Monday, December 31, 2007

out with the old, in with the that is.

So, I have heard it told that you should evaluate your life and make changes for the new year ahead. I am not big on New Year's resolutions but, I must admit I am changing quite a bit here lately. One of the biggest things I have changed are my boots, the ones I wear every day and ride in. Don't laugh people this is serious stuff for me. You see my boots are an extension of me, they reflect some of the things I see in myself and want of myself. I have had my old trusty boots for some five years now. In fact, one of the happiest moments I had after having my first son was to discover that indeed my boots still fit!! Not that I am saying having my son wasn't the happiest thing in my life it was until number two came along! But I regress.... old trusty's are a worn out pair of leather soled Justin ropers. I have had them resoled twice and the shoemaker must have thought I was out of my mind last time around.
I have a hard time fitting a boot to my feet, it's not that they are unusually large just difficult. I have a high instep and a wide foot at the bunion bone. Wide boots are too wide after I break them in and "B" size boots need stretching to get them to fit. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about going shopping for boots. To top it off I am well, sort of particular about what I want in a boot. First and foremost I must have leather soles, no exceptions here. I just like the way I can move my feet around in the stirrup with leather soles. I have tried composite soles , rubber soles and the newly touted grip on demand soles but nothing beats leather. Secondly the boot cannot be to high on the calf or too low.
Too high and I get pinched , too low and I get rubbed. Nothing to fancy for my either no lime green or pink fat baby's for me thanks. My husband doesn't understand my problem getting boots , heck he can walk in try on a few pair and be done in minutes. My shopping experience however goes like this:
I finally make the decision to buy a new pair of boots. I decided the all amercian Quarter Horse congress would be a great place to go and shop.
So off we go to Columbus, only a three hour trip from here and spend the weekend shopping for horse things and the boots. I go from vendor to vendor telling the helpful sales people what I want and after trying on I swear not less than seventy pair of boots come away empty handed.
Frustrated, I whine to my hubby how unfair it is that I cannot find just a freakin pair of boots to ride in. We decided to try again the following day and a nice sales girl suggested we go to the main store just up the road and try on some Anderson Bean boots. Apparently, she has the same issue when buying boots except that her foot is a ten NOT a size eight.
So, we load up the boys and head to Rod's Western Palace four miles up the road. Unbelievably, I find a pair that I like and they have my size.
The girl puts the right one on the stretcher and it fits like a glove just moments later. I went for the old vintage style squared toe and the heel is slung under which takes a little getting used to, the calf
leather is a little of a stretch for me at teal but I liked them so much I bought them anyway. I have been wearing them for about a month and I still absolutely love them. My hubby thinks I should buy another pair and alternate wearing them so they last and we wouldn't have to shop for them for awhile. Now what fun would that be???

Friday, December 28, 2007

Looking Ahead......

I know it is not the new year just yet, but here I sit stranded in the house again another rainy winter day and my mind she wanders. Can you tell yet that I dread winter and it's gray days which seem to never end??
I began to plan my escapes for 2008 in detail today and it cheered me right up. I usually try to fit in to many and this is probably the case this year as well, but I will plan them anyway. I am going to show again this year and that will limit the traveling and where I will manage to scrape up the extra dollars for all this I haven't a clue yet but it will come I have no fear. This is what I have concluded so far.

January : Harley leaves for boot camp with the Craig's for sixty days

February: Harley still at camp and the weather really sucks anyway!

March: Harley should come home the middle of the month and I will try
for an overnight trip to the local state park for my birthday.

April: No horse trip here, just me and girlfriends to Key West FL for
some good times .

May: First ranch horse show here in Indiana hopefully some new classes
for us this year!

June: First weekend 6-8th Best of America by horseback trail ride
Here in Indiana!! Taking the whole family on this one.

July: One glorious week at Buffalo River Trail Ride in Tennessee.
Anyone want to come? website:

August: Going back to Deam Lake State Park for some more fun.

