Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lost horse.

I got a phone call from my neighbour this afternoon wondering if I was missing a horse. Whenever I hear that sort of thing I panic. I work 45 miles from home so I can just rush home and check on them. She asked me how many we currently had and if I had a sorrel with a blaze. Umm yeah I have a sorrel with a blaze but we only have 3.5. There were currently 4.5 horses on my property. Someone had originally called her wondering it belonged to her father in law which it didn't. But she was going to call around a few more people and see if they were missing any. Well fast forward a few hours and I got home to find this standing outside of my pasture.
I mean come on. I was hoping when she called to say there was loose horse that there would be a horse that I wouldn't fall instantly in love with. 
Duke kept pretty close eye on him and they were a cute couple. The lost boy was shaking pretty bad but I walked right up to him and threw a halter on him. He was super friendly and well behaved. A real gentleman.
I called my bestie who lives down the road and she stopped by to help me try and figure out where he lives. We called a local news radio station, our vet clinic, and the sheriffs department. All the meanwhile snuggling him and commenting on what a sweet boy he was. 
I got a call back from a deputy sherif and he said they had done some calling around and did some brainstorming on what to do with a lost horse. He asked if I could put him anywhere on my property and honestly there just wasn't anywhere to put him. All our corral panels are tied up at the moment, due to the ongoing house project and I just didn't trust leaving him in a stall in my barn. Our box stalls are kinda small for regular sized horses and I didn't want him freaking out because he was alone and end up kicking down my barn. I had asked the deputy if I could just bring him to the pound in town. We both laughed and he said they actually talked about trying to find a "horse pound". But he said to keep calling around and let them know what happened.
I called back to my vet clinic and talked to the emergency vet on call. I asked if being him in and leave him there until his owners were found. And he said that they could of course take him. So hooked up the trailer we did and crossed our fingers that he would load. He was so calm and relaxed about everything. He was a little hesitant about getting in the trailer, but he hopped right in. He did need to get right back out again, but once we loaded him again and closed the door, he rode like a champion. Sure he thought the trailer floor was 5ft higher than it was and he kind of flew in there... But he got in easier than my creeps. 
We got him to the vet and unloaded him and he was a little snorty but he stayed nice and relaxed. My friend and I agreed that he was probably some little girl's best buddy and she didn't know he was missing. He was just too sweet and clearly had been well loved. We tucked him into his stall and kissed him good night. I had planned on calling the vet clinic in the morning to rsvp to their annual Equine wellness seminar (which my husband is a guest speaker at and who's company is sponsoring the event) so I'll find out what will happen to the little horse if no one steps forward to claim him. 
Do I need another horse? Absolutely not. But he was a really nice little guy. Clearly I want him to find his people. My farrier was asking around to her clients in the area and no one was missing a horse but they were calling around too. She also mentioned that it is possible that someone just dropped him off. It's rare in these parts, but it has happened. But why did it have to be a red horse with a white blaze. I mean really? 
We just can't figure out where he belongs. Everyone in the area is scratching their heads. But I mean it's possible that someone is missing him and they don't know it yet. There has been many times I come home and don't see all my horses. I figure that one of them is in the barn or whatever. Plus it's dark usually when we get home, so sometimes you just don't see them. 
So send good thoughts that his people come and claim him! I really, really don't need another. Even if we do have extra hay... And he is really sweet... And really friendly... And really red...

Friday, January 2, 2015

I need a favor...

I need all of your help. Swing on over to Bowman Second Chance Thoroughbred Adoption on Facebook and like THIS PICTURE. I'd appreciate it so much!! Also feel free to like the page. It's the ranch where I got both Piney and George.

You can also click like on THIS PICTURE.

That is all. I have some stuff to update about, but I am starting this year completely unmotivated... shocking.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Any possible interest? No? okay then...

