Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That solves it....

I went out today to see Denali again since I had to go ALMOST that way to exchange a girth. I took her some apples and called for her in the field. I love, Love, LOVE that she nickers at me and comes running to me. It makes me really happy that she likes me.

Good news, no baby! There can't be!! She's in heat, and apparently she bloats up big time when she's in season.

Sundance, the poor gelding pastured next to her, she walked over to him, turned around and stuck her but in his face. He looked at me like, "What now?" Denali quickly got frustrated with him and moved on to the Arab gelding that is pastured with Sundance. She did the same thing to him, with her tail in the air. He had no clue, and at this point I was laughing so hard I couldn't even breath.

What can I say....my little girl is VERY easy! I'm pretty sure if I ever DID want a foal, breeding would be a piece of cake!

Monday, June 29, 2009

What a weekend...

What can go wrong will..... On Saturday I went to Celebrate the Horse, which is a fund raiser for a horse rescue in northern Washington State called Hope for Horses. It's always very cool! I was drooling over the Friesian and the Andalusians, who were performing Mezair, and it was AMAZING!!! I was drooling! I want one!

It was c
ool to be able to talk to owners, and breeders. I mentioned to the woman who owns the Friesian Stallion Taj Mahal. He was Amazing! He stood in his stall with his head held high, we joked that it was because he knew he was amazing. I want to sneak Denali in his stall....just for a little bit :) Then I saw the Andalusians, and I want to sneak her in one of those horses stalls too (perferably a stallion.) The Friesian's owner said he produces beautiful TB/Fresian crosses. I said, "No, she's not perfect, so I don't want to bring a baby into the world who could have flaws." She said, "Those flaws could be corrected." I said, "No, I don't want anything to happen to her." She said "I breed custom babies." Sigh....so hard. I want one! BUT! I know that my husband would kill me, AND it's really hard since I can only ride one horse at a time. PLUS, Denali's board and training cost a lot at the moment. What the heck am I saying, I can't even think about getting another horse!! Well, a lot for a school teacher :)

I got to listen to some very interesting seminars by Barb Apple and Ken McNabb. Ken McNabb's was on de-spooking a horse. He made a point about giving your horse your courage. I think that makes a lot of sense, and is something I have always understood, but I think I finally get it. He said he once chased a grizzly bear down a trail and off of a fresh kill so the rest of the group could go past. A GRIZZLY! I'm not sure that Denali would do that if I asked her, but I'd like to think she'd look to me for guidance. Plus, we won't be going near grizzlies any time soon.

Then there was Sunday.... Oh Sunday....
5 years ago, I was t-boned by a Semi Truck who passed me while I was turning left. Not my fault since he was passing in a no passing zone. Well...guess what happened to me on my 5 year anniversary!!

(I love this picture-It's my friends license plate imprinted on the car in front of us!)

My friend and I were going out to look at a horse (she's looking for a new eventing partner.) AND the car in front of us stopped....and we stopped.....and well, the car behind us didn't.... Surprisingly everyone was fine. My friend and I had some burns from the airbags on our hands. I didn't hurt yesterday at all. Today, I feel like I was hit by a car. I can't even turn my neck without it hurting like hell. I don't think the fact that I'm still de-bruising from falling off Denali helped. Oh well. Like I said, everyone was fine. It was crazy. There were cops everywhere, and ambulances, and fire trucks.

Sigh... No riding again... I'm not meant to ride Denali. I went to the barn today to watch her trainer work with her (since I couldn't.) She joked with me that Denali looks pregnant. I said that I thought so too. She never had much of a belly, and in the past two weeks it has gotten bigger. There is really a VERY VERY small chance that she's preggers, and it's probably just that she's growing and her shape is changing. I just get worried because I don't know what happened to her while I was in Denmark. How do I say this?? My horse is a slut. She'll back into anything she can! There was a stallion at the crappy last barn, but I asked her old trainer if was any chance they were turned out together and she said no. I'm sure she's not, I'd be so mad!! If I'm going to breed her I want to
breed her to something worthy.

Here she is two weeks ago (no new pictures)
And the day I bought her!! July 6, 2008... actually, now that I look at the pictures I think I'm probably crazy (and she's really dirty!!) She looks exactly the same! Right!?

(She looks like such a baby!!)

