Friday, August 21, 2009
What I really need is an awesome question for th Q & A session. Every clinic I have ever been to had free stuff to give away and it usually went to those with a good question. Any ideas??
Wait with all of that hoopla, I neglected to mention that a fellow blogger is coming to Clinton with me and staying with me and my horses. Don't worry she doesn't have to stay in the barn with the horses, though if I were 10 or so years younger that would have been a blast. Now I must head off and finish some barn chores and a little house cleaning.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Its actor Morgan Freeman with a baseball cap depicting a cutting horse. Now many celebrities show cutting horses (that's probably for another post), but this was a random sighting for me. I must credit my ever growing powers of observation for catching this hat because I really didn't get the caption. I know Freeman played God in the Bruce & Evan Almighty movies, but I can't figure out the Jack Nicholson - Devil reference.
Its too bad the hat doesn't promote a horse or farm, but it looks as if he has really worn it more than a few times. Of course I checked the NCHA website to see if he had earnings or a membership and could find none. Then I thought, duh, actors never use their real names, but after a short search it looks to me as if he does. Now I must end my complete randomness and get back to work.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Studly and I had our first show over the Memorial Day weekend. We won the $5,000 Novice Horse Non-Pro class on Saturday. It was very exciting and paid out well enough that I didn't end up too much in the hole. Well that's how it is with horse shows, you never come out ahead. My Dad calls it paying for entertainment. Either way, I was entertained. No pics or videos though, it was an outdoor show with the dirt blowing everywhere and the sun was shining into the camera.
The new little horse, MH Moves Millions, has been named Harley. He belongs to my Dad and they also took some prize money at the show. I sometimes call him Honda because he is so small. He is just barely 14.3 and maybe 900-950. He literally looks like a pony next to any other horse in the herd, including Star our Welsh pony, lol.
In other exciting news, I just got back Studly's photos. Here are just a couple. I'm working to update the website, but I also have to do actual work. I gotta pay the bills. Photos copyright Alea Photography and used with permission.
He was so funny taking pictures, just hamming it up big time. He ran right up towards the camera and then gave a little rear and buck.
Showing off the speed demon inside. I love how the sand is still flying from his last stride.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Anyway, in an article on maneuvering through trail class obstacles, I found this:
(Ignore my thumb) I believe the photo is the professional whom they consulted when writing the article. If you notice the right side of the cinch is at least 6 inches from the saddle pad. On the left side, it is touching the saddle pad. This article was something like 4 pages long with several photos, all clearly showing this saddling atrocity. Having a properly fitted cinch has always been a huge pet peeve of mine.
Studly's PtHA papers came in the mail today. Here they are:Hint: my horse is a 1993 model, with a bald face, high white stocking, and large white belly spot. So, yet another phone call to make.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
My arena is finally dry enough to use. Yay, but...
Yikes! First ride on Studly. It has been so long for him that I was all nervous. Thankfully, my sister is home for tri break from chiropractic school. We saddled Studly up in the barn. I had to go through all kinds of tack and saddle pads to get him fitted. I settled on one of Snoopy's pads, which is too long for him since his back is a couple inches shorter than Snoopy's. I had to bust out a 34 inch cinch, even though he looks like a fatty now, he just isn't as big as all the other boys. I also decided on Snoopy's nice myler bit. Don't tell him though, he's really jealous of little brother.
We headed to the arena with Studly blowing and snorting the whole way. Jeez, I'm not a trainer, I'm wondering what I'm getting into. He was really laying it on thick, putting on the scare show for us. I walked him a few circles around while he pranced and chomped at the bit. I made my poor little sis get on him first because I knew if he did blow up, I could hold/stop him alot faster than she could. Well, my God I'm a worry wart. He didn't do anything. She rode him around for a few circles. It's obvious he is really rusty. He's got no power brakes, which is basically when you push your hand into his neck while shifting your weight deep into the saddle and he is supposed to park his butt instantly. On a positive note, the steering is all intact though. I wanted to work this horse so bad. It would have been awesome to pull out the dummy and see what he remembers, but he's not ready. It will be a couple weeks of just riding before that will happen. First show is in just six short weeks, so we have some work to do.
Here's two quick cell phone videos from right after she got on. I had a third one, but apparently my phone thought it would be funny to delete it. Some of the reining is atrocious, but she was having a hard time getting a feel for him at first.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
My parents backyard 4-13-09 9:00am
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The far side where the water is coming in.
The center show how far the water has come through. Poor Scooby wants to follow me.
The oxbow which is being filled by the river. This is at least 3x fuller than normal.
From my parents back deck at 8:30p.m. You can see the river is getting full and leaking into the low land. This is still quite a few feet from the house and a pretty big drop off.
