Friday, December 31, 2010

The best of 2010.

These are some of the years highlights from my world.

1. Horse ownership and my dream come true that is Steady.  This is the post of our first ride together.

2. My daughter getting her very own horse.  This is a proud moment in my life.

3. Riding my first cross country derby.  The most exhilerating experience!

4. Losing 35lbs.  Now that's alot of cake!!

Those were my personal highlights but here you can read more on all the highlights with the family and on the farm thoughout the year. 

2010 has been a great year!!  I am expecting even more excitement and more goals achieved in 2011!!!

Wishing you a happy happy New Year!!!!!!!!!

Back at it day two and a video.

So two days in a row really was a miracle with this weather.  I am so glad I got to though because day two proved to be 100 x's better.  I also gave up on relying on 2 goofy girls to video for me and set up the camera over a chair with board over the arms.  So people use tripods, country girls, we improvise..:).  I have cut and edited the video to get to the point. The our ride was about 30 minutes and he even worked up a sweat.
You can see in the warming up clips his signature head high, nose out and all stretched out trot.  But after a minute you can start to see some of the beautiful movement he has.  You'd never guess he wasn't meant for dressage when he starts moving like that. You definitely wouldn't guess he spent the last 10 years at the track.  You will notice sometimes his reaching for the bit becomes a bit excessive but I learned out to correct that pretty quickly and easly from the clinic this month.
I am most proud of his canter.  It has been a long time coming to get anything halfway decent at the canter.  I actually have not even focused on it at all up until December.  I figure we needed to get our aides down pat  before we went farther in our training.  The slow steady process seems to have really paid off.  There hasn't been long frustrating rides.  It has really set us up for continued success.  There is some patience involved with not just jumping on going full speed ahead in training. But I can say from experience it has made this process so enjoyable for me and for him.

P.S.  I set up our saddle fitting and lesson for Monday at noon.  Looking forward to it!  Keep your fingers and hooves crossed we find a good saddle for the both of us.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This year is going to be a dream come true in many ways.  This is a huge part of that dream and I am soooo very excited about it.  On June 23rd I will be flying out to Sacramento, CA to visit a friend and go trail riding.  We will be camping and riding this trail.  The veiws are absolutely breath taking.  I plan to get a helmet camera by the time this rolls around so you guys will be able to experience it along with me and I can have it documented.  Here is a video of the trail we will be riding.  A caption comes up that says Big Meadow and that is where our campsite is.  I am blown away by the trail and cannot wait to experience this. Check it out!

Eventing Camp. I am over the top excited.

Eventing Camp at CAF July 11-14 with eventing superstars...

Leslie Law

Dorothy Crowell

Peter Atkins

I haven't yet posted about it because it is pretty far off at this point but I cannot contain my excitement any longer and must post about it.  A friend of mine introduced me to the wonderful farm and owner Come Again Farm (CAF) and Lee Ann Zobbe(LAZ).  Lee Ann is an amazing person, trainer and has done an amazing job turning CAF into THE eventing farm in central Indiana.  She litteraly built an amazing cross country course.  By built I mean she constructed many of the jumps with her own two hands.  Each year she puts on an Eventing Camp.  Last year I did not know about it.  Actually I didn't even really know about eventing(gasp) yes it's true.  This year though I plan to be first in line when it come time to register.

From what I have heard it is a jam packed 4 days.  Starting Monday and going through Thursday with a schooling show to follow on Saturday.  Listen to the line up!  Dorothy Crowell, Leslie Law, and a name you may have heard this year or you have been under a rock Peter Atkins has just been confirmed!!!  She did have Becky Holder but schedueling did not work out.  Though Becky will be doing a clinic in Indiana in August so I am hoping to make that also.  They pack in as much information as possible.  Such as last year they had a vet come in and talk about lameness in sport horses during lunch.  How to spot and treat it.  I seriously get butterflies just thinking about being out on the cross country course with with all these amazing olympic and WEG medalists. 

