Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!


I hope everyone is celebrating in a fun and safe way.

My hopes for 2010 and the new decade to follow are that I hope this decade is a little calmer than the last has been. Both for my life and the world in general. The last year, and decade for that matter, have gone by in what seems like a whirlwind.

Tonight I will be making Pioneer Woman's Sleepin' In Omelette. You can check out that recipe here. Pioneer Woman is my latest love. You can't go wrong with any of her recipes. Unless of course you are trying to loose weight. Then things would be going very wrong. Tasty, but wrong.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

*Edit: I meant to say that I totally stole this picture from my friend over at Adventures in Occipital Nerve Stimulation but obviously totally blanked it! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?*

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to everyone out there in blogland!

Love,

Rocky Mountain Yankee and Rosie

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Birthday...

to me!

My trainer and her daughter set this up with Rosie for me. Isn't it the cutest thing?


Friday, December 4, 2009

Answers to the Equestrian Bucket List



Okay, as promised yesterday here are the answers to my Equestrian Bucket List!

1. Gallop along the beach. I have never done this but would love to! There is a beach in Maine that allows horses over the off season and I often daydream of riding there at some point.

2. Win a blue ribbon, even if it’s for the egg and spoon race! I have won a few blue ribbons at the local shows I used to attend and it is a wonderful feeling. I hope I get to repeat that feeling someday with Rosie.

3. Enjoy an evening of equestrian theater, from major touring productions such as Cavalia to local performance troupes. I was able to see Cavallo once when we were in Vegas and it was wonderful. I hope I get to see something like that again.

4. Try your hand at cattle work. Find out what it means when they say a horse is “cowy.” We did a small section on this in my riding lessons in college and it was a lot of fun. The horse I was riding really locked onto the steer and worked it a bit but then started crowhopping! Everyone laughed because this was a horse that was used almost exclusively for the beginners at the college. He had never done anything like that before! I would like to try a horse that had been trained on cows and knew what it was doing.

5. Jump! From crossrails to cross-country obstacles, experience the thrill of soaring over fences. I have done enough jumping to know that I don't really want to do anymore of it other than jumping over fallen trees on the trail. I think the highest I have ever jumped was about three feet.

6. Fall off and get right back on again. Conquering fear is empowering. Done it. Hope I can always do it.

7. See the majestic white Lipizzan stallions of the Spanish Riding School. I have seen them several times and will go to see them again if they land in my area.

8. Come to a sliding stop on a well-trained reining horse. This I would love to do! I have done some spins but never a sliding stop.

9. Take a lesson with your equestrian idol, _________ (you fill in the blank.) Hmm, this one is a thinker. I don't know who I would choose.

10. Nurse a horse through a crisis and back to full health. I have been a helper to a person doing this more than once and frankly it looks exhausting but rewarding.

11. Experience the smooth ride of a gaited horse. This I have done. I have had the pleasure of riding a Paso Fino, a Tennessee Walker and a Missouri Fox Trotter. The Walker was my favorite. I even considered getting a gaited horse before I purchased Rosie.

12. Watch the horses come through the Head of the Lake on cross-country day at the Rolex Three-Day Event. Maybe someday.

13. Have the courage to do the right thing for your horse, even when it’s not easy. I have done this and it isn't easy.

14. Attend the Kentucky Derby dressed to the nines—including hat! Can't wait to do this!

15. Tackle a trail accessible only by horseback and enjoy the view. Hmmm, not sure if I have done this or not.

16. Take your dream vacation on horseback. I think Lysh and I will have to do this someday together.

17. Master the sitting trot. I used to be able to, not sure if I still can.

18. Ride a fine-tuned horse in your discipline of choice, be it dressage schoolmaster or barrel champ. I would like to try one of any discipline except maybe saddle bronc. ;-)

19. Watch polo. Even better, try your hand at it! I haven't seen this and Midland even had a polo team but I could never pin down when they were playing.

20. Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily. Done this, can't wait to be able to do it again.

21. Wake up to a whinny every morning. Oh how I wish!

22. Fly down the track on a Thoroughbred. I haven't done this and I'm not sure if I would have the balls to actually do it.

23. Meet one of your favorite famous horses in person. I don't know if I have a favorite...

24. Ride bareback, bridleless ... or both! I have ridden bareback many a time and bridleless a few times when I probably shouldn't have.

25. Share a bond with your horse that’s deeper than words. Maybe someday

Now here are a few that are on my own personal list.

* Ride a horse in every state. So far I have Maine, Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas.

* Ride Rosie at least once in every state in the lower 48. I hatched this scheme when we were in Colorado which seemed to be a more central location for making this work. I'm not sure if it will work now but I am still going to try and give it a go.

* Have good times with my daughter and horses when she gets a little bigger.

* Try horse camping.

* Keep my horses at home again.

Hmmm, that is all I can think of for now. I'm sure I will come up with 15 other things once I post this.

The best view in the world!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Equestrian Bucket List

I can't take credit for the list below. I hijacked it off one of my favorite blogs Saving Faith I thought it was interesting none the less!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The movie "The Bucket List" follows two terminally ill men (played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) who embark on a journey with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.” Here’s our equestrian version of a bucket list—25 ultimate things to experience in a lifetime as a horse lover.

What's on your equestrian bucket list?

1. Gallop along the beach.
2. Win a blue ribbon, even if it’s for the egg and spoon race!
3. Enjoy an evening of equestrian theater, from major touring productions such as Cavalia to local performance troupes.
4. Try your hand at cattle work. Find out what it means when they say a horse is “cowy.”
5. Jump! From crossrails to cross-country obstacles, experience the thrill of soaring over fences.
6. Fall off and get right back on again. Conquering fear is empowering.
7. See the majestic white Lipizzan stallions of the Spanish Riding School.
8. Come to a sliding stop on a well-trained reining horse.
9. Take a lesson with your equestrian idol, _________ (you fill in the blank.)
10. Nurse a horse through a crisis and back to full health.
11. Experience the smooth ride of a gaited horse.
12. Watch the horses come through the Head of the Lake on cross-country day at the Rolex Three-Day Event.
13. Have the courage to do the right thing for your horse, even when it’s not easy.
14. Attend the Kentucky Derby dressed to the nines—including hat!
15. Tackle a trail accessible only by horseback and enjoy the view.
16. Take your dream vacation on horseback.
17. Master the sitting trot.
18. Ride a fine-tuned horse in your discipline of choice, be it dressage schoolmaster or barrel champ.
19. Watch polo. Even better, try your hand at it!
20. Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily.
21. Wake up to a whinny every morning.
22. Fly down the track on a Thoroughbred.
23. Meet one of your favorite famous horses in person.
24. Ride bareback, bridleless ... or both!
25. Share a bond with your horse that’s deeper than words.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Which ones have you already done? Which ones would you love to do? And what's on your personal bucket list that isn't listed above?

