Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Real, True and Unexplainable Rules of Dressage by Jackie Smith

I saw this on facebook and it's too funny not to share.

1. If you really want to get better at dressage, take it up at an earlier age – and grow an extra 3 inches of leg.

2. A test that starts with an arrow straight centre line and a square halt signifies the start of a Hickstead Speed derby.

3. A dressage test is a test of your skill against another competitor’s luck.

4. Dressage is about achieving a harmonious working relationship with your horse, whose only idea of harmony is eating grass in a field with his buddies.

5. If you want to end a drought or dry spell, wear a new jacket and Patey hat to an outdoor arena.

6. Untalented, difficult, aggressive horses have robust health, good hocks and long lives.

7. Talented tractable horses are accident prone and have OCD lesions.

8. You will ride the best test of your entire life just prior to being disqualified for not wearing your gloves.
9. Never keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your head before a test.

10. Never keep less than another 300 separate thoughts in your head during a test.

11. Horses do not improve their paces because you are wearing expensive German breeches.

12. If you chose a disco theme for your dressage to music test then the judge will be more than 90 years of age and Swiss.

13. The less skilled the rider, the more likely they are to share their critique of your test.

14. If you are considering the services of a horse clairvoyant to help you with training then you have reached the point of total desperation – try the German breeches.

15. Your horse has never heard of Podhajsky let alone read the book.

16. No matter how badly you ride a test, it is always possible to ride a worse one.

17. If it ain’t broke, try shifting your position and it will be.

18. Judges only suffer from temporary blindness (or kindness) when they are judging someone else’s test.

20. If you fall off your horse in the arena you will have paid to have the test videoed.

21. If you are feeling confident before a show then three of the British dressage team will turn up to give their young horses some “experience.”

22. Your horse will perform its best piaffe ever when you ask for extended canter.

23. Since runs of bad competitions come in groups of three, the fourth competition is actually the beginning of the next group of three.

24. No one cheats at dressage because no one has worked out how to do it.

25. It is surprisingly easy to end a test with a perfect square halt once you have scored a four for every other movement.

26. The result of an expensive lesson from a top pro is that you will stop believing in that tiny piece of innate ability that was holding your riding together.

27. Remember when buying a dressage horse advertised as “needs experienced competitive rider” this really means “needs the skills of Phillip Dutton just to stay on board.”

28. If you think your test was better than someone elses, it probably wasn’t.

29. If you pay 60,000 for an imported WB, you will be beaten in First Level 4 by a quarter horse.

30. Clinics given by someone with an interesting accent are not necessarily superior to those given by the homeboy.

31. If you go to the expense of raising an expensive WB foal, he will have a talent for jumping and no walk worth talking about.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Has anyone seen Denali?

 Help! Someone has kidnapped horsenapped Denali! No, no....maybe aliens have taken over her body. I ran out to see Denali today and figured it would be our normal visit. I'd walk up to the field. She'd ignore my existence. I'd yell. She'd ignore me. I'd leave.

Today I walked up to the field and I saw her little ears off in a distance. The next thing I can't make up. She looked up, nickered the loudest nicker I've heard from her and she came galloping the entire way to me. My heart melted. I ran hobbled to borrow a halter/lead rope. To take her out of the field. She was beyond adorable. I don't know if she has ever been this well behaved ever. The horses in the field quickly realized that they were missing out on a meal ticket and were running around being nuts. She just stood there and ignored them. I had sandals on (since I had planned on Denali ignoring me) so we went for a walk to my car so I could grab my boots. She was unimpressed with trunk organization skills and she started going through it.

Mom. Really??? This is ridiculous!
We went for a walk around the property and she looks and moves really well. It was so fun. I'd walk she'd walk. I'd run she'd run.  She somewhat ground ties, especially when there was food involved. I put her in the barn aisle way with some hay and ran into the grain room to grab some carrots. I turned around to her face. She had followed me into the tiny room. I had a small nervous breakdown (you know, me, Denali and small spaces.) She just looked around checking things out. There is a big step into the room, and there was no way for her to turn around. All I did was say, "Denali, you need to back up." She did. Perfectly. I was so proud.

We continued our trip around the property stopping at the bottom of a steep hill so she could eat the grass. I figured I'd sit there, she'd eat all and would be fine. Just then April, the horse with the gash in her neck (which has healed nicely) started screaming, and screaming. She was pinning her ears at Denali, kicking the wall and was pissed.

Denali was eating, but started to get nervous. I tried to tell her it would be okay, but she decided to GALLOP up the hill past me (no nero signs.) She calmed down, but I figured she had enough of an adventure so we walked up the trail back to the pasture.

