Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Confessions of a tack hoarder

I have to admit that when offered a HUGE lot of tack I’m going to say yes, even if I don’t need any of it. This is what happened to me over our Christmas break when visiting my in-laws. Do I need a box filled with show halters? Sure do! How about 15 cotton sheets with the largest being a 76 and about 2 sizes too small for any of your horses? Yep, I need those too! And what about all of these headstalls and reins, you already have a bunch in your barn do you need these? Are you kidding? Of course I need those! Pony driving bits? Yep better put those in the boxes for me too! Tiny little horse shoes? You can’t possibly need those! Yeah, I might make some crafts with those, you better put them in the box. How about this English saddle that has been in a box for 40 years, you are pretty picky about the saddles that go on your horse, are you sure you want this? Heck yes I want that! I am starting a horse museum in my barn!

I am a tack hoarder! I honestly didn’t need any of the things that I came home with. But I wanted it all! Hubby’s family was big into breeding and showing Arabians back in the 60’s and 70’s. So over the years they had acquired a LOT of things which over time were neatly packed away in the basement and then eventually forgotten about until now when my husband’s grandmother had asked my father in law to start cleaning out the basement and getting rid of stuff. Since we now have our own farm that we can fill full of treasures we were naturally first on the list to ask if we wanted any of it. And me being a tack hoarder couldn’t say no. I have a feeling that next time we go up to the farm we will be leaving with all the driving equipment and harnesses that are in the garage next to our restored horse drawn grain cart that we were given and need to figure out how to get home!

The stuff I did manage to take a peek at is pretty cool. The sheets are all brand new or used once or twice are the awesome well-made kind that you don’t find these days. They are all different sizes and I have a feeling just might be too small for my monster, but doesn’t mean that one day I won’t have smaller monsters. As long as I’ve got them stored away in a plastic tote they will stay perfect for many, many more years. I’ve got the room to store them! I also found a vintage parade headstall, it is the fancy kind that has thin little chains and diamond shapes that connect from the browband to the cavesson. I’ve always wanted one! It even has the matching reins. What I was most impressed by was the bag with the English saddle and tack. The bridle, reins and girth have the softest leather I’ve ever felt! I’ve heard leather being described as buttery soft and felt some fine leathers, but this stuff is amazing especially after sitting in a basement for 40 years. I’ve got leather belts in my basement that aren’t in as good of shape as that English tack is. I didn’t get a good look at the saddle, but I’m sure it is way too small for me and way too narrow for my beast. But it is a bit of my hubby’s family history and I’d like to keep it around. There were two western saddle blankets included in the lot. They were unlike any I’ve ever seen. (I really need to go and take pictures) I’m not sure if they were for showing Arabians in western tack, or if it was the style back in the day, but they look like normal woven western saddle blankets but on the back they have long yarn fringes. They are kind of neat. I also now have a black pair of tapaperos that are almost an exact match for my medium oil colored pair I got last time I visited the farm. They are amazing. I wish either pair matched my saddle I would totally rock those! I’m sure there are things that I can and will use in the many many boxes of stuff. Maybe once I start sorting it out and oiling and conditioning the leather I will have my monsters model it and I'll take some pictures.

So there you have it, if someone offers me a tack for free I’m going to take it. Even if it’s old and out dated, and I have no use what so ever for it. I am a tack hoarder.

Also I hope ya'll had a wonderful Christmas! I spent mine with both of our fantasic families. Since we have no snow it was perfect traveling conditions. Best we've ever had! I still can't beleive we don't have any snow. the forcast for the rest of the week is in the upper 30s! Unbelieveable!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

I hate this anniversary....

Three years ago I lost my best friend. He was a better friend to me than I was to him. I still miss him every single day and I still blame myself every day. I didn’t deserve a horse like him and he deserved so much better than me.  

Yellow and his two buddies that joined him across the rainbow bridge. They were both lost in a barn fire 2 years ago.

Friday, December 16, 2011

fingers crossed this works out.

We are headed to the cities tomorrow morning to go look at a horse trailer. I am trying not to get my hopes up, because I am sure it will either fall through or end up being in worse shape than we think. It’s a two horse slant load with walk in tack/dressing room and it in our price range…it is in the top part of our price range, but it is still in our price range. I’m sure it’s just going to end up being a big bucket of rust held together with some bolts. The pictures on the ad make it look like the inside is nicer than the outside hopefully the outside isn’t too bad where it cannot be repaired for less than we paid for it. But a fully enclosed slant is hard to find for the price. I haven’t ever tried loading the Cone-man in a slant load, but it can’t be worse than a straight load.

When we picked up the pony we borrowed a trailer from the seller, a guy I knew. He is the manager of a barn just outside of town and had been having some drama out there so he agreed to meet us in town with pony loaded in the trailer. When we met up with him he told us the drama was bad and that he was leaving town and that he wanted to sell his trailer for cheap. So we told him we’d think about it and let him know in a few days. The trailer was almost exactly like the one that sent me to the hospital before so I was a little nervous about it but it was a really good deal. So the next day we got a good look at it and it was in excellent shape. It was extra tall and extra-long, and had a ramp. We decided to try loading the monsters in it to see what they thought of it. Piney took a little time to get in there, but he did get in and he fit. Next up was Duke, who “will load in anything”. Apparently not the case that day. That poor guy had never been exposed to a ramp before and he was NOT having anything to do with it. He’d put his front feet on it, and then once his back feet got on it, he’d back up. We tried and tried to get him in with no luck. I think we tried a bit too much and I could tell that I’d lost him completely. So we did a quick little ground work exercise to end the day on a good note and then called it a day. The next day we gave him some tryptophan to sort of settle his nerves a bit and to mellow him out. And after a bit of patience we got him in the trailer. We loaded him up and his big gut fit in there so we decided that since both horses fit and could load in we wanted the trailer and we weren’t going to find a better trailer for the money. When I called up the guy who owned the trailer to let him know we wanted to buy it he said that he wasn’t moving anymore, things were good and that he didn’t want to sell the trailer. MAJOR disappointment. Especially since we spent so much time trying to get the horses to load. We were pretty bummed, so that’s why I try not to get my hopes up. It seems that all summer in our quest to find a horse trailer we’ve had the rug pulled out from under us. So that’s why I’m trying not to get too excited about it. But it was exciting that loading Piney wasn’t a 3 man operation this time. AND it didn’t involve a trip to the emergency room for me or the use of powerful drugs for him!

The people that are selling the trailer are also having a HUGE tack sale in their garage the same day we will be there to look at the trailer. So if we don’t get the trailer I can maybe get some sweet deals on some stuff I don’t really need! AND since we will be closer than we are to Ikea now, we will have an excuse to stop by and buy all the stuff for our bathroom that we are remodeling. I use any excuse to go to Ikea really. I love that store because it makes me think of the year I spent in Sweden. Walking through the show room I get homesick for good old “Sveirge”. And just think, if we do end up getting that trailer, we can just LOAD it up with all kinds of new treasures for our house!!

Way to go Isabell Werth!

Isabell Werth wore a gold helmet to a FEI level Dressage competion to make a statement. You can read the article here
I think its awesome that she wore not just a helmet but a gold one and had a jacket that complemented it.


