Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sunday Stills

This wakes me up in the morning

I go downstairs and pull my breakfast out of this

and cook it up on this

I might spend some time watching this

Sometimes I'll mess around with this

or pamper myself with this

I spend a good amount of income made here

right here

When I need an afternoon pick me up I'll have this

and day dream about September when I can go to the 100th Pendleton Roundup and yell this with thousands of other rodeo fans!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I hadn't ridden Boo in a over a week, so I decided it might be smart to longe him first just to see what kind of mood he was in. He is such a good boy! We started out just on the longe line and he followed my voice commands like the pro he is. We attached the side reins and he continued to cooperate. I didn't make him go for very long because my goal was to ride the rising trot and report back to the physical therapist. I'm happy to say we rode for about 10 minutes (PT rules) at the rising trot. No pain!!!! I'm looking forward to seeing what the physical therapist says tomorrow. Maybe she'll let me go longer or maybe she'll let me sit the trot. Gotta tell ya I was tempted to sit the trot and to canter, but I didn't do it. The last thing I want is to set myself back. Trail season is upon us and I'm hoping to get out for a few short rides and work up to some longer ones.

I'm going to go out again tomorrow. Boo needs a little clean up. He needs his muzzle clipped and his bridle path. He needs his tail washed too in the worst way. It is so gratifying to go out and have him be happy to see me. He met me at the gate and I think he enjoyed the brushing. He's all shed out now and looking good.

This weekend is the Fort Vancouver dressage show at the Clark county expo. We'll be there on Saturday with Sarah and Bay. I think she's going to ride training level and first level at this show. Sure hope the weather cooperates and we get some sunshine and warm tempertatures. I'm taking my camera so I hope to have pictures to post.

I want to thank everyone who gave me encouraging words on my last post. Sometimes life gets me down, but I'm happy to report that I'm back on track with my diet and exercise and that goes a long way towards helping me cope with the rest of it.

Posting a picture of a bush in my yard. It's blooming right now. I don't know what kind of bush it is, so if anyone does I'd be happy to find out.

Monday, May 24, 2010

God grant me the serenity...

This past month has been a rough one. I've been trying to stick with some good eating and exercise habits that I've been cultivating, but it's not been easy. In the past couple of days I've fallen off the wagon. I'm determined to get back on. It's only a failure if I don't get back to it. I know that. So as of right now it's back on track for me.

I made the 25 lb mark last week. This week it's been diet sabotage. Go figure!!! It's actually remarkable that it hasn't happened before now. I started this journey in pain with my sciatica yet I managed to stay active through the pain and on board with my physical therapy. I've had a dear friend spend 20 days in the hospital nearly at death's door...I've had two family members spending time in the hospital with serious illnesses...and another taken to the emergency room due to an accident. I've discovered some disturbing things about someone I love with all my heart and haven't a clue what, if anything, I can do to help. It's hard to stay in control when life seems so out of control.

The only thing I can think to do is to keep putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time. Tomorrow I will go to ride my horse. I will be getting to ride the rising trot for the first time in more than a month. It's a small thing, but it's an improvement. I will cling to that and wait for the rest of the people in my life to get better...or not.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Stills

Had to go to the archives for these. No time for photos this week. The first one is of Mt. Hood with Timothy Lake in the foreground. The second one is Mt. Hood. Should be easily recognizable if you do much driving over the mountain.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

OHSET for 2010 has wrapped up. It was Sarah and Bay's first OHSET and seems they had a lot of fun and a lot of success too. They won 1st place in dressage at their first meet. The second meet did not go as well and they ended up in 24th place. The third meet found them in 4th place. They ended up being the 1st alternate for their district. It was a long shot that they would get to go to state. One of the top three...the gold, the silver, or the bronze medalists would have to drop out first. We absolutely could not believe it when that is what happened. Central Point here we come!

We arrived early Wednesday afternoon in order to give Bay time to recuperate from the ride down. He rode down in the trailer by himself, and he was a real trooper. No problems at all hauling. The stall floor was asphalt so we bedded really deep. Luckily they had plenty of bedding available. I have to say I think Central Point handled the state meet really well.
Parking seemed to be the biggest issue and that was because participants kept trying to park where it was posted not to park. I would have liked to see a little more shade, but quite frankly I couldn't think of any place that would have had more. The meet is moving to Redmond in Central Oregon for the next 2 years and I hope they handle it equally as well.

