Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More on Mia

David took Mia in to the vet yesterday evening. Dr. Ogden gave her another cortisone shot. This one is longer lasting than the one he gave her Friday. And some good news, she has gained a whole 6 ounces since Friday! And, the hole has a scab on it! That means it is trying to heal. She is feisty and playful and getting down right ornery! I love it! I just pray that her time here on earth is longer than the doctor's are predicting.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mia

Well, we took Mia to the vet Friday morning and the vet cleaned up her face for us and she does have a hole of skin missing. The mat and scab of hair, blood and pus was hiding the hole. It is a little smaller than dime size. It isn't as gross as I thought it would be but it is there. He gave her a cortisone shot to help her with her appetite and itching. That did help, she is eating much better. He also gave us a spray that contains cortisone and some antibiotic. I talked to him about declawing that back foot and he said no, she won't be with us that long. That is hard, she is such a sweet and loving cat.

Here is a picture of my pretty girl before she started getting sick:


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Well, it is gone. Yet another Christmas that we can't wait to be here, is over.

I am on vacation this week, so spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, shopping and cleaning the house as my parents were coming over for Christmas dinner. I do this every year. Spend most of my vacation cleaning the house. But I don't mind as it has become a tradition. (smile)

We had a good Christmas. Amanda got what she wanted. She is almost 18 years old, so it is hard to buy for her. Her job of choice is to be a beautician so she received a stylist roll around cart with all the accessories, Tinker Bell floor mats, the third book in the Twilight series and much more. David and I weren't going to do much for each other as he has spent a ton of money on vet bills for our cat Mia. I will tell later what is wrong with her. Anyway, he bought me a TomTom GPS. I was totally not expecting that. I got him some odd and ends but nothing that nice. As I said, my parents came over and brought us all gifts and cash. I can always due with money. (smile) We ate a lot, as usual for a Christmas day. The movie A Christmas Story was on all day and surprisingly enough, that is where it stayed. You could hear my dad laughing or chuckling most of the day in the living room. His favorite part is where Ralphie beats the snot out of the red headed bully. I love the deranged Easter bunny part. It is all funny though.

It really was a nice holiday. I feel very blessed to have a good daughter, a wonderful husband and loving parents. It was sad though as this was the first Christmas without Granny. So yes, there was crying. We went through her cedar trunk. That was the first time it had been opened since her funeral. That was the one item I wanted most out of her house and mom gave it to me. So of course, there was crying during that too. Mom didn't want anything out of it, she wanted it to stay in the trunk where everything would be safe. And it will be.

I am going to try to go to the barn later and go riding with Tracey, but that wind is horrible. I don't mind riding in it, but is seems more of a job than a pleasure when you ride in not perfect weather. And God knows, I had better take my allergy meds, if not, a horrid migraine will set in.

Took Mia to the vet this morning to clean her face up. It is hard to describe, but where the cancer is, she is constantly scratching and we have to wrap her foot so she can't use her nails to scratch with. But she is still rubbing her face raw and the skin is starting to pull away from her cheek. The fur is all matted with blood and pus. It is all very gross. Maybe I shouldn't be posting this on the Christmas blog but that is part of my Christmas week. We left her there because we have an appt with her vet at 3:15 to see what we can do to ease her itching and try to help her leave her cheek alone. David and I have even talked about, if she has even 6 months to a year to live, having that one back foot declawed so that it doesn't have to be wrapped (as she really hates that) and she can rub her cheek all she wants but not cause any damage. We have done all our bank account will allow. Plus there isn't a good prognosis even if we were millionaires and could afford it. She is still eating good, playing, and VERY loving. So we are going to spend money on making her as comfortable as possible until it is time to let her go be with Sheba.

Anyway, enough sadness now.

Better go, hope all who reads these had a blessed Christmas. And if you didn't think it was blessed, try to find the blessing even in a sadness. God has a reason for everything He does.

Happy New Year,
Tammy, David, Amanda, Summer, Libby, Tigger and Mia.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The last Christmas at the Six-0 Ranch


Well, it is over. This was the last Christmas ride at the Six-0 Ranch in Cleburne Texas. I didn't know it was going to happen. Heck, most people didn't. But, that is okay, at least for me. I am not going to secretary anymore anyway. I want to ride. It has just been posted that the Christmas ride will be held at Parrie Haynes next year and I love riding there, so no working for me!

As for this past weekend. Summer did me proud. Barbara and her made a wonderful team, she even threatened a couple of times that she was going to sneak Summer onto her trailer and take her back to Oklahoma with her. They had a great time. Summer even took 2nd place in the largest class at the ride. Unfortunately, unless I can loose 60lbs by March, the points she earned this weekend won't count for anything. But that is okay. Barbara had a great time and she and Summer took great care of each other. Had it not been for Barbara, Summer would have sit home anyway doing nothing. It was also Barb's birthday, so that was nice that she got to enjoy a beautiful weekend on a beautiful horse. Okay, I know, I am bias! (smile) When the pictures get posted I will post one on here. Barb has also already made me promise that I will let her ride Summer in an Open class this year. I told her okay. She will have to ride Open Heavyweight as that is my division. So we will have to weigh the saddle down a bit.

I am only wanting to do 4 or 5 rides this year. Course, I liked them all and it will be hard to choose. I figure that if I go to the Land Run, I will let Barbara ride Summer there since she wouldn't have to spend any gas money to get there. I would just have to bring Summer to her. I want to ride at 7IL the Girl Scout Scamper and Deep in the Heart of Texas. I also want to do Indian Territory since I have never been there. And I want, I want, I want. AAARRRGGG....CRAP! I knew I would get too hooked. Now I don't want to do any driving events this year, I want to do more NATRC!!!! I guess I will just have to see what my finances will be. I wish I was rich and didn't have to work, then I wouldn't have to worry about it!!!!

Well, gotta go for now!

Edited December 16, 2008: Photo above is Barbara and Summer. I loved how the picture is in blk and wht. They made a great team.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Loretta Lynn concert and Thanksgiving holiday


Well, it was a very nice concert. I just can't believe that she is 74 years old and still sounds so good. And I just love that accent. Listening to her talk makes me miss Tennessee and my grandma.

Mom had a wonderful time. The concert didn't start until 10:30. So we ate at the cafe in Billy Bob's, then we went a played some games, went to the gift shop, looked at all the hand prints of singers who have played there and at 9:00 was the live bull riding. Mom had never seen that, so we took her. Amanda had a blast because all the cowboys were her age. Mom also got to see a good wreck, the cowboy walked away tho, so that was a big sigh of relief.


We had a nice Thanksgiving. I made a 15lb turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and gravy. Mom and Dad made the rest. We ate at their house. We ate till we were full and then watched Jeff Dunham's Christmas DVD. He is a hoot! Here is a sample of his comedy. Achmed sings Jingle Bombs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wskT6YfVB6E


Friday I drove for Billie in Frisco Square. I drove Dolly. She is a Belgain mare. She is my favorite of her horses. I don't know why, but I like her best. Unfortunately, she coliced, again. This is her third time to colic after a job. I told Billie I think she needs some Long Slow Distance conditioning. Or known to distance riders as LSD, but not the bad one. (smile) So, Dolly may be coming to my barn in the next week or two for some driving and riding to condition her. She is about 20 years old, and that would be like asking a 60 year old person to walk 5 hours if they aren't used to it. So, I really believe that some LSD will really help her with her job. BTW, Dolly doesn't drive every weekend and this is the first time she had been driven in months. So Dolly may have a rude awakening for her own good.


I have been getting ready for the Christmas at Six-0 ride. I am the ride secretary. I am having a lady named Barbara Cooper ride Summer. I have talked about this before, but I am still a little nervous about letting someone else ride my horse. I just hope Summer doesn't act like a moron and I hope Barb has a nice ride. As for the ride, I just can't wait for it to be here and over. It is a hard job. Now don't get me wrong, I love seeing all the riders have a wonderful time, but putting it together is a booger. Trying to remember everything and get everything done. Heck, I left the house this morning and forgot the paperwork I was supposed to copy today! Now I have to go home during lunch to get it. Oh well, it will get done.


Well, TTFN

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

STC, Christmas ride, Loretta Lynn and my mom


Let's see...

On November 8th, Summer and I competed in an Supreme Trail Challenge. It was okay. I wasn't to fond of the way the P&R's were done. But again, that is why we have so many different types of trail competitions to choose from. Her first two P&R's were horrid. She was not held, but they were high. However, on a good note, I know why they were high. Excitement at the first one and a HUGE spook right before the second one. The third one was right on and good.

We didn't place, but I wasn't looking too. I was there because they needed entries and I wanted to see my friends.

I was tired too. Mentally and physically. We had just done the NATRC Last Chance ride the weekend prior. I usually take the weekend after a NATRC ride off and spend with my family. I may pleasure ride, but no competing. So I was just pooped.

Summer is enjoying her time off. She is being worked, but it is ground work. And I am working on re-bonding with her. All this competing seems to have fractured our bond. I know that sounds odd, but I can tell.