Friday, April 10, 2009
My lovely truckloads of sand sit waiting at the front end of my arena. They were supposed to be spread over the back half of my newly extended arena last fall, but it started snowing just two days after everything was leveled off. So they sat, pretending to be mountains until the snow became so deep that all was flat prairie once again.
We are moving 15 tons of hay out of the hay-shed and into the main barn storage first thing in the morning when the ground is more firm. My sad little old hay-shed with with a great roof, but no doors and a 4 foot hole in its side is starting to look more like a tar pit every day, or if I were an optimist some mudbath at a fancy spa. (No worries, though, my OCD ensured that every bale was perfectly stacked on pallets because heaven forbid one of my horses eat a spec of dirt.)
Here's to hoping there will be enough sand for my arena when its finally dry enough to use.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Well today is the day I officially get another year older. Enough about me though, because we celebrated 3 birthdays in the barn this month. Yes, I'm a crazy horse person and I wish happy birthday to my horse. No hats, balloons or cake (until someone gives me a horse-cake recipe anyway), but I like to give each birthday horse a special treat and a little extra scratch time. So, does anybody else have a horsey birthday party??
Monday, March 23, 2009
The biggest rodeo of the year in our area is the Y's Men's PRCA Rodeo held every year in October. That particular year of my beginning, my Dad somehow got me entered in mutton busting which is like the rodeo half time show. I couldn't have been more excited. I was a very tall kid and for some reason that meant I had to be last. All the sheep were in a couple bucking chutes with a rope tied snugly around each one's girth. A handful of cowboys were wrangling them and placing a kid on one then sending them out the chute. Just like getting on a bull. Well just like it if you're 6. The sheep would buck and run down the arena to where another cowboy was holding a catch sheep to form a herd. At that time, you had to make it to the herd to win, any ties were decided by the audience. None of the other kids had made it yet, their sheep were small and very quick. I remember my sheep being the biggest, wooliest, stinkiest and meanest of them all. I got put on that sucker and death gripped my hands on that rope. The next thing I remember, I was being pulled off of it from the middle of the herd by a clown, and I was mad because one of the other sheep pooped on me while I was stuck there.
I believe, riding that sheep while it ran zig zag style hopping like a rabbit on drugs was almost as much of a rush as cutting is to me now. So I'm pretty sure my cutting roots come from being the 1989 Mutton Busting Champion, and I have the T-shirt and trophy to prove it.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Me: Hi, I got a call from this number earlier today asking about a job, was it you that called?
Me: You caught me a little off guard earlier. I was at work, and I didn't really understand the whole call. I wanted to call you back and get a little more information.
Girl: mm k
Me: What type of job were you looking to do?
Girl: I want to take care of horses and get paid for it.
Me: How old are you?
Me: Do you have any experience?
Girl: Oh, yes, lots. I've taken care of horses for my Grandpa and my Uncle before.
[yeah, right, that means nothing]
Me: Ok. I'm not really hiring anybody right now. I have done trade-outs before though where in exchange for doing some chores, I will let someone ride one of my horses or reduce board on their horse. Do you have your own horse?
Me: Well, like I said I don't really have an actual job available.
Girl: I could just take care of your horses for you for free.
Me: That wouldn't be fair to you.
Girl: I'm in FFA and I could use it to get my SAE certificate.
Me: I didn't do FFA, is Mr. _____ still in charge?
Girl: Yes, he is.
Me: What's and SAE certificate?
Girl: Its where you work for an ag professional in an ag related job and sometimes get paid for it then the experience is part of school and you get a certificate for it.
Me: I have to tell you that I don't hold myself out as a professional. I don't train any outside horses or anything and get paid for it. The association I show with is very strict about professional rules. I hold a Non-Pro card and I wouldn't want to lose it by training someone else.
Girl: You don't have to be a professional, you just have to own horses and let me work for you.
Me: Hmm, well how did you find me?
Girl: yellow pages online.
Me: Do you know where my place is at?
Me: Ok, let's do this, why don't you come out this weekend so we can meet. I'll show you around and we can maybe work something out. How about Saturday?
Girl: I don't know if Saturday will work. I'm on the horse judging team and we are going out of town.
Me: Does Mrs. _____ still run the horse judging.
Me: I know her pretty well. On Sunday, though, I have some people who are interested in breeding coming to look at my stud. I'm not sure what time they are coming, but you could come after that. I'll call you on.. (phone clicks)
Great. So I drop the mail at the post office and continue on. My phone rings a few minutes later with a different number.
Girl: hi its _____, my phone died.
Me: that's ok. I was just saying you can come out on Sunday after I my other appointment. I'll call you on Friday or Saturday when I know what time. Ok?
Girl: Ok great.
