Monday, December 30, 2013

As promised, a few pictures of the nearly completed bathroom. It turned out pretty good, (for two non-pro's doing the job...)
A view from the hallway, through the door. The toilet is off to the right in the corner of the room, and the sink is off to the left in the opposite corner.

I'm sure that it is probably obvious that I love to do tile. I did mosaic tiles in our kitchen a few years ago, and I decided to do the bathroom with a bunch of tiling too. It's easy to clean up and fun to create patterns with. Craig was busy running the cutter while I arranged the wall and floor patterns and mortered them into place.
A view of the little "homemade" sink on the left side of the room, next to the shower. Last month I found this little pine dresser in a second hand store for $20 bucks. It was sort of a reddish color and needed stripped and repaired, so I did it. After a lot of sanding and repairing and re-staining it to a dark Kona color, it turned out pretty good. I added some french drawer pulls and some decorative appliques, a new white marble top (cut by a local guy), and we siliconed a copper wash basin into it. It has good drawer space to hold a lot of towels in it. =:)

Craig did all of the plumbing work in our bathroom, and the tiny little damned sink faucets were the hardest for him to be able to get the "kinks" worked out of. The old style bronze faucets that I picked out didn't want to co-operate very well at first, but after a bit of fiddling around with them we were able to get it to quit leaking and work well. (The tub and the shower were a piece of cake to plumb compared to the sink... go figure.)
A view of the can on the other side of the room. I still need to do the grouting on the floor tiles around the toilet and add covers to all of the electrical fixtures, but it is really small simple stuff to get finished up.

I'm thrilled that this project is almost completely done. It was fun, but a lot of work - and I don't want to plunge into another remodeling project in the middle of the holiday season again. Cooking, cleaning, shopping for x-mas presents, and then working on the remodeling on top of it, made for a little bit more hectic Christmas than what I had originally anticipated.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


I forgot to post some in-progress photos when we were working on the bathroom, so here are a few belated ones. It is almost completely done now! Yay!!! We had a goal of being done by Christmas, and it was pretty close. I will take some finished pictures in the next few days and post them. The transformation has been pretty cool.
My wonderful husband cutting some new drywall pieces to replace the old rotten stuff. Both of us never want to deal with any more rot issues for the rest of our lives now!
I spent two weeks completely caked in drywall dust, literally. If you've ever worked with walling "mud" - it's a real trip to deal with. Many times at night I would cook dinner looking like the pillsbury dough boy, and the vaccuum cleaner got clogged at least 10 times vaccuming that damned crap up. I met a drywall expert a few years back, and I can now say that I have a whole new world of respect for a person in that professional field! Holy crap, it's a real job sanding walls.
"Big Bertha". Craig and I picked up a corner jacuzzi tub at Home Depot when it went on sale. We purchased it for a very reasonable price and built a supporting frame and a plywood skeletal front for it. It's turned out really beautifully for the room. A great BIG whopping focal point when you walk in to use the can.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Almost Done.....

We're almost done with the bathroom.  It's so very close!  I'll be really happy to return to normal life and not have to clean up drywall dust anymore.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Construction Continues

We're still working on the bathroom, and it's coming along at a nice steady pace. We have the walls buttoned up with new insulation and drywall, and the new shower is now installed and working as well! Yay!!!! (I have to admit that I was getting really sick and tired of using the kitchen sink to wash my hair in...)

I've been so proud of my husband throughout this whole remodeling thing. He's a really sharp guy when it comes to plumbing, electrical, and construction stuff in general. He's able to do a lot of "handy man" work around our place himself, which saves us a boatload of money in the long run. In the past 12 years that we've owned our home, we've only had to call a professional out one time to come and fix something that we couldn't do ourselves - (to pump the septic tank). That isn't too bad of a track record for the number of years that we've been here.

Craig has re-plumbed the entire bathroom and has installed new electrical lighting throughout most of the house. He gets a lot of practice troubleshooting electrical components with his day job, so I'm not too worried about him wiring stuff in our home. (He has to put new wiring harnesses - and also repair old ones - on cars and motorcycles on a daily basis.)

Also, after measuring the room both of us have made a corporate decision to get a different proportioned tub. We're going to attempt to stuff "a biggun" in there! I'm really excited about that...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

He's Done!

Craig and I drove up to Joseph yesterday and picked up the bronze at the foundry.  I was really excited to see him!!!!  The guy from Valley Bronze called about a week beforehand and said that the piece was very close to getting ready for the final step of patina work, so Monday would be a good time for us to come up and watch it "get the dunk" into the color solution. 

