Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas...Love Gracie and I

Rules for a Merry Christmas I try and live by...

1. Don't get overwhelmed.
2. Enjoy the quiet moments (even if you have to hide in a closet)
3. Remember it's about family and friends (no matter how crazy they are)
4. Everyone is stressed so smile when you want to give the finger.
5. Christmas is one day....don't count calories.
6. No one will remember who gave them the snuggie.
7. And most of all remember to be good to yourself...because taking care of everyone else is hard work and we deserve that glass or two of wine and a hardy pat on the back. (and let's not forget that sparkly eyeliner we snuck in the shopping cart because a little sparkle in your stocking should make every mom happy I know it will me.)

To you and yours, Laugh as much as you breathe and Love as long as you live...

Always,
Heather and Gracie

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Something happened today...




That I really wish I could post about but it seems pretty controversial in the horse world and I'd rather not get into any debate.

But I wanted to say that Grace and I bonded today. It was an amazing experience that was extremely emotional at least for me.

I want to thank Cowboy Joe and my BO for probably the most amazing few minutes I have ever spent with a horse.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Too Cold to..well do just about anything.

It's been so cold here the only barn time I've had is to run a kick chain up to the barn, feed an apple and head tail home.

Yes I did say kick chain.

Reason..Grace doesn't appreciate the money that was spent on her warm winter blanket and likes to kick out at the back straps. Her stall is new, new wood wall with all the amenities. The BO doesn't appreciate Graces ability to destroy the planks just because she gets a hiney tickle from the blanket straps. Plus I don't want Grace to hurt herself in one of her moments of lost sanity.

So our solution is a kick chain to give her a little kick back.

Wondering if anyone else has ever used one. I hear they work wonders. Not to expensive either.

So I hope everyone is ready for Christmas because lord knows I'm not. I should be wrapping presents as I write this but I can't seem to get motivated.

So spike your eggnog and have a great week!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

For Sale...


So my husband let me buy a new to me saddle..the Crates reiner of my dreams. It's lovely and so comfortable as it's already broken in. You can kind of see it in the pic above.

But on the down side I have been given the directive to sell my Circle Y. So if you know anyone looking for a Walnut 15 inch Circle Y park and trail send 'em my way.

Looks JUST Like this one. Suede seat and all. Also have matching headstall if interested.


In other news I rode Grace yesterday for the first time since the Trail show. She is doing great. Extremely responsive to the leg even starting to neck rein. Amazing. She has been out in the big pasture and seems to really enjoy riding outside of the arena. Trail riding is not just a pipe dream anymore.

Oh and the bridle issue is GONE. She was eating the bit when I tacked her up on Sat. It was so nice to have her not fight me or the bit. The mouthing of the bit is also lessening with hours. So all baby stuff that will hopefully work themselves out eventually with just a little patience.

I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying a hot toddy, as my Great - Grandmother would say. Get those Snuggies out and don't forget one for fido!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Christmas wish list....


LuCkY HoRse sHoE NEckLace at Gypsyville. Love this...

And this hat is from the same site. Momma always Tries!

oKay I love anything thing from Gypsyville.

I am also on the hunt for the perfect purse. I know my husband thinks that one or two bags is enough but just like shoes, you can never have enough, ever.

#429 Teal with orange tear drops, round conchos, horse rein handles

Here is da bag....it's on the spendy side but I love anything Diamond 57 makes. I saw her stuff at a craft fair this summer and fell head over heals. She makes these gorgeous bags from cowboy boots. They are to die for. The pictures just don't do them any justice.

I have been drooling over her stuff since the first time I laid eyes on them. Any of them would work. I'm not picky when it comes to these bags!

This one is another favorite.

#586 Black leather purse with red accents

Oh and one last thing. A new saddle blanket. Just because they are purty.

sbhipad-n.jpg

I really liked this one since it kinda looks like flames.

And this show blanket is gorgeous too..

sbwpm886.jpg
I just love the colors.

Oh well, this is my wish list. Everyone should have one.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Before and after. A year can do a body good.

Grace the day I brought her home a little over a year ago. Big grass belly and messed up mane, needing some TLC and some training. She had just turned 2.

Hubba Hubba look at her now. She has really grown up and has turned into a really great partner, or should I say the partner she is turning into, with patience, love and a lot of money ;-). I have never owned a young horse and it has been an amazing experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat. (although my husband might have something to say about that)
Pics by Velocity Shots.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where's Gracie?? Can YOU find her?

Can you see her? That's her splitting the cows...IN THE PASTURE...Can you believe it? She loved chasing the cows! She went out in the BIG pasture today for the first time and did GREAT!
This one is a little harder to see...her but she was having a great time.
Grace did fantastic. I was so proud of her and and very excited about her progress. Her trainer is doing great things with her...especially since she is a QH trainer and this is her first NSH that she has ever trained. I think they are both learning a lot from one another.

Tomorrow is the big day for our photo shoot. Gracie had spa day today....hair cut and shave...and the dreaded bath. When ever I worry about something she always shocks me...she did great with the clippers on her bridle path. What an amazing horse she is turning into.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's not whether you win or loose....

So we did our first show this past Sunday. It was a benefit for a someone with cancer. Judged Trail Classes..

Now before I give you how we did in the standings let me explain the pattern...

1. Big Bridge (HUGE!)
2. Soccer, okay this was pushing a Pilate's ball from - here to - here.
3. Trot the polls
4. Grain bucket with grain sitting on big blue barrel of death
5. Take Grain bucket and dump into Grain tray that is sitting on a noisy paper bag
6. Take treat from lady's hand that is sitting with open umbrella.
7. Grab flag and trot, stop and bring big floppy flag back


Okay so we did in hand, all of the above. She did great well at least I thought she did. I was a little shocked at our low ranking here. But out of 15 horses she placed 13th. But we did it and there was no silly business. It was a lot of fun.

