Thursday, February 28, 2008

I won an award!

Hi all! It seems I have won myself an award. Yipee!!

Fellow blogger ohhorsefeathers gave me the horse lovers award. I guess I never thought about getting an award for doing what I love best but how cool! I don't think there are rules to this one just a nice way to pass some appreciation on. I appreciate all the blogs that I have time to squeeze in and admire everyone for sharing thier stories, trials and successes with me. I also appreciate how you all care enough to send comments and encourgement when I need it the most. I think I will pass along the award to Victoria at teachings of the horse,she makes me smile with her daily reports of her two girls. Though I have never met any of you I like to think of us as one big family sitting around a cyber coffee table sharing life.

Wow this is turning into an oscar speech, Sorry!

Today I got a special treat and actually saw Mr. Sunshine! It was still fridgid at 32 but hey with sun I can manage anything. Harley decided to show me a new trick he has learned today. It is a game called shift Tank's blanket. I watched with amusement as he would grab Tank's blanket by the hip and pull it over to the side. All this time I thought Tank's blanket was not fitting and shifting to the side and it was my little dearest playing games. His training date has again been postponed until next Saturday...UGh! they assure me it is going to happen next weekend. I am happy to report that Tank's jaw has totally healed and he seems no worse for it. I am heading to the local horse rescue tommorrow to volunteer for a few hours, something I try to do at least once a month. Maybe with luck there will be sun and I can shoot some pictures to share with you.

Happy trails...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Looking ahead...

Well the unpleasantness of yesterday is behind me... Andy has crossed the rainbow bridge and was such a sweet boy and made it easier on me. Thankfully I was crazy busy with the fundraiser dinner for CARE all day and up till bedtime, it was a huge success! Today I am all for looking ahead and not dwelling on the negative. Yes the weather is still yucky here with wind, rain and snow today. Harley and Tank don't know what to make of it either. Harley so badly wants to run full out and play yet it is dangerously slick so he is self adjusting his antics. Tank of course is content to just stand in the shelter of the barn and watch the crazy little teenager. I returned to work today after a five year hiatus..... I loved it!
Just like riding a bike. Harley gets to finally go to the trainer's barn this weekend and I am so looking forward to getting to start riding again.
I am preparing him by telling him daily that his vacation is almost over.
I found another great quote I would like to share:

"Be unneccessarily kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Happy trails....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The rainbow bridge....

Well folks, for those of you following the story of Andy the rescue dog I am sad to tell you that tomorrow I must lead him to the rainbow bridge.
The latest on Andy is that his hind end has really deteriorated and is getting worse by the day. I am going through the normal range of emotions, I am angry , sad and finally if I take a deep breath I have acceptance. I am angry because someone loved this dog once upon a time for eight years and then discarded him like trash. I am sad because I wish I could have done more for him. I am accepting the fact that it is the right thing to do so he won't suffer anymore. I at least have the peace of mind that for three weeks here he had a warm soft bed, good food and love. Today I kept busy by baking desserts for CARE. Tomorrow evening we are hosting a Spay-getti dinner, it is to raise funds for our spay/neuter program. Andy got to lick the bowls from the cake batter and join me in the kitchen. Tonight he had himself a rib eye steak dinner, I felt it was the best I could do for his last supper. I want to share another quote with you that I feel is appropriate today, it is from Gandhi

"The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated"

Hug your furry babies for me and help me have the strength to do this for Andy.

Happy trails....

