Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Boo Gets A Mini Spa Day

I thought I would go out and ride Boo today. I spent more time grooming him than I did riding. He was in desperate need of some tender-loving care. I used a shedding blade, and the hair just kept coming off! I put him in the wash rack and used warm water to clean the mud off his feet and lower legs. Once they had dried I checked them over really well for nicks or sores. They were in remarkably good shape for as wet as it has been these past few months. I'm going back out tomorrow to wash his tail. I can't wait until it's warm enough to give him a bath. He had one place in his mane that looked like it had started to dreadlock. My little Rastafari man!!! It's been almost 2 weeks since I've been able to groom him like this. When I finished up I told him that he looks once again like somebody loves him. I know he enjoyed the attention. It was therapeutic for me too. It's been a rough 2 weeks. There has been lots of stress and lots of anxiety. Some highs and some very low lows. I needed this quiet time with just me and my horse living in the moment.

We had a good ride as well. He remembered what we have been working on these past few months and came soft and connected early on. We only rode for about 30 minutes. We didn't need any more time than that, and I didn't want to push either of us to hard while we were trying to get back into the swing of things. There's no sense in making ourselves sore. I'm planning on getting in at least another 30 minutes tomorrow while I'm waiting for his tail to dry. Oh yes!!! It feels good to be back at the barn.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Will Miss This Man

My friend Steve has been in a battle for his life for the past 3 years. The first inkling that I had that something wasn't right was 3 years ago in July. We were at Dressage at Devonwood. We were sitting around the tailgates of our vehicles having lunch. Steve was struggling to eat. The crusty bread I'd brought wasn't going down very well. He was having trouble swallowing and his wife, Joanne, said he had been losing weight and she was trying to get him to see a doctor. Steve made that doctor appointment, but before he could keep it he began to bleed profusely and his diagnosis was esophageal cancer.

For the next year my two friends spent copious amounts of time traveling back and forth between their home in Salem and OHSU while Steve underwent treatment for his cancer. In the end all indications were the cancer had not only gone into remission but had disappeared. Apparently, esophageal cancer is a hard cancer to beat, and Steve had seemingly beat it. Life went back to normal, and Steve went back to work.

For a time all went well, but eventually Steve began to have other symptoms. Not throat symptoms, but headaches, and dizziness, and auras that precede seizures. The cancer had moved to his brain. So they began treatment for that. His first surgery seemed to go well, but he ended up developing a malevolent infection that led to four more surgeries. Two years and five surgeries later my friend has lost his battle and his spirit has moved on to wherever our spirits go when our bodies betray us. He fought long and hard. He stayed positive. He never seemed bitter. I never heard him say "why me?" Rest in peace my friend. You will be missed.

Qualified For State

Sarah had her 2nd OHSET meet last week. We hauled out on Thursday. Dressage was bright and early Friday morning. There were about 30 riders in all. They pulled off a 2nd place this time around (last time it was 3rd). They are now officially qualified for state which will be in May. They have one more meet before that. It is in April. I didn't take any pictures of my own, but I did buy the DVD and it should be arriving in another week or so. I will share pictures then. In the meantime here is one of them at the Spring Into Dressage show they did a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A day in the life of Miley

Whatcha doin mom?
Don't bother me I'm ripping apart my prey...

and it's hard work!

I might even need a little leverage here

Don't bother me I'm resting

I am one happy dog


That was so good!

Okay, enough with the pictures already


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Arabian Highpoint

Spring Into Dressage celebrated it's 20th birthday this past weekend with ice cream sundaes and brownies on Saturday afternoon. The show was held at the Mount Hood Equestrian Center on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We hauled Baythoven in on Thursday night. The DH helped set up the dressage arena while Sarah got Bay settled in. We had four horses from our barn in the show. Two of them were showing for the first time ever. I volunteered on Saturday in the warm up arena. I did four hours in the morning and was scheduled to do another four hours in the afternoon, but Sarah came and relieved me about 4 o'clock (bless her heart). My feet were killing me, and I was cold!!! I did 3 more hours on Sunday as gate person. The show was full with a waiting list. We could have used a few more volunteers, but isn't that always the case? I wish more people would give a couple of hours of volunteer time when they come to shows. Even if they are to busy to do so themselves it would be nice if they would have family or friends do so on their behalf. It seems like I see the same faces doing the work at the shows, and I worry about how we will keep the show going when those faces retire.

Things went very smoothly, and the show stayed on time if not a few minutes ahead of time on both Friday and Saturday. The judge, Lilo Fore, was excellent. Sarah and Bay rode four tests in two days and her scores were consistent and fair. They did Training Level, Test 3 and received a 68.000% out of 6 riders on Friday morning. A score that earned them a 2nd place ribbon. On Friday afternoon they rode First Level, Test 1 and received a score of 64.828% out of four riders. This also earned them a 2nd place ribbon.

On Saturday they repeated the tests and received a 68.400% out of 5 riders placing 2nd and a 65.862% out of 3 riders placing 1st. The best part was they bettered the scores from the previous day. At the end of the final day Baythoven had earned the Arabian Highpoint ribbon. I am really proud of both of them. Competing in open dressage shows against fancy warm bloods isn't easy, but they did it and they did it well.

Saturday, March 12, 2011