Time Flies

20151217_090314.jpgSomehow, 2016 is here.  Happy New Year!  The winter has been mild and wet – so far.  But today is COLD for this FLA girl.  Luckily, we managed a party lesson yesterday.  The forecast was to warm up to “almost 40” which is my mantra for good winter riding temps.  Even though we started late to catch warmer temps, it was 29 when we started to ride.  NOT almost 40.  No worries, no wind in the covered arena, serious boots, gloves, ear warmers, extra layers and I was toasty.  Splash was sluggish.  Kizzy was bucky (to start) and Sunny was a good boy.  Mallory/Max and Bev/Beau joined us for the first party lesson of the year.

20151222_154832.jpgSplash and I worked on “lightening” the downward transitions.  Even though Splash is motivated to stand still, he doesn’t want to use his back end and we end up fighting for a halt.  Or walk.  Any downward trans.  So, we practiced “stop/back” until there was improvement.  Angie, Patty and I have discussed the possibility that Splash has Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM).  Last summer we attended an ODS sponsored seminar at OSU and Dr. Holbrook discussed several problems for dressage horses including PSSM.  Serious symptoms are hard to miss such as tying-up. However, tail swishing and reluctance to move forward can be subtle signs.  Angie took the sample for me and genetic testing is in progress.  If it turns out that he is positive, a change in diet should help him.  If negative, Splash is the slug we think he is.  It will be good to know either way.

20151114_093845Ivy wanted to work on extensions because she is planning to move up to 1st level this year.  In preparation for extension, Ivy worked Kizzy in a circle until he was willing and showing some collection.  Then, working slightly shoulder in along the straight and into the corner Ivy straightened him into the diagonal and then asked for extension.   They looked great for a few strides.  They repeated the preparation and ask several times each way until they were successful for more than a few strides.  Several times, Kizzy cantered rather than extended, but he was willing to move out.  Both Patty and Ivy were happy with the work.

20151205_094644.jpgSunny has gained some weight but still looks thin.  Alaina is focusing on building muscle slowly so they take it easy during the lesson.  They had prompt transitions and consistent gaits.  I could see a little of the “line walk” that OSU noticed with his right hind during the evaluation last November, but I think that is related to the lack of cartilage in the right hock.  It doesn’t seem to affect his coordination but we will keep an eye on it.

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Geronimo has started acting a bit bratty so we will be sending him for alteration as soon as possible.  Ivy is still working him focusing on showmanship and plans to take him showing in the Will Rogers Classic.  Hopefully, he will be a gelding by then.

20151121_103958Ivy is hooked on Hunting after we joined the Harvard Fox Hounds on their fall hunter pace.   Splash and I rode with Patty and Prince and walked half the course just 5 minutes off the official pace time. 20151223_155724 Such a beautiful “fixture” and fun, friendly people.  She is also in love with Mac – as well as driving with Becky B.  Horses are FUN!

20151115_141713Alaina is easily distracted by a cute deer named Buford T Back-strap (the name should make him nervous).  Of course, she is also distracted by kittens, puppies and any other inappropriate choice for a pet.

So in non-horsey news.  The girls are in the second half of their junior year.  The twins turned 17 on December 17, 2015.  We applied for passports in anticipation of a European trip in July.

Ivy and her cross country team WON the 5A ladies cross country meet on Oct. 31 – they are champions!  20151031_115224

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Alaina signed up for COLLEGE algebra at RSU as a concurrent class.

Time Does Fly.20151217_091020

We did manage a trail ride on New Year’s Day and I am already plotting our next trail ride.  As soon as if warms a little.

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It’s been a while

Save time, blame Facebook.  Now that so many of us keep up with each other via Facebook, I have been distracted from my blogging. Facebook is shinny.

20150927_212236However, perhaps I can get back to basics – does blogging count as a basic?

The super moon was eclipsed last week and we enjoyed the show.  Good thing too since it will be decades until the next chance.

Summer is over and the fall fields of round balls have green grass beneath.  Even with the cool, wet summer, we are dry now and the green will be gone soon.  The Rogers County Fair has come and gone, volleyball season is over (just) and X-country is winding down.  I will not think about the number of shopping days until Christmas.

