Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Got 10 minutes?

This video is a must watch whether you are a Mustang lover or not.  I will warn you ahead of time that you may need a tissue.  It is not sad.  Rather, it will make you relfect on so many different things.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chele's version of our weekend

Chele is so much better with words than I am.  Here is her description of our weekend adventure.

Our 7barL Spring Fling

Mustang, Cory, and I left Friday after Cory got out of school for 7barL ranch in Live Oak, FL.  It is one of my favorite places. It is a very nice place to camp with friendly folks, awesome trails, and it is very close to Jacksonville. We arrived with a flat trailer tire but did not let it dampen our spirits but rather ignored it for another day. We met Marilyn and Susan there under the big oaks over by the barn and setup our camp. Friday was simply get setup, eat gourmet food, blaze a fire, and relax, which we made good use of. We roasted wieners over our fire, added multiple toppings, and had awesome Marilyn home made mac & cheese with it. We picked from a dessert tray and roasted marshmallows later. All retired fairly early so we could hit the trails in the am.

Saturday morning we awoke to two Friesians with no hay banging away on their stall doors right by our campsite. They banged most of the night actually. Susan brewed real coffee in a coffee maker and we spread out a huge breakfast on the picnic table. No one left hungry as there was something for everyone. Marilyn mixed something up in the crock pot that looked very interesting with chunks of meat. After getting our gorge on, we saddled and hit the trails with an old friend of Marilyn's. We headed out and road the Mattair Springs section back behind the ranch. I believe we rode around 3 hours.

We came back to camp for a lunch spread compliments of Marilyn with big fat sandwiches and relaxed for a few. We removed the flat tire but needed air in the spare so we had to wait to put the spare on. Note to self: check trailer spare tire air; add some extra parts we need for a flat tire, LOL. After a short break we mounted right back up and headed to the Linville Tract with some new riders. We rode Linville Tract, past Suwannee Springs, to the old highway 129 bridge, over the old rusty bridge, conquered Cory's 90 degree fear hill, and headed west down the Florida trail for a short bit till we hit a huge wash out from the flood. Part of our group decided to head back to camp at that time so I came back with them. Marilyn, Susan, Mustang, Cory, and Marilyn's friend headed on down another trail to continue their ride.

I wanted to get back to camp, get the spare tire aired up, and mounted on the trailer before dark. When I got back my Buddy Andy the owner of 7barL had already mounted the spare tire for me. I was very appreciative to see that, thank you Andy! Talk about hospitality! I rinsed down Dawn who was quite sweaty from two trips out that day. Andy brought us over some smaller fire wood as the wood we had over there by us was really large and I did not have an ax handy. Another note to self: need an ax. About the time I got Dawn in her stall with water and hay the gals returned from their Florida Trail tour.

We got a fire blazing, drinks made, and Marilyn was over by her trailer rattling bowls. Yee-Haw…crock pot surprise. We started our gourmet meal with Caesar salad. Our main course was Marilyn stew with big chucks of roast and corn bread…Yum, Yum, with another pan of homemade Mac & cheese on the side. Desert concluded the meal...cheese cake selector wheel. Rich and luxurious...ah!

We all gathered around the fire and swapped stories till midnight by a blazing fire under a blanket of stars with a finger nail clipping of a moon above us. Made sure the horses we settled in with hay, the Friesians were happy, and headed off to bed with visions of roast dancing in my head.

I slept hard but awoke to the tinkle of rain on the aluminum roof of the horse trailer at 6am before the sun arose. Got up and made sure that all of our stuff was under shelter as best it could then headed back to bed. I'm not sure what time it was when we finally got up but I'm thinking it was like 8:30am. Susan brewed up another pot of real coffee, spread out another big breakfast, and we settled under Marilyn's awning to relax, visit, and eat. We gathered around the weather radio but did not like what the station was predicting so we turned it off, LOL.

After we found out that the rain was only going to get harder we decided to pack up and go home, reluctantly, before all was wet. We all got packed rather quickly, loaded the beasts, and headed back. We had to stop by the garage and get Andy to air up the spare tire for us before we left. He and a few others were watching the weather radar which showed a big front coming in. Andy aired up my tire for me in the rain. How is that for hospitality?

