Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween and a few ghost stories

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope your day is a little better than mine, although I can't really say it's totally bad. I'm off work because my Little One is sick and was up last night throwing up. He seems to be a little better, but he's still pretty toasty feeling. I myself feel ok, but my stomach is a little off as well. I hope to feel a little better by 6 tonight though!! Don't want Little One to not be able to dress up in his little cowboy outfit. I will definitely post pictures of them dressed up.

Here are my spooky stories. I wrote of two stories that happened with my grandma over at Mrs. Mom's website as comments on one of her ghostly posts. My experiences have only happened at the house we live in. The gentleman that lived here before us, willed the house to my dad and the guy actually died in the bedroom where my boys sleep. Does that freak us out? Not really. I don't think he's haunting us or anything either. We have just had some strange occurrences. When my boys were little and still in the crib, we had a little toy that strapped to the side that they could play with. If they rolled a roller the little colors around the mirror would light up. If they pushed the little rubber bubble things the music would light up. Thankfully it had an on/off switch because it could be totally annoying sometimes. We would usually only turn it on if the boys woke up in the middle of the night, that way they could amuse themselves until they went back to sleep, and we could still sleep as well. Well, one night I awoke to the music of that darn toy playing. I was thirsty so I figured I'd get up and check on him and then get a drink. When I went into their room, the toy was playing music and the little lights were all flashing, but my boy was sound asleep. I thought strange, but maybe a heavy truck went by and jiggled it enough to make it turn on. So since boy was sleeping, I reached up behind the thing to turn it off. Guess what? It was off already. lol So I quickly ripped it off the crib and yanked the batteries off and into the box it went. When I gave my brother a little box of baby toys when he had his little girl, he kindly declined to take the "possessed" toy with the rest. lol

Another little spooking we had was when my Little One was about 3 years old. He was playing in the living room that has both a little end table lamp and an overhead lamp with a ceiling fan on it. The overhead light and fan are turned on either by the switch on the wall or by the pull chain. If the wall switch is off, it will not turn on by the chain. So, one day as he was playing in the living room, he was throwing the couch pillow up in the air and catching it. We were in our bedroom which is right off the living room and we heard the pull chain click. We looked at each other and then looked out in the room and Little One looked back in at us and looked up with a quizzical look on his face. the light was off, but the switch on the wall was on. Which means the light had to have been turned off by the pull chain. He was oh, about 3 feet short of being able to reach the chain, so definitely not him. He was the only one in the living room and we all heard the chain. Very strange.

The last little spooky bit I'll leave you with is just the other day. I personally didn't experience this one, but hubby did and he wouldn't lie about something happening. At least I hope not :) He told me that he was in the bathroom on the can, reading a magazine when he saw the shower curtain moving out of the corner of his eye. I said oh well, it's probably just the air coming in through the vent. He said that's what he thought, but when he looked up at it directly, (I'll try to explain it like he showed me) it was moving like someone was behind it poking it with their fingers. There were a bunch of little spots that were poking out. I asked if he looked behind it, but he said no because it was 1/2 way open anyhow and obviously there was no one there. I'm not scared to go to the bathroom now, nope. lol

So, happy haunting and if you give out candy where you are, no tricks, only treats!! and if you don't, then by all means, happy tricking.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Book Tag!!

I got tagged so I guess I'm really getting involved in the blogging community and I will say, it is very fun!

cdncowgirl over at (Not Quite) Home on the Range tagged me to play "Book Tag". I'm an avid reader and always have been. My favorite book books are yes, I admit it, smutty romance novels. I grew up with my mom constantly engrossed in them and she was always laughing. I often find they are more funny than risque, but entertaining none the less. For other reading materials, I love Horse Illustrated magazine, horse care and training manuals of any kind, Reader's Digest and Redbook.

The rules of the Book Tag are as follows:

1)Grab the nearest book
2)Open the book to page 56
3)Find the fifth sentence
4)Post the text of the next two to five sentences
5)Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book or the intellectual one,Pick the Closest
6)Tag five people to do the same.

Unfortunately for you all, I'm at work. The book I am closest to is either the phone book or the New York Public Library Desk Reference book. So you will get an intellectual lesson today, but I didn't purposely dig for it. I figure you won't be too interested in someones name, address and phone number. Unless of course you want to call for a good time ;)

Ok. Flipping to page 56......we are in the chapter of The Animal World. Which is actually kind of neat if it wasn't about bugs and crustaceans. The 5th sentence reads: (under the category of Arthropods) "Among the animals in this group are spiders, horseshoe crabs, crustaceans, insects and centipedes." Well, at least there was SOMETHING horse in there!!! lol

Step 4 says to post the next 2-5 sentences soooo......(now under the category of Coelenterates) "Mostly marine invertebrates, coelenterates have three-layered body walls, tentacles, primitive nervous systems, and special stinger cells to protect themselves. Animals in this group include jellyfish, sea anemones, and corals." I'll do the minimum required two sentences as if I continue on, you will also be learning about Echinoderms, which I'm sure you'd love as well as coelenterates. Was someone in the blog world interested in marine biology?? For some reason that sounds familiar.

