Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Quick Trip

Over memorial day weekend we made a quick trip to Minnesota.  It was really fun, but pretty fast!  We wasted no time getting there and back.  (I will explain in the following paragraphs below the reason why we went...)

But, to back up a little bit - before we left for Minnesota we acquired a new trailer.  At the last endurance ride that we attended (Grizzly Mountain) I rode a total of 70 miles over two days (35 miles per day) and I had no complaints.  But, when I got back into camp on the second day my husband very loudly proclaimed, "This is it!  Gad-damnit it, I'm buying something that has living quarters in it!"  And after hearing the tone of his voice - he really did mean it.  So after we got back home, we started hunting for a "new" used horse trailer.

(The photo above was taken on the trip shortly after we crossed the North Dakota border on our way to Minnesota.  We had True Turk, Hallygul, and Annagul in the trailer at the time.)
We found our lovely 2004 model at Double J Trailers in Woodland, WA shortly after the Grizzly Mountain ride.  It is a used warmblood model that is in very good condition.  The trailer dealership went through and upgraded some of the more important features on it - new tires, new brakes, new floor lining, etc.  Afterward, it was good to go!
Two weeks after acquiring the new trailer, we were off!  Away on the trip to Minnesota.  Above is a view of the Absaroka mountain range in Montana.

My weird fascination of rocks was the main focus on most of my photos.  This was a giant rock mountain towering above a lovely slow flowing river somewhere in Montana.
And an impressive boulder range just outside of Butte!  I absolutely loved it.  This was a mountain made totally of boulders.  The sheer awesomeness had me pressed up firmly against the window oogling at it's beauty. 
And this photo brings me to the point of why we went to Minnesota. 

To give a little bit of background about this - I had my eye on this colt for over 9 months, ever since I seen his sales ad posted on the internet last year.  I absolutely loved him, but just didn't have the motive for driving all the way to Minnesota to go and get him.  (By the time the fuel costs were all tallied up, it would've been way too extravagant of a journey to buy just a single horse.)  So, I let the idea go and forgot about him over the winter.  The sales ad disappeared and I figured that someone else had probably purchased him and taken him away.

Well, low and behold - in March, out of sheer curiosity, I decided to contact the seller and see where this colt went.  I figured that he had gone to a new home somewhere and I was interested to see how he filled out and developed.  Much to my surprise - he was still for sale!  Seriously?!?!  I almost fell out of my chair.  And he was EXTREMELY reasonably priced at a low "winter rate" too!  So, the wheels started turning, and I immediately started planning... 

After e-mailing a few people to test the waters and see if anybody was in need of having a horse hauled to Minnesota (or back), it so-happened that Rod Hunt at KopetDag Akhal Tekes had purchased three of Amrita Ibold's young horses to add to his farm in Osage, MN.  So a deal was struck.  We'd haul three to Osage, and pick ours up from Princeton on the way back.  The plan was in motion.
A photo of our first meeting, taken by the seller.  Irahm is a really special colt and I am very glad that he could come and live with us.  His future is really bright, and I look forward to having him as my next show and competition prospect.  I'm very excited for our upcoming adventures together. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A week away until we head out for Minnesota! The "Akhal Teke Express" is headed out soon. If anybody needs a horse hauled back to the west coast, let us know. We will have a full load on the way, but on the return trip back there will be 2 spots open in our trailer. I'm excited for this adventure.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Springtime Open Horse Show

The endurance horse was a show horse over the weekend! Octopelle went to the Springtime Open in Pasco, WA. He earned a few ribbons and some crystal glasses, and we were also very honored to be invited by the judge into the "Battle of the Breeds" special invitational classes in both the english and western categories. There were several very nice breeds of show horses that were there to compete, and I was very pleased with my little rangey fellow. Two weeks ago he top-tenned at an endurance ride, and this weekend he was successful as an all-arounder at an open show. He's a good-hearted adaptable little trooper!

I was honestly surprised at how well we placed over the weekend. We were kind-of the "ugly ducklings" at the show. Ox is right in the middle of shedding his winter coat out, so I had to clip him in order to try and get some of the darker points of his hair to come out better. (Even with the body clipping attempt, he was still very rough around the edges in the appearance department.) There were some ultra GORGEOUS polished show horses that were there to compete! But the judge still liked my guy a lot. Candace Morasch has been a judge for over 40 years and has seen a lot of horses. Her exact words about him were, "He is a very honest guy and a pure mover." I was happy that she recognized that. We showed against a myriad of slow shuffling peanut rollers in the western classes: lots of quarter horses, paints, arabs, and appaloosas. And there were some stunning thoroughbreds, arabs, and two very lovely showey saddlebreds in the open English classes. Ox did pretty good with all of the stiff competition against the other breeds. Out of the 50+ horses that were at the show, we were invited by the judge to participate in the special invitational "Battle of the Breeds" classes in both the English and western divisions. I was really surprised! There were horses that were much better than us there that I was sure that she'd pick - but she picked us. It was a great honor.

There will be more pictures to post soon, as Adam Hutson of "Hutson Imaging and Photography" was there at the show taking pictures of everybody that participated. And we do have some video footage on Youtube that my husband captured of the western classes. (Unfortunately Craig wasn't able to be there in the mornings, so we don't have any video clips of the English classes...)

As a side note: I had a hell of a time keeping the cowboy hat on my head on Saturday with the wind blowing. I stuffed it with extra tissues and bobby pins to keep it on my head, but if you've ever been to the Tri-Cities area - everybody knows that the damned wind blows ALL THE TIME there. It was really annoying and I kept jamming the hat down as far on my head as it could go on Saturday. But on Sunday I chose to wear my English helmet instead of fighting with the cowboy hat anymore. It is very acceptable at shows to do this, so I went ahead and did it. Kind-of a dorky look, but it gives us more of a "western dressage" appearance I guess....

Otrar Revisited

I pulled the painting of Otrar, (the akhal teke stallion from Turkmenistan) from out of the storage closet last week. I wasn't thrilled with the outcome when I put it away and out of sight in 2012. I couldn't quite put my finger on what I didn't like at the time, so I just stuffed him into a deep dark corner. When I un-earthed him last week the problems were very obvious and were staring me right straight in the face. (It is good to put things away and get a fresh eye on them later on after you've forgotten totally about them...) The issues were RIGHT THERE like a bad penny.

Background and Frame!

After re-painting the background of the picture into a cold tone of blue sky (instead of the old busy brown hills), I got a new frame that helped to accentuate the silver tack and black coat more. I am liking him much better now. It is interesting how some small changes will make all the difference in the world. This little 8x10 painting will now go into my "micro" gallery in the back room to hang on the wall, instead of hiding in the dark nook of the storage closet.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A music video about the Turkmen racer, the akhal teke: