Saturday, January 30, 2010

CHORE DAY - Update

I totally stripped the stalls! Apparently, the kids packed the poo more than I thought they had. 35 wheelbarrow loads is what I hauled out of the barn! YIKES! Most of it was super packed, some of it was super sloppy (Squirrel is loath to pee outside!), and some was just poop.

Horses produce a staggering amount of crap in a week, I'm telling you!

I also back filled two of the stalls with a yard of sand. WET sand. By my estimate, I need 3 more yards. My back is tired and sore, but it's been worse.

We are off to get hay in the morning. I've got an "adopted" son, and one of Mike's co-workers coming to help. We only need 37 bales. so it shouldn't take too long. I've got the over-head hoist in the barn to offload and stack it.

Frankie is doing MUCH better. He's still "off" on the front left, but it's more like an exaggerated step, rather than a limp.

Honey is doing MUCH worse. I don't think the problem is in her hoof now. I mean, I know there's a problem, but I think the limp is coming from an injury higher up, say like in her ankle. There's no swelling and no heat, but she is definitely LAME.

Confounded horse!


Mike is still in Virginia and will be for at least another week. The first week was HELL on him. His dad and sister had got things started, but nothing was rolling yet. So things were frustrating and then there was the differences in reality. Mike has called me completely exhausted every night. I get angry because I disagree with the path and the progress. Being Mike's sounding board is frustrating for me, too. But it's not my mom, and I'm not there, so my opinion is of little value.

Mike is the type of guy who shows up, assesses the situation, then takes charges and heads down a path. As of Thursday, everyone was on the same path and in agreement, funeral arrangements have been made, extended family notified, the baby brother on his way, and they are all prepared to say final good-byes.

Because of the stress and emotional crap he's going through, I'm not feeding Mike any information from home. Things are "bad", but there have been a few little bobbles that normally I would have talked to him about. I just don't feel he needs the extra worry.

Against my judgement, people from work are feeding him updates. I know he needs to stay "in the loop", but come on people! Ok, enough about that.

Gotta love El Nino! Aside from 10 days of COLD (got down to 2 degrees), this winter has been wet, but not unpleasant. This weekend highs are supposed to be 45-50 degrees, and over-night lows are around 35 degrees.

Did I mention that it's been wet? Normal year-to-date precipitation is .71". Current year-to-date is 1.85". So you know what that means.... I have mud. Not the ankle deep sucking slop that they have on the west side of the state, but mud just the same. Which means that the horses feet aren't drying out.

So today, after the babies finish their breakfast, I'll turn the horses out on pasture, then I'm going to break out the tractor and drag the muck to the other end of the runs. I'm also going to get a load of sand so I can put it in the stalls and just in front of the barn. Ahhh...manual labor! I can use the scoop on the tractor, but I still have to shovel it out of the truck bed into the scoop.

The last time I did this, I asked my friend Candice (who works at her dad's quarry) just how much the sand weighs. She estimated between 4400 and 4600 pounds. Oh goody...the prospect of moving 2 tons of sand by shovel. Gotta love it! The daughter is here so maybe she'll help...

Mike had asked her to watch out for me, as if I'm some wilting violet, and she took it to heart. She checks on her cat during the day while I'm at work, but the rest of the time, she's here at the house keeping me company.

I received a book called "Where the Blind Horse Sings" by Kathy Stevens, the founder of Catskill Animal Sanctuary. I read it last night. If you haven't read it, I totally recommend getting it and reading it. The book echos so many other thousands of stories across America from the wonderful rescue work that people do. I heard it echo stories from right here outside my backdoor.

I received the book in the mail from my friend Michelle at Katies Coast to Coast. She'd read it and thought of me. Michelle leves several hours from me and if I'm lucky, I get to see her a couple times a year. We sometimes e-mail, but mostly don't, and have only talked on the phone once. I love Michelle! She is one of my most favorite people in the whole world. She is beautiful and loving and caring and one of the nicest people you may never meet. She has some really cool stuff, so when you get the chance, visit her website and see perhaps there is something that she has that you just can't live without. Tell her that I sent you! I don't get any kick backs, but I want her to know that I'm thinking about her.

Alright kiddos... I'm off to get some fuel for the tractor, then start my chores. Blessings to you and your furbabies (I love that term!)

Oh... I came across pictures of Kaci (Kaci's Friend), my very first unassisted rescue and rehome. I sent an e-mail to his new human, Kim and requested some pictures. I got these this morning in my e-mail. He's a wild man, isn't he?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I've got two horses that are lame now.

Honey has a split in the goes all the way through the hoof wall and was separating at the toe. We put a shoe on to stabilize her hoof and prevent flexing until the split grew out. While turned out, she stepped too close to one of the fence posts and cracked the toe of her bad foot on it. So ever since, she's been gimpy, pointing, and lame. I picked her hoof and brushed it off, but I can't see if the split is any worse. I DO know that she isn't getting any better.