Speaking of babies!! Here are the barn swallows! They actually started flying today!! (I took this picture yesterday.) They are so cute!!!
I'm going back east for two weeks! No Nawlers, which makes me sad. I hope she remembers me and doesn't get totally pissed at me!! She and her trainer cantered today!!! I'm excited to see what she can do when I get back!!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Actually, I don't really care that it's Friday, but since so many people do I'll be happy too! (I'm a teacher) Went out and rode the girl today. Denali did really well and I didn't freak out. She even jumped over a cross rail, and she HATES HATES HATES jumping. It felt funny, but also reminded me that I use to LOVE jumping when I was younger. It was so much fun! I don't think my trainer believes me when I tell her I use to be a good rider. Time away, and a very green horse don't make me a good rider. Actually, it's not the pony beast at all, it's my confidence!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We both broke into a sweat today. I am still really nervous about riding her, but it won't get better if I don't ride her. I don't think time in this matter will help things. I actually had a plan when I rode her today. She only had a little spook, and it was fine. The plan now is to ride her 5-7 times a week for 30 minutes or so. My trainer will ride her the rest of the time. I really appreciate all the support!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I wonder...

I had a nervous break down today when I went to get on the girl. Well, not an actual nervous breakdown, but I was still REALLY REALLY worried. This is only the 2nd time I've ridden her since I came off. I decided today that I'm going to go out and ride at least three times this week, if not more. She did fine! I'm the one who is worried about dying. I wonder how many more rides until I'm not nervous. I spent the first ten minutes thinking about all the things that could be going wrong! Grrr...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

School's Out!

Friday was my last day of school with my kids. I was sad for about .2 seconds, then realized that faster they got out of the building, the faster my summer break started. I started shooing every kids, crying or not, out of my hall way. I don't get middle school kids. They spent the past how many months yelling and screaming about how much they hate school and then they stand and cry. Hormones!

In the past I've treated myself to a massage on the last day of school. Well, I'll give you two guesses at who got it this year instead?
Spoiled? Absolutely! She seemed to enjoy the massage. I know that I got tired and relaxed just watching it! Guess who else got spoiled?

Ms. Ophelia! She is such a sweet girl. She really seemed to like the massage. It took me forever to find a licensed massage therapist for horses. Craigslist is my best friend (I can find anything on it) and so I posted an add looking for a licensed massage therapist, and had about 10 people respond who said that they "knew how to do it." I know this makes me anal, but if I'm going to have someone handling my horse, I want them to have insurance!!

Also on Friday, when I pulled into the barn I noticed that Denali didn't have her blanket on. Apparently she somehow managed to get the whole thing off without unbuckling anything! Her trainer said that she saw Denali running around like a lunatic and noticed she didn't have her blanket on anymore. She found Denali standing over it snorting at it. It doesn't have leg straps, just a back closure. The only thing we can figure out is she either rolled or somehow got the back part up over her, and then just wormed her way out of it.Look how guilty she looks! What a girl! I love her black blaze on her brown face. She's so pretty. Today I went to the 4-H show and I really wish I could do 4-H now, I'm only 11 years too old. I wish there was some 4-H Senior that wanted to show Denali. I would love for her to get the exposure, but then again, I would probably freak the poor kiddo out with all my fussing. That and I don't want them to die.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Evil Blue Tarps!

I am "horse sitting" this week for Ophie. Her mom went to a wedding. It reminds me why I never want more than one horse at a time. I don't have the energy for it! Ophelia is such a sweet, sweet horse. Yesterday I went out and took Ophelia into the arena to lunge her. First, I had to put Denali in the round pen, she would not allow me to get Ophelia first. Typical Denali. For Ophelia's safety I caved.

Ophelia is so light on her aids. So much better behaved then Nawlers. She would only eat grass once I pointed. Denali, heck, she'll drag you off if she thought she could get away with it. I put the surcingle on Ophie so I could use the side reins. After warming her up I realized I didn't need to, she already carrys herself beautifully.

There was a large blue tarp laying in part of the arena that I walked her over to. Ophelia is just starting to get over her fear of trailers so I didn't want to push it with the tarp. She's not my horse, so no need to give her a complex. She did put one foot on it, and after she did that I gave her lots of love and then took her back outside. Denali, well she didn't get a choice. I took her in the arena in hand since the three little girls were riding their horses, and I like giving her exposure.

I decided to take her to the tarp to see what she'd do. I walked on it and just held the lead rope. She pawed at it (it had water on it, she loves water) and it scared her, but she didn't run. I got her to walk on it slowly. I gave her lots of love and a few treats. Well....let me tell you, after those few tiny treats she's walk all over that tarp. She pawed at it walked over it, stood on it, nothing. Nothing phased her! I was a very proud horsey mom last night. I'm sure now if the tarp was blowing in the wind she'd be about four miles away in three seconds. We'll figure that out when we cross that bridge!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Side Note!

