Friday, October 31, 2008

Tagged and Other Stuff!

So I have a couple of things on today's agenda today that I have been meaning to post about all week. (Sheesh...I am starting to sound like a!!!)
First...I wanted to post a picture of Bo that Lisa over at the Laughing Orca Ranch drew and sent out to me, along with several other goodies, for my prize that I won for winning a contest on her blog. I should admit here, that I was not the only winner...her cute little chickens "pecked" my name out of a bowl of winners. How cute is that???? And how sweet of Lisa to draw this great likeness of Bo Bo, a horse that she has never even seen? Thanks again, Lisa!!!Second...While I am on the subject of Lisa, I need to do my book tag that she tagged me with earlier this week. Here are the rules: 1) Grab the book that is nearest to where you are sitting. Do NOT grab the coolest book, your favorite book, or an intellectual book...just the closest book! 2) Open it to page 56. 3) Find the fifth sentence. 4) Post the text of the next two to five sentences. 5) Tag five people to do the same. I kind of cheated before I played this tag, in that I removed all of my textbooks from my desk, so I would have to grab an actual "book" book! Sorry!!! So I closed my eyes and randomly reached for a book, and here is what I found: Ethan Frome, a tragic love story by Edith Wharton, that takes place in the 1800's. It also happens to be one of my favorite stories, and it follows the lines of the forbidden love affair theme, such as Bridges of Madison County, The Horse Whisperer, and The English Patient...all excellent movies in my opinion! Here is an excerpt from page 56:

"It was in the early morning stillness, when his muscles were swinging to their familiar task and his lungs expanding with long draughts of mountain air, that Ethan did his clearest thinking. He and Zeena (his wife) had not exchanged a word after the door of their room had closed on them. She had measured out some drops from a medicine bottle on a chair by the bed, and after swallowing them, and wrapping her head in a piece of yellow flannel, had lain down with her face turned away. Ethan undressed hurriedly and blew out the light so that he should not see her when he took his place at her side. As he lay there, he could hear Mattie (his true love) moving about in her room, and her candle, sending its small ray across the landing, drew a scarcely perceptible line under his door."

Lastly...have a safe and happy Halloween you guys!!! Here is one of my favorite pictures that kind of goes along with Halloween. It is a painting by an artist named Rudi Hurzlmeier.Oh...and about that tag!!! Anyone who reads this and wants to play along can!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

For Maia...

One of the blogs that I frequent is written by a young woman named Maia, who also happens to be a fellow social technically I have one more of school before I can call myself a "social worker," but you get my drift. Maia writes about her large, close-knit, family, her job as a social worker, and about her life in general, and I always enjoy her down to earth writing style.Maia's family consists of biological siblings, and adopted siblings, and somehow, they all seem to get along and make the best out of every situation. Unfortunately, one of Maia's sisters died the other day, after a courageous battle against Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. I won't mention her name, because I have not told Maia that I am writing this post, but just know that she was only 11 years old, and although I did not know her, I felt touched by Maia's love for her sister, and I am deeply sorry that they have all had to go through this. It is never easy when a loved one dies, and no amount of "I'm sorry's" can make the pain go away, but Maia, if you ever happen to read this, I will never forget about your sister, and that is because you have preserved her memory.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Beary Nice Ride!

