Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I made my way out to the barn on Sunday.  The weather had warmed up a bit and I wanted to check on the boys.  When I got there they were turned out into their pasture and were grazing side by side.  They paid no attention to me whatsoever until I made my way into the pasture with some horse cookies.  It was then they decided I was their long lost benefactor.

As they ambled across the pasture toward me I was struck by just how beautiful they both are.  Even in they're dirty blankets, even with their manes in a tangle and shavings clinging to their tails.  They are both pretty fuzzy.  I think Bay may even be fuzzier than he has ever been.  His tail is longer than I've ever see it.  It's past his hocks now.  Boo's tail has grown too.  It wasn't but a couple of months ago that I had banged it just above his fetlocks.  Now it's dragging on the ground again.  Looks like I will need to go out and wash it and bang it again on the first available 50 degree day.

I haven't been feeling well lately, but today for that few hours spent with my horses,  I forgot about everything but how much I love being with them. I have heard it said that people who have something that speaks to their soul, no matter what it is, will become so engrossed in it that they will lose time when doing it.  That is exactly what happens to me when I am with the horses.  Time slows down and eventually I lose track of it altogether.  I know I am not alone in this.  I know that almost everyone who will read this blog post knows exactly what I am talking about.  Aren't we lucky to have that? I know I'm grateful for every single moment.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wondering About Blanketing

I am sitting here in my office.  The sun is filtering in through the windows.  Everything is warm and cozy inside.  Outside is a different story.  It was 25 degrees when I got up this morning.  That is unusual weather for the Pacific Northwest. Oh, we get cold weather but we don't usually get it for more than a few days in a row and then it's back to the 50's for daytime highs and lows in the 40's  to upper 30's at night.

I understand that for many people this is just your every day winter weather.  It's far worse in many parts of the country and around the world.  At least this has been a dry cold spell.  Still, it's not that normal for us and I find myself wondering if I'm doing right by my 22-year-old gelding.  I have him stabled about 30 minutes from home.  The elevation is a little higher and the temperature is a few degrees colder than it is here at home.  I have a light blanket on him (no fill) with a neck cover.  It's just to keep him dry and to break the wind.  He has a very fuzzy winter coat of his own, and I've always felt that was enough for our normal temperatures.  Now, with these temperatures, I am second guessing myself.  Should I be putting on a heavier blanket?  It's still getting to the upper 30's and lower 40's during the day...

He is outdoors during the day and indoors at night.  He seemed fine the last time he was checked.  He was warm and dry under the blanket.  His weight is still good.  I'm concerned that if I put on a heavier blanket he will just sweat under it.  I've had that happen before.  I've heard other people say they've beefed up the light turnout sheet in this cold weather. 

What do you all think?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Learning About Equine Photography

I spent some time this fall taking an online photography class.  It is a fine art photography class and the emphasis is on capturing the essence of the horse.  I heard about the class from a good friend who is a much better photographer than I am.  She encouraged me to give it a shot and I am really glad I did.  I’ve owned a Canon Rebel XTI for about 3 years, but I was lost when it came to taking pictures off auto mode.  With this class I would be required to get off auto. 

I was pretty nervous in the beginning.  I was worried I wouldn’t understand the assignments or even how to upload them.  I am definitely not a techie.  However, the emphasis here wasn’t going to be about the technical aspects as much as it was going to be about beginning to define our own vision regarding the essence of the horse. 

All that was needed for the class was a DLSR camera and some version of Photoshop.  I bought PS  Elements 9 from Amazon and I was set to go.

I didn’t turn out to be the star of the class.  I also wasn’t a total bust.  I didn’t get a photo that I thought worthy of printing and framing as fine art, but I did get an idea of where to begin my photography education which I intend to follow up on.  I am planning to take some of those technical classes to help me better understand the capabilities of my camera.  I’m also planning to take some classes in photo shop.  I’ve developed a better understanding of what fine art photography is.  The class was well worth the money and the time I’ve spent on it.

Although the actual goal of using photo shop was to take a good photo and then enhance it with photo shop techniques, I did learn how to make an interesting sort of photo out of what most would consider a real dud.  Here are a few examples. 

The website for the class is www.learntotakephotos.com  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Have Been Missing In Action

I have many reasons but no good excuse.  My last entry was in mid September.  It was just a short blurb about the Pendleton Roundup.  We had moved our two horses to a new barn just a few weeks earlier.  It had not been our choice.  Our old barn had gone self-care.  The new barn was nice.  It was no further away.  It was just something new to get use too.