She makes my heart swell with love. I don't know what I would do without her. It's hard to believe that 6 months ago she wasn't suppose to be here. I almost wasn't here. She makes my heart sing with joy. She was such a good girl, and even if I can't ever ride her she does more for my soul than I could ask. I love my mare. Thank you for loving her right along with me. She's so different now, she's so happy, she's so calm.

Yummy grass

Thursday, May 26, 2011

RIP Romeo

May 2004-May 26, 2011
"I have seen things so beautiful they have brought tears to my eyes. Yet none of them can match the gracefulness and beauty of a horse running free."

                                                                     ~Author Unknown

We love you Romeo. Run free sweet boy, run free.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I know NOTHING about Reining. Nada, I know it involves a horse. That's about it. I do know that what this man is doing to this horse in this video is sick. The fact that it's at the FEI World Reining Finals makes it that much worse. Shame on you Mr. Schmersal. SHAME!! Please someone tell me that this is NOT how you train a reining horse. PLEASE!


I took off Monday morning because I had a million things to do. I had to make some tail bags to send out, and my house was a disaster. It stressed me out. Monday mornings are easy for me to take off without having to write blow by blow lesson plans. A good friend of mine subbed for me, and my student teacher took over for me. That went well and I got about half done that I needed to.

Monday night a friend and I started to take an exercise class. Believe it or not I loved it! My knee and hip have gone to hell and I can't run without pain. SO we started taking a deep water exercise class. It was beyond fun. We did it for an hour and got out of the water and almost fell over we were totally jello like. I am STILL sore. Just what I needed though. I don't remember the last time I laughed that hard, or had that much fun working out.

Tuesday (was that only yesterday?) was a long day. Longer than it needed to be. Our Superintendent visited our school. One of my students yelled "F****** B****" which made me look awesome. Another student's mom died of an overdose. I only pray they didn't find her. Tuesday night sucked all around for lots of personal reasons.

I woke up today to find out that they are going to be putting down the gelding that I've been writing about. Mr. Romeo. I love that horse and he is so sweet. He was running around a lot and did something to his fetlock. He isn't sound just standing around and isn't doing well. I am running out of work to go see him and love on him. They are letting him go tomorrow.

I went to Day 1 Round 2 of physical therapy. My leg is all kinds of screwed up. I knew that. I have a list of exercises to do to build up my hip. Once my hip is built up they are going to work on my knee. I apparently hyperflex my knees when I stand and lock them. My calves are messed up because of the way I stand. My right knee is screwed up because of the way I walk on my right foot. My hip has no muscle tone. If I was a horse I would probably be put down. :( The good news is that she said I could ride. She said she'd figured I would anyway, so why make me feel guilty. She must have had other riders as patients.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Update

My weekend was busy and exhausting. Like many of yours I assume. You work all week and then try to cram everything into one day (I work Sundays too.) My house still isn't clean, my laundry needs done, we do have groceries so that's a plus.

Saturday I was suppose to go to watch a dressage show, but it was cancelled due to the virus. I think it's smart really, and it freed up some time to spend with the husband. I don't remember the last time we just hung out. It was fun. In the afternoon he had to go to work, and I ran out to work at the center because Tuesday I have meetings all night long. Denali continues to be adorable, and a bit sore. Her new smartpaks came and I changed her from SmartFlex Repair to Cosequin ASU. They had a 1/2 of sale for the Cosequin and that was the only way I could afford the loading dose. My vet suggested a while ago to try it, so I hope she moves around a bit better. Most of it is due to the mud, but she still seems sore. I wish you all could have met her a year ago and then now. She's a different horse. It's nice to see her so happy.

I also ran out and got my new bit. They ordered and exchanged my KK Ultra for one that would fit Denali. I didn't even ask them. I just made a remark that the one I won didn't fit her.  I tried the new one on Denali and the look on her face was AWESOME!! It was a "what in the hell do you think you're doing. We're standing in the middle of a field." She was a good girl and kept chomping at the bit (ha!) After determining that it WOULD fit her I took it off and she went back with her friends.

Meet the Lease Pony!

Sunday I had a riding lesson in the morning. I would be lying if I wasn't terrified. The horse I'm leasing is a 16 year old Paint mare who has two crystal clear blue eyes, and is deaf. The deaf part doesn't bother me. I think it will be good for me to ride a horse that isn't sensitive to the smallest noise 2 miles away. Although I do need to remeber to give her pets and love so she knows she's doing good. When riding Denali, she could double as a security system. She hears everything and freaks. We tacked her up and I had a few "ah ha" moments. My nerves quickly went away and it felt right to be back up on a horse again. There were a few jumps set up, so I took her over those (she's in shape, I'm not.) I really like jumping a lot, but still think that dressage is safer. At least in dressage you're suppose to stay on the ground. Our lesson ended quickly because her son remembered that he was suppose to be somewhere an hour earlier. It was fine with me. We'll finish the lesson this week and I'm not too sore today.