Hooray! there are TONS of merchants offering free shipping today! I did a quick search and even found two tack shops offering free shipping today.

Here is the list of ALL the stores that are offering free shipping

As for online tack shops with free shipping Millbrook Tack is offering free shipping on all orders. Big Dee's Tack & Vet Supplies is offering free shipping on orders of $70 or more. They had TONS of really good deals there.
So hopefully you can get some sweet deals today and finish up your Christmas shopping today!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New blankets!

Yesterday when I got home from doing some final Christmas shopping with the hubby we arrived home to a big box by the front steps. We both looked at each other and said at the same time “what did you buy?!” We were both pretty confused and then he looked at the label, it was from a tack shop. He looked at me with a puzzled face and I said “I swear I didn’t order anything!!” so we dragged it in and opened it up and it was two winter blankets for the horses. Apparently hubby’s father bought them for us. It was a very awesome surprise. Especially since Piney’s was ripped to shreds by that awful monster he was sharing a paddock with at the old barn. I wanted Piney to wear a blanket this winter because he is so hard to keep weight on, that I didn’t want him to burn all of the calories he ate by trying to keep warm. I had one blanket that was still in perfect shape, but it is more of a thin fall blanket, and it was Yellow’s. I don’t want it to get destroyed, because it’s one of the only things I have left of him. It’s totally silly, and I need to move on and actually use it. But I am still clinging to it. When I washed it after he died I wrapped myself up in it and cried before I put it in the washing machine. If anyone was to see me they probably would have thought I was a complete nutcase because I was wrapped up in a smelly horse blanket crying. I really am quite pathetic at times lol!

Since we still haven’t had any snow, and the weather is still pretty awesome, I don’t plan on blanketing them until mother nature decides we’ve had it easy for long enough and she unleashes the fury I know she is capable of. The horses seem happy enough and their coats are nice and thick. But a little extra warmth won’t hurt once we get to the -40 degree temps. Hubby’s horse has never been blanketed, he’s never been stalled, he’s never had a feeding regime that included supplements and vitamins, he’s never been on a regular hoof trimming schedule, and he’s a lot heartier and healthier than Piney. When the farrier came out to trim the horses, Piney was really long and overdue (miss communication at his summer camp about trimming schedule!) and the farrier said “uff, this guy has bad feet!” Then we went and brought in Duke. He took one look at his feet and said “I’m not even sure I need to do this guy’s feet!” Duke hadn’t had his feet trimmed in over a year…are you kidding me!! Duke has lived a very natural life and it just goes to show how horses benefit from living as nature intended! Piney’s life was polar opposite of Duke’s. His breeding was carefully selected, he was brought up in top notch facilities and had a strict training schedule. He went to some world famous race tracks and won thousands of dollars before his retirement. Duke was, more than likely an accident, the cross between a paint horse and an elephant, he’s always lived outside, he was broke to ride but spent most of his youth as a companion to an old man who spent most of the time scratching him and spoiling him before my hubby bought him at auction. The only time Duke ever went anywhere was his occasional trips to the badlands to go trail riding and then finally to our place. Hubby rode him a lot when he lived close by, but other than that he lived in a pasture and did whatever he pleased. Both horses had very different lives. They were both obviously very much loved by someone in their past because they LOVE people and love when people interact with them. But Duke is just heartier than Piney because he has been a horse. When Piney was first retired he was shipped out west for some rehab that no doubtedly came as a complete shock to his senses. Having spent most of his life in a stall he was now free to roam about the countryside. Even with his suspensory injury he wasn’t put on stall rest he was turned loose on 4,000 acres with 40+ other OTTBs, a couple Quarter horses, two draft horses and a cow. If I knew now what I didn’t know then I would have had him on outdoor board when I brought him here. It was super convenient to have him in a stall and ready to go, and it was nice that he got his grain and he didn’t have to compete for his hay but he’s doing great now. He’s been out of a stall for almost 9 months now other than that problem we had this summer where he lost a lot of weight (due to his mom not being there to check on him every day) he’s been doing great. He’s got a big fat hay belly, and he’s happy! While I’m not sure he ever had ulcers all signs pointed to the fact that he probably did have them….heck 90% of race horses have them at one point or another…it appears that he no longer has them. He’s doing great living life as a horse. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him as content as he is now. Which makes me happy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas card fail

The weather here in ND has been unreal this year. Not only is it December 12th and we have no snow but yesterday I rode my horse outside in only a light jacket. We had planned to take our picture yesterday and it was a complete fail. We got to the farm and I hustled to grab my monster and get him ready as we were losing day light. I got the majority of the yuck off him but he was looking dusty so I figured I’d photoshop him the correct color. I tacked him up and handed him to my mom as I ran into the house to grab my camera. It was no where to be found. A quick and frantic search of the vehicles still no luck. My mom said she could use her little point and shoot and take some pictures. So we went with that. We got on the horses and positioned them by our evergreen trees and snapped a few and then…battery died. So then we used hubby’s phone camera. It was just nothing but fail. I’m hoping we have something I can sort of work with. It was later in the evening I quickly glanced down into our creepy basement and saw my camera bag. I had forgotten that I had it down there as I was taking pictures of the chest of drawers I’m refinishing. I’m such and idiot so of course I burst out crying about the failed pictures yet again.

But anyways after the failed Christmas card attempt hubby wanted to ride a little bit, so did I, So we rode out into the field to the west of us. Piney is obviously feeling better about life. But when he is feeling better about life it means he doesn’t want to listen to me. At.All. I asked him to speed up with a little leg, nope, he wasn’t having any of it. He ignored almost every one of my cues. At one point I felt like one of those barrel racers with my legs flapping straight out to the sides trying to get him to go. Before we left I thought “hey maybe I should grab my dressage whip, or a crop or something” but figured “nah, he’ll be fine once we get out following Duke.” Not so much. He was like 6 lengths behind Duke the whole way. No wonder he was never a world famous race horse! I could barely even get him to speed up to walk next to Duke. I had flashbacks to one of those dude ranch trail rides I was on as a kid where I kicked and kicked and kicked to get the horse moving and he just stood there until the wrangler had to come pony me the rest of the ride. If hubby wasn’t having a bit of “baby” rearing problems with his horse (Duke wasn’t full up rearing, he was just hopping up a little bit. I am beginning to wonder if it is his bit or tack that is bugging him), I’m sure he would have had to pony us around. I am certainly glad that Piney doesn’t have the “typical” naughty horse behavior like rearing, bolting, bucking, etc. But I am starting to think that this extremely lazy behavior is just as bad if not worse. I can’t blame the fella. He HAS had almost a year off, and I think he’s only been ridden a handful of times this year. I’m sure if I get out the whip and we start working a bit more regularly he might remember that work is fun! And oh yeah my mom means business!! It seems that I only need to carry my whip and let him see that I have it for him to get a little more pep in his step.

If only it was still light enough to ride when I got off of work I would get some time in the saddle, especially since there is no snow and ice! Maybe this year will be a fluke and we won’t get any snow! Hahah…year right. I have a feeling we are gonna get hit HARD it’s just a matter of time!

