Monday, June 13, 2011

Quiet weekend

We spent a fairly quiet, unassuming weekend mostly at home.  We accomplished very little by our usual standards, but somedays are just meant for downtime, I guess.  The weather was mostly overcast with a little rain Sunday afternoon.  The days were not cold, but pleasant sweatshirt weather.  Perfect for horseback riding or hiking. 

Saturday morning we went to church and stayed for potluck lunch afterwards.  I took the dogs for a little walk and spent some time in the barn watching the horses graze lazily in the pasture.  For some reason, I had very little energy or ambition, so the dogs and I enjoyed a little nap.  What a treat that was!! 

Saturday evening, we ate a light supper and then I went to my sister's for a visit.  We decided on an evening walk and of course, the dogs came along.  It was nice to have some time to catch up with my sister.  Even though she lives within 15 miles, we don't see each other very often.  Very different lifestyles and a different set of values seems to keep some distance between us.  I wish things were different between me and my family, but that's just the way it is.  I did enjoy the time spent with her though, and stayed until 2:00 in the morning before I took my leave.  I took my time coming home and enjoyed the lazy drive with no other traffic on the country roads between our homes.  It was a beautiful night and it was so very peaceful and quiet. 

Sunday morning I woke up to find my hubby in the bottom pasture mowing some blackberries that were trying to take over a portion of our grazing land.  That's quite a chore to try and accomplish with our riding lawnmower/wannabe tractor, but he was making some headway.  The dogs and I walked down the driveway to wave a morning hello.  The sun was out, so I enjoyed my morning coffee in the sunshine of the barn and watched the horses eat their breakfast.  Later, we went to the annual Derby Days Pancake breakfast at the local fire hall in town and spent some time visiting with some of our neighbors.  It was a pretty good breakfast for $5 and the company was great, plus it's for a good cause.  When we got home, my boss was there and had already got Shad out of the pasture, had him sedated and had diagnosed the problem with his knee.  Pretty quick work!  Shad has tendonitis with fluid and inflammation around the knee, more than likely a result of a strike from one of the neighbor's mares across the fence.  With ultrasound-guided injection, he put some HA (hyaluronic acid) and steroid into the tendon sheath.  He says that within a few days or so, the swelling should resolve and he should be fine.  What a relief!  That's much better than a torn tendon or a bone chip, and a fairly inexpensive fix.  We just need to keep him quiet for a while and let the meds do their work. 

Afterwards, I spent some time grooming and working Ladde again.  He was such a good boy...gosh I love that horse!  We're making progress, and with each session I feel a little more confident.  Soon, I hope to take him on a few trail rides and see how we do in the woods.  If I can remember to relax, I'll be fine.  When we were finishing up in the barn, a decent little rain shower moved in and for the remainder of the evening, we had on-again, off-again showers.  It sure feels more like April than mid-June, but compared to most of the country, we have nothing to complain about!  We brought the horses into the barn for the night, not so much because of the rain, but it was a great excuse for Shad to be stalled and kept quiet overnight.  They seemed to enjoy the warmth and the peacefulness of the barn too, and we left them contentedly munching their hay.  I almost built a fire, but decided against it.  I'd cooked a beef roast in the oven and we had that and some vegetable soup that my sis had sent home with me the night before.  Hmm hmm, it sure tasted good!  A perfect meal for a cool evening.  

I was in bed by 10 pm and slept like a rock.  What a wild woman I've become!!  But, I feel rested and ready for my work week.  Thursday is Ruby's day to be spayed.  I need to have her in Salem by 7:30 am and can pick her up at 4:30 that afternoon.  Rather than waste time and gas coming home or going to work, I've taken the day off and plan to spend the day in Salem.  I'd hoped that my friend could spend the day with me, but she had already made plans.  Oh well, Annie and I will amuse ourselves somehow.  I'm looking forward to the free day, I just pray that all goes well with little Ruby's surgery.  She's such a sweet little dog...we couldn't bear living our lives without her. 

