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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


Sunday, July 27, 2008

See ya soon!

I've been in blogging overdrive the last few days... maybe I'm cramming in as much as I can in case my laptop doesn't cooperate? At least most of the blogs I read I can play catch up with when I get home. That darn Joe at TBFriends though, if you don't read his post that day its gone! So I'm going to miss those all week :( (and I am secretly hoping that all y'all aren't too chatty this week! ;p)



So here's a rundown of the week:

Monday - arrive, settle horses in, set up camp, get groceries.

Tuesday - visit the RCMP heritage museum, office opens - pay entries & fees

Wednesday - 1st Open run (Kimfer & I entered)

Thursday - 2nd Open run (K & I again) and 1st Barrel Bonanza run (Kimfer)

Friday - final Open run off for those who qualified and 2nd BB run, clean up, load up and head home!

Of course there is daily stall cleaning/feed & watering/exercising of the ponies. Maybe we'll hit the midway. Do some shopping, maybe hit a movie (for the air conditioning if nothing else!)



I am hoping to make a post of two while I'm gone, if not I'll take notes and play catch up posting when I return. Have a fun week all my blogfriends! (but don't post a lot! lol)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm Loved :)

So how cool is this:
I got this from the fabulous Meg and it was great timing as its been a bit of a trying week. I've only started going to Meg's recently, but let me tell you she is a heck of a gal! Funny stuff over there you should check her out! That is of course if you haven't already... she's a pretty popular lady. lol
This isn't one of the awards that comes with a list of 'rules'. So here's who I'd like to share with:
Denise - my first "blogfriend" :)
Steph - sharing her lessons with us
Laura & AOHCM - my fellow Canadians
and Train Wreck (although she most certainly is NOT one!)
*award is not created by me*

Countdown begins

In less than two days we're on the road! (about 36 hours)Lots of little last minute details to attend to.

Today before work Kimfer & I loaded the trailer. Everything except the tack, horses and my bedroll. Tack would have been loaded but Kimfer has to clean out the inside of the horse area. She thought her dad had done that when he washed the trailer, but nooo - he only washed the outside.

When we get to finals we clean out the horse area really well (sweep it and if needed spray out). Then we lay down some "carpet" (canvas tarp), move the bar fridge into there, set up some plastic shelves and put a bar up across the top. Voila! Walk in closet and pantry lol

My truck (which is at the acreage, hitched and ready) has a full tank of gas, oil is changed, fluids and tires are checked.

Horses are clipped. We'll bathe them in Regina, they have washracks in the barns.

Chad is coming out to trim horses today. Good thing, Applejack pulled a shoe at the last jackpot. Guess he was running too fast! lol I have to work so Kimfer will be there for the farrier visit.

Tomorrow we'll load the tack, the groceries (what we have so far, we'll pick up more in Regina) and I'll bring my bedroll and toss it in. Me & Pie also have to go for lunch with my Mom & Brian (her husband), my brother & his wife. It was Pie's b-day this week so Sunday will be the only time for all of us to get together.

Have to do all my laundry after work today and Sunday. Want to pick up a laptop bag/carrier thing. I plan to bring my laptop, but I'm doubting I'll get it to co-operate!

Of course I have to clean my house and pay bills before I go.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What a day!

Well to start with the good:
Kimfer and I went riding late this morning. We rode "the loop" again. I had previously estimated it at 6-8 miles. I believe it is closer to 6.
It was a perfect day to ride. Sun was shining, it was nice but not hot. A light breeze, the sweet smell of grass in the air. *sigh* The only thing better would be to have been riding Cessa. But Applejack needs the exercise, especially seeing as he's had quite a bit of time off this week.
We walked about half the ride and loped and trotted the rest. At one point we were loping and decided to ask the boys for a bit of speed. Applejack and I were ahead by about a length. When Baron started to draw up alongside us little Applejack pinned his ears and kicked it up a gear. lol
Kimfer and I also chatted and laughed. It was just one of those light-hearted, fun rides. Kimfer is also very glad that Baron is stumbling less. (She was worried that maybe she had started him back too soon.)
Also, the rake draw for finals is up now... and we don't have to rake!! :) Kimfer thinks that its probably because our district's duty is running the gate and calling down riders. Whatever the reason, I'm happy!
Oh, and speaking of finals I should share the story with you guys that I told Kimfer. I e-mailed both of our entries in. And I accidentally typed in "Kimfer ****" in the spot for her name! Whoops, good thing I noticed before I hit send! You see, I actually DO call her Kimfer. Its what's been written on birthday cards, Christmas cards, etc for YEARS. That would have been funny though, seeing Kimfer **** in the program! I thought she was going to laugh herself out of her saddle for a sec when I told her!
Then, I come home and YAY my washer is fixed! And better yet... the repairman wrote it up as something to do with the warranty (and it wasn't!). So it cost me $0 to get the washer fixed :)

Then after lunch I came to blogworld. Changed the name of my blog, actually got a header to fit (that's Quinn AKA Phat Boy grazing by the dugout). And then it went downhill. Not terribly, at least for me, but I can just imagine how sad my blogfriend Denise is. She's decided that her boy is probaby not lame as in "lame" but is neurologic. :( I feel so bad for her. I read her post and teared up. Then I felt bad because I didn't really know what to say. I understand, trust me... when the vets thought Cessa had Cauda Equina (sp???) it was the worst week or so of my horse life, scarier than when she coliced.
Denise, if you read this - I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not knowing what to say, I'm sorry that Les isn't improving despite all that you've done for him, and I'm sorry that the two of you have to go through this.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Survey says:

