Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Resolutions and other superstitions

The new year is quickly approaching and just as probably more than 1/2 of all people do, I'm thinking about my resolutions for the new year. I heard something funny on the radio this morning and I'm trying to think of it word for word, but I don't know if I got it so I'll just do the best I can. The guy said "the problem with most resolutions is that we're trying to take out things we enjoy. And if it were that easy, we would or wouldn't be doing those things to begin with. ie, we wouldn't be drinking so much, we wouldn't be eating so much, we'd stop smoking. But we like to, so we just do it. Why make ourselves miserable?" Unfortunately for us all, there's so much truth in those statements. Which brings me to my resolutions. Do I pledge to do, or not do, the same things I do every other year? Exercise more, keep the house cleaner, etc? Yeah, I probably will. I suppose this will be my list:

1. Be nicer to my bosses. I know that sounds bad, but I'm really mean to my bosses sometimes because they just irritate me so much. lol In this day and market, workers are a dime a dozen and as much as I'd like to believe I'm not, I AM replaceable with a much cheaper model. So I need to buckle and give in to the fact that my bosses, well, can boss me around and I have to take it because I'm paid to.

2. Stop the frivolous spending. (really it should read control HUBBY'S frivolous spending, but I'll digress) We really really really want to move out of the house we are in right now because A)it's in the city B) it's in a really BAD part of the city and C) my father owns it and that means he can do or not do whatever he wants or doesn't want to. This leaves us in a pickle sometimes, so we just want to get out and do our thing. This is only going to be done with a much bigger savings stash than we currently have. So if we cut out those every few day coffees at the 7-11 or cut out my once a month lunches, and of course a bunch of other stuff, we can do it. We just all need a little self control.

and lastly...

3. Help my mare and myself become one. Ok ok, I know that's not going to happen, but I'd really like to better myself as a rider and help my mare become better at what I'm attempting to ask her to do. I know she requires work, but she can't work right unless I do, so really this last one is all about me. me. me. me and getting it right. I'm going to try harder to see what I'm doing wrong and do less of that and what I'm doing right and do more of THAT. Hopefully by sometime in the summer we will be able to do a little local open show somewhere. I'd love to compete in an APHA show since she is registered. Sonnys Hot and Sassie But I think because of her somewhat stunted growth and some scarring on her lower legs, she wouldn't be up to par with any of her competition. That doesn't mean that I'm not going to try though ;) Someday.

Ok, I will say I'm going to forever keep trying to do the keep the house clean, stop yelling at kids so much, exercise more stuff too.

So what are everyone's resolutions? Any new and exciting ideas? Or any that we might actually keep? lol

Superstitions. Does anyone do anything each and every New Year? Like a little tradition that is superstitious? I have one that I still do now. I remember way back when I was in high school and we used to all go to my big brother's girlfriend's (now wife) house for new years eve. We were all a bunch of goodies and nerds, so nothing was going on. But there are only two things I can remember doing. One was trying to eat a grape for each of the last 30 seconds in the countdown. lol Who can stuff 30 grapes in their mouths? And my s-i-l's mom would always buy the big globe grapes yet to boot because she thought it was funny. Needless to say, I don't do that thing anymore. The other thing is to hold money in your hand at midnight and you are supposed to not go without for that year. Thinking back, we've been tight sometimes and done without unnecessary stuff, but we've never been to the point where we needed something we could not finagle getting. So I'd say it works :)

Anyone have any cool things they do every New Years?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yippee!! Free range at the barn

Our barn owner has now FINALLY put up panelling at the barn in the indoor arena to block off the entrance to the barn. Now we can turn horses out to blow off some steam and not worry about them running into the bleachers, sawdust pile or right back into the barn and stalls. I took this time yesterday during their first turn out, to do a little observing of my mare. When Brown Eyed Cowgirl and Mrs. Mom and everyone else was giving me great advice on my mare and what to try and look for, I couldn't do some of the suggestions because I had to be in some control of what she did. I am now thinking something I am doing, or not doing, is part of her problem. See, when I turned her loose and she began running and kicking up her feet, she was running alright. TO THE LEFT. You know, the direction I was having trouble getting her lunge and still can't get her to lope to? Yeah. I actually had to physically walk out there and MAKE her and the follower mare go to the right, but they kept trying to turn to the left. So what's up with that?? It has to be something I'm doing from the saddle. Now, keeping that in mind, I will still continue to work her to the left to build up muscle and balance as before this time, she wasn't going to the left for anything and everything was on the right.

I noticed that when she was going, she seemed to not be dragging her feet as much as she used to, but I don't really know how to tell if she's pushing or dragging herself. Can someone tell me or point me to two video's that show each? I'm thinking of trying to get my trainer to come out, but he doesn't like coming out (since it's pretty far AND because the arena gets really dusty and he got a severe respiratory infection early last spring because of that) in the winter time or when he'd have to ride in the indoor arena. Which would be now. And I do understand. So I kind of want to see what I can do on my own. He did say he'd come out if I really needed him though. So I need to do some studying up on horse movement to see what is right and what's wrong because I just don't know.