Rule 6 says to tag 5 people, so I tag: (pardon the link things if they didn't work because I'm still learning and not sure I got them right, lol)
Mrs. Mom at Oh HorseFeathers!Daily Journal, who kindly got me started in this fun little blogging escapade; BrownEyed Cowgirl because she's so interesting with her knowledge of supplements and chiropractics; Many Misadventures of McKinna McHorse because I really like her blog and it's fun to read about her riding; Training Badges Blues N Jazz because her mare is a little spazzy like mine and she rescued a neat guy that hopefully will lead a much better life; and to Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind because her blog is so awesome and I live vicariously through it and I like hearing of her cool times and old things and her dogs.

Have fun!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blah Weather and Blah Sharing the Arenas

So I don't know where everyone else is really, but is the weather as crappy by you as it is here in northwest Ohio?? It's getting cold and really windy. (thankfully Halloween is supposed to be like 65 during the day) We are to the point now where we say "ohhhh, 50 degrees?? T-SHIRT weather!!" lol. I hate spring and fall because when we have the drastic weather changes, I get sinus and allergy problems. You know, where you get the post nasal drip, sore throat, foggy head and achy body that makes you want to just go home, drink a bottle of NyQuil (blecht) and jump right into nicely warmed bed with the electric blanket? Too bad my electric blanket couldn't have a timer on it like our old air conditioner did. Wouldn't that be the bomb? I know, I know, and wouldn't it be nice to have a chauffeur, a chef and a maid too, right? lol Another week and I'll be over this yucky feeling. Little one hasn't been feeling the greatest either and had a 100.7 degree temperature yesterday. He wasn't himself so I gave him a little bit of infant Tylenol. He looooves the pink stuff and actually wanted more! I think I have a little druggie on my hands. Aren't they supposed to HATE anything that follows the word medicine? Where did I go wrong? They like baths too. Weird little kids. He ended up in bed with us last night because HE wasn't sleeping well. I now have bruised ribs. He's fun to cuddle with while he's awake though.

Than only good thing that I can think of about this cold nasty weather, well two things really, are that A) if we make it out to the barn when it's still light out, no one likes to ride outside in the cold or wind, so we get the WHOLE outside arena to ourselves. yay!! Budle up in a few layers of clothes and you're good to go. And the b.o. just turned it all up so it's nice and soft. My mare's a little crazy and spooky, but she's been doing surprisingly well outside with the cold, wind and even riding into the night. There are no lights out there, but I heard that horses can see pretty darn well in the dark as long as it's a gradual transition from day to night, not just walking from a lighted barn to the dark night. And the other thing I like about it being cold and miserable out is B) less other people like it out there and don't come out to ride, so the indoor arena isn't packed. Last winter we had the indoor almost all to ourselves the whole winter. I don't know if that's going to happen this year since there's the two ding dong's who lunge to no end and they seem to come out more often than they did last year since they have each other to spur each other on. We'll see. We try to establish some sort of pattern of going out when we know there isn't going to be anyone there, but so far they are pretty sporadic when THEY go out, so no patterns. Yet. Hopefully that will change as the mercury drops.

That's probably the thing that stinks most about boarding. Lack of space when you get a surge of people wanting to ride all at the same time. What do you? Everyone wants to exercise and ride, but there's only so much room. And the two ding dongs and their lunging, that takes up 1/2 the arena. You can't say anything because they are butt kissers to the b.o. All you want is a little common courtesy. Oh well. At least our horses are well cared for. I guess that's the best you can ask for. Some day we will be able to look out our window and watch the girls (or whatever we have at that point in time) grazing. Oh yeah, a funny thing on Sunday. There are only 3 mares in the barn (and 9 geldings). They are all stalled next to each other in the same isle of the barn. We call it estrogen alley :) (like Stallion Avenue at Congress) We own two mares and another nice gal owns the third. She came out to ride Sunday and we were all giggling about it being girls night out since no one else was there. So when one of the ding dongs came out and was going to lunge her gelding, we told her good luck because it was too hormonal in the arena for her horse to focus. lol. She held off until we were done. We might have to arrange that to happen more often. muahaha.

Have a good day and hope your area is still having nice weather.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mrs. Mom for the award she passed on to me from her Oh Horsefeathers & Related Twisted Tails blog for liking my new blog. I appreciate that someone likes what I have to say :), even if sometimes it may not be too interesting or always horse related. Horses are my life (well extracurricular life anyhow) and I love to anything to do with them. I have more stories about our other horses and my crazy girl (Sassie, that is nicknamed Jelly Bean) coming up so I hope you all enjoy everything that I write about as it is what goes through my wacky and wonderous mind. I will someday pass on the award if/when I get more readers :)