Here's the deal. I'm asking for the opinion of my fellow blogworld friends. (sorry, I know we haven't all known each other a long time!) :)

I'm thinking of renaming my blog. When I started it I had NO idea what to call it. I wanted something that would immediately let you know what it was about. I had a second idea that I didn't choose and I'm now wishing I had.
Do you think its okay to change the name of a blog? Does it annoy you when people constantly tweak and change things about their blog? Or does it keep it interesting? Are there certain changes that you don't mind and others that just bug you?
I'll admit, when people make a drastic colour change it kinda annoys me. Here I am, used to reading a blog that is a fairly muted, soft colour and I go to click it and its bright limey yellow. Argghhh... my poor eyes weren't prepared! I'm now blind!!!! lol Okay, not quite that dramatic, but I wouldn't have opened that blog in the dark if I had known it was now pretty much neon! :)
I also didn't put a lot of thought into "my" name. cdncowgirl. I'm Canadian and proud of it so that parts okay. But the only reason I put cowgirl in there was to show that I ride western. I haven't lived on a farm since I was 5. I grew up in a small town and now (unfortunately) live in a city. I don't even rope. :p But it works, sorta. And I'm not changing it, I have made quite a few acquaintances here in the blogworld and don't want to cause any confusion. :)

Bottom line, new blog name or old blog name?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The last laugh

I get a good giggle when people think I'm organized. I'm really not. I'm forgetful so I do things in a way that appears organized. I don't know whether its age, genetics or too many concussions from the car accidents and falls off horses. But I don't always trust my memory. :)
I make lists. List list list list list. And I put all my appointments in my cell phone planner (the bonus is you can set off an alarm to remind you of the appointment!) And in case something sabotages my cell (its home charging for instance) I double up and also have everything written in a plain old pen & paper dayplanner.
I make lists of stuff I have to do during the week. I make lists of what I have to pack. For instance right now I'm making the lists for what I have to pack for finals. (yup, that says lists as in plural. There is my list and Raincloud's list).
The funny thing is, I've been going to finals for at least 7 years. You'd think it would be pretty routine by now. But no, just in case I forgot something... there's a list. lol
Here's a good example. I take the same stuff to every jackpot. But this is me double checking after loading gear in the trailer. I stand at the door to the tack area and say:
"Okay, there's the gear bag with brushes, sprays and liniment. Good. I've got my boots, pad, saddle and bridle. Good." Then I go load my horse.
That's the other thing. I always go over that list in the same order. And yes I do actually say it somewhat aloud. Complete with hand gestures. lol
Kimfer has caught me mumbling/muttering under my breath and teased me about it.
Funny story though. She can no longer tease me about a) my list habit or b) having what she deems unnecessary stuff.
I usually have spare halters & leads in the trailer. Spare chicago screws, etc in my gear bag.
Yup, Kimfer can no longer bug me about that. Wanna know why?! ;)
Sunday we went to the double header at Jack Pine. Took my truck & trailer. Got there, unloaded the ponies, went in and registered.
Came back out and brushed and tacked up. And then it happened.
Kimfer says, "Oh shit, I don't have any reins!"
Me, thinking... WTF
"HOW do you not have your reins?!" I asked.
Turns out she had taken them off the day before to use on Baron. She's been taking Isis to the Jack Pine series and uses plain, white cotton reins to ride the greenie. They are also her favorite "just riding" reins so she had used them when she rode Baron the day before.
I said "Hang on, let me check on something." and I ducked into the trailer.
Sure enough, hanging behind a spare shirt, was a new pair of black cotton reins.
I handed them to her and said "Here you go brand new, never used!"
Of course, I also pointed out that she can't tease me about those two habits of mine anymore! ;)

ps- Since doing "reform school" with Raincloud I've taken him to four jackpots with greatly improved behaviour!
Kress's: Finished out of the money. Barrels were wide but he ran!
Jack Pine: Won the 3D in the first jackpot. Hit a barrel in the second (totally pilot error)
Edward's: Placed 4th in the 3D.

Now I don't have high expectations for finals, its our first season together and we're just ironing out the kinks. Not to mention that finals is a whole other ball game! 400+ horses, stalled 24/7, commotion and activity. Then the arena itself - enter down a ramp, music, announcer, signage everywhere (really a problem for some horses!) AND spectators! Not many mind you, but still there's clapping, cheering and motion in the stands!
I just want him to experience it and learn how to deal. Then maybe next year we can go and really 'go for it'!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I got kicked today!

OUCH!
Actually, not really... it was Mrs Mom that kicked me. lol She passed on the "Six Things You Don't Know About Me" tag. So I've been letting this percolate in my poor l'il brain.
Some of the stuff I've thought of sharing deserves its own post. Other things may be too embarrassing. I don't really know any of y'all but I like what I do know and don't want to scare you away! lol
A few things that I considered but didn't make the list were:
*I'm new to blogging and semi-technically impaired. (but I'm pretty sure that's been stated before, and obvious!)
*I'm a married gal (yup that's been covered)
*I'm horse crazy (well DUH)
*I'm a (multi types of) whore... but NOT "that" kind of whore (oh yeah, we've covered that!) lol
*I have an addiction to putting smilies and "lol" type things on posts and comments. ;)

