Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Busy.Busy. Busy

Hi Friends,

I call you all that because I feel you are my friends, you know the type of friend that doesn't hear from me in a while and when we do talk again it is like we never missed a beat.

I am again lamely apologizing for my absence from blogging I really am on my way back here regularly. I have been incredibly busy working at my new venture and lots of other stuff in between. Who knew I could cram so much stuff in to one day!

Take today for instance. This is how it has gone so far and keep in mind that it is 10:15am.

Wake at 5:45, make lunches for the wee ones, take out mountain of garbage to the curb, shower, make breakfast for wee ones, gobble bowl of oatmeal, drive wee ones to school, drop husband at airport in Lexington, stop by big lots and dollar tree to retrieve supplies for gift baskets, home to wrap gifts for family we adopted at the mission, assemble gift baskets for adults at mission, wrap presents that ups dropped off while I was wrapping others, sit down to print labels to ship eBay stuff i sold this week, blog quickly!

whew! yep that has been my morning. Now I am off to deliver presents to The Gathering Place mission here in my hometown and help sort donations that have come in this week. Then I will meet a friend for lunch, walk dogs and hopefully squish in time to go see frank for a bit.

I can't wait to share my new venture with you! I know I am keeping you in suspense but as you can see I am only able to work on it in the evenings after the boys go to sleep and most nights after an hour I am too pooped to do much.

I will tell you this, it is a website and it is about horses and it will be fun and great to read, search for info and comment on. Hoping to launch by first of the year at the latest.

Thanks for riding along......Happy Trails.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Plan B

Hello friends!

If you have been reading along for some time, Thank you, you will understand this latest blog. If you are a new reader, Welcome!, I hope we become friends and you stay for a long while.

I told you some posts ago that I was ready for big changes in my world and was feeling restless, bored, unappreciated, etc. etc. Well I am happy to tell you after my sporadic posts and sometimes long absences from my blog that the time has come.

Last post I told you I moved Frank to a new barn, it was just the tip of the changes to come. The end of September I quit my job at USEF. I know what you are thinking, WHY? in an economy like this would anyone quit a job? Honestly, I hated it! I was literally dragging myself into work each day and hating every second of the day I was stuck there. I found myself daydreaming out the window and avoiding contact with anyone else working there. The work was boring and certainly not appreciated in the least bit by any of my supervisors. So, off I go into self employment again. I LOVE IT!

My pet sitting service is going along fine, I have some clients that I walk dogs for on a weekly basis while they are at work and my weekends are usually full. I have several barns that use my services when they are off to a show so I am happy with the results so far.

I just finished my last show secretary job for the year and am re-evaluating if that is something I want to do next year as well.

I have opened some booths at a local peddlers mall and I am really enjoying being creative with florals and wood burning again. I also garage sale shop for resale items.

But the best part of all this new found freedom is the ability to see Frank daily and ride! I have been riding his hide off!(Not really) but we have been logging some great saddle time. We have been exploring the 300 acres surrounding the farm and found some great long trotting hills and flat fields to lope about. I am heading there now to go enjoy a crisp fall morning of riding. I am considering dusting him off and returning to the show ring next year.

I have so much more to share with you but must get a move on. Next post I will do a recap of a trip to Mammoth Cave horse camp and tell you of my next venture which is of course horse related. For now I leave you with a parting shot of dirty Frankie from yesterday. I am hoping to find him in better shape this morning......

Happy trails.....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Frank's new digs

Last post I told you that Frank was moving to a new place. I am happy to tell you that on the 1st we did indeed head on over to our new place. It is a much smaller barn and fewer horses on the property. Nothing fancy just a good, safe place where the owner truly cares about her clients and the horses. My new barn owner was very accommodating when I asked for a separate paddock for Frank because of his attachment issues. She even went so far as to move a horse around in the barn to give him the stall which sits off by itself so that he has no direct contact with a neighbor horse. I know this sounds kinda mean but the boy truly has issues with attaching to another horse and it makes my life really difficult. He has a direct view out of the barn and of course can see the horse across the aisle from him. His door even has an opening window which we do leave open so he can stick his precious head out for attention.

Here is a picture of his new place. I love the foliage surrounding the barn.

Frank's stall would be the first one on the right as you enter the barn. It is 10x10 and has mats and bedded heavy with grass hay. That is a new concept to me and I thought he would eat it rather than use it for bedding but it seems to be working fine. Since Frank has now joined the pregnant gelding club he is sequestered during the day and is turned out at night. He seems very happy!

A picture of the boy having a snack.

I had planned on a labor day ride but it was not meant to be. Frank pulled a shoe on Sunday evening and the rain from tropical storm Lee set in. It has rained every day since Sunday so far and been in the 60's for highs! I had the farrier out on Tuesday and we are all fixed up in the hoof department so anxiously awaiting a break in the weather so I can go ride. I am excited to check out the 300 acres available for me to go explore! Well friends as always thanks for riding along!

Happy Trails........

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Moving on...

So last post I eluded to some changes in Frank's living conditions. I will now dish the scoop.

