Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SALE

There is a HUGE sale going on over at www.DallyUp.com.  They are moving the warehouse, and are liquidating current inventory so there is less to move.  They have great prices all the time, but these prices are truly unbeatable.  But stock is going quickly, so if you see something you want you need to get it quick!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Playing catchup

Post #3 for the year, so I think I just tied my old record!  That's a bit sad.  Especially since the weather was so nasty for so long - it's not like I really had better things to do.  I think it might have had something to do with my Candy Crush addiction :(

I have been getting out and riding now that the weather is decent again, but still not as much as I'd like.  My one big event this year is to do the MTRA Shore to Shore ride with my dad, and I only have about a month left to get ready!  I've done two 10 mile rides in the past month, but that in no way prepares me for 11 days of 20 miles per day.  I at least can mentally prepare, poor Gus has no idea what he's in for.  It's so hard to find the time to ride between work and the million things the kids are doing.  I've got to crack down though, and start training seriously.  I might actually have to go out after the kids go to bed, instead of sitting on the couch watching TV.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

I hate winter.

This winter sure has been a doozy.  The ice storm before Christmas, with thousands of people without power through the holiday (thank goodness we weren't one of them).  It warmed up just enough for the ice to melt and relieve the load on all the trees, and we managed to get some riding in the weekend after new years.  "Warm" was a relative term - there where lots of layers involved in those very short rides.

Then Sunday the snow started.  And it was serious snow.  I don't know what the final total snowfall was, but it was A LOT!!!  I got a snow day.  I repeat - I got a SNOW DAY.  From work.  I'm not a teacher, I'm an accountant.  In an office.  That's how bad it was. Record low temps also - with the wind chill we were hitting 30 below. My husband went to work - he works for a company that does fire and water damage restoration, so technically he was "essential staff".  He didn't have much he could do, because the majority of the city was shut down.  He got out of the driveway okay with 4-wheel drive in the morning, but the wind picked up and the snow started drifting, and he got stuck in the driveway when he came home.  Even though my work was technically open for business on Tuesday, very few people made it in, including both of us.  By late Tuesday night/early Wednesday our road was finally plowed and we were able to go back to work, and the kids finally went back to school on Thursday.  They were more than ready - 3 weeks off being cooped up in the house is NOT good for young kids.  My house could not have withstood any longer of them being home - they were literally tearing it apart (my son decided to hang from the bar in his closet and pulled the shelf and bar and all the clothes down).  So - back to work and school, life sort of returned to normal.  Now we have a warm front - it's up to 40 degrees right now.  And raining.  Yes, rain on top of the layer of packed snow on the dirt roads.  So guess what we are doing today?  NOTHING.  Can't leave, yet again.  It's warm enough to ride, but there really is no place to ride.  The road is a sheet of ice, and the arena is covered in about 6-8 inches of really slushy snow that's almost as slippery.  I'm so done with Michigan weather.  It's got to be the most bi-polar place in the country.   

Saturday, December 28, 2013

We survived Christmas!

That's actually a pretty big accomplishment this year.  Here in Mid-Michigan we got hit with a pretty big ice storm (freezing rain for about 3 days) last weekend, and thousands of people were without power for Christmas.  Many still are in the dark, even though crews have been working around the clock and have come from other states to help.  I am so very grateful that we did not lose power at all.  I'm not sure how we got so lucky, but I say a little prayer of thanks every time I get on Facebook and see all the people still without power.  I'm especially grateful, since my Christmas present this year was FINALLY getting high-speed home internet!  We live in a very rural area, so until just the last few months, our only options for internet access were dial-up (yeah, right!), satellite (outrageous expensive and very limited), or 4G through our cell phones (slightly less expensive, still limited).  But Frontier finally got their act together and updated the phone lines, so now we get unlimited home internet.  I can finally stream movies!  No more purchasing movies from Redbox, because we rented something and never remembered to return it!  Plus we can now watch TV on our tablets, so the kids can watch Spongebob, and we don't have to suffer :)  I feel like we have finally joined the digital world.

Since that was my online present this year from my hubby, I've decided to borrow an idea from one of my favorite blogs, Hick Chic, and show you my virtual Christmas loot :)  Here's what Santa would have brought, if only I'd been good this year.