She will be competing at the Christmas ride, but Barbara Cooper will be riding her. I am not chasing points this year, so Barb is competing in Novice Lightweight. Once again I am a little nervous about letting someone else ride her. Barb has never ridden her and she has never ridden a gaited horse. However, I trust Barb if Summer starts to act silly. I have watched as her horse Roc has had little fits and such and Barb was real patient with him.

This next weekend I am taking my mom and Amanda to see Loretta Lynn in concert at Billy Bob's. My mom is so excited. I am going to take them to eat in the stock yards Saturday and maybe shopping then walk back to Billy Bob's for the concert. We have never done this before and I can put it in the same memory file as our trail riding day together. Maybe I can get her and Amanda out there this Sunday for a trail ride. That would be fun!

Okay, gotta go.

TTFN

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Last Chance CTR


Summer saying to Beau, "Give me a kiss baby." LOL

Well, it's over. Thank goodness!
Summer didn't place again. I wasn't as saddened this time. Notice I said "as saddened". Yes, I was a little disheartened. We had a MUCH better ride this weekend then at Horsemasters. The vet judge was all about trailability and not metibolics or soundness. But again, I brought home a sound and healthy horse, so I can say I won this ride.

I did place 5th in horsemanship at this ride. I had never ridden under this HMS judge, so it was different. He is the only judge that didn't like the way I trotted my horse out. Oh well, I don't care, the we I do it, to me, is the most safe, and apparently, all the other HMS judges like the way I do it too. So, I will go with the majority, and stick with my one step at a time method.

Saturday was a 20 mile ride and to me, it just flew by. I felt I had a good ride, with some occasional bobbles here and there. Nothing dangerous, just little "oopsies". I rode with George and his Spotted Saddle horse Beau most of the day. These two horses pace so well together that we have ridden most of these rides together. And if one of us has to go find a pink or blue bush, the other holds both horses and they stand so quietly together. It is like the calm each other down. Sunday was only supposed to be an 11 mile day. Well, several of us went down the wrong trail. It was bad. We followed that trail for approximately 2 miles before we realized we had screwed up. Next thing I know, we are turned around and hauling butt back to where we made the mistake. George was behind me most of the time, but the next thing I knew, we lost him. I was following two Mustang riders and we were just flat out moving. It was real wooded and it felt like we were pole bending thru the woods. I bet we moved out for about 3 miles and next thing I know, we hit an obstacle! CRAP! The horses are up and ready to keep going. Well, Becky goes first and aces it. Summer steps up and it is a right handed gate. We are still working on those but she does real good. Her side pass to the right was a little bobbley, and we lost 1 point, but I was proud of her. The other Mustang would not hear of opening that gate, so the judge had to do it. Next thing I know, one of the ladies said, we are going to have to canter the last 2 miles. I have never cantered Summer that far! But my goodness, she did it! She never spooked, bobbled, stumbled or anything. And she FLEW around those trees and corners. She got a compliment from Becky (Becky and Thief were behind us cantering). Becky said it looked like Summer was barrel racing. Well, we have been working on pole bending and bending around the barrels at our barn, so I guess it did help!

We crossed the finish with about 5 minutes to spare. But I was so upset. I have never pushed Summer so hard. She was just panting. I was in tears but had several experienced NATRCers that know me and Summer pretty well tell me that Summer would be just fine. She was fit and would be okay. I appreciated it, but that didn't help. I was still upset. After about 10 minutes, her breathing was back to base line and she had drank good and was munching on hay.

When we went to line up for check out, there was a side pass, in hand to the right, over a log. Aced it! Even the HMS judge asked everyone in line, "did you see that?" I asked if I had done okay, and he said perfect. Everyone in line, including him, clapped. LOL That made me feel good. Summer checked out sound, and with good metibolics. Even tho this judge didn't seem to notice the other lame horses, I still watch closely when I am doing her circles if she takes a mis-step. And she was good.

Now, I am an anal person when it comes to calculating points. If I am correct, for year-end points, Beau is in second place and Summer is in third. For horsemanship, I am in second place and George in is third. When you add our points up for team awards, both George and I have an added total of 164 points, which means we would tie for second place in the team awards! Wouldn't that be cool!!!! Both of us getting a red our first year competing on our gaited horses! I so hope my calculations are correct. It would be such an honor for me, if Summer and I tied with George and Beau.

Well, I will just keep my fingers crossed that I am correct and finish this year tieing with such a nice man and wonderful horsemen.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Last CTR of the season...

...is slowly approaching. Last Chance at the OK Corral in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It is a nice ride. The Oklahoma Land Run was there this spring.

The last couple of rides, I have felt that I have become too competitive and I don't like it. I think I said that in my last post. I have been telling myself that I am just going to go and have fun at this ride and do the best I can.

I started reading my In Touch magazines yesterday. They are Christian magazines by Dr. Charles Stanley. I read one article yesterday that helped me put some things in perspective. I know it sounds kooky, but it made me realize that what is going to happen is going to happen. Even something as simple as NATRC. I will just go out, do the best I can with Summer, and that's that. If I place, I place, if I don't, well then, I don't.

Summer looks good. I was worried about her night before last. She showed no interest in her feed, even with the cup of sweet feed in it. But last night she scarfed it down. Feed, beet pulp and some alfalfa cubes.

Hank was colicy last night. That worried me. I called Barb and she gave him a shot of Banamin. He wasn't real bad, but you could tell, even Barb and Paula saw it. He was interested in eating, but kept laying down. Not thrashing, but he looked a little bloated. I haven't gotten a call this morning from June, so I am sure he is just fine. I am sure it was due to the drastic weather change. I am sure he isn't the only one that didn't feel good because of the weather. It got COLD Monday night. Down in the 30's I believe.

My friend Billie who owns http://www.christiancarriage.net/ (that is me sitting next to her in the top picture of the site wearing top hats) called me yesterday. She had a bad accident in Mexico while showing the new owners of some Percherons she sold him, how to handle and drive them. She busted her knee and has had two surgeries already. A few months before that, one of her drafts knocked her down causing her break her shoulder. They are gentle giants but I swear they don't know their own strength. Well, she asked me if I could drive her carriage a few times in December, I said of course. It is extra Christmas money and I do enjoy her company.

Well, gotta go.
TTFN

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spoke to soon...shame on me!


Well, we went to the Horsemasters ride in East Texas this past weekend.

To make a long story short, I was heart broken. I thought I had a bad ride and that everything that was bad, happened because of rider error. I figured Summer would do fine, but I was wrong. She did not place at this ride. However, I was SHOCKED that I placed 2nd in my class. I just knew that she would place and I wouldn't. The way everything looks now, she may have been bumped down in yearend standings right now. I am maintaining 2nd, but she may be 4th again.

When I got her card, I expected it to be horrible, but was surprised that it was a 96. She received a 96 two weeks ago that placed in her the 2nd place position.

I think, no, I know, I am getting too competitive and I don't think I like it. I don't like feeling disappointed if Summer doesn't place. Or is that just human nature to be competitive? But I just hate this disappointed feeling. She competed against the same horses she competed against 2 weeks ago. I know that they just did better than her this time, so for the last ride, we need to step it up. Course I say that now, and we will crap out again.

As for my title, "Spoke to soon", read my last blog where I said that Summer was out of her slump! AAAARRRRGGGGG...Why did I say that?!?!?! (smile)

On the up side, Alice Yovich's husband Peter, took some fabulous photos at the ride. Thanks Peter!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Region 4 Benefit Ride


What a great weekend. Beautiful weather, wonderful friends and fantastic horse.

Okay, where to start.

I took off work at noon and headed to the barn to load Summer and take off. I love this ride as it is only about 1 1/2 hours away from my barn.

I got there about 2:30pm and Tracey had me a spot saved so I could park near her and plug an extension cord into her trailer for my little fan. I must have my little fan to be able to sleep at night now. Another plus was that there was a water hose right behind my trailer as well. A great plus was I was surrounded by some great people. Elaine, Tracey, Candy, Kate and Jenny.

I set up camp and got Summer all spit shined and ready for check in. I have to brag, it was the best check in we have done to date. I took it one step at a time and we did great. Summer got a 3 on her MAW score, so I was real happy with that. If you check in with a 4 and check out with a 3, you loss a point. So 3 is where I like to be.

Saturday morning we rode out and there was an immediate obstacle. A down hill, cross log without touching and up hill. I was down in the saddle so lost points, but got an excellent on the log. The up hill part, Summer was a little "up" and, I believe, went up too fast and made me bobble in the saddle. So points lost on the hill. But good on the log.

It is hard to remember all the obstacles in the order that we did them without my cards in front of me. So I will just write what they were as I remember them. There was a mounted obstacle where you could ground mount, use a mounting stool or a stump. I used the stool and Summer stood like a rock and I got an excellent. Then a trot out for soundness. We had to do that twice as Summer was using every gait she had! LOL - We had a steep up hill and stay between ribbons, got an excellent. She really listened to me and took her time going up. - There was a soundness check Sunday morning, where you were mounted, trotted or gaited in a large circle, halt, turn on the forehand, and trot/gait the opposite direction. I was so proud of her on the turn. We have only done that a hand full of times and she did great. Her halt however, lost us a point or a minus, I don't remember. - Our horsemanship judge likes to hide, so there were a lot of hidden obstacles where we lost a few points or gained pluses. Our vet judge did several metabolics and Summer only lost one metabolic point all weekend. She lost no pulse and respiratory points, so I was REAL happy about that. The grass lands is FULL of gates, so we were all shocked that there were no gate obstacles.

