Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Guest Post


I asked a while ago if anyone wanted to do a guest post (pretty much because my life is boring, and full of non-horse related things.) Plus, who wants to hear about a pregnant lady? I don't. SO without further ado....The Guest Post! Let me know if you'd like to post one. Also: I did not pay Cuna's Mom to write this. Promise! 

Hello readers of Denali's Mom's blog! This is my first ever guest post, but it sounded like a fun idea and DM is totally fun, so here goes. 

You all know DM as the zany and fun blogger who sporadically entertains the blogosphere. Now she's threatening to bring forth a small human, and all I have to say is this: DM is going to be one kick ass mom. 

And I've actually met her. 

I met her the way the rest of you probably did--I was perusing horse blogs and I ran across one called "wild pony beast". No one can pass up a title like that, so I kept reading. It was funny. It was honest. Most of all, it was human. She never tried to be anyone she wasn't and she made me laugh, constantly. 

Fast forward to last January. I was headed to her end of the world for the weekend. I wanted to know about horsey hotspots in the area, and to my great surprise, she offered to take me on a tour! 

Because I am a paranoid freak, I dragged a friend along to meet this mysterious internet woman who might be an ax murderer. We met on the street in front of her house. There was this awkward pause. That moment of "I-know-you-but-I've-never-met-you". 

And I think that's the last time we were quiet for the rest of the day. We toured barns, visited tack stores, ate more fast food than I'll admit to, and got home well after dark with prizes in hand. She had nothing but the best to say about (almost) everyone and we had a great time. 

That genuine, funny, down to earth style? That's real. That's DM. She laughs at the rest of us, but she laughs at herself just as much. She's one smart cookie, but doesn't rub it in your face. No matter how scared she is, she'll be motivated by how much she cares instead of how much she doesn't want to be there. 

I'm a horse person and I don't really know a lot about kids. I do know that she took great care of Denali, one of the more challenging mares I've ever met. Even when she was trampled and bruised by Denali, she felt terrible that the mare might have had a bad experience. She overcame her fears on Vera, another mare who offered a challenge. 

Now she's embarking on a new journey, and that unique combination of humor, intelligence, and sheer grit that makes her a great horse person and a great friend is going to warrant labeling her as "Kickass Pre-mom of the Year". 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Phone Calls

This past weekend was crazy. I had a million of things to do. I ran out of work on Friday to go out to decorate the barn for our Holiday bazaar, and checked my phone. There was a message from Denali's new owner. My heart dropped. I figured all was fine and listened to the voice mail.

Owner: " Hi, this is ####, can you give me a call as soon as possible.


My heart dropped and I figured it would make the most sense for Denali to knock herself off on the busiest weekend I've had in months. So as I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown I called him back.

Sigh...all is fine, he had a random question about her and laughed when I told him I was worried about her. He all is well and then proceeded to talk to me for thirty minutes. I love him. She's a lucky, lucky girl!!

In other news, I got my car back last Wednesday. Totally gross, and disgusting. It still runs, which is great!


AND in other exciting news, we found out what we are having!


It's a BOY!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We were able to fly back to Pennsylvania last weekend for a quick trip to see family. While in Middle-of-no-where-Pennsylvania I saw a girl I use to go to high school with out shopping (note: I hate shopping unless it's at a tack store.) She looked at me and said, "hu?" I was confused but kept talking to her, she has never been one to be rude. Then she says, "You know, my sister said you were having a baby, but I just assumed that meant a horse baby." LOL. Oh how well everyone in my life knows me. Yeah, wasn't planning on a human baby so soon (I'll be 32 in 2 weeks, so I'm not exactly jumping into it I guess.) I've never had a horse baby, but they sound like they are almost as much work as a human baby (except they grow up a lot faster.)

Yesterday I was having "I miss ponies" sort of day and met up with my friends for lunch. My one friend is almost 30 weeks pregnant and she is still riding daily. Seriously beyond impressive!! She thinks this is her last week because her belly is getting in the way now, but I only rode to 12 weeks and my hips hurt WAY too much. I guess if I rode every single day, with multiple horses my body would be use to it and it wouldn't hurt.

I got to go see Ms. Vera after lunch. Apparently she has been a pill, but in her defense, she is the kind of horse (much like Denali) that if you let her think (at all) that she is in charge she takes it and runs away with it. One of the new clients came off of her twice, and then she tried to buck off the new trainer too. I think it had more to do with her fresh clip job than with wanting to actually get people off. Also, she always was the kind of horse that you needed to get on and sort of warm up slowly. The trainer got on her and got after her right away (which who wouldn't, someone came off of you.) Anyway, the long of the short of it, that woman who drives me nuts (note: I'm still really nice to her) had a lesson after my friend. She was so terrified of Vera, that it reminded me of Denali, and I know exactly how she felt. She asked another friend of ours to walk with her while she warmed Vera up. I told her, if you act afraid she's going to think there's a cougar hiding behind the arena wall. Fake it. That's my best advice. Ride the horse you're on, not the one you've been told about. See, Denali taught me a ton. :0)  Vera didn't look like she was out to kill anyone. She's a good horse, but she's a horse. I can't wait to not be pregnant and to hope back up on her. She looks good. She's super lean and muscular now and just beautiful! I miss that girl, but am really excited that she gets to stay there.

Not much new in the whole baby thing. My back is killing me, and I wake up everyday with the first thought being "did I come off a horse yesterday?" That's exactly how my back feels. Like I came off of a horse and landed on my butt.

Monday we find out if we're having a girl or a boy.  Half my friends are convinced I'm having a girl, and the other half are convinced I'm having a boy. I don't care honestly, I just want a healthy kid (and if they are obsessed with horses, bonus.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still MIA

The car is still missing. Last night I was laying in bed trying to think of all the stuff that is in it. At about 2am I woke up realizing that the tools that came with my saddle (to adjust it) are in the car. I don't know what I'm going to do if my car doesn't turn up. Ugh. It tried finding online where to contact Toulouse to try to order another set. I have decided to sell my saddle. I really like it, but A. I have no place to keep it in my house, and B. the room it is in now is about to become a baby room. I'm not too devastated  I decided I'm biting the bullet in the future and just buying the saddle that I want. It will probably be a few years anyway. Plus, Vera has a saddle now so I could ride her in that when I get back to riding.

Anyone know where I could order more tools? Ugh! Also, if you see an old crappy Subaru driving around let me know. :0( I figured if I start car shopping it will turn up.

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of Denali and mine little "accident." I think Pia's mom is happy that I didn't stain her trailer too bad. Opps. That's the first thing I thought of when my car went missing...November hates me.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Carter

I guess this post is horse related....

I woke up this morning to go to work and walked out my door. Sort of hard to get to work when your CAR WAS STOLEN!! To say that I'm pissed would be an understatement. Totally pissed. I LOVED my car. It was old, it was beat up, but it was mine. In addition to stealing my car, all of my tack (ALL) was in the trunk. Luckily my saddle and boots were in my house, but still... We live in a little house and since I don't have a barn to keep my stuff, there it sat.

And I was pissed when it was broken into. Grrr... I'm so upset about my stupid car. The cop was really nice when I filled out the police report (while bawling.) He said that cars are usually broken into, and found within a week. We'll see if it shows up! I hope so. I can only imagine what they did to it/in it/with it.

Poor Carter (my car).....

Pregnancy Hormones + Subaru commercial (the one with the chocolate lab) = sobbing mess.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guest Post?

Anyone interested in doing a guest post? e-mail me! Might as well post something here, my real life is full of little kids, lots of work and no horses (boo.) I was DYING to go riding today, but figured I shouldn't since I haven't ridden in 2 months and should just wait...Should.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Montana

Obviously since I'm knocked up, stopped riding, and sold Denali this blog sort of sits stagnant  Every once in a while I go to write something and thing, "Eh, this has nothing to do with horses." I don't want to bore you too much.

