Sunday, September 28, 2008

Welcome to the Machine

"Blessed is he who carries within himself a God,
an ideal, and obeys it."

-- Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)

Yesterday was Pat & Linda Parelli at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. This was the day open to the general public, for which I had scored free tickets at a local equine supply store. Mr. Fry and I were joined by Heather and her parents, Nita and Jim. Jason stayed home, ostensibly to fix one of their trucks that had broken down, but I suspect it might also have been to have a bit of alone time. I half expected the guys to bail on us (we took 2 vehicles), but they stayed for the whole day, God bless 'em.

Today (Sunday) is for Savvy Club members only. Naturally, the big pitch yesterday was to get you to become a member of the club so you could come back today. At each break, they had drawings for prizes, including gear and course packages. Alas, the stars were aligned for others.

Regardless of what you may think of their methods, the corporate presence and merchandising machine they have formed is pretty darned impressive. Although their training aids and such appear to be of good quality, in my opinion, the stuff is way overpriced. I mean, $93.27 ($79.95 for Savvy Club members) for a 22-foot snap-line? C'mon, it's boat rope!
Heather and I looked at those giant green play balls, which look like they could be a lot of fun, then looked at each other in bewilderment at the $75 price tag. I did succumb to a $20 Horsenality T-shirt featuring a cartoon horse sticking his tongue out, saying, "What's in it for me?" My Pokey pony could be the poster child for Left Brain Introvert.

They gave us little Parelli rubber bracelets as we entered. On the way home, I put Mr. Fry's on my wrist along with my own. Mike started laughing and said, "WWPPD -- What Would Pat Parelli Do?" I cracked up. We talked about it and our opinion is, "more power to them." Hell, if we could think of an angle as successful as theirs, we'd be on it like white on rice and y'all would be paying us $20 a month to be a member of our club, sporting T-shirts with our picture. I'd be telling corporate America to kiss my tattooed ass so fast, it'd make your head spin.

Someone left a comment on this blog that we shouldn't miss their entrance, which was actually pretty mundane. They just ran in, with their horses on lead ropes. Pat talked for about 15 minutes, then turned it over to Linda and her beautiful Dutch Warmblood, Rimmer. I wonder if he's named after the character on the Britcom, Red Dwarf? (edit added after the fact: the horse's name is actually Remmer) Mike and I were also musing on the way home about how, if we had been the person to sell her that horse, described as a man-killing nightmare, we sure wouldn't be inclined to admit it now. But, I digress. Linda demonstrated the 7 Games. I liked her relaxed presence and her passion. Forget all the things her horse can do and her skills on the ground and in the saddle. What I admire and envy is her obvious connection with that horse. I want the grace, comfort, ease -- the trust -- of that relationship.

The slowest and least theatrical part of the show was the part I enjoyed most, which was Pat working with a local woman's problem horse, a lovely grey TB mare called Emma.

I listened intently as Pat pointed out the subtle (to me, anyway) signals this horse was sending. That is the other thing I want: to be able to recognize and interpret those signs and behaviors as what they are: my horse attempting to communicate.

I could have done without the 15 minutes (or longer) of Savvy students working their horses. I'm not saying they weren't good, it just seemed long to me.

Afterward, we all had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant -- oh yeah, give me an excuse to eat fajitas -- then parted ways.

I'm really glad we went. I'm grateful for what I learned. Would I spend the money for their aids or tack? Prolly not. Would I like to own their DVD library? If I had the money, which I don't at the moment, I sure would. I may have to check Craig's List and eBay. Am I likely to become a cult follower of their methods to the exclusion of all others? Nope. That's not how I roll.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Delayed Homecoming

I headed directly to Heather's from work, after having changed my clothes at the office. Some kind person in the restroom told me I had something on my shirt. I looked down, smiled and said, "Horse slobber. I'm headed back out there now to get some more to match it." The response was a look that said, "Ewww."

