Friday, January 30, 2009

Photog It Friday....

My kiddo Miles....before the vegetarianism bug hit....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Birthday Present!

Guess what I got e-mailed to me today? Today being not only my birthday but also the anniversary of meeting my horse for the first time? BABY PICTURES! I bought Jackson two years ago and had yet to have seen any pictures of him as a little tyke! This is him with his mama! Her name is Jackie (I B Jacks) and Jackson (I B Jackson) is her little namesake. Jackie now lives in Austin, TX and is a hunter/jumper. She also had Bugsy whom you can see below. Bugsy is standing for the American Warmblood Society in the pic below to become a breeding stallion. He is a cutting AND dressage horse. Now THAT is versatility! His breeder Connie told me on the phone tonite (and I had soooo many questions but I was at work!!!) that he had three months of dressage training and went against 65 other horses in a dressage show (most of them Warmbloods) and came in 9th! I so can believe this because Jackson learns fast too! Connie still has Jackson's daddy the Arabian who is named Lamaras Firebusz (Buzzy) who just turned 27 on Jan 13th! I hope to go and visit and get pics of him to post. I met him once and he definitely lives up to his name! He can't be bred anymore as his legs are bad and he can't mount, but he is in full and happy retirement at Connie's farm. He is a piece of work!!!! In this New Year I would really love to start some serious training and it will be dressage because I feel that if you can do some sound dressage you can do anything....I'm sure many wouldn't agree and I won't get crazy about it, but I really think it will help us. Now I gotta work more to afford it...:)

Here is my guy doing his favorite thing--RUNNING! He is a very LET'S GO MOM kind of horse!

Jackson and his mama Jackie! Here he is doing what I REALLY WANT TO DO THE MOST--JUMPING!!!! Jackson was born May 9, 1999 on Mother's Day at 9:30 pm at night! I have his birthdate on his papers but I never knew about the time or that he was born on Mother's Day!!!

Jackie (the mama) and her current owner Angela.

Bugsy (Jackson's full blooded brother!) standing for the American Warmblood Society. I absolutely cannot believe how much he looks like Jackson! OK, OK a really CLEANED UP version of Jackson! ;)

So....Happy Birthday to Me...I hope this year is even better than the last!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

THREE cats.

Time for a blog about my cats. Yes, cats plural. I only ever wanted one cat. One. One became two. And now three. I like all animals, but I am really more of a dog person. I only have one dog. Just one. Of course she is almost fifteen and we have been together since she was six weeks old. But one dog. Three cats. Nasty litter box. I hate the litter box. But still I have THREE. Pictured first is the first cat onto the scene, Camilla Ludmilla. This is her you've been bad full name. We just call her Cammie. I got her as the tiniest of kittens to combat a mice problem I was having. Hmmm. That worked well. She fit into my hand when I got her. The mice were much bigger than her! Do to a delay in getting her fixed (procrastinator!) and with help from my dog door, Cammie got pregnant when she was a little over a year old. Yes. I know. Shame on me. But in my defense, every kitten (six of them) went to a nurse from work and this nurse kept one. Which leads me to Hally. The weirdest looking calico in the world. My son named her Halloween, I tacked on the Francis and a friend added Jazz Hands O'Malley. She has two white paws in front and plays jazz piano in a blues bar at night. Her microphone smells like a beer.... Got the two girls fixed at last and sighed in relief. Two cats. Way more than enough for me. But Because two is never enough. Our latest addition. Piper McPiperson. The neighbor kids show up with this little guy on the coldest night of the year. As soon as he was put into my arms he went limp and started purring. He never stopped purring. He is a ball of purriness. I have never met such a docile, laid back, purring kitty. His gentle, sweet personality make his generic looks irrevelant. This is a cat to curl up with. I named him Piper because of his loud pipes, and the McPiperson got added on because there can't be any short names in this house when it comes to the cats! Enjoy the pics of the cats. All THREE of them.....
Did I mention I'm not really a cat person?

Cammie. Her eyes are ice blue.

Cammie--loves to sleep on anything black so she can leave her white hairs as witness.

Cammie nursing her kittens. Hally is perched right in front. She was the loudest cat in the bunch from the very beginning! And the only one without Siamese coloring. She is always ready with an opinion on what you are doing. MEEOOOWWW!

