Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's Ours!

Well my friends...we finally signed on our house!

So many leaves to rake!
I think I may vomit a little though...I am the biggest sissy lala and then I panic a little and run every little worst case scenario in my head.

For those of you who don't know, I have some major anxiety issues. But, that is for another day.

But anywho. When I was blogging way back when, I was covering the collection of mares I have. I think it is only fair that you get a good look at each of their personalities and their stories. I covered Vegas (the blond show queen), Pandora (the brainy roan rascal) and Lucy Goose (the sweetest curvy chestnutty paint). But, we are indeed missing the fourth mare...Bacon!
She looks so fit here!
So the Baconator's story begins with me at the track. I began to hang out with redheadlins and her husband's barn full of thoroughbred beauties. They all were so great and had the craziest personalities. But there was one special one that really caught my attention. It was this gangly 3 year old filly. She was tall, and beautiful, and feminine. And loooooved to weave. That girl could sure dance to a beat! And she was sweet and cuddly. And I loved her.
Washing the legs!
Bacon was trained for two years on the track. But there was a mix up with her original owner and Eugene ended up with her. Also with that mix up, she was never registered. So this leggy girl never raced. In March of 2012, I got a call from Eugene. At first, I didn't know weither to believe him or not (he is a tricky one). But he told me that if I wanted Bacon, she was mine. And I would have to come and get her within a week from the track.

Oh geez. I wanted her. I really really did. And Blake knew it to. So, she became mine!
My first time riding her! Straight off the trailer.

Don't worry...this story will be continued :)

Friday, November 1, 2013


Yep. I'm still here.

Whoa. It's Bacon.

And there are COPIOUS amounts of things that have happened in the last few months. But I still have my four girls, and I am about to have even less money.

Why is that, you say?

Well damnit, we are getting our first house. WOO!

Roxy Moo says this is a good house.

It is just under an acre. But it already has a hay barn, shelter for two, and a small pasture. And room for a tiny arena. Don't you worry, I will make it awesome. And even the dogs have approved it.

So, what have you missed?
Let's see. Bacon continued to be lame. But continued to get better. Started Pandora on actual reining work (put sliders on too, wee!). She was good. Tried to work on sliders with Lucy. Stopped and slid so hard she scared herself. Took a step back. Rode some race horses (all by myself, poorly). Felt amazing after riding said crazies. Mostly rode Vegas bareback all spring and summer. Hung out at racetrack all summer. Blake got an internship working on hospital software with a cool company. Started house hunting process. Went to the Utah Motocross Races and Lagoon with four boys (stench everywhere).

Bacon becomes magically healed. Meaty (my english mastiff) tore his ACL. And now trying to buy our house.

Poor Meaty Man!

And the lovely Lindsey from My Mojito has nominated me for some Sunshine Award thing. So, I guess this is what I am supposed to do.

Wow. Look at all of that sunshine.

1. Mares or geldings? I think my mares would put the smack down on me if I didn't say mares. But you know, my heart still longs for my first horse Booger, the incredible gelding. I love both. What the hell.
2. English or Western?  Oh geez. Both for ALL OF THE THINGS. Well, I feel like I fit better with the western crowd. I try and like the challenge of learning all of the fun english things. But getting a horse to spin in a western saddle, and playing with cows is so much fun! But so is jumping things! 
3. Younger or older horses? Younger I suppose. The oldest horse we have is the Lucy Goose. And she is wonderful, but it is so nice to start a horse from the beginning. Because, if your horse turns out weird, it is your own fault.
4. Have you trained a horse from ground zero?  Yep! And I am talking not even able to touch, never been handled fun.
5. Do you prefer riding or ground work?  Hate doing ground work. Hate horses with horrible ground manners. Hand them over to Blake (who loves groundwork and is amazing at it).
6. Do you board your horse or keep him/her at home?  Home-ish. 
7. Do you use all natural things or commercial stuff (the products you use)?  How about things that are on sale or in my budget. Yeah, that's better.
8. All tacked up or bareback?  Bareback on a comfy horse, saddles are for withers.
9. Equestrian role model?  Oh so many. Almost every person I ride with. They always know something that you don't.
10. What is your one main goal while in the horse world? Well let's see. I would love to compete in a freestyle reining class. And complete a jump course without looking like a cattywompoid bimbo.

