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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Saturday, May 31, 2008

Things I am Grateful For

So this one isn't horse related (although there is a LOT of horse stuff I'm grateful for) but I told my friend (Kimfer) about it and she had a good laugh so I thought I'd share it here.

Today I am grateful for these things:
*that it is a beautiful night. Clear & starry, decent weather. NOT rainy or windy like earlier today.
*that I live in a good neighbourhood.
*that my cell phone battery is charged.
*that I have games (Mahjong, Life, etc) loaded on the aforementioned cell phone.
*that late at night it only takes about 12 - 15 minutes to get home from work at our restaurant.

Now this is where the funny comes in... I am grateful for these things because tonight when I came home from work I got stuck (or trapped) in my backyard!!
Kimfer's car had to go into the shop today so last night after she was done work I met her at the dealership and lent her my Equinox. She drove me home and then went to her place. Her car was done too late this afternoon for us to make the vehicle switch so she returned my "truck" to me at work tonight. She often comes in late on Friday/Saturday and hangs out anyway. So after I closed the restaurant I took her to the dealership where her now repaired car was waiting patiently.
I drove home, put my truck in the (unattached) garage, locked the garage door and closed it behind me. When I went to unlock the back door to let myself in I found the screen door locked!! (we don't have keys for this door... yikes!). "Okay" I thought to myself, "I'll just go through the garage, walk around to the front, let myself in and go re-lock the garage." It was a logical plan, until I realized that I didn't have my "regular" keys with me... I had my work keys!!! All I had lent Kim was the actual truck key! On my "work" keys I have keys to the office, the front and back doors of our house, and the key for the work truck. Crap crap crap crap. lol
I called the restaurant (my hubbie & his brother were still there because our lounge was still open) and my brother-in-law answers. I told him I needed to talk to Pete, he asked why and when I told him he laughed and laughed. Then he asked why we would lock the screen door. I told him to ask his brother why.
(side note: I seriously don't know WHY Pete needs to lock this door. He does it all the time. He will let the dogs out to do "their business" and leave the nice, heavy inside door open... not just unlocked but open, and lock the screen door. Our yard has a solid fence that is about 5.5 - 6 feet tall, topped by a good 2 feet of lattice. The gates are both locked and the garage is always locked. If someone can get through any of that then the measly little screen door isn't going to stop them!)
So Pete gets on the phone and I tell him about my little problem. He says he'll be right there to let me in. Which is awfully nice of him because otherwise I'd be waiting a good 3 hours for him to get home. I'm NOT that patient. lol Which is why its also good that I have games on my phone to occupy myself with while I wait to be "rescued". Of course before I started a game I called Kimfer to tell her what was going on. It was nice to hear her laugh. She's had a long week at work. :)
Meanwhile my poor puppy dogs are in the house barking. Not their "get lost we're protecting this house!!!" barks but the "Mom why aren't you coming to see us, or better still letting us out to pee!" kinda barks because they could hear me talking.
I can't wait to get teased about this tomorrow at work. lol

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Good Vet Visit

On the advice of another blogger (Katie over at Saving Argus... definitely worth reading BTW) I called my (awesome) vet, Dr. K, to have Cessa tested for Cushings. The appointment times kinda got confused and ended up being made for a time when no one would be around on the first day (Cushing blood work has to be drawn at 2 different times). Dr. K called and asked if I was okay with her going out herself, catching Cessa, doing her vet stuff and all that with no one around. I said "sure!". That's the little extra nice thing about Dr. K. Not only is she a good vet but she also knows horses. Its one thing to have a vet that knows the "book" stuff that all vets know, its another to have an equine vet that has first hand, personal horse experience.
So today I went out for the second round of blood taking. Dr. K said that Cessa was a very good girl the day before (*whew* not that she's normally bad but she has made a bit of a reputation for herself at the vet college! more on that another time) The student vet with her (oops, didn't catch his name) took Cessa's blood (she was good again) and then it was time for Baron's leg inspection.
Kimfer and I told Dr. K that she would be pleasantly surprised and she was. When Kimfer took Baron's bandage off Dr. K was shocked at how well his cut is healing, she even did a little happy dance! His leg is healing sooo well. Its not going to have thickened tissue, it probably won't even have a scar! (I do have pics to post soon) He is healing much quicker than first estimated, Kimfer will even be able to take him to provincial finals at the end of July!!! :) Dr. K said that as long as it keeps healing like this he should be bandage free and out of the hospital pen in about 3 weeks! (I can just guess what Baron thinks... "mmmm, grass!") Kimfer can start riding him (slow stuff at first) pretty much anytime now. She just has to keep an eye on his "owie" to make sure that tender new skin doesn't split open.
Dr. K took another look at Cessa's "mystery swelling" leg and thinks it looks even better than before. We talked a bit about alternative therapies and I might buy some magnetic boots. Dr. K said that as long as they're not too expensive they are worth trying. Also one of her colleagues is now doing acupuncture. We also talked about Cessa's diet as she's a bit thin (of course she is old) and I may try adding some rice bran. Before making any changes to her diet I'm going to wait on the results of the Cushing's test and fecal count (Cessa happily obliged by providing a "fresh" sample... she can't be in the barn without leaving something for me to clean up! lol).
The only bad part was that I found out Dr. K's horse (Twist) now has a bit of a mystery owie too. Her leg is swollen and she's lame :(

