Sunday, August 28, 2011

I love Dolly... She's a great little horse and fun to have around when I just want to go for a ride and not actually "work". She's a great trail horse and it's kind of fun to go run barrels every once in a while just to do something different.

So here's my problem. Buck has some SERIOUS separation anxiety when I take him away from her to ride. The anxiety is so bad I really have a hard time getting anything done with him. Lately he's even been scary, he rears back and jumps around and cries for her. He has to spin around to where he can see her all the time and it's just getting frustration and discouraging.


I really don't want to sell Dolly because I really love having her around, not to mention I'm the only person she's never tried to buck off so I feel like she kind of likes me too. I'm starting to think this may be my only solution to this little dilemma. I love her but I want to be able to keep working Buck without worrying about the safety of myself and him anymore than I already do. Plus, his training and career is more important to me then how I feel about her considering she's only really around because I love her and she's fun.

I also don't know that I like leaving him out in the pasture alone all the time, horses as we all know are herd animals and I would think for him that would be kind of depressing and boring...

So I'm asking you for your opinion on this one. Should I just suck it up and put my little painted pony up for sale, or is there another way to get him to behave while we work.. I mean really he could stop being a baby for the whole hour or so that we're working...

P.S. the little black pegasus really isn't relevant to this blog... I just thought he was cute haha!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cutest Pet Contest

Ok guys I wanna ask you a favor!

I entered my dog in a contest to get on the cover of my towns magazine in November and I need people to vote on him as the cutest pet!  I'm gonna give you the link so PLEASE vote :-)




It goes straight to his page and all you have to do is rate him from 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest and then vote!

Thanks so much guys!! :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to school... Back to school

Today was my last first day of my undergrad career... FINALLY!  It went by alright my Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes don't seem too bad.  I had Psychology of Gender, Abnormal Psychology and Stable Management today all pretty normal classes since I'm a Psychology major with an Equestrian Science minor.

My only problem with this week is I had classes at 11, 1 and 3 and then I had a sorority meeting from 8 until 9:30 and now I'm waiting around to go to work at midnight to 6 in the morning and don't really have any place to sleep until then because I live 45 minutes away from where I go to school and work...  Maybe it wasn't such a great idea to give up that dorm room when I got married... Kind of regretting that decision now even though it saved me about $5,000 a semester.

I guess what I'm going to have to do is suffer through tonight and tomorrow and HOPE that I can get out of working tomorrow night and go home and go to bed... otherwise it will be 3 days with no sleep... NOT GOOD!

Tomorrow I've only got two classes.  Research Methods in Psychology at 9:30 in the morning and then I don't have another class until my 3:15 Psychology of Personality class.  Again regretting the lack of dorm room because I don't know how I'm going to entertain myself for about 4 and a half hours between classes...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hometown Tragedy

I grew up in a town most people associate with fiction, Hannibal, Missouri.  Home of Mark Twain's famous Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher, not to mention the "unsinkable" Molly Brown.  Tonight the quant little tourist town was devastated by the lose of one of it's iconic businesses, Grand view Nursery.

Not that Grand view was really all that iconic, but the company had been in business for over 30 years.  It was Hannibal's headquarters for John Deere small equipment, small motor repairs as well as four-wheelers and other ATVs.  It was one of the last places you would see as you headed out of town on Highway 61 towards St. Louis and one of the first places to greet you as you hit the Hannibal city limits.

Tonight, at approximately 5:30 pm, this Hannibal landmark went ablaze in a massive fire which as of 12:00 AM central time, was still in progress of being brought under control by at least 3 area fire departments.

The building pretty much burned to the ground by 8 PM despite the relentless fight from Hannibal, New London, Palmyra, and other area fire departments.  The picture to the left is from the Quincy Harold Whig, not my own.

I guess the reason I decided to write about this tonight is because it really hit home with me.  I never really payed attention to the business before unless I went in with my parents.  It was always just there and I expected that.  Now when I go back to visit Hannibal it will just be an empty space.

Also, I wanted to put out that stopping on the side of a 4 lane interstate to take pictures or video on your phone is just stupid.  You are a danger to yourself, other drivers, the firemen and police officers trying to deal with the already highly dangerous situation.  If an officer comes up to you and tells you to move on, just do it... what do you get out of arguing with them about it anyway besides the possibility of going to jail for the night??  I only say this because my husband had to work traffic control on this situation and was put in danger because people wanted to argue with him instead of letting him do his job.

It is not a good idea to walk up on a scene like this and hang around the fire trucks so you can take pictures.  Again, if an officer comes up and tells you that you are in danger and you need to leave... odds are FAIRLY good that he might know what he's talking about... WALK AWAY!!  Why is that so complicated??  Sorry for my soap box like rant, but from the perspective of a police officer, we are not telling you these things because we are trying to ruin your fun, we are telling you to leave because we don't want to have to send you to the hospital in an ambulance or worse to the morgue in a hearse...

