Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trace Clip

Off to do a trace clip tomorrow on Maddy. She has a pretty good winter coat coming in...the problem, it is still warm out and she is working 4 days a week. She has been getting pretty sweaty, so it is time to get out the clippers. Most of the horses at the barn already have them...I am a bit behind. Maddy is great with the clippers...just hope I have a steady hand.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

HyTyme Equine Rescue

I decided to spend my 36th birthday volunteering out at HyTyme Equine Rescue in Eagle Creek, Oregon. Unfortunately, the facility is dealing with an outbreak of Pigeon Fever, so some of the horses were in quarantine. The owner of the place, Jim Elliott, invited me out anyway to get a tour and meet his beloved Drum Horses on the other side of the facility. The Drum Horse looks similar to the Gypsy Vanner, lots of mane and lots of feathers. They were used in England to carry the big kettle drums of the Queen's Cavalry. They had to be strong enough to carry the rider and kettle drum, usually about 300 pounds. Jim fell in love with the breed and bought two stallions from a farm in Pennsylvania. They found some draft PMU mares in Idaho and they had their first crop of Drum foals this year. The stallion, Apollo is quite a character. He is pictured at left and has the most gorgeous mane, it just flows everywhere. When Jim called his name, Apollo strolled over and just leaned into all the scratches and attention. The herd of mares with their little (not so little:-) foals had to come check out what was going on. The Drums seem to be a friendly, curious breed. Some of the foals had the most amazing eyelashes, a wonderful mix of white and black. One of the foals lost it's mother this summer to colic and is being raised by a donkey. I fell in love with that little filly...she was so sweet. I am hoping to help out around the place once or twice a month. I have to wait until the Pigeon Fever is gone before starting. I can't risk transferring it out to our barn. I wore things that I won't wear at my barn and I washed my car just to be safe. I am hoping to help by taking photos and video of the rescue horses to aid in getting them adopted. Also, I wouldn't mind brushing horses or cleaning a few stalls. When it is safe to go out, I have to get together with their barn manager and see where I can help. I am really looking forward to helping in any way I can. You can read more about their Drum Horses at this website.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Thirty six years ago today, I came into the world. My dad loves to tell everyone that when he went to the nursery to see me for the first time, I stuck my tongue out. That set the tone for my childhood. My mom told me that I had to face outward when I was being held because I had to see what was going on. I sat on horses before I could walk. I have old 8mm film of me in a pink snowsuit, sitting on "Kippy." What would Fugly say?:-) I bought my first pony for $ from my piggy bank. Her name was "Topper Star" and the first time they let me ride her, she took off at a full gallop, ran down the field and turned around and came back. My parents said I laughed the whole time and came back with a huge grin on my face. I was hooked, I was horse crazy. Summers were spent at the racetracks or local horse shows. I collected Breyer horses, pouring over those catalogs trying to decide which ones I wanted for Christmas, which ones I wanted for my birthday. As time went on, I acquired four ponies, Topper, Brandy, Dyna, and Lightning. To this day, I think of them and get a huge lump in my throat and then the tears...I miss them. They were everything to me. This photo is me and Topper and my aunt Kathy. We are dressed up for a local parade and I think for whatever reason, I was "pouting" when this picture was taken. My mom made my jockey costume. I wore it after the parade, just because I thought it was so cool. We didn't have a lot of money, and what money we did have went to the horses. My first horse, Tink, I claimed for $500 off a bush track in South Dakota. He was 12 at the time and still running the socks off the two years old at the track. He became my barrel horse and my best friend. There is an old saying "I've spent most of my life in the saddle, the rest of the time I have just wasted." I believe that to be true. Today was my birthday, and I am reflecting on the passing of time and the horses, the friends, and the family that have made it an amazing 36 years. This last photo is my 7th birthday. My mom got creative with our birthday cakes as well. We loved her "bear" cakes. This is my dad, Asher, and my little brother, Will. I am sure those wrapped boxes are Breyer horses, that is why you see that big, toothless grin.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Workin Hard

Just a shot of Maddy as we rode on the trails this past week. We had perfect Fall weather, so it was a great opportunity to get out there and enjoy it while it lasts. A story about this photo...when I was at the beach a couple weeks ago and Maddy rolled...well she rolled right on this camera. I sent it in too be repaired but it came back to me with the LCD screen not working. I wasn't sure if it was taking pictures, but snapped a few just to test it. I put the memory card in the computer and I was pleasantly surprised to find this shot. I thought it looked cool and shows Maddy sweating it out up there on the BLM trails.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back to Lessons

I took some time out from dressage lessons this Spring to work on Maddy's foundation training. I was spending lots of money on lessons, only to struggle during the allotted time slot just to keep her straight or on the rail. I worked all summer on Clinton Anderson exercises in the arena and they really have worked wonders on my mare. I decided she was ready and I was ready to start getting some instruction again. Last Wednesday we had our first lesson and we went to work on a big circle. I have never had my mare go "on the bit" because I have been riding on a loose rein and have been waiting for some coaching from my dressage teacher before doing so. It was awesome! She went so round and kept her feet on the circle. It was the best feeling I have ever had on a horse to date. It could be because I know all the hard work that went into to being able to ride this simple circle...or it could be because I am so proud of her willingness to could be that " really was that awesome!" Either way...I will take it. I am really excited to go forward with her into the dressage realm. Wish me luck.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Trucks and Trailers

For the first time in my life, I am almost completely debt free. The temptation to run out and buy a truck and trailer (or another horse:-) is a constant I am battling with. I see amazing deals on trucks, and a few nice trailers here and there. I have told myself, "If I save half of the purchase price, I may buy my truck." I am not looking for something fancy, just reliable. My credit union has a repo list a mile long and I have been keeping an eye out for any 3/4 ton pickups. I really want to travel with Maddy A LOT next summer. I want to go back to California to ride Mt. Shasta with her last owner. I may want to introduce her to the race track and see if she could "pony". I would love to trailer up to Vancouver, WA and try some team penning or sorting. I want to ride out in Whipple Creek, the place that brought me back to riding and ignited my passion for horses. With that truck and trailer comes FREEDOM, but I will bide my time and wait for that perfect deal. Patience is hard for me, so is not spending:-). I came across the truck and trailer pictured above...isn't that cool! So retro...not very practical, but it reminds me of my childhood and similar to the setup we had back in the day.