My Partner is Delight

My Partner is Delight
Heading into the great unknown

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's a boy!

Mama Mia freshened on Thursday! She gave me a buckling. He is skinny, but otherwise healthy.


The (human) kids have decided to name him "Java" because he is the color of frothy coffee.

Basically he eats:









Welcome little Java!

Mama Mia is doing well. She has shown us that she is a veteran milker, jumping up onto the stand and bawling for her grain. She has gotten her shots and has been dewormed and has had her first foot trim. We weighed her and found her to be 25-30 lbs underwieght. So far no signs of any illnesses she might have picked up from the feed lot!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mama Goat

Okay, I did it again... I have rescued a another needy creature.

Not a horse this time though... she is a goat!

I thought maybe I would like to try my hand at a milk goat so I looked around and found an ad on Craigslist that said "6-7 thin goats". I called on it and it turned out to be a goat (meat) dealer. He told me he had only one Nubian. She was a former 4H project and was ready to freshen in the next couple of weeks.


He warned me that she was thin and that she needed her feet done badly.

I went yesterday to look at her. It was already dark by the time I was there, but I could tell even by the light of the flashlight that she was 1)very sweet and 2)in need of some serious TLC.


I am so very, ummm dissapointed in the people who let her get into this condition, let alone in a feedlot waiting to be slaughtered - especially if they were a 4H family. I am pretty passionate about this subject, but I'll save that rant for another day. I want this to be Mama goat's big debut.


I walked her around the yard today and found that she leads very well. I was happy to learn that, as goats can be very stubborn. I hope she also has milking experience.

She doesn't seem sick at all, just in need of some groceries. I put her on a medicated feed today and and tonite I'll give her a CD and T shot to help stave off whatever she was exposed to at the feedlot.

Except for her bag it is even hard to tell Mama goat is pregnant. I really hope her kid survives. It is alive an moving inside her, but it is pretty small.

I will have someone over as soon as possible to help me with her feet. I don't think I have the knowledge to do them on my own.


I'll be trying to get some baby oil on her legs to soften the mud and treat the scalds on her legs as well.


She is really making up her bag. I hope she will hold off a while on having her kid. I want to get some more calories and those vaccines on board.

Welcome home goaty!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Spinner Update

Today I received a set of pictures from Spinner's new owners. These pictures made me so happy!

Look at these boys having a great time foolin' around with their pony!

The(first) fella up on top is Keegan, Spinner's new boy:





This last picture - I have no idea what Foxy is into... looks like she thinks there is something yummy in the green house! I can tell she is real worried about all of that horse eating plastic!


I hope Keegan and Spinner have a whole summer full of adventures together!

Kinda makes ya want to go build a Fort and play Cowboy's and Indians, doesn't it?

Pony Express... Lone Ranger...

Ahhhh those were the days....


Monday, March 16, 2009

Riding in a Rainbow

Cody and I went for a ride today. He wanted to try out the new "buttons" on his horse. It was windy and rainy and sunny and warm and cold all at the same time! At the beginning of the ride was the rainy part and we saw a beautiful rainbow.


We didn't know it at the time, but Katy took a photo of us and it looks just like we are in the rainbow!

riding in a rainbow

Cody is the rider in the white coat, I am the rider at the end of the rainbow

Here is a vid of the rainbow. Speedy was being a little antsy so Cody was asking him to "move parts of his body". I can't believe how much softer Speedy is getting!

We had a wonderful 2 hour ride. We went around a bunch of fields and we followed all of the canal banks we could find. We even met one of our neighbors and his son walking around enjoying our unusual weather.

At one point we flushed up some birds and Speedy squirted forward. Cody was able to bring him right back down to a stop within 4 or 5 steps. It was a courage building moment for Cody, knowing that his horse will "whoa" when it is most important to "whoa".

We have another ride planned for tomorrow. I hope Katy and Chase will join us.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Cody

We brought Speedy home from the trainer's tonite. It was a three and one-half hour drive one way, and also several thousand feet higher in elevation. So the weather there was quite different than ours here!

The wind was blowing so hard and it was very cold! Thankfully it didn't rain or snow. But, it was miserable nonetheless.

I only got a few pics and a couple of videos.

Here is the boy himself.... Cody ! He was so happy!


Corrine rode Speedy first and I could tell that she really did a lot of work for the short amount of time she had him.


She had him turning on his hindquarters, turning on the forequarters, side passing... lope departures, stopping...

He didn't always look real graceful, but I loved how he was trying so hard for Corrine. I was really impressed with how often Corrine stopped to praise him too.

Meanwhile, the wind is blowing SO hard! I couldn't believe all that she was getting him to do in that weather.

Here is a vid of her asking him to side pass. You can see him get confused, she looks for the smallest try, rewards it and soon he is doing what she asked:

And one more video. When you watch it remember that Cody hasn't really ever loped much on Speedy except down the length of an arena. Also take note of the wind whipping through the gate. On the far side Cody couldn't even see. He had to close his eyes to keep the blowing sand from stinging them!

I am so pleased with how well they both did in spite of the horrid weather conditions.

Stay tuned to this channel because very soon I will be posting much better video of a softer Speedy and a more relaxed Cody. I think it is going to be hard to keep Cody off of his horse from now on.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Riding out

I had a wonderful ride on Friday that I thought I would share. I rode Delight out for almost two hours.

During the first part of the ride after we were warmed up we did some cantering on an area that had been plowed and leveled. The footing was perfect. Delight seemed to be listening pretty well so I decided to canter her straight up the hill. It was the first time I have ever done that. What fun!

Then, we moseyed all around Lyn's place and headed down the canal bank.

The mountains in the distance are where Bogus Basin is located.