More of my observation showed that going to the left she was on the correct lead, every. single. time. So that brings us to me. What do I personally need to do to make sure that I'm balanced and doing what I'm supposed to be doing? She had her chiropractic adjustment a little over a week ago. First ride was Friday. She was ok, but she kept dropping and shaking her head. Even when we turned her out I noticed she was doing it. I don't know if it's that she doesn't know what being "in" in her neck, head, jaw area feels like and she's kind of figuring it out or what. But she's never really done that. She really didn't do it too much today and seemed a little more comfortable with today's ride. She also seemed a little uncomfortable yesterday when I was loping. She was dropping her head a lot more, almost like she was thinking about bucking. She drop her head and hop around and it took several tries to get her to go into the lope. I also couldn't keep her in it that long. I figured that too might be part of the getting used to being "in" now in her body. The next step is getting her supplement for her cycles to see how that works on her.

So, now that I have the free range to let her loose, I'm going to try to go back to the post from BECG and Mrs. Mom and see what to watch for and look at and test.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and lots of presents

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you all have your shopping done and presents wrapped. I of course don't. Never do. Well, I think I have all of the presents bought, they just never end up getting wrapped until Christmas Eve after the kiddies go to bed. Way to procrastinate, right? This year, I think I will actually "let" the hubby help wrap and maybe do it tonight. Since I did so much last minute shopping (I usually pick up things here and there through the year, but didn't this year) I want to make sure that I actually do have everything. And if we start wrapping tonight, I can see what we have. I actually have a little process of my own. Remember my quirk from my meme of writing down what I wear every day? Well, I have to write down what I buy everyone and then organize it. I mark what gets put in stockings and what gets wrapped to go under the tree. For presents for other people, I write down who's getting what from who. Then, for both my nephew and my younger son who have birthdays the beginning of February, I write down which presents are going for Christmas and which are for birthdays. THEN, if I think the kids are just getting a ridiculous amount of presents, I take a few more out for birthdays and for my older son, who's b-day is in June, I will take some out for him too. lol And that's my Christmas process. This year I kind of fell apart though. Things are all array because Christmas seemed to come really quick. This whole year actually flew. Seems like just yesterday we were eating ham at my Thanksgiving for the 21st century. AND, my brother decided that since he and his wife work the day before and after Christmas, we need to go to his house ON Christmas. Usually it's a few days after, so I still have time to slack on getting all their stuff around, but I can't this year. Hmphf. Oh well. It is what it is.

Here is a present I got from one of my new good blogger friends.

Lisa at Laughing Orca Ranch did a really cool contest. She made a post each day for 26 days that began with the letters of the alphabet. Let me tell you, she had some of the coolest information and stories in her daily letter blogs. I told her I think I learned more from her blog than I did the last year of my college. Each day readers had to comment and use the letter of the day as the beginning of a word in their comment. After the 26 days, we had to leave a post and list all of each of her words of the day. Then anyone who participated got their names put in a basket for a drawing for an awesomely cool had and scarf set that she made herself.

Unfortunately I didn't win the contest, BUT, she did give all of us runner ups the nifty little blog poster for participating to put up on our own blogs. AND, she's being super nice and wants to make all of us our own gift of a hat or scarf also handmade by her. I think she's a crazy nut and when is she possibly going to have time to do that with all her critters and the kids?? Lisa is a really wonderful and interesting person and I'm honored that she likes me and my blog :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody. Stay warm (if you are where it's cold, which is just about everywhere it sounds like) and hope you all have a great holiday.

(ps - and I also found out our health insurance hasn't been cut off yet, wooowhoo, so my MRI and mammogram and yearly visit and kids' dr. appt and vaccines were ALL covered! Well, so far anyhow)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Chiro Visit

Wonderful. Awesome. Cool. My hero. Amazing. What else can I say about the elusive equine chiro? I will say he was worth the wait. Of course my horse could have used him a few years sooner, but that's besides the point.

He arrived a little late, but that's ok. Around 5:15 or so he started to work his magic. Two hours later we found out some pretty crazy things about Sassie. It was amazing the things he could tell that we didn't tell him. Just amazing. That other chiro that worked on her before holds nothing on this miracle worker. Absolutely nothing. He basically said she (the horse) was a big mess. And had been for quite awhile. Which we kind of knew and that's why we wanted him out. lol

He starts working on her and not 5 minutes into it, he shakes his head and goes boy, she's REALLY tight and locked up. Then he stands up and says she has raging heat cycles (just like the trainer said she does), doesn't she? We're like oh yeah. Well, that's what the trainer said. My husband said her heat cycles seem to be like 21 days or less. He said she doesn't quite go out of them completely. We were like really? He said he's worked with enough horses and mares, and crazy mares, to know about cycles and he can tell by how she was acting that her cycles are really bad. So he gave us the name of a supplement to try that might help. He said if it didn't, we might have to get the vet out to see if she has cysts or tumors or anything in her ovaries (like our trainer said she might). He said that is why she throws herself up against the stall walls like she does, because she's cramping up and she doesn't know what to do and she's trying to relieve herself.

He also asked (or really stated) if she drags herself instead of pushing with her hind end. Which the trainer also said she did. Isn't he so smart? lol. I said why yes she does. He said it's not something she could control, she was too out in her hind that she CAN'T push herself forward because it was too painful. He said she should ride like a new horse, so beware. lol I said greaaaat. Rodeo time!!! I really hope not though.