Let me begin by saying that for those of you who don't know I used to own/operate a boarding stable in South Florida. I have also had the privilege of having my horses in my own back yard on my hobby farms. Two years ago we relocated to Kentucky and decided not to purchase another farm for economic and personal reasons (mostly I was exhausted from taking care of the farm). We now rent a lovely farm house on a Thoroughbred stud farm. It has one acre fenced off from the actual farm, yet I have a clear view of the daily happenings there. Being that I have lived in these situations I think that I am the best boarder there could ever be. I know far too well what goes on when you own a boarding stable. Somehow your personal space is no longer your personal space, regardless of how many contracts, signs and amenities you provide. I won't go into the horror stories of boarding horses here, i just wanted to give you insight into my back round and as to why I believe I am justified to consider myself a great boarder. That being said, it is with some in trepidation that I am moving the Frank tomorrow. I do like the barn he is at but there are some issues. I think I posted about the lack of a heated bucket this winter and me having to bring one while paying a premium for full board. Then there was the severe weight loss Frank endured until I started buying my own feed, still paying the premium full board price. When spring came around and I became insanely busy I thought Frank would benefit by being turned out 24/7, still I pay the premium full board price although no stall,shavings or care is being administered. Lately I find myself subconsciously not wanting to go and visit Frank for fear I will run into the owner. That sounds crass I know but I view my Frank time as a luxury and I don't want to share it with anyone most days. I just want to relax and spend what precious little time I have alone with him. I don't want to engage in chitty chat or have someone watch me school or ride him. So to make a long story short as I can, (you know me I am wordy) I am moving the boy to a new place tomorrow.

The new place does not have an indoor but has over 300 acres to ride on which excites me greatly! I will post some pictures later and update you on his new digs soon.

Happy trails......

Monday, August 15, 2011

Have you ever?

Have you ever had so much to say but just did not know where to begin? Lately my mind is full of thoughts I want to share but I am always thinking of them at precisely the wrong time to write them down. I think it is the universe's way of telling me I am too busy. And busy I am! It has been a tough couple of month's but I know the end result will be worth the struggle I have gone through. Confused? Me too!

I started two new business's a few months ago. The pet sitting business and my antique booth business. I am the type of person who goes "All IN" when I do something so it sort of consumes me. I am happy to say that both business's are doing well and I was able to cut my hours at my "real" job. I will now be able to be home when my kiddo's step off the bus which makes me feel great about my number 1 job, MOM!

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that I have been doing some redecorating in my personal life as well. I have decided to rethink some of my personal relationships as of late. I am a giver and it seems some of my relationships are very one sided in that all I do is give and get taken advantage of. I am in a sense cleaning house within myself.

Big changes in the Frank world as well. Frank will soon be moving to a new location.
Now hold on, before you all think I am re-homing Frank it is simply not true. We are just going to move to another facility, and that is another blog entry in itself. So until then,

Happy trails......

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The End of Summer....kinda

This weekend we celebrated the end of summer at our house. True it is not officially the end of summer but for my kids who started school today this past weekend was it for them. To celebrate we took a much needed "stay cation" to my best friend Susan's house. Well actually we went to her Mom and Dad's house, who were away on vacation. The house is one of the oldest in the small town they live in and sits on roughly 600 acres of planted fields. The family used to raise hogs but has moved onto strictly crops of corn and soybeans now.

Being from a nomadic family myself i always wished I had a home to go back to on rainy days. I feel blessed that Susan considers me family and invited me and my family to come and stay at the farm with her.

Picture of the front of the house

So on Friday evening after the open house at school we packed up the two kids, two Jack Russell's and various suitcases and took off on the 2 hour drive to the farm.
It had been many a year since I had been there and never in the dark so I was a little apprehensive. I need not have worried it all came back to me and we arrived safely at 9:30pm. The kids were mighty excited to see their good friend Eliza and my dogs were happy to join the dog party of 5 already there. We spent the weekend exploring the farm, swimming in the pool and riding Susan's horses. I dare say it was the best stay cation I ever had!

I leave you with this parting shot of the kids at the pool. Although blurry I love it. It reminds of all those lost summers as a child.

Happy Trails.....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hello Blogger Friends

Hi fellow bloggers

First I must say to those of you still following my blog, thanks. I know I have been missing and I promised to be a better blogger, but I just can't seem to find a spare moment most days. Rest assured me and the Frank are still alive and kicking. Frank and well er me too have packed on a few pounds and we aren't riding as much as I would like but I do occasionally saddle up for some much needed therapy.

I am still working full time, for now. I am building the pet sitting business steadily and I have started a booth in an antique mall as of a month ago. I still show secretary once a month as well. No wonder I am tired.... Pare this with being the most awesome, fabulous mom ever and well.... yeah my kids will argue that point.
They have however, learned all about estate sales, yard sales and craigslist this summer. They will grown up to be pickers like me!

I have managed a few trail rides close to home at the reservoir by my house and made a few new horsey friends to hit the trail with. Frank has been good as gold as usual and really doesn't mind being the pasture pet. Truthfully the heat has been keeping me off him more than anything. Last night I did brave it and saddled up for a spin around the farm. You know it is hot when your arms are dripping when you are riding in a tank top. I was happy to see that Frank has forgotten nothing when I took him into the arena and put him through the paces of the show pony. I rewarded him with the show pony deluxe bubble bath and spa treatment, he almost fell asleep being pampered.

I am gonna try to leg him up into shape and perhaps try a few competitive trail rides with ACTHA this year. I should know better than to vocalize it because sure as I do something else will pop up.

Hope you are enjoying your ponies and your summer!

Happy Trails......

Friday, June 3, 2011

Late again....

Cripes a month has gone by and I haven't blogged. So much for my good intentions....
Somehow I just don't have much to say these days.....
Really unlike me! I think I have figured it out. My horse is no longer in my backyard, I don't get to interact with him the way I used to. This makes for dull days around here, much of the same each day. Get up, make lunches, drag myself to work, do the same job, go home, do laundry, watch mindless, TV and go to bed. Repeat for the next four days. If I am lucky I can squish in a visit or two to see Frank.

