Saturday, December 31, 2011

Have a Happy, Horsey New Year!

Looks like he's smiling, doesn't it?

Joey and I had a quiet trail ride on this last day of 2011. He was the super pony he always is. Looking forward to our adventures in 2012. Of all the things that happened to me this year, Joey was one of the best.

Here's hoping your New Year is shiny and bright! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

War Horse - the movie

Have you seen it?

I went with the family on the day after Christmas to see War Horse. I enjoyed it very much and yes, I did cry but I think the play was more emotionally moving for me. My children did get upset at how the horses were treated when they were in the hands of the Germans and I had to keep telling them to focus on Joey, that he was the hero and it would be alright. Even so, they really liked the movie, too. My husband was stoic as usual and brought more tissues for the rest of us. :)

Afterward, it did spark a discussion between my children my husband and myself about history and the use of animals in battle. Always a good thing to find a teachable moment!

My kids also understand now why I named my Joey after the horse in the story. Because he's a pretty remarkable horse, too.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bridling the Uncomplicated Horse

I've heard all kinds of stories and seen it many times where horses give their owners and/or riders a hard time when it comes to bridling them and getting the bit in their mouth. I don't recall ever having a problem with it myself for any of the horses I've owned over the years. I would have to say they all handled the procedure with a polite indifference at best.

However, I've never had a horse who apparently LOVES to have the bit and bridle put on either.

I need to get video of this and post it. When you remove Joey's halter after putting the reins over his head, he starts licking and chewing and yawning. Then all I have to do is hold the bit out for him and he opens his mouth wide, scoops up the bit and drops his head for me to slip the bridle over his ears! I find it adorable to watch him do this every time. He will keep his head almost to the floor as you do up the throatlatch and noseband.

When I take the bridle off, as soon as he feels the throatlatch and noseband undone he will drop his head for me to slip the bridle off. And as I do he will lightly hold the bit in his teeth until I ask him to drop it. Then he keeps his head down for the halter to be slipped on.

Maybe he thinks he's a dog. Or maybe it's his way of saying that he just enjoys working with me. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Perfect Horse

The Perfect Horse isn't necessarily stunningly beautiful;
In fact, he's probably gotten a few scars and dings from life.
He's probably been hurt but lived through it, been scared but
overcome it, and ready to teach his rider to do the same.

The Perfect Horse is not just arena-ridden. He
will let you feel what it's like to gallop into the ocean waves,
chase a neighbor's cows, or play tag on horseback.

The Perfect Horse will buck you off when you deserve it, but wait
patiently for you to get back on.

The Perfect Horse has problems; He will teach you to deal with

The Perfect Horse knows that you can't learn to be a skilled
horseman if everything goes your way.

The Perfect Horse will challenge you, but only as much as you are
ready to handle. He will teach you that you still have more
to learn.

The Perfect Horse will forgive you when you make mistakes, and
expects you to do the same. He will try to ignore the tack that
doesn't fit right, the confusing signals, and will do his best
to please. He will teach you to work,
but it will be worth it.

The Perfect Horse may not be the prettiest or the fastest, but he has the most heart.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Busy Week, Not Much Horsey Time

This has been one of those weeks. So many things piling up in the week's schedule and Joey is the one on the back burner. I did get to work with him this past Tuesday evening and took a short walk/trot ride in the indoor arena. It was our first time riding in the indoor after dark. Our arena is one of those Cover-All type buildings. I was ready for anything. One thing that I was glad for was that there was a drill team lesson going on with about 8 school horses (they were all kids and were just practicing their patterns at the walk, Whew!) and a boarder was exercising Ruby for his owner so I had lots of company.

Incidentally, Joey is stabled across the aisle from Ruby, the wonderful old show horse that I half boarded up until I was injured earlier this year. And Joey has taken a liking to the old campaigner! My horse has excellent taste in friends/role models! ;)

So Joey had lots of quiet horses to experience the indoor at night with. And he was a good boy. He wanted so badly to peek out the open door at the far end each time we rode past, as it looked like a big black hole compared to the brightness of indoors. But he wasn't spooky and all I had to do was gently push him into a little shoulder in to focus him on moving forward and inside past the door and paying attention to me.


The only thing that gave him the wide-eyed snorts was when we were finished. I had dismounted and was leading him outside the arena back to the barn when he swung his head around and stared at the building glowing from the lights inside. I guess he's never seen one of those fabric over steel frame buildings when it's lit up at night, LOL! He took a good long look, then turned his head back to me, and kept walking with me back to the barn.

I can't wait until the end of this week when I have time to work with him again. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Worked at a Horse Show!

Yesterday I fulfilled a promise to a friend to help her out at one of the horse shows she organizes. My schedule was open and I worked as a desk person. I basically took open checks and cash, handled entries and post entries, passed out show numbers and freed up the woman who handles all the important stuff involving record keeping and such to focus on getting everything entered on her laptop as quickly and correctly as possible.

And it was a blast! It was fun to see old familiar faces from my horse show days and the glimmer of recognition when they realized it was me. I have lost track of time and forgotten how long I've been out of that world. The best was when my own trainer walked in and saw me there. He got this evil grin on his face and said, "I didn't know you were working this one." and I smiled and said, 'You didn't ask." Then we cracked up. I know he found it amusing.

It's the first time I was behind the secretary's desk at a show. I'm so used to being on the other side. I would definitely do it again!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Over a Month Gone By

Yes, that's a picture of Joey's bit. I don't take enough pictures and figured it would be nice to start off with a photo. So this was the first thing I could think of. Besides, I love that he goes very nicely in such a soft, gentle snaffle.

So it is over a month gone by and Joey is a lovely horse. Whenever someone asks me "How's it going?" or "How's he doing?" my answer is always. "Great, and the thing I love most about him is he's the same horse every time I work with him."

Hot sunny day = quiet, steady Joey
Windy overcast day before hurricane Irene = quiet, steady Joey
Riding out in the grass field near the woods = quiet, steady Joey
Riding around the property and into the indoor arena = quiet, steady Joey
Riding outside in the evening as it gets dark without the lights on = quiet, steady Joey
Fire truck leaves the fire house across the street with lots of noise and lights = quiet, steady Joey
Horse turned out in paddock next to riding ring takes off bucking and farting = quiet, steady Joey
Just say the word "Whoa" = quiet, steady Joey will immediately stop and stand still!

I feel like I'm holding my breath, like I'm subconsciously waiting for him to be a jerk. However, I am not nervous at all around him, even riding. I guess I also feel like when he finally does spook or something, if his attitude is any indication it should be something I can handle in the saddle.