So here's the real list:
Six Things You Don't Know About Me
(or may not want to know! lol)
1) I am basically an honest person. In real life AND on my blog. I say basically because I believe that NO ONE is 100% honest 100% of the time. I tell the truth as much as possible without hurting people's feelings for no good reason. After all there is a difference between honesty with tact and honesty with poor intentions. And on that note, if I know you in real life and never say anything "bad" to you, I probably don't really like you. If you are my real friend you can take it if I disagree with you or have a bitchy moment. :)
I try to blog the same way I would talk to you. That means I might not always agree with you, or I may sound like a babbling idiot at times.
2) I have a strange schedule. If you happen to notice when my comments are made or when my posts are put up you may have caught onto this. You see, I work at my husband's family's restaurant. It was never my intention to go work at the family biz. I used to work at a motel. The company that owned the motel had several different properties and kinds of hotels/motels. I changed properties and in the process of doing so I got SERIOUSLY screwed over. Shortly before we got married I was at my breaking point and so I went to work at the Diamond. So now I work 4 evenings a week (Wed-Sat). I work from 5pm to ?? (anywhere from 10pm to 3am depending on what's going on, usually no later than 1am). My hubby works from 5pm - 2 or 3am, 6 evening a week (although lately its more like 6 1/2). You'd think there'd be all kinds of perks working at the family eatery... but no. I haven't had a "real" vacation in the 5 years I've worked there, and I'm suffering serious burnout... I need a break from customers!!!! lol (there are a few perks though)
3) I am a TV junkie. Seriously. Thank goodness my cable box has a DVR. I pretty much never watch anything while it is actually on. I record it and watch it later, bye bye commercials (unless its something that catches my eye) An hour show can be watched in approximately 40 minutes. I do watch most of my TV late at night, after all its not like I could be riding then! I'll watch something while I'm on the treadmill, or hubby and I watch it together when he gets home from work. Late at night is also when I usually do housework, or blog!
4) My house is a state of chaos. Seriously, it looks like a tornado landed here. Its embarrassing and I'm a bit ashamed of it. I'd looove for my house to look clean, tidy, organized... ready for a photo-op. Funny enough there's an ass-backwards reason for this. Besides the obvious "I'm a very busy person who would rather LIVE her life" there is this one, I'm secretly very particular about how things are done. And if they can't be the way I want them to be then I'd pretty much rather they be completely the opposite.
5) I'm a Gemini, and it really does fit me. I'm like 2 people in one. Serious at times and a total smartass at others. As a Gem my taste is eclectic. Books, I read true crime to chick lit (Sophie Kinsella rocks), horror (Dean Koontz!) to non-fiction (Freakonomics). Music, anything goes, classic country (Patsy Cline) to metal (Apocolyptica, Metallica), hip-hop to classical. Even my taste in men! My "celeb crushes" are John Rich (Big & Rich, thank you Nashville Star!!) and John Cena (WWE wrestler, err... yes I watch wrestling - with Pie).
6) This ones hard to admit to all of you out there in blogland, after all you never really SEE me. So here goes. I am fat. No, not chubby, fat. Not one of those chicas that needs to lose 20 lbs. Obese. I am working on changing this, and have made some progress. There are many physical reasons for it and a few emotional ones as well. If you're a larger person you know being fat in the world in general is hard, try being fat in the horse world. Especially the show world (goodness I'm glad I don't show!) lol. Okay, I just said it, I don't show, but I do barrel race and being fat in THAT horse world is VERY difficult, after all the stereotype of the typical barrel racer is "skinny bitch".
Well I hope that didn't scare any of you away. If you're still here I'd like to kick this over to:
Denise, Lester's "mom" over at Less is More.
Steph, who calls The School of Life With Horses home.
Laura, maybe she'll tell us what's up with the name little keebler.
and my new friend over at Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind, her name is very long so I call her AOHCM.
Oh, and Mrs Mom... this isn't "really" Tundra Country, its prairie country. hehe Hope I did you proud!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This is NOT a paid advertisment! lol

Product whore? Yeah, that's me. As evidenced in my tack room tour photos! lol So I'll give the credit to twinville for this idea: occasionally I'll throw in my opinion on various products. As we've seen I've got quite a variety! lol
I also want to mention a thanks to denise-lessismore17. For those who've read my blog for a little while, you may notice that I'm posting more pics. Denise is partially responsible for that. Her awesome candid pics of Lester (the cookie eating, tongue sticking out, cute as can be TB gelding) inspired me to buy a smaller camera. Easier to have on hand = more likely to take pictures (and maybe even get a good one!) So thanks Denise, because of you I bought a nifty little Nikon Coolpix S210 (purple!) that is super tiny, easy to use and fits in my purse. Its with me now almost everywhere! :)