September: Ranch horse show

October : ranch horse show here in Indiana

November : Fall ride but destination not set yet , maybe in Ohio this year.

December: Final ranch horse show, yes it is an indoor facility folks.

I am sure I will squeeze in some more stuff as friends contact me and coerce me into doing more. Get planning people, we have a whole world out there to see! Happy trails.........

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from my house to yours

I want to wish all of my friends in blog land a very Merry Christmas and may you be filled with the love of family and friends throughout the new year. I got to play Santa today and delivered Wilson to his new home.

He went to a beautiful place and the I feel really good about his new owners. Have a blessed holiday and a wonderful new year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The year in review..the good, the bad, and the ugly

Well here we are at the end of another year and I find myself doing a long look in the rear view mirror at 2007. Thought I would share some of the things that enlightened, disheartened or plain rocked my world this year.

The good....
My family and I all managed to stay healthy without any major occurrences. I starting my show career with Harley at ranch horse shows and managed to stay on him no matter what. I took some awesome trips with good friends and made a few new ones on the way. My best memory this year was when I placed first with Harley in a conformation class of thirteen horses. My first , first place ever!!

The bad....
The drought here in Indiana and elsewhere. The price of my hay doubling this year. My well running dry in the back for the horses, I am still hauling water from my house. This is a joy since I must fill the buckets in the basement and lug them to the barn each day. The realization that I must part with two of my barn buddies , especially Tank my true love.
The ugly;....
Fortunately not to much here, just one class in ranch reining where Harley went to bucking and I seriously thought I was in trouble . I forfeited the class and bowed out although I was still on pattern, not a good lesson for Harley to get away with. Me trying to ride bareback with just a halter to learn Harley's movements, I am sure this looked ugly!!

My favorite trip this year was probably the deam lake trip because it was so laid back and just me and a good friend spending quality time together. Hope your year in review was as good as mine and here's hoping for an even better one in 2008.
Happy trails.......

Monday, December 17, 2007

Seasonal Disorder

Here we are in winter and I feel that old familiar feeling creeping in again. The endless days of gray Sky's here and the frozen tundra out there keep me cooped up in the house to much. Today as I was outside doing my barn chores, you know scooping frozen poopcicles and breaking ice in the bucket I figured out what is wrong with me. Since we label everything in America these days with a syndrome I figure I have LORT syndrome. This abbreviation stands for Loss of Riding Time. It all makes perfect sense now. The weather turns bitter cold, the ground is frozen solid or a giant mud hole and I stop riding. Without my riding time I cannot detox the rest of the world around me. For me there is hope thou, a medicine if you will. When Harley goes off to boot camp next month, I will have an indoor arena to ride in. Yippee! Yes it will still be brutally cold and I will be looking like the Michelin man in my coveralls and various other thinsilate articles of clothing layered on me like a seven layer dip. My only hope is that I can climb aboard Harley wearing all that garb!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Parting Ways

It is never easy saying goodbye. I sold Wilson today, he is going to a great home to be a companion pony and occasional grandchild carrier. The man who purchased him is a true animal lover and got teary eyed when he told me how he lost his pony this summer after having him nearly 20 years. I will miss the little critter, although I have him for another week as we have weather moving in tonight. Despite his being sly as a fox and an expert at escaping I truly enjoyed his company. My kids seem not concerned at all which I guess is good. I guess my work at the dog rescue with all our fosters has let them see how not to get attached. I am still awaiting word on the therapeutic center on Tank. Harley is mad at me because I have kept Wilson up for two days mostly to keep him clean and to keep the wound on his leg clean. I spoke with the trainer today and Harley leaves on the 15th of January for his boot camp. I am delivering Wilson some time next week which at least lets me see where he will be living. I just hate that view of the trailer leaving with your friend inside and wondering what is in store for them.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Murphy's law...

