Thursday, May 1, 2014
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Saturday, December 28, 2013
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?
And a Cute Cowgirl Collection of makeup from Cowgirl Dirt, cuz who doesn't want to be a cute cowgirl?
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Monday, January 23, 2012
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
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
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.
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
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
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.
They really enjoyed getting to go out in the arena for the grand entry this time, and hearing their names called.
And of course, Cale thinks he's pretty hot stuff because he rides sheep
Addy is happy with any excuse to ride her "Baby Cookie"
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.
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.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
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.
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
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.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
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.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
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
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).
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.