Today while driving out to the acreage to ride with Kimfer I switched over to the radio in time to catch the weather. Apparently there was a severe thunderstorm warning covering from the Sask/US border to Prince Albert. That's roughly 2/3's of the province. (wowee!) Of course, Saskatoon was NOT supposed to be part of this weather warning.
Kimfer was just finishing up a ride on Isis when I got there so I spent a little time grooming and talking to Cessa, then I gave her her 'extras' and took a few pics. (ah-ha, see I had my camera!)
Kimfer got back and put up Isis, then we got the boys (Baron and Applejack) ready and went for a ride. I had originally planned to work in the arena (jackpot tomorrow and I want to make sure this last one wasn't a fluke!). Sadly it was muddy enough to be slippery so we rode out instead.
We chose to ride "the loop" as we call it. We head out the driveway and ride down the ditch by the highway to Martensville (heading south), then ride down the ditch alongside the approach, turn north and ride the ditch by the service road (the old highway) back to the acreage. (We can obviously do this reverse, ride the service road toward Martensville and then the highway back home).
The boys were being very co-operative, even just giving a little bit of a look at the round bales sitting in the ditch (wonder how long they'll be there until they get picked up?). The only thing Applejack did that I didn't like was try to graze while we were walking. Can't blame him, the grass (with alfalfa mixed in) was chest high in places! Baron was flipping his head a bit, which was annoying Kimfer.
When the grass was short enough to see the ground better we decided to let the ponies kick into a higher gear. I was very pleased that when I asked Applejack to lope he set off promptly at a nice, unhurried lope. After his speed-demon antics the other night I was concerned that any time I ask him to lope he'd think it meant run his little spotted hiney off. (not a good thing for Pie to experience if he ever gets back on his horse. I don't want to ruin his 'beginner friendly' pony!). Even nicer was how responsive he was today. Kimfer and I decided to kick it up a bit so I gave a bump and he sped up. Again very nicely. Then I decided to let him run a bit and kissed and off he went. Best of all he was very easy to slow down today. The other day it took awhile to settle him back down after our run (then again it was a kickass, fast run!).
We walked the boys the rest of the way home and then gave them their 'extras' and put them out. (then I rushed home, had lunch & a shower and went to work) When I drove home I checked my odometer against the spot we had our nice lope, we loped about a mile. Total ride was about 6-8 miles.
Oh yeah, speaking of work.... major downpour during supper. Thunder, lightening, hail and wow so much rain! So much for Saskatoon not being part of that weather warning! lol

So here's today's product opinion. *little disclaimer: I am NOT an expert, on anything! This is just my humble opinion and experience. If you chose to try any of this on your own I am in NO WAY responsible*
If my horses work hard and get sweaty I really like to use Absorbine Refreshmint (on the left in the photo). I mix it with water in a spray bottle (pictured centre) and after brushing I spray them down. If they are really wet I'll spray them, let them dry and then brush. Refreshmint contains spearmint, witch hazel and menthol so your sweaty pony smells pretty good after being sprayed down. :) It is a body wash/brace that also cools your horse and is supposed to be relaxing for his/her muscles. It DOES contain alcohol ("natural all-grain alcohol") so I only use it on rides that my horse works hard and/or gets a good sweat going. The third item in the photo is called Dynamint Equine Leg & Muscle Rub. I rub down my horses legs with it after a good workout (or barrel racing). It has peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and calendula oil but NO alcohol. I personally really like the absence of alcohol. I find it less drying to my hands than the other products I have used in the past. Dynamint rubs in easily, isn't greasy and smells good too. Although I use it primarily on my horse's legs I will also use it on their necks, backs, hindquarters... basically anywhere they seem a bit muscle sore, if they seem sore or stiff. I will also say, I have used it on my own sore, achy muscles on occasion. Very tingly, but in a nice way! I think my horses seem to enjoy it when I rub down their legs with it. :)



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tack Room Tour!

Okay, I know... Pony Girl made the TRT tag awhile ago. But I wanted to read her whole blog and catch up before I added my tour! So here you go everyone, "my" tack room:
The tack room is about 10 feet wide and about 30 feet long. I have about half the space and Kimfer & her dad have the other half. (I probably have too much stuff! lol)
This is the view from the doorway. The top row is halters, longe lines, and misc. Bottom row is headstalls. If you count from left to right, my halters, etc are on pegs 8-11 (top row) and bridles are on pegs 7-11 (bottom row)

This is the rest of the wall to the left of the halter/bridle hooks. My saddles (and Pie's) are the ones on the far left. Pie's saddle is first (in the navy) and then my main two saddles. I like the way the pads hang over the saddles, they really get to air out nicely. And I LOVE my saddle bags/carriers. They zip almost all the way around, have a shoulder strap (yeah right, I'm going to carry it on MY shoulder!) and are nylon lined. My saddles stay pretty clean and don't get clawed up if the cats happen to get locked in the tack room. Incidentally, the dark saddle on the right is Kimfer's dad's saddle. It's for his TWH and is frickin' HEAVY! I'm glad I don't have to heave that thing way up on Rainy or Ty!! (his -quite tall- TWH geldings) :)
This next pic is the far end wall. The blanket racks (yay!) Mine are the navy blue one on the outside through to that light plaid one. Of course they're all doubled (or tripled?) up so you can't really see them. Those blue rubber totes and the pads on the bench are Kimfer's.

These cupboards were originally in the house on the acreage. (Kimfer's dad is a contractor, the house was an old shack and he gutted it and has re-renovated several times, its VERY nice now). The cupboards came in handy in the tack room. The 3 closed doors on the right are mine. The stuff directly under them, yup mine (including the storage totes). That little cupboard between the shelf and the blankets has clean rags for bathing horses/cleaning wounds/cleaning saddles/etc in it. (they belong to Kimfer & I.)

