Sunday, August 31, 2008


...Warning: the first part of my post is not horse or blog related at all, so you may want to skip down a bit, or you may want to read it anyway. They say that writing/journaling is good for the soul, and I have to agree...sometimes. When there is an issue that is really bugging me, putting it down on paper helps me to think more clearly, and then I can usually come up with a solution. Blogs, however, are not always that "place" for me, because you never know who is reading them. That being said, I am going to write about something anyway. I get really tired of "he said, she said" talk, and I feel that if someone has something that they need to clear up, they should come to the source-me!- and address it. It has come to my attention, that some minor things that I said about someone (a member of my family), were somehow turned around and used to cause harm, not left alone as they should have been. That is really all that I can say, without prying, investigating, and most likely causing more of a scene. To the people who were hurt by what I thought was an innocent conversation, I am sorry. I honestly had no idea that the other adult involved, was going to take a three minute conversation that we had about you (and maybe she didn't...there were other people there who may have been listening as well), and use it in a spiteful manner. If you want to talk about it, call me.In other news...we have had a crazy, holiday weekend so far. Friday morning, Amber and I loaded the horses up, and trailered to an area that I have not ridden in for 12 years! The trails used to be unmarked, but over the last 10 years (?), the local Back Country Horseman group, has taken over trail maintenance and they are now labeled, and mapped. We had a good ride, although poor Waska was a little under the weather from his vaccines that I had given him the day before.
Friday night was Kevin's cousin, Keith's, 60th birthday party-Happy Birthday Keith!-and we all had a really good time. Lots of food, wine, fun people, and did I say food?
Yesterday, we spent most of the day at Amber's house, because it was Brad's son, Cody's, 10 birthday (more food and drink!). He got a dirt bike, and was so excited. I am a horrible blogger, and I forgot my camera, so I have no pictures from either event :(
Today, we have to attend the annual Labor Day picnic that one of the fireman puts on, so that should be a lot of fun too(yet more food and drink!).
Oh...and Eric took this picture of the horses "behinds" the other day and, really wanted me to put it on the blog, so here it is! He thought that it was really cute. Hmmm....must be a boy!!!

Anyway...I hope that you are all having a great weekend, and I promise to have cheerier posts in the future :) I will be spending all of next week in the gym, trying to work off all of the food and drink, that I have ingested over a three day period!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Lazy Days of Summer...

The lazy days of summer are quickly approaching an end for the members of the Knutson household, although we did not have the best summer weather around here. Last night, the kid's school had an ice cream social/come meet your new teacher/drop off your $100 worth of school supplies, function (school starts for them on 9/2). We already knew that Katie would have Mrs. L, because Eric had her for first and second grade, and I requested that Katie get her also, but Eric's teacher was still a surprise. I had a particular teacher in mind-I heard that she taught similar to Mrs. L-and luckily Eric was placed in her class, along with two of his good pals.

Once they start school, I have one week to get prepared for my classes, so I will have yet more running around to do. I logged on and checked out my text books for this semester, and used, they are going to run me about $550!!!! Can you believe it??!! I can't! Oh well...what can I do? Usually, beats PLU's (my school) used book prices, but not so this semester. I think that college bookstores are figuring out that students can get their text books at a discounted price elsewhere, so they are making their prices more comparable....grrrr...!!!!

Do any of you know recognize the torture..I mean..orthodontic device that is in the picture above? It is known as a rapid palatal expander, and poor Eric has had one in his mouth since last March. It's a nasty little contraption that essentially tears apart your child's upper palate, expanding it to make more room for the adult teeth to fit, and to correct any "bite" problems. When he first had it placed, I had to stick a "key" into the middle area of it, and turn the crank nightly. It was very barbaric, and I had a hard time doing it, but it only had to be done for five weeks, so I managed. Still...knowing that I was spreading his bones apart really grossed me out...and I am a nurse!!!

