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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, August 31, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

Its time to share the little secret I've been keeping to myself for the last 2-3 weeks. The only reason I didn't share it sooner was that I didn't want to "jinx" myself. You'll understand in a moment.

So here it is, Quinn is sold! And as of 9:30 this morning it is official. That is when I was handed the cheque and gave the buyer the receipt. :)
That darn horse has been so much bad luck for me. That's why I didn't mention anything until the sale was official and completed.
What happened is an acquaintance (K) texted me a few weeks ago to ask if I still had him and, if I did, was I still thinking of selling him. (as I've mentioned before, I've been having a sell or not sell debate with myself for awhile). I called her and told her yes. She said she had a friend that would probably want him. I told her he's not quite the same horse as the one she saw last. I filled her in on what happened at LV's this spring. K said no big deal. K also knows all the details of the sordid AmanDUH story. K was the one helping me try to get my confidence back with Quinn and she's ridden him and had to play doctor on him for me as well. I'm pretty sure she thinks his issues are MY issues. Which I do believe is part of the problem, but after this spring as you all know I had decided that we wouldn't be able to work through it.
So K sent her friend my e-mail addy and she contacted me. I called her and we talked some more about Quinn. She said that they would definitely take him but they wouldn't be able to pick him up until the middle of September. I said no problem, but are you SURE you are taking him? I explained that I was heading east for my dad's surgery. She said yes, definitely. I said great, that's going to make things sooo much easier for my not-really-a-horseperson hubby. Now Pie didn't have to field any calls from buyers. :)
I still didn't share anything because I was worried that the jinx would strike. Then Friday morning the buyer called. They were able to come out this way this weekend and wanted to pick him up Saturday! Small problem, this weekend was district finals and I wouldn't be able to meet with them until Sunday. :o She said that Sunday would work as long as it was in the morning. She said they'd call me Saturday and let me know what time.
Last night she called and said they wanted to come around 9am. I said that would work just fine as we wanted to go to a team sorting and hoped to leave by 10am.
So this morning I went to the acreage a little early. Caught Quinn and groomed him and said my goodbyes. Explained that while I did love him we just couldn't keep on this path together and that I hoped he'd be happy in his new home and that he'd behave himself. I also told him that Miss K had told me her friend would keep him until his last days on earth. That they're not the type to buy and sell a lot of horses, their horses were lifers. (yes I talk to my horses)
Just before 9:30 they pulled into the yard. I met them in the yard and K introduced us all. The buyer handed me a cheque. I was surprised, she hadn't even laid eyes on this horse yet (other than the pics K had e-mailed her). We went in the barn, she petted Quinn and we chatted.
10 minutes later I loaded him in their trailer and they were on their way! :)
I really hope this all works out. Obviously they really trust K's opinion, they didn't test ride, do a vet check, nothing. They based their buy on the pics and what K and I told them. I give myself the benefit of the doubt because K is amazing with horses and I disclosed everything that I knew that K may not have known to pass on. Fingers crossed that Quinn has an amazing new life ahead of him!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Phew!

I feel like I've been running my butt off since (very VERY early) Wednesday morning. Our district finals were this weekend and between flying home, jumping right back into being at work and preparing the financial stuff for finals I don't think I've stopped. Really. I had 3 hours (maybe) of sleep last night, and about 5 hours the two nights before that. The night I left Halifax it was maybe 4 hours, and then I was up about 24 hours straight to get home. And right now I'm quickly posting this between getting home from barrel racing and going to work.
Good news is that Raincloud was a very good boy at district finals. Indoors Friday night his first run was good but not as fast as he could have ran, second run I hit a barrel. And yes it was MY fault.
Today we ran outdoors and both of his runs were nice. One girl even said that she thought my first run 1st and 2nd barrels were the best ones he's had all season! :)
Sadly we didn't place in the day money for either day or the aggregate. However we did win Most Improved Open!
My buddies Kimfer and Julie are now our districts provincial reps, Heather stayed on as chair (yay!) and Char, Charlie and Jackie E are our open district reps and Katie is our youth district rep. And once again I let my name stand for secretary/treasurer and so I remain.
Now I've got to go dry my hair and put on a bit of makeup and then its off to work!