First, since I want just about everything from DallyUp.com, a gift card - lets go with $500.  That should cover my wish list.  Might as well dream big, right?
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And a Cute Cowgirl Collection of makeup from Cowgirl Dirt, cuz who doesn't want to be a cute cowgirl?

And this cute and practical gift set from Ranch Organics
HAPPY TRAILS PURSE
to go with my new tub 
Photo: Dear Santa:
We want this under the tree this year.

A new pair of boots from Dusty Rocker Boots
Dusty Dahlia Brown Rose Boots Square Toe
with inlays in turquoise, coral, and leopard print.

I wonder how good I'll have to be to actually get some of these things next year?  At least Santa will know what I want ;)



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas shopping made easy

Like it or not, the Christmas shopping season is upon us.  Black Friday Sale ads are everywhere, along with all the protests about the sales that start before Black Friday.  I've never been one to brave the crowds for the chance I might get a good deal - mostly because I'm not organized enough to know what I need to buy yet.  I'm a last-minute shopper - I go on a shopping spree just a week or two before the holiday.  That used to work pretty well, but now that the kids are a little more specific in what they want, and more likely to want the "hot" toys that sell out, so I have to try to get started sooner.  This year, maybe I will cover all my Christmas shopping with gift cards, since Kroger has this awesome offer of 4x the Kroger fuel points when you buy gift cards.  I love Kroger fuel points - the last time I used my card, I got $0.50 off per gallon!  That's a huge help this time of year, with all the traveling to see family.  Check out the offer here -




Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Herd Changes

I don't know why I struggle so much with blog posts.  I've got lots to say, and it's not that time consuming to type it out, but for some reason I always hesitate.  But now that I have my new business to promote (selling Dally Up and Cowgirl Dirt, see sidebar :) I kind of need to get more on the ball.  I logged in to update the look and the info, and I realized that almost every one of the horses I had pictures of in the sidebar have been sold!  I used to take pride in my matching herd of red-and-white paints, but the color scheme started to go down the drain when my husband (we'll call him H) bought a solid chestnut quarter horse.  He sort of fit in since he had some roan spots, but he certainly wasn't a loud tobiano.  Since then we have sold 3 of the paints, and acquired two palominos, a buckskin and a buckskin paint.  Still a colorful herd, but a totally different aesthetic.  It does fit in a little better with our current lifestyle though.  I haven't been to a horse show since early last summer, and then it was local 4-H shows.  Now we go to rodeos, both youth and open, and speed shows.  It's not easy for me to adjust to being on the sidelines and not getting to compete, but my kids love what they are doing and I want them to enjoy it - so we do what they like instead of what I like.  Hopefully we will be able to work in some ranch horse-type shows so I can get back in the arena.  Or maybe I will have to suck it up and learn how to ride a barrel horse :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hmm, wonder if I can beat last years record of three total posts for the year?
My show season has already gotten off to a good start.  Back in November I decided to set a goal of getting my filly ready for the big holiday showdown open show in the middle of December.  I took advantage of the month of free board my neighbor offered me in return for a favor i had done her, and finally put in a solid stretch of training time.  Molly is the last foal we raised, born the same year as my twins.  She is six now and until November had never had more than 3 or 4 days of consistent riding.  But she's just like her mother, extremely intelligent and relaxed, so she wasn't too big of a challenge.  Her biggest fault is also one of best attributes - shes extremely agile, and when she decides to rear and buck, she means it.  Thankfully, there was no acrobatics under saddle during training or the show.  We really didn't make much progress during the month of riding, but we made huge improvements by the end of the very chaotic three day show.  We only did walk-trot classes because her canter is still extremely unpolished, but i was still nervous, and sort of embarrassed, by our performance in the Friday night warm-up show.  She was flighty, looking around with her head in the air, stopping and trying to leave every time i went by the gate.  Definitely not a horse broke enough to show.  Saturday was a little better, a little more consistent, but i was still wondering why i was doing this.  I had fun, don't get me wrong, but I was questioning why I didn't ride my broke show horse instead (my blogger friend over at mx-paints did get a couple cute pictures though). But by Sunday, the whole showing concept clicked for Molly, and she was a totally different horse.  Head down, consistent and slow, relaxed, totally listening to me - and it resulted in a second place out of 22 horses!  I was pretty happy with how quickly she figured it out, and i have renewed hope that i just might have two broke show horses by the end of the summer.  Our next show will be the end of February, and the goal is to be loping well enough to compete in the 1st year loper division.  
Our pleasure class on Sunday, photo taken by Just Plain Crazy Ranch.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

All that reading is starting to pay off

Obviously I still haven’t found much time to write here.  I’ve barely found enough time to breathe lately.  I don’t know how I get SO busy, but I supposed I would probably get bored with life if I wasn’t going all the time.  It’s almost 4-H Fair time, so every last bit of free time I have has been sucked up with preparations for that – my club is 3 times bigger this year than last, and I had no idea it would be this much more work. 