Then today, Frankie trashed the water bucket. Big yellow dork! He and Bullwinkle have two water tubs. A 10 gallon heated tub, and a big 30 gallon tub with a sinking heater in it. He trashed the little one. The big one was more than half full. Cathy won't let me shoot him.

OFF TOPIC - I've noticed on three occasions that an Annonymous poster posted a link in the comments to porn sites. I've deleted them as I've found them. BUT - if you come across something like that, PLEASE - post a comment in the most recent post's comments and tell me where they are.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today was a GREAT Day!!!

Sometimes having Adult ADHD is a GOOD thing!

I had every intention of riding today, so after the horses were done eating, I turned the boys out on pasture and turned Jazzy out to blow off some steam. When she was done, I saddled her up and rode in the arena. I only rode her for 20 minutes or so, and just at a walk and trot. She was such a good girl! Just did whatever I wanted her to do. She took a little trip to the beauty parlor to get her bridle path cleaned up too!

Then it was Angel's turn. I turned her loose in the arena and she bucked ad farted around for about 15 minutes. When I brought her back to the barn, I had every intention of saying "Nah, I won't ride her." Before I knew it, we were walking down the road. Hmm...guess I'll ride her after all. LOL

There's a path between two houses where I ride, where I can cut through to another road, which takes me up to the trails on the hill. Normally, part of the path is skeery! One the left, there is a row of arborvitae that are 20 feet tall along a yard that has five Corgis. On the other side, there is a truck with a trailer hooked up, under a black cat hides and bolts out from under just as we are pulling along side.

Then, there are horse pastures on each side, one containing a horse eating monster (aka pony), then a little further down, there are cows. Normally, if Angel manages to survive the trauma of the pony, the cows are waiting to pick at her bones, whatever the pony flesh has left attached.

Today, nothing. Just a nice relaxed quiet walk all the way down to the end of the cow pasture. There was one cow separated from the other three and was sort of penned in. Angel drew up next to it and stuck her neck out to take a sniff. The cow just stood there and Angel took a few steps forward. Then Angel and cow went nose-to-nose. ANGEL! The one who thinks cows eat horses!

We continued on our ride, nice and relaxed. It was WONDERFUL. She was on a loose rein the entire time! I SO enjoyed myself and happy that I climbed on after all! We very rarely have rides like that! ADD Appy and ADHD Mom - normally not a very "relaxed" combination!

When I got back, I turned Millie out and came in for some lunch. It was my intention to check the fences and fix the one tape that I knew was a problem. Once I got the tapes down, I noticed that there was a bunch of poo stacked up, so I fired up the tractor and scooped it up. Then I decided that as long as I had the tractor going, I should probably groom up the drainage trough, since Jinx thinks it's her personal toilet. When i was satisfied that I'd just made a huge mess of the two runs, I finished fixing the fence decided to clean stalls.

I cleaned the stalls and at some point, made a mental note-to-self to lay in SAND, rather than clean DIRT fill. Dirt just turns to slop. Anyway, I got the stalls cleaned and then decided I should probably get the hay out of the trailer so I could park it.

I'd gone to get hay on Friday. Being the wimp that I am, I only managed to get seven bales. But hey, I'm old, out of shape, and I was alone. After huffing and puffing to knock the bales down off the top of the stack, breaking one open in the process, I said "Forget this" and headed home. I stopped to get something to eat on the way but WHOOPS, I'd left my purse at home.

So today, when I went to back the trailer into the barn to unload my "treasure", the fuel in the truck was so low I figured I'd better go get some. So off I went, a mile down the road to the little Stop N Rob and got fuel. When I got back, I managed to put the trailer right where I wanted it in the barn, without scraping the sides of the barn, trailer, or truck. How lucky is THAT?!?

I pulled the hay out and just lined the bales up. Hmm... apparently I can't count because there were only 5 bales plus the broken one. DOH! Oh well, I laid out the hay for the girls, then let them in off the pasture. I went and got Millie, put her in her stall, then out to let the boys back into the arena.

So here I sit, smelly, tired, and hungry. And it was a GREAT day!

Playtime for Millie

Snapped some pics of Millie right after I turned her out to play.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Boys

Cathy wanted some pics, so I went out and snapped some. They have the evil-laser eyes, but aside from that, they looks good.

Look at that face!

This shows the height difference. Frankie is coming 3 yrs old. Bullwinkle is coming 2 years old.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


So those are my ponies, babies, furbabies, whatever you want to call them, in order as I acquired them. (Or should I say As they suckered me)

Angel, Jazzy, Honey, Squirrel, Millie, Bullwinkle and Jinx

I have Frankie here but he's not mine and can't tell you a whole lot about him other than he's a gelding, he's tall, he's palomino, and he's a nice boy.

So the subject is "AWAY". I had this whole big train of thought filled with wit and humor. PFT and it went AWAY.