Whoever started this 6 year old horse has my utmost respect. I did get to talk with the man who sold him to me about two weeks after I'd bought him and he asked me how the horse was working out. He got the same answer as above. He said good, he was glad to hear it and that I had lucked out and gotten an exceptionally good horse. Then he told me that Joey came from a farm in Virginia and the woman who owns the farm had been calling him to try and sell more of her horses as apparently she has a lot of horses.

This woman also fox hunts and he told me Joey was used as a "guest horse" on the hunts as he is so quiet. Made sense to me and also made me feel even better about buying him since he supposedly has experience doing what I want us to do!

I wish I could contact this woman who sold him through the horse dealer to let her know Joey is safe with me and in a loving, forever home. The fact that he's such a sweet, gentle animal, I know if I had to sell him, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't know what sort of home he had gone to.

And another benefit of all this is I have been trying very hard to ride 3-4 times a week and my knee seems to be getting stronger. I rarely wear a brace except when riding and in the saddle I use the Professional's Choice Miracle Knee Support which is supportive but very flexible.
I can dismount almost by jumping off the way I used to and there is no pain at all. I even run up and down flights of stairs at home and at work with no pain or instability.

Oh, I am still aware of the damage, the knee does not feel "quite right" and is still a little stiffer than the other one. I also cannot collapse the joint completely to sit in a kneeling position. If I try that, it isn't painful but it is extremely tight and very hard to make it flex enough to sit with any comfort. But I can work on that I guess with stretching and if I can't sit/kneel anymore I guess that will be okay.

So maybe surgery can be put off for awhile. That's what the ortho doc I went to for my second opinion told me and I'm kind of agreeing more and more.

And there is a hunter pace coming up in November that I am toying with the idea of attending. It's nice to be able to plan again. Even if I don't go, it's nice to know I COULD go if I wanted to.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Product Review: Absorbine UltraShield EX Continuous Spray

I was the lucky winner of fellow horse blogger "On The Bit's" Absorbine UltraShield EX Continuous Spray giveaway contest.

You can read about the contest and look for my submission here: Absorbine Giveaway! New UltraShield EX Continuous Spray

and this post announces me as the winner: And the winner is…

I was happy to have won, first because it's always fun to win a prize and second because now that I have a horse again, I needed to replenish all my daily care supplies!

Absorbine's fly sprays have always been good stuff. They work well and the stronger formulas are perfect for this time of the year when the flies are particularly nasty. My horse Joey is pretty tolerant of flies but for the past week they have been really annoying. This fly spray gave him relief the entire time I was riding.

The continuous spray applicator can is great! I've used this kind of sprayer before to apply sunscreen and it's so easy to work with. It's very quiet and though my horse is very calm about such things, I'd bet it would be worth trying it on a horse who is less tolerant of spray bottles. It's also nice that this bottle does not leak, even if it falls over. Sometimes the traditional sprayers will make an awful mess if you have the bad luck to have one fall over in your tack trunk. (yes, been there, cleaned that up :P)

I was fortunate to get my bottle as a prize but I researched prices for both this spray applicator and the traditional spray bottles. The only consideration is that you only get about half the product for roughly the same cost as the traditional spray bottle. With that in mind, I would recommend it for your horse show kit as it is easy and neat to pack up and you won't be using it every day and to try using it on a horse who is not happy with traditional spray bottles to see if the horse will tolerate it better and perhaps learn from this applicator to accept the usual spray bottles.

Thanks again to On The Bit for the contest and to Absorbine for continuing to give us horsemen innovative and useful products to choose from.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Made it through Irene

It was nerve wracking to go through that storm. I didn't sleep at all that entire night. I have several very big old trees around my home and nervous didn't even begin to describe how I was feeling. Once I started hearing about the tornado watches and warnings I was a mess.

But the good news is we never lost power, all the big trees stayed firmly in their places and my family and Joey were safe and secure. Irene did a lot of damage in the surrounding area and I hope those people get some level of normal back very soon.

I went to the barn last night to see how Joey was and he was fine and comfy. I took him for a ride and we enjoyed the cool and refreshing air that has come into our area after the storm. Even not being ridden for 3-4 days he was still Joey, no surprises. I keep smiling each time he just does everything right. He's got all the right stuff to be a Good Horse!

Speaking of which, the Chronicle of the Horse shared this on their FaceBook page and I thought this was so great that I wanted to share here with everyone. Now THIS is a Good Horse!

Friday, August 26, 2011


I am not handling this whole hurricane Irene situation so well. I'm probably not well prepared. I'm looking cross-eyed at 3 big trees around my house and hoping they stay where they are and don't decide to give up the ghost and crush my home.

I'm worried about Joey. They want to move him from the big old barn he's in to the smaller shed row barn behind it because they are worried about the roof on the big barn. I have 2 options available, to move him to the smaller barn or have him sent to a barn further east with a newer building and he'll ride out the storm there. I don't know what anyone else is doing at the barn. I'm going to opt for the shed row because my budget can't handle shipping him and paying to hold him at another facility but I'm still uneasy. UPDATE: Barn manager says horses are all staying put.

Dear God, please protect Joey. We have only just found each other. Give us the chance to have a long, healthy lifetime together.

Please protect all my friends in the horse blogosphere that will be touched by Irene in the coming hours. May everyone be safe!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Home Again!

So glad to be home. Had a whirlwind weekend with my family in Lancaster, PA. I love it down in Amish country. The children had fun as always and though yesterday's weather was a beast, today was a beautiful day. Would have been a lovely day for riding! ;)

Hope Joey was a good boy and he and the girl Stacie that my trainer suggested I have ride him for me while I was away had fun together. I can't wait to go to the barn and see him tomorrow! I went to a tack shop in PA and bought goodies for him!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

All is Good and Well

Have been swamped at work and my new schedule of traveling to the stable to work with Joey. But all is Good and Well so far. Joey is sweet and kind. He's been the same horse every time I have worked with him. No surprises and so steady. I'm working on his balance and strengthening at the walk and trot in order to improve his canter depart, which can get rushed until you get him to soften his head and relax into a long frame, then he's quiet and comfortable.

But I have time, lots of it and prefer to work on my basics at the walk and trot to improve those gaits first. And there's lots to work with from cavaletti, to pattern work (figure 8's and serpentines and cloverleaf) so he doesn't get bored.