Both horses have settled in nicely.  It has not been quite so easy for me.  It's difficult sometimes to accept change.  It's difficult to lose the connections with old barn friends.  It's sometimes difficult to build new connections, especially if a person is not going to the barn very often.  Such is the situation I have made for myself in the past few months.

To top off all the difficulties I've been having dealing with change, I have also been dealing with some health changes.  It is amazing how incredibly slow the health care industry moves.  In mid October I visited my PCP due to some recurring symptoms I had been having.  They had been ongoing for a couple of months prior to the visit and were beginning to scare me.  About mid November I finally received all the test results we had been waiting for only to be told I needed to be referred to a specialist.  It took almost two more weeks to get an appointment with the specialist and that is not going to happen until December 30th.  I've been waiting...and waiting...and waiting.  I've put my life on hold and it is finally dawning on me that no matter what I end up dealing with health wise, I just cannot continue to do what I am doing.

I must get back to the things that sustain me.  I need to get back to being with my horses.  I need to get back to being active.  I need to push through the unfamiliar, and the doldrums, and the pain and just be present.  So here I am.

I'm back.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fantastic weekend

We had a great time at the Pendleton Roundup once again!!!  The DH and I, along with our daughter Jaimee and my dear friend Joanne, managed to be there for the rodeo on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  We met up with other family and friends.  We saw the big parade on Friday morning.  We shopped until we nearly dropped.  We spent some time at Crabby’s Underground, the Rainbow Room, and of course out on Main Street listening to the bands.  We had a lot of fun, got little sleep, and drank a few beers.  I must have taken about 500 photos, and I learned a ton about what not to do when taking pictures.  I'm always a little sad when it's over...I'm also grateful because these old bones just ain't what they use to be!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The boys are doing well in their new home

The horses have been in their new home for a little over two weeks now. They are turned out to pasture together and they seem to be getting along well. My first time out I lunged Boo in the outdoor. That went pretty well, so my next time out I rode in the outdoor. He was pretty excited and not listening to well, but we managed. I’ve ridden him a couple of times in the indoor, and he does pretty well in there. There are some trails to ride out there, so I think I’m going to have to get Mick out there and explore those before the rains start up again.

Both boys call a bit when one or the other of them leaves the pasture. They seem to be doing that less and less though. We took Bay to the ODS Championships last weekend, so Boo had to spend the entire weekend in the pasture alone. He did alright though. He had a couple of mares in the pasture next to him and other horses in sight. Boo has some scratches on one of his hind feet. I always thought that was something that happened during the muddy season, but these came on right before we left CEC and the ground was dry. I’ve been treating it with Vetracyn. Looks better, but not completely cleared up yet.

For any who may be wondering I’ve finished the cabinets in the kitchen. I have the island left to do, but that won’t happen until the end of the month. My sister is going to be out here from Cheyenne and all projects are on hold while she’s here. I’ll post a picture when the islands finished.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oregon Dressage Society Championships

Training Level 3rd Place
First Level 6th place

Tough competition, but they placed.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's a busy summer

I made it out to the barn on my first day back from vacation. It was a wonderful vacation full of family and fun, but I really missed Boo, Bay, and Miley. I gave Boo a good grooming. Is it weird that he is still shedding? Does anyone else have a horse that is doing that here in the Pacific Northwest.

We didn't work hard, but we did work on staying on the bit. He was a good boy, and we did all three gaits and called it a night. I'll go back out on Tuesday.

Three of the horses that have been boarding at the barn have already moved out. Two more will be moving on the same day that we will be moving our horses. While I was cleaning Boo up after the ride a family walked in looking for the barn owner. They were moving in. It was surreal for me. I'm normally pretty friendly to everyone, but tonight I just felt deflated. It's hard to watch people coming in all happy about their new boarding barn when we would rather not be leaving.

I pick Miley up tomorrow after her bath. Leaving her behind was really hard to do. My only consolation is I know she would have hated being in the car so much. I admit I am a little bit OCD about Miley since losing Poko. I called the kennel midway through our vacation just to check on her.

Tomorrow it's back to my painting project in the kitchen. Sure wish it was done already.

Monday, August 1, 2011

This is it!