Oh, almost forgot... Kimfer and I are going to try our hand at something new and horsey tomorrow. We're going to go to a team sorting. No idea if I'll be any good at it but Ace (Holly's hubby) promised that its all for fun and no one will laugh at me (maybe WITH me, but not at me). Will let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Home Sweet Home :)

I had a super awesome time out east. :) I took tons of pics which I will be posting on the blog in the near future. Thanks to all for your hospitality!
But there is nothing like showering in your own shower and sleeping in your own bed. And of course it was great to see Pie again and spend time snuggling.
So Pie played a joke on me and called while I was in the security line at the airport in Edmonton. He called to say that he wasn't going to be able to leave work to pick me up, that I'd have to take a cab once I got to Saskatoon. Turns out he was just saying that so that I'd be surprised when he was there. Jerk. lol Good thing he was there though, I was dead tired and was glad for the help with my suitcases. (I was up almost 24 hours from when I woke up in Halifax to when I finally was at my house)
Comet & Misty (the dogs) were quite excited to see me again. Lola (kitty) fluffed herself up for some attention and Chloe (kitty) eventually forgave me and followed me around until I lay on the couch, at which point she curled up on me. Oh to be loved. lol
Today I woke up, went and rode Applejack (horse withdrawal finally over!) and then came home to get the financial statements and info ready because... tomorrow is the start of district finals! (also called 'mini finals') As secretary/treasurer I needed to let our prez know how much money we can add and get our financial statement ready for the AGM Saturday. Mini finals run Friday night indoors and then Saturday during the day outdoors. After the runs are done on Saturday we have the AGM and following the AGM the prizes & cash are awarded.
I'm hoping to do okay. Applejack has been running pretty good, not sure how much Kyla rode while I was gone. He seemed to get winded pretty easily today. :( But he doesn't look fat like he should if she hadn't been riding. Maybe he was getting played out because the arena was muddy? hmmm....
Anyhoo, being on the committee I know what the prizes are like this year and I sure would like a buckle! Actually I'd just be happy to win something! lol

*Special note to D*
You aren't a bad blog friend! You have stuff going on in your life right now, happens to all of us. Darn real life! lol
Thanks for the jingles, Dad & Uncle David are both doing well. In fact they are both recovering faster than the doctors were expecting! :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You guys are awesome :)

First I want to say Thank You to you guys (or all y'all). Thanks for the good wishes/prayers for safe travel and successful operations for my Dad and uncle.

Both Uncle David and my Dad's operations went well (U.D. was the donor) And I never thought I'd be so happy to hear that someone pee'd but Dad's new (although slightly previously used) ;) kidney started producing urine right away.
David had his op first and when he was back in his room we (sis, bro & I) all checked on him and thanked him again. This has been a strange visit, this is the first I've seen him since I was about 6 and the first time I've met his wife (who is also super nice) David was so calm and cool about the whole thing, I've seen people get more stressed and nervous about getting a tooth pulled!
Dad was quite obviously nervous, he did what he always does when he's stressed... cracked jokes (hmmm.... maybe that's a learned behaviour? I do the same) He kept talking about being "sliced and diced" and that the doctor's needed to make sure they didn't take a kidney from him and put it into David. Stuff like that all day yesterday.
So today we saw him before the operation, saw David after his and then while we were waiting for Dad's operation to be done and for him to be back in a room after the recovery waiting time we (again bro, sis and I) went for a walk and a bit of site-seeing. I LOVE the area we're in (south end Halifax). Especially South Park St. and Spring Garden St. (road??) We walked around these areas, saw tons of great old houses and cool little stores, restaurants and pubs. (too bad babies can't go in pubs lol) My poor brother was dragged into a few stores (heh heh) and we did walk down to the waterfront so he could see some boats and reclaim some of his testosterone ;P (actually Day and I wanted to see the waterfront too)
Tomorrow we are going to take a tour of the brewery (Keith's) and hopefully Saturday we will drive down to Peggy's Cove.
After hearing that Dad would be in the stepdown soon we headed to the hospital. When we got there he was resting but noticed us at the doorway and motioned us in. He is quite alert and looked good. Made a few jokes but not of his "nervous tick" variety. He was happy to see us kids and his little grandson. We visited for a bit but I left because I was worried about wearing him out.

