Monday, December 31, 2007

Been 10 days since I posted!

I am still alive and kicking. Last Friday night (Dec 21st) I went and drove my friends carriage for a Christmas light tour for 3 hours. It was real nice, weather was perfect and I made some extra Christmas money. Saturday night I drove for her again and regretted it Sunday morning. It was soooo cold and I got so sick and as of today, haven't completely gotten over it. I couldn't believe the folks that made the reservations didn't cancel. Oh well, it's over and I just know I can't do that again. I was on vacation Christmas week and was sick, that sucked!

As for Christmas, we had a nice one. My daughter got everything she wanted. During Christmas she likes being an only child. She gets extra spoiled! I got what I wanted and more. I got my camera docking station to print pictures and such, clothes, horsey stuff, dvds, and more. So I had a good one. My Chihuahua, Tigger, had a good Christmas. She got a new purse thingy that I can carry her in when we go places. It is one of the nicer ones. (she loves an type of kennel or crate and will get very excited if she sees one) so of course she loved her gift. Plus she got a new bone, collar, and toy. Yes, I buy my animals Christmas gifts. My bulldog Libby got a new bed and a big bag of bones and Summer got a bunch of treats and a new halter and lead rope (like she needed another one).

My parents came over Christmas day. I was dreading it for they have been threatening divorce for the past several weeks. At my age I am okay with it. Whatever it takes for them to quit fighting. After dinner, we watched my favorite video, Jeff Dunham's Spark of Insanity. Both my parents laughed so hard. My mom laughed so hard she was crying. They went out the next day and bought it. It was good to see them laughing. I just pray that whatever they decide to do will bring peace into the family.

I lunged Summer last night and saw a few head nods. But with her being barefoot, I expected it. So I need to get a farrier out this weekend and get shoes put back on her. She is happy and spunky and I believe has enjoyed her month off. I hope she has, because we start working this coming weekend if she has shoes back on. Even if she doesn't have shoes, my vet told me to ride her anyway but to just keep her off rocky areas.

Also a quick note on being a one horse owner. I am loving it!!! It is so easy to come out and clean one pen. If I just want to feed and leave, it doesn't take 20 minutes, I am in and out in less than 5 minutes now. I get to see Hank and Chompers every day and I can still play with them if I want, so I think it was a win-win situation for all.

Well, that was my week, hope your's was a blessed one too.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Vet came today...

Well, the diagnosis was good!!!! She checked all her joints, tendons, did flexion tests, hoof tests and I got a good workout this morning by making Summer do all that trotting out and back. The hoof tests is what bothered Summer. Dr. T believes that Summer has deep stone bruises due to her soft soles. She told me to immediately put shoes back on her and start riding her now to keep her stifles in shape. She does have a weak stifle on the left hind and Dr. T said I was doing a good job on keeping it limber. I will be changing her supplements tho to Cosequin, it is more expensive but does not have MSM or Yucca like the ActivEX does.

Anyway, I feel like my prayers were answered on Summer's diagnosis this morning. My vet bill was a whopping 65 bucks. Whew, I was expecting the worse by 300 to 500 dollars. Plus I spent $26 on a canister of powered bute. That stuff is nice to have around if your horse gets hurt.

I also feel blessed to have a vet like Dr. T, she is honest and reasonably priced. She does'nt gouge her prices and dislikes those vets that do. I wish her and her family a blessed holiday season.

Tammy (who is relieved today) and Summer the wonder horse.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A good evening...

I belong to a gaited horse forum group. I have been a member for over 2 years now I think. They are a wonderful group. Last night we did our secret santa gift opening and my SS was Dorothy (babeandmacsmom) and I got some cool throw pillows, a beautiful lead rope and a very nice t-shirt that pictures a rider, horse and dog and it reads Loyal Companions. She hit the nail on the head with that one, Summer is my best friend.

I also opened my birthday gifts from my secret pal, (yes, we do that too, we are a close knit group) and I got two devotional books, a crystal angel, and other goodies. My SP is too good to me. Tonight we are gathering again to open SP Christmas and the year end reveal of who our SP was. This should be fun!