And my knee is doing surprisingly well, too. It's a bit stiff, I can't flex it enough to kneel but I can jog up a flight of stairs! Probably will never be the same with or without surgery but I have time to decide when that will be.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Meet "Joey"

This is Journey's End, or Joey as is his pet name. Joey is the name of the horse in the book and play "War Horse". I feel like I've been on a similar journey that the boy in the story was on to find his beloved horse. I've been through an emotional and physical battle of sorts and I finally found my horse.

He's a gelding just shy of 16.2 hands tall. He's somewhere around 6-7 years old. He's an interesting looking bay paint, and part of the fun of looking at him is trying to figure out what breeds he's made from. There's some Quarter Horse in there, maybe some Thoroughbred or Warmblood or even some kind of Draft. I don't really care, as I am fond of grade horses. Many of them have the best personalities.

What matters most is so far he's consistent. Every ride so far has been comparable to those before it. He's kind and patient, even though he is still green. If he gets confused or you lose focus when you ride he just slows down and tries to come back to the walk. He always seems to give me a chance to regroup and then ask again and then he moves on without hesitation. He will lower his head as you halter or bridle him and has lovely ground manners. Whoever started this horse did right by him.

And riding is getting better with him. I'm still encumbered with the knee brace and will be as long as I put off surgery but there is no pain, even when taking a 2-point position in the saddle at the canter. So I'll ride with the stiffness and adapt. The best thing is the tension is gone and that's good since I didn't want him to think my nerves had anything to do with his behavior.

So, though his name is Journey's End, I know it's also a beginning. And this time it feels like it is the right path.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wishes and Horses

Horse passed the vetting yesterday. He passed for the general exam, hoof testing and all flexion tests. He passed on the X-ray pulled of a bump on one ankle. He passed his metabolic blood test and I am waiting for the pre-purchase drug test result (taken as a precaution, my trainer and the vet feels there should be nothing of concern there). Price of horse is firm, I either accept or I don't.

Last night to clear my head, I took the whole family out for ice cream. We've been having some thundery, stormy weather from the heat yesterday and there were big grey clouds in the skies above the ice cream shop. And there, clear as could be, in front of the clouds above the store was a rainbow! I pointed it out and my kids immediately got to wishing.

Me too. Rainbows can only be good omens, I'm taking it as a bit of a push from the divine to just do this.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another Step Closer

I rode the horse again last night. It was much, much better. My nerves were more under control. My trainer stayed around for me in case I needed the assist but I did it all independently. I even mounted by myself at the mounting block!

Again, horse was a gentleman. All I wanted to do was walk and trot and that's what we did for a half hour. I was tired after that but he never put a foot wrong the whole ride. I was relaxed but "in the moment" and enjoyed it for the first time since I was hurt. The knee brace is clumsy but doesn't irritate me and even the metal bars don't get in my way.

By the time I dismounted, which I have found I can do since horse lets me kind of slide a little to slow the hop to the ground. There is no pain from the impact when I dismount, it's just my knee is stiff from being bent and then having to straighten when I come off.

So in 3 rides I've already begun adapting. After last night, horse got his first personal nickname from me, too. I just started calling him "Smoochy". It seems to fit since he's always standing with his lower lip drooping (very relaxed fellow) and he's such a sweet guy. I have a few "generic" nicknames that all horses get from me such as all geldings are called "buddy" when I'm working with them. Horse earned his own nickname.

Horse has a name but almost nobody calls him by it. I don't care for it and everyone seems to have their own name for him, anyway. A horse with no real name. I kind of like that. I have a name chosen for him. But won't share unless he is passed by the vet.

Making that call today. Yes, I'm having him vet checked.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Now what do I do?

In the past week I have ridden a horse, again.


With my knee brace on and my heart in my throat. I have never felt so scared on a horse before. All my years of riding especially those spent with my hot,hot,hot thoroughbred mare have taught me how to ride calm while I'm freaking inside so the ride looks good to those watching but I wish I felt that way.

What horse have I ridden? This is a sale horse that my trainer called me out of the blue about. The horse showed up earlier in the month as a sale prospect. Nobody was even thinking of me as a prospective buyer until somebody mentioned it. My trainer began paying more attention to this horse and noticed how bombproof he was. He wasn't sure if I was even interested in looking, but this horse has kind of landed out of the blue and seems like an opportunity I shouldn't ignore.

He called me about the horse again when he was at a horse show where they brought the horse for one of the barn girls to just try him and see what he would do. Seems the horse was cantering on the rail when the guy delivering soda drove up, parked his truck next to the fence and lifted the back door of the truck just as this horse went by. And the horse just cantered calmly past as the metal door rattled up loudly right next to him. So my trainer says please just come out to the barn and look at him while one of the barn girls rides him and if I think I want to try riding him then he'll help me get on (and get off, dismounting with one good knee and one unpredictable one is also scary.)

And I am a sucker. Both times I've ridden him he's been very sweet. He's a gelding, comfy as a couch to ride, 6 or 7 years old and a little under 16.2 hands tall with a nice chunky build. He seems broke well in the basics but still green. I'm the friggin' mess. Four months nursing my knee has left me out of shape and the nerves expended when I'm in the saddle just drain me more. I'm scared of something happening and this knee either getting messed up further or causing something else to happen and I get more hurt. What am I doing? I'm supposed to have knee surgery and then rehab and then consider riding again.

I am afraid to admit I like this horse. And if he actually passes a vet and we can negotiate the price where I'm comfortable then what? I buy a horse, ride him for a few weeks, have surgery and hope my trainer will get one of his girls to exercise him so he stays in "horse with a job" mode? Where the hell was this horse four months ago? I'd be headed toward my first hunter pace this fall if he'd shown up then and this unfortunate mess hadn't happened to me.

So what do I do? I am so conflicted. :(

And I'm headed to the barn to ride him again tonight.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Goodbye, Libertyville Saddle Shop

I just got an email that the Libertyville Saddle Shop in Libertyville, IL is going out of business. They are closing up shop and liquidating their inventory. Here is the ad: Libertyville Saddle Shop store closing

I'm kind of bummed about this. I always liked that shop. I've never been to the actual store but I enjoyed their catalog and have ordered many items from them in the past. At one time I even had a line of store credit with them! They always had a unique selection of tack and items that you just couldn't find anywhere else. They also had very reasonable and competitive pricing.

I will miss their catalog and it feels like one more door closing on my horsey past. If any of you are in the Libertyville, IL area, check out their liquidation sale and give this great saddle shop some business for the last time.