By the way, if anyone ever happens to be in Halifax I have to recommend going to Uncommon Grounds (the wi-fi cafe I've been going to) SUPER nice staff, and of course they are helping me get both my internet and caffeine fixes!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Eastbound and down

Well not 'eastbound'. I AM east, in Halifax to be precise.
As for down, yeah a little. I miss my family (Pie and the assorted critters) and I'm a wee bit nervous about dad's operation.
Tomorrow he goes in for some tests. The big op (kidney transplant) is on Thursday.
Right now I stole down the street from the hotel to an internet cafe to get some much needed blog time (OMG I am SO addicted, I've been suffering serious withdrawal! lol) Also getting some much needed 'alone time'. Don't get me wrong, its been great to see family I haven't seen in years (not to mention being back here, I haven't been east since I was 5) but its been me and sis and her baby pretty much 24/7 and I am not used to that! I usually get at least a few hours of time alone everyday.
I've been taking tons of pics and have some good stories to share once I'm home. Seeing mom's side of the fam was a blast! :)
Going to go try to catch up with as many of my BWF (blogworld friends) as possible before the laptop battery dies. I hope to steal away a few more times so hopefully I'll "see" all y'all soon!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well, part way at least. I am in Edmonton right now. Flew here this evening and now my sis and I have to wait until later (much later) before we fly east.
The flight out was good. I normally hate flying by myself, and I'm pretty shy so I don't talk to strangers. For some reason I struck up a conversation with the lady seated next to me. She was so nice, we talked the whole flight. Turns out she is originally from Saskatoon and was flying home to Vancouver. Her sister still lives in Saskatoon so she was going to tell her to stop by the restaurant and chat. Oh my, we even exchanged info to keep in touch. So not me.
Mr Applejack will be getting ridden by my friend Kyla while I'm gone. Thank goodness because otherwise he'd get sooo fat in these two weeks and district finals are the weekend I return!
Not sure how much internet access I'll have while I'm gone but I'm hoping to check in at least a couple times :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

I remembered my camera!

Yesterday Kimfer & I hauled our horses to our friend Julie's place, about an hour from where our horses live. Julie and her man farm by Eagle Creek. Its nice because it feels like you're in the middle of nowhere but you are not actually that far from 'the city'.
We saddled up in the farmyard and rode to the river which at this time of year has some awesome 'beach' areas.
The ride to the river took not quite an hour. Below is the view from one pasture just before we start riding down toward the bank.
(you'll have to forgive the quality of the pics as they were all taken while mounted)

This is Julie (on her 3 yo) just before going down the last embankment to the beach:


This is the view Applejack and I had at the same spot:
I got to fulfill a life long dream, galloping down a sandy beach and through the water at the beach's edge. Here are Kimfer & Julie doing the same (we were escorted by the farm dogs Roxy and Jeannie):
Applejack really seemed to enjoy playing in the water. He'd duck his head and splash at his face while walking in the river. I thought he was trying to drink so I stopped to give him a chance. He started pawing the water though and I didn't want to risk him trying to lay down so on we went.

He was a bit nervous about walking into the river at first so I just kept riding a little closer and then walking parallel. Then I'd ask him to move a bit closer until next thing you knew we were in! After that there was no hesitation. Walk, jog, lope... water or beach he was fine.

This picture does not do justice to the steepness of the slope we had to climb on the way 'home'.

There was also a weird bee incident. There is a bush with some farmed bee hives that we had to pass. Julie has rode down to the river MANY times and never had a problem with the bees. She usually just rides on the road right past without any trouble. Yesterday we rode in the field b/c Julie's filly found the road too much on her tender feet. So there was the bush with the hives on one side of the road and the field we were in on the other side. And we got attacked! Kimfer was stung 4 times (3 through her shirt and 1 behind her ear - THAT one really hurt she said) Julie could feel them dive bombing her ballcap and bouncing off. I was between K & J and although they didn't bother me I think they were bothering Applejack.