Friday, February 22, 2008

Feeling like a kid again

They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade... so...
today instead of grimacing about this crappy weather I embraced it. Ok, not exactly embraced but made some fun out of it. After suiting up my two young-ins in snow gear (which took 30 minutes i swear!) we headed out for some serious winter fun. We have about four inches of snow with an inch of ice then more snow and more ice, you get the picture. We took the sled and headed for the bank barn hill, the steepest one we have here in flat Indiana. It isn't huge but for a two year old and four year old I think it was the considerable to mt. everest. I must say I am not a kid anymore as witnessed by my kids to my unco-ordination getting on that sled. Actually getting on was better than getting up after the slide down the hill. After sufficiently sliding a million times down the hill we went for a nature hike around the property, we tracked animals footprints in the snow and found "treasure" just buried by the snow. The horses watched from the pasture and wondered what in the world we were doing making snow angels and having snow fights. Harley joined in by making his own snow angels and eating the frozen snow. My kids got a huge kick out of that and ate some themselves. I am happy to report Tank seems to be his old self and my neurotic self only got up twice last night to go and check him. After my second visit to the barn they were tired of me waking them up for no good apparent reason. I must tell you after my snow adventure I took a 3 hour nap with my kids! I highly recommend it!
Happy trails.....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Something's not quite right

I have always been blessed with the ability to sense subtle things in life.
My best friend Susan calls it my "spidey sense". I can tell when things are just not right with people and animals even if they are not in my vicinity.
I awoke this morning with a feeling of something being not quite right.
At first I shrugged it off to the steriods I am on, they make me quite restless and anxious (just three days to go!). But when I went out to feed the boys this morning my feeling was right on. It was Tank, he usually drinks an entire bucket of heated water each night and I fill it up upon entering the barn each morning. Today barely a sip was missing! I tossed in his hay and grain and watched him closely. He is always the gentleman so my presence lingering over him got him curious as to the reason. I fiddled around the barn glancing over to see if he was eating.
All seemed ok so I went back to the house perplexed at the lack of drinking on his part. About an hour later I went out to turn them out for the day and most of the hay was still where I left it. Harley's hay was gone, gone, gone so I assumed it was not a mold problem. Just in case over to the hay pile I went , sniffing and sorting but all looked fine. I turned Tank out with his blanket on and he sauntered off as usual. I was a nervous nelly watching him all day and wondering was up. This evening I changed the water in his bucket and changed the hay in his stall. He seems to be eating and has no fever and good gut sounds so maybe he is just having an off day. The weather is doing a crazy dip and blow again so maybe that is it. Funny how well I know this horse after all these years and if I could bring him inside with me tonight to watch over him I would.
Instead I will be lugging out in the freezing rain and snow to check him a half dozen times tonite.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thank God for my horses!

I know for a fact I don't thank God nearly enough for the fact that I have two wonderful horses. Even if I did it all day it wouldn't be enough. Lately life has been spiraling around like a really bad "B" movie, making me ask myself "is this for real???". Last evening after driving to Owensboro and back to retrieve broken down truck I was spent. The dealership did fix the problem on the truck for a mere $750 and then when I went to start it, no go it was two day old roadkill dead.
I went back in and they had the audacity to say and I quote "won't start huh? He thought he would have to jump you to get ya going." I will save you the explictatives and my response which may have came from gee I don't know, the fact that I had just paid $750 to fix my truck or possibly the steriods I am taking for this mystery throat issue. Either way, people backed away and shrunk in my presence AND they fixed the truck for another $250 dollars. While this was going on, my van at home decided to blow a water pump and had to be towed to the dealer for overheating.
I am smiling!!! Needless to say, when I arrived home at dark walking back to greet my horses through the snow I needed something nice.
Harley greeted me with a big whinny and Tank slowly nickered and pawed at the gate letting me know he wanted into his warm stall. I spent a half hour talking to them and freezing my underdressed self but it was worth it. I swear these animals help me put it all in perspective, I can't control everything and I don't have to. Someone once said to me this quote and I wish I knew where it originated but here goes:

"Life is 10% what is handed to you and 90% of how you react to it"

I guess I need more work in the reacting part , hey I am only human....
(I think)

Happy Trails......

Monday, February 18, 2008

Missing in action..

Hi all, sorry I have been missing from blog world of late. Lots of happenings here, some good some bad. Thanks for all your comments and questions. The weather has been brutal here with loads of ice and crazy temperature fluctuations. I am having a mystery medical situation with my throat of late and haven't gotten any firm answers yet. Andy the rescue dog is also having medical issues himself, the ears mostly and now we are having some problems with his hind end. I have an appt with him later this week to determine what we should do, I have a feeling I am not going to like the answer. Harley's boot camp has been postponed again..... we are hoping for March 1st now......sigh....... Enough of that .

