Thursday, August 28, 2008

The end result

So I have left you in suspense on the redo pictures of the trailer, and while not completely finished with bunk beds... this will have to do until spring.
Hubby managed to get the floor done today and I well.... moved my tack into the little tack compartment. I am very happy with the results we were able to get and cannot wait to use it!

Picture of paneling before redo

after some paint...

I did not have a before picture of the rug that looked like a cheap poncho complete with dried mud and such, but here is a picture of the floor we put down. I think it looks great.

Now for that tack compartment... well lets just say it is filling up fast.
Where did I get all this stuff??

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I cleaned out the other trailer today and I was amazed at all the stuff I had crammed in there. I am doing an evaluation on what I really need and what can go by the wayside. I am hauling the black trailer to a lot tomorrow to put it up for sale and hope to move it before fall. Just got another invite to a cattle work session for September and you can bet I am going! I have another show the end of September and with any luck can manage a cattle class this time. Tomorrow I hope to share with you my new chinks!
Happy trails.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Remodeling hell.....

Oh, I am in hell. I have been spending my days out in the big blue trailer, ripping up carpet and painting paneling. Never knew kilz smelled so bad! Kilz is the sealer you put on wood to seal out smells and moisture and such. After ripping up the carpet that looked like a cheap poncho I needed to kilz the floor. But first I HAD to paint that paneling! We decided to wait on the total remodel until spring since I have another show fast approaching and need to be using this trailer for it. So, I decided to paint the paneling for now and then decide what to put on the walls next spring along with the bunk beds for the kiddos. For know the little men will have to sleep on the floor on a blow up bed when we camp. They love it and think it is a great adventure. I am happy to say that today I finished painting and got the kilz done also, tomorrow I have a date with flooring.

Hubby has been busy with the tack compartment and decided it too needed paint and a proper floor. He braved the oil based stinky paint in that small no air circulating space to make it look nice. Today he installed my instant stick on wood floor! Linoleum that is..... but hey it cleans nice and water won't affect it like real wood. Gotta say, this non horsey guy sure is going the distance for this horse crazed cowgirl. I will snap some photos tomorrow and show you our progress.

I rode the little Harley tonight and worked on the giving of the face.... he isn't crazy about staying in frame and giving freely. Too bad! His transitions were so much better this way. I worked on the lead change in straight lines like the clinician suggested, he still got way amped up......
I guess we will have to continue practicing them some more. I am happy to say we are working the gate nicely now without rushing so definite progress there.
Tomorrow is another day...

Happy trails....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Judge for a day.....

Yesterday I judged the trail portion of the Indiana Pony of America's club show in Rochester Indiana. It has been a while since I have last judged but I am pursuing getting my judge's card in a few associations currently. The catch is you must have some judging experience to get your judge's card. Fortunately for me some friend's knew I was getting back into judging and gave me the opportunity to judge yesterday's show. I really enjoyed myself! They had arranged the trail course in a separate arena and it was a show at will type class. For those of you who are unsure what that means I'll explain. This is becoming quite popular with many associations as interest in trail classes is growing and let's face it, since it is individual work it takes a lot of time to complete the class thus slowing down the whole show.
Basically the course is set up in a different area than the main arena, it is open for a specific period of time in which you can come and perform your pattern between your other classes.

I really liked the way the POA had organized their show. They had contestants purchase tickets for each class, you did not have to specify which class you were riding in at the office just how many tickets you wanted. Then when you wanted to show you simply rode up to the gate gave the ring steward your ticket and back number and away you went.

I judged 10 different trail classes all at one time. The contestant would simply ride in and hand me a ticket, tell me which class they were riding in and I would judge them accordingly. The pattern remained the same, only the pace of gait changed for the younger contestants i.e. the lope portion was only done at a jog for the small kiddos 8 & under. My favorite class was the lead line trail! I never had seen that done and I must say the mom's rocked! They really were patient explaining to the little ones what to do and when and only helped when necessary. I had to hold my breath once when the wee one leaned almost all the way over her horse to work the rope gate!