I want to start out by saying "thank you" to all of you who wished me well. I am feeling somewhat better, but I am still sick, so I am breaking down and taking antibiotics... something I have not done in over six years. I also want to apologize for the large amount of grammatical errors in my previous post. Good grief! I must have been really out of!!!
Despite not feeling the greatest, I did have a wonderful weekend, and was able to spend a lot of time with family, friends, and out on the trail with Amber, Bo, and Waska. On Friday morning, Amber and I decided to take our two hairy boys for a nice long ride down to one of the local creeks, which originate from a large glacial river (we ended up riding to this river on Sunday, and I will post about it later). We chose the creek ride, because there is really nothing quite as beautiful as riding in the fall, and we knew that we would see our fair share of autumn foliage, in all of its glory, both on the trail down, and then again on a different trail back up. What we didn't count on was this...bear traffic. (Note: These are NOT pictures that I took of the tracks, because there was no way that I was going to get off of my horse. These are just images from the Internet that show you what we saw)Remember how I have said that it is hunting season around here? Well near the start of our ride, just as we were entering into some deep, dark, woods, we were accosted by the smell of rotting meat, because there happened to be several "gut" piles (piles of entrails, and misc. body parts, such as legs and spinal columns), that had been dumped near the entrance, and also further down along, the trail. Let me just interject here that domesticated horses are really quite amazing, because I am sure that in the wild, there is absolutely no way that a herd of horses would go near rotting carcasses, mainly because of what usually lurks around them: predators!Both Bo and Waska have been near gut piles/carcasses before, so we couldn't figure out what was making them so nervous as they trotted, ears pricked and quick to startle, along the trail. That is until I looked down in the mud and noticed the tracks of at least three different bears, ranging from about yearling to large adult, crisscrossing the path in several locations. They were fresh tracks too, as it had just rained the day before. We stopped for a moment so I could point them out to Amber, who had never seen one, and then we continued to trot (while keeping a tight rein!) our way out of the woods, and we didn't stop until we were on a different trail. Some of you know this, and some of you don't, but I have encountered a bear on horseback before, and I do not wish to do so again. It was definitely not my idea of a good!!

Let me tell you, the nice, wide, open, space under the power lines never looked so inviting, but we saw something unusual out there too. If you don't know me, you might think from reading up above, that I am terrified of bears, and that we never see sign of them on the trail...not true. I have a healthy respect for bears (it is cougars that I am terrified of!), and we see bear scat all over the trails around here, but not bear scat that looks like apple pie...out in the middle of nowhere...which is what we saw out under the power lines. My first thought was that someone was baiting them, which is illegal, and we did find a big pile of apples that had been dumped about one mile SE of the scat, on a different trail, and on our way home. The horses were spooky over there too, and they didn't even bat an eye at the mound of apples. I think that someone left them out to bait the deer, but the bear are eating them as well. Not Bo and Waska!! They hightailed it out of there, and we let them. We have heard from the local gas station that the bears have been unusually aggressive, due to the rotten berry harvest this summer, and that they have been harassing hikers, so we figured that we better just stay away from their food sources for a while, especially since the food sources that we saw were man-made!(I wanted to post the above picture just so my hubby could see that Amber and I were wearing our orange vests. Of course, he can't see me, so he'll have to take my word on!!!)
Despite running into more bear sign that we cared too, we had a great ride, and Bo was definitely raring to go, as I hoped he would be after having almost two weeks off.
Happy trails to you, and watch out for those!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's A Tongue Thing!

OK, so this past week has been an absolute nightmare. I have been really sick (I never get sick!), and I have had two mid-terms and another paper/project, that we had two days to work on, due in my research class. Because I have had limited time to study and prepare this research project, I have been staying up until midnight and getting up at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning (to study), and I am sure that the lack of sleep has hindered my health as well. Now I know why college kids are always so!!!
I had my last mid-term today, so I will be getting some much needed rest, and riding, done over this up and coming weekend. (My venting is now done, so I will move on to other things!)
This afternoon, I was finally able to clean my house, pay some bills, and play with my kids, and I also had a chance to look at some photos from last weekend's football game. While scrolling through the photos, I noticed a pattern emerging, and it involves my son's mouth.
If you look at this picture (you can enlarge it), you will notice that his tongue is out as he is throwing the ball. A phenomenon that we see again...
...and again....
...and again!!!Wait! What is this??? He is placing his tongue in his mouth and assisting a girl from the other team, like the true gentleman that his momma raised him to be. Just as long as he isn't too nice! She is the enemy after!!!
And not to be outdone, Miss Katie Kate desperately tries to get the attention of the adults off of the field, and onto her!As mentioned, I will be going riding tomorrow, and on Sunday.
On another note...I feel like it has been forever since I last rode, because last week, I had a fever and was unable to go. I hope that Bo is frisky and raring (Thanks Lisa!) to go!!!
Hope that you all have a happy Friday...I will be back! :0

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In True Halloween Spirit....