Now the Jr. Horse.....Big Bridge pass....kicking ball uh not so much, Trot poles did well, by passed 4 and 5, did awesome at the umbrella didn't want to leave (mooch), and we by passed the flag.

So we came in dead last...5 out of 5. But that's not the point the point is that we did it and had fun! We did win one of the raffle drawings - a lesson with Cowboy Joe! I can see a new post in the making!

So it was well worth the time and $$ Helping a good cause and spending some quality time with my Horsie girlfriends. Plus I am so proud of Grace. She handled it like a champ.

Look out world here we come..everyone starts somewhere.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Better late than never...

I finally sent in Gracie's papers. I've had them sitting up on my desk for over a year...finally sent them off and she is officially mine.

I am officially a member of the AHA, received my member number and everything. Don't know what that means but it must be good. Right? I can buy some flashy rhinestone hats off of the AHA official site after you sign in. I think that makes it all worthwhile.

So Yeah me and Grace!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Other Fur Friends

Just for fun....this Amber she is a Hell Cat. She is not too happy about me interrupting her nap to get a quick picture. Well to be honest she really isn't too happy about much of anything.
This is Abby. She is also non to happy about me interrupting her daily nap to get a picture.

I am really looking forward to this weekend. Sunday is the Benefit Trail Show. We may just tack up and make huge fools out of ourselves, but I'm okay with that. It's all good fun.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

America's Next Top Equine Model...Auditions..episode 1

GRACE......Super Model in the making

The Action Shot....umm just warming up....she was worried she looked a little fat.
Profile pic with the always flirtatious pout (check out that lower lip)
The full body shot....SEXY....Check out those legs....the other girls at the barn love to hate Grace for these assets.
The artsy shot....B&W's are always so flattering.

And the money shot....this one is "THE" one...Cover girl! She has made the cut and will be grooming for her shot in the spotlight next week! If these are any indication of her potential as a Super Model....She's a shoe in!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stay tuned...America's next Top Model Equine Edition coming soon....

I can not wait...next week Gracie and I have a photo shoot scheduled, time for a good clip and bath to get camera ready.

I went to a party at a friends house a couple of weeks ago and she had some stunning shots of her and her horse...large framed prints that were just amazing.

So I said...'T, who did these pics of you and Paisley, they are beautiful'

T says...'Well I know someone who is starting up and she only charges $80 bucks for the sitting and the CD with all of the photo's....'

I almost immediately called Jen and scheduled out photo shoot. Now mind you I haven't even had professional pics of my two year old sweet baby girl taken..

But as you can see from most of my pics on the blog when I ask Gracie to pose she thinks I'm asking for a Mule impersonation. No Grace be elegant...more Mule....Gracie please look statuesque and feminine....more Mule...

So I will for sure be updating out banner pic and if you are interested in your pony being a contestant..I will for sure pass on Jen's info.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gracie the National Show 'Cow' horse...


As you all know Grace is in training at a Cutting barn...I know silly for a NSH but then again she's not in training for cutting the trainer is also an amazing trail trainer...just getting a good base put on Gracie...

So I thought this was funny.

She's in training to get ready for trail season next year, so our BO (who is her trainer) noticed she had some interest in the training flag she uses on her cutting horses. It looks like this -
Work that flag Grace....from what I hear she did great. Who knew a SB would like to chase things, like scary white flappy flags. She will eventually be put on a real cow just to see how she does and keep her mind active.

Next week l start having a lesson a week on Grace which I am very excited about because I haven't been able to ride her since she's started training. I didn't want to confuse her with my greenie ways. Time for me to get serious about some things, like the dirty 'D' word (Diet). I need to gain some strength in my legs and since I'm doing that I might as well drop a couple of dress sizes...

So there's a lot going on at the barn..a Charity Trail Class show for a kid that needs heart surgery. I think it will be a ton of fun it will be Gracie's first show. I think we are going to do In Hand Trail and Jr. Horse. Wish us luck. There will also be a bake sale and raffle. I'm pretty excited about it.

Then Drill is starting up at the barn. The barn is a busy place these days. Although I've been kind of avoiding it this week after Sundays SB conversation. Better to stay away then say something I'll regret later.





Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's the breed....

Did you know that all Saddlebred and Saddlebred cross's,

1. Continuously play with the bit
2. Spook unpredictably
3. Kick in there stalls
4. Don't like their blankets
5. Are flighty
6. Can't be trail horses
7. Can only do English, without a mountain of extra training.
8. Eat their Hay funny

Well from my limited experience the fact that "The Breed" is crazy can be said for just about any breed. I know that Grace is different from the other horses in the barn..and I know that she can be spirited, she is only 3 after all. I have faith that she will blaze trails with me in the future, that's why she's in training. Not for me to be told that she will never be perfect. Is any horse perfect? Can any horse spook unpredictably? Sure...are Grace and I both Green? You bet. But I plan on sticking this partnership out. She'll be exposed to various different things, trails, some open shows, some play days..and I think that will make her a better all around horse in the long run.

She's in training till the beginning of the year. To get miles on her and get her to move out and learn baby lessons that I can't teach her.

I don't expect her to be a seasoned trail horse but I hope that she has gained some confidence and will have a great foundation to build on.

I do wish that people with opinions would sometimes keep them to themselves..especially when it comes to breed prejudice.

