My Partner is Delight

My Partner is Delight
Heading into the great unknown

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Goals Part One

Figure, the Justin Morgan horse. The one who started it all...

So I have been thinking about some goals I would like to have for this year. Yes I know it is February already, but the sun is finally coming out, and so am I ... well sort of.

I have signed up fo the Morgan Horse Pathways program. I will be keeping track of the hours I spend riding and training Delight and Star. The first award starts at 75 hours. I think I can do that this summer, right? I hope the first award is a Tshirt... I have a feeling it will be a teeny tiny little lapel pin.

In order to join this program and win my prize: I had to register as a member $70, pay to enter the Pathways program $45, and work my butt off for a pin or a t-shirt worth less than 15 bucks.

Priceless.


The hours are cumulative and roll over from year to year, which is great but there is one catch - I have to be a member every year at 70 dollars a pop. Doesn't seem quite fair does it? I won't be breeding or showing at any rated shows, so there isn't really any reason for me to pay all of that money. Lessee that is...... 70/12 = ..... Five dollars and 83 cents a month.

I think I can afford that for a little bitty pin! Or maybe one of these:


I have a couple of other goals in mind too. I probably won't get any prizes for these goals, unless I buy a prize for myself, which is always a possibility!

So here they are. I am going to post them so that in the middle of the summer when I am being a big fat baby chicken I can look back and be inspired.

1) Get Star going well under saddle
2)Lope lope lope on Delight get over my fear of loping
a)continue with lessons
3)Get Delight (and myself) fit and go on a BIG trail ride, or CTR or whatever
4)Concentrate on learning to ride with my seat and with my feet
a)lessons!
5)Earn at least the first Morgan Pathways program's first award.

And always remember......

Star Enjoys Some Shavings

The horses are in the small (sandy) paddocks in order to escape the muddy mess in the pasture. Lately I have noticed that Star has been sleeping in the "poo" area, so I bought her some shavings. I figured that I could keep both her and the pen cleaner that way.

She really enjoyed them!

I would really like to figure out how to get black animals' eyes to show up in pictures. We have a black lab who doesn't have eyes in pictures half of the time. Poor Stanley and Star!

video

Tonite I went outside to check on everybody and sure enough, Starry was lying in the shavings with her Good Mama Delight standing guard over her.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Squishing Speedy and Carousel Rides


Midway carousel at Cedar Point, Sandusky Ohio


I have been riding Speedy... I know he thinks I am squishing him. It's rather fun training a horse that you actually outweigh. Nah... just kidding... I don't out weigh him... well... not by toooo much!

When I am riding him I feel like I am riding a carousel horse, except without the up and down, oh and without the wonderful calliope music. Usually at the indoor arena there is Country music in the air.



I think this carousel is in Europe

Speedy is so little and narrow, but so full of life and sparkle. I know it wouldn't do to take him on and extended ride, but for our short training rides he carries me with ease. He is a strong lil' guy!

As a kid, I loved the carousel at Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio because it had REAL horse tails. It was located at right at the entrance of the park and you could hear it's happy calliope music before you even made it through the entrance gates. I always rode it the first thing and the last thing of the day.

Can you see the real horse tail?

It was always my favorite carousel because it had REAL horse tails. I always raced to find the pony with the longest tail. When the music started and my magical horse began jumping up and down I would throw my head back and close my eyes.

I would give a lot of money for a picture of me on this carousel as a little girl

(These pictures and a link to information about the Midway Carousel at Cedar Point can be found HERE )

I even found a short vid that someone posted on YouTube of this ride:


No, I don't know any of these people!


When I was an even littler kid, I remember going to the Huron County fair and literally hyperventilating at the thought of riding the real ponies around and around in the little circle. I tried to memorize the feel of sway as I rode, and the sound of the squeaky leather saddle. I remember smelling the smell of the horse barns, and feeling the horses noses. I always tried to remember some of the horses names so that I could pick a "favorite" for when I had a horse of my own someday.

Here I am today on my carousel pony. Only a cell phone photo to share with you. It was a great ride. His neck reining is coming right along and I got a couple of really good stops on him today. He is flexing well side to side, but not at all vertically through his jaw and throatlatch. I am sure Cody never has asked him for that kind of give, I don't think he even knows how to ask. So we'll work on it. One thing at a time.

I am so thankful to have horses in my life and to have had the opportunity to rehab Speedy and Spinner. I feel like I am richer for the experience. I really hope that Speedy's dream kid shows up soon. I would love to see him shine in the show ring and on the trail again this summer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Walk in the Sun

So the latest inversion has blown out and we has some sun today! I celebrated the blue skies by grooming Speedy and Star and then taking each for a walk down the road. It did my winter worn spirits some real good!

I can feel the seasons turning... I swear I can! Stay tuned for the first sign of Spring because I am already looking!


I have been enjoying getting Speedy ready for his new home. I have been riding him, teaching him a few leg cues and neck reining. Now when I go out to the pasture, he thinks *I* am his person and he come walking right up to me! He is a sweet patootie! I hope he gets a kiddo who wants a pony to spend time with, because he sure likes to be with people.


