Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hypothetical Question...

If you were given a show horse, with extensive training, what would you do?

Would you buy the cheapest hay you could find? When the horse started losing weight and looking like crap, would you just throw a blanket on him to hide the neglect? Would leave an ill-fitting blanket on for weeks?

Would you provide the best feed money could buy? Would you make sure the blanket fit? Would you remove the blanket daily (or at least every other day) and brush the horse? Would you check to make sure the blanket wasn't rubbing sores into the withers?

Tell me, please... I need to know. How does this horse go from this:

To this in six months:

This is what Kaci looked like when I got him in May 2008. I thought he was in bad condition then.

Here are his withers now. Can you say "Saddle does not fit."??

Now true, Kaci is shedding and has been laying in the mud, but it's obvious that he's seen neglect for the past few months. Under his blanket, there were MATS of hair. Lord knows when he'd been brushed last!

This makes me angry! When I dropped Kaci off a year and half ago, he was worth more than $8,000! He's had extensive training. He was still sane and sound.

Now he actually LOOKS like a rescue! Rumor has it that he has a hock problem, though he isn't limping. But then again, he isn't walking much either! When I took the photos this morning, it was the first time he'd stopped eating since his arrival Friday night. (THAT is a whole other story that I won't share)

And get this... he's been at a training barn for the last month (on the trainer's dime) trying to get fattened up. Apparently, they have put a BUNCH of weight on him in the last 28 days! I look at Kaci and think "My God! Just how skinny WAS he?"

I don't get it. I just don't get it!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Honey in the Money 2000 - 2010

In late January 2008, my husband and I made the long drive from Pasco to Poulsbo. I was excited. I was picking up my very own Thoroughbred! She was a grand-daughter of Seattle Slew, tall, long, with a huge floaty trot. I could totally see my untrained butt flopping around in an English saddle as she moved around the rail with elegance and grace. When we arrived at the farm, she was run into a training barn with 5 other mares. One was the pregnant one (Heddy Weed) that came home with her.

As my eyes fell on her, the fit, sleek, shiny TB mare of my imaginings evaporated like the smoke exhaled from the lips of a smoker. What stood before was a skinny, hairy aloof mare with rainrot, nasty hooves, and a halter that had been on her face WAY too long! I could hear Mike thinking "Are you out of your mind? You want to put THIS in the trailer?" Or maybe he said it out loud. I don't know because I was mesmerized as this pitiful creature, by far the most pitiful I'd seen in my up-until-then-limited experience, literaly floated away from where I was standing.

I watched her for several moments without even breathing. I saw, with my mind, the healthy, sleek, shiny, exquisite beauty under the mud, and fungus, and nappy mane. She floated like a cloud. To ride her would be like riding silk. I turned to Emily and said "I want that one". I could barely breathe. I didn't relax until the mares were in the trailer and I was 20 miles from the farm. I was so afraid that they'd change their mind and take her out of the trailer.

Honey in the Money had come home.

My first task was to get her back to a healthy weight and clear up the rainrot. Only then would I consider riding her. Six months later, I made my first attempt.

Honey was cinchy. She did NOT like being cinched up in any way shape or form. She let you know her displeasure without being mean about it. I got to the arena and free longed her before climbing on. I WAS RIGHT!! She was smooth as silk! For about 15 minutes. Then she started to favor her back leg.

I spent MONTHS trying to find out what had happened to her. What I learned ended her riding career and she was relegated to the pasture, a beloved, beautiful pet.
I never even thought to ride her again, knowing that to do so would only cause her pain.

Last summer, Honey was playing in the pasture and stepped too close to the wooden fence post, crack the very center of her hoof all the way through the wall, and all the way to the hairline. The vet and the farrier said if she got shoes up front and frequent trimming, it would grow out completely and she'd be pasture sound once again.

Over the last two weeks, Honey has gotten progressively more lame. To the point where she wouldn't even attempt to play in the arena. That alone told me something was very very wrong.

I spent a lot of time yesterday watching her, her demeanor, her behavior, her walking, her standing. Honey was in a LOT of pain, and it was selfish of me to pretend that she'd be fine.

I ended Honey's suffering today. Kneeling in the trailer with the vet, trying to say goodbye through my tears, it hit me again just how much this sweet cuddly snuggle-bear meant to me and just how much I am going to miss her.

I see Honey across the Rainbow Bridge, flying across the grass that is alway green and where the sun is always warm. I'm crying for me, because of the emptiness her passing has created. I know I did the right thing.

Rest in peace, my sweet Honeybear. I love you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Turnout - What a trip!