20150910_184556Geronimo moved from Angie’s to the Wild O Ranch in early August and he is settled in.  He is six months old and still a fun experience.  He has been to a ride night and Ivy wants to take him to the last 4-H horse show of the year next weekend.

20150919_155157Sunny has been loosing weight for months and we have tried everything including more feed, different feeds, additives (including probiotics, cool calories, beat pulp, diatomaceous earth, Thrive feed), power pack de-worming, blood work and vet visits.  Finally, to rule out EPM, we tested for it-Sunny is positive even without obvious neurologic symptoms.  So, we have treated and now will retest in a few weeks.  Meanwhile, Dr. Prop says its ok to keep riding, but poor Sunny looks very thin.  Let’s hope the treatment did the trick and that he will be back to normal soon.

20151004_181335Splash has not lost any weight and looks pretty good – he was Grand Champion Appaloosa Stallion/Gelding at the Rogers County Fair.  We have been doing some trail rides as well as dressage schooling shows when we can.  At the most recent schooling show/team championships, Splash and I were teamed up with Patty/Breath Right and Kendall/Max – we were second place!    We received 70.694% for Western Dressage Basic Level (WDBL)test 2 – by far, our highest score ever!  Both of the working walks were 8’s and our final halt at G was 7.  WDBL test 4 was overall a better test although our score was lower at 66.323 but Roberta said that when we had moments of good connection, we were wonderful!

20151001_072827The team format was fun – we have one more dressage schooling show opportunity this year in early November.  Meanwhile, I will trail ride every chance I get.  Yay!

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OH NOOOOOOO – Tropical Storm Bill

11429924_10204855307074992_9032890550967491431_nIt’s time for the State Horse Show in Shawnee and TS Bill is bringing lots of rain and flooding to OK.  Again.  But a week ago, the mud was hard as a rock and Ivy tested her jumping out of trailers holding big, western saddles skills and stretched two 20150613_201203important ankle ligaments.  Ouch.  The doctor prescribed no riding for 2 weeks and no running for 1 month.  She wants to ride at state anyway and we will see how things go.

20150614_113936Last weekend the ODS/GCC held the Green Country Classic recognized dressage show at the Claremore Expo.  The girls and I volunteered on Sunday morning and we saw some beautiful rides and some fabulous horses.  Patty and Prince were high point Friesian and Christina and Millie were highpoint Arabian!  Richal, Anne, and Ruthie had beautiful rides too.

20150605_100609Then, we helped out at Horses4Heroes at Pinto World.  4-H kids helped give a horse experience to veterans and their families.  Very fun, horsey day and Alaina managed to have her western show hat reshaped and fitted just in time for the state horse show.

20150606_195635Geronimo and Bree are becoming pros at hanging with the girls.  Bree will lean on you all day long if you itch the right spot and G-man only wants to nibble on everything that moves – or doesn’t.  They are so cute.

For Steve on Father’s Day, my plan is to give him some peace and quiet by taking the girls and horses for a trail ride.  Good plan – if it dries out by then.

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And some more. Rain.

20150531_132806 Though we haven’t had measurable rain in more than 24 hours, the rain until then during the past week has been excessive.  Oklahoma has had a record breaking 20150531_141132amount of rain for May and flooding has been widespread.  The ground is saturated and Friday, our septic system showed the first signs of problems.  We went into water saving mode for a couple of days until Sunday morning when we decided it was time to check with a load of laundry.  Bad move.  Backups appeared in all three bathrooms and Steve had to change his plans for the day.  Could be worse – could be raining. 20150530_145108Patty’s arena flooded on Friday just as it was drying out from its flooding on Sunday morning.  No Party Lesson on Saturday.  Very sad face.  Splash says no worries mate – I can stand around eating grass all day and stomp in the mud without the need for a ride. 20150531_141035We did manage a party lunch at Pink House with our horsey friends – Mary, Nancy, Patty, Mallory, Meredith, Beverly, Jennifer, Michelle, Ashlyn, and the twins.  Yummy and fun.  Then Meredith, Jennifer, and Ashlyn joined us to visit Geronimo. 20150530_150322Ivy has been messing with Gman’s face and mouth and discovered that Geronimo has lost one of his front teeth.  This is not normal and we are worried about his future orthodontic requirements.  Cross fingers his regular teeth come in nice and straight.  Anyone have experience with this problem? 20150531_151157Sunday was still gray but no more rain – YAY.  We went back out to Angie’s to play with the ponies and Nancy brought her granddaughter out to meet baby horses and black cats.  And to play in mud puddles.  She is a pro.  The girls rode Charles and Dash to help Angie get them into shape for a 4 day trail ride in June.  Charles is a really pretty, green Morgan and Dash is a former barrel horse.  The girls enjoyed their pony trot through the slop.  Meanwhile, I am pining for a ride myself.  Plan for party lesson next week.  Cross fingers.

