Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
This picture is our first cross shot and she did fine.
I shot about 30 rounds off of her. Toni didn't want to push her but totally believes Summer is going to do just fine in this sport should I decide to do it. I love shooting guns and I love riding horses. So why not combine the two? But I need to be careful and not spread myself too thin financially. I love sorting, so I am not giving that up. I really enjoy driving, so I am not giving up the Driving Trail Challenges. And she is too good at competitive trail rides to let that talent go to waste, so I can't give that up. Hmmmm? What to do, what to do. Guess I will have to give up something "non"-horsey to afford another new venue.
I told Toni that if she didn't think Summer would be good at this, to please, please let me know. She firmly believes, Summer is going to be good at this too. She told me that Summer reacted great to her first shoot. I told her that I initially bought Summer for trail riding. But Summer has surpassed my expectations as a horse. I never thought I would be driving her. Never dreamed I would be working cows on her and actually winning money doing that. Now shooting!?! She has gone above and beyond anything I could have hoped for in a horse. I know I say it all the time, but I am truly blessed to have this lovely creature in my life.
Oh, and while at Toni's, Summer decided to be buds with Baxter the Angus steer.
I snapped this picture right before they actually touched noses. It was so cute!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Called David and let him listen, via cell phone, to the horrible noise coming from under her hood. And the engine wasn't even on, not to mention I had the keys in my hand while holding the phone to the engine. David came home to fix her. Once again, thank God I am married to a mechanic.
Once he was done, he said the cost of what he did at home, would have been between $500 and $700 at a garage. His cost was $127.00. My cost, a warm lunch and good dinner. I could handle that! He finished about 3:30pm. Since it was too late for me to go to work, we just went to WalMart and I bought oil and a filter and he did that for me yesterday too.
Have a busy weekend this weekend. Taking Amanda shopping tonight for a new dress for her senior photo shoot tomorrow. After that, she is dying my hair. Tomorrow is her shoot, then she, Taylor and I go to Roenoak tomorrow night to work for a carriage company. I will be a driver and Amanda and Tay will be hostesses. They will help folks get on and off the carriages. I think they will get $75 for 4 hours of work. Pretty good $ for teenagers. Then on Sunday, Summer and I are going to Toni's house. Going to work with her obstacle course and work on Summer's trailer issues. David may go. I told him he would get along well with Kelly, Toni's beau. I think they have 4 wheelers, so he could go play with those. Plus, I am taking a pet carrier. Toni has several cats that she is trying to home. I have a feeling David will find something that he may want. He loves cats and I just hope we find something remotely close to the personality that Mia had.
Andy came over last night. And Libby was not fond of him last night. She snapped at him and barked at him. After I scolded her, she sat by me the rest of the evening and just glared at him. It was kind of funny. She was fine with him last week, but I did keep her locked out during Thanksgiving because I didn't want her jumping on my dad's bad knee. So maybe, she really didn't get to know him like I thought she did. Anyway, not sure if I want her to like him or not. LOL
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Andy came over this day also as I have never met him. It was time to get it over with. He seems nice enough, but don't they all at first. He helped me load the car to take some items to Good Will. I treated us to lunch. He went to Cowboy Junction with us as Amanda and I shopped for candles. And went to the barn with us while I turned out horses. I bomb barded him with questions. I even threw a trick question in and he failed that one. But what can I do but pray I raised my daughter right. David treated to our usual pre-Thanksgiving dinner, pizza and at 11pm I had to shoo the boy home.
Thanksgiving came and went very well. We had the usual spread of food. All the Thanksgiving norms. Turkey, stuffing, cranberries, gravy, etc... We watched the movie Angels and Demons as Dad and Andy had never seen it. Took pictures and just hung out. Mom and dad left about 3 o'clock or so and once again, I shooed Andy home at about 6pm. Amanda then went to Taylor's house and hung out and played games until about 10:30pm. So it was a nice day.
Friday came and David, June, Tracey, Amanda and I went and bought hay from our usual hay guy. Plus David did some other "heavy" chores that us chicks didn't need to be doing around the barn. (Yes, I am very blessed to be married to a non-horse guy that doesn't mind doing horse chores).
Anywho, I wasn't sure if I was going sorting or not. But decided I would. We didn't go the previous Friday and I don't like missing to much practice. And I was glad we went. However, practice was a bit different. Instead of 11 head, they were only running 8 head. I guess they couldn't get all the calves out of the pasture so we had to make due with what we had. I did my first run with a guy named Jimmy. We got all our calves in right at 60 seconds. But remember, we were only running 8 head. How would we have done with all 11? Anyway, the rest of the evening, I ran with Robin. It was bust after bust. I still don't understand why we don't do well together. Our second to last run, we got 4 and our last run of the evening together, we did get 6. After that she was a little beat, and wanted to stop. I was already in line and wanted to do one more with this young girl named Kim. She is 12 but looks like she is 15 or so. Anyway, we got all our calves and had several seconds to spare. I was really proud of that run. She is a beginner and was taking direction real well when I was communicating with her. We were just peeling our calves off the wall and working great as a team. So after that run, I called it a night and put Summer on the trailer and went back in to watch the jackpot. There were no novice teams running, just Pro/Am. During practice however, Retty, the announcer, asked if I was running jackpot and I told her no, and she called me chicken so everyone could hear her. LOL Just don't think I am ready to run with the big dogs yet. I am still just a pup in this sport. LOL
On Saturday, Tracey and I headed to Six-0 Ranch in Cleburne. We made plans with Kim W., Toni J., her beau Kelly and Alice Y. Kim invited a co-worked named Katie who invited another friend named Judy. Alice invited Karen H. and in the end, we had nine folks all together. It is hard riding in a large crowd on single track trails if some horses walk faster than others. But at Six-0 there really aren't that many single track trails. There are plenty of trails where you can spread out. That is what I like about that place. Plus, we did inadvertently break up into groups. Kim, Karen and I way out in the front in some areas where we did some fast cantering when the others were safely, far enough behind us. Tracey, Toni and Kelly in the middle where Toni was giving instruction to Tracey and Amira. And Alice, Katie and Judy right behind them. But there were several areas where we just stayed together as a group. It was just such a fun and relaxing ride. We all did the first "loop" for a total 10.7 miles and Tracey, Alice, Karen and I went back out later for about a little 3 mile loop. Very relaxing. Can't wait for the next one.
