Thursday, December 30, 2010

Love is in the Fuzzy Details

Yesterday I took these shots of P's pasture mate M... a sweet red dun mare with a big soft eye and a coat so soft and fuzzy I just cant keep my hands off of her.


Who wouldnt want to sink their fingers into that ultra lush and plush fur behind her ears....




And tickle the course long hairs that sprout from her ever expressive lip...



Or bury your frozen hands beneath the thickness of her dun streaked mane and feel them tingle from the heat trapped within.




Sometimes I find myself pausing as I pass her by...I stop and wonder at the gentle kindness within the depths of those deep brown eyes...



And at some point along the way I realized that while I love all of her fuzzy details, I've come to love the mare.

div>But she is not for sale.

And I cant have another horse.

But her full sister is for sale...

*devious grin*

*taps her fingers, squints, cocks eyebrow and makes other outward signs of inward plotting*

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas


Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Many blessings to you and yours.
Love,
Chelsi and Family

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Socks Must Come Off!

I know this post is very unchristmasy (shush, I like made up words) but I had this discussion last night with a waitress and simply had to address it to my friends in bloggerdome!

Do you agree or disagree...

The socks must come off!!

Yah... you know what I'm talkin' about *suggestive wink*

In your relationship is this a request or requirement?

(or maybe you dont care at all)...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How to Resist Christmas Goodies!

I have inadvertently discovered an easy way to resist those often irresistible Christmas goodies! It is simple... just a little Koppertox applied to the hands and voila! Every bite you take will be overwhelmed by the pungent odor making eating any food, (such as the delicious grilled cheese sandwich I had hoped to have for supper) nearly impossible to enjoy!

And as an extra bonus you get to show your Christmas spirit by sporting vibrant green stains all over your hands!

*bland stare*

Note to self: Use rubber gloves when applying Koppertox to my horses feet.

Monday, December 20, 2010

And We Galloped...

On Friday I took my LP out for a long hard ride.



On Saturday I refrained from walking down stairs, sitting, standing, or doing much of anything.



On Sunday I took some Advil and poached myself in a hot tub for an hour.


On Tuesday I will reclaim my self respect, dignity and (wannabe) cowgirl reputation and forever thereafter deny the following admission...



As a result of that single solitary ride I was one freakin' hurtin unit this weekend. I mean the kind of hurtin where muscles not only protest but actually full-out boycott, form a strike committee and draw up picket with signs that read, "We will not bend!"...



Did I go to far?



Sorry.





Why was I sore? One word: Gallop.



My Little Princes and I galloped. And galloped. And galloped some more. And I discovered that my mare L.O.V.E.S. to gallop and thankfully, she's pretty dang good at it too!



I am not a relaxed galloper outside of an arena... or really even at times inside an arena if the footing is bad or sharp turns are required. Inside the arena I worry about my horse going down. Outside the arena I worry about gopher holes, hidden logs, loose rock, shadows, birds, horse-eating-rocks and an other manner of objects that can pop up out of nowhere to spook or trip up my pony. And then there is the fear of the blind runner, because I've been on one of those before and until you've experienced it for yourself you can imagine just how terrifying it can be. I also had an accident once on my old gelding where he randomly and seemingly without reason decided to run off the road and in to a ditch. I wasnt hurt but after picking myself up and dusting myself off I did discover a group of boys, seniors in my high school no less, were standing near by and had witnessed my demise, much to their amusement. And naturally one of them was the object of my (many) teenage crushes ...



My point is that I'm not the kinda girl who confidently and haphazardly goes running all over hells half acre seemingly without a care in the world. But on LP I found a certain confidence I've never felt at a gallop, not because she was slow, because she wasnt. Not because she felt easily contained, because she wasnt. But because she ran so within herself. The stretch of ground was clear and smooth, and rolled out in a long line before us. Her cadence was even and balanced. Her ears pricked forward and body- gathering and bunching then stretching and pulling ground beneath me. Her power was evident. Her stride, seemingly effortless. To my memory it was the most beautiful gallop I've ever ridden. The sun was sitting low to the west, affording me the view of our shadow stretched out over the grasses of a neighboring field.



It was this moment...






Only except my horse is white...


And I was wearing clothes...


And I had a saddle and was not on the beach... and I'm a girl... but you get my point.


So I couldnt walk this weekend. That seems a small price to pay for one of the greatest rides of my life.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Sensible Car

For the past year I have been driving a very sensible car... I italicize that "sensible" because while there are many words I could use to describe my 2003 Civic (ie- economic and reliable), sexy is most certainly not the word that comes to mind.... Nor does the terms character, originality or personality. Civics are common, to say the least. I've walked out a store and gone to get in to my car a number of times in the past year only to find that my key less entry wouldn't work because the car I was trying to enter was not my own. Embarrassing? Yes.

I think most people would agree that the car you drive, it's color, cleanliness and finishings, often reflect something of who you are as a person, or at least how you'd like to be viewed. Because I have spent a year driving a car that reflects nothing of who I am, or who I want to be, I can appreciate all the more vehicles with real character. I have always wanted an old classic truck. The closest I have ever come was when I had my 1983 F-250 (lovely named San Jose)... but, while she might have qualified as old, she was far from classic. There have been a number of "classics" owned by friends over the years that I have coveted... see my favorites pictured below.

I have decided to sell my car and buy a truck (and hopefully a horse trailer too). While I know I have to be smart and buy something that I am going to be able to haul with... not to mention reliable, safe, and somewhat economical.... I am so sorely tempted to indulge in that life long dream and purchase a truck that will make my heart go pitter patter.