I am totally feeling sorry for myself and am ready to get the pity party started. I posted a note on a discussion board, looking for someone to ride with this weekend, totally open to anything, and I got got...NOTHING! *sigh* Fine! Be that way! I didn't want to ride with you anyway! :oP

Not really, just feeling mopey! Another lonely night without my hubby to pick on... I never realized consciously how much we really talk to each other and how much fun we have together until now... with the silence roaring in my ears.

GAH! I'm a big pitiful MESS!

Mrs Cravitz - what are you doing this weekend? Are you doing any riding? I'm willing to haul...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jinx - The MoFo Mare

Nickname: Jinx, Mofo

Jinx is the last horse we bought. We bought her for a back-up horse for my husband.
She's a registered Missouri Foxtrotter, 16 hands, 19 years old this Spring.

We bought her last July. She is very broke, but not a beginner horse. She is very forward, alert, and ready to go!

My daughter rode her today for the first time, and even though she hasn't been ridden for several months, Jinx did nothing bad! She was a little jumpy, but then, Angel was too!

Jinx is supposed to be grey, but she's so filthy right now, she's more yellow and brown. Sort of dirt and mud colored.

I'd never ridden a gaited horse before Jinx. It's kind of weird actually. Her "jog" is very smooth, and has a side to side motion. She doesn't like loping, and will try to get broncy. She doesn't sull up, she just drops her head and kicks out a little. But since she was bought to be a trail horse for the husband with the bad back, there's no real reason to lope, right?

I'll be riding Jinx more this Spring to get her back into the swing of things, so if Mike decides to ride, he's not going to have a fat, fresh horse that hasn't been ridden for months.

We need some prayers of comfort!

Mike is leaving for Virginia on Thursday. His mother doesn't have long to live now, in fact it'll be surprising if she makes it until he gets there.

She has been so very ill.

We went back for a week in November. For whatever reason, the oncologist talked her into starting chemo for the Stage 4 lung cancer. Mike and I both told them that it would only make her much sicker and weaker and hasten her death. That prediction is proving to be true.

So Mike leaves to say his final good-byes and if she passes while he's there, he'll attend the funeral. Knowing the time is near doesn't make it any easier on Mike, his dad, or his siblings - a brother and sister. They are all taking this very hard, even though Mike's mother has been ill and mostly disabled for a very long time.

I'm staying home to take care of the babies.

I want to say Thank You to Jim Heilig of Continental Airlines for providing Mike with Buddy Passes. We have to reimburse Jim for the taxes on the flights, but not the cost of the flights themselves. It should be around $350, instead of $1500 and up.

Flying on short notice should be CHEAPER because it would fill up the plane, but no, that's not the case.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Caddis Cool Dorado

Caddis Cool Dorado Nickname: Bullwinkle (BW)

Bullwinkle is what you'd call an "Oopsie". His breeder's electric fence failed and his sire, Big Yellow Caddy (aka Cecil) found himself a hot little mama to romance in the middle of the night. Picture of Cecil below:

Mary bought BW as a weanling, only three months old. I went on a crazy 36 hour road trip and on the way back, pick the baby moose up and brought him to my house for a week. He needed his Coggins and health papers before he could continue his trip to Idaho.

Once in Idaho, he started his training with Mary. She had a blog about him, but she has since removed all the posts, which is sad because there was some really good information captured there.

In May of 2009, Bullwinkle came back to Pasco. He loaded and trailered like a champ because Mary had moved him to several different barns in Idaho before finding a place that was perfect for Bullwinkle. You might think this is crazy but if the horse isn't happy, and the owner isn't happy, you have to keep looking until you find THAT place that is right for you both.

So as a yearling, Bullwinkle came to Pasco to play with Millie, who was two at the time. They got along fine, with Millie being the Alpha and bossing him around. I haven't done much with him since he got here, but the little I HAVE done, I am impressed with.

Bullwinkle is an "old soul", he acts much older than he is, partly because of his quiet, willing mind, and partly because of the hands-on he got from Mary.

In November, Frankie came to stay and moved into the arena with Millie and Bullwinkle. After Beau passed, I moved Millie to her own stall in the barn.

The two boys get along fabulously! They don't have a bossy red filly pushing them around, and they play together like babies should!

Bullwinkle's education as a two year old will be learning to pony, carry a bit in his mouth, and pack around a saddle. I figure he'll pick up on it quickly!

Right now BW is in that homely two year old mutant stage. He's got a big butt, is butt high, little chest, tiny neck, and funky looking head. Someday, he will be beautiful like his daddy!

Bullwinkle is very sweet and interested in what I'm doing. At feeding time, I throw the hay out and Frankie will dig in. Bullwinkle will stay at the rail, accepting scritches and coos from me until I walk away after one final pat. I am very lucky to have this big dude!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Meritable Millie

Millie and Barb

Nicknames: Miss Millie, Millers, Damn-It-Get-Out-Of-The-Way!