Summer had some buddy issues on trail. But I think I am learning how to handle that without having a big ol' fight with her. I just turn her to opposite direction and just wait. Just let her settle. When she drops her head and takes a breathe, then I turned her back around and we moved on. That really seems to work with her. No circling, no fighting, just turning her around, and relaxing. Of course the only place I couldn't do that was the 2 mile marker, but she was great there. She got a little excited when a horse passed us in the 2 mile, but she just did a fast flat walk of about 6mph. She had that head nod going and was just moving. I told her if she wanted to wear herself out, go ahead, we were almost done anyway.

Once we timed in on Sunday, she seemed tired. Got her to the trailer and she ate her beet pulp and drank heavy. I was a little worried because she kept yawning. After I let her rest and cleaned her up, I took her up to check out. I bet we stood in line for 30 minutes or better. But I stood with good company as Kate L was behind me. Summer grazed and ate her hay while we stood there, then next thing I know, she was dozing off. I just knew I was going to have a hard time getting her to even trot out for the judge. But boy, did she surprise me. I trotted her out and started her right circle and she bucked and popped up in the front and started into a canter. I had to snatch her up as some judges don't approve of that. But I secretly loved to see that she still had that much energy left in her. Well, remember when I said she checked in Saturday with a 3, well she checked out Sunday with a 4! No points lost if the MAW goes up. I loved seeing my girl feeling that good. I had some open riders tell me that I needed to take her Open. I am sure she could handle it, just don't know if my butt could handle it. But I am thinking about it.

My big thing is, I would love to have her earn at least one Novice first place ribbon. I would love to be good enough to actually novice out and then I would HAVE to go CP or Open. I would probably be Open. All I can do is just keep praticing and just trying to be good enough to help her win.

Okay, I am making this a long blog.

Anyway, I had some GREAT horses and riders in my class. There was (horses) Lilly, Beau, Gus, Misty, Red and so many more great horses in my class. It was like when I watch drag racing with David, it is nice to watch a real competition. And boy did I have one this weekend. I felt honored and a little nervous having so many good horses in my class.

During awards, once again, I wasn't really concerned about me. I know that a good horseman helps their horse, so I did the best I could to help her do her best. I got 3rd in my class out of 14. The bad part is, for the last several rides, I have been placing better than Summer. So me getting 3rd actually made me feel even more nervous about her placing. Once they started calling Novice Heavyweight horse, I had a sick feeling in my stomache. After they got to 4th, I really started feeling sick. I KNOW I should not be this competitive, but I so just wanted Summer to do well. Kate L put her hand out for me to hold. I grabbed her hand and squeezed. I remember the last time I held a friend's hand like that, I was in labor! LOL They called third and I thought it was over for me. There were just SOOOO many good horses, then they called 2nd and it was Summer!!!!! She is out of her slump! She has been 5th for the last 3 rides! I was soooo happy. Of course, Lilly got 1st again. But I don't care, she is a good horse with a good rider. So I am happy to come in 2nd to such a good horse. I actually went up to Justin after awards and bowed. He laughed and we hugged. Summer has come in 2nd after Lilly one other time this year. So I know that I have one of those great horses too. It is just be consistant with her and doing all I can so she can do the best she can.

We have two more rides for this season. She had yesterday off and is getting the next three days off as well. Saturday we have the Rides for Strides ride at the Grasslands, but that will be a nice relaxing ride. Then back to work after that. Horsemasters is the 18/19 of this month and Last Chance is 1/2 of November. Then a Texas Trail Challenge on Nov 8th. Then, she is getting a professional massage from Dana. It will be $65 well spent. Summer deserves it.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What a nice weekend...


My mom and her friend Cindy came out to my barn Saturday and actually went on a trail ride with me.


My mom and dad came out a few weeks ago and I harnessed Summer up and gave her and dad a cart ride. Then saddled Summer and she rode her for maybe a minute in the round pen. I got pictures, but they are from her 35mm and I don't have them on the computer.


When she said she would go on a trail ride, you bet I had my digital camera with me. I borrowed a couple of horses from some friends. I got Gazz for mom from June and Amira for Cindy from Tracey. Tracey asked if she could go and I said "of course." She took the role of trail boss so I could hang back with my mom. Gazz's speed of walk is about 2.5 mph, where as Summer, Amira and CP (Tracey's mount for the day) is about 4mph. I wanted mom to be comfortable so put her on Gazz. I think next time she will ride Amira. I was real proud of Gazz and Amira, they took real good care of mom and Cindy. And mom and Cindy had a blast. Cindy is my age and is mom's neighbor. She didn't tell her parents she was going horse back riding as she said they would have had a fit. So she will just show them the pictures! LOL


I tell you, it will be one of my favorite memories. Now I have to get Amanda out there, and she, mom and I will go on a trail ride. I will put mom on Amira and Amanda on Gazz. Maybe in November after my ride season is over. I can't wait!


Later!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fund raiser and my next CTR

My next CTR is this coming weekend at the LBJ Grasslands in Decatur, TX. I have ridden safety there for the past three years, so this will be my first competing ride. Wish us luck.

My main topic for the post is a fund raiser that several folks I know are doing. It too will be at the LBJ Grasslands the weekend after next. So Summer ain't gonna know what hit her. (smile) It will actually be a nice slow ride with a bunch of folks I know who are trying to raise money for a common good.

Please go to my link: http://www.firstgiving.com/tamarahaley and check out both links attached within. I may have shot my goal too high as I know the economy is hurting right now. But it is for a cause that is worthy. My hubby has donated the first $100 for me, but any amount will help. (Course I told him what he would be donating) (smile) Whether it be $10 or $100, it all goes to the same final cause. So if you read this, and you can help, please do.

Thank you,
Tammy and Summer

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Robbers Route




Well, I am almost rested up from my Robbers Route weekend. I can't remember when I have been so tired. Of course, allergies aren't helping any.

Here it goes:

I had been packing all week before the ride. Getting everything ready. I am very weird that way. That Girl Scout coming out in me, "Be Prepared". Course I forgot my picket line, thank goodness Gina loaned me hers. Anyway:

Summer and I pulled out Friday morning about 6ish. I was going to do 7am, but realized that I did not want to be in that morning traffic on I-35W at 7 in the morning. What was I thinking?

I took my time getting there. The drive went real smooth. I stopped every so often and topped off my fuel. About 3 hours out, I stopped at a fruit stand because I had forgotten to get me and Summer some fruit for the weekend. The lady had a big grassy spot next to her stand and I asked if I could unload Summer so she could pee. The lady looked at me funny and I told her that Summer doesn't pee in a trailer. She said okay. I unloaded Summer, she looked around for a minute, parked out and releaved herself. I figured after being in the trailer for 3 hours, she would have to go. It's nice knowing your horse that well.

We loaded back up and took off again. I tell you what, I know some folks that have had problems following Mapquest, but it hasn't done me wrong yet. We got there in 5 hours. Mapquest said 4 and a 1/2, but they didn't figure in getting gas three times, buying fruit and letting your horse go pee. (smile)

We got in and I recognized Kalinda. I wasn't sure if she would remember me. We had only met a couple of times. But she and her hubby Shane invited me to camp next to them. I was so glad I did, they were real fun to be next too. The bad part about the area I parked in though was, I was going to stationary tie to my trailer, but you couldn't do that in this camping area. So Kalinda asked Gina if I could borrow her picket line. What a life saver Gina was! Kalinda put it up for me and Gina said she was leaving Sunday morning and would take it down after I left for the trail ride.

So once I got my camp set up, I finally got to rest a bit. I had only brought sandwich makings and easy stuff like that. I went to my truck that evening, made me a sandwich, and Kalinda snuck up behind me and told me to put it away, I was eating with her, Shane, Gina and Sherrie. Shane made me a piece of chicken that Gina had marinated in something and OMG, is was great. Gina also made this pea salad that I could have eaten the whole thing, and I don't like pea salad. So that was, once again, so sweet of them.

Saturday morning arrived and I got Summer all ready to go. We were going to ride out a little late, but riders showed up at the very last minute into camp. So we were told that we would start another 30 minutes later. Thank goodness it wasn't going to be 100 degrees today. Once we got on trail, Summer thought that Becky's Thief was her bestest buddy, so we had to leave. We hooked up with Ginger and Lady & Kathlyn and Echo. Both of these mares are gaited so Summer hung with them real well. It's weird that she does seem to gait better when she is with other gaited horses. Anyway, later in the day, Nicky and Admiral hooked up with us. Unfortunately, several of us missed a turn, got WAY off course and had to haul butt back to the turn we missed. Thank goodness for hold times, or we would have been very late coming back into camp. Ginger and I hauled it into camp. We were right on max time. Whew!

