Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lazy Sunday

I love Sundays at home. We are watching TV off the DVR and just chilling out. Maggie, Jena and I had lessons with Jennifer yesterday. Jena rode Merlin and it went very well. Cat has decided not to buy a new horse since Jena can ride Merlin. Cat can ride Deli when/if she decides to ride. I got some video of the lessons. I'm going to piece it together and then post it here.

I had what they call a passenger was really interesting. I was supposed to just hang on and let Liberty do what he wanted. It was really strange to just ride and hang on that way.

Maggie rode a 17+ hh horse. I was really proud of her.

I'm buying the rest of my round pen tomorrow and I am pretty excited. We should have 60 feet across so we can actually ride in it. The beginning of Sept. we will begin to wean Toots and it will give us a bigger area to put her in. I will have to reroute the electric fence around it though since Merlin still likes to lean on the panels.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Always playing Catch up

I didn't realize so many days had gone by since I had posted something. Sometimes I find time to post little snippets from email throughout the week, but these last couple weeks I haven't had time to write anything it seems. I also didn't have time to call my mom and I was properly chastised...Of course, I still haven't had time to call her so I need to get that done in the next couple days.

We had a great weekend around here, up to the point when I realized that Maggie's room was a terrible mess and that it needed to be cleaned. Sunday while she and Jena were at the pool, she called to tell me that she had forgotten her clothes and could I get them from her room. I couldn't find any clothes in her room, so I lost it! If Jena hadn't been here, waiting to go to a lesson today, she would have been grounded for the next week. As it was, I found some clothes and took them to her, but I'm still pretty furious.

Today we were supposed to have a lesson and take Jena to have her lesson, but it is raining. We need the rain, so I'm not complaining too much...other than for the fact that I rearranged my schedule for the week so we could have lessons today and it looks like I will have to re-rearrange them back to today so I can take them on Thursday. Jena starts school next week, so I really wanted to get them to Jennifer before school starts. I plan to take Maggie to the water park Friday (if she gets her room clean) so Jena can come with us and do that as well.

This weekend, my friend Teresa Musgrave, invited several of us to her place to ride. It was Maggie and myself, Karen and her kids, Rachel and Travis, a friend of Rachel's and her mom, and two other ladies who also ride Paso Finos. Liberty was a nervous wreck the whole time we were there. I don't know what it is about going to Teresa's house that makes him so nuts. It could be the riding in a large group because I make a huge effort to NEVER ride in a big group. I like to ride on my own terms under my own agenda. Yes, it's selfish, but I'm comfortable being in front, being in charge and not having to wait around. It's good for me to step outside this box, but since it's not the way I typically do things, it's rough on my horse (and me) to change our way of going.

I did find a sore spot on one of his legs. He looks like he might have scratches. I have been treating it but he was a little gimpy b/c of it the other night. Poor fellow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beyond frustrated

My week is not going well.

I got thrown from my horse on Sunday, stood up by the new farrier on Monday, found out that Peter's 'new' car needs a new radiator on Tuesday (and my a/c fan broke in my suburban, which I shouldn't have been driving anyway except that Peter's carpool buddy had to drive separately and he took my car). I also found out on Tuesday that the friend who had begged me to go to the Supreme Trail Challenge with her isn't going to go and I can't afford to go alone. ON Monday I also found out that Dr. Chlapek had died, and I'm still very emotional sad about that. Today I woke up an emotional mess and not feeling well (read in the bathroom and throwing up). But instead of being able to stay home and get my equilibrium I have to work anyway because state is at the nursing home. I also found out today that my car (which I have $2000 on in the last 2 months) needs a tune up. There goes another $500 on top of the $500 I'm going to have to spend on Peter's car for the new radiator. It means that in the last 3 months I have spent more on car repairs than I paid for the car. Each time it breaks down, I say I won't fix it again, but I don't have the cash for a new car (because I can't save any money to buy a newer car since I'm putting so much money into the old car and I don't believe in having a car payment on top of all the other debt we have) I'm working my tail off this summer (when I was going to spend one last summer hanging out with my kid before I really had to work FT, which makes me sad) and I can't get any traction. Next week we're supposed to get our gas lease check and I was going to pay off one of the Credit card bills...only, no, now I get to pay the mechanic for the car repairs. Maggie is getting her new horse...I will have a little left for debt reduction, but not as much as I'd planned. IT was my plan to pay one of the cards completely off so I could get some traction on my less bill to pay and all that. It makes me so sad that I can't get ahead no matter how hard I work...And with all the car repairs it makes me wonder if I shouldn't have just bought a new car...but now I'm in the car for the repairs and can't afford to give it up.