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Opinions Please!

I've gone over this and over this... still not 100% sure what to do. That's why I'd like your opinions. I know not a ton of people read this, but to those who do I need you to share your insight with me. I might not decide to do what is suggested but it will give me more input and perhaps bring up something I hadn't been seeing in "the big picture".
Here is my dilemma, I know I will be selling Quinn and I have a possible lead on a buyer that I'm not sure if I should take. I'll start with some background.
Quinn is a very good looking guy. He is about 15.3, very solid built, dun (some say buckskin) gelding. White snip on his face, nice head and ears, two hind white socks. He's 12 years old now, a SPB registered APHA. He was supposed to be my new "everything" horse. One I could take barrel racing, trail riding in the forest, ride in the ditches around home, pony off... the one I could trust to do anything with. Physically he is that. He's gorgeous (to me... not perfect but definitely a "hottie" lol) and on the ground we get along great. Here's where the problem comes in, I can't ride him anymore. I literally can't. The last time I tried to ride him (which was almost a year ago) I had a full blown panic attack. Shortness of breathe, shaking, crying. I've NEVER had that happen to me. Not in dealing with horses, work, car accidents, etc. I have had some pretty bad stuff happen to me and I can never remember having a panic attack like that.
Quinn is well trained. He is not what I would call well broke. When I used to ride him it was lovely. He was smooth, responsive, liked to "work". Then we had a few incidents. The first was when he spooked and I got bucked off while warming up for a jackpot. It was my most frightening "unplanned dismount" to date. I got back on, finished warming up and competed in the jackpot. In fact I took him to 5 more jackpots that winter and rode him all winter in an indoor arena. I was at the point that I could ride him in the arena with no problems.
In the spring when we went out to ride the ditches and back roads around "home" I was okay until he started getting really spooky. I was losing my confidence and my nerve. I was still okay in an arena (indoor or outdoor) but didn't feel quite right riding "out". I also was losing trust in him. When he'd stretch his neck or lower it I'd always think "is he getting his head down to buck?!" He never did buck with me again... but it was always in my mind.
Quinn had another incident with a girl who was supposed to be riding him to help keep him legged up. (he needs riding, at least 5 or 6 days a week, more than I had time for with two other horses). She was "training" on him and poorly. I asked her to lay off. She ignored my instructions and had a wreck. (that will be its own post one day!) As a result Quinn was injured and had some time off.
After he had physically mended I started working with a trainer to see if mentally he was okay. She rode him fine. I rode him okay. Again just in the arena for me. Then he got a cut on his leg and was off work until it healed. Once he was healed the trainer and I couldn't get our schedules to match and that was when I tried to ride him and had the panic attack.
Quinn has not been ridden by me in almost a year. I have come to the conclusion that while he could have been "the one" I will not be able to get my confidence/nerve back to ride him. He doesn't necessarily need an advanced rider. He would be fine with an intermediate rider. He likes to work and doesn't pull any tricky or dirty stuff. He needs a rider that has confidence. (sadly that's not me right now) Quinn has been gone for almost a month having miles put on and some tuning up by a girl that barrel races in SBRA with me (also she's having a good CCA season). She's pretty sure he could go on to a good home and that she might be able to help me some in the way of selling him.
Now after all that we get to the nitty gritty... I know I am going to take a loss financially on this horse. I got screwed over big time when I bought him (not really complaining, it was my fault for trusting someone not to screw me). My dilemma is this: I have a potential buyer for him. He would be out riding pasture and working cows. Something Quinn has experience at and enjoys. The guy is said to take good care of his horses. But he doesn't pay a lot of money for them. IF I sell Quinn to him I will be taking an even bigger loss than I had planned. (like getting 30% of what I paid when I was hoping for 50%). So do I sell him to this guy and take the bigger loss. OR do I try to sell to someone else for a better price (still a loss but not so much of one)? Chancing that if he doesn't sell that this guy MIGHT still want to buy him? Don't forget in the meantime I'm either paying a trainer to keep riding him or paying board and trying to suck up the nerve to get back on him to try to keep him somewhat in shape for buyers.
I keep chasing this around in my head and just can't come up with a solution that I feel is right. I feel like there is a piece missing that I'm not seeing. (maybe because I don't want to see it??) Feel free to give me your opinion. Like I said it doesn't mean that I will just blindly follow it. I'm not being asked to be told what to do. I just think that it might clue me in to that missing piece. I need to talk to someone besides myself! I know he is going for sale. He is too young to be a pasture pony. He also needs more exercise than just being a pasture pony (he is the definition of easy keeper!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Catching up