This is the first time that my "green n' green = black n' blue" came true. My butt has the biggest black and blue mark on it from Saturday. I'm still pretty impressed that I made it almost a year with the pony beast.


I went back out yesterday to ride the girl. I won't lie, I was scared to death because she seemed a little spooky. I tacked her up and walked her around while my trainer threw rocks on the roof of the arena. She freaked out once or twice, but seemed to catch on that she wasn't going to die. I really think the think that freaked her out the most was me putting all my weight on one side, and then coming off.

When I went to get on her I noticed that my stirrups were not at the right length. I had them down one from normal, which explains why I was having trouble with keeping my feet in the stirrups. Not that it's an excuse, but tonight I put them where they belonged and it was like riding on a cloud. No problems with keeping my feet in place.

Oh if you're on facebook search for "Nonies" they are ponies that I'm making for the rescue, SAFE, to sell to raise money for the horses. I can't rescue another one, and I can't donate a lot of money, but I can donate time and creativeness! Nonies (Noodle Ponies) are going to have their own blog where people can give me their registered name and I'll post pictures!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It had to happen....

I almost made it a whole year before coming off of Denali. That "winning" streak ended yesterday. :( We were working on lateral work all night, and the guy who owns the barn started cutting grass. A rock SOME HOW managed to make it onto the top of the arena. (My mistake, I should have gotten off and lounged her while he was cutting grass.) It sounded like a bomb going off. She lost it! I lost my right iron, which put all my weight into my left she bolted right and bunny hoped. The poor thing. She was so scared (I would have... been too. It was SO loud) anyway. Tried to do an emergency dismount but couldn't get my left foot out of the iron so I bit the dust. My new helmet (one week, ha!) and my peacock stirrups both earned their keep tonight! She did great though! She didn't get worked up or anything. She definitely looked upset, but once I found my iron pieces I rode her some more and she was fine. I'm just sore and black and blue, and if anything MIGHT have broken my middle finger, but I doubt it. It's only a little swollen and black and blue. It had to happen eventually, and wasn't as bad as I imagined. Going back out today.

The last time I came off a horse I was 12. I came off of my lesson horse, Misty, and landed on my head. It hurt so bad, and I still remember how much it hurt! I remember was my mom walking over and telling me to get back up on her. I was so afraid, but I did it. Misty refused to do anything more than a walk, but that was why she was amazing. I only got to go to the emergency room after I rode the horse. Nothing broken, just whip lash. I was so mad at my mom, but understand why she made me do it.

I think it's so important to get back up, both because you teach your horse that dumping you doesn't mean you're done, and for your own psyche. Any opinions?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why you don't call your horse a "ho"

Well, not really.... I haven't ridden in a month because I've been so sick. I'm finally feeling better and went out with the hubby last night so he could say good bye to her. The trainer was riding her and asked me if I wanted to hop up. (Made me realize how out of shape I am... not to mention I need to lose 20 pounds.) Anyway, we started trotting around the arena and she has become VERY forward. I didn't have to use my legs at all to keep her going. I was very impressed.

Anyway... the point of the story.... I USE TO have to say ho, and pull back on the reins as I was sitting back in my seat and she'd EVENTUALLY STOP.... Well, guess what she's finally learned! I barely had "ho" out of my mouth when we went from a quick trot to a DEAD STOP. I almost went over top of her. I couldn't help but laugh. What a good girl! Of course, the hubby was taking pictures so now I have a nice photo of me right before almost going OVER TOP my horse. How funny! It's amazing how fast she picks up on things!! That and how SUPER out of shape I am in!! WoW. I need to stop slacking in the riding department!

MAYBE I'll post that picture here, but I think I'll save myself the embarrassment. I drop hubby off tomorrow and he's gone for 12 weeks. Boo!!! I hate archeology! Well, not really... I just hate the he goes off to remote parts of Alaska and I can only write letters.... I have SPECIFIC instructions that I am NOT ALLOWED to buy another horse, or anything else that eats! Ha, July 6 will make it once year since I bought her. What a year!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This is why I'm crazy....

In case you haven't figured out by now, I love my horse! She is the best thing that has ever happened to me! I did something yesterday that I'm pretty sure is one of the crazier things I've ever done (aside from buying Denali).... I offered to buy another horse. Not just any horse, and hopefully not for a few years (if it ever happens) but Denali's dam, Salome Slew.

And this is why I'm crazy.