He also said she's full of testosterone. I was like ????? He was holding her tongue out so she could get her jaw back inline and she apparently has canine teeth, which he said only male horses normally have, so she has more testosterone than your average mare. So we have a crazy he-she horse. He said he knows of mares that do have canines and are still good horses, so it's not the cause of her goofiness, but it could contribute to her stubbornness. He said she's not a horse you want to particularly fight with, like straight out beat downs, which I'd never do anyhow, but he said if that happened it would be a fight to the finish, either ours or hers and it won't matter to her who goes. I wondered if that was why, with her first trainer, she ran straight into the arena wall instead of turning and running when they attempted to put just a bareback pad on her. She thought the bareback pad was going to kill her so she was going to try to kill herself first. Suicide horse? lol Who knows. I did think it was weird that neither of the two dentists that floated her teeth mentioned that though, so I'm going to do some research online about that, the canine teeth.

It was so cool seeing her muscles start to relax when he was working on an area. The muscles would start rippling. Very neat. I wish I could have stayed for our other mare Sis, but my stomach had been upset all day (thank god for Pepto) and I was a popsicle (20 degrees out and my hands and toes took the entire 1/2 hour trip home to thaw out), I just couldn't do it anymore. I don't know how he did all that work, 4 hours, with his fingers out. My hubby did say that our older mare doesn't have as much arthritis as we might think, she was really out in her back end and that's probably why she was so rough riding (another thing he asked about that we didn't tell him first, he's good.)

So to say the least, I was super impressed. And honestly, if his treatment works on her and things start going right with everything, I WOULD have paid $200 a horse, but thankfully I didn't have to. We did give him a tip though. So, if any of you in Eastern Oklahoma and Kansas, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio or Pennsylvania need an awesome chiro, let me know. I'll pass on his info. He did ask how we got his # and we told him our trainer's girlfriend and our farrier used him. He said he always asks with new people because he's never once advertised in 23 years. That's good lip service.

I wish I would have gotten pictures of the looks my mare was giving. She's not keen on men as it is, so she was really really jumpy and jittery. And when he was reaching places that we normally don't touch, she wasn't really having much of that and was kicking out (hard against the stall, I'm surprised she didn't break any of the boards. BO would have LOVED that!) and reared up a few times. Only once did he yell at her though because he said when she reared up, he wasn't even touching her. So she was just being dumb. I think the part she was calmest about was when he had her chin on his shoulder and was stratching her neck. It didn't look comfortable, but she wasn't moving or anything, she let him have at it. When he was stretching her leg forward, she kept looking at it like, hmm, never saw my leg up here before!! lol It was hilarious. But she kept licking her lips and chewing, so she was feeling good by the end I hope.

And as for me worrying about him taking 2 hours, he took the full 2 hours and worked her over really good. No just standing around and talking. He took his time, but moved right along and got everything, that's for sure.

Ok, that's enough rambling for now. I wish I could have done a 2 hour video. I'll keep this updated, especially after my first ride on my newly adjusted mare :))

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Elusive Chiropractor

Oh happy day. The chiropractor that I've heard is a wizard and I've been trying to get to come out for the past 3 months has finally called me back and is going to be in the area this Thursday. However, upon choosing the time, he stated it takes 2 hours per horse to do. For those of you who have had equine chiropractors come adjust and work on your horses, is that normal??? If so, I think I may have gotten gypped with my first one. When he said 2 hours and he heard me gasp, he then followed up with "well it doesn't just take 15 minutes to make sure everything is right." I was like ahhh, well that's about exactly how long it took the other chiro that worked on my mare to do her work. So I'm wondering two things, is this guy going to charge by the hour or maybe because it was a quick adjustment, did the other gals treatment not really hold and gave only temporary relief to my mare? Hmmmm.

I want to ask anyone out there who has had chiropractic treatment for their horses the following:

How long did your horse's treatment take?
How much was the service? (I know I can't put a price on something that is beneficial, and I'm still having the treatment regardless, so your answer won't affect my visit)
How long did it seem to benefit your horse for or how often did you have the chiro return?
What all did the treatment entail (to the best of your recollection)?
What questions should I ask?

Ok, that's all I can think of for now. My mares appointments are for Thursday and suddenly I'm nervous that it's going to be like $500 or something. Oh well, I guess we'll see.

So please, anyone that can, answer my questions or if you know someone that had a chiro, ask them and post their answers. I'm really curious.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My most favoritest Christmas treat...TOFFEE

So, Mrs. Mom pointed me over to Swampsuburbia blog where, there is a contest for FREE delicious looking toffee to the first 40 people who do the following:

1. Post the English Toffee Anytime Logo on your side bar. You can see an example on my side bar!!(right click and "save as" to your computer then upload to your blog)

2. Make the Logo link to English Toffee Anytime at http://www.englishtoffeeanytime.com/

3. Have a blog post about the English Toffee Anytime Contest with a link to the English Toffee Anytime site. This does not have to be an entire post, but a simple "Hey, go check out this contest and this awesome toffee!!"

4. Leave the Logo and Link up on your side bar for six months.

5. Then you need to email ron@englishtoffeeanytime.com with the following information:

1. Your name and mailing address (which will not be used for anything else)

2. A link to your website

3. And what flavor of toffee you would like (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate).

The first 40 people from my and my sister's blog will get a free box of toffee. And this is only available to continental US residents. And that's it!! Free toffee in exchange for free advertising. Yum!! The contest will be over when we have our first forty emails received at ron@englishtoffeeanytime.com.