Millie was bred by Barb and came to live with me when she was a year and half old. Barb has been drifting through her own personal hell and wanted Millie to go to a good home. I didn't have enough horses, so Barb brought her to me.

Until the day Barb pulled in with Millie and her barrel horse Chester, we'd never met in person. Never talked on the phone. We communicated through e-mails. Since there was a barrel race in Walla Walla that weekend, I pitched to Barb, "Why not come and stay here, then after the race, you can drop me off and head home. So that's what happened - Barb showed up, I fell in "love", and now I have a friend for life. Oh, and I had a new filly too. LOL!

I didn't tell Mike that Barb was giving Millie to me. He knew Barb was coming, we were going to a barrel race, and Barbwould be staying here at the house. When Barb left, she asked if I'd told Mike yet. I said "No. I'm kind of curious to see how long it will take him to figure out you left one of your horses here." It took him about and hour and half, but by then, Barb was LONG gone! Mike's reaction - "Aw crap!"

So Millie moved in and pretty much took over! There's not a whole lot that I've done with her. I lunged her one, then called Barb and told her that Millie still remembered it, that it'd taken a few minutes, but then it came back to her. Barb said, "Um...I never lunged Millie."

Last summer, Barb came over for the weekend to hang out and "get away". She ended up falling in love with Maya (used to be Larka), a young blue heeler that had adopted us. It was a match made in heaven - for both of them!

Barb and I also saddled Millie for the first time. I thought Barb was going to get run over, but she survived. Millie gave us a 20 second impression of an NFR Bronc, then quit, stood there, and looked at us like we were idiots. Barb and I just looked at each other and idiots.

Aside from getting her feet trimmed, getting out a couple times, and a whole lot of getting in the way, Millie has had a life of leisure. She spent a couple months bossing the boys around out in the arena before moving to her own private stall next to Jinx.

A month or so ago on a nice day, which Mike and I wasted picking up manure, I turned Millie and Jinx out on the pasture together. For the most part, they avoided each other - politely ignoring each others' presence. Then Millie decided that she was the boss and was going to have a little chat with Jinx about it. See, Millie was just a week or so out of the arena and bossing the boys, so she was pretty sure she was still top dog, erm, horse. Jinx said "Yeah, don't think so you little snot" and proceeded to kick the snot out of the snotnosed brat! It took her twice to get her point across, Millie was THAT sure of her own self-importance! Both times, Millie instigated it. I'm pretty sure they're buddies now...

When I brought the horses up to the barn that night, I was certain that I would have a wounded filly to doctor. I had pretty much resinged myself that the damage was done, and a filly that wasn't even started under saddle would be maimed and lamed permanently. Not a mark on her. Not even so much as a scuff in her fluffy chestnut coat.

Have you ever watched a horse, either out in the pasture or perhaps under saddle, and just KNOW that the horse is smooth as silk to ride? That perhaps she's a diamond in the rough and when finished is going to be spectacular?

That's was I think when I see Millie move. It's incredible!

She will be three years old this spring. I can hardly wait to get her started!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

JNJ Classy Poco Gal

October 2008

September 2009

Nickname: Squirrel

Squirrel was bought as a two year old by ranchers outside of Brewster, WA, broke to ride, then used as a ranch horse until she was 7 years old. Then she became a broodmare. She is a brown mare and her babies - ALL OF THEM - are the color of their sires. Buckskin, palomino, red dun, grullo, not a brown baby in the pack!

In the Spring of 2008, Squirrel did not get pregnant. The ranch didn't want to feed her through the winter if she wasn't producing a baby. They didn't want to mess with hauling her to the auction either. Their plan was to take her up into the hills and shoot her. This is where The Quirky Neighbor comes to the rescue.

I had just lost Heddy Weed to colic. Heddy had been rescued along with Honey. I was still upset about losing her, and The Quirky Neighbor didn't want to see a nice mare disposed of in that manner, so she loaded Squirrel and brought her to me. I don't know if The Quirky Neighbor bought her, or if she was just given away. It doesn't matter. She's mine now, papers and all.

When she arrived, she was a little thin, out of shape, mats in her mane and tail, and totally not interested in human contact. Human contact meant WORK. It took me a year, but she is finally over the whole "run to the corner and she'll come get me if she REALLY wants me" thing.

I rode Squirrel a lot less than I should have, but the rides I took were very nice. She is sound, and sane (mostly), and safe on the trails. I hauled her up to a few barrel races and just rode around, and she was amazing!

One of her quirks is that she will not stand still for mounting. She wants you to just get on and go. I should have been working with her on that, but...

Last summer, she tried to impale herself on the tie rack. She set back, then reared and lunged forward, coming down on the top of the post. (You can see it behind Honey in the picture where she's tied to the trailer)

She also is deathly afraid of ponies. They are small horse eating animals that look like a horse, but are not! At least, to Squirrel. Last May, my friend Candice came from Minnesota for a week. See, there was a HUGE, very cool 4 day barrel race a mile from the house and I suckered Candice into coming and staying and hanging out.