Speaking of the little devil. Frank has had his share of troubles as of late. We as the rest of the country have been inundated with rain. Rain = soft feet and yes the dreaded abscess. Frank decided to get a particularly deep nasty abscess just a week before my scheduled annual cruise with the in laws. He was three legged for a week before the sucker popped the night before I was scheduled to leave. Luckily for me I have a darling barn owner who packed his foot and took care of him in my 10 day absence. I would love to tell you I had a lovely time in the tropics and in some ways I did, but I would have much rather spent a week in the woods with my boy.
I spend most of my days wishing for that lately. He is sound again so hoping to have a nice ride this weekend. It has been nearly a month since I have rode.

The pet sitting business has taken off and it won't be long before I can do that full time and be my own boss. I am sure that will help. I am entertaining the thought of letting a good friend lease Frank until the end of the year. We are working on some details and we shall see if it works. Not really wanting to sell him so maybe this will buy me some time until I figure out the finances once I am self employed.

Enjoy your weekend!

Happy trails.......

Thursday, April 28, 2011

After the storm

I suppose I am not alone out here when I say that as of late I have been inundated with Spring storms. We have had a week of flooding and tornado's. Luckily my family was not impacted by any of that just the inconvenience of being able to be outside without being drenched. My heart goes out to all the people who lost homes, businesses and yes even loved ones. Today was the first day in a week that I have seen the sun and boy was it a welcomed sight not just for me but because Rolex starts today! The course is bound to be muddy in spots for cross country but they do have two days to hopefully dry out. I will of course be wandering the venues and snapping some photos to share with you. There will be shopping of course! The best part is the Kentucky Reining cup will be held on Friday and Saturday nights of Rolex. Yes of course I have tickets for both nights and I am super excited about the freestyle on Saturday night. I will try and post some pictures for you tomorrow of the Dressage portion of Rolex which starts today. Until then....

Happy Trails........

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

New beginnings

I have decided 2011 is a year of new beginnings for me. I just passed another birthday and with my birthday always comes a review of the year that passed and what I would change about it. Oh last year the list was long. How does one get in that predicament? I must confess I spent way too much of last year unhappy. I did have some outside forces that caused some of it but a lot of it was internal.

So I decided to make some changes for 2011 starting with happiness. Yes, I will strive for happiness this year. I decided a good place to start is by blogging as much as I can again. Yes, it is a challenge some days when work is piling up, laundry needs folding and kids are pulling me six different directions. I do feel much better when I put to words the things happening in my daily life, it is a way to release some of the stress that builds on me. So what else would make me happy?
More time with Frank. Not easy when working full time, hubby that travels five days a week and two young men with busy social schedules. I am striving to see Frank at least three days a week. I am very fortunate that my BO is great and turns him out daily. Another way I am finding my happiness is by doing something more fulfilling with my working life. I have a decent job and I am thankful for it, but it lacks any real brain power and is monotonous most days. I have decided to open my own business! I am starting a Equine and domestic pet sitting service. It is something I can start while still working my regular job and we will see where it leads. I have constructed a website and have gotten some vacation jobs already! I am excited to see where it will lead. You can visit it HERE. I am hoping to transition to it full time and have more outside time and not spend my days wanting to be outside and feeling useful. I have more ideas to add to it but taking baby steps for now.

Last but not least I am writing children's books as well. The books are a series about life lessons and of course Frank is the main character. The books are a reflection of what is occurring in my oldest son's life currently and the lessons we are learning from it. I have written two so far and I currently have someone doing the illustrations for me. I haven't decided if I will self publish or shop the books out to a publisher. Do any of you have experience with this?

Well another beautiful day outside today and I am counting down the hours until I get to go see Frank. Planning an outside field ride tonight.

Happy trails.....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Scenes from the 4C

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekend ride

The weather on Sunday was just to good to pass up. The weather man was calling for low 80's and sunshine with 10-15 mph winds, count me in I am going riding I thought.
I called up my newest horse buddy Shanon and asked if she would like to go trail riding to the reservoir property with me and Frank. Shanon eagerly accepted and said she would trailer over to my barn Sunday morning and we would drive over together. True to her word Shanon arrived at 9 am right on time. I had my trailer hooked up and ready to go. Shanon unloaded her mount Candy Man a 20 year old Sabino Tennessee walker. I went and fetched Frank and after a short introduction loaded Frank into the trailer first and Candy followed right after.

The reservoir property is an old farm the county bought with plans to build a reservoir for the water supply of Scott county, to date nothing has been planned and the county allows hiking, hunting and horseback riding on the property. The property consists of about 300 acres and is a wonderful place to go and ride. There are wooded sections and open pastureland as well with many creek crossings. You can choose to ride challenging hills or just meander through gentle slopes. Best of all you can ride your horse barefoot there as there are few rocks on the trails.

The property is less than 10 minutes from my house and around 20 from the barn where I keep Frank. When we arrived there was not a soul in sight. We quickly saddled and headed out on our adventure. Since Candy Man had not been out in the woods for a few years there was some apprehension on Shanon's part. She need not have worried he was very happy to be out in the woods and was a good sport all day.

The boys saying hello to one another!

We did a short ride on the pasture land and then we headed back to the trailer for a lunch break. When we arrived at the trailer we found four more trailers had showed up and people were getting ready to ride. We took a short break and mounted up for part two of our day. We chose the opposite side of the road this time and did some hill climbing and found a beautiful path through the woods. I spotted a turkey hen running for cover off to my left, she was too quick for a picture I am afraid. We came upon an old road and followed it a bit and I snapped this picture of Shanon up ahead of me.

