Friday, November 18, 2011

November 2011 pre SWTPA

Well, it's finally here. The finals. What a great year it has been.

Granted, I haven't done that great but let me tell you what this year has given me. New friends, a new horse, a couple of checks, better riding skills, and lots of great memories.

I have decided that I am only going to compete in the class I started in. The 3 sort. With all the stress that is bearing down on my shoulders right now, that is all I need to do.

So, I will get there early, cheer for my friends, ride my pony, and have fun. Because like I have said before, if you ain't having fun, go home.

Wish me luck. (and by luck, that I keep the horse between me and the ground) lol

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SWTPA Octobert 2011 and other news

What a pretty good month it's been.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, my Aunt Joyce, Uncle Wendell, my mom and my friend Brandi came to the barn to enjoy my horses. I actually got pics of my mom and aunt on my girls together. That is going in a frame! They stayed for a few hours and played with some baby mini's we have out there. After that, Brandi and I went for a ride in the pasture. This was Brandi's second time to be in a saddle. She took a real shine to Shelby, so I let her ride her. I was a tad nervous as I didn't know how Shelby would do with a green rider, but she was awesome! I was so proud of both my girls that day for taking good care of my family and friend.

Mom on Shelby, Aunt Joyce on Summer

Brandi and Shelby

I went to a sorting jackpot last Wednesday Oct. 19th. I was just gonna ride around in the arena as I hadn't ridden hard since I hurt my back last month the day after the last SWTPA show. So I was just going to lope Shelby a little and work on my role backs, stops and turns.

There were several of my friends there and I wanted to so some visiting as well. Vicki told me that if I wanted to sort that she had some openings in the novice class.

Well, if you keep up with my blog you know I couldn't resist. So I signed us up. Then Courtney asked if I had any open rides and I said, "sign us up!". Then I went ahead and asked Mike (Vicki's husband) if he wanted to ride, so that made three rides. Then Katy (Mike and Vicki's niece) asked if I wanted to ride. There's four. LOL What the heck, Roy takes checks. LOL

Vicki and I got 7 head. Courtney and I got 6. Mike and I busted : (. And Katy and I got 8.
The only run I had for the short go was with Katy. But I was very happy with all my runs. In the end, Katy and I placed 4th and earned a little money back. So my $80 tab only came out to $45. And that run earned Katy some points for the belt she is going for.

This past Saturday was our Oct SWTPA show. I was only going to pen as I wanted to go buy some hay afterwards. Ron, a boarder at the stables, wanted to go with me and see what went on at these shows. He was very impressed and even had a good chat with the arena owner, Roy.

Before the 12 penning started, that is the open class and what I believe is too much for me to handle right now, needed 2 novice riders. Ron and I were sitting next to the announcers booth. I look up at ReeDee (the announcer and judge) and she looked down at me. I said, "Don't look at me like that." She then said, "you can do this Tammy." Oh, all right then. Shelby was already saddle and all I had to do was warm her up. So I did it. I was teamed up with two open riders. I believe they are either siblings or cousins. Trent Field and Morgan Field. Trent is rated a 6 and Morgan a 5, so they could only use a 1. Those kids are good. And I mean GOOD. Trent got the first cow and and the other two cows with our number was standing to the far left and side by side. Morgan picked them both up and off we went to pen. We got 3 head in 20 second for the fast go of that class. That means we automatically got a $25 check and 1 extra point. Well, due to a rookie mistake, we did not get any cows in the short go. We did have them and one shot past me. So Morgan went after it. Trent was in the hole and I was the wing. I didn't know what to do and stood in the gate waiting on Morgan to either bring the stray cow or push it back across the foul line. Then I heard DK and Trent telling me to get out of the hole. They said it several times but didn't tell me where to back too. So I backed towards Trent. Wrong move. The other 2 cows came out and shot off like rockets. Now we are trying to pick them up again and we ran out of time. : ( DK later apologized and said that they were telling me to back up but never told me to back up where. She said had they hollered get to the wing, I would have known where to go. But, live an learn. We placed 7th. But, at least we placed I guess. I just felt bad cause these kids are used to winning a check and I sure would have like to get my first big association check on Shelby.

After the 12 class, Aunt Joyce and Uncle Wendell showed up and watched me do the sport and I quickly coming to love. So that was pretty awesome.

I did 3 runs in the 6 pen class. I drew up with a girl named Amber and Sid, then Sid and Jason and then Jason and David.

Jason, David and I would have had 2 head and a short go, but David didn't realize we had 2 cows when I started yelling to pen. We went to the end to pen and we had 1 Angus and 1 Charolais. David didn't realize that the Charolais was a good cow and let it slip past him. So we only got 1 head. He kept apologizing. Oh well. Poop happens. Just glad it didn't happen to this rookie. LOL

I had no short goes in the class and was actually grateful for it. I was starting to feel sick.

After I paid out, I took Shelby home, hosed her and put her up. Went home myself and vegged for the rest of the day.

About 7pm, David and I went back out to the barn and fed. I was felling much better so we went to the arena and visited and watched some sorting. I think David kinda likes to watch that as it is a speed thing. I really think he would like the penning as there is so much more speed involved. Maybe next month he will come watch me at the finals. I hope.

This past Sunday, Oct 23, Aunt Joyce and Uncle Wendell came out to the barn and spent about 3 hours. I hooked Summer to her cart and took Aunt Joyce for a ride in the pasture. She said she could see how you could get lost in thought in that beautiful place. Just you and your horse.

We got back to the barnyard and I gave a ride to Uncle Wendell and our new boarder, Al. They really enjoyed themselves. And Summer was on very good behavior.

After that, I saddled Summer and let Aunt Joyce play on her a bit and gave her a mini riding lesson.

When they left, I took Summer back out to the pasture and just enjoyed a leisurely ride.

That evening, Tracey came out and I had Shelby saddled. I asked her if she wanted to join me in the pasture since it had been months since she has been out there. Shelby was awesome, of course, but I am a bit biased. : )

What a wonderful month October has been. Thank you Lord!

And thank you for reading. Much love and blessings upon you.

Friday, September 30, 2011

September 2011 SWTPA

This was a good day for Shelby and I. Once again, I tried out what penning skills I may or may not have and I was very happy with the end results.

I knew I was going to do one run in the 6 penning, which is for novices only. However, right before the 10 pen was to start, they needed 3 novice folks to round out the class. (the 10 class is for Pro/Am and novice) They asked me a couple of times and I said no. This class is for much better riders/competitors than I. Well, they kept calling out that they needed 1 more novice rider. I looked at Anthony and said I just wasn't good enough for that class. He then told me I was and I should do it. So I did. I drew up with 2 guys and then learned that one of them was well known across the states as one of the best penners there is. WOW! Now I was nervous! I told Anthony who I drew up with and he told me how to ride with him. DK also gave me some etiquette advice on how to act when running with folks of this caliber. That way, they learn to respect you as someone trying to learn if you respect their talents/abilities. I was totally okay with all the advice I was getting. So when it was our turn, I told them that this was only my second time and said what DK told me to say. Both guys were very nice and very helpful. Mr. Lesh then told me how he wanted me on the flank of his horse and how he wanted me to work and it was spot on what Anthony had already told me. Well, we got all 3 head on our first go! It was wicked awesome!!! There were like 25 teams in this class. On our second go we only got 1, but that is okay, I still had a blast. I think we got like 5th place. So I ain't complaining!

In the 6 penning, I drew up with Jason, who boards his horses at James' and we have sorted together before, so I knew he was a strong rider. And I drew with Sid again, just like last month. There were 18 teams in this class. We knew to qualify for the short go we needed 2 head, so that is what we did. On the short go we got 1 head and 3rd place. Once again, not complaining! I can't believe that I have only penned 3 times ever and have placed all 3 times. I am starting to think that maybe penning is my true calling and not sorting.

I sorted 5 times and did not have one short go. Not all the busts were my fault, but I'm just not doing very well right now in sorting. Robin used to talk about that "wall" you run into, I think I am not only running into it, but slamming into it head on! LOL

I am not giving up on sorting, but maybe I need to take a step back, re-group and quit over thinking it. I really do think that I am way over thinking it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Summer's weekend to shine!

Well, this past weekend, it was all about Summer. She got back to her roots as a safety horse for the R4 NATRC Benefit ride. Besides being in season, so a bit spooky on trail, she was awesome!

Friday evening, Ronald and I made plans that he would ride Open on Saturday and I would ride Novice/CP and then Sunday we would switch. Saturday I rode with Annette Thurlow and Kristen Fisher, and Ronald rode with Donna DeYoung. Donna is an endurance rider so rode Open on both days. On Sunday, Ronald rode Novice/CP with Patsy Davis.

So I guess what I am saying is, as Safety Chair for this ride, I had a real good and capable group of safety riders.