After five weeks, he had to start wearing headgear, but not the kind that resembles what usually comes to mind when you think of me!!! It has two hooks that fit into his palate expander (in his mouth) and then wraps around his head. He rather looks like a horse with a bit in his mouth and very tight draw reins! Eric says that he now has a new appreciation, and respect, for what horses go through by having bits in their mouths...I say "good!" It will only make him a kinder, gentler horseman. :)

Anywho...Eric did great with the headgear, until the ortho also placed a spacer, another spring-like device that is used to push his permanent molar back into place, thus ridding him of his cross bite. The constant pressure that the spacer exerted on his mouth/tooth/jaw, made the placement of his headgear very painful, and he would literally cry for over an hour. I took him back to the ortho and told her what was going on, because she said that the headgear/spacer combo was essential in getting rid of his cross bite, and she said that Eric needed to toughen up and just deal with it (this makes her sound mean, but she isn't, and she said that some of the little guys, like Eric, just cannot handle the pain and discomfort), and that she would check him again in two weeks to re-assess.

So...Monday was our recheck, and she said that because he continued to refuse to wear the headgear-don't get me wrong...we tried it every night, but he would scream and cry, and I am not going to deliberately torture my child!-Eric was going to have another palate expander made for him, and that I would have to turn it again for at least two weeks. Poor Eric! He said that the key turning was less painful and that he would rather have that than the headgear. The ortho was surprised, and she said that the headgear must have really been pretty painful for him, because most kids prefer the headgear to the key. Do you think???? We are now home, with the new expander in place, and I have already turned the expander once today. Eric has to follow up in two weeks, and then we will see how this new one is working. The lengths our culture goes to for a perfect mouth!! I tell you...

...Which brings me to the Nacirema. Have any of you heard of them? Click on the link, read the article, and let me know what you think...teeheehee!!! I have learned about, and studied this culture in different sociology and anthropology classes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How It All Began, Part Two...

...Ok, here comes part two of my story. I am sorry that I left you all hanging on for so long, but it is impossible for me to sit down and write a memoir, when my kids are home...fighting...and arguing...and playing...and hungry..all of the time! They are always hungry! I also need to apologize about my ending to part one,because it made it sound like something bad happened while I was away at camp, and nothing did. I need to go back to Writing 101 and learn how to not leave my endings sound like cliff hangers :)

So...I was sent away to camp for one week, and I was not happy about it. My poor mom had to feed Cheyenne small handfuls of hay every hour, and she even fed him throughout the night. She also had to deal with the after effects of his tube worming, and she said that it was not pretty! Upon my return a week later, Cheyenne had made a complete 180 degree turn, and was putting weight on at a rapid pace ( It's amazing what food can do!). Even though Cheyenne began to resemble a horse-with really long legs!-people still thought that my parents were crazy to let me "waste" my money on a half-dead, yearling, colt (I may have called him a gelding in my last story, but he was not gelded until the following March, when he was 1 1/2 years old. We gave him some time to "catch"up).
After about one month, Cheyenne had put on about 75 pounds, but you could still tell that the world had not been kind to him up until now. He was so scrawny, but I just new that he would mature into a big, well rounded horse, because of his Crabbet breeding, his 1/8 QH, and because I knew what his sire, dam, grand sire, and grand dam all looked like: BIG! Still, everyone of my friends, and fellow 4-H members had QH's, and they all just looked at me like I was crazy.

Remember when I said that I was a hopeless romantic, who knew everything there was to know about about Arabian bloodlines and pedigrees? Well I was not about to let my little guy go around with the name of Cheyenne ( it wasn't "Arabian" enough!) so I began the task of picking a new name for him. I still had hopes of being able to register him, but that never happened because in order to be registered as a 1/2 Arab, the sire must be registered, not the dam, and with Cheyenne, it was the other way around (I did contact his sire, Solomon's, owner-she gelded him, and she still has him!-but it was going to cost her about $800 at that point to register him. I offered to pay half-I really wanted to show breed shows too!-but she was unable to come up with the other half. To this day, I still get angry when breeders are irresponsible and do not register their foals. If you cannot afford to do it, you probably shouldn't be breeding them!).