Here is the view that I will be having by the end of the summer.... the view between my Starry's ears! No, I wasn't riding her today. But, it won't be long!

After Speedy is sold I will be able to begin training my "perfect" horse as John Lyons would say. It is so nice to ride a horse that you know what cues are there, because you put them there yourself.

I hope I still have enough youthful nerves to get this girl going well under saddle. I have learned so much from training the Blazers... I hope I can apply it all to my Star.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Buds

Two of my favorite equine friends, Delight and Sam



I wonder if Sam gets any radio stations? He is such a sweet boy, I'll bet if he does they are all love songs...


I rode these two in the indoor arena today. I am so thankful for the horses in my life!



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spinner

I really really like this little guy.

I have been riding him, ostensibly to get him ready to sell. But, the more I ride him, the more I want to keep him! He is so sweet and willing. I rode him out from the barn today and other than hollering a couple of times he was good as gold. Seemed like the farther away we got from the barn, the more he listened to me. He is a trail horse delux! It was such a relaxing ride.


I had a really nice family look at him last weekend. They decided that he wouldn't be a good fit for their daughter.

In a way I am glad because I love this 'lil guy so much!

I am having serious second thoughts.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

AHHHH!!! He Did it Again!!

A snapshot from the production sale of 2007

Neil Hinck that is.

Neil is the founder of the Blazer Breed. His Blazer horse is a nice creation, and he did a good job of selective breeding for many years. But now he is old and ailing and lets just say that he hasn't been making the best of decisions concerning his horses, and concerning the budding Blazer Horse breed.

Last year when I got involved with our two Blazer Boys it was because I saw an ad for a "Production Sale" of more than 200 head of horses. I knew at the time this wasn't going to be a typical "production sale." With those numbers, how could it be? I went and visited the herd and, long story short, we wound up with Speedy and Spinner. Click on the label "Speedy and Spinner" below to read more of that story.

Recently I found out that this last summer Neil only had 3 or 4 babies born. A reasonable number. But then, he decided to put his favorite stallion out with the remaining mares. This Spring he will have a whooooole bunch of new babies in his field! All by the same stallion.

I have heard that he has gelded most of his stallion herd which is good news... but... still...all of those babies!

Here we go again!

It is so sad because there are some people out there who are promoting Blazers. They are doing some really great and responsible things to promote and save this gentle breed.

But then Neil does something like this and shoots all of their efforts in the foot. I don't think he even realizes that by flooding the market he is killing the value of all of the other horses... Not to mention that with herd numbers up again next winter, having to feed all of those weanlings...

Hoah Boy... will they go hungry? Will there be another "Production sale?" How many get to take the long trip to Canada this time?

Not my two. That's for sure.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spurrin' Life in the Belly (From "A WalkThrough Grief")

Melange of boots and spurs - from the Loveland, Colorado
Cowboy Collectibles Show & Auction, June, 1998

Whoa there pardner! What the heck kinda title is that for a post on a blog about walking through grief of the death of your mother?

I think it is a pretty good one. When you lose a loved one, your own mortality stares you in the face. You sift through things that you thought were valuable both in the physical and the unseen realm. I have been doing that sifting.

Time is short. It's almost half over for me, so I figure I can decide to keep living the way I have or I can choose to kick it up a notch and really live.

I have a horse who is lazy. He needs a little spurring now and then or else he chooses to just meander through life and let it all happen around him. I guess that's an ok way to be... laid back and lazy. But I want more. So, since this is the beginning of a new year I am going to set out a few goals, starting with spurrin' my life in the belly.

I want to figure out how to deal a final blow to my tendency to enable. I also want to finish the book "What's so Amazing about Grace". I need to learn to accept more of God's grace.

Strength and mercy. Judgment and Grace. I want to develop a soft hand and a firm heel this year.

Gonna do the same with my horses too. I have a pair of real life spurs that I will be wearing more often. Motivation. I also have a new set of nice long reins I bought from that Amish guy last summer. Loose reins and soft hands for my horses. Grace.

So if you see me in the grocery store looking out of place wearing my spurs, cheer me on.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Candy Canes and a Christmas Tree


Every year we give our Christmas tree to the horses. They seem to really enjoy playing with it, tearing it up and eating it! Isn't this a great way to recycle trees?

It was a grey, gloomy, windy, muddy, miserable day. I am so sick of the mud! We had a record amount of snowfall over Christmas and then it warmed up to 40. UGH! When we buy our own place I have a plan all ready for managing *mud* for my horses...

Ted was the horse who loved the tree the best. He always would trot right up to it and munch on it and drag it away like a dog with a giant bone. We don't have him anymore and this was Foxy's first year to get a tree and since she was chicken, everyone else was chicken too... The Blazers didn't get a Christmas tree last year either, it was their first experience with this treat too.

Here she is telling everyone they had better run away. Spinner is waaay ahead of her!

We tried bribery. Most horses love peppermint. Especially Tawshi horses...



Isn't Star getting big??

Foxy is still worried about the green monster:


Speedy didn't go for the peppermint trick so we tried the 'ol "scritches in the right spot" trick.


It worked.

Tom and his girl Foxy (and Tawshi looking for another candy cane):



Foxy and Star:


Cherish and her boy Spinner: