Sunday, January 25, 2009

The stadium saga continues


I took this shot around the first of the year and just now got it posted. I was reminded of it when I talked to another woman who was taking photos of the neighborhood, hoping to do a photo book of the stadium project from start to finish. Down the street they are starting to tear apart the houses. I will get more photos soon. I kept this one of the debris between where I live and the stadium. Peter says it hurts his eyes to look at it...I told him it represented how much it hurt me to look at the changing face of my neighborhood.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 23, 2009

I had lasik today

I joined the ranks of Lasik enhanced eyes today. I had been wanting to get it done for a couple years now, but it finally became affordable enough and I was able to get financing on it plus use Peter’s flex spend plan at work. I called up the center I had chosen yesterday and they were able to fit me in for an appointment. Then today they had surgery and were able to fit me in right away. I figured since it’s supposed to be chilly all weekend, it was a good time to get it done. I will stay in the next couple days with Cat, peter and Maggie taking care of the ponies and then by Monday I can ride again as long as I wear goggles if it’s windy. I also have to sleep in goggles so that I don’t rub my eyes. I have to go in the morning for a one day check up. The whole thing lasted about 2 minutes. It was amazingly fast. They gave me a valium before I went in (which I didn’t notice doing much) and then a sleeping pill so I could come home and rest in the afternoon. Cat took me and then took Maggie with her for the day so I was alone and I slept from noon till 5pm. I woke up pretty much able to see everything, except that the edges are foggy. By tomorrow I’m supposed to be 20/20. It was pretty amazing! My eyes feel a little scratchy right now, but I am to put drops in my eyes every hour today, which I have been doing faithfully.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I should be riding

Today I finally had time to ride. The sun is out and I should be dying to ride. Instead, I sit here watching Maggie and Kelsea ride and I just don't have the energy. I didn't sleep well, got up early. The wind is blowing is it's chilly in spite of the warm sun. I just wish I were home reading a book. I did do ground work and Maggie is having a fun time with her friends and her friend's cousins, but I am feeling introverted and unmotivated. If I had brought my book, I would be happy. I have turned Otto out with Liberty and he's happily grazing. I need to go to the store. At some point I will drag them off and head home, but I am so happy that Maggie has a friend who really wants to ride that I am ok with sitting awhile.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today was the perfect day

The weather was beautiful and I headed over to the field to work on the fence. I discovered late yesterday that it wasn't hitting worth a hoot and I couldn't figure out why. After I did some trouble shooting with Shawn's help, I was able to go back today and start to break down the trouble and find a solution. I could never have done it so efficiently if Terry Norman's help. (Terry is engaged to my friend Dee from High School--actually Terry is a friend from HS also. They will be getting married in June and she will be moving here. Terry has been here since just after he graduated from Liberty HS and it's been a blessing to reconnect with old friends.) He stood by the fence and turned it off and on for me as I tested each sections and tied parts back together. In the end I discovered that the charger was sending out a powerful signal and that I just had drag somewhere. I ended up disconnecting the bottom wire so that only the top wire is hot now. I also changed out the metal wire for polywire, since it can fold back on itself and not short out the fence. I left the bottom wire in place so that it looks like there are two hot wires, but I got it boosted up to 5.5 kv. It was hot enough that when I turned out Otto (Cat's possible new horse) he noticed it and stayed away, which was great. Terry and his fourteen year old son, Robert, also helped me move my round pen several feet away from the fence so that the horses can safely go all the way around it without getting stuck. I had never liked where it was but it was hot when I bought it and I had never had enough hands to help me get it moved before b/c it's darn heavy.

While all this efficient working was taking place, Maggie, her friend Kelsea, and Terry's kids were all happily riding horses and playing in the hay bale. They had so much fun. Kelsea rode wtih maggie and she never got tired of riding. I had to peal them off the horse! This made me very happy. Kelsea's cousin also rode Deli in the round pen.

The only thing that would have made the day even better was getting to ride myself. I plan to ride tomorrow as it's going to be beautiful. I want to work on stuff from the Doctor Deb clinic since I haven't gotten to ride all week. (or finish blogging about the clinic) So much better than this week last year when Maggie and I were both sick and then I was so depressed. We have so much sun here this year and I feel so much better! Kelsea and her cousin are going to come back tomorrow.