You can see the trees are not yet leafed out, things are just starting to pop around here. This was my view for much of the day as Candy Man walked much faster than Frank. That was just fine it helped Frank work on his separation anxiety and he did remarkably well this day. We rode for a few hours and decided to call it good since none of us were particularly in great shape yet. All in all a wonderful afternoon spent with a new friend who although is young enough to be my daughter a wonderful companion.

Friday, April 8, 2011

He Loves Me!

The last post I mentioned that I brought a friend out to meet Frank. This young lady works in the same building as me and we have become quick friends. It is actually quite funny because her fiance was my vet tech for years before I knew her, small world. S as I will call her, had horse experience and owns her own horse, an aged Tennessee Walker. In college she rode western pleasure and some reining horses on the collegiate team. It has been a few years for her since she has done any serious riding and she confided to me that she may have softened and lost her edge. I definitely can relate. With age I have defiantly lost some of my edge and the fact that I had Harley the horse who put the fear of God back in me most days.

S has heard the stories of Frank on our frequent lunch dates and was very curious to meet him. Wednesday evening we headed out to the barn to do just that. He was a muddy mess when we arrived and her first comment was that he must need a good bath before I show him. S also commented that he was just the perfect size horse at 15 hands. After a good grooming I saddled him up and we headed to the indoor arena. The wind was still whipping pretty good outside and S commented on how quiet Frank seemed. I told her the story of the weekend wind ride and she laughed saying she could not imagine him getting worked up.

Once inside I mounted and explained to S the steps I do with Frank each ride. I always start with bending and softening. Not only does this help each of us stretch out it gives me time to see how Frank is responding and what we may need to work on that day. I did my schooling around the arena at the walk/jog/lope did some side passes and backing and then the spins. S was aglow with happiness, she said he was such a nice horse and that I was crazy if I did not show him. I explained to her my lack of interest in showing this year and that I really just enjoy my horse for all he can do and I am not feeling the pressure to show anymore.

I asked her if she would like to try riding him. She jumped with joy! Heck yes! So I dismounted adjusted the saddle stirrups for her longer legs and off she went. I stood in the center of the arena and gave her some tips on how to ride him. I could see it was all coming back to her and her nervousness faded with each lap of the arena. She asked me if Frank fell in and cheated with me. I said no and than I realized his eyes were on me the entire time, he was trying to come to me. We laughed and I went over and sat on the bench. Moving away from me he would speed up and coming toward me he would slow down. It really was comical the way he stared at me. There was only one conclusion, HE LOVES ME!

The feeling is mutual. I LOVE THIS HORSE!
Twice I have put people who were nervous and wanting to get their edge back and twice he has shown me that he is really a healing horse. S now wants to do lessons with her horse and get back into riding regularly.

Thank you Mike Craig for insisting that this horse was a perfect match for me when I doubted it. He truly was a diamond in the rough..

Happy trails......

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I know two posts in a row.... don't anyone faint out there. It is all part of my new me for 2011, getting back to the things I love and need in my life. I realized with the help of a good friend (Kim) that blogging is a way for my to express my feelings and release some of the stress in my life by talking about my life. Thanks again for all of you following and if this is your first time reading one of my posts than WELCOME and I hope you join in and comment and follow along as well.

This week I have been blessed with hubby taking the boys on the road with him for spring break. That means Me, mommy gets a much needed spring break as well! Yes, I still have to work but that sleeping in an extra half hour and being able to go see Frank after work without time constraints is wonderful. I even managed a girl's night out for dinner with friends the other night!

Last night I went out to the barn to ride and was joined by a young lady that works with me. She has riding experience but was rusty and is wanting to get back into trail riding and perhaps showing again. She has heard lots of stories about Frank and seen his pictures that plaster my office walls but never met him. She met me at the barn and got to meet my boy in person. He was turned out and not in gleaming show condition the way he appears in most of my pictures, but she could tell it was him. Frank is quite happy that spring has arrived and that he gets to go out on grass now. However, along with spring comes the flys. Hence our testing begins.
I hate to openly admit this but I was supposed to do this testing last summer for the folks at Absorbine. They were nice enough to tell me that they had been following my blog and asked me to review some fly spray for them. Unfortunately with WEG here at work and my limited time with Frank being at the trainers barn I did not get to post the results. I am happy to give you my brutally honest opinion on their product. Please note that I am not compensated for providing my opinion on the product in any way form or fashion. Sean if you are reading along you should know by now I am nothing if not brutally honest.


Absorbine's pitch:

New Ultra Shield® Green from Absorbine® proves that "going green" can be both highly effective and Eco-safe. Ultra Shield® Green is a natural fly repellent that repels and controls biting flies, mosquitoes and gnats for up to 8-hours as demonstrated in an independent university study. 100% guaranteed.

My review on the product:

I started using the product in the middle of summer last year when the fly's were in full force. My program is to turn Frank out after feeding in the morning and he stays out until evening feeding. This leaves Frank pretty vulnerable to the little bloodsuckers all day long. I found the Ultrashield bottle to be easy to grasp and definitely easy to spot in my tack trunk due to the bright green label. I put the spray nozzle to spray and my routine is to start at the neck and work my way back, covering all areas generously. The Ultrashield Green has a bit of a fru fru smell for me and my barn owner also commented on the feminine smell of it. It did apply well and evenly but I noticed an almost oily sheen to it, it made me wonder if it would collect dirt. My fears were unfounded, what I did find is that is held up remarkable well to Frank rolling around in the dirt/grass and it did a great job keeping the flys off of him. When I returned that evening there were flys on his face around his mask where I had NOT applied the spray as a test. The next day I put a small amount on the fuzz at the bottom of his fly mask (think over the nose area) to see if this would keep the flys at bay. The test was a success! When I returned in the evening NO FLYS!