Friday, December 9, 2011

life is good

Busy, busy, busy. That about sums it up. Hubby wants to be entirely moved out to the farm by December 31st I’m thinking more along the lines of January 31st. We’ll see who wins this argument. We have gotten a lot of stuff moved out to the farm and we even stayed there last Saturday night. We went out to dinner in town and had planned on just eating then heading home, well we ended up staying for a couple beers and then we started meeting some of the locals, and before we knew it, it was closing time. Everyone came up to introduce themselves. It’s so nice living in a small town because everyone is so welcoming. I knew a few people from when I used to live in the area a couple of years ago, so it was nice to see them again.

The horses are doing well. I can’t believe how fat my husband’s horse is! I need to go and take pictures of him. He looks pregnant! His horse is very sweet and likes to be scratched and interacted with, but he’s a bit of a crap head when riding him. He’s very spooky, I think next spring I’m gonna work with him on desensitizing. He’s also VERY barn/buddy sour. So that’s something else we will need to address next spring.

I rode Piney a few weeks ago! It was just a quick jaunt around the yard and down the road a little ways but I rode. I brought him in from the pasture and he decided that he doesn’t like the 4ft gates we put up. so we managed to get through them after a little talk about life. Then I brought him into the machine shop…I mean barn. Hubby has been fixing the four wheeler in the barn because it’s the only building with electricity and a cement floor at the moment. Once in the barn I looked over our saddle collection, (we have 4 there right now and I still have one more at my parents place) and decided that I missed riding in my dressage saddle so I picked that one. Except we had a bit of trouble girthing up. Seems someone has a great big hay belly. Which is funny because his ribs are showing. But I got him all tacked up and went to hop on…apparently someone is extremely out of shape and couldn’t even sort of get into the saddle. I had to go searching for my step stool but once I was up there life was good. We headed down the road a little ways and then turned for home APARENTLY someone has for gotten who the boss is. We had to have a little conversation about who is running the show. He was full of himself! I am so glad that Piney being full of himself doesn’t involve rears, bucks, bolting, jigging or any other naughty behavior. It was just wanting to go to the barn…slowly…and it was not wanting to listen to me…slowly. We spent some time walking and trotting in the area in the yard that I hope to put an outdoor arena next spring/summer. After I got his mind back to working he was great, but I was losing daylight and I decided to call it quits. He is a good boy, he just needs to be reminded after having almost all summer off, that I’m the boss. I can tell that he is feeling better than he was this summer. He’s actually happier now than I think he’s ever been. I also noticed when girthing up, that he didn’t try once to bite me. So I think that he probably did have ulcers from living in a barn. Being on pasture and having the ability to graze 24/7 did wonders for his guts! I just can’t believe how good he is feeling these days.

Last night I had to run out to the farm to pick up something and take the water reading to send in. Rural water is going to take some getting used to! But I went out to check the horses, It was about 8 and of course pitch black. I looked off to the corner an I saw the white ghost face of Duke and started over that way, as I got closer I saw two blobs on the ground a big one and a real little one. As I got even closer the ltitle pony blob got up, but the big blob didn’t…start to panic, keep walking, blob still down, heart beat increase, walking faster, then the big blob rose and then started walking to me. I being a hypochondriac put my head against his stomach to listen for grumbles, I checked to see if he was sweaty, I listened to his breathing, and everything was fine. Apparently he was just laying down for a snooze with pony boy. (who by the way he can’t stand) I stuck around and watching him a bit more, and he was eating and then I saw that he was drinking. BTW we got our automatic Richie waterer working and SOOOO glad that the place came with it! and SOOOOOO glad that we were able to fix it! I was hauling water buckets from the bathtub in the house for a few weeks and I was not a fan of that!

Anyways, this weekend we are doing our Christmas card pictures. I am definitely going to include the horses in the picture. And I hope to get them posted on here once I get them!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

what kind of sick people...

I’m not sure if anyone was following the story of the 5 horses, trailer and tack that were stolen from Southern Arkansas University in November. But they arrested an 18 (her 19th birthday is today) freshman from SAU in connection to the crime yesterday. They found 4 of the horses in bad shape, tied to a tree and barely surviving on nearby pine needles. (One of the light colored horses was spray painted camouflage). Sadly one of the horses, a sorrel gelding named ‘Credit Card’ had been brutally slaughtered and they only found his remains.

The girl is being charged with three felony theft charges since three of the horses were worth over $25,000 as well as three additional felony charges for thefts between $5000 and $25,000 and some felony charges for transporting stolen property over state lines.

You can read the affidavit here.

She WATCHED Credit Card get shot, have his throat slit and then watched him get quartered. Her reasoning for killing him? Because she had been in a romatic relationship with his owner and it went bad. Are you kidding me???? I had relationships go sour when I was her age I didn’t go around killing their horses, dogs, fish whatever. I didn’t even key their car, or anything remotely crazy. How do you even think up this revenge plan? She kidnaped the other horses because apparently their owners treated her badly. Are you for real? Who does this? Her MOM helped! Her mom’s boyfriend was the one who shot and killed the horse then chopped him up. Why did this happen? When I called my mom freshman year and told her my boyfriend broke up with me she didn’t drive down so we could poke holes in his tires, or kidnap his roommates dog or anything crazy. She told me that life goes on, there are plenty of fish in the sea. What kind of messed up family plots revenge this extreme? A seriously messed up one, that’s for damn sure. The more I read about this case the angrier I get. She wanted Credit Card dead…how can you be that hateful? That screwed up in the head? That you want someone’s horse dead?

Sorry for the extremely poorly written post, I just needed to vent a bit about this.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I want a pony for Christmas!

We bought this pony tonight! Sadly we don't get to keep him as he is a Christmas present for my Hubby's 4 year old cousin from her parents. I love him! His name is Inky!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You may think it's funny, but it's snot.

Piney and Duke have settled in wonderfully. They are both super relaxed and seem very happy. However today I went out to check on them and noticed that Piney had a LOT of yucky, yellow snot in his left nostril. It's disgusting and I have no idea what it is and its making me a very worried mom. It wasn't there yesterday and in the entire time I've owned him he's never been sick before. I of course googled the symptoms when I got home and sounds like it might be a respiratory infection, but it could be a million other things. So looks like I'll be calling the vet first thing in the AM.  If anyone has any advice, or thoughts of what it could be I'd gladly appreciate any input.
I HATE when things like this happen. It makes me feel like such a worthless horse owner and that having Piney at home was a bad idea. When I was boarding I had people to ask, and people who could take care of him for me. I have a lot of horse knowledge, but I still feel like i don't know anything. I feel so unworthy of horse ownership sometimes. Grrrrr I shouldn't feel like this!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guess who's home?

Yep! He arrvied yesterday at about one in the afternoon. He was supposed to arrive Saturday night but hubby had some trouble with my pickup on the voyage out there and ended up having to replace the radiator. I'm just glad it happened on the way out there and not on the way back with a trailer full of horses. I stayed at the farm to get some painting projects done with my mom.

