first run, we started off great at the rope gate...until I dropped the rope.  But I just went to the other pole, picked it up from there, backed him up and closed it. But because I felt flustered I felt him go there with me, and at first he backed up too far.  Didn't matter we were DQ'd right there.  But we went on.  He was doing pretty good, struggled backing through the L, but did execute it.  He kind of balked at the bridge, but went over it.  Then we had to sidepass over a pole.  But I couldn't remember which direction we were supposed to do first.  He was all set to do it right and then I forgot my left from my right and started to back him up to reset.. Then I realized that I was okay and so he just did it and did great.   I do have a video of that run which I will upload and post this weekend.

Our second run was a little bit different, and he kind of tried to run off with me on a L lead canter, so I took him back and made him start over.  He had already failed the L-backup, so there was no reason to let him get away with it. Oh, but we did great on the rope gate. Then there was a side pass over an L. He fell apart there.

From then on it was pretty much down hill.

I took him over to warm up for our reining pattern. As it turned out the pattern was one we had practiced and in fact was the one he aced on Friday.  So I was really hoping that we could run through it a few times and he would be set.  I could not have been more wrong.

Our warm up was not nice at all.  He was beyond chargy and I couldn't bring him back.  He wouldn't walk, he wanted to trot.  If I wanted him to trot he wanted to run.  he kept trying to duck down the race track, but I didn't want too. He wouldn't stop, hell he would barely slow down.   I finally took him to the stalll, gave him a drink and went to pee. I had a cold drink myself, and half a sandwhich, and then we tried again. This time was better. I thought once again that maybe we would be ok.

When it was time to go we walked in, I settled him nicely, I asked him to walk he grabbed the bit and off he went. It was run away freight train time. Wouldn't walk, wanted to race, wouldn't stand still to settle for the spins. His spins were all wrong (except to the left) He took off on the left lead lope so I took him back and started over.  When we were supposed to stop and then spin towards the end, I couldn't get him to stop at all.   I know now that I should have pushed him farther towards the rail and used that as an aide.  But instead I played tug of war and lost.  I had to one rein stop him. THEN, he gave me a nice left spin and a fair back up.  it was awful.

Afterwards Mark said, that I did a great job...of keeping my cool. He said that not many people would have been able to keep their cool with all that he was throwing at me.

Interestingly enough, Marks horse struggled, one of Kim's horses fell apart and the other, struggled as well.  All with things they do great at home.  So obviously we all need a little more out door big crowd exposure.In fact, there were only a few horses that really really excelled.  One of them was Mark's son Dallas. He did fabulous on the trail classes, and pretty darn good in the reining too.

Here's the thing though.  I know it may sound like I didn't have fun, but really I did. I mean sure I was almost in tears after our warm up. But I know that it is just going to take more exposure.  He has got to get to where he feels like shows are just another day.  There is another show in a month. It is on Sat, and the Ranch Horse Show is on Sunday.  I had not planned on doing them both, but now I know I have too. Trax has got to get a little more used to all the stuff going on. We have to to work on actual trail patterns, so he gets used to having to go from one to the other at the gait I suggest.  We have got to do transitions, transitions, transitions.  And I have got to find a way to get out of his face, when he takes off like that.

I do have video of the pattern, which I will upload for you guys to see. Then you can wee what I mean about how he takes off with me. I mean the whole time his head is straight up and I am trying to check him back.  I want to let go, but the minute I tried to he was gone baby gone.




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where I am...Where I am going

I didn't get to ride last night due to super high winds, a trip to town for xrays for my sons sprained wrist, and a long night with a grouchy senior citizen. (TC's dad is with us for a couple of days to have a surgery on his jaw. This visit has been a story in itself which someday I will write about)

Where I am now is that my horse cannot compete in AQHA events, or even APHA events. Because he is not registered anything.  Which is really quite fine with me. We just aren't that good.  I am happy with the events the club puts on.  My main goal is and always has been not a great show career, but something with the words, Ranch Horse, in the title.  After all, that is what he is. The only reason I am even entering the open show is to get used to competing and to prep for the Ranch Horse Competition in June.  But since I am moving I decided it was time to explore a few options for AZ.

I did a little on line research.

I found the NVRHA website.  (National Versatility Ranch Horse Association-for anyone who didn't know)

I thought, "Now that sounds like something right up my alley"

It isn't the first time I had heard of them, but I had never really read what they were about.  I knew that it is what my friend Jay wants to do, so I always figured it was out of my league.  I was wrong. It is all about helping riders improve their skills.

I signed up for the newsletter, I read the rules, I read about the competitions. Here is what I love about this organization.  Many of their competitions are 2 day events.  Day one is a clinic, and day 2 is a schooling competition.  That is EXACTLY what I am looking for.  They have all different levels, and they will always having you competing against riders of your own skill level. You can level up if you wish, but you cannot level down, which I think is cool.  The have the AZVRHA also which, of course, is their AZ affiliate.

About 10 minutes after I signed up for the newsletter I got an email from the director of the Arizona Division of the NVRHA. Her name is Becky.  This is what she wrote:

Hi Cindy,

Welcome!  We have a GREAT group and tons of fun, look forward to meeting you.  I will add you to our email list so that you can follow what is going on.

GREAT NEWS!!
We have an event coming up on June 22nd and 23rd in Alpine Wyoming!  You can find the information at www.NVRHA.org.  Get on out there and get started.  November 1st  weekend we are holding our National Championships here in AZ, you only need to participate in two events to qualify for the Championships.  If you go to the Wyoming event in June and the Arizona event in September your there!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.
Becky



What?????

You mean all I have to do is attend 2 events and I can compete in the championship??? 