Well...I did it! I committed to a new barn for the boys and gave notice at my old barn. I have to say that I feel lucky to have found the place. Judy, Sarah's mother, actually is the one who found it. I think she was pretty sure that I would like it. It reminds me a lot of CEC. There is turnout every single day. As a matter of fact they are out 27/7 during the summer months. In the winter they have nice cozy 12X12 stalls and both have no mud runs off the back of the stalls. There are automatic waterers and big watering tubs in the pastures. There is an indoor arena with cedar footing and an outdoor sand arena. There's even indoor plumbing for the horses people. The price is right. More than I have been paying, but not more than I can handle. The only drawback is it is still a 30 minute drive from my house. I can deal with that though as long as the horses are happy and healthy. They feed eastern Oregon hay and the same grain the boys are already on. The best part is our trainer can come out to the barn and work with us. I want to thank strivingforsavvy for sending me a list of barns to check out. I'll send you an email and let you know how things went there. I took some pictures I'll share with you. I'll save the arenas and pastures for another time.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Barn Shopping

I have been looking for a new barn for a couple of weeks now. First I made a list of all the barns I could find, and then the dear husband and I spent a weekend doing drive-by shopping. If the place looked like it might be a possibility I made a note of it. If not, I crossed it off the list. This past Sunday we actually visited two barns. One has possibilities, and one is completely out of the question. I realize that I have a long list of wants and that I am probably going to have to compromise. I just haven't figured out yet what I can live without and what I cannot.

There was a time when two available stalls would have been enough for me. Not anymore. I've had the horses for a few years now, and I've learned a lot in that time about what horses need to be healthy and happy. First and foremost they need a safe and secure facility with good feed and clean water. Secondly, they need caretakers who know about horses. No amateurs need apply when it comes to being a good place for my horses. The horses being healthy, safe, and well-cared for is the most important thing.

Of course I want it to be affordable. I am getting dangerously close to maxed out with what I can afford to pay. It definitely limits my choices. If I could afford to pay more I could get the second item on my wish list which is proximity. If I had only one horse I could have proximity. I have two horses. Looks like I'm going to be driving a ways to and from whatever barn I choose. I can live with that. CEC wasn't exactly in my backyard.

I want my horses to have turn-out. When I first bought them I was in a barn where there was no turn-out. They spent everyday, all day long, in their stalls except for the hour or two they were in work. I didn't know any better. When we moved to CEC the whole concept of turn-out really made me nervous. I was terrified they would get hurt...and sometimes they did...but they were happy and I could tell they were happy. I finally came to the realization that they were horses and they deserved to live like horses if I could manage it. So, turn-out is a big deal for me.

I want them to have a roomy stall with good bedding. I want a decent sized arena with good footing. I don't like dark and gloomy so good lighting is essential and there must be good air circulation. I want a safe place to store my tack. I want someone to put on and take off blankets when I can't. I want mud control, fly control, good drainage, and the manure pile to disappear on a regular basis. Part of any boarding experience is the social aspect. I like having barn friends to ride with. I like young people and I like having a few people closer to my own age too. Having trails to ride would be an added plus, and last but not least I want to be able to continue working with my trainer.

So...was I able to find all this or did I have to make some compromises. What do you think?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today my heart is broken

Rest in peace beloved Poko...we will miss you always.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011


A few posts back I told everyone that Sarah and Bay had competed in our Arabian regional championships and that they did well. I only had a cell phone picture to post. This past week Sarah mom, Judy, gave me a dvd with a few pictures she had taken over the course of the show.

Because the show was over the 4th of July holiday the DH and I were very very busy. That's a time of company from out of town and rodeo after rodeo after rodeo. We managed to make it out for the rides, but on the day of the championship we had somewhere we had to be by shortly after 5:00 p.m. So, we had to load Baythoven up right after Sarah's last ride and head back to our barn. Sarah stayed with everyone else to find out the results in her classes. In main ring classes and in a lot of the sport horse classes the winners are announced and ribbons are awarded before they ever leave the ring. That is not the case in dressage. Every test has to be ridden and scored individually before the outcome is known. Hence, there is no big presentation unless you can stay and wait through everyone else, and even then there are scheduling conflicts,and you may have to wait until the end of the show before there is a ring to use and people available to present your ribbons. So there are no grand photos of Sarah on Baythoven wearing his ribbons...yet...we will be having a photo session in August to get those championship photos. In the meantime we have these :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ch ch ch ch changes...

I hate change! Especially when it comes to my horses and their living situations. We got an email last week that informed us of a barn meeting to be held last night. Of course there was a lot of speculation about what news the meeting would bring. Turns out our full-care barn is going self-care.
Arrrggghhh! We have 6 weeks to find a new home for the boys if we decide that self-care isn't going to work for us.

I have loved being at this barn. It is well kept and the arenas are great. I like the other boarders. I love the trainer. As a matter of fact the only thing I didn't like was the drive out there. Sometimes I tended not to go because I didn't have time for the drive out, the grooming, the ride, the grooming, and the drive back. I never had to worry about my horses. There was always someone around to watch out for them.