Not a whole lot has happened since my last post, so it shouldn't take too long to catch up! Working backwards...
Tuesday evening there was a jackpot. Things are slow at Kimfer's work so she was able to skip out for a couple hours and join me. The jackpot was at Bex so it was only about 10 minutes from the ponies to the jackpot. It was one of those cool, breezy spring evenings that tends to give most horses a bit of a silly attitude. Kimfer was very happy with Isis. She didn't get silly, even though as a filly she has more excuse than a lot of the "grown up" horses. Raincloud didn't get too silly but he was a bit of a brat.
Our first run I managed to hold him a bit coming out of 2nd so that we could finish it better, which we did. However this meant he didn't have his head to run off as fast as he wanted to 3rd. In his reasoning this meant he should buck. Now, don't tell him but, his bucks really are not scary. (*furiously knocking wood so they don't get scary* lol) Our second run he was a turd and blew out on first, unfortunately he did it going into first which resulted in a dreaded No Time! I took him back to the gate, did a couple circles and restarted my run (for schooling purposes only, I already had my "time"). This time he was very good! (doesn't that figure! :) )
I think his issue is he thinks he knows what his job is and he really wants to do it. Too bad he can't seem to realize that he needs a bit more "on the job training" to really get it. lol
Sunday Pete & I were moving some stuff to our storage unit so we just brought Raincloud & Cessa in for their feed and some grooming. Hate to admit it but Cessa hasn't really had a good grooming in a couple of weeks. Well she is finally starting to shed really well now! I think I could have knit a full body horsie-sweater! (If I could knit!) She is always the last to shed, she has been ever since I got her (she was about 13 then).
Saturday was a jackpot out by Vanscoy. It was a bee-yoo-ti-ful day. AND I found my camera cable so I have a few pics!
This is Raincloud waiting ever so patiently for me to finish entering so we can go in the arena and warm up (the mess of leather on the horn is my bridle):



Here are Isis and Raincloud enjoying the breeze while waiting for our turn to run (Kimfer is hiding between them because she is "camera shy"):


Our runs were decent at this jackpot. Kimfer isn't pushing Isis yet, she's just a baby so its seasoning and taking her out and about. The only major thing to report from this jackpot is that "They" were there and it was the first time Isis and Raincloud met "Them". I'll show you a pic and then tell you about "Them". Scary aren't they!:



So there are the terrifying twosome. Buddy (the sorrel) and Rootbeer (the dark brown) ponies with their boys (whose names I can never get quite straight but I believe are Chance and Cash). I don't know why but most of the "big" horses are downright terrified of these two (and most other small ponies). Its like a friend said at the jackpot, "horses seem to know that Shetlands are actually the devil in disguise". Now I wouldn't go quite that far. And as far as ponies go these two are worth their weight in gold. The boys are 6 and 4. The can saddle and ride these ponies all by themselves. Including "running" the barrel pattern, over-and-undering as they go! As soon as those boys sit to slow down or stop those ponies do it. I really have not been around a more patient, better suited kids pony.

But I digress... the big horses are usually terrified. Kimfer had left the arena by the time these guys were in there. Raincloud and I were still warming up so he got a good look at them in the arena. No spooking or shying but he definitely gave them quite a look whenever we passed. The only time he was even a bit perturbed was when they came loping up his butt when we were walking. But he didn't really do anything, just kinda gave them a look with a bit more attitude.