I learned today that the lady I was a SS for, loved her gifts. She asked for new brushes and a set of rhythm beads. Well lucky for her, I make rhythm beads. So she got a set of new Oster brushes and a new grooming tote and the rhythm beads in the colors she requested. She was so happy. I believe she is a nurse and said she was called in last night and didn't get to join us on the chat. But I am so happy she liked her gift. I like receiving, (don't we all) but I LOVE giving. Especially if I can afford to give what the receiver wants.

Well, tomorrow is "V" day. Vet day for Summer. I pray that she finds out what is wrong with her quickly and it is fixable.

Later gator!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Summer is still limping... : *(

I got to check her good last night and it is still there, that nasty little head nod horse owners don't like seeing.

There is no outward injuries, no heat that I can feel and no heat in her hooves to indicate fever. She is only doing it when lunged in a counter clock wise lunge. I called my vet today, she will be out Friday morning. Thank God I get paid that day. I swear, horses always know when it is your payday. Another thing I am thankful for is, I am doing some part time work for my friend who owns a carriage company this Friday and Saturday night. I am praying that my vet bill won't be too outragious and that extra income will allow me to finish my Christmas shopping. That was what I was hoping to do with my paycheck this weekend, but poop happens. I just pray that it is not something drastically serious with Summer. She is such a good mare and I don't know what I would do if this lameness issue was permanent.


Monday, December 17, 2007

New home, sick and Summer

Well, Chompers has a new home and my friend June is a giddy as a school girl. I know he will have a good home with her.

I have been feeling sick on and off. Sinus' are giving me fits.

I tried lungeing Summer last night to see if I could see a limp. I thought I saw something then she would start acting silly and not settle enough for me to get a good look. I will take her to the indoor lighted arena tonight and give her a serious lungeing and see if I can see anything there. If I am still unsure I will just have to call my vet.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sadly, one down...

Well, I sold Hank back to his previous owner. I think she was a little glad to get him back. I did a lot of work with him while I had him and he may now be a little more ready for her to drive. He is driveable, but he was high strung and needed more work than she had time for. With these shorter days, I found myself not having enough time for him either. I came to the realization that he is more horse than I want to get in a cart behind (I like them laid back like Summer). He may only be a 44" pony, but pulling a buggy or cart, he has the power of a full sized horse. Most folks don't know that. He is so upset when I come out to feed Summer and Chompers and then I don't feed him, but he will get used to it. It breaks my heart, but I have to do what is best for all.

Chompers is still with me for now. His previous owner is very sick right now, so I am not going to bug her. My friend June wants him real bad. If Nancy agrees, I will give Chompers to June as a Christmas gift. I wouldn't just give my horses to anyone, and if I trust her, I am sure Nancy will. But it is up to Nancy if she wants him back. With June (she is retired and has more time to work with him than I do) he would get out all the time and worked and played with, which is what he needs. He is a little stallion with A LOT of energy.

But to be honest, not having Hank is a little weight lifted off of my shoulders. I need the extra $$ in case Summer gets sick or if any emergency rises. I know I always seem to wait for the worst but I just always want to be ready if it shows its ugly head. Yes, I have seen what "the worst" looks like, it is horribly ugly! (smile) Plus I was having some serious back issues yesterday (I have a bad back) and if I am down to one horse, that is much easier for someone to take care of than if I had three.

Better get back to work,

Friday, December 7, 2007

Summer seems to be feeling better...

I took her to the round pen to check for the head nod of a horse in pain. You know, the one she presented in front of Doc Carter at this last weekends ride. I couldn't get her to settle down long enough to check her. She ran, trotted, bucked and reared. She was so full of herself. I did think I counted three head nods, but being that she is barefoot right now, if she hits a rock or stick, her feet will be tender and her head will nod/bob. I will try to check again tonight. (for you non-horsey folks, certain head nods or bobs, can show a horsey person that the horse might be in pain)

Keep her in your prayers that it is gone though.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Executive decision...time to cut back.

Well, I have made the decision to sell Hank back to the lady I bought him from (she told me if I ever sold him she wanted him back) and give Chompers back to my friend Nancy if she wants him back.

