Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Me and that horse...

Old pic from a couple years ago.  I have a new phone and can't seem to figure out how to get my pics off it.  Eagle still looks pretty much the same though.  :)

Sometimes I think that Eagle is the coolest horse ever.  And when I say that, I mean who he is.  His mind, his personality, the way he chortles through his nose when he gets nervous. He's a beautiful spirit who's very sensitive and intuitive, I get by with nothing. Nothing escapes his notice.  He has the kind of knicker that makes anybody stop and smile.   He has big, dark brown, doe eyes.  He absolutely knows how to use them.  He's a snuggler, likes to be real close.  And he's got this way of "sauntering" everywhere he goes; he exudes a quiet authority over our herd without even trying.  But my favorite thing about Eagle.  Well; besides his strikingly handsome, good looks?  :)  It's his kindness.  This is the kindest, most loving horse I've ever known. He's just a good horse.  And totally, without a doubt the most heart, or try, "the will to please" of any horse.  Ever.  

Kadie will always be the best little mountain pony in the world.  But nobody's perfect.    

Then there's times I think, he could be the coolest horse ever.  Besides all that great stuff I just said.  And I truly mean every, single word of it!  But Eagle can be lazy.  There's times I think I'm working way too hard up there.  I've never really had a horse who makes me work so hard for such little things.  Conformation wise, he's got this fairly short, very thick and powerful neck.  And when he wants to go one direction, and I want to go the other, well let's just say my legs and arms are a workout.  And it shouldn't be like that.  I know he's still a green horse.  And I absolutely couldn't be more pleased with what he's learned and how great he's doing.  When Rachel rides him anyway!  Frustrating, but I need to be patient.  We'll get there, we'll continue to improve, but ack!!!  With me?  I need to take more lessons.  In my imagination this horse and I go everywhere, over and under and through, grand adventures and all that.  That's what I want.  I've ridden him 4 nights in a row, skipped last night and plan to ride again tonight.  We've had short and sweet riding sessions after a very short walk,trot, canter freestyle in the round pen.  I mount up, go through my warm-up, which consists of relaxed walk, trying to stay on the rail and lots (some) willing forward energy.  Neck flexes, balanced stop, back and one-rein stops.  Then we do trot work and then try to add something like poles, haunch or forehand turns (beginning). Easy right?  And usually we run through this within 30-45 minutes.  That's plenty for both of us right now.  Well, there are times we really work on just this.  Then there's rides we've had where Eagle walks right out, just does what I ask when I want and it feels so good.  I have to blame our connection.  Some days it's good and other days, not so much.  It's all about me and my state of confidence.  When I'm more relaxed and ask with more authority, quiet but soft, Eagle responds nicely.  But if I don't mean it.  And mean it from the very beginning of our lesson, Eagle takes that and that's that.   Nope, not today   ... uh-huh.  *sigh*  God, he can be stubborn!  Or lazy.  Both?  Rachel says it's not his fault.  I get what I ask for.  

Yeah, I know it's the journey.  And I do enjoy the journey, the process, the relationship, the work.  All of it.  But I've waited sooooo long to ride this horse, and all I really want to do is hop on him bareback and race through the filbert orchard and go swimming with my horse in the pond.  On a beautiful summer day, like today!  

Just to feel that freedom.  The joy of feeling my warm and strong, sure and fast, horse running beneath my legs.  Hair flying in the wind, tears streaming across my face.  *sigh*  

That's how I want to ride him.  

I read this quote by George Morris on another blog today.  It seemed appropriate, so I thought I'd share and hopefully remember...

"The relationship between horse and rider is closer than any two beings, even if you're married.  When a horse gets tentative, you don't get tentative.  That's the kiss of death. You get positive."

Sounds about right.

Learning patience and persistence,
blessings all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

All the news that is news, that I remember...

Okay, my pictures really have nothing at all to do with this post, except that I've not posted any pics for a really long time and this is just a tiny sampling of what we've been up to this month.  I guess that works too!  This is news, right?