Because I had Cheyenne's pedigree-the lady that I bought him from owned his paternal grand dam, and dam, so she knew his breeding-I played around with several Arabian sounding names that included parts of his heritage, and let me tell you...I came up with some doozies! I ended up combining his grand sire's name, Shabaoud, with his dam's name, Destrier, and came up with Shadest (pronounced "Shuh"dest). At first I threw in part of his granddam' s name-her name was Spirit Anissa-and I called him "Shadest's Gallant Spirit," but after about one week, even I thought that it sounded ridiculous, so "Shadest" he became.
I continued to ride both Pinto and Jewel, but I also spent hours with Shadest. I groomed him, trained him to side-pass, back, pivot, set up for halter and showmanship classes, and basically just fell in love with him. We would go on long walks together, and I even led him along on trail rides (He was one of the easiest horses to ride, because by the time he was old enough to be ridden, he had just about done and seen everything and anything, and I think that all of that experience made him a great little trail horse). He continued to grow, and just like I knew he would, he began to get big. After just one year, he no longer resembled the skinny, scrawny, colt that I brought home...except for his!
There was, however,one nagging reminder of his days as a starving, worm-infested colt...Shadest was prone to colic...something that eventually took his life. The vet said that his digestive tract was irreversibly damaged form his lack of "groceries," and from his lack of being wormed as a foal. So...every fall, Shadest would colic; sometimes multiple times, but we were always able to stay on top of it. Shadest was also very accident prone, and he always had some type of injury on his body, and some, as you will find out later, were life threatening.

To be cont....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Under the Weather....

Hello everyone out there in blogging land! I haven't posted in a while because I have been a little under the weather, and have therefore not been doing much. Those of you who know me, know that I have always had some issues with my back-who doesn't, right!-but they have been on the down low for some time now. However, last week, one of my thoracic vertebrae decided to slip-I believe that is the word that the chiro used!-and it has sent my whole back into rather painful, muscle spasms...not fun! Thankfully it is starting to feel better today, but I woke up with head congestion and body aches...what is up with that??!!!! At least I can take some good old fashioned Sudafed for that! Tylenol, Advil, and a muscle relaxer called Flexeril, have not even touched the pain in my back.
My hubby has magic hands though, and he has been kind enough to give me great massages, which has helped to ease the pain immensely. Thank you honey!

Anyway, because of my back, we have not done a whole lot of anything this week, except for lots of last minute school shopping, because I am a terrible procrastinator...I am still not done with it! Poor Bo, Waska, Amber and my kids. They have all lacked attention from me this week.
On Friday, we did go over to Amber's, took the trailer to get new tires, got a load of hog fuel for the flooring in the horse's shelters, brought the trailer back, washed it, painted any rusty spots on it, and unloaded the hog fuel. Well...the kids and Amber unloaded it. I sat there like a toad and watched!
What could possibly be more fun than riding in the back of a truck full of hog fuel??
Here they all are, getting ready to unload the truck. For those of you who know us, look at Jake's-Amber's 14 year old Aussie-coat. He just had it all shaved off last week, and he now looks like an old, saggy dog. He feels much better though!While Amber pulled forward and backed into the next run, Eric posed for this "Built Ford Tough" shot. That's my little redneck! Complete with Ropers, Wranglers, and a Mack truck t-shirt! My kids are both great little helpers, and Amber says that she cannot wait until Eric is around 16, because then she will hire him to do everything! Hey...wait a minute Amber! I am the one who labored for 38 hours with him, so I should get first dibs on him...heeheehee!!!As previously mentioned, I did not help unload the truck, but I did help wash, prime, and touch-up the trailer. My kids were more than a little bit bummed that I did not feel up to riding, but they settled for grooming and playing with the horses instead.
Don't you just love Katie's pink socks with her brown tennis shoes??? She had been wearing her flip-flops, and didn't want to put her boots on. The hot pink socks make a lovely statement with her plaid capri pants, don't they??

Tomorrow should be our last day of school shopping, orthodontist appointments, dentist appointments etc...and I should continue to feel better, so things are definitely looking up. Hope that all of you have had a nice weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Love You Bo!

It seems like everyone is nostalgic about their horses these days. Both Swamp Suburbia and Mrs. Mom have been writing about their horses-current and past ones!-and it has made me want to post some vintage photos of Bo and Amber. As some of you know, Amber leased Bo for five years, returned him to his original owner because she wanted him back, and received a phone call-after Bo being gone for five years!-that his owner wanted to give him to Amber because she was moving to Colorado.

