Saturday, November 30, 2013

All my worst fears

Last night I had a dream that summed up all my worries for the upcoming NATRC weekend. I have been worrying about what to do with Bailey next weekend. She always comes with me to rides and I don't know if she would be better off with us even if she has to sleep in the truck or crated (we are sleeping indoors) or if I should just go ahead and kennel her at the vets. Then I think about what that will cost and I think how expensive that will be. 

Second I'm nervous about my  first NATRC ride on Fiera. Of course it will be fine. We have don't our homework and she's a great horse but I'm still a little nervous. I don't think it would matter when the ride is the first tone is a little nerve racking. 

So the dream went like this. I was at parrie Haynes Christmas ride and I was riding with Annette and Christa. We had brought Bailey with us and left her back in camp. As we arrived at the first P&R I saw bailey running up the trail to me on the ride. I looked ahead and saw that Peter had driven to the P&R and I asked him to put Bailey in the car since I would get in trouble if she was following me at a ride. Then while doing this at the ride I realized I had to go to the bathroom (the other p in p&r) and while I was off doing that Christa and Annette rode away without me. I guess we finished the ride ok because the next time I saw them we were all at an opera and I ran into them outside and asked them why they left me but they didn't have an answer. Then iniscoveredbinhad Annette's cell phone in my pocket but when I tried to call Christa to tell her she didn't answer. They had left the after ride opera at that point and I woke up. It was really weird. 

I know that my friends won't leave me anymore than I would leave my friends but it was still real and terrifying at the time. 

Dreams are such a strange reflection sometimes. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

For the second year in a row, we have spent a near perfect Thanksgiving at our friend Annette's house.  Annette is quite possibly the most giving and generous person I have ever know.  She is warm and hilariously funny.  She just keeps telling people to come over and never thinks twice about the extra mouths to feed. Last year there were about 30 people at her house over the course of the day, but this year only about 15.

One addition this year were our friends, Christa and Dan....I'm wondering how to combine that...Dansta? Christan? Christiel? (Christa plus Daniel) HMMMM  Anyway, I digress...

Dan and Christa came up to share the holiday and for me to give her back her horse.  She has this horse, Merlin, who I adore. I love him so much I wish he could live me forever...even though he's a little special and need some psychotherapy, I love him to pieces.  (he doesn't need anything more than a consistent  person to ride and love him and pay attention to his sensitivity. He is still for sale and I will recommend this gorgeous boy to anyone who might be interested in an appaloosa) The only reason he is I had had him at my house trying to help him find a home but it didn't work out and he had to go home...more about Merlin later because he had an interesting day.

We were running an hour late because of picking up horses, turkeys being cut up, rolls being made....all the normal things that make a holiday exciting, festive and otherwise nerve wracking. But sweet, funny Annette was all like no worries, glad you're here, never a frown. Have I mentioned that woman is amazing. 

We feasted on the usual foods of turkey and green bean casserole. I was proud of myself for not over eating and I discovered that the sweets didn't taste as good to me as they usually do. I ate a few slivers of apple pie, pumpkin pie and pecan pie but I only went back once for each course and was more than satisfied. Annette made a beautiful layered salad that I did not eat enough of. 

After the food Christa took a nap, the guys watched football and I decided to ride Fiera. I had had it in my head timeouts be fun to putz around Annette's place on my mare but nice I got out there it started to seem like a bad idea. I saddled her up and got her equipment ready for her debut next weekend at the NATRC ride but then my nerve failed me. She was actually remarkable calm when looking at all the new things laying around Annette's. I was proud of her for only mild concern when bailey scared up the ducks behind her and Annette's daughter and her friend doing wild jumping with a leaf filled plastic bag on the trampoline (we actually played with her with the bag). What got me was when I was ready to get on finally and her buddy Merlin started running aroundand around. Then Annette's horses noticed for the first time that they had company and they started running around.  She actually handled it well. It was me that was chicken. Suddenly with all the commotion riding seemed like a bad idea. So we did ground work. I lined her up next to different objects and practiced gettig ready to mount. We took a long walk around and longed and she was very attentive. I'm sure that I could have ridden we and been just fine. It just didn't seen like a good idea. So I put Her away. Immediately the girls went inside and Merlin quit running around and I felt silly. But hey, I didn't get hurt an we kept our faith between us so I think it was a good day after all.