Monday, October 27, 2008


Yay, finally got to go to All American Quarter Horse Congress again this year!! I've been there twice, and neither time was great because of who we were with. The first time was 8 years ago and my hubby (who was fiance at the time) and I went with a gal and her mom that we knew from the bar. Well, this girl had troubles attracting guys without the help of other gals (in comes my purpose), so she was making my hubby very mad when she kept telling him to go someplace else (when we were shopping and watching events) and to sit someplace else (when we went to the bar) and she even went so far as to invite some random dude back to our hotel!!! So yeah, that was not a fun time. Then we went again 2 years ago and we went with a lady and younger girl that we knew from the barn we had been boarding at. Well, all they wanted to do was shop because they had just gotten their new horse. That was fine and dandy because I know they were so excited, but they would NOT let my hubby and I go watch any events!! They kept dragging us back and forth to the SAME stores over and over all day long. We kept saying we'd just meet up when they were done, but they kept wanting our opinion on colors and types of tack. It was sooo annoying. So this year, we made plans to go without anyone else, but had our adorable little rug rats with us. These little kids eat to no end. You know how expensive Congress food is?? It's like going to the fair x's 2. Totally ridiculous. So they pretty much just ate all the cash we took.

Since my hubby just went back to work after his hernia and gallbladder removal surgeries, we were a little low on spending money so we went down with a little list of what we were going to look for deals on. I will say that we did pretty good on spending. We even got to see some events which was a miracle considering we got there later than we intended on AND everyone was packing up everything AND the events got over earlier as it was the last day. We finally got a cordless trimmer we've been wanting, we got the little buddy stirrup straps for my Little One (he can't reach the stirrups in the kid saddle, he's only 4), a rope for him and Older One to start practicing with, little fly bonnets thingies (which my horses will probably hate and were probably a waste of money) and a new set of reins. Oh yeah, and I got a new halter for my mare, it's black with the pink breast cancer ribbons all over it. Oh yeah, and two belts for the little boys. I think that was about it. lol All in all, we got some decent deals. There were more deals this time than last time we went, but not as many as the first year we went. The (nice western leather) belts were 50% off. The buddy stirrup strap and the reins were 20% off. So I don't think we got too bad of a deal on those. I was happy.

Before Congress, we went out to the barn on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Friday was a pick stalls and leave night because it was kind of late and the ding dongs were out there. Ding dongs are what I call two of our fellow boarders. The first set of ding dongs is a woman who has a horse with her daughter. It's supposed to be the daughter's horse (she's 12ish), but she's scared shitless of it. She will lunge that thing until SHE is tired of spinning in circles. The horse does not tire and it's pointless for her to lunge him like she does. There have been instances where the girl has free lunged the horse (aka chasing it around and just running the crap out of him) in the outdoor arena for 45 min, THEN the mom will get on and ride including loping for about 1/2 hour, then the girl will STILL lunge the horse AGAIN for like 15 min before she gets on him. Tell me now, what is the point of having a horse like that?? I was tentative about my horse, but I still got on and did what I had to do. And they have the nerve to call MY horse crazy?? lol. Jokes on them. Anyhow, she was lunging her horse and the indoor arena is just too small for too much activity. The other ding dong, who normally ends up out there with the first ding dongs, is a boarder who had a nice older horse (about 17), but just got rid of him for a 4 year old horse that's never been to a show (and she wanted a younger horse for showing). She too is about 12ish and feels the need to lunge the poor horse to death. She's not quite as bad as the first though. With two little girls who are afraid of their horses and HAVING to lunge the crap out of their horses, usually wanting to do it at the same time, it's a little difficult to ride my more high spirited horse because she sees someone loping, she wants to kick up her heels and have fun too. Or it just scares her because she thinks their scared and running from some unknown monster she doesn't see. I'm not really sure what goes through her little head. But she gets a little jumpy.

So Friday was a muck night and we were hoping to catch the barn empty on Saturday and we did. Yay for us. Just as we were finishing up, they started wandering in so we thought it a good time to finish. The boys both got to ride. Older One is actually starting to get the hang of it. He's not hanging on the poor old girls mouth and he's starting to use his legs more for steering. That was the first time neither my husband or I walked around (the horse will follow us regardless of what rider is trying to do) with him. He done good :) Then it was Little One's turn. He has no clue what he's doing since he's only 4, but we are steadily working on changing that. It's never helped that his feet hang loose because even with the stirrups on the highest notch, he still can't keep his feet in them. But with this weekend's purchase of the little buddy stirrups, that shouldn't be a problem anymore. yay! :) So with his feet having a place, we will now teach him some steering. They like to go fast, but thankfully the old girl doesn't, so she won't take off if they decide to try to kick a little too much. I think we will put him on the lunge line with her for a few lessons so that he can get a feel for some balance and feel more comfortable with her movements and his commands. He doesn't hold onto the horn, but he rests his hands on it. He's got lots of time, he's young. Older One is 7 though, and I think he needs to get a move on. We bought them a little rope to practice with. It would be so cute if they were both still interested in horses when they were old enough to team rope :)) I would be in 7th Heaven. That's my dream, that they stay interested in horses like their daddy and me. :)

That's all for now. Have a good night :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Open mouth, insert foot

There's a saying on FHOTD that she says sometimes when people should just stop talking. I think I need to take her advice of "just because you think it, doesn't mean it should come out of your mouth." Or something to that extent. While obvious advice, why is that SO hard? Most of us do it occasionally, but I think I do more than my fair share. Why?? I have lost my self control.