Saturday night was the best! Brenda hired a DJ and we all danced and just had a rye old time. And I am thinking, that Paula's daughter Terry, had one of the best nights of her life. She danced with every cowboy there.

Sunday morning just seemed like it came too early. (smile) We rode out on time. Nicky, Royce and I rode out together. After awhile, Royce separated and Kathlyn hooked up with us. After the second P & R, I separated and eventually found myself riding with Ginger for a bit. Then found myself riding with Val and Jane, then found myself riding lead with no one. (smile). Summer just couldn't get her head on straight. Course it didn't help when her navigator (me) thought our minimum time was 4:26 when it was actually 4:56! D'oh!!!! So here I am, hauling it, cause for some reason we got behind time! I am such a twit!!!! By the time I realized I was a twit, we were about 1 mile from the 2 mile marker. So Summer and I just slowed down and poked on in. We came in at mid time.

Saturday, Summer lost 3 P&R points. She also lost 6 points for girth soreness. She really gave to Dr. Pat when he touched her girth area. What had happened was, I was to do a judged mount, so I tighted her girth tighter than I would normally, but not so tight she couldn't breathe. However, I forgot to loosen it on down the trail. Once we walked away from Dr. Pat, I checked the girth area myself, she never flinched. I had Linda Courts check it, nothing. I had Carla Jo check, she found a little ouchie spot, but nothing like what Dr. Pat got. I was told to go back and have Dr. Pat check it again. Summer does not like him for some reason and really reacts to him differantly than anyone else that handles her. But I just took my lumps and didn't go back up there for a re-check.

Sunday, she lost another 4 points on P&R's. OUCH! I figured I just wanted to finish on a leg sound horse and her not have a sore back. If I could just finish this ride and not get pulled, I would be happy. By this time, I would be happy to just get my 4 points for completion.

The obstacles included a judged mount and side pass to right by Dr. Pat. Thank goodness Summer is getting her right side pass down. She did pretty good, we only got a minus sign, no points lost. We did a slight down hill with a log cross (Jean, got a good) to Dr. Pat for metabolics check. She was fidgitty, but didn't kill nobody. (another minus sign) We had to take a ribbon with a clothes pin, cross a road, and clip it to a tree. She did good of course. There were several times that Jean hid, so I don't know were she was, just checking for our riding skills while moving down the trail. Oh, and Sunday morning was a trot out, Summer gaited like a champ! She is really coming along with me getting her back into doing a running walk and less pacing. I will let her pace some, because I know she is using different muscles, but pacing all the time is bad for her back.

Anyway, we stayed for awards. I wanted my score cards. You know, this whole time, I only thought about Jean and my own score card a couple of times. I was just so concerned about Summer and her well being, that my judge didn't cross my mind too many times. So I was totally amazed that Jean called me 2nd place in my class. We started with 8 riders and 2 pulled on Sunday, so finished with 6. Summer came in 5th. I cannot say I was disappointed in the least. She gave me her heart and her all. We are just not used to those mountains, that humidity and those horseflys that you could take home for pets they were so big. There were a couple of times we had disagreements, those were caused by her buddy issues. Oh, and let's not forget the "let's slam mom's left knee into a big ol' tree" on Sunday. It is Wednesday right now, and I am still limping and it is a real pretty shade of purple/black. I see now why they want us to be able to off side mount, I had to do that a couple of times Sunday because I couldn't use my left leg to mount anymore.

Well, I will update later if I think of anything else,

TTFN
P.S. The picture above is me, Terri and Jenny. Terri is a fellow Gaited Horse Sense board member who came out to volunteer at this ride. It is so neat getting to meet other folks from this forum: http://gaitedhorsesenseonline.com/category-view.asp
P.S.S. - Forgot to add: I had to get Adriane's hubby Tom to trot Summer out for me on Sunday check out. They both did great. Then lucky Summer won the lottery for the drug test! I told her to quit smoking that stuff, but would she listen to me?!?! LOL We will be fine. It just kinda creeps you out for some reason.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Update on stuff...

On Summer:

Well, this weekend, Summer and I will be on our way to Robber's Cave State Park in Wilburton, Oklahoma. This is for the NATRC CTR Robber's Route. Once again I am nervous and excited and the same time. Summer has learned some new "tricks" over our break, but I am sure we will both forget everything if we are asked to do it. She is getting "side pass to the right", "back thru L shape", "the SCARY, horse eating , plastic bag" (she still gets tense, but will let me touch it and crinkle it and even rub her with it, she will never like them, but trusts me enough that I won't let it eat her.) Also, open and close gates from left and right. She has always done left handed gates well, but now does right handed ones too.

On the RR RMS sign up, it has two Horsemanship judges. One I have ridden under and one I haven't, so not sure what to expect. The one I haven't ridden under, is rumored to be tough. So once again, my objective is just to finish with a nice ride and a sound horse.

On Amanda:

Well, the day I dreaded for her happened yesterday. Eric broke up with her. She was a mess. Her first serious heart break. Dad and I took her out to eat last night. We tried to get her to see the positive side of this break up. I don't know if it helped, but he didn't like Six Flags, she loves Six Flags, he doesn't like scary movies, or anything to do with scary stuff, she does, he didn't even want to go to the track and watch the race cars when David took his car out, she loves to go to the track and watch her daddy and his friends race. To look at it now, they were pretty different, so maybe this break up was a good thing for her. I did tell her that my friend June, her grandson broke up with his girl friend. Amanda smiled at that this morning cause she really thinks Keenan is a cutie pie, and he is.

Well, that it is for now.
Ta-Ta

Monday, September 8, 2008

Something I thought I would never see in my lifetime.

My mom riding Summer! Pictures were taken but with her 35mm. So as soon as I get my copies I will scan and post them.

My parents came to my barn Saturday morning. I have been at that barn for 8 years and my dad has never been out there and mom my has been out there maybe 3 times. And the odd part is, the barn is only about 15 minutes from their house.

I hooked Summer up to her metal Easy Entry as my dad has a bad knee and can't get in the wooden cart. Summer was real good. I'll say it again, as usual. (smile) My mom took pictures, then it was her turn. She got in and dad took pictures. With my mom, I asked Summer to trot and do a running walk. She doesn't have a bad knee or back, so she thought it was kind of exciting for Summer to be moving out like that. When we were done, I asked her if she wanted me to saddle Summer and let her ride. I just knew she was going to say no, but surprized me with a yes. So I unhooked, unharnessed then saddled my big girl. My mom used a mounting block and got on for a few minutes. She hadn't been on a horse in 51 years, she is 59. I swear her grin was from ear to ear she was smiling so big. She was a little nervous and was ready to get off. I found out tho it was because I put my endurance saddle on Summer and it has no horn to hang onto. I will remember next time to put my western saddle on. I got on Summer and rode in around a bit then asked my mom if she wanted to ride double with me. I was actually joking and was shocked she said okay. So, this was Summer's second time to ride double. Shhhh...don't tell my mom or she might beat me to death for not telling her that. (grin) So she got on and we did a spin around the arena. Unfortunately, the camera was out of film after I took pics of her riding Summer, so dad didn't get one of use riding double. Darn it! Oh well, at least I have that memory.

Tracey and I rode Friday and Saturday evening in the pasture and last night in the barnyard. (last night we did obstacle work). Both nights were great rides, even when we had a Coyote as a riding partner and the girls were pretty good working on their obstacles.

It was a really nice weekend.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Proud to announce...

Hank the Hackney pony is back in the shafts!!!

Sunday, Barb, June and myself, harnessed Hank, put the cart to him and I told Barb she was the first test subject. (smile) We took him to the outdoor, fenced in arena for his first time out. He was a little up but did great. Barb then asked me if I wanted to take the reins. So I climbed in the cart and off we went. He did great! I was so excited!!! We finished on a good note and unharnessed him.

Next, we put Summer to the wooden roadcart I had been refurbishing. She did great of course! I even took two new boarders for their first time cart ride. I was a little worried because a wooden cart makes different noisies than her metal cart. But she was an angel.
Monday, we put Hank back in the shafts and drove him in the open dressage arena. Again he was a little up, but did great. Barb drove him first then I drove him and once again finished on a good note.
After Hank, I put Summer back in the wooden cart and gave another boarders little cousin a cart ride. I was real proud of Summer for being such a good girl.

Yesterday, I wanted to drive Hank again. Barb and June were getting ready to go out of town. So I decided to hitch him myself. After harnessing him and putting him between the shafts, I unclipped the cross ties. I gathered up the reins and stood next to the roadcart. Hank started to fidgit and move around. He has down this the last two times and that is why we used someone to head him. But I stood there, talked to him, used the reins and he just settled right down. After a few seconds I climbed in and asked him to walk on. I didn't know Barb was watching me. We drove around the dressage arena then I took him out on the property road. He did great! Barb told me later that evening, she was real proud of Hank and me. That made me feel real good.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summer's vacation is over...and other stuff

My buggy is finished!!!! Whoopy! I will take pictures soon. I definitely want pictures of Summer and her first time between the shafts. It turned out real nice. It is not perfect by any means, but it's good for my first time. Now I have to do my big roadcart. It has one of those folding tops on it. (like a docter's buggy) The top is stored at home, I don't want mice making a home of it. I am definitely taking before and after pictures of that cart. That will be my fancy show cart. I want to use that one for the Pleasure driving classes. I believe that is what they are called. You have to dress in period clothing for the time of your cart. Every thing has to look historical. I can't use a beta-bi harness, it has to be leather. If you have carriage lamps on your cart, they have to look like they were used. If they hold a candle, the wick has to be burned. No electrical lamps. That is my goal in showing with a carriage and Summer.