That is crazy! 

SIGN ME UP! 


So I talked it over with TC. (actually I called and said "I need three hundred dollars" he said "What for" I said, " You don't want to know."  He said "Well then you can't have three hundred dollars"  Then we discussed it)

It is $300.00 total for the event in June, aaaaaaaaaannnnd I'm trying to get moved in June and July. He didn't tell me no, but we both agreed that as cool as it would be, the timing is all wrong. So I will skip the event in June. But I will go to the one in Sept in AZ. Then I will go watch the Championships, and maybe volunteer a little to get to know people.   Then, next year I will hit every event I can.  I have plenty of time so there is no sense in putting anymore stress on the next 2 months than I need too.

I'm really pretty excited about this. I mean it is more expensive than my little club events here, but it isn't outrageous, if I save up for it.  I think it will be good for Trax and I both. It is designed to help us train and compete at our own skill level and from what I see they encourage participation of  folks who haven't been doing it their whole lives. The clinics help with every aspect of the classes, including the cow work and the little bit of roping they expect you to eventually work up too.  Uh Oh...I just said the "R" word.

With Trax's history of roping, which seems to have ended badly for him, I hope that I don't unleash a demon in him by trying a little roping.  I don't think I will because I have one thing going for me that a certain previous owner didn't. I have compassion and understanding of who he is as a horse.  I know what helps him excel, and what shuts him down.  I know that a little trust goes a long way with him, and if I don't feel like I can rope off of him without hurting him mentally or physically (due to my lack of experience) then I flat out won't do it. It would not be worth it to me to take him backwards, our goal is to help him get over his fears, not give him new ones or make the old ones worse.  Anyway, roping is a long ways a way for us, if ever. First we want to get better at the rest of it.

I was afraid that I would get to AZ and it would set me back another 3 years as far as having people to ride with and work with.  It seems as thought that isn't going to be the case at all. I am so happy for that, because I feel like we are finally making forward progress, and I don't want to lose it.

Suddenly, I know where I am going.  Amazing!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Too Smart For His Own Good

5 o'clock finally showed up about 12 hours later.  Okay well it seemed that way, and I raced home changed and ran out to grab my horse.  As I was loading him in the trailer I got a call from a guy who was coming into town to buy hay cubes...DRAT!!

Luckily I was able to pawn that chore off on TC, and I just kept on rolling.  For some reason it took me forever to get my trailer backed into my parking spot.  Probably because McDiesel (the owner of the property) was there was teasing me about my trailer parking abilities.  I don't function well under pressure!  Well critical guy pressure anyways!

Then we got to work.

I did things differently this time. Once I got on him we went straight to obstacles without actually "warming" up.  My goal was to get his mind working before his feet, and see where we went from there.   We did the rope gate and the cones, of course the bridge (which he tried to cheat on- so we did it twice) and then I had taken my box and made it into the L-pattern for backing through a corner.  Smart move on my part too, because we struggled with it the first couple of times.

We did it from one end first which had him bending to the right to get through it and he had it down after a couple of tries without a single fault. But then I decided to try it from the other end which had him bending to the left.  He kept wanting to back towards the right which had him stepping on the poles. I would move his him and get him lined out and then he would do it again.  Then as we made our corner he didn't want to move his shoulder right. We did it over and over again. Finally I decided to give him a break.  I find that with Trax, drilling and drilling into him can frustrate him, and he felt a little frustrated.

We did the log pull, which I am glad I decided to do. We hadn't really messed with it in a while and at first he was a little bothered. Not bad but more than he needed to be so we dragged that log to Texas and back.  I even made him drag it backwards. I could tell his roping memories were kicking in because although he wanted to keep the rope taught he did not think it was right to drag it.  I could tell he was confused a little so we took it nice and slow.  Once he understood he did fine.

We did the rope gate from the right.  The best way I can describe it was "textbook".  The only thing he doesn't like is if I make him do it slowly. He likes to show that he knows how to do it and gets impatient if I make him settle too long.  But I explained to him that if we do it slow then we can do it absolutely perfect and I know how much of a perfectionist he is. So then he agreed and we did it slow and perfect.  We also did it to the left, and again he did great.

One of the things we worked on a lot was backing up with me only using one hand. I have always used two hands and sort of bumped/seesawed the reins to get him to really drive back and drop his head.  But in the classes I can only one hand.  This results in a head held high very stiff reverse and I don't care for it.  So to work on that I would ask one handed and just keep asking until he dropped his head, and then I would release and praise him.  By the end of the night he was dropping his head 98% of the time.  He might would start off with head up high, but dropped it almost immediately and once he drops his head, he flies back.

Then we went back to the L and tried it again from the tough side.  He did better but still faulted, so we did it one more time. This time he did it perfect so we left it alone.

Time to move on to "reining".  My goal was to really make sure that my cues were clear in his mind. So we did a lot of transitions.  The posting for a faster trot is totally the way to go for him. I don't have to use any leg, or even a cluck or a smooch. I just start posting and he picks up the pace. It is smooth like butter.  As soon as I sit down solid and say "easy" he drops it back down to that sit-able trot that I love love love. We also did a lot of softening at the jaw.  He is doing very well on that.

We moved on to cantering, which at first was a little chargey but I just made my circles smaller, asked him to rate and relax and pretty soon he did. So I just let him go to his zone for a bit, making sure our leads were correct and we just cruised.  After a bit he was feeling pretty good so I decided to try a pattern.

My pattern choice this time was much more difficult. There were more tasks involved and it took several times of stopping and starting over for me to memorize it.  Once I had it down then we really went to work.  If he failed the task I would go back and make him do it over, and we would go from there. If he took off in the wrong lead I would circle around and we would start again from where ever he messed up at.