This past weekend I attended the national convention for the American Ranch horse asscociation in Owensboro Kentucky. I got to pick some serious horseman's brains and mingle with lots of fellow horse lovers.

I am always relieved to find that there are people out there that are just as fanatical as I am about their horses. I had a great time and it really got me excited looking forward to showing this season. The only damper on the weekend was that my truck broke down Sunday morning and of course nothing was open and the rental car place was closed also. Luckily I had a friend who lived in Owensboro and he let me drive one of his cars

home. I now have to drive three hours back down to retrieve the truck tomorrow. It could have been worse , it could have happened on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. I am going to leave you with this picture of my front yard this week during the ice capades we had. It is lovely now that I look at it but no fun to deal with.. Happy trails

Friday, February 15, 2008

I've been kicked.....

No not physically, just by fellow blogger apparently there is a new game in town. It is a simple one, just pick an old pic and tell the story behind it.

The pick three blogs to kick . Here goes:

This is a picture of me and my hubby in the fall of 2002 at a place called DH Village in Eastern Kentucky. This is a favorite for a lot of reasons.

First my husband is not a horsey guy at all and this is the last time he was or will be on a horse according to him. We had a great weekend but unfortunately shortly after this picture was taken Sierra (his mount)decided to dump him rupturing his spleen. Ah, the joys of horse back riding. Secondly I was three months pregnant with our first born in this picture and although I don't look to happy here for some reason I was elated to finally be pregnant after 16 years of being married. Third I love the fact that queen "Betty" my jack russell is in this picture. And of course I love it because of the fall colors in the backround remind me of why I moved to the midwest and maybe it isn't all bad.

Now, lets see who to kick????

How about

Of horses and art

Mikaels mania

Teachings of the horse

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ground play

Since this dang winter crud is hanging on forever this year (I know it only seems that way) I decided to invent some fun things to do with Harley on the ground to pass the time. Harley is nervous by nature and wary of anything not familiar to him. I decided to redecorate the barn by moving normal items around within the confines of the barn. Let me explain first that my horses live underground when inside. My "barn" is the bottom half of a bank barn. For those of you who do not know what a bank barn is don't fret. I never had heard of a bank barn before moving to the midwest. It is essentially a barn that is two stories built into the side of a hill. You can drive into the top half and the bottom half is within the hill on three sides. Hope that clears it up. If it wasn't freezing rain and really dangerous to go outside I would snap you a picture. But I digress....

Yesterday I moved my bagged shavings to another locale and then all the blankets were moved to another area of the barn. When Harley came in you would have thought we just had an earthquake! He didn't know which way to look first, at the huge blanket boogers to his left or that ominous block of black bagged shavings in front of him. After we circled around the new locations he of course relaxed. This got me to thinking that I need to mix it up for him more as he is in need of change to keep his little mind occupied. I decided I will continue the moving game until Harley accepts things a little more in step. Not long now before we start boot camp and I hope to do some trail classes this year, I have a long way to go.........

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Forget the groundhog!

Ok, I know Phil the groundhog saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter but my horses say different. I have been away in Chicago again for a few days and upon my return found the boys to be crusted in yummy grey mud. After the cruddy week we had my hubby decided to leave the boys out while I was away since the temps were in the 40's.
I really know that he was just avoiding handling Harley who plays with him since he is the unruly teenager at our house. Harley has a great game that he likes to play when it is time to come in. First he will charge across the pasture up to the gate at full speed then when you approach him he will whirl around and run full speed away. My husband will have no part of this play routine, he justs chucks the hay over the fence and tells Harley to enjoy his evening outside. Tank secretly snickers from the warm soft confines of his stall, he thinks Harley is a loon.