I was excited to see how Poco liked his new bit, pictured at left. Let me assure you, the chain has been permanently removed. I was never interested in the chain as a feature, just the bit itself. And Poco seems to like it. It certainly fits him better than anything I've ever tried on him in the past. I didn't ride yesterday; I just led him out of the pen, did a few circles and such, and allowed him to graze. I can't wait to ride him again. Maybe Sunday.

Hard to believe the horses have been there for 30 days already. Originally, the plan was to pick them up this weekend, so this trip was to start packing up tack and supplies, and to give Heather their Parelli tickets for Saturday in Fort Worth. After discussing it with Heather and Mr. Fry, we decided to leave Poco and Jaz there until the next rain, since we have had only .6" of rain since we threw seed and fertilizer a month ago. There's nothing in the long-term forecast for the next 7 days, at least.

I really miss having them home. I miss being able to look out the window and see them, or run out and give them a hug, or better still, jump on and head down the road or work in my round pen. On the other hand, I enjoy hanging out with the people and the horses at Heather's. There's always the opportunity to ride different horses, and to keep company with like minded-people. My round pen is 60', hers is 110', which is good for riding (not so much for ground work). I love working in her arena. One thing I won't miss: the dust out there! I wouldn't say I'm anal about it, but I try to be conscientious about caring for my tack. I have 2 good headstalls and a cheap saddle, but I try to take care of all of it the best I can. Since I don't have a barn, my tack is kept in the house, so is always super clean. Oh well, cleaning tack builds character, right?

Tomorrow is the Parelli's in Ft. Worth and I'm looking forward to that. Looks like there will be 6 of us in 2 cars, in case some want to bail early (read that: men). This really fun band we like is playing at a really fun club in Ft. Worth, but I doubt we'll make it that late. Whether or not I make it to Heather's on Sunday is up in the air also. Since I won't have tomorrow to do any laundry, etc., I may have to bite the bullet and TCB.

Or procrastinate until next week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shopping: On The Bit

My quest for a 5.5" wide bit for Poco took me to a place I must have passed a hundred times and didn't even notice it was there. It's not that I'm unobservant, or that the store is non-descript. On The Bit (click the link for pix) sits on a wonky little triangle of land where 377 & 424 converge in Crossroads, Texas. Their sign faces 377, but I always approach it from 424, so I never saw the sign. Both Heather and Sarah from Paul Taylor's said this was the place to come for a wide bit without spending a fortune.

I was greeted by Bill Ambrosich and his cute little dog, Elli. Bill didn't even look at me funny when I told him I ride Western but was shopping for a bit in an English tack shop. Points for that, Bill! He was very helpful. This is not a huge shop, but it's the only one I have visited that had any 5.5" wide bits -- and they actually had several from which to choose. I picked three that looked good then called Heather and bought the one she suggested. And it was only $30! Man, what's not to like about that!

I cannot tell a lie: my knowledge of English tack and garb is pretty basic, but the merchandise seemed varied, nice quality, and reasonably priced. They had these really cool printed, quilted saddle pads (one in a chili pepper pattern) that were fun, as well as some neat clothing.

If you are ever in the area, stop by On The Bit Saddlery, 7500 Hwy. 377, Crossroads, TX 76227, 940-365-3343.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Bit of a Fathead

My horse is a fathead.

No, really.

Poco has a huge, broad head perched atop a thick neck, connected to a body like a beer keg, short but powerful legs with feathers, and enormous feet almost the size of salad plates. DUH, guess there's draft in there somewhere. Heather has a couple Clydesdales and a Belgian, but Poco doesn't resemble them in build, temperament or movement. As soon as I met O (Sugarbush Harley's Classic O), a Percheron, the similarities in build, attitude, and way of going were plain as day. That is an old and not very good pic of O when he was standing in Ohio. Poco is like a smaller, different color version of O.