It was really interesting to see the process of adding color to metalwork.  "Gribble" a.k.a. "Gribble the Scribble" - (the goofy name that I came up with for the sculpture...) was plunged into a sulphur acid tank multiple times and then heated to 360 degrees with a blow torch.  After he was good and sizzling hot, the foundry painter dobbed some special patina paint on him with a huge paintbrush.  It was fascinating to watch the paint sizzle into the metal like a hot frying pan skillet!  The whole process of adding color to the bronze took about an hour and was really educational.  I don't think that I'll ever have the heart it takes to confidently handle a blow torch for patina work like some artists can - as fire really scares me! 

But Gribble turned out really good.  The goofy artifact style Akhal Teke is now on our mantle in the house.  I've started work on a second bronze slated for 2014, which will be in a completely different style from this guy. 

I've caught a slight bronze bug and now I'm hooked....       

Friday, November 8, 2013


Craig and I have been remodeling our bathroom for the last week, which translates into: "the Mayfields are being total lunatics and tearing the hell out of one of the most important rooms in their house". We have no other bathroom, this is it. So we are stuck trying to hurry as fast as we can to get it done. We've gone more than a week without a shower, and both of us are starting to get really tired and cranky of washing our hair and other bodily parts in the kitchen sink...

Remodeling a room in a house is always time consuming and most often times full of surprises, especially when you have an old house - like ours. This was supposed to be a somewhat "simple" type of project for us after we got our feet wet with a major remodeling of our kitchen two years ago. Bathroom, not a problem. Well, yeah.... right. We were kindly introduced to some dry rot foundation issues when we removed the tub. Surprise!

Luckily both Craig and I are not afraid of a challenge and have fixed most of the problem. After sawing a huge hole in the bathroom floor, we got underneath the house and cut out part of the seal board next to the concrete stem wall. (We had to jack the floor boards up off of the house to do this), and have eliminated our foundation rot issues in that area. Now we just have to fix the rot problem that's underneath the window and replace the 2 x 4's in the wall. We're buttoning it up slowly but surely.

Our tub used to be where the hole in the floor is in the photo - hence where the dry rot issues were. We had one of those old dual purpose "shower/tub" types of setups in there, basically stand in the tub while you take a shower. I regret not snapping a picture of the room before we started remodeling it. It will look totally different (and much bigger) when it's finally done. The sink will not be there either - but I will get more into that in another post.

A view of the new wall that we're building to make the room bigger. Also, our new tub and shower base are shown in the photo as well. They will be separate entities this time around! Yay!
I'm not sure if anybody can read my chicken-scratch plans, but it's a layout for what will happen. We are moving walls, covering doors, ripping up floors, and other assorted mayhem on this project...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Western Dressage

Today Octopelle and I tried western dressage for the first time, and it was a blast! Tony Jackson gave a clinic at the CREC arena in Irrigon and I went to see if my horse and I would like it. (Never hurts to try something new.) I had been considering attempting a western dressage course for a few months, but hadn't found any events that were close enough to home that also offered a "beginners class" for people who just want to try it. (I damned sure didn't want to show up at an official dressage show and make a complete fool of myself - so this clinic was a PERFECT opportunity to see if we would like to do this or not.)

Octopelle seemed to take to "cowboy" dressage like a fish takes to water. He loved it, and we recieved some good lessons and instruction from Tony before attempting to do our test. After all of the group participants in the clinic got a private lesson, we each got to try an actual test depending on our horses skill levels. Ox and I did the Introductory Level Test I, which was all three gaits in a fairly simple pattern: walk, working trot, and canter. I have to admit that we need just a tiny bit more work going "deep into the corners", but everything else was great. Our collection and circles were really very good.

Tony has said that there will most likely be more of these little clinics in the future, and I'm really excited to hear that. I'd love to do more of it!
Tony Jackson instructing a rider in a class, above. Tony is an accredited dressage competitor, instructor, and judge. He has traveled the world with the Royal Lippizaner Stallions show for several years. He's a really fun guy and an excellent teacher!
Mary and her quarter horse gelding "Bugs". (Mary and Bugs were one of our main rivals at the Earn Your Spurs show series in Kennewick, along with Albert Ellis and his mare "Glory".)

It was a very fun day!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jubilee Ranch Ride

On the 5th we headed to Prescott WA. to the Jubilee Ranch endurance ride. It was absolutely gorgeous weather! Sunny and a nice mild temperature. This ride was so awesome because it was very close to home, barefoot friendly trails, and the loops went through an apple orchard. (The apples were totally wonderful - I spent most of the time stuffing my face with sweet delicious apple snacks while Tommy blasted through the trees at a high trot.) Really fun stuff!

Jessica Andersen photo.  The snake river is in the background.

