Friday, April 17, 2015

Its Spring ~ Its Show Time !

We have been preparing for our Spring show schedule for months. Through the wind, rain, snow and cold... of course the FIRST show of the season "shows" just how much you prepared! The first show butterflys in your gut.... also in theirs caused the few incidents you fooled yourself into believing were not going to happen to you!  Lets start with the trailer loading... or lack their of. Working through that you get to the show and your horse is all puffed up .... so you have to work it out of him. Now relaxed and walking around checking things out... well you are feeling pretty good... UNTIL your ride time.... and it just never works itself out.... tripping and stopping and going and awful transitions.... hiccupping along... even falling outside the boundaries of the dressage arena because he decided NOT to bend and yield.... makes you feel like you cant possibly do anything right that day.
ITS WONDERFUL! Makes you want ot get right back out their and do it again! NOT! So much work needing to be done. The work so much better at home.... and it looks like you never rode at all when you bring them to the show! FRUSTRATING...

The day before that was your first cutting show on your new cutting mare hopeful. TIME and money spent on New tack new this new that... (actually new to me but used because it was all I could afford) and making sure to make time to get aquainted with your horse... trail riding ... working on refining, just being with her.... that is all part of the relationship needed to get the job done when show time comes, or so you think. Well, all is going absolutely perfect... UNTIL... you drop your rein and let her go on that cow. HOOOOOOOOOO WEEEEEEEEE you better hold on or your gonna hit the dirt....
I could  not hold her back off them cows.... she wanted to eat them alive! So unlike her. As when she is at Kings working cows she minds her P's n Q's even with her snaffle in. I now know that it was time to renig on the snaffle and get serious with a correction port for any future riding. No more nice momma... its time to roll!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I am a photographer, I hate to say that because there is a stigma, or an expectation associated with that label. I tend to get all these shots that others would miss or just dont try for... I cant NOT whip my phone out and get these shots... but if I were a photographer with big guns... I couldnt have caught all these shots that I sooooooooooo enjoy snapping!

How can you not enjoy reviewing these goofballs? I love them all especially when their personalities come out! Most are of Charlie because he is the most expressive natured... but on occassion I catch the others too and I like to put captioning with them.... because you can almost hear what they are saying!






 

  

 

 

Another weekend .... another barrel show...

Out of all the diciplines I have played a part of ... I have to say that NBHA is the most frustrating structually. No matter which equine sport you choose, all of them will have their political interests, favoritism or the who you know formulas. NOT so much in this particular timed sport. If you have never barrel raced except in gymkhana shows you would be severely dissappointed to learn that your 15.489 time (which is a great time btw) fell "through the cracks" or also referred to as "in the weeds" so to speak and YOU get no money & no recognition. ????? Really? YES really.

Out of 84 horses the fastest time of the day only got a check for $185 and unless you plan on being the fastest horse of the day every time.... there is that chance you will get nothing for your efforts. That is interesting to say the least. Some days I cant get over that fact but most times I just try not to care. It sure does wear on oneself if you are working your horses to keep them in shape, feeding and caring for them the best you can, purchasing more expensive pads or saddles to make them more comfortable and therefore apply themselves better. Not to mention the costs involved in just playing the game. Some can argue the facts that its the same in all sports and say "you gotta pay to play" but if you work your tail off and are better than everyone else in your field the judge isnt going to overlook you without getting his neck on a chopping block. Of course that is just my common sense opinion.

Yesterday was a good day regardless, as I had a clean run at 16.5 and I barely started running at the gate as I was giving my eyes time to adjust to the indoor from the sunshine.... and didnt realize just how short the chute was lol! Well ... live and learn. Every pen is different, I need to be ready and more pliable! I have to admit I have never felt more at home in that 17" cutting saddle! I know it was a crazy move to give up my light barrel saddle but it was cramping my style and throwing my balance way off... this was my second time running my heavy sticky leather cutter but I need the room to get centered around those barrels because Sally will give you whip lash like an elastic. She is not nice about getting around them cans... she turns and burns and you better be with her or she will leave without yer!

Looking forward to this new season with a new district and new faces and new arenas... another new endeavor! Only to be compounded by adding my cutting show schedule to my barrel racing schedule and then sprinkle with a few jumping shows or trail obstacle shows or clinics and there it is ... B.U.S.Y.!

Only 3 Shows in NBHA NC06 to qualify for this years State Finals at the Bob Martin Ag Center
So I better be running... and working on getting to the first barrel and around them faster than THIS!

video








Friday, March 27, 2015

How many horses is TOO MANY?????