I don't remember exactly what kind of bit (I don't know the names of all the different kinds) came with Poco's bridle when I bought him, but Heather said it was too narrow. Besides that, he hadn't been ridden in so long, the entire thing was rusted. I threw it away. She had told me way back then he needed at least a 5.5". Meanwhile, Jaz joined us, and 2 more headstalls and bits came with him. Then an old friend who lost her horse sent me a beautiful English headstall with a French link, full cheek bit. Back then, Poco was still pretty unstable and I lacked the confidence, much less the experience, to ride him, so a bit for him was not a priority. When I finally did jump on him every once in awhile (when it was a good day to die), I just used the one Jaz preferred. Poco didn't seem uncomfortable with it, but in retrospect, it was too mild a bit, and, of course, too narrow for him.

He has always resisted the bit, but my inexperience kept me from knowing if it was because of the bit, or if it was a symptom of behavioral issues. That coupled with a set of teeth the vet calls, "Not the worst I've seen, but not great," was the impetus to give the Dr. Cook's bridle a try.

When I bought the Dr. Cook's bridle, it said "fits most." It fit Poco on the very last hole, although as the leather has softened, I have been able to pull it in. The first time I rode Poco using that bridle, I was amazed at how well he responded to it. I would have continued to use it on him -- it's all I ever use on Jaz anymore -- but I need a little more stopping power for Pokey. I tried again using Jazu's bit, which Poco didn't like, then to the Tom Thumb bit of Heather's, which he did seem to like, until it pinched him the other day. While I had him tied, Heather grabbed a couple bits and we again decided he needs at least a 5.5".

I stopped at Paul Taylor's on my way home from work on Thursday and looked through their (literally) hundreds of bits. It was pretty overwhelming. Out of all those, only 2-3 were 5.125"; everything else was 5". They don't carry a lot of English bits, but they probably had 30, none of which was wider than 5." This is Quarter Horse country, and I guess 5" fits most QHs.
Sarah at PTs recommended I either go online or to an English (imagine that) store down the road in Aubrey, TX called On the Bit.

A funny story: When I was looking for a helmet, I went to PT and asked where they were. Anna Taylor gestured offhandedly and said, "We have a couple, but you know, we don't carry a lot of that English stuff." I laughed and said, "What? English riders are the only ones who deserve to have their heads protected?" I think they had maybe 3-4 kid sized helmets.

I went out to Heather's today, not to ride, but just to spend time with the Boyz. I got a tad over zealous cleaning the house yesterday and my back is paying the price today. I'm glad to say Poco was back to his sweet self and there was no sign of the swelling from a few days ago. Heather and I tried a couple more bits on him and she gave me some instruction on how they work and what to look for when choosing a bit for Poco. Maybe tomorrow I'll stop at On the Bit on my way home from work.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Week in Review

Friday, September 12th, was the last time I had been to Heather's, as we readied for the arrival of Hurricane Ike; the day I took the pix of Crash. No disrespect intended to those hard hit by Ike, but we were pretty disappointed. First of all, they kept pushing Ike's ETA back. Originally, we were supposed to start feeling it Friday night, but it was pushed later and later Saturday. We ended up with about a half inch of rain, cloudy skies and cooler temps. We were hoping for more rain for the almost 700 lbs. of seed and fertilizer we threw 3 weeks ago, but we're grateful for what we got. The crows took quite a bit of the seed, but we can see some sprouts of rye grass and oats coming up. Just having the horses off the land for this long has helped tremendously.

Sunday, we went to the earliest showing we could find (10:20am) of "Burn After Reading," the new Coen Brothers movie. If you are a fan, don't miss it.
Although not as good as "Fargo," it is in the same vein. I have not seen "No Country For Old Men" -- way too graphically violent for me. I am okay with the violence if it's buffered with that delicious dark humor Joel and Ethan Coen do so well. You find yourself laughing through the violence. If you are not familiar with their other works and their macabre sense of humor, this movie could leave you wondering what the heck you just watched, so I would not suggest this be your first Coen Brothers outing.