I'll post my answers tomorrow! :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

History Comes To Life

This past weekend we went to see a little bit of history that had sailed into Pittsburgh. The Nina and Pinta replicas made a two week stop to the North Shore here. I decided it sounded like an interesting thing to do so into the city we went. We are still having a few issues making our way around Pittsburgh what with all the bridges but this time we only circled around once before finally finding our way. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! The sun was out and it was in the mid 60's. We couldn't have asked for anything better this time of year. Being on the water was also really nice. Other places we have lived there hasn't been a whole lot of water to see.


I thought this shot was neat with the very old looking ship and the very modern skyline of Pittsburgh in the background. This is the replica of the Nina, the smaller of the two ships and the preferred vessel of Colombus. He logged over 25,000 miles on the Nina. Can you imagine?

One thing that really strikes you when you see these ships up close that doesn't come through in the photos is how small these ships are. The Pinta replica has been built fifty percent larger than the original and it is still on the smaller side. It was really interesting to be able to walk on these ships and put yourself in the place of the men that sailed them here from Europe. How cramped the quarters are, how they had to live on deck because down below was used for food and animal storage. It could not have been a pleasant voyage. Carnival cruise ships these things were not. If you want to find out more about these ships and where you might be able to see them next check out there website at The Nina. My daughter was a little unsure about these ships, she kept thinking she was going to fall off them. I'm not sure where she came up with this but such is the mind of a three year old.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

20 Years Is A Long Time...

What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. ~ Aristotle

This year is sort of a milestone year for my best friend and I. We have been best friends for 20 years. Lysh and I became friends when we were assigned to the same home room in the fifth grade. I knew who she was before then. She had a pony. We had also been in the same Brownie troop in past years but had never gotten to know each other until the fifth grade. Slowly we became inseparable along with another girl in our class who was horse crazy. We played Breyer horses out on the playground, read horse books, and tried to draw horses whenever we could. Neither one of us are artists.

The next summer presented a test to our young friendship. My family was moving to horse property in the next town over. We would not be going to the same school anymore. We wrote letters, made phone calls and spent the night at each others houses and kept our friendship going. There was rarely a Saturday night when Lysh and I weren't together.

She's going to kill me for posting this picture!

Lysh was there when I got my first pony, and I was there when she got the horse that would see her into her adult years. We progressed from loving horses to liking boys. We should have just stuck with the horses. In about the middle school years we began showing at a small local club and it became an obsession with both of us. Neither one of us had fancy clothes or horses but we had a lot of fun. I think both of us still have all the ribbons and trophies won at those shows.

Lysh on Buck and Meaghan on Angel
Pairs Class August 1, 1993

Countless hours were spent riding up and down country roads or through trails in the woods. We think back to some of the stuff we did and wonder how one of us or one of the horses weren't killed. We made it through the high school years. Barely. That first winter after graduation she joined the military. I will never forget the sight of her pulling away from the curb on that cold day in Portland, the taxi taking her away to basic training. The next fall I went to school in Colorado. Completely separate time zones. We had never been so far apart. Calling cards were purchased and phone calls made. We sent letters stuffed with shiny confetti in hopes it would make a mess in the recipients lap!

Through the years we have both married, had babies and moved to various locales across the country. For awhile we might talk to each other once a month on the phone but kept up through e-mail and letters. The last few years we have come together again, talking on the phone almost daily and plotting various things that usually don't come to pass. There is something with us that just clicks. Something I have never had with anyone else.

Are we not like two volumes of one book? ~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Here's to the next 20 years!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rosie's One Month Report Card

I talked to AT trainer last night about Rosie. She said my little Rose Bud is doing wonderfully! After talking with me about Rosie's teeth she decided that she would change out bits to see if Rosie just didn't like the bit she was starting her in and that did the trick! AT said she had Rosie going walk, trot and canter, with saddle and bareback with a halter. I'm so excited! She also had taken her out on a few trail rides with horses and alone and she did great at both. Didn't fuss over not being with other horses or anything. I can't wait to get this horse back in the spring! Next month AT is going to continue to ride her but the concentration will be on driving for the most part.

AT is going to try and have her daughter take some pictures of Rosie working this weekend so hopefully I will have something I can post soon. For now here is one I took back in August on the last day that I saw Rosie.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm Not Dead!

Yikes, I really need to update more frequently than this! First, Rosie updates. Rosie arrived in Florida safe and sound and spent a few weeks adjusting to the Florida climate. She also made friends with the ponies that my trainer keeps at her house for her grandkids. I need to call and get an update but last I heard my Awesome Trainer (henceforth I will refer to her as AT because it is just easier) had been riding her around both with saddle and bareback. This is why I love this trainer, I had been meaning to mention to her that I would like to be able to ride Rosie bareback but kept forgetting and here she is like reading my mind. Originally she was going to work on driving with Rosie first but for whatever reason Rosie wasn't taking to the bit like she wanted so AT decided to work on the riding stuff. I'm pretty sure Rosie's teeth don't have anything to do with her bit issues as I had her teeth floated and her wolf teeth pulled back in August before I left Colorado.

We are all settled in our new home in the Pittsburgh area. It has been a whirlwind couple of months let me tell ya! After leaving Colorado we spent three weeks in a hotel until we could close on our house here. Then I spent two weeks here unpacking and getting everything in order after the move and then it was on to Maine for three weeks so I could see my family. It probably would have been smarter to stay here longer than two weeks before going onto Maine but I wanted to get up there before the weather got really yucky. We had a great time up there! I was so nice to be able to see everyone and have a little bit more time than usual. I got to go riding with my best friend three times! Usually we are lucky if we can squeeze in twice. I also got to see pretty much everyone in my family except for one younger cousin who has just started college and has a very busy life right now. We were also in Maine for Halloween and everyone in my family got a big kick out of seeing my daughter all dressed up in her lion costume. I was great to be around my family and friends for so long. Even after being out of Maine for eleven years I still miss everyone terribly.

I will try and post later of the first ride that my friend and I went on in Maine. It was a blast!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big Doin's for Rosie!

When it was decided that we would be relocating to the Pittsburgh area I began to hatch a little plot in my brain. The trainer, Teresa, that I used to train my last horse, I absolutely loved. She was kind but firm and did a fantastic job. When I bought Rosie I thought wistfully, "boy, I wish I could just send her to Teresa when the time comes for training." But we were in Texas and Teresa had moved from Maine where I had first met her to Florida so my I knew that having Teresa train her was a total pipe dream. Fast forward to two moves later and I approached my husband with the idea that since we are having Rosie shipped from Colorado to Pittsburgh anyways how about she takes a side trip and spends the winter with Teresa in Florida getting trained to be a productive equine citizen and then she will be ready to go for me next spring. Long story short since I am typing this put on my iPod, he went for it! So today my little Rose Petal got on a trailer bound for Florida! I'm so excited for the both of us and while I know I will miss her this winter it will be so worth it when next spring rolls around.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Big Changes

I have been meaning to catch up on all the things we have done this summer but one big thing is preventing me from doing so. We have been transferred to Pittsburgh. Yes, you read that right, Pittsburgh. So, do I need a name change? Appalachain Yankee perhaps? (Is Pittsburgh even in Appalachia? I must research this.) Steel City Yankee, maybe? I don't know, I still like the sound of Rocky Mountain Yankee myself so I believe I will stick with that for now.

