Thursday, February 25, 2010

I've Been Tagged

Today is a SeeSaw Day. In case haven't figured out what I mean by that, it's a day that is filled with ups and downs. It's for SURE one of those, and I'm not even halfway through it yet!

I was notified that I'm losing my favorite (bad me for just saying that like that?) advanced youth student. She has recently lost interest, and her mother doesn't want to push her. I think that's great, as I am surrounded by parents who are the OPPOSITE, at every danged 4H show I go to. I want my students to WANT to do this. Otherwise, what's the point? But, I'm very sad. Not only did I totally dig her personality (and my daughters love her, too, which DEFINITELY is the test of her coolness) and loved teaching her, but my HORSE ADORED HER! CJ took total care of her, regardless of the circumstances. He carried her to her first Equitation win, and he showed her how to kick butt in halter classes. They were a cute pair, and it was truly my pleasure to share my horse and my time and my space with such a great girl. Her mom said that she hopes she'll come back. I do, too.

No more than 10 minutes after receiving that news, I get this wonderful award from a new, but very dear, friend of mine:

Thank you, Mrs Mom at OhHorseFeathers for the thoughtful gift!! And, honestly, guys, she came into my life for a reason, no doubt. She has really boosted my motivation and encouraged me to hang in there, that I'm on the right track. I can't tell you how good that feels. When trimmers and farriers, vets and chiros, trainers and traders...all look at you like you're crazy cuz your horse is barefoot and navicular, can be easy to believe that they're right! Mrs Mom helps me to realize that I know what is best for my guy, and as long as I'm watching and listening, he will guide me. She's a very valuable pal. If you all have just 5 minutes to check out her blog, please do it. She's awesome! Oh HorseFeathers!!

So, with this award, I am to share 7 things about myself that are currently not known to my blog-readers, and then tag 15 fellow bloggers. Eeek! That's a tall order for little ole me. I'll see what I can do. Firstly, the seven things:

1) The only true friends that I have are also horse people. Many times, they started out as students or clients. I find that they have the same character that I do, and I trust my life to them.

2) My mother and I were extremely close. I am the youngest of 3 girls, with the closest in age being 7 years older. My mother passed away of Lung Cancer when I was 14 years old. My father wasn't capable of caring for me, so I lived with my sister and her family.

3) I have an Associate's Degree in Equine Management. I live in the city, and HATE IT!

4) I am happily married to a man who is of a different race, and is 19 years older than me. We have been married for 13 years and together for 15.

5) My husband and I have lost a daughter, early in our marriage.

6) My oldest daughter is caucasion (like me) but her biological father has been out of her life for many years. She calls my husband Dad, and means it.

7) I tried to live completely devoid of horses for a couple of years. I was as close as they come to being an alcoholic because of it.

Sooo, WHEEEEEEEEE!!! Wasn't that fun?

Now, for my 15 blogs to pass it on to...** drum roll please **

1) This will probably creep her out, but I feel a sistah-hood with Andrea. She and I share the dream for our horses to happily perform with no shoes. Eventing-A-GoGo

2) Full of common sense, a wonderful writer, and I am jealous that she has a pony!! GoldenThePonyGirl

3) Probably the coolest chick that I don't-know- but -wish-I-did. How cool is too cool? Not sure, but Heidi's probably got the insight on that one. HickChic

4) Nothing like living a horse life from a 1st person perspective! Gotta love BIF! :) BIF

5) A retired trainer that doesn't know how to retire. :) Love Mugs for her brains, sense of humor, honesty and her writing! I wanna be her when I grow up. Mugwump Chronicles

6) Shirley is so down-to-Earth. If you don't know her yet, go find her. You'll be glad that you did: RideAGoodHorse

7) I'm convinced that I wouldn't last a DAY living her lifestyle, and for this, she is my hero. And, I have never felt so lucky as to be able to view her world through her eyes, with her photos and stories of life in rural Oregon. One of the first blogs I started following, and still one of my faves: JKsRoughString

8) A new pal of mine, and it turns out we're sorta neighbors. How cool is that? Love her writings, and think she's totally the coolest. MidwestHorse

