Tuesday, June 14, 2011

400th Post Giveaway!

Yes, it's milestone time again!

To Enter
Leave a comment on this post and tell me:
  • Western, English, both, or neither?
  • Bling or Plain Jane?
  • Modern/contemporary or vintage/retro?
  • What size T-shirt do you wear?
  • Favorite color for you and your horse?
Don't be shy, everyone loves a giveaway. It's also okay if you are a previous winner.

Names will be placed in the pink hat and the winner drawn in a few weeks. (I'm feeling noncommittal.)

If you're the winner, I'll choose your prize based on your answer to one or more of the questions.
I'll announce the winner and your prize as soon as I have time to shop, and you can email me your address.

Meanwhile, I'm taking a blog-cation 'til sometime in July. Catch you 'round the blogosphere, kidz.
Good luck, and thanks for playing!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Earlier, the Better

Got to Iron Ridge a few minutes past 8am. The gate was open, Nita and Heather were feeding, watering, and moving horses around. Who are you people and what have you done with my friends?

It was much better starting earlier. Mother Nature was kind and provided a light breeze, and although the air was warm, at least it was moving.

Jaz was, of course, perfect. He was so relaxed, I actually startled him awake when I put the bit in his mouth. Rough night, I guess. I did a good part of our ride without stirrups, and did better than I thought trotting. Next time, we're riding bareback.

 Jason, Kris, Rachel, Nita

There was so much horse swapping going on, I lost track of exactly who rode which horse(s), but the mount of choice today was the new girl at the farm.
 Who, me?
Yes, you, big girl. This is a Shire/Percheron cross that Heather traded for one of her lighter horses. This photo doesn't really give a good idea of how BIG she is — 16hh+ and approx 2100 lbs. Her head is enormous. She is sweet, well behaved and moves well. She is overweight and needs some muscling. Rachel, Chris (her hub), and Kris rode her and wore her out, so I'll catch her next time. I think we came up with a good name for her, but she's Heather's horse and I'll let her announce it. This girl is definitely a keeper.

After the ride, I hosed Jaz down and let him "mow the yard," and brought Daltrey up with him. Daltrey is super curious and social. He always walks around and says hello to every human, canine, and equine. He walked up the side of the barn and the new girl stuck that big head out. I thought D would jump out of his skin.

Later, they decided to let her out into the herd, which was a non-event. Poco was in love (over the fence), but she blew him off. Ha!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

When You're Hot, You're Hot

Arrived at Iron Ridge at about 9 a.m. today to find not a soul around. Uusally Nita is there doing morning feed and water chores. I took my time unloading my stuff, but no one. Nice barn buddy that I am, I fed and watered all who were in the barn and catch pens, including this sorry specimen:
Yes, that is Notorious P.O.K.O. with those "Children of the Damned" eyes cooling his jets. Phase 1 of his comeuppance has commenced. They tricked him by bringing up his favorite crazy mare for grain. Sucker!

By this time, Heather had come out and I was already so hot, I was shaking. Downed a Gatorade and we grabbed my Boyz, who were being bullied by a certain black mustang who shall remain nameless. He got his heinie booted out in the main pasture, where he promptly began gathering the fragments of P. Loco's harem while Jaz and Daltrey had breakfast.

Jazu stylin' in his new rhythm beads. He seemed to like them, and I didn't need to cluck the proper cadence; he came into it naturally. It's a pleasant sound, and I think he looks quite handsome.
Heather and her old mare Ash getting ready for our ride. It was just we two today. We really started too late and it was way too hot. Jaz was terrific anyway. Just as we had decided it was time to stop, Heather jumped down, threw me her reins, and took off to rescue Nita's filly Ishka, who had somehow cast herself on the fence. She lost a bit of hair on a hind leg, but was okay other than that.

We hosed down our sweaty ponies then let them graze the area outside the barn, joined by Baby D. Hard to believe, but this time next year, I'll start laying across him, getting him used to weight on his back.

Then I got to be a People of WalMart in all my sweaty, groaty glory as I picked up a few groceries to get us through the week. At our WalMart, I fit right in. Nobody batted an eye, but if they were smart, they stepped back a few paces.

Next week, we're starting much earlier. It's that time of year when it'll make you sick if you don't.

Stay tuned: We're just a few posts away from the big 4-0-0, and you know what that means: GIVEAWAY!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mama Knows Best

Long ago, in a small town far, far away, I was a maladjusted Catholic school girl. Although outwardly compliant, I had a passive-aggressive rebellious streak, one of the more amusing and innocuous manifestations of which was my aversion to underwear.

Mom asking me if I was wearing underwear became part of the morning litany with such classics as, “Did you brush your teeth, do you have your lunch,” etc. Sometimes she’d simply lift the back of my uniform to see for herself. If she caught me literally with my pants down, she sent me back upstairs to get some. She always concluded with the admonition that “only bad girls” don’t wear panties. The logical Catholic (is that an oxymoron?) thought progression from there was, “bad girls go to hell,” but I was unable to comprehend the connection between a little strip of fabric and one’s behavior, much less one’s salvation.

Me and my brother Stan circa 1973.
My transfer to the public school system punctuated my mid-teen years, and became the catalyst for my descent into hippiedom, heathenism, and hedonism. Like most fashionable young radicals of the day, I wore jeans so impossibly tight and that rode so low, it was a wonder I could sit in them at all without exposing every bit of my charm. Even the tiniest bikini underwear stuck out the top.

Fast forward to the birth of my son in 1985. I was 33 years old. Mom came for a couple weeks. One day, I was taking care of the baby, and she was gathering up laundry.

She called out from my bedroom, “Where’s your underwear?”

Not grasping the context of the question, I yelled back, “Top drawer.”


She walked into the living room carrying 15 years worth of gift underwear, still in the boxes, some still bearing Christmas tags.

She looked at me, now howling with laughter, and said, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

I said, “It seemed so important to you, I didn’t want to upset you.”

We laughed until we cried, and I never got another gift of underwear.

Fast forward again to the first time I jumped on Jazu in late 2006.


Wearing jeans.


I made a beeline to Wal-Mart.

Fast forward once more to last week, when Mom came to visit. I started a load of laundry, and combined her whites with mine. She got to the dryer first, and I saw momentary confusion on her face, followed by amusement, as she beheld underwear not her own.

I shared my epiphany, and once again, we laughed so hard, we cried.

Mama really does know best, and did so all along.
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