But all my blog reading has paid off some – 4th of July weekend I actually got to meet one of the lovely ladies who keep me entertained :)  Addy, Taylor and I all went to a Northern Michigan Paint show, and Michelle of Homeschooling, Horses, and Motocross was there with her family.   I recognized her and her daughter (and of course their horse) right away, and I felt a little awkward just walking up and introducing myself to them, but they felt like friends already.  They were just as nice in person as they seem on the web.  Michelle was even kind enough to take some very awesome pictures of me and Addy in leadline and email them to me.  They are posted on her page here.   Hopefully I can make it to some more paint shows this year and hang out some more.

My second pay-off is the book I won from the Great Summer Reading Giveaway on Equestrian Ink.  I won my choice of books by Alison Hart just for leaving a comment. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Too much time reading.....

Not enough time writing.  When I decided to switch my blog from digital scrapbooking to horses and family, I added a bunch of horsey blogs to my Google Reader to get ideas.  Now I spend tons of time keeping up with all those blogs, and never sit down to write my own.  It's not that I don't have things to write about, I just don't have opportunity at the same time as the ideas.  But I really would like to be a part of this great community of bloggers, instead of just an internet lurker, so I'm going to try to actually post more, and even leave comments elsewhere. 

Cale was sick that weekend, so he stayed home with Dad while Addy and I went to the show and had a girls day with Taylor, her mom, and another 4-H girl who volunteered to be our groom.  Addy absolutely LOVED spending the day at a show with Mommy - that made me so happy!  She showed in leadline showmanship and horsemanship, and was all grins.

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I didn't do too shabby myself for as little as I've ridden since last summer - I showed in 3 Western Pleasure classes, and while I didn't place in the two Sweepstakes classes, I did place in the regular age division class - 3rd out of a split class (I can't remember how many were in it).  I was happy with that.  Taylor showed in walk-trot, since it was her first show with Alex, and she was happy with how he did.  He was much more calm and relaxed than either of us expected him to be at the first show. 

Taylor and I both went to the first 4-H training show- it was a little cold, but overall WAY better weather than the first one last year.  I took first in most of my classes, and Taylor got first in showmanship - she's really put a lot of time into practicing and it shows.  I didn't get to go to the 4-H open show due to a rodeo, but Taylor went and ended up High-Point in 9-13.  She has really come a long way in less than a year - Alex really wasn't broke at all when she started on him, and while he's still a long way from finished, he's making good progress.  Now if the rain would just let up so I can ride - I'm planning on another show in a week.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Am I ready for this?

Early in January when I mentioned for the nth time how much I would like to get back to some paint shows and finish out my mare's superior, my husband actually didn't get upset and complain about how he wishes I would do something with the horses that he would enjoy. He actually said Go ahead, but i'm not coming. That's okay, I've got my minion (the 4-H kid using my horse). So with his okay, and the minion's encouragement, I actually went ahead and pre-ordered stalls for an open show this weekend. Its supposed to be a fuzzy show, and I hope they mean it, cuz my horse is FUZZY. That's what happens when they spend the winter in a snow-filled pasture. I've ridden 4 or 5 times in the last 2 months, and the only riding I've done in the last two weeks is 20 minutes today, bareback with just a halter. Am I crazy or what? But I've paid for the stall (2, minion is riding also), the farrier, and the coggins test, so I have to go. I know my horse will be exactly the same as she always is. I just hope there aren't too many slick-coated horses from heated barns. I'm just going for fun and practice, so by the time the paint shows get here, I wont be so rusty anymore.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Testing the droid

