Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guaranteed to make your blood boil!

An article from a Hutchinson Kansas newspaper website made my blood boil this morning. It is entitled “Dressage by any name not an Olympic sport” (link to the article here.) Basically it questions why Dressage is an Olympic sport but not roller derby. One of my favorite quotes from writer Mary Rintoul’s entertaining article

“My limited understanding of dressage - a word that rarely escapes my lips - is a handsomely brushed horse that can leap short fences and tiny puddles without knocking down any fence boards or splashing itself with the smallest droplet of puddle water.”
Yeah…those dressage horses leaping fences…definitely at Olympic level horses there…I think she is confused with Show Jumpers and you are right Mary…Those 7ft fences with 7 ft spreads are short fences. Pssht…anyone and their grandma can jump a horse over that! I can see naughty dressage horses leaping the dressage arena fence at a local show, heck my best friends horse did that at the last show. She was eliminated, it’s too bad too because she was really hoping to make it to London this year.

How about this quote.
“True sports fans know the criteria for determining if an event - Olympic or not - is a sport. It should be judged by the number of gashes and bruises on the body, the amount of blood shed and the grass or dirt stains on a uniform. Add an occasional knocked out tooth and you've got yourself a sport.”
You know us equestrians have it SO easy. Basically we just sit there on a pretty pony and let it carry us around. We NEVER get dirty, and we never get hurt! Win!! Have any of you riders out there ever gotten bruised or gashed from your “sport?” Not me! I’ve never shed any blood either, and my breeches are always spotless and free of dirt and grass stains. Yeah that was true when I walked into my very first lesson ever. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve gotten mysterious bruises or shed blood.

Let me ask you this Ms. Rintoul. Have you ever seen a 1200lb roller derby girl kick an average sized girl before? I have friends that derby….and I’ve never seen that. How about that 1200lb derby girl, has she ever thrown another average sized girl to the ground from 6ft in the air? Yeah still haven’t seen that either. And I bet that 1200 lb derby girl has never bitten another girl either.  I understand how intensive Derby is. I’ve seen my friends get ripped to shreds doing it. But you CAN NOT compare dressage to Derby. "Roller derbians" have to be some heavy-duty athletes to survive the wall-slamming shoves and roll-up-your-sleeves punches they endure.” I’ve been slammed to the wall by a horse before…did that hurt less than being slammed to the wall by a derby girl? Jury is still out I guess…Anyone ever had a fat lip or black eye training for dressage? Yeah I haven’t either. My pretty pony is perfect and would NEVER hurt me. I dunno, maybe he has that last blow to the head when unloading my horse mabe erased some of my memories of what my horse has done to me…Concussions will do that I guess.
“But an event where a hangnail likely is the worst injury sustained does not a sport make.”

Dang hangnails, killing the careers of so many promising dressage riders. I don’t know about you but I wish a hangnail was the worst of my problems. Broken bones, concussions, bruises, cuts, scrapes, sprains, aches and pains. Those are NOTHING compared to hangnails.

I guess I am just a silly girl with a silly horse. I chose to take a safe sport than to participate in Roller Derby. Some people are morons….

Monday, June 25, 2012

Good bye Pistol.

