Sunday, August 31, 2008
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 thing...lol!!!
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
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, Amazon.com 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 headgear...trust 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
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 coloring..lol!
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.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
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
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.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
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....
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 me...at 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
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 soaked...it 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 much...it has been in the triple digits down there!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
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.
To be cont...
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
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 joking...lol!!! 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
In my last post, I was complaining because it was 90 degrees and humid...now 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 cute..like this...
...or this....(less the mud here...the kids really worked him over good!!!)......to THIS!!!???? Sometimes I SWEAR that Cabalero SF is half Arab and half moose...lol!!!! 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
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!
"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
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.