I had always been a pretty shy and quiet girl growing up. I wasn't really part of any cliques in school. I was in band (hehe, I know, band geek) and French Club, but I really didn't have any group that I fit into to be labeled as something, like jock or goth or whatever. I was just kind of there. A wall flower. I dated a guy once, who was first a really good friend and it was just too weird to date so we broke up and stayed friends, who said it's the quiet ones you have to watch out for. I'll admit back in my karate days I could brag about that one, lol. But I was nothing to admire. I was always in awe of my mom because she always seemed super popular to me. She had so many friends and just knew people everywhere we went. She was super outgoing and volunteered for everything and everyone liked her. She passed away when I was 15 and I think I didn't have enough time to learn from her. As an example of how popular she was, the funeral procession was over a mile and 1/2 long. They didn't have enough flags. Everyone thinks yeah, yeah a mile long, they're all that long. Not so. Drive and see how long a mile really is. When you're going 60 miles an hour down the expressway, it takes a full looooong minute to get by the procession. I'm proud of that, but anyhow, I think I didn't have enough time to learn everything I needed to know to be my own person.

I learned this and came into my own by working at......TARGET!!! My first job was an oriental fast food place where they walked all over me. I swear I was making $4.75 an hour and working 60 hours a week at age 15, and somehow I still only made like $3,000 my first year. lol But there, I worked hard and good, but they trampled all over me. They used and abused my willingness to please and I got nothing but a couple bucks in my pocket. When I saw Target was hiring for....$6.75 an hour (lol, thinking I'd get rich), I quit that stinking fast food place where my car and I both permanently smelled from, and started working as a stock person at Target. And let me tell you, these women that worked at Target, WOW. They were full of themselves and I totally idolized them. They didn't take nothing from nobody. They were big, luscious, hearty, bold, (mostly hick) in your face women. They spoke their mind. When I started there, no one really talked to me. Finally one lady in the department that I was working in began talking to me and finding out stuff, we became friends. Once I became friends with her, everyone started talking to me more. I took some crap from some of the boys there at first and just kind of hid or stayed quiet when they were around, even though looking back, maybe it was really flirting, lol. Most of the women there were maybe mid 40's-ish, give or take 10 years on some. I was around 19. The boys that worked there were my age or a tad older. I never really had a lot of interaction with these types of boys. They were kind of wild, in your face too and not shy about anything. Once I started hanging around with these women, I started figuring out that if you want something, or don't want something or who cares if you do or don't, if you want to say something or have something to say, you should just say it!! No messing around with them. I started becoming like them and it felt GREAT. When I first started speaking my mind, I think some of the guys were a little taken back and looked at me in a new light. We started mingling then and I was included in their little group. It was great. I was unleashing about everything, on everything, on everyone and to everyone.

As I got older and began to enter the professional field, I had to learn how to restrain that free for all feeling. It was running wild and taking over me. Now, here almost 10 years later, I am realizing I must not have a grip on it still. My boss drives me insane sometimes. He likes to try to be all philosophical (if that's a word) and try to analyze your every thought. He tries to get you to say things so that he can use them against you, constantly, and he knows I will fall into his trap all the time. I will admit our atmosphere here at my work is more relaxed than a lot of law offices. We are very personal and some people actually tell me what happens here sometimes boarders on harassment. I could care less, I hold my own and just don't care. I'm not uncomfortable or bothered. But I opened mouth and inserted foot many times in the past 5 years. Being so personal almost makes it feel like family/friend type relationships instead of "I'm your boss, I sign your paycheck, you better respect me and do what I say" type relationship like it should be. I argue way too much for my own good. I talk back. I roll my eyes and talk smack about one boss to the other all the time. BUT, I always do my work and it's ALWAYS good. I made my main boss admit that :) I also turned this place around when I started. He was so disorganized and had no sense of process, so I organized everything and made up procedures to follow. So much to the point that he tells me now I micromanage everything and to stop. Sorry, can't stop a perfectionist once you've given her so much power. lol. So I ask, what's the problem? If I'm doing my job and it's right and good, why should I get reprimanded for being "moody" or "grumpy?" And then when I (stupidly) say that I'm just a product of my environment, I get "the look." lol. I don't even think my dad ever gave me that look in all I said and did to him.

How do I get myself over myself? For lack of a better way of saying it. How do I gain some self control when I've been flapping at the jaws at will for so long? How do I make my brain reconnect with my mouth so that I know when to just shut it? Ahhh, life's lessons. Hopefully I learn before it turns around to kick me in the butt.

Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin' is to knowin' what to throw away, and knowing what to keep.... You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run........

Have a good weekend :))

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I have been having a certain thought a lot lately. One of my better "friends" seems to be having it a lot recently too. Does our perception of what a real friend is change as we get older? Who are our "real" friends? I know as we get older our needs (I'm fighting to not use "" around all these words, lol) change and so do our personalities, so it's probably natural that friends we had as we were younger probably either outgrow us or we outgrow them.