So when I was a younger gal, much younger than I am now. I loved being creative. I loved to create all the things. I was a huge art nerd in high school. Senior year was my favorite because my art teacher would give us an idea or concept for a project, and then turn us loose to do whatever we wanted to create. Most of my projects were fashion related because I was going to grow up and be a fashion forecaster over seas spotting fashion trends and sending them over to America. It's funny to think back to what I wanted to be and where I am now. One of my favorite projects was that I made paper dolls of myself, complete with accessories and all of my favorite outfits. However I will never forget my art teacher coming to my station when I went to present my project to her and she made my little paper doll dance around and then "whoosh! There goes Kari's clothes! Look everyone Kari doesn't have any clothes on!" I somehow thought that might happen and made sure that my little figure was in a tank top and boy shorts...
Fast forward to the college years. I took design class after design class and spend hours in studio creating. I loved it, it didn't even feel like class. I'd spend late nights working on a project only to decide at 2 am that I wanted to take a complete different path. So a quick trip to Walmart to pick up new supplies and start the thing over again. I loved my classes where I could be creative. Unfortunately it was the other classes that burned me out completely. You'd think spending hours in a studio would have done me in, but it was the hours and hours of studying for an exam, only to walk into the lecture hall with 200 other students and then be paralyzed with test anxiety. "Why are those people done already?! I need to hurry up because they are done and I am still stuck on the first page!! Am I even in the right class room?! This doesn't look familiar at all! OMG more people are done! how is that possible?! Did I study the wrong chapers?!" Bombed nearly every exam I took. Yet I was too scared to go and ask for help. I just accepted that I was just stupid rather than going to ask my professor or anyone for help with my test anxiety. So then I left college the first time was because the University thought that maybe I needed to take a break and figure out if college was for me at all. So I took a break and then went back after a year. I only made it one semester before I decided that I couldn't do it anymore. 
I lived the life of leisure for awhile. I was the manager at a private stable which allowed me plenty of time to be creative inbetween am and pm chores. I made all kinds of things. Drawings, paintings, scrap books, memory boxes, and cross stitch (don't judge me. Cross stitch is art). I also made tee shirts. I LOVED (and still love) teeshirts with funny sayings or quotes on them. So I made my own. One of my favorites said "Stop Staring at me" on the front and " Stop Following me" on the back. Still makes me giggle because I'm weird and paranoid. So when I was at an auction sale, that seems like one million years ago, I freaked out when I won an enormous lot of those iron on letters that you put on jerseys. Now I never counted how many letters I got, but I'm guessing I have about one billion letters. All sizes and colors. Now I could make teeshirts for every day of the year! Hurrah!
But as life has a way of going, I was no longer a woman of leisure. I had to grow up and get a big person's job which meant I basically didn't have anywhere to wear my witty tee shirts as they weren't really office attire. So i boxed up my hoard of iron on letters. They went from my apartment, to my storage unit and then some how ended up in my barn. I'm shocked that they didn't get tossed by the wayside somewhere along the way. I uncovered them the other day when doing some cleaning in the barn and tried to think of how I could start creating things with them again. I've got plans for some of them in projects for family members as gifts. I then had a light bulb idea and thought to make George's halloween costume... a replica saddle cloth like the one he wore in some of his stakes races, with a number and name underneath. And then I thought maybe I could make make that into a throw pillow or something I could put in a frame. And then I started thinking about tee shirts because I love tee shirts. I wondered if there was a way to make a tee shirt that was cheesy about my pony. So I came up with this shirt.

Super cheesy. Right?
Is there any interest from anyone that is super cheesy and is looking for a teeshirt with their pony's tat and date of birth?? I'm sure there isn't, but I am going to make this one and see how it turns out. If there is the off chance that anyone is interested, please let me know! I'll also give the saddle cloth pillows a shot, and see how those turn out. My sewing skills SUCK, but I think I can make a square pillow... 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Teeth and lumps.

"We found a lump. Do you want to come look at it?" To which I replied, "I bet it's a melanoma". But I'll get back to this in a little bit.