Blessings to all for a good week...

Friday, June 10, 2011


I've chilled out a bit since last night and earlier today because my lack of sleep is finally catching up to me. 
You see...I had one of the most fantastic rides on my Ladde boy last night EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!  He seriously is a total rockstar and I cannot tell you how proud of him that I am!!  In fact, I'm so excited that I might surely pop a vein or something!!!  :)  I was totally amped up and could hardly sleep a wink all last night, and when I woke up, the feelings were still there in force.  Yes.  It was that good.  That horse-o-mine is mighty, mighty fine!!!! God Bless him...all the way down to his precious little hooves.  Okay, now that I've got you all dangerously close to puking, I'll pipe down...kay?  Sorry, but I'm just a wee bit proud of the big brute tis all.  He really was a gem.  No, he wasn't a perfect angel.  But, he was 100% there.  With me, attentive and in tuned to my every little touch and request.  He performed as well as any out of shape horse with hardly any riding (let alone work) in the last couple of years could be expected to do. 

We worked on so many different things that my head is swimming.  For pete's sake, I'm just a trailrider...I've never had any formal training to speak of.  I just ride.  I've been to quite a few natural horsemanship clinics, was blessed to have ridden with Ray Hunt 3 times, Tom Dorrance once, Brad Cameron twice...but nothing that even closely resembled dressage.  I'm certainly not accustomed to thinking that much while I'm riding.  The greatest blessing in thinking a lot while riding Ladde, for me, is that I'm way too busy to start fretting, or worrying about what he might or might not do.  I was too busy to be scared.  What a huge relief for me that was!!!  I've turned into a "nervous nellie" in recent years, and I'm just uncertain as to why, or where this nervousness or fear is coming from.  When I try to figure it out, I know now that it comes from a variety of places or reasons. 

*  Ladde is huge.  Everything the horse does is big.  And, it's intimidating to be riding an animal that is so incredibly powerful.  I'm not accustomed to big, very forward moving horses.  You Warmblood riders will understand this.
*  I'm the only person who's done any training on this horse.  Apparently, I am less than 100% confident in my abilities as a "horse trainer/teacher".  Giving the horse his due here, this is certainly lower on my list of worries, though.  This horse has a good, sensible mind.
*  When Ladde was a 2-year old, he was neurologic for unknown reasons for about 7 months.  We did a spinal tap for EPM and treated him with meds for that amount of time, but what my vet didn't bother ever telling me was that the spinal tap was negative.  Assuming it wasn't EPM, we never did any other diagnostics to determine the cause of the neurologic symptoms.  If you've ever witnessed a horse who is neurologic, you'll understand just how scary and serious this situation can be.
*  I'm getting older, and I certainly have to admit to being a lot less physically fit or agile than I once was.  I've gained a lot of weight over the years...this one reason plays a big role in my confidence as a rider.  Physically, I'm rather top-heavy and have shorter legs than I would like...I question my abilities in sticking to the saddle in the event of a rather large "spook" event. 
* I have hurt my back.  It hurt a lot and it hurt for a rather long time.  I hope to NEVER experience pain like that again.  No, this was not the outcome of a riding accident, but I remember how much it hurt and I really don't want to get hurt again.  (this is a big one)
* Riding Harley the last several years and having him become increasingly more spooky and unsure of himself and becoming increasingly less sure-footed did a number on my confidence as well.  Now, I know the reason behind his actions...he was losing his eyesight.  I, however, was completely clueless.  Not for a single minute did that possibility ever cross my mind. 
* Re-reading this list has confirmed that I'm a mental case.  I have no concrete reason for my lack of confidence, except that I'm an old, fat, scardy cat.  *sigh*
* But...I'm just stupid enough not to care enough to EVER give up riding or trying to improve!!! 