You know the old saying ..... if something can go wrong it probably will.
I listed Wilson in the local paper a few days ago and have been bombarded with calls on him. That's a good thing. I have had him quite awhile with no problems and of course, now that I have him advertised
he has injured himself. I went out to clean him up this morning, because yes we still are inundated with mud and found his right hind leg swollen and scraped clean of it's hair for about six inches. Yea.....
After freezing my hands off trying to clean the wound , it really doesn't look that bad. However, it is swollen and how to keep it clean in all this muck and mud??? I have someone looking at him tomorrow again and that means keeping him up all day, hoping the leg will not swell. Hopefully, the folks looking will realize it is just a flesh wound and not get all crazy about it. In other news, I had a great interview this morning for a job at our local hospital. I have a second one on Tuesday morning , keep your fingers crossed for me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saddle fitting woes

I'm having a hard time fitting a saddle correctly to Harley. I have tried four saddles and none seem to fit this little horse of mine. I decided I am going to a saddle maker and have him fitted. The saddle I am currently riding is a Crates reiner and I have had it 12 years. Harley's back is not that rounded and he seems to have a good wither but for some reason saddles just roll on him and he has dry spots when I am finished riding.
The dry spots trouble me because I can see evidence of white hairs forming where they are. I am wanting to go to a cutting saddle this year anyway for the cattle classes but sure don't want to buy a saddle that doesn't fit. I have tried various different pads from felt, wool and even a closed cell foam pad. Hopefully the fitting will go well and I can find a saddle to fit him right.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Good news.....Bad news

I think I mentioned in previous ramblings that I was considering some changes in my life and horse life. I have done my soul searching and much discussing with my family and have come to some life altering decisions for all of us. Good news first, I have decided I will go back to work full time after the first of the year. I will put Harley in training as in with a trainer, something I have never done in all of my horse owning days. I will show in cattle classes this next year even if I am not totally 100% sure of myself. I will survive the bad news that I am about to tell you all. OK, here it is ......

Bad news, I have decided to reduce my herd to only Harley to better use my small amount of horse time. This of course means selling Wilson the wonder pony and worst of all parting with my beloved Tank. I say parting because I really am not sure I can sell him and he would have to go to an amazing person who truly loved him. I am considering all options here. I have Wilson advertised already for a Christmas pony and a great first pony he would be! He is a 12yr old welsh type black gelding that is 11 hands tall, very sweet and gentle. I have contacted a therapeutic riding facility about Tank and am awaiting their reply. Tank is a 27 year old QH who has done everything in life from jumping to cattle classes and oh the miles we have trail ridden. He is totally sound and in great health so if any of you know of a deserving person looking for a pasture mate or a special horse to ride and love contact me privately at
The good news about me parting with Tank is that I know whoever does adopt him will learn so much and be loved so much. Life is about changes and I guess I will adjust to this change as well .

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mud, Mud and more Mud!

Tis the season.......for mud. Yes, here we are in good ole pre winter and the mud has started. It rained all day yesterday and then went down to 27 this morning, fun. It was bound to happen and it did, my foray into the mud and I mean all of me. I have been working weekends to help pay for Harley's training and other horsey stuff that I seem to always need.
I arrived home at 7pm last evening to a teeming rain that had been falling all day. I immediately went to the pasture to bring in the boys although they have a full barn to go into for shelter they usually do not.
There is not much light at the gate so I was going on memory and hurrying at that. I had traded my shoes for a pair of crocs, first mistake
should have taken the time to located my muck boots in the garage.
I was greeted at the gate by all three fellows, very wet , cold and hungry.
Tank as always was first to come in he is such a gentleman and ducked his head into his halter and willing went into the barn with me no problem. Harley was next and apparently wanted to torture me with games and would not allow Wilson the pony to approach the gate either.
I entered the pasture and started slipping and sliding on the wonderful soil we have here, hard as concrete when dry and slippery as snot when wet. I convinced Harley that I was in fact NOT the bogey man and proceeded to halter him, he decided about one ear into the halter that this wasn't such a great idea. He scooted back and I went forward with him, just a little to fast. Yep, I did a bonified full body dive into the lovely bone chilling mud. As I tried to get up I managed to slip again and cover the parts I did not get the first time around. I am just thankful one that it was dark and two that there were no witnesses. After much ado I did manage to get both Harley and Wilson in and I did not injure myself in the process , just my clothes were a mess. The weather man is calling for the first measurable snow tomorrow night, I say bring it on!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another ride recap

