Monday, March 28, 2011

Old friend remembered

Yup, good ol' Vicks VapoRub.
While digging in the "Medicine drawer" I found this faithful friend from Childhood. While the container is plastic now, instead of the cool Cobalt Blue glass, the effects remain soothing and they were when mom slathered you with it, while you recovered from a bad cold. I did just that, slathered my chest throat and nose with Mr.Vicks.
Since last week, after that sale then Windy ride, I've been kicked to the curb(bed rather) with what I thought was Strep..then after self medicating for 4 days with Homeopathic's and lots of tea and bed/couch seems to have moved downward.  I am not usually down this long, having a pretty strong /healthy constitution. But whatever this is- took over my whole body-throat first!

My constant companion, Freyda cat, has been mimicking my moves on the couch.

Her furry toes gave me smiles, as she soaked up the little bit of sunrays we had last week.

She purred and made sure I had everything I needed, accoring to her,  to heal up~

I got to see the mare once, mid week, for about 2 hours of "hair removal", and grazing.
My mare too, made sure I was calm and relaxed, by sending me those vibes herself~

Something was definitely up with her at first, as I collected her from the field. Once we started to walk through the filed to the gate towards the stable...she began LEAPING like a gazelle-on a 12 foot line! Yea..imagine that. I decided quickly to stand still and let her leap, as she did, in counter clockwise rotation completely around me till she came to my right side again.  I knew at this point my disapproving "pressure" towards her would make her escalate. I was being the way I wanted her to control. Once she came around ( took about 3 leaps) I put my arm in the air to signal her to stop, and I turned also to face her. She did. I kept my arm in the air, till she put her head down and snorted...I then did a series of start- stops on the way to the gate. She was good then.

After I brushed her and then took on myself, all the flyaway shedding hairs, we went for a walk to hand graze some of springs new grasses.
 We got to meet the 31 yr old retired endurance mare Zee. Wa always (usually) lowers her head to meet others, verses up and over a fence. I take it to be submission.

"What now ma?"

 Answered that question herself...back to grazing!

So, now I am going into the "Urgent care" nearby. I don't have a proper Dr. yet since, we are in the hospital system now. I have done all I can, with all the resources natural..I need someone else to help me through. I am NOT a drug taker and I kinda think that's probably the route they will head me on the way home(if that is the case) I shall pick up some live"Probiotics" to add the the arsenal for recovery!

If I can recover enough...the gal that Owns THEO, the large Black Warmblood gelding Wa mare pastures with here

She is going to help me get back into shape by lunging me on her Theo, stirrup/rein less starting sometime this week.  Then, as I ready my mare again for the arena and a saddle...she'll lunge me on her, hopefully. I am excited.~
Off to urgent care I go...see ya all later..maybe I'll have the energies to focus more- and catch up with you all!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

TACK SALE I survived

First of all, oh my...getting to the tack sale, in a town nearby, to set up near 6 am was a most difficult task for me- since I went to bed near midnight, after tagging all the items, the Friday eve before.
I was to have had the "tagging/pricing" done the Monday before. But the unforseen storm of the  previous days ride, had me pretty wiped out.
The mare and me went back, 2 days later, to see the redecorated trails.

Trees were sideways and then we saw the ones that had broken near us, as we got pelted with sideways rains, and that loud, fierce wind!

They did not seem all that scarey now...

...but that day, as the sounds of the wind hitting the treetops  and the loud cracks of them shattering and flying from the tree....

...was a very terrifying moment for the mare!

Mee too, as My thighs went into lock down mode-around my mare when she whirled and I quickly directed her, by pulling the reins away from the land bridge . She then flew in a scared canter away from the bridge with leg eating  holes.   AMAZING HOW your mind can flash so many things in a seconds time, for the right decision to be made in the same instant! I all cost, don't allow her to run across that bridge!

All that to say... My feet and ankles took a beating from jumping off the mare ( many times that day) and having her pull me up the uneven, slick hill home, then running with her as well. So the next day Monday, was not a very  organised or energised day!   I sat on the couch with Freyda cat on my lap, ice on my ankles and tea in my hand-recovering.
I had creative  plans for the price tags. It included going through the horsey/tack catalogs to find the  photos of items being sold , so there was a reference to original costs and also-shipping if they thought they'd want to buy new.