To quote the Weepies "This is not Your Year" (or rather my year)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sad News on an otherwise good day

I found out an old family friend, Dr. Ben Chlapek, had died last week. His oldest children used to babysit me and I used to sit for his younger children. They moved to TX when I was still in High School, though some of their older children remained my hometown of Liberty, MO so I always had Chlapeks in my life. Then, when I moved to Waco, near Temple, where they lived, I saw them on breaks from school. They were just really great folks and I'm sad that Dr. Chlapek is no longer with us. If I had known he died last week, I would have been at the funeral, but I just found out today.

Maggie had a lesson with Jennifer today. She took Karen's horse Elijah and Dixie. Jennifer pronounces Dixie the winner of our personality (or rather horsenality) contest. So, tomorrow evening I'm going to take Elijah home and I guess we're buying Dixie from Cat. Maggie is happy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Choosing a new horse

I have an incredible dilemma regarding choosing a new horse for Maggie. Freeley has been retired and Maggie needs a horse to ride. Cat and Jena started talking about selling Dixie and Maggie decided that she might really like this horse. She's 14.1 hh, 8 years old, non-specific breeding, but pleasant and unflappable. She doesn't have a ton of training, but is very good natured and Maggie rode her happily at camp for a week. She is $800. Her gaits are smooth, and she really seems to like Maggie.

We have looked at a couple Quarter Horses who have really good bloodlines, though the actual riding just went so-so. I have been encouraged to go back and look at them again before making up our minds (no photos of them unfortunately) They are asking $2500 but will entertain offers. Maggie loved their smooth gaits, but the gelding, age 10, bucked when she cantered b/c he didn't want to leave the barn and his friends. Maggie looked fantastic on him though and handled the situation beautifully.

We currently have a really nice Arab as well. His name is Elijah's Elation, known as Elijah. He is 11 and he is sweepstakes nominated. His father was a really great dressage horse and he's well trained and athletic. Maggie enjoyed riding him enough to bring him home to keep riding him, but she thinks she's still stuck on Dixie.

Tomorrow she is going to Jennifer's to work and ride. I'm going to take one or both of them (unless we decide it's too hot) to evaluate them for rideability, relationship and temperament for Maggie to have the very best horse.

On another note: Liberty lost me yesterday for the first time. He was a fuss budget all day yesterday and was just a naughty boy in general. I know that, in retrospect, I was pushing him too hard and riding him differently than I would normally ride him. I have been trying to take more contact, instead of letting him go on his looser rein and only picking up the reins when I need to cue him. He really resents the contact and was fussing with his head all day. It seems like he is less spooking on a looser rein b/c he feels like he can look at stuff better. Add to that, everyone else was picking a really slow tempo/pace, and Liberty gets tired of all the incessant walking. Since Karen was riding a green horse, we had all agreed to stay together and not run off. I figured it was good for him to learn just to stand still. I was riding him in a bosal, which had worked great in Arkansas, but I was also riding with 2 reins and I was just generally in his face. When I got off of him for a few minutes and then remounted, he was better, but I generally had the feeling he was really uncomfortable. I've known for a long time that my western saddle shouldn't work on him at all, but I have been wondering if he's started being uncomfortable and has had enough...unfortunately, I couldn't use my English saddle on him b/c Maggie has stolen it from me recently :-( OF course, it was 105 or some such nonsense and he may just not have been in the mood. Anyway, we hit the dirt and now I have a headache and sore ribs. My hands also really hurt, I guess from hanging on to the extra reins so tight yesterday.

Tomorrow will be a sore day too. I'm trying to find out if I'm going to the STC at the end of week (if I feel like it now) and if so if I will be going alone or not.