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

Check out more wordless wednesday picturesHERE

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Check out more wordless wednesday picturesHERE

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

Check out more Wordless Wednesdays HERE

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.......