There has also been a lot of talk, in horse blogging circles, about how many of us have had a special connection, with either a current horse or a horse from our past, and whether or not we will find that with another horse again. I am not done with my How It All Began story, and I know that I will never have the same level of intimacy-sounds kind of gross, but you know what I mean!-with another horse as I had with Shadest, but Bo and I definitely have something. When Amber previously had Bo, Shadest was still alive, and I had one, then two little kidlets, so I did not pay him a whole lot of attention, but I was the one who convinced Amber to lease him...because I thought that he had a cute personality (Amber thought that he was an ugly example of an Arab, but I told her that she had to look past that).

It was an awful day when Shelby, Bo's old owner, came and picked him up from my parents house five years ago, and I can still see Amber leading him into Shelby's trailer. We were not very happy about him leaving, because we had a feeling that he would just sit and not be used. Over the past five years, we were able to keep tabs on Bo Bo, because an old co-worker of mine lived near him, and drove by his pasture everyday (her daughter is the same age as Shelby, and showed with her for years). Needless to say, our worst fears were realized when she told us that he was out in his old pasture, with about six other horses, no shelter, and was only being fed once a day. Bo had clearly had a rough go of it, as his condition attested to when we got him back in May. Thank goodness he is once again "ours," and this time it is me who has developed a great relationship with him. Don't get me wrong,...Bo still loves Amber, but he is always happy to see me and the kidlets, and lets us know by nickering to us when we drive up to Amber's house. I love Bo Bo, and am glad that the two of us-as old and rusty as we may be!-have been able to return to horsemanship together. I love you Bo Bo!!!

Bo and my kidlets go waaaaay back! Here they are, with Amber, standing at my mom and dad's back door waiting for treats.
Amber used to show Bo all of the time, and at some of the shows, once the performance classes were over, they used to do some gaming for fun. Bo Bo was quite the speed demon in his day-well actually, he still is!-and they usually cleaned up in gaming as well.One year at our county fair, Amber was asked to carry the 4-H flag on Bo. Didn't he look handsome back then?These are old copies from a photographer who took pictures of Amber and Bo at the Washington State Fair. He was always so handsome in his English attire.
Bo Bo looks silly in this one, but I posted it so you can see how un-marred his coat was. If you look at the pictures that I take of him now, he is covered with scars that he received during the past five years. Shelby told us that we would be shocked by his coat when he shed out, because he was involved in an accident on a bridge, while trail riding, and because the other horses in the pasture beat up on him pretty bad. I guess so!!!!
Ohhhh...and did you notice the tail bag??? That is for you Jewel! I told you that we understood the preparation that goes into making a gray Arabians tail look full and white!!! Sooooo...the point of this post was to say that "yes," you can find another equine buddy after having that special's just a little different!

Happy Birthday Beki!!!!!!

Today is my sister, Beki's, 27th birthday. Happy birthday Beki!!!!! Of course, you know me...I had to go and post a picture of you and Shadest showing at the King County Fair!I think that you still are reading my blog, but just in case you are not... go check your voice mail ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dressage...Oregon Style!

Today, Amber and I drove down to Oregon, and had the pleasure of meeting Jewel, hubby Steve, and Abu aka "Booster," from 20 Meter Circle of Life, and Beth from the Dog and Pony Show. Beth beat us on mileage though; she flew out from the other "W" state...Wisconsin! Yesterday, poor Jewel and Booster rode in 105 degree weather, but thankfully today was much cooler for the competitors. I won't tell you how Jewel and Booster did, but I thought that they did wonderful on the test that I watched!

Here they are right smack in the middle of the test. My camera actually halfway cooperated with me today...only some of my pics were only blurry...not all of them!!Jewel and Booster make a great pair don't they? Collected canter....
All done!!!
I have always thought that Dressage horses look so happy and relaxed when they are done with their performance. They stretch out their necks and point their noses....too cute!
Jewel was quite the professional showman-I mean show woman!-and I would love to be able to come down and show with her someday. And her husband???? He tacked her horse up for her!!!! Yes ladies, it is possible!!! My hubby will drive me to a show, but that is about the extent of his help. Not that I am complaining...I need him to drive least for now!
Beth was a sweetie too! I won't say what she was doing either, because I will let her blog about that :)
Oh, and did I mention that the show grounds were pretty amazing? Jewel and her husband told me that DevonWood charges $1500/month for board-that is how much my mortgage payment is!!!-but it is probably soooo worth it!
Anyway...thanks to Jewel for inviting all bloggers to come watch! It was fun to drive down there and watch horses without my kidlets!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trying to Stay Cool!