Anyways, the brief details on the move are that my husband was offered a promotion but with the promotion came a move. We didn't really want to move but who can turn down a promotion in this economy? So we are currently in limbo having sold our house in Colorado and not being able to close on the one here until later this month. Sadly, it is not horse property although that is something I did petition for. Loudly. Sigh.

I probably won't be on here much as I can only use my husbands work computer and he is not supposed to frequent such social sites as this so what I am doing right now is a no-no. Hopefully it will slip under the IT guys radar. I should be back up and running in about a month. Catch ya'll later!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Florida: Day Two

On our second day in Florida we (meaning all of us, myself, my daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt and uncle) had planned to head to the beach in the morning before my cousins wedding at 2:00 that afternoon. After our brief sashay onto the beach the day before I couldn't wait to get back! We decided to head to Henderson Beach State Park in Destin which was about a half hour from our hotel in Niceville.

Oh my, what a treat! This is the nicest beach I have ever been on! Beautiful white sand, but I don't travel a whole lot so that may not mean much. There are some sand dunes between the parking lot and the actual beach and when my daughter saw them she said, "Look, snow!" That is how white the sand is there. And soft, oh my goodness, it was so soft. We found a good place to park our towels and put on sunscreen before we went to test out the water. Someone had dug a small hole in the sand probably the day before and my daughter decided that looked like a good place to play.
I was once again able to get my toes in the sand. Just thinking about it now makes me want to hop a plane to Florida!

I then let my daughter bury said toes in the sand. She thought that was a pretty good time.
And yes, we were the whitest people on the beach. We almost blended in with the sand. You could definitely tell we were not from Florida. After a little time spent playing into the sand we ventured down to the water. At first it seemed chilly but then the longer I was in it, the more comfortable it was. My daughter initially wanted nothing to do with the water. I think the waves coming at her even though they were pretty small was a little concerning for her. Then once she figured out she could get people to hang onto her hands so she could jump up when the waves came through she decided this beach thing wasn't so bad after all. Sometimes she made it while trying to jump the waves and sometimes she got a mouthful of water. We spent a good two hours at the beach and were having such a good time that we didn't want to leave to go back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding. We halfway contemplated going in our swimsuits just to get an extra hour in the sand but decided we might not get invited to anything ever again if we did that. We also tossed around the idea of going back to the beach after the wedding but by the time the wedding was over we were too tired to pack all of our beach stuff back up and drive the half hour to the beach again.

The wedding was lovely but since it wasn't my wedding and my cousin doesn't know a thing about this blog I'm not going to post pictures of it here. I'll just say the bride was gorgeous and the groom was beaming and leave it at that.

The next day everyone pretty much cleared out to head back to their respective parts of the country. I headed back down to Destin to do some shopping as I needed to kill some time before our 5:00p.m flight. I went into a Bass Pro Shop for the first time in my life. It was interesting but since I had not one ounce of space left in my suitcase I really couldn't buy anything. That made shopping kind of pointless. I did however manage to squeeze a t-shirt from the Hard Rock Cafe into my carry on. I seriously thought about heading back to the beach but since I had no hotel room to return to to clean us up I decided had better not. I really wanted to though.

That was pretty much our trip to Florida. I am totally hooked on the Emerald Coast as it is known and I can't wait to go back! I had been to other parts of Florida before but the Destin/Ft. Walton Beach area is my favorite area by far.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Playing catch up

Wow, I really need to stay on top of this blogging stuff because now I have a bunch of stuff that has happened and it is going to take me days (or months) to get it on here!  
First off, the Little Monkey and I went on a little adventure just the two of us back in June.  I decided that I wanted to go to my cousins wedding in Florida so off we went.  It was more like a family reunion on my mothers side then a wedding.  Myself and my daughter were there, my mother, my grandmother and two of my mother's sisters were there.  My mother is one of five so getting them all in the same place at the same time does not happen often and didn't happen this time but three out of five is pretty good.  The wedding was to take place in Niceville, Florida at the beginning of June.  My daughter and I had never traveled to a place by ourselves where there wasn't anyone to meet us on the other end.  The rest of my family was coming in to different airports at different times so we were really on our own.  I was excited but nervous at the same time.  I would have to handle the Monkey and all our luggage completely by myself.  Our flights were all okay and we got the rental car fine but then I-10 from Pensacola to Crestview was closed.  And it was getting dark.  I couldn't read the crappy map from the rental car people because I was driving.  I started to get a little panicky but I called my best friend in the whole world WV Girl at Heart and she fired up her computer, loaded Mapquest and guided me in.  I owe her a huge THANK YOU!!  And if you are wondering why I didn't call my husband, I did.  He was golfing, so no help there.  The lesson to take away here is always map an alternate route before leaving for your trip because you never know when the interstate might be shut down.  And it will be getting dark.  And you are traveling with your small child.  And every true crime story you have ever seen on television is suddenly in your mind.  But enough about that.
  
Our first day we decided to head down to Ft. Walton Beach to the Gulfarium  They had a small dolphin show and it was pretty entertaining.  It would have been better if I hadn't been to
 SeaWorld in the past.  The Gulfarium looks like a mom and pop operation and while it was nice, really how do you compete with SeaWorld?  Anyways, this is a picture I got of one of the dolphins jumping.  



Just look at the gulf in the back ground!  It was beautiful!  After the Gulfarium shows we were able to meet up with my aunt, uncle and grandmother for lunch.  After living across the country from my home state for 10 years now it always give me a thrill to be able to meet up with my family for simple things such as lunch.  Things that most people probably get to do with their families at the drop of a hat.  The restaurant that we ate at was right on the beach and we were able to get the breeze in our hair and watch the waves roll in.  I pretty much thought I had died and gone to heaven!  After lunch we had to go down and check out the beach since it was right there.  I personally was dying to get my feet in the sand.  There just aren't many opportunities to do that here in Colorado.  So there they are my feet in the sand.  It was wonderful let me tell you! 


My daughter was a little hesitant at first but then she dug right in!


We stayed at the beach for a little while but we weren't really dressed for it and I didn't have any toys for the Monkey so after awhile I dragged my reluctant child back to the hotel in hopes she would take an afternoon nap (which she did not) and to meet my mom who flew in a day later than I did.  

There is more but this is getting long so I think I will wrap it up for now and do the rest in another post later.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

Once Upon An Equine presented me with the Honest Scrap Award.  Thank you!  

Once Upon An Equine has two lovable equines at her place.  One Percheron mare named Misty who is just starting to figure out what these two legged creatures want from her and a Norwegian Fjord gelding, Marley, who has figured out a few tricks to outsmart his human counter parts but is being worked with to become the good citizen we all know he wants to be!  Check out Once Upon An Equine at her blog!