Well, poor Summer's vacation is over. I brought her out of the pasture last night. Gave her a water only bath to get the crusted salt off of her from all her sweat. While I was doing that, Tracey picked all the little stickers out of her forelock. I know she was enjoying that. Tracey said Summer looked to relaxed.

Tracey and I plan to ride Saturday. Not sure if Six-O, Benbrook or Grasslands. Six-O if Kim doesn't go to her endurance ride, probably Benbrook if she does. It is close and doesn't require as much fuel to get there.

I plan to ride all three days of this long weekend, even if I hit Benbrook all three days. As I have said before, glad they have 3 different trails to use.

Well, Amanda has been driving by herself for over a week now. It was nerve racking turning her loose. I know it was more me than her being nervous. I felt like a momma bird watching her fledgling use her wings for the first time without my help.

She still has the same boyfriend, Eric. She told me that for their 6 month anniversary, he is going to get her a promise ring. I just reminder her that a promise ring doesn't promise him sex! I am trying so hard to make sure she stays a good girl. I don't shove it down her throat, well, okay, I do. But she sees enough young girls at her school pregnant, I think that alone scares her enough for me. And it was her idea to get she and Eric those abstinence rings for his birthday, and they both wear them. I never see either one without them. I constantly have to remind myself, I raised a good girl, now it's up to her.

Well, TTFN

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.
And whose hope is the Lord.
Jeremiah 17:7

Thursday, August 21, 2008

20th anniversary

Yesterday was our 20th anniversary. I can't believe we made it. I can't believe David has put up with my crap for 20 years! (smile) But I got my new/used car, the white, 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo. It is pretty, and boy am I saving $$ on gas. When I got home last night, he had me a bunch of red roses and a card. Amanda had gone to church with Eric and then out to eat. So David and I went out for a nice dinner. Saturday we are going to Winstar for a little gambling. The last time we went gambling was our 10th anniversary.

We were supposed to spend the whole weekend together, and we will. But, Sunday is another All-Out race in Denton and I told him he could go. That is if his car isn't too broke from last Friday night. The rearend broke. I will attach the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny8ibRsWkf4 It is the second race and his is the primered black Chevelle closet to the camera. Jesse is coming over tonight so he and David can tear it down. Keeping fingers crossed it isn't that bad. (Jesse is the guy that walks by the car before it breaks.)

Update on my pasture horse...

She has been in the pasture for a week and a half now. During the heat, rain and cool nights. I figure it is just making her stronger. She has come up every night to eat (except last night tho). I have checked her all over every night, and she looks great. She has a following of 5 other horses, so there are two small bands running out there. Silk's band and Summer's band. Sometimes they all come up together, but usually it is just Summer and her buddies.

Next weekend we start riding. Getting ready for Robber's Route. I have started buying stuff to stock my trailer. I figured since I have been spending time with the family, that putting Summer out to pasture is wonderful exercise for her. And she is looking good. She hasn't got a hay belly and she just has a spark in her eye of happiness. But next weekend is a three day weekend and I am going to ride everyday. I may just trailer to Benbrook and ride there. They have three different trails, so one for each day.

Her being out the pasture has really saved on my hay usage too. And there is PLENTY of coastal out in that pasture.

However, she is not going to like being brought back in. When the Bois D' Arc apples drop, she can't be out there. It is like a kid in a candy store, she will make herself sick on them. Then again, I need her up anyway for her exercise and such. After the ride season is over, she can go back out. I just can't describe how happy she is out there. She is just a different horse.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What a beautiful sight!

There isn't anything prettier than a herd of horses galloping across a huge pasture. And what makes it a beautiful sight? When my Summer is in the middle of them galloping as hard and fast as she can.

I asked my barn owner last night if I could put Summer out to pasture with her herd for about a week and she said that would be fine. Summer doesn't test fences and has always become alpha mare when put out there. She doesn't hurt the other mares, she just has an, "I'm gonna be boss" presence about her that the other mares seem to respect. I watched this last night when I put her out. None of them tried anything with her. Not even Silk, the current alpha mare. Summer pinned those ears at a couple and they darted off. She pinned her ears, snaked her head and stomped a foot at another and it bolted away. Next thing I watched was them all grazing together and not trying to get in her business. After a few minutes of grazing, they all started moving, next thing I know, Summer is rearing up and threw a HUGH buck and started galloping and then the whole herd was off in a flash, back down to the pasture. As the Lone Ranger states, "With a cloud of dust and a hardy high hoe Silver!" they were gone.

I think there is nothing more beautiful when it comes to Summer, as when she is galloping with a herd of handsome Arabian mares.

I feel that running free like that has to be good for the body, heart and soul of a horse. Summer just looks happiest when she is in this state of being.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Catching up...

Well, not much to tell.

My mom and dad went and bought a "we are retired now and we deserve this" car. A new Mustang convertable. I can't wait to drive it this weekend. I have never driven a convertable and Amanda can't wait to drive it as she has never driven a sports car. My mom is so excited about it. She has already named it, Sally. You know, like the song, Mustang Sally. (smile)

They have a 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo that is valued at $8000.00. They could have used it as a trade in and knocked a big chunk off of the new car, but they didn't. This car is 7 years old and is immaculately clean and only 45,000 miles. When they bought this car, David got the windows tinted for a Christmas present. Anywho, they are selling the car. And David told me last night that it was my anniversary present that he is buying it this weekend!!! I know it's not new, but the way my parents take care of their cars, it might as well be. As part of our anniversary, my parents are not asking 8000.00, they only asked David for $2000.00. In 12 days we will be married for 20 years. I would rather have this than a new one anyday, no car payments! I hate car payments. Even my parents hate them, that is why they are paying this car off in one year. My dad is a whiz with finances!

No much to report on Summer. She is still doing good. I am riding ever so often in the pasture. She has really got that right hand side passing down. We have even been opening gates from the right. I am real proud of her, she is a quick learner. Now if I can just take some of this junk out of my trunk, I might be able to ground mount without any aids!

I guess that is all I have for now!

Taa-Taa

Monday, July 28, 2008

Great weekend but bad beginning to this week




Friday night I went with David to watch him race. It was a test and tune night for him as his competition race isn't until next Saturday night in Denton.

He ran the fastest he has ever ran in that car Friday. He sounded like John Force he was talking so fast after he got back to the truck. John Force is a professional drag racer and he is full of adrenaline after a run, David sounded just like him, it was too funny. http://www.johnforceracing.com/

Anyway, he ran a 5.62 at the 8th mile. This week he is installing a new shifter which should help him even more.

Saturday was our barn cook out and trail ride. I rode Summer in my Circle Y western saddle, it was so weird not riding in my endurance and somewhat uncomfortable, the stirrups aren't turned and they hurt my thighs and feet. I think it is broomstick time for those stirrups. We had a wonderful ride and great food. Mark and Mel brought their daughter, Maddie. She is almost 6 months old, time goes by too fast. But she is beautiful, blond hair, blue eyes and a little budda belly. She is so sweet. I will get some pictures posted today of her.

During this day, I made a decision, I have been wanting to get mine and David's living will done, everything we own of course goes to Amanda, but she is not a horse person, I have been trying to find and that one special person to will her too if, God forbid, something were to happen to me. I don't want to leave that burden on David or Amanda. I was watching Mark and he approached Summer as she was tied to the round pen. He started loving on her and hugging her and talking to her. Right then it dawned on me, Mark was the person. So I asked him if he would do this for me and he said he was so honored and said there was no question, he would give her a forever home if something happened to me. I told Barb (barn owner) and David, just in case something happen to me before I got the paper work done, that Mark and Mel was Summer's God parents. Weird how something like that just dawns on you when you aren't even thinking about it. I guess cause the whole time they were there, Summer was the only one Mark loved on.

Summer is a true safety horse:
That evening we rode out again, Kelsie, Tracey, Kanisha, Deborah, Larry and myself. We got about 3/4 mile out and Larry's gelding started to spook and Larry lost his hat. He got off and bent down to pick it up, as he did this Eagle bolted. So Summer and I kicked into our NATRC safety mode and started tracking him as Eagle doesn't know the pasture that well. We tracked him into the woods and he turned and saw us and made a bee line back to us. Unfortunately, he still didn't want to be caught and bolted past me and everyone else and back tracked the way we came from and he was gone. Well, I wanted to see if Summer was a true safety horse and didn't want Larry to have to walk all the way back to the barn. Larry climbed aboard and we rode Summer double back to the barn. She took it like a pro and never balked. So now I can honestly say she tracks loose horses, ponies and rides double.