Here's what I am talking about. It seems to me that I have no real true honest friends as I thought the term friend meant. I don't have someone that I can lean on any time I need anything and talk to about everything. I suppose my husband is my only real friend, but then he kind of has to be, lol. Anymore, to me the term friend seems to mean an acquaintance that you can tolerate and that you have anything in common with. A common interest or a hobby or heck, even something as minuet as how many siblings you have. I am talking about this now because a recently acquired "friend" has been down and a little depressed about how she has no real friends and actually thinks of my husband and I as the most normal (HAHA, you can tell she doesn't really know us yet) and friendly people she knows. She is having trouble with people asking her for everything and expecting her to do stuff, but then getting mad if she can't or won't for any reason at all, even good reasons, as if she had to have one to begin with. Or she gives and gives to them, but the first time she's in a pinch and needs something, no one is around. They just treat her like crap. It's sad really. But then I think about my situation. I have a few closer acquaintances who I think I care about, but really we never talk or hang out. After having kids and getting married, it seems they are even sparser (is that a word?) yet. We have no one to change babysitting duties with to have a date night. I don't have anyone that I just call up and say hey, how's it going, how's your life? Of course, I suppose I could at any time just do that, call them up. One of my "friends" seems to like to make arrangements with me and then something inevitably comes up (or should I say something better comes up) and we have to reschedule. Well, I made a rule for myself that after three reschedules, if they are not on my part, I kind of give up. It's obvious that whatever it is we are trying to do isn't important to them or they just aren't really wanting to do something and just keep trying for my benefit.

But then I wonder if it's me. Maybe I'M the one who isn't being a good friend. I'll ask sometimes when someone is sick how they are feeling, but do I really care? Honestly? Not always. And sometimes I hate to ask in case they actually do want to talk. If it's serious enough, yeah, I do care. But sometimes I just find it difficult to actually care when someone has migraines (or whatever ailment) and has to call off work twice a month. Obviously they are not dying from these or they would be going to the doctor to get it under control or fixed. So I stop asking. Then I seem like a horrible person when the same someone asks me how I'm doing after a day off, even if I wasn't off sick. So do you gain "friends" by being phony and just going through the motions of caring? And if so, are they really friends?

I realize this post makes me sound like a mean, uncaring, drab person, but I'm really not. I really do initially care when people are sick or hurt or something happens to someone in their family or when they get a new job/car/house/kid. And if someone asks me to help them move/feed animals/house sit/babysit, I will say yes. Unless I'm going to be gone of course. But even if I have something planned, I will still make arrangements to do whatever it is they need. I have two friends, who I've known for a long time, who keep asking to go out to lunch. Each and every time I tell them I'd love to, and that I work every single week of my life M-F, 8-5, and to tell me when THEY have time for lunch and we'll go. Then I never hear from them. Every time. Then they claim I didn't get back with them. Uh, I do believe every time you I ask I tell you what my schedule's like and to tell me when's good for you, but whatever. I want to ask them why bother asking me because it's obviously on their end that something isn't connecting, but yet I keep saying yes and I keep not hearing anything. When do you give up trying to be someone's friend. I kind of do, but then they contact me again and again I try to make some sort of relationship with them work. Can you be friends with someone who is just there? You don't really talk, you don't go anywhere, you don't.......relate anymore.

On the flip side, I have "friends" on internet space, like people I converse with on blogs and read about their lives. My little email group started getting together (through emails) about 2 1/2 - 3 years ago. It's interesting because we all were getting online to play a t.v. trivia game and we started collecting each other's email addresses so that we could contact one another to play with the online game at the same times. Then the game became defunct, I'd say about 2 years ago, and here we are still conversing almost every day on email about tv, politics, sending jokes and whatever else floats our boats. We are a really diverse group ranging in ages like 29ish (I'm one of the youngest) to I'd say mid 60's. Men and women. Single and married people. People with kids, people with grand kids, people without either. I'm actually close enough with a few of them to talk about really personal things. I'm almost closer to them than I am with my real life "friends." It's one of my many wonders.

So to all my "friends" in the world (real life and internet), I really do care about you (usually) and as I try to do, try to make it work if you really want to be friends. And to my friend that is down about her own "friends," don't give up, it will either get better, they will just fade away and you will make new friends or they will realize how crappy they are being to you and will clean up their act. I hope I am being a good friend to everyone.