The Honest Scrap Award comes with a few fun rules that recipients must follow:
  1. Recognize your award presenter and link back to their blog in your post.
  2. List 10 honest things about yourself.
  3. Present this award to 10 admirable bloggers and link to their blogs.
  4. Leave a comment on your recipients' blogs to let them know to visit your post to retrieve their award.

Alright, let the fun begin!

1.  Whenever I fly I prefer to drink tomato juice.  I have no tomato juice whatsoever in my house.  I never drink it at home or when I go out to eat or anything, just when I fly.  I don't turn it into a Bloody Mary on the plane, just straight tomato juice.  I don't get it either.

2.  Kirk Cameron was my first celebrity crush.  I watched him on the show Growing Pains when I was in about the third grade and I was madly in love.  Until I read a biography about him that said he was allergic to any animal with hair and his only pets were reptiles.  That's where it ended for Kirk and I.  He was crushed I'm sure.  

3.  I'm a pickup gal.  I love my truck.  I have a Ford F-150 that we bought brand new when we were first married and I plan on driving it until the wheels fall off.  I don't think I can ever go back to driving a car.  I had a rental car recently on a out of town trip and I couldn't wait to get back into my truck.  

4.  I have a hard time throwing anything away that has to do with horses.  This is evidenced by the stacks of Horse & Rider magazine living in my basement.  My husband would love to chuck them but I might need them someday!

5.  I'm usually hungry.  I can eat all day long and then eat some more.  If we are out I will eat even if I'm not hungry just incase food isn't available later.  Most of my friends hate me for this because I rarely gain weight.  It's a genetic thing.  Both of my parents are very slender.  

6.  I like a little clutter in my  house.  Perfectly spotless houses make me nervous.  

7.  I secretly want to be Martha Stewart (minus the jail time, of course!) but don't have the patience or ambition to be that perfect.   

8.  I think I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up but it is still in the planning stages so I'm going to keep it under my hat.

Can you tell I am running out of things to talk about?

9.  I hate to fly but I like to travel.  So I fly when I have to and drive when I can.  My driving has been curtailed since having my daughter but I am looking forward to the day when she is old enough to do some long stretches in the car.  

10.  I still have every single ribbon and trophy I won showing horses as a teenager.  They are dated and have the horses name and the class entered written on the back.  OCD much?  They are some of my greatest treasures as I no longer have any of the horses that those ribbons were won with.

Whew, ten, I made it!  It has taken me all afternoon to write this post but it was fun!  Now it's your turn!  Even if I don't list your blog here please feel free to give yourself the Honest Scrap Award and play along.  Also, since this is my blog and I make the rules here I am not going to pick ten blogs.  Because I don't want to, that's why.

These are the lucky bloggers I am selecting though:


Now lets hope I linked everyones blog correctly!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spring Vaccinations

Today my little Rosie Toes received her yearly vaccinations.  She got the standard Rabies/Tetanus/Eastern/Western combo and then West Nile.  I wormed her also.  Has anyone tried the tapeworm dewormer before?  I don't really think she has them since we were in such a dry place in Texas but she had also never been dewormed for them before so I tried the Equimax stuff.  Then my poor Rosie had to suffer the indignities that any woman of child bearing age has had to endure.  I had her palpated.  Granted our OB/GYN's don't usually go through our rectums but it is still pretty similar.  If some of you are wondering why on earth I had this poor horse palpated you can catch up here.  I explained to the vet what had happened and so she palpated her and said that while she couldn't be one hundred percent sure with out doing an ultrasound she didn't think Rosie was bred.  She also didn't see any reason to do an ultrasound so I'm pretty sure nothing occurred.  Which is what the barn manager told me but I figured since the vet was there I should probably just cover my own ass.  Huge sigh of relief from me.  Horses, I swear.

We also walked the gauntlet between the two stallions so I could get her out to her pasture.  I had expressed my displeasure to the barn manager regarding the placement of these two stallions and the fact that I didn't feel safe walking my own horse down between them.  He said that while he didn't have anywhere else to move the stallions to he or the barn worker could go get Rosie for me.  I guess it is an okay solution but it is one that leaves me feeling like a loser for not being able to handle my own horse.  So today I decided that I was just going to buck up and her out there myself.  I brought in a little reinforcement though.  Normally I use a rope halter on her but today just for the purpose of taking her out to the pasture I got a regular nylon halter and put a chain over her nose.  I had never put a chain over her nose before but figured, what the hell, it will either work or it won't and if it doesn't she will spend the rest of the day in her stall.  We started down the alleyway, the stallions started their usual crap and she started to try to get ahead of me.  I gave her a little tug, enough for her to feel that there was something over her nose and she came back to me.  I had to come onto her a couple more times and we made it down the alley at a trot but we made it without any of the craziness of last time.  I also don't think she was in heat this time but I am not positive.  Just to reassure anyone who might be worrying I have used chains on horses in the past without incident.  In fact I had a mare who you absolutely could not lead with out a chain over her nose.  As soon as you put the chain on she was as easy as pie but she knew if you had put the chain on or not.  

And just because I haven't posted any pictures lately I will post this one of a flower I took at the Botanical Gardens in Grand Junction.  Don't ask me what it is, I have no idea!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Invalid

I participate in the Pampers Gifts to Grow program which basically you enter codes off the packages of diapers and after you accumulate so many points you get prizes.  I went to enter some today and it asked for some basic information such as gender, age and occupation.  Well, I typed "stay at home mom" in for occupation and when I hit enter to submit the information and it kicked it back to me saying the "occupation entered is invalid."  Thanks a lot Pampers, if a diaper company doesn't even recognize it as a valid occupation why should the rest of the world?!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Suburban Nightmare

Note:  Rant ahead, just so you are forewarned!

I currently live in a standard generic American suburb.  Not by choice.  I grew up on 160 acres of fields and trees in Maine.  There was also a farm house that was, shall we say, a handyman's dream.  Despite the difficulties of living in a circa 1840's farmhouse during the harsh Maine winters I loved our property.  There was plenty of room for the horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and kids.  I could get in a good trail ride and never leave our little slice of heaven.  

Fast forward through the next eleven years in which a teenage girl with big dreams and wanderlust heads west to go to college and seek her fortune.  Things take a a different turn than planned and she ends up married and following her husband around the various oil field hubs in this great nation of ours.  Enter suburbia.  

The first town we moved to after getting married was in the high desert of southwest Wyoming.  Trust me, the scenery is not what you think of when you picture Wyoming.  The town was surrounded by federal and railroad owned land.  There was very little privately owned land and what there was was out of our newlywed price range.  When we moved to Texas I had put my only horse down nine months before we left Wyoming and I was three months pregnant with my daughter.  I had convinced myself after having to put my mare down that I was taking a break from horses so we didn't even look for horse property when we relocated.  The horse bug came back (I really don't think it had ever left) while in Texas and when we planned this move to Colorado I swore we would be getting horse property.  I had purchased Rosie six months before and DID NOT want to board again.  As we began looking for our new home in the Denver area we found that nearly everything was out of our price range and what was in it was still at the high end.  My husband, whose degree is in Finance with a real estate concentration,  was also a mortgage lender before this oil field gig kept running the numbers and our choices were low end horse property with a huge mortgage or a house in a subdivision that would be nearly paid for.  With me kicking, screaming and crying the whole way we moved into suburbia.  Again.  In hind sight given what has happened with the economy since last August it was probably the smartest move, but don't tell him that I said that.