I figured out that if his hip was starting to fall out on his spins I could actually just move my foot back and sort of side pass him out of it. I don't know if that makes sense, but it seems to help.  I had to laugh at him because he is starting to try and spin faster. The problem with that is that if I let him, and it is more than just one spin, he ends up falling out completely. So I have to keep him slowed down.

He reminds me of a little kid, "Hey Mom, look what I can do!" (and then proceeds to almost do a cartwheel)

There was one section where we go from a canter to an extended trot over poles. I really blew it for him there by trying to slow him down to the trot and speed him up to the extended trot with my posting all at the same time. He totally fell apart and had no idea what I was asking.  So once I figured out what the problem was I just slowed him down and rode it through without posting. It wasn't comfortable but at least the pace was correct.

We struggled with the lead change from right to left, which surprised me, but he was trying so hard to give me the right leads (and the pattern called for more of those) that when I asked for the left the first time, it threw him.  Eventually he understood though and so on our final attempt we did pretty darn good.  We completed the entire pattern with no major mistakes.  I say major, because with him a reining pattern is never   perfect.  He sure does try hard though.  It was funny too, because we would do the last task, I would rest him a minute and pet him, and then kick him forward. He would head over to our starting point, line himself out and wait for me to say, "Walk".

After our last run I took him over to the L one more time. He did it perfect so we called it a day. I dropped the reins and told him to walk and just let him meander over to the gate. I expected him to stop but he didn't.  He kept walking and just sort of meandered around the arena. Over by the paint horses, around the bridge, past the gate, and then he went to the L.

I swear I am not making this up....He went to the L and walked through it.  Not across it, but through it.  I was waiting to see if he was going to stop at the end of it and back up through it, but he didn't, he just kept walking. But I couldn't stop laughing at him. He is such a silly boy.  A little too smart for his own good.

Finally we were back at the gate and I told him whoa and he finally stopped.  He was rewarded with a good roll in the dirt and a chance to graze on the thick yummy grass.

I was rewarded by a nice chaff mark inside my right knee.  :(

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tick Tock

The clock on the wall says 4:21

I get off at 5pm

The sun is shining

The wind is at a minimum (for WY)

I have a date with a spotted horse.

Tick tock

Come on Clock

I've got patterns on my miiiiiiinnnnnd


(walk in, trot over poles, extend the trot, right lead, extended lope, lead change, go buddy go)

tick tock

Can I get him soft today?

Can we connect today?

4:25

clock moves to slow

I'm done with my work

I want to go

tick tock tick tock

Monday, May 20, 2013

Will Some One Please Shut Off My Brain!

Five days till our first show.  I am so nervous, and terrified, and excited.

I play different scenarios over in my head...

1. He wins a halter class even though he won't stand still, because he is just too gorgeous to pass up! (Ha!)

2. He wins a halter class because he is the only one in it.

3. We are asked not so politely to leave the halter ring because he won't stand still and keeps farting at the Judge. People laugh and point fingers as we shamefully walk back to our stall.

4. We never even enter the halter class because the night before he rips off his dress and wraps and chooses to roll in poop and it takes me all morning to get him clean again.


We move on to the Ranch Pleasure class...

1. After a great warm up we go into the class and he does perfect transitions and decent lead changes.  His spins are slow but accurate, and his stop, although not pretty is still a stop and doesn't cost us many points. The crowd goes wild, people hoot and holler for us, and tears are running down my face because I am so proud!  I jump off and hug my horse, and although we do not win because there are horses better than us, everyone is so impressed by how far he has come, and can't wait to tell me so.   (Its a scenario right out of a PBS afternoon special)

2. After a less than stellar warm up, we go into the class and are all over the place. He turns into a run away freight train.  I end up having to use both hands to get him back on track, and we are DQ'd.

3. After a decent warm up we go into the class and I forget the pattern and we are DQ'd.

4. After a decent warm up, he goes in and completes the pattern on his own... right after he face plants me for giving him a bath two days in a a row. (see option 4 of halter class)

5. After what seems like a decent warm up, we go into the class we do our very best but I'm nervous and forget everything that Mark taught me. We complete the course but just barely and  I can hear everyone saying "I can't believe she even entered."  and  "OMG, she thinks she can ride?" as I ride away.  We go to our stall in shame.

6. We never even make it to the class because I am still at the stall puking my guts out because I am so nervous.


Next is the trail class...

1. We did great in the Ranch Pleasure class, our confidence level is high, and we are calm and ready for this class.  Luckily the course calls for the rope gate from the left and we ace it.  He tackles each task with precision and perfection and once again the crowd goes wild. Many of them remember the clinic where he wouldn't even go near a rope, and everyone is amazed. Again I cry the tears of joy.   We place but we do not win, but couldn't be happier. (I obviously watched way too many of those after school specials)

2. We have DQ'd once already and my confidence is shaken. The course calls for the rope gate from the right and although we have been working steadily on it, he executes it, but not without some coaxing and we fail that task. We fight on the right lead right lead, and balks at the bridge, because it isn't his bridge. We are not DQ'd but we end with the lowest score. Once again I can hear people laughing at me behind my back.


3. I have picked myself up out of the dirt and grudgingly got back on my horse. The course calls for the gate to the right. Even though we have practiced diligently, he chooses this moment to loose his mind, he takes off running dragging half of the rope gate behind him because it is stuck on my boot.  It swings wide behind us catching the judges table and table cloth, which he decides is a monster.  He takes off at mach nine, I have no control and he wipes out the entire course.  When I finally get him stopped we are banned from any CWPHC show ever again.  I slink to the trailer in shame, he on the other hand is quite proud of himself and carries his head high.  We get to the trailer and he says to me....