I scheduled an appointment last week for the horses to get their teeth done. Cash had his done earlier this year when we bought him, but the others were due. George had his done last spring, Duke was done 2 years ago, and I'm not sure Princess Rainbow Sparkles has ever had her teeth done. But when I scheduled the appointment, I figured to make it for 9:00am because that way it would be light out, and it would give us enough time to get the horses loaded and get to the clinic before out appointment. Well leave it to horses to decide that no, they will not go to the clinic. All summer long, I could lead them out of the pasture, with no problems. None. All fall i could lead them out, no problems. But today George decided that he wasn't leaving the pasture. He sees that trailer hooked up and he becomes a bigger ass than normal. So he put up a good fight, and I think my husband threatened to sell him enough times, that George finally decided to go through the gate. With only minimal fighting he hopped right on to the trailer, and then the other two loaded just fine, of course this was after I chased them all over North Dakota trying to get them caught. 
Once we got to the clinic, one of my friends who is a vet tech was there waiting for us. She wasn't going to be the vet tech that worked with our horses, but she wanted to make sure that she got to say hello to her little friend Princess Rainbow Sparkles. When I led PRS into the clinic she was met with a bunch of squeals from everyone that was waiting patiently to meet her. She is pretty darn cute, even if she is a witch of a little pony.

We put all the horses in the round pen as we were waiting for the doctor. All three monsters promptly rolled and rolled and rolled. I think they were happy to be inside for a change. Duke did great in side the clinic seeing as how it was the first time he's ever been inside before. He was first up to get his teeth done, but once I led him up to the stocks, he started getting a bit nervous. He was still a good boy, but his heart was racing and was a bit fidgety once she got the needle in him to give him some sleepy drugs. But the drugs kicked in and we pushed him into the stocks. 
handsome boy.
 His teeth had a few sharp points, and he was definitely due to have his teeth done. But he didn't have ulcers or cuts on the side of his mouth or tongue. While he was drugged up, we had them clean his man parts. Because I just can't bring myself to do it. Everything looked good up there, he had a few beans, but nothing to major or dramatic. He stumbled back to the round pen, and up next was PRS.

Drugs. Not even once.

Look at those chompers!

Their stocks were too big for her, so they had to hold her up and hold her mouth open.
She had been calling out for her boyfriend Duke almost the entire time she was away from him. Each time she let out that high pitched whinny, everyone giggled. And I'll admit, it is pretty cute. She was an old pro at being in the clinic and walked through the place like she owned it. She got the sleepy drugs and she may have gotten a bit more than she needed. She was ready to just lay down and snuggle up with me. Her teeth looked as though they hadn't ever been done before, if they had, it had been a long time since they were done. Her middle teeth were a bit uneven, and she did have some points but the good news was that she still had all of her teeth. We asked about how old they thought she was, the Vet pinned her in her 20's. Which is kind of what we'd been thinking. I mean clearly it doesn't really matter how old she is, because her work load is pretty lax. They didn't have equipment small enough for her, so instead of putting the mouth gear on her to keep her mouth open, they had to have two vet techs hold her. Not gonna lie, it was pretty cute. But then again, everything about that little monster is cute. She finished up her appt, like a champ, and then slowly walked back to the round pen to wait it out.
King George. Happily resting.
George was up next. He was happily curled up in a little ball when I went back to the round pen. He was happy to be resting in the soft rubber tire arena footings they had in the round pen. I got him up and he followed me along willingly to the exam room. She gave him his first round of tranq. He laughed at her. So she gave him some more and it was like he was saying "really? That's it?" So then finally she gave him a bit more, and he started to show signs that she'd found the right amount, and he stumbled into the stocks. She put on his headgear, and started to take a look around. His teeth weren't horrible, but they did need to be trimmed, as he was starting to get a few points. 