And for those of you who might remember Miller's Harness Company, I just learned one of their founders has passed away about a month ago. Joseph Miller, Who Sold Horse Tack to the Well-Heeled, Dies at 93 I remember Miller's in their heyday. Back in the day, my local tack shop, "The Saddle Shop" owned by a man named Bernie Cohen (and now also just a memory) always carried the latest from Miller's line. I never got to visit Miller's Manhattan store (but I did go to Kaufmann's a few times during college) but I have heard it was worth the visit.

Video may not have killed the radio star but the internet and the economy sure have beaten up the local equestrian retailer. At least I still have Beval Saddlery. Their Gladstone store is my Mecca.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Occasionally I torment myself and look at horses for sale. I saw the ad for this fellow today. I actually started to get teary eyed. He is just so handsome and I love the look in his eye. Maybe too short for me but I so wish I could try riding him.


Somebody take this black beauty home. He looks like he will be a winner.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Missing horses, missing myself

I get tired of trying to be positive. I miss horses. I miss riding. I feel like a huge part of my existence has been simply ripped away and left in its' place is a huge gaping hole of depression. Every sunny day makes me feel bitter and sad because it's wasted on me. What I loved to do is fucking gone.

I have a family I have to function for so I suck it up and exist. But just existing sucks.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Passion For Horses Supersedes Sanity | The Chronicle of the Horse

This is what I'm going through right now. I am lost. I have no horse. I can't ride and don't know for how long before I can even try and even then, what horse do I attempt to get on? Excellent article for all who know what having a passion for horses truly means.

A Passion For Horses Supersedes Sanity | The Chronicle of the Horse

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 7 of 30 Day Horse Challenge: Your favorite ribbon won at a show and why

Day 7 - Your favorite ribbon won at a show and why.

My favorite ribbon? Wow, another one I have a hard time answering. A few moments come to mind, though;

- Winning the "slow turtle" award for having the slowest time on a hunter pace. (but having a great time being the best loser)

- A 3rd place ribbon won at the Hampton Classic Horse Show in a class with 39 other riders.

- 3 blue ribbons and the championship in a hunt seat equitation Medal/Maclay division riding a school horse I leased a week before because my own horse was injured and I wanted to keep from losing all the points I'd worked so hard for with her. (by the way, that school horse was bought at an auction, had a myriad of health issues and was actually too small for me, but he was honest, brave, smart and swapped his leads effortlessly. I went on to win end of year coolers and ribbons with him as my horse healed and when show season was over, he was sold immediately to another adult rider who also won every time he competed with the horse. I had named the horse "Alternate Plan" as a joke for his show name, and it stuck and became his registered show name with his new owner.)

- My first ribbon ever, a second place won on my first horse in the Maiden hunt seat equitation division.

- Winning an over fences class riding Monty and besting a fancier horse that was tops in our zone.

- Ribbons won in a dressage test after finding my black mare scored perfect 10's on her halts! Her walks could be jiggly and her transitions a bit rushed but that mare could square at the halt like no horse I've ever ridden.

I'm sure there are more, but these are some of the best I can remember.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 6 of 30 Day Horse Challenge: All the tack and riding clothes you have (brand/color/other details)

Day 6 - All the tack and riding clothes you have (brand/color/other details)

I have been through 40 years worth of equipment. I have also sold a lot of things and added a lot of things over that time. The collection would change as my tastes and needs changed. I could never list it all. Without digging into the farthest reaches of my closets and tack trunks, I'll give the best of it.

Saddles - Wintec 2000 All Purpose saddle(old style) in brown and a Bruno DelGrange show jumping saddle.

Girth - Beval Saddlery Italian made anatomic synthetic girth. No longer being sold by Beval but a great girth for easy care and the quality of the workmanship is second to none.

Saddle Pad(s) - I loved to collect saddle pads when I had a horse. I have sheepskin ones for horse shows and all kinds of quilted squares for schooling. It would bore you to tears to list each and every!

Bridles - Beval Saddlery's Newport bridle in both horse and warmblood sizes (found amazing deal on ebay when they closed out of this style)

Show Clothes: My 2 wool hunt coats were both custom tailored and made by Grand Prix. One is a navy blue windowpane plaid and the other a charcoal gray pinstripe. I also have a vintage Tailored Sportsman hunt coat (made by TS many years before they became a status name) made from 100% polyester in navy blue with a red satin lining. It was my "horse shows in the rain" hunt coat.

My show breeches were Pikeur's "Winner" breeches. They are side zips with doeskin knee patches.

My show shirts are a few different brands, most of them are made by Essex in various colors to compliment the jackets. All have monogrammed collars.

I still have my custom Dehner boots from my hardcore horse show days. They are beautiful but no longer fit me. I can't bear to let them go yet. Otherwise I have a very nice pair of Mountain Horse field boots that serve me well if needed.

Helmet - I still have my ancient fiberglass shell velvet helmet. It is sun-bleached, the ribbon at the back is faded and hanging down, it has many scuffs in the velvet and the satin lining is rather... grungy. But I can't part with it, either. It is like the shield of a warrior, it's appearance is an unspoken testament to the hours spent training, competing, and giving all to my passion. The new style helmets don't age like those old velvet hunt caps. I remember when I got that deep black, plush velvet hat I longed for the day when it resembled the helmets worn by my heroes, Rodney Jenkins, Conrad Homfeld, Harry DeLeyer, Melanie Smith, and George Morris. (and if you only recognize the name George Morris as you read this, you are a youngster with a lot of horse show history to catch up on).

Its replacement, my old GPA helmet has passed the 5 year mark and it's still in my gear bag. It's supposed to be retired but I can't let it go, even as its replacement, a very attractive IRH Elite Ultra helmet waits to get some riding time.

Schooling Gear - Kerrits! Kerrits! Kerrits! I LOVE Kerrits! No matter what I buy from them it always fits and I love it. All my schooling breeches in all sorts of colors are Kerrits. I have a few Ariat shirts and some On Course cotton breeches but nothing beats my Kerrits. My Paddock boots are Ariat zip fronts and my half chaps are brown suede Ovations.

Hunt Clothes - I outfitted my dream before it became a reality. I have a few fox hunting pieces, specifically a black Melton coat and a reversible canary vest bought in my hopes of riding with the hunt one day. They are unworn and hanging in cedar bags. I hope I will wear them one day while riding a horse.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 5 of 30 Day Horse Challenge: Your first fall.

Day 5 - Your first fall.

