Friday, December 31, 2010

Bye 2010

As we retire the year 2010, let's hope we all end the year as happy as our favorite retired racehorse, Zenyatta. Happy New Year everyone. See you in 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone from Maddy and Me. We are ending 2010 on a down note. Maddy pulled her hamstrings and week and half ago. She tried to do the splits in the pasture, came up REALLY lame. We used Equine Thermography to pinpoint the injury. Really fascinating to see this technology in action. The good news in all this, she just needs rest, cold therapy, and Previcox (drug they are using now instead of Bute). Hopefully we are back on our feet the beginning of 2011.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What would you do?

I get back to Oregon last week, welcomed back with warm sun and a perfect Fall weekend. I rush out to the barn to hit the trails only to find Maddy with a little "lift" on her left front shoe. No! The shoe was missing one nail, the shoe holding with 5 and 2 clips. My farrier couldn't come for a couple days, it didn't seem bad enough to pull, so I opted to leave it and forgo riding or ground work. I am just curious, what would you have done if your shoe had this little bend in the shoe? Pull it or wait.....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

First Snow

I got done with my ride and looked outside to see the white stuff coming down. I love the snow. It reminds me of home (Minnesota). My barn owner has the most beautiful pines surrounding the property. It was turning into a lovely winter wonderland as I drove away. Stay warm Maddy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blogger Friends! I need your help!

I used some of my GoPro video from the other day to enter a FITS Facebook video contest to win a free pair of Wind Pro Breeches (Yeah!). I am hoping my blogger friends will take a minute to go to the FITS page on Facebook, go to "contest", go to "enter contest", and then "vote now" to vote for my video (Julie Murray). Love to have those FITS! Thanks you all.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

GoPro Test

I bought a GoPro helmet camera this summer right before a beach trip. I shot about 5 hours of footage over that weekend. I went to go edit and found the footage wasn't compatible with my editing system. I shelved the camera until I had time to figure it out. Months later, (with some help) I think I solved the problem. Now I just need to figure out "MOTION" the graphics package for Final Cut. I struggled through it just to make this simple title...I think I need some online classes. So I will be playing with a lot of video and graphics over the next couple of months on my blog. You will get to know Maddy real well.

This video is a typical day for me and Maddy, groundwork, flatwork, and hitting the trails. One thing I like about watching the video from her back, I see how much her ears swivel all around. For some reason, the blogger upload cut off about 1/3 of the screen, but YouTube looks much better.

If you like the look of the video, GoPro are only about $225 for a HD cam. It really is awesome. I think it is perfect for riders. On this day I used the helmet mount, but I also have a "Chesty" (a chest mount) that may work better because you will see more of the horse.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Go Zenyatta!

You go girl! Run your race, stay safe, stay sound. We are cheering for you. Zenyatta makes me tear up will joy. She is what we all love about our horses, magnified. All heart, spirit, character, silly, athletic, determined, devoted. I love this mare. Keep her safe tomorrow and let her go down in the history books as the most amazing race horse that ever graced this Earth.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Horses of Abaco

I journeyed to Abaco Island a few years back and spent a day filming the remaining Abaco Horses. At the time, I had big dreams to do a short documentary about the horses. It seemed a fascinating subject; horses descended from those that came with Columbus, a preserved blood line, a mass slaughter, and now the most endangered breed on the planet. At the time there were 8, they are now down to five. My favorite, Bellatrix, the lovely paint mare has since passed on. I remember reaching out and scratching her sunburned face as she munched away on leaves. I was hoping my film would help her, but I failed her. The footage lies dormant in my computer. I almost forgot it was there. I watch the trailer I did years ago and feel hopeless for their situation. I didn't feel that way when I was there walking among them. I was full of hope, but that slipped away and was replaced with frustration after a disagreement with their caretaker.

We had two lines of thinking that varied enough to cause a riff between Mimi and I. I believed they needed outside help; a program to explore diet, health, genetics to find out why they were dying and not reproducing. I wanted to incorporate the opinions of horse people into the film. Mimi wanted to keep things natural...just clinging to hope that one of the mares would have a foal. She is an amazing woman, so dedicated and passionate about her horses, but she is stubborn and set on what she believes is right. She wants no intervention or help. She is a soldier for those horses, works hard and loves them as family. But her years of working alone, has created one line of thought, with little interest in outside opinions.

The horses have an odd diet, surrounded by poisonous plants. I am not sure what can be done about that. I fear they are eating things that are making them sterile. For me, there is no right or wrong...there are just horses on the brink of extinction. In a blink, I fear they will be gone and we will be left to wonder if there was anything we could have done to stop it.