We ended up purchasing a new spec home and the backyard was not landscaped.  We decided to finally do things the way we wanted since we had a clean slate to work with.  We put in a deck and did some upgrades with the trees and concrete curbing and such.  We accomplished all this last fall just in time for cold weather to set in.  We waited all winter for warm weather to roll around and now that it has we have discovered that we have an annoying problem.  Sadly, we can't call the deck guy or the landscapers to fix this issue.  The problem we are having is with a little, blond five year old boy.  What could be the problem you say?  Well, let me enlighten you.  Everytime we set foot in our backyard and he is in his, he knows it.  Within two minutes (usually less but I am feeling generous) he either invites himself to our house or asks if my daughter can go over to his house.  Usually he invites himself to our house first.  The way everything is situated this boy has a toy he can climb on and see virtually everything in our backyard.  Our back door is on the side closest to his house.  Everytime we set foot in our backyard and he is in his, he knows it.  Tonight he had the audacity to ask "if he was invited to our house" with his father standing right there.  Now here is the part that really gets to me.  This is not the first time he has done this with his father right there and you know what his dad does?  Nothing.  He usually says something like what he said tonight "Probably not tonight, it's getting close to dinner time," to which my husband agreed even though we had eaten an hour prior.  If he was my kid I would have said "no, and you are being rude" and left it at that.  It's pretty obvious this kid runs the show.  So now it's pretty clear that not only am I going to have to keep my kid in check I am going to have to keep theirs in check too at least as far as coming over to my house goes.  It doesn't stop there.  If he can't get either mine or my husbands attention to ask if he can come over he tells my daughter to go ask one of us if he can come over.  Luckily she is still too young to know what he is talking about and never asks.  Wait, there is more.  Once it is established that he can't come over for whatever reason, if we are sitting on our deck which is probably a grand total of 25 feet from his play set that he stands on and rapid fires questions at us until we retreat inside.  We spent thousands of dollars getting this yard the way we wanted it and now we can't bear to be outside.  It is only May.  What am I going to do once school is out and he is home all day?  I think he goes to half day school of some sort, not sure if it is kindergarten or like a preschool something or other.  A few weeks ago when I had purchased some flowers and seeds for my daughter and I to plant, kind of a mother-daughter activity, he hollered at us over the fence for her to come talk to him the ENTIRE TIME.  Tonight I found myself encouraging my daughter to come inside on a gorgeous early summer evening and watch t.v. just to escape him.  Thumbs up on the parenting there.  

Now, I know your probably thinking "go talk to his parents."  If you actually knew me you would know how non confrontational I am.  I don't even like to call people on the phone, I prefer to do everything by e-mail if possible.  I don't know why I am like this, I just am.  I guess I just keep hoping his oblivious parents will take note of what he is doing and put a stop to it.  Here is to wishful thinking.  Oh, one more little factoid, when he comes over he brings his three year old sister with him.  Suddenly, I have three children running around instead of one.  I have realized something about myself since becoming a parent to a pre-schooler.  I really don't like other peoples children.  I don't dislike all of them, just most of them.  My friends kids I don't mind because we are all mostly of the same mindset and behavior such as this would not be accepted.  I used to work at an elementary school and the kids there had to listen to me.  Now, if I can't discipline them I don't want to be around them.  Why, oh why can't I be surrounded by acres of waving green pasture with my horses grazing peacefully as I sit on my (silent) deck and enjoy a glass of iced tea on a summer day?

Well, that is my rant for the evening.  I hope everyone else's outdoor activities are going better than mine are.  I also hope my neighbors aren't reading this.  Or maybe I hope they are....          

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I can't think of a title...

I made it over to check on my Roany Pony tonight.  She was taking a nap when I got there.  It never fails to amaze me how much horses look like beached whales when the lay down.  At first she was still kind of sitting up but then she stretched out flat.  I didn't have the heart to get her up.  I was out of the house and there were no children there so really I didn't much care what happened.  It was relaxing just watching her sleep.  After a bit she got up, shavings all in her forelock and mane, so cute.  I just brushed her, checked her legs and picked out her feet.  We are going to visit the in-laws so I just wanted some barn time before we headed out.  I tried to get a couple of pictures but my camera battery was beyond dead.  Her legs are healing nicely and I can see new pink skin underneath some of the scabs that are starting to come off.  She did cough a few times, so I need to keep an eye on that.  I have never noticed her coughing before.

Well, everyone have a great rest of the week!

Monday, May 4, 2009

How did Monday get here so quickly?

Where do the weekend go?  I swear time speeds up once Friday evening gets here.  

Saturday the weather was not cooperating so we did some errands around Fort Collins, then just headed home.  Sunday the farrier was coming to the barn so I had to get my butt in gear.  I was a little nervous about going to the barn after everything that happened last weekend.  I guess you could say my confidence is a little shaken.  When I got to the barn both of the stallions were in there getting shoes on so I was able to retrieve Rosie from the pasture without incident.  I brushed her and fussed over her until the testosterone level in the barn went down a few notches.  When I got in the barn only the black stallion had left and the red one was still in there.  Thankfully he was in front of us so I could keep an eye on him.  What I am about to say is probably going to offend some of you out there but I really don't think Arabians are ever going to be the breed of choice for me.  Both of these stallions are Arabians and I just don't think I have the temperament to deal with them.

Rosie did well with having her feet trimmed.  Before she was always good on the left but by the time they got around to her right side she had had enough of the hoof trimming thing.  Yesterday she was good all the way around.  Maybe she was distracted by Studly being a dingbat in the cross ties in front of her.  Whatever it was, she was good.  Afterwards, I lunged her for a bit and then worked on desensitizing her to the lead rope a little bit.  Before last weekend's incident she really didn't have much of a problem with ropes being around her legs but now she is pretty worried about them.  I spent a few minutes just throwing the rope around her back legs until she calmed down and stood still.  It took a bit but she finally did.  I did her left side first and then her right side.  Her left side took a little while before she was comfortable so I figured her right side would take a really long time but I only had to spend about two minutes on it and that was probably longer than I needed to.  I guess it makes sense though, the worst cuts and scrapes on her left hind leg.  While I was applying some fly spray to her after our round pen work the barn manager brought the red stallion out of the main barn to be put in his stall in the south barn and Rosie still gave him googly eyes and peed everywhere so I guess she is still in heat?  I thought a heat cycle only lasted about a week which I guess is where she is at but enough already!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A few more details...

I just wanted to thank everyone that commented on yesterday's post.  Hopefully all the positive thinking will give me a dingy, in heat mare again in a few weeks.  

