Friday, May 30, 2008

Stage Fright

As you know I am off this evening to head to Michigan to try out a gelding.
I am starting to suffer from Stage fright. I am nervous about riding someone else's horse in front of them. I know my riding has come a long way this year, but still I am anxious about this ride.

Yesterday I rode Harley outside, it was a gourgeous day and he was a perfect gentleman. Made me smile, thinking of all the good things I like about him. For one he is just as happy going on a trail alone or with a horse, no silly screaming or hesitating to leave the barn. He totally enjoys the trails as I do! He isn't spooky and waiting for boogers to come and get him. Makes me think he is better suited to doing outdoor work than all that arena stuff. Unfortunately, I love the pattern classes and the show atmosphere where I can test myself and my skills, so I know selling him and finding a happy medium is the right thing to do.

My friends had some good advice for the weekend trial, and I appreciate their help.
One suggested that I take my own saddle which I am, if nothing more than to make sure it fits the horse I may purchase. Another suggested I just focus on riding and pretend the horse is mine already and I am just schooling, good thought but not sure I can pull that off. Tiffany just laughed at me and said if I can ride at Corey's with Mike, Corey and Brent all telling me what to do at once than I should have no worries. I am feeling fairly confident that I will do fine and I will have two good friends there to watch and help me look him over. Hoping you all have great weekends, will update you on my return.
Happy Trails.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things that go bump in the night

Living on rural property is a blessing, there are many advantages that I love about it. Waking up to the birds singing and walking around in just a t shirt with my curtains open all the time, having campfires in the evening with my kids, letting my dogs roam loose on my property. Having my horses in my eye site all day and night long when I can't sleep. Speaking of which......

My house is an oldie but goodie, built in 1871 and built like a fortress. She is named HOPE partly for the town I live in, but also for the dream that I can restore her to her glory of years past.

This is a picture of her this past winter. When I can find the other shots I will post a few for you guys to see her inside rooms as well. But I have gotten off subject. She is brick with 18 inch walls so pretty sound proof usually. Last evening however, just as I was climbing into bed I heard a scraping , scratching sound. It is just me and the wee one home this week as dad and five year old are on the road working. I knew wee one was fast asleep upstairs and the sound seemed to be coming from the dining area......Out of bed I drag myself and start to investigate.
Took me a little while to distinguish where it was coming from but indeed the dining room. I turn on the light to see a masked bandit at the window munching bird seed from my feeder. A raccoon! Not again..... pesky little critters harder than steel to get rid of when they settle in. At least now I know what has been stealing the cat food in the barn. Now to find a way to discourage her from coming back.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Catching up

Hi all, sorry have been away for awhile. Lots of little things using up my time these days. Birthdays, t ball and of course the horse shopping. Happy to say I have been riding Harley almost daily and he is really behaving well. Sure is nice to be able to ride no matter the weather and boy have we had the rain here. I did see the farmers cutting hay today and I feel bad because as I type I hear the rain falling on my tin roof outside. I am going Saturday to try the gelding in Michigan and I am getting excited! Hopefully I don't make a fool of myself riding him. Actually today I realized how far I have come this year with my riding. I think my new/old saddle has greatly improved my balance. Was wondering if anyone had this experience? I rode my crates reiner for 12 years and loved it, but I must say I am loving this Billy Cook even more and it fits the little guy well. Trail riding time is just around the corner as well. My first real trip is on the 6th of June at a place just around an hour away. Best of America by horseback is coming so I guess I will be famous! Just in case any of you are unfamiliar with BOABH it is a show on RFD tv. Tom Seay hosts rides at places all over America and videos them for the show. My whole family gets to come which excites me even more. The place has little log cabins to rent which means the little folk have a place to sleep as my trailer is cramped for four. They have clinics and games and of course vendors selling horsey stuff. YEA~
Happy trails.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cruising along