I’d like to tell you that Piney hopped right up into the trailer and was a dreamboat about it. But that is not the case. In fact when we get a chance looks like me and Mr. Pinecone will be working on trailer loading. Hubby woke up early and went and gave the monster the Tryptophan that I had sent along with him. Last time we used it, it seemed to help mellow him out about trailering. It wasn’t as powerful as the vet administered tranquilizer that was needed a few times but it helped him relax. Well he waited a few hours and loaded up the truck with all of the stuff we had there. The trailer he used was the same one we used to haul him up there. It’s a 70’s model WW 4 horse/stock combo. He was going to load his horse up first, since his horse weighs about twice what piney does, then close the middle divider and put Piney in the back. Well hubby’s horse hopped right in like an old pro even though he hadn’t been in the trailer in about 5 years .Then it was Piney’s turn. He wasn’t having any of it. He wanted nothing to do with the trailer. Even with his buddy up front he would rather walk home than load in to that trailer. Well he unloaded his horse and then they tried to put Piney in first. It ended up being a 3 man job. Yes a 3 man job to load a horse into a trailer than has probably been loaded and unloaded dozens of times during his career as a race horse. But they managed to load him up front close the door and then get hubby’s horse into the back compartment, and off they went.

Unloading went much better. Hubby’s horse hopped right on out and so did Piney. We will definitely be working on the trailer loading situation. It’s his only flaw! The horse is a dream to work with unless it’s trailer time! But one I got him unloaded and took a good look at him, I turned him out in the pasture and he started happily grazing. I might add that he looks good! He is still ribby, but that horse can have constant access to food, and grain twice a day and he would still be ribby. He is in need of a good grooming as he has some mud balls in his mane, and his tail, oh his poor tail, it needs some tlc! When I dropped him off it was huge and thick and long and beautiful. Now it is short and wispy and it just looks sad. I wish I had just 20 minutes to spend with my boy but sadly I am way too busy. Plus he is too busy scouting out his new home to even come near me to let me give him a kiss. But It is a huge relief to have him home and happily munching in his pasture.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


OTTB Designs posted this picture on their facebook wall.

That giraffe horse looks JUST like Piney! I love this idea and I want to do something like this next halloween! I can't get over how much this guy looks like Piney...especially that face!

Also. Piney might be coming home this weekend. That is all.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guess who?

Guess who is  FINALLY coming home in a few weeks?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Old Pictures...

I found an old picture the other day and it got me thinking...What I wouldn't give to go back to this day. It was a 4th of July parade back in 2006. Even thought I smiled for the picture I was not a happy camper all day. Firstly I arrived here to see that somone, who was totally meaning well, chopped off Yellow's tail to his hocks, they had also put something in his mane that made it super greasy and mixed with the dirt in his forelock it was a greasy mess. I remember being so paniced about his mane was also so thin and whispy from being rubbed away I roached it off 5 minutes before we had to head up to the parade.
Heading up to the start of the parade he was a dream to ride. but when we got to the start of the parade we were headed back "home" and he slowly started to come undone. I had to hold him back and keep him from prancing all the way home. He didn't spook at anything thought which was great, especially since there were clowns, and kids and candy being thrown everywhere. The parade ended right by a big open field across from where we were staying. The people I was riding with were inexperienced horse people and just let their horses gallop for home. I on the other hand didn't allow that sort of behavior. He fought me to the point where I gave up and hopped off. I'd rather lead him home than have an ongoing fight. So that's what  I did. We walked home as I swore at him under my breath the entire way home.
This picture was taken right as we got back "home" I was hot sweaty and tired with the promise of a nice cold beer (acutally more like 10!) at the lakes when I got done. I untacked the monster and and cooled him off before I loaded him in the trailer and sent him home with my boss at the time. Then raced to the lakes to enjoy my beers.
I want that day back. I want to do things differently. First and foremost I want to go back and have that body back!! Holy Moly! I didn't realize I was  that tiny! haha. But I want to go back and enjoy every moment of that ride, the good AND the bad. I want to take the knowledge I have about riding now and apply it to my ride that day. The rider I am today wouldn't hop off and walk home. I'd work on not rushing home. I've come so far in my confidence in the saddle too that I would have been able to better handle the ride.
 I also would have ignored all the calls and texts from my then boyfriend and his friends telling me to hurry up and get to the lakes. Because I would later in life find out that the boyfriend was a complete d-bag that would fall out of love with me when I stoped being as thin as I was in this picture. I would have spent as much time as possible just being with my horse and not taking Yellow for granted thinking he would always be there for me. Had I known that 2 years later he would be taken from me forever I maybe would have done things differently.

I only have a handful of pictures of Yellow. I think i only have 3 of me actually riding. I hate that...I hate that he is gone forever and that I will never forgive myself for taking him for granted. If I could go back things would have been different but I wouldn't be where I am today...

At my old barn

On the driveway at my old barn.

Big Sky, Montana

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm still here!

I promise an update! I really do! I have been swamped with the new house, weddings, photography and vacations. My head is spinning! and not to mention this weekend I turn...dun-dun-dunnnnn 30! 

So when I have a free moment I PROMISE that I will post pictures of the new place and update the status of the new farmstead.

Also in other exciting news hubby's cousin said he would trailer the horses down for us this fall so we wouldn't need to make an added trip up there. Hurray! now that just means we need to get our butts in gear and get that fence up!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quick Texas update

We made it home yesterday afternoon and it feels good to be home! I LOVED Texas! We spent the first few days in Port Aransas in a beautiful beach front condo. I could definitely get used to that! The weather was warm and the gulf was like bath water. I’m not normally a beach person. I prefer the prairies BUT for a few days of relaxation on the beach I made an exception. Port Aransas was a fun little town. The restaurants there were fantastic and I think I spent a majority of the time eating. My sister in law got married on the beach and it was beautiful. They had a small dinner for the people who made it down to Texas and are having their real reception up here next week.

Our view in Port A

After Port A we headed to San Antonio. We stayed right on the Riverwalk and had fun walking down the river and seeing the sights. We took the boat tour which I recommend if you are ever in San Antonio. The tour guide we had was hilarious and we learned a lot about the riverwalk. and of COURSE we stopped at the Alamo. It was an experience I’ll never forget, mostly because its size. It was a lot smaller than I had envisioned. But it was awesome none the less. We watched the Alamo Imax movie and learned all about it. I love how proud of their history Texans are! I also love how proud of their state Texans are! Everything has the state symbol on it. It was pretty awesome!

The Alamo!
I wanted this guy.

We were only there for a week but it was a very fun filled week. We saw things and experienced things I’ve always wanted to do. OH and I almost forgot! While we were in Port A we took the drive out to Kingsville to the famous King Ranch! That was pretty awesome! Now I wouldn’t recommend the tour to everyone because basically you sit on a bus and drive around a ranch looking at cows and a few horses. But for those interested in ranching history or agricultural history I highly recommend it. They currently have around 60 broodmares and a few stallions. At one time they had 2,500 horses! Can you even imagine? One fun thing I learned is that when halter training the foals they will tie them to a donkey because they will NOT be pulling a donkey around haha. That mental picture made me laugh.

But all in all it was a wonderful trip and I got to relax even if all I did was eat and eat and eat! I would definitely go back some day!

On another side note, we became home owners today!! Signed the paperwork and now the work begins so we can get Piney home!! Yay!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I made it.

We made it to Texas. It was quite possibly the bumpiest flight I've ever been on. We even had to make a de tour and stopped in Waco for a while to fuel up. It's been a long day.
On a fun little side note when flying into Minneapolis we flew over the Pine Bend oil refinery which was what my little monster was named after!

Busy busy.