I have to say, my prices for the quality tack items, was very good. I take excellent care of my tack.
Some of it was a quick fix, for the current stable's needs at the time. Ot a quick fix for a saddle i was trying to get to work.   The LG metal ROLLING TACK CART ( upper rt) was actually bought for me  by the Private Barn owner, for her place. She had no tack room and I had tack!!! It was excellent and I used it in the next stable as well. But since, I've moved to facilities that have tack rooms/lockers, like the one I am currently in. So, the ROLLING TACK RACK is taking up space in our basement! My husband was all too happy to see something leave the house!

The woman that bought the ROLLING TACK RACK at this TACK SALE was so funny...she was practically drooling...she had her cell in her hand, calling her husband. She took a photo of it, sent it to him and asked , "Could  he make one, that rolled, for $90.00??!!" 
I had it staged well ,with a saddle on the top rack, pads on the second one,a  bridle and girths, martingale hanging on the back hanger.  It also had a tray in the bottom w/ grooming tools, and leg wraps and jodper boots.  I used it well, and it was time for it to GO!!
The husband said, "Honey, you buy that one, I'm not making one like it!" Good!!!

While some of the items were in such good order and I will probably still use them in the future, BUT =I need my saddle worse!
 It was tremendously BUSY at this sale...the vendors set up quickly and come around anytime from 7am on...then the real people come through at 8:30am till 2 pm.
 I NEVER SAT DOWN ONCE!! (save the rest room stops -twice)

My inventory was:
Dressage Bridle
Dressage Saddle
Sheepskin Half pad
3 cotton dressage pads (sold 1)
A set of 4 Pegusus legs wraps
tack trunk
2 Aisle guards (10-12 foot)for the arena entrance or run in stalls ( 1 spoken for now, at my stable)
2 Bits
22" black Mecate Reins w horsehair/ leather slobber straps
M no turn bell boots
grazing muzzle new
Dover Shipping Boots horse  size horse
2 silver Western Belts ( sissy's, 1 sold)
2 Dressage girths(1 sold)
Professionals Choice Western girth
English martinagle
 Pair of 40 yr old "Hippo" brushing boots" ( my sissy's)with buckles
( this item was picked up the most and thought over the longest...but never sold!- I wish I had my camera for  all the people that pondered over these brushing boots. They were in pretty good condition, but the brand is probably extinct and it really threw folks off. Interesting folks, like these two gentlemen. Tall and lean, hunter jumper looking guys or even Polo.)

Kerrits show coverall
Rubber reins with running stops
Stubben child leathers
a horsey coat
Jodper boots
Horsey photoFrame

It was really fun to see people find EXACTLY what they sought and for a price they could afford too! At one point...someone was wavering about something and I did the hard sell of telling them how nice it was having the item, that I got a replacement... and I added," this sale was for my new saddle purchase"...they bought! I thanked!!

It was a grueling 5 hours, that went by like practically nothing!! Save the backache of standing upon concrete the whole time. I feel so much worse doing that, than riding bareback -for longer!

And I made near $500 towards the balance of $1,400 for this beauty! The ANSUR Konklusion Multi purpose saddle~

It's being hand crafted for me right now, as I type!
This little gal has a neat testimoney on the ANSUR web HERE to read...she rides in the KONKLUSION saddle I am getting.

All in all it was a fabulous sale...and I am glad that I was allowed to share sale space in the 4H booth of a friend. I sold lots of items for them too. They were sitting talking and taking the $ .I always moved things to better positions and helped folks sit in one of the 4 western saddle s that sold. It's  amazing to me-people get on those little metal saddle stands-on top- of a heavy saddle!!! It held up well though.

I WISH I would have sold my Dressage saddle!! I noticed something...the Western folks( that bought these saddles) were far LESS discerning over all the things I would have been than the few English riders that looked at my saddle were.I mean, "I WOULDN'T "buy a saddle  at a sale like this, knowing all I know about my mare and all the others saddles I thought would work!!!
 I saw 2 folks come in with actual cut-out cardboard paper pieces, of their horses actual wither to back angles. ALL others liked/bought the Western saddles- for what it LOOKED like!