Every few months I start to worry about Denali. With this new financial responsibility coming up, part of me really wanted to make sure all was well, and that she was still happy. If not, I needed to adjust the budget and bring the girl home.

I called last week, left a message, and never heard back. My brain developed some really impressive scenarios to freak me out. I stewed about it for a week, and decided to call back. Her owner explained that his youngest son still wasn't sure how to communicate messages to him, and apparently writing in tiny print on the notepad that I called was good enough. He was very apologetic.

All's well in Montana. He really likes her, says she's a sweet girl (I double checked he had the right horse) and she is a pleasure. She is growing her winter coat in, and he will blanket her if she needs it (she doesn't really like blankets. Wild Pony Beasts don't wear blankets.) He said she's been doing great, put on some weight since we saw her, and he was very appreciative that we trust him with her.

Again, I love this man! I don't know how Denali lucked out so much, and if I wouldn't have seen it with my two eyes I wouldn't believe it myself. We chatted for a while, and he invited us back for a longer period of time. I told him we'd have a screaming child with us next time.

That's all the news I have. I'm putting my new awesome saddle on consignment. I just don't want to have something happen to it, and it fit me "okay" but not amazing. I hope to make close to what I paid for it. It really is an awesome saddle. My office/saddle/horse stuff storage area needs to become the baby room.

Baby....you'd think at this point I'd get use to the idea. It still freaks me out. Hope all is well with you!!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vera Sold

My trainer came into Seattle last night and we went out to dinner with our husbands. A really fun night overall! It was nice to catch up with her on a friend level instead of the normal trainer/student level. On our way to the restaurant she told me that Vera sold. I got sad for a second, and she go a smile on her face. My trainer now owns Vera! I am pretty fricking happy right now.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rest in Peace Enzo

If you have a minute, go give your sympathy's to Janine. Her beloved, love of her life, Enzo died suddenly on Wednesday of an aortic rupture. He was only 3 years old. Enzo was a beautiful Friesian, and I've enjoyed reading about their journeys.

Go hug your horse.

Janine, there are no words. I'm so sorry.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baby Human

This is the total opposite of pony related, but oh well...Yep, I'm pregnant. If you know me in real life, you know that I've been saying for the past 10 years that I wasn't having kids. That 10 years also corresponds with the number of years I've taught, but still.

Let me first start with a public apology to my husband because I've become a crying mess, especially at night. If I'm not crying I'm puking. Super, SUPER fun.

Things have a way of working out. Sometimes not fast enough since I bought my saddle the day before I found out that that I was pregnant. Fail. The funny story about being pregnant is that everyone knew it before I did. My trainer is also pregnant. She is due in February, and I only found out about her in July. For a few weeks at the end of July I just didn't feel right.Not horrible, but weird. I told her it was the heat, and she'd tell me that I was pregnant.

Another week or so later I decided to take a pregnancy test. Let's just say there are directions for a reason. I took the test, saw one line, and threw it in the garbage and that was it. About 12 hours later, after going to the bar with a friend (only 1 beer), I came home. I looked in the trash as I was brushing my teeth to be reminded that I had taken the test. I took it out to look at it and there were two lines. I brushed it off as a mistake, because it had sat so long another line showed up. I wasn't pregnant.

The next day my trainer asked me if I took a test, and I proudly said, "Yes! Not pregnant." Well, then I mentioned the "extra" line on the bad test and was informed there were no false positives. So, 7 more pregnancy tests later I finally gave in and believed I was pregnant.

Poor kid, I already am talking ponies. Every baby needs a pony right? I've stopped riding now. I know lots of people ride right up to 7 or 8 months, but since I couldn't get out daily anymore, it started to hurt that once a week that I was able to ride. My hips hated me and my stomach muscles were horribly pulling. No fun. I'm sad about it, but am pretty shocked at how much time I have on my hands. Like HOURS!! I started working out again (since I "hope" I'm done puking.) I don't want to turn into the size of a house.

Hope all is well in your worlds.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What I post on Facebook...



I posted this on Facebook yesterday.... thought I'd share it with you as well. :0)

Equine America

As you may or may not know, I am on the board of directors for a non-profit that provides veterinary care for horses from local rescues. The WONDERFUL people at Equine America sent us some items to try out on our rescue that we currently have in their care. We received four products, and I have personally used the Bute-Less before for a certain Thoroughbred that we all know and love. I really liked their products.
We are currently trying the Gluco-Flex powder for our 15 year old warmblood/cross that has some joint problems. So far he does seem to feel more comfortable, and his typically sensitive stomach hasn't seemed to be affected. I will report more, he's been on it for three weeks. 

Have you ever used any products from Equine America? What did you think? I do want to say a HUGE "THANK YOU" to the nice folks at Equine America for their donations. 


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Non-Pony Related, (but still fun)

In my non-horse time I am a teacher. I teach kiddos who are in K-2 and have severe emotional/behavioral problems. I use to have a self contained program, but starting last year I decided to do "full inclusion." It has gone really well, and my kiddos are some of the best behaved (FOR the most part!) They are pretty much amazing kiddos, and I love them more when I'm not getting bit. Friday at school I was going about my business when a man in a suit came into my school and asked to talk to me. I had no idea what he was talking about, so I suggested he find my principal.

Flash forward 30 minutes and I'm told to go to the office. All of my students are taken to lunch, and I am stuck sitting in the office. Something was up, but I couldn't quite figure out what. I hate surprises.

After another 5 minutes the principal called over and asked for me to come to the cafeteria. I think to myself, "I told you that I should go with them, why would you let "Johnny" go to lunch anyway, he usually eats with me." So I did what I normally do and I took off at a dead run into the very quiet cafeteria. There in the front was a man with a giant check being held by my students, a man with a camera and a lady with a big smile. As soon as I hit the door 200+ kids yelled "Surprise."

Side Note: SO Happy that I decided to actually get dressed nice for Friday. SO Happy.

Anyway, the man was from the Seattle Seahawks and apparently I was nominated for an award, and won. I am one of 24 teachers picked for the "Heroes in the Classroom" Award, and I was picked by the Seahawks. I have never won anything for teaching before other than some silly awards here and there that they gave me so I would keep killing myself.

What did I win? (This is from their website):


  • $1,000 donation to their classroom
  • Two tickets to a Seahawks regular season game
  • In-game HawkVision (JumboTron) "spotlight"
  • Pre-Game VIP sideline experience
  • "Heroes" award certificate
  • School visit by sponsors to recognize their achievement

I'm most excited about the fact that I get a jersey with my last name on it. I also got a $350 gift card to Office Max and a "special" discount card for 50% off at Office Max and a bag of goodies. 

The guy went over what I won, and instantly I had 72 little boys ask if they can go with me to the game. I'll probably take my hubby. It was pretty fun day. 

Today I spent it shopping for food for my "Pantry." I started a program last year and send home backpacks to kids who might need more food over the weekend to help them make it to Monday. 

Overall, a pretty good weekend. Even if horses weren't involved. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 Years

Eleven years ago I was living in Pennsylvania and was a junior in college. I already have an uncanny ability to remember dates for random things, so the fact that I can remember almost every step that day doesn't surprise me. I remember walking out of the bathroom after showering, and seeing my roommate Nicole watching TV with both hands over her mouth. She was just standing there and I couldn't for the life of me recognize the movie she was watching. She didn't say anything, even when I asked her. She just stood there. I started watching the "movie" and just then the second plane hit the tower. It was that moment that I realized that Nicole had tears in her eyes and that wasn't a movie.

Classes were cancelled, my National Guard friends ran and packed their bags and left campus in droves. We just sat around watching TV. Friends frantically called family in DC and New York. A friend's mom called to tell her a plane just hit near her school in southern PA. Then it came one to the news. It amazes me that it was 11 years ago. It feels like yesterday.

I will never forget this day. Today at school, I realized that none of the kids I work with were alive, most of our school wasn't alive and if they were they were only a year or two old. I tried to explain to them not the evil involved in that day, but the heroes. The people who ran in when everyone else ran out.