I really enjoy trail and I thought all in all the kids were prepared for the class and did a great job. There was of course the one "ring side mom" who screeched in my ear at her kid the entire course, boy I felt sorry for that kid. I witnessed some things yesterday that of course I did not agree with, like the over dressed and extremely to much make up on an 8 year girl. I mean really people is this what we are teaching our children??? I tried to give each rider some creative help with the mistakes they made on their patterns and they were all very polite and thanked me, something I was impressed with.

I found the POA group to be very relaxed and a nice bunch of people very in tune with the youth. Something I think is very important in these days of chaos kids are living in today.

Off to the remodeling project of the big blue trailer for now.......

Happy trails.....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Harley's new ride

OK, so I left you in suspense on the last post about the surprise hubby had for me when I got home from camp cattle clinic. Yes, it is a new horse trailer, well actually it is not new.....just new for me. It is actually a year or two older than my other one, just bigger and has a few more things I was looking for. I am pretty picky about my trailer and am not your typical glitter and glam girl. In fact the thought of me taking a brand spanky new fancy trailer to some of the places I go makes me cringe...... Nope, I am a simple modified stock kinda girl, steel is fine I have the truck to pull it. Nothing fancy just safe and get me there kinda thing.
Here is Harley's old ride,

A 1992 ponderosa modified stock with a 2' dressing room that is nicely finished in cedar and it has a small air conditioner that I added under the nose. Nothing wrong with this ride, just wanted A)a place for my tack besides the dressing room and
B) more room inside the dressing room so my family can travel with me to shows
This was not possible in this trailer as four in the bed makes for no sleeping and I am just to old for Tenting it anymore.

Enter the new ride:

Besides the fact that it is really BLUE! something I am getting used to, I really am going to like it. I say going to because I am having to do some major renovations inside the dressing room. It has really ugly paneling in there.....see

I have also ripped out the carpet and hubby and I are installing a hard wood floor.
With the extra room, (it has a five foot short wall) we are designing bunk beds for the wee ones to sleep in. This should be a fun project......
But best of all the person who owned it before me installed this...

Yes, an awning. How nice, for years I have been dragging one of those instant up shade things around, needing two people to set it up and all that nonsense. I am also happy that I now have this..

It is a little tack area that someone modified in the back box of the trailer using the escape door as an entrance. It cuts down on the size in the horse area but I usually only haul one most days and there is still room for two back there which is plenty. Besides Harley is so small he fits anywhere. This trailer also has the small slide gate within the rear swing door for easy access to the horses. All in all just what I was looking for. Yea!!

Now, I need to sell the other one so I can finish my modifications to this one.
Anyone interested email me privately and I have a flyer made up.

This weekend I am judging a Pony of Americas trail class at a show in Northern Indiana!
Have a great weekend!
Happy trails......

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

catching up

Hi all

I know, I know I have been away to long again.....sigh. I really am having a time arranging everything this days. Part of the issue is my hubby is home for a month and my schedule always gets switched around during his down times. He is a sales rep and usually leaves Monday mornings and returns home Friday eves. Three times a year he has about a month off,this creates some chaos at home. I am the super scheduler and have to be in order to keep the old house together and take care of the two kids
and the horses and the grass, garden etc. etc. When hub is home he has his own agenda as well and lots of projects to help me get done so things get crazy. I also try to do my traveling to my customers for my job that are overnight stays. Today I am in Georgetown KY staying at a friend's (thanks Susan!) while I see my customers in
Lexington and surrounding areas. She was nice enough to let me use her laptop to post today.