Well, the excitement of the weekend has waned and we are back to the norm here.
I managed to get Harley moved over to a friend's barn with an indoor arena and have been riding him daily. Wouldn't you know he has been a complete angel. In exchange for him being there I inherited "Eddie" the Thoroughbred that broke his hind leg a few summers ago. He is my new rescue. My job is to find him a forever home. He is a sweet boy and not anymore hassle than having Harley here. Tank and him are bonding well and most folks don't realize that he isn't Harley. I snapped these photos of him yesterday so you all could see him. I am still working on the video of my reining pattern. I have four separate programs on my computer to use and I have saved it on the computer but cannot get it to upload on blogger or to an email.....
Told you I was technologically challenged. I posted Harley for sale this week and I am going to look at a gelding next Saturday in Michigan. Hoping he is all that they say he is, he is a dead ringer for Harley. Maybe no one will notice I changed horses if I buy him! Ha. The weather is finally getting warmer and that means I am spending lots of time on my john Deere mowing grass, did the pasture today and boy the grass is coming on strong. Hoping for a bumper crop of hay this year so maybe I won't have to pay as much as last year. Well I am off to e shop for a new pony, so many horses so little time.
Happy trails.....

Monday, May 19, 2008

We survived

We survived the show in one piece, one very sore piece. It was not all roses and sunshine but pretty good. My schooling Friday nite went into the wee hours, 1 am to be precise. Harley was full of himself and despite all my efforts I could not get him to settle or listen to me. I ended the evening with some good spins and called it done. Saturday arrived way to soon but the sun was shining and conformation classes were first. We placed right down the middle which was fine since there were some mighty fine horses there. At lunch break I saddled him and rode for 20 minutes and he was not as fresh. However, come my first class which was ranch riding (sort of like Western Pleasure) he found his second wind. They had moved a bright neon yellow food vendor trailer right on the rail of the ring and Harley gawked and was more concerned with it than paying attention to me. I think I lapped everyone in the ring three times! We managed four unnecessary lead changes in 12 feet! After that it was back to the schooling ring for more loping. Next class was Horsemanship which is a pattern class. He behaved well, I screwed up slightly but fixed it in time to not get a DQ we finished 4th out of 8. We finished the day with the ranch reining class and I did it. It wasn't all pretty but I didn't puke or fall off which basically was my plan, we placed 6th out of 10. I am trying to load a video but I admit I am technologically challenged at this. All in all a good weekend, saw some improvement but it is clear that Harley is more work than I am willing to do so alas he is being posted for sale this week. Hoping you all had good weekends. Happy trails.....

Friday, May 16, 2008

The true test

Ok folks, this is it the true test. Can I put it all together under pressure in the show ring. I rode last night with Corey and it wasn't all peaches and cream, which according to Corey is good. I must say Harley padded my ass but good when I first asked him to lope off, but instead of going into a panic and pulling him up (my usual M.O.) I pushed him faster and pole bended him the length of the arena and then pulled him into the ground. I then moved the hip and asked for a lope again, amazingly he dropped his head and loped off beautifully. Corey was like a cheerleader yelling yeah, yeah.... finally she has got it under control. I was so pissed at being bucked that I guess I just subconsiciously remembered what to do.
The rest of the ride was uneventful and just some minor tune ups here and there. If I can remember my tools and stay focused, maybe, just maybe we will survive the show.

I brought Harley home last night in a teaming rain and he was soaked when I got here, glad I had blanketed him for the ride home. Tank was literally floating across the pasture when he saw the trailer. He was calling out and prancing the fence until I brought him in to see Harley, who of course greeted him with ears pinned and squeeling through the wood dividers of the stall. I am running around getting my junk together for the weekend and really looking forward to it. Thanks for all your words of encouragement, hope to get some pics for you and will update you soon as I can.
Happy trails.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Little Inspiration for all of us


A Horse named Molly

Meet Molly. She's a gray speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners in the wake of Katrina. She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier, and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected and her vet went to LSU for help. But LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case. You know how that goes.

But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight, and didn't overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.

"This was the right horse and the right owner," Moore insists. Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She's tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood (that) she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly's story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana . The little pony gained weight, her mane felt a comb. A human prosthesis designer built her a leg. The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports.

And she asks for it! She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too" And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. "It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a three-legged horse", she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people. And she had a good time doing it.

"It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life", Moore said, "She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others."

"She's not back to normal," Barca concluded, "but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself."

This is Molly's most recent prosthesis. The bottom photo shows the ground surface that she stands on, which has a smiley face embossed in it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind!