So come July 11-16 I will be in eventing heaven!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I snuck it in.

Oooof that was one of the worst rides I have had in months.  And trying to have my 7 and 5 year old video was just as terrible.  Steady clearly had other things on his mind and cared not for what I wanted from him.  I do believe though we are having yet another saddle issue and I not only need to get in for a lesson but also a saddle fitting and have my fingers crossed I can find a used saddle that fits.  First sign is the fact that he reaches around as I am tightening the girth as if he is really ticked or just flat out wants to take a chunk out of me.  Instead he takes chunks out of the board fence he is tied to.  Thats a good sign something is not right.  Oh saddle fitting woes I know someday I will rejoice when you are over.  Down the long side he immediately put his head up in the air.  I am thinking it may have been that the snow was deeper over there and he was struggling to get through it but who knows.  This was a  problem he had in the begining and it has been a while since it reared it's ugly head...ok silly pun.  But on the near side he would at least start feeling for the bit and rounding some.  But all in all his energy was high and he wasn't focusing.  There was ALOT of hard bridging.  Agian not something I have had to do in a long while.  The one and only positive that came out of the ride is that he is starting to pick up his correct leads and right when asked and the canter is bouncy and fun and somewhat collected.  So I guess my goal for the winter months was to get the canter under control and to slightly resemble something that belonged in a dressage arena and that is actually coming along.  I just didn't expect to loose all the other stuff we had down pat.  Again another reason to head to that lesson.  Ho hum lets hope tomorrow proves to be a better day.  So not really any salvagable video but I will leave you with it's cooold oooout side!

Sneaking in a ride.

It looks like today and tomorrow are my only chances of getting in a decent ride in the near future.  The sun is shining and a warm 27 degrees(insert sarcasam).  Tomorrow's high is 32...oooh ahhhh.  Then comes the rain which will turn our winter wonderland into a slippery, muddy, winter mess.  So I am going to sneak in a ride or two and enjoy it while I can.  And we got a video camera for christmas so I am going to see if I can't sneak in a couple videos too.  Now if I am riding my 7 year old will be maning the camera so don't be expecting much.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Horsey wishlist 2011

I have a selfish wish list and of course I don't expect to get any of it but well I guess that is why it is called a "wish" list and go figure almost all are horse related.

I really want a cross country vest and kind of need one in order to do any cross country schooling or showing. 
A new helmet which is probably going to happen because with Macy starting to ride we will need another helmet and Elaina fits into mine so I guess that means I need a new one! 
An outdoor riding arena.  It is not neccessary but would be soooo helpful and then I can also take on more lessons and not have to worry about letting Elaina and Macy going out to ride. 
A new saddle.  This is just wishful thinking.  Saddles are so expensive and I have had such a hard time finding one to fit Steady.  If nothing else I hope to find a used one that will at least be better than the one I have for him. 
Build a tackroom in my barn.
Get 2 more acres fenced in.
A new bridle but it doesn't make sense to get a new bridle before I have my saddle.  Who knows maybe I will just get a new schooling bridle considering mine is like 20 years old.
Show clothes; breeches that fit, a shirt and collar, a jacket and gloves.
Also a few smaller items like Saddle pads and boots for Steady.
The list could go on but I will stop there because at least these are the more realistic from the list.
The unrealistic are a new trailer.  A truck. Build a new barn.  Have a pond dug.  Remodel the bathroom and bedroom.

And the thing I need most of all to afford all of it....A JOB!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

You know it's a good day to ride when....

You know it is a good day to ride when you go outside to feed and your face doesn't instantly sting from the fridged windchills.
You know it's a good day to ride when your snot doesn't freeze before it makes it out of your nose....eww....I know.
You know it's a good day to ride when you finished feeding and none of your body part are numb.

Give you one guess what I am doing today ;)!!

Nice part about having a quiet Christmas at home and no running to and fro to family events is I can get in as much riding time as possible!!  Merry Christmas too me!!