Right out of camp on Saturday, Summer and I went after a loose horse. Once the horse ran past us, off we went. No, we do not chase, simple watch where the horse goes then try to quietly go to it to catch it. The horse stopped shortly after passing us, Summer approached it and the horse let me unlatch one side of it's reins and pony it back to the rider. That was our only excitement for the weekend, so it was a good weekend.

After a mile or so out of camp, a rider was dismounted and asked if I would hold her stirrup so she could re-mount. I dismounted Summer and told her to stand. As I walked away, Summer lowered her head to take a bite of grass. I made my "no-no" noise and her head popped back up and she just stood there while I helped the rider mount her horse. Kristen told me later she and Annette were impressed with Summer's actions while I did this. I am so happy I taught her to ground tie.

Due to no one getting hurt or not having to go after a lost rider, it felt like a pleasure/conditioning ride. Summer had to do more moving out than usual on Sunday. Since I have taught her to trot under saddle, I bet we trotted almost 10 miles on Sunday. And stupid me forgot to raise my stirrups so she ended up with a sore left loin. I must raise those things one more notch.

Okay, now why did I teach my gaited horse to trot? Because it is good for strengthening the muscles in their backs, plus it makes me exercise my legs muscles while posting. Cause there is no way to sit a TWH's trot. It is like a jack hammer. But she does know the difference in what I am asking her. We did do some racking, running walk, step pacing and some cantering on Sunday. So she used just about every muscle she had as well.

Anyway, the trails were beautiful, the weather was gorgeous and getting to visit folks I haven't seen since the Christmas ride was awesome. That is why I love riding safety, I get to ride my horse and visit with friends, but there is no pressure of the competition.

What a great weekend!

TTFN and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 2011 SWTPA / NATRC

What a great show!

I FINALLY worked up the nerve to team pen. And it was AWESOME! I loved it! I love the speed of it and the action of it.

I had been wanting to try for sometime now, but just never worked up the nerve to throw my name in the draw. Well, I finally just did it. I rode with a man named Syd and Felicia's son, Coy. It was so fun! There were 14 teams and we got third place. No money as it only paid first and second, but I earned another 8 points for year end. Won't matter much tho as I only have like 14 points anyway, but now I have 22. LOL

We had 3 head on our first go. Syd and Coy got 2 head and the third one just pealed it's way out of the herd right in front of me. So I started hollering pen, pen, pen. I was the hole person and Syd and Coy were the wing and swing. One of the cows got past Coy and ran back towards the herd. It was too late to do anything so we penned the 2 we had. On our second go, Coy pealed out one good and one trash. I didn't stop the trash so had to haul butt after it down the arena wall. I finally headed it and turned it back and chased the crap out of it. Again, Coy pulled one good and one trash out of the herd. We were running out of time, so brought them both down to the pen. This time Syd was the hole and Coy was the wing and I was the swing. Coy took off after the trash and hollered at me to pen. So I penned our 1 cow and threw my hand in the air as we waited on Coy to push the trash back past the foul line. We finished the a total of 3 head and third place. Yes, I am hooked!

I sorted 3 times in the 3 class. My partners were Vicki, Mike and my draw was Katie, their niece. Mike and I got 3, Vicki and I got 4 and Katie and I busted. No short runs for me this month. But I wasn't distraught about it. The cows were tough and we did the best we could for novices. Even though I had no short goes, I was real happy with our performance. Shelby and I are starting to click. Slow as it may be, we are getting there. I am finally learning to set her back and then turn her when working the hole and we didn't let one cow get past us even though the pressure was on!

The Wednesday prior to the show, I did take a lesson with James and it was a good one. He only corrected me once. My moves were good, Shelby and I are working better as a team all the time, so I am real happy with that. James even commented on how Shelby has really calmed down. He even said again that he knew I would be good for her.

Summer is really coming along and getting fit for our job as Safety Chair for the Benefit NATRC ride in September. It is the weekend of the 10th. We do about 3 good conditioning rides a week and on the weekend we do long slow distance in the pasture with some moving out. Even if we have to hit every trail 3 or 4 times. I may get bored, but it is for her benefit and health.

I bought Hank the Hackney Pony back. Hank has dropped a considerable amount of weight. David was very upset a couple of weeks ago when he saw him. When I was leasing him from Barb, he was being fed twice a day as he is a hard keeper. I wish he was an air fern, but he isn't. When I relinquished my leash on him, Barb only fed him once a day. That wasn't working, and he started loosing weight. Then she was going to sell him. He was in no condition to sell as he needed to gain about 50 pounds. I literally wanted to be sick every time I thought about him leaving. So I talked to her about him and asked how much. She told me. I told her I wanted to buy him out right. So she cut the price in half and starting crying as she was so happy I was buying him. Even David was glad that Hank is back with us. Plus, when we get our own place, Hank will be the third horse I was planning on getting anyway as I wanted a companion horse for when Summer or Shelby had to leave for work.

Chompers has a new home. I have given him to my driving instructor Denise. Her barn isn't ready yet, but should be done in fall, then he will be leaving. I love that little pony, but she will take him somewhere as far as showing. He will be awesome in the show ring and Denise is the one that can take him there! So I am excited as they will be a good match, much like Hank and I.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 2011 SWTPA weekend

Well, I don't know about everyone else (yes I do) but I had a fun weekend. It was hot, but I kept my pony watered, she was well hydrated due to me putting electrolytes in her feed for 4 days prior to the show and we just went in with the thought of having fun. Because if you don't have fun, you might as well not come at all.

I entered the 3 class with Mike and Vicki and I did 2 draws. I drew a lady named Kim (very nice lady) and a guy named Keith (also very nice). Mike and I busted, Kim and I busted (and there was nothing we could do as the cows were tough!) and Keith and I busted (my fault per James as I didn't take the pressure off fast enough, my bad!) Vicki and I however, got a whole 3 head. And with 63 teams in our class, I was sure we didn't have a "go back", but we did. All but 20 teams busted and it was a 20 team go back. So we went back in and got another 6 head. I thought it was a very good run for a couple of novices. After our run I sat back and counted how many folks busted and how many got less the a 9 head total. When we were done, I told Vicki we were sitting in 8th place and I was right. We were very happy with that as that is the first time we have placed as a team.

Now let's talk about some other folks real quick. Several folks go there specifically to win money and they believe they SHOULD win. Period. If you go in with that mind set and don't win, you don't have fun. So what is the point? And what makes you think you are SO good that you should win all the time? I go in with the mind set of first and foremost, having fun. Then my second mind set is "I would just love to get 1 point", that means I would have to take 10th place. And I am totally cool with that. So for us to take 8th place and earn 3 points, well, I was just giddy as a school girl. Do you think that maybe I am not competitive enough for this sport? Well, then you don't know me. I will go in and do my very best for you. Whether you are there and serious about winning that all mighty dollar or you are there just to have fun, I will do everything I have learned from my instructor. But if I mess up or you mess up, get over it. It's just a GAME!!! And if you are there to win big cause you need to pay a bill, then maybe you ought to get a second job instead where you KNOW you will get cash coming to you. Okay, off my soap box.

Late in the evening I ran 3 times in the 6 class. Vicki, DK and my draw Katy. I was happy to have drawn her, but we busted pretty quick. Vicki and I got 5 head and DK and I got 6. There were 53 teams in this class for a 15 team "go back". Vicki and I didn't get a short run, but we were still very happy with our performance. DK and I busted, but not before we had 4 head already sorted. Had we just stopped we would have placed. But we busted. The cows were basically on top of me (I was in the gate) and we busted. I was very happy with our performance though. We did better than last month and I am hoping that means we will do even better next month.

And the highlight of my evening at the pens is when David showed up to watch. He has seen me at practice once but never at a competition. So I was happy about that. He even stayed and helped me with Shelby when it was time to leave. Then he followed me to the barn at 12:30am and helped me feed my crew then followed me home.

Sunday I woke up late so that meant no going to the barn as it was already getting hot. So David and I just hung out all day. Went to the feed store, went and looked at that property we are interested in, I took him to lunch, then a bit of shopping before we headed home.

That evening I did take a very nice ride on Summer in the pasture. We moved out several times and it was just very enjoyable. So it was a nice end to a great weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A great "staycation"

I was on vacation from work all last week and it was great. I actually did a "staycation" and just enjoyed my family, friends and horses.

I started my vacation off with some Friday night sorting at Roys. It was awesome! My draw partner, Justin, and I got all 20 head and fastest time as another team also got all 20 head. Now, I understand that the cows aren't that difficult most of the time, but it was still pretty cool. So with the money won, Shelby got her a new pair of SMB's as I noticed some interference marks on her leg.

The rest of my week off included riding both my girls in the morning hours and doing some much needed trail work. On Tuesday, I spent most of the day with Amanda shopping and just having a nice mother/daughter day. But the coolest part of that day was when I actually got to buy a blouse off the same rack as Amanda. Now granted, she bought a small and I bought a large, but it felt great getting to buy apparel that wasn't in the plus sized section.