I sat and watched the football game, chatted with friends and crocheted with friends until it got dark. Peter started to get tired so it was time to go home.   We got Fiera out of the pasture and she loaded up with no problem and we took Merlin went into a pasture with the cows....and then he promptly busted through and ran to my trailer holding his girlfriend.  So, in the dark and the cold six people went to work on a fence and securing Merlin for the night. He ended up tied to the trailer and the fence got fixed well enough to keep the cows in for the night.  I think Christa thinks my horse bewitched her horse, but I swear that wasn't what happened at all. I believe that Merlin and Fiera will miss each other quite a bit, but I think it's better for Fiera over time. As attached as they were things might have gone south in the herd bound department.

Merlin was just a joy to have in the pasture. He is so easy going with the other horses and he is just a joy to be around. He needs to find his one special person. I wish I had the time and resources for it to be me.

The day was sad because there are folks that I would like to see on my holidays and it just isn't working out. There is a rift and I'm at an impasse right now and don't know what the answer is.   What started as me wishing I could take a break for a little while, has turned into two months of silence.  The only way to put it right is to apologize for something I didn't do and I have done that so many times in my life, that I'm done apologizing for things I never did wrong.  I pray daily that the answer will become evident, but for now, I'm keeping my own counsel. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The story of Frankie part one

I have thought for a very long time that I should write the story of Frankie.  He was a terrible awful wonderful dog who caused us great pain and brought us great joy for almost 10 years.  Maggie recently commented that he was the best that dog ever.  The problem with writing stories about Frankie is there is no happy ending.  And, I know that in writing the story I will be subjected to criticism for not doing more for this dog.  The people who know me know that I did the best I could for Frankie. But that will not stop the haters from harassing me and belittling me for his Ultimate end.  In retrospect, I can honestly say that I should never have brought him home in the first place.  But, having realize this very quickly I did try to do right by him and find him a new home.  However, that part of the story comes later.  

Frankie was first introduced to me by a friend from Kentucky.   She had been the president of the dressage club to which I belong when I lived in the Indiana/Kentucky area. I had previously bought my mare, Delicato, from her. She had raised Jack Russells for many years and this dog was not one of hers. I believe the story goes something like this: my friend was asked to pick up this dog from a show him. He was one and a half years old and had been showing but have been replaced in the bring by a dog that was deemed more suitable for showing.  The good news was that he had been raised indoors instead of exclusively kennel raised as so many JRT dogs are. He was supposedly housebroken and very good with children. This is a good thing as my daughter was only six. We had traveled to Kentucky for a Shagya Arabian conference.  My friend was there and told me she has a dog that she thought would be good for our family.

When I first saw him huddled in his crate I knew I had to bring him home. He looked so much like Lacie, who had been such a great dog.  Of course, he was nothing like Lacie. His smile and tail wagnwere a deception. He was so cute. There is no way I could have resisted his charms. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Today I decided I would make breakfast for everyone. I don't often get to do this as we are so frequently not home on the weekend and we are hitting the trail at 6am or some such nonsense. I also don't make pancakes very often because in general I find them a pain to negotiate with the pans and the flippers and the mess. But today I decided that pancakes were in order. I have tons of cookbooks that I could use for pancakes, but I always turn to the home,add recipe card cookbook that ingot at my bridal shower for the pancake recipe. 

I received this book at a bridal shower for a wedding I never had. I ended up calling off the wedding but instill had all the recipes from that failed attempt at matrimony. In this book I have recipes lovingly written by the hand of my mom. There are recipes from others as well, but  my mom has written most of them down herself. There is a recipe for chicken salad from the host of the shower and others I recognize from my childhood. My Aunt Hazel had a recipe for crunchy chicken (which I haven't made in ages) and her 'famous' sour cream coffee cake which I have made many times through the years. It occurred to me that with the shelves of cookbooks I still turn to this cookbook for pancakes. And today i was rewarded with Maggie telling me they were the best pancakes ever and Peter ate seconds. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Robbers route day 1

It is 6:48 am and we are sitting in the truck because there is a thunderstorm outside. Of course this post won't go through till Sunday evening because there is no AT&T service at Robbers Cave. It was supposed to rain last night but since that was the plan it's raining now. In fact last night was warm and muggy out. Bailey kept laying on me and making me hot.