I gotta brag a little bit more about my other amazing "STAR" of a horse.  Harley.  He's going to be the official "spokeshorse" Appaloosa for a soon-to-be-published book by Linda Kuhlman.  Yep, yep, yep.  She and her husband came out to our house a couple of nights ago and shot a bunch of pictures for her upcoming video trailer for her next book.  How cool is that!!??  My sweet, little ole Harley's going to be all over the internet...he's gonna be a star!!!!  Of course, he's ALWAYS been a star in my eyes.  It's about time the rest of the world came around.  :)

Have a wonderful weekend...

Lorie at C-ing Spots Appaloosas

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lesson tonight - me and my studmuffin

Ooh, I'm sooo excited!!!  Bill's coming over tonight and me and the Laddmonster are having our first real lesson with the new trainer.....can't wait!!  How I love having orders barked at me whilst I'm riding horseback.  Any other time, I'm quite likely to tell you to "bite me" and just mind your own beeswax!!  But, when I have respect and/or admiration at someone's abilities and am in the learning frame of all means - bark away!!

Lad's got his shoes on now, and I'm looking forward to riding some trails again.  Haven't been trailriding since last fall, and that's just too long.  My hubby had shoes put on his horse, Shad.  First time in several years that he's planning on using Shad as his main rider...and guess what?  Wouldn't you know that the big, red goosebury has a swollen knee?  Dang nabbit all!  It figures!!  Good thing is, he's not lame on it.  He's still thundering around the pasture, bucking and bossing everybody in his path.  That's good.  Then again, maybe he just doesn't have enough sense to realize he's got a bum leg.  Who knows?  I palpated his leg the other night, and he's got a little sensitivity to the pressure, there's a little heat and we've definitely got firm inflammation all around, but especially in the front.  A few weeks back, I'd picked off a little (maybe an inch long) scrab from the front of his knee and there was a little pus.  We cleaned it up, put some antibiotic ointment on it and it seemed fine.  Maybe somebody got a well-placed hoof and that's the cause of the little cut and now this swelling?  It's my best possible guess - either that, or he strained the ligaments during one of his dramatic acrobatic bucking/playing sessions he's so famous for!  That's more like it!!  Anyway, long story-short...the swelling's not going away.  My boss is going to come out and put the U/S on it, and see what we can see.  If nothing shows up, we'll have to shoot a couple of rads and see what that turns up.  I'm pretty sure it's nothing serious, because the fact remains that the horse is not lame.  If I watch him really, really closely; I can pick up on a slight favoring of the leg, and that's it.  It's probably just going to need a little more time, but keeping him quiet is a real challange. 

It's a gorgeous spring day here and I'm loving it!! Mid 70's and a nice, cool breeze.  Supposed to be like this for the upcoming 5-7 more days.  I like it.  The dogs and I have been walking the 1-3/4 mile trail around the park at lunch time for a few weeks now.  It feels so good to be outside in the fresh air again, and not get rained on.  The mud's drying up nicely, and that's always a good thing.  Will keep all of you in the eastern half of the country in our prayers.  I can't even imagine extreme heat and humidity like what you're experiencing. 

Blessings to all,

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Sampling of Summer

Seriously, I do believe that this May has been the shortest ever!  And, without a doubt, I know that it's been the coldest and the wettest on record...May is usually one of my most favorite months, and this one was no exception, but...I'm so pale!  And my skin's gonna start wrinkling up like a prune unless I get some sunshine on this face (and legs) and soon!!  You see, here in Orygone, we crinkle from all the excessive moisture in our atmosphere, not from overexposure to the sun's damaging rays...  :~)  Don't ya know?