We will never forget, and thank you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mental Health Day

It was hot Saturday. I hate heat (hubby, if you're reading this, I hate 90+, I still want to live somewhere that is warm most part of the year.) I had to go out to do some stuff for the non-profit in the morning, and had friends coming into town for the night. Somehow I managed to slice out two hours of time to go visit Vera. I haven't been out in a few weeks because of school/meetings/school.

I didn't want to ride (didn't have time) but wanted to give her some love. She is the sweetest mare ever. She was standing in the corner of her pasture eating grass. Someone has manage to pull her mane. I don't know who, and I wonder how that went over. She was having none of it when we were trying earlier in July. I "borrowed" an apple from a tree on the property and gave it to her. She seemed so happy to get a snack and not have to go work. We hung out for a bit and then I went on a hunt to find her fly mask. I bought it, I know she has one. She had flies all over her eyes, and she wasn't having any of it. After twenty minutes I found her fly mask where she gets tacked up. I tired to think good thoughts about the other woman who also rides her. I hate when people don't clean up and put things back where they belong (like on the horses head.) I think it was good for her to just hang out. Horses need mental health days too.

It's been about a month since I've quit working at the GWB. I am L-O-V-I-N-G having my Sundays to myself to do things around the house. Today my friends and I ran the Iron Girl 5K. If there's one near you, they are so fun. Plus? You get a metal!



Thursday, September 6, 2012

The World of Crazy

I should re-name this blog, and I think it should be "The World of Crazy." The new crazy barn lady is driving me so up the ever loving wall, I am afraid that I'm going to snap at her. She sends me (and ever one of my friends at the barn) text messages...every fricking day...and if you don't respond (because let's be honest, we don't) she responds with another message asking if you got the last one. She likes to add as many smiley faces and exclamation marks as possible.

Example: " HIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii HUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!! :):):):):) HOW ARE YOU!??!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!<3 mmmmmmmmmmmmmiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssssssssssssss mmmmmmmmmmmmmiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssssssssssssss you <3<3<3

It takes me a few seconds to realize that she even is writing in English. Side Note: Some of you out there may think I'm the biggest bitch in the world. For those of you who know me in the real world, you can attest that I am a really nice (sometimes too nice) person right?

I've run out of nice with this woman. When I don't respond to her 7,394 text messages she sends, she then goes to my Facebook and writes that she sent me a text message.

SERIOUSLY!!

In other words the reason I am so pissed at her tonight is that my friend went to ride Vera for me since I couldn't and she commented on how much she has shut down and just seems depressed. Poor fricking horse. I hope the trainer notices soon and pulls her off her. UGH!!

In other news, I only have been bitten (well, close) 5 times in 2 days of school. Winning?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to School

Summer is always fun, but then it ends. It usually ends much faster than I expect it to end, and I find myself with my head spinning. All of the sudden I'm back in a classroom with small children, little time, and lots of work. Sigh...My pony time decreases a lot when school starts. It's still so weird to not own a horse. I didn't realize how much I stressed out and worried about Denali until she went to her new home, and I was able to see that she was fine.

Ms. Vera is good. I fell really bad for her though. We have this woman at our barn who is, how do I say this... ANNOYING AS HELL!! She is just so obnoxious and I can't handle it. Seriously, I run from her. As in pick up my feet and run. She drive everyone nuts, and while we are all nice to her, she just drives us nuts. She came to the barn telling us all about her elusive riding career and how she use to own horses and jump, yada, yada, yada (I don't believe it.) Well...I could write a whole blog on her and her crazies, but I try hard to keep my blog nice and not complain about people (plus, you never know who will find it.) Back to Vera, she started leasing Vera on the days that I don't. Now, when I ride Vera she is just SO on edge. She expects me to hang on her face and kick, kick, kick her. I spend 5 minutes reminding her that hey, I'm not ########, I'm not going to be super hard on your mouth, don't worry. Poor thing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

True Seattlite

I am a true Seattlite. If the temperature is above room temperature, I bitch. If it is below room temperature, I bitch. There is no making me happy. This past week we've had temps (Don't laugh rest of the US that has had heat waves all summer, we're special here in the PNW) in the mid to upper 90's. I would like to also take this time to make sure everyone has me to thank for that. I had the option of having my air conditioning recharged in June and I laughed at the guy. We all know that if I would have done that it would have stayed 65 and rainy the entire summer. You're welcome.

Due to the heatwave I refused to ride. I said it was because I didn't want Vera to get too hot, but who am I kidding. Everyone at the barn knows my opinion on heat + riding. I went out today in a nice overcast, 68 degrees to ride. I had a lesson and was late so I ran to grab Vera, quickly brushed her off, and ran to the arena with her to warm up. I hopped up on her and only then did I notice that she was lame. LAME. She had her feet done and she was super sore. Since she only wanted to go at a snails pace I threw the towel it. It's no fun ruining a good pedicure right away anyway. My trainer told me I could ride another horse, but decided that I would stick with the beast I know and that it was fine for me to wait a few days. We're not going anywhere.

Vera has had two people look at her. The first person has never called back since the horrible vet check behavior of 2012. The other person that came to look at her apparently said she wasn't "pretty" enough for her client. Rude. Vera is beautiful in an oddly put together, not quite sure what's out of proportion, but pretty face sort of way. I love her no mater what. I fell bad when I get happy that she hasn't sold. Muah, ha, ha, ha....

She has started a new evasion trick when she sees me show up with my riding clothes on. She runs into the pond and stands there. She only does it if I have on my breeches. If I have shorts on she assumes I'm there to visit, but breeches she high tails it into the pond and stands there watching me. Touche Vera. Touch.

Hope all is well in your worlds!! I have been trying to catch up on blogs, but I suck at comments!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

(Part 2) and other random news

Sorry for the delay!

We had a great time in MT, and I really would love to live there. It's beautiful and amazing, and I loved it. Have I said that enough yet. :0)

One thing I noticed about Denali, more than her calm eye, her calm attitude, was the fact that she didn't take one neurological step the entire time we were with her. Not one. She also didn't take any lame steps. Not one. I really miss her, but it was obviously the right decision for her. She is happy, healthy, and safe (along with everyone else around her, which is a plus.)

Saturday night we went to the local rodeo. I sort of grimaced when they told us that they were going to take us. I don't know much about rodeo's but based on what I know, I didn't like them. While I'm not saying that my opinion on all rodeo's is changed, I have to say I was really impressed with how they cared for all animals. When they roped a calf, they never once pulled the rope tight. It hit the calf, and then they dropped it. The bucking horses live in the same place (are Denali's neighbors, no worry she doens't have a new job.) The live out their lives there once they give up bucking. Overall, it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. (But I'm not a cow.)

My favorite part was when a bunch of idiots stood in a circle in the arena. They let "Gia" out of the pen and he  went after the guys. The last one standing won $500. I would have paid $500 to have that bull stay away from me.

I love Montana. Have I mentioned that?

Back in Seattle, this past Sunday was my last day working at the GWB. I'm a little sad, but excited about having my Sunday's back to myself. I'll still take lessons for a few weeks, but will probably take a break from riding for a bit once school starts back up. Driving that far does me in at some point. We'll see how long the whole riding lasts once school starts.

I've been using my new saddle. It's pretty sweet, but not a "great" fit for me. Not horrible, just my freakishly long legs are too long for the thigh blocks.

I have some other fun/new/exciting news, but that will have to wait for a few weeks until everything is finalized. I will keep you updated. I C-O-U-L-D say it earlier, but then get worried that I will jinx it, and I've had enough bad luck for a few years.



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Picture is Worth a 1000 words. (Part 1)

My loving husband drove me the whole way to Montana on Friday. We took the "long" route and drove through the North Cascade's Pass, and got into Ronan, MT around 9:45 at night. We got lost once (which is pretty impressive, I am usually a human GPS.) Denali's new owner insisted that we come stay at their house, and he said he'd "feel better if you can just make it here." We initially were planning on driving almost the whole way in, camping, and making it into Ronan on Saturday AM.