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A Little More Rain

20150524_181235 20150524_114621Plus a lot more in OK and TX and elsewhere this weekend – major flooding Saturday night and Sunday.  Our road was blocked both north and south of our place and the north location had enough damage to require repairs.

Meanwhile, after some of his first clipping experience on Friday in the driving rain, Gman had Saturday off until Ivy worked him with Mallory’s help on Sunday in the dripping rain.  He and his mama spent  the weekend in the stall with the outside mares watching (Rosie and Quinn) or pestering (Alex and Indy).  Bree and Lady were hanging in the other stall.  Geronimo got his first taste of “lunging stage 2” with Mallory’s guidance.  Considering he had been stall bound for 2 days and was still in the stall for the work, it went well.

20150523_143635I got a little equine therapy on Saturday when I scribed at a schooling show held at the Joyful Noise arena in Pryor.  What an elegant facility.  Hypoallergenic stalls, fabulous footing, beautiful grounds including way cool trail equipment.  I would have liked to try a western dressage test but Splash was lame on the front right on Tuesday night.  Probably tender from trimming on Monday, but he was still a little off on Friday.  So, I scribed without riding.  Since I wasn’t riding, the rain stayed away for the show.  I am very good.

More rain expected tomorrow.  Thank goodness.  Its good for the corn and hay not so good for trail riding.

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May 23, 1986

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232323232fp8_nu=3232_3___5;3_23233__6_49_5otb4_2gi1lsi     Jaime’s birthday.

101901j&tcLove you my Buttercup.

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Spring and a Little Rain

Screenshot_2015-05-16-23-47-21Tide Pools in the driveway and mud everywhere else.  Oklahoma Wild Weather the last few weeks has included the usual springtime rain, hail, wind, and tornadoes as well as tigers escaped from a wildlife park when a tornado went through.  In addition, a horse near Collinsville has injuries that look like a mountain lion attack and a big cat has been seen in the area.  Yikkes.

So much rain since March has washed out 2 dressage shows and put a serious cramp in our practice at the wild O Ranch arena which is currently a federally recognized wetland.  Our next (re-scheduled) dressage show is scheduled for next weekend at the Rocking C but the forecast looks like more rain so I won’t hold my breath.

Luckily for Ivy and Geronimo, wet pasture doesn’t prevent a little training for baby on a regular basis.  Ivy visits G-man almost every day and he has had a variety of visitors including: 20150502_095013Patty and Larry, Kathy, Pam and Lily, Lauren, Allie, Abby and her family and a friend, and Claire and Kerry.

One dressage schooling show at Prairie Lane wasn’t rained out so Ivy and I took Kizzy and Splash and Alaina tried Max in an intro class.  The arena is the same one where Splash was injured by taking a bad step in an unstable location between C and M.  Now there are more bad locations with big holes to try to avoid.  My riding was sub-par as I tried to avoid the bad spots.  Even so, we scored 63.636 in T3, 62.419 in WDB-I, and 62.205 in WDB-IV; we received a few 7.5s and nothing lower than 6 in T3.  Our western scores were a bit lower because Splash lost balance more easily when I was not consistent with my rein length.  Alaina road Max in I-C and received a 60.000.  Not bad for their 2nd ride together.  Ivy and Kizzy received 64.782 for T-1 and 63.409 for T-3 and Judge Lyn Francik says he is a beautiful horse with lots of potential.

20150508_183918I planned on riding in the show this weekend but Splash was one-legged lame (front right) at ride night Tuesday.  He got his hooves trimmed on Monday and it has been very wet in the pasture for the last few weeks.  Cross fingers he is sound soon.  I will take him to Expo tomorrow to check him out.  Even if I can’t ride in the show, I will go to help scribe and to check out Joyful Noise farm in Pryor.  And hang out with my horsey friends.

