Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Went to Equifest last Saturday and had a blast. Looked at an 18" saddle but couldn't justify spending $800 on an impulse buy. There were demonstrations going on throughout the day that were so entertaining. One of my favorites was a group of four young women vaulting. There was a competition where the riders and horses had to perform various tests, such as backing through "L" shaped poles on the ground, having the horse sidestep a circle while keeping its front legs inside a hulu hoop laid on the ground, the rider throwing a lance while galloping (or trotting) past a bale of straw. The three top finalists would compete again later in the afternoon with new and more difficult challenges. There was barrel racing and one of the women did it bareback! Breed presentations, jumping (with lots of refusals) and my absolute favorite demonstration was jumping by a miniature horse. He or she said to heck with jumping, let's roll! and proceeded to take a dust bath in the arena. Too cute.

The first hunter/jumper show of the season is this coming weekend. It is going to be held despite the EHV-1 scare as there have been no cases reported in Alaska and I guess there is little to no participation by people and horses from other states or Canada. I plan to go Saturday to observe.

Mama and baby were in a large outside pen yesterday. The gelding in the next pen over was just fascinated by the filly. At one point he and she were on the verge of touching noses when mama went ballistic and charged him with teeth bared. He wandered over to me for sympathy after that.

Haven't had any breakthroughs in my riding abilities lately. Yesterday I was reverting to crossing the left rein over the mare's neck. How frustrating to backtrack instead of going forward or at least maintaining.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Immoral v Illegal

Have you seen the story about the $2 million lottery winner in Michigan who is still collecting food stamps?

There is a loophole that allows him to do this. Makes me wonder how many others are doing the same thing - they just don't happen to have millions in the bank or have won a lottery that brought attention to their situation.

This makes me both sad and angry. Yes, legally he is still entitled to food stamps but can he honestly feel he's entitled? Where is his sense of shame? We watched a movie on Will Rogers last night and how he helped those that had been effected by the Great Depression. He sought aid from millionaires and one of his arguments was that these people weren't looking for a handout, just a helping hand to get back on their feet. Mr. Lottery Winning Asshole sure puts a dent in that theory.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's A Girl!

Cute chestnut filly. No photos allowed so I won't be able to post any. Mama and baby are doing great.

Another really good lesson last night. Very positive for all of us with only a minor correction here and there. I actually felt comfortable at a sitting trot. Since I don't recall a sensation of sliding out of the saddle, I expect I was using stirrups. We practiced riding with and without them. I still have trouble picking them up. If I had my own saddle on a really sturdy stand I could practice at home. I can rationalize anything...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Inquiring Mind Wants To Know

Is anyone out there familiar with a breed of horse called the Moriesian? It's apparently a cross between a Friesian and a Morgan. Are people creating "designer breeds" with horses the way they are with dog breeds, i.e., labradoodles? People cross breeding purebreds and charging an arm and a leg for what is essentially a mutt. I admit to being pretty ignorant when it comes to horse breeds. I was horse crazy as a kid and read everything I could get my hands on about horses, yet never ran across the term "warmblood" until I was an adult. Are warmbloods really a breed or a cross?

Blogger is Messing With Me

At least one earlier comment has disappeared and I didn't delete it. Earlier in the week I wrote a post about the stallion parade and it also vanished. Last night I couldn't even sign in to check my account.

Anyway, the stallion parade was fun. I think my favorite was a miniature horse who thought he was hot stuff and let everybody know it. He wasn't going to be intimidated by the bigger guys and didn't shut up the whole time he was in the ring. The only disappointment for me was that there were no vendors there so my money remained burning a hole in my pocket. Equifest is coming up on May 21 so maybe I'll have a chance to do some shopping then.

Still no new foal as of Monday and I haven't been back to the stable since then. I'll find out later today if there is a new arrival. Rode two point practically the whole lesson Monday and by the end my legs were like noodles. I pretty much completely lost control of the horse and she was going where she felt like it. I'm not supposed to use the reins to steer, only my legs, and she took advantage of me.