It appears I have been "ghosted" by the lovely girl (I am sorry but "woman" sounds so grown-up!) behind All Horse Stuff, and I believe her real name is Kaci (correct spelling?). If you haven't already, head on over and check her blog out. She has some great stories, beautiful pictures, and a couple of lovely horses. :)
In Ghosting it Forward, creator Steve Cantor keeps the tradition of ghosting (slipping over to your neighbor's house and leaving them some type of goody), alive by asking that you slip over to someones blog and "ghost" them, similar to the idea of paying it forward.

There are a few rules to this game, and they are that you:
1) Include a link to the original Ghosting it Forward site.
2)Come up with your own ghostly image to pass along.
3) Tag, or "ghost" three other people/blogs (let them know they have been ghosted).
So, here is my ghostly image that I am "ghosting" along.... ...and I am ghosting it forward to some people/blogs who are new to me. They are: 1) gnh over at the "Natural Horsemanship" blog, who is possibly my only male reader, and happens to be a physicist and horseman!!!! He writes with a flair and lives in my favorite state(New Mexico!), so please go check him out. 2) Gail over at the "At the Farm "blog, who lives on her family's farm in Arkansas and writes about her daily life there (she has a Halflinger, and lots of cute, little goatleys!). 3) C-ingspots over at "C-ingspots!" How cute is that name??? She is a newcomer to the whole blogosphere, and she is doing a pretty good job of it so far...she just needs to get that camera!!!

Happy Halloween you guys, and have fun Ghosting it Forward!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Warning....this post is not family oriented or related to horses in any way!
Meg, over at Luchese to Louis Vuitton, dared us gals to bare...I mean show...our alter-egos by picking out a costume that we would like to... ahem...wear for Halloween.
Well of course, being the mixed up girl that I am, I couldn't decide between naughty or nice, so I picked out four costumes and asked my husband which one he liked the!!!

Would he like me to dress as a naughty police officer...... as a sexy football girl... a cute little Fraulein...
...or as a dirty Alice in Wonderland???? Well he liked the German girl/Fraulein costume, but I am leaning towards Alice in Wonderland, or the naughty police officer. See what I mean by completely opposite and mixed up? LOL!!!
Of course, I would never wear anything like these costumes now, but it is still fun to pretend!
The final part of Meg's challenge is to change your profile picture over to whichever costume that you pick, so I will have to hurry up and decide who I want to be!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It Has Started...

Imaging hauling your horses up to a popular trail head and having a nice, enjoyable trail ride, only to return to find two, well cared for, recently shod, QH's, tied to your trailer. Sound unbelievable? Well it happened to the friend of one of my husbands co-workers this past week.
(Note: It was not the horses in the picture below. They belong to one of Trailblazer Martha's friends, and would not be abandoned by their owner...a two time Extreme Mustang Makeover winner)Thankfully the man has a large pasture and was able to take the horses home with him (I am not sure what he plans to do with them yet), but can you imagine???!!! On that same note, Amber and her friend Kristina took Waska to the house of one of Kristina's friends, to expose him to cows (she wants to try some sorting and penning on him), and the friend, who has a large pasture on a well traveled road, said that they woke up one morning with a half wild, approximately two year old, buckskin filly in it. Last I heard, they were still unable to catch her, but were feeding her. And this is only October folks!

Unfortunately things like this are going to keep happening, with our economy in shambles and hay, at least around here, going for around $25/bale. I also know that a lot of the rescue organizations are at maximum capacity, and in need of more donations (readFugly's blog and watch the nightly news), and I have no idea what is going to happen to the hundreds of horses out there that no one can afford to take care of. This conversation could go on and on, so I will end it here, but as a responsible horse owner, I am worried about the future of "the horse."
I wanted to get back on and say that Brown Eyed Cowgirls and Mrs. Mom have done some great posts in the recent past about this issue as well!!! Gotta give credit where credit is due! :)
The reason I mention Fugly and the news, is that Fugly is local, so a lot of the organizations that she talks about, also happen to be on my nightly news.

