Sunday, April 26, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

I was feeling devilish when I got to the barn on Saturday. I planned to ride Jaz, and used the occasion to mess with Poco at the same time. And why not? He messes with me all the time. I greeted Jaz first and with enthusiasm. There's heavy mesh on the top half of the stalls. Mr. What-About-Me pushed his face into the side of Jaz's stall and kicked the stall door. He got scolded twice for that. When I finally did walk in to visit him, he was more interested in the grain Heather was dispensing. You aren't getting any, Porco, but have it your way. Jaz got taken outside, groomed, cooed over, smooched, and told what a good boy he is. Poco was quite verbal in his pissiness. We all had an ongoing laugh at his expense.

I need to ride my Little Man more. I need him to reteach me all the stuff it feels like I've forgotten. My balance is off, my seat and posture downright ugly. Me and trot have never quite meshed, but this was even worse than usual. I am guilty of not riding enough to remember what I've learned, much less get better. I'm back to being all over the place. I do want to get better, but the important thing is that I'm having fun.
My sweet boy doesn't need a bit. We use the Dr. Cook's.

I've discovered a flaw to the hat helmet. You can see by Jaz's tail how windy it is. I am holding my head down because the wind kept catching the hat. Note to self: use conventional helmet when windy. Jaz sez, "Make sure you get my best side, Nita."

Isn't he the cutest thing?

Trains pass all the time.
The horses don't even flinch at the air horns.

I'm really glad Nita took this picture. See how my left hip is lower? I now realize I stand and sit that way too. I need to get out my balance ball.

Licking the sweat off my hands.

Nita said she wanted a smoochie picture.

After I tacked him down, I hand grazed him for the better part of an hour, including right outside the back of Poco's stall. Poco called out and carried on, and still we ignored him. We didn't get his butt today — we had his full attention. The cherry on top was Jaz and I sharing a nice, cold, sweet Texas Ruby Red grapefruit before he got put back in his stall with an extra flake of hay. Poco was an unhappy Appy. Mission accomplished.


I intended to post all the weekend news & pix this evening after I got back from the barn, but I ended up not going. We've had short light periods of drizzle, light wind, and the forecast says rain until Wednesday or Thursday. Yeehaw! I will make the most of this and all of the dreary, rainy days. Rain on me!

Who knew watching grass grow could be so exciting?
This is the best this place has looked in a long time.

But it's still fragile. We need more rain.

Ch-ch-ch-chia. If this makes no sense to you, click here.

The grass is hanging onto every tiny bit of topsoil it can find.
Look at these photos from five short weeks ago.

The dog yard is so lush, Mike had to mow it. Imagine that. I'll throw common Bermuda on this whole place as soon as night time temps are in the 70s. I hope this investment pays off someday when we sell this place to another small-time horse owner.

Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend with your ponies.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's the Little Things

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God
for the good land he has given you."

Deuteronomy 8:10

Mr. Fry and I drank our coffee sitting on lawn chairs in the driveway this morning. I will head out to see the Boyz as soon as I can get my sorry butt moving, so threw on a not-too-dirty pair of barn jeans. I glanced down at my feet, then at Mr. Fry and said, "I have poop on my jeans. I've waited my whole life for this!"

Thank you, God.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

En La Casa #8

The L-o-o-o-o-ve Light

My thanks to Paint Girl for this lovely award. This one has been 'round the block a few times, so everyone I would nominate has already received it. I do want to acknowledge my small but loyal band of readers, who keep coming back to read my blather. All of you deserve awards in my book. My policy is to only keep an award on my site for as long as the post itself is up as part of my efforts to keep the site loading quickly.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Busy Weekend Recap

Big news first — it's a GIRL! After doing the maiden mare start-stop thing for the last month, Dove finally had her foal this morning (Sunday) at 3 a.m. Introducing Olympic Torch (Olympic Dove x Rohrschachs Spots), barn name Tori. See the flame on her forehead?

When I got to the barn yesterday (Saturday), I decided to work on Jaz first. I groomed him up, doused him with MTG for the sweet itch or rain rot or whatever the hell is making him itchy and scaly this time. Picked his feet, which look good, but still not great.