There ya have it!!! Now I send my remaining tack peices to the coast with my sissy. She has a booth at a resale wearhouse..tack does sell well there!!

Wa mare...wake up... I know you hear me...focus now...I've something to tell you...

I am getting closer to giving you a better feeling ride!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Riding with Lioness March

Weekend ride with the barn girls... WINDY-WINDY!!
My stable mate from "Equinemine" blog. Maddy and she, looking on.

This was my stable mate's "Maiden Voyage" with her new trailer and her Maddy mare. She also was trailering another from the stable. I know she was nervous...I was when I first started too...and sometimes now I still can be, wanting for all to go smoothly.

I waited to load mine up till they had theirs inside safely...
It took just a few minutes for the girls to allow the two horses a peek inside and then ask them to go all the way inside. I was so happy they both really trusted their human partners to go ahead into this new -BIG- white box!
Then I went ahead and loaded up mine too, in our rig waiting nearby, with the door, invitingly open.

Wa mare hates to ride alone and she frets and weaves, so I prefer to not have her in there just rocks the whole rig! I prefer to trailer her with someone in the front spot, but this day, we needed to go it alone. I think the two larger warmblooded horses in the stable, are TOO large for my slant load trailer. So we may be traveling alone alot this summer. If I could have been at the stable the day before, I would have dosed her up on the "DAILY CALM" herbs in the night before grain, and the morning of as well. It seems to help alot with the "edge" of her nervousness.
BUT.... I was at the local TACK SWAP is the largest in our area and I'm on the quest to raise enough money to get my new ANSUR Saddle- on time.
I have a trip planned for late MAY and seriously-don't wish to be riding bareback for it!!!
(More on the sale later)

We had three trailers and 4 horses going out this trip. I showed them where to this area was my stomping grounds for the past 2 years. It was, like I said -WINDY as heck- and my mare was coming into season on top of she was in rare form..and having a group of horses is NOT my preferred riding habit. She is so competitive, and quickly  today, she had her adrenaline up. I knew I'd go first and she is an angel TRAILBOSSHOSS  for that position..head low, neck longer, ears perked forward and attentive to where we are going, ..striding out. She usually sets  such a walk pace, others have to trot to keep up.

This trip was to condition on the non muddy, firmer roads. Skye, I call him the "Big Skye", is recovered well from the Tendon injury of last needs to build up muscles and stamina, as most our horses do, after a minimal wintertime schedule of riding. We were getting tacked up and Julie said..I forgot my girth! Well, since I just went through all my tack and considered, but did not sell my "Wintec Dressage girth"- it was in the trailer! YEA, otherwise two of us would be riding bareback!(her more so than me)We got going.

We started out with 4 horses...but our stable owner dropped out and went on home. The roads are service roads to Forest lands. They have gravel surfaces and with our areas soft soils...harder hooves to take the rocks are not easily found. Even Mustang Cazi I ride..who has hooves of steel...gets sore about this time of year, being in and around muddy paddocks.
Her Paint Willow, had all four boots on, like Wa mare did too..but hers  began to twist and she KNEW WHAT THAT MEANT..a pain in the rear..having to get off and adjsut. NOPE, she called it a good trailering day, and went home to ride our" mostly" rock free lands near the stable.

Us girls rode on into the WINDs of MARCH...not too aweful bad as a LION..but more like a Lioness. Sometimes we'd get a nice break in the trees, like this. Bothe Maddy mare and Big Skye were tenderfooted, having only front shoes on, they sought the sides of the road, over the middle.

We only rode out about an hours time, their horses were not in shape to go on further so we all turned around. My mare had a FIT thinking she'd have to be in back and leaped forward, as she does, a little too close to Maddy. My stable mate offered to help with training, weaving in and out and circling...but I was already beat being bareback, and-after the previous days 5 hour tack  sale-a-thon, on concrete.... I wanted to..but I have to be in better condition mentally and physically, to outlast my mare with  patience and calm. I also must pretalk the ride with others...I feel as though I put others off..if they must babysit the High strung mare-o-mine.
 It's easier just going in front or Solo. Washashe does not give in easily and I end up alone most times, either ahead, or sooo far behind that she sees other horses-NOT- to have a walking calm mare. It'as teadious and sometimes stressful/ dangerious..according to where on the trail or road we are.
After 4  years of trying...I'm not too sure  it's worth it, to get all the TB out of her-is that possible? (ha, kidding)
I do have 4 other riding partners that have gone the distance with me,  these past 2 years..the mare is  willing to be in front or back and trade off with them...but it did take time in-each ride to make sure she remained relaxed.

