Wednesday, March 19, 2014

As Much As Things Change....They Don't Stay the Same At All!

I really haven't thought much about this blog lately, and I now realize just how long I've been away from this world as I started to upload a couple of photos. Shoot, lots of the interface has changed, and it will take me a bit to figure out how to navigate and place pictures. It seems like some nifty new shortcuts have been added, and that's going to be cool once I figure it out. Or so one hopes. So, I think the last time I was on here was 2011! Crazy. So much has changed. So much is still the same. I'd say much, much, much of my life is for the better. I still have Jackson, (who very much deserves his own post, that rascal!) and my girlfriend and I essentially rescued this gal, who as you can see, is brimming with personality. We named her Shanith, and we believe that she is somewhere between twelve and eighteen years old. We (yes, it was a rescue) rescued her in September of 2012 from the town of Bell, Florida, and if you've never been there you probably wouldn't be sorry. Podunk is about the extent of it. Shantih is a TB/Perch, and she loves hugs. She has to make you part of her family first, but once you are in, she's your girl. Her are my GF have  bonded trememdously, and you can watch the two of them and see how much they enjoy each other. When we "rescued" Shantih, her feet hadn't been done in two years (or longer..), she was being fed generic sweet feed for "livestock", and the owner told us, that she really does not like to be fly sprayed. EVER. Yeah, the horse who practically carries the fly spray bottle over to you so you can keep those pests away. I took her for a ride, and I could feel that she knew a few things. And then the previous owner pitched in that she had bought her from a lady who evented her locally, but had been forced to sell due to breast cancer. Any further information was certainly not obtained that day. Nor did we take her home that first day either. She was no fan of trailers. Interesting. An eventer to a trailer chicken? Weird. And despite two hours of trying, we did no bring her home until the next weekend.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Birthday Horse Weekend Day #1~ACTHA Passionately Pink Ride

ACTHA ride number three, and this riding weekend started on my fortieth birthday, January 28th! I almost didn't get to go thanks to Jackson setting back and pulling a hitching post almost the size of a telephone pole straight onto my shoulder, chest, and face! OH OW! Usually I just jump up after I fall off, and get right back on, but I actually laid on the ground for about five minutes with this one. My mouth was full of blood, and it was hard to breathe. I spontaneously started crying, which I normally would NEVER do. So, I laid there and analyzed my injuries, and finally sat up with a wince (I called out to Rick who was working on fences not far away, but I think I was croaking his name, not my usual bellow:) deciding I was going to most likely live. Jackson was standing over me the whole time with a concerned look, as if to say, "Mom, that hurt? I'm sorry, but you were putting that Veterycin spray in my face; yes mom, I know we've done it 75 times, but this was the 76th time, so I really had to sit back. OK? Mom?" I went home, rested up, took all the Ibuprofen my kidneys could handle, and packed for the trip the next day. My birthday ruined by a pole? NOT. Thank goodness, it could have been BAD. We arrived at Suwanee Music Park in Live Oak, FL at about 11am, settled the horses into their stalls, and set up camp. A few people decided to go on a trail ride, but I was SOME hurtin' so I opted to chill and save it for the two days of riding that were coming! Thanks so much to my friends who helped me celebrate my birthday, took me on this fabulous trip, and put up with my debilitated, slightly grouchy (pain does that) self all weekend! It was a blast! All proceeds from Day #1 of the "Big Chill at Suwanee" went to benefit the Susan G. Komen fund in support of breast cancer. Luckily, we weren't chilly, it went into the 60's every day!!! :)
Cash feelin' THE PINK!

For those of you who have asked about the tattoo on my arm, and aren't on my FB, here it is...
Fortieth birthday present to myself, I had it placed on my upper left arm.

Setting up camp... Kathy with Amber who was "helping.."

Yummy chicken wings--Rick is such a great grillmeister!
Kasi holds dogs under her spell with her special hand motion.