I'm all about the free, so I am posting this tasty little ad. I WILL be one of those given some yummy free toffee :))

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Scribbler

Courtesy of Miss Lisa over at Laughing Orca Ranch, once again I have a cool blog award.

She says that I make her feel like we are just hanging out, in person, chatting together, that I'm a new horse owner, too and that I have the prettiest Paint Horse. I told her she's pretty alright, pretty silly. That goofy mare spooked at a bale of hay. Then as soon as I let her sniff it, she tried grabbing a big ol mouthful. It wasn't like it was hiding and jumped out, she was standing and sniffing it when she jumped!! Anyhow, Lisa, I'm glad you like my blog, and honestly, that is part of the reason I started it, because I wanted to find new people with similar or even not similar interest to simply "hang out" with and talk about my crazy stuff. That sounds egotistical, so I will change that to say, talk about EVERYONE's crazy stuff. Talking helps keep your sanity and discover new things, or new perspectives on old things. As for being a new horse owner, welllll I'm not technically new as I've had my girl for 4+ years, but it sure as heck seems like I am a new owner because of riding and how she acts and what I don't know. So we'll change that to say I'm the owner of a horse that's newly been trained to ride and that brings on a whole new requirement of knowledge. How's that? lol

Thank you Lisa for my blog award. I really like your blog too :) I discovered you through cdncowgirl's blog.

Happy Friday Everyone!! Our weekend's going to be a really cold one. Farrier (or hoof fairy as my little one calls him, he cracks the farrier up) will be out tomorrow am. Poor guy. Blazing heat or freezing cold, he's there. We keep telling him and his wife (newlyweds of about a year now) that if they want some natural birth control, they can borrow little one, but he insists he's too cute and then the wife will want 5 of them. HA.

12 Days Till Christmas

Ugh. You hear that alot from me don't ya? Sorry, everything seems to catch me somehow, and Christmas is the latest. Less than 2 weeks and only one more paycheck until Christmas. How am I going to manage this. I think I really just need a few more things for the kids, but I have so much more to DO. Like Christmas tree and decorations, wrapping, documenting all my presents to make sure everyone has something and that it's all fair. Although I don't think the kids actually count who gets what, they are only 7 and 4, I know my mom always made sure to have things for each of us that evened stuff out.

Lisa at Laughing Orca Ranch did a little fun Christmas questionnaire and I figured I would too. I'm all up for this kind of thing to see what everyone likes or doesn't. So, please, if you do too, post this on your blog and let everyone know so we can tell if you are Tiny Tim or Scrooge :))

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate for sure. But I like mine made with milk, not water.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Definitely wrapped. And he usually wraps them the night of Christmas Eve as soon as kids go to bed. That way, he can be really really tired the next day while waking up at the butt crack of dawn to excited kids. Will he ever learn??? lol

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white? I don't put any out on the house outside because of the hood we live in, they'd be gone in 60 seconds. But inside the house, we decorate the tree with the bigger colored lights and change a few with the blinking ones so that a few twinkle, but not all of them.

This past year, the nice guys at the tree lot gave the boys their own "Charlie Brown" tree. This tree was anything but. In fact, I'm very ashamed to say this, the tree just got put outside about a month ago. hehe. None of the needles were falling off, it stayed green and it actually still smelled good. Here you see the boys with their very own tree in their bedroom. Daddy wouldn't put lights on it though because he had a feeling someone would turn them on all the time. lol

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yep. I made some of my own in a little bulb.

5. When do you put your decorations up? I usually do the weekend of Dec. 11th. When we were younger, my mom would put them up after my big bro's b-day, Dec. 11th and take them down the day after my b-day the beginning of Jan. So, that was a good amount of time, I decided to stick with that.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? HoneyBaked (brand) Ham

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? I don't really have a favorite, but I remember a funny one. One year I bought myself a present and wrapped it up (after I knew there was no Santa, but mom and didn't know I knew) and put it under the tree. Mom and dad were kind of looking at each other to see who got it for me. hehe. I was such a stinker. I kept insisting it was Santa.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Santa will always be alive in our minds. St. Nicks day was last Saturday and my 7 year old thought he wouldn't get anything because St. Nick was dead. Low and behold not only did he get something in one pair of shoes, St. Nick left an extra candy cane in another pair. lol I think I was probably around 8 or 9, but I still secretly wanted to believe.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope. We were never allowed to do that. Sometimes if it's from someone else and they are there we will let them.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Just a big mish mash of ornaments. Some that were given to me as a child, some my children made, some I bought my first year I moved in with my hubby since his mom had died that year and his brother and sister took everything.

11. Snow. Love it or dread it? LOVE snow. I hate sleet and freezing rain though, which we were getting Tuesday. Today we are getting big fluffy flakes.

12. Can you ice skate? I can, but I'm definitely not too good at it, but I like to.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I really don't remember one single favorite gift. I was usually pretty happy with whatever I got.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Getting through them? lol Saving money? I like being able to have a day off to relax with the boys.

15. What are your favorite holiday desserts? Hmm, my co-worker makes excellent cookies, but I think my favorite holiday dessert is Buckeyes!!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? The Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo, or we go to Archbold's park and they have a drive through light display. Then we go eat Chinese.