I am tired. I am tired of taking care of so many horses. Hank needs more attention than I can give and Chompers went from running loose on 2 acres of coastal to being penned up and hardly ever getting to run. That is not fair to them. Summer is my girl. She is like having several horses rolled into one. She is a "do it all" horse, so why do I need these other two. Just because they are smaller doesn't make them cheaper. The only two things that make them cheaper than Summer is they eat less and they don't require shoes, other than that, their stall fees are the same as Summer's and the vet bill cost the same as Summer's. I feel bad for doing this but I won't feel bad when it only comes to taking care of Summer. And, I will like have the extra $$ to spend else where.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Long weekend...

Well, the ride is over and Summer didn't get to compete. (sad face : *( )

Adriane got to ride Summer Friday morning with another friend of mine on her TW, and they had a wonderful ride. She came back into camp all smiles. She groomed her so beautifully, went to check her in and the judge said grade 1 lame. WHAT??!!?? I totally believe the vet, he is good. But why is she lame? After all day of trying to figure it out, (I won't go into details), we figure it is the farrier (horseshoer). The ride farrier, pulled all her shoes for me and I am going to give her a month off with no shoes. Let her hooves rest. Let them expand to where they are more natural and comfortable.

Now let me tell you how the lameness scores work, QS (questionable sound), Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3. Grade 3 horses are pulled from the ride immediately.

I pulled Summer before she even started the ride Saturday morning. I pulled her Friday around 4ish. She is worth more to me than that ride is. I was not going to chance on her getting worse because I want a .50 cent ribbon. There was one lady who's horse checked in grade 2 lame and she still rode out Saturday morning. Of course she pulled Sunday morning cause he was a little worse, WELL DUH! I tell you, I have no respect for her horsemanship abilities. I couldn't imagine asking a hurting horse to carry me 15 to 20 miles for a ribbon. Once again, I will repeat myself, NOT WORTH IT! The vet judge thanked me Friday night for pulling Summer. I now know he respects my horsemanship abilities and knows what Summer means to me. He even made a comment Sunday at awards and said he knew there were some good horsemen when they wouldn't let their horses even start the ride because of pain or lameness issues. I know he was talking about me and another woman for pulling her horse cause it had sore withers and she wouldn't ride either. And she even drove all the way from New Mexico! Good for her for loving her horse like that.

Other than that, the ride was a success. All the riders were happy, ate good food, received good gifts and seemed to have just a wonderful time. And for that, all the tiring behind the scenes work, was worth it.

I plan on Summer competing at the two rides in March, so I pray that her lameness issues are due to a bad farrier and that it's nothing internal. If it is internal, I will have my vet out and we will start the search.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

My last one before the ride....

This will be my last post before the Christmas at the Six-0 ride. Adriane called and will be in tonight. Yeah! She will be in late, but I will have camp all set up and ready for her to go straight to bed if she wants. I know I will be pooped after setting up camp and getting Summer settled in. Oh, and after unload all the NATRC stuff! But, I did get to go to bed at a decent hour last night, so that was nice.

I went to the barn last night, loaded my trailer with everything Summer and Adriane will need. My friend June is going to take care of my boys for me so David and Amanda won't have to worry about it. I went home, David changed my oil while I cleaned out my SUV, then turned around and loaded it to the top with all mine and Adriane's camping needs and all the NATRC crates. Thank goodness I have a SUV that I can do that with.

Adriane is nervous as a cat in a cage. She is so worried that she will hurt Summer. But I guess I would feel the same way. Heck, Adriane and I don't know each other that well, but I hope this weekend makes us good friends. I did learn last night that she has ridden King (her MFT) for 10 years. That makes me feel good to know she has been riding gaited horses that long. She was so surprised that I knew her placings at the rides she did. I told her I did my research and that is why I asked her to ride Summer for me. She rode under a tough judge and placed well. That judge is a stickler for folks taking care of their horses.

Anyway, I get off of work at 5pm and hope to be hooked up and Summer loaded and leaving my barn by 6pm. I will get there around 7pm and start the hard stuff, setting up camp.

So, I will report back next week for how the weekend went.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's getting close.....