Cammie kitten asleep.

Miles with baby Cammie.

Baby Halloween Francis Jazz Hands O'Malley (Hally)

Grown up Hally. HUGE cat.

Piper McPiperson. He's purring.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Jackson has two black hooves in the front and two white hooves with black stripes in back!
He is pretending to eat grass in this bald patch of pasture....Hmmm...If she thinks I'm busy maybe she won't come halter me....

Jackson tacked up in his Australian saddle--note his mohawk from a neglected bridal path!! Must get some pics of him in his Bates Caprilli English saddle soon!

Linda on Jackson
It's always neat to see someone else on your horse, I love seeing him from that perspective!

Miles on Shorty
Time to get him riding boots I think!

Linda and Miles heading down the lane for a mini-lesson

Lesson is on! Learning how to turn.

How to make a circle

Back from the lesson. Miles with the serious look on his face that is also MY serious look when I concentrate on learning something!

Today was another beautiful day of riding here in Texas, as you may notice, all we needed were t-shirts and jeans! Hooray...I love living in a place where you can ride in comfort in the middle of January! Last night it went down into the low 30's tho' so don't get too envious! My friend Nellie's parents nixed her riding yesterday because apparently she has midterms all week and left studying to the last minute. D'oh! Bet she was kicking herself in the butt for that one! No worries though, we will ride together soon and I'll post her 4 years later pictures! Can't wait to see her and her horse Dancer! Linda and I rode for about an hour and a half and then came back to let Miles get a mini-lesson on Shorty. He is really taking an interest in riding so it may be time to get him some proper boots. I hesitate only because he is growing so darn fast! We bought him jeans in September that are now highwaters on him! Really! Like 3 inches too short. Need to find him inexpensive boots as he will outgrow them too fast to invest any real money as of yet! Any ideas anyone? Tried out the new camera and am quite pleased, these are just with the auto point and shoot function, it has a lot of modes and things I want to learn--especially the sport, kid and pet modes which will hopefully let me get action shots more easily! It also has the shake reduction and face recognition function which are great. At 10.1 mp I will also be able to get enlargements without the blurriness which my old 3.2 mp camera had. I stuck with the same Pentax brand as the last camera and am quite pleased that I did. Linda liked my camera so much she went on e-bay and bid on the same camera and actually got it $10 cheaper than I did! COOL.

Obie sits and poses.

Bo looking adorable.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Nellie and Chesapeake (Chessie)

I got a phone call from my good friend Charity recently telling me that she and her family have moved to San Antonio. I met Charity when I lived in MD near the Washington D.C. area while I was in the Air Force. Her daughter Nellie and I hit it off with our love of horses and spent many hours in the saddle riding the horses of another friend of mine--Mary. Chessie (above) was my favorite to ride, she was the perfect horse to help you become a better rider. A TB at 23 she had pretty much been there done that, but was in terrific shape and loved to goooo! While Nellie rode Chessie, I rode Mary's gaited Rocky Mountain Horse Chief. I loved to ride either one! They loved to race each other and we always had fun on trail rides or taking lessons from a Grand Prix jumper down the road. When I moved, Nellie's family moved to Florida for three years and Nellie got her own horse, a TB named Dancer. I got my horse Jackson. We are going to ride together for the first time in four years tomorrow! When I met Nellie she was 12. Now she is 16! She is a wonderful rider and I love her company. I can't wait to meet her horse Dancer and for her to meet Jackson! So part 2 will be coming! I can't wait to see my friends again!


Nellie at age 12 before a schooling show at her lesson barn.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I suspect....

Friday, January 2, 2009

Why Do I Ride?

I ride. That seems like such a simple statement. However as many women who ride know it is really a complicated matter. It has to do with power and empowerment. Being able to do things one might have considered out of reach or ability. I have considered this as I shovel manure, fill water barrels in the cold rain, wait for the vet/farrier/electrician/hay delivery, change a tire on a horse trailer on the side of the freeway or cool a gelding out before getting down to the business of drinking a cold beer after a long ride.