I know this inspired me to pass it along and I hope it also affects you in inspiring you to do something in random kindness today.

Happy trails.....



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Riding the wave

Oh joy, oh joy, I am riding my horse and we a clicking! Let me tell ya folks it is like riding a giant wave and feeling like a kid again. I have managed to ride Harley Tuesday and Today this week and both rides were amazing. Not sure what has changed for us, I either finally got with it or Harley has well no.....he is still trying me at most angles. I think I finally believe that I can ride this horse and that I will learn how to discipline him when he needs it. Today I actually ran a pattern and knew when to "fix" him without Corey yelling at me. I got through the lead changes and spins and even made a four foot sliding stop. Woo Hoo! Nothing compared to the NRHA folks but I was proud as a peacock. Hell any good stop beats horn humping and the bruises left behind on my upper thighs. Besides us ranch horse folk only strive for a good square stop not the blazing stops of true reiners. After my lesson today Corey proclaimed me ready for the "PEN", which means go show. I am a little melancholy about bringing Harley home tomorrow I sure have enjoyed the lessons and have learned so much. Actually, Harley is only spending one night here than Friday we leave for the show. I made a deal with my friend Tiffany and am bringing her Thoroughbred "Eddie" home here in exchange for Harley staying at her house. She has an indoor arena and lives only a mile away. Hopefully I can continue riding Harley on a regular basis and haul to Corey's on Saturday's for help. Anxious to see if we can put it all together this weekend at the show.

In other news, Tank seems to be healing quite nicely and the wound is starting to close a bit. He now has a three inch hole under there instead of five inches. His limp has receded since we got rain and he seems fine there. I think he will enjoy the company of Eddie when I get him here Sunday. Eddie is the horse that broke his rear leg last year just like Barbaro. I am still hopeful to find him a new home for Tiffany, he is trail sound and such a nice boy I am sure I can work it out. Well that's all from here for now .
Happy trails......

Monday, May 12, 2008

horses.... a lot like the game of golf

The longer I have horses the more I find they are like playing the game of golf. It is an endless succession of days and months of highs and lows and when you think you are going to give up, you have the most incredible day. Let's backtrack to Saturday.

I pretty much had made up my mind on parting with Harley and actually am at peace with it scarily. I know his potential but also know my crazy schedule and my wish is not for him to be boarded at a trainer's barn for an indefinate amount of time. So armed with the knowledge that I was making a clear and rational decision, I decided to go and ride and have a lesson. Who could know what was waiting for me. I was met in the lot by Mike and he told me to go and tack up and he would be along shortly. I tacked up and Mike told me how to start the day by trotting small circles and ask for him to give to the neck rein for a while. I did as told and Harley seemed to be moving off the rein nicely and we seemed good together. Enter the bad wolf, Corey. He said let's get to work and asked me to stop and spin him to the right, Harley's less than perfect side. Amazingly he spun.... correctly and fast. Corey had me trot out and try the other direction, same result a perfect spin.
WOW, I was feeling great! We did this two more times and Corey said enough , go lope the entire arena and lope squares. Well, I must tell you I am not good at that making squares thing. Harley started to strong and by memory I instantly pulled him into the ground. We tried again and he was more respectful, but soon sped up without my que. You guessed it, pull him into the ground. I would like to say I got that perfect but I said whoa, which when disciplining we are not supposed to. After me disciplining him he started to lope beautifully and I was even getting the square corners on a loose rein. I looked up while loping down the wall to see Corey, Mike and Brent all with jaws dropped and mouths open. No one could believe the ride I was having, especially me. Mike said I should price him high and think each time that I get on that oh well he is for sale. Not sure what was different, but it all clicked. The day was going so well that I even did lead changes and almost mastered them before I had to run to T ball game . Yes, I still am considering selling him but how nice to have had a great ride. Heading down tomorrow and going to try for two! I am going to show him this weekend and am looking forward to it.
Happy Trails....

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Updates, changes and the cycle of life

Hi All, First the Tank update. Not a glowing report I am sad to say. His face has heat to it now despite my vigil of packing, spraying and shoving antibiotics down his throat daily. A call to the vet in the morning for sure. He now has developed a limp....Sigh..... I am pretty sure it is because he needs a trim and the ground is so dry and hard right now. None the less, called the farrier and he is coming to my rescue. Was trying to hold off til Harley came home next week but oh well.

