Tuesday, May 28, 2013

feelings of inadequacy.

I’ve finally come to the realization that winter is gone…it is finally gone. I put the winter blankets away last weekend.  So with that I have decided it’s time to cowboy up and start riding. Obviously though the weather isn’t cooperating. It looks like rain and thunderstorms for the rest of the week. Of course.

I want to ride George so bad, but there is that nagging fear in the back of my head that is telling me that I should maybe have someone come ride him first. Just to see what I am dealing with. The horse can be the biggest sweetheart, but then turn around and be a big sass monster. I’m told that he’s always been like that. Once he trusts you completely  he is your best buddy and will go to the end of the earth for you…but it takes time for him to get there. We are still in the process of him getting there. The moment I get to the pasture he comes right up to say hello, and check if I have anything of interest to him. He isn’t a big fan of being fussed over. Unlike Piney, he adored being fussed over. Duke and Pistol love it too. In fact If I am grooming one horse in the pasture, Duke will come up and demand that you groom him too.

A part of my brain is telling me to just man up and saddle. But I can’t seem to do it for whatever reason. I’ve been fighting huge inadequacy feeling about him for the last week.  Part of me wants to just contact Herringswell Stables and let them know that they should come find him a new home. They’ve let me know that if for whatever reason I can’t keep him that they will come and get him. It even says on his JC papers to contact them if he ever needs a home. I hate feeling this way. I hate that I don’t have a ton of horse friends that live close by that can just swing out and help me. So here I sit with a horse I’m in love with, but am too chicken to ride. He’s got all the makings to be my dream horse and I feel like I’m failing him. On his training barn’s website they have a whole page of Alumni horses from their barn doing all kinds of awesome things. Jumping big fences, going on fox hunts, eventing, etc. Then there is me I don’t do any of those things. I want to, don’t get me wrong I really want to. But it’s pretty hard to do it by myself. I know tons of you are doing just that though. It’s times like this that make me hate not being at a boarding barn. Where I have access to lessons and trainers, and horse friends and most importantly an arena. I don’t want this horse to go to waste, so I almost feel as if he’d be better off with a different home.

I’m being a sad sack. I can do this. I am a good rider. I have all the necessary equipment (well other than an arena). I have the knowledge. It’s easier to write those things than to actually go out and live them.

I’m thinking about adjusting my Wintec to fit Pistol tonight. For all I know he’s never been ridden English. But I want to start riding and feel that I will just try him out and see what happens. In the past I’ve never had any problems with a horse switching over. Does any horse have problems switching saddles? I’ve heard people say “my horse only rides western” or “my horse only rides English”. Every horse I’ve ridden I’ve always been able to use both. I always feel as if the horse enjoys my English saddles better because it’s less weight and I always feel as if I have more contact with my horse and not so much leather in between us.  I think it would be fun to show Pistol this year. He’s pretty easy going, and he loads better than the other two beasts. Obviously one of the reasons we bought him was because of how calm he was in the auction ring especially with all the commotion going on around him. It didn’t eve phase him…he might have been drugged…but every time I’ve ridden him he’s been a pretty mellow dude, even after having 6 months off. I figure I will start warming up my riding muscles by riding him a few times a week if I can find the time and then work my way up to the “Porsche” aka George. I still want someone else to come try him out first though...does that make me less of a rider? Probably.



Friday, May 24, 2013


So I've been just a big ol bag of emotions since earlier this week. I'd been doing so good for so long I figured it was time for a melt down.
Earlier this week I had a mini freak out on my drive home worrying about a pine tree seedling that I planted last summer in our front yard. As soon as I pulled into the driveway I rushed out to where it was planted and saw what I had feared. It had been run over by the lawn mower. I started to cry. Over a stupid little tree.
I posted on Facebook that I had cried over a tree that was killed and of course everyone and their mothers started commenting saying that I was probably pregnant. Totally not the case FYI. Obviously no one knows me well enough to know that I cry over stupid stuff all the time. My mom commented that in our home town, some trees were planted along the walking path and some kids pulled one out. It made her cry so hard that she made my dad go replant it. I guess my mother and I are two of a kind, big ol tree huggers. Which is funny because I lived in a town with a huge paper mill that employed most of the people in town...BUT they do replant a couple trees for everyone that they cut down. So that makes it okay.
Anyways ever since I found my little tree had been mowed over I've been sad. It all stems back to the fact I planted those two little saplings that my mom gave me, as my "Piney Trees". Since he isn't buried at home I thought that maybe I could plant the trees and then when I looked at them I would think of him. I think that I was extra sad because I figured that I couldn't even keep his tree alive and then had all those feelings come rushing back of the day I stood at the vet and made the decision to put him down. I couldn't keep him alive and I couldn't keep his tree alive either
There is still one remaining sapling that is doing well. I went and put a big marker on it so that it wouldn't suffer a similar fate. I should have done that in the first place for both of them.
I feel so stupid for crying over a tree. Who does that?! Well other than my mother...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