We also had his man bits cleaned while he was sedated. Once the vet tech was done, she was talking to the vet who then said to me "We found a lump. Do you want to come look at it?" and then I said "I bet it's a melanoma". Sure enough, up in his man bits, there was a black lump. Clearly before we found out what it really was, we all joked about maybe in his younger years he wasn't so careful, and a little filly gave him something. But our vet said that it probably was a Melanoma, and that 80% of gray horses over a certain age have them. We discussed it a little bit, she didn't think it was cancerous, but we will certainly all keep an eye on it. After we discussed it I remembered that he also had a lump high up on his neck, and she thought that it was probably also Melanoma. Again we are going to keep an eye on it, if they do start growing, and changing shape we will have them removed. She said it's a pretty straight forward procedure, but she will have to lie him down on the table to get up in there to remove it. The one on his neck is a bit trickier because they have no idea of knowing how deep it its, until you get in there. I had a hunch that he was going to have it.  His sire, Cozzene was euthanized at 28 years old due to health complications related to Melanoma. But clearly we will keep an eye on him, and deal with whatever happens.
So that is that. The joys of a gray horse.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hand Gallop Blog Hop: What's In A Name?

I've never done a blog hop, so I figured I'd give it a try! Here goes nothing!
What's the origin of your horse's show name and barn name?

If I do show the big gray thoroughbred,  I will use his registered name. To me that is part of his history and it is one of my many favorite parts about him.

Independent George

With me being from a family of huge Seinfeld fans this name absolutely cracks me up. If you look on his Jockey Club papers, originally his name was going to be "Independent Ridge". His mamma's name was Classic Ridge and he from a very early age was quite independent from what I have found out about him.  But someone decided that the name didn't fit him so they changed it to Independent George after George Costanza on Seinfeld. 

I've even saw an online discussion from when George was racing and someone had said that at one time they wanted to name a horse Relationship George and have the two race... but everyone knows what Relationship George does to Independent George. This name fits his personality to a T. He's quirky.
Clearly, when looking for a barn name for him, I didn't stray to far from his registered name and he goes by "George". It's what his people have called him his whole life. I sometimes call him "Georgous" because lets be honest here... he is absolutely gorgeous! Also when you say things like "Tonight I plan on going out to ride George" around non horse people, you get some pretty darn weird looks...

The rest of the horses at our place don't have papers so we just threw out names until we found names that we liked. Duke, Cash and Princess Rainbow Sparkles.

But even though he is long gone, I loved the story behind Piney's registered name. Piney's JC name was Pine Bend which upon talking to his breeders in Arizona about his name, told me he was named after their very good friend's oil refinery in Minnesota. In the office at the refinery they have Piney's win picture when he broke his maiden. We all thought it was pretty cool that his last races were run just a few miles from his namesake, when he had spent most of his life on the west coast.

If we are going to go WAY back... and we are because I love horses names and the stories around them. We will come to the namesake of this blog
Good Time To Review

That was the registered name of my very first horse. The palomino AQHA gelding that taught me more about horse ownership than any horse I've had since. His barn name was Charlie Yellow. I'm thinking that his previous owners named him Charlie... as in "Good Time Charlie". But when my old boss bought him he already had two OTHER horses named Charlie. He was a strong believer in not changing the name a horse came with. So we had Charlie Red a bright red sorrel, Charlie Brown a drabby brown gelding that I barely even remember because he was just so blah, and then Charlie Yellow a palomino. Over the years his name sort of evolved to just Yellow or as my friend and I affectionately called him "Lello" 

When we got Cash, I started just calling him "Yellow Horse" but my husband thought that it would evolve into me calling him "Yellow". I get reminded every time I call him "Yellow Horse" that his name is Cash... not Yellow. 

But clearly, I have a type...


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall rides... (mostly pictures in this post)