The GWB was interesting. It was the first day that I've worked that the horses were turned out. I tried to sneak the grain into the bins before I brought them in. That way I wouldn't need to do it later. That went well. Then I took in one horse and the rest of them decided the were going to see who would be the fastest. Running all over their turn outs and destroying them. Sigh. Ponies what in the hell. I have a method to my madness when I work there and I think they know it. They don't get fed, grain, etc. if they're being a pill. I also don't turn them in if they are being a brat too. It was pretty funny. I would take one horse in and the rest would go crazy. When I walked back down they'd all freeze and act like nothing was going on.

One "pony" and I had to have a 20 minute "discussion" on how to walk into the barn. AKA: Don't run over me. Don't run past me, Don't lead me. He eventually got it, but hell if I was going to let him win. The rest were good. The owners new boy is just amazing. I wish I could take pictures of him, but I'd feel weird since she competes all over the US and doesn't know I have this blog. I always feel weird when I talk about the GWB.  He is massive and I felt so tiny leading him in.

Two interesting things happened yesterday. A girl was cleaning stalls and came up to me and started telling me what to do. I was a bit confused but figured that maybe she's been here for a long time and I just now met her. I let her go on and on. Eventually I stopped her and introduced myself. I asked her how long she has worked here (nicely, I promise.) Yesterday was her first day. I nicely told her that I have worked here a year if she ever needs help telling the horses apart.

Another woman came up to me and started talking to me in a slow, weird manner. I thought that maybe she had a speech impediment, or something else wrong. She was visiting a friends horse for her. After a second or two I realized that she didn't think that I spoke English. I told her what she wanted to hear, and the look on her face was awesome. I'm 6ft tall with the whitest skin and brown curly hair. I would love to have some Latino in my blood, but I don't.

Denali says hi and she promises pictures of her fat self soon. Hope you had a great weekend and that your ponies are staying healthy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lesson: Fail!

So for future reference, I should not schedule allergy shots on the day I want to function like a normal human being. You know, breathing normally and non-swollen arms. :( No lesson. Had to reschedule it for Sunday. Boo.

My friend took this video. She had rescued this horse 3 years ago. She had a 10 month old colt (who has turned out amazing) at her side. My friend found his stuffed horse at a thrift store and it looked so much like Sugar that she bought it for a photo opt. This is the reaction that Sugar had when she tried to take it away. She felt bad when she had such a strong reaction. Who knew? Regardless, Sugar went back into the field and was fine. The baby horse is back home and doesn't plan on making any more trips to the barn.

Lesson Day.

So. I spent an hour digging through all my stuff to go to my riding lesson today. It's amazing how easily your stuff gets all over the house when you don't use it. GULP. To say I am nervous is an understatement. I haven't ridden since September? Maybe in January I had a quick lesson.... I don't remember.

In other news I love my local tack shop even more. I got a voice message yesterday, "The bit that you ordered has finally come in." Um...bit? I didn't order a bit? I called and cleared things up. About a month ago I did call and say that the bit I won was really a 5.5" and was too big. Apparently they ordered me the smaller one! I just need to bring in the "old" one in and they will exchange it. How awesome is that? I won't be using it for Denali, but the horse I'm leasing is a 5" so it would be nice if I could use it for SOMEONE.

If you don't hear from me again it's because I died in a lesson.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Clearing up a few things...

Denali wanted me to clear up a few things about her campaign.... She doesn't want anyone to stand behind her policy platforms....we all know how that might turn out. She suggests you stand next to her, it will just be safer for everyone involved.  As a friend of mine put it. The world really might end in 2012 if these girls take over.

Also. To quickly explain it. I saw photos of Denali being ridden walk/trot....they were taken LAST WEEK!!! SURPRISE!! I don't know if I'm suppose to know about it or not. I guess the vet road her twice last week. The vet knows that I'm a freak when it comes to it and that I've resigned myself to her being a pasture pet, so I think it's a surprise? I have no idea how she did. The girl who showed me the picture said she did great. Yesterday she was TEARING ASS around the field yesterday. The girl I work with and I figure it's only a matter of time before she breaks a leg. It was the kind of gallop where you can't figure out how their legs get over their heads. It sort of reminded me of the road runner.

It just amazes me how happy she is now. I didn't realize that she was unhappy before, but now that I've seen her so happy I'm not sure I can give her less than a large huge pasture with some BFF's.