We adventured a bit on the way back. There are two properties for sale in these deep woods. My stable mate went up to one of the houses and barns to check it out~


Up and back down, she and Big Skye went

 At one point, I knew I wanted to allow the mare to stretch her I got clearance to go. We then flew off..what a nice gallop we had! She soon realised though...the other horses were NOT behind us! She neighed and neighed...she rarely does this, but these are "her horses". I got to one of the forest land gates and heard a weird was a truck driving up...humm...the other gals soon arrived too...and we all looked at these intruders, to our quiet ride day.
EARLY for a beer I thought!

They soon were around the gate and I was decidedly hand walking now...we'd try this behind them to start with, I thought. Wa did alright with many "half halts" in my walking, she payed attention and did not rush -oo much. I forgot to put my blue plastic bag in my saddle helps with her keeping a distance when I put it behind my back..she can be so trying sometimes..I use any help i can get to refocus her competitive nature.

Once back at the trailers, the nice, calm  loading ritual began..I loaded my Washashe mare  and then they soon loaded Maddy & Big Skye. Uneventful and reassuring for the future.

The  Maiden Voyage for Julie was a success!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Ride out the STORM

Yesterday was one gorgeous day to go out to the stable. I had been working most the week and missed the mare. There was a little rain and some clouds, but really warm and still. I was a tad hot and thought to leave my coat behind, but took it anyhow.
 Boy am  I glad that I did!

I arrived to a quiet stable as all the horses were out . It LOOKED to be a nice day.
Once I went into the tack room...I noticed the grease board note from a stable mate saying-the arena would be busy from a certain time to a certain time, for a lesson.
OH! I began to breath shallowly...the trainer is one that I -HAVE- no desire to think about, let alone set eyes on again. She was part of my demise at a former, volatile boarding facility. a I can say with certainty, she is my enemy. Her ways, that to me are evil and divisive, I want NO PART OF! Though she may be a talented trainer and gives much to her students- she pitted herself against my mare and me, caused me much grief, again  coming to mind, as I thought of her now.

It really brought up some murky, dark feelings and as I hyper ventilated, ther in the tack room , now wondering if I should leave, or go on a ride? I had very little time to prepare for riding,  the time was near to the lesson. I had arrived unaware of her coming at all! You see, I was not wantiong to "act nice", and probably would gurgle up a growl and hiss.

I quickly collected the mare.. She met me at the this!   I tried to have a chipper attitude, but intended on getting the ----outta the vicinity asap. Routine was discarded. I skipped allowing the mare into her stall for a bite, a pee and a groom..I set to dusting the muddy areas off . Bridle, saddle, girth area's only and WALLA...Off we  went in less than 15 minutes! 
I can't say I was happy doing a quickie groom, but I can say -the mare flinched not at my record time of grooming and tacking..she probably couldn't believe it herself!!

Once on the trail, I redid all the poor tacking up  hastily done in the barn and picked the mares feet. I  mounted and rode down the hill , she was willing. I  planned on Walking with her on the ground, once we hit the bottom of the hill.   We needed to investigate the disintegrating  LAND BRIDGE over the creek.  Her mane was disheveled and muddy...

There were people down there, she noticed with me. She was hesitant, and stopped with head high. 
 I have learned to not push when she is investigating with ears and eyes. If I leave her to it,  I will have a quiet mare, that will soon be willing and ready to move on. Unlike last year, at the "Trail Trials",with a certain time to get through obstacles before we "Timed out".
That forced discovery of new obstacles made her balk and unwilling, as she overloaded with me pushing her to go.
I must  now be full of patience again, for her to feel confident in me again, allowing her the investigative time, like I used to!
 She walked on, shortly after looking and breathing in, what sort of animals they were.
The folks  walking the trails below us lived near and heard of the LANDBRIDGE problems. They had discovered/removed a Beaver's Dam, making the creek flow over the LAND BRIDGE, helping it to fall apart. NOW, we could see the large holes to avoid. I walked her over the bridge and we set new trails I had been wanting to discover.

