Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jaws at James', Minnow at the Arena...

I think it's me, but not sure.

Summer is a shark at James' during lessons. But is more timid at the arena. Is it me?

At James' she is pinning those ears and snaking that head and has on occasion, bit a cow in the rump. Our last lesson she was right on those cows, pushing them and just showing all kinds of cow horse potential. But this past Saturday at the competition, she was tense, and nervous about going to get our cow. I mean, we did have two short runs out of 77 teams, so I am not complaining there. But what's different?

Is it me? Or is it the difference in James' place verses all the action at the arena?

I know I am more relaxed during lessons which I know transfers to her. And of course, during any competition, I get butterflies in my stomach. Which again, I know transfers to her. But during our other sports, she still does fine even if I am a bit nervous.

Maybe it is just a combination of both. My nerves and the location. Just something I need to work on. She has proved too many times that she can do this. Maybe not to the caliber of an open cow horse, but definitely a novice cow horse.

Thanks for reading and Happy Trails!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I still can't believe it...

I know whoever reads this blog may get tired of me talking about it. But I just still can't believe that my name is on the board with all those good cowboys, cowgirls and their stock horses.

Summer and I may have only placed once...so far (smile), but I go and check occasionally as we may be low in the standings, but we aren't last! (smile again) I know some folks that all they want is their name on the board, period. They don't care where it is, just so it's on the board! So, being new to this sport, I guess that is pretty neat that I have mine on there already.

My name is on the #3 sorting standings and in the Top Hand Novice standings. http://www.swtpa.com/ Very cool. Well, at least it is to me.

If all goes according to plan, we will be sorting this Saturday, and I will be wearing my new Troxel Cheyenne helmet. It is gorgeous. So western looking. Maybe it will turn some heads and make other cowgirls and maybe a cowboy or two want to start thinking about safety.

I bought the chocolate one. I received it exactly the day they specified. It is so nice.

After my accident, I have worn a helmet every time I have climbed on Summer's back. And when I ride by that tree stump, I think of how close it was to my head. You know, the head that wasn't wearing a helmet. Yea, that one.

Well, wish us luck on our sort Saturday. I would like to finish the day with some points. But mostly, I just want to finish on top of my horse. You know the saying, "The art of riding is keeping the horse between you and the ground."

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blast from the past...

What a nice week so far. I went to church Sunday and got to see my old high school friend Lisa RR. (will get to visit more this Sunday I hope!) Then got to talk to my dear friend Jennifer last night for over an hour! I hadn't talked to her in 23 years. It was so good to hear her voice and catch up. Of course, 23 years can't be caught up in over an hour, so there were be more visits. But is was so good to know that she is doing well. I wish we lived closer, but at least God let us find each other again. We were pretty much inseparable in high school. We had our stupid friend squabbles, but nothing a good friendship couldn't over come. I still have two gifts she gave me when we were in high school. An ivory "shrimp" ring and a Christmas ornament. The ornament is a brass unicorn (I was so into unicorns back then) and she had it engraved, To Tammy, Love Jennifer. Being an only child was hard, but if God could have chosen me a sister, it was/is her. I pray to never loose touch again.

I know this isn't a horse related post, but it was one I just had to share.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another nice weekend...

...horses, friends, and a new church.

My friend Robin came to my barn on Saturday with her mare, Taz. Taz is a finished cow horse and this was Robin and Taz's first trail ride since Robin has owned her. Taz was wonderful! The only real problem she had was water. She would cross it, but she didn't like it. LOL We went out 3 times for a total of about 13 miles or so. We got some nice cantering in, and I took several pics of Robin and Taz so she would have some lovely, frameable pics of their first trail ride. Tracey joined us the 3rd time and the horses did very well together. I think we have Robin hooked as a trail rider now. Her main passion is sorting, but I bet trail riding might come in as a very close second.
Me and Summer, Robin and Taz (thanks for taking our pic Tracey!)
Sunday, June and I visited a new church called Three Nails Cowboy Church. We loved it! My old friend from high school (23 years ago), Lisa, goes there and is always talking on facebook about their acitivies and just how much she likes this church. The people were kind and friendly, the music was great and the sermon was wonderful. I told June on the way home that I would be going back. She said, "good, cause I was already thinking that if you weren't, I was!" LOL

After church, it was lunch time and then back to the barn for chores and just relax with the critters that we love.