Work yesterday involved lots of hiking around fields yesterday with horses practicing their black stallion impressions when they were moved from their field. We put a few horses into the summer pasture. They were running and running and running. It was beautiful. Denali and two of her friends stood at the fence and looked so jealous. It made me sad to see her look so jealous, but seriously mare. You're so jealous. I fed her her evening slop, and she stood around with me after (instead of going off with her friends.) Made me feel loved! :)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Denali 2012

Too much time on my hands? Maybe. Too much to do? Yes. Still. Denali would appreciate your vote in 2012 while she runs for President. I tried to explain to them that they wouldn't actually be running, but they were already off and practicing.... I'll tell them sometime. Until then I'm not going to be one to kill a dream!

Tonight I ran out to volunteer at Denali's center. It was an eventful evening. Nothing bad happened, but it also felt like nothing was happening very fast. I'm tired and will re-tell that tail tomorrow! Until then, Vote for Denali/Cricket (They haven't decided who will be President/VP yet...too much fighting!) I also found out something pretty exciting.... you'll have to wait until tomorrow! :)

Horse Show

So besides being totally jealous the entire day... I had a blast at the horse show on Saturday. I was in charge of registrations, and the older ladies that were working in the booth kept laughing at me. I turned on my best salesman charm and apparently sold more memberships to the club in one day for at least three years, What can I say, I'm a charmer...no...not quite....I had 2 Venti coffee's and was WIRED. I was asked if I need to go be lunged, but I took it as a complement. It was the biggest show the club has had in 10 years, and we made a ton of money. I talked a ton of people into doing trail (because how much fun is that) and they came back to thank me for giving them the extra push. Since I was in charge of registration I gave them a "deal" on adding trail to their list and charged them pre-entry price instead of post-entry.

Limited show drama, but still drama. I don't do well with drama and had to walk away. It makes me nervous. There is also a ton of drama involving me (but not directly) at work. I can't wait until this school year is over!! Heck, I will be glad when this week is over. I hate being involved in drama. It makes me anxious and sick to my stomache.

Denali is doing well, she is happily munching away in the field and enjoying the sun when it comes out (it hasn't come out much.) We got as much rain on Sunday (in one day) as we ususally get in the entire month of May. Needless to say, the Ark building has started. Denali has a nice stall in it, and I've made a few for our Seattle Area friends. No fear, MyHorseFaith, or Pia's Mom. We'll save you!!

Actual Ark

Monday, May 16, 2011

Surviving Denali

Sprinklerbandit, you made me laugh so hard, I laughed and snorted. This is the title of the book that I got in the mail. I would write a post, but I need to go read my new book. Surviving Denali: A Study of Accidents on Mount McKinley 1903-1990 I wonder if it would help me?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's Here!!

It's done!! I wish my cell phone took better pictures, but I think you get the idea. I love it! The poor woman a the frame store. She opened the package and I cried. I guess she gets that a lot because she had tissues under the desk and had quick reflexes.

Show and weekend update are coming, but I had to share this! Also, thanks to whoever came my 188th follower! Boy, do we feel loved today!!

Friday, May 13, 2011



First Order of Business.....AppyDoesDressage and Pia's Mom. I love you! I don't pay much attention to my e-mail, but I do when I get comments on my blog. Thank you SO Much for the heads up!!! Guess what!!!! Guess what the Tacky Tack of the Day Was?????

For $100.00 off!!! It was the exact amount of money that I had set aside to buy a blanket AND I got the one I wanted!! I'm so F****** excited I could scream.

In other order of business.... Tomorrow is the horse show, and apparently I'm in charge of the show office. THAT could be fun. We'll see how that goes. I WOULD say to read about it in my last post but that is missing. Boo!!

While trying to get all the last minute things done I started to get sad that I wasn't showing this summer. I really liked showing last year and up to yesterday I had written off ever riding again. Then. Then it got above 60 degrees and it was sunny. My heart started to ache and I got the urge to ride/show. I like riding, don't get me wrong, but I really love showing. It's just so much fun to wake up at the crack of dawn and get your horse ready. It made me sad that I wasn't going to do it. It's fun to hear what you need to work on, and to show off your accomplishments.

However. There are problems.....

1. Lack of money.
2. Lack of horse
3. Lack of trailer

$$$ to lease a horse AND show is expensive. I decided to suck it up and e-mail my old trainer. Earlier she had offered me her paint mare for the summer. She is so much different than the Morgan (I actually DON'T look ridiculous on her.) She listens to your legs and actually collects on the bit with ease. My trainer will take you ANYWHERE you want to go to show, and I really did have fun showing with her. It was the Denali/Me/Trainer relationship that didn't work. I had written it off earlier because I thought that Denali would be at a different barn by now (she's staying put) and was afraid of the drama when I told her trainer that we weren't coming back.