There are not enough nice words to use to describe Denali's new owners. They are wonderful, hospitable, amazing human beings who love their animals. I had only met Denali's new dad once before, but it felt like we've known them forever. We opted to camp in their backyard under the stars and promptly crashed once we set up the tent.

It was Pioneer Days in Ronan this past weekend, and there were a bunch of events going on. In the morning we visited for a while and I met a few horses that he had at his house. They are his working cow horses, and are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!! I had seen pictures, but I told him he needs better photos. They are seriously amazing creatures. He told me that he has Denali and a few of his other horses on another piece of property on the other side of town with his friend's mares and their foals. We went to an AMAZING breakfast at the VFW (I love small town life!) After breakfast we hopped in his truck and before I realized it I was staring at Denali in a pasture. I didn't realize we were headed there, and it was just a shock, and something I've wanted for so long. She was standing in the shade with all the other mares. She is so much taller than his QH's and looked like an odd duck. She looks pretty good for being out on pasture 24/7. She has lost ALL of her topline, and reminds me of a broodmare (except no broodie bellie.) She is a little "thin" but you can't see her ribs, so I'm not worried. He said that he puts them on grain when they come back to his house from October to April through the winters. I guess her "introduction" to the herd went better than the other mare's but she took a bit to be accepted.

I pet her for a while and just couldn't get over how calm she is. She is not the same horse at all. She is just so calm, quiet, and content. Her new dad walked up and hugged her from behind. My heart stopped, but she didn't even care. It was amazing. I gave her a hug and some head scratches. She walked away from me to join the herd (and put her face near a tail to keep off flies.) After a bit the herd started to run off into the pasture. Denali started to run, but stopped, ran over to me and put her head into my hands, and then took off. I think it was her way of saying "Thank You." I choked up, but kept it together. It was so awesome. One thing that sort of surprised me is that Denali now has a brand. My husband saw it first and quickly looked at me. I was a bit shocked (to say the least) but she is his horse. I asked him about hit, and his reasoning makes sense. All of his horses and livestock are branded. Montana is a brand state. If Denali gets out, and someone finds her they have 30 days and then they can brand her and claim her as their own. This way everyone knows who she belongs to. Not going to lie, the brand is pretty bad ass.

More on the rest of our trip later, for now, what you've all been waiting for: Photos! 

The fence around the 40 acres. Yes, the whole way...I can't imagine what this cost!

Denali's view

Denali and her new poppa





Denali's new tattoo. 



Denali thinks the one in the middle is hers and promptly steals him. His mom is like, "here, take him." He's so cute!



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bucking and Rearing

Vet Check, Short and Dry: There was much bucking and rearing during the vet check. Much white face, and "Oh, does she always do that." Many pats on her neck from me, telling her 'Good Girl.' Ms. Vera failed miserably. She got x-rays today, so we are just waiting to hear from her prospective buyer if she still wants the fire breathing dragon or not.

Today I put in my two weeks notice to the GWB. Long story, but I would rather just pay for lessons than work for lessons at this point. I love the barn and the trainer. The amount she is paying is changing, and when I figure in gas (28 miles one way to the barn) it doesn't make sense for me to work for trade any longer. I sent her an e-mail, but haven't heard back yet. We'll see how it goes. I hope well, because I really like it there and still want to go back. If not, I will find another barn (maybe with one Mr. Cody at P2's barn) to make my haven.

In other new news: Friday August 3rd, 6am my hubby and I are jumping in the truck and headed east. Where you ask?

Drum roll please...........


To see the one and only, Storm City Slew!!! I am so excited I can't contain myself! 



Monday, July 30, 2012

Blogger Weekend

I blocked this last weekend off on my calendar WEEKS ago!! SprinklerBandits' was coming into town with a friend to horse shop, and I missed her the last time. We met up at Pia and Prairie's Mom's house for a delicious dinner and catching up. I think it's sort of funny when you think about it. If it wasn't for blogs, I would have never met these two (now three) awesome ladies!

Pia's Dad got the husband of the year award for listening to us chatter on into the night (and making us dinner.) I really feel strongly that he needs to start a summer camp for husbands. Pia's Mom is pretty lucky! Sunday we went to the local equestrian park to watch Prairie in the H/J show. Prairie is pretty much amazing an no photos do her justice. She is also MASSIVE. At one point I came out of the restroom and thought I heard thunder. Nope, Prairie going through the course. Prairie also was very good at counting. She got two blue ribbons while I was there, and she KNEW that meant two carrots. Smart girl. :0) You can read about the rest of the adventures at the other two blogs.

Tomorrow is Vera's vet check. While I'm sad, some things have come up in the past week that made me feel better about not buying her. She will go to a great home, and I will hopefully get to go visit her. If no, there are still multiple ponies for me to ride at the barn in the meantime.

I have also solved my no saddle to fit my fat ass issue. My "new" saddle arrives on Wednesday, and I sort of feel like it's Christmas coming. I hope it will work, but I got it for a steal, so as long as my fat ass goes in the seat, I will make it work for now and sell it if I can't. I've been looking forever, and it's hard to find a saddle that fits my legs, my budget, and multiple horses (adjustable.)

Meet my new saddle. It is a M. Toulouse Marianne. It is an 18 inch seat, one year old, with the Genesis Tree. The warranty for the tree transfers to me and I have 9 more years "in case" something goes wrong. We'll see how it works when it shows up. I may hate it and just re-sell it. I couldn't pass it up.



Hope all is well in your worlds. I hope to be able to go see Denali in three weeks (fingers crossed.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blah, Blah, Blah

Vera is getting vetted by the woman who rode her yesterday. Boo. I'm super sad about it, and wish I could own another horse. I know there are more Vera's in the world, and I guess I will just have to track him/her down when it's my time. I just want it to be my time now.

My trainer was running late so the woman and her trainer started asking me questions. I could have been my snarky/bitter self, or my happy/good for you self. I chose the second. She's an older woman, and was just so excited to meet her. She's new to riding, and just lost her rescued gelding. I couldn't hold it against her that she wants to by my love. She actually boards closer to my house than the barn that Vera lives at now. At one point I asked her if I could lease Vera, and she seemed excited about that. We'll see. I wouldn't start that (even if all the stars aligned) for a while. They would need time to bond.

I think my trainer feels just as bad for me as I feel for myself. She sent me a really nice e-mail last night. We'll see what happens with the vet check, but other than arthritis, I don't think much.

Boo.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ponykins

God, I love this horse!! We've had great lessons, and I've just had so much fun with her. Sadly, someone is going to come look at her on Tuesday. My poor trainer, I keep telling her all the things I want to do or say when the woman shows up.

1. Oh, these crutches? Not a big deal, she just bucks a little going into the canter. You'll learn to stay on.
2. Oh! Don't worry her nose only bleeds when she is standing up.
3. That stud chain is probably necessary if you don't want to get trampled.
4. How good is your seat?
5. You have a good vet right?

Okay, okay....I'm not really going to say that stuff, but I really think it. I "could" buy her. I've thought about it back and forth, but I would outgrow her (or so everyone keeps telling me) within the year and need to move on. Honestly, I'd be content just having her to ride. We'll see. I'm not ready for her to move on yet. I love riding her, and just spending time with her. If I did buy her I have a pretty sweet deal on board, so that's not of a concern. I'm still worried about Vet bills. You never know what will happen with a horse.

Best - Horse- Ever

Worst Photo Ever, but isn't she cute!!
It's so nice to ride a horse and not be worried about dying. It's been a long time that I haven't been terrified that something was going to happen. Today a huge truck came for a horse who was going home, and we both didn't bat an eye.  L-O-V-E her. I did loose inside rein privileges for half the lesson. That was an eye opening experience for me, but helped a lot of light bulbs go off in my head.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Time Flies

I find it hard to believe that it's been a month since I logged into this blog and posted anything. I also find it hard to believe that Denali has been gone for two month, too.