It is almost here. The first NATRC ride of 2008 in Region 4. Being ride secretary is tiring, but I can't say it's thankless. Alanna and Liz are always thanking me for doing this. And the smiles on the competitors faces is wonderful. This last week has been nothing but hectic! Whew, I love to see the Christmas ride coming but don't cry when it's over! (smile)

The closer it gets to more those hornets buzz in my stomach. I know Adriane is going to do fine with Summer. I even had one of the more seasoned competitors tell me that Adriane was in for a treat riding Summer and that she thought Adriane was a very smart girl. This rider, named PH (we'll call her), has been the only other person I ever let take Summer out riding without me being there. She is an accomplished horsewoman and anyone can trust her with their mounts. And I know Tracey will be their for her on the trail if she has questions or doubts. I guess I am a concerned momma, and I want Adriane to have fun. That girl is driving all the way from Lawton Oklahoma for this and I don't want her to think this is a job. Just do the best she can, have fun, and it will all work out in the end. Maybe it's not nerves after all, maybe it is excitement. I am excited that Summer is getting to compete in this ride and I am blessed to have a person who knows how to handle a gaited horse riding her for me.

Gotta go for now, TTYL

Monday, November 26, 2007

What a good holiday weekend...

What a good four day weekend! My hubby and our daughter spent Thanksgiving with my parents. It was very nice. I made a big ol' 20 lb turkey and homemade yams. My dad made his famous stuffing and my mom made my great-grandmother's chocolate marange(sp?) pie. It was a wonderful day. Especially when it started snowing.

Friday Tracey and I went riding at the Six-0 ranch and had a great ride. It was cold but we rode on. Saw some doe and Summer was startled by a buck jumping in the woods. I did the big hill that folks are always talking about. Tracey took me down it at the beginning of the ride, then after about 11 miles of mostly fast riding, she took me up it. It was a little scary. Summer's front right hoof it a rock that rolled out from under her and she stumbled. That was what scared me. But she did it even being a little tired. So I have no real worries with Adriane riding her this weekend. If Summer can go up with me on her back, I know she can do it with Adriane.

Saturday, Liz and I met Alanna out at the Six-0 and decorated the big barn for the Christmas ride. It turned out wonderful! I think the competitors will have a good time. It is supposed to be cold and maybe some rain, but that is what you put up with sometimes. So for the most part, you have to "cowboy up" and get the job done.

The saturday night, my truck decides it isn't going to start ever again. David and I went to the parts store and bought an idil(sp?) control thingy, that cost me an unexpected $60 but I thank God every day I am married to a mechanic, so no labor fees. (I did make him a good dinner that night) Poor guy had to fix it in the rain. Luckily it only took him about 10 minutes and I held the umbrella over his back.

Sunday, I go in the morning to feed my kids (horses) and my truck starts running like crap and the check engine light comes on. Crap!!!! I call David again, he isn't happy, but what are you gonna do? I take it home and he runs the computer on it. It is cylinder #4 (I think). He buys the part this time (another $60), but he fixes it again. This time it is only cold, not rainy.

Later that night, he and Amanda goes grocery shopping and I go feed the kids. I get home before them and work on more of my NATRC duties. They get home and unload the groceries from the truck and I am putting them up. (A couple of days prior, I told him I wish I had a propane tent heater because it is going to be cold this coming weekend). Well, as I am putting the groceries away, he sets a bag in front of me and says, "this should keep you warm". It was some small propane canisters. I was thinking, "How?" Then I thought, "he must have gotten me a heater!" Then he set the heater in front of me! God I love that man of mine!

I know I am a red neck woman when I prefer gifts like that from him than flowers that die, candy that will make my tush bigger or jewelry I never wear anyway. One year I got the shot gun I had been wanting. Got it for Christmas from him. I think he likes the things I want, cause he can use them himself if he wants. He would look funny in a tennis bracelet! haha

OK, done now, bye-bye

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Well, here it is again. I will get up tomorrow, like I do every Thanksgiving, and start the turkey. No matter where we have our holiday meal, I am in charge of the turkey. But that's okay, I really don't mind.

We are going to my parent's house tomorrow and I think it will be nice. My father just retired and this will be his first Thanksgiving at home in quite awhile. I figured I would take a couple of movies and when it's time to feed the horses tomorrow evening, we could all go as a family. My parents have never met my horses. I know, weird huh?