So Saturday was a pretty nice day.

Yesterday started good and ended horrible. We went to my parents and picked up Amanda and dropped a carriage box off for my dad to build a new one. Got home ate a late lunch, went to do the dishes, picked up the crock for the crock pot out of the dish washer and my back seized up! So I am sitting home right now at this computer writing this. I have to alternate between laying, standing and sitting, plus taking Naproxin Sodium and vicodin to relieve the pain, which of course is making me drowsy. I am actually droopy eyed, and head nodding as I write. I really hope to make it to work tomorrow. I hate using my benefit time for anything else other than family and horses. (smile)

Well, gotta go lay down for awhile now.

Taa-Taa

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Very proud of my hubby!


Well Sunday, David's horses finally came in. He raced at North Star Dragway http://www.northstar-dragway.com/ at their All Out. It is kinda like what that do on that show Pinks, but not with $10,000. David won $500 in his class. I was very proud of him. I did not go though, I should have, but this fat chic just didn't want to deal with the heat, it was supposed to be 101 degrees and he said the track thermometer read 148 on the concrete!!!! OMG, I can't believe that. I swear he looked like he had dropped 10lbs when he got home that evening, maybe that 148 degrees sweated it off of him. There are no trees and you are surrounded by concrete, exhaust, and burning rubber from the tires. I told him the next evening race his does, I will go. It won't be All Out though. His class he races in is Texas Tru Ten-5 http://www.texastrueten5.com/ . I love to watch him race, but is really scares the hell out of me, hence why I don't go too much. His friend Jesse goes and Jess knows to call me if there is an accident. David does have all the safety stuff, roll cage, helmet, neck collar, fire suit, wheelie bar, and I am sure I have left something off. But bad things could still happen, so it still makes me nervous.

The last race I went to, was last year. Several of our friends went. At one point, one of the guys walked up to me, put his arm around me and said, "you are as nervous as a cat in a cage." I didn't realize that every time David went to line up at the tree, I began pacing. And wonder why I don't go. (smile) I probably give myself ulcers every time I do.

Anyway, just wanted to brag a little.

Here is a little mix I put together, hope it works. Turn on sound!
http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h262/tnwlkgrl/Chevelle/?action=view&current=912037bd.pbr

TTFN

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Been awhile since I posted...


What can I say but "same stuff, different day", at least for the most part.

Been riding at the barn a lot. Went to the LBJ Grasslands last Sunday (July 6th) with Barb, June, Denis, and Deborah. We had a WONDERFUL time. I haven't had a day so nice in a long time. We rode the 10 mile red loop as Barb's mare "C" is a greeny, but you wouldn't know it by riding with her, she was as solid if not more so than the other horses she was with, she just got a little more tuckered out than the others.

June brought her miniature horse "Little Bit" and stayed in camp to drive (cart and harness) and just walk around. She said that next time she is bringing her riding mount and going out with us. She didn't know it was going to be that nice out there.

Once we all got back from riding, Denis and Deborah brought hot dogs, links, and a little bar-b-que pit to cook them in. June brought all kinds of snacks and drinks. Before we ate tho, Barb, June and I took our horses into the pond. Summer actually drug me into the pond and headed straight to the middle and took me for a swim. She loves to swim and I just hang on to her lead rope and let her take me "skiing" of sorts. It is real fun. Then she decided to stick her nose in the water and blow for as long as she could making bubbles, Barb and June laughed so hard.

David and I were on vacation this past week to spend time with Amanda. She is 17 now and it won't be long before she is grown and gone. I actually cried about that the other day. I told David I was going to be a horrible "empty nester"! He told me I wouldn't, I would probably just buy another horse to take up my time and $$. (smile)

Tuesday (July 8th), we took Amanda and her beau Eric to Fossil Rim wildlife park, then on to the wax museum and Ripley's Believe it or Not. Eric had never been to any of that and has lived here all his life. His family is very much into their church and so every thing they do is church involved, which I really like. He is a good kid, David and I really like him. Amanda told me today that Eric really likes us too and wants to meet more of her family. Hmmmm...??? Never know, he could be my son-in-law some day.

Yesterday, Tracey and I went to the Six-O ranch to ride. We only got to ride about 14 miles, but spent to whole day out there. Not sure we will do that again any time soon. It was about 103 degrees and no pond to get in. I guess that is why I REALLY like the grasslands, I love that pond. We had planned to ride this morning out at Benbrook, but her hubby was home and I wanted to spend my last day of vacation with my family, so we decided not to go.

Got my barn chores done this morning. Got Summer's pen, trough, feed bucket, etc...cleaned and ready for her. Bought fed and got that dumped. David and I bought hay and picked up a few bales for Tracey and got that stacked this evening with Tracey's help. (Thanks girl!) BTW...GORGEOUS hay and HUGE bales.

Well, it has taken me all day off and on to write this and I think I will say ta-ta for now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Update on everything...Mom, Granny, Libby...

1. Friday was my mom's birthday. If you remember, my Granny passed away in March, my mom's mom. Also remember that Granny and mom share the same birthday. So this was going to be a hard day for her, the first birthday without Granny.

On Thursday, at the last minute, I asked my Sergeant if I could have Friday off and they approved. I got Amanda up and ready and we headed to mom and dad's. Dad and I have been having problems and I knew it would be good to let them go on this day. Well, we got there and rang the door bell, both mom and dad started crying. Mom was holding two Mylar "happy birthday" balloons and some flowers. We walked in and all started hugging and crying. Dad told me he didn't want to fight anymore and neither do I. After we settled down, mom told me they were going to the park to release one of the balloons for Granny. I told her that sounded good. Then I told her we needed to hurry tho cause we were going to Oklahoma and do a turn around. It is a 3 1/2 hour drive there. She had a somewhat shocked look on her face. I told her that since she didn't want me to get her anything for this birthday, that my gift was to take her to OK and put flowers on Granny's grave and to get to see the head stone she hasn't got to see yet. More tears. Amanda and I thought she wouldn't go, my mom is not a spontaneous person, so we were shocked she said okay. Had she said no, we were going to trick her into "going to the store with us", then just take off to OK. We are a sneaky bunch.

We got there about 1pm and my Aunt Doris (Granny's sister) had made a wonderful lunch. We ate, went and got flowers and headed to the cemetery. It is an old country cemetery, very quiet and serene. Once we visited, placed beautiful red, artificial roses on Granny's grave, and replaced all the flowers on the other family headstones, and cleaned up some others, we headed back to Aunt Doris'. About 5:30 we headed back for home, another 3 1/2 drive. Mom was so happy and sad at the same time. I told her I was glad she had a good birthday and that I couldn't call it happy because Granny wasn't here, and she told me it was a happy birthday for her. Course I couldn't cry when she said that cause I was driving. (smile)

Mom just couldn't believe I was doing this and that she went along with it. But I just couldn't see her not getting to visit Granny on the first birthday of her being gone. It wasn't really closure, but it had to be done. Mom had to go visit. I guess I can't explain it, but I am sure those who read this will understand.


2. Libby is all better! Took her to the vet yesterday after work and had her stitches out and the doctor gave her an all clear and she is all better. I was so happy. It was Pyometra and due to her uterus being enlarged when they removed it, some of her hormones escaped into her blood stream and that is what is causing her false pregnancy. She is doing better on that too. She isn't nesting as much anymore and she has stopped dripping milk. Her boobs are still a little enlarged, but it is starting to pass.

Well,
TTFN

The Lord who created you... says... I have called you by name; you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where to begin...


1. Libby had her surgery on Friday and came home Friday night very groggy. But good news on Saturday, she was drinking on her own, FINALLY! I was so happy. For the past week I had been tricking her into getting fluids in her. But now she is showing odd behavior. She has gathered up all her toys on her bed, even the ones that were outside. If you move them all to a different location, she will go get them and put them back on her bed. A couple of friends of mine said she is "nesting". WHAT?!? Now she is lactating! She is going through a false pregnancy! Poor baby, her hormones are all messed up now. I was told that all should clear up in about two weeks. But I will be calling the vet just to make sure all is okay.

2. I worked the AHA Region 9 show again on Friday after I dropped Libby off at the vet that morning. June and I worked the Working Cow Horse class for 2 1/2 hours. We worked the calf gates. That was fun and exciting! We worked with Carrie, who raises Arabians, and a man named Dale. Dale was a little more than nervous that all his "Cow pokes" were females, and two of whom have never worked cattle, me and June. (Carrie and her hubby have a working cattle ranch). Anyway, once we got our jobs down, we were a well oiled machine. Dale was teased by other cowboys because he had a female crew, but we showed them that women make good cow pokes too, and we have been invited back to work the same gates at next years show cause we got so many compliments! (above pic is an example)

3. Saturday was a nice, laid back day. Barb (barn owner) and I went for a morning ride in the pasture. I took Amanda shopping for her Father's day gift for David. She got him a new tool box. Then we went home and just hung out for the remainder of the day.

