Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 + SNL War Horse skit

I have a philosophy that you don't need a new year to change how you live. Same as it doesn't have to be Earth Day to be eco-friendly; it doesn't have to be MLK Day to not judge people; it doesn't have to be the holiday season to be in the spirit of giving (both material and non-material things); and there doesn't have to be a marathon coming up to get in shape! There's an opportunity for that every second of the day, every day of your life. I think every change I've made in my life - what I eat, what I buy, what I support, what I choose to do and what not to do - were really spur-of-the-moment things after an accumulation of deep-thinking sessions during random times throughout the year. Time is a human implement anyway. It makes things nice and scheduled, sure, but it's quite good to just live in the now every so often. Just ask your horse, or dog, or cat, or anything that doesn't obsess over time like a human. Or Samoa. I mean, heck, Friday the 31st in the year 2011 technically never existed there, but it was a day like any other just called by a different date! A day doesn't have to dictate your life!

So this year: here's to good health, positive attitudes, and living in the moment! Because it's really only humans that know it's a new year, much less use the implement of time and years at all!

Gotta admire the critters for that, huh?

In the meantime, ring in the new year with an SNL funny!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lesson on Butters 12/28/2011

Isn't he the cutest?! Little QH gelding bred for reining and cutting but thankfully Laura saw the potential in him as a little English critter. Don't let the video fool you: he is quite hard to ride! You have to really convince him that, yes, he can jump it and, no, he won't mess up. He's also kind of lazy heehee. Thankfully riding Greta has taught me a thing or two on boosting a horse's confidence, and now Laura is helping me translate that to over fences. The big guy I rode last week, her other horse Chase, went mysteriously lame over the weekend and then had a salmonella scare. Just a bit bothersome. I have a lot of respect for Chase: he's confident, gentle, and patient and a great confidence booster unless you're learning how to sit the trot (he has an unnaturally bouncy trot, like riding a perverted carousel, you have no idea how bad it is until you actually ride it, but if you can get through that and get him to really come together, it's lovely! But indeed a challenge!) but he was definitely willing to be the benevolent leader during our lesson last week when we went after some 2.5' verticals when he needed to be, bless him! So, yes, definitely worried about the Big Boy Chase.

Butters on the other hand, once you get him going, he's pretty satisfied with himself haha! And darn cute about it, too! Especially when he goes into "dressage pony" mode (will get video of that haha!)

The bit of him refusing was A) me cutting the corner too early and taking him to a really awkward spot and B) not really convincing him to jump it. Oops! He doesn't do bending lines like been-there-jumped-that Chase!

What was NOT caught on camera was Butters saving my bum as I proceeded to almost land in a fail pile. It was his first time going over the black and white vertical on the bounce line, and he OVERJUMPED it, and I did not go with it like I should have, was just about jumped out of the saddle, was halfway down his neck with my chest hanging over his head as he was about to go over the ground poles. He made a last minute decision to not jump the ground poles, thankfully, and reared up enough for me to get myself back in the saddle and yell out "SAVED!" and Laura to start laughing. It was pretty pathetic but would have made for some awesome/funny TV to show you guys haha!

Man, I never get my REALLY bad moments on camera, do I?!

A new years resolution: get as many fails on video as I can to match all the decent-to-stellar moments I get on video!

And Greta got a major makeover today by me and the fam. She doesn't like to roll and she hates mud, but she still got a good deal on her legs and chunks in her tail. Now her tail is all braided up and out of the way of mud and she's white again! Let's see how it holds! She has her no-or-go to trot evaluation next week. Yay!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Greta the Christmas Ham 2011!

Enjoy all the mayhem Greta brought about this Christmas! Especially trying to eat the plastic garland. Yikes! I love my "Christmas Ham".

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and became richer in friends and family... and well, yeah, gifts too heehee! And a Happy Hanukkah to my friends as well! Had a blast celebrating with you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Pehrsson pics

I got a lovely email from a lady who had come across this blog while looking up info on a stallion at her barn: the one, the only Pehrsson or "Gig"! So she was kind enough to send me an email with some pictures she took of him being ridden at a Dennis Callin clinic back in September. The last picture is from the Caduceus Farm FB page, where Pehrsson has been kept for the past few years. Would you believe he is 23 years old and still in full work as a schoolmaster?!