A girl can dream (of trucks).



1972 Ford F100

1969 Ford Bronco
1979 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40


1970 SS 454 El Camino

1971 Chev Blazer

1972 GMC 4x4

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bob Marshall Treeless?

Lately I've been bantering around the idea of looking at a Bob Marshall treeless saddle. Back in 08 I did my research on them but I ended up going with a Bob's Custom (entirely different (treed) brand ... who knew that "bob" would be such a popular name in saddle making!)



Now that I'm back to looking at saddles again I've been keeping my ears open to what people are saying and it seems like I keep hearing time and again that the treeless Bob Marshalls are the way to go. Those who have one claim that once you've gone treeless you wont go back! And I am even more suprised that they are popular in the barrel racing world (a sport where the security of your seat would be more than a little important!)

Also, I was told that there is a difference between the origonal Bob Marshalls and the Circle Y Bob Marshall. Anyways, I just thought I would put the word out there and see if anyone had anything good (or bad) to say about the saddle. The concept of a treeless saddle makes sense to me but I just wish I had the chance to try one out for a good length of time without having to make a big purchase.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Silent Sunday Still

(double click image to see large version.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Princess of all Trades

(I snapped this pic quick to show P in her Simple boots and english saddle. The result is proof that I can take a REALLY (really really really) bad picture! While in real life she certainly doesnt look at all FUGLY, as she does in the photo, she actually does look just about that ridiculous in her English saddle. Sorry P!)

Princess... *deep sigh* (Still not lovin' the name) is doing really well. I really like this mare. The word that first comes to mind when I think of P is gentle. Her mannerisms on the ground...the way she steps, eats, and interacts with people is soft, fluid, dainty and ultimately gentle. The words that do not come to mind are sassy, snappy, sharp, quick witted and complicated. I love how nice and quiet she is to be around... but I also sometimes miss the challenge and passion that can come with a horse that challenges you... which is why I'm glad she isnt as passive under saddle as she is on the ground.

I love riding this mare. I dont know if I've ever ridden a horse that so doesnt fit in to one category or another. She isnt that super quiet dog and isnt a hot firecracker performance horse either. See my post on the topic of Creating vs Containing Energy here.

P is quiet and very sensible in her own way but she's also insecure, worried and forward. She has a very strong, powerful way of going, a ground covering, smooooth and effortless stride but she isnt super athletic and has no cow horse snap. I have never had to create energy in her, she is always eager to move out and move forward but I dont have to work very hard to contain her energy either. I would never call her hot. I wouldnt hesitate to put a complete beginner on her and let them ride her around the arena but I would never dream of sending them down the trail. To those thing she has become accustomed P is a bombproof as they come... I've had a massive tractor hauling an 18 foot trailer pass us on the road not ten feet from her and she doesn't so much as bat an eyelash, she will step over logs and through water and she will squeeze herself through the narrowest gap out on the trail but these railway tracks (photo below), in her mind, are the epitome of a horsey death trap. The train- not a problem at all! The tracks- big freakin deal. Silly mare.



What I love most about P is that she is not a bitch. Not even a little. And on the rare occasion she does get bitchy about something it is almost comical... a quick swat on her shoulder with the end of the reins and she is like, "Oh! *nods amicably* I see your point!" That is not to say that the majority of the time she responds well to negative correction. P needs to be encouraged and supported with firm but clear and fair direction but if you get in to her and start pushing too hard she just breaks down, looses all her confidence and then there is no reasoning with her. I like being her leader because I feel my job is not to just control her but to encourage her to be bolder.

I still have no idea what, if any, discipline best suits P. She doesnt have a strength but also doesnt really have a weakness either. She is just enough of everything but not quite enough of one thing. I think she just might be a true jack-of-all-trades-king-of-none horse... I guess in that way the name "Princess" might suit her after all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One would definitely not want to do this...

Okay, so... Here is what you do not want to do...

If one day you you happen to hear two people talking about something of suggestive nature and in that conversation they make reference to an innuendo that is unknown to you... an innuendo that sounds suspiciously sexual and intriguingly freakish but the meaning of which eludes you...

... if that happens, what you don't want to do is...

.... you don't want to use google to satisfy that curiosity. Oooh no, don't do it.

Do this- smile mischievously like you are totally in on the uptake... or you could even go with the "You're so naughty (and I kinda dig it)" sly smile, 'cause that's always cool.

But don't act on impulse... some mysteries are best left unexplored Judith, trust me on this.
But for those of you who just cant take advice... those who buck authority... to all those lonely, horny, totally socially inept hackers who proclaim "information wants to be free!" (or was that just in the movie?) ... to you I say this...
If for whatever reason, drinking, drugs, a dare, boredom, etc. you did decide to pick up that laptop and type in those seemingly harmless and inconspicuous words of mystery...
... don't reference urban dictionary.... definitely not urbandictionary.com


But... if you were so inclined one could look up one's own name on urbandictionary.com and learn some very interesting things about one's self. But "one" would definitely not want to do that if one was faint of heart....

The filth that is on that website... *shakes head in wonder*

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chex Nu Jewel


My friend Marcy McBride posted pictures of her beautiful Nu Chex To Cash son, Chex Nu Jewel on facebook and they were just so awesome I had to share! Jewel stands at McBrides Quarter Horses.




Monday, December 6, 2010

Temptation and the Naughty Pecker

(Hawky Tempted by the Llamas)

(This naughty Wood Pecker has done a number on our tree. Double click image for a much better look!)

What kind of naughty pecker were you thinking of you naughty thang you!?