"I TOLD YOU I AIN'T NO SHOW PONY!"

4. Still puking, pack up and go home vowing to never show my face at a horse show again.


In reality, my goal is to go in and not be DQ'd.  We might achieve that goal, we might not.  If we complete the courses at all, it will be amazing.  Seriously I am nervous, and I will be until the day of the show.  It isn't even about winning or losing for me, I'm just afraid I'm going to do something really stupid.
But then I think, who cares if I do?  I mean we all have to start somewhere right?  One thing I know is that although some of the horsey folks in this town are pretty clicky, there are a bunch who aren't, and the folks putting on this show are trying to get rid of that clickiness so that everyone can just have fun.  That is my goal right?  I just want to go have some fun.   In the mean time if I can just get my brain to shut off for a while.....



The Word of the Day is ...UGH!

UGH...describes the weather.  Still raining.  (TC says it is going to rain all week!)

UGH...describes how I feel, for the second day. 

Ugh describes the amount of house work that needs to be done, especially since I did nothing all day yesterday but sleep and was over run by three very wet dogs in the midst of their summer shedding. 

Ugh also quite accurately describes the state of my horse runs this morning which required hand cleaning, rather than being able to use the little tractor. 

Generally hand cleaning is not that hard, but when I feel like crud and keep slipping in the mud, then the word is UGH!

UGH also describes how I feel when I look in the mirror.  I'm trying to grow out my incredibly short hair to a length capable of being pulled back in a pony tail, or styled it I wanted.  But you know that in between place where you can't do a thing with it....yup UGH!



So I need to find some good in the day.  

Well lets see, 4 ponies are healthy and happy. In fact Danny and Trax were on the wild and crazy side and watching their chicanery around the pasture this morning was pure joy.  

Oh I forgot to mention that I was able to get Trax to stand still for a little bit of clipping with clippers on Saturday. Not near his head of course, where he needs it the most. But I was able to trim off some of those areas on his side and back legs that aren't ready to shed yet.  So that was a good thing. 


I still have a job and earn a paycheck....that is a good thing. 

Rain, means grass, which means less hay, always a good thing. 

I'm still upright, and although sick, it is just a flu or a cold, so that is better than some other options. 

It could be snowing instead of just raining....so the fact that it is just rain, always a bonus. 

So yeah, I guess that even though the word of the day is UGH...it could be so much worse. 

Happy Monday everyone. 






Sunday, May 19, 2013

Time to Get Down to Some Serious Training

The open show is exactly 1 week from today and I feel totally unprepared. 

I printed off some of the AQHA suggested reining patterns for the Ranch Horse Pleasure class.  They are relatively simple (on paper) so I took them with me as we headed down to the free arena.

We started to training session with practicing our smooth transitions.  Especially those trots.  Trax still has that natural tendency to jump into the upward change, so each time I would correct him and we would start over.  Pretty soon he understood what I was asking.  We could ease into a slow trot, then I figured out that I do not even need to ask for the extended trot. If I just start posting he picks it up a notch. That seems to work better than a smooch , as the smooch tends to kick him up to a canter.

Then we moved up to some cantering and he started off a little out of control but then came back down pretty quickly so I was very happy with how he felt. I am learning that I need to find the happy medium with my leg when asking for a specific lead. Too much aggravates him and sends him away too fast, not enough and he picks his preferred lead, which is generally not what I am asking for.  The thing is, I never have to ask for a left lead, he will always choose that if given a choice.

We practiced a little bit of spinning, and I wish I could see for sure if he is keeping his hind end still. For the most part I can see by the hoof marks that he is, but I think I feel him falling off once in a while.  We also did the rope gate from the right. He still fights me on that, and so I will move him away and practicing pushing that hip and sidepassing that direction and he does it just fine.  For some reason he doesn't like that rope on his right side.  BUT, to me it doesn't matter.  I know that I am not going to let him get hurt by it, and he has got to learn to trust me. So we push push push then go to the gate and if he fights me again, we leave and push push push and try again.  He finally gave me a nice execution and so we left it at that.

Then I picked a pattern and we started practicing.  It went something like this: Start in the middle at the end of the arena, walk forward and around the corner.  Slow jog through a serpentine, then fast jog, Stop, side pass to right, 360 spin in each direction, extended jog away turn left at the fence, canter, then extended lope up and around, then cross diagonally, change to right lead, canter , then lope back around other end, then stop and back up.

We did it the first time and were all over the place. We went back and did it again and had a little more control.  We did it again, and fell apart on the lead change.  Went back and did it again, and by then he had the pattern memorized and was anticipating the next move.  By the fifth time, he was pretty much completing it on his own, same on the sixth but he was trying do things before I was ready.  By the seventh time we did a pretty nice little run, because he understood that if he tried to jump the gun  I was going to correct him back and we would start again. 

You may recall that Mark had said not to ask for a stop from a lope.  I had every intention of doing exactly as he said.  Trax has other plans in mind though.   I swear he is such a show off!  On the last try when it said lope, I really let him go and on that right lead turn he was actually stretched out and seriously flying. I knew I wasn't going to have time to break him down to the trot first, so I just said, "Ready aaaaannnnnnnd...WHOA!'  I did my best to keep from leaning back but planted my seat and he
S-T-O-P-P-E-D!   No he doesn't stop like a reining horse, he stops like a roping horse I think, less soft, more brace...but he stopped, and it was more him than it was me.  I was pretty impressed, and we called it a day.

