Saturday, December 25, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Tommy has learned to be pretty stable and have good balance with the added weight he has to carry. We started out with doing a slow walk on Monday, and by today (Saturday), we did our first day of slow loping in both directions. I was thrilled!
"Are you sure you really want me to Go..?" "Yes Tommy...Go." It is really interesting to watch the myriad of feet positions that a young horse goes into when they are sticky and not sure what to do. It usually feels as weird as it looks. Bless his heart, he's getting the hang of moving out more freely and easily as we progress.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
It's around this time of the year I start "dreaming" - fantasizing really.... of a new barn. Our little farm here as a shedrow of three Noble panel stalls and four outdoor matted pens. With only four acres of pasture land, the animals have to go into pens and stalls most of the time. They get daily turnout in the outdoor arena to tear around in - but even the arena has turned into a giant sloppy mess with all of the rain that has been pouring down lately.
On the upside, Craig and I are getting closer to paying our mortgage off, so we have been having small micro discussions of future barn plans. It might happen within another year or two......possibly. Yayyyhhhh!!!!
This is where my overactive imagination and day-dreaming comes into play. If money grew on trees and we became miraculously independently wealthy, our barn would look something like the one pictured below:
Woot! Raise the roof! That wistful thinking is such fun. Another somewhat less elaborate barn is pictured below, and I could settle for it too....
Of course, these bucko huge barns aren't complete without an appropriately sized indoor riding arena..... one of sheer engineering genius:
Stunning pieces of architecture. I'm sure they're somewhere around a cool million or so to build. No problem. Gotta go find those money tree seedlings and start planting.....
But seriously, some things are doable and affordable. I found these Dutch Masters stall door plans on the internet and thought that it was a really nice design. They are modest and attractive without being too over-the-top elaborate like some of the high dollar european designed ones. I liked them a lot.
And to make things even more interesting, how about a round barn? These are quirky and fascinating architectural wonders to behold. I stumbled upon a couple of them when looking at different barn plans on the internet. The timbers that constitute the ceilings on these things are unbelievable! Some are in a star shaped pattern to the top, and some are similar to a funnel effect. It's an amazing construction feat!
But amidst the daydreaming and trips into "la-la barn-o-land".... reality sets in, and I have to think reasonably about what is both feasible for our pocketbook and functionable for our location. I've perused the plans on this website quite frequently recently: http://applevalleybarns.com/
They have some good simple designs, depending on what size a person would like. I'm leaning towards the Monterrey 6 stall or the Hickock 8 stall plans. The barn pictured below would be more of our speed as well.
Monday, November 1, 2010
The Richland Riders club has some great grounds with a big outdoor arena, two round corrals, warm-up ring, trail course, barn rentals, lots of boarding runs, and plenty of trailer parking for competitors and boarders alike. If I lived in the Tri-Cities area, I would definitely want to ride here everyday! The show was really fun, and the clouds only spinkled a few tiny rain drops here and there. Nettie and I went as the wicked witch of the west and her big trusty yellow broomstick. =:)
I had ordered a black knit witches cape, but it didn't arrive in the mail in time before for the show. So, a red knit blanket had to fill in to keep me warm. It worked out pretty good on a chilly day.
We participated in the costume parade and costumed open showmanship. We came in second for our age category in the costume judge off. There was a lady with some REAL traditional mongolian trappings and garb that won the class. She had a very impressive gorgeous outfit.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
For the first time, my young fellow did a 50 miler. Being just five years old, I knew I was pushing it with Ox. But, we went slowly..... and I do mean VERY slowly..... and he did great. This was a really good ride for his first time 50. Not technically difficult with lots of flat land and sandy footing. In fact - we left the hoof boots back in the truck. There was no need for them to get used. Ox did the whole ride barefoot, and he wasn't alone. There were other people at the ride who were hoofin' it free as the breeze as well. What a fabulous place for a barefoot horse!
Unfortunately with sand, there also comes some perils as well. Some folks were having lameness issues from trying to go too fast in the deep sandy stuff. Lots of lameness pulls at the checks. Ox and I were 30 miles into the second loop when he started getting a bit stiff in the hind end. I could feel him slump a little bit every two or three miles at the trot, so we slowed down to a walk and kept that pace for the rest of the ride. It was the slowest I've ever traveled at an endurance ride, but we were going to finish it in good shape. Come hell or high water, we were going to finish! And this is why.....
Earlier in the year one of the vets, (not sure which one it was) pulled us at Prineville. And nobody said a peep about it. I would've appreciated being clued in by someone who thought we were "off" somewhere. But there wasn't the slightest indication that anything was wrong. As far as I could tell, we were doing good - Ox felt great, and I was happy with how the ride went. But, there must've been something going on that I didn't see. Because when the results came in two months later, (yes, unbelievabley it took the management two months to get their paperwork in....) I seen that we had been pulled. Argh!!!!
So, at this ride I definitely wanted to finish in good shape, and asked every vet if we were fit to continue or if something looked wrong. All of them said we were good to go, so I'm considering us to have a completion at this one.
Nice soft sandy tracks. Loved it!!!!!
Vet check on the second loop.