OOPS! I started to cut it before I was reminded we needed a pic. I wanted that buttercream icing and white cake, MY FAVORITE birthday cake! I received bubble wrap from Kathy and Rick....after going off at a couple of big jumps (minor), and then the hitching post (hurty), I cracked UP! My real present was an eventing vest I had been wanting from Kathy and Rick. It fits PERFECTLY and the navy blue is one of our colors! :) Elise got me a neon orange hat cover to inform hunters NOT to shoot, and a beautiful horse picture frame. Thanks guys. 

Amber at seven months...

Harley at one year...

 Cast of horses:
Bugs The Morgan

Pokey The Paint-QH

My Jackson :) --AngloArab


Mr. Monster--QH

How camping with a few cops is different... Elise was told to go ahead and start the fire with a police looked like a stick of dynamite, not the safety ones you get in your car kit.... LOL. 

Night fall on our "camp"

Made sure my boy was settled in for the night... then

I imbibed on Patron and Maestro Dobel Diamond Tequila...
Drink the good stuff and you will not suffer ze hangover!

Day #1 Dawned bright, early, and beautiful!

Kasi and Cash

On the trail, making our way to the next judged obstacle...
Susie on Breeze
Suzanne and Quinn on Tequila and Kahlua
I especially think Tequila the grey is one gorgeous horse, I love his coloring! OH. And his name.... ha!
Their horses weren't in the barn so I didn't get up close shots, but they are gorgeous!

Elise on Bugs

Jackson and I

Rick and Monster

The obstacles were really easy on Day #1... or we are getting better? :)


Two Lil' jumps as one of the obstacles. Kinda fun watching Western riders jump! Not that many of them can't, some better than myself. It just never looks right, and of course, you can't jump too high without a horn impaling you! ;) There was a major accident from what I hear, a woman went off, and then her horse kicked her. NOT cool...

Kathy won Fourth Place on Day #1, and the Pinkest rider too!
Kathy and Pokey were so awesome!

Cash's breastcollar for Day #1... I LIKE!

 Stay tuned for Day #2: "Still Chillin' at Suwanee".....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Always There Are the Horses

Periodically, I run across this poem, yes, the one I got my blog title from, and reflect on its greatness. So, while I am certain I have posted this three years ago, here it is again!


I ride because I rode as a child when life was
simpler and somehow more complete. Only the whiff of a
clean horse is needed to remind of days gone by.

For always there have been the horses.

I ride because of all the great horse souls who have
shared their lives with me and taught me more than I
can say. Their names and faces flash before me as old
friends. I ride because of all the horses I shall
never ride. Those I have watched and marveled at from
afar for all their grace and beauty. This, the stuff of a
child's dream, the kind that doesn't die with time.

Always there are the horses.

I ride because the seasons call to me. Each unique in
its appeal and all quite frequently best viewed from
the back of a favorite horse. I ride because of all
things; horses are my passion. They inspire and
encourage, energize, and challenge in ways I cannot
explain to the uninitiated. I ride because of the
rush of stretching oneself just a bit farther today than
before, both mind and body.

Always there are the horses.

I ride because of those briefest of spans when the
partnership comes to full promise. When the path
twists and barriers fall, each footfall is measured
and balanced between the two as a dance.
There are no others, only this moment and this single step to ride.
The memories of those times stand vivid in my mind to
be recalled with all the freshness of the day at will
and in times less grand.

But if I must choose, I ride because I have dreams
yet to live. I ride because I have dreams yet to have;
and what exactly they will be tomorrow I cannot say,
but always there will be the horses.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Parelli Parade of Preposterousness

 I found this hanging at the barn the other day, and wanted to share. Now I don't know about all of you. I have never had many opinions on Pat Parelli or his methods. Since meeting and attending dressage great Walter Zettl's clinic's a couple of summers ago--as he was on tour with them--I tended to be more of a fan than not, and do still believe some of the things Pat teaches regarding the horse work. But, heck folks, let's be realistic, once you learn what he is doing I, YES ME, could teach you some of those things. It's the way of horses, and heck just sit on a fence post and watch them, and you will figure out quite a bit. He's a showman, and people want a quick fix. An "Ooh" and an "Ahhh". An, "Oh, I wish I could do that with my Stormy, or my Beau!" I am not saying that his methods don't work very well for the dedicated person training in this way. BUT, this little bit I'm about to share with you has un-Parelli'ed me.