In a few hours I am flying to Texas! I've never been so its pretty exciting! We are going for my sister in laws wedding in Corpus Christi.
The day after we return we close on our new home! So let the hard work begin. We are thinking that we can being the horses home at the end of October or early November. I am pretty excited!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gutsy wrangler, huge horse save boy from charging grizzly

This article about a wrangler and her HUGE horse and how they saved a little boy from a charging grizzly is a must read! I had goose bumps.

Gutsy wrangler, huge horse save boy from charging grizzly

Monday, September 12, 2011

living in fast forward.

This new house process has been moving in fast forward it seems. The last time we tried to buy a house it was a nightmare and dragged on and on and on. It’s funny how we had given up the search a few weeks ago and decided that we would wait until spring until we started looking again. Now we will be closing in 25 days! I WISH we could just zip out and bring Piney home the day we close, but we have got A LOT of work cut out for us before we can do that. But we are hoping that we will have the horses home late this fall or early this winter. These next few weeks are going to fly by I can already tell, heck this year has flown by! It seems like just a month ago it was 4th of july weekend. We are headed down to Texas on Sept 29th for my husband’s sisters wedding and then we close the day after we get back. Then the entire month of October is jam packed with renovating, landscaping, fencing, wedding receptions (My sister in law is having a reception here for all that couldn’t head to TX and I am photographing a wedding the day after we close), my birthday, Halloween, turkey hunting, shopping trips to Ikea in the cities, and much more. We are going to be busy.

Friday night we went out and looked at a few things at out at our new farm.(LOVE saying that!) We went and checked some of the fence. It’s all mismatched. A lot of it is down, some of it is barbed, some is no climb fencing, and a majority of it is smooth electric wire. I want to rip it all down and replace it with the electric rope. We are also need to get some gates to replace the one cheap, crappy, dangerous looking one there and the two little 4ft gates that have gone missing since we first looked at the place this spring. The barn…*sigh* is going to be a big project. I KNEW that it was going to be a big project but now that it is really happening it is just becoming overwhelming. There was at one time electricity running to the barn. The way it sits right now I don’t dare turn it on, for fear of burning down the barn. If we plan on having electric fence though we are going to have to figure something out since the fencer is in the barn. The roof is going to be a HUGE project that we think will have to be tackled next summer. We are going to tin the roof so that it will be a lot less maintenance in the future. And of course we need to address the tack room situation hahaha. It is a tiny closet like room under the stairs to the loft….that OBVIOUSLY won’t do! Especially since we have 5 saddles between the two of us and I have enough other horse crap to fill the current tack room 7 times. But obviously the roof and structural aspects of the barn are way more important than my future kick ass tack room. The barn does have 3 stalls but I don’t plan on stalling the monsters. There is a thick shelterbelt and the lean on the barn will shelter them from the elements so I’m not too worried about them being exposed to everything. Of course I say that I won’t stall them now but I guess time will tell if I stick to that plan!
I can’t tell you though how excited I am to be able to look out my window and see my horses. I LOVE that I will let my dogs out and they can run and play in a huge and open yard. The quietness out there is outstanding! I absolutely love the area that we will be living in. I love that it will be our first home.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Arabian Nights.

My arms hurt, my abs hurt, my legs hurt, my hands hurt. I hurt all over but it’s that good pain that you get from a good ride! A few days ago my friend’s status on Facebook was something about going riding. I commented and then the invited me to go along. She is my old riding buddy. But we haven’t ridden together in about 6 years. We met because of horses and horses were our lives but eventually horses are what pushed us apart. But that story is best saved for another day! Today’s story is about my ride last night.

We met up at a small town bar for a quick bottle of “liquid courage” before heading out to the farm. She assured me that the horses were great and I should have nothing to worry about. But me being me I was nervous. I pretended not to be as she showed me which horse I’d be riding. A fat little chestnut mare that the owner used for team penning before she had her baby. She seemed very sweet and she was. My friend told me that she had a lot of get up and go and that I wouldn’t have a comfortable ride until I let her go for a bit. That of course made way nervous. I always get nervous cantering or galloping a new horse…heck I get nervous cantering a horse I’ve ridden before! But I smiled and laughed and pretended I was fine with the thought of galloping away on a horse I’d just met.
The saddle I was using weighed about 17 tons. This was the heaviest saddle I’ve ever encountered in my life! It was about 3 times heavier than my western saddle. The mare I was riding wasn’t very tall, thank heavens but it was still a struggle to put it on her! I did and then put on her bridle, sprayed her with bug spray and hopped on. Deep breath and we were off. My friend had told me that the horse I was riding had allergies and would wheeze and cough a lot but her owner and vet told her that she was fine. We rode for about 10 minutes but decided it seemed just cruel to let her huff and puff so we turned around. I put her back in the corral and then my friend pointed to a little black mare that I was to ride instead.
The little black mare was a devil to catch. She wouldn’t have any of it. It took about 10 minutes but we managed to catch her. Tacking her up was a bit of a challenge because she was a bit prancy. I looked up at her ears and face and then asked my friend “what kind of horse is this?” and she said “Arabian”. I laughed and replied “Oh, great! My ‘favorite’ breed of horse!” we both laughed and she then told me it was the owner’s barrel horse. And I said “AWESOME! A hot speed horse! Can’t wait to go to the hospital tonight! My insurance card is in my wallet, don’t’ forget to grab that for me.” But I hopped on we were off again. We calmly walked out of the yard and then after we warmed up a bit my friend said that she wanted to long trot the horse she was riding but I could lope my horse if I wanted to. I didn’t want to but I figured I would give it a shot since my horse was ready to go and her trot was really, really choppy and uncomfortable. I let her go and she was awesome. Very smooth and easy to ride and then came the part I was worried about, slowing down. I sat back and gently pulled back on my reins and to my surprise…she slowed down. In the back of my mind I wasn’t expecting that. I guess I forget that some horses are actually trained to do what you ask haha.
We got up to a field that had been harvested and dug up that belonged to the owners of the horses. So we were able to play in it. It felt awesome to just let my horse go and have the wind blowing through my hair. I got up into two point grabbed mane and let her go. It been forever since I’ve done that. I suppose the last time I’ve done that fearlessly was about 10 years ago on a completely dead broke ranch horse. And when I used to ride with my riding buddy we would do that all the time but I was filled with fear and it was never fun!
We rode and played for about an hour and a half. I must admit that I was hasty to judge that little Arabian I rode. Being the owner of a Thoroughbred I should know better than to judge a horse based on what some of the breed are like. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Especially since she was two things I generally stay far, far away from. Arabians and Mares. I told my friend that when I come back to ride I definitely will ride that little horse again. Even if she was a bit hot and a bit more firey than my thoroughbred, she was a total doll. She had a very jiggy prancy walk. I felt like we were in a parade most of the time but It was fun. I was very happy with my ride on her yesterday. My body is not happy with me today but I am happy! Who knows maybe my next horse will be an arabian! hehe

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I just got home from riding with my old riding buddy. My body is all kinds of!! It felt amazing to gallop across an open field for the first time in I can't remember when! More of the story tomorrow...when I am not too tired to type!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New home.