So. I'm leasing a horse. I'm leasing a horse for far less than any normal human being offers their horse up for lease for. I'm very appreciative of that because I couldn't afford it otherwise.

I'm excited. I'm a bit nervous. There is a dressage show in June I want to go to....my first "lesson" on the mare is this coming Thursday....I haven't ridden since September. I'm sure this will all work out! Right?

The saga continues....how could you not follow this train wreck?


1. Blogger goes down so that I have nothing to procastinate with and I HAD to clean my house. Fail.
2. My last most is MIA! Boo!!!

I do have some some-what exciting news....not mind blowing, but still fun. More on that later.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Humor Me!!

Will someone please buy these boots so I can live vicarious through you? Is it okay that it breaks my heart that I don't need them. I've wanted them forever. So cheap....sigh.

Horse Shows

Have I mentioned that I'm running a horse show? I had to laugh at Fugly's post yesterday because I fully expect to have that happen this weekend. The first show is just a schooling show, but the rest of them (3 total) are rated shows. I'm glad I'm not a judge, but as an organizer I fully expect to have people give me their opinions since they can't give it to the judge (well, they aren't suppose to.) We hired the judge and since I'm sure she won't know anything that will make it our fault. There needs to be a reality TV show for horse shows. Right? Forget Beauty Queen Moms or whatever that show was called.... There's no drama like horse show drama. (or barn drama.)

I'm not the "head" person, (THANK GOD) but signed up to run the English/Western division at a local horse park. My PLAN was to bring Denali to the dressage shows hosted by the park this summer, and to make people NOT hate me when she took out the dressage arena (not saying she WOULD, but I think you all know her well enough to know what she's capable of...)

Instead Denali decided to become a pasture pet, and stuck me with running a horse show. How nice of her! (I am still refusing to say "retired" because SOMEDAY I will get on her.) This weekend could be very interesting.

Last night I ran out to work at the Center. April, who actually was featured on the Fugly Blog the other day (remember this nice photo), needed her neck flushed out. It reminded me of WHY I don't know if I could be a vet. The puss and gunk that came out of her neck....Yuck! April was a good girl and stood cautiously while the vet flushed it a few times. The stitches are still holding, but it is really swollen. She is such a sweet girl. I joked with Mel, one of the workers, that April likes me more. She ran around her stall from Mel, but let me catch her right away. (Ignore the fact that Mel gives her antibiotics three times a day. :) ) I love her. She always lets me catch her, and love on her. She's a VERY special girl.

The day she came in.

After taking care of April I ran out to do the first fly spray of the season on Denali. It amazes me at the number of flies that are already around. Dont' they know it's 55 degrees. There are warmer places bugs. Feel free to go there. She was a good girl and stood perfectly still (after catching her and giving her the mash/med/mix.) She is lame (SHOCKING) but it's only because of her trim she had in April. I thought she looked a little funny the other day, but when I felt her legs nothing was hot and she didn't look too bad walking around.

I finally have enough $$ in my "Denali account" to buy her a Back on Track blanket. I'm having the hardest time finding one that will work. They all do the same thing, but are slightly different. I can't figure out what the difference is between them. Plus, I swear the price went up. She's so tense all over, I think it will help my pasture pet be the best pasture pet she can be! 

In Pete news I finally got a hold of the owner of the GWB. Have I mentioned that I love her? She hasn't heard anything from his owner, which I think is a good thing! I asked her to let me know if he's going to suddenly leave. That gives me a sigh of relief. She is also letting me take a ridiculous amount of time off this summer without hating me. That's great. I have some traveling to do, but I'm sure that I will make it out there. She keeps telling me to come ride a horse. Sigh. I know. I know. As stupid as it sounds, unless it's my horse, or I have a goal (like showing) I don't have a ton of desire to ride at the moment. Maybe when it's warm.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Catch a Thoroughbred

Step 1: Obtain carrot, apple, or other treat. Be sure to have two of whatever you choose. More on this in steps 5 and step 8

Step 2: Give Denali benefit of the doubt and call for horse. Smile when she looks at you, walks away and goes back to eating (so much for coming to me every time I call for her. )

Step 3: Walk into field 10 steps. Call horse again.

Step 4: Call different horse. Any horse other than the horse that you want. Ignore Denali.

Step 5: Give treat to other horse. Pet them.

Step 6: In .5 seconds Denali will be there. Watch out so that you don't get run over. Step out of way.

Step 7: Ignore Denali. Walk away. She will follow you.