And by the way.....
American Heritage Dictionary states that a friend is:
A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or
movement: friends of the clean air movement.
So I guess everyone I've described in this blog actually ARE friends.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My horses, Part 1, Sassie

I am going to say a little about what's going on with her too at the end, but we'll start about my mare, Sassie. (that is her above and also her pretty side in my little avatar) (and I can't get my spacing to change right, so I'm sorry about that too, lol)
Registered name, Sonny's Hot and Sassie. My mare is 7 years old. She is exactly 2 months older than my son. I know they say all horses birthdays are on the first of January every year, but it's hard to say that when it says on their registration their exact date of birth. Anyhow, she's 7 and for the first two years of her life she was kept in a stall. Not getting taken out for any reason at all. No exercise, not to clean stalls, not to be groomed (if that even ever happened), nothing. I take that back, and I'll explain in a sec. Unfortunately we knew the owner personally. Instead of actually cleaning out her stall, he would open the door, empty a bag of shavings or two on top of the dirty stuff and slam the door shut. My husband helped him clean out the stall one time, and hubby claims it was the only time that stall was probably ever cleaned, and it took them two hours to just dig it out! When they fed her, they would dump the grain through a little opening in the one part of the stall and they would throw hay over the top because they were "scared" of her. Hardly any human contact. When he did take her out, as I mentioned above, it was to "break" her. That meant that he tried the old barbaric way of tying her to a post and trying to beat her into submission. She was deathly afraid of him and even after we took over her, if he came in, she would get really worked up and you could see fear in her eyes.

Along came us. I'm not saying we are her savior or anything, but her life is definitely much better. I'm sure anything would have been. We got her about 5 years ago because we were painting at the riding center. To explain, our friend came from a very affluent family. They owned their own business, the whole family was employed there, and they also owned this therapeutic riding center which also boarded horses. And they show Tennessee Walking Horses. Our "friend" had two horses (both registered paints, the other one was Remington, RIP, and I'll talk about him in another post) that his mother had bought him that he was going to "break and train" to do god knows what. Well, the riding center needed the carpets cleaned and some painting so my husband busted his butt after working all day and on the weekends to do it. The son, our friend was tired of his horses (he didn't know how to actually train them) and knew we had wanted horses, and we had actually kind of started taking over their care anyhow, by cleaning the stalls. His mom couldn't pay us with cash, so she said she asked if we wanted the horses, she would just give us them and we could call it even. YAY!! Free horses, right?? Wrong!! lol. The mare was super crazy. You could not touch her. You could not lead her without her blowing up. You could not do anything. The more I cleaned her stall, the more comfortable she got with me because I would talk to her quietly and not really throw myself at her. She was very curious and would eventually come over and sniff at me. She's still curious to this day. When my husband would try to clean her stall, she would pin him in the corner and face her rear end at him. He wasn't too keen on that, so he usually let me clean the stall. I guess you could say we bonded. She did not like men. It took her forever to let my husband do anything with her at all.
We had her about 2 1/2 years and just kind of let her be. We went out and cleaned her stall, turned her out to run and play, groomed her (in her stall) and just interacted in general with her.
After 2 1/2 years my husband was like ok, we love her but we can't just let her sit here. Her friend Remington had already died and we had adopted Chip (again, his story will come later) and I had been riding Chip, but we needed to do something with her. I sent her over to my old trainer that I had lessons with because she always seemed really good with horses. She said yep, we'll get her done. Well, two months and $800 later (and really only one month of training), the trainer was moving and all my horse had learned to do was lunge. When they had tried to put a bareback pad on her, she took and ran right into the end of the arena and had a stifle injury, a HUGE hematoma. How the HECK does that happen??? So we ended up taking her home and the only thing we could do was lunge. She lunged beautifully, but that's all we could do.
Then she had about a year of rest (and lunging for exercise and practice voice commands). We had a friend who was 1/2 Indian (I only point that out that because she was AMAZING with horses and was just natural, they did whatever she asked them to do, like a horse whisperer, lol) and we employed her to help train my girl. After about three months of training three days a week, we had gotten her to the point where we could touch and groom her in cross ties, walk her without her jumping on you, got her saddled AND to the point where we could sit on her. I could sit on her for hours and she wouldn't flinch. (It would take more than this blog to describe everything about her, so I'll just try to keep it simple for now.) When it came time to actually move with someone on her, the trainer was going to have me hold the lunge line and she was up on her to steer. Well, that day there happened to be a bunch of young girls running their horses around inside and my girl was a little freaky anyhow and she kind of flipped out. We ended the lesson there. That was the last lesson with that trainer as before our next scheduled lesson my girl had gotten kicked in her lower hind legs and had nasty gashes that we had to soak with bleach wraps. That was going to halt lessons for a few weeks. Then the trainer found out she was pregnant. Then we ended up leaving that barn because a bunch of BS that was going on. The next barn didn't have anywhere safe and enclosed, so training didn't go on.
There were lots of things in between, but the third and final trainer started this spring and Sassie was actually broke to ride. The trainer's girlfriend was polishing up another horse at our barn and said she stated she was in no way interested in training the young rank horses anymore, lol, but said her boyfriend might be up for it. He judges at a lot of the quarter horse and open shows. We made arrangements for him to come out to evaluate her. He basically took her out, walked her around the arena and said, well, I don't have much hope and you might want to send her down the road, but that he'd give it a good honest try if we wanted to, he just didn't want to waste our money. He thought she was really skittish and was jumping at nothing, head to the sky, trying to hide her head in his side and was just goofy in general. (This is why the b.o. nick named her Alpo) I would be super guilty if I didn't give her one last good honest try since things had happened at the previous two trainer's to stop her actual training. He said ooooohhhhhh kaayyyyy and we set up our price and frequency and he would come out to our barn, which was a plus. He started lessons and voila, after the first week, he was up and riding her without anyone holding her. It was magical, I was truely in awe. I really wish I had had my camera with me to do a little video of it. I kick myself now of course. He says he wishes I would have got him telling me she would never be ridable or a quiet horse. And now here we are 6 months later and I'm riding her like she's been ridden for years. Ok, that's not totally true, but after 5 years of not riding her, it's a dream come true and I'm so glad I didn't just give up like everyone was telling me to do. I knew deep down there was a good horse in there. It just took lots of time and patience (and $$), but we're there. I hope she will be my forever horse no matter what.
So here's what's going on now. Things have been going good but just recently I've been having problems with her. She's not a bad horse anymore and she has a lot of give, she's not trying to just be a brat, I don't think. I think part of her reason for acting up is that she's out somewhere in her neck or hips. Her and my other mare (named Sis, a rescue, and her story will come later as well) must have been attempting to figure out who was alpha mare in their little herd of three. I don't know if it was an age before beauty type thing (Sis is 23ish, Sas is 7) or what, but both came out with battle scars. lol The third little mare wanted nothing to do with it and just stayed out of the way. Anyhow, one good blow probably did it and I think she's out, because she was good before their fighting started. My husband said her gait is a little off as well and she won't turn or tip just her head to the right. She just turns her whole front body in the direction. Anyhow, with that in mind, I haven't been working her too hard. Last night, with the advice from someone who made comments on mugwump's website about her similar mare, I worked just basically on transitions last night. Just walk to jog, jog to walk, walk to stop, jog to stop, etc. I had found myself to be giving her more or stronger cue's than I probably should have been. Like for walk to jog, I was just squeezing really hard. I went back to what I used to do of just bump bump bump until she started going and then I stopped. I also had her go at each gait for just a little bit of time and then praised big. When she did stop and balk, which is what she started doing recently, I just was persistent with what I was asking, didn't get frustrated or punish her in any way, which I normally don't anyhow. I just kept at what I was trying to do and she would go each time with less and less asking. She did excellent, even with it being cold out and darker. I didn't want to ride inside because a girl with an idiot crazy draft horse was working in there and kicking up too much dust and I know our two feed off each other's craziness. lol. So we stayed outside as it gradually darkened into night. And she did just fine. I decided to hold off on loping until the chiropractor comes out and see what happens then. But it was a good night, I was relaxed and my girl had a good night of riding.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Horses this Weekend and Baptism