Well, since everyone loved my ride recap of East fork stables I thought I would share another one from this summer. Good buddy Susan and I took this one with our families to Land between the Lakes in Cadiz , Ky.

We had never been before so we were anxious to check it out. It was in July and boy was it hot! The group we met from Georgia at East fork actually made this trip up to ride with us, talk about dedication. It was my turn for bad luck on the horse trailer this time, a flat on the way and a blow out while it was parked at camp! Thankfully I had hubby along to deal with that, which meant a trip into the nearest town to get another tire which was a three hour ordeal. Anyhoo, back to the trip. The camp was huge, lots of sites to choose from and even a group camping area.

Not to much shade, which we could have used some more of. The sites consist of a gravel pad, fire ring and picnic table. There is a place to picket your horse but you must provide the line. I choose to stall my horses for an additional fee. When I haul Tank, my 27 yr old QH , I stall him because he loves to lie down and rest and I think that is only fair for him. I found the stalls in horrid condition, people are supposed to clean them upon leaving but mine had a foot of muck in them. Good friend Susan rode Tank and I rode Harley. Our first ride was to the old homestead and was eight hours long. We packed a lunch and headed out, the riding was more rocky than I anticipated and I only had shoes on the front of my horses. We rode next to the lake and enjoyed some beautiful views, we were able to ride in the lake at one point. Here is a picture of Susan and Eliza on my good boy Tank. The next day we did an easy hour long trip through the woods on a not so rocky path. The camp was nice although the staff was not to accommodating and the patrols through the camp were a bit annoying. The kids enjoyed the playground area and we even brought a small blow up pool for them to play in. Here they are enjoying some summer fun.
I slept in a tent with my one boy since my trailer is not big enough for all four of us, something I do not want to do anytime soon again. The skunks were out in full force in the evening which made things interesting with the dogs along. On Saturday evening my hubby presented us all with a roasted turkey dinner, he cooked it over the fire all day and it was delicious.

All in all I had a good time but......

being that it was a seven hour trip for me there are several other camps I would rather visit. Happy trails......

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rainy day memories

Since today it is teeming rain and cold and windy to boot, I was sitting here going through the year in review. I thought about the trips I was fortunate enough to take this past year with my horsey friends. I think I will share the first trip I took this year, it was to East Fork Stables in Jamestown, Tennessee to ride the Big South Fork. I was accompanied on the trip by three other horsewomen , two I have traveled with before and one a relatively newcomer that I had done only day trips with. We decided on the May organized ride called the spring fling, a four day ride.

Since I lived the farthest away we arranged to meet up in route to the park, soon our caravan was intact and we all managed to arrive safely after some trailer tire problems on one of the other girl's rig. We were met at the office by very friendly and helpful staff. Because we had never been there before we were a little leery of our sites and what they would look like, our fears were soon put to rest. We had three sites in a row that had a gravel pad, picnic table , fire ring and panel corrals for the horses.