After crossing the road, and arriving at the first of many ponds in the Fishing Club lands,
we ran across these Canadian Geese that made a standoff to the mare and I.
The mare became very hesitant again. These two geese, they actually took a steps towards us! They made themselves puffy and large.
I knew I had to act fast or I would not be able to convince the mare we were over them , in the order of things.
 I whooped it up, swinging my arms, and acting as if it were a cattle drive- not unlike the impromtu one-LIKE THIS ONE-.. a few years ago, meetimng cattle on the road. Only.. this was a goose drive!
They finally conceded -and yielded the avenue to our trails. The mare was so good to step one step towards them, as they stepped one step away from her!
We watched them swim away in places, we surely would not follow!

                                                                              (phone photo)
Once again, we were on our way. As we headed into a wooded area we'd never been in before, the mare became very uppity. Unusually so-looking back behind her, acting like she wanted to bolt forward. I was alert to her actions, something unusual was afoot or could it be  in the AIR?

We proceeded over a log that was down, a nice one for jumping later on in the summer after this trail dries out. It is on a perfectly straight stretch , nice for cantering  and jumping.

I had to get off...she really was acting badly, as when we went over the log, she jumped it unexpectedly, and cantered a ways before I could pull her up. I had the bitless bridle on and also, had it set to nose piece only. When I got off to remove some brush from the log, for the way home (should we come this way back) I changed the nose piece to under the chin, for a bit of leverage since she was able to run through my seat, voice and bridle aides!

The mare looking back over the log we just flew over....what do you hear, my mare???

 I think it was the strong voice that got her to stop eventually..and while I was on the ground - she was awesome to stay  at my shoulder and not push past me . Also, she moved away from me, as I stepped her direction. She remembered the work we have been practicing!!

We went on and I eventually got on only get off again.  This new trail was rutted with motor bike evidences and it was very slick. So I walked it with her and also marked the directions we had come from, with breaking branches of the trees near the right side of any turn, to show me to go back that way.  We then came to the very pond we had walked near the geese, but now we were on the other side.  AND, what a slick steep hill we had to go up. I decided to use this TEAMWORK METHOD WE LEARNED 2 summers ago. In dicey situations, I have been able to relpy upon the mare using it!
AWESOME, she was awesome! The mare thought for a second to canter up the hill, but I reminded her of my frail human stature, holding onto her tail!
She calmly walked up the hill, as I held onto the  long rein and tail. I am so Proud of her for working with me, in these times of adventure!!!
Once up the hill, sadly, we found a dead end! NOW, goiong down a hill as such as we just came up, is a wee bit harder.

She and I looked at it from above and I told her to take it easy on me please...
She looked back at me, before we decended the slick, steep, hill~

She literally SLID, about the whole way down, with me hanging onto the bareback saddle pad for my upright ballast. She seemingly looked at me at one point-  making sure she did not hurt me.
I couldn't have been happier with her, for again, she was working with me,  not cantering down the hill loosing me.

She stood perfectly still ,after she sidestepped up to the log I was standing on. 
Once aboard, we went awhile and when we hit that particulare area of trail she acted out the first time, she began to get very uppity and I could tell, she wanted to bolt homeward again! This behaviour while alone on solo, is NOT NORMAL for her! WHAT IS WRONG? I felt myself becoming upset and fearful, as this behaviour made me scared- on this slick trail.

I had to breathe and think calming much calmer than she was able to, for whatever reasons. I stopped her, she turned around voluntarily, to calm herself. I asked for a head down, for her to release her adrenaline.
She stood calm with head down for a time. Good girl. I told her so, gave her a treat I remembered to bring along.  I turned her to go again. She went for a short time, but again became so round with excitement.  I stopped her, turned her and took another deep breath- wondering IF we would make it home today??!! 
I knew that I would be fine, I had things up my sleeve- but the time it was taking training, may take more time than light in the day!!! "Though" ,I thought, "we had an extra hour due to Daylight savings time!"

Onward again, and she was able to remain calm this time as I presented her with a "Loosey Goosey body"- and NO FORM WHATSOEVER of resistance or pressure.. that was hard for me bareback!!
 As we  made it to the Jump log, and I decided to dismount. Good choice. We went on down the trail till I found another mounting stump, mounted again and went forth. We only had 20 minutes before the lesson would be done and the Troll gone.