The bay "giraffe" looking at riders coming down from the hill.  He got a chance to cut loose and go pretty fast at this ride, and it was a nice vacation for him from doing slow western pleasure work in the arena. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A *very cute* Eberl arabian foal resin "Pearl" recently completed in the studio to a deep dark chocolate baby bay.  She has some subtle "baby fuzz" highlights to her coat and is done in one of my all-time favorite colors! Such a cute foal sculpture.  Owned by Carole Ingram.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Frustrated, embarrassed, disappointed, and fed-up. This is how I feel at the moment. I had a long written out explaination of why I was feeling this way about certain events, but I'll do everybody a favor and not go through with posting it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Eddie MacMurdo Show 2013

And a couple of pictures of the sunday afternoon thunderstorm.  Luckily it hit at about 4:30 p.m. just as the show was getting ready to wrap up.  Tommy and I were waiting to go into our last class and the skies opened up in a torrential downpour.  There was some very loud thunder and lightning that scared the crap out of some people's horses.  A few competitors decided to scratch some of the last classes and go home, and more than one person had to get off of a nervous jumpy horse due to the thunder and lightning crashing down. 

(And I was rather proud of Tommy, because he could've cared less about the noise.  He cocked a hind leg and almost went to sleep throughout the whole thing. We have neighbors who target practice on a regular basis, so our horses are kind-of brain dead to loud noises.)

These are a couple of pictures that Craig snapped as we sat underneath the covered warmup arenas.  It's hard to see in the photo above, but there is a small river running down the paved driveway.
Everybody ran for cover and waited for the storm to blow over.  There was a person that was going to load their horse into their trailer to go home, but they opted to wait inside the barn for the rain to go away instead...

Eddie MacMurdo Show 2013

Along with seeing my old friend Sibbea again, I got to meet a couple of new friends and see some old acquintances as well.  Tommy was in a stall across from Travis Locke and the Trafalgar Morgan crew from Walla Walla.  Travis was a really nice guy and I got to watch him hitch up his lovely morgan for the driving classes.  The morgan folks are always entertaining to watch at this show.  They put on their best suits and ties and their park horses are absolutely amazing sights to behold!  I'm always impressed with their turnouts.... 

Oh, and speaking of which - remember when I said that I could only handle one horse at this show?  The Trafalgar crew brought NINE morgans to compete!  There was a crew of half a dozen people getting horses cleaned up and ready to go into the showring through both days.

Along with the real horse people, I also encountered a model horse person at the show as well. Amy Widman was there taking some pictures and enjoying the day. I didn't recognize her at first, but then after she introduced herself I remembered her from when I used to show models. It was good to see her again! (And Amy, congrats on your engagement ring!)

We managed to bring home a couple of ribbons and beverage ware at this show. This years awards for us weren't nearly as lucerative as last years show - but that's just the luck of the draw when you go to events. Last year there were two light breed judges that clearly liked the diversity in the classes and placed a variety of horses quite highly.

This year was completely different. The judges made it quite obvious that they were madly in love with stock horses. None of the light breeds did very well. There were a couple of arabs in the evening western pleasure classes that I thought should have placed much higher than what they did. A lot of the same "stuck-in-first-gear peanut rollers" kept winning over and over again. I was a little bit disappointed, but maybe next year will have some light breed judges come back again.

Eddie MacMurdo Show 2013

Well, the blog photo uploader is "almost" working again... almost. Not sure what's up with it tonight. Still a few more photos to post, but it's absolutely refusing to upload one particular picture for some reason. Weird damned machine.

My friend and professional photographer Sibbea Browning was on duty once again at the show snapping pictures of everyone with their horses. She's so dang talented! Absolutely love her work! I'm trying to coax her into the endurance world, and she's shown some interest in doing a few ride and tie events. I told her that I'd ride with her on an LD - but when it comes to the running part she's on her own. I'd be a worthless and completely embarassing partner for any sort of ride and tie activity...

My favorite photo that Sibbea took of Tommy and I above. He is in a "real" western pleasure jog instead of his usual teke shuffling.
We did lots of english classes too.

And if you're wondering why my boots look weird and have a bizarre low cut to them, it's beacause they are specially tailored for sidesaddle. I had them cut down to accomodate my knee over the leaping head. I know that it's a fairly dorky look for english pleasure, but they're so darned comfortable that I can't bring myself to wear hightops again!

Eddie MacMurdo Show 2013

Where does time go? It's September already.... and I wanted to be more prepared, but generally never am for anything.