The next time we saw them we were out of the arena. This time Isis was with us. We were walking from the trailer, down the long side of the arena to the other end where we would be starting from. Coming towards us were the ponies and "mom" on her horse. Suddenly Cash and Rootbeer came flying towards us. Isis gave a quick snort, spun and went to run off. (funny, because that would make her run after the pony!) Raincloud didn't really know what monster was going to eat him but thought that if Isis was worried he should be too so he spun, and then promptly halted when I asked him to. Isis was a few steps away and was mesmerized by the sight of the ponies. Raincloud stood there blowing for a second before he calmed down and decided the silly filly had overreacted to those weird little creatures.

It was a good thing for them to experience. We don't have a lot of ponies showing up at our jackpots but there are always ponies at the provincial finals. And there they have pretty much no regard for anyone, no warm up ring manners, and best (worst) of all.... funny "costumes" (like the leopard and zebra print blankets!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

From Good to Bad

Today started as a good day. Kimfer and I went for a ride before work. We rode down the service road ditch and looped around home by taking the highway ditch. It was breezy and there was quite a bit of garbage in the highway ditch. While I hate the garbage it did serve a purpose, Isis and Applejack were shown every piece that seemed like it had the potential to be scary. Both of them did quite well, no spooking or spinning! :)
Our ride lasted not quite an hour and a half. When we got back both of the ponies got their "treats" and then Cessa and Baron were brought in.
OMG Baron's leg is WAY better than I thought it would be! :) Kimfer even thinks it may be ready in time to take him to finals! (end of July) If not then, it will be ready for him to go to district finals (end of Aug. beginning of Sept.) And I have happy news too, Cessa's cut that she got this winter is almost completely healed over. It is now about the size of a pencil eraser! Yay no more bandages! *knock wood knock wood*
Baron and Cessa got their "treats" too and then they were turned out and I was off to home and then work... and that's where my day gets craptastic.

The following is not horse-related, I just need to get it out of my system.


Are you ready... I actually got fired tonight. Oh wait, better still... from my husband's family's business! Of course I have already (un)fortunately been re-hired. My brother-in-law ("G") and I got into an incredibly stupid argument/misunderstanding. I think a big part of it is that he ("G") is very overtired due to working so much and family obligations. After the blow up (and being fired) I called my father-in-law to tell him that I had just been fired and would not be in the next day. I honestly was NOT calling to be a "tattle-tale". I was calling out of courtesy. Tomorrow is Friday and is one of our restaurant's busiest nights. I thought he should have a heads up that they would be short a person.
My husband happened to have been in the restaurant (he's usually in our lounge by the time all this happened). Bless him, he took over my job (which I at the time no longer had) and I went home. He called me to let me know his dad was on the way to the restaurant. I asked him to please not get involved as it was already a stupid situation.

Now, how I got "un-fired". I talked to my father-in-law on the phone from home. He asked why "G" and I had been having the conversation that led to the blow up. I told him I had no idea WHY we were talking about something that happened on Tuesday when I didn't even work that day and that it was now Thursday. ("THE TOPIC" apparently has caused a lot of BS over the last few days) I told him that I had tried several times to stop the convo when "G" suddenly freaked out on me and started screaming at me and fired me. Long story short (I know, too late) my F-I-L decrees that "G" and I apologize to each other, the subject is closed and that I am still working there. He puts "G" on the phone, "G" says he's sorry for reacting the way he did and says "let's drop this now, its over" I say that I'm sorry that he thinks I said something that I didn't and that I don't want to talk about it anymore anyway. Now, lucky me I'm back to work at BD's tomorrow. I honestly don't know whether to be happy or not.
Meanwhile, hubby's all upset because even though he's trying to stay out of it (like I made him promise he would) he is obviously caught in the middle with this BS being between his wife and his bro. Arggh. He is actually more upset than I am with the crap his brother said to me!

Okay, its out of my system... I'm not talking about it anymore! (and anyway, my father-in-law has said the subject is closed!) :P And that's how a really nice day goes from good to bad.
PS - I promise to post more pics... me being me I lost the cord that lets me download pics from my camera to my computer. I'll find it one day! lol

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jackpot!