Friday, October 17, 2008

So Tired of Politicians...

I don't know about you, but I don't know how much longer I can handle all of the heavy campaigning that is going on right now...well has been going on! And as if it is not enough that we have to watch the presidential nominees bash each other, we have to all watch our local politicians (governors, state know who I am talking about!), sling mud back and forth too!
Honestly people...does anybody believe anything that they hear on television campaign ads anyway??? I know that I don't. You can't even really believe anything that comes out of the nominees mouths, let alone what is repeatedly flashed across your TV screen.

All I can say, is that whether you are voting for this man.... ...or for this man...
...please have your mind made up by November 4th!

PS-For those of you who support John McCain, I did not intentionally make his picture smaller...I just found it on the internet and uploaded it to my blog...same with Barack Obama's!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Inflammation: Is it Arthritis?

(Amber and Bo approximately seven years ago)So....most of you know by now that Amber leased Bo for six years, the owner took him back so he could sit in a pasture (and have five years of his life wasted!), and that this past May, she (the owner) decided to give him to us now that he is 20, and she was moving to generous of her! I make her sound like an awful person, and really she is not, but I do get angry when I think that Bo was neglected (at her parents house), for five years that we could have been using him. Amber tried multiple times over the past five years to buy him from her, but she never wanted to part with him...even though she did absolutely nothing with him. OK, I am done ranting you can tell, the subject frustrates me!
What I am trying to say is that because we had Bo before, we know most of his history, and honestly, up until the past five years, he was well taken care of (you know the story...girl buys yearling horse, trains him, shows him, leases him out, takes him back, moves out of parents house and sees horse once a year, oblivious to the fact that he is not being well cared for by parents who know better...).
There I go again! I better watch!!!

Some of you may remember that I mentioned having some issues with Bo and swelling. Well here is a picture of Bo the day after a ride, and before being ridden (notice his pasterns and fetlocks on all four legs being swollen)...
...and here he is on the same day after we got back from a trail ride...notice that there is no more swelling.This is where the history part comes in. When Amber had Bo before, after a particularly long ride, or a hard weekend of showing, his hind legs only, would swell up from his pasterns to his hocks. We had the vet out several times, both when there was swelling present, and when there wasn't, and they ( "they" being a mobile equine practice with three vets, who all saw him at one point or another ) x-rayed him, ultrasounded him, poked him, prodded him, and could never find a reason for the swelling. They finally concluded that she should hose/ice down his hind legs after a long ride, wrap them, and keep him moving as much as possible to keep the swelling down. The funny thing was that he could be swollen, go out on a ride, come back, and have no more swelling was very idiopathic. (When the old owner was asked about it, she said that he did occasionally seem a bit "puffy" after a ride, but that it was never a problem)
Obviously then, we have not been surprised that Bo's pasterns and fetlocks will sometimes swell up after a ride, but it is different than before, in that it is never up to his hocks, and that it occasionally involves all four legs. We are assuming that this swelling may be due to arthritis, and are looking into putting him on a joint supplement, and/or MSM, and/or glucosamine ( I will refer back to Pony Girl's post on joint supplements!).
So I am throwing this issue out there to you, my knowledgeable blogging pals, to see if you have run into similar issues with older horses. He does have some minor heat when there is obvious inflammation, and on the day that the above pictures were taken, we gave him some bute prior to the ride, since he had been ridden the day before as well, and we wanted him to be comfortable. He would swell up very minutely over the summer, and that is another reason that I am leaning towards arthritis...the fact that it is getting more noticeable now that it is cold and damp out. Oh and just so you know...the day after the pictures were taken, after two consecutive days of riding, he had no swelling at all...go figure!
Any ideas? Please fire away, and thanks ahead of time for your input! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hunter or a Horseback Rider?

Quick disclaimer: Before anyone freaks out and thinks that Eric is going to shoot his cat, please know that Eric's rifle is unloaded, and that he always holds it correctly, whether it is loaded or not, because that is what he has been taught to do.