My overall opinion on the product is that it is a great fly protection product. The spray lasted at least 12 hours outside and did not collect dirt/dust to the horse's coat. While I found the smell a bit strong, I will say I am pretty sensitive to perfumes and smells in general. I would rate this product a 8 out of 10 with my on complaint being the smell.

If you are looking for a fly spray that stays on is natural and not full of icky pesticides than this is one for you to try!

Thank you to Absorbine for sending me the sample and for allowing me to critique your product. Frank and I think it works great and if you did an unscented version we would love to try it!

Happy trails.......

Monday, April 4, 2011

Boogers in the wind

No Frank nor I have a sinus infection. Title kinda sounds that way ....

Yesterday we had a beautiful Spring like day with 77 degrees and sun, glorious sun!
The only down side is we also had wind, like hurricane crazy kinda wind. I was determined to go out and ride Frank, hadn't been on since our cattle trip two weeks ago. (No wonder I have been cranky again.) So after lunch on Sunday I headed over to the barn and found Frank lounging in the sun in his paddock. He was covered in mud on one side from having a scratching good time. I needn't have worried about it because once I got currying him the hair was flying of in droves and taking the mud with it.
His stall looked like a snow globe by the time I finished grooming him. I seriously did not think he even had that much of a coat this winter. I am happy to report that we have gotten him back up to a weight I am pleased with and his back sensitivity seems to have faded. I saddled him up and headed for the arena, the wind was blowing at around 25 miles and hour with gust up to 35. Our ride started out fine although the tin of the arena was creaking and the roof making some other kind of noise I find hard to describe. Frank was paying attention to me and our schooling was going well. About 20 minutes into our ride Frank decided that something outside the open arena door was after him. We had rode by the door umpteen times already with no mishaps but this time he tucked tail and squirted to the opposite end of the arena. I encouraged him back down toward the door but he was clearly nervous about the opening now for some reason. So after he calmed a bit I decided to do some schooling circles just at that end. He obeyed but was clearly rattled about it. When he just couldn't let it go I decided maybe some outside time was necessary. So out the scary door we went. We went to the front field which the barn owners use as a hay field and I have the clearance to ride in. The wind was really whipping and I must admit uncomfortable. We rode the perimeter first then settled on some circles at a long trot. Things were going great until.....yep wait for it.....The next door neighbor donkeys came flying out of their shed and started braying. This was enough to set my boy into a full fledged screaming Mimi donkey loving tantrum. I continued to try and work thru it but he was sure that every leaf/ stick / dark spot in the grass was going to jump up and eat him. After 10 minutes of that fight it was back into the scary arena again. We struggled to get to a happy place so that we could quit. By now Frank was in a full sweat and I wasn't far behind. Finally he relaxed enough to lope some pretty circles, even by the scary door and we called it a day. A warm sudsy bath concluded our day and we lived to ride another day. We are still having quite a bit of wind so today's ride might just be as interesting.

Happy trails.......

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend at the 4C- Cedar Creek Cattle Company

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend at the 4C with Frank this weekend. What a fantastic time we had.

The 4C is a working cattle ranch, a culmination of a family's hard work to bring to fruition one woman's dream. The ranch is located in Southern Kentucky in the quaint town of Burkesville.

The owner is a dear friend, Kim, whom I first met in South Florida when I boarded my paint filly at her barn. We have remained friends over 17 years through spouse changes, state changes and horse changes. Kim is a true friend with loads of spiritual intellect that borders on scary at times. Along with Kim the ranch is held together with Hubby Matt and sons Austin and Charlie. Although Austin is away at college the boys are a great help at the ranch. The ranch runs stocker cattle, which basically means they buy young cattle and grow them up for a while then re sell them.

I left work at 5 and headed straight to the barn to pick up Frank. I had pre packed the night before so all I had to do is stuff a hay bag and load Frank and we were off! Frank of course jumped right in and down the road we went. We immediately found rain, at least it held off until I had the trailer hooked up and Frank loaded.
It rained for an hour of the trip and then the sun came out and my remaining drive was uneventful. I pulled in to the ranch around 8:45 that evening and found the arena lights on and Kim waiting for me. I unloaded Frank and allowed him to sniff around a bit before putting him in one of the open air pens. Frank had a little bottle fed steer "Porky" as a fence mate this weekend. Kim commented on how calm Frank was in this new environment as we got him his grain and some fresh water. We then proceeded to the cabin to put my bags inside. The cabin has been on the property over a hundred years and when found it had cows walking thru it and was in dire need of restoration. Kim has lovingly restored it and even put in electric and plumbing.

I wouldn't have been a very nice guest if I hadn't brought a gift, so we opened the bottle of wine I brought and we sat on the front porch listening to nature. We talked for hours and caught up on each others lives. I was shocked to see it was after 1 in the morning when we finally turned in. The cabin has a queen bed downstairs and 2 twins and a full upstairs. I slept like a baby and awoke to find a beautiful day waiting on Saturday. We fed the cattle and horses first then took to the quaint little kitchen to fix ourselves some viddles. Here is a picture of the kitchen.