As much as we don't want to admit it.. Winter is coming. Which is why we are trying to fit in as much riding as we can before the -40 degree weather with 160mph winds get here and then stay here forever.
Three weeks ago... Yeah I know I could have written about it last week or the week before... but I got lazy. I'm pretty much burned out all of the time. Like i have no extra energy ever. So much fun feeling like crap! Anywho! Three weeks ago we loaded up Duke and Cash and headed out to Hankinson, North Dakota to meet up with some friends who were camping out there with their horses. We had planned on camping out there with them, but with our dogs it makes it kind of difficult to go anywhere over night. Our trailer is not a living quarters trailer. So the tack room where we stay is pretty crowded with all of our tack, all of our stuff and then to try and fit 3 dogs in... yeah it doesn't work. Not to mention, my oldest Cocker Spaniel gets really howl-y when he gets left behind. And I didn't want other campers complaining about a dog singing the song of his people all day long. So we just loaded up and headed out for a late afternoon ride.
Having never been riding in the Hankinson Hills... it showed. We got really lost at first and kind of just wandered around in a large cattle pasture. But then we found the way back to the trail and it was a really nice ride. i LOVE fall riding. So enjoy some pictures of  the Hankinson Hills and little yellow ears. 

And then last Sunday we loaded up the horses again and headed out to Fort Ransom to do some more riding. It was the coldest ride yet this year, but to be honest...I'd rather it be cooler than super hot. I don't handle high temperatures very well. I love riding in Fort Ransom. The trails aren't super challenging, but they aren't just flat and boring. There are lots of switchbacks, and hills. I was surprised that the leaves hadn't changed too much and most of the trees were still pretty green.
We met up with my friend and two of her friends who ride mules. They were happy that our horses didn't have a problem with the mules because apparently, not all horses get along with mules. But it's always fun to have good company along the trail. I've met them a few times actually, but I don't think I've ridden with them before. So without further delay... more pictures!

I was super stylish and my equitation was amazing.... But I am riding a cute pony.

I had the farrier pull Cash's shoes, because I wasn't thinking clearly, and thought we were done riding for the year... He was a bit tender on the gravel-y parts.

So If any of you friends want to come visit me someday... I have plenty of awesome riding places to take you to! North Dakota isn't all boring!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I'm gonna figure you out yet.

So pretty!!

With winter rapidly approaching, we are trying to squeeze in a few more trail rides with the horse beasts. Sunday afternoon we loaded up 2 horses and headed out to the sandhills because it is close, and some nice easy riding. I woke up in the morning thinking that I was going to bring George, but when it was time to go, I COMPLETELY wimped out and brought Cash instead. George probably would have been an angel, but I think I need someone else to try him out there first.
Also, I reached a major milestone in my trailer phobia. I caught both Duke and Cash who both realized something was up, and decided to be a holes. “Hey look how fast I can run!” “Look at my beautiful extended trot!” and my personal favorite “chase me around the round bale feeder! This is so much fun!” But I caught the creeps and managed to load them into the trailer all by myself. It helps that the husband really worked on their trailer loading since the spring. They both hopped right on up and let me secure them. I didn’t even get nervous or panicky! This is a huge step for me even if it seems really small for everyone else.
We got to the trail head and there were a few other trailers already there. I mean it was a perfect day, why wouldn’t you want to be out riding? I brought along my Circle Y, park and trail saddle. I’ve been on the fence about if I want to keep it or sell it. I’ve been mostly riding in it this summer. And I think I am going to keep it. Not only is it a nice saddle, it has some sentimental value to it. It was my first ever ‘real’ saddle that was purchased for me. I’d previously ridden in other peoples saddles. This one was mine, it was picked out by me, for me, in my size and I was the only one who has ever really ridden in it. It was also a gift from the owners of the barn I used to manage. And by gift I mean it was a ‘thank you for busting your ass 7 days a week for us out here and not complaining about not getting paid much money’ gift. I worked hard for that baby so I’ll be damned if I want to just sell it for a couple hundred bucks. The problem with the saddle, and all western saddles for that matter is that I suck at putting them on. Not only are they heavy, and bulky, but I NEVER know if I have it in the right position. An English saddle is a piece of cake. Toss it up there with one hand. Adjust it the pad. Tighten the girth. Mount up. And away we go. I’ve ridden Western probably more than I’ve ridden English, yet I struggle. Every. Single. Time. The process goes like this. Stare at saddle on the rack. Pause and take a deep breath. Grab saddle by the pommel with one hand, and the cantle by the other hand. Bang stirrups into absolutely everything in the near vicinity of my person. Walk towards horse, place saddle on the ground. Adjust saddle pad, tell myself it’s probably too far forward/back. Verbally remind horse to stand still. Look at saddle sitting on the ground. Take another deep breath and let out a big sigh. Say out loud to whoever is within earshot “Western saddles are too heavy!” for the 10,000 time.  Pick up saddle, realize I didn’t put it away correctly last time and struggle to put the cinch and rear cinch back on the little cinch keeper strap. Place the cinch, rear cinch, stirrup and breast collar over the horn so I don’ t have to deal with those getting in my way of putting the saddle on the poor beast standing in front of me. Pick up saddle. Lift it to my knees, then up to my waist, then up to my chest. Waddle over to the horse awkwardly and try to set the saddle on top of the creature who has mysteriously grown about 5 hands taller within a matter of moments. Struggle, but try to be as careful quick and quiet about it as possible. Look at saddle sitting up there and smile. Think about how it didn’t actually kill me even though I was positive it would. Walk over to the far side of horse, pull down stirrup, breast collar, and cinches. Pull out latigo which got stuck under the saddle, like it always does. Make a ‘tent’ under the pommel and then go back to the near side to start the process of cinching up. Get the latigo through the rigging a couple times then go to tie my knot.  Stuggle. Curse and say “why is this strap so darn thick?!” Stuggle some more. Get the knot tied. Worry if cinch is going to cut horse in half because I feel like it is super tight. Worry if it is too loose and I am going to end up underneath horse at some point because I feel like it isn’t tight enough. Stand back look at saddled horse. Realize saddle is a bit too far forward/back and restart the process. Every. Single. Time. Thank goodness I have a horse that can deal with me. Of course as a pay back he decides to be a bit of a creep on the first half of our ride.