This was found on an equestrian forum by an Austrian dressage instructor at my barn:

I am sending this to a couple of different groups as I feel it is important to get the word out to potential Parelli followers. As many of you know, I am currently recovering from a brain injury from a fall from a horse this summer. This was a green horse, but he spooked while I was getting off, something ANY horse could do, and the odds of a serious accident on a horse finally caught up with me. One thing I have noticed is an ad for Pat and Linda Parelli jumping a horse bareback with no helmet. Also, while I was bedridden, I watched a couple of Pat Parelli's episodes, and he had a young person who was physically disabled riding without a helmet, and it was obvious her balance was not good. I sent a letter to the Parelli's asking them to please advocate the use of helmets. This is their reply, which I think is totally STUPID coming from professionals.

~Patti from W.Va

The Parelli Faculty's Response:

Hi Patti,

Thank you for taking the time to write us. We understand your views and concerns. As quoted by the faculty at our ranch:

You are quite right--helmets are fabulous things, and they save many lives. Tragically though, people who ARE wearing helmets also die or suffer serious head injuries with horses.

Our program is intended to address the safety problem at its root--which is behavioral--rather than address the symptoms of it. Our message is about developing the relationship with the horse, and the savvy level of the rider, so that unsafe behavior is addressed long before the rider gets on the horse--rather than allowing the unsafe situations to occur and hope that the helmet, body protector, etc. will protect us from the consequences.

The reason you do not see our people wearing helmets is because we try to teach people that rather than be brave because they are wearing a helmet to protect them, they would be better off not riding until their horse is behaving safely.       

People have called us brave for not wearing helmets, but we say they are a lot braver than we are. We could not get on their horse until we have addressed the issues that cause it to behave in unsafe ways.

We hope this helps,
From the Faculty,
Parelli Centers

In July 2009 The Parelli Savvy Club put out some information on Linda taking a FALL....oh my. A 'misbehaved' horse?!

"Linda was cantering her horse Remmer in a field when he tripped and stumbled approximately twenty feet trying to regain his balance. At the end, he pitched on his nose. Linda was KNOCKED OUT for a few minutes, and under his feet when he tried to get up. She is recovering well at home and has four broken ribs."

I'm willing to wager a head injury too, if she was knocked out for several minutes....uh duh? But, no, that won't be mentioned.

For real? Do I need to expound on this insanity? A well-behaved horse is a very desired and necessary thing. So is a helmet in many (and in my honest opinion, all) instances. Let's see. I've been riding since I was six, and am bringing up my green horse to be a jumper. Last week I went off when he popped a jump set at 2'9 at about 4 feet. I guess my horse is misbehaved, and I'm a bad rider. MY GAWD, I HAVE NO SAVVY!!! I do know one thing. Even if either one of those things is true, my GPA helmet saved my lil' butt. And the butts of more than a couple of friends. Working in a hospital on the pediatric side I have seen more than my share of head injuries in children due to falls and horse accidents, and sadly, heard of some deaths too. Perhaps the U.S.Eventing and Showjumping Teams should stop wearing helmets as well. I mean, they are only jumping giant objects that make my mouth drop open in wonder! I went down to the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, (the USET winter practice grounds) and those jumps will amaze, astound, and yes, frighten the HELL out of you up close. But again, if their horses were trained correctly.....
I have it! We should all train our cars correctly, and stop wearing seat belts! I am SO smart! To me, that is EXACTLY what that reply said. So my Parelli disgust is largely, (OK, completely) due to that PREPOSTEROUS reply!

Meanwhile--My Parelli video is for sale. 'The Seven Games of Parelli Natural Horsemanship' Twenty bucks is the going rate plus s&h of oh...3 bucks? Email me at with the moniker 'Parelli' if you want it.

ZE new helmet... When you fall you have to have something to show for it!! ;) Supposed to be the 'safest' you can really get without going titanium, which I so can't afford! I also picked up a Tipperary Sportage in cocoa brown for my trailriding. Yeah, my shoulder hurt so bad the following day, I felt I needed two new helmets! :) (Really, just birthday presents to me-self!)