My thoughts and prayers go out to Joe and Vince Howald, the owners of the nursery as well as all the employees who are now out of jobs.  Thank goodness no one was injured.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

European Championships

Thoughts?  Comments? Feelings? Anyone?

Typically this event is dominated by Germany and the Netherlands but this year was definitely not the case.   Between the stunning ride by Carl Hester on Uthopia  and Charlotte Dujardin the British team is making a shocking sweep of the competition it seems.  Carl Hester and Uthopia scored an 82.568% and even scored a perfect 10 from all the judges on their extended trot.  That pair was amazing.


Obviously this video isn't from the European Championships but I thought I would share it for those who haven't seen them in action.  I don't know if I feel this horse is as flashy as Totilas but I do think his tests are flawless.  When it comes to raw talent and natural movement, Uthopia is definitely not lacking in either.  



This video is from the same competition as the video of Carl but this is Charlotte Dujardin.  Between her and Carl the British team may show a team record score now since the two of them are both averaging 80%.  It's nice to see, no matter what training fads come into the competitions throughout the years, after it's all said and done flawless equitation and spectacular talent can still bring home a gold medal.

Totilas ended up scoring a 79.453% which seated him for a third place individual medal and the highest score for the German team who acquired him from the Netherland team after their house cleaning 2010 year with him.  This years championships were one of two times he's placed outside of the top two positions.  

Laura Bechtolsheimer, who makes me feel like there's hope for me she's only 26 years old with a fabulous show record for the British team so far in her career, finished 5th with a decent 77.280%.  So far she's received a silver medal at the 2009 ECs as well as three silvers (two individuals and one team) at WEG in 2010 and 3 gold medals at the 2010 World Championships on the gelding, Mistral Hojris who she competed on in the 2011 ECs.

So for the first time in the 25 years of the FEI European Championships Britain claimed a well deserved team gold.  I am interested to see how the rest of the competition plays out for the rest of the week as well how things unfold and line up for the upcoming Olympic Games.

**Update** I found a video from FEI TV with some highlights of the championships!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Problem Children

I rode Buck for the first time yesterday since our horse show and since I moved Dolly back home.  Epic failure on that!  I figured he would be a little hard to get a long with since she was out there but I didn't realize exactly what I was going to be in for.

First off I have to tell you, the only place I have to ride at home is an approx. 3 acre pasture, the same place where the horses live when I'm not riding.  Which already makes for an awkward situation since Buck is never really in the mindset to work when we're out there.  Dolly followed us around for a little while which worked out fine until she got bored and started to walk away.  Buck FREAKED out!  He reared up and spun around so I had to bail off to keep from falling off.  When I bailed he got even more panicked and backed up really hard, in turn breaking the reins *sad face*.  After the little panic attack and broken reins I tied a lead rope where the reins had been and finished the ride... he of course was perfectly fine because Dolly decided she didn't really need to go any where after all.

I'm a little torn, I don't want to put her up for sale but at the same time I can't continue on dealing with spastic outbursts every time I ride, not to mention replacing multiple sets of broken reins.  What to do, what to do....

After a decent ride with Buck I decided it was time for me to "Cowgirl Up" and get on Dolly.  No worries, I'm not crazy (she hasn't been ridden for at least a year and a half) I put on my helmet like I do when I ride Buck.  I saddled her up and put the long line on her, prepared to see how she was and then decide if I would get on.  

Definitely got a bigger surprise than I was prepared for.  I was walking out to where I ride with her on the long line beside me and she grunted loudly and started bucking!!!  When I say bucking I mean I should seriously consider selling her to a rodeo stock contractor!  She stood up, threw down her head and proceeded to jump straight up and down, all four feet off the ground WHILE she was spinning around!  I can't even begin to paint you a vivid enough picture of exactly what happened.  As she spun she wrapped the long line around the saddle until I couldn't hold on any longer.  Afterwards she ran around the pasture with Buck on her heels until she ran out of breath (about 5 to 10 minutes).

Once she was done I walked up to her, unwrapped the long line and walked back up to the top of the hill where I ride.  Then I long lined her for 15 minutes or so.  She was perfect than walk, trot and canter both directions without even a bobble....  I decided I'd brave it and get on (I didn't want her to think I was scared of her!)

Helmet on I proceeded to climb up onto the western saddle.  She was already pretty out of breath so I decided we'd stick with mostly walking and maybe a little trotting.  I rode her around until her breathing went back to normal and I figured I didn't want to test my luck any longer...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Curious

So I know this is an old controversial topic but I was reading some different articles on the topic because I am interested in the whole subject and thought I'd write about it... Cloning.  What are your thoughts on the whole thing?  Particularly in our sport.

From "Gemini" the cloned colt of Gem Twist to "Clayton" the stallion owned by 11 time World Champion barrel racer Charmayne James, cloned from her gelding Scamper.  Both horses are probably what Dianna called "once in a lifetime" horses so I completely understand why Charmayne and those around Gem Twist would want to clone them, but should they?