17. What tops your Christmas tree? We have a dapple gray horse angel from Rod's Western Palace :)

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? I prefer giving if I have something to give. The boys are funny because instead of trying to find out everything they got, they open one thing and want to start immediately playing with it.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck? Yum, but I like the LifeSaver's kind. Or really any kind as long as it's cherry :)

21. What do you want for Christmas? A new saddle? lol Not going to happen. New undies, usually happens. I'm asking for a scrapbook weekend though in March. :))

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party? Nope. Oh wait, yes I do, with my mom's side of the family. Only this year, it's closer to a New Years Eve party since it's the 30th.

23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear jammies? Usually in the jammies.

24. Do you own a Santa hat? No. After I dressed my son up as Santa when he was 6 months old, my hubby banned any Santa wear :(

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with? Just the 4 of us, and yes, critters too including 2 horses, 3 dogs, 3 fish and 1 hermit crab :)

26. What are your least favorite things about Christmas? Having to go back to work the next day. Oh wait, putting AWAY the Christmas decorations and trying to get kids to put away all their new toys instead of leaving them all around the small living room.

Christmas plans for this year anyone?? I will be doing basically the same thing as we did for Thanksgiving, except there will be a tree and presents. Same food. Same people. No shopping the next day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It was a good day...

I'm not sure which kind of music everyone listens to, but there's a song by Ice Cube titled "It Was a Good Day." I was going to quote some of the lyrics and I realized how they sound coming from little old white girl me. So, as appropriate as SOME were to put on here, I decided against it. It's not typically my kind of music and I really only know about the song because, as cool as I think Ice Cube is, I heard it on VH1 when they were doing one of their "Top 100 Hits of the 90's" little shows. The ones that go on for like 4 hours, and I end up watching them every time. I can't help it.

So back to my "good day." I went out and worked with Sassie last night and things went fine. I lunged her first to the right. She did just fine, a little full of speed like she has been, but she calmed down good, dropped her head right away. I got her to slow down a bit and actually walk without stopping. Then we turn to the right. I was juggling the line and whip, so she kind of swung back to the right, but as soon as I got myself situated, I pointed her to the left, stepped to her shoulder and off she went!! I didn't even have to cluck or anything. She was speeding around to the left, round and round. Then I remembered wait, I can't OVER work her on this side, I still have to balance it all out. So I switched her back to the right again and then back to the left. I think I pushed my luck a little, but I got her to take a couple lope steps. I do believe she was on the correct lead. So now, if she was in fact on the correct lead, it must mean that I am doing something different in the saddle to make her either unbalanced, or wrong, or uncomfortable with loping. She didn't kick and buck going into the lope steps, she just sped up in the jog and then took the lope steps and went back to a speedy jog. So after some ground work, I groomed her and rode. I figured since she already had a workout somewhat, that I'd take it easy with the riding. She did just fine. Wasn't too spooky, seemed pretty comfortable, wasn't all worked up. So it WAS a good day. We're going back out tonight since we didn't get a chance to clean stalls (barn goddess was hogging all the carts), so we will do that tonight and I'm going to work her a little more again. I was a little better with multi tasking, lol. I watched for the correct lead, I tried to steady her speed (a little bit), and I watched to see how she was carrying herself. She seemed comfortable over all, just fast. Her hind legs were going under her, up to about where her belly and hips meet (sorry about my lack of anatomy terminology). I'm really not sure if that's not far enough, what to do to get them further. She seemed to be taking nice long strides, not little hippity hop ones. I'm happy. For now :)

Back to music. I love watching those I love the 80's and Top 100 Greatest Hits of the 80's etc because the music was so different then. I can honestly say that music now a days doesn't touch me nearly like what it used to. I don't know if because in the 80/90's I was young and emotional/hormonal and now I'm not or what. But songs from those era's still touch me like songs today do not. I can probably count songs that touch me from the new millenium on one hand. Countless from the 80's, 90's and before though. The best ones? From U2, especially the Joshua Tree album. I LOVE Bono and U2. He's just aged and become even more gorgeous the older he gets. He reminds of Liam Neeson, or really the other way around, so that's why I LOVE Liam Neeson too. I think he's hot. I loved him in Shindler's List (sad, sad movie).

Ok, here is my little list of some of the top songs that really moved me in some way (you know, the ones you could sit and listen to time after time ALL DAY LONG):
U2: One, Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, With or Without you
Chris LeDoux: Western Skies (well, ok, almost ALL Chris LeDoux songs move me)
Sting: I'll Be Watching You
The Byrds: To Every Season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
GooGoo Dolls: Iris
Ben E. King: Stand By Me
Guns N Roses: Sweet Child O Mine
Journey: Don't Stop Believing
Tom Petty: Free Falling
Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow: Picture
Prince: When Doves Cry
John Cougar Mellencamp: Jack and Diane
Ray Charles w/Willie Nelson: Seven Spanish Angels
Def Leppard: Pour Some Sugar on Me
Faith Hill: This Kiss

Ok, I'll stop, there are tons more and I could go on, but notice the era that most are from. Not too recent except for a tad few. What are some of yours? Any particular reason for any of them? I like to know details too ;)

Have a good day and I'm off to work with my girl. We'll see what kind of mood she's in today.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I got the call. I have to have my first mammogram AND a breast MRI. When did they start adding on that second thing?? I'm so nervous. And they are giving me a WHOLE WEEK to prepare. lol. I was actually supposed to start having them about 3 years ago, but the gyno really didn't push the issue. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at around age 36. So apparently the general rule is if you have a history of that, like I do, you are supposed to start having mammograms 10 years prior to when they were diagnosed. She said 26 is kind of early, but that I will definitely start having them by the time I was 30, and well, here I am. Yipee.