Monday night's jackpot had a good turn out and the weather was gorgeous! It was actually two jackpots because it was a double header. I love running outdoors at Walker's because the arena is HUGE. You either have a very large pattern or you have the barrels waaaay off the fence (which makes it easy to see which horses turn and which ones need the fence for "help") Either way is fine with me!
Kimfer had worked the day shift so she and Isis accompanied Raincloud and myself. I helped HV take most of the entries, then drew her up a "cheat sheet" so she'd know how much to charge anyone who came to enter while I was warming up.
Raincloud was a very good boy! And stayed nice and relaxed warming up "alone". Meaning that we didn't walk/trot/lope alongside anyone for some chit chat. He did want to join Julie and Kimfer whenever we passed them but was pretty good about going on our own way. I got some really nice loping out of him, some days he's so darn rough!
We were 10th in the go (for both jackpots!) which meant we had bottom ground for both jackpots because they were raking after every five. :(
We still didn't win any $$$. Haven't won any since the winter series ended. But we are improving our runs. Our first is much better, I've learned I have to get off his face more and just let him go. He still comes out of 2nd really wide. Julie made some observations that I'll have to remember to try to implement at Saturday's jackpot ("rider error" type stuff.... of course! lol) I'm not sure if he's running different because we're outside or if its because he's starting to actually RUN.
Oh! We finished 5th (in 3D) in the first jackpot and 4th (in 3D) in the second jackpot. Payout was to 3rd in both... so we almost had some money!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Links

As I've said before I'm new to this blogging thing. I'm also not completely computer illiterate but I'm not exactly computer savvy either. Lately I haven't had too much time to check out the features of blogger. Today I had a bit of time so I learned how to add links to the sidebar. Seeing as I don't have much in the way of pony-talk I've decided to "introduce" the links I added today.

SBRA is the site for Saskatchewan Barrel Racing Association (of which I'm a member) I have this set as my homepage so I can quickly check jackpot dates, finals info, newsletters, etc. There is also a bit of info on what exactly the SBRA is and how its run.

KCRA stand for Kakeyow Cowboys Rodeo Association. This is a small level rodeo and a bunch of people I know ride in it. I myself do not as I don't have the time/money to rodeo right now. I honestly think that I also need to improve my skills (and my horses) before I move to this level.

Smooth Run Equine is a supplement company. I use their product, and I was happy enough with it to become a rep! If you are at all interested in their product I recommend checking out their site. It has a history of how they came to be and descriptions of their various products.

Frontier Western Shop one of my favourite places to spend $$! They ship to the US as well as here in Canada. I have been very happy with their products, shipping and service. They were very patient and helpful when I was looking to replace a saddle last spring.

Free Rice is the only non-equine link (so far) It is a vocabulary game of sorts, and if its to be believed they also donate rice to the world's needy. Check this out if you are at all (as my sister describes me) "wordy".

My one bit of horse-y news... Kimfer switched shifts at work tomorrow. She's going to work the day shift so she can go to the jackpot. Yay! Company for the drive and someone to split the fuel cost!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