Growing up, I always wanted a horse. My entire family is horse free. So my parents always wondered where I got this obsession from. And of course, they always said no. So I told them, when I get married, I will have a horse. Fawtal was my 3 year anniversary gift from David. And I have had horses ever since. When we moved back to TX from CA, (David was in the Army), my parents tried to talk me into getting rid of Fawtal, he's expensive was their arguement. My arguement was, (FYI, they both smoked) let's see how much you spend on cigarettes compaired to my expense on Fawtal. When I did it, they never said another word.

Anyway, back on subject, I will take them out there to see all the horses and ponies. I think my dad will enjoy it. He never owned horses but he is a country boy at heart. Now if I could just get him on Summer, that would be a Kodak moment for me.

Friday (day after Thanksgiving) my friend Tracey and I are going back to the ranch we rode at this past weekend for some hill work. This ranch is where we are holding the Christmas ride and where Summer and Adriane will be competing. Tracey will also be competing on her Arab mare, Amira. Then Saturday, the ride managers Liz, Alanna and myself will be going back out there to decorate for the ride. Whew, thank goodness this ranch isn't too far from my house. I don't know I could afford the gas if it was too far away.

Anyway, now I am just rambling.

Whoever reads this, have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Tammy and the herd

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fawtal, my best guy...

Well, I haven't talked about this to anyone, but November 10th, 2007, Fawtal, my best horse ever, has been gone a year. A year ago last Saturday, I found him dead in his stall. It was like losing a family member. I can't believe it has already been a year.

November 10th, 2006, a Friday. I go out to my barn which is 5 miles from my house, at 5:30 am to feed Fawtal and Summer their breakfast. I walk in the barn and notice something odd, Fawtal is not looking at me, he is not even standing up. I walk to his stall and saw him laying there. He has probably been gone for about 4 hours.

I lost it. I absolutely lost it. I was screaming and crying, hitting the walls of the barn. He was my first horse. He had been in our family for 15 years. I called my friends, Mark and Liz, and my husband David. Liz came straight out, Mark was out of town so called his wife Melinda, another dear friend of mine. He had her bring me a huge tarp to cover Fawtal up with. David took off work and our daughter, Amanda, was 15 at the time, took off school. She was devastated. She had never known life without that horse.

I was blessed that this day was my payday. I had Pine Hill Pet and Horse Cemetary come and get him. I paid for a private burial. He is in Bowie, TX with his own grave marker. It is a very nice place.

When they showed up about 3:30pm to pick him up, I was told that I might not want to be there when they got him out of his stall. I knew what that meant. That they may have had to break his legs to get him out. David would not allow that. David is not a horse person by any means, but he knows what my babies mean to me. He and another boarder, Ron, took the stall apart. They took down an entire wall so that Fawtal's body would not be harmed. The guy who came for him was so gentle and so nice. He treated me like this was a family member he was taking away. He was gentle with me and seemed sincerely sorry for my loss.

Well, we left for a couple of hours after he left with Fawtal. My daughter and I went back out that evening to take care of Summer. I knew I had to clean Fawtal's stall, but was going to wait till the next day. I didn't know if I could handle doing it that day. When we got back to the barn, I couldn't help but go to his stall. The stall wall had been put back up and the stall had been completely stripped and cleaned out! I couldn't imagine who was so thoughtful enough to do this for me. Don't get me wrong, we have some great boarders, but who did this for me so I wouldn't have to? I found out the next day it was Julie and Ron. Ron had put the wall back up and he and Julie stripped it for me. So the next day, I brought photos of all the years I had Fawtal, and all his ribbons from shows in California and a wreath. I made him a memorial and left it in his stall for 3 days.

Fawtal was a handsome 15.1 grey Arabian gelding. He was retired due to arthritus in his shoulder, he was 24.

Fawtal now waits for me at the rainbow bridge, running with the Lord's herd.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Summer is competing with a catch rider...

Well, my stomach is in knots again. The girl I asked to catch ride Summer for the Christmas ride confirmed with me this weekend that she would do it.

I can't believe this is making me nervous. Of course, she is nervous too. I have never let anybody just take my horse off and ride it and she has never competed on another horse but her own.