On the 14th and 15th we attended the annual Eddie MacMurdo open horse show in Walla Walla, WA. It was a good show once again - but was super HOT!!!! I think that summertime had it's last hurrah during the week before it decided to give up it's last phase into fall. That weekend had some very weird un-seasonably warm temperatures. On Saturday it was 95 degrees, and on sunday it was 98 degrees. Super sweat city! (I was royally roasting under all of those heavy show clothes!) Also on Sunday there was a gigantic flash flood type of thunderstorm just as the show was getting done. It was amazing. I can't remember the last time that I seen a summer storm that was that big!

(My stupid photo uploader on this thing isn't working properly, so I'll post a few photos in different posts.)

I only took Tommy to the show again this year, because I figured that I would probably be very busy trying to manage one horse and get everything done. It ended up being a good decision. The competition at this show is extremely stiff and I wanted to put all my effort into showing one horse to it's fullest potential without juggling too many things at once.
We did another "all-arounder" weekend this year and went in both english and western disciplines. It's a difficult task for Tommy to fully understand to learn to speed up and then slow way down to a crawl when the time comes, but I thought that he handled it pretty well - (better than last year). There's still a lot of room for improvement but we're slowly getting there...

Saturday, August 31, 2013


This is going to be a rant, as I'm thoroughly pissed...

A word of advice to sheep breeders: don't take your lambs to the auction yards. THE PRICES TOTALLY SUCK BIG TIME!!!!! Take your chances with private sales instead.

I just took my second load of young lambs up to the Lewiston livestock auction, and it will be the last time that I ever do so again. Their commission fees are totally ridiculous, and they only have a handful of bidders that even bother to show up to bid on anything. It's not even remotely worth the effort to drive up there. Talk about pathetic!

The first time that I went I took a load of yearling prime butcher wethers up in 2011 to run through the Lewiston sale. The prices were "supposedly" high at that time, but I only managed to get half of what they were worth - (and belive me, my regular private sale asking prices were NOT very high at all!) I thought that maybe I would get a better price this year for yearling breeding ewe lambs instead - maybe the bidders would like them more? WRONG!!!! They went for even less than what the wethers did! Not even a QUARTER of what they were worth!!!!!!! Argh. I'm so totally disgusted at the whole thing right now.

(And don't even get me started on the auction yards down here around our area - they're even worse! I only went to Lewiston because it was rumored to have better prices than LaGrande or Hermiston. Pffff... right!)

Lesson learned. I won't take my lambs to auctions ever again. I'd rather eat all of the extra ones instead.... (which is most likely what will happen from now on.)

Friday, August 23, 2013


I'm running a little bit behind on my posts lately...

On August 10th Craig and I drove up to the Washington State horse park near Cle-Elum. I had never been to this park before, but had heard some really great things about it. The park itself was all that it was cracked up to be. Nice facilities, outstanding arenas, and some trails and jump obstacles thrown in - a great place for people who love to ride their horses!

The reason that we were trekking up to the WSHP was to meet up with other northwest members that belonged to the Akhal Teke registry of north america. The registry had plans of doing another Horseflicks video (a sequel to the first one that was released a few years ago), and folks came with their horses to the first of three filming locations held across america. In total, there were 10 northwest Akhal Tekes that came to the park, (most of them purebreds, with two sport crosses). Producer Jon Mays was set to film the event.

On Friday, the night before the filming - there was a HUGE thunderstorm that rolled through the area with lightning that lit up the sky like some sort of half-crazed broken lantern. Craig and I got hardly any sleep at all. Both of our horses were in the little shed stalls that the park had provided, so luckily they were out of the horrible weather. The rain came down in a torrential downpour, (which sounded like a gigantic waterfall on the top of our trailer). All that I could think of was: if it kept this up the following day I really didn't feel like riding in it. That wouldn't be been fun at all. But fortunately, when morning rolled around the skies opened up and the birds started singing a lovely tune again.

The filming on Saturday morning went pretty fast. Everybody had met up on Friday night to discuss plans for the next day, and it was decided that we were going to be pretty quick about filming the different riding disciplines before the afternoon heat began to suck all the life out of us. It was a good plan, as the temperature crept up to a sweating point before too long. I started getting ready at about 6:00 a.m. warming Tommy up. He was feeling pretty snuffy from the big thunderstorm that had hit the night before, so I knew that I had to do some prep work before any kind of filming began. (The very last thing that I needed to happen was to have someone post a "chuckle-it-up" video on youtube of me sailing through the air doing a faceplant in a native turkmen costume.) So we saddled up and warmed up for awhile in one of the bigger arenas.

