Friday, November 25, 2011

Marking Milestones

It was the day after Thanksgiving 2006 when my adventures with horses officially began.
That's the day I brought Poco home.
I had purchased him a month earlier,
but we had fencing to do
before we could bring him here.

I was so lucky to also meet
my wonderful friends and mentors
I'm thankful for them every day.

Jaz joined us in early January of 2007.
Poco was so happy to have a friend.
I was delighted to have a horse I could actually ride.

Although I was already completely smitten and
trying desperately to talk myself out of it in June 2010,
I eventually bowed to the inevitable and
Daltrey came home in October,
when he was 8 months old.
Look how little he was!
(Look how green it was back there!)

 In February of 2011, I made the decision to sell Poco.
It worked out better than I could have hoped,
since his new home is none other than Iron Ridge,
where he gets the snot worked out of him.

Jaz loves being my main man.
It makes my heart sing when he whinnies at my arrival.
I regret every second I took him for granted.

(shown here with Joker's White Russian aka 'Red'),
is growing like crazy, becoming a fine young man.
I'm very proud of him.

It may have taken 49 years for me to get my pony,
but it's never too late.

"Don’t be afraid of the space
between your dreams and reality. 
If you can dream it, you can make it so."
— Belva Davis

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Big Ol' Truck

Big ol' truck
10 feet tall and 10 feet wide
It's a big ol' truck
Here she come again man
— 'Big Ol' Truck by Toby Keith from his 1994 album 'Boomtown'

I got my first horse in 2006, but I didn't get my vintage 70's stock trailer until the following year. I was driving a new Ford Explorer, and Mr. Fry was and still is driving a 2000 Nissan Frontier light truck. I hated the Explorer and have been driving a Nissan Pathfinder since late 2007. It has a back-up camera and I can usually hitch the trailer on the first try.

Both Nissans will pull the trailer and 2 horses, but with only 6 cylinders, you wouldn't want to do it very far. I don't trailer them anywhere else except back and forth to the farm (about a 15-min. ride) and the vet (a little over a mile) but even less now that the Boyz are living at the farm. 

We both commute 40+ miles to our jobs, so gas mileage has to be a consideration in our choice of everyday vehicles. Another consideration is a good, sturdy vehicle that can handle highway speed and is heavy enough to offer some protection in the event of a mishap. The Nissans have served us well in their dual duties, but we have been wanting a heavier duty truck for a long time. Until a couple months ago, the economy had put the kabosh on that because even though the Nissans are both paid for, we couldn't take on a car payment. We also wanted to keep our other vehicles, so no trade-in.

Then Mr. Fry went online and found this in San Antonio. And the price was right.

It's a 2005 V-8 Chevy Silverado in pristine condition inside and out. We think it was owned by a young Texas stud muffin for a number of reasons, including a kick-ass stereo and an after-market satellite radio. It also has a nice bed liner and a diamond tread finish tool box. It's a long way up for me.

It's easy to get going way faster than you should, especially with that stereo cranked. Mr. Fry and I have a bet: first one to get a speeding ticket in it has to buy the other one dinner. I plan on being at the receiving end of that wager.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Paybacks for Summer Heat

Today was the kind of day for which we Texans cling to hope while in the throes of triple-digit summers: beautiful blue skies, friendly, fluffy clouds, a light breeze and temps in the low 80s. Almost Thanksgiving and here we were in jeans and tees. I freakin' love it.

Jaz has been such a good sport as he teaches me to canter, but I know he's bored with the arena. So today the first part of our ride was in what we call the house pen at the farm. It's usually where the geldings and newbies are kept, but today, everybody was elsewhere. The last time we tried to ride this pasture, the cracks in the earth were dangerously deep from the drought, but today it was in fairly good shape except for a few holes, which were clearly visible. We even did a few strides of cantering while out there. It kind of scares me a little outside the arena because Jaz is ungraceful on his best day, and he's seriously overdue for a trim, so he's already kind of tripping over his own feet. Heather's been having trouble getting on Jon's schedule.

Heather rode the amazonian Midnight the Percheron, Sarah rode Nita's App mare Ishka, and Kris rode her Saddlebred Voodoo. Kris was trying new headgear on Voodoo, so she stayed in the arena, and we joined them after awhile. They all make me smile, because they kept making me canter some more because they "missed that time." Right. We're still only going about a half dozen steps at a time, we're just doing it more often. Although my seat feels secure, I'm still not getting the cuing or steering thing consistently, but we're getting better. And, most importantly, I'm having a great time.

The new baby boy at the farm is adorable. If you haven't read about Joker's White Russian (Red), do be sure to catch up on Heather's blog. He is two months younger than Daltrey and makes my baby moose look positively petite. Daltrey is enjoying having a boy his own age that also doesn't understand what the big deal is about running. That said, after our ride, I put Daltrey, Jaz and Red in the arena and got them going, which was a lot of fun to watch. Poor Red is seriously out of shape, if in fact he ever was in shape.

The perfect ending to a perfect afternoon was sitting in the driveway, catching rays and drinking beer with Mr. Fry.

What's shakin' with y'all?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Me Upon My Pony

No boat.

The weather has been crisp and cool with a enough rain to elicit hope, but that's about all you can say. I will never complain about rain again. I will gratefully accept having any and all plans called because of rain. Many people I've talked to have reached the same conclusion we have: the land will not fully recover from the drought without human intervention. I'm glad the horses aren't here or it would be a catastrophe. Mr. Fry planted a ton of grass, but it's not the lush winter carpet we were hoping for.

Jaz is still teaching me to canter. Thank goodness he's a great teacher and I am teachable. Last time I rode, we cantered the length of the arena, the farthest yet. It's still such a rush for me, I'm trembling when we stop. I am finding the experience similar to when we trotted in that I can't really think about much else yet besides staying on, so it's not pretty. Jaz has finally decided I really do mean it when I ask for it, but works very hard to keep me up there. I love that horse.

With the cold snap comes a touch of worry for my delicate grey flower, who doesn't tolerate sudden drops in temperature well. Poco was still here last winter and tore Jaz's blanket (for about the zillionth time) to the point where I'm going to seek professional help to fix it. (BTW, Poco's blanket remains pristine even after all these years.) Those blankets were inexpensive 400 denier Paul Taylor specials. While fine for most, Jaz needs something warmer, although I will keep the old one, which will fit Daltrey in no time ... well, for a day or so, at least.
I decided on this one, which is 1200 denier and waterproof, and even came with a storage bag. Red is Jaz's new color. Daltrey's is blue to match those amazing eyes, but he gets hand-me-downs until he stops growing.

Daltrey is doing great, growing like the proverbial weed and acting for all the world like a doofy, snotty two-year old. We continue to work on the basics. I had ordered a John Lyon's book of baby training exercises, but Amazon canceled it due to supplier issues. Well, dang. Guess I'll continue to make this up as I go.

I hope y'all (and your ponies) are staying warm, having fun, staying safe. What's everybody up to these days?
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