In 2004 the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) passed a rule stating that any horse produced from cloning could not be registered with their association.  Which, if I understand the rules of AQHA registration, means their offspring can not be registered with the association.  Now in most events... such as barrel racing and show jumping... breed registration doesn't really matter that much, your horses can still participate in events where breed associations are not sponsoring the event.

My concern is does this make it easier for those to have the money to win because they have a clone of a horse who probably set the bar in their events in the past.  Consider having to compete against Gem Twist again (that is to say if Gemini comes out with Gem Twist's talent of course) he was a horse who definitely made a mark in the Show Jumping world and now because a particular group of people could afford it, he's back and competing again (to a point anyway).  Does that give them an obvious advantage over those who can not afford to clone a horse like that?

I know that it's usually those who can afford the expensive horses who tend to do well in certain events (it's not always the case but more often than not) anyway but does this give them an even larger advantage over those who can not afford to clone?  What would happen in dressage if they decided to clone say, Totilas or Brentina?  Do you think cloning will have an effect on dressage competitions or not?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vacation!!

Sorry it's been a while since my last entry here, I went on vacation for a week!  Much needed I have to say.

So every other year my husband goes to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.  We've been together a while now so this is my 2nd rally with him!  I LOVE South Dakota.  If I thought I could get away with it I would move there.  Not likely though considering he hates the cold.  He wants to move to Florida some day, not too bad a choice with all the horse shows and things that go on down there it's like horsey paradise down side... I hate being hot and the summers there are HOT!

Anyway, nothing too interesting to say I just didn't want you to think I'd given up on the blog already.  The rally was epic, lots of craziness and beautiful rides.  Also I think I got a LITTLE too close to some buffalo, I'll try to post the video of that and some pictures for you to see.  Nothing too risky though, I'll save those for a scrapbook or something hahaha!

I've been out to South Dakota several times, I lived in Washington state for a short period of time so I've been all the way across the western United States.  Some how in the 10+ trips I've made out west, I've never seen Devil's Tower which is the picture on the top left.  It was amazing to see and Wyoming was a beautiful ride.  

There is a native story about how the rock was made.  Some young women were playing out in the woods and came across some bears which chased them.  The girls climbed on top of a rock and prayed asking the rock to get bigger and taller to save them from the bears.  As the prayed the rock began to grow and as it grew the bears would claw at it trying to climb up to the girls which is how Devil's Tower got the weird markings on the side.  Another story involves aliens or something and I wasn't all that interested in reading that one haha!

The second picture is obviously Mt. Rushmore which I never get tired of visiting.  The third picture is at Roughlock Falls, a stop we made on the way to Deadwood, SD.  The waterfalls are absolutely breath taking.

 



So here are some other random (appropriate) pictures from the motorcycle rally and different rides we took throughout the week.  Just and FYI the picture of the buffalo was not zoomed in, he was really that close and you'll see in the video at the end just how close they were.  I also got lucky and got my picture taken with Rick Petko from American Choppers if you know anything about that show you know him if ya don't... Google him haha!


video

This is a short video, I have one almost a minute long but I didn't think it was a good idea to post it because I was cursing in it haha!  Enjoy!



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Riddle Me This...

And slightly off topic...

A week ago Sunday my new dog (a 2 year old Rottweiler I rescued from the pound in the city where I work) slipped out the back door after my in-laws left the house and ran out on the road.  Tragically he was killed because the lady "thought he would stop" and never bother to hit the brakes.

Now mind you, my yard is about as long as a football field and just as flat... for miles...  There was no excuse for her not to at least attempt to hit her brakes and avoid the impending collision.  But she decided he would probably turn at the last second or something and she wouldn't have to worry about slowing down since where ever she was going was obviously more important than my dogs life.  Now don't get me wrong it is our responsibility to watch our pets and make sure they stay away from the road I am not trying to take away from that fact at all, but things happen and he was rather sneaky.

After said accident, my husband had to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening (Casino was killed at 12:30 PM) digging a 4 foot deep hole to bury the poor dog in.  He finished and we buried him at approximately 9 PM that night.  It was devastating and I still feel horrible about it and I think my husband feels even worse.

Yesterday, that lady had the nerve to show up out the house while my husband and I were gone and got a hold of my father in-law who, being the good person he is, exchanged our insurance information with her since of course now a week after she murdered my dog she wants to make us pay for the damage to her car.  There is no way I could possibly put into words how PISSED OFF I am right now!!  If it were the other way around and I had killed a family pet, I couldn't even think about going back to the people and trying and make them pay for my vehicle.

Also, she is claiming the headlight on her car fell out along with other damage.  I distinctly remember looking at her vehicle while we were standing on the side of the road and yep, the headlight was definitely still in it's spot.

So my question is, how do people have the nerve to do the things they do???  How could you, after seeing how devastated the family was over the death of their dog and WATCHING the dog die yourself, go back and try... well not try MAKE them pay for damage to your vehicle because you were too stupid or in too big of a hurry to slow down a little??  There was no squeak of the brakes, no nothing... I guess she just assumed he was the smarter animal in that situation and would yield to her before crossing the road.

Tell me you couldn't see him coming from a mile away??