*wink*

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Spectacularly Happy"

I really don't know where to begin. There is so much I want to share about everything I've been doing these past few days, from interior designing with my amazingly talented mother to riding, cooking, saddles, dogs, cats... property purchases and even my friends new horse... and so much more. But ultimately it is not the details of the day that compel me to write this post... it is the emotion... Not to get all "Its a Wonderful Life" on you or anything but I just want to say that I am spectacularly happy. "Spectacularly?!"... Yes, I said spectacularly. I have an amazing friends and family, a boyfriend I absolutely adore (he is just so totally charming) and to top that off I have a horse I really enjoy, a barn I love to go to and pets that make my heart smile. And yes, I just said they make "my heart smile". What can I say... I'm happy. It is hard for me to not find that scary... to not brace myself for the inevitable all but I'm going to try to savor these moments and let tomorrow worry about itself.

Yesterday I tried to write about some of the highlights of my day but I found that I had no patience or desire to explain the particulars... I didnt want to say "HS brought me a green tea latte to the barn and I was so cold and it tasted so good...." I wanted to express the way my heart swelled when I saw his car pull up the drive, how in love I was with him when he handed me that drink and I saw my happiness reflected in his eyes and in his smile. I didnt want to write about the mudane details... like that I was able to take P out on my first ride with another horse (and friend) and how I was able to help that friend school her mare through some issues... Instead I wrote this:


“The sun was shining but the wind was blowing fierce and cold. There is a magic in riding on a day like today… the warmth of the sun on my back all the more welcome for the sharp contrast it sets against the harsh bite of cold on my cheeks. The air itself feels somehow dead and barren while the horse beneath me is so vital and alive... each stride rhythmic, an ebb and flow of energy, vitality and vigour. I love how the grasses lay flat and the birds seem to fly in slow motion as they beat their way upwind. There exists nothing but the ride- the effort of creating impulsion and directing her movement into a form that is fluid and graceful, contained and controlled yet free. I walked back to the barn satisfied. Deeply. Spiritually. Satisfied.”

And this:

"...there is also something wonderful about being able share a ride with a fellow horse lover- to revel in a mutual passion, to ride through the long lines of corn stocks and last rays of daylight and talk of all those things that women talk about- memories unravelled, secrets let loose and frustrations let fly."

Or this:


"As I drove away from the barn, knowing that horses were tucked up safe and snug, I phoned my HS and told him how thankful I am for this day… for him, for my horse, for my Mom, dog, for new friends and old and all the blessings in my life. Then I asked him what he wanted for supper. I came home and cooked pork chops with apple sauce and scalloped potatoes. When I set that plate of food before him my heart swelled and when he told me it was the best he ever- as he always does- I thought I couldnt love him more. And then he did the dishes and I found it was possible afterall. I love this day. "

I am thankful for happy days. ... As in days that I am happy... not the Fonzie kind.... That was before my time.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Ebay Trepidation

I sold my Bob's.

Please excuse me a minute... it is hard to type and cry at the same time.

I am having serious sellers remorse...so much so that I'm thinking I might beg the buyer to cancel the sale but that feels just so... I dont know.... impolite. Sometimes I wish I werent so damn Canadian.

So... I thought maybe i'd drown my sorrows by doing a little online shopping for a replacement saddle and guess what? It worked! I found a saddle that I'd really like to buy... only...

It's on ebay.

And I've never bought anything on ebay before. As in... never... and so am a little intimidated by the prospect of buying a rather expensive saddle as one of my first purchases.

Also, the buyer of my Bob's (who is on the east coast of the US) is having trouble figuring out how to get me payment as I dont (or rather now didnt) have a paypal account and my bank said it could take up to a month to clear a US cheque. So this evening I set up an ebay and paypal account but am worried about about walking the learning curve on paypal while selling a rather expensive saddle.

The only thing I've ever bought online was a Buns Of Steel Yoga video for $8.99 from Amazon.com and it never did get delivered. I was very disappointed. Seriously, I wanted that VHS something bad. So you can understand my trepidation.

Any words of wisdom?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mounting... a Failure to Launch Story

Mounting: a topic I have very pointedly avoided for some time for one very specific reason... I suck at it. Always have. It doesn't matter what I have to my advantage- the upside of a hill, a particularly short pony, a long stirrup or extra tight girth... It doesn't matter if I stand in front, side or behind. This white girl just plain and simply cannot jump. And you know what? I'm not cool with that fact.While there are many things I'll unabashedly admit to sucking at.... like being a slow runner.... or that I cant pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time... or how sometimes when I throw a ball to the left, it goes right... But not being able to mount in one effortless, fluid and graceful motion really burns my ass! And it is not for lack of trying. I've watched with envy those cowgirls and tried to mimic their methods to no avail. Let's take a look at the most common schools of thought...

From the Front- stand in front of the saddle facing the rear. Take the rein and a chunk of the horses mane in your left hand. Twist stirrup around with your right and place foot in. Hop with your standing leg as you jump, twist, throw a leg over and settle in to the saddle facing the right direction. (this is the way I was first taught).

The Cowgirl Way. Grab the horn with your left hand and the cantle with your right. Place your left foot in the stirrup and then, while hoisting yourself up with the help of your hands, swing our leg over and swivel to face forward.