I know that this is not what people are waiting for, and I promise to get to How It All Began, Part Two, soon, but it has been darn HOT around here-there I go complaining about the weather again!!-and we have been trying to keep cool. Remember last week, when I was whining about the 50-60 degree weather?? Well now it is 95 degrees out, and we are all in shock. See, that's the problem around here, we have these huge fluctuations in temperature all of the time, so you can never get acclimated to it...Last week Bo and Waska were wearing their rain slickers at night, and now they are sweating and trying to loose the extra hair that they grew when it was cold out.
In an attempt to cool off the other day, we decided to load the kids up on Bo and Waska, lead Sienna, grab the dogs, and head over the river and through the woods, to the creek. The problem was that everyone had the same idea that we did, so we walked about two miles down the old rail road tracks, which is now a trail, until we found ourselves a nice little beach to play on. The first place that we stopped, dropped down sharply, and we had to tie the horses up on the trail, and climb down to the creek.

Bo, Waska, and Sienna pigged out...I mean stood guard for us. As you can see, Bo took his job very seriously.
A view down-stream. Parts of the creek are really getting shallow. It will be a difficult year for the salmon run, which will start in about 2-3 weeks. Miss Katie Kate enjoying the cool water.

We ended up moving to a different location, because we wanted to find a place where the horses could come down to the water with us too. Sienna was able to run around loose, we had crossed the creek, and she pretty much flaunted her freedom to the boys.

You can see the look of disgust on Waska's face when Sienna walked by and said, "Haha...I can eat all of the grass that I want to!" OK, she didn't really say that, but it looks like she did!
Sienna enjoyed playing in the creek with us. Bo came in too, and proceeded to paw and splash so much, that I was completely felt good though! Bo likes to stick his whole head, up to his ears, under the water, I always try to capture it on film-my camera is digital, but "film" sounds better!-but he is too quick for me.Eric and Amber climbing on the log jam made during last winter's floods.All in all, we had a great afternoon at the creek. On the way back, the kids decided that they wanted to lead Sienna, so Amber and I were able to ride, which was a good thing, because Bo was really pissed off about having to stand tied up for over three hours, and he was a handful. I am sure that we made quite the sight going down the road. The kids were in their swimsuits leading the dogs and a pony, and Amber and I, soaking wet, on the backs of prancing horses!

Well, it looks like we have a few more days of heat, and then it will drop back down to the 70's and 80's. Amber and I are off to Portland tomorrow, to go watch Jewel and Abu, from 20 Meter Circle of Life, compete in Dressage. I hope that this hot weather has not affected them to has been in the triple digits down there!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How It All Began, Part One...