Well we were negotiating all last week for a property that we had looked at last spring and we accepted their counter offer on Friday! The property was listed for sale then it was removed from the market this summer. Our curiosity made us drive out there this summer to just to take a look. We saw that there was a construction company trailer parked outside and a realtor’s sign by the driveway. We called our realtor and asked him to find out some information about it. He told us that it was under contract and not currently on the market.

About 2 weeks ago we just happened to be looking at some online listings and saw that the house was back on the market! We had our agent arrange a showing for us and then we agreed that we wanted to make it our home.

The house is an old farm house with about 1700 square feet. She looks like she was being restored but mostly with good intentions. She is going to need a lot of work. The reason it was off the market was that the bank had hired a construction company to dry up and sturdy up the basement. The basement is still super creepy and in need of some more work and A LOT of money which is going to suck…big time. But we were able to get a good deal on the house and property.

The property is 6.07 acres and was one time fenced for horses. The fence posts are all still up but the fence is down or missing. Its hard to see much as the yard and pasture are overrun with weeds that are taller than me in some spots. The pasture also has an automatic Richie waterer, but it’s pretty old and looks like the drinking bowls are pretty rusty. I’m not sure if those can be replaced or if the whole thing needs to be replaced. It has a barn with a lean. The barn roof needs some work especially over the lean. I think we are going to replace the roof with a steel roof since it requires much less maintenance. The previous owners looked like they were trying to fix the barn up though as there are new garage doors on both sides as well as a garage door up in the loft. They also built three brand new box stalls inside the barn. The Tack room is very tiny so we will obviously have to do something about that! My tack has been multiplying by leaps and bounds since the beginning of the summer. Hubby added a new saddle to our fleet making making our grand total number of saddles 5. We have 5 saddles and only two horses…hmm guess we can fix that by getting more horses!!! Haha just kidding.

Up by the drive way there is another little pasture/corral. I am thinking that they had goats, or sheep or maybe mini horses. There is a tiny shelter as well as an old hay bale in the middle. I want goats. I’m really not sure why I want them but I do. I think they are hilarious! I often joke that I want to start a goat lawn mowing business. Especially to help out these realtors that have rural foreclosed properties that tend to get wildly out of control regarding weeds. I’d show up with my herd of goats and let them take care of the property then haul them away to the next place. I think it would be great. Hubby doesn’t think it would be great. He’s pretty much drawn the line telling me absolutely no goats. Sad day.

I also have other crazy ideas for the farm. I’m obviously joking and will never go through with all my crazy ideas but it’s fun to think about the possibilities. The property has 4 grain bins that are too small for farmers to get any benefit from I want to convert them into….guest houses!! Anyone who has ever gone into a grain bin on a hot summer day will tell you that that is the stupidest idea they have ever heard. BUT with insulation and a lot of other work I’ve read that they make very comfortable homes! A lot of these big city architects are taking them and converting them into “green” homes. They actually look pretty cool.

I was joking with my in-laws a few weeks ago that I am going to start an Agritourism business. My guests can come and stay in one of my beautiful ag themed guest bins and spend the day doing farm-y things. Activities would include riding horses, milking goats, tending a garden, canning vegetables, enjoying a relaxing mud bath, taking a hayride to the barn dance that takes place just 2 miles from the farm, collecting eggs, and doing farm crafts like quilting and knitting. My coworker thinks that no one in their right mind would want to go out and stay at a place like that. But I think that with the right marketing a lot of big city folks would love the chance to come and relax on the farm and do farm things! Heck I’d love the opportunity to go and vacation at a place like that! But obviously this will never happen. It’s fun though to think and dream about it.

But back to reality. We are set to close on October 7th. But we wouldn’t be moving in until after we go the house ready for us. One of our first jobs will be getting the pasture ready so that I can bring my horse home and start fattening him up with treats.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Figured it out...I hope.

I think we have it narrowed down to what may have caused Piney’s weight loss. I wrote my last post after I got back to the barn from the pasture and I hadn’t had a chance to look him over closely. Piney wouldn’t let me anywhere near him. He’s a jerk in the pasture and acts like he doesn’t know me. But when he is in a corral or smaller paddock he is a snuggle bug and will follow me around. Hubby brought in the horses and put Piney in a smaller corral where I was able to check him over more thoroughly. The great news is that overnight he seemed to have put on weight and looked 10 times better. I could tell he was feeling better by the fact he was calling out to his buddies (who never called back to him by the way). And the fact he looked A LOT better! My phone decided to freeze up on me and I haven’t been able to turn it on since shortly after I posted.

First off the bugs were driving him nuts!! So I’m sure he’s spent most of the calories he’s taken in by fighting the flies. He’s got pretty thin skin and is a bit of a drama queen about bugs. His long full beautiful tail is worn away. (Is that even possible to wear it away by swishing it too much?) It’s about half as thick and has been shortened up to his hocks. He swished it nonstop even after I dumped a bottle of fly spray on him. I would have left his fly sheet and mask on him but without someone checking on him a few times a day I figured it would be ripped to shreds and lost forever. When I get my own place (made ANOTER offer on a house btw) I’ll have him in full on fly armor. I HAVE to remember that for two years Piney was a living in a herd of WILD mustangs…I mean OTTBs. His herd and him roamed over 4,000 acres together. They didn’t have fly spray, or fancy fly masks, or a mom to give them kisses and cookies or even anyone to brush their hair and tell him how handsome he was. He was a horse, living as god and nature intended him to. Of course he looked like a ragamuffin when I got him. But wild horses look like that. He was also due for his wormer so I took care of that.

The second reason he was thin was he was dehydrated. We did the pinch test on his coat and it piled up. He drank a lot when I brought him up to the water tank. I’m not sure if he just doesn’t come up to the barn to drink or what his deal is. I seem to remember him being dehydrated when I got him too. It was harder to tell because he resembled a highland steer with a long shaggy coat. But when I put him in his stall for the night he drank like he’d hadn’t had water for days.

The third reason is something I don’t even want to write about. I feel it is my fault for not being able to check on him every day. Horses on the farm are horses. They live on a pasture with a barn to go into whenever they please. They have access to water 24/7 and in the winter they have plenty of hay to eat. They don’t have a whole lot of human interaction. But they get their shots and feet done when needed. The horses are living how I would like to keep them if they were on my property. The one thing I don’t like is that they have halters on in the pasture. The halter Piney was wearing as a bit too snug and rubbed his chin leaving a big yucky scab. I’m assuming that it caused him pain to eat so he didn’t eat as much as the other fatsos did. Had I been around to check on him more often this never would have happened. I don’t even want to write about this because I feel that everyone will scold me and lecture me about keeping a halter on in the pasture. I know that it’s a bad idea to do so. I don’t like him wearing a halter unless he needs one on for leading, grooming etc. I’m taking full responsibility even though I wasn’t the one who made the decision for him to be wearing a halter. He was the only one who had trouble keeping weight and I assume that it was because of the cut/scab on his chin. We decided that to be safe we would take the halters off the rest of the horses. I still feel like shit because of this whole thing. Had I been up there more often it wouldn’t have happened. But he’s my horse and I need to take responsibility for him.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Anyone have any idea on what to do with a horse on pasture 24/7 who is a skeleton? Piney is droping weight. Lots of it. I don't know what to do :-(

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2 months later I'm going to see my horse!