After our disagreement, the project was shelved. I haven't thought about the Abaco horses in awhile. I am cleaning out my computer and stumbled across the trailer. I get teary when I see Bellatrix look into my camera. She is gone, but I think I owe it to her to finish her film.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Mane Event

Just got back from my annual trip to Chilliwack, BC after attending "The Mane Event." It is a three day horse expo featuring Canada's top trainers and vendors. I always enjoy going because you see a lot of European products that aren't easily available in the US. Last year my favorite find was Tuffa Boots...this year I loved the HAF pads from Italy and the Sensation line of endurance products from Nickers Saddlery. Also, the distributor for Bucas blankets was there doing water demos with the fabric...can you say "amazing." The wicking fabric on the underside was like the Sham-Wow! The temperature range on the Power Turnout is perfect for Oregon. I will get one at some point...$300 is a little steep right now.

Some great clinicians are always there. One of my favorites is Jonathan Field. He does natural horsemanship, pulling most of his technique and horse philosophy from Parelli. He is really maturing as a teacher and student of the horse and he is a fan favorite up there. I have a clip of him performing the night of the Equine Extravaganza, it is similar to the performance Steve Rother does using a long pole.

Some of the clinicians that I enjoyed that were new this year...Michael Richardson, the man pictured in a wheelchair, had many strategies for acquiring an independent seat. I really enjoyed his perspective. He was always a horse person, but became a paraplegic after a jeep accident. Michael is involved with NARHA and makes prototype saddles for the handicapped. Aaron Ralston of reining fame was also there. He had a great demo on lead changes. Aaron is excellent at conveying information, I found myself taking many notes. He came out bareback and was an impressive rider. I missed the Trainers Challenge....I was disappointed last year in the judges choice, so I decided to skip it this year. The last photo is a group of ladies who ride side saddle called the "Nags." Can you believe ladies are still wanting to do that??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I know better...

Stay out of the tack store!!!! I found more things I just gotta have. The first thing I spot as I walk in...these awesome riding boots by Mountain Horse, called "Wicked Riding Boots." I have quite a few Converse All Stars in my shoe collection, so for me, these are perfect. Black, size 9 please.

I stroll pass the Kerrits, the FITS, the Equine Couture only to spot these awesome denim breeches made by Romfh. I want these. Not too bad at $118.95, considering the Goode Rider Ladies Couture denim is going for $160 and up. Linda over at Glisan Street Saddlery in Portland, really has a good eye for edgy stuff. She gets some of the most amazing bridles from Germany and fleece pads in wonderful colors like caramel. I love her store.

Why did I go in? I know better....must have, must have, must have.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Running from Within

I am soooo looking forward to this movie this weekend. Desert Horses actually got to see him race. Wow. What a horse....we were lucky to have him for 19 years. Amazing spirit, the heart of a champion. This video clip of Secretariat is exhilarating to watch. Enjoy everyone.

I guess the embedded code was disabled by request...go to YouTube and watch it. It is worth it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hunting Season

Time to dig out all the is hunting season again in Oregon. Maddy wears her Equine Protectavest from Mac Mountain Tack in Maine. I have on orange (more like "cantaloupe") helmet cover I put on and I usually wear an orange jacket, but it was so hot today. If you need any great horse orange, check out Mac Mountain Tack. She is a really cool lady with really great stuff. I don't think you can ever have too much orange this time of year. I was thinking of getting some orange velcro and going around her medicine boots. I don't mind looking crazy to be safe.

Maddy and I did a beautiful, short ride before work. I love rides like the one today, very relaxed, the sun felt so good, but that hint of Fall was in the air. Tomorrow...Kacy from AllHorseStuff moves in. I am very excited to have my riding buddy back.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Little Bella

My best friend's daughter, Bella, found a great bargain while hitting some garage sales today. Not often you find such a nice steed for $2. Score Bella! That is the horse to board and no vet bills. Enjoy your four legged friend, looking forward to seeing it when I visit Minnesota again.

I went to some garage sales today as well. There is an event called "BarnHouse" that happens about every four months. A bunch of vendors that do rustic/vintage decor have a huge flea market. I went to get some ideas and maybe look for some things for my chicken coop. There were lots of nice things, but not quite what I needed. I did hit a good sale on the way to the barn. I will post a picture tomorrow of my wonderful treasure.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Live Wire Horses

I received a wonder Live Wire Horse from a friend as a gift. She was shopping down in Ashland, Oregon while at the Shakespeare Festival when she spotted these cool little horses. I opened up the box and just fell in love with this tiny work of art. I went to the website and checked out the artist. She is really doing some cool stuff. Besides the Live Wire Horses, she is working with Ginger Kathrens of Cloud fame on another! With Christmas coming up, I think any horse lover would just love one of these. The website doesn't do them justice...they are very intricate and the colors are exquisite. Great gifts everyone.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Riding with Mom