I have always loved horses. It is just a fact. Of course, it probably helped that my mother also shared my love for equine creatures, and the summer after I got out of 5th grade, we purchased my first pony. Her name was Cricket, and she was a seven year old New Forest pony, that had originally been a cart pony. She was then bought by the people that we bought her from, and used-albeit sparingly!-by their kids as a riding pony. The first time that I rode her, she proceeded to deliberately canter under a tree, knocking me off, and then promptly shoved her face into the knee-high grass to eat. I screamed and cried, and said that I was never going to ride her again, until my mom said that she would sell her if I didn't. That was all it took, and Cricket and I had a few fun years together.
(Let me insert here that I have three little sisters, who are seven, ten and twelve years younger than me, so when I was 12 and riding around like a banshee on Cricket, they were just little peanuts. As they got older, they had their own assortment of horses and ponies, primarily Star, who was Sienna the Pony Pig's mother. They did not have a whole lot to do with Cricket, or Pinto, as they were still pretty little, and my mom did not have the time-or the patience!!- to take ALL of us riding at once!) I rode Cricket, comfortably, for about two years, and then I started to outgrow her. My mom heard about an 18 year old pinto mare, who had raised several children, was about 14 hands high (Cricket was 12 hands), and that was free to a good home, so Pinto-yes, her real name!-came into our lives when I was about 13. Pinto was a rather sour and cantankerous old mare, who after about one year, finally decided that she could have fun with people, and she became one of the best little horses ever. She was one of those smart old horses, who could hang her head and drag her feet with a a two year old on her back, and then turn into a feisty old girl, with lots of get up and go, for me.For a while, Pinto was enough horse for me, but I was taking lots of horseback riding lessons, and had recently joined 4-H, and I wanted a show horse...or at least a horse that could do both showing and trail riding. Cricket was too small, and Pinto had no training whatsoever. If you dug your heel into her side too much, she would turn around and bite your foot...not good show horse material!
It was during this time, that my mom bought a two year old, unbroke, QH mare, named Cascade Amber Glo aka "Jewel." Jewel was a bit of a basket case, she had come from a QH farm down in Oregon and had been mistreated by men, and in fact, during the 14 years that we had her, she never got over her mistrust of them, but she was an honest-although spooky!-little mare. My mom was patient with her though, and before you know it, she was up and riding her. I started riding her a lot too, and really began to want a well trained horse of my own. For some reason that I can no longer remember, I wanted a young horse that I could train, show, and trail ride, all by myself. The trainer that I was working with, suggested that we look at some nice breeding stock paint geldings, that were being sold really cheap by a breeder. I however, had my eyes-and heart!- fixed on a starving, yearling, 7/8's Arab gelding, that lived down the road. He belonged to my riding buddy, Lacy's, mom, and he was in pretty bad shape. They had about seven adult horses, and two youngsters, and for some reason, they did not care for there non-riding horses very well. (As time went on, I discovered that they did not have enough money for all of their horses, but rather than get rid of some, they just didn't feed, worm, shoe, or care very well for them. In the summer they would be fat and happy, but in the winter they would look awful.) Cheyenne, as the starving yearling was called, used to accompany me and Lacy on trail rides, because Lacy's primary riding horse was his momma, Destrier aka "Patchy,"and I had coveted the little fella since I first laid eyes on him at two months of age. I was in love with his spunk and his desire to survive. He would get down on his knees and crawl underneath their hot wire fence to get to the grass on the other side...something that he never outgrew...even when he was 15 hands and about 1200 pounds! I was also a hopeless romantic and I knew every Arabian bloodline out there-I was going to marry a Bedouin after all, and have my own desert horses!-and Cheyenne was from Crabbet breeding, which was my "favorite" bloodline. I had always begged Jean (Lacy's mom) to sell him to me, but she always refused, until right around Cheyenne's first birthday. I was working at a local TB farm, cleaning stalls and grooming horses, and at our veterinarian's office on Saturdays,and had saved up some money, so I secretly offered to pay Jean whatever she wanted for the boy. She finally agreed to sell him to me for $200, and I told my parents. They were more than just a little disappointed that I wanted to buy him, because he was near death, and they were not sure that he would even make it. I begged and pleaded, and my mom said "fine," but that I had to sell Cricket. What was I going to do with three horses? I was devastated, but we found her a good home, and I was actually able to follow her subsequent owners, until she passed away about seven years ago. It was agreed that Pinto could stay, because I would need a horse to ride for the next couple of years, and a purchase agreement was drawn up.
Next came the big move-I joke, they lived about five minutes away- and the immediate vet response that followed. I walked him to his new home on Thursday, and I was scheduled to leave for a week long, youth group camp on Saturday. I was begging and pleading with my mom to let me stay home from camp, and she finally said "we'll see." Our vet came out on Friday, and he tube wormed him-he had NEVER been wormed before!!- and gave him his basic immunizations. He told us that we needed to feed him small amounts of food about every 1-2 hours, and to keep our fingers crossed that he would be OK. He then pulled my mom aside and told her to send me to that camp, because there was a good chance that Cheyenne would die...something my mom told me years later. Later on that day, my mom told me to start packing for camp, and I totally freaked out! I was not going to leave my baby, but she was really adamant, and so off I went, having no idea how things were going on back at home.