9) A wonderful writer, and old friend of mine. I admit that I miss her, but I fear that there is no repairing our friendship this time. Regardless, visit her blog. FearlessRiding

10) Did you know the editor of Horse & Rider has a blog? She's way cool, and it's fun to "watch" her travel for her stories. JuliThorson'sHorseTalk

11) EVER'BODY should have this one bookmarked. I come here for my daily chuckle: HorseLaughs

12) Another blog that I've been following for a long time. We seem to be so alike, with the ups and downs, the blues and the silly's. :) FoxyPants

13) I'm a huge fan of Perchies. And Perchies that do cool stuff REALLY steal my heart. This blog and the next blog are daily checkers. Daun had disappeared for a while, thanks to some cruel-hearted individuals on the internet ( gee, they're SO BRAVE to talk smack while hiding behind their 'puters). She's back, and I couldn't be happier!! Brego is just total eye candy. Drool.  EventingDraft

14) Like the above, I'm also in love with Klein. She is so athletic and sweet and gives her heart to her "mom". It's fun to watch their fun! JumpingPercheron

15) Lastly, but NOT LEAST, a blog in which a bunch of equine-savvy lovely lady authors share their talents with us, and even invite other bloggers to submit their stories. I never miss an update on there. If you haven't been addicted all along to this, you will be now! EquestrianInk

So, they've been tagged. HA! And, they all get the Award, and have earned it much more so than I have.
Thanks, Mrs Mom for my tag/Award, and thanks for your support.

I leave you with a short story, late from Wordless Wednesday. Oops!

Toi (left) says, "Yeah, yeah. Your mom is here. Big woop-di-do, CJ. Let's play halter tag."

And, CJ gives him what he wants, no warning whatsoever. HA HA, TOI!!

(Sorry for the poor quality, ...taken with my cell phone camera.)

Happy Trails, All!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Product Review Moment!!

Hey, does anyone else have one of these? I bleeping LOVE MINE!! Just picked it up at a tack sale last weekend for $25, and would totally pay the full price! Bestestestest invention evah! Add a pair of fullseat breeches (I did) and you're glued to this thing!!

Best Friend Western Bareback Pad - $79.95

Rated the #1 Bareback Pad and a Top Ten Product of the Year in June 2006 by The Horse Journal. The Best Friend® Bareback Pad features:

Breathable synthetic suede fabric top.

Non-slip neoprene bottom and girth.

High-density foam padding throughout.

Additional cushioning in withers area, contoured to fit the horse's back, providing a superior fit and appearance.

Convenient side pockets with a free water bottle.


To clean: Brush off with a gentle brush and then wipe with a damp cloth.


Tan (chamois) with brown trim

Navy with navy trim

And, CJ and I will begin our bareback adventure! WOOHOO!!

Musings For Today

I ran across this quote today, and it's always been one of my's clean and crisp, and oh so honest:

"Remember, a horse can tell you a lot of things, if you watch....and expect it to be sensible and intelligent." ~ Mary O'Hara

So, as I mulled this over for the umpteen hundredth time, I asked myself what horses really think about the ways we attempt to "listen", and communicate,  such as the 7 games and clicker "training". Most horses don't need education in the area of "How To Be A Good Circus Horse", yet many folks find such joy in seeing their horses master these false magic tricks. They swear that it leads up to a better saddle horse, but I have yet to see that....and I've been doing this for over 20 years now. I would've noticed.

 A blog I follow that belongs to a sensible and unfortunately retired trainer talks about how plain and simple we need to keep things with the horses we work with. Why do we complicate things for them? What makes us think we need to constantly improve our methods? If it ain't broke, why fix it? Do we need to be flexible and let the horse tell us what they need? Absolutely! But, if they say they need time, why do we buy them a new watch?

These questions will forever go unanswered, I'm sure. And, it's methods like I mentioned above that help me stay in business. I do find pleasure in helping the horses be secure again. I just wish I didn't have to see them be so screwed up to start with.

It's just one of those days, I guess...I'm feeling down and blue, and really need some CJ to cheer up. Tomorrow night, for sure.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

No News is Good News? Not so much!