Faith & Lilly celebrating their b-days.  Two of my great-great nieces!

Lilly the "princess"  She's 5 now...going on 31

From our hike on Cape Lookout, the Pacific way down there

It was a hideously hot day so we went to a local spot and cooled off!

Selfie of two unknown old people - wait, is that an oxymoron?
Oh, where to begin?  I've fallen behind in just about every single area of my life it seems.  I've not had the time, the energy, nor the inclination to write anything here in 2 weeks.  In fact, this is only my second post this month.  And I cannot believe that we're nearing the end of July already!!!  Good grief, where does the time go?

Of the most importance to me, is that Eagle is coming home tonight!!!  To say I'm happy and excited about that is putting it mildly.  :)  To wrap my mind around the fact that he's been gone just over 2 months already, blows me away.  Really???  But, I just cannot describe how very, very well he's done in his training.  I went every day last week and rode him.  The horse has such heart, such try and the willingness to please and do well that it amazes me.  He also has a stubborn streak about as wide as the Mississippi when he doesn't want to do something...Rachel has accomplished far more than I would ever have expected with Eagle.  Watching her ride him, and put him through his exercises just makes my heart swell.  He's still a green horse, obviously, but how well he's taken to his lessons and how much he understands is a little bit unbelievable.  Now, having said that...when I ride him, it's not quite like that.  *sigh*  I need work.  I need to ride more often.  I need instruction.  Big time.  I apparently need to prove to my horse that I'm worthy of the leadership role.  Therein lies our biggest challenge after I get him home.  We've had some amazing rides.  We've had some mediocre rides.  And then, we've had some rides where I come back in tears, full of frustration and disappointment.  But overall, we've made progress.  And that is where I choose to place my focus, and build upon that.  Eagle is miles from where he began.  And frankly, so am I.  My progress isn't so impressive, but to me, it means the world.  I can ride my horse, and I will get better.  I will build more confidence with more time in the saddle and I'm even thinking of doing some lessons with Rachel as a follow-up.  We'll see how everything goes...

My hubby and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary last night at Olive Garden.  Yum!  I can hardly believe it myself.  31 years.  We've had our ups and our downs, and it's just like pretty much everything else in life.  It is the journey, not the destination that counts.  All those messy little details in the middle that create memories that we build upon throughout our lives.  I love that guy.  He ain't perfect, but neither am I.  :)

Our bedroom in all its' disastrous state still looms over my conscience like an ugly plague.  With hubby working so much, most home projects have remained at a standstill.  I'm not sure when we'll have the time to get back into the swing of remodeling, but I sure am tired of sleeping in the living room.  And that's all I've got to say about that.  

Night before last, hubby was already in bed reading and I was watching a little tv before heading to bed.  I cannot tell you why, or for what reason, but I suddenly popped up from my chair and walked into the kitchen, stopping just short of the slider leading to our deck.  I stood there for a blank moment wondering why I'd come in here.  Remembering nothing, I shrugged and turned around to go back, but a flash of light caught my eye.  I quickly turned around, looked out onto the deck and saw that one side of the deck was fully engulfed in flames!  Our deck was on fire!!  I yelled to hubby and we grabbed shoes and then the garden hose and managed to put the flames out without too much damage being done.  But as to how and why our deck caught on fire remains a mystery.  I know only one thing for sure.  Either God or my guardian angel whispered to me, or put that thought into my head, to go into the kitchen.  Had that not happened, I'd likely have gone to bed and our cedar deck fire would quickly have turned into a much more serious problem.  Of that, I have no doubt.  I am so thankful and so happy that I believe and have faith.  Bet yer boots!  My dad used to say that when something was a sure thing - "you can bet your boots on that!".  :)

Since my last post when I was gleefully looking for a break in our then, heatwave; we got that break, have had another almost two week long heat wave and today are enjoying a cool down.  Man oh man has this been a hot, dry and long summer for us!  Sure feels like the year of no winter, followed by a very short (and glorious) spring and now the never-ending summer!  My body has changed and I do not enjoy the heat at all anymore.  I don't exactly like being cold either, but the 70's are looking just about perfect.  Funny how that comfort window keeps getting smaller and smaller with the years!  Oh well, I've got quite the tan going with all the time being spent in the pool.  We gotta take our blessings where we can get them, right?  That $100 dollar Walmart swimming pool that we bought 3 summers ago, has proven to be money VERY well spent!!  