To be cont...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Better Weather Ahead!

Thankfully, it looks like summer is trying to make another appearance around here--yay!!!--and the kids have been able to swim, and do other "summer" activities, outside again.

You can definitely tell that fall is around the corner though, especially when you see these... Due to our cool weather, the blackberries are a bit mixed up. As you can see, some are green and some are red,while some just still look like this...I guess we will have an extended blackberry season--too bad that I don't bake!!-- although Trail Riding Cowgirl has an excellent "cowgirl cobbler" that I think I am going to have to try. Now if I can just talk my hubby in to picking me some blackberries.....Blackberries really are quite annoying, and they take over everything!!! Look at how these ones just up and grew over this little tunnel. I am not sure, but I don't think that blackberries, at least not the wild variety, are native to Washington. Do any of you Washingtonians out there know?OK, this is not a blackberry, but he is a cute, little, frog that the kids and I saw on our bike ride yesterday. Poor frog!!! He really was quite resilient. The kids played with him for about 20 minutes before I said that it was time to move on. He was forever grateful to me...I know he was!On another note, I have been both happy and sad that summer is almost over, because I am not looking forward to all of my free time being spent on homework. After spending all summer with the horses, I have been dreading the thought that I won't have as much spare time to enjoy them....oh yeah...and the kids too...just!!! This being said, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my classes start on 9/8 vs. 9/2, and that I have two hours between my two classes each day. That should give me extra time to get reading and other homeworky stuff done as well. It also gives me more time in the evenings, at least I am hoping that it does! I don't know though...I have four classes this semester, and one of them is a calculus class :( The rest are all social work and psych related, so I am happy about that! It will be nice to finally be taking classes that mostly pertain to my degree now....phewwwww!!!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rain in August...

So...we went to the Arabian show, but after taking about 10 pictures that were either blurry, or too dark, I gave up, and jumped up and down on my camera!!! Just joking, just joking, but I don't have any pictures that turned out, so you will have to take my word that we went..."we" being Amber and me.

In my last post, I was complaining because it was 90 degrees and it has been about 55-60 degrees and raining!!! I am just NEVER satisfied with the weather around here, am I??? Because it has been raining, the horses have had their lightweight blankies on at night, so when the kids and I arrived at Amber's house today, and took their--the horses of course!!--blankets off, Pig Pen...I mean Bo, promptly rolled in the muddiest spot that he could find...before we haltered him. The kidlets are sure going to learn good grooming technique when they have Bo to learn on...teeheehee!!!

Anyway, my question to you is this: How can a horse go from looking all muddy, round, fat, and this...
...or this....(less the mud here...the kids really worked him over good!!!) THIS!!!???? Sometimes I SWEAR that Cabalero SF is half Arab and half!!!! I'm sorry Bo Bo! I just couldn't resist it! I sympathize with old Bo Bo however, because I am not very photogenic either.
It's harder to catch Waska not looking his best. He usually looks like he is trying to figure out what the little peanuts on his back want.He has the exact same expression on his face here--even has the same ear cocked back!!!--as he does in the picture above. I was able to get my little cowboy in a Dressage saddle today...I still cannot believe it!!!! I told him that if he likes riding bareback, he would like riding in an English-type saddle. You can see the look of utter confusion on his face in this picture. "What just happened??? How did I get over here...on Waska...and in this saddle?"
He did a good job though, and I told him that he can compete in Dressage, or maybe eventing, in the Olympics one day, and do you know what he said to me??? " Moooooooommmmm....I told you that I am going to be a steer wrestler... or a roper!!! I'm NOT riding Dressage!!!!"
It was a nice dream while it lasted! Hey...I know....maybe Katie will be in the Olympics one day! What do you think Katie?

Friday, August 8, 2008

The "Other" Side!

Me, Amber, and Martha, went for a really nice trail ride today, and the weather even cooperated has been in the 90's and humid ALL week, while today, it was around 65-70 degrees and pleasant. We headed out to an area that I call the "other" side, because it is on the "other" side of the highway, and because it is on the "other" side of where we rode while growing up.