4. Father's day was horrible for me. That's all I have to say about that day.

5. Monday and Tuesday night I went riding by myself. Okay, not by myself, sort of. Bo and Luke went with me. They are the barn dogs and Summer is getting real used to them being with us. She actually looks for them when they get out of her sight. Monday night I did something some might consider a bad thing. But if you know me well enough, you would know that I had to do it. I saved a baby skunk from Bo and Luke. I know, I know..."he might have been rabid, you should have let them take care of him." But you should have seen it, he was SO cute! And so little. I am sure he had wandered away from his nest. Luckily, we never saw momma, I would still be stinking had we seen her.

Last night was a good ride as well. It was only 81 degrees, the wind was blowing some and there was some cloud coverage and even a little sunshine rain. It was very nice, and no skunks.

TTFN

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

AHA Region IX Championship Show


Last night I work the above titled show. It was sooooo cool. I finally got to see a Native Costume class. It was absolutely fabulous! The riders and horses were just gorgeous. It is something I will never forget. I worked the "IN" gate, which means I could have reached out and touched the horses as they went in to the arena. And June worked the "OUT" gate. The show is all week long and we have also volunteered to work Friday after I drop Libby off at the vet's that morning.

I was joking with the girl that recruited me, Carrie, and told her when you volunteer at an endurance ride you get a t-shirt, she said, "we don't give t-shirts, we give baseball caps." So June and I got a real nice cap and was told we would get another one on Friday after we were done. They also feed and give drinks to their volunteers. And I thought it would be hot, but the arena's are air conditioned, so that was nice.

The classes were all kinds: Native Costume, Park Horse, Country English Pleasure, Western Pleasure and many others. But last night was the first night of the week and there are so many more classes for the rest of the week. Friday will be exciting for June and I cause we will be working in the arena for the Reining classes and Cow Horse classes. And they say Arabs aren't good for working cows! Psh....I beg to differ!

On Libby, she is doing okay. I am STILL tricking her drink water. But that is okay, I just can't wait to get this surgery over with.
_____
**Picture above is not from the show I attended last night, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Libby day 6...

Libby at 1 month old

Well, the vet told me yesterday to watch Libby go potty #1 and #2. So I had my daughter lock her in the house yesterday at about 11am and let her out at 3pm. Amanda called at 3:10 and said Libby #1ed and it lasted about 7 seconds. So last night I let her out about 6:15 again and she #1ed for 10seconds. I know, weird to watch your animal do it's business. At about 9:30 she #2ed and it was the right consistancy and moist. So that was good. If it was diarrhea then the vet would worry more about the Pancreas than the girlie problems.


I am also tricking her into drinking still. I put about 3/4 cup of water in her food and she lapped it up and then we played a game last night with her kibble. I put about 7 pieces of kibble in a bowl of water and she had to play bobbing for kibble to get them. So she got another 1/2 cup in her system.


The vet said that due to the moist food she is eating, plus I am tricking her into drinking, she may not drink on her own until she is switched back to dry food. Plus she is an indoor dog and not in the TX heat all day, she isn't as thirsty.


Her spay appointment is still on for Friday, I just can't wait to get that over with.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Had a nice weekend...

Despite having a sick pooch at home, I did have a nice weekend at the barn.

Tracey, Wes (her son) and I, worked on the trails all last weekend, cutting, trimming, clearing and marking. Then Saturday, Traci, June, Amanda and I took back a trail that hadn't been used in about three years.

Sunday morning, the barn owners brother in law mowed all the trails. It was wonderful. All the trails were ready for company.

About 11am, Mark and Melinda showed up with their ponies and they brought some friends of theirs and they brought their ponies. All the boarders showed up and they brought friends who also brought their mounts. So it was wonderful. We had all kinds of food and drinks.

At about 1pm we saddled up and went out. It was Kelsie, Tracey, Larry, Mark, Melinda and their two friends and I. We rode about 1 1/2 hours in the sweltering heat. Course Mark decided he was going to sneak up on me, pass me at a trot and then take off. Woohoo, what a gallop. Larry stayed with us and Tracey took the other folks to another trail. I love galloping Summer but don't do it very often. She just feeds off of Gypsy and does great when following her. She has dropped some of that hay belly she put on so didn't show any signs of stress when we got back to the barn.

When we got back we ate and visited. Then about 5:30 went out again with several other folks. Dennis, Deborah, a couple they know who brought these two BIG black Tennessee Walkers (absolutely gorgeous!),Dennis Jr. , Kelsie, Tracey, Mark and Mel, their friends and Barb (the barn owner) on her green but VERY capable mount and June on her very steady, bomb proof mount. No galloping this time, just a nice ride.

I got to play trail boss on both rides, which was okay cause I know the trails pretty well and was able to give everyone a nice tour and not keep hitting the same trails or retracing them to much. When you hit all the trails, you get about 5 miles or a little better.

During the second ride though, I felt kinda bad as all the gaited horses, Amira (Tracey's Arab) and Kelsie's barrel horse were just walking out and leaving the other behind. Mark's Gypsy could have kept up but he couldn't leave his company, which got seperated from the group anyway when they took a wrong turn. Thank goodness for cell phones as Mark and Mel had to go find them. Barb and June walked the slowest and stayed together. Which was great. Barb's green mare needed a reliable horse to ride with and that would be June's girl, Gazmarra.

But it was a great day. I hope to do it again real soon. Which may be 4th of July as Mark and Mel invited us to go horse camping that weekend. So far, it sounds like a plan, as even David would go if Mark will be there.

Libby update...

She got to come home Friday evening. She looked real good and seemed like her old self. However, she has not drank any liquids this weekend. I bought some Pedialite Sunday morning and she drank a little of it. I figured it would get some electrolites in her. So when I fed her I put about 1/4 cup of pedialite and 1/2 cup of water in her prescribed can food the vet sent home with her. She is eating real good and has not thrown up. But I have not been monitoring her pottying. So we need to start doing that. I just talked to Doctor Ozee and she wants me to monitor that tonight and if she has very loose stool and not urinating, I need to take her in for another CBC test for her Pancreas. She says she might not be drinking due to the canned food she is getting, I need to start switching her back over to her food. She is taking her medication good, and she is getting spayed this Friday. So, after this surgery, if she is still not doing well, it is her Pancreas. I have read so much on the Pancreas that it scares me. I am still praying that it is the girlie problems.

I hated saying it to Dr. Ozee, but I don't know how much more money I can spend on her. But we will try to do all our pocket book will allow. I hate doing it, but I would even go to my dad for help. I love this ugly mug and just can't let her go yet.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Libby update...


The vet called yesterday evening. They are not 100%sure that it is Pancreatitis yet. There is an illness called Pyometra that only intact females can get. The symptoms are exactly the same and the reading on the blood work can look the same. They should know today what they are dealing with. I pray that it is the Pyometra as all she would need is an emergency spay. Pyometra is a one time thing, fix her and it is over. If is is Pancreatitis, then I would have to make sure she never got a bite of human food for the rest of her life.


Dr. Ozee said that she and all the staff are in love with Libby. She just went on and on about how sweet she was and that she was soooo loving. I have admit, she is right. That dog of mine is just the sweetest thing. And she was real happy that Libby took some food. They fed her some perscription dog food. I was happy to hear that as she hadn't eaten in 36 hours. Of course if it is the Pancreas, then she was to fast for 24 to 72 hours anyway, at the vets descretion.


Please keep praying for her and that it is the lesser of two evils, Pyometra.
The pic above should be titled: A face only a mother could love.
And boy do I!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My poor, sick Libby...


I got home last night about 5:30 from work. Libby's (my Bulldog) lips and gums were grayish white and dry. I knew she was dehydrated. However, she had water, but she is very picky. If there is even dust in it, she won't drink it. So I freshened her water and put a couple of ice cubes in it. She started to drink, but wasn't guzzling, so I wasn't too worried. Now, she is a indoor/outdoor dog, she has a doggie door so I was pretty sure it wasn't heat exhaustion. Oh, and she didn't eat her dinner, which was unusual, but not unheard of.

I got home from the barn about 9:30 and saw her water bowl that she had drank about a half a bowl, which I was happy about, but she still hadn't eaten her dinner. Now I was getting more worried. But when she threw up her breakfast and almost all the water she drank, I couldn't wait till this morning to take her to the vet. I called a couple of ER's and took her to the one my vet recommended cause they are right across the street from him.

My fear was an impaction or bloat. After $400 in x-rays and blood work, no impaction or bloat but she had gas all in her intestins and stomache, but she wasn't passing any gas. After the blood work came back, her white blood count was high as well as another level that indicated a Pancreas problem. I do not give my dogs the kind or the amount of table scraps that it would take to cause Pancreatitus (sp?). She may get a raw egg every other week or a half a french fry if we have them just so she thinks she actually got something. I pray that someone is not throwing food in the back yard when we aren't home. If they are, I pray I catch them!!!! And then they will pray that I don't beat them to death!!!!

I had to pick her up this morning and take her to her regular vet who it turn kept her today and wants to keep her tonight. More $$ but not as much as that ER cost us which ended up being over $700.00, so no Cass Co CTR for me. But I am totally okay with that, I just want my girl to get better.

