Sunday, February 5, 2017

My name is Alice and I'm a horseaholic

I have never been able to have "all" the horses I wanted. I'm not sure I'll ever have all the ones I ever wanted, but right now I have plenty.  We have 10 horses here.  I love telling people that I assess that I'm a cat crazy, dog crazy, horse crazy kind of farm girl.  Of course, I've only recently become a farm girl. Before that I was a wanna be, owned property but had no idea what I was doing farm girl...except for 5 years in the middle when I had a place, knew what I was doing, but couldn't always accomplish everything on my own, but needed to. I have been married to 2 men before Michael...One was a city guy who wanted no part of country living and the other loved country living until he didn't and then our marriage kind of went to hell (but we are good friends and have a gorgeous daughter so that's ok)

As I look out at the horses from my cabin office I think about how lucky I am.  They are all so gorgeous and I don't know who I would rehome if I had to...well, I do know, and one of them is on the "chopping block" so to speak, but of course, it's the one we can probably have no luck selling.

Of mine I will start with the oldest:

Freeley: given to me in 2005, he had many endurance miles before I acquired him and then went on to be one of Maggie's first competition horses and I competed him as well. He was retired in 2008 when his arthritis became to much and lived with my dearest friend Teresa Musgrave.  When I moved out to Woodrock ranch in the fall of 2015 I got to be around him again and when I moved to Flying T Ranch to live with Michael I brought him with me. He will be 27 in April but still has a lot of spring in his step and still gets ridden if I need a super beginner horse. I never thought he'd mellow this much, but I do think there is still a fire in his heart. He's a sweet and gorgeous boy who does not look his age.

Gorgeous Dixie, Maggie's first competition horse. She is supposed to be around 17 or 18 but the vet says she's likely in her early 20's. Still sound and willing to go, but mostly retired at this point. Her trot is so rough no one wants to ride it.  She keeps the boys hopping in the field b/c she is a total hussy.  We had hoped she would foal this spring but she did not get pregnant so no baby.  She is a horse that has never been completely tame but she will occasionally acquiesce to carting someone around...until she decides to take off trotting and that person has to hold on for dear life.  Mike rode her at Juggs this year and they did well together, except that she beat him to death.

Sherman: Technically he belongs on the Mike side of the whose horse is whose list, but I will claim him. He will be 19 this year.  He is a very solid and well trained TWH and he loves Mike.  He takes good care of him on the trail. He can be a real jerk at feeding time, but he's good with all humans. Recently he has been taking friends and beginners on very slow and steady trail rides, treating them kindly and like the passenger they are.  I am amazed how gentle he is with these people who he could dump in a heart beat.

Liberty: My competition horse who I love dearly.  He is my best equine friend and there will never be another like him. He's getting some much needed time off this winter, though I'm not sure he's totally down with it. He likes to go and be ridden.  Right now I'm looking at him through the window and he's hanging out by himself while Dixie, Freeley and Hermoso all eat hay.  Riding Liberty is like putting on my favorite jeans or riding boots. The fit is right every time. He is 15 currently and it's hard to believe I have been riding him 9 years. I think I have never had a horse this long as I look back at my horsey life. One thing or another always moved them along sooner.

Joe Bob...not his real name. He is a 12 year old TWH who was given to me by a friend of a friend and he is amazing. I was looking for a gaited horse to ride with Mike so we could match.  He is the horse you always dreamed of someone giving you that other people were given but not you. He is just so much fun to ride. He knows a lot and he has a ton of training but he's a little slow. You have to get him focused to get the most out of him. He's big and I had forgotten how cool it is to ride a big, big horse. He is the horse I will compete on this year in NATRC.

Hermoso...not his real name. He is a rescued paso fino gelding who came from FL. He is reportedly 11, but since I have not yet sent the DNA off we don't know for sure.  He is also well trained for the show ring, but is learning to go on trail. He is speedy and zippy and when I'm not terrified a ton of fun.  He was a stud not too long ago I'm told and he still commands Dixie as though he is a stud. He loves the women.  Yesterday Mike road him and they did really well. Mike is so much more chill than me they had less trouble. And a plus: Hermoso is short and Mike tall and he can mount from the ground.

Vandamere III aka Vandy...this may be the sweetest horse I have ever owned. He makes my heart so full of love. He never takes a bad step, he never gets upset. He has a cut on his leg and while I was hosing it today the dog jumped up to bit at the water and all he did was move over when most of the other horses would have kicked or stomped.  He's six and came from the kill pens...he was saved by Chandra Ward. He looks like a TWH but he doesn't gate. He does have an 8 mph trot that doesn't bounce at all. And his personality is so awesome...and the HAIR. Just a gorgeous sweet boy.

Mike has 3 horses:

Dixie: She's the one who is for sale, for something...she's part haflinger pony mare I think. No idea how old. She is broke to ride, but we don't b/c we have too many others. She's a little pushy.