I know some of you are probably thinking, "geez, I think I would move if that happened to me" and don't think I haven't already thought about it.  A couple things stopping for now though are that, other than this incident, nothing like this has ever happened.  This barn takes great care of my horse.  She is in great weight, she is turned out with a group of horses that gets along and she has never had more than a few bite marks before.  I have also signed a year long contract that isn't up until next September or October.  Although I'm sure there would be a way to get out of it if she turned up bred!  I like the barn manager, I like the facilities and other than wishing it was a little closer to my house I haven't had anything to complain about.  One more little factoid: the stallions weren't there when I first brought Rosie up here.  They didn't show up until January or February of this year and Rosie has been there since late September.  I hoping this girl with these two studs will just move on to the next place.  I have met her once and she seems kind of like that type.  I meant to put all this stuff in yesterday's post but it was getting long winded and I was tired of typing.

One final note for the day, yesterday was Rosie's birthday!  She is now officially two.  Hope she isn't knocked up!  

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

She needs a padded stall

It's a good thing that I got to work with Rosie last Wednesday because things went downhill after that.  I didn't make it over to the barn on Saturday as it was pretty gloomy out and I was coming down with a cold along with my daughter.  Saturday evening I got an e-mail from the barn manager saying he had tried to call me during the day but apparently didn't have my updated information from after our move.  Someone (don't know who) left a gate open on the pasture and Rosie had gotten out.  She got some cuts on her legs but he and the other man who works at the barn had scrubbed her legs with Betadine and put a spray on bandage on and that she would be fine, no need for an emergency vet call.  Okay, I understand stuff happens but who in the heck is going around leaving gates open?  Does this just not defy common sense?!

Needless to say, on Sunday I was itching to get to the barn but since it wasn't an emergency and my husband had stuff he wanted to get done I didn't make it over until after lunch. *sigh* I really wish I could keep her at my house.  Anyways, I get over there and go to the pasture and catch her.  On the way to the barn we have to walk past a couple of paddocks where there are stallions being kept.  I have never had any problem at all getting her past these paddocks.  This day however, I was walking along and then all of a sudden Rosie had pulled back or something because I felt the line jerk and backwards and then she came forward and hit me with her shoulder.  I pushed her back and she was still acting weird, looking over at the black stallion.  I thought, okay, that is strange, maybe she tangled with him yesterday when she got out and is worried.  Finally we get over to the round pen so I can look at her legs and she is acting like a fruit loop.  She just about plowed me over trying to get away from a lunge whip with a bag on it that way laying on the ground, like she had never seen it before.  I didn't want to lunge her but she was acting so strange that I didn't feel safe standing next to her so I sent her out to trot a little bit.  She actually didn't even look sore.  I called her back in and took a good look at her legs.  It looks like she got some wire around her legs.  There is quite a bit of hair missing and few places that are little scabby but the barn manager was right, nothing to make an emergency vet call over.  

At this point the weather was changing, a cold front was coming in and she was still being fruity so I headed out to put her back in the pasture.  Well, this didn't go well.  To get to the pasture you walk down an alley way first with a riding ring on either side and then as you get further down towards the pasture there are two paddocks facing each other.  In the paddock on the south side is the black stallion I mentioned before.  What I didn't think about was that there is a sorrel stallion in the paddock on the north side.  As I get closer to these paddocks Rosie is getting harder to handle.  Once we get about 50 feet in between both the paddocks she is spinning circles around with urine flying out the back end and both stallions coming at her.  Now it it's me what her problem is, she's in HEAT!  Great.  All I can think is A) I hope I don't get killed and B)I hope she doesn't back up to one of these pens and get bred.  Now, I have retrieved and returned this horse to this pasture with these two stallions in these pens and never had anything like this happen.  Of course, she hasn't been in heat since the two studs showed up either.  So back to her stall we go.  I just put her away and then waited for the barn manager so I could talk to him about everything because at this point I am wondering if she may have had a little "encounter" with either of these stallions while she was out the day before.  

While I am waiting for him to show up I called my best friend to see what she would do and went out to do some investigating around the stallion paddocks.  There wasn't anything suspicious around the paddock of the sorrel stallion but I did find some fresh hoof prints around the end of the black stallions paddock.  They looked like they had been made with some force. 

Finally, the barn manager got there and I got the low down on what happened on Saturday.  He had been doing a pony birthday party (that is a service the barn offers, I think I might do my next birthday there!) when Rosie got out but the barn worker had seen her pretty much right away and went and got her.  He also said that she was over by the black stallion.  So I asked if he thought I needed to get her palpated to see if she might have been bred.  He said he didn't think so, that the other guy had been pretty much on top of things and gotten to her right away.  At this point we are both kind of thinking that she scratched her legs up on the fence either rearing up at or kicking at the stud.  I'm just hoping that inexperience (Rosie's) and old age (the studs) will save me from having to abort a foal.  I will not have my now two year old having a foal next year.  I know some people would argue with me on this but right now I feel Rosie is too young, I don't want a foal and the horse market is in the crapper anyways.  Now just is not a good time to be breeding, intentional or otherwise.  So everybody cross your fingers and hope she comes into heat next month.  Here is a picture of her legs on Sunday.  The worst leg is the one on the right side of the picture which would be her left let.  There is silvery medication on there so it is kind of hard to see the scratches.     


I went back over on Tuesday night to check things out and she was still in heat and dingy but I managed to hose off her legs and get a better look at things.  The left leg is going to take longer to heal than the right but I think she will be okay eventually.  There was also seem heat in the left leg I think, I have never tried or had to feel for heat but it definitely felt warmer than it should have.  Here is a picture from Tuesday.

I am hoping to get over and check on her tomorrow.  I really wish I could see her everyday but I just can't.  Suburbia is going to eat me alive.  That is a post for another day however.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Escape to the Barn

On Wednesday evening I managed to escape to the barn for a little bit.  It felt like I was out past my bedtime on a school night or something.  I don't usually go the barn in the evening but with the extended daylight this time of year I made a mad dash for the door.  

Rosie and I had a pretty productive evening all in all.  While I was grooming her I noticed she had a small cut on her right hind leg and it appeared a little swollen but didn't seem to be bothering her so I decided to just keep an eye on it.  After grooming I got her all rigged up in her surcingle so we could do some ground driving.  Last time I attempted this I couldn't figure out how to make her go forward so we just worked on flexing and getting used to the idea that I didn't have to be at her head the whole time.  I talked to a couple of friends who have waaaaay more experience working young horses than I do and they gave me a couple of pointers on how to get her moving.  So, I got her all ready to go and then moved into a position that was more like a lunging position than a driving position.  I also used the lunge whip to encourage her forward as I would when lunging her.  It worked!  We achieved forward movement!  I just kind of putzed around the round pen with her and we even worked up to a trot before just working on some flexing and calling it a night.  We worked on flexing because she started to brace against the lines so we went back to what we knew.  