I’m sorry that I haven’t checked in lately….I’ve had my fair share of hustle and bustle, mixed in with a 4-day weekend, an episode of migraine headaches, and juggling work/horse/family stuff. I know you can all relate…

Latest update: as of last weekend, CJ was feeling pretty gol-danged good, if you ask me. Very forward under saddle and in some cases, (like with my walk-trot students), a little TOO forward for my liking. HA!
 No complaints here, as it was so refreshing to see his head up, bright and alert expression, ears perked, as he trotted (hugely) around the arena. I managed to get him outside in the hayfield for a canter lesson, which he seemed to really love, although he had to work a bit harder in the snow. He sure was moving nice!! YAY! I can’t tell how nice it was to see all 4 legs working equally, a solid cadence in all gaits, even in the deep snow. WOOHOO!

My best friend is getting married next year. She has her incredibly talented warmblood mare on a free lease for 3 years, so I don’t see her that much anymore. I am supposed to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, which was fantastic until she told me that they’re now hoping to have a destination wedding. My husband won’t fly. We don’t spend nights apart…we’ve been married 13 years, and it would be tough to leave him behind. I’m at a tough spot. I have some thinking to do.

We live in a rental duplex, and have been there for 10 years. Myah took her first steps there. It’s our home. It has changed owners a few times, and our most recent owner fell prey to the horrible crash in the industry…it has been foreclosed on, and is being auctioned next month. I fear we will be forced to move, which would be fine if we had a game plan. I have no game plan. Our credit is shot, and there is no time to fix it now, anyway. I spend hours zoning out on Craigslist, looking for a new spot to dwell…ugh.

On the up side, I’m riding tonight. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Horse People

Only Horse People Know...

Only horse people...

* Believe in the 11th Commandment: Inside leg to outside rein.

* Know that all topical medications come in either indelible blue or neon


* Think nothing of eating a sandwich after mucking out stables.

* Know why a thermometer has a yard of yarn attached to one end of it.

* Are banned from Laundromats.

* Fail to associate whips, chains and leather with sexual deviancy.

* Can magically lower their voices five octaves to bellow at a pawing


* Have a language all their own ("If he pops his shoulder, I have to

close that hand and keep pushing with my seat in case he sucks back".)

* Will end relationships over their hobby.

* Cluck to their cars to help them up hills.

* Insure their horses for more than their cars.

* Will give you 20 names and reasons for that bump on your horse.

* Know more about their horse's nutrition than their own.

* Have neatsfoot oil stains on the carpet right next to the TV.

* Have a vocabulary that can make a sailor blush.

* Have less wardrobe than their horse.

* Engage in a hobby that is more work than their day job.

* Know that mucking stalls is better then Zoloft any day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Gift Horse Talks

Okay, I'm going to give this a shot...I have the distinct feeling that this original post here may be edited several times, as some of the feedback and experiences that I am sharing are all muddled up in my head. I'm not at all sure how it will type out from my brain to this blog, but I will try to keep it as organized as I can.

Before I go into a lot of detail, I have to say that I was a bit skeptical of this whole thing. I wanted to talk to my horse, of course (wouldn't anyone???), but bigger than that...I wanted to HEAR HIM. I know he hears me. I see him twitch his ears, bend his neck, drop his head, even roll his eyes at me. I know we connect. We always have; it's why I belong to him, and it's why I walk around calling him Big Guy. We get each other. But like all of us meandering around here in the human realm, we wonder what it is that the animals know that we don't know. We wonder how their lives can be so simple while ours are such a friggin mess. We marvel at their no-nonsense simplicity, and how easily they find such joy in the most minutely satisfactory food and fresh air, and companionship. But, I digress..sorry. Anyway, I was skeptical that it would be possible for me to truly talk to CJ. And for CJ to truly talk to me. I had found a very highly respected person to help us do this, but...if you've never done anything like this before, you feel like a weirdo.