Today I attacked the mud and to my surprise the boys are shedding!
Yes, shedding. Not just a little, I mean fur flying tumbleweeds in my barn. Of course we are supposed to plummet back into the teens again tonight and have wind chills of 20 below tomorrow. So..... back on go the blankets tonight and the ground will be frozen tomorrow again....
At least Harley has a knot free mane again and I know spring is around the corner, because after all horses don't lie........

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The road continued..

Well I thought I would finish the story of the horses in my life and leave you with a few more pictures of them as well.

This is Splashdance when I first got her. She was in need of a few pounds but she turned out to be a great lady. She became the mount of a little girl that was mentally retarded and her owner still contacts me to this day praising this mare. The next horse was Magic, he was a grey appaloosa gelding. He turned out to be a cold backed not so magic horse for me. We parted ways quickly as I could not afford to get hurt and he was beyond my training abilities. Next came Sierra, a lovely palomino mare that unfortunately I was never able to get my hands on her papers. She came to me as an unbroke and I mean not even halter broke 3 year old. In fact my friend who gave her to me had to rope her and tie her to the saddle horn of another horse to load her in the trailer. Sierra was a good mount and I rode her across the state of Florida on the cracker trail ride and all over various other states. She stayed with me nine years. I sold her only because she was the type of mare that needed to be ridden regularly or else. When I finally got pregnant with my first boy it was clear I did not have the time to devote to her. She lives just down the road from me now and the little girl that has her loves her and rides the hair off of her.

This is Sierra and me in the Jack's fork river down at Emininence Mo on the cross country trail ride.
Next horse was Tank my wonder boy. Yes he still resides with me and probably will until his last breath. What can I say about this boy except that he is my "one" horse. I can take him absolutely anywhere and do anything with him and count on him to be a perfect gentleman. All who have ridden him will tell you he is the best! Next came Casey, can't even remember her registered name...... she was a paint filly I bought to halter but she ended up with knee problems. She had huge knees that were growing way to fast for her age, she became a broodmare. Next was a detour from the norm, I bought a Fjord horse. For those of you who don't know what they are , they come from Norway and are amazing little horses. They resemble miniture draft horses and are the sweetest most gentle creatures. I bought Copycat thinking my boys could ride him eventually. Unfortunately Fjords live on air and I could not keep the weight of him and worried he would founder on me. He was as tall as he was round and comfortable to ride. I sold him to a therapy riding program in PA and he is doing just wonderful there.
At long last comes Harley my newest horse and hopefully one I will keep for a while to come. He was a green four year old when I bought him and we are coming along each day.
Well, that sums them up . Maybe I can find some pictures of the missing ones somewhere in that creepy basement another day.
Happy trails...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mud Boys!`

Tank thought he needed a mud facial yesterday.

Well since we are on picture day. Check out my beauties from yesterday.

It got up to 45 degrees and all the ice melted into mud and the boys had a blast playing pig! So much for Harley's mane being knot free and beautiful, I see a date with the shop vac in his near future.

Picture day

Well here are some pictures of the horses of past. It took some digging around in the basement but I managed to find them.

They are backwards in order but you get the jist. This is Dunnit as a weanling.

This is horse #2 Cherokee
Don't make fun of my teenage fashions, I was clueless. Check out the white buckstitch belt.

This is Stella age 8 months..

This is Mr Specks horse #1.
I actually forgot that horse number 3 should have been a quarter cross mare named Brandy. I had her only 6 months. I had to sell her when my brother broke his neck in a water skiing accident . The accident left him paralyzed from the neck down and he came home to live with us. There was no time or money for horses so I sold brandy. I did not find her picture or one of splashdance yet. This was fun for me to look back at them and remember each one for the times we shared and the things that they each taught me.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The long and winding road

Recently someone asked me how long I had been involved with horses. Involved??? I don't quite know if that would be the term I would use. Obssesed maybe.......
Anyway, it got me to thinking (which is always dangerous) about my life and horses and how much has changed as I travel down life's highway.
I thought I might take a trip down memory lane with you and fill you in on this crazy every changing part of my life. As I am on horse number 13 this may take more than one blog entry to cover them all.