On the way home we rode as far away from the hives as we could without damaging the canola crop and galloped by. We could see hundreds of bees in the air and as we passed I could feel a few ricocheting off me. I think if we had gone slower I would've been stung.

It was really strange. Julie has never had that happen before and she's not sure why it did happen. Other than that though it was a SUPERB day!

My 'bucket list'

So my good bb (blog buddy) Laura kicked me a tag. Meme your bucket list. Eight things you want to do before you die. I'm a pretty conservative type, shy... keep to myself. So my little list may not be that exciting to you but these are my eight:



1) Travel! I have only ever travelled in Canada, and not much at that. My humble 'little' country has some of the most beautiful places God put on this earth. But I want to see more. To that end Kimfer and I are planning a trip to Greece next year in September. A riding trip to Greece! The riding vacay is about 8 days long but if we go I plan to stay a month. (Pie has family there so I'm sure my days would be kept filled!)



2) Find a competent teacher and take more riding lessons. My riding skills are a bit rusty, I never did take tons of lessons. I want to fine tune what I already do know and advance.



3) Live on our own land! Pie and I want to find an acreage close to 'the city' (Saskatoon). Not having the greatest luck right now but maybe one day.



4) Lose weight & get in shape. I won't dwell on this a lot, I've talked about it briefly before. I want it for me. I want to be healthy and live for a long time (although sometimes when I see the news I'm not sure about that!) Also, my brother and sister both have kidney disease. If I ever donate a kidney to one of them I'd like to be in good shape. I have no proof but I think the operation and recovery would be easier on me if I was. (and yes I'm selfish, I'm only donating one kidney! lol)



5) Learn to swim. I love the lake and the river but I'm a bit afraid of water. (must be the Gemini thing)



6) Try some kind of riding totally different than what I do. Take a ride on a well trained cutter/reiner/dressage/hunter. Or to really blow my mind make a run on a top level barrel horse! You know, just for comparisons sake. :)



7) For Pie and I to vacation somewhere together. Preferrably tropical and just the two of us. Of course work makes that difficult.



8) Learn to dance... lmao. Okay I am clutzy and have no sense of rhythm. Can you just picture it? I guess watching shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing With the Stars" have given a lot of people the dancing bug! Hey, maybe that's how we can rejuvinate the horse world...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fortuitous days

Its 08-08-2008. Supposedly another one of those days when the stars and planets align and "magic" can happen in this crazy world of ours. "8" is a special number to the Chinese, and today they start the Olympics.
Wonder how many people are getting married today? (07-07-2007 was a major day for weddings, but it was also a Saturday)

So I'm sending out good wishes to all of my blog friends! And a little something that hopefully will touch your hearts:
To The Owner Of This Horse
~ author unknown
Alone I stand in this dark stall - staring into space
Wondering how this came to be my final resting place.
I think back on all I did for you and try to understand,
Why you would let me fade away beneath your very hand.
I gave you all I had to give, and still you wanted more,
I pushed myself so you'd receive the very highest score.
I forgave you when you were too quick to punish or to scold,
I just remembered you were young, and wished that you were old.
I always carried you safely through each trial and each course,
And all I wanted in return was for you to love this horse.
Yet here I am - alone and cold - a mere shadow of myself,
With our pictures and Blue Ribbons still displayed upon your shelf.
I do not feel selfish, in this, my final plea,
I just want to understand why you did this to me.
I know that as time passes, people will change their ways,
And children will grow up and forget their younger days.
But how does one forget a friend - someone they once adored,
And start looking at their old champion as nothing but a bore?
Now I know my coat has faded and my eyes, they aren't so bright,
But I assure you that within my heart still burns a quiet light.
Yet, here I stand alone and scared of what may lay ahead,
Will I ever know another kindness or have a warm dry bed?
So people, when you buy a horse, just please remember me,
And what sadness I endured despite the life I tried to lead.
Love your horse with all your heart - give him all you can,
Do not forget to rub him with a calm and soothing hand.
No matter what life brings your way - remember till the end.
When you break your horse's heart, you betray your truest friend.
**
Okay wipe your misty eyes and go love on your horse! (that's where I'm heading... as soon as I go try to get a refund or exchange on my dang purse!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

PETA sucks!

