Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just stuff...

Mia is still the same. She keeps on keeping on. I am glad. She is still eating well, playful and loving. That hole is still under her ear. She keeps that open by scratching. It is still kind of ooky, but I do my best to keep the drainage clean. She decided it was time for David and I to wake up at 5am this morning instead of 6am. She walked all over us and next thing I know, she is sitting on David's head. LOL When we did finally get up, she was done with us. Little fart.

Libby the Bulldog is so spoiled. She is now allowed to lay on the love seat if the blanket is on it. I think she knows this because if the blanket is not there, she doesn't get on it. What is funny is if Amanda is laying on the love seat with a blanket, Libby will try to climb up there with her and push her off. It is pretty funny to watch.

David worked on my horse trailer this weekend and I am so happy this work got done. The trailer is not near new and isn't pretty. But it is functional. Got the edge of the step up where the horses go in fixed up with new angle iron. Now I don't have to worry about when horses step in or out of the trailer and getting cut by that crappy, rusted and tore up edge that was there. He also fixed the center divider, and put some seam sealer on some areas that was leaking into the tack compartment. He wants to buy all new wood and replace everything this summer and paint it. I am excited about that.

Amanda is going to a cosmetologist event this weekend. She fixed up her manikins head hair, makeup and a scarf. It is a competition. I hope she places well. The hair do looks like it is fit for a bridesmaid. Very pretty.

Summer and I are still getting ready for our first CTR of the year. If you remember, she and Barb Cooper rode the Christmas ride, which is actually the first ride of the 2009 season. They did very well. I was proud of them both. And it was Dr. Carter who gave Summer the second place ribbon. Now I hope I do just as well with and for her at the Scamper.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Freeze R Burn endurance ride (LD)

WOW...What a fun ride!

Thursday night Tracey and I packed her trailer to get ready to leave as soon as I got to the barn from work Friday night. We left the barn around 6:30ish. We stopped and ate before we got on I35. We got on the road about 7pm ish. At about 8:30 or so, we made it to the grasslands for my first AERC LD.

I have never seen TADRA that full before. I crewed for a 100 mile rider a few years ago, I think there were 150 riders at that ride. I may be wrong, but I just don't remember ever seeing it so full. I believe there were almost 180 riders at this ride. We of course, had to park on the hill. Luckily we were next to and near some folks we know. Mary Fields, Robbin Timmons, Roger Garlitz and a couple of other folks that Tracey knew. We sat up camp then went down and paid our entries and got our cards. I was 301 and Tracey was 302.

We went to bed about 10:30 but I can't tell you what time I finally got to sleep. It was SO cold. I wasn't prepared for it to be as cold as it was. I slept some, but froze most of the night. My toes hurt so bad most of the night I swear I was going to come down with frost bite on them.

We got up around 6:30am to feed the girls and start moving around as we had to vet them in at 7:30. Summer checked in with all A's and a 40 on her pulse. About 8:00 Becky showed up and we all got our feed, hay bags, snacks and drinks ready to take to the break area for after the first loop. After that we looked at a couple of vendors items then headed back to our trailers to tack up. Our time out was 9:30. Tracey and I timed out at 9:33. At about 1/2 mile into our first loop, I told Tracey that I had forgotten to raise my stirrups as I wanted to make sure that I could really stay off Summer's back for this ride as I knew we were going to be moving out faster and longer than I ever had on Summer. I tell you, everyone that passed us asked if we were okay. No one was rude at all. After I adjusted my tack, we took off. It was great, we did more cantering than I have ever done in one ride with Summer and she has really learned how to use those legs of hers. She did various gaits all day. Racking, step pacing, dog walk, flat walk, running walk, cantering, and the dreaded hard pace, which I let her do only if I could get way off of her back. I think we finished the first loop (15 miles) in 2hrs and 45 minutes.

