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!!!!



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.


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.


Friday, May 2, 2008

A weekend Summer drive...

Well, while most everyone I know will be at the Supreme Trail Challenge in Decatur, Summer and I will be honing our driven dressage, or at least try to remember the test. I have driven her the last three nights, getting her used to blinders. I drove her the first year in an open bridle and she does just fine with that, but not too fond of the blinders. However, she is doing pretty good. For driving shows, she has to wear them, so we have no choice. I am also going to work on our wooden roadcart tomorrow and try to make it show ready. I asked Barb (barn owner) if she could get her guys to strip the old paint off as soon as possible. She said yes and that will cost me about $60, but they did a real good job on her carriages. Then I have to fix a stress fracture on a shaft, it is just cosmetic, so no harm. I need to find the back to the seat and re-attach that. So I will be busy tomorrow. I will get Amanda to help and and pay her a little bit too.

I love doing NATRC but I love driving too. To have that animal listen to you and the only control you have is the reins and bit, is pretty thrilling. Summer is already learning to trot on command. But it helps that I am learning how to que her with the reins. Being that she is a Tennessee Walker, if I hold the reins a little to tight, she will break into a running walk, pace, rack, anything but a trot. If I hold the reins up and a little loose, she will go into a trot. Which is what I want for the show. Her trot is ROUGH to ride, but looks so pretty when she is under harness and hooked to a cart. We (Barb, Paula and I) put her between the shafts of the wooden cart last night and I was disappointed that I will have to put shaft extensions on it for it to work. But at least I have a set, I just need to clean them up.

Well, gotta go to work!

Thought for the day:
God rested after six days of work,
and the world didn't collapse.
What makes us think it will if we do?