So there you have it. First blog back in a while. Hopefully I won't disappear again.

Me on Rothstein. Going faster than we need to, as usual.

Monday, April 1, 2013

I have a goose!

So, Lucy had found herself a new home. Away from a ranch, away from everything that she had known for the last 13 years of her life. It took her a while to adjust, but she figured it out pretty quick. She got the lunging thing down right away, and I was enamored by her big floaty trot. I tried to tell Blake that she would be a nice beginner dressage horse, but I got a quick "NO" as a reply. No english saddles ever allowed on her back. Fine.

We had some issues with her head (which we still do) and we noticed right away. Any time she felt pressure around her head or on her halter, she would react by throwing her head abruptly back and running backwards. Her previous owner had led her out of the trailer with the lead rope going up and around the back of her head and through the bottom of the halter. It was the weirdest thing I had ever seen. Her poll was also huge, way bigger than any other horse I had seen. She had also never been loped to my knowledge, because whenever we asked her to, her legs became a scrambled mess and she would panic. But, despite her issues, we found her to be very willing and extremely smart. She would always try to do her best. And she was the easiest keeper ever!

We wanted to start loping her more (since we are aimed at reining stuff) and she started out ok. The basic green horse HOLY COW I AM RUNNING AND DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO, SO I AM GOING TO DIVE MY SHOULDER ALMOST PARALLEL TO THE GROUND AND RUN FASTER AND FASTER. Ok, I can deal. Halfway through the summer of 2012 though, something switched and she became panicked every time we got on her, and she exhibited symptoms of upper fixation of her patellar region. We would barely touch her to ask her to move her hindquarters over, and she would flip out, running backwards, half rearing, throwing her head back into my face, etc. None of this was fun. And none of it made Blake want to ride.

We had her teeth done, and eventually had a chiropractor come out. He was amazed at the size of her poll, and showed us a spot on her back that was not quite right. He worked his magic, and it went away. I had never seen Lucy so relaxed, it was amazing. I rode her twice after that, and she seemed fine-ish again. And then winter hit.

We started this year with one OK ride, one great trail ride, one tying up episode, and two crazy galloping around like an idiot and being dangerous rides. One of the dangerous rides was yesterday, where she began to rear and be stupid. I draw the line at rearing. She got in big trouble. Now, I am again stuck and don't know what to do. I feel like I am a little short on confidence with rearing horses, as well as time to be consistent with her, and limited resources for getting around this with training. I would never claim to be an amazing trainer, and I am not afraid to notice when I have exceeded my limits in knowledge. So, I may be trying to ride through this, with more focusing on lunging and getting her quiet on the line for a couple of weeks (even though she is already quiet?) and then getting on, or scraping up the little money we have to send her to my trainer of world champion mules. I could really use the money to get radiographs of Bacon's legs (which I will explain later) but I can't help but notice how discouraged Blake is becoming about his horse. Sigh.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Curvy Girl Enters the Arena...

So, if you hadn't noticed, Pandora is small. Very small. Like, 13.3h small. And Blake is big. Like, over 200lbs big. And yes, the most well known cutting horse and sire of all time (Smart Little Lena) was only 13.3h, we didn't feel like Blake would be comfortable putting that kind of stresses on his little lady's joints.

September 2011, Blake's great grandma (or just grammy as we know her) mentioned to us that her niece, who had just passed away unexpectedly, had a wonderful paint horse looking for a home. We were told she had been everywhere and had done everything, specifically all ranch duties. We were also told that she was 17h, and solid. Yep, that should fit Blake. We arranged to go check out this new mare, and possibly bring her home.

Mid October, we all drove out to Homedale, Idaho. Blake's great uncle Bob, now in the saddle making history books with the work he did next to Ray Holes, had arranged for the meeting at his house. There wasn't much room to ride, but the big girl showed up and was led out of the trailer.