Once out of the woods..she calmed down tremendously so!!
I had seen a large "BARF" on that trail. It looked to be canine and processed food kibble like. I have seen enough cat barf to know what kibble looks like, in that form! So Something seemed to be around, something in the DEEP WOODS to disturb her. Now in the open, she was  good.

We crossed a dike between two ponds and  headed out to the open on a newly graveled road..the surely did look foreboding!!

She was great the whole way back and I thought about the way she had been in the woods... that was a terrible feeling, thinking of being dislodged and having her loose, I was very upset for that behaviour. It was very odd, like I said, for a solo ride!

Now things were fine...and I could feel rain, and some wind rising too. Once we got into the softer footing of the woods you see ahead of us here, we trotted and cantered a little to beat the weather...that seemed to be coming on.

OKAY..this is where it got massively dicey... to remain calm myself, let alone the mare!

We got nearer the stable's trail system, but still were not to the LANDBRIDGE I knew I'd dismount keep the mare from misstepping into one of the holes.
WE HEARD IT FIRSTLY...It sounded as if a jet was coming near us, and from  high up... the mare became pensive and mee too...NOW WE GOT PELTED WITH HEAVY, SIDEWAYS RAINS.
I let her rip, galloping up  the last road.  I stopped her on the downhill, towards the LANDBRIDGE, now insight.  THEN again, the sounds of something really LOUD COMING OUR WAY. I thought to dismount but before I could, It HIT THE TREES VIOLENTLY SO!!! WIND GUSTS OF ABOUT 30-40 miles per hour, I don't know, maybe more..all I know is we saw these massively huge Evergreen trees, say 200 feet away, bending over like straw...the mare and me, we both were looking and CRACK, one or two of them just snapped!  Washashe whirled to take off as the massive, broken tree top flew through the air, scaring us both.
Somehow, (thank you LORD)I had the presence of mind to pull as hard as I could, while she was whirling, to the right, and away from the LANDBRIDGE! She flew, galloping up the road we just came from!
 It was okay, I totally don't blame her for that and as she settled back to a hastened walk - I knew- NOW- was the time to JUMP OFF!

She was not quite as attentive to me on the ground as she had been , but now was not training was living times and getting back to safety times!
We scaled the solid parts of the LANDBRIDGE and then I had to make a decision..mount for the huge hill or trust her to safely pull me up, without bolting. I chose the later, placed the rein on one side of the bridle and put myself behind my mare..she looked at me for a second, I told her to go on and go...she began to pick her way up the slick hill. SHE WAS AGAIN AWESOME, taking care to not go too fast! At the top, were more of these lone, large Evergreen trees, that maybe did not have the root systems to stay upright and DID HAVE LARGE branches catching all the wind!
I prayed again for this stretch of trail...we were OH-SO-CLOSE to the stable! She hesitated not and I then began to run with her, as fast as I could for home, and away from all the overhead trees! MADE IT, WE MADE IT!!! She and I were soaked through, but happily alive.

My stable mate, who took the lesson that day,was in the aisle as I came into the barn. She exclaimed happiness and relief to see me and then told me about her lesson . Her mare had been so good to listen to her too...while the large sliding doors flew up and away from the stable, in that huge GUST of wind. She also told me another stable mate had not returned I was worried. I untacked the mare,  put her wicking, full body sheet on her..and prepared myself to go looking for my stablemate. JUST THEN- she showed up...looking like me, a soggy cat! Praise God...we all were safe and we set out to get all the horses inside with NO POWER and lighting...Lines were down, no doubt, and the fallen trees took them.

All the while, as I drove home again..I prayed thinking of  all the displaced peoples of Japan. This Gusty event, was NOTHING in comparison to the upheaval and losses of life and all known to be normal life, for them.  I am thankful for the survivors and thankful for the assistance the world is offering..and really actually, more thankful they asked this time.