Adriane is a good rider. In the rides she has competed in, she has placed well. There are just all these little details I have to tell her about Summer. Nothing dangerous, but Summer is a horse and they all have their quirks. Summer doesn't like dead trees or piles of dead trees. However, if asked to step over a tree, no problems. She is a weird girl. If with a group of horses, she doesn't like to be in front or in rear. She likes the middle. But if the lead horse is walking too slow, Summer will pass and leave them. So, she doesn't mind being alone. Did I say she was weird? When she gets in water, she likes to snorkle. I do mean she puts her face in the water all the way up to her eyeballs. I swear she was born with gills.

Anyway, for those of you that read this thing, this won't be the last you hear of this ride. I am going to be as nervous as a cat in a cage and will be posting on here more. Why? Cause I know my friends will get tired of hearing me talk about it and at least on here, I can type it out and get it off my chest.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Honest folks and my cell phone...

I thought this story too cool and strange, not to share.

On the weekend of October 6-7 of this year, Summer and I rode safety at the NATRC Decatur Benefit ride at the LBJ Grasslands in Decatur, TX. Decatur is about a 1 hour and 45 minutes drive for me when I am pulling a trailer.

On this weekend, I lost my cell phone at the Grasslands. BTW, if I am not mistaken, the LBJ Grasslands is 20,000 acres. We were riding the orange trail which is a 25 mile loop. (granted we only did 18.5miles of this loop, but I didn't know which part). We were about 10 miles into the ride and I notice that my cell phone is gone from it's holster. "SHOOT!" Yes, I am discouraged but not mad, what is there to get mad about? That won't bring it back.

When we get back to camp, my friend Tracey helped me search around our camp site, JUST IN CASE, it fell out there. She even called it with her cell phone, nope, no where to be found.

Long story short on my "not so new" phone, I end up using David's old phone. It is not pretty, and is really scratched up, but hey, it works good. I couldn't afford to buy a new phone, I was not eligible to upgrade for another 10 months, and a new SIMS card is $25.00. However on the SIMS card, a very nice young man at Hawk Electronics gave me one and no charge. I thought that was too kind of him. (I needed the card to make my hubby's old phone work)

Anyway, I receive a voice mail yesterday. I check it. This lady says her name is Brenda and she found my phone! She took it to a cell phone store, the sales person says the phone is it good working order but just needs the battery charged. He gives her my name and the cell number assigned to this phone. (even though I had the SIMS card deactivated, my number is still in the phones memory)

I call her back yesterday afternoon, she tells me that she and her husband went camping at the Grasslands and they found my phone. I couldn't believe it! That phone has been gone for a month! Anyway, she asks how I would like to get it back. (Her area code is the same as mine, but that could be a 100 mile radius) I tell her I could send her the postage to mail it back to me. She says that sounds great. Out of curiosity, I ask her where she lives, she tells me, OM Gosh! I then told her were I live, which is only a 15 minute drive! She was as shocked as I was! I drove over last night and picked up my long lost phone! It truly is a small world! And there are truly honest folks still left in it.

I plan on going to Tractor Supply Co. today and getting them a gift card and mailing it to their house with a thank you card.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Short days make for grouchy Tammy...

Ok, I love fall. I love the weather, the colors of the trees, Summer feeling frisky, but I hate these shorter days. I get off work at 5:00, get home by 5:30, and don't get to the barn until 6:00. Of course it is only another 15 minutes or so and it is dark. My horses are in large pens with no lighting, which makes for cleaning their pens and real pain. I have one of those lights that clip to the visor of your baseball cap, that helps. At least the pens are cleaner than they were before.
Of course, when I look at photos like the one above, I can't stay grouchy long when I imagine riding Summer down this beautiful trail.

Luckily one of our round pens has a light and the covered arena has lights. So there are places to work them after dark.

Summer is doing good. I worked her last night in the round pen and she didn't get as tired as she used to. I used to only get about 15 rounds out of her, now I am getting 30. And this is all at a trot. After that, we take a walk around the entire barn yard, main house and such which is 3/10 of a mile. Exercise for me and a cooling down for her. Plus us going on a walk is bonding time.

I would love to find a "catch" rider for her for the Christmas ride at the Six-0, but if not, that is okay too. A catch rider competes your horse if you are unable to. I am the ride secretary for this ride and therefore unable to compete due to conflict of interest. Once again, if she does not compete that is okay too. I am very picky on who rides her. I have asked one girl already because she has a gaited horse and I trust her with my girl. She is thinking about it. She lives in Oklahoma and there in that could be a problem for her to find pet sitters for her critters.