Ox beugarded the hay pile at the check. People would come over and get a flake or two and take it to their horses by the crew bags and chairs. I had been sitting in the saddle for a long time, so I stood for 45 minutes and let him eat wherever he wanted to. He seems to enjoy it when he's in charge of the hay pile...
The Westward Ho is one of the oldest and biggest non-motorized parades in the nation. I like this parade a lot better than the previous Dress-Up parade because cars, 4-wheelers, and motorcycles are not allowed. You can ride a horse, ride in a buggy or a wagon, or walk - just like the old days. The crowd seems to like this parade much better as well, and there is a huge turnout of spectators that line the streets of Pendleton to watch it.
We had a long wait for the parade to start, roughly an hour and a half of standing in line. You can see in the picture above, entrants were backed up for 1/2 a mile waiting to go through. It was a huge parade this year - since it was the centennial - and Craig and I were entry number 161. There were folks behind us in line too, so I'm guessing there were over 200 entries that participated.
Craig was all smiles and ready to go! He has the brokest horse that we own, (Dee) who has been though this parade a zillion times, and I was riding Nettie who has been through the Dress Up parade once. Both horses did exceptionally well. Unfortunately there was a wagon lined up behind us that had some issues halfway through the parade and almost became a wreck. But we were able to get out of the way without a problem. Sometimes these parades get a bit western - (and not in a good way), and it's best to be astride calm headed horses.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
(Turn the speakers down if you're not into native music...)
I was perusing Monica's blog this morning, and she has some neat entries about WEG.
Can't wait to watch NBC!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
My mom was riding her two year old gelding Dollar, and I was riding Nettie sidesaddle. We were officially the "Palomino Riders" for the parade. Dollar did really well for being a two year old green colt! Nettie was fairly calm and patient for the most part, so it helped Dollar to relax and take things in stride. He was great, and I was very impressed with him for making it through a parade - being it's his first, and he's only a two year old..!!
Mom and I with smiles.
Nettie was looking less than thrilled... She has been through the Round-Up parade before, so she knows what's in store for her.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
There's been a really low number of schooling and practice shows in our area this year. Hardly any at all. I haven't been to a horse show in a few years, so I wasn't quite too sure how things would go today. (I would've preferred to get more practice in at some smaller schooling shows before going to an open show, but there just aren't any around.) But, it proved to be a useful tool to get my horses used to public places and experience new things. The carnival was setup and there was lots of noises and commotion and strange horses and running children..... But my two little backyard troopers took things in stride. I was quite proud of the girls! Suzette has only been to one schooling show as a baby yearling, and Nettie the mustang has never been to a show in her entire life. Fun stuff!
All in all, everything went really well and we came home with a few ribbons for our efforts.
The judge thought that she was cute, and we did okay with our showmanship. We entered the green horse and green rider showmanship halter classes and got two third places. I messed up the pattern just a little bit on the green rider, and Suzette wasn't quite as polished on her haunch turns for the green horse class. But, we did our best.
Walking the pattern. For a young horse she did really well and stayed very calm, something we've worked diligently on no matter where we go. I'm guessing that by the next show we'll probably be doing some saddle classes together, hopefully.
Nettie and I in the sidesaddle class. The judge loved it. She had never had anybody in a sidesaddle class before, so we gave it a go. Nettie nailed both loping leads too! Woot!!!! God, was I ever proud of her for that... We were sporting the old single post 1905 western Congle, made in Portland, OR. The seat's a bit beat-up on it, but it's still sound enough to ride in.
We had lots of questions from fellow showers about the saddle, and if it was a hard thing to ride. My reply was - it just takes practice.
Folks have gotta love the sidesaddle classes and support them, or else they will be dropped from shows. I was really surprised to see it listed at his show, and I went specifically just to ride in that class. Come hell or high water, I was going to be there to ride it!
Nettie doesn't have the greatest headset for sidesaddle, but she's learning. I just need to keep at it with her. It's hard to keep her squeezed with the leg to round her frame up to get the head down when there's nothing on the other side to squeeze with..... But she's improving every time we ride aside, and that's what matters.
Our blue ribbon. Not too bad for a scrubby little rangebred mustang! It's hard to believe that I use this horse for endurance too. Today was the first time that she's ever had a curb bit in her mouth, and she handled it very well. I usually just ride with a bosal everywhere.
Next was green horse and green rider english pleasure, and we gave it a go. There were five entries in the first class and four in the next, and we placed second both times. I really need to work on my posture when I'm riding english. It's pretty obvious from the photos that I always look like I'm riding western no matter what.......something I need to work further on in the future.
But sometimes riding in a western position isn't always a bad thing.....
This was a funny shot above. The judge asked us to halt from a canter, and Nettie did a sliding stop like a reining horse! I had to laugh. It was a hoot. Craig was giggling too. It's probably a good thing that I had my feet forward and toes out, or I would've been eating an english mane sandwich.
Our second place english ribbons.
Last, we entered the green horse and green rider western pleasure classes. Our first class we did great in, winning a first place out of six entries. But, in the last class Nettie was getting hot and tired and bumbled her leads a little bit. We got a fourth place. She let me know that it was time to pack the trailer and head on home.
Overall, a very fun day!