about me.

Stole this from Karley :-)

       1. How long have you been riding?
hmmm…I’ve been around horses on and off since I lived in Sweden which was what feels like 100 years ago… There were some gaps, but I’d say about 12 years.

2. Do you own a horse?
I do! The husband and I have 3 horses.

3. What discipline do you ride?
I’m not sure. I don’t really fit into one specific discipline. One day I will be trail riding in my western saddle, and the next I will be bopping around the yard in my dressage saddle.

4. Jeans or breeches?
Breeches. I’d wear them to work, out to run errands, for a night on the town…if it was acceptable to do so…however…I HAVE seen girls wearing faux breeches and boots out and about…. Every pair of breeches I have are just so comfortable.

5. Have you ever leased a horse?
I’ve leased 2. The first was a mean old Arabian mare I lease in Sweden named Xanadue the second was a big fat AQHA mare named Val. I have steered clear of mares ever since…

6. Do you take riding lessons?

No. But I want to start taking lessons again!

7. What is your horses typical diet for the day?
They eat off of a grass round bale whenever they feel like it. When they get tired of that, they graze the pasture. They also get a nice serving of beet pulp at night.

8. Are you subscribed to any horse related magazines?
I was, but I’m not sure if I am anymore…LOL

9. Tall boots, paddock boots, cowboy boots, or wellies?
I like to look the part when riding. Silly as that seems. So if I am in my English saddle I like to ride in either tall boots or paddock boots with short chaps. But I wear cowboy boots almost every day so it’s tough to pick a favorite.

10. What is your favorite color of horse?

11. Describe your horse.
George – The newbie. 16.3 hh gray OTTB gelding. This horse has had a fancier life than I have. His personality is huge and he is quite a character.

Duke – The boss. 15.1? Chestnut gelding of questionable lineage. He is a big thick stock horse type. This horse is a great big sweet heart. Loves to be a pet. When it’s time to saddle up he can be very sensitive. If you are in a bad mood…steer clear of riding this one…

Pistol – The old man. 16 hh chestnut gelding again of questionable lineage we are thinking appendix quarter horse. He’s had a lot of wet saddle blankets in his life. Someone dumped him at an auction because he had turned into a train wreck. We put the pieces back together and now he is a great big sweet heart that is fun to ride!

12. Can you remember the first time you fell off?
Can I ever! Sweden September 1999. My very first English riding lesson. The horse I was riding spooked, I lost my balance and fell off but not before I was dragged across the hard ground a few meters.  

13. Do you board it or keep your horse at home?
I keep them at home!

14. Have you ever competed?
Yes I have. A few local shows and barn schooling shows.

15. What do you compete in?

English equitation, dressage and baby jumpers.

Blanket/sheet question

My horses wear size 80 to 82 horsey clothing. I tried to squeeze Pistol into a 78 blanket last fall and it was like "fat guy in a little coat!" We have all of my mother in-laws  sheets and blankets from when her family showed Arabians they are all the the 68-78 range. I had tried to get one on Piney and that was a gong Showa real bummer because they are all really nice, great quality sheets! I am always seeing used blankets for sale that are in the 74 and smaller range. Do I just have really big horses? Are horses that wear size 74ish clothing pretty common? What size blankets do your horses wear? 

"Fat horse in a little coat"

Better fit...a bit on the big side though at 82.

81 and a nice fit. P.S. Duke thinks horse clothes are ridiculous! 

Size small. Perfect fit.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mr. Personality.