BELOW IS A note from JANE SAVOIE... I signed up to receive her "MOTIVATION FROM MOSHI" online every week.  Moshi  is her wonderful Friesian horse.
I had remembered it as I was very upset with the mare and wondering if I'd make it back from the trail ride, with the new antics she was pulling-solo with me. 
 ALL THE HIGHLIGHTED AND BOLD area' this in my POST, are what I was thankful for over the fact =I was fearful/ upset in some of the ride.


"A winning attitude isn't hard to achieve, but it does take some effort. For some reason, many people find it easier to wallow in negativity than to make the effort to turn things around and be positive. Horses aren't like that. We don't think about the past or the future. We just live now.

I've noticed Jane using the tools she's learned and developed over the years to change her attitude. You see, even Jane has bad days. But she doesn't stay in a bad place. She's learned how to consciously change her thinking, and, therefore, change her experience.change her 

One of Jane's most powerful tools is deciding to have an attitude of gratitude. She'll tell me how much she appreciates me, my soft coat, my powerful muscles, my long, pretty mane, and my work ethic. She'll go on and on about how good my tempi changes are, and how wonderfully my piaffe is developing. Even when I make a mistake, she'll tell me how grateful she is that I willingly try my best. Yes, gratitude is the fastest way to turn a bad day into a great day.

So today, look for things to be grateful for. It doesn't matter if they're big things or small (like the fact that you're breathing!). Just pay attention to all the good stuff in your life. There's no faster way to turn that frown upside down than developing a sense of gratitude!

Now get to the barn! Your horse is grateful for your attention!

Your friend, Moshi"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our Creek Overfloweth

Our rains have begun for springtime~

The pond to the right of us, seen to be slightly greener in color at my mare's mane line, has overflowed the roadway. To the left is a 6 ft or more,  drop off to the creek.
 There is a man made bridge, we must ride over the creek. It is layered  with soil and gravel..over ?
 Lately, since the large Dump trucks, laden with loads of gravel and also the HUGE-O-Logging  equipment vehicles have been up and down - it's wearing thin. It seems to be packing down and  now coupled with Spring rains...ooou, not good.

I noticed it the last time I rode out. My mare was pensive. She does ALWAYS KNOW THE TRUTH. I sometimes think she has work ethic issues..but, it usually has (hindsight is perfect sight) been pain or her instincts, that make her foreboding unwillingness to go or do what I ask of her.

Last fall, as we rode a familiar territory, the mare stopped dead and refused to move forward..I began to sing a silly/happy.."nothing  is there" song. She grudgingly moved forward for me..looking into the forest on the left. SUDDENLY, a man with a machete popped out of the woods !! See,  she was so right! Who would have thought he was in there?!
She knew~!

So back to this day...the mare had inoculations a few days before and I was not sure I should even ride..but thought to go out for 30 minutes only. She told me..she was not sure with that decision, by standing out in her paddock, looking at me as I beckoned her in.

She and I got to the Creek crossing that was overflowed with water..she stopped, snorted and looked. I asked for her to move forward..she did, and all was alright. I gave her a treat for the good efforts and willingness.

Good girl bending around for the treat~

We rode for the short time, as I had arranged with the mare beforehand. When we came back to the  overflowing road/bridge,  she again stopped, put her head down and snorted. I said.."comon' lets go home, it's starting to rain!" She again obliged me with the willingness to go..but this time, as we hit about the middle of the obscured, watery gave way and she tripped forward into a hole!
I had images of Lytha and Baasha in Germany...falling through the bridge!!
She was able to jump out of  the sink hole and remain  upright. Something was not right, and the murkiness did not allow me to actually see that hole developing...yet-

We returned as it began to rain. I  dismounted and took the photo of her waiting for the gate to be opened availing her shelter in the barn and hay... Washashe mare looked so full of disdain for the documentation!

 One of my stable mates offered to take a pic with my phone
                                ( all of the pic today are from the phone)

I told the Stable owner of us almost falling, as there was an  apparent,developing hole on the road bridge.
She was about to go out and ride too,with the others.
They had an uneventful ride and then today, days later...I opened my mail up and it said, "WARNING", from her to us all at the stable. She had gone out for a ride on her paint gelding,  and he and she fell through the landbridge- up to his knees. He did not panic and they removed themselves from the bridge- that is returning to the creek in a hurry!