Yes - THAT PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals).

Okay, this isn't really a horse post... unless you consider that PETA would probably consider any use of horses, other than a pasture ornament, "unethical".
I support animal rights, to an extent. I still want to eat meat, drink milk, eat cheese and eggs. I do however think the factory farming has gotten out of control and the closer to natural we can keep our livestock the better. I think it makes for happier animals and healthier food.
I also think that if PETA had their way they would be a little shocked at the results. Take cows for example. Does PETA really think that if we all went vegan and no longer ate beef or drank milk that all those cows would now be pets? Ummm, probably not.

But I digress... today I have a whole new reason to be pissed at PETA. They had applied for a newspaper ad that was turned down. IMO the ad was extremely tasteless, not that PETA is usually subtle and tactful in their advertising... but this was WAY beyond the limits of decency.
They wanted to run an ad in the Portage la Prairie newspaper, which the paper refused. The ad equated the slaughter of animals for food to the Greyhound bus stabbing & decapitation!
(For those who haven't heard about this tragic and extremely shocking story you can find info on it here: National Post or CBC But be forewarned, this was extremely gruesome and bizarre)
Portage la Prairie is the town closest to where the murder took place. But to me that's not the real issue. PETA could take that ad out in any paper in Canada and it would still be extremely classless, tasteless and pathetic.
I am not standing up for animal slaughter (although I do eat meat). I am simply saying there is no way someone in their right mind would compare the two and say they are equivalent. Not to mention that the "friends and family" of Bossy the cow would not be reading the ad and having to deal with still more imagery and emotion that would be brought up. But I'm pretty sure the family and friends of the young man murdered would be upset to be reminded, in yet another way, of his tragic death.
I'm not going to get into an argument about slaughter... and I'm not going to even go in the direction of horse slaughter. Unlike cows I think horses have a place in this world besides the food chain.
I don't have a problem with PETA using ads with nude celebs to protest wearing fur. That is not too bad. But when they think an ad like this one is suitable... well they're a few clowns short of a circus.
Some people are saying that even talking about this is giving PETA the attention they want, that we're promoting PETA and getting their message out. To me all this does is give PETA a bad name and make the people who want respect and proper treatment for animals (in a less crazy way) have to work harder to not be associated with PETA's "crazy" status.

Okay, I'm done ranting... tomorrow I'll post on ponies again!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Warm up pen politics

No matter what discipline you ride warm up pens can be nightmares! That being said, it really ticks me off when people show a blatant lack of common sense and courtesy in them. This year's finals was a big case in point.
We had 1 warm up pen, 1 holding pen and the actual arena we were running in. For the last few years we also had 2 fairly large outdoor arenas, a second small indoor arena and a round pen. But that was all taken away this year due to building/reconstruction at the R.E.A. (although that 2nd small indoor was prepped and ready - and padlocked shut!)
For the last few years we have a mandatory meeting on the morning of the first day of competition. Stuff like: dress code (long sleeve western shirt w/cuffs & collar), hat fine (lose your hat in the arena you pay a $2 "fine" to get it back), time limit to get your horse through the in gate (2 min.), etc. One of the things mentioned was the warm up pen. Nope not etiquette (although some people really need a reminder of that!) but the fact that we only have the one. Being that there were over 400 entries (Open, Youth, BB, and PeeWee), space to warm up was at a premium. It was stated at the meeting that ONLY horses warming up were to be in the warm up pen. To cool off your horse walk them on the grounds or barn aisles. Only the 50 or so horses due up are allowed in the warm up pen.
Again, this was a mandatory meeting. There were maybe 100 people there. (remember, over 400 entries!)
The first day I was in the last 50 for the day (#186 of 232). Youth had already ran, PeeWee and BB didn't have their first run until the next day. We'd had a wicked storm earlier and it was getting kinda late. The warm up pen wasn't an issue.
The second day... oh boy. We run reverse of the first day. That meant I was now #48. It was earlier in the day. There were people riding bareback in the warm up pen. There were people dressed in shorts, tanks and flipflops leading horses.
I was very annoyed.
I talked to one lady that used to be a director, hoping she still was and that she could do something. She's not a director any longer and didn't feel it was her place to say anything.
Now this is something else that ticks me off in the warm up pen. People standing around chatting. If you want to stop and talk, go stand out of the way somewhere. Not in the middle of traffic. And then have flipflop friend come stand with you.
So I rode over to a few of these people and said "I'm really not trying to be out of line or anything. BUT it was said at the mandatory meeting, the warm up pen is only for those 50 or so warming up horses." I'd smile and ride away. Most people made the lame apology "Oh, sorry I didn't know" (Ummm, manda-frickin-tory meeting! Not to mention, fairly obvious that you are in the way!!)
Most people were good enough to go walk their horses in the barn aisles or outside. The people who didn't were fair game. ;)
I'm not always a bitch, but I can be when I want to be. RC has been quite responsive to leg lately, much better than he used to be. So this is what I did when people didn't leave after being filled in. I would kick RC into a nice lope and lope circles, then I'd get him going nice and hard and fast and blast right by them. (like I said, RC has been quite responsive so I wasn't worried about actually running someone down) Then, finally, they decided it would be a good idea to go elsewhere.
Not totally "necessary" behavior on my part, but in my defence... those hard, fast circles are part of our warm up when possible. :p