I have been off the grid more often than not this summer, so my blogging has been pretty sporadic. This just means more riding and more travels, so it is a good thing. My latest fun has been with my mom. After spending some time together in the San Juan Islands watching Orcas, she came down to Portland. We went to the barn on Sunday and she hit the trails with me. The last time we rode together was about 5 years ago, so to get on the trail with her is pretty special. I forgot my camera, so I got a quick pic of her with Ms. Freebie after we got back. I love catching people after a good ride...the smiles are always so big. Horses just bring us such joy, you can't help but exude happiness.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Timothy Lake

The three amigos set out for a day of riding at Timothy Lake up near Mt. Hood. We created a list of places we wanted to ride earlier this summer, and we have managed to check off quite a few this year. Joni, Tammy, and I wanted to hit the water and do some swimming with our horses. I have heard wonderful things about the trails up there. I had no idea the water would be so blue and clear. We parked in the Joe Graham Horse Camp and saddled up. Maddy was already up to her water antics, tipping buckets and splashing.

We found our first water stop about 45 minutes into the ride. Maddy loved the boats. She started splashing and I kept coaxing her deeper into the thing you know...we are swimming! We rode on. I was soaked, but the swim was worth it. I took off my riding boots and strung them to my saddle. Stirrups are a little harsh on barefeet, I wouldn't recommend it. We hit another campsite with nice water access. Here Joni and Tammy did a bit more schooling with their non-water loving horses.
We rode on and on and on. We ended up doing the whole lake...not planned. Tammy and I are thinking demoting Joni from "Trail Boss":-). We think we did 23 miles...we think. All the literature on the lake trails are butt says it was AT LEAST 23 miles. I am little sore, my calves are a little chaffed, but I will take it. I have great horse riding comrades and I am so proud of our horses. We rolled home about midnight, tired and with wet saddles pads. Timothy Lake...been there, done that, and I will be back to swim again.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rogue of the Year

Amy Platt of Bend says it's an image she won't soon forget.

On Saturday, she came home to find her four horses covered in blood. Two had been shot.

"There were four of them in the field, and they were all covered in blood, but she was the worst," she said Wednesday.

"This isn't okay," Platt said through the tears. "You can't go out there and shoot an innocent animal.

Police arrested Inga Kemnitz, the woman they say shot Platt's horses. Deschutes County sheriff's deputies say Kemnitz told officers she was shooting sage rats in a field. ((What???))

Platt, brought to tears at the thought of her distressed animals, says the whole thing confuses her. "We've never seen or spoke to this person," she said. "That's why it's so hard to wrap your head around why someone would do this to these beautiful, innocent horses. They're part of our family."

Sheriff's Sgt. Bryan Husband said around 9:25 p.m. Friday, a deputy patrolling eastbound on Hwy 20E east of Bend saw a woman running beside the road, a rifle in her hands.

The deputy stopped to talk to the woman, who identified herself as Kemnitz, 26, of Bend. More patrol deputies and detectives responded to assist with the investigation.

The owners of the horses were quickly identified as Platt and Justin Ward, who both responded to the scene. The horses were identified by their owners as a 3-year-old “Tobiono” paint mare quarter horse named “April,” and a 7-year-old “Dun” gelding quarter horse, named “Denny.”

Upon closer inspection of the horses, it was determined Denny had been shot in his head, just under his left eye, and April had been shot twice -- once in her chest area, and once in her hindquarter area.

The horses were loaded in a trailer by private party and transported immediately to the Bend Equine Medical Center.

Kemnitz initially was taken into custody by deputies for an outstanding local warrant and transported to the county jail.

On Sunday, more evidence linking Kemnitz to the animal abuse was located in the area of the horse pasture. Detectives went to the jail and added charges against Kemnitz, Husband said.

Husband said she faces three counts of first-degree aggravated animal abuse, two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, and a single count of criminal trespass while in possession of a firearm.

Kemnitz was arrested in April 2009 on numerous counts of theft, criminal trespass and other charges, accused of breaking into two cars and taking purses and other items at Black Butte Ranch, and other thefts in the Camp Sherman area.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mountain Trail Course

Today was another road trip. Joni and I headed over to my friend Nicole's house. Her property borders BLM land and lots of amazing trails. Can you say "water crossings!". But first, her neighbor had this amazing trail course. We had to check that out. This woman does competitive trail mountain courses, so she built one in her back yard. Lucky us! Unfortunately I was having so much fun trying all the obstacles, I didn't get many picures, but imagine a bunch of "stations" with different tasks. I loved all the trenches and there was this pulley thing that you lifted up by backing your horse and up comes and big tire and tarp. Joni's horse Sky, did great through the car wash and Nicole's horse Ari, jumped in the trenches. It was so cool and it gave us lots of good ideas. It also showed us what we need to work on. Car wash Maddy...go through it,don't eat it! Then we hit the trails......(to be continued)