Me, Kim W., Toni J. on Amira, Judy, Tracey on Sammy, Alice Y., Karen H. and Katie. Kelly was the photographer.
Sunday was "get my barn chores done day" and go home and chill the rest. Plus get a little scrap booking in. And that is just what I did.
So, I couldn't have been blessed with a more perfect 5 day holiday. I could have asked for better I guess, but that would just have been plain greedy of me! LOL
Thanks for reading.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Well, I have been getting my cart and harness ready for the first ever Driving Trail Challenge on Sunday, November 15th, hosted by Candy Bradford and Kate Love. http://www.texastrailchallenge.com/DTC-index.htm
Thursday, while at work, I wondered what time ride out would be for the TTC http://www.texastrailchallenge.com/ to be held on Saturday, November 14th. I thought that if it wasn't too early that I could make that drive in the wee morning hours and do that too! So, Tracey texted Kate and found the ride out wasn't until 10:30! I could do that! So I called Kate and told her to hold me a spot.
Friday night Summer and I went to the sorting arena and just practiced. I didn't even stay for the entire two hours. I was exhausted. I also told my friends that I was just too tired to jackpot and besides, I was leaving at 6am to head to C-bar for the weekend. They were a little bummed but understood. Heck, I was a little bummed, but I was just SO tired, I just didn't think I would do anyone any justice by jackpotting that night anyway. Even though I was very pleased with our practice runs. These were some HUGE calves. They were the biggest Summer and I have ever worked and I was real pleased with her performance.
I awoke Saturday morning and got to the barn at 5:30am as I had a several horse and ponies to feed. Barb, June and Paula were at a CDE in Navasota and Tracey was already at C-Bar. So I got everyone fed and loaded Summer up. She looked at me like I was nuts, but was a good girl and hopped in.
We got there at about 8am. Got settled in and I went and checked in. Trot out at 10am. Your horse was tacked up but you did the trot out in hand. There was a question prior to the trot out by Linda Courts. Mine was, where is the croup? So, stupid me, points to under the dock of the tail to where a crupper lies. Duh! What a Homer Simpson moment! LOL Once Tracey got done trotting Amira, I asked her, let me know if I am wrong when I point to the croup. So I pointed at it and Tracey said, "yes, that's it". LOL, I was just thinking crupper instead of croup. Oh well, brain fart.
The ride went pretty good. One thing I am noticing with Summer, even if her "buddy" is in front and does the obstacle first, she still does the obstacle quite well herself when it is her turn. I still like to leap frog obstacles as I don't want her to always have to do them after her trail partners, but she keeps her head for me. And I also must remember to stay out of her mouth. She just walks so darn fast that I just can't keep doing this. I am just going to have to ride out in front of the pack. She has that 4.5 to 5 mph walk and I can't keep staying in her mouth to slow her down from something she was born to do. So game plans are going to have to change for us. I think it stresses her when I try to keep her at a 4mph walk. I know it stresses me cause I feel horrible for holding her back when she isn't being bad.
The obstacles were technical and I LOVED that! But once again, Tammy read too much into an obstacle instruction and lost 1.5 points at the mount obstacle. Complete horsemen error, NO error on the horses part, she was just trying to do what momma was asking, even tho momma was asking it ALL wrong! LOL But the rest of the day went very well. Too many obstacles to go over, but I loved them all. But I have to tell you about one. It was the last mounted obstacle. Candy had a timed obstacle. It was, once you go between the flags, your time starts. Go to a tree, get a clipped ribbon, go over cavalettes(sp?), do a bow tie figure around some cones, come back, clip the ribbon back on the tree and go back between the flags. Summer kicked butt there. She was hauling some TWH butt! LOL When we were done, one competitor asked me if I did speed events with her, I told her we did team sorting and she said she wondered where the speed came from. LOL I took that as a compliment. And we got a perfect 10!
Awards were very cool! Kate makes BEAUTIFUL hand made lamp shades. And each placing got a lamp shade. The higher the placing the bigger the lamp shade. I looked at them longingly as I have always wanted to win a Kate Love lamp shade. When awards started, and they got to our division, they started at 6th and went up. As any awards do. I about fell out when they called me and Summer for first place!!!!!! I finally have a huge KL lamp shade!!!! It is SO gorgeous! Here is pic:
It is bigger than it looks in the picture. It is almost taking up one whole cushion of my love seat. I have a floor lamp that it is going to go on.
Tracey and Amira came in 2nd and Amy and her new boy Knox came in 3rd! What was cool was, we rode the whole trail together and came in 1st, 2nd and 3rd. LOLThere were 45 riders at the TTC with 7 different classes. So you know Kate worked her caboose off making all those lamp shades for all those placings. Thank you Kate!!!!