Honestly, I don't exactly remember my first fall. I may have taken a tumble off the white pony I first rode when I took lunge line lessons in the very beginning as a 6 year old, but I can't describe it and I'm almost unsure it happened.

The next incidence where I hit the dirt is clearer, it happened in a riding lesson when I was about 8 years old. I was riding a big, draft cross leopard appy named "Dalmatian". He was being a pig and not wanting to go forward (as was usual). My trainer was telling me to tap him with my crop and squeeze him forward with my legs. So I was working on that when he trotted off, then pulled his big ugly head down at the bit, pulled me forward out of the tack and I slid right off down his shoulder. Thud! Right in the dirt.

I wasn't much hurt, but humiliated (it was a group lesson) and filthy. I did get back on. He did trot. And that was the last time I fell off of Dalmatian.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goal: met and exceeded! and Day 4 of 30 Day Horse Challenge: A ride that impacted your life

Remember I said I had a goal last week that by Friday I'd be riding the exercise bike during my physical therapy session? Well, the therapist put me back on the bike on Monday and with the seat way up high I managed to gingerly get the full rotation of my right knee! It hurt, I had to compensate and we used no resistance but I did it! By this past Friday I was riding the bike at a comfortable seat height and making full rotation with very little pain! Yesterday I rode it pain free and even worked in a bit of resistance!

I saw the orthopedic surgeon today. He seemed pleased with my progress in just 2 weeks. But he wants more. Before he'll consider surgery, he wants full range of motion back in the knee. So he said he will see me in another 2 weeks and more PT for me.

Day 04 - A ride that impacted your life.

Well, in a lifetime spent in the saddle, this is hard. There are so many rides that I could say impacted my life. My first pony ride. My first riding lesson. The first horse I owned. My first horse show as a 10 year old (won a second place in Maiden equitation). All the rides in all the classes at all the horse shows.

A great ride was some of my most creative solutions that won me ribbons in the show ring, especially in the hunt seat equitation classes. So many experiences. The trail rides, the horse shows, the lessons, the schooling, the hacking, the dressage tests, the hunter paces, the fox hunts.

The fox hunts. Those were a blast. I was only fortunate enough to be a guest about 3 times with friends who were members of our local hunt but every ride was thrilling. I remember the first time I hunted, my friend asked if it would be okay if I rode first flight with him as he was one of the Masters. I will never forget the response from one of the other Masters, "well, all right, if you think she can keep up."

Ha! Not only did I keep up, afterwards, I was asked if I'd considered hunting and would be interested in joining the hunt.

Good times. I was some kind of rider back then. I was hoping with the right horse to finally return to fox hunting, although at this age I'll settle for riding second flight for awhile but everything has just gone wrong. I hope I will ride well enough again to not have to give this one up.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

So, you want to buy a horse?

I came across this today. This is funny, but sad because it is often true.

Oh, and if that's what she's charging for board, I wanna board there, too!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Loose Horse at the Royal Wedding!

Okay, I'm not all caught up in Royal wedding fever but I did want to check out Kate's dress. Loved that it was an Alexander McQueen, one of my favorite designers. When watching the snippet of video I saw this!

SO, how many of the horse folks in the audience caught this one?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 3 - 30 Day Horse Challenge: Favorite Horse (own/lease/ride) with description about the relationship

Day 3 - Favorite Horse (own/lease/ride) with description about the relationship.

Well, that's easy. My favorite horse is Monty, the horse that I started this blog for and who was my everything. He was not the first horse or the only horse I ever owned but he was the one who was the most versatile and who had the most comfortable connection with me.

Monty was a Warmblood/TB cross. He came from Virginia and was originally brought to the farm where I was boarding my old mare Alta, as a sale horse for another of my trainer's (whom I've nicknamed "the Master") students to try. He watched the horse go and decided this horse was too green for her but he thought he'd be a great match for me. I still remember the phone call at work when he told me to get out to the barn and try this new horse as soon as I got off work.

I thought he was joking, I wasn't looking to buy a new horse. I still had my old, semi-retired mare and was playing catch rider with anything that needed riding. So I went and tried this big gray horse. And he was lovely. Comfortable to ride and with a willing heart. He'd canter up to any jump, and even if he stopped to peek at it, he'd then pop over. Green but so eager to please. I had 2 weeks to try him before he would be sent back to the dealer. I had no idea how I was going to afford 2 horses but he was too good a prospect to pass by.

So I sucked it up. I had some help from my folks but the bulk of it I financed with a small loan and the Master let me teach beginner lessons to defray some of the second board costs. Originally, my intention was to buy him, finish his training, get him out to the shows and sell him for some small profit. I still had Alta, who was my difficult, wonderful, wicked mare and when you spend 20 years with someone, you don't just walk away. She was still my horse, and selling Monty would have been okay as long as I still had her.

Then 2 years later, Alta died. And Monty just became my horse.

And went on to become my best horse.

My Good Horse.

Successful as a show horse, trail horse, hunter pace horse, family horse and best friend. I could TRUST him. I never could completely let my guard down with Alta, but Monty was easy. It never took me long to figure him out and he was what I called my 1,2,3 horse. If something upset him, he only needed to be encouraged to face it 3 times and it was over.
For example, if we were passing a tree and something about it spooked him, I'd encourage him calmly with my seat and voice to go forward. I'd circle around and pass it again, he'd peek, but it was more of interest at that point than fear and by the next circle past he would ignore it and keep going. Knowing this made showing him a breeze as I always knew he'd let go of something that upset him very quickly.

If you have time, browse around on my past posts on this blog and you'll see how much Monty meant to me, and how losing him took so much away. The emptiness is still there. I hope there will be another good horse and more memories for me. But it's been so damn hard.

And because I still dream, here's another "dream horse" that would be a perfect choice for me:


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 2 - 30 Day Horse Challlenge: The last time you rode a horse and what you did

Happy Easter wishes to all!

Day 02 - The last time you rode a horse and what you did

I'm not going to count the actual last time I "rode" a horse, as it was just after mounting and ended with unfortunate results. That's not a "ride" as I see it.

The last time I rode a horse was when I came to care for and ride dear, sweet Ruby. That's him and me in the picture above. If you are just catching up with my blog, Ruby is the old former A-circuit show horse that my trainer asked if I would like to half board. Ruby is amazing and sweet and a pleasure to ride. His owner is also wonderful to work with and The past 8 months or so I've been half boarding him with her have been stress free.

Ruby and I did our usual ride in the field behind the main riding arena. I was so thrilled the frozen ground and warmer weather were beginning and I could ride outside again.