As for me, the doctors appt was equally as frustrating. The test were inconclusive.... What the hey??? I have been refered to a specialist now. Probably a scope of the esophogus and stomach now. Yea. I did get the go ahead to function normally.. whatever that is!

I went down and visited Harley yesterday. Watched Brent ride him and he did great.
I got up on him and it was a whole different story....again.....
Corey sat down with me afterwards and we had the heart to heart that I feared was coming. It is of his opinion that Harley and I do not "Mesh". He was very serious about it and of course left all choices up to me but basically said Harley is broke very well and that he is basically not the horse for me. I had a good cry all the way home and did some soul searching all night and faced reality. I called Mike tonight and to my surprise he confirmed Corey's feelings. He thought that with my life and schedule that Harley was just to much horse for me. Sad, Sad, Sad......
I am mulling my decisions but unfortunately it is not the first time this thought has come up. I respect them for being honest with me and not just continuing to string me along each month Ah the cycle of life how ever changing it is.......

Monday, May 5, 2008

the walking wounded

Still here! Still do not have a diagnosis as to the mystery pain. I have been pain free for three days so that is encouraging. More doctor's appts this week to go over the tests of last week, FUN......

Tank is doing OK, not worse not much better. I am shoving antibiotics down his throat with a syringe twice daily and he is over it! The wound is still gross as can be and draining like mad. Today I spoke with my vet and he suggested making a paste of sugar and honey and packing the wound with it.???? He said other than attracting every fly in a 30 mile radius, it would draw the bacteria out of the wound. Well, OK, I am packing it at night and will flush it out in the morning.
I cannot send the guy out in the pasture with a neon sign on him saying come eat here!

I am off to see Harley tomorrow it has been almost two weeks! I spoke with Mike tonight and he said that he is riding nicely. I may climb up on him depending how I feel tomorrow, no fancy stuff just a trip around the arena or two. He is scheduled to come home on the 15th which means I must get out to the pasture and make him a small lot within the three acre lot. I am worried about founder since my grass is coming in strong and he has not been out on any for two months. They have been turning him out in a dry lot for play time. Hoping he has lost the rest of the winter woollies as we are supposed to show on the 17th. Will have to see what the doc says about me before we make that call. Will let you know how the ride goes tomorrow.
Happy trails.....

Thursday, May 1, 2008

More medical setbacks....

Haylo, I was all set to tell you about the weekend and what I had done when Wham! I was hit by another mystery illness Monday afternoon. I came down with some serious chest pains that escalated to back pain, nausea and general feeling of crap. I trotted over to the ER with hubby and the fun began. They determined pretty darn quick that I was not having a heart attack but could offer little else in the way of explanation of said pain. They kept me for observation and for practice poking needles into me say oh, every hour round the clock. By morning I still had the pain and several new holes in my arms, but no answers. I had every test under the sun for my heart until they were satisfied that it indeed was not the problem. Then the guessing game started. Now it seems we are targeting my gallbladder. I checked out of there and am driving myself to future tests at the hospital. I had another screen today with dye injected to show my gallbladder and its functions. No results yet guess I have to stew until my Doctor reads the results. The pain has finally relinquished today so far.

In other news, in addition to my health crisis of the month Tank has once again got the giant jaw look. I finally connected with my vet, (can't use cell phones in the heart ward) and he came out for a look yesterday. The news was bad but not the worst which was a possibility. He ended up having to cut Tank's throat open and dig out what seemed like five pounds of abscessed material. The abcess had scar tissue attached and was into the bone. Gross, gross, gross is all I can say. He now has a gaping hole in the back there which must remain open. I have to flush it three times a day and try to keep the flies at bay. Tank was a super gentleman as always and today feels much better despite his ah, ackward appearance.

Surfice it to say I am banned from riding Harley until we have a definative answer on the mystery pain. Sigh........ Looks like the first show of the season for Carson and Tank will be out also. Don't think I can get the face healed up in 16 days.

Sending great cosmic thoughts to Susan who is trail riding at EAst fork stables this week, wish I was there!
That's all for now folks, will keep ya posted on the patient's progress.
Happy trails....