Ivy and Alaina competed at the district 4-H horse show on May 9 and both have qualified to go to the State Horse Show.  Alaina and Sunny will compete in Trail (they placed 5th), the only class she was able to ride because of Track conflicts.  Ivy showed20150508_125813 Splash in Halter, Showmanship and Trail (10th) qualifying him in Halter and Trail.  She showed Kismet in Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Eq, and Hunter Hack (3rd); they will ride HSE and HH at State.

Ivy has been working with Geronimo every day she can talk a parent into letting her drive to Angie’s.  He is learning to lead and hold his feet for picking as well as to be tied for grooming.

 

20150508_183939The big news is that Angie has bred Sister to The Ultimate Fancy, a very nice sorrel paint stallion (http://www.theultimatefancy.com/The%20Ultimate%20Fancy.htm Tufs_lope_shot_only).  “We” hope for a buckskin paint next year.  Angie’s paint mare Rosie is bred to a perlino stallion so their could be an buckskin/palomino paint baby from that match too (http://eagleridgefarm1.homestead.com/midasintro.html ).  Very Exciting.  Also, Kathy B’s new filly is a half sister to Sister’s next baby – she is out of Ultimate Fancy!  How fun is that?

20150503_163250Even though wet weather has restricted our riding both at home and on the trail for the last couple of months, we have ridden at Kerry’s between the weather fronts.  Hopefully, Splash will be sound soon and we can ride the range.

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Big NEWS!

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IMG_7635Sister had her baby this week – Monday morning at 3:30am to be exact.  But first, she acted like she was in labor Friday night (no go), Saturday night (not yet), and Sunday night.  The girls and I held vigil with Angie until midnight when we gave up the watch and went home – school/work in the morning and Sister might have waited another day or 3.  Sister is turning out to be a good momma – pretty tolerant of people in the stall and messing with her baby.

Snapchat--6120745073110983722IMG_6572Baby Geronimo is a buckskin stud colt with very long legs, an adorable little tail and no white markings of any kind.  He is pretty cute in his big ear, skinny, leggy way.  He may grow up to be pretty big since his sire is 17-2; you can check him out at his farm website http://www.oewequinecenter.com/artbeat.html .  Ivy is in love and apparently favors those buckskin boys.

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20150404_102208We have been having other horsey fun before the blessed event including a party lesson last weekend that was all about the trail obstacles.  The weekend prior, we had the St. Jude Trail ride and the weekend 20150404_115310before that, the 2nd 4-H Point show of the year.  But I was down for the count with 2-weeks of antibiotics needed to beat a tick induced bacterial infection.  Add a couple of work trips to Kansas and you can tell I was distracted from my normal blogging activities.

20150329_112232We had a beautiful day for the St. Jude trail ride at the Flying M and raised over 600 dollars for the cause.  11081087_856052751099794_2643099172222763808_nWe tried out a new route since it was a bit soggy in the low lying areas.  The Flying M is a lovely place to ride with all my horsey friends.

The point show was a small, relaxed affair compared with the Will Rogers Classic.  We had a trail ride at Tom and Kerry’s the day 20150328_142910after that and the girls went to an NEO horsemanship clinic the day before the St. Jude ride and to the 4-H county banquet after the ride.

So, we have been horsing around.  Just a little.

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First Show of the Season!!! Done.

20150307_095631Splash would rather have stayed home to eat grass or whatever.  The Will Rogers Classic is finally in the books after the weather delay.  Alaina and Sunny did showmanship, English (except hunter hack), and western (substituting Ranch Pleasure for Western Pleasure).  Ivy showed Splash in Halter and Showmanship and then Kismet in English.  Splash and I did showmanship, English (NO jumping), trail, ranch pleasure and western horsemanship.  Ivy and Kizzy were 1/2 in jumping Sat/Sun and the Orban teams were 1st place ranch pleasure both days in our age groups.  20150308_094452Ranch pleasure is fun – a big pattern with extension, collection and some kind of obstacle, lead change, turns, stops and backs.  This is a new class designed to show a horse in more natural frame and movement (compared to WP) and mane banding and hoof black are prohibited.  Blingy saddle and show clothes are discouraged.  So, I left Splash’s mane long, removed my pink rhinestone pin, and didn’t even bath my horse.  What a slacker – but it has been to cold to bath.