My tendency for squirreling hasn't been quiet either.  We have all our hay safely stored in the barns.  We have 4 tons of stall bedding pellets stored in the barn, we have plenty of firewood in the shed, we have a quarter beef recently stashed in the freezer and just last Sunday picked up and put in our hay barn, all the alfalfa that we'll need to get the two geriatrics in our herd, through the winter.  :)  Sweet!!!  Now the only thing left to do is make some plum jam because for whatever reason, our hardly ever produces plums in 20 years, plum tree has absolutely outdone itself and blessed us with tons of big, beautiful Santa Rosa plums!  I need to pick my overly abundant crop of Marionberries and stick those in the freezer and get some peaches.  We have lots of apples growing on the trees, but absolutely NO pears!!  What is up with that?  The pears are my favorite fruit on our property (horses too) and I cannot find a single pear on either tree.  Oh well, the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh.  My little garden is doing just fine.  I've enjoyed my first two fresh tomatoes and a few sungold cherry tomatoes.  A few strawberries that I've eaten, but nothing else yet.  I've got onions, zuchini, acorn squash and cucumbers expected before long.  My herbs didn't do well at all this year.  Could be that I keep forgetting to water them.  :(  

We went camping weekend before last to Camp Sherman on the Metolius river with brother and sister in law.  One of my most favorite spots on this planet!  Left the horses at home with a caretaker and hopped in our little camper and went.  It was great!!  The weather was perfect!  We attended the annual quilt show, went out for most meals and took lots of long walks along the river.  Ruby had a blast, and so did we!  We laughed, talked and played games and it was so relaxing.  I wanna go again...

Not sure what else is coming up soon, but I am so very ready for some horse camping and some beach time.  Maybe a nap too.  No wonder I've been feeling so very tired lately...apparently I've been a very busy gal...

Would love to hear what you've all been doing with your summer!  Hope it's been grand!!!

Blessings and until next time,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Finally some relief in sight

We've been having the most long heat wave that I can recall in many years.  It's been relentless for weeks with temps well into the 90''s been awful.  Last week for my vacation, I slipped away to the beach for a day and it was just heaven!  Ruby and I walked and walked, had some lunch, mosied around on the beach and while I took pictures, Ruby played in the waves.  It was a drag having to come home to 90+ still in mid evening. Hopefully though by this weekend our weather is supposed to be entering a cooling trend, with more comfortable temps in the 80's - whoohoo!!  I can't wait for that.  I've spent a lot of time in the pool out of sheer necessity and even had to cancel my lesson riding Eagle last week due to extreme heat.  I always get late afternoon times and I just can't ride in that heat, nor would I expect my horse to work in those conditions either.  They really seem to tolerate the heat much better than people though, given that they choose to stay in the sun when they have available shade.  You can lead a horse to water...

Eagle is doing remarkably well.  Rachel has nothing but high praise for my boy.  I'm hoping to increase my riding dates because in less than 2 weeks, Eagle is due to come back home.  I can hardly wait!  We still have not gone on a trail ride yet though, and I'm especially anxious to do this, since this is how we'll spend most of our riding time together.  Rachel is so busy with the summer camp and preparing her competition horse, as well as working with Eagle, she's very limited in her available time slots, couple that with my work schedule, and it's just darn hard to find the time.  It really is a priority for me to get in as many more rides as possible though, so I'm very hopeful.