You will probably even see a post about driving!  It has been a couple months since we have driven Snappy but we always take an annual Christmas day cart ride through the snow.  One day we might even get runner attatchments for our cart to make a little easier on the guy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I can't feel my fingers.

But it really doesn't matter because I got to ride my horse, the footing is great and it feels sooooo good.  Like many people across the country I am struggling to find a time to ride that the weather will allow.  Whether it is rain in the PNW, cold, snow or a little bit of all of it, it seems that it is not the cards for people to get out and ride unless you are fortunate enough to have an indoor at your disposal.  But even then there are no guarantees if it is still too cold or your horse doesn't particularly like the arena.  I just haven't heard about many good rides as of late and goodness knows I don't have any to write about.
But against every bone in my body I forced myself to get out there today.  It is really the first day in 2 weeks that it has been even reasonably safe to ride.  With windchills hanging in the single digits it was just not safe to ride or sensable.  Today though the sun never really peaked out from behind the clouds though it tried but there was not much wind at all and the high was 25.  I was feeling very very down and overwhelmed.  Though I didn't want to I got out and saddled up.

Steady by no means was a perfect angel but he hasn't been riden in two weeks either so I think it is to be expected.  Also when all of your aides are frozen it really makes it hard to know if you are giving the correct aides and at the right moments.  The numbness kind of inhibits good riding.  He was very forward, more forward than he has been in a long time.  He was partially listening most of the time but I took what I could get.  There was no way I was getting flustered on the only ride I have had in weeks.  I see though that I am going to have to hit the ground running come spring time after all this time off.  I had about 2 very nice leg yeilds and he picked up his leads nicely and stayed in a nice collected canter.  I cannot not ask for anymore than that because that is great progress.  Even though we have not been able to ride since the clinic it was great to see that just that one day really helped us get the canter put together better. 
I am happy to say my mood has dramatically improved and my Steady therapy did the trick.  So I can't feel my fingers or my toes but my heart is happy so all is good!

I would like to add that this was his first ride since his shoes were removed yestereday and no sign of soreness!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hoof day tomorrow.

You will never see pictures of my ponies getting their pedicures.  Why?  Well because my farier is amish and amish do not appreciate their pictures taken.  But regaurdless he is a darn good farier. Every 6 weeks I head over to pick up Jessie and his anvil and bring him back to the farm.   One of the first times Jessie cam out to our place about 5 years ago my husband went to pick him up and when they got to the house his wife had come with him.  She gets out of the car and well she was barefoot.  We headed to the barn to get the horses and all the while the girl had no shoes on.  Nontheless they are a very nice family and it has been a cool experience getting to know not just that family but alot of amish families in our area.  But really when you go to the barn put on some dang shoes!

My husband loves to badger them with questions like "so you can ride in a car but not drive a car?"  or "oh you came from Pennsylvania.  how long did it take you to get here in the buggy?".  They are really good sports though or at least they put up with him long enough to take his money.

I am having him take Steady's shoes off and see how it goes.  He only has front shoes on and they were only put on after our first trail ride and he came up lame because his hooves wore down to the sole within the first 2 hours out.  As an OTTB he has probably had shoes on his whole life.  I am hoping that we can go barefoot over the next few months and we will see how things go in the spring.  Tomorrow at one I pick up Jessie and all the pony boys get their feets cleaned up.

Moonlight got new diggs.

Moonlight's stall has been a source of issues for years.  It does not drain properly and it doesn't help that there is a leak in the roof above his stall which makes it basically a constant wet mess.  I have tried getting gravel hauled in and grating it.  I even had a failed attempt at making a small trench so the pee and water would run out of his stall.  Which it would work to a certain extent but  once outstide the fluid had no were to go.   So a few weeks ago as I was in my frustrated state of mind trying to figure out a solution.  It occured to me that if I moved all my feed and stuff I (and by I, I mean my dear, sweet, patient, hard working husband) could put a stall in. 
So I decided it was time to do some rearanging.  Saturday was spent setting posts, cutting boards, moving stuff, putting up boards and viola a brand spanking new stall was done.  Steady now has a next door neighbor and Snappy is freed from the forelock pulling bully.  It is a win win.  Not to mention Moonlight not having to deal with a wet mucky stall ever again, Halalujah!!!