Thursday dawned bright and early. We headed over to the expo grounds around 10:00. I set myself up at the top of the bleachers with pillows for my back and seat. I had my trusty iphone to take notes on and proceeded to watch the dressage rides from start to finish. I like to write down the numbers and what my impressions are of each horse and rider pair. I completely stayed away while Sarah and Bay were getting tacked up and warmed up. Sarah had been asking her mom if she thought she belonged at this meet. She was pretty impressed by some of the horses and riders she was seeing in warm up and she was letting it sap her confidence a bit. They were scheduled to be the 20th horse and rider in the ring. Just before they came in I texted Mick and told him to tell Sarah they soooo belonged here. I was seeing nice horses and good riders but none that I thought we head and shoulders above Sarah and Bay.

They came in and they had a respectable ride. I've seem them do better, and I've seen them do worse. Bay was willing and did every movement asked of him. Sarah felt he could have been more connected and more through, but all in all it looked like a good ride to me.

That was it! That was what we came for. Now we could relax and watch the rest of the meet without any expectations whatsoever. We could cheer on Sarah's teammates and our friends from all over the state. I managed to get some shopping in too. I particularly liked a jewelery booth called Mystic Mustang out of Ashland Oregon. I bought 2 copper bracelets and a silver bracelet from them. The silver is a Navajo sandcasting journey bracelet with garnet and green turquoise from Nevada and Sleeping Beauty turquoise from Arizona.

It was about the time I finished up shopping that I received a phone call from Sarah. The results were in. Out of 29 horses from across the state Sarah and Bay had come in 3rd in state. They would be the bronze medalist...just one point behind the silver medalist. WHOOPEE! Way to go! Not bad for a first year OHSET pair and Sarah's freshman year.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Unbelievable how many forms it takes, and how much money it takes, and how much time it takes just to get your horse eligible for breed awards and USDF/USEF awards. It's mind boggling. Needless to say I am frustrated. I'm ready to throw up my hands and say FORGET IT! I know he's a good horse. I know he scores well. I'm not planning to sell him. Why bother? Does anyone else wonder why it has to be so complicated?

On a happier note: Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful mothers out there. Hope you get to spend the day doing exactly whatever it is you like to do. I have my family here from Central Oregon and we are all getting ready to go out to a movie, then lunch. Won't make it to the barn until this evening, but that's alright. I'll get there eventually.

State OHSET championships are coming up this week. It's nice to have that to look forward to. I'll have to exchange riding Boo for sitting in the stands and cheering on Sarah and Bay. Not to sure how my back is going to feel about the sitting part, but we'll manage. Miley wishes she could sit in the stands with me, but alas she'll have to stay at home. This is a picture of her pouting.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lilacs are my favorite

Weighed in tonight. Lost another 1.8 lbs. The weight loss is starting to slow down now. Probably because I'm getting close to my goal weight. The meeting tonight was about strategies for eating out. Something we all do and at our house more often than not. I do most of my eating out on the weekends. I've learned to look up restaurants on the internet. I look at there menu and look for their nutrition information. Often I know what I am going to order before I ever get to the restaurant. When that can't happen I've learned not to rely on the old standby "I'll just have a salad." Salads are loaded with fat and calories in most restaurants. I'm trying to exercise every day, but it isn't always easy. This week in particular has been difficult. Still I usually manage to do something 5 days a week.

I made it out to the barn this afternoon. I planned to ride for 30 minutes and then come home. I thought it would be a quick trip, but it didn't turn out that way. Boo is in such need of hair removal!!! I used a shedding blade, and a curry comb, and a mitt, and brushes etc. Took me quite awhile and I got lots of hair off him. He was acting kind of weird. Not like himself. He kept twisting his head around to try and look out the barn door which was behind him. I went over and closed it, but it didn't really help all that much. He seemed to be really sensitive to me touching him too. He got high-headed and twitchy. I wondered if he might be colicking, but I could hear gut sounds even without putting my ear to his belly and he left me a pile on the barn floor to clean up.