So now we sit here waiting. Right now it's kind of warn so I hope it doesn't get cold before we get back to camp. I'm not sure I can haul enough clothes to the trail.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fwd: Fall 2013 Hoof Print on Website




null Dear Members and Friends,


Our full color electronic Fall Issue of Hoof Print is ready for your enjoyment. It has active links to our sponsors and advertisers in addition to NATRC business and the informative, entertaining articles you love. 


Look for Hoof Print in the "Documents" menu on our website or click on the cover image to go directly to our Summer issue. --->


Those of you who also receive the B&W printed version will be happy to know it will arrive at your mailbox in roughly two weeks.


Feel free to forward this E-News to your friends!



Your Hoof Print Team 



The electronic version of Hoof Print is available roughly two weeks earlier than the print copy.

 Prepared for Laurie DiNatale, Executive Administrator, by Jean Green.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer's end

I can not believe this summer is over. Maggie has gone back to her dad's and starts her 2nd year of High school tomorrow.  I can't believe, looking up at my taller than me daughter that she is going to be old enough to drive in a week. She is not really looking forward to school. She doesn't have any of her friends in any of her classes...they will all be hard--AP classes--and she is going to run track. She has joined the choir for this year, which may be fun, if she doesn't die from stage fright.

It is quiet in the house and I know it will remain so until next weekend. I like the quiet...Peter and I don't watch much TV so often the only sound is us occasionally sharing something back and forth and his games from the other room. I often come into the bedroom with my laptop to hang out near him, so we don't have to shout from room to room. (our a/c window units can be loud).  It's so different from when I was a kid. We were always coming and going. It's as though she has already gone off to college in many ways.

Maggie will be 16 next week and she is taking her driver's test the day after she has her birthday. She would take it on her birthday, but since her birthday is on Labor day, that won't work so much. She really wants her own car. Unfortunately, she hasn't been able to earn much money toward her car because of her age. She doesn't like to babysit and hasn't had a lot of opportunities to work.  She is saying that cash donations will be welcome on her birthday so she can put it in her car fund.  She will get a job or find a way to start earning money toward her car. I worry about how much insurance is going to run, but I know we will figure it out. She is wanting her own car so badly, but so far everything she and I like one of the dads does not, so we keep looking. It will either come down to Shawn finding something he wants to buy her or me finding something I can afford. We aren't arguing about it; far from it, but we have different perspectives. I like the cool, older model cars that Maggie likes. Shawn wants her to have something modern and reliable.  I think she and I both wax whimsical about that first vehicle.  When she has no school, she pretty much goes where she wants.  If she gets tired of being here, she goes back there. It's one of the reasons she's looking forward to driving and being allowed to drive. She can come over here during the week and ride her horse, or hang out for an evening and then go back to school in the morning. She has been successfully driving us back and forth to Azle. I'm proud of her. 

This was a great summer. We didn't go anywhere really...just a few weekend trips. We went with Annette to Tarrant Ranch (which is unfortunately where poor Frankie got beat up so badly and was the beginning of the end of him) . I met up with Bambi at Lake Somerville (which was a really long drive) and we rode for a couple days. Then Maggie and I both went to C-bar stables and road with Tracy Black to help her get ready for Colorado. Then the big finish was the JUGGS weekend with Kate Love, Nancy Williams, and a slew of our other favorite people.  I tried not to over plan our summer. I hope that I succeeded.  I was disappointed that we never got a whole PJ day to watch TV. We still have most of the last season of Castle on the DVR.  I tried to plan a PJ day last week, but I ended up having to see clients, take her to the chiro, took her shopping, the end it was just a lot to get done. 