I would post a picture but I have seen some of the barns that people board at and I am a bit embarassed of my not horse barn that I have done my best to convert into a workable space for my four legged friends.  Don't get me wrong I am soooo grateful for my barn and the fact that it is workable so I can have my horses but it is just not the same as some of the boarding facilities out there with all the fancy schmancy pants stuff in some barns.  I am not knocking it because if I could afford it you better believe my horses would have the best out there but they are quite happy witht their pasture and stalls and that is all that matters.  I never have to deal with turnout times, or too many riders to get in a good ride so it does have it's benefits ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting the most out your lesson

I am a fan of The Chronicle of the Horse on facebook and they have some really interesting articles.  I especially liked this one.  I could relate to it and it was great information.  Making most those 45 minutes amateurs; guide getting top value from lessons.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Worms, parasites and other fun topics.

I heard the most facinating talk on the radio the other day.  I don't know if any of you have heard of or listen to Horses in the Morning but they have some interesting topics and great for those of us that love to indulge our horse addicted minds.  Last week I listened to this facinating topic of worms and parisites.  I honestly am not very educated on the subject and that show was very informative.  This may be stuff everyone knows but I did not so it helped me but also left me with questions.  I plan to talk to my vet this week about it.

My limited knowledge of de-worming was you buy a de-womer at the farm store and keep your horse on a scheduele of every 6 weeks.  Administer the paste orally and that is about the extent of it.  I found out that de-worming isn't necessary in all horses.  That a majority of horses maintain a healthy level of parasites with no help.  There are horses though that do need to be de-wormed but the best way to regulate parasites is to have their poop tested.  Now I have not checked into the cost of parisite analysis and I hope to find out this week.  I am thinking though that even if I find out that one of them does not require regular worming in the long run it would not cost more to have them tested periodically. 

The reason though that they do not suggest the regualar de-worming method is not to save any money but to preserve the effectivness of the medicine.  I found out that there are no new developments in the area of de-wormer and if we over use them and ruin the effectivness and we will be left standing with little help in controling parasites.  That IS a great reason to use de-wormer resposibly.  I will not go into any greater detail in this post because well you could just listen to the show but it is interesting and definitely worth a listen.  It's pretty funny that the topic of poop could be so very interesting and only horse crazy people can understand..haha.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A butt scratching mystery.

Literally.  I went out to feed this am and give Steady his once over.  Pretty much the extent of what I have done horse related this week since the temps were hovering frightening close to 0 all week.  As I was looking him over he had a large, fresh gouge out of his hing end at the top about 6 inches left of his tail.  It was wet with very little blood.  Looks like it just scraped off the top layer of skin but didn't break it.  It looked to fresh to have happened last night.  I looked his stall up and down over and over and could not find anything protruding or something with his hair on it.  I have no idea how he got it.  The worst part is that he did get it and if I don't know how I fear it could happen again and God forbid in a worse place on him.  Grrr it is frustrating.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Are you calling me a horse??? Why, thank you.

How am I like my horse?  I think I am like Steady in just as many ways as I am not.  In our determination, competitive nature, never giving up, high pain tolerence and work ethic we are all but identical.  We could be dangerous together working toward a goal,

In his stoic personality, his steady temperment,  his level headedness those are traits I do not possess.