Step 8: Pet horse. Give meds. Give treat

Step 9: Great success!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ponies on a Sunday

Thank you everyone for your nice words about Pete. I know that this happens every single month at auction houses all over the US. Perfectly nice horses end up going through the auction and then an unfortunate number of them end up going to slaughter. Luckily we have a pretty great group of people who keep up with the auction house and they network like crazy to find homes for those who don't get sold at the auction before they end up in slaughter. I believe that since they formed their group in November 2009 only one has gone to slaughter, and that is because his owner requested it. Don't even get me started on that. It doesn't mean that it doesn't happen all over the United States. The New Holland auction in PA makes me just sick.

I wish that people would take 30 minutes to clean them up, 30 days to put some training on them, and the 30 year commitment when they take a horse on. Sadly people take 30 seconds and decide it would just be easier on them to dump their horse. Lazy.

I sent the barn owner an e-mail telling her a million things and asking her about Pete. Still waiting to hear from her.

Sorry that I get so fired up about auctions and horses. It just makes me so mad, especially when the owner doesn't even try to find them a home.

Enough on that...for now.

Yesterday I ran out to work at the Giant Warmblood Barn. On my way I stopped to pick Denali up a fly mask and debated for 20 minutes to get one with her with ears or without ears. I picked ears and ran to do my shift at the GWB. I got there earlier because I assumed that I'd need to put blankets on, but alas, I did not. Instead I went and gave Pete a big hug, and he gave me a hug back. Then I noticed that he was shaking his head like crazy. I ran to the car to get Denali's fly mask and well....it's no longer Denali's fly mask. Shh....don't tell her that! He seemed pleased as punch when I put it on. He strutted in and out of his stall, almost as if he was showing it off. It seemed to help a little bit. Love him. Ugh.

Ran to the center to do my shift there after. Denali broke a blanket strap again and had her blanket on all kinds of wrong. As I as walking out into the field to fix it one of the horses came up, and apparently I wasn't paying enough attention to her because she bit me. We had a "discussion" and then I fixed Ms. Denali's blanket.

Hope that everyone had a good Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sullen Saturday

Saturday started out with lost of potential to be great! I went to a schooling show (Jumpers) with Ophie's mom. It was nice to see her and to catch up. I miss sharing a barn with her. She had to leave to go have a lesson on Ms. Ophie, but I stuck around to watch a few more classes. As I was about to leave I saw one of my favorite horses from the Giant Warmblood barn. His rider asked me if I knew anything about Pete (Pete the horse I love on at the GWB.) Apparently another boarder told her that she saw him on craigslist for free. (Heart sink.)

Do you know what happens to very large, free, somewhat unsound,head shaking, older horses? Well. As far as I know the list of great homes for pasture pets is non-existent. A beautiful mare just pulled out of the kill pen with three days to go before she ships. Nothing wrong with her, just bad luck. Come to find out she use to do the Hunter Circuit (A) in the Pacific North West. I am so worried for him. I've searched craigslist high and low for the ad and can't find it.

So either A. She was wrong.
               B. The owner had a change of heart.
               C. Someone is taking him.

I am so worried about my large red friend. He's so sweet, but is so light sensitive his whole head goes, and it has been getting worse.

I decided that I needed to leave the show and go see my large red friend and give him some treats. On my way out of the show I saw this smart park job.

Seriously? Seriously. No, they weren't with the truck/trailer. You're at a horse show. You must realize that this person has no way to open their trailer to put their horse inside the trailer. I suggested that they either try to put the gate down, or tie their horse to the car. Another asshole parked in front of the trailer, so they couldn't pull forward either.

I ran to the Giant Warmblood Barn and took some photos of Pete. It made me sad. I'm so afraid that he'll end up in the kill pen, and I want to make sure that I have photos to compare to identify him. I can't go there myself because I'll bring SOMEONE home. I know it makes me sound crazy. I gave him so love and some treats. It breaks my heart that I'm the only person who has shown him any love since October at least. I pray that he lands in a home that will give him the love that he needs. He deserves it.

I also found out that one of my favorite boarders is leaving. I really, really like her and I love her horses. I made her promise I could come see her horses when they move. She's so nice.

After taking my ID photos of Pete, I ran out to see Denali. She just seems "off." It's been rainy and her pasture was muddy so maybe that made her grumpy. I took her out to go for a short walk and eat some grass. She seemed to love it. I honestly think that I could take her halter off and she wouldn't go anywhere. We didn't do much else than eat grass. I checked her legs for heat and they felt okay. She has a knot on her left hind where the suspensory tore. I assume that is scar tissue. She was a good girl for me, but I swear I have PTSD from the trailer because wow, simple things are such a struggle for me now. We're getting there.

Think good thoughts for Pete!