Has anyone here had one done? I'm sure someone has. Please, tell me about your experience and tell me that it's over quick. lol I also had the option of having my genes tested to see if I am carrying certain genes that are more prone to be cancerous. There is apparently one doctor in my area that does it. My doctor gave me that doctor's info in case I wanted to call. I'm sort of conflicted about it though because in this day and age, it seems even people who are healthy are getting cancer. My uncle was just diagnosed less than a month ago with prostate cancer. The guy doesn't smoke, doesn't drink and is pretty active. So do I really WANT to know that yeah, some day I might have cancer? I don't think I do. Would you want to know? As long as I keep up on my testing and stuff like that, I should be ok. A test that tells me yeah, you MIGHT get it one day isn't telling me, hey, on December 5th, 2020, a cancer cell will start growing and you should watch for it. No, it doesn't. I think finding out would just make me worry more.

I don't know if anyone knows this, but when my mom diagnosed, I remember the doctor citing several reasons as to why she could have possibly gotten it because there was absolutely no known family history of it. A) her mother smoked when she was growing up and second hand smoke is supposedly more dangerous than first hand B) she had a diet that was somewhat excessive in fatty foods (like barbecue and deep fried stuff) C) she drank a LOT of pop, like I'd say at least a two liter almost every day (how she slept at night, I'll never know because ONE can of pop after noon and I'm up till midnight and D) she had a traumatic accident approximately 10 years prior to her diagnosis. Ok, A-C, those are pretty reasonable, but the last one? I didn't know that. The doctor said (now this was 15 years ago, so I don't know if the same theory still stands true) that everyone has dormant cancer cells and if you have a really traumatic incident, those cells can be activated. We were involved in a really bad car accident where we were on train tracks and these drunk teenagers came up behind and slammed into us. Supposedly if we would have been another foot or so further along, they were going so fast they would have went up the ramp to the tracks and landed on top of us. AND, we were right on the train tracks and a train was scheduled to come through within the following 15 minutes. Well, they got the train routed onto a set of tracks that was another 15 feet in front of us thankfully. My mom had been looking at my friends mom who was driving the vehicle we were in, so her head was turned to the left when the teenagers hit us. She had really severe neck and back problems after the accident and it totally affected the rest of her life. She was very limited in things that she could do and things she used to enjoy. Looking back and knowing what I know now with working in a law office, she should have gotten one hell of a settlement, but I don't know what she did get and what kind of insurance there was, so it's hard to say. Back to my original topic, they think that accident was traumatic enough to cause the cancer cells to do their thing. The other thing they said that could have set it off is that my dad was injured a few years before that changed his life as well. He worked for the City police and while on a domestic violence call, this really fat kid jumped on his back. That was about 28 years ago, he's still having back treatment through workers' compensation, and he had to retire on disability because even after back surgeries, his back was never the same and he couldn't do the same work any more. So between the two, they think one set it off, or, my grandma's smoking. It's just so hard to tell.

So anyhow, thanks for listening to my ramblings. If anyone has any advice or consolations, let me know :) lol

The BIG Picture

I am at awe at so many people who work with horses. Now I know the first thing to be said will be "it takes time and experience." Ok, I really do understand that. But, how the HECK do you all work everything together all at once? What I mean is, while working my mare Sunday to get her to go to the left, I was SO focused on getting her to just GO, that all the other things I should have been doing and watching for went right out the window. For instance, she wasn't really close to a controlled pace. At all. It was a little sporadic and it was mostly quick jogging. I was so focused on getting her to just go, that trying to get a slow jog didn't even cross my mind. Yes, she did slow down a wee tad by the third round, but it wasn't because I was making her. No, I wasn't chasing her and yelling and trying to run her to death, but when I finally got her to take a few steps, she just took off in the fast jog. And slowing for her meant to screech to a halt. Another thing on my list of things to look at but that totally evaded my mind, looking at the hind end and hind feet to see if they were under her or poking out all over. I will venture a guess to say that they weren't poking out all over, but I don't really think they were under her just from experience. The trainer always said she doesn't push herself into to the jog or lope, but she more so drags herself with her front end. He stressed that going at a slower pace takes more effort than just running blindly or fast. She has a hallow back I think it's called.

My point here is, how do I learn to coordinate all this stuff all at once? Control her speed, make sure she doesn't stop and spin to turn the other way, check her feet position to see if she's getting under herself and not just dragging herself along, make sure you are looking to see that she's on the correct lead while loping, make sure nothing looks off, etc. Maybe that's just my whole problem with riding. I know I do focus on myself, like hand position to make sure I'm not hanging and banging on her mouth, leg position to make sure my cue's are going to get the point across, making sure that I'm sitting low and not bouncing in the saddle while jogging, etc. And then I am also trying to focus on her to watch her mood (are ears pinned back, is head in the air, etc.) AND steer, but I don't concentrate on feeling her body and movements like I should be instead of actually looking at her. I am a bit better than I was at first. At first my eyes didn't go off her head and ears for more than a glance to make sure I was steering right, but they do now and I don't watch HER as much as everything else now.