Ruby continues to improve.  Her blood work was pretty whacked, but after tons of research, we're still no closer to a diagnosis than we were before.  *sigh*  One thing that stood out for me was high cholesterol, especially her triglycerides as well as high calcium levels.  We ruled out lymne disease too.  We'll probably never know for sure, but I'm no longer worried because she's pretty much back to normal.  Even the symptoms of the stroke or bells palsy, whatever it was,  are almost entirely gone.  I'm just so thankful! My little dog is almost completely back to normal.  Her energy levels are still lower than normal, but I attribute this mainly to the heat.  Mine are shot too, so go figure.  

I've begun actively looking for another dog.  In my gut, I'm not convinced that it's the best choice for me right now, but for Ruby, it is.  Ruby blossoms with a companion, and so the search is on.  Ideally, I'd like a Lab puppy.  Secondly, I'd like a Golden Retriever puppy, but the prices that people charge for those dogs are absolutely ridiculous to me.  Our budget simply cannot afford paying anywhere from $700 - $1500 on average for a dog.  What gives!?  I've actually seen them go for up to $3500.00!!!  If it didn't go against my very grain, I'd switch occupations; but I simply cannot abide producing dogs when there are so many in need of homes.  What is wrong with people?  Have they no conscience?  I will never understand how some people sleep at night.  I've looked into shelter dogs at the humane society, the local dog pound, craigslist and have put out feelers on facebook, so we'll see where it leads.  I'm not in a rush, and the perfect dog has always come into our lives at the perfect time, so I'm trying to be patient.  My hubby found a dog he cannot get out of his mind at the Golden Bond Rescue.  I looked at her picture and info today, and she is gorgeous, and has those milk chocolate brown eyes that will melt you in a heartbeat.  Her adoption fee is $335, which we could manage.  The main concern for us is her age, she's 8 years old.  Goldens are not especially long-lived, and I cannot even imagine losing her in a few short years.  Oh my, that might kill me!  But then again, what memories we could make in whatever time she has left.  They say she's perfectly healthy and sweet, loves going on walks and has plenty of "go" for a lady of her age.  Maybe we could just go and meet her...see what happens.  We could possibly even let Ruby make our decision.  Obviously, we're torn.  Time will tell.

I've also got another option on a Yellow Lab, intact breeding male.  He's almost 9 and was a show dog, and has sired puppies since his show days have ended.  We could adopt him for no money, but the "owner" would retain breeding rights and take him up to 2 times per year.  After his retirement, which according to AKC rules, is at age 12, all paperwork would be signed over to us and he would truly be ours.  Gosh, I'm just not sure how I'd feel about that though.  We've always had our animals spayed or neutered and our animals are our family members.  What if something unforeseen were to happen to him?   Another consideration is his age, same deal as the Goldie.  He is however, drop-dead gorgeous!!  I would never, ever make a decent animal breeder because I just find it somehow unsavory and callous how people can have an animal for years, make money off of them, and then so easily discard them in their golden years.  How can they not fall totally and completely head-over-heels in love with these dogs!!??  They love us and give of themselves so completely.  I don't think I'll ever understand.  I just don't get it.  Do people even consider how these animals feel?  It just saddens me to no end.  It's heartbreaking and frankly, I hate it!

Well, gotta run.  Hubby just called and I have to pick him up!  

Will try and post some pics from our beach trip and from our river outing and whatever else I have new pics of, very soon!

Blessings all, 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Potpourri of life

Time has just gotten away from me lately!  Yesterday was Father's Day and the official arrival of summer.  Around here, it seems like summer has been in full swing for 5-6 weeks already.  Highly unusual for our usually temperate climate.  I've enjoyed the cooler, but beautiful sunshine we've had, but that's about to change.  Big time!  And of course it happens when we have scheduled our vacation...sigh.  I don't do heat anymore.  Ever since I experienced heat stroke about 16 years ago, and had another occurrence a few years back, I cannot abide hot weather, unless I'm in the water.  :)  The heat just zaps my energy and then I get sick.  No fun!

So understandably, I'm a bit bummed by the forecast of our temps soaring to triple digits by the end of this week.  We've made reservations for 3 nights horse camping starting this coming Sunday night through Tuesday and coming back home on Wednesday for a previously scheduled appointment with the farrier.  If our weather gets that hot, I might cancel and we could head to the beach, but then I'd fret about our horses back home.  So, I'm not sure what we're going to do.  

