At that point our good friend and fellow blogger (see title) so kindly reminded me that there is a much better place to spend my on line time. A place where there is a whole lot less drama; a place where the people tend to be more understanding, and less judgmental.
*cue music from Cheers*
So here I am, back at my blog, sharing a little bit of what is going on with the herd.
Since it has been forever since I posted, I will just stick with the high points.
First off, I am back to working full time. I am managing a feed store. I worked for this company before, left to do my saddle shop, then came back for a little extra money. From there it morphed into me driving 120 miles (round trip) each day to manage a store way out on the other side of town. It was a cool store though, and I took it from barely making any money at all to being uber profitable and looking better than it ever has.
At that store I got to do business with folks like Al Dunning, Brandi Lyons, Cory Cushing, Brad Barkemeyer, Matt Mills, and lots and lots of high dollar Arabian breeders whose names mean nothing to me, but mean a lot in the Arab world. That part is pretty cool.
Fast forward a few months and now I am managing a different store, right by my house. I like that part, but it came with a price. I still have to assist with the managing of the managers of the other two stores, so I do still spend quite a bit of time driving. It is my hope that very soon they recognize my potential and move me up one more spot within the company. But I'm not going to elaborate on that too much until it happens.
Now- lets talk horse stuff.
I finally quit worrying about my horses being "ready" for events and just started showing up.
When I say ready, I mean as in totally trained and not going to make any mistakes.
My new motto has been "Show up, Saddle up, and have a good time."
Once I adopted that attitude things like This started happening. I have decided that I love sorting. The bonus is that I have a horse that enjoys it too. We actually managed to get a couple of perfect runs in last winter, which was a big improvement for us.
I'll be honest. There just are not many places to practice sorting. I guess because cows aren't cheap, so it seems that our competitions is where we learn. It isn't cheap, but we get better with each run and most people are pretty understanding if you are just starting out.
She and I started hauling around to different sorting events and even though we had no clue what we were doing, we still went and figured it out. It was a ton of fun, and each time I showed up, I was a little less nervous.
She has a pretty cool horse named Spur. Here is a video of her sorting as well. When we started all of this she had never even practiced this before. Her horse is a total bad ass, and everyone is seeing her as the up and coming competition.
When sorting season in the valley ended, we started looking for more things to do. She wanted to barrel race so that is where we headed. I am pretty much sick of sitting in the stands watching everyone else ride, so now I barrel race....sort of.
This is what happens. Not fast, but she runs a pretty pattern!
The real reason we went to barrel races was for J and Spur. Let me show you Why
I decided that Melody needed to save herself for sorting and since Trax really wasn't doing much and loves to run, I thought I'd give him a shot a barrel racing. Sometimes I run him, sometimes I have a young friend who runs him. Mostly we are still in the training stages, but some serious progress is being made.
We have gone from this
all the way to this
Unfortunately I don't have any videos of me running him, because if I'm not filming, no one is there to do it. But the important thing is that we are both learning and having a good time. We are getting out there and not worrying about what people think, what they say, or if they laugh at us. Well Trax might care if they laugh, but I don't.
I love the fact that in the first video he was looking for the gate at the second barrel. But in the second video he was looking for that 3rd barrel.
Doing this sort of riding had really forced me to step outside my comfort zone. Not with Melody so much because I trust her an awful lot, but with Trax I still carry a lot of fear. I have really been pushing myself to go just one step further each time we ride.
I practice going fast with him. I am learning to trust him again. We sprint up and down the length of our arena. Did you know that if you don't go fast on a horse for 30 years, you have to learn how to ride it all over again?
This is what learning how to go fast again looks like.
I am actually pretty impressed with the old guy (he is 17 or 18 now). It has only taken him 3/4 of his life to decide that he is a broke horse! Ha Ha!. No actually I'm just impressed with how hard he tries. We did a little sorting with him too, and he doesn't do too bad. He does get a little balled up if there are too many cows around his back side and since you sort in teams, I decided that it isn't fair to my team members to lose out because he is worried. So I still take him to practices when we can to help him get over it, but I don't compete on him yet. For now, I think he will just stick to racing. The more we do it, the more he enjoys it (or so it seems) and to be honest, I'm having a good time with it too.
In other news Princess Melody has a couple of bad days. We went through some bad trailer loading issues. It took a couple of months but we finally got her past it, and she was loading up just great...until one day when she didn't.
We were out at the trailer working on it, and she had two feet in the trailer. The next door neighbor was working on a tin shed at the same time. He dropped a sheet of tin (accidentally) which freaked her out, and she went straight up. She pretty much ripped her face off.
The vet came out and stitched her up and she got a couple of weeks off. Now she has a nice M scar on her face. The M is for Melody Moody Mare.
It took quite a bit of work but we do have her loading in the trailer again. It actually wasn't near as bad as I thought it was going to be since every single one of her fears involving trailers had come true. She still doesn't love a trailer, but she will load, and that is about the best I can ask for I think.
I manged to trade myself into a remote control mechanical flag, and we do a lot of practicing on that. This mare, who seems slower than molasses in January, loves to work if she gets to chase stuff. It is so funny to watch her videos because it seems like she is hardly moving, but when you are on her it feels pretty darn fast.
In a couple of weeks we are headed up to Mormon Lake to do a summer series. I'm pretty excited. I have some friends who will be up there also, so it will be nice to hang out with them AND get to ride horses too. The series is one weekend per month for the entire summer. It is a couple of hour drive, but totally worth it to get to cooler weather.
So....there it is, my first discombobulated blog post in eons. Now to go do a little reading and see what everyone has been up too! .