Duke: Dixie's almost 4 year old soon to be gelding. He's stunning and we are hoping he will eventually be a riding horse.

Stormy: Duke's almost 1 year daughter from a mare who is no longer here. She's a cutie pie too and I'm hoping she won't look too much like her grandmother, but the older she gets the more hope I lose.

What I have learned is that feeding this many horses gets to be expensive...but who would I have give up?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Church notes

Notes taken during church today.

Colossians 3:1-17

This was written by Paul to Christians and will mange most people crime a little when they think how it's applied top their lives.

John 1:8-9

Perspective is everything. We can't be perfect because e we Are not God.

Get honest with God. He knows every good and bad thing we have ever done. Tell him and confess the thoughts we have. Confess our weakness and ask him to help us get past our feelings when We know we are wrong. This well bring peace. Confess our Sins and ask for forgiveness and He removes our sin from us.   This Helps us come to our Lord to rely on Him instead of relying on ourselves.

We are very close to turn loose in this country's when we should hang on instead.

Submission to the Lord is what makes a 'perfect' Christian.

But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
Colossians 3:8 NASB

If we are convicted to lose our sin and confess to God we are doing his will.

Jess likened God to a Great Pyrenees with us being a little puppy who doesn't have a lick of sense. He has patience with us.

Our God is living and patient and kind. He loves us no matter how lost we are. No matter what we have done or said or thought our Lord loved us.

I know that sometimes it's hard to put aside the negative thought toward others when they are treating you badly. I keep trying to forgive but over and over I find myself thinking those thoughts. So I keep asking for forgiveness.

God's love brings us to repentance.  God deals with his followers with love. He only does away with his enemies.

There are only 3 kinds of people in this world: Saved, rebelling or don't know yet.

The Lord wants us to hang onto him and turn loose of everything else.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Rainy Day Musings

I hear that it stormed last night...that is not I heard it storm last night, but after I woke up by the depth of mud and water on the ground it became obvious that it rained a lot last night.  Today was a wet, awful, cold kind of day.  I spent it remaking my cream of mushroom soup into a mushroom, chicken and wild rice chowder (soo good), gluten free bread in the bread maker (only soso) and now my famous best ever popcorn.  I also spent a ton of time making horse feed, feeding horses and trying not to get completely covered in mud.

I have been struggling with feeding 9, now ten (since Freeley is back with me) horses affordable, efficiently and not too much when they don't need it.  10 horses would be 2/3 of a bag of grain per day and is not really sustainable for me. I have finally gotten all the horses separated by eating needs. I have Joe Bob, Liberty, Gorgeous Dixie, other dixie, and Hermoso in one field.  They are the easier keepers. They have hay and they don't need as much to maintain their size and shape. Plus Joe Bob, bless his goober soul, is just a pain in the butt at feed time and I need to get him out of the way so everyone else can eat.  I have Freeley, Vandy, Sherman and for now Stormy in a field because they need more food.  Sherman is equally as big of a pain at feed time and I worry that he and Joe Bob might hurt each other. There is also Duke, but he's in his separate area until we can get him gelded. They also have unlimited hay. My thought was that they get more and eat about the same speed and except for Sherman, they all get along with each other pretty well.  I'm lucky that Freeley isn't needing any special care of feed at this time. But, he is 26 so I will have to watch him.

I'm still having a little bit of a hard time letting myself relax during the day. There is a part of me that thinks I should be busy all the time. It's not like Mike judges me at all, but I judge myself.  It's hard to come in and sit down on the couch and just watch a show.  He does it, plenty of other people do it, why not me?

I have been so relaxed, working when I can and not worrying too much, but today I was paying bills and started to panic a little. It's actually fine and my work is picking up.  I'm doing everything I need to do. Next week I do orientation for a contract that I will be starting. I did an assessment this week and I have one more to do. I know it will be OK. I have given a couple of local massages, have one piano student and one riding student with the possibility of another 2 riding students starting in February or March.  Saturday I go to training for Special Olympics equestrian which will give all my horses a job when we start practicing.

Sadly I'm still not sleeping very well. I don't know if I have been hit with Hormone trouble or just all the cats running around or what, but I don't know when I last slept through the night. My fit bit tells me I am restless all night long.

I'm going to relax this evening and try to go to bed early and get up early to do Horses in the Morning.  Tomorrow I have assessments to write up and an assessment to schedule. I am determined to spend time relaxing and not worrying about stuff.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Notes from church

Isaiah 6:4-10

Here am I send me. ...

"Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed."
Isaiah 6:10 NASB

Repentance means literally to turn around.