I have to say we had a wonderful time at a beautiful place with awesome friends in spite of a few glitches and I'm already for a return visit anytime! I simply love 7barL, Yee-Haw

Girls' getaway

This weekend Cory and I travelled with some friends down to Live Oak for a spontaneous camping trip at 7 Bar L

We left after school on Friday.  It's only about an hour and a half from the house, so it's an easy place to go on a whim.  We arrived in plenty of time to set up camp and get the horses settled before dark (loving the time change).  Marilyn treated us to some homemade Mac-n-Cheese and hotdogs over the fire.  Afterwards, we roasted marshmallows and sipped on a few adult beverages.

The next morning we saddled up and headed out. 

Susan & Clyde down by the Suwannee

Our trail boss, Cory

My girl!  =)

Chele & Susan in the back of the pack (trying hard to keep up)

Marilyn with her friend

What a gorgeous place to ride.  The views are amazing.

We headed back to the ranch for lunch.  Chele had a flat tire on the trailer to deal with. It looks like we may have run over something right before we arrived at the ranch on Friday.  We were super lucky that we didn't have a major blowout on the highway.  We may have been stuck stuck on the side of the road for a while since the spare was flat.  (Mental note - check the spare INSIDE the trailer regularly)

After lunch, we headed back out for another ride.

Some more friends of Marilyn's

Going over the bridge

Trying something new here - videos. =)

Cory & Beauty

Listen to Cory as she crosses the water.  She is so proud of herself.

Going up the bank.  Listen to Cory and Kathryn as they conquer the hill.  Too cute!

Rocky going strong after 6 hours.  Old man still has it at 19 years old.

Our afternoon adventure was soooooo much fun.  I am extremely proud of Cory.  She was a true "cowgirl" and overcame her self-doubt and fears.  She led us up and down large hills, crossed the scary bridge, blazed through vines and water, and even started leaving the group to find her own paths.

Marilyn treated us to another delicious meal Saturday night.

The weather did not cooperate Sunday morning.  It started raining about 6am and continued throughout the day.  It was all good though.  I managed to get home at a decent time and clean up around the house before watching a few good movies with Erik and Cory.

HERE are the rest of the pics.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quality time

Delivering Faith to her new home was exhausting in so many ways.  My goal on Sunday was to just enjoy my time with my loved ones.  We started off by loading up and heading to Ralph Simmons for a ride.

Chele & Dawn

Liz & Ramsey after a pony swap.

Robbie & Monarch (who was FULL of himself)

Cory & Beauty

Pony butts drive me nuts =)

My attempt at a self portrait while riding

Cory leading the pack

Unfortunately, we had to cut our ride short.  Ramsey seemed ouchy on his front right, and Monarch was a hot mess.  Poor Robbie earned his rodeo gold star today.  We were coming across a ditch when Monarch got a wild hair up his fanny and started BUCKING 4 or 5 times.  I really thought Robbie was going to make a land purchase, but he hung in there.  I know he was hurting afterwards.

No worries...  We got back, unsaddled, and shared some laughs and lunch.

Chele did not care for Cory's lemonade straws

Neither did Liz

Cory & I love them

Me & my girls

Cory hanging out while I load up

Love this kid

When we got home, I noticed Poca was shedding like crazy, so I grabbed the rubber thingy and went to work.  Cory was in the paddock too, but I couldn't find her.

Here I am

So I joined her

Linc wanted in on the pic too

Poca giving me some lovin

You know the dogs had to get in on the action

This pony is worth her weight in gold

While lying there with Cory, I had plenty of time to reflect on my decisions.  Izzy, Faith, motorcycles,...  I have made several big changes recently.  I let out a huge sigh of relief.  I have my priorities straight.  My life needs to be about Cory right now.  She's not going to be little for long.  I need to be focused on quality time with her and Erik.  There will be a point in the future when I will be ready for a new mustang, but for now I will enjoy the ones I have.  I can find comfort in knowing that the horses I have left are trustworthy and loving.  They seem to know their place in the herd and my life.  Cory is safe in their presence.  For that, I am grateful.

I made the right choice.  Linc loves me more than I thought possible.