Sorry I've been MIA so long, it been a busy summer and fall, with really no sign of slowing down anytime soon. But I just had to try to post something from my awesome new R2D2 droid phone. So far it has been able to completely replace my little netbook for fun (with the exception of my digital magazine subscriptions, damn you zinio.com!) I still need the netbook or desktop for real work, but I no longer need to tote the netbook and all its accessories everywhere I go.
As far as horse news, I wrapped up a pretty successful getting-back-into-it show season with an equestrian team alumni meet. That was tons of fun, even though it rained ALL day and I didn't place in a single class. It was worthwhile just to see old friends and reminisce. I've got next years date already on the calendar! The kids went to their first rodeo of the new season last weekend- I upped the number of events they compete in, and I'm glad I did, because they both ended up with all-around trophies! They were so proud!
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rodeo Finals

Another rodeo season is over - this past weekend was the finals for the National Little Britches Rodeo Association of Michigan, held at Tyler's Arena in Ovid.  My kids competed, but I doubt they understood the concept of "finals".  They were just having fun like they always do.  They have really gotten into it in the last few months, and have asked to get more gear and to actually practice a little bit.  They love being just like the big kids more than anything. 

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They really enjoyed getting to go out in the arena for the grand entry this time, and hearing their names called.

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And of course, Cale thinks he's pretty hot stuff because he rides sheep

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Addy is happy with any excuse to ride her "Baby Cookie"

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Art and I both enjoy the fact that we get to participate with them and bond with them through a sport and a lifestyle we both love (it is how we met, after all.

DSCN0616 DSCN0620 Probably the biggest benefit of it all, though, is the sportsmanship that they're learning.  Rodeo is a pretty tight-knit family, and Little Britches is no different.  The kids all cheer each other on and help each other out.  A perfect example came when Cale was watching another little boy practice his roping - he kept missing, and Cale said "he doesn't have a glove, he needs a glove," and he took his off and handed it to the kid (who caught on the very next throw!)  That's a life lesson that will last.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Talented Young Artist

A few months ago, one of the teen members of the County 4-H Horse Leaders Committee that I sit on made an offer to do some paintings - first one free and then charged for any additional, and the money would go back to the County 4-H Horse Program.  I sent her a couple pictures, some of my horses and a couple old ones of my mom's horse.  The one she chose was a picture of the first horse my mom raised, with her first foal (I think the artist was biased, her horse is a gray Arabian mare, just like my mom's :).  She gave me the resulting painting just in time for me to give it to my mom for Mother's Day.  My mom was very happy with it, and so am I - I think I'll be sending this young lady some more pictures. I look forward to seeing what she'll do with my Paints!
If you'd like to see more of this talented young lady's artwork, visit her blog here.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Allergies

Considering all the challenges my kids faced from the start of their life, being born 3 months early, I consider them (and me) to be very lucky that their only complications now is that my son suffers from allergies and fairly severe asthma.  After several apparent allergy-induced asthma attacks last summer and this spring, we were finally referred to an allegist a couple months ago and got testing done - he's allergic to cats, dogs, mold, and ash trees.  At least he's not allergic to horses!  The doctor loaded him up with medications - a maintenance inhaler to take twice a day, every day; a rescue inhaler for attacks, Singulair to take every night, and Claritin to take every morning.  Luckily our insurance paid for all of it, but even better - a week after that trip to the doctor I got my latest bzzAgent campaign kit (see the badge in the sidebar for more info about this awesome program) for Children's Claritin!  I got a free sample box and a whole bunch of coupons for $3 off.  I tried it out, and I have continued to buy the OTC grape chewables instead of refilling the prescription - mostly because the prescription is for a liquid, and at 6 am before any of us are really awake, a chewable pill is a whole lot easier than measuring out a tablespoon of liquid.  My son seems to think it tastes a whole lot better too.  The best part - it seems to be working.  Both kids spent most of the day at the show last weekend sitting in the bleachers of the indoor arena without any ill effects - just a few months ago, we couldn't go to indoor horse events because my son would be wheezing within half an hour.  I haven't noticed any side  effects yet either.  If you want to know more about Children's Claritin, check out their facebook page.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why do we do this?

I asked myself that question several times last weekend while I struggled to get ready for my first circuit horse show in 2 years (and only the 2nd in 4 years).  Why do I do all this work, put myself through all this misery?  Soaking wet from washing my mostly-white Paint mare.  Exhausted before I was even done washing her (mostly because I spent the whole day working at a 4-H show, and didn't even start washing until 7 pm).  I intended to wash her tail and face in the morning, but after fighting with a stuck truck and trailer for an hour, I ran out of time.  I managed to get to the show grounds just in time to hike all the way to the other side of the fairgrounds to get entries done while (thankfully!) my 4-H student and a friend got the horses ready, hike back, quickly change clothes, and get to the ring for the kids's lead-line class. At least the kids had a ball getting to ride Mommy & Daddy's horses, and the smiles on their faces made that part of the day well worth while.  When I get pictures ordered from the photographer, I'll post them (since I was leading a horse, I didn't get any pictures with my own camera).  But then I had to hurry and get my clothes changed again to get ready for Horsemanship.  Trying to get into too-small show clothes in 90 degree heat is not an easy thing.  I had checked before the show to make sure I still fit into my chaps, but I assumed that if they did, everything else would too.  WRONG!  My slinky shirt clung to me in all the wrong spots, and rhinestones were popping off it left and right.  The show pants that go under my chaps definitely did not fit, not even close.  I put my jeans back on, and with the help of 4-H girl's mom, I got my chaps on.  Then realized that my chaps, even though they were zipped, were smaller and shorter than my jeans - the jeans stuck out the bottom!  And I couldn't bend over to put my boots on.  I just said Screw It! and took the chaps off, the slinky shirt, and the matching vest, and went back to the shirt I wore for lead-line (recently purchased with my daughter's matching shirt, it actually fits).  I couldn't just call it a day and go home, since classes had already been paid for, but at least I could be comfortable.  I felt greatly outclassed going into horsemanship with all these skinny girls (most closer to 20 than 30) and their sparkly outfits.  Why am I here again?  Than I totally botched my pattern.  I was seriously considering having my husband come pick me and the kids up and take us home to play in the sprinkler, then just come back and pick up 4-H girl and the horses when the show was over.  But she convinced me to stay, and after I ate lunch I was in a better mood.  I decided I didn't have anything to lose, I was already there, and I might as well enjoy the time to ride my horse, since I don't get to do that much.  I'm very glad I did stay, because the afternoon went a whole lot better.  I might have looked outclassed myself, but my horse (Annie) definitely wasn't.  She gave me beautiful rides in both Sr Western Pleasure Jackpot and 19-34 Western Pleasure, and we were rewarded with a 3rd in Jackpot (won $17) and 1st under both judges in the age group!  What a fantastic feeling when I heard my name called in first!  That's when I really remembered why I do this - when my horse and I are really in tune and get it right, and get rewarded for it, it feels so good.  That's what we all strive for.  I think I'll be going to another show soon - but maybe I'll do a little more planning ahead.

So busy, but at least its horsey

The last several weeks have been so busy I had trouble keeping track of what day it was.  But I've gotten to spend plenty of time horseback (at least compared to recent years), so I'm okay with the busy if that's the reason.  The weather has tried hard to stop me from enjoying my horsey time, but it hasn't succeeded yet. 

The first weekend in May, I was supposed to meet several friends from college to go trail riding - all but one chickened out because the forecast called for rain.  The two of us went anyways, even though it was still raining when we left home.  But when we got to the state park, the sun came out, and we had a beautiful, dry 3 hour ride. 

I didn't get a chance to ride again until Thursday, the day before the 4-H training show (my first show in 2 years with Annie).  And of course, when I got her out of the pasture, I noticed that one of her front shoes, just put on the week before, was VERY loose.  Thank goodness my farrier happened to be in the area, and he stopped by and fixed it that night!  The day of the show, the weather struck again, bringing thunderstorms and pouring rain that caused all the but one of my 4-H kids to cancel coming to the training show that night.  But I had been planning on going for several weeks, and I wasn't bailing out, so I loaded up and left while it was still raining.  Thankfully it was a "no show clothes allowed" show, so I didn't have to worry that anything would get ruined.  And we got to ride indoors, even though it was a small arena, it was dry.  A few brave souls still showed up (the thunderstorms let up just in time), and we all had lots of fun.  Here's a slide show of pics from the night.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

little horsemen


My dad really struck gold when he found this pony for my kids. She's young (6 years old) and hasn't been spoiled yet, but she is a total sweetheard and takes care of her precious cargo. I'm sure it helps that my kids have no fear and know who's boss - they may be little, but they are mighty! They can't even reach the stirrups in their teeny, tiny pony saddle, but I think it's better that they learn without that crutch anyways, they will be better riders for it. Now if I could just get them to stop dropping the reins whenever they get distacted! I did finally start tying one of the latigo straps in a loose loop around the rein (it's a single rein) so that if they do drop it, it doesn't slide up to the pony's head, and she can't step on it if she tries to eat.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