Thursday I spent with my mom. Another mother/daughter day, just in reverse. : ) We went to an antique store that takes about 5 hours to go through. They also have a tea room and I bought us lunch. It was a very nice day.

Friday I hung out with Liz. We went to Weatherford and she treated for lunch. Went to Horseman's Supply and then back home. Waited for it to cool down so we could hit the trails at my barn. Summer was very good for Liz. Another very nice day.

No sorting that Friday night as I had a lesson very early Saturday morning. Shelby was very good, but I was very sloppy. I wasn't feeling well as my iron was low (that's all I'm going to say about that "wink, wink"). But we didn't do too bad.

I have to say, my staycation seemed like a long one. It didn't flash by like I thought it might and for that, I grateful.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Update...on everything

Well, its been a bit since I last blogged.

All is still going good. Well, at least for my little world.

Shelby and I are becoming more of a team and starting to "get" each other. She is in my hip pocket and a very loving mare. She reminds me of Fawtal in that sense. Summer is stoic and aloof and Shelby is all in your business. LOL

Shelby and I went to our clinic at James' on Sunday. Along with Vicki, Mike, Connie, Robin and Courtney. It was a good one. We all made mistakes, but we made more good moves than bad ones.

Oh, and I wanted to log that I was real proud of Shelby and her trailing training too. I knew she would get right in by herself, with no Summer, to go to James's Sunday morning, but would she get in at James' to come home. I had faith in her as she has been at the barn going on 2 months now and is very attached to Summer. And if for some reason she didn't want to get in, James would be there to help. Well, after out lesson and it was time to go, James, Anthony and Robin were standing in the shade next to my trailer talking, I pointed Shelby at the trailer and said, "load up", and she hopped right in with no questions asked! I was so proud of her. I told them, "trailer training complete". LOL

I took her home, unloaded and put her up then went and took a 2 hour break. I decided to take her to Roy's for a couple of sorting runs with Tracey and Amira. I had asked James if he thought taking Shelby to Roy's would be too much since we had had the lesson. He said no, she was in the prime of her life and a few runs at Roy's would be fine. So here was a major trailer training question, would she get back in on the same day she had already gotten in twice for a trip? Well, when it was time to go to Roy's, she answered my question by hopping right in! So proud of my little paint girl!

Tracey took her own rig, so we met up there. I ran with DK, Tracey and Dennis Brooks. All pretty good runs. I got my first 2 sets of doubles while running with Dennis. It was awesome! Twice when it was my time in the pen to get my number, they lined up for me. I pushed them semi-quick and would holler "double, double, let'em go!" Very cool.

Letha was walking around asking folks if they wanted to jackpot. I told her no as I was so tired. I had gotten up at 5am to get ready to be at James' by 6:30 to saddle and warm up cause the lesson started at 7am. I didn't go to sleep until about 12:30am, so I was just exhausted. Well, when it was time to start jackpot, Letha told Roy they needed 1 more novice to round out the class. So I raised my hand and told them I would do it. Well, my draw was a girl named Krista. She is good, but we had never run together before. Well, we went in and got all ten head in 58 seconds! It was awesome!

A few team busted but about 3 other teams also got 10 head. In the end, we finished with 14 head and second place. The first place team also finished with 14 head but a 6 second faster time. But I can now officially say, Shelby and I have won money.

Well, when it was time to go, I had faith that Shelby would agree that it was time to go home and get in the trailer. And she agreed, she loaded right up.

Money and Tuesday night was Summer's turn. We did a conditioning ride on both nights. Monday we rode 1.60 miles at 8mph, then another mile and a half at a walk. On Tuesday we did 2.30 miles at 8mph then another 2 miles or so at a walk for cool down. On both nights though, she acted like she still had more fuel to give me, but I want to do this slow as she has fat to burn and muscle to build. Last night and tonight, she has off, but will do another one on Friday night and Sunday morning. Then I need to start doing some long slow distance with her. If I have to hit every trail we have 3 times, I will. I may get bored with it, but it is for her own good.

Chompers is still being Chompers. I think I have found him a girlfriend though. My friend Courtney has a 29" mini paint mare she wants to breed. She wants a baby for herself. It probably won't be this year as it is too late and you don't want them giving birth in the heat of summer. But starting early next year, we will probably put them together and just let him "pasture breed" her.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 suck...

Well, I guess most everyone has heard about the EHV-1 scare going on right now. Yes, it sucks.

Our barn owner, Barb, has put a movement restriction on the facility. No new horses on and no one is to leave unless you don't want to bring your horse back until she lifts the restriction. But I wasn't going to move my horses for at least 2 weeks anyway. So no biggy for me there. I am just glad she made it a rule as what if someone else left then brought it back. My caution would be for not then.

I missed my sorting clinic, but the weather actually fixed that for us anyway. It rained real good last Friday and JB's arena was too wet and Roy already had an event at his so we couldn't use it anyway. So the clinic was canceled.

I just hung around the barn all weekend. Did some much needed chores and played with my girls and my mini man.

This weekend the SWTPA show will go on, but with one change. They will not have water tanks for you to water your horses. Which I don't do anyway. I always bring my own water and buckets. If Barb lifts the movement restrictions, I will take Shelby and keep her on my trailer away from other horses. If she doesn't life the restrictions, I will just go and volunteer my time.

That's about it for news I guess. TTFN!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trailers and Horses and Cows OH MY!

Back to more trailer work for Shelby. She is such a little toot.

Friday night, I got to the barn, opened my trailer all up, put her helmet on, pointed her to the empty trailer and said, "Load up." and she loaded up. She stood in there for a few seconds and I asked her back out before she decided on her own to back out. Lesson complete.

I saddled her up, walked her to the round pen with a mounting block and we were going to work on her standing still while I mounted. After the fifth time, she stood while I got on and waited for my cue to move. Lesson complete.

I then practiced opening gates while mounted so that we could exit the round pen. She kept turning on the forehand away from the latch. That too took about 5 times. When I unlatched it, I continued to play with the latch while she stood quietly. Lesson complete.

Once out of the round pen, we walked over to another boarder and talked with him while we practiced standing quietly. Every time she started moving, I started working her. Side pass both ways, backup and step forward. All this while I continued to talk to the other boarder. After a couple of minutes of work, she would stand. When she moved, I made her work. She caught on after a bit. Lesson complete.

Then Tracey and I headed out to the trails. We only rode out there for about 15 minutes and she was very good. She didn't want to put her feet in the pond. She was resistant but not dangerous. So Tracey had Amira put her feet in. When Shelby saw this, she finally stepped in. When she realized it was water and not going to kill her, she bent down and took a long drink. I was very proud of her.

Saturday was horse day and horse shopping day. Well, not horse shopping per say, but horse tack shopping. I got all my barn chores done. And when Tracey got to the barn, we put the girls out and headed to Weatherford for some Teskeys and Horseman's Supply! Shelby got her very own, brand new, purple halter. No more hand-me-downs when we leave the property

When we got back, it was more trailer training for Shelby. Well, today she decided to load up quick and unload herself quick. So after the 4th time, I got Tracey to stand behind the trailer door and as soon as Shelby went in, we shut the door and then it became a short pushing match game. Thankfully, Tracey and I won. Shelby leaned on the door a few times but finally realized she was in until I opened it. After she quit pushing, I slowly opened the door and asked her to come out. We were done for the day.

Tracey and I then saddled up Summer and Amira and headed out to the pasture for some relaxing riding. It was a great end to a very nice day.

Sunday was sorting day. Got to the barn and gave Shelby a bath, got chores done, got lunch ate, got girls loaded and off we went at about 1:45pm. We (me and my girls and Tracey and Amira) got to the arena and had a fun time. Shelby and I rode with Courtney, Robin, Tracey and James. I ran with Robin and Tracey a couple of times.

Well, James' first 3 runs of the day were with Pete, Courtney and Robin. All of whom got all 10 head, in order in less than a minute. Well, James came up to me and asked if I wanted to run. Of course! But there was pressure. He was 3 for 3 and I didn't want to screw that up. When it was time for us to go in, I handed Tracey my phone to hold for me. She asked if I wanted her to video it and I said no. (Stupid me!) I figured it would jinx the run. Well, we got all 10, in order, in 51 seconds! It was awesome! I have gotten all 10 head before at his place at various lessons, but we are going for quality then quantity and then speed. So I know they were all over a minute, but good, clean runs. So I was pretty pumped with this timed ride. Now mind you, James is good. Very good. So yes, he can make us look good as well cause he is coaching us while we are running. But it did validate my purchasing this lovely little mare and that it was right thing for me if this is going to be my sport of choice. As if I wasn't already sure! :0)

Anyway, Tracey and Amira did real good this day as well. Tracey has signed up for a cow clinic that our friend Toni Perez is holding and she can't wait.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Awesome 3 day weekend...of course it, was full of horses!