I am wistful to see summer go. The kids go back to school, I start working evenings again, but I gain a morning to do things with friends some weeks.  I haven't had time to do that in over a year.  I heard about some new clients up for grabs and I sent a prompt email...Here's hoping and praying i get at least one, but would happily take all three.  And the fall is full of adventure.  I'm going to take a class in Music therapy assisted childbirth. Thanks to Annette, I'm now friends with Christina Rider who has said I can stay with her if necessary while I take the class in Lincoln, NE the end of October.  So far, I'm pretty excited about the class, but other people have looked at me skeptically.  I figure we only know 2 things in life and that is being born and dying, so I think that there is a market out there waiting to be tapped. So far NO ONE in Texas is certified (at least we don't think so). I'm going to build a new business with my old one and make sure that I always have enough work...I have plans...

This fall will be busy. Lots of rides to attend, trainings to attend (I'm also taking a training for LegalShield so I can go to businesses and sell the product in the group and small business setting) I have fewer clients than I would currently like, but I have finally grown to appreciate not overworking myself. I have some caregiving to do with one other kid if that works out doesn't pay a ton, but it does help me have a few extra dollars toward gas and stuff.

I guess that's about it. As usual I'm going to sign off reminding everyone to look at my LegalShield Site

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Devil in my House

I have had a run of really bad "luck" the last couple weeks. Enough so I have become to wonder if the Devil is involved.  (or if you are a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse stories, it might just be "a" devil b/c THE Devil causes too much of a crowd to form, lol)

I'm not even sure where the bad luck actually started.  In June, I had an expensive truck repair...but I still had one last paycheck from school, so it was all good.  Then, two weeks later, something else went wrong with the truck...another expensive repair. And then as I was waiting for my truck, my A/C went out on my car. Let's just say, I'm fortunate it's a cool summer because the A/C won't be fixed any time soon as it's the compressor ($1200+). Then, my truck broke down again yesterday on the way home...turns out all the hoses on the radiator are one by one going out, so when I pick up the car I can't afford to fix, I will be dropping off the truck to have the remaining hoses changed out, kind of like you would get all new tires if one blew.

the above is only the start. Our 13 year old water heater with a 12 year guarantee had the thermocouple go out...they really want to sell me a new water heater...$4000. Then our plumbing backed up and we now are told to put nothing "solid" down the no toilet paper (sorry if this is TMI). They want another $4000 to rebuild our sewer line. I have seen the video of the pipe. I know it needs to be done, but not today...

So at the end of all this I owed Ben Franklin plumbing $666.34 and I owed my mechanic $866 and gave him $200 that day.  So I now owe him $666...kind of weird.

Then, I went to the garage to get my window unit a/c and discovered that both units had been stolen along with Peter's saw. I'm just ready for something to turn around.

I would happily go back to my crazy work hours of last school year to have the crazy good pay checks.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Work Frustrations

I never thought after last school year that I would be so desperately seeking work and work related hours so soon after being so busy. I had hoped that the school district would go on forever, but it hasn't. So I am out there, beating the pavement for either a JOB or more hours doing what I do best, Massage and Music Therapy.

I would like to begin seeing horses and working on getting my equine touch certification, but at the moment I am limited to avenues that do not require a great outlay of funds.  I am working on getting more massages each week and bringing in some corporate chair massage events. I have even thought about working birthday parties with music, horses and photography (a good avenue for Maggie too) for one price. I have been trying to get started on Equine touch certification to be a practitioner, but it's down the road since it's a long term process. I have been studying some equine massage therapy systems just to have a better handle on my comparative anatomy, but again, it's down the road.

In an effort to bring in some money and capitalize on my ability to talk to anyone I have taken on a new business venture. I am now a representative of Legal Shield, a prepaid legal service that can help you with all your legal needs. One low fee per month gives you access to a lawyer 7 days per week with prompt calling back. There is a short video explaining how the service works. It’s really great. I signed up for it because I realized that I needed to do a will and all the prices I had been quoted said $500 or more. My monthly legal shield payment of only $17 will allow me to have my will written. There is also a fabulous Identity theft protection you can buy separately or with the legal plan and it actually restores your damages, not just tells you that you have been breeched like some plans do.  Please take a look. My website is It will take 2 minutes!