We had opted ahead of time for stalls for the horses not knowing what the pens looked like. We managed to set up camp before being deluged by a wicked thunderstorm that lasted an hour. We jumped in my truck with our cocktails of choice and caught up on some girl talk. The trip included three meals a day and we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food each time we dined. They had live music every night that we were there and for the most part we enjoyed the bands. We rode out the next morning on an organized ride, mostly to appease one of my com padres and had a lunch served on a beautiful bluff. We decided at lunch that we were going to escape the organized ride and venture out on our own. I was riding Harley and he was relieved to leave the presence of so many inexperienced riders and horses. My friend Tiffany was riding my trustee old man Tank and English to boot! We found the maps easy to read and enjoyed a day of gentle paths through woods and marshes. The next morning we were greeted again by raging thunderstorms and were unable to ride. Fortunately we had met a nice group of people from Georgia the evening before and they knew of a Mennonite store with leather goods and homemade candies not far from camp. We spent the morning shopping and socializing with that group. After lunch the weather cleared and we rode to another beautiful bluff with the Georgia crew. They were riding gait ed horses but we all managed to keep up and have a wonderful ride across streams and past an original cabin on the property. The bluff was amazing and we managed a picture of the four of us.

I am second from the left in case you were wondering. That was the end of our riding unfortunately, but we did enjoy our short trip and we decided we will add it to next year's trips again.

We found the camp very clean and friendly and the riding ranged from easy to very challenging but was well marked so you could avoid those areas if you chose. Being that Tank is 27 years young we avoided the steep trails and stuck to the easy to moderate trails. I would rate this facility a 8 on a scale of 10 .

Hope you enjoyed this recap as always happy trails.......................

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Teaching an old girl new tricks

Today was a test for me for a change. I took a lesson with my trainer on Harley today. We introduced the mechanical cow. Harley was great, me not so much. It seems my little horse was made to cut cows and he loves it! I am about as uncoordinated as they come trying to sit and move with Harley. I felt like a raggedy ann doll up there. My trainer of course made it look so easy and made Harley look great doing it. I have lots of work ahead if I intend to show in cattle classes this year and I can't imagine when I will be able to do my ultimate dream of working cow horse. Still, I am forging onward in my pursuit of this dream. So, my homework for this week from the trainer is to ride Harley sans bridle and saddle and work on getting the feel of his movements. Sounds easy right, NOT! My job is to just keep him in the gait of my choice (trot or lope) and not steer or direct him in any way. I am starting out in my pasture of three acres and it is quite the adventure. I tried this today just in the indoor arena and it was quite funny, first of all I do not ride bareback anymore so that in itself was a challenge much less trying not to steer .
Harley is small and quick and very adept at changes directions in a hurry, all a big plus for cow classes but hard to adjust to since my other steed Tank is a 16 hand bruiser of a boy. I wish i could video this adventure for all of you so you could belly laugh along with me. My only hope is that I do not come flying off and injure myself. My non horsey hubby suggested padding all around. Wish me luck~

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things to be thankful for

Tis the season to be reflecting on things we are thankful for. My list is quite long and I won't bore you with all of them but my top ten are as follows:
1. My family, including husband,two boys, dog, cat and three horses.
2. My little farm here that I refer to as a work in progress as I am still
remodeling three years later.
3. The never ending patience of my non horsey husband as I add to the
herd and try new adventures in showing.
4. The patience of my new horse "Harley" as I try and figure out how to
ride him with confidence.
5. The good Lord for blessing me with all the things material and non
material that I have.
6. Good friends that stick by me through thick and thin (you know who
7. All the wonderful places I got to visit this year with my horse and the
people I met along the way.
8. The chance to live in a country where I am free to pursue my wildest
dreams regardless of my race or gender.
9. All the soldiers fighting for our country all over the world , even if I
don't agree in war.
10. All the wonderful people who read and encourage me to blog and
share my adventures.
These are just a few of the things I am thankful for and the list could go on and on. As I walked my property tonight with my family it occurred to me just how lucky I am , even if I do not feel like it every day. I watched my horses contently munching the hay I paid double for this year and I realized that not every one gets this luxury. My kids were playing in the fallen leaves and laughing happily and my dog "Betty" was eagerly chasing squirrels about, this is happiness. I wish all of you the same this Thanksgiving with your families.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Deam Lake horse trip