Candice probably thinks I'm totally lame and not as cool as I thought I was. (LOL!) Anyway, we decided to go for a ride. Candice was on Squirrel, I was on Angel. As we rode up next to the fence, a neighbor's pony came up to the fence, along with his horses, and Squirrel lost her little pea brain. First, she whipped around in the road. Candice sat and went with her. (She has a real reiner/cutter/barrel racer at home) She collected Squirrel to get control - we both saw a blind runaway coming. So Squirrel tried to buck in place. Candice has velcro butt, so THAT didn't work either.

Then Squirrel reared. Candice said "Oh HELL no!" and slid off her back, down her butt and landed on her feet. CANDICE TOTALLY NAILED THE LANDING!!!

It was quite impressive actually, since I would have either hung on and gotten squashed if Squirrel went over backward, or splatted flat on my back.

Then Squirrel took one step back. Right on the top of Candice's foot. Ever try to move when a horse is standing on your foot? It's not possible. So THEN, Candice went splat. More like just fell over, but she tried to catch herself with her hand, which of course, chewed some of the skin off.

At this point, Squirrel headed for home, which was about 300 feet away. (STUPID HORSE) I asked if Candice was ok, she said yes, and I headed back on Angel to catch Squirrel. She stood there looking at me with that "What?" expression. Candice went in to wash her hand, then came out and was going to get back on Squirrel!

I was thinkg "OMG! This girl is TOUGH!" I would have still been sitting in the middle of the road cussing a blue streak and crying like a big baby!

Squirrel was a stinker and tried bucking before Candice even got on, so she said "I'll pass. It's obviously not going to work out." So she climbed on Angel, and I rode Squirrel and we went off for a nice little ride. I KNOW Candice had to have been hurting, but she never complained. I of course, was mortified, horrified, embarrassed, and sick about it. It could have been so bad.

Candice is WAY tougher than I'll ever be!!

So after that, and the near impaling incident, I started reading where horse women were dying in freak horse-related accidents, and I lost my nerve. Squirrel pretty much got turned out.

I have noticed a "quirk" with Squirrel... if she doesn't want to do something, she'll rear. The whole pony-will-eat-me story. Another example - I noticed her back ankle was swollen, and it was covered in mud, so I needed to hose it off so I could see if she'd just take a mis-step, or if there was a cut. I turned on the hose to a gentle stream. When I picked it up, Squirrel pulled back and reared. Not high and she didn't strike, but her front came off the ground a good two feet. After trotting around me a few times, she stood still and let me hose off the leg. I found an old boo-boo, but it shouldn't have made the ankle swollen. It wasn't even bad enough to treat. Oddly enough, the swelling went down and stayed down after just one hosing. Hmm...

So about this rearing thing. It's dangerous. Before I get back on her, I'm sending her to a professional for a 30 day tune-up. I'd like to know if this is a bluff thing that she doing with Candice and me, or if this is her normal reaction to things. I also want to know if it's a personality defect, or a learned behavior. (Any thoughts on that?)

I would like to eventually breed her, but if this is a personality defect that could be passed on to her foal, I'll pass on breeding her, and sell her to someone capable of handling her properly and with full disclosure. But we're not there yet.

Squirrel is a very quick learner! I started her on the barrel pattern last spring and she picked it up very quickly. She will get ridden more this year - her life of leisure is coming to an end.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Honey in the Money

Nicknames: Honey, HoneyBear

Honey in the Money is my very first rescue. She was one of six broodmares being dumped by Adaire Farms. I brought home two - one was a bred mare named Heddy Weed, who died of colic in October 2008. The other was Honey.

Honey was once a racehorse. We don't know the real story of how she was injured, whether a horse fell in front of her and she flipped, or if she got tangled in those overhead exercise thingys that they have on the west side of the state. But she injured her neck, injured her pelvis, and injured her left back ankle.

Honey's neck is mis-shapen and from her withers to her poll looks like (, bowing to the right. Surprisingly, she is most flexible to the left.

Honey can't carry a foal to term. She was bred three times and each year, she delivered her foal a month early and it didn't survive. She was then abandoned by her owners, without papers. Since she was of no use to Adaire Farms, she was being culled.

Honey arrived thin and covered in rain rot. She was aloof and standoffish. Once haltered, however, she was quiet and polite. I started fattening her up and it took MONTHS to get her in the kind of shape that I was comfortable with. She has only once been what I call "fat", and that was this past summer when she was turned out on pasture full time.

She is a wonderful pasture mate, polite and kind to other mares that she is turned out with. She is great with the babies, firm but kind.

To watch this mare float around the pasture, you think she'd be a dream to ride. But a flex test performed by a vet showed that she is not truly sound to ride. So my dreams of riding this lovely mare have been dashed and she is relegated to pasture to do what she does best - eat, poop, and be beautiful.