Oh for example...today I went out to watch Gracie's workout and the BO also had her pad-a-wan out working one of the QH's...and they decided to work on the dreaded "taking off of the windbreaker while mounted" well here is when the BO would think that the SB cross would flip a gasket and loose her mind..but wouldn't you know the SB cross had 1/8th of the freak out that the QH did... It must be the breed....Gracie even had the jacket over her head and did just fine! (wish I had a picture of that one)

Just needed to vent...P.S. I love the breed...quirks and all



Monday, November 2, 2009

Gracie goes to the Dentist...

Or the Dentist comes to Grace..as the case may be. So she's been refusing the bit again and it was time for a float anyway so her vet came out tonight and she had two caps (baby teeth) and an actual front baby tooth that was loose any way.

So I'm hoping that this is part of the reason she's been such a snot lately when it comes to taking the bit.

The BO has started working with her, I heard that she let out a little buck when she was actually asked to work, and was being a very naughty 3 year old until she figured out she wasn't going to get her way.

I'll keep you posted on her progress. She will be a trail horse! We don't call her the money pit for nothin'.

Monday, October 19, 2009

She swings both ways....

Here is my baby...Look how purty she is with her English garb on. Okay so she's not fully dressed the girth was a little too short. But the BO assistant came to the rescue with one that actually fit. I took a little video on my phone but we'll see how that comes out.

So as you can see she swings both English and Western...probably would prefer English but Mom prefers Western and Mom pays the bills so I win.

Don't get me wrong someday soon I would love to hop up in that English saddle and try it out. I think I might have my trainer try her out in her English gear this weekend maybe. We have a lesson planned for Sat at noon.

So anyway just wanted to show Grace off.....Just Beautiful if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A little help from your friends...

This week we had a couple of great rides at the barn...okay it was a fantastic night! Grace was LAZY...LAZY....LAZY. She didn't want to go faster than a slow crawl if that. I don't know who's horse this is.

I did get some insight though I talked to the owner of one of her half sisters and she told me that the line gets calmer and calmer the older they get and by 4 which is how old her mare, Ellie, is she is super laid back and easy going. So who knows there maybe hope for Grace yet.

So anyway..I'm clucking and bumping and clucking and bumping and nadda, zilch, no response...So BBFF says here try my dressage whip...I'm like uh no..YOU try the dressage whip. So she hops on and bump, nothing, Cluck, nope, and TAP Oh yeah sister we mean business. And we are off to the races!! So she goes a few rounds, hops off and I hop back up and we we are off.

A good couple of circles at a good forward trot and OH SHIT there is something loud and scary outside in the dark (aka the BO's hubby moving hay or the moo cow bellowing or both at the same time) and the dreaded spook that I've been waiting for happened...But hold onto your hats...I rode it out...okay it wasn't that bad but Grace took off on me scooted to the right and then it was over....to be honest it was bound to happen sooner or later and it was a great confidence booster for me. I gained control of her almost as soon as she lost it.

Oh and I forgot to tell you that while we were trotting around the arena at a good clip I sat back picked up the reins and I swear we had a sliding stop...I am not joking. It was amazing. Not bad for a NSH, right.

So on to today...

I invited myself to the Canby Tack Sale with JP1 and we both scored some pretty awesome stuff...I'll grab pics of it when I get out to the barn with the camera. A couple of my favorite buys are...

1 gallon HealthyCoat Supplement $12 (normally $36)
and
Breast collar...$5

Had a blast...Went to the barn cleaned it up...wanted to try it on the Money Pit but she was out in the down pour and soaking wet. So maybe we'll try it out tomorrow.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yet another weekend NO pony time.

Just wanted to vent...

BBFF and a bunch of other gals went on a super long trail ride today....can I just say how jealous I am. I board at a beautiful barn with hours of trails that I have yet to take advantage of.

Why you ask...well see the post from a couple of days ago.

But I swear if I could have gotten out today I would have gone....true story.

I have a lot going on this week...trying to catch up on the work I missed being out for 3 days last week, BBFF's birthday Dinner (happy birthday darling!!), my 4th wedding anniversary (I love you sweetheart!!), trying to get out to ride this week, oh and lets not forget the pumpkin patch and more soccer.

I'm tired already and I think I deserve a Mojito. So there.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Great Horse for sale if interested....

http://esteembootedme.shutterfly.com/

Click on the link above to check out Charm...Great family horse. If I had the funds I would snatch her up in a second....

Hmmm maybe JM will just let me borrow her for a while ;-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Finding my riding Mojo....

Okay so we have all established that I am a green rider....I mean I've ridden since I was 10 off and on...more off then on. Do you remember when you were a kid riding and you had no fear.

I rode my friends horses because my mom raised me pretty much as a single mom and we didn't have a ton of extra money. Especially money for a pony and all the stuff that goes along with owning a horse.

I remember the first horse I ever rode. He was a palomino snow cap Appy. (I didn't know what that was and really didn't care) His name was Sunny. I also didn't know how exceptional he was back then. (Ahh the things we know now) He was my best friends sisters horse, she had moved on to boys and cars so Sunny wasn't being used much until I came along.

(OT, My BFF was madly in love with Micheal Jackson, I was into Duran Duran lot's of hours belting out Wild Boys and Billy Jean in her hay loft)

I didn't know how to do a butterfly knot so it was just easier to ride bareback...we rode all over the Amboy hills..logging trails to the reservoir, up Mt. Tum Tum (yes that was the name of the MT.) We rode to the corner store, jumped chains that had no trespassing signs hanging from them to get to logging roads, raced in the pastures, had not a care in the world.

I remember the first time my mom saw me on a horse galloping up the driveway, I don't know how she let me ride off after that...no helmet, no saddle, just my hands tangled in his mane and reins. I can still feel that adrenaline rush. Thank you Sunny for giving me such amazing memories.