In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,  'Y ou will keep on hearing , but  will not understand ;  Y ou will keep on seeing , but will not perceive ;
Matthew 13:14 NASB

F or the heart of this people has become dull ,  W ith their ears they scarcely hear ,  A nd they have closed their eyes ,  O therwise they would see with their eyes ,  H ear with their ears ,  A nd understand with their heart and return ,  A nd I would heal them .'
Matthew 13:15 NASB

Rejoice in your tribulation. 
When we surround ourselves with Jesus, we will conduct our life in that manner and it makes us the sponge. 

Belief as its used in Romans doesn't just mean understanding it means commitment. 

like a sponge let ourselves be filled and wrung out like a sponge. 

We need complete dependence on God. If we give ourselves over then we are letting hammer out the impurities. This really struck a chord with me This morning. I have been making an effort to work since I moved and I have been mostly successful about not worrying about what will happen. If course I'm still not working as much as I'd like but I'm feeling good about This lesson. For so many years I felt like I had to do everything on my own. Through Mike,God had shown me how to leave things to the Lord. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

cold sunday morning; horse training musings

This is me after having not showered yesterday or yet this morning and the Princess Violet sharing some quality time on the bed.  Why have I not showered? Well, it's b/c the water is frozen a second day in a row.  Yesterday morning I woke up to frozen pipes and was really happy I had already soaked the horse's feed since there was no water.  I got up and got dressed and by the time the water was thawed I didn't feel like showering. I figured I would shower this morning since it wasn't going to be so cold last night.  Mike got up and showered and we thought it was going to be fine. However, it turns out that he was only using water in the tank and that the pump was frozen, so when it was my turn to water.  Mike has gone ahead to church to make sure the pipes are thawed there and I'm here at home waiting to see if I get water in the next hour. Yesterday he suggested I put a heater in the pump house. I didn't realize it was a: Please put a heater in the pump house request. I thought it was a: If you need to put a heater in the pump house.  Ooops.  I should know that those requests are typically more of a please do that for me situation since I'm the same way. We are both learning to communicate more directly with one another.

So I'm here at home, with wild hair and a crazy broken legged dog. If I get water and get a shower before 10 he will come get me. More likely I'm stuck here with messed up hair waiting for him to come home.  I figure it that's the case, I'm going to find my instant pot and make a pot roast out of the hunk of elk in my freezer that I was given from a friend's hunt.

He told me last night that Thursday night I upset him and he hadn't told me. By the time we talked about it neither one of us could remember what I had done. I was grateful he told me but next time he promised to tell me at the moment that I did the thing so I can stand corrected and not do it again.  I don't ever want to spend years not communicating and having anger build up to where there is no way to fix it.  Michael is the first time in years I have felt like I can just be me. I'm starting to relax under his love and take deep breaths. I'm learning to worry less and live more.

I have been thinking about what we should do about Duke, Mike's four year old Colt.  He is a stunningly beautiful creature who is not the least bit friendly.  He is not mean, but he has no use for people.  I keep trying to make friends with him and nothing seems to help.  I feed him every day, sometimes twice a day and can barely touch his face...I can rarely touch the rest of him. Most of the time he just swings his butt towards me which has the desired effect of me backing off.  No one likes to be staring at the butt end of a stallion.  In his defense, he has never tried to kick me, but I have never given him the opportunity to do so either.  When I work him in the round pen, even with a whip, I can not get him to move out. He will move ahead a few steps and then just go back to working. I have yet to get an inside circle. Whenever I put enough pressure on him to turn him, it's always to the outside.  If I look away or walk away he will follow me, but if I turn toward him he leaves.  I'm hoping some of this will change after we geld him, but I don't know how much of him is stallion and how much is just his basic personality.

On the positive side, I think he is reasonably smart. Yesterday I started doing some of the "seeking" activities I learned from Harry last year and have used on Stormy, the now almost year old filly (hard to believe she will be 1 in April. I think she takes after Duke's mom who is part haflinger. She is sturdy but not large). I have been slapping my leg until he looks at me. Then I stop. He licks and chews and we stand there in peace until he looks away. I have been getting him to look at me pretty easily, but if I move close to him that butt is still there to swing around.  I hope to do some more round pen work with him later today (if it's not freezing). He really seems more lazy than not, so maybe this butt turning thing is more an indicator of that. I do see it as a sign of disrespect.  Mike can get a halter on him if he's cornered. He has never attempted to fight his way out of being haltered or tied, but I can't figure him out.  He is stunning with his coppery red and flaxen mane and tail. I want him to become a solid citizen, but I want no one to get hurt in his training.