I'm hoping to get back out there and try it again this weekend but the weather isn't supposed to be all that spectacular.  Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for tomorrow and then just partly cloudy on Sunday.  I am no good in a thunderstorm.  I hate lightening, I just find somewhere to cower.  

Well, everybody have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wet weekend

This past weekend it rained pretty much all day Saturday after it had already rained all day Friday.  I was getting pretty stir crazy by Saturday as I hadn't left the house since Tuesday for various reasons.  I got out and did a little shopping on Saturday then went over to the barn to turn Rosie out in the outdoor arena for a little while.  When the weather is nasty they don't turn the stalled horses out into the big pasture because there is no shelter out there for them.  I knew since Rosie most likely hadn't been out since Thursday afternoon she would probably like to get out and stretch her legs a little.  She does have a small run off of her stall but that is nothing compared to the big pasture.  When I got to the barn it was still raining but nothing unbearable so I went ahead with my plan to turn her out for a few minutes.  On the way to the outdoor (which is a whole 15 feet) from the barn there was a good sized puddle and I found out that my little spotted pill didn't like the idea of getting her toes wet.  We managed to get through it without Rosie leaping on top of me.  Once in the arena Rosie acted like she wasn't quite sure what to do.  For one she doesn't get turned out in the outdoor arena and another she was all by herself.  She seemed to be worried about the fact that there wasn't anyone else around.  After about 10 minutes in the rain I decided to bring her back in as she wasn't doing anything more than looking for spare bits of hay anyways.  I expected to see a little more action out of a two year old that had been stalled for two days!  On the way back to the barn we again had to have a little conversation about the puddle.  Since I didn't have my water proof boots on I didn't push the issue too much but decided that if it was nice the next day that we would have a little meeting of the minds about this puddle issue.

Sunday dawned clear, finally!  After church I headed over to the barn to work on our water issue.  At first she thought she could just push me out of the way and not put her feet in the puddle but then felt the sting of the end of the lead rope on her behind.  I don't like pushy horses.  They are big enough as it is and I am rather petite so I don't like it when they get pushy.  I had worn my water proof boots so after I stepped into the water and proved to her that the Thing from the Black Lagoon wasn't going to jump up and kill her she decided that maybe it wasn't so bad after all to stand in the puddle.  We walked through so many puddles, I'm sure the other people at the barn thought that I was nuts.  Then into the partly flooded roundpen we went!  Yay, more water!  At this point she did fine.  She tried a couple of squirrely maneuvers but nothing that couldn't be handled and pretty soon, into the water she went.  She really didn't give me all that much trouble and then we worked on some other stuff and called it a day.  It was a good day, all in all! 

All the water outside of the roundpen is not usually there.  There is a small pond over towards the left that normally you can't even see from the roundpen but with all the rain it flooded the horse pens and started to sneak into the roundpen.  If the rain hadn't stopped I don't know how far it would have gone!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just got back...

from checking on Rosie.  She is fine, just like I thought she would be.  She was wet so I know she had been standing out in her run at some point but when I got there she was in her stall searching for remnants from breakfast.  I gave her a couple of carrots and some pats on the head.  We didn't stay very long.  Her stall is on the north side of the barn so when I open her stall door that combined with the open door for her run turns into a pretty nifty wind tunnel.  Not good for a contact wearer such as myself.  I think she would have liked to have gotten out and run around a bit but there was no way I was going to try that while I had my daughter with me.  I did snap a quick picture.  It isn't that great but I will post it anyway.  


Things must be pretty nasty north of here.  On the way home I heard that I-25 is closed from Wellington into Wyoming, US-85 is closed from Ault to Wyoming and CO 287 is closed from Ted's Place to Wyoming.  Soooo, if you are trying to get to Wyoming from Colorado today you are pretty much screwed.  I have been on those roads in the winter before and I was terrified, I can only imagine what it is like for the authorities to close them.  I did see some snow flakes briefly on the way to the barn but it didn't stick and quickly turned back into rain.  

Rain, Rain...

Well, I'm not going to say go away because any rain here is appreciated.  It is a dreary, windy, cold spring day here on the front range of Colorado.  I hear the mountains are getting quite a hit of snow.  They can have it, I'm done shoveling.  I'm going over to the barn later this morning to check on Rosie and make sure she isn't cold.  She has shed out most of her winter coat and while I am sure she is fine, just to ease my mind, I am going to go make sure.  The temperature here today is currently 35 degrees with rain and a 15 mph wind which according to The Weather Channel makes it feel like 25.  Yick.  A nice day to stay inside with hot chocolate and a good book.  I am going to post a picture from our trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico because it was warm that day and I need a little warmth.  The first picture is coming out of Ruidoso headed towards Roswell.  The second picture is of the temperature in Artesia, New Mexico.  Very warm.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Last week we had a really nice afternoon and I decided that I had a saddle that needed to be cleaned.  Really I just wanted to be outside and doing something of the horsey type.  Since I can't keep my horse at my house, cleaning a saddle was the closest horsey type thing I could find to do.  I really miss cleaning stalls.  (This whole horse thing really is a sickness, isn't it?)  

My husbands old roping saddle needed to be cleaned the worst but since I didn't have the back strength to haul it up the basement stairs and out to the deck I decided to clean my English saddle.  It wasn't really that dirty but it did need to be cleaned.  So I hauled it upstairs and got everything set up on the deck. 


I stripped the saddle pad and girth off and got down to work.  Before I knew it I had a little helper show up.


We got the saddle all spiffed up and I threw the pad into the wash as it was covered in the hair of the last horse that I used it on.  In thinking back on which horse the hair belonged to I realized that I haven't used that saddle in about five years.  Yikes!  I need to start taking lessons again to get my butt back in shape!  My riding in the last five years has been pretty sporadic but that is a history lesson for another day.

Sadly, I don't have a picture of the finished project.  I had to hurry and put everything away as my daughter was getting a little over zealous with the cleaning.  She kept dunking her sponge in the water and squeezing it out over the saddle.  Finally, when everything within a six foot radius of her was soaked I sent her to play in her sand box so I could clean up.  At least she likes to help, right?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Relief...

My brother is the adventurous soul in our family.  Last week he flew off for a vacation in Italy.  If you have been watching the news lately you will now understand the title of this post.  If you don't watch the news I will tell you that there was a roughly 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Italy that killed around 200 people last I heard.  So of course we have been trying to get in touch with him since yesterday morning when we found out about the earthquake.  He finally contacted us late this afternoon to tell us that he was fine and he had been in Rome when the quake hit.  He said it woke him up but didn't do any damage to the hotel he was staying in.  He also said he is having a great time and he loves Italy.  Can't ask for much more than that!

I must add, I don't think I will ever vacation with my brother.  Last year when he went to the United Kingdom on vacation they had the worst rain and wind storms that they had seen in like 60 years.  Now this year it's an earthquake!  All I can say his, I am glad that I am on the other side of the world from his vacations!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Trail of Billy's Last Ride

I subscribe to a magazine called Trail Rider which contains tons of information about trail riding with horses.  This is the magazine that I am the most eager to get each month in the mail.  They usually feature a few different places to trail ride each month complete with descriptions and pictures.  