I took off work Friday to get Shelby's pen ready for her to come home on Saturday. Well, I decided to give the new pen to Summer as it is much larger than her old pen and she would be right next to her BFF Amira. Summer's new pen has a huge oak tree in it for plenty of shade. I was also happy I made this decision as there are all kinds of wild flowers and small weeds in Summer's new pen and none in her old one as Shelby poops everywhere! Summer is a lady and only poops in 2 places making clean up a breeze for me. If Shelby had been in that pen, it would have been hard to clean up in the middle of the weeds and flowers. Anywho...

I got a bunch of work done and that evening went to JB's and rode Shelby for a bit.

Saturday morning, I went to my barn and got all my Saturday morning chores done. Clean pens and automatic waterers. I think Summer is liking her new pen as she can really run, buck and fart in it. Just still need to get the rest of that old round bale out of her stall so she will have more room.

Around 11am, I loaded Summer up and we headed to JB's to pick up Shelby. When I was half way there, my truck started missing. : ( While there, James came over and talked to me a bit. I gave him a thank you card as he has been so patient and kind to me.

That being said, let me tell you a quick story on the card I gave him. If I can find it online, I'll post a pic of it. **found it, see above pic** In August of 1991, is when my beloved Fawtal came into our lives. The folks I bought him from were so sweet. I even remember their names, Paula and Dan. Due to having to wait on my vet of choice to come out for a vet check, Paula and Dan did a barbaque and gave us brand new swim suits for some fun time in their pool. We did this for 4 hours while we waited on the vet to arrive. It was awesome. Anyway, the card I got them was a little black and white paint foal with a red indian blanket in it's mouth. In the card it says, "Thank you for the red carpet treatment'. The card is produced by Leaning Tree. Now back to James. A few months ago, I found this card again. I had to buy it for sentimental reasons. About a week ago I knew I wanted to get James a card for all his kindness to me. I remembered having that card in my possession and I knew I must use this same card again almost 20 years later for the same reason, a horse. After he read it, I told him the story of Fawtal. I think that meant a lot to him. And it was even cooler that I got a black and white paint from him. Okay, back to my other story...

I got Shelby ready with her helmet and pointed her to the trailer. She saw Summer and hopped right in.

When I got her home, mom and dad came out to meet the new grand-horse as my mom calls all of them. They really liked her. And yes, they gave Summer as much of attention as they did Shelby. While there, I gave mom her mother's day gift and card. She didn't think I was coming over on mother's day. (grin) But I was....

That evening I had a little lesson with her at JB's. So I had to load her and Summer back up to go over there. I had a thought though. What if I just took her? Would she load without Summer now since she has hopped right in with Summer being in there. So I put her helmet on and pointed her to the open door and she hopped right in. However, I did have a fleeting thought, should I take Summer just in case she decides not to get back in at James' since that is her "home". Naw, we'll be fine. (rolling eyes) hehe

Well, I got there and did a nice quiet ride in his pasture. Robin got there and she and James saddled up and we headed for the arena. I had told him that morning that I wanted him to ride her so I could see how he pushes her buttons and makes her do what I know she is capable of. He did and it was AWESOME! I wish I had videoed it. I had stated on my FB that it was like watching Dale Earnhardt Jr. drive his car, but when I got on her it was like watching Fred Flintstone drive Dale's car. LOL But we did have a good lesson. We just worked on heading cows and that was really fun. It was even more fun when I could feel her cut a cow without me even touching her reins. It was just the neatest feeling.

Well, back to the trailer loading when it was time to go home. Let's just say, I wish I had listen to that fleeting feeling of bringing Summer. Shelby WAS home and it WAS dinner time. "I ain't getting in that blasted trailer." Well, I am glad I bought her a helmet. She did pop her head on the roof, but no damage to her. After a few minutes, James came over and in about 5 minutes we had her in. I have a lot of work, but I honestly see a light at the end of the tunnel. Because she has showed me that she will get in without Summer. Silly horse shouldn't have showed me that! LOL

Sunday came and I went to the barn. I put Shelby out in our turnout for the first time and she had a ball. Not much grass in there so I wasn 't worried about her gorging. After I got those chores done, I was happily surprised when Shelby came straight to me so I could halter her and put her back in her pen.

I left the barn and headed to mom's house with a big bouqet of flowers. She teared up a little as she didn't expect me to come over. have to see your mom on mother's day if you can. I stayed there for a bit then headed back to the barn to wait on Tracey to arrive as we were to go to sorting practice.

When I got back I visited with June while waiting on Tracey to arrive. Amanda showed up to the barn unexpected to give me my mothers day gifts. Or should I say more mothers day gifts, as she had already surprised me with some beautiful hay the day before. It was very sweet of her. I have the best daughter! Or at least in my opinion! :o)

Tracey arrived at about 1pm. She loaded her saddle and such and then loaded Amira. Well, when Shelby stepped half way into the trailer, she sniffed Amira's back before finishing loaded. Amira let out a huge bellowing scream and lifted her tail and peed everywhere. She is in high heat. It scared the snot out of Shelby and she flew out of the trailer. I then went in and spanked Amira's butt. Yes, I said spanked. Opened, flat handed her but about 5 or 6 times and yelled at her. But she wouldn't stop peeing and squeeling. So Tracey got her out and decided to take her own trailer. But Amira was still being a turd. She blew out of Tracey's trailer and smacked her head on the roof and took off, lead rope trailing behind. Well, the lead rope would be the reason she didn't go sorting. It wrapped around her legs and tripped her. She tried several times getting up but couldn't. June was the one that got to her first and Amira got up. She had several marks on her, some blood and already some swelling. No sorting for her. Tracey was very upset and I didn't blame her. But, Amira will be fine, she will just be sore for a few days. Silly, extreme hormonal mare.

Well, Summer had to go anyway. But was a trooper about it. Sorting went well for me. I ran with Robin twice, Trevor once and Toni P. once. Robin and I got 8 and Trevor and I got 8. Robin and I's second run (James was there by this time) could have been better but we did learn what our mistakes were from James. Toni was only really concerned with how her horse was going to behave and she was very happy with his performance. I was not happy with mine, but that is okay. I rode with her to help her boy's confidence. I don't mind helping someone now that I have a horse that is push button as I remember when I needed help and there were folks there to help me when I first started. Pay it forward!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sorting practice

Loaded up Summer and headed to JB's to pick up Shelby.

Everyone was already gone to the arena as I was running a bit late due to helping David fix my car.

I pointed Shelby to the open trailer door, she sniffed Summer's rump and hopped in. She thinks that Summer is her bestie now. LOL As long as she shows submission to Summer, all she be okay.

Got the arena and unloaded both girls. Tracey showed up and I told her she could ride Summer around and just dink around if she wanted.

I sorted 4 times and they weren't bad. I bent Shelby in half one time and caused a trash cow to get thru. I messed up on a few things but did a few things exactly like JB has been teaching me.

But all in all, I thought we did okay. Shelby and I are still learning each other and how each other works. I am still learning this game and will be for a long time. Shelby on the other hand has been playing this game a long time and I sure is just wishing I would catch up with her. LOL

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shelby coming home...

Well, little Miss Shelby will be coming home Saturday morning.

Yes, I am excited. I took Summer and my rig over to JB's last night. I put Shelby's helmet on, opened the door and asked her to get in. She stiffed Summer's rump and hopped in. And this time, there wasn't anything in her hay manger. I wanted to see if she would try to bolt out because of this and she just stood there. I was very proud of her. So I locked her in and then fed them both some alfalfa. But this night was going to be a little different. She was going for her first ride in her little sardine can. I drove to Rendon Arena as it is only about a mile from JB's place. I rolled both my windows down so I could hear if she took a stubble or anything while driving there because there are a lot of turns to get there. But all was quiet. Once there, I stopped in the parking lot and checked on her. She seemed fine. When we got back to JB's, I unhooked her trailer tie and butt chain and asked her to get out. She stepped out so quietly. I was very proud of her.

Once I get her home and she gets comfortable there, I will start removing Summer from the equation on the trailer training. It will be gradual and I think with in a month's time, she will be hauling by herself with no problems. I have faith in her and myself that this will happen.

I am taking off Friday to finish cleaning out that bad round bale out of her pen and to go buy some more hay.

I can't wait to bring her home!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trailer training and other news...

Had a great weekend! Rain and all....

Friday I took Summer and my rig to JB's to work on Shelby's sardine can trailer training.

I got there and took Summer out and put her on the hot walker. Of course she had her helmet on and I am sure was wondering what the heck was going on.

I went in the barn and got Shelby and Summer was like, "who's that, and why are you leading her my way?" I then pulled out Shelby's very own shipping helmet. Now both my girls are safe and will be safe in my little, rolling bear cave. At least that is how I see it. They see it as looking like dorks and they just know all the other horses are laughing at them.