But, guess what?  This past weekend---we had summer!!!  Hot dog!!  Hot me!!  Hot, hot, hot!!  Oooh baby...I was sweatin' and a fannin' and a complainin' bout it bein' so dadburned soon!!  I even filled up the kiddy pool for the pooches...and me!!  Ah huh!!  And it felt good!!   Friday after work, we got the shoes on the horses.  This year it's all about me and Ladde.  And all about my hubby and his Shadman.  Yep, we've had Shad since he was a 3-year old and he's now 19 years young...about time he got some use, wouldn't ya say??  I would be remiss right about now, if I didn't add a small request for prayers for the safety of my dear husband.  You see - Shad's quite impressive in the art of "bucking".  Ah huh...impressively so.  But, he's a good boy.  And, we have faith in him.  We're gonna have fun, fun, fun riding those two this summer!! Yessiree!!  I've been riding Ladde for close to 3 weeks now, and he's doing fabulously well!!  I love that horse so much!!  Me and Ladde are pards for sure!!  We're going to be just fine.  Once I find a way to climb aboard, that is.  :)  Ladde is perfect!!!  And, I'm so very, very proud of that horse.  I just can't tell you!!  Anyway, bragging aside.  So far, so good.  I've been calm.  I've been in control of my emotions.  And, I've been in charge.  And Ladde knows it...that's the key.  When I'm not in charge...he immediately takes control, and that's not good.  So, I just need to remember to breathe deeply, relax, sit deep...and ride.  Piece a cake! 

On Sabbath morning, the sunshine was out in full force.  Since so far this spring, sunshine has been very short in supply...we opted to stay home from church and enjoy a leisurely morning at home on the deck.  It was beautiful!!  For a while.  And then it got hot, and hotter and hotter.  It was around 85 or so, and since we've been having temps in the 50's and 60's are a heat rush...we were sweatin' bullets.  I'm not complaining though...even got a bit of color in my cheeks!  :)

Saturday evening we loaded ourselves and our dogs in the truck and headed for the drive-in.  Double feature and pizza.  What could say summer more than that??  It was great!!  Families and people were out in full force!!  The smell of popcorn on the evening breeze and a sky full of stars...just beautiful!  We got home about 2:30 in the morning!!  A bit late for this early to bed kinda gal!  Aah, it was fun though, sure felt like a summer's eve for a welcome change!! 

Sunday morning dawned a bit overcast and rather balmy by comparison to Saturday, but it was warm and not raining so we weren't complaining a bit.  We got our garden plants planted (finally!), the lawn mowed again, housework caught up (sort of) and even had time for an afternoon nap before heading out to do the grocery shopping.  We barbecued hot dogs and had raw broccoli salad for dinner...oh, it's good to be looking forward to a few months of long, sunny days and warm nights!  I'm soooo looking forward to this summer!  There's so much that I want to do, and enjoy...I want to savor each and every possible moment!

Shortly after dinner we heard the rumbling sounds of thunder, and lightening strikes soon followed.  The rain started in as well, so we headed out to bring the horses inside from the pasture.  Harley practically ran to us when we called them, so apparently he thought coming into the barn was a pretty good idea too.  A tiny bit of grain and a flake of hay was all it took to soothe and calm the mighty beasts...aaahh peace.  I always sleep better on a stormy night when the horses are safely tucked inside their stalls too.  So much for our summer weather.  Spring sure seems more volatile in recent years than I remember...the times they are a changin'.

And here we are back to Monday.  Back to work, or back to the grindstone as my dad used to in peace my sweet daddy and Happy Birthday too!  June 3rd was my dad's birthday.  He's been gone for almost 17 years now, but if he were still living, he would have turned 89 - wow!  I can hardly believe it's been that long...and I still miss him every single day.  Life's never the same when your mom and dad aren't around anymore.  So, in closing...cherish your parents.  You will miss them one day.  I'm going home and I'm going to ride my horse.  Best therapy in the whole, wide world.  For me it is, anyway...

Blessings everyone,

Oh, and in case you're was back to normal.  Well, a wee bit warmer than what our normal has been of late.  Right around 70, warm and not raining.  It's been a good day. 

Oh, and...I can't believe I almost forgot!!!  33 years ago today, I graduated from high school!!  Oh man, I cannot believe how old I'm getting to be!!  Oh well, the alternative's much worse my friends!!!  Rock on Class of '78!!!  Rock on!!!