I'll be completely honest here, usually when he gets going that fast I start to get a little nervous.  I don't know if it is because I am getting old, because I'm afraid that I won't get him stopped, or what.  I just know that it does.  Yesterday I was kind of digging it. He felt good. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but it just seemed like he was enjoying himself and it was awesome!  I'm pretty sure if he could have done a hoof pump after that last run, he would have.  Our lead change still needs some work so it doesn't look quit so awkward, but we got it done, so I call that progress!

The one thing about this class is that it is supposed to be about cadence and about gaits that really cover ground.  It is the one thing that he really has going for him. I don't know if running the pattern the day of the show a few times as part of warm up, is the best idea, because when he anticipates, he sometimes rushes through things. On the other hand, when he knows what I am going to ask for next it makes for a smoother run too. So if I can get him to that point, it might help us out.

I had planned on riding every day but woke up this morning to pouring down rain which hasn't stopped yet. My pasture is a lake, which means the arena would be a mud pit.  Top it off with some sort of flu bug kicking my ass right now, and I'm thinking riding is the last thing I feel like doing.  

I guess the forecast for tomorrow is even more rain. My grass is loving it. My body not so much.  So with that in mind I'm going to go take a heavy dose of Nyquil, and see if I can't sleep this off today.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Another Lesson and 2 shoes for Killian

I finally got to have another lesson with Mark but I would really classify it more as a training session. I did not even ride Trax.  He needed some schooling and I am not the best person to give it to him, so I asked Mark to ride him and ride he did.

Trax has developed a bad habit of jumping into a trot rather than simply moving into it. So he worked on that for quite a while and really worked on softening him up again. He worked on his back ups and his stops, from a trot.  He loped him for a long time, but he told me that he only let him do it because he was so soft and easy about it. Had he been chargy then they would have been doing transitions. He was on a loose rein and maintaining the correct speed so it was okay to just let him go for a while. He also showed me that it helps to not lope him in circles, but in a square.  He said that a horse can not remain hollow backed (which he tends to be) in a square.

He rode him for over an hour and was getting some good stuff from him, so he ended on a positive and suggested we just leave it at that.  So we did.   Mark said that he really likes the new bit on him. He says he is much more responsive with it.  I'm glad to hear that, because the darn thing cost more than all my other bits combined!

We talked a lot about the upcoming show and one of the things he said to me is that my focus needs to be more on my horsemanship than on the pattern itself.  Then he elaborated.

"To me, horsemanship means to ride your horse at the level he is at."

Then he went on to explain that even though the pattern will say "stop from a lope" that is not where Trax is at right now. He said to go ahead and check him into a trot and then stop him.  Basically I was being reminded in a very nice way, that this Ranch Pleasure class is not about winning for me, it is about training, and I need to remember that above all else. This is sound advice for me.  I find myself getting so caught up in not making a fool of myself that I loose sight of what my real goal is. It does not matter what anyone thinks about us, not even the judges. What matters is that Trax and I go out there and work together. If I am asking him for things that he isn't ready for, all he is going to do is fall apart on me and we will not be working together.

The trail class though I expect to do pretty well in. I don't mean as in win any ribbons or anything. But he does these obstacles so well now, there isn't any reason that we can't have a clean run through the trail. His hardest part with trail is trying to remember that it isn't a race. To him everything is a race, but keeping him down to footfalls is still our goal here.

We talked some about lead changes but I have to admit I walked away from that a little confused at what he was saying, but I will get clarification.  I had been explaining that I was practicing lead changes by going from a circle to the left (more like a D) and then breaking down to a trot asking for the change and then doing a circle to the right.  I think, that what he said to me was that for most horses the lead change comes from propulsion so my method would actually be the wrong way to go. But because propulsion is the one issue my horse does not lack, what I am doing is okay for now.  Like I said, I think that is what he said. I could be wrong though.

Today, I will find me a typical Ranch Horse pattern to print off and my goal this weekend will be to practice one to try to get my moves down. Oh one thing I forgot to mention is that Mark really worked him on his spins last night too.  He didn't care, at this point, if he crossed with the correct leg, as long as his pivot foot stayed in place.  If he fell off on the hind, then he would side pass, side pass, side pass, and then ask again.  Sometimes which ever hip fell off, he would push that hip around and around and then ask for the spin again. Eventually he was doing both directions perfectly.

I know I have said it before but I seriously love to watch Mark ride Trax.  It only takes a short time before Trax goes from being a freight train, to being a more soft and supple horse.  I honestly can't tell you if I ever achieve that myself, although there have been times when Mark has said that he looks great when I am riding him. Not every time, but sometimes. It was actually a good lesson. He is good about explaining what he is doing while he is doing it, so I understand the reasons why and hopefully can do it myself.

I had noticed the day after I rode Killian last that he had lost a shoe, and Mark said he would throw another one on, so Killian came along for a ride last night. As it turns out, he actually lost another one in the last day or two so we had to replace both of them.

I had to laugh at Big K, as Mark rode Trax, K was more than happy to sleep in the corner of the arena. I think I actually heard him snore!

So I had Trax tied in the arena and we walked down the hill to where Marks truck was to do the shoes. We were in between a barn and some stalls and the colt that he is working with that looks like Danny was there also.  I call him Fruit Loop. He has another name, I think it might be Laredo. Fruit Loop fits better.

Meanwhile Trax was up in the arena losing his mind because he was left behind.

While we worked on Killian there were some kids running around, one was Marks son who was doing chores, but the other two were much younger and pretty wild. I suspect that they were visiting or something  because these kids acted like they have never been around a horse before. They were jumping and screaming and pushing each other and throwing things around.