If Only There Was a Place to Ride

Before I start rambling on about my ride today I have to fill in some info. The place where I board (my bff's parent's place) is about 30 minutes from my house in "the city". I like boarding there except for the fact that there's no really nice place to ride unless you haul, although hauling about 1 1/2 hours to Nesbit Forest isn't too bad its also not something I do very often. Henry & Linda's property is bordered by road on three sides. On the north side is the 305 blacktop (runs from Warman to Dalmeny and beyond) on the west side is the "new" highway (new about 8 years ago) and on the east side is the "old" highway, which is now a service road from the 305 to Martensville. **side note, the wonderful "new" highway also split H & L's land in about half. The land on the west side of the highway (where there is no house or barn) we refer to as "the back pasture". And man oh man do I HATE when the horses are turned out there. Not my idea of safe OR fun to bring horses back and forth across a highway!**
So to summarize, although I love the fact that my horses live with my best bud Kimfer's horses and the other pluses I've mentioned before, the fact is that most of my non-arena riding is done either down the back gravel road or in the ditch along a highway or other quite busy higher speed road. :( The bonus is that your horse learns to tolerate traffic (had to try to find an upside!)
So today Kimfer and I rode our horses down the ditch by the service road toward Martensville. Total ride time was just over an hour. The weather was decent but not very warm (about 8 C) and the breeze was cool. Kimfer was riding her filly Isis and I was on Raincloud. Kimfer was feeling pretty relaxed and happy that her filly was doing well (she's a bit green) and then "it" happened. The plastic bag monster attacked!!! :o
Kimfer and I had both seen it, the horses had seen it too. There was a very large, very yellow plastic bag of some sort barely attached to the pasture fence that we were riding by. It was hanging there and then just as we were riding by it attacked! Or actually the breeze caught it and made it "wave" at us. But horses being horses they thought we were being attacked by some horrible, vicious, yellow monster.
I think they (RC and Isis) must have practiced this move before, because in perfect unison they spun hard and fast to the left. In the process of doing so Kimfer fell off and my reins flipped over RC's head so that they were on one side only. Things looked okay for me until Isis went to run for home and RC tried to follow. I thankfully remembered the one-rein stop technique I'd read about (and practiced a little) but I will admit that there was a split second where I wondered if the unfamiliar sensation from having the reins f'd up would cause RC to buck. Thankfully the one-rein stop worked and although a bit nervous he stood there.
I asked Kimfer if she was okay (she had by this time stood up and dusted herself off). She said she was okay. Good thing to because she's the one with the first aid training, not me! lol I asked if she'd just stop for a second by us so I could get off before she caught her horse. This might sound selfish but RC was still pretty wound up and I think if Kimfer had just walked by he'd have tried to follow her. I wanted to get off and get my rein situation straightened out! Isis, having realized that no one was going to follow her home was hanging out a few feet away.
Once we had remounted we (carefully) re approached the "monster" so the horses could have a good look and see that it was nothing to be THAT worried about. The rest of the ride was uneventful... not that I'm complaining about that!
The part that really bugs me about what happened... while this whole incident was taking place some dumb woman drove by in her minivan. She slowed down and even opened her window so that she and her kid could wave at us! But did she stop to see if we were okay, NOPE!

**Special side note to Denise** When I see the pics of where YOU board on your blog I get sooo jealous. Now you can understand why! lol ps P-lo's a cutie, he needs more pics! :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Its Hunting Season!

*sigh* I've been waiting for this day to come since late last fall... the return of hunting season, acreage hunting that is! :)
Peter & I started our search last summer. Housing prices here are crazy, which is good for us to sell our house but not so good to purchase a "new" one. We also have quite the criteria: within 30 minutes of "the city" (aka Saskatoon), decent house that doesn't need too much work, ready for horses and either a garage/shop or a barn (or better yet both!) We had very little luck last year, and our realtor wasn't much help (waaaaay too much of a "city boy")
This spring we have a new realtor (Mark! who helped my parents buy & sell years ago) who is very knowledgeable about acreages. We now have to make an appointment with a mortgage broker to see what our budget is (hopefully a bit more than last year!).
We looked at one place last week. PERFECT location, pics of house looked good but when we got there it was NOT the place for us. Fences were a complete joke, house needed too much work IF it was even workable (cracks from stress/settling that looked dubious)
But at least we're back out there. I am very very very hopeful we'll have our own place this fall!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Buck(ing) Stopped Here

Was going to post about the jackpot last night but I didn't get home until about 20 after 12 (that's 12 midnight NOT 12 noon!)
It was one of those days where it wasn't really a bad day but dumb little things kept getting in the way of making progress. The jackpot was at 7 (evening) and I got there at 6:15. I would have been there about 5:45, which although late-ish would have been better. Part of the reason I was late was stopping for fuel took a good 20 minutes and then between Saskatoon and Vanscoy I got stuck behind a house. Yup, just my luck that after the highway went from double lane to single I got stuck behind people moving a house. Surprisingly I got through the "rush hour" traffic in Saskatoon with ease. I guess that's where all my "driving good luck" was used.

*quick side note, as I've said I board my horses so I go from my house in Saskatoon a half hour to where I board (by Martensville) then to get to the jackpot I had to go back through Saskatoon to just past a town called Vanscoy*