Once we got back into TADRA, we stopped at the tank to let the girls drink. Sarah Nelzen came up to say hi and give a hug. Her hubby, Justin, was doing the 75 mile ride and she was crewing for him. We talked about electrolytes and she told me to give Summer some right then. Tracey gave Summer a full dose for me. I am real nervous about electrolytes. When I should or shouldn't use them. How much, which type. It all really confuses me. Anyway, Sarah took Summer and Amira's pulses for us and I think Summer was at a 10, so we were ready to pulse in with the checkers. I think Summer checked in at a 10 with him too. I was so happy, as I knew that meant she was not in pain. This I learned from NATRC. Anyway, we go to the vets and Amira goes to one vet and they put Summer at the opposite end with another vet. Of course this makes Summer act like a twit cause she is away from Amira and her pulse shoots up to a 16. Three of her scores goes down to a B and one down to an A-. However, I trot her out and back and her pulse drops to a 13, which Tracey said was fabulous. That meant Summer was in good condition. So I was happy about that.

After that, we take the girls up to their snacks and feed and take our break. We rode out at 1pm for our second loop. I swear, it flew by. I think we finished somewhere between 2:45 to 3:00. Summer drank pretty good during the second loop and real good when we got back to TADRA. So I gave her another dose of electrolytes per Sarah and Tracey. Since there was a long line to vet out and the girls weren't huffing and puffing, we pulsed and Summer was at a 13. Figured by the time we got to the vets it would drop further. This time Tracey said that we would go to the same vet as they would let you do that if your horses were herd bound to one another, and they did. She wished she had thought of that after the first loop but she just didn't think about it. But I didn't mind because I guess that tested Summer's CRI and she did good. Anyway, all of Summer's metabolics went back up to A's or A minues, so I was real proud of her conditioning scores.

I don't know where we came in, I know we didn't come in any where near the front but we weren't last. LOL I also know I did have fun. And I know what the motto of AERC truly means now, "To Finish Is To Win", and I am ready to do another one.

Monday, February 9, 2009

NATRC R4 Mini Convention weekend

WOW! What a fun weekend I had. This was my 4th year in NATRC, 3rd mini-convention to go too and 1st time receiving year end awards. What was I waiting for!?! You don't realize how pretty they are until you earn one.

Friday I drove to Becky's house in Argyle. She, Nancy and I were going to ride to Wilburton, OK together. I got there a little early, 11am. We visited, loaded her SUV with her stuff and my stuff and just hung out until Nancy got there at noon. At about 12:30pm, we were on the road. Due to us dinking around, stopping to shop at Tractor Supply and then meeting up with Amy to eat lunch, we got to the lodge at about 5:30. But the time really seemed to fly when you are riding with "two wild and crazy girls" like Becky and Nancy.

Friday night we visited and totally acted silly. Kate L. and Amy came back to our room and visited until about 11:45pm. We were so glad that we were on the end of the lodge and that the only room next to us was empty, cause we were kinda loud! Laughter is a contagious thing!

Saturday we awoke, got ready and a pounding occured at our door. Amy and Kate were there and ready to go hiking. Amy found out that there were guided tours of the caves and it was great. Becky, Nancy, Amy, Kate L, Kate K, Ginger, Mary, Katie W and myself headed to the parking lot and waited for our guide. It was absolutely beautiful. I told David that we were going to take a mini vacation up there. Our guide was Jackie. She did a great job and I got some great pictures. The big cave, Robbers Cave, was very cool. All of us ladies climbed inside to the very back and asked another tour member to take a pic, it turned out great. I will post some pictures when I get them downloaded.

We got back to the lodge and not long after, lunch was served. After lunch we sat in on the general meeting. Once that over, we headed back to our room for some chill time before the banquet and awards ceremony.

The banquet was wonderful. Good food amongst good company. And about 5 bottle of wine. LOL

The awards ended at about 9:30. I was tired as was Nancy. Becky earned a traveling trophy and was really pumped and ready to party more. She said this was her first TT. Very cool for her. I was very happy. However, very tired. The beds were pretty hard so did not get good rest on Friday night. Nancy and I grabbed a bottle of water each and just chilled on our rooms back porch. It over looked a rock ledge and the view was just gorgeous. The moon was full so you could see real well.