When 8:00 a.m. rolled around Tommy was pretty well warmed up and ready to get to work. His head had relaxed to a much nicer level, so we tacked up in our lime green western show attire and made our way into the designated dressage filming arena. Jon had us do a circle and asked us to pretend like we were in a class at a real show, so we did that. It was a lot of fun. After the western portion was done, the other riders were ready for english and dressage filming - so it was a good break for Tommy and I to get back to the trailer and change into our native costume outfit. (This would be no small feat to attempt, as it takes me FOREVER to get everything put on for it.) We hustled up and got our tack ready and headed back into the arena to film the next native costume portion. Erin Heatherstone also had a native outfit too, so we did some figure eight patterns together and both of us looked pretty spiffy for Jon's camera.

After the arena riding was done it was around 10:30 a.m. and everybody was ready to do some obstacle course filming out on the trail. I had to really hustle around and hurry to get Tommy put back into his stall and get Octopelle out of his, cleaned up, tacked up, change my clothes, and get ready to head down the trail in endurance attire right away.

Octopelle and I started out with the other riders at the beginning of the trail, but I could tell immediately that Ox needed some warm up time. He was adamant that this was going to be an endurance ride and that we were saddled up to do the REAL THING. He was definitely ready to rock and roll down the trail at a brisk extended trot. I decided to pull him from the group and we went back to the arena to do some proper warm-up exercising. He appreciated this greatly and made it evidently clear that he needed to burn some pent-up energy off. We did about 5 miles worth of laps. After the arena warm up session, we headed back down the trail to meet up with the group. Most of the other riders were galloping up enbankments and charging through water, so I decided to stay on the safe side and try to keep Ox calm and relaxed. He was already amped up enough as it was. We took part in some of the group trotting down the road for the endurance portion of the filming and then everybody called it good for the day.

After the trail filming was done, Octopelle was still convinced that we were on an endurance ride and he just wouldn't let the issue go, so we headed back to the arena and I let him burn some more energy off. (One of the interesting things about this breed is that they generally are never lacking in stamina or excess energy... which can be a good or a bad thing depending on the situation.) When we had done about another 10 miles worth of canter lap work in the arena, he was finally ready to settle into a good mellowing state of mind. At that point we headed back towards the stall and wash rack.

After un-tacking Ox and giving him a bath, Craig and I set up our chairs under the park BBQ tent. Cathy had brought some hamburgers and hotdogs and was grilling them up for everybody for lunch. Somebody else had gone to the store and had gotten some watermelon as well, so there was some delicious slices of sweet melon that I loaded my plate up with. We sat around the tent and visited for about an hour and then started packing things into the truck for the journey home.

It was a really fun weekend at the horsepark, and I'm excited to see photos from the other two filming locations in Minnesota and Kentucky that will happen next month. I hope that the next Horseflicks film will be just as good as the first one - if not better! =:)

Some nice "click n' paste" photo links from the event:
A re-tweaked Pam Demuth "Seize Aire" arab foal resin recently completed in the studio. A photo of the orginial unpainted version can be seen here:

I moved this little guys legs around to extend the trot out some more, added a bit of length to the neck, flipped the tail, painted him as a buckskin pinto (to match a mare that the customer owns), and created a custom stained wooden base. He's a cute little buggar!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bronze, El Numero Uno

I recieved a casting bid on my first sculpture to go into bronze today! Shortly after I got the message Craig and I drove up to the foundry in Joseph to drop the piece off. All that I can say is that - I'M SO DARNED EXCITED!!!!! I CAN HARDLY STAND IT!!!!! I'm going to have to try and wait patiently over the next two months for a phone call...

While we were touring Valley Bronze I kept oogling over all of the lovely patinas that were available and the different sculptures that were in the works. (I'm sure that the people who worked there probably thought I was a total nutjob... My eyes were bugging out most of the time!) The foundry gets projects from sculptors all over america, so the art in the place is really phenomenal! Craig and I took a tour, and I asked about a million questions...

While I'm waiting (impatiently) for the next couple of months, I've started on the next piece to try and keep my mind pre-occupied. (By the way, have I mentioned that I'M REALLY EXCITED...? The damned wait is going to absolutely kill me!!!!) And I'm working on customers models to be painted as well. My plan is that if I can keep enough stuff crammed in front of my face, then maybe the time will fly by faster for that phone call....

Saturday, August 3, 2013


I finally got the mounted native costume done! Yay!!!!!! It's been FOREVER in the making... but now, finally it's finished... =:)
Some of the components I had to hunt a long time for in order to put stuff together and make it look correct and authentic. It's very difficult trying to find some of the smaller antique decorations that won't cost a small fortune! After 2 years worth of hunting things down and building/putting stuff together - it's finally finished. Not sure if I'll ever get around to doing another complete native costume... as this one was a boatload of work to do!