Today was turnout day. It had drizzled a little before dawn and by noon, the sun was out. I had every intention of riding, but with the sun, I got the wind. So I just decided to turn out.

The boys were turned out onto pasture and the girls in the barn were turned into the arena, one at a time.

Millie was first and worked up a pretty good sweat. The kid can BUCK! I tell ya! Ok, to be honest, she was kicking up her heels. It wasn't a "buck", it was kicking up from the girth back. She was playing and blowing off steam.

Jinx was next. She pretty much paced by the gate.

Then came Squirrel. She cleaned up the shreds left by the boys at breakfast. So I climbed in and asked her to lope a few laps. When it came time to take her back to the barn, I found out that she can arch her neck and trot in place like the best dressage horses around. It was kind of cool!

Angel picked up where Squirrel left off. I asked her to lope a few laps also. When I decided that she was done, she was all spun up and I couldn't catch her. So I left her to blow off some steam by herself.

Jazzy was next and was pretty much like Angel and Squirrel. Being lazy and picking up what grub she could find, then bucking and blowing once I asked for some activity.

Honey was last. She is still dead lame and it was a slow walk out to the arena. On the way there, we had a little chat. I told her not to do anymore than she felt like doing, that I didn't expect her to do anything more than just stand around for 30 minutes or so. She took it to heart and that's what she did. She just stood near the gate and worked on the boys' salt lick.

HOWEVER, on the way back to the barn, she got goofy on me. Honey has NEVER been anything more than placid with the halter on. EVER! She has ALWAYS politely walked beside me, waiting for me to take her somewhere. Today, just outside the gate, she lunged forward, swung her butt away from me and reared to her full height. With all four on the ground, she's a good 16 hands, maybe taller. Standing on her back legs, she is scary tall.

When she came down, she trotted a little in a circle, then came back to where she was supposed to be beside me. On the backside of the house, she did it again. I have no clue why she did this, other than she probably wanted desperately to run and buck and squeal and blow off some steam but hurt too much to do it. Once in her stall, she just stood there. Goofy old mare!

One thing of note, every mare I took out to the arena was greeted by Bullwinkle with a sweet little whinny and he trotted up to the fence to chat some more. Frankie could have cared less! I just thought it was so sweet that he said "Hello" to each of the girls in turn.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Search

First let me say that I have enabled comment moderation on comments to posts older than 5 days. There's been some back posting that has been inappropriate and I finally got a bellyfull and started moderation on older posts. I just want to keep the links to sex pages and other crap off my blog!

Now, the search...

I am searching for work. The cushy job that I could NEVER lose is gone. I didn't make a lot of money (enough to pay my bills), but I did the job well. Mostly. Our group consisted of an Assistant Manager and three Directors. I worked for one of the Directors. A year and half ago, the Assistant Manager hired a Secretary. She is older (mid- to late- sixties), very nice, professional, and completely ignorant.

She didn't know the software. She didn't know the "flow path". A year later, she STILL could not figure out how to change an Outlook calendar appointment without spamming everyone with 10 messages, then having to cancel the request and start over.

She was incompetent. Completely! And she wanted to be in control. EVERYTHING had to go through her. My boss and I called her "Mother". Unfortunately for me, the boss backed up Mother in the end, mainly because I was a contractor, and she was not. My demise came when I tried to solve a problem on my own. My boss knew what I was doing and how and saw no problem with it. Two days before I was "removed", he came to me and directed me to play Mother's game and do it her way. No problem, for me. This request was going to totally BURY Mother under extra work, but that's how she wanted it. Had this direction come earlier, I would have known the "Rules of Engagement". By the time the Boss handed down the word, it was too late.

The funny thing is, all I got for an explanation was "They want you removed." Nothing else. Had I gotten "talked to", perhaps I could have rebutted some of the complaints against me. (Not that it would have changed anything, but still)

So I spent the next week feeling rotten about myself, wondering if I was so arrogant that I was indeed a horrible person, my confidence in myself shattered. I've spoken to two of my former co-workers and they have assured me that the bad things I was thinking about myself were wrong. Ok, enough of that. I have several leads and prospects...the search is on!

I am searching for new homes for some of my horses. Millie, Squirrel and Jinx are for sale. I have them priced out of "kill buyer range", yet high enough that I can negotiate a bit more money for them. The bottom line is that someone is going to get one hell of a deal on any of them.