While they were tied to the walker and staring at each other. I went over and got the trailer all opened up and put some alfalfa in each hay manger. I then walked Shelby over to JB's trailer and tied her off. Went back and got Summer and asked her to please load good for Shelby's sake. And she did. I then asked Shelby if she was watching. It took maybe 5 minutes to get her in. I used the learning that my friend Toni gave me and it was wonderful. I would "tap-tap" with the whip on her rump and everytime she took a step, I stopped and praised her. Then more "tap-tap", another step, stop and praise. Then she just hopped in and didn't try to blow out. I am thinking that the alfalfa was a nice surprise for her. I closed them both in and walked away for about 5 minutes. Just enough time for them to finish their treat.

When I unloaded her, she was very good and quiet when she backed out. Lesson done.

On Saturday, Tracey and I worked the trails and got some awesome trail photos and burned some serious calories. Once we were done there, it was lunch time. When we got back, I wanted to do some gate repair on two gates. Tracey held the gates up and steadied them while I fixed them. Then it was time to go running around. We went to check out a couple of trailer places. No luck for her. Went to this huge yard sale and I bought me some very old tea glasses that were exactly like the ones my great grandmother used to have. I got a set of 12 for $10. These exact glasses were at an antique store for like $3 a piece! Score! Amanda was so excited when I showed them to her. We love surrounding ourselves with memories of our family. Everytime we will drink tea out of them, grandma Ballou will be in our thoughts.

After that we did a little more running around then went back to the barn.

I wanted to take Summer and my rig back to JB's for another trailer lesson with Shelby. We repeated what I did Friday. This time it took about 2 minutes and Shelby was comfortably in her trailer munching on alfalfa. We saw JB, Katy and Travis in the arena heading cows so we walked down so Tracey could watch. After about 10 minutes, I unloaded Shelby and she sort of blew out. Nope. Not what I wanted. I was only asking her to put her front feet back in so that I could ask her to come out slower. Well, she got all the way back in. Okay, I'll accept that. I then asked her to back out slower and she was an angel. After I put her away, we headed back to B-Tex.

Once back at the barn, David wanted me to bring my trailer home so he could put a new piece of wood in it on near side as it was rotting horribly. We finally got done with that and dropped the rig back off at the barn at 10pm.

No riding this day, but it was a very nice day. And it seemed long. But what better day to have a good, long day on than a Saturday!

Sunday was rain. All day. But that is okay. We needed it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It is official...she's mine.

Meet Leo's Midnight Shelby. A 2002 APHA mare, finished cow horse.
Summer is officially retired from sorting. When I told her, I think she smiled. It was weird. : )
I wrote about that Sunday in my last blog about how well we did at practice. Then I used her for our lesson that next Saturday and we did very well. Any screw up was complete rider error.
But after that practice and that lesson, I knew I had to have her. I just didn't know how. But again, I posted in my last blog all about that.
I do have to say, that I am so blessed to be married to such a supportive husband in my horse ventures. Thank you babe!
Last Wednesday, James wanted me to do 3 practice runs on her at the arena. We did great. I ran with Robin and we got 7 head. I then ran with Mike. He was still hurting after the tumble he took at our past Saturday's lesson and told me he would be the reason we wouldn't do good during this run we were about to do. Well, it was me that screwed up. I told him I did it on purpose to take the pressure off of him. LOL My third run was with Anthony, Robin's husband. We got 9 head. I felt Shelby and I were ready for the following Saturday's SWTPA show.
Saturday, show time.
We didn't place. We didn't even have any short goes. But you know what. I was totally happy with our performance. And so was James.
Our first run was with Katy. We only got 3 head. And it wasn't for the lack of trying. Katy went after our forth head and she just couldn't get it to separate from 2 of it's friends.
My second was with Connie and a cow snuck right past her in the hole.
My third was with a draw. I told him I was on a new horse but she was well trained and he pushed the good cow and one trash at me to hard and fast and they just wouldn't turn away when Shelby and I went at them. Bust.
I then stayed until the final class. 6 sort with Robin.
My draw was a very nice man and a good sorter. But when I brought him my good cow, a trash cow went way around him. I thought he had pushed it off, but it doubled back and went in. Bust
Robin and I did our best. Our herd had a steer in it that was just giving everybody a fit. He knew the game and knew that if he was in the other pen, he didn't have to be chased. I told Robin, we will do this slow and not rile him up. I think we got 5 head before he "woke up". Robin was bringing the good and 1 trash cow. The steer #8 started coming the other way. I was hollering and fighting him off when both cows Robin was bringing went in. Bust. But that was a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation. Robin and I talked about what to do next time if that ever happens again. She will pull her cows off of me, take the pushy cow away, then go sort her good cow again. Sounds like a plan! If we can remember that. LOL

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Exciting things going on!

There is just so much that is going on in my life right now. Well, maybe not a lot to some, but it seems like a lot to me.

Still sorting of course. But Summer is about to retire from that job. That wonderful mare I have has taken me as far as she can. She has won me several hundred dollars and has proven that a Tennessee Walking Horse can work cows too. But, I worry about her joints. Oh, don't get me wrong, she is fine, but I don't want to take a chance. She has always had a sticky stifle and I know her hocks aren't near as what a stock horses are. So, she will be going back to what she does best. Trail and driving. I love her too much to continue to ask her to do what she technically wasn't bred to do.

But my dilemma was, I LOVE sorting. I love the people, the speed of it, the challenge of it and the new, close friends I have made.

So, what do you do? Well, you finally convince your husband to come watch what you love to do. David came out and surprised me a couple of Wednesdays ago and watched me sort. I was on Summer of course and James was on a black and white APHA mare with the barn name of Nasty. None of us were doing very well that night, but David stayed the entire time and watched. I think he liked the speed of the event.

After we were done, he, James and I stood around and talked for a bit. James was complementing my riding abilities. Which I know David heard. I then jokingly asked David to buy me Nasty. He laughed and shook it off. James just told me to continue to save my money and the right horse would come along. Just keep riding Summer and I would be fine.

Well, that following Sunday, Summer and I went back to the pens and she was acting like she had never seen a cow in her life. It was embarrassing. James come up to me and told me that Nasty was tied to his trailer and ride her if I wanted. So, I tied Summer and went and got Nasty (aka Shelby). I did 4 runs on her and they were all awesome. Everyone was cheering me on. Even the arena owner made a comment over the load speaker.

Secretly, I got a little defensive as I love Summer and know she was just having an off day. But this little paint is a finished cow horse. Spins like a top and stops on a dime. Well, after those 4 runs, I knew what horse I wanted.

So, I started contemplating on how I could buy her. I talked to David about it as it is a big purchase and a family decision. Well, after a bit, he was on board. As of this past Saturday, she was officially off the market. Money and papers should change hands by next Monday or Tuesday.

I will be competing at Southwest this Saturday on her and am a bit nervous as she has a lot of throttle. But when I am done with her other training, I do see a trail horse and maybe a CTR horse in there as well. As different jobs will settle her. All she has ever done is cows. She needs time off in between. Plus I need to learn how to ride her as she is so different from any other horse I have had as she is just push button when it comes to cow and arena work. But when I look in her eyes, I see a mare who needs me and I hope she knows I will give her everything she needs and wants.

Summer is still number 1. She is the queen of my small herd and that will never change. Shelby will just be her lady in waiting. LOL

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another awesome sorting practice and great 3 day weekend!

Man, what a great weekend! **************************************************************************************************** Friday I got a bunch of chores done. Both vehicles washed, and the Monte Carlo inspected. Horses wormed and then spent quality time with the hubby. **************************************************************************************************** Saturday I got my domestic chores done at the house, then went to the barn and got my farm chores done plus some schooling on Summer with a short ride in the pasture afterward. Then David came out and helped me move some downed trees in one of my trails. Once done, I fed horses and then enjoyed a date night with David. **************************************************************************************************** Sunday rolled around and I knew I needed to go to sorting practice since I had missed the last two days of it. I wasn't 100% into doing it, but knew I needed too. **************************************************************************************************** Summer and I got there, I lined up my rides and had an AWESOME time. I rode 7 practice runs and each one was great. Summer was so "on" it was amazing. Because she was being so good, I decided to go ahead and do the jackpot. These jackpots are a little different than what I am used to. These were all draws. And everybodies name was in the same hat. You might run with another 1 or you might draw a 6. My draws were my friend Vicki. (and we had two very good practice runs that day) And my other draw was with a guy named Randy. I was his only run. Now back to me thinking, he is a cowboy and I am sure someone pointed out, "Your draw is that girl in the helmet." And if he didn't watch my practice runs, he probably thought, "Oh crap." LOL So I knew I had to make my runs with him count. There were only 11 teams, so your biggest objective, don't bust. Cause if you didn't bust, you were pretty much guaranteed to go back on the short run. Well, 4 teams did bust so only 7 teams went back. Both of my runs went back. Vicki and I got 5 head on our first run and Randy and I got 4 head. James only did 1 run and Vicki was the lucky person who drew him. They got 4 head. On the short go, Vicki and I got 3 head for an 8 head total. Randy and I got 8 head on our second run for a 12 head total. Well, that set the bar for James as he knew then what they needed. 9 head. And they got it, for a 13 head total. But I will happily come in second to friends. The jackpot paid first and second place. So it was nice to get my money back plus some pocket change. Pretty awesome day indeed! ******************************************************************************************************* But another personal win for the day was when Robin and I did a practice run. We have been sorting together since July of '09. We were both very much beginners and would be happy if we got 4 head of cows. When we competed together last year, we just couldn't click. We would only get 1 or 2 head or just bust. So we stopped competing as a team. But we still do at least one practice run together. Well, yesterday, we got 7 head! We were so happy! Robin's husband came to us and told us what a great job we did. Even when everyone was leaving for the day, Anthony told me again that I rode really well today. He is a very good sorter and penner. Winning $$ all the time. **************************************************************************************************** Anyway, I just couldn't have asked for a more blessed weekend. **************************************************************************************************** Thanks for reading! TTFN!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Great practice last night...