I've been thinking for a long time about her dam, and I know that horses don't have connections to their young after they've grown up like people, but I want her anyway. She's a broodmare on a REALLY REALLY nice farm in Kentucky, Hopewell Farms http://www.hopewellfarm.com/ and I ASSUME that they take really good care of their horses, and find them proper homes when they are done with them. I also realize that with that many horses, they may not have a "connection" with them like "regular" horse people do. I just don't want her to go to an auction and end up on a slaughter truck.

The people at Hopewell Farms were so wonderful to me when I bought Denali and was trying to track down her papers, I can't see them doing that, but how much can an old broodmare be worth to someone else? Who knows! She's by Seattle Slew, so hopefully that will help her. I can't afford another horse right now, and probably not until we move back east. I am really hoping that they don't need to find her a new home, and if they do it's not for at least 5 years. I wrote the letter yesterday and I assume that they had a good laugh over it, but at least I know I offered.

There was also a beautiful 29 year old Palomino horse that was sold to slaughter this past weekend at the same auction I bought Denali. I didn't go, and I can't go.... I will buy another horse and I can't do that unless I want my husband to leave me. I wonder if his owner knows what they've done? I'm assuming that he has been loved and doted on for the past 29 years. Why would you do that? I keep thinking about him, and if I could find someone to take him....sigh. I saw his picture on a Rescue's Message Board that I volunteer for, and can't stop thinking about him. I hope someone goes and gets him, or the guy who buys for slaughter is going to resell him. He looks so good! It's hard to imagine that he's 29.

I want to buy horse property and take in horses who just need a forever home. Now if I could just win the lotto!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just Some Pictures....

So I took my new camera out to the barn today and took some pictures...nothing much other than trying out the new camera! After the barn went to a birthday party.... for a chicken! It was Wilson's birthday, she's the one in the front, they're fighting over the banana! :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

3rd Place!

Denali was so well behaved! I was very proud of her! I won't tell you how many horses were showed, but it was more than 3! :) The brakes on the truck did start to act up when we were almost there. That was no fun!! We went about 2 miles an hour, but luckily the show was only about 10 miles away. It took almost an hour to get home, but we made it! Denali and her buddy were COVERED in sweat, but it was a long ride and REALLY hot out. They seemed calm when we got them out.
The winners are in order, 2nd, 1st, 3rd (Denali) and 4th. They said really good things about Denali, and were impressed with her overall (nicest shoulder and him) but that her overall muscular development wasn't as good as 1st and 2nd (well duh! Lol, we've been lazy) and she had the nicest head and ears, and her faults : shorter neck than they would like to see and her feet wing out a little bit. She's also over at the knees and tight in the tendons (which is why she'll never jump as long as I have her!!)

Overall, it was a great experience, and I am very VERY proud of her! I bought a new camera today! I'm excited to get it charged and take some pictures to see how they turn out! It's a Panasonic Lumix and it's pretty nice! I used the software that came with it to edit the above pictures. Hey! I didn't say I was good at it!

I am hoping someday to figure out blogger enough to make my blog look "cool" *ha ha-that sounds funny* but so far no luck! I tried tonight and screwed up so much that I had to reset it! Oh well!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Camera!

I am on a quest for a new camera. I own a very nice older Sony, but it is big and bulky, and not something that I can slip in my pocket while at the barn. I guess I COULD put it around my neck, but I don't want to look like a horse tourist. My brother suggested a Canon PowerShot SD1100 8.0 MG ELPH. He said he had one and loved it (prior to it going through the wash.) I am going to blame my horrible photography on my camera! Any good suggestions?

Ran out yesterday to see the girl! She is still pretty clean! I am hoping that she remains clean for the show tomorrow. I'm getting really excited about that! I am just interested in hearing what they have to say about her confirmation and how she behaves. I am really hoping to talk her to some schooling shows at the end of the summer and I just am wondering how many shows I am going to need to take her to before I will actually show her. I think that just hanging out is important.

I was reading about "Barn Sour" horses in one of my multiple horse magazines. I don't think Denali will ever be barn sour, but I know she gets "mom sour" if she is away from me she tends to try REALLY hard to test her limits. She acts like a spaz for my hubby, but if her trainer or I handle her she's as calm as a cucumber. We'll see how she does. She's just a very dominate horse, the most alpha mare I have ever been around and she needs to know that she is safe when she's with you. Sometimes it's hard to convince her.

I cut and thinned the hair some more yesterday. It's pretty short, but it looks good. I like playing with it! Her forlock is so much longer than the rest of her hair, it looks cute.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Letter:

I wrote this letter to the following people back at the beginning of last month. I said I wasn't going to post it on here, but changed my mind. I actually thought I posted it until this morning when I referenced it on another blog, then went looking for it. I didn't post it, just saved it... I don't work real well in the AM. I have received one response. I am still terrified of going to the track, because I'm the worlds biggest chicken.