After the placing, Candy walked out with 2 trophy halters. A red one for reserve high point and a blue for high point. We were all joking about them and how bad folks wanted them and to give Kate a credit card if you wanted one bad enough. Okay, I know it doesn't sound funny now, but it was funny then. LOL Well, when they said my name for the reserve I almost cried. I put my hands over my mouth and just sat there for a second. I sucked that stray tear back into my tear duct and got up to get Summer's first ever trophy halter from Candy. I was just overjoyed! Once again, my girl did me proud.
And here is Summer's halter. The picture looks orange, but it is red. *
I am so proud of this, I don't know if Summer will get to wear it or if it goes on her wall of fame at home! LOL
Sunday was the first ever, Driving Trail Challenge. Saturday evening, Tracey and Jim Edmondson helped me unload my cart and put it back together. Now, to let you know, my cart had pneumatic wheels. I noticed during the TTC that the trails were pretty rough in some places. And Sunday morning, Rea, a driving friend of mine that came in the AM, told me that pneumatic wheels don't hold up too well on this kind of terrain. And she was right! Read on...
Let's back up to several days before the drive. I had been bugging Tracey to be my navigator. I don't know why, but something was nagging me to have a navigator for safety reasons. As of Sunday, I realized it was the voice of reason/the whisper of God telling me, I REALLY needed a navigator. Paula was my navigator for this DTC. Tracey went and worked with the judge, Linda Courts, on her driving obstacle. I had all my safety gear with me. Spares kit, whip, map, lead rope. Summer had her driving halter over her bridle. We were set. The first two miles went GREAT! Summer was a little antsy when we had to stand still. She must have had a bug up her butt or something, but she just wouldn't settle when we had to wait at some points. There were a couple of areas where we had to wait and she was good, but she was full of herself yesterday. There was a cones course that we FLEW through and that was FUN! There was a bow-tie obstacle that, due to pilot error and not listening to my co-pilot(Paula), I missed completing the bow-tie.
The obstacle that Summer was most antsy at was the water crossing. It was VERY muddy and boggy, but that isn't what was making her antsy, she is plenty used to water and mud. We caught up to the three other horses that were in our class. Oops. The reason, the first QH had to be whipped to cross the water. Now don't get me wrong, she didn't flog the poor beast to death, but she was DEMANDING he cross the obstacle. The second QH was hand walked by the driver because he was refusing to cross it and the mule driver refused the obstacle. I think Summer got so antsy was the pure fact she could hear the horse getting the whip and she was just like, "GET OUT OF MY WAY AND LET ME SHOW YOU HOW IT'S DONE!" When it was our turn I told Paula to hang on. Summer plowed through that water like a tank. LOL We got wet and muddy but it was so much fun! And we got a perfect 10!
Once we completed our first loop, we got back into camp to time out for our second loop. The two QH drivers were going to allow me to go out first since Summer is so fast and we knew the trail. We were started out on the road which is VERY rocky and rutty, at a nice little clip. I was trying to be aware of our terrain and trying to avoid the ruts. I saw one coming on my side and before Summer veered to the left, we hit it. I had the momentary feeling like Summer was now dragging the cart instead of pulling it. When I looked down, the entire wheel on my side was underneath us. I quickly pulled Summer up and stopped her. Paula jumped out and grabbed her halter. When my wheel collapsed, Paula's wheel collapsed due to being the only supporting wheel. But Summer was wonderful. She never lost her cool. She just keep trying to pull us and not trying to run from the horrible noise of the cart's wheels being drug on rock. Both the wheels were lying on their sides under the cart on the rocks. So it was a horrid noise. But she just kept trying to truck on. We unhooked her and drug the cart off the road.
Needless to say, I was bummed. But, looking for the blessing, I found these: I got the navigator I knew I needed, and a professional navigator at that. We broke down right next to camp instead of out in the middle of no where. And Summer didn't loose it when the wheels were torn to shreds. I definitely had a guardian angel by my side on this day.
I was told by more that one person, that Summer would have had first place had the cart not broke. Don't know if that would have happened, but she was out there whipping butt and taking names. But you know, that is okay that I didn't get to finish the trail. What she did do, she did with my extreme approval. And when she messed up, (except for not settling in some areas), she messed up due to pilot error. And the best win was her not exploding when the wheels fell apart. That was a 3 way win. One each for Paula, Summer and me. Here are a pic of the tires. They are in the trunk of my car so my hubby and daughter could see them. Wish I had gotten one while they were on the cart. But you can see how badly they were damaged.
Guess what I get for Christmas? New, solid metal wheels! YIPPY!
Now for the continuation of my thank yous. To Candy and Kate for one heck of a weekend! To the judges for the fun and challenging obstacles and the friendly smiles each of you had. To the volunteers for all that you did. To Paula for keeping your cool during an emergency situation. To Kim W. for helping me bring my cart back to camp with your truck. To Jim, Kim and Cheryl for some outstanding photography! To Alanna for some awesome stew! And to Tracey for being my tail lights all the way back to the barn from the ranch when I lost the light plug on my trailer.
Thanks for reading...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
After I put Summer back in her pen, she got a nice grooming. The full treatment. A brushing with all three different brushes, hard, medium and soft. Then a mane and tail brushing. A face brushing. Hooves picked. And a spraying with Mosquito Halt. She didn't know what to think that I didn't saddle her up for a ride after that grooming. I need to do that every night. I did that with Fawtal and we had a much closer bond than Summer and I do. Summer and I are a good team (or so I'm told), but we are not close like Fawtal and I were. Maybe it is a gender thing as he was a gelding and she is a mare. Who knows. But I do know that grooming is good bonding time with your horse, so I will be doing it much more often and without expecting her to work afterwards every time.