It was the longest and farthest we have ever ridden out alone.

Sheep corral

This is an old sheep corral. In the foreground is a bridge across the canal. I was tempted to ride over there and look around, but I think I will ask permission first. I think it looks like there are lots of interesting things to see over there! I need to do it before the grass grows high and the snakes come out of hibernation for sure!



Friday, March 6, 2009

Fuzzy Shows

Even though my heart is out on the trail this Spring I have been going to some "fat and fuzzy" horse shows.

I rarely take pictures because it is dark outside and dark in the indoor arena where they are held. A couple of my friends challenged me to actually take some pictures anyways.

So here's your proof girls:


This is right before the adult beginner showmanship class, which we won fair and square inspite of the fact that there was another person in the class. I am pretty sure we only won because Delight stood still-er than the other horse did. Don't tell Delight though... it might go to her head! First place was my favorite candy bar!

Delight won 2nd in the mares halter class - again I am pretty sure it is because she stood stiller than the 3rd place horse!

Here's proof that I really did tack up...


I had her all saddled up and ready to go and then they canceled my class! There weren't many adults at this show riding English.


Delight hollered the almost *whole* time so I got lots of training opportunities in the practice pen doing hips over, shoulders over, back up, sidepass, head down.... wash - rinse - repeat. It takes a lot to keep her little mind busy! Making myself focus on moving specific parts of Delight's body helped me to relax. It helped her too.

I used a bunch of my Julie Goodnight techniques which really helped, especially when I realized I hadn't shown in an English saddle since I was about 16! Yikes! And I hadn't ridden in a regular English saddle in months and months! (What was I thinking??)

So, while I didn't actually ride in a class, I did:
  1. Tack up, ride in the warmup time (think 'mass chaos in a pickle jar'),
  2. Sit for 30 min on my horse who was being a nutcase, and was able to calm both of us down!
  3. I did all this calmly and without panicking and running back to the trailer to cower in terror.
Come on Spring. I am so ready to hit the trails!!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Ride With Confidence!

So today I don't have any pictures of what Delight and I did today, but I sure wish I did! I won a major battle with my AOF* today.

Before I share, lets back up a week or so....

When I went to the Equine Affairs I was really excited to hear Julie Goodnight speak. She had a couple of seminars on rider fear. I really took to heart the things that she said, and even bought her book and CD. I felt like the things she had to say really helped me to intellectualize my fear and put it into perspective.

One of the things that really impacted me was an equation she shared:


It was in relation to post traumatic fear. I was surprised to find that most of my fear fits the post traumatic category, even though I haven't ever had a terrible wreck on a horse. I do have some "suspects" though, which I will share later.

Here is an excerpt from Julie's book Ride With Confidence! :

"Sometimes a traumatic incident in other areas of your life may lead to an increased fear around horses... Characteristic of post traumatic fear is a sense of loss and a high degree of frustration. A sense of grief can compound the feeling that you have lost something you once had, something very dear to you:the ability to ride unencumbered by fear. Sometimes people even fear that they have lost their riding ability and no longer have the skills they once had. " page 19

These words were written about me! I have been so frustrated by my fear of cantering. I know that I am not and never will be the worlds greatest rider. But, I used to have a halfway decent seat and I used to ride without fear. Riding horses used to be one of the things I thought that I was good at... Sometimes when I have climbed on the horses that I have started in the last couple of years I have been so afraid. I have always "done it anyway," but sometimes it wasn't too much fun.

"FEAR+ GRIEF =DEBILITATION This means that you can not deal with both of these emotions at once; it is simply too much for a person to handle. If you are suffering from this sense of loss and frustration in addition to your fear of horses, thinking that you no longer have the ability you once had before your injury, you must set aside your grief and deal with the fear first. You must have faith in the fact that you still have the same skill and ability that you had before your injury. You still have the same knowledge and skill with horses, you have just temporarily misplaced it. Once you have regained your confidence, you will ride like the wind again." page20

When I was able to identify grief as part of my AOF equation it was like a light bulb went off in my head! One of the things that I grieve is the loss of the 20 some years without horses. Even though I know that horses wouldn't have fit into my life for most of that time, I still often think to myself, "I need to enjoy every moment of this day with this horse... I don't have a lot of years left to enjoy them..."

Wow... that's a lot of pressure!

The other part of grief that I recognized was the loss of my first horse. My parents sold her right after I earned 6th place at the State Fair and had just completed the County Fair. They didn't tell me about it until the last day of the fair when my horse was loaded into some other girl's trailer to go home. Her loss makes me sad even just thinking about it now, 20 some years later. She was my world as a teenager.

So I have spent some time working through my grief in the last week or so. Acknowledging it, feeling it, moving past it. I know that it will pop up again as grief is wont to do, but I have decided not to try to bury it any more.

And today I reaped the first benefits of that hard work! I cantered on Delight! I have cantered her before, even hand galloped her. But today was different. I feel like something has broken free. I felt relaxed. I felt my seat moving with Delight. My head was clear. We did flying lead changes. It felt like my "feel" for the canter came back! My hands and feet and muscles were moving without direction from me. It was a huge breakthrough.

"You still have the same knowledge and skill with horses, you have just temporarily misplaced it."

Yes I have!

*Adult Onset Fear


The Saddle B(r)itches

Here is a rare picture... A bunch of B(r)itches all in the same place at the same time! We were gathered together to celebrate our friend Lyn's birthday. Karin decorated her horse trailer and hauled it to the horse show.

There are some ladies missing... We missed you! I am looking forward to many more (warmer) good times with you gals!

Left to right: Kathy, Karin, Lyn, Pat, and Denyce in front.(Shoot D! - I still don't know how to spell your name! sorry!)