I'm also very concerned about Ruby lately.  It's been several weeks now since she suffered something like a stroke, or maybe it was a stroke.  We don't really know, but the right side of her face is slightly droopy, especially the right eye and lip.  Her tongue also doesn't seem to work properly and she has a serious drool, which she never had before.  She acts depressed, but not all the time.  She still gets excited and enjoys going for walks, usually enjoys riding in the car, but has very little interest in anything else.  In fact, most of the time she walks around sort of skulking, as if she were in trouble or something.  I guess my best description of her demeanor is sheepish, like she thinks she's in trouble or something.  It's just really weird.  We were hoping these strange symptoms would go away, but several weeks have passed and they remain, but vary in their intensity.  We may have to send a sample to the lab and see if that shows anything.  She's not going to be 5 years old until August, so she's still young.  We've been toying with the idea of getting another dog for some companionship, but not sure if that's a good idea until we figure out if something is wrong with her, or not.  

In other news, Eagle is doing very, very well at Rachel's.  She says that he's coming along so much quicker than she expected, and that in everything she asks of him, he tries really hard.  That's not news to me, I've always known he has lots of heart and wants to please.  He's a super awesome horse!  I've ridden him 3 times since he's been there and he still feels like a green horse, but he's getting better every week.  I'm not sure how better to describe how he feels, other than very heavy.  He's definitely not a light-footed, lofty sort of ride.  Hopefully this will improve with more time, but if not, that's just the way it might be.  He's learning how to be more supple and that's sure to be helpful.  Rachel takes him on a trail ride 6 days a week and then he also has a bit of ground work and ring riding too.  His new boots have been well-broken in already.  She breaks his lessons in half, with a lengthy amount of downtime in between trail rides and ring rides.  During my vacation week, she says I'm welcome to come several different days if I want for extra rides on him.  If I can go in the mornings, I'll definitely do it!  I still feel timid on his back, but I'm hopeful that with more time spent riding him, my confidence and comfort levels will grow.  He's done absolutely nothing wrong according to Rachel, and that's reassuring.  I just couldn't be more pleased with Eagle and his progress, and with Rachel for all the help she offers to me.  Last Saturday marked the first 30 days in training, so we've got another 30 to go.  The 3rd week of July Rachel travels to Nampa, Idaho for another Extreme Mustang Challenge competition, and Eagle will likely come home then.  If money weren't an object, I would consider leaving him there for another month, but unfortunately it is, so I'll need to step up my game and start riding my horse with regularity.  I have to admit, I really miss him and am so looking forward to riding him, especially in the mountain trails.

On June 14th, we traveled to Perrydale Trails for a day ride with fellow riding club friends.  It's not really trail riding, but is natural trail obstacles (120+) spread over 10 -15 acres and includes some trails through wooded areas.  On the way, we stopped for gas and a transformer across the street blew, trapping my hubby and the salesgirl inside for about 45 minutes.  The firemen were called, and they saved the day!  I'm just thankful that the horses and I were parked in the shade while we waited.  :)  We took Ladde and Missy and enjoyed the day, but had to leave earlier than expected because Missy was favoring her right front and I just cannot bear to ride her when she limps.  That was with Bute on board too.  So disheartening, but I knew when I got her that she had Navicular.  Anyway, it was a good day spent with friends and our horses.  I always enjoy riding Missy because she's just so darned agreeable.  Hopefully one day I'll feel as comfortable riding Eags!

Besides both of us working every day, we've got all our winters' supply of hay in the barns, a winters' supply of bedding/stall pellets in the barn, all or most of the winters' supply of firewood in the wood shed, garden in and still have our bedroom remodel staring us in the face.  When that's finished, I'll just heave a big old sigh of relief! Our pool is up and ready, so I'll bet that's where I'll be spending a lot of time in the coming week or two.  Too hot for much else!  Who knows, if the weather turns too hot for horse camping, maybe I'll cancel our camping reservations and head to the beach.  We have a camper now, so we're pretty much foot loose and fancy free!  I'd just feel a little uneasy about leaving our horses at home when it's so bloody hot though.  *sigh*  It's always something, isn't it?  