Last night after our routine that I have started as stated above. I got my cart out that I am taking to the Driven Trail Challenge this weekend and washed it. Tonight it gets a new coat of paint so by Friday it will be good and dry for me to load into my SUV.
I think this might be the one big thing I am getting tired of the most about doing any type of competitive trail anything. The packing of the truck and trailer, and the trying to not forget anything. That is the most time consuming and racking of the brain thing that there is. Meaning, probably more stressful than the actual competition its self! LOL At least for me.
But this weekend will be fun. Seeing folks I haven't seen for months and trying something new and praying that it works so we can have more of them.
Monday, November 9, 2009
The weather was just too absolutely beautiful Friday to stay at work. So I asked my co-worker Sharri and my Sergeant if I could just take off the rest of the day and that is where my blessings began!
I left work at 1pm, went home, changed into fun clothes and headed to the barn where Tracey already was. She was off this day too. So I did my chores, we saddled up and went for a very lovely ride. The sun was shining, the temps were perfect and the horses were good. What a great way to start the weekend.
Friday night I had a hard time falling asleep. I had a sorting lesson with my instructor on Saturday with my friend Robin. I was excited and nervous as I realized Friday, Summer was in her monthly season (if you know what I mean). And during that time she usually seems extra spooky. I think I fell asleep about midnight.
Well, I woke up at 5:30 Saturday morning. Yuck! Of course when I woke, my mind started working and there was no shutting it off.
Got to the barn about 8am. Did chores (again). Got the freshness out of Summer in the round pen. And she was feeling her oats. Running, bucking, snorting.
We got to James' at about 10:30am. And started our lesson at about 11am.
Summer is getting more and more relaxed with sorting. She still gets a little nervous about the breaking the herd up, but she is more willing to try. Our lesson lasted about 2 1/2 hours. During one point of the lesson, James pushed the calves from the round pens to his larger arena. He wanted us to practice heading the calves. That was fun! It was sort of like cutting, but on a more distant scale. We weren't right in the calves face like a cutting horse is. Summer was very responsive to me. Again I rode in the S-hackamore with a neoprene cover on it for comfort. She is doing very well in that rig. Then James had me ride another horse of his that is for sale as he has already sold Larkn. I was bummed, but I couldn't find that buried treasure so it wasn't meant to be. But he quoted me a price on this guy that I might be able to do. Gonna ride him this next Friday night to see if we "mesh". Sorrel is not my favorite color, but like I have said before, no good horse is a bad color.
Anyway, back to Summer's lesson. Once I rode the sorrel for a minute, I got back on Summer and we pushed the calves back into the round pens for more sorting work. Robin and James ran several times while I watched, then James and I would run while Robin watched. But the thing that happened that I was REAL proud of Summer for was this; when Robin and James would bust, he would talk to her about what happened and why. While he did this, I would push the calves back into the other pen for their next go around. I really noticed Summer penning her ears snaking her neck at the calves when we were doing this. I wondered, "would she take a nip out of one if I let her get close enough?" So I tried, and she did!!!! Now, that is not allowed in sorting as it is called "roughing up the stock" and can be grounds for DQ. But I was just AMAZED that she is getting so comfortable with them that she did that. I started laughing and told James and Robin what she did. That she must have wanted to see what steak tasted like. LOL
As for our lesson it was GREAT and I can't WAIT for this coming Friday night. James is bringing the sorrel up for me to ride too, but I will be on my Tennessee Walking Cow Pony as well! LOL
Sunday brought ANOTHER beautiful day. My plans were to drive Summer to make sure she is ready for the Driven Trail Challenge at C-Bar next weekend. So I drove her around the barn yard a bit with Tracey riding Amira. Once I knew Summer was relaxed, we headed out on the trails. And she was SOOO good! I gaited her out there and she would come right back down to a lovely relaxed walk when asked. So I think we are ready for next weekend.
This is to be the first Driven Trail Challenge and I SO want to see it succeed. My barn owner is going and so is my friend June. They want it to succeed as well. If it does, we are thinking of holding one at our barn. We have enough mileage to do it and it would just be great fun!
Anyway, that is my blessed, horsey weekend. My "do-it-all" horse, did it all this weekend! LOL
Thanks for reading.
Monday, November 2, 2009
I sorted with Robin and a girl named Kim. Robin and I didn't bust on the first go around, but we did bust on our second, we just didn't bust with a cow. Sound odd? Well, as we were switching places, our left knees collided and it hurt like hell. However, I shook it off and went after the calf that she had trouble with. I never thought to look back to make sure she was okay. Mistake. I was bringing about 5 calves around and when Summer and I turned around to face the hole, there was Taz with no Robin. CRAP! I pulled Summer up and a couple of guys were jumping in the pen to back the calves off. Robin was bruised up but not broken. I never thought that our colliding would knock her off as it didn't knock me off. But 20 years of riding compared to 7 months, might make a difference. I felt HORRIBLE! I was so focused on that number 4 calf (see, I even remember which number I was going for!) that I didn't realize that the spectators were hollering at me to stop. Maybe had they hollered my name I would have realized they were talking too me and not just yelling cause they were excited about the action. Heck, they may HAVE hollered my name. Stupid Tunnel Vision! You have to get out of that tunnel vision if you're going to do this sport I guess.
