Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Weather and horses, it's all good!

We had our first real "spring storm" last night!  It seems like we get all our best storms this time of year, but they really don't amount to much compared to what some of you are accustomed to having.  I was almost home from work, after a perfectly beautiful spring day of about 77, when the sky suddenly turned very dark and a few big, fat raindrops started falling on my windshield.  Within about 5 minutes time, we were having a torrential downpour, complete with some hail and very brisk winds.  My little trees were being bent over precariously, but they stood firm.  My poor roses took quite the beating, as did the Iris, but they remain as well.  I ran inside to grab a rain jacket and change my shoes so I could bring the horses inside.  Before I even made it to the barn, the thunder and lightning began and the sky turned an ominous black.  Cool...

Needless to say, I resembled a drowned rat, but managed to get all the horses inside and out of harms' way.  I gave them a small bit of hay to keep them occupied and headed back inside to change my clothes.  Armed with dry clothing and my muck boots this time, I went back out to the barn to hang out with the horses and watch the storm.  What a doozy!!!  My rain chain was dancing a jig, the divet alongside our driveway resembled a raging river and was about 4 feet across, and our gutters were overflowing with gusto.  The thunder boomed and the sky flashed.  Awesome!!  The horses were a bit nervous before, but once settled inside their stalls with some hay, were quite content.  

I absolutely love hearing the roar of the rain and wind battering against the metal roof of the barn...reminds me God is in heaven and all is well.  Now, if we had storms like those back in the midwest, I'd likely not have those same feelings.  But here storms are so infrequent, and short-lived, usually no damage save a few small branches, it's exciting.  

Last weekend we got a few garden plants.  I had to re-weed my raised garden beds, but managed to finish that job and get my veggies planted.  My hubby put up some stakes and wound bird netting around our small fruit trees and removed the temporary fencing so that the horses could graze around the orchard and minimize weed-eating in that area.  I think we might need to hire someone to help with the blackberries...man, it's incredible how fast they grow and just take over!  That's a huge job, and not one I even want to think about doing.  

I went to a Pat Parelli licensed, level 3 trainer private lesson with my friend Terry last Thursday.  I enjoyed my rare mid-week day off, and loved spending the day with my friend, but I have to admit that the lesson (imho, was a joke).  Firstly, the "trainer" charged her $300 for a 2-hour lesson.  Secondly, nothing he did was worth even one quarter of that kind of money.  To me, Parelli is a good hand with a horse, I've seen him work with horses.  But the man is an arrogant ass, and the techniques he passes on to his "licensed trainers" and students is pure hooey.  Everything is labelled as a level of "game" that you "play" with your horse, and absolutely everything that your horse does that is "correct" in your opinion, is rewarded with a treat.  Everything.  I don't believe that's necessary, or even recommended, either.  My opinions aside though, Terry was very pleased with the outcome and with her horse's response; so that is what matters.  It's her horse, and her money, so I'm happy that she's happy.  'Nuf said about that.  

my newest baby tree, planted 2 wks ago - blue spruce

cedar planted 3 years ago, was the same size as the above blue spruce.  See that stove pipe sticking out?  When Ladde was a yearling, he used to place it between his butt cheeks for warmth.  :)
Our first camping trip of the season is scheduled for this coming Memorial Day weekend at Mt. Adams in Washington state.  Wonderful place, one of our favorites.  We're hoping to go, but have a few things to accomplish before we can go, so there's that.  The camper needs to be totally restocked with pretty much everything, water lines hooked back up, put on the truck, etc...The weather is another determining factor for us, we don't enjoy horse camping in the rain.  Our truck and horse trailer are at Les Schwab today.  New trailer brakes, brake drum resurfacing, all new wheel bearings and packing, plus an adjustment on the truck brakes.  Hopefully they won't find anything else wrong.  It's already $300 over the original quote.  *sigh*  If we can get everything ready by Friday evening after we've both worked all week, we're going to try and go - weather permitting.  Wish us luck huh?

And...Rachel is back from the Norco, California Extreme Mustang Makeover.  In her words, it was a successful trip.  They traveled with 4 trainers and 4 mustangs, which 3 short months ago were in the Burns corrals never touched by human hands.  The first day is called the preliminaries, every horse is required to compete.  Rachel said they rocked the prelims.  She was very proud of her little mare.  After everyone is finished, the slate is wiped clean and the following day is the "free style", that is the one that determines the overall placings.  Rachel and "Patience" came in 5th place overall.  Pretty good.  All four horses sold at the auction event that's held the last day, with Miss Patience selling for $5000.00.  Not bad for a scrawny little horse that had been adopted from BLM for $125.00 3 months earlier.  The pictures she posted of her horse the day she got her home from the corrals, and the day before they left for the competition, are nothing short of a miraculous change.  If it weren't for the markings, you wouldn't have believed it to be the same horse.  What a transformation!!  