Hope you are all enjoying our summer!  Get out there and do something - even if it's wrong!!  :)  Something my dad used to say!  

Until next time, blessings

Friday, June 5, 2015

Havin' a ball

Out walking on our recent camp-out to Mt. Adams
That's an understatement!  But I really am absolutely loving interacting with Eagle and Rachel on my weekly visits.  Eagle continues to astonish me at how fast he's picking up on his lessons, and just how very well he's doing overall.  He's been calm, quiet, and really enjoys his lessons, especially the trail rides.  Rachel is taking him up in the hills pretty much daily now, and he's had no more spook incidents other than that first day.  

The footing in the riding arena is causing him some foot discomfort though.  It's a very small, maybe 1/4- rock and it's hard packed, necessary for year round use in our rainy winters.  Eagle's back feet have almost completely worn down the side walls, so I'm buying a pair of boots for him today.  He's been wearing boots on his fronts all along, so there's no problems there, but my sweet boy has tender feet and needs rubber all around. I wish we'd noticed earlier, but he'll manage with wearing Ladde's boots until I get him new ones.  

This weekend our mild weather is turning uncomfortably hot.  We're expecting 90-95 this weekend, and that's just about unbearable for me.  Time to get that swimming pool up!!  I was smart this year about pool supplies.  I've got enough filters and chlorine tablets to last pretty much all season.  That stuff sells out fast!  We bought a new cover for the pool too, so the farmer's field chaff won't be a film on the water, that will help the filters last longer too.  

Hay fields are being cut all over the place, and I'm anxious to get ours cut, baled and safely stored in the barn.  Having to worry even more about our very own field makes me a nervous nellie.  With this hot, dry spell I should be getting my wish soon enough...time to round up our hay crew.  Last year we put 21 ton in the barns and about 2 ton of alfalfa. That's about the maximum that we have room for.  It usually works out perfectly, and this year we've got maybe close to a ton left right now.  The horses are getting 1 flake twice a day and they're fatter than ticks.  Ladde and Missy spend their nights in the corral where they can't eat all night long.  They are the two I worry about the most, they really need a regular exercise routine.  Hopefully we'll have time to begin that soon.  Never enough time to do everything that we want or need to do.  Age old story...

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One of those life updates

Our past weekend was a whirlwind of activity.  I sound like a broken record!  We picked up our fourth, and hopefully final ton of bedding pellets.  We've never used more than 4 tons in a year, so I should have enough to last through this coming winter and next spring. That would be wonderful!  I saved a total of $92.40 by buying them all now while they were on sale, plus I get peace of mind at not having to pick them up during inclement weather and a busier (ha!) time of year.  In case you were wondering, 4 tons of bedding pellets makes a mighty big pile!!

I got my small garden box weeded again, 3rd time this year already...I hate morning glories!  The bigger one isn't so bad for some reason, and I have about 2/3 of my garden planting finished.  I have two big tomatoes, a beefsteak and a heirloom variety new to me, my favorite ever cherry-sized tomato (Sungold) and a grape tomato.  Yum.  

I planted a row of strawberries, (a variety of types), some Walla Walla onions, Acorn squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, lemon cucumber, cilantro, sweet basil, oregano and maybe that's it.  Anyway, I have more plants than I have space for planting.  *sigh*  I always seem to get carried away, and every year I try not to.  I bought a new rose bush (deep red) to replace the one that didn't make it from last year, 2 more lavender plants (cause I love them) and a couple of nasturtiums.  I've also got a couple of chrysanthemums and a flowering bush that I still need to find places for.  As usual, I'm putting the cart before the horse.  Some things never change!