These 3 cupboard doors (and below) belong to Kimfer & Mr.F (her dad). There is almost always at least one open. Usually its the end one closest to the door and I almost walk into it about once a day! lol
This is the other end (closest to the door, duh) The wooden saddle rack has Kimfer's English saddle. The one next to it (piled with stuff) has my other Western saddle and my English saddle. Don't ask! ... Okay, I'll tell you. We don't ride English. I've taken a very few lessons. Kimfer spent one winter learning. We both want to learn more and found these very inexpensive saddles. Kind of a "one day I WILL" thing. About half of those pegs on the left of the window are more of my stuff. (spare halters, bridles, bridle bag, yes reins! etc)

Here is a closer look at my shelf/cupboard area: The funny purple thing on the door is a neoprene cell phone holder. You can strap it on your arm or leg. If you should happen to become separated from your horse at least you still have your phone, its not galloping away (not that that would happen, right?! lol) Then there is a dry erase monthly calendar, a couple of refreshments, my camera case, car keys, lip balm, black grooming tote (with first aid kit) leg rub, muscle spray, fly spray, sage gear bag (it was a grooming tote but is too stuffed to carry regularly!) In the actual cupboards there are horse boots, hay bag, bits, horse veterinary type book, gloves, etc.
Now if that's not enough stuff for ya, we have more in the pump room. An old fridge holds a LOT of stuff! lol Kimfer & Mr.F have the freezer and directly on top of the fridge. I have the wooden shelf next to the fridge and the main body of the fridge itself. That ugly plaid thing is my "barn jacket" for when its cool but not really cold. I mostly wear it in the spring when the horse hair is flying! There are also more headstalls under that jacket as well as a rain jacket. This is the only heated room in the barn so in the winter Kimfer & I keep the headstalls we use most frequently in here. That way the bits are nice and warm when we bridle those ponies! :)
There is a radio to keep me company when I'm alone with the ponies, a helmet (which I am trying to get in the habit of wearing!) The blue pail is the "cool out" pail. I put water in it and sponge off the ponies if they work really hard on a hot day. :) Miscellaneous "stuff" in the boxes. Containers of Smooth Run products. Rubber boots, molasses, and oil on the floor.
A quick peek of what's inside the fridge: extra fly spray, hoof boots, Show Sheen, clippers, blade cool spray stuff, vet wrap, bandaging stuff, sweat scraper, bath stuff, wet wipes, aloe gel, honey, etc etc.
That might have been embarrassing. That might be too much info. Yes I am a bit of a product whore. Maybe I shouldn't have done this tour!! lol


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

... I think I may be on track to earning it from Raincloud! :)
Last week I rode almost every day and really worked on, well on myself. I have to be a more authoritative rider with him. Ask once (with firmness) and if he doesn't respond correctly TELL him.
So all week we rode in the arena (with cones marking the nest so we didn't trample it). The first few days we did no barrel work. Just walk/trot/lope patterns in the arena. Went for precise, had a few minor disagreements:

me - bend deep into the corners
RC - are you sure you want me in the corner? Let's cut the corner!
me - I said bend!
RC - okay okay, you really mean it.
or
me - trot!
RC - how about a speedy walk?
me - TROT!
RC - okay fine

Little "conversations" like that... the more I was firm about it the fewer discussions we had to have. Until he didn't really "test" me anymore.
The third day Kimfer rode with me and we set up funnel barrels.

*(barrels are placed in pairs and the pairs get closer to each other. For example we had 8 barrels - or 4 pairs - the 1st 2 were about 65 feet apart, the next 2 were about 40 feet, next 2 about 30 feet, last 2 about 15 feet. You zigzag around the pattern. Good exercise for barrel horses! They really need to listen to the rider to do it right)*

Anyway, back to the story. Kimfer & I warmed up our horses really good (she was on Baron this time) and went through the funnel barrels. Baron did awesome! He usually gets really excited and worked up. He starts to get really stiff and anticipates too much. This time he stayed nice and loose and was fast. Good to see he's recovered so well! I took Applejack through slow (trotted) and he was very good. Then I took him through at a lope and it was really good. Our horses had worked well so we cooled them out and were done for the day.
The next day we did funnels again. Kimfer on Isis this time. Isis & Kimfer were not having a good day. Partly because Kimfer has been sick with a nasty sinus infection. So although not perfect Kimfer didn't push it and left it on as good a note as was possible. Applejack was again a very good boy! We did the funnels once at a fast lope and then a "modified" barrel pattern. Meaning we just used the first 2 barrels of the funnel as barrels 1 & 2 and then picked one of the last pair as the 3rd barrel. He was very good but you could tell he was wondering why we were ignoring all the other barrels he'd been going around before!
Sunday was the final practice day. We took the extra 5 barrels off the pattern and set the remaining 3 up correctly. Warmed up really good and went through the pattern. He was awesome! No bucking, no resisting. It felt so good :)
Yesterday was the true test, a jackpot! I warmed him up really good and then it was "sit & wait" time. At least at Kress's (where the jackpot was) there is lots of room to keep your horse moving and warmed up. Oh! And another bonus, Joe harrowed a "track" around one of the pastures for his wife to ride. Its not a perfect flat and smooth track like a race track but its harrowed, the footing is good and you can run/walk/trot whatever you need to do. Julie & I took the boys out there while the youth were racing and got them moving.
Applejack can run! Whoo boy! We trotted the boys out for a distance and then ran back. Julie went back to her trailer and I turned Applejack and ran him again. This time I really let him go and he loved it! He didn't care at all that his buddy had left and it was just the two of us. Then, to reinforce that there are slower speeds to move at we slow loped back to the gate and then walked to the trailer.
As for our actual barrel runs, they weren't perfect. The turns were pretty wide. I noticed a lot of horses going wide yesterday actually. But he ran. No bucking, no farting around. We went in, I asked him to go and he did! I didn't place in the money but I think I was probably the happiest person there last night!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The credit goes to...

Hmmm, not too sure! I stumbled across this awhile ago and thought it was pretty funny. So if anyone knows who wrote this please let us know!