You probably get sick of hearing this, but that big red horse is worth his weight in gold. He never even batted an eye at those kids.  Trax would not have handled that situation so well. He does not care for young kids at all!  After the kids left, even Mark said that he was impressed by how good Killian was for all the commotion. I suspect that Killian was more concerned that Fruit Loop was getting food and he wasn't.

At one point Trax quit screaming and I wondered if had gotten loose in the arena and was up there rolling on my saddle.  (He didn't)

Once he had shoes on I took him back up to the arena and hopped on him bareback with the halter.  It was really hard to wrap my legs around to hold on at a trot and not ding him with my spurs.  It is also probably a very good exercise for me to start doing, because my leg muscles were sore when I got off and we didn't ride very long.  We just rode around, and I practiced steering him with my legs, no reins at all.  He did okay at first but it was obvious when he was ready to be done because pretty soon he just ignored me and kept going to the gate, so I would push him back around and we would go again.

I generally try to vary up my feeding times a little when ever I can.  I used to freak out if they weren't fed at the exact same time every day, but I have changed my theory on that.  I feel like conditioning them to not expect their food at the exact same time, saves them from stress if some sort of emergency keeps me from getting out there at the same time every day. Although I will say that last night it was after 10 pm and that is the latest they have ever gone.

I must have tweaked my hip while riding Killian because it hurts like hell this morning. I keep trying to stretch it out but it isn't working.  Going to have to figure out something though because I have one week to really get some riding in before the show. I need to get as many miles on him as I can this week, the less wound up he is the better off we both will be.

I put in my final notice for my job yesterday. My last day here will be July 12th. Suddenly moving became a reality.  Yikes!!!!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Danny Makes his Demands

I was sitting here at work today and for some reason decided I needed to go home at lunch time.  I rarely ever leave work at lunch and when I do I don't usually go home. I can't even say for sure why I felt like I needed to go home, after all I had brought a sandwich to eat so it wasn't because I needed food.  I just really felt like I needed too.

When I got home, I didn't even go in the house.  I made a beeline for the pasture.

No I do not know why.  I just did.

Trax was grazing on the hillside, Danny was down lower and whuffled to me as soon as he saw me, I went over and scratched his itchy back for him and got off more winter hairs.  His whuffle is how he says hello.  He is the only horse I have that makes that sound.  The other nicker once in a while at feeding time, but Danny whuffles every time he sees me.

Trax headed down towards us, but before I could even walk up to him, here comes Sassy from around one of the old barns.  She was supposed to be in her pen.  That must be the reason I was "supposed" to go home.  She had already had a full breakfast of haycubes, which no one gets if they are getting out on the pasture.  She obviously had already stuffed herself, her belly was looking pretty full.  So much to her dismay she was caught and put back in her pen. With her lameness issues already I always worry about laminitis with her.

Naturally Killian was quite upset that his mare was out there with those other boy horses. He told her so too, by pinning his ears and making ugly faces at her as I put her away. She just flicked her tail at him.  Afterwards I spent a little time with each horse.

As I was headed out to leave I noticed that Danny was, once again trying to tell me something.

I WANT those grasses over there!  Please come open the gate for me. 
 Danny is much harder to keep weight on than the rest so he pretty much gets anytime access to the dog yard which has a lot more grass than the pasture.  Of course this is dependent on whether or not there is a full water tub, or I am home to let him out to get to the water after an hour or so.    

He spent the next five minutes nodding his head up and down to tell me that I needed to get my butt over there an open his gate.

Yes yes yes

"Sorry bud not right now"
Yes yes yes

"Danny there is no water in there and I don't have time to get any for you"

You must come open the gate- you cannot resist my cuteness

"It is hard I admit, but I must go back to work"

Work smork, you get over here right now and open this gate!

Don't make me get ugly about it

Trax says" MmmmmmGrasses"
Danny "Heavy sigh...this isn't working"

Hey Lady!!!! Don't leave, come open the gate! 

I would have loved to just stay there with them, and let him into his secret garden. But alas, someone has to earn a paycheck around here and it isn't going to be any of those four legged family members!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Grandmother Lied to Me


She told me that Menopause was wonderful and not having periods was the best thing in the world.

With the way I feel lately as I go through this change....I'm thinking that she lied to me. 

Side Pull

OH Boy!  I just got my new (to me) side pull today.


Thank you very much Lousia for sending this to me, and to Crystal for sending it to her.   I can't wait to go home and try it out.
I'll have to run down and get a chin strap for it on my lunch.  There is an upside and a down side to working half a mile from the tack store. The upside is that it is handy, the down side is that they take all my  money.
I think I will try it in the arena or pasture first, before I just head off down the road.

It seems to have gotten a little twisted on one side (I assume from shipping) so I will have to figure out how to untwist it so that it is functioning properly.

Have I mentioned how much I love new tack!  I'm sure that I am the only one too! HA!!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Movie Review- Django- Unchained

I rented this movie  off of PPV last night not realizing that it was a Quentin Tarantino movie.



I don't usually care for his movies. As far as I am concerned, if you have seen one of his movies you have seen them all.  It is like he had a great idea once and has based his entire film making career on that one idea.

But I spent the money so I figured I may as well go ahead and watch it.

The basic plot is that a bounty hunter (Christopher Waltz) is searching for a particular group of "overseers" who have a bounty on their head for murder.  He seeks out Django (played my Jamie Foxx) buys him, and uses him and his personal knowledge of said overseers to hunt them down and kill them. In exchange, Django is given his freedom and some cash. The relationship grows into friendship and they become business partners. Thus begins a winter of serious cash collecting on all different bounties.