The SUPER Cool Cowgirl (or Stripper) Way- Put your foot gingerly into the stirrup without touching the saddle and (no matter how tall the horse) make it look effortless.... as if you were as flexible as a prepubescent teenage cheerleader doing a kick split... then in one fluid motion, hoist yourself up (again, be sure to make this look as easy as a *insert adjective that doest make me sound like a bitter chubby wannabe with a serious complex about skinny, flexible and athletic cowgirls*), then, using the horn like a slick stripper pole, swing yourself around (slow-motion hair toss optional) and settle into the saddle as light as feather on a puff of wind.

Bite me.

The SUPER Cool Cowboy Way- Walk towards your horse from the rear. As you approach the saddle, without breaking stride, jump in the air, snag the stirrup in your right foot, the horn with your right hand (pause here to admire the flexed and sinewy muscled forearms of said super cool cowboy) and in one fluid motion swing your leg over and settle your fine denim clad ass in to the saddle in less time than it takes to say thank you ma'am.

*sigh*

For the record I have tried all of the above methods. Even the Super Cool ones. Sometimes I give myself a little pep talk before hand... like "Okay Chelsi, let's get this done... you can do it!" or (see inspirational baby below)... No matter which way I've set up to mount the end result is the same- Foot in stirrup, hands on saddle, standing foot hops, jumps and then.... eghch.. hughmph.... eeeeee.... eeh, eh, e.... *very bad word*.... humph... and I'm up. I then settle lightly in to saddle. No matter how hard I have to work to get up there I never, ever, flop.... which is a minor consideration really when you consider the time I spend hauling myself up but I have to salvage what little self respect I can.


There is no happy ending to this story. I didnt write this to share some magic method or quick fix...nor did I discover some inspirational guidance that helped me accept myself for the "failure to launch" cowgirl I am.

And that's all I have to say about that.


Sincerely,

Bitter Chubby Wannabe with a Serious Complex about Skinny, Flexible and Athletic Cowgirls

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Halo

Have I ever admitted to having a serious girl crush on Beyonce? Because I fear I may have already and to do so twice would take it from cute to a creepy... So instead I will say once again how amazing I think she is a musician and performing artist. This afternoon I was listening to some music on youtube and stumbled on the following video. Her song "Halo" was never a favorite of mine, the produced version and video was nice enough but it didnt make me really feel something as good music does... until I heard her sing it here... so I just had to share... Hope you enjoy, this was her singing to patients at a hospital.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Epic Fail Cupcakes, Blinded by the Caesar and a B-day

I think today's post need some music so I'm going to go ahead and suggest this classic...



Great song! I actually like both this and Bruce's version... Only...I have to admit that in my mind the song goes "revved up like a douche..." (as in the feminine hygiene product)... which I read on wikipedia is actually a fairly common mistake...

What!?


Anyways... so I made a few cakes this evening... as well as one batch of "epic fail" cupcakes. No seriously... You know when you are baking a huge batch of cookies or cupcakes... at first the pans are filled with evenly portioned pieces baked to golden perfection but with each batch you slowly but surely loose your will to live and desire to produce an edible product until towards the last batch the portions have doubled in size and though you've already consumed enough dough that you feel six months pregnant you still consider eating just a little more in an effort to reduce that bottomless bowl of batter... until finally, on your last batch you convince yourself that, in fact, the remaining batter really is fit to make 12 slightly over sized cupcakes rather than the 24...

I think you get where I'm going with this...

*hangs head in shame*

Lovely right?

In other news...

"Blinded by the Caesar".... Only I (bitter sounding emphasis on "I") could actually hurt myself on a freak piece of lettuce! I mean, who does that? I was eating supper and this little bastard piece of lettuce did some kind of judo move on my fork and flipped up a glob of dressing directly into my poor defenceless eye. The combo of garlic, lemon and Tabasco quickly went to work in an apparent effort to singe and destroy by fire my optic nerve and conjunctie. I thought I had lost my eye. Seriously. So if, in the future, if you see me eating my Caesar salad with safety glasses on you'll know why.

And last but not least I'd like to wish my beautiful and amazing mother a very Happy Birthday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

BOOM!

I wanted to tell you all a story today but I got sidetracked. You see, I realized I had no way to express my total and utter surprise over a situation... And then I thought of a word that would work... but then I remembered that word it isnt used here in North America... which doesn't explain why I know it other than that it could be that I have an unhealthy addiction to low budget British soap opera (not really but it would be cool if I did).

Anyways, so I got to thinking about how I could express the sentiment I lacked words to express and I came up with "Taken Aback....

*bland stare*

That is what I thought!

"Taken aback" is such a blah say way to express shock... like really? Is that the best we can do? Let's see how this jives in a sentence....*insert up crust accent* "I tell you, I was quite taken aback that dirty harlot spat on my boot!"

*boooo*

There is just no zing! Neither does "disconcerting".... Who on god's green earth says "disconcerting"... picture this... two men sit drinking beer at bar when out of nowhere a naked redheaded women streaks across the room screaming, "You'll never catch me I'm the ginger-bread-man" Can anyone picture on of those men turning to the other and saying, "Did you see that? How disconcerting!"

No! They wouldnt! What would they say? Well... I could take a guess but I'm guessing my Mom is going to read this in the morning so I'll just go with, "Holy Sheeet!" Which, IMHO, is really boring, dont you think? My point is what you ask? Well! I have one....

There is a word that I think we should adopt in North America! It's a British expression (we wont hold that against it) that sounds like giberish but is just so perfectly and richly expressive!... Are you ready for it?

GOBSMACKED!!!

BOOM!! Just like that! When someone says, "I was totally GOBSMACKED!!!" You dont even need the cap locks and explanation points! It just speaks for itself!

How totally wicked is that word!

Hello?