One of the first things I heard about George is that he has a quirky personality. Not that it was a bad thing. But just that he was sort of strange. When he was racing and it was time to train, he wouldn't unless he wanted to and was ready. Everything had to be his idea. When I spend time with ol George, I am learn a bit more about his personality every day. Yesterday for example. I had noticed that the flies were bothering him so I grabbed the jug of fly spray and went to spray him down. But after I realized that since the spray had frozen over the winter it probably wasn't going to do me any good, I grabbed a fly sheet and fly boots. I put the boots on him first. As soon as I knelt down to put his boots on, he planted all 4 feet and stood like a statue. Good boy. Obviously it wasn't his first time having anything applied to his legs. Reason #3,450 why I love OTTB's. Then it was time to put on the fly sheet. He let me know how much it displeased him to be wearing clothing. I got the stink eye, as well as more ear pinning than I've ever seen in my life!  The funny thing though, not once did he try to kick or bite me. I've never seen a horse act that crabby without some nipping or warning kicks. He just stood there looking back at me, ears pinned as if he was saying "Damnit woman! I don't need this stupid sheet on!" But later I looked out and realized that he was happy and bug free. so he obviously didn't mind any of it once it was on his body.

George in his new gear eating supper.
I've also noticed that George looks very handsome in blue. Thankfully I've got plenty of blue gear stashed away in the barn. Piney and Yellow's color was hunter green. But For whatever reasons I've ended up with blue tack.

Friday night we were out playing with the horses and I looked over and this is what I saw.
"Look at mah ink!"

"Hur dee hur hurrr"
He had something stuck in his cheek and was trying to get it out. Always makes me giggle to see horses do that.

He's a fun horse. He's big and he's strong. But he is a sweet heart. And each moment I spend with him I get more and more attached to him.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Today I was too busy for much pony time. Sad face. I did get out to visit the ponies for a little while and snap some pictures with my phone.
One thing I've noticed with George is that , like Piney, he prefers human contact rather than contact with his horse pasture mates. Pistol and Duke are always together. They are basically glued at the hip. George is always off by himself. The girl that worked at the ranch I got him at said the same thing, that he usually was by himself. I loved that feature in Piney. I could ride out alone and he was never barn or buddy sour. The other two monsters flip out if one is out of sight. Piney never cared if he was alone or not. 
I'm enjoying the time spent getting to know George. I am not sure when I am going to try riding. I want to spend a bit more time getting comfortable with him first. I am not opposed to the idea of having a trainer put a few rides on him first. But we will see.
So anyways here are some more pictures of George for your viewing pleasure. Snapseed is the best photo editing app I've found!

and now for some really boring videos!

Here are some incredibly boring videos of George last night. Please ignore the fact that we need to drag the pasture...

George out for a stroll

And another...

and just for the heck of it, here is a video of My first ride on Pistol this spring.

Wild first ride of the year...

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Duke says "Obviously I need to eat here. Right here. Where your nose is...that is where I need to eat at this exact second."

"This isn't the fancy barn I'm used to...but it will do"

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin.

We picked Georgie boy this morning an we are headed home!
I'd be lying if I said loading him was easy. It was bad. He didn't turn into a fire breathing monster like Piney did, but he was difficult. He was just stubborn really. We tried being nice, we tried treats, we tried a stud chain, and then we gave him some drugs. We resorted to the last resort process...basically using a cattle loading thingy that we backed the trailer up to and used a gate to push him into the trailer. Once he was up into the trailer he was fine. He didn't like the step up. We have that to work on. I got him in and situated and we were off.
When I got there today and walked up to his pen he came right up to me. It made my heart happy. He is a pretty easy going guy, other than loading. I love him. He is really blowing out his coat too. I hope to get most of it pulled off of him tonight because its going to be 90 tomorrow. It was 30 degrees last night and it going to be 90 degrees tomorrow...oh North Dakota I love you.
I got his papers today. I also learned that he was almost named 'Independent Ridge'. The thing on his papers that really made my gear happy was a little sticker that had the Herringswell Stables phone number saying if the horse ever needed a home to call them. It also said on the sticker "this horse was not bred for slaughter". He really did have a lot of people that cared for him and continue to care for him. He is going to be a fun horse. I only hope I can give him the life he deserves. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

One more sleep!

The summer of George starts tomorrow. We are currently in the rig headed west to Bowman, North Dakota for the night. We were in Bismarck for a wedding and now we are off! 