I went over to Rachel's to watch her work with Eagle Sunday afternoon.  He is doing absolutely fantastic!  He is very pleased with his lessons, and I am immensely happy that he's so happy!  He's been on several more trail rides, and has added sidepassing to his regular routine.  She's been having him walk over tarps, open and pass through gates and going over the tippy bridge.  He's also learning to control his spooks.  Dealing with our irrational fears seems to be a challenge for many of us, animal or human.  But he's just doing great, coming along nicely and quicker than I'd ever imagined.  The footing in Rachel's outside arena is tiny gravel, maybe 1/4 minus or something similar, which is proving to be too rough on his feet.  He's wearing his boots on the front, and I'll be ordering a pair for his backs as soon as I get the measurements.  He goes barefoot in the hills and trails, doing just fine out there.  I'm really getting anxious to ride my horse - I've waited long enough!  But wait I will, until he's not quite so green.  When I ride him for the first time, I want it to be a successful ride for both of us.  Rachel agrees with me that if he was ridden at all, it was just people sneaking rides on him, he's as green as grass as far as "training" goes.  He's such a smart and willing horse though, he's coming along quicker than either of us had hoped.  :)  

Ladde and/or Missy, who spend their nights in the corral; broke a post which allowed the 6 ft gate to crash the other night, so we had to buy a new post and a couple new fence boards to make that repair.  I never know who to blame because Ladde likes to push down on the top of the gate, while Missy is a major butt rubber.  *sigh*  Those two!  They are a match made in heaven!!  Anyway, my hubby got that job taken care of while I worked in the garden.  No rest for the wicked...speaking of the Laddmonster, he had a bout of gas colic last week.  Scared the stuffing right out of me!  I'm cool and collected at work, offering sound advice for people to deal with a colicing horse...but when it's my horse - all that knowledge and know-how goes right out the window.  I am like everybody else. Scared and in need of help.  I administered a dose of Banamine and called my boss/my vet and he came out and gave Ladde an exam, took his vitals and determined that he thought he'd be alright.  Ladde was sweated all over and soaking wet, oozing mud from his very pores, so we sponged him off until he was cool, then put his blanket on for the night. He's recovered and since has had no other issues.  Grateful!  Thankful!!  Feeling blessed!!  Ack, how I hate colic!!

My hubs took the camper off our truck so I would be able to take more hay out to Eags when it was needed.  

My one really special treat (except visiting Eags) was having my toes done.  Oh my, how I love those pedicures!  It's just so relaxing and decadent to sit there and totally chill while somebody massages sweet-smelling oil all over my feet and calves.  My feet are silky soft and callous free, and my toes are painted a lovely coral color, perfect for late spring and wearing sandals.  What a treat that was!!  Now I just need to work on that suntan...

Our weather lately has been getting warmer and warmer, but we had a front blow in night before last and there was booming thunder, lightning and lots of rain.  It felt absolutely delicious after that 87 degree Sunday we had!  I just cannot tolerate the heat these days, zaps all my energy and unless I get into shade, I actually feel dizzy, then sick.  Time to get that swimming pool  back up in our yard!  It's only 12 ft in diameter, but it's big enough to get in and feel cool and refreshed.  I just love it! So, today is another cool, grey and drizzly day, but it's supposed to be heating back up again, with 90 degrees predicted for Sunday.  Oh well, better get used to it - here comes summer!  Less than 2 weeks away. I've really enjoyed this spring, a good mix of sunshine, comfortable temps and some rain mixed in for good measure.  I am so ready to spend time on the deck, in the pool, having friends over for BBQ's and the like.  I'm ready for more camping trips, horse back riding in the mountains and oh, just everything!  I want to be a social butterfly and eat ice cream, watch fireworks and spend time with friends, read a good book...just enjoy life.  Time goes by all too quickly for me and I just want to live without always having to worry about everything that needs to be done.  A good mix of work and play is perfect, but life is always heavy on the work end of the scales.  Just doesn't seem quite right to me.

Well that's about it for now...until next time,
blessings all around!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A total ROCKSTAR!!