*really confused crickets*

Fine.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Princess and the Cold

When you look at the weather network and see the word "frigid" scribbled across the point on the map where you live.... jump in the car, drive to the nearest airport and get on the first flight to Hawaii, Mexico, Libia, anywhere where one can survive outside for more than twenty minutes without becoming a human Popsicle.

Last night the winds were gusting at 80-100kms (50-65 miles) an hour and the windchill was around -20C (-4F)... so... cold enough? Why yes it was! The problem with these cold fronts is that they come on suddenly and harshly. Last week it was a balmy 7-8C (50s F) and by the end of this week it should be back around 6C. The horses (and people) just don't have time to acclimatize.

So last night I stopped in to make sure LP was all tucked in snug and warm only to discover that she wasnt eating her feed as usual. She had eaten very little in the hour since she has been given her supper and when I offered her grain she showed no interest in it at all (which is VERY alarming for a horse that usually begs for it). She also had that distinct "funny" look that most horsemen learn to recognize yet that remains impossible to define. My instinct was that she was cold and that maybe her gut was clenched. When I put my hand under her blanket I didnt feel that usual pocket of warmth.... so... off I went home to grab hot water and a warm bran mash slurry. I threw a blanket in the dryer to get it warm before stuffing it in a garbage bag and heading out to the barn (at the suggestion of my trusty friend Barbie). By the time I got back she appeared a little less "funny" but still off so I threw the warm blanket on her and then a stall blanket on top of that. I then offered her the bran mash (which had a hefty dose of molasses in it)... to which she totally snubbed her nose. So I added some grain to it.... to no avail... so I added even more grain to it (wasnt going to let her eat it all but it would at least get her going) and she still wanted nothing to do with it. I shouldnt have been surprised... LP wouldnt eat carrots, apples, horse treats or anything besides grain when she first came. I tried warm apple juice with just a bit of grain in it but she wouldnt have that either. I gave up on feeding her something warm and instead dumped warm water in her water bucket...which she drank. I was there for about an hour total and by the time I was done fussy with her she had perked up and was eating with more vigor. I left the extra horse blanket on her overtop of her usual winter (usually it would go under but I didnt want to let out the warmth she had gained). LP will also be getting some extra grain until the weather turns to a more reasonable seasonable... the extra calories she can burn in to heat.


(P. in her jammies with neck guard up)

I think I am going to try to introduce small amounts of bran in to her diet and other such things so that if and when getting medication or a hot slurry on a cold night, it wont be such a big to-do.

While I was there I treated her mud fever (as I have been the past ten days or so). I am very pleased with how much of it has healed up. The treatment I went with was one really good removal of all the scabbies (after soaking them in mineral oil) and I clipped the hair on and around the effected areas. I then treated the area with a daily treatment of Hibitane ointment and some zinc cream on really wet days. She was kept in a dry paddock for a week to give it a head start against the wet fields. This spell of cold weather should help things along so I hope *fingers crossed* that it will be completely gone within another week. Her cough is completely gone now (after having her hay wet down and fed on the ground) but we'll have to wait and see if it gets stirred up again when I get to riding her. The spot on her cheek has a good start to filling in with new hair growth, I treated it with the Hibitane ointment for a week and am now giving it a little dot of MTG. LP also had rain scald on her neck which is clearing up nicely after I treated it with MTG.


(LP with neck guard pulled back)

I was told before that when you blanket you take responsibility for making sure that horse is warm or cool because you take away some of their ability to create warmth for themselves (by reducing the amount of hair coat they have) and their ability to "puff" that hair up on colder days (the blanket makes the hair lie flat). I should have monitored LP earlier and thought ahead better as to how much blanketing she would need this week... I hope this time that lesson will stick... never assume that your horse is warm enough just because you have a winter blanket on. Always check to make sure that there is a pocket of warmth under the blanket (there wasnt last night when I checked P) and double blanket if need be.

If it's one thing I'll give LP, she sure has a way of keeping me on my toes!

Is it just me or is she a bit of a high maintenance Princess? Self fulfilling prophecy maybe? I think I am going to rename her Hardy.... Tuff or Resilient... or just plain Easy. I kinda like Easy as a name... despite the slutty connotation. What is a name or word that implies, "I'm really low maintenance" to you?

Friday, November 19, 2010

My New ENGLISH saddle...

I bought an English saddle today! Can you believe it! I told the lady at the store that it was my very first ever English saddle but then on the drive home I remembered that I actually did own one when I was fourteen or fifteen... Have you ever had this happen.... You can distinctly remember owning a specific item and yet you have no recollection of ever having parted with that item....but yet you also have absolutely noooo idea where or when you lost that item along the way? Nor have you ever even recognized that item was gone until years later? Well, I dont ever recall selling or giving away that saddle, or leaving it behind at some barn... And I dont recall having even wondered what happened to it in the past. But I know I dont have it now and havent in ten years or more. Weird.

Anyways, I bought a Wintec 500 all purpose saddle with easy change gullet and CAIR panels. I also went out and purchased a different size (wide) gullet because the (average) size that the saddle came with was much to narrow for my hardy mare. It was really cool how quickly (less than five minutes) it took to change out the gullet. The store had provided me with a measuring tool to help assess what size she would be needing and I have to say that it appears (at this point *knock on wood*) to be a good fit. The CAIR panels are neat too... rather than traditional flocking the panels have some kind of air pocket system that allows for a better fit and good distribution of the riders weight. While the saddle is synthetic and "cheaper" than I would EVER consider buying in a western saddle I have to say I've heard nothing but good things and have high hopes that it will work out well.