I have already entered the OK Land Run at Lake Carl Blackwell for March of 2008, so I am excited that I am going to start competing. I would say "again" but since I have only competed in NATRC one other time, I won't. (smile)

Well, off for now!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Texas Trail Challenge at Parrie Haynes Ranch

Summer and I did our first Texas Trail Challenge at Parrie Haynes Ranch in Killeen TX this weekend. It was a 9.5 mile loop with 9 obtacles. And what a beautiful weekend for it!

42 riders showed and 13 of those were in my class, I had the largest class!

First obstacle was a soundness check trot by with the senior judge Doanna, we in NATRC call her Doe. Anyway, Summer is a gaiting fool this morning, and we are gaiting past her, well, I didn't hear her when I was supposed to gait (or trot for trotters) over two medium sized logs. I tweek Summer's reins and she breaks gait for about 2 strides, I then hear Doe tell her secretary "broke gait". Darn it! My fault, not Summer's. Oh well, moving on.

Next obstacle, rope gate. We have done all kinds of regular gates but never a rope one. We did okay, but I will be setting up a rope gate at home because we do those in NATRC sometimes.

The next obstacle was a good one for me. Since I trained in patrol, you have to know how to read a Mapsco, I could read the map they gave us pretty good! The ranch foreman wanted us to point out on our maps where we were. I aced it! We were at a 65 degree bend fixing to turn left. I looked on my map found what looked like it and was home free!

The next was a down hill water crossing. Since Summer was born with gills, aced it.

The next looked like it could have been a disaster for some horses, but not for us...It was a junk pile, there was all kinds of stuff on the ground hanging on poles and a roping bull head stuck in the ground right next to where my class was to walk. I was asked to approach the pole on the ground, step over, stop and count to 5. Aced it. Why? You ought to see where I board. The are places on the property that look like Sanford and Son should live there! (smile) I told some folks that heck, we have been training for that obstacle for years now! (smile again!)

We go on down the trail and we are riding parallel to the road with a fence between us. Summer and I did most of the trail by ourselves. About 20 feet ahead I see something right next to the right side of the trail. I had a feeling it was a dead deer. I was right. I positioned myself in my saddle and got my hands ready but didn't really tense up. Summer had never seen a dead animal with me on her back, I didn't know how she was going to react. She was great! We got to it, it was a young doe, its eyes and tongue were missing and some of its entrails were out. Vulters. But it was not bloated or smelly so it was fresh. We stopped, looked at it, Summer said, "yes mom, it's dead, I don't think we can revive it." and we moved on. Too bad that one wasn't an obstacle. One of the older riders moved it later because of green horses possibly spooking at it. It was kinda gross.

We then came to a judge (there were five of them BTW and they were moving them around in trucks) who wanted me to have a halter, lead rope, knife and hoof pick. Check, check, check and check. NATRC training kicking in.

Then was a small down hill, ditch crossing, up hill, stop, back up the way you came. Summer and I have practiced this before. But at this moment she left her head back at the last judge. We did it, it wasn't pretty and we lost one point, but we did it.

The next was dangerous. After this obstacle I didn't care if Summer placed, this mare is never for sale! The foreman brought what he called a "bridge". It was a 4' x 4' platform about 6" high. That's not too bad, but, it was on 7" legs! It was made out of ply board and most of these horses had shoes on. His instructions were, place your horses front feet on the "bridge" and count to three. Another bad part about this was the grass was about 8" high, so the "bridge" looked deceiving to the horses eyes. Well, we were the first one to try it since we were leading the pack anyway. Summer tried, she immediately slipped off. I asked her again, she went down to her front knees, she got up and stepped off. I then asked the judge if it would hold all her weight, he said yes, I was going to step her up on it. So I asked her again, just knowing she was going to refuse, but she tried again. She got her front feet up, I said, "one" and she slipped off again. Right then I could care less if we placed, she did not hesitate to trust me to try for a third time. I love this mare and right then, I knew she loved me too. Had the thing not been on 7" legs, there would not have been a problem, but it was too high, ply board and her shoes did not make a good combo.