Honey is now cuddly and snuggly, totally content to stand beside you in the pasture and wait for your attention. She is neither pushy nor rude, but kind, sweet, and lovable!

Her "job" is to be a trailer-buddy for the babies on their first rides down the road. She loads without hesitation, stands quietly and patiently while we fight whoever is next into the trailer, puts her head in the corner and goes to sleep.

Honey wears front shoes full-time. Her left front hoof has a vertical split, completely through the hoof wall, and I was afraid that without shoes to prevent the hoof wall from moving, that it would pull away from the laminae. As you can guess, that would be disastrous for Honey. So, until her hoof grows out, she wears shoes in front.

So Honey is what I call my first TRUE rescue - neglected, dumped, unrideable, unbreedable, and unwanted by everyone. Except me! She has a home with me forever!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tomorrow is Going to be a BAAAD Day!

It's almost midnight and I'm still awake. I took a sleeping pill but it hasn't kicked in yet, and in the morning, I'm going to be rummy and dragging and I already know the entire day is going to SUCK!

I posted before about having Adult ADHD. One of the effect that I suffer is what I call "Brain Buzz".

Imagine a room (big or small, it really doesn't matter) and there are clock radios EVERYWHERE! On the walls, floors, suspended from the ceiling, each set to a different station, some on, some off, different volume levels, and each set to come on at different, totally random times.

One radio, replays my worst moments that I would love to forever erase from my memory.

Another is set to the "Should have.." station. Showing me in exquisite detail the outcome of an event if I had done what I should have.

Others detail my worst nightmares - a station for the horses, the dogs, the kids, the grandson, my husband, friends, and even me. (I'd really like to pull the plug on THESE!)

Another is busy unfolding fantasies - one for wishes, one for dreams, and even one for oh-hell-no-there-is-no-way-THAT-is-going-to-happen

Then there's the loudest one that is showing step by step how we are going to frame in the new extension under the eves by the dog kennel, because it's already over a slab and under the roof line and we can just move the walls out and create more space but you know that's never going to happen, and certainly not for the same amount of money that it cost us to build the tack room onto the barn and besides I don't want to live paycheck to paycheck and we need hay and of course a couple bags of feed and we really SHOULD save up the money and once we get that much money, we might as well pay off Kali's car or put a chunk down on the credit card...

and on it goes, endlessly. Some nights, the manic loud ones don't get turned on and I am lulled to sleep by the waves that break gently on the shore of island in the sun that plays on one of my fantasy radios, or perhaps the barely audible gurgling of a stream as it plays over pebbles between moss laden rocks in a shadowed forest glen.

Tonight is not that night, and someone was messing with the volume!

So, knowing about my radios... tonight, just after going to bed, I became aware that I was probably sleeping. I was still breathing - I checked.

What had awakened me was complete and utter mental silence! Then I panicked!

I seriously thought perhaps I was dead and imagining that I was breathing, because...

I NEVER EVER have had complete mental silence. EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER!!!

There is ALWAYS something, normally multiple things, going through my head on my radios! Even when I'm concentrating on something specific, there is that stupid song by that singer I hate, words I don't know except for most annoying part playing in the background.

I don't hear my radios when I sleep because of the oblivion of rest.

I would like to have the silence.

It's now after midnight and perhaps, perhaps I can slip into a drug aided sleep, and just deal with the cotton-mouth and grogginess tomorrow.

Leos Jazzy Music

Nicknames: Jazzy, Zazu, Zulu, Zu, The Buttless Wonder

Jazzy, (Leos Jazzy Music) was bought for Mike as a 4 year old. We knew we were going to have to put her in training, which we did. According to our trainer, she bucked twice. Once when a motorcycle went roaring past the arena, and once when a plastic grocery bag blew into the arena. She hasn't bucked with us EVER!

Being Music Mount-bred, the potential is there. What we learned from this mare is that she will NOT be bullied! You can ask and if she gets frustrated, you have to back, go to something she knows for confidence, then come back and ask her again. She will try and try, but she won't be MADE to do something.

The horse trader that we bought her from had bred Jazzy to her stallion days before we bought her. So two months in training, then we brought her home to make her baby. She delivered a big healthy grullo filly on April 1 of the following year. We sold the filly (April Fooling Around) to a gal in Roseburg, OR that fall.

We've taken Jazzy on trail rides, but haven't done a whole lot with her. I would like to put her in training with a reining trainer to get her working off her hindend. She is really bad about pulling with her frontend, and as such, has weak stifles. We plan to send her to Hermiston for some rehab and aqua therapy this spring.

We have a problem with Mike's saddle. The tree isn't broken, but there is something wrong with it. Jazzy will throw her head around and just generally act "like a pill" as Mike puts it. We long thought it was the horse. Then, my quirky neighbor let Mike ride one of her horses and he did the same thing. I'd ridden both Jazzy and the neighbor's horse without so much as a bobble, so we had an epiphany that it's Mike's saddle.