Ok, I am late at getting you details on the weekend camping trip. Such is the way when you have little ones and they give you the cold crud. I am back in the land of the living and ready to dish the scoop on Deam Lake.
Harley and I headed out on Friday morning, it was a two hour drive from my house. Very easy to find the park and no problems on the way. The campground is beautiful, full of trees and lake views. Susan arrived only thirty minutes after me so we had good timing. The camp has 68 horse sites and numerous regular camp sites. There are four shower houses within the horse camp and although they need renovation we found them clean. There are hitching rails for the horses which you can attach a picket line to. They are in the process of building barns so there will be stalls by spring. The camp is open April through November 14. We didn't waste much time before riding, just long enough to plug in the electric and set up the picket for the horses. Our first ride was about an hour long and took us uphill to an outcropping of rocks with an awesome view. We found the riding ranging from easy with wide trails to challenging with single dirt trails. The trails were well marked and easy to follow. The trees were in the peak color, the only hitch was both Susan and I forgot our cameras. We had our camera phones , but they just don't do color justice. We enjoyed our campfires each night and we needed them with the temps in the 30's at night. We met some great people and shared some riding spots and found some new ones from them. All in all a great weekend getaway! Sorry that it will be the last of 2007 but at least we went out on a great note.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Camping with my horse

Hooray! I get to take a trip with my horse this weekend to go camping.
What is it about getting out in the woods that makes everything so much better. I mean food taste better, life looks better and my horse always seems better. I think Harley enjoys the great outdoors as much as me.
This will be the last trip of the year for us, so I am really looking forward to it. I am trying a new place that I have never been before so that is always exciting. My friend and fellow brave soul, Susan from Kentucky is meeting me at Deam Lake. It is a state recreation area about 19 miles north of Louisville. This recreation area just added the horseman's campsites earlier this year. Susan and I are old pros at the traveling to camp thing, we have hauled as far away as Missouri and rode together in Fl as well. Nothing makes me happier than to share some great horse moments with a fellow horse lover. I will give you the recap on the weekend in the next post. I am off to pack my gear.....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Of ponies and such.....

Earlier this summer, in one of my lapses of better judgement I decided I needed to buy a pony for my two boys ages 2 and 4. The search was on, three states and numerous ponies later we found the "one" in Lexington, Ky. Thankfully we have a good friend who lives there and she was able to take her little girl and test drive the pony for us. He seemed great and so the deal was made and we brought "Wilson" home a week later. Having owned horses for over 30 years I thought , how different can a pony be.
Let me tell you the story so far. First, ponies are inherently smart, he can figure out knots and latches like a pro. Second, he is just as strong as a horse and gets pushed around by no one. His appetite is just as big as my 16 hand quarter horse. Yesterday while making cookies for my son's preschool class I look out the window to my pasture and see my horses going crazy . It didn't take me long to figure out the pony was loose.
After his tour of the hog farm across the street, and his foray around the 40 acre empty bean field next door he decided maybe he would come home. Luckily for me his appetite for grain lured him to me awaiting with the bucket of grain. Now to figure how he got out. A check of the fence turned up nothing all four strands of electric rope were in order and working. I checked the run in shed where I have 3 board fencing across the back to see if Harley may have knocked down a board with his scratching, but no all is good there. A true puzzle, until this morning.
After turning them out for the day I went to retrieve my paper, there was
Wilson on his knees and belly slithering (if you can imagine a 11 hand pony) under the fence where there is a dip in the landscape. Ha! what a clever fella. Guess you all know what I am up to today, yep fixing that low spot somehow...........