BABY GOT BACK -- The Horse Version
(to the tune of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back")
Oh my god....Becky, look at that horses butt
It is so big. He looks like one of those barrel racing girls geldings
Who understands those barrel racers anyway.
They only ride those horses because they look like a tank
Okay I mean his butt. It's just so big
I can't believe it's just so round. It's like out there. I mean, it's gross

I like big butts and I can not lie
You other racers can't deny
That when a horse gallops in
With a round thing in your face
You get sprung
Wanna run those barrels
Cause you notice that butt was huge
Big behind the saddle hes wearing, I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh, baby I wanna get with ya, and run that figa
My cowgirls tried to warn me, but with that butt you got me so...
I've seen them racin
The hell with just placin
I'm tired of magazines, saying smaller butts are the thing
Take the average racer and ask her that
The horses gotta pack much back
Cowgirls(yeah) Cowgirls(yeah)
Has your gelding got the butt (hell yeah!!!)
Tell em to race it, race it, race it, race it, race that big ol butt
Horses got back
I wannem real thick and juicy
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna race...Til the break of dawn
You got it goin on
Cuz your big and fast
And I'm down to get the racin on
So cowgirls (yeah) cowgirls (yeah)
If you wanna ride that gelding (yeah)
Then get on
Ride'em out
Even the jumpers got to shout
Horses got back
Yeah baby
When it comes to horses
Those TBs ain't got nothin to do with my selection
32-inch-girth?
Only if hes 14.2
So your TB works a cross post
Jumpin rails coast to coast
But your TB dont have motor in the back of his saddle
This barrel racer don't want none unless the horse got buns
You can do lead changes or corkscrews, but please don't loose that butt
So Equus says you're fat?
Well I aint down with that
Cuz your hips are set and your hocks are kickin
And I'm thinkin bout stickin
To the TB mares in the magazines
You aint it miss thing
Give me a QH I can't resist him
Beet pulp and grain didn't miss him
So geldings if the butt is round
And you wanna run those barrels down
Dial 1-900-racealot and get to turnin and burnin'...


*ahem* small disclaimer... I still love the "skinny TB butt" my mare has! :)
*photos found online*

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's this?

Last week I was riding in the arena and noticed a bird hanging out. She (he?) seemed very upset when I rode along the north (long) side. She'd start hopping around over at the short end on the west like there was something very interesting that I should come see.
From the way she was behaving I figured she must have a nest in the weeds along that long side. Then I saw it, barely:



As you'll notice, it wasn't in the weeds. She had built her nest in the arena! It was just over halfway down and about 15 feet off the rail. I happened to glance down because I thought I saw a rock. (the ground where the ponies live is very stony. We constantly pick rocks from the arena.)
Nope it wasn't a rock. It was four eggs in a nest made of pebbles and dirt with a few little twigs! (not quite my idea of comfort! lol)

Next time I rode I set up some cones so I wouldn't trample the unhatched babies. Momma bird (daddy bird?) didn't get as upset this time. Probably because I made sure to give the nest area a wide berth.

Here's a closer view of the eggs. I put my thumb alongside for a size comparison. (my hands are fairly average size)

I couldn't get a clear pick of Parent Bird. But I did some research online and I am fairly sure it was some sort of plover or piper. The one that matches closest to my non-professional observations is a piping plover.

Appy-tude

I wasn't sure if I was going to mention this. I don't want to seem like I'm whining. The jackpot on Sunday brought out Applejackass again. :(
I warmed him up really good. Went to take a practice run, and he bucked. Warmed him up some more. Practice run. Bucked. Then the jackpot started. I went in for my run hoping he had it out of his system. Made sure I stayed off his face. Bucked.
Second run. Bucked. Nearly took out the timer that time. :x
The jackpot was a double header. Two runs in each jackpot. It was in district 10 (my district is district 1) The only district 1 girls there were Kimfer, myself and Brenda. Kimfer & Brenda said they thought he was just doing it to be a pill (to borrow Pony Girl's word, that's not quite the one K & B used!). They said to really get after him if he does it again. Not to worry about getting a time, or even a run. Just GET AFTER HIM.
This was hard for me. I'm so used to Cessa. You ask, or sometimes just think, and voila its done! (she's not quite that "perfect" but its good).
So in between jackpots I work him outside the arena. Ask for something, if I don't get it I DEMAND it. He's being pretty good. We go in for our first run, buck, I get on his case. Spin circles, hard, then continue the pattern. Second run, buck, same tactic... although this time I lost my place in the arena and it took me a second to gather myself and figure out which way to run! (how do reiner's not get lost when they spin!?) But here's the good thing. His bucks were getting a little half-hearted. Almost like he was rethinking his strategy.
After the jackpot Kimfer took him through his paces. Kind of to double check whether we were right, that he was testing ME. Hoping it wasn't due to soreness or being "out" or something along those lines. She ran him through the barrels twice, slowly. That used to be the trigger. He wanted to go competition speed and when he was asked to go slow he would pull his fit. He was perfect for Kimfer. So the third time she took him through at speed and again it was fine. So it seems that he is testing me, he's giving me attitude, or rather appy-tude. :(
The nice thing was, he does a darn good pattern!
Aftewards Kimfer, Brenda & I took a short ride through the forest to cool off the horses. That's right, the forest! The jackpot was at Jack Pine by Duck Lake, right at the edge of Nesbit Forest. Sorry, no pictures but I plan to make sure I grab a set of horn bags and my camera for next time!
So now this is the plan. I will ride more frequently and really FOCUS when I ride. Do more technical stuff. Pattern work, barrel work. Almost try to push his little Appy-tude button. And if he does misbehave, get on his case. Teach him I am NOT a pushover (I may have to fake part of that! lol)
Below is our arena at "home" as seen from the back door of the barn. Yup that red dot is a car, the highway is about 60-80 feet from the arena. (Dept. of Highways divided up Kimfer's dad's land to build the double lane highway --- BOO!)
Hmmm, seems to be pretty weedy. Must have missed those ones with the sprayer. And there are some strange orange things growing... oh, wait, those are the cones I bought to mark patterns and such! :)