At the end of the day last Sunday, I was sapped. Drained. Beyond exhausted. I have never felt quite that tired before in my life, and trust me...I've had a busy life. In retrospect, I think I was drained to that degree for a couple of reasons. For one, I had very high expectations and my excitement for the day had been building for a week. I had so many questions rolling around in my brain, and so many worries about what I may find, what if the horses hate me? Also, I have a bond with all of the horses who had a reading. I was there for all 3 readings; if not holding the horse, standing very close by, and was involved in each of their experiences. I didn't know the meaning of the word "tired" until Sunday.

Our communicator came very highly recommended. I won't use her real name here. We shall call her Sherry. She started off with Dancer. As it turned out, Dancer had the most to say. She is 4, almost 5, and has been owned by my client since she was 29 days old, brought to live with my client when she was only 3 months old. I came into her life when she was 6 months old, and have been a steadfast part of her education and well-being ever since. She told Sherry (and us) that she wishes she could get more time outside to play. She said she is the most special horse in the barn because she has 2 moms. (Insert teary-eyed grin here) Dancer wants more pink stuff, as she says that too many people mistake her for a boy horse. (She is a big girl, so that may be why that happens...and it really does happen.) She wants more time with her boyfriend (CJ). She has some tummy trouble that her mom already knows about, but she wanted to confirm that...but also wanted us to know that she will be okay. It's part of a 3-part process, and the next steps will reveal themselves at a later date. Dancer wants me to relax, and to not push her. I had to laugh a little bit, because she's almost 5 and we have YET to canter under saddle. If I go any slower, she'll be in retirement before we take a trail ride. But, that was DEFINITELY something Dancer would say. Dancer also had some very private messages for her mom, which I won't share here. But, there is no way that Sherry could've known the things that Dancer shared. No. Way. In. Hell. Dancer had Reiki performed on her, focused mostly on her digestive area. She "released" (more on this later) by attempting to french-kiss me (no, I'm not exaggerating, ask her mother) and by flopping her big ole head all over the place. Sometimes, she had to take a break and just walk it off. Incredible stuff.

CJ was next. I recall my heart pounding when it was time to get him out of his stall. Sherry said the first thing she got from him was that he didn't feel good. His tummy hurt. He was sick, and he had been for quite some time. He said he was ashamed of his coat, that he's always been the horse in the barn with the prettiest coat (SO TRUE!), but his coat isn't nice because he doesn't feel good. (Yes, folks, I will be power-packing him for worms.) Sherry said he also felt a "heaviness" in his belly, separate from the sick/nauseous feeling that he had. I didn't piece it together until later, but we did find sand in his gut 2 years ago when we pulled his fecal. He probably needs more Metamucil treatment...fecal wasn't pulled this last fall. Bad Mom. :( Next, he asked where Dad was. I was speechless. And thoughtless. Dad? husband? Well, he's just not a horse person, and has been around CJ a handful of times in the last 5 years. Only 2 of those times were since we "purchased" him. I was embarrassed that CJ was calling us out on it, and I also felt a chest if CJ's feelings were hurt. It was so weird, and surreal. So, I vocalized to him that Dad didn't have a lot of time, and just wasn't a real animal guy. Sherry said CJ thought that was fine, but that he thought Dad was a pretty cool guy and he wished he would come out and visit more a part of the family. I was blown away by this, because it really is only me and the girls that spend time with CJ, and even that is very rare. CJ and I give lessons and when we're done, I go home. That's our routine. Which brings me to the next topic...CJ wanted to know why I don't spend more time with on one. Immediately after asking that question, he asked me why I felt so guilty. Well, here is where I burst into tears. How could he know how guilty that I felt? When I composed myself enough to speak, I explained that I felt bad that he had to work for a living. I felt bad that he had to earn the money for his keep. I looked around the barn at the horses that didn't have to work so hard, and I apologized to CJ for putting him in that position. Sherry was crying now, too, ...and CJ said....that he didn't mind working at all.