Monday, November 5, 2007

Winds of Change

Today a rather blustery day here kept me from riding and instead got me thinking. Like the seasons outside it seems the winds of change are blowing through my life as well. I am after five or so years considering going back to a full time job again. That is other than the full time job of being a mom to two young boys and the restoring of a 135 year old farmhouse and the ten acres that go along with it. I am wondering how I will fit all my chores and my passion of riding in with working a 40 hour work week. I am also considering sending my aged gelding Tank, to a retirement home or as a pasture mate for another family. As I write that I can't imagine it, how selfish is it to send him to another family after 12+ with me. I am stretched in all ways it seems these days and I really would like for him to get more attention than I am giving him. I am struggling to come to a happy median with my allotted horse time and trying to make the best decision for all involved. Have any of you been faced with this predicament?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Change of seasons

It is that time of year again, the preparations for winter begin. Not sure about your neck of the woods , but here we have had the first frosts and that can only mean winter is on its way. I guess you know what I am doing this weekend, dragging out the heated buckets, emptying the stock tank to install the heating element. Time to drag out the blankets for my aging buddy "Tank" who at 27 deserves a warm blankie at night. I dread the coming months, limited riding , snow covered ground or worse the dreaded mud. Last year I kept Harley at a friend's house all winter, she has an indoor and I rode him faithfully 4 days a week. I must say it took some kind of commitment to be out there in below 0 temps riding a horse. I think I am taking this winter off. Actually I hope to have Harley at the trainers by the first of the year and he can ride in that weather.
I was hoping to get a last camping trip in next weekend with Harley and some friends but, looks like the weather is coming on fast and with highs of 30 not sure camping sounds so good. Perhaps we will just visit and plan our horsey escapes for next year that always makes me smile.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Choosing your dreamhorse

I was reading a blog of another horse person yesterday and it got me to thinking on the subject of choosing a horse. What exactly consitutes a dreamhorse? I know everyone's opinion on what a horse should be would differ, but it got me to consider what my dreamhorse would be. The world is full of beautiful well trained animals in every price range imaginable, but if price was no object what would you choose?

Me personally , I would stick with a Quarter horse . It would be between 14.1 and 15 hands athletically built and pretty headed of course. Color would not matter much to me as long as it was put together nice. I would want it to be well rounded in it's training, be cowy and sensible all at once. The horse would be able to do many jobs from show ring to trail to ranch work without a hitch. Mostly it would have to have a personality that made me laugh and challenged me sometimes.

Most of these things "Harley" has and hopefully with more riding and training he will learn the rest. What would your dream horse be???

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Well, here we are nearing the end of another year and it gets me thinking about what I accomplished and what I hope to accomplish next year. I was speaking with a friend of mine yesterday and she thought we should set up our schedule of rides for next year on a calendar. What a great thought! So many times we say we are going to do something and then we let life get in the way and before we know it a month or two has past and we didn't get to meet up and visit. Life is to short to worry about little things like if the laundry is all clean (never around here) or to feel guilty about the pleasure of escaping with my horse to the woods or show ring. So, even though it is not new years yet I am making a resolution now to set a schedule of sorts and make more time for me this coming year. Hope you all do the same. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A matter of trust

So here I am in mid life, starting over with a new horse and learning a new riding discipline. I have ridden for over 30 years in all sorts of situations but find myself feeling like a beginner again. I purchased Harley just a year ago as a green 4 year old. He was well started in reining but lacked rate and patience in his manuevers. My backround was in halter horses and trail riding for the most part so what an adventure I was in for. I have been riding him steady for the most part and working with a trainer for lessons once or twice a month. We have made some great progress and I feel like he is the horse for me. I have shown him at ranch horse shows this past summer and we continue to improve but I still lack the ability to get him relaxed. Herein is the problem I think, I simply do not trust him and he doesn't trust me. It is nothing I can put my finger on per say, just a lack of trust. He has never offered to run off or buck uncontrollably, he just has such a big motor and is so lightning quick in his maneuvers. My ultimate goal for us is to compete in working cow horse with no particular time frame in mind.
I keep thinking the more I ride him the better it will get, but so far I am not making a whole lot of progress. I am open to suggestions for anyone who may have encountered this or can think of things to better our relationship together. I suppose it is just like with people, a trust must be built upon and takes a while to establish.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fall ride