I suppose it's like kids. After awhile it just starts falling in place and you can make dinner while doing laundry while giving kids baths, right? lol I sure hope so.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Workout..

Ok, I finally got to put some of this excellent help that I've been receiving lately to use. We went out and while my dear hubby (I call him my stable boy sometimes ;)hehe) cleaned both stalls, I worked with Sassie. I decided if it took all day, I was going to calmly get her to go to the left. I began with lunging her to the right. As usual, no big deal. She was a little worked up because it's been a few since we've been out, so I haven't been able to work with her. She blew off a little steam and I actually got her to lope on the lunge line to the right. She only did it for a few short spurts, but she did it. And she was on the correct lead. No problems. Working her to the right took all of about 10minutes. I switched to trying to the left. We got into the pinned back ears, cow kicking, backing, turning to face me, etc. The normal stuff she's been pulling while trying to get her going to the left. I kept on calmly redirecting her to the left. I tried using my left hand with the lunge line in it to point her in the direction I wanted her to go and used the lunge whip in my right. At first she just kept turning towards me. Then I got her to start standing still while I would position myself at her shoulder. As soon as I tried to get more than 2 feet back, she would turn so I'd dart up there to keep her head facing to the left. It was like a race, who could go faster, her whipping to turn to the right or me getting to her side. When I finally got her to stay still with me a little bit away, I would start tapping her on the butt with the lunge whip. What I got? A statue of a horse with pinned back ears and an almost white eyeball pointed in my direction. When she gets upset (either mad or scared) she freezes and her iris shrinks and it's a little light blue dot the size of a pencil eraser. When she's relaxed and happy, her whole eye is filled with deep blue. Definitely little light blue dot today. So, I started just walking her to the left. No problem. As soon as I started trying to get some distance from her, she'd spin to the right. Trying to make a long story short, after about 30 minutes or so, quite a few little whacks on the rear with the whip, a couple little snaps and no yelling but lots of clucking, she finally took off to the left. I out willed her. She got mucho "good girl!!!!!!"'s yelled her way. Then she all of a sudden dropped her head and the lunge line chain smacked against one of her front feet and she flipped out, so I stopped her. I calmed her, gave her a few scratches on her her face and rubbed her eyes (she loves that) and started back on getting her to the left since it wasn't my idea for her to stop. It only took about 3 minutes to get her going again, again she got lots of good girls and then she just screeched to a halt. I patted her neck, said good girl, rubbed her ears and then stepped back. Since again it wasn't my idea for her to stop, I told her one more time and then I'd let her stop. It only took one try, one little bump on the rump with the whip, one quick side step to stay to her left and off she went. I had her go around about four circles and let her stop. She did good. I felt her chest and that was about the most worked she's been in awhile and it wasn't' really the physical work. It was just her getting herself worked up. Afterwards the barn owner told us we can turn the girls out in their pasture as long as it isn't icy out. Yay!! Turn outs! So, thinking about what BECG suggested, I wanted to see if she bucked and ran or what she did, and if she did lope, I wanted to see if she went to the right or left. Well, I think she was too pooped from the work out, she didn't lope or anything. Her and our other mare just kind of trotted around a little and then stopped to try to get some frozen grass. When we went to take them out, they did come running over to us, but it was more a straight path with only a little arc to her left. She was on what would be the right side lead, but I don't know if that counted as being wrong or not since she was technically going straight and not circling to the left.

So, all in all, it was a good day as I FINALLY got her to lunge go left. I didn't ride because I wanted to focus more on a little ground work to see what she's doing with that.

Thanks for the advice and support with this issue. Next time we work more on lunging to the left and I will try to get her to lope to the left on the lunge line since all she's currently doing is jogging.

Friday, December 5, 2008


In one of my first posts as an official "blogger," I posted about friends and what really constitutes one. I, as well as some commentors, posted about how it seems like you can have real friends online, maybe even better than your actual physical friends, even without ever seeing them. If I ever had doubts about people in the virtual world being friendly and "real", they are all withdrawn. Really I never had cause to have any doubts, but it appears that some of the blogs that I read have people that are or have experienced some bad, rude or just plain obnoxious behavior. I thankfully have yet to experience anything of the sort. Or if I have, I'm blissfully unaware and it isn't blatantly in my face. So for that, I send a shout out to the skies above.

What I really want to do on here is thank anyone that reads my blog, which is really mainly just the transcribing of the sometimes crazy thoughts that cross my mind at any point in time, and especially thank those that have helped me and/or given me some type of advice. BrownEyed Cowgirls has been just amazing the past two days, and previously as well, with her knowledge and attempts to help me figure out my issues with my mares. Mrs. Mom also gave me some good advice before too. These ladies are so nice for so willingly offering to give their knowledge and I am grateful to no end with their help. Mugwump Chronicles also has given great advice to me and many many others. And I know each of these ladies already have full plates in their daily lives.

I do have a trainer as I've talked about a few times, lol. Why don't I just go pay him to come out and fix my girl or see what's up? Well, I honestly would, but he works for a very well know cookware maker company, so from about mid October into about February, he's slammed. He works in the inventory area and with their lovely super high quality cookware selling like hotcakes during the Christmas season, he barely even sees trainer's girlfriend. I would feel super selfish to even ask him to come out and work with me and my girl. So to everyone that helps me, my hat's off to you and I send all the good karma that I can your way. I cannot thank you enough for any piece of advice given that helps or may help me with my horse endeavors.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

You know the saying...