I have been very frustrated with launching this part of my career however because I seem to be completely unable to get people to look at my product and my site. I keep hoping that friends and family will at least take a look at it. I have emailed and facebooked and called and texted and Im'd many people and so far my first sales are eluding me.  I need 5 sales in the next month to make my promotion and get me started. I keep hoping that 5 people out of all the people I know will do it.   So far, one friend said it looked shady (without seeing the video) two good friends ignore the pitch completely and several others have said they'd get back to me, but haven't.  If it weren't such a great service I would probably understand. I have sold things before including Jafra cosmetics, Avon, Beachbody, Dynamite, etc. But this product is better than anything. I see if being a hugely successful business if I can just break in the ground floor.  One of my difficulties is having to be licensed in some states. Some don't require a license at all (yay for me) but in Missouri, where I have a lot of friends and family, I have to have an insurance license to sell it. I can sell the Identity theft protection to anyone though and I understand that it's the number one crime experiencing growth in the US right now.

so this post is part whine, part rant and part begging...I just don't know where to start right now.

I keep thinking that perhaps I need to go ahead and pursue my equine career and start promoting my equine massage skills. I'm a little nervous because it's a new path for me, but I'm good at it. I have plenty of human training and I work on my horses all the time. I just need to go for it I think.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Frankie Pookins; Franklin Delano and Frankenstein

My dog Frankie was attacked by something at Tarrant Ranch this weekend. We were the only ones camping (except for a couple other trailers far away with tiny dachshunds in their trailer) so there were no other dogs around.  He had been tied up all afternoon and I let him go to go to the water with us and Bailey came too.  They ran off playing and I thought they had been gone a little while, but the others thought I was worrying (Bailey always comes back right away when called and she didn't) Bailey finally appeared and then Frankie followed him. At first we didn't realize anything was wrong, but then we saw that half his head was bloody. Thank goodness for the help of Marjorie Shenkir and Jenifer Schreur Seago helping me get him cleaned up and doctored as best we could.  It was already late on Saturday so we did our best to keep him quiet and clean until we could get home. Later that day we saw an Akita wandering around (and he was all boy) but he didn't seem too menancing...though we weren't trusting that he wasn't the culprit. We also worried that Bailey had done something to him, but no longer think that is the case. We will never know what happened, but something tried to pick him up and shake him and then pound him. I'm amazed he didn't die.

 I took him to the vet today and they cleaned and irrigated his wounds. He had to stay overnight for antibiotics. He could still die from an infection, but the vet thinks he has every chance of being fine. He thinks the wounds could have been the Akita, or maybe a coyote or bobcat, even though it was the middle of the afternoon.  The muscles in his neck have been ripped and he has an infection because we didn't have enough clean water at Tarrant Ranch to properly clean the wounds.  I couldn't take him to a vet at 4pm on Saturday afternoon in a strange place, so he didn't get care as quickly as he should have.

For everyone who is going to be critical of me having my dog was the country. Frankie never gets to run and it's good for him to have a chance. He is really good about staying in camp as he gets older and Bailey is never out of voice range. There was no one else around...except as it turns out the lady who owned the Akita (who was very nice). I told her that she should look her dog over to see if he'd been in a fight and that my dog was vaccinated. So was hers, so at least, if he turned out to be the culprit rabies is not a concern.  I have been told that Akita's are vicious toward small dogs they might view as prey. Somehow it's strangely ironic that Frankie would be mistaken for prey after all the beating up he's done to smaller dogs through the years.  If he had been on his tie out, and he had been attacked in camp he would have had no chance.  There is no way of knowing what will happen. I know I will watch Bailey for signs of aggression and hope Frankie can get well. 

I suspect Bailey helped him get out of whatever. She has been looking out of him ever since seems concerned about him. I don't htink that she could have beaten him up this badly.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Eating on a Budget

As I contemplate starting on July's budget, which will have some financial challenges built in, I am reminded that the single thing I do that is costly and stupid is eating out, especially eating fast food.  I know that fast food is bad for me and that there is almost nothing redeeming that comes through their window to my car window, but still many times per week, I find myself going through a drive through. This is either because of (perceived) lack of time, craving or laziness on my part, depending on when I'm doing it.  The same goes for eating dinner out. There are some nights where I feel the need to "treat" myself or I'm on my own and don't want to cook, or I just want a certain food (tacos or wings come to mind). Of course, I could make wings, but I just won't, so I supposed it's not going to kill me to get wings once a month, but I could make tacos at home (though they wouldn't have the amazing shells of the place from which I love to buy tacos.