I took him into the covered arena on a longe line and walked and trotted him both directions a couple of times. Maybe for 10 minutes. Then we cantered each way just to see if he was moving alright. This seemed to calm him down a bit. His eyes got soft and he did the backing up, forehand and haunch turns, and side passes I asked of him. He still seemed a bit twitchy when I ran my hands down around his withers. I was trying to decide if he was sore somewhere. Finally I decided the only way I would know for sure was to get on and see how he was under saddle. Once we were tacked up and back in the arena I climbed aboard. He started swishing his tail back and forth but walked obediently forward. After a few minutes he stopped swishing and the rest of the ride (at the walk) went without a hitch. He didn't feel off to me. He behaved himself. Now I'm wondering if he was just nervous. The wind was blowing and the direction it was blowing from and the direction he was looking in the beginning was where the pigs live. Could it just have been a reaction to the pigs???? If it was it was weird.

I rode him at the walk for 30 minutes and after the ride I cleaned him up again and this time he stood just fine. AAaarggghhh! It's as bad as having a sick baby. I wish they could talk to you and tell you what they're thinking. He would probably just say" Ah $%%^& she's back. I'm gonna test her and see if I can get her to go away again!" One things for sure. I will be going back again on Thursday and on Friday to check him out.

Finally, after I was finished with riding and weigh-in I got to go get myself the most beautiful bouquet of lilacs. They are blooming in my daughters backyard. Smells heavenly in here :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I did it!

Finally! I rode Boo late Wednesday afternoon. I was suppose to meet the chiropractor out at the barn at 5:00 for Bay. He's been a little stiff on his left side lately and we wanted Mark to take a look before the state OHSET meet. I got out there early because I knew I'd been neglecting Boo and there would be quite a lot of grooming to do. I think I filled up a wheelbarrow full of hair!!! I managed to tack up and get on. Needless to say Boo was a bit hot after not being exercised in so long. Still I managed to keep him to a walk. About the time we got started the barn crew started bringing in the horses for the evening and feeding. Now Boo was really amped up and he started jigging. Still, he's a good boy and settled down albeit resentfully. I got to ride for about 10 minutes before Mark showed up.

There was nothing big wrong with Bay. Just a sore back, so Mark did a few adjustments and some acupuncture. He's okayed for light riding this weekend and then if that looks good it's back to work as usual. While all of this was going on I had Boo tied up outside his stall still in his tack. The PT said I could ride for 30 minutes, and I was not going to miss a minute! Having to stand for 30 minutes or more, tacked up, and watching his barnmates eat their dinner must have taken some of the jig out of Boo because when I was finally able to get back on he was as good as gold.

We could only ride at a walk, so we did a lot of circles, squares, shoulder-in, serpentines etc. I was trying to keep it from being to boring for him. The weather wasn't cooperating so I couldn't take him out to the outdoor or down to the back pastures. I think we got in another 10 minutes before the hailstorm hit. Hail coming down hard on a metal roof is a scary thing even to me. All the horses were spooked. I decided it would be the better part of valor to get off and call it good. I took Boo back to the little barn and groomed another wheelbarrow full of hair off him, blanketed him, and let him have his dinner.

So, how did my back do with all this? I won't say I wasn't sore at all. I was a bit stiff. I think it was more from the work I did before and after than it was due to the riding. I came home, did a few PT approved stretches, and was fine. When I had my appointment this past Thursday the PT was so encouraged by my progress that she sent me home with some more stretches, some strengthening exercises, permission to continue to ride Boo at the walk, and cut my twice weekly appointment to once a week. I am going to have to manage my back. That's just the way it's going to be from now on. Even if I am feeling fine I cannot take my body for granted anymore. I have to be AWARE. I plan to ride again tomorrow. Maybe I really will get to take advantage of trail season this year!

I weighed in on Tuesday. I've lost 19.2 lbs in the past couple of months. I have 9 lbs left to lose before I hit my goal. I'm gonna buy myself a new pair of walking shoes as a reward. When I hit 20 lbs it's gonna be a new pair of dancing shoes. I'm really liking this rewarding myself for success thing ;)