Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lily, Invisible Monsters and the worst spa treatment ever

Life in the Pacific Northwest is generally a soggy affair. And as most horse owners know, horses + rain = mud. By some miracle the clouds decided to hold off when I went to the barn today and I decided to put Lily in an outdoor turnout. Maybe this was not my best idea ever. Did I mention it was really windy? You know...... the kind of wind that has your horse convinced that there is a big, hairy horse eating monster ready to pounce AT ANY MOMENT!!! I'll tell you, the walk from her stall to that turn out while in actuality is pretty short, seemed like a mile. We managed to get there though ( miraculously avoiding monsters of any kind) and I deftly unchained the gate,led Lily through and BAM........Super Spook (that monster must have had one of her legs in it's mouth) and she took off. The good part was she took off in the right direction..........into the paddock and not back out the gate. Also, she didn't trample me in the process (whew!). The bad part you ask?? Right inside the gate slightly to the right is a very large muddy lake (you may see where this is heading). When Lily took off I was still holding on to the lead rope about to remove her halter. Because of the mud and the downward slant of the ground, I slipped AND was pulled off balance (kind of like mud skiing) and kerplop right in the middle of the muck.
Lily calmed down pretty quickly and trotted back so I could remove her halter and lead (what a sweetheart ha) I swear I could hear her thinking.....Hey! You don't want me rolling around in this stuff , what do you think your doing?! I finished my horsey tasks covered with mud pretty much head to toe, all the while thanking God that no one had been around with a video camera! People say mud is rejuvenating right? Although I don't know about the addition of horse poop (yeah gross, but they do just eat grass and hay and stuff) and I think it's supposed to be warm! But I guess now I can save a few bucks and cancel my trip to Calistoga!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A little poem I found......

My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder

He carries me away from all my fears

And when the world threatens to fall asunder

His mane is there to wipe away my tears.

~Bonnie Lewis

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Foiled Again!

Dear Lily,
You are a beautiful girl and I would love to show you off more. To do that I need to take pictures! And to do that it would help if you would to stop snuffling dirt all over the camera lens (although that is kind of cute) and following me where ever I go as if you still had a lead rope on! Yes, you are very sweet to hang out with me, BUT it is OK to wander off now and then to do horsey stuff (you know like pose and maybe stand really really still) I can wait on the action pic's for now, but lets get something other than the blurry, half headed eyeball shots! I know we can do it!

Your photographically
challenged owner

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Most Important Thing

I know I've been doing some posts lately about stuff, cool stuff to be sure, that I want to order and spend lots of time drooling over, but I could never forget the reason for the stuff.......the MOST important thing and that is my horse! I'm thankful every day that I go out to the barn and inhale that unique and delightful equine scent! That combined with the scent of hay, leather, saddle soap and yes, even manure makes for a truly intoxicating aroma. Stress levels down ......happy endorphins up!!We have our little barn ritual, I greet Lily ( I usually say "Hey Miss Loo", cause I call her Lily Loo heh) I insert carrots (of course) then I groom her and make sure to really scratch right along that mane line. You know when you've gotten "the spot" because they turn their head at that "ahhhh bliss" angle! Then I turn her out and proceed to de-poopify her stall and run, lay down fresh shavings and check her auto waterer for yuckies (bugs especially ..bleck) I'm always out in the afternoon/ eve so I also fix her strategy and supplements for her dinner feeding (right now she gets Grand Hoof, Yea Sacc and Omega Horse Shine in SmartPaks......LOVE SmartPaks!!!!) After all that we'll work on ground lessons (4 days a week) and free lunging and I lunge her on a line 2-3 days a week. I have a trainer coming out to start her under saddle (and help me continue it) in March, I can't wait!!!
I'm just very thankful that I can have my girl in these stressful economic times and take nothing for granted. Fortunately I have options should I not be able to afford to board her anymore too, so one way or the other she'll be with me forever (thank God) and heck, I'll actually save tons of money because I'll never need a shrink or anti-depressants!

Love. My. Horse

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ooohhhh.....bright and shiny stuff........ *drool*

I feel like maybe I've been neglecting myself a little. I mean, my filly has gotten a new bridle, 2 new halters, cotton training reins AND Mrs.Pastures cookies (although she only counts the cookies of course) Ok seriously, the only things below that I'm going to get are the Fat Babies because I have no riding boots at the moment and the hat because It's cheap, cute and I like to wear something besides a ball cap now and again (but go SF anyway!!)