Oh and my second Cousins horse Richard, yes his name was Richard, my aunt would always say you can ride him if you can catch him. God I hated that horse...he was fun to ride but I swear I spent more time chasing him around than I ever did riding him. I always had to have at LEAST an hours head start on my friends if I was riding him that day. He was a show horse....I think that means he was used for 4-H.

I want just a quarter of that fearlessness back.

I will find it. It's just taking time, the more I ride the more comfortable I become....I am slowly building up that confidence. Grace and I did ride in the outdoor and it was great...it was a little hard riding a giraffe since the nosey moo cows came over to gawk at us. Grace wasn't very impressed with them, but it was one step closer to taking her out in the open pasture.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Skeerdy horse....

This was what my mare looked like tonight...(she is 1/2 Saddlebred you know, with a neck to Jesus).

With all the Skeery dark corners and the BO training her cutting horses with the mechanical BIG horse eating Flag that makes the far dark corner of the arena the "Hells to the NO I'm not going there, I don't care what you say" place, because of the pulley that makes sounds that remind Grace of the Horse Eating Tiger that lives in her nightmares...

She actually did pretty well considering doing most every thing I asked with little resistance, even though she was on high alert.

She was very conscientious of me being on her back..Her trot is getting better and more consistent.

I already miss summer and the riding in the daylight. So every night when I say my prayers I pray that they put lights in the arena SOON. Using only half of the arena with 3 or 4 horses just isn't very fun...I'm too worried about where all the other horses are and what they are doing instead of focusing on how Grace is moving.

All in all a good night at the barn. I need to get more focused and have more of a plan when I ride. She needs to be learning something every time we ride. I like to make myself feel better by saying that just exposing her to the skeery stuff is good enough but really I need to have a plan.

I need to get a lesson set up and soon...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Didn't want to but...I'm glad I did

So I went to the barn in the rain and cold tonight. I haven't been in about a week and Grace was FRESHY Fresh! She always seems put out when I haven't seen her in a while, I did not miss you lady...now where is my cookie then maybe we can be friends again.

So we do some grooming..her mane is getting crazy long and she looks fantastic..she needs to put some muscle on but her weight is back up from when she was having her growth spurt a month or so ago. She just looks Big! She's starting to fill out more and not look quite so leggy. Her winter coat is coming in so I'm putting off blanketing as long as possible.

So off we go to the arena...it's dark and there are only 2 florescent lights in the arena and so there are spooky shadows and horse eating monsters hiding in every corner.

We lunged and my god I didn't know what devil horse I had brought with me, scary corner Buck, ohh somethings going to eat me Buck, just because I can Buck, scary corner again Buck..She never really relaxed and my confidence to ride was waining...mind you I haven't ridden her in about a week.

But my BBFF was also riding her mare and said and I quote "Man up woman and ride your horse" so I did...and she was perfect. We just wandered around and watched BBFF ride her pony and hung out in the lighted half of the arena.

When Grace has a rider she is so calm and open to learn it truly is such an interesting transformation from a skeerdy cat pony to a calm and trusting riding partner.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda....

I shoulda found time to get to the barn this weekend...

If I woulda found the time to get to the barn I had big plans since the weather was so great here in the Pacific NW. Ride in the pasture, maybe a bath for the money pit since she looks so shiny when she's clean (and I LOVE Shiny, just ask anyone who knows me).

I probably coulda planned my weekend better but...I'm not good with time management.

So Grace has been living the life of the pasture princess for a few days. Life is hectic. Does it ever slow down.

I really need to figure out this time crunch thing. I hope the BO gets the rest of the lights up in the arena since dusk is coming earlier and earlier....and Grace is literally afraid of her own shadow, and it will be dark before I even get home from work soon, let alone by the time I get to the barn, groom, tack, lunge and mount up.

Oh well next week will be better.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Best Horse Quote I have ever seen....

"It is the difficult horses that have the most to give you."
- Lendon Gray

I saw this quote on this blog 'Cass the Amazing Arabian' today. I think I'll have this embroydered on all of Gracie's Sheets, Blankets, Stall plate...you get the picture.

Thanks Cass, I needed the reminder.




She isn't named Grace because she's Graceful...Yet.


So I think I posted a long time ago about how Gracie got her name...she came with the name JoJo. I just didn't want to leave the barn every night and head for Freddies Deli section, so I went on the hunt for a new name..She was a gangly tall two year old who and no control over her feet and would trip while in a strait line on flat ground...or nick her self here and there...I don't think there has ever had a full coat of hair. One of her latest having her hide scraped off a little on the hind legs after rolling too close to the fence and getting herself tangled up. (that was just after the hair grew back from the gross fungus she had when the heat wave hit)

So any who when I got the call from the BO on Sat I wasn't shocked when she told me that Grace had punctured herself...it's on the right side of the jaw line. Scared me a bit because this is worse than the other boo boo's she's given herself. They have patrolled the pasture and can't find anything that would have caused this...

So thank god the BO was a vet tech in a past life...so she shaved the wound, flushed it out, made sure she was able to eat and drink, took her temp, gave her a shot of penicillin (had one a day or 3 days) and kept her inside to make sure it didn't get dirty.

Good lord, young horses. So I wonder what the next trauma will be...crossing my fingers it's minor...

I don't know if I posted about the battle over bridling that has started to happen. She has decided that having a bit in her mouth is overrated...the battle has been epic...but when you can't win bring in the big guns....I know I've said it a lot but having a BO that is also a horse trainer who doesn't mind stepping up and helping out when the chips are down is a god send.

She has been putting her bridle on while she's eating for me and working with that Right ear issue And Voila!!