Kim and I finished with 4 head. Robin and one of her other partners finished with 9! I was real happy for her. She has had several wins but is still having some confidence issues. She and I are having a lesson this next Saturday so we can work on our team skills. I want so bad for her and I to have a win together. We practice together and we jackpot together a lot, but just no wins. Our horses are even starting to get along we run so much together! LOL
Robin and I talked for about 30 minutes Saturday morning and all was good. I just told her that I felt bad as Kim's dad wanted me to run with her so he paid for her to run an extra run with me. I told Robin that I felt like I wasted his money. She told me to quite thinking like that. I told her that Kim and I have never run together and we only did 2 practice runs that night. I think we just need more practice runs together and we should be fine if we jackpot again. But, Kim and I didn't bust, so that is a plus.
Summer was real "on" again. She worked REAL good for me. She was working that hole like a experienced Quarter Horse. 3 times, she used her chest to block a calf. I put her chest right on the corner of the hole to block a calf and she totally listened to me and did it without loosing her cool. One of the three times, the calf was going to go through no matter what, it pushed it's way between Summer's chest and the pen and she still didn't loose her composure. That was a win for me. Just her not loosing her cool when a bust was going to happen no matter what we did, even with a calf pushing it's way through the hole. I told Robin that even when you don't actually win $ at the end of the night, you still have to look at the personal wins. And Summer working that hole like she did was personal wins for us.
Saturday morning, about 10ish, found Summer and I on the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth with Tracey and a new friend, Toni James and her beau, Kelley. Tracey got to go as something happened with someone that was to come look at Gypsy that morning. Not sure of the story, but I talked her into going with me as I didn't leave the barn till about 9:20am. So she threw her saddle and Amira in the trailer and was glad she did!
That Toni is a hoot!!!! We had a great ride on good horses. Toni had never ridden there and was pleasantly surprised. I just think it's neat to ride near and around the city. I love regular trail rides, but it's nice to change up the view once in awhile.
We stopped at the little train station in the Trinity Park and the kids had a blast. We let them sit on the horses while parents and grandparents snapped pictures. Once the train was ready to pull out, I made Summer go stand next to the engine as it pulled out, then we started gaiting with it as it moved down the track. She was so good. She left the other three horses to do this and did it willingly! Toni said I looked like a train robber! LOL But the kids and families ate it up. I was glad we could be a part of their day.
After our ride and practicing city type obstacles, we went and had lunch and promised that we would go to places that neither of us had ridden. Tracey has been to more local trails than Toni and I, so she promised to be our guide! LOL And Toni has never been to the Six-O ranch, so I think if the weather holds up, that will be our next destination!
Sunday was chores day. I got all me pens cleaned and I cleaned the bathroom as June is always the one doing that. Tracey had some folks out to look at Gypsy and they fell in love. I let the experianced 8 year old daughter ride Chompers and she just rode him and he behaved like he had been doing this forever. No lead line. She just took him off and rode him around while her mom rode Gyp. Her dad took video and they said they would send Tracey the vid so I could have it too. It was so cute, here is her mom on Gyp and her on Chomps riding down the barn rode. Tracey called them David and Goliath. LOL
After they left, we went to lunch, got back and I harnessed up Summer. The last time I drove Summer she actually scared me. She was a ball of nerves and was NOT good. I had worried that doing the sorting was screwing her up. Barb said no, it was not. She was not an idiot and sorting would not mess her up. So I ground drove her last night and she was good. Tracey helped me hitch her up. I asked Tracey to get her helmet and Summer's lead rope and ride with me. If Summer started to act up again, she could get out and go hook to her halter while I still had the reins. But Summer was her old sweet self and we had a good drive. Tracey had to remind me that even horses can have a bad day and she said like Barb did on that bad day, Summer was just having her bad day. I guess we all deserve to have our bad days every now and then.
Thanks for reading!
Monday, October 26, 2009
This was my forth time since I have been ranch sorting (about 3 months now) that I have competed in the beginners jackpot. So few times, that I can actually still remember each one. LOL The first was with Cynthia and Robin...bust and bust. The second was with Cynthia and Robin...1st place win with Cynthia, with my girl Summer. The third was with Connie and Robin...2nd place win with Connie, with me on Lark N Lena. And this past Friday with Connie and Robin and another 1st place for me with Connie, with me on my girl again.
Friday I took a vacation day and Tracey and I hung around for most of the day. Going to Horseman's Supply and Teskeys. Bought a little of this and that. Had a really nice day.
We got back to the barn and rode a couple of miles around the barnyard before I had to load up and go to the arena. I think that was good for Summer. She had been out of her stall all day in a grassy turnout and then I had a chance to warm up her muscles before taking her to Roy's. Got to Roy's (the arena), tacked her up again and warmed her up some more.
She was really on, she was really good for me during practice.