As for "Why English?" (as I've been asked a dozen times now). The answer is simple. My Bob's Custom Bob Avila Cow horse saddle does not fit Lil'P. I L.O.V.E. my saddle, it is soooo comfortable, so pretty and finely made. It is the fourth (?) Bob's I've owned and to be frank (at the risk of sounding like a snob) once you've gotten used to a certain quality of saddle it is hard to go back. For me to go out and replace my saddle would be no easy task... I'd have to fit her, fit me, my taste and my budget. I also would have to figure out what type of Western saddle to buy based on what direction I plan on heading with her (barrel, roping, reining, cutting etc.). So there are a whole lot of question marks involved in buying a new Western saddle and I just didnt have the heart for the task.


But I still needed a new saddle. That is when I discovered that, as particular as I am when it comes to Western saddles, I am totally oblivious and not at all particular when it comes to English saddles. While fitting my horse is still important I dont have to worry about type, make, style. etc. I could buy a synthetic and be blissfully ignorant and unaware of my folly (if any). So I did. And I am. *guileless stare*

The other HUGE factor (pardon the pun) is an issue of weight. My Bob's weighs 37 pounds. My heavy western pad weighs a few pounds too. This English saddle (I believe) weighs about 12 pounds. The pad weighs a few ounces. So, as best as I can figure I've cut around 25 pounds off my horses back. Twenty-five pounds is no small amount of weight. I would have prefer to have cut that poundage directly off my ass but I cant afford the sugery... or maybe I could have if I hadnt spent it all on horses:)

Which brings me to my next point. I would like to loose that 25 (or more) pounds through the help of diet and exercise... exercise such as riding.... such as posting a working trot in an English saddle for a half hour or so. Trust me, I nearly died during my lessons earlier in the year... I believe I even called my very lovely instructor a very bad word. I appolgized once I was recovered enough breath to speak. I also could barely walk the next day. This English saddle is going to work my ass out better than Jane Fonda in a neon blue belted jumper thong ..


Or so I hope.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Well... I love her brother....




Found this picture today online... this is my Princess' full brother. Isnt he gorgeous? I cant believe how much alike their expressions are! Actually, more than just expression that body and head are nearly identical too. Perhaps I have developed a taste for white horses after all. I think I'm in love.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Horse's Quest for World Domination

From the very first moment in which two horse meet there begins a conversation. The most relevant and repeated subject of that conversation is the question, 'Who is the leader?' Body language is the voice of the horse- from the subtle flick of the ear to the equine equivalent of shout- a hard hoof meeting soft flesh- they speak through action, position and posture. The better horseman is one who best understands this language and through his understanding is better able to recognize and answer the softly spoken challenge before it can escalate to a dangerous proposition. A clinician once pointed out to me that one of the first ways a horse can questions a horseman's leadership is by initiating the first contact. In other worlds, in a horse's quest for world domination, who touches who first, matters.

When you meet a new horse what do you do? Almost as if by instinct, most of us reach out a hand to offer him our scent. By instinct that horse most often reaches forward to take in our scent. But in the moment that follows something will happen that to the man may seem inconsequential but to the horse may be the first clue to the answer of that age old question (who will be boss?). The horse will either reach forward and brush the mans hand with his muzzle or the man will reach forward and brush his hand to the horses muzzle. Such a small thing, right? Such a small thing can matter if it is allowed to turn in to something infinitely bigger and potentially dangerous.

I do not allow my horse to initiate contact between us. She is not allowed to pass her muzzle over my shoulder, to walk by me close enough to brush my jacket, to move in to me when I stand beside her...she is not allowed to search my pockets or touch me in any way. I believe that casual touch is a very mild, very tentative questioning of my leadership. When I fail to correct her for making that challenge I am effectively telling her that she should ask again, only more emphatically. By that same way of thinking I believe that something as minor as a gentle nudge of the nose could lead to her pushing past me on the lead to running over me in the field; that the precursor to a bite is a nip, is a nuzzle and that the stomp of a foot could turn into the cock of the hip, can turn in to a kick that ends with a ride to the hospital.

Understanding and agreeing with a concept is easy. Putting it to work in the every day handling of a horse is a different matter. I struggle to consistently recognize and correct LP's questions and challenges, to not misinterpret those questions as an expression of affection and/or playfulness.

I want to explore that delicate balance between my horse the cute and loving pet and my horse the 1100 pound flight animal on a quest for world domination.

More on this next post.

PS- That reminds me! Remember Pinky and The Brain? Come on! It was a great cartoon! I loved how in the intro, when Pinky would ask, "So Brain what are we going to do tonight?" Brain would reply, "The same thing we do every night Pinky! Try to take over the world!" Okay, well.... it looses it's dramatic effect in type... Here, check it out!...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Remember... to my Grandfathers


Until just a few days ago I had never seen a picture of my father's father. He passed when my Dad was just a boy and was not spoken of within our family. I didn't know that he was a Flight Officer for the Canadian Forces and went by the name Spence, but today I do... and so today is the first Remembrance Day wherein I will give thanks for and take pride in the fact that both my Grandfather Spence and my Grandfather Hugh (Poppie) served for our country in WWII. To all the other men and women who served and continue to serve....To those whom I owe my freedom, I also give my heartfelt thanks.

(In Canada, on the eleventh hour of November 11th, we pause to give thanks and to remember our veterans. It is a national holiday we call Remembrance Day.)