She was a different horse last night..not overly hot didn't get excited over the electronic cow (Cutting barn) and it was nice..oh and did I mention there was NO lunging before mounting...Hell's to the Yeah!! We are making progress. (the only con to that was I forgot to get off and tighten the cinch and the saddle was a little loose on the dismount)

Oh and note to self...make appt with vet..she has two large baby teeth bumps on the jawline..so I want to have those checked out and get the float and biannual shots.

So all is good in Graceland.....

BTW have I ever told you how much I enjoy the way she turns her head and rests it on my shoulder while I groom her...It truly is one of my happy places...

I think if I can get out to ride this weekend we will try to hit the pasture...it's just been getting to dark during the week (Summer is definitely over)





Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer of Grace....

So much has happened in the last two months. I have been riding at least twice a week..YES...Riding Grace. She is amazing under saddle..very responsive and so soft in the mouth, She stands still at the mounting block and is so eager to work.

We have a few issues. When I say we, I mean Grace and I both have issues we need to work through.

Let's start with Gracie's issues.

She randomly pulls back when tied..and I'm talking broken lead ropes, ties pulled out of the wall you know the crappy scary shit. She doesn't do it all the time..some days she perfect. Then she'll break two leads in an evening. I wish I new what triggered it because then I could stop it before it happened. Someone told me it's a young horse thing....god I hope so. I have put her back in a rope halter (no snaps) and she has had quite a few dates with the ties in the arena.

Some other things that have come and gone in her behavior over the summer

RUNNING from me when she is out to pasture. Okay this is a deal breaker for me. I HATE chasing a pony in pasture. I don't know what was up her ass for a while but this seems to have passed (only lasted about a week or two) She now greets me at the gate....Like a good money burner should do.

She had some nasty skin fungus for a couple of weeks during the heat wave but that has cleared itself up.

She's growing again, butt high and gangly. I swear this pony will top out over 16 H. She is going to be a big elegant horse in a couple of years. Dressage anyone.....

Okay onto my issues.

I'm scared to take her out of the arena...our BO has taken her out to the pasture a couple of times with no issues. She's an angel in the arena....what the hell am I so nervous about. I'm a good rider. How do I get over this fear. I know she would be fine, but I don't want my nerves to rub off onto her and have my anxiety cause an accident.

I had a lesson with my old trainer and she made me feel great...I have another planned soon and I hope to talk to her about my issue...maybe gain some lost confidence and move out of the arena for at least one or two rides before the weather takes a dump and we are stuck inside anyway.

I've had thoughts of trading her for one of those "Dependable" stock type horses...but I just can't seem to follow through. I know this horse has so much potential. I think I just need patience and to go slow for both of our sakes...but we WILL do this partner thing. And if I hear "It's just the Breed" one more time....

New pics coming soon!! Stay tuned.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Parade...I go to see the Horses...

Okay so the picture below I just thought was funny..it's for vacation bible school. Notice the dinosaur on the float? Evolution and Vacation Bible School...huh interesting concept for marketing.
Okay I have learned to respect horses and their training. Until you own a green horse you will never know the work that goes into getting the horse so trusting that it will follow this, a motorcycle doing burn outs....on a street lined with people waving silly balloons and blowing annoying horns...
These Percheron's were beautiful. They were had two youngsters ponied on the back of the wagon..it's amazing how big these animals are...Lovely animals. I do have to say there was a grey Percheron that came before these loveys and she was obviously lame on the left front. Had the tell tale head bob going on and the off step up front. But she was a trooper and was pulling her cart doing her job...wanting to please. I love Drafts!
Here are a couple Rodeo queens...not parade is a parade with out a few of these. The paint was a lovely horse!!
And here is the Mollola Rodeo Queen..very pretty girl and her horse was turned out beautifully. In the parade before these horses was a white dove that was on long sticks with a billowy tail up in the air about 15 feet.. Again the training that goes into getting these horses to accept these crazy situations is baffling to me...and I take my hat off to the people doing all the work!!
This paint gelding was not really overly pleased to be in the parade...he was giving his rider a little bit of trouble. Watching these horsemen though you would never know that there was anything going on if you didn't know what the horses posture was truly saying. The gentleman riding the nice sorrel gelding was great at getting the paint to pay attention to his mount. He had obviously been there done that before!
It was a beautiful night and all I can say is it would have been perfect if I hadn't felt like absolute dog SH!T. Summer colds suck and I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy if I had one.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My husband is teasing me...with Someday...

With RLMS listings of homes in the area with horse property...the cost of property in our area is crazy cheap...at least compared to what it was when we bought our house 3 years ago...for an extra 60g's we could have purchased a nice home on at least 5 acres....AT LEAST!!

I don't even want to think about the dive in equity our home has taken in the last few months...

He sent me a listing for a gorgeous farmhouse...barn, remodeled kitchen...ah someday..When DH and I first met we had so many "Someday's"

We have seen so many of the "Someday's" that we dreamed about when we first started dating..

Someday we would move out of our crappy little two bedroom apartment...

Someday we'll have nice cars again (Divorce can be brutal)

Someday we'll get married...

Someday he'll have that motorcycle he's always wanted..

Someday I'll have my dreamhorse...

All of those somedays have come to pass....and they have been amazing!

Someday we will own property and I will be able to look out off of my back porch and see Grace grazing with pony's we have adopted for our kids...

What is your Someday?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My happy Place...

I have to start this off by saying I am the exhausted mother of 4 children...2 from a previous marriage..a 12 year old Daughter and a 8 year old son..my husbands 8 year old daughter from a previous marriage and our unexpected piece of sunshine our almost two year old daughter....So needless to say my life can get crazy and with out the never ending support of my Fantastic husband this super expensive hobby of mine would not be possible...so all you mothers out there that are also horse crazy women...give the support systems in your life a big standing Ovation..without mine my horse dreams would not be possible!