The time, the money, the effort it takes to ride calls for dedication. At least I call it dedication. My ex-husband call it ‘the sickness’. It is a sickness I’ve had since I was a small girl bouncing my model horses and dreaming of the day I would ride a real horse. Most of the women I ride with understand the meaning of ‘the sickness’. It’s not a sport. It’s not a hobby. It’s what we do and, in some ways, who we are as women and human beings.

I ride. I hook up my trailer and load my gelding. I haul to some trailhead somewhere, unload, saddle, whistle up my dog and I ride. I breathe in the air, watch the sunlight filter through the trees and savor the movement of my horse. My shoulders relax. A smile rides my sunscreen smeared face. I pull my ball cap down and let the real world fade into the tracks my horse leaves in the dust.

Time slows. Flying insects buzz loudly, looking like fairies. My gelding flicks his ears and moves down the trail. I can smell his sweat and it is perfume to my senses. Time slows. The rhythm of the walk and the movement of the leaves become my focus. My saddle creaks and the leather rein in my hand softens with the warmth.

I consider the simple statement; I ride. I think of all I do because I ride. Climb granite slabs, wade into a freezing lake, race a friend through the manzanita all the while laughing and feeling my heart in my chest. Other days just the act of mounting and dismounting can be a real accomplishment. Still I ride, no matter how tired or how much my seat bones or any of the numerous horse related injuries hurt. I ride. And I feel better for doing so.

The beauty I’ve seen because I ride amazes me. I’ve ridden out to find lakes that remain, for the most part, unseen. Caves, dark and cold, beside rivers full and rolling are the scenes I see in my dreams. The Granite Staircase at Echo Summit, bald eagles on the wing and bobcats on the prowl add to the empowerment and joy in my heart.

I think of the people, mostly women, I’ve met because I ride. I consider how competent they all are. Not a weenie among the bunch. We haul 40 foot rigs, we back into tight spaces without clipping a tree. We set up camp. Tend the horses. Cook and keep safe. We understand and love our companions; the horse. We respect each other and those we encounter on the trail. We know that if you are out there riding, you also shovel, fill, wait, and doctor. Your hands are a little rough and you travel without makeup or hair gel. You do without to afford ‘the sickness’ and probably, when you were a small girl, you bounced a model horse while you dreamed of riding a real one.

Julia Dake 2006

Thursday, January 1, 2009

How I Find My Peace

Happy New Year Everyone! Just a quick reflection on this picture and what it means to me. This is the view that I have every time I drive to see my horse. This hill is much higher and I usually view this at a much greater height, but I stopped where I found a driveway so you will all have to imagine how beautiful this is. I first saw this sight on my way home on the day I first took my horse out to my friends ranch to keep him. I had had a very rough year with my horse and was pretty darn close to selling. He was way greener than I thought, I had broken my shoulder, and I was CLUELESS as to starting a horse. Also, I was running out of money to just keep a horse as a big pet at a boarding barn and this horse is talented, he needs a job! My friend Linda at work who has horses invited me to keep my horse at her ranch because she is truly a nice person and wanted to see me really give Jackson a shot.

Even though I had driven this route before I had never noticed this HUGE cross sitting on top of an enormous hill. I was driving-- lost in thought-- looked up, and the sun was shining and this majestic cross was plopped in the middle of nowhere on top of this hill. I don't disbelieve in signs, but I honestly cannot tell you of a moment in my entire life like the one where I saw this cross and knew I was doing the absolute right thing and all would be well. And it has been. I ride all the time, my horse is progressing more with every ride, and I can do things I would of only dreamed of at the beginnng of 2008. I am hoping it will only get better in 2009! The moment we truly connected as horse and rider and I KNEW I would keep Jackson happened four months later on a riding weekend on a trail IN THE PITCH BLACK DARK, but that is a post for another time! (And I promise I will write it because it is both hilarious and totally cool!) I find a great deal of happiness riding my horse, being around my horse, and having friends who share in my love of horses, but everytime I drive over the hill and see that cross I find my Peace. A great sense of calm envelops me; I am driving OUT of that blasted city, on my way to do one of the things I love the most. In my humble opinion it doesn't get much better than this! Happy New Year everyone, may you all find your Peace in the upcoming year....

Jacks and friend...