Thankful I am that she and also the mare and me did not go through. She has since contacted the land owner neighbor to tell him about his bridge- it is about to go down!
I BETTER WISE UP, is what I'm repeatedly being told, by my mare! Good thing she has patience with me!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Muds Of March

Coming  soon,  as the weather (we want this) warms, to your fields and trails and destinations!!

I'm happy about the Mud, don't get me wrong. It means the temps have risen, the WINDS have died down, now  allowing the frozen grounds of the area to thaw .
There is  the residual "dirty snows" on the sides of the road,  I saw yesterday as we trailered away to a local park to ride with a friend.    MUST RIDE MONDAYS!!    YEA!
I was homeward bound, after the ride yesterday, and the rains began to pelt the windshield,
 as if  perfectly timed for the drive home and NOT the ride we had.
Don't ya love those moments when you feel smiled upon and the timing is ordered perfectly~for pleasure.
I suddenly thought of  the camera......-I HAD LEFT IT AT THE PARK on a picnic table!! HORROR- flashed in me, as I had not only lost my camera, but 2 sd cards worth of photos, a knife my husband has given to me, and the most perfect camera bag in the world..having survived 3 loose horse jaunts and -100's of hours worth of riding as it kept my camera from all harm!
I quickly called my Riding friend. She had just  told me of all the things she needed to accomplish  in the remaining  hours of this day we did "Steal Back"  from winter to ride.
She sighed, as I frantically asked her to drive back to the horse park for my camera.  She would. I prayed, as all the photo friends/memeories flashed before my eyes and also, the photography job another friend had arranged for me soon. My chance at making  some money for the NEW saddle, now looked to be over.

She not only found it, but she soon realised more had been left.  Some  other riders had picked my Camera-in-bag up and were waving it at her as she searched the table area.
They also had her empty camera bag and  nice gloves!
WHEW'  , I was"one blessed girlie" she said!  I'm feeling it!

That was a side story for today,  I have a  "A HA"
moment and story that goes with the photo's in my camera, now safely staying at my friends house.
So now I continue with MUDD......a  March ride that was a time before~

The mare looking dejected,before some lunge line time. Maddy Moo looking on behind her,in the small trunout~

We did a little warm up session both directions
for 3-5 minutes in the sand out door and then went on down the see WHAT  we would see. There has been MUCH logging lately and the mare and me, we have opted not to try for a ride with the large machines running. It kind of kills the serenity and also safety of the ride,  as the large Dumpy's don't slow for horses they aren't looking out for on a one way road.

FOR THOSE THAT ARE NEW here....This  Pacific Northwest area has thousands, if not millions, of Forested lands that are private and governmental owned. We Equestrians either get permission from the private owners to access the lands via horseback, or the Land managers grant us permission via signage,  posted at entrances.
It is a privilege to ride these areas and the logging does come with the territory .
 "Oregon's Renewable Resource" is what they call it. These parts, have been logged and reforested many times over...and the local signs I read say...that it has been about 30 years. RIPE for the harvest. The harvesting makes new riding opportunities for us too...more graveled roads. I don't have a shod horse so it means a bit less riding for me.
Hoof boots come in handy for the graveled parts, when I don't have to go through any mud.
 Hoof boots in muddy soupy stuff- that's a NO GO! They fill up and stretch and then, come off or twist, making me have to come off-to do a fix!

Looking up, we saw the new landscapes~

Looking down, well.....

 Mushy, messy...Lovely looking "Forced"Springtime Mud! The large Dumpy's with gravel, have done a number on the roads!!

Fortunately for us, we soon got to higher ground, and that which was not being traveled by the working machines!   It was pretty, seeing the snow farther off,  in the  foothills.
Those  glorious foothills were my last years stomping grounds  > I can hear them calling..."soon KK and Washashe mare, you will ride upon my forested  trails and take in the  glorious views from Stoney Mountain again".
And, I can't wait to take my NEW stable mates there too! Wa in her glory leading the way, as she so loves!

The mare and me looked on  together there for a short time, then turned homeward bound
to the end of the day rituals of her "Peeking" from  the stall...waiting for the coveted treats,  she has come to expect before I leave her stable to go on home~myself.

What is cute is...she grabs a hunk-o-hay to munch as she looks and waits for me to return with the anticipated "Specialty"

Wishing you some warm weather mud- of your very own!
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