HERE are the rest of the pics.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Being mature and responsible stinks....

I have been saying for months that I need simplify.  I just don't have enough time or energy to keep up with everything.  Being a mom, a wife, and a teacher is hard enough.  Throw in 3 cats, 3 dogs, and 5 horses and there are just not enough hours in the day.

So after some soul searching and flip-flopping, I listed Faith for reassignment. I received several responses, but for the longest time no one felt right for my girl.  Until Elise and Terry...

Elise and Terry are a young couple who live about an hour from me.  Something about them made me relaxed and comfortable.  They have experience and other horses (mustang and QH).  They seem to understand Faith's needs and my concerns.  They realize that Faith's probably not going to come around in 30-days. She's a work in progress and will require a long term commitment.  She's a dominant horse, but she's not mean.  She wants to please, but her fear is still very real.  She requires a leader who is loving, firm, extra patient, and extremely consistent. 

I woke up early on Saturday to spend some quality time with Faith before delivering her.  When I opened the barn door, this is what I found.

She's gotten so nosey and in your face these days. That is how I know she's ready for her own person.

After some grooming and loving, it was time to load up and go. 

This is Terry.  Faith is the perfect size for him.

Heading out to the pasture.

Elise with Rosie and Chief

Checking things out.

Saying goodbye and trying to keep it together.

My beautiful girl

Thankfully, I had my pit crew to rely on.  Liz, Chele, Cory, and the boys started this unforgettable journey with me, and they were to finish it.

They tried hard to keep my spirits up.  However, we all lost it when it was time to go.  Faith was very interested in her new place, but when the trailer started to leave without her, she got concerned.  She followed us to the edge of the property.

Then, she stopped at the fence, looked at us, and hollered out one time.  That was when we all lost it, and the tears were flowing.

I have to say that giving Faith away was one of the most difficult things I've ever done.  In the past, I rehomed animals and was okay.  For one reason or another, I wanted to part with them.  With Faith, it was different.  I did not want to part with her, but I know in my heart it was the right thing to do.  She deserves more than I am able to give at this time.

Therefore, I just have to have........
  • Faith that I have chosen the right home
  • Faith in Elise and Terry
  • Faith they will be successful
  • Faith they will honor the contract we signed 
  • Faith they will give her back in the future if circumstances change
And most important....

Faith she will never forget me
HERE are the rest of the pictures from Saturday.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Funny

Dear Horse,

I love you very much, and I truly cherish your presence in my life. I would never wish to criticize you in any way. However, there are a few trivial details regarding our relationship that I think might bear your consideration.

First of all, I am already aware that horses can run faster than I can.

I do not need you to demonstrate that fact each time I come to get you in the pasture. Please remember that I work long and hard to earn the money to keep you in the style to which you have become accustomed. In return, I think you should at least pretend to be glad to see me, even when I'm carrying a bridle instead of a bucket of oats.

It should be fairly obvious to you that I am a human being who walks on only two legs. I do not resemble a scratching post. Do not think that, when you rub your head against me with 1,000 pounds of force behind it, I believe that it wasn't your intention to send me flying. I am also aware that stomping on my toes while you are pushing me around is nothing but adding injury to insult.

I understand I cannot expect you to cover your nose when you sneeze, but it would be appreciated if you did not inhale large amounts of dirt and manure prior to aiming your sneezes at my face and shirt. Also, if you have recently filled your mouth with water you do not intend to drink, please let it all dribble from your mouth BEFORE you put your head on my shoulder. In addition, while I know you despise your deworming medication, my intentions in giving it to you are good, and I really do not think I should be rewarded by having you spit half of it back out onto my shirt.

Sometimes, I get the feeling that you are confused about the appropriate roles you should play in various situations. One small bit of advice:

Your stone-wall imitation should be used when I am mounting and your speed-walker imitation when I suggest that we proceed on our way, not vice versa. Please also understand that jumping is meant to be a mutual endeavor. By "mutual", I mean that we are supposed to go over the jump together. You were purchased to be a mount, not a catapult.