OK, onto other news.....
The cattle clinic was a blast! The trip started Saturday morning at 7am as it was a two hour drive. It was cool out 54 so Harley was feeling good and pranced all the way to the trailer. I actually put a sheet on him as my trailer is a modified stock (solid walls half way up) sorry can't post any pics for ya. I had to stop at the halfway point and remove the sheet as it warmed up quick the farther South I drove.
I found the place with no issues and saddled up Harley. I knew the clinician but had never ridden with him. They had a nice indoor arena about 80x200 that was well lit and had nice footing. There were about 12 riders in the clinic two men and the rest ladies. We worked on framing up our horses and kind took turns showing what our horses were capable of at first. Ben the clinician, was very good about spending time individually with each rider telling them and showing them what he thought they needed to work on. Mine and Harley's was the face.....he needs to have more "give"
when he gets excited i.e. lead changes and cattle work. Ben thought if I go back and spend more time on that exercise each ride that he will get better in times of high energy. For instance when we do a pattern class it is all good until the lead change, he is deadly at lead changes but... he gets so amped up that he dives into the next circle before my neck rein cue. I am to practice lead changes on the straight aways until he will do them with no excitement on his part. We did some other riding exercises like rollbacks on the wall and circles all relating to the working cow horse class, then broke for lunch. I almost forgot to tell you my new chinks arrived on Friday just in time for the clinic! I wore them and despite a few adjustments to the leg straps I loved them! I promise to post some pics when I make it back to my computer. I got them from a maker out of Wyoming and she really did a nice job. They are unique as they have the twisted fringe. After lunch we brought in the cows, around 20 head or so. I have to tell you they were darn near the size of Harley!!! He did not like this fact, and the cattle were fresh, fresh, fresh. We went over things like settling the herd, what positions to be in if you were herd holders or turn back help and how to "read" cattle. Very informative stuff!
Then the moment of truth, our turn to cut. Harley did not want to enter the herd...
Ben said that it really wasn't a bad thing, better than being too aggressive. The herd holder helped me part the cows and then I made my cut, a solid black steer.
He was fairly quite for this herd and allowed me to keep him on the line for several back and forths. Ben then told me to cut another. This time I cut a brown with nubby horns, he was a real pisser....he was moving way to fast for my liking and Harley was really getting amped up and not making his full stops before rolling back and generally running through my hands. I did not lose my cow but it wasn't very pretty.
Ben said back to those basics of giving the face an getting him to rate off my seat.
We then did some great exercises involving fencing cattle and circling but it was done with two horses. All in all a great day and I learned alot. I got home around 9pm and was beat.

Just a teaser for the next post........hubby surprised me on my return with a new/used trailer!
stay tuned for details....
happy trails.........

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What the Hay?

Has it really been a week since I last posted??? Well, with the back to school for the kids and back to work for me it has been a busy time. I have managed to keep riding Harley pretty consistently and he is coming along nicely. I am still in the Hay hunt for this years supply. Usually I have my hay long purchased and put up by now. I was at the feed store last month and ran into the fella I have purchased my hay from for the last 4 years. He was asking me how much I would need this year and my answer was the same as it always is.....100 bales. You see I do not feed hay all summer as I have abundant pasture and the horses stay out pretty much 24/7. So save for the times I take trips or go to shows I really use no hay from May until November. That is one good thing about here in the Midwest, I never had pasture in south land. Anyway, the hay man and I got to talking quality and price, mind you he grows mainly straight alfalfa and it is nice , really nice hay. To nice for Harley as it jets him right up which I do not need. I had basically already decided that I need a more grass mix than what I have been getting and I have been snooping around to find some. When I started purchasing from said hay guy it was $3 a bale for roughly a 55lb bale right off the wagon, I had to sling and stack. UGH! Well last year he doubled the price to $6 and I still had to sling it and stack it. We have had more than our share of rain this year and I have been watching the fields and the cuttings so I am determined I will not overpay this year. I asked him his price this year knowing full well he was ready for the third cutting already. He quoted me $6 a bale....... no way ain't happenin is what I told him. Loved your hay but quite frankly don't need it that bad. So..... begins my search again. I saw a farmer cutting a mixed field just down the road from my house so I stopped and chatted with him. Turns out he raises black Angus and farms as well. He thought he could sell me his hay on third cutting. Hooray! Well now the fun part, how much?
He hemmed and hawed and basically said he would have to see what it was selling for and so on. I looked him straight in the eye and said I will pay $4 a bale for 100 bales stacked in my barn. He thought on it just a second and said...... done, I should be cutting around the third week of August. Now we are talking so this weekend I should have nice green hay put up in my barn for the dreaded winter here.
What is happening in your area with the hay? Are you waiting it out for good price or just stocking when you can?

On other news.....Harley and I are heading to another cattle clinic on Saturday.
I know this clinician from ranch horse shows and am really looking forward to working with him. I promise I will try to rope someone into taking a few pics of us on cattle.

Happy trails.....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today will be a blog entry on my blessings in life that I am thankful for.
There are to many to list but a few are these are:

My Family...

My Pony....

My Friends....