Well, she wasn't 17h. I don't think even makes the 16 mark, but pretty close. But HOLY MOSES, the girl had curves and bone. She naturally stood like she was set up for a halter class. She could definitely carry Blaker. We both also noted that it was kind of strange how he led her out with the lead rope wrapped around the back of her poll and through the bottom of the halter. We saddled her up, and Blake hopped on and walked her around. He just rode her around in a bosalito. And she was awesome. I hopped on too, and automatically liked her, even though I could barely walk and trot her around. We talked over some stuff and called it a deal. But until after we drooled over the handmade rawhide beauties and leather work that decorated his workshop.

It was time to go, and our new girl Lucy was a little hesitant to enter the tiny cave of our two horse trailer. But after a little coaxing, she got right in. Once we got home, she had a hard time backing out, and it was obvious she had never been backed out of a trailer before. We finally had to call Eugene to the rescue, and the scary red man came over and scared her right out of it. Damnit Eugene. Blake and I both noticed that she was really weird about her head though, and was easily flustered around her poll. We could fix that though.

The next day, we lunged her, and she picked up on it perfectly. What a smart ranch horse! And a nice, smooth trot to boot. But, it became really obvious that she had never loped around much before. She had no idea where to put her legs or how to use herself. But, I had never seen a horse learn so fast. I was excited about the new girl, and Blake was too.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The One Where Pandora Becomes a "Big Girl"

Year three for Pandora proved to be rough for her. Maybe more so for me. But it included her having to actually haul me around for a bit. And learning how to accept the bit. And how to steer and stop and make some transitions. But you know what? She did pretty well considering.

This was the first horse I had started so I was a bit concerned. But Blake had saddled her a lot and done a lot with her on the ground, so she was pretty OK with me being on her.

We didn't do too much. I didn't want to put much strain on her little legs, so most of our sessions were about 20 minutes long. I am really hoping this year we can get started on more, and actually throw in some reining crap. She is already listening to my seat, so I know this girl has a sliding stop in there somewhere. She is quite difficult to train because she thinks she already knows what we are doing once we get started. So, that makes it very hard to progress when the little fart thinks she already knows how to do the rollback because she already did it once.

I think I forgot to mention that Pandora is also a mastermind at escaping. She knows how to open gates, with or without chains, and busted through the wooden fence before. Luckily, she never runs and is easily captured. The neighbor found her down the road at 4am once, and put his arm around her and walked her back home. The time she busted through the fence, I went home sick from work luckily and pulled up to the little roan horse running in the road. She recognized my truck and followed me down the driveway. I wrapped my sweatshirt around her and led her into the arena.

She has probably released herself from her "prison" about 10 times now. A few times she ate herself a whole bale of straight alfalfa. Them smart horses sure are hard to figure out...
Angry cowhorse face!
Whoa Pandy-Lou!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm a Cowhorse of Course!

Who's in the house? Pandora!

Sooo remember when I said that the evil lady we purchased Pandora from said she would send out Pandora's info to get her papers that week? Yeah. Didn't happen. Didn't happen for MONTHS. Actually, it didn't happen for about a year. For those of you who don't know, as the age of the horse increases, so does the registration fee. It was closing in on the increased fee date, and this lady decided to stop responding to our emails and calls about the papers being sent. I really wanted to hurt her. And Blake. Well, Blake doesn't handle people very well, especially rude lazy people. So he left the lady a nasty email giving her one more shot before he went back to her house in Payette to deal with her face to face.
Spring roan!
She didn't like that one bit. She told him that he was not never speak to her like that again or she would never get the papers sent.

Can I help you?
Needless to say, Blake was about ready to burn her house down for the rest of the comments she put in the email. I calmed him down, and wrote her an email back. I told her we would provide every other detail, I would mail her the papers, and all she would have to do is sign the damn things and send them back. I'd even give her the envelope and stamps to send them back. No response. Took a shot in the dark and sent the paperwork. And after a year of excuses from this lady, she finally took the 5 seconds to sign the damn papers.