Mostly though in his guarded heart we are the same.  It is not that he does not possess the ability to love or be loved.  If I had to guess it is more of the past disappointments in his life that have caused him to be gaurded.  That there were those in his past that he trusted and gave his heart to and they took that precious gift and abused it.  They didn't return the love or they left him standing alone when he thought they would be there for him forever.  It is not that he doesn't contain the ability to love or be loved because I have had the rare priviledge to feel his love.  It is not that he cannot trust because he has placed that fragile gift of his trust in my hands.  It is quite the oposite we are both creatures that to most of the world seem tough, cold, indifferent but to those few souls in this life that we trust with our hearts they are the only ones who truely understand the depths and lengths that our love goes.

Ok seriously didn't even mean to go there I just thought this would be a light hearted personaity analysis and that was extremely powerful and deep.  Excuse me, I need to go kiss a horse.

Thanks to those who posted this.  I don't even know who the originator was but I first read it at A Year With Horses and also at Opening Up the Chord and Counting Strides and  A Fearsome Beauty.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Elisabeth update

I did my best to make their Thanksgiving as nice a possible so I doubled our entire Thanksgiving and brought it to them.  I just knew that her mom had to spend so much time caring for her she wouldn't  be able to spend all day in the kitchen.

She has really been in alot of pain and on vicodin around the clock.  She went in on Tuesday for an appointment and the dr. said that surgery was neccessary.  We were all really hoping it could be avoided but that is not the case.  Thursday was her surgery and it went well.  She got to go home the same day.  The first few days following the pain was still just as intense but now about 5 days out she seems to have moments thoroughout the day that she feels "good".  good enough to get up and move around.  She is in in a splint and can now stand and walk with her arm in a sling.  Her break in her elbow was the most severe and the bone was actually rotated out of place and that is why she had surgery.  She had 4 pins put in.  They were very happy that they did avoid using screws.  So she is very slowly getting better each day and now it is time to figure out what she can do since all the things she loves she cannot do for a while.

They have also not been able to even think about the horse and how to handle him.  I am trying to help them as much as possible work through it but they can only deal with it the way they need to.  Right now I think they are leaning toward selling him but they are not going to make any quick decisions which I think is for the best.

Thank you so much for all of you who have been so sweet and supportive through all of this.  It really means alot

Last minute clinic! Are you kidding me!?!

I am still in awe that this happened yesterday.  So a couple weeks ago I got an email that there was a dressage clinic at the stable that I take lessons at.  I have never been to a clinic before but covet the opportunity to do so.  I didn't mention it to my husband because I knew the answer would be "do you have the money for it".  So I abondoned the idea.  The clinic was to be yestereday and I awoke with one the on the brain yestereday.  "Maybe I could at least go to watch".  It is about and hour drive for me.  I had already promised the kids we would do our traditional Christmas tree cutting down day so I was not sure if it was possible to squeeze in a trip to the clinic.  I was looking at the email and Ryan asked what I was looking at.  I explained it to him and would you believe the next words out of his mouth????  "Well why aren't you going?"  WHAT!!?!  So you better believe I jumped out of bed grabed my phone and asked if they any openings.  Well why yes they did and I was to ride at 1:30!!

  • Run do chores
  • get the family ready and in the car
  • drive 30 min away to tree farm
  • walk through hundreds of trees to find the perfect one
  • cut it down/shake it/ tie it to the roof
  • drink cup of hot cocoa
  • drive home
  • put tree in stand
  • throw in saddle and all riding gear
  • hook up trailer
  • throw in Steady ;)
  • drive to clinic to arrive at 1:20
  • Throw on tack
  • warm up for 5 minutes
And that is how one shows complete inabilty to control their absolutely insanely crazy horse obsession.
There were three of us riding for an hour.   Lynn looked about 16 on a bay warmblood that she has owned for about three years and Alisha looked about 17 on her chestnut thoroughbred mare that she has owned for a few months.  Each of them had all the good horsey gear.  The Anky saddles and Charles Owens helmets and all the other goodies that I probably turn green just looking at.   Then me trying to hide my green with envy face riding my Steady, 30 years old with my troxel helmet that makes me look like an egg head, my used coventry saddle and my probably 20 year old bridle.  Can you tell I have a bit of a 

Lightbulb #1 using correct aides at the walk.
She started off by trying to give us a mental picture.  She started with the "hallway"  she said we should think of riding in a hallway and always trying to keep our horses within that hallway.  That they like to get out of the hallway because in the hallway means work so it is our job to always keep them in it.  Then on a walk she explained how to ride a walk.  The walking thing is foreign to me.  I don't think in the hunter jumper world that the walk is ever given much attention and thus I do not know the first thing about how to ask for a correct walk.  She explained that I should apply leg alternately as the horse moves and coordinate with his movement.  This made sense and this was light bulb number 1.