Have I ever mentioned that Amber only lives about three minutes--if that!!--from my parents old house? That is why we still can ride on the trails that we grew up riding...I just no longer recognize them, as they have grown up so much in the past nine years. Old Bo Bo does though! Last weekend, Amber and I rode out to another one of mine, and Bo's, old haunts--heeheehee!!!--and as we were nearing the end of the trail, Bo started his cantering in place--he can canter while the other horses are walking...really...he can!!--and when we got to the end of the forest--it drops you out on a gravel road that takes you to my parents old house--Bo tried to take off towards home...his old home from five years ago with Amber, not his current home with Amber!
It was really cute. He does that a lot when we ride over there...he will turn down an old trail that will take us back to my parents old house, and even wants to go up MY old driveway, because Amber used to ride him, and Jen rode either Shadest or Classy, over to see me and my babies. It's just cute to see that even though he went back to live with Shelby, the girl that Amber leased him from, for five years, he remembers the good times that he and Amber had. Nostalgic I tell you...simply nostalgic :)

OK, OK...back to the present...sorry!!! Now where was I??? Oh yes, the "other" side. One of the reasons I mentioned that Bo and I still remember "our" side, is because Bo and I do NOT know, or recognize, anything on the "other" side. We literally stumble around blindly, after the other horses, and every now and then, Bo's internal compass will tell him that we should be heading "this" way, not "that" way, and he will take off down a trail that points towards home. On the way home, Amber and Martha discovered that someone had barricaded one of their trails, to prevent quads and motorbikes from trespassing, and we had to travel down a really steep and sandy hill, for approximately 75 feet. I will have to do another post on Bo's accident that he had when he was back with his old owner, another time, but for now, let me just tell you that Bo does NOT like steep hills anymore, and I am talking like straight down or straight up, not just a regular hill. He literally panics, scrambles, and looses his footing...not good! He is now old and wise, and knows when to put his hoof down and say "no!" Sooooo....Amber and Waska went down...clippety clop, clippety clop...while Bo watched OVER the drop off. Next, Martha and Curly went over...I mean down...the hill...clippety clop, clippety clop...and then I got off of Bo, put his reins around the saddle horn, and sent him over...I mean down... by himself. It was classic, and I wish that I could have gotten a picture, but I didn't!

When we got back from our ride, this is what was oozing out from under Bo's saddle pad. He is quite the piggy, so anytime he sweats, it literally turns to mud on his back.The reason that he is so dirty, is because he likes to roll in the dust a lot. Here he is, right after I had hosed his saddle area down with water...why, I do not know, for he ends up looking like this!
Great Bo! I am so glad that I rinsed your sweat off for you! You look like new!
"Get away from me Mel!!! You are not going to take me out again today," Bo said as he ran by me. Actually, he was running for his pile of hay, but it is fun to put words in his mouth :) Notice all of the dirt on Bo.Tomorrow, me and Amber are going to an Arab show, but as I told Twinville, thanks to her recent posts on her local Arab show, I feel like I have already been there! Have a great weekend, and I am sure that I will have more to write about after tomorrow...unless none of the pictures turn out!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hang In There Grrrrr!!!!

See the little cutie patootie in the white, button down, shirt and tie? Well he is not doing so well these days. This picture is from my wedding reception, 12 years ago, and let me just say that he is a LOT bigger now. His name is Greg, but I will forever call him "Grrrr. " That's what he said his name was a long time ago at a 4-H event, and it still least in my book :)

A week ago on Wednesday, Grrr was in a bad accident, that involved him being struck, on his motorbike, by a car that ran a stop sign....right by Amber's house. Poor boy was thrown into a field and rescue crews had to search quite a while--in the dark !--for him. Needless to say, Grrr suffered some major trauma, which included a badly fractured arm and leg, a fractured cheek, multiple rib fractures, two collapsed lungs, and undetermined internal bleeding. He was conscious, but due to his vital signs weakening, from the internal bleeding, the doctors have placed him on a ventilator, and he now has pneumonia to add to his list of problems. Hopefully today, they are going to try and get him off of the ventilator, so his lungs can start functioning properly...thus aiding in ridding him of pneumonia. I just want to say "Hang in there Grrr," and to ask you to please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.