Once I got to the jackpot I unloaded both of the boys (Quinn got to go for a "car ride" too!), grabbed my money from the truck and went to the booth to enter. Rushed back to the trailer and got Raincloud (Applejack) brushed and saddled. Gave Quinn a pat and told him to be good and headed for the arena to warm up. Here's where my "good luck" continued... just when I got to the arena the announcer called for everyone to clear the arena so they could work the ground. :(
I found a spot with decent ground and trotted & loped circles with Raincloud until he was moving nice and relaxed and paying attention. This took awhile because the only spot I could find to do this was by my trailer. I have to say Quinn was a very good boy and just stood watching, he wasn't trying to be a distraction.
When it was my turn Raincloud very slowly walked through the gate and calmly walked into the arena. When we got close to the score line I asked him to lope and off he went. He didn't run a pretty pattern, but all I was hoping for was clean with NO BUCKING. lol First was kinda wide and none too smooth, second barrel was decent and man oh man did he hit gears when he swung out of third and went to run home! (I honestly didn't think he was that quick!!)
Second run was a bit better, but slower. Was trying to get nicer turns out of him. He obviously has gotten the idea that he's supposed to go fast, now we need to re-establish the nice turns! I have a feeling there is a bit change in our future...
After the jackpot me and the boys went to Lanette's. She lives about 5 miles from Walker's (where we had the jackpot) and is taking Quinn for a month to put some miles on him. (The Quinn saga will have to have its own post another day!)
Got Quinn settled in, gave Lanette his history and talked about his "issues" and what I was hoping she could do with him. Of course there was a bit of chit-chat as well. From there I took Raincloud back home, unloaded him and my tack, parked the trailer and went home.
All in all it was a good day. No money won but goals accomplished. Seeing as I do this as a "hobby" I'm happy with the day. (although it is always more fun to leave with some cash in my pocket!)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

WTF?

I'm sure that question was going through Applejack's head yesterday, I know it went through mine today!
I'll start with yesterday. It was a gorgeous day and I had planned some "spa time" for the ponies. I'll admit that when I got to the barn I was verrrryyy tempted to just ride but I was a good girl and brought Applejack (aka Raincloud) and Cessa in to clean up. Both horses got their tails washed, Cessa's really needed it (ugh... way too grossly dirty to discuss!) then while Cessa had her "old lady food" Applejack got introduced to clippers. At least from the way he reacted I'm quite sure he was never clipped before we got him. lol
This is where "WTF?!" went through the poor guy's head, you'd have thought we were going after him with a butcher knife! Auntie Kim (aka my best bud Kimfer) is much braver than I am (and much better at clipping too!) so she worked on desensitizing him and got his face cleaned up, bridle path and legs trimmed. He looks so much handsomer now! And his legs look about half as big as they did before... he had sooooo much fetlock hair!
My turn for "WTF" was at the jackpot today. It was at Tim & Jackie's place. I took Applejack who has (for now) been renamed Applejackass. The little bugger bucked all the way to the first barrel, settled to start his turn and started bucking again coming out of first. Got him settled and trotted the rest of the pattern.
After some words of advice from "Mr Tim" (who by the way sold us this horse! lol) I went and loped/trotted circles in the field behind the arena... until we had a little "excitement". The neighbours jersey cows got loose and were strolling down the road. It was okay though, her ram escaped too so he kept the cows company. lol After the neighbour (finally) rounded up her critters we settled into more trotting.
This jackpot was a 2 run, fast time jackpot. I still had a shot for some cash if I wanted to take my second run but really all I was hoping for was a clean run with no bucking. I almost had it. It wasn't a pretty run but he was behaving (more or less) until he went to run home from third. He went to run and I checked him back to a lope because I didn't really trust him to behave. What did I get in return, more bucking. Only a couple little hops this time, but still!!! All I can say is thank goodness he doesn't buck as hard as Quinn or I would have been toast!
There is another jackpot tomorrow evening so hopefully that goes better. I'll be happy getting a clean, buck free run even if I don't get any money. *Fingers are crossed*

Friday, May 2, 2008

Betty's Back

What a week! Got home from my spontaneous road trip shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday morning and have spent the week playing catch-up with laundry and housework. Haven't really had any "pony time" but plan to spend tomorrow at the barn until its time to get ready for work. Cessa and Applejack really need their tails cleaned and to be clipped. Going to give Quinn a good brushing and possibly a trim as he's going to Lanette's Monday so she can put a month of riding on him.
Today I went out to the Ford dealership where I got my truck in December. "Betty" is a 2000 F250 and she has been gone for the last 5 or 6 weeks being repaired. Thank goodness I didn't have to pay for it! The "temporary" repair was estimated at $3000... but I stuck to my guns and VF (the dealership) paid for the full, proper repair.
Very glad to have Betty back, there are 5 jackpots scheduled for this month and I know Kimfer can't drive to all of them.
Oh! Almost forgot... I didn't buy any reins!!! (but I did get a new pair of boots) :)