Next morning was getting ready, packing, loading and then to church. It was a nice service, as they always are. After our goodbyes, we headed home. Again, the time seemed to just fly by as we talked and laughed.

I got back to my barn at about 2:30pm. I had such a good weekend that I had to top it off with a ride on Summer. I saddled up and Tracey and I headed out. It was a good ride that was the perfect end to a great weekend.

Oh! D'oh...

Forgot to add, Summer received year end, third place horse. I received year end second place HMS and she and I earned second place team for our division. We placed second to Justin and Lilly and tied with George and Beau. It was a real honor. And Summer received a Novice/CP High Point TWH for 2008 award. I am very proud of her.

Also, I want to publicly thank Tracey and Patti. Thank you two ladies so much for sponsoring my awards. You both are just too kind. Thank you.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What a beautiful weekend!

Saturday, Tracey and I loaded up the girls about 11am and headed to the Six-O ranch in Cleburne. What a beautiful day. The girls were good, the temps were just right and the calf fries were crunchy! Yes, you heard me. Kim, the co-ranch foreman, had made some calf fries for her son that is home from college. This is a working cattle ranch, so I guess they let nothing go to waste here. And to my surprise, they were quite tasty. I am a fan of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on one of the travel/learning channels, so I have been getting brave on new foods. I tried Raccoon last year and it tasted just like Roast Beef. The smell, texture and taste were exactly like roast beef. No joke. The calf fries, at least Kim's, tasted a lot like chicken fried steak. Again, no joke.

Anyway, back to my original story. I wanted to try a saddle that Tracey has for sale. Needless to say, it didn't work. Summer wears a SQH bar saddle, but this SQH seemed extra narrow. I could tell by her stride and her mannerisms, that she was uncomfortable and probably a little sore. So we took a short cut and headed back to the trailer and I put my saddle back on her and used one of Tracey's Toklat woolback pads. As of Saturday, I am getting one. We did a good little conditioning ride with some gaiting, cantering, hauling it through the deer plots, going up the twisty, windy side then down the steep side of the big hill, and just having a good ole' time. We got back to the trailer and Summer had a perfect sweat pattern on her back. Plus, no sore loins. I have a pad that is great for her saddle, but have never been able to find another one. It is a gel pad that, thank you Lord, my barn owner gave me. I am affraid that I am going to wear it down and then be without. So, I have been on the search for another pad that will work. I have not been able to find a pad that works on Summer with that saddle without causing some sort of soreness issues. But thanks to Tracey and her owning more than one of these pads so that I may try one while she rides in her other, I have found another pad that is going to work. So, yeah for me and Summer. WooHoo!

Sunday, mom and Amanda came out to the barn. I harnessed Summer and put her on the "Dub" cart. She had a bit of an attitude at first but quickly quieted down. It has been a while since she has been driven. Barb harnessed up one of her mini's named Jon-Jon and June harnessed one of her mini's named Jerret. Mom got in with me and Amanda hopped in with June and off we went down into the pasture. Of course with Summer's "full sized horse strides" we lead the way, stopping ever so often to let the other catch up with their little "mini-legs". It was too cute watching those ponies take the trails we normally ride. But I knew which trails the cart would fit through and we all had a great time. Amanda even drove Jerret for a little while.

Once we got back to the barn, mom hopped on June's cart for a "mini-spin". Next thing I know, June handed the reins to mom. It was too cool seeing my mom drive her first horse and it only being the second time in a cart. A couple of minutes later, I turned back around to look at mom and June, and I watch June hop out of the moving cart! Course it was going pretty slow, but there was my mom, driving the cart by herself. Amanda was walking next to them with mom's camera and was taking pictures. It was so cool! June and I are trying to talk mom into going out there on Tuesdays and learning to drive a cart and that would give her some girl time as it is only ladies on Tuesdays. I really hope we can talk her into it.

I just had a blessed and beautiful weekend, and I am very thankful for it.

Oh, will post pics when I get them...