The underlying plot, of course is that Django needs to go find his wife (Kerry Washington) who has been sold to a different plantation. So the two set off with a plan to obtain possession of his wife.

First off I want to say that Jamie Foxx was fabulous in this movie, in fact as far as the acting goes, everyone was.

 Leonardo Dicaprio played the plantation owner who currently owned Django's wife, and he seriously nailed the part.


Samuel L Jackson played the "head house negro" and if I had not known his voice, I never would have known it was him.  The banter between him and Leonardo, was priceless!


Of course no western is complete with out the ponies, so here is a gratuitous pony shot, and Jamie didn't even look totally uncomfortable on a horse.



About half way through the movie I found myself thinking, "Wow this is not your typical QT movie!"  I was enjoying it.  Not terribly violent, a little bit of  humor, and I was pretty wrapped up in the plot.

Then everything fell apart and it went back to classic Tarantino, and the second half of the movie was.....well mind numbing.  You can only assault the human psyche so much with negativity before it shuts down.  My brain did just that.  I'm not sure how long the movie really lasted, but if I had to guess I'd say that the second half alone was about 12 days long.

Here's the thing, I understand that some times stories are violent. I can accept that truth without having to see every single gory detail of the violence. I am perfectly happy to imagine it in my own mind (or not) with out having to see how someone else imagined it would look.

So with out spoiling it too much for those who have yet to see it, here is my recap of the movie itself. (particularly the second half)

"F- you...no F-you...N-word...N-word...N-word...Argh...pow pow pow...Argh, you shot me...F-you......M'F'r...pow pow pow...buckets of blood....big explosion....N- word...F-You...N-Word...N-Word...F-you...pow pow pow....more blood....pow pow pow...N-word...F-you...M'Fr....more blood....big explosion...."hero" rides off into moonlight with the girl, but not before doing some trick moves on his fancy new reining pony....the end.

So, I went to bed totally disappointed.  Tarantino had the chance to make a great movie and he blew it.  It was a great story, the perfect actors and he turned it into a B- movie with his typical "the floor was littered with dead bodies" over the top graphic violence. The fact that really great actors are lining up to star in one of his movies just blows me away!

If you are a Tarantino fan, then you will love this movie.  If you are a fan of westerns, then you will like the 1st half of this movie.  If you like horses you will like the very last scene of the movie, but nothing else.  Regardless, bring a pillow and get comfy, because it is a long one.

Stewball

My song on the way to work today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXdQB-mR4tg


Monday, May 13, 2013

Trax Kicks Butt...My Butt

I had another post, but when I re-read it an hour later, decided I hated it as much as he hates baths so I deleted it.

Basically I just want to say that he kicked my ass this weekend.
We rode for a couple of hours yesterday and I literally feel like I was hit by a truck.

He was all over the place.
There were actually times when he was galloping wildly around the arena and I was doing my level best just to hang on.

Part of it was my fault.

I did not check my headstall before I put it on. (Yes I know, a stupid move) and it was set for Killian.  Killian has a head the size of an elephant.  So the bridle didn't fit, the bit was hanging down inside of his mouth.  I finally saw what was going on and fixed it, but by then the damage was done.  He had already decided that he was in charge.

Finally, after we were both exhausted I was able to get a controlled lope out of him, along with some downward transitions to a trot, and then a walk.
We did a few stops. I can't seem to remember to not lean back.
We worked on leads...it was hit and miss.

The show is in 2 weeks. We have 2 more lessons between now and then.
I do not feel that we will be ready for a Ranch Pleasure Class. Especially if things keep going the way they have been. Scratch that class.
That leaves halter and Trail.
I gave him a bath, but I cannot wash his face.  Let me rephrase, I can wash it but I can't rinse it, and it is filthy.   Scratch the halter class.
That leaves the trail class.
If I can wear him down enough in the morning, I might be able to keep him from racing from one obstacle to the next.

He kicked my butt this weekend.
Which is a shame, because did you see how nice he looked after his bath?

I'm trying to hold on the thought that all of this that I have been going through is not about ribbons, it is about turning off his freight train switch and turning on his slow and steady switch.

I am not giving up, but I am sore enough right now, I almost wish I could.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

"My Lady Does Not Love Me Anymore"


 Nice ladies of the world, I am here to tell you that I am so sad.  I think my lady must hate me now.   First she made go and work at the arena in the middle of the day when I usually take my nap.  It was vurrry hot and I did not feel like working right then.  I wanted to be napping.  She worked me very hard too because she said I was not listening.  But I can tell you I was listening, she just wasn't making any sense today.

Then she brought me home and made me take...A BATH!  She sprayed me with freezing cold water and put this blue stuff from a bottle all over me and scrubbed me with a brush. 

I can tell you for sure that I HATES A BATH!  HATES IT!   HATES IT!   HATES IT!

She even tried to wash my most sensitive of areas. A place where no human female should go. It was so embarrassing!  She is not a boy, she does not have boy parts...she should not be messing with my boy parts. Especially with ice cold water!  My Lady does not love me any more. 

Yes she gave me candies, but it was just to distract me, I think.  I was very clear with her though, I told her loud and clear, that if she touched me there one more time with her freezing cold hands, that leg that was poised in the air was going to fly at her with a quickness, and I was not going to hold back. She must have understood, because she finally left that part of me alone. 

Then she wanted to wash my face.  I do not like having my face washed. I do not like water running down my face.
This is me putting my head up vurrrry high so that she may not wash my face.  Finally she just used a wet thing and rubbed my face.  I did not mind that quite so much so finally I put my head back down.