Each time I ride Cash, we start to understand each other a bit better. I had been riding him with spurs on because EVERYONE, especially his previous owners said he needed them. That is a bit of a problem for me.  Obviously the problem of my spur straps matching my breast collar, headstall and reins isn’t the problem… because CLEARLY I have the entire matching set. The problem is I don’t really know how to use spurs. With Piney I started using them, but all I had to do was slightly roll the rowel up his side, and he would move out. Piney also had a big barrel so I could always have contact with his side if needed. Pistol never needed spurs because he was almost perfect.  I would think to myself “move out!” and he would read my mind and we would go. Cash, is the smallest horse I’ve ridden in quite a while. He’s not Princess Rainbow Sparkles small, but he is smaller. I felt like when I tried to use my spur on him, I couldn’t ever make contact. Basically I didn’t know where my leg was. I didn’t want to just start wailing on him and run the risk of sticking my spurs straight into him so I struggled with getting him to listen to me. Wearing them on him, especially when he acted up and everyone around me shouting “spur him! Make him go forward! He needs to listen to you!” caused major anxiety in me, and then that traveled right down into Cash. So on Sunday I left my beautiful sparkly spurs in the trailer and rode him without them. He’s buddy sour. Like panicky, I’ll die without my buddy, we need to turn back now, buddy sour. He is also a horse that likes to lead the pack. So shortly after we started our ride, we got a bit ahead of the husband who was blazing his own trails for whatever reason and Cash lost sight of him. His reaction... SPIN like he was a fricken reining horse and try to go back to his buddy. But we talked it over, and I was able to get my leg on him and have my leg actually be effective for a  change and got him to continue on his merry little way until about 5 minutes later when he was certain he was going to die of loneliness again and we did the dance all over. He kept testing me. Which is something that his previous owners said he would do. But he started to realize that I’m not going to fall for his stupid crap anymore. And by the end of the ride he was actually fun to ride. Being able to feel confident in using my leg really helped. He was an ass when he realized he could buffalo me which clearly made me feel like an absolute beginner rider. That feeling is the worst. I’d even said aloud more than once that I am “getting rid of him”. Usually said after a particularly awful moment together.
But once I figure him out, and I am figuring him out, we will make a good team. I just know it.