Tomorrow night, if all goes as planned with the truck and trailer, I'll be taking Eagle over to Rachel's.  If no trailer, I'll just go observe Rachel working with her next-up competition horse and take my horse next week.  Either way, I'm excited.  Eagle is about to embark on what will surely be viewed (in his opinion anyway) as "boot camp".  My boy is going to school...this horse momma is very proud and just a little bit emotional too.  I hope and pray that all goes well, and that my beautiful Eagle turns out to be the star pupil that I'm envisioning him to be.  Ready or not - here we go!!  

As usual, we have lots going on and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  It just is, what it is, I guess.  We'll roll with it and do our best with what comes our way...

Blessings all, will keep you posted.  

Oh, and I did make arrangements with our hay guy, Ted.  He's going to cut, rake, bale and deliver the 8 acre grass field for $65.00 per ton.  That's a cool savings of roughly 50%, and he thinks the field will yield 21-24 tons, which is all we're going to need.  What a gift!!!  I am so thankful to our neighbors!!  

Until next time, take care everyone!
Selfie of me and my dog...what is it with selfies anyway???


Grey Horse Matters said...

Love all the pictures. The selfie is great!

Good luck with your camping trip it sounds like it will be a lot of fun. The weather should be perfect since you already had your awesome "big" storm.

Eagle will be fine and have a fine time while he's at boot camp I'm sure. Hope you get the trailer back and he can go as planned.

C-ingspots said...

Thanks Arlyne! I'm just overly protective and hate to think of him not being home every night...but I'm also totally excited about the prospects!!

Michelle said...

I LOVE thunderstorms and miss them since moving here (as long as there are no tornadoes or damaging hail). Good for you for planting more trees; enjoy Mt. Adams for us (but I DO get to go to CC! YAY!). Our truck and trailer probably need an overhaul....

Linda said...

I can't believe she got so much money for her mare Patience. What an honor!! I can't wait until you get Eagle back either.

I know what you mean about Parelli--the people I talk to who do it seem very caught up in the levels. But whatever builds your confidence and gets you riding, I'm all for it...for them, that is.

On the other hand, finding your own way with a horse and expressing your own unique gift or wisdom--is even better. For example, I'm an intuitive person, so prescriptive training programs don't work with my personality. But I have watched some of the Parelli stuff--along with many other trainers--and there's always something to learn and incorporate. I think 300 was a bit much, but then I paid a lot to learn TTouch one year. I had read the book, but I wasn't really getting the technique. I had a practitioner come out and show me hands on a few times, and every since then I've used it with my horses in my own way. They love it and it helps to keep Cowboy sound. (The tail work and neck stretches especially.)

C-ingspots said...

Thanks Michelle, sorry you guys can't make it. Hope we can! We're not sure about CC yet, but will schedule my vaca for that week just in case. Now THAT is a fantastic place to camp and ride!! We'll see...

Linda: Isn't that amazing? I guess she was the high-selling horse of the event. And she's very proud of the little mare. Can't wait to see what she accomplishes with Eags!!

I don't know anything about TTouch, but have heard of it. Will have to look into it. Glad it helps Cowboy.

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like the trip will be great fun. I think with all clinicians there is something to be learned, you just need a really good filter

aurora said...

Excited to read about Eagle's training & future adventures. Hope you get good weather & have fun camping!

T.L. Merrybard said...

I love storms, and rain, but that's probably because we rarely get either. :) I'm not wild about Parelli, but I think you can get ideas from anyone, even if it's what not to do. :) I did feed a lot of treats to my horses, because I did clicker training, and i do think the motivating power food has over most horses would be a shame to miss out on. The theory is that once they know a thing, you cut back the treats for that thing and just give one every now and then, saving your high treat ratio for new stuff or times when the horse is under high pressure so an old behaviour is harder to control themselves to do. I don't know how I did without clicker to be honest. To have a horse earnestly working to meet me halfway, trying hard to work out what I want, instead of just reacting to my cues, it feels marvelous. Once you've felt that, you never go back. :)