We all have to ask ourselves this at some point, that one day, you find you have over extended, is this  all worth it? I was thinking, " I have the space, the time, the money and the know how to work with this horse and then possibly sell it for a profit."  WELL not always the case & I was lucky enough to get through it unscaved. I have been in that situation before when 5 horses was too many... at that time I only had a 5 stall barn.... now I have 14 available stalls.... and behold I had 13 horses!
See a pattern emerging? My advice is: know your limits and dont build stalls "just in case" you may need them... or you may find yourself filling them like I did! Its all fun until the work kicks in and you are doing most of it yourself.

Our inventory was:  2 geriatric horses that moved over from out to pasture with a 3rd horse that used to barrel racer until her mind blew up. Now she really can only safely be used for trails and happily added them to my already at the barn two eventing appaloosas. THEN we had purchased 3 finished barrel horses, but before that got talked into a 15yr old double reg. AQHA with pedigree to die for BUT needed alot of work. Not long after that brought home a 2yo colt that needed to be gelded and broke to ride but was built like a tank. Yet that wasnt enough... a grey gelding with a CEO pedigree tickled our fancy and by the time the spring rolled around to finalize that deal he had been dumped out to pasture with an old injury and close to death, therefor we couldnt say no because well... he needed us to nurse him back to life. By then, we acquired another horse that someone thought they wanted but decided they didnt, oh BUT she had potential... but wasnt finished. Ahhh soooo wait...  we still needed something else.... a 1D barrel horse ya know because we THOUGHT we could actually ride one.... but we couldnt and THAT my friends was the straw that broke the camels back.... thank GOD! .... were you counting???? no we werent either at the time.... but THIRTEEN horses later we were scratching our heads thinking.... ??? now what?

You see? Where does it end? You have to make a decision... keep a bunch of horses that serve no purpose or let them GO and be a blessing to someone else. We only have so much time in a day and I can tell you from experience that you either just let them live beyond thier expiration date of usefulness under your loving care or get them fit right and move them out... and your time could be better spent ENJOYING yourself having a wonderful partnership with a few talented hopefuls.

I chose the latter... and we made some changes! We are now PROUD to say we have many empty stalls and each horse has their own paddock. Which is a whole other worry trying to get personalities to mesh ... which was an expensive lesson to learn. We still have baggage regarding those experiences .... and will not have to learn that again. The fencing was another issue that caused an expensive lesson one hopes never to experience again either. So life is better SIMPLIFIED! Dont kid yourself.... every pretty color out there in those pastures is nice to see BUT they are a living breathing creature that has needs, many needs... and YOU are the one that responsibility lies upon.

Both geriatric geldings are in loving homes. 
One actually is  just up the road with the trail only x barrel racer mare. 


 




The gorgeous double registered Smart Little Lena mare went to a great trail riding family. 





The lovely roan mare we acquired was reworked as a cow horse 
and will be shown by our friend this year with us in Southern Stockhorse Association. 



My eventing appy mare found a forever home 
back up north and will be competing this summer with her 13 yr old rider. 

 












The colt was gelded and I broke to ride, put some miles on him and he will be hopefully barrel racing with new owners.

The buckskin that broke the camels back... he is on trial with a friend that is doing wonders with him we just couldnt.

The grey is still in recovery,
stall bound for 5 more months and then
will be an amazing barrel horse.




We still have to get one more eventer to his new new home and we will be down to the nitty gritty.  


Of course.... I have neglected to say and save until last ... is that we got ONE more.... a finished cutting horse to complete our horse family.... but hey after making so much progress and a deal crosses your path ... you sometimes need to indulge on occassion!


 Everything works out... eventually and we keep the creme d'le creme!




LOOKING FORWARD TO ENJOYING OURSELVES THIS YEAR!

 
















WOW ~ time DOES fly when your having fun!



Well here we are.... a typical day in NC ... blue skies and a big spotted nose!
Baby ~ has been the most amazing filly I have enjoyed watching grow up and be amazing!


She has been there done a LOT....  
barrel raced, trail ridden, shown in hand in ApHA circuit in her early years....
 she even had 5 national points in halter! 


Her love is jumping... a natural in dressage...


I will miss her endearing personality!


Her beautiful inquisitive looks... & her nonchallant attitude!


 
She has been enjoyed by everyone! Students foremost, family, friends... anyone can ride her.



She has returned to the cold north of MASS to be a blessing to a young eventer hopeful!
 and will be the apple of Lyndsay's eye this year! 



Baby... my first and only Baby.... I love you and you are Blessed to be a Blessing!
ENJOY every day, you are a beautiful soul!













Friday, March 29, 2013

A Morning On The Farm

Barb wire makes for a lovely visual in the foreground 
I just love the raw rusty nature of it 


The field in the background darted with the horses
while Chloe plays with her ball


The club house looks lonely without any activity 


But still from afar looks lovely against the blue sky

Onward to cleaning up and preparing for Spring
Leaves, branches and horse manure... are forever plentiful!
Looking forward to a warmer day!