My weekend was pretty good, I will admit, although one little irritation that I can't do much about. This will be long, I'm so wordy.

Friday was nice and relaxing. We didn't go anywhere or do anything after work. Just kind of hunkered down and watched some Ghost Whisperer. LOVE that show. I'm a TV hound in my free time, lol. After that was The Ex List, which is cute, but I'm not super into it and I think it will get cancelled. That's ok.

Saturday was the first day of my husband's working Saturdays, and it was farrier day at the barn. I find it very interesting that we are the only boarders out of 8 that actually go to the barn to hold their horse for farrier, dentist and vet. But wouldn't you think people would want to know what is going on with their horse? I ALWAYS ask some kind of (usually goofy) question. Like, is there anything we can do to get my older mare's heels to grow, at all? I like to hear that our horses' hooves are excellent and strong. I like to hear from the dentist that my horse has an extra tooth (every time he comes out) and that's why she's a nut job. Ok, the second part the dentist didn't actually say, but I like to say it's a reason, otherwise we don't have one. lol Well, our old trainer did find it odd that they couldn't find her belly button either, I don't know why or how they were looking..., BUT they claim she was hatched from an egg and THAT is why she's a nut job. Who knows, but I like to know when people find or say something interesting. That has always irritated me with other people just not caring. Especially the ones with difficult horses. Thank goodness my mares are actually better than ALL the other geldings. My crazy girl wasn't always good, but persistently working with her has definitely helped as I'm sure me standing there petting, talking and holding her does and the farrier likes to tell us he appreciates it. :) And any time my girl did give him a hard time, I'd throw in a little tip for putting up with it, since really that isn't part of his job, to tame MY horse.