Cat's not sure what to do about Otto, the OTTB. He's very sweet and I think he'll be a nice horse, but she doesn't want to fall for the wrong horse again and I applaud her efforts. I just don't know what to tell her. He's going to be tricky to start and he's fast and he's a TB. He is very sweet though.

I'm hoping that Kelsea and Maggie can continue to work on their friendship. She loves to ride, she's so physically active! That would such a blessing to see the two of them grow in friendship.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cat's New Horse

Cat found a new horse today. Her is an off the track Thoroughbred who looks more like a big quarter Horse. He is happily in the round pen so he can get used to living in the city and will eventually have to check out the electric fence. He is cute and needs a name.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Invitation to view Peter's Picasa Web Album - Libby Loo

Peter took these photos of Liberty and I wanted to share. Peter is taking some wonderful photos!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dish Network

My dish went out last week and we didn’t even notice.  I went to watch Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice from last week and realized that the dish had been out for goodness knows how long.  I have to be here tomorrow for the dish guy to come fix it, but it did get us to thinking…How much TV do we really watch? The answer is: Not Much!  I like to watch it occasionally, but typically I will play with my computer, read a book or just do other things rather than watch TV.  We think about pulling the plug on dish, which means I could save a service call tomorrow. We did get a card in the mail for basic cable for $10/month for a year. I wish I had more time to think on it and decide. The Dish guy will be here tomorrow and as much as I like the idea of having TV to watch, truth be told, I get just as much from Netflix, or watching the shows I like for free on…I’m going to be doing some thinking.

Equine Touch clinic Level 1 and 2

The Equine Touch Foundation proudly presents:

The Equine Touch ( Foundation) (Advanced) clinic
(A 3-Day Hands on course for horse lovers)

Taught by Raian Kaiser Equine Touch National Instructor

February 27-March 1 2009
Aledo, TX

CLINIC SCHEDULE: The seminar is held over three days.
Day 1: 8:30-9:00 am: registration. Each day thereafter, we will start at 9:00 a.m. The first two mornings, you will learn and practice the Equine Touch on humans. Bring change of comfortable clothes and a small towel for the human work, and sturdy shoes and safe clothing for working with horses. The first two afternoons, and all of the last day, will be spent working on horses. Generally, the clinic is finished by 4:00 – 4.30 p.m. every day.

COST of the clinic is $450.
Send a non-refundable deposit of $150 to reserve your place on the course, made out to: Alice Yovich and mail to: 811 Web St. Arlington, TX 76011.
The balance of tuition will be paid at the time of registration on the 1st day.
If you pay in full by January 20 you will receive a free DVD of the level you are taking.
If you have to cancel for some reason, your deposit will be held for a future class.
If you are a member of IETA, bring your membership card to receive a 10% discount on any merchandise bought at the clinic.

Please include the attached application and waiver with your deposit.

If you have any questions do not hesitate and contact: 817-456-3048

Or Raian Kaiser,, (970) 203-0725

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dr. Deb Bennett Clinic part 1

I just spent the most valuable 2.5 days of my equestrian life at at the Dr. Deb Bennett clinic in Big Sandy, TX. Dr. Deb is an influential clinician in the area of "real" natural horsemanship. She has studied with Ray Hunt and both Dorrance brothers. She has a website to read more about her work at

I found out she was coming to TX in November and since I have always admired her writing, I thought I would like to meet her in person and take the clinic. I honestly had no idea what type of material would be taught or how it would go at all. I had no idea how Liberty would respond to being in a large group of horses in an indoor arena with everyone's different styles of riding.

She began with a meet and greet on Thursday evening to eat snacks and just talk. She told us stories about meeting Tom Dorrance, through Ray Hunt. She talked a little bit about what we would be learning and definitions of collection and relaxation. The lecture on Friday was to be on straightness and on Saturday collection, which can only be achieved after straightness and relaxation.