I took out the woman's name but other than that it's exactly the same as when I sent it out. I thought maybe it would give other people an idea of what they could write to help stand up for horses.

The Horseman’s Benevolant Protective Association (HBPA)
Frank McDonald, President
3702 W. Valley Hwy North
Auburn, WA 98001

Dear Mr. McDonald,

My name is (Chicken who doesn’t want her real name on her blog), and I am the proud, owner of Denali , (Reg. Name: Storm City Slew) an OTTB who has brought a joy to my life that I didn’t know was possible. I am writing you this letter over my concern of how I bought “Denali.”

I attended the Enumclaw Auction in July 2008. I came across her standing in the corner of her small pen chewing on her lead rope. Something about her made it impossible for me to leave her. I talked to her owner, Horse Trader, who told me she was a 3 year old appendix, who she was “selling for a friend.” She said she was ridden by the “owners” kids down by a river. It didn’t matter to me; I loved her and couldn’t leave her in that horrible place with the chance of being sent to slaughter. She was healthy, and a good weight, the perfect addition to a feed lot.

The next day I went to visit “Denali” in her quarantine pen when I noticed she had thrown a shoe. I picked it up and was shocked it was so light. I grabbed a friend to help my hold her so I could check for a tattoo. Sure enough, my 3 year old Appendix was a Thoroughbred. There are multiple databases with information on racing Thoroughbreds – it didn’t take long at all to find out her registered name and who her trainer was at Emerald Downs. When I talked to him, he was shocked and horrified that I bought Denali at the auction. He had given this horse to Horse Trader because she told him it was for her kids and that she would have a good, safe home. I asked him when he had given Horse Trader this horse – it was ONE day before she landed at the feed lot. Clearly, she is taking advantage of her position at the track and intentionally deceiving trainers and owners who mean well by their horses.

The trainer gave me tickets to come watch a race and I attended with my husband. While we were there I saw the woman who sold me my horse. I was even more confused when I saw her talking with a jockey. I put two and two together and realized that the woman, Horse Trader is the wife of Jockey Horse Trader’s husband..

Here is my question. How can Horse Trader, a licensed professional and agent, be allowed to do this? I love going to the track now and watching the horses run. It makes me sick to see her there, knowing that unlike every other professional I have met at Emerald Downs she is willing to send the horses that make her a living, to a gruesome, violent fate – just for a few more dollars. It is people like Horse Trader that give racing a bad name.

Even sadder is that by getting to know trainers and owners, I now know that Denali isn’t the first Emerald Downs Thoroughbred to be taken to auction under false pretenses, and unless something is done, she won’t be the last. Before I bought my horse, I thought that horse racing was a horrible sport. I thought that the horses were used up and then thrown away. After meeting Denali’s track trainer, and others I realize that the best kind of horse is an OTTB. They are loved on and given better care than most expensive show horses. I had no idea, and I don’t think that many people do. It’s sad to think that she is allowed to lie to trainers and “promise good homes” and take these horses who have given everything on the track to an auction, where they often go to slaughter.

I still have Denali's auction tag hanging in my house with Horse Trader 's name written on the back. It reminds me how close she came to being crammed into a trailer and shipped off to Canada. Her new dressage trainer boasts that she is one of the smartest horses she's worked with, and is always impressed with how quickly she catches on.

Suffolk Downs and MEC have taken the lead in ending cruelty to race horses after their career ends. New York trainer, Paragallo, is in the news for starving 117 race horses. We all know that there are a few bad apples in every sport. It is only when a racing agency or authority does not hold offenders accountable that there is public concern. I would like to see Emerald Downs hold the Horse Trader Family to a higher standard. Whether or not you agree with sending horses to slaughter, know that the majority of the population DO NOT agree. And I would venture to say that after watching these magnificent athletes compete - not ONE of your guests would want to contribute to an industry who sends them to slaughter.

Please consider disciplinary action toward Horse Trader and Horse Trader ‘s husband to show your contributors and audience that you do demand ethical behavior while they represent your race track. Additionally, for a small bit of justice to all of the defenseless horses she has done wrong by.

Thank you for your time. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you want more information.


Chicken who doesn't want her name on the blog.

Ron Crockett, President, Emerald Downs
Jack Hodges, VP, Emerald Downs
MaryAnn O’Connell, Director, HBPA