Course we used Roy's cows and they were a bit easier than the cows we used Saturday. But they were harder in that you really had to push them to get them to run. That part wore me out. I was huffin and puffin when I got done running with Katy and James. You really have to move to keep up with those two when you are sorting. But it's a good thing!

I ran with most of my clinic mates. All but Mike, Anthony and Travis. Connie and I got 4 on our first go, and 5 on our second. Robin and I got 4, Vicki and I got 3, Katy and I got 9 and James and I got all 10. I was very pleased with all my runs. None of us busted. And yes, even as easy as these cows were, folks were busting.

I think Summer bit the last cow that I was pushing thru when we ran with James. I don't think Roy caught it or he didn't care. But either way, she was really on last night.

I told David that had she been that horse Saturday, we might have done better. But then again, probably not. Harder cows can make or break you. And Saturday they broke us. But that's all good. I just hope they use Cactus Cattle Co next month. LOL Those cows are a tad easier for Summer and I to work. Not that easy, but what ever mixed breed cow they used this past Saturday was crazy. But on the flip side, they have to mix them up and make it hard or the same people will be winning all the time.

Anyway, I can't wait for Sunday and more practice. I am sure Summer can wait, but I'm the one that pays the bills right? LOL

Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Can I get a Mulligan on this past weekend? LOL

What a crappy weekend. Well, Sunday evening was good, so I can't complain about the entire weekend.

The sorting went horribly wrong. I did 5 runs. 1 in the 8 mix with Buck. We only got 2 head. He is trying to slow down a bit too as he gets pretty reved up like the rest of us do and ends up making mistakes. We didn't bust, but it took 5 head to go back.

I did 4 runs in the 3 sort. There were 97 teams! I think it took 6 head to go back. Well, that wasn't happening today either. My first run was with Connie. We only got 2 head.

Then I ran with Vicki. I had to laugh at her horse Tim. It was too funny. I went in first and she and Tim were in the hole. I was getting after my cow and 2 trash ones came their way. My cow and I were still "north of the equator", but those 2 cows came at Tim and I know I saw Vicki kick him to make him move and he just stood there and watched them run past him. LOL It was like he was in a, "I don't feel like it right now" mood. Tim is a trained cutting horse too. I think that is what made me laugh.

My third run was with Buck and we busted right off the bat. He went in first and went after his cow and cow number 9 apparently knew the game. She came at me and I was hollering and Summer lunged at her and it didn't phase her one bit. She blew between the side of the hole and Summer's chest. And just like that, we were done.

My fourth was my draw. A new guy named Todd. He is a cutter on a cutting horse. We only got 1. When he brought me his cow, the blank was with it and there was no way I could seperate it without busting so I had to block both of them. I felt horrible about that but JB always says, if you have to block the good one so you don't bust, then block the good one.

After I was done and paid my bill, I took Summer home and fed everyone. Got in my car and drove back to the arena as David was in Denton racing and Amanda was out with her friends.

So I got to watch the other classes and I worked the gates for the last class.

I do have to say that these cows were tough. You had to have a good horse (and Summer was actually good for me this day) and you had to have the luck of the cow. These cows didn't come from Cactus Cattle Company. They were more flighty than what most of us are used too and more flighty than the ones we have lessons on as our lesson cows are from CCC too. Even the fresh ones from CCC are easier than the ones we competed with this past Saturday. JB even confirmed to us that basically, these cows were tougher than what we are used too. But that's okay, you can't win 'em all. And sometimes you don't even get a short go.

I got home at midnight and put my jammies on to relax a bit, then Amanda started hollering for me from the living room. She was with Libby (our Bulldog) who was on her quilt on the love seat. There was blood all over the quilt. She has completely ripped one of her nails out of her paw. So I run back to the bed room and get dressed and drive her to the Animal ER. Called David and he was on his way home and would be at the ER after he dropped his car off at home. Well, $350.00 later, she was bandaged up, doped up and was wearing her "cone of shame". Poor baby, she looks so pitiful. I told David, in the 22 years we have been having dogs, we have never had one that had to go to the ER. Then Libby came along and she has been twice! LOL

So needless to say, we didn't get home until 3am Sunday morning. I went to bed with no shower, (I know, gross) but man I was exhausted. I woke up at 9:30 and my butt was dragging. Got to the barn about 4ish and had a nice ride on Summer on our trails with Tracey and Amira. I was going to ride Harper, but it was windy, I was tired and she was in season. I didn't want a schooling ride.

So I am asking for a Mulligan for this past weekend (accept for the nice Sunday evening ride). Thank God next weekend is a 3 day weekend for me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yes, more on sorting...

Tomorrow is our 3rd competition of the year.

Last month I was running too fast and out thinking Summer instead of letting her do what her capabilities are. In other words, I have to slow down.

That being said, JB said I could use Nasty if I wanted too, if the other guy that was supposed to ride her (he is interested in buying her) doesn't show up. However, Nasty thinks faster than me. I wish I could have had more riding time on her. Hell, I wish I had the $$ to buy her. My heart tells me to just try to borrow the money from my parents but my brain says no. "But this little mare would benefit being owned by me. All she does is work. No relaxing trail rides and such. And with me, she would get that." And here I go again, talking myself into talking to my dad. "No Tammy!!!! If you have to borrow to buy a toy, then you don't need the toy." "But I feel sorry for her, all she does is work, no play time." "No Tammy." Man, there I go again, talking to myself. David said that maybe by the time I have my $$ saved to buy a finished cow horse, that maybe she will be back a JB's again. This is the second time she has been at his place. You never know.

Anyway, I will slow down a bit tomorrow. Let Summer think for a second and then do our best to get the job done.

As for Summer, she has really packed on the pounds this past month. I have lost 23lbs and she has probably gained 50. I have cut her off Beet Pulp hoping that will help a bit. I can't imagine that BP is what is causing this weight gain. Another theory is that over the winter, she burned the hay calories to keep warm and that kept her looking good, now she doesn't have to burn calories by shivering, so I am gonna have to work her more ofter and a bit harder. Like I did last night.

Anywoot. Everyone have a blessed and fun weekend in whatever activity you decide to do.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fun filled horsey weekend...

What a nice weekend it was.

Saturday was my clinic at JB's place. It was such a nice day. A little windy, but no complaints. I rode Summer my first 3 goes and she was panting like crazy as she has put on some weight. (got to get that belly off of her) James noticed and said, "she's hot Tammy". I know, but she'll be fine. Then he asked if I wanted to ride a horse that he was selling for someone. She is a little black and white paint with the barn name of Nasty. So I said sure. All I can say it was all I could do to keep her in check and keep up with her. She is fast and all about the job. I sure would like to have her as I need a finished horse for this sport. Summer is good, but I need great to advance in this sport. And Nasty is great. I ran her 3 times and on my last run of the day decided to use Summer. The guy I ran with asked, "you gonna ride Summer?" I was like, "if you want me to ride Nasty I will." He was like, "Oh, I was just asking, you ride who you want." He wasn't snarky about it, just asking. Well, this guy is always winning money and he is pretty good. I mean, we all have things to improve upon, but he is good. But I swear it was like Summer understood him. She was on! It was beautiful. We did a very nice, fluid run. He even complemented Summer when we were done. And James had nothing to critique us on. Next Saturday is Southwest, let's hope she is "on" then too.

After I got back to my barn, I saddled up Harper and lunged her in the round pen. She did something she hadn't done before and she did it twice. She humped that back up and went to bucking. From whet I observed on the ground, it wasn't anything I couldn't sit, but now I know what her bucks look like. Once I got done lunging her, I hopped on and worked on her collection and then we just did one loop around the barn yard. She was real good for me.