Well we loaded up Pistol and sent him away. Not forever, just sent him to summer camp for a bit of a tuneup. I'd be lying if I said I was totally comfortable being the first to hop on him. So we came to the decision last week that maybe it was best if we sent him away to a trainer for 30 days. And since we had planned on leaving for the badlands with the other two we worried about Pistol having a melt down about being left home alone. So going to the trainer was also a sort of like boarding him while we were on vacation. I told hubby that maybe we should buy a small pony to keep him company. Totally got shot down on that suggestion , I don't know why!
We found a trainer and had been in contact with him via email for a while. He said he had room to take him last weekend. So we loaded him up on Saturday. And I gotta say this horse is so easy to load. Makes the other two look like jerks. Even with my trailer anxiety he got right in and settled right down. The trainer was about a hundred miles away and Pistol rode the entire way like a champ.
When we go there he unloaded just fine and wasn't looky or nervous about being some place new. I'm sure since he's been shuffled around so much he wasn't even phased by the fact he was going to be someplace new. Poor guy, I hope he doesn't think we've pawned him off on yet another person.
We were completely honest with the trainer about him, and he was thankful for that. He said that one of the last people that dropped off a horse said their horse "occasionally bucks" what that actually meant was that the horse bucked every time you looked at it. We told him that we bought him at auction and really didn't know too much about him other than he was extrememly head shy and we'd been working on that problem. We also told him that the one time we tried to saddle him up as we adjusted the rear cinch something pissed him off or scared him and he let out some pretty big bucks. That was before we had him vet checked so it could have had a little something to do with the fact he had giant beans growing in his umm undercarriage.
 But i had full confidence that this trainer was going to be great. He asked us what type of bit we'd like used on him and showed us his tack room which was a 10x10 room with bridles neatly hanging all the way around. I told him that he'd been ridden in a tom thumb but would like something less harsh. And he told me any bit can be harsh in the wrong hands. I really liked that because that's how I feel. But he said he would try him out in a snaffle and see how it went.
Before we went into the tack room he had me tie up Pistol and I was actually pretty nervous about that. Piney doesn't tie and usually stands pretty well ground tied. And  since he's destroyed cross ties in his day, I just don't tie him.  I tied Pistol up and held my breath. Champ. He just stood there. Exhale.

We left him and made the journey home. The next day I was working in the yard when I checked my phone and saw that I had an email from the trainer. He said that he had saddled him up and rode him that morning. He said that he rides pretty nice but he had some trouble getting him to open his mouth and accept the bit.  He said that he used a ring snaffle on him and had no problems with it. He neck reins and stops but has some trouble backing up. and then he said "All in all I think you have a pretty nice pony on your hands". YAY!! That made my day. Hubby said that he felt pretty stupid sending him to the trainer now. Especially since it took a stranger ONE ride to figure him out. I don't feel stupid at all. I'm glad that we sent him to someone. There are a few quirks of his that I'd like worked out, like the accepting the bit, and being fly sprayed. But I am so happy that we can probably go get him before our trip out west to the bad lands because I'm pretty sure Piney isn't going to be sound enough to go. And Piney won't go absolutely crazy being left alone.
I am SO happy that Pistol is going to turn out to be the horse I know he can be. I really believe that he is a been there done that fellow. But since he was a bitch to catch and was so head shy I think somewhere along the lines his previous owners just got rid of him because they didn't want to deal with his BS anymore. He is a dream boat to lead and my hubby thinks that under saddle he is probably the same. So far, with his purchase price, and vet visit, the trainer, and farrier, we have a nice horse for far less than he would have cost had we found him someplace else. I can't wait to get him home. Obviously it would have been cheaper if we had just saddled him up ourselves and tried him out, but I am a chicken who doesn't bounce back quickly after hitting the dirt. I'd rather pay someone to try him out first. Let's hope he can work out his other little quirks too!
I can't wait to get him home and try him myself :-)

In other horse news. I gave Piney a bath. I LOVE that he is a saint during bath time. Since basically he had a bath every single time he was exercised or set foot on the track he stands there like a statue while I hose him off. He probably enjoyed it after the hot icky weather we've been having. I've never had a horse stand as calmly and perfect during bath time. Duke was up next, what a gong show that turned out to be. I am sure he's never in his life had a bath. He basically thought the water was going to make him melt. Hubby had to hold him and I sprayed him down . We both got soaked but I think that Duke started to enjoy the water once he got over the whole "I'm melting, MELTING" mentality. Oh Duke, every day is a learning exercise with you...

Friday, June 22, 2012

I love where I live

The view from my front steps last night.

I love where I live, I can watch the rain as it rolls in. The sky is huge and beautiful out here. I can see for miles and miles and miles. I am thankful for North Dakota

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Scariest night of my life.

Anyone want 3 horses? They are free.