I have a saddle here that Mike can use, so this spring, we're going to have him try that saddle on Jazzy to see if it makes a difference. While this other saddle isn't going to be comfortable for Mike, if he can get an enjoyable ride out of it, we may soon be in the market for a new pleasure saddle.

So that is Jazzy. She is very easy to get along with, even though she's still what I consider green. Hopefully, a little more training and consistent riding will make her a much nicer horse to ride.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bright-Eyes Angel

Why Not Nikker has been introducing the horses around her place, and since I have no current "projects" to write about, and because it's winter and no one likes to hear about how I picked up poop for four hours, I figure I'll introduce my herd to you.

Nicknames: Boo, BooBear, The Spotted Donkey

Angel (Bright-Eyes Angel) is the second horse I bought as an adult. The first was my daughter's horse who crossed the Rainbow Bridge several years ago. Initially, I leased her. Her former owner needed to lighten the impact on the feed bill, but wasn't sure she wanted to sell, and I wasn't prepared to buy her, so I leased her for six months.

I moved Angel to the place where I boarded and my daughter and I rode together, look lessons together, and learned about horses together. Angel was a finished Western Pleasure horse, and I am DEFINITELY NOT a Western Pleasure rider. So I made a mess of a finished horse, but I learned a lot in doing so.

Before leasing Angel, I had always skipped over ads for Appaloosas. ALWAYS! I wasn't interested. I can't tell you why, I just wasn't. To be honest, I'm not sure that I like Appaloosas now, but I know that I LOVE this horse!

Angel is very forgiving of me. I took lessons on her. I hauled her to schooling shows. I rode her English and Western. I laughed and cried. I have known frustration and exquisite joy. Then we moved to Pasco.

Shortly thereafter, I started barrel racing. See, my quirky neighbor barrel races, and since we were "friends", it would be something that we could do together. So she helped me pattern Angel on the barrels. We tried really hard. We aren't ever in the top division, but we have had fun and have won a little bit of money.

I have met many friends by riding this horse and barrel racing. She has taken VERY good care of me. I trust this horse not to hurt me. (At least not on purpose!) Once we were out on a ride through the toolies, and she "spooked" at something (probably a rock) and whipped around, unseating me and tossing me over her shoulder. I was body slammed! And, my foot was hung up in the stirrup. It could have been VERY bad! Angel just stood there, waited for me to get untangled and climb back on. My hip was bruised, but it could have been so much worse!

At a barrel race one night, two riders were mounted and standing behind a banner that was hung on the rail, right where we circled out after our run. They were pretty much in shadow, and Angel saw them, came to a screeching halt, and rolled back to the right. I caught the saddle horn with the inside of my right thigh, and the breast collar on my way off to kiss the dirt. Angel stood stock still as I hung there, and waited for me to right myself.

She tries SO HARD to do what I ask every time - so long as it doesn't involve putting on a fly mask (she'll suffer with the flies, thank you very much) or get a shot in the neck. Anything else, she's cool with. Well, mostly...she's not real excited about dragging anything if it's attached to a rope and "chasing" her. But she'll try.

While Angel's pedigree is known, she isn't registered. See...there's a little thing called genetics. Angel's dam is a white and black leopard appy. When bred to a solid colored stallion, 50% of the time she will produce an appy foal like Angel. The other 50%, she will produce a loud colored paint. Angel is a "painted" appy. She has a HUGE spot on the inside of her back leg and along her belly that is white, with no pigment in the skin. As such, she has been disqualified from being registered. It doesn't matter to me, because she will never be bred, and never be sold. My husband's instructions are if I die and he doesn't want to spend the money to care for Angel, he is to put her down.

Angel is, apparently, your typical Appaloosa - tough and smart. She developed gate issues because she is WAY ahead of me mentally and already into the run. She anticipates my requests and will react to even the slightest of changes is my body position and posture. There aren't "push buttons" with this horse. It's more like a touch screen!

I have NEVER been able to tire this horse. EVER! If she's fresh, I'll tack her up and turn her loose in the arena, which you can see from the pictures, is more of a HUGE round pen. She will rip and tear around at full-tilt for 20 minutes, then carry my fat butt for two hours out on the trail, then come back for some schooling on the barrel pattern. Give her 10 minutes to catch her breath and she's good to go again.

I have NEVER been in good enough shape to make her tired. EVER! To be honest, I'm not sure that I want to work hard enough TO make her tired.

So my plans to barrel race this mare have pretty much fizzled. It's not worth the fight. If she was winning thousands of dollars, yeah, I'd work through it, but she doesn't, and that's ok. I DO plans to haul her over to Western Washington. My friend BarbO lives over there, has a great place, and knows of TONS of trails up in the mountains to ride. AND, LatigoLiz has sent me some links to some cool places as well. So that is my plan for Angel this coming year. I just want to enjoy my horse!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I have a very cute pair of grey and black slip-on shoes. It took me a while to really LIKE them, because they felt funny. But they were cute and I really, really tried to like them, which I do! Or rather, DID!