I am also starting to use a new budgeting program. I have signed up with a long time ago, but never really set up my budgets. In looking at it yesterday it looked a little cumbersome to set up, but my accounts are already on board and it hooks up nicely with Quicken. Another friend has recommended Mvelopes, but I haven't starting working on that budget yet. Since I already use quicken, I wasn't sure how it work out. I guess the real idea of having a budget is actually telling yourself NO when you run out of money in a category. Or, actually taking money from somewhere else to fund the category where you overspent.  Or telling other people in the family that they can't spend any money on food if all the food money is gone (that is a hard one)

One of my best tools is emeals.  I have a slow cooker plan right now called Clean eating and I'm really enjoying it. Peter doesn't like crock pot food much, but it's one way that I can control what I put into my body. All of this has to do with health and weight loss as well.  If I'm eating my food, I have a better chance of achieving some of my long sought after weight loss goals which may also help meet some financial goals.

On a different but similar subject...check out Earndit. If you sign up, please use me as a reference as I will get more points. I have a gotten some really cool food deals from this website through the rewards program. Earndit gives you points for exercise and you cash in the points for real stuff. It's pretty nifty. I have discovered Rise Bars, Nature Box, Peeled snacks and some nifty novelty items through the coupons I have received from this website.  I just got a box of savory meal bars called Journey bars and I'm very curious about those.  They have strange flavors like Pizza Marina, coconut curry, sesame and rosemary.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Tumblr account and business website

In an effort to promote my music and massage therapy business I have a blog/website at It's  I have already been chastised for the length of my URL, but since that is my business name, it seemed better than trying to come with something people might remember.  They give me the option to promote my new blog, so I started a tumblr account as well. My name on tumblr is adagiomassage (it was shorter) and the name of the blog there is alice's B&B (there is more, but that is enough to find me). i have no idea what, if anything I will do with my tumblr account. I don't know if it will eventually replace this blog or not. I keep thinking I should have a separate fitness blog from my horse blog, but then I don't know that it's strictly true either. I am planning to write a book about my NATRC adventures, and I had originally thought I would put them in a blog, but I realize that i would actually like to be able to sell the book, and (if anyone buys it anyway) why would someone buy my book if they could read the blog for free. Shrug. 

So, I'd love to hear from other people who use Tumblr and what they like about it...

On the home front, maggie worked at the Speedway all weekend. She was brought home by a good friend after midnight and I never heard the phone ring or her text, even though I should have HMMMM.  Anyway, I woke up this morning and found a note on the door that said: Thank you for leaving the back door unlocked (I almost didn't). Please let me sleep. (I have even though it's almost 1pm and I have things to do that would make noise, lol) I did not wake the dogs (amazing) I must be a ninja (too funny)  Anyway, sleeping beauty is still sleeping. I figure she's wiped out. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Great weekend camping

Maggie and I went to Decatur last weekend for a TTC competition and had a great time. It was run by the Cross Timbers Equestrian Trail riding club that maintains trails in North Texas.  Fiera is starting to come along in her riding. This was the first time I wasn't nervous when we headed out and I felt like I could control her pace and stop her and do whatever needed doing. Our obstacles were a little better than last time...Our score was a 62 this time, up from 52.5 the ride before, so I can't complain overall. We still aren't sidepassing straight or all the time...and gate opening is about non-existent, though we did practice that a little on Sunday. 

Maggie had a great weekend. Her horse Dixie and her placed 3rd in a tough Horseman class (beating her mother by several placings). She also did well in the in hand competition the next day...I think she is questioning giving up Dixie for a new pony at this point. They looked like a real team this weekend.  Fiera also did well in hand. I figure she should. What else do you get when you raise a baby you can't ride for several years.