So today I rode Raincloud (yay, no appearance of Applejackass!!) And we both worked our tails off! He did give me a few half-hearted tricks. Stuff like "are you sure you want me to not cut that corner?" But I was firm and he worked out of it. By the end he was moving off very light leg pressure! :)Here is a pic of Raincloud/Applejack after our ride, but before being groomed. Hmm, his tail does seem to be missing! But it is there, just kinda hidden behind his left hind leg.



After giving Applejack a nice rub down with a sponge and some cool water I sprayed him with Refreshmint solution and rubbed down his legs (oooh, tingly hands!). Then he got his "extras" and Cessa and Fat Boy, er Quinn, came in for their "extras".

My horses are currently pastured right next to the arena. When I let him out this is how Applejack showed his gratitude for cooling him out and cleaning him up!


Yup, gotta get both sides! This horse LOVES to roll. Cessa & Quinn will roll occasionally. When I had Rain she'd roll only after a real good work. Applejack rolls almost every single time he is ridden. (oops, cut his legs out but you can see his tail is still there, it didn't get worked off!)

Now what were you saying about a bath?

Man that is one dirty boy! By tomorrow he'll be almost clean. Its pretty nice that no matter how dirty he gets he "self cleans" a lot, after all he's got a lot of white on him now! Hard to believe he was registered as a bay with a white blanket! lol

(for those of you thinking "wtf is with his left foreleg?" I can assure you it was due to camera angle/poor timing of subject's movement, it is a normal leg!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Ism's"

By now most of us know that a word that ends in "ism" is generally something bad. Racism, sexism, ageism... But there is an ism that affects a LOT of horse people, breedism.
No matter what discipline a horseperson is involved in there seems to be breedism. From the backyard horse owner to the hunter princess. From the roper/cutter/can chaser to the Olympic jumpers. From dressage to combined driving.
Now I understand that certain breeds are better suited to some disciplines than others. What I don't understand is why (in some people's opinions) that makes any other breed useless. Or even certain breeds useless. For example, I personally ride Western. I trail ride and barrel race. For my needs a stock type horse is best. That doesn't mean that I think anything not bred to handle my needs is a crap horse. I appreciate a good horse of any breed doing its job and doing it well. And in my opinion there are good and bad horses in every breed. (just like I know good and bad people from a variety of economic/racial/religious/cultural backgrounds)
There are some breeds that seem to be commonly disliked by those that aren't aficionados. Arabs are the first that come to mind. Saddlebreds too. Thoroughbreds are often mentioned in the negative if not out-right disliked. Colour breeds like Appies & Paints and gaited breeds seem to be a love or hate.
Arabs, yup... they get a lot of haters. Which is kinda amusing when you consider they are one of the oldest breeds and have had an influence on a LOT of other breeds. Quick, how many can you list of the top of your head? Percheron, Thoroughbred, Welsh, Friesian, Morgan, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, Paint, Saddlebred, Trakehner. That's it for my "top of the head" list. I'm sure I could find more.
I will admit that I wouldn't want an Appy with a little stick tail. I know, pretty is as pretty does, but I feel SO sorry for them during fly season. So when/if I were to shop for an Appaloosa I would stay away from the bloodlines that tend toward the "stick tail" trait. Other than that I like Appaloosas.
I would have to say that I can't think of a breed that I hate, or even strongly dislike. Yeah "my" little Appy will never be a Grand Prix dressage horse. But I have a feeling those GP dressage horses aren't exactly going to burn around the barrel pattern. My (beautiful) thoroughbred mare isn't going to be out there winning a horse pull. But those Shires, Belgians, et al aren't setting any speed records. It all comes down to a good horse is a good horse.

My favourite personal story of breedism:
The horse I happened to have when the following happened is my dear Cessa. I didn't have a lot of money and was lucky to have one horse, any horse, and not about to be picky. I was working in a small town store (my home town) when a girl (let's call her Cindy) came in and we started talking about horses. She was local, although I didn't know her that well. I'm not 100% sure what started the conversation. I kind of think that perhaps Kimfer had just been in the store and Cindy overheard us planning a ride.
So Cindy and I are talking horses. We talk riding, where we like to go etc etc. Gets around to more specifics and she's telling me about her wonderful quarter horse. Then she asks me what kind of horse I have. Oh the snitty look on her face when she hears the word Thoroughbred come out of my mouth! She tries to make reason with it... asks me if I ride English as well as Western.
Nope, just Western I tell her.
Then, in a really bitchy voice, says "Why don't you get a REAL western horse? Like a Paint or a Quarter Horse."
Now I was a very shy, timid girl at the time. And I was at work, and it had always been drilled in to me 'be nice to customers'. But I couldn't help it. I spit back as 'friendly' as I could "Go home and do a little research on your papered Quarter Horse. Then come back and tell me how much thoroughbred he has in him."
I will give Cindy this much credit. A week or two later she came in and sort of apologized. She also said that she didn't realize how much thoroughbred blood was in a modern Quarter Horse.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Oh My, its Already July!