Boomer decided he liked them too. As chew toys.

I think what happen is he gets bored and starts in on something. He's always sorry when I get home, but by then, it's too late.

He did reduced my brand new riding boots that had been worn ONCE to a clog. Seriously!

Stupid dog!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Comedy Relief

Let's go back in time, ten years, when my 12 year old son got his first BB Gun...

My husband had set up a target on the end of the shed and had just finished showing Josh how to handle a weapon. He said "Handle EVERY weapon as if it could kill someone and you'll never have an accident. Point the muzzle at the ground, never in even the general direction of another person."

They were having trouble with this particular BB gun. Apparently it had a safety feature built in where if you pumped it up, but didn't fire right away, the air pressure would bleed off and the BB would just roll out the end of the muzzle. Safety feature, right?

Well, they still hadn't figured this out, since the directions and safety information was still in the box in the kitchen.

I walked out to see how things were going. I was standing just in front of the doghouse, which was a custom built, solid monstrosity made Mike and my brother-in-law. Mike turned to see what I was doing and sighted down the barrel in my direction.

Of course me being me, AND knowing what he was doing A) wasn't safe, and B) a contradiction to what he was SUPPOSED to be teaching my son, I started squawking like an old wet hen.

Mike, used to thinking that he was smarter than me(mind you, he's well beyond that thought now), pulled the trigger, fully expecting the BB to A) roll out the muzzle and drop onto the ground, or B) embed itself in the front of the doghouse (which he SWEARS to this day is what he was aiming at).

Instead, the BB ricocheted off the front of the doghouse and hit me in the meaty part of my butt cheek, instantly A) eliciting a screech from me, and B) raising a HUGE welt on my butt.

My husband, retired from the Marine Corps (trained killer and that crap), handed the gun to the 12 yr old boy, said "Lesson over for today. Don't ever do that.", turned on his heel, and took off running around the opposite side of the house.

His actions were pointless.. I knew where he slept...

UPDATE - An Important Tool for the Barn

Do you have one of these? (or something similar)

I should have done this first, but hey... We picked this one up at Lowe's for $15.00. The magnet head is 12 inches long.

While working over Millie's stall yesterday, Mike dropped three large staples. I could only find one. So I had to lock her out until I could go get a magnet to swep her stall.

We bought one at Lowe's, with a telescoping handle, for $15.00. I was very surprised when I used it.

I was able to find both of the staples, plus a smaller one that had been there a while. Then I found several framing nails just outside her stall. When I swept the area where the horses get their feet trimmed, I found a surprising about of horse shoe nails, clippings, and filings. My farrier is usually very conscious about the ends that he clips off, so the number of clippings I found was surprising.

If you don't already have one, I could recommend getting a magnet. It'll save your tires, and your horses' feet!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A small, after-nap rant...

Don't you hate it when you spend the morning "helping" your husband in the barn? (Which translates to cleaning stalls and playing "fetch" for the tools he left in the garage) Then you come in the house, take a shower (with what's left of the hot water after he's done with his), make lunch, wash up and crawl in bed beside your drowsy husband. As you laying drifting off to sleep, he starts to snore, startling you awake with each little snort. But you decide it's not really that bad, and you're just starting to warm up and you're tired so you FIGHT for your nap. Then, just moments after you win the fight and had slept for 10 minutes MAYBE, he snorts hismelf awake, realizes that HE'S been for an hour so it must be time to get up. So he wakes you up too.


So I'm baking fresh chocolate chip cookies and I'm going to eat ALL of them! Ok, I'll eat as many as I can before I get sick, then I'll hide the rest!

In brighter news, the morning wasn't a complete bust. I actually hopped on Angel the Spotted Donkey bareback and rode around the driveway. I didn't even get bucked off!

Friday, January 1, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! ...and all that junk

Happy new Year! Mike and I are OLD. We were in bed asleep before 9:00. The severe winter storm that we were supposed to get didn't happen. We were SUPPOSED to get 4 - 6 inches of snow, with 1/4 inch of ice (from freezing rain) on top.

We got MAYBE 2 inches of snow, and a thin little crust on top. PFT! Not even worth the effort it took to send out the warning. The boys were rather put out this morning when I went out to pull their blankets. They gave me "The Look" that said, "I had to wear this stupid thing for NOTHING!" The ROADS, however, should be a nasty sheet of ice. During the "snow" part, the roads thawed and packed. Should be slickery! (Yes...that IS a word).

We are off to get some eggs for breakfast. With luck we'll return with no new dents in the car.

Have a safe and happy day, may it last the whole year. Hugs your horses and take them some quartered apples!