Friday am we started with ground work. Since she didn't know how trained any of us were, we all started on the ground. She made the statement that all riding is driving and that a lot of driving is on the ground, so it's important to understand how we are driving the horse from the saddle. We worked on ground work for a good part of the morning, doing leg yielding, turns on the fore, and getting the horses to release their backs. The big trick was to only give enough pressure to get them to take one step at a time, instead of rushing around the circle. We also worked on lungeing the horses, but the way we did it was completely different from anything I have ever worked on before. We were driving from a different place on their bodies...we were actually driving them, as opposed to the clinton anderson way I have been doing it which is really more of a cue. My horse and I understand each other and these cues, but Dr. Deb said I was doing things much too abruptly and I had to soften.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Great Day to Ride

Today was a hot day in Texas. It reached almost 80 degrees or maybe it was over 80...not really sure. Of course, tomorrow it will be 40, so I guess it's nice to have a pretty day now and then.

I rode in my friend's saddle today. She bought it for her horse before he died and it's been sitting in my house ever since. Wow, it was an awesome saddle. It needs to be rigged a little differently, but it was really was also 30 pounds.

I rode Deli for a little while, but I could tell I wasn't doing her any good. She was kind of gimpy with me on her, but she looks great on the ground running away from me when she doesn't want to get caught, so it's hard to know what's going on with her. Can horses fake being lame? I have someone who is interested in her as a therapeutic riding horse and I may be ready to send her on. It's so hard because I have had her for 8 years and I will really miss her. However, she isn't a lot of fun to ride anymore, as she is pretty slow. Of course, that makes her really safe for kids for lessons and for my husband, which is a great thing. It's not like I can sell her. I just need to find her a good home where she can do light duty. I have had a couple people ask me about her and I just can't seem to make up my mind what to do. On one hand it would be nice to save a little money. On the other hand, I fantasize about her making a comeback. I don't get how she can look so good on the ground and feel so gimpy from the saddle. I wonder if I worked her more in hand, if she'd get stronger and more sound under saddle or if she'd just get worse. She really needs to be a broodmare somewhere, but today's horse market doesn't really afford many people who want broodmares. She's got great Shagya bloodlines. I wish I knew really why she was lame. I know the official diagnosis is ringbone, but it just seems like there is more going on that that.

Then I rode Liberty (after chasing him around for 20 minutes while he played his catching game) I put him in the round pen, where is will be my guest this week while we work on this catching thing. I am taking him to the Dr. Deb Bennett clinic in East Texas at the end of the week so I hope to learn some insight into his behavior and learn to work in better harmony with him. We did a lot of canter depart work, which we had never really done in an "arena" setting before. He wasn't really good on his leads, but he was good about listening, taking the half halt and taking a nice, quiet canter depart. I also rode him in the combo bit today and had little fighting. I had it on the second hole so more nose/curb action than bit, but he was good. It was a short, but productive workout. Just getting him to pay attention to me in the field was huge. Then I tried open the hot wire gate (it was off of course) which didn't go so well, but I did finally get him to stand still next to it. Good progress for the day. I'm sure he will get lots of exercise running around the round pen tonight.

Tomorrow, it will be cold.

Laryngitis Observations

I have been suffering from loss of voice in one way or another since the beginning of November. I have been on prevacid twice daily because the doctors really think that it's caused by reflux coming up and burning my vocal cords. I have been told to lose weight and it will go away. I have joined weight watchers (i'm actually 2 pounds heavier than when I started, joy) and I have been working out (again, 2 pounds heavier...must be muscle weight, right? NOT)

In the last few weeks the laryngitis has gotten worse and worse and not better at all. I finally decided to take a different action than the one the doctors were recommending and go with what Dynamite recommended instead. (An aside...Dynamite is a company that offers animal and human products and I have been a representative for a couple the products and use them as much as possible, even though some of them are a bit pricey--but well worth the money) I have been increasing my stomach acid because according to homeopathic medicine the reason that we get reflux is that we don't have enough stomach acid to digest the food, so it sits in our stomach and causes us to reflux. I also have been suspicious that my voice has been bad due to allergies, so I have been trying to boost my immune system. As an experiment, I quit taking my antihistamines and prevacid and the last two days I have been better. I'm going to try to track my progress and see how it goes.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Changing Face of my neighborhood

Who would have ever guessed when we moved here almost 7 years ago that eventually this stadium would loom over us? But here it is, getting bigger every day and now the neighborhood around us is disappearing behind chain link and barbed wire fence. Where the above photo was taken used to stand the Texas Christian Academy and Bethel Baptist Church. The church burned and the property was sold very soon after the fire. Between us and the stadium only stands the Days Inn and a few restaurants on this block, and 3 blocks of houses and one block of business/restaurants on my block.