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

General results from Finals

First I have a confession, I was a BAD photo-documentor! I was more concerned with having my video camera to tape the other girls' runs. :( Please forgive me!
Okay, this is the part most people seem to have been waiting for:

Kimfer brought two horses - Isis, her 4 yo filly was entered in the Barrel Bonanza (which will now be referred to as BB) and Baron, her gelding who was entered in the Open.
BB is to promote stallions standing in Saskatchewan. To compete horses must be 3 - 6 years old and the offspring of a nominated stallion. BB is also ran on the 3D system.
Kimfer wasn't expecting too much from Isis (reg name JLS Eyed Bee A Jewel). She, like myself, doesn't believe in pushing babies too hard or fast. Isis was started under saddle last year, had a month of barrel training early this spring and was hauled to jackpots to lope the pattern. Kimfer wanted her to have the experience of going to something bigger than a regular jackpot.
Some of the BB horses are running the pattern and competitive with the Open times. But Kimfer stuck to her game plan and loped the pattern. There were only about 3 or 4 horses that were 4 year olds, most of the BB horses were older. Isis did quite well, she wasn't the fastest but she was running (loping) the nicest pattern. Kimfer never had to fight with her head, unlike a lot of the horses... no matter how fast or slow they were. When Kimfer got to her pocket she'd say "Hup" and Isis would move over on her own and rate for the barrel. Very pretty to watch.
Kimfer also had about a dozen people ask if her filly was for sale. Now we all know there are a LOT of tire-kickers in the horse world, but most people inquiring about a BB horse are fairly serious as a lot of the young horses are for sale. (at this time Isis isn't for sale)
Baron, oh what can I say about Baron... Kimfer renamed him Master of Disaster. Oh, and he drank a bit more than usual. He doesn't drink well out of a pail, no matter where he is or where the water is from. We tried the tip from Mugwump about using a lighter coloured pail. He did drink better but still not a lot.
He also crashed barrels both days. I do mean crashed. Poor Kimfer, she works so dang hard with that horse and even if she is having good runs at home it falls apart at finals. :(
She thinks that this will have been Baron's last year for finals, maybe jackpot him at home next year and just take Isis to the finals.
Raincloud, he was such a little Applejack! (no "ass" added!!) He wasn't too keen on all the pavement, it was a bit slippery for his taste. But he settled right in to being stalled, warm up pen was fine as well. He also had his first "real" bath since we've owned him and he was a star! (Steph, he could teach your boy good bath behavior! lol) He was also considerate enough to not put manure stains on his shiny white areas... he did get a couple but they blended right into the darker areas of his coat. How thoughtful! lol
I got him into the competition pen as much as possible, even if just on a lead line. I knew that the signs would cause him to take a second look. He was very good though, no spooking just really eyeing stuff up. Unfortunately I couldn't get him in when there was a lot of activity in the stands... and I knew that would be an issue as he's quite a little "looky-lou".
Our first run... OMG that was funny. Yes I said funny. It was officially a no time because we broke pattern but the clock was stopped at about 36 or 39 seconds. *sigh* My horse was crowd shy. :o
We happen to go left first, and the left hand side is where the vast majority of spectators sit. It is also where the announcers are, right around where the barrel is. I walked RC up the alleyway as he hadn't been in the arena yet with the quads by the fence and all the skeery people in the stands. So we took it easy until we got to the gate area. If he was to pull something I'd much rather have it happen at a walk or jog than a faster gait!
I kicked him up to a lope and off he went... until he got to the pocket for first. Then he slammed on his brakes, on the front end yet. No nice soft, rounded stop on the butt. Slam stop on the front end with his cute little ears pricked right forward. Looking at the announcers and crowd. I could just hear his thoughts: "OMG who the HECK are they!?! WHY are there all these people!?!"
I got the forward motion going again and we headed for 2nd. Unfortunately he was thinking more of going out of the arena and we ended up on the wrong side of 2nd. This is where the no time came in. I doubled back in a loop and went around 2nd. At a trot. *sigh*
Fortunately coming out of 2nd he remembered that barrels are a speed event and cooperated with a run to 3rd, decent turn and nice run home, only slowing up a little to run out the gate down the alley.
Oh yeah, we haven't run anywhere where we could run out before this. I had practiced it when we had arena time on Monday though, thank goodness!
Second day of competition was better. Raincloud was super responsive in the warm up pen, which was nice because I was making a point of blowing past the inconsiderate jackasses that where leading their horses in the warm up pen (more on that in another post). Yeah, I can be a bit of a bitch when I want to be. lol
In the holding pen Raincloud was nice and relaxed, went in the alley nicely and jogged to the gate. Approaching the gate I asked him to pick it up and off he went for the 1st barrel. Nice turn, headed to 2nd... better than the previous day, nice turn and off for 3rd. 3rd was wide and off we went home. He ran better, still not too fast though. Any mistakes on the pattern were totally pilot error so I was happy with him. Our official time was 20.09, quite a bit faster than the disaster run but not competitive.
We finished up about halfway through the 3D pack. Which I am happy about, as that was my general goal. We beat the horses I thought we should be able to beat and he adjusted very well to the experience. This year was all about getting out there and seeing stuff and getting to know each other. I have to say (yet again) that I am very pleased with "my" little man. (he is still technically Pie's horse) ;)
For next season I really need to have him (and me) in better shape. He is wanting to run and turn harder than he is physically fit to do. He also seems to want to be a competitive little guy. :)