I'm sure she went on to phone (ooh look a little Canadian accent in me) all of her friends. I could hear the excitement in her tiny speedy voice. I have already nicknamed her "Speedy" in my mind. She reminded me of me before I got my first horse. I would have licked the mud off of any horse owner's boots just to pet their horse.
Of course, I'm not an idiot and the first thing I did was call Mrs. ____ at the high school to get a reference. She sent me an e-mail that in part said:
She has been a great worker for me, she is polite and does what she is asked without the attitude that you get from some of the young ladies that age. I know she is very interested in this area, and I am fairly confident that she would be as awesome of a worker for you as she has been for me. We have been working really hard to improve our SAE and proficiency areas and this would be a great opportunity for her to began hers.
Exciting!! That is a pretty nice reference, and I know this woman. She would give it to me more than straight. I may have a future slave, wait, I mean helper.
I know in my previous post, I was a little annoyed with how the original call had went, but this poor kid likely would not have gotten a call back from most other people. I stand by my point, in that you have to work for what you want. Sometimes that means doing things you don't want to, like calling strangers. You also have to put the effort in to sound competent on the phone.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
(my cell beeps)
I was like what in the world was that all about. A fascinating conversation right? Well, then I got to thinking, I suppose the caller, who I think was female, found me in some horse type listing on google or yellow pages and loves horses so much that she wants to shovel horse poop. Hey I can always use someone to pick, shovel or sweep, but this girl didn't even give me a chance to figure out what was going on.
I get it, people don't like to talk on the phone to complete strangers anymore than they want to meet them in person. I even rehearse what I'm going to say to people on a cold call. Heck, I say it outloud just in case I get a machine, then I have a little something to say and don't get all flustered. I would have entertained the idea if she had identified herself, said she found me in blank way and wondered if I needed any help. Because I'm such a nice person, I'm going to call her back on my way home.
To be continued...
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I told you they belonged to a well known trainer, would you think those horses are really well trained and their owner is qualified to do something like that?I told you the horses belonged to Susie 1st time horse owner, would you think they are saints for putting up with a naive owner?
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
There it is, my fanciest show saddle. Fancy because of the rawhide cantle and metal lacing. How can you not love a sport that doesn't require silver reflecting off your cantle enlarging your butt and screaming look at me?? Who wants to polish all that? Not me. Furthermore, I will never understand why its a good idea work in one saddle and show in another. Its hard, they feel different, ride different, and how in the world do you ever break in your sparkly show saddle?
Note the oxbow stirrups on this guy. I think they have the best feel. I really only choose to ride in oxbows (when I have a choice). I like them at the back half of the ball of my foot. (which I'm 99% sure is the way it should be done) I have seen people ride with their feet way to far in, jammed into the heel of their boot. I've also heard many find them uncomfortable compared to flat-bottoms. Not me, I love them.
I need to spend some to have this beauty re-fleeced, but I couldn't be happier to do it. I should also get the rawhide cleaned, but I actually don't know how to do it. This is the only piece of tack I own that actually has any rawhide.
[Wow 2 posts. Can you tell I'm really bored today??]
I'm really not for horse slaughter. Here are some of my reasons:
1. I don't think it is done as humanely as possible;
2. It isn't done to feed families in America first;
3. I'm hugely against horses traveling in double decker trainlers;
4. It promotes the breeding of a ton of crap for meat which in turn makes all my costs go up.
5. Horses raised for slaughter do not have the same paperwork requirements and what not that cattle do.
I don't want ND known for this. Compared to other states, ND does not have a huge horse population. It is likely then, that many would have to be trucked a great distance. I don't want truckloads of horses traveling through. Plus, hello, we have this little thing called winter that lasts like 6 months out of the year. Wouldn't it be the best ending ever to travel from somewhere south with no winter coat to ND in January? Cattle from ND go south to the feedlots, people don't ship them here to be slaughtered. Why do this with horses?
I don't care about every horse. Sorry, but I don't. I've seen several that I think should be dog food. However, just because they are crappy horses does not mean that they should be mistreated or slaughtered inhumanely.
I get that the market has dropped out, but guess what, its really only dropped out for horses that would have gone to slaughter. What does this tell you people?? Hmm, maybe those of you pasture breeding 50 mares just because they go back to Two Eyed Jack, Hancock, or Driftwood then selling wild weanlings are delusional. Those of you breeding a pile of no-name know-nothing pretty colored horses are halucinating too. Those of you breeding designer mutts like Morabs, Pintabians, Walkaloosas, American "warmbloods", etc are the worst offenders.
I'm all for breeding, but in a responsible manner. If you own a mare and want to breed, great, but its your responsibility to raise a foal and train it to do something. If you are selling as a weanling-2 year old, it better darn well be haltler broke, lead, tie, groom, load in a trailer, lunge, and be able to have its feet handled (all 4 of them). Anything 2-3 should be at least exposed to a saddle and accept it. Over 3, this horse should be started to fairly broke. If you own a stud, don't breed him to any mare that waves money in your face. I don't and I won't start anytime soon.