But it also brought on my feelings of wanting a horse of my own, and to have the warmer weather and spring/summer months to work with the horse and form a partnership. So I started shopping and that turned out to be yet another mistake.

As for my knee, I completed day 2 of physical therapy. I have gotten more flexion and I'm happier for that but when the therapist tried to get me on the stationary bike to try and loosen the joint, it was NOT happening. My knee won't complete the rotation without strong pain. I really tried, we even raised the seat way up but no go. :(

Tomorrow I go again. My goal is this knee is going to rotate by Friday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hurts - so good! and 30 Day Horse Challenge Day 1: When and why you started riding

Today my knee is a bit sore and all the fluid we moved yesterday has moved right back in but I can bend it 90 degrees to the floor now and it's already getting easier to use the stairs.

I am a big fan of good physical therapy. It made me a believer 10 years ago when my wrist was broken from getting kicked by a friend's horse. I will favor an injury until a doctor gives me the green light to do something with it, and after that I will gladly push it. Once this orthopedic surgeon told me I need to start using the knee and getting the fluid out of the joint I was thrilled. Yeah, it hurts but I have no problem with pain as long as it's part of the healing process and I'm not doing further damage.

When I walked in to Pro Sports I was pleased to see the place was as bright, cheery, clean and the staff as nice as they were all those years ago. The therapist who consulted with me and then started my program was perfect. It was also nice that the place was fairly empty with only 1 other patient so I got full attention. I think my favorite part is the ice and the massage. Ice... ahhh. I could use some ice again about now.

So, I've been thinking. This blog is supposed to be about horses. For who knows how long it's probably going to be about me trying to get back to riding horses. That's interesting to some but not really about horses. I've been enjoying A Horse and a Half's posts for the 30 day horse challenge. It looks like fun and is really just 30 days telling about your life experiences with a horse theme. So, to keep this somewhat horse-centric, I'll give it a go.

Day One - When and why you started riding:

Why did I start riding? Because I was a horse mad little girl. I received my first Breyer horse - The Family Arabian Foal in palomino for my 4th birthday. I watched horse movies and westerns on TV. I looked for any horse books I could find in the library. I watched "Gumby and Pokey" and "Mr. Ed" because the horses could TALK! I pretended I was a horse, I reared, snorted, galloped and jumped anything in my way. Obsession, thy name is equus. My poor parents had NO idea what they were in for.

When did I start riding? I started riding at the tender age of 6. I took lessons in a backyard barn from a woman whose daughter had a show pony and she had a big show hunter as well. I wish I could remember her name but all I recall was riding a white pony on the lunge line and she was very kind. I rode there for about a year until I broke my leg while riding my bicycle and was away from horses for about a year. When I went back to riding at 8 years old, it was at a local lesson/hack barn and I have been in the saddle ever since.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Physical Therapy - bring it!

I begin Physical Therapy this afternoon to start my right knee back to being a willing partner to the left one.

Yesterday was my visit with the Orthopedic Surgeon and I liked his demeanor very much. I also like that we have common ground as his young daughter rides horses! He immediately got me out of the knee immobilizer brace and into a flexible brace, the kind with the opening for my kneecap and the metal bars and hinges on the sides. He wants me to get this knee back to complete flexibility again before we seriously discuss surgery for the ACL. I'm all for that.

So, PT for 2 weeks and another appointment for him to check my progress. Sounds good to me.

And because I'm a sucker for punishment, I still look at horses, and dream. THIS is exactly the kind of horse I'll be looking for whenever I return to the saddle:


Monday, April 18, 2011

Let's get it started.

Tomorrow morning I go see an orthopedic surgeon for another opinion who is both on my insurance plan and who's been recommended by a few people. I'm hoping he can give me some more detailed and encouraging information with how to proceed in rehabbing this knee. On Wednesday I start physical therapy and truthfully, I'm really looking forward to it.

I was really happy when I found out that the physical therapy group that I wanted to use is also covered by my insurance. I had great results from them 10 years ago when my left wrist was broken when I was kicked by a horse. When that wrist came out of the cast, I had almost no rotation ability and the physical therapy provided by Pro Sports physical therapy gave me back a good start on full rotation which has since been returned to almost 100% normal.

My hope is that since the MRI report only listed the ligament tears as "moderate", that maybe I can bypass any surgery and the physical therapy will start me back to being myself again. At home, I do get around without the knee brace. My knee will support my full body weight, the feeling that my knee is unstable and could buckle has gone and the joint actually isn't painful as much as it feels very tight.

I also hope this doctor will let me use a less restrictive knee brace. I agree I need support, but this thing I've been harnessed into for the past 2 weeks makes me want to scream.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I Want

I am sitting here trying to work, with my stupid knee brace encased leg causing me to shift into ever increasingly uncomfortable contortions.

I didn't deserve this injury. I am not reckless, stupid or untrained. I am well aware of what my limitations are at 45 years old. And I got handed another screwing by fate. I am also depressed, angry and sad because I am 45 f'ing years old. When you break at 25 years old, your body heals and you have time. When you get broken at 45 years old, every day you lose takes you another step closer to your last ride.

I have decided that if I get out of this one and regain any of my riding, I know what I want.

I want the same kind of horse I had when I first started all this. I want the same horse I had as a kid that opened this whole world up to me and made it fun. The requirements are pretty simple:

1) Gelding. I will N E V E R go near a damn mare again. After my black mare I should have learned there will never be redemption in my experience for a mare.

2) Chestnut. My first horse was a beautiful liver chestnut. And I loved him as only a girl will love her first horse.

3) Quarter Horse or Quarter Horse cross. I know there are a few QH left in this world who are at least 16.2 hands tall. My first horse was a QH/Morgan cross and my second horse was a QH/TB cross. Sound, sane and just good hearted riding horses.

4) Has NO vices under tack. My first horses were green broke when I got them but they NEVER bucked, reared or bullied me. This time I want a horse who's a little older but just as trustworthy.

And if that no longer exists in this world, then screw horses.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thank You

I want to thank everyone who has been thinking of me and supporting me in my dream to find a good horse since my best horse Monty died. I have recently been handed a very difficult twist of fate and as I recover from this injury, I will be unable to ride or work around horses for awhile. I don't know what my future holds as far as riding goes and I guess if I thought I wanted a quiet horse before, I'll need a really dependable fellow now. (and with my luck, that horse will not exist, either)

This blog may sit dormant for a long while. I have reached the lowest point ever regarding horses and continuing to write or read what others are doing only makes me feel worse. I wish everyone well and only the best in all your equestrian endeavors.