After breakfast we went to visit a neighbors stable not far away. The folks that owned it had relocated from the Netherlands and were having a fundraising event at the stable to support their Curly horse rescue. I had never seen a Curly horse up close and personal and I tell you the little curls of hair all over their bodies sure are soft! I learned that they harvest the hair from brushing/shedding and mix it with Alpaca hair to make yarn. They had some items made from the hair and it made beautiful yarn. I wish I had brought my camera with me to take a picture of the horses they were very different.

We returned to the 4C and had a spot of lunch then decided to saddle up and take a trail ride. The property is quite large (sorry forgot to ask how many acres) and there is a ridge that runs around 3/4 of the property. The ridge ride is not for the faint of heart or horses that are not in good shape. Although the trail is plenty wide to ride double wide the hills are steep! Frank got an excellent workout as the trail is also several miles long. I did notice some soreness in Frank's back toward the end of the ride. I say this because he was short stepping his way down the hill and stopping occasionally. I do believe another opinion on his back is necessary. Along the way we saw the fauna just starting to sprout up from winter's slumber. I saw a black snake warming himself on a rock and we heard turkey in the distance. Here is a picture of my host Kim on trusted steed P-nut, that is trusting little Mr Scruff's in the back round.

Here is a shot of the Frank and I with cattle dog Lucy.

After our ride Kim and I decided to fix some hamburgers on the grill. Why does everything taste better when cooked outdoors? We enjoyed the full moon and retired a wee bit earlier than the previous night. Sunday morning arrived just as beautiful as Saturday. Kim's husband was nice enough to feed the cattle so we reciprocated by fixing him a breakfast. After breakfast we headed out to the cattle pens and decided that we would play a game of sorting. Kim asked if I would help treat the cattle with fly solution and I was happy to accommodate. We enlisted the help of her son Charlie and gathered up 11 head. Charlie worked them into the chute area and Kim worked the chute. After Kim had them secure in the chute I applied fly repellent while she put on the neck numbers. Here you can see me applying the fly repellent.

As you can probably imagine the cattle being put in the chute makes a great deal of noise and commotion. The pen Frank was in was only about 20 feet from the chute area and this racket was clearly getting him excited. It was a great learning experience for him with all the mooing and banging around, by the end of the process he was just standing there watching us. Once we were done processing the cattle we saddled up to have a go at working them. I must make note that these were fresh cattle that had never been worked before so this probably was going to get interesting. Frank followed the herd thru the lanes to the sorting pens snorting and sniffing the whole way. When the cattle were moving away from him he was comfortable but when one turned back toward him he jumped and clearly was not sure what to do. Kim funneled the cattle to one side of the pens and I worked Frank in the other just doing basic bending and some trotting exercises letting him get used to the smell and noise of the cows. Kim walked P-nut thru the cows as Frank watched intently. Next was our turn and in we went. I took everything very slow and deliberate with Frank, I wanted this to be a positive experience for him. First I just walked in front of the herd and gradually we moved on to actually moving the herd.

All was going well until the herd split and there were cows on either side of Frank.
This caused him a little panic but nothing major we just worked thru it. Before long he was comfortable enough to do very slow methodical sorting. I just realized that some of you may not be familiar with what sorting is. Basically the competitive sport of sorting mimics what would be done at a branding where you separate cows from calves for doctoring or branding. In the competitive sport there are 10 cows numbered from 0-9 and one additional "trash" cow. The announcer gives you a number to start at such as 3, then your job as a team of two horses and riders is to sort number 3 out to the other side of the pen then 4 etc., no trash or out of sequence numbers can go thru or you are disqualified. The team with most cows and fastest wins. Sounds easy right, ah NO. There is lots of info HERE for those of you interested. We finally got Frank to a good place with the cattle and called it a day. I was mighty impressed once again with my fella, he just keeps getting better and better.

Reluctantly I had to clean up and load for home. I really enjoyed my weekend at the 4C and cannot wait to go back. If you want to spend a nice weekend in the woods with or without horses check out the 4C it is just what the soul needs....

Happy Trails....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

PMA...not what you are thinking


Positive Mental Attitude. That is what I am practicing daily. It is not easy when surrounded by negative influences everywhere, ie the news, coworkers and general public. But I am resounded to achieve it, I must.

I have taken a new approach to how I look at things lately and it truly is shocking to realize how miserable the general public is. We are living in the most amazing time and no one seems happy. For instance yesterday at a fast food restaurant I just listened to conversations around me and was surprised at people's behaviour and thought process. I had my two youngsters with me and could not believe that they were indeed acting more mannerly than most of the people around me.

There is an old saying that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. I like that saying and I myself am going to try to react less to what life throws at me.

This week I have decided that I will LIVE more, stop running around like a mad woman possessed to get everything done in one day. I will make more time for fun! I will leave the dirty laundry and go play ball with my boys before they grow up and are gone. I will go out and hug my lovely, dirty, hairy horse and smell his wonderful horsey scent. With all the hurt in the world today I suggest you all go hug your four legged friends as well!

Oh and happy ST Patricks day!

Happy trails......

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Out of hibernation

Hello world,

I think I am ready to come out of my winter hibernation now. Is it safe? Is the blasted snow over with?? You may have noticed my sparse posts on here and what in the world has happened to me. Well, I will put on my big girl pants and confess.... I HATE Winter! Nothing new here but I will tell you this year it really affected me in ways that I am not proud of. I have been in a funk of all funks lately. I withdrew from friends, posting here and even going to see my dear Frank. I could blame it on a lot of things, my best pal moving South to Ga, the ongoing glut of snow again this year, hubby traveling more than ever to make a buck, etc. etc.
Fact is I was depressed. Not really willing to admit it and making excuses for it.
I gained weight, lost interest in everything and just survived in a zombie like state. There I said it.