Speaking of which...Fiera turned 5 on Saturday. she's a big girl now.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Juicing and Fiera

I realized my blog was getting cold and needed a post, even if it was quick. 

I'm juicing now in an effort to lose weight and it's working well. I have shifted to eating and drinking  mostly fruits and vegetables and making meat secondary. I like juicing so much more than eating all those vegetables but as my system clears out vegetables are so much more appealing. More on that later. 

Fiera is doing great. I'm riding her several times per week. I'm on the great saddle hint right now. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Year in review 2012

For the last few days, I have been thinking that I need to write a blog post summing up the year 2012. Only, I never seem to have time to sit down and do it, which is really silly, because I had nothing but time for the past couple weeks. First I was sick, and then I was just tired and coughing. So, I guess I really have had time, I just haven't made myself do it yet. So as I'm driving to work, I'm using Siri to help me post my blog. This is not going to be without disaster. Siri often makes mistakes in what I say as I drive. Plus, I can't really proofread if I'm driving. So, I thought I would start a blog post, and then proofread it once I got to a safe and secure location.

The first area that I spent a great deal of time working on 2012 was diet and fitness. I have a modest goal to finally get below 200 pounds, a weight I have not seen since giving birth to Maggie in 1997 (Except for the one day in 2007 when I weighed in at 199, the day before Thanksgiving). Unfortunately, I did not reach this goal. I ended the year at 215. However, I did lose weight from when I really started working on it which was April. I was actually down  213 the week before Christmas.   Then I got the flu and accompanying inflammation (and bad holiday eating choices--pizza, ice cream, chinese food, etc) caused me to gain some of the weight back this week. I am already going back down to that 213 weight and my short term goal is be down to 200 or less by April 1. (I'm learning that my goals lack deadlines, so this is a goal of 5 pounds per month)

Even though I did not reach my goal, I feel like 2012 was a success because I have greatly changed my attitude toward working out and food. I now crave the working out but I used to think was a chore. And when I have to eat food that isn't as good for me, I really think about it with some trepidation. I know longer enjoy eating at chicken express more then very occasionally. I used to eat there several times per week, and in July made it a goal to eat there no more than once a week. However, I soon found that I didn't like eating there at all. (OK, i slipped last Friday and ate cheese sticks) Of course, this was partially aided by Maggie, who became a vegetarian this year. She does eat fish, but having to find restaurants that work for her diet has made me make better choices as well.

For 2013, my goal is to work out 5 to 6 times a week in a combination of weights and cardio. I wear a Fitbit every day to track my ambient movement. I have a goal of net calories each day of no more than 1750-1800. I am also going to spend the next three weeks working the wheat dairy  and Soy out of my diet. This will probably not be a permanent change, but I want to see if some of my lingering sinus issues are food related. I ordered the DVD series of Les Mills combat, and am using daily burn and daily burn tracker to have other workouts for variety. As soon as my cough goes away I will begin cardio workouts again. In the meantime, I hope to start walking again Thursday or Friday. I may also be able to do some weight workout even before I can really get back to cardio. With my history of asthma, and bronchitis, the flu leftovers have really kicked me in the fanny.

The next memorable area for 2012 has to do with work. 2012 found my work very profitable and prosperous. I have been very blessed with more private contract hours and I've ever had before. The fall of 2012 found me in a position I have wanted for two years. I am the part-time music therapist at Southlake ISD. I work with a wonderful friend named Melynda . I work three full days per week, with preschool and special-needs children. I knew that I wanted the job when I heard it was posted over year ago. But they hired someone else initially. That girl went back to school for the position came open again. I applied for it again this summer, but somebody else got the job. That girl  got a job full-time in another school District. I waited all summer to finally be interviewed. They interviewed three people, and I didn't get the job. They hired someone else, then she found out her husband was being transferred out-of-state. And I got the job!. I feel very blessed to work in such a wonderful school district. I've had good feedback from my teachers and students, and hope this job continues for many years to come.