< I was so shocked. So, this horse who has developed a habit of pinning his ears and swishing his tail, feigning like he's going to bite his rider when they squeeze for forward movement...he doesn't mind giving lessons? What?! I wasn't prepared for this. I thought he hated what he was doing. My shock must've shown on my face...CJ said he acts this way because his tummy hurts and he just doesn't feel good. Once his tummy is better, he will act better. Wow. He also had these requests: More time with Dancer, his girlfriend No more purple halters and leadropes; he likes blue and wants blue stuff He will behave himself in the trailer if I'll stop making him go to shows; he wants to ride the trails. (GASP!) He likes little kids, but especially little girls. He mentioned names, which I won't mention here. He wants me to start braiding his tail again. He wants more treats, and specifically wants pears. He would like to try an orange. (I have never fed him a pear OR an orange, so...I'll keep you posted on those) His saddle doesn't hurt, other than pinching his belly sometimes (yes, I have a fuzzy cinch I can start using again), and a little over his withers. He requests a soft foam thing to go in that spot. Help??? He is afraid of loud noises and some men. Loud noises? I have been ON him when someone started up a chain saw on the other side of the wall, and he didn't bat an eye. I have never known him to spook from a sound. His rebuttal? He takes his job very seriously, so if someone is riding him, he knows he shouldn't jump around, so he swallows his fears. Had no clue about the men, either, but he's not around many of them, so... He wants his stall to be on the other side of the aisle. And, he wanted to know why he couldn't have the double stall. I had to laugh at that one! Greedy hound. :) He loves Toi like a brother, but Toi can be irritating. (Toi is a high-energy Arab cross, and CJ's turnout partner...this wasn't surprising news to me) I can't remember a whole lot more right now. He gave me his opinions of some people, which was very helpful for me. I want to make the right choices for him, and his input was greatly appreciated. I have to mention that the entire time he was communicating with me, Sherry was performing Reiki on him. The entire hour. My very well-behaved gelding stood in the aisle on a loose lead, and with a rubber feed pan between his teeth, he proceeded to shake his head up and down for at least 15 minute intervals, non-stop. I have never seen him do anything like that before. Ever. The energy work requires the animal to "release" and Sherry explained to me that this is what he was doing. It was incredible to see this...I have no words to describe it. She spent almost a full 30 minutes on his left knee (who knew?) as this is where he kept asking her to work. He also demanded work on his legs more than anywhere else in his body. Makes sense, for a "navicular" horse, doesn't it? Just wow.


A very good friend of mine brought photos of her dog and cat, and Sherry spent the next hour working with my friend on those animals. I took that time to let CJ stretch his legs in the indoor arena. Blog-readers, I have never EVER seen him be so athletic. He ran for the simple joy of it. Sliding stops, rollbacks, dolphin bucks, rearing and squealing. Halting, puffing up and snorting at me, then taking off again. I'm sure most of it was releasing all of that energy. But, I tell you what...not ONE misstep. Not one head bob. He ran like he was a colt. He ran because it felt good. So, he ran some more.


When he was bored with running for no reason, he stopped at the opposite end of the arena, looked at me, and perked up his ears. I asked him if he was done, and he just kept staring at me, stone still. I opened the gate and walked out toward him. As I got close, he dropped his head lower to the ground, ears still perked at me, eyes bright...his legs did a little shake/hop so he was sprawl-legged and low. I stopped walking, and crouched a little bit...he took off like a shot. When he stopped, I'd crouch again. His tail would flag, and off he'd go again. He was playing with me! My 10 year old navicular horse that hated moving was PLAYING WITH ME. Let me tell you something, all you skeptical folks out there...I'd pay double what I paid to do this again. Maybe, yes, for sure I'd pay triple. This was priceless.

Around this time, Toi's mom arrived, and it was almost time for Toi to have his reading. I'm going to let her type up what she wants to be mentioned. So, not intentionally leaving you hanging here, guys...I promise. My fingers are about to fall off, anyway...but I wanted to get something up here for you to chew on.

Thanks for tuning in. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Reiki for The Big Guy

I have to apologize to anyone who has been waiting for details on our sessions with the animal communicator. All I can tell you right now is that it was really informative, educational, and emotional. I am still chewing on everything I have learned, and will be sharing with you very soon. All 3 horses were cooperative and CJ was lavished with energy work for his entire hour. He really needed it.
I'll be posting details soon. I still have to organize it all, and find a way to put it into words. I am drained from the day, and although I slept a full 12 hours last night (right after the sessions), I still feel exhausted!