(Man at Left is my Poppie)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Maintenance of a Princess


This afternoon you could say I took care of business:)

My Little Princess (Little P or LP... who I still occasionally call Luna for some odd reason) was given the royal princess treatment today. I bought her a new blanket that I am very happy with... it has a full attached neck cover, gussets for ease of movement and it is the perfect weight considering that she already has a pretty good start to a winter coat. The past few winter blankets I've owned have all been Mastas and while I've loved them this time I went with a Cavalier Stormbreaker Combo (combo refers to the attached neck). Anyways, I measured LP before I went out to buy the blanket (she measured as a 78 and is currently wearing a 76 rain sheet that is a little too small.) and so I was a bit surprised that when I got the blanket on her it was HUGE... The blanket was big enough that I didnt think a single size down would get the job done so I actually brought out a 74" which, while a little on the snug side, does fit. LP is long bodied and fairly broad and I feel she is a true 78" so....for anyone buying the Stormbreaker, be careful about sizing. Did I mention that it is black with white stripes and she looks cute as a button in it? Well, she does.


(same model as below only black with white plaid)





So... then I started treatment (again) on her mud fever. I clipped down the effected areas, removed the scabbies after soaking them in mineral oil (which allowed me to pull off the excess without creating raw skin) and then dried it very well. Rather than try something new I decided to go with the ointment I last used (effectively) to treat mud fever- Hibitane cream. I figured because she was going back outside in the rain I would top it with a layer of Pentex cream (zinc baby rash cream) which will keep the moisture out (hopefully). So... now I just need to repeat that process a few dozen times. *deep breath*


Addressing the dry spot on her cheek.... It was suggested that perhaps it could be ringworm.


I'm not sold because of the look of the spot the first day I found it. It actually wasnt "bald" when I first found it, it was a crusty spot and when I scratched at it the hair fell out. I took a picture that first day... take a look. Hmm.... at first I was thinking scarzoid (sp?) but now I'm not sure. I put some anitfungal on it. I'm thinking of trying MTG on it but will wait and see how the cream does first.






Now, the cough. I talked to the vet assistant this morning and they were as helpful as a vet clinic ever is over the phone... I asked if they had any product they could sell me to help treat a cough and they suggested that I have the vet out (big surprise) and said that they could not recommend any kind of treatment until they had seen her. Hmm... I spent a half hour at the barn this afternoon and didnt hear her cough even once. Then this evening I was there again and when I turned her in and gave her hay she coughed a half dozen times in about five minutes and then nothing... Over the next hour she didnt cough. At all. So... needless to say I wont be calling the vet! I know a lot of people give their horses ZEV for a cough but from my understanding ZEV acts much like a cough syrup and doesnt actually treat a cough so much as suppress it which can be counter productive.


So I'd love to hear any home remedies for my Little P's cough?



(and btw, thank you so much for all the supportive comments on my post yesterday, I really appreciate it:)


Monday, November 8, 2010

Bad Horse Mommy

The past few weeks my mind has been on anything but my Little Princess. Instead, it as been pretty much consumed by the pressing concerns of HS's business and quite frankly, our livelihood. It isnt something I can explain but let's just say that these past few weeks have been really stressful, busy and hard on my ever-sensitive-nerves. I've been getting down to the barn at 4-5 days a week at least but only for short visits... some days I've only taken the time to stand at the gate and watch her graze for a moment... or I just walk out and stroke that downy winter coat below her throat latch (the only patch of her that remains clean) and I say a little prayer that maybe some day soon I'll have the time and mindset to do something with my pretty little mare.

I've been feeling guilty for not spending more time with her but am also so confident that she has been so well looked after by the wonderful people I board off of- she has plenty of good feed, a buddy, some grass and a warm place to sleep at night... which I like to think ads up to the quotent of a horsey good life.

But then on Saturday I came out to the barn and realized that I had completely forgotten to pick up a bag of grain and that she had been out for nearly two days. Not cool. Then I realized that there was a note on the board letting me know that the bald spot I'd found on her cheek is really dry and needs attention. And then this evening it was pointed out that I had slowly crapped out on treating her mud fever and that it was getting worse...then the (awesome) lady I board off noticed Princess coughing. Which pretty much confirmed in my mind that I'm a crap horse mommy.

I cried. Well, not really but it was a near thing. I ate a bag of mini eggs instead. Not helpful. When I was done the mini eggs I got to work on the mental list of all my deficiency's as a horse mom. Then, when that was done, I got to beating myself up over it. I'm pretty good at that....I've got practice! I get this bunched up knot of anxiety in my chest and my stomach gets all flippity floppy and I cant sit still. The worst part though is that running commentary in my head that runs through all the horrible things that I've done- all my failings as a caregiver to my horses, man, family, cats, dogs, etc.. and OMG all those guppies I killed back in elementary school! Then I tell myself I should just sell Princess and Abby and not even have a horse...

*big sigh*

But this evening I decided that I really need to stop doing that. I'm going to let this one go. I still feel like I need to own the mistake. I am not telling you this (my hypothetical reader) to ease my conscience... I failed to meet my own expectations as a horse owner and while I am not proud of it I'm going to give myself a "get out of jail free card" on this one....which is a novel concept to me but one I think I could really grow to like:) While most days I try to be a good horseman sometimes I fail to try hard enough... or at all. Some days I suck. The point is that we all fail sometimes. And that's not the end of the world. It's isnt good but I didnt kill anyone or burn my house down (yet *knocking on wood*).