As the evening crept in, the temps started to drop pretty good. You could see the steam coming off the horses rumps. About 30 minutes before practice was over, I tied her to the trailer with a bag of hay. I went back inside and just visited with some folks and watched the rest of the practice session. At about 9:15, the Pro-Am jackpot started. I watched the qualifying/first round of the jackpot. That took about 35 minutes...maybe. I didn't watch the second round as I knew I needed to go get Summer and slowly warm her muscles back up. It had gotten down right nippy. I was wearing a sweat shirt, and light jacket and gloves, pretty chilly out. I walked Summer quite a bit in the warm up arena and then gaited her. Got her good and ready for our jackpot runs. Most everyone else runs 3 to 5 runs. My finances (after buying, feed, hay, shavings, stall rent, etc...) only allows for me to run the minimum of 2 runs. (Beginners have to run a minimum of 2 times) Anyway, There were a total of 11 teams. Being the nervous nelly I can be (aren't we all that compete in anything?), I just continued to ride Summer around at a walk to keep her muscles and such warmed up. I didn't want to watch and see what we had to beat. LOL Of course, I couldn't help but look over when a team was running. Most qualified for the second round. Robin and I busted on the first round and I think another team busted. But my other partner, Connie, and I qualified with 3 head. However, Connie and this new guy qualified with 4 head. That made me a little more nervous. I sure did want to win. But don't we all want to win at whatever we are competing at? Isn't that the point? LOL Anyway...I couldn't help but watch the second round while keeping Summer warmed up. (Did I say it got down right cold? LOL) I watched as Robin and a male team mate finish with a total of 6 head. She was happy. But Connie and her male team mate finished with a total of 7. All I was thinking (and I always tell myself), "slow and diliberate, slow... and diliberate." I have learned, going in as a beginner, don't go in with guns a blazin'. That's okay if you have been doin' this awhile, but not good for a beginner to do. You will end up busting. Well, Connie and I got 4 for a total of 7! I threw my left fist in the air and then laid on Summer's neck and gave her a good pat and hug. I was just happy we finished with 7 and no bust. Then the announcer gave us our time, our head count and stated that we were sitting in first!!!!! OMG! She and I gaited like champs out of that sorting pen. I was so happy! However, there were still 2 other teams to go. I couldn't watch. I just kept riding Summer to help her muscles cool down slowly after that fast exersion with the calves. Once again, couldn't help but watch as I rode. (I know...I'm bad) Both of those teams busted. Then Reedy (the announcer) tallied the placings and I heard that Connie and I had won! Connie and her male team mate came in 2nd.
I didn't cry this time. I was just over excited!
But to be honest...I didn't think this would happen again. So why did I compete her again? Hmmmmm? Maybe, deep down...I knew it would happen again. Maybe I have more confidence in Summer than I even know I have. Maybe only Summer knows how much confidence I really have in her and she just sets out so show me everytime I get on her back. Kinda like, "Let me show you what I can do today mom!"
Thank you for reading...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Fixing to ride under a train trussle, that is Cyn and Em in front of us.
*****************A metal recycle facility...pretty huh? LOL
******************************The Trinity River
******Cyn, Em, Sarah and John in the lead to cross the pedi bridge.
***************On the pedi bridge looking to the right.
***********************Trinity River looking towards Main St. bridge
Crossing the wooden Davis Bridge. I drove across this when we drove our carts and buggies out here. My most favorite driving picture of Summer is her crossing this bridge while hitched to a cart.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Well, I decided to go ahead and run the beginner jackpot with Robin and Connie. But Summer was extra nervous and I was starting to feel bad about agreeing to run with them. I am sure it was because the calves were so "up" as she was good the previous Friday. But I was afraid that Summer might get too nervous and blow it. I would have felt like I had wasted their money. About 8:20pm, Robin and I were near the front of the right pen. James was riding by on one of his horses and I hollered out to him that I was ready to ride one of his horses. (Back up to the previous Friday. He offered for me to ride one of his finished horses in the jackpot. I just didn't feel right about it, but was very honored that he would entrust me on one of his horses. I did tell him I would like to ride one during practice sometime and he said, "okay".)
James was on a big bay when I said I was ready. He told me to do my run and come to the warm up arena to get to know the horse. After our run, I went and tied Summer to the trailer and met James in the arena. The horse was a clients horse and was for sale. Well of course he was! LOL But I felt honored once again, that he entrusted my riding abilities to ride a horse of this caliber and it also being a clients horse. But I guess you have to test drive the Corvette before you buy it! LOL
OMG! Could this horse move or what! I know I am a big girl, but thank God I have a pretty good seat and have taken riding lessons. This horse was so sensitive to everything I asked of it. And boy could he spin! He and I worked together for about 10 minutes and then James and I got in line to practice. It was just a rush! I love my Summer and am VERY proud of what she is capable of for not being a cow horse, but this horse was just awesome! Then again, he was trained as a cutting horse. (The horses name is Lark N Lena)
After our practice, I asked James if he was using Larkn in the jackpot. He wasn't. He was riding his blk/wht paint mare. So I asked if I could ride him in the jackpot. And he let me! There were 11 teams. Robin and Connie got 1st with 4 head and Connie and I got 2nd with 4 head. Robin and Connie received a little bit faster time. But with 11 teams competing, 2nd place received a cash prize as well! WOOHOO! LOL
James invited me to his place on a dry day to ride Larkn. Well, Robin and her hubby keep their horses at James', so I asked Robin what day she was going to ride. She said she was riding the next morning (Saturday). So I met Robin on Saturday morn at 9am. I thought we were just going to ride around in the arena and the pasture. But no, James had other plans for us.
James met us at the barn and we all saddled up and went out to the pasture and brought about 10 head of calves in. We got them in the pens and James cut one from the herd and put the other 9 in the opposite pen. He told me he wanted me to see what Larkn could actually do! OMG, I was going to get to cut! He gave me some instructions and boy did I have a blast! I have never rode a horse that could turn on a dime and give 9 cents in return! LOL James was using lingo I wasn't used to. Like how Larkn "rated" a cow. I kind of understood what that meant, but asked my friend at work who used to ride cutting horses. Now I understand completely.
I almost came off the first time Larkn moved from left to right as he was "rating" the calf. But I didn't, it was a good save. LOL James told me to be more relaxed and just let my body move with the horse. After a bit, it became easier. Once I saw what Larkn could do, we started sorting. We sorted for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It was so much fun. I wish I had brought Summer. It was a more relaxed atmosphere and the calves weren't near as rank as the ones on Friday. Once we were done, he had me cut one from the herd and play with it on the back wall. Once that one finally got away he made me cut one more and play with it for a minute. That was just so cool. As long as he has this horse, I am hopeful he will let me ride it, but if I can find the money, I want Larkn to be Summer's baby brother (as he is a year younger). LOL Besides his abilities, he had such a sweet personality.