Had a scare when one of the barn owners indicated she would miss seeing my mare. When I got through freaking out, she explained that the mare had been sleeping in an outside pen where she could view her from the house. Now that one of the temporary boarders was leaving, she'd be back in the barn and she'd miss seeing her when she looked out her window. I scrubbed the mare's halter as it was covered in mud from sleeping outside. When I went to hang it up outside her stall I noticed there was mud on her face that had been hidden by the halter. I got out my face brush and she held still while I cleaned her up. She can be so good. On the other hand, she is still moving her butt away from the mounting block. She even did it to my trainer so I was slightly vindicated.

Yesterday I planted carrot seeds. I can't be bothered growing vegetables for us but will plant for my ponies. I planted one row and will start a second row once these sprout.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Look Ma, No Hands!

Rode two-point with my arms outstretched to the sides on Friday. Granted, me and the mare did it at a walk while the others trotted but in our defense it was because we aren't allowed to trot over the poles. I assume because she is so much larger than the other horses that she'd be landing on the poles instead of going over them. One of the classes ahead of us had been jumping(!) without reins which is what gave our trainer the idea.

No new foal as of Friday. Maybe tomorrow it will be there. There is supposed to be at least one mare and foal at the Stallion Parade today. I hope it doesn't rain as predicted.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone, even if you're like me and don't have two-legged kids.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Child is Still Sick

I sure hope she's carrying the same germs so that I've already been there/done that with whatever it is she has. She had been to a doctor and now has a prescription. They seem to think that she may have gotten a sinus infection due to her inability to thoroughly blow her nose. Her mom put her hair in two ponytails on top of her head and she looked just like Boo in Monsters, Inc. Too adorable. BTW, I see that they're making a sequel - Monsters University I believe its called - due out in 2013. Can't wait.

I was able to say goodbye to their dog. In fact, I was down on my knees petting her before I'd even acknowledged some of the other people in the room. You could tell it was time by the look in her eyes. She was a sweetie but we're all relieved that she's no longer in pain.

My husband and I were watching a movie yesterday where at one point the groom spilled something on the bride's gown. She said something to the effect of, "That's okay, I won't be wearing it again," and I piped up, "Unless you're Marie Osmond." My husband looks at me incredulously and says, "Why did you say that?" so I filled him in on Marie remarrying her first husband wearing the same gown as she had in the '80's. He then starts holding his head and moaning as to why in the world I know this and, worse yet, why does he now know it. Good times. He accused me the other day of deliberately thinking up ways to drive him crazy. Hell yeah! I lay awake nights plotting. Then, I actually dreamed that Marie and her husband had brought one of their kids to the barn for a riding lesson and I told the story to her. She got a good laugh out of it. I know some people can find hidden meaning in their dreams but I almost always can relate mine to something that has occurred in my waking life. Maybe because I'm in a half stupor most of the time?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sometimes I Actually Finish A Project

My mother-in-law said not to send her flowers for Mother's Day this year. Too bad I already had stitched up this picture for her. I picked it up from the framer's last night and got it wrapped and in the mail today. It may not make it by Sunday. She lives in the mountains and I think the USPS service is slower there.

Going to babysit this afternoon for a short time while the parents take one of their dogs to the vet to be put to sleep. They just called to say that the dog's not doing well so they moved up her appointment time. I'll be heading their way in about 30 minutes. They were blindsided by a diagnosis of cancer that has apparently metastasized throughout her body.

I know my elder dog will probably not make it through the summer but I bought over 50 pounds of kibble at the vet's yesterday for him. My husband thinks I'm in denial. Not really, but I prefer to stay optimistic. Maybe he'll live long enough to eat it all, although yesterday was not a very good day for him. He seemed better today.

On a positive note, one of the mares at the barn could foal any day now. In fact, there might be a new baby already. I'll find out tomorrow when I go for my lesson. I plan to drive out to the Valley on Sunday for the Parade of Stallions. I've never gone before but it should be fun.