I finally got to Heather's again on Wednesday afternoon after work. I have no idea what was up with my horse, but Poco was an absolute mental mess. He and Jaz came over to the fence to greet me, but it was obvious as soon as I put the halter on that all was not well with my Pokeymon. His breathing was accelerated, his eyes wide. He was distracted, nervous, and jumpy.
They are in a pen adjacent to O, but rather than being intimidated -- not Mr. Proud Cut -- Poco delights in inciting O, so same-as-it-ever-was there. I told Heather right then this was going to be an interesting ride.

Even brushing him and tacking him up, he was a nervous wreck; he seemed hyper-sensitive. Heather came over to help me make sure the tack was okay, but according to Poco, the danger of being eaten was imminent. Now, I've said it many times before, Heather has never laid a hand on him. I have no idea what his problem is with her, although I (and Mike, to a certain extent) am the only one he truly trusts. Walking to the round pen, I thought he was going to jump into my arms. He kept clipping my heels and I had to hold a crop behind me to keep him away from me.

As soon as I got on, he just didn't feel right. Normally, I have to hold him back. Today, he wasn't wanting to move. I got off, we adjusted the tack again and all seemed fine, but it didn't get any better. Heather adjusted the bridle a tad. I got off again, we took the saddle & blanket completely off, checked everything, checked him, and found nothing. Tacked him back up again. By now, Nita had joined us on Doodles, and Poco seemed to settle down when I asked him to follow Doodles. I still felt something wasn't right with him, so I ended the ride sooner than I normally would have.

He was still anxious and jumpy when we got back up to the barn. When I slipped the bridle off, I noticed the right side of his mouth was bright red from being pinched.
We've used this bit before and he liked it! (This was the bit I described in a previous post, although I could not remember what it was called: Tom Thumb.) I felt so bad, but that doesn't explain his overall demeanor. We tried a couple other bits, including Keeley's 5.5" eggbutt snaffle, which was the best fit and the one which seemed most comfortable to him.

I checked him all over again.

Flashback to last spring/summer. Loving on him one day, I noticed Poco had several large swollen areas on his underside. There were maybe 3-4 of them. The largest 2 were about the size of my slightly cupped hand and were on either side just in front of the girth line. I still wasn't really riding him at this time, so I knew it had nothing to do with tack. They didn't seem to bother him at all, but naturally I had the vet come anyway. They did a thorough exam and decided they weren't hematomas, so not from injuries, but possibly some sort of allergic reaction to an unknown histamine. We looked for but couldn't find any bite marks (fire ants, spiders, wasps, snake). DMSO for a week or so and that was that.

Back to the future. I found one on either side of his belly, just in front of the girth line. I suspect they were there before the ride and I overlooked them in my haste to get going. Again, he seemed completely unconcerned with them and let Heather and I poke and prod all we wanted. She, of course, had a tub of DMSO, so I slathered him with some of that. I gave him a tiny bit of grain and put him back with Jaz, whom Jason had moved to a different pen, away from O.

So, Poco is resting or being ridden bareback with the Dr. Cook's bridle until those edemas subside and his mouth is okay. And I'm shopping for a bit, which needs to be a post in and of itself.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Crash (Little Red Corvette)

No, I didn't just total my sports car. Little Red Corvette (Rohrschachs Spots [fewspot Appy] x Lira [TB/Arabian]), barn name Crash, is one of Heather's weanlings that has really caught my eye. Normally, I am attracted to heavier-boned horses, but this little guy is such a looker, and check out the chrome!

Disclaimer: These photos were taken last night, as we hastily haltered the babies to get them in the barn before Ike's arrival. Crash has not been as socialized as some of the older weanlings, so he was doubly leery of me. It was hard getting decent shots because every time I tried to get in close, he'd start moving. The other babies didn't help, nor did their watchful babysitters, the OTTBs, Titan and Diesel. These aren't great pix, but hopefully you will be able to see some of what I see in him

Look at that sweet little head and those lovely long legs!