The only one that is "iffy" is Jinx. I'm going to call the vet out to check her eyes. She is jumpy and easily "spooked" and I wonder if she just isn't seeing well. If that is the case, then she won't be sold. She'll be put down because like Cathy said about one of her horses, she'll be dangerous and could hurt someone.

I told Mike to call the gal that we are buying her from and telling her to just come get her horse. Forget about the money that we've already invested, we'll never get that back. And, if she is having vision problems, it will cost us more to euthanize her, so just give her back and let her former owner deal with her.

You know... I had a TON more that I was going to write about, but I'll spare you. Mainly because I just totally lost my train of thought and I've rambled enough already!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Mike is home! He flew into Portland, OR last night! I picked him up and by the time we were out of the airport, it was almost 10 PM, so we got a hotel. After all, it's a 4 hour drive back home and it was 1 AM Eastern time, which is where he's been for the last month.

To give you an idea of how we spent the night, picture the airport runway, a fence, a strip mall, a road, and the hotel. Yep! In our infinite wisdom, we got a hotel right on the frickin runway. Oh, and to top things off, I did as he asked and took Boomer and Rylee with me.

Every time a plane took off or landed, Rylee jumped out from under the covers and stood growling. And after being apart for a month, we weren't used to having anyone else in bed with us. Needless to say, we got ZERO sleep.

The complimentary coffee in the room was NASTY! It would have been better put to use removing rust from a car bumper!

This morning, we got up, fed and pooped the dogs, then stopped at Shari's Restaurant from breakfast. They have pretty decent coffee available in Decaf (what's the point?), Regular, and Bold. I drank the Bold. It's like drinking coffee that is just shy of an espresso shot. Reminds me of the espresso we drank in Spain.

So awake and fed, we came home, arriving just after Noon. The coffee had worn off, and we had lunch and decided it was nap time. After about an hour, Spaz, our 18 pound resident, bossy housecat, decided that those twitching lumps under the covers weren't feet and were, in fact, mice that needed killing. Mike and I convinced him that those really weren't mice and rolled over and conked out for another two hours.

I'm pretty sure that neither of us will sleep tonight, but that's ok. We have 4 weeks of shows recorded that we need to watch, and Mike is home.

I HAZ A HAPPEE and the world is right!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Naughty Little Boy!!

This picture tells a story. It's a story of love, and hate, and friendship.

Actually the story is a little different than that, but it sounds good, right?

Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day, so rather than ride, I did what I always do... I turned out the horses and set to work "grooming" the runs, picking up poop, and other barn chores.

I moved several scoops of poop off the pile, then rototilled the arena. I laid down the strips in center, then went cross-ways, so there wouldn't be anything missed. Then I broke out the ATV and drag, and groomed the surface.

NOTE - All day, for the most part, Honey and Bullwinkle played kissy-face over the fence, which was turned off. (I don't like having to walk to the back of the barn every time I want to do something in the pasture - even though I could use the exercise!)

I finished around 3:30, which, according to the horses, is "pretty darn close to suppertime, isn't it?". I returned to the barn to put the equipment up, take the rototiller off the tractor, put the ATV get the picture.

When I was done, I started in with my water check. I scrub and rinse tubs, refill, and make sure everyone is good on water for the night. As I was walking through the barn, heading out to Jazzy's water tub, I see Bullwinkle come loping up the pasture, eyes on Honey. (Like father, like son. Cecil was in love with Honey too)

Unfortunately for Bullwinkle, Jazzy was turned out with Honey.

Jazzy DOES NOT like Bullwinkle. At all. Period.

Jazzy spies the "evil intruder" and it begins. Ears back. Teeth bared. Unearthly screaming. Pure equine hate and fury. Thankfully, Bullwinkle is smart enough to run. However, he was apparently NOT smart enough to go back over the fence from whence he came. (Did I use that word right?)

When the mares came up to the top of the pasture, Bullwinkle apparently walked through the fence. He must have stepped over the bottom two strands and just kept walking. So the top two strands were down, and the bottom two were sagging. He could have easily stepped back over them. But no, he wanted cuddle time with Honey.

I grabbed a halter and headed out, just as Bullwinkle ducked through the gate and ran to the barn, Jazzy hot on his heels. She would have kicked the crap out of him, but I jumped through the tapes, gave a big yell (I'm pretty godd at that, according to my husband), and she slid to a stop, turned on her heels and vacated the run. She DID however, stand at the gate, once I got it shut, with her ears pinned and her nose pinched.

You know how horses get "spun up" and even when you are trying to "rescue" them, they run from you. Me and Bullwinkle made several laps up and down the run, before he let me put a hand on him. Once I got the halter on the far side of his neck, the sweet, scared, sweating, puffing baby tucked his nose and looked for the halter. Such a good boy!