This morning I decided to head out to the barn early, the weather here in the PNW has been crazy hot..so I hopped in the pick up. Turned on the Country music..I think there was a Carrie Underwood song playing, rolled down the windows and hit the road. It was like a Norman Rockwell painting....people waving as they were walking there was a nice older couple out for a stroll on the country road..big smiles and a nice "Good Mornin"

Freshly cut hay bailed and ready for stacking...amazing.

Grace always seems happy to see me...she greets me in her stall and nickers if I don't greet her before getting our gear de'jour out. She is off of Super 14 right now and started on Healthy Coat... it has made her coat smooth and oh so glossy she looks amazing!!! I think it may also be helping with her tail rubbing issue.

Anyway...no one was out at the barn so I decided to man up and ride alone...I was going to use my new Circle Y saddle that I just traded my show saddle for but realized I need an Off Billet...Coastal here we come.

The new trail saddle is a 12 year old Circle Y Park and Trail. It is in fantastic shape. I never would have guessed it to be a 1997 model. It looks JUST LIKE THIS..


with a perfect amount of wear..anyway it was a great trade I think..I'll get some real pics once I get it on her for a ride.

But back to my day...so anyway I manned up and mounted with no one in the arena or holding Grace. She did perfect...she didn't move a muscle, flex left, flex right...and off we go. It was great...walk this way, walk that way..trot off, Whoa...the Buffalo did give her a more of a spook today than on past encounters...but otherwise not one issue. She seems to enjoy our rides and is extremely tolerant and patient with me.

Our next step is to leave the comfort of the arena and head out into the wild blue yonder..or in our case just meander around the barn just to see how she does.

I put her out to pasture when we were done and I even got the over the shoulder "See Ya" as I was leaving...this horse is just so special.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Equitrekking....some day....

http://www.equitrekking.com/

This is a fantastic show on OPB that my DH records for me every week...she travels all over the world and rides with locals to check out the local sites and some great markets etc..

Since I've been watching this show I have decided that someday I would love to ride in Ireland, Eastern Canada and believe it or not Turkey...They have some lovely Arabians that I would love to do some trekking on.

If you love to travel and would love to ride while your traveling you should definitely check this out.

So when I win the lottery don't come looking for me I'll be out Equitrekking!!

So my question to you is, if you were going Equitrekking...where would you go?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Coming home...

Well tomorrow is a big day for Grace and for me.

Grace is getting moved to her new home. Star is already there and waiting for her, they will be neighbors once again. Grace will get pasture turn out and I can't wait for her to be a horse again..no more mud or sand turn out. Good ole' pasture and other mare friends for her! She will love it.

It's a big day for me because I will be taking on her training on my own. I mean I will have the BO there and I'm hoping to get her to take Grace out on the trails for me...just to see how she does.

But first things first...I need to get on her on my own with no help. I am actually very excited about this next step in our horse/rider relationship. She is a great horse and has a lot to learn probably as much as I do. I don't want to undo all the work Stacey put on her. Cross your fingers for me! I'll be reading constantly!!!

I moved my things out of Cedar Creek Stables yesterday. It was bittersweet...CC was a great barn with great owners. Probably the first barn I've felt welcomed at and loved the facility (with a few exceptions, turnout, trails you know the fantastic perks at ER) So if you need a great barn with a great arena CC is the place to be!!!

Vacation is almost over and it will be back to the work grind. My step-daughter is here from Vegas and we have a full house....the barn is my quiet place. (right now the kids are screaming at each other why can't they listen...and just get along)

More tomorrow after the move....Ernst Ranch here we come!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dreams of Inside Rein, Outside Leg....

I've had two super amazing lessons on Grace this week. She is AMAZING...but I'm learning to ride all over again. No neck reining..learning to Really use my legs and hands together. Patience..and repetition.

Our lesson starts with me just getting in the saddle...bend right, bend left...(let me tell you my horse is Gumby..so flexible it's insane) then we are off...She is trotting well on command and seems to really enjoy the work.

I can tell you that I have been on some horses that I just always feel tense on. I have not once gotten that feeling from Grace. Trust me I do not have a false sense of security I know she is green and I can appreciate though how easy it is to teach her something new and how accepting she is.

Basics I'll need to remember for my green horse...

Inside Rein, kept level with the horn, do not pull down...

Outside leg...light pressure for turning (with inside rein)

"Whoa", sit back, pull back reins, light heel pressure = stop and two to three steps back.

So much technique when teaching a greenie....and I love every minute of it..All of the basics that you forget when you ride a seasoned horse. Oh and did I mention how sore I am. Not riding for a year means that you have to remind your muscles what they are supposed to do!

Looking forward to my next ride on MY horse!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Educating myself...

So now I'm obsessed with learning about working with a green horse. Reading everything I can get my hands on, watching video, reading blogs...

So if you have any good advice (such as wearing a helmet) I would love to hear it! I am so excited about getting back out to the barn and working with Grace again.

Last night when I was in the saddle it literally took my breath away. Who knew that owning a young horse could be so rewarding..all the hours of ground work paid off.

I know there will be trials and tribulation with a young, green horse but I think she has a great, willing mind.

Just think of all the trails we will blaze and the fun we will have...if she doesn't kill me first!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I DID IT!!! Still can't believe it.

I rode Grace tonight...I know it looks like I'm just sitting on her but I swear I rode her around the arena just ask BBFF she was there! It couldn't have been better, the tiny training saddle was perfect, the dusty old arena was perfect...everything was perfect! Okay I could be thinner and these pics are total motivation to drop the weight so that I don't kill my pony..but for those 15 minutes I was KING OF THE WORLD!!

I was so excited Stacey had to keep reminding me to breathe...It wasn't because I was scared or nervous it was because I was EXHILARATED!! It was an amazing moment for me. A dream I've had since I brought her home.