While I was waiting to hear about the school district job I took on more contracts. I had gotten up to 20 hours of private in-home contracts (which is full time in the grand scheme of contact hours, paperwork and drive time). When I took the job with the school district, I tried for a short while to continue seeing everyone, but it quickly became evident that this is not going to work! I now see 12 hours of in home clients each week, in addition to my weekly school district. It has worked out to be a good balance, except that I miss being home at night as I was all summer. The extra work is helping to pay off bills, and has enabled cash flow purchases such as a different car,  a new transmission for Peter's car, and a new stove when ours broke just before Christmas. I feel like the Lord has blessed me in many ways this year.

Maggie and I were incredibly blessed in 2012 to go to many of the  NATRC ride (side note...Siri won't type NATRC. I will only write "in ATRC". When I said NAYTRACK that didn't work either, lol)  I was unable to attend one, so while she is getting 100% jacket, I am only able to buy a jacket onto which I will embroidery 93%, which is what you get for attending 13 out of 14 rides. Maggie ended the year as Junior reserve champion for the United States as well as Junior reserve champion for the region. At first she was very disappointed that she was not the regional champion, but then we found out that she was High Point average score Junior rider. This is a huge national award and made her very happy. Her horse also earned a national championship. What this means is that her horse got either one first and two seconds or Or two first and one second, one of those ride being out-of-state. Since she was the only junior running open all season she got her placings but no trouble. But we had to attend a minimum of 10 rides for her to gather the required 60 point. During the process, we went to Missouri to a ride there at was very difficult. We also made some good friends along the way. The Lineback's from Georgia, came to many of the rides, as Tammy was working on the highest NATRC award, the Presidents cup. We were able to spend a lot of time with Tammy and her daughter Marcy through all the riding. Their friendship has been a huge blessing. In fact, Maggie is going to attend the NATRC national convention in Denver Colorado in February. She will be flying alone and staying with the Linebacks. 

My own personal NATRC goals were not Met this year. I had hoped to also get my national championship, but the out-of-state first or second eluded me. After starting the year very strong, my year fizzled a bit. I Received my first and second placing early in the year. However, I could never get a first or second placing out-of-state. I ended up in fourth place for the year regionally. I did not place nationally.

This year we are both backing off heavy competition to give the horses a break. We have opted to ride in the CP (competitive pleasure) division, which is easier and gives us more time for lounging after the ride. We have good friends who ride novice and they are committing to riding a lot of rides, so I expect we will spend time riding with them. I expect to return to open in a year or two. I will be attending and NATRC rides with Liberty, but I am also starting Fiera in Texas Trail challenge. Maggie is going to concentrate on school now that she is in the ninth grade, and going to so many NATRC rides cuts into the days she can attend school (school kind of frowns on you not being there).

I need to talk about Fiera's training the last month...but that's another post.

This blog post has gone on long enough. I will be proofreading since I dictated it through Siri. However, please forgive, and possibly be amused by, any mistakes that you fine as reading it. I am not a great proofreader.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fiera in training

So today I had thought I would ride Fiera but when push came to shove, loud school children and being alone in the pasture got to me and I didn't ride. I tacked her up to pony her off liberty and then realized that the girth I had put on her was the same one Liberty needed for his saddle so in the end it was all ground work.

I 'drove' her tacked and saddled around the pasture. I wanted to Practice the reining technique of only guiding her when I meant to and other wise leaving her mouth alone. At first it was easy but then the other horses in other pastures got riled up and that gave me something to practice keeping her attention over. It got kind kind of exciting because I didn't have a lead an she was acting very Bucky very close to me. So we walked in to make some tack changes.

I used the bit I have always used and she kept chewing on it so I swapped to Oly' s but and the excessive chewing stopped. (Note to self, no one likes that other bit; sell it and buy another Myler). After changing bits and adding a lead things were good for another little while but she got tired of working and when I flipped the line at her or a whoa she went into a bucking and rearing fit that made me happy I wasn't riding. She was determined to have her way and I want not going to influence her. But I did. So we did more ground work, some lingering at different speeds and lots of direction changes. I do believe I had the last laugh.

Not sure when I will ride her again. I'm not convinced I have a saddle that fits and I think I'd like to see her not have such a temper first. I was going to take her to Stillwater but that's not going to work out right now. Getting a new stove and moving Maggie's horse to Azle is killing my training budget. I will have to settle for lessons for now.