So, now it is 9:11. I still have no water. I'm starting to think I won't make it to church this am.  I was snuggling on the bed with Violet who started whining. Evidently it meant she needed to pee, which she proceeded to start doing. I shut it down pretty quick, but I scared here which made her pee more. So now I have pee stained blankets and no water to wash them.  Oops.  She is so good about telling us she needs to go out, but not so good about understand that she is supposed to hold it until she goes out. As a result I have moved myself to the couch where I am surrounded by pets. I have thought about turning on the TV, but I'm enjoying the quiet so I won't. The cats are in the windows hunting birds through the glass.  Yesterday someone got a bird b/c I saw it in the yard. They are so funny scratching the glass and fussing at the birds.  Hermoso and Dixie are walking back and forth on the fence by the back window. This is where I fed them yesterday so I think they are looking for a hand out.  I wish I has soaked their beet pulp last night as I could be feeding them now, but I didn't thinking the worst was over.

Hermoso has not been ridden since the day I sprained my ankle two weeks ago. I'm hoping that I can get him in the round pen today and work with him. After it's been 19, 45 is pretty darn warm in the sun.  I also want to see what Mike's Dixie knows (we have been calling her Fire Dixie).  Now the horses are all pacing back and forth at the fence.  silly ponies. They have amazingly not seemed cold. They eat on their bales of how with the young cows and then they go out in the 15 acre pasture to forage. When I'm ready to feed all I have to do is yell for Joe Bob and out of no one he comes running.  He is hilarious.  Vandy is my beautiful Ken doll of a horse. So sweet and quiet and willing.  Liberty and Sherman are steady Eddies as they have always been. I feel like Liberty is feeling a little neglected and I plan to change that soon. He will be sorry he moped for riding days, lol.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Complete unconditional love

1 Corinthians 11:26-32

Is there some kind of business we need to do with our own walk today?  Is there anything who stands between us and Him? You deal with you. God will deal with 'them' .

Friday, December 30, 2016

Oops I kind of lost my mind

I have a blog post that I started on something called redefining Christmas. I have not had the time to sit down and write the whole thing yet but was thinking about it today I got kind of angry about some things that have been happening in my life.  I already know that one of my friends has been having a similar situation and it is painful. The situation is a lack of Old Friends.

I will try not to over hash this because I did cover some of this in my post cause I woke up angry. However I'm in a different place today. When I woke up angry I felt helpless. Today I just feel kinda finished. I have been reaching out to the same people over and over again. These people were very close to me at one time and no they are not. I assume that they feel like I did something to cause the problem. And I am not playing it isn't here. I do know of a few things that I have done to upset people. However, I only know because somebody else told me. The people involved never sat down with me and have a conversation so that any of these issues to be resolved. This leads me to believe that they don't want to be friends. I get it it's been almost a year. I have to let it go. But it's hard.

When I have friends I give them everything. Clearly I am not perfect and I make mistakes. I am a pretty good secret-keeper but occasionally I guess I slip like everyone else. I have apologized to the people I know to apologize to. Sometimes I don't apologize because I don't think anything wrong. But I still think you can be friends when you disagree. You just at least have to have a conversation.

When I try repeatedly to text or call and the person never called me back or text me back what am I supposed to think? I am led to believe that you do not want to have a relationship with me. And I am so tired of pretending that so-and-so is just busy or they have a lot going on or maybe they just needed to change their life. The fact is you don't value spending time with me or you would call me back. When I asked you to lunch and you can't go and then never make another invitation that tells me you don't want to spend time with me. I get it. Finally I get it. In many ways I would find it easier just to have this conversation out in the open. Our lives have changed we are different people I no longer wish to hang out. At least I would have the closure of knowing that is truly what's happening.

There was a group of us that used to be very close. We spent time together and grow together and talk together and hang out on Facebook. That group is gone. Partly because our lives have changed. Partly because I made changes recommended to me by these friends and now they no longer wish to hang out. I don't understand that part. These people told me for years to do something to change my life and when I did we cease to be friends.

Perhaps I did more changing  than I think I did.  I do think that when I quit being weak and controlled that I became a stronger person so perhaps I was kicked out of the herd because I'm not the person I used to be. For house I don't really want to know why we're not friends anymore. Sometimes it is better not to know even though I think I want to know.

I have written letters trying to fix things and it didn't work. I have had endless Facebook conversations trying to fix things and that didn't work. I have tried to have phone calls but don't get called back and no one answers my calls. When it's more than one person I have to admit that it has to be something from within me. However I don't think it's always me. I feel like I'm in high school again and I am no longer the cool kid. It is a crappy way to feel.

So what do I do about it? I am venting and I am blogging. I'm still trying to make right what can be made right but I am done feeling like I am responsible for holding up these relationships all by myself. I agree that sometimes we get busy and don't make time for people however you don't use that excuse for months and months. Or at least that excuse doesn't hold water for up to a year. I have moved physically and spiritually. My life is ever-changing too and it is time to move forward and embrace the new. I will still have times where I hurt and grieve I'm sure. Hopefully through moving forward Bridges will not be burned and friendships can be maintain at least superficially. Someday things may come full circle.