The last one was a dismount, walk in-hand to the judge, and remount. No problem.

We get back to camp and my friend Jan (she was about 10 riders behind me) and another friend Christy got in, we were talking about the "bridge". Jan told me her horse, Ace, did exactly what Summer had done. She said that the judge then called the ride manager and told her he was pulling the obstacle, it was too dangerous.

During the awards is when I learned that there were 13 in my class. I thought, well maybe we will get 5th or 6th I hope. I just wanted Summer to bring home something, she is such a smart and willing girl that she deserves it. Well, they called 6th, nope. They called 5th, nope. 4th, nope. I gave up, but you know, that "bridge" kept reminding me that a ribbon doesn't matter, but mine and Summer's partnership is what is the best award of all. Then they called 3rd, Tammy and Summer! WOOHOO! I knew my baby deserved a ribbon! I just love that mare of mine. I can only hope that everyone who loves horses will be blessed to either already have or will find that special mount.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Why do I do this to myself?

Before I leave for a weekend of competition, whether it be riding or driving Summer, I get nervous. I have always been like this. But, it is not because I am nervous about placing, I think I am just nervous that I will make a fool of myself. Why do I think like that? I don't just have butterflies in my stomach, I have a whole hornets nest! I had a plain burger for lunch today and am now regretting it. It is sitting there like a 5lb brick with a bunch of pi$$ed off hornets buzzing it and stinging the snot out of it.

I have a friend named June who has only been around horses for 2 years and did her first driving show two weeks ago. She was more nervous than a cat in a cage with a hungry Bulldog staring at it. I sit right there and tell her to not be nervous, just go and have a good time and all will be great. She brought home 6 ribbons! One being a 1st place in progressive cones while beating a seasoned competitor. I was over joyed for her, especially since she did this with a pony I used to own. But how come I can give this advice but can't take my own advice?

Oh well, now I am just rambling. But I feel a little better that I wrote this. So is this what blogging is for? Maybe like a stress reliever? But I have been known to be the type of person who can be more eloquent on paper than actually saying it.

Well, I am getting off at four o'clock today and will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get loaded and on the road by 5:30 for a 3 hour tour, I mean drive. (note Gilligan's reference, bet that song is in your head now! hehe)


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Texas Trail Challenge this coming weekend

Well, Summer (my horse) and I will be competing in our first Texas Trail Challenge this coming weekend. We did something similar to this last year and did pretty good, 3rd place out of 21 horses so I was very proud of her. I am going up there with a friend of mine, she is going to be one of the judges. No, I won't get extra credit for that, I will probably get judged even harder by her than the other judges. (smile)

To explain a trail challenge to you, it is where you ride down the trail and you will come across a judge, the judge will then ask you to maneuver your horse through an obstacle. Maybe a creek crossing, open and close a gate, or something like that, something you may come across on any regular trail ride. Basically, they want to make sure you and your horse can do it safely and with good form. I have been into competitive trail riding since the beginning of 2005, mostly volunteering and only getting to compete once. I think these trail challenges will be up my alley because they are only 1 day events. I wish they did soundness checks though, I would hate to see someone compete on a lame or injured horse. But, they don't have vets as judges at these events like they do at CTR's, so, what do you do? Just be honest with you and your animal and don't ride it if it's hurting I guess.TTYL

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Long time reader, first time blogger.

Long time reader, first time blogger.

Yes, I am doing this. I can't believe I am but what the heck, you only live once and who am I trying to impress anyway. I always thought blogging was corny, and who thought up the word "blog" anyway. No more strange than the word "google" I guess. (smile)

I am a 38 year old w/f , happliy married for 19 years, (yes, consecutively to the same man), we have a child but will not blog about that. I work in law enforcement and know the types of people that may access this web site. (no offense to the innocent).

I am an animal lover and will rescue just about anything. I once rescued a 7 1/2 foot boa and kept it for about 6 months before finding it a suitable home. We currently have 2 dogs, a cat, a rabbit, a bird and 3 horses (sort of). I have a Tennessee Walker mare, a Hackney Pony gelding and Miniature stallion.

I am about to get off this computer but will update further tomorrow.