As all of this is going on, I was vaguely aware that Frankie is still in the pasture and is calling for his buddy. I opened the gate to lead Bullwinkle back to the arena and looked up in time to see Frankie make an enormous bound over the bottom straps of tape. It was only about 4 inched, but he leaped three feet, easy! (One of those "overkill" moments)

I thought to myself, "Oh crap. Here we go." But Frankie loped up the pasture, hooked up with Bullwinkle, and followed us back. I put Bullwinkle in the arena, and Frankie waited until I came back to get him. Then he step calmly over the two strands of tape. When I got Frankie into the arena, Bullwinkle let out a call and headed for Honey, and being blinded by love (either that or he's mentally deficient), ran smack into the closed gate. BANG!!!

"Where you going? NOWHERE!"

He called for Honey a couple times when I returned to the barn for feed. I figured the easiest way to keep horses contained, was to bring them up to the barn and feed them. Honey and Jazzy could easily have trotted down to the end of the pasture and been out and running around in no time!

Then I went out to inspect the fence. UGH! From the picture it just looks like there are tapes down. But you know the plastic tape hangers... there are 14 of them that are broken. It's hard to see that on the nearest post on the top strand, the tape tensioner is bent beyond use. So is the one below it. I went last night and bought supplies. Bullwinkle's little act of undying love(or complete stupidity) cost me $40.

At least it's not a vet bill. He was winded and sweaty, but otherwise, not a mark on him. He tries that again and he's going to be wearing MY "hoof mark" on his butt!

All fixed!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Internet Trouble

I know now what Joe from TBFriends feels like... I haven't had internet for a few days. RAWR!

Mike still can't get home. It'll be next week sometime.

Now I'm so excited, I don't know what to write about.

HI! I missed ya!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Mike's flight was cancelled due to weather and the pending storm. SO... WAAAHHH!

The soonest he'll be able to get home is Monday.

I'm going to go sulk now!

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Baby is Coming HOOOMMMEEE!!!

FINALLY! Mike is coming home. I pick him up in Seattle on Wednesday. And you know what THAT means...


The only down side is that he wants me to bring the dogs with me. Just what I always wanted...8 hours of Boomer farts! On the plus side, the weather is supposed to be nice, not even any rain. Just keep your fingers crossed that Virginia doesn't get snow before then so he can get out.

My friend in Minnesota wrote today that they were in the middle of a blizzard, with drifts up to the hood of her car. Hmm... one really good reason NOT to live in Minnesota!

The furbabies are all fine. Honey is still lame, but otherwise, she's fine. She even did a little bucking yesterday while turned out. Silly old mare!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Kali (my daughter) and I came home after an evening out to two pile of Boomer (The Labrador) Poo on the carpet. I cleaned them up and we played computers games until about 12:30 am. I let the dogs out one last time then went to bed. This morning, another pile of Boomer Poo, and a puddle.

STUPID DOG!! You'd think at ten years old he could hold it through the night!!

This morning, I got a wild hair up you-know-where and rototilled the arena. It just looked messy and it bothered me. Then I took the heavy chain harrow and smoothed and packed it. It looks VERY nice now!

When I returned to the barn to take the rototiller off the tractor, it sits at an angle and I can't figure out how to take the stinking thing off! RAWR!!! So it stays on until I can find someone to help me. (Other than Mike because we just end up hollering at each other!)

OH! And get this! I was cuddling with Jazzy a little while her water was filling and she had some loose hairs on her face. The more I wiped, the more loose hairs. So I spread my fingers and took a swipe down the front of her neck and chest. The silly mare is SHEDDING!

REALLY??? It's only the 6th of FEBRUARY!!! What is up with THAT???!!

Anyway, now I have a mild headache, and I'm chilled, so I'm going to eat some lunch, take a bath, and then a nap.

Sounds like a good plan to me!!

I hugged my horses....did you hug yours?

Friday, February 5, 2010


Women are Angels
When someone breaks our wings
We simply continue to fly
on a broomstick.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Quick update....

My internet has been down at home for the last few days. GRRR!!! How am I supposed to play games and get on Facebook if I don't have internet??!??

Mike will be gone for another week. He's looking to come home a week from Friday.

Other horse-type changes are in the making, but nothing is set in stone and no schedule is set up... here's a hint. Kaci is coming back... It'll be another month before he comes, but right now, he IS coming.

I'll post more when I know more. Just wanted to throw out a teaser!