Because I worked on Jaz first, then putzed around before I went to see him, Poco's nose was so out of joint that no matter where I moved in the barn, he pivoted like a compass so his butt faced me. Snotty pony. He surprised me by willingly giving me all 4 feet; he didn't try to lean on me or jerk his feet away after a few seconds. That's the good news. The bad news is, he has a touch of thrush and white line himself, though not nearly as bad as Jaz.

I rode with Jim (Heather's dad, Nita's husband) to get feed. On a whim, I bought a bag of rubber bands, thinking that maybe if I banded Poco's crazy mane, it would help it lay to one side. I did the banding and baby-oiled his frizzy ends. It worked! I stepped outside the stall to dry my hands and grab my camera. He shook, and this is what I got.
The same thing happens when it's not banded!
I cracked up, because it reminded me of this guy
Buckwheat from the 'Our Gang' comedies of the 1930s

and/or this guy
Crabman on My Name is Earl

both of whom make me laugh anyway.

I decided I might have better luck with Rico's big brother, Scorch (Rohrschachs Slow Burn).

Not bad for my second attempt at banding. And kudos to him! He stood there like a champ as I fussed. He wasn't tied either, just loose in the stall. This is a 2-year old stallion!

My body and feet ached when I got home. It was only then I realized I did not sit down even once all day. Kind Mr. Fry drew a lovely hot bath. Took some Aleve and slept like I seldom do.

After finding some dark pix of Tori in my inbox this morning, I got out there as quickly as I could. I brushed both my Boyz and slathered Poco's mane with Garnier Fructis for frizzy hair. Not that I really expect it to help, but I keep trying. By this time, Dove was comfortable enough with my presence to let me get pix of her pride and joy. Nita and I sat around for about an hour, but it was so windy, we kept getting stuff in our eyes (and it was cold!), so we called it a day.

I'm vegging out for the remains of the day, resting up for another wild and wacky work week. Ciao for now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Endless Love

If it's true there is but one true love for each of us in this life, then I am the luckiest woman on this planet to have found the long-suffering Mr. Fry.

The photo below was taken when he was in his late teens, but he looked more or less the same when I met him in his late twenties. He sparked a longing and a hunger (you may read that: 'lust') that made me weak in the knees, as he does to this day. It's a long and steamy story, but the short version is we were dating other people when we met, canoodled a bit, parted ways, married and divorced other people, and found each other again 8 years later. The second I saw him again, I knew.
We're chubby and middle aged now (and his hair is gone), but this is what I see when I close my eyes.

Mike's own biological father was absent, and his stepdad experiences were less than fond memories, which strengthened his resolve to be a good dad. He wanted children, but that wasn't in the cards for us. My son, Jesse, was 7 years old when Mike and I married. Their relationship can best be summed up by saying Jesse calls Mike 'Dad' and his biological father by his first name.

State Fair of Texas

3 knuckleheads

Fort Jackson, SC

Mike Fry, you're the love of my life, and I just adore you. You'll always be my favorite redhead. You make me laugh and you've given me a life more wonderful than I could ever have imagined. I'm grateful for every single second with you, come what may. Thanks for EVERYTHING.

You're the one for me, and you still do it for me, baby, baby.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Falling Down #9

FM 455 E, Pilot Point, TX

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Barrels of Fun

Nita is sidelined with torn ligaments around her knee from an incident involving a ladder, poison sumac, and a swimming pool. She can't ride, but she had planned to till the arena. She couldn't find the keys to the tractor, so the footing was a bit rough.

The ears foretell his attitude.
It was not unexpected, since I haven't been on him in 2 months.

He was such an itch, and made me work for every step of this ride.

We walked.

To his credit, he caught on quickly to make tight turns
and bend around the barrels, which is not evident
in any of these photos.

Nita's husband and Heather's dad, Jim, on his trusty steed, Doodles.

Me, me! You should have picked me!
I'd be a good boy and do it much better.
Next time, my sweet boy.

Me and my bad boy.
The hat is actually a helmet, and yes, I'll admit
right here in front of God and everybody
that I'm wearing a Michael Waltrip NASCAR shirt.