Things have been going well in the PNW. While attempting to fill my Denali void, I did the next reasonable thing and adopted a kitten.

Meet Boone:


My husband and I foster for a local animal shelter, and we had Boone along with three of his siblings. Our cat Nittany doesn't like anyone/thing/etc. However, she loved him. So, I guess you could say that we got our cat a cat. Boone is currently 13 weeks old (we've had him since he was 7 weeks old.) He is almost to 5 pounds and is going to be H-U-G-E. His paws and legs are so big/long. He's pretty stinking cute, and pretty stinking naughty.

In other news Vera is still for sale. I absolutely love this mare. She is steady, but does enough shit to make you work and think. Every time I ride her I spend the next three hours going through my head ways to purchase her. Eventually rational me wins out, and I realize that is probably not the best financial decision right now. It's odd riding a horse that you love so much, that you know is for sale, and worrying that one day you'll show up and she'll be gone. I hope they will give me some warning before she goes. Ugh. I almost feel like we know what we're doing. I still struggle to believe that when I get on her back that she isn't thinking of ways to get me off of her back, or that she won't spook out from under me, or do a whole sort of things that could hurt me. I am nervous as hell until I hop up on her, and then everything feels better.

I would still like to pull up to the barn to her with a giant ribbon around her neck, finances be damned.

Finally, Denali. Ever since I sent Denali to Montana I've had my days. It feels like a balloon in my chest, and it slowly fills up. Eventually the pressure gets to me, and I can't take it so...I call. I've only called twice since she left. I think that's pretty good for me. Same thing each time, she's fine, she's happy, and she loves to run. While there are times I don't think the decision was the easiest, when I call it reminds me that it was the best. I hope to get over there this summer to visit her.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Teeth Day

Yesterday I had Vera's teeth done. We were unsure when she last had them done, and I was unwilling to stick my hand in her mouth to check. My friend (the super-famous-wonder-vet) came out to do them for me (for free I might add.) It was weird to have a horse who stood perfectly still with so little sedation. Denali took at least three doses to be able to do her teeth, and it was dicey at that.

She was such a good girl. Towards the end the sedation wore off and she got a bit concerned. I just started petting her and telling her that she was fine, and she was. As long as I stood next to her, she was fine. It made me feel good that even though I haven't seen her in two weeks she trusted me.

After leaving the barn I started to miss Denali. I haven't heard about her in a few weeks so I decided to call and check on her. Poor guy that owns her now, I'm sure I drive him nuts. He is a really nice guy. I didn't keep him on the phone very long (don't want to wear out my welcome.) The conversation went something like this.

Me: "Hi, How are you? I was just calling to make sure Denali hasn't killed anyone."
Him: "She's been totally fine the whole time. Not one problem."
Me: "Denali? The bay mare?"
Him: "Yes, your horse."
Me: "Okay, that's good. I'll let you go."

I guess when Denali gets 40+ acres to run around on (and that's the small pasture) she does fine behaviorally. He still hasn't see her do anything neurological, which makes me ecstatic that the bazillions of dollars I spent on her (and blood, sweat, and tears) didn't go to waste.

My summer is filling up with random family coming to visit. I am excited, but am getting nervous about making it out there to see Denali. I need to nail down a date and plan a trip I guess.

Hope all is well in your worlds! Happy Friday.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lost and Found

I can't believe how fast time goes! I can't believe that it has been two weeks since I've even been to the barn, let alone ridden. Life got in the way. I went away for Memorial Day weekend with my husband, and them on Tuesday last week I woke up with the Plague. I don't remember the last time I got so sick so fast. It wasn't fun.

A few fun things have happened in the past two weeks.

1. Ophie's mom came back into town. We got to spend the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend hanging out and visiting Ophelia. Ophie looks good. We at at a place called "Jim Bob's Chuckwagon." It was delicious.

2. I won! You may remember me saying in January that I joined a gym. Then I also joined their biggest loser contest. Honestly I didn't try too hard towards the end (enter chocolate) but kept working out and going to the gym. I ended up losing 22.2 pounds in 3 months. While I was happy, I never thought in a million years I would win. So, I'm the overall winner for my gym. The other overall winner (male) from my gym won the city, and I will be surprised if he didn't win it all. He doesn't even look the same.

So those are my two exciting things. We've been fostering kittens for the shelter and they are adorable!! I haven't heard about Denali in a week or so. It's hard to not call and drive them crazy, but I don't have any worries. I just miss her pretty face. This is the first month that I haven't paid board or supplements in 4 years. 4 YEARS!! My bank account is confused. So is my credit card company. I think Smartpak misses me.

Tomorrow I go to the barn and Ms. Vera gets her teeth done. Maybe I will get back on her here at some point before the end of the month! School is out on the 22nd so I will have more of a life after then!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Riding in the rain

I love the PNW in the summer. What I hate is when we get a taste of summer for a few days, and then it goes back to 55 degrees and drizzle. Boo.

Tonight I had a lesson with the owner of GWB. She hasn't seen me ride Vera in a few weeks. I sort of wanted to show her what we've learned. I am still saddleless, but a friend of mine was out and is letting me borrow her Custom VLX, so that is some stress off of me. It is a 17.5, so it doesn't quite fit, but it's close. I spent yesterday sitting in every saddle I could get my hands on in both local tack shops. Fail. I give up for now.

Vera spent her time in the cross ties pressing her butt up to the bars of my friend's over opinionated large red mare. It totally pissed off the Giant Red Mare, and Vera stood there, with a I swear a smile on her face. I laughed so hard at her.

We were 15 seconds late for our lesson. Opps. So much for getting there early. I ran into a few friends while we were walking to the arena.  Positives about having a barn full of friends. Negative of having to walk 200 yards to the arena.

We did a lot of walk/trot, walk/canter, transitions. I totally suck at keeping steady contact with the inside rein, and I have developed a horrible habit of opening my hands up, and dropping contact. Vera tried the llama neck a few times, and it was the first time since pre-accident, that it made me mad and not scared. She was a bit lazy and so we worked on going forward without me constantly harping on her. More discussions than normal, but I think it was because I was making her work harder than normal.

At one point my I made a comment about buying Vera from her owner in cupcakes. My trainer laughed and said she's a great horse for me now, but that I will quickly outgrow her abilities. I had to laugh. I'm glad she has enough faith in my that I will actually improve and advance. I don't know what I want to do riding wise right now. I love dressage, but I don't know if I want to compete with "the big girls" (as I say to my friends.) I think I'd be perfectly happy having a horse to just enjoy spending time with. We'll see. I'm going to keep leasing and perfect my cupcake making skills just in case. It sounds like no one has been inquiring about her and since she's leased out, and getting regular work, no one is worried about it. Wheww...

Our ride ended with some nice transitions and I called it a day a few minutes early. She was doing so well, and I wanted her to remember that bending and turning = breaks. Plus, a friend of mine was bringing her fire breathing horse in to lunge. I'll have to take a video. I forgot what it was like to have confidence.

I took Vera up to the barn to "get undressed" and she did her normal, poop in the aisle way. Sadly, it's been a bit runny, and even sadder? My tack box was sitting right next to her. Now I have a poop colored tack box which I was too tired to tackle. (Tired = grossed out.)

I love my barn and I love Vera!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thursday Lesson

I was in such a fluster over my lack of saddle that I forgot to really mention my lesson on Thursday. I think it's probably important (for me, not really anyone else) to keep track of good things, especially since I like to focus on the negative all the time.

Our lesson was with the other trainer again. I really like her as a person, but LOVE her as a trainer. She's actually gearing up to try out for the Paralympics this summer in London. Trials are in Gladstone this June. If you'd like to make a donation to one of the people who help me stay sane you can do that here. If you ever wanted to jump on someone's band wagon, now is the time! She leaves next Friday. Even if you just share her story on FB, that's helping. I'm still selling bracelets to help raise money.