Now that I have seen Sun more than once a week and the grass and flowers are starting to bloom I think I can shake it. Oh yeah a little counseling did not hurt either. When I put stuff in perspective I have it pretty darn good compared to a lot of folks. So I am onto the next chapter and that means out of hibernation and back to being well, ME.

First I have called all my friends and reconnected with them, I am making it a point to walk every day and get myself back in shape, changed my diet and making a point to see frank 5 times a week.

Frank is in full shed mode and I dare say he is almost done, his head is still a little rough looking. I may just get the clippers out and finish that winter hair off. I am getting Frank legged back up and plan to do some more competitive trail rides with him this year. We are also going to go back to our first love, trail riding just for fun! Nothing like the woods to recharge your batteries and make you appreciate the things in your life, like a great horse!

So starting this weekend I am going for it. I am loading Frank on Saturday and heading to a friends cabin in the woods! It is about a three hour trip to get there and I cannot wait! Frank has never been there so it will be an adventure for him as well. You can get a peek of her place by looking HERE. I love, love, love this place and it will do Frank good to get some cattle experience as well.

I promise to take some pictures and share with all of you! I want to say a big Thank you to all of you who follow, comment and share your blogs with me.

Happy Trails......

Friday, February 25, 2011

Let's go shopping....

Well, not really but I like to window shop the horse sights and see what is out there occasionally. I had a new follower bestow me an award (I am getting around to responding, really!) and after checking out her blog discovered they are in the market for a young horse. I couldn't help but put my two cents in on my opinion of the pics she posted, it is just a habit I have. When I see horses I just mentally start evaluating them to my standards, see what parts I like and what bothers me. Not that I am any sort of expert on conformation or picking horses but it is fun and since I judge from time to time it is cool to see if my predictions were correct when I see the horses ridden.

So today I decided to do a post on comparing some horses around the same age and figuring out what I like about them and do not. I know this is from photos and that can be misleading but we will just go with it and I will be interested as always to hear your thoughts.

For our little test my parameters were as follows:
Must be registered Quarter Horses
Up to 1 year of age
Reining bred

so here are our selections:

We will call this Colt #1

This colt is pictured at 10 Mos old. Lets start with what I like about him.
1) He has good wither on him which tells me he will hold a saddle well
2) He has a nice short back
3) Has pretty good scope to his neck, not as good of a tie in as I prefer but good.

Now for my dislikes:
1) He is long in the front pastern
2) He has a short gaskin muscle which tells me he probably will not stop long.
3) He his is rather course for my liking.

Colt #2

This colt is pictured at 3 mos and in tall grass so not as easy to critique.
1) This colt appears to have good bone
2) Pretty headed
3) Nice slope to his haunch which tells me he will really get up under himself and
use his hind end

1) He is short necked. Will not have the scope to make a smooth turn around
2) Long backed, although I have learned in reining this is not all bad as it does
help them in the stops.
3) He is short in the gaskin which tells me his stops will not be long.

Colt # 3 (actually a filly)

This is probably the hardest picture to tell exactly what she looks like with her head angle and bottom toward the camera. But we will give it a shot.

1) She appears to have a nice tie in at her neck
2) She has a nice long gaskin muscle
3) She has a nice slope to her hindquarter and a nice short back


1) She appears to be mutton withered
2) She is very upright in the hind leg
3) Her head is a tad longer from eye to muzzle than I like.

Colt #4

This colt is 9 mos old. I appreciate the fact that the seller took the time to set up the colt and make a nice presentation.
1) Beautiful the way his neck ties in! He will be very light on his front end
2) Good Gaskin muscle for powerful stopping
3) Straight legged with good bone
4) Pretty headed

1) He is slight in the wither area, which could make fitting a saddle tough

Let's remember I was looking at them from a reining horse standpoint and I do not know any of these sellers I just picked them off for this purpose.

Now I will tell you #4 was my pick, that being said I will also tell you that this colt is exceptionally well bred and the price reflects that. The other colts were in the $2000 - $3000 range and the 4th colt was priced at $15,0000.

I had fun with it, hope you did too. Any other window shopper/critics out there?

Happy trails........

Friday, February 18, 2011

An Awesome Evening..

I had the most awesome evening last night. NO I did not win the lottery, lose the 50pounds I need to or meet John Wayne. I simply went out and rode my horse. The weather has finally turned spring like here and I could not be happier! 66 degrees last night! For me it is like awakening from a deep winter depression. After work I changed into my jeans and headed to the barn. I was a little apprehensive about what Frank might look like since shedding his winter blanket and the thaw out left plenty O mud. My fears were not realized.....he had some dirt on him but was not nearly as bad as he could have been. I love the fact that when I approach his paddock he whispers to me the whole length of the fence to the gate. Yes whispers, it is like a real soft nicker that he keeps doing until I pet him and put his halter on. Back to his stall to get cleaned up and I notice we need a pedicure, make a mental note to call the farrier on the way home. Back in his stall he is disappointed to find there is no feed or hay awaiting him, he gives me the look.

Poor pitiful Frank.