Lightbulb #2: sweeping in to the outside rein.
Next mental picture was to "think of sweeping the kitchen floor all the time."   We should always be sweeping the horse into the outside rein.  The inside rein is the just there and not used to get correct movement.  Lightbulb #2: sweeping in to the outside rein.  Use the inside leg and sweep into the outside rein.  That the outside rein is where the contact is. 

She put us all on about a 20 meter circle in our respective parts of the ring to do trot work.  About 20 minutes in I started noticing the lack of attention Steady and I were getting.  About 30 minutes in I started noticing I think I need to start doing a little more trot work at home cause I was starting to get tired.  By that time Leslie had come down and appoligized for not giving Steady and I adequate attention.  Listen to this, she said "You two are just farther along than the other two" I think I had a momentary ego boost on that one.  I was soooo proud that we had a little acknoledgement on our progress and by a pro none-the-less!  She made a few more statements headed our direction the big ones were:  "You have got a beautiful horse.  You two seem like a perfect match.  Do you realize with the correct work what an amazing dressage horse he could be?  You have a wonderful horse, he is very honest and obedient.  He really wants to please you."  I am blown away that a woman of her calliber saw so much in my OTTB.  I am not trying to brag but she did not say those type of comments to the other girls or about their horses.  So I am fairly confident she wasn't just saying those things because I was paying her...ha. 

So my complex of not having all the proper or fancy horse gear turned into "See you don't need all those fancy things to get some pretty amazing stuff out of your horse".  The stuff will come little by little but it was nice to remind myself that it is OK to not have all that I want in this world.  I just need to be content and  take what I have and make the best of it.  And always remember why I am doing this, it is not for the progress though it is nice.  I am doing it for my love of horses and as long as I get to go out and ride my pony then the rest is icing!!!

Next she said two words I was hoping to hear.  LEG YIELDS!!!  Ever since I read the post about leg yeilds on TB at X I have been facinated with trying them.  The post is very descriptive you should check it out.  I also loved that the aides explained in the post were the same aides Leslie told us to use.  Outside rein/inside leg.  She said "Starting at the A end of the ring turn at the quarter line and start the leg yeild at the second letter.  Inside leg to the outside rein."  It was at that moment that I realized I have started to understand the "language" you know that second language called dressaganese.  I realized she had been using termanology all day that two months ago would have been just as effective to give me directions in Chinese than Dressaganese.  Woohoo, next step to actually learn how to speak it.  If you have ever learned a second language you know that you can understand a spoken language much sooner than you can fluently speak it.  That is where I am at I can understand about 75% of the language but can only speak bits and pieces.  Hopefully the speaking of it will come soon.  Nevermind that we were talking about leg yeilds. 

Lightbulb moment #3 what a leg yeild feels like.  The neck is to stay straight, inside leg to outside rein and they only cross over slightly.

Light bulb moment #4 Where his head needs to be. 
For the first half of the lesson Steady would go on the bit nicely and then be super dramatic and pull his head super low.  This is not a regular occurance but I am glad she was there to see it so she could help me correct it.  A couple half halts and if it doesn't work then transition to a walk and quickly back to a trot.  After fiddling with him for few minutes I figured out the half halt idea worked in conjunctin with pushing him forward with my leg.   At some point during our ride Leslie said "Right there, that is where you want his head.  So lock that image and feeling into the microchip in your head."  Very helpful as long as my microchip does not fail me.