Also, if you see Summer and want to send it to Seattle, that would be great!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dog Dressage

Last night my husband and I took our neighbors dog Margarita for a walk. As we were leaving our house, our other neighbor saw us and asked if we wanted to take his dog Cedar too.  As we were walking I commented to my husband how nice Cedar's movement was and how nice his trot was. My poor husband proceeded to stare at me like I lost my head. We discussed my craziness and how I compare everything to a horse. Then we had a 10 minute conversation comparing the dogs movement. Margarita's trot was choppy and not much extension. Cedar's was much smoother, and if he was a horse I would love to sit his trot, and his transition to a "canter" was beautiful.

Think I'm crazy? There really is dog dressage. I dare you to watch the whole video without laughing. It really is amazing, but I just kept giggling.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Window Shopping

I was going to do a funny post and started looking for a picture I took a long time ago (never found it.) Instead I came across the photos of me riding Denali and it just made me sad that I might not be able to do that again. A friend offered me to come ride her horse, but it's just not the same. Sitting on Denali, it always felt right. I don't know how to explain it. I'm sure some day I'll hop back up on her back, she may be 30, but I hope to do it again.

 I keep having this reoccurring dream of us being in a round pen and she keeps pointing at her with her head back while we work. I finally crawl up on the panel and she comes over to me, points again and I hop on. Somehow we end up in a field galloping. No saddle, no bridle, just the wind and the sun. It always makes me feel so happy and sitting on her back feels the way I remember it. Who knows, I might just be getting a glimpse of heaven. I'm fine with that.

So, since I own a pasture pet, I often window shop. I've in love with the Georgian Grand breed and just love this boy. Although if I'm looking for a horse I don't want a baby. I want an old, knows everything, been there, done that, bomb proof horse. After that, maybe I can graduate to a baby. I did it wrong the first time (don't regret it) but next time I'm doing it right.


I'm exhausted. My hormones are taking me for a ride, and I want off. I hate being a girl sometimes.

Yesterday I was suppose to go out to the Center where Denali is and help Melanie. I'm a huge, horrible slacker and I didn't make it. I was so tired and still had to get a million things done for this massive party that I am throwing in my classroom. Talk about guilt. Horrible guilt.

Yes. That's right. I'm throwing a party in my classroom and we've invited everyone. Everyone. My kiddos (6-8 year olds) are hosting, I'm just training them how to have a proper party. Today we worked on offering drinks and snacks. We did this last year and it was a ton of work, but I was so proud of them. This year is a little different since I have K-2 and last year I had 1-3.

If I don't blog after Friday you'll know that they have me tied up somewhere.

Speaking of blog, I changed my links. Instead of having our "followers" blogs and "Blogs I read when I should be working" separate, I just lumped them together. This way I get to read your blogs more often because I'll actually notice that they've been updated.

That's about all in this neck of the woods. I won't make it to see Slew-Face before Saturday, which makes me feel bad. Hope you have a restful evening (or morning!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why People Suck (Part 3,493??)

The beginning of the month always depresses me. Currently there are 10 horses in the kill pen where I bought Denali. Seven of them are Thoroughbreds and one of them is a dead ringer for mare-wolf. Breaks my heart. I don't understand why the race track allows people to dump horses and still train at the track. I think they should be banned.

This is the letter that I sent to Emerald Downs in June, 2009. You can see my origional blog post here. I thought I'd put it out here again.

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
Maybe more people need to write letters, maybe a bigger stink needs to be made. You don't throw an animal away if it doesn't "work out." From the moment that animal becomes yours it is your responsability to take care of it. You don't thow it into a kill pen. Sorry for my monthly rant. It breaks my heart! And to add more to mey "People Suck" rant, read this! Really? I hate people. How can you do this? Hug your horse. Tight.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Discipline: Diva

Denali and her "bay" gang. Don't tell her, but I thought that Sunny was her the other night. Opps!
Two posts today! Don't forget to check out my earlier ramblings.

Denali and I were in Smartpak last month for a quote that I had said on their facebook page. They asked why we started using Smartpak, and that was easy. Mare-face is like a really old truck that keeps requiring extra parts. Smartpak allowed me to order what she needed, let me compare the supplements, and gave me the support that I needed to make the decisions for her. I LOVE Smartpak. They should make a little logo for those of us who are obsessed with them. I've been very happy with her Smartpak, and will continue to use them.

I found out yesterday from a friend that we were in the new catalog again, twice. Ms. Slew quickly tried to find an agent. She quickly lets things go to her head. Silly mare. I showed my husband the catalog and said sadly, "Look, it says Discipline: Dressage. Too bad that's not the case." My sweet husband looked at me and said, "Yep, it should say Diva."

Yes. That's perfect. Diva!