This is gonna be a short blog, but it was just a wonderfully nice weekend that I had to share.

Happy Trails

Monday, April 5, 2010

Update on me and my equine kids.

As of yesterday, it has been 3 weeks since my accident with Summer.

Last Saturday (March 27th) was SWTPA March sort and I didn't compete but I did go watch my friends. And of course I was glad I didn't take a horse as I probably would have entered. I was glad I went though as even watching from the side lines teaches you a lot.

I did have a few folks that knew about about the accident ask me if I have ridden yet. No, I hadn't as of then. I knew what they were thinking though. The longer I wait, the tougher it will be, because I will just become even more nervous.

So Sunday (March 28th), Tracey and I saddled up and rode around the barn for about 25 minutes then hit the trails for about 20. When we first started out around the barn, the wind was blowing and Summer was a bit "up", but I think it was because I was nervous. You can't take a fall like that and can't say you aren't even a tad nervous getting back on. Anyway, after the 2nd loop around the barn, I noticed Summer's head was down and she had relaxed. I then noticed that I had relaxed by then too. Which is why she had settled. After about 5 loops, we hit the trails and it was real nice.

Monday evening, I rode the trails by myself. Summer was a pretty good girl. And it was just something I had to do. Getting over these little fear humps is just an exercise I must do.

Wednesday, Hank and I had our first driving lesson with Denise. All we did was longe line but it was SO informative and she taught me so much about my pony and why he is doing some of the things he does. Things like getting his tongue over his bit. The hour just flew by. And while she was working him, I heard her purr to him. I asked her if she had just done that and she shyly said yes, that it was to calm him. I told her that she and my dressage instructor in California from 20 years ago were the only two I had ever heard do that. So, back to purring I will go to settle my hyper pony. But it was so great and I can't wait for my next lesson!

Saturday came and we had an AWESOME sorting lesson! Robin, Anthony and I just had a great lesson with James. We all had things that James critiqued us on. One of my worse runs of the day was when tunnel vision kicked in and I put a BUNCH of pressure on James when he was working the hole as my partner. Tunnel vision usually doesn't happen to me, but it did this day. I also pushed her pass our cows shoulder a couple of times, causing the cow to turn back away from the hole, which will cause us precious seconds in competition. My bad again. But at least I am catching my mistakes as I make them. That shows that I am learning something I guess.

But Summer was really good for me. When we were done with each run, I would try to be the one to push the cattle back thru the hole for the next run for Summer's sake. Summer was pinning those ears and putting her head down to push the cows with her nose. Next thing I know, she bit one again! LOL Once again, this isn't allowed as it can be construed as "roughing" the cattle. But with Summer still having a bit of fear issues, I will let her touch them and such at James'. She also got real close to them when we were cutting them from the herd too. And when we would push our cow on the fence to the hole, she was much closer to their hip than she usually is.

I had a talk with James after the lesson and told him that I knew that I didn't have the kind of horse that he and the others had, but I had a horse with a lot of heart and a lot of want in trying to please me and he agreed. And that for now, she will have to be my cow horse if I want to play this game. She just shows me that she can have potential at this sport because of the way she handles the cows at his place.

After we got home from our lesson, we had a nice ride on the trails. Just she and I. It was so peaceful and quiet. She was so good.

Of course Sunday I woke up feeling muscles that I hadn't felt in awhile. LOL

I am feeling those same muscles today as well. Guess I need to start hitting a gym.

Thanks for reading.