Well after almost two months I’m headed up North to see my horse. It SUCKS having him so far away. But it’s what has to happen until we can find a place to live here. Every option we have had has fallen through or is too expensive. It’s kind of heartbreaking but we will find a place someday. Piney is fine up north. He isn’t costing me anything and I know that he is leading a happy existence as horses were meant to live.

I hope to get as much Piney time in as I can. I jokingly told hubby that I should train Piney to drive so that at Christmas we can go for sleigh rides. The more I thought about it the more I thought it might be kind of fun. I seriously doubt that I can get that accomplished in one weekend especially since I have no clue how to do it. Hubby has driving experience as do his uncles. But I’ve got nothing! I’ve done a little long lining with Piney and he did awesome and Last time I was up there I tried some desensitizing exercises with him. I threw his lead rope all over his body, and around his legs and he didn’t even flinch. Maybe if I can dig through all the tack in the barn and garage I can find a harness that will fit Piney and we can try it on for size and do a little walking around the yard. This is probably not going to happen since it seems that I always have way too much to do when I’m up there that my piney time is minimal. But it’s fun to think about doing that! I just think hubby’s family would get a kick out of having sleigh rides again at Christmas time. Plus since Piney is freeloading out there I think it would be nice for him to earn his keep. He’s already impressed the family with his “pony rides” for the little cousins. I just think dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh would totally seal the deal on Piney being a fantastic family horse. But we must take baby steps in teaching my little tb how to pull a cart. I don’t even know if he can or will pull one but it will be fun to see him all harnessed up!

The main reason I’m headed up north this weekend is to take senior pictures for my hubby’s cousin. I’ve never done senior pictures. I’ve done newborn, infant, family and wedding pictures but never just senior pics. I am a worrier and have been worrying myself sick over it but I know I will do just fine. I always panic before a photo shoot. I just need to remember to breathe and take my time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

a survey.

I love surveys. plus I have no horse to write about theses days so here you go...

1. Do you have a horse (or do your ride one)? color, breed, etc – I have an 11 year old Chestnut Thoroughbred Gelding.

2. How long have you been riding? – on and off for about 12 years.

3. Synthetic or leather reins?- Leather.

4. English or Western? why? – I prefer English because I can feel my horse a bit better and it seems like I can more effectively communicate with my legs. With my western saddle I seem to have so much leather between me and my horse.

5. Favorite breed? - Thoroughbred. I’ve always loved them I just didn’t think I was a good enough rider to handle one. I love their heart and I love their work ethic.

6. Favorite color? - Grey is my absolute favorite. Palomino is a close second.

7. Rubber or leather boots? - Leather for riding, rubber for working!

8. Pony or Horse? - Horse

9. Show, games or trail? – I love showing, but I HATE getting my horse ready for a show. I suck at grooming and can’t ever get him spotless. Trail riding is super fun with Piney because he is so calm and ready for adventures.

10. Sunscreen or bug spray? – Both, but I always forget them and end up sunburned with bug bites

11. Nylon, rope or leather halter? – Leather. I think it just looks classic on my little tb’s face.

12. Saddle or bareback? - For a long time I was riding bareback because I was lazy. But I prefer a saddle or at the very least a bareback pad.

13. Mares or Geldings? ... Stallions? - Geldings!

14. What type of saddle do you use? – My dressage saddle is a Wintec Pro Dressage and I LOVE it! It’s super comfortable, it’s light and it’s easy to take care of. I especially love the equisuede that acts like glue and keeps me locked in the saddle. My western saddle is a Circle Y park and trail saddle. When I got it I was absolutely in love with it. I bought it to match my headstall and breast collar. It’s a great saddle but it isn’t super comfortable. It does it’s job well, and I love how Piney moves in it. plus it fits him well!

15. Something silly about your horse’s personality? – He is the world’s laziest Thoroughbred. He will fall asleep in the arena if I let him stand long enough.

16. Jumping or barrels? – Jumping. Although….barrels looks like something I’d give a try if I could get Piney going.

17. Favorite gait? Why? - I love the canter because on a smooth horse it feels like you are riding a big rocking horse. Piney’s canter is amazing! He’s got a huge stride and covers so much ground and he is super smooth. BUT he doesn’t do it unless we have a big conversation first….he needs some work…

18. Favorite horse movie? – The horse in the grey flannel suit!

19. Favorite horse websites? Greenhawk, Dover, Chicks saddlery, Stateline Tack and Blogger...hahaha I follow a ton of awesome horse blogs :-)

18. What color saddle pad, halter, etc.? – My saddle pad depends on my mood and outfit. My halter is dark brown leather, but my nylon halter is a sage green. My saddle carriers and other “luggage” is hunter green. Piney’s winter blanket was tan and navy plaid. His lighter blanket, sheet and hood are hunter green. His cooler is bright blue. His fly sheet is red.

19. Do you like natural horseman ship? – I don’t really know a lot about it. some of it looks interesting.

20. Biggest achievement with horses (so far!)? – Every ride is an achievement! But I think Piney getting reserve champ at his last show is my biggest acheievement.

21. Appaloosa, paint or both? I prefer real loud paints that are mostly white. I am not a HUGE fan of Appys because they tend to have creepy eyes and pathetic whispy tails…but some of the snowflake blanketed ones are really pretty.

22. Weirdest thing you've ever done with a horse? – I watched the movie Racing Stripes with my old horse.

23. Ever ridden on a beach? - No, but I’ve ridden on the shore of a river.

24. Ever gone camping with your horse? - Yes! And it was a blast!

25. How old were you when you fell off? - 17

26. Trail ride alone or with a buddy? – Well when I trail ride I’m always with my buddy Piney! Lol! But I like having company, sometimes I prefer going alone. It gives me more time to think and relax.

27. Helmet (i hope) or not? Both….yes I know shame on me!

28. On a scale from 1-20. How much do you love horses? 17…I love them but sometimes they can really piss me off! Especially when I was paying board, or vet, or farrier, or I’d been kicked, stomped, pushed, dragged, or if I had to miss out on ANOTHER fun event because I was on call for horse chores.

29. Ever been really scared on a horse? Yes.

30. Did you like this survey? It was just fine!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tucker gets tutored.

Today is a big day for Tucker.

Trailer hunting :-(

One of the problem with owning a horse is that they sometimes need to go places. While it would be fun to ride them to their destination, it's just not an efficent use of time. In North Dakota going anywhere from October to May is pretty darn cold, so riding long distances across the open, windy plains would be just plain cruel for horse and rider. A trailer is something that I realized I need.

One of the problems with trailering my horse is my almost paralizing fear of them. When I was a young filly I had no problem loading horses. I'd leap right up in to the trailer and fearlessly secure the horse then hop right out.Back then I had a horses that loaded like a dream and the trailer we used was a 3 horse slant with living quarters. After my accident, where I learned first hand how hard a panicing thoroughbred's head and the side of an escape door are, I have been a lot more fearful in and around trailers. It doesn't help that when Piney sees a trailer he starts getting nervous. If I even lead him near a trailer his nostrals get really big, and he'll snort and prance around a lot too. Obviously leading me to beleive he's had a bad trailer experience somewhere along the road. When I got him, the vetranarian who gave him to me tranqualized him, just to be safe. The next time we trailerd him, he was a pain to load, and kicked my friend as she was trying to secure the butt bar. Later that day is when he smashed me against the escape door in his attempt to flee with his already escaping buddy. Shortly after I was able to catch him. we temporarily stalled him and flagged down the vetranarian who gave him to me and was luckally at the horse park doing teeth. He tranqed him again and helped me load him. Piney did NOT want to load into that trailer...even zonked out of his mind!