So many, many other health, my extended blog family of friends (that's you!) the fact that I live here in America and that I am free.
As I was thinking of having one of my downer days I decided instead to perk up by counting my blessings. In fact when I went outside it worked, look at what came to visit.

Not sure where my butterfly book went to so I can't tell you the exact species, but she sure is a beauty. Then as I sat there admiring her in flew this little girl....

This is a ruby throated hummingbird, female..... she was enjoying my butterfly bush flowers.

Proof that God is watching over all of us, all the time. Thanks my friends, have a glorious day!
Happy Trails.....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A horse for all seasons

Judging by comments on yesterday's post, I am not the only one who has encountered some breed/discipline bias out there in the horse world. Sad day when we as a horse community cannot accept our differences and find ways to connect and prosper together. Thanks for all your comments and insights, I really enjoy your views.

While I was riding in Buffalo river the topic of showing came up on a ride to twin falls. I started talking about preparing for my next show which is in September.
My new found trail riding friends expressed shock that I showed horses and more shock that I was riding Harley my "show horse" out there. They were of the opinion that if he was a show horse that he should be in some pristine barn being pampered to the max. I had to laugh and set them straight. First of all I do not have the time nor resources to have a horse for all seasons.....
Well let me rephrase that.....Harley is my horse for all seasons. Meaning just that.
He must be my show horse, trail horse , kid toter and fun machine. I really don't think I would want it any other way. Yes, I will admit I used to be one of those "show only' folks. I kept my horses stalled 23 out of the 24hrs a day. You know what? They were miserable little wrecks. Thank goodness I came to my senses and realized that horses need to be horses. So now my boys live mainly outside in a big pasture with a run in shed and only come in during rough or inclement weather.
I have found that most horses thrive in this environment doing what they do best, being a horse. I also know that by mixing it up by trail riding and arena work keeps my horse fresh. What are your thoughts on a horse for all seasons? Drop me a line.

Happy trails....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Common Interest

Some recent events got the wheels in my mind rolling and reminiscing about past conversations and observations. The topic I am speaking about is our common interest in horses, although we may study different disciplines. I like to think of myself as a well rounded horsewoman who has ridden just about most disciplines through the years. I love to view and study anything related to horses, hence the name of my blog. I am not a person who runs in certain circles and was never with the "In crowd". I certainly like to think that I am not judgemental of anyone or their actions unless of course it involves abuse to animal or human. I have noticed lately the animosity of fellow riders toward disciplines that may differ from theirs. Why??? I will relate a few not so pretty's then some of what I think is just plain good karma.

Recently I have attended some organized trail rides with lots of different age and gender groups as well as riding disciplines. I was privy to some conversations amongst folks that did not make much sense to me. Sitting around a table one evening listening I overheard the comments of folks complaining about all the gaited horses and how some trail rides were catering to them now. Huh? I mean seriously folks, this is still THANK GOD a free country and you are able to choose where you ride and who with. If a place does not suit you or your needs , move on. Anyway what exactly does that mean? How does one cater to gaited horses? I mean we all travel the same trails.....
Just recently I rode with two friend's in Buffalo river on gaited horses. True I did have to jog alot or they held their horse's back but we did cover the same ground.

Another interesting concept brought to my attention by good friend Tiffany who is a three day eventer is that people who ride English think all western riders wear glittery clothes and show western pleasure. I laughed out loud at that one. In fact last year at the Quarter Horse Congress when I exclaimed that the show clothes were in my opinion ridiculous and overpriced Tiffany was shocked. Her opinion was that if I rode western surely I must endorse it. In fact she was equally shocked that I did not want to view any of the classes going on at the show. When I told her that I could not condone the practices that trainers were using to show these days and the way the horses traveled so unnaturally she just stared at me.

When we were preparing for our trip to Buffalo River, Tiffany mentioned it to fellow riders while she was at a clinic. They expressed surprise that organized rides existed and were very interested in hearing about it. Is the concept of camping with your horse that foreign to the English riding community? I must say on a pleasant note that Tiffany was accepted with gracious attitudes into "Our" western world. In fact, she was the only person riding English at the trail ride and was complimented on her riding abilities over some pretty rough trails. Maybe, just maybe we can all find someway to share our common interest and get along in horsey harmony.

Here's hoping......
Happy trails.........