Now that that is out of the way, I wanted to put a picture of Eric all dressed up for hunting, something that both he and his dad did a lot of this past weekend, because even though I am not a fan of hunting, I am a fan of my son, and I think that he looks too cute in this picture! Good grief...I sound like one of those kind of!!! You know the type..."Will there ever be a girl who is good enough for my son???" Probably not, and I am totally just joking!! ;)
The gargantuan feline who is unknowingly walking beneath Eric's rifle, is Twittums. He is our 17 pound cat, who has the coolest personality ever, and acts a lot like Garfield. He is also Eric's cat, and Eric would be devastated if anything ever happened to him. It's quite sickening really...Twit sleeps with Eric every night, and if Eric happens to get in my bed (well, mine and Kevin's!!!), or falls asleep out on the couch, the cat follows him. I tell you what....
Of course, I think that Eric looks pretty cute when he is leading Bo too!!! This is not the best picture, but I think that old Bo Bo looks rather kind and patient...and a little tired too! Kind of like he is saying "I really want to stay out here and eat this grass, but I guess that I will go with you....sigh....."This is a picture of Bo, still looking tired and sleepy, after me, Eric and Katie took his blankies off. It is mainly so my mom, and Chris P. (Hi Chris P.! I know that you are out there...Mary told me!) can see how he is looking...besides the tired and sleepy!!! Notice how fuzzy he is, even with his winter blanket on.
...and I know that I have said this before, but look at all of his scars that cover his body now, when compared to when we had him five years ago (below). It just makes me sick. Why would you just turn a bunch of horses out in a small pasture, with limited food and shelter, and think that it was OK???!!! His coat does not even look like the same horse (you can click on both pictures to enlarge them)!
It is kind of fun to look at Bo when he was 13, and then look at him now at 20. Talk about turning white!!!
Well, I am off to read a couple of chapters and study for a at you all soon....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Flag Football!

It is times like these that I wish I had PhotoShop, so that I could circle or draw an arrow that points towards Eric. For those of you who know Eric and his pals, enjoy the next couple of photos, and for those of you who do not, I will try to point out who is who.
While I obviously dread the cold, damp, gray, and miserable days that us Pacific Northwesterner's have to look forward to for the next eight months (sad thing is, is that I am not joking!!), I do look forward to it being football season, and Eric and his team played their second game this morning ( look, the sun actually came out!!!! ).
See the two blonde kidlets in the picture below? Eric is the taller one on the right hand side of your screen, and his good friend, "M," is the blonde kidlet next to him. To make things even worse, all of Eric's good friends on his teams name's start with "M's," so I am apologizing ahead of time!
In the picture below, we have another "M" friend right up front, preparing to catch the ball, with Eric behind him blocking. I love how nimble all of these kidlets look out on the football field. It makes my ankles, knees, hips, and back hurt just watching!!! Lastly, we have Eric and the first blonde "M" kidlet towards the right hand corner of the picture, and yet another "M" friend over to the left hand corner, who is up on one foot, while he chases after the kid from the other team who has the football. Phew...that was a mouthful!!!
Anywho, sorry the pictures are not the greatest. I was trying to take them while holding my 12 oz, double shot, non-fat, sugar-free, pumpkin pie latte, in one hand, and Katie in the is a long story....
Oh...and Eric wants me to tell all of you that he is the QB, or the quarterback, for his team! He is pretty proud of his position, and so is his daddy, who was QB all throughout his high school football career. Way to go Bud!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Proposal Is In and I Hit the Trail!