In the April 2009 issue they profiled an organized ride that I would love to attend.  It is called The Trail of Billy's Last Ride and it follows the trail that Billy the Kid took when he broke out of the jail in Lincoln County, New Mexico and ran to Fort Sumner where he was shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett three months later.  It crosses some pretty wide open country in eastern New Mexico.  Over the course of seven days you ride 125 miles and can take your own horse or rent one from the ride organizers.  This just sounds like a really cool way to spend a week!  Just as a side note I am in no way affiliated with anyone who puts on the ride, this isn't an ad, just something I have been thinking about lately.  

About a year or so ago, I decided that I wanted to at some point in my life, ride a horse in all 50 states and try and ride my own horse in the lower 48 states.  I have no idea if I will accomplish this goal but this ride would put me one more state down!  Just in case you are curious, I have ridden a horse in Maine, Alabama, Colorado, Wyoming and Texas and have ridden my own horse in just Maine and Wyoming.  Two down, 46 to go!  Since Rosie won't be two for a couple of weeks she hasn't been a party to any of my rides yet.  But she will be!  I have big plans for her spotted butt! 

I would also at some point like to do the Chief Joseph ride that the Appaloosa Club does every year.  Owning a registered Appaloosa has made more aware of the heritage of the breed and since I am a history buff the whole thing just sounds really cool.  My ideal would be to ride the entire length of the Chief Joseph ride which is 1,350 miles total.  Each year the ride covers a different 100 mile section of the 1,350 miles of trail. 

Anyone else have favorite rides that they do every year?  A ride you would love to go on?  I have many other rides I would like to do and this is just a small sampling of them.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What month is this again???

We are scheduled to get another large snowstorm this weekend.  *sigh*  I thought this was supposed to be spring time.  I know, I know, spring time in the Rockies can be interesting.  I just wish we had had these storms in January and February when I was more mentally prepared for them.  I probably won't get to the barn if it is as bad as they are saying.  We are only supposed to get like six inches of snow but we are also getting 20-30 mile an hour winds with it.  I don't drive in that kind of stuff unless it is absolutely necessary.  So, I have a stockpile of books and as long as the power is on things will be okay.  Hope the weather in your neck of the woods is a bit nicer than mine.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wow, it's been awhile...

I guess I just really haven't been in a blogging mood lately.  Sorry everybody!  

First, I must tell you about the Clinton Anderson clinic because I think that is basically where I left off in my blog.  It was so awesome!  I would highly recommend going to one if he is coming to your area.  If for nothing else, the liberty demonstration that he does at the beginning.  It was amazing.  I now understand why his horse Mindy has her own cult following, what a nice horse.  There were also ample opportunities to go meet Clinton, have your picture taken and get an autograph.  All of which I did!  Really, how was I supposed to resist that?  Here is the photographic proof.

I hope my friend Sheila doesn't mind me posting her image on here.  She graciously allowed me to put my arm around Clinton.  Hey, us married folk gotta have a little fun! The first day of the clinic I took my little point and shoot digital but I didn't like the way the pictures turned out so the next day I decided to take my digital SLR to see if I could get any better pictures. Happily, I was able to.

Here is one of Clinton on Mindy bareback. He was demonstrating some of the tricks that he had recently started teaching to her.


Probably the demonstration that sticks out most in my mind was the trailer loading one. It could be that it sticks out because it was the last one that I saw but I don't think so. I think it sticks out because of the horse that they used. This horse was huge! He was big, dark bay and ornery. And of course the little blond thing that he drug into the ring with him was wanting to use him for barrel racing. Is there some requirement that I haven't read that every barrel horse must be batshit crazy in order to be a good barrel horse? I mean really people. Sorry, I'm not trying to bag on the barrel people but I have just seen so many that have no manners whatsoever but that is "okay" because he runs barrels. Anyways, moving on from my rant, this horse had a habit of rearing up and striking out when faced with getting into the trailer. His owner, who had just recently purchased this horse said that their method of loading him consisted of building a chute with panels and running this horse into the trailer. Needless to say, he made for an interesting demonstration. And yes, he got in the trailer willingly after Clinton worked with him.

I was also pleasantly surprised at the kind of people who came to this clinic. I figured it would be mostly middle aged women but it wasn't. The ratio was about 40/60 men to women which really surprised me. And the next thing was that there were all ages there from teenagers up to people who were retirement age.

Okay, that was February, now onto March. The excitement for March was the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo! Even when I lived here before I hadn't made it to horse expo. I made sure this time that I was able to attend. The first day which was a Friday, I took my daughter down so that she could see the horses. We wandered around the trade floor for awhile before heading over to the Events Center where the horse demonstrations and stalls were. We watched Craig Cameron for about a half hour. He is really good! I had watched the Extreme Cowboy Race before and a couple of his shows on RFD-TV before but I really liked him in person. He has a great sense of humor and explained everything he was doing. You have to really pay attention though, because he knows what he is doing and he does it quickly. After lunch we wandered down into the barn area to check out the horses stalled there. We saw some of the Norwegian Fjord horses, some Arabians and then we found Appaloosa Alley. They had some gorgeous horses (none of which I have pictures of, I didn't want to scare anyone with the flash and get yelled at) and they had, are ready for this? CORGI PUPPIES! They were so cute and my daughter loved petting them! There were ten when Expo started and by Sunday I only counted three. I'm guessing the others found new homes. Personally, I could have tucked one under each arm and gone home happy. Over the next two days my friend and I were able to catch clinics given by Craig Cameron, Jason Patrick, a trainer out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Debbie Bibb from Florissant, Colorado and Art Kiger from Nebraska. They were all great and I wouldn't hesitate to see any of them or go to one of their clinics again.

One other person who I was able to see speak was Temple Grandin. If you have never heard of her she is a really neat woman. She is a professor at Colorado State University and teaches livestock behavior and facilities design. She is also autistic. I really wanted to see Dr. Grandin speak as I have a cousin who has Asperger's which is a high functioning form of autism. It is very encouraging to me to see someone with autism go to such high levels in life. I mean really, most of us "normal" people don't get achieve a doctorate degree let alone someone with a disability that can be socially crippling. Here is the link to Dr. Grandin's webpage.  I was also able to catch up with her at Blue Ribbons Books and get to sign a couple copies of her latest book for me!  I will sending one to my aunt for her birthday.  Even though my aunt isn't a big livestock person she knows who Temple Grandin is.

One last person I got to meet was Kim Starling who wrote "Get Out of the Ring" a wonderful book on the horseback riding trails in and around Rocky Mountain National Park.  She was very nice to talk to and signed my book for me.  I would have liked to have stayed and talked to her longer but we were late for our Craig Cameron clinic so we had to go.  Thanks to Brighton Saddlery for having her at Horse Expo!

Okay, well, I had better wrap this up, it has become quite long.  I will try to be better about writing in the future, I promise!