Chicks dig scars. And there's another one about scars being like tattoos but with better stories. I could talk about scars, but I don't have more than 2 or 3, and only one has a good story. So I'm going to talk about the other.

Do any of you have a tattoo? I'm pretty sure no one has any like pictured above, but hey, if you do, that's cool with me. I have two. For some reason that shocks a lot of people.

The first one I got is on my ankle and I got it about 2 months after I turned 18. (I hid it from my dad for like 3 months, hehe. I don't know why. Kind of like the swearing thing, really what are they going to do? Anyhow, here is my first one.

I had been really wanting one, but I didn't want a stupid one like a character that goes out of style, or someones name (obviously) who I won't have in my life forever. But the more you think about it, stupid is really in the eye of the owner because what's stupid to one person is cherished to another. Why did I get a black widow? I have no clue. I've always like the stories about them. I liked the idea of the females eating the male once they've done their "duty". hehe. Who knows, but I liked the picture of it and so that was my first tattoo. $50.00. Done by "The Professor." He was this cool older guy with jet black hair down to his waist, about as long as mine was at the time. Biker looking kind of person, but I always saw him walking everywhere, never driving. I got it where I did was because it was like a super sterile, clean white place. Nothing like I imagined tattoo places to be like. So here's how my experience went with the first one. I sit down, we prop up my leg. He puts on the stencil and gets his gun all ready. He gives it a few little buzzy blasts and says, "ready? I'm going to do a few little test lines with no color to make sure you're ok." So I put a death grip on the chair arms, squint my eyes and clench my butt cheeks. I'm ready. He starts it a whirling and begins his "lines." As soon as he touches down, I start laughing. He asks what? Is something wrong? I said nope, I thought it was going to hurt like heck. It tickles!!! He started laughing. Shoot. That didn't hurt at all. Well, my friend got one on her back the following summer after she turned 18 and she BAWLED almost the entire time. The lady doing it, was of course covered in tats as well and asked if I had any. I showed her mine and she said that I'd be good for a full body suit. I laughed. I was like huh uh, no way. Apparently of all the tattoo's she's gotten, the one on her ankle right where I have mine is the one that hurt her the most. She said she had three grown men holding her down so she could get it because it hurt so much. I was like, hehe, I'm cool. I've always had a high pain tolerance (heck, I had my second son sans epidural. ok, that wasn't by choice, my epidural needle fell out of my back well before I had him and they didn't want to put another one in because I was doing so well. lol).

Now for my second tat. This one is a bit....larger. When someone says tattoos are addictive, believe them. It's like Pringles, once you pop, you can't stop. Well except the popping part it's true. So, after years of mulling around what I wanted, this is what I chose. I'm showing you in black and white first....

He had to do it in two settings because of the shading and size of it, he didn't want to make me too sore. I honestly was ok but I think he was having trouble leaning over so much. I had to lean over and basically lay on my thighs. Wasn't comfortable, but I could deal. Anyhow, I had that done and had fun showing everyone. It was a major toss up whether to get it colored or just leave it the outline and shading. It was cool as it was, but I could picture it much better with color.

So here we are now when it was finished a few months later...

It's funny because when I stand up straight, it's only about 6 inches tall. But if I lean over, it spreads to like 12 inches. lol!! Everyone always gets a kick out of the incredible growing horse.

Here's what I did. I originally went to "Sailor Woody" to get an estimate and ideas of what he could do. They normally like you to have some sort of idea of what you want, and I knew I wanted a horse tattoo. I love my mare and she's got such pretty markings so I kind of wanted her incorporated into it. I then looked at my horse calendars and picked out a pose that wouldn't make it look goofy. I found a cool picture of a paint running with a herd though water. So Woody took the calendar, took a picture of my mare and meshed them, making the above tattoo. He said I was great to tattoo because I didn't move or flinch at all. He said he'd love to work on me again and maybe do some scenery around it so it's not just a horse stuck on the middle of my lower back. lol I'm not sure about scenery, but we'll see. I might go for it some day.

Anyhow, I'd love to hear from anyone else if they have any :)

How was everyone's weekend? Mine was decent. Had a nice little Thanksgiving. I rode lots. On Saturday I actually got up the courage to lope because the mare had been outside for once and she was kind of calm (for how she's been). So after lots of warm up walk and jog, I decided to lope. She did good to the right. I'm studying BECG's post about blasting out at the shoulder because my trainer always said mare drops her shoulder. I never quite got the hang of how he was explaining how to fix it though. But I know it had to do with lifting up with my hand, like BECG was saying, so I have to figure out what it all means. At this point, getting her to do anything is better than nothing, but I would like to try to fix it. Going to the left? Still not happening. I can't keep her to the wall, she'll dart right the middle of the arena and put on her breaks. She jumps around and tosses her head, throws in a few little attempted bucks, but nothing major. I just cannot get her to lope to the left what so ever. Still trying to get a chiro out there because that seemed to help for a bit last time. The trainer always had trouble getting her to go to the left too, so I don't feel horrible, but I'd like for her to be able to go both ways. Believe me, it aint pretty at all, and I try not to give up, but there comes a point in time where I simply canNOT get her to go. She starts getting too worked up and frusterated, so I have her do something else and end on a good note for the day. But I keep trying. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Have a great day all!!

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