Sunday was more sorting, but this time I took Harper to the arena. She wasn't too keen on that, but she didn't try to kill me either. I didn't take Summer and there was no Amira to act like a secruity blanket. Barb came up for a few minutes and gave me some advice on what to do when she starts moving around in the waiting line and such. Robin came up to me and asked if I had a ride open and I am like, "of course, I'm on little greeny, nobodies gonna want to ride with me today." LOL

So Robin and I go in and man, Harper was all about chasing those cows. She had absolutely no reservations about going into the herd and sorting her cow. My only problem was she wouldn't stop. She totally sucks at the hole. She wanted to continue chasing. So needless to say, Harper and I showed everyone watching how not to sort. LOL But Robin was cool with it, that's why it's called practice.

The next run I asked James to run with me and I would pay for his run. And Harper did it again. Harper's thoughts: "Chase the cows, but I ain't working no stupid hole, I want to chase cows!" James told me when we were done that I needed to work on her stop. Roy and Barb both said the same thing about what James meant, so we will be working on that this week. As well as with Summer.

My final run, I asked this girl named Courtney if she had any open runs, and she was sweet enough to say yes. I told her I was on a greeny that loved the chase but didn't have a clue about the hole. So she worked the gate and I did all the sorting. We got 4 head. I was very proud of Harper. That little mare has potential. Just not sure if I'm the one that can get it all from her. But I sure want to try.

I have to say though, after our first run with Robin, she really settled down. I mean, she was quiet after our first run. She stood quietly while we were in line and everything. No fidgeting and such like before the run. It was like something in her brain just clicked on and she was a good girl. She still gave "ugly ears" to everyone that got too close, but she is a mare.

I do have to work on her trailer skills. She sits on the butt chain and door when she is fixing to be let out and she about runs you over coming out. Gotta call Toni on that one.

When we got back to the barn it was still pretty early. So I tacked up Summer and went for a lovely, quiet ride in the pasture. She was very good today. Maybe a bit jealous that I am paying attention to other horses? Who knows. But she was good for my last run the day before after I rode Nasty a few times, then she was good and no spooks after she saw me come home from riding Harper. Or maybe she is just liking the break I am giving her.

After Summer and I came back in, Barb brought me Woody. He is half pony and half Arabian. Amish broke driving horse of her's. She wants me to ride him cause June is wanting to use him as a riding horse. It has been about 6 years since he's had a saddle on. But he was very good for me. I only rode about 10 minutes as it was getting late and I only wanted to see what he would do. I think he will be just fine. But I will ride him a bit more so June will be comfortable getting on him.

I also have my farrier wanting to me ride his horse, Ebby. She is a stock type, almost black bay mare. Lots of fire in her, but she is a sweet mare. He said she is good and has sorted before and loves to work cow and I was more than welcome to take her to the arena any time I wanted. So last night after I worked Harper, I put Ebby in the round pen and just watched her. She ran and bucked and farted and wouldn't stop until I came back to the fence. I will ride her a bit at the barn and get comfortable on her before I do any work with her. He said she is a good girl, but she has been his horse for 10 years, so will she be good for a perfect stranger? I may wear both of my helmets for this one. LOL

It was a great weekend and I feel very honored that all these folks are trusting me with their animals.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another day at the sorting pens...

Had a great weekend this past weekend!

Worked our home trails Saturday, even with the wind trying to knock me off my horse. But she was real good while I clipped, cleared and marked trail.

Sunday, I went to sorting practice. Tracey decided to come with her horse Amira. Toni and her beau Kelley decided to come down from Decatur for some practice as it had been awhile since they have worked cows.

There was a good turn out this day. I got to run with each one of my "class mates" that showed up and with James, our instructor. I had some pretty decent runs, but my best two were with Vicki and James. Didn't do too bad with Robin except for Summer lunging out of the hole at the wrong time and at the good cow, causing it to turn back and Robin having to go get it again. But we must remember, we are aboard something with a mind of its own.

But I was real proud of Summer. She was real good. We have a lesson this next Saturday and then SWTPA the following Saturday. Let's hope she is good then too. But I did slow my brain down like James told me and I didn't over think Summer. I know that when I am pumped up, I am way over thinking my horse, her abilities and her comfort zone. She still gets nervous when we are seperating the herd, and I need to remember that and sssllllooowww down a bit while she does the job I am asking of her. Slow to seperate, but she loves it when the chase is on! Man does she love chasing them cows. LOL

Friday, March 4, 2011

Something I haven't done in 18 years, I did last night.

I rode my mare bare back. I know it doesn't sound like a big event to some, but it was to me.

When it comes to horses, fear is not an option. Except for riding bare back.

In the summer of 1993, I was riding my Arab gelding, Fawtal, BB. Well, I wasn't exactly BB, I had a little Navajo blanket on him. Silly me. The blanket started to shift a bit and I went to straighten while I was on him. He was very leg sensitive and when I squeezed with my legs to raise myself up and adjust the blanket, he thought I asked him to move out at a trot to the right. Well, when he moved right, I went left.

After a concussion, broken left shoulder and unconscious for 24 hours, I decided to saddle my horse from there on out. Thank God I was at our boarding stables and one boarder had a cell phone. Remember, 18 years ago, you had have money to have a cell phone. Thank God he had money. LOL

I am just around the corner from a 20lb weight loss (with 40 more to go) and last night, while working my mare in the round pen, I just decided to ride BB, and it felt natural and comfortable. Just a halter, lead rope and a trusty mount. But loosing some of that extra weight I have been carrying for so long, felt good. I didn't feel like a wibble wobble on her back.

My barn owner was there and giving instructions. "Heels down, toes forward, use your thighs to hold on, etc..." After 3 whole laps in the round pen, my thighs were on FIRE! LOL But I think it is something I am going to do every chance I get. It will really build those thigh muscles and help burn calories.

Just thought I'd share...
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's been a month since I posted last...

The last month has been pretty good.

We Texans lived through one of the coldest few days in 15 years. Lots of freezing rain, ice, sleet, name it, we got it. But after that, the next week was in the 70's. Go figure. Gotta love this Texas weather.

I have started riding my barn owner's little Arab mare, Harper again. (that is her in the winter pic above) She is doing good, but just needs a lot of miles. I started riding her because Summer had a corneal ulcer and couldn't be ridden for awhile. So I have become a little attached to her. She has a little attitude which is kinda funny. She tries to bully but she is slowly realizing that I am not the kind that is bullied by horses. One thing I can say, she is smart as whip.

I took her to sorting practice this past Sunday. She will be 10 years old in about April or so. Never been near a cow and I have to say, I wasn't disappointed. She is an aggressive mare towards other horses and other kinds of animals. (She is only 14hh so I think she has little horse syndrome lol) Tracey watched as she chased a squirrel out of her pen. So with that news, I was hoping she would do the same with cows. She was a bit hesitant about going to get her cow, but once we were on one, she laid those ears flat back and she was off. She even unseated me a bit by lunging at a cow.

We did 4 runs and her owner came to watch as we did the best of the 4 so I was pretty happy about that. Barb (Harper's owner) talked to James (my instructor who is also a horse trainer) and he told her things he wanted in a horse before he took them on to train. So Barb and I are going to start Harper's ground work and get her ready. If she really takes to this, I am sure Summer will be happy for the break away from cows.

Summer and I competed in the February SWTPA and didn't place. I did 7 runs with her this past Saturday. Once it was all said and done, James told me to slow my brain down. In other words, I was going too fast for Summer's comfort level. Summer doesn't like to move into the herd too fast and I was putting to much pressure on her. All of the busts and what-not were not my fault, but there were a couple that I put too much pressure on my partner while they were in the hole.

I did have one short run in the 3 sort, but my partner couldn't keep them out of the hole cause they were coming from both sides. And on another plus note, I did run in the 8 mix twice. Once with James. He had 5 runs in that class and if I'm not mistaken, I was the only one of his runs that didn't bust. We only got 3 head tho, and it took 5 to go back. Oh well, I was a bit nervous as that was the first time he and I have competed together. I can't wait for our next lesson. Maybe I can learn to ssslllooowww down for Summer's sake. LOL

But in the end, I had fun. Isn't that what it's supposed to be about anyway? Because if it isn't fun, what's the point.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 2011 SWTPA. What a way to start the year!

Well, Summer and I got to the arena at about 9:30ish thinking that they penning had already started as it is supposed to start at 9am. But no. Computer issues caused the show to start an hour and a half late. Oh well. Lot's of extra time for visiting. Not that I am a penner anyway, but at least I got to watch some of the beginning of the competition.

But I think next month, I am not gonna get there quite so early. Think I'll sleep in a little later and leave my barn about 11am next time. At least that way, I can stay all night to help with the rest of the show and help tear down when it is all done.

Summer and I have taken a couple of lessons, gone to 1 practice day and have attended 1 clinic since I have been back to sorting. I had to stop early last year due to time constrants, finances and then my back decided it was going to go out for a few months. So here we are, picking up where we left off.