I love, love, love these Ariat Daisy boots. The low key colors, the daisy design, and you know coming from Ariat that they'll be pretty comfy from the get go (all the Ariats I've had so far have been) These would be great for a little two-steppin' or a Cowboy Cha Cha!

For riding...... got to get some Fat Babies! No reason why "function" cannot meet "too damn cute" to pass up! Plus, I just like saying "fat baby boots" over and over ; )

All the jewelry that I own is sterling silver. I just love it and I've always prefered how it looks compaired to gold (and luckily for me it's cheaper than gold too!) I already have a cute little pair of sterling horse shoe earrings, but I love how these hang from that little chain.....sooooo cute!!

Last but not least I love a cool, cheap, cute western style raffia/straw hat. I always have one on hand every spring/summer season, heck I'll wear it on a sunny day in the middle of winter! Love it for the trail to keep the sun out of my eyes and to cover a less than stellar hair day just about anytime!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Furry Valentine

Roses are red, Violets are blue
my Valentine is furry, how about you?

No flowers or chocolate for me this year,
just mud and some carrots for my filly dear

I love her and that's the true point of the day
and at least she'll get to roll in the hay ; )


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Extreme Makeover : Lily Edition

I don't know about all of you, but around this time of year (especially living in Oregon) I start dreaming of warmth, sun, and a horse that does not resemble a wooly mammoth on a bad day. So since I already had Lily scheduled to have a trim, I decided to have a "spa" day of sorts and try to have her looking like the delicate beauty that she is (*snort*). It's still too cold for a real bath, but I found and bought some horse grooming wipes (like baby butt wipes) that smell fresh and because they are eucaliptusy (that can't be a word?!) they are great at cuttin' through the grime. After a once over with the curry comb and a stiff brush,these wipes really cleaned up and with a quick follow up with a soft brush, the Lilster was practically gleaming! I also had some minor mane management to deal with. Lily has a nice mane, long and decently thick, but she has a 4 inch section right in the middle that had suddenly decided that the "other" side is the place to be. I am baffled as to why,but it was going back to where it belonged, its amazing what one little braid can do! She also got a long overdue bridle path trim (boy does she love those clippers) So while I am still looking forward to sunny days and the absence of mud, my filly actually looks like a horse again!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tune in to Horse Girl TV !!

I wanted to tell everyone about Horse Girl TV....... if you haven't already heard about it! Horse Girl TV is a semi-monthly Vidcast focusing on all aspects of the horse world. It's hosted by horsewoman Angelea Kelly-Walkup ( a dressage rider). There are segments on both English and Western Riding. The topics cover a wide range: basics, like grooming, essential tack, what to look for when horse shopping ,how to wrap legs, hoof care innovations and fitness for horse and rider. There are also visits to big horse shows , the Washington International and the Hampton Classic ,celebrity horse person interviews (Carson Kressley) and totally fun topics like Fox Hunting 101 and Breyer Horse Models! I especially enjoyed the segment Modern Day Cowboy: Step inside the life of a fading American Icon!! Angelea is laid back and fun to watch and this Vidcast is well worth checking out!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Book Corral

One of my favorite things to do when I'm not hanging out at the barn is reading! There are so many good horse books out there, from instructional to purely entertaining. So today I thought I would share some of my favorites and some from my "Have to read" list!

Stable Smarts is a great little how to book written by an Idaho horsewoman named Heather Smith Thomas. It has topics on everything from choosing the best quality hay to how to care for tack and even fence construction! Lots of helpful information for the do it yourself cowgirl!

How To Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill is a great book for anyone who wants to really understand horses and how they see the world. It has chapters on the senses, the nature of the horse, how they learn, communicating with your horse effectively and the best approach to training using those natural tendencies. Plus lots of other great advice to help you get in tune with your equine partner, and tons of great pictures and illustrations!

