Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Expo Season

I just reserved my room down in Redmond for the 2008 Parelli Tour. I got my fliers in the mail yesterday for the NW Horse Expo. Ugh! What a tough decision to make! It is the same weekend that Clinton Anderson will be in town! I've got clinic and expo fever. I love everything about horse expos. I love to shop and take notes at the seminars. This year the Mane Event is in October, so that gives me time to save some cash for the wonderful vendors and I may just have a booth again this year for Stable Hand Video. Booth rentals are pretty pricey and I am a one man band, so when I have a booth, I have to man it all day every day. It is a lot of work, but I meet tons of cool people. What could be better? The tough part is convincing people why they should get video of their ranch, their horses, or their riding. Lots of talking and enthusiasm wears me out and I usually don't get time to enjoy what the expos have to offer. I posted a couple of pictures of my booth space for the Mane Event from 2006. I didn't do one this year because I got so busy with little side projects, not to mention Maddy. But maybe 2008 is my year. I am trying to get more focused and finish my horse documentary projects, so I can get back to working with clients again. By the way, I posted a trailer of my documentary "Inside the Backside" on YouTube if you guys want to check it out. I am hoping to upload it here when I get the time because I am looking for some feedback. I have "tweaked" it a little since posting it, but essentially it is similar. I wanted to mention, all the things (excluding electronics) in my booth I either made or got at garage sales, including the breyers on the shelves. I love bargain hunting!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blind Horses

I like people that do great things for animals. In 2000, a couple started a santuary in Montana called the Rolling Dog Ranch. They wanted to have a place for disabled dogs and cats, but their first resident was a blind horse named "Lena." Today they have 25 blind horses and they work hard to educate people on ERU, eye trauma, glaucoma, and other ocular defects. They turn the horses out in pairs to minimize risk of injury from herd dynamics. The horses can't read body ques like ears pinned back, but they know where their water and feed spots are. I just think it is so cool that Steve and Alayne provide a loving home for these horses. If you want to read more about equine blindness, they have a lot of great information and photos on their other website, blind horses.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shiny and New

Seems like everyone out at my barn has the "itch" to buy a new horse. Two people made offers this week on horses and three other people are busy horse shopping. My trainer just bought the little Welsh Cob pictured here. His name is "Merlin" and he arrived on Thursday. Everyone is trying to talk me into buying Queenie and I even had someone tell me, "cut your losses with Maddy and find something new." I just can't do that. Every horse that I have ever had has lived out their life with me. They are family to me and when I chose Maddy, I imagined growing old with her. As much as I like Queenie, she is way out of my price range and I can't afford two horses. Also, I feel like I need to continue on with my horse, with my plan, with my dream. Of course the idea of a new horse is exciting, but so is the idea of the end of stall rest and a new beginning. It is hard to shut out the comments this past week. I feel like everyone has given up on Maddy except me. It sucks feeling like no one is in your corner and that your horse , to them, has lost its value.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mike and Mac

Ignore all the white space--I can't get rid of it! My dear friend and mentor, Mike, sent me a wonderful photo of horses he passed on his way to Tombstone, Arizona. I wish I was more computer savvy...I want to make it big so you can see the horses. They are just gorgeous. I think maybe draft crosses? Doesn't anyone have a guess? Mike and his little Schnauzer Mac travel around the country in their RV. Mike recently retired from to news biz, but I credit him with being a constant inspiration in my life. He has such an amazing eye and such a talent behind the lense. Just an overall fascinating man and I feel fortunate to have had the experience of working with him and hearing about his life, his travels, and his adventures with his little grey sidekick, Mac. You can click here to see more of his photos. Looking forward to seeing more from Tomstone, a place I have always wanted to go see.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Poor Queenie, my draft cross buddy, has a splint. For my non-horsey friends, a splint is a bony swelling usually on the inside of a front leg. Splint bones on horses are the remnants of prehistoric horse toes. If the bone is damaged or over-worked, the body starts to lay down new bone to the injured area. We have been doing lots of cold therapy. 15 minutes of cold water and then an ice boot for 20 minutes. She is on stall rest for two weeks and not too happy about it. This is the third one she has had this year. My lessons and riding are on hold which gives me time to focus on Maddy. She was much better on Friday when I walked her in the arena. I set up a bunch of cones and earlier in her stall rest I did some "clicker training" with her where I taught her to touch with her nose where I point. So we walked around the arena and I pointed to cones and she touched them and I clicked and gave her a baby carrot. She enjoys this game. It is great because in order to touch the cone, she lowers her head which helps her to relax. I was pretty proud of her on Friday. I was ready for more "crazy," and she really impressed me by staying "checked in".

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Lippizan or Quarter Horse?

Wow...today I thought Maddy was a Lipizzaner. I took her for her first "walk" in the arena after 4 months of stall rest. She walked in calmly. I let her sniff around for a couple minutes. Lots of pets, lots of hind quarter yielding and I let her look out the windows. I pointed to ask her to walk to the left and she went straight up into the air and hopped on her back legs. A perfect "courbette." Then she went straight up, a giant leap and then kicked back, a "capriole" to rival those of the Lipizzaner's. It was quite a show, but not one I wanted. I immediately went into task manager mode, getting her to back and come forward, put her in a couple binds, made her drop her head A LOT. She settled down, but of course I worry those hops could have hurt her fracture. The footing is deep hogsfuel and she has a bar shoe with clips, so hopefully no damage was done. Her adrenaline is so far up. I am thinking I may have to give her a little Ace to keep the edge off for her own safety. I sat with her in her stall for awhile afterwards to see if she remained calm or was agitated after being in the arena. She was content to eat and did lots of snorting. I shed a couple of tears as I watched her. Worry and stress got the best of me. Every day has been a learning experience with her. Such extremes...my greatest pain, my greatest joy.