Lightbulb #5 The motor is in the rear end
My goal is to get him to work from the rear end.  As a racer he is inclined to go out in behind but he does come under himself nicely he just needs more practice and fitness.  haha speaking of fitness about 40 minutes into it, mostly troting, I was reeeeally feeling it and my muscule response was getting slower and less acurate.  Poor Steady.  It probably started to feel like Gumby was on his back.

Light bulb #6 how to properly ask your horse for a canter....REALLY?...not sure how such a basic priciple is a lightbulb for me but obviously what I needed. 
At that point she ended the lesson.  She appologized to me that we didn't get to the canter but she just didn't have time with the three of us.  I then so sweetly beeeeged if she would take 2 minutes at that canter with us.  She agreed!!  This is where I am really hoping to improve over the next couple months and we need some help.  She had us on a 20 meter circle at the center line prepare aides and quarterline ask.  Bwahaha not good.  He scooted off and in her words "ran like a chicken".  Well that is typical and I just always thought it was an issue he had.  Oh boy was I wrong.  After her correcting me, my aides and my movement he really had very little problem picking it up.  I think her exact words were "why in the world were you posting?  What do you think posting really fast tells him?"  me:" Uh to trot faster".  L: "Why do you think he takes off running like a chicken?  Because he thinks that is what you want from him?  Me: "OOOOH".  Duh!  L: "Sit your ASS in the saddle, sit back, look up and ask your horse to canter!!!"  Me:  AH HA, now I get it.  Oh boy is my horse tolerent. 

I walked away with so much information and so much excitement I thought  I could explode.  It was phenomenal!!!

The remainder of the day went like this
  • Untack 
  • go into the tack store at the stable and buy a leather halter with brass nameplate for my daughters horse for x-mas (get a little jealous that I don't have one for my horsey) 
  • attempt to load Steady into trailer
  • Steady slip getting in and then deciding it was not something he cared to do today. 
  • Freezing my butt off trying to convince him he needed to get in. 
  • Did I mention it was cooooold outsde? Brrrrr 
  • Begging for an innocent bystanders help.  which I hate to do because they always have their own ideas of how to get a horse in a trailer and I know EXACTLY what it takes to get Steady in. 
  • After 5 minutes of me saying no all I need you to do is _______.  No do not get close to him.  All I need you to do is _____. 
  • The nice girl finally doing what I asked and Steady jumping right in.
  • Me telling Steady that that wasn't nice and now I am frozen.
  • hour drive home.
  • unload Steady
  • cook dinner
  • do chores
  • eat dinner
  • try to thaw out
  • Decorate christmas tree with the kids
  • put the kids to bed
  • crash on the couch and watch a movie

THE END....until tomorrow.

Baby it's cold outside.

The dedication and passion it takes to go out and ride when it is 27 degrees is a strange thing.  I happen to posses that ability.  Some call it dedication, some call it passion others (including my husband) call it obsessive.  Call it what you want it is cold.  I am glad I forced myself to get out and ride though my body was telling me to curl up on the couch and watch a movie.  Other than the fact that I still cannot feel my toes I stayed moderately warm.  But getting to live in that connection there is when I am on Steady's back is no match for dropping temperatures.   He proves his abilities each time I get on and I am usually in awe.  First at his work ethic, then and his intellegence and mostly at his tolerence.  He has had to put up with me making so many mistakes on the ground, in our rides and in saddle fitting and those are only the mistakes that I recognized.  Not to mention the ones I completely over looked.

He gave me a great ride and always tries to give me what I am asking for.  His trust for me is phenomenal.  His seperation anxiety has gone down tremendously and if I am near it is gone completely.  He does still struggle when I leave and there are no horses but he has made wonderful progress.  He knows I will take care of him and he has almost no fear if I am there with him.  It is scary to me to tie my heartstrings so tightly to another living thing but it cannot be helped.  I love this horse and our bond is amazing.