OH! The youth was won by one of our girls! Robyn won the 1D Youth, in her final year being able to compete as a youth. She also broke her curse of always hitting a barrel in the final go! Congrats Robyn!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lisa Lush and Killer Kimfer

Yup, I got a great nickname this year at finals. (please note the sarcasm). I had one drink at supper Monday and when we got back I tripped on a chunk of asphalt that was laying on top of the mud and asphalt that made up the camping yard. It was dark, I couldn't see it. Now I'm a lush. lol
Kimfer, well... she killed a family. Of ducks. On our way home I was texting while she was driving and suddenly I hear "Whoooa, oh crap" as the truck swerves slightly.
I looked up, nervous. "What happened?" I asked as I tried to see if an oncoming car had veered toward us or something like that. Instead I notice Kimfer looking in the side mirror, and not looking very happy.
"Oh crap I think they're dead" she said.
"Ummm.... huh?" was all I could get out.
She tells me there was a momma duck and her babies on the road. Seeing as we were pulling a loaded trailer she couldn't exactly swerve evasively so she tried to swerve gently and miss them. Instead when she checked her mirror she just saw a bunch of feathery bodies flapping about. And I don't mean with their wings. :(

Saturday, August 2, 2008

An award!

So here I am cruising around everyone's blogs and playing catch-up now that I'm back home. I go over to Denise's place at Less is More and see that she's gotten an award. Yay Denise!! She was given the Arte Y Pico Award.