No time spent in the saddle on a good horse is ever wasted. Funny how you never know how true that is until you are faced with it being just a part of your past.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Not Happening

Circumstances have changed. I will not be keeping this horse. She is being returned to the seller. Not really up to talking about it at this time.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

So Far, Safe and Sound!

Little Bear the mare arrived after 9:30PM last night. I raced to get there ahead of the trailer when I got the call that she had crossed the Throgs Neck Bridge. She showed up riding in style in a big 6 horse gooseneck from the horse shipper my trainer connected me with. The shipper was a great lady and she praised Little Bear for her calmness and good manners.

LB stepped slowly off the trailer and into the main barn where all the show horses are boarded. I wanted to groom her a bit and then see if Monty's old sheet and halter would fit her, as she arrived naked and wearing a nylon halter. She slipped right into his clothes like she'd been waiting her whole life for them.

As I worked on her, all the horses were peering out to see who the newbie was. Only one head was missing - Ruby. The old man tends to ignore things that don't concern him or the hay he's munching on. But he must have heard my voice and looked out at me. When he saw it was me, he whinnied happily at me. And when I said his name he nickered again. As soon as he did that, LB turned her head and looked at me, like she was really interested in who was handling her. I got the feeling whatever Ruby said got her interested. I quickly got a little treat for Ruby and offered one to Little Bear. She bit it in half and dropped it. I picked up the pieces and offered it to her again. This time she took it, slowly moved it around in her mouth, tasting it and then chewed it up and finished it. I don't think this girl has ever had treats before.

I took her to her new stall, tucked her in with bran mash and more hay and watched as she and her neighbors squealed it out a little for the first few minutes. Then LB decided to ignore the geldings on either side of her and focus on her food.

This morning the barn manager texted me to tell me she loves this mare! She is so impressed with her calm, sensible personality. The big test was when my trainer showed up. Good news is, he thinks she's cute, too!

Looking forward to getting to the barn this afternoon and playing with the mare. Hoping I get to ride, too. The weather is less than great and I don't think she's ever been in an indoor riding arena! Maybe I'll get a few pictures with my cell phone, too.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Feel the Fear - Do it Anyway

She's coming.


I'm freaking out.




I took this chance, please let this be wonderful.

Welcome "Little Bear".

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WarHorse - a refresher

After my post yesterday mentioning the play WarHorse, I went back and I found my blog post from almost 2 years ago when I first heard about this production. Reposting it here with links (which hopefully still work) to keep everyone up to date!
SolitaireMare's blog post about WarHorse

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WarHorse and the mare

I had the pleasure of seeing WarHorse a week ago on the first night of previews of it's run on Broadway at Lincoln Center. If you love animals and in particular if you love horses you can't help but be moved by this drama. The music is beautiful and stirring and the equine puppetry is more breathtaking in person. It was a full house and I had gotten great orchestra seats. We were sitting close to the aisle. At one point in the play, the horse Joey is led up the aisle and away from the stage - he walked right past our seats! How cool to see him so close!

By the end I was crying. I was one of the first in our section to stand up for the ovation and here I am clapping and tears are streaming down my face. I had dreamed of seeing this show from the very first times I'd heard about it. It was magical to finally have that wish come true! I'm planning on buying tickets for after the show officially opens to compare what I saw in previews to the "official" performance.

And the mare that On The Bit and I checked out? She's getting her spring shots and a coggins pulled. As soon as all that is cleared from her vet, she will be coming here for a pre-purchase trial. I am happy and yet scared, too. It's getting closer...

Monday, March 14, 2011

When Horse Bloggers Meet!

This weekend had the potential for yet another depressing blog post. On Saturday, my labrador puppy was hit and killed by a car when he escaped our fenced back yard. The poor goofy guy never made it to his first birthday, which is this upcoming Wednesday. My husband was devastated and I can tell he's still feeling very bad. My kids are sad and asking too many questions. My parents are upset.

I'm numb.

I had a "go see" meeting scheduled for Sunday in NJ to check out a young horse. I didn't know if I should cancel, or just go anyway. The ad for this horse was sent to me from On The Bit over at "A Horse and a Half ". She's sent me ads for horses before and this time I asked her to come on over and help me check out this horse. I figured having her there and getting to actually meet her was worth the trip, even if the horse wasn't suitable for me.

It was a pleasure meeting her! She's said before it feels like we've already met and know each other and in a sense, that's true. She writes so often and so well, I completely relate to her involvement with horses and it was so comfortable and familiar talking with her about this prospect. It felt as if we'd checked horses out before. She has a good, critical eye and we agreed on things we saw. She took video of me riding the horse and we critiqued it together.

As for the horse? She was cute, green and a definite maybe. It seems I've been offered a chance to bring this one in on a trial basis. I am working towards that, now. So many things to coordinate to bring a horse into your life and it still may not be "the one"!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Riding Lesson Tonight

The end of another week and it's time for my children's riding lessons. However, one of them is having a sticky point in his riding. Two weeks ago the pony he was riding in his lesson got a little spooky. Though my son wasn't hurt and in fact did a good job of controlling the pony and getting him to settle down, he did get a little rattled by it and has now insisted on going back on the lunge line to do anything faster than a walk.

His brother will canter for the first time tonight. Their trainer (who I call "the Master" in case you have forgotten or didn't know due to my erratic posting schedule) thinks it would be good for the suddenly timid brother to have a few weeks off from lessons, and then to return to the saddle as the weather warms up. He's also counting on the competitiveness between the two of them as an extra push to get Mr. Scaredy pants back on track. I agreed. So in the meantime, I asked to take his time slot and have a lesson myself with Ruby, my half-boarding horse.

I'm tired of going in circles. I need to jump around and as long as Ruby is feeling up to it we'll do some work over fences tonight. I've been sliding into that emotional ditch again lately where the horses are concerned and need something to divert me. I hope the Master gives me a good challenge tonight.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rescue? Maybe not for me

At the moment I respectfully passed on the rescue/rehoming horse. I met the horse. He was very sweet and walked right up to me and nuzzled me as if he'd known me his whole life. I met his owner and the woman handling the adoption. I couldn't try riding the horse because of all the ice and snow in her paddock but she was willing to send the horse out on trial to see if we were a good match.

Sounds pretty good I know, but after reading through the adoption restrictions and finding out more about this particular arrangement I decided it just wasn't something I was comfortable with. I guess I didn't realize that adoption is a form of leasing a horse. You don't actually own the horse. The person who adopted the horse to you does. You are paying for everything but ultimately, you are under the control of the person who allowed you to adopt the horse.