This is almost identical to the trailer Piney had troubles with. Except it had escape windows instead of doors.
How terrifying for a horse right? That cave is certainly filled with bears and other horse eating monsters.

In a perfect world I'd have a large slant load horse trailer with living quarters. The problem is that this isn't a perfect world and my large slant load horse trailer with living quarters is just a dream. There is no way that we can afford one right now. We'd have to live in it year round!
I'd gladly take this trailer off their hands. Its listed at $53,500.

or this one I think its listed at $45,000

and we could camp in style too!

I've looked at older horse trailer with living quarters and they are usually straight load...which make me panic. Yes,  obviously I am going to work on my anxiety AND Piney's anxiety with whatever trailer we end up with. But I'm just not crazy about straight load trailers. The idea of me standing directly behind a horse to secure a butt bar or close a door makes me feel uneasy. It was never the case until I met Piney.
Since i've ruled out my dream of  a 4 horse slant with living quarters, I've started hunting something a bit more realistic. Something in my price range which sadly isn't huge...The following are trailers we are considering.
$400 trailer

$350 trailer

A steal at $300

another $400 trailer.

$500 for the beauty.
i am KIDDING about those being my options. i wouldn't even haul my couch in these traps! Can you even imagine hauling a horse in one of these? you'd have to have a SAINT of a horse to go near them!

I can't even beleive how much trailers cost in these parts! The following trailers are better than the previous ones but I still wouldn't load my horse in them!


this one for $1200!
What I have decided on is I think that I want to buy a stock/combo trailer. Something that I can convert into a slant load trailer. I don't as that it be the prettiest trailer in the world but all I want is for it to be safe. We hauled Piney up north in an older 70's stock/combo trailer that belongs to my hubby's family. They used to haul 4 horses in it. I don't see how 4 modern horses could fit in there! It had a gate in the middle and piney had to stand slanted in order for it to close.  He's a long horse! Even thought I think he is tiny! :-) Piney loaded ok in that trailer, Hubby had to do it for me. All I could see was everything going wrong with me loading him. But he loaded and un loaded as well as to be expected. Next time I am up north I plan on working on loading in the trailer with the Coneman.

This is the trailer I'm looking for.

But the hunt continues. I know my trailer is out there somewhere waiting for me. I just need to find it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I love the Badlands!

This past weekend I went to my favorite place on earth, the badlands in western North Dakota. It was just a quick trip and we didn’t get to spend as much time as I’d like to out there but it was still awesome. For the most part, North Dakota is flat especially in the Red River Valley region where I live. The soil here is rich and fertile which makes it very valuable farm land. But if you head west you start seeing much different terrain. Halfway across the state, in the capitol city of Bismarck you start seeing hills, and then once you get further west you will see the badlands. It’s almost like they appear out of nowhere. You will be driving and driving and DRIVING and then all of a sudden you have the most beautiful canyons and buttes and hills! VERY opposite of the eastern part of the state where I live.

me looking all touristy

I absolutely love it out there. I’d live out there if I could! When I’m out there I always find myself daydreaming about what it was like to live there in the 1800’s. Here is a little fun fact for you. President Theodore Roosevelt once said "I never would have been president if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota.” He was referring to area where we were last weekend. We watched a video at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and they described the outfit that TR was wearing when he showed up. It made me giggle, to know that he showed up out west wearing a custom buckskin suit from brooks brothers and carried a silver hunting knife from Tiffany’s. I can only imagine what people thought when he arrived there!

Anyways being out west made me incredibly “horse-sick”. I wanted to ride out there SOOOO BAD! Everywhere I looked was something horse-y. When we stopped at the painted canyon scenic rest stop there was a trailer with halters tied to it which meant some people were having fun riding through the canyons. Then when we rolled up to the town of Medora, we passed the Medora riding stables. It’s a dude ranch that I’ve ridden at a few times. I was actually hired to be the assistant manager there for a season years ago but I passed on the job and I have kicked myself for every single summer since. Ugh! It would have been amazing to work there for a year!

We then decided to drive through the park. It’s a 36 mile loop through the canyons. I of course kept daydreaming that I was on horseback exploring. We had to stop in the road as a trail riding group passed. I was sad that I wasn’t up there riding. I always think it’s funny to see people riding that have never been on a horse. I found myself mentally correcting each rider as they passed. “Lengthen stirrups”, “get off that poor horse’s mouth!” “fix your reins!” I am a jerk…lol.

We saw a bit of wildlife in the park. But we didn’t see any of the wild horses. Most of the horses that are living in the park are descendants of ranchers horses and cavalry horses, but most of them are modern ranch horses that have gotten away and joined herds. We got real close to some prairie dogs and a small herd of bison though. Hundreds of years ago, bison herds were as big 10 miles wide, but of course they were hunted into almost extinction when white people came west. I can’t even begin to imagine seeing a herd as big as 10 miles wide! We saw one herd with about 25 and the one we drove right up next to had about 15. The cows were scrawny but the Males were HUGE! And of course the calves were adorable.

When we got back into town we stopped in a bunch of touristy shops which had tons of western inspired souvenirs. Both hubby and I have been looking for new boots so we tried on a bunch of pairs. We don’t NEED new boots but we WANT new boots lol. But we couldn’t find a pair we had to have. We were walking on the boardwalk when two girls rode up on horseback. Super jealous. They were laughing and having a good time. I wanted to be on my horse riding through town, laughing and having a good time as tourists took my picture and little kids asked to pet my horse.

The hubby took me over to the Mah Dah Hey trail that his uncles and he go on when they bring their horses out there. It had a horse campground with trailer parking and little corals. We both really wished we had our horses. So we got to talking and now our trailer hunt is getting serious. We want to find one soon so we can maybe even get out there this fall! (I have another post planned about trailer hunting for tomorrow.)

After we did some shopping and eating ice cream we went and watched a little “gun fight”. Bless their hearts they tried, but it was the worst acting ever. I probably wouldn’t do any better but it was kind of fun to see. I wish we lived closer so I could dress up in old time clothes and shoot guns every day in Medora! Maybe one day when I’m older haha.

We then went on a quick tour of the ND cowboy hall of fame museum. I loved it. We watched a video on the history of man and his horse in the west. Of course it made me want to ride my horse lol. I just love the history of the west and I love that they acknowledged that horses were a big part of the western expansion and the cowboy lifestyle. It also had a large portion of the move about how horses were a major part of the plains Indians culture and way of life. I am fascinated by Native American culture.

All in all it was a great little trip out there. I love the badlands as much as I ever have. And can’t WAIT to bring Piney out there to explore with me! He’s actually been to the badlands. Of course he was in the trailer and we were hopelessly lost but next time we’ll be riding and not lost in a trailer haha.

Oh and I DID end up getting a new pair of boots. They are winter boots but I love them. I wore them home yesterday even though they made me feet really really warm haha.