This is the best shot I could get of Crash's head, believe it or not! I wish you could see his "eyeliner." That lovely girl in front of him is Velvet Equinox (Rohrschachs Spots x Empress Black Velvet). Noxie is more the type build I usually like. She's built like her daddy -- great butt, eh?

Yup, he definitely has Appy characteristics. He's got his daddy's hip and shoulder, but those legs and his color (he will be a blood bay) are from Lira, who is just stunning. If he looks like he's standing on a hill, it's because he is.

Crash will be a gelding, and he is for sale. I wish my land would support another one, but it won't. Besides, the long-suffering Mr. Fry might go postal if I brought another one home. But a girl can dream.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Calm Before the Storm

I had to stop and take this photo, standing on the running board of my truck, on my way home from Heather's. This is the calm before Ike hits tomorrow. Isn't that crazy? We're 400 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and they're calling for sustained winds of 40 mph, with gusts of 55-60 mph, and 6" of rain! This is one BIG ASS storm! I wanted to make the trip to Heather's to see my Boyz, because the whole weekend is supposed to be a mess, and I don't know when I will have the chance to see them again.

When I got there, Heather and Jason were gone and Nita greeted me with the news that one of my favorite of Heather's horses had colicked and had to be euthanized. The vet said she wouldn't have made it through the surgery. Trouble (OK Peppy Page) was a rescue. From what I hear, she was dangerous and pretty crazy when they first got her. When I first started hanging out with the herd, they warned me to stay in front of her shoulder. As time passed, she became downright sweet. I thought she was beautiful and I was looking forward to seeing the 2009 foal she was carrying by Heather's fewspot stallion. She wasn't my horse, but I'll miss her.

Life goes on. We wrangled weanlings to put them in the barn before the winds pick up and Ike gets here. Most of the older ones are fine because they get a lot of socialization, but a couple of the later arrivals didn't quite grasp the concept. It was quite a show. Thankfully, both of the ones I led were pretty good.

With Heather's permission, I took some pix of Crash, which was no easy task, since he's one of the aforementioned that didn't quite grasp the concept. We got him haltered before I took the pix, and I'm sure he thought we were going to something else awful to him with that gray box that clicked and whirred as I held it in front of my face. I took a lot of pix, but I don't know how good they are and don't feel like messing with them right now.

Now, it's a couple glasses of Llano Texas Signature Red and some sushi!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Nod from Tuffy

The Golden Horseshoe Award
My thanks to Tuffy Horse, for this award.
If you haven't seen Tuffy's blog, check it out. It's a fun read.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This 'n That

Déjà Vu
Awhile back -- August 21, to be precise -- I posted a recipe for pinto beans. At the end of the recipe, I told of our favorite way to use the last of the beans -- fried burritos. This was a BIG pot of beans, so we froze some. We thawed them back out on Sunday and gorged ourselves on ... you guessed it.
Oh yeah! Taste so good they'll make ya slap yer granny!
Mother Nature Delivers at Last
We spread almost 700 lbs. of rye grass, oats and fertilizer 2 weeks ago tomorrow. At the time, Gustav was supposed to grace us with rain, but that never happened. We finally got some rain today and have a fairly decent chance of getting some more in the next couple of days (unrelated to Ike yet). Hallefrikkenlujah! I'm anxious to see what ends up sprouting, because this place has been a veritable sea of crows feasting on all that seed.

The Boyz are at Heather's, together in a long pen between the stallion, O (Harley's Classic O), and the fence to the main pasture. This is a great place for them. Several of the mares are in season, and I have to laugh at them pressing their butts up to the fence, peddling their wares. Boy, are they ever barking up the wrong tree! Still, I think the geldings appreciate the gesture. Poco sure enjoys getting O all spun up. O flies at the fence and Poco turns his back and throws a few aerobatic kicks in his general direction. Meanwhile Jaz likes to nicker at the GURLZ, who all think he's pretty cute.