Friday, July 16, 2010


After our Parelli lesson on Sunday, I took Joni over to one of my old haunts, Whipple Creek Equestrian Park. When I first got back into riding seven years ago after a long hiatus, I leased a horse next to the park. I would ride every Thursday and I found myself falling in love with horses all over again. The park has a lot of good memories and I've been wanting to ride Maddy there. Sunday I had the chance to fulfill a little dream of mine. Little did I know, Clark County Vector Control has been slacking and the trails were still muddy, creating the perfect habitat for swarms of mosquitoes. Those nasty little things really got us. We cut our ride short and got the heck out of there, but not before poor Maddy was just mauled. I feel so bad for my bumpy girl.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Parelli Lesson

On Sunday, my barnmate and I drove up to Battleground, WA for a Parelli lesson with Michael Sparling. We met Michael at the Redmond Parelli tour stop. He is a young, enthusiastic trainer so we thought "why not?" I was a little anxious about things...I haven't had a Parelli lesson since Ann Kiser left over two years ago. I still worry about trailering new places and how Maddy will respond. I need to get over my fears. Maddy walked off that trailer, took a casual look around and started eating grass. So once I was over my worries about her, I worried about myself.

Running through Parelli procedures...trying to remember all the things they teach without my modifications. My lesson went really well. We focused on all online things...he called it a "day of refinement." Polished up my weaves and worked on a better depart for the circling game. He pointed out I need to direct her zones better, which is why my circling game departs kind of started with a sideways and then depart. He was very observant and was clear with his directions. I was pretty pleased and excited to have some direction and homework.

Joni doesn't know a lot about Parelli, but was willing to try a lesson. Joni and Sky had a very similar lesson to my own, working on shoulder yields and hindquarter yields along with better departs. He comes down to our area about once a month. We are hoping we can convince Michael to hold lessons out at our barn in the Beavercreek area...wouldn't that be nice. Below are a few pictures of Joni, Sky, and Michael in their lesson. The last one is Maddy, content, not a care in the world, just make sure my haybag is full.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Off to New York

A last minute garage sale find before I head out of town for 6 days. Check out these cool vintage Kentucky Derby is 1962. Yeah! Anyway, I am off to visit a friend in New York. Forget the Statue of Liberty or Times Square, I made her promise to take me to Manhattan Saddlery and Belmont Park. Hope you all enjoy your weekend. Happy 4th!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Freeway Encounter

I was driving down I-5 south, passing many a truck and trailer as it was the weekend of Inavale Horse Trials, when a large truck and trailer caught my eye. On the back was . An infamous equestrian celebrity sighting, Amy Tryon. Many of you remember her from the Rolex investigation in 2007. She jumped the last fence on her horse ,Le Samurai, who was running on three legs. She dismounted at the finish line and left others to care for him. He was later put down. She was investigated for abuse and after reviewing footage, they disqualified her.

In 2008, she fell off Poggio II during the Olympics and was eliminated because she didn't complete the course.

I don't know Amy, but articles said she began riding when she was 8. She excelled and has an impressive resume in the horse world. But I hope she is the exception rather than the example. It's seems goals and glory have clouded her love of the horse. Maybe she is the type of competitor that never had it, maybe chasing the blue has always been more important. I can remain hopeful that the past couple of years have taught her some tough lessons. I hope she realizes that riding is a partnership. The better relationship, the better the ride. As I drove passed, I thought of Le Samurai and Poggio and hoped that whoever was riding along in the back of that trailer would have a different kind of legacy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good Day..

I wish everyday would start this way. I woke up to sunshine and a text asking "are you going riding today?" I met Joni early out at the barn and she promised to show me a new trail she found. We both packed our clippers because we knew we would have to trim some branches. It was a great trail that a poker ride group recently broke for us. We vowed to keep this well traveled so we don't lose it. Great morning ride and we made it back in time to get me to work on time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beach Trip

Kacy from All Horse Stuff invinted me and my barnmates for a beach trip to the lovely town of Tillamook, Oregon. Kacy boards with the woman who owns "The Bay Ocean House," so that is where we get stay. I think this is my fourth trip...every time I go, I love it more. Maddy has gotten accustomed to the sights and sounds of the ocean and this trip she behaved so well. I am really proud of all the horses...they were all rockstars. Enjoy some of my photos from the trip. We had so much fun, cooking, hot tubbing, riding, and watching "The Lone Ranger" and "National Velvet" in our down time. Kacy took took some really cool pics....go visit her blog:-). I was busy messing with my HD Helmet cam, which is still a work in progress.