I'm so excited!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Well we did need it...

The big exciting news is... we bought a new trailer!!

A 3 horse slant with tack/dressing room. It's a 2006 model, but it is in amazing condition. Especially for a Minnesota trailer. No rust!

A new pony needs a new trailer right? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Even MORE exciting news!

By the end of the day I might have some VERY exciting news! Expensive news...but exciting none the less!

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Old George photos.

Today I present to you a nice little walk down memory lane with George. If you can’t already tell, I am pretty darn excited for his arrival this weekend! When I first got off the phone with Dr. B about George and all I knew was the potential new pony’s name obviously the first thing I did was look him up on Equibase.com. The second thing I did was searched his name and looked to see if there were any pictures.

Imagine my surprise when I found that his name popped up in one of my favorite blogs. Turns out Wendy at From Racehorse to Showhorse knew Georgie boy and had taken a couple pictures of him. I contacted her about him and she thought he was just a great horse and was happy to hear that he might be finding his forever home soon.  She has been so kind to tell me what she knew about him and even put me in contact with her friend who works at Herringswell Stables where he trained. They both are over joyed that George is going to have a nice new home and are eager to hear updates about him. It makes me happy that he still has ‘friends’ that care about him.

I also found George’s pictures in a flikr account and contacted the photographer asking if it would be okay to post his pictures here. She too was extremely happy to hear that he was going to his forever home.

So without further ado….
The first picture I saw of George
Photo by Wendy Wooley

Being naughty!
Photo by Wendy Wooley

Going for a walk!
Photo by Julie Ziek

Look at those dapples!
Photo by Julie Ziek

having a snack.
Photo by Julie Ziek
 In all of these win pictures, he was being a great big CREEP in the winnners circle!

Training with Icabad Crane
Photo By Maggie Kimmitt


I have a big collection of bits. Many of them I have never used personally but some how have made their home in my tack box. When people sell tack lots, they usually throw in a bunch of bits that they aren't using anymore. And I take them and put them lovingly in to my barn, because I might one day need one of them. I've only pictured are some of  our snaffle bits, I should do a post on the terrifying western bits I have aquired over the years...yikes!

Well George is coming home soon and he is going to need a bit. I'm not sure what kind to use on him. For Piney I used this Myler Comfort Snaffle D-ring. It was the bit every horse at my last barn used. I liked it well enough and he liked it well enough. I was told that TB's have low pallates so the Myler Comfort snaffles are a good match because it can't jab the top of their mouth as badly as a traditional snaffle.
I have been ridng Pistol in the Myler Comfort Snaffle D-ring. He responds well enough but I am thinking I might switch him to this Myler Comfort Snaffle.
This is a Korsteel French Link hollow mouth that might be a candiate for the new horse. But I don't have any experience with a french link, so I'm not sure the pros or cons.
There is this Stubben full cheek hollow mouth. But  I've never used a full cheek and don't know the pros or cons of these either.
or this full cheek.
I have a couple of these O-ring hollow snaffles. So if you want one...I can sell you one.
 And then there is this one that I used on yellow. I think I  bought it for Yellow because it looked like more of an english bit. Yeah...I don't know. I am thinking of putting this one on Pistol. The trainer last summer said he used a plain Eggbutt snaffle on him and he did great.
So if you have any advice or suggestions on what works and what doesn't I'd love to hear it! I have a few more bits in my barn too... obviously...

Monday, May 6, 2013

6 more sleeps....

Only 6 more sleeps until...
The Summer of George!!!


Yes I am a failure. A big time failure. I will explain later. This past weekend we went down to the Twin Cities area to visit my husband’s family and watch my niece’s dance recital. On Sunday we did some shopping which included Ikea, Mall of America and a tack store I’ve wanted to go to for as long as I’ve lived in this country.

