Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone. Looking forward to an exciting 2010.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Avatar the Movie

I saw the movie "Avatar" this weekend in 3-D. It is an epic film made better by sporting those funny glasses. Things seemed to float right in front of your face and you almost get woozy from the rides on the backs of Banshee dragons. The premise...a paralyzed former Marine is sent into the forest in the body of an avatar to make friends with the Na'vi tribe. The information collected will help the government learn more about them so better able to fight, destroy, and steal their land. Think futuristic "Dances with Wolves." The Marine comes to admire the tribe, enjoys walking again, and manages to fall in love with the chief's daughter. Again, very reminiscent of Kevin Costner's role...the whole Lakota fascination, the near leg amputation, and his love affair with "Stands with a Fist." His loyalties are put to the test as the government is on the brink of invasion. The ending...well...I guess you will just have to go see it.

So what does this post have to do with horses? On the planet of Pandora, there are some equine like creatures called "Dire" and some "Banshee" (dragon) wrangling. But more importantly the characters in the movie have to build relationships with these creatures. They don't just hop on and ride away into the sunset. The Na'vi woman explains to the Marine that in order to ride a Dire, you have to connect with it. To become one, "every breath is your breath, every stride your stride." The Na'vi have a long braids that entwine with the Dire mane and it is what helps form the bond. Watching the first encounter with the Dire is good fun for people with horses. We can laugh as the Marine soon realizes it is a lot harder than it looks.

He eventually figures it out, but eventually the Marine wants to fly...he wants a Banshee. The Na'vi woman explains, "a Banshee has to pick you." He asks "how will I know I've been picked?" She says "it will try to kill you." Yep, another smile from the horse people. Reminds me of the day Maddy roared off the trailer, her first day in Oregon. She picked me alright:-). Fun aside, I like that the movie understood the deep bond between horse and human. You understood the empowerment, the freedom, and the grace that riding offers and that it is indeed a privilege to be allowed onto their backs. As the Marine comes to understand his bond with his animals and the forest, he grows and is compelled to be a better person. He is riding between worlds and there is something spiritual in that. Only horses can take us there and this movie understands that.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Horse Cookies

Great idea for all you out there that want to get in a little holiday baking and make something yummy for your horse. I found this recipe a couple years ago and it sat and sat and sat and this year I slipped on my apron and fired up the oven. It is a pretty easy recipe for Apple Carrot Horse Cookies.

Here is the recipe:
1 cup of grated carrots
1 cup of grated apples
2 Tbsp. corn oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp. salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour

Combine the ingredients and blend well. Drop the dough by spoonfuls two inches apart on an baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.I am delivering them to the barn tomorrow as gifts from Maddy to all her stablemates. They smell good and look good, but I will have to see if the horses enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kerrits Sale

This unassuming little red building out in the Gorge holds some of the most coveted apparel for the equestrian, Kerrits brand clothing. To our delight, once a year they have a WAREHOUSE SALE!!!I went with two friends, Tammy and Nicole. We made the trek out to Hood River, visions of breeches, jackets, and fleeces dancing in our heads. The strategy...get there early and you are more likely to find samples and irregulars and cheap, cheap, cheap prices. We got there so early, we had to kill some time with coffee. We finally headed over and started our power shopping. Walking into that almost hear angels sing! My stack contained 2 jackets, 2 fleece, 4 breeches, 6 shirts, two hats, and two socks. My bargain of the "Coach's Coat" normally $229 retail for a mere $39. That was the one things I really wanted and they had an irregular in my size sitting right on the table waiting for me to plop it in my bag.

For Tammy and Nicole, it was their first time at the sale. I was thrilled that they enjoyed it as much as I and both had comparable stacks. For Nicole, she was excited about her half chap find and some Christmas gifts she found for her mom. Tammy found some awesome breeches samples ($29!) made from fabrics that were soft and looked like denim and a really cool belted black pair that were really hip. Tammy is the sample size (medium) so she scored some killer deals on coats as well. Tammy brought her SUV...we filled it and headed off to lunch at the aptly named "Big Horse Brewery" to refuel after our exciting morning of bargains.