Enter: Lil Badbadger. That had to be the perfect name for this horse. Because if you could see this thing rollback, and cut on a lunge line, and try to cut the dogs, you would understand. She is little. She is bad. And has the temperament of a badger for sure. But she sure does love her daddy.

We didn't do too much her 2 year old year. She came to a couple of shows, and participated in one. She did pretty well again! We also started saddling her up, and at the end of her 2 year old year, we were
sitting on her. The first time I got up on the saddle, we side passed all over the arena. That was about all she wanted to do, so I went with it.
On a lunge, she would go forward pretty well. But we ended the year pretty happy with her.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pandora, the Roan Beast!

I wear towels on my head!
After the magical roan pony was captured, it was a whooooole different story. She did whatever Blake wanted her to do, and avoided me at all costs. I was the evil person that captured her, after all. She started to look less emaciated and more like a healthy happy girl. After a couple of months passed, we still tried to get her papers going through her previous owner. There was always some excuse. AKA lazy witchness. Blake's approach to horses is probably quite a bit different from a lot of people's. At every chance he gets, he runs, jumps, makes crazy sounds, grabs, dances, and does whatever weird maneuver her can to them until they just don't care anymore. The boy is amazing at groundwork. Whenever I have a problem, I hand a horse over to Blake, and he uses his magical skills.
I'm a nun!
Cowhorse. For sure.

We took Pandora with us to all of the shows that Vegas went to. Blake even showed her in some in-hand trail classes a few times and halter once. She placed 4th in halter, which Blake was pretty excited about (even though they both looked like they were falling asleep). They also did fairly well in their trail classes. But everyone thought Pandora was a POA, and he certrainly was not amused. At this point, he was still not too worried about her size, but I had a feeling she would never be a big lady.

We also dragged Pandora to my lesson sessions with Karaly and Tim. Everybody was always worried when we left Pandora in the pen with all of the giant horses and mules that were fairly aggressive. But, when we came back, she had all of those horses obeying her orders. And I mean ALL of them! Even the 17H mules! Pandora doesn't take crap from anybody but her older sister, Vegas.
So cute!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In the Box!

Sorry folks! I have had some massive headaches this past week...don't know what's up but hopefully they go away....Anywho. Let us continue with the story of the mighty midget, Pandora!

Crazy roan pony

This had to be the most difficult horse we had ever worked with. That didn't say much for Blake, because he really hadn't worked with a lot of horses, but he had natural horse handling skills (score for me!). Blake would sit in the middle or side of the round pen and do his homework. He would sit there for 2 hours, and that horse would not look at him once. She avoided all eye contact and wasn't even curious about people and even acknowledged the fact that we provided food for her. We would lunge her, and get her to turn in, but it was rather difficult, and she never stayed there long. We would work her, and let her stop and relax next to me on the other side of the fence to show her that people were a good thing. But she didn't really buy into it. After about 2 weeks, Blake decided that he would rope her. He has NO roping skills, so he tried a few swings but quickly realized that his little cutter bred horse had figured out this game and very quickly avoided all of his attempts at playing cowboy. I suggested that I hold one side of the loop in the rope, and he holds the other side, and lunge her into it. And, it worked! But holy crap that little horse can buck!

She bucked and wheeled around and ran and ran some more. He finally go her attention and got her to stop and somewhat have her front end aimed at him. Though, I still think she was avoiding eye contact. He tried to pull her around with the rope around her and start to teach her pressure and release. It was obvious she was smart. She figured it out quick, and we thought that would be a good place to stop. She let Blake get within 5 feet, and he took the loop off. She ran to the side and ignored us. We came out again, and roped her again, although it was much more difficult to lunge her into the loop. She fought again, but not as much. She pictured Blake as the bad guy in all of this, so Blake lunged her next to me, and stopped her by my side of the fence. I reached out, and touched her butt. She flinched, but stayed there. I rubbed and rubbed and was soon to rub all over her butt. I switched places with Blake and could get within a few feet of her. It took about an hour, but I could reach out and rub her butt. Then, I could rub her shoulder. She was very touchy about he head area, so it took a while to move my hand up her neck towards her head. Blake handed me her rope halter, and I rubbed her neck with it and put my arm over the other side of her neck and continued rubbing. We use rope halters, so I tied it quite loose around her neck. Now, I just had to fling it up over her nose, the one area she would NOT let me touch. I flung as quick as I could, she took off in a blur, and...