Then she got the cutting things out, and she spent forever cutting on my hairs.  She says my mane must be straight. 
I asked, "Why must my mane be straight? I like it just like it is. I look like a rock star."

She said, "Because you are going to be a show pony."

"A What?  I am not a show pony!  I am a ranch pony!"

She said, "Well we don't have a ranch, so now you are going to be a show pony."

I said, "I do not want to be a show pony, I want to be a great long distance race pony, like Hildago."

She told me I did not have a choice, so I quit talking to her.  It's like I said, my lady does not love me any more.

This is me after my bath.  Do I look like I am having a good time? 
I am not having a good time!

She worked on my mane for an hour. I hates it.  It looks like a hack job.  How am I supposed to get rid of flies with only half my mane? 

Then she went to work on my tail with that goopy stuff that smells funny.

 Yes it does look very nice, an boy howdy I am getting muscular back there, but I'll bet Hildago never had to have smelly stuff in his tail.

Then she brought out a box.  She told me she got me presents!  Yay! I love presents, especially the kind you eat.  But there was nothing to eat in the box. There was only stupid stuff in the box.  I did not like the box.

First she brought out my "show halter"  I don't understand why she thinks I need this. She should have spent her hard earned monies on candies. I do look quite dashing in it, but I am not a show pony, I do not need a show halter.

Then she made me put on a dress!!!  She said it will keep me clean the day before the show. I do not want to stay clean. Wait-a-minute....if this is to keep me clean the day before the show, that means I am going to have to have another bath!  I AM NOT A SHOW PONY! 





Although, I must admit, green is a very good color for me isn't it?  Oh wait...I mean I HATES GREEN DRESSES!


Luckily she did not make me keep the dress on.  She took it right back off again. Wheww!  I could not go back to the pasture wearing a dress.

BUT THEN....came the very worst of all.  I will never be able to hold my head up at the water trough again. 

SHE PUT FLOWERS ON MY TAIL!

My lady does not love me at all.  Remember all the times she said she loved me so much?  She did not mean it. She could not have meant it. I'm sure Hildago never had to wear flowers on his handsome butt.  (My butt is very handsome though, isn't it?)  If she loved me, there would not be flowers on my butt.

Then she sent me out in the pasture like that.  I am mad at her, so I did this.....
And this.....

And when I felt that I was sufficiently dirty again, I did this.....
and stayed far far away from her for the rest of the day.

I wish I lived with Hildago's person....I'll bet he loves his ponies, unlike my lady who hates me.




















Friday, May 10, 2013

An Old Horse Woman's Prayer

I borrowed this from http://www.hoofprints.com/



When I am Old...
I shall wear diamonds
And a wide brimmed straw hat
With silver and leather on it
and I shall spend my social security
On white wine and carrots
And sit in the alley of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.

I will sneak out
in the middle of a summer's night
And ride the chestnut mare
Across the moonstruck meadow.
If my old bones will allow.

When people come to call I will smile and nod
As I walk them past the gardens to the barn
And show, instead, the beauty growing there
In stalls fresh-lined with straw.

I will shovel and sweat and
Wear hay in my hair as if it were a jewel.
And I will be an embarrassment to all
Who look down on me.
They've not yet found the peace in being free
To love a horse as a friend,
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With nuzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am Old.

Written by Patty Barnhart



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Horse Shopping Makes Me Sad (and Happy)

Okay, yes I'll admit it, I was horse shopping today.

No I'm not really looking to buy right now.

But when I continue to contemplate putting Sassy down, that opens up a stall for a different horse.

TC wants me to sell my jeep and buy a motorcycle.
I'd rather sell my jeep and buy another horse.

A good horse. (aka without baggage)

A preeeeettty horse.

A horse that has four legs would be nice as well!


So as I ate my lunch I browsed horse clicks a little.
I will not be posting links to ad's that are just ridiculous  I shall leave that for the pro's.


But there were ad's that made me sad.

Paint gelding $150.00  from the reservation in AZ. "I can't afford him" (scrawny and scraggly and uncared for)

Paint gelding for adoption- "he wants his own person" (not gorgeous but not ugly either so hopefully he finds his person)

Clydsdale horse- $1300.00  "He drives great but doesn't like to be ridden so I don't want him" (pretty pretty horse hopefully someone picks him up for a team)

19hh horse-(yeah okay) "need to find him a home, super gentle loves dogs" (complete with picture of dog chasing him around the peoples in town back yard with the kiddie pool, lawn chairs and 6 ft brick wall- trust me he was not having a good time)

Stuff like that makes me sad. I wish there was a way to save them all.

Then I have to laugh at the 3 ad's obviously not real ad's that all were worded exactly the same
"These horses are strong and brave and jump very high"
 But pictures that were obviously pulled off the internet.  Gee no one will ever figure out that those are a scam!

There were some nice ones though. 

I like this guy, and his color doesn't have anything to do with why.  I just like him.  Although there is one picture I didn't post that kind of looks like one of his front feet turns in a little.  But then again it could have just been a bad camera angle.



Same folks have this guy.
I like him too.



I kind of like this one too, one of Sherry's from Super Gentle Horses


Ooh sexy! But hasn't been ridden in 3 years. 


But Damn! Talk about a beefcake!

I especially like this guy, he is trained in the areas I'd like to compete and he is nice looking as well.


I have always loved roans and this one is a nice one I think- but he is only 5. 
Not that 5 is bad, if they have been worked with consistantly but at my age sometimes
an older horse is the better way to go. 


There were many others, but these are the only ones that might have been in my price range if I sell my jeep. 
I don't know why I do this to myself.  Does anyone else horse shop for no reason other than to torture themselves?