Tomorrow my Princess will get some cough medicine, she'll get an ointment for her spot and I'll treat her mud fever. Tomorrow I will step up and do better. And I'll leave the guilt and the self deprecation behind.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Heartbreak for Zenyatta

Hearts broke all over the world this evening as the great mare Zenyatta was beat for the first time, ever. For those of you who dont know, Zenyatta is arguably the greatest racing mare to have ever stepped foot on a racetrack if not one of the greatest race horses of all time in part for beating the boys at last years Breeders Cup classic and in part for having never lost a race. The racing community liken her to Seabuscuit and Secretariat but still argued over her ability to win todays Breeders Cup again at age six against a very tough field. Had she won today's race she would have been the first horse to ever won 20 out of 20 races. Watching her come from behind, as she always does, watching her fly down that backstretch, watching her chase down Blame, I really thought she was going to get it done. She only needed one more stride. She only lost by inches....

Was it a mistake to have run her? Is her legacy tarnished by this loss... did her perfection define her greatness or is she all the more memorable for having tried and failed. I guess time will tell.

Video of Mike Smith's emotional response to the loss...

Link here or address:

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid9525055001?bctid=663035975001


The race:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

KD

(Doesnt that look deee-lish! *questioning stare*)


I guess you could say I have a confession to make... but that would indicate that somehow or another I consider this a bad thing, which it isnt, or I guess some people would say it is but I think everything in moderation right? So, I guess you could call it a statement of fact but that sounds too formal... Whatever... the bottom line is that every few months I get a serious craving for good old fashion KD.... It is a hankering that can only be satiated by the genuine product... not the no name brand, not the spirals or the tomato flavored or any of that! Just good, plain overcooked Kraft Dinner.


Does that
I guess I'm a traditionalist that way. I've know some people like to take their KD to the next level....My brother-in-law actually puts peanut butter in his!!!! He claims that if you really think about it long enough it isnt that gross... I wont even give him the benefit of the doubt on that one. My stepmom used to melt real cheese into it and my granny loved the Velveeta addition while my Mom wont touch the stuff claiming she had it too often as a kid. Personally I tend to use less milk and a good dollop of butter and over cook my pasta just slightly...I like it thick and squishy:) Throw some hotdog bits in there and all the better.

Anyways, there it is...a post that is neither provocative, funny or even remotely interesting but still oddly relevant. There is simply no replacing that vibrant orange plate of cheesy goodness (with Ketchup on the side please).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Video of a Real Ghost!!!

Make sure your volume is on because you can hear it too!

"This is a car advertisement from Great Britain.
When they finished filming the ad, the film editor noticed something moving
along the side of the car, like a ghostly white mist.
They found out that a person had been killed a year earlier in that exact same spot.

The ad was never put on TV because of the unexplained ghostly phenomenon.

Watch the front end of the car as it clears the trees in the middle of the screen
and you'll see the white mist crossing in front of the car then following it along
the road.....Spooky!"



Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Princess Wants to be Bay!

Princess actually managed to outdo herself this afternoon!



Hard to believe that she was white yesterday! Honest! Look, she had only gotten half the job down when I arrived....the right side was still clean...

I'm convinced that she knows I prefer bays and is trying to make amends.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

McLeods Daughters (again)

A while back I posted about this obscure Australian television drama I fell in love with a number of years ago... it is not the best show in the world but highly addictive (Pony Girl fell for it too) anyways, it is hard to get DVD's here in the US or Canada (though it is possible) but recently I discovered a link to the original made for TV movie that inspired the series... the actors playing the characters have changed but the set location and overall feel of the show has not... (cheesey plots and all)

Anyways, here is a link to the youtube videos for anyone who'd like to check it out!

McLeods Daughters:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10


Had to ad this unrelated video! It is AMAZING footage!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Princess Video!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I had a few adventures today and one big misadventures this morning that I'll write about another day but let's just say that involved getting bit in the ass by that little wench Murphy (or whomever the hell that stupid freakin' Law was named after).



Anyways... thought I'd share this video of my Princess! This was my first attempt (ever) at making a video and I'm pretty happy with the result. No music was added because the sounds she makes are part of the "story". Oh! And the last line (for those not up to snuff on pop culture) is... well, a fairly well known pop culture reference.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Owning Hay

(Prinsa redefining "white")

To continue on the same thread (another rather odd and personal omission) I thought I'd mention that I really enjoy owning hay. This may seem a little bizarre to both horsemen and non-horseman.... but run with me for a minute.

(She is starting to fill out the chinks some.)

What percentage of people in the world today own hay? People who can walk into a barn and point to a stack of bales and say, "I own that." There is something about owning hay that validates my deep seeded yearnings to be an honest-to-god country girl, no matter how lacking that might be in reason (dont burst my bubble please). There is something about looking at a nice stack and knowing that you'll be able to keep your horse warm and full for months to come that is just so.... so.... satisfying.

I also love owning hay because I love the idea that I can feed my horse as much of it as I want and whenever I want to boot! I used to board my horse (full care) and always detested having to constantly ask for my horse to get more hay (and never felt that they were getting as much as they needed), or not being able to just throw my horse a flake, just because. Even as a teen when I owned my own hay, I was constantly trying to make it stretch and could never just liberally toss out an extra flake here and there....I was always so worried about the expense and inconvenience of running out. As a result of all of that, and the simple fact that I get all warm and fuzzy watching my loved ones eat food that I've cooked or provided, most days when I go the barn I give my Prinsa a little hay or grain. The sound of a horse contently munching or manically hoovering in her case, can provide a small but profound sense of joy and contentment.

(my hay)

Right now I own a little stack of nice clean hay and have enough bales put up with Prinsa's name on it to last the rest of the winter. Like a squirrel who's packed away plenty enough nuts, I am satisfied.