I'm attempting to get the show board committee of the Eddie McMurdo to consider changing the evening "Arab/Half Arab mounted native costume" class into an "Open mounted native costume" class so that people with different horses (like me!) can compete. Last year there was a gentleman on a beautiful appaloosa in authentic pioneer/mountain man clothing that had to use the kiddy Halloween costume class that was full of goofy finger-painted up ponies. I thought that was a shame because his authentic costume was totally awesome, so I'm going to see if the board will allow a little bit of leeway with their program. One thing is for sure, the spectators always go nuts over the mounted native costume classes... =:)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pink Ribbon Classic 2013

Octopelle got his chance to go to a bigger show this year. I took him and Tommy to the Pink Ribbon Classic on July 27th-28th in Walla Walla under USEF judge Margo Hepner-Hart. I was so proud of both of the boys. They did so well. Octopelle had only been to a couple of shows in his entire life, (two local low-key schooling shows!) and he acted like an old pro at this bigger one.

There were horses there (um, a couple of arabs..) that were acting like total retarded idiots in the showring (and also in the outside warm-up pens as well), but both of my boys ignored their stupid antics. My horses have come to the conclusion that it's just not worth the effort to act like jackasses at shows...because it's just far too much work. I know that not all arabians are bad horses, but when a few rotten apples show up to events it gives the wrong impression to everyone, (both the general public and also to fellow exhibitors). There were some very nice quiet western arabs at the show, and it was nice to sit next to them in line and also in the ring. Not all are bad, but a few shouldn't have been there.

As an example, one of the "bad apples" that was acting like an idiot in the showring had actually hurt someone very seriously the night before the show started. On Friday evening the rider of the unruly horse was warming it up in the outdoor arena and it started acting like a total retard and threw the rider off. It then proceeded to gallop madly around the fairgrounds like a chicken with it's head cut off, and ran full steam broadside into an innocent bystander rider and her horse. The poor rider and horse got knocked off their feet and the stupid loose horse proceeded to scramble over the top of both of them while they were laying there on the ground. The unfortunate bystander girl (who was going to be a competitor at the show the very next day), was rushed to the emergency room and had a broken collar bone that will take her out of competition for awhile. I felt really horrible for her, as she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And after all that..... the person that had the problem horse had the guts to show the damned thing on Saturday and Sunday!!!! I was rather disgusted with the whole ordeal. The horse kept acting like a jerk in the showring and would spook and jump sideways into other exhibitors while they were trying to show. Octopelle and I had to maneuver around the nonsense most of the time and avoid the rider and her horse like the plague. I noticed that other exhibitors wouldn't even talk to that rider on both days. All that I have to say is: if one of my horses sent a fellow competitor to the emergency room - for whatever reason - I would be way too embarrassed to stick around for the next two days and compete! Ugh.

Also, there was also a stallion that showed up that was fairly out of control as well. He was REALLY green and probably should've done more schooling shows beforehand. Everybody that was in the arena kept holding their breath hoping that the rider wouldn't come off - or else all the rest of us would have to run like hell and try and get out of the way of the stallion. I'm just glad that I had two geldings and didn't take a mare this time....

But anyway, enough of the heavy. For the most part, the show was good fun, and everybody who was competing was doing it for a worthy cause. All the proceeds from the Pink Ribbons show goes to the St. Mary's Cancer Patients Assistance Fund program. It's nice to say that you are "riding for the cure"! - as most people were wearing t-shirts with that slogan on there...
On Saturday I was using my new english numbered saddle pad with a wedge. Upon using it further that day, I decided to remove the wedge since I was sitting a little too far up off of Ox's back...
A picture of the second day without the wedge. I'm sitting a lot lower now... =:) I also had to start using the crop on Sunday because Ox was getting too lazy to trot into the ring. (He thought that we should just saunter into the arena like an old plow horse taking a coffee break...)
And unfortunately in one of the classes I had forgotten my gloves! I really had to go pee in between classes, and I got back to the gate just in time for the next class - but had accidentally left the gloves on the fender of our trailer. I fortunately remembered them for the rest of the day...
Sibbea got a few pictures of Ox's russian mat. I didn't do as good of a job as I should've on it, because I was in a hurry to get him warmed up on Sunday morning. But it turned out good enough, I guess.
And I also sported my new "thrift store" Akhal Teke show vest in the western classes! I bought this little black vest for $1.50 at the local Salvation Army. I took it home and fixed it up with some swarovski crystals and designed a teke head from sparkly fabric that I sewed on. (I think that there is about $8 bucks worth of materials from Hobby Lobby.) I always drool over the Lisa Nelle and WannaGoSlow shirts and vests on the internet - but they generally cost hundreds of dollars for those beauties, so I bargain hunt for stuff that I can make myself. (My little cheapskate vest is nowhere as nice as some of the professionally made ones, but hey - it's personalized and works great for me...)
Our fledgeling venture one-handed at a big show. Tommy did pretty good, but he still noodles around a little bit with his body when he's allowed some leeway with the single hand. He loves the Kelly shank snaffle, so I showed him in that bit this time. This is his last year with a broken mouth bit (snaffle) that he's allowed, so he has to move up to a solid shank next year if we want to keep showing. (The Oregon/Washington Horseman rules state that a horse is allowed two years as a novice in a jointed mouthpiece, and then they're required to move up into a solid mouthpiece for competitions.)
We did pretty good at the show this year. Both Tommy and Ox got several second and third placings. But I'm still on the hunt for that elusive first place spot at this particular show....
My favorite picture that Sibbea snapped! Isn't he cute...? Tommy in the pleasure horse halter in-hand class. I'll probably end up ordering an 8 x 10 of this one... =:)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lambies 2013