I know the world is a scary place when your eyes are on the sides of your head, but I did spend a significant amount of money to buy you, and I have every intention of protecting that investment. Therefore, please consider the following when you are choosing the appropriate behavior for a particular situation:

- When I put your halter on you, attach one end of a lead rope to the halter, and tie the other end of the lead rope to a post or rail or whatever, I am indicating a desire for you to remain in that locale. I would also like the halter, lead rope, post, etc., to remain intact.

While I admit that things like sudden loud noises can be startling, I do not consider them to be acceptable excuses for repeatedly snapping expensive new lead ropes (or halters or posts) so that you can run madly around the barn area creating havoc in your wake. Such behavior is not conducive to achieving that important goal that I know we both share --- decreasing the number of times the veterinarian comes out to visit you.

- By the same token, the barn aisle was not designed for the running of the Kentucky Derby and is not meant to serve as a racetrack. Dragging me down the aisle in leaps and bounds is not how "leading" is supposed to work, even if someone happens to drop a saddle on the floor as we're passing. Pulling loose and running off is also discouraged (although I admit it does allow you to run faster).

- I assure you that blowing pieces of paper do not eat horses. While I realize you are very athletic, I do not need a demonstration of your ability to jump 25 feet sideways from a standing start while swapping ends in midair, nor am I interested in your ability to emulate both a racehorse and a bucking bronco while escaping said piece of paper. Also, if the paper were truly a danger, it would be the height of unkindness to dump me on the ground in front of it as a sacrificial offering to expedite your escape.

- When I ask you to cross a small stream, you may safely assume that said stream does not contain crocodiles, sharks, or piranhas, nor will it be likely to drown you. (I have actually seen horses swimming, so I know it can be done.) I expect you to be prepared to comply with the occasional request to wade across some small body of water. Since I would like to be dry when we reach the other side of the stream, deciding to roll when we're halfway across is not encouraged behavior.

- I give you my solemn oath that the trailer is nothing but an alternate means of transportation for distances too long for walking. It is not a lion's den or a dragon's maw, nor will it magically transform into such.

It is made for horses, and I promise you that you will indeed fit into your assigned space. Please also bear in mind that I generally operate on a schedule, and wherever we're going, I would really like to get there today.

For the last time, I do not intend to abandon you to a barren, friendless existence. If I put you in a turn-out pen, I promise that no predators will eat you, and I will come back in due time to return you to your stall. It is not necessary to run in circles, whinny pathetically, threaten to jump the fence, or paw at the gate. Neither your stall mates nor I will have left the premises. The other horses standing peacefully in adjacent pens amply demonstrate that it is possible to enjoy being turned out for exercise.

In order to reassure you, my dear horse, I have posted the following message on your stall door:

"Notice to People Who Complain About My Horse"

1. I like my horse a lot better than I like people who complain about her.

2. To you, he's an animal; to me, he's a big, hairy, four-legged son --- and you know what they say about coming between a mother and her children.

3. This stall is his castle, and you are expected to treat him as the king he thinks she is.

4. If you don't want him to steal your carrots, don't walk by him with the carrots sticking out of your pockets.

5. Horses are better than husbands or kids. They eat grass, don't smoke or drink, don't expect an allowance, don't voluntarily get their body parts pierced, don't hog the remote, don't waste the whole weekend watching football with their friends, don't talk back to you, don't compare you unfavorably with their friends' owners, don't keep you awake with their snoring --- and no horse ever left the toilet seat up after going to the bathroom.

Finally, in closing, my strong and gentle companion, I would like to point out that, whatever might happen between horses and their people, we humans will always love you. In fact, our bonds with you help create new bonds among ourselves, even with total strangers. Wherever there are horses, there will be "horse people," and for the blessings you bestow upon us, we thank you.

Most sincerely yours,

Your Owner

(author unknown)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The bidding has begun...

The BLM Internet Adoption has officially started.  Man, how I wish I had more time, money, and land.  There are some really nice horses available - lots of color and size.  Here are just a few of my favorites (it's so hard to pick).

Nice roan

Already started buckskin paint

Stout appaloosa

Cute baby

Fuzzy gray

Pinto with a pretty eye

Gorgeous palomino (my dad would have loved this one)

So if you've thought about adopting, now is a good time.  There are several pick up options available.  Why not find your next partner?