Last night we had some runaways. It was honestly one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me in my life. I don’t even know what happened other than they were in our temporary pasture/arena when one of the dogs scared them and before I knew it I was watching Duke completely ungracefully leaping over the fence bringing the entire electric rope with him. He actually dragged it down the road with him. A couple hundred feet of it. So off he went followed by his buddies Piney and Pistol.
They were off like a bunch of racehorses. Hubby caught sight of them a few miles down the road in a corn field. Piney and Duke had ditched Pistol on the side of the road. But as soon as pistol caught sight of the other two he was on the run again. Piney was the easiest to catch and he ended up turning himself in. I think it was because he’d hurt himself and was wanting to go home. He was limping pretty bad and of course he’d hurt his bad leg. I looked him over and noticed blood on the inside of his right hoof. Fan-freaking-tastic. There goes our trail ride in a few weeks. Obviously I am worried about him, but we have a trip we’ve been planning for a really long time that is probably going to be canceled now. When I had him looked over I was still in panic mode and didn’t really know what to do or who to call. Pistol and Duke were now long gone and out of my sight. Hubby was on their trail. I was out in the middle of no where with my horse. So I called my farrier who lives about 10 miles away and asked him what I should do. I don’t really know many horse people in the area and he knows everyone. I was in a no cell phone service area when talking to him and my calls kept getting dropped. Awesome.  My cellphone battery was also almost nonexistent. Super awesome. I was losing day light and starting to freak out more with every passing minute.  I decided to call 911 and let them know that there were loose horses. They said they’d let the deputies know and took my phone number just incase anyone saw them they could give me a call.
SO there I was on the road with a lame horse miles from home. I decided to try and drive my car and lead him along with the window open. He was doing great, we were going about 0.5 mph but we were headed in the right direction. Then all of a sudden he stops, dead in his tracks and I am still holding on. I have a nice baseball sized bruise on my arm that is brewing away. I got out and tried to get him going. Nope not happening. By this point I’m in tears. Like absolutely bawling. I was sobbing, and shaking, and swearing. Then I looked down the road and saw my farrier’s truck. He hopped out and took a look at Piney’s feet. The blood I saw…no clue where that came from. He didn’t have any cuts anywhere on his hoof, leg or even his body. So strange. He picked his feet and checked for any tenderness nothing. He had some gravel in his feet but nothing majorly wrong with his feet. He thinks happened was that he was running like a madman across the countryside in all kinds of footing and just kind of twisted his bad foot. We got him walking and then my farrier said that he was going to go search for the other two creeps. I’ve never had a farrier as nice as this one. I am so thankful to have him be as kind and helpful as he is.

So off Piney and I went on our 3 mile journey home. I was looking super fashionable in my black and white striped maxi skirt, tank top, and moccasins, clutching my little blue feed bucket “purse” and a must have fashion item of the year…a big lame OTTB gelding. I almost wish someone would have been there to take pictures. But at the time it wasn’t funny. At.all. We kept trucking and hubby was off hunting down the other two. It took an extremely long time for us to get home. As I was getting closer to home my farrier pulled up next to me. Daylight was almost gone, and I know farriers don’t have the luxury of sleeping in so I told him he could take off for home if he wanted too. He told me he’d wait for me to get Piney into the pasture and then he’d bring me back to my car. He told me that he called a bunch of people in the area and told them to keep their eyes open for two red horses. He also told me that he’d been talking to my husband as well as my neighbors. He also stopped by a few of his client’s houses and asked them to try and catch the fugitives and maybe keep them contained if they were able to catch them until we were able to come pick them up. He was also telling me stories of escaped horses that he’d had, as well as stories of his clients escaped horses. It made me feel better to realize that my horses aren’t the only ones to ever escape.
Our neighbors down the road, the same ones that had to tow me out of the ditch last winter had joined in on the search. Apparently I’m THAT neighbor that needs help all the time. Hubby had been talking to them, and they let him know that they were able to catch the two outlaws about 7 miles south east of our home. They had managed to halter one of them but the other was following along nicely. We caught up with the neighbors about 4 hours after our search had begun. One of them was sitting on the tailgate of their pickup and leading Duke, while Pistol followed along behind them. We did the hand off and I thanked them a million times over. And we were off, slowly and surely we were going to get home. We had only been on the road a few minutes when the Neighbors pulled up and asked if they wanted us to go get their trailer and haul them home for us. The horses were pretty tired and Pistol was pretty sore up front. We weren’t sure how it was going to go as Duke has been a real creep about loading, but we figured we’d give it a go.