The entire first block of my street has been purchased by the folks either building a parking lot for the stadium or by investors hoping to build hotels. I'm all for the houses being bought up at fair prices and I hope that the offers will soon be coming my way. I sure don't want to live here once the stadium is built. Even people who swore they'd not sell have sold out and left. Only one house on the corner is still holding out and the fence surrounds all but that house. It appears that this one house still has someone living in it or in process of moving out as they have cars in the drive and a gate in and out of their property.

I can't even imagine what the neighborhood will look like when these houses are gone. The trees are so old and the houses have had so much character. Soon it will be gone and noisy trucks will be tearing down the houses and hauling them away bit by bit.

I'm sure they will take our block too, but I get anxious waiting for it to happen. I chastise myself daily for having debt to pay off when the house sells instead of being able to turn the entire purchase into a new home. I hate that I may have to pay capital gains taxes on the profit (can't remember the tax laws on that one) and that I may have to rent until I find just the right place to live again. I want to live in the country this time, but find the country to be very expensive here...unless I found another 10 acres that just happened to come with a house like I had in that, I could afford.

Fiera is weaning

I had just the best time at my friend, Teresa's, house Sunday through Tuesday. Teresa runs Woodrock Ranch and has people in to trail ride and puts on trail events. Though it's a small ranch, the trails are fantastic and very challenging and fun to ride.

Teresa is keeping my foal for me while her mom dries up her milk. I didn't really want to send her away, but Fiera is very bold and I could tell she was going to get hurt if I left her in the pasture in the city. Teresa has a lot of space with hills and rocks and terrain to negotiate, so it was a good opportunity to wean my baby and let her get some experience on terrain. I told Teresa I would make myself as useful as I could and while I was there we moved some hay and did some work that was hard for her to do alone and also we got to ride. I trimmed Freeley's feet...the old boy looks good. He's a little thinner than the summer, but for him that's totally normal. He's not too thin and he seems happy to living his life of luxury. The rest of her horses didn't need their feet trimmed as the rocks seem to keep them naturally trim. Freeley only needed the trimming because his bad shoulder makes his right foot grow funny and it has to be rebalanced every so often.

On Monday we took Cayenne, her 18 month old (now former) colt to the vet for gelding. I had never seen a gelding before and it was very interesting. They used a clamp on a drill to twist the parts off and it was very neat, with very little bleeding. We did find some time to ride in the evening, which was very pleasant. Fiera was fantastic on the trail. She followed pretty well, though Freeley clearly showed disapproval to her being loose, and Liberty worried about her. At some point on the trail, she got in front of us and began to lead the trail. She was wonderful, looking at the path, jumping over logs, really paying attention to where she was going. I was just amazed! She got mad when she bumped her back legs jumping the log.

Tuesday Karen and her kids came and we rode some more, without Fiera this time because it was less safe in a big group. We moved her up to the house where she could hang out with Cayenne and Sundancer. She will be there about 3 months I think. Liberty was fairly distraught and when I brought him home, he kept looking for her. Amazingly, Deli's milk wasn't very prolific. I think she was ready to wean her baby.

I checked with Teresa today and she is going to be letting her out of her pen later today. I wish I could be there to see her run around with Sundancer. He is only 5 and has been at her house alone for quite awhile, so I think he'll be happy to have buddies, even if they are young buddies. Cayenne is locked up for another day or so, but soon they will be a herd of three.

I hope to get down there at least once a month and play with her and take her riding on the ranch. It is so cool to have the opportunity to let her run with the herd on the rocks and hills and investigate her own balance this way. I just hope I can be of service to Teresa and earn her keep properly. There is no amount of money I could pay for my foal to get this kind of experience. I'm grateful beyond words.