I didn't get hardly any pictures of the lambs this year, but we did have a good colorful crop.  =:)

I did manage to get this photo of Craig and "Mabel" above though, (in the house, with lots of hay chaff on him for decoration....)  Mabel was one of our cute little bottle lambs this year. We had several young first time lambing ewes that produced some very nice Soay lambs.  The predicament with young first year lambers is that some of them didn't have a clue about what to do with their lambs. I kind-of expected this outcome from the ewes - so it wasn't a huge surprise when I would find newborn lambs wandering around the pen with a young new mama hugging the fence terrified to death of it....

So we ended up with EIGHT bottle babies that I fed for two months this spring. Normally there are 2-3 bottle babies per year, but it was a bit of extra work this season. But very much well worth it. =:) The bottle lambies have created their own little "flock" out in the pasture and are absolutely adorable to pet and play with!  Mabel was so much of a little pet that she followed us around the farm and would come up to the front door of the house.  Craig would pick her up and carry her back out to the pasture where she would cry and want to come back out to be with us.  She's such a cute little buggar, and has quickly become one of our favorite lambs.


Monday, June 17, 2013

I deleted a few photos off of the blog yesterday due to an insecure, hypocritical, control freak of a horse owner.  It's okay for the photos of the horse to be openly posted to other websites and facebook for anyone in the world to view and use - but apparently I'm not allowed to have them.  (Even though it was someone else took the photos, not even the horse owner themselves....and I would've given full credit if I could've remembered who the photographer was at the time!)  Okay, whatever.  I deleted the pictures.  Why are there always a few "loons" in the Akhal Teke breed that make it so damned weird sometimes.....?   

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Klikitat Photos

A few of Monica's photos from the Klikitat ride.  =:)  Thanks Monica!

Single Handedly...

This years Blue Mountain Paint Horse club open show at the Flying X arena was the beginning of a "one handed" journey between Tommy and I.  Last Saturday was the day we started showing one-handed for the first time.  We've practiced riding single handed a little bit at home, but have never tried it at a show before.  Tommy is seven years old, so it's time to start moving up and advancing a bit.  (We can't stay in a snaffle forever....)  Most stock horses are in a full straight bar shank by this time, so we're a little behind the curve - but slowly making the transition.
Overall, he did alright for his first time at a show. He had a little bit more freedom to creep forward slightly faster in the gaits and also crane the head, (which he exercised every once in awhile....) but it wasn't too bad for his first time. 

I had to correct him every once in awhile - "slow down, collect up."

It was probably a good thing that we started riding one-handed at this show, because the wind was playing havoc with my hat.  I had to keep my free hand anchored on top of my head to keep it from flying away!  I need to remember to pack some bobby pins for next time.....
And I'm starting to get smarter about wearing "quick change" outfits as well, for time management.  The show shirt made a quick transition from western...
to english - in rapid fashion!  I didn't have to re-pin the number or anything.  Just slip into some breeches and go.  I've struggled at a couple of the bigger shows with changing outfits multiple times and losing valuable warm-up time has stressed me out - so now I'm getting "smarter" about swapping out only one or two articles of clothing in order to give the outfit a whole new look.  It is working!  Yay! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Klikitat Trek 2013

June 1st and 2nd was our annual camping trip at the Klikitat Trek endurance ride in Glenwood, WA.  Marilyn Milestone puts this ride on every year, and she's such a sweet and awesome lady.  Her kindness and graciousness seems to have no end....  =:) 

Craig and I like this ride a lot because the campsite parking is great and the Glenwood rodeo association usually puts on a dinner and lunch both days for the riders and campers.  It's really nice to have a hot meal after a long days ride out on the trail.  The weather for the ride this year was outstanding too!  Only in the mid/high 70 range and the trail dust was kept to a minimum from previous rainstorms during the week.
On Thursday I glued both of the horses easyboot glue-ons on at the house.  The glue-ons have been working out great for doing the rides with, and I have a lot less stress since I don't have to keep getting off and on all the time.  I talked to a lady at the vet check who said there was some new easyboot glue-on prototypes that will be coming out soon for long term use (a month or more).  And this is exciting news, as the current ones that I have now are meant to be pulled off in 5-10 days in order for the hoof to breathe and dry out.  I'm very interested to see what the new ones will be like that are coming out on the market.