I just have to toot Eagle's horn...truly, he is a rockstar of a horse.  I've always known it, and he's proving me right.  He and Rachel.  So, I posted about our merry little adventure involving a freak storm and taking Eagle over to Rachel's last Thursday evening.  Rather eventful, but we made it and all is well.

Friday, day one of his training Eagle got a morning session of ground work, put away for a few hours and his evening session consisted of walk, trot, canter, one-rein stops and backing.  How's that for a first day?  To say I was a little excited would be an understatement.  I may have even cried a little.  Yeah I know, but we're keepin' it real here.  Rachel said other than a one-time kicking out when asked to canter, he did great.  No buck, just kicked out.

Saturdays are Rachel's day off.  Which meant Eagle had a day of rest as well.  She says that he's very relaxed and seems content and happy in her barn.  He's rather a social butterfly, sticks his head over the wall and knickers at everyone who comes and goes in the barn.  Really nickers when it's supper time.  :)  That's my boy!  He now has two other horses on one side of him, and one horse on his other side.  He's even relaxed about the goats and the pot-bellied pig.  

Sunday, day two.  Another groundwork session and later in the day, more riding.  This time involved same basic stuff, walk, trot, canter, one-rein stops and backing.  When asked to canter, there was no kick out, but some hesitation, so he got a pop on his butt with the quirt.  Eagle went into canter, no over-reaction at all.  Rachel says that his biggest obstacle right now, is he tires easily.  Understandable because he's a little "fluffy". He hasn't been ridden or conditioned much at all in almost 4 years, so this is to be expected.  I've done lots and lots of groundwork with him, but never really worried about aerobics or conditioning, so his only real exercise consisted of being turned out in a 5 acre pasture all day, every day.  And you know what horses do when turned out, right?  Yeah, he grazed, trimmed bushes, ate plums and took naps.  It's a rough life.  But hey, you've heard the saying, "somebody's gotta do it", right?  Well, that's our horses.  

I don't really know what took place Monday and Tuesday, but today Rachel posted a video on my FB page.  It read, "look what Eagle and I did today - nothing like real life experience to build some confidence".  They went on a trail ride.  Rachel wore her go-pro camera on her helmet, and they went alone.  Up in the woods, through bushes, over logs and he looked relaxed and oh, so happy!  I can't even tell you how happy he looked!!  She said he had one very minor spook right at the beginning.  One of those drop a few inches, expand your leg stance and look around things - you know the kind.  That is awesome!!  I can totally handle spooks like that - it's those whirl and bolt spooks that I don't like.  She said that he was completely happy the whole time they were out there!!  She says that he needs to look to his rider/handler for confidence, and that's why they went alone, I presume...I only wish I were as brave and confident as she is.  We'll get there.  I've always known in my heart that Eagle is a good horse.  Now I'm finding out he's an amazing horse. I couldn't be happier!  Rachel says that he is absolutely loving his lessons, which I always felt when I worked with him too, and he is mentally ready to learn so much more.  I am just so glad that I trusted my gut until I felt that he was ready for more.  He is not the same horse that he was when I got him...he's come so very far and he will just keep getting better.  I could just bust!!

If I can figure out how to post that video here, I will.  I'm just not very techy and have so much trouble with that kind of thing.  But if I can, I will post it...I've already watched it three times.  :)  

This Sunday afternoon will be my first lesson with Rachel.  I have no idea what she's got in store for me, but I'm sure it's going to push me outside my comfort zone.  Ready or not, here I go!  Wish me luck huh - better yet, I'd appreciate prayers for confidence and relaxation.  I need all the help I can get!  :)

Oh, and we had a very nice time on our camping trip.  No vehicle problems, no storms and beautiful sunshine all the time.  Lots of good fellowship, campfires, food and horses. What could be better?  I'll tell you what would have been better.  We left our horses at home because we got spooked about the weather forecast...buggars!  Having our horses there and going on trail rides would have made the weekend perfect!!  Oh well, next time.

That's about it for now, I'll keep you posted about my amazing, Eagle - the ROCKSTAR!!