"Joe Camp is a gifted storyteller and when he turns his talents to his newest passion, the horse, the results are magical. Few veteran horsemen can impart the insights about horses that Joe Camp, a relative newcomer, has done in his book The Soul of a Horse. Joe entertains, educates and empowers, baring his own soul while articulating keystone principles of a modern revolution in horsemanship."
Rick Lamb TV/Radio host "The Horse Show" Author of Human to Horseman

This is one of my next books to read and since I haven't yet I've included a review of the book above. I have heard so many great things about it and I think it will definitely be a keeper!

This is another book on my "have to read" list. I first heard about Chris Cox and Ride The Journey after watching an interview with him on Horse Girl TV
and found that I really liked his attitude and approach to what he refers to as authentic horsemanship. It will be interesting to see how his approach is similar or differs from say Parelli or Lyons!

These last two books are fun reads for anyone who loves mysteries and horses! The first Cutter by Laura Crum is from a series set in the western world with a mystery solving vet named Gail McCarthy. This series may be a little harder to find in the average book store so I recommend Amazon!
The second book Death By Dressage by Carolyn Banks, is set in the English riding world and as if you didn't notice, Dressage specifically! Our mystery solver here is a horsewoman from Texas named Robin Vaughan who along with her horses Plum and Speir, non-riding husband Skeet and best friend Lola make for some colorful characters and super fun reading! This book is only one in a series! Also available readily from Amazon.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Equine Delights!

I get a lot of horse caltalogs and do quite a bit of online treasure hunting when it comes to horse related items. Finding and drooling over these things (and when I'm lucky, buying) is one of my favorite things to do. Some are cheap, others not so much. Some are for horse and some are for rider, although lets face it, they're pretty much all for the rider cause your horse isn't going to be ordering any of it! So I thought I would share some of my current finds with you! This is a DVD for all of those interested in Natural Horsemanship. There has been some controversy of late about the commercialism of NH, namely the products that one seemingly "needs" to buy in order to be successful and the cost of those products, but the core of NH is still about interacting with your horse in a positive way and forming a partnership. This video takes three well known Natural Horsemen, shows their approach to NH and has a competion between the three. Available from Back In The Saddle.
This is a print available in the Back In The Saddle catalog that I love! It's entitled "Fierce Grace"

Ah the Tucker Cheyenne Frontier Trail saddle, this saddle screams comfortable to me! But at $1600 (not including shipping) I'm going to be saving for a while! Tucker Saddles

Mrs.Pastures Cookies are awesome! My filly loves them and my two horses that preceded her loved them also. They smell so good that I've been tempted to try them but I think they are a little too hard for human teeth! Mrs.Pastures Cookies For Horses ....(they don't actually sell the treats on their site but they have a list of all the retailers that do!)

I LOVE this t-shirt and it will be mine! Find this one and lots of other cute T 's at Back In The Saddle

I was searching for a pair of cotton everyday/training reins (no nylon!) and found this great pair of of split reins with the snap ends for easy change out at CountrySupply for $19.95 (something I could afford,hurray!) It doesn't take much to make me happy!

Monday, February 2, 2009


No really..... Hay! It's hay day! I want to join the "ton" club, but I just don't have any where to put it! Sooooo I'm off to buy by the bale and it ain't cheap! You would think that living in Oregon with all the rain and stuff, that we would have lots of cheap hay, especially grass hay, coming out of our ears. BUT.... grass hay at the feed store is almost $18 a bale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I buy from a dairy farmer and it's still $12 a bale (and not that great IMO) I'm really frustrated by this, when my filly has good hay, I am a happy girl and when she doesn't I am a grumpy girl. When I find good quality hay I want to buy in bulk so I know she is going to get good quality hay for 6mo at a time or longer. As it stands now I can buy for a week at a time, maybe two and the quality varies so much that I want to scream! I guess I need to work on my hay "networking" so maybe I can find that "golden" supplier to keep us "on the up" all year round! Good quality forage is an important issue for most horse owners and I'd love to hear from people around the country. What do you pay for hay per bale? Per Ton? What type of hay is available to you and what are the differences in prices? If your horses are on pasture, do you need to suppliment with hay?
Also regionally what do you feed? When I lived in California I fed a 50/50 Alfalfa/Oat hay mix to my QH gelding and Mustang filly. Here in Oregon I've fed grass hay only (with strategy and supplements) Our horses count on us for what they eat and I feel I've done a pretty good job when my filly cleans up at her feedings,but when she doesn't, it's on to another hay search!