Then I read on and, holy smokes, she's passed it on to l'il ole me! :) (Thanks so much D!!!) Wow, what a homecoming! So here it is:



THE ARTE Y PICO AWARD

The designer of this award has asked that the following be passed along with it: The origin of the Arte y Pico Award

This prize has arisen from the daily visits that I dedicate to many blogs which nourish me and enrich me with creativity. In them, I see dedication, creativity, care, comradeship, but mainly, ART, much art. I want to share this prize with all those bloggers that entertain me day to day and to share this prize with those who enrich me every day. Doubtlessly, there are many and it will be hard to pick just a few. The people I will name today deserve this prize, as do the very long serious list of bloggers I also enjoy to read. But I will name the first 10 and leave the rest of the work to all the bloggers that visit other's blogs and are nourished by them."Here are the rules, if you decide to pass the award further to remarkable blogs in blogosphere worth to mention.

The rules:

1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award through creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.

2. Each award should have the name of the author with a link to their blog.

3. Award winners have to post the award with the name and link to the blog of the person who gave them the award.

4. Please include a link to the “Arte Y Pico” blog so that everyone will know where the award came from.

5. Show these rules.


So here are my 5 -

Steph at "School of Life with Horses"

New kid around blogtown, AOHCM at "Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind"

Roxie the horse at "I is Roxie!" (always entertaining!)

Flying Lilies at "When Lilies Fly: Horse blog & Philosophy"

Laura who is also known as "Little Keebler"

All these ladies have great blogs that are entertaining and worth checking out, if you haven't already! :)

*award is not designed by me*

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm baaaack!!

And I missed you guys so much :)
Lots happened, but in a weird way not much happened. Don't know if anyone understands that or if I can explain it.
To keep this from being one ginormously long post I'll break things down and catch up over a few days:
MONDAY was pretty uneventful.
Kimfer was supposed to pick me up around 5 am. It ended up being closer to 6 - this is noteworthy because its usually ME that runs late NOT Kimfer! :o It also meant that I could have had 3 hours sleep instead of 2.
Once on the road we stopped at the Grasswoods Esso/Smitty for breakfast and then it was serious travelling.
Kimfer and I were chatting away when we decided it was time for some music. As I was the passenger I was also the DJ... and so I thought I'd start the trip off right - I put in a Kenny Loggins CD that I stole (borrowed) from Pie (he's a big 80's music fan). And of course the song I skipped to (in honor of Steph) was "Danger Zone". Kimfer cracked up, it was a good way to start the trip.
Although Steph, we've also decided that another good analogy would be race car drivers a la Days of Thunder. lol
When we got to Regina we parked and wandered around looking for our districts stabling. Much to our disappointment we were in the old race track barns. (BOO!) These barns suck in many ways... the stalls are solid wood, so there is poor air flow; the floor is concrete; there is weird stuff that falls in chunks from the ceiling (rumored to be asbestos but I kinda think that's an 'urban legend').
So we grabbed the best 4 stalls of the bunch and unloaded the horses and put them in the stalls, with a bit of our stuff in the 4th stall (tack stall). We also put notes on 3 stalls for Holly & Brenda. Right after that the Hoovers showed up. Wow, we had good timing!
Then it was over to Lipsett's across the parking lot to buy straw bales to bed the ponies, the boys said they'd deliver it in a few minutes so we ran back and unloaded all the "barn stuff" and tack from the trailer. After the stalls were bedded, water buckets and hay nets hung, tack etc was put away we drove over to the camping area.
This area was in sad shape, the R.E.A. really REALLY needs to do something about how they have it set up, pot holes, ruts, ugh... just a mess! Thankfully there were only two trailers there so we grabbed the best two side by side spots we could find and unhooked the trailer in one and put the truck in the next one so we could save it for Brenda & Holly.
It was a looooong day waiting but once they showed up we moved our truck and went for groceries. (and Starbucks) :) While we waited there was a bit of a wind storm, thankfully we had put the trailer awning away just minutes before it hit. About 6 or 7 other campers weren't so lucky and their awnings were destroyed!
Also, because it was such a long day we went out for supper instead of making a camp supper. We went to Chili's where in honor of Meg I visited Margaritaville and enjoyed a fabulous 'rita with my supper. lol

Now, I'm off to play catch up on everyone else's blogs! I'll post more tomorrow :)