I finished my proposal last night, turned it in to my professor this morning, and went over to Amber's house for a quick ride (about 2 hours), before it was time to pick up the kidlets from school.Bo was pretty happy to see me, although his little pasterns and fetlocks were swollen from being ridden the night before by my other sister, Jen (I will post more later about his swelling issues).As you can see from the pictures, fall has officially hit the Pacific Northwest. What you cannot see, is how incredibly cold it has been the past few days! We have been having temperatures in the 30's and 40's, which is unseasonably cool for around here. Brrrrrrrr...I am getting chilled just thinking about it! As we were riding along a trail that I have only been on one other time, but Amber has ridden on for the past few years, I noticed what looked like a shack, about 50 yards off of the trail. Amber and I pulled up the horses and cautiously picked our way over to it, only to discover that it was a party hut...complete with a fire pit, wooden chairs and lots of old, discarded beer cans. Whoever made it even put gutters on the back of it...kind of funny!This shack is in a pretty remote location, but I am sure that local kids ride their motorbikes and quads (loaded with beer of course!), out to it on Friday or Saturday nights, and live it up. Now...if we could just get them to haul their garbage out with them!
The past few weeks have been bow hunting and muzzle loading season around here (we saw some broken arrows and an area where an injured, and hopefully dead, elk lay), so we were pretty happy when we came across this cow elk, who was totally undisturbed by our presence. The same thing cannot be said about poor Waska though! Did you all know that elk are known to attack and eat horses on a regular basis? No? Well Waska seemed to think so, at least at first, but he calmed down once he realized that she was not going to devour!!!So, we rode closer......and closer, until we were within 10 yards of her. She just ate grass and totally ignored us. Take that!!
Have a happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Short Hiatus....

Just wanted to let you all know that I will be M.I.A. for a little bit longer, while I put the finishing touches on a rather lengthy research proposal, for one of my sociology classes. I find myself wanting to go out and visit other people's blogs vs. writing my paper, so I am banning myself for at least one more day!

Hope to be back on Friday, after I get a nice and well deserved ride in! !

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It Was a Cold October Afternoon...

Today was a cold -and rainy!!-October afternoon, and Auntie Mary, Katie, and myself, went to an open house that was put on at one of Mary's patients TB farm. The owner converted part of her covered arena into a restaurant/lounge, and part of it into an auction/show ring, where we all enjoyed a lovely lunch that was catered by the local racetrack, and that included beer, wine, desert, and beautiful horses!
For all of your sakes, I will try to avoid getting all political about racetracks and TB breeders, but let me just say that I am not a fan, and that I wanted to buy all of the weanlings, yearlings, and two and three year olds who were back from the track, and take them home with me...Grrrrrrrr!!!!!

As most of you know, TB's, like other horses, are either breathtakingly beautiful, or dismally homely, and this farm had some great examples of both. Most of the TB breeders that I know have always commented that they do not breed for looks, they breed for speed, and that you get what you get. That is true for any breed really, but I think that TB breeders tend to overpopulate and flood the market, because everyone is hoping that their next foal will be the "one." Again, you can really say that about any type of breeder, but you get my point.That being said, I thought of some of my QH blogging pals, like BEC, Cdn Cowgirl, and AOHCM, who like horses that are built for speed, when the above filly was brought out. Check out her hind quarters! She will be two in February, and just look at her! Of course, she has been being ridden for the past six months-don't even get me started!!!-and she will probably be dead lame in about one year, but if I had $21,000, I would have put a bid in on her(she sold for that price).

Then there was this cute little colt (above), who is a yearling-yes folks, those are shoes on his little hooves!!-and he was quite the little comedian. Most TB's are quite silly, and I have never minded being around them. There are definitely bad apples out there, but for the most part, once they have been of the track for a while-or if they are the lucky ones who never have to go!-they are a pretty friendly lot.

Just look at these little weanlings who were checking Katie out (above). They were debating who was going to be the first one to try and take a nip at!!!
Then came the stallions. This farm does have some well known stallions, and I overheard several people who were eating and drinking, talking about where they had just flown in from; to check these bad boys out. I loved the neck on this old stallion! He is 20-they have one there who is 30, but he is no longer breeding!- and still looks like quite the stud muffin...kind of reminds me of AOHCM's post on older, male, movie!!!
This guy was one of my favorites, and I think that the filly that I like so much above, is his. He is not squared up very well in the picture below, but he also has quite the hind end on him, but he didn't make me think barrels...he made me think of Dressage or jumping!
All in all we had a great afternoon, and thank you, Mary, for inviting us to attend this event with you! Hope all of you had a great weekend!!!
One last picture of another one of my favorite horses. He would never pick his head up, so I could not get a good shot of him, but he was another one of their giant 'almost' two year olds.