I figured they would show up with a truck and their stock/combo trailer. Nope. They pulled up with a brand new BEAUTIFUL gooseneck, living quarters 3 horse slant. That they had just picked up today. I whispered in Dukes ear, “if you kick the crap out of this trailer, I will chop off your legs”. I was honestly not expecting them to load. I mean we were out in the middle of nowhere, it was 11:30 the horses had been crap heads all night. I had a bleak outlook on things. The neighbors son was able to halter Pistol and then load him effortlessly into the trailer. My jaw dropped. Next was Duke…yeah right. good luck kid! Duke leaped right in. Are you flipping KIDDING ME?! The horse has never been in a slant load. Moral of the story my horses load well, in trailers that cost more than my house. I am sure that the bright white interior and well lit interior of the trailer helped. I am thinking that maybe we should further investigate the idea of buying a new trailer, we’d be making payments until we died, but if it meant stress free, easy hauling of the horses it would be worth it.
So we got the outlaws home at midnight. They were happy to be home, I was happy they were home. We are going to make more permanent fencing for them so we don’t have a repeat of last night in the near future. I am ashamed of my horses and mad at them, but they are horses, they just thought they were being attacked and did what their pea sized brains told them to do in order to survive. Lesson learned. We got our horses back in the same day they left. Our negibhours told us about when they once had horses escape they hired a spray plane to search for them for three days to try and find them. I’m glad it didn’t come down to that!

Hopefully the horses will stay put for a long while. But I am so very grateful for everyone that helped out. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for them. I was worried for my boys, but I was even more worried about someone cruising down a dark country road with a van full of kids and smashing right into my tank of a horse. I don’t know what I’d do knowing that my horses hurt or killed someone. I’m just glad those creeps are home safe and sou….well not sound, but safe anyways! Nothing like a jail break to make you feel like the crappiest horse owner in the entire world. I told hubby a few times last night that I wanted them gone. All three of them. I didn't care where they went as long as they were gone forever. I am more stable now and I realzie that I don't want them gone. but often in times of great stress I do want nothing to do with them. Life would be easier without them but I'm not sure it would be worth it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How about some pictures?

Here are some pictures of my boys. I love them.

Monday, June 18, 2012



My $3.00 jumps!
(please pay no attention to my hillbilly landscaping and's a work in progress people!!)
I found a pvc pipe in the pile of garbage that came with our house...So I decided to put it to use!

The rails that came with the jumps were only 5ft long :-(  so I made due by making some baby cross rails.
(Ignore my hillbilly barn that needs paint!!)

Someone put A LOT of time into these bad boys.

I love that the horses are sorta art deco-y

This "paint" set of standards was different on each side.

my beautifully maintained arena....joking, joking...

I like this one because it looks like Piney.

Hey look it's my house! AND badly maintained yard! Don't judge...

The cross rails were hand painted too.

Custom hand painted jump standards that somoene put so much time and effort into.
I wanted to try them out so I set them up Friday night. nothing was higher than about 6 inches as I haven't really taken Piney over anything in quite some time. And I was home alone. And my phone was on it's last legs. And when I was tacking up the Cone-man he did something that caused my saddle to slip off the side and send him into panic mode, like a mountain lion had just landed on his back and he exploded into a buck to rid himself of it, so I figured he'd be pretty fresh.
So that was why I just wanted to have a quick, easy, light ride and introduce him to his new best friends. When I got on and started to walk around my "arena" he was very cautious of the monsters lurking in the arena with us. They were obviously put there to eat him. But after about 30 seconds of cautious and very carfully studying the new monsters he realized they were harmless and he went on with his life.
Piney was a champ and went over everything I pointed him at. We took everything at the walk and a little trotting. Now, he didn't do it gracefully and knocked everything down. Really horse? Can't even pick up those feet 6 inches? We've got work to do. Plenty of work to do. Most thoroughbreds I'v encountered get fresher the longer you leave them. First ride after a month off is usually a "hang on to your hat" sort of ride. I  apparently, own the only thoroughbred in the world that gets slower the longer you leave him. In fact he's the only horse I've EVER met that has this problem. Oh well...I guess I shouldn't complain too much he is the sweetest damn horse on the planet.