I got it on. Boom. I was able to get up to her again, and clip the lead rope on. And just like that, she decided I was the most evil person in the universe. And just like that, she automatically knew how to lead. Blake came back in, and it was like she had been haltered and led around her entire life. Blake started to rub on her. He was so happy to finally be able to touch his horse and get her attention. We entered her box. It wasn't long after that that he started to turn her into his perfect bombproof pony.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

She Brought Her Box

I love my dad.
I wanted Blake to have his own horse. So incredibly bad. I wanted a riding buddy, and I knew he would really enjoy having a horse. And I needed some way to get him away from them dang motorcycles. He thought about it a lot, and never really got comfortable with the thought of owning his own horse. They aren't very cheap of course. At this time, we started watching Downunder Horsemanship every Tuesday evening. It had become our new ritual. Eat dinner. Climb into bed, and watch Clinton Anderson do things with horses. To Blake, this guy made perfect sense with horses. Blake would go out and try the same methods on Vegas, and really liked the results. I know, not everybody likes the aussie, but we really enjoy him. He is a lot more entertaining and clear than a lot of other clinicians. And, I have to give him credit for giving Blake the idea of having his own horse.
I am a little roan horse.
After a few months of watching the show, Blake decided on his own that he would get his own horse. Pause. YAY! I was thinking, a nice older broke gelding, with plenty of miles. Blake was thinking, yearling filly with no training. Everyone told him no. He told himself yes. He wanted himself a little cowhorse. We scoured through craigslist and found a breeder out in Payette with a large group of yearlings for sale. Peppy San Badger bred babies. We told the lady we wanted a baby that would grow to accommodate Blake's larger stature. She told us all of them should be fine. He wasn't looking for a specific color, so we started meandering through the group. Only two little bay colts were broke enough to come up to us for a rub down. She said the others had been handled, but it really didn't look like it. In the middle of the group, I saw a little bay roan. She was the most hidden, and avoided all eye contact. I asked Blake to see which horse caught his eye. He didn't really know. I pointed out the little roan, and he automatically decided he liked her. Now, I don't know if this was because I pointed her out, or if he really did like her. We singled her out of the crowd with one other little colt in the round pen and watched her. She really really did not want to be in there with us. Her eyes were wild. And Blake loved her. The lady wanted $400 for her, and Blake agreed. She told us she would hold her for us until next weekend, and would start her papering process. Blake was excited.
I was a little under cared for.
We headed off to Clinton Anderson's Walkabout tour in Redmond, OR and it was a blast. It was so cool to see him live and I only wished it to last longer. The following weekend, we would be getting Blake's new girl. We brought out little straight load two horse and made the journey out to get her. They had her ready in the round pen, and we back the trailer up to it. We then fashioned a chute, and chased the little roan into it. She wanted to get away from us so terribly bad, she hopped right into the trailer. She looked so scared though, and I was so worried she would jump out the back on the trailer (she was loaded without being tied), so we took lead ropes and baling twine and made a spider web pattern on the back to discourage her. We were promised papers within a month, and off we went.

Let me tell you, seeing a little horse stick its head out the side of a trailer going 80mph is terribly funny. She tried to keep her eyes open, as her lips flapped in the air and mane blew straight back. He first trailer ride seemed to be really fun for her. As we pulled into the driveway, Blake's family was so excited to see his new baby, his mom reached her hand into the trailer to pet her. Bad idea. Little roan horse flipped out. I don't think he mentioned that she was untouched. And a little wild. We backed her into the round pen, her new home for the next couple of weeks. She got some hay and a drink of water and explored  I told Blake that having this horse felt like opening pandora's box. And the name Pandora stuck. What a scared little horse.