Yes, I know what James was doing. I'm not stupid. Get me to fall in love so I would buy him. Well, he did it. Now I have to play the lotto, find a buried treasure, sell a kidney or something to get this cool animal.
And I was reminded that I say Summer is my do it all horse. Well, she is. She is fine for the kind of sorting we do at Roy's. But if I want to really advance and up my playing level in sorting, then I will need the caliber of horse that Larkn already is.
Oh, and nobody tell me to sell Summer to get Larkn. Cause that ain't happening.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 6th, I went sorting. Met my friends Cynthia and Robin there. They were both vying for the buckle in the 5 week buckle series that Roy Goldsmith was putting on at his arena. This was the last week and Cyn and Robin were neck and neck for the beginners buckle. They both were going to run 4 times. There were 8 teams that entered. They ran 4 times, Lane and Kim ran 3 times and I ran twice. I know it sounds confusing, but it was a total of 8 different teams.
Well, still learning this game, I thought that when you did your first run, you had to do it clean and try to get as many calves as you could. Which you do. But if you did that, it would qualify you for the real run. Which it does. But I thought the first run was just a qualifing run, I didn't know they added the first head count to your second run. But they do. So during Robin and I's first run, we got 4 head and Cynthia and I got 6. WOOHOO, that is the most I have gotten with another beginner. Anyway, all 8 teams did a clean first run. Even though when Lane and Kim teamed up, they got 0 head, they still didn't bust. And because there were only 8 teams, they qualified for the second run. If there were more than 10, they might have not.
Anywho, I was really happy with both my runs. Again, I still didn't know that the first head count gets added to your second run. That is, until the first team ran and the judge announced the total head count with the total time. Then I knew how the game was played. I knew I had to try to run good and clean. Robin and I got 3 calves, and as I was working the hole, a calf was right at Summer's chest, she was real good for me and we jumped at the calf, the calf turned slightly to the left, then darted right past us and we busted. I was heart broke. I felt bad for Robin as I felt like I had let her down. I went and asked her husband, Anthony, if there was anything different I could have done. He said no. That even a good cutting horse doesn't work calves that close and they probably couldn't have stopped it either. He said I was doing a great job. That made me feel a little better. Well, Cyn and I entered and got 4 head. For a total of 10. And for the win!
I was so happy! We won a total of $160 and Roy gives you a t-shirt for first place. And Cynthia got her buckle.
I went back to my trailer and cried a little. I am so proud of Summer. My Tennessee Walking Horse is now a money earning cow horse. LOL I don't know if we will ever win again, but at least I can say I won once. I have done a lot with Summer and she has always done me proud, has always given me her best and she has a lot of heart. Even when she is nervous she seems to trust that I am not going to let anything hurt or kill her, she has always tried to make me happy. But never have we done anything that put money BACK in my pocket, so that night was pretty cool!
And as for those nay-sayers...I wonder what they are saying now? LOL
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I attended a private clinic Saturday morning with a small group of ladies that are beginners such as myself but very much serious about the sport. It was so fun and Summer was really on. We each even got to do a run with the pro/instructor. And that was real fun.
When I got there, we all saddled up and warmed up in the deep sandy arena. Summer was a running walk fool and it was fun to watch James (instructor) watch her go around the arena. He started asking me questions about her different gaits and how I learned the difference in each one. I just told him it took me about 2 years to tell the difference as she has about 9 different gaits, from dog walk to gallop and everything in between.
We had a real good 2 1/2 hours. It was me and 4 other beginners, and another lady (a rating of 4 sorter) who kind of acted as an assist for James outside the pens when we had questions while he worked with a team in the pens. I just got so much out of it.
Sunday we went to the arena and I started off not doing to well. I guess I had other things on my mind. One of the pro guys named Pete said he would run with me early in the day and we got 5 in. So, either he made me look good or I made him look bad! LOL But my theory is, if a pro runs with a beginner, they know what they are getting into. LOL Later in the day, I ran with Starla and we got 5, then my last run I went with Cynthia and we got 4.
**********************Connie and I waiting for the words, "flag is up"
Not bad as I did get about 9 runs in that day. A few were busts right away, so that is probably why I was able to go so many times. James was there and was giving us, that went to his place Saturday, side line instruction, which I thought was just super cool of him to do.
*******************Summer and I bringing one through the hole
*****Once you get the calf in, you got to turn quickly to guard the hole.
*************Connie guarding the hole while my calf and 2 bad ones come to her
************************Summer and I in the hole
I really tried to put into use everything that he taught. There were a few times I caught myself making a mistake and I would try to correct it before it was a major boo-boo.