Back to the point of this post...LESSON. Ms. Vera was a saint. She was so good while I put pads and such on her back trying to figure out the right combination of stuff to make the saddle fit her for our lesson. I thinks she fell asleep while I got on her. I was so excited about the saddle that I didn't even thing about being nervous. Winning. I plopped (not in a good way) down in the saddle and instantly knew that it didn't fit me. Boo. We got work right away and attempted to walk on a straight line with our head NOT in the air. Success. She still likes to play torpedo on the straightaway (go as fast as she can on straight lines.) After about 5 laps she figured out that wasn't going to work. At one point I dropped my reins and was controlling her with just my seat. That's a new feeling for me. Denali never grasped that concept and Mr. never went fast enough to have to slow him down. It was so fun. I (for the first time in maybe forever) felt like the horse was listening to me and that I could tell she was listening to me.

After warming up we did more serpentines and figure-eights at the trot. She went low and on the bit almost the whole time. No llama necking for us. At one point I noticed another rider in the arena and thought, "hu, they look really good together." Then I realized three things in quick succession. A. I'm an Idiot. B. It was me in the mirrors C. She makes me look little! My arms weren't doing their normal bounce all over the place and Vera looked good. God, I love this mare!

We did some canter transitions and aside from trying to dive down and touch her feet, Vera was a peach. The trainer told me that I did the nicest transition to canter that she's seen anyone do on Vera. I told her it's because we love each other. :0) I spent Friday trying to figure out how I can buy Vera. Then I realized that's the riding endorphins speaking, and I "shouldn't" jump back into buying a horse. I'm committed to Denali, and I'm afraid that the moment I sign those papers Denali will need a home. Vera is much easier to rehome than Denali. Maybe in a few months. I have moments of panic because Vera IS for sale. I really like her a lot, but I have only ridden a few horses. I think of it like dating, I don't want to jump back into a relationship without testing the waters a bit more. However, if anyone had an extra $6,000 laying around ..... I think if I had the money I would buy Vera in a heartbeat, but then again everything happens for a reason. If I'm meant to have Vera, it will figure itself out. Right! Right?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saddle Hunt Continues

I had a lesson on Thursday with Ms. Vera. The more I ride this horse, the more I love her. She pulls just enough shit that I need to say on top of my game, but I never feel unsafe. Boy, do I love her! We used the saddle that we had on trial for our lesson. I was so so excited, but unfortunately it didn't fit me. (Insert Sad Face.) My femur is so long that I put myself into a chair position in order to get it behind the blocks. Which means that I go back to the drawing board.

HELP!

I need a saddle that is adjustable. Either by me (easy) or by a saddle fitter. It needs to be at least 18 inch seat, and long flaps. The saddle I tried was 18 inch seat, but I think it would have fit if it didn't have as massive blocks. Price depends on the saddle.

Do you have suggestions?  I've been looking, and I find some that I think would work, but without a trial, I'm not willing to go there. There is a local saddle fitter I am working with, but I am also searching on my own.

Denali's new owner called me. (Even though he still calls her "your girl.") She's doing really well. She's out running with his horses, and he hasn't seen her take a wrong step yet. I'm so happy! He said that his horses had to have a "discussion" with her as to who is in charge, but it went well and she quickly caught on.  He invited us out this summer to watch his son in the rodeo. I hope it coincides with a time we can go.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

101 Things To Do With Your Stall Bound Horse (Revisited)

I'm going out tonight to try out the saddle and have a lesson on Vera. I'm excited. It is sunny out, but still chilly (which is sad after our B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L weekend.) Then I'm off to one of the islands near Seattle for a long girls weekend. I was just looking through this blog and found this that Ophie's mom made for me when Denali was on stall rest.

So funny! I like a good laugh!

101 Things To Do With Your Stall Bound Horse:



1. art class!

2. clicker training

3. There are about 7500 varieties of apples in the world. But which

is her favorite?

4. Perfect your horse massage technique.

5. Patent and sell photo-op with "Famous Glass-Legged Thoroughbred"

6. Still life photography

7. Perfect art of body-clipping

8. Tell people she's about to foal. Set up webcam. Laugh.

9. Teach her to stand square. Impress your vet.

10. Apply temporary tattoos to shaved area. Let the hair grow back.

Next ultrasound appointment - surprise your vet!

11. Make casts of her hoofprint and decorate. Sell to raise money for

vet bills.

12. Offer her as a demo-tester to companies selling "no-chew" sprays.

13. Hang a blue screen behind her, photoshop her image in front of

famous landmarks

14. Hoof glitter polish inspired make-over

15. hypnosis

16. Use her as test subject for new horse-treat baking enterprise.

17. Become You-Tube famous

18. Make her bedding into a zen garden

19. Story hour

20. Hug-tolerance training

21. Record her nickers. Remix. Get record deal.

22. Teach her to pick up her feet with a verbal cue.

23. Cover stall wall with white paper. Screen "The Black Stallion"

"National Velvet" etc

24. Bedazzling!

25. Stall window-box garden. (Instant compost built right in!)

26. Train as watch-dog to spot intruders

27. Teach her to hold a sponge and see if she'll polish your tack for you

28. Bridle model

29. Learn really, really complicated braiding techniques

30. Hang intro dressage patterns in her stall. Maybe she'll learn by osmosis.

31. Speed eating contests

32. Hold up a mirror, see if she pins her ears

33. Daily weight-taping + excel = chart making fun!

34. Hold a lottery, where $1 buys one guess as to how much she'll

weigh after 90 days stall rest. Winner gets first ride

35. Photograph 1x per day. Make really boring flip-book

36. Play horseshoes with pulled shoes

37. Drive trainer crazy by demanding her transitional housing be

EXACTLY 20x20. Claim the vet said it makes a difference.

38. Buy her inflatable arm floaties to get her ready for swim-therapy

39. Enter to be on "Extreme Makeover: Home Addition" with request for

"X-Treme Rehab Pad"

40. Write "Letters from A Woodinville Jail" from her perspective a la

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

41. Enter "Dee Nali" in local school board race. When she wins, have

her give you a raise.

42. Start a blog... wait, nevermind

43. Learn to make rope halters

44. List her as available for a partial-lease. Claim that you will be

able to give the leasor "the REAL experience of what horse-ownership

is like"

45. Send vet hourly text message updates on her condition

46. Hang a keyboard in her stall at head level. Tell people she sends

you messages. Convince them you are serious.

47. Have her subscribe to "Field and Stream" "Thoroughbred Studbook,

2010", and "Apartment Living". Have them delieved to the barn owner's

mailing address. If asked, tell them she gets bored easily and needed

reading material.

48. Checkers

49. See how many sketchy registries (eg "Blue-Eyed Horse Society") you

can get her registered in

50. Aisle-way dance party

51. Start a petition to bring back tan M&Ms. Explain to Mars, inc that

you'll never be able to build a life-size M&M sculpture of your horse

without them

52. Start a religon, call it "Denali-ism" Religious rites consist

mainly of eating

53. Install a call-button in her stall

54. Assign your class to make her Get-Well cards

55. Learn acu-preassure

56. Market her as "extraneous finger removal" service for children

57. Learn to sleep standing up. Take naps together.

58. Post her profile on Match.com

59. Make balloon-animal-esque hay sculptures.

60. Wine tasting

61. Meditate on the nature of time

62. Brush her teeth

63. Threaten to enter the stable dog in showmanship-in-hand if she

doesn't get well

64. Play catch

65. Body paint zebra stripes

66. Set up a TV and turn it to the Farm Network for her

67. Use the stall window bars as a loom. Weave new stable blankets

68. Make her a really big friendship bracelet

69. Make her a calendar and let her X the days as they go by

70. Take really crappy pictures of her and market her on Craigslist

for "stud service" count how many self-righteous emails you get

71.Drinking games

72. Edible flower arrangement

73. Distance-learning classes. Get her GED

74. Launch a campaign to get her (non)story covered on the local news

75. Pen a series of haikus with her: "Day 5 of my jail/How I long to

see my friends/so I can bite them"