While at the arena this past Saturday, I saw a new friend that I had made last year at a SWTPA show. He was a draw back then. His name is Buck and he's a real nice fella. Reminds me of a little older version of my friend Mark. That's what I like about draws though. You really do make new friends. I saw Buck and we said our howdys to each other and then he asked if I wanted to run in the 8 mix sort with him. Cool. Okay.

The 8 mix sort is a new class that they started this year. It is a man/woman team only and your ratings together cannot equal over 8. He is a 2 and I am a 1. There were 46 teams in this class and he was the only one I was running with. He had 2 runs in this class. Myself and a new friend I made, JoLynn. Well, he and I finished the first run with 4 head which gave us a run in the short go. I didn't do to well in the short run and we finished the class with a total of 5 head. I felt bad, but, it is still anybodies game. And sure enough, out of 15 teams in the short go, 7 of them busted. So, Buck and I ended up in 8th place! Not a check, but it will give us points for the year end.

Next was the 3 sort. My regular class. I had one partner, Robin, and 4 draws. Not a whole lot of folks know me or know what Summer and I can do yet. But maybe they learned a little more about me and my girl this day. I had 3 runs in the first set and 2 runs in the third set. There were 72 teams so that made it 24 teams in each set. The first three runs were clean with three head each. My forth run was with a guy named David. Now, let's talk about him for a minute. I am sure I was his draw. Poor guy. I am sure when he saw he was going to have to run with the lady wearing the bucket on her head he was like, "okay, let's get this over with". Sometimes, I can just imagine what is going threw these cowboy's heads when they see me comin'. LOL Well, we got 4 head. On my last run, my partner busted on me. It happens. There were 20 teams that went back in the short run. David was my only short run. He had two, me and a guy he was running with named Frank. Well, David and Frank went before David and I and they finished with a 10 head total. I knew I had to get at least that. That's what I wanted anyway. So I rode up to David and told him that I took lessons from JB and that I was just gonna run with him the way I do JB. He said, okay. And we got 6 head for a 10 head total. I was happy with that, but several folks finished with a 10 head total. Our times would place us. 1st place finished with 12 head, 2nd with 11 head, 3rd with 10 head....and they called mine and David's name! I let out a squeal! OMG! I just couldn't believe it that we had the fastest time. I was just elated! My first SWTPA check! And more points!

That evening made me decide to quit telling people what breed of horse Summer is. I tell them to prepare them. But what I am really doing, is expecting to fail my partner. Summer may be a TWH, but she can sort, chase, and with the help of my big mouth, work the gate. And that night, they also saw, that just because I wear a helmet, doesn't mean I can't whup and ride with the best of them. Maybe I wear a helmet because I whup and ride harder than the rest of them. Yea, that has to be it. ; )

Friday, January 14, 2011

First SWTPA show of 2011

Am I ready? You bet!

Is Summer ready? I sure hope so!

Got her SMB's (boots) cleaned this morning and they are lying on the counter drying. Washing my jeans and getting things ready tonight.

I get a bit nervous the day before a competition like this. Besides trying to do my best for Summer, I have a human partner that is counting on me too. I pay $25.00 per run and so do they. I always think that I don't want to waste their money. But then I think, if you can't afford to loose it, don't compete. Cause odds are, you're gonna loose it. There are more losers than there are winners in this game.

Then I ask myself, why on earth do I spend all this $$ just to loose it? Maybe I know deep down that Summer and I do have the right stuff. And with the right partner and good cows, we will bring home some money someday. We have won in other, smaller jackpots, why not in a big one? I'm not saying we are U.S. worthy because I know better, but we might have a fighting chance here. We did place last January and the other two shows we did, we had short goes at each one of those.

But most of all, it's not the money, it's the sport itself. If I could do this all day long, I would. I just love ranch sorting.

Now dust off your jeans, tighten up your spurs, grab a good horse and chase some fresh cows!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Awesome sorting clinic this Saturday!

About a month ago, my friend Robin called me and said they had a spot open in their sorting clinic and asked if I wanted it. Of course I jumped on it and said yes!

They started this clinic a few months ago with just 8 people as the coordinator said that is a good number for everyone to be able to get some good runs in and some good one on one training with the clinician, James. James is also the person I take my regular 2 hour lessons with.

Anyway, Summer was a bit nervous as she separated her first herd, then settled into it very well when she remembered what she was supposed to do. We all got to run with each other one time then run with James when the clinic was over.

This was a very informative session and I learned a lot of why Summer does some of the things she does. Rider error! I have always noticed that when she and I are working the gate, she starts moving and getting real antsy. Well, it is me. James showed me what I am doing with my hands when we start working the gate. My hands are all over the place so to speak. So I need to quiet my hands and quit "talking" to her. We also learned team work. And by that I mean, if you have a cow that just absolutely will not go through the gate and your partner is working it and there are no other cows around, then go in and help your partner push that cow through the gate. Mike and I had this happen to us several times and it was a fun lesson to work on.

What was also good about this clinic was the cows we used were "fresh". Meaning, they had never been worked like this so they didn't know the "rules" of the game, which made it more challenging for us. I loved it!

I also got more than one compliment on Summer's abilities. I told one guy, before the clinic started, that she was a Walking Horse and he "jokingly" apologized for that. After he saw us run a few times, he came up to me and said, "She's pretty good." Well duh! LOL

After the clinic, I told the coordinator that I would love to be the first on the second list of folks to be called if there were anymore cancellations in the future. She said no problem. She told me, with Robin standing there, that 8 was a really good number for the clinic that way everyone got to run 7 times and then with James. I had absolutely no problem with that and told her I would be honored if they called me again.

After I left the arena, I guess it came to James' attention about what Connie (the coordinator) had told me about only 8 people taking James' clinic. Robin said that James seemed a bit put out/frustrated about that and told Robin to call me and tell me that I was invited to all of his clinics and then said he would call Connie and tell her that too. WOW! I was so happy! I just hope Connie won't be put out by this as I was totally okay with what she had told me about me being the first call on the second string. But it is his clinic and he is the one getting paid. I just felt very honored that James would invite me to come to all of his clinics as I learned so much Saturday about the sport that I love and doing it with a horse that technically wasn 't built physically or designed mentally to do. I sometimes feel like I am wasting his time when he could have others in there with better trained horses and such. I have even asked him personally about this. I told him privately at our last lesson, that I had a thick skin and he wouldn't hurt my feelings if he told me the truth, so I asked him if I was wasting his time and to please let me know. He said I was NOT wasting his time.

I'll never forget our first lesson with him. There were 4 other ladies there besides me and all of them were on stock horses. After our lesson, he pulled me aside and told me I was his strongest rider that day. And here I was on my little ol' TWH. But I have to say, I am a pretty aggressive rider and I just LOVE this dang sport!

Now that we are getting back into sorting, I put Summer back on a joint supplement. She has been off of it for several months so I decided that if we are competing again, I must protect her joints. I am sure she will appreciate that.

This weekend is our SWTPA show for 2011. And if Summer is good physically, we will be there with our boots on! (Which I finally got dirty this weekend! See pic above!) YeeHaw!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I hope this isn't a sign of what is to come in 2011!

January 2nd, I go riding at Six-O with Liz. We ride the rocky side first and Summer just doesn't seem "right". She is off a little. It's felt like riding a barefoot horse over gravel. Very tender and tip toey. In the grass, she seemed better. After about 4 miles, we head back to the trailers to meet Mary and grab a quick bite. I pick Summer's feet and find a stone in one about the size of a shooter marble. I figured that was her problem and we head back out to the other side of the ranch. She is moving much freer now and seems like her old self. Even picked up a wonderful QH lope without being asked. We ride another 8 miles or so and head back in. Besides the first 4 miles of Summer feeling funny, it was a wonderful ride. Summer cantered and gaited so nice on the second half of the ride.

Well, when I get her home, she is off again. Doug, my farrier, checked her Monday night for me and gave me an idea. But the main consensus is that she has a stone bruise in her right frog. There is also a tad bit of swelling in her pasturn. No heat, just fill mostly.

Tuesday night I slather Ickthamol in her hoof and make her a boot out of gauze, vet wrap and duct tape. Before I do this tho, I notice she is walking a little more freer and natural, and I even walked her over gravel and didn't see any tip toeing. I also noticed the fluid in her pasturn was gone.

Last night I pulled the boot and all was about the same. She was walking okay and even out walked me. I did notice some slight fill back in that pasturn and rubbed some Thermaflex on it.

When I got home last night from the barn, my back decided it had had enough and started acting like a jerk. I took some pain meds and crawled into bed to let it rest. I have a sorting clinic on Saturday and sorting on Sunday. Our first SWTPA show is on the 15th. I just pray that my back and her hoof are ready by then. As I sit here and type this, my back is reminding me it is still there. Stiff and sore.

I just pray that these two issues that Summer and I are having aren't a sign for things to come in 2011.