Then came the really irritated me, the holding your horse thing is really an annoyance. This irritated me, but I have to watch what I say or I might find my horses homeless. The barn owner was there holding his horses (and probably everyone else's horses I'm sure). He has one horse, aptly named Squirly, that is a wacky one too. Way worse than my mare, and he always gave me trouble about mine. Anyhow, he's holding this horse and it acts up. The first time he's rearing up and pulling back but calms down pretty quick. The second time he did it, he was flipping out and pulled the cross ties off the wall. Thankfully he had the lead line on as well (as I usually do too because you never know) and the horse didn't run off or trample anyone. I was in my stall, which is positioned so I could see the barn owner and the horse's head, but not his body because he was further down the aisle. Here is what really upset me. After the second blow up, the b.o. reached back, closed fist, and let loose. I was horrified. As soon as I saw that fist close and arm cock back, I turned around. I could not watch. And he wonders WHY that horse is so spooky, HEAD SHY, and doesn't like anyone?? hmmm. Let me guess. Sheesh. He's the old cowboy type, and I tell you, if we had someplace else to go, I would have definitely said hey idiot, there's why your horse is so skittish. I felt bad. I know the farrier did too because he just kind of turned away and was sharpening one of his tools. But what can you do? Lose your horse's home? Or the farrier, lose a barn full of business? It sucks. At least he doesn't ride the horse or (sadly) have much other interaction with it other than turning out and bringing in every day. That's my peeve. But really, what CAN one do in my position?
On to the baptism :) FINALLY it happened!! Yay. Ok, I am Catholic and my hubby is Methodist. In MY religion, babies get baptised asap after birth "just in case" something happens. In HIS religion, they don't believe babies are born with original sin and they get baptised when they are old enough to know what is going on and basically make their own choice. Well, there was a big to do when our first son, now 7 years old was a baby. Hubby had his view and when we had finally came to a little bit of an agreement, my dad wasn't happy with it and wanted me to just go over without my hubby knowing and get him baptised. Yeah, because THAT would be good for the marriage (that hadn't happened yet at the point). So things kind of just went nowhere. Now the older one is in private Catholic school (because the public schools are horrible here) and they will be making their next two sacraments, but he wasn't baptized yet! So we finally got it done. Here are the pictures (now that I figured out how to add and move them. lol) This is the two little guys. Aren't they so handsome??? I just wanted to take 100 pictures.

Then this is one of all of us. Me, my cousin who is the godmother, her husband who is the godfather, my hubby and the two boys. The picture looks a little distorted. I just don't know how to work our camera. I'm hoping my brother or my hubby's sister got a better one. I scrapbook and I'd love a really nice one to put in there.

So that's about it for my weekend. Oh, wait. AFTER the baptism, we went home and my hubby cleaned out the front room and I sorted through shoes. OMG. Is all I can say. I don't know HOW those kids got so many stinking shoes!! We got through it all though and thankfully that part is over. Now for the rest of the house.....

Friday, October 17, 2008

And we're off!!!

Ok, so this is going to be my very first post, now that I think I finally figured out what the heck I'm actually doing. Maybe not, but I'm one step further than yesterday, which was trying to figure out how to add a new post. lol. So for my first post, I am going to do a little survey tag from one of my blogger buddies who mentioned she would tag me if I had a blog. So I decided to join in the fun and here I am :) And here are my answers:

1) What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was actually a year out of highschool. I was in college and was working at a Chinese fast food place like crazy hours. I was actually having a pretty good time in my life. I think also that right about now 10 years ago was when I was first re-introduced to horses!! A girl that I went to high school with was in one of my accounting classes (that I FAILED, lol) and she saw I had some horse notebooks or something horse, as usual, and mentioned she like horses too and was taking lessons. I was like reaaaaaallllly???? And she said yeah, I should come out and ride. The rest I will save for another post I can do later. (muuaahaha)

2) Five things on my To-Do List today.
Today? I can hardly accomplish one thing each day let alone five!! I can definitely name 5 work things, but not really personal things and I can't really say on here either (confidentiality, lol) but here goes what I would LOVE to get done sometime in the near future:
1) change out the kids' too small clothes into bins to take to storage
3) actually finish everybody's laundry, like completely finish. Clothes seem to take up quite a bit of space in our humble abode.
4) Get dishes done
5) relax.

3) What is your favorite snack?
I have to only pick one?? lol I LOVE food. Almost anything and especially the unhealthy. I guess I will pick Kettle Brand Salt and Pepper chips. I can eat almost a whole bag.

4) If I were a Millionaire, I would:
Oh happy day. I would pay off my husband's ex to GET LOST and never come around again. One can only wish, Ok, I guess I would pay off ALL debt we have (dreaded student loans) , buy nice new truck and horse trailer (WITH living quarters), buy ONE nice show horse (preferably rescuing/saving one, which I know can be risky, but I would like to adopt some more rescues and maybe one could be a good show horse) and then the rest would go into a huge horse property (to house said adopted horses) with a small log cabin for us to live in. And then all the toys of course, snowmobile, 4-wheelers, etc. I would also definitely donate to some animal charities. I would make that a high priority as I have always said I would.

5) Places I have lived:
Toledo, flat as all heck northern Ohio. That is it. Well, ok not true. Two houses out in the country that are about an hour west of Toledo. Both were less than a years time each.

6) Five people I am tagging:
I'm actually not tagging anyone, since this is my first blog and I don't know if anyone will be reading anytime soon, lol, BUT if someone does read this and wants to, please do fill this out and post it on your blog :))

Ok, that's if for the survey. As a closer, I will tell you that I like using "lol" and" :)" quite a bit. And when I do put down lol, I really am laughing (or at least chuckling) out loud here in my office. Have a great day!!

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