As you may have figured from previous post, I am a true Floridian transplanted to Indiana. I must say I love the Fall! Nothing like this in sunny south Florida. Today, a glorious day weather wise here in Indiana I decided to tank my young horse "Harley" for a trail ride to give him something other to think about than cows and training. We loaded up and met some friends at Brown County State Park, a nice park only 45 minutes from my house. The park is lovely and has a horseman's campground and around a hundred miles of trails. I never tire of riding here it is so diverse. We saddled up around 9 am and headed out for a day of riding. We all decided we would love to ride to a nearby town called Story for lunch. Story has a small inn and a few eateries to sample. The trail goes right down next to the inn and has hitching posts for the horses along with fresh water. I decided to let Harley lead today, something he is not used to doing. He is small at 14.2 and a little slower than my friend's horse but he took the job in stride. We had a little stutter step when a bunch of turkeys came shooting across the trail but I was happy he did not spin and run. ( A little backround on Harley: He is a cutting bred gelding that can spin a hole in the ground and usual does when spooked which thanks heavens is not often.) The trail we chose to
take today was a difficult one with lots of hill climbing and lots of downed trees. Harley did very well crossing the creeks and downed trees without a hitch. We arrived at the inn a little after noon and tethered the horses after letting them drink awhile. Lunch was superb and we all enjoyed the live music they had playing. For the ride home we chose a different route and a little less challenging. We got back to camp around 3 and called it a day. I simply love going riding with friends and the fall colors were an added bonus today. Tomorrow it is back to the grindstone with riding circles and lead changes (something I need work on not Harley). Hope you all are enjoying your horses. Till next time.......

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Born with It

To me it seems, you are either born with the horse "bug" or not. Trying to explain this to someone who was not is impossible, like trying to name the exact color of the sky. For as long as I can remember, I have been affected by horses. The first one I owned was when I was 11 years old, although I had been pursuing being around them long before. My first was a little appalossa gelding named Mr. Specks, a sorrell with a star and a blanket. He was all of 11 hands and very sweet, a true learning pony.
I rode daily, mostly bareback and usually in a halter and lead rope, oh the innocence of youth is grand. It wasn't long before I outgrew Specks and moved on to my next horse, Fred. Fred was a quarter/pony very mischeivous and full of speed. He was an absolute doll on the ground, but climb aboard and get ready for the ride of your life. I enjoyed him for several years until I went to college and got married. We competed in everything from barrels to jumping and I had a blast with him. Many years passed by and it wasn't until I took a friend's daughter on a trail ride at a local barn that I realized what was missing from my life. Two weeks later I was the proud owner of a Paint mare. I have not been without a horse since. The Paint mare was an introduction into the breed and I ended up owning and breeding several more over the years. Eventually I ended up owning a boarding stable in south Florida and getting a real education in horses first hand. Try as I have to explain this obsession I have with horses it is impossible and so I repeat, you are either born with it or you are not.

Friday, October 26, 2007

An Introduction

Welcome! Herein is the introduction of my blog space. I intend to discuss and converse about all things horses. I am owned by three of the magnificent creatures currently. I have interest in all disciplines of horse ownership and riding. I reside in central Indiana, not a thriving horse community but alas I am stuck here for the time being. I am at this time a western rider and am currently learning how to compete in cattle classes on my 5 year old Quarter horse "Harley" his barn name of course.

I love to trail ride as well and still enjoy riding my old faithful 27 year old
Quarter horse "Tank". I also have a welsh pony named "Wilson", he is primarily a pasture mate for whichever horse I am not using. I hope to share with you my experiences trail riding and the places I go. I will also keep you up to date on my experience in the show ring. I welcome all comments and look forward to conversing with you .