I know that not everyone shows their horse. The fact is, horses that are shown in some way are generally easier to put a value on. A horse with a value and a job does not need to be eaten by someone overseas. Join a club, do an open show, have a game night, go on a judged trail ride, the possibilities are out there.
My last rant, if you can have your horse registered, do it. Give him a history, give him that opportunity. And for Pete's sake, if you buy a registerd horse spend a couple bucks to do the transfer. I have nothing against a grade horse. Many of them are great. But even if the poor guy sold with a golden ticket he won't bring more money than a horse of equal training/ability who has papers.
The end to this is education. Education on how to ride, how to train, and how to breed responsibly. Slaughter quality horses will begin to drop off the map when its no longer profitable to breed them. Someday.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
"You don't use your show horse for practice."
Simple enough. I received this advice from a fellow HS Rodeo contestant who is now very successfully roping/traveling the pro-rodeo circut. He and I may disagree with training methods in some areas, but this has been the most helpful insight I have ever been given. In order to advance his career, he had horses that he could use at home to practice. Practice in this sense has little to do with the horse and more the rider. Having acess to this, he was able to season himself and horses while keeping the horses fresh to do their jobs.
I understand that having one horse is a luxury, let alone having multiple horses available to you. I never had a "practice" horse so to speak, so I adapted the idea to mean, variety. Horses get bored and sour with the same routine, not a new concept. When you practice the same thing all the time and your horse doesn't need any tuning up in that area, he will get sick of it. Think about it, how annoying and mundane is it to do the same thing over and over just so the other half of "I'm with stupid" can get it right?
I quit practicing my horses on cattle before every show shortly after this. Practicing was fun, it was extra time to get that rush, and it was cheap. It wasn't fair, though, because my horses are far beyond my level of knowledge and they don't subscribe to the No Rider Left Behind club.
My point is, you must put in the forethought to determine a way that you can prepare you and your horse for your event without being a broken record. In the end, all you need is a supple and responsive horse to do most anything.
Get out and do some hill work, pull out the cavaletti and cones, work on moving off your leg, try riding in the arena without moving your reins, rope a dummy, or invent a game. My personal favorite is broom ball (polo with a large $1 Wal-mart ball and some broomsticks)
Monday, February 2, 2009
The new show, Jockeys, worries me. The intro that I have seen over and over to Kanye West's "Stronger" which comes in when one of the horse rolls at a dead run. A voice over then says something about its not if you get hurt, its how bad. How dumb is that? I don't think injuries should be glamorized. They certainly don't make you "stronger", in fact, for most of the horses injured, I'm sure they get a fast trip to the auction.
Every industry has its good and bad sides, but horseracing has really been showing its bad side lately. I have no personal experience with any off the track animals. In my opinion, though, racing turns out more discarded and/or broken down horses that are in a worse position than those discarded and/or broken down from most futurity events. I think the off track horses need almost a complete restart and an experienced hand whereas futurity horses, are a little more broke and compatible with variety of experience levels. I can't speak to the comparison of injury level, recovery time or the future level of soundness, but I think the industries are likely close to even. My point is that a horse not from the racing industry has a better chance of being picked up by a subsequent owner and being usable right away (or after injuries are healed) where off the track horses need much more input. Of course exceptions to every rule will occur.
I just hope this show has some sensitivity to welfare issues. I doubt that it will, which would be contradictory to the channel's apparent stand on animal welfare which is evident through their many animal cops type shows. (even if what happens on them is sometimes maddening and laughable) I'm on the fence about watching. I'm not planning my evening around it, but I will probably catch a rerun. If the first episode doesn't have any consideration of welfare, I won't tune in again.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The background I hung up in his stall to avoid the wood was supposed to be black. It ended up reflecting light and showing every little wrinkle. So, based on time, I have begun to put together a website. I had to photo edit a picture to take out the distracting background. The more I look at it, the more I feel a twelve-year-old could have done better. It's not the image I want to present, but I think it's better than none at all.
I feel a future post coming on the woes of website building. Wow, I now have a new respect for computer brainiacs.
I'm always open to helpful comments, suggestions, and, of course, criticism (good or bad, you can't hurt my feelings, and maybe I'll learn a thing or two.)
Friday, January 16, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
First day of blogging :)
It is my initial intention of this blog to promote cutting horses and events (mostly my own). Horses in general are the driving force in my life. My horses, as any horse person knows, are the reason I get out of bed in the morning and stay in the barn late at night. That being said, don't hold me to this inital declaration because horse people are basically brain damaged in one way or another.