Oh, and the X-rays shows she has hip displasia!!! Glad I decided not to breed her as that would pass to her pups!!!

Please keep my girl in your prayers that she makes a full recovery.

The above picture is this morning after I picked her up from the ER and we are headed to her vet. She looks so sad. The purple bandage is where her cathater (sp?) is so they can continue fluids at her vets office.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My "Dub" roadcart...







For the past several weekends, this one excluded, I have been working on refurbishing a roadcart I bought. It belonged to an old man by the name of "Dub" Miller. Mr. Miller was just a very sweet person and he knew his stuff about horses and especially about Crabbet Arabians. He passed away in November of 2006. Last year I bought his old roadcart and have now just started to re-do it.

It was blonde, I have had it stripped and have re-varnished it a red mahogany. I am now putting polyurithan on it. Once that is done, I will have to cut off the shaft tips and put on shaft extensions that I have also repainted. Then the seat needs to be redone. If my barn owner can't find the back to it, I will be building one of those too.

If you knew Mr. Miller, you would know why I couldn't just let this cart go to anyone. When he passed away, my Crabbet Arabian passed away a week later. That was a blow to me, but I wonder if Fawtal knew that Mr. Miller needed a ride to heaven, so he obliged.

Anyway, here are a few pics of where the cart is now. FYI, it had rained about two nights prior to the pictures and some rain/mud splattered it here and there, but nothing that couldn't be wiped off. That is what you see in the pics.

Very nice weekend


Friday night we went to my parents and watched old home movies. My dad had all our old reel to reels put on DVD. It was fun to watch as there was footage of my mom at about 14 years old.

Saturday, Tracey and I went to Benbrook Lake and rode what I call the rocky side. It is about 14 miles round trip. It was warm but the breeze off the lake helped. Summer had two big spooks. One at some wind socks in someones back yard and one at a deer that bounded out of some trees. Amira had one good spook when she rounded a corner and there sat a vulture that took flight immediately. But all in all the girls were good and we had a real nice time. Summer is about chest deep in the lake in the above picture. She is my water baby!

Saturday night I worked for my friend Billie who owns the carriage company. We took part in a wedding in downtown Fort Worth then gave rides the rest of the evening. It was a very busy night. We finally had enough about 11:30pm and headed back to the trailer. I finally got to bed about 1am.

Sunday, I got to sleep till 9am then Tigger woke me up, it was time for her breakfast. About 11:30am, Tracey and I headed to Dover's in Dallas and I found me some riding tights and some riding gloves. Tracey also bought some new tights and a new bit. Then we headed to Sergeants and bought more things we knew we needed. No, really, we really needed more things! (smile) Then we had lunch and headed back to the barn.

So, I had a really nice weekend. I can only hope for another one like it next weekend as our friends Mark and Melinda are bringing their horses to the barn next weekend to go riding and a bar-b-que! WOOHOO, I can't wait!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cass County CTR

Well, I wasn't going to do it cause it is going to be hot and humid. This ride is on the weekend of June 14/15. But with gas prices continuing to SOAR, not climb gradually, but SOAR, I don't know if I will be making the Last Chance CTR in Oklahoma in November. For all I know, it will be $5.00 a gallon by then and that is a 5 hour drive. Cass County is about 3 hours away.

I am thankful that it has been hot and humid here right now and I have been able to ride Summer in it. I know it will be worse there, but this will help some. Our pasture is 100 acres of wooded and thick terrain with a gulley that has a trail through it. So I have been gaiting her and riding her hard and then taking her in the gulley to walk and catch her breath. The gulley has no breeze and air is kinda thick. This will help Summer some get ready for the ride. Cause that is the way the air is going to be there, thick, hot and muggy, and she has to learn to breath in it.

She has put on a little hay belly since the last ride, even tho I have been driving and riding her. I bought this hay down the road, and it is primo hay, I would love to know the protein content of it. I am not feeding her anymore than the last hay I got, but it must be good.

Anyway, after I get her feet done Saturday, she and I are going to do some real riding. I am going to ride her in the pasture as usual, but twice. The first time at a fast, moving out speed, lots of gaiting and maybe some trotting, then the second time, a good fast flat walk. If you hit all the trails out there, you can get a 5 mile ride, so I figured 10 miles will be good. Then we may even go back out and cut trail in the evening. That works her mind and while I cut trail from her back, she gets to graze. So it's a win win situation for us.

I am missing the ride this weekend cause it is a 7 hour drive and I am not comfortable going that distance with Summer, by myself. Call me what you will, (sissy, chicken, etc...), but I err on the side of caution. But I wish everyone that goes a safe ride and happy trails. Especially my friend Jenny and her boy Magic. They are kicking butt this year!!! WOOHOO, go Jenny and Magic!!!!

Anyway,

TTFN

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's day...

Summer got all her shots Friday night so she got that night and all of Saturday off.

Sunday was mother's day. I got my mom some real sentimental stuff of Granny and Grandpa that I had her open in the back bedroom cause I knew she would cry. One was an older picture (late 60's early 70's) of Granny and Grandpa kissing. I blew it up and framed it. One was a beautiful porcelain, I guess you would call it a pill box. It was about 2" tall and 3" long and 1 1/2" deep. It was painted with flowers and had a gold color lip and clasp. On top was written FOREVER. Inside was red silk with a cushion under it. I have had Granny and Grandpa's wedding rings for a LONG time. But with Granny gone now, I just didn't feel it was my right to have them anymore. So I put them in there and gave those to mom too. She cried. I know she was trying to hold it in and not show emotion. This was, as you know, her first mother's day without Granny. She really cried hard when she opened those two gifts. The other gift in the same bag was a smaller, square 1"x1"x1" porcelain box with a rose painted on top. What I put inside of it was Granny's mothers day locket mom gave her several years ago. Granny never put a picture in it. I brought it home from Granny's on that sad weekend. I put a pic of Granny on one side and a pic of Granny and Grandpa on the other. She cried with that gift too. But I think the hardest one was the rings. But like I said, I just didn't feel right having them anymore.

The larger gift I got her I let her open in the living room. It was an angel mom holding her angel baby. The mom was reading to the baby. I bought it cause I thought of me and my mom. After I got it though, I thought of Granny and Aunt Betty. Granny and Grandpa had a little girl named Betty who died at 2 days old. I thought of Granny getting to hold and be with Betty now. But I wasn't going to say that to mom. Of course when she pulled it out of the bag, she cried. I asked her what she was thinking, and she said Granny and Betty. That she shouldn't be selfish, that it is Betty's turn to be with Granny now.

Then we got the old home movies out. They are on reel to reel and are getting very old. Amanda had never seen them so it was a treat to get to see her mom (me) as an 18 month old. And she got to see Grandpa (who died when I was 7yoa). I cried when I saw him put me on his lap then I cried when I saw a shot of Granny giving me a kiss when I was about 2yoa. I just still can't believe it's real that she is gone.

Anyway, David and Dad checked into the price to have all those put on DVD. It will be about $320.00. I told Dad we would pay for half. I want those memories to live on and I want Amanda to have them some day.

Onto a "not so emotional side", Sunday evening Tracey and I went riding in the pasture. I was a nice ride. Summer and Amira were great. Then last night we met up again and she brought her son Wes. We all rode out and we all had a good time. However, with all this rain we are getting, the pasture and wooded areas are really growing over. We have some serious trail work to do. I may try to do some this weekend if the ground isn't too icky.

Anyway,
TTFN

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What a lovely drive tonight

I harnessed Summer up tonight and hooked her to her cart. She and I, and June and Little Bit were going to practice our driven dressage. I took Summer out on the arena and she was SPOOKY, jumpy, and WOULD NOT maintain a trot. So, we just drove the arena and tooted around. June went in and did her test. This size of an arena is the large one, which is much larger than the standard mini arena. And Little Bit is a 28" miniature horse. So she can only make one pass and it was pretty good. At least I thought, but I am just learning this too. So to me, just remembering the test and getting your horse to maintain gait is an accomplishment.

After June and Bit finished, Summer and I entered again and she had settled enough that she did a wonderful second round. She maintained a trot, and being a Walker is hard cause she does have a tendancy to switch to another gait (running walk, pace, etc...). Then I had to bring her to a walk for a small part of the test and then bring her back to a trot (which is part of Training Level Test 1). I calmed myself, lifted my hands slightly and on a loose rein, asked her to trot her last leg of the test, and was wonderfully happy that she did it. We trotted back to "X", saluted to the invisable judge and exited the arena. If she can do this on the 17th, I will be happy. As long as I don't forget the test and she maintains the proper gaits for dressage, I will be so happy to accomplish those two things. I know her maintaining her gait is part my job too, so I will try not to let her down. We just need to make each other look as good as a green team can be without any formal training.

Once we exited the arena, we were done. I didn't work her anymore, finish on a good note.

I am really proud of this mare. No matter how silly she can be, spooky she can be, or down right awnry she can be, she can, in the blink of an eye, remind me why I love her.

TTFN