First off, to my American friends: Happy 4th of July!! :)

Now, I was looking at my dayplanner yesterday when I realized... its July! :o
This year July is a very busy month for me. Here's what there is (so far) that I can think of:
Birthdays: Petie-pie (my husband), Dana (my sister), Gussie (my brother-in-law)
Jackpots: DH on 1st, DH on 5th, DH on 6th, 14th, 15th, DH on 20th, 22nd
*(DH = double header)
SBRA 1 - district 1: Go to Claypool's and pay for prizes for district finals. Bottle drive & garage sale fundraisers. Banking. Pay district fees to Provincial finals. Double check district duties for Prov. finals.
SBRA 2 - Provincial finals: (July 30th-Aug.1st) PRE: Get Raincloud trimmed/shod Saturday before finals. Saturday before finals pack horse trailer. Friday before finals wash horse trailer inside & out. Clean truck. Friday before finals "road check" truck & trailer (tires, coolant, etc). Wash horse boots. Clean tack. Get "finals gear" from my house to acreage (things like portable picnic table, mini bar-b-q, bar fridge, etc). Clip pony! Find & wash sleeping bag & "camping pillows". Friday & Saturday before finals do laundry and pack. Sunday leave for prov. finals. Oh yeah, ENTER finals! (omg I almost forgot that!) :o DURING: Sunday set up horse & tack stalls. (absolutely first priority is to get the horses unloaded and settled) Set up campsite. Make grocery run. (hmm, maybe an LB run too!) Bathe horses (1 for me, possible 2 for Kimfer). Tuesday entries & "social". Wednesday 8:30 am Mandatory meeting. Wed. @ 12:30 pm Open starts running. Wed. @ 7:30 pm is AGM (LMAO as IF that will start on time! Open will probably still be running.) Thursday Open 2nd go starts at 2:30 pm. Friday Open & Youth Finals start @ noon. Friday pack up camp, load up tack, clean up stalls and load horses & head for home. During week there is (of course) the feeding, watering, exercising, stall cleaning that goes with having stalled horses. :) Do my part of whatever our district's duties are. Take my turn at raking (I hate having to work the rake draw, I seem to always get screwed) Somewhere in all that we will find time to socialize, maybe hit a movie (for the air conditioning if nothing else!) and indulge in a few "adult beverages". AFTER: Settle horses back in at home. Unload/unpack everything (we tend to take quite a bit of stuff). Re-clean trailer (and maybe truck). Laundry. (thank goodness no jackpots scheduled until Aug. 12th)
General Life: Vet appointment for dogs (yearly check-up & shots) Find time to get to the bank & deposit pay cheque. Pay bills. Exercise & take care of horses. Clean house. Clean vehicles. Sort through & organize crap (I'm a packrat, Pie is too... we're trying to get this under control lol) Weed & care for flower gardens. Groom dogs & cats. Get my butt exercising again (think foot is finally better). Find time for family/friends before I get kicked out of the "real world". lol Look at acreages with Caddy (realtor). Greek class is starting again. Chiro every other week. Massage. Nails. Wax. (damn tough being a girl! lol) Find time for a hair cut! (oh lordie, I don't remember my last one! lol) Grocery shop. Laundry. Pick up more horse feed. Shop for b-day presents. WORK! (and sleep and eat, somewhere/sometime) ;)

I know, its life. Some people are more busy, others are less. It just seems that this year there is SO much happening in July for me. Feels like July kinda snuck up on me.
Sadly, I know I left stuff off this list. lol But I actually feel a bit less overwhelmed after listing off what I could remember. Yay!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day! :)

Today is the 141st anniversary of Confederation, Happy Birthday Canada!


And an absolutely beautiful day it was, warm but not too hot, nice breeze. *sigh*
So how did I spend my Canada Day (so far)? I went barrel racing :)
We had a double header, with poles and a lunch break between jackpots. Originally I entered the poles but after Applejackass reared his ugly head I scratched. Raincloud didn't actually rear, he did however buck the entire pattern except for the run home... but only because I made him walk home from third.
I kinda knew it was going to happen. He warmed up really nicely but got an attitude before our turn to run. I tried to work through it but ran out of time before my turn. Oh well, cowgirl up right?
Mr Tim asked me if I wanted him to ride Raincloud and see if there might be an actual "real" problem. (the jackpot was at Tim & Jackie's AND we had bought Raincloud from Tim) I said sure thing and after the poles he rode him in the arena, even doing a barrel run - now that was funny!
Mr Tim agreed with my theory, the little bugger was just being a snotball and needed to be ridden.
After lunch we had another nice warm up and I kept him walking/trotting before our turn. It helped that the jackpot got under way more quickly as well. Our second run was niiice. He ran flat and didn't get all humpy and round. Woo-hoo!!! I was happy just with that :)
After the jackpots and payouts were done Kimfer and I headed over to collect the money and papers (I'm our districts secretary/treasurer). I joked that I leave EVERY jackpot with a lot of money, unfortunately its all the SBRA's!! ;) But what do you know, I did have money! We placed 3rd in the 3D. Sweet! I was happy enough with his performance, taking home some pocket money was just a bonus.
(don't get too excited, there weren't as many entries in the 2nd jackpot so it really was "pocket money" lol)
Now for the really surprising part... my father-in-law decided we were not going to open the restaurant today! *gasp* (this is truly a major deal, we usually are only closed the Monday of the August Long Weekend and Christmas Day, and some years on Boxing Day and/or Christmas Eve). Oh, AND we are all going out for supper!! :o
And on that note, I must go dry my hair and get ready for the fam!

*photo found online*