We have family friends in CO, and that is currently where Gig is being kept. I would love to see Greta's daddy in person one of these days!

Photos from the clinic courtesy of Laura MacKinnon, and last by Caduceus Farm.

Thanks Laura for the kind words and photos! They are greatly appreciated!

Christmas funny

Enjoy this lovely gem from Stirling at Going For Gold. And VOTE for her HERE!

My name is Sterling Bishir and I'm a rider in Area 3. In the photo is my 11 year old Quarter Horse Rio, shown under the name At World's End. He is a fabulous boy that, as you can see, puts up with all the "fun" I throw at him! He got lots of pats and treats after this photo was taken. We are currently competing at the Novice level with hopes of moving up soon. We cannot wait to get back out on Cross Country in the spring, hopefully wearing a new Point Two air vest! We all know and love A Christmas Story... especially [the bunny suit] scene.

Monday, December 19, 2011

We got a Micklem bridle?

We actually got a brand new Micklem bridle for FREE that came from a friend who couldn't use it, and she got it from a friend who couldn't use it either. It didn't fit either of their horses' heads. Very weird. Still in package, still had tags, leather had never been oiled. The leather was very soft and supple for having been handled only twice and never oiled. I could put it straight on Greta's head without unrolling it or anything. It was also very easy to put together: it's pretty much all one piece and self-explanatory if you've ever taken apart and put together a bridle (I was drilled in doing such like they train you to take apart and put together a gun in the military haha!) I was a bit worried at first with it being "horse" sized, as Greta wears Cob or QH sized things usually, but it fits her quite well. Stayed tuned for a more formal review: we haven't ridden in it enough yet to make an accurate assessment, and Greta seems to still be figuring out whether or not she likes it!

I will say one thing about it: no headshaking when it's on. That's a start.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Definitely a horse person: a story from work

I was fortunate enough to work during the evening of Black Friday, after all the madness had relatively died down. Not to mention I'm not working at a major supermarket chain, so there was even less madness. People at a more high-end retail store seem to be a bit more civilized (unlike the Victoria's Secret in the same mall whose windows got broken when while waiting in line a fight broke out between, strangely enough, two men. Oh the funny stories you hear in the break room!)

I have a feeling I shouldn't be telling this, but I couldn't resist... here goes:

Anyway, as I was doing my good sales associate duties, a customer comes out of the dressing room. My initial impression is bodacious. A polo and breech-like pants with what my first thought was genuine riding boots and a drawstring sunhat: something straight out of a horse show. She was older, somewhat outlandish makeup, and as she neared I also noticed the full-seat breeches and the Burghley Horse Trial logos and sponsors all over her polo. And I realized that those boots she was wearing were not the silly fashion kind for people who don't what real riding boots look like (black and lace-up, not brown and covered in weird buckles and too-big in the calves and slouchy, yikes!) but indeed, real riding boots. Polished but some stubborn slivers of dust left in there. Oh, and the riding glove tan lines. Dead giveaway.

Equestrian at 5-o-clock delta delta. I knew I had spotted a horse person. Dressage Queen, likely.

The lady comes over to me and asks where on earth were our shoes? I showed her where they were, on the other side of a polo shirt rack. "Well, why are they so out of the way?" and once she saw them "Why aren't there any boots? All you have are these ugly sneakers!"

She then proceeded to herd another poor associate around looking for this and that. I love helping people, and I have never lost my temper with a customer, nor do I ever feel the need to. With this lady, I probably would've broke out in a cheesy grin leading a pitying laugh before I ever felt the need to lose my temper. She was just too funny in how she conducted herself. In the break room, another associtate asked about her, remarking on her strange ways.

"She was a horse person," I added. "Definitely."

"What makes you think that?"

"Her outfit: the drawstring sun hat, the real breeches and boots, the Burghley polo. Her riding glove tan lines. But mostly her attitude: dramatic, slightly obsessive, and running around like she owned the place and like she was always right. Definitely a horse person."

"Why aren't you like that?"

"Because all horse people are crazy, just in varying degrees. I would like to think that I am at the lower end of the spectrum, she would be at the upper end. The very upper end."