So...I am looking at my options. Did I tell you that I hate change?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My dear friend Joanne Collins has taken many beautiful pictures of me with my Boo. Today I post a picture she did of her boy Excel. He will be sorely missed.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Short trip to the gorge

The DH's mom came out from Idaho to visit her sister for the week. They made a road trip to the gorge where the DH and I met up with them yesterday. We had a great time sight-seeing. I've never been to the Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington before yesterday morning. The view from the deck was fantastic.

We visited Bonneville and saw rainbow trout and giant sturgeon.

We had lunch at Multnomah Falls

and did a short hike into to see Bridal Veil Falls and Latourell Falls. Both well worth the short walk. It was a little much for Mick's Aunt with her bad hip, so she opted to wait in the truck. Of course we worried about it being to hot for her but apparently it was just the right temperature for a couple of short naps.

We ended the trip with a drive through of Hood River and watched the windsurfers for a bit. It was a hot and dry wind they were catching but they all looked happy to me. All in all it was a great day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What I have been doing with my summer

There is a reason I have been awol for the past month. I have been talking about refinishing my kitchen cabinets for quite some time now. I did a little research and decided I'd most likely have to paint them. One evening a little over a month ago I was telling my son-in-law what I planned to do. I thought he might give me some pointers since I knew he had painted the kitchen cabinets in a rental they had lived in a few years ago. While I was telling Dave about my plans my grandson Dom was listening in. Dave asked me what the DH thought about my plans. I told him that I it was my opinion that he didn't really believe I would do it. My grandson piped in that he didn't think I would do it either...that was all it took. It's taking a lot longer than I had anticipated but I've been working on it. I started with the built-in t.v. cabinet in the family room. Seemed like if I really messed it up it would be a lot less expensive to fix that then it would be to replace the kitchen cabinets. This is a shot of the cabinet once finished.

I should have a shot of the the first bank of kitchen cabinets by the end of the week.

St. Paul Rodeo on July 4th

Spent July 4th at the St. Paul rodeo! Beautiful day and had a great time. My friend Joanne used her little point and shoot to take these photos.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Congratulations to Sarah and Baythoven

I have been awol for a bit. So much going on and so little time. I had to check in today though because we had our regional championships July 1-3, and I wanted to share with all of you that Sarah and Baythoven participated in their first regional competition together and came away champions in JTR training level and JTR first level. They worked hard for this and I am so happy for them. Especially since they had to miss the state OHSET competition because I opted not to send Bay due to the EHV-1 scare.

This isn't such a great photo. I took it with my cell phone but it will have to do.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Saw this today. It came from Jane Savoie. She didn't write it, and I don't know who did or I would credit them. Couldn't help but copy it because it is something that I needed to see. I haven't written much of anything lately. I just haven't been feeling it. Hopefully I am back.

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"
"It was great Dad."
"Did you see how the poor people lived?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah," said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.
The son answered:
"I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us. They have friends to protect them."
The boys father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are."

Monday, May 2, 2011

A sunny Sunday

This was yesterday. Gorgeous! Boo got his first bath of the year. I got a sunburn. All was well with my little world. Today it's gray with drizzle possible and the highs in the upper 50's. Tomorrow is Boo's 22nd birthday. Hopefully, sunny skies will return for the big day.

I saddled up and rode Boo in the outdoor arena before his bath. He was a bugger. You would never know he was 22 and worldly. He did not want to be on the bit. He wanted to be looking all over and playing spook at this/spook at that. I finally had to get tough with him. My trainer would probably laugh at my version of tough, but for me it was out of the ordinary assertiveness and eventually it started to work. So, why do I always feel like I'm manhandling him when I'm just asking him to give to the bit???????

He was a brat in the bath too. Acted like he'd never been bathed before when I happen to know that this horse was bathed and shown on a regular basis for most of his life. Once I turned him out on the green grass his whole attitude was don't bother me. I'm eating.

As frustrating as yesterday was it was more than made up for by the beautiful weather and the fact that although this happens from time to time it is not the norm, and I am slowly but surely getting a handle on how to handle it. I give the credit for that to trainer Tracey.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Arabians In Motion

Spent this past weekend at the AIM show at Mt. Hood Equestrian Center in Boring Oregon. Everyone who attended from our barn did well and went home happy. Bay ended up with 2 Second and 2 Third place ribbons and good scores on all the rides.
Photos were taken on the way to and during warm up.

Saturday, April 23, 2011