This month's Horse & Rider Gallop Poll is whether or not you would loan your horse out for youth competition - specifically for things like the Youth World Cup and college Equestrian Team events.  My answer, based on personal experience, would certainly be yes.  I loaned out on of my horses last year to a girl in my 4-H club, and she's using that horse again this year, and now I've loaned out another one.  Both horses still live at my house and I provide all their care and feed, but the girls come ride, reimburse me for any special expenses I wouldn't otherwise incur, and do a lot of the barn work for me (this in itself makes it worthwhile!).  But the biggest benefit I see is the satisfaction in knowing that I am helping a child who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunities I had as a youth.  I consider myself to have been very blessed to grow up with plenty of horses in my backyard and parents who were willing, and capable, of allowing me to pursue this very expensive hobby.  The impact that horses had on my life is greater than even I will probably ever realize.  Another bonus is seeing my horses succeed, even though I'm not the one doing it with them.   Case in point, last summer at the 4-H fair when Harmony carried her rider to a 1st place finish in Western Pleasure.  She didn't become a show horse until that summer, at 15 years of age.  I always new she had potential, because she is a very sweet and smooth natural mover, but my husband had had her since she was a yearling, and all he was interested in was "cowboying."  But when Harmony gave a beautiful ride in that class, and deservedly took the blue, I almost cried with pride.  I don't know why - I'd only ridden her myself just a few times, I certainly couldn't take credit for training her, and I hadn't given her rider any more time that I had given to any other girl in the 4-H club.  But that was my horse, and I was proud of her achievements.

  Here's an example of getting those kids doing my "dirty work" for me - they don't mind getting covered in horse hair during shedding season, and six hands, even little ones, make pretty quick work of it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

1st solo rides

I just had to share these pics of my kids from last weekend - riding their pony really all by themselves for the first time.

I had just bought them helmets too, so I felt a little better about letting go of the lead and letting them figure it out on their own.  And I was glad they picked out the matching camo helmets (gray for him, pink for her, the Troxel Legacy, discontinued), because they were on sale!

My Perfect Horse

It was such a nice day yesterday, and one of the few weekdays that my husband was actually home, that I thought instead of going to the gym after work, I'd go straight home and get the kids and hubby and head of for a nice nature walk. Great thought, but he was definitely not on the same page. I got home to find the kids still in pjs, and hubby ambushed me as I came in the door to help him with a spreadsheet for his latest construction project. I'm an accountant, so I look at spreadsheets all day long - really not what I wanted to do as soon as I got home. I instantly started to get cranky, so I decided to go outside and ride before I got outright bitchy. I've only ridden maybe 3 times since last July, and every time has been on my little 4-year old filly that I'm just starting out. It's a real struggle to find time to ride when I'm basically a single parent during the week, and crazy busy on the weekends. I decided to get out my "old" (she's 10) show mare, since I just wanted a nice relaxed ride, not a training session. I had just read a blog entry last week about finding the perfect (for yourself) horse, and I got to thinking about how Annie really is the perfect horse for me, even though I seem to be the only one who really likes her. I've owned and ridden ALOT of horses in my life, so I have plenty to compare her too.

I found her almost by accident while shopping for a new show prospect in 2004. I was looking for a two-or-three year old filly with good bloodlines and ready to start, something I could ride right away but without the finishing that would put it out of our price range. What I found was this tall, flashy sorrel tobiano mare, 4 years old, started in western pleasure but bred as a 3 year old and never shown, at least not APHA. She failed the pre-purchase exam due to lameness on that day, but I bought her anyways because I just had a good feeling about her, and she has stayed sound, dispite crappy feet (white, soft, and with a club foot). She was close enough to finished that I was able to show her yet that fall, and by the next summer (without much riding over the winter since I didn't have an arean), we were winning western pleasure at APHA shows. Within a year after purchasing her, we had earned ROMS in 4 events, and were very close to a Superior in Amateur WP. But then the next spring, I got pregnant with triplets and spent most of the year in the hospital. 3 weeks after my babies were born (3 months premature), while they were still in the hospital in incubators and hooked up to all kinds of tubes, I was desparately in need of something other than the hospital. So I got out my mare, rode her a few times, and took her to a big paint show that was close by. We didn't place, but I didn't feel too out of place either. She was steady and consistent, even though she hadn't been ridden more than a couple times in the last year. Now all I do is an occassional open or 4-H show and ride during my 4-H club practices, but I always know I can pull Annie out of the pasture and hope on, and I know exactly what kind of ride I will get - and it's one I love. My husband doesn't like to ride her - she's too sensitive. I love that about her - she moves slow and easy, but there is nothing lazy about her. I can put any of the 4-H kids on her and know that she will respond in the right way to what I tell them to do. I don't mind her weird whinny even though my husband thinks she sounds like a cow. I enjoy anything I do with her, and I feel like I've bonded with her better that any horse I've had in the past. I can't say that she has a home for life with me, because if someone ever wanted to buy her I'd have a hard time turning down money, but I'm sure going to enjoy her while I do have her.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Horse Lover iPhone App