Last two times I was up there, I worked with Poco on the ground. He's usually pretty good on a lead, but lately he's been a little sloppy, crowding me. I saw Clinton Anderson on TV on Saturday working the rudest, most disrespectful horse -- an Arabian -- I've ever seen. I may be a rank amateur, but even I would never have tolerated that animal's lack of manners and respect. He literally lifted his owner up off the ground (at the end of the lead rope) and flung her! Anyhoo, I watched what Clinton did using just a stick, and decided to try it on Pokey. I worked with him about 15-20 minutes one day, then a day or two later, I did it again after I rode him (bareback). The object was to get him to walk beside and slightly behind me on a loose lead (I hope to be able to do it off lead someday), stopping when I stop, backing up when I back up -- mirroring my movements without me directing him. The trick with Pokey is just getting and keeping his attention. I must say, after watching Clinton do it, the whole concept of the stick as an extension of my arm finally sunk in. We did really well, especially the second day. I slid off him in the round pen and we did it a little in there, then a little on the walk back up to his pen. I love it when it works!

Baby Love
Who doesn't love foals? And especially, who can resist baby Appy foals? Even if you're not an Appy fan, how can you resist those speckledy little knuckleheads? Heather's got a pen full! She tried to see if my Boyz would be babysitters, but that didn't work out so well. Although they enjoy playing with the babies through the fence, and didn't try to harm them, my piggies wanted all the food. The two OTTBs are the babysitters, and they take their job seriously, let me tell you! There are a couple of the weanlings that show promise, but one has really caught my eye. His name is Crash (Little Red Corvette) and the more I see this little guy, the more I like him. His mama is a blood bay Arabian named Lira, and his sire is Heather's fewspot Appy stallion. This lucky guy definitely got the very best of each parent. He's got the prettiest little baby doll head, long, lovely legs, that rich blood bay coloring, (all from Lira), plus Spot's gorgeous hip & shoulder, and the most perfect butt blanket you've ever seen. I can't handle another one, but it's nice to dream. I'll ask Heather if I can post his photo.

When I was driving up there the other day, I made myself laugh out loud in the car. I was thinking about Crash and thinking about my horses as cars. Jaz is like your basic Toyota Corolla -- super dependable, nothing flashy, get you where you need to go. Poco is my full size, decadent gas-guzzling Hummer. Think about it: if your horse were a car, what kind would he/she be? Bet you make yourself laugh!

I leave you with his photo, taken Monday morning in McKinney, Texas.
Hasta la vista!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Touch of Grey

"It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it."
-- Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974), British mathematician and biologist

I was kind of surprised, to say the least, when non-horse person Mr. Fry mentioned he had seen a story about the Parelli's on RFD-TV and found it interesting. Coincidentally, sometime in the next few days we were at a store called Vetline in Aubrey, TX, where there were free tickets to see them at the Ft. Worth Coliseum on Saturday, September 27. I scarfed up 6 tickets, enough for Heather, Nita and me, along with however many of our menfolk who wish to accompany us. Mr. Fry indicated he was interested; don't know yet if Jason or Jim will attend.

Like any other teacher/clinician/trainer who claims their methods are the end-all-be-all of horsemanship, the Parelli's have their critics. I'm not a blind follower of any of them, but I do believe I can learn something from all of them. I try to take the mind-boggling amount of equine information out there at face value, with an ample sprinkling of salt.

In a former life, I was married to an addict. What was he addicted to? Not that it matters, but everything. It would actually be easier to name those things to which he wasn't addicted. I loved him, so I did the whole Anon thing. Not only did it help me deal with his addictions, but I learned a great deal about myself. One reason I think 12-Step programs are so successful is their admonition, "Take what you need and leave the rest." They don't try to dictate or regiment people into a rigid set of tenets. This is empowering, and avoids that all-or-nothing mentality where the spiritual baby is at risk for being tossed out with the bath water. I have never felt comfortable within the confines of organized religion or politics, which says you buy off, hook, line and sinker, or you're an infidel, a flip-flopper, or at least a fair weather follower. I'm not saying or condoning that one simply choose a set of beliefs which allows them to act with impunity. I'm also not suggesting one ride the rail of non-commitment. There's right, then there's morally reprehensible or repugnant, and that just is, regardless of the name on the church or the philosophy one espouses.