I started the LD on Saturday with Nettie.  On Friday night she was acting rather naughty and kept Craig and I awake all night long...(mare horomones at work).  I think that she suspected every horse in the neighboring camp pens just HAD to be a stallion - and she would beg them incessantly to come over to our trailer and visit with her.  By Saturday morning I was totally annoyed due to the constant nickering (and lack of sleep) - but we managed to start out the ride day pretty good nonetheless.  We happened to meet up with #24 out on the trail (we were #23) and rode with him to the vet check.  His name was Warren, and he was from from Estacada, OR.   He was a very nice guy and it was great to clip along the trail and chat with him. 

I had given Nettie 3 1/2 weeks off from the Grizzly Mountain ride to heal up from her previous injury and she had felt pretty good out on our light conditioning rides.  But at the out vet check on Saturday she started showing signs of slight lameness again in the left hind.  It was very mild at first, but then became progressively more obvious on our second trot out at the vet check.  Multiple vets watched her move and concluded that it was a muscle injury and not a suspensory injury or hoof problem.  So, we had to call it a day and returned back to camp where I gave her a good deep massage with liniment.  I think that she'll get 3 or 4 months off and I'll see what she feels like again this fall.  If all is well, we'll start conditioning again for next years ride season.   
Warren and his NSH cross mare.

Chris and Michelle on the trail on Sundays ride.
On Sunday I rode Tommy on the other LD.  Similar to last years ride, this was supposed to be a 25 miler but there were a lot of people who had GPS systems saying it was closer to 30-32 miles.  Tommy did great with the additional mileage, so it wasn't too big of a problem for us.  I rode most of the way with two nice ladies from Olympia, WA. Chris and Michelle.  Chris was on a buckskin paso fino that was doing her first limited distance ride, and Michelle was on a young QH x arab cross that was also on his first limited distance ride.  Unfortunately Chris was pulled at the vet check, so Michelle and I went on the rest of the way back to camp by ourselves.  We encountered a bunch of cattle on the trail that Tommy and I happily shooed away, and both Michelle and I finished the ride in good spirits with horses that vetted through well.
The dogwood trees were in full bloom with beautiful white flowers!  It was like riding through an enchanted forest.  I tried to get a picture of the gorgeous waterfall by the canal, but I couldn't get my camera out fast enough...darn it.  One of these years I'll eventually get a picture of that gorgeous waterfall and crystal clear water of the canal.

The final vet check in camp.  Tommy was happy to be finished.  He really liked taking a break from the show arena and getting out on the trail for about the first 20 miles, but the last 10 miles became more like a bit of work instead of a vacation...

Monica Bretherton came to the ride and was taking some photos out on the trail - (yay!)  So I'll post some of those as soon as we see them.  =:)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sage Riders Show

Octopelle went to his very first show today.  It was a schooling show at the Sage Riders arena in Hermiston, and he did great!  What a good boy.  I fully expected him to be a little bit nervous about things, but nah.... he could've cared less.  Marched right into the arena and got right down to business.  No funny stuff.  What a sport!  =:)  I was very proud of him.  Craig has a new digital camera, so he snapped lots of pictures.

Trotting out for halter.

Setting up for the halter class.
Chugging along in an extended trot in the english walk/trot.  (The judge commented that he really loved his trot.)

And the western pleasure walk/trot class.  Octopelle is like Tommy - when they get it right, it's totally fabulous!!!

He stayed collected up for western very nicely.  I put a green ribbon (for a young horse) in the tail so that people wouldn't ride up behind us too closely - but in all honesty, we really didn't need it.  He was totally awesome.  Not so much as a spook or fidget the entire day. 

We entered 10 classes and got two first places, which wasn't too bad.  The show didn't award ribbons though, which was okay.  It was a schooling show and we were there to work on our horsemanship skills, so awards weren't a top priority.  There were roughly 6 people per class on average (give or take for some classes), so it was a good turnout for our area.

Happy campers.

The Sage Riders arena has a seasonal pond in back, so we used it for a photo.  =:)