My cousin sent me this link to an iPhone/iTouch app that his company has created. This is something that I would have absolutely loved as a kid - I drove my parents crazy as it was with a horse trivia book I had. I don't have an iAnything, so I can't test it out, but if anybody tries it, please let me know if you like it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Falling off is fun!

At least it is when your 3 years old, wearing thick snow pants, and fall off a little pony into a foot of snow.  That's what my kids discovered this weekend while riding their pony.  After Addy stopped giggling, she told me she had to "get back in the saddle."  Have I got the coolest little cowgirl, or what?  The whole enterprise was not nearly so much fun for Mom.  Tromping around in melting snow that's almost knee deep is quite a workout.  By the time I could convince the kids to be done, I was way too tired out to ride my own horse.

I wanted to share my latest photo book that I just received in the mail last week - view it here.  I created it using digital scrapbook designs by BoolandDesign and templates by Simply Yin Designs, and had it printed by MyPicTales.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Long Live Cowboys (and Cowgirls)

This past weekend was the 41st annual Spartan Stampede Rodeo.  Since my husband & I are both MSU & Rodeo Club alumni, we always attend.  It used to be a big party weekend, before we had kids and got old (as the pictures a friend recently posted can attest to, and no, I'm not sharing those!)  This was the first year that the kids were old enough to really get into it.  Cale was pretty serious about it, getting all deck out in full cowboy regalia, from Daddy's 4-H Rodeo trophy buckle to his own custom hair-on chaps (made from left over material from his cousin's custom bull-riding chaps). 

DSCN0169 Everybody thought he was just adorable, and I have to agree, but I'm a little biased.  Addy wasn't quite as excited - even though they both got new cowboy hats Saturday morning specifically to wear to the rodeo, she didn't like hers and wouldn't wear it.  They enjoyed the rodeo itself, cheering for all the riders and dancing along with the music, but I think they're favorite part was riding the mechanical bull afterwards.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Blog Refresh & Back in the Saddle

I finally went ahead and deleted all my old posts so I can give this space a little better direction.  I've been spending all my blogging time updating events on my other blog, MichiganHorseEvents, and I really want to write a little about what I'm doing with my horses and my kids.  I went to the MSU 4-H Benefit Clinic last weekend, and it really got me pumped up to get back in the show ring, and to get my 3-year-old daughter in there with me.  I even picked up a matching pair of shirts for lead-line at the tack sale.  They both need some repairs and alterations, but it's a start.  Addy and Cale both did some Little Britches rodeos last summer, and absolutely loved it, but I'm not ready to give up my own competition, so hopefully they will enjoy showing just as much.  My hubby won't be thrilled since he's not crazy about the horse show scene.  He wants us to find something else that the whole family, including him, can enjoy with the horses, but every time I try to get him out to ride, he's got work or hunting, or he's just too tired.  I actually got out and rode yesterday in the 6 inches of snow.  I really want to get my 4 year old filly, Molly (A Special Lullaby), going and start showing her this year.  I rode her a little bit last year, but didn't really put much time on her because she's so tiny.  She's still only about 14h now, and she's very petite, so she looks like a yearling.  She's not likely to grow much more either.  But she's got good bloodlines, and a great mind, so she will hopefully make a good horse for Addy (who's tiny for her age too).  Another reason I want Addy to start showing instead of barrel racing, because one thing I doubt Molly will be any good at is speed events!