She hasn't yet offered to buck or show any signs that she isn't willing to work or accept a rider.

Truly amazing. Tonight was only her second time with a rider. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be on her back.

Oh and I almost forgot..When Stacey was riding her she got her up into a trot..just like that. Like she's been doing it for YEARS!

What an amazing night!



P.S Thanks JP (the best BBFF ever) for taking the pics and for being there for our first of may rides together!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

SHE DID IT!!!

So today I received this on my Cell phone...

What is that on Gracie's back? Three guesses...come on...you can do it...

Horse blanket? Nope...
Bareback pad? Nope...

Its a REAL LIFE SADDLE!!

And then I got this one..it just gets better...




Stacey then sent me a text that said Gracie isn't a Virgin pony anymore....she took her first ride around the arena TWICE..you GO GIRL!

So tomorrow night I will be going out to the barn to get that rain check on watching the trainer work Grace...I don't want to get my hopes up again but I'm feelin' good about it.

I went out and lunged her tonight and she is getting much better with my cues. She is also doing well with in hand bridle work..she is amazing.

Come on everyone Give Gracie a hand!!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

We are MOVING!!

So my BBFF decided she needed more room to stretch Stars legs and as you all know have grown very fond of her. So when she started telling me about the Barn I thought..hey I need to check this place out.

After meeting with the barn owner and touring the facility's I knew I had to go too..

The new barn has miles of trails...and yes I know it's a QH barn but they have an on site trainer...who can train Gracie on the trails and I'll never be bored...I'll feel like a 12 year old again.

It was really hard to say good-bye to Cedar Creek as they have the prettiest barn I have ever seen and they took superb care of Grace...I just wanted/needed an on site trainer and the trail riding is an added bonus. Plus the digs aren't to shabby.

Check em out..


Oh and did I mention they have turn out..lots of pasture turn out. Grace will be in heaven once she comes home from training at Riggs barn.

So that's the news.

Oh and I still haven't heard any news on Grace. I'm going to go check on her tomorrow...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sorry no go...

I'm not sure what is going on with Grace right now as I haven't heard from the her trainer, can you say frustrating...because I sure can!!  I would love to have a daily update..via e-mail or whatever. 

I understand that people are busy but I kinda feel like something once in a while that isn't me calling and feeling like I'm super annoying would be great.  

I'm new to this training thing so I'm not sure what I should be expecting..maybe I'm expecting too much..what do you think?

Anyhoo, I wasn't able to see Gracie's first ride yesterday.  I didn't hear from her trainer (she was supposed to call me when she was getting ready to work Grace) so I sent her a text.  The one I got back did not make me a happy camper as I was soooo looking forward to seeing Gracie's first ride!  I won't be able to see her under saddle now until next Tuesday.   

But I will take tons of pictures when I go!  

We have some other things in the works for Gracie and I...I'll tell you about them later!  It's going to be awesome!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

She'll be a rider...

I spoke to Grace's trainer today.  She has progressed so far already.

She was backed last week..Bareback.  She did Great!

She was saddled and backed today.  She did Great!

So tomorrow she will be saddled, backed and moved forward for her very first ride.  I plan on being there and taking tons and tons of pictures.  

I really can't believe how fast she is progressing...I guess I didn't know what to expect.  She really does love to work and has a great mind.   

I was also pleased to know that before she leaves the training barn I will get to ride her.  I have been waiting almost a year to ride this mare...and I CANNOT wait!

JP came out to give some support tonight.  I really appreciated it, she has been a great BBFF!!!

So tune in tomorrow for pictures from the Barn...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Momma is having a hard time...

I am trying not to call every half hour..I only called once today to see how she was doing.  When I talked to Stacey she let me know that Grace was tied for a couple hours today...which I guess is good for her since she has A.D.D. and always has a hard time standing tied.  She got a little nervous (I'm guessing Stacey isn't tell me the whole story, about how minor issue was) when the sprinklers came on in the arena and when a few new horses were unloaded.  

I resisted the urge to call back this afternoon and see what else was worked on today.  I'm a freak I know I want to know everyday what was worked on and how she handled it.  

So after work I couldn't wait to get out to the barn and spend a few minutes with her.  I know she's a horse but I want her to know that just because her environment has changed, I'll still be there.  She looked great and was super affectionate. She left her food and came over to give me a cuddle.  I know it's going to be really good for her and I put a lot of my emotions on her so maybe I think if it was me being sent somewhere new it would be scary and nerve racking and I put that on her...she probably only cares if she gets fed twice a day and that her grain gets dumped somewhere in her stall..

I have to remind myself that it's only 30 days.....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gracie goes to school

Today was the big day. 

Grace went to Riggs Training to be started.  I was a nervous wreck.  

I got to the barn early so I was able to give her a good grooming from top to bottom and also just to spend some time with her.  

I brushed her out and gave her a spray of  Eqyss Marigold Fly Spray..

I love this stuff.  It smells so good and works great.  A little spendy but I can spay her face and not worry about it bothering her.  
Then I wrapped her legs with her super fantastic flame leg wraps, you know because her reg name is Light Affire..


We then loaded into the trailer.  It went fine she loaded like a champ and off we went.  I followed behind and heard Gracie HOLLERING!! She was not happy to be in the trailer.  But the ride went fine with the small exception of the constructions stop we had to make the trailer was rocking like crazy.  When we got moving again she was fine.  

We got to Riggs and she unloaded a little sweaty but it was a short ride so it wasn't too bad.  She got settled into her new stall, and I unloaded all of her crap..supplement bags and stuff.  She is in for a rude awakening I think.  I'm kind of a push over and I don't think that Stacy puts up with any crap.  I'll need some training too...