Friday, April 10, 2009

En La Casa #7

A sunny corner of the living room

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Humiliation

You didn't really think they were going to get away with being humiliated just once a year, did you?

Always my sweet boy

Not a happy bunny. Look at the expression on his face. We were laughing so hard, we failed to get a photo of him storming off as soon as we let him go.

Rohrschach's Slow Burn aka Scorch, Rico's full brother

A pregnant and miserable Olympic Dove

I wasn't kidding about the chickens. They didn't have any Rhode Island Reds, so I got Plymouths, Goldens, Black Giants, and Brahmans.

Black Giant


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Homage to Barn Buddies

Pronounced oh-mäzh' if you please.

I am so blessed to have my horses at home. I can walk outside for an instant pony fix whether it's to ride or just hang out. Two or three times a year, we give our drought-plagued land a chance to recover by sending the Boyz to Heather and Nita. This spring's respite came without prior planning; it was the silver lining to the black cloud of Jaz's hoof abcess.

The horses have been up there since March 14th, and will likely remain for several more weeks. I don't visit every day, but I have been spending the better part of my weekends up there. To be clear, this is not some snooty-tooty, fancy-schmancy barn. Heather and Nita's place is real life, like the rest of us.

Hanging around with barn buddies is the perk of boarding my horses.
  • Barn buddies don't notice or care about such things as whether you are wearing makeup, or if you've bothered to wash your face today, much less shower. They don't care how bad you look or smell, and the horses certainly don't.
  • You always have something to talk about with barn buddies. And if you don't feel like talking, that's okay, too.
  • Barn buddies are always willing to help, and will often jump to assist before you have to ask. If you are out of fly spray or MTG, or have forgotten an implement, you are always welcome to use theirs — anything for the horses.
  • Who but a barn buddy is genuinely grateful when you show up with gifts like a sack full of rags, a roll of toilet paper, a handful of miscellaneous hardware, or a partially used jug of corn oil?
  • Like you, a barn buddy thinks nothing of sharing a bottle of Gatorade with a horse.
  • There's no such thing as a strange request from a barn buddy. "Hey, if you go by the feed store, will you pick me up about a dozen Rhode Island Red chicks?" Sure.
  • Barn buddies encourage you. They know you and know what it means when you say your horse is doing "that thing" again. They celebrate small victories with you.
  • Only a barn buddy walks into your house and doesn't bat an eye at dust bunnies the size of kittens. They are likewise unfazed by errant tack lying on a kitchen counter, a dining room chair, or the entire back seat and floor of your SUV.
  • Barn buddies understand the occasional need to wipe your nose — or your horse's — on your sleeve.
  • You will never hear a barn buddy utter the words, "Eww! You have poop (slobber, blood) on you!"
I don't think I'm any more myself than when I'm with my barn buddies, or any happier.

Feel free to comment about your own barn buddies, even if it's just your dog.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lion Gate Revisited

Remember this?

Inquiring minds wanted to know who, in this economy, could afford such a lavish entrance when it's all many of us can do to remain living indoors. I emailed the contractor's website, but received no answer. Ha! That's because it's HIS — Clayton Boyd's — place. If you check out his website, you'll see this guy's in a sweet position to build one hell of a place for himself. His company can do a lot of the high dollar work.

On my way home yesterday, I stopped and talked to the lone welder working on this impressive expanse of pipe and cable fence. Look in the upper right quadrant of this pic and you can see the entrance. See the mounded dirt on the far side of the fence? That's where they are excavating for the house and/or barn.
In the upper left is the modest ranchette diagonal to this property.

Here's the zoom view.

Pipe and cable ain't cheap. Most folks around here do the visible parts in pipe and cable and the rest with T-posts and either barbed wire or hot fence. And people generally don't go to this expense unless there will be horses, but as Mike says, "Well, everybody around here has horses." Yes, yes, they do.

And check out this ... whatever it is. I'd say it's a stock tank, but I've never seen one this big or this deep, which you can't really see from either of these photos. It took almost a week for the dozers to dig this hole.

That's the welder's truck mid right.

Stay tuned. I look forward to seeing what he's going to do next.
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