20150307_094533I had a lot of fun and got my session of Equine Thereapy.  Splash and I were seriously outclassed by the competition, and he was pretty snarky on Saturday.  Very buddy sour which lead to fussy transitions, head tossing and resistant  backs.  And lots of calling for his friends.  Ugh.  So we did some Clintonizing Sunday morning and he was much better in my showmanship class – had a pretty good pattern but still came last.  HUS was pretty good – correct leads, no dropped gaits – HSE also mostly good.  Still came last.  Our trail was much better than Sat with only a little bobble on the sidepass and an ALMOST step out in the box.  We worked alot in the warmup pen away from Sunny and Kizzy and whenever possible, we stood on the opposite side from the trailer and his friends to practice standing still and waiting patiently.  Further training needed.

20150217_211713Sunny is a natural at Ranch Pleasure and still a really good trail pony.  Kismet has made huge progress slowing the HUS, getting more precise on pattern work, and minimizing the head toss on transitions.  And, he cleans up really well without bathing.  Sunny, not so much since his white mane and tail are really tan.

20150307_111227White Pony (AKA Guy) made his WRC debut with Sheila B in the schooling classes.  As always, he was on his best behaviors and gave Sheila nice rides and a fun day.  It is so much fun to show with my girlfriends.  Kathy B has news too – she has a new mare in her life moving to Claremore in the near future.   Exciting developments for sure. 

Now that spring seems to be closer, I am so ready for more trail rides and Party Lessons.  Next weekend perhaps?

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                                          One more thing!  Our very own Sydney R won the First Annual WRC Walk/Trot Western Pleasure Buckle Challenge!  The class was so large, it was judged in heats.  Lots of beautiful horses, accomplished riders, and serious competition.  Way to Go Sydney!

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Horse Induced Injury

IMG_4533                     But…. I didn’t fall off.

20150301_135408Since my last post, we had to re-schedule the Will Rogers Classic until March 7/8 – This weekend.  What have we been doing?  Not enough horsing around, that’s for sure.  We did manage a party lesson on the 22nd, before the COLD weather descended and STAYED.  Icy on the 23rd, more snow on the 24th, and I cancelled my KS trip, then another winter weather weekend with a micro warm-up.  So, off to KS on Monday only to evacuate Tuesday night when the next winter mix was headed Oklahoma way with more teeth than expected.  School was cancelled Wed/Thurs and the temperatures are finally expected to go up just in time for the Classic this weekend.  It is still ridiculously mucky, but moisture is moisture,  so we better take it.

20150301_141237 20150301_142557At our last lesson a couple of weeks ago, Splash was pretty snarky.  He even aimed a hoof my direction during our mounting preparations.  Bad Move Splash.  We moved some feet – forward/backward/left/right until he apologized in horse language.  After that rough start, he straightened out and we had a pretty good lesson before headed to our fav Mexican place in Catoosa.  IMG_4472 IMG_4465 IMG_4461We managed a ride night a couple of days later and Splash was pretty good for Abby.  Then winter prevented any more fun until the snow quit last Sunday.  The 3 inches of snow were topped with a half inch of frozen crust which made for some tricky footing.

20150301_140651 20150301_141132Ivy/Kizzy and me/Splash took a tiptoe ride around the pasture.  Ivy was bareback to take advantage of her heat-seat horse and I decided to take a photo.  Imagine that.  With the reins in my teeth, gloves under one arm and whip under the other, I was waiting for Kizzy to smile when.  Without warning.  Splash jumped sideways 20 feet.  He (and Ivy and Kizzy) saw…. gasp…. a coyote.  I didn’t fall off.  I should have.  I pulled a IMG_4584serious muscle from the back of the knee all the way up.  That hurt so bad I couldn’t dismount.  So, we rode to the arena, walked and trotted and slipped around before going back around the pasture to remind Splash that he can not direct riding or dismounting.

IMG_4454I have been babying my injury and it is somewhat better.  I plan to ride at the classic anyway.  It might not be pretty.  But I am going to have fun with my horsey friends Sheila, Allison, and Stacy (and others) riding with me.  Hope to have visits from my YaYa’s down at the Claremore expo starting at 9 am on Sat.IMG_4393 IMG_4406IMG_4464

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