So we'll see how far she gets in 30 days...I'll follow up with pics since I forgot the camera this morning in my rush to get to the barn. 

You hear so many training barn horror stories...I just cross my fingers that I chose a good one.  I have heard nothing good things about Stacy Riggs.  Let's just hope Gracie behaves!!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Meet the neighbors!

Meet some of Gracie's friends..here is Kenya and Teddy.  Kenya's (the seal brown pony) mom is training her to be a trail horse.  She bought her for a song..she's the granddaughter of the famous Zips Chocolate Chip. Pleasure horse that looks like a halter horse..sweet sweet girl who has come a long way...

The sweet looking paint is Teddy.  Our BO leases him as her riding horse, he is trained to the hilt and is soo pretty to watch move.  BO has quite a few horses but none that she can ride, so Teddy was lucky enough to come to the barn and spend some time with us..

And meet the newest member of the Barn family...this little cutie is Honey.  Her mommy went a month overdue with this peach!  She is Mustang/QH.  One of the prettiest red dun babies I have ever seen.  She is just so pretty and super friendly.   Makes you almost want to have one...but then you remember how long it takes for them to grow up!!
And last but not least I had to throw in a picture of my sweet girl.  She leaves for Kindergarten a week from Tues.  It's very scary to send your pony off to school, she'll still be close but she will be away from her BBFF for the first time since I've owned her and I tend to giver her emotions that she most likely doesn't really have, but I still worry about her being a happy adjusted horse.  
I hope she's a fast learner as I'm only putting 30 days on her right now.  So if everyone would cross your fingers and toes that she is a good girl and learns lots of good "useful" things.  That would be great. 


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How JoJo became Grace...

I was reading "A GOOD HORSE" blog and she asked about how your horse got its name...Well lets just say that I went through a list of names...

Her Registered name is Light Affire, and her barn name when I picked her up was JoJo (made me want to stop by the deli).  I knew instantly I wanted to change her name...it just didn't fit or flow when you said it.   

So at first I was trying so hard to come up with something related to Fire. Cinder was very high on my list...actually it was her name for about a week...but it just didn't stick.  

I tried all sorts of names but most fire related names are pretty masculine.  Smokey, Coal you know all of the usuals..and I tried to get creative but it just wasn't working for me.

So one day at Publish Postthe barn while we were working on using a lead she was being especially clumsy and I used a quote my Mom used to say to me when she tripped over her own feet for the umpteenth time..."Way to Go Grace" and it was like a light bulb went off.  Gracie was born...it fit her then and it will fit her when she grows up and is full of Grace.  Elegant and Feminine...that is my Grace...

How did your pony's get their names..did you change a name...did you stick to their given names?  I'd love to hear how you choose the names of your horses.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Playing Hookie....sometimes you just gotta...

Today here in the PNW it was a fantastic 80+ Degree day...I work at a pretty high stress job in IT for a company that makes it's delivery drivers wear Brown...so when I saw that the weather was supposed to be so spectacular I decided it was worth the vacation day and extra work I'll be going back to in the morning....

Let me tell you it was so worth it...

I spent a couple of hours with Grace.  She must be the smartest horse ever because the grain trick took a bit longer today than it did yesterday.  I did prevail though.  I took her to graze and she loved it.  I sat with her and we just hung out.  Her enjoying the sweet spring grass and I enjoyed the view of the stable..it really is quite amazing.

I had every intention of taking the camera today but promptly forgot in my haste to get to the barn. 

Her self inflicted scalping on her flank is growing hair...so thats good.  

Oh and did I mention she's going for 30 days to the trainer at the end of May.  I'm hoping it goes well and she gets a great start undersaddle.  Can I just tell you how excited and nervous I am?

It's tough to put her into someone elses hands....no matter how good of a trainer you are using.   She has such a strong personality some people may not appriciate it as much as I do...

I just have to get her good and solid with her ground manners before she goes...no one wants to have the "annoying", "spoiled", "pain in the ass" horse.  (although at times she's ALL of these things) But I love her anyway.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Struggling with the Bit...until I did it the easy way.

Okay I've been trying for a month to figure out the easiest way to have Gracie accept the bit.  Being a bit naive I thought you just put the bit in their mouth and there you go.  I had tried to find articles on getting horses to accept the bit and really found nothing...

But I have a horse with a neck to Jesus high and stubborn as a mule to boot.  So put those two together and you have an owner ready to pull her hair out and send Gracie down the road.  Thursday we tried again and my ever so smart BBFF suggested ever so sweetly (since we don't give unsolicited advice) that she had a friend with a A-rab with a neck to Jesus as well and she had this great way of getting the bit into her geldings mouth...well I shrugged it off at the time because at the time I was so frustrated and ready to give up that I really wasn't listening..

But today was new day and I thought what the hell...

So I got the training head stall (with clips for the bit) out took off the reins and unhooked one side of the bit and grabbed a pan full of grain.

Step one:  Grab a handful of grain. 
Step two: Give uninterested pony some grain
Step three: When said pony is happily eating grain from my hand put headstall over her ears. (She HATES this part normally with a PASSION)  Prior to this lesson I had taken the brow band off of my other bridle and had been trying to get it over her ears this way much to my dismay this route did not work.  But as she was eating the grain from my hand she hardly noticed I was playing with her ears.
Step Four: Grab second handful of grain.
Step Five: Slip bit into unaware pony's mouth clipping it to the other side of the headstall.  
Step Six:  Stand back and stare proudly at Pony who was outwitted.

After the above steps I put the rest of the grain that was left in the pan and let her finish it with her bridle on.  

It was amazingly easy and I want to send a shout out to JP1 for giving her unsolicited advice to a very frustrated young horse owner.