I think my major issue is getting to fast and trying to hard for my level. I think I am getting ahead of myself and my abilities at this point. I know I need to back off a bit and learn more. Just quit getting so dang excited! I guess I just watch those pro-am folks and the speed they go at and I think, "I can do that!" But, Summer is not ready for that and I need more learning. James said that two things that Summer needs to work on, and that they both would come with time and experience is, seperating the herd when there are a bunch standing together, and if too many come at the hole at once while we are guarding it. He said she get nervous. And I know that, cause while he can see it, I can feel it. But, he said, she is very responsive to me and that could be why she is doing what I ask her to do. She may be nervous on those two issues, but she is doing it. Her strongest issue I think is, once we get our calf between her and the wall, she is all business.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I went again this weekend. Met my friends, Cynthia, Emily and Robin there. Even rode with a lady named Connie. It was her first time. So there was someone there newer than me! LOL
Summer and I got 5 runs in. We could have done 6, but after our 5th run, I quit on a good note. Our 5th run was with Cynthia and we got 5 calves in. I got 3 and she got 2 and she was working on her 3rd when the buzzer sounded. I was so happy. I thought we only got 4 in and I turned around and we had gotten 5. I hollered I was so excited and shouted to Dennis, "We got 5!" LOL I know, I know...might have embarrassed myself a little, but I just can't believe that Summer is starting to pick this up. I know there have been sneers and remarks made about Summer and I. I have heard them repeated to me. But we are showing those few nay-sayers aren't we! LOL
Summer was gaiting real good in the warm up areas and when I was waiting in line for our turn, a cowboy came up to me and said, "You could get somewhere real fast on her can't ya?" LOL I guess he had been watching us, and probably trying to figure out what kind of horse she was. When I told another guy named Larry what she was, he said, "You should get a prize just for doing this on a Tennessee Walker. " LOL Guess they don't see to many of those around the sorting pens.
But once again, I can't wait until this weekend. Now don't get me wrong. I ain't giving up on trail riding. She is too good at that to let that go. I just feel that I have such a willing mare that it would be shameful not to let her try new venues.
So her resume' is this to date:
NATRC Safety Horse
Competitive Trail Horse
***NATRC - several
***TTC - 1
***STC - 1
***LD -1 (but we ain't stopping at 1!)
***2006 Stock Show
***2007 Driving her cart behind the longhorns in the stockyards
***Endurance Distance Drive 2007
More to follow, God willing...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Maybe I watched too many westerns when I was a kid. I have pictures of me dressed in cowboy gear when I was little. I was standing next to my grandpa and my granny took the picture. On weekends on channel 39 (which is now a latino channel), it was cartoons until noon and westerns the rest of the day. Bonanza, Raw Hide, Gun Smoke, The Rifleman, etc...It fed my dreams to someday have horses and ride. Ride the open range and herd the cattle home. Head 'em up and move 'em out! LOL
Well, I've done a lot of trail riding (that is the open range part I guess), now I have the urge to herd the cattle home (or in the case of sorting, put 'em the other round pen LOL). Last Friday I met some of my friends at the arena and we had a blast. As soon as Emily gets the video uploaded to youtube I will have a video of mine and Summer's run with Cynthia and her boy Monte. If Doug can get a shoe to stay on Summer's right rear foot (horizontal crack), I will be going again this Friday and then to a sorting clinic next Saturday. I found out the clinician doesn't like anymore than 6 folks, so that will be a lot of good one on one with him.
Summer was real good this past Friday. She wasn't a ball of nerves. She was calm and did what I asked. I think the only mess ups were with the pilot(me) not communicating the right signals to ground control (Summer). LOL
Who knows how far this will go. Maybe this is just something I need to get out of my system. Maybe, secretly, it is just one of my things on my "bucket list" I want to mark off. Or maybe it is something I want to see if me and my non-stock horse can actually do. Who knows...all I do know, as long as we are having fun...then let's do it! YEEHAW!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
*****************My mini man being a perfect little gentleman*********
The rest of the following week I spent training him to drive. Near the end, you always need help from second or third parties as you can't do it all by yourself. When it was time to show him the cart, June helped me. He could care less. Barb was our main assisting person, but when we were ready to drive him, she wasn't at the farm. So June and I slipped the shafts in the tug loops and just let him pull it around with me driving from behind the cart and her holding his lead rope. We didn't hook him as if there was an emergency, he would just slip out of the cart.
Once Barb got to the farm, we hitched him up and I ground drove again from behind the cart. We only did this for about 5 minutes and then all agreed it was time! I was so excited! I know Barb and June will let me drive one of their many ponies. But I wanted to drive MY pony! So we headed to the out door arena and I got in the cart. They had two lead ropes on him and they each got on either side of him. Again, in case of an emergency. After we did once around the arena. June took off her lead rope. Barb lengthened her rope and gave me all the control of him. After another time around. We agreed it was time for me to take the controls. She let go and he drove off like he had done it all his life. I admit, I cried. I am not a trainer, but I felt such an accomplishment at teaching another one of my kids to drive. Here is a picture of our first solo drive:
**********************Isn't he just the cutest thing!******************
He is still very green of course. Still has a lot to learn, but hopefully next year, he will be ready for his first show.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Anyway, the girls were really pretty good. And Tracey finally got to see Summer have one of her "moments". I had to take a crop to her butt to make her move. A large rock really had her freaked out and when she did this, she was in front of Gypsy, you know, the one that is supposed to be in training. Summer is supposed to be "Miss Rock Steady"! LOL I told Tracey that it is good she is not riding Gypsy with a "bomb proof" horse. Gypsy needs to see a horse be naughty too. And she did. And what did Ms. Gypster do? Nothing...except look at Summer and say, "What you do that for?" LOL Once Summer got it out of her system, off we went.
Gyp lead most of the way unless she came to something that she wasn't sure about, then Summer got in front. We took them into the water several times. Gyp wasn't sure about those waves at first though. So I grabbed her bridle and lead her in. After that, she wasn't bothered by them anymore.
All in all, we had a very nice ride. Except for the killer rock, Summer was her good girl self.
********Gypsy and Summer, they have no idea what is in store! LOL**********
********************************Work that cow girl!
************************************Pen it, job done!