Out come the brushes and I notice he is still sore on that one spot on his back. aughh.......I have had him ultra sounded and the horsey chiropractor out to adjust him and given him apple cider vinegar and still it is tender. It is the strangest thing, he is not off, it does not seem to bother him when I ride but to curry it or palpate it sure enough it is tender. What to do??

We saddle up and I decide that I am going to make my barn owners day and let her ride the Frank. I have been hinting to her that she should and she is without her own personal horse for the time being so I am going to share him tonight. Her face beams when I call out to her on the way to the arena. She runs, yes runs into the arena and scrambles up on him demanding that I instruct her on how to ride him. She does really well despite the fact that she rides Saddlebreds and she is now riding in a cutting saddle with shank bit on a loose rein, looser than she is comfortable with. Frank is a star and perfect gentleman and Mommy beams!

After a bit I get up and we get down to some schooling to see what we can improve on, the lesson kids love watching him and are full of questions. I leave the barn with a heart full of love and pride for my boy. Hoping for lots more riding this weekend.

Happy trails......

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Finally a reprieve...

Hi Friends,

I am happy to say I am catching a reprieve. From all the crazy things life has thrown at me so far this year. I am so happy to say my favorite is the reprieve from the blasted winter weather. This week the temperatures have been above normal and that makes me down right Giddy! We had a scare with my elderly Mother in law in Florida and that necessitated a quick trip down there. Work is, I put in for a transfer to the horse dept processing passports, crossing my fingers and hoping I get it!

I actually got a ride in on Sunday afternoon and although it was mushy and wet from the snow melt off, Frank and I had a good time. Tonight I am heading there after work and hope to ride if Frank has not totally muddied himself up. With warm weather the blanket has come off and he has the ability to really get happy in the mud. Hopefully I will not have to spend the entire time cleaning him up and will get a chance to climb up on my buddy for a spin.

Back later with more news!

Happy trails......

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

horse of a different color

I am gonna put myself out there and do a post on prejudice. I believe it comes in many aspects and not just to mankind. I have some experience in this because well....I ride a horse of a different color, literally and physically.

I have never been one to be shy to say exactly what is on my mind at anytime or place in my life. This is a blessing and a curse. Not long ago when I was on my search for a new horse Frank came along. I will admit it was his color that threw me, for more reasons than one. I have always been a fan of colored horses, have been owned by Appaloosa's, Paints and Pintos. I have never really considered a horse of Frank's color. Heck I will be honest, did not even no Perlino was an existing color. AQHA did not recognize the color until just a few short years ago regardless of parentage.

I did some research before I bought Frank because of my lack of knowledge on his coloration and if there were any known problems because of it. I had heard rumors and tales from well meaning friends and acquaintances that they sunburn, flys are attracted to them, and that their eyesight is poor because of the blue eyes. I was also told that they would be hard to keep clean, wouldn't get used in a show class because of the eyes, etc. etc.

Just what is a Perlino? How does a grey stallion and a black mare throw a perlino?
Genetics are a wonderful thing, I know cause I have my mama's thighs.....
Basically to make light of a very serious subject, a Perlino is a double dilute both parents lack the red gene. They are in a sense a buckskin reversed. There is a wonderful website filled with all sorts of fun facts to check out here .

I will tell you I fell in love with the Frank despite all the brew ha ha over his coloration. Some facts:
1) yes he is a bit dirtier than a darker horse but not as bad as feared.

I have helpers for cleaning anyway!

2) He does not sunburn, for unlike a horse with white on it he has pigment.
3) I notice as many flys on his horse friends as are on him.
4) Yes he squints in direct sunlight,(so do I!) we use a fly mask when we are out. I do not notice any difference in his eyesight.
5) Yes , unfortunately I do believe there has been prejudice against his color in a show atmosphere.
6) He is the most mild mannered horse I know.

My oldest getting ready to ride!

7)A good horse is a good horse no matter the color!

He is worth his weight in gold for this!

So what are your thoughts? Are you prejudice to color?

Happy trails......

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hello out there......

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all of the other stuff I missed.

I am here alive and kicking. This has by far been the worst winter of my life so far. was -3 this morning, I am so over it. We have 4 inches of snow on the ground again and NO the fact that this is not a normal winter here in Kentucky does not comfort me. I heard that crap last year.

Frank is doing well, not getting ridden much with the cold weather. When it reaches 30, (which is rare these days) I do go out and saddle him up and take a spin. I must say Frank is on his way to becoming one of my very best horses. I love the fact that he is the same regardless how much or little I ride him. He is a true gentleman. The barn is working out OK, i still prefer having him in my back yard but this is the way it is right now. He has fast become the favorite to all the kids taking lessons at the barn. He really sticks out being the only quarter horse and cream colored at that.

I have been doing a lot of thinking as to what Frank and I will be doing this coming year. I am a little disillusioned with showing, at least in the association I had been showing. When I joined it was all about the all around horse and having fun. Now it seems that you need a specialized horse for each class unless you are happy with the middle of the road. I am looking into starting a new affiliate with another ranch horse association here in Kentucky. I am heading to Memphis next weekend to check it out. The premise is only four classes total and each horse is judged individually in each class. There is a class winner and an all around winner at days end with the averages of the individual classes. I am definitely going to do some trail riding is my true love. In fact I have made reservations for an all girl trip to ........ Eastfork StablesJamestown, Tn for Derby weekend! My bestie Susan has moved to Georgia and I am definitely missing riding with her. She is going to make the trip North and spend four days with me and some other friends. Anyone else want to go???

I will try to be a better blogger this year and get back into sharing my stories with you. I wish you all health, happiness and a good horse to ride into this new year!

Happy trails