I used to wonder what was wrong with me that I wasn't able to accept a set of beliefs the way other people in my life seemed to do. I will always be grateful to that 12-Step program for validation. I look at a philosophy, set of beliefs or method of doing something, apply what rings true and set the rest aside. If a time comes when a particular part of my mindset is no longer working, I reevaluate and replace the broken pieces. It's rare that anything has to be discarded in its entirety. I have finally learned to listen to and trust that deepest part of me that lets me know if something is true (empirically), right, valid, or applicable. One of the gifts and compensations of being middle-aged is that I no longer give much thought to what people may think of me. It doesn't bother me one bit if people think I'm a whack job.

The same discernment applies to dealing with my horses. Some of the methods put forth by the Parelli's -- or any other of the famous trainers out there -- ring true and make perfect sense, while others just don't.
It's never right to be unkind, cruel, or negligent. But I'm finding out there are all sorts of ways to get my horses to do what I want them to do. My horses couldn't be more different; some things work fine for one, but not at all with the other. Sometimes I have to start with one way of doing things, then am able to switch to something else as the horses and/or I become more comfortable, confident and capable.

I'm looking forward to learning everything I can from Pat & Linda Parelli.

PS -- I can't get the fonts to work right on this post, for some reason. It seems to have a mind of its own.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fifteen Seconds of Fame

I'd like to thank the Academy -- Liz and Cuz K -- for this award. I will use my new found fame to promote whirled peas and rubber hood. I'll follow the rules this time, but if it happens again, I may have to pull a Brando.

1. The winner can put the logo on her blog. Done
2. Link the person from whom you received your award. Done
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs. Done
4. Put links of those blogs on your blog. Done
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you have nominated. And done!

1. A newbie to the blogosphere, my dear friend Rose
2.& 3. McKinna McHorse and Pandora's Box- At her tender age, she has forgotten more about horses than I can claim to know.
4. & 5. Tuffy & Roxie (don't hear enough from either of them) crack me up
6. Spastic Yellow Filly
7. Molly, Possum, and the scallawag "G" -- Of Horses and Men

Now, I'm going to Disneyland.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gracias, Gustav

The face of Gustav, 400 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. Gracias, Gustav, for the cool breeze and the beautiful sunset. Please bring rain.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Jazu's New Do

"Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas, a hive for bees
A nest for birds, there ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder of my hair ..."
-- Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical

I've tried au natural.

I've tried neatly trimmed.

I even tried sissy braids. God help me, NEVER again!

My little Jazu is such a BOY. He's always just a mess. His skin is very sensitive and despite all my efforts, he rubs his mane and tail on anything and everything. He's allergic to fly bites and gets weals on the top of his tail from the bites. This summer has been especially bad, which was heartbreaking, because his mane and tail had grown so long and beautiful. But he had rubbed his mane to where all the hair was breaking off at the base. You could literally grab handfuls of it and pull it out. Swat and MicroTek spray and shampoo help, but it's proved to be an uphill battle.

The solution?
Roached! Jaz, the burrhead!

Looks like one o' them fancy hunter/jumpers, don't he? I gave serious thought to buzzing the top of his tail, but he has it rubbed so thin, I can easily get down to the skin with the Swat and MicroTek. It will improve as the weather cools and the flies aren't so bad, but it's still one of those chronic conditions with him. At least he doesn't suffer anymore from rain rot or sweet itch or whatever the heck caused him to be flaky all over last year.

Pokey had the day off yesterday and Jaz got worked. I will probably head back up to Heather's today, but am not sure if I will ride or give my ponies a spa day. This middle-aged body is feeling the effects of trying to sit a trot for 4 days straight!
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