My first horse well pony actually was a little red appaloosa with a blanket named Mr Specks. I got him as a gift when my stepfather died. We were close and I guess this was my mom's way of helping me through a hard time. We couldn't afford a pony and I realize what a sacrifice this was on her. I biked 3 miles each day after school to the stable he was boarded at, a run down old place on its last days . I helped the caretaker feed horses and clean up or whatever else he needed done in exchange for board. I forgot to mention I was eleven years old. Specks was all of 11 hands tall and had emphasyema so he coughed alot. He was sweet and I had great times with him until I had a growth spurt and outgrew him after two years. My second horse was Cherokee sometimes known as Fred, (don't ask) this horse probably taught me the most about trust and life itself.
He was a little bay quarter cross and full of mischief and life, he stood a mere 13.3 hands but was about that big around as well. I had Cherokee from the age of 13 until I was 19. I showed him all around in 4 H everything from halter to barrels. We actually did quite well and one year won state in poles. I got married, was working full time and attending college and spent less and less time with him. The right thing to do was to sell him and I found him the best home where he lived to a ripe age of 25 before founder did him in.

I did not own a horse for a few years and it wasn't until I took a friend's daughter on a trail ride at a park that I realized what was missing from my life. I bought number 3 just two short weeks later. She was a Paint mare named Splashdance and was 11 years old, I was in my twenties.
She was a red roan overo and stood 15.1 hands , not exactly what I would call pretty but she was bomb proof. I don't say that about many horses but this gal was the real deal. I kept her for two years until I had a life altering car accident that forced me to sell her. The good thing about that accident was I met my best friend Susan. She helped me take care of Splash until I sold her. After my recovery I decided to show halter horses since we were not sure if I could ride again, my knees were operated on 4 times in one year and I also broke my pelvis and suffered a brain injury in that accident. Horse number 4 was another paint filly, dun overo we named Fine dee dunnit. She didn't quite turn out to be a halter filly herself but did throw me a nice baby. I had dunnit five years and sold her here in Indiana. Horse number five was Dunnit's baby Dun the two step or otherwise known as Stella. She was a dandy candy apple red with lots of chrome, she was also the devil himself. Stella and I did not bond or get along whatsoever. She was ill willed and head strong from day one despite my being present at her birth. She stayed with me until she was age three , we showed lunge line and halter and did well despite her attitude. She now resides in Ohio, a judge at a show actually bought her for his wife to ride and show some.

I think I will stop at this point and catch you up on the rest next time around. I have to admit the way I kept horses in Florida was much different then I do here and some of it is logistics and some is from things I learned. My horses in Florida were mostly stall kept, grass was at a minimum and the heat was oppressively hot during the day. My horses were immaculately clean, always. When trailering my horses I would never stop to eat lunch and let them stand in a trailer. In a sense these horses were horribly spoiled rotten and not in the best ways. Oh the things we learn as we grow older and hopefully wiser. Til next time
happy trails....

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bucked off.....

To borrow a phrase from fellow blogger Julie Thorson, yesterday I was bucked off.... not physically just in the emotional state. I want to thank all of you for your kind comments regarding yesterdays post. I also want you to know that as always when bucked off, I got right back up in the saddle.
I headed out to the barn and spent hours grooming my horses. Turns out Harley is a great listener, and his mane is now without knots. Then I decided to take Andy on an outing. We went to the doggie spa, ok it was really just Petco. Anyway we gave him a pedicure for those nails that were overgrown and then a warm bubble bath. He was incredibly good considering I used a hair dryer to dry him. After he was clean and dry we went shopping! He picked out a new toy , I chose greenies for his breath and then we hit the pet bar. The pet bar is a free standing cookie stop at Petco with 20 different kinds of dog biscuits and cookies. I let him sample all the cookies then bought 2lbs of his favorite ones. We had a great day and I stopped worrying about the rest of the stuff. I decided as many of you said, Andy will let me know if he is in pain and if I need to help him
find his maker. I started him on some anti inflammatories and will see if that makes a difference in his limp. As always thanks for listening and happy trails....