I have been a responsible horse owner for over 30 years. I am not comfortable with having to run my decisions past someone any time I need to do something with the horse. I started to envision what that might entail and began to realize that it could be a very frustrating arrangement for me;

For example - say I wanted to change boarding barns to one that is closer to my home, and I've known the place for years and I trust the management. Before I can do that, the adoptor must approve of the place. Now, maybe the adoptor of the horse has a poor opinion of that barn, for whatever reason. Technically, she can say "no" and I can't do anything about it, even though it may be a better situation for me.

So I'm back to zero again. I am just so bitter and mistrusting of all of this. This is the 3rd or 4th time I've backed away from something that I initially had optimism about.

My greatest sadness is to be sitting here in July, a year after losing Rugby and still nothing. A year without a horse of my own? I never imagined...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hug your Horsey Valentine

If you are lucky enough to have a horse to love, give him or her a hug for Valentine's Day. And another hug from me.

Rescue/rehoming horse may or may not be the thing for me. Not sure I'm settled with the details of the situation. The search may go on...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rescue Me

Looking into a rehoming/rescue horse. Don't have much time to write about it now but working on having him for a trial period to see if we "click" and he may come to be with me. He's a nine year old 16.3 hands tall chestnut thoroughbred.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Next step?

I went to see the horse that I hoped would be "the one". Piled the whole family in the Explorer, took the almost 3 hr. drive to get there and met the owner. She was very nice and we got right to business. She answered my questions about the horse as she tacked up and brought her in the indoor. Then she rode her for me first.

This mare is cute in a super-chunky kind of way. She looks like she could be Rugby's littler big sister. She has the same big, nice bare feet, same thick jowls and chubby mouth. She's almost all black except for a big white blaze, two white socks and a white splash on her belly. However, she's much closer coupled, 4 inches shorter and has more work put into her.

After the owner walk, trot cantered her for a few minutes, I mounted up. Her walk and trot work is really nice, she likes a steady firm leg and a good rein contact. She actually seems to prefer you ride on contact instead of with a loop to the rein. Her canter is not as nice as her trot. For a close-coupled horse, she can really move! Her stride is huge. She's not strong and responds well to the bit but she is very forward. She's not as connected through the canter and I had to sit deep and ask through the seat and leg to keep to a canter without breaking. Her left lead is better than her right. Her owner said she's better cantering in a larger arena and the canter is where she needs more balance. I thought it odd such a lovely trot and walk didn't flow into a great canter. She willingly trotted ground poles but I didn't take her over any jumps.

I did like the horse. The owner said she has a few more people lined up to look at her. I told her I wouldn't buy the horse without a vet check. She agreed but if I plan to do it she would like it scheduled sometime this week to get a "yes" or "no" from me in case she gets another firm offer. I have a friend getting me the number of a vet from the same area in NJ to call.

But part of me is leery. And I'm not sure if I'm just gun-shy or really unsure. I can see this horse being a good hunter pace, field hunter, trail and fun kind of horse. Isn't that what I want? But that less than relaxing canter had me kind of worried. Can I "fix" it? Or is that just her? Will she be a freight train galloping in the field? And I wish I could ride her again before I decide but she's not close by.

And to top it off, I leave again at the end of this week for my second business trip, this time to Houston so the pressure is on. No time to focus on anything. In addition, I have a broken tooth that hit critical mass just before I left for Las Vegas and it is KILLING me. My dentist gave me 800mg ibuprofin but it's not helping. Tomorrow I go in to start the root canal that will hopefully relieve some of the pain and start me on the way to a post and crown. Great. I'm not fortunate to have dental insurance, so this tooth will cost me about half of my horse budget.

Maybe I should give it up. I just don't think I'm going to find another good horse.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ten together - Two apart

Ever in my heart, always on my mind. Two years ago today, Monty crossed the Rainbow Bridge. In memory, here are some pictures of my sweet boy and I in some of our happiest moments that I haven't shared before. Above is us at our first horse show in May of 1999.

This is in the Adult Amateur Hunters flat class at that show. All I did that day was the one flat class, LOL!

And the results were great, we won that flat class, out of about 8 or so horses.

This is just a sweet picture of us taken back in 2001. Notice the little pink diamond on his nose? I called it his "kissy spot" because it was the perfect place to plant a smooch.

And the horse I mentioned in my previous post, the one I hoped would still be for sale after I returned from my trip? The snow has kept the other prospective buyer away and I have an appointment to see her tomorrow. Wish me a little luck!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

That time again

January is not my favorite month. Mostly because I have a lot of travel for business in this month and it makes everything feel rushed and hectic and I don't like leaving my family. But also because there's an anniversary in the middle of the month that is especially hard to deal with. Two years ago I was in Las Vegas for business when I got that phone call that Monty was not doing well. And two days later I came home to find him existing on pain medication and mushy food with his tumors compromising his normal bodily functions.

The next morning, I said goodbye and the vet euthanized my sweet boy.

I miss him so much.

My trip to Vegas is once again fast approaching and this year, there is no horse of my own waiting for me to love through the pain of my remembrance.

But there is a tiny hope.

My horsey blog friend "On The Bit" gave me a lead to a horse she found out of the blue. I have contacted the owner and this lovely horse has my heart in knots. Everything about her seems tailor made to a perfect fit for me. She's not too far away. She has no vices. She has a loving owner and has been properly cared for and is up to date on all her vet work. She's nicely broke to ride and looks like a comfortable horse to work with. She's in my budget and she's the right size.

I want to see her NOW. But I can't because of this business trip. There is another person scheduled to look at the horse next week and because of my trip I can't get there first. I've seen pictures and video and have this feeling in my heart that she is the one. It will kill me if I come back and find she's been sold and I lost my chance because I had to be away.

Please, send a wish my way that this horse is still available when I get back. I just want my luck to change.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year - whatever.

2009 sucked. 2010 sucked some more. Just praying I don't pull a hat trick of suckiness.

But there was a bright spot yesterday. Both of my boys jumped a cross rail for the first time in their riding lessons yesterday. I will never forget the look of surprise on their faces the first time the pony hopped over the cross rail, then the huge grin of sheer joy when they realized that they finally got their wish and actually JUMPED over a fence! Two years of lessons and they were finally getting air time!

The second time over they tried harder to keep their heels down and hold mane when they released. By the 3rd and 4th times they were tight and smiling the whole time.