We went to Ikea and wandered around for a few hours managing to spend quite a bit of money on tons of little things. That always seems to happen! “Oh look this is 99 cents!” and “Well it’s only $1.49” really adds up when you aren’t looking. We got out of there before we did too much damage and then headed to the Mall of America. There wasn’t really anything I wanted to look at there…15 year old me would have walked up and slapped me for saying “I don’t really want to shop”. We did go into Boot Barn and look at a few pairs of cowboy boots. The hubby needs them more than I do. He wears them for work…and well just about every other day too. I did try on some fabulous boots but quite honestly I have a hard time spending a couple hundred dollars on a beautiful, fancy, pair of boots that I will no doubt wear out to the barn and get muddy and or ruined. If I was one of those girls who lived in town like the sales girls at the store. Yeah, no problem spending that kind of money. Their boots will never meet a big steaming pile of horse crap. I had to shake my head at one of the sales girls, who was talking to some people from South Dakota about locations of their stores. ‘Yeah there is one in Grand Forks’ and then they said “Grand Forks is in North Dakota” and then she said “ummm I think there is one in Fargo!” to which they replied “also in North Dakota” and then she said “North and South Dakota should be the same state!”  Really?! I mean really. I was getting frustraited at the store. Too many wannabes, and people who wear western clothing ‘ironicly’ wondering in and out of there. Teenaged boys wearing skinny, Justin Beiber jeans…please shop somewhere else…On our way out of the mall we walked through Nordstroms because we’d parked near there. I saw a lovely pair of ’riding’ boots by Chanel and I picked them up to see what they cost. $1500. Yep, put them down and keep walking.

I need all of these. Not even kidding.

After leaving the Mall we made a little detour and went to Dover Saddlery in Medina, MN. We pulled up and there was a Lexus SUV, a Mercedes, SUV and a Hummer all parked in front. Yeah, no money required for this sport. I totally felt like a country mouse that had come to the city when I walked in that store.

I  was completely overwhelmed at all the beauty contained in that store. I seriously made a lap and just touched things that I’d seen in the catalogue and online. I took deep breaths when I walked by all the saddles and bridles because it smelled so awesome. I picked up things and hmmmmed and hawwwwed over if I ‘really’ needed it. I thought about picking up a pair of bell boots or splint for George but then I realized, I have no idea what size he would wear! I then looked at the sheets and blankets again, no clue what size he is. I’m sure he will fit the ones we have already. And then I stared at the halters for a really, really long time. What is George’s halter color going to be?!  Yellow, looked sharp in hunter green. Piney had a sage green halter that looked really, really nice on him before I got a nice leather halter for him. That leather halter with his sheepskin nose cover has been retired, and is hanging in my barn over his stall name plate. But I had another leather halter (which is actually a nicer quality halter) that I found in my tack hoard that I brought out when I met George. It looked really nice on him so I figure that will be his halter.
I'll take that one. And that one. Annnnnnnnnd that one!

This is what my collection at home looks like...almost.
We walked around for a bit longer. I picked things up and then put them down. I pondered over if I should get him a new saddle blanket. But decided I need to go through my collection first. And then finally we left the store. Empty handed. What a failure on my part! Who goes to Dover saddlery…and leaves with nothing. Not a bag of treats. Not a pair of jump cups. No brush. No Hermes saddle. No halter. Nothing!!! But I felt really out of place in there. There were tons of young girls and teenagers that were dragging their cash cows, I mean parents, around the store getting whatever their little hearts desired. All of them were dressed in breeches and were fresh from their lessons.  One father was having a hard time believing that his daughter’s horse needed two bridles. And the sales girl didn’t miss a beat saying that her horse had about 4. What I couldn’t get over is how clean these girls were for have just come from lessons.  No hay in their hair, not a green slobber stain across their shirt, no horse hair on their back after their horse used them as a scratching post after a good ride, no dirt on their knees. Nothing. They were like little catalogue models. But I guess when you get to the barn and your horse is tacked up ready to go and then leave before the horse is un-tacked and put away, you don’t really have that problem of getting dirty. Maybe I am just a country mouse and have no place in the city.

Once we left we made another pit stop at a store that claimed to have 1000 of pairs of cowboy boots. They also had tack. The store was HUGE! Lots of confinement English saddles, but nothing that jumped out at me and said bring me home. The rest of their tack was a bit over priced. So we ended up leaving empty handed…again. W.T.F?! I mean what is wrong with me?! I go to two stores with TONS of stuff for ponies. And I don’t get anything?! I’m getting a new pony on Sunday. And he needs new things, yet I didn’t buy him anything. Yeah, I don’t even know either!
I could TOTALLY make these work!
Where I come from...you'd never see this...