So anyways our ride was quick and painless. I love my new jumps and can't wait to use them more!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'm still here!!

I am still alive and kicking! I’ve just been EXTREMELY busy! Last week I traveled out to San Diego, California for my best friend’s wedding. I’ve never been to the west coast so it was pretty exciting for me.  However, from the moment I got to San Diego, until the moment I left, people made fun of my accent. Huh? What accent?!  I talk normal! But apparently my “O’s” are long and drawn out. When people would ask me where I’m from I’d say North Dakota, but apparently it would come out “Nooooorrrthh Dakoooottttaaahhhh”   So everyone would giggle and say “you talk just like they do in the movie Fargo.” Thank goodness I’m a kind person with a sense of humor because first off the movie Fargo doesn’t even take place in Fargo, it mostly takes place in Minnesota and secondly we don’t talk like that. But having a great sense of humor, the other bridesmaid from North Dakota and I hammed it up and totally played up our “accents” ya sure ya betcha! don’t-cha-know! People got a kick out of us foreigners. My friends San Diego friends thought us North Dakota girls were hilarious and couldn’t get enough of us. We figured out that if you live in North Dakota you have to have a sense of humor to survive here. I mean we deal with -50 degree winters, the snow we can get is unreal, we drive on black ice in the winter, I’ve put my 4x4 pickup in the ditch and had to be pulled out by a tractor, my eyelashes have frozen together. And that’s just the winter side…In the spring we can have devastating floods that cause millions of dollars of damage. Our summers can be awful too, 90 degree or higher days with 100% humidity, and we have mosquitos can lift you up and carry you away. You just have to make the best of it here and we do! There still isn’t anywhere in the world I’d rather live J

Life is so rough in California!
The wedding was so beautiful and probably the classiest wedding I’ve ever been to in my life. It was seriously like one of those wedding magazine weddings. California folks sure do know how to dress for weddings! I didn’t see one pair of blue jeans at the ceremony OR reception! So weird. But of course you can take the country girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. For the reception I wore my cowboy boots. Everyone thought it was awesome. Even the bride wished she had a pair that she could put on. All in all it was a great time! I loved having time to just sit by the pool and relax. I met a TON of great people, I can’t wait to go back and visit when I have more time to sight see.
A LOT of this going on at the wedding...I believe these were all mine...

my new besties

Horsey news update time. A couple of weeks ago we had the vet out to do the boys teeth and clean their under carriages. Duke and Pistol have probably never had any of those procedures done before so they were long overdue for them. They both had pretty sharp ridges on their teeth, the vet let my husband feel them and he said they were like steak knives. Their cheeks and tongues were pretty ripped up so the vet thought we should give them some time off before trying to bridle them up. They’ve been pretty happy since they’ve had their tune ups. Pistol lets me rub up on his face and he is much friendlier towards me now too.

Some exciting news for today is that I am being interviewed about my ex racehorse from Canterbury park! They are featuring exracehorses on their blog all summer long. While Piney isn’t competing at the same level as some of the horses they’ve featured he is such an amazing horse and I want to shout it from the mountain tops. So I will keep ya’ll posted about the outcome of this story.
Also I won, I won, I won! Mare (+ Missy) over at Simply Horse-Crazy randomly selected me to win her latest contest! A beautiful horse bracelet from Wyostyle. Super excited! I rarely win anything!!

LOTS of home makeover stuff going on at my house. While I was in Cali, hubby and his dad redid the fireplace surround, and gutted the bathroom and renovated it. It looks great! but now i have to clean up the aftermath! uff da!! I am also planning on refinishing the staircase this weekend while hubby is out in South Dakota on motorcycle trip. Here's to hoping everything goes okay with my project!!