Smartpak's make me so happy. I know that she's getting what she needs, I know that its fresh. I know that my scoop is everyone's scoop. Okay, enough of my love of Smartpak. Now they just need to sponsor her and her supplements. She does stuff right?? She eats, she poops, she bosses horses around. She keeps me sane and drives me insane.

In other news, I forgot to mention where I spent two hours of my life on Sunday. I went to the frame store. I think I drove the poor woman crazy. At first I thought I wanted red on the matting, and she designed a beautiful framing option. It was really nice, she typed everything into the system I decided I didn't "love it." While I love red, and everything Denali has is red, I decided it wasn't good enough for this drawing. The drawing is perfect and beautiful. I wanted something to complement the picture, not take away from it. Through lots of playing, and lots of driving her crazy I think I hit the nail on the head. I hope you'll like my choice! It should be done May 15th. I can't wait to see it. 

Other random funny story. Sunday another mare chased Denali off of her mush dinner. We fed her in the field since we were there to watch her, and really? It's Denali. We never thought that she'd ever let anyone take her food. I felt like mom on a playground. I stormed over to Mary and took back Denali's dinner. She was glad to get it back. 

And now for some cute pictures.

One of my new favorite photos. Denali (rt.) and her best friend Cricket.

The pony!! And the "Bay" field. He's ADORABLE!

 And not so cute. Poor baby.

April's neck, well half of it. It's bad all the way around. Poor baby. I love her so. This is what happens when people are morons.

Weekend Update (on a Monday)

First order of business. Remember last week when I asked you what looked around my blog and see what was new? I think it's working now. My blog is officially http://www.wildponybeast.com/. I spent the whole $10.00 to buy my blog name. I thought of changing the name to something else, but what? I couldn't think of anything and I didn't want people to get lost. Maybe someday I'll become more creative. http://www.glassleggedhorse.com/ ? Who knows. http://www.marewolf.com/ I like that one, but don't want to steal it from Pia's mom. She made it up.  Any idea for creativity would be great.

Friday was my husband's 31st birthday. Which means that it's officially been a year since Ms. Mare-pants tore her suspensory. One year. So much, and so little has happened in a year. It has been a crazy year. Friday we went to happy hour at a small Swedish Club in Seattle. Sig Hansen from the Northwestern (Deadliest Catch) was there. Sadly many old swedish men kept talking to him, and I didn't want to appear to be a freak. So other than tripping into him as I got my third glass of wine I didn't get a chance to say anything to him.

Saturday I went to Horse Yoga at the center where Denali is living. I didn't want to work with Denali learning all the stretches, so I borrowed the vets TB. What is it with Chestnut TB Geldings? They are the exact opposite of Chestnut TB Mares. So sweet, so kind and so calm. It was an awesome lesson on stretching horses and I learned a lot.

There is a new horse at the center. I'm in love with her! Her name is April and she went through a barbed wire fence. She cut her neck down to the jugular and apparently you could see it. She has a ton of stitches in her neck and has no reason to trust humans. She's been taken in by the rescue SAFE (Save A Forgotten Equine) and is there to heal. There is just something about a horse, who has NO reason to trust a human, walking up to you, resting her head against your chest and sighing... Love, Love, LOVE her. The girl I work with at the center (who I gave this website to, GASP!) told me that I love all horses. I do. Ones like this just get me.

I gave the ex-stallion Romeo a nice grooming session. He just can't stop thinking of girls and has a hard time focusing. He is a very smart boy and I think that I'm going to try to teach him some tricks. He's not ridable, but needs to do something. He has a very, VERY bad fetlock and can't get too excited. He's so sensitive and over-reactive. It might take him 5 years, but hopefully eventually he'll realize that he's NOT a stallion. Denali HATES him.

Sunday I got the wonderful job of putting 26 blankets back on the horses at the Giant Warmblood Barn. I think I would be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous about doing it. They were so good. The woman who owns it has a new horse that was just important from Germany I think. He was bought at the
Westfalen Elite Auction. He is 17.1, 4 years old and a giant lab. He is SO, SO sweet. I told her that if she ever wants to give him away (insert laugh here) that I'd gladly take him. He's AMAZING!! I actually gasped when I saw him for the first time. He's that perfect.

I must have smelled extra good. The horses kept sniffing and sniffing me it was so hilarious. I love them all! They are massive and quite intimidating. After working at the Giant Warmblood Barn I went to work at the place Denali lives. It took some adorable photos of the horses and will post them soon.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Somehow I deleted my "What I Read When I Should Be Working" blog list. Boo!!! (Say it with me) Boo!!! I'm so bummed out. I became so accustomed to clicking on them that I don't remember half the addresses. BOO!

I'm trying to finish up some work for work and will give a full pony report tomorrow. Hope everyone had a great weekend!