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!