76. Cut Ralph Lauren logos off old clothes and sew them to her polo wraps

77. Get her a pet. Birds would be nice.

78. Compose emo songs together

79. Paint a mural on her stall walls (easier to beg forgiveness than

ask permission vis-a-vis property owners on this one)

80. Tether ball

81. Pull her shoes. Become a fanatical devotee of Barefoot Horses.

When she returns to work, put shoes back on and disavow any knowledge

of your previous beliefs

82. Teach her poker, lose your money to her in new ways

83. Translate her wall-kicking into morse code, discover hidden messages

84. Drag in a kiddie pool. Splash together

85. Unicorn-horn ring toss

86. Sand/bedding castles

87. Water bucket bobbing for apples

88. Start a punk band with Denali on drums

89. Request autographs from B list movie stars. Hang in her stall

90. Send post cards from her to your friends' laid-up horses

91. Put on a puppet-nonnie show

92. Books on tape. Maybe Agatha Christie?

93. Costume Party

94. Next vet visit, explain that you bought your own ultrasound

machine. Then whip out an etch-a-sketch

95. Whittling. She's a natural!

96. Braid flowers into her mane and play "If You're Going to San

Francisco..." on repeat. Explain to trainer that Denali is now

exploring "enhanced consciousness" due to the reserpine

97. Bake bread, Denali can help with kneading

98. Publish children's books together, start with "How Timmy Learned

Not to Stand Behind the Horse and Other Fun Decapitation Tales"

99. Get her a chemistry set. What could go wrong?

100. Earthquake readiness drills.





and...



101. Smile, this too shall pass.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Luck

I don't know who my guardian angel is, but THANK YOU! (They read the Internet right?) I have been so lucky lately, and I don't know how I went from "If it can go wrong, it will" to being so lucky and fortunate. So much good has come into my life lately, and I just can't get over it. I am so grateful.

In another turn of not-so-unfortunate-events, I may have hit the saddle jackpot. No joke. When I started leasing Vera, I fell in love with the saddle that I was riding her in. Sadly, it was not her saddle, and I could no longer use it. I have been borrowing my friend's saddle for now, but when you have femurs the length of a 4 year old, it is hard to fit into their saddles without my knees pointing out over the blocks. It's awkward.

In discussing my need for a saddle, my trainer said I should contact the rep that she uses. I had been talking to the rep. (to appease my trainer) via e-mail about how I need a saddle, can't afford a saddle, and if I could afford a saddle, it would not be a Custom Saddle. They cost more money than I make in a month. She had given me a few options with price tags, while less than brand new, was still more money than I want to spend on a saddle, especially when I don't own a horse. She is super nice and has been helping me try to find something in my price range (which isn't very large.)

Yesterday while I was doing barn chores the rep came to the barn. We've met a few times, and I moved her horse in when she came for training. I waved and kept going about my business. In one of our last e-mails she asked if I had irons and leathers, and told me to bring them. While doing grain I noticed her pulling out a saddle from her car.

Enter the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my entire life.


She showed it to me and told me to try it. I was terrified to touch it, let alone try the saddle out. It's a BRAND NEW Custom Coronado Signature. It has silver threading, and is just beautiful. I told her that while, the saddle is perfect, and I loved it I should probably not try something out that I can not afford. Sort of the same thought as wedding dress shopping, don't try anything on that you're not willing to spend the money on.

I tried to give her reasons to not try it. I explained that it was stupid to buy a saddle when I don't own a horse. No luck there, the saddle is fully adjustable, and she can adjust it. I decided to just lay it out, and explained that I would be WAY out of my price range...WAY. She sort of smiled and handed me a paper to sign. The paper was the trial form, and on it was written the price. I asked her if that was the price to just try the saddle, and she said, "No, that's the price of the saddle." I sort of stared at her, and tried to not cry. I questioned her as to how the saddle could SUBSTANTIALLY LESS  than it is suppose to cost (as in my price range less.) She smiled, and told me to just try it. (Note to self: Continue being super nice to her horse.)

So I spent the next 30 minutes just staring at this saddle. About this time my friends came back from the horse show and I showed them the saddle. I told them I sort of feel like I'm buying point shoes while I'm just starting ballet. They had valid opinions why I should just try the saddle. They somehow magically think we'll be ready to show by the end of the summer. I laughed at them. I'm difficult to fit. True, the saddle is 18 inches with a long flap.

Thursday I have a lesson with my friend again so I can try out the saddle. No point in getting totally excited about it if it won't work. After writing all of this it may not work out, but that's okay. It's pretty enough that I ALMOST wouldn't mind it just sitting in my house. So, thank you saddle guardian angel. I guess if it's suppose to work out it will work out!

In other news, I've been trying to figure out what to do with this blog...do I just keep going, do I start a new one... I think I'm going to just keep going. I'm too lazy to make (and keep up) another blog, and who knows. I might have a trailer pull up next week with a TB inside of it. I did learn that "Green + Green = Black + Blue" but I don't really want to change my title. I guess I should take off that part that says, "The story of an OTTB and her mom." Maybe I should write, "A tragic love story." At least it has a happy(ish) ending. Thoughts?

I took out her brushes to the barn yesterday and cleaned them. I only broke into tears once yesterday. Pretty good if I think so. I miss her, but know that I made a good decision. I think.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Update 3, and I love my barn!

Got another call about Denali. She's doing good. She's out on 20 acres, and is best friends with the horse she hauled over with. He said they walked off the trailer together and haven't left each others side yet. He said he'd try to get me some photos.

I've only burst into tears four times since Thursday. Not bad, not bad...I miss her, but it's hard to feel horribly sad when it sounds like all is going well and they really like her. I am starting to plan a trip at the end of June to go visit her. I can't wait! It's hard to "let go" of something you poured so much blood (literally) sweat (literally) and tears (literally) into. I also want to see her and make sure she's okay.

This AM I went out to the barn to take care of horses. The other trainer (aka. my friend) had a lesson cancel, and since I had time I asked if she'd "supervise" us. I've never taken one from her. The head trainer has always had me taken them from her, even though my friend does most of the "new to dressage lessons."

Seriously, it was an AMAZING lesson. Vera and I are really starting to "click" and boy did we have fun. I forgot how much fun riding a horse can be. I still get worried, but I do "ok" once I'm on the horse and moving. I only had to be reminded about a million times to breath.

After the lesson I talked to (Let's call her Trainer 2) about more lessons. I mentioned something about Trainer 1 putting up with me for so long, even though she doesn't teach beginners. Trainer 2 sort of smiled and then said that Trainer 1 wouldn't let her teach me. Trainer 1 knew my fear of horses and she wanted to teach me so that I wouldn't get scared away, and she didn't want Trainer 2 to push me too hard too fast. I'm pretty touched that she has spent so much time with me, just to help me gain confidence. And she goes even higher into my book of amazing people. My barn is AMAZING!!

NOW for some Vera photos.

"Hey Lady, Youz gots snackz? I haz grass but want snackz."

Vera sporting Denali's halter. It makes me happy that I can use it.

So we're both a 'little' out of shape. She is SOO long!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Update:

I got the call that Denali made it to Montana! They said she looked good (whew) and trailered fine. I love the family that has her. They are great at communicating, and I can't wait to go visit. I've only randomly burst into tears twice today. Not bad so far.

Going to see Vera after work. I have Denali's leather halter (that never quite fit her refined head) and so Ms. Vera is going to get to wear it for now. Poor Vera. Hope she's prepared for sobbing me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

And she's gone.

My college writing teacher would not be pleased as to how poorly this is written, but I know that a lot of you love her too, and I wanted to let you know how everything went.

I took a half day off of work today. Denali's new "owners" had told me that they were leaving MT at 4am and I estimated that they'd take until late afternoon to get to Denali. My husband picked me up at work around lunch and we drove off.

On our way down we noticed that there were cops on all the bridges in Seattle, then we noticed a ton of traffic on I-5 north, and then NOTHING. It was odd. Then the first cop car went by, then another, then another. As we were driving in South Seattle, past Boeing Field we noticed Air Force One, just as we noticed the President's Motorcade driving past. It was pretty amazing. I was really happy that we were not trying to go north.

About ten minutes after we saw the motorcade, I got a call that they were 43 miles away (as were we.) I had a slight pannick attack. I had plans on spending the afternoon with her, grooming her, and just loving on her. It made me sad that we were not going to be able to do that. I stopped at the feed store and bought her some more treats, a big bucket of supplements, and some psyllium (I haven't given it to her yet this year.) I also picked up a bail of hay to send with her. We got to the barn and they were already there.

I was so nervous meeting them. I've loved talking to him on the phone, and I just hopped that they were half as nice in person as they were on the phone. They were even better. When we got out of the truck I noticed they were not in their (amazing) truck. Then I noticed they found Denali and she was doing her best "LOVE ME" face. We chatted for a bit about her and then I started to unload her stuff. I'm sure they think I'm totally nuts (I mentioned it a few times.) I gave them her Heavy Weight blanket, her other heavy weight blanket, her midweight blanket, her sheet, and cooler. I also packed up all her first aid kit stuff, her supplements, her halter, and her BAGS of treats. One large bag, two bins, and a box. I decided that I just wanted her to take her stuff with her. It made me feel better.

She was getting upset that she was NOT the center of attention and kept running in and out of her paddock. Eventually we decided that they should get on the road. I walked out to her paddock and put her halter on, gave her a big hug, and then lead her to the trailer. I told her she was onto a new journey, but that I promised I'd see her again. Not the way I planned to say goodbye, but also probably better than me sitting around for hours worrying. I can't wait to see her again.

They had another horse with them that has some French name that sounds like John Deer. I was glad that Denali didn't need to haul by herself. She had the two back stalls in the trailer, and she hopped right in, like a good girl. I was a huge, roomy area, and they decided to haul her loose so she can move if she needs to. Once she was loaded we talked for about twenty more minutes. During that time I know I could have walked back to the trailer and talked to Denali, but I couldn't. She's fine in a trailer if you ignore her, but if she is getting attention she gets antsy. I just didn't want to upset her. I wish I had a better chance of saying good bye.

I'm sad. I'm happy. I don't know how I feel. I feel bad that she doesn't understand what's happening, and that she won't see me for a while. I hope she understands, and her new home is so great that she doesn't even care about not seeing me. I just don't ever want her to be hungry again. That's my biggest fear after the last time I didn't see her for months.

Her new people are amazing. I really don't know how we lucked out that such great people found us. I had baked them brownies and bought them some snacks at Whole Foods as a little road trip snackage. About two minutes after they pulled out, they called me to tell me how delicious the brownies were. It made me smile. I really like them.

We stopped for dinner about 5 miles from the barn and I saw the trailer pull out of town with Ms. Denali and that's the last time I saw her. She's probably somewhere in Eastern WA now, or Idaho. It was a weird feeling to see your horse go driving past.

I miss my mare. I'm sad, but I did this because they can give her a life that I can't. Think good thoughts for her tonight and the next few days! I'll post an update as soon as I hear how she did.
Photo of me taking a photo.


My beautiful girl!

Denali's new friend, "John Deer"

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dear Vera,

Dear Vera,

Today was not my day. I tried to keep myself busy so I couldn't have to think about tomorrow. When I think, I worry way too much and make myself sick. We had a lesson scheduled. I wanted to cancel it. I thought about cancelling it. I didn't cancel it.

When I showed up at the barn, you were eating dinner. I was a nervous wreck and after our less than stellar ride the last time, I made myself feel sick. I tried to be positive, and tacked you up. When I put on our saddle that my friend let me borrow, you pinned your ears and stomped your foot. I got nervous. I checked the saddle, moved it back, and you were still pissy.

On our way down to the arena I somehow psyched myself out. I got really sad about Denali, and teared up a bit. I wanted to turn around, put you away, and never come back. I wanted to be done with horses. Somehow I ended up in the arena.

As we were standing there you were being pissy still. As brave as I was trying to be, I just couldn't get over my fears and worries and I teared up again. You looked at me, with what I swear was a surprised look. Then you stopped, and stood, and was an angel.

Our trainer looked at us, and told me to get on. I took a big gulp and off we went. You were straight, you were collected, you were amazing. I was so proud of how much you've learned this week from whoever else has been riding you, but then I found out, I was the last person to ride you. I was so proud of you, and our trainer was proud of both of us. Walk/Trot/Canter, you didn't take a wrong step, beside a few Llama head/Donkey neck moments, it was a great lesson and ride. Keep this up and we are going to a show in June.

Vera, thank you for being such a good girl today, I needed that. You've renewed my faith in horses.

Love,
Me

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2 more days.

You know when you make a decision, and you feel in your heart that it's the right decision....but then you start questioning those decisions.

Denali leaves on Thursday.

I am really happy that she will be with someone who knows horses, and she will have room to stretch those long legs of hers. I think I started to have my mini-meltdown-panic-attack when I saw a photo of a horse in a local kill pen. She could be Denali's twin.

Poor baby. :0(
:0(

I am so afraid that she will end up back in a kill pen, hungry and scared, or worse. I know that's the risk when you sell a horse. I get that. I told someone I have a contract, and it's pretty full proof, but still. If you own horses, know anything about horses, you know that contracts are not everything. Part of my problem is that I am the Queen of Anxiety. Maybe I need a cape.




We'll see if I can make it through this without some sort of psychological breakdown. I think I have pretty good intuition, and I feel good about the home she's going to. I will feel better once I go visit her. At least that's what I keep telling myself!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday.

I went to go visit the mare yesterday. It was a very odd trip. Odd because it will be the last time that I will "leave" her at the barn. The next time I go down, I will leave after she's (hopefully) loaded in the trailer. I'm not sure how I feel. Denali looks AMAZING!! A little thinner than I'd like, but soundness-wise, she looks great! I didn't even notice any neurological symptoms as she was FLYING through the air trying to attack the little pony. She was able to spin on her front end and turn her butt towards me and/or my friend Andrew in .5 seconds. Let's just say that 6 months of limited handling has left her feral...well, almost! She wasn't "horrible" but she did seem to forget EVERYTHING. Lots of reminders of space yesterday. Ugh. I am sure she would be better if I wasn't so sad. I cut off some of her tail to get made into a bracelet. I didn't get far enough under her tail, and now she has a horrible haircut to remember me by. Lucky her.

I felt fine while we were there, and was proud of my lack of tears. After pulling out of the barn I got sad. I haven't really gotten over the sad part. I will "hopefully" feel better when they call to tell me that she made it safe and sound.

I talked to her new "owner" today. I sent him out my crazy, ridiculous contract. He said it looked fine, and he doesn't anticipate any problems. I told him she was a bit "wild" yesterday (I don't want him to have any surprises.) He didn't seem concerned. He told me his son does steer wrestling, Denali shouldn't be a problem. Funny.  A week from today she should be on acres and acres running around and being a horse. They are coming this week......

Today I went to work at GWB. I spent some time with Vera but didn't ride. I didn't have time, and want some adult supervision. She is in heat (or at least I HOPE that's her problem.) She had her ears pinned at all the chestnut ponies. No joke! It's sort of funny. I am still trying to figure out the saddle issue. A Custom Saddle rep boards at our barn. She and I had a talk about saddles. We'll see. I don't know. A saddle means you're committed. I don't know if I have the heart to get attached to something right now.

 I just feel "weird." I don't know. I feel like I just got out of a bad relationship, and I just don't know how much I want to commit to this relationship. I am making up excuses. I feel guilty, and sort of "blah."

In other weekend news, a wonderful woman that I know lost her barn yesterday. The whole